June 30, 2015

Make Your Masterpiece: Me & We Book (Win One!)


Thank you, TPT Seller Challenge, for motivating me to create this summer. I'm sure the creative juices will kick in once I start getting ready to go back to school, but right now I'm content with being lazy and pretending I don't have a job. *wink*

For this challenge, I created a new back to school product. It's called a ME & WE book. I actually got this idea from my old mentor (shoutout, Rhonda!). I've done this activity with my class for the past two years, but had never thought to turn it into a digital product. Kids love the activity, and they love reading the class book all year long.

PIN ME! :)

CLICK HERE to view this product.
It's on sale for this week only!

I'm giving away one copy of this product to one lucky reader.
Check out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 23, 2015

Dare to Dream


Week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge is Dare to Dream.

I have many, many goals for my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my little blog. 

Although my TPT experience has been a blessing financially and I do hope that my store continues to grow, I have chosen to blog about my dreams for how I hope to grow as an individual. 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

This online teacher community is absolutely incredible, really. 

At this point in time, there is a serious problem in this country of lack of support and respect for teachers. I won't get into that, but how amazing it is to see teachers support each other. I am so thankful to be a part of this community!

I hope that my relationships continue to develop and that I get to add to my list of amazing teachers I've met via blogging and Instagram. I sure hope that I can join the incredible group of metro Atlanta teacher bloggers and creators when I move there this summer!

TPT CONFERENCE

I dream of attending the conference in Vegas. I had major FOMO last year and wish I would have gone! It's not happening this year because of my big move, and it's not happening next year because I'm getting married instead... Life is exciting, y'all! 

I do hope to get there one day. For now, I'll live vicariously through all of you that are going.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Overall, I dream that my experience with TPT will continue to help me grow as a teacher. 

Creating for Teachers Pay Teachers is a hobby of mine that I find fun, but it is also challenging. Sometimes ideas come easily, but more often I have to challenge myself, especially after a long day of teaching. I think that creating for TPT has helped me grow as a teacher because most of my ideas for products stem from questions that I ask myself reflectively about my teaching: How could I have done that more effectively? Can I create a tool to use my time more efficiently? How can I make that concept fun for my students? You get the idea. I am constantly asking myself how I can be better. 

I'm thankful to the TPT for promoting personal growth. 

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading about your dreams!


P.S. If you haven't heard - As part of the seller challenge I have created a Facebook page for School and the City. Stop by to grab your first fan freebie!!

June 18, 2015

Makeover Madness: Living Wax Museum

HOW MUCH FUN is this TPT Seller Challenge?? I am all about some teamwork and healthy competition! I made over most of my products when I changed my name from My Carolina Classroom to School and the City, so I didn't have a ton of products to choose from.

Click the image to be taken to the updated product. 

I ended up choosing one of my very first products, a parent letter and rubric for a "living wax museum." It was made IN WORD and DIDN'T HAVE A COVER. Eeeek!

I decided to name it a "Living Wax Museum Starter Kit," because that's essentially what it is. It's the perfect product to get you and your students started if you want to have your own living wax museum. It includes an editable parent letter explaining the project, a timeline for how the project should be completed, and a rubric for how it will be graded. It also includes a worksheet for students to use to start thinking about the person or character that they are representing.

Now, I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking to yourself, 

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A LIVING WAX MUSEUM, KRISTIN?

I'm so glad you asked! A "living wax museum" is a super fun, engaging, and difficult project that my mom told me about. My class did it during Read Across America week last year. 

Students had to pick a favorite book character to represent. They had to write a speech from that character's point of view. The speech was supposed to tell the basic information about the character: plot lines, likes, dislikes, character traits, wants, etc.

On the day of the "wax museum," students came to school in their costumes, dressed as the book characters they had chosen. We went to the media center. Each student chose an area to stand or sit in. Other classes were invited in to "visit the wax museum." If a student walked up to one of my students, my student would begin to give his or her short speech. 

This project can be used so many ways. We did book characters, but you could also do historical figures, current public figures, future careers, etc. The possibilities are endless!

My "starter kit" is made for a book character wax museum, but let me know if you would be interested in purchasing it for other reasons. I can definitely add some pages that would work for historical or public figures.

I know I'm not doing the best job explaining sooooo here are some pictures:





My favorite wax museum performance (which or course I don't have a picture of) was a student who did the book Freckle Juice. Every time he did his speech, he gave himself freckles with a blue marker, and then wiped them off at the end with a baby wipe. He told me he performed 18 times. By the end of our 45 minutes, he looked like a smurf. Ha!!!

June 15, 2015

Summer Giveaway: Target and TPT


I am so excited to bring you a fabulous giveaway from some of your favorite teacher bloggers. We are giving away TWO prizes! A $260 Target Gift Card and a TPT bundle valued at almost $100! Please see the rafflecopter below for how to enter. Best of luck!

Host

Teach. Inspire. Change.

Co-Hosts





Our TPT Bundle includes the following items (all valued at almost $100!)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 14, 2015

Sunday Night Blues

I have a case of the Sunday night blues tonight, and it's not for the reason you'd think.

The school year is over here, and tomorrow I have to drive to my school for the last time to get my room checked and to turn in my keys.

Y'all. I'm SAD.

I mean, let's be real.

Teaching is definitely NOT always sunshine and bunnies and rainbows. (In the world of education, those things would be the equivalent of well-behaved kids, huge academic growth in all students, supportive and happy parents, plus simply the ability to impact young little lives in a positive way every day.)

But sometimes, that's exactly what it is.

Isn't it crazy how we count down the days to the end of the year, and then when the last day FINALLY gets here, it seems like it's arrived much too soon?

I think as teachers, we often get caught up in the little stuff: a student with a behavior problem, poorly-designed curriculum, a snarky email from a parent, or only having 20 minutes to go to the bathroom and scarf down lunch.

That stuff is obnoxious. It is. And I am SO GUILTY myself of getting caught up in the negatives, going through the motions, and counting down the hours left of school instead of focusing on why I chose this profession to begin with.

We can't forget the big picture. 

We have such an important job to do!

We, as teachers, have the opportunity to be a positive ROLE MODEL for the younger generation.

We can CHANGE LIVES on a DAILY basis.

We create ALL PROFESSIONS.

We are lucky to be surrounded every day by children who offer us UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.


Okay I'm getting a little caught up in my emotions here...

That's how I'm feeling right now. How blessed I am to have a job where I get to work with precious, young, and impressionable souls on a daily basis.

Not only do I go to work every day to earn my paycheck, but I also LOVE THOSE KIDS. It's just part of the job.

Teachers typically spend more waking hours with kids than kids do with their own parents during the school year! We KNOW those babies, what makes them happy, what they struggle with academically or emotionally, what life is like at home, who is friends with who, and favorite recess activities. We are the protectors, the role models, the comforters, the teachers. We get emotionally attached because we spend the majority of our own days with our students.

ANYWAYS,

Tomorrow I walk out of my first school for the last time. The kids that I said "goodbye" to on Thursday will always be in my heart though I may never see them again. I'm having a really hard time accepting that.

I KNOW that I will build equally as wonderful relationships with the families at my new school, but as for right now, I'm breaking a little bit thinking about all of the kids that have touched my heart this year.


I've never been a huge fan of change, even change that I have chosen for myself, like this one. At least this change comes with so many great things... like GETTING MARRIED!!!!!! Yippeeeeee!!!

When I was cleaning out my desk last week, I found a letter that I wrote to myself the week before I started my first year of teaching. (It was an activity that my principal had us do.)


22-year-old me was right: Taking the first step is definitely the hardest part.


Stay positive, my friends! And if you are still in school, hug those babies extra tight for me!

Please follow along on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and TPT for more ideas to make your life easier!

June 13, 2015

Summer Bucket List Linky

Thanks Natalie at What the Teacher Wants for hosting this fun summer linky!

I still have one teacher workday until I am officially on summer break, but I'm ALMOST THERE!


SCHOOL

I'm in the process of packing up my classroom and will be moving it to my new school soon! Now that my school year is finally over, I can start trying to wrap my head around that fact that I'll be teaching 4th grade in less than 2 months. Yikes! I'm excited but I have a ton to do!

PERSONAL

First up I have my best friend's wedding! I'll be in Alabama for 5 glorious days celebrating her and her new hubby with my greatest friends. We still have a lot to do to prepare for the bachelorette party and the wedding itself, but it will be a BLAST!

Mid-July, I'll be moving back to Atlanta. Finally my long-distance relationship with be over forever!!! I have an apartment waiting for me. Moving is the worst but I'm excited about decorating my new home and all of the exciting changes that come with moving to a new city!

In the midst of all that craziness, I'm hoping to continue attending Pure Barre, my latest fitness obsession. I am seeing changes already and just love how I feel after I leave class. I'm also still hooked on my FitBit, which keeps me up and moving on a daily basis.

FUN

My Carolina besties and I still have a few things to cross off of our NC bucket list before I move away. Lots of fun is to be had!

The only other trip I am taking this summer is to the beach for the 4th of July. Can't wait to soak up some much-needed sun!

Thanks for coming by.

Have a FANTASTIC summer!

June 8, 2015

End of Year Gifts for Students and Parents


It's that time of the year again: Time for end-of-year gifts. 
(Because YES, I am STILL IN SCHOOL over here in central North Carolina!!!!)

Thanks Tara for hosting this fun linky party!

GOODBYE GIFTS FOR THE KIDS

Did you know that Scholastic has "Dollar Deals" every month? I bought dollar books for my kids for Christmas, and they loved that. I decided to buy a dollar book for each student for the end of year too!

In April, one of the "Dollar Deals" was Sideways Stories from Wayside School. We have read all 3 Wayside books as a class this year and the kids absolutely go crazy for them! I figured they wouldn't mind having a copy of their own to re-read.

I wrote an individualized note to each student inside the front cover about how great they are, how much I will miss them, blah blah blah....... (trying not to cry)......

We also made some bookmarks that will be stuck inside the Wayside book. I made a blank bookmark for each student and wrote names on them. The bookmarks were then passed around the room for every student to add to.


I projected a list of character traits to compliment on the board for students to use if needed. I encouraged them to think of a word that hadn't been used yet. 

They did a great job! Once every bookmark had been through every student, I collected them to laminate and keep until the last day. The kids haven't seen their own bookmarks yet and keep asking me about them! They are excited!


I think these gifts will be appreciated by both students and parents and are functional keepsakes. In all, my total cost was $26 for gifts for my 26 students! 


THANK YOU GIFTS FOR HELPFUL PARENTS

I'm not going to pretend that this was my idea, because it totally wasn't. (Thanks, Pinterest!)

For my room parent and super helpful other parents, I have made cute tags to put on cute pitchers that say a cute saying: "Thanks for PITCHING in this year!" Get it? CUTE, right?


I found these awesome pitchers at Target - where else? They remind me of the Kool-Aid man. 



I LOVE how they turned out! I stuck some lemons and limes on the inside along with a personalized thank-you note. I hope the moms love them!

Please follow along on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and TPT for more ideas to make your life easier!

June 7, 2015

Showered with 2nd Grade Love!

My sweet, thoughtful, generous, loving, and incredible team threw me my first shower EVER at school last week! 


It was absolutely beautiful! They outdid themselves.







How PRECIOUS are those donut rings?! And the Hershey kisses! So cute, right??

I just had to share! 

Thank you Amy and the rest of my amazing team! I'm going to miss y'all so much!

XOXOXO

June 2, 2015

Currently JUNE!




LISTENING: I loooove me some Bobby Bones. They are hilarious and they are my best best friends in real life in my dreams. They are all about "pimpin' joy" and making the world a better place. I bet they would love what Farley is doing for Wimberley!

LOVING: Hi, my name is Kristin and I'm addicted to Pure Barre. It's the hardest workout I've ever done and I am obsessed with it! Any other LTB teachers out there?!

THINKING: I have my first bridal shower this week, and I've been asked what my new monogram is going to be. I am torn between keeping my middle or last name. My middle name is a family name from my dad's side, so I'm not worried about offending my dad's family by dropping my last name, if I choose to do that. Thoughts on this???

WANTING: SUMMER. Obviously. 8 more days with kids, including today, not that I'm counting...

NEEDING: Absolutely nothing. Farley's description of Wimberley brings me back to my college days when Tuscaloosa was destroyed by an E4 tornado. I don't know anything about Wimberley, but I know what it's like to see a place you love torn about. I know what it's like to not understand how everyone's world kept turning when my little world was never going to be the same. I'm reminded how thankful I am for my life and everything in it. Thank you, Farley, for using your vast reach to spread awareness and make a difference!

SUMMER LOVIN': It's going to be a great summer! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!