Pin-Away GIVEAWAY!!!

IT'S PIN-AWAY GIVEAWAY TIME!  I am so excited to be bringing you this AMAZING giveaway that I am hosting with my friends!  Since it's Back to School season, we thought you could use some resources that we find to be a MUST-HAVE item in our classrooms!  Take a look at what we want to give away to YOU!  Pinning points can be earned every day by pinning each of our images to your Pinterest boards, sharing the links, and providing the hashtag #pinawaygiveaway.  Check out the Rafflecopter below to find out how else you can earn entry points.  This giveaway is open from July 31st-August 3rd.
First, we have Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd bringing you her MUST-HAVE Classroom Supply Labels...
Are you looking to brighten up your classroom supply bins and get a bit more organized this school year at the same time?? I've created multiple sets of classroom supply labels that will be perfect to help you start the school year with your supply bins, folders, trays, and baskets beautifully and colorfully labeled and organized! I have TWO different sets: Chevron Classroom Supply Labels and Bright Brick Classroom Supply Labels  If you win, you can choose whichever set - chevron or bricks - will work best for YOU! :) Each set includes OVER 100 LABELS for you to use to organize your classroom supplies! An EDITABLE template is also available for you to use to make your own! I've included several pictures of the Bright Brick set that I've used to brighten up and organize my classroom bins this year! I LOVE how they turned out! Additionally, you can check out my coordinating Bright Brick Book Bin Labels and Chevron Book Bin Labels, too!. There's no better time to get organized than when you're headed back to school! Cue the laminator! :)
 Next, we have Angie from Lucky Little Learners bringing you one of her FABULOUS Interactive Notebook creations, ADDITION STRATEGIES...
Are you using INTERACTIVE MATH NOTEBOOKS in your classroom? You really should be! My students love them, create them, reference them, and will take them home at the end of the school year where they will continue to learn from them! They can be used in either a whole group or small group setting. They were made so that they are easy for your students to assemble. Each interactive notebook activity comes with a photo of it assembled so there is no confusion on how it should look. I also love how interactive notebooks show the families what we learned in math that year. I find that my students are so proud to look back at their pages that they create!  The beginning of the year is the PERFECT time to get started with Interactive Notebooks.  You won't regret it and your students and parents will thank you!  If you are interested, I also have an Interactive Notebook Bundle #1 that includes Telling Time, Geometry, and MoneyInteractive Notebook Bundle #2 comes with Fractions, Place Value, and Measurement and I just finished my NEWEST Interactive Notebook... SUBTRACTION!
Erin from Once Upon A Classroom just updated her Emergency Sub Plans for Fall product and it is AMAZING...

Does your administration require you to have "ready to use" emergency sub plans? Do you sometimes feel a sickness coming on and the last thing you want to do is think about what your kids are going to do when you are away? If you can relate, you NEED to add this resource to your bag of tricks! It contains ENGAGING activities so the day is not wasted in your absence. No boring busy work - very little prep for you!
What's Included:
- Detailed substitute teacher instructions for every single activity
- Missing Teacher Creative Writing template
- 3 Opinion Writing templates
- 4 Non-Fiction Animal Reads with templates
- Addition & Subtraction Task Cards with recording sheet
- Animal Graph activity - (differentiated)
- Sight Word Bingo game
- First and second grade editable word cards
- Living vs. Non-Living Things small group activity
- Non-Fiction Animal Poster Activity
- Easy 3D Hand Art Project
- Helpful Tips
- Black & White version included
Note: This sub pack is most appropriate for August - November absences. 
Find the Spring Sub Plans HERE!
Sweet Sarah from A Rocky Top Teacher is giving away her Back to School Editable Notecards and they are ADORABLE...
Establishing a great relationship with students is one of the most important things educators can do. Start your school year off right by sending out postcards letting your new students know how excited you are about being their teacher! Make that first positive connection and share your love for school with them. This packet includes 7 different styles of postcards(including a printer friendly black and white version). Postcards are also editable so you can add exactly what you want them to say!
Engage your students in learning and get them ready for a fantastic year!
 Next we have Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd with her very VERSATILE Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags.  Check them out...
Do you ever feel like you just can’t squeeze anything else into your busy school day? With the push for more self reflection in the classroom, I needed to find a way that was efficient and beneficial to my students to self reflect on their learning. Tada! Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags, Small Group Cards, Bookmarks and more! This set allows you the time and your students the opportunities to self reflect anywhere in the classroom!! The possibilities are endless!
Last, but certainly not least, we have our new friend Emily from Polka Dots Please who is just a doll and she created a GREAT, EDITABLE Organization Bundle to help keep us all organized for the school year...
Stay beautifully organized this school year! This bundle includes lesson planning pages, monthly calendars, and busy (to-do) lists.  The lesson planning pages are editable to fit your needs.  They are designed to fit side by side in a binder so you can see your whole week at a glance.  The "busy lists" are perfect for jotting down all those ideas and to-do's.  They are editable so you can add your own routines, and they come in two different sizes.  Keep them on your desk at work or on your refrigerator at home to stay organized.  Every piece of the bundle comes in black and white and beautiful color combinations! All of these products coordinate with my other organization tools, so check them out.

