The HappyEdugator

The HappyEdugator
People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Click Here to Link to My TPT Store

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving, Updates, Dollar Sale, Cyber Sale, and Christmas!

I know I didn't post much about Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, right after Veterans Day, my whole family came down with the flu. It has taken us down. My five year old grandson Carter missed three days of school, including all Thanksgiving festivities, and slept through Thanksgiving dinner. He has been the sickest of us all, with his temperature spiking sometimes to 104. Poor little guy. My son cooked everything himself, since he seemed to be over the virus, and he did an amazing job. He cooked two turkeys, because someone gifted him one on Wednesday night in the grocery store. Now we honestly can't eat two turkeys, so he actually made a feast for our neighbors, too. If you have been following my on Facebook (The HappyEdugator) or Instagram (happyedugator) you may have seen the photos of his amazing apple pie! Connect with me there if you want to see snippets of fun moments in my life. :) Even when I am sick, I can still snap a photo or post a link to a quick sale in my TPT store.

Now, it is hard to believe the holidays are upon use. I am still sniffling and coughing, but at least I am feeling a little bit better and can get up out of bed this morning. No, I am not a Black Friday person. I tried that one year. I ran to  several stores at 5 a.m. one Black Friday to get the deals. Later that afternoon, exhausted, all the stores I visited had extended their deals...I could have stayed in bed and got the exact same discounts! So, I am not going to fight crowds, burn gas, and otherwise stress myself out. I am going to stay home, cozy with a cup of coffee, warm by the fire, recover quietly from the crud, and let the madness go on without me. After all, I can look forward to Cyber Monday!

I am excited to share that I have been working on updating resources in my TPT store, and I know you are going to love the improvements. However, I have over 1100 resources, so even if I updated 3 per day, it would take me three years to update everything! So, if you find an older resource, please be patient. One update I worked on this past weekend was on my featured freebie...so if you already have downloaded it, please stop by my store and download the updated version. I have added slides, information, graphics...I think you will enjoy the latest version...and if you don't already have it, you may want to download it and check it out:

FREE Using Quotation Marks - Dialogue Punctuation PowerPoint

FREE Using Quotation Marks - Dialogue Punctuation PowerPoint



Also, I have joined again with a group of amazing teachers and we will be having a great $1 sale this Sunday. So make sure to check it out!



Now, I probably don't have to remind you that TPT is having their Cyber Sale this Monday and Tuesday, November 28th and 29th, 2016. My entire store will be on sale at 20% off, and with the TPT promo code CYBER2016, you can save an additional 10% off at checkout! HOWEVER, if you can't wait until Monday, my store will go on sale Sunday! So you can get great deals before you head back to school Monday. Just head to my TPT store here: 


I am working on adding some new products this week, so this would be a great time to scoop up a steal, since all new products are 50% off for the first 48 hours! If you teach grades 4 - 8, you may be interested in this poetry product:

Holidays Around the World - Christmas Around the World Poe


Look for more coming soon! Just let me get over this flu! :) I am also involved in a cross country move, from near Jacksonville, Florida to Seattle, Washington. We drove across the country in October, but I have to fly back and work on our house for a couple of weeks to get it ready for the market. So I am going to be extra busy this season, and I may not be able to post much here on the blog. Please connect with me on Facebook, though, because if I have any sales or specials, I will post them on my page. 

As always, 
I like to end with a freebie, just for visiting and reading my blog. 

FREE Christmas Bookmarks and Gift Coupons




Best wishes for success always, 

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator









Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Veterans Day Activities

We survived hurricane Matthew with no damage, but we did have a lot of yard clean up to do. Thankfully, we were able to get up all the limbs and get things back to normal pretty quickly and with minimal back aches!

Our big adventure then began. We drove across the country from Florida to Seattle, Washington. I should have written a blog just about our amazing trip, but I was driving all the time. Really...it took us nine days! We finally arrived after what seemed like forever, and I am now getting to spend some much desired time with my grandchildren.

