Sunday, May 31, 2015

So You Want To Have A Meet Up

Let's start off this post by saying I do not think I am a meet up expert. I have attended two in my meet up career. However I have had several people contact me through various social media to see how I did it and then I was urged to write this post. Here it goes!

Connect with a group of sellers in your area to coordinate dates. For CO, Pam at Desktop Learning Adventures created a Facebook group.  This was a great way to bounce ideas and for others to chime in with theirs. If your group doesn't have a page start one and post it in the TpT forums to get interest.

Once you have set a date and location. Start promoting! Use your social media like crazy! I posted on the forums, instagram and Facebook.  Here is the graphic I made:

We started talking about the meet up two months ahead of time. This gave everyone plenty of time to plan.

Next I read about everyone else's meet ups. I grabbed a few ideas and got the swag bag and donation ideas. (Everyone wants free stuff!)

Then the invites. This was the most time consuming part. I created a google form and then we cut and pasted the invite to every active CO seller through the ask a question spot on TpT.  This is a good place to get help. Nichole at the Craft Of Teaching was a huge help. We worked on inviting everyone over the course of a week. Something I didn't remember to do was to set an RSVP date. Do that!!!

Here is a link to the google form so you can see what was on it. 

Next was contacting the very generous donors. I contacted everyone I could possibly think of. You can check out all of our awesome donations on an upcoming blog post and have a chance to win some of your own. Here is some donor advice, do not get discouraged! I think I contacted about 100 vendors to donate. There was several that I did not hear back from, even more that said no, but a huge amount that said yes! This was the coolest part of the whole thing! So many generous companies support teachers. I asked for donations in the forms of raffle prizes and smaller swag bag donations. I also promised we would, blog and share on social media about their awesome prizes and that I would include any advertisements and coupons they wanted to share. How did I contact them? Through the contact page on each website.  I also placed a donor list in every bag so everyone would know who to thank. 

I turned to the Facebook page for more ideas. Mary at Teaching With A Mountain View  said we needed name tags. She was right and it was so helpful. Make sure you have extras incase more people show up! Mary made them for the meet up too!

The purpose of our meet up was to connect with each other so I made an info sheet for everyone to fill out this was also their raffle ticket. 

We also did one optional activity which was a favorite school supply exchange. I set a $20 budget and did it like a white elephant exchange. We had everything from a cool stapler to whisky! I got skinny Mr. Sketch markers from Cecilia at I Love First Grade. I brought giant post its and a sharpie paint pen. 

I hope this helps you plan your meet up! Please comment with how you did yours below! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Splish-Slash: It's a Summer Time Blog Bash

It is time to celebrate summer. Hopefully you are enjoying your break or your last few days of school. I am currently on break but it doesn't feel like summer here in Colorado. It has been cold and rainy for weeks. We even had field day canceled due to weather. But now its time to hop into summer with this blog hop. It is my first time participating in a hop and I am so excited to be a part of it. Make sure you finish the hop for great giveaways, freebies and fun ideas. A huge thank you to Rachael at The Classroom Game Nook for organizing all of this! 

One thing my students struggle with is identifying genres. Here is a set of colorful genre posters to help students understand the different genres. These kid friendly definitions should help your students understand the different genres in no time. 

I am giving away a Luau Classroom Pack. This is over 100 pages to turn your classroom into an island paradise. It is valued at $12.00 Check out some pictures of it in my classroom. I recently wrote a blog post about it. 

Enter to win it here: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

What are your favorite summer plans? Do you have a tradition every year? I love spending time with my girls all day. I have two year old twins and they are an absolute joy. I really enjoy being with them and going on adventures with them as often as I can. Since they are two pretty much any time we leave the house is an adventure! 

We also spend a good part of the summer golfing or watching/ supporting my husband in various golf tournaments. We always travel to Albuquerque, NM and stay with friends while my husband plays in a golf tournament. 

This summer I am very excited for our CO blogger meet up. I am so excited to collaborate with other TpTers and bloggers. We are going to have an awesome event! 

The last thing I am excited about is InnEdCo! It is a Colorado Teacher technology conference. My PTCO paid for me and two other lovely teachers to go!  

Now hop on over to Growing Outside the Box and see what she has to offer! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Engaging Learners

The end of the year is a whirlwind of fun activities and spring fever. Those things don't always mix well in the elementary classroom (am I right?) This year I really tried to combat the end of the year craziness with some engaging and rigorous lessons. Oriental Trading was the place I found all of these ideas! (They provided the products for my students and I to review. I am writing this review in exchange for my honest opinion and I was not compensated for this post.)  I have used this site so many times because it is an affordable place to turn to for the classroom, school incentives and parties! I put my teacher hat on this time and found awesome resources here is what I found and how they were used!

5W+H beach balls 

The students and I  read a story and wrote the parts of the story on the beach ball. We blew them up and I let the kids play with them first. I knew it was going to happen so I let it! The kids loved this project and the beach balls were great quality.  I used some permanent makers I had in class and also Its Permanent Fine Point Markers. These markers have great color and low odor but they do not write on everything like most permanent markers do. I recommend them for writing and coloring but not permanent writing.

Mother's Day Puzzle 

This was not how I wanted to use these but the students saw them and begged me to let them turn them in to Mother's Day cards. So we did! Every mother wants a puzzle right? We drew a picture on one side and a letter on the other. These were easy to use, sturdy and the kids LOVED them. I hope the moms did too!

Spelling Word Giant Scrabble

When I saw this I had to have it. I really like to play scrabble so I figured out a way to bring it in the classroom. We focus weekly on phonics skills and spelling patterns that go with our Pearson Forward Curriculum. I thought it would be a fun way to do word work with giant tiles. The students loved it! We have played it several times and I think this game is a must for any 2-8 classroom. The best part was the students worked together so well.

End of The Year Journals
Every year I do some sort of end of the year journals. Some times I make them and sometimes I find them on TPT. This year I thought I would try Oriental Trading's version. They were cute and interactive. My students loved walking around the classroom getting autographs and counting how many boys and girls we have. I think these will be something I use year after year.

I hope you got some fun and engaging end of the year activities. I also hope you remember to check out Oriental Trading for your classroom needs. Tell me what you think! Comment below!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Luau Classroom

Did you know May is National Luau Month (Its hard to believe thats a thing.) Well I am switching my room theme just in time! Although a little piece of me died inside as I took down the Broncos stuff, I am pretty excited about how the Luau is turning out. I wanted to do the switch before the end of the school year because the last thing I want to do when I come back to school in August is add another thing to my plate. Here are some pictures of my "new" room:

For my teacher assistant. I have one student per day as my teacher helper. I do this instead of my classroom jobs. 

My behavior chart. My favorite thing is the tiny surf boards for clips. 

One of the teachers at my school was cleaning out her house and gave me all of this great Luau stuff. Like most teachers I am a pack rat and could not turn down free stuff.

You can buy this classroom pack from my TpT store. It is over 100 pages to turn your classroom into a Luau.

What is your room theme for next year? Comment below! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Its Here!

I love a good teaching tool! Don't we all? One great tool is The Teacher Anchor! C. Jayne Teach  has this wonderful resource available.  Next year's Anchor is here!  Visit her site and grab one before they are gone.

If you haven't visited C. Jayne Teach before you can find a variety of helpful and stylish classroom essentials.  Head over and check out this tool you will be happy that you did!