Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Teacher Feature: Northern Light

This week's featured teacher, Shelley, is a fellow Canadian who sells digital teaching resources at the TpT store, Northern Light. Shelley doesn't have a blog, but I am featuring her store because I learned that Shelley, who I know through a Facebook group for teachers,  is one of the many displaced residents from Fort McMurray, Alberta. Shelley recently lost her home to a devastating wildfire, and I know she could use the support of the teaching community.

Shelley's Story
On May 3rd, just two weeks ago today, my husband and I lost our Fort McMurray home of 28 years, as well as my son and his young family's home. We live(d) on the same street in an area that was especially hard. Many students whom attend the neighbourhood school lost everything.

Our beautiful city once again has come under siege from the fire named, "The Beast,".  Six thousand workers are currently being evacuated from the camps and sites, as this fire relentlessly continues it's journey of destruction.

The last two weeks have been dark times to say the least, but the light has been the generosity and kindness of Canadians towards our situation. These acts of generosity, whether they be a bottle of water, a meal, or fuel- given during evacuation, always bring me to tears.

Recently, my fellow TPT sellers have brought me to my knees. These sellers do not know me, or of me, for my store is very, very small. Yesterday, I was sent donations from TPT sellers whom are complete strangers. Today, I received feedback on an item - and I'm guessing it is a TPT seller supporting my store. Although this fire is far from being under control, looking for these 'lights' will make me eternally grateful to all Canadians and my TPT colleagues. Once we are on our feet again, I will pay it forward. Thank you so much to my TPT family.

How long have you been working in education? 16 years

What have you taught? I've taught grades one and two. Prior to teaching, I was an Educational Assistant with special needs children in grades K, 1, 2, and 6.

What is your favourite part about teaching? My favourite part about being a teacher is learning from my wise students.  They teach me something every single day.

What is your best advice for a beginning teacher? Recognize that you will not have all of the answers, and you never will.  Try your best to seek what you need for your students but also ensure that you take care of yourself.  Easier said than done but something we all strive for.

Shelley would like to share her Individual Reading Assessment Records from her TpT Store. You can download the file by clicking on the picture below.

If you download this freebie, don't forget to leave Shelley some feedback for her generosity. You can do this by clicking on "My Purchases" and finding the download in your "Free Downloads" tab. 

Thanks, Shelley, for participating in this week's Teacher Feature. In light of everything Shelley and her family are going through right now, I am honoured that Shelley found a few minutes to answer some questions for this blog post.

If you want to help those who have lost their homes and belongings, you can donate to the Red Cross Relief Fund for the residents of Fort McMurray. If you want to help Shelley and her family directly, please visit Northern Light to see if there's anything you would like to purchase for your classroom. I know that Shelley and her family would appreciate your support during this difficult time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: May

I'm linking up with Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade for the May edition of Show & Tell Tuesday. It's getting to that point in the school year where it's becoming harder and harder to find the motivation to change my bulletin board displays, let alone remember to take photos. I'm hoping to find some inspiration by looking at all of the gorgeous photos everyone else has posted!

I joined up with some amazing TpT friends to raise money for those who lost their homes in a massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta. We each donated the proceeds from yesterday's sales to the Red Cross Relief Fund for the residents of Fort McMurray. All of this wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of our TpT customers! Every dollar is being matched by the Canadian government. Thank you for your support!!!

I had a chance to try out the updated version of my very first TpT product, Solar System Research. If you already own it, you can download the update for free by logging into your TpT account and clicking HERE.

I helped my mom host a shower for my cousin who is having a baby boy next month. Don't forget to read my baby shower post for inexpensive decorating ideas and free baby shower printables (including the one pictured above)!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Teachers Supporting Fort McMurray Fire Relief

By now, you may have heard that a massive wildfire has devastated the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta. According to CBC, "the fire left 94,000 (people) displaced and destroyed over 2,000 structures." 

