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I am going to start implementing Growth Mindset into my classroom this year and can't wait to see the benefit on my students' motivation levels.  Aside from my basic understanding that the brain is plastic and we want to teach students to move from a FIXED mindset to a GROWTH mindset, I really wanted to learn more so I signed up for a free webinar by Create-abilities!  I can't wait to put what I learn into practice with my new class this year!  Black & gold / all things bling are totally my style so that's what you'll see represented in the look of these posters!
In my excitement to get this going, I decided to make some festive posters to create a Growth Mindset Bulletin Board.  The great thing about the placement of this bulletin board, is that everyday when the kids walk in, it's in their direct line of sight.  Also, when I am standing at the SMARTboard or WHITEboard giving direct instruction, it's in my direct line of sight.  That way, it reminds me to make these important connections for the students as they are learning!



As promised, I have made a special freebie available for download on TpT for you to set a GREAT first impression on Meet the Teacher Night.  Grab the FREE PRINTABLE by clicking the image below!




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 Need an EASY student gift to welcome your students back-to-school?  These "BEARY" cute bag toppers can be used on a small bag of Gummy Bears or Teddy Grahams.  As you can see, I stock up on a 5 pound bag of Albanese 12 flavor gummi bears because EVERY FLAVOR tastes YUMMY.  Typically, I avoid the green, yellow and orange flavors when enjoying other brands, but that's not the case here!


  How to DIY this gift:
1 - Fill the bag (craft size 3x4) about 2/3 full of your bear snacks, zip closed.
2 - Edit your bag toppers with the resource available below. (click the image)
3 - Print out, cut, fold in half & staple. TA-DA! :)
What do I do with all those leftover gummy bears besides sneaking them into the movie theaters?  Well, I get students hooked on SCIENCE at the beginning of the year by conducting experiments following the steps of the Scientific Method with the Growing Gummy Bear lab.
Each student gets to soak a gummy, and then upon completion of their lab report, they get to enjoy a gummy bear!
Have a "BEARY" great school year making fun memories in your classroom!
If you've made it this far in the post, please treat yourself to this FREEBIE which may be used alongside individual pouches of bear snacks: Teddy Grahams or Gummy Bears (your choice)!
 Click the image below to score my blog follower freebie.  Please follow if you'd like to be the first to know of my future posts!

Make sure you have the fonts below installed on your computer. Find them at the links below:



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Let's be REAL, aren't all teachers like this?  Or is it a generational thing?  Come to think of it, I think it might be more of a millennial (post 1980s), generational thing.  Either way, I'm a victim of being drawn like a moth to a flame to this galaxy of adorable notepads and $1 buckets.  Following the #targetteachers string on Instagram makes my problem even worse because now I'm driven to find all these things I MUST HAVE for my CLASSROOM this new school year!  The first item on my shopping list is practical, I actually need them for labeling things --- so if you come across those square adhesive labels in the Target Dollar Spot in Phoenix, lemme know!
Last year, I put these lovely square labels to good use as I finally updated my cubbies with fresh labels.  They were an after thought, remnants of the previous teacher who had the classroom.  Five years after moving in, I FINALLY got around to the updates you can see below!

After adding two new styles, I decided to make this resource available to other teachers online.  If you'd like to add this resource to your classroom, click any of the images below.  These STICK REALLY WELL because after a full year of use of pushing & shoving overstuffed backpacks, there was never an incident when one had fallen off, at all!  Now, it's time for me to STOCK UP!



P.S. If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm at Target, getting more things for my classroom (of, course)!

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Getting ready for the new school year, means it's time to get "OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!"  I hope you enjoy adding this product to your classroom as much as I have and most definitely this will bring GOOD VIBES only as you decorate with tropical flair when you go BACK-to-SCHOOL this year!
 In previous school years, I've been content with my black & white polka dot name tags to achieve a streamlined look that did not VISUALLY ASSAULT my eyes all day long as I taught... *ahem* CHEVRON & LOUD COLORS such as RED which are not used in high doses in my room.  It seemed that this year as I am switching out DESKS for TABLES, that I'll also be switching POLKA DOTS out for STRIPES!
 This resource is an editable PowerPoint file so you're able to insert your student names or desired text into the textbox fields.  Another benefit of working with an editable file, is that you're able to duplicate a slide so you don't have to repeat your formatting over and over again for a FULL CLASS set!  Are you a fan of the font shown in the example nametags above?  If so, you can be like me and use the font, CCQuitBaconMyHeart which is an adorable Cara Carroll font available here.

