How to Recover Over the Summer

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Hey y'all! Whether you just got out for summer, or you still have a few days left, you are probably thinking about how on Earth you are going to recover from this school year.

With all the papers, behaviors, standards, parents, behaviors, changes, new curriculum, behaviors, walk-outs, drama, and behaviors...it's no wonder teachers (and students!) need a break in the summer. Below are seven ways to recharge this summer so that you are pumped and ready for a new year in the fall.


1. Read a Book

Preferably something not school related. We preach it all year: reading grows your mind; the more you read, the more you know; you can't be a better reader without practicing; reading takes you places. But more often than not, we have so much on our plates that we forget to practice what we preach. This summer, take advantage of NOT having ANOTHER meeting and pick up that novel you've been dying to read since last year. Find a comfy spot by the pool or the beach and read the day away. Come on, you know you want to!

2. Get Out of Town

It doesn't have to cost a thing, and you can take the family with you or have a girls day with your TBFF (that's Teacher Best Friend Forever). Take a day trip to the next town over. There has to be a museum or tourist attraction you haven't been to before. Find one and check it out. 

3. Go on a Staycation

Too often, we take advantage of the things that are right there in front of us. We forget about the beauty of the local trails or universities. We miss out on great food places because we get used to going to the same places all the time. We drive right past those historical places without stoping to learn more. Take the time to stop and smell the roses in your own backyard. Check out the local aquarium or museum. Take a walk on a new hiking trail. Rent or borrow a bike and see the town with fresh eyes. Feed your soul from your own stomping ground. 

4. Go Outside

Now my southern people may balk at this (yes, I know it's hot), but the outdoors will do you good. Find a mountain and hike up it. Play some tennis or basketball. Go swimming. Go on a run or walk. Heck, go shopping at an outdoor mall. Whatever you do, get some fresh air. Sitting inside in the air conditioning (yes, I lived in Texas for 30+ years) will just make you hate summer and will entice you to eat everything in your kitchen. Get up and move outside and you will feel a million times better.

5. Binge-Watch Something

So when you're done with your outside adventure, there is no harm in resting. Maybe you still haven't watched Orange is the New Black, or there's a Fixer Upper marathon on...whatever you choose, let your body and your mind rest. Don't become a vegetable--couch potatoes have big, round bottoms you know--but do take care of yourself and allow yourself to rest. Your exhaustion from the school year won't get better without taking a break. Take advantage of this opportunity to just chill. 

6. Pursue a Passion

Who are you outside of school? I know that can be a hard question for some of us, but it's worth taking time to answer. It could mean planting a garden, redecorating a room (or five), finally learning how to use that Silhouette or Cricuit you got for Christmas, finding time to exercise regularly, getting out the kayak, or just having time to enjoy your kids without the rigid schedule of the school year. Whatever you do, do it because it brings you joy. We are full of "have tos" during the school year. Choose to take advantage of "want to" time. 

7. Take Time to Just "Be"

That could be doing some yoga, listening to calming music, cooking quietly, listening to the birds or waves, drinking your coffee or tea in silence...whatever works for you. Just be sure to have time to breathe and clear your mind. Practicing this regularly will help you become more mindful of your emotions and keep your thoughts in the right place. You'll also reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and make better eating and exercising choices. What could be better?

There are obviously many more ways to recharge and rejuvenate over the summer. Take advantage of this time so you are refreshed and ready to go when school starts again in the fall. Yes, it's important to plan for next year, but it is more important to take care of yourself and "summer" first, then start thinking about next year.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great tips, tricks, and resources, coming soon! Have a great week and stay sweet.

Rustic Rainbow Classroom Decor

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Hey y'all! That summer buzz is in the air! The kids are excited to end this chapter and start a new one. Teachers are full of mixed feelings--sad for leaving this group students, hopeful for regaining their sanity during the break, and of course, thinking about next year's classroom decor!

While I certainly think we should all make the most of summer vacation (can you say Netflix binge?),  we all know we're already thinking about what we could do differently or better next year. Sometimes the things that get us in the best frame of mind are the simplest ones. Like new decor.


When I made this set, I was all on board with the rustic look, but I felt it needed more color for the littlest learners. Each calendar header has a different color scheme to match the month, but they all have the same feel. The letters for the calendar numbers, alphabet letters, number line, and labels all stay the same blue.


There are four sizes of alphabet letters, but these round ones are my favorite. To see all of the different types (big, small, D'Nelian, and cursive), click here and check out the preview.


And of course, we need the basics like name plates, voice level carts, and job cards.




This set also has editable labels for things like book bins, cubbies, supplies, whatever you need. And with four different sizes, you're sure to have exactly what you need.


Also included are days of the week labels for organizing supplies, subject headers for posting objectives, table numbers, and a Welcome banner. To check out the entire set, click here. This has been a favorite of mine for a few years and I know it will look great in your classroom, too! There's even a Meet the Teacher/Back to School night pack to go with it.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon! Have a great week and stay sweet.

Meet the Teacher Night

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Hey y'all! Meet the Teacher Night (a.k.a. Back to School Night) can be a stressful time. The anticipation of meeting your new students and their families, getting all the information to them and from them, setting the tone for relationships with families throughout the year... It can be exciting and anxiety inducing at the same time. The Meet the Teacher kit can help alleviate some of the stress. 

 

Included in the kit is a welcome sign, a sign and labels for supplies, classroom wish list tags, information station signs (complete with essential forms), and treat tags.




