September 07, 2015

LaborLESS Blog Hop!

Hello everyone!
ARE YOU REAAADDDY!!!

Main Graphic Laborless
It is Finally here!

Today I am linking up 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!
I know what it takes to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! I also know that we crave time to ourselves and our families.


So here I go!
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It definitely takes some time to figure out how to work smarter, not harder when you are just starting out teaching.  I swear when I first started out I could have lived at the school and I think some of the students thought I did! hah!  I just felt like there was always more to do.   If there was something to correct I would just throw it in my big duffle bag and take it home along with all of my teacher manuals. Yikes! I found myself lugging a big bag back and forth everyday.  This was definitely not ideal!   So I knew I had to change something!  After a couple of years, I learned how important it was to start using my time during the day more wisely.  I used to sit and chat at lunch with coworkers and waste all of that time.  Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it and it was better than planning or correcting, but it wasn't helping me work smarter.  I decided during all of my breaks I would use the time to my advantage.  I would eat a quick lunch and get right to work.  I would correct and plan for the next day, photocopying and pulling out materials I needed. It sounds so obvious right, but at the time it was not!  I finally left everyday feeling prepared for the next.  I stopped taking my manuals home and left them out on my desk with post-its outlining the next days lesson along with my plan book.  I would also have all my photocopying labeled and out for the next day.  It definitely felt good!  Plus if I had to call in for a sub, they would know exactly what to do.  Having bins labeled with the days of the week by my desk also helped me feel organized.  I would put materials in for each day of the week and if something didn't get done I would just move it to the next day. 

If you are starting out, I'm sure it will take some time to figure it all out, but you need to find a system that works for you!


I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I am on maternity leave right now!!  Here are a few  photos to give you an idea on how my desk looked.
Slide2
I know I just said this, but it definitely did take me a couple of years to figure out a better system to working smarter.  My husband would always say to me, "What are you doing at work so late?"  I would always say, "It never ends, there is always more to do!"   This was when I realized I did have to take some time for myself.  Teaching is only a job! So I decided to choose 2 or 3 days a week to leave school at a decent hour (not after 6pm) and go to the gym.  Before teaching I would always go to the gym and then it kind of just stopped.  So with this plan it definitely helped me unwind with my day!  I would leave around 4 with my plans all done and head on out!  Definitely find time for yourself, whether it's going home and watching shows off your DVR ( I did this many days, I didn't feel like going to the gym!), going to yoga, shopping, or just relaxing on your own!  

Slide3
I always like to begin my day with the same routine.  In my classroom, the students come right in and get started on morning work.  Some days I found that I was randomly picking worksheets and some students would be done in about 2 minutes or some worksheets took so long half the kids wouldn't finish.  So I decided to make my own morning work for my students and I found it to be successful. It really was a great way of reviewing concepts from previous lessons.  Click on the image below or here if you are interested in beginning your day with morning work.  I have printables for the fall, winter, and spring!



I hope you have a wonderful school year and you find a good system that works for you! Again, remember to take time for yourself because our work always does get done!  Now, best of luck with the giveaways!!!

Top all these great tips and ideas with these top-notch prizes!

A $100 gift card to Amazon


A $50 gift card to TpT

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2 $25 gift cards to TpT




1 $10 gift card to TpT
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Thank you for reading! And now don't be silly and get your hands all over this awesome giveaway!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

January 24, 2015

Deal of the Day

Beginning today, I'm going to be running a "Deal of the Day!" Everyday for the next few weeks, I will be posting one product from my Teachers Pay Teachers store for 50% off for 24 hours!! I am so excited to begin today!  The best way to see my deal is to click on my Facebook page and it will bring you to the item on sale.  


Here is the link to my page:  Tricks of the Trade in First Grade

My first "Deal of the Day" is my Math Review Task Cards.  You can get 128 Review Cards for $6.00 instead of $12!!!  

Click the link below to head to my page.  
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Grade-Math-Review-Task-Cards-1510327

Thanks for all of your support!!! Enjoy your weekend!

January 21, 2015

Common Core Math Assessments

I must admit when I opened my blog today, I cringed when I realized the last time I wrote a post was a month and a half ago!  One of my goals is to blog more! So, I'm back and I'm excited to share with you my newest product...Common Core Math Assessments for First Grade!  Woohoo!! I can hear you yelling, "Yes!"  Haha probably not, I'm sure you are sick of it!  But I'm here to help! 

After many hours of creating and really getting to know the standards inside and out, my product is complete!  I decided to include 3 assessments for each standard.  I figured you could use the 3 as a pre-assessment, practice, and a post-assessment. Or if you are like me, give a couple of assessments after you've taught the standard to see if the child truly has mastered it.  I sometimes find it’s hard to base a student’s knowledge on one assessment.  They have good and bad days just like us!  So I wanted to give you some options.  I also love being able to share these assessments with parents at conference time.  
To give you a little taste of my new product, I have included a Freebie below.  Just click here or on the image below to grab it.  

