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The Best (and Prettiest) Teacher Bag EVER!

Over the last ten years, I've used a lot of different teacher bags. I mean, A TON. I'm a bag lover and just can't seem to say no to a pretty new teacher bag!

A few years ago, I fell in love with the Stella & Dot Getaway bag to use for weekend getaways and as a carry on bag for airplanes. I tried using it for school, and even though I have a ton of stuff in my bag, it was really just too big.

So, when Stella & Dot released a smaller version of the Getaway bag- the Daytripper- I couldn't wait to try it out for my teacher bag! I immediately fell in love!

This bag fits every single thing I need for school.  My laptop, Erin Condren Teacher Planner, notebook, Flair pens, snacks, a water bottle- EVERYTHING! And, it even has room to spare!

For the nights that I need to bring home more, the bag is expandable! So it can fit a ton without being too bulky!

I also LOVE the simple black and cream striped print. It literally goes with everything I wear and is perfect for every season!

Another favorite part of this bag is the wipeable surface! I feel like I'm constantly making a mess and using baby wipes - so having a bag that is easy to clean is a MUST for this teacher mama! And, I love that you can get a matching pouch to use for Flair pens!!!

And, of course it is a great bag that you can use for other fun adventures! I LOVE pairing it with my Getaway bag for weekend trips!

I hope you love this teacher bag as much as I do!!! 

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Meet the Teacher Made Easy!

It's hard to believe it's only the beginning of August and I'm already done with Meet and Greet, the first week of school, AND Open House! Wow!  I wanted to share what I do for Meet and Greet and Open House!

At my school, we begin the year with Meet and Greet during pre-planning as an informal event for our students and families to meet the teacher! Like I said, very informal! As a new teacher I used to stress TONS about this event and wanted my room to be absolutely perfect and LOTS and LOTS of information to send home with parents. Now, I realize that doesn't have to be the case! Less is more! I mean, my room is pretty much ready- but I don't have that much on my walls and I don't send a ton of information home!

I've tried many different options for this event over the last ten years, and this year I used a super simple checklist that families grabbed when they walked in my room and I LOVED it! Very simple and easy to use! I placed all the signs in clear sign holders (affiliate link) and I loved how easy it was to just slide papers in them!

I had everything my families needed on students' desks. Each year I copy the pages that parents need to complete on colored Astrobrights paper (affiliate link) and the few information pages that they can take home on white paper. This year, I added some post-it notes on the top to make this even easier! You can grab my free template here and just type your message in the box!

I always like leaving a little treat for my students! You can see 20 different ideas for Beginning of the Year student gift ideas here!

After the parents completed the paperwork, they sorted the large supplies into the tubs at the front of my room. This really helps save me A TON of time during the first week of school! I do have students keep some of their supplies in their desks, like their pencil boxes and composition books!

Afterwards, our students and families were invited to use our {photobooth} and take a picture! I absoltuely LOVE using this DIY photobooth in my classroom throughout the year. I use a 60 x102 sequin tablecloth (affiliate link) for the background and they are perfect! They come in tons of different colors and are very inexpensive!

And that's it for Meet and Greet! Super simple! Next up is Open House!

Open House is a more formal event that is held in the evening and includes a presentation that my co-teacher and I present to our students' families to explain our classroom and curriculum! I find that it's much easier for me to have a PowerPoint presentation to guide me through everything I need to say! Here's a preview of some of the slides in my presentation!

I always have some type of refreshments or treats for parents that attend Open House. For the last couple of years, we've just put water bottles and small treats out! I really feel like this adds to the presentation! You can see I reused the sequin tablecloth from Meet and Greet!

If you are interested in the Back to School Forms, you can grab them here!

And you can grab the editable Open House Presentation and corresponding signs, here!

I hope you have an AMAZING start to your year!!!

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Getting Ready for Back to School! {My Back to School Routine}

It's that time again! Time to head back to school! With a busy schedule and two kids of my own, I don't have a ton of time to spend in my classroom before pre-planning officially starts each year! I wanted to share my routine for getting {Ready for Back to School}!

The very first thing I do each year is figure out how I want to set up my classroom with a map! It's not anything fancy, just a quick sketch of where I want all my furniture to go.  I try to be as productive as possible, so I have this ready before I head back into my classroom. Since I've been teaching for awhile, I have a pretty good idea of how I want my room set up each year! However, I always make some type of map of my classroom- even if it's just a picture in my head!

After I've got an idea of how I want my classroom set up, I go ahead and move all the furnture around and set everything up! Here are some progress pictures of my classroom this year!

After everything is set up how I want it, then I try my best to clean and organize! I can't stand starting the year off with things dirty and dusty. I usually do this at the end of the year, but after moving and sitting all summer, I usually have to dust off bookshelves, clean inside tubs, wipe down tables- everything! After I get everything clean, I am ready to {organize}! I try to do as much as I can to organize everything at the end of the year, but I always have new thoughts over the summer! This year I need to organize my files into a better system!

After my room is ready, I begin to get my {Meet and Greet} resources ready! At my school our Meet and Greet is a time when the students and parents come to meet the teacher. It is very informal!

This year I used a simple checklist that parents used to make sure they completed everything! I absolutely LOVED using this checklist! I had it sitting on my cubbies at the front of the room and families just grabbed one as they walked in and I introduced myself! It made it easy if I was already talking to another family for them to go ahead and get started and gave them something to do!

This year I had all my Meet and Greet papers on students desks pretty early in the week because I had printed everything before I went back for pre-planning, so I all I needed to do was make copies!

I always print the forms that parents need to fill out on Astrobrights paper (affilate link) and all the information pages for them to take home on white paper, it makes it VERY simple!

I always like to give my students a little treat at our Meet and Greet! Totally not necessary, but I just love starting the year in a positive fun way! You can check out this post for 20+ Ideas for Easy Back to School Gifts for Students! 

And, last but definitely not least- 

It's finally time to plan out the {First Week of School}. I LOVE trying to do this during post-planning and having all my copies ready! But, last year I had to move classrooms and just didn't have a lot of extra time!

This year I've been OBSESSED with these Back to School resources from Haley O'Connor!

I absolutely LOVE using my Erin Condren Teacher Planner to help keep me organized! My planner from the previous year comes in very handy at this time because I look at what I did the year before and go through all my resources and start to map out our week! My beginning of the year plans are always a VERY rough sketch and I always over plan all my activities!

If you want to save $10 on your first Erin Condren order, click here!

This year I bought some new resources from Teachers Pay Teachers and bought some fun new books!! I am very excited about using the book You're Finally Here on the first day of school this year! {Tip- Order this book from Amazon Canada and get it for a great deal!) I even went ahead and prepped my anchor charts for the first day of school!

How do you get ready for heading {Back to School} each year???

For more {Fashion, Fun, and Favorites} make sure to follow me on InstagramTwitter, FacebookPinterestBloglovin', and Teachers Pay Teachers!

Happy Teaching,

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20+ {Beginning of the Year} Gifts for Students

I feel like I was JUST trying to figure out what to get my students for the end of the year, and here we are- it's already time to head {Back to School}! My {End of the Year Gift Ideas for Students} post made it super simple to find easy and inexpensive gifts back in May, so I wanted to do the same for the Beginning of the Year! 

Now, let's get onto these easy and inexpensive ideas!

I mean, what a FUN way to end the summer and start the school year! You can get Cool Neon Sunglasses from Oriental Trading for less than $1 a piece!

I don't know what it is about these fun little bouncy balls, but kids seem to LOVE them! My own children always choose bouncy balls at our doctor's office! And, the best part is the price! You can get 48 of these things for less than $6 at Oriental Trading!

What kid doesn't LOVE candy! I was so excited when I found these cute little lollipops and started thinking of all the possibilities that they could be used for throughout the year! You can grab these lollipops here!  You could give your students any type of candy and I'm sure they will have a huge smile!

My co-teacher and I used these small bags of chips for our back to school gifts a few years ago, and they were SUCH A HIT! I loved having a few extras in my classroom so that students could trade out flavors AND we had some for younger siblings! You can get an entire variety pack from Amazon for under $10!

Starburst is always FUN! You can grab a entire box of 36 on Amazon for a great deal! 

Y'all know I LOVE anything DONUTS! I mean, anything. So, when I found these adorable Donut Yo Yo's from Oriental Trading, I had to get them!! You can get a dozen for only $6, so these are a great deal! You could also be really sweet, and just grab donuts from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, or from your local bakery! DONUT you know, that would be an amazing way to start the year! 

I mean, how ADORABLE are these Donut Lollipops from Oriental Trading!?

Glow sticks are ALWAYS a great option because of how fun and affordable they are! I love these Glow in the Dark Star Bracelets from Oriental Trading! 

I am SO excited about using these Personalized Pencils in my own classroom this year! I was honestly very shocked when I realized how affordable they are and I know they will make such a great gift at the beginning of the year! 

 I'm pretty sure Gummy Bears are my FAVORITE candy! I love these Haribo Gummy Bears from Amazon because they are pretty tiny and you can use the remaining gummy bears for other things in your classroom throughout the year!

 Because what kid doesn't LOVE crayons! Back to School time is a GREAT time to grab crayons at a great price! I even stock up for years to come!

And, for something a little different these Neon Crayons are so much fun! 

It's hard to believe, but it's o-FISH-ally time to go back to school! I just love using this little saying at the beginning of the year! You can grab an entire box of Goldfish Crackers from Amazon here! You could also use Swedish Fish OR cute little fish plush toys! 

Y'all- these Unicorn Characters are THE CUTEST little things ever!!! What a magical way to start the school year! 

I don't know what it is about these sticky little hands, but kids seem to love them. I'm not a huge fan of anything sticky- but it's for the kids! And, when you can get 72 Sticky Hands for less than $9, that is a GREAT deal! 

I just LOVE starting the year out in a HAPPY way! And, these cute little Emoji Discs couldn't be anymore HAPPY! There are TONS of different emoji toys to choose from on the Oriental Trading website! 

This year is going to be a BLAST! How adorable are these little Rocket Ship Erasers!!! Oh my goodness, they are just the cutest! You could easily put one on top of a pencil and your gift is good to go! If you've got a space themed classroom, these are a must have! 

So, if I were a six year old I probably wouldn't be too excited if I got a ruler from my teacher as a gift! But, if it were one of these INCREDIBLE Mood Rulers, that would completely change my mind! I am 31 years old, and y'all I couldn't stop playing with these fun, color changing rulers! As soon as you touch them, they change colors! So. Much. Fun. They are also less than $10 for a dozen, so a super great deal!

Fun Dip just reminds me of being a kid. There is just something about that powder and stick that screams FUN! It's a super FUN and cute way to start the year! 

Popcorn is always an easy gift! You can simply give your students a pack of popcorn to make at home! OR, create your own Popcorn Bar!!!  How adorable would it be to have different flavors of popcorn and popcorn bags that your students could scoop their popcorn into!? Such a fun way to start the year!! 

These cute little Guitar Bubbles are way too cute, and such a simple gift! And, if you aren't loving the bubbles- how fun are POP ROCKS!!!

I hope you got some EASY ideas for your Back to School gifts for your students! For even more easy and inexpensive ideas, make sure to check out the Oriental Trading website! If you are interested in the tags that I used, you can grab those right here

For more {Fashion, Fun, and Favorites} make sure to follow me on InstagramTwitter, FacebookPinterestBloglovin', and Teachers Pay Teachers!

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