 Have you ever seen those adhesive square pocket labels in the Target Dollar Spot before?  Well, let me tell you that these trendy, little bilingual name tags will fit perfectly inside of them.  I like them because they are durable and will last all year long on student desks, cubbies, bins, etc. but also do not require that you laminate the item that goes inside.  The sleeve protects whatever you're sliding in or out!
All of the name tags in this set come in 6 different color varieties, which makes it super SIMPLE to form groups.  For example, tell your students, "Go form a group made up of those who share the same color nametag as you."  In a class of 24 students, you can easily put them into mixed groups of 4.  Or, "This time you're group will need to be made up of ALL DIFFERENT colored name tags."  If you have students already sitting in tables with different colored name tags, then randomly assign various tasks, "All purple nametags come collect the materials for your team."  "Black nametags will stand to be the spokesperson for their team," the possibilities are endless.  You can also add an image or colored dot/shape of your choice in the editable PowerPoint file to each name tag so you can easily incorporate more cooperative learning strategies into your classroom!
Finally, before you open your doors to new students this school year, protect your personalized labels by laminating anything that comes across heavy traffic or daily use.  For example, all of my table baskets and bins are labeled by the table number they've been assigned.  These community supplies get frequently used and get cleaned by Clorox wipes from time to time, so they must be built to last the school year. Check out this BRAND NEW, HEAVY-DUTY HeatSeal PRO Laminator from Mead I used to protect my tropical labels!  Read more about my review of this product's overall quality in my previous post.

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As the good ol' days of summer surround me with joy & sunshine, I find myself truly appreciative of things I enjoy about this season.  Today's post will feature some of MY FAVORITE THINGS that remind me of SUMMERTIME year-round:

#1 - Home Goods Shopping Tote
I could spend every day in HomeGoods scavenging through the Clearance section and just taking in the adorable and eye-catching decor!  It's definitely one of my fave places to shop year-round, along with it's sister companies: TJ Maxx and Marshall's.

#2 - Mahogany Coconut Candle
Mahogany Teakwood is one of my favorite Bath & Body Works fragrances, but I think the addition of coconut makes this scent EVEN BETTER!  Look at the beautiful graphic design and cute fonts on the glass of this candle.  Unfortunately, this is last year's design, so my replacement ones won't be nearly as tropical.  Pretty much all of my go-to fragrances are summer or beach-y.  In addition to Mahogany Coconut, I really like: Turquoise Waters and Fiji White Sands!

#3 - Charming Charlie's Waterproof Zip Bag
Although this zipper bag is intended to keep your bikini or swimsuit from getting the rest of the things you are carrying wet, I like to throw this in my teacher tote.  Why, you ask?  Well, since it keeps things from getting wet, I prefer to throw all the receipts I can submit for classroom expense reimbursement in here.  That way, I can rest assured that even if my waterbottle springs a leak or any other mishap occurs, my receipts won't be harmed! Not to mention, the saying, "Less Monday More Summer" is 100% meant for me!

#4 - Flip Flops & #5 - Sunglasses
Here in Arizona, sunglasses and flip flops are basically a year-round staple!  Classic black Flojos and shades with accents of gold are my go to.  If memory serves me correct, I found the Flojos at either Ross or Marshall's and I picked up the shades at NY&CO's 4th of July sale for just $3.99!

In addition to my SUMMER FAVES, an anytime-of-year personal FAVE has to be FREEBIES!
Recently, this lovely package appeared on my doorstep from the lovely folks at Mead.  I still haven't thrown away the packaging because I'm trying to think of how I can salvage it to put it on display in my classroom somewhere....Anyway, this past spring, a company rep found my teaching blog & contacted me with an offer to send me one of their newest products. YES to FREE THINGS!! :)
Remember the Mead Trapper binders you used to carry around in middle / high school?  Well, these folks definitely have made a mark in the notebook, folder and binder realm of the office supply world.  And now they're venturing out by making some pretty AWESOME laminators.
Aesthetically, this laminator had me at 'HELLO'!  My office is filled with white furniture with chrome accents.  This sleek laminator is nothing like the clunky beasts of the past!  It is a smooth bar of beautiful white butter with silver accents.  Personally, I like how it beeps to tell me when it's ready.  Not to mention, the light also changes from red to green, just in case you weren't close enough to hear it, but it is pretty loud, I definitely could hear the beep from another room.  Something I haven't seen before are these helpful gridlines that go across the laminating sleeves horizontally and vertically to help you align your items.  This is a plus for those OCD crafters out there like me!

Interested in the Tropical Table labels you spied me working on?  Click the image below!

Final Verdict? This laminator is worth the investment!  It definitely beats the cheap little Scotch laminator I got for about $20 from Target.  It feeds the pouch horizontally with no incline, and the actual machine feels like you have a solid piece of quality machinery.  Click the image below to be taken to the Amazon product page for this laminator.
Finally, creating is one of my favorite things, and when I noticed the image in the "Quote" section of my TpT store had malfunctioned, it meant it was time for a new one.  You'll see the tropical vibe of this new button matches my latest designs.





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Do you still write out your list of things to do in the morning on the whiteboard?  Well, it's time to get with the program.  Save yourself time & ink by upgrading to the Digital Morning Message.  This resource is designed to be used with Google SLIDES so you will need to have a google account to link the file up to your personal DRIVE!  My *FAVORITE* part about this Digital Morning Message is you can easily personalize the slide by embedding YouTube videos (which already has a 5 minute musical / visual countdown timer) to assist students in managing their time wisely.  


Even if you teach in a departmentalized setting, this resource is AMAZING because it helps students know what to do upon entering your classroom, thus making them more responsible and less reliant on you!  With this digital resource, the headings include: Good Morning, Good Afternoon and there's one BLANK slide with the same formatting for you to CUSTOMIZE to your liking!

Take a peek at each slide of this resource here:

And for those who teach in bilingual settings or Spanish classrooms, this file is ready-to-go so you can start class con un mensaje de la mañana (o tarde)!
Even though I teach elementary school kids, it doesn't mean high schoolers and middle schoolers couldn't benefit from some friendly teacher reminders on how to start class!  TIP: Use the "Insert" and click "VIDEO" feature to embed content related video clips you will access during class.  For example, I love to embed SchoolHouse Rock clips that I find on YouTube through this feature.  The best part is, when you embed the video clips this way, you never have to deal with annoying ads!

I know several teachers and students around the country will be starting their first day of school tomorrow.  This makes for a great back-to-school resource!  As for me, we're halfway finished with first quarter (five weeks remaining until Fall Break)!  Best of luck for a successful school year!


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Luckily my school district has gone GOOGLE.  This means every child from Kindergarten through 8th grade has their own unique GOOGLE account and unique login information with a district-provided email.  No matter if they are at home or at school, as long as the child has Internet access they may sign into their Google Drive accounts and work on any of their files.

Google Classroom is for you if you are a teacher who:
1. Dreads grading (the process, having to look at unsightly conventions & handwriting errors)
2. Constantly Takes Paperwork for a Ride in Your Car (to/from school without being touched)
3. Is familiar with and already uses Google on a daily basis (for personal and/or work use)

This past summer I was introduced to Google Classroom, and might I say, it is as simple as it looks! Check out the quick tutorial video!  YES!!! It is really easy to get started, especially if all of your students are in a database because your school district technology department has already setup student accounts.
As shown in the Google Classroom 101 video, if you select "Make a copy for each student" when delivering an assignment to your class - it keeps your teacher DRIVE organized without all of the notifications and student files cluttering your "Shared With Me" section.  Google Classroom will give you sharing rights to view each individual student's work but its not taking up memory space in your DRIVE storage.  This is a sanity saver for me!! 

The dashboard allows you to see who has and has not submitted the assignment.  Regardless, you have access to view every student's file.  Another great thing about grading with Google Classroom is you are in control of how little or how much you want to grade!!  And, just as Google Docs/Slides/Sheets (you know Google everything) auto saves as you are working on a document, so does Google Classroom as you are grading!  I can't believe how many times I wish my online gradebook had this feature.  After providing students with their grade and comments, you can "return" the assignment to them so they may view your feedback!

After you have completed your class grading, sort by last name, print and/or toggle back and forth between your online gradebook system for easy inputting of grading.  Typing comments gives that specific and immediate feedback we know is greatly beneficial for students, but it also saves your pretty FLAIR ink pens from dying out after a major writing project or assignment.

If you second guess yourself and really can't figure out whether or not you graded a student assignment or returned it, you can quickly view points received and a message that says "not returned" letting you know your student hasn't been sent your feedback or total points yet.  If you have a bunch of students who should receive the same feedback, simply group them together and before you are prompted if you are ready to return to each individual, you can enter comments that will be delivered to all in that group.  I love how this cuts down on grading time so quickly!

There are some cases where I prefer to give feedback within the actual document itself.  To do this, you can open the actual document and add specific comments on the particular page, paragraph, etc. that you'd like to provide feedback on.  

Here's to hoping your school district will GO google too!

If you'd like to try the free Text Features assignment shown in the preview images above, click here!  Sorry I'm only providing VIEW ONLY access so you will have to make a copy to edit as mentioned with the yellow text box on the title page.

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