The HappyEdugator

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

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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 https://www.facebook.com/TheHappyEdugator 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 post...so 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 Teacherspayteachers.com, 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! TeacherspayTeachers.com 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