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Holidays Around the World: England (with FREEBIES)

I am so excited to join these awesome group of bloggers to bring you some fun ideas and better yet, some FREEBIES! Today it's all about Holidays Around the World: England!

If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!

My country is England.  Here's a little bit about Christmas time in England.

If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!

The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. They wrap presents, bake cookies, and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, "A Christmas Carol."
After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. They toss their letter into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney. After the children fall asleep on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas comes to visit. He wears a long, red robe, carries a sack of toys, and arrives on his sleigh pulled by reindeer. He fills the children's stockings with candies and small toys.
On Christmas Day, everyone sits down to the midday feast and finds a colorful Christmas cracker beside their dinner plate. A Christmas cracker is a paper-covered tube. When the end tabs are pulled, there is a loud crack. Out spills a paper hat to wear at dinner, small trinkets, and a riddle to read aloud to everyone at the table.
The family enjoys a feast of turkey with chestnut stuffing, roast goose with currants, or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Brussels sprouts are likely to be the vegetables. Best of all is the plum pudding topped with a sprig of holly. Brandy is poured over the plum pudding and set aflame. Then family members enjoy a dramatic show as it is carried into the dining room. Whoever finds the silver charm baked in their serving has good luck the following year. The wassail bowl, brimming with hot, spiced wine, tops off the day's feast. 
(source)

If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!

Around this time, I pull out LOADS of books about celebrations all over the world.  I love books that include tons of photographs, so that children can make comparisons to their own lives.  I am constantly looking for new books, so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment and let me know!  Here's one book I LOVE! The photos are great and the fact that these are all children makes this even better!

Yes, it covers England, but it also covers celebrations throughout the entire world.

If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!



If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!

To help you celebrate with your kiddos, I made a freebie for you. Included is a page describing how people in England celebrate Christmas, a hat template for students to write and draw a picture describing their favorite thing about the holiday, and a Venn Diagram for students to compare holidays in the United States and England.  I hope you and your students find it useful.
Don't forget to add another page to your passport.
If you're doing a Christmas around the world unit, you HAVE to check out this Holidays Around the World Unit: England. You'll get book ideas, freebies, passport pages, and more! Click through to see how you could use this with your preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or homeschool students! It's sure to be a hit anytime in December when you do your holiday celebration. Grab your FREE downloads now!

I hope you enjoyed your Holidays Around the World: England exploration. 

You can also click through to see all of my FREE and paid Christmas resources here

Guest Post at Education to the Core

Y'all!
I am so lucky to have the opportunity to blog over at Education to the Core.
Emily is the best!
I blogged all about my Star of the Day interviews.

Head on over to read about!


Are you a teacher shamer?

Disclaimer: It's about to get a little real. And I'm not trying to be rude, these are just my opinions.

Y'all.

I love teachers.  I love that we share ideas, thoughts and products with each other. I love that each day we wake up and spend time with other people's children and love them like they were our own.  I love that teachers are willing to try new ideas and stand up for what they think is right for their students.
I love teachers.

I don't love teacher shaming.



What is teacher shaming exactly?

Teacher shaming happens when a teacher expresses his or her idea as if it is the only idea suitable for the classroom.  As if no other ideas are worth mentioning or entertaining.
Here are some examples:

Curious teacher: I'm thinking of using a behavior chart in my classroom this year.

Teacher shamer:  Behavior charts shame children and should never be used in a classroom.

Thought provoking teacher:  I know many teachers who use behavior charts and many who do not. Why do you want to use one this year and how do you plan on enforcing it in your classroom?

Curious teacher:  I just finished decorating my room and I love it! There's so many colors, my kids are sure to love it.

Teacher shamer: Too much decor and color distracts students from learning. Keeping a room clean and simple is the best way to decorate.

Thought provoking teacher:  Your room looks great! Have you thought about the learning styles of your students and any learning accommodations you may need to make?

Those are just a few examples.  The point is, what you do as a teacher in your classroom is awesome. You're awesome. And sharing your ideas and opinions with other teachers is awesome too...but pushing your viewpoint as the only or "right" view is a little rude... it discourages other teachers from sharing their own ideas and can make new teachers feel like there is only one way to do something or one way to teach.

Don't we teach our students that the best way to learn something is to try?  Why wouldn't we encourage that in our colleagues?  By trying new ideas, teachers begin to figure out what really works for them and their students.  They develop a sense of their teacher self and isn't that exactly what we want to foster in each other?

