Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Stock Up-Reading Postcards

Wahoooo! It is time for the Summer Stock Up organized by The Primary Gal! Lots of teacher bloggers have come together to share some of our favorite resources to get you ready for the new school year.

It is never too early to start getting ready!

I feel the need to explain about the category and the product section here. My post is suppose to be about a reading related product. But, I am about to talk about my back to school postcards. They ARE related...promise.

Ready for the reason? Here it is.....

YES, the product I am posting for the summer stock up IS my back to school postcard pack. I love sending notes to my kiddos at the beginning of the year welcoming them to our class. You can read all about it here. The postcards in my store are editable and you can make them say ANYTHING you want. While looking at this resource a few weeks ago, I started thinking about others ways that I could use postcards with my students. The idea of sending home postcards to students discussing books that we are reading in class, praising them for their hard work, and sending book suggestions came to me while I was getting the postcards ready for the new school year.

The thing is...kiddos LOVE to get mail with their name on it. It is a great way to establish a positive relationship with your new students.  I am also constantly trying to find new ways to spark student learning outside of the classroom.


I am going to use the blank postcard formats in my back to school postcards pack to reach out to students about reading in our classroom. My goal is to send one to every student at least twice throughout the school year. I am going to have around 50 kiddos in my 5th grade ELA/Social Studies classes. 

The messages may be something as simple as-" Marcus, I was really impressed with your explanation of Ivan and his transformation throughout the book during our literature circle this week. Thank you for your insight!"

Or, maybe I will suggest another book. "Kristina, I am so glad that you are enjoying The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo! Did you know she has written other books? My favorites are The Tale of Desperaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane."

I get so excited when I can use resources in multiple ways!

You can check out my back to school postcard pack here(they are on sale for a STEAL) and don't forget to head over to my Facebook page to grab a postcard freebie!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream

As I sit here writing this post, I am currently outside on my in-laws' deck watching the sun set over the beautiful lake. It's peaceful, calming, rejuvenating, and simply euphoric. The best part? The hubs and I have our own lot now right beside theirs which means the view could be mine one day. It has been my husband's dream to live out here, and I want to help make that dream come true to him. That's why I LOVE this week's TPT Seller Challenge. It has made me really reflect on specific goals and dreams. This week's challenge is all about dreaming big!

 My husband and I have so may goals and dreams and I really want to see all of that come to life. We are so passionate about what we do, and I know that we can do BIG things together as a couple and as individuals. I am so fortunate to have a profession that I LOVE, a husband and family who believe in me and support me 110%, and a community of educators who are the best cheerleading section a girl could ask for. They have given me so much and I want to be able to give back to them. I really hope that I can use TPT to help me set some goals in my personal and professional life. I have dared to dream up some big ones! Here are my dreams... 

BUILD OUR LAKE HOUSE: As I mentioned above, building on the lake would be a dream come true for us. It is a place where I can rewind, reflect, and maybe raise a family one day. With my teacher's salary and the hubs' firefighter salary, we are going to need all the extra income and support that we can get. We both already work two second jobs! I hope that I can create some quality products for me and my students this year that can be shared with other teachers eventually! 

PAY OFF THE CAR: I know that this is a goal that I can accomplish! I have already bought one brand new car and paid it off all on my own. I upgraded to a "new" to me car a few years ago and know that getting rid of the monthly car payment would be a huge help to us!

SEND MY PARENTS ON VACATION: Growing up, my parents gave my brother and me the world. We played ball and year-round swimming for around 12 years. Traveling so much was expensive so we often called those sports trips our "vacations". My dad was in the Navy during all of my childhood and he also works a 3rd shift job so we haven't been on a true "family" vacation since I was about 6 or 7. I would love to be able to give my parents a true vacation like a cruise or a fun destination getaway. Dear Mom..if you a reading better be ready for that phone call. It is going to happen one day. You both deserve it! 

PAY FOR HUBS' COLLEGE:  I was super fortunate to make it all the way through my undergrad and grad school with NO debt. It wasn't easy, and I had some angels helping me out along the way. My husband has paid off his school debt once and, now that he is going back to school, we want to pay for his college without taking out loans!

 I have big goals for my Teachers Pay Teachers journey in the future that go way beyond the goals that I have listed above. I look back at when I started this whole blogging/creating adventure a little under two years ago and smile because I see what all I have gained just by taking the leap and jumping into it full force. 

 Rachel Lynette said in one of her Vegas sessions last year that finding your TpT/Creating "niche" will help you create products that teachers in the classroom need/want. I haven't found my niche yet, and that's okay. I really look forward to my new journey in 5th grade because I hope that I can bring new ideas and products in my new classroom experience. Maybe..just maybe... the things that I create for my kiddos this year will help other students and teachers around the world. 

 For me....TpT will always be about the bonds that I have established with other educators. There is no paycheck, "cha-ching" sound, or price tag that can top that. I LOVE my blogging friends to the moon and back and I am a better individual because of them, and my number one dream is to be able to give that feeling to someone else. I DARE to DREAM that my simple blog posts, TPT products, social media posts, and self can bring joy, love, and passion for our profession and ourselves just like other TpTers have brought to me.

That is my true dream for this journey. 

Peppy Zesty Teacherista
Sparkling in Second

Saturday, June 20, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge-Makeover Madness

Making products is NOT my forte', but I do enjoying creating some things to use in my classroom that might be beneficial to others teachers. Every year, I give my students a "Reading Interest Survey" to get a quick idea about how and what my kiddos like to read. 

This product was my FIRST ever TpT creation and I would like to use it for the new school year so it was the perfect product for me to give a makeover for the TPT Seller Challenge! Check out the small changes I made! 

I made a few changes to the cover page, main document, and my terms of use page. I am pretty exited to have had a few spare minutes to update this. Grab this FREEBIE if you feel like you might be able to use it with your kiddos in the new year. I am always grateful that I took the time to ask them about their reading interests. The survey gives me a beginning glimpse into the influence that reading plays in the lives of my students and provides me with a foundation to build off of throughout the rest of the school year. 

Thanks ladies for this great challenge! I can't wait for the rest! 

Peppy Zesty Teacherista
Sparkling in Second

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Reading List

Summer, for teachers, can mean a lot of different things. For means that I can catch up on some much needed/desired reading! I am joining Lucky to Be in First and sharing my summer reads!

The past month has been a whirlwind for me thanks to graduating with my Master's, wrapping up my fourth year of teaching, getting married, and traveling to Italy for an amazing honeymoon. When we got back home to the states, the first thing I did was sleep and then I headed to the library. It was time to get started on my summer reading list.

One of my biggest "teaching" passions is to share my love for reading with my kiddos. Reading ANYTHING can open so many doors for us, and I hate to see children despise picking up reading material. After four years in second grade, I was finally getting a handle on what made 7/8 year olds "click" with books. Now, I am transitioning to the 5th grade, and I know that I am going to have to play catch up and make sure that I am up to date on the different types of children's lit that comes with teaching older students.

Thankfully, I have some awesome upper elementary friends who share books that they are reading in class with their students all the time. My friend Stacey at Literacy for Big Kids is my go-to resource for what books need to be on my shelves and in my hands. Be sure to head over to her blog and follow her on IG to keep up with the latest and greatest children and young adult books!

Here is my collection to read or reread so far. It is a mixture from my own childhood collection, the local library, and used book stores. 

I have so many more on my "list" but these will get me started off nicely! I have already read The One and Only Ivan, Esperanza Rising, and reread Tuck Everlasting. I can PROMISE you that if you have not read Ivan or it NOW. Ivan especially. I have been told that the audio book is fabulous, and the story was beautiful. I can't put into words how wonderful the literature piece is. You will just have to read it for yourself. 

I also got my first Amazon order of personal professional development books for the summer in the mail today, and I could not be more excited. I loved The Book Whisperer and cannot wait to read  Reading in the Wild. My highlighter and pen are ready to mark that lovely text up. that I have shown the start to my summer reading are my books I still want to read and ones that you SHOULD read. 

Like have to go read these if you haven't. I mean I can't force you....but just do it. 

I am going to be pretty busy for the next few weeks! If you need me...I will be the lady with the messy hair bun and coffee mug in hand who is curled up in a corner with her nose in a book. 

Happy Reading!