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5 great and inexpensive ideas for Read Across America Day in your classroom!

Read Across America is a great day to celebrate READING in your classroom!  Here are FIVE fun and inexpensive ways to celebrate Read Across America Day in your classroom!

Give students lots of time, or multiple times during the day to enjoy their reading!

One of the best things to do is to let students READ on Read Across America Day! I know that is a crazy idea, but sometimes we get so caught up in everything that we HAVE to do, that we forget to let our students READ.  Students will only become better readers the more time that they have to read! I love giving an EXTENDED period of time, or even multiple times during the day for students to just READ and enjoy their reading!

Dressing up is a great way to get your students excited about any themed day, and to show that you care about the day as well!

Dressing up is one of my favorite things to do! Anything that gets me thinking outside of the box, and showing off my sprit! We created these "Thing 1" shirts with our grade levels!  Our librarian had these awesome hats, and then thanks to the Target Dollar Spot we were able to make this adorable background! Each of our students were given one of these hats too, so we were able to use this wall a a photo backdrop for them too! Make sure to check out Target as we get closer to March for great finds!

Find ways to make your themed day go across the curriculum so that way you can extend your fun and learning all day!

Having students create their own Dr. Seuss story is a fun way for them to appreciate all of the fun books that Dr. Seuss wrote! There are so many characters that they can continue to help tell the stories! Or they can take his fun and adventure and create their own characters as well!

Allow students to be cozy! Let them dress up in PJs, bring in pillows, blankets or stuffed animals! Then they will be ready to read all day!

If your school will allow it, then help your students be comfortable! We have PJ day as a dress up day, and then we allow our students to bring in pillows and blankets.  They get to wear slippers in the classroom too! We have them change into tennis shoes before we leave the classroom, or go to specials. It adds an extra element of special to the day, and helps students be nice and cozy as they read!

Obviously if you are going to be reading more than normal that day, you may want to have a GREAT selection of books!  I always bring in way more than we could read for the day, but that gives students even more exposure to books they may not have read before!  We are a big AR school too, so I make sure to put a post it on the book, with the quiz number.  Then they can write their name on the post it after they take their quiz, and we know how many quizzes we've taken that day!

I hope that this will help you make your Read Across America Day great, and if you have any other amazing ideas to share I would love to hear them!!

Meal planning at a month takes away the stress each week, and brings fun back to dinner time!

I LOVE the beginning of the month because it allows me time with a blank calendar, flair pens, and Pinterest!  I always sit down at the beginning of the month, or near the very end of the month to plan out what we are going to eat for the next month.  I almost find it kind of relaxing, and it allows me time to think about what we are going to eat and plan out our month.

Now, planning out our meals isn't always that hard, because we do have some favorites that I know that we will eat at least once that month.  Plus, having a three and five year old do dictate some of what we eat.  We have been getting a lot better about not making something different for them, and having them try what we are eating.  This has for sure opened my daughter's eyes to some new foods she didn't know she liked.  My son on the other hand, will take one bite and then ask for a hot dog.  No honey, we can't have hot dogs or spaghetti every night of the week.  Due to their likings, we do have a lot of pasta though!

After I've figured out what I'm going to have, then I use the ads to plan my shopping trips!

After I've figured out what I am going to eat, then I write down what I need for each week.  Yes, I write out all of my lists for the four weeks at once! This way I don't have to go back and do it each week.  Now I have a master list of what I'll need for the month, and I have it broken down by the DATE I'll need it.  From there I go to my ads and start buying what is on sale NOW.  I do have to go to the grocery store every week, because my kids go through milk like it is water, but I am spending far less money!

Labeling my cans helps me know which night I am going to use them, and then prevents me from using them for random things and then not having what I need for dinner.

When I get home from the store, I quickly label with the date the cans or boxes that I will be using, so that way I can pull them out and I don't have to keep looking through my recipes to know what I will need.  I rarely use any recipes where my meat has to be defrosted, so if I forget to look the night before I know that the meat will be thrown into a crock pot FROZEN and dinner will not be a drive thru!

I find so many recipes on Pinterest, and I would LOVE to hear about some of your favorites!!  The crock pot is my best friend!  As well as some fan favorites such as spaghetti, mac and cheese and breakfast for dinner!!

I also have a fun board full of some of my favorite Whole 30 recipes for those of you who are trying that this year too!!

New Year, New Goals, 5 goals to help me be a better person in 2017 and forward!!

Every year I like to set new goals for myself for the year! I don't always stick to all of them, but setting something up, writing it down and making it public helps me to keep focused on what is important to me!  I have thought about these 5 things that I really want to work on, and I'm excited to share my 5 BIG goals for the year, and you may be surprised by what they are!

New Year, New Goals - A dedicated family time every night will help me not miss the little things as my babies start to grow up!

My babies are growing up WAY to quickly!!  I can't believe how fast time is going, and that before I know it they will both be in school all day every day!!  Right now our nightly routine doesn't allow a lot of family time.  I have decided that we are going to be changing that, and now EVERY night we after dinner and before bed as a family we are going to do something together.  We are going to draw pictures, color, work on a puzzle, read books, anything not electronic, as long as we do it as a family! I know that I am going to look back and miss these moments when they want to snuggle with me, so I want to make sure I take advantage of all 365 of them this year!!

New Year, New Goals - picking up one room a night will help keep the house clutter free, and help keep the chaos out of our home!

As much as I would like to hire someone to clean my house, I know that isn't something that is in our world right now.  Instead, I am going to work on a rotating schedule, where I make sure to pick up or clean one room each day.  This way I won't feel over run with everything that needs to get done on the weekends, and I can involve the kids and make it more of a game.  By doing this it will help me feel like our house is in order and not chaos too! Luckily we just put away Christmas, so it isn't too bad right now, but its a good thing you can't see my office!! What a mess!! So picking up one room a night will help me ensure that my office doesn't keep turning into this mess it is now!

New Year, New Goals - Plan out your meals and stick to them so you don't have to throw food away and you have dinner ready to go when you get home!

I don't know why, but I love planning out our meals! I don't know if it is the excitement about looking on Pinterest, or finding something new that my family will love, but I do enjoy sitting at the beginning of each month and planning out our meals.  With that said there are some days that I leave for work and forget to throw something into the crock pot, or make sure we have a certain ingredient and then my best laid plans turn into driving somewhere to pick up dinner.  I really want to make sure I stick to our meals this year, and make good use of my time! Why spend all of that time at the beginning of the month if I'm just going to throw it away!  For those of you who have been asking, there will be more about this coming soon! I promise!

New Year, New Goals - No technology at least once a week is a great way to spend time on those things that you might not have time for any more!

I'm super excited about this one! I tried to do this last year and it didn't work.  I know that my phone can get in the way of me missing things with my kids, but I have been getting better about putting it away with them.  I am really, really, REALLY bad about putting it away after they go to bed though.  I'm sure you can relate that you have to scroll through IG one more time, to see if there was anything else you missed.  I am confident that by doing this it will be a great reason why my husband and I have to spend time together and won't be lost in the world of our phones and then realize it is 10 PM and we need to get some sleep before another work day.

New Year, New Goals - Make time for yourself! So often we take care of everything else, and we forget about us!

One thing I am really bad about, is making time for me.  I received a gift card for a massage for my birthday when I turned 28! I celebrated my 30th birthday in 2016!!  Sorry mom and dad if you are reading this!  I'm really good at planning play dates for my kids, or dinners with friends, but I rarely make time for just me.  My hair is graying, but I don't have a hair appointment set either.  My goal is to set aside at least one hour a month where I do something for me.  Even if that means sleeping in, and making sure my hubby is in charge of the kids that morning!

What are you going to do with all of your Halloween candy!?  Here are a few great ideas of low prep, high engagement activities!

Halloween is over, and now you have PILES of candy! Your kids have candy! You have candy left over at home! You have candy that you don't want to eat, so what are you going to do with all of it?! If you're anything like me you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible so you don't eat it all, right?!

Have students use candy and toothpicks to build a tower with leftover Halloween candy.

One fun activity is to have students BUILD with their Halloween candy! They love doing this because they are able to take their candy and create something out of it! Be careful with any allergies you might have in class though, to make sure that you aren't exposing students with peanut allergies to candy they shouldn't be touching! We used toothpicks and candy, that was it!

Have students compare candy to see which one ways more, but have them guess first so they can check their guesses!

Have your students compare their candy to see which one will weigh more! This is a great way for them to guess and then check their answers!  It was interesting to see which candy was the heaviest in the class as well!

Put different types of candy in water and see which candy will dissolve first, or if all candies will dissolve!  Have students guess first, and talk about why some does and does not!

Watching anything in water is fun because students are able to see it happen! Use clear cups so then students won't have to touch or move the cups to watch this happen! We filled each cup with water, and then labeled the cups with what kind of candy we were putting in!  Then they guessed which candy would dissolve the fastest, and we watched to see what would happen.  We left our cups for a few days, until they started to smell, so we could see what happened over a longer time!

Use a balance scale to weigh leftover Halloween candy!

Using a balance scale I had students weigh candy! This was a great way for them to practice their reasoning as well as they were putting the weights on! Plus, they had to use math as they were totaling the weights to figure out the total!

Another way to use the extra candy is to count all of the different types of candy that were brought in! Students can estimate and guess which candy they think the class will have the most of!

If you love these ideas, and are looking for ways to have your students record these answers, feel free to check out my Candy Math and Science where I have all of this explained and all of your recording sheets ready for you!!
Create your own banners in power point!

Reading Move Your Bus this summer was the best thing for my career! I LOVE Ron Clark and the inspiration that the book has brought to me.  I am going into my tenth year of my career and was feeling defeated this past year.  This book brought life back into me and I am so excited to start my new journey with a renewed spirit!
Displaying student work with clothespins is a great way to quickly change out work and show off more work throughout the year.

I love displaying student work around the classroom in different areas.  I love displaying student work using clothespins because then I don't have to staple into their work.  It also allows me to quickly change the work so that way I can put up different work weekly.  I bought these placemats at The Dollar Tree in two packs!!  These are very similar, but are round and not as long as the ones I bought a few years ago.

Having a hallway display is a great way to give a preview to upcoming students, and a fun reminder for past students.

In the hallways I like using the placemats and clothespins again so that way I can change them quickly in the hall too!  This allows younger students to see what they have to look forward to in the coming years.  It is also fun for the older students to remember what they did in previous years.  We have lockers in our halls, so I was able to put these placemats up above the lockers.  I am not able to change these as quickly as I do the ones in my classroom, but by using the clothespins it does allow me to change it easier.

Whole class displays are important so that all students feel as if their work is important!

I use string and clothespins to display student work for a whole class wall.  This is a great way to show off a whole class display.  You can add more layers of string if you have a bigger class, or bigger worksheets to display.  I love having the solid black background as well because it helps everything else pop!

How do you display your student work?  How often do you change the work that you put up in your classroom!?  I would love to hear your ideas!

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