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Celebrate good times, c'mon!

Notice anything different? In the months since my last post, Very Perry Classroom has received a face-lift from my girl Jessica at Tech and Teachability! I love it! I PROMISE that there will be more on that later.... I have some EXCITING news:

The Primary Punchbowl is turning 1!! :)

I cannot put into words what this group of amazing educators has done for me over the past year or so. I have made some lifelong friends, some clear across the country! I even got to meet up and bond with some of them this summer at TPT Orlando! I hope to see some of them in January when I go to Get Your Teach On!

In spirit of celebration, I wanted to share one of the ways I encourage students in my class to take ownership of their positive behavior.... I don't know about you, but I LOVE Class Dojo for management. I mean, really? Where has this been all my life?!? My students are so engaged by it, and I LOVE the ability to share more with families about what is going on in our class. Students will often ask "Can you add that to my story?" I enjoy that their school day is a conversation piece now with their families. In spirit of our celebration, you can click here to get the brag tags I allow my students to choose from if they are the Dojo Leader of the Week. We store our brag tags on rings located at our Wall of Fame in class. Simple, fun, and inexpensive. ALL three words that teachers LOVE!

Now, here's where I get to feel like Oprah:
1. We are hosting a GIVEAWAY from some of the girls of The Primary Punchbowl, so be sure to check it out!

2. Some of us are ALSO hosting a sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. Just search for #letscelebrate for some amazing deals

3. You can download my Class Dojo brag tags for FREE right here!

4. Hop on over Jessica (my fabulous blog designer)'s blog to see how she is celebrating!

I hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Mixing up the Punchbowl!

Hello! Long time, no talk.... I have good reason, though... What might that be? Oh, just the end-of-the-year craziness! Today, I would like to share some fun news:
As a member of The Primary Punchbowl, I have often reached out for support and to give support for the craziness that comes with this life. I LOVE my job, and I LOVE having people who "get it." With that said, many of the girls in the group have shared that they are planning on moving schools and/or grade levels next school year. This past school year, I had an AMAZING class. One of those classes that get along SO well, give their work their best effort, are engaged, and are just plain fun. As the end of the year was growing closer, I began to feel very sad thinking about "losing them," even though I am in the first grade wing... After discussion with admin and other teachers, I am, as of right now, going to first grade next year!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE kindergarten, too! I am excited to be challenged as an educator, and to challenge my first graders to deepen their understanding, try new things, and become readers and writers. I also get to stay in my current classroom, which is a huge blessing, as I have moved rooms more than once in the past few years. My mom is also a first grade teacher, and I look forward to sharing and collaborating with her. I also am very close to both the first grade and kindergarten teams, so I hope to help bridge any gaps with my knowledge of both grade levels. 
After all is said and done:


Currently May 2016

Ok, I can't be the only one who is a little emotional about "Currently" ending... Right? I have to say, as a new blogger last year, this linky has helped me to form friendships that are so dear to me.... With that said, I am linking up with Farley for the last Currently!
Listening: What did I do before Netflix? No, but seriously, what? I feel like any down time I am filling with new/old shows... Has anyone seen "Catastrophe" on Amazon Prime? Blew through that one in a weekend... How about "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?" DOI! ;) 

Loving: I am a VERY sentimental/nostalgic person. And the end of the school year is always hard for me, because I start missing students before they're even gone... I LOVE the fun activities in the last month of school, because they celebrate what students and teachers have accomplished all year!

Thinking: Every year I say I am going to do something different, and then, by February, I am running around looking for where I stored my big books, holiday decor. etc. I have even MORE ideas for next year, so hopefully I can get that show on the road already!

Wanting: But seriously. Refer back to "Loving," and you know I love this month... But WHERE does the time go in May?! Also, Fro-Yo never hurt anybody...

