Summer’s Here! Reflect, Relax and Most of all Enjoy!

If you’re like me, you just ended another school year.  It’s now time to relax, reflect and enjoy this time off.  But wait, let’s make one thing clear.  For those of you who don’t know, public school teachers ARE NOT PAID during the summer.  It is NOT paid time off.  We just do not work.  Since we don’t work, we don’t get paid.  Now, that that’s out of the way, let’s do some reflecting.

Time to Reflect.  What Worked, What Didn’t?

This has been my second full year teaching in a 1:1 classroom.  I learned a lot that first year, which made the second year much easier.  This year, students were able to do a lot more with the technology.  I continued to make and use Interactive Digital Notebooks for Google Slides.  The students learned a great deal about America’s landmark and symbols and animal adaptations to name a few.  I also started using, which is a wonderful way to integrate visual media and note-taking and answering questions using videos.  This next year, I’m fine tuning what I did and will probably add some more paperless resources to go along with our curriculum

The thorn in the side has been writing instruction.  Though I believe I was effective in teaching the students the three genres that they needed to master (expository/explanatory, narrative and opinion), I felt the students actually became confused between the genres.  It was hard to get them out of writing in one genre into another.  They would use writing structures particular to one genre to write in another genre (such as including facts but no opinions or not writing from a narrator perspective when writing narrative).  So next year, I plan to make several anchor charts so students can clearly see structural differences between genre types. I also want to experiment with genre to genre writing in which a student takes a piece of writing written in one genre and transforms it into another type. For example, writing a fairy tale type story and turning it into an opinion piece.


Last year my boys and I did not get to travel anywhere for a vacation.  This year we are planning to take a trip up to Northern California (we live in Southern California).  We will be driving to San Luis Obispo then heading over to Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to drive up to Big Sur and see some California Redwoods!  From there we will drive to Monterrey, California.  There we will, of course, visit the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.

Then we will head north to San Francisco.  In the City by the Bay, we will ride cable cars, visit Ghiradelli’s and Fisherman’s Wharf, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and visit the San Francisco Presidio and Golden Gate Park.

Our next stop is the state Capital, Sacramento.  We hope to take a tour of the state house while also taking a day trip over to Coloma and Placerville to see Sutter’s Mill, where gold was discovered.  From there it’s back home.

Relax and do Some Window Shopping!  So Many Updates!!!

If you haven’t visited my Teachers Pay Teachers store recently, please do.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all the updates to my resources.  Over 25 resources have been updated.  Some have been major, while some just needed a face-lift.  Click on THIS LINK to see all the updates, or click individually below.

Here are some highlights of the English Language Arts resources updates:

  1. Hot Seat!  Major update with a whole new look.  I’ve added character description printables for each of the characters included (20 fairy tale characters).  Each Hot Seat character card has more information and instructions for use are included.
  2. 4 Character Trait Activities. Major update with a whole new look.  The Character Trait Printables have been expanded and included activities such as Photo Booth, Play Date, Character Text Chat, and Riddle Me This!
  3. Point of View Comparisons PowerPoint. Major update with a whole new look.  Expanded with photos and new sound effects. The included printables have also been expanded with new activities to examine point of view.
  4. Point of View Examining Perspectives.  Major update with a whole new look.  Added more printables and non-color versions of posters.  Also added comparing and contrasting printables.
  5. All of the ELA games have now been updated to include non-color versions for non-color printing.  They’ve also gotten a whole new “wooden game board” look!

Here are some highlights of the Math resources updates:

  1. Multiplication Tic-Tac-Toe.  Big update with updated look.  Also added some more resources such as QR codes to help your students master those multiplication facts.
  2. The Concept of Multiplication PowerPoint.  Major update with all new look expanded lessons and an added lesson using number lines to multiply.  Lots more printables added!
  3. Geometry Games and Area and Perimeter Games.  These math games have been updated with non-color versions for easier printing as well as, a whole new “wooden game board” look.

Plan Ahead for Next Year!

If you’re a teacher, you’re already planning for next year.  Take a look at these resources for Back to School.  I developed these resources as not only fun activities to get to know the students, but also as a way to gauge student abilities at the beginning of the year. Can students cut? Color? Follow directions? Listen to a story and retell it?  Write a description of themselves?  With these resources which have undergone updates and expansion, you’ll get this and more!

The Diary of a Back to School Kid is a book students make during the first week of school.  They fill it with the rules, procedures, ideas, and some memories.  There’s even a parent page for parents to ask questions.  I like having the students make this book because it helps them remember all the information given to them at the beginning of the year.  Use it as a resource all year long!

A Fine, Fine School Literature Support Pages is a companion pack designed to support the introduction and teaching of the Common Core Standards for Literature. This is a funny story of how a principal keeps adding days to the school year until the students have to come every day of the year!  The printables help the students identify the central message of the story, infer answers to some questions about the story, analyze the main characters and more.

I use the Back to School iPortraits as a get-to-know-you activity during those first weeks of school. Students get to know each other better using the student’s character traits.  Each student has to identify a positive, negative and neutral character traits about himself/herself.  Students also draw a selfie portrait.  The template has the appearance of a tablet and can make a great project to send home, leave out at Back to School Night or even an Open House project.  This resource has been significantly expanded to now include more tablet templates such as, Who’s That Cute Baby, 

Put Yourself in the Spotlight, If My Life Were a Movie and My Favorite Vacation Book to name a few.

Enjoy Your Break!

Summer is a time for teachers to recharge and reflect.  I’ve planned some exciting blog posts this summer so please do come back and check for updates.  Follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store for updates on new resources that are added as well as, updates to existing resources.  Have a great summer!


As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!