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Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app designed for kids to connect with close friends and family from their tablet or smartphone. Kids can only connect with parent-approved contacts, which creates a more controlled environment. Group or one-on-one video calls with loved ones are more fun with interactive masks, reactions and sound effects.  I wanted you to know about Messenger Kids to try it out at home, so you can let your little one(s) connect with family and friends in a safe environment.   For us, Harry loves video chatting with our family.  As he gets older, he asks to chat with certain family members.  This app gives him the freedom to pick which family member he wants to call for that day!  If you have older children this would be a GREAT option to allow your child(ren) to connect with family and friends, while making sure they are in a controlled and safe environment.  Read more to learn some details about how Messenger Kids works!


The kids chat with Messenger Kids and the adults can chat through their Facebook Messenger app!  The kids don't need a Facebook account, they can chat with friends and loved ones through the Messenger Kids app.







Families Using Messenger Kids - YouTube

Messenger Kids is a safe and fun messaging app for kids.  It isn't a social media app, rather a messaging app!  Messenger Kids has safety features that give control to the parents.  Parents control their child's contact list by approving all contacts, they can only chat with people their parent (or guardian) has approved, making Messenger Kids safer and a more controlled environment.  One feature that is important to me is their content never disappears or can be hidden. Parents can set "off times" to manage their child's screen time, as well.





Parents, and approved adults, like grandparents, can video chat and message with their kids through their existing Messenger Facebook app. No additional app download is needed for whoever they are chatting with!  Messenger Kids allows kids to message and video call using Wi-Fi so they don't need a phone number.



For us, we don't get to see our family members daily, or even weekly, so this is a fun and safe way for me to let Harry connect with family members that we don't see constantly.  Some entertaining features on Messenger Kids are there is a feature-filled camera where kids can create fun videos and decorate photos to share moments with loved ones.  There are kid-appropriate masks, frames, stickers, and GIFs to spark conversation and laughter with friends, classmates, and family!



Here are the steps if you want to get started with Messenger Kids:
Parents can get their child started with safe messaging & video chat in four steps.
1.    Download the Messenger Kids app to your child’s Wi-Fi enabled phone or tablet.
2.    Authenticate your child’s device using your Facebook login.This will not create a Facebook account for your child.
3.    Create an account for your child by adding their name. Then the phone or tablet can be handed over to your kid so they can start safely chatting with family and friends you approve.
4.    Parental controls are available in the Parent Portal in your main Facebook app.Through the Parent Portal you can monitor who your kids chat and text with by adding and approving contacts and setting on and off times through our Sleep Mode feature.
Messenger Kids is free
and available in the iOS App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, in the Amazon Appstore for Fire tablets, and on Google Play for all other Android devices.

Please note that I am a blog ambassador for Messenger Kids and I am compensated for my blog post, but all ideas are mine. :)




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Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner!  I decide to share this FREE strawberry craft with you and it will make the perfect strawberry bulletin board!  My favorite part of this craft is that you can flip it up and have the students write under it!


There are a couple different text options that you can print on the front OR you can have them use their finger to make strawberry seeds using paint!




Grab this free strawberry craft from my Teachers Pay Teachers store: CLICK HERE!




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Hello friends! I am going to be sharing with you some of my favorite SPRING resources for your primary classroom as well as my favorite ALL TIME resources!  You will see this blog post grouped into two sections and it will contain a picture of the resource and a link to my store.  In my store you can read about the products in depth, but most of you are coming over from Instagram (WELCOME!) and I wanted provide a blog post full of links for you!  

SPRING RESOURCES ROUND-UP









St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board  pic by @sweetsweetprimary


Peep Bulletin Board  pic by @rpcouch

Peep Bulletin Board pic by @fun_is_fifth


ALL TIME FAVORITE RESOURCES ROUND-UP












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Are you so excited to be FINALLY student teaching?! It seriously is on of the most important first steps in your career of becoming future teacher!  I want to share tips with you on how to have a successful experience student teaching! 

TIP 1
My main piece of advice would be to enter that Master Teacher's classroom as if it is one GIANT interview.  The entire time you are there, consider it a couple month process of you possibly getting a job at that school. 
-be on time
-dress professionally
-keep phone hidden and away

TIP 2
Be a sponge.  It is exciting when you first enter a classroom and you might want to hit the ground running, but be considerate of that fact that you are entering someone else's classroom, so make sure you are respectful that they are your mentor and you are the student.  Even if you don't agree with their teaching philosophy or management style, remember how you handle that and present your self is important because this is an interview. 

