A Beautiful Weekend

Our son was married on Saturday.  It has been a busy two weeks preparing for the big day.  Lots of planning and work goes into a big wedding.  I love this first picture.  As soon as the pastor introduced them as husband and wife they took a selfie.  I hope you enjoy the pictures and a glimpse into our family.  And by the way, the pictures are not in order but being so tired I can handle that for a minute.  

 Our new addition to the McConnell family is Kinsey.  She comes from a large family.  She is one of a set of quadruplets plus she has an older sister.


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Back to School Freebie Link Up

Are you getting ready for school and trying to save some money?  Here is a list of freebies that you can download today to get you started in your classroom.  If you download, please leave feedback on my store for others to see.  Thank you for supporting my little store.

1.  Welcome Back Treats for Teachers or Students- I made these for all my teachers last year.  Who doesn't love chocolate?

2.  How Do You Get Home?- Great organizational tool for the classroom especially if you have young students.

3.  Back to School and Open House Packet- You will love.  This will be a great help to you as you plan for Open House.

4.  Welcome to Our Class- This is a Powerpoint that is already designed for you.  All you need to do is add your content.  It has been downloaded 3500+ times!

Do you have some freebies to share too?  Link up below.


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Love My New Pencils

I found a great fabulous idea from a blogger friend of mine, April from A Modern Teacher.  She loves Oriental Trading as much as I do and she shared last week her idea to purchase pencils instead of business cards.  I took this idea and ran with it.  I love my new pencils form Oriental.  A great way to advertise and give the audience something to use too.  The pencils were ordered one day and shipped the next.  I have 72 pencils for only $18.00!  What a great deal.

What do you use to advertise?

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Feeling Excited

I'm feeling a little excited about this new school year.  Things are falling into place.  I have a great staff and we are working hard each day preparing for a fabulous new year.  Today, I read Melissa Kartsimas' blog Reflections from an Elementary Principal.  I have to say...I loved it.   I went to work inspired and ready to tackle the last few days before I leave on vacation.  

I joined Twitter and Instagram recently.  As far as Twitter, recently means like yesterday.  Instagram just a two week experience with it.  I'm loving them.  Yesterday, I was welcomed by some amazing educators on Twitter.  They connected with this newbie right away and helped me figure it all out.  I'm super excited to have a connection with so many principals around the world.  If you want to follow me on Twitter, here's the link or Instagram is here.

The district's warehouse is full of new math and science materials.  Well, you know what good principals do?  We go together and sort them all out.  We lifted, sorted and counted the contents of 500 boxes or so it seemed liked 500.  It put things in perspective...I'm too old for heavy boxes.  

Construction update:  Here is a picture of the new wing of my school.  The halls are taking shape.  When my district does things, we do them right.  The picture says it all.  Safety is of upmost importance.  


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What's in the tubs?

Recognize this picture?  My back-to-school teacher tubs are running over.  After sharing pictures of them last week, I have been emailed and messaged about 100 times.  "What's in the tubs", you ask?   I didn't know so many people would love them as much as I do.    I took a few minutes before leaving work today to take a few pictures of the contents of the tubs.  They are not complete but I have the majority of the items in them.  I'm still working on placing students in classes and finishing up schedules.  
The top sheet in the box is the teacher class schedule for their door.  I create it and laminate it for them.  All they need to do is hang it outside their door for other staff and parents to see.  I require this because when I'm doing walk-throughs each week I like to see what subject I will be observing when I enter the room.   The clipart is from Bees Knees designs shop on Etsy.
 The Teacher binder is packed full of resources for the teachers.  If you like it, you can download a copy of it, here.
 Every tub has two different folders for each student in the class.  One folder is a Monday folder and the other is a daily homework folder.  The campus sends home a folder once a week with all the assignments completed from the previous week.  The daily homework folder goes home daily and is used to keep up with homework and a reading and behavior log.

The large stack of manila envelopes help the teachers have all the forms ready and in a nice envelope for parents at Open House or Meet-the-Teacher Night.  Parents come in the room and pick up the envelope and meet the teacher.  On the first day of school, the student returns the information back to the teacher.  No fussing over filling out tons of forms at school. 

Have you heard of No Excuses University? If not, you can learn more about it from a previous post I wrote earlier this month.  The first picture you see goes with a bulletin board to go with our No Excuses movement.  Each teacher will give words of advice to our elementary students and the teacher will also show what college they attended. 

The small index cards are provided by the district for parent information.  These get completed by the parent and the cards stay in the office. 

Teachers tutor during the school day and the information is kept on a log.  I have two recesses built in the day.  The first recess is during lunch.  As soon as students are finished eating they can play outside on the playground.  They usually get about 15 minutes of playtime.  That all depends on how fast they eat.  The second recess is about 30 minutes.  This is when tutoring takes place.  I created a two recess schedule so everyone gets to play.  Play is important.

 We keep up with our professional development throughout the year on a form.  This gets turned in to the office at the end of the year. 

Teachers carry the "teacher binder" around to all meetings and I have a section for meeting notes.  I do not print it in color since they will use so many pages of it.  Color ink is too expensive.

Calendar...I am a calendar freak.  I work best when things are scheduled but I know in reality that never happens.
Teachers are given a class roster and data pages prior to school starting.  The information is very valuable and tells the teacher all about the student.  The more information I can give teachers at the beginning of the year about their students is better.  I don't want to waste instructional time.  For example, teachers will know if their student is in Gifted and Talented, special education, speech, Section 504, dyslexic, needs intervention, state assessment information, Limited English, behavior concerns, health issues, etc...

The pink sheet is an emergency plan.  It's a short cheat sheet that teachers hang in their room and know what to do in a drill or in an actual emergency. 

Each teacher also gets a class set of school supply lists.  In case parents did not purchase the supplies, the teachers have the list ready to hand to the parent.

Sign in sheet for parents visiting the rooms and a log for how students get home from school are also included.

In progress....  Staff development, Campus Newsletter, Student Placement and Campus Improvement Plan.  Please say a prayer for me that I get this all done this week!   Here's a look at a start of it. 

Ideas or suggestions on how it is going?  I love feedback.


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Alphabet Wall Cards

Are you needing to update your alphabet wall cards this year? Over the years, the cards can become faded, old and worn.  Start this school year off with a new look for your classroom.  

This set of cards would be great in the writing or reading station or displayed on the wall in your classroom.  

 Here's a look at my screen.  I love the colors.  The black and white help the pictures pop.  Do you like?


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The TpT Do It Yourself Workshop

In November, I will be presenting at my service center.  The region's service center is hosting a tech conference and I will be one of the sessions!  I received an email yesterday about it and I asked my superintendent and she approved.  I know it is only July and November is far away but if I'm going to do something...it's going to be good.

Are you interested in learning how to create quality products for classroom?  Did you know you can make money doing it?  I'm going to show you how to create engaging classroom materials for your students and earn an income too.  Who's interested?

I haven't started on my presentation yet but I have it all in my head.  I hope I can tell you everything you need to know in a 45 minute session.  Stay tuned...

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What principals do in the summer to help teachers in August?

If you ever wonder what principals do in the summer, wonder no more.  Here are a few pictures of how I get school ready.  I know I'm on schedule but knowing that it is July and school starts in August freaks me out a little.  Well, who am I kidding...I'm a bit overwhelmed by my long to-do list.

 Every year someone asks me what do I do during the summer.  My answer, "everything."  If I plan well in the summer, the school runs great all year long.
My summer to do list:
Staff Development
Student placement
Hire new teachers
Campus Improvement Plans
Back to School Newsletters
and so much more.

Staff development for August is probably the most time consuming on the list.  I receive training in the summer and then turn around and train my staff in August.  This takes time to create presentations and learn the content myself.  

Now it's your turn.  What do you do in July to get ready for back to school?


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Sunday Smorgasbord

I'm linking up today with Michelle from Fabulous in First for a Sunday Smorgasbord.  It's a little bit of this and a dash of that and a whole bunch of random!  I love it.  

1.  I finished a few new products!  It feels so good to get a few new products completed.

Do you need to get your classroom organized?  This will help you design a math notebook for students.  No more passing out papers and wasting valuable instructional time.  

2.  I'm enjoying working out this summer...love this new shirt!  It says, "Work It!"  

My view running (AKA jogging) this morning.  Love the Texas scenery.  I did 5 miles and I'm very proud of myself.  Now I just need to eat right too.  Baby steps, right?

3.  I have enjoyed my week off this week but it's all business starting tomorrow.  I get another week off at the end of the month.  I really wish I had signed up for the Vegas TpT trip!  It sounds like everyone is excited to go.  I guess I need to plan ahead for next year.


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American Unit & Instagram Fun

I'm happy to say that a couple of my American theme sets are on Educents!  Educents is a great place for educators to get quality products at a discounted price.  My American Heroes and the All American Rainbow Comprehension packet is 50% off plus you can use the code below and get 10% of the entire site.

Code: Fireworks2Principal

This fun and patriotic bundle comes includes the American Heroes Poster and Timeline set, as well as the American Themed Rainbow Comprehension Pack!

30 pages of American Heroes Posters and a Timeline for the classroom bulletin board.

Heroes included in this packet are:
George Washington
Abraham Lincoln
Alexander Graham Bell
Betsy Ross
Harriet Tubman
Helen Keller
Johnny Appleseed
Martin L King, Jr.
Rosa Parks
Amelia Earhart
Susan B Anthony
Ben Franklin
Garriett Morgan
Lydia Newman
Thomas Edison
Nikola Tesla
Wright Brothers

All American Rainbow Comprehension pack includes:

The United States Flag
Flag Q&A Sheet
Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge Q&A Sheet
The Bald Eagle
Eagle Q&A Sheet
Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Q&A Sheet
President Obama
Obama Q&A Sheet
Mount Rushmore
Rushmore Q&A Sheet
Liberty Bell
Bell Q&A Sheet
Statue of Liberty
Statue Q&A Sheet

I took the plunge and I'm on Instagram!  I'm very new at it so I'm trying to figure out the do's and don'ts of it.  If you have instagram, come follow me and I will do the same.
Click the link to go to my Instagram.


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