Inspiration for a New School Year

Every child deserves a champion

The end of July always has me feeling a bit anxious about all of the work ahead of me to start a new school while simultaneously trying to squeeze as much relaxation from summer break as possible. I don’t think I’m the only teacher who feels unsettled at this time of year (at least I hope I’m not alone!).

Instead of stewing about my worries, I decided to re-watch one of my favorite TED Talks- Rita Pierson talking about relationships. I think it is impossible to watch Dr. Pierson speak and not feel inspired and ready to jump into any new challenge.

If you haven’t seen it, stop & watch it now!

Now don’t you feel better? I also found this amazing sketch note from Sylvia Duckworth with all of Dr. Pierson’s main points:

Every Child Needs a ChampionIf you’re not already following Sylvia on Twitter you are missing out! She has created many inspiring sketch notes for teachers that you should check out. One of my favorite parts of Dr. Pierson’s talk is the mantra that she gave to her students. Talk about having a growth mindset! Last year my kids would recite our class agreements together each morning. I’m thinking about introducing a first grade version of Dr. Pierson’s statement instead.

I Am Somebody

A few days ago I stumbled across this amazing tweet from Kara Welty. Even though I’m having some back to school anxiety I really am still very excited to meet my new class. But I’ve never thought about officially counting down with excitement to the first day of school as opposed to my usual panicky, “I have how many days left to do all this work?!” countdown.

I love this idea and I have already been working to shift my mindset about back to school countdowns. I wanted to leave you with one more amazing quote from Dr. Pierson. This one is getting printed out and glued into the front of my plan book!

We Can Do This

 Image Credits: Shutterstock.com/Sunny Studio, Rudchenko Liliia, Mark Herreid


Fairy Tale Snacks

Fairy Tale Snacks

Today was our Fairy Tale Feast and we had a blast! A blast that was also super exhausting but a blast none the less. The kids dressed up as their favorite fairy tale characters and it was super cute! Obviously Elsa & Anna were well represented as well as an assortment of princesses, wolves, pigs, pirates, & one Little Red Riding Hood.

I dressed up as a very tired teacher/princess which mostly meant wearing my comfy casual Friday clothes paired with a very lovely tiara. A tiara that I am pretty sure was intended to go with prom dresses- thank you very much to Claire’s!

All week we practiced the adorable song from First Grade Wow’s amazing and free fairy tale unit. Today we were ready to record a video all dressed up in fairy tale finery to share with our families. Go check it out!

We finished our day with a buffet of healthy fairy tale snacks. The kids ate their way through that in about 5 minutes! Click below to grab your free signs to make your own fairy tale snack buffet:

Fairy Tale Snacks 1Fairy Tale Snacks 2Fairy Tale Snack Signs 3

Credit: KG Fonts, Little Red, Coffee, Kids, & Compulsive Lists


Telling Time Song for Kindergarten and First Grade

Clock Song Image

We are working on telling time in first grade and I wanted to share this cute song in case anyone else is teaching time right now. This is another one of those songs that I have known forever but that I don’t know the origins of- if it’s yours let me know! We’ve been singing while we practice using Judy clocks and the kids love this one. Click the picture to grab a copy for your class!

Credit: Graphics from the Pond, Little Red, KG Fonts


Instagram for Teachers: Earth Day Edition

Earth Day Insta-Ideas

Earth Day is all over the teacher-gram this evening! I have found so many amazing Earth Day projects that I’m definitely penciling in for next year’s celebration. Here are my favorites- be sure to click on the blue names to visit the teachers with these cute ideas!


Learning about Clouds in First Grade

I love teaching about weather each spring. The kids always get so into it and there are so many fun activities & experiments we do together. This year I upgraded my song cards for one of my favorite weather songs all about clouds. I would love to give credit to the clever teacher who wrote these words to go along with the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In” but I’m not sure of the origins and I have seen it in many classrooms, both online & real life.  Please let me know if it’s you! Click any of the images below to grab a copy for your class.

Slide1Cloud Song Collage Corrected SpellingI also made a fun cover for the cloud journal I made for my class last year. I don’t know why I didn’t think to add that cuteness last year! Click below to snag the cloud journal along with a quick addition math game.

