Ever found yourself in this positon?

As a teacher, I'm sure you have! You hear the build up and have no time to escape before the ACHOO heard 'round the classroom nearly knocks you over. You spend the rest of the day simultaneously trying  to not be grossed out and mentally calculating if you'll be sick for the weekend. Now imagine that that sneeze was caught in a tissue instead of showering you. That's why I immediately agreed to join the  team when Kleenex approached me to be a teacher ambassador.

In a perfect world, we could train all of our kids to sneeze into a tissue instead of sneezing all over us. The first step in this great plan of plans, is to actually have tissues available in the classroom. We don't have them as part of our standard supplies, so we ask for them every year on our supply list. This year, if you choose to specifically request Kleenex brand with box tops, you can enter your school for a chance to win 250,000 box tops! All you have to do is enter your school's supply list on TeacherLists.com between April 17 and July 17. Each qualifying entry will also receive a Kleenex share pack, while supplies last.

As part of my work with Kleenex, I'll be posting a video of a great lesson that you can easily replicate with your students when you return to your classrooms in the fall. It just might be enough to convince your sneezy students to always grab a tissue!

Every year I create an end of the year slideshow to show at our final Tasty Tuesday (which I'll be blogging about soon, promise!) 

Let's start at the start. I'm a Mac girl, so making the slideshow is seriously easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-super-breezy! I import my pictures into iPhoto and add them all to one folder. Then when you click on that folder, you'll see this - look at the bottom of the window. Just click that slideshow button and DONE! No joke. It's that easy. If you're a PC person, it's ok. We can still be friends and all, but you will have to skip way down to the bottom of this post to see the Dropbox part. Unless of course you want to see the awesomeness that is Mac, then just keep reading ;)

That button will play a great little slideshow in which you can choose the transitions and even choose music from preloaded tracks or your itunes library. 

Now if you want to go one step further,  click on that "create" button over on the right and choose "slideshow"

Then you can choose the theme for your slideshow. The great thing is that the themes will randomly insert your pictures into cute frames or collages wherever they fit best!

Then choose your music...

And finally, under settings, you can choose things like having the slideshow repeat after it's finished, the length of time to play each slide or timing it so that the pictures end when the music does. It really does a remarkable job of making a professional looking slideshow SUPER easy.

Now...the big question. The parents always love it and they always want a copy. The usual route is to burn a dvd for cd for each child. This of course, requires time and a major expense. This year I wised up a little. When you are done making your slideshow with the steps above, you'll see the "export" button at the bottom of the screen. When you click that, the menu below will pop up. I chose medium and export. It just takes a couple of minutes, and then your slideshow will be on your desktop in a sharable format.

Here comes the genius part  (that I have to credit my hubby with). You'll need a Dropbox account. It's free and you can sign up for an account here. It's a great way to store and send files online. Once you're in Dropbox, drag the video to your Public Folder <--- that's the important part. Don't just put it in  your general Dropbox files, it has to be the Public Folder. (Edited: Accounts started after October 2012 no longer have a public folder, but you can share a link from any folder. Much easier actually!)  Then after that, control-click on the video in the public folder and you'll see the option to copy the public link. Do that.

Then it will give you a link that you can email out to your parents! Then they can see the video on their computer and even download it themselves. See, told ya it was easy!

I sent it to all 20 of my families and they've all been able to see it, otherwise I would be a little hesitant to share this with you. We've got about 2 weeks to go here, so things are really starting get hectic. Being able to free up all that time and energy (and money) I usually spend making DVD's has been a lifesaver. Hope it helps you a little too!

As the stories of survival and tragedy unfold in Moore, Oklahoma, it's human nature to wonder what we can do to help. I've found a couple of ways so far and will add to this post as I see more legitimate relief efforts. Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you know of any. 
Big love and prayers to everyone affected.

We're down to about 13 days left and they're jam packed! On Tuesday we'll be welcoming the parents into our rooms for our final Tasty Tuesday so that's been consuming every single second of my time and every ounce of my energy. I'll be taking tons of pictures and blogging about the whole shebang next week. It's so much work to get ready for, but it's a great day for the kids and their parents - and me. All I have left to do is some last minute shopping and a little praying that the sub doesn't let the kids destroy the room on Monday while I'm out for a training.

In other news,  I have this great gift idea to share with you. I actually got this from my class two years ago but never got around to blogging about it. My room mom was seriously the stuff of dreams. The PTA at our school always collects money from each student for a gift for the teachers. Most often the room mom gives us a gift card with the collection, which is all kinds of awesome. I'm usually set for Starbucks through June and July...

Well, that year my room mom put together this little book with several gift cards to all of my favorite places. So cute, right?

The last page had an envelope with the leftover cash in it. I liked this idea so much that I've used it for gifts for family members myself. For my father-in-law we made one that had movie gift cards, his favorite restaurant, Home Depot, and a gas card. I love giving (and receiving) gift cards, but sometimes it feels so impersonal. This is a great way to make a practical gift very personal.

I think I have gift ideas on the brain because May is seriously our second Christmas. Our May family birthdays incude both of my sisters, my brother-in-law, father-in-law, childhood bestie, and my niece. Throw Mother's Day in there and it's non-stop shopping and family gatherings this month. In May, which just happens to be the busiest work month EVER (besides August, of course...) but it's all good. Food and fun with family and friends is what it's all about, right?

