In honor of Teacher’s Appreciation Week TPT is having a HUGE sale to show their love for all things education. Now is your chance to shop ’til you drop and finally buy all those items on your wishlist or in your cart. Everything in my store is 28% off! Amazing…right? Make sure you click on over and check out all the great site-wide deals.
For some added fun, I am linking with Jen from Teaching in the Tongass for a Teachers Pay Teachers Wish List Linky. Here are some of my top wish-listed items in my store (click on the images to learn more about the product).
Be sure to check out everyone else participating in the linky to see their top TPT wish-listed items as well. I hope you find some great deals! Happy shopping!
I was born in a small town
and I teach in that same small town.
Okay… so that is not quite how John Cougar Mellencamp’s song goes but that is how I sing it in my head. Shortly after college the road of life led me back to the same small rural Illinois town I was born, raised, and educated in. I was a fresh-out-of-college-grad and put my application in at quite a few schools. Imagine my surprise when I was hired in my hometown district. This tiny town is the inspiration for my blog…Hometown Happy Teacher. This is where my story begins and why chapters are still being written.
A small glimpse at a few of Hometown Happy Teacher’s chapters…
- My grade school has only two hallways and the high school across the street…one hallway!
- My 2nd grade classroom is my childhood 3rd grade classroom.
- My window to the world each and every day is a peaceful view of agriculture.
- My 1st grade teacher became my colleague, mentor, and friend 15 years later.
- I still pull out some vintage Spartan wear every now and again. Once a Spartan… always a Spartan!
- I have taught 2 of my own 3 children. (Child #3 will be in 2nd grade this upcoming year!)
- When I was in elementary school I didn’t enjoy reading or literature at all. Now I love to read! My master’s degree even has an endorsement in reading. My goal is make every child that comes through my door a reader.
- My small town has a strong sense of community. They take pride in their strong relationships and shared values. When members of our community are ill, in mourning, struggling, or afflicted then each one chips in and helps out in every way possible.
My story continues. I have so many more chapters to write in my happy hometown and this pleases me beyond measure.
If you are a teacher like me then you know all about the great glue debate. You know the struggles of having to deal with dried, clogged, or gluey blobs stuck in bottles. Quite possibly you have become very particular about your choice of adhesives and methods of applying them. I will share with you my favorites on my quest for the best.
I have spent countless classroom hours pulling the little orange heads off glue bottles and unclogging wads of glue. I even used a Pinterest idea and sprayed WD40 inside the lids to prevent clogging; however, I still had no luck. Then I found the Crayola Washable No Drip School Glue bottles. This bottle has been a huge classroom time saver for me. The lid screws on and has a pin-like attachment that slides down in the top that prevents glue from getting clogged. I can even refill these bottles year after year. I am happy to report…not one single clog this entire year!
If a student makes it through a whole tube before it dries out (or loses the cap) then he/she deserves a Brag Tag or an award of some sort. (You can download my glue brag tag freebie by clicking the image below.) In my room, I find the purple ones are the best. The color allows students to see the areas they have already applied the glue versus where they still need to apply it. I tell them to apply the glue around the perimeter of the object and make a big X in the middle before gluing it down. I also serve as the classroom glue stick dictator. A student cannot throw away an old glue stick until I have inspected it. You see, my students want to throw it away if the stick becomes lodged in the cap or if it is waaayyy down in the tube. I generally find that the glue sticks have plenty of glue life left. You would not believe a number of glue sticks I have left at this point in the year in comparison to last year!
I finally purchased a glue gun stand this school year. I am not sure why I never did before. It holds my glue gun in place while it heats up and has a drip pad too. Every time I go back to purchase another one for home they are sold out!
tips and tricks
If you are not a fan of glue bottles or glue sticks then maybe one of these tricks below might be a better choice for you.
glue dauber– This handy idea is simple and cheap…empty bingo daubers for $4.18 (at Walmart) plus liquid glue equals glue daubers for no mess interactive journals, cut and paste word sorts, and paper crafts. The gluing possibilities are endless!
glue sponge-Be sure and check out Lucky Littler Learners blog post about how to make these handy little things. You can’t go wrong having a glue sponge container at each table in your classroom!
Disclaimer: this site contains affiliate links.
I love the monthly Pinterest Pick 3 Linky hosted by Inspired Owl, PAWSitively Teaching , and Just Reed. I get TONS of ideas to use in my classroom and at home with my own three children. Currently, I am scouring Pinterest for lessons on poetry, Earth Day, and plants and seeds for school and recipes, gardening, and spring/summer fashion for home. Here are my top 3 picks for April.
Just look at this color poem! To think I actually have some paint chips in my art closet that a friend gave me last year too. I made a graphic organizer to help my students brainstorm ideas before they publish their final project. You can grab the graphic organizer below for FREE.
I simply cannot wait to hatch chicks in my classroom this month. I saw this craft and instantly knew we will have to incorporate it into our unit. I am in love with the little fuzzy chicks too. I saw those little chicks at Easter time, however, now I cannot remember what store they were at!
How adorable is this craft for Earth Day? Newspaper+watercolors+creativity=adorable craft!
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you find something useful. Be sure to check out all the other blogs to get some Pinspiration for the month of April.
Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party over at Doodle Bugs Teaching where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog.
This week brought us a nice long spring break for the three kiddos and I. We spent Easter weekend with our families hunting eggs and eating delicious food. Who doesn’t like an egg hunt? As you can see, my youngest had fun. The oldest two REALLY enjoyed finding eggs with $$$ in them (Ha, teens!).
We spent some time visiting Abraham Lincoln’s home, museum, and tomb in Springfield, Illinois. It was a fun day hanging out with friends and my children while learning a little history.
I celebrated my 41st birthday this past week and got this adorable lawn ornament from my mom as a gift. I LOVE turtles. Think about it…you can’t get anywhere in life without sticking your neck out!
Each year that I get the chance to celebrate another year of life I feel blessed. Blessed with good health, a wonderful and healthy family, and a job that I love. I want to celebrate my year of life by offering others something…a free item of choice from my TPT store. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecoptor below. That is all! I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 4th by email.
I got a chance to finish up aligning activities to go along with the story Missing: One Stuffed Rabbit by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. This story was originally in my old, old reading series years ago. In the story the class has a stuffed rabbit that gets to go home with a student each weekend. The student then writes in the rabbit’s journal about all the weekend’s events. When I started this activity, 14 years ago, I couldn’t find a stuffed rabbit locally so I bought a stuffed German Shepard. The class named it Skip and he travels with his journal. The students love it! The best part…showing the graduating 8th grade students their journal entries at this time of year as they are reminiscing about their elementary school years. Priceless I tell ya!
Birthday giveaway time! I’m celebrating my 41st birthday today, and I’m so happy that I want to celebrate with you. You can win ANY item in my TPT store for FREE! You choose! Want to enter? All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 4th by email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Yippee! Only one more day until spring break and I am definitely looking forward to a week filled with much-needed family time. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Mother Nature will provide Southern Illinois with some sunshine for outdoor fun too. However, you never know what she will deal you. It is not uncommon to wear flip-flops one day and have it snow the next. She is a little unpredictable…kind of like my second graders!
Since Easter is only a few days away we filled our classroom learning with spring literacy activities. I used Jan Brett’s book, The Easter Egg because I love her beautiful illustrations and the message of selflessness the book has.
As we read and re-read this book we focused on story elements. We used this graphic organizer as a visual tool to write about the story elements. You can grab it for FREE by clicking on the image below.
For one of our re-reads we wanted to explore story elements in an interactive way so we used these responding to literature retelling sticks. You can check them out by clicking the image below. They were super easy to make. I laminated them (because I am addicted to my personal laminator) and hot glued them to craft sticks.
I found there are different ways to utilize them in the classroom. Sometimes we pass the bucket around and I let students pull out any stick they want to discuss. (We often start the year off doing this so that students get comfortable with talking in front of their peers and build self-confidence.) Sometimes I hold the bucket backward (so the students can’t see the words) and have students blindly pull out a retelling stick. Both methods provide a versatile way to orally review a story’s elements.
Wow, I could have sworn that March just started! Here we are in the middle of March and I am preparing for my last week of school before spring break. Where has the time gone? I thought I would join up with Inspired Owl’s Corner, PAWSitively Teaching, and Just Reed for their monthly Pinterest Pick 3 Linky.
Here are my three March Pinterest picks. I hope you find some new ideas and find some ‘pin’spiration to finish out this month!
We are making these adorable baskets for our candy-free egg hunt in Room #7.
I love how cute and simple this is!
Who doesn’t want to grow their own Mr. Potato head? A fun activity to go with our unit on plants.
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking
tool that helps people discover
and save creative ideas.
Recently I attended a Southern Illinois Reading Council spring meeting on Effective Literacy Instruction in Domain 3. I am happy to report that I walked away with some great resources to share with you today. I have included links to them below.
So much has changed in the educational world since I first started teaching 16 years ago. There was one computer in my classroom, a newly installed dry erase board to cover up my old chalkboard, and a teacher-centered learning environment. Flash forward to current day and there is a technology rich environment with multiple computers, a Smartboard, iPads, and a student-centered learning environment.
In the 21st century student-centered learning environment I am giving my students the keys. My students must work collaboratively and exchange information, think critically, and have active, inquiry based learning. I am embracing this change and loving student-centered learning! How about you?
Check out some of my literacy instruction strategies and resources I use in Room #7 by clicking the images below.
Domain 3 Tools and Strategies Links
Formative assessments (a virtual binder full of ways to collect evidence of student learning) –Formative Assessment
Brain Breaks (I promise your students will LOVE this!) –GoNoodle
iPads in the classroom (app suggestions too)-iPads in the Classroom
Writing (broken down by grade level, visitors can find grade level specific tools and resources that relate to text types)- Illinois Writing Matters
Math (math blog that incorporates math, literacy and technology)-Creative Math in Middle School
On a different note…did you see my Illinois blogger button? Click it in the sidebar and view other blogs by Illinois teachers. Thanks for dropping by!