Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Out of This World Open House!

My school hosted our annual Open House last night.  Since I teach 3rd grade, I usually have a space theme to tie into our Science standards.  The kids' Solar System projects were awesome!  Another fun tradition I do is to have the kids bring pants and a long-sleeved shirts in so we can "stuff" them full of newspaper.  We make a space helmet and face, and tape it to a ruler, which gets stuffed in the  neck holes.  It's an oldie, but a goodie tradition for me...and the kids never get tired of it!  Here are some fun pictures of a few of the projects and stuffed bodies.

My other favorite part of Open House is our annual "walk through" the morning after.  We walk all around the school to see the other classrooms.  What creativity we see, spilling out of the's super inspirational to be a part of such a school community!  What sorts of themes or traditions do you have for Open House in your classrooms?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week

Not only am I a teacher, but for my kids' school, I serve as the Teacher Appreciation Week Chairperson for PTA.  This is my 3rd year serving as this coordinator, and it's my pleasure doing it.  As an insider, I know how hard it is, day in and day out, to pull it all together for a whole school year.  No other career demands as much energy, creativity, skill, and multi-tasking ability than that of a teacher.  Here are some of the daily treats I have planned for them during the first week of May.  Just sharing, in case you  need some ideas.  Now, the ideas are quite simple and inexpensive since I have a tiiiinny budget, and 75 staff members to treat.  (Their school wants everyone appreciated... the whole staff!)  So, keep that in mind as you scroll through.

"Any way you CALCULATE it, Pepper Tree Staff is the best!"

"There's no MISTAKING it... Pepper Tree Staff  is awesome!"

"Pepper Tree Staff is a CUT above the rest!"

"Did you get the MEMO? Pepper Tree Staff is #!"

"Pepper Tree Staff RULES!"

Of course, there will be a lot of other SPOILING going on, but this is the PTA's little token of appreciation this year.  I hope you found a little inspiration.  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Did someone say sale?

There are a whole bunch of us throwing a Spring/Easter sale this Sunday, April 20th.  Hop on over and fill your baskets!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Open For Learning

Here we last attempt. I've never been one to give up my break time, especially my lunch break. This year, I have a fairly large group of students who could really use every extra minute to squeeze in the 3rd grade concepts before summer arrives. I'm devoting one day a week to stay in my classroom at lunch to open up my room for kids who would like to come in for extra help. Maybe they'll come in, maybe not. I have to give it a try. Here's the sign that will be my "signal" that they can come into the room. Feel free to download a copy {drag and drop the image to your desktop}if you're interested in opening your classroom for learning for an extra time during your day.
Love the bird? Visit:
 Love the frame? Visit:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bunny Bark...Oh, Yeah!!

Besides being a teacher, I'm also a grateful mother of two elementary aged children. I am BEYOND thankful for the phenomenal education my 4th and 5th grade children are receiving at their school. One thing that makes a big difference for the kids is that the teachers group/differentiate throughout the day for Reading and Math. The good part is that they rotate to different teachers, depending on their levels and needs. The hard part is treating all of them to seasonal goodies throughout the year. One of the EASIEST and YUMMIEST things I do is make bark. Here's a picture and the step by step directions for making Bunny Bark. You can make bark for any holiday by changing out the candies. (During Halloween, substitute the M & Ms for candy get the idea!?)
Ingredients: Wilton Meltable White Chocolate (3 bags makes enough for one cookie sheet), pretzels, M & Ms (pastel), Oreos (vanilla), and pastel sprinkles. Directions: Put wax paper on a large cookie sheet. Break the pretzels and oreos onto the wax paper. Scatter M & Ms on top. Melt the Melting Chocolates by following the directions on the bag. Pour the melted white chocolate over the ingredients on the wax paper. Sprinkle more broken oreos, pretzels, and M & M's over the top. Sprinkle the pastel colored sprinkles as a finishing touch. Put in refrigerator for a few hours to harden the bark.
After the Bunny Bark has hardened, break it apart in big, medium, and small chunks. It's ok for it to break apart any way it does--that's why it's called "bark."
Bag up the Bunny Bark, and deliver to all the teachers in your life! :) Enjoy,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Rolo Wrappers {Freebie!}

Need a quick treat for your students, coworkers, family, or friends? Spring Rolo Wrappers are simple and quick. Simply print and wrap around Rolo candy. Enjoy!
Click here to download: Spring Rolo Wrappers FREEBIE

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fluency Builders with Legos!

I have a big span of reading levels in my 3rd grade class this year. I have a group of my students who still have the "brakes on" when it comes to reading fluency. I decided to tutor after school a few days a week. It's perfect with only 8 students to focus on. We're working on sight words, building fluency, intonation, and of course comprehension skills. To help motivate the kids, I brought in my son's Legos. Every time they attend tutoring, they get to choose a Lego brick to add to their Lego platform. They LOVE-LOVE-LOVE this part of the tutoring session, right at the end when they get to select the brick. My son, on the other hand, is quite concerned that he get these Legos back soon. So, to solve my dilemma, I bought Lego candy to give my students. At the end of the whole tutoring class in a few weeks, I will trade them--they'll give me back my son's Legos, and I'll give them the Lego candy. I bought the Lego candy on Amazon. {What doesn't Amazon sell!?} Here's a picture of the candy to give you an idea of what it looks like. Cute, huh?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Just learning about this great link up where we share what we're "Currently" thinking, doing, wondering, etc. Fun stuff! Join the fun at Farley's Oh Boy 4th Grade Blog