Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall In The Classroom

I recently had the opportunity to review some fun Halloween items from Oriental Trading. I received the items in exchange for my fair review.

I love teaching in fall. The students are excited about Halloween and the upcoming festivities that go with it!

First I did a fun spider craft with pipe cleaners and glow in the dark pony beads. My class loved this craft. You take four pipe cleaners and fold them in half, then you twist the top to make the head. Then you bend the legs out and add pony beads to joint the legs. The pipe cleaners are fluffy and come in a variety of colors. My classroom was not dark enough to make the pony beads glow. I did try it and a very dark room to see the glow. Your kiddos will love this scary creature and you can pair it with an informational spider text or living things science unit.

Next my class had a ton of fun doing relay races to work on team building using The Monster Spoon Game. My class worked together and encouraged each other with this fun brain break. It is perfect for indoor and outdoor recess.

Then I had my second annual learn in the dark day. The lights are turned off and students wear glow sticks as we go about our day. It is always a hit! The glow sticks are a variety of colors and last a LONG time.

After that we made some fall creations using the bright fall scrap book paper. The sky was the limit for my class as they used the paper to create. The paper was a great quality, thickness and there were several great patterns. I really liked the candy corn pattern.

The last bit of fun we had was with the flying glow in the dark aliens.  These stretchy little guys were fun to launch across the classroom. The kids loved them! They make great prizes or treats for your trick or treaters!

Oriental Trading is a great place to check out when looking for some Halloween fun for your classroom!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Costume Time!

I love wearing costumes! I love an excuse to dress up and often use it as a chance to engage my students in the classroom. It might be a full blown costume, accessories or a silly hat! That's why I jumped at the chance to review Oriental Trading Company's costumes. I received the costumes in exchange for my honest review.

I spent some time perusing all of the adult costume choices and debated on how to use them in my classroom. I came up with about a million ideas but my littles were around and I decided they would make much cuter models. I browsed the hundreds of costumes with them and they LOVED picking out their own costumes. My twins could not be more different and that is evident in the costumes they chose!

Lexi chose to be a panda. She LOVES pandas and plays with her stuffed panda all the time. Lili chose to be a Storm Trooper. She feel in love with the Star Wars trailer last summer and has been a fan ever since.

Lexi is an average sized three-year-old. The panda costume I ordered recommends sizes 2T-4T. It is so cute on! It comes with four pieces; the head, body and feet (velcro!) I paired it with some black clothes that we had at home. It fits perfectly, is easy to put on and take off  and is comfortable on. The fur is soft and Lexi has put it on probably 100 times since it arrived a week ago. It has passed the three-year-old durability test.

Lili is tall for her age. I have her in 5T/5 clothes most of the time (she will be WAY taller than me) We ordered the child size small for the Storm Trooper costume. It is big on her. The costume came with the suit and the mask. The suit is light weight and white so you have to be careful of what you put under it. It has a large opening in the back to step into and velcro. It does not close all the way so you should layer. I like that the suit has built in "boots" (covers for the feet.) I like the mask! It is a durable plastic, with foam to sit comfortably on your eyes, netting over the eyes and adjustable elastic to keep it on.

I think Oriental Trading is a great stop in your costume hunt! You have hundreds to choose from and it is shipped right to you! We are all geared up for Halloween and the School Book Character Parade (we definitely have books about Storm Troopers and Pandas!) Whether you need a costume for Halloween or for an engaging activity at school check out Oriental Trading Company. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Happy Back To School

I hope you had a fantastic summer. I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged. I was soaking up summer. I haven't done a thing to get ready for the school year because I am opening a new school and it's still under construction. That means I can't set up my classroom. Guess what? I don't even have a classroom this year. I will be on a mobile cart this year. I will blog and share pictures of that as it comes along. I ordered my cart and look forward to getting it ready. It's a lot smaller than a whole classroom and there are very few Pinterest expectations for it! 

I am looking forward to this year, a new school and a whole new position. This year I will be teaching two things, character education and digital citizenship. I am so excited about my curriculum and you can use it too....guess what? most of it is FREE! 

I will be teaching digital citizenship using Conmon Sense https://www.commonsense.org you NEED to check it out! There are so many components to it. If you are a parent I recommend checking it out too. For teachers you can use the free resources and lessons to teach digital citizenship I your classroom. It has lessons about choosing good sources for research, safely using the internet, and leaving a digital foot print. You can become a Common Sense certified teacher. It's four hours of videos broken down into four sections. You receive a certificate at the end and BAM four FREE hours of professional development credit! (You're welcome!)

For character education I am using the Be Kind People Project. http://www.thebekindpeopleproject.org/take-kind-pledge-page.html This character education program teaches character by incorporating dance and core subjects. They ask each student to pledge to Be Kind. You can sign up for Be Kind Breaks ( for FREE!) these fun breaks teach the character trait of the month. This month is be supportive! You can purchase great supplements and quarterly kindness packs. You can even have them come for an assembly! (My fingers are crossed for that!) 

My principal challenged to come up with our headline for the school year. I want mine to be The Kindest School! I am hoping for a school that accepts everyone, embraces everyone's strengths and has no bullying issues! My school is unique and I feel like it is going to be truly amazing. I will share pieces throughout the year. I am so thankful that my teaching journey has led me here I also feel each step equipped me for this roll. 

Happy back to school and I hope you find these free resources useful in your classroom! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Room and Party Decor

All summer long I think about setting up my classroom. It doesn't matter if I have taught the grade before or if I am at the same school. I am always planning on ways to improve my classroom. This year I will be starting with a fresh and clean slate. A great place to start planning your classroom decor is Oriental Trading Company.  It is also a must stop for any summer time party!

On their site you will find tons of great decor and ideas to make your classroom, a party or a room transformation complete. It is a great stop for all teacher needs like classroom parties to your own little ones parties to school dances. ( Oriental Trading Company was my first stop for dance decor when I was a Student Council Sponsor.)

Here are a few of my favorite decor themes from Oriental Trading Company. You could also brighten up any summer party with this decor!

Go Under The Sea (I totally hear Sebastian singing it) with these decor items. I could see this in a classroom or a summer party. It is a perfect theme on the tail of Finding Dory.

Use this Under The Sea backdrop to really set the mood in the classroom or at a party. I could totally see this in use for an ocean themed room transformation.

The Sea Turtle Floor Decal might be my favorite decor item. I love the idea of decorating the floor too!
Finish your decor with this adorable Under the Sea Canopy. I think it would be perfect in a classroom library. 

Another fun party theme and a classroom hit too would be Glow Sticks and Glow In the Dark items. Oriental Trading Company has hundreds of these items to choose from. One of my favorites is this glow in the dark bowling set! I know it would be fun in the classroom and at a party! 

Glow sticks are a hit in my classroom and at home. In my classroom I turn off the lights and we learn in the dark. You can read about that here.  My girls love a glow in the dark bath where we turn off the lights and fill the bath with water and a pack of glow sticks. 


The most popular summer theme party and classroom theme would have to be the Luau theme.  Last year I did a Learning Luau theme. You can see pictures and read about it here. Oriental Trading Company will have your classroom or party turned into a tropical paradise in no time! Hula skirts? Check! Palm trees? You got it! Games galore? You bet!

You can see that Oriental Trading Company is a much needed stop for your decor needs! Plus they recently partnered with School Girl Style and I am literally swooning over the decor! 

This post expresses my opinion and I was not compensated for this post buy Oriental Trading Company. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Practice

Summer practice was something I hated as kid. Being a teacher's kid I did not want to practice phonics on a hot summer day. I wanted to be outside in our pool! Now that I am the teacher and I have my own kids I have been working with them too.

Working Hard!

They actually seem to enjoy it! I noticed that they needed tracing practice and cutting practice from what came home from preschool. I grabbed some preschool scissors and we started to practice our skills! 

 My girls really seem to enjoy cutting better and ask to "cut stuff" ( I cringe when I hear it...wondering what they will cut!) I wanted to have them be just as into tracing. I pulled out my special teacher smelly markers and we got to work! It worked and they love smelling each marker as they use it.

Our final product!

  The girls are so proud of themselves every time they complete a page. If you are interested in doing some preschool practice you can too. Grab it here!

          Our next order of business is to master our letters and numbers! I turned to the Target Dollar Spot as a good start. We will be working on these things for the rest of the summer. The joy of being a teacher's kid!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mountain States Meet Up Recap


This month I got together with several other sellers from CO, NM and UT! (We were hoping for some AZ people too... so if you are from AZ come next year!) We had a great time and felt so supported by so many great donors.

To start this meet up would not have happened with out all of the hard work from Nichole at the Craft of Teaching,  Lori at Live Laugh Love Second and Kristin at Holmquist Homeroom. We also had a lot of help from Leah at Sum Math Fun and Mary at Teaching With a Mountain View. This great group of ladies was so much fun to get to know and to work with.
Our meet up started with a meet and greet it was fun to meet new people and catch up with other TPT friends. We had a photo booth set up too!
Next we had some round table discussions about Pinterest, Instagram, Teachers Pay Teachers and Blogging. I headed up the blogging discussions. It was great to hear from some experienced bloggers as well as some newer bloggers. We discussed:

Word Press VS. Blogger no one came to a consensus about this but it was discussed.

Blog posts need at least one pinable image for Pinterest. The image should be vertical so it looks better on Pinterest .

Base your post success on your views not your followers.

Use your blog to your advantage. Contact sites and offer to review items on your in exchange for items. Many companies will also contact you to review their product. There is often FREE stuff involved for you and sometimes a commission. You can Google programs for bloggers. I also brought up Educents. I am an affiliate blogger for them. You can sign up HERE (Please let them know Teaching In Bronco Country - Ashley Cook sent you) to do that as well. You get paid $40-$80 per post.

Longer posts about a topic seem to do better than several shorter posts about a topic.

You should aim to blog consistently. The magic number of posts seems to be somewhere in between once per week and once a month.

Try to blog about what you would want to read. Teaching things, TpT things etc. There should be a good variety on your blog and it should not just be about products.

Next we moved on to lunch and prizes! We had some amazing support and wonderful donors! We even gave a prize to the TpTer that came the farthest!

Steve Spangle Science               
Seat Sack                                      
Aussie Pouch                              
Teachers Pay Teachers                
C.Jayne Teach                      
Love & Logic                       
Heidi Songs                                         
                                   My prizes! I won Sit Spots! Plus Lori shared her Erin Condren planner with me!                                                             
Back to the Roots                      

The Wright Stuff Chics                  

Touch Math                             
L Paull Designs                                
Science 4 Us                                    
Erin Condren                                 
Scent Co                                       
Pencil Grips Inc                 

Needless to say our swag bags were AMAZING and you will have a chance to win one! U.S. Residents only!


The next activity was a teaching supply exchange! It was so much fun! There were so many pretty packages and everyone got an awesome new supply! I ended up with super cute post its and colored tape! 
We ended with bowling! It was a ton of fun! 

I really enjoyed being a part of the Mountain State Meet Up! We hope you are able to join us at our next one! 

You have a chance to win one of our awesome swag bags and a subscription to planbook.com! We are giving away FIVE! Enter below and make sure to visit the other blog posts on the link up!

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 38m or on 9 entries total)

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 39m or on 9 entries total)

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 39m or on 9 entries total)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer and Homeschool Resources

Do you homeschool? Or do you tutor over the summer? Maybe you work with your  own kiddos to keep their skills current. I am in the last category myself. We are working on tracing, cutting and letters this summer. A great place to stock up is Educents!

This week, one of my favorite resources for Homeschooling and summer practice is having a Homeschool Sale! Get Free Shipping on all things homeschooling, road schooling, and un-schooling at Educents this week with code HOMESCHOOL16. Since it's just one use per customer, I suggest taking stock of what you have and your plans for the year so you can get Free Shipping on everything you need. Here are my top picks ranging from Science & Math to Music & Language. What do you need to stock up on?

Exclusive STEM Bundle (7 Kits)

Summer is a great time to start conducting science experiments - there is a little more space outside for a mess! This exclusive bundle at Educents.com has seven kits for utterly fascinated learning. Whether you have a traditional homeschool, or you're un-schooling, this is a perfect set for science. And so fun! STEM bundle
Price: $59.99 down from $109.99 plus Free Shipping

Life of Fred Math Series

Whether you're new to Fred or you've been using his story to teach math intuitively to your littles for a few years, there's probably a new topic to cover (the series goes up until college!). This sale is a great opportunity to stock up on the next steps, whether it's multiplication, algebra or beyond. LofF 2

eMedia My Ukulele for Beginners

There are tons of instruments that kids can learn to play even at Educents, but the ukulele has such a wonderful, kid-friendly sound. This is a great instrument and a strong program for beginners learning their first notes.
   Price: $49.95 down from $69.95 plus Free Shipping

Complete Language Learning Set by PetraLingua

Studies show that kids pick up languages far quicker than adults, so it's great to get a head start when they're little. Learning a foreign language also helps kids learn about the world, and better understand important values at home within a larger context. We've chosen to learn a language from our family heritage. What would you learn?
 Price: $110.37 down from $137.98 plus Free Shipping

Leap Pad 3

This kid-friendly tablet is the on-the-go homeschooling mom's best friend. Kids become fluent in technology and the subject matter with a portable, easy-to-use tool. That's a win for everyone. leappad3
 Price: $99 plus Free Shipping

Famous People Freebie for Reading

Free shipping is great - and so are freebies! I like this one gearing up for Independence Day because it has famous people from US history, from George Washington to Sally Ride. Great for kiddos working on reading comprehension, and a nice supplement to social studies. famousfreebie
 Happy Homeschooling and summer practicing!