July 25, 2014

100 FB Likes=Thank You Sale!!!

I'm so excited! I've reached 100 Likes on Facebook. Thank you so much everyone for following! So as a thank you, I'm holding a sale over on my TPT Store. Thanks for following and using my products!

I love knowing that we're all sharing ideas and helping each other out! It makes teaching so much easier when we have support!

Oh, also...a cool thing happened the other day. I had been toying with making a business card for my TPT Store, and have since made one. I was at Office Depot getting my posters laminated for the classroom and buying card-stock to print my business cards on. So I was waiting for my posters to be laminated and I was looking through my new lesson planner that I had them bind. This girl came up and said she liked my planner and I told her that I make them and sell them. She said, "on TPT?" Why yes! She then asked if I had a business card for my store!!! I told her it was in the process, but I had a work card so I wrote my store address on the back of my work card. How cool is that?! So here is how it turned out:

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the sale!

July 23, 2014

Icebreakers for Middle and High School students

Part of having a great classroom environment is having students that know and respect each other. I like to start off the new school year by doing nothing but icebreakers the first day.

I know, I know...a wasted day. I used to think that, until I tried this method. I used to go over the syllabus and rules and all that the first day. Then I decided to have "fun" the first day back. What a difference I saw. Kids were leaving the classroom talking about the games and were excited to come back.

I also usually do a small one on the second day too.

So I've come up with 10 Icebreakers that Middle and High School students will actually do! [They're all tested ;)] Each icebreaker has directions and helpful hints. Some have pictures and some have links to YouTube videos for reference.

Here's a few ideas!!

Feel free to head over to my TPT Store and download your copy of the 10 Icebreakers for the first week of school :)

July 18, 2014


Happy Friday ya'll!!! I've got a FREEBIE for ya! Woo hoo!

As you know, I teach an English Support class [that I created] and we do CAHSEE [California High School Exit Exam] prep and review English concepts at a slower pace. My friend does a binder check for her junior high class she teaches, but I wasn't doing one.

I have decided that my lower level high school kids NEED this. They are not organized, have a million papers in their backpacks that look like a bomb exploded in it, NEVER have pens or pencils, etc. So, I'm going to implement the Binder Check this year.

I am going to do a Binder Check every Friday [maybe every other Friday] instead of once a month because we have accelerated courses at my school and each class is only a semester long [except for Math]. If I only do one a month, they'll be 1/3 done with the course when we start!

Anyway, so after seeing a few different examples, I've made my own that I think will work for my high schoolers. It's FREE....so head on over to my TPT Store and download it :)

Here's a preview:

Happy planning for the new school year everyone!

July 15, 2014

Back to School Planner/Organizer

I know, I know...Back to School. But if you think about it...this is perfect timing.

If you do "backward planning" and look at what needs to be done [in a reasonable amount of time], this is just about when you need to start thinking about back to school. Yes NEED.

I can't take full credit for this idea...my boyfriend was trying to help me come up with ideas and he mentioned a Summer School Planner. I told him that people usually have a set schedule for summer school, but then we morphed that into a Back to School Planner. I told him that teachers don't like to plan over the summer, but he said "well you do". And I thought about that.

I DO like to plan over the summer so that I'm NOT stressed when the new school year starts. So I did some backward planning and decided that 6 weeks out is a very generous amount of time to start planning. Starting so far out will allow you to just do a little each week and still have time for summer fun! Or you could take my 6 weeks of checklists and cram them into the last 3 weeks if you want ;)

So here's a preview of what I came up with for my Back to School Planner/Organizer:

You get June, July, and August calendars. They are purposely left blank so that you can just re-print the months next year.

So this is a sample of the checklist for each week. Shown above is Week 6: items you need to complete this week, a place to check them off [I LOVE checking off items on a To Do List], and a space for anything else you'd like to add. 

There is a checklist for each week-Week 5,4,3,2,1, and there is a checklist for the weekend before school starts. 

All you need to do is print the Planner, staple or bind it, and start checking off the boxes and you'll be good to go when school starts!

Happy Planning!!

July 14, 2014

Back to School in a month

I know, I know...I said a bad word. "Back to School" should not be spoken during the summer, but I have to go back in four weeks. So I'm slowly starting to organize everything that I'll need and go through some checklists.

Today was actually foggy/gloomy/rainy [VERY odd for SoCal], so it was a perfect day to do nothing and catch up on my DVR'd shows. But tomorrow I'm going to start organizing and making lists...isn't that what we all say?? And we say that for everything too...diets, exercise, cleaning the house, etc. LOL Oh well...I really will do it.

Yesterday my boyfriend helped me brainstorm some ideas for my TPT store...he was so cute trying to help and really showing an interest in my desire to help other teachers with good products. :)

So I'm working on some First Day/Week of School ice-breakers, some organizers/checklists, and some freebies :) Hopefully some will be out soon!

But the great news is that the Common Core Novel Study SmashBook is selling really well and people seem to like it! Yay!!! Thank you all for believing in my products :)

Talk soon!

July 8, 2014

Feeling Guilty...Why??

Hello blogger friends! Hope you all are enjoying summer!!!

It's been a few days since I've done any work for school....and I'm feeling guilty! Why is that?? This is summer and I earned this time off, right?! Yet I can't help feeling guilty for taking a few days off.

Maybe it's because so many other people are still working and I am VERY aware of that. Yet I know so many teachers and we're all not working right now. :/ My first two years of teaching I taught summer school and that made me feel more productive...granted I couldn't really take a vacation, but I didn't have the money for that anyway.

So the last few years I've spent the summer re-doing unit plans, lesson plans, coming up with new ideas for the classroom, decorations, and recently, making TPT items for my store. And so if I take a few days off from that, I feel really guilty.

Maybe I need to stop letting the opinions of others seep into my thoughts...like those that complain that teachers don't work the whole year and "get summers off". I always felt like I had to prove something to them. But I don't! When I break it down, I do more than most people do in a year, and I do it in 9.5 months!

During the school year:
-I teach 4/4 [no prep on an accelerated school schedule]
-Coach Softball [Used to coach cheer which was 11 months each year]
-Am a BTSA Support Provider for new teachers
-Often sit on 1 or 2 committees a year
-Oh....and I grade approx 700 essays per school year...each taking ~10 min...sometimes 5 min if it's a mini paper...yeah...that's a lot of time!

Yet I still feel judged for not working during the summer. I think this is a big lesson in letting things go. I need to let go of other people's judgment issues and know that I work hard. I will continue to work on my TPT stuff and new lesson plans for next year, knowing that I will be ready when the school year starts. That will have to be enough.

My job is enough.
The work I do is enough.
I am enough.

July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday 'Merica Sale

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hopefully you all are enjoying the sun, the beach/pool, and some good food today!!

To celebrate, I'm holding a sale over at my TPT Store and hope you can stop by!

Perhaps this will be a chance to get a Classroom Theme pack for next year, or check out the new Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook

So enjoy your day of freedom, and be sure to thank a person in the military because we are the Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

July 1, 2014

July Currently-Happy Bday America!

July 2014....where does the time go? I LOVE Summer....the sleeping in, the reading of non-school books, enjoying the sun, the Del Mar Fair. It's all awesome. And once again, joining up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently. Love the patriotic theme :)

Listening: I am a country girl at heart and love country music...not the old, old, stuff...but 80's on ;) And some Johnny Cash :)

Loving: 7 or 8am is unheard of during the school year...I am in heaven.

Thinking: I have been working out 2-3 days a week the past few weeks, and even though it's summer and I'm not on a tight schedule...it's just such a hassle. You have to shower after, hair, make-up...annoying ;)

Wanting: I guess I need to do the workout for this to happen ;) LOL

Needing: I am not teaching the Holocaust unit in class this year [doing the at home novel study instead], so I need to start creating my new Writing unit.

4th Plans: The man is out of town, so I'll probably jet over to my parents' for a mini BBQ. I love turkey burgers....yummy!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th!!!!