Friday, May 29, 2015

Everything you need to know before you go to the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference in Las Vegas

Whether you attended the first annual Teachers Pay Teachers Conference last year or you're a newbie, I'm sure you're filled with excitement, butterflies, and a ton of questions.  It's Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools and I'm so excited for all of my new friends to attend this year but I started to feel like a broken record when they'd ask me what to expect.  So...I created a little post to help answer some of your questions.
Order yours from Vista Print or somewhere similar.  Mine never showed up last year so I quickly uploaded my design to Staples and they had them done within the hour.  I ordered 500 and have a full box, just about.  They have come in handy for So Cal Teacher meet ups this year!

I used Zazzle last year and the 3 inch one was about 3 bucks!

It's fun waiting in line and recognize faces from friends you've been collaborating stalking all year!
Make sure to include your name, blog name, e mail, and phone number on your labels!  There will be a large conference room set up with all of your favorite teaching products and companies giving away swag and selling lots of goodies.
You'll wear your lanyard at the conference but many wore their buttons {I did} because they stood out!

I was so scared to ask people to take photos with them, but looking back, I'm glad I did!

 Meet Ups are so much fun.  If you attended the one I co-hosted last year with Courtney from Ramona Recommends, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

Don't forget to get organized for the big conference.  This planner is jam packed with the tips mentioned in this post, as well as notes, schedules, and meet up pages.

Grab this sample page by clicking on the photo and saving it!

Speaking of meet ups, I'm so excited to announce that the girls and I from The Primary Pack are hosting a fun meet up, similar to the one I put on last year.
We are incredibly thankful to A+ Images and Go Noodle for sponsoring this event.
We'll have great giveaways and prizes from some of your favorite companies, teacher authors, and more, so stay tuned!  All you have to do is click on the photo to reserve your spot!  
For those of you going to Vegas, leave a comment below so we can meet you!
Don't worry if you won't be in Vegas, we have some fun things planned for you friends as well!  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

End Of Year Activity: Interviewing The Next Grade Level

Hi Primary Pack Peeps!!! :) It's me, Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins, to talk to you today!!

Do you notice a little more pep in my step today? Well, that's probably because I've been out of school since May 14th. I know, send the hate mail now. We started summer school up on May 19th and have two weeks left and then it's sweet, sweet summer in my world! I'm so ready to soak up the sun, some good books, and some quality creating time with my brand new spankin' laptop. Seriously, it's going to be glorious.

Anywho, I'm here to share with you a really fun end of year activity that I've done for two years now. My kids really enjoy it. We conduct interviews. I know, fancy business here in first grade land! We interview second graders all about being in second grade. I love it because they act really shy for like 2.5 seconds before they realize, "Oh hey, this kid is just like me" and then they're all sorts of fine. 

So, this is what we do. It all comes from my pack on TPT, Interviewing A Friend (Interview The Next Grade Level). There's a kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade edition. 

To start, I teach my kids about how to interview. We talk about posture, using your voice, and how to properly shake hands. We also talk about who the interviewer is and who the interviewee is. That was a toughie for my kids this year.

Then, we practice! I pair my kids off into groups of two and they practice interview by interviewing each other about first grade! They are so adorable when they do this. I love to watch them shake hands and introduce themselves, even though they already know one another.

Next, it's time to go interview second grade! I don't have any pictures of this from this year, but the second graders really took initiative this year and even showed my kids around their classroom. I loved overhearing their conversations about their favorite spots in the room, what they use particular supplies for, etc. They truly got my kids so excited for second grade next year.

If you would like to try out a sample of this interview, you can grab a small sample by clicking the picture below!

Thank you for reading! Enjoy the rest of your school year to those of you still in school :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quick Gifts for Students and Parents!

Hi there!! 
It's Amber from Mrs. Masters Kinder Love and I'm so happy to be sharing with you today!

 I'm keeping it short and sweet today because tomorrow is my last day of school so I'm sure you know exactly where my head's at! Can you believe it?! I mean seriously, where has the year gone?! I am definitely looking forward to having some time to refresh, but I know that I'm probably going to be a blubbering mess tomorrow! I sure do love my kiddos and am going to miss them so much! :) 

I know that this time of year is crazy-busy for everyone and just wanted to share the gifts I'm giving to my students and parent volunteers this year. Plus there are some FREEBIE tags for you!

