Thursday, July 31, 2014

PIn-Away Giveaway!!

IT'S PIN-AWAY GIVEAWAY TIME!  I am so excited to be bringing you this AMAZING giveaway that I am hosting with my friends!  Since it's Back to School season, we thought you could use some resources that we find to be a MUST-HAVE item in our classrooms!  Take a look at what we want to give away to YOU!  Pinning points can be earned every day by pinning each of our images to your Pinterest boards, sharing the links, and providing the hashtag #pinawaygiveaway.  Check out the Rafflecopter below to find out how else you can earn entry points.  This giveaway is open from July 31st-August 3rd.
First, we have Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd bringing you her MUST-HAVE Classroom Supply Labels...
Are you looking to brighten up your classroom supply bins and get a bit more organized this school year at the same time?? I've created multiple sets of classroom supply labels that will be perfect to help you start the school year with your supply bins, folders, trays, and baskets beautifully and colorfully labeled and organized! I have TWO different sets: Chevron Classroom Supply Labels and Bright Brick Classroom Supply Labels  If you win, you can choose whichever set - chevron or bricks - will work best for YOU! :) Each set includes OVER 100 LABELS for you to use to organize your classroom supplies! An EDITABLE template is also available for you to use to make your own! I've included several pictures of the Bright Brick set that I've used to brighten up and organize my classroom bins this year! I LOVE how they turned out! Additionally, you can check out my coordinating Bright Brick Book Bin Labels and Chevron Book Bin Labels, too!. There's no better time to get organized than when you're headed back to school! Cue the laminator! :)
 Next, we have Angie from Lucky Little Learners bringing you one of her FABULOUS Interactive Notebook creations, ADDITION STRATEGIES...
Are you using INTERACTIVE MATH NOTEBOOKS in your classroom? You really should be! My students love them, create them, reference them, and will take them home at the end of the school year where they will continue to learn from them! They can be used in either a whole group or small group setting. They were made so that they are easy for your students to assemble. Each interactive notebook activity comes with a photo of it assembled so there is no confusion on how it should look. I also love how interactive notebooks show the families what we learned in math that year. I find that my students are so proud to look back at their pages that they create!  The beginning of the year is the PERFECT time to get started with Interactive Notebooks.  You won't regret it and your students and parents will thank you!  If you are interested, I also have an Interactive Notebook Bundle #1 that includes Telling Time, Geometry, and MoneyInteractive Notebook Bundle #2 comes with Fractions, Place Value, and Measurement and I just finished my NEWEST Interactive Notebook... SUBTRACTION!
Erin from Once Upon A Classroom just updated her Emergency Sub Plans for Fall product and it is AMAZING...

Does your administration require you to have "ready to use" emergency sub plans? Do you sometimes feel a sickness coming on and the last thing you want to do is think about what your kids are going to do when you are away? If you can relate, you NEED to add this resource to your bag of tricks! It contains ENGAGING activities so the day is not wasted in your absence. No boring busy work - very little prep for you!
What's Included:
- Detailed substitute teacher instructions for every single activity
- Missing Teacher Creative Writing template
- 3 Opinion Writing templates
- 4 Non-Fiction Animal Reads with templates
- Addition & Subtraction Task Cards with recording sheet
- Animal Graph activity - (differentiated)
- Sight Word Bingo game
- First and second grade editable word cards
- Living vs. Non-Living Things small group activity
- Non-Fiction Animal Poster Activity
- Easy 3D Hand Art Project
- Helpful Tips
- Black & White version included
Note: This sub pack is most appropriate for August - November absences. 
Find the Spring Sub Plans HERE!
Sweet Sarah from A Rocky Top Teacher is giving away her Back to School Editable Notecards and they are ADORABLE...
Establishing a great relationship with students is one of the most important things educators can do. Start your school year off right by sending out postcards letting your new students know how excited you are about being their teacher! Make that first positive connection and share your love for school with them. This packet includes 7 different styles of postcards(including a printer friendly black and white version). Postcards are also editable so you can add exactly what you want them to say!
Engage your students in learning and get them ready for a fantastic year!
 Next we have Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd with her very VERSATILE Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags.  Check them out...
Do you ever feel like you just can’t squeeze anything else into your busy school day? With the push for more self reflection in the classroom, I needed to find a way that was efficient and beneficial to my students to self reflect on their learning. Tada! Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags, Small Group Cards, Bookmarks and more! This set allows you the time and your students the opportunities to self reflect anywhere in the classroom!! The possibilities are endless!
Last, but certainly not least, we have our new friend Emily from Polka Dots Please who is just a doll and she created a GREAT, EDITABLE Organization Bundle to help keep us all organized for the school year...
Stay beautifully organized this school year! This bundle includes lesson planning pages, monthly calendars, and busy (to-do) lists.  The lesson planning pages are editable to fit your needs.  They are designed to fit side by side in a binder so you can see your whole week at a glance.  The "busy lists" are perfect for jotting down all those ideas and to-do's.  They are editable so you can add your own routines, and they come in two different sizes.  Keep them on your desk at work or on your refrigerator at home to stay organized.  Every piece of the bundle comes in black and white and beautiful color combinations! All of these products coordinate with my other organization tools, so check them out.