Cloud Fact Writing Collage

Cloud Journal Cover

Image Credits: Shutterstock/worker, Shutterstock/C_Eng-Wong Photography, Shutterstock/pablonilo


Instagram for Teachers: Insta-Teaching Posts of the Week

Insta-Teaching Posts of the Week

Instagram has become my favorite place (after Pinterest, of course!) to find new teaching ideas & inspiration. Here are my favorite posts from the past week. Be sure to click on each name in blue below and follow these awesome teachers!

I am the worst at remembering to take attendance on time. I have post it notes all over my desk & laptop but they only seem to help me every other day. Setting a reminder alarm is genius!

I have a very messy bunch of kids this year and I feel like our floor only gets picked up if I personally invite each student to pick up each piece of paper one at a time. Can you tell I’m over this?! I am totally trying these table recycling bins this week.

This is such a cool idea to freshen up a behavior plan at this time of year when the kids are starting to feel extra frisky!  And I now have a new shopping quest to find one of this spinning frames!

I don’t think being irritated by pencil problems ever goes away so sending pencil sharpening home with parent volunteers sounds amazing!

I don’t know what it is about first graders but they love to tie knots. I had two little friends on Friday both tie their shoelaces together into the craziest knots I have ever seen. They were totally shocked that we couldn’t just pull them apart when the bell for recess rang and that they had to stay inside while their teacher struggled to free them! Well, now I’m ready to untangle any knots that come my way thanks to this great tip!

And this one was a little too relatable for the week back at school after spring break!

Check back next week for more Instagram inspiration!

Image credit: Shutterstock/Yurlymaging


Free Baseball Reading Response Activities

Happy Opening Day from Happy Teacher

Today was such an exciting day! Opening Day means Giants baseball but it also means summer is on the way! In honor of the day I made a few fun baseball themed reading response activities. They are perfect for reading workshop, homework, or even quick sub plans. All you need to do is find a fun baseball themed story to share with your class. Click the image below to download your freebie:

Free Baseball Reading Response Activities Image

Opening Day Baseball Freebies Preview

Image Credit: Shutterstock/David Lee, Shutterstock/Jenn Huls


Rainbow Shamrock Craft Freebie


Click the image above for a free and easy St. Patrick’s Day craft. Be sure to visit Teaching Blog Addict’s Freebie Friday for more awesome freebies:


If you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day fun for next week check out my other St. Patrick’s Day posts below:


Correct 30 Fabulous St Patrick's Day Freebies collage final version


Free March Reading Journals & Kiss Stickers

March Reading Journal Freebie Pinnable Image

Happy Leprechaun Awareness Month! I think St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite times during the school year. There are so many great books and activities you can do with your class. Way more than you can actually fit in between March 17th arrives. That’s where my March Reading Comprehension activities come in. I have 30 ready to use, no prep activities that you can use after reading any St. Patrick’s Day story with your students. They are also great to use for writing quick sub plans, using for homework, or during reading workshop. You can find this packet in my TPT shop by clicking the image below. And for a free sample click the image above!

2015 March Reading Comprehension Activities Square Cover

My new favorite craft (and I might be stretching things to claim this as a craft) is making kiss stickers for any occasion so of course my candies are ready for St. Patrick’s Day! Click below for free stickers! You’ll need full page labels and a 3/4 inch circle punch and you will be set.

Free Kiss Stickers for St Patrick's Day



Free Valentine’s Day Chocolate Kiss Stickers

Valentine's Day Kiss Stickers

Looking for a quick Valentine’s Day treat? You’ve come to the right place! My mom needed a quick favor for our church group so we made these fun stickers. I made 3 different treat bag toppers that you can use for your kisses.  Here’s what we made for our church friends:

Love One Another Kiss Stickers

Here’s what I’m thinking about making for my class this year. I love Valentine’s Day at school. It’s always such a cute day at school and way less stressful than Halloween!

Your Teacher Loves You Kiss Stickers

And one more version for your treats. Leave a comment below if you have another phrase you’d like to see on a bag topper and I’ll add it to the file. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Kiss Stickers

Click the image below to download this free printable: