Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labourless Blog Hop!

Main Graphic Laborless

It is Finally here!

At the bottom of this post you will find details on how you can enter to win the fabulous prizes listed there.

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! I have joined forces once again with my bloggy friends to bring you the best, most amazing giveaway on this Labor Day weekend!
All of us have been thinking about  good ways in which to treat our readers and followers.   We thought hard, and I mean it! Really, really hard… and decided that  we can treat you to our best ideas to work smarter rather than harder… at school and home!
I know what it takes to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! I also know that we crave time to ourselves and our families.

So here I go!


Spend the first week working on routine.  Train those kiddos what you expect from them at clean up time.  Show them exactly what you need from them when they line up.  Trust me, it will pay off later.  When I was a beginning teacher, I used to worry that I was too strict.  I worried that I might have too many rules.  But one thing I have come to realize over the years, is that kids LOVE structure.  They need to know the limits.  They will bounce around at first to figure out what those limits are, but once they know what they are, then their comfort zone is established, and they can work well within the boundaries.  As self-regulation becomes a bigger problem in society, I have found that setting even clearer boundaries makes for a happy class.  I use tape everywhere.  I have masking tape on the floor, to show the kids exactly where they need to stand when they line-up to leave the room.  This eliminates pushing and shoving and budging.  I used duct tape to make a grid pattern on my carpet.  Because my class size is sooooooo big these days, the only way all the kids fit on the carpet, is if I assign them a spot.  So every week I give them a new spot and they have the same spot for the week.  I can make sure that kids that need preferential seating, are near the front, and kids who shouldn't sit together are separated.  If this seems a bit too regimented to you, remember that I teach in the K to 2 area and kids of this age love structure.  So my advice is that you spend the first week of school focusing on routine and you can start on the academics the next week.  Trust me, it will make for calmer kids.  As the year goes on, I loosen the reigns and the kids know the boundaries.


For me, I have a crafting room where I spend most of my time.  

CLICK HERE for a tour.
I am an avid papercrafter and spend a lot of time making cards and scrapbook pages.  This is how I de-stress.  Here are a few of my favourite pieces.

My kids on rides at the local fairgrounds.

My daughter and I at the Mining Museum.

and a few of my favourite cards...

to check out my papercrafting blog.


I have several classroom decor items in my store.  In these packs there are tons of items you need to start off your year being organized.  And they are colour coordinated too!    I have two types.  The first is a smaller file which has an editable portion for you to personalize for your classroom.  The second is a much larger file, but it is non-editable.

to check out Rainbow Party.

to check out Summer Party.

Top all these great tips and ideas  with these top-notch prizes!

A $100 gift card to Amazon

A $50 gift card to TpT


2 $25 gift cards to TpT

1 $10 gift card to TpT

Thank you for reading! And now get your hands all over this awesome giveaway!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September Currenly

So I'm sitting in my crafting room, listening to my new favourite band O.A.R.   My hubby has been playing it for me in the car, and I need it on my Ipod now!!!

I'm loving the new camping trailer we just bought.  We brought it home today.  Here's a look at our new toy.  We are going camping this weekend.  Let's hope the weather improves around here. 

I'm thinking that summer is almost over.  The weather has been so HOT and dry around here lately, and 4 days ago we had the worst storm.  The weather has completely changed.  It's supposed to clear up this weekend for our little trip.

Wanting the rain to stop...need I say more?

I need another month of summer, I have so much to do and so many things to work on for my store.  I went into work this week and set up my classroom, and I'm mentally ready for next week in some respect, but having such a good time with my own children this summer that I don't really want to go back to work.

Oh well...

one more week

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Well I did it!
2 days of work and a few tears later, I did it!
I played with my store and I uploaded a slideshow GIF.
Wanna see it?
Here's a little preview...
In case you are curious, I followed this great tutorial by Shelley at Pitch Clips.
to do it yourself.

Thanks for stopping by again today!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to School Blog Hop

Ever feel overwhelmed and in over your head?
Well this has been my life lately.  And I have actually been on summer vacation.
Is vacationing too hard just as rough as partying too hard?
Never mind, that sounded better in my head.
Today I am joining in a fantastic Back to School Blog Hop.

Tips and Tricks and Freebies and Giveaways for Back To School.
Follow the hop and you will find where to enter for a great Giveaway!

My tip for the first day of school, might seem a bit obvious.  In fact, it's not a difficult one and you might not even consider it a tip at all.  But it's something that I took a few years to figure out when I was a beginning teacher.  

You know when you're getting your first class, or changing schools, you want to be super prepared?
Well, I used to be like that, and obsess over the first day.  I used to be very nervous about getting it right, and so I used to overplan my first day.  Now overplanning in itself is not a bad thing, but attempting to complete everything you have overplanned can be frustrating for everyone.

So my tip is

That's it.  Nothing fancy.

Where I teach, the kids do not see each other over the summer holidays.  I'm sure they all hibernate in front of a screen in the dark all summer.  So when they come back to school and meet up with their old friends, all they really want to do is chat and catch up.  So on the first day of school, I plan a simple calendar routine, and then a class discussion about the summer and then an easy writing activity about what they did over the summer.  Why don't you hop down over and get your own free copy of my writing activity.

I provided a page for both the Canadian and the American spellings.

please continue down here on the hop!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Busy, busy, busy

Now that we're back from camping, I've been busy slogging away at updating and fixing up my science units.  This is just a quick post to let you know that these fantastic units are available in my store and that if you already have them, please download the updates.

To celebrate all my hard work, these two units will be 50% off for the next 24 hours.
I hope you pop by and check them out.

for the Farm Unit

for the Birds Unit.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School Math Linky

I know, I know, it seems so sad to be discussing back to school already.  Especially when for many of us, are only halfway through the summer break.  But I found this fun summer linky to join up on.  It’s called Math Tip Monday, and it’s on the first Monday of the month.  So here we are at the beginning of August and it’s time to join on up.

I generally start my year with a unit on Graphing.  I figure the kids have spent their summers thinking about anything except Math, and that they are not ready to start thinking about addition and subtraction.  Graphing is really easy to do with real-life items.  It's low pressure and the kids always enjoy it.  I have been using this graphing unit idea for Kindergarten and grade one and two.  It works well with a split class too as each child can work to their own ability.

to check out my great graphing mini-unit.

I always start by graphing the number of boys and girls in the class.  You can do this with the actual children themselves, or by having them draw a picture of themselves on a small piece of paper and then gluing them on a chart paper on which you have drawn a graph.  I like using chart paper, because then I can hang it up on the wall of the room to refer back to.  You can graph their shoes (laces, velcro, buckle, or slip on)  You can graph their hair or eye colour and you can graph their preferences – they like apples not oranges, etc. etc.  

  I have a great unit on graphing in my store which you can find by clicking on my products link above.  Below you will find a preview of what's inside.

Don't forget to stop by and check out all these great ideas below!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by again today!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tried and True Linky Party

So the big sale is happening over at Teachers Pay Teachers starting tomorrow.  Check back here tomorrow for more details on how to get the most discount on your purchases.  I just CAN’T WAIT!  My wishlist is totally loaded up!

But for today, I am taking part in a Back To School Blog Hop called First Day Tried and True.

My tried and true activity has several components.  I think it’s important to get the kids writing soon after school starts.  So I created this product to stimulate the brain cells and get kids thinking about writing.  And what’s better than writing about something fun that they have done.


to check it out.

This activity is called Summer Snaps, short for Summer Snapshots.   And what I ask the kids to do is create a camera as a fun motivational tool, and then imagine what they would have taken pictures of over the past summer.  I want them to “take” lots of “photos” with their pretend camera.

Summer Snaps has 3 different types of cameras you can make.  There’s a 3D paper camera which is totally adorable, but can be time consuming, especially for younger children.  But it works great as a buddy project, or with slightly older students.

There are two other 2D cameras made from coloured paper.  If you are really tight on time, they can even just colour a blackline master with a camera.  After they make their camera its fun to let them go out on the playground and take pictures of themselves with their paper camera.

The second part of this activity involves brainstorming what their favourite activities of the past summer have been.  They can draw little pictures in the circles on this worksheet.  Younger children can simply draw and you can scribe their answers.  Older children can write a sentence under their picture.  And if you have time they can colour their worksheet as well like in the example below.

And finally get them to pick their favourite Summer Snap and draw it again on the larger worksheet.  Then they can write descriptive sentences below it.  Last year I just had the kids write sentences about several of their summer snaps (as in the photo above) but this year I am going to work on getting them to answer some probing questions.

1                     Where did you go?
2                     Who did you see?
3                     What did you see?
4                     What did you hear?
5                     What did you smell?
6                     Did you make any new friends?
7                     What was the best part of your summer snap?

And so on…

Also included are a simple colouring and drawing activity which makes a great beginning of the year Bulletin Board, especially for younger students.  You could pair it with a writing page for older students.

So if you are interested  CLICK HERE to check it out!

Thanks for popping by today.  Don’t forget to check out all the blogs in the hop!