Small Group Intervention Log (completely editable)
Student Data Organization Bundle 

Well, what are you waiting for? ALL of these Back to School must haves could be YOURS! Enter today, and PIN AWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It- Sprucing Up My Bookshelves!

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I am presenting at one of our summer staff PD sessions today on the technology tool Thinglink so I am probably a nervous wreck(sweating, shaking, and freaking out) while you are reading this. But...keep reading. I forgive you.

I am semi-joking. But really...

 I LOVE presenting. It is the best thing EVER, but I still get so dang nervous!

If you follow me on IG then you saw this...if not......

Ms. Young got engaged! Pretty excited! Last year as "Ms. Young" it weird that thinking about that makes me sad? It's a good sad though. 

OKAY-enough random. 

I am hopping on the blog today to share my rain gutter bookshelf makeover for Tara's Monday Made It Linky! I wanted a unique way to showcase books without taking up a lot of room. Last year, I had some rain gutters cut and installed in my room. Then, I saw Amanda at Teaching Maddeness post about her "spray painted" gutter shelves. You can read all about them here

WELL, Amanda's just looked so darn cute that I decided that I had to paint mine. I don't do classroom themes, but I do have a general color scheme of teal/turquoise in my room so I decided that I would try that color for the shelves.

I uninstalled those bad boys from the wall, laid them out on a cheap table cloth and entered into spray paint heaven. Spray painting is addicting. Do you own a spray paint handle thingie (what's the real name?)?? If not...go get one STAT. Don't do another project without it. 
Serious game changer.
I ended up doing two coats just to be safe. 

It was very easy and I am REALLY excited about how well they turned out. The pictures just don't do it justice. 

Here are some after pictures!!

Can't wait to see what everyone is sharing this week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Starting the School Year Off Right!

I am a BIG fan of making sure that I, as a teacher, do everything possible during the first few days and weeks of school to reach out to my new students and their families. Research proves that establishing those positive connections with students and parents early on will help give the teacher a positive communication platform to build off of throughout the rest of the school year.

But honestly, let's forget about "research" for a moment. 

I can tell you from personal experience that going that extra mile to create positive relationships with your students' parents is worth every.single.second. And, you can't start that process until you establish a great relationship with your students first.

Over the last few years in the classroom, I have realized that getting to know your students and building relationships with them is one of the most important things that you can doing the first few weeks of school. 

In order to help me begin to establish that relationship, I send out Back to School postcards to my students a few days before our registration day. I didn't realize what a huge impact such a task could have until I had two boys walk into school last year holding a crinkled postcard in their hands just to show me that they had gotten it! One said, "I have never gotten anything in the mail before!".

*Life made right there, folks! 

Now that I know those postcards are getting read and that students are excited about getting them; I send them out every year and will continue to do so. 

Here are a few previews of the ones that I am sending out to my kiddos this year!

The message lines are simple- "Hi _______! Did you have a good summer? It sure flew by fast! I cannot wait to be your second grade teacher this year. We are going to learn a lot of new things, and have a great time! I can't wait to meet you! Love, Ms. Young" Or...something like that.

If you don't send out postcards...I highly encourage you to do so. And, don't stress if there is not a way for you to get them out to your students before you meet them for the first time! Maybe you can send them out after the first day or first week of school. Students like getting mail, and they like that their teacher is sending them something. 

Oh...and I know that you have tons of students, and it takes a long time to write out an individualized message for each student by hand, but I feel like that is more personable than a generic typed message. Just personal opinion! :) 

There are a ton of cute postcard formats out there. I have several versions in my store(FREEBIES, too!!) AND I have a new editable postcards product!  Click on the picture above to take you to it. 

Now, this is my last "school free week" before the back to school craze begins so I am going to go soak up some sun and be laaaaaazy!

What are some ways that you establish positive connections with your students?!?

Monday, July 14, 2014

What Happens in Vegas

I am just going to put it out there now that this post and the related ones that follow will NEVER be able to do justice to what the Vegas trip and experience has meant to me. 

It was epic.

It was fun


I am forever changed because of it!

This past week, I was very blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first EVER Teachers Pay Teachers conference. There were over 800 other TPT sellers who were there as well. The energy from having that many passionate and dedicated educators in one place was simply breathtaking.  

