TpT Back to School Sale

We interrupt your regularly scheduled relaxation, Target Dollar Spot spending, and Pinterest pinning to bring you this important announcement...the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School sale is HERE! On August 1 and 2, you can get all your favorite back to school products for just a fraction of the cost. Just remember to enter the promo code BTS2017 at check out. Since most TpT sellers will have already marked down their stores, you'll score great resources at 25% off! Don't forget to leave reviews for all of your purchases to earn TpT's like getting paid to shop.

UPDATE: TpT has extended their sale for a special BTS Bonus Sale for today, August 22 until 11:59 PM. Just use the code BTSBONUS to get up to 25% off!

To celebrate the sale, I've compiled my list of top five TpT resources for a successful year in the primary grades! These products are all tried and true...I've used them all in my very own classroom, and fell in love with each. Make sure they find their way into your cart this week to score them at a discount!

Before we get to my favorites, check out some of these best selling from September to (Mrs.) May products, all 25% off for the Back to School Sale August 1 and 2 AND the BTS Bonus Sale August 22.

My best selling thematic unit is perfect for spring time or harvest time...learn all about agriculture with 100+ pages of no prep printables and the Barnyard Olympics! Check out the freebie first HERE.

Say goodbye to traditional classroom jobs and hello to Classroom Careers! Read all about this new program sure to benefit your kiddos HERE.

Improve your parent-teacher-admin communication and encourage positive behavior in your students by using my comprehensive guide! You can read all about it HERE.

Panicking for your meet the teacher night? Don't sweat it! This simple BTS Scavenger Hunt is the perfect way to introduce your kiddos to their new room. Grab it on sale HERE.

If you use HMH Journeys, this set is for you! Students use choice boards to create a unique product each week. Score the freebie sampler HERE.

And without further are my top five resources for a successful school year! Even though I use these in first grade, all of these products can be stretch for K-2, or have "sister products" in different grade levels!

This set is pure gold...seriously. These babies have been a staple in my classroom from my very first year, and are the perfect way to teach listening skills. Students are given a plain piece of paper and turn it into a work of art within 10 minutes just by following easy-peasy directions. My kiddos beg for directed draws and cheer when it's finally time to try a new one out. I use these heavily at the beginning of the year to encourage listening skills and attention to detail. I also am sure to do at least once a month for this super cute keepsake (check it out using the link!). If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I generally let the kiddos use crayon and watercolors for some additional fine motor practice, but these drawings are beautiful even just in pencil! Try out a freebie version HERE.

I just discovered this gem last year, and I wish I had known about it earlier in my career! This fast-paced math game is a complete breath of fresh air. I simply split my class in two and we're off. Students compete against one another, not realizing that they're becoming fluent with their math facts as they play. We play knockout every day at the end of math class. My kiddos even play it on their own during indoor recess! I own the bundle pictured above, but there are many other versions as well. You can try the freebie version HERE!

If you use Journeys, stop everything and buy this set! This supplement for the series is such a time and sanity saver. Time I once wasted writing my phonics, spelling, and and sight words all over my whiteboard is now dedicated to actually practicing those skills. This series has become a fun part of our daily morning meeting and is the perfect way to slide into our ELA block. Each day has a corresponding slide that is projected on the board for students to practice. My kiddos absolutely love leading these lessons and have so much fun with the daily game. Click HERE to watch a great tutorial before buying this amazing product.

Yep, another product from Beyond the Beanstalk! I just started using UnHomework last year and it was a huge hit. For my first few years of teaching, I used traditional weekly homework packets, and they flat out didn't work. The students who needed the extra practice rarely completed their packets; my students who did complete their packets every week would have been succeeding in school even without the homework. I was completely frustrated with this and luckily stumbled upon this fabulous blog post all about UnHomework. Read it, buy it, and you'll revolutionize your classroom! Students, teachers, and parents alike have much to gain from this incredible alternative to traditional homework.

Even though my reading series comes with great books for guided reading, sometimes they're just not enough. This collection of passages was exactly what I was looking for! Each grade level set has 15 informational passages and 15 fiction passages, perfect for 30 weeks of fluency practice! After organizing copies of each passage in an organized binder with page protectors, I now have the perfect resource to supplement my guided reading lessons. The comprehension questions provide a wonderful quick assessment and the progress monitoring graphs are pure genius, especially at conference time. You can try out a sample first HERE.

All of these products are sure to help you for the upcoming school year! What are your other must haves for first grade? Sound off in the comments below. Happy shopping!

Build a RTI Environment with Classroom Jobs CAREERS!

Hey, all! It's the last week of July which means there's only a month left of summer before school starts. I know, half of you are plugging your ears...but if you're here, chances
are, it means you're just like me, doing a happy back-to-school dance!

I still have a few more weeks before I can get back into my classroom to set up for my new batch of kiddos, but the wheels are already turning in my mind. What should my theme be? Should I make any changes to my classroom management system? What activities will I lead the first week? Have I spent too much money at the Target Dollar Spot? How can I make this year better? 

To answer all of these questions (and more!), I decided to wind down this last month of summer with a special Back to School series to share with you some of my favorite ideas and inspirations for the school year. First up, we'll be talking about how I manage classroom jobs...

Like many of you, I'm very active on various Facebook groups geared specifically for primary teachers. Time and again, I see other teachers post the same question: "What do you do for classroom jobs?" This seemingly simple classroom staple has educators all over the globe stumped, and for good reason. What jobs are appropriate for my students? How often should I rotate? What if I keep forgetting to assign new jobs? How do I keep things fair? As a new teacher, I found myself often wondering, Is all this effort even worth it?

Of course, you all know the answer is a resounding YES! Classroom jobs build a community of learners and teach valuable traits like responsibility, leaderships, and independence. Even though I realized this, my traditional, weekly-rotating classroom jobs set up was flat out not working for me. Some jobs were too boring; there weren't enough roles for each student every week; I couldn't keep track of who held which job; and of course...I never remembered to rotate! I needed a change. In the middle of a Pat Quinn RTI seminar, it finally hit classroom didn't need jobs. It needed careers!

One of the most important things we do as teachers is prepare our students for the "real world." I'm always trying to keep this in mind as I plan my lessons, and in this case, my classroom structure. As an adult, I don't rotate to a new job each week...I chose to be a teacher because it's a career I fell in love with. More than that, I was trained (and am still being trained) to be an educator, and had the natural skills to make a pretty darn good one (if I do say so myself!). I wanted to apply this same idea to my classroom jobs. 

I've found that the key to a successful RTI classroom is establishing the proper environment from the very first day of school. Throughout the year, my students will find that their day-to-day assignments may differ from their neighbors'. Their friend may use special tools to learn, while they're completing the same task with only a pencil. I want my kiddos to understand that fair and equal are not always synonyms in my classroom. As one of my favorite professors always reminded me, "The most important thing to have in education is not equality, it's equity." Classroom Careers became a simple way to establish these ideals. Assigning students to a job they are best fit for (rather than rotating) allows students to realize that each child has specific skills and needs.

During the first few weeks of school, I keep an eye out for each of my students' "special talent" and pair it to a Classroom Career. My animal lover trains to be our Veterinarian. One of my tidy friends becomes the Custodian. The child obsessed with our computers and tablets is named our Technician. Each student is matched to a job that "fits!" Little by little, each of my students is hired for a Classroom Career. 

Upon being hired, each student is presented with a certificate at morning meeting, and their name is added to our Classroom Career bulletin board. As you can imagine, this is a Very Big Deal in Room 11. I hire the kids one, two, sometimes three at a time. This builds the anticipation! Who will be hired next? What will my job be? How can I show my teacher that I'm ready to start my career? 

Almost all jobs have job training. I use morning work time or the few minutes before dismissal to show students how to correctly complete their job each day by modeling the job myself or simply showing them where certain supplies are kept. This is a simply task that usually only needs done once or twice at the start of the year. Remember, we keep these jobs all year...after all, they reflect each child's special skill!

I've found that my students take more pride in their job knowing they were picked especially for it. They also come to rely upon themselves and each other more quickly. Instead of asking me how to draw a cat, my students consult the Artist. When we turn on our projector, the Electrician silently gets up to turn out the lights. In the chaos of a child falling and scraping their knee, my Doctor knows to quickly fetch a band-aid or ice pack from my desk. If the ringing classroom phone interrupts my lesson, my Secretary knows to answer and direct the call, allowing me to continue teaching.

With their roles established and permanent, my classroom runs more smoothly. No longer do I waste time picking an eager volunteer to run a paper across the hall, for this is the job of my Delivery Person. My standard end-of-the-day chores, like shutting the windows, emptying my desk garbage, and passing out papers are now taken care of by my Widow Specialist, Garbage Person, and Mail Distributor. These minutes saved give me more time to work one-on-one with students or plan for the next day, while also instilling a sense of responsibility in my students.

Two years ago, I said adios to traditional, rotating classroom jobs and I haven't looked back since! Interested in trying Classroom Careers for yourself? Check out my Classroom Careers set on TpT, a steal at just $4.50! In addition to learning about all 22 Classroom Careers, you'll be able to download the four sets of job cards with matching name cards and headers to make your Classroom Career bulletin board. You'll also earn access to pre-made, editable certificates for your newly hired students. The entire set is editable, and includes various sizes of print outs in color and B&W. Just click HERE to get started!

Just for you, I've also created a freebie for you to preview the set. Check out this new addition on TpT by clicking HERE. Even if you're buying the set, you'll want to check out this freebie as well! It features my brand new Classroom Career application for students to apply to their favorite careers.

What do your classroom jobs look like? Is there a career I've missed? Sound off in the comments below. I'm off to the mall for some more back to school shopping...see you next week for the second edition of my Back to School series, all about Meet the Teacher night!

A Back to School Giveaway (and a sale just for you!)

Hi, all! I hope you've been having a wonderful, relaxing summer! After the craziness of getting married (ahh!) and going on a gorgeous honeymoon (ohh!), I've been taking it pretty easy this summer. I've loved catching up on my reading, baking, and just spending time with friends and family.

Now, that we're into mid-July, I've turned my school brain back on. Scrolling through Instagram has me excited to try awesome new ideas for the upcoming year!

Lucky for you, I've joined a team of incredible teacher authors to give away some amazing gift cards to help YOU get ready for the new school year! Entering is easy via Rafflecopter. Simply complete as many links as you like at the very bottom of this post or directly on Rafflecopter HERE for more chances to win!

Remember to follow my blog HERE and follow me on Instagram HERE for TWO chances to win! We will be giving away one $200 TeachersPayTeachers card, one $200 Amazon card, and two Starbucks cards ($25 and $15). The raffle closes on Saturday, July 21 at 12 AM. Good luck! 

Looking to shop now? Search #schoolsavings on TpT for tons of products marked down to 50% off starting today until July 16! I'm discounting two of my favorite products...find them by clicking the links below or just visiting my store on TpT!

Build a RTI environment with ease using my Classroom Careers product, on sale for just $2.25. Celebrate your wedding in the classroom with the My Teacher Says, "I Do" Complete Bundle, a steal priced at $6.25.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that it's my favorite week of the summer...fair week! In honor of this, my farming and agriculture products are ON SALE. Grab my best selling unit HERE or try out some farming leveled readers HERE. They're both 20% until Sunday, July 16

Stay tuned next week for the first post in my "Back to School" series...until then, good luck and happy shopping! 

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