When we want to know about the practices of another teacher we should ask "curious questions".  Curious questions help others to talk out their thinking and analyze the choices they've made.  Telling a teacher that what she or he is doing is not the "right" way, doesn't foster thinking, but stunts it.
We should practice lifting up one another, instead of looking down on each other.

Kindergarten Pacing Guide {with tips for using it!}

Hi Y'all!

One of my top ten must haves is a Kindergarten pacing guide.
I can't live without one.
Although I don't mind going off the beaten path every now and again...
I still need a plan.
I need to know where I'm going and the best way to get there.

Over the past nine years, I've used different versions of guides that I've found from different sources.
There are a number of very helpful bloggers who post their own guides to share with other teachers.
I've taken a little from here, a little from there, a little bit of best practices, and thrown in a lot of what I want.

Over three years ago, I posted a pacing guide I created.  It is editable so if certain parts don't work for you or your school...you can change it!
It is one of my most pinned, shared and liked posts on Pinterest.  You can find it here.

But this summer, a few of my colleagues and I got together to work on a plan to purposefully integrate play into our kindergarten curriculum.
We spent four days establishing enduring understanding and key student skills for the entire school year.
It was a great experience! And I am so excited to see what my kiddos will do.
I promise to blog about this new endeavor later in the school year...

But for now, I'd like to share with you the pacing guide I created for this school year.

Do you teach Kindergarten? Are you wondering how to pace the year out so you can get everything covered? Then you're going to love this FREE Kindergarten pacing guide! Let an experienced Kinder teacher share how she uses a pacing guide & explain how you can make it work for your classroom or homeschool students! You'll love the columns for theme, letter of the week, sight words, read aloud, computation focus for the week, math, integrated play, and science and social studies. Get it now!!


Like I mentioned...

I NEED a Kindergarten pacing guide.

I like to have plenty of time to gather materials, do some research, and talk to other teachers about my lesson before I teach it.
I know...you can't plan for everything...but I need to have a general sense of what I am/should be doing.
A Kindergarten pacing guide helps keep me focus and gives me motivation to try new things.

Our school uses Fundations to teach phonics.  We focus on a few letters per week and a number of sight words at one time.  I love this pacing guide because with one quick glance I know exactly what's coming.  I can prepare my word wall cards and any crafts or poems I may want to integrate into teaching the letters.

We also use Lucy Calkins as a way to teach Writer's Workshop.  Our kinder team worked on developing a sequence for teaching the different genres.  I've tried to highlight that in the pacing guide.

The section labeled, "Purposeful Play Curriculum" is the section where I sequenced our grade level's work on play integration.  At first glance, it might not make sense to those who don't work at our school, but you can see our attempts to integrate science and social studies standards into specific themed units.  

Our school ends the year with a huge event called, "Davis Town."  All of kindergarten turns into a small town and the different classrooms become business.  We want to use this event as an opportunity to build purposeful play based experiences into the skills students will need to run their business for Davis Town.  Again, I will be sure to post about our work on play integration over the upcoming year.

If you are interested in utilizing this pacing guide for your own classroom, 

Take a look at this guide and find which elements can be used for you in your classroom.  If anything, it can be a helpful timeline of events.  I've even included some great read aloud ideas for you! 

Unfortunately, this version is  not editable and I won't be able to make any changes to it.  

I hope that you can get great use out of this Kindergarten pacing guide!

Weekend Warriors- Money saving tips and tricks!

Hi y'all!
I've linked up with my girls from Weekend Warriors to share some money saving tips!



That picture is adorable.

Here's me being real.
I'm not good at saving money.
I usually buy everything that I see.
Because I suffer from "only childitis"
It's a horrible disease.

BUT I'm also not crazy.
It's not like I'm running around buying Gucci bags everyday.
But if there's a dress at Target and I like it...I buy it.

BUT I don't have children of my own.
So...I splurge on myself of my classroom.
Don't worry though, bills get paid.
We aren't in ridiculous credit card debt.
It's all good.

BUT I do have a couple of tips to offer.




Tip #1:

I rarely buy something full price. 
I may be an only child/spoiled brat, BUT I won't pay full price for 
something I know I can get much cheaper. 
I refuse to buy fancy bras at VS, that's not my thing..
So I wait for Target to have a sale and stock up!
And download the Cartwheel app!
You can get some extra discounts at Target.
It's truly amazing.

Almost everything goes on sale...
you just have to wait 
and stalk the internets.




