Thursday, April 27, 2023

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Classroom with Fiesta Fun!

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It's a great opportunity to teach students about Mexican culture and history while having fun in the classroom. In this blog post, we'll share some ideas on how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the classroom and introduce you to our new digital resource, Fiesta Fun, which makes planning your Cinco de Mayo celebration easy and fun!

Ideas for Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the Classroom:

Learn About Mexican Culture and History - Introduce your students to the rich culture and history of Mexico with books, videos, and other educational resources. You can also incorporate art projects and cultural activities, such as making paper flowers or learning traditional Mexican dances.

Try Traditional Mexican Foods - Food is an important part of Mexican culture, so why not introduce your students to traditional Mexican cuisine? You can make guacamole, salsa, or even traditional Mexican dishes like tacos or enchiladas in the classroom. Just be sure to check for any food allergies or dietary restrictions first.

Decorate Your Classroom - Create a festive atmosphere in your classroom with decorations such as papel picado, balloons, and streamers. You can also use our Fiesta Fun bulletin board letters and pictures to create a colorful and fun display.

Read and Write About Cinco de Mayo - Incorporate reading and writing activities into your Cinco de Mayo celebration with Fiesta Fun. Our product features 5 leveled reading comprehension passages with questions and a pinata writing activity to enhance writing skills. You can also have your students write about their favorite Mexican foods or traditions.
Attach with a brad for cuteness overload
Fiesta Fun is a comprehensive digital resource that makes planning your Cinco de Mayo celebration easy and fun. It features everything you need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your classroom, including 5 leveled reading comprehension passages with questions, bulletin board letters and pictures, a pinata writing activity, and "the perfect taco" craft and writing activity.

Our product is perfect for teachers who want to engage their students with fun and interactive activities that enhance learning while celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It's easy to use and customize for your classroom needs, and appropriate for 1st to 5th grade levels.

Cinco de Mayo is a great opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and history in the classroom. With Fiesta Fun, you can engage your students with fun and interactive activities that enhance learning while celebrating this important holiday. Try some of our ideas for celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the classroom and get Fiesta Fun today to make your celebration even more fun and engaging!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Giving Fun End-of-Year Awards to Elementary Kids

The end of the school year is a time for celebration and reflection. As a teacher, one way to acknowledge your students' hard work and achievements is by giving out end-of-year awards. But why settle for boring certificates when you can make it fun and memorable? In this post, we'll share some ideas and tips for giving out fun end-of-year awards to elementary kids.

Get creative with categories: Instead of just giving out awards for "best student" or "most improved," why not come up with fun and unique categories that fit your students' personalities and interests? For example, you could give out awards like "Most Enthusiastic Reader," "Classroom Comedian," or "Future Scientist." Get your students involved by having them suggest categories and vote on the winners.

Make it visual: A simple certificate is nice, but why not take it up a notch by creating fun and colorful awards that your students will be proud to display? You can use free online tools like Canva or Piktochart to design awards with playful graphics, photos, and fonts. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made award certificates and add your own personal touches.  Check out some that I have available on Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking the pictures below!  They can either be printed as is, or you can type to personalize them!  

Add a prize: Who doesn't love a prize? Consider giving out small tokens of appreciation along with the awards, like stickers, pencils, or candy. You can even create a prize wheel or mystery box where students can choose their prize after receiving their award.

Celebrate together: Don't just hand out the awards and move on - make it a celebration! Plan a special end-of-year party or ceremony where students can dress up, enjoy some treats, and take photos with their awards. Make it a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.

Be inclusive: Finally, remember to be inclusive and considerate when giving out awards. Make sure every student receives some form of recognition, whether it's a personalized award or a heartfelt thank-you note. Avoid categories that might be hurtful or exclusionary, and make sure to celebrate each student's unique strengths and achievements.

Giving out end-of-year awards is a fun and meaningful way to celebrate your students' accomplishments and show them how much you appreciate their hard work. By getting creative with categories, making it visual, adding a prize, celebrating together, and being inclusive, you can make it a memorable experience for everyone involved. So go ahead and let your imagination run wild - your students will thank you for it!  Hang in there... the end is in sight!  

End of Year Candy Awards HERE!
Animal Themed End of Year Awards HERE!  

The Power of Affirmations in the Classroom: Introducing Our Affirmation Collection for Students

As a teacher or counselor, you know how important it is to create a positive and supportive learning environment for your students. One powerful way to do this is by using affirmations - positive statements that help students develop a growth mindset, boost their self-esteem, and overcome self-doubt. That's why we're excited to introduce our Affirmation Collection for Students, a digital file that includes 20 affirmations in full color and less color versions, perfect for printing as posters or notecards.

