Monday, July 2, 2018

Back to School Prep Ideas

It is time to get this blog up and running again!  In just three weeks, we will go back to school!  Boy summer sure does fly by!  At any rate, it is time to prepare.  What can you do before school starts to help throughout the year?  Well, I have a few things I did that might be helpful for you, as well.  

The first thing I have done is prepare my student birthday gifts in advance.  I went to the Dollar Tree and bought these lollipops.  Then, I created a sticker label to put on the Carnival Pop side.  Finally, I wrapped the lollipops in cellophane with colorful, curling ribbon.   BAM, all 22 of my birthday gifts are ready!  


Curling Ribbon

Bags for Lollipops

I also needed a gift, just a small something to hand out at Open House.  I went to this blog and printed off these labels for Fun Dip.  

Back to School Labels
 Fun Dip
Fun Dip

I bought the Fun Dip from Amazon, but I could only find a box of 48.  I decided I would use the left overs for my Economics Behavior Store. 

Which leads me to my next summer prep item.... The Economics Positive Behavior Store.  I want to really push this store at the beginning of the year.  This has been and will continue to be my way of encouraging positive behavior throughout the year.  So, I had to print and laminate the dollars I use for the store years ago.  I collect and keep these dollars to use from year to year.  I want to have my store on display the first two weeks, so the students will see what they could buy with their bucks.  So, now is the time to start collecting items for the store.  I called several restaurants and asked for any donations of toy treats for the store.  I also printed homework passes and Lunch Bunch passes.  Lunch Bunch simply means the student can eat with the teacher.   Lunch Bunch is always a big hit.  Candy is too!  I am sure to let the students "shop" after week two of school to get them excited about the store.  Then, I only let them shop before a break.  You can decide what works best for you.  Some days I come in with a pack of candy and tell the students it is a one day sale.  I usually do this when I am running low on bucks and need more to pass out to the students!

Another thing I try to do every summer is invest in more FLEXIBLE SEATING.  I buy something every summer to add to my classroom.  This year I purchased two more wobble stools, which means I have 5 now!  I let five students a day sit on a wobble stool at their desk.  The next day, five more students get them until everyone has had a chance.  Then, we start the rotation over again!!  The students look forward to their day for the stools!  I also purchased the multi-colored stools to sit around the kidney table.  I took my own children's spider chairs to school because they did not use them anymore.  Now my only problem is I have nowhere to store all the classroom chairs!!!  

Pillow seats

Wobble Stools
Flexible Seating

The last thing I do is go ahead and buy my Daily Language Journals for the school year.  I purchase two ten packs and then individual journals for the remaining number of students I have.  I get these from Lakeshore Learning, and have used them for years.  I LOVE them for morning work and establishing morning routines.  The students seem to like them, too! Monday is PhonicsTuesday is GrammarWednesday is VocabularyThursday is either Reading Literature or Informational Text, and Friday is either Conventions or Writing.

Daily Language Journals
I hope some of these ideas will help you get your year started off right!  I am super excited to teach 2nd grade in my community.  I think this is going to be the best year yet! Year 19, and still going strong!  LOVIN-LIFE TEACHING!!!
Visit my Teacherspayteachers store for many fun and engaging ideas!!!

Loving-Life TPT store

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Reading/Book-in-the-Bag Check Out Center

     I've been doing a lot of reading so far this summer break!  First, I wanted to read something that had nothing to do with creating products for TPT.  I started with The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.  These books were wonderful.  The audience is intended for young teen, but I enjoyed them all the same.  I am currently reading the next book, The Heir.

Click Here!
Next, I had to think about my own children.  I wanted to read whatever they were reading so I could ask comprehension questions along the way.  I was impressed with my 9 year old's choice of I Survived, The Nazi Invasion, 1944 by Lauren Tarshis.  I love these historical fiction books that expose our children to events of the past.  I got a little carried away and decided to tell him all about Anne Frank.  I even showed him the Annex virtual tour.  Well, that scared him to death.  I think it was the spooky music they played while visiting the virtual tour!  

