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!!
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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!






There are many important ways to keep your bus moving!  You want to make sure that your whole staff is on the same page so that way you can keep your bus moving in the direction you want it to!

Top 5 school supplies every classroom teacher needs to have and where you can find them!  LOVE school supplies!

These five supplies are what every teacher needs in their classroom!  I share my top 5 supplies and where you can buy them!
Managing papers is something that we struggle with, and something that we need to make sure that we take care of so we can organize our classrooms.

Managing papers is one of the hardest things to do, and one of the things that we tweak and work on every year.  I have come up with a system that I believe works for me, and helps keep the paper pile to a minimum and keeps the papers off my desk!

Every school needs to have a runner, and you can become more like a runner to stand out!

Ron Clark spends a lot of time talking about how amazing his runners are and why he appreciates everything that they do!  Becoming a runner is something that every teacher or employee should strive to be like.  

Arriving early at work is a great way to show that you respect the time of others and that you are interested in getting ready to work!

I grew up with a job where you have to be early to be on time and if you are on time than you are late.  I firmly believe that you should always be early for things so that way you are ready for them to begin when they are supposed to begin. By showing up early, you are showing the person in charge that you respect them and are excited for what they are going to share with you.  If you are worried that other people are going to continue to be late you could encourage them to get their early with you, go grab them on your way to the meeting, or you could bring something with you to work while you wait, but at least you are there and showing that you know it is important to be there.

By dressing up you are showing that you care about your job because you want to impress everyone and care about your appearance!

Putting on your best outfit is always a great way to show that you care about not only your classroom and what you are teaching, but also yourself!  I know that sometimes it is easier to throw our hair in a messy bun, throw on our comfy pants, and a t shirt, but how are we representing ourselves then?  We all love when we spend the extra time getting dressed and going out, so why wouldn't we set that example every day in our classrooms?  Yes, it can take more time then you have some mornings, but more mornings that not you should be dressed to impressed!  You never know when your principal, or school district officials could walk through, so shouldn't you be ready for them every day?

To become more like a runner it is important to sit with the runners!  You want to learn from them, so you have to spend time with them!

Think about your school.  Who are the people that you are impressed with and always volunteer to help?  Do you agree with these people, or do you look at them and wonder why they try so hard?  If you want to be more like them then you need to change your attitude and start sitting with them.  The runners have amazing ideas and if you want to be more like them then you need to start sitting with them.  You need to start acting more like them, and be open to their ideas if you want to be more like them!

Staying in your lane is a great way to become more like a runner! Then you will be more worried about what you are doing, and have time to shine bright!!

Finally to become more like a runner you need to stay in your own lane.  You need to be worried about what you are doing and not be so worried about what everyone around you is doing.  You are given a job to do, and you are great at it!  If you take care of your job, and everyone else takes care of their job, then your bus will MOVE!!  

If you are just joining us this week, please feel free to check out the past two weeks!  You can find out more about the five people on the bus here, and why runners are important here!



There are five buckets that every classroom must have to help it run smoother and stay organized!  These five buckets help me keep my students organized, help make sure they know where everything goes, and help you keep your classroom clean!  There are affiliate links in this post, but these are all things that I do use in my classroom!  I love these buckets!

Book bins are a great way for students to keep their reading books organized!  Having your class library organized in bins is always a great way to let students know where they can find books they are looking for!

Book bins are a must in every classroom!  The magazine boxes from IKEA are perfect for students to store their independent reading books in for their silent reading time!  I have the students decorate the outside of them with their numbers or names so that way they always know how to find them.  Depending on their books the boxes will hold up all year.  If they don't I have used the colorful duct tape to tape up the bottom of them to make sure they hold up!   I love these green buckets, also from IKEA to store my classroom library.  They are perfect to hold a ton of books and are easy for my students to pull in and out to look through.  Plus, with their price point it is easy to use them for my whole library and they have held up now for three years!

Having notebook bins is a great way to have students know where to turn in their notebooks and keep them organized.  This will also help you to know where all the notebooks are at all times.

Having bins for notebooks is a great way to help students keep clutter out of their desk, and help keep their notebooks in good condition all year.  This also allows you to keep track of the notebooks, and grade them without them cluttering your desk.  These bins are awesome, and held up well throughout the year.  I found them at Michaels last summer and LOVE them!!

Having homework bins is a great way to keep the homework papers off of your desk.  Having different bins for different subjects also allows you to quickly go through papers to determine who is missing their work.

These sterlite drawers are perfect for students to turn in their homework.  They are the perfect size for papers to fit in, and they stack so well on each other in case you need more than one at a time.  I found these one here from Amazon, but I bought mine at Walmart.  You can also pick them up at Target of course, every teacher's favorite store.  I love these bins because I can easily flip through the papers then and make sure that I have all of the homework that was to be turned in.

Sliding drawers can be used for so many different things in your classroom.  They are great for organizing center materials.  They are also great for having your weekly copies organized and ready to go.

These sliding drawers are amazing for so many different things!  I love using them for my word work activities!  They were perfect to have all of the different things that my students could work on.  I also loved using these to store my weekly lesson plans in.  This way I could make all of my copies, have everything in them and ready for the week.

Having different bins for centers is a great way to keep everything organized and easy to find for students and for yourself.  This way everything is put exactly where it is supposed to be, and everyone can get to work quickly!

These bins from the Dollar Tree are amazing!  I LOVE them because they are perfect for my classroom colors! I also love that there are so many different sizes for the many different things that we use in math.  There are perfect containers for dice, clocks, worksheets, decks of card, money and so much more!

Using student numbers in your classroom is a perfect way to prepare for your new school year before you have your student list.

I love using student numbers in my classroom.  It is a perfect way to get things ready for the school year before you have your class roster.  I know that sometimes we don't get our roster until the day before school starts, or the day school starts and how frustrating that can be.  Using student numbers allows you to get things organized and set up without having to worry about students changing or leaving before you write their name on everything.

Using numbers to label where you hang your brag tags allows you the chance to leave them up year after year and not have to change the tags.

By putting up student numbers above where I hang the students brag tags we can be sure that the brag tags always get hung up in the correct spot.  This also allows me to leave the signs up year after year so that way I don't have to change them every year.

Using numbers on student display work boards is a great way to have students know where their work is going to be and make sure that you have every student's work up!

This is my favorite way to display student work!  I love that the students always know where their work is going to be, and then I know who still hasn't turned something in with a quick look at the wall.  I use these awesome place mats from the Dollar Tree and then clothespins!  I use their numbers and hot glue them to the clothespins.

Labeling student notebooks and workbooks with numbers is a great way to prepare before school starts and you have your student roster.

Another great way to get ready before school starts is to number number notebooks or workbooks so that way students know which book is theirs.  Also, it allows you one more thing to have completed before students come.

Using numbers on student desks is a great way to have students know where their desk is, and helps keep the typical name tag off the top of the desk.

Using numbers on student desks is an easy way to assign desks to students before you have your class roster again.  I had labels and then used packing tape to attach them to the desk.  These lasted so much longer than the typical name tag.  I put them in the top left corner of their desk and they left them alone for the year.  it was great that most of them we had to rip off in May!


Having somewhere for students to collect their graded and returned papers is essential.  My mailboxes have been perfect for this.  I have a bucket that I put all of my graded work into before I put them in their mailboxes so that way I can have students return papers for me, or so I can do a big pile all at once.  This also allows me to not have to change things year after year, and it makes going back to school that much easier in August.


Hello!  My name is Maribel and I blog over at Learning in Wonderland. I am a second grade teacher and will be beginning my 10th year of teaching this fall!

I want to give a huge thank you to my sweet friend Cassandra, for asking me to guest blog. I am so honored to be a part of her 30 Amazing Teachers Series.

Today I wanted to share some ways that we can make something that isn't so fun for kids, into something fun.  Let's talk decodable readers.

There are different opinions out there about decodables.  Whether you like them or not, they can be useful and there are ways to make them fun for the children to read. Here are five ways you can incorporate them into your reading block.

1. Buddy Reading
I think we employ this one with actual books, but it's definitely fun to do this with decodables.  You either partner up your students, or let your students find a partner.  I like to select student partners at first and then slowly start letting them pick their own partners.  You give them clear expectations about what they should be doing while they are reading. If your class knows how to do "Read to Someone,"  this will be super easy for them to do.  Set the timer for five minutes and let them have some fun with their books. Once they have the hang of it, they can go for longer amounts of time.

2. Teddy Bear Reading
Let the kids bring in stuffed animals and let them read to their little "friend." You'll see lots of the children really get into it. The best thing is that once they get used to it, they can continue this habit at home. Bonus!

3. Fun Tools
You can infuse a whole level of engagement by introducing some fun tools into the mix.  These large glass beads are a must.  They cover pretty much any word they encounter in a decodable reader.  The bags have more than enough for your whole class and they only cost $1! You can find them at the Dollar Tree.


My kids also love to use these witch fingers!  You can find these in different stores. I picked up a few sets from Target during Halloween season. My kids took care of their fingers the whole year because they loved them so much.



4. Step Reading
This next idea I just came up this year.  It's not an every day thing, but it's fun! The way it works is that you line up your girls on one side of the room and the boys on the other side of the room.  You have them read and every time they decode a word, they get to take a step forward.  What you will see is the kids moving from one side of the room to the other.  Getting oxygen to the brain and infusing some fun into those readers :-) Perfect!

5. Recess Reading
This is a class favorite. They think of this as a prize! I'll try to make sure to do this once a week because they enjoy it so much. Be sure to set those parameters and make those expectations perfectly clear prior to going outside or you'll get kids playing instead of reading.



