Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Self Care: A Fresh Coat of Polish

I can't be the only one that loves a fresh coat of polish?!?  There are a couple things that make be feel (somewhat) put together and nail polish is one of them.  I am a firm believer in self care and spending some quiet time painting my nails, after my kiddos go to sleep, is one thing that helps me manage stress.

Color: Pre-Show Jitters
Bracelets (from top):
Balance Intention Bracelet
Nicholette Stretch Bracelet
Strength Intention Bracelet

However, I do not like the fact that regular polish can chip in 4.2 seconds.  Thank goodness for gel polishes!  I have been loving essie brand gel couture.  The colors are gorgeous and the polish actually lasts throughout the week.  One trick I figured out is that I have to seal the polish in but applying it to the front of my nail.  I don't know why, but it seems to help it last longer.

Colors from left: Pre-show Jitters, Haute To Trot, Once Upon a Time, Gel Top coat

What is your go to polish?  Leave a comment below for a chance to win a coffee on me.

*two random comments will receive a Starbucks gift card.  Winners will be chosen Sunday May 7, 2019*

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Book Club: Rest Play Grow

Alright mamas and educators, its time for us to dive into a book together.  Whether you have a preschooler, teach one, or know someone that acts like one this read is for you. 

I just ordered my copy and can't wait to dive into it.  Throughout the month, I will be posting discussion points here, on my Facebook page, as well as Instagram

Have you ordered your copy?  What are you excited to uncover?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Be Brilliant

It is Autism Awareness Month!  

A month that allows us to stop and pay closer attention to a disorder that impacts so many of our students.  As an educator, I have seen an ever increasing number of students with ASD.  Each students' needs are so different from the next making accommodations and treatment for each individual so important and also expensive.
I am so excited to be able to give back to The HollyRod Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with autism.  100% of the net proceeds of this gorgeous bracelet go to The HollyRod Foundation.  

Thank you in advance for your generous support. Every order counts and together we are doing good while looking good! If you have any questions or need help placing your order, just drop me a comment. 


xo P.S. If you know someone that would like to purchase this super cute bracelet, please forward the link and they can shop too!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review: The Jelly Donut Difference

I don't know if it is the Michigander in me that automatically fell in love with this book or the amazing lesson it teaches, but this is a must for every family and classroom library.

Award-winning author, Maria Dismondy inspires
lives through her poignant stories about topics
challenging today’s modern child. Maria’s
background in early education and commitment
to teach the importance of character building
enables her to touch lives the world over while
touring as a public speaker in schools, community
forums, and at national conferences. Maria’s eighth
book, The Jelly Donut Difference, drives home the
important message of generosity and kindness.
She included the polish donuts as a nod to her
heritage. When Maria isn’t writing, she can be found
embarking on adventures throughout southeast
Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her

husband and three book-loving children.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Word Buddies: Part 2 Blends

It is always a great find when you have one resource that continues along with your students as they grow and develop in their learning.  That is why I am still loving the Letter Buddies series, from Hameray Publishing.

You can read all about how I used the first stage of Letter Buddies with my developing readers here.  We have since moved into blends, which is huge for my readers!  I am so proud of them and the connections that they have been making.
The blends books that are the next stage in the Letter Buddies series, by Hameray Publishing, are the perfect bridge to sight word development that all developing reading must achieve.

Just like the first stage, the blends books, have a sight word reader and a pattern book that go together.

After reading and reviewing the sight word book, my kiddos practiced building the words and finding connections between other words that they have learned.

They then applied these new words to the pattern book.  The successes they have with the pattern book are incredible because they are familiar with the words, thanks to the sight word reader.

If you haven't checked out the Letter Buddy series, from Hameray Publishing, get on it.  I cannot say enough great things about these books.

What is your favorite tool for supporting your developing readers?  Leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Sanity Saver: Workshop Organization

This weekend was incredible!  I had the privilege of sharing my passion for Readers' Workshop with other educators at the Oregon Reading Association's Winter Institute.  I presented on tips for managing an engaging Readers' Workshop.
One of the most important parts of this, is organization.  As teachers we know that organization is the foundation to all of our teaching.  Without it many of us are lost.  For that reason, I wanted to share with you the organizer that I use when planning out my Workshop overview each week.  This does not replace my lesson plans.  This overview is my plans for my workshop each week.  Just like my lesson plans it may change, but I love that I can record notes and observations on it, which I revisit daily.

This planner can easily be used with writing and math as well.  I hope this saves you a little bit of sanity as we enter a crazy week.

What do you use to keep all of your groups and conferences organized?  Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine FREEBIES! Yes, more than one!!

Valentine's Day is around the corner and I don't know about you, but I feel like it has become worse than Halloween in the terms of sweets and treats.  Several years ago, I informed my student that treats would no longer be allowed.  I encouraged them to make cards and tokens of their affection for each of their classmates.  With food allergies and the need for healthy choices in schools, I am sticking to it.
This year, I am giving my students fortune cookie erasers with these fortunes (you can grab a free copy here).   Oriental Trading also has an awesome assortment of fortune cookies.  From charms to plastic cookies, these novelties make the perfect valentine gift with these tags.
These erasers are super cute and the tags, which I printed on cardstock, can be rolled up to make the message a surprise.
My students and I recently read the book The Biggest Valentine Ever, by Steven Kroll.  It is an adorable story of two boys that realize that working together isn't easy, but it is so worth it.
Together they end up creating the most amazing valentine ever,  a Valentine Mouse for their teacher.

This craftivity pairs perfectly with the book, but can be used without it.  Honestly, is the perfect craft for any day of the year.  I mean, how cute is this mouse.
All of the pieces and directions can be found by clicking on the picture or this link.

What is you favorite Valentine's Day book and craft?  Leave me a comment below to let me know.

Classroom Organization: Cubbies

This year, instead of tubs and bins for student materials I have cubbies.  I am super grateful that these were left in the classroom I moved into.  They have provided a place for students to keep their individual tools and materials.  However, I am scared to know what my students' rooms look like based on how messy their cubbies are.
I decided I needed an incentive so enter, The Cubby Fairy.  She drops in when no one is around and checks the status of our classroom cubbies.  If she likes what she sees, she walks into the cubby, leaves some fairy dust behind, and drops a note off.  The note indicates that the student did an awesome job keeping their cubby organized and can head to the prize drawers.
This has been a game changer.  Now I have kiddos taking the time to organize there space.  I have had a decrease in students complaining because they can't find something or they don't know where a particular paper should go.  They have taken ownership and I LOVE it.  You can grab this Cubby Fairy Letter or a more generic one, in case you don't have prize drawers, here.

What game-changing classroom organization tips do you have?  Leave a comment below and let me know.
Also, are you on Instagram?  If you happen to use this Cubby Fairy letter be sure to tag me, @searching4tchrbalance.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

All the Heart Eyes for TPT

When I discovered TeachersPayTeachers I knew that I had entered a new realm of awesome!  I wasn't sure if it was real or not, all of these amazing standards based products and ideas from teachers around the world.  Well it was real, really incredible!  Now as a creator and seller it is still really incredible!  I love that I can share my love for engaging curriculum with other teachers.  
So why do you love TPT?  Just leave your email and answer in the comments below and I will gift one lucky individual with a $10 TeachersPayTeachers gift card.

This giveaway closes at 7:79pm PST, on 2/6/17.  The winner will be chosen at 8:00pm PST, on 2/6/17 and will be notified by email.

Sunday Sanity Saver: Organized Planning

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  What kind of fun plans does everyone have today?  With the want to enjoy our weekends, I decided today's topic of Organized Planning was a must.
Whether you are new to teaching or a veteran teacher, you know that planning a successful week takes time and energy, something that we are all lacking.  Several years ago, I started using a planning guide, that I created and it has helped me tremendously.
*Please note, I have tweaked and revamped this organizer multiple times and I feel like it truly covers all aspects of my planning needs.*
These organizers are all that I bring to my team planning meetings because they allow me to take the notes I need, without feeling overwhelmed.  I can then sit down and plug my detailed planning into  What I love is that I have a clear view of where I am starting and going each month.
The organizers that you see here are just one of the available templates.  Also included is a year long overview, ELA organizer, and editable forms of everything.  Click on the image above for more information and a direct link to these planners.  Because everyone deserves to be organized, I am discounting these down for the next 24 hours.
Do you love that feeling of being organized?  What is your go to organizational tool for planning a successful week?  Leave a comment below and let me know.