Sunday, 31 May 2015

Summer Bash Giveaway

It is giveaway season.  Last week I participated in a blog hop and amazing giveaway and I am back this week with another great opportunity for you!  I am celebrating with Kristen for The Therapeutic Teacher.  She is having a Summer Bash giveaway with 3 separate giveaways that you can enter.

The first giveaway is for an awesome collection of Back To School resources.  This pack will simplify your planning in those days (and weeks) leading up to back to school. This is definitely a must have collection of activities to get you started.  I have donated a set of literacy centers that are perfect for your kinders and firsties.

My product is

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also two more great giveaways going on this week that you will want to return and enter. There is a Math and a ELA giveaway. In both of these giveaways I am offering Winner's Choice.  If you are the lucky winner then I will email you a product of your choice (excluding bundles).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

We have a winner!

The winner for the Splish-Splash, It's a Summertime Blog Bash is...

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

5 End of the Year Sanity Savers!

The end of the year is a very stressful time for teachers but I am here to help with 5 end of the year sanity savers to make wrapping up this year and preparing for next year just a little bit easier.  Some of us will be teaching the same grade in the same classroom in the coming year whereas other teachers may be changing grades or moving classrooms.  

5 end of the year sanity savers to help you prepare for next school year

Our to-do lists are a mile long this time of the year.  However, now is the time to start thinking ahead to next year as well (when your report cards are done, that is).  Why should you start now?  Well, one reason is that you have 20 plus eager little helpers who will gladly and eagerly help out with cleaning and sorting jobs around the classroom.  There are so many little tasks that your students can help you with, from testing markers to sorting through the leveled book baskets.  The older your students the more you can ask of them.  Believe me, they love to help out!

Here are 5 things I have learned to do over the years to make my life just a little easier at start up in the fall: 

I learned the hard way that this is a must-do if you plan on replicating a particular bulletin board, or in my case, the word wall. I never seem to leave enough space for the words when setting up my word wall in the fall. I have such a hard time judging without the visual of the words. Enter my iphone and voila you can now look at the picture you took and use it to easily get your letter headers placed with the right amount of space to add your words. Take pictures of any bulletin board/display/anchor chart that you think you might want to remember or refer to again for the next year. I am a very visual person and have many such photos on my phone. 

Do I really need this? Take time to purge! Sort out that filing cabinet. If you didn't use the papers in that file this year and you are staying in the same grade, recycle them or give them away! If you are like me then that will not be a priority when you return in the fall. I am totally guilty of an overflowing filing cabinet – take a look at my picture. I inherited files from the teacher whose room I moved into 15 years ago and they are still in there! Perhaps I have a problem!    Anyone with me??

Students love doing this job. First I have them find all the damaged books and move them into the book hospital bin. At that point, it is up to me to decide if the book requires tape or if it has seen better days and is ready for the recycling. I have a number of books that will be recycled this year as they are so well loved even tape won’t help. Next, my students make sure all books are in the properly labeled basket, either guided reading level or thematic. It is astonishing how poorly sorted the book collection becomes. Very quickly those helpers start to police the other students as books are being returned. If your students are anything like mine we are bound to find a D level book in the E or F basket. I love starting out the year with my books all sorted and organized. It’s one less thing to worry about in the fall! CAUTION: I did not take the time to straighten up my bins for the pictures.  This is real life at the end of the year! 

This will be a true sanity saver because systems that didn’t work probably drove you insane throughout the year! Now is the time while the year is winding down to honestly evaluate your organizational systems. Did they work for you and/or your students? Did students use the systems you put in place properly? If the answer is no, then why is that the case? How can you change things so it works for next year’s class? I have a drawer organization system I use to put all my copies etc. in for the week. I love it, but I don't use it faithfully, especially when I get very busy. I will continue to use this system though, despite my inconsistency, because it does work better than anything I have tried before. With my students, I started using reading boxes a few years ago to help my students organize their read to self books. This is a system I love but I am finding the kids are really hard on the boxes this year: take a look at those tattered boxes. I think at the end of last year I only had 2 destroyed and this year it is almost half the class. This is a great system but I need to do more teaching about caring for their book boxes next year. 

These are some of my other organization hacks I implemented that I LOVE and will use again next year. Be warned, all the labels are looking very well used.  

What were some of your highlights from the year? What were some of your student’s? Have your students brainstorm about some of the things they liked best about the year. If it has stuck with them then it is probably a “keeper” activity. Take a moment and jot down some of your highlights as well. This can be pretty hard to do even at the end of the year so imagine how impossible it will be in the fall. This is also a good time to do some planning, if only in your head, about things for next year. I often plan to do this and forget, so I am hoping that the act of simply writing about it here on the blog will spur me to take the time to do this with my students. 

I hope you found some helpful pointers or simply were just reminded of things that you already do and need to do as the year winds down. I am on the final month countdown and will be thinking about these things in the coming weeks. 

