Friday, November 29, 2013

Shhhhh!!!! Cyber Monday is Coming!

Black Friday? Schlmack Friday! Who needs those crowds, trampling, lack of sleep, lines, etc.? Well, i admit I did do some Black Friday shopping. But, I avoided the Wal-Marts and other gatherings of scaries, and only shopped during normal waking hours. Did I stand in some lines? Yes, but it was worth it.

What's also worth it, and you don't even have to get out of your pajamas or even your bed for (well, if you work like I do, then you probably have to do those things)? Anyway, I am not making much sense, am I? Let's just cut to the chase. The Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale is nearly here!!!!

My whole store will be on sale as will so many of your other favorite sellers. Just stop by to spend a few measly dollars and buy some emergency sub plans to set your mind at ease. Never worry about those last-minute, have-to-be-absent days again by knowing you have sub plans ready to go and just waiting for implementation.

Also, now would be the time to clear out those Wish Lists. Stock up for the school year on all those units, lessons, and activities you've been eyeing. Just don't forget to enter "CYBER" at checkout to get that extra savings!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

It's that time again! Teacher Pay Teachers is having their Back to School Sale. Don't miss out on savings on all those amazing resources you NEED for you and your students. You know the drill by now... most sellers (including ME!) discount their items up to 20%, plus enter the code BTS13 at checkout to get an additional 10% off... for a total of up to 28%.

My ENTIRE store will be 20% off, plus that 10% code so make sure you are ready for subbing season with all the sub plans, forms, and downtime activities you need. Be sure to check out my products in my store as well as all the other phenomenal sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Class*y Collaboration Announcement

I am so excited to announce that I am a part of brand new blogging collaboration... a Class*y Collaboration. It is a group of 12 bloggers who have gotten together because of a burning desire to share ideas, activities, and freebies!

To kick things off, we are offering an everybody-wins giveaway... that is everybody wins if you are willing to go far out on a limb and follow us on Bloglovin. That's it. That's all you have to do. Just follow the directions on the blog post and you will get an amazing Follower-Only Freebie Pack. Just click over to see a sample of the awesome resources you get for free just for clicking the follow button. So go get you some! And share with your friends so they can get some too!
Plus... one lucky follower will get a $50 winner's choice gift card. Man! I kind of wish I wasn't a contributor and could enter this one myself. Ha!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Love Reading All Your Favorite Blogs on Bloglovin

I don't know if you are aware or not, but Google Reader is going away. I was quite panicked since that's how I follow and read all my favorite blogs. The search was on for a new way to keep up. The consensus in the blog world seems to be Bloglovin. I have to be honest. I only just signed up so I don't really have any grounds to compare it to Google Reader, but others seem to be happy with it. To make sure you don't miss any of your favorite blogs, go check out Bloglovin for yourself. When I signed up, it gave me an option to import my blogs from Google Reader, so I did that. But just to make sure you have Sub Hub in that list, click the link and follow so you don't miss any sub-tastic posts! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, June 2, 2013

End-of-the-Year Student Gifts and Momentos

Can you smell that? It's skin frying in the heat of summer. Can you hear that? The pool and beach are calling my name. As my first year of teaching comes to a close, the temptations of summer fun beckon louder and louder. I still have four student days and one teacher work day to complete my mile-long end-of-the-year to-do list. In the middle of all the have-to's like report cards, permanent record files, and classroom clean-ups, I wanted to make sure to leave a little time for some fun want-to's.

First of all, after four years of trying to get a class of my own, I wanted a special way to remember them. I did not want the typical class photo with students signing the matte... mostly because I already have one of those from my student teaching class. As I was wasting time, I mean "researching," on Pinterest, I came across these gems for my favorite team... the San Antonio Spurs!

And then I got to thinking. I am pretty sure, I have worn one of my five pairs of TOMS at least 3 days every week of this year. I find TOMS to be some of the most comfortable shoes to teach in. I have them in lots of colors to match with just about every outfit and am affectionately known as the TOMS teacher. So, I thought, what better momento to have of my first class, than student-designed TOMS? I ordered a pair of white TOMS and bought some fabric markers. I used these. I would definitely recommend thin-tipped ones.

 My students this year are amazing artists, so I held a contest to design the TOMS toes. I chose two winners and let them draw their designs on my shoes. Then I had every student in the class sign around the sides. I am in love with how they turned out! I wore them on spirit day and got so many compliments! I don't think I will wear them too often because I don't want to ruin them, but I know I will have these for many years to come!

Now, for student momentos, I went with another fantastic idea I found while pinning. My classroom theme is the beach, so this beach ball idea was perfect. On the last day, I will let students write their own names large on one section and then sign each other's beach balls with Sharpies. I can't wait to see their excitement!

Finally, I wanted to give them a useable end-of-the-year gift. I definitely want to encourage summer reading, so I thought a fun bookmark would be perfect. I know you have probably seen this gem floating around Pinterest. 

