Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter Goodies

I love Christmas and all of the holiday school chaos that leads up to it! I love to decorate my home and my classroom. I also love to give a gift to each student. This year it was a little bit harder because I see 200 kids per day. Thats where Oriental Trading Company comes in.

I found some great items on Oriental Trading to use in my classroom and at home!

This year we did a winter themed door decorating contest. I used some icicles from Oriental Trading to trim the top of the door.

Next I found some great winter themed toys. These were great because they were reasonably priced and not tied to a specific holiday. I used them at home to stuff our advent calendar.

I stuck notes in the pockets that were not large enough to hold the bigger prizes and kept those in a basket. My girls are loving them!

I also stocked my prize bin with winter themed prizes at school. I also plan to give each of my students a prize at the end of the week for Christmas. If you are looking for some great winter themed toys then you should check out Oriental Trading. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale

Its that time of year! Its time for the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale! You can save 28% in my store on Monday and Tuesday!

I have some great winter resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store! 

Winter Night Sky Hunt :Your students will be directed where to look in the sky to locate planets and constellations. This is an interactive two page homework assignment.

Snowman Book Report:Perfect for the winter months! This snowman book report is Common Core aligned and designed to have students explore the genre of biographies and autobiographies. In this fun report students are asked to read a biography or autobiography and then make a snowman that resembles the person. 

This includes:

Teacher notes
Book report directions
Two page book report
Snowman template
Student checklist
Teacher grading sheet

Dress Your ElfPerfect for December! This elf book report is Common Core aligned and designed to have students explore the genres of biographies and autobiographies. In this fun report students are asked to read a biography or autobiography and then make an elf that resembles the person. 

This includes:

Teacher notes
Book report directions
Two page book report
Elf template
Student checklist
Teacher grading sheet

Teaching In A Winter Wonderland: This is a fun set of lessons that will take you through the winter. It has just a touch of holiday cheer but most of the lessons simply have a winter theme. 

Geometry Snowflakes:
Math can be fun and engaging with this snowflake craftivity. 

This includes:

Two Pages of Teacher Notes and Lesson Plans
Twelve Geometry Vocabulary Cards
Three Geometry Posters
Four Sheets of Templates
An Example Page

This is perfect for the holidays or anytime in winter.

Holiday Shopping Math:

Students are tasked to shop for holiday presents.

This includes:

Teacher Notes
Shopping Page
Collage Page

Winter Fun:
A Word Search 
Answer Key 
How Many Words Can You Make Out of Wonderland

Design a Gingerbread Man:
Teacher Notes
Design A Gingerbread Man Page
Writing Pages

How To Make Hot Chocolate:

Teacher Notes
Planning Page 
Writing Pages

Geometry With Snowflakes:Do you need fun and academic winter themed lessons? This is for you! This product is three geometry lessons that your students will LOVE. Math can be fun and engaging with this snowflake craftivity. 

This includes:

Two Pages of Teacher Notes and Lesson Plans
Twelve Geometry Vocabulary Cards
Three Geometry Posters
Four Sheets of Templates
An Example Page

This is perfect for the holidays or anytime in winter.

You have a chance to win a TpT Gift Card! Find me on instagram to enter to win! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Stocking Stuffers and More

It is hard to believe that Christmas is quickly approaching. It is time to find great gifts for the kiddos in your life! I love to give gifts that lead to an activity rather than add to the toy pile. Kwix Sticks are one great gift idea. I love them and you can read about the ways I have used them in my classroom and at home HERE.  You can find the new colors and sets at The Pencil Grip Inc.  My students and my own kids really like to use them! Now they come in more colors and options. There are a variety of packs and sizes on the site. You can even purchase them at Target with the rest of your gift list!

You can add some sparkle to your work with the metallics. My girls loved the gold and silver colors.

Or you can brighten up your projects with the neon colors.

Kwik Stix are fun to use and do not make a mess. If your kids or students paint somewhere besides the paper you can easily clean up. 

If you have some developing writers on your Christmas list you could add some of The Pencil Grips to the stocking.  I use the grips in my classroom and I have found that they really help to improve handwriting. 

You have the chance to win some of these great products. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Year So Far

This year has been unique in my career. I am at a brand new school in a brand new position and it is so busy! I am teaching both Character Education and Digital Citizenship to first through fourth graders. I see six classes a day. All of this is so different from being a part time third grade teacher.

My cart
I went from being on a cart and mostly teaching in the cafeteria to being housed in a temporary classroom. It was a learning experience being on a cart and I really want to praise the teachers that do it every day! My temporary classroom has an industrial sink and a garage door, but it is all mine! I furnished it as a flexible seating dream!
The mobile classroom.
My new digs! 

I look forward to telling you more about it and compiling resources for both character education and digital citizenship. 

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 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. 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! 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)