Teacher Appreciation Goodie Bag Freebie

Teacher appreciation week is in full swing this week and I decided to give my teacher friends something fun and new to use! This post is brought to you by Go Teach!, formerly the Elmer's Teacher Club. Go teach! is an amazing loud and incredibly proud new community created to inspired, empower, and support teachers like YOU!

When I saw these Expo markers I knew they'd make great gifts!

If you look closely at the end, you can see that they have a ink indicator that tells you exactly how much ink is left in the marker!
That just blew me away! How many times do we go reach for a marker just to find that it's dead? No longer my friends! Just take a peek at the side and you know exactly when they are running out! I especially appreciate that every marker comes loaded above the full line!

These would make such awesome gifts for teacher friends! Take a look at what I made:
Free teacher goodie bag toppers! Great gift for teacher appreciation or BTS time!

It was so easy to make these! You will need cellophane baggies that you can pick up at the craft store and the following materials:

Now fill your bag with markers:

Cut the FREE printable you can pick up HERE.

Fold it over the baggie.

Last, staple it closed! You are all done!

These teacher goodie bags turned out so cute and were SO easy to put together. 

Thank you to Go teach! for sponsoring this post. I received compensation and free product from Go teach! in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are completely my own. I only endorse products that I enjoy and love to use in my own classroom.


Colorful Resources, New Books, and Fun Pens

Five for Friday is here! Here is what we've been up to:

1. Testing Buddies
Testing Freebie
We have testing buddies at my school. Each class gets partnered up with an upper grade class and we write notes for the big kids. Instead of writing letters, we write how to directions for rocking their test! Our fourth grade friends love them! You can grab a copy of these for FREE from my shop :-)

2. Field Trip
We went on our field trip to the aquarium. It was a fun trip! When preparing for field trips, we usually send out multiple handouts to parent chaperones. I decided to change it up this year and create an all in one field trip flipbook. This book saved us! Everything I had to communicate to our chaperones was in one handout! 

3. New Goodies
If you are on IG you *might* have heard about the new Flair pen colors. I saw them first on @thecreativeclassroom's IG and I ran out to get my pack! The colors are beautiful! I especially love the teal one.

4. Comprehension Pocket Books

Reading comprehension foldables perfect for 1st and 2nd graders! They focus on story elements, characters, and many more skills!

We started using these new comprehension mini books and they have been a hit! My kids love to do them!! They are easy to assemble and can be used with any book. 

 5. New Books

We got some new books for our classroom library and these were our favorites! They are smaller versions of the pigeon books. The only negative is that they ALL want them at the same time. It's a good thing that we will be rotating books each week :-) I found these on Amazon.

Now go link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

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Story Elements Flipbook

How often do you touch on story elements? I try to cover these skills at least once a week, but I'll admit that sometimes I let these basic elements slip for weeks at a time. This is apparent when I ask my students basic questions and they don't know what to say! I needed something to help me stay on track and review elements of literature more often. I'm all about making things engaging and different, so I whipped up this double sided flipbook!
This story elements flipbook is perfect for first and second graders! You can cover setting, characters, plot, title, author, and illustrator all in one flip book! Two sizes are included!
Available HERE

As you can see, this flipbook covers all of the essentials: 
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Beginning, Middle, and End
On the back cover, the children can jot down the title, name of the author, and the illustrator. 

One of my favorite things about these books is that they only require one sheet of paper per child! Assemble the one book; then cut down the middle. You have created two books from two pieces of paper! 

Want to see the assembly process? Check out the video below. (the video is of my Author's Purpose Flipbook)

Shortly after posting these, I received requests from teachers for a larger version to use with younger children who need more space for writing/drawing. I got to work and created an extra version that is included for free in the download!

This story elements flipbook is perfect for first and second graders! You can cover setting, characters, plot, title, author, and illustrator all in one flip book! Two sizes are included!

Are you interested in this resource? You can check it out in my TpT shop HERE :-)

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Reading Comprehension Pocket Books

I'm so excited to share my newest creations with you! These are my brand new Comprehension Pocket Books. I'm calling them pocket books because they fold up into a nice compact size. Perfect for little hands :-)
Reading comprehension foldables perfect for 1st and 2nd graders! They focus on story elements, characters, and many more skills!