Small Group Intervention Log (completely editable)
Student Data Organization Bundle 

Well, what are you waiting for? ALL of these Back to School must haves could be YOURS! Enter today, and PIN AWAY!!

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Two Stars & a Wish Blog Hop: Self Reflection, Supplies, and more!

Hi everyone!!!!! How are you?? Can you believe we're talking Back to School already?!? Well, I am back at it this Monday with our first teacher day, and Tuesday the kids come! Am I ready?? Of course not! :) I don't think a teacher's work is ever done so I've had to train myself to "Let It Go" like Frozen! It'll all be there tomorrow waiting for you! So this year I'm looping to 3rd after teaching my first in Spanish and the 10 most recent years in 2nd! I'm super excited, but I'm trying to get more organized! 

So without any further delay, welcome to the...
Blog Hop!!!!

Get ready to learn all about some great tips, tricks, and ideas from over 40 bloggers like me!! To start, I'm going to share two things that have helped me in the beginning of the year!!

With all the new evaluations and requirements on teachers, I needed to find a quick, easy, and efficient way to display my objectives in the room. We use a SIOP model so we have Content and Language Objectives. My top line for each subject is the SWBAT (Students will be able to...), and the second line is SW (Students will...). So content comes on top and language (activities) go below. You could set this up however you need to for your requirements too. I love being able to simply take an eraser, erase, and write for each day instead of wiping off laminated strips or what not. hah :) I have to have something quick, or I have a hard time remembering wanting to do it! This set up has been a LIFE SAVER!!!! I do write the actual state standard (Indiana opted out of Common Core this year) in the right corner of the top line for each subject; however, I don't talk about the number with the kids, only the objectives written. This also makes it super easy to refer to throughout lessons and the day!!
Supplies, Supplies, Supplies!!!
Picture this: It's the first day of school, when all these smiling faces run walk into your room all ready to go! The first thing they do..."Ms. Swisher, I have kleenex, hanitizer (hand sanitizer), and all this stuff. Where do I put it?" (as they hold it out for you to take as your juggling 50 things yourself) :) Well, I actually got this idea from a friend I work with, and it has been so beneficial!! 

Instead of collecting ALL the supplies into containers/organizers/etc., I give a large Ziploc bag to each student with their names on them. On that first day, I have them take out 5 pencils, one glue stick, one big eraser if they have it, one pair of scissors, and one box of crayons. After that, everything left goes in the supply bag for each student. Being at a school where some come with everything times 2, and others come with nothing, I just don't feel right giving the supplies some brought to others. I have extras I give them. So after this happens, all of the garbage is thrown away, and the kids put their bags above their cubbies. This way, they have to ask to get their extras instead of going through a 100 pencils in one week! They basically eat pencils!! haha :) This has helped a ton with space and making sure their supplies last longer!
Self Reflection!!!!! 
My big wish this year is that I really get my kids reflecting naturally throughout the day and outside of academic related activities!!! I don't do much whole group work, but when I do, I need something to allow my kids to self reflect on their learning, actions, feelings, etc. So this is when the Self Reflection Name Tags come in! Instead of having to copy a bunch of papers or have cards everywhere, I decided to try out name tags where they can actually use a dry erase marker to assess their own learning right at their seats. I can even have them assess their feelings by simply using the pictures. I made some without pictures and some without pictures or words so if I feel they don't need them or want to change it up, I have that option. I also like to keep this type of thing personal so not everyone sees it. I'm hoping with these name tags, the kids won't feel centered out or embarrassed to be honest. I've never had much of a problem with this because we go over it a lot and how it's okay to be at different levels. However, I know how I was as a kid, and I was easily embarrassed! :) 
To make this uniform throughout the room, I have small group cards that match the name tags where my kids can move their numbers to the level of understanding they feel they have. Along with small groups, I made some to work like small bookmarks or table strips so I can use them during book clubs/lit. circles as well!! Y'all, my kids are going to be self reflecting machines by the end of this year!!! :)
If you'd like to take a closer look at my Self Reflection Set, click here!

Thanks so much for stopping by and joining me with my Two Stars and a Wish!! If you liked the ideas and would love to learn about more, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and TPT!! :)

So there you have it!! My Two Stars and a Wish!!! Make sure to peruse below for over 40 bloggers stars and wishes for the new school year!!! There are tons of AMAZING ideas!! 


Hi everyone!! I am in a little bit of disbelief, but this is the start of my LAST WEEK OF SUMMER VACATION!! AHHHHH Summer, where did you go? Well, I know, technically, you don't end till the end of September, but still! hah :) I love our balanced schedule, but it's still super hard to see July in the date of the first day back!

Anyway, in honor of this final week, I thought why not have a fun sale to get the year off to a great start?!? So, here it is!!

Each day this week, I will put 1 product from my TPT store at HALF OFF!! In addition, I will put 1 product at a DOLLAR, but this one you'll have to find in my store!! :)

As you can see, today's 1/2 price product is my NOTHING BUT TIME!!! Humongous Unit!!! You can read all about my time unit HERE

Make sure to check back here on my blog each day to see what the next HALF PRICE product is!!! You can also check out my Facebook Page or Instagram for updates too!!

How many days do you all have left???

Making Self Assessment Easy Peasy!!

Hi everyone!! I am so excited to be blogging right now because it's giving me a break from my back to school preparations!! We start back in 11 days!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness! Where did summer go?!? :) We are on a balanced calendar so we go 9 weeks and are off 2 weeks so pretty nice, but it's still hard to here "July" in the date for the first day back! So back to why I'm so excited to see you today!!

Before I start each year, I always stop and think what I really want to improve from the year before. Then I realize that it's a long list, get overwhelmed, and have to take a break. hah (even after 11 years of teaching:) BUT, one of the areas I really want to work on is self assessment. With starting a new reading series, I wanted to make sure I had opportunities for self reflection/assessment anywhere in the room that we may be working. We, as teachers, are constantly reflecting on our lessons and changing things up so I want my students to see this as a natural part of their day at school and even carrying it outside the classroom.

In an effort to do this, I took a simple desktop name tag and made it serve 2 purposes: show names and show levels of understanding.
Click on the picture or link here to check it out in my TPT store. :)
The pencils are solely there to cover my student's name. :) However, you could use the blank name tags and put velcro on them and on a dry erase marker to keep it on there and easily accessible. I have group caddies that dry erase markers are stored so they're right there.

I always try to keep this more personal for my students so they don't start comparing themselves to others. Now, I know this naturally goes on, but if I can pull as much focus away from that aspect, then my students will start really thinking about their own thinking! We talk A LOT about being at different levels than others and how it's about IMPROVING and setting goals to move up. We talk about how practicing helps us grow so the more we practice, the more we'll start to understand. Once my kids understood this, they soared!! At first, I would, at times, have to talk to some students about putting a 4, for example. "Do you think you could teach this to a 1st grader all on your own yet?" They would normally stop, think, and say, "not yet." I would tell them how it's okay to not be ready for that yet, but they could make that their goal. By midyear, my kids would actually come up to me and say, "I'm still a 2 because I still need practice." It pretty much gave me chills hearing them really start to reflect on their own understanding without as much guidance. Then when I started hearing it in other random times of the day, it would almost bring me to tears. It's such a great feeling seeing your kids grow up and take charge of their learning. :)

Now, with these name tags, there are soooo many ways to use them!!! 
1. You could use them to have the students reflect on their understanding. 
2. You could have them use the pictures of the kids to mark how they are feeling.
3. You could have them mark out their level after they've finished or as they're working on morning work. This would give you an easy and efficient way to walk around the room and spot check.
4. You could have them mark their understanding of their homework from the night before.
5. Going with the feelings, you could have them mark how they felt their group did working together by using the pictures of the kids on the name tag. 

I'm sure all of you amazing teachers will come up with tons of uses!! 

In addition to the name tags, I included small group/center Levels of Understanding Posters that match the name tags for when you are away from their desks and in different areas of the room. I do TONS of small group work so I made sure to have 2 sets: 1 for my reading small group area and 1 for my math small group area.
 This set up is in my small group reading area. This year, my goal is to do more pre-assessment too. So before we even start our small group lesson say on main idea/details, I will ask the kids to show me how they feel about the topic right away. Then I could do this again AFTER the lesson to see if there was any change. When we are finished with our lesson, I say to my students, "Now, show me how you felt about our lesson today." They find their numbers, and place them under the corresponding level of understanding. I used numbers to make it more personal even though kids in their group will see, it still takes away some of that anxiety a few of the students may have. (My book bins are from Lakeshore Learning!! I've been asked a lot about them, and they are amazing! :)
This set up is next to my Smartboard where we do small groups for math. They do the same as in the reading area, except they are in a row instead. I also make sure they are out of the way of the next group possibly coming to sit down. It saves on time for sure. (The place value chart is also from Lakeshore Learning. I may or may not own half of their store! :)

So as I get ready for an awesome year, I'm really going to utilize these self reflection tools to help my students grow and succeed!!! 

What are some areas you want to work on in the upcoming school year??

Thanks for stopping by!!! 

It's a Christmas in July $1 SALE!!!

Merry July that is!!!! :) A bunch of us Indiana Bloggers are having a $1 sale for a little Christmas in July celebration!!! Perfect timing to get pumped up and ready for the new school year! I must say my absolute favorite time of year is Christmastime so this is right up my ally!! 

So...I have 4 products marked down to ONLY $1 for the next 2 days!!! YAY!! Here's a peek! Just click on the picture to take you to that product in my store! :)

1. Teacher Toolbox Labels
This toolbox has helped me so much!! I actually know where everything is for once! :)

2. Address, Phones, Quiz, Driver's License
Now, what teacher hasn't heard this before, "I don't know my phone number." Well, this set makes learning that very important information a little more fun and exciting! 

3. Organization Labels by Skill
These have been amazing!! I'm the "out of sight, out of mind" type of teacher so I need things out! These do the trick! Click on the link to read more about how I use these in my classroom! 

4. Are you looking for us?
There's always someone that's coming to get a student, look for you, etc. so this set is a great way to keep everyone informed of where your class is during the day!

There you have it!!!! Does it feel like Christmas yet?? :) Don't forget to check out all of the other $1 sales going on for the next 2 days below!! It's a little ironic that here in the midwest it's a bit cooler for this time of year! Perfect timing! 

Merry Christmas!!! :)