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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Rock the New Year Sale and Giveaway!

Rock the New Year! 

A group of friends and TpT teacher-sellers have come together to bring you 3 days of fun and giveaways! You can download the promotional freebie in my store and see what we've got planned!  Images and products are linked in the PDF and you will find loads of bargains to start off the new year!

 Rock the New Year Promotional Freebie

Just click on the pic to go to my store and download the PDF.
You can also enter 4 rafflecopters each with a prize of a $50 TpT Gift Certificate!

The rafflecopters are located on Primary Pals blog.  Just click on the pic below to hop over and enter.

You will also find a contest on my facebook page to win store credit to either my design or teaching resources store - whichever you choose.  The contest closes on Friday.

Wishing you a successful and prosperous New Year! 

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! A little late, but better than never.

I realize I have been MIA for a bit, but even though I had great intentions, I could not find time to blog at all over the last month! I flew across the country from Jacksonville, Florida to Seattle, Washington, to spend time with the kids and grand-kids. (You can follow me on Instagram to see the photos...grandmother's bragging rights.  Then what do you know? I get back home to a sick husband who has the flu AND strep throat. Within 3 days, I had it, too! All my energy was sapped for over a week. Just as I was starting to feel better, it was hustle and bustle and get ready for Christmas! So here it is, the evening after Christmas, when it hit me that I haven't posted anything for almost a month. 

However, I am sure everyone else has busy lives at this time of year, so maybe you will relate.  I hope everyone had an amazing holiday. I hope you were able to have peace, no matter what the circumstances. Some thoughts as we celebrate the holiday season: it is important to remember that not everyone looks forward to Christmas. Some people are not surrounded by large wonderful families and friends. Some of us have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. For many, it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one, and many others have lost loved ones at Christmas time. Many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. I have seen and read about so much heartache and loss this season. My heart breaks for all those who feel the intense pain of loneliness, loss, poverty, and grief. It is my wish that kindness and love will find you if you are suffering.
If you are a teacher, I hope you find time to rest, relax, and recharge over this break. The days leading up to the holidays can be extremely stressful. Put aside some time for yourself and your family!

If you follow me on TPT, you will know that I have been having a 20% off sale in my store yesterday and today. I am extending that sale for one more day, but if you miss it because you are spending quality time with family and friends, I want you to know that there are some great specials coming up next week, too! Follow my blog to keep up to date on the some deals that will rock your New Year!

Remember, one of the most important gifts you can give this season is kindness. Be kind to all you meet, and when you go back to school, remember to be kind to all you teach. No matter how stressed you get, your students will always need your kindness.  

Best wishes for success always,


Sunday, November 29, 2015

TPT Cyber Smile Sale

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I sure did! I have so much to be grateful for, that I can't even begin to list it all.

In case you hadn't heard, TPT is having their sitewide sale tomorrow and on Tuesday. It is called the TPT Cyber Smile sale, and it is sure to make you smile if you want some good deals for your classroom. Just use the promo code SMILE when you check out, and get an additional 10% off your cart! That means you can save up to 28% off your order. My store is on sale for 20% off, both days!

I have added some new products to my store, in addition to my popular Christmas items, and I am working on a Christmas Around the World product, which I hope to have posted this evening. Here are a few things you might be interested in:

Christmas BUNDLE

Christmas Homophones

Christmas Playing Cards

Christmas - Place Value

Christmas Pictionary and Charades Game

Christmas Pictionary and Charades Game

And a freebie -

Christmas Trivia Sheet

Christmas Trivia Sheet

Here's hoping you have a great week!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Thankful! How Being Grateful Will Make You Happier and Healthier!

It is November already, and the year is flying by! Every year seems to go by faster and faster. As I sit and reflect about all of the things I have to be grateful for, memories of more difficult times arise. Yes, we all go through lifes ups and downs, but it is the down times that really make us appreciate it when we have up times. Unless you experience loss, hardship, and pain, it is difficult to really have a deep sense of gratitude for even the little things. There can be so many things in our daily lives that we take for granted. For instance, we take for granted having clean running water out of a tap.  All it takes is to go on a camping trip for a few days to really get a feeling of how difficult even common everyday tasks can be when you don't have running water. 

In today's busy world, we tend to stress over our agendas, worry too much about our problems, and panic when we can't acheive our goals. For some, the approaching holidays are painful, as they deal with health issues or memories of loved ones no longer here. There is also the constant strain of being connected, and sometimes the stress of the virtual world can also take its toll. However, even with all the wonderful apps available to help us get our lives in order and organized, there is no app for happiness. However, there is one sure way to  find happiness: gratitude.

We all want to be happy, and we know that money can't buy happiness. Some may think so, if they have a lack of it, but people with lots of money still have problems. Just read the news. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading researcher on the effects of gratitude, has conducted multiple studies on the connection between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude definitely increases happiness and reduces depression.

According to his research, here are 3 ways being grateful can help improve your life:

1. Physical health: 
People who practiced gratitude had stronger immune systems, fewer aches and pains, and lower blood pressure. They also exercised more, took better care of their own health, and slept sounder.

2. Mental health: People who were grateful experienced more positive emotions, higher self-esteem, increased levels joy and pleasure, added optimism and happiness, and felt more alive and awake.

3. Social health and relationships:  People who felt gratitude were more outgoing, helpful, generous, and forgiving. They felt more empathy and compassion for others, and also felt less isolated and lonely.

You can read more about Dr. Emmons at his website:
The Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Robert Emmons
Dr. Robert Emmons

Thanksgiving is a time when many people, like myself, start thinking seriously about what they have to be thankful for. However, we should be grateful all year long, not just at this time of year. Until we are truly grateful for the things and the people we have in our lives, we will never be satisfied with the things we try to acquire. Having gratitude will help us be happier and healthier all year long.

So now that we know the importance of gratitude, how do we teach our children to be grateful? How can they reap the benefits of gratitude in their own lives? Shouldn't we teach them to be appreciative and grateful for each and every day, because don't we want our children to be healthy and happy?

During the month of November, many schools have character education programs that encourage students to show gratitude. A great school-wide activity at this time of year is to organize a food drive to support a local food bank. Teachers often have students write about what they are grateful for. Kids love to describe what they are thankful for...and as long as you keep it light and fun, they won't complain about writing. My students would always love to write a short paragraph on these cornucopia writing sheets, color them, and place them on our door. Sometimes we would trace our hands, cut them out, and write five things we were grateful for on the fingers, with our names on the palms. Then, we would make a giant turkey tail (placed around a turkey body) out of all the grateful hands to display in the hall.

Here are some products in my store to use this November when you are teaching about gratitude:

Thanksgiving Writing - I am Thankful Sheets
Thanksgiving Writing-I am Thankful Sheets

Thanksgiving Writing

Thanksgiving Writing

If you want a big bundle of all kinds of  FUN Thanksgiving Activities, which includes the writing activities above, you can also purchase my

Thanksgiving Activities
Thanksgiving Activities BUNDLE

It is half off the bundle price for the next couple of days, so you can save more than 50%!


As always, I try to direct you to some freebies at the end of each post:

Thanksgiving: Free Thanksgiving Maze
Thanksgiving-Free Thanksgiving Maze

Thanksgiving Acrostic Poem - Thankful
Thanksgiving Acrostic Poem-Thankful

As always, my best wishes for success in all you do! May you always be happy and healthy!

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Congratulations to the Giveaway Winners and Freebies!

Hello there, everyone! I am so excited to announce the winners of my TPT $50 gift certificate giveaway for my 3000 Follower Bash. Thank you! Drum roll, please....

 The winners are:

Nastaran K.
Cleo J.

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email today about your prize, and then your $50 gift certificates will be on the way! I would love to have you comment here or share on my
Facebook page what you decide to purchase with your gift and how it will help you! :)

For those of you who didn't win, I have some freebies for you!


Thanksgiving - How Many Words
Thanksgiving How Many Words

ALSO...Be on the lookout for more freebies and giveaways in the future! :)

Best wishes for success always,
Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great Giveaway! 2 $50 TPT Gift Certificates!

Hello everyone! I am having a BIG GIVEAWAY to celebrate 3000 followers on TPT!  Many wonderful and talented teacher friends are helping me celebrate by bringing you TWO Rafflecopters! Yes, you heard that right! We are giving away two gift certificates in the amount of $50.00 each for

The giveaway will begin on Monday, Oct. 19th and run through Sunday, Oct. 25th. The winners will be announced Monday, October 26th!

So share with your friends! Two lucky teachers will win a $50 TPT gift certificate!

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 16, 2015

Freaky Friday is TODAY

Just a is Freaky Friday!

Also - Here is a Halloween FREEBIE for you...


Keep your eyes open for something very big coming soon. :)
Have a great weekend! Deborah

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Don't Forget - Freaky Friday Once Again!

I hope you have been enjoying the great $1.00 on Freaky Fridays this month! This is just a reminder that once again, Freaky Friday will be back again tomorrow.

This year there are 5 Fridays in October, so you will be treated to 'spook'-tacular deals for 5 weeks!
The deals started on October 2nd and will run each Friday through October 30th!

Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store to mark down to just $1 for the day!

(Disclaimer: This is a closed promotion. We are not accepting new collaborators at this time. If you have any questions, please contact me at )

How will you find these products?
There are 2 ways:

2. Click the links to the participating stores in the linky at the end of this post and it will take you directly to that store's $1 deal for the day!  
You can also click the first link- it will bring you to all the $1 deals of the day!

So what will you find from me this week?

Ready To Find All the $1 Deals for Week 3 of Freaky Friday?

Be sure to check back next week to find out what Week 4's deal will be!

Friday, October 2, 2015


I have been missing in action lately and didn't post anything in September, because I am still dealing with some issues with my foot. I had foot surgery for a neuroma in my left foot, and I am still have pain. I have been diagnosed with a second neuroma and will have to undergo more surgery. Please keep sending your positive thoughts and energies my way!

I wanted to let you know, however, that Freaky Fridays are back! Some of my teacher friends have put together some amazing $1 deals every Friday in October. So, if you get a chance, type freakyfriday in the TpT seach engine and find some great items for only a $1.00!

Something is 'brewing' every Friday in October...

If you have followed me for the past year, you might remember that last October I joined a group of sellers to offer $1 Deals each Friday in October!
We have decided to 'get freaky' again this year!

This year there are 5 Fridays in October, so you will be treated to 'spook'-tacular deals for 5 weeks!
The deals begin THIS Friday- October 2nd!

Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store to mark down to just $1 for the day!

How will you find these products?
There are 2 ways:

2. Click the links to the participating stores in the linky at the end of this post and it will take you directly to that store's $1 deal for the day!  
You can also click the first link- it will bring you to all the $1 deals of the day!

So what will you find from me this week?
Halloween Poems and Activities

Ready To Find All the $1 Deals for Week 1 of Freaky Friday?

Be sure to check back next week to find out what Week 2's deal will be!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2015

9 Back to School Tips for Student Success

Back to School Tips for Student Success

Are you ready for back to school? Getting back to a routine where kids can focus and pay attention for extended periods of time can be a challenge, but if your students follow these simple tips, you are sure to get your year off to a great start! 

Most of us tell our students to do these things to get ready for state tests, but  tell them to do them every single school day! You will find greater success from kids who are just able to stay on task.  HAVE A GREAT YEAR! 

Tip Number One: Go to bed on a school night at a reasonable time. Power down all electronics at least an hour before you turn out the light so you can rest. Research has shown that the blue light from tablets, cell phones, and even television can disrupt your brain’s sleep patterns. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will end up falling asleep where you are not supposed to!  

Tip Number Two: Before you go to bed, lay out what you want to wear the next day, put all your homework and papers together in your book bag, make sure any papers you need signed are completed, and decide what you are going to take for lunch or make sure your lunch account is paid so you don’t have to rush around in the mornings! Set your alarm for about an hour before you have to leave, so you will have time to get ready. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” 

Tip Number Three: When you get home, grab a snack and get your homework finished right away before you do anything else. Then you won’t have to be rushing to get it done at the last minute or when you are too tired to think. 

Tip Number Four: Eat a good breakfast everyday and make sure you have some sort of protein (Milk, eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage…). Stay away from too much sugar, which can make you crash mid-morning. This will help keep you focused and you will be able to think clearer and have the stamina your mind needs to not wander.  

Tip Number Five: Get to school on time (early if possible) and organize yourself. Get your materials that you will need ready. Make sure your homework is handy with your name on it, your pencils sharpened, your paper or notebooks and any other materials your teacher requires ready. If you have to ask someone to borrow something, do it before the start of class. It takes away from everyone’s learning if you have to get your items together after the class has already started. Be prepared so you don’t have to disrupt the class to take care of these responsibilities. 

Tip Number Six: When the teacher starts talking, you should stop! Make sure you put every ounce of your energy on paying attention! This is why you came to class. This is the reason you are here…to learn. There will be time to visit with friends, but once class has started, open your ears and eyes, but close your mouth unless your teacher directs you to discuss something or answer a question. 

Tip Number Seven: When the teacher gives directions, you should follow them very carefully. Sometimes if you miss a step, you can get lost, and then lose focus. Raise your hand if you really are not sure about what to do. 

Tip Number Eight: Another good way to stay focused on your learning is to share it with someone else. When time allows, or when your teacher directs you to, explain a concept you understand well to someone else. It will reinforce your learning and help you remember it. You can even share it with your family when you get home. The more you repeat something, the better you will remember it. 

Tip Number Nine: When you don’t understand something, the best thing to do is to get help as soon as possible. You can’t afford to get behind. Once you get lost, it is easy to daydream and get even further off track. 

If you would like to share these tips with your students at the beginning of the year, I have put them all together in a colorful and engaging PowerPoint:

I hope you have a wonderful year and that all your students have great success!

I have to also tell you about a great deal going on this week. Several teacher authors have joined together to bring you a BTS Extravaganza, with sales, freebies and giveaways going on all week! 

Stop by my Facebook page at and like the page to keep up with all the wonderful deals going on this week! Today, for instance, is Monday Markdown. These amazing sellers have marked down one of their terrific products for 50% off for today only!! Some are already discounted bundles that you can save an additional 50% ! The link is on my Facebook stop on by!

Last, but not least, I know many of you enjoy my freebies with every post! Here is a freebie to help you hold on to those last days of summer! 

Summer Outdoor Fun Crossword Puzzle

And here is one of my most popular freebies for back to school right now:

All About Me

Have a wonderful week and a great school year! Don't forget to stop by my Facebook page to keep up with all the great deals this week, as I won't be posting them here. 

Best wishes for success always! Deborah

Sunday, August 2, 2015

TPT Back to School Link Up

Getting ready for Back to School? Once you get done with all of the procedural activities, where do you go from there? One of my best selling activities for Back To School is My Ten Qualities of a Good Leader PowerPoint. Helpful at the beginning of the year, this PowerPoint includes ten qualities that make a good leader. Some of the characteristics of a good leader include self-confidence, a sense of justice, and self-control. Good BTS character education activity or use when you are discussing classroom rules and behavior expectations. We tell kids to be good leaders, and not followers, but they need to know how. This presentation gives kids an understanding of what good leadership means.

Good for back to school or the beginning of the year to provide students an understanding of expectations. Use at the beginning of the year to motivate. Use at the end of the year to review important life skills. (For professional development, insert the word teacher for leader, and student for follower) Animated slides, Partner activity and writing assignment included, along with some quick review questions. Get it here: A great activity to do with this is to have students give a speech about how they plan to be great leaders in the new school year. If you want to do a speech of any kind, here is a great freebie that you can use to evaluate student presentations:

If you are looking for great resources for back to school, then you have come to the right place! Check out the following link ups to help guide you through some of the very best resources on, just in time for the big Back to School Sale! I’m linking up with the TpT Back to School Resource Link-Up. Check out the links below and have fun finding great resources for your classroom! Here is the primary link up:
Here is the secondary (grades 6 - 12) link up:
I hope you have a great year! Deborah Hayes aka HappyEdugator

BACK TO SCHOOL - Sale, Freebies

It's that time of year again! We are getting ready for Back to School! is having their annual Back To School Sale Monday August 3 and Tuesday August 4th. Take an extra 10% off your cart at checkout with the code BTS15.

 I will be putting everything in my store on sale at 20 % off, so you can save on Monday through Wednesday, August 3, 4th and 5th! That will work out to 28% off on Monday and Tuesday when you combine the savings with the TpT sale! Today is a good time to get some items wishlisted for the big sale. I hope you can find time! It is precious at this time of year!

Here are some new FREEBIES from my store: 

For those of you who like to create things, here is some free background textures digital paper: 

Digital Paper - Background Textures 1

For those of you who teach the littles: 

Back to School - Kindergarten Language Arts Practice FREEBIE

For Elementary Reading: 

Reading Strategies

For grades 4 - 8 All Subjects:

Following Directions TEST -  A Tricky Following Directions Lesson

and a Free Weekly Reading Log Grades 4 - 8: 

Free Reading Log - Weekly Homework or Classwork Sheet

Math teachers might also like:
Order of Operations

I also posted about these cute freebies from other TPT stores last year, and thought I should give them another shout out.:

Staying Cool in the Library has these terrific task cards or scoot game! 

Adjectives and Adverbs Task Cards/Scoot Game - FREEBIE

Resource Ranch has this awesome Freebie:

Choosing Just Right Books - Forever FREEBIE

Scrotten's Stuff has this useful item for the older kids:

Academic Language Common Core Words Set 1A

Happy teaching and have a great year! Deborah Hayes aka HappyEdugator

I hope everyone has a great school year and that the back to school rush doesn't stress you out!

Best wishes, Deborah Hayes 
aka HappyEdugator

Sunday, July 19, 2015

TPT Las Vegas Conference 2015 - My Biggest Take-Away

I am a little late in posting, due to health issues, but last week I was able to have a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn with other TPT sellers in Las Vegas, Nevada! If you are another TPT author/seller, you probably wish you had been able to go. If you are a buyer, you will benefit from the TPT author conference because you will see better products with you in mind. About 1100 teacher-authors from all over the country came together to learn how to create more and better products that you can really use in your classroom this year! It was fun, and I learned a lot. The mission of the conference was "Come Together, Go Further" and we added "Give Back." That's what the true spirit of TPT is...a professional collaborative community that wants to help teachers help kids!
I couldn't walk around this year, like last year, because of my foot surgery, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I rented a little scooter, and managed pretty well (except for when it ran out of juice and wouldn't recharge...more on that later).  Here I am on my "buggy"

Rachel Lynette was the keynote speaker. She is so sweet and values education and educators so much. She told her story, of how she began on TPT selling items she used in the classroom and books she already authored and sold on other sites, by answering an ad on Craigslist! That was back in the day! It was interesting to see how much TPT had evolved from a tiny one person website (Thanks to Paul Edelman) to what it has grown to be today. She found her niche in making task cards, and the rest is history. Not only have her kids grown since she began, but she pays it forward all the time to help teachers and authors help kids grow to their potential. There were so many people there, that I could not get my photo with Rachel this year, but I did get to say hello. She is very inspirational. 

I got to see Deanna Jump this year, too, and give her a big hug. She did not present this year, but her smile is so contagious. Love that big Deanna smile! I missed out on a photo opportunity with her this year as well, but that's okay. I still have the ones from last year. (If you wish to see my photos with Deanna and Rachel, just check out my blog post about the conference from last year.) 

I did get a photo with Paul, our founder, and Adam, our CEO. Check out my instagram photos of the conference to see them here: HappyEdugator on Instagram

I learned many things a seller should know about product design and promotion, but if you ask me what my biggest take-away from the conference was, I would have to say KINDNESS. As teachers, we wish to serve others and be helpful and kind. That's why we became teachers...I don't think many of us chose this profession for the money. (hehe) However, we have a strong desire to make the world a better place by living every day teaching others what really matters for them to be successful in life. 

For instance, back to my story about my scooter dying...and this is important...I went to the final meet-up on my dying scooter and plugged in to a wall near the back, hoping that it would charge up enough to get me back to the other end of the hotel to trade it in. I could not really walk around much, since my foot was still painful due to surgery. I wanted to go to the photo booth with my roommates, but I couldn't find them either. I tried to stand in line, but it was just too painful. As I was shifting my weight rather uncomfortably, one of the teachers behind me in line said, "I'll hold your place for you, and I'll come and get you when it is your turn." What a relief that was to be able to sit down...and so, even though I couldn't find my roomie, I did get a photo booth selfie (I tried to be silly):

Yet, my story of kindness does not end there. After I took my photo booth selfie, I retreated back to my broken down buggy. All of a sudden out of nowhere, a sweet voice asked, "Did you have anything to eat?" I didn't even know there was food! This lovely lady went and brought me a plate with a sampling of cheese and fruit, and I was so thankful for it, because I was getting hungry. 

So, two random acts of kindness from two different people made my evening, and reminded me that sometimes it is just the little acts of being considerate and kind to other people and aware of their needs that can make all the difference. THAT was my biggest take-away from the TPT conference. We truly did come together, to go further and GIVE BACK. 

That's what the sellers all did when almost half of them chipped in to give the corporate office an amazing gift, too! A lovely table for their new office. 

As I alway provide a link to a freebie at the end of each post, in order to give back, here is one you might like:

Inspirational Poster - Bird Theme

Next week I will post another summer art activity and some deals for back to school. 

Best wishes for success always, and remember to be kind! 

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator