Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekend Warriors: How Full is Your Bucket

It is time for Weekend Warriors: Back to School Cool Part 2!

Today's back to school cool idea comes in part from my principal.

I'm sure you have heard of the book, How Full is Your Bucket? About ten years ago my past principal bought each one of us on her staff a copy of this book. It was such a new idea that made sense and it was our focus for that school year...

Well, flash forward to this week. I get back to work to see this in our Teacher's Lounge:
Can you handle the cuteness?

Close up on my personal bucket....
So I have seen boards like this in classrooms, but never in a staff room. In case you were wondering, yes, I have the best principal EVER!

So the idea is that each week we are to fill out one paper to put in a colleagues bucket. What you can't see in the pictures above is the larger bucket filled with papers and pens so you can just walk up and fill something out.

On Thursday, our first staff meeting of the year each teacher received this:

The most important thing I want to focus on is the two versions of children's books about filling your bucket.
These are both excellent beginning of the school year books...and then the kind of book that you read as a refresher periodically during the year.

Personally, I like the "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" a tiny bit more for kinder. I think the illustrations make this slightly abstract concept more concrete for the little ones.

Pictured below is a page from "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" I like how the characters are actually holding their buckets.   This page alone could be a week long discussion in my opinion.

How Full is your Bucket is good too because the story shows a boy, Felix, who basically is just having a bad day. His bucket is drip by drip spilling out and he has to learn how to deal with this....spoiler alert: the story ends with a full bucket for Felix.

About a day after my staff meeting I see this on Instagram:

Um, will I be doing this next week? YES!!! This picture is from One Fab Teacher. 

Can I say that this girl fills my bucket on an on-going basis and we don't even know each other. If you don't follow her on Instagram you need to. I am also following her blog now too! She is so positive and I just love her. It wasn't a surprise that she is doing a bucket filling activity with her first graders. But seriously, following her will make you smile. And on top of that...does she not make the cutest signs? 

Then I found an adorable sorting freebie about bucket filling from Khrys Bosland, so I am set for next week!

I have a feeling I will be posting more about bucket filling in the future. But as you start this school year.... or even if you already have.... I think bucket filling is a great topic of discussion to have with your class....at any grade level.

Now stop by some of my sweet friends to see what Back to School ideas they have for you! 

And don't forget to go HERE to enter my 2 GIVEAWAYS!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Back to School COOL!


And so it begins.... another school year. I know some of you have been going at it for a while now, but for me I will meet my new friends on Tuesday and our first official day of school is Wednesday.

Today I am here to talk about Back to School Cool. Before I do that.... I do want to mention I have 2 mini giveaways going on right now....and I am promising more in the month of September.  September is crazy town so I decided to try and make it nicer with a few giveaways...go HERE to enter the current ones.

OK so the theme this month for Weekend Warriors is Back to School COOL.
In reality nothing feels that cool in September...not the weather and not my whole crazy life. I am feeling rushed, stressed and anything that is the opposite of "cool." Are you with me on that?

Anyway, back in June I posted {HERE} about a fun back to school idea and if you go to that post you can grab the freebie  which is the title sentence shown below with all 26 letters:
Letters in Name
Basically, to summarize, the idea is that the kids are going to analyze their names for the first 26 days of school to decide, Yes I have this letter in my name and No, I don't have this other letter in my name.

So, because learning names is so important as you start the school year. Today I have another name-based idea that you can do in addition to the chart above or instead. I have used it in both kindergarten and first grade.
Crayons and Whimsy Letters in Name
You may be saying, wow the cover of that book is kinda dirty? Why is she showing us that?

Well, here is my answer...it is only the MOST popular book in the classroom library all year and that means it is a bit tattered. And my fresh one for 2014 is not yet ready.

In kinder I use the FULL sheet of construction to make this little puppy because their writing in September is HUGE... but if you have firsties you could probably go smaller.

Here is the inside:
Crayons and Whimsy Letters in Name

Typically we will complete one letter of the alphabet per day for the first 26ish days of school.

The title letters at the top are bulletin board letters. I only happened to do that one year when I had a whole bunch just sitting around because I bought those random square ones and I think used them on a bulletin once... so they are in the book. You could just write in the letter- or even use the letters available in the freebie above for the pocket chart...or get fancy with your Silhouette if you are lucky enough to own one.

Just click HERE or on the image to grab a new updated cover of the book!
Crayons and Whimsy Letters in Name
When the book is complete you will have the most sought after book in your library, but you will also have a great discussion starter. Any time we have a few extra minutes in class my kiddos and I chat about it. We have noticed how full the pages for vowels are, or we have sorted the names on each page by whether they are found at the front or the middle of the name {capital vs lower case} and so so so many more things you can do with this book.

I think in order to form a feeling of family in your classroom it is important to do as many name related activities as possible in the beginning. I hope you can use this idea! Now go visit my Weekend Warrior friends to see what tips they have in store to keep you cool in September!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Broken Pencils are Pointless and Cute Nails are Priceless

So summer is officially over and a new school year is about to begin.

Although school is a week away I have spent only 2 hours in my classroom since school was out in June. That is hard for me to say or type because it makes me stressed just thinking about what lies ahead for me...insert the stressed emoji face here!
Does this picture make you ill? I almost can't look at it!

But I have been busy this summer from Iceland, France, Vegas, Louisville and most recently....NYC....so you see.... as I become a frantic mess this coming week I have to remind myself that I had an awesome summer and this is the price I have to pay now...and man, I will need reminder of this when the weekend comes and I am laminating and bulletin boarding.

During those short 2 hours in my room I was unpacking...and came across my TWO pencil sharpeners from Classroom Friendly Supplies. Despite the chaos shown above....my sharpeners are set out and ready to use.

And well, I was thinking to myself this is really something all classrooms NEED so I am happy to be teaming up with the Classroom Friendly Supplies people to bring you a giveaway.

Plus, let's be real....this time of year is brutal and exhausting and so not-the-same-as-summer.... that I think presents...in the form of giveaways or however you get them....makes like a little better. {spoiler alert: there are 2 in this post alone!}

But let's talk about this sharpener! It's awesome. If you read this blog you may know that my other Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener is pink...but today I am showing off my red.... and that I like to put washi tape on EVERY single thing.

And you may know that this is my second pencil giveaway.....but honestly, look at the goodness...those pencils are sharp and it makes me happy.....if I could I would keep giving them away until every classroom had one.

I love the way this thing sharpens in no time...AND the way it is quiet. And since nothing else in kindergarten is quiet, we may as well get sharp pencils quietly. Want more information? Then watch this little video.


You can enter below...here is the deal! You get to pick the color of the sharpener and you need to be a US resident {sorry those are not my rules!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And while I have you here let me tell you one more thing......another obsession of mine is Jamberry nails. Literally obsessed....so what did I do? I became a consultant so I could sell them all the time. They are vinyl, heat activated nail wraps that are fantabulous...

In the Instagram pic below I have combined two of my favorites: ice cream and Jamberry! That mint green gold stripe Jamberry is one of my favorites! {P.S. one wrap will last for 3 manicures...making these a great deal!}
And I just wanted to mention 2 opportunities to you.

1. I am looking to growing my  Jamberry team. I have loved every single thing about becoming a consultant. It is $99 to get started and that gets you a WHOLE lot of stuff! Plus a lot of support like me and many others :)

Email me {crayonsandwhimsy@gmail.com} if you want more information, a free sample or just click HERE to sign up now. I was impulsive and just signed up without knowing much about it. That was in June and I have loved every second of it, and have already had several promotions and bonuses along the way. I would love to have you jump in on this fun!

2. Also exciting is that the new Fall/Winter catalog for Jamberry launches in September!!! If you are  a hostess of a party you can lots of FREE jams! We can do your entire party over Facebook too! You can check out my Facebook page here! Email me for more information about that, too!

While we are here...I'm going to giveaway one FULL sheet of Jamberry wraps to someone! Why?

Well I shared that above...because this time of year is just HARD and the days are LONG and because getting free stuff is fun.....and I am so in love with Jamberry that I want to share it with you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And I want you to know.... I promise MORE GIVEAWAYS will be coming to this blog in the month of September!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to School Bloggy Bash!

Ahhh this summer has been amazing because I have had so many opportunities to meet up with some of my bloggy friends... and yesterday was no exception.

We had our SoCal Back to School Blogger Bash in Huntington Beach.
Crayons and Whimsy blogger bash
Ok so the solo shot with the sign is a bit cheesy, but just thought about deleting it and decided...no, let's just rock that! So there you go!

First of all, the cuteness of that sign was designed by the very talented Traci from Dragonflies in First and I was sad my friend wasn't able to join us. And the other talent who planned this fun was Hadar from Miss Kindergarten...also not able to join us.


However, here is Aris from Sailing into Second, Hadar and me earlier in the week scoping out the Huntington Beach scene. Aris and I stepped in to finish up the planning....
crayons and whimsy blogger bash
And I need to give a big shout out to Sandy's Restaurant who took the BEST care of us and were so willing to help!! If you visit HB you need to pop in - it is right on the sand so why wouldn't you?
Crayons and Whimsy Sandy's Huntington Beach
The best part was meeting so many new faces!!

I'd like to introduce you to EVERYONE....
Crayons and Whimsy blogger bash

I'm nervous to list everyone because what if I forget someone...yikes, that wouldn't be good.

I can say this I was thrilled to see my friends Michelle {Apples and ABC's}, Fran {Kindergarten Crayons}, Christine {xoxo Christine Marie}Layla {Fancy Free in 4th Grade} and to meet new people like Cheryl {Auntie Sweet Life} , Jen {Sparkling in Second} and so many others that I just can't list them all.

That's it from me! But check out the links below for a little more 411 on this fun day!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Planner Arrived... This is Getting Real!

Well hello!

I am here to share with you my new planner that I am THRILLED to have gotten in the mail today!

Only problem is this means school is almost here....although I still have a few weeks and I know many of you are IN it already going! I can't imagine that happening either...

Teacher planner Plum paper Crayons and whimsy
Are you dying over its cuteness? I am!!!

I'm also kinda loving my new Jamberry I just put on today, but that is another story!

Last year I did a more expensive personalized planner thing... and yes, it was fabulous and I liked it...not loved, but really liked.

But I decided that I just can't pay that much for a planner. At the same time I also can't handle the free one from Lakeshore....love you Lakeshore, just don't like/want your free planner.

I have also been saying I am going to "go digital" with my planner, but for some reason I like pen and paper with my planner. Maybe one day....

So, like Goldilocks, I found my happy medium. This affordable goodness from Plum Paper Designs. There's even a promo code at the end of this post.

I was so excited that I even started writing in it today. Um, if you know me you know how out of control crazy that is for me...but just for the first day... that is all I could handle.
Plum Paper Teacher Planner Crayons and Whimsy

Here's the best part... I tried to put in times on the left column, but then do you see that nothing AT ALL relates to those times. 
A. the first day is early dismissal so that doesn't work
B. Have you ever taught the first day of kindergarten? You won't do anything when you think you will anyway.... you just over plan and see where the day takes you. 

So what we have seen is that so far I have not truly used the planner. I am on the fence about writing my day vertically rather than horizontally... but last year I wasn't sure about horizontal. I guess I am hard to please.

I do love the area for "prep work" and you know what my MOST FAVORITE part is.... that the dates are already written in there for you!! YAY!!! Last year when I bought that super expensive planner {and I'm trying not to name names because it isn't nice or necessary} but that planner didn't have numbers already in there! I don't expect it from the free Lakeshore planner, but I do if I am spending cash on the thing.

There are monthly pages too...again dates are written in there!
Teacher Planner monthly Crayons and Whimsy
Now above I just threw in some washi tape on days with big events on them... because I am washi obsessed, but in the weekly picture you see solid color stickers that came in the planner {for a small extra fee} and the best part is that those stickers come in 8 colors and are built into the planner!


There is a calendar page like this for both 2014 and 2015: 
Plum Paper Teacher Planner Crayons and Whimsy

And my last picture is to show you the intro page for each month:
So basically you just saw the planner in reverse... first you would see the monthly tab {like "November" above} then the entire month and then weekly. There are also notes pages for each month and some other things like checklists and an address book for student contact information.

You get to choose which month your planner starts with which is a handy feature. They also make life planners, fitness planners and family planners.

Now for the bad news..... because these puppies are personalized and made exactly how you want it...they take a while. 

As in 3-4 weeks to receive it...so I know that is probably too late for some people! Sorry! But if it isn't then {GO HERE} to shop and then use the code CRAYONS10 at check out for 10% off your planner.

Careful... if you click the link and see all the options then you may just have to order one! 

The good news is that you can get just one semester starting at $16 or a full year for $31. They even have the option to personalize it further by adding your class list... but we get our lists too late for that. Plus, I have gone digital for most of the stuff that would require having the student names involved... it is just my plans that still have to be written... at least I'm not using a fountain pen!

And before you go I want to share just one picture in celebration of my husband and my 5 year wedding anniversary! It is today...like right now!

And I am so grateful for all our friends and family who traveled to be with us that day in France ..... and here are some of our most special friends {so I lied....two pictures!}
We'll be celebrating today by moving....you know, nothing says romantic celebration like moving does. Ahh! Oh well...... it will still be a special day