Monday, April 20, 2015

Testing Tips Posters

I feel pretty lucky that my Michigan kidlets don't have to take the dreaded MSTEP and NWEA until May - That's right - May!  This is way better than Colorado, where my third graders started standardized testing in February.  Gah!
If you need to make your room a testing haven, making Testing Tips Posters is a simple activity you can do to make your room a little more test friendly.  Students can hang up their testing poster around the room throughout your testing window and then testing best practices are all around them.  
I tell them the purpose of the poster is to motivate them, remind them of a testing tip, or relax them.  I always draw a giant beach with a sunset and tell them that when I'm stressed I like to visualize being at the beach, so my testing poster will help me relax if I'm stressed.
Here are some pics from years past.  We'll see what the little ones come up with this year.  Something cute I'm sure!
Happy testing season!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year - No Prep Art/Team Building for First Day Back

See how I'm blogging instead of showering?  Gah!  Completely horrible, but tonight is the night people might actually need an easy idea to get them pumped (or at the very least keep them from being horribly depressed) about going back to the classroom tomorrow. We all love children, but we also love sleeping in and sipping our coffee leisurely, all while going to the bathroom anytime we want for two whole weeks! Sometimes that first day back can be brutal.
Here's a super simple project you can do anytime during the first day/week back - word clouds.  All you need is paper (Easy!), pencils (You can do this!), and some crayons or colored pencils (Everything will be just fine. You will go to the bathroom at 4 pm.)
1. Have students think about all the things they did during the break and brainstorm this as a list of words (this step is optional, but makes the project take longer - you might need this sort of project tomorrow).
2. Have students share the 3-5 most important or exciting words from their list.
3. Now pass out the paper (I like white) and have the kidlets write those 3-5 words nice and big in PENCIL.
4. After the big words, have students fill in the rest of the page with the other words on their list.
5. Have students cut out around the words and voila!  They have a word cloud!
6. Now they can trace their many words in color and even color the background or draw a cloud shape around their words.
7.  Wanna get fancy?  Have students share their word clouds with partners around the room.
DONE!  An easy, as time consuming as you want it to be, art/teambuilding activity you can use first thing tomorrow with almost zero prep needed.  Another thing I LOVE about this project is it's a way for students to tell their many break stories to students around the room (instead of to me) and display them for all to see.  They love, love, love telling their holiday break stories and I love, love, love having an easy activity for when I need a breather (or even a bathroom break) that first day back!
Good luck tomorrow!  We can do it!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Things Blog Hop

Welcome to I Want to be a Super Teacher!  I'm so excited to be participating in this AMAZING blog hop!
Here are just a few of my favorite things.
Classroom Supply Fave
One of my teaching favorites and absolute must haves are Paper Mate felt pens for correcting.  I am not a fan of red inking everything up and hate pens that leak, so these beautiful multi-colored babies are perfect for me.  I have them in every teaching bag, mug, and basket from school to home so one is always at my fingertips. I'm also a sucker for colored Expo markers.  I just need colors other than red, black, and green so the multi-packs (pink! baby blue!) are an absolute necessity.
Beauty Fave
This year one of my sweeties said, "Mrs. Smith, I was going to get you makeup for your birthday, but then noticed you never wear any."  I chose to take this as a compliment that my makeup application is so flawless that eight-year-old girls can't even tell I'm wearing it, rather than taking it as my face looks so awful I couldn't possibly be wearing foundation let alone lipstick.  :)

