How to Claim Your Blogger Site on Pinterest

Sunday, December 30, 2018 No comments
So you have a blog... And you have a Pinterest account... But now you want to claim your website on your Pinterest account to further promote your brand and network. It can seem like a daunting task, especially if you're not used to working with HTML or code. I've compiled a step-by-step process for you to follow to easily claim your website!

Click on the images to enlarge them and be sure to let me know if you have any additional questions about the process.

1. Go to settings in your Pinterest account. Click on "Claim" in the left sidebar or scroll down. Type in your web address and click on the red "Claim" button.

2. Pick claim option: "Add HTML tag." Copy the text and then head over to your Blogger account.

3. From this screen, press the gray "Edit HTML" button underneath the preview of your blog.

4. Find <head> in the HTML code and paste the code from Pinterest after the ">" (pressing enter and pasting it on the next line works just fine). Click on the orange "Save theme" button on the top. (After this step, I always suggest people view their blogs to make sure nothing was inadvertently changed in the editing process.)

5. Go back to Pinterest, click "Next" and then "Submit." I received my verification email (after doing this process again just now) in about two minutes.

Note: When your website is verified, you will have a little "verified site" symbol next to your site address on your Pinterest profile. It will let everyone know your site is claimed! Congrats!

I can only improve and help others with feedback, so please let me know if any of the steps were unclear or didn't work for you! I'd be happy to provide additional assistance or add directions if something is confusing. Thanks so much for visiting!

Happy Teaching!

Task Card Activities & Ideas

Monday, December 17, 2018 No comments

There are many ways to use task cards in your classroom that can fit your students’ needs. My sets always include 32 task cards per pack (eight 4-card pages) to work with many students and easily differentiate your instruction. Some activities use the task cards digitally, but I always suggest printing, laminating, and cutting your set of task cards to get the most use out of them!

🌟 Activities for Your Whole Class 🌟

Tasks Around the Room

Place your cards around the room (on desks, tables, windowsills, walls, chairs, floor, etc.) and have students search for them. As they discover each card, they answer the question and write their responses on their answer sheets. Either collect and review or correct together.

Bellwork or Exit Ticket

Display a page of four task cards to your students at the beginning of the day as morning work or at the start of a specific subject for extra practice. Go over the answers before you begin your daily lesson. (Or use as an exit ticket at the end of your lesson.)

Problem of the Day

Especially great for math task cards, pick a card each day for students to answer at their seats. Great for the beginning of the lesson or for an extra time-filler if an activity doesn’t take as long as planned.

Test-Prep Review Game

Incorporate task cards in a review game, such as Jeopardy. Instead of having to create your own questions for each topic, use task cards to review important concepts. I would recommend using multiple topics in a given subject area.

Interactive Whiteboard Quiz

Display the task cards on your interactive whiteboard (four at a time) and give your students a few minutes to jot down their answers on their answer sheet. Continue throughout all pages and then collect and grade as a quiz.

Playground Tasks

Place task cards around a playground or yard (inside cones or boxes works great!) and have students complete their answer sheets (clipboards are helpful here) while enjoying some time in the great outdoors!

Document Camera Game

Display each task card one at a time using your document camera. Have students write their answers on their individual whiteboards. Countdown “3, 2, 1… Show me!” and quickly assess the students’ answers.

🌟 Activities for Small Groups & Partners 🌟

Group Center

Have your students complete the task cards together in small groups and write their answers on the provided answer sheet. Assign each student a different color to write their answers in (flair pens really get them excited!) so you know who wrote each answer.

Multiple-Topic Centers

Pick different sets of task cards for each group to rotate through during center time. Great for days when your daily schedule is revised or if you have a substitute teacher in your room.

Quiz Me, Quiz You

Have partners take turns quizzing each other using the task cards. Include the answer key so they can easily check each other’s answers (great for challenging topics that may require an answer key).

Read, Write, Switch

Have a partner read each task card while the other writes his/her answers down. Switch jobs and then compare answers. (Due to possible time constraints, divide task cards into groups of 8 in bags prior to activity).