But first, let's talk about the power of affirmations. According to research, affirmations can help students develop a positive self-image, increase their motivation and resilience, and reduce stress and anxiety. By repeating positive statements like "I am capable of achieving my goals" or "I believe in myself," students can start to reframe their thoughts and beliefs about themselves, leading to better academic and personal outcomes.

Using affirmations in the classroom is also a way to create a culture of positivity and encouragement. By displaying affirmations on posters or handing out notecards to individual students, you're sending a message that you believe in your students' abilities and are invested in their success. This can help build trust and rapport with your students and create a sense of belonging in the classroom.
Our Affirmation Collection for Students is designed to make it easy for you to incorporate affirmations into your classroom or counseling practice. The digital file includes 20 affirmations that are carefully crafted to inspire success and self-love, with options for both full color and less color versions. This means you can choose the version that best fits your needs and print them as posters or notecards, depending on your preference.

Whether you're a teacher, counselor, or parent, our Affirmation Collection for Students is a powerful tool for promoting positive thinking and boosting self-esteem. By using affirmations in the classroom, you can create a supportive and encouraging learning environment that helps your students thrive. I hope the end of your school year is unfolding beautifully... summer break is close. 💪

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Glass Etching and Stitch Fix ... Perfect Gifts!

I posted about glass etching casserole dishes on my Instagram page a few weeks ago and many people asked for a quick tutorial.
Doing the casserole dishes is my go-to gift... it's simple, practical, inexpensive, and thoughtful.  I usually throw a sheet of tissue paper in the bottom, toss in a box of brownie mix, and tie it up with a ribbon.  VOILA!  You do need some type of Silhouette or Cricut machine to make a stencil... unless you are just REALLY amazing at drawing and cutting precisely by hand.
1)  In my Silhouette software I type the last name that I need and usually change the font to some cute KG font.  The ones pictured are KG Lego House.  I usually make the name about 1.5 inches high and usually no more than 6-7 inches long (this depends on the size casserole dish you are etching).

2)  I send the file to be cut out on the Silhouette.  
3)  I peel out the "inside" of the name... leaving the rest of the vinyl behind... This creates a stencil.
4)  Using transfer paper, I position the vinyl onto the casserole dish and carefully remove the transfer paper.....  and smooth all pieces down to make sure nothing is lifting, etc.
5)  I use a sponge/foam brush to dab etching cream all over.  I don't actually rub the brush or swipe because I don't want it to lift the vinyl... so DAB it is!
6)  I ask Siri to set a timer for 10 minutes and sit patiently start the dishwasher, run to the bathroom, start the laundry, start dinner, etc.
7)  After 10 minutes, I take the dish to the sink and rinse off the etching cream and do a quick rinse with soap and then I take off the vinyl... dry my dish and think about how awesome I am.
I'm included a pic of the etching cream that I use.  I've read about other etching creams, but have never used those.  This bottle I bought from Amazon, but I'm sure they probably sell it in stores, too!  I'm just a sucker for free shipping and ease!  You do need to be very careful with the cream as it can burn your skin and will etch surfaces VERY quickly.  This is not a project that you want to rush through.

While I have you here, I wanted to share my latest luck with Stitch Fix.  I was really pumped to get my last box after taking some time off.  If you follow me on IG then you know that I have lost over 60 lbs this year {compliments of divorce/anxiety/stress}... and clothes just haven't fit right and I haven't really been interested in buying or even trying new clothes.  I was pleasantly surprised by my last box and kept 2 of the tops.  They are more form fitting than I normally wear, but sometimes it's good to branch out, right?  These are perfect for date night I think.
Did you know that you can buy your friends and family Stitch Fix gift cards?  I didn't know either, but I think it's the perfect gift for a busy mom or even as a teacher gift.  My next "fix" is scheduled for February and I'm so excited.  I know that I will have had time to recover financially and physically from the holidays by then!  {click the pic to head to their site}
So, there you have it... 2 easy gift ideas this Christmas season.  Time to get busy etching some glass or snag up some Stitch Fix gift cards for those hard to buy for peeps on your list.  I hope that y'all will have an amazing last week before break!  Talk to y'all soon!  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chalk... All the Chalk

Anyone who knows me would say that a good quote is the way to my heart.  I love words.  Words are powerful.  I love to put words on just about anything.  My QUOTABLE board on Pinterest is probably my favorite board.  I just love words, y'all!

I also love things that are whimsical and quirky.  Enter the perfect recipe...  my desire for words and CHALKOLA markers.  This girl is in word heaven!  Chalkola wet erase markers are VIBRANT& BRIGHT- 

Use them on Mason jars, ceramic jars, or DIY projects, Perfect for leaving personal notes on mirrors & calendars...even on chalkboard stickers, chalkboard contact paper, tile, metal, plastic, glass doors,   

Check out some of the projects I've tried with the markers so far:  

 I loved the smoothness of the chalk markers and the colors were super bright...not muted and that was exactly what I was looking for.  I tried the bullet tip markers (swoon), but they also have a HUGE 15mm nib with a rectangular tip which was great for really large projects or lettering that you can check out HERE.  Today I am hoping to use them to add some lettering on a spray painted globe... I think the possibilities are endless.  If you want to see the finished product, be sure to follow me on Instagram HERE.