Tip #2

Ask for a discount.
Seriously, if you are going to buy a large amount of something,
ask if they will give you a bulk discount.

If you for a picture frame and you notice there is one 
that is slightly damaged...
Ask if they will give you the damaged one for a discount.
As long as the damage is small or you can fix it...what's the big deal?

I have bought tons of sweaters or dresses with small tears...
asked for a discount for the damage.
Then just fixed them up at home.

I also almost always ask for a teacher's discount.
I see signs ALL the time for college student discounts.
And I'm like, why not one for teachers?!
So I ask.
Sometimes it works,
sometimes it  doesn't.
But the worst thing they can say is no, right?


Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
Use the link below and share your story!



An InLinkz Link-up

Singing in the Classroom

I love to sing

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know this about me.

And, I'm not very good at it.  But I still do it.
I sing in the shower.
I sing while I put on makeup.
I sing in the car on the way to work.
I JAM OUT TO THE MAX on the way to work.
Seriously, it's like I'm on American Idol or something.
It's insane.

I love to sing and I love to sing with my kids.
I always turn on music in my classroom...
And not classical music...because those songs have no words.
But like Top 50 radio hits songs.
Songs that make us stop working and sing.
I love it.

This summer, I was thinking of a way to incorporate more songs and poetry into my classroom.
But, I grow very tired of the same songs over and over again.
I mean I love "London Bridge" but there is so many different lyrics that can be applied to that melody before it's too much.
So...
I had a bright idea.
Why not apply modern melodies to songs about school?

oh
my
gravy


I got to work.
I google Billboard top 100 hits.
Found karaoke versions of famous songs and started adding my own lyrics to modern tunes.

I had so much fun creating them.
And then...I had even more fun singing them to my husband.

He loved them all!(which is technically his legal obligation as my husband, but I think he really does like them)

I even typed up the lyrics sentence by sentence, so students can build the songs at a center!

I wrote songs about 
sight words
carpet behavior
skip counting
going home for the day
and much much more!

I'm already working on songs for the holidays. 


I can't stop.
I won't stop.

I want to share my excitement with you!

Here is a free copy of one of the songs!
It's to the tune of "Don't stop believing".  I've also included  the lyrics sentence by sentence!

Click here to download your copy!

The full bundle contains a 1st and 2nd grade version of this song.
The bundle also contains 8 more classroom songs!
Head over to my store and grab a copy!

What's so special about Vegas.


What's so special about Vegas?

The gambling?
The lights?
The entertainment?

What is so special about my time in Vegas was the chance to meet, collaborate, and bond with like minded teachers.
Teachers who wanted to make a difference in their classrooms and classrooms around the world.
Teachers who shared their ideas and tips with one another.
Teachers who "like" your posts on Instagram or comment on your blog posts, and hug you hard, as if you've been friends for years.

Those teachers, made my time in Vegas truly special. 

Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the first official Teachers Pay Teachers conference.  It was also a lot of fun  You can read all about last year's adventure here.
I didn't even think it was possible, but this year was even better!  I learned so much, met so many amazing people and had the time of my life!

Let me walk you through my time in Vegas.
I arrived Monday night and went straight to bed.  My flight got in at 12:30 a.m Las Vegas time which was 3:30 a.m. on the East Coast. I was exhausted! The next morning I had to get up to attend my first session at I teach K!
The next day, I woke up super early and got ready for a day of learning.  I grabbed some coffee and a snack and headed up to register and to check out the Expo (where vendors were showing off their goods), before going to my first session.
Well...
I didn't make it to my first session because I got so enthralled with the people in the Expo center.
I'm a people person and once I start talking...I kind of can't turn off.
I'm a super extrovert and the people at all the different booths were extroverts too.
I was in heaven.
And then I met an angel...

If you haven't heard of Show and Tell Aprons yet...
click on the name and find out more about how awesome she is.
I'll wait.


See!
How awesome are those aprons!?  
A little background, Sandra and I met last year at the Expo and we hit it off!
Of course when she met me I was rockin' a purple tutu!
Well that tutu inspired her to do a like of tutu aprons.
Yes.
Tutu aprons.
And when we say each other we could not stop talking about how much we loved each other.
Seriously.
She's the best.
And she is making me my very own custom tutu apron!
I die.
Here's a shot of the two of us:

Isn't she the best?  She let me model one of the tutu aprons!


Can you even? I can't even! 


