Saturday, June 28, 2014

WOW! Ten $100 Prizes

I've teamed up with the best of the best TpT sellers for what I'm sure will be an amazing giveaway! 10 winners will each win one of the prize packages listed below. Each package contains a $10 shopping spree to 10 different stores- that a $100 shopping spree and a total of $1000 in products in all!

You can enter right from my page. Just look for smartkidsgammons in the list below. Best of luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest Post from First Grade Fairytales: Parent Handbooks

Friday! Friday! Friday!'s summer...EVERY day is Friday..or whatever day you want it to be! I'm Kelly from First Grade Fairytales & I'm so honored to be guest blogging on Jayne's sweet blog. She's amazing, as I'm sure you all know, and I'm really thrilled to be here!

With "Back to School" just around the corner, I thought I'd share my Parent Handbooks with you. These little flipbooks have gotten the single most pins on Pinterest, and I get a lot of emails for a template.

Truth be told, I don't have a template because they are hand-made with some old school scissors and tape.My first year teaching, I worked with a lady that had been making these for over 30 years. She showed me how to do it, and I've been making them ever since. It's just involves some simple cut and paste, which is a little time consuming, but parents really LOVE them every year!

I have found they are a great way to put all that classroom and school information together in one handy dandy handbook.

So, we're gonna go old school with a little tutorial so y'all can make them for yourselves :)

There are 10 steps, so bunches of pictures to come.... you've been warned!

HERE is the link to the PowerPoint with the defined boxes already made for you. It's not a PDF so you can use it as a template to make your own book/content. There are no "cute" fonts or anything, but I've provided you with the boxes to fit the pages. Like I said, old school & simple.

And there you have it... . A Back to School Parent Handbook, customized JUST the way you want it ! :) I put these out on Open House night & then send them home on the first day with the kids who weren't able to make it. It explains EVERYTHING about our classroom, provides parents with contact information, and alleviates a lot of questions.  I love it, and the parents do, too!

I hope I have answered your questions about how to make these & it all makes sense. 

     If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me @

Also, if you'd like a PDF of this tutorial to print, click HERE! 

      A BIG THANK YOU to Jayne for letting me steal some of her blog space today! Happy Weekend, friends.....

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Super instructions, Kelly! You know I Iove old school...because I was teaching before there were computers!! 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blog Following Down the Yellow Brick Road

New to following teacher blogs? Not sure where the road leads when you start clicking? No need to be a cowardly lion. Start FOLLOWING some of those favorite blogs. There are many ways to get where you are going. Here are a few of my favorites.

This is my favorite way to follow all my teacher pals around. You'll usually see something that looks like this.
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Many blogs also have social media buttons. Look for the heart and plus sign.

Of course the first time, you'll need to set up your bloglovin' account. You can choose if you want to get emails every time one of your blog updates. (Which would be ridiculous for me because I follow a kazillion people.) Or you can get one daily email that links you to all of the blogs you follow that posted each day. Just go to settings.

Here's what my email looks like:

I can remember when my husband said, "You should get on Facebook." At times Facebook feels like an addiction, but it is a convenient...though not reliable...way to keep up with everyone's business. As you know, all you have to do is LIKE a page. Wait! There's more to it. If you really want to catch all the flash freebies, pin-it-to-win-it offers and other prizes bloggers throw into the water, you MUST to go up to the Liked button and choose Get Notifications. This is important because Facebook sends my posts to less than 10% of my followers. You might miss something!!

Often bloggers will give you an incentive or special offer if you follow on Facebook. Be sure to check out the FB freebies for followers. On my page, you can get an ABC Animal Parade book and an apple themed graphic organizer.

You've got mail! As I pointed out, Bloglovin' will package all of your blog notifications and send you one email. But if you want to make sure you are connected, follow by email is easy. Just be sure your favs don't get spammed!

Again, my Pinterest following may border on addiction. But who doesn't love to take one last look at their Pinterest feed before cutting out the light and going to bed? It leads to sweet dreams of all the things you are going to make and do someday. You do already have a Pinterest account, right? We'll skip that step. To follow a teacher on pinterest, you can look for the P, or a button.

Lots of bloggers are members of group boards. So if you follow one, you are following many. Viral!

Instagram is my favorite pastime for standing in line at the grocery store. Sometimes I even do a quick scroll if the prayers run too long in church. So join instagram on your phone. In the social media buttons, you are looking for the camera icon. 
You can choose to be a private member. That means that you can see lots of blogger posts, but you don't have to have people following you around. On the computer the screen looks like this:

On your phone it will look like this. Don't feel 13-year-old had to explain it to me. ("Mom, nobody does that anymore." Eye roll.)("Yea. Except thousands of teachers." Return eye roll.)

That's all for today. I didn't even talk about google plus or twitter, but that should get you started. Following your favorite teacher friends is as easy as clicking your heels. Just click away at these links when you are traveling through education blogs. You'll feel inspired in no time! (But don't do it during staff meetings. I'm just saying'.)
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