Hellllllo there, friends!! :)

I am so glad that my FABULOUS friend, Cassandra asked me, Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, to celebrate her 30th birthday by being a part of her 30 awesome teachers blog series!!

Cassandra is the biggest cheerleader, has the sweetest heart, and is one of the most genuine people I know! We met in Vegas 2014 when we were both there for the TPT conference, and she is JUST as much of a DOLL in person as she is in this online teacher community of ours!!   I'm excited to be a part of her birthday celebration on her blog!

January is the best time there is for fresh starts and NEW GOALS, and I don't know about you but I am in need BIG TIME of some PERSONAL goals and fresh starts, so I thought I would share a few nuggets of inspiration with you and a FREEBIE that we can all use to get started TOGETHER!

  Does that quote above scream at anyone else?! It's screaming at me right now.  After a rough year of completely careless eating, nearly no workouts, and NO workout plan nor routine, I MUST make a change.  I MUST! I'm asking you to join me, too!

As you know, one of the things that I am 100% about is being real and being YOU.  And if I'm being real right now, I've been on an up and down roller coaster when it comes to fitness and eating for over a year now.  I just canNOT get it under control.  More so - rewind the clock to 2013? I was working out 6 times a week and counting every calorie I ate, so it STINGS admitting to the fact that I have LOST control, desire, and motivation to make smart choices about food, find my workout routine, and to STICK WITH the good choices that I AM able to make!

With that being said.... I KNOW that making better choices in the diet and exercise department will help me to feel better and to have more energy to put into my job as well as into my Schroeder Shenanigans business, but I just CAN'T seem to get started!    I NEED your support and cheerleading! Together we are better!! RIGHT?!? 

Monday, I start a new journey.  A new journey back on track to taking care of myself.  A new journey that includes saying no, to turning down birthday snacks, and to ELIMINATING EXCUSES!!

That new journey - like all of my journeys have - starts with goals.  If I write it down, I'm much more apt to hold myself accountable.  With that comes a printable - obviously. :)

Grab yours by clicking here or by clicking the image below.  

Print it out - carry it with you - set yourself some goals - and CHECK OFF EACH DAY as you meet you goals for the day! (that's what the circles are for! - y'all know how I love a good checklist!)

Then - stay connected with me by posting a picture of your workout, your healthy meal, your goal sheet, a quote you found inspirational, ANYTHING - by using the hashtag #GOALS2GETHER.

And if you'd love more FREE resources like this one, sign up for my email list below for EXCLUSIVE goodies!!

Here's a quick scope that tells a bit more of my story, my struggles, and MY GOALS and plans for how we can do this together!!

We're in this together.  :) You've got this!

I know I'm a day late, but I am here to share my five exciting things from this past week!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to bring you my top 5 from this past week!!

This week we had a short week at school!  It was so nice to be able to spend the extra day at home, and play with my babies!!  We had so much fun going to the park, cooking delicious meals, riding our scooters, and being outside!  I am so thankful we live in a place where it is nice and warm!!

I love getting ahead and planning out units at a time!  My teammate and I like to plan out our units all at once, and then make our copies so we are ready to go.  It does take a lot of work all up front, but then we are able to walk out on Friday afternoons by four, sometimes earlier, and we know that we are ready for Monday!!  We are so excited that we started our newest superhero unit this week!

While I was getting ready to leave work on Friday I caught Kelli Alaina's periscope!  She was talking about there goal setting class tomorrow night!  I am so excited to be joining in! She also talked about how it is a good time to write down and reflect on all of your success from 2015, no matter how small it is!  I took a few minutes to just write down a few things I was excited about from 2015!!

This quote really spoke to me this week and I can't wait to see what happens during 2016!!

This song has been speaking to my heart, and I am so glad that my 2 and 4 year old will belt it out with me in the car!!  Thank you Jeremy Camp for always providing the songs that speak to me!

I have LOVED our colder weather, and that we spent a lot of time this week doing snowman activities!!

One of the favorite activities we did this week were our how to writing snowmen!  They turned out so cute too!!  Our kids worked hard on them and they are so cute hung around our room!!

You can find them from The Creative Classroom here!  Ashlyn is amazing, and also one of our author's here!!

Snowman day is one of my favorite days of the year!!  I shared all about it over on Hello Sunshine  Teachers today!  You can check it out here!!

Snowman day filled with fun math, writing and reading activities!

My kids had SOOO much fun!!  Do you do anything fun at school in January!?!  Leave a comment below so I can check out your post!!  You can find more great January ideas on my Pinterest board too!!

Follow Mrs 3rd Grade's board January on Pinterest.

I'm Marie from Once Upon a Classroom: A Teacher's Tales, and I teach 2nd grade. I am writing this post for Cassandra from Mrs. 3rd Grade to celebrate her 30th birthday!!!


To celebrate, I am going to share 5 EASY tips to help your students love to be at school! Every year my #1 goal is to make sure all my students are all happy, loving school, and growing as a person. I truly believe that has to come first! 

Here are 5 simple rituals will help you do just that and will be easy for you to sustain! They aren't behavior tricks but instead rituals that help your students grow in character.

Tip #1: Friday Messages - Teacher to Student
Every Friday, write a message to your students! This message could include praise about what they did well, build excitement for learning experiences to come, or any other positive news you wish to share. The students get so excited to read the note each Friday morning, and this little tradition contributes to the overall positivity of the classroom environment! (If you forget, a student will be sure to remind you!)

Tip #2: Bucket-Filling
Read How Full is Your Bucket? and introduce the concept of "Bucket-Filling" to your students. Brainstorm ideas for how they can fill their peers' buckets each day. Then, nominate a student who stood out as a role model to be the "Bucket-Filler of the Week." This student will try his/her hardest to be a role model all week and look for a student to nominate for the next week. I display this child's picture in the classroom. For a free classroom visual, click here.

Tip #3: #You Matter Board - Student to Student
Students use a sticky note to write a meaningful compliment or comment to a classmate and end the note with #youmatter. Then, when you get a free moment, read them aloud and have the student take it home to share with his/her family.

Tip #4: Social Emotional Learning
We often take time at the beginning of the year to read social-emotional books but then get so busy with curriculum, we don't continue to carve out the time. Reading social-emotional ALL year long is SO key. Don't be afraid to take time away from other subjects to have these discussions. Social-Emotional books will help you bring up issues in class meetings that will acknowledge feelings students often have. It will give you an opportunity to have growth mindset discussions that you can refer back to when they are persevering through challenges. It will give you the opportunity to discuss coping strategies to help students become more resilient. It will help you teach your students to take on the perspective of others and think how they feel. And much MORE! Classroom read-alouds and discussions add so much heart to the community.

Tip #5: Share it Out with Families
I used to write weekly newsletters... Then, when I made a class website, I started updating the website each week and emailing the update to the parents. All of this became VERY time-consuming, rarely involved the students, and I'm not sure how many parents read all this information. So, while this sounds overwhelming, it's such an EASY switch... I now send a DAILY email to the parents. However, I write it with the students at the last 5 minutes of the school day. We call it our "Happy Email." A student calls on 5 classmates to share a highlight from our day. I type it on the board. Then, I add anything I wish to the email and send it off. The students leave each school day with excitement for their parents to read the email. The parents LOVE this connection because it gives them talking points with their child each night. It helps bring the love of learning home each day and increase students' excitement for school the next day!

I wish you a wonderful 2016 teaching and learning!

Hi there!  My name is Kristen and I'm a 2nd grade teacher in San Diego and blog over at Easy Teaching Tools.  I'm excited Cassandra has invited me to share how you can connect classroom learning using Instagram, with your parents.  Let me tell you, it's a game changer!!!

I'm all for keeping parents in the loop and think that open communication is by far the most important thing to build a great relationship with families.  I use to keep a classroom blog but it because too time consuming.  When I found Instagram a few years ago, I was hooked because I'm such a visual person.  Well gosh, I bet parents would love it as well, right?  Just imagine those working parents who rarely get to pop in...now, they just check our feed to see what their child is learning.  Plus, parents tell me that it gives them a sense of peace seeing their little one having fun at school.
This is my Easy Teaching Tools Instagram account

Last year, I decided to create a classroom Instagram account that was private and sent out permission slips to families with the objectives and posting requirements and rules.   Students signed a safety pledge and then we got right to it!  I posted the first few weeks to show kiddos what it's all about.  I model how to take a photo, what learning activities make good photos, and how to write a caption in a complete sentence.  Hello, Common Core!  It also gets parents excited about it and kids can't wait to begin positing.  

Once I felt like my kids were ready for the task, I printed out the Instagram logo and placed in on a child's desk.  Be intentional about who you choose because it will set the tone for the rest of your class.  That child is in charge of Instagram for the day. 

My # 1 Rule is that all students must show me their posting for approval and then I'll click "share."  

The next day, you'll place the logo on another child's desk.  So they're not sure where to start?  Students ask the person who did the Instagram posting the day before for help.  That's the best part.  Take the responsibility off of you, how great is that!  With each photo comes a sentence that the students must create.  Differentiate this activity by providing sentence starters.


Here are a few tips:

Use a recording sheet to mark off which students have posted on Instagram

Include your Instagram link in your newsletter or weekly e mails to encourage parents to follow you

After students post, remind them to let their parents know they were in charge of daily posting.  

Every few days or even weeks, review the class Instagram page with your students.  Trust me, they 

will go home and beg their parents to sign on!

I hope this was useful for you and you take on Instagram for your classroom.  Not ready to implement it officially but would like a cute Instagram bulletin board?  You can snag one here.

I'd love to know what you do to keep lines of communication open with parents.  Do you send a newsletter, use social media, or send good-old-fashioned notes home?

post signature
I love Pinterest and have been having fun finding new pins during break!!

This is one of my favorite link ups for the month because then I find so many great ideas to use in my class for the month, so I'm always excited when it comes!

This month I am inspired by snowmen and all things winter!!

There are so many amazing snowman and snow globe activities out there I am still trying to decide exactly which one I want to do!

A fun way to have students create their own snowman after reading Snowman at Night

I'm so sad that this pin doesn't go to where she talks about it on her blog, because I love the idea!!  I really like the picture though, and think that you could figure it out without finding where it is on her blog.  You can pin it again here, or search the blog here.

A fun way to have students be caught in a snow globe!  Then you can turn it into a great writing activity as well!

This is one of my favorite snow globe stories too!  I can't decide which one I like better! The snowman or the snow globe?!!  You can pin it here, or read all about it here.

I am also excited to work with my kids on understanding who Martin Luther King Jr. is and why we have the day off.  This activity looks like a great one to do, and for them to write down their dreams as well.  I love that we can put up their pictures too, and have a perfect spot in mind to take their pictures!  You can repin this here, or check out the original post here.

A great bulletin board idea for students to share what their dreams are for the future

Finally have you seen this motivational system for January!  What a great idea!!  I can't wait to put this together to help students earn points so we can have some sort of hot chocolate party.  Plus then it would lead to a great writing activity too!!  There are so many things you can do with this, I'm excited to see what my teaching partner and I can do with it!!  You can check out the pin here, and the original post here.

A great motivational point system for January by The Creative Classroom

I am so excited about these new ideas to use this next month in class.
Follow Mrs 3rd Grade's board January on Pinterest.

Have you checked out Tailwind yet!?  I just started using it, and I am already in love!!  You can find out more about it here!!  By using this link you will get a month for free, and then $15 towards your fee if you sign up after your trial!!  I hope that you love it too!
Happy New Year!

2016 is going to be an AMAZING year!  I am so excited for what it brings!  Guess what time of the month it is too, it is #2getherwearebetter!!  I love linking up with Ashley and Angie!  They have some amazing ideas, and they are so inspiring!  So before I even begin, THANK YOU ladies!  Thank you for inspiring me, thank you for being amazing friends, and thank you for being you!!  #beyou

I have some BIG plans for 2016!!  I am so excited to work hard this year and to continue to put out some AMAZING things for YOU this year!

