Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just a little overwhelmed....

Anyone else feel like they could use a personal assistant? And I'm not even talking about the  dishes, laundry, & cooking here at home (although it would be MARvelous to have an assistant for that! Hint! Hint! Mr. PrimaryInspired!). Am I the only one who is feeling positively, absolutely
& exhausted 
this year? 
It's NOT just me .... right? It seems like we just have so many new things on our shoulders this year: new assessments to administer, new instructional strategies that are to be implemented, new meetings we're expected to attend, not to mention a new state assessment to administer (which we have not seen)....just too many news to keep track of! 
You too?

Phew! Just a little...stressed, I'd say. I've decided the prescription to combat this feeling of being overwhelmed comes in just two words:
I snapped a picture of my desk as I left my classroom this evening. If this isn't a sign of someone who needs organization & balance, I don't know what is! 

One of my first steps toward overcoming this stress is to tame this disorganized mess! Umm...how can you not feel overwhelmed when you're faced with this each day? My good friend, Jen, over at 4mula Fun has an awesome series on her blog about organization. I've gotten some great ideas for getting my classroom under control. I am so looking forward to getting in there & whipping it back into shape.
Now. As far as balance......I have some ideas, but I admit that I need some more ideas! 
How do you achieve balance? How do you balance everything that's expected of you & keep all of the plates spinning successfully? Please share below! I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First Day Back -- Now a Snow Day & BIG SALE!

Cuh.RA.Zy! Today was our first day back. So happy to see my kiddos! Then - SURPRISE! - Snow day tomorrow! You know what we always say....."There's SNOW better way to spend a day than with a $1 Sale!". Make sure to stay with me til the end to see all the terrific products that are on sale! There are over 100!!

So. First day back. We had a great day...got lots of things done (but not everything -- am I the only one that happens to?)

We made sure to disinfect our classroom. We had SO much illness before Christmas with 25% of my kiddos out -- including ME -- those last two weeks before break, I am on a mission to keep us as all as healthy as we can! Did you see my post about staying healthy in & out of the classroom? Here are some of the things I started doing TODAY:

  • Made sure to keep my drink away from kid areas like my small group table.
  • Moved the community tissues AWAY from my desk.
  • Disinfected the handles to the cabinets & the classroom door.
  • Washed my hands even more than I already did.
  • Disinfected our classroom tables.
  • Moved dry erase markers to containers that only I can access for only me to use.

Wish we were back in school tomorrow...I had have so much planned for us to do! But that's okay...it gives my Indiana blogger friends & I a chance to bring you all a little fun! It seems we're all either home Wednesday on a 2-hour delay or a snow day, so we thought.....you know what? "There's SNOW better way to spend a day than with a DOLLAR SALE!"....so let's have one! So here ya go....over 100 products all marked down to just one dollar! Wednesday & Thursday only, you can grab all of these for just $1!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 10 Posts of 2014

Without further ado.....
# 10 Colorize Your Classroom

#9 Guided Math Conferences

#8 Movies to Get Brains Moving!

#7 Busy Week!

#6 Shark Week!
(Pssst!! There are FREEBIES here!)

#5 Set Up a Classroom FAST!

#4 Puzzles for Centers?!

#3 Racing Thru Those 'Laps' - Elapsed Time

#2 Make Your Life Easier

#1 Talk So Kids Will Listen

Monday, December 29, 2014

Stay Healthy In & Out of the Classroom

Ugh...during the month of December, what started as a pretty mean sinus infection segued into a bout of pneumonia. I felt like I was functioning in survival mode for the entire month...& ended up having to be out of my classroom for SIX days right before Christmas break. December was kind of a bust....the holidays happened. That's about all I can say about that. haha!

During the last two weeks of school, 25% of my kiddos were also out sick. Notice a pattern? Yeah....for all of our sakes, it's time to pay attention to staying healthy in & out of the classroom. I scoured the internet, & asked real teachers for their own tips & tricks....

1. Stock up on antibacterial wipes, Lysol, & even latex gloves. Make sure to check your district's policy on antibacterail wipes & hand sanitizer. Consider sending home a note asking for donations from families!
2. Declutter! It's much easier to wipe down a clear surface.
3. Lysol all tables, desks, & surfaces daily. Don't forget doorknobs, faucet handles, or cabinet handles!
4. Wipe down computer keyboards, headphones, & telephone with antibacterial wipes. Wear latex gloves when using antibacterial wipes...the solution can soak into your skin & kills the good along with the bad bacteria. Your body needs the good bacteria to fight off illness.
5. Use latex gloves when cleaning areas in your classroom....especially areas like student desks or workstations.
6. Place tissues & hand sanitizer in multiple places around the room, near trash cans, for easy access for your students' use.

1. Never use the same tissues as your students. Keep the community tissue box away from your desk. Put it in another area so that coughs & sneezes don't land in your area. Establish
2. Never use students' pencils, crayons, or scissors. Consider wearing an apron in which to store your supplies, or purchasing a lanyard pen.
3. Don't allow students to use YOUR materials. Your scissors, pens, markers, & dry erase markers should be OFF LIMITS to students. Keep a basket of dry erase markers near your easel or whiteboard for student use (just make sure to routinely disinfect these!)
4. Never touch your face during the school day. Don't rub your eyes, scratch your nose, etc. It's a hard habit to break...but so important to do!
5. Make sure to keep your water bottle or cup away from student areas. Don't bring it with you to your small group table where kiddos may cough near it!
6. Wear latex gloves when sharpening student pencils.

1. Teach kiddos to cough or sneeze in their elbows instead of their hands. The material will stop the spread of droplets, which contain germs. Since the inside of the elbow rarely touches other surfaces, the likelihood of spreading germs is greatly reduced. By the way...did you know that research shows when someone coughs or sneezes in their hands, germs can live on the palms for UP TO 3 HOURS?!
2. Modify morning greetings so that kiddos aren't shaking hands. Maybe a fist bump or a silly elbow shake?
3. Teach kiddos to keep their hands away from their nose, eyes, or mouths. When you notice a child touching his/her face, give a gentle reminder, & have him/her go wash their hands.
4. Make it a habit to have kiddos wash their hands any time they enter the room. Kiddos are exposed to a wide variety of items that have been touched by others in playgrounds, cafeterias, gym class, & other common areas.

1. Wash your hands often. Hand sanitizer will kill bacteria...but does nothing against viruses. A good old hand washing with soap & water will wash away viruses.
2. Wash your hands & arms up to your elbows with hot water & soap as soon as you get home. This will prevent you from bringing home germs that will make your family sick.
3. Change your clothes as soon as you get home so you don't spread germs from school around your home.
4. Drink plenty of water daily. Staying hydrated is crucial to your health. Just make sure to keep your water away from areas where it could be exposed to germs from coughs or sneezes.
5. Get plenty of rest! Getting enough sleep each night helps your body fight off those germs & viruses.
6. Consider getting a flu shot each year.
7. Take a good daily multi-vitamin.
8. Consider looking into essential oils. Many teachers swear by them & diffuse them in their classrooms and homes every day.

Any other tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them!!

Plan & Stock Up!

Raise your hand if you've already started your planning for the next semester! Me, too! I'm excited about the things we've got coming up, & I'm anticipating tweaking a few things, & even adding a couple things to our day.

Now is a great time to get ready for those new plans & stock up on resources......there are some fabulous bloggers who are doing the same.....& we've all put our entire stores on SALE!

Ready to fill your cart & get ready for those new plans you've got swirling in your head?!
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Secret Santa!

I am so excited to get a chance to do a gift exchange with some of my spectacular bloggy friends. I know I've said it before...but bloggers really are the best kind of people! If you ever have an opportunity to go to a bloggy meet up....GO! Anyway -- I was excited to have the opportunity to join in this Christmas gift swap.

Check out the swag my Secret Santa, Stuckey in Second, sent to me!! All of my faves!

PaperMate Flair Pens!! My favORite!
Super fun ink pens! Love, love!
Positively perfect Post-Its is all shapes & sizes! Wahoo!
Do you see those giant paper clips? Can't wait to use those babies!
Peppermint tea....which has been perfect since I've been home sick for SIX days...yes. SIX days.
And see all those mini PB cups? My all time favorite (& I won't tell you that there were actually more of them before I took the pic! haha!)

A BIG thank you to Allison for being such a great Secret Santa!! Everything was just perfect!! 

I'm just hoping I did as good a job finding gifts for my person....
Check out all the fun below...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

On the First Day of Christmas....

On the First Day of Christmas,
my blogging friends gave to me....

some great resources almost for free!
Well.....just a DOLLAR, actually! (I was trying to rhyme with me.....see what I did there? haha)

There are some super deals here, peeps! I've filled my cart....left feedback...going back for more!

Today only, you can grab these from my store for just a dollar...

 Make sure you don't miss out on any of the other fab deals!