Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spectacular Secret Santa!

A few of my second grade bloggy pals and I teamed up this holiday season for a fun Secret Santa exchange!
I have made so many amazing friendships through blogging! I had just as much fun purchasing my gifts for my Secret Santa recipient as I did receiving my own package!

Since Marcy and I coordinated this event, we decided to exchange names so that we could keep everyone else's Secret Santa a surprise. And secretly, I wanted to have Marcy's name to buy for because she's one of my BBFs… Best Bloggy Friends! Some day I'll get to meet her and hug her in real life. Vegas 2015??? Please say YES!

I was excited to come home last Wednesday to a package on my doorstep. Unfortunately, UPS was not kind to my package :(
Luckily, Marcy wrapped it up really well and nothing was broken or wrecked!

Want to see what was inside??
 I am LOVING everything in my package!

Santa is Coming to Texas book: This one didn't make it to school. My own Wisco kids were AMAZED by the all Texas landmarks, especially the space center! We have seriously read this book about 10 times!
Fun sticky notes: You can never have too many sticky notes! And these have POLKA DOTS on them!!
A giant N cork board: I actually put this by my classroom door and hang parent notes on it. That way, I can't forget if Johnny is a car rider today! Marcy even drew me a hippo and stuck it on the board. You better believe that hippo is staying up there all year long! Click here to see it in action on Instagram.
Natural Touch lotion: This lotion is actually made by Marcy's family! How cool is that?! I'm always using lotion in the winter. My hands get so dry from constantly washing all the kiddo germs away, and it's hard to find a lotion that isn't greasy but moisturizes well. This is IT friends!! If you're looking for a new lotion, check this out!
Sour Patch Kids: no explanation needed. They were gone in less than an hour...
This is my "Uh oh, I ate those really fast. Now I'm going to get a belly ache..." face
Check out the link up below to see what my other friends received!

Happy Holidays, friends!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cyber Monday Blog Hop Stop #5

Hi friends! I'm teamming up with my Primary Powers' girls to bring you this AMAZING blog hop on Cyber Monday. We have teamed up with Go Noodle to bring you our favorite ideas for using GN in your class!
I am Stop 5 on our blog hop!
If you want to start at the beginning, head over to Molly's blog by clicking the button below! 
Today, I'm sharing how I use GoNoodle after recess. AFTER recess, you say?! You bet! We have a 45 minute break during the middle of the day for lunch and recess, and when that bell rings at 12:15 to come inside, my students are often still all wound up from their recess shenanigans. Especially during the winter months, when they're frantically taking off their snow gear and hanging it up in the hallway, they need some kind of relaxation activity to calm them down so we can get back to learning.

Enter GoNoodle!

Did you know that besides "wake me up" brain breaks, GoNoodle also has "calm me down" activities as well? Our ultimate favorite calm down activity is Flow. I've only explored the 2nd grade version of Flow, but there are grades K-7! There are lots of different options to manage stress and adjust attitudes. We personally like the one where you imagine you are holding a balloon. Here's a quick video of my kiddos in action. Don't mind my amateur video-taking skills :)
Empire State is another one we like. It's hosted by Maximo, and he is quite the funny guy! He leads kids through a series of stretches and balancing activities. Students definitely need to be calm and in control to do this activity!

Airtime is a fun one for kids to practice breathing in and out slowly. In this activity, you choose what state you want to start in and "travel" across the US. When you land, there are fun facts about where you land! There is also a space version called Airtime Space. Same concept, except this time you're traveling through outer space. I love doing this one when we are learning about the solar system to tie in our science curriculum. 

These are just a few of the calming activities we like to do after recess. There are lots more you can do too, so make sure you check them out! 

GoNoodle has generously given me a class set of GoNoodle stickers to give away to one of my awesome followers! My kiddos go CRAZY for stickers, and with the GoNoodle guys on them, they are a HIT! You can enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And because GoNoodle is SO awesome, we have one more surprise for you!
Starting on Cyber Monday, GoNoodle is also offering all Primary Powers readers 30% purchases from the GoNoodle Shop through December 8! Use the code POWERS30 at checkout to receive the discount PLUS a special gift from GoNoodle and Primary Powers. In addition to new t-shirts, tumblers, and other goodies for GoNoodling teachers, you can purchase affordable, pre-wrapped gift packs for students to bring a little GoNoodle love to your classroom this holiday.

Alright let's keep hoping! Each blog will have some more swag you can win, and at the end you can enter to win a year's subscription to Go Noodle Plus!! :)
Click the image above to head over to The Tutu Teacher!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WW: Classroom Necessities - Nail Polish Remover

Hi friends! I'm back to share more great ideas with my Weekend Warrior pals!
Again, as I scoured my classroom for my "must have" to share with you, I tried to bring you a necessity that you might not have or know about.

Enter the Sally Hanson Nail Polish Remover.
Yes. It MUST be Sally Hanson. Why? I have no idea! Maybe it has something to do with the acetone. But the knock off/generic brands DO NOT work!

When I buy labels or name tags, I usually laminate them so I can use them from year to year. Then I write the students' names on the lamination with a Sharpie so it doesn't wipe off. But what happens at the end of the year, when you want the PERMANENT marker to come off so you can use it next year? I'm sure most of you have heard of the dry erase marker trick. Just color over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker, give it some elbow grease, and voila! Well, yes, this does work. But I have an EVEN BETTER trick! Just put a little bit of the nail polish remover on a tissue or cotton ball and wipe it off!

These are my birthday cupcakes. Before....
And if you really want to see how fast and amazing this is, here's a video:
I did do a little extra at the end to wipe up some of the liquid left over, but isn't this incredible?! Just make sure you're using this in a well-ventilated space :)

Check out some more must haves from my girls below! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

WW: November Necessities

We're back a week early, bringing you some of the things we are thankful for in our classroom!
Of course I'm thankful for the technology my school provides me, my Flair pens and Mr. Sketch markers, and my HUGE classroom library… but today I want to share an idea you could take back to your classroom.

Insert my self-inking date stamp:
I LOVE this thing! I use it for several purposes in my classroom. I stamp all of my homework with the due date. Since I give a week to do all homework, it helps my parents stay organized, and it also keeps my hand from cramping up, since I don't have to write the date. I can also enlist a student to help me with this task. They LOVE to use my date stamper!
I also use the stamper to date work samples that go in my students' portfolios. It's just a quick and easy way to label these important papers and saves me a ton of time.

If you decide to buy one of these, here's a bit of advice. DO NOT throw away the stamp pad inside the stamper (it's self inking, remember?)! They don't sell replacement stamp pads, that I know of at least. You buy a tiny bottle of ink and drop a few drops of ink on the stamp pad to "refill" it. I threw mine away and had to buy a whole new stamper. And at $20, that was not a fun purchase. If you don't want to spend that kind of money on a date stamper, you can also buy the date stamp and stamp pad separately.

What do you need in your classroom? Comment below! Then stop by and see what my friends are sharing on their blogs. Happy weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Round Up

This time of year always makes me nostalgic, so why not take a look back at all the Bright Ideas that have been shared in 2014!
I love how this link up showcases genius classroom ideas from so many amazing bloggers! Literally, thousands of "ideas only" posts have been shared over the course of the last 10 months. Let's take a peek at some of the Bright Ideas I've shared this year:

This post shows how I organize my guided reading groups and paperwork using a set of two-pocket folders. I love that I'm not constantly flipping through pages in a binder or lugging a huge binder to and from data meetings!

Going along with the guided reading theme, this post shows how my team and I have compiled our guided reading books into one central location. We actually ordered a TON of books this summer and will be needing another cart! Not sure where we're going to put it though! 

In this post, I took a break from classroom ideas to share a trick for tying shoes that I learned in college. It works wonders on my kindergarten son!

 Lastly, I shared this post during the back to school season that explains how to use visuals to establish classroom routines and expectations. I love how my students' faces are all over my classroom!

Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me this month! I hope that you've been able to use or have been inspired by the ideas I've shared. Grab your coffee and snuggly blanket and check out the other Bright Ideas Round Up Posts from my friends below. Have a super weekend!

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