Friday, July 31, 2015

Five for Friday 7-31-15

Happy Friday!! Many of you are headed back to or already back in the classroom. I hope your beginning of the year goes as smoothly as it possibly can!!

It's Friday, so that means I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her amazing linky party 5 for Friday!

This link up gives us a chance to share 5 random things from our week! It's neat to get a chance to see what everyone has been up to!! Here's my 5 for Friday!!

If you are a kindergarten teacher you really need to join the Facebook group Simply Kinder!  This is a really great group run by the blog of the same name. Jennifer Kadar is an amazing kindergarten teacher with so many awesome tips and tricks to share!!
Besides all of the advice and idea-sharing between kindergarten teachers that this page offers, Jennifer puts together some really amazing ways we can connect and help each other!
Recently she created an event called 'My Favorite Things' where she paired up kindergarten teachers, and each teacher was given the name of another teacher and their address. We put together a package of our very favorite things to help us with teaching, either at school or home, and sent it to our partner. 
My package came!!!!!
The teacher who sent me this package is also named 'Erin', how crazy is that?? She sent my package from Minnesota, and I've never gotten any mail from there before!! She found some really adorable sticky note pads. I love the ones that look like loose-leaf paper. There is also a notepad in the shape of an 'E' and star stickers that say "_____ is a Kindergartener!". They are going to be so cute to send home with my Dragons on their first day!
There have been a lot of amazing packages being shared on the Simply Kinder Facebook page, it's been really neat to look at all the pictures! I loved getting my package, but I had even more fun putting it together! There are rumors another exchange like this will happen around Christmas time, and I really hope that happens!!

If you've been involved with social media lately, chances are you have heard of the organization NAEIR. This organization offers many products to teachers/schools and other non-profit organizations at some seriously low prices. I mean, like ridiculously low.
If you haven't checked out their site, you really need to. You have to apply,  and to my knowledge they'll check your school's website to see if you're listed as a teacher in the school you say you are. If they can verify it, they will probably approve your application.
Once approved, you can then order different supplies from their site. Sometimes in a single quantity, other times with multiple of the same to a box (like pens). 
I just got approved to become a member, and I have no idea what to order. I've been looking at their site and picked out a few things, but I haven't met the $25.00 minimum for shipping yet. If this is something you're a part of, what are some things you have ordered? (I already have a laminator)

I need your help, teacher friends!!! This year, for the very first time ever, I have purchased an Erin Condren Teacher Planner.

I debated with myself for two years on whether or not to invest in one of these, because it is an investment. These babies aren't cheap!! I had been looking at them online and stalking different bloggers who had them, but still wasn't sure if I wanted to make the investment or not. Then one of the first grade teachers at my school got one and showed it to me, as well as how she used it. She said it helped to keep her organized and on track, and it was so pretty too!!
After getting to see one up close and personal, I was hooked. I ordered mine during the Teacher Appreciation Sale, and have been excited to use it ever since!!
I ordered a few extras with my planner, like the band and a laminated To-Do List divider. I had so much fun shopping around on her site, and getting to choose my own cover was awesome!!
For those of you out there who are EC Planner Veterans or Newbies like myself, I'd LOVE for you to tell me how you best use this awesome organizer! Leave me some tips in the comments, I'll be ever so grateful!! :-)

I have been bit HARD by the creative bug!! I keep getting all these ideas, which I then furiously jot down on lists everywhere. I have been trying to compile everything and get some new activities created. I am having a great time working on new resources that I can use with my kinders. 
I used to work on crossword puzzles with my mom, and those memories were the inspiration for my newest creation!!
I created simple crossword puzzles for the different CVC word family words we work on throughout the year. There are several different puzzles for each medial vowel sound, and a set of puzzles where the medial vowels are all mixed up in one puzzle.

I had a really fun time creating these, and I think my kinders are going to have a great time using them!!
If you're interested, you can go to my blog post HERE and enter my Rafflecopter drawing to win one.
OR you can head to my TPT Store and get the pack for 50% OFF until midnight EST tonight!!! It's the cheapest price it will ever be!

