Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine Gift Ideas

I updated my February Gift Tags product with three new tags that I'm using this year for student and teacher gifts.

This "Valentine, you're the bomb!" tag is for little man's teachers. The bath bomb is so pretty and is from Target!

Little man is giving his classmates these bags of Animal Crackers.

My students are getting these pencils for Valentine's Day. The pencils are from Target also.

You can grab these tags here in my TPT store!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine Book Recommendation Exchange

Looking for an alternative to regular Valentine exchanges? I created this resource to be just that! Students write about what type of books they like to read. Then, other students make recommendations based on the type of books their peers are looking for. 

I plan on having my students write about the type of book they would like to read. Then, they will leave it at their seat, so their classmates can read about what kind of book they are looking for. If someone has a recommendation, they will write the book title on the "cupid's recommendation" paper and leave it at that person's seat. Kind of like a Valentine exchange! 

You can grab this resource for free in my TPT store!

Feel free to pin any of the images or the image below!

Monday, January 15, 2018

January Activities for Little Learners

As a busy teacher-mom, I created these activities as a fun way to teach, connect, and play with my own little one at the end of a long day. Kids learn best through play, so it was important for me to provide my own child with a variety of activities that we could pull out and change up as needed. I also created these activities to align with my state’s (Georgia) early learning and development standards for ages 24-36 months. The standards covered throughout these activities include, but are not limited to, one-to-one correspondence, building knowledge of numbers and quantities, using senses to explore the environment and process information, fine motor skills, self-expression, demonstrating persistence, following directions, acquiring vocabulary, nonverbal communication, developing print awareness, classification, exploring spatial relationships, developing knowledge of the properties of Earth and the sky, and making connections between objects and ideas.

Here is a peek into the activities I created...

My best advice for using these activities with your little learner is to have fun! Do I expect that my kiddo will sit and engage with me for hours... no way! If it is no longer fun for him, or I, we stop! Again, I whole heartedly believe that learning occurs through play and play should be fun! I do not expect, or force, him to be able to do everything in this product each and everyday. I simply use these activities as an opportunity to spend quality time together. I just love watching him explore! Toddlers are unique and can surprise you! All you have to do is encourage and interact with them, and you may just learn something too!

You can visit my store to grab these activities for half off through tomorrow! You can also check out Georgia's Early Learning and Development Standards here.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekly Update

Wow, it's been a crazy, but amazing, first week back at school. I'm sharing a few snaps today of what I've been up to...

Since I'm only teaching ELA this year, I have two groups of kiddos each day. My teaching partner and I color code everything to make it easier on ourselves and the kids. My homeroom is blue and his is green. By using the two colors, the kids know where they should turn things in, keep their supplies,  know which journals are theirs, etc...

Speaking of organization... I've been busying labeling all.the.things. You can find my travel themed editable labels and toolbox labels on TPT.

I made these treat tags to attach to a baggie of gum for Sneak-a-Peek. You can find these for free here.

If this was your first week back too, I hope you had a fabulous week! If you're starting back soon, enjoy the last bit of summer!

Friday, July 14, 2017


Happy Friday! I'm here to do a little Insta recap of my summer. Here we go...

I'm changing my theme up next year from nautical to travel. I've been loving the new color scheme with the aquas and turquoise! This print above was part of a pack of paper I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I can't wait to show you what I plan on using it for!

To go along with my new theme, I created these letters that I'll be using to make headings around my classroom. You can find these on TPT here.

Why the new theme? Well... next year I'll be moving on up from second to fifth! I'm so excited for this new adventure! I'll only be teaching ELA and can't wait to focus on all things reading/writing!

This is my teaching mantra next year! You can find this sign in my Literary Signpost product on TPT here. I'll be sure to show the finished product once I get back into my classroom to start decorating! 

Since we're talking all things travel and reading, my hubby and I got a chance to skip town for a bit and visit Boston. I absolutely fell in LOVE with the city! This picture was taken at the Public Gardens. Can you name the book? Click here to see if you're right!

