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Celebrating Valentine's Day in the Classroom

I LOVE celebrating Valentine's Day with my students! It's such a fun time for them-- plus, all those adorable tiny cards full of puns! Unfortunately some teachers dread this day, so I'm here to offer some fun ideas to keep your kids engaged and excited! 

I use this bulletin board as a study in adjectives AND kindness! Each student randomly draws a name and has to list adjectives to describe that person. I have my kids keep their person a secret-- and I usually display a page of adjectives (we discuss any unknown words) to help them get started! The entire process is easy-- makes a FABULOUS bulletin board display-- and it is FREE. Click here to read more in-depth directions and get the free printables to help you get started! 

If you find yourself teaching virtually on Valentine's Day, I have some bright and colorful Google slides to help you out! This product also comes with editable PowerPoint slides (in case you want to create your own slides or use them in person). I have a growing holiday/season bundle -- so you can save money by purchasing that-- or you can buy the Valentine slides separately! Click HERE or on the pic above to see more! 

I LOVE using these math centers with my 3rd graders. Such a fun way to sneak in math practice while letting them play games and complete various tasks! Plus, once you get everything prepped you will have it ready for every Valentine's Day. This download comes with 8 different centers that cover:
  • 3 Digit Addition & Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • 2 Step Word Problems
  • Time to the minute/Elapsed Time
  • Area
  • Perimeter
  • Graphing (bar graphs)
  • Fractions

Another activity my students love are these multiply and color pages! Also helpful to keep in a sub folder (just in case you need emergency plans)!


One thing I have my students do every year is create a Valentine bag to hold all their treats and cards. We usually do this at the beginning of the day (or even the day before) so that we can get started on passing out cards early! A few days ahead of time, I let students choose which animal they want to create-- that way I can have the correct number of copies! 

Click HERE to see the bags I purchase off of Amazon (please note this is an affiliate link)-- they are super sturdy and can hold a lot! 

One last way I like to celebrate with my kids is by celebrating their amazing behavior all month long! I print off a set of these notes-- and every day I pick a student who I felt did an incredible job the day before. I write a little note on the back and leave it on their desk with a small prize (candy, play-doh, pencil, eraser, etc.) I use a tiny mailbox from Target to keep it in. The student returns the mailbox, but keeps what's inside. They were always so excited to come in and see who had the mailbox on their desk! 
Find those FREE printable notes HERE in my TPT store!

However you choose to celebrate in your classroom-- I hope this post was able to give you some fun, new ideas! Have a great day! 

Hipster Animal Decor

 I am so excited to present one of my all-time favorite decor sets: Hipster Animals! 
I put a ton of time and effort into my decor bundles-- printing and trying out most of the items before posting them! I include a ton of editable options, so if you feel like something is missing you can most likely create it yourself! I will add where I purchased most of the storage items at the end of this post!

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

A lot of the pieces in this bundle can be purchased individually, but you will save money by bundling (but it's really about what fits your needs). Some of the items included are:
*Editable binder covers and spines
*Class birthday display
*3 Drawer labels
*Editable book bin labels
*Large wall calendar
*Editable class job display
*Editable clip chart
*Editable class rules
*Editable labels
*Editable schedule cards
*Editable teacher toolbox labels
*Motivational posters
*"Work Coming Soon!" Posters
*Google Slide Templates
*Welcome Bulletin Board Kit
This bundle also comes with exclusive freebies (things you can only get with the purchase of the bundle)! Some of them include: 
*Place value display
*10 Frame posters
*Cursive and print alphabet lines
*Editable blank posters
*Crayon box numbers
*Editable alphabet posters
*Editable banners
*Motivational mini posters
*Watercolor number line
I think kids (and teachers) will LOVE looking at this theme all year long! If you are teaching from home you can definitely still use pieces and hang them for a display as you teach from your computer! 

You can find the decor bundle HERE (or clicking any of the photos in this post). 
Additional items I used:

*3 Inch Binders

*Plastic Storage Tubs

*Black Teacher Toolbox

*Teal Book Bins

*Birthday Cups Post & Links  

*White 8 Cube Shelf

*Grey Baskets: IKEA

*'Try Your Best' Sign: Simply Stained Shop on Etsy

*Bulletin Board: Hobby Lobby

*White Picture Frames: Walmart

*Teal Supply Caddy: Walmart

*3 Drawer Organizer (white): Walmart

I hope you have a great day! 