Needing: I had the chance to (finally) go to Disneyland this weekend. I haven't been since January, and, for me, that is a LONG time! I had a great time, but my body is ex-haus-ted! I have had 2 massages (gift cards) sitting on my dresser for more than 2 years... That's 2 years too long... Time to cash them in!!

Truth: My friends, in all reality, something has GOT to give. For me, it's usually my diet and grocery shopping... This month has been no exception.. Who gets their milk from a donut shop?!

That's my May 1st in a nutshell! I can't wait to hear from you!! 

Currently, April 2016

Hi, there! I am linking up again with Farley for Currently!
Listening: Anyone else like obscure shows? "The Wind at my Back" is a Canadian series from the mid-90's. This Spring Break, my mom brought her Season 1 DVDs in the motorhome to watch, and we were hooked! 
Loving: I have been listening to books on Audible on my drive to and from work, and LOVE this! I like light books (memoirs), and have been powering through some good ones!
Thinking: I can hardly believe it: 7.5 weeks left in school! There is so much to do! I have plans to finish the year strong with my amazing class! 
Wanting: I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head, but hardly any time these days! This seems to be the issue every month for me. ;)
Needing: nothing makes one notice their need for a pedicure than a day in flip flops! I need a pedicure BADLY, and already have my color picked out!
Whatever: I think this is self-explanatory! I don't know how I am going to make it 3.5 more months! EEK!

Thoughts on #TeachersTakeSacramento2016.... And a GIVEAWAY!!

Hi, friends! 

I am so excited to share about the meetup we hosted about 3 weeks ago in Sacramento... 

Last fall, a few of us girls from the Central Valley of California (Sarah, Laura, and Brianne)  were meeting for dinner, as we try to do every two months or so.. We love collaborating, and especially love getting a chance to hang out. We have been able to connect through various meetups, including many of the great meetups at TPT Vegas 2015..We began discussing our dream of hosting a teacher meetup in the Spring for teachers, bloggers, TPT sellers, and the like, and what we would want it to look like... It came down to a few musts: it had to be fun, it had to include more than just our region of California, and it needed to include ALL types of educators... 

And then we started planning and dreaming...

We had NO idea that so many AMAZING companies would be interested in donating products for swag bags, giveaways, and more... 
We had NO idea that so many AMAZING TPT sellers would donate products for our attendees to download exclusively....
We had NO idea that so many AMAZING educators would attend....
Meet a few of my newest friends! ;)

Friday night, we got into town and met up at our hotel. After unloading our giveaways and swag in the hotel room, we headed out for dinner with these amazing people:
 Clockwise, From top left: Brianne, Elliott, Me, Jillian, Laura, Sarah, Amy, and Shyra(a great help the weekend of the event)...
That's right. Teachers Pay Teachers sent not one, not two, but THREE amazing individuals from Team TPT: Amy, Elliott, and Jillian
And amazing they were! Their kindness and support truly made our event what it was. THANK YOU, Teachers Pay Teachers! 

After dinner and great conversation, we walked back to the hotel to meet the amazing educators attending that were already socializing for Happy Hour! Everyone was so friendly, and made introductions immediately.

Catching up with my friends from TPT Vegas, Kinderbrations and Katie Byrd, and making a new friend in Teacher Crafter, Lorraine!

When Happy Hour was over, we went back to our rooms with happy hearts, and a new-found energy. It's a good thing we had that energy, because we had about 80 swag bags to stuff... And by stuff, I mean stuff!! 

A quick toast before getting started! 
(P.S. I  big-time heart those seltzers. I loved them as a kid, and when I saw they were back in stores, I HAD to ask if they would even consider donating. They were SO kind, and easygoing! Every person attending our event went home with a bottle of their choice! You can find their website here)

Rows, and rows, and rows of swag!!

After filling our swag bags, counting and recounting the contents and bags, we headed to bed. We knew we had a fun day ahead of us!

Saturday morning, Sarah and I (we were sharing a hotel room) woke up excited!! We knew our friend Brittany would be there in the morning, and couldn't wait to see her! I hadn't seen her since I met her at a meetup almost a year ago, but we've kept in touch since! Our shared love for Disney and teaching kindergarten meant instant friendship...

We loaded up our arms with bags of t-shirts, and headed over to the state capitol.... We had plans to take a picture on the steps outside. When we arrived, people were already there! We had fun catching up with those who didn't get a chance to make it to Happy Hour, and people kept raving about the softness of the shirts. Seriously, Brianne, can I just order a shirt for every day of the week from this company?! We lined everybody up, and took some great pictures of the group!

The FABULOUS Amy, of Team TPT!

Elliott and Jillian are still all smiles after a flat tire!

Then we sent them off on a scavenger hunt, created by the lovely Laura! Many people have told us it was a great way to get to know the area, and to make new friends! Those who completed the Instagram scavenger hunt received extra tickets for our giveaway! If you want to find some of the fun, search #teacherstakesacramento2016 on Instagram! 

We then walked back to the hotel to load up the goodies for dinner and headed to our event space. 
Our wonderful bellhop with one of the MANY loads to the cars....

Sarah had brought many pieces from home to help make the event decor consistent with what we had been using for the weekend: white, teal, black, and red. She had a great knack for making it even more special with her design eye. 

Once we were set up, we were ready for our friends to show up!

We had Sarah and Laura (wo-)manning the check in table, I was handing out name tags for the awesome wine glasses made by Sprout Classrooms, and Brianne was greeting people after they had checked in! We gave attendees (and ourselves) some time to mingle and meet before we started with giveaways....

My fellow Primary Punchbowl friend, Andrea, won some sweet Nickel and Suede earrings!

Sweet Katie Byrd won a recycled book bracelet!

Here's Brittany with her score of Heidi Songs resources!

We can't forget to mention some other great giveaways...
 Thanks to HUE

and many more!

We also had some AMAZING donors to our swag bags..... 

Also included in our bags was a program that listed all of our wonderful TPT Authors who had donated to our Dropbox link. It was a great way for TPT Authors to gain exposure, and the attendees to get some awesome digital resources for their classrooms!We even had our very own Melonheadz clip art designed exclusively for our meetup!!

I guess there are worse things than having attendees complain that their arms hurt from so much stuff, right?! 

In addition to the awesome wine glasses {for all attending} provided by Kate, we also had our dessert provided by the lovely Sheila Jane Teaching, who was celebrating her 1 year anniversary of her teacher happiness website! What better way to celebrate an energetic, POSITIVE person than with sweetness!!

When the night was over, some of us headed out to go bowling as well. What a laid-back way to end the night! 

I cannot wait to start planning our next labor of love, #TeachersTake____2017... Stay tuned! I hope you will join us next time!

If you're sad you missed out, or have a bit of  #FOMO, don't stress! Here's the good news... If you were unable to attend our meetup this Spring, you still have a chance to win some of our amazing swag! We are hosting a giveaway through March 23, so be sure to sign up below with the Rafflecopter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Currently March

Hello, friends! Don't worry, I plan to post about our meetup in Sacramento 2 weeks ago, but I am still wrapping my brain around the awesome weekend! :) SOON! Here is this month's Currently....
Listening: I am in my parents' new motor home and listening to the long-awaited rain outside. A beautiful sound here in California! 
Loving: As someone who is part-Irish (a very small part), I LOVE March. Add in Read Across America, St. Patrick's Day, AND Easter? It's like a trifecta!! I love having a chance to explore so many Spring topics in such fun ways. 
Thinking: I have two exciting things happening this month: Spring break and a trip to the Grand Canyon!
Wanting: I have signed up for the Great Fit Teacher Challenge that starts on Monday. I am a SUGAR ADDICT, so I am wanting to be as successful as possible with this challenge....
Needing: I have had my W-2's since the beginning of the year, but I just haven't had time to do my taxes... It's pretty painless, but I just need to sit down and DO them!!
Polling site: My school isn't a polling site, but so many of the towns in my county (including my hometown) house their polling sites at local places of worship....
How's your March going? I'd love to hear!

