Thursday, July 30, 2015

Texas Sized Link-Up! Meet the Teacher!

Get ready for Back to School with this Texas sized Linky party FULL of items you just can't live without! Below, you've got the chance to win one of my favorite Back to School necessities- my Editable Open House signs! These are SO versatile and can be used for Back to School, Open House, or Orientation (really, whatever your school calls it)! They are a PowerPoint format and can be customized with any "stations" that you could possibly need.

Open House can always be pure madness with so many parents coming and going and so many different things to be completed. To corral the chaos, I made signs that led my students and parents around the room so I knew they completed each thing that was required. The first "station" was myself and my co-teacher greeting each parent and child as they entered. We then directed them to the first station and they were on their way! This format worked out great because everyone had the opportunity to meet us, complete the necessities, and chat with us on their way back out. Here are some pictures from my Open House last year!

I used binder clips to hold up each sign. Minimal work involved! When the event ended, I unclipped the signs, stacked them up, and stored them in my file cabinet. Easy peasy!

I used the "Giving Tree" sign to create a space on my board where parents could pick up an apple with a wish-list item on it if they wanted to. This was completely voluntary!

Last, but not least, I had some treats waiting for my new student's and their parents at the end of the Meet the Teacher "loop."

While the pictures I have are few,  (I *might* have the tendency to run around like a crazy person making sure that I didn't forget anything before these events) I hope you get an idea of how I made these signs work in my room. They can actually be used as a Power Point Presentation, too! If there is any time to get off to a good, organized start with parents, it is most definitely at the beginning of the year.

ALSO included in this pack are some basic Meet the Teacher/Open House/Orientation forms. I included a Sign-In Sheet, Transportation Form, and Parent Contact cards- all things that I use in my classroom for Meet the Teacher. Many times, student transportation is different on the very first day of school, so I like to have it written down by the parents so there are no errors that first day!

As for the Parent Contact Cards, I print them on cardstock, hole punch, and ring them all together. It gives me a quick reference if I need a phone number or some sibling information!

Be sure to enter for a chance to win these awesome, editable cards below!
If it's not your lucky day, you can check them out here!

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Friday, July 3, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge- Dare to Dream!

Well, this summer is shaping up quite differently then the last! Each day has been jam packed + we just got back from our cross country road trip with our really good friends, Britney and Travis. (Britney is a teacher, too! We only made 1 Target stop in the 3,663 miles that we drove... Amazing, right??) We drove through six states, not including the driving we put in to get out of Texas! We spent time at Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton N.P., and Yellowstone! It was an amazing trip that deserves it's own post once I narrow down the pictures I want to share with you! Here's a sneak peek of just one amazing thing we did...

Since summer has been such a whirlwind (I mean- it's JULY for crying out loud!), I have been seriously slacking on the TpT Seller Challenge. It was completely not my intention, but when you're prepping for 8 days of limited phone service, you handle the life priorities first (bills paid, hotels booked, groceries bought?). If it makes you feel better, I did actually finish my Dare to Dream before I left, but I walked out the door about 15 minutes later... No time to write a the blog to go along with it! But here it is...

Dream #1: Some of you may have caught on to the fact that I work at a Title school. My first year teaching, I had picked up a few odds and ends in terms of supplies, not really knowing what I would need to have ready for my kiddos. We spent a little bit of our first day of school organizing supplies and one sweet student, brand new to Texas and dropped off an hour after school had started, had absolutely nothing. No backpack. No pencils, paper, crayons, markers... nothing. So spending time organizing supplies was agonizing for her. I will never forget those tiny tears. And I will never let another one of my student's feel the way she did that morning in my classroom. So every year I keep extra everything on hand. You name it, I've got a fresh, unopened pack of it, ready to be claimed by a student in need. But obviously, this takes some fundage. Our sweet counselors do supply a bit, but a lot of it is used. I remember the stigma of having the used supplies, the hand-me-down clothes... I was that kid, and I won't let me students suffer through it, so I'll gladly foot the bill!

Dream #2: If you've checked out my Pinterest (Check it out here!), then you've probably seen my board called BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS. I have a book buying PROBLEM. Fortunately, my husband doesn't see my Amazon Credit Card statement. I just love a good book. Any kind of book. Influencing my students to read and actually enjoy it, is pretty much my #1 motive for the entire year. So I will buy whatever they seem to enjoy reading. You name it, it's probably in my collection! Need recommendations? Hit me up!! So in terms of dreaming about books, being on TeachersPayTeachers and offering my creations to others, helps cover that outrageous credit card bill.


Dream #3: While I don't blog about every vacation my hubby and I take, I do have a serious passion for experiencing other places and being a part of other cultures. I feel like it makes me a more well-rounded person. Traveling provides me with more experiences to speak from as a teacher. I am always spotting schools and watching how things are done in other places.

(RANDOM FLASHBACK WARNING: Hubs and I walked through the gardens near the Louvre in Paris and a group of children were running laps through the garden with their P.E. Coach. What an amazing way to grow up!) 

Our next mega vacation *fingers crossed & prayers sent* is supposed to be Russia in 2018 for the next World Cup. We had an amazing time in Brazil and going to Russia would allow us to see more soccer games AND to experience the history and culture that Russia has to offer. We would probably tie this into an Eastern European trip as well... but it takes money to make these kind of things happen. Just another place where TpT comes into play!


Dream #4: There are SO many reasons why I like love this digital life I have created for myself. I am very crafty and creative and can spend small fortunes in Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. so taking this creativity and making it digital has probably saved me some money! I would be beyond thrilled for this to become my "full time job" or at least allow me to stay at home for a few years when the hubs and I decide to grow our family beyond our furbabies! I am also considering starting an Etsy store, for all my digital, non-Education related, creations. I have been whipping up different posters, invitations, note cards, etc. that I would love to share with others, and Etsy seems like a great possibility for doing just that!

Look out for a post full of vacation pictures coming soon!! :)