Easy DIY Baby Closet Prep

Hey everyone! Not my usual "teacher" post here-- but I wanted to share a recent project! If you didn't know, my husband and I are expecting our first child in November! Super exciting-- but also super scary! One thing I'm doing to ease my anxiety is to make sure we are prepped for our girl! 

So I decided to make these closet clothing divider hangers! I don't plan to hang all her clothing-- just the fancier items. I couldn't find a pattern to match the colors I want to use in her nursery (blush, navy, and white)-- so I made my own! 
I simply printed on cardstock and used my home laminator to make them a little more sturdy (although I think they would've been sturdy enough without the lamination #teacherproblems) Then I cut each hanger out-- and added a cut on the side of the circle so it could slip onto the closet rail. 

I thought I would share this project with future or current moms/dads! So you can download the file for FREE right HERE

I hope you're having a great day! Thanks for stopping by! 

Reading Raffle

Looking for an easy way to celebrate reading? I use a "Reading Raffle" in my room! Here is how it works: 

1. Print off the Reading Raffle FREEBIE from my tpt store. Choose which style of slip you like most and copy using bright/colorful paper (I love using Astrobrights!)
2. Find a box, bucket, or container and attach a "Reading Raffle" label
3.  Decide on the rules to enter your raffle. Here are some ideas: Turning in a nightly reading log; Finishing a chapter or picture book; Passing an AR quiz; Passing a Reading Counts quiz; Answering questions correctly during Reading class (there are many possibilities-- you just need to decide what's going to work best for you and your students)

4. Decide how often you will hold the raffle (and how many names you will draw). I have mine every Friday afternoon-- the kids ask all day long because they are looking forward to it!

5. Lastly, decide what to use as a prize. Some teachers collect odds and ends from home (like old toys, books, etc.) to give away. Maybe you let the reader choose a $1 Scholastic book? I let my students choose a prize from our Dojo Rewards. Here is a post I wrote about some reward ideas-- feel free to browse! 
I hope this helps to stir up some reading excitement in your classroom-- I know it's been great in mine! Have a fabulous day! 

Setting Up Classroom Rules & Expectations

If you are a teacher you NEED to have your classroom management plan in mind (make it THE priority at the beginning of the year) In order for any learning to take place in any classroom-- there has to be rules and expectations. I like to make a list of the behaviors I value-- and think about the things that bother me. 

A well run classroom will always have a firm classroom management plan. You can create your rules ahead of time, or work with your students to write them (this can also help with student buy in). Ownership = more happiness!

I like to begin the first day of school with these activities (which I have linked below): 
Also, it's important to display your classroom rules for students (and guest teachers) to see. I go over my rules every day for the first few weeks-- and then at least once a week as a quick reminder. 
Once we establish our classroom rules and have those on display-- we move on to what type of classroom environment we want-- so we work on creating a classroom pledge! 
Your pledge doesn't have to be long-- but you should definitely include the behaviors most important to you and your students. 

Here's an example of a few pledge sentences:
Work with your students to set up the type of classroom you've always dreamed of having! Then, and this is important, stick to your rules and pledge. Hold them accountable. Practice, practice, practice. Be consistent and fair. And watch your classroom flourish!

Click HERE (or on the picture below) to access this resource for FREE in my free resource library! 

Click HERE (or on the picture below) to access the editable hipster dog rules: 

Glitter Ornament DIY

Happy holiday season! If you are looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive ornament to make at school or home-- I am going to share one of my favorites! You can find another ornament idea (a wood slice photo ornament) HERE. (Please note this post contains some affiliate links)

Glitter Ornament DIY

Supplies: Set of clear glass ornament balls, bottle of liquid floor wax, glitter of various colors, small paper funnel (or plastic funnel if you own one), ribbon, letter stickers (or vinyl lettering if you own a cutting machine like a Cricut), paint pen or metallic sharpies
Step 1: Take the topper off the ornament and squirt in floor cleaner. Use thumb to stopper the ornament and shake/swirl the cleaner all over the inside (you want it coated)

Step 2: Dump excess floor cleaner out-- I have the kids dump it back into a cup and afterwards I pour it back into the bottle-- no need to waste any! I've been using the same bottle of floor cleaner for 3 years now! 

Step 3: Use a funnel (I make a paper one) to pour in glitter of choice.

Step 4: Use thumb to stopper the ornament and shake/roll the glitter all over the inside of the ornament. If there are bare spots you can always add more glitter. Do this until the inside is coated with glitter. 

Step 5: Put topper back on the ornament. 

Step 6: (Skip this step if you don't own a Cricut) The night before I use my Cricut machine to cut the first initial of all my students. I cut the letter at about 1 inch tall and use the font "Watermelon Script"-- as soon as the student is done with their ornament I apply the letter. I always use Oracle 651 vinyl in white
Step 7: If you aren't using vinyl on the outside, you can just as easily use sticker letters or a paint pen/metallic sharpie to add details like name and year. 

Step 8: Add a ribbon for hanging-- or hooks if you prefer.

Step 9: Put in small bags with tissue paper. I usually buy mine at craft stores when they have a sale! 

Step 10: Remind students to carry them home VERY carefully-- since they are glass!

This is one of my favorite ornament crafts! I've been making them with my students for over 5 years now! They always turn out beautifully-- and you can always save the extra supplies for the next year! If you want to save this idea-- please pin the image below: 

Wood Slice Ornament DIY

Hello! I know a lot of teachers look for relatively inexpensive ornaments/gifts to make with or give to their students! Here is one of my favorites! (Please note this post contains some affiliate links for Amazon)

Wood Slice Photo Ornaments
Supplies: Wood slices, ribbon, Mod Podge, Paintbrush, Pictures, Scissors, Pencil

Step 1: Purchase wood slices from a craft store or online. I bought these from Amazon, and they came with the hole already drilled! You can get Mod Podge at almost any store-- I usually buy the regular "matte" kind, but any kind should work. 
Step 2: Take photos of students-- use the "square" setting on your iPhone (Instagram sized photos) and upload them to your computer (sometimes I just email them to myself if my Dropbox is being slow!) I recommend taking the picture not super close up because you want space to trace around the person and not have to cut off pieces of their heads. (Or do a practice one first to see if you are taking it from the correct distance)

Step 3: Measure wood slice width and height (this helps you size the photos for printing)

Step 4: Open Microsoft PowerPoint (or whatever program you prefer-- PowerPoint is easier to move photos around/size them-- so I highly recommend it over Microsoft Word!) Change the slide layout to "blank" then you can open your files and drag/drop your photos onto the slide (or use the insert photo function). You can always add more slides if you have a lot of pictures. 

Step 5: Size your photos to be the same size as your wood slice. So if your wood slice is 2.5"-- make your photo that size. You can also make is slightly larger if you plan to trim it down a lot. To size your photo in PowerPoint-- right click the photo and select "size and position" from the choices. You can then type the size in and it will automatically adjust.

Step 6: Print photos. I think they look great in black in white, or sepia, or color-- it's really up to you!

Step 7: Lay wood slice ornament over photo and trace around the outside. Then use scissors to cut around your markings. You can always trim it down further to make it fit better. 
Step 8: Use paintbrush to apply a layer of Mod Podge directly to the wood slice (be sure to use the wood slice you traced with-- since each slice is shaped slightly differently). Put photo on the wood slice and rub it down on the glue. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge OVER the picture (don't worry-- it'll dry clearly)
Step 9: After the glue dries, use a pencil to poke through the hole-- and use thin twine or ribbon to hang. Add date, student name, class name, etc. on the back of the wood slice using a paint pen (markers may bleed)

Step 10: Let students create wrapping paper using butcher paper-- or buy some cheap bags and tissues paper from the dollar store. Have students help you wrap-- and you are all finished! 

Parents will love keeping these ornaments as years go by! I hope you enjoy making these with your students! Pin the image below to save it for years to come:

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