Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School!!!

Checking today's schedule, and it looks like back to school is just around the bend!!!

I head back next week, so this week I am scrambling to finish up projects at home, make the most of moments at home with my sweet children, read the last few books I checked out from the library, and work on a few back to school projects for my new 4th graders!!!

Some of my dear friends start school tomorrow and some even went back last week...where does the time go?  Praying for all of you that are heading back already!  I know you will ROCK this school year!

Don't forget that TpT is hosting a HUGE Back to School Sales Event so be sure to stock up and save!  I've already started loading my own cart!  

Hope your school year is absolutely wonderful!  I will be sharing a few projects from my classroom in the days to come.  Until then...

Soaking in the last bit of summer,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

All Aboard for Some Great Reading Ideas!

Hope you had a great 4th of July this past weekend!!! 

We celebrated in some of my favorite ways...grilling with family, sparklers out on the deck, and firework-watching with our Savannah cousins!  I feel so blessed to live here in the USA, and the 4th is a fantastic way to celebrate the blessings and freedoms we enjoy!!!
I learned when working on my Reading Endorsement that the average 6th grader reads less than 3 minutes a day.  This was staggering to me!  Now, as a teacher, I try to take every opportunity to encourage my students to read more and to love reading!

Whether on our classroom couches, in chairs, or with beanbags and pillows, I encourage my students to "settle in with a good book" and make the most of their daily reading opportunities.  

Today I am guest blogging on Workshop Wednesday over on The Primary Peach.  Head on over to read some reading tips from me!  
You'll also read there about my Reading with a Purpose Bookmarks.  
  After reading my guest blog post, if you are interested in finding out more about my series of Reading with a Purpose bookmarks, you can find theme available on both TpT and Teachers Notebook at the addresses listed below.   

Click the image below to visit the bundled set...

or find

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 Sold Individually On TpT:

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 Sold Individually On TN:

Blessings to you and yours,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

Just a bit of SALE NEWS as you celebrate your 4th!  Back to school savings from Bryant's Brain Train from July 4th-7th...ENJOY!  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to Rock as a New Teacher!!!!

Hi! It's Shannon from over at Bryant's Brain Train...I'm joining up with some of my favorite education rockstars to share some ideas for all of you new teachers!!!  

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my thoughts on the "Rock as a New Teacher" countdown!
I've loved reading the awesome ideas of others over at the linky, so here are a few more tips from me...
1) Make memories!
I am heading into my 20th year of teaching and cannot believe how fast the time has flown.  Take time to enjoy each class, each parent, each student!  You will be amazed how quickly the time will pass!

2) Stay organized!
Find a system that works for you and follow it!  Managing all that comes with teaching, grading, planning, etc. can be a bit overwhelming...don't let the paper monster eat you alive!  Want to read more about some of my favorite tips for staying organized?  Click HERE!

3) Form meaningful connections with your teaching team!
I have been so blessed to teach with some fantastic teachers over the years!  Be willing to learn from your team and share your ideas with them.  My fellow teachers have been alongside me through some of my best days and some of my worst, and I would't trade those friendships for anything!  An atmosphere of trust and respect makes for an incredible working environment!

1) Don't be a teacher hoarder!  
As hard as it is, it's OK to throw things away.  Your instinct will be to gather and save everything in sight...mine certainly was!  Now--2 decades in--I have a basement, office, garage, and classroom full of teaching materials that I cannot bear to part with.  Unfortunately, if you're not careful, what you can't bear to part with begins to bury you after awhile.  Just say no to teacher hoarding!!! :-)

2) Don't fizzle too soon!
It is so exciting to get your first classroom, your first class roster, your first planbook, your first gradebook.  Just remember, teaching is a marathon, not a sprint!  Take time to rest and refresh!  Enjoy family, friends, and things outside of the 4 walls of your classroom.  Read, pray, rest...all those things that refresh and rejuvenate your teacher soul.  Want to read more of my thoughts about the importance of maintaining balance?  Click HERE!
1) Remember that each day is a new day!
Children are resilient, and so are you!  It is never too late to begin again.  Even if you have a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month, you can always begin anew!  My first day of teaching 4K was horrendous!  I said, "Let's line up for recess," and 20 4-year olds mowed me down running to the playground.  Thank goodness for a weekend to come home and make a new plan.  Day 2 was light years better, and I learned that mistakes are always redeemable and forgiveable!  Sometimes we are our toughest critics!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Click HERE to check out more classroom management goodies from me in my teacher store.  Hope you have a wondeful first year!!!  All the BEST!
Wanna see all of the tips in this linky?  Just visit HERE or HERE to see all of the awesome ideas!

