Friday, July 21, 2017

Back to School with a BANG

I know everyone else is gearing up for the great Back to School Season! A season full of emotions, prep, planning, and reuniting with your teacher besties! I have a few B2S tips, new products, and life updates to share. 

Life Updates: 

So, I've been a little MIA in the blog world since my tough school year last year. (I know we all have them, but whew! What a year!) I am excited to get back to the grind with a new group and a new addition to my own family. I'm PREGNANT! My husband and I are expecting our sweet #3 this fall. We have two little girls who are super excited to soon have a baby brother, or as Addie Belle calls him, "Baby Buduh." I have enjoyed having some downtime this summer to spend extra time with my girls before the new transition to family of 5. However, I am nervous about being so far along at back to school time. I have always been pregnant later in the school year, so this prep is a new challenge for me. If you have been 2nd or 3rd trimester at B2S time, I would love some tips! 
24 Weeks with Baby Boy!

I also have been featured in the Back to School July edition of Kindergarten Crate! My Kissing Hand handprint poem activity was in every July crate ordered, and I feel very blessed Paula included me! The rest of my Kissing Hand activities can be found as part of my Back to School Book Activities on TpT.
Photo Credit: Diana White, via Kindergarten Crate Facebook Page 

Teacher Tip: 

My biggest tip for the new year has been to CURB TEACHER SPENDING! Yes, I said it. We are guilty as charged for our Target, Dollar Tree, and Amazon indulgences, but I have really tried to curb my spending and have a no impulse teacher buys frame of mind this year. Instead, I have been making must have lists, researching prices, and watching the sales. I know there are a lot of things that we have to replenish each year, but I'm proud to say I've been doing better!  (Maybe it is the thought of maternity medical bills and pay cut due to maternity leave that has had me even more fiscally minded!)  Last year I had already spent $400 before Meet the Teacher Night, and with a large class of 27 I was spending double and triple for each project, because packs of 10, 12, even 24, was not enough! One thing I have found is that on Amazon, I look at all buying options and sometimes can get supplies several dollars cheaper with free shipping, just not prime 2 day convenient. Even from reliable sellers like Office Depot. Check it out, and if you have time to wait the extra few days, do it! (Also, imagine not running to town for it, eating out, and buying extras in store on impulse!) 

New Products: 

I have also been working on creating some great classroom themed products for my Oh So Elementary TPT store! I'd love for you to check them out. I have priced them appropriately to help with your B2S wallets, and I hope they prove to be an asset to your classrooms. My large classroom calendar will be soon posted along with different themes! You can also get the newsletters in a double set of specific themes if you would rather not buy the bundle. Check my Back to School category! 

Before you leave, I'd like to pray with you for your school year. 
Lord, please be with the teachers who may be reading this post today. Give them the strength and wisdom to prepare their classrooms for precious children. Help them shine Your light and love into their students' world, modeling grace and mercy as You have graciously bestowed to us. Prepare us Lord for the battlefield of teaching that we may be strong against any attempts Satan might throw at us to steal our joy or take away from our teaching ministry. Let Your Holy Spirit guide us in all we do and say! In Your name, Amen! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Happy FALL y'all! [Books, Activites, and APPLESAUCE!]

We are finally in the sweet spot of FALL, and I am loving it! 

The beginning of kinder is always tough, but to be very honest, this has been the roughest start I have ever experienced with a group. It has been more difficult navigating my large class and all of its needs and personalities. BUT! I am so happy that I can finally say we are in that good place where we can accomplish big things and have formed a great bond already. I am excited to share what we have been up to and how some of my OSE products have made it even more special.

We have had a blast with apples, leaves, pumpkins and all things Fall! I have used my Fall Math, Literacy, & MORE pack and Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice together since September, and I've loved watching my kinders engage with my learning activities. I cannot tell you what a rewarding moment it has been seeing them enjoy and grow with my OSE materials! All the hard work was so worth it and more! Here are a few pictures of these two products in action. (Look for my sister's First Grade bunch's writing and art also!)


Pumpkin Puzzles: matching number to number word

Kindergarten Pumpkin Poetry
Hall Display of Pumpkin Poetry and Activities (Circumference and Adjectives) 

Kindergarten Fall Fun Writing (Picture jumping in leaves) Crayon Resist Leaves

So proud of my sweet niece! I love teaching her! 
My twin sister's first grade group used my How to Carve a Pumpkin activities

They turned out great! Go First Grade! 
The Fall season in kindergarten is never complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch and some crock pot applesauce! We were hot and sweaty with a 90 degree trip to the pumpkin patch (yes, that's Texas late October for ya), but we had a beautiful mid 70s day today for crock pot applesauce! If you are wondering, here is the recipe I used: 

5 lbs red apples
Two splashes vanilla
Several sprinkles of cinnamon (5 year old style) 
Cup of water
I also squeezed the juice of one lemon to toss the  peeled and sliced apples in the night before. They did not turn too brown and were nice and pretty to use the next morning! 
After my kinders helped me get it all ready to go, we cooked the apples on HIGH for 4 hours. I barely had to mash them because they were so tender a simple stir did the trick to smooth out the lumps. 

Y'all my classroom smelled HEAVENLY all day long! You could even smell it from the hallway.

In case you are looking for some amazing read alouds to compliment your fall activities, these are a few of the ones I use with my class that are always great. If you haven't heard of Little Boo, you are seriously missing out! Go order it today! It is a great pumpkin life cycle book about a little pumpkin seed who wants to scare but has to keep growing until he is picked and becomes a jack-o-lantern! 

Image result for Apples A to Z Image result for Apple Farmer Annie  
 Image result for how big could your pumpkin grow Image result for little boo

I cannot lie, I am super excited that our 90 degree Fall is now looking like 70s, and I can start pulling out my cardigans, scarves, and boots! It is medicine to my soul!

Thank you all for following and taking a peek at these activities, I'd love to hear about any interesting Fall activities you and your kiddos enjoy so leave me a comment below! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

TpT Blog Hop - Gift Card Giveaway!

I know we all love a giveaway, and this one is incredible!

 I really want to bless someone with $10 TpT money to spend! Head over to my Facebook page and enter by like, share, comment! Make sure you comment with "Shared!"
You can also comment on this blog post that you shared! 

Yes, us teachers love a good sale! Stock up on all the goodies to make your classroom a success this year! I'd love for you to check out my store: Oh So Elementary! 

Stock up on handwriting and my newest SHAPES GALORE! Let's Write Letters takes a differentiated approach that can be used throughout the school year for your different stages of learners. It covers so many skills, you definitely want to take a look at it! 


Start the kinder year off with this Pre-Assessment and Back to School Book Activities! From Kissing Hand to Pete the Cat, it has it all to make your first week(s) successful! 


I am in LOVE with my numbers practice pages. Lots of skills are worked with those pages and give students ways to show what they know! They love choosing their own ways to represent numbers, and my kiddos blow me away each year! (Last year some tried to do multiplication and actually nailed it!) 

Spruce up your room decor with these center signs! Who doesn't love chevron and cute clip art!!??
These kinder sight word digital cards are part of my fluency routine. We make it interesting each day and get in some great sight word practice! 

Click the image below for the next stop on the blog hop! Enter to win more TpT gift card giveaways!! Don't forget to catch my store tomorrow, so start loading your cart with goodies today!!! 

Also, leave feedback on TpT products to ear credits you can use on your next purchase!! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Getting Ready for 27 - Room Reveal!

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I finally had "the moment" this afternoon! You know the moment when you walk to the door, turn around, and take the final look around the classroom before you turn off the lights and lock the door?  The moment when you know there is nothing else you can do to get it ready for the first day of school? That was me this afternoon! In that second, I had a  giant sigh of relief. I have been anxiously preparing for 27 kinderbabies, and it was touching gold several times this week. I wondered if I could actually make the space workable for 27 little personalities with energy tanks on full. I had to get creative on seating arrangements, zip tie plastic crates together for cubbies, rework several procedures, and anticipate any problem areas - but I think I finally pulled it off! Only Monday morning will tell! 