Each week I share with you how I am doing with my self-appointed Freebie Feedback Challenge. A few months ago I challenged myself to leave feedback on all of the freebies I had downloaded from TPT. I have sporadically left feedback on freebies, but challenged myself to do better. I needed something to hold myself accountable, so I created a fun graphic that I share with you all each week!

I'm on a roll friends!! I'm getting closer and closer to reaching my goal of feedback for all my freebies!!

Well, that's my week! What happened with you this week? Tell me in the comments or link up below!

Don't forget that tomorrow is Spotlight Saturday! You can link up for a Teacher's Show and Tell where you can share with us your favorite resources, products, activities, tips, tricks, ideas, and anything else that makes classroom life easier or more fun!!


  1. Hi Erin,
    I just discovered your blog through Kindertribe. Your blog looks great. I am your newest follower. You have some great looking products. I've decided to follow your store as well. I can't wait to see what you will create next. 123kteach

    1. Regina thank you so much for such incredibly kind and encouraging words, I really appreciate it!! I'm so glad you're part of #kindertribe, I love that i have found so many like-minded people through this journey!!
      I hope you have an amazing weekend and are able to enjoy whatever bits of summer you have left!! :-)

  2. Hi Erin, as usual, your post is packed with useful information! Every time I read your posts, I find out about something new, and I just did! I joined Simply Kinder, and also I filled out the registration on NAEIR. Thank you so much!!!
    Absolutely in love with your CVC Crosswords! How clever!
    In reference to the Erin Condren planner, I order one every year, for the past 5 years. I depend so much on them! I don't have a particular or original way to use it though, just traditional planner way. I fill out the planning each week, I write down the books I'll need, and resources I will be using (scholastic magazine, or youtube video, etc.) I also use the checklist pages a lot, that's where I keep record of my students sight words, and assessments scores. Other than that, I don't do anything special. I'm sure you will find it very helpful! Enjoy it!
    Tweets From Kindergarten

    1. You are just too sweet, I'm so glad I was able to meet you and become friends through this journey we call social media!! :-) I'm so glad you have joined Simply Kinder, it's a great support system!! You're going to love shopping on NAEIR, it gets addictive! :-)
      I'm pretty sure I'll be using my EC planner the same way, since I am a newbie and haven't had a chance to work with it yet. Thank you so much for sharing how you use yours, I really appreciate the insight!!
      Thank you so much for reading my 5 and leaving such awesome feedback, I really really appreciate it!!

  3. Hi Erin! Love reading your posts, so much good information! So excited about your planner, it is too cute! I can't wait to see how you use it throughout the year. Also, love your CVC crosswords!!! Great idea!!! Thanks for sharing this week! :)
    Moore to Learn

    1. You're so awesome, I love reading your posts too!! I'm excited about my planner too, hoping to learn a lot from the veterans out there who are pros!! :-) Thanks so much for your super sweet words, it means a lot to me!!
      Thanks so much for reading my 5 and leaving such great feedback, you are so great!!

  4. Thanks for sharing about Simply Kinder! I just requested to join. What a cool gift exchange program they've got going on there! I'd love to be a part of something like that.

    Carlee Van Ness
    The Kindergarten Press

    1. It was so much fun!! Rumor is there will be another one around Christmas, I can't wait!! :-)
      Thanks so much for reading my 5 and leaving such great feedback!!

  5. Erin, I have been thinking on Erin's planners as well! As you said it is an investment! Post some pictures of the inside pleeeease :) I don't think I'm getting one for this year but maybe next year :)
    Thanks for sharing your 5!

    Magically in First

    1. I will definitely post some of the inside pictures soon! I can't wait to use my new EC Planner to get organized for this school year!
      Thanks so much for reading my 5 and leaving such great feedback, I really appreciate it!
      I hope you have a wonderful week!