Once those expectations are clear we go outside.  The kids can read anywhere on the playground.  They must be visible to me and they have to stay in one spot once they pick it.  I've seen the kids use the swings like hammocks, kids laying down on the slide, sitting on steps, etc. They are all over the place but they are engaged in reading!  In the classroom they tend to lose interest in their decodable in about 5-10 minutes but during recess reading, they can go a solid 20 minutes!

Do you have any fun ways to incorporate these readers?  Please share them because I am always looking for more ways to make all reading fun! 


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Runners are some of the most important people on the bus!  What can you do to act more like a runner?!

Runners are the most important people on the bus!  They keep the bus moving and they keep the bus moving QUICKLY.  Runners are excited about making the bus move and constantly are pushing it forward.  They work hard to keep the bus moving and are willing to do anything to succeed!

"Runners are the backbone of an organization," according to Ron Clark.  Runners make their leaders proud, and set a great example for the rest of the people on the bus.  Runners are also the people on your staff who are always going above and beyond to make sure that things are taken care of.  You know those things that get done on campus that you don't know how they get done?  I bet they are done by a runner on your staff.  Are you one of those people?  Do you do something that know one knows you do?!  That means that you are a runner!  Thank you!!

Next week we'll talk about how you can become more like a runner!  Thank you for following along with us this week, and make sure to check out Ashley's post so you can link up with us!  You can link up here!


Teachers need to feel comfortable in their classrooms, and these five pieces will help them do exactly that!

These five pieces will help you prepare for back to school this year!  I live in Arizona where it is nice and hot but I still wear jeans, maxi skirts and pants like everyone else.  Luckily I get to stay in my sandals all year, and don't have to worry about those snow boots!

Tank tops are perfect to wear under cardigans during the warmer weather, and in winter with a scarf.

1 - Tank tops.  I love these tank tops from Old Navy because they are long and perfect for layering under anything!  I have them in almost every color of the rainbow, but black and white go with everything!

Black pants are the perfect pair to fun tops!  I love having linen pants and capris to look professional but comfortable at the same time.

2 - Comfortable black pants.  I love these pants from Old Navy too!  They are so comfortable and I can wear them with anything!  I have full length linen pants from Old Navy, and then capri pants from JCPenney.  These pants look awesome from New York and Company too!

Maxi skirts are amazing!!  They are my favorite piece because they keep me cool and I can dress them up or down!  They are perfect for the classroom because they are easy to move in.

3 - Maxi skirts!  I LOVE maxi skirts! Some of my favorite maxi skirts are from LuLaRoe, JCPenney and Target!  Maxi skirts are pjs for teachers.  A maxi with a cute tank, or tee is amazing!!  You can pair them with a cardigan or jean jacket in the cooler weather or cooler mornings too.

Leggings feel just like pjs!  I love wearing them with a long shirt, or a fun dress!  They are great because it is easy to move in them and work with my students.

4 - Leggings!  I LOVE leggings and a long tunic!!  These are amazing during the winter with some tall boots too!  There are so many amazing leggings out there, and I am so thankful that LuLaRoe has the softest and best leggings out there!

On Fridays we are allowed to wear jeans and a teacher shirt! I love showing off my love for my students and how much I love my job.  These are perfect to share your love for your job!

5 - Your favorite teacher t-shirt!  I LOVE my shirts from Claire Lynn!  They are amazing! I love that I am able to show off how much I leave teaching wearing them.  Jennifer, The Blessed Teacher, also designs shirts and sells them on IG.  



Bullet journaling is a great way to get all of your ideas down and in one place!

I found bullet journaling this year and have fallen in love with it!!  I first shared about it here, but today I am giving an update on how things have gone so far.

Keeping a list of blog post ideas is a great way to keep ideas coming when you can't seem to think of anything that day.

I started this page a few months ago, and love that I have been able to add to it over time.  After I have finished the blog post I put the date next to it, and helps me to know that I already wrote about it and can move on to another great idea.

Using a calendar can help you to plan out your month so that way you can set your big goals for the month before you break down the steps to reach those goals.

I used a calendar view to help me plan out my month of July! I am very excited about what is coming this month, and all of the great things that I have planned!  Using a month view helped me to plan out when the blog posts would go live, and when I wanted to have products done by.  It helped me see the big goals I had so that way I could break them down into smaller steps.


Finally I use daily lists to help me break down all of my goals into smaller pieces so that way I can make sure that I can reach those goals!  I love these lists because it helps me feel accomplished and know that I am taking care of the things that I need to do to reach all of my goals.  Do I use this as much as I should to keep myself organized, no, but at least it helps me stay on top and complete my goals!



What kind of planner do you use to help yourself?!  I would love to hear what you are doing!  You can check out my Pinterest board for more great ideas as well!


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