Thursday, September 24, 2015

What's My Number? and a Freebie!

I am so excited to be doing my first post on Focused on Fifth.

I will be discussing how to play "What's My Number?" with your students. Head on over to Focused on Fifth and check out how to play and download the freebie. Who doesn't love a freebie?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Focused on Fifth: A New 5th Grade Collaborative Blog and Huge Giveaway!

I am super excited to be one of the collaborators of the new 5th grade collaborative blog, Focused on Fifth! 

To celebrate, we are having a huge giveaway!
 Check out all these prizes you could win.

We are giving away 10 bundles of 10 products for fifth grade worth over $35 to 10 lucky winners. Plus, one grand prize winner will receive the bundle PLUS a $35 gift certificate to TpT!

What are you waiting for? Head on over to Focused on Fifth and enter to win!

Monday, September 7, 2015

LaborLESS Blog Hop and Giveaway!

I hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

To say that teachers work hard is probably the biggest understatement. There is no time clock to punch when you are talking about your children (students).

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! We have joined forces once again to bring you an amazing giveaway!

Main Graphic Laborless

We have come together to give you ideas on how to work smarter rather than harder. Being a teacher can be hard. It's certainly exhausting, stressful, and in the end so rewarding. We also know that there is just NEVER enough time to do it all. Below you will find a few of my favorite tips that will save you time and energy inside and outside the classroom.

Organization is key to a successful year. When I look back on my more stressful years I realize that they were also my most unorganized years as well.

I teach 5th grade so my students are dangling on the edge of no longer being children but not quite teens. They no longer need to be "babied" but they are not ready to give up all the cute organizational tools that fill primary classrooms. That's a good thing because those organizational tools ultimately save us time as well.

These are my book boxes. They are magazine files that I purchased from  I go crazy when it is silent reading time and I have half a dozen students that "just finished" a book or "left their book at home". They then spend a big chunk of time searching for a new book to read. No more! When my students arrive tomorrow they will learn that they are always going to have a book "on deck" in their book box. So when they finish the current book they are reading(or leave it at home) they can go right to their book box and grab their next book.
My next idea saves a bunch of time in the morning. This is my lunch count/attendance board.
I pick one dependable student to be in charge of this board. The first thing they do when they come in the classroom in the morning is pass out the magnetic name tags (seen here in the little basket).
The students then put their name in the appropriate spot (school lunch or lunch from home). That same dependable student, after morning announcements, goes around and picks up any tags that are still on desks (ie. absent students). He/she adds those names to the absent section of the board. When I am ready to enter the attendance and lunch count into the computer, all I have to do is look up and check the board. I no longer have to interrupt the students, who are working on morning work, to find out who is buying lunch.

Do you like the chalkboard frames I used for my attendance board? You can get them free here and here.
There is nothing more stressful than coming home from a long day of teaching, discovering that you need to be back out the door soon to a game (practice, PTO meeting, event, etc) and having no time to prepare dinner. I don't know what I would do without these babies.
This is what my kitchen counter tends to look like on a Sunday afternoon in the fall and winter. I cook beans in the small crock and freeze to use later in chili and soups. In one of the bigger crockpots I will make a meal for that night (stew, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc). We use the leftovers as lunches or freeze for a quick dinner in the weeks to come. The last crockpot usually contains a soup that we will have for dinner later in the week.

My Pinterest Board "Crockpot Meals" has over a 150 pins to easy crockpot recipes. You can check them out here.

When I started using my crockpots for more than making baked beans and chili, A Year of Slow Cooking was a great site for inspiration.
It doesn't get much easier then this product - just print, copy and pass out. My Back to School Color By Numbers is a great fun way to reinforce place value understanding. Who doesn't love to color? Use it for homework, morning work, or even at a center.

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

Enter the giveaway below and have a chance at winning one of these wonderful gift cards that you can use to purchase more LaborLESS materials and activities. Then start hopping and see the amazing ideas that other bloggers have to share.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pick 3 - September Linky

What happened to the summer?

The good news is that it is once again time for the Pick 3 Linky hosted by PAWSitively Teaching and the Inspired Owl's Corner.

Here are my 3 picks!

I know many of your are already back to school but September brings the first day of school for me. So right now my head is fixed on first day activities and open house ideas.

The first few days are all about getting to know your students. It is so important to take the time to get to know your students and let them get to know you. When they know you care about them, they are more willing to take risks and be invested in their own learning.

The activity below is one I have thought about doing for a while. This year I am finally going to do it and hang it up in the hall in time for Open House.

click image to view original pin

I always like having a treat for the parents when they arrive at open house. Last year I gave out peppermints. This year I want to change it up. Who doesn't love popcorn?
Click image to view original pin

I absolutely love this idea. This will be my third year using the parent wish jar at open house.
click the image to view original pin

It is great way to start to get to know your parent. The answer to the following question is very telling.  "If you had one wish this year for your child, what would it be?" I usually pull the jar back out around conference time to see how we are doing on accomplishing their wishes.

If you would like to see more pins like these, check out my Open House board here.

Be sure to check out the other blogs and see their 3 Septemeber ideas to inspire.

Do you have 3 pins you would like to share? Then link up below. I would love to see your ideas.

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