Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back to School... Some Favorites!

Back to School brings lots of new things!  
I want to share my top 5 favorite things about my classroom this year!

The best part of this post, is that each of these adorable pictures 
are linked to my favorite things!

Where have you been all my life?  I mean SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How fun is it when all your reading centers are in colored ink?  Every math game comes to life!  Best of all no more COLORING things in!

If you don't have HP Instant Ink....  don't walk....  RUN and get yourself signed up!

The program is really simple.  Sign up for the service and your printer lets HP know to send you ink. No more running out at 1:00 in the morning to buy ink!  The ink comes right to your mailbox.

They have different plan levels from $2.99 to $9.99 a month.  I am on the $9.99 plan.  That gives me 300 copies a month!  Unused copies roll over to the next month.  (One catch is that you can only bank 300 copies in the roll over)

If you have an HP printer that is wireless you already may be in luck!  You can check on the link to see if you already have what you need. (Just click on the cute kid above!)

I bought the HP Envy 5540 at Best Buy for less than $75.   Turns out that I could have gotten a better deal at CostCo, so make sure you check them out before you buy.   Also check online for some great deals at Amazon and Walmart.  I have a few friends that have bought one the last few weeks and have gotten some great deals!

Once you have your printer, all you need to do is log in on the site and set up your account.  The huge bonus is that you can enter promo codes to get free MONTHS!  Yes, FREE MONTHS!

When I signed up I used two codes and got 7 free months of ink!  These codes worked for me and also for my friend last week, so give them a try.



Don't forget to check your box because you might have scored 3 more free months like my friend did!

I promise if you only give yourself one gift this year....  MAKE IT INSTANT INK!

I am always looking for new sites for the kids to use in the classroom and this summer I discovered a WINNER!


Zearn is a free independent learning program that allows the students to work at their own pace mastering their math skills.

It is rated as a Tier 1 instructional program with proven research based results.  You can read all about it on their site.

This is my first year using it and so far I am impressed with it!  The kids seem to really be engaged and want to get extra time on the computer to work on it some more!

Take a peek at it and see if it will help your kiddos!

This book is FANTASTIC!

This is one of my favorite ways to start the school year off and we always revisit this clip every so often to help use make sure....

We aren't being a VOLCANO!

At the end of last year I read about NAIER and had to take a look!

NAIER is basically a teacher paradise with all kinds of supplies we need at HUGE discount prices!

You have to apply to be a teacher member and it does take a few weeks to get approved, but it is worth the wait!

I ordered 24 rolls of Scotch brand packing tape, 12 tablets of sticky notes that were 12x12, 6 rolls of duct tape, markers, pens, tape dispensers, and more!

Total cost.....  $47

Yes, you read that one right!  The only drawback is that it does take a few weeks to get your order, but it is so WORTH the WAIT!

If you haven't checked it out yet....  take a look!

Well...  that one is a WISH!!!!!!!!!  A classroom that is all set and ready is just a DREAM!  Every year I stress and worry that the kids will be disappointed if everything isn't perfect.

THEY DON'T CARE!  All they want to do is spend time with YOU!  The decorations, name tags, and color coded stuff can come later.  All they want to do the first week is spend time with YOU!

It is so easy to get tangled up in all of the stressful issues that surround us each day, but this year celebrate the JOY and SUCCESS!  That joy and success is far more important than anything else!

I hope everyone has a wonderful school year.  Enjoy every minute with your kiddos.

Happy Teaching!

Monday, July 31, 2017

TPT Cash!

Have you heard the news?  A TPT Sale is coming!  

TPT is having a sale August 1-2.  Everything in my TPT store is 20% off.  Combine that with the TPT discount and you will save 25% off all of the items you need for BACK TO SCHOOL!

Want to win some TPT cash to spend?  Enter to win a $10 TPT gift card!  Just hop on over to my Facebook page and comment on the post with the grade level you teach.   A winner will be chosen 8/1 at 10 p.m.  Click on on the picture below to go to my Facebook page!

Happy Teaching!

Math Game Monday!

The next few weeks I'm sharing some of my favorite activities and ideas!

This week is Math Game Monday!