So it is much colder here, and wetter. I have a nice little office at my son's house that I can hole up in for the winter. I should be warm and dry inside. However, my car is leaking water from the roof...I will need to get that fixed soon! It has rained steadily every day since we arrived last week.

So, I now have a computer set up and I can get back. November is here, and you may be thinking what do I do now that Halloween and all the hoopla is over. Well, I always spend time on Veterans Day teaching kids about the importance of  honoring our service men and women who protect us and our freedom. I usually had the Women's Auxiliary of our local Veterans  come in and visit our classroom. They loved to do this, and would teach about the flag and how to fold it, etc. They will do this for elementary and middle school kids.

Also, being a Language Arts teacher, my students would also write letters to our sailors at sea. Our district encourages participation at all levels, since we have many military families.

The VFW also has an annual essay contest that my students enter every year. If you have a middle school student who is interested in winning $5000 or a high school student interested in winning $30,000, in scholarship money, you should check out the Patriot's Pen contest and encourage your students to enter. Here is the information you should know for this year:

VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest

VOD winnerhttp://www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen/

I highly recommend this PowerPoint by Fun Reading and Writing Resources on TPT to explain to your students about the holiday:

Veterans Day - How and Why We Celebrate Veterans Day PowerPoint

Veterans Day - How and Why We Celebrate PowerPoint

My students love games and puzzles, and they hardly realize they are learning when they are doing them. I play the on screen Veterans Day Word Jumble or give them hard copies of my Veterans Day Word Puzzles as fun supplemental activities. You can find them here:
For grades 3 and up:

Veterans Day Jumbled Words Game
Veterans Day Jumble Words GAME 


For upper elementary and middle school:

Veterans Day Word Puzzles
Veterans Day Word Puzzles

For the younger learners: (On Sale Today for only $1)

Veterans Day Activities - Print and Go


Veterans Day Fun Activities - Print and Go

Since this is an Election year, I like to do activities that are election related, but I don't get into politics at all with my students. My middle school kids always ask me who I am voting for, but I never tell. I explain about secret ballots, and then we have fun electing our favorite types of sentence structure... If you are interested in that middle school ELA activity, you can find it here:

Election Day- Sentence Structure Election

Election Day Sentence Structure Election


I hope you have a great start to your Novemeber!
Best, Deborah

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew and Freaky Fridays Are Back



Hello Friends,

Well, hurricane Matthew is heading our way. We have left our home in southeast Georgia and are up visiting my cousins in the beautiful North Carolina mountains waiting for the storm to pass by. Praying that when we return, the damage will not be too bad, and praying for our friends and neighbors who are under mandatory evacuation. Our entire county is low country, so storm surge is a major concern. I guess the worst case scenario is that we lose our house and car, but we still have each other and of course, our fur babies.

I was doing so much research on hurricanes, I decided to put what I was learning together into a PowerPoint to help you teach your students about hurricanes, and I finished it an posted it in my TPT store. I am also going to be adding it to TES and TN, if you like to shop there! Watch for the sales! :)

Hurricanes PowerPoint

Hurricanes PowerPoint

I forgot to post last week about Freaky Friday, but you may have stumbled upon it. I have joined up with some amazing teachers and we are having amazing dollar deals every Friday this month in our TPT stores. Well, tomorrow we are doing it again...with 40+ new deals for you to choose from.



So how do you get the deals?

Choose one of these methods:
1. Click this picture:




2. Use the linky at the bottom of this post that shows all of the participating stores!
You can click the first link to find a list of ALL the deals or click each individual seller to find their discounted deal for the day!

Many of the sellers on Instagram are using this hashtag when showing their deal:
but you won't find ALL the deals that way.
The sellers listed below will also be posting about their deals on their Facebook pages too...just another reason to follow and 'like' your favorite sellers!

So what will you find from me this week?

Columbus Day PowerPoint

Columbus Day is on Monday!  Many states require you teach about Columbus and this PowerPoint is an engaging visual resource that simply talks about his role in history!


Are you ready to find all the DOLLAR DEALS for Week 2? Click on the link to the linky below:


An InLinkz Link-up

Enjoy your dollar deals and watch for more next week! Please keep those in the way of Hurricane Matthew in your thoughts and prayers.

Deborah

Monday, August 1, 2016

Winners of the Gift Cards and TPT Sitewide Sale!

Announcing the lucky winners of the Rafflecopter contest for four $50 TPT gift cards!

Congratulations to these lucky ladies! I hope you enjoy shopping on the site today!


Just a reminder, the Teacherspayteachers site-wide sale is going on now, today and tomorrow, August 1 and 2. My store is 20% off, and you will save an additional 10% off your total by entering the promo code BESTYEAR at checkout.



Hope you are off to a great start to the best year ever. 
Don't forget to enter your promo code BESTYEAR when checking out!
 (That has happened to me before.)

Best wishes for success always,

Deborah 




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Resources on the Fly and a Chance to Win one of Four $50 TPT Gift Cards...ONE DAY ONLY!! Don't miss it!

 I am here today to tell you about a promotion I am participating in on Sunday July 31st.

As much as we all love preparing centers and engaging lessons for our students, there are times we need something 'fast' or 'ready to go.' When an unexpected event happens and you need something right away, these are the kind of go to resources you need to always have on hand.

So 30+ teacher authors and I have teamed up to bring you 'on the fly' resources that will be discounted for ONE DAY ONLY!



There are many different items to choose from for varying grade levels.  Maybe you need a morning work pack, a print 'n go, sub folder activity, printables pack or 'ready to go' center?  

The items in the list do not require a lot of teacher prep or materials!

You can find all the discounted deals by clicking HERE:


BUT that's not all!
We are also giving away Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards!
And not just one....FOUR $50 gift cards to TpT!!! The entry window is only open until 6 am EST 8/1, so don't delay entering!  
(Scroll to the end of this post for details on how to enter!)


They will be awarded in time to use for the TPT Site-Wide Back to School Sale that will run August 1st and 2nd!


My entire TPT store will be 20% off and then an additional 10% will be taken off at checkout if you enter promo code: BESTYEAR

(If you can't wait for the site-wide sale, you can still take advantage of a sale I am having in my store today...since I know some of you go back to school tomorrow! Click HERE to go directly to my store. )  

Are you ready to enter to win a $50 TpT Gift Card?
You have several chances to win if you enter all 4 of these rafflecopters!
Be sure to follow what the entry question asks you to do...if selected as a winner and you did not answer the question you will be disqualified!

So take a minute and enter the contest...you just may get lucky! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck and wishing you a wonderful start to your new school year!
Be sure to check your email on August 1st to see if you are one of the four lucky winners!
Best wishes for success always, 
Deborah

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Back to School Tips for Teachers

Yes, I know. It is the end of July, and you're enjoying your summer. At least, I hope you are. I have had an amazing summer, so I haven't been writing. I've been out there enjoying life, losing weight, and getting healthy. My garden has been growing, and I have made some great recipes. I also spent some time at the beach, collecting shells, and being crafty making seashell mirrors.

If you have been following me on Instagram (happyedugator), I have posted pictures there about some of my adventures. I especially enjoyed the TPT conference in Orlando. I loved getting together with old friends and new, learning new things that can help me make better materials for teachers, which will ultimately help children all over the world. Here is a picture of me with  Paul Edelman, our founder:


However, this post is not about summer... it's about going back to school. Now some of  you just got out of school, and you may be thinking, "What!? I don't want to hear that!" However, some counties in our state are actually starting school on August 1, and teachers are going back next week for preplanning and Open House! It seems so early, but that is a consequence of getting out of school in mid May, I guess.

So my post today is about getting ready for a new school year, and I have some tips for you. These are things that have made my life easier as a middle school Language Arts teacher, but they can be used across grade levels. 

1. Get some pre-sharpened pencils. These are great to have on hand. I used to buy them just for testing, but now that tests are taken on the computer, I found they work well for having around for daily classroom use, too. 

There is always that kid that doesn't have something to write with.  You can make little flags out of patterned duct tape which will identify which ones are yours.  

Speaking of pencils in the classroom, here is something that worked for me in Language Arts. I took the pencil sharpener off the wall. Nope, no pencil sharpener in my room. In middle school ELA, you can use pen. Just draw a line through your errors!  Other alternatives... students bring mechanical pencils, extra lead, and personal pencil sharpeners with a container for shavings.  I saved my sanity with this plan. Kids did not have to get up and use the pencil sharpener, and I never had to worry about emptying it out and dirty pencil shavings falling on the floor when they missed the trash. Yes, my custodians liked it, too. If you want to do this in math, just skip the pen, and require mechanical pencils. You can also buy little containers of lead at the dollar store for emergencies...I spent $2 on two, and they lasted me the whole year!

2. Get a large, highly visible timer. You can find all different types and styles on Amazon, but a timer is a necessity for smooth transitions from one activity to the next, especially if you are working in a long block of time. Here is mine, which is about 8 inches in diameter:



You can also use a PowerPoint timer to show on your Smart-board or whiteboard. Here is a link to one you can pick up for just $3:


PowerPoint Timer - Time Remaining PowerPoint for Classroom

3. Invest in some stamps. No, not postage stamps. Get a set of stamps and an ink pad, and save yourself writing notes to students about their work.  Need a homework pass? Stamp out a few! Editing checklist? Stamp it on their paper! Late work? Stamp it! Rough draft? Stamp it! Parent signature? Stamp it! Here is my collection that I loved using: 
You can find lots more online. There is a little investment, but really worth having, and ink pads can be purchased at the dollar store!

4. Get a pretty notepad. Sometimes it is necessary to write a quick note to another teacher, a parent, principal, or lead teacher. A pretty notepad will make you look so much more professional, and will bring a little beauty and joy into your day. If you can, get a personalized one. Then your name is already on it...here is mine that I purchased at a school fundraiser:
Another great one to have, is a pad with carbonless duplicate pages to send a note home. Then you have documented proof you sent a note home with a child when a parent says they never received anything. I used these from




5. Use wall space wisely.  Get a small whiteboard to put on the wall beside your door. It's a great place to put your daily agenda and kids will get used to looking there as soon as they come in the room. I told them to never ask me, "What are we doing today?" until they read the agenda. So much nicer than answering that question 50 times a day! Also, it leaves space on your whiteboard for instructional information. Even better, find one that is magnetic. You can hang magnetic hooks on it for passes, markers, etc.

6. Buy some cheap magnetic letters. Yes, even middle school kids like those little plastic refrigerator magnets, but they are great for teachers. Use as headers - spell out AGENDA, ESSENTIAL QUESTION, EQ, STANDARDS, etc. What is nice is they are so easy to change out. 



7. Use duct tape! It comes in many different patterns and will go with many different themes. Put some on the floor to mark where desks should go, decorate old cans for pencil holders, use to make little booklets by taping paper together  and securing with staples, color code groups, etc. 
There are lots of uses for duct tape. 

8. Make folders for each student. In middle school, I kept a three drawer plastic bin behind my desk for each class. I gave students manila folders the first week of school to write their name on and decorate to make their own, and stored them in the bin. Every week, I had assigned a student helper to pass out the folders at the beginning of class and collect them at the end.  Students put their work in the folders. A great benefit to this...if they forgot to put their name on their work, it was in a folder with their name on it! I just never had students access the bins unless they were assigned as student helpers that week. That way there was no possibility of cheating off someone else's work, telling me they turned it, etc. If it wasn't in their folder, it wasn't turned in. Period. Here is a full week of GOT folder activities from my TPT store - Click HERE to get them for FREE 

