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Teacher Week: 5 Fun Facts


I'm linking up with BlogHoppin' for Teacher Week.  I participated last year and it was so much fun to connect with other teachers and a great excuse to get some blogging in!

Today is 5 fun facts about me....

This is Ryan and I.  I love this guy so much.  He sticks by me through all my crazy and is super supportive of all my teaching madness.   He's been known to color staples black to hide them in black border, cut laminating and create giant props for me.  #cantgetenough

 Steve and Mack.  My furbabies.  Such funny and unique personalities in these two.  Steve (the black lab) is finicky and grouchy and a garbage hound.  Mack (siberian husky, akita cross) is a spoiled cuddler.  You may have seen this picture before.  It's really one of the only ones I have of these two side by side.  They don't sit still very well.  And when they do something cute like sleep together, they move the second they hear me get a camera.

Chai lattes, how I love you.  They can brighten any day!  If I'm grumpy a chai latte (or maybe some licorice) can get me smiling again.


We grew some tomatoes this summer.  They survived.  I don't know how.  Still shocked Steve and Mack didn't eat them all off the vine (though I know they snuck a few!)

If you don't know about the SMARTLearning philosophy, you must!  I'm totally hooked by this way of teaching.  Because of this, I've been blessed with some amazing people too.  The ladies in this picture with me are such a great support system.  I'm heading to another conference in October and I'm so excited for it!

That's my 5 facts... be sure to head over to the BlogHoppin' site and see who else linked up.

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Getting Ready for Back to School!

Each year I look forward to getting back in my classroom.  I usually have so many new ideas I want to try!  I love starting the year fresh with a new look.  Of course, that's never easy.  It takes time.  But I tell you - it is SO worth it!

So far, I've spent two days back in my classroom.  I don't want to share too much, because I plan on doing a big reveal, but here are some tidbits of what I've been up to.

Ryan has been crafty.  He painted me up this paintbrush handle made from a cardboard box we stole from the bin at The Brick.  I'm loving what this has turned into!!

 I put up this alphabet from Little Lovely Leaders.  I love the rainbow colours and the math integration!  The space below is this weird gap between the top of the Smart Board and the top of the white boards.  I have a plan for what I'm putting in there.....

 My labels were fine.... really.  But, just fine.  I wanted awesome.  I created class library labels that match the genre posters I use as best I could.  Others are images for book series and real life pictures of math manipulatives etc for those bins.  I wanted to include a picture with the label.  I think this will help out my ELL students, but also hopefully help EVERYONE get things back where they belong.  

I laminated them with my home laminator so they are nice and thick and hot glued them on.  It was really speedy.  I didn't like the rings on my old labels. 

Something is happening here.... I don't know totally know what... You'll have to stay tuned.  But, don't you love my new carpet??

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Back to School Bonus!

So true right?!

I love my summer vacation, but I have to say, I love back to school more!  Setting up my classroom, a brand new year ahead of you, it's all so exciting!  So many possibilities!

Teachers Pay Teachers knows about the hecticness (not a word, but should be) that is Back to School time for teachers.  Many of my American friends are back in school, or starting up this week, but here in Canada we still have a few weeks to go.  Whether you are in the classroom or still sipping tea on the patio, you'll want to check out what TpT has in store tomorrow.


Everything in my store will be 20% off, and if you use the code "More15" you'll get another 10% off your purchases!   This is the time to clear off your wishlist or buy that big bundle you were debating.

 A group of amazing Canadian TpT Authors have put together this free Back to School eBook!  It is full of tips for starting the year up smoothly, freebies and links to products that will help you ease into September.  Download this free file today so you can start to plan your shopping list for tomorrow!


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Classroom Habitudes: Week 4


In case you aren't familiar with the book, here's a listing of the 7 Habitudes covered: 

The last two are on the blog today - passion and adaptability.

I've seen a lot of posts about Genius Hour and I think it's a great way to have students share their unique passion with classmates.  Everyone brings something unique to the table and it's important to embrace that in the classroom.

The B.C. government is developing new curriculum documents.  With that, they are also bringing out what they are calling the "Core Competencies".  One of those competencies is called the "Personal and Social Competency".

Personal and Social—Personal and social competency is the set of abilities that relate to students' identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.

The passion Habitude ties quite nicely into this, don't you think?

 Something I've heard about others doing is called "Identity Day".  In this, students would create a board (like a science fair board) about a particular passion they want to share with classmates.  Family is invited in, and students present the one aspect of their identity.

I agree with this wholeheartedly!  Everything that happens in my classroom needs to be intentional and with purpose.  It all needs to build skill sets and be connected to real world opportunities.  I'm reminded of "Teach Like a Pirate" by  Dave Burgess.  The "P" in pirate stands for passion.  Dave argues that every lesson should be presented with passion.  And, as the teacher, if you can't find passion in the topic material, you can (and should) be passionate in the delivery.  You bet!

The final Habitude is adaptability.  I think this is one we don't talk about often enough.

 Angela has her class create "Portraits of an Adaptive Learner".  One of the elements she recognized is the ability to recognize that change will happen whether you accept it or not.  This one caught my eye!  I know I personally have seen resistance to change (staff meetings, anyone?), but the fact is, it's going to happen.  We need to teach our kids ways to adapt and change when problems arise.

One tool I use in my classroom is the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program.  


The title is misleading as it is not a program for positive relationships. It is an anxiety prevention program.  Students are provided with coping step tools and strategies.  I LOVE this program and have used it for years.

That's all for me.  I hope you've enjoyed reading my thoughts week after week.  I hope you'll go pick up your own copy.  Let me know which Habitudes you teach in your classroom.

Want to read more book study thoughts?

Pin this post.


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Show Us What You Bought and a Winner!

Hi all!  Did you break the bank with the big back to school sale at TpT?  I definately splurged, but my wishlist is cleared out!

Blog Hoppin' is asking people to show them what they bought.  I'm sharing my list below.  Make sure you go all the way to the end, because I announce some giveaway winners!

(If you click on the pictures, it will send you to the product page.)


Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits has this AMAZING set of math tools.  This will be awesome for math!  She has thought of everything, and even considered us Canadian folk.  I'll be using the 3D shapes, fraction pieces, hundreds chart, decimals chart, and greater than less than pieces for sure.

I also may have went out and bought some Astrobrights paper to print them all on because they just look so pretty that way!

I was so happy to see this set from Runde's Room.  Growth mindset is HUGE in my classroom, and I am terrible at cursive writing practice.  I'm hoping this will get my kids handwriting.  What I love about it is that there is a connection and reflection piece also!  I plan on doing one a week as morning work.  I'm thinking Monday's to set the tone of the week off right.


These task cards are going to be great practice for kiddos struggling with addition and subtraction.  I love the adorable frames on them too!  They are from Primary Teaching Resources.


Bow Tie Guy has made this short reader about maps and globes.  It's got differentiated levels. It will be great to leave as a TOC lesson, or as morning work. 


Have you played around with QR codes yet?  They are such a fun way for kids to check their own work!  I picked up this set from Kristin Kennedy for when I teach time.


Finally, I snagged this set from The Enlightened Elephant.  I'm wanting to make some resources for my classroom for 3D shapes and this clipart will be perfect!

What did you buy?  I'm off to go check out some of the other linkies and possibly fill my cart again!

But, before I go, I want to announce the winners of the Upper Elementary Back to School Blog Hop.  Congratulations to these 5 ladies, and thank you to everyone who entered!


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♥ Back to School


The annual Back to School sale at Teachers Pay Teachers is in full swing!  As I write this there is only about 5 hours left to save.  This sale is a favourite for me, because it gets me thinking about heading back into my classroom.  I picked up some great resources that I had been hoarding in my wishlist for a while.

I wanted to take a minute to share some of my personal resources with you. Each and every one of these is either used in my classroom or in my bestie's room.  Every picture will take you to more details if you click on them.

Make sure to stick around to the bottom of the post, because I have a reminder there for you as well.

Classroom Setup


Chalkboard is all the rage right now.  Have you seen the amazing borders from Creative Teaching Press?  #swoon

I've created 138 (yes, you read that correctly) schedule cards in a chalkboard theme.  There's something for everyone in this pack.  No matter what subject or grade you teach, I've got you covered. 

Here they are all set up for the first day of school:



I love integrating subject areas where I can. These 3 word work stations are always a favourite and I've bundled them together so you can save big!




This is one of the first math stations I use each year.  Kids can work on building their number sense with these task cards.  Or, use them to play Scoot, which is always a good time!

Have you made a lapbook yet?  They are a major hit with kids! My light lapbook teaches all the properties of light in a hands-on way with lots of great activities and demos too.



I love teaching the scientific method!  When I begin to introduce science fair I first project these posters on my SmartBoard in the classroom and go over every step one by one.  

I also display them for a reference on a bulletin board. When the kids ask "What comes next?" I just tell them to go see the board.

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Lets Talk Bulletin Boards!

I'm sharing five tips to make your bulletin boards pop using images of past bulletin boards.  (Each image is linked to the original post.)


Tip #1: Use oil pastels to write directly on the bulletin board paper.

You can do some really fun details this way!  Draw arrows, create fun borders around elements, make unique lettering.  

If you're nervous about freehanding, you can lightly pencil your design out first, but be careful not too press too hard, because the lines will show through.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to attach every day items to your board.

I *LOVE* this board!  It may be my favourite board to date.  Staples, velcro and hot glue were used in high quantities to create this.  Some old markers, highlighters and scissors were hot glued in the pencil case.  The notebooks had been partially used, and we just tore those few pages out.  The backpack was bought in the clearance section at Walmart.  

Using every day items adds some unique interest to your board.  In Tip # 1, we used my old lab coat from University! 


Tip # 3: It's okay to extend past bulletin board edges!

I often have elements extend past the edges of my boards.  If I'm doing a tree, the branches and leaves will go past the board.  My back to school board last year (shown in Tip #5) went up to the ceiling!  

The flowers on the board above extend past the sides, giving a more natural and spread out look.  I've also added a banner above the top with an inspirational saying.

Tip #4: Dollar Store tablecloths are your friend!

Love, love, love me some Dollar Store tablecloths!  

They are so very versatile.  Many different types of 3D elements (the clouds in Tip #5 and the brain that this image is linked to, for example) can be made with them.  

Once they are used and all staple-holed up, I reuse them as stuffing material (like in the mad scientists jacket!).

I've usually got a good supply of these on hand, because you never know when you're going to do some impromptu bulletin board makin'!

Tip #5: Use decorative paper plates to make your titles stand out.

Another Dollar Store find.  #teacherslovedollardeals

Patterned paper plates are a really easy way to add oomph to your boards.  And easy too!  Just position your letter over the place, and use one staple to attach it all.  It comes apart easy afterward too.

Which of these tips have you used?  Any you're going to try?

Check out my Bulletin Boards Pinterest board for more ideas.
Are you interested in even more bulletin board ideas? Do you want to save time by finding them all in one place? Follow the image or button below to grab your copy of my free bulletin board inspiration guide. 

Take me to the guide!

Inspired by this idea? Pin it for later!

Helping to inspire,
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