My home in BC is located one province to the west of Alberta, and everyone I know seems to know someone who has been personally affected by this natural disaster. I am in absolute awe of the selfless acts of so many people who have stepped up to help. There is a long road ahead for the residents who have faced such losses.

A group of Canadian TpT authors have started a fundraiser to aid this effort.  All of the participating stores will donate the proceeds from their sales on Monday, May 16th, 2016 to the Red Cross Relief Fund for the Residents of Fort McMurray.

Please help the residents of Fort McMurray by either donating directly to the Red Cross Relief Fund or by visiting the participating stores on Monday the 16th and purchasing digital teaching resources. Every product in my store will be discounted by 10%, with all proceeds going directly to the Red Cross Relief Fund.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FREE Baby Shower Printables

Last week my mom hosted a baby shower for my cousin who is due to have her first child - a boy - in mid June. I had fun preparing the games and decorations. Here are some photos of my handiwork (and some free printables for you)!

As the guests arrived, I had them write their names on two "balloons" (circles cut out of card stock). One balloon was for a  "Welcome Baby" guestbook keepsake and the other balloon was for a baby shower book.

You can download a free copy of the guestbook keepsake by clicking on the image. All you'll need are some pipe cleaners or string, small circles to write on, and a picture frame.

I forgot to take a photo of the completed Baby Shower book, but here it is without "balloons". I glued the cover onto a folded lunch sized paper bag. You can also see the Wishes for Baby template and a notecard I found online. I used a small binder clip to attach the Wishes for Baby inside the book, and I tucked the folded notecards into the paper bag opening. You can download a free copy of the Baby Shower book cover and Wishes for Baby template by clicking on the photo.

I also provided envelopes for the guests to write their own addresses. This way, the mom-to-be can get her thank you cards in the mail before baby arrives.

I kept the decorations simple by making use of what I already had on hand. I attached letters to white paper bags and placed them on the mantle.

I used the same letters on paper plates and in a photo frame.

The mom-to-be and grandmothers-to-be wore these ribbons!

As a favour, I gave out popcorn with a "Ready to Pop" tag.

I was determined to find some fun (and free) shower games. We played Baby Mad Libs, Baby Scattergories, and Who Knows Mommy Best? Click on the photo to download a copy of Who Knows Mommy Best?

If you're anything like me, you want your baby shower to be matchy-matchy. I have customized matching baby shower invitations available in my TpT store. Click on the photo for more information. After ordering, your customized downloadable invitation will be ready for you to print in 48 hours!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: April

It's far from being Tuesday anymore, but I'm linking up with Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade to share some photos! 

If you follow me on Facebook, you've already seen this image. We used dried macaroni to learn about quotation marks. 

My students created "Triple Scoop" (synonym) word lists for overused words. I have a long bank of windows along the back of my classroom, and these posters have been serving double duty. Students are actually getting up out of their seats to refer to the word lists while writing, and the posters are doing a great job blocking out some of the sunlight. I know I shouldn't complain about the weather (especially seeing as it rains so much here), but sometimes there's too much glare on the whiteboard.

We wrapped up our first literature circle in fifth grade. I'm really excited about how it turned out. I'm giving away a copy of my brand-new Lit Circle Packet on my Facebook page. Don't forget to enter by clicking on the photo at the bottom of this post!

My favourite way to introduce new books to my students is by hosting a "Book Tasting". I set up by putting one book on each desk. Sometimes I've even wrapped the books in gift wrap to make it more suspenseful. Students spend 3-4 minutes with a book before rotating to the next book. Each book is numbered, so that students do not waste precious time copying down titles. They simply record the number of the book, a rating from 1-10, whether or not they'd like to read that book, and a brief summary of what they've read so far. Students can choose to read the back cover, the very beginning, or a random place in the middle of the book. The only rule is that they must move onto the next book when the time is up.  

Want to host a book tasting in your classroom? Click on the photo above to download a free template!

Want to win a copy of my Lit Circle Packet? Click on the photo to enter!