Task Card Relay Race

Have students line up in groups across from a row of desks. Have task cards on each team’s designated desk. Each group member writes their answer down and goes to the back of the line. The first group to finish (with correct answers) wins!

Take a Turn Per Task

Have students play a given board game in small groups or with a partner, but in order to earn a turn in the game, they must answer a task card correctly.

Teacher’s Center

Want a quick assessment for your guided reading group or math group? Go through a set of task cards together and see how your students are handling new concepts, review old concepts, or see what they already know about a new topic.

🌟 Independent Activities 🌟

Individual Learning Center

Hole-punch task cards and bind together for easy flipping and responding to task cards. Have students write their responses on their answer sheets and turn in for you to review.

Fast-Finishers Activity

If you have students who complete their work quickly, task cards can be ready-to-go for them. I suggest organizing them by subject and topic. They can record their answers, then self-check with the provided answer key.

Review of Formerly-Learned Concepts

Print 4-card pages and put in a binder or three-prong folder (plastic sheet protectors work great for this!) for students to independently review past concepts throughout the year. Works great for reviewing for exams or unit tests.

Journal Tasks

Print enough task cards for each of your students. Have them cut and paste them into a notebook, then respond to them right on the page. (This works especially well for writing prompts or math problems.)

Pocket Chart Tasks

Place your task cards in a pocket chart in your room. Allow students to complete throughout a week (possibly during center rotations or free time) and assign a due date. 

Task Card Tutors

If you have students who need extra help in a specific area, have classroom volunteers or private tutors review those concepts with them using task cards. Your students will feel like they’re playing a game instead of doing another tedious worksheet with pencil and paper!


If you give homework, sending home task cards can be a great way to have your students review concepts outside of school. I’d suggest a check-out system to hold your students accountable for whatever materials they are borrowing from you (or print B&W copies only).

Want these ideas as an easy-to-print PDF? 

Easy Holiday Writing Project

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 No comments

Looking for a ready-to-go holiday writing project for your students? The Helping Hand Mitten lets your students think of ways they can help out this holiday season while completing a fun art project at the same time! Below are some suggestions on how to do the project in your classroom.

Personal Writing Project to Display in Classroom

  • Invite your students to describe how they can help a friend or family member this holiday season. Have them complete the sentence, “I can help…” Display the decorated mitten in your classroom or hallway gallery.

Holiday Gift

  • Have your students write multiple ways they can help a parent, grandparent, friend, or family member this holiday season. Have them present the completed mitten as a gift. (Laminate or mount on construction paper.)
  • Create a book out of multiple mittens for a family gift.

“World Helper” Writing Project

  • Have your students brainstorm ways they can help to make the world a better place. For example, pick up litter, recycle, donate clothes, volunteer in the community. Have them include ways they can help and the results they think the world would experience from their efforts.

Great Gift Ideas for Teachers

Sunday, December 9, 2018 1 comment

It’s such a busy time of year for everyone with the holidays coming. One thing on a lot of parents’ to-do list is buying gifts for their children’s teachers. But sometimes it’s easier said than done. What is the best thing to get the person who teaches your child, who takes care of them six hours a day, five days a week, ten months out of the year?

You want something memorable... You want something useful... You want something to show how much you appreciate everything they do for your kids. 

If you’re having a tough time thinking of something for a teacher in your life, here are a few ideas...

Give Yourself a Break, Mom

Friday, December 7, 2018 No comments
Before I had kids, I never thought I'd childproof my home. I thought childproofing was taking an easy way out and a lazy way to parent. I found it obnoxious when I'd go over to someone's house and see them fight with a cupboard lock or a doorknob cover. Instead of teaching a child that something is dangerous or not for them, you just lock it up?

Well, yeah.

Now that I have a very active and curious toddler, I have a different perspective on things. While I try to teach him that cleaning supplies in the cupboard under the kitchen sink are not for him, I'll admit that he still wants to get the dish soap out. Even though he knows that he shouldn't be touching the DVD player or wireless router in our entertainment center, he still wants to open up the glass doors and touch all of the electronics with the blinking lights. When I have a candle burning in the bathroom and I tell him it's hot and he shouldn't touch, he still wants to see the tiny flame, point to it, and say, "hot! hot!"

