Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday Websites: Stores with Teacher Discounts

To celebrate the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week, I've posted this popular article from last year and added some new store discounts to the list! Enjoy!

One of my family's favorite things to do when we travel to places with good shopping is hunt for deals.  The goal: bring home new clothes at thrift store prices.  One of my brothers just discovered a way to save even more: teacher discounts.  He accidentally discovered that one of our favorite clothing stores offers 15% discounts to teachers who can present a valid teacher ID at checkout, so I started doing some digging and came up with several other stores that also offer deals.  They don't make these offers super obvious, but I've attached links for all of you who want to verify that the savings are for real.

1) Loft: Ann Taylor Loft stores offer a 15% discount when you sign up to receive teacher perks and deals.

2) Limited:The Limited offers a 15% discount to any teacher who can show a valid ID at check out.  This also applies to military personnel.

3) New York and Co: Get a 15% discount with a valid teacher ID or pay stub when you shop here.  

4) J. Crew:  They offer a 15% discount with a valid teacher ID. This offer is valid only when you shop in their stores.  This offer also applies to college students.

5) CJ BAnks: They offer a 10% discount every day.  Again, just how a valid teacher ID.

6) Banana Republic: This store also offers a 15% discount for teachers with a valid ID.  (I was not able to find the same offer at Old Navy and Gap, but it might be worth asking when you go in.)

7) Aerosoles - Get 15% off items $39.99 or higher by showing your teacher ID.

Want to update your summer and/or professional wardrobe?  Make sure you get your educators discount at these popular clothing stores.  

Here are also some other stores that offer teacher discounts:

1) Michaels - Get 15% off when showing a valid teacher's ID.

2) Office Depot/Office Max - Get 10% back on most school supplies.

3) JoAnn Fabrics - Get 15% off each time you shop when you sign up for their educator program.

Know of others?  Please leave other tips you have in the comments section.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Free Writing Prompts for Spring!

Here are some places to get over 100 fun and free spring themed writing prompts!

  • Writing Forward - Writing forward has writing prompt for every season, but scroll down for a few good spring ones.  Then check out the others and tuck some away for use next year.

  • Minds In Bloom has a list of 20 spring writing prompts.  There are prompts for different types of writing from persuasive to narrative.  You're sure to find something you can use on this list.

  • Journal Buddies has a list of over 50 spring journal prompts, many of them appropriate for older students.  

  • The Teacher's Corner has a list of writing prompts for each day in May.  Many of them are tied to special days in the month and will prompt you to think thematically as you wrap up the school year.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Common Core Reading Activities

Common core is the educational buzz phrase.  This week I'm posting some fabulous freebies that correlate with the reading standards: reading (I'm combining reading literature and informational texts into one), writing, speaking and language.  These can be used by parents out there looking for activities or teachers looking for something to send along to parents.  Or, it can just get tucked away in a folder to be pulled out at a later date.  But, without further ado, here they are....

#1-Reading: Check out this reading contract and log.  It is simple and attractive.  It is a great resource to use with parents and students because it provides an explanation of the importance of reading, a contract that lays out the logistics and a log to track their reading.  There are several ways it can be used:

a) Send it home to be used by your students.
b) Keep for next year.  (You are probably already on summer mode and not thinking about work.)
c) Start a summer reading club.  This can even be a neighborhood thing or a once-a-week get together at school to promote reading.  There are a number of free reading incentive programs that promote summer reading.  Check out one of our previous blogs about free summer reading programs.

#2-Language: Check out this antonyms puzzle.  It is a fun way to go over vocabulary and opposites.  Once kids/students have put it together, they can create their own puzzle using more difficult vocabulary, synonyms, word analogies, etc.

#3-Writing: This is essentially summer stationary.  It can be used several ways.  Here are a few ideas:

a) Have kids use it to write about your family vacations.  They can add some color and you can put it in a scrapbook.
b) Visiting the grandparents in another state this summer?  Have the kids write about the visit and send it in the thank you note.
c) Have your kids write to pen pals using the stationary.

#4-Listening & Speaking: This is a simple question and answer activity with vocabulary.  It practices the 5 W questions.  Going through it orally helps students with their listening skills.  It can be made more fun if played as a game.  Take out the oral piece and it can become memory.  Just cut the cards apart, place them face down and match the picture and corresponding question.  Keep the oral piece and it can be a version of go fish where students draw rectangular cards that are made up of the picture and question.  When it is their turn they have to ask the question to see if one of the other players has the item.  This is great for early elementary, but the idea can be adapted and used with more difficult vocabulary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Websites: Ways to Recycle in Your Classroom

I have always been thrifty which has come in handy being an art teacher on a low budget. However, even I learned many new tricks with these ideas! Here are some sites with ways to help you recycle in your classroom and reuse materials you may not have even thought about keeping.

Repurpose Old Art Supplies - Reuse old art supplies that are down to the last nub or even broken! I always had a habit of keeping supplies going for a long time but these tips gave me lots of ideas so they could even have more life!

Reuse Bottle Caps to Play and Learn - I enjoyed this article geared towards early elementary students with 30 ways you can reuse bottle caps to help play and learn. I loved these ideas and they don't take up much space either which is a bonus!

Keep Kids' Artwork Safe - I have never done this before as an art teacher but after I read this tip I wish I had! I love the idea of rolling artwork and securing it with a cardboard tube! This would make it much easier for kids to take home and much less chance of damage. This would also work for posters and other large projects for other subject areas.

Reuse Your Plastic Easter Eggs - If you went to any egg hunts this year you might have a ton of plastic Easter eggs laying around. I know I do! Here are some great ways you can reuse those eggs in your classroom.

Make a Biodegradable Seed Pot - Since it is spring it's the perfect time to start growing plants and this biodegradable seed pot uses recycled materials and can be planted directly into the ground. This is a fun way to incorporate science into your classroom.

Do you recycle in your classroom? Share your ideas below!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Fun Spring Things

Despite the fact that I had to brush two inches of snow off of my car before I left for work today, it is officially spring.  So, here are a few great freebies to check out...

This spring fractions matching game is a sure hit with your primary students who are just learning fractions.  The packet includes fraction cards with the fractions written as a number, word and visual (separately).  Student can have fun playing memory or roll-it, read-it, keep-it with the cards.

This spring packet for K-1 includes 40 pages of literacy and numeracy activities.  There are alphabetizing activities, writing booklets, addition problems and much more.  This would be a great packet to have in your files as it can be used a variety of ways: learning stations, sub plans, etc.

This spring dice game is a fun way to have primary students practice their math skills.  It practices addition, subtraction, and place value.  This would be a great activity to use as a math station, review activity, or celebration game for a job well done.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Fabulous Freebies: Lessons on Weather

This week's Fabulous Freebies focus on weather lessons.  Here they are....

#1: Weather Graphing Activity  is a fun activity that has your students track weather and graph it over time.  This activity is perfect for the younger grades.

#2: Weather and Climate Unit is a package of materials with assessments, power points and notes on weather.  There is so much there, it is hard to believe it is free.  It is ideal for the middle school grades.

#3: April Showers Bring May Flowers Clipart  is an eight page packet with spring clipart.

#4: Weather Whiz Kids is a website on how to conduct close to forty weather related experiments.  It is definitely worth checking out.

#5: The Weather Channel also has a ton of free lesson plans to check out.  

There are so many ways to bring it into the classroom in cross-curricular ways.  Students can work on data analysis by graphing weather, conduct science experiment to help them understand it more and journal about what they like to do in different climates.  The possibilities are virtually endless, but hopefully this blog can help you take some concrete first steps!

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