I even got a chance to kick with some of the best male early childhood educators in the world!
Not only are these guys smart, they are so kind and generous.
If you aren't follow, The Male Kindergarten Teacher, Famous in First or the notorious Smorgie,
then click on their names and start following!


I also had a blast goofing around at the SDE photo booth with Keri from Enchanted Kindergarten!




I finally stopped talking long enough to get myself to my next session.
My presenter was Autumn from The Primary Techie.
When I say she was awesome...that is an understatement.
She has some of the best, thoughtful, and well planned ideas I have ever seen.
She was great!

I went to some amazing sessions during the I teach K conference 
but Autumn's presentation blew me away!

You all know about GoNoodle right?  Well, I had the amazing opportunity
to work at their booth during the conference.
And "working" the booth is just code word for dancing.
I had a blast doing the Pop See Ko with Freckles!



Wednesday night was the HUGE blogger meet up. I was so excited to meet so many fabulous teachers and teacher bloggers. I even wore my fancy tutu for this special event!



Selfie Stick photo!

I finally got to meet the AMAZING Natalie, one half of What the Teacher Wants.
I think we became best friends that night!

The next day was the first day of the TpT conference.
Thursday was full of great collaboration opportunities.
I went to a Kindergarten Meet and Greet and got to know some amazing kindergarten TpT sellers.
I learned a ton in my sessions and could not wait to see what Friday's full day would offer.

When I woke up on Friday and put on my pink tutu...I had no idea what the day had in store for me.
NO IDEA.

First, I jumped on the elevator with my girls,
Mary from Adventures in Kindergarten and Jillian from Starr Spangled Planner.


We grabbed some coffee and a quick snack and found our seats and waited for the
Welcome and Keynote speeches to begin.
We listened to words of wisdom from Amy and Matt, two very important members of team TpT.
And then...

RAZZMATAZZ

Paul Edelman the founder of Teachers Pay Teachers gave a very inspiring speech.
He talked about the HUGE effect TpT has
made on teachers, classrooms, and students all over the world.
He talked about how we are more than just sellers...how we embody this essence...he called
"RAZZMATAZZ"

and then...
this picture of my friends and I at last year's conference appeared .


and then...

Paul asked, "Is The Tutu Teacher here?"
and I lost it.


LOST IT.


And stood up and waved to the thousand or so people
in the room and sat down quickly to freak out in private.

Honestly, I don't remember what happened after that because I was
dizzy with excitement and gratitude.

Of all the people in all of TpT land to shout out and recognize...
little ol' me?
I know I've mentioned how it's easy to feel like a little fish in a big sea. Whether you're blogging or selling on TpT or just trying to survive your first year teaching.
It's tough.
And sometimes you feel like your hard work goes unrecognized or isn't appreciated.
And sometimes it isn't.
But sometimes it is in the most wonderful ways.
This was one of those times for me.
I was so humbled and honored and ecstatic and lots of other adjectives.
Thank you Paul.

Friday's sessions were amazing and I learned a ton.
I filled my notebook with ideas and plans and "Gotta dos"!
I was so inspired by this conference...
not just to do better as a seller, but do better as a teacher.
To try different ways to reach my kiddos.
To try to inspire other teachers to inspire their students too.
To really and truly embody the idea of
RAZZMATAZZ
wherever I go.

I had an amazing time.
I wish I had more time to meet more people!
If you didn't go this year, or last year...please look into going in 2016.
It's so worth it.


If you took a picture with me in Vegas, could you please email it to me at thetututeacher@gmail.com?
I'd love to include it in the pictures below.

Here are a few more pics of my experience in Vegas.









Weekend Warriors: 3-2-1 Teacher Bio

Hi y'all!

I'm back with my Weekend Warrior gals to share a little bit about me!



This weekend's theme is:



1.  I will only teach kindergarten.
I wish I could get that added to my contract.
I really don't see myself teaching any other grade level ever!  
I did one year of First Grade and could not handle it. 
Kindergarten is where it's at!

2.  As long as I'm wearing comfy clothes I can spend the entire day on the carpet with my kids.
I love to play games with them or work with small groups while on the carpet.
There is something so uncomfortable about sitting at a table in those little blue chairs.

3. My classroom setup is always changing.  I don't know why I can't stand for it to be the same longer than three months. It drives me crazy.  And each time I think "Oh! It's perfect now."  And a few months later I'm so annoyed with it!
My home on the other hand...has stayed the exact same way since we moved in.