So I now have a lock on my cupboards, doorknob covers on certain doors, and baby gates up in certain doorways. Is it because I'm a lazy parent? Is it because I don't watch my kids? Not at all. It's about their safety. It's because I've learned that it takes Cameron 20 seconds to open five doors and end up somewhere he shouldn't be. It's because I know that if I don't keep him away from certain things, he could get hurt without even trying.

The doorknob covers still annoy me to no end, but at least I have some peace of mind with them on.

So if you find yourself childproofing your house when you never imagined you would, give yourself a break. You're not a bad parent. In fact, you're a better one because you're keeping your kids safe.

Cyber Sale!

Sunday, November 25, 2018 No comments
Mark your calendars! It’s that time of year again... Teachers Pay Teachers is having their sitewide cyber sale on Monday and Tuesday. Get resources for up to 25% off when you use promo code CYBER18.

Everything in my store will be on sale and now is the time to buy! Be sure to grab those resources you’ve had on your wish list. Now is a great time to plan ahead and think about what you’ll need for the remainder of the school year (can we believe it’s already nearly December?!)

As always, be sure to leave feedback on all of your purchases to earn credit toward your future purchases at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Happy Shopping!!

Getting to Know You Bingo Game Boards

Friday, November 23, 2018 No comments

This pack of Bingo boards is great for classroom activities. Each is themed and designed to get your students talking about themselves and each other. Some are based on personal interests, while others are more focused on knowledge of certain subject areas.

Suggested use is having your students quiz each other to find out which spaces they can fill in with their classmates’ assistance. Some boards may need a separate sheet of paper for elaboration of answers. Other boards may be used for projects or getting to know more about your students.

The last included board is blank for you or your students to create your own theme.

Click here to get this resource now!

If you are in need of custom game boards or have suggestions for additional themes, please contact me at

Happy Learning!

P.S. Are you just interested in a quick game of Icebreaker Bingo to get your students talking to each other and getting to know more about one another? Check out one of my Top 5 Most Popular Teaching Products today!

GIFs: Mommy Mode

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 No comments
Being a mom is awesome and rewarding. Every day is a new adventure. I love hearing Cam say a new word he learned (“triangle” is my recent favorite). It’s fun to see him rock a new dance move (poor kid inherited my dance style). Some days I feel like I can actually watch Tuck growing because he’s doing it so quickly. Parenting gives me a chance to relive parts of my childhood and watch them enjoy the wonder of discovering the world around them. I feel lucky to be a mom to these two little boys and I’m so fortunate to be raising them with their super hot and funny dad by my side. 

But let’s face it... Some days are hard. Some moments are frustrating. Sometimes kids are exhausting. And sometimes you find a perfect GIF to capture those experiences perfectly. Enjoy!

When you just spent an hour rocking the baby to sleep and as soon as you climb into bed, he starts fussing again.

When you tuck the kids in and try to be super quiet while you go downstairs to watch something other than Nick Jr. on TV for a little while.

When you actually get a minute to watch that show you DVRed weeks ago, but you're too tired to stay up for the entire thing (or even five minutes of it!).

When you hear your kids calling for you over the monitor during the night.

When you think your baby is up to eat, but you realize how well-rested you are because it's actually morning and he slept all night for a change.

When you take more than two minutes to get your toddler the drink he asked for... Two minutes is more than enough time for him to change his mind.

When you're trying to wash your hair and the shower curtain starts to move because your toddler has no boundaries.

When your child doesn't appreciate your choice for dinner tonight.

When your husband gets home, the house is a disaster, the kids are fussy, and dinner isn't ready and he asks how your day was.

When your baby does something super adorable that makes a rough day totally worth all the frustration and exhaustion.

