Back to School {the new and old}

Yes, those three words really do go together!  School is starting in 11 short days!  This has honestly been the l.o.n.g.e.s.t summer ever!  I think it was the emotional roller coaster that made it feel as though I was in quick sand.  I had to have an additional surgery before my Vegas trip.  While doing that surgery the doctor found something else he would like to look at.  I really can’t believe that there might be more that we need to look into.  My follow up appointment for that and my many blood tests to check on the clotting disorder is in mid-September.  I am glad that I have the insane first few weeks of school to keep my mind off of it.  I am also very excited to meet my new little ones and start helping to make a difference 🙂 There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that WE are/or one of the first steps in these kiddos education!

The following snap shots from my classroom are a few new ideas and a few ideas from last year.  I thought there is nothing wrong with a refresher in education ideas!

Today I spent a few hours in my classroom working on my four literacy center tubs.  I had just completed the last tub when I had this thought….”wow these looks really nice….I wonder if they will still look like this if I leave them out during open house?”  Needless to say I might be stashing these away during open house 😉  I have had some interesting things happen during my past open houses…I think the less is better saying fits this perfectly!

I was looking through my lesson plans from last year to review when I started to introduce Daily 5 Word Work and it was the second full week of school!  I will explain in more detail how I go about introducing each daily 5 once it gets a little closer!

The following word work ideas come from a lot of random places.  I’m just like y’all and purchase a lot products that will benefit my student’s learning!  I will be sure to give links for each activity so that you don’t waste any of your precious back to school time searching around!

Cookie Sheet ABC Order – Uppercase.  View on TpT HERE.
This is a super cute literacy center from Growing Kinders ABC Centers for the frugal teacher!  The entire packet is filled with awesome beginning of the year literacy centers!
I printed the ABC highway cards for free from Making Learning Fun.  They printed out full sheet so I reduced them by 50% and was then able to have 4 to a page.  I printed them on card stock and laminated them as well!
This is a matching uppercase to lowercase wheel using clothes pins.  
You can grab this FREEBIE from FCCR.
ABC uppercase to lowercase match up and corresponding recording sheet found here.
You can’t go wrong with playdoh mats!  These playdoh mats are part of my Literacy Centers pack #1.  It is filled with 20 literacy centers and over 300+ pages of material!
This is another ABC match up FREEBIE from FCRR.
Dough stamping another fun and engaging activity from Growing Kinders ABC Centers for the frugal teacher

This is my phonemic awareness tub!  These are all supplies I use during small group time to work on phonemeic awareness. ALL of these goodies came from the Dollar Tree 🙂

This is one of my many classroom management tools!  Similar to a warm fuzzy jar.  When the students work together as a group to make good choices we put in stones!  For example if we get a compliment from another teacher or use the restroom quietly we get to put in stones.  When the jar is filled the students get a reward.  The easy button simply makes it more fun!  I take a moment to remind the students that it is easy to make the right choice 🙂

 This is another classroom management tool: gumballs!  When individual students do what the teacher asks they get to put in a gumball!  When the tub is full we get a classroom reward.  I’ve also used this for individual students if the class as a whole are making good choices.  I will have one student work on filling the gumball machine.

I have really loved implementing my the Common Core questioning jar in my classroom.  This year I am excited to get it started at the beginning of the year and really use it to challenge my students.  Click HERE to view my Common Core jars available K-4.

My super spellers board.  This board has truly been a life saver for my classroom and ME! The students took so much pride in finding the card they needed and writing the work in their writings.  The cards held up great last year and I only needed to repair a couple of magnets 🙂  This is one of my best sellers and you can grab it for $3 bucks!  HERE

Trash buckets?  I started these last year and they worked great!  To be honest I would forget about them completely, but the kiddos always reminded me!  I have one for each table and they really did cut down the trashcan traffic!  I purchase the tubs at Dollar Tree and you can grab the FREEBIE labels HERE.

I got this darlin’ last year!  It was just too cute to pass up.  Any Kleenex box I got fit nicely.
I purchased it for $12.99 HERE.

I shared this idea last summer but thought it was worth re-sharing!  We follow the Journeys teacher’s manual.  Instead of lugging around the big teacher’s book one of our team members mentioned copying the needed questions from the teacher’s manuals and taping them to the back of the read aloud!

FCCR has endless FREE activities   You can spend hours and hours on this site for sure!  Click the above image to view!

These are awesome FREEBIE stroke cards!  I printed them on cardstock and laminated them.  Last year the students first traced the stroke with their fingers and we then moved on to using our dry erase markers.  You could also have the use a variety of hands on materials. Grab the freebie cards HERE.

I wanted to mention that if any time you have a question please don’t hesitate to email me {ta******@ho*****.com}!  I am open for any questions…and we know there are no silly questions! 🙂

Just a couple of reminders…. be sure to grab this limited time offered FREEBIE

also my pin to win $25 TpT cash!

Now if you read to the bottom of this LONG post you deserve a little back to school cheer!  I am having a very quick back to school sale.  I know that I am busy getting things ready in my classroom and we all have a few must haves on our to do lists!  This QUICK 20% off sale will be for  Sunday, August 11th only! Click on the image below to go to my TpT store!


  1. Thanks so much for introducing me to This site is amazing. I could spend hours there printing. I love all of your Literacy ideas and your TpT store. I am a faithful follower. Just to let you know, You are in my prayers during this time. Kathy Burnette (Ladybug in Kindergarten)

  2. Hello! I'm a first year kindergarten teacher – so thankful to come across your blog via Pinterest! Thanks for sharing all of your ideas – I'll be headed to your tpt store soon!

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