Tips for Teacher Must Haves!

Hope you have had a great Sunday!  After church today I was
L-A-Z-Y...lazy, like 3 hour nap lazy!!!  What in the world?  Many thanks to my sweet husband for wrangling the kiddoes so that I could catch up on a few zzzzzzz's.  He is the B-E-S-T!  
A summer Sunday means more than just rest time for also means it's time for another organizational link up with the Peaches over at the Primary Peach, and this week I am sharing a few of my favorite teacher must-haves for labeling a cute and organized classroom!

Ready for the we go...
Invest in a label maker!  No doubt, this is one of the best teacher gifts I have ever received!  When sweet Erika gave it to me a few years ago, I wondered if I would ever use it...boy, did I ever!  My label maker is perfect for quick labels on files, student materials, notes home, etc.!  My husband even loves using it to organize his home office materials.  
Use scrapbook paper in addition to construction paper to back your classroom labels!  Scrapbook paper is so inexpensive, yet has a million uses in the classroom.  Very often our local Michaels runs individual scrapbook sheets on sale, which is a great opportunity to stock up.  I also love the books of paper sheets that are also available!  An example is pictured here, and when books/paper pads like this are 50% off, you can really get a lot of bang for your buck!
How about using a classroom camera to include photos on your classroom labels?!  This makes classroom clean up a snap for students, as well as adds a bit of pizzazz and personalization to otherwise boring labels.
Last but not least, home laminators are the B-E-S-T!  I used Christmas money from my dad to buy this larger model in December, and literally have already used it a hundred times already!  Laminated labels last so much longer than un-laminated ones, and I have also found the thickness to be better when I laminate on my home machine!

Have a great week, and remember to stop by the Primary Peach so see all of the posts in this organizational linky! 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Guest Blogging Today and Sale News!

Happy Saturday morning, friends!  Just wanted to let you know that I am guest blogging today over on the Primary Peach!  

Also, I am throwing a storewide sale in my teacher stores.  What's the reason?  LOL it's my tribute to a rapidly-passing's my June, June, You're Gone Too Soon STOREWIDE SALE!  Stop by to shop and save!
All the Best!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Organizational Link Up...Week 2!

Hi!  Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day weekend!  I am so incredibly thankful for both my husband and my fortunate to have their love and encouragement in my life!
It's time for another link up with the Peaches from over at The Primary Peach, so I wanted to share an easy teacher tip with you for this week...
This week's idea focuses on classroom survival.  As much as I love teaching and feel so blessed to have taught for the past 20 years, burnout and exhaustion have also been hurdles I have had to overcome.  Therefore, this week's tip is entitled...
We all get derailed from time to time...after all, we are human and pitfalls are only natural!  So, my tip for this week is a relatively easy one for you...  

Wanna know something that will truly help your teaching next year and prepare you to start the year on an organized and efficient note?  Take time this summer to rest and recharge your battery!  I know, I know...easier said than done, right?!
For me, this has involved doing some at home clean-up and clean-out that I can not get to during the school year.  Cleaning both my mental clutter and my at-home clutter enables me to think more clearly and accurately as the school year approaches.  

This has also involved carving out some time to spend with my family, sitting with my feet up at the lake/pool, reading, painting, visiting family...doing some things that I really enjoy but don't always take the time to do!
I have to confess...sometimes taking time to be still is harder than it sounds!  My mind often races with things I need to do, tasks I need to accomplish, emails I need to answer, units I need to tweak!  Guilt gives chase unfortunately...

But what I have realized is that there are a lot of people who depend on me!  In order to give them my best, I need to be at my best.  This involves being rested and refreshed before August rolls around again!
So my teacher advice to you this week is pretty basic.  Take some time to take care of you, love on the people who love you, do something that nourishes your mind and body!  Then, you will be energized and ready to face the peaks and valleys that lie ahead in the upcoming school year!  Blessings!