Monday, July 27, 2015

Back to School Giveaway

All of us over at Upper Elementary Snapshots thought it would be fun to have a whole week of giveaways right before the new school year! That's right...a whole week!! To start off our week, we are going to be linking up all of our blogs just for you, and giving some great "Back-to-School" tips and freebies to help you start your year off right!

My Back To School Tip...  Give Your Parents a Contact Card on Open House (Meet the Teacher Night)

Let your parents know from the first time you meet them your willingness to communicating with them by simply printing  business cards for them. Label the card with such information as your name, the school's name, school's address, school's phone number, your school email address, information for Remind, classroom blog or wikispace, etc.  Print, laminate, and attach a magnet on the back of each one. Place one on each child's desk for parents to take home and place on their refrigerator or information board. This will be the first step in forming a positive relationship with your classroom parents that they will greatly appreciate. For your free copy of  these editable Teacher Business Cards, simply visit here.


For more tips and FREEBIES, make sure you visit all 12 of our blogs! You can use the links below to help you get there faster.

You may also enjoy my new owl themed Objectives Display Bulletin Board for you classroom. Make displaying your objectives prominent in you classroom while making it easy for you.  This set includes editable objectives cards, or simply hang the pieces on a white board and write your daily objectives.

Also, don't forget to enter for a chance to WIN one of our AWESOME prizes in our "Back to School" Giveaway!

 That's not all!!!  Watch out this whole week for ways to collect even more goodies from all of us at Upper Elementary Snapshots!  We are going to be doing some special promotions through Facebook and Instagram too!  Make sure you follow us to hear all about it!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Ways Bulletin Boards Can Work for You


When I first began teaching, I loved creating fun and pretty bulletin boards. Each month I created and decorated a brand new bulletin board just for that month. Back then, I was single with no children and had plenty of time on my hands. Now, fast forward 25 years, a husband, and two children later, and my views on bulletin boards have changed slightly. Instead of changing bulletin boards each month, why not set up a bulletin board that will work the entire school year and meet the needs of my students? Bulletin boards can be beneficial to your students and work for you in several ways.

1). Bulletin boards can display important daily information. Lower elementary teachers have utilized bulletin boards for daily information for years, but with the focus on objectives being visible in the classroom, upper elementary teachers have begun to use bulletin boards daily as well.  By displaying important information for the day on a specific bulletin board, students will know where to find this information each day. Daily information may include:
     a). Display objectives
     b). Focus walls for reading, math, or vocabulary
Check out my new objectives board!

2). Bulletin boards can be used as a teaching tool or used to remind students of material that has been taught throughout the year. I have often used a bulletin board to display concepts that the students will need the entire year such as parts of speech or character traits. Bulletin boards can also be set up to display anchor charts that can be changed as needed throughout the year.

3). Bulletin boards can be interactive. Use a bulletin board to display information about a topic that you are studying, information about an author, or current event articles. Include articles about the topic, maps, and/or charts. Then give students a scavenger hunt handout to locate information from articles on the bulletin board. This makes a wonderful station or center.


4). Maps.  To familiarize students with geography, display a map on a bulletin board and use the map when lining up, or between transitions. Have 2 students come to the map to be the first to locate on the map a town, state, or country that you call out. Use the map to locate places that you study, settings in books, or hometowns of authors. We have a maps on the wall next to our restrooms. When we take whole class restroom breaks,  my students who are waiting gather around the maps to locate places that we have discussed.  Another advantage: maps cover a large area very easily and very quickly! They are also usually very colorful.

5). Bulletin boards can be connection builders. Use bulletin boards to connect with students and send positive messages. This can be done several ways:
    a). Display students' birthdays.
    b). Use for student of the week.
    c). Display student work.
    d). Display motivational posters and sayings.
My Owl Themed Birthday Display can be found here:

There are so many possibilities with bulletin boards. Choose bulletin boards that will best meet the needs of your students for the entire year, and make those bulletin boards work for you.

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday!

I hope you have a blessed Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Relaxing By the Pool

It is H-O-T! Summertime is definitely here in the South, complete with temps in the 90s and high humidity. This is perfect weather for hanging out here:

Do you see that pink float? That is where I have been parked this afternoon, complete with a good book and a glass of sweet tea. What a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon! I feel so blessed.
As much as I've tried not to think about it, my summer will be winding down soon, and my mind is beginning to drift to school things, classroom decorations, and kiddos. We have a lot of changes taking place, so it is very hard to even begin planning. In fact, my principal told our faculty to not do to much planning this summer because of all of the changes. (That is kind of scary, but hopefully, it will all be good!)
For those of you beginning to plan and those of you even starting school in a couple of weeks, I have spent my summer creating a new product in my store. Now, I know that most of my products are geared for grades 3-5, but this packet is actually for grades 1 and 2. It was inspired by my best selling Common Core Graphic Organizers for Reading Literature. With the huge response that I have had to these graphic organizers, I wanted to create a set for first and second grade, and I am so excited about this set!

120 adorable and fun graphic organizers are included in this set. Each graphic organizer is not only cute and fun with high quality graphics, they also will help your students think deeply about their reading. Just as in my set for grades 3-5, each graphic organizer is aligned with the Common Core Standards which will make lesson planning easier for you. Even if you teach upper grades, these graphic organizers could be used for intervention or differentiated instruction. For the rest of this week, my Common Core Reading Literature Graphic Organizers Grades 1-2 will be on sale for 50% off! Don't miss out on this huge savings!
If you would like to see and use a few sample pages from this packet, you can grab three samples here:
Free Reading Literature Graphic Organizers for Grades 1 and 2

If you download this freebie, I'd greatly appreciate your positive feedback.
To all of the teachers who have purchased my Common Core Reading Graphic Organizers for Grades 3-5, thank you so much! I can't thank you enough for purchasing this product and for the positive response that I have had to these graphic organizers. In fact, if you have purchased the grades 3-5 graphic organizers, a big surprise is coming to this set that I think you will love, so stay tuned!
Have a blessed summer day!


Monday, July 13, 2015

A Busy Week!

I love summer, and I certainly hope that you are enjoying yours! I always make a list of things I hope to accomplish during the summer, but some days I don’t feel that I accomplish very much. Between working on new products and borders, cooking meals, cleaning the house, and doing the laundry, much of my days are full. Tell me, am I the only one?
I must say, however, that last week was very productive! My husband helped me with one honey-do that I have been wanting to accomplish for several summers. We cleaned out the garage! Now, that might not sound like much, but if you could have seen our before (that I’m much too embarrassed to show to anyone) you would have thought that we could have been on an episode of Hoarders. I must say that I am so proud of the clean garage, that I’m no longer embarrassed for guest to walk through.

Not only did we clean the garage, but we also moved furniture out of my daughter’s room, and moved her new bedroom suite in. Of course that meant putting things on the walls, decorating, etc.  Finally, we made some blueberry and blackberry jelly! Now, why can’t every week be that productive?

This week, I’m linking up with Tara for Monday Made It.

I don’t have pictures of the garage, but I do have a pic of the jelly that we made. Yum! (And yes, my husband helped make this. To be truthful, I guess I helped him!)


I have also been busy adding some new products to my store as well as updating old products. For the beginning of school, I have just updated my All About Me Posters: Insect Theme. I simply updated the clipart and borders to make these posters pop! I think you will like the changes. I think it turned out adorable!

I also created another All About Me Posters set. This one is Superhero Themed.

For a very short time, I will have these two products in my store for only $1! Don’t miss out on these great dollar deals! Either one of these posters sets will be perfect for your first day, or use them for birthdays or student of the week. Both of these sets are just like my best selling “Owl” About Me Posters. here 

Now it’s time for me to try to make this week just as productive as last! I can check blogging off of the to-do list. ;)

Have a blessed Monday!