Lastly, how about saving your sanity right now? As the weeks wind down it is more difficult to keep students engaged in their learning. I like to continue with a predicable routine until close to the end for my own sanity.   This Summer themed Spin and Graph center, which is available in my store right now, is perfect for this time of the year. Simply print and provide a paper clip for spinning and you have a center ready to go.  It's an engaging and relevant review task and a sanity saver all in one!  

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Splish-Splash, It's a Summertime Blog Bash

Welcome to the Splish Splash - It's a Summertime Blog Bash!  If you are looking for an awesome freebie and an opportunity to win a product from my store then read on.  I am happy to share with you what I am most looking forward to this summer.  Unlike many of you I am still teaching until the end of June.  Here in Ontario our summer vacation is during July and August.  I must say I am very envious of those of you who are finished now or very soon!  

I do truly LOVE this season!  I love that my life slows down to a more manageable pace and I have more time to dedicate to myself and to my family.  With that being said, we are still busy with lots of "fun" stuff.  

We love to spend time at our cottage on our own and with lots of great friends.  My husband and son love to water ski and both kids love to go tubing.  I love watching :)  I enjoy sitting on the dock or riding in the boat as a spotter, taking in all of the fun, rather than being bounced around on the tube... been there, done that!  The view from the hammock is a favourite of mine with a good book.  

We also spend time each summer vacationing in our RV.  We have travelled throughout the East Coast of Canada and have visited Newfoundland twice - it is just that beautiful.  We are planning on visiting the Eastern Seaboard this summer to see a bit of United States.  Our family loves travelling this way and seeing new sites each day.  It is definitely the way to "camp".  

Now that you have learned a little about ME it time to reveal the goodie that I have for YOU.  This exclusive FREEBIE is the latest installment in my Grab and Graph series.  This series of graphing products included a collection of PRINT and GO math centers to use to reinforce graphing skills in your Kindergarten and Grade 1 classroom.  Currently I have a Fall and Winter set.  I also have several seasonal sets, including a Celebrations and Christmas pack.  Finally, I have a Math Manipulatives edition that can be used year round.  

As a special thank you for stopping by my blog on the Blog Hop I am giving you my Summer Grab and Graph set.  It includes 6 summer themed graphing centers that you can use in your classroom as your year winds down to review graphing.  If you teach throughout the summer months then this set is perfect to work on these skills with a seasonal product.  Click on either image to be taken to my store to download it.  


This set is only available for FREE during the Blog Hop.  After the hop is over I will be changing it to a paid product. Get it while you can!  If you download I would love your feedback.  

And now for the giveaway!  Thank you again for hopping over to my blog and taking the time to hear all about how I intend to spend my summer.  To show my appreciation and to celebrate summer I am offering a chance to win a popular product that can be used year round.  Please click on the images below to check out the preview and then enter below.  The more entries you complete the better your chances are to win!  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Hopping!  

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Are you ready for a Blog Hop?

Are you ready for something BIG?  I am teaming up with Rachael from The Classroom Game Nook and about 40 other talented bloggers to bring you the Splish-Splash, It's a Summertime Blog Bash. This is a blog hop that you DO NOT want to miss.

My summer vacation is still a month away but many teachers in the US are already enjoying their break.  We are celebrating summer vacation (or in my case, the countdown to summer) with a limited time freebie and a giveaway of a product from our store.  

Be sure to check back here on Monday at 9:00 AM (Memorial Day in the US) to start hopping through all the blogs and collecting your GOODIES.  This is an event you do not want to miss.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Wishlist Wednesday!

I took a break from Wishlist Wednesday due to the Teacher Appreciation Sale but I am happy to say it is back this week.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Winner of the 500 follower giveaway!

Thank you so much to all of you who entered my giveaway to celebrate 500 followers on TPT.  I am very grateful that you are interested in the products I create.

And the winner is...

Friday, 1 May 2015

A 500 Follower Celebration!

It seems like I have a lot to celebrate lately.  Very recently I gave my blog a makeover with a new look and had a giveaway to celebrate.  Here I am again with some more exciting news.

I have just surpassed 500 followers on my Teachers Pay Teachers store & Instagram too.  

I have to say I am a bit overwhelmed by these numbers.  Although I have had a store for a couple of years now it has only been since August that I really decided I wanted to pursue this "hobby" on a more serious scale.  As a result I have added many, many more products to my store and did my best to promote what I have to offer.  This is not small feat considering the number of people who are currently selling on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am honoured that so many of you have clicked that little green star and perhaps even made purchases in my store.  I want to thank you with a chance to win...

You heard me right.  If you win my giveaway you have the pick of my store....a one time only, fill your cart with any and all products that interest you.  It is my hope that you will find lots of things that you can use in your own classroom and will want to come back for more.

There are lots of options to enter including a Refer a Friend option.  I am hoping that you will help me spread the word by sharing my giveaway with your friends.  If your friend enters then you get a bonus referral entry.

Good Luck!

Fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway