Christmas Gifts and Staff Morale

Are you searching for ways to show your staff, friends, neighbors and family members how much you care?  We all want to give our very best but not break the bank either.  Here is a nice treat from the heart.  It is a great idea and one that will be easy on the budget.  Not only is it practical but it shows them you cared enough to be creative and thoughtful.

Simply fill a tin with some goodies- cookies, fudge, or candy and share the love with someone.  I plan on baking some homemade sugar cookies and filling the tin.  I found a great recipe and pinned it on my Pinterest board.  I will share that link with you too.   Don't feel you have to bake if you are not a baker.  Purchased treats are nice too. 

 Recipe from Back To Her Roots
The Perfect Sugar Cookies
 I found the tins at Target and the cookie cutouts too.  The tins were $3 and the cookie shapes were $1.  I think that is a great deal. 
These tins are perfect for packaging your treats.  If you have a large campus and want to treat your entire staff, simply fill several tins and place them in the workroom or through out the campus.
Taking the time to let your staff know you care has a positive effect on morale.  Let's try and take some time this season to spread love to those in our lives.

 If you are shipping your tins, the items will hold up great in the metal container.  I would line them with tissue paper and tie a bow around the tin to add a special touch to it.  I plan on delivering some tins this week so I hope the cookie recipe is a great one. 
Get Treats in A Tin tag here.

More ideas for Christmas Gifts?  Check out these printables below:


your photo name

It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look like Christmas around the homestead.  I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas.  Here is a peek inside our home as we begin decorating.  Please remember I'm not a photographer and it is late at night.  I probably should have waited for daylight to help make the pictures brighter. 

Above- Oh Holy Night Aqua Sign (link below to download)
Below- Gold and Bronze Christmas tree
The tree kind of looks like a hot mess in the photo but it really looks nice in real life.  

 The table is decorated with plates I purchased for my mother many years ago.  She spends Christmas in Heaven now.  I love using the dishes and it reminds me of her.  I added a picture card to each place setting.  You can print these too.  Instead of printing them 8x10, I printed 4 to a page and they are just the perfect size for the table.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas pillow was snagged at TJ Maxx - one of my favorite stores.
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas sign was found last Christmas at Home Goods- another favorite store.
My kitchen window of snowmen.  I love snowmen.  I have a collection of them and they always go in my kitchen window until the end of January.  By then, I have had enough of the cold and don't want to look at anything that reminds me of winter.  The burlap Be Merry sign appears orange in the photo but it's because my ink is running low in the printer.  Hey, this is real life!  It happens to us all. 

Hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my "home" life.  We could all use a break from the workplace, as well as, deviating from "education & academic topics" every now and then. 

your photo name

Christmas Gift Idea for a Crowd

It is Thanksgiving Week and I'm looking forward to having a crowd at my house in just a few days.  I'm ready to get the Christmas tree decorations going but it is tradition to wait until after Thanksgiving.  To satisfy my need to decorate for Christmas I created these framed Christmas photos.  If you are purchasing gifts for a crowd, you might like this idea.

Head over to TpT and download these 8x10 digital prints.  


your photo name

Bad Day Good

Yesterday, I received two phone calls that I will never forget. 

A teacher called to tell me she is passionate about enrolling in a principal certification program because of me.  She said she has learned so much from me over the years and wants to be a school leader.  I held back the tears until the phone call ended some 30 minutes later.  This very day is now a #baddaygood. 

It doesn't stop there.  I received a second call from a former teacher who just received her principal certification assessment scores.  She passed!  I'm not surprised at all.  I'm just so excited for her and the impact she will make on a campus and in the lives of the students she will touch.  Another #baddaygood

Over the last 4 weeks, I have been very ill.  I have been fighting off an infection that is about to get the best of me.    Not really to that extent but it is enough to wear on my body.  Random Acts of Kindness can go so far.  The two phone calls I received were just what I needed to give me a boost and get me revived for today. 

Take a look at this video called #BadDayGood.  I watched it after reading Erica Bohrer's blog this morning. 

How can we randomly spread some kindness today?  Need a way to get started?  Here are some Random Acts of Kindness Cards. 

Let's hashtag #baddaygood   #raokprincipalprinciples


your photo name

Data Talks and Documentation Forms with Ease

I spent the day creating Data Talks.  It includes tons of forms for documentation, as well as, question stems and so much more.  I wanted to make sure this is a big help to principals, instructional leaders and academic coaches.  All pages included have little color or simply black/white for ease on the color ink budget. 

Take a look:

Documentation of student learning and planning sheets are easy to complete. 
Included in this packet- Student Intervention Tracking Form, Data Teams Vertical, Data Teams Horizontal, Data Talk Documentation Tool: Reflect, Commit and Plan, Data Debrief Calendar template and Data Process template.

 This new file is perfect for you PLC meetings too.  A PLC is a process in which educators work together to achieve better results for the students they serve.  Is your PLC becoming stagnant?  If so, here is a great resource to revive the team.  Data Talks helps you gather and document levels of student learning, develop strategies and ideas to build on the strengths and weaknesses of the students, implement strategies and ideas and so much more.
 Check out these Data Talk Forms.  I created two formats for you.