Top 5 Most Popular Teaching Products

Thursday, November 1, 2018 No comments
Over the past six years since I've had my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I have developed over 80 products... An amount that continues to grow all the time. Even though I am happy to reach a number of teachers and students around the world, I have noticed that five of my resources are more popular than any others.

#1 Icebreaker Bingo

While this product frequently gets a lot of attention around Back to School time, I find that my top-selling resource blows away sales all year long. With all 4-star ratings, I think my buyers would agree that if you're looking for a great way to have your students get to know each other, this is it! (I also have a bigger pack of Getting to Know You Bingo Game Boards available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.)

#2 Graphic Organizers Super Pack: 65 Organizational Tools for K-12

My second best seller is a fabulous tool for any teacher at any level. I have compiled a set of 65 graphic organizers that are easy to print and use in the classroom. If you're just looking for one graphic organizer in particular, I do have some singles for sale in my store, but this bundle is a bargain!

#3 Blank Rubric for Quick Project Scoring

Next, I have a blank rubric for scoring projects. I know from experience, there were many times I needed a rubric and ended up recreating the wheel each time. This is ready to go and easy to use. However, it is a PDF. Due to some buyers contacting me in hopes of buying an editable rubric that could be used in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, I ended up creating a new product that is easy to customize. If you are interested in the editable product, click here to view it in my store.

#4 Beginning, Middle, and End Graphic Organizers

A favorite product of many, I have received feedback that this is used as a comprehension activity in guided reading groups, as a prewriting tool in writer's workshop, and even as a step-by-step plan in solving word problems in math. It is definitely a versatile and helpful resource to have in your back pocket!

#5 Thanksgiving Activities for Elementary Students

Just one of my holiday-themed activity packs, I can always count on this being a big seller in November. I have received so much positive feedback about my no-prep Thanksgiving activities and I am happy to know so many students have enjoyed them!

Tucker is Here!

Friday, September 21, 2018 No comments

Tucker Theodore was born after a very, very speedy delivery on September 15, 2018, at 7:55 AM. He apparently wanted to be just like his big brother and spend some time in the NICU, but we are happy to report that after scaring me and his Daddy, he is healthy and home with us. We are excited to be complete as a family of four now. So far, Cam is being curious, but hands-off (even though we dressed Tucker in Batman clothes!). I'm anxious to see how he handles being a big brother and how he does with sharing some of the attention from me and Nick.

I'm guessing I won't be writing anything for a while since it'll be an adjustment to having two kiddos, but I'm hoping to keep up with my Teachers Pay Teachers store and be able to reply to any emails. Thanks for visiting!


The Color of My Emotions

Friday, July 13, 2018 No comments
It's Friday, so that means it's time for another mindfulness activity. This one requires neither prep nor movement. It's a great one to do to connect to your emotions.

Materials You'll Need...

  • A comfortable spot to sit

Pick a comfortable spot where you can sit for a few minutes for silent reflection time. You are going to think back to instances in your life when you felt various emotions. Close your eyes and try to clear out any thoughts clogging up your mind, thinking only of one emotion you felt. What color do you see most vividly?

For example, think of a time you were very angry about something that happened or a person who aggravated you. Close your eyes and think back to how you were feeling in that moment in your past. What color overwhelms your thoughts?

Go ahead and circulate through various emotions... Happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, stress, pride, embarrassment, et cetera.

Just a tip: with small children, providing visuals (like emoticons) or giving examples of things that might make you feel various ways helps them think of times they felt those ways.

A Mindful Walk

Friday, July 6, 2018 No comments
Here's your weekly mindfulness activity. This one is a mindful walk in a familiar space or new space you want to appreciate.

Materials You'll Need...

  • A hallway or outdoor space

Pick space indoors or outside where you can walk around. You'll need a bigger space than one room. Walk around and really pay attention to what is happening around you.

Some things to ask yourself... What sounds do you hear? What do you notice about the ground you're walking on? What do you see above you? What is the temperature like? Are you warm or chilly? How does it feel to breathe deeply in this space? How do you feel walking in this area? Are there people around you? 

