Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Simple Teacher Hack

Hi friends! I wanted to quickly tell you about a #teacherhack that I use in my classroom that seems to work very well! It is VERY simple and you can do this with only a couple things!

I've shared this on my Instagram stories this past school year, but I thought I would put it in one place for future references and I thought I would share it again in case you missed it!

If you are going to any teacher supply stores or the dollar store this summer, make sure to pick up some extra fine motor tweezers. These are very inexpensive and great to have on hand! If you are going to purchase some for stations, centers, or anything similar, you will need a SEPARATE pair or couple of pairs for this hack because you won't really want to interchange them!
If you are a primary teacher, I'm sure you can relate to me! In my first grade classroom, of course we teach the students to "pick up after themselves"and to "respect the classroom environment"; however, it never seems to fail--THE DIRTY TISSUE ON THE FLOOR. 

You know, the one NOBODY claims or the one that is sitting there, staring at you after all the kids have left the room. The one YOU have to try and quickly pick up using a clean tissue; touching as little of it as you can and tossing it into the trash can like a ninja. You know, THAT tissue.

When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher, Mrs. Askins, used this hack or something similar and it has been implemented into my classroom ever since!

In my classroom, I designate a specific spot for the "nose picker cup/jar." (I'm pretty sure that is what my mentor teacher called it)-- but it has "stuck" and it sure does bring about some questions! However, you can call your whatever you would like! You are not limited to "nose pickers!" ;)

 At the beginning of the year, I show the students step-by-step instructions on how to use the "nose pickers" and slowly begin to release the students to use them as the tissues appear on the floor.  I show the students where their hand should touch the tweezer and where their hand should NOT touch the tweezer.  Once taught, all I simply have to do is ask!

"________, would you please grab a nose picker?"
"Will someone please grab a nose picker?"

One student goes to grab the tweezers, places the tissue in the trash, and quickly goes to wash their hands (just to be sure)!

Most students jump at the chance to use them and gladly pick up the used tissue off of the floor!

The students know exactly what I mean and know exactly how to use the "nose picker."

Of course you will need a method of cleaning your tweezers using a child safe cleaner (especially if their hand accidentally touches the unsanitary part of the tweezer).  You will want to sanitize the tweezers frequently or after you know they have been used.
You can develop your own "tweezer cleaning method" based on what works for you!

Using the "nose pickers" makes my classroom free of those gross, used tissues (most of the time) because the students like to help out by using them! Especially during the dreaded cold and/or allergy season!

I hope that you find this helpful and implement this simple trick into your classroom next year! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2016

What You're Forgetting on Your Back to School Checklist

Hello friends!
If you are like me, you have your back to school checklist and are gearing up for back to school! Ideas, lesson plans, classroom arrangement, planning, and all the like are buzzing around your mind! While you are planning, don't forget to include this idea on your back to school checklist....

Your Teacher Emergency Kit!
A teacher emergency kit should include things that will rule out predicaments at school. I know that some teachers make long commutes to work and do not have access to some of these items if they are left at home and they are not with you in your purse or car. 

 Now, obviously, some of these items are "no-brainers", but the goal of this post is to help you be prepared when it comes to taking care of yourself and be convenient for you at school. I know that sometimes when back to school season hits, it comes very fast and some things tend to get dropped or forgotten! Start prepping now! :)

*The items in this post are just items I  already had or found for very cheap in places such as the dollar store. I am not a representative for any of these companies or products.*

The good part about putting together a kit is that most of us probably have lots of these items on hand already. If not, travel sizes are available in most of these items. I also like this idea because then my purse is not SUPER heavy having to keep these things in case I need them!

The items I have included in my lifesaver emergency teacher kit are:
Chapstick- Have you ever checked your purse and your favorite chapstick was not there and your lips are ready to fall apart because they are so dry?! If you have never experienced this, lucky you! It's TERRIBLE. Keeping an extra chapstick that stays at school ensures that there will be one there whenever your lips are calling for help!