9. Have routines in place from the first day of school. Harry Wong is right about this. Establish routines. I was a pre-K teacher before I taught middle school, and routines are important for all children to feel comfortable and secure, and having routines in place helps keep them on track. Not everything has to be the same everyday, but basic classroom tasks should become routine. Especially have a routine for what to do upon entering the room.  I always have a folder passer, a paper passer, and a warm-up activity or bell-ringer ready up on the board. Students know that once they cross the threshold, they are to come in, sit down, and get started. I use a catchy name for my folders...I call them GOT folders...Get On Task. Haha...call them what you will. If you are a middle school Language Arts teacher, here is a great bundle of Bellringers that addresses all of the standards and will welcome your students into the room: Bell-Ringers Bundle Full Year Common Core ELA

Bell Ringers Bundle - Full Year - Common Core ELA

10. Have a calendar on your desk. Every year at this time of year, I would search out stores for a nice desktop calendar that I could write on. I know I could use my computer for scheduling and such, but I liked the old-fashioned way of having it in writing right where I could see it. However, I thought of a way I could save money on this...I made a blank desktop calendar on my computer and printed it out on card stock and laminated it, Then I could fill in the month, dates, and schedule events with a dry erase marker...or better yet, a wet erase. I liked using wet erase markers so things wouldn't get wiped off accidentally being on my busy desk. Then I just used wet wipes to wipe off what I wanted to.  

As I always try to do in every blog post, I give you a freebie for reading! So I am sharing my blank desktop planner calendar with you. Just click the link here and enjoy!


Free Teacher Desk Planner - Back to School Calendar

Wishing you success always!

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator



  














Back to School Tips for Teachers

Yes, I know. It is the end of July, and you're enjoying your summer. At least, I hope you are. I have had an amazing summer, so I haven't been writing. I've been out there enjoying life, losing weight, and getting healthy. My garden has been growing, and I have made some great recipes. I also spent some time at the beach, collecting shells, and being crafty making seashell mirrors.

If you have been following me on Instagram (happyedugator), I have posted pictures there about some of my adventures. I especially enjoyed the TPT conference in Orlando. I loved getting together with old friends and new, learning new things that can help me make better materials for teachers which will ultimately help children all over the world. Here is a picture of me with  Paul Edelman, our founder:


However, this post is not about summer... it's about going back to school. Now some of  you just got out of school, and you may be thinking, "What!? I don't want to hear that!" However, some counties in our state are actually starting school on August 1, and teachers are going back next week for preplanning and Open House! It seems so early, but that is a consequence of getting out of school in mid May, I guess.

So my post today is about getting ready for a new school year, and I have some tips for you. These are things that have made my life easier as a middle school Language Arts teacher, but they can be used across grade levels. 

1. Get some pre-sharpened pencils. These are great to have on hand. I used to buy them just for testing, but now that tests are taken on the computer, I found they work well for having around for daily classroom use, too. 

There is always that kid that doesn't have something to write with.  You can make little flags out of patterned duct tape which will identify which ones are yours.  

Speaking of pencils in the classroom, here is something that worked for me in Language Arts. I took the pencil sharpener off the wall. Nope, no pencil sharpener in my room. In middle school ELA, you can use pen. Just draw a line through your errors!  Other alternatives... students bring mechanical pencils, extra lead, and personal pencil sharpeners with a container for shavings.  I saved my sanity with this plan. Kids did not have to get up and use the pencil sharpener, and I never had to worry about emptying it out and dirty pencil shavings falling on the floor when they missed the trash. Yes, my custodians liked it, too. If you want to do this in math, just skip the pen, and require mechanical pencils. You can also buy little containers of lead at the dollar store for emergencies...I spent $2 on two, and they lasted me the whole year!

2. Get a large, highly visible timer. You can find all different types and styles on Amazon, but a timer is a necessity for smooth transitions from one activity to the next, especially if you are working in a long block of time. Here is mine, which is about 8 inches in diameter:



You can also use a PowerPoint timer to show on your Smart-board or whiteboard. Here is a link to one you can pick up for just $3:


PowerPoint Timer - Time Remaining PowerPoint for Classroom

3. Invest in some stamps. No, not postage stamps. Get a set of stamps and an ink pad, and save yourself writing notes to students about their work.  Need a homework pass? Stamp out a few! Editing checklist? Stamp it on their paper! Late work? Stamp it! Rough draft? Stamp it! Parent signature? Stamp it! Here is my collection that I loved using: 
You can find lots more online. There is a little investment, but really worth having, And ink pads can be purchased at the dollar store!