Ideally, I like to do this outside and really connect with nature. Sometimes I feel like I've been indoors too long and need to breathe in the fresh air outside, hear birds chirping, and smell flowers and freshly cut grass and all of the wonderful smells nature has to offer.

Sometimes this is a great thing to do as a brain break for your students. Have they been sitting around in a stagnant classroom all morning? Take a mindful walk before dropping them off at the cafeteria for lunch. 

Five Senses in Five Minutes

Friday, June 29, 2018 No comments
Another Mindfulness exercise I hope you'll enjoy. This one connects you to the space you're in at the moment you're there.

Materials You'll Need...

  • A room or space outside

Pick a room or space outdoors to do this activity (you'll only be there for five minutes or so, so you might want to switch up your location each time you do this).

For five minutes, you're going to get in tune with your five senses. Try to find the following:
  1. One thing you can taste
  2. Two things you can smell
  3. Three things you can hear
  4. Four things you can touch
  5. Five things you can see
Personally, I like to do the first three with my eyes closed. I always feel like I can hear better when I'm not distracted with the things I'm seeing. 

When I've done this with students, I've given them the option to jot things down if we're planning on sharing afterward. It takes a lot of the pressure off of young students, especially, and it helps them keep track of how many things they've noticed around them.

Thoughts for Thursday

Thursday, June 28, 2018 No comments
Cam and I are beginning to settle into a little routine at home together. He's really been awesome as far as his behavior and patience since we can't really go anywhere or even play outside (if he takes off running, I can't run after him so it's really just avoiding possible danger). He's been taking 3+ hour naps, which gives me some great alone time and time to take a nap myself!

This week, I started participating in Jennifer Serravallo's Writing Camp to go along with The Writing Strategies Book. It's not only been nice to focus on my writing again in an organized way, but it's been motivating me to stay in tune with the educational side of social media. Sometimes during extended breaks from school, I end up forgetting the day of the week I'm on and I lose productivity without a regular routine and daily exposure to teaching. I haven't finished any new resources to post for sale yet, but the ones I'm working on are "big project" type that I'll be happy finishing by August.

Time is passing by pretty quickly (as it has a habit of doing). I am glad to be in my third trimester with this baby! We received his "Going Home" outfit from Kohl's yesterday and we're starting to get his nursery organized once again (luckily nothing is really changing from when we decorated it for Cam, other than it's become a place to store my maternity wardrobe and some clothes). I'm starting to feel like the end is in sight, which makes dealing with all my aches and pains and restrictions that much easier!

Oh! And Nick and I finally decided on a name for the little guy. We're not sharing it until he's here, but it's so awesome to have that decision made. We had a little girl's name picked out from the time we were dating, but naming these two boys has been incredibly challenging! Now the biggest challenge is not referring to him by the name unless Nick and I are alone together! haha.

Other than that, nothing new here... Hope everything is good for with you as you're reading this! Take care!

Heartbeat Slow-Fast-Slow

Friday, June 22, 2018 No comments
As promised, here's another exercise to practice Mindfulness!

Materials You'll Need...

  • An open space

Place your hand on your heart and feel the beating of your heart. Take note of how fast or slow it's beating. How are you feeling in this moment?

Next, stand up and do 10 jumping jacks. (This activity can be altered using various exercises of your choice.) Once you've done them, place your hand back on your heart and notice the difference in how it is beating compared to when you were at rest. How are you feeling now?

As your heartbeat begins to slow back down and resume its normal rhythm, pay attention to how your whole body is feeling. How do your legs feel? How do your arms feel? How does it feel to breathe in and out? Take in the moment and monitor your body as it recovers from the brief exercise you just did.

Glitter Jar

Friday, June 15, 2018 No comments
I'm excited to bring you my first weekly Mindfulness post for the summer! I plan on sharing 12 of my favorite mindfulness exercises and activities with you over the next few months. I will post them on Friday mornings bright and early. This way, you can try them for yourself and be ready with some activities for your students once school resumes in the fall.

