Sunday, August 02, 2015

TPT Love Back School Sale!

I am super excited about participating in my first Teachers Pay Teachers sale! I have been working hard this week to refresh my old products and post my new products in my store. Please check out my store on August 3-4 and receive up to 28% off!

Here is a quick overview of what you will find in my store!

I am really happy with my new teacher planners! They come in five different color schemes and contain pages for schedules, calendars, lesson plans, and more! There is also a chevron cover option for each planner. 

I updated my Penguin Tags and Posters to include penguin group posters for each of the six different species of penguins. I am continuing with my sophisticated penguin theme for my classroom this year and these are the penguins for the job!

I am also really eager to use my Homework Rewards Club pack in my classroom! I recently blogged about how to use it in the classroom and how it can increase the students' interest in homework. Check it out!

I hope you find my products helpful to your success in the classroom! Don't forget to go to my store tomorrow and Tuesday for the B2S sale!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Spin On Homework

Homework...can sometimes seem like a four letter word to a student and a teacher. I cannot tell you how many times this year I was scrambling around trying to find or make homework for my students. Many of my students do not have the consistent support at home to assist them with their homework so a fraction of my class does not come to class with their homework. We do not grade homework but it is a factor on the behavior section of their report cards. Our school does Class Dojo so I give them points when they complete their homework and take away points when they don't complete it. Needless to say, homework is frustrating for all parties involved and feels like a waste of time...

I love coffee and drink it every day. There are some days that I stop and get coffee at Dunkin Donuts (yes, I am originally a New England girl so DD is in my blood). The best thing that Dunkin Donuts has come up with is their DD Perks Rewards Program!  
You earn rewards points every time you purchase something and once you get 200 points, you get a free beverage! Each month has different offers and sometimes a purchase can be worth more points. Can I tell you how excited I get about earning my free coffee?!?! I have two free coffees waiting for me to use on a rainy day! (btw, I was not paid to endorse this product, I just really like it!)

So I was drinking my iced coffee a couple of weeks ago and had an idea...what if I used this model with homework??? It was then that my Homework Rewards Club was born! 

Homework Rewards Club is designed to be a positive system that all your students can be apart of, all the time. It's hard to watch a student forget their homework once and then they are automatically out for the reward. With this club, every student has a chance to succeed. Here's how it works...

Each student will receive a Homework Rewards Punch Card, like this one

Every time a student completes their homework, they can get their card punched. In case you are worried about students cheating and punching their own cards, you can use a stamp or bingo marker before you punch it. (Isn't the crab cute?) If you want to save paper, you can laminate them and cross the numbers off with a dry erase marker. If a student did not bring in their homework, they do not get a punch on the card but they can try again tomorrow. Once the students have filled their card, they can get a homework pass or a prize of your choice. 

I created a variety of punch cards with 7, 14, and 21 punches as well as 10, 15, and 20 punches on them. You can increase the time it will take for students to earn their prizes based on how many numbers they have. I made them in color as well as black and white.

Then to continue with the excitement, I am going to create weekly and monthly challenges. This is an opportunity for students to get multiple punches for completing a certain task. Maybe reading logs were a problem last month so this month, for every 5 days of reading you get an extra punch. We do not give out homework over the weekend but as a weekly challenge, a student could complete an extra activity over the weekend and earn an extra punch. I plan to display my weekly and monthly challenges on my homework board, along with students who have completed the challenges. I posted about my homework board last week for my Monday Made It. 

I believe this will be a fun way to motivate students to complete homework and gives everyone a chance to participate. The other students I think it will help will be my self motivated students. I had some students last year that could finish homework in five minutes or if I gave them a weekly packet, they would finish it the first night. I hope the challenges will give them a chance to shine and to be challenged. 

The biggest goal I have for myself now it to plan out homework and make it meaningful. If I don't like making the homework, the students probably don't like doing it. 

I am really excited about starting the Homework Rewards Club in my classroom and I plan on giving updates and tips on how to improve it as the year goes on. If you are interested in using this club in your classroom, my Homework Rewards Club Pack is available in my TPT store!

Monday, July 13, 2015

First Monday Made It!

Today's post is another first for me. I am linking up for

I only have one thing that I made this week but that's steps! 
Last week, I was shopping at Michael's, looking for inspiration and I found it! They had a section that was 70%, which I was completely excited about! I ended up buying a cork board that was originally 20 dollars and I got it for 8! 
I decided I was going to use the board for my Homework Rewards Club. What's that you say? Tune in to my blog tomorrow for more about it!

I went to Target and I got these cute star clothes pins that came in packs of three for one dollar. I glued thumbtacks to the back of the clothes pins so I can put them anywhere on my board. I used hot glue but it didn't stick well to the tack. Crazy glue or tacky glue would be better.

I used cut out letters to make my sign and put tacks on the back of the signs. I like the thought of moving them around whenever I need to. I used a silver sharpie to write on the clothes pins because I figured I wouldn't change what is written on them.  

This is what the board looks like with the Homework Rewards Club information on it. I will go into more detail tomorrow about what my Homework Rewards Clubs Pack includes and how to use it in your classroom!

I hope you enjoyed my Monday Made It and I hope it's the first of many for me!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

My first Currently!

Happy July! I am so excited to link up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade
for the July Currently! I have watched many bloggers participate and I am glad that I am finally joining in! I had entered a contest several months ago with Oh Boy Fourth Grade and won the class version of Currently. I did it a couple of times in class and my students had a good time with it! Anyway, here is mine!
Listening to the new Lifehouse album Out of the Wasteland. I love Lifehouse! It was a band I enjoyed listening to in high school and college. I went to a concert with my sister in college and it was great! It's nice to hear something new because it's been a while since their last album. 

Loving Summer Break! I have been on summer break for 8 days and it feels great! I had a rough group of students this year and I definitely need some time off to regroup and get ready for next year. There are still PD sessions I am going to and working on my blog but I am looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my husband and son!

Thinking about ideas for products. I am loving this TPT Seller Challenge that I am involved in! It's the jump start that I needed to get serious. I have been jotting down ideas left and right and hopefully putting them on the computer soon. 

Wanting to go to the beach. We haven't gone yet but I hope we can soon, maybe for our anniversary. The beach is about 2 or so hours away so it definitely has to be a planned trip. I am not a big beach bum but I do like going at least once during the summer.

Needing motivation to work out more. I want to be smaller but my motivation just isn't there. I would like to get on a routine with working out and eating less sweet things. 

All Star to be bold. I want to be bold with my beliefs and what I know is right even if it's not the popular choice. I would also like to be more bold with people. I tend to be a people pleaser and do what others want. I want to voice my opinions and not be afraid.

Here's to a great July!

Friday, June 26, 2015

My First Five for Friday!

I decided to link up for my first Five for Friday! 

Monday and Tuesday marked my first two days of summer and where was I?!? At school, of course! My school is a STEM school and this year on our half days, we had STEM days. Every grade has experiments that we completed with the students. The students had a blast! So Monday and Tuesday, my colleagues and I planned four days worth of STEM days for every grade. We got a lot done and I am pretty excited about the experiments my students will get to complete!

We were able to bless a family in our church by helping them move in on Tuesday night. It's been a long couple of weeks for them so to finally be in their own place was great. They had moved out of their townhouse a couple of weeks ago and stayed with us for a long weekend. They have done some house hopping until they got into their new house this week. 

I love to quilt! It's really relaxing and enjoyable. I primarily make baby blankets for my friends and family that have babies. I have probably made about 13 over the last 7 years. I made two this week because my cousins are coming to town with two babies we haven't met yet. Here are the quilts:

 I love Saved By the Bell! It was a great show that I grew up with. I have had seasons 1-4 since college but was missing season five. I found it recently at BJ's for 7.99! So when I was quilting this week, I was able to finish the whole season! It's an interesting one because half way through the season, Kelly and Jessie leave and Tori comes into the picture. I am not a huge fan of Tori but there are some good episodes like the obstacle course one. Such a great show!

My little man is 20 months old! I love this stage because he is learning and saying new things all the time. This week, when I went to pick him up from daycare, he was sitting in the four year old room playing with play dough. He was so focused on it and was enjoying every minute. I almost couldn't get him to come home with me! So when we got home, I took out our play dough. It was great to watch him interact with it!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge #2: Dare to Dream

I am really excited for TPT Seller Challenge #2 put on from these wonderful bloggers!Sparkling in Second Peppy Zesty Teacherista

Dare to Dream is a great challenge and an easy one for me! Ask me to dream with money I wish I had or hope to have one problem! My husband and I dream big every once in a while when we buy Powerball tickets. 
Here are my dreams:
#1 Pay Off Student Loans: This is a huge one! My husband and I have crazy amounts of student loans. His program was five years and mine was four years but I went to grad school as well. It would be amazing to not have the burden of paying off loans and be able to use that money for something else. We are truly thankful for the education that we got but it would be nice to not have to be paying off our education when our son goes to college!

#2 Attend the TPT Conference in Vegas: I would love for this dream to come true! I have been following bloggers for about 3-4 years now and I feel like they are all my friends. I read what is going on in their lives and classrooms and I share it with my friends and colleagues. At the same time, it's hard to watch from afar and I want to be in the action! I want to know all of these wonderful educators in real life and I want to learn from them. I want to be a part of their seminars and learn how to be a more successful blogger and teacher! 

#3 Bless My Students and Others: I have spent the last seven years teaching students in low income areas. It is hard to watch my students struggle with not having the materials, clothes, and food that they need. I tend to buy lots of supplies throughout the summer for my students but I can only afford so much. It would be great to be able to provide for my students so they can learn to the best of their ability. I would also like to bless my church. God is doing amazing things within our church and with the ministries we support. Our church's mission is "to make passionate, maturing followers of Christ from here to the nations" and they have a true heart for missions. There are many people who go on short term mission trips and it would be great to support them in their mission. 

#4 Travel With My Family: Most of my family and my husband's family don't live in Maryland. It's hard when my son doesn't get to see his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins very often because they are scattered around the country. It would be great to have the freedom to visit family when we want to. Also, I would love my son to know more about the great country we live in and be exposed to new experiences. 

I am sure that there are other things I could add to my dream list but these are the big ones. In order for these dreams to become a reality, I need to get going on my products! At least I can keep saying to myself "Dare to Dream" and I know what I am working toward!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge #1: Makeover Madness

I am so excited to join the TPT Seller Challenge hosted by Peppy Zesty TeacheristaSparkling in SecondTeach Create Motivate, and Third in Hollywood!

This year, I wanted to be serious about blogging and creating my own products. Well, it didn't turn out the way that I had hoped. Switching from first to fourth grade this year was definitely a challenge with getting to know the content. I have read many teacher blogs this year and I want to be apart of this community. This challenge comes at a perfect time where I am finished school and I can focus on creating products I can sell and use next year!

We started the challenge off with writing down our numbers. Here are my stats so far:
I have increased my Instagram by ten this week and have one follower on TPT. I know that it will take some time but it's a start.

The first challenge is to take a product from our store and make revisions to it. I chose to use the first product that I made called Monster Blends. I was teaching first grade at the time so this pack focuses on the final blends of words.

I changed the font that I used because I realized that the old font was hard for first graders to read. I also adjusted some of the graphics to make it look cleaner. I am glad I made changes because it was definitely for the better.

I am looking forward to the next challenge and how it will help me be a better blogger!