Wednesday, August 3, 2016

5 Donations Every Classroom Needs

It's almost time for back to school, and many teachers are already busy shopping and setting up their classrooms in preparation for greeting their new students very soon. Recently, one of my friends asked for a list of donations that teachers would appreciate receiving during back to school time, and I thought that was so thoughtful of her to want to donate supplies to her son's teacher. Did you know that most teachers spend over $500 of their OWN MONEY every year on materials for their classrooms?? Wow!! I certainly didn't realize it until I became a teacher! Anyway, with that in mind, I decided to share my “top five” list of items I always ask for, along with a few other suggestions that many teachers always appreciate receiving. Be sure to read all the way through for a little bulletin board idea at the end :)

1. Tissue
In my welcome packet, I actually say "if your child has a nose, they will need a box of tissue at school!" Kids go through tissue like candy. Sometimes I think it is just the novelty of getting out of their seat more than the need to blow their nose, but oh my gosh, we go through tissue SO FAST every single year. And I always feel a bit sad and pathetic/embarrassed when I have to tell my students to go to the bathroom to blow their nose when we have run out of tissue.

2. Bandaids
Bandaids are right up there with tissue, the slightest little paper cut needs IMMEDIATE attention in the form of a bandaid. I quickly learned to NOT supply the cute Disney bandaids, because we went through those even faster than a box of tissue! Lol!! I had students picking their scabs to get a Disney bandaid. Live and learn, then buy the plain old Bandaids!

3. Hand sanitizer / soap
This should go without saying. Kids are germy. Classrooms are germy. I made my students use hand sanitizer before using the computers, and every time they used a tissue to blow their nose. I was also fortunate enough to have a sink in my classroom, so hand soap was also used frequently. Some teachers don't have a sink in their classroom, so hand sanitizer is their only option to prevent the spreading of germs in their classroom.

4.  Pencils / erasers
Plain old yellow #2 pencils are the best - kids don't find over colors or designs, and there's no plastic wrap on them that the kids can peel off or that can jam an electric pencil sharpener. Pink pearl erasers are also great because kids tend to go through the small eraser tips very quickly. And, if you want to earn some bonus points with your new teacher, open the box and sharpen the pencils first... I promise your teacher will immediately LOVE you for this small act of kindness.

5. Clorox wipes
Classrooms are filled with germs! I like to wash down all my desks, tables, and counters frequently, and the students love to help clean their desks! They are often amazed at how dirty the wipe gets just from cleaning their own desk (EWWW!) 

Other suggestions: crayons (16 or 24 packs are awesome!) glue sticks, paper towels, napkins, cups, straws, paper products (for class parties, etc.), copy paper (teachers always need more copy paper!), ziploc baggies (all sizes), notebooks, two-pocket folders, file folders, dry erase markers, sharpies, and gift cards -- check out this darling back to school gift card freebie from my friend Tauni at SNAP Creativity!  As a technology specialist, I would love an APP gift card :)

While working on this post, I came across the cutest bulletin board idea that I wanted to share with all of you. Michelle from Apples and ABCs made a popcorn themed "wishlist" to help parents know what items she needed in her classroom. With her permission, I have created a little freebie that you can download and use at your own back to school open house. I have included some popcorn kernels with school supplies already on them, and also included a page of blank kernels to write your own items on as well. I hope this is something you can use as you prepare for back to school.  Click on the photo below to download the bulletin board set.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Welcome to Summer!

Hi Friends, school is out and the sun is shining here in Salt Lake City! I'm off to the pool to start my summer off right! I wrote a blog post over at Busy Bees, sharing my tips for avoiding teacher burnout over the summer.  I hope you'll check it out... then go soak up the sun while you can :) Happy summer, teachers!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A+ Images & Teacher Shirts

One of the highlights of the #TPTVegas15 conference was the bonus networking opportunity on Thursday morning. Many bloggers were given free shirts thanks to A+Images, and it was so fun to be able to match blog logos with real people! Here is a picture of my shirt, and a picture of many bloggers wearing their shirts too!


So many great bloggers all together in one room!
In addition to the custom shirts we made, A+ Images also offers a wide variety of teacher apparel (both cute AND funny! See the shirt I won below!) and they also make those darling classroom faces tee-shirts... I wish I had something like that when I was in elementary school -- such a neat idea. 

be sure to follow A+ Images on facebook and instagram... you just never know what they'll come up with next.

I won a free shirt from the A+ Images booth - it says "teachertini" -- probably as close as I'll get to an alcoholic beverage while in Vegas! LOL! Thanks, A+ Images!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Activity Roundup!

Today I'm blogging over at "Busy Bees Activities" and sharing TONS of great holiday activities to help you make it through the next few weeks of school.  Click on the picture below to check it out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Savvy Curls - A Teacher's NEW Best Friend!

Hi friends, notice anything different?  My blog got a little facelift over the weekend… I am thrilled with the results!  Special thanks to Laine from A Little Peace of Africa for this beautiful blog design. I absolutely love it!  
Now, let me just say, I don't normally do posts like this... But when I find an amazing product, I sometimes want to share it with all of my wonderful teacher friends out in bloggy-land. AND, if you follow me on facebook, you know I am NOT a morning person... So getting ready in the morning is a daily struggle!!  I recently stumbled across "Savvy Curls" which claimed to be a simple headband that would curl your hair while you slept and didn't require any heat. I was totally intrigued and decided to order one. If this headband could deliver on its promise, I knew it would be my new best friend!! What could be better than going to bed and waking up with perfectly curled hair??
My headband arrived on a Saturday, so I decided to wash and wrap my hair and give it a shot, knowing that if I totally messed it up, it was the weekend and I wasn't rushing out the door to get to work the next morning. I followed this simple video tutorial and went to bed. The head wrap is not uncomfortable and I didn't notice it at all while I was asleep. I woke up, started getting ready for church, and unwrapped my hair... And guess what?? IT WORKED! On my very first try, it worked!! I was in shock!  I continued to use my wrap each night and found that my hair was more and more curly each day. I couldn't believe that I could spend only 5 minutes on my hair right before bed, and have awesome curls all day long the following day! Below is a simple photo tutorial showing how easy it us to use the Savvy Curls Curling Headband - one thing that makes this headband unique is the special thermal insulating material and it's cylindrical shape; both of these elements help to form the most amazing curls I have ever seen!

I packed my head wrap with me when I headed to Disneyland last week and decided to put it to the ultimate test! The great thing about the savvy curls band is that it can be worn during the daytime to keep your hair up and out of the way. I tried doing my hair curly the first day at Disneyland, but my hair was definitely not used to the California humidity, so I decided to wear my hair wrapped up for the remainder of the trip. I was a bit worried about how well my hair would stay wrapped while I rode Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, and other fast / wild rides at Disneyland, but I think the photos speak for themselves. I took these pictures at the beginning of the morning, and again around midnight as we waited for the shuttle to come pick us up. WOW!! I was sold!!

Before & After photos - a day at Disneyland with my Savvy Curls band!
I reached out to Tami, who is the genius behind "Savvy Curls" and was pleasantly surprised to learn that in addition to being from Utah, like me, she was also a former school teacher! OF COURSE this was invented by a school teacher! Why was I not surprised?? Tami was so sweet when I contacted her, and offered to let me host a giveaway here on my blog. She also sent me the "convertible wrap" to try out as well. The convertible wrap is great for long/thick hair or hair with lots of layers, or for anyone who wants more curl and body. I will admit, this wrap had a little bit of a learning curve for me, and I think some of my layers are still a little too short for the extra band, but the great thing about it is that the additional piece is detachable, so I can still wear the single band on its own until I master the second part of it. And, hello?? It's PINK!! I am all about the pink!!! I actually LOVE wearing my hair wrapped up with just a little bit of pink popping out :) it looks so cute and I get so many compliments on my hair. Take a look at some of the fun things I've been able to do with my hair using the Savvy Curls head wrap:
Top: I put my hair up for a Halloween party (hence the mouse ears); bottom: getting ready for school the next morning. WOW!
Top: Single band; bottom: Convertible Band; the cylindrical shape of the headband forms the curls while you sleep, workout, shop, etc. It's amazing!!

To enter the giveaway, use the rafflecopter below. Also, if you want to order a Savvy Curls curling headband for yourself, you can save $2 by using code krysp1 at checkout (I plan on ordering a few more colors so I can wear these at school!)  Be sure to follow me on facebook and instagram to see more fun photos too!

**GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED** Congrats to the winner! If you didn't win, you can still use the coupon code "krysp1" at checkout to save $2.00 on the headband of your choice. Enjoy!