25 Days of Giveaways - My Turn!

Hey y'all!!

My Sparkies and I have been working hard to give you 25 Days of Giveaways, and today it's my turn!

I'm giving away one of my FAVORITE things - $10 to Dunkin' Donuts! If you're headed back to school on Monday, you're definitely going to need a pick-me-up, and if you're already off like me why not use it to treat yourself while you're out shopping??

Hop on over to enter --- you only have 24 hours!

See you there!

Uncommonly Awesome Gifts for Co-Workers

How many of you are still shopping for Christmas presents like me? I refuse to stress out over Christmas this year. I am going to do as much shopping as possible from the comfort of my couch. :)

So when the folks at Uncommon Goods contacted me about a sponsored post, I was really excited. When I started to click around on their site I realized I had shopped with them last year --- and the year before that, too!

One of the things I love about Uncommon Goods is that they are dedicated to selling products that are do not cause harm to people or animals. They ask their suppliers to be socially and environmentally responsible, and they make sure to do the same thing themselves. 

Let me show you some of my *favorite* things I found while I was shopping for this year's gifts!


As much as I used to enjoy being crafty and baking for others at the holidays, I just don't have time this year. Not even a little bit. Maybe next year when my little man is a little bigger. So this year I've been on the hunt for some gifts I can give to my teammates at work that don't break the bank. Here are a few of my favorites from Uncommon Good's Co-Workers Collection...


I love the set of Pop Top glasses. Split them up as individual gifts by filling them with candy and  a matching flair pen. Best of all - they're on SALE! The staple-free staplers and iPhone Charger Sticker sets would also be easy-to-split purchases that would make fun and unique gifts for your teammates.

Also, Percy the Pencil Porcupine?? I die.Can you imagine this in your classroom?? I used to buy a "class gift" and if I was still in the classroom, this would definitely be this year's winner. ;-) 

Last year, I found the perfect stocking stuffer for my husband AND my brother-in-law.

My husband keeps ticket stubs from just about every event that he's ever been to. When we met, he put them all in a shoe box. Every. Single. One. When I saw the ticket stub diary, I knew it was perfect for him! Friends, it kept him busy for HOURS one night while he organized them chronologically. Do you know how many episodes of Gilmore Girls I watched in peace??? You're welcome. ;-)


This year, I'm thinking about a Solar Powered Phone Charger and a Hobo Roll Stuff Sack for his hiking adventures. However, he just pointed out the razor sharpener and a wooden beer caddy... perfect for BYOB parties!

They also have their inventory organized by gifts for the family if you're still looking for someone!

Here are a few more finds I discovered for my littlest man, my sisters, and maybe even ME!

My little guy has a sock monkey nursery, so when I saw the sock monkey blanket I may or may not have *squealed*! He's also a big fan of learning to hold a crayon these days, and the Playon Crayons are perfect for his little fingers! Also pictured: chalkboard placemats, construction plate set, and shapes tablet game.

Do you SEE the family cameo portrait?? That would make SUCH a good grandparent gift! It makes me want one for my house too --- those are PRECIOUS!

For my sisters, I'm loving the upcycled sari jewelry roll. I really like that each one is unique so that we can tell them all apart.

I'm definitely getting a set of those baby milestone cards --- only for my sister it'll have to be the TWINS set. How cool are those?? No more sticker fights with the baby!!

Now get your shop on! I'm ready to click "checkout" on those baby milestone cards and a few other goodies as well!!

Christmas Task Card FREEBIE! NEW!

People, it is Sunday.

My pile is WAAAAY too high, but I have an amazing husband who has entertained our baby, done laundry, and kept me sane so that I could bring you a brand new freebie.


There are twelve task cards covering addition and subtraction with 2 and 3 digit numbers. I've also added a recording sheet you can use. Put them on a ring at a math center, or if your kids are like mine, spread them out around the room and hallway and LET THEM MOVE. ;-) All the sugar bugs in the world are in your classroom right now, am I right? I swear they are all eating gingerbread men for breakfast.


You could also put out 4 different cards each day for 3 days. Break up the work, but they still get extra practice and you can collect it for a grade if you need to!