The set above is part of the Rustic and Lights Decor line, and the set below goes with the Rustic Rainbow set. But you could use them however you'd like.





It also comes in a watercolor style.




All three sets come with the same parent forms so you'll know how your students are getting home, the best way to contact parents, and get a little information about your students from their parents.



Meet the Teacher doesn't have to be stressful if you're prepared and ready to go. With this kit, you'll have everything you need to relax and enjoy meeting your new kiddos. I hope you found some great ideas for your Back to School Night. I hope you have a fabulous time and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon.

Stay sweet, 


Watercolor Classroom Decor

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Hey y'all! Raise your hand if you're thinking about next year's classroom decor already! I know, I know...it's summer! But I am loving the calming colors of this new watercolor decor set.


Calendar headers and numbers come in five calming colors. It would pair nicely with pineapple accents, beachy stuff, nature things, yoga, bohemian stuff, arts and crafts... the sky's the limit. Of course it's also beautiful on it's own IMHO. :) 


There are two sizes of alphabet letters, both in the same font. One comes four letters to a page and the round ones are slightly larger with two to a page. Each set comes in all five colors.




Student nameplates for desks also come in all five colors, as well as the table numbers.



And no decor set is complete without a voice level chart and student jobs. Labels are included for matching students with jobs and labeling book boxes, supplies, or any other thing that needs a label.



For more information about this set, check out the preview at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. Stay tuned for more great resources coming your way soon, and have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

Rustic and Lights Classroom Decor

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Hey y'all! I am so excited about this new rustic and lights classroom decor set! Yes, it looks a lot like my Rustic Rainbow set, but I felt like my classroom needed a change. The font is all black on this set, giving it a little sophistication.

Disclaimer: My classroom this year is in an ugly little portable. Next year, I'll be moving back into the building so there will be more real life pictures coming soon. But this will give you the idea.

There are four styles of alphabet letters. I've used the round ones from the Rustic Rainbow set for a few years now and I love them, but I love, love, LOVE, the bigger alphabet line with the lights.





There's also a matching number line that goes up to 20. It's perfect for little learners. 


And what's a classroom community without class jobs? My students LOVE having a class job and being part of making our classroom run. I use the mini pocket charts you'll find in the Target Dollar Spot for these. They fit the job titles and students' name cards perfectly. You could also fix them to a ribbon or more sturdy strip and pin clothespins with students' names to their job card.


But I know what you really want to see is the calendar headers! Aren't they cute?! Simple and sophisticated. :) Just like the student name tags for desks or cubbies. 



And don't forget about voice level reminders. Your students will forget a few times, but you won't with this handy little reminder poster.


This set has so many cute things including table numbers, calendar numbers, subject headers (for those very important student objectives), days of the week headers (for supplies), a welcome banner, and editable labels for just about everything! I can't wait to get it set up in my classroom so I can show you in action! You can check out more of this set by heading over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. 

Do you have a classroom theme? If so, what's your classroom theme for next year? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear! Stay tuned for more awesome resources coming soon and have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

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How to Rock the End of the School Year

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Hey y'all! We're in the final countdown and it's time to make the last few days epic! Testing is over (or will be soon), observations are over (thank goodness!), and field day is on it's way. It's my third favorite time of year (behind back to school and the holidays) and a perfect opportunity to make some magic! Here's a few ways to keep the learning going while enjoying the last few days or weeks together:

1. Themed Days

It doesn't have to be anything extravagant. I've had kids bring in beach towels and we had worked on the floor all day. We've also had movie days (complete with popcorn of course), STEAM or craft days, read-a-thons, days we wore sunglasses all day, and days we've camped out outside all day in the grass. Sorry this image is blurry. This is moon sand day (flour and baby powder) and the picture was taken before iPhones were even a thing. I promise I've done this again since then, I just don't have a pic! :)


2. Book Studies

One more summer-themed book study for the end of the year is sure to get their attention. Especially if you watch the movie after. Our favorite is Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. We read the book together as a class and watch the movie in the afternoon after field day. It's the perfect end to a crazy and fun day. The book study we use can be found here, but there are other wonderful options.


3. Make Memories

Memory books are a simple way to review the fun everyone had during the school year. Most include ways to show who students' friends were, their favorite subject, what they liked about school and their teacher, etc. The one I use can be found here, but there are many excellent options.

4. Relax

I know, easier said than done. But really, relax and enjoy your kids. These are their last few days of this grade. Play with shaving cream, make that cutesy craft, have a few minutes of extra recess, let them be little. And for extra wow-effect, PLAY WITH THEM! Sit on the floor and play Legos for a few minutes. Stick your finger in the shaving cream. Who cares if some gets on you? The kids will remember that you played with them.


5. Get Silly

...if you're not already. But if you're the more Type A, super serious kind of teacher, it's time to let your hair down and silly it up! Let them see your funny side. It makes you more human and your kids will remember it for a long, long time.

6. Go Out in Style

At this school, the kids walked through balloon archways on the last day, then released balloons into the air. In the classroom, we've rolled out the red carpet (aka butcher paper) and strutted our stuff on the way out the door. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to get a hug, a handshake, or a high-five from each of your students on the last day. 


However you decide to end the year, be sure to enjoy it. This is the only "last days of this grade" your students will have, and the last time (probably) that they will be in your class. Enjoy it together. Be present. And don't sweat the small stuff. 

Stay sweet, 

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