Monday, July 28, 2014

My Teacher Must Haves

I was able to work in my classroom today! We have a little less than a month until school begins, but it was great to get a jump start on setting up my classroom! While I was working today, I thought of a few things that have made my teacher must have list and I thought I would share them with you!

1. Mr. Sketch Markers - these markers are amazing. They smell wonderful and I honestly believe they improve my handwriting. They actually help me get excited about writing anchor charts!

2. Scotch Laminator - I received a personal laminator for Christmas last year and it is one of the best things ever. Now when I print games or activities at home I can laminate them immediately instead having to wait until school the next day or the next (sometimes I am forgetful). This has made my teacher life so much better!

From amazon

3. Rainstick - I use this as our attention signal. I learned this trick from NC Teacher Chick and it is the best thing ever. My students love it and it really helps get their attention!

From amazon
4. Post It Lined Sticky Notes - Are you a list maker? I definitely am! However sometimes I lose my list. These sticky notes come in handy! I can write my list then stick it to the front of my plan book and I almost never lose it now!

What is on your teacher must have list for this year?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Organize Our Reading

I have used Donor's Choose in the past to help get materials for my students. I created another project recently for materials that will help us organize our reading! We are using the Balanced Literacy Program and I think having sturdy book boxes will really help my students stay organized during reading workshop! I also think this will help with the life of our books! 

Please consider donating to our project (even if it's just a few dollars): Organize Our Reading! It would help us out so much! Could you also share this with anyone you think might be interested in helping us out? Thank you so much! 

We love the math library we received from Donors Choose two years ago! 

Guess what! Now you can like Create Joy & Teach on Facebook! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Love Our Home: Gallery Wall

Last summer I decided to write about what I love around our home. I thought now is the perfect time to continue this series on my blog! 

In May of 2012, our gallery wall looked like this and I loved it. 

Now 2 years later this is our current gallery wall: 

And I love it even more! We still have all of our wedding pictures up (which I am still obsessed with!).This definitely is an expression of our personalities and I can't wait to continue to add to it over the next several years. 

Here are the details about each item on our wall!

1. We love movies! We found this piece at Hobby Lobby and used a coupon to help us get an awesome deal on it! 
2. I took this picture when we went to the Carolina Balloon Fest to celebrate our first anniversary!
3. A canvas photo from our wedding! Photo credit: Emma Loo Photography
4. A shadowbox to hold all of our movie tickets! Did I mention we love movies? Check out the DIY here.
5&7. DIY canvas paintings. More details here.
6. Our engagement photos taken by my lovely sister in law! Check out her website!
8. More wedding pictures with our families! 
9. A mirror from Ikea! 
10. Owl canvas 
11. A Flapper Doodle print!
12. A small Jack Vettriano print that I bought at a college art show. He is my favorite. 

What do you love about your home?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do I Really Have to Exercise?

Exercise was never my favorite thing. I actually really really disliked it and was convinced it was completely unnecessary. Then I started to walk my neighborhood once a day. Then I slowly started to add in a yoga session every few days. I began to notice I had more energy and was not as stressed (especially during the school year) which is a fantastic side effect in my opinion!

My biggest struggles when it comes to exercise are consistency and motivation! In order to help myself with these struggles I bought a Fitbit flex, which really encourages me to be active throughout the day.  I also  created a playlist that I love and helps me stay motivated when I am just ready to give up! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Consistent exercise is a constant work in progress for me and I am finally starting to realize that that's okay.  My goal is to be healthy and happy. 

Are you like me when it comes to exercise? Do you love it or hate it? How do you stay motivated and encouraged?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It: FROGS Interactive Read Aloud

Hello! How was your Monday? Mine was pretty good even though I had to sit in an all day training because I got free materials for school!

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for...

I am still slowly learning my way around making items for Teachers Pay Teachers. I really enjoy it and it is helping me prepare for the upcoming school year! Over the weekend, I made an interactive read aloud packet for the book FROGS! by National Geographic Kids. 

