Monthly Archives

March 2016

Expressionery Loves Teachers

Teacher appreciation week will be here before you know it and Expressionery loves teachers! I love Expresionery because they have the perfect items for any teacher gift!

This post was sponsored by Expressionery but know that all ideas and opinions are my own. I love notepads, pens, and custom stamps – I mean, who doesn’t love anything personalized? These products are a perfect gift idea for a teacher friend, coworker, or your child’s teacher.

If your child has a male teacher, it can be difficult to find something to give to your child’s teacher. However, if anyone knows me well, they know I am obsessed with anything mustache or tie related. That’s why I created a gift basket full of items that are perfect for any male educator out there.

Before I share more…you should know that you can save 30% on
stationery for your teachers with the promo code LKTEACH.  Just click here and start shopping! Check out this custom stamp that is perfect for any parent gift! These stamps add such a special touch to any teacher gift or creation. You can find this Just For You Custom Stamp HERE.

Did I mention I’m obsessed with Coffee too?

I purchased a large metal pail at the local craft supply store. Simply fill it with teacher goodies such as coffee, mugs, teacher tape, magnets, pens, and of course, your favorite Expressionery products!

These personalized notepads are perfect for sending a positive note home with your students or reminding yourself that you have a meeting after school… we all know that we sometimes forget those important meetings. It is a Single Peep on a Small Memo Pad and you can order it HERE.

The custom stamp adds such a personalized touch to any gift.

Promotion: 30% off stationery with code: LKTEACH & 30%
off stamps with no code needed
Legal:

Valid through 4/11/2016. Receive 30% off personalized
stationery with code: ‘LKTEACH’ at checkout. Offer excludes all announcements
& notebooks. This offer may not be combined with any other offer or
discount, and shipping fees and sales tax are separate. To prevent abuse,
prices, specifications, and availability subject to change without notice from
Expressionery.com.



Enter to win an awesome prize from Laura Kelly and Expressionery! Use the below Rafflecopter form to enter to win.

See more Teacher Appreciation ideas with Expressionery here:




Happy Teaching,

Classroom Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is almost here which makes it a great time for one of my students’ favorite activities… Easter egg hunts! I have to admit this is one of my favorite activities too. The kids are so excited as they race around the classroom trying to collect their eggs! Another reason I love Easter egg hunts is that you can adapt them for almost any subject or skill level. Let’s grab our materials and get started!

The first step in creating a fun, engaging Easter egg hunt is to create teams. I created these egg hunt team cards using Kate Hadfield Designs clip art. This year I decided to go with a carrot theme after seeing all of Laura Kelly’s carrot obsession on her blog.

I created 6 teams with 4 students on each team. I also designated a specific color to each team in case any team is confused on what color eggs to look for.

Check out these amazing Carrot-Shaped Plastic Easter Eggs and Chevron Pails from Oriental Trading! The carrot-shaped plastic Easter eggs are perfect for any classroom egg hunt. They’re bright, durable, and they add such a special touch to the theme of my egg hunt! Oriental Trading has a variety of Easter eggs that are perfect for any theme of egg hunt. Check out all the options!

The next step is to think about where you want to hide your eggs around the school and/or classroom. After finding places to hide each egg, it is important to write kid-friendly clues. My goal was to make sure that my students could read and/or sound out each clue.

Have I told you how obsessed I am with all of the items that Oriental Trading has to offer for any themed party and event? They made planning my Easter egg hunt so easy! I try to stay away from giving my students too much candy. This Easter Egg Filler Assortment is perfect for filling eggs and creating goody bags for my students!

I decided to use these Chevron Pails to fill with Easter goodies and prizes! The pails are heavy-duty and come in a variety of colors (blue, green, purple, and pink). I used green Easter grass to fill the bottom of my pails and I filled each pail with a plastic carrot Easter egg full of jelly beans and goodies from the Easter Egg Filler Assortment.


Check out this hippity hoppity Easter tag that I made for each pail. You can use the back of the tag to write a personalized note to each of your students. You can download these tags for free: Click Here!

I used these carrot stationery note cards from Laura Kelly Designs to create a personalized award for each of my students for completing the classroom egg hunt. I also used my personalized stamp from Expressionery to add a special touch.

How awesome are these?

The last clue that my students will receive is in a glitter Easter egg. I focused on reading simple sentences for my Easter egg hunt, but you can focus on any subject or content area.

Are you ready to get started on your classroom Easter egg hunt? Download this free printable file with sample clues, team cards, and much more! Click the picture above to download it!

This activity is sure to get your students excited about Easter, and it is something they will remember and cherish for a lifetime! Be sure to check out all of Oriental Trading’s amazing Easter products. Happy egg hunting!


This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company to provide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Udderly Smooth Loves Teachers!

What’s the number one problem teachers face on a day-to-day basis? Dry hands, of course! Well, I have the best solution! 
Udderly Smooth Udder Cream, of course! If you haven’t tried this stuff, where have you been? It’s amazing! How many of you remember a teacher you had that motivated, challenged, and inspired you to be the teacher you are today? I’m sure you can think of someone! Shockingly, I can list off all my teachers from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. They have all impacted my life in some way, shape, or form. However, I will never forget my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Roberts. She was the sweetest, most caring teacher I had ever met. She motivated me to be the best student I could be, challenged me to take risks, and encouraged me to always do my best. 
Today I am teaming up with Udderly Smooth and the Laura Kelly Design Team to share with you this udderly fun and MOO-tivational teacher gift! Let’s grab our supplies and get MOO-ving!
Supplies
– Black all-purpose acrylic paint
– Metal Tin Party Tubs and/or pail
– Paint brush
– Chalk marker
– Red crinkle paper filler
– Red and black pinwheels
Udderly Smooth Products (From your local CVS Store)

I purchased some plain, tin tubs from my local craft supply store. Using black all-purpose acrylic paint, I decided to turn this tub into a cow-spotted masterpiece.

The best part about painting the container is there is no way to mess up when making your spots – just have fun with it! Make your spots different shapes and sizes to give it a true cow look.

How cool is that? Plus, can we talk about how amazing that cow is?! I also purchased some red and black pinwheels from my local craft store. This reminded me of spring and who doesn’t want spring?

Use a chalk marker to personalize your pail! These markers are easier to write with than chalk, plus they do not smear!

Add red crinkle paper filler to your tin tub and pail. Lastly, fill your tub and pail with all your favorite Udderly Smooth products! These teacher gifts are perfect for any colleague, friend, or any MOO-tivational person in your life.

We are surrounded by so many positive, influential educators who make a difference in a child’s life each day. These gift baskets are the perfect way to say “Thank You” to any educator that has made an impact on your life.

Be sure to check out all the Udderly Smooth products at your local CVS store. Say goodbye to dry hands and hello to an udderly amazing gift!

Giveaway

Enter below for your chance to win an Udderly Smooth Prize Pack and a $50 CVS gift card! Plus be sure to check out all of the other amazing gift ideas below!

Check out these other gift ideas!

MOO-tivationally yours,

Creating Interactive Classrooms: Spy Headquarters!

How can I turn my classroom into a fun, interactive learning environment that my students will never forget? How can I create engaging lessons that still align with curriculum, with state standards, etc.? Well, folks, it’s possible! Today I am excited to share with you exactly how I turned my classroom into an experience that my students will never forget. Let’s grab our disguises and solve a mystery!

I got this amazing idea to transform my classroom into an interactive classroom from Hope at Elementary Shenanigans.
However, I still needed to add my own Male Kindergarten Teacher twist to it! My inspiration for an interactive classroom experience came from a quote that Hope shared on her blog:

“Provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude.” – Dave Burgess

If we create an uncommon experience for our students by transforming our classrooms into something spectacular, our students are going provide us with a desire to learn, a desire to adapt to new experiences/situations, and a desire to think outside of the box. In this lesson, my students were actively engaged in reviewing skills that were previously taught from the beginning of the year. Plus all the skills in this lesson were all aligned to our reading and math curriculum.

How do I get started?

Well, it’s pretty simple, but first you need to come up with a plan. What mystery are your students going to solve and how are they going to solve it? In my classroom I have a real popcorn machine. No, the popcorn machine is not to make popcorn, but it is to help my students learn their kindergarten sight words (or what I call popcorn words). I thought it would be a great idea to have my popcorn machine go “missing” the day before our spy headquarters transformation. I talked with my principal and she graciously said she would love to be part of this mystery! I hid our popcorn machine in her office and started creating invitations to send home to my students the night before.

The next step was creating an invitation to each of my students inviting them to our spy headquarters the next day. I created these personalized envelopes with a secret message inside. However, in order to find out what the secret message said, my students needed to put together a puzzle with the secret message on it! I used Ellison dies to cut my secret message into four puzzle pieces. To find out how I made the invitations, head on over to the Ellison Education blog!

The invitation said:

“Secret Agent,
I need your help! You have been chosen to be a part of a top secret mission. Our popcorn machine has gone missing, and I need your help to find it!
In order to solve our mystery, you will need to complete a number of tasks. If you accept his mission, please report to your classroom at 8:20 A.M. sharp. If possible, please wear black as a disguise.
I hope to see you there!
– Agent Boender”

Classroom Setup

Classroom setup is fairly simple! However, when setting up your classroom, you can go as crazy or as simple as you want. Here is what you will need:

Yes, it’s that simple! I created this sign using Kate Hadfield Designs clip art. After creating the graphic, I had it made into a 2.5′ x 4′ banner from Vistaprint.

Check out this classroom transformation! Simply place a series of black lights around the classroom. Tie white yarn from the ceiling to objects such as tables, chairs, etc. Now that our classroom is transformed, this calls for some costumes/disguises!

My students each received a secret agent badge and some amazing disguise glasses from OrientalTrading.com.

I also purchased these personalized trophies from OrientalTrading for each student. This is a great way to reward my students for solving the mystery of the missing popcorn machine!

My students also received a bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn!

Check out my Spy Headquarters unit in My TeachersPayTeachers Store!

This unit includes:

• 7 spy themed center activities that review the following
skills:
   – Beginning Sounds
   – Missing Numbers
(Up to 20)
   – Ten Frames (Up to
20)
   – Uppercase to
Lowercase Matching
   – Letter Mat
Matching
   – Rhyming Words
   – Number
Identification (Tally marks, base ten blocks, fingers, and ten frames)
• Editable poster
• Editable personalizable invitation
• Editable personalizable envelope cover
With over 60 pages, this unit is excellent for reviewing the
concepts in both reading and mathematics.
Center Setup
I designated six of my tables as a center. As the students completed each center, the students received
a puzzle piece. After receiving each puzzle piece, the students were one step
closer to finding out the culprit of the missing popcorn machine!

At the end of all six centers, my students received six puzzle pieces to put together. They worked together in groups to solve the mystery and found out who the culprit was. Their favorite part was taking a visit down to the principal’s office to question the culprit! Why did our principal take our popcorn machine? She wanted to learn our popcorn words (sight words), of course!

This activity is sure to get your students excited about learning, and it is something they will remember and cherish for a lifetime!
Secret Agent,