1.  I guess this one fits for the teacher me and the regular me.
Which is also why Kindergarten is the perfect grade for me.
I belt out tunes in the car as if I was auditioning for American Idol.
I also dance like I'm performing for millions...or as if I was in my own music video.
I love to dance and sing.
All the time.
My husband hates it.

2.  The regular me curses like a sailor.
It's bad.
I just can't stop.



I've never really made a bucket list...but being on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine.
I'm not sure I'd be any good...I'd probably get booed off stage but man I would love every 
second of it!


Who are you? We'd love to get to know you more.  Please use the pictures below and link up with us.





End of the year Teacher Truths - Because What We Do Matters!

It's that time of year again. Time for our teacher truths. 

The end of the school year.
I know many of you are a few days away from saying goodbye to your students.
Some of you have already said your goodbyes.
I still have 16 days left and we are in the midst of assessments...but all I can think about is that last week of chaos.
The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!

End of Year projects
Celebration with parents and families
Transitioning kids to the next grade level
Grades!
Report Cards
Room clean up

The list goes on and on...
and on...
and on...

It's so overwhelming and emotionally draining for both us and the kids.

And every year I try to remember that I will be exhausted, frustrated and short tempered, and every year I forget.
I let the stress of the time of year get to me and I forget to enjoy each moment with my kiddos.
It's the last time we will be together...we need to make the most of it!

So I made a short list of 5 teacher truths to remember when the end of the school year rolls around.
I'm going to place a copy of these in my Erin Condren planner so it's front and center when June comes.


The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!

Look.
I'm a super positive and cheerful person...but teaching is tough and tiring and exhausting and we have every right to feel tired.
Honor your exhaustion.
It means you've worked hard.


The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!

Well, you might not have taught the Pythagorean theorem to your primary kiddos but still..
You have taught them so much.
And I know it seems so hard when you're running a small group with struggling readers and they are working so hard just to read the word, "the".

But you keep at it. 
And they keep at it.

Then suddenly, the lightbulb goes off, and those little strugglers are reading.
It might be one of the best moments in teaching.

That sweet lightbulb moment.

The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!


It's true.
But it's the end of the year, and while you've seen some major growth (academically or behaviorally) in some students. You might not have noticed much of a change in others.
Now, in no way am I saying you gave up or should give up on those "tougher" kiddos.
I am saying that it is important to be realistic about what we do.

The truth is, you can't reach every student, 
but you don't stop trying either.

The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!

Your kids appreciate you.
They don't always say it or show it.  But they do.
Those little notes they place on your desk...
Or the bouquets of dandelions they bring you during recess...
Even the random staples they find in the carpet and then bring to you in the middle of a read aloud...
Just different ways to say, "I love you teacher."

The end of the year can be exhausting for teachers, but these teacher truths will help you remember just how much of an impact you've had on your students' live. Click through to learn about the five teacher truths. From the exhaustion to the fact that you'll miss them, and even the hard to swallow fact that you can't reach them all. This post is sure to resonate with teachers at ALL grade levels. Click through, nod your head in agreement, and enjoy!

You will miss them!
Really!
Well most of them.

The year is over.
You are all exhausted and are in need of a much deserved break.
BUT...
You will think about one of your kiddos one day and remember their lightbulb moment...and a smile will creep over your face.
Or you'll get interrupted during a read aloud and it will remind you of the kiddo who interrupted you ALL THE TIME...because he just wanted to learn everything you could teach him.

You'll miss them.
And they'll miss you too.

I hope you have a great end to your school year.
And when you feel overwhelmed or sad or frustrated...
Remember these 5 teacher truths and know...
Everything will be ok.


If you enjoyed this post, you may also like this post -


I know it's the end of the year but...

I know it's the end of the year but...
Sometimes I can't help but to think of the next school year.

I mean, I just reorganized the furniture in my room yesterday!

While, I try to keep the same color scheme every year, I love adding new elements of color and design to my classroom each year.
My room is rainbow/primary color themed.  I have pops of color throughout my classroom.



Well! I am so excited to have the opportunity to partner up with Creative Teaching Press!  They have some of the most creative, innovative and teacher friendly materials out there!


CTP has an awesome collection called Painted Palette that will work just perfectly for any classroom.  But, I've got some BIG ideas for it next year in my own room.
First, there are these:

How adorable is this?
I can totally see myself decorating my hallway with this collection and adding my student's names to the apples!  What a perfect way to start the year!

Then there is this:
Yup! Think of the adorableness of my class newsletters when the come home typed up on this bright, eye catching paper!

