Super Products

Super Products
Super Products

email exclusives

email exclusives
email exclusives

Super Seasonal

Super Seasonal
Super Seasonal

Happy Holidays!

Now that everyone is actually on break (kudos to you fantastic teachers who taught through Wednesday!), I hope you're all relaxing and enjoying some well deserved time off with family and friends!

Happy Holidays!
0

5 Simple Holiday Student Gift Ideas from Teachers

Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas.
Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables

Gift Idea #1 Classroom Coupons

Cost: Free
Materials: Cardstock and printer ink
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes (2 weeks if you order personalized pencils) 

Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables
Classroom coupons are the easiest FREE print and go option. Just download the editable coupon freebie here, edit the options for classroom privileges/rewards, print on cardstock and give to the kiddos.  You don't even need to laminate. Hooray! Along with some personalized pencils from For Teachers Only, this is an easy go-to Christmas gift.

Gift Idea #2 Top Ten Lists

Cost: Free
Materials: Cardstock and printer ink
Time to Prepare: A few hours depending on class size (1-2 days if you survey students for Top Ten lists ideas) 

Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables
Top Ten Lists are FREEpersonalized, easy, and the kids love them. These are, very simply, a list of 10 things you (or classmates) like about them. Since you'll need to make one for every student they are more time consuming, but you can knock them out in a night. Use the editable Top 10 List freebie here and customize one for every student. If you have time in class you can have other students brainstorm character traits or interview classmates to see what others like about said students, but if you're in a time crunch you can just do these on your own. Print on cardstock, laminate, give to students. Holiday gift complete!

Gift Idea #3 Compliments

Cost: $3 for paper bags
Materials: Paper bags, paper, school printer
Time to Prepare: This is a whole month activity, but if you're in a crunch a week will do.
Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables
Classmate compliments are FREE, don't require color printing or laminating, and give students an extra something to do during the month (or last week) before break. You can even use them as a writing center! Have students decorate paper bags (we call them RACK sacks - ONE because I find the word "sack" funny, and TWO because it rhymes with RACK/Random Acts of Classroom Kindness) and put them somewhere safe in the room. Throughout the week students are assigned or can draw names of classmates to write a sincere compliment to. Have the kids turn these in and pass them out to RACK sacks yourself to avoid any weird anonymous compliment mayhem. At the end of the month students have a number of nice things others have written about them to take home and cherish.  :)  Holiday gift finito!  These are included with the freebie above.  If you haven't already downloaded it, click here for the compliment freebie. (The Top 10 and compliment freebies are in the same download)

Gift Idea #4 School Supplies

Cost: Varies
Crayons $15 for set of 12
Pencils $0.99 per set
Composition Notebooks $19.99 for 12 (cheaper if you get these during B2S time)
Time to Prepare: Personalized pencils 2 weeks, Crayons 2 days (with Amazon Prime), Notebooks (2 Days with Prime + 1 week to personalize)


Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables
If you have Amazon Prime or don't mind paying for shipping, these are my cheap go to supply gifts. {Amazon affiliate links ahead} At my school last year students were in desperate need of school supplies so they received new crayons for Christmas and at the end of the year.

I am also a big fan of buying Composition Notebooks at the Back to School Sales and saving them to give as New Writer's Notebooks for the new year.

I also love the personalized pencil sets from For Teachers Only, but you do have to order those in advance.
 

Gift Idea #5 Whole Class Gift

Cost: Varies
Time to Prepare: 2 Days with Amazon Prime (get it gift wrapped, ship it to your school, DONE!)
Looking for a simple gift you can get for your class of elementary students? From free printables, to DIY, to Amazon Prime-ing something to your school last minute, you can find the perfect easy "student from teacher" gift with these 5 simple student gift ideas. #christmas #christmasgifts #studentgifts #free #amazon #amazonprime #freeprintables
Gifts for the whole class are the gifts that keep on giving + you can open them up as a class and get excited about using them after the break! 

A few ideas for whole class gifts:
{Amazon affiliate links ahead}

*A new class game or PE equipment (Speed Stacks are great for inside recess and cross-lateral movement practice)
*Noise muffling headphones (a perfect addition to your classroom tools for centers or independent reading)
*Chapter books for the classroom library
*Pillows or lamps for your reading corner
*A class picture book or two.



Do you have another "Go to" online store for classroom supply shopping? Make sure you check to see if they are listed on Ebates to get cash back. If you're buying something online anyway, you might as well get cash back on it. {Ebates tip: I LOVE Ebates! Just make sure BEFORE you put items in your cart that you click through their site or activate the cash back button in your browser.  This is my affiliate link.}

 
I hope one of these gift ideas will work for you! Let me know what you decide to do in the comments!


 
Have a fab (holi)day Super Teacher,
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*
2

Free Holiday Gift for Students - Editable Holiday Coupons

If you're feeling like a quick, easy, and free gift might be just the thing to give to your students for the holidays, then look no further!  My editable coupon freebie might save you some time, energy and money.
This freebie comes as a PowerPoint file with editable coupons you can customize with classroom privileges or prizes students can redeem after the break. It's easy to use and FREE!  Completed coupons look like the pictures below (with your info on there of course). 
Come on back in the next few weeks for more affordable, memorable, practical, and even a few more free holiday gift ideas for your students.
0

December Fun Freebies to Help Calm the Chaos

If you're looking for some FREE Christmas printables you can use for holiday centers, fast finishers, homework, or as a holiday option during your classroom Christmas party, check out these four December Holiday Fun Activities. Includes math, US geography, letter writing, and partner game printables. These ideas are perfect for kids in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade classrooms. #christmas #education #secondgrade #thirdgrade #fourthgrade #freeprintables #freebie #teacherspayteachers #tpt #teachers

If you're looking for some FREE Christmas printables you can use for holiday centers, fast finishers, homework, or as an option during some of that holiday downtime, check out this set of December Holiday Fun Printables. It includes an Elf Equations math activity, Santa's Flight path US geography practice, letter writing paper, and a Holiday Tree Dot Game you can use to save a little sanity during this crazy month! These ideas are FUN for kids and NO PREP for you!

If you're looking for some FREE Christmas printables you can use for holiday centers, fast finishers, homework, or as a holiday option during your classroom Christmas party, check out these four December Holiday Fun Activities. Includes math, US geography, letter writing, and partner game printables. These ideas are perfect for kids in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade classrooms. #christmas #education #secondgrade #thirdgrade #fourthgrade #freeprintables #freebie #teacherspayteachers #tpt #teachers

CLICK HERE to download the December Holiday Fun Freebie pack from my TpT store.


Want more Christmas ideas and resources?
Try these holiday posts:
*5 Simple Holiday Student Gift Ideas from Teachers
*10 Amazing Amazon Gift Ideas for your Favorite Teaching Teammate
*Santa Scramble Math Challenge: A Festive Freebie Download
*Focus on Kindness at Christmas with this Easy Classroom Tradition


Have a fab (holi)day Super Teacher,
 








0

Veterans Day November Read Aloud

It's November!  Month of falling leaves, chilly mornings, and pumpkin pie!  Hooray!

If you're looking for a fun read aloud for this week (or month) try Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle.  It's perfect for Veterans Day or for a Thanksgiving (so many things to be thankful for) story.  I am a giant sucker for a good animal story and this one has it all!  It's such a fantastic story of friendship, loss, love, and perseverance.      
Here's a video clip of with Brian and Nubs on The Today Show.  At one point Nubs attempts to lick himself, but it's short lived.  :)

Love, love, love Nubs! and hope your kids do too,
0

Popular Purple Pencil Sharpener

I'm so excited to get a chance to review for The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener in their newest color - Popular Purple! (Doesn't it look beautiful next to its old friend Pinkalicious - which has now lasted 2 school years?)
Quick Review:
I've been a fan of the Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener for a few years now and have purchased 9 or more with my own moolah.  I am officially the teacher who purchases the packs of 3 and then fellow teachers come and ask me if I'll give them one for a $20 bill.  Every single one of my teammates who has used the sharpener has loved them as well and I will absolutely buy one every year for my classroom!  So far I've had a green one, two pink ones, three red ones, and now PURPLE.

My favorite thing about it:
My classroom pencils are sharp, I don't have to listen to the horrid noises emitted from the electric sharpener variety, and the kids love using it.

There are lots of great things about this little guy!  It sharpens new pencils quickly and makes them super sharp.  The pencils are so sharp in fact, that my (male) teammate decided to throw a newly sharpened pencil onto the cork-like ceiling tiles to see if it would stick.  It did.