 I love this next activity.  Chart It!  Step-by-Step directions on how to create a chart.  Teachers chart their analysis strips using a T-chart format. 

Are you creating SMART Goals this year?  SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.
 Teacher Classroom Data Analysis Planning Sheet and Data Goal Tickets included too. 

Here's a picture of a data goal ticket I created for you.

Are you looking for a way to keep student data organized?  Create their very own RTI folder to house all the important documents and testing data.  When you are preparing for a Student Intervention Team meeting, just grab the folder.  Simply print and add your own data. 

 Data Discussion Stem Cards
My favorite part of this are the question stems for data discussions.  There are 48 cards with questions regarding student data.  As you begin your data meetings, start off with question stems to get everyone thinking. Print these question stems on cardstock.  Laminate and put on a metal ring.  Choose a couple of them to begin conversations about the data.  Option 2:  Print several and display at different stations in your data room.  Teachers answer the questions using the data displayed at that table.  Teachers then share their findings with the group.

Ready to download Data Talks?  Here's the link:  Download Data Talks

Other related products that you might like:  Targeted Data Tracking Our Progress


your photo name

Upcoming Events for Principal Principles

I know February seems like a long way off.  It is.  However, I'm super excited to share with you that I will be at the TASSP Conference in February.  TASSP stands for Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.  It is located in Austin, Texas.  I will have my display and exhibit booth and hope to meet tons of secondary principals from all over Texas. 

 Classroom Observation Notepad: Journey Design
Interested in purchasing?  Teachers Pay Teachers, Etsy

Classroom Observation Notepad: Bliss Design
Interested in purchasing?  Teachers Pay Teachers, Etsy

Getting ready for an exhibit is no easy task.  Tons to think about- exhibit fees, display styling for tables, selling with my new Square reader, etc...
Above is a sneak peek at my preparations for my trip.  I wanted to share my excitement with all my friends.  If you want to follow me along my journey, make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  
Click below to head over to my social media platforms.


your photo name

Twist and Shout: Sight Word Edition

When is the last time you played Twister?  Probably years ago?   That goes for me too.  I remember playing as a child and having so much fun.  The other day while traveling I was thinking of a way to make playing the game Twister more educational, as well as, having it fit the academic needs of a classroom.  I came up with the idea to make the game Twist and Shout: Sight Word Edition.  I think it will be tons of fun. 

How it works:
Place the provided colored-circles on the classroom floor in a grid format.  Students compete to read the sight word first by "shouting it."  The student who did not read the word correctly or who was not first to say it has to twist their body according to the game board directions.  A referee is needed for each group playing.   The referee spins, calls out the positions and listens to the correct word being "shouted."  Students keep playing until all the 80 cards have been read or until a student is eliminated.  If a student cannot perform the action or falls performing the action, he/she is eliminated. 

That's how you play Twist and Shout: Sight Word Edition.

Take a look:

 Game spinner and directions included in the packet.

80 sight words included from the 2nd Fry's word list.  The word cards match the colors of the spinner.  For example, if the spinner lands on yellow, the referee will draw a card from the yellow deck.  If lands on blue, the referee will draw a card from the blue deck.  The students quickly read the card and shout it to the ref.  The student who does not say it correctly or the fastest will have to perform the TWIST as determined by the spinner. 
 Here are the circles for the floor grid.  They come in color and ink saving options.  I totally understand having to reserve our ink. 
I gave away several copies yesterday on my Instagram.  Make sure you are following me there so you can take advantage of the giveaways.
Why play games in school?  Playing interactive games in school has the potential to capture student engagement, encourage students to learn and cause excitement about learning.  There are so many great benefits of adding games to your classroom schedule.  The thought of it might cause you to have anxiety.    However, before starting games in your class, go over the rules and expectations.  Model correct behavior and have great discussions prior to starting.  The benefits are tremendous. 

your photo name

Pinterest Picks

Happy November!  Can you believe we are heading into holiday season?  I love November.  I love Fall decorating and Thanksgiving celebrations with my family.

Today I'm sharing some wonderful Pinterest finds with you.  Pinterest is one of my favorite hobbies.  Seriously, I think I need to go to Pinterest Anonymous meetings.  I hope you love what I found for you and, I hope you find it helpful to you in your school.   

I love Fonts!  I have tons and tons of them.  I invest stock in fonts and clipart.  (Don't tell the hubs.)
I'm addicted to them.
Here is my newest font download from last week.  If you are in education and reading this, fonts really make things stand out and polished.  Stop using comic sans in your newsletters and venture out into the elegant font world. 

One of my favorite things to do is bake/cook a new recipe each week or try something new.  I found this recipe about a month or so ago and fell in love.  Soft-Baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are to die for!  I located these precious gems on Sally's Baking Addiction and decided to give them a try.  I L.O.V.E. them and so does my family.  I even made my in-laws a batch and gave some to my sister for her birthday.  Give them a try.

Do your students struggle with multiplication facts?  I found these bracelets from a fellow blogger, Head Over Heels for Teaching.   Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching has them with answers and without answers on them.  She is a 4th grade teacher and has some great products.

Want to follow me on Pinterest and see more great products that I find?  If so, follow me here or click the image below.


your photo name
Back to Top