Teacher Meetup: What to Pack!

Ok, so you've signed up for a meetup...You've reached out to attendees.... Now, the age-old question: WHAT DO I PACK?!?
If you're going to a meetup that is not in your hometown, and/or you are staying overnight, you will need to do some planning... I'm hoping I can help...
First things first, CHECK THE WEATHER.... Research the place that you are visiting. Plan for unprecedented weather.  I usually like to pack a few items that I know will be used in many types of weather...

Without further ado, my Top 10 things to bring to a teacher meetup:

1. A Light jacket...
I like this one from Amazon.
Something that will wick away rain (or humidity), and will roll up and fit back in your bag easily.

If your meetup is going to have ANY activities that will require you to walk (like a scavenger hunt, changing venues, etc), you will be glad for this suggestion. Nothing can ruin a good time worse than feet in pain! I KNOW the importance of cute shoes at an event, but if you plan on being gone for more than a few hours, consider slipping some comfy ones in your bag as well.

3. Business Cards
I didn't know about this important piece until I attended my first meetup. It's a great way to help people remember WHO they met, and it links your blog/TPT store/Instagram to your face! 

4. Cash

Many meetups have your meal, snacks, or drinks included. But, if you are planning on doing anything spontaneous, it's important to have some cash for your fun! For instance, I will be bringing cash for our Happy Hour meetup on Friday at Teachers Take Sacramento, and cash for our bowling night! It also helps when you have a large group to not have to wait to split things a million ways among all the cards. :)

5. An outfit that screams "YOU!"
For me, this is pretty easy. I typically wear black jeans to EVERYTHING, and I like a lot of lace and earrings. You want to be comfortable, but you also want to look cute! You're going to be taking pictures and meeting people for the first time. Show up wearing what you feel your best in!

6. A pen...

What teacher DOESN'T like pens?! You will want to bring a pen to write down numbers, emails, etc. of your new friends!

7. A camera/camera phone

You are going to be meeting people and making new friends... You are going to want to document! Don't forget your camera/phone! 

8. Your name tag!

Often times, your meetup hosts will send you a name tag template for you to print ahead of time. I remember this summer when a friend of mine forgot her meetup name tag and was SO bummed!  Print it, then put it right into your bag!

9. Space in your suitcase! 

MOST meetups have amazing giveaways... You should definitely leave room in your bag for sweet giveaways and swag! 

10. A positive attitude! 
You can never go wrong with a smile on your face! 

Currently, February

Ok, so I am blogging my "Currently" almost a week late... I love that Farley keeps the link up so long. Otherwise, there would be months I didn't get to participate. :)
Listening: I am currently listening to/watching Friends for the 9 millionth time, and LOVING it. I can't help it. Love the show...

Loving: We have had an AMAZING time getting donors for our meetup giveaways. Can I tell you how EXCITED I am for #TeachersTakeSacramento16?!? It's gonna be GREAT!!

Thinking: Every year, my sweeties make Valentine's Day a bigger deal than Christmas. No kidding. I am currently brainstorming ideas to make it exciting for them!

Wanting: we have been teased with some 70 degree weather, and that darn groundhog may be right!! I was kind of getting used to the rain though. Some of my friends in other states/districts get a long break in the next few weeks and are taking vacations. I may be jealous of living vicariously through their margaritas and sand.....

Needing: Does anyone else have a random pile of junk in one area of their car? Just me? OK.... Well, I need to spend my day off tomorrow cleaning out my car. 

Swooning: I have also been re-watching "Chuck" on Netflix, and HOW adorable is Zachary Levi? That guy. <3 crush.="" erd="" nbsp="" p="">

Hope your February rocks!!