How to Celebrate Student Birthdays - Quick and Easy - with a FREEBIE!


We are officially back to work this coming week. What in the world happened to summer!

I've been running around like a crazy person trying to get some last minute things together. ---->New district curriculum = a whole lot of tubs! I cannot tell you how many tubs I've purchased and filled over the last few days. I think I am officially over tubs! They are no longer cute and fun - but rather tedious and just never the perfect size! I've said, "Nope... not gonna work." far too often lately. Thankfully, I can finally see the light at the end of that tunnel.

Anyhoo, as I've been getting things ready I have been implementing a few changes again this year. I'll share them over the next few weeks. Let's start with birthdays.


2016 Teacher Meet Up


Our 2016 Teacher Meet Up in Orlando was so much fun. This was our 5th year hosting and thanks to our very generous event sponsors (Teachers Pay TeachersGoNoodle, and many others) over 700 hundred teachers enjoyed a night filled with hugs, laughter, and of course prizes! This meet up would not have been possible without the support of all our 2016 Teacher Meet Up Sponsors. 

THANK YOU!

Please take a look at all our generous sponsors, see the prizes they donated, and give them some love for supporting teachers!! 

Click any of the images to visit our Orlando Teacher Meet Up sponsor sites.

#2016OrlandoMeetUp - See You There!!

In LESS THAN ONE MONTH we'll be getting ready for our biggest event of the year, the annual Teacher Meet-Up! Here's what you need to know:

Our Teacher Meet-Up is moving to.... Sunny Orlando, Florida! July 13th at 6pm. #2016orlandomeetup This will be our 5th annual teacher blogger meet up. If you've ever joined us before, you know there will be lots of fun, lots of laughing, and lots of prizes to give away! Thanks to our main sponsor TeachersPayTeachers

Here's a shot of some of the fabulous teachers who came out last year! Check out more pictures from our 2012 and 2013 and 2014 meet ups!  
At last year's meet up we gave away hundreds of prizes and this year will be no exception! We have lots of surprises in store for this meet up, so PLEASE join us!

(A peek at last year's prizes. All donated by our awesome sponsors!)


We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!   *All teachers are invited to this meet-up! You do not need to have a blog to attend this special event! *You can RSVP on our official Facebook event page: HERE! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can RSVP by commenting on this post. *Please don't be shy! Every year we have people who are worried about not knowing anyone. This is a great opportunity to say hi to some of your favorite teacher-bloggers, as well as meet new friends and connect with teachers from all over! *Please download the name tag template HERE. *The meet up will be held at The Swan and Dolphin Resort, but the actual conference room number will be posted closer to the meet up. Follow ourFacebook event page to get updates on the exact location. We are super excited for our trip this year and know that this Teacher Meet Up will be the best one yet!!
Here are the meet-up organizers from last year!
I can't wait to see ya'll in sunny Orlando!

No Time to Reinvent the Wheel! I Appreciate You!


You work hard.

Your day is comprised of SO much more than teaching curriculum. Instilling smarts into your little peep's minds is just a fraction of your job.

This career path is not easy. But no one said it would be. We definitely didn't choose this avenue in life for it's ease.

It IS amazingly rewarding! Even if that reward is not a financial one.

Teaching speaks to your creativity and enthusiasm. It answers your need to help and spread love and compassion.

The dedication it requires leaves you exhausted, yet fulfilled.

The only thing it doesn't offer is time. There simply is never enough time. The struggle is real.

Writing and Grammar Assessments SIMPLIFIED


Grading writing can be a cumbersome process. Often the tools teachers are given to assist in this feat are lacking, unclear, or simply make things more difficult than seems necessary.

My colleagues and I have struggled with poor writing rubrics FOR.EV.ER.  Poor rubrics have absolutely been our greatest challenge in grading student writing.

Then I decided enough was enough.

S'more Syllable Fun - Use Your Jaw!



Do your kids ever do this? Time and time again I find that my little peeps struggle when they try to "clap the syllables" or tap their "head/shoulders/hips" to find the syllables. They've been taught this technique by previous teachers and it works ok. But when you're a beginning reader and are just diving into the craziness that is PHONICS, those techniques aren't very accurate. It can make things a little difficult when you are trying to sound out words.

Write About It!

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration to spark a whole lot of creativity.

Some of the most fun "writing prompts" I use in class are picture prompts. The wackier, the better!

The pictures allow for the kids to provide a lot of detail and interesting "facts" describing the what and the why of each picture.

I add fun pictures that I find online to one of my boards on Pinterest.

Reflections of 2015

I cannot believe it's time for our annual reflections linky party!

I honestly cannot believe it's already mid December. But I'll take it! Yay for winter break and no alarm clock!

Kristin, Hadar and I are reflecting on our favorite things for 2015 and hope you join us! Here are a few of my favorite memories of 2015.

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