Congrats to the amazing Cassandra for turning 30!  Woo-hoo and welcome to the club, my friend. I have to say, I’m loving my 30s. Enjoy this new turn in your life adventure!!! I had the pleasure of meeting Cassandra at this year’s TPT Conference, and more specifically at the Splash Bash pool party that I co-organized with another dear bloggie friend, Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom.  Immediately I could tell that Mrs. Third Grade was such a gentle, kind, warm soul, and that has certainly proven to be true. I have to admit I’m envious because these two lovely ladies both live close enough to each other to occasionally hang and geek out over teacher topics...wish I lived closer...but I’m more than THRILLED to have been included in this amazing celebration for Cassandra!

My name is Lindsey Petlak and my blog is It’s Elementary, My Dear! If you’d like to get to more about me personally and professionally, click on over to “Meet Lindsey” and learn a little more about who I am and what I’m passionate about. On TPT I sell curriculum, marketing materials, and art prints / stationery.

Here’s the quick run-down of things I love and lessons I’ve learned as I welcome Cassandra as the newest member of the 30-Somethings club!

I LOVE food...I mean LOVE IT. Eating and cooking make me extremely happy, cookbooks or magazines are some of my favorite reads, and talking about food is something I could do endlessly. Don’t believe me? Check out my Instagram and you’ll notice that food floods the feed!  Here’s the PROBLEM:  Like all of you, I’m SUPER DUPER BUSY...all of the time….relentlessly. So, I’m trying to focus on how to have the best meals (taste and health) without breaking the bank or taking too much time. Stay tuned, because I’m making big plans to post about meals and menus in the near future!

My little family means the world to me. We call ourselves the “Three Bears,” “Three Amigos,” and “Three Ps (for Petlak) in a Pod.” My husband and I lovingly adopted our son, Grayson, at birth and it has been the biggest blessing beyond belief. We are forever grateful to be his forever family. So many teachers are going through their own adoption journey, so if you have any questions or stories to tell, feel free to reach out to me!  We had the BEST summer, like summer of my DREAMS, and it was really pretty low-key.  The important part was that the three of us spent so much time together, relaxing and just having some good old fun, which made summer amazing...but going back to school a slight bummer.

Feeling the same??  Check out my post on the blog and in Scholastic Instructor Magazine for tips on beating the back to school blues.

Having fun is a MUST, especially in the field of teaching. Whether it’s with your colleagues, blog-o-sphere teaching buddies, or your own friends and family, you have to take time to lighten up. I take a lot of things seriously, but not myself. I laugh at myself regularly, and try to embrace as much fun as possible. For example, my team LOVES to coordinate goofy group Halloween costumes, I recently dressed up as Axl Rose with colleagues as other members of Guns-n-Roses and performed a lip sync (Check it out here!) for the entire district, including administrators and school board members…..and we WON.  Step outside of your comfort zone, try some new things, and have a blast!

Fashion is so much fun! It’s a way I love to play with color, pattern, and express my inner creativity. My favorite part?  Trying to put together outfits that look great, and are SUPER INEXPENSIVE! This all started because I noticed I would get compliments on my clothing or accessories and people thought they were from expensive places….HECK NO! I grew up where Wal-Mart was the closest thing to a mall for over an hour, and let me tell you, that makes you get really creative and resourceful really fast.

You’ll see lots of outfit shots on my Instagram feed, and I love linking up with Chandra and Caitlin for What the Teacher Wore Wednesdays (RETURNING SOON, so stay tuned and please link up for FUN!) to share my love of fun fashion finds without breaking the bank. Keep watching on the blog for fab fall fashion at a fraction of the CO$T!

I’m not an expert in anything, really...but I know one thing: I’ve got to keep it real. This lady is all about efficiency, tips, tricks, and techniques to help we teachers make it through the daily craziness that is our life work.  Read on below for a few of my “most real” past posts and I hope they are helpful for you!

Thanks so much for this fun guest-post opportunity in celebration of Y-O-U! Happy Monday everyone!

Hugs, Lindsey

I am so excited to be part of a big FALL blog hop with some awesome third grade teachers!!  I love third grade, and LOVE fall!  Living in Arizona I miss out on some of the amazing things that the rest of you have across the country, but we do like to pretend it starts to cool down here!

One of my favorite things about Fall is the creative writing that we are able to do!  I work at a school where we don't really talk about Halloween, but I like to bring in pumpkins, scarecrows, bats and more!  Plus, who doesn't love the beauty of the oranges, yellows and browns!

I love creating artwork that has to do with the month, or the season.  I am inspired to create artwork this year like my heart and cross pieces from last year!  To do this I am going to use a leaf from one of my many clip art sets and then have the students draw the lines.  Then I will have them color their leaves in red, oranges and yellows.  For the backgrounds I think I'll have them use browns so that way the leaves pop off the page.

Every year we have a Trunk or Treat event on our campus, so then I ask for candy to be brought in so we can use candy for math during the week after Halloween.  Kids are excited about candy, and parents are eager to get it out of their houses, so I embrace it.  We do a whole week's worth of activities using our Halloween candy!  It is a blast, and then we can explore so many different ideas too.

To help you prepare for the craziness of Halloween I am giving away my Candy Math pack!!  This will get you ready for the week and gives you a few different ways to use the candy that students will have with them anyways.

You won't want to miss out on this awesome giveaway that we have for you too!!  Did you hear, we are giving away TWO gift cards!  That means we will be picking TWO winners!  You want to make sure that you enter the giveaway!!  It will run from September 26 - 30, so make sure you enter before you miss it!

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Hey everybody!  It's Teresa from 
here today and honored to be a part of  Cassandra's

I am a retired teacher turned teacherpreneur and wannabe professional photographer.  I love creating things for busy teachers to use in their classrooms to make their teaching easier.  I do custom orders and love working with teachers to create products that are just right for them (and YOU too!)  You can visit my blog by clicking on my button below.

I thought I would share with you today,
Like all of you, I have a love of all things school supply related, but I also have some other "necessities" that I keep in my desk just in case...

I also always have a sweater (jacket in the winter) just in case I have to cover an unexpected duty.  (Back in the day, I also kept a spare pair of stockings in my desk in the event of a bad run.
So, what essentials do you keep in your desk?
How can we be in our SIXTH FULL week of school already!?!  This year is flying by!!  I can't believe that we have standardized testing in TWO weeks, and fall break in THREE weeks!!  Bring on the cooler weather!

I am linking up with Dee Dee Wills to bring you a peek at my week!

I love working on my plans like this every week!  It helps me know what I am working on, as well as what centers I need!  You can download my lesson plans by clicking on them!  Then this will give you a PDF with CLICKABLE links to the products I'm using!

Friday we are going on our first field trip of the year, and it is a WHOLE SCHOOL field trip!  Our PE teacher teaches the whole school how to bowl during the month of August and September since it is too hot to go outside for PE.  The kids LOVE it because then we get to go to a bowling alley and they show off what they've learned!

We have our chapel presentation next week, so we are working hard on our chapel skit and presentation this week!  We are presenting Noah's Ark, so it will be a lot of fun!  I can't wait to share pictures with you!!

I am LOVING having different task cards for my students to work on to help them practice skills we are working on.  I am also loving that we are using our notebooks to dive deeper into skills we are mastering, such as our clock unit!  We are almost done with Angie's amazing unit!!

We are almost done with our science unit, and thanks to this amazing fossil unit by The Blessed Teacher my kids are going to have a GREAT time working on making their own fossils this week!!

I pray that you have a great week!!
Good morning friends!!  Happy Friday!!  I don't know about you, but this has been a long week for me!  I have been up way later than I should have been a few nights this week!  I am linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my Five for Friday.

It's been a hands on week!!  I am LOVING our science unit we are working on!  To help cement the difference in rocks this week we ATE some rocks!
A photo posted by Mrs. 3rd Grade (@mrs3rdgrade) on

This week I was able to meet some of my amazing FRIENDS for dinner!!  These girls are AMAZING!  Do you recognize all of them!?!  Becca, Miss Giraffe, Janae, The Sharpened Pencil and Ashlyn, The Creative Classroom!  AMAZING!!

I shared all about my math time here.   I have been asked more about Bump so I am working on another post, and possibly working on a Periscope all about it!
A photo posted by Mrs. 3rd Grade (@mrs3rdgrade) on

Wednesday night I was able to attend an awesome concert!!  David Crowder is one of my favorite artists, and he was touring again!!  LOVED every moment!!

Learning math comes easily to students, or it is something that they struggle with.  This can be said for every subject, and it is something that we try and talk about so that way they know that they can get better at things that before they believed they weren't good at.

Making Math Fun - Hands on approach to teaching math

Math has always been my FAVORITE subject and comes easily to me.  Over the years I have worked with students who have struggled with math and couldn't understand what we were learning about.  Luckily I have been able to find ways to bring fun to math for my students!

Dice games are some of my favorite, and Kim Sutton has AMAZING games in her books!  I have been blessed to attend TWO of her workshops!! I would go every year if I could, because I always pick up new information!  Beam Me Up 10 is a great one because it forces students to work on their sums of 10.  I have a TON of dice in my classroom!  These ten sided dice are PERFECT for place value!!  My students love playing with them too, because they are new to them.  Plus they are great for expanded form.

These place value cards are another great Kim Sutton activity I picked up!!  They have been perfect for so many things.  I have been working with students on knowing the difference between even and odd, the ones, tens, and hundreds places, as well as ordering numbers.  Having students build numbers is a great way to see what they already know, and what they need help with.

We have been LOVING playing Bump games!!  These are an easy, no prep game where all you need are dice and marking chips.  Last year I didn't have these plastic pieces, so we colored paper and used cut up pieces of paper!  I have been having students practice their multiplication facts, even though they don't realize they are doing that.  They roll two dice, find the sum, and then use the counting rule on the board they have.  I have created boards for counting rules 2 through 10!!  I love that they have this opportunity to practice!

What is your favorite activity to help students understand math concepts!?!  What else would you like to see more of?!

I am excited to be linking up with Hello Sunshine to be bringing you some Sunshine this month again!!  I LOVE this link up because it gives us all the opportunity to have some SUNSHINE and JOY in our days!!

I am LOVING our thankful board this year!!  My kids add to it once a week and they LOVE it!!  We have them add the date to the back of the card so that way they know when they wrote the card.  I have some of these thankful cards in my store for FREE, and the bulletin board title as well!  I do have a TON of the cards in my store as well though, in case you are looking for some so you can have a wide variety of cards for your students to choose from!

     Hey everyone it is Jess aka The Whimsical Teacher!  If you don't know me, I'm a 5th grade teacher working in Nevada. I'm also a blogger (I have 3 blogs now, eeep!), and I'm a teacherpreneur. I love social media, writing, and helping other teachers become more resourceful.  


I am so incredibly honored to be apart of Cassandra's 30 Amazing Teachers!

   I first started chatting with Cassandra back in April of this year. We were both drawn to the fun and fast paced twitter chat called  #tptchat every Sunday night (5pm pst).  Even before we twitter chatted, I've admired her blog and tpt store.  I also think her and her blogging besties in Arizona are the sweetest bunch of teacherpreneurs this side of the Mississippi!!!

    I spent a chunk of this last summer watching periscopes and getting the best tips from teachers all over the world.  I have notebooks full of useful and helpful information.  If you've ever watched one my periscopes, you would know that sometimes I can be random and bizarre!  I would like to share some of my randomness with you today by sharing my 5 favorite random teacher tips!


Have you ever wondered where all the best teacher discounts are located?  Well, I found this nifty little site that lists dozens and dozens and dozens of awesome teacher discounts! 

Fun Tip: Wear your teacher badge out to lunch.  I've gotten a lot of nice discounts while eating and many local businesses offer me freebies for being a teacher. 

Did you know that businesses donate left over products to teachers? Have you ever wondered how you can get your hands on these products? 

I'd like to introduce you to:

     On Naeir all teachers pay is the shipping cost for getting free stuff!  It's amazing.  This summer, one of my pals got two (YES 2!!) scotch laminators for $14.00.  TOTAL.  You must sign up with your teacher email address to join.  Also be aware that sometimes it takes up to a week for the site managers to accept you.  The format sort of feels like an ebay for teachers, except it's lacking the aggressive bidding: it's just first come, first serve!  Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

Do you know how much free money is available to teachers each year?  Jump through a few hoops, and the opportunities for your classroom are limitless!

Edutopia put together a massive list of new grants and resources for teachers.  
Most of these are going on RIGHT now, so go check them out!

     Do you ever want to try something new online with your class, but you don't have time to research websites, and make sure they are 100% kid appropriate?  Well, I have good news for you!  Every year the American Association of School Librarians puts together a list of the BEST 21st century, cutting edge, kid friendly websites. 

Here's the link to the 2015 list!

     Do you use iPads in your classroom?  Are you ever confused about which apps you should be letting kids use?  Many teachers believe that kids should use creation or project based apps where they are using problem solving skills to make something great. If you are new to this concept, I found a great listing of these creation apps (most of which are free) here:

I hope you found these tips useful!  A big thank you goes out to Cassandra for this wonderful opportunity!  

Cassandra, Happy Birthday and I hope that your 30's are productive and full of love and joy!

I love Sundays for many reasons, and one of them is that I get to link up with some amazing people to share my plans for the week!!

First, I want to share my lesson plans for the week!

I am so excited for our final week of our religion unit!!  We started talking about creation a few weeks ago, and our ending our unit this week discussing the fall!

In math I am excited to start bringing out some of our fall units, even though it doesn't feel anything like fall here!  We are patently waiting for Halloween, that is when it finally starts to cool down!!

Finally, in science we are rocking in our earth science unit!!  These science units by The Creative Classroom and The Blessed Teacher are AMAZING!!  They both have multiple units that have made planning this unit so much fun!!

I am also excited for my goals for the week!!  I have a fun week ahead of me, and can't wait for Wednesday night when we head to the Crowder concert!!

You can check out Teaching Trio to see what they are up to this week too!!

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