A few years ago I need a quick group game that we could play on a regular bases and would be student led.  I made up this chart and laminated it.  You write a number from the chart on a sticky note and put it in your pocket.  The students have to ask yes and no questions to try and figure out what the secret number is!  As they ask questions, you cross off different numbers that it couldn't be.

You could use any group of numbers depending on your kiddos ability level.  This game is great to reinforce key math concepts and really helps the kids formulate quality questions.  When you first start is a learning process.  They have to practice and listen to each other.  After playing a few times they get the hang of it and now the BEST PART.....

Let it become STUDENT LED!  Yes you read that right, let a student run the game!  The student that guesses right gets to become the next leader. They can play this FOREVER if you let them!

Once they get good at being in charge of the game, this frees the teacher up to do some quick reteaching for a friend that needs extra help.  Everyone stays engaged and best of all....  they are having FUN!

Another favorite math game is BUMP!  If you haven't discovered it yet, you are in for a real treat!  TPT has BUMP game boards for lots of different ability levels and skills.  The best part is that I have been able to find one for anything I needed that was FREE!

My kiddos LOVE IT!

Ready to give it a try?  Click on the picture to download one for free from my TPT store!  Just make copies, get some dice and cubes.  You are ready for the kids to use this in small groups, in centers, or for early finishers.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Where did June and July GO????

June flew by and now July is almost over....  How did that happen?

I spent the first two weeks of June in Nashville training to lead professional development.  One of the sessions dealt with the new Tennessee Standards for ELA and math.  The other was a special session designed for 4th grade teacher to dive into fractions.  (I'll blog about that another time.)  Both of them were AMAZING!

While I was in Nashville I managed to lock my keys in the car.  Yes, my car beeped at me over and over to tell me that it didn't want to lock, but I forced it to.  I was in a hurry and wasn't thinking.  Thank goodness that my insurance covers people popping your locks.  (Please check and see if yours does!  You will be glad you did)  Just a phone call, they pinged my phone to get my location, and in ten minutes a nice man had my car open.  (Lesson - When your car beeps it is trying to tell you something!)  When this happened I said that things couldn't get worse.... I was wrong.

The next day I got that call....  the call that NO PARENT wants when they are 3 1/2 hours away from home.  It was my husband letting me know that our youngest son was pitching at a baseball game and was hit by a line drive.  He needed me to find a place to take him because they were certain it was broke.  I think my heart stopped for a second....   I have always worried about not being there if he ever got hurt and now I'm hours away and can't do a thing.  Thankfully the wonderful people at Marriott took my insurance information, called to verify a fax number with ER, and got everything taken care.

Jackson was lucky....  I mean extremely LUCKY!  It turns out that when he released the ball, the batter hit it hard and it was coming straight for his head.  Had he not put his hand up, he would have been hit in the head.  So as bad a broken hand was, things couldn't have been so much worse.

Then I realized....  his injury would keep him out of TN Future Stars.  We were suppose to leave in three days.  Jackson wanted to give up his spot so that his team would not be down a player, but after contacting the staff of TN Future Stars the decision was made that he would still attend.  With sad eyes and a broken heart, we ventured off to take part in the experience that was so amazing last year.  While he didn't get to play, he experienced another year of working like a college football player.  He came home more determined than ever to work hard and make his dreams come true.

We made a quick trip to visit my parents on their 51st Wedding Anniversary.   I was walking behind my mom and Jackson when it hit me....  13 years ago I walked behind them down the sidewalk at our house and took a picture just like this.  He was much smaller of course, but I remember thinking to myself how could I love two people so very much.  

That's when I realized....  SLOW DOWN!  Enjoy each day!  Make them all count.  

So here I sit realizing that this summer went by TOO FAST!  All of the things that were on my "list" never got done and I'm OK with it.  I spent the last two weeks being a MOM!  Yep, I sure did!  I volunteered at my son's new high school for two football events and enjoyed time with him.  I think we might have gone to lunch almost everyday and I wouldn't trade that time for the WORLD!  Don't tell my husband!

So while you start making goals for this year....  put family FIRST!  Every year I make goals for school.  While I am still working on those, the first goal I made was to commit more time to my family.  Enjoy being a mom and make every minute count!