The first half of my week was spent meeting some of my blogger friends in real life at the 3rd Annual Teacher/Blogger Meet Up and at other events around Vegas . I roomed with the amazing Nicole from All Things Apples in 2nd, got to see Catherine from The Brown Bag Teacher again, I met my "meant to be BFF" Kandice from Time Two Teach, hung out with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, and was able to meet some of my biggest blogging and TPT idols- April from A Modern Teacher, Elizabeth from Kickin' It In Kindergarten, and Cheryl from Primary Graffiti

I am so inspired by the ladies and gentlemen that I am surrounded by in the blogging community. Every single teacher that I met this week was genuine, spunky, talented, and fun! 

The second half of the week brought the fabulous TPT conference. If you were there(and if you weren't-you better be saving for your 2015 ticket NOW) you will understand what I mean when I say that the Keynote address from TPT founder Paul Edelman brought me to tears. Listening to him share his story behind the creation of Teachers Pay Teachers and hearing him express his appreciation for the teaching community gave me chills. 

The one and only Deanna Jump also spoke and shared her success story and what TPT has meant to her and her family. During her speech, I jotted down some of her wisdom! 

During the sessions, I was able to listen to Rachel Lynette and Laura Candler talk about what makes TPT resources A+ products, adored watching Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump talk about improving classroom creations, learned some great blogging tips from Hadar Maor, and gained so much new information from listening to the Q & A session with blogging panel rockstars Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard, Elizabeth from Kickin' It In Kindergarten, Erica from Erica's Ed-ventures, Cara from The First Grade Parade, and Deedee from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

I love this sign that was posted up at the conference. TPT teachers ARE changing the rules. 

I haven't been able to get my mind to calm down. The whole experience was fabulous. I was really sad to leave the airport yesterday and head home. 

The epic Vegas Teaching Trip of 2014 may be over but the friends I have met, the memories I have made, and the professional development I have gained will NEVER be forgotten. 
(Happy Jumps for a successful Vegas trip....and Go Noodle!)

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Happy Sunday, folks! I am recouping from a crazy awesome week in Vegas for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference and prepping some posts about my trip. In the meantime, I am helping Marcy from Searching for Teacher Balance celebrate her one year blog anniversary. 

Check out all the details below and please stop back by tomorrow for some Vegas fun posts!

I seriously can't believe it has been a whole year since I decided to join this amazing teacher-blogger community.  This year has taught me a ton about challenging myself as a teacher, while staying true to myself.  There have been plenty of hurdles which we know are far too normal in our profession, but it is readers and bloggers like you that have allowed me to keep going.  As a way to say thank you for all of your support I am hosting a huge giveaway, which is only possible because of the amazing bloggers below.  Be sure to enter and tell your friends to enter; there are so many amazing products being given away.

Winner's Choice from:

Specific Products from: 
Positively Learning - A Sentence A Day
The Kinder Garden  - Summer Lovin' Sentences
Wiggling Scholars - Review Writing Units  

The giveaway is broken down into grade levels/bands.  You can enter 1, 2, or all of them.

Thank you again for all of your support this year!  Here is to many more!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made It-Cameo Style

Happy Monday! 

Good news?
                                                         I leave for VEGAS in the morning. 

Bad news?
I only have 4 more Mondays before school starts. :/ Don't get me wrong- I LOVE my job, but I am just so in love with summer this year. It is going to be hard to get back into the swing of things. 

Anywho- I am blogging today to share with you some classroom projects that I have completed over the past week. I am pretty excited about how well they turned out!

Tara's linky is seriously my favorite!

 All of my projects where made using my Cameo Silhouette. I have had it for over a year now, and can honestly say that it is one of my favorite craft/teaching purchases ever. Recently, I started to experiment with how to use transfer tape to help me place vinyl lettering on items. The transfer tape was pretty easy, and I LOVE how it helped me keep all of the lettering straight and evenly spaced. 

I have no idea why I didn't create this sooner. I have always wanted a library bin. In the past, my small bin was not really a problem for the kiddos to carry. Sure, the books were falling out and was awkward to hold but we were literally three doors from the library so they could make it there with no problem. Now that I am out in a "learning cottage", we have a much further distance to travel and my kiddos struggled to carry the heavy bin last year. Last week, I was walking through Hobby Lobby and saw this beautiful bin just calling my name. I got it for a big $3 thanks to their summer clearance sales. The bin is huge, has two handles so two kiddos can carry it together, and the Cameo did a fabulous job of labeling it for me. Score!

My teamie and I were surfing through Pinterest the other day and we saw this. I didn't pin it (forgot to), but I want to give credit where credit is due so if this is your original idea then please let me know so I can credit you! I am really excited about the word box. We are starting the Lucy Calkins writing program this year so I am revamping my writing area. This box will be with all of the writing tools. The kiddos will be able to look up words and add to the lists as well. Can't wait to see it in action! OHHHH and check out those chevron index cards-swoon! 

I found these cute little baskets at Michaels the other day. The closest store to me is over an hour away so I make the most out of the trip when I get to go! My classroom has tables (which I LOVE), so these new baskets will be used as table trash cans. 

I am headed to check out the rest of the posts and can't wait to surf all of your awesome ideas.