Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dare to Dream! #TpTSellerChallenge

This week's #TpTSellerChallenge is DARE TO DREAM!! 

I definitely have big dreams for my TpT journey, and without further ado...

> Student Loans: seem to be a pretty common thread throughout the TpT dreams I've seen...I went to a private college for undergrad, which left me with a sizeable chunk of student debt. I'd love to see TpT help me pay those off faster!

> Travel!!: another TpT Dream Theme! I would love to go to Vegas for the TpT/I Teach 2nd conferences and I'd LOVE to do an educator training at the Ron Clark Academy. Other than traveling for teaching, I want to see so many places in this world! I'm dying to visit some friends down in New Orleans, and my biggest travel dream is Australia!! I've gotta see the Great Barrier Reef up close!

> Give: I'd love to give more to so many different organizations and people. So many. I hope that one day, TpT can help me do that!

> Someday: I'm a youngin'. I'm only 26. I have some savings, but I would love to see my TpT ventures to help me grow my future. I'd love to buy a house, have my dream wedding, go on an incredible honeymoon, and even be able to stay home with kids for a while. (I could never go full-time TpT-at-Home-Mom! I give SO much credit to those who do!)

This challenge has DEFINITELY lit a fire somewhere inside me! My creative juices are flowing, I'm working hard, and I've edited and added quite a few things to my store in the last week or so! THANK YOU Jen, Amber, Emily & Ashley for hosting this challenge, and helping to inspire me!! :o)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness!!

So if you haven't heard, the fabulous ladies from Sparkling In Second Grade, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Third in Hollywood, and Teach, Create, Motivate are hosting the coolest challenge around this summer - The TpT Seller Challenge! This is EXACTLY what I need to get myself on the path I want to be on with blogging and TpT, so here it goes!

Week 1 was MAKEOVER WEEK! Everyone loves a good makeover...especially my first, sad little TpT products. The very first things I added were my fonts! Munchkin Print was the very first one, and I thought this was just the best thing on the internet when I added it!

Since then, I've created SO MANY THINGS, be it fonts, or resources for my classroom. Whether I put them on TpT or not, I have learned a TON, and I've come a looooooong way!

So for #makeovermadness, I bundled all of the fonts I've made (there are seven of them) and re-vamped how they're displayed!

 My snazzy new cover! I love using photos in my covers!
(Click cover to download the fonts!)

I love the clean-cut look of it all now!!

The Before:
+ Varied colors
+ Not uniform
+ Individual downloads

The After:
+ Snazzy, eye-catching cover
+ Uniform previews
+ Bundled download

What do you think?! :o)

This has DEFINITELY gotten my creative juices flowing, and I think there are more makeovers in my future! Not only that, I have ideas FLYING around my brain for next year...! (What else would a teacher do on her first day of summer break!?)

Amber, Jen, Emily, and Ashley, thanks for such an awesome challenge!! I'm loving it so far! Can't wait to see what else is in store!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Sunday Scoop!

I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop Today!

I HAVE to do the standard Sunday, grocery shopping and laundry! Yuck!

I HOPE to read a little bit down at the beach! But considering it's almost 6 PM, I don't think the beach is looking too good :o( I DID get some new summer reading this week though!!

SUPER pumped to dig into these! :o)

I HOPE to get to bed early! Friday was draining for me (last day with my kiddos!) and I've had an amazing weekend, but I hope to get to bed early before my LAST DAY (teacher work day/EOY meetings) before summer!! 

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Conversation Notebooks

I'm going to let you in on a little secret today.

A teacher friend let me in on this secret last year, and I love, love, love what it's done for my kiddos and the community in my classroom. (If you're reading this, HI JULIE!)

They're called conversation notebooks.

What the heck is a conversation notebook?!

It's a little bitty notebook. (It's little. So right off the bat, who doesn't love that?!)

It's a private conversation between you and each of your students.

It's been HUGE. in developing a trusting, open relationship with my students.

Now. Conversation notebooks do take a little extra time in our oh-so-busy teacher lives, but in my experience with them, it's been so, so worth it!

At the beginning of the year, I bought these mini spiral notepads at Walmart. They were 88¢ for a pack of 4 during the Back to School sales! I printed out little labels, and BOOM they were ready to go!

In each little notebook, is a private conversation between me and each of my kiddos. There are times during the day that they can write in it, and they can write as often as they want! They do have to check in minimum once a week, though. 

My munchkins LOVE that in their notebooks, they can tell me ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD. They can tell me anything from what they had for dinner last night to a question they have that they're too nervous to ask in class. They can tell me if something in math is feeling really tricky, or they can tell me about a book they loved. They can tell me about friends bothering them, or how a new friend made them feel really good! I've had quite a few tell me things in the notebook that they don't want to say in person, in fear of being a tattle-tale in their friends' eyes. This is a safe place to let me know about something that's bothering them.

When we write to each other, we write our notes like a friendly letter! Anything for a little extra practice! :o)

Our notebooks live in this little box. I take it home, and as I read the things my munchkins write to me, I get little glimpses into them. It's a way to connect with each kid, even if you don't get too much out of them on a regular basis in the classroom!

It's a big exercise in trust, but in the nearly two years I've done this, I've never had an issue. It's only strengthened our classroom community!

Would you use conversation notebooks in your classroom? How do you build your one-on-one relationships with your students?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Books to Build a Classroom Community

Long time, no blog! WHOOPS!

Anyway, spring break this week (woohoo!) gives me a little time to sit down and blog about something I've wanted to share for a while!