For my students, I bought graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate and put them in a ziploc bag. I made these cute little tags to attach to them! 

Of course I couldn't only give them sugar, so I took all of their pictures outside of our building. Afterwards the students completed a questionnaire, and then I created these little gems! I'm hoping these will be special gifts for my students and their families! Click here to get the printable! 
Lastly, I feel so grateful for the amazing parent volunteers that I have every year! This year I was fortunate enough to have nine parents who volunteered regularly in my classroom. I like to give them a little something at the end of the year to show my gratitude. This year I decided to give a bottle of hand soap and made a cute little tag to along with it! I chose the Watermelon Lemonade scent to go along with the tagline. Click here to get the printable!

Best of luck finishing the school year! I hope you have a fabulous summer! :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

4 Do'Now's So Vegas is Ready for YOU! And a Giveaway!

Hey Y'all!  I've always wanted to say that...   I'm from Michigan, so y'all isn't even in our vocabulary, but it just sounds so stinkin' cute when I hear other people say it.  Especially, when it's all twangy sounding!  Any hoo, Cara here from Creative Playground, ready to share with you

All teachers across the nation are either down to day zero or on the countdown to the all important day.  Don't get me wrong, I'll miss the kiddos too, but saying goodbye to them means saying HELLO to...Vegas!

I apologize for any reader out there that isn't associated with TpT; I'm not sure how any educator couldn't have come across Teachers pay Teachers some time or another!  But, I'm apologizing to those that aren't Sellers that are attending this year's conference in Las Vegas, July 9 & 10!  

Please, please, please, squeeze all the turnips you have around the house to scrounge up the funds to make it there this year.  I know we only earn a teacher's salary, but this is one trip you won't regret.  TRUST ME!

I had the opportunity to attend last year's conference in Vegas and have some oh-so-valuable information to pass along to those that are on the countdown to the conference also.  I have 4 "Do-Nows" that can help you prepare for your trip, so let's get this party started!

1.  Make sure your camera's working!
Due to the magnitude of Vegas and its awesomeness, you just might come across the Man of Your Dreams.  As you can see from the photo above, if my camera wasn't ready at this VERY moment, I wouldn't have been able to snap this pic when I did.  Even though, he was made of wax and probably not going anywhere, I know his heart was melting in the Vegas heat when I showed up.  Or, was it the other way around?  He It was pretty hot that day!

2.  Purchase some business cards for yourself to network!
Because I had my cards with me at that special moment above, I was able to give my "Man" my card with all my info.  He's still calling me to this day; all because I had my cards on me!  But seriously, you'll be meeting all kinds of new friends and colleagues at the conference.  So you'll want to be able to reconnect if need be.  

This year, I wanted to find something different that the regular business cards that everyone has.  So I searched around and found a company called moo.  Yes, moo!  Not sure what it means, but their products and service are AWESOME!  

If you look closely at my cards above, they are square!  The beauty of this company is that they do have a 50 card minimum, which is very low for most.  But you can have all your cards be different if you want, at no extra cost!  Because their prices were so cheap AND I could design my own, I splurged and got a special kind of paper that is more like a very, very heavy cardstock, like cardboard almost.  The edges of the cards are so thick, you can choose any color EDGE you want!  Isn't that cool? 

They have all kinds of other business cards to choose from, along with holders to carry your cards in.  If you want to check them out, their site is .  I have a special referral code you can use should you plan to purchase any cards or whatever: that would be awesome if you wouldn't mind using!

3.  Get your feet ready (not by taking a picture of them!)
You'll most likely be doing all kinds of walking when you're in Vegas; if you've never been there, cars aren't really something you need to have fun!  You're feet can get you almost anywhere, so prepare them ahead of time...  I just got these two new pairs of shoes yesterday so I wanted to "break" them in before I actually got to Vegas.  Last year, I wanted to save all my new clothes and such for when I actually got there, and my toesies were regretting my decision to do so.  So put on those new shoes and start walking today!

and last but not least...

4.  Start your planning now!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but there will for sure be things you didn't think of that you should have done ahead of time!  Like having spare ones for tipping, putting your networking cards in each of your purses, you get the idea.  

WELL...  I just got done making the perfect planner-slash-memory-book that you will just love to have before, during and after your trip!  It comes with two editable pages (cover and All About Me page) and 35 or so other pages!  Mine is at the printer as we speak, so I'm sure you'll love one for yourself too;)

Here's a glimpse at all of the pages included:

Inside you'll find two pages that I wish I would have had right on hand with me last year...  Your Flight Info and Hotel Information right in one place!  This way you don't have to keep checking the time of this or that, or where you need to be when!  It's all right there!

I included an 4-day Agenda that you can keep down-to-the-minute track of where/what/who you need to be and when!  There are also extra pages in case you need to change/add/edit any of your plans.

There are pages for you to keep notes of each session you attend, along with a Summary page.  Just copy the number of pages you'll need for each session you'll be attending.  There is also a page you can write down new contacts you'll be meeting while there!

The remainder of pages you see above include a variety of must-haves like an expense tracker, new web sites and projects you want to start and what to remember to do for next year's conference.  

This year, I'll have my planner ready on the Autograph page, when I meet up with my boyfriend from the first picture!  He'll be so happy to know I'm coming back, his hand won't even be able to sign his name when I get there.  Hee, Hee.

There are also some pages for you to insert any photos you may take while on the trip.  If you'd like to check out the planner, it's on sale right now for only $2.50!  But only for one more day!  You can see all the information in my TpT Store here.

I'd love to give away two of my planners for special winners!  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck my friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting us at the Primary Pack today and I can't wait to see you in Vegas!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Persuasive Writing In Kindergarten

Hi All!
I hope you are enjoying Memorial Day Weekend!
To all that have served, and to all that have lost their lives in the line of duty, my thoughts, prayers and thanks are with you this weekend and always.

It probably doesn't take much to persuade your students to do something if a reward is in sight....
but getting kindergarteners to understand and be able to write persuasive pieces is nearly an Olympic sport!

Last year was the first year we were required to cover persuasive writing in kindergarten.
You can read all about how I launched it, mentor texts I used, interactive writing/shared writing pieces we completed, as well as individual pieces in this blog post:

In that post you will see that my students wrote a letter to the principal trying to persuade him to purchase swings for the kindergarten playground:

There was a lot of back and forth (I really suggest you read it because it is SUPER CUTE!)

AND I am SO PLEASED to announce that just this month (a year after we wrote our letter) swings were installed!!!!

I could not be prouder!!!!

Here are 2 of my cuties waiting for the ribbon cutting ceremony: 

The entire kindergarten gathered outside to witness the ribbon cutting: 

And we cheered!!!

Two days later the mulch was delivered and they have been swinging to their hearts content every since!

It was the PERFECT springboard for my persuasive unit launch this year!  I showed them how my former students were able to persuade the principal and PTA to purchase swings using the power of their writing!

We have been working in our unit for a little over a week now and they are beginning to understand what it means to persuade someone.

I pulled out one of my FAVORITE mentor texts for persuasive writing and spring fun:
If you are not familiar with this book, it is about a kid and ant going back and forth as to why the ant should and should not be squished!  The end is left for you to decide....with a raised up shoe....

That got me thinking...I could make a real cute art/writing project using this book!

Prior to reading the book I asked how many students would squish an ant if it walked across our classroom floor....EVERY hand went up!

I introduced the book and told them that the ant is going to try and persuade you to change your mind!

After reading the book I asked the same question...and NO hands went up!

We compiled a list of reasons why someone SHOULD NOT squish an ant:

Then we started our project!

Each child traced his/her foot on a piece of construction paper and also took a piece of black scrap to make an ant,

They wrote why they think the ant should not be squished (some referenced the chart, others used sound spelling) [I had the prompt written for them to copy] and then they glued the ant to the paper and part of the footprint (shoe) in a 'raised up' position:

These are just a few!
They came out so cute AND it was amazing to see how many teachers knew EXACTLY what book we had read by just looking at our papers!

So if you are launching a persuasive writing unit...or struggling to get it going, stop on by my blog to read my post, or use this fun and simple book craft!

Now...can I persuade you to relax and enjoy your summer vacation?!
I bet you don't need good reasons to make that a reality!

Next time I post I will be ALMOST done...I go until 6/26,,,so I still have over a month left!
To all those on vacation....I am so jealous...but we can chat about that jealousy come August when I am still sitting on a beach!

Until next post,