September 07, 2015

LaborLESS Blog Hop!

Hello everyone!

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!
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.
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!  

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


2 $25 gift cards to TpT

1 $10 gift card to TpT

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.

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!

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