I first learned about mindfulness in grad school. I took a wonderful course focused on incorporating families in our classroom community and the professor led the class more like a self-care therapy session than a rigorous grad class. I ended up learning so much about myself as a person and an educator and still remember a lot of the activities we did even seven years later.

Basically, I'd describe mindfulness as using meditation and other exercises for being aware of what is happening in the present moment. It's about focusing on and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they're taking place. I've found it helps me a lot to be aware of these aspects of myself, especially when I'm stressed or anxious about something. There are some great exercises that you can use in the classroom to teach your students how to practice mindfulness as well.

The first one I would like to share is the Mindfulness Glitter Jar Exercise.

It may not be the most original activity for mindfulness, but it's a great one to get started with if you're new to practicing mindfulness.

Materials You'll Need...

  • A clear jar (mason jars work great and can be found at a variety of stores!)
  • Glitter (I prefer to pick bright colors because I really believe colors make a difference in mood!)
  • Water

Fill a jar with water and pour some glitter in. Shake it up, swirl it around, and then set it down on the table in front of you. As you watch as the glitter settle, silently focus on how your thoughts get jumbled and chaotic when you're upset, angry, or worried about something. Imagine your thoughts are the glitter and notice how when the glitter settles, the water clears up and it's easier to see... Much like when your mind calms down, it's easier to think clearly and rationally.

If you're doing this activity with students, have them reflect on how they felt when the glitter was swirling around versus when it had settled. Discuss how the activity helped them imagine their own thoughts in their minds.

Summer Break

Thursday, June 14, 2018 No comments
So the little boy growing inside of me has dictated when my school year had to end. After two weeks of being home with his big brother Cameron, I am already feeling less stressed about life in general and more at ease about my pregnancy, but I'm also missing the teachers I work with every day and the kiddos I have gotten to know this past year.

The good thing is, I have a wide open schedule, a brand new Chromebook, a to-do list of resources I want to create this summer, and the doctor's advisement to stay off my feet as much as possible until this baby comes. I'm hoping to be pretty productive, even if that means my summer dreams of going for adventures and spending days outside running around with Cam have POOF! disappeared.

I'm hoping to have weekly posts devoted to various categories: technology, word work, and mindfulness. Those are the top three on my list right now, but they might evolve as I go. After my long-term subbing positions this past school year, I have come up with some great word work activities and want to create some more that I can post on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I found that even with all of the great resources out there made by talented educators around the world, I was tweaking things to fit my students' specific needs. The cool thing is, I ended up coming up with some great resources that I'm hoping other teachers and students could benefit from using!

I have to run in a few to my weekly doctor's appointment... Should be a quick one, just a measurement of my growing belly (seriously, how am I only 24 weeks with a belly this big?!), a heartbeat check, and a fun little hormone injection! Hopefully I'll be back early enough that I'm motivated enough to start the post I'm aiming to publish tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Spring Break

Monday, April 2, 2018 No comments

I have been seriously neglecting my blog and haven’t been creating many resources lately. It’s been a busy school year - professionally and personally!

I started a long-term substitute teaching position right after winter break and I have a couple weeks left before I return to day-to-day subbing. I’ve really enjoyed my time being a K-2 reading teacher. It’s a lot of work, but it feels good to be going to the same classroom and working with the same students and teachers each day. I will definitely miss it!

On a personal level, Cameron is 19 months old now and keeping Nick and me very busy (and tired)! It’s hard to believe he’s going to be a big brother in six months! We are expecting another baby in early October. We’re super excited and this pregnancy is already going very quickly!

My energy level has been so low lately, but now that I’m in the second trimester, the morning sickness is dwindling and I’m hoping some of my motivation will be returning soon. There are just about ten weeks left of school once spring break is over and then I’ll be off for summer vacation! I’m hoping to return for September before the baby comes, but as per my doctor’s advice, we’ll be taking it day by day and seeing what I can handle once we get closer.

I have been intending on getting some writing done and posting some new resources for a while now, so when I realized I had a few spare moments to myself before I start dinner, I figured I would update my blog. Hopefully this is just the first of many new entries!