Valentine Party with Oriental Trading

I love celebrating Valentine's Day with my students.  We focus on how we can be kind and loving to everyone.

One thing about Valentine's Day is I have many students who are unable to make a "Valentine's box" at home.  This was something I loved doing as a kid so I wanted to do something just as special for my students.  Lucky for me I found these adorable valentine boxes from Oriental Trading.  Now all of my students will have a cute Valentine box to collect their cards from their friends.

Coloring these will be the perfect morning activity on Valentine's Day or you could even do them the day before.  They are also just the right size to collect all your classroom valentine's.

Oriental Trading also has these fun interactive Valentine cards.  My students are going to LOVE these.  It is a card, but also a Tic Tac Toe game.  How fun is that??

We will also be decorating our classroom with these cute hearts from Oriental Trading.  They are like stained glass.  You can hang them with string or even add the students pictures to them so they can take them home as a gift to their families.

If you are looking for other fun and easy Valentine ideas for your classroom, you need to check out Oriental Trading and all their Valentine Party supplies here.

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading?  Check out their coupon page for the latest sales!

*Disclaimer:  I was sent products of my choice in exchange for writing this post, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own!

Spring Teacher Blogger Retreat 2017

We are ready to roll out the red carpet and announce that we are opening registration for the

And you WILL NOT want to miss what we have planned for you this year!
Are you ready to be treated like the red carpet star that you are?
Need a weekend of pampering to escape from the “work” of teaching?
Need to be re-energized and fall in love with teaching all over again?
Ready to shine and be recognized for the teaching-star that you are?

Then come walk the red carpet with us at French Lick Resort!
French Lick is an incredible resort is located in southern Indiana, but it is within 3 hours of Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis, and St. Louis!

And let me tell you...they are ready to pamper us again!  

Here are the details...
WHO:  YOU are invited!
WHAT:  Spring Blogger/Follower Retreat!
WHEN: March 17, 18 & 19, 2017
WHERE:  French Lick Resort & Casino - French Lick, IN
WHY:   To meet new friends, share blogging & TPT tricks & tips, 
and just have fun! {LOTS and LOTS of FUN!}

Join us for the whole weekend, or just a day!
Here is a peek at some of the things we have planned…

Friday, March 17th
·       OPTIONAL:  Many attendees gather and socialize at the beautiful West Baden Hotel.  Come early and join us! 

Saturday, March 18th

Blogger Meet-Up Luncheon:  Get-to-know-you luncheon, teacher product giveaways, and “Teacher Tool” gift swap game

·       Keynote Speaker:  None other than PRINCIPAL GERRY will be there to uplift, inspire, and create a room full of laughter

·       Teaching, TPT, Blogging Round-table and Workshop Sessions:  We will send out a survey asking for topics of interest and we invite you to submit a round-table proposal as well. 

·      Dinner Reservations at Resort Restaurant/s:  (OPTIONAL) Meet up for dinner at one of the resort’s casual, but classy restaurants.

·     Since everyone who is a teacher knows they went into this profession for the fame and fortune (ya, right!!)……We will be rolling out the red carpet for you as we invite you to dress up as your favorite star, pose for the paparazzi, and fabulous fun with friends!  (Heavy hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages, photo booth pictures and party favors included.  There will also be a cash bar.)

Sunday, March 19th

·       9:30 am - Sunday Breakfast/Brunch:  (OPTIONAL) Meet at the resort’s famous breakfast buffet for our last gathering of good food, good conversation, and goodbyes!

The cost for attending this event is $75, which includes your lunch and beverages, a portion of the event room fees and our Saturday night social event (including food and non-alcoholic drinks).  This is the ONLY required fee for the entire weekend!  The rest of the event (hotel fees, if you choose to stay on site, and the remainder of the meal fees will be on your own, based on your choices!).  If you live close, you may choose to drive in for the day.  This fee needs to be paid by Feb.12 to guarantee your registration.  Also, note that due to the increasing popularity of this event, registration may have to be limited due to size.  (More details for payment will be posted on our private FB meet-up/retreat group page.)

Wondering if this event is something you might be interested in?  Check out what some of last year's attendees have to say...

Hannah F.Last year was my first year at French Lick and I was so nervous! I remember driving up there and imagining all the things that could go wrong! (of course) But, when I arrived I was overwhelmed with the kindness of every single person there. Everyone felt like they belonged and they did! The whole weekend was full of fun activities that helped me grow as a teacher and as a person. I made so many brand new friendships that I will carry with me forever. I remember driving away feeling refreshed and so ready to get back into my classroom! This weekend will refresh your love for teaching from the very instant you step into the hotel! “

Heidi N. "It was so refreshing to be surrounded by like minded teachers!  I left the weekend with new perspective, new ideas, and a lot of new friends!"