TIP 3
Say YES to everything! Go to staff meetings, extra planning days, parent-teacher conferences, assemblies, each lunch with the staff, DO ALL THE THINGS!  This is a great way to show that you are a team player and to get the most out of your experience.

TIP 4
Stay as organized as you can! In my video below I give examples of how to stay organized, but if possible plan when and what subject you will takeover first.

TIP 5
Communicate with your Master Teacher! If you are struggling let them know, and ask for help!  Ask as many questions as you can! It is difficult starting fresh in a new class/school, so it might seem like learning a foreign language.  This is ok, but don't suffer silently.  Tell your Master teacher how you are feeling and let them know how they can support you.

TIP 6
Follow the classroom management plan that is already in place.  It might be difficult to find your spot on the classroom as far as authority and discipline goes, and that is totally normal.  My advice would be focus on knowing the students, building relationships with them, so they know you care about them.  This way when you need to redirect their behavior they will trust you and *hopefully* obey.  I would continue the classroom management plan your Master Teacher is already using, and then sprinkle in some positive reinforcement/reward system once you have been in the class for a couple of weeks.  Ask your Master Teacher what the behavior expectations are and how the consequences work for different defiant behaviors.

For the rest of my tips... I have a YouTube video waiting for you sharing all my advice that I would give to any student teacher!  Click the video below to watch it!

Advice for Student Teachers // Student Teaching Tips - YouTube




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Hello all my stylish teacher friends! Today I am partnering with Stitch Fix and We Are Teachers to review my experience shopping with Stitch Fix!


Before we get started I want to give you a brief overview on Stitch Fix.

WHAT IS STITCH FIX
Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, for you and your family. Fill out your Style Profile and a Personal Stylist will handpick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them right to your door. Each box contains a curated selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Simply keep the items you  love and send back the rest in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are always free—even for exchanges! Stitch Fix is a great option for teachers because you can have a box full of personalized clothes come to your doorstep and you don't have to spend hours wandering the mall, it's the perfect option for people that want to enhance their wardrobe but are limited on time.

MY BOX
First thing I did was go online and I completed my shopping profile which allows my Personal Stylist to get to know me and my unique style!  Then I picked a date I'd like to receive my shipment.  One thing to note is at the time your Stylist selects your items, you’ll be charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 will be applied as a credit toward anything you keep from your shipment!
I waited about a week until my personalized Stitch Fix box arrived at my doorstep!  The fun began when I opened the box and was able to try on all of the clothes picked out just for me!

The box comes with a full set of directions on what to do.  First you get to try on all of the clothes in the box and you have 3 days to decide what you want to keep and return.  It comes with a full pricing list, so you know what items are in your box and how much each piece costs.


TRY ON
Five different pieces came in my box for me to try on!  I received one pair of cropped jeans, 3 tops, and 1 sweater.  I need to give a major shout out to Stitch Fix because I have tried different companies like this before and I have struggled with getting the correct size... you guys EVERYTHING WAS THE CORRECT SIZE! Stitch Fix was really detailed in asking about measurement and styling preferences, they did a wonderful job taking all of my requests into consideration!


I paired the blue and white plaid shirt and the jeans they sent for a casual, relaxed look.  For some reasons I can't resist a soft plaid shirt!  The jeans are cropped and high waisted (what I asked for) and fit like a glove!


I was excited to try this soft three quarter length shirt because I have seen this "string cross" style neckline all over and haven't had a chance to try it on!  The shirt is SUPER soft and is really flattering.  Another thing I asked was for the clothes not to hug me, vs more of a loose fit!


I am glad Stitch Fix added this navy skippered sweater because it is something I wouldn't have picked out for myself.  The zipper is diagonal and gives it a little more style vs. a regular sip up.



The grand finale goes to this show stopper red tank top with the flowy sleeves! I mean.... COME ON!  I love that you can have short sleeves but is is super classy to wear to work too!!


If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix for the first time, you can use my personalized STITCH FIX LINK to have your first time styling fee of $20 waved!  



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Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions but it can also be one of the most draining if you don’t take activve steps to preserve and pour into self care. Today I am going to share 10 tips on how to make sure you are filling your own tank before you pour into your students.