These pictures were taken very quickly as I was enjoying my Ah-Ha moment at the end of the day, and I already remember things I didn't take pictures of. Nevertheless, I invite you to take a look around my not so perfect room. It might seem a hot mess to some, but it is my home away from home. I love this room and will love it even more when my 27 sweet faces occupy it come Monday! 
Kindergarten: Amazing things happen here! 

One of my two sets of cubbies. Notice the three zip tied crates to the left. They are my extra cubbies since I ran out! 

Several more centers and Eric Carle themed reading area!

Yes, that is me in that reading poster! 

Puzzles, Magnadoodle, etc. 

Writing Center

Easel Area and Word Wall. (You can barely see art center.)

This space is a MESS! I will do better one day! 

Love my SmartBoard. I also have student computers and iPads. I LOVE technology and am wishing for more!!! 

I love this picture especially of myself on the first day of kindergarten as a student and as a teacher. My mom surprised me with this after school that day. She had me take the picture in the same place in our dining room. (I thought she was nuts making me do it!) This is even more special that I was headed both times to the same school! I teach in my hometown school where I attended K-12.

My table and their tables! 

I have been so inspired by the classrooms that I have seen many post online. There is so much that goes into the planning and set up of a classroom, and I know the hours and hard work everyone has put in has not been in vain. Soon children will be learning in an inviting atmosphere and navigating a well-planned space through procedures carefully taught! Job well done my friends! 

Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment on what you might like or not like about my set up! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Be a Tigger - NOT an Eeyore: My Back to School Advice

Be a Tigger, NOT an Eeyore.

That my friends is the BEST advice I ever got from a college professor to us soon-to-graduate teacher interns. She even gave out these tiny plastic Tiggers at our Intern Orientation to drive home the piece of advice, and it truly has made its mark on me. This little Tigger has since stuck with me and has sat on top of my computer over the years. He is my constant reminder of what I need to be as a teacher. As oh so elementary as that is, it's absolutely true. Be a Tigger, NOT an Eeyore!

We need to be a Tigger in our classrooms. One that sees the silver lining in every circumstance. A Tigger that giggles with delight and bounces with enthusiasm each day. We need to love the hard to love students. Smile when we feel overwhelmed. Show kindness and joy to our students even on the tough days. Although Eeyore is as cute as can be, let's try to take a tip from Tigger and bounce on the positive side as much as possible this year!

Be the Tigger on your teaching team! Help those around you be a tigger too. They may be having an Eeyore moment and just need a little "Tiggerization!" If you don't know what that means take a look at the video clip below. Then think about how you can Tiggerize your teammates. I don't recommend literally painting them with stripes, but attitude is contagious y'all. Both bad and good attitudes can spread like wildfire. I am guilty of having an Eeyore attitude from time to time when school things aren't going as I would like them to, but I am making a conscious effort to be positive and encouraging to my teacher teammates this year!

Lastly, THANK God for the Tigger moments and PRAY through your Eeyore ones. He will give you everything you need to bounce through your classroom door each morning and the strength to withstand the rainy days. Not only am I committing to being more of a  Tigger this year, but I am also committing to praying more during this school year. I have 26 (maybe more) kinders headed my way, and I know I need His guidance and strength to give them all I've got. I've shared how I have been so blessed by the Christian Teachers facebook group, and now I am excited to start the Prayer Journal that Bonnie and Meghan have created. I want to grow closer to Him this school year. I have a tendency to push away as I get overwhelmed with teaching, juggling my home life, church commitments, and all, but I know He wants to draw nearer to me especially when my life is hard and to-dos are mounting.

If you feel led and want to take a look at the prayer journal, you can download it for FREE, or you can order one like mine HERE.. Many Thanks to Bonnie and Meghan for their hard work putting it together for His glory!

My hopes for the school year? In the words of Tigger, IT'S GONNA BE GREAAAAT!!!!