They are listed as being great for a Mother's Day gift, and I agree. But I also think the students will love to read using themselves as the bookmark. I decided to try it. I erased my whiteboard and used that as the background for the photos. I had students pose with their arms over their head as if they were holding on to something. Some got really into it with faces and everything. Then I printed out their photos on 4x6 photo paper and cut out their shapes (this was the crazy time-consuming part, but my own children helped out a lot). I laminated each one to make them stronger and used a small hole puncher to make a hole on the hands. Finally I added a string to the top (I used embroidery thread since my daughter has a ton of that from making friendship bracelets).

Come on, summer! I can taste that frosty adult beverage now.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week is Here! And I Appreciate the Subs Too!

Here in the U.S., this week is celebrated as Teacher Appreciation Week. If you ask me, the best thank you's come from the students themselves. It's those precious drawings, notes, and hugs that come from the little lives you touch everyday. Those are the items I save year after year. Those are the things I pull out after a hard day and that give me the motivation to push through the challenges.

But other tokens certainly don't hurt either. Ha!

At my school, the administration has planned a week of little freedoms and yummies to make our teachers feel appreciated. First, we get to wear jeans all week (YAY!). Two days this week, lunch will be provided for all teachers and stuff... one day by our hospitality committee and the other by the PTA. One day we get to wear flip flops (again, YAY!). And there are suggested ways for students to dress, such as animal prints to show "they are WILD about their teachers."

As a former substitute teacher, I know that subs are often left out of these celebrations. Some campuses I was on graciously included me in all their festivities, while others did not. However, I want all you substitutes to know that I APPRECIATE YOU!!!! Yes, I am yelling it from the rooftops. I am especially thankful for all of you subs who read my blog and other blogs... those of you who see yourselves as the vital professionals you are and not babysitters... those of you who bother to carry a bag of tricks and have back-up lessons and activities just in case. It is because of subs like you that classrooms can run smoothly when teachers have to be out.

My biggest hope for you is that you think of yourselves as a teacher and that others see you that way as well. I know that doesn't always happen. I was once asked by a parent if I was "a real teacher." I reluctantly shied away from the obnoxious, snarky reply I wanted to make and calmly told her that yes, I was a certified teacher and had plenty of classroom experience.

Other people agree with me it seems. I found this wonderful guest post by Somewhat Simple on Skip To My Lou on some ideas for Substitute Teacher Appreciation gifts. Look at how cute these are!

Some of you may already be aware from reading other blogs and following others on Facebook or even remember from last year, but Teachers Pay Teachers will be having a Teacher Appreciation sale. May 7-8, just use check-out code TAD13 to get 10% off your Teachers Pay Teachers Purchases.

And to show you, the hard-working and much-loved substitute teacher, that you are also appreciated, my store (along with many others, including all the top sellers) will be throwing an additional sale on those days as well. You will get 28% on every item in my store, including Just Add Paper substitute plans, CCSS Emergency Substitute Teaching Plans, and Down with Downtime time filler activity ideas.

So, start making that wish list and get ready to check-out on May 7 and 8 to take advantage of the savings!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beautiful, Simple Books with Powerful Messages

Well, I have been slammed hard by the testing monster... my first year of teaching in the most tested grade level. We have already survived the writing test. (Well, we don't have scores yet, but I am more than pleased with the effort of my students.) But we still face math and reading tests this week. The last two weeks have been spent making sure everyone was up to speed in reading and math. And right in the middle came... an author visit.

My first thought was, "Really? You want to pull us out of class right before testing for an author visit?" I was less than willing to give up time with my sweeties. And for some author visits I have sat through, that would have been true... but not this one.

I had never heard of Kathryn Otoshi or her books One and Zero, although they were published in 2008 and 2010 respectively. Boy, have I been missing out! And I want to make sure you aren't doing the same.
I brought my students into the cafeteria where the presentation was all set up, and standing before us was a small, pretty, Asian woman (which was wonderful for my Asian ESL students to see such a role model). When she spoke, she commanded the room without being authoritarian or over the top. The students were fascinated as she read them her books and explained the stories of how they came to be. She even led them in a reader's theater of one of them.
Both books are beautifully simple in their words and illustrations, but carry powerful messages. One tells the story of how red bullies blue while none of the other colors stand up to red. Then along comes a number 1 who encourages the colors to turn into numbers against red's will. But because 1 refuses to back down, so do all the other number colors. What a brilliant way to convey the message, "Sometimes it just takes one [to stand up to a bully]."
Zero focuses on believing in yourself, appreciating differences, and acceptance. In this story zero is sad because it has no value and can't count along with the other numbers. Zero tries to change and become something it is not, but it never works. Finally, zero is inspired by former bully red (who is now a number 7) to see itself as open and not empty. Zero shows the other numbers how to count even higher by adding a zero to each number. This book could even be a great way to introduce skip counting by 10s and some place value. Again, absolutely brilliant!
When we got back to our classroom, we had a discussion on the books and the author, and every single one of my students got the messages communicated. 
I have added these books to my collection, and I would urge anyone trying to teach these values to do the same.

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