Technology Tip

I wanted to let you know that I'm sharing a pretty awesome "Technology Tip" over on Blog Hoppin' today. I'd love for you to "hop" on over and take a look. :)

Here's a little sneak peek for you:

Come to Blog Hoppin', leave me comment, and say hello. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the tip I shared!

Blog Hoppin

Vegas Part 2 {TPT Conference & Other Fun}

Is it okay to post about something that happened over a month and half ago?! I sure hope so because I just realized that we never finished blogging about our Vegas trip. 

For those of you who went to Vegas; consider this a trip down memory lane. If you didn't get to go to Vegas, you might already be sick of seeing/hearing about Vegas… in that case, I apologize. :)

This picture was taken shortly after I {Natalie} got off my plane. I was greeted by some of the cutest teacher bloggers I know: Kelley, Rachelle, (Me), Amanda, Erica, Stephanie, Deedee, Cheryl, Tanya, Katie, and Hope! First thing we did: headed to lunch at the yummy Grand Luxe Cafe. 

That night was the amazing Teacher Blogger Meet Up. You can read more about that here!

The next day, while all our friends were presenting or in conferences, a few of us (Erica, Hope, Michelle, Me, and Amy) headed to Ceasar's Palace for some lunch at Planet Hollywood. 

After lunch, we quickly made our way back to our hotel for a special surprise. A few of us wanted to surprise Rachelle with a "What Would Rachelle Do?" (#wwrd) workout tank. It was in honor of her weight loss journey and the fact that she has inspired so many people to be healthier and make better food choices! I think she was pretty surprised and it's safe to say she loved it!
P.S. Thanks to Deedee for organizing and ordering the tanks! (If you would like your own Rachelle inspired "Teachers and Barbells" tank, you can order from Ruffles with Love's online shop! (Can you spot Deanna Jump, Kim Adsit, and Cara Carroll in the picture above?

Of course we had to go back to our hotel room for a little photo shoot! ;)

That night we (Holly, Amy, Hope, Michelle, Lindsey, Amanda, Elizabeth, Erica, and I) ate at the famous Serendipity's! (Yes, I tried the frozen hot chocolate, and yes, it was pretty amazing!) 

The next morning was the AMAZING TeachersPayTeachers first ever conference!!! 
The whole day was fabulous! It was so fun meeting new friends, putting faces with other teacher bloggers, learning more about the business side of TPT, and sharing the love we all have of

I think the highlight of the whole trip, for Rachelle, was meeting the infamous Paul Edelman, founder of TeachersPayTeachers! His keynote address that morning was inspirational and very powerful. We are very grateful to this man for his *little* idea of creating an online place for teachers to share their ideas and resources online while being able to earn some extra income for their families. He is such a humble and down-to-earth guy and it was an honor to meet him in person!

Here are just a few pictures from the Happy Hour that took place after the conference. Rachelle had a fun time mingling with everyone, while I got to be the special photographer for an upcoming TPT project. While I am sad I missed out on some of the Happy Hour activities and getting to know new people, I had a fun time meeting the people who came to get their photos taken! (Did I ever mention that I was 27 weeks pregnant at the conference? Take a look at my belly in the picture in the bottom right.)

The next two pictures are too good not to post on the blog! 

We were trying to get a group shot against the white backdrop and professional lights. I snapped this photo just trying to test the lighting and it could not be any more perfect! The expressions in this picture are absolutely priceless!

And here is the final shot! I sure love each of these girls so much!

This picture turned out to be the best picture of the whole trip! What could be better than a bunch of teacher bloggers laying in a circle WITH the founder of TPT?!

The last picture I have to share is this cute one of all our roommates! (Technically only 6 of us stayed in the same room, but we were all together the whole time anyways.)

Amazing friends + fun meet ups + good food + inspiring conferences… it's the recipe for an incredible vacation!! 
I am honestly already excited about our Vegas trip next year! 

First Day of School Gift Idea

There are a ton of gift ideas out there for students on their first day of school.  I had some crazy straws left over from last year's treasure/prize box, so I thought they'd be perfect to give to my students on the first day!

I bought these last year at Target (in the party section), but I've heard they have them at Michael's and Dollar Tree.

You can download grades k-5 tag below for FREE! ;)

Hope you have a great school year!

Happy Birthday, Rachelle!

I just wanted to wish Rachelle a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!

And since it's her birthday, let's just brag about this girl for a second...

Did you know that Rachelle has lost over 100 pounds? 

Did you know she started her own fitness blog and is motivating others to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle? 

Did you know she spent some time in Africa teaching at a deaf school in Kenya?

I don't want to embarrass her too much, so I'm going to end with this... 

Thank you for sharing your talents with teachers all over the world by writing this blog. Thank you for inspiring and motivating others to be live a healthy lifestyle through your own weight loss journey. Also, thank you for the happy and positive light you bring into this world. We are all better people because you were born!

(and enjoy your 1st day of teaching!)

P.S. Thank you sooooo much to our friend, Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrating, for creating the cute custom graphic of Rachelle!! 

A ONE-DAY SALE on August 20th?! YAY!

Need some back-to-school writing activities? Check these out!
Inside you'll find 20 different writing activities!!

24 get-to-know-you writing activities!!



Or maybe you need some extra help with Guided Reading?
Check it out HERE!

Or maybe you're planning for December already?


We both start school this week, but some of you don't start back until September. Hopefully you'll be able to grab some awesome resources from the sale that will help you have a great FABULOUS year!

Cheers to a great 2014-2015 school year, everyone!!

Teacher Week: Where We Teach!

We are linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week this week. Today we get to show off our classrooms.

Rachelle's Classroom:
Rachelle's brand new room is inspired by bright colors and chalkboards. She teaches 1st grade in a brand new school in South Salt Lake. This classroom is full of bright colors and is clean, organized, and fun. 

Read more about Rachelle's classroom here!

Natalie's Classroom:
Natalie's room is a rainbow themed computer lab. She is the computer specialist in a school in Utah Valley - the same school she attended as an elementary student! She wanted to create a fun and colorful room where students feel safe and happy. 

Read more about Natalie's classroom here!

Please join us for Teacher Week and link up with all the girls from Blog Hoppin'!!

We LOVE our Teacher Planners!! {Erin Condren}

Natalie and I love our Erin Condren Teacher Planners.  I've had one for the past 3 years and I'm not sure how I lived without it before!  Every week that I plan, I get excited because I get to write in my planner.  Who gets excited to write in a planner? YOU WILL, when you order one! I tried to do digital lesson plans and honestly, I didn't love it.  I like to be able to make quick changes and have it sitting right in front of me. Plus, there's nothing like crossing off something on a list. 

{All 3 of my Erin Condren Teacher Planners.}

{This is Natalie's 2nd year using a teacher planner. She's hooked now too!}

Here are the planners we got this year.  
Natalie's Planner - "Education Quote - Imagine"
Rachelle's Planner - "Happy Stripes"

This is what I get out when I plan each week.  It makes it all the more fun.  
*Washi tape
*Flair pens
*What the Teacher Wants Pen/Highlighter
*Whiteout tape

There is so much included in the planners.  There are checklists, monthly calendars, list pages, absentee logs, a birthday chart, clear inserts (I keep my recess schedules and important pages in these) lesson pages, seating chart and so much more - and everything is in FULL color and personalized! They've thought of it all, people! I also love how STURDY they are. That's very important to me. 

I like to use blue for blogging, purple for school and orange for personal.   Can you see that my birthday is on the first day of school? FUN TIMES (said no teacher ever)! 

 Here's my favorite part EVER.  The lesson planning pages.  They are so roomy, have lines, and plenty of time slots.  I love that it goes horizontal.  I use washi tape to showcase my recess, lunch, and specials time.  

I love everything about my Erin Condren Teacher Planner! It's worth the money, for sure.

 What if your school makes you do online plans?  
I would highly suggest getting a Life Planner so that it can PLAN YOUR LIFE! I love to make lists and have a tangible calendar, so I just ordered a Life Planner last week (I'm currently stalking the FedEx man). You heard me right... I have a Teacher Planner and now I am going to have a Life Planner, too!  I *hate* iPhone calendar apps and I'm hoping the Life Planner will help me become more organized and little more balanced.

GoNoodle is Hoppin'!

Many of our readers have heard about my weight loss story.  If you haven't, let me tell you a little bit about how an active/healthy lifestyle has changed my life.  

See...I have lost over 100 pounds!  I've never known what it's like to be active.  Now that I know how wonderful it feels to move my body,  I'll be like this forever...and it's carried over to all parts of my life. 

How does this relate to teaching?

 Being unhealthy/overweight and teaching was dang hard for me.  I remember wanting so bad to go outside with my students and play a simple game of tag, but was unable to.  Last year, I was able to race my students outside from the lunch room to our playground and WIN!  BOOM! ;)  Take that, first graders.

I want to promote my active lifestyle to everyone I meet because I want everyone to feel as great as I do.  My students are no different.  We are as active as we can be in my little classroom. I know that they NEED to move more at school because many of my students are stagnant at home. Sometimes we just need 10 minutes of getting our wiggles out, or maybe I'm just trying to build their endurance and get their heart rate going (haha!), we always use my favorite website:

What is GoNoodle, you ask? is pretty amazing!  It's a compilation of FREE brain breaks you can use in your classroom.  From yoga to Minions dancing to "Happy", this website has it all to help your students (and you) get moving.  Your students are able to follow along easily, get moving, and have a BLAST.  Let's be honest, I have a blast too.  

I had to show you how much fun their Brain Breaks are. Try not to laugh too hard!
 (P.S. I'm totally repping my What the Teacher Wants t-shirt that Natalie bought me for Christmas)...

I seriously was sweating after! I had to do it like 5 times because I struggled managing the camera by myself. HA! So I really got a good workout and I love to dance!
Register and use their brain breaks for FREE {here}.

This was the one I did ( not all of the brain breaks involve dancing!):

You get to pick your classroom Champ character and of course we picked Oogles Fitzlemon:

As you pick new brain breaks for your class, you earn points and can earn more class Champs!

You can pick from  Zumba Kids (right up my alley), YouTube brain breaks, yoga with Maximo, dance/music videos, and SO MUCH MORE! You can even save your favorites so that you can easily access them later. People, they've thought of everything. 

Did I mention it's FREE!? I would never promote something that I didn't absolutely love.  I absolutely LOVE GoNoodle and I plan to use it every day this school year.  So what are you waiting for? Register and use their brain breaks for FREE {here}.

And just to show you how awesome GoNoodle is, they are giving away some swag!  Enter to win a CLASSROOM SET of GoNoodle Shoelaces.  {We can learn to tie our shoes with these awesome laces or even use them as a prize for a students' fitness goal} 

How are other teachers using GoNoodle in their classroom?  Head over to Elementary Shenanigans to see how Hope uses it in her classroom! 
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