Interested in snagging some markers of your own?  The kind people over at Chalkola are offering you 20% of orders over at AMAZON.
Use code: CHALK20A

I hope that you and your families will have an amazing Thanksgiving... safe, warm, and full of many blessings.  If you do a chalk project, please send me a picture through FB or tag me (@stacyrena) so that I can see!  I love finding inspiration from you guys!  Talk to y'all soon!  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's Currently May...

Woohoo... we made it!  It's finally May.  Not much longer now, peeps!  I'm linking up with Farley for the May Currently...  
Listening:  it's Sunday morning and I'm chilling on the couch.  TV is off, sipping my coffee and my small humans are still sleeping!  I think they've finally reached the age where they realize the merits of sleeping in on the weekends.  We had a full day of shopping and playing yesterday and there were TIRED!

Loving:  I have been watching Married at First Sight on A&E and I'm in love.  This is the 2nd season (I didn't even realize there had been a 1st season).  But... if you're in the market for a new show... I highly recommend this one.  It's intriguing and entertaining and so much better than I thought it would be.

Thinking:  There are only 19 days of school left until summer vacation.  The last few months have actually gone by pretty fast, but that always seems to be the case after Christmas.  The last day with students is the 29th and then we have to go back a few days for post-planning and then HELLO summer vacay!

Wanting:  To go skydiving.  There is a place locally that does it.  I am thinking I may go next weekend when the boys are with their dad!  Wish me luck... can't wait to share pics!

Needing:  A tan.  Y'all...  this girl is pasty!  My friend and I leave for our annual beach trip the week after school is out and I am not ready.  I need to work on this and soon... or I'm going to look like a lobster after the first day!

Summer Yes, Hope, Dream:  I am so excited to go to Vegas again this summer.  Last year we had a blast (Read:  New Kids on the Block concert)... and I'm sure this year will be even more of a blast.  My hope is to organize the house and simplify stuff... throw out stuff that has no meaning, etc.  My dream is to be more spontaneous and open to what happens.  I am such a list maker and planner... and this can be a bad thing sometimes.  I am excited to throw caution to the wind (a little bit), go out on first dates, stay up too late, take road trips, and see what happens!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's Currently March

It's March 1st, peeps... crazy, right?  February is a short month and goes by fast... pretty excited from a paycheck standpoint!  Just sayin'...  So, it's time to link up with Farley for the Currently phenomenon...  here goes:
Listening:  to my kiddos playing in the tub.  This weekend was with their daddy so I had a weekend solo.  While it's nice to have a tiny bit of quiet, it's also hard to be here for too long in the quiet... or go to church alone.  Just a weird feeling to have them away from me.
Got up early today and ran some errands, then grabbed coffee and headed to church.  No one to shush or remind to be quiet.  I didn't have to find anyone's page in their hymnal, or hunt for quarters for the offering plate... just a new different feeling.

Loving: that tomorrow is a teacher workday.  Sure, there are a few conferences and maybe even some PD thrown in there, but my body will be in jeans.  I can brew a pot (or 2) of coffee and go to the bathroom WHENEVER I want.  I'm excited to grade and sort some papers, prepare materials for this week, and Clorox wipe ALL the things!

Thinking:  of my to-do list.  It's categorized, y'all!  There's a house to-do, school to-do, TpT to-do, gifted endorsement to-do.... AGHHHH!  Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of a short to-do list paper clipped to a big to-do list... the struggle is real.  I think that there is so much going on in my head that I'm afraid I'll forget it if I don't write it down.  I have always been a list maker, but I think I'm starting to envy people who don't.  Something to consider I suppose...
next TpT project
See... a list on a list 
Wanting: a set of lockers (or maybe 5) for my kitchen wall to use as storage for lots of different things.  I love the industrial vibe in houses.  If you follow me on Pinterest... then you've seen my HOME board and know that about me already.  I don't like cookie cutter things.  I also really, really want an old library card catalog.  I have found a few on Craigslist, but am super scared of being killed by a serial killer who is pretending to sell things online.  Also, they're uber-expensive.  So, there's that...

Needing: to do my taxes.  Womp, womp, womp.

Spring break plans:  I think I might get braces over spring break.  I have an appointment later this month for my consult then we'll go from there.  Braces at 35... why not?  ;)  Also my entire family lives in east TN (currently snowing) and so maybe by spring break I can head that way to see my peeps.  How beautiful is this picture?  Yes, I think a road trip might be just what I need!

I hope that you will have an amazing week.  Talk to y'all soon!