I know that some of you have just had winter break, but here in Las Vegas, we don't have that...and Spring Break is a long way off.  So, along with some of my other amazing blogging/teaching buddies, we are offering up some tips to help you sail through Spring.

Here is my biggest advice...and I definitely need to remember to listen to myself.

Take Care of Yourself!

This is the long haul.  It seems like our bodies are tired and give into sickness much easier this time of year.  I have already started trying to eat better.  Nope...not perfect, but I'm aiming for improvement.  I even have slipped an Airborne in my lunchbox, just in case.

Do you feel like this?

It's time to change that...just for a minute...or an hour...or a day...or...
Set time aside each week, or at least every other week, to do something nice for yourself.  Need some ideas?  How about:

Get a pedicure.
Buy yourself flowers.
Eat lunch outside.
Pack yourself a special lunch.
Take a class that truly interests you.
Take notice of the beauty of nature.
Cruise Pinterest for FUN things.
Go shopping by yourself.
Visit a park, an art gallery or a museum.
Treat yourself to dinner out on the town.
Go cosmic bowling.
Take a wine and painting class with friends.
Crank up the tunes on the way to work.
Go for a run or a long walk.
Watch your favorite movie.
Enjoy a long, hot bubble bath.
Think of anything except school.
Download a new app.
Run through the sprinklers.
Give yourself a pat on the back.

So now for the making planning a breeze part!

You can find these ideas and so much more right in my store!  
Easy Peasy!

Click on any of the pictures to take you right to my store!





If you're looking for something else, be sure to check out my super fabulous friends and their spectacular products.  

Hi there!  WOW!  It seems within a week's time I hit a lot of zeros...fortunately those zeroes were attached to some other numbers!

Just because I have THE MOST AMAZING group of followers and friends, I think it's time for a CELEBRATION! 


You could win an amazing prize!!

Those who know me, know that The Josh Stevens Foundation is very near and dear to my heart.  Spreading kindness in the lives of our children is huge.  Encouraging them to BE KIND is enormous.  If you haven't taken a moment to read how this incredible family turned tragedy into a sweet memorial of their son, I hope you'll take time to do so.  

This brand new shirt that they are offering is, I think, perfect for any teacher.  You may just win one!

Who couldn't use a gift certificate to TPT?  I am constantly amazed at the opportunities provided to me through TPT.  The friends I've made and the opportunities I've provided for my family...not to mention that I really do think it has helped to improve my teaching.

I am also offering up $50 in merchandise from my store.  

Since this is a celebration, I am also offering a new FREEBIE!

If you've wanted to give Choice Boards a try, here's your chance. 
Click on the picture to take you to Google Docs where you can download a Be Kind Choice Board.


All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. 
Most importantly though, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Like I said, I am so grateful for each and every one of you and for all the friends that I have made through this journey.

Recently, I gave one of my book clubs a book to read.  

 These four little darlings gave me "the look".  You know the look...the "this is not a chapter book and we want a chapter book" look...welcome to second grade.  I briefly discussed the book and told them that if they became masters of their craft then they could teach the class...spark ignited!  However, I had absolutely no idea where this would take us.

We just completed a week-long completely integrated paper airplane unit.

 Our amazing librarians collected a variety of books for use to use.  (Notice there is even one on how birds fly.)

The first thing that we did was to apply for our pilot's license.  This was a great way to make the students agree to practice safe flying strategies.  As you can imagine, I was a little nervous about someone losing an eye from a randomly thrown airplane in a no-fly zone. 

But they LOVED receiving their test pilot's license!

Because we had dabbled a little in paper airplanes, we had some vocabulary, but needed to put some definitions to it.  So we created a vocab chart.

We have also been trying to implement PBL (project based learning) in our classroom, so the students worked together to create a driving question.  This is a pretty ambitious one, but we used their words and ideas.

I have been attending STEM classes all year, so I knew this was a perfect opportunity to implement some things that we had been learning.  And once my little skeptics taught the class how to make paper airplanes, it literally "took off" in my classroom.  (In fact, one of the teacher's kids in my class helped himself to some butcher paper and made a giant paper airplane!)

So I used this great unit from Smart Chick Teaching Resources.
She has a TON of STEM activities. 


We spent time researching and collecting ideas on what makes a great paper airplane.

Then we set to work on folding, creating and putting our knowledge to use.

And then...FINALLY...flying them!

The first day we used yardsticks to measure, but found that tape measures worked much better.

The students recorded their information each day in their "Lab Books".  They were responsible for recording their procedures, materials, distance and "hang time" for three different flights each day.

At the end of the week they recorded their best flights for each day on a recording sheet that is going to go up on this bulletin board in the hallway of our school.

This was the first week that I was able to follow my dream of integrating our entire day and standards into one unit.  Since "airplane" is a compound word, that was a great springboard for a unit on compound words. 

We also implemented informational writing and used a "how-to" format.  First, the students sketched out what they were doing to do using this template...

and then they turned it into a flip book.

We used a story that integrated the compound words, had a create your own ending and a variety of other skills that were used with it.

I LOVED that on the last day of the unit, my cute little blondie boy up there said with a sigh, "I can't believe that we're not going to do paper airplanes next week."  He's also the same child that got his dad up at 5:30 one morning to make paper airplanes.  (He turned out to be wrong, because I am still seeing him zipping and zooming his paper airplanes in hallways after school.)

If you want to purchase this unit, simply click the picture and it will take you directly to the product.

A HUGE thank you to my sweet friend Wendy from Teacher's Toolkit for the adorable paper airplane graphics!!

Hi there!  Welcome to this stop on the 

Be Kind!
Two simple words that can change someone's world.

So why not start a Kindness Revolution at your school?

This week we have been partaking in The Great Kindness Challenge sponsored by The Josh Stevens Foundation.  We are "Be Kind!" school, but this week we are really revving it up.  

Here are some simple things that we have done this week, that you might like to do with your kiddos or even within your whole school!  (How cool would that be!)

One of my teachers had this fantastic idea to try to get our school in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest collage of hand cutouts.  How cool is that!??!?!  I'll let you know if we make it!

 On Tuesday, we gave a librarians a HEART ATTACK!  OK...not a real one.  Each child wrote a letter to then on paper hearts.  When we went to the library that day, they shouted, "We want to give you a HEART ATTACK!" and unfolded their hearts.  These ladies are amazing and deserve every heart and sweet word.  They are constantly pulling books for our research reports, chapter book read alouds, and everything else our hearts desire.

On Wednesday, we made "hugs" for our area assisted living facility.  The kiddos loved doing this and we really hope it brightens the residents' day!

On Thursday, we created a chain of kindness.  Each child wrote 3 things on 3 different strips that someone had done to show them kindness.  We linked them all together to create a kindness chain.  We will continue adding to it throughout the year.

During the week, we have been collecting pieces of fruit.  Each child was asked to bring one piece of fruit from home to add to the basket (then I spruced it up just a little with some additional fruit).  We presented it to the office staff, custodian, health office and lunch crew in appreciation of all that they had done to make our year so "fruitful".  The kiddos colored little cards and wrote a little note on the back of each one.

I also went around school taking pictures of some other kindness displays.  My friend Leah has a Be Kind Vine going around her room where students can add leaves about others they have seen committing acts of kindess.  This week they were given a yellow leaf with another classmate's name on them.  During the week they were to catch that child in an act of kindness and add it to the vine.
On the right, is my friend Michelle's Kindness Chart.  Look at all those acts of kindness!  Children add to it throughout the year.  Hmmmm....wonder if they can make it to 500 by the end of the year!?!?!

We also have our fabulous Be Kind shirts to spread the word.  We got to wear these every day this week!  LOVE IT!  (Of course, that meant I took advantage of it and wore jeans every day!)
Pictured are:  My wonderful teammate, Carina; our amazing art teacher, Lisa; one of our terrific special ed teachers, Sandy; my podmate and fantastic friend, Allie; our fabulous office manager, Stacy; my incredible principal, Pauline; and our super clerk, Beth!

So, what do you think?  Are you inspired to start a Kindness Revolution at your school?  I hope you do...or at least try some of these or other ideas.

(Graphics and Fonts in this post by:  Just So Scrappy Too, Tout Aimee, KG Fonts, Hello Fonts, KB Fonts)

Now hop on over to Laura's Fantastic Blog at Peace, Love, & First Grade for some more fabulous ideas!

Peace, Love, & First Grade

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