I'm noticing that my kids need constant and ongoing review of story elements and character development. I took some of the questions that we discuss the most and put them into these foldable booklets. It's important to discuss these questions, but it's also incredibly important to give the kids a chance to explain their thinking in writing. 

We completed the first two books in class already. After watching me fold the first one, my students were ALL able to fold their books up on their own! They were excited to get to work on these, and the assembly is super easy! Check out the video below that shows how simple it is:

Use them in your class as:
  • A whole group activity while reading your story of the week. 
  • Literacy stations for the students to complete independently.
  • Recording sheets in your listening station.
  • During guided reading with your small group.

Reading comprehension foldables perfect for 1st and 2nd graders! They focus on story elements, characters, and many more skills! \

You can print them on colored paper or on regular white paper. I plan on using white paper most of the time, but I'll be using Astrobrights to mix it up! 

Reading comprehension foldables perfect for 1st and 2nd graders! They focus on story elements, characters, and many more skills!

The questions vary throughout the books. They are geared towards 1st and 2nd grade students, but I could definitely see kinders or 3rd graders using them as well. If you have already purchased this set, check back in periodically because I will be adding more booklets in the future :-)

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Field Trip Resources

Our yearly field trip is coming up and we cannot wait! We will be going to the brand new aquarium in town. Our kids are pretty psyched about it.

I made a couple of resources that have helped us so much! Check them out below!

The purpose of this flipbook is to get all of the info that I need to communicate to chaperones in one handout. This sure does the trick! Here is a list of what I include inside:

1. Our schedule for the day and details about the field trip.

2. A map to the location as well as written directions from our side of town. I got this info from Google maps :-) This information will be super helpful to parents that are meeting us at the destination.

3. Guidelines for chaperones. These guidelines are from the staff at the aquarium.  Last year we went to Butterfly Wonderland and they also sent us guidelines for our chaperones. If you aren't given any, this would be a great place for you to include your own guidelines.
Have all your important field trip info in ONE handout!
I included my exact text in this file, but you can customize it to meet your needs. The book only uses two sheets of paper. The layout accommodates a lot of information because it is double-sided. The assembly is so quick too!

We are required to wear name tags on our field trips. A couple of years ago, I decided to make these instead of wearing the normal school badges. After printing them on some neon paper, I laminated and hole punched them along the top. I added some string and they were good to go! My students stood out in the crowds instantly because of the bright tags! The parents were also very excited about being able to keep their child's tag as a keepsake to remember the trip. I'm so glad that I started using these.
These name tags will help your students stand out while on field trips! They also make great keepsakes for parents!
These name tags are also fully editable so that you can customize them for your special trip! 

If you are interested in either of these resources, you can click on the links above. You can also pick them up in this bundle:
Perfect resources for field trips!

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Testing Freebie

March is almost over and that means one thing...testing is in the horizon! I'm not exactly a fan of standardized testing but I do like to find ways to encourage kids and brighten their day. This post includes some ideas you can incorporate to make testing a little less stressful. This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

Several years ago, my first principal decided that we should start something called testing buddies.  The idea is pretty simple. You pair up two classrooms, an upper and lower grade classroom, and designate them buddies. The younger children write letters to the upper grade buddies to give them some motivation. We always wrote letters and the kids loved them.

I decided to mix it up a couple years ago and created some brochures to give to our buddy class instead. Well...the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The kids adored their letters! Even kept them out while they were testing! Want to try these? They are in my store for FREE!


This is how they work. You can copy them on white and have the kids color them. Short on time? Color them on some neon Astrobrights and you are good to go!
 When the child opens the front, they will be greeted with this encouraging note.

The kids then write three ways to rock a test. I have my kids brainstorm some ideas as a class before hand. They usually involve something like "Try your best" "Eat a good breakfast" "Read the questions carefully" "Take your time" etc. I then hand these out and the kids write their own advice and draw a picture.

When they are done, there is one last quote on the back to give our buddies a little boost in confidence.

We are giving our new friends their notes on Monday and my kids are beyond excited to see their reactions.

I often get asked about what kind of paper I use. I absolutely recommend Astrobrights. The colors are so bright and beautiful! You can check out my favorite packs:

We all know that staying hydrated is so important! We will also be delivering these water bottles to our buddies! My kids love these so much and they suggested that we give these to our new friends.
Fun labels for testing! Awesome freebie in this post!
You can find these labels HERE.

