Thursday, July 30, 2015

BTS Sale, Wish list & Giveaway

So, it isn't even August yet and everyone is in BTS mode frenzy! I'm not even allowed into my classroom until Aug. 3 so I guess I will just have to go shopping instead!!

I'm embarrassed to say that I have about 87 billion things on my wish list. I have been "cultivating" my wish list all summer in anticipation of the big sale! Here are a few examples:

Hope King's Math Centers (for the whole year!!)

Reagan Tunstall's iPad Essentials

and Educlips Safari Bundle Clip Art

I'll be doing this my first week of school:
Back to School First Week Activities and Memory Book

Ready for a giveaway??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back to School FREEBIES link up

I'm trying to pretend that I don't have to be back to school in less than 2 weeks. However, there are so many reminders that BTS15 is coming, ready or not! I will probably spend a ridiculous amount of money at Target today, so why not share some awesome FREEBIES! I'm linking up with Differentiation Station Creations for a great Back to School Freebies Linky Party.

I have a FREE sampler of my Back to School Memory Book and First Week Activities pack. The FREEBIE contains a few fun pages to keep kids engaged while you establish classroom rules and procedures. It also gives you a sneak peek into some of your students' reading, writing, cutting and pasting skills.

If you like this and would like the entire 35+ page pack of activities, you can grab it on sale for only $4!! It's more than enough to cover a full week of getting to know your students. Check out the preview of the full product:

Includes fun prompts such as "A Good Teacher..." and "All About Me"

Includes activities to help students get to know each other and talk about classroom expectations.

Create a fun student-made bulletin board!

Check out their graphing skills while getting to know them!
Head on over to Differentiation Station Creations for more Back to School Freebies!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

TpT Conference Day 1 Take Aways

Hey everyone! I'm sitting here in my room, dog tired but my brain is buzzing (and it's not the mojito). I decided to pop open the laptop that's been sitting in the corner of my room all week and get some of the magic that I've experienced into this little ol' blog.

I attended the TpT conference last year as a new seller and I was so inspired, but I also felt very small and very lonely. I decided to go with some new blogging buddies this year, but I also wanted to make it my mission to make more connections and befriend some people who are probably feeling just like I did last year. This morning was my chance and I met the sweetest girl from Kansas and made her my new bestie! Her name is Stephanie High and her store is called Teaching on a Cloud. How cute is that?? She makes really great ELA resources for 2nd grade. Check out her store!

One of my other goals was to have the courage to go up to my hero, Amy Lemons, and actually speak words to her and take a picture with her. I was way too shy to do it last year and have been kicking myself since. She is a sweet woman with a heart of gold AND she makes some pretty great products that I use in my classroom all.the.time!

You may be asking what I have learned that might help you as a fellow TpT author or even as a teacher. The answer isn't so simple. Yes, I've learned some strategies to take my store to the next level by using social media to market my products. I've learned how important design concepts are in making great and appealing products. What I've really learned is so much deeper than what the presenters have shared.

Most importantly, I've learned that when you do what I just listed, the bonus is making friendships and connections.

So are these TpT lessons, or are they life lessons?

BTW, I got these glitterific clip art from Glitter Meets Glue (LOVE) just because I had the guts to put myself out there and go talk to her.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

Hey everyone! When I wrote the date in my journal this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew it was coming, but how can it be July? What happened to sweet, lazy June? Well, like it or not, July is here and I'm linking up with the fab Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her monthly Currently. I absolutely love her theme this month! I'm a big soccer fan in case you didn't know...
I'm a child of the 80's and this music just gets me thinking about my awesome childhood! We ran around the neighborhood in our Jellies shoes all summer long, playing whatever game we made up and only stopped by the house for lunch and dinner. The only rule was to be home by the time the street lights turned on. When it was too hot to be outside, we walked to the library to get the latest Sweet Valley Twins books or played school or with our Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids. We built forts, roller skated down the sidewalks, played in the sprinklers or on our Slip and Slide, rode our bikes to the park, chased the ice cream truck, played soccer in the street and set up neighborhood games of hide and seek. We would go up to our grandma's cabin on the weekends to get out of the heat and went fishing, walked the streams in our bare feet, roasted marshmallows and drank as many Shastas as we could sneak! Our grandmas would spoil us by slipping us extra candies or homemade cookies. It really was a great childhood. We used our imaginations, we played, we had freedom! 

My hubs and I have been getting chubby so we joined a gym. My main goals are to lose a little weight, be able to keep up better in my soccer games and maybe fit in my clothes a little more comfortably. I'm not a huge fan of "working out". I prefer to play a sport for exercise, but it just isn't cutting it anymore. I'm still new to the gym and trying to figure out what will work for me. I love the energy I feel after I go and how it improves my mood. I am really hoping I can figure out a way to continue to work out when school starts.
Thanks Ryan...

I'm a go getter, but even I feel that there is so much pressure on us teachers even in the summer to do more, more, more. It is even more compounded by the pressures of being a seller on TpT to keep at it 24/7. I don't want to get burned out, but I REALLY want to be successful. I try hard not to compare myself with others, but it's so hard to understand why some people are more successful than others. 

I don't want this to consume my life. I don't want to look back and regret working so much. I think the only way to balance everything is to listen to your heart, set your own goals that don't have to be measured against others, and carve out time to do things you want to do and need to do. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm working on it. Above all, I want to be happy.

I'm reading this beautifully written book about Italian immigrants and it just calls to me because of my ancestry. 

My great grandparents came here from Italy to make a better life for their families. I grew up eating my grandmother's delicious pastas and have finally learned to make her ravioli, but my next challenge is to learn to make gnocchi. The main character, Enza, makes gnocchi that make my mouth water. I know it can be tricky to make them like pillows instead of lead sinkers so I will probably have to try out several methods and recipes before I perfect it. This is also why I needed to join a gym.

My phone is ancient, but it still works so I'm holding off on upgrading. I have some major expenses coming up like my trip to Vegas, driving school for my 15 year old, and setting up my oldest daughter in her dorm room, plus her car needs work before she leaves. My old phone's battery is horrible and I have to charge the sucker several times a day. I don't want to be hindered in Vegas so I think I need to buy a portable charger, which I hope is cheaper than a new phone. Anyone have a recommendation?

All Star:
I'm an organizer. I'm not saying my house or classroom is spotless or perfectly organized. I'm the type of organizer that loves planning. I love planning trips, events, and other activities. I guess it's the leader in me. I love the research and prepping that goes into a big event. I probably should have been an event coordinator. 

Want to read what other bloggers are up to? Head back to Farley's page: