Monday, August 19, 2013

Back-to-School night and Alex Alligator

I got to meet my NEW little firsties and they are adorable! I can't wait for the school year to begin. We had our back-to-school night last Thursday. Here's what I did.
 It was so cute. The questions that most of them asked was about lunch. They are soooo worried about lunch.

I found the cutest alligator to go with my story of Alex Alligator Goes to School.
He is actually a Croc in Socks. But I've never been able to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile so I'm using him as an alligator. He goes with my newest packet. You can check it out at my shops HERE.
And I found him on If you click the picture it will link you over.
I also heard that Kohl's has a cute alligator right now with the Curious George collection.

School starts for me with kids on Tuesday. I hope I'm ready.
When does school start for you?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back-To-School SALE!!

It's started!
I hope you'll check out some of my new packets as well as my old ones.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tips and Tricks

It's been fun to join the linking party at Blog Hoppin all week. I've learned a lot from some outstanding teachers! Today is day 5 Tips and Tricks.
Here is my TIP:
I've taught for MANY, MANY years and one of the things I've learned is to NEVER GET STALE! I hate to say it but there are some teachers out there that get 'set in their ways' and never change or embrace new ideas. DON'T be that teacher! I've seen soooo many changes in education over the years and most have been for the good. Reinvent the way you teach often. It's the easy way to get 'stuck in a rut' but try new things. It will help you not get bored and you'll enjoy your job more. Sure, it's more work but it's very rewarding and lots of FUN! If the new ideas don't work, then change. I never teach the same year after year. Why? My kiddos are different. What worked last year may not work this year. My students are changing, their world is changing and I HAVE to change with them.

Okay, off my soap box, enough said! Now for some GREAT news. The long awaited SALE of SALES is about to begin this SUNDAY and MONDAY!
My shop will be 20% off. Then add TpT's discount to everything you buy for a total of 28% off your entire purchase. Be sure to use the code BTS13. Now is the time to clean out that wishlist!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild

Today's Blog Hoppin topic day 4 is Taming the Wild- management. This is critical to teaching. No matter how wonderful your classroom looks or how fantastic your lesson is, you have to have good management. Here are just some of my ideas to 'tame the wild':
I spend several weeks at the beginning of the year setting up my classroom community. My kiddos need to know the boundaries and what I expect out of them. How can you reward or discipline if they don't know what you expect from them.

2. When to Praise and when not to.
I have lived by this quote my entire teaching career as well as with my own children. Vince Lombardi used the word 'criticize' instead of 'reprove'. I think reprove is a little more gentle and loving than criticize. No one wants to be embarrassed in front of their peers.

3. Pick your battles.
I teach 6-7 years old children. They WILL NOT always obey, be nice, or do what they should. I CANNOT try to correct every little thing they do wrong. Decide what is the most important and work on that. 

4. My management system.
I've blogged about it before. I try to use LOTS of praise and rewards but need consequences too. I use 'Caught Ya' and 'Stop and Thinks'. You can read my post about my system HERE.

These are the things that have worked for me MOST of the time. Each child is unique and what works for one doesn't work for another. I work closely with parents and try to find the best for the child. 
But the best thing of all is to just LOVE each child for who they are!
Wonderful things happen when a child KNOWS they are loved.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Now Teach!

Here is Blog Hoppin day 3: Now Teach- Organize for Instruction.
This one is right up my alley. I'm accused all the time of being Miss Organized. Sometimes I hate the term but other times I embrace it especially when it comes to teaching.
1. My mom taught me this a looong time ago and it works for my home as well as school.

It makes teaching easier if my classroom is neat and tidy. It makes teaching much easier if I can find things quickly. I'll have to admit sometimes I'm not as good at putting things back as I should and there are times when I can't find things but the idea is a good one and it helps most of the time.

2. Filing is a big issue especially games and activities.
I LOVE the pocket folders by Smead called expandable jacket file folders! I can store game bags, game boards, anchor charts, books, and masters all in one folder and not worry if anything will fall out. I have built in file folder drawers in my classroom so I use a lot of folder. I have a color coded system for each subject. Math is red, science is orange, reading is green, etc. and each subject is in a different drawer. Some like math take up several drawers and are numbered 1-7. You can find these pocket folder at Office Max but I have found them the cheapest at They come in different sizes from 1 inch to 2 inches. I like the 1 inch but have some 1 1/2 inchers for my really big files.
Click on the picture for a link to Amazon and more info.

3. Storing books can be fun! I like to rotate my genre books throughout the year so my little ones don't get bored with the same books. So I store them in bins I bought at Ikea. I wrote a post all about it HERE.

Well, there are a few of my organizational tips. You can check out more from more great teachers at Blog Hoppin. 
Now I'm off to meet my new firsties. I'm doing DRA testing today! EXCITED!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Digs

Here's day 2 of Blog Hoppin Teacher Week: Classroom Digs- classroom tour.
My room is almost ready. We have Back-to-School Night tomorrow so I still have a few finishing touches.
My room theme is 'Happy Campers'.
This is the hall where we display our 'GREAT WORK'!
 This is our writing area.
 This is the back of the room with the word wall, Daily 5 board, Math Station board, computer table, and my library of books in the black containers.
 We have LOTS of storybook friends above the cupboards.
 This is the front of the room with my favorite piece of equipment- my Smart board!
There you have it- a mini tour of my room.
Check out other great classroom by 'hoppin' over to Blog Hoppin'.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Let's Talk About Me!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week 13: Let's Talk About Me Monday.
Here are 10 things about ME!
1. I married my high school sweetheart 36 years ago!
2. We have 4 awesome kids!
3. I have 10 beautiful grandchildren! (our newest one is not in the picture)
 4. Our mini schnauzers: Bella and Sammie!
5. We love vacations in the beautiful UTAH mountains!
 6. LOVE my alma mater: BYU! Go Cougs!
 7. I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in the first grade.
8. I've been teaching for 36 years and I'm still loving it!
 9. I love to cook, sing, play the piano, watch TV, blog, and hang out with my family.
10. I LOVE vacations with my BFF!
Well, there you have it, a few things about me. 
You can head over to Blog Hoppin' and check out all the amazing blogs and meet some incredible teachers.