Check this out!

 So, now I am off to reading some more of the My Weirder School and My Weirdest School series books. These are the books that made my child a reader, so I have to be very thankful for the author who wrote them.  As silly as I think they are, I am going to help promote these books by creating materials to use in the classroom.  I only have a class set of Mrs. Lane is a Pain.  Therefore, I decided to create a Book-in-the-Bag Check Out Center.  

     In this center, I will store the brochures I create with the book in a gallon size bag.  The students can check out a bag to take home.  As they read the book for their nightly reading, they will complete the brochures.  Then, I can check for comprehension when the brochures are returned.   So, far I have created brochures and final assessments on the following.  
Brochures Here!

Brochures Here!

Brochures Here!

You will have to check out my store from time to time because as my children read books, I am creating brochures for those, as well.  In other words, I should have several I Survived brochures by the end of summer!!!  
Have a wonderful break, and Happy Reading!

Monday, May 4, 2015

End of the Year Gift Tags with Gift Ideas

Do you need some end of the year gift ideas? Use these gift tags with the suggested gifts to surprise your class.  Several different options and ideas for making the end of the year special!
Click Here 

Are you looking for a memory activity to complete with your class?  Use this End of the Year Lapbook for the last week of school!  

Click Here!

One of my favorite activities to do with my class is the Teacher/Student Switch day.  The students prepare a lesson to teach the class.  They LOVE it!!! 

Click Here!
I made a journal for my third graders to stay in shape for their 4th grade year.  It includes over 60 days worth of Math and ELA practice. 

Click Here!

I hope you have an amazing remainder of the year!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Freebie Mapping Their Locations 3rd Grade Historical Figures- Bestie Linky Party

The FREEBIE OF THE WEEK has been posted!  Do you need a way to review the 3rd grade historical figures’ locations?  Try this Interactive Activity for mapping their locations!
Mapping Their Locations Interactive Activity Click Here!

Visit my store for other great activities, lapbooks, and brochures on all of these historical figures!  Just click the label to the right that says Historical Figures or Lapbooks.

My bestie and I are having a link up party where we are giving away a Target gift card to one lucky winner.  Click below the picture to join the fun!  We are planning some really neat give aways for upcoming events!  Be ready!!
Join the Fun! Click Here!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fitbit Craziness! Take Time to Exercise

This week has been crazy!!!  First of all, testing took place.  Talk about boring!!  As monitors, we have to walk around the room for hours! Well, that fell right into place with my Fitbit challenge I was presented with this week.  Yes, a Fitbit challenge with several of my friends at school. 

So the challenge took place from Monday at 12:00 A.M. until Friday at midnight.  I have not really exercised since Hilton Head, so I decided, “What the heck?!”

First, I had to buy a new battery for my Zip.  I have had my Fitbit for so long, that the battery had died.  Sunday was the first day with my Fitbit back on to measure my steps.  Well, let’s just say, I should have left it off.  That’s the day we went to Topgolf, and I barely got up!  Therefore, the challenge that was beginning that night was not looking good for me.  However, Monday morning, the first day of the challenge, I woke up ready to conquer!!!

HERE’S WHERE FITBIT CRAZINESS BEGINS!!!!  Walking at school was not a challenge because I do that anyway.  The challenge began when I got home.  However, I basically walked from the time I got home until we left for the golf course.  Then, I walked 9 holes of golf!  When I left the golf course, I had over 24,000 steps in for the day.  I had never walked more than 15,000!!!  It didn’t stop there!  When I got home, I kept walking.  I walked until I collapsed in bed.  Needless to say, after day one, I was ahead of the group.

Day 2 was very similar, and I remained in the lead after Tuesday.  Wednesday FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 entered my life.  FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 told me she usually walked about 25,000 steps a day.  Well the race was on, and she was ready to compete.  Since she said she only walked 25,000 steps a day, I decided to watch Nashville sitting down, rather than walking.  BIG MISTAKE!  This was the day, FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 decided to pull ahead.  On my lowest step day of the week, 24,000, FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 walked 36,000 steps.  Yep, by Thursday night she had pulled ahead 20,000 steps!!!