Back in February, I won a gift card to Amazon from Jillian at The Starr Spangled Planner to get some books for my classroom! (Thanks Jillian!!) I debated and debated what books to buy, asked the kiddos for recommendations, and scoured blogs/Instagram/Pinterest, but I still couldn't decide!

After some bullying incidents in my classroom arose, I knew EXACTLY what it would go to! Authors Julia Cook and Maria Dismondy have some AMAZING books about character building, accepting differences, and promoting respect and empathy, so I decided we definitely needed a dose of that in Room 6!

These. Books. Are. Amazing!!

In the beginning of the year, we did the "wrinkled heart" activity, and we made a promise to each other. We promised to (and I quote) "treat each other with respect and kindess at all times." We signed our promise, hung it in our classroom, with our wrinkled heart. I referred to it ALL. THE. TIME. Worked pretty well.

Until this looooooooong stretch of time between our winter break and Easter/spring break...with lots of snow and cold temperatures and rain.....which means LOTS and LOTS of indoor recess. 

So this past week or so, we took some time to read one of these books and talk about them. We talked about how we felt when we read them. We talked about why we felt that way. We talked about what was wrong, who did the right thing, and why it was the right thing. I work in a Catholic school, so we talked A LOT about how Jesus would feel about all of these things. 

We also listened to and read this incredible book:
I knew about this book and song for a LONG time, and I never thought to introduce it to my class until now. Probably because I can't get through it without a little tear. It's a beautiful concept. We read the book and listened to the song, but also watched it on YouTube before I could get my hands on the book...

Then we made a new promise. We came up with it together, and on Monday when we come back from Spring Break, we will sign it.

("Live the message of Jesus" is the mission statement of our school, and it was HUGE part of our conversations this week!)

So many of the books I bought were about what to do if someone is bullying you, how to stand up for each other, and how to stand up for yourself. I LOVED that Have You Filled A Bucket Today? and Making Friends is an Art addressed HOW to actually be a good friend, and how to treat others with kindness right off the bat!

I sent a copy of our promise home, along with a list of the books we read.

I noticed, almost immediately, a change in the climate of our classroom community. It was amazing!

We're also reading...

My city is doing this thing called One City, One Story, and it's promoting everyone in the city to read Wonder! I read it last summer, and was THRILLED to see that this was picked! Since it's generally for the older crowd, they also recommended The Invisible Boy for the K-2 crowd, and it's such a touching story! (Not to mention the drool-worthy illustrations!) We read The Invisible Boy last week, and Wonder is our current read's got BIG shoes to fill, considering we just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone!

I also got some other great Julia Cook books with my Amazon order!

These didn't really touch on bullying or kindness, but they DO talk about some pretty important topics! It's Hard to be a Verb! and Wilma Jean the Worry Machine touch on ADHD and anxiety respectively. I went to an awesome workshop on childhood anxiety this winter, and I think all kids could benefit from learning a little bit about things that make you feel anxious! I'm sure we ALL know a munchkin (or six) who could use a trip to Personal Space Camp ! 

How do you promote kindness in your classroom? Are you solely bucket fillers? How do you prevent bullying? Any other books you would add to this collection?

Friday, February 6, 2015

A February Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Kacey from 
for another lovely Five for Friday!!

Last weekend, I was anticipating our school's Open House, so I went into work, and put up our display between the 2 second grade classrooms! Open House never happened (due to snow) but we have a pretty darn cute display!! Thanks to My Carolina Classroom for the idea!!

(I traced Olaf on my SMART board. Don't be fooled, I'm not that good!!)

New England has been SLAMMED with a ton of snow in the last few weeks.

The view from my house on Monday...

Our playground on Thursday morning when it was snowing...AGAIN! Please make it stop!!

Of course, in true New England style, it was sunny that afternoon. 

I used my snow days to do some Valentine prep! Click the pictures to links for freebies!!

When we were in school this week, we started our money unit! If money is in your curriculum, RUN, do not walk, to Amy Lemons' TpT store and get this right now! Her resources are amazing and they make so much more sense to my kiddos than our book!!

Seriously, though. She's the best. I use ALL of her math resources and can't get enough of them!!

I am SO pumped that Amanda from The Take Home Teacher is organizing a blogger meet up in Providence at the end of this month!!

Email her ( for details!! Hope to see you there!!

Happy Friday!! :o)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Little Bit Of Love

Ahh, the month of love is upon us! I've been racking my brain (and Pinterest) for a cute Valentine to give my munchkins this year. Last year, I went the no-food route and did this...

Got my kiddos cute Valentine pencils and some fun pens, attached them to the cards, and
BOOM! Done!

 (These are just an example...Crayola glitter markers. Found 'em last week. Thanks, Target!) 

You can snag this Valentine freebie in my TpT store by clicking on the picture below! (Keep scrolling for an EXCLUSIVE blog follower freebie!)

BUT this year, I decided to go another route. Valentines for my munchkins are inspired by this pin:

So I gathered up my supplies...
I searched in honestly 6 different stores for heart krazy straws. Even Amazon has forsaken me! They are no where to be found! :o(

Made a little tag, and assembled my easy-peasy Valentines in about 20 minutes!

I'm usually the one putting together my Valentines the night before...or worse, that morning! BUT thanks to a snow day, and some thinking ahead, I'm DONE and they're ready to be passed out!

Click here to snag this tag for your little Valentines, among many others!!

What do you do for Valentines? Do you do something different every year, or do you have an old reliable?