Maja A. "Last year's meet up inspired me to do so many new things, I finished out the school year strong with the things I learned from the other teacher/bloggers there!  I am so excited for this years meet up!"

Are you ready to sign up for a star-studded weekend of fun?  Simply click HERE to register for the event.
Questions?  Feel free to contact us at

All About Rudolph!

Friday was Rudolph Day in kindergarten.  We spent the entire day focused on Rudolph and all things reindeer.

To start our day, we made these adorable reindeer glasses that we could wear throughout the day.  These cuties were from Oriental Trading.

I just can't get over how cute my little friends looked in these glasses.

After we looked like Rudolph, it was time to create a Rudolph craft.  We used this as our math lesson because it was all about SHAPES!  My students had to find the right shape to make each part of Rudolph.  These turned out super cute.

Next it was time to read some reindeer books. We read Olive, the Other Reindeer and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  We compared the main characters in the books.

After that we were getting pretty hungry so we made these cute and yummy reindeer snacks.

All you need is graham crackers, peanut butter, pretzels, chocolate chips, and red m&m's.  You could definitely use other items like raisins for the eyes.  I accidentally grabbed the wrong bag at the store so I used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.  We made it work (just like Tim Gunn would say).

At the end of the day, we watched the video of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer then compared the book to the movie to see if there were parts missing from either the book or the movie.  All in all, we had a fantastic day!

Holiday Fun with Oriental Trading

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  I love this time of year and I love planning holiday activities and fun in my classroom.  Oriental Trading makes it easy to plan for all that in their Christmas Store.

I love having my students make ornaments to give their parents as Christmas gifts.  This year I decided to try something new with the ornaments.  I used clear ornaments and student pictures to make this easy gift.  

To make this, I snapped pictures of my students and printed them in black & white.  Then I cut them down in size to fit the picture in the ornament.  After that, all you need is some crinkle paper to put behind the picture.  The ribbon is already attached to the ornament!

How cute did these turn out?  And best of all, they were inexpensive and easy to make.  What teacher doesn't love that?

Do you give your students gifts for Christmas?  If so, Oriental Trading makes your life so much easier.  It is a one stop shop for student gifts.  I found all kinds of fun items in the Christmas Party Shop.

This year my students are receiving a goodie bag filled with these fun items:  rubber duckies, kazoos, finger puppets, and bell necklaces (perfect for a Polar Express theme day).

I know my students are going to LOVE getting this on the last day before Christmas break.

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading?  Check out their coupon page for the latest sales!

*Disclaimer:  I was sent products of my choice in exchange for writing this post, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own!

Managing Behavior in December

We all know that in December our little angels get Christmas on the brain and they get excited.  This excitement is sometimes hard to contain because, well, they are 5 and 6 years old and it's hard to contain your excitement for Christmas when you are 5 or 6.  (Let's be honest it's hard for adults to contain their holiday excitement too!)

How can you manage that behavior in your classroom and promote a positive learning environment for your students throughout December?  Well, let me show you what I do!

Every Friday in the month of December we have "fun friday."  

What is Fun Friday?
Fun Friday is a celebration where we combine learning, crafts, treats, and sometimes a video.  Each Fun Friday in December is a different theme:
  • Grinch Day
  • Rudolph Day
  • Polar Express Day
(You can choose any theme that works for you and your class.)

I ask my students to wear green on Grinch day, red on Rudolph day, and pajamas on Polar Express day.  Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we center all of our literacy, math, science, and social studies work around our theme.  Then at the end of the day we make a craft, read the book, and watch the video. 

How does this help manage behavior?
Now you might be thinking how does this help behavior?  Wouldn’t it make the students more excited and wound up?  Well, it could do that, but my students know that in order to participate in the video and snack at the end of the day they must have an 80% or higher on their Class Dojo for the week.  You can set whatever parameters work best for you and your class. 

If a student doesn’t meet the behavior goal, they still participate in all the learning activities throughout the morning and early afternoon.  They will just miss some or all of the video (and possibly the treat).  I rarely have a student miss more than a portion of time during the first FUN FRIDAY.  Once they see what they are missing then they make sure to do whatever it takes to participate the following week. 