Meanwhile, at school, all the students were sending me messages from FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 to tell me not to walk at recess, to just relax!  My children at home were telling me FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 told them to tell me to go to bed by 9:00 P.M.  My husband wanted to call her and tell her the competition was over!  Her husband wanted to call ME and tell me to settle down!  The truth was, we were killing ourselves just for bragging rights!!!!  BUT WE WERE HAVING A BLAST!  We would text each other at night and say, “Go to bed!”  We had more laughs than I have had in a long time.

Back to the story, it was Thursday night and I was wondering how in the world I was going to catch this woman.  My husband took me to the Horse Park, and we walked!  We found an awesome cemetery.  The kids became tired after awhile, so they went to sit in the truck.  I walked around the parking lot until I felt I had done enough for the day.  I decided to go to bed early (10:00), to wake up refreshed Friday morning.

FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 has a running club on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays where the students run around the track for 30 minutes.  I had a grand idea!   I would be on the track before FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 could get out there!  AND I WAS, AND SHE WAS SURPRISED!  I walked/ran over 2 laps before the running club could even begin.  Oh, and FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1’S battery had died, so she had lost some steps charging the battery! Boo Hoo, right?!!  We joked the whole time we were running, and the day was off to an amazing start!  When I went inside to start teaching, I was already at 7,000 + steps! 

It’s testing time, so I needed to review the mountains and rivers with the students.  We studied them in quarter one, so they definitely needed a refresher!  My goal was to walk ALL DAY LONG, so we went to the black top outside and we practiced our rivers and mountains on the black top map!  Not only did I get my steps in, my students had a BLAST!!!

The remainder of the school day was spent walking!  We read two chapters of Because of Winn Dixie.  I let each student read, while I followed along, WALKING, OF COURSE!!
Then, we had recess where I walked on the track with two other FITBIT CRAZIES who weren’t near as crazy as FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1! All in all, I did an amazing job walking.  When, I left school I had over 22,000 steps!  With only 9 hours to go, I knew I had to continue walking.  I came home and walked/ran at my house.  I did this until it was time to go to my son’s soccer game, where I walked the entire time!!!  I actually could see the game better because I followed the ball wherever it went!  After the game, my family went to eat with our friends.  I started to feel sleepy, so after dinner, I took a quick shower.  Then, I put on my walking shoes!!!!  I walked until 11:57 A.M. last night!  The challenge ended at 12:00 A.M.  At one point, I even went to the pantry to grab the Cheese Puffs.  I ate them and WALKED!!!

At 11:57 I did the sync, and of course, I was well in the lead.  FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 usually didn’t complete her sync until morning, so it was off to bed.  My husband looked at me when I went to bed and asked if I was done.  I said, “The time is up, and I have done all I can do!”
So, that’s where it ended.  I received a badge for walking 55,000 steps in ONE DAY, and my grand total for the five days was 160,797 steps, completely insane! 

This morning, FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 completed her sync, and she won…. She ended with 168,568, even more insane.  She sent me a text first thing, and said, “55,000 steps!, holy cow!”  I told her thank you for the motivation, and now we are going to start running after school!

I learned three valuable lessons this week….
#1 Don’t forget to exercise even when life is busy.  I felt so good this week, minus the aches and pains!!!
#2 Have fun with your school friends.  The students feed off of it, and love it.  

FITBIT CRAZY NUMBER 1 earned two badges this week in the hustle!  I would say this was beneficial for us both.  I had an amazing time and a lot of laughs.  I failed to mention the other ladies because this one was my competition this particular week, but I had a ton of fun with them, too!  Everyone did an amazing job!!!  Remember this was only for five days!  I guess I am FITBIT CRAZY #2 and proud of it!!

Have a blessed week, and have a FITBIT challenge!