Despite opinions to the contrary, I do actually wear makeup and Neutrogena is my favorite!  I used to use Clinique when I was living off of my parents, but Neutrogena is everywhere, recommended by my dermatologist, and much cheaper than the former.  I'm currently loving their Moisturizing Color Sticks. They're way better than regular lipstick and keep my lips nice and soft even through these freezing cold Michigan winters.
Restaurant (Movie Theater/Drafthouse) Fave 
We absolutely LOVE the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Kalamazoo.  It's an amazing movie theater with yummy food, great beer, and all the indie movies you could ask for.  There's nowhere else in town you can have a raspberry ale, followed by an arugula pizza, all while watching a Sixteen Candles quote-a-long (I heart Jake Ryan!).
Favorite Thing to Do During the Holidays
Hanging out with these two during the holidays is, hands down, the best thing ever!
Mix and match any three from this list and it's been a perfect day {sleep in, make pancakes, sip coffee leisurely, cuddle Lily the minpin, Facetime with family, go out to brunch, go to a movie, watch an HBO show, sit and watch snow, cook a crockpot meal, watch an old favorite holiday DVD, make a mid-day cup of tea, wrap up in a blanket, take a nap, hang out with my hubby, go out to a yummy dinner, shop online, listen to music while cooking a warm dinner}

(and yes, my dog is wearing a fluffy fur coat - Michigan winters are freezing!)
Favorite Store
I am a crazy online shopper!  The only things I buy at an actual store are jeans and swimsuits (Ugh!). Amazon is by far my favorite online site.  From classroom books, to dog treats, to paper towels, I buy pretty much everything from them.  So for my favorite things prize I'm donating an Amazon Gift Card!  The lucky winner of my prize pack will get a $25 Amazon gift card from me, along with a lot of other exciting "favorite" gifts from other bloggers, so make sure you enter below.    

In addition to the amazing prize packs, all the bloggers participating in the blog hop will be putting select TpT items from their stores for 50% off.  You can search #myfavoritethings2014 on TpT to find all the items or look for the featured products in each store. 

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Let the Winter Break Countdown Begin! Freebies, Osbert, and RACK Sacks

Here we go!  Three weeks baby!

I'm currently mentally preparing myself for the weeks ahead (so much to do!) and starting my look for fun new freebies and/or holiday activities.  If you're in the same boat, here are a few from me.

First, four holiday printables including a holiday tree dot game, Santa's flight path geography, holiday word work and letter writing paper.
Second, in case you're in the  "I NEED 30 GIFTS for ZERO DOLLARS" mode, use these editable coupons.  My students always love sitting in my chair or bringing a stuffed animal to class for a day and they don't cost me a thing.
Looking for a great read aloud?  This one is my holiday favorite!  The pictures are beautiful and the story is so sweet.  You can even use it as a mentor text and do a quickwrite about gift stories (birthdays, holidays, etc.) if you're thinking of actually teaching next week.  :)
Lastly,  if you're thinking of doing RACK (Random Acts of Classroom Kindness), think about making RACK Sacks.  We use these like stockings.  Students write letters or compliments for classmates, teachers deliver them to RACK Sacks and the kids get to open these on the last day before the break.
Have a great three weeks and happy countdown time!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Need a Quick and Easy Teacher Halloween Costume? Be a Super Teacher!

It's my favorite month and it's already October 20th!  Gah!

One of the good things about having a new job (I should probably write a blog post about that) is that I can recycle all of my old costumes and they're NEW.  Sweet!
If you're needing something easy, yet new, check out my Super Teacher freebie patterns.  You can use them with some iron on paper (buy at Target or Amazon) to make your own Super Teacher tee.  Then, just pair with shorts/jeans/running skirt/fancy mesh tutu/cape and you're ready to go.  If you want a fancy belt like the ones above Amazon has cheap ones here.
If you want to be really low maintenance and not mess with an iron, then print the Super Teacher pattern on an 8.5x11 sheet of sticky label paper, peel, stick and you're ready to go.  Quick and easy.  :)  If your year is going anything like mine (note lack of blog posts), quick and easy might just be the way to go!

And . . . bonus!  Come February- glue 100 beads to your Super Teacher shirt and you're ready for Hundreds Day.  Confession: I might be getting lazy in my old teacher age.  Although at least I made sure my beads color coordinated with the Super Tee.  :)

Happy Halloween,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please Donate to Help Sweet Baby Kate - Two Amazing Teaching Product Bundles

Just a few weeks ago some of our close high school friends got the news that their sweet 7 month old daughter, Kate, has leukemia.  Our friends live more than an hour away from the hospital this little sweetie is receiving treatment at and would love to be able to rent an apartment to be able to be closer to their little one while she's in the hospital.  Some amazing TpT friends have agreed to pitch in and we've created some amazing teaching material bundles for you in exchange for a $15 donation for Kate.  All proceeds from the Sweet Baby Kate bundles will go directly to Kate and her family through to help out with their current and upcoming medical expenses.

So many amazing TpT sellers wanted to help out that we have TWO fantastic bundles.  One is geared toward K-2 classrooms and the other is perfect for 3-5.  Check them out below.  If you would like to donate and receive a bundle you have two choices.  
Option #1: Click above to donate through PayPal.  Then, e-mail me at with your PayPal name and I will e-mail you the bundle of your choice.  Please let me know which bundle you would like (K-2 or 3-6).
Option #2: Purchase one of the bundles through my store at Teachers Pay Teachers. (With this option a small percentage will be taken out of the $15 donation for TpT operating costs, but I'll do my best to make up the moolah).
Included with the K-2 Bundle:
$10 Credit to Mrs. Hildebrand's Store
Addition and Subtraction Around the Room Activity from I Want to be a Super Teacher
All About Apples Back to School Activities from Mrs. Thompson's Treasures
Birthday Cupcakes with Editable Name Pages from Andrea's Artifacts
Eight Mathematical Practices for Little Kids Poster Set from Rainbow City Learning
First & Second Grade Common Core Writing Task Cards from The First Grade Flair
First Grade Writing Curriculum Unit 1 from Ms Lilypad
Ice Breaker: Back to School "Find Someone Who" Games from K's Kreations
Kindergarten September Math Journal-Common Core from Cahill's Creations
Sentence Detectives - Kindergarten Sentence Worksheets from Kindermolly
SHAPES - Flashcards, Wall Display, Big Book, Worksheets, Word Wall Words from Yay For PreK
Sight Word Card Game Bundle of First 100 Words from Melissa Soeltz
Superhero Math Posters from Bilingual Bookworm
Word Wall Brick Factory from Technology Integration Depot
Included with the 3-6 Bundle:
$10 Credit to Mrs. Hildebrand's Store
If you would like to know more about baby Kate or would like to donate directly, click here or on the Donate button above.  She is a love and her family is so deserving of kindness and positive thoughts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Show Us What You Bought Linky - My Back to School Buys

I'm beyond thrilled that I actually know what I'll be doing next year (more info on that in a later post) and could do some serious shopping at the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale.  There's a super fun linky over at Blog Hoppin' where tons of bloggers are sharing what they bought.  There's some amazing stuff out there!
Tonight is the last night to stock up while getting unbelievable discounts, so check out these fantastic items I purchased and hop on over to TpT!  The amount of time and effort that went into each of the products I purchased today is mind boggling!  Not only is the work of these amazing educators saving me tons of time, but they are also helping every one of my students, all while making me look good.  Teachers are the BEST!!!
I'm super excited about this Reader's Notebook bundle!  Not only are there TONS of graphic organizers included, but there are also differentiated versions of the same response sheets, plus I love his style.  The layout of the pages and the graphics are modern and clean. LOVE!
I've been eyeing these morning work books for a LONG time, but never taken the leap from stalker to buyer.  I finally did today!  These look amazing for spiral review and the ENTIRE year is included.
Ideas by Jivey is quite a fabulous little product creator!  I love her ideas for teaching with authentic texts.  I bought her reading and writing units, along with her mentor sentences pack (a whole year of resources!) and am so excited to use them this year!  I only wish I'd thought of this idea first because it's a FANTASTIC one!

Those are my very exciting purchases!

I just finished the August Homework Menu Pack and added it to the Super Homework Pack and am crazy excited about these products!  I spent the entire 2013-14 school year working solely on homework menu products and now I'm DONE!  Check them out if you're interested in starting a differentiated homework system, adding items to your already awesome system, or if you are interested in printables to use as homework and for classroom mini-lessons. There are a TON of printables in there and everything is zero prep for you!  

Happy shopping!  The best thing about shopping at TpT is I never have buyer's remorse. Amazing teachers deserve all the moolah we can give them!  :)
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