This packet includes prompts for think alouds, stop and thinks, turn and talks, as well as stop and jot. The prompts are ready to be printed on sticky notes so then you can place them in your book and be ready to go! I also included a few suggestions on how I used this interactive read aloud in my classroom. You can check it out here in my TPT store

Hope you had a great Monday! Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

5 for Friday!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday this week!

1. We made it out to Carowinds yesterday! It was the perfect day to go. The weather was overcast so it wasn't too hot or very crowded. This is the windseeker, it goes 290 feet in the air. We were even able to see the Charlotte Skyline from the top!

2.  I have consistently been exercising for a week! I know it's not very long but this is a huge step in the right direction for me! I hope to get on a consistent routine I can keep up with once the school year starts! I just finished making a playlist to keep me motivated. What is on your workout/exercise playlist?

3. In 8 days, I am taking my first ever trip to Disney World! I can not find words to describe how unbelievably excited I am about this vacation!!!! 

4. This week I finished my 20th book towards my goal of reading 26 books by my 26th birthday in December! I am very glad I have been able to stick with this goal so far this year! Follow me on Instagram or Goodreads to see what I am reading!

5. This week I found 5 Who Was Books for $10! This is a teacher deal! My students loved these books last year and fought over them all the time! Now I have some more to add to our library!

Be sure to link back up with other teachers! 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to School Goals 2014 - 2015

I am linking up with Jess over at

Simones Math Resources

and sharing my goals for the 2014 - 2015 school year! I am excited t to look back on these goals throughout the year and reflect on them next summer!

My biggest goal this year is to stay on top of planning so I am not stressing out every Sunday about the upcoming week! 

What are your goals for the upcoming school year?

Summer How To

Since Tim and I are both teachers, we get to enjoy the summers off together! We have a lot of fun going on adventures and doing a lot things we are struggle to find time for during the school year. I recently made a Summer  How To List after finding a super cute printable list from You Are My Fave.

We have already crossed a few things off our list! We took a kayak trip with my sister and her husband last week! It was my first time in a kayak and it was amazing! I have also eaten grilled zucchini and a funnel cake! They were both delicious! 

A few of the other things on our list:

Disney World (10 days!!)
Universal Studios 
Drive In Movies

Zipper Pouch


A Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives Restaurant 
Ice Cream 

What is on your summer how to list?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teacher Tuesday: Printable Sticky Notes FREEBIE

A few weeks ago, I learned how to print on sticky notes and oh my goodness this is going to change my teacher life!

I am sharing a template you can edit and print whatever you want on sticky notes! I am definitely going to use this to help make my interactive read alouds neater!

Directions for printing on sticky notes:
1.Print the sticky note template page.
2.Stick your sticky notes in the boxes. Make sure all of the sticky sides are facing the same way
3.Load the paper in your printer so the sticky side goes through first and print! 
4. If you don’t do this it can mess up your printer.
5.Then peel of your sticky notes and use them! 

Just click on the picture above to download your free template! Directions are included in the download as well.  

How are you planning to use this in your classroom? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

DIY: Ombre Heart Bookmarks

I love reading, especially during the summer when I have a lot more free time! I also love paper crafts. One of my favorite and easiest crafts is handmade bookmarks! I recently made some ombre heart bookmarks (I still love the ombre look). They were so easy to make (please forgive the quality of my pictures, the light in my craft room is not the best)!

- Paint chip samples from your local hardware store
- Bookmarks (you can buy a pack of 50 at the craft store for $2-$3)
- Glue or Scotch Pop-Up Foam Squares
- Heart punch out

I love using the paint samples because they are usually free and the ombre part is already done for you! 


1. Gather all of your materials
2. Pick which ombre color you want to work with first.
3. Line up the paint chip with your punch out to make sure it fits. I found it was easier for me if I cut the three different colors apart.

4. Punch out all three hearts. Feel free to use a different shape! 
5. Use the Scotch Pop Up Foam Squares to attach your hearts to the bookmark. You could also use glue. Glue will allow the hearts to lay flat on the bookmark. 

Now you have new beautiful and colorful bookmarks to share with your friends and family! Let me know if you try this! I would love to see what you create! Happy reading and crafting!