4. Get a pretty notepad. Sometimes it is necessary to write a quick note to another teacher, a parent, principal, or lead teacher. A pretty notepad will make you look so much more professional, and will bring a little beauty and joy into your day. If you can, get a personalized one. Then your name is already on it...here is mine that I purchased at a school fundraiser:
Another great one to have, is a pad with carbonless duplicate pages to send a note home. Then you have documented proof you sent a note home with a child when a parent says they never received anything. I used these from




5. Use wall space wisely.  Get a small whiteboard to put on the wall beside your door. It's a great place to put your daily agenda and kids will get used to looking there as soon as they come in the room. I told them to never ask me, "What are we doing today?" until they read the agenda. So much nicer than answering that questions 50 times a day! Also, it leaves space on your whiteboard for instructional information. Even better, find one that is magnetic. You can hang magnetic hooks on it for passes, markers, etc.

6. Buy some cheap magnetic letters. Yes, even middle school kids like those little plastic refrigerator magnets, but they are great for teachers. Use as headers - spell out AGENDA, ESSENTIAL QUESTION, EQ, STANDARDS, etc. What is nice is they are so easy to change out. 



7. Use duct tape! It comes in many different patterns and will go with many different themes. Put some on the floor to mark where desks should go, decorate old cans for pencil holders, use to make little booklets by taping paper together  and securing with staples, color code groups, etc. 
There are lots of uses for duct tape. 

8. Make folders for each student. In middle school, I kept a three drawer plastic bin behind my desk for each class. I gave students manila folders the first week of school to write their name on and decorate to make their own, and stored them in the bin. Every week, I had assigned a student helper to pass out the folders at the beginning of class and collect them at the end.  Students put their work in the folders. A great benefit to this...if they forgot to put their name on their work, it was in a folder with their name on it! I just never had students access the bins unless they were assigned as student helpers that week. That way there was no possibility of cheating off someone else's work, telling me they turned it, etc. If it wasn't in their folder, it wasn't turned in. Period. Here is a full week of GOT folder activities from my TPT store - Click HERE to get them for FREE 

9. Have routines in place from the first day of school. Harry Wong is right about this. Establish routines. I was a pre-K teacher before I taught middle school, and routines are important for all children to feel comfortable and secure, and having routines in place helps keep them on track. Not everything has to be the same everyday, but basic classroom tasks should become routine. Especially have a routine for what to do upon entering the room.  I always have a folder passer, a paper passer, and a warm-up activity or bell-ringer ready up on the board. Students know that once they cross the threshold, they are to come in, sit down, and get started. I use a catchy name for my folders...I call them GOT folders...Get On Task. Haha...call them what you will. If you are a middle school Language Arts teacher, here is a great bundle of Bellringers that addresses all of the standards and will welcome your students into the room: Bell-Ringers Bundle Full Year Common Core ELA

Bell Ringers Bundle - Full Year - Common Core ELA

10. Have a calendar on your desk. Every year at this time of year, I would search out stores for a nice desktop calendar that I could write on. I know I could use my computer for scheduling and such, but I liked the old-fashioned way of having it in writing right where I could see it. However, I thought of a way I could save money on this...I made a blank desktop calendar on my computer and printed it out on card stock and laminated it, Then I could fill in the month, dates, and schedule events with a dry erase marker...or better yet, a wet erase. I liked using wet erase markers so things wouldn't get wiped off accidentally being on my busy desk. Then I just used wet wipes to wipe off what I wanted to.  

As I always try to do in every blog post, I give you a freebie for reading! So I am sharing my blank desktop planner calendar with you. Just click the link here and enjoy!


Free Teacher Desk Planner - Back to School Calendar

Wishing you success always!

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator