Sunday, July 24, 2016

#TPTDIGITALSALE on TeachersPayTeachers

Ready to get super techy next year?! We're here to make it SUPER easy for you!!! Don't miss out on this amazing one day, TpT sale for Tech Day! It's happening on Monday, July 25, 2016! 

Just search #TPTDIGITALSALE and you'll be hooked up with great resources for a great price!

Want to see products and blog posts from the sellers involved in this sale? Check out the links below!!


Tackle The Tech Monster: Google Drive for Elementary Education

Can I be honest for a minute? I hope you're saying yes...because I'm bringing some honesty either way!

I always start the year with loads of goals and intentions to start 100 different "totally amazing" and "super cool" and "most creative" ideas ever. Care to take a guess about how many of those things I actually carry through during the year? If you guessed between one and two, then you're correct.

This year...I want to focus on just ONE thing. One intention. One change .

This year's focus is on adding more digital instruction to my school day. 

Now we all know about good goal setting, right? Goals should be SMART.
Time Bound

Here's my plan for making this happen! 

Why am I so insistent on getting this whole train rolling anyway? FIRST, my whole school is going 1:1 next year. I am so excited because we will have a SmartBoard, 1:1 Chromebooks and Apple TV. I also own a few iPads of my own to add to the mix. Why would I let this great technology go to waste?

Also, I believe that integrating technology purposefully is the perfect way to boost students' career and college readiness skills. You may not know but I also teach at the local community college. I hate to say it but I feel as though a lot of these students were not prepared to use technology as college-level students. I hope to instill a love of technology for learning in my students and support them in learning HOW to use technology to purposefully. 

So what's the big deal? It can be HARD to change the way you do things. And...TIME. Right??

Along with all other things worth doing, it takes WORK to make it happen. Besides modifying my curriculum to be technology-driven, I have to change my routines. My procedures. My current practices in grading, editing, etc. There's so much to think through!

That's why I'm starting with only ONE area. Let's check in on some SMART goals for getting started with using Chromebooks or other technology in your classroom.

If you're anything like me, you're going to try to jump right in and implement technology in all subject areas. I've tried that. I failed. I've now refocused my energy. I will implement my Chromebooks specifically in my independent reading time (or Daily 5). I'm going to rework my current independent work to fit in with technology.

Close Reads?
Does your school use a digital reading service (MackinVia)? Ask your librarian if there's a way that students can annotate text in the reader and send it to you via Google Docs or another platform. I found out that we have that capability and my paper/pencil close reads will be decreased. Alternatively, you could use NewsELA for free to work through close reads.

Reading Response?
Easy!! Create a template, share it with students, or teach them how to build it themselves. Have students respond and share it to you at the end of the day/week/etc.

Word Work?
Think of how you can use Google Slides to create interactive vocabulary work. Can students add pictures from the internet to define the word? Can they edit colors and manipulate text to demonstrate understanding? What can they do with the words to show that they understand the context?

Writing can be so rich in a digital environment. You can create templates. You can share photos IN COLOR. You can teach digital revising. You can even share text and mark it up together on the screen. Of course, there's always free writes too!

How will I measure my success in achieving this goal? Well...I will set a goal that for the first month, one of my activities is digital. The second month, three of them will be digital. The third month, all 5 of my activities will be digital. The step-by-step increase will help me not feel so overwhelmed. If you picked an activity to implement first, which one would it be? Start there.

Is this achievable? For me, yes. However, it's not for everyone. If you don't feel comfortable creating digital projects yourself, seek out sellers who produce digital products for the classroom. There are some amazing sellers out there who have awesome digital projects. Some of them are linked here for you and you can check out there projects in the link up!

What's realistic for my classroom may not be realistic for you. Maybe the whole Daily 5 block is too much for you. Can you implement something smaller? One read aloud? One read and respond? One math project? Morning quick writes? What makes sense for you?

My time frame here is to be done implementing digital activities in my Daily 5 block by the end of the first trimester. This is going to keep me on track. What would be an appropriate amount of time for you? 

So, I hope this helped you figure out ways to think through tackling the technology overwhelm! Do you have plans to integrate more technology next year? I'd love to chat about your plans! 

Want more tips and advice?! Head on over to read tips and tricks from other great techy bloggers!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ultimate LuLaRoe Business Supply List

As you may or may not know, I recently launched my LuLaRoe business and I have finally pulled together all of the supplies that I need (want is more accurate sometimes) to get my business rolling!

Now, I do plan to sell online and in person so I have purchased supplies for BOTH options. I'm going to share with you everything that I have pieced together to get ready. Please note, this post does include affiliate links with Amazon.

Here it goes...

Packing Materials

I want my packages to stand out. It's very important to me that I take a few extra minutes to package things up neatly and really put that little extra layer of love into my packages. Perhaps I'm this way because I am a life-long Johnny Cupcakes fans and his personal touches have always inspired me! 