The sharpener is definitely quiet, not like those annoying electric ones.  It is fairly easy to use, although a few of my students did say it took a few tries to master using the sharpener.  They also liked that once the pencil is locked in, you don't have to hold it anymore and are free to hold the sharpener while you turn the crank with the other.  I love that the sharpener comes in many colors and hasn't yet broken.  It has far surpassed any other sharpener I've had in the survival department.  I haven't had much luck with the fastener attachment, but it's no biggie.  Since the pencil locks into the sharpener, even my second graders can stabilize the sharpener while they use it. 9+ sharpeners in and I haven't had one fly off my counter top yet.  :)

Overall, if pencil sharpening has been  an issue you've yet to solve, I would recommend The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener to teachers old and new.  It's gets the job done quickly and quietly and is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the electric sharpeners I've seen ($80 to $100 - yikes!) I also love that these are sold by a teacher!  Overall, the Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener has been a great addition to our classroom.

What color is coming next? I'm hoping lime green.  :)

0

LaborLESS Bloghop and Gift Card Giveaway!

Hello everyone!
ARE YOU REAAADDDY!!!
Main Graphic Laborless
It is finally here!

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! I have joined forces once again with my bloggy friends to bring you the best, most amazing giveaway on this Labor Day weekend!

All of us have been thinking about  good ways in which to treat our readers and followers.   We thought hard, and I mean it! Really, really hard… and decided that  we can treat you to our best ideas to work smarter rather than harder… at school and home!

It takes a lot to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! But, we also crave time to ourselves and our families.

So here are a few ideas to work smarter, not harder
Slide1
Truth:
I have a secret teacher fear that I will forget a child's birthday.

Thus, "The Birthday Committee" is my saving grace.  During the summer I grab as many packs of cheap streamers and birthday pencils as possible and put them, along with one roll of Scotch tape (more than one and you're just asking for trouble) in "The Birthday Box".  Then, during the school year our humanitarian (this is a job on our job board) is in charge of using these supplies to decorate anyone's desk who has a birthday.  They can ask a few friends for help and they become "The Birthday Committee" for the day.  They make sure the birthday kiddo gets a pencil, a decorated desk, a card, and they put a birthday hat on my stuffed animal Kermit.  (He looks so cute in his jaunty hat).  I also have an old trophy given to me long ago that is now our birthday trophy.  It's old and decrepit but the kids love having it on their desk on their special day.

All I have to do is write birthdays down on my calendar and buy stuff for our birthday box. The kids take care of the rest.

So, while you're at the store this summer get some streamers, a plastic box with a lid, some tape, and you're good to go.  Work smarter, not harder baby!
Slide2
If it's just been one of those days (and you know we'll all have a few), I leave school as soon as humanly possible - making sure I feel at reasonably ready for the next day.  Then, I stop and treat myself on the way home (pumpkin spice latte, frozen yogurt, frappuccino) all while telling myself I totally deserve it and WILL NOT stress about the calories.

Then I do one of two things:
#1 Work out - I always feel better after I do this, but some days I just can't, that's why there are TWO options here.
#2 Order take out, pet the dog, watch reality TV (Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Project Runway, something else mindless) and nap/go to bed early.
If I choose option 2 too much then I feel gross, but in moderation option 2 is my saving grace!
Slide3
I am a slow and steady sort of TpT gal.  I always take forever to post new products!  So in classic Katie form I spent an entire year getting these homework packs ready.  They are perfect for students whose parents complain can finish homework in 2 minutes, or say their child is never challenged, or for classes where you have students on a large range of levels.  I also like that the menu system gives students choice and control over their own learning.  I refined these over 7 years and loved them.  Even on years that I didn't use the homework system for everyone, I used it for one or two students who really needed something different and I still use the printables from these homework packs in my own classroom (grades 2-3) all the time. They're my "go to" resource when a student needs a challenge, or just something a little different like a research contract or fun word work activity.  

No onto the amazing giveaway!
Top all these great tips and ideas  with these top-notch prizes!
A $100 gift card to Amazon

A $50 gift card to TpT

Slide2

2 $25 gift cards to TpT
Slide1

1 $10 gift card to TpT
Slide3

Thank you for reading! And now go click away!!  Good luck and happy Labor Day!!!
2

Teacher Week Friday: My Favorite Subject - Writing!

A few years ago I participated in the Colorado Writing Project as part of my summer PD and it completely changed the way I taught writing.  What went from the lamest subject in my class, turned into the most fun and fulfilling part of my day!  
One of the most important things I learned is the role of the teacher as author.  On the very first day of the year I always show the kids my ever growing collection of writer's notebooks (some cute - shown up front, and some not cute - hidden in back).  

Now I model every part of the writing process and publish new pieces right alongside my kids. I've written stories about my sister screaming through a snorkel (ingeniously titled Screaming Through a Snorkel) after seeing one tiny fish in the ocean, one about passing out at the eye doctor (yep, I can pretty much faint anywhere), another about almost losing my dear dog Lily on a frightful nighttime walk, and the one shown above about being forced to leg wrestle in first grade PE.  This would now be illegal, but in the eighties I guess there were no rules about making two six year olds attempt to flip each other over while on their backs using only their legs while the other students screamed around them in a circle. Can you say SCARRED FOR LIFE?!  
Katie Wood Ray's book has been my "go to" writer's workshop book ever since that summer PD.  I love all the quotes from authors she uses.  
These inspired me to create my own "Think Like and Author, Write Like an Author" bulletin boards.  I love looking for new authors and mentor texts to inspire me and my students as writers.
When I see sweet dedications like the one above it absolutely makes my day!
and seeing students engaged, reading their classmates' stories is the best!  I can't wait for another year of writing, sharing, and learning more about my students from their stories.

If you're interested in more detailed posts about writing in my classroom here's a start. I'm hoping to add lots more this year including revising mini lessons, editing strategies, the road to publishing, and more mentor texts!

I've written more about some of my favorite mentor texts at these posts:
Making Mentor Texts Meaningful and Memorable
Collecting Mentor Texts for Writing

If you're looking for info about a back to school writing activity focused on idea generation check out this post:

If you're working on research or informational writing this post could be helpful (you might have to wade through a few pictures of Lily in her winter coat though):



Thanks to the authors at Blog Hoppin' for helping me get my booty in gear and motivating me to blog for 5 days in a row!  Hurrah!

I have a new job in second grade this year where I'll actually be able to TEACH, not just distract children from jumping on the air conditioner.  I'm excited to take lots of pictures and start posting about TEACHING again.  Hooray!
1

Teacher Week Thursday: Sanity Savers

Good teacher friends 
and
coffee
and 
sometimes margaritas  
Enough said.

See you tomorrow for my favorite subject to teach!
0

Teacher Week Wednesday: Classroom Tour

I'm so excited to FINALLY show off my classroom pics (from last year!) and take you on a Classroom Tour as part of Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week!
I doubt I can adequately describe my insane excitement when I found out I had been offered a job in a public school in Michigan last year.  This is something that I had deemed impossible when I moved to Michigan a year earlier, so even getting a follow up call for an interview was mind blowing.
Then when I packed up all of my stuff (with Lily's help of course - can you see those cute bat dog ears peeking up from the backseat?) and took it to this amazing space (just look at those bookshelves!) I could not wait to get started making this room mine!
Think whirlwind of Starbucks, Hobby Lobby, Target, Michaels, on a seemingly endless loop.
I didn't mind all the extra time getting set up.  Lily was with me every day and I couldn't wait to make perfectly covered fabric walls and bookshelf displays that appealed to the eye.
I had been dying to retrieve all my Teacher Quote art out of the plastic bins in my basement and set them free to speak to every little 8 year old within the vicinity of my classroom.  Hooray!  I thought. I will make my room perfect and get ready for another wonderful year!
This euphoria seems so comical now as I think back on my 13th year of teaching.  Let's just say that the bathing in sanitizer and imaginary bees I mentioned in Monday's Fun Fact #2 were just the tip of the iceberg.  I was in for a year my husband and I refer to as "Crazy Sauce" the likes of which I've never experienced before.
Luckily I had amazing colleagues, a fantastic principal who always had just the right thing to say (and sometimes donuts), and a super sweet husband who let me cry and then ordered takeout when I got home. I don't know what I would have done without them! (and of course my beautiful classroom).  Sometimes when everything is Crazy Sauce around you, at least you know you're sitting in a space you love!   

Thanks for checking out my classroom!  Check back tomorrow for Sanity Savers.
2