If you are interested in the full packet, check it out. It is 91 pages!!!  Hopefully it will help you get jump started with assessing the Common Core!


Please check back soon for a giveaway!!!  Have a great week!


December 07, 2014

My Favorite Things Blog Hop

December is one of my favorite months of the year! I love preparing for the holidays, seeing snow on the ground (not too much), cooking and baking, and just spending time with my family.  And to top it off this year, I am teaming up with some great bloggers to provide you with some AMAZING giveaways!!! I am talking some serious stuff here!!! There are SOOO many great things you could win!!! Thanks to Laura Graham from Where the Magic Happens for putting this together!  

Since this blog hop is all about our favorite things I would love to share some of my favorite things with you!!

First, my favorite restaurant!!! Ugh- this was definitely a tough one because I love to eat!!!  There are so many restaurants in the North End of Boston that I love, it was so hard to choose from.  So I thought about all of the places I've been and there are plenty more to try, but I narrowed it down to this restaurant called Prezza!  I can't say a bad thing about it!  I have always had delicious meals so I am giving it an A+ vote! One of my favorites!  If you ever head to Boston, you definitely have to check out the North End restaurants.  




Next up... my favorite store!!  Again, when it comes to picking favorite things I always have such a hard time because I like A LOT of things for different reasons. And shopping, I love it more than going out to eat!  I could shop for hours and hours! But I'd have to say right now...The Loft is my favorite store.  I feel like I shop there for my teacher wardrobe (haha), to just get a fun going out shirt, or a dress for a wedding!  I also love buying necklaces, scarves and fun belts from there!  I'm all about the accessories, they totally complete an outfit! The Loft is also a favorite among my work friends, so there has been several days where we are wearing the same outfit! haha the kids think it's hilarious, "Are you sisters??!!" They always ask!




My favorite beauty item has to be my Bare Essentials eye shadow.  I used to love two colors called "Grace" and would combine it with "Whisper" but they no longer make it. I must of missed that because I would have stocked up!!! So I had to move on to some other colors and found "Top Notch" (a duo pack).  You can pretty much wear it anytime!  Plus, I also love their bronzer so I'd recommend any of their products really! 



I know I mentioned earlier that December was one of my favorite months so this brings me to my favorite tradition. Every year on Christmas Eve my family has a big party at our house.  It's been going on for like 30 years now and pretty much the same people have come for years! It's such a fun (and somewhat stressful) day getting everything ready for the party.  I have the best time listening to Christmas songs and cooking in the kitchen with the fam!  This year is going to be even more special because my little one will be on the move, walking all over the place along with her little cousins! Ohhh how the times have changed!!!  My big contribution to the party food is my deviled eggs... my signature dish...hahah! Random right, but everyone loves them!
  

Lastly, I would love to share with you my favorite teaching item or items.  I have to go with my grid line post-it easel paper and Mr. Sketch markers.  I just love them and I use them daily!  I used to write on easel paper with lines but one year I discovered grid easel paper and never looked back.  I know it's expensive so a big thank you to my district for always making me happy and supplying the first grade team with this newly amazing paper!! My team has gotten so spoiled that one year we got all lined paper because of a mix up and we just had to send it back! haha are we serious?!! There's just something about the grid that makes it easier to write on and it's post-it! Nothing beats it!  
And lastly... the best part...it's GIVEAWAY time!! I will be donating a Dunkin Donuts gift card to this amazing blog hop giveaway!!! I know there are some Starbucks lovers out there, but my vote goes to Dunkin D's!  I just love my coffee and wake-up wraps! 


Also, my featured items will be 50% off in my TpT store this week, so please check them out!!! I hope you join in on the giveaways, win big, and check out some amazing new blogs!!!  To make your search easier type in #myfavoritethings2014 in TpT and you will find some great deals!

GOOD LUCK!!!

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:











7 winners for 7 prize packs!




















Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 03, 2014

December Linky Party

I'm excited to be linking up with Lisa from Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner.  I just love this linky idea! 

Here are my 3 pinterest finds for the month of December:

I always like to change up my activities from year to year and I loved finding this gem on pinterest! 
I just thought these Q-tip snowmen were simply adorable, and I really think the kids are going to enjoy this activity!  These will be perfect when I read all of my favorite snowmen books to the kids.  If this is successful I hope to do more crafts using Q-tips!  Such a great find!

Also, every year I try to come up with something different to give to my kids before winter vacation.  I usually give a book or a little goodie bag with a pencil, stickers, erasers, etc.  But then I found this!
This reindeer idea is super cute! Plus, everyone loves a delicious cup of cocoa!  I'm going to have to pass this idea along to my team.  

Each year, we have our winter holiday party and the parents come in and do 4 crafts with the kids.  One of my favorite crafts one year was, "Stained Glass hearts" for Valentine's Day.  I was so excited to come across this tree activity because they were just like the hearts my class made. 
These are going to be perfect for our class party and they will look so pretty in the windows.   Love these Christmas trees! Sooo cute!

I look forward to reading everyone else's posts! Just link up below to share your ideas!


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