Wednesday, July 29, 2015

{Love} Back To School Giveaway!

Nerves, excitement, and worry fill my stomach with butterflies. I can smell the sweet scent of fresh crayons and Sharpie markers filling a home sweet home aroma throughout my classroom. Bright, vibrant colors cover my once bare walls. 

There's only one thing that that must mean. Back to school season is upon us. For me, my firsties will arrive bright and early August 13th with the brightest, cheeriest smiles one teacher ever did see. The hustling and bustling of papers will begin. Shoe tying will become an Olympic sport. I will again say "see ya later" to my personal space and wait for it's return in June. I wouldn't have it any other way and I know you wouldn't either. 

You see, all of us at The Primary Pack have a lot of love for teachers across the globe. We know how much money you've spent this summer on new dry erase markers, a classroom rug, and those cute stools from IKEA. We know what you've done this summer because we are right there with you. To celebrate our love for you, we wanted to shower you with some love. Here's your chance to win a Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate right before the big sale on Monday! Eek!

Here's what we are giving away:

one $50 gift certificate
two $25 gift certificates
Head to our Rafflecopter down below for your chance to enter to win! Good luck!! And make sure to check out the stores below to see what's on sale!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kickback with the Primary Pack Las Vegas Meet Up

A few weeks ago before the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference, a few of us girls from the Primary Pack decided that it would be fun to host a meet up on the Friday after the conference ended.  What better way to end an inspiring few days with some drinks, a little blogger talk, and some dancing to our favorite 80s songs.  When we announced it, we had no idea it would be as big as it was.  We were so lucky to meet over 300 of our favorite teacher authors all in one place!
This meet up wasn't possible without our generous sponsors A Plus Images and Go Noodle.  They generously donated gift bags filled with swag!

Before the big event, we had attendees head on over to our SECRET PAGE to enter the giveaways. 
We had some of the girls from the Pack passing out swag bags at one entrance while the others were hosting our little photo booth prop area.  Bloggers took a photo with our Primary Pack poster, complete with silly crayon hats and posted them to Instgram with the the #primarypackkickback (tons of photos)  for a chance to win prizes from Remind and A Plus Images.  How fun is that?!?!


I was seriously blown away after about 30 minutes when the entire venue was full of teacher authors. It's crazy to create something out of nothing!

Amy did her best to MC the night, but it made it tough without a mic.  Thanks Amy for being such a trooper! The venue wasn't being as cooperative as we had hoped.  So many friends won great prizes!

Once the giveaways wrapped up, everyone mingled with old and new friends.  This teacher blogger community is pretty amazing that way.  I always say these meet ups and such are kinda like online dating.  You've been talking to these people for all of this time, you've seen all of their photos and feel like you know their little life story.  Then all of a sudden you meet them IN REAL's kinda crazy!

Another HUGE thank you to Melissa Dailey for taking such amazing photos.  She sells amazing photos in her TpT store so check her out!
Here's a few of the business cards of the people who attended.  It was so great to see everyone, but when the conference's key note speaker and third millionaire, Rachel Lynette, walks in, that's pretty cool!  Some of my other favorite new friends I met were Mary from Teaching with a Mountain View, Blair Turner, Ari from The Science Penguin, Vera from the Tutu Teacher, The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher, Courtney from Ramona Recommends, Catherine from Brown Bag Teacher, Molly from Lessons with Laughter, Stacy from Simpsons Superstars, Mrs. Russell's Room, and Maria from Kinder Craze.

One of my most favorite parts of the night was when we all let loose and dance to some good 80s music.  I'm telling you, teachers know how to have FUN!  I loved dancing with Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies, she is absolutely hilarious!

Thank you again to all of your sponsors, all of the girls from The Primary Pack who made this event happen, and all of you who joined us.  If you couldn't join us, I hope you made it to our home giveaways we had just for you!
Please leave us a comment and let us know your favorite part of the meet up.  Weren't there, tell us what teacher author  you'd love to meet!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Your Classroom= Your Happy Place?

Is your classroom your happy place? 

Mine is! It's not my only happy place. In my opinion, you can never have enough happy places! Why would you want to limit your happiness to just one place?

Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins here today to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart- my happy place. And hopefully your happy place too. 

My first year of teaching was right before Pinterest became a big deal. For those of you who signed up early in the beginning like I did, do you remember that you used to have to have a referral code from a friend just to have a pinterest account? I remember being flooded with this wealth of knowledge and amazingness of not just spectacular classrooms, but organizational hacks, chocolatey delicious recipes, and ways to go from couch to 5k in just 4 short weeks. It was amazing.

Let's go back to those spectacular classrooms though. You know which ones I'm talking about too. The one that stands out to me still to this day is this space from my idol Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits:
Photo found here, courtesy of Reagan Tunstall.

Looking at this photo, I just feel plain happy. I would be delighted to go to that space every day whether to teach, to learn, etc. It looks like a happy place. It was exactly what inspired me to go that extra mile to transform my classroom into a happy place. 

And as teachers, we want our classrooms to be our happy place. At least I do. Not my only happy place, but one of my happy places. I want to walk in every day and whether or not my dog peed on the carpet that morning or if I spilled my coffee in the car on the way to work, I could walk in and get a dose of instant happy. But why?

1. I'm going to start with the most important reason: our kids deserve that. Our kids deserve to walk into a room that makes them feel invited, safe, loved, and cared for. They don't know how long we spend preparing our rooms, but they do know if it is prepared with love. As corny and cheesy as that may sound, the warmth of the classroom will bring the love we feel for our kids every day. Our kids spend nearly 8 hours in our classroom every day, away from their parents, their family, their dogs. They should be in a happy place. 

2. And the next important reason: we deserve that. We spend 8+ hours in our classroom every day. If you think about it, how often are you in just one room in your house for that long? Sure, during the school day, we take the kids to recess and get some fresh air ourselves and we (on the rare occasion) get to sit down to lunch or maybe even get to make a 10 second stop in the restroom, but for the most part we are in that one room all day long. For 8 hours or more. So, when you're in that room, you want it to be cozy, inviting, bright, cheerful, happy! This is where you are when you're spending precious time with your other family (your kids and coworkers) so you want it to be a place that you love to go to everyday! 

3. When you're happy, your kids are happy. Have you ever noticed when you enter the classroom with a little more pep in your step, your kids react to it? They're happier, huggier, sweeter? Your happiness is contagious. 

4. Greatness can happen there. I walk in my room and think that literally anything can happen. A kid could have a little potty accident on my brand new IKEA rug and you know, I can't help that. But, you know what else could happen? A kid could learn to tie his/her shoes that day after struggling for the past 8 months and right there, you have greatness. You don't have to have this over-the-top classroom to have greatness in your classroom. You just have to treat it like what it is: the greatest place on earth to you and your kids. Because it is. It's where your kids will learn to add 3+5. It's where your kids will learn their right from left. It's where your kids will accidentally call you MOM for the 30th time that day. It is the greatest place on earth.

5. Your kids will respect it. You will respect it. Everyone respects a happy place.

I'm not saying I went into teaching just to decorate a classroom. I'm not saying spend $50,000 on it either (although by golly, I definitely could). I'm just saying on those days when it's a little harder to wake up to your alarm, roll out of your cozy bed, and get dressed for work... It's nice knowing that once you enter that room, you're entering another happy place. 

Have a fabulous rest of your summer! Enjoy it! I'm off to finish setting up my happy place! I have 19 little firsties coming in to make it their happy place too!