Easy Back to School Gifts!

It's that time of year again! Back to School! Need an easy gift for a teammate or a teacher? I've got you covered with help from the Target Dollar Spot and some stickers or a sharpie!

I always like starting the year off by giving my team a little gift! It's a positive way to start the year, doesn't cost a lot of money, and makes people happy! This year I grabbed these pencil banners from the Target Dollar Spot and used my Silhouette Cameo to personalize them! Don't have a Silhouette? Dont' worry! Just use a sharpie and write on them OR grab some cute scrapbook stickers to personalize them! I'm also going to make one of these cute little pencil's for son's Kindergarten teacher for a first day of school gift!

Even if you can't find these exact pencils, grab some Ticonderoga's and help start a friend's year off WRITE!  Click on the image  (or here) to download these tags for FREE!

Want to save these cute gift tags for later? Just pin this image! 

Happy Teaching!

The Great Debate: Teacher Planner vs. Life Planner

For the last few years, I've used the Erin Condren Teacher Planner and really really loved it! It's FULL of amazing colors, perfect teacher quotes, and truly everything a teacher needs. So why would I think about ever buying a different planner?

Every single summer, I get crazy excited when my new Teacher Planner arrives and I just know that THIS is going to be the year that I use the whole entire planner like it's meant to be used, but I don't. At the very beginning of the year, I always start out using the amazing lesson planning pages and the perfect checklists, but as the year goes on there are more and more blank pages. It makes me so sad to see all these unused pages in such a pretty planner!

This year I decided to try out the Life Planner instead of the Teacher Planner to see if I liked this version better for MY life. As a wife, mom of two, first grade teacher, teacherprenuer, Stella & Dot stylist, etc. my life is BUSY with a capital B. It never really ends and it's getting harder and harder to keep track of everything going on in our crazy beautiful lives. So I decided that what I really needed is a fancy calendar for LIFE , not a TEACHER planner. I will say that I do have an Organized Teacher Binder that I keep my teacher life in, and I felt like that would truly be enough for my teacher needs!

The Teacher Planner is truly amazing, and I've seen co-workers use it like it should be used and it makes my teacher heart so happy! The pages inside the Teacher Planner are just beautiful! However, these pictures were taken at the END of the school year and most of them are completely blank!

I really loved the monthly calendars and the tabs for each month! I wasn't a HUGE fan of the date dots, though. In previous years you had to write in each number, so having the date dots is a big plus! However, when you mess up on ONE little dot and have to remove them and then fix them, it's not very fun! My monthly calendars definitely got a lot of use each month! These pages got the most action in my planner for sure!

The lesson plan pages really are perfect and everything I would need to plan out my week. However, I have to submit my lesson plans online and although these plans were just a quick sketch of my week, I felt like I was wasting time doing double plans each week. So, you can see all the blank pages  that were never touched! 

So, it just made sense for me to try the Life Planner this year! Of course, I still plan on using my Life Planner to keep track of school events. The great thing about the Life Planner is that I can pack MORE into the weekly calendars. My plan is to have a section dedicated to home, school, and my little side businesses! Now I have to figure out what I want to call each section and order some fun stickers! When my planner arrived, I was happy to see that it had many of the same great features that I LOVED about my Teacher Planner!

I absolutely LOVE the dry erase pages on the front and back covers. Those are PERFECT for to-do lists! The spread at the very front can easily be used as a Year at a Glance, it looks very similar to the Teacher Planner pages! I also love that there are still notes pages. It also has graph paper and plain pages!

With the Life Planner, you are able to choose the layout that you would like throughout your planner- horizontal, vertical, or hourly. I chose vertical so that I could separate the different aspects of my life- home, school, and business! And, do you see the dates are already included! That makes me SO happy!!!

It also includes a monthly calendar view. This was really important to me since I used this so much in my Teacher Planner. I like to see what my month looks like overall. I actually color coded my calendar in my Teacher Planner and plan to continue doing that in my Life Planner!

Whether you choose a Teacher Planner or a Life Planner, both options are fabulous! You can use this link if you want $10 off your first order at Erin Condren! These are pretty pricy planners, so any discount is a good one!  I promise they are worth the money!

Kids Choice Awards

Happy End of the Year!! I shared about my most favorite event of the entire school year over at The Primary Peach! The Kids Choice Awards is so much fun and a great way to celebrate all of the fun things that went on throughout the year! And, the best part the kids completely run the show!

You can read all about how I use this fun event in my classroom at The Primary Peach!

Smiles and Shapes! Hands-On Shape FUN!

One of my goals at the beginning of this year was to make my lessons much more engaging. I really want my kids to love being at school, love being in my class, and have a true love of learning. Even as an adult, learning is so much better when I'm really engaged!

For the last couple of weeks my firsties have been learning about shapes, and to be completely honest, even I was a little bored. The activities that I had planned were good, but it was too many worksheets and not enough FUN! I knew we needed something more engaging and wanted to see those precious smiles!!

We started by going on a Shape Safari to search for shapes! We made super easy binoculars out of construction paper and yarn. I literally just rolled the paper and taped the two pieces together to form binoculars! If I had thought of this early enough, I probably would have had parents send it toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls but there's always next year, right!?This was SO much more fun than just going on a shape hunt around our classroom!

I LOVED having my firsties become builders and build Shape Structures! I ordered the cutest little construction hats from Amazon to really set the mood! They were given marshmallows and toothpicks and I just let them explore. We discussed what exactly the toothpicks and marshmallows represented in regards to 2-D and 3-D shapes, but I wanted them to really investigate and explore building shapes on their own. I loved watching their little smiles light up while they were building!

The next activity was SUPER Shapes Snacks! I mean anything with food involved has to be amazing, right!? I had my parents donate different 3-D snacks- bugles, cereal, nutty bars, Hershey kisses, marshmallows, cheese cubes, cheese balls, and pretzel sticks!

My students were given a plate full of random snacks and had to sort them by their shape. Then, after they were finished sorting they had to graph their snacks. So fun!

Another favorite is {Shape Suspects}!!!! Students can become police officers- badge and all! This activity can be completed whole group OR as an Around the Room activity! 

Meet Shape Smiley! How cute is this adorable little shape with a big smile on his face!? I LOVE giving my students an opportunity to be creative and these little craft-tivities are the perfect way!
I copied each shape on different colored paper, but you could easily copy it all on white paper and have them color and decorate their Shape Smiley!!

You can find all of these fun activities in my Smiles and Shapes Unit!

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Happy 1st Blogiversary: A Giveaway and Freebie!

Happy 1st Blogiversary to the Primary Peach!!! It's hard to believe this little blog of ours is already a year old! We are so excited to be celebrating with YOU!!!! We've got an AMAZING giveaway over at our blog and each of us is giving away a fun freebie!!!

We really appreciate YOU and all your support for our blog, so we wanted to share some freebies with all of you! I just LOVE making people smile, it really is contagious! Especially when I know someone is having a difficult day, or week, or even year! 

I created this little bag of sunshine as a {Positive Present} for one of my co-workers to help make her day and hopefully spread a smile! I filled a yellow gift bag with yellow snacks! VERY simple! You could even use a cute little basket from the dollar store! 

Do you want to help spread a smile with a positive present!? Grab these little tags here! There are a few different sizes and tags to include bags, boxes, and gifts! 

And, make sure to head to The Primary Peach for your chance to WIN and Erin Condren gift card!!!

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

Team Sour VS. Team Sweet! An Opinion Writing Activity!

Once upon a time, it was the week before spring break and we needed a FUN writing unit to complete to help us {SURVIVE} the week. We just finished our Opinion writing unit and I didn't want to start on our Brilliant Biographies unit until after we returned from the break! I thought it would be fun to do more of a structured {but fun} writing mini-unit that would last about a week! And well who doesn't love candy! So, Team Sour Vs. Team Sweet was created!

We started by brainstorming sour candies and sweet candies. We made a list as a class, and then students made their own lists independently.

While they were making their lists I passed out bags of sweet and sour candies for a TASTE TEST! I mean, let's be honest, this was the funnest part!

For our taste test I just grabbed what was on sale or clearance at Target! I got three different sour candies and three different sweet candies! You could easily do this with one of each, or just have your students choose their team without a taste test!

After students completed their lists and eating their candy, they chose their team! They had to make a badge to show whether they were {Team Sweet} or {Team Sour}. We just taped it in on their shirts!

The next day, students started brainstorming reasons WHY they were on Team Sweet or Team Sour. They completed a bubble map to get them ready to start writing!

After completing a bubble map, students were able to complete their graphic organizer to organize their thoughts. This graphic organizer was the same one that students used for our opinion writing unit from my OREO Opinion Writing Unit!

Then, it was finally time to write! Students wrote about WHY they were on Team Sweet or Team Sour and tried to persuade others to join their team!

Seriously one of THE funnest writing units we've done this year. Which team are you on!?

Grab this fun opinion writing activity here!

If you want to save this for later, make sure to pin this image!

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