All of my teacher self-care tips can be found in my very FIRST YouTube Channel!  This is a new venture for me and I am so excited to be able to share my teaching tips in video form!  Please watch and SUBSCRIBE to my channel so you can catch future videos!


Self Care Tips for Teachers - YouTube



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The New Year is a wonderful time to take a moment and pause to reflect on the past year and to make resolutions for the year to come.  It can be the same way in the classroom!   I love coming back from winter break and reflecting on the school year so far.  I like to invite the students in on this process, too!  You can even designate a bulletin board to celebrate the New Year with your students!
Grab this New Year bulletin board in my store!  Follow this LINK to grab the board! 




My favorite part of this New Year bulletin board is the writing portion that goes under the disco ball! There are a couple options:
-assign the students a creative writing response
-invite the students to reflect on the school year so far
-make a resolution and set goals on how to achieve it



Grab the New Years bulletin board in my store!




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December is such a magical time of the year and it can be a fun opportunity to celebrate Christmas in the classroom.  First and foremost, it is important to know your students and families, celebrating or recognizing all holidays that are important to your families in your class. It is super important to create an inclusive environment for all students.  It is a great learning opportunity to incorporate and recognize all cultures and celebrations that are apart of your students' lives.  In my teaching career there have been some years where all students celebrate Christmas and we go WILD with the Christmas theme.  Other years, I jumped straight to a "winter" theme and touched on all celebrations that were represented by my students.  Part of being a teacher is making your students feel known, safe, and seen.  So when it comes to Christmas, it is our responsibility to make sure no one feels isolated because of the holidays they do or don't recognize.  

This blog post is dedicated to classrooms that celebrate Christmas.  All of these boards have been designed by my bulletin board templates.  Enjoy the bulletin board eye candy below! ;)

First up are Elf Bulletin Boards.  I was never a believer in "elf in the classroom" until one year my staff played this huge joke on me... and each day I entered my classroom in the month of December there was some elf mischief I would walk into.  It was fun, magical, and super playful.  (AND it took the whole month to figure out who was in on it, lol).  There have been about 4 different years I have decided to do "elf in the classroom."  There wasn't any sort of "Santa is going to report your behavior," I just simply moved the elf every day to a new location for the students to find him.  Then the very last day, the elf left them a little treat. 
Grab the link to my Elf Bulletin Boards in my store!


My personal favorite have been the Christmas Bulletin Boards and seeing how creative everyone has gotten with the display.  I provided the letters and flip crafts, but everyone else put their spin on how to design the board.  Check them out below!







What I love about these Christmas bulletin boards are that they are versatile so you can use them to decorate your bulletin board OR use them to decorate your door! 



Grab the link to the Christmas Bulletin Boards in my store!





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What is more perfect than a PIE CRAFT for Thanksgiving?!
I decided to make a apple and pumpkin pie flip craft with a writing sheet under it.  

The Amazon links do contain affiliate links which means I make a small percent off of any of these paint that you purchase. 


The craft itself is super simple.  The students paint or color the top pie piece and can add a "thanksgiving tag" to the center if you want.






Under the pie craft the students respond to a Thanksgving writing prompt.  They glue the craft to the top of their writing so they can flip up the pie and see their respond under it.


I decided to pair this pie craft with my FAVORITE paint by Kwik Stix.  These paints are bold, vibrant, and bright.  They are kind of like a "glue stick" but in paint form.  They are basically mess-free and perfect to leave at a station or for independent work.  I highly recommend Kwik Stix!





Grab the pie craft here!


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I am constantly looking for ways to use mini erasers and manipulatives in my classroom.  Learning to form the letters can be tedious when just using a pencil and paper.  A engaging way to memorize how to make a letter is by BUILDING IT with Letter Mats.  


This pack of printable is designed to help you teach the letters A-Z.  Use these letter mats to create your own STEM or STEAM center in which the students can build each letter using manipulative you already have in your classroom.


There are circles inside each letter to guide the students where to place the manipulatives to create each letter.  These are also great if you are using paint dabbers so the students can aim for each circle with their paint marker.



Have the students place pom poms in each circle to create each letter.  Try using pinchers to squeeze each pom pom to place in the circles.  This strengthens fine motor skills by using muscles to pinch the pom poms and placing them accurately in the circle.


These mats work perfectly for the millions of dollar spot erasers that you have.  You can keep the mats in your center rotation but switch out your seasonal erasers to make building letters fun all year long!



Grab the Letter Mats HERE!




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