Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dare to Dream

Are there any other TpT sellers who eagerly checked for the next TpT Seller Challenge first thing Monday morning?! (Guilty as charged!)

Last week I shared my cover re-designs for three super fun back-to-school resources. This week's theme is Dare to Dream. I am a huge dreamer and goal setter, so this topic was right up my alley.

Give to others: I want to be in a position where I can give back to my community in a variety of ways. I've been in the position to volunteer my time (though not as much as I'd like lately), but I'd love to donate funds to my favorite local non-profits and charities as well. Growing my business means I can devote more to those organizations that work to make a difference in the world.

Buy a home: Let's face it - roommates are awesome...but so is owning your own place! :)   I'm working hard to save, save, save for my future home!

Travel: I love to travel and my list is long. Growing my business would mean the opportunity to explore new places and bring that knowledge back to my classroom. I'd also LOVE to take my sweet Mom on a vacation of her dreams!

Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it". I live by that motto every day and can't wait to continue to work hard to achieve my dreams!

~The Teacher's Prep

Monday, June 15, 2015

Makeover Madness - Back to School Style!


I am LOVING summer vacation so far. Between trips to the beach, visiting with family, and working on lots of TpT goodies, it's been a busy two weeks! 

I'm excited to dive back into blogging with the start of a new mini-series: the TpT Seller Challenge. Four lovely bloggers (Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Teach Create Motivate, and Third in Hollywood) are hosting a month-long challenge for sellers on TpT to collaborate, stretch our creativity, and have fun!

This week, we were challenged to makeover a resource from our stores. I choose to makeover THREE of my bestselling resources from last summer - my 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Back to School Activities and Icebreakers! I can't wait for my teacher friends to log on to TpT to find the updated files waiting for them!

Each resource got a new cover and FOUR new activities added to the TEN already included!

When I made the covers a year ago, I wanted a cohesive look that was colorful and fun. At the time, I LOVED them. Now...not so much. The new covers still have a cohesive feel but have the cutest characters from Illumismart!

6th Grade Back to School Activities and Icebreakers

7th Grade Back to School Activities and Icebreakers

8th Grade Back to School Activities and Icebreakers

So...what do you think?

OH! Before you go, here's a peek at the activities - 14 in all!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, April 3, 2015

An Unofficial TpT Easter Sale!

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny bring us an Unofficial TpT Easter Sale!

SO many TpT sellers are joining in on the fun! The entire Teacher's Prep store will be 20% off regular prices! Yea!

PLUS, I've been quite a busy bee lately. There are several new resources in stock AND I've begun the process of updating my Yearly Teacher Binders. If you purchased one last year, keep a check on your downloads so you can upload the new-and-improved version soon! (The ones below are already uploaded. I'm seriously in love with the rainbow stripes. I've been using that design on everything lately!) :)

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Best Social Studies Websites for School

Teachers are always on the hunt for the best resources for our students. In fact, a good chunk of unit planning goes towards scouring the web for websites my kids can use or that I can incorporate into my lessons. Here are some of my favorite websites for teaching concepts in social studies:

1. iCivics - I LOVE this site! My kids actually beg me to play the games on this site - and with 18 games dealing with topics related to American government, there's something for everyone. The site also has resources for educators to use in their classroom. It's free to join and free to play. You don't have to create an account to play the games but my kiddos are so competitive, many asked their parents if they could create an account to keep track of their scores! The games and lessons are perfectly suited for upper elementary and middle school students.

2. Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) - Teachers can create free account to access lots of lessons designed to bring historical sources into the classroom. The FREE lessons include topics related to American History and World History. They're geared for students in middle school, however with a few adjustments, elementary and high school teachers could easily use these resources, too. New state tests are asking students to provide evidence to back up their claims. These lessons and documents are the ticket to preparing kids for these kinds of questions.

3. BBC - History for Kids - I've linked to the main page for BBC History for Kids so that you can peruse the different topics. I've used the websites in the "Ancient History" section. The site is kid friendly and you can design projects and activities dealing with the ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Vikings, and more! It's perfect for elementary-age students.

4. The CIA World Fact Book - Middle and High School students will find this resource exceptionally helpful when researching information about modern-day countries around the world. It has facts about the geography, government, people, military, economy, transportation, energy and use and more! Students can use the interactive map to travel to places around the world.

5. Google Earth - Google Earth is another resource my kids beg me to use! I've designed activities that help them practice latitude and longitude skills and use filters in the program to let them go on virtual field trips around the world! Our current favorite filter is called 360 cities. It lets you get a 360 degree view of famous sites around the globe!

Let me know if there are any other websites you use for teaching history! I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest resources.
Happy Teaching!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers are Heroes TpT SALE - Feb. 25th!

It's time for a TpT sale!! 
Isn't this image PERFECT?? Thanks, The Printable Princess!
I've seriously been waiting with bated breath for this sale! Time to push that virtual shopping cart down the TpT aisles to snag some unbelievable deals.
During the sale, you can grab EVERY item in The Teacher's Prep store for 28% off - from lessons to bundles! These site-wide sales only come once every quarter, so shop to your heart's content - there are SO MANY amazing resources on TpT!
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ancient Rome Graphic Organizers

When studying Ancient Rome in school you know you'll be covering a lot of ground! Covering a span of hundreds of years in a matter of weeks is no easy feat...and that's why I am in LOVE with these interactive notebook activities! 

Here's what's included in this new resource:
1. Cover Page
2. Two vocabulary activities
3. The Geography of Rome (tabs for land features and water features)
4. The Origins of Rome (tabs for the Trojan Aeneas and Romulus and Remus stories)
5. Patricians vs. Plebeians (tabs to compare and contrast these two groups)
6. Branches of Government (tabs for recording information about the consuls, Senate and the Assembly)
7. Roman Law vs. U.S. Law (a Venn Diagram to compare similarities and differences between the laws of past and present)
8. The Punic Wars (a 4 tab foldable to record the who, where, when, and why of the wars)
9. The End of the Republic (tabs for rich vs. poor, Roman politics, and the rise of Julius Caesar)
10. The First Triumvirate (pockets for Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar)
11. Famous Romans (record information about Julius Caesar, Pompey, Mark Antony, and Octavian)
12. Emperor Augustus (record information about his rise to power and his accomplishments)
13. The Pax Romana (5 tab flipbook to record information about the 5 "good emperors"
14. Roman Contributions (an accordion flipbook for scientific, art, architectural, and theatrical contributions)
15. The End of the Empire (trace the causes that led to the fall of the Empire, including politics, invasions, and the economy)
16. Two maps of ancient Rome (one map has some items labeled while the other is blank!)

 AND since it's brand-spankin' new, it's 50% off for a limited time in The Teacher's Prep store on TpT! In fact, all new resources are always 50% off for a limited time once posted. Follow the store on TpT to keep updated on new additions!

Happy Teaching!
P.S. Have you seen this awesome video on YouTube? It's a flyover of Ancient Rome and my kids loved it! Sooo much cheaper than time-travel this days...and less field trip paperwork! ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Teacher Bag

To whom much is given, much is expected.
Perhaps more appropriately for this post - In which much must be stuffed, much is expected.
We all have one - that bag that we trust to cart all our most prized teacherly possessions back and forth on a daily basis. Some like wheeled bags. Others prefer stiff cases. Me? I have a love obsession with Vera Bradley. Here's a peek at what I keep in my teacher bag (minus all those lesson plans!):

1. The Tote  //  2. Make-up  // 3. Paper Clips  // 4. Post-its // 5. Agenda
1. The Tote: I already admitted my love of Vera Bradley. Those colorful bags are soft and flexible. I love how comfortable they feel on my shoulder as I'm walking on campus. The totes hold all my essentials and the bright colors are the perfect pick-me-up for those early mornings and late nights!
2. Make-up: I always keep a compact in my bag to freshen up in the middle of the day. Busy classes and fun activities may make me tired by the middle of the day, but a quick freshening up with some light powder makes me feel (and look) refreshed for my afternoon classes.
3. Paper Clips: If you're like me, you're carrying papers back and forth on a daily basis. Paper clips keep everything organized!
4. Post-its: So. Many. Post-its. This is a good thing because I LOVE those little colorful squares! I have them in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They help organize notebooks and remind me of important dates and assignments.
5. Agenda: I'm a bit old-fashioned in that I love writing my important dates on paper! Again, buying that colorful, cute agenda isn't necessary - but it makes looking at that busy schedule a little more fun. Lilly Pulitzer agendas are a bit pricey at $28 but it does last the whole year! (That's what I tell myself anyway! I LOVE Lilly Pulitzer...but my wallet always says "No!")
OH! Before you leave, don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free resource from The Teacher's Prep - you, too, can have your students create their own documentaries!
Happy Teaching!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Create a Class Documentary and a GIVEAWAY!

Ok guys...this post is full of ALL KINDS OF AWESOME! 
{Two reasons}
1. There's a new Create a Class Documentary resource available on TpT
My kiddos love being creative in the classroom. I was in search of an idea that would inspire my kids to tackle a subject in a new way and allow them to demonstrate that they really understood the material. I decided I wanted to have my kids work in groups to create documentaries! When they heard the idea they were ecstatic! (Best teaching day ever.)
So my kids set off on an 8 day adventure to create documentaries on Ancient Egypt. They used Microsoft PowerPoint (although other programs could be used as well), smartphone videos, pictures, and research to create documentaries on a variety of topics - from the pharaohs to the pyramids! They recorded narration and set up the PowerPoints to play the slides automatically.
This resource could work with any subject! It encouraged my kids to delve into those higher-order thinking skills and work collaboratively to complete a task.
The Create a Class Documentary Resource is currently available on The Teacher's Prep store. It includes everything you'll need to set-up and run this multi-day class activity.

1. How to use this resource
2. A note on technology
3. How to add video and narration to Microsoft PowerPoint
4. A step-by-step guide for teachers
5. A rubric for the documentary (point values left blank for classroom customization)
6. Teacher observation form
7. Documentary Directions
8. Step-by-step directions for students
9. Know Your Audience – activity
10. Storyboard activity
11. Project calendar
12. Job Cards (six total)
13. Movie Poster directions
14. Movie Poster point sheet (point values left blank for classroom customization)
Best of all: I'm hosting my first ever giveaway on The Teacher's Prep blog! Use the Rafflecopter Widget below for your chance to enter! I'll select TWO winners and email the resource to you!
The giveaway is open today (Saturday) until next Sunday, January 18, 2015
Happy Teaching!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently January

Happy New Year!

Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade has generously provided another CURRENTLY you know I had to start the year off right and join in!

Listening: Have you checked out the new TV series The Librarians on TNT? Guilt pleasure alert! It's a great show that combines a sprinkle of magic, a dash of intrigue, and a heaping helping of fun.
Loving: My new JBL Portable Speaker. I can easily blast tunes from my iPhone or iPad with the press of a button. Fact: I need to listen to music while washing dishes. Otherwise it is completely and utterly boring.
Thinking: I need to set some resolutions this year! Of course there'll be the staples: eating healthy, a little more exercise...but this year I'm adding some TpT goals to the list as well!
Wanting: An extra week of vacation! I love, love, love my school...but I'm not ready to wake up early!
Needing: I desperately need a new weekly planner. Any advice of where I can find one?
To all those near and far...HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope this new year is filled with adventures, blessings, and health for you and your friends and family.