Lotion- I don't know about you, but the same thing happens to my hands. I find myself wanting lotion on my hands and arms at school. I'm out of luck of I have taken the bottle out of my purse!

Deodorant - I'm pretty sure we have all been there--standing by a student or lifting your arm to take a bite of your lunch and your nostrils flare. "IS THAT ME?" Keeping a deodorant at school has kept me feeling fresh all day long. Usually this is not an item I carry with me in my purse because of the Texas heat so if I were at school and started to feel "less than fresh", I was out of luck! I had been using natural deodorant because others have toxic chemicals, unfortunately, the natural deodorants just don't work as well! Sometimes I will bring my work out gear to school and head straight to the gym before I lose motivation. Keeping deodorant and putting on a fresh layer before the gym is also more comforting :)

A small sewing kit- I received a small sewing kit in a basket that one of my student's parents put together this past year. I have not had one of these in my "kit" as of yet, however, I think this will be a good item to keep on hand, just in case!

 Contacts- If you wear contacts, you may feel my pain about them. There are mornings that my contacts just do not want to focus or they don't go in as well as other days. Whether that be because you need to change them out or they have a tear, it's just not comfortable! I keep an extra pair of my prescription contacts in the kit in case I ever have one of those days! I label each contact with an "R" or "L" sticker so I don't forget which is which! Keeping an extra contact case on hand is also a good idea!

Contact Solution-- If you are having trouble with your contacts, or you need to put in your fresh pair, you will want contact solution in your "kit" as well. Water is never a good idea to use when putting in contacts!

Feminine Products- Obviously, you know why this is a good addition to your teacher kit!

Shout Wipes- I've not yet placed this in my teacher toolkit yet. I got a small pack of these in the same teacher appreciation basket as the sewing kit. I don't know why I have never carried these! Sometimes when I am rushing to work, I eat my breakfast in the car or slurp my coffee or tea. If you are like me, more times than not, some ends up on your shirt and you are stuck with ugly spots on you the rest of the day. Hoping these will help this problem this year!

 Mints- Coffee breath anyone?

Emergen-C/Vitamin C- "Good Morning Mrs. Coutouzis!" *COUGH* *COUGH* *COUGH* -Cue sanitizer-
I don't know about you, but I DO NOT like to be absent. I do NOT like making sub plans and if I have to be gone I find myself wondering "What are my students doing? Did I leave enough work?!" When you feel yourself on the verge of sickness, grab one of these out of your toolkit! (I did not have any "Emercen-C" on hand so I pictured my Vitamin C capsules which could also work!)

Tylenol/Advil/Aleve( Whatever your preference) - Headache/Cramps

Midol- Cramps

Sanitizer- We use sanitizer like crazy in the classroom. Hopefully you never run out, but there is always a chance! It's also a great idea to have extra band-aids on hand as well as cleaning wipes.

Perfume/Body Spray: In case you need to refresh! Also, like I mentioned before, I will sometimes head to the gym after work and this is nice to have on hand!

Wet wipes- Always good to have on hand! You could use these to get the marker off your hand that I'm sure every teacher has almost everyday!

Hair ties- I am ALWAYS losing hair ties and have a hard time finding them when I need them! If they are in your kit then you are good to go!

Lint Roller- We are teachers. We do glitter. We do cotton balls, you name it!

Cough Drops- These are nice to have on hand if you feel as though you are losing your voice, feeling a cold coming on, or suffering from allergies!

Would you add anything else? Add your suggestions in the comments!

I hope that this post finds you well and helps in your back to school planning! Take some time to think about yourself and be prepared! Nothing is worse than having to go through the whole day worried about something else and not being able to do anything about it. We all know that we are not able to be the best teachers we can be if we have something else on our mind.

Obviously, just make sure to keep your teacher toolkit somewhere where your students will not have access to it if you are including medicine and personal items.

This may be something you would like to gift to other teammates or to your child's teacher! Obviously, you would not need to include ALL of the items ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

 Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Secret Santa Exchange

I was a part of an exciting Secret Santa Exchange hosted by Mrs. D's Corner! We gave a list of our interests and were secretly paired with someone we would buy for and someone who would buy for us! It turns out, my secret Santa was Abbey from A Teacher Mom! Here is what I received ( forgive the ugly pictures- this post was written in the car!)

I love office supplies and drinking containers of all kinds! Abbey did just that! I want to thank Abbey for her thoughtful gift!Be sure to check out her TPT Store and her Blog

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Blog Re-Design Giveaway!

Hello, Hello! Welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by to celebrate my new design with me! Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs did an amazing job listening to all of my requests to help me in the personalization process. She was very quick to communicate and to design all of my blog elements. If you are contemplating a design, I would definitely recommend her!

I've decided to host a giveaway to help celebrate my new design! The giveaway has two prize bundles. Prize Bundle #1 is a compilation of some of my favorite things! I chose them because I thought they would represent me and I know that all of you would love these as well!
As a teacher, I love all things office supplies, making lists, coffee, scripture, and note cards. Who doesn't?! Below you will see an image of what's included in Prize Bundle #1 as well as a list. Best of luck to you!

*Please note-Prize Bundles will only be shipped within the United States.
Prize Bundle #1

What's Included:
•Astrobrights Paper
•Flair Pens
•Mr. Sketch Markers
• FriXion Pens
•A Happy Planner
•Crayola Markers
•Variety of Post-it Notes
•Washi Tape
•Thank You Notecards
•Ticonderoga Pencils-Plain
•Ticonderoga Pencils-Colored
•Sharpie Markers
•To-Do list Stickies
•Expo Markers
•A Cara Caroll Watercolor
•A Missy Squirrel's Coffee Cozy
•A Chapter Book Sampler including:
-The Class Election from the Black Lagoon
-Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy
-Magic Tree House Night of the Ninjas
-Horrible Harry and the Dungeon
-A to Z Mysteries The School Skeleton
-Cam Jansen and the Catnapping Mystery

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Bundle #2
What's included:
•A Scotch Thermal Laminator
•65 Count Thermal Laminating Pouches
•A 20 oz. YETI Rambler
•Kendra Scott Sophee Earrings in Rose Gold

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to the wonderful ladies who helped donate to the   giveaway! Take a moment and check out their blogs!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Reflect and Refresh: Looking Forward

Good Morning Friends!
Today I am joining Mrs D's Corner and Terrific Teaching and Learning for a Reflect and Refresh Post. I'm excited to share with you some of my goals for this upcoming year as well as something I have been doing all summer long! As the school year approaches, I am getting so excited to meet my new first graders! I am sad that summer is coming to a close, however, I always love designing and decorating my classroom each year as well as all of the back to school festivities!

  This Summer, I attended Capturing Kids Hearts. It was a very encouraging training from the Flippen group. I had heard good things about this training and it has been around for quite awhile. One idea that they mentioned to develop a strong sense of communication between teacher and parent was to make positive phone calls to parents. 

I had always loved the idea of making "good" phone calls to parents that focus on the positive things that students do. I tried this a couple of times last year, but let's be honest. It was definitely not a priority and did not happen as much as I would have liked it to.

We are quick to call parents if there is something not working well in the classroom with their child, but how often to we take the time to call parents to say how proud we are of their child? This is something I have marked in my planner to do once a week until I have at least made a positive phone call about each student in my class. I'm excited to try this out!
I'm also going to send home positive post cards! These may be for birthdays, positive behaviors, holidays, or whatever! I still haven't decided yet. My goal with this is simply to work on building relationships with my students and for them to physically keep. I know that if my teacher did this when I was younger, I probably would still have them lying around somewhere!


One of the areas I have slowly been working towards is organizing all of my subjects and topics into resource binders. I drew inspiration from Miss DeCarbo's picture! Since the beginning of my teaching career, I have been slowly working on this goal. It has definitely been slow and steady and will be way worth it in the end! I only teach first grade ELA and Social studies so my goal is to organize by topic binders. For example, in first grade ELA we cover compound words, nouns, verbs, sight words, etc. I've been accumulating resources and activities for each unit of study that I will place in each binder. This way, when we cover each thing, it will be easily on hand and VERY convenient!


My goal on focusing on content is to establish more hands on literacy centers and activities. I've learned about how much students learn with Action Based Learning (Learning while moving) and how much more meaningful their learning will become. As I mentioned before, I teach only first grade reading and social studies to my home room class. I'm focusing on ELA activities that will allow my students to move while receiving important content. I look forward to collaborating with many of you first grade teachers so share ideas this year!

Summer Project:

I'll be honest. I honestly have done ZERO Summer projects this year. I guess what I have been focusing on is buying essentials for my classroom! Each week, I have gone to Office Depot to snatch their Summer deals! It has been my "project" to get essentials for my classroom for as cheap as I can get them! It's almost a game for me sometimes, yet, sometimes I do splurge as well!

Thank you for stopping by! I look forward to trying these things out! If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment! If these ideas work well in my classroom, I will blog about them soon! Stay tuned! :)

What are some goals and projects you have? Come and link up with us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Hi Friends! Okay. So teachers have officially taken over periscope, right?!? I do have an account, however, I have yet to do my first post! I promise it is coming though! STAY TUNED! Let me just share with you 3 reasons I love Periscope in no particular order!

1.) I get to match faces and voices to blogs! In Vegas, I didn't recognize as many faces as I could have if Periscope were more popular before then!

2.) It's very personal! I love getting to see others' houses, hometowns, closets, and so much more! I feel like it makes us so much closer as teachers and bloggers!

3.) CONTENT! I can seriously say that I have learned a few things since I have been watching others! I am such a kinesthetic/visual learners. I love that you can periscope and then blog about it! Let's be honest. I don't always follow written directions as well as I should. With Periscope, I can totally see what I needed to learn in half the time!

SOOOOOOO. If you don't have periscope, you totally should! And if you do have periscope, you should totally show me some love!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently July

Hi ya'll! Can you believe it? We are already linking up because it's JULY?! I really don't know where the summer has gone! I have not gotten done nearly as much as I would have like to have by this point in the summer! I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for yet another currently.
Listening: to outside noises. It's so relaxing to get up and have some quiet time in the morning! I don't know about you, but I feel like I get way more done when I get up earlier in the morning and can just relax in the quiet:)

Not having to set an alarm! That has to be one of my favorite feeling, naturally waking up rather than being forced to! With that being said, I do NOT like to stay in bed past 9 unless I go to bed way late. I feel like my whole day is wasted if I get up any later!

About what to pack for Vegas! I seriously am getting nervous now! We are in the single digits! I've already printed my labels, purchased and received my blog button, and purchased an external battery. I saved the hard part for last. The outfits. What are you wearing/bringing to the sessions if you are going? I have that undesired feeling of feeling like I am forgetting something!

Wanting: To finish a product. I have yet to finish anything this summer! I have a few products that I have started and never finished! I need to make myself a desktop organizer to keep me more on track!
Needing: to do my workout. It's been a little difficult because right now my husband and I are sharing one car. Our car was totaled during that large rainstorm Texas had a couple months ago. I either have to be self motivated to do something here or borrow a car to get to the gym. Makes things a lot more difficult!

All Star:
I had a hard time with this one because I am sure I am great at a lot of things that I don't necessarily want to blog about, however, with the help of my mother-in-law, we came up with "Encourager." I love to encourage people and make them feel loved. I love encouraging my students to be better, I love encouraging people to buy cute news clothes, I love encouraging people and making them feel better about their situations.

That's all for this currently friends! Not too exciting but thank you for stopping by to hang out for a minute! If you are going to Vegas, I hope to meet you there! If not, look for blog posts and other pictures coming soon! Have a great day!