Pictured above is my book stack from our trip to the beach. I plan on reviewing these books soon! I have two more to finish. You can click on the links below to find these books.

In an attempt to stock up my classroom library with fifth grade appropriate texts, I picked these up at Target on sale for $4 a piece. You can also find them on Amazon for about the same price. Just click the titles below!

Just for fun... this was a little summer gift I gave to my little man's teacher. You can find this tag in my May Gift Tags product on TPT.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Guided Reading Lesson Planning

Today I wanted to share how I organized my lesson plans and student observations in my Guided Reading binder last school year. 

First off, I used a 1-inch binder with tabbed dividers to keep everything organized and in one place. My dividers were numbered 1-24. These numbers represented the number of kiddos in my class (At the beginning of the year each student is assigned a number). 

At the front of the binder, I placed my lesson plans for each group in a clear plastic protector. I used sticky notes to write my plans on and attached those to the plastic protector to cover up each of the boxes shown above. For my plans, I wrote the title of the book, a quick description of the book, important vocabulary that I wanted to introduce to my kids, the skills I wanted to focus on, and guiding questions that I wanted to make sure to ask my kids as they read. At the top, I wrote in the date and group name using a dry erase marker.

The page pictured above was placed on the back side of my lesson plans. Here I wrote student observations on sticky notes and placed them in each box. I also used this page to record student observations for different subject areas as well. That's why there is a box to write the subject. After meeting that week with my group, I would move the sticky notes to another page (same page, different copy) behind the student's number. That way I could keep records of what we worked on each week. 

A few things I wanted to point out... 1. I spread out these lessons over the course of a week. On average, I would meet with each group twice a week. That's why there are so many skills listed. 2. The vocabulary are words that are essential for kids to know in order to understand the text. I would do a quick introduction to each word on day one when I first introduced the book. As I checked in on students throughout the week, we would revisit the words as needed. 

This is the student observations page that I copied on the back of the lesson plan. As you can see, I wrote the student number at the top so I would know what notes belonged to which student. I typically had 4-6 kids in a group. 

This is a second copy of the same page from above, but I have placed this copy behind each student's tabbed divider. Here are two weeks of observations on this particular student. 

I hope this helps you keep your Guided Reading Binder a little more organized next year! If you have any questions, leave them below. As a thank you for reading, you can grab a copy of these pages on TPT for free here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Toddler Play

Goodness it's been awhile since I've blogged! I've been enjoying my summer and I hope you have too! This summer has been all about spending as much time with my little family as possible and traveling. One trip we took over the 4th was to the beach. A little vitamin sea was definitely needed! As you probably know, traveling with a toddler can be a bit of a challenge!! For me, organizing things needed for a trip is a must! I wanted to find something that I could tote a few toys around in and that would be easy to travel with. 

I found this Sterilite Stack and Carry box on Amazon and had to try it out! It worked out great and was the perfect size to hold what I wanted to put in it. Actually, I could have stored A LOT more! 

My thoughts for the top of the box was to create a sensory bin. I wanted it to be ocean themed, of course, since we were heading to the beach! I bought these wooden Hape ocean animals and I just loved the size of them and my little one loved naming the ocean animals! I also picked up the Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set by Learning Resources to use in my sensory bin. The set comes with four different tools. We just used the tweezers and the large scoop for this sensory bin. To be completely honest...I used the crinkled blue paper pictured above to hide the blocks in and it didn't really work out the way I had intended it to once my two year old started to play with it. It ended up EVERYWHERE!!! He doesn't quite get the concept of just taking out the blocks and leaving the filler in the bin. Sigh! He sure did have fun though! Next time I will just use balled up tissue paper. 

In the bottom bin I put in a set of Hape Under the Sea blocks. I loved all of the different shapes that came in this set. My two year old really only played with the cubes though. If you look closely you can catch a glimpse of some of those little blue crinkled paper bits! Ha! 

Now that summer is coming to an end for me, only a week and a half left, I'll be back to blogging more regularly! Until then friends, enjoy your Wednesday!