There are 17 school days left here in my neck of the woods and my to-do list is getting longer by the second! We have our end of the year testing next week and our big grade level parent event to get ready for, so it's definitely still full steam ahead.

I don't know about you, but my kids love bingo games. So I made this one for them so we could have a little fun after testing. It originally started just as a summer bingo, but then I realized how many summer words were compounds and then things just snowballed from there and it became Compound Beach Bingo.

I made it with a 4x4 grid instead of the traditional 5x5 to save a little time when they make the board and also so that the games go a little faster. I like to have my kids choose the words for their board and illustrate one in each box and write the word. You can have them do either or both.

I also made the cards with two different ways to play. You can have the kids call out the actual word or you can use the cards that give a little clue to the word. The second choice obviously bumps it up a bit. Either way, keep an uncut copy of the word cards so a helper can put little markers on the words already called. Click here to download from tpt.

And just in case you haven't seen this in my newsletter or on Facebook, I've opened my own little shop right here on my blog. You can get to it by clicking way up at the top (under the flip flops) where it says Shop Right Here. Right now it's just got some of my best sellers listed, but I'll be adding to it for sure. As a little token of my appreciation and a celebration of my grand opening, here's a coupon that you can use through Monday 5/13.
{It's only valid here at my blog shop, not tpt <---which I totally love and have no plans of leaving anytime soon...}
I read each and every feedback that is left for me on tpt and I can't even tell you how happy, happy it makes me to hear that my stuff is making other teachers' lives easier. So when I heard about Christina's Fabulous Feedback Linky I had to join in.

And in case you haven't heard - there's a big sale going at one of my favorite places Tuesday and Wednesday! Every purchase will automatically be 10% off, then my store will be 20% off on top of that. My own wish list is packed!

When I first started creating my monthly printable packs, I did it mostly for myself. I wanted some printables that were more "meaty" than what I was seeing. If I'm going to use my precious printing ration at school, I want it to be worth it! I needed to have a stash of go-to resources for unexpected absences, homework or to have on hand for those times you just need the kids to be busy for a few minutes on their own. I started to make these packs back in October and they've really evolved over the year! I've been asked a few times if I'm making one for September. I definitely am! I'm working on a June/July pack right now, next up is an August/September. Then I want to go back and add some things here and there to the first few packs I made. Jenna and Krystal get it. Yay!
One of the products I get a lot of feedback on is my Common Core Math Assessment Pack for 2nd grade. I recently revamped the entire thing to include 3 assessments and kid-friendly objective posters for every standard. I learned so much while making these assessments and it was definitely a labor of love to create them, so to see that so many other teachers appreciate that is a feeling that's actually hard to describe. You might think the feedback I picked here is a little strange because it's not just a glowing endorsement. I love that strelitz took the time to offer some very insightful feedback. I really love it when buyers do this because it just helps me make things better for all of us! And the feedback at the bottom  - well I about passed out when omarkus wrote that a district consultant recommended my pack!
And the final feedback from my May Calendar Task Cards seems simple, but means the world to me! Lindalouhoo  says that her students look forward to seeing my name on their activities. That is exactly what happens in my room when I bust out something from the fabulous Amy Lemons. In fact, this week we're using her Mystery Genre pack and I totally heard the buzz "This is from Mrs. Lemons!". Cracks me up. To think that other classes are saying that about Sunny Days? Well, it just doesn't get better than that!
And P.S. Krystal, Jenna, strelitz, omarkus, and lindalouhoo please email me at ShopSunnyDays@me.com. I have a little thank you gift for ya!
{For effect, please read the following in your best infomercial announcer voice}

Are you tired of spending hours laminating and cutting materials for centers? Have you gone through endless reams of card stock and too many ink cartridges to count? (you're doing the voice, aren't you? good. Keep going. And imagine a very exasperated teacher blowing her hair out of her eyes)

Do your children run in the opposite direction when you enter the room with arm loads of lamination that needs to be cut? Are you constantly struggling to find the right organizational system to keep track of little cards, stamps, manipulatives, baskets, buckets and envelopes you need to keep your materials together? (Now imagine a very harried looking teacher surrounded by game pieces, various baskets, bags, envelopes, etc. who looks at you and says "There's got to be a better way!")

Ok, before you change the channel. I'll get to the point ;) After spending about 2 hours printing, cutting laminating and sorting things for the upcoming week, I honestly started to think there has got to be a better way! Now at the same time,  I've been mulling over the fact that we were recently told by a common core implementation team that we need to bump up the rigor of our independent centers. I honestly can't argue with them there.

So true story, later that night while in the shower, inspiration struck me like a thunderbolt! I think I figured out a way to make at least some of my centers easier to prep while providing both rigor and engaging activities for the kids. I'm calling them EZ Prep See-it Centers. EZ Prep for you, See-it for the kids. All you have to do is print out ONE page for the center and and answer sheet for the kids - and done! This is from the preview, it explains the whole idea. You can download the preview here.
I started off with 2 centers that are fun for this point in the year, beach and camping. Each one has a language arts and math activity page to go along with the picture. So, it's a total of 4 centers that you can have prepped in a matter of minutes! My plan is to make two more for each month/season. If you have any suggestions for themes, I'd love to hear them!

Hope you dig this idea as much as I do. I'd love to know what you think!

Back to Top