Behavior Buddies! Using Stuffed Animals as a Classroom Management Strategy!

Happy December, y'all! I am always looking for ways to promote positive behavior in my classroom, and this year my firsties are LOVING Behavior Buddies! You can read all about how I use them in my classroom AND grab a freebie over at The Primary Peach!


Happy Teaching!



Save Money AND Time: SEVEN Classroom Hacks

Oh My Goodness! I'm constantly wishing there were more hours in a day to get it all done. Between teaching and being a wife and mama, I am ALWAYS busy! And, I'm sure I'm not the only one who counts their pennies each month! I'm always looking for ways to save money. Between buying things for my classroom and my own littles, things get expensive REALLY fast! Anyone else wish time and money grew on trees!? Well since they don't (unless you know something I don't!)  I am LOVING these tips from Amy Mascott of TeachMama.com and I thought you would too! 

1. Preserve materials you'll use multiple times.
Shannon Lisowe, from Speechy Musings, laminates useful visuals, pages, and books and stores them in a binder to make it easy to grab and go from year to year. "It's a little more cost and time upfront, but it will absolutely save you in the long run!"

2. Reduce print costs with a subscription service.
Many teachers have printers in their classrooms but very little budget to print. Between activities for lessons or centers, many teachers end up printing up to 300+ pages per month.

HP’s Instant Ink program allows subscribers to save time and money by delivering ink cartridges at a fraction of the cost of store-bought ink, right to your door. This program offers a month-to-month subscription and you can cancel anytime. Plans start as low as $2.99/month which can save teachers TONS of money on ink. I mean tons.


I do not feel guilty about printing games and activities for my students because I am not having to spend a fortune out of my own pocket!” Chandra Dills, from Teaching with Crayons and Curls.




I use HP Instant Ink for my home, and I’d be lost without it. I love it. With three kids in 7th, 5th, and 4th grades, my kids already do a lot of printing. HP Instant Ink takes one thing off of my list of things to remember. Your compatible HP printer communicates low ink levels to HP so ink is delivered to your door before you run out. “My favorite thing about HP Instant Ink is the fact that not only is the ink inexpensive, but it is shipped to your door so you never have to leave your house!” Lauren Shirk, a K-3 Reading Intervention teacher from A Teachable Teacher.

There are so many perks packaged into the HP Instant Ink program that extend beyond ease and conveinience. For example, Jennifer Kadar, from SimplyKinder, has referred enough friends to receive free ink until 2020! "It's effortless." With the HP Instant Ink Refer-a-Friend program, you and the friend you refer receive a free month of ink! The best part is the amounts of referrals are unlimited! "The HP Instant Ink program is made for teachers. Period."


Photo Credit: SimplyKinder.com


HP Instant Ink also offers great options for teachers who are tired of only printing in black and white to save on costs. Kristin Oldham, from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, loves the aspect of being able to print in color too, for the same price. “I love how I don’t have to prioritize what I will print in color or what I will print from home vs. school.” You can learn more about HP Instant Ink by visiting www.hpinstantink.com.


3. Organize your space.
Vanessa Levin, from Pre-K Pages, recommends a well-organized and fully functional classroom environment where materials necessary for teaching and learning are easily accessible to both teachers and students. “Clear the clutter. If it hasn’t been used in one year, toss it. Lighten the load to make more time for teaching and learning.”

4. Be a smart shopper.
Getting ready for back to school is costly. Cut back on costs by visiting local thrift shops. “You'll be amazed at how many goodies you can find for little to nothing for your classrooms.” Traci Bender, special education teacher for grades 3-5 from The Bender Bunch.

5. Stock up during back to school sale events.
Buy as many 1-cent composition books and packs of paper as possible, and ask friends and neighbors to buy them, too. Many states offer tax-free weekends for school supplies. Kallie Lerchbacker, who is going into her third year of teaching says, “Don’t buy everything all at once. It’s okay to have a classroom that is not decorated like a Pinterest classroom. Also, it’s good to make/print your own centers because the stations from the teacher stores are very expensive.”

6. Hone your parent-teacher presentation.
Teachers like Vanessa Levin from Pre-K Pages, admit that parent-teacher nights can be nerve-wracking. Calm your nerves by planning and anticipating parents’ questions. Vanessa suggests creating a parent handbook to arm yourself with the answers they are looking for. This way you will appear confident and knowledgeable and parents will be at ease knowing their child is in good hands.

7. Ask for donations.
You might be surprised to learn how many of your students’ families have extras around the house that you can use in the classroom. Make a list at the beginning of the school year with everything you might need: tissues, hand sanitizer, crayons, glue, etc. and send it home with each student. Even indoor recess activities can be supplied via donations if families have extra puzzles or games sitting around.

What do you think? How do you support your child’s teacher, or if you are a teacher, how do you save money in the classroom?

Curious about HP Instant Ink? You should be! To receive one free month of ink, sign up using THIS LINK! Once you try it, share the link, friends!

And, to help get you started, HP Instant Ink and I are giving away a printer to ONE BUSY TEACHER! 


If you are a busy teacher and want to SAVE TIME AND MONEY! Enter the giveaway below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:
Amy Kilpatrick Mascott is the creator of teachmama.com, where since 2008, she has shared tools and resources parents can use to become the best teachers they can be for their children.

A Reading Specialist, writer, and literacy consultant, Amy’s work has been featured on dozens of online and print publications, including Scholastic Parents, PBS Parents, readwritethink.org, PBS Digital Studios, and more.

Amy is a former high school English teacher who has truly expanded the walls of classroom, sharing her expertise at local and national events and publishing her first book with Scholastic, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading in 2015.


Married to an elementary school principal, Amy resides in the DC Metro with her three crazy-cool kids (12, 11, and 9 years old), a dog, two birds, and a kingdom of sea monkeys.

Oriental Trading Wish List for Teachers!

I've always been a fan of Oriental Trading! It's been my go-to for end of the year parties, holiday parties, birthday parties, and more! But, did you know that they have TONS of great items to use in your classroom!?

When Oriental Trading contacted me about their new Wish List feature, I was SO excited! What a fabulous way to share items that you are wanting for your classroom with your students' families! I immediatly hopped onto their website and got started! 


After reading this post from The Brown Bag Teacher, I've had morning tubs on my mind! So this was THE perfect opportunity to start using them in my classroom! There are TONS of great items on Oriental Trading to get you started! All you have to do is look through their website and click "Add to Wish List" 


Here are some of the items that I had to have to get my morning tubs started! 




Once you've added all your great finds, it's time to SHARE! Simply click on "SHARE" and you can share your Wish List multiple ways. You can use your URL code to create a QR code to share on a newsletter or share on your blog! 


Then, of course comes the FUN part! Getting the Oriental Trading box and getting to unpack all your goodies!


And then, the REALLY FUN part! Getting to use them in your classroom! I got my morning tubs set up right away!


For my morning tubs, I just put a different activity into tubs and labeled them with different colors. 



My classroom is organized into teams. So, all I do each day is rotate the colors of each tub. Then, the team can just grab the tub that their team has that day! Super easy!


There are SO many other options for items to use for morning tubs and MORE! What are you going to add to your Oriental Trading Wish List!?

Want to save this idea for later? Just PIN the image below! 


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


Come On In to my 1st Grade Classroom!

Come On In! I am SO glad that you are joining me on this peek into my classroom! I am so glad you are here and can't wait to show you around! 


My room didn't change TOO much from last year! If you are curious what it looked like last year, you can check that out HERE! I did add some fun new touches and it's a space that I truly enjoy spending so much time in throughout the year!


So, let's get started! Here is my door! I made the welcome sign using scrapbook paper and my Silhouette Cameo! I made the little pencil sign using a pencil from the Target Dollar Spot and using vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo for my name. The BEAUTIFUL door hanger came from Just Plain A-Door-Able!



This is the view when you walk into my classroom! I teach 1st grade in a co-taught mulitage classroom with 1st and 2nd graders! So, it is actually two classrooms in one and I get to teach with one of my best friends everyday! So much fun! 



Looking the other way from the door, this is what you see! I LOVE these quote posters from Blair Turner and have them all over my classroom! Since my classroom mailboxes are right at the front of our classroom, I also like to have this Reminders board to post our Class Calendar and Peek at our Week! I also put any important notes right here since I always see this when I leave our classroom! 


We go over our daily schedule each day during our Morning Meeting. These schedule cards make it easy for my students to know what we are doing each day! 



I use this side of my white board as my Focus Wall! This is where I post our Essential Questions and the Standards that we are working on! 


One of my favorite places in my classroom is the classroom library! We have TONS of books and I just love how cozy it is in this little corner of our classroom!




How ADORABLE is this sweet little bench that my co-teacher made!? The perfect place to hold more books and for our students to sit and read a good book!  

On the other side of our classroom library is our Writing board and our computers. I LOVE this cart that I got from Ikea. I'm going to use it to store all my teaching materials that I want to keep close to our Smartboard! 


I created the subject banners using scrapbook papers and my Silhouette Cameo. But, I made a printable version that you can edit for YOUR classroom! Click here to grab the banners!


Here are some more views from the front of my classroom! 


This beautiful print is from INKchicago! They were SO great to work with and made this custom print to match my classroom! LOVE this quote!




These cute little class pets will be introduced to our class VERY soon! I can't wait for my students to be able to take Nick and Brave home on the weekends!


If you are curious about how I use this Boo Boo Basket in my classroom, you can read all about it HERE and grab the FREE labels while you are there!


Each of my table groups is called a "Team" and I LOVE using this to help build a community within my classroom! The students at each team need to work together to earn team points, and they have to keep their team supplies neat and organized!


These drawers have been in my classroom for EIGHT years now! Yes, you read that right! They have been worth every penny and have other than being a little dirty, they have held up GREAT! I have one at each team and use them to organize a lot of their supplies and reading bags!



These Trash Tubs have been a lifesaver! I used tubs from the Dollar Tree and my Silhouette Cameo to personalize them!



And, my MOST favorite thing in our classroom is this board! It has become the motto of our classroom and we always focus on making someone smile! We end each and everyday with a Smile Session to discuss ways we made people smile throughout the day. You can grab your own Smile Slips and printable HERE! I'm hoping to start selling the letters for the bulletin board SOON! 
You can read all about how I use this in my classroom HERE!


If you are interested in any of the Classroom Decor items in my classroom, most of them come from my Chalkboard Brights Decor kit!







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