Hope this is a fun new freebie that's helpful for you. Click on any of the pictures above to grab it from TpT. Leave some love for me in the feedback!


Sharing Sunday: December FREEBIES and More!

Hey there!

The bloggers of The Primary Peach are back again for Sharing Sunday! There are SO MANY goodies collected in each post. Make sure you check them all out! 

My collection of literacy resources this month will be perfect for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade friends.To find out how to grab any of the freebies and products in the pictures below, just click on any of the pictures.


I love freebies that work well as a whole group lesson and small group practice - and both of the freebies listed above can do that! I also highlighted a new game I released last week. My RtI sight word kiddos are LOVING it! 

There are also a couple of comprehension freebies I found. I really love Jessica's Christmas Comprehension pack. You'll be able to use it all month long. Her post on unwrapping a book each day is also really brilliant! Click on the picture to check it out! 

This gingerbread resource pack is FULL of content you can use for a week or more! Reading fluency, comprehension, book lists, grammar centers --- it's all there! 

I start moving into adjectives and verb tenses in December. I also make sure to review nouns and action verbs so that when we come back from Christmas break the kids haven't "lost" as much! :) 

 Writing is one of my favorite things to teach in December. There are SO MANY fun freebies out there. These are a few of my favorites!


December is also a great time to promote kindness! Teaching Maddeness and Everyone DeServes to Learn also have great blog posts and freebies on bringing your classroom elf into the mix! And of course, Rachel Lynette's "Would You Rather?" questions are my favorite part of morning meeting!


I hope you've come away with some great ideas for next month! Make sure to visit The Primary Peach and check out what my other friends have for you!


7 Apps That Save My Mama Sanity!

Hey Mamas!

Today I am blogging about life as a mama over at See Mama Teach. Life with this little toot is so much fun! 

I have 7 apps for you that make our life together a little easier and little happier. If you're interested, click any of the pictures in this post to travel over and join us! 

See you there!

See Mama Teacher

Sharing Sunday: Planning for November!

Hey peeps!

I can't believe it's almost November! Why do I already feel behind on Christmas shopping??!! :)

I'm getting together today with my Primary Peach friends to help you plan for the month ahead. Our posts are packed with FREEBIES, tips, and teaching ideas for November! We call it Sharing Sunday and I hope you'll join us!

My collection of teaching ideas is great for 2nd and 3rd grade teacher friends. If that doesn't fit you, check out some of the links below --- I know that there will be something for everyone today! To find out how to grab any of the freebies and products in the pictures below, just click on any of the pictures.

I love to read seasonal books with my kiddos. My year-to-year favorites include The Ugly Pumpkin (early November), The Candy Corn Contest (late October through November), A Turkey for Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving Is... (nonfiction!). There are also several freebies here perfect for Reader's Workshop!

I spend a good week working through the activities in The Ugly Pumpkin. If you're looking for a fun read-aloud for the first week in November, make sure you check it out! There's even a fun writing craftivity included!

Got verbs?? I combed through Thanksgiving resources on TpT and found these two gems! They are PERFECT for introducing and assessing your kiddos' verb knowledge. I'm also including a link to my newly updated Apply the Adjective game! Your kids will LOVE playing and you will love the adjectives and descriptive phrases you start to see pop up in their writing!

Just a few fun freebies to close out this party. :) I LOVE Rachel Lynette's Would You Rather questions for my morning meeting --- and my kids do too!! There's also a gratitude journal I gave to my kids at the end of each week. It was a fun in class quick write (or time filler??) and I loved it so much I brought it back at least once a month. Their responses could be funny, sweet, or sad --- but I loved the feedback they gave me and the "peek" I got into their lives at home.

I hope you've come away with some great ideas for next month! Make sure to visit The Primary Peach and check out what my other friends have for you!


My Fall Favorites + a Fun FREEBIE + a Giveaway!!

Hey y'all!!

If you haven't been by The Primary Peach lately, you need to GET MOVING! We've been posting freebies every day this month, AND we're having giveaways all month long for $50 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers or Amazon --- winner's choice!


I've got my own brand spankin' new fall freebie for you that's just in time for Halloween! If you'd like to grab a copy for yourself, click on the picture below! Don't forget to enter our giveaway while you're there!!


It's super simple to prep and your kiddos will love playing as we inch closer and closer to Halloween!

See you soon!

5 Halloween Books Your Kids Will LOVE!

Who loves to read to their students??

((Waves hand wildly in the air))

Who loves to read books the same books to their students that they heard last year?

----Insert awkward silence.----

Seriously. Is there anything that takes the wind out of your sails more?? You have a book you're SO excited to share with your kiddos, only to hear...

"We read that last year!"

After a couple of lessons like this, I made it my goal to have a collection of seasonal books that my students hadn't read before.I also included their familiar favorites in my classroom library, but I did my best to make sure I had original read-alouds for my lessons!

So today, I'd love to share a few of my October favorites with you. Click on any of the pictures below to learn a little bit more about each book.

I love using this book to teach students about schema, misconceptions, and adding in new information from the books we read. Halloween can be full of misconceptions in our classrooms, and Gail Gibbons does a beautiful job of relaying factual information about this time of year. It is a longer text, so I would caution you not to try and read it all in one sitting with your kids. If you're looking for a shorter text, she also has a book called Halloween that is much simpler and more appropriate for K-2 students.

Hands down, this is my favorite chapter book to read aloud to my kiddos during the month of October. I am a BIG FAN of the Herdmans and their antics. There are 2 other books about the Herdmans - The Best Worst School Year Ever and The Best Worst Christmas Pageant Ever. Classics, but luckily my kids had never heard of them until they came to me! :)

This is not a book for teachers who do not enjoy reading aloud. So I am pretending that those teachers do not exist. I'm pretty sure I became a teacher just so I could read to my kiddos! This is such a fun story to read out loud - lots of rhyme, dialogue, and rhythm. Dig in!!
This is definitely one of my top 2 favorites for October. I really love that I can tie it into the 7 Habits - Begin With the End in Mind and Synergize. It's also great for teaching students about character traits, motivations, and actions. My only "sad trombone" for this book is that I *think* it's out of print. I've always been able to grab copies from Amazon for pretty cheap when I need them. It is definitely a well-loved, well-read book in our room! 
Last, but not least, my absolute favorite! The Ugly Pumpkin!! I seriously cannot wait to read this to my kids every year. In fact, I'm already bothering my friends to let me come and read it to their classes this year. The last page makes me belly laugh every year. I love that because this story starts after Halloween has happened, you can use this book through the first few days of November. It's a great book with lots of opportunities to discuss compassion, friendship, and empathy!
I also have a pack from last year I made that goes perfectly with it! 
Click me to see more!

There are lots of response options for character traits, character actions, and summaries. There are also lots of activities you can use to boost vocabulary - mystery phrase (word scramble), rhyming words, and more! There's even a writing activity and matching craft. Click on the picture above to check it out!

I hope you've found at least one new fun title to try in your room in the days ahead! Let me know if you have a new title I might need to add to my Amazon wishlist!! :)

The Brag Board {An October Bright Idea}

This bright idea comes to you courtesy of my favorite teaching partner, M. I was walking by her room last week, and saw this on the wall by her door. I had to stop and ask!

M said she kept running across student work that she wanted to celebrate and highlight, but it didn't fit her standards boards or thematic displays. So, she found a space outside her room where she could put student work up and just brag on her students. The students know why the work is there, she and her para celebrate and make a big to-do when they put a new piece up, but what I really love is why the work is there.

Students deserve recognition. Outside of writing pieces that have page-long rubrics attached to them. They deserve celebrations for things that don't involve test scores. Our kids deserve praise for grasping a new concept that's been difficult for everyone. And as teachers, we should be able to celebrate and praise without having to attach commentary and quoting standards.

So she did. :-) We all need a Brag Board.

Thank you for stopping by today! Make sure you look through all of the posts below for more Bright Ideas this month!

If you'd like to keep up with me, make sure you're following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!


Sneak a Peek ---- I'm a Peach!

Hey there bookworms!

I'm excited to tell you I'm part of The Primary Peach - a collaborative blog just for Georgia teacher bloggers! I'm wrapping up our group series today, Sneak a Peek with a Peach!


If you'd like a peek inside my classroom office, click the picture above to come on over! And if my office isn't what you had in mind (ha!!) there are 21 other classrooms to look through!!

Beat the Bell {A September Bright Idea!}

Hey there bookworms!

I'm so excited to be back with you for another round of bright ideas! Here we go!

One of the things I loved about my position last year was being able to go into so many different classrooms and learn new tricks from the fantastic teachers in our building. One of my second grade teacher friends plays a game with her kids I like to call Beat the Bell. I'll tell you how my friend and I played with her kids and you can make your own adjustments.

You need:
  • a bell
  • a stool or table
  • review questions (We made these up on the fly, but you could use task cards if you want to get fancy --- ha!)
  • 2 children at a time
Choose two kids to come up to answer a review question. We pulled random names out of a jar, but if the student didn't want to play they didn't have to.

They will stand on opposite sides of the stool/table with one hand behind their back and one on the table. No one else is allowed to answer.

{Does anyone else want to squirm when they hear their own voice on video? Just me??}

The question can be about anything they've learned so far during the school year. They have to wait until we finish asking the question to ring in. If they get the question right, they get a "ticket" (part of their classroom economy) but you could just as easily award points, candy, stickers, etc. 

The kids BEGGED to play this game all year long and it is a perfect time filler! Whether you've got 2 minutes or 20, it's a great informal assessment.

I hope you are gathering lots of great bright ideas this morning! If you liked this bright idea, please join me for more fun on Facebook or Instagram for more fun and great ideas!

Back to School Freebie Rewind! #TBT

Hey peeps!

I'm chugging along on this blogging train, trying to get back on track! I had this post on my to-do list at least 3 weeks ago but clearly I am riding the struggle bus instead of the blogging train. ;-)

Seriously, these freebies are back to school must-haves for me so let's get started!


I love this survey. Especially because it's great for the first week of school, but it's equally important any other time of year. If you want to get to know your kids as readers use this or something like it. I gave it at least one more time (usually after Christmas) to see what had changed since August. It's also a great activity for new kiddos to complete on their first day or so and buys you a little time to get their reading materials ready. ;-)  

My only "deadline" for using this survey in class was to make sure we did it before I put in our first Scholastic Book Clubs order. That way I could order new books based on the interests of my new students! There were always "holes" in my classroom library and I loved finding a good excuse to buy more books!!! 


This binder cover is pretty simple, but our student info binders make collecting and keeping all of that beginning of the year stuff so much easier! As a *bonus* you really need to check out my sweet friend The Brainy Zebra and her FREE student info sheet!

Next up...


This is one of my very early Writer's Workshop lessons. I made it two pages so that my students had plenty of room to illustrate and label whatever they needed. We glue it down side by side on the first couple of pages in our Writer's Notebooks and come back to it all year long!

I know you might be thinking, "Why would she have them write down a bunch of things they detest?? People, that page is a gold mine during opinion writing lessons!


This might be my most favorite freebie. The minute I started using these, my stress level during student work time decreased immediately! My support teachers and I could immediately see where we needed to focus our energy, who to keep an eye on, and who was ready to go.

I hope at least one of these makes your year a little better! See you soon!

My Super-Duper Teacher Nerd Secret Is....

I love back-to-school assessments.

Please don't throw things at me. I just do.

Like a whole lot.

I love looking at my kiddos, figuring out all of their strengths and weaknesses, and deciding what my "plan of attack" will be.

One of my favorite tools for this is a writing assessment in the first week or so of school. I went to take a peek at it for some of my third grade peeps, and HOLY WOW DID THAT LOOK SAD.

Not really my most eye-catching resource. ;-)

So, I gave it a little face-lift and adding a few extra goodies. I've posted all about it over at A Spark of Inspiration today. Click below to hop on over and grab the update!