What else do I need to know to implement this into my classroom?
In order to make things a little more interesting and fun, I give my students a ticket to enter FUN FRIDAY.  The tickets create a little more buy in for the students.  They get beyond thrilled to earn that ticket.  You can click here to get some “FUN FRIDAY tickets” for your classroom.

Do you have a great way to manage behavior during the busy month of December?  I would love to hear all about it! 

Halloween Party Fun with Oriental Trading

I don't know about you, but I love to celebrate Halloween.  I think it is just the fun of dressing up and being silly that makes this holiday near and dear to my heart.  I always like to try to do something fun with my class each year for Halloween.

Lucky for me, Oriental Trading had everything I needed AND MORE!

I decided to do a party with a game rotation this year.  Basically, my students are going to be in groups and rotate through 5 games/activities.

The first game they will get to play is Fall Bowling with these adorable candy corn bowling pins.  I mean cute are these??

The next stop will be a photo booth because who wouldn't want to have some fun taking some silly pictures?  I chose to get the Halloween Photo Stick Props.  We had some fun with the props as you can tell!

After taking pictures, my students will get to try to hit a bullseye on the Ghost Dartboard set.  This is great for little ones because it's velcro and they just throw the balls.  Nothing dangerous on it like darts just soft balls that won't break or hurt anyone or anything if someone's aim is off.  Perfect for a classroom party!

Their next stop will be Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin.  These game even comes with a blindfold.  It will be perfect for my students.  They will each take a turn trying to pin the nose.  I have a feeling that there will be lots of laughs at this station.

Last stop of the party will be the Halloween Spoon Game.  My students love a fun racing game and this will be a hit!

At the end of the party, I like to give my students a little goody bag.  Since I know they will be getting more than enough candy when they go trick-or-treating I like to give them something non-food.  I was so excited to see so many options from Oriental Trading.  I got my students Pumpkin & Ghost Glow Necklaces, Mini Halloween Icon Prisms, and Mini Jack O'Lantern Bubble Bottles.  There were so many other items I could have picked out too.

If you are looking for some fun items for your classroom for a fall party, check out all the fun things Oriental Trading has here.  And GUESS WHAT???  They also have costumes!  If we dressed up at our school, I would have totally been a Pink Lady because Grease is one of my favorite movies ever!  Check out their amazing selection of costumes here!

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading?  Check out their coupon page for the latest sales!

How do you celebrate fall and/or Halloween in your classroom?  I would love to hear about it in the comments!

*Disclaimer:  I was sent products of my choice in exchange for writing this post, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own!

Math Activities from Oriental Trading

I am so excited to share with you some FUN math activities for your primary students.

Over the summer I always love to browse online and find new and exciting activities to incorporate into my classroom.  This summer I hit the jackpot while browsing Oriental Trading's Education Page.

They have some amazing things that I can't wait to use in my classroom this year.

First of all, how cute is this graph pocket chart?  I am excited to use this as part of our morning routine and morning meeting.  My students will come in the classroom and before heading to their seat, they will mark their answer to our "Question of the Day."  Then at our morning meeting, we will review the data from chart.  I love using graphs daily because it really helps my students understanding comparing.

Another product I fell in love with were these foam number math dice with numerals on them.  We will play lots of math games with these dice.

Right now I am teaching "Kindergarten Jumpstart" for two hours a day.  School will start fully next week.  Today at jumpstart, we used the dice for number recognition and counting.  The students rolled the dice and then had to count to that number.

We will also use these dice with counters.  The students will roll the dice and have to show that many counters.  Everything is more fun dice!

My last goodie I am sharing today are these awesome pocket dice that are completely customizable.  I am using them for tally marks here.  Instead of having numerals or dots, I used index cards and made tally marks for my students to practice.  They roll the dice and then write the numeral for the amount of tally marks they rolled.

I plan on using these dice ALL.  THE.  TIME.  I will be using them literacy centers, math centers, and science centers.  I love that I can easily switch out the picture on them without having to store tons of different kinds of dice.  It's a teacher's dream!

My students are going to LOVE all these fun math activities.  Oriental Trading has made shopping easy for teachers too.  I created a wishlist so I can keep track of all the items I still want/need.  I am able to share this with my family or even parents who are looking for a way to help purchase items for the classroom.  You need to hop on over there, check out all the great goodies and create your own classroom wishlist!

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading?  Check out their coupon page for the latest sales!

*Disclaimer:  I was sent products of my choice in exchange for writing this post, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own!