Last but not least, I pick up a couple of fun teacher items too! I teach second grade and we have minimal standardized testing. The upper grade teachers have double the testing time. I like to find any way to make their day less stressful too! Teacher goodies seem to do the trick.

Here are some of my favorite teacher gifts:

Any one of these gifts are sure to brighten a teacher's day :-) 

I hope that you'll be able to use some of these ideas! Feel free to share your tips and tricks for easing testing stress!

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Classroom Library, Presidents, and Shopping Finds!

Happy Friday! Linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday!

1. How often do you organize your library? I try to have the kids clean it out every couple of weeks.  It was looking like a complete mess so I knew it was time to put the kids to work :-D

Classroom Library

2. Don't you love it when you think you are done with grading and then find new stacks of papers to grade? This mug says it all.

3. We have been learning about presidents and used Babbling Abby's anchor chart resource to create this one! This was my first attempt at lettering an anchor chart.
Presidents' Day Anchor Chart

4. I felt like I hit the jackpot this week when I found all these books at Goodwill. Most were hardcovers and in perfect condition! $37 for all these beautiful books!
Picture Book Nook

5. Do you love Rae Dunn? I've been shopping for RD for months and can't ever find anything in stores. So when I walked into one of my favorite local shops and found this, I kind of freaked!
The shop owner said she was cleaned out by the time we got there, so now I'm awaiting the next shipment!

That's it for me! What have you been up to lately? Please link up for Five for Friday to share your week!

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Newsletters, Flexible Seating, and Smart Water

Hello! Time for some Five for Friday

1. I swear the second half of the year FLIES by! It didn't hit me that it was March until I was filling out our newsletters and calendars! 
Newsletters that are easy to edit and read! Great for parent communication!

2. I saw these stability chairs on Amazon and I just had to get one to try it out. The kids loved it! I'm a little jealous that I can't use it :-D
I love these stability chairs for flexible seating! The colors are perfect!
You can use my affiliate link HERE to check these out

3. One of my favorite times of the day is Read-to-Self time. Its such a joy to see my kids reading and loving it.
Read to self time in action!

4. These little books are too cute for words! I saw them at Lakeshore.
These little notebooks are perfect for Read Across America!

 5. We had two full days of testing this week and I wanted to give my kids a little encouragement before the test! These water bottle labels quickly transform all water into "smart" water :-)
These Smart Waters are so fun! Great way to motivate and hydrate our little learners before testing!

What have you been up to? Make sure to link up with Five for Friday and share with us!

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Timer, Flipbooks, and Clean Desks

It's Friday again and that means, it's time for Five for Friday!

1. I try to tidy up my desk every day, but sometimes if it gets extra cluttered, I stay a little extra late on Fridays. I love walking in on Monday morning to a spotless desk! It's a great way to start the week.
Love the look of a nice clean desk!

2. Do you admire beautiful hand lettered projects? I definitely do! I decided to give it a try with THIS book.

Well, Chalkfull of Love released a set of her favorite lettering tools that I had to have! She releases these here and there on limited quantities via her website. If you want one, keep an eye on her IG because that's where she announces when they are available. 
The perfect lettering kit!

3. It's no secret that I'm a fan of flipbooks!  We have been learning about presidents and I made a few fun ones for us to use.
Time saving and paper saving mini-flipbooks.
I love February but there is so much to teach! We need a few extra February days :-) 

Love these little social studies mini flipbooks!

4. I picked up this timer this week and we started using it. I am in LOVE! I've used timers before but having the kids actually see the red that actually shows how much time we have left,  has been SO helpful! There are different sizes. I went with the largest size that can be seen from anywhere in the classroom. Game changer!
The perfect timer to use in the classroom!
Affiliate Link HERE

5. Our curriculum night was on Wednesday. We prepped these books to hand out to parents. I love having all these tips in one handout. I like to copy extras so I have them on hand for parent conferences.
The perfect editable flipbooks for curriculum night!

6. An extra one :-D We were to a different school in the district for some PD and I saw these from my friend A Cupcake for the Teacher! They are so cute!
Adorable 100th Day of School project

We ran out of time and didn't get to make them. I'll have to make sure there's time for them next year!

What have you been up to? Share your week with us over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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