I purchased some Thank You stickers and tissue paper to wrap up items in. Then, I also picked up some super cute pink poly mailers. These mailers were so perfect for my business. The bags say "Keep Calm and Go Shopping." How perfect is that for merging my blogging brand and my clothing business? 


Photography Supplies

Next up, I picked up a few things to make my photography better. Here's what I suggest!

I picked up a backdrop to make my images look prettier. It was a small expense and totally worthwhile. The backdrop is matte which is going to help a lot with reducing glare from my lighting kit and flash. The whitewashed wood looks so clean.

I was happy that I already owned a lighting kit and I'll be using it a lot for my product photos! I have the lighting kit shown below and I've been very happy with it. it's super easy to set up and take down, which is huge for my since I live in an apartment.

Next up is my dress form. Although it takes more time, I seriously prefer images where the clothing is placed on a dress form. I picked one up for a pretty decent price. I wanted to get a solid white one so that all patterns and prints would photograph nicely. This thing was a breeze to build and it's super sturdy.

Lastly, I made some overlay images to make my photos cleaner and easier to navigate for my customers. I posted them up over on my Etsy shop if you're interested in editing yours with them as well! They're a simple PNG file and I have them for all styles and sizes! 

In Home Supplies

Next up, here's the list of things that I purchased for use in my at-home set-up as well as for in-home pop-up parties. All of these things are moved back and forth as needed.

I picked up some sizing rounders for my racks. I got plain white ones. I found that the 100 pack was a decent set for starting out with. Then, I purchased some labels to decorate them with some cute LLR backgrounds. I picked up these labels. The hole wasn't quite as big as my sizing dividers so I had to trim it up some with a craft knife. It was a quick and simple project even with having the extra step.

Other Items

Other than the items mentioned above, I picked up the following:

I think that about sums it up! If I find that I forgot anything, I'll make sure to come back and update the list!!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to help you out!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

School's Out Blowout Blog Hop

Happy summer break!! Yay! In celebration of this fine event, I'm linking up with some other great teacher bloggers for a "School's Out Blog Blowout" event! We're here to share our summer reading, summer goals, and a freebie with you. PLUS, we're going to raffle off a $100 TpT gift card!

I have TONS of stuff on my summer reading list! I want to get a jump start on this year's battle of the books titles! Here's our 2016-2017 list:

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz
Joshua Dread by Lee Bacon
Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller Quinny and Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner Skateboard Party by Karen English
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski
Woof by Spencer Quinn 

Ok...woah! I am currently reading Woof and I am excited to get to read A Snicker of Magic. I love children's literature!!

I'm going to share one of my NEWEST uploads with you this week for FREE! This is HUGE! I just created this item and it's part of my (soon to be) complete Robot Classroom Decor Set. I am so in love with the bright colors and funky vibe of this set. I've also been very inspired by all things robots lately. 


Well, my first summer bucket list item has already been checked off. I wanted to go visit my mom in Northern California and I recently went down for a visit. We had so much fun and I can't wait until I get to go back in August.


Second thing on my summer bucket list is launching a killer new business. I have been working incredibly hard to get everything prepared for the launch of my LuLaRoe clothing business. I am launching just in time for back to school shopping and I can't wait to see my business grow this summer!


Next, I'm going to FINALLY head up for a trip to Wild Waves water park this summer. This is something that I have been wanting to do for AT LEAST three years. I haven't spent a summer at home since 2009 so this is a very exciting thing for me!


Along with the rest of my "summer trip" plans, I am taking a trip to the beach with my boyfriend this summer. Again, I haven't spent a summer at home since 2009 so this is also a super big deal for us. We have a fun little getaway planned with a beachfront resort booked. 


Work, work, and work! So, last on my list...but certainly the most prevalent of all is that I am going to spend tons of time this summer creating for my TpT store and blogging. I am hoping to bring you tons of content and useful resources! I want head back into back to school with tons of great resources ready for all of our students!

Make sure you click here to enter the giveaway for a Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card! With Back to School coming up, you are NOT going to want to miss this!!!

School's Out Blog Blowout

Last, click the image above to hop on over to the next stop on the blog hop!! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

What's Been Going On & A HOT Giveaway!

Hey there! I promise that I haven't already given up on my promise to blog, create, and bring you awesome content all summer long. I have been creating like crazy and I have posted 4 things to my store since I finished out the school year two weeks ago! 

I did take a few days off because I was out of town visiting my mom! We had an awesome time but I am happy to be home. Those weekend road trips get super tiring. 

Since I came home, I have been fully hands-on with getting my LuLaRoe business going. I am so excited about everything that's going on and I can't wait to get my new shipment in!

I also have been prepping a big blog post for a huge blog hop that's launching on Sunday! You're going to want to make sure you come back here Sunday morning for all the info. There might be a huge TpT gift card and some great freebies included!!