New planners and flair pens are ready to go for some awesome goals for 2016!!

Over break I have started writing down my goals because I know that without writing them down I won't accomplish them!  Have you heard of bullet journaling yet!?!  I found it last week, and I might have become a little excited about it!  So excited that I started a NEW notebook/journal/planner all about my TPT life!!

Setting goals and writing them down is a great way to keep yourself accountable for your goals!

Do you love this new planner!?!  I am SOOO excited for it!!  Thanks to my amazing friend Ashlyn I got it at her favorites thing party in December!  I was so excited to pick it up!!  I love that it is durable, and perfect because it has a weekly lay out, and a monthly layout.  Plus it has some pages in the front that I am not going to use so I used some washi tape over them and made my goals!!

Reflecting on where you came from, and looking ahead to where you want to go will help you stay on the right path to achieving your goals

My little notebook is the TPT notebook they gave us in Vegas last year!  It is perfect because it is small, easy to carry, and will fit in my purse!!  This year I want to keep track of things and make sure that I am reaching my goals.  I set up pages so I could check my stats from the past couple of years.  I then wrote down my goals for the year in a different color so that way I would be able to compare them!

Looking at all of your blog posts for the month is a great way to see what your month will look like and what you need to work on

One of the pages I am most excited about are my monthly pages!  On these pages I am going to write out the blog posts I am going to write for the month.  On the pages after this I am going to write down my daily to do lists, and the things that I take care of.  I am SOOO excited about how this is going to keep me on track, and keep me going.

An awesome quote to keep you on fire this year as you BELIEVE in what you are going to achieve!

One of my big goals is to be able to attend the TPT conference again this year.  It was SOOO fun last year!!  I am super excited to make it to Orlando this year too!  I am so excited to see so many of my amazing friends again this summer and to meet some new ones.  Rachel and Brooke I'm coming for you ladies!!  <3

Here is some inspiration to share with you!  I have started this board to get some more great ideas on how to keep my planner organized this year and to make sure I keep up with my goals this year!

Follow Mrs 3rd Grade's board Planning 2016 on Pinterest.

Please make sure you check out the other amazing posts about all of their plans and goals for the new year!  Make sure to link up and share your goals and plans for the year too!  Feel free to leave me a comment if you have an idea of something you would like to see from me this year!!  I would LOVE to connect with you!!

Happy New Year!!  We have made it and we are now in 2016!!  Can you believe it!?!  I am so pumped for 2016, and I am even more excited to be bringing in the new year with Farley!!

January 2016 Currently - All about BELIEVE this year!!

I am determined to get all of my work done for the weekend tonight, so I am rocking out to the top country station as I sit here and work tonight.  I want to make sure that I finish my break the same way I started.  I started break by not working and just enjoying time with my family.  I am determined to be able to do that this weekend as well!

I LOVED every moment of break, and being able to spend so much time with my sweet babies and hubby!  My husband is so supportive of me and has been right by my side with everything that has been going on.  I am forever grateful to him, and was so excited to be able to spend so much time with him these past two weeks.  I would love to be able to go out on a date night though, since we didn't get to do that as much as we had hoped over break.  I am looking forward to one later this month though!!

I am excited for tomorrow night because we are going to get to see friends who moved to Iowa a few years ago!!  They now have a sweet baby boy who we also get to meet, so that will be so fun!!  They moved right our sweet baby girl was born, so they didn't get to watch her grow up either, but these friends are our family and we used to have dinner with them weekly!  It will be great to catch up and spend time with them!!

My word for the year is BELIEVE!!  I am going to run with this word this year!  I am going to put it every where.  I am a fighter, and I stand up for what I believe in!  This year I need to make sure that I continue to do that, but also that I continue to believe in myself.  There are some crazy things going on and I don't know what this year is going to hold for me but I am going to have FAITH and BELIEVE that God is guiding my every path!

Make sure to check out Farley's blog so you can see what everyone else is up to and what their one little word is!  I would love to hear what yours is too!

Back to Top