Teacher Ideas

Teacher Ideas

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Printables & Freebies
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Classroom Ideas

A little Thank You goes a long way

While teachers love getting gifts for teacher appreciation week sometimes the most memorable gifts are the ones that come from the hearts of students. Each of the students at my daughters preschool were given a piece of card stock to decorate for teacher appreciation week, these heartfelt creations will adorn the hallways as teachers arrive at school this week.

This simple art project lets little ones express their creativity and creates something frame worthy for the halls.

On a piece of cardstock use white crayon to write a message, I love mixing different styles of writing. Then have your little one get creative with their watercolors, my daughter wanted to create a rainbow, simple color blocked lines create a one of a kind piece of artwork that any teacher will love!


Buzzing with Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect time to go the extra mile to make the teachers in your life feel honored and celebrated.  The teacher in me knows that it doesn't take much to make educators feel recognized and appreciated.

Recently I signed up to help out with Teacher Appreciation Week at my son's preschool.  I had so much fun thinking up the perfect way to say thank you to his group of teachers.

I wanted to make sure that the classroom come Monday morning made them feel celebrated from the moment that they walked in.  But before the decorating began, I also wanted there to be some keepsake for each of them to remember this special group of children.

These beehives were the perfect background for little fingerprint bumble bees.  So simple, so cute, and so memorable.

Right click on the image below to make your own beehive for a special teacher.

The door is obviously the first thing the teachers see, so I wanted to make sure it was full of handmade cuteness. These little buzzing bees were painted by the two year old students.  Black and white polka dot scrapbook paper strips were added.  As well as wax paper wings, googly eyes, stingers, and of course a pink bow for the girl bees.

Yellow paper lanterns were turned into beehives.

Polka dot tissue paper pom poms filled the room as well.

Every Queen Bee needs a crown right?

All of this to simply say...

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Teacher Appreciation Tags Get You An "A" For Effort!

It's pretty simple to make a teacher happy...just say thank you. Whether it's a word of thanks during Teacher Appreciation Week or any random day of the year, gratitude goes a long way!

An apple for the teacher is traditional, but think outside the box when showing your appreciation. Some simple gift ideas include:

Gift certificates: manicure/pedicure, restaurants, coffee shop, movies
Fresh school supplies: a new crop of grading pens, pretty paper, and file folders
Monogrammed insulated cup: keep her hydrated and in style
New tote bag: find a cute one that is full of pockets for organization
Fresh flowers: bring her beautiful potted flowers to brighten up the classroom
A special lunch: it's a rare treat to get a non cafeteria lunch 

Use the adorable tags below, and you'll be sure to get an A for effort!  Just right click on the image and paste into a Word document to print. 

Freebie Fridays


Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

National Teacher Appreciation Week is just a few weeks away (May 6th through 10th) and we're on the hunt for some creative and clever ways to show the educators in your life how truly special they are.  It's hard to find another profession that is as demanding and rewarding as that of an teacher.  Take time to recognize and celebrate their hard work!

1. School themed cookies  Whether they come from your kitchen or a local bakery, a sweet school themed treat always hits the spot.
 2. Adorable drink sleeves These perfect penmanship drink sleeves will keep your teacher's coffee warm and cozy.
3. Chalkboard Picture frame What a great way to display her favorite class picture for years to come.
 4.  Handmade lunchbags A packed lunch is part of the job description, so why not send her to school in style.
5. FREE Bag Toppers A fine finishing touch for your favorite gift.
6. Apple cookies Can't go wrong with an apple for the teacher (a cookie one is even better), especially packaged in mason jars!
7. Letter initial made from crayons A personalized craft that even the youngest of students can help create.
8. School supply cake We've seen diaper cakes, but why not shower your teacher with a slew of supplies.

Check out our PINTEREST for more Teacher Appreciation ideas!

Find more adorable Teacher Appreciation gift tags to make your gift extra special!  


Get Festive with Cinco De Mayo

We have rounded up some colorful and crafty activities that are just perfect for celebrating Cinco De Mayo. Introduce students to new traditions and cultures through these fun activities.

1. Tissue Paper Banners Papel Picado or punched paper banners are a Mexican tradition passed on from generation to generation, each design very intricate. Have students create their own designs using tissue paper and a pair of small scissors. 
2. Mini Maracas what a great way to make maracas, this website goes through it step by step. Recycle those plastic easter eggs, fill with beans or seeds, affix two plastic spoons onto either side attach masking tape, have kids color using vivid markers, or use washi tape to decorate.
3. Burro Pinata Suncatchers Use small scraps of tissue paper to create this adorable pinata sun catcher, great artwork for those classroom windows.
4.Colorful Mexican guitars, created using watercolors, buttons and other various craft supplies
6. Paper bag maracas, such a cute easy way to make maracas, have students shake them to some traditional Mexican music.
5. Make a mini pinata using a small tissue box Decorate using bright colors of fringed tissue paper, attach colorful ribbon.

View these ideas and more on our Pinterest site

Explore Mexican traditions with this simple craft
Colorful Yarn Ojo de dios or God's Eyes, Use popsicle sticks glued into the shape of a cross, use colorful yarn to wrap around.

We have created a sampler pack that includes activities for Math games ( perfect for a math center or station) ABC order, writing activities, activities on adjectives and much much more.

This Cinco De Mayo Primary pack has a lot of activities for the classroom or at home. It is designed for young learners (Pre-k - 2)

It has 25 Pages of colorful creative activities

Sombrero Math (a partner game or independent learning center, designed to use with counters)4 Pages
Sombrero Math greater than, less than. Number comparisons 1 page
Spanish Sentences (using spanish vocabulary words to complete a sentence) 1 page
Creative Writing Prompt: A Cinco De Mayo Fiesta 1 page
Vocabulary Cards 3 Pages
Creative Writing Prompt: A magical sombrero 1 page
Design your own sombrero: Activity on Adjectives 1 page
ABC Order 1 page
Matching spanish to english words (months of the year) 1 page
Counting Fun (spanish numbers) 1 page

Colores Game (9 pages)
It's a colorful world a review of colors contains activities meant to review the 6 basic colors in English and Spanish. The first activity is a color sort. students go on a scavenger hunt around the room (or outside) and look for items that represent each color. they draw and label the items. There are 6 color cards in Spanish (these can be laminated and used as a center, or for a bulletin board) students find objects and place them onto color cards. The last activity is a color memory game cut and laminate the cards and have students match the color word in English to the Spanish color. perfect for an independent center or a quick review.

Grab your Cinco De Mayo FREEBIE below!

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Keep up with the dress code with stylish solutions from Tat Patch

 Teachers and moms around the country have been struggling for years to find the balance between fashion and what is appropriate for the classroom.  I have seen my fair share of silly bands, colored hair and short shorts.
Tweens especially are looking for new ways to express their individuality and impress their friends. While we as teachers and parents might not always embrace every fashion trend here is one you can definitely get behind. 
If you have growing children you are constantly dealing with ripped jeans, they wear their trendy slightly torn jeans two or three times and before you know it those $40 jeans you just bought have a huge hole in the knee. In many schools across the country these are now in violation of dress code and your child is now begging for more jeans....don't throw them away just yet. 
Take a look at what we found.
The trendy Tat Patch is a comfy, stylish fabric "tattoo" inside your favorite distressed jeans. They're easy to apply...stick one on your jeans, throw them in the dryer, and enjoy your cool new look!
No sewing, no ironing, just easy stylish fun!

When we saw these we just had to give them a try, as you know Amanda and I are busy moms, between the two of us we have a preschooler,  2 toddlers and a newborn.
Keeping up with clothes some days feels like a full time job.

A pair of my favorite jeans had become way to worn for this mama to sport. Holes and frays are fun and cute when you are young , but when you are picking up your little one at daycare with the other thirty somethings and you start showing a little too much skin, you need a solution. Tat Patch was just perfect, it came in a variety of different colors and patterns and is even launching a new program where you can customize your own design....I'm seeing lots of monogrammed girly patches in my daughters future.
When I opened my package I couldn't believe how soft the fabric was, the design I chose was blue lace, it was subtle yet trendy. I applied just as the directions said it was super fast and easy. 

    Pre-Wash your garment WITHOUT fabric softeners
    Turn garment inside out – smooth the material
    Peel off paper backing from Tat Patch (try not to touch the adhesive)
    Place your Tat Patch FACE DOWN onto the garment, covering the hole
    Rub or press with FIRM PRESSURE all around the edge of the patch
    Tumble dry (HIGH HEAT) for 15 minutes (with nothing else in the dryer)
    Remove from dryer and press with FIRM PRESSURE again to ensure a tight bond
    Let your garment cool for about 30 minutes…then Be Cool

    ***Not Recommended for Stretch-Jeans Fabric***

I have been sporting my Tat Patch for the past few weeks, it is super comfortable, durable and stylish. I can't wait to order a few more and try them out on my daughters clothes, They are still a little too big for my two year old but I can see him sporting some of their stylish designs as he gets a little older.

Enter to Win a Tat Patch of your own. 
5 Lucky winners will win 2 Patches from Tat Patch
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Celebrate Earth Day with your students

Earth Day is coming up next Monday, April 22, 2013.
 It's a day that reminds us of exactly how precious our Earth is. Get your students involved in the discussion, make them more aware and encourage them to help become part of the solution and not the problem.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~By Margaret Mead

 We have found some of our favorite Earth Day activities, we hope that you will check out a few and incorporate them into your classroom this year.

1. Recycled Art Have students create their own recycled art. Give each student a color and a ziploc bag have them fill their ziploc baggie with found items, recyclables or other items that might be tossed away. Using a Hot glue gun glue all of the students items onto a large canvas (great job for a parent volunteer), you can keep like colors together or create a mural (older students might enjoy designing the mural on paper first and have classmates vote on their favorite design)
2. Earth Day Cupcakes Break out the green and blue food coloring for these yummy Earth day treats!
3. Liter Bugs Collect recyclable items and have students create their own litter bugs, practice those creative writing skills by having them write a descriptive paragraph or story about their new creation.
4. Have students create an image of the Earth using tissue paper or paint on to a paper plate. Have them place their hands in paint and place onto a piece of construction paper, cut out and glue at the bottom. On an index card have students write down a way that they can help protect the Earth. and glue it onto the bottom of their plate.
5. As a class paint a large replica of the Earth using green and blue paint, have each student brainstorm ways that they can each help to protect our Earth and its resources. The one pictured is from Chalk Talk
6. Paper Maiche Globes, Kids love Paper Maiche, what's not to love, it's a chance to get messy. Inflate a balloon, provide students with strips of newspaper and a mixture of glue water (75% glue 25% water) Apply moistened strips onto balloon till thoroughly covered. Once dry have students use paint to color or use tissue paper in the same fashion as the newspaper strips till covered. Once dry you can use strips of paper for students to write down ways we can help protect our environment, or ways we benefit from the Earth's resources.
7.Earth Day Posters, Have students design posters to get the Earth Day message out. Use them to adorn the cafeteria or hallway at school. Extend the activity by having students write a commercial or radio ad to entice viewers at home to get off the couch and pitch in to make our Earth a better place.
8. Recycled Prints Have students create their own one of a kind art using recycled, boxes, newspapers, magazines etc. Make into shapes like flowers, trees, dragonflies and assemble together as a bulletin board.

View these ideas and more on our Pinterest Boards

I hope that Earth Day will get your students engaged and will help them decide to take action. Get the discussion going with this FREEBIE below.

Click on the image above to be taken to our store.

How do your students celebrate Earth Day, leave us a comment below.

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I Mustache you a Question...Are your students ready for the big test?

I must ask...Are your kids ready?
Testing season is upon us and it's time for our young students to show us what they know. In lots of classrooms in schools across our country students are cramming in those last few skills and strategies that will help them to do their very best on their state standardized tests. Having taught both 3rd and 1st grades I have seen first hand some of the pressure kids place on themselves before testing.

As teachers we all have those nights right before the test where we wake up from a sound sleep and scream, "Did I teach them how to add fractions? Do they know what an adverb is? What about science....Did I even get to that????" The worries are real but the pressure shouldn't be...keep your classroom a stress free test prep zone. We have a few ideas to help make it fun and engaging so students can feel confident in what they have learned and truly show what they know!

One of my favorite ways to review materials before the big day is in a teach off, where the students become the teachers. Assign students into groups of 3 or 4. Ahead of time decide which 4 or 5 topics the class could use as a whole to review, write each topic onto an index card. Have teams choose an index card. As a team they have to decide how best to teach/review that skill with the class, as a team they need to decide on a way to deliver the review (on the board, a game, question and answer...encourage them to be as creative as possible)

After teams plan their activity and review they teach it to the class. We all know that students retain much more if they are teaching it to another student, so why not tap into that and encourage them to become the teacher instead of just passively absorbing the information that you are teaching.

Another fun way to get students engaged is to make a class set of mustaches, just print ( insert image below into a word document, drag corners to resize as needed) cut and add to a straw or a wooden stick. When reviewing or asking kids questions have them raise their mustache instead of raising their hand if they "Mustache" you a question about the concept being reviewed. This is just a fun way to keep things light and fun. It gives students a novel way to express their questions while having fun.

 Enjoy the bookmark below, pass it out as a reminder the night before the big day. Remind students that the best way to be prepared is to get a good nights rest, eat a good breakfast, get to school early and ROCK the test!

 Wishing everyone the very best as testing weeks approach around the country! Check out some more test prep ideas on our Pinterest boards!
How do you review with your students? leave us a comment below and share your ideas with other teachers.

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Freebie Fridays


Teaching kids what matters most...the art of being a gracious host and a thankful friend!

Recently I ran across this quote by Elsie De Wolfe that said "Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you."  I believe this wholeheartedly.  I believe in teaching this to my children as well.  With spring break still in our rear view mirror, and summer vacation just a few stops down the road, children will be hosting pint sized get-togethers more often now.  

My daughter just turned five and hosted her first ever sleepover.  We talked a lot about inviting some of her close friends and what it entails to have guests over to your house for a short play date or overnight stay. 

Being a gracious host is hard enough for an adult, and it is definitely hard for a child.  We have to share our space, belongings, and attention.  This birthday girl was up for the challenge and had a wonderful time giggling the night away with her little friends!
We set her room up for the party. Kaitlyn helped with all of the planning she chose what things she wanted to do at her party as well as what favors her guest would receive. She wanted all of her little friends to have pajamas for the party so we picked out some fabric and enlisted the grandmas and their sewing machines. My mom Grandma DD made the pants, and Miss K and I ironed on the initials for the shirts, Grandma J embroidered around each one giving them a finished look for a lot less that traditional monogramming. To make shirts like this use iron on adhesive, cut out your shape and letter then use the iron to adhere them to a shirt. The embroidery around the letters help them to stay in place without fraying. The girls looked so adorable in the matching pajamas. They had a great night filled with dress up, pizza making, ice cream sundaes and of course some popcorn and a movie! It was exactly the kind of pajama party my little 5 year old was dreaming of!

We just love these adorable spoons from The Bakers Confections they sell the most adorable items for parties. We found matching chevron straws and chevron treat bags there as well. They were perfect little popcorn bags. The straws were a hit as well, the girls just loved the bright colors!

 The cake was designed to match the invites I designed you can find them at  Magic by Marcy A local friend here in town has a passion for creating these amazing cakes. She does such a fabulous job!

 Kaitlyn had such a great time with her little friends......her first party she has hosted was a total success. Right now Kaitlyn is busy working on her thank you notes from the party....she is already a better hostess than her mommy....my thank you notes always seem to be a little late...oops! Whether they are late or right on time they are a must, this time old tradition of personally writing a little note of appreciation teaches children the value of being thankful as well as appreciating the effort of their peers.

Keep a few thank you notes handy around the house for your child to write on when an occasion arises. Or print a few for your desk at school or your home office....everyone loves a little thank you!
 To print, right click and save the image. Insert into a word document and drag corners to resize as needed. After printing just cut the note out and use the back for your thank you note.

Freebie Fridays

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