And then there's this:
I mean.
Can you even?
I just can't wait to decorate my word walls and thematic word walls with this border!!

The Painted Palette Collection is just amazing! It has elements that will truly make my classroom pop!

And since CTP is celebrating 50 years of awesomeness, they are giving away $50 to spend at their store.
That's right!! You can win $50 to get your room ready for the new school year!
Think of all the goodies $50 will get you!  Entering to win is simple.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Head on over to my pal Bethany's blog and see what awesome goodies she has to share with you. www.shipshapefirstgrade.blogspot.com

Teacher's Night Out


When I started blogging and creating products for TpT, there were a lot of things I never expected would happen to me.  I never thought I would be cutting and pasting ©Vera Ahiyya to the bottom of every work page I created.  I never thought I would be turning one of the bedrooms in my house into an office so that I commit myself to this second "job" (only in quotations because it doesn't feel like a job!)  However, the one thing I truly NEVER expected was to connect with other bloggers and TpTers out there and have those connections transform into life-long friendships!

How did these relationships take off?  Well, it started with some innocent stalking on Instagram.  You know that moment… you're scrolling through their photos and you can't stop tallying the things you have in common or the amount of times you've laughed out loud at their hashtags?  So you make the bold move to follow them.  Then, what do you know?  They follow you back and start liking your photos too!  Those likes slowly morph into some humorous comments, and you feel like a Kindergartener on their first day of school- "I made a friend!"

So how do you turn a virtual friend into life-long friend?  Well, with a BLOGGER MEET UP of course!!!  My first blogger meet up was a wonderful experience, although I was very nervous.  I even tried to talk myself out of going, and my husband had to push me out the door.  If you're anything like me,  push yourself to go and meet new people and GO!  You will be so happy you did, and you'll meet some awesome people… perhaps a life-long friend!

In an effort to give more Bloggers and TpTers this experience, a few of my blogging besties and I have arranged a New England Teacher's Night Out.  It's going to be EPIC and let me tell you why:

First of all, it's a NIGHT OUT, so you can leave those cardigans at home!  In addition to a great evening of fun, we have also been working closely with some of your favorite clip artists and TpT authors, as well as some awesome Educational Companies!  Let's take a closer look at their super generous contributions shall we?

Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrating has created an adorable CUSTOM clip art set for her New England fans.  She has graciously made these available to everyone who attends our Teacher's Night Out Meet Up!  If she is not the definition of incredible, I don't know who is!


Kimberly Geswein of KG Fonts has kindly donated a giveaway item!  One lucky winner will score a bundle of her beautiful frames and papers!  If you are familiar with Kimberly's work, you know how amazing she is!  Her fonts, her clip art and her generosity make her one of the top people I'm looking forward to meeting in Vegas this summer!


Heidi Songs is offering these beauties!  We love her educational songs and so do our students!  We are incredibly grateful to her for her generous donation, and we can't wait to give this DVD set away to one of our Meet Up friends!


Do you love GoNoodle?  Silly question!  We all do!  Well the masters of brain breaks for the classroom have donated a super cute (goody filled) tote bag for every person attending our meet-up!  Woohoo!


Sheila Jane of Sheila Jane Teaching is not only one of the most talented people I know, she is also one of the most generous!  For every teacher attending our Meet Up, she is donating a 30-day FREE Teach Happy Membership!  She is so very inspiring, and we are so happy to be spreading her positivity with this Meet Up!


Jen Lium from Teaching In the Tongass is joining the party!  One lucky winner will be going home with a $100 (yes $100!!!) Gift Card to her TpT Store!  I could spend all day looking through her products, but to get $100 worth for FREE would be amazing!  Thank you Jen for your huge heart and generosity!  We love you!


We have been fortunate enough to partner with Educents and Teachers Pay Teachers for this Meet Up as well!  For many of us, these Educational Companies are what inspired us to start carving out our little corner of the internet.  We are so grateful for everything that they do for teachers!  Therefore, it couldn't be more fitting that we have them represented in our glorious giveaways!  We are pleased to announce that Educents will be donating some Goodie Bag "SWAG!"
Our sweet friends over at Teachers Pay Teachers have generously offered 3 awesome Gift Cards for 3 lucky winners! If you sign up for the Meet Up by tonight, you will automatically be entered to win one of these TpT Gift Cards, so click {HERE} to sign up!
We hope to see as many of you New England Bloggers and TpTers as possible!  It's going to be an EPIC evening and you could very well meet friends that will last a life time!