Sunday, August 7, 2016

Back to School Assessment Freebie

Hey there!

I am busy preparing to head back to school this week. Are you?
Wait....if the answer is no, don't tell me!

I have a new assessment FREEBIE to share with you to use the first week.

Click the picture to grab it!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Controlling Craftivity Pieces

We love doing Craftivities. 

We understand that not everyone feels this way. 
Kind of like glitter.
We get it!

If the thought of doing craftivities overwhelms you, keep reading!

We have some tips, hints and suggestions for you to do craftivities with your little ones without losing your sanity!

We admit the seemingly endless number of the pieces that go with each craftivity drive us crazy! We both like to have our kids trace and cut out as many pieces as realistically possible. That being said, cutting with the little ones can be a challenge.

We typically have the small pieces cut and ready for them. (Hair, noses, etc.)

Here are a few tips on how we keep the pieces organized and make a craftivity manageable.

A.K.A. KEEP OUR SANITY

Most Important: Make it academic.
We always do the writing or math part first. Getting to make the craftivity is an incentive for the kiddos to get the "academic part" done!

It doesn't hurt to leave the academic piece out and very visible. You know, just in case an administrator walks through when your kids are cutting and gluing!
Just sayin' 😁


Hint: Do all of your tracing first. Make a BIG deal that you should not see any scissors out!

Hint: Make enough sets of the tracers so there is not much wait time. 
For example, I have five tables this year so I will make five sets of tracers. Last year I had six!

Hint: Use file folders to make your tracers. They seem to hold up well and are not too pricey.

Hint: Color code the pieces.


Hint: Put each set in a large Ziploc bag.

Hint: Assign a table helper to be in charge of the bag and pieces.

Hint: Have the construction paper pieces needed cut to size and ready to hand out. This saves time and paper!

Hint: Store all of the bags and an example in a large Ziploc bag, label it, put in an example and you are ready to go for next year!

The Lacey Walker craftivity in the pictures is from Michelle Oakes Back to School Behavior Mini Unit!  Grab it HERE!

We would love to see and hear how you keep your sanity during Craftivities! Tag us in your social media.

Be sure to follow us while you are here by using the tabs at the top of our page!

The WINNER is......


Congratulations Sara! You are the winner of our Anchors Away Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to everyone who entered!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Anchors Away Giveaway

It is our last week of Summer School.
We have a few days before Preplanning starts so we decided to take a cruise to the Bahamas!

{Living an hour away from Port Canaveral is 
fabulous, by the way!}

We have been counting down the days until our cruise since the end of the school year.
Did you know Carnival has an App for that?!??!!?!
Really, they do!

To kick off the final days of our countdown we are hosting an Anchors Away Giveaway!


Included in the fabulous prize basket are two extra fabulous prizes!


1. A coffee sleeve made by the lovely Miss Squirrels.
2.  A wine glass made just for teachers by Jen at Twelve Grapes.
Go visit both of their Etsy shops by clicking on their buttons!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Social Media in the Elementary Classroom

I have been blogging and using social media for a few years. As a teacher I use it to collaborate with other teachers, share ideas and learn new things for my classroom!

All of this collaborating and sharing was done at home and outside of school hours.
Basically "on my own time".
As is the case for most teachers I know!

Side Note: I don't know about you all, but Pinterest and Blogger are blocked at my school.
I really, really wish they were not!  
How did I ever plan without Pinterest and Social Media??
I truly feel social media has been a game changer in my teaching. I am a better teacher because of social media. Now I am not just talking about all of the "cute" ideas floating around out there. 
Don't get me wrong, I like those too! I am talking about the genuine collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and the connecting with other teachers! Twitter is a fabulous PLN.

I have been toying with the idea of using social media in my classroom for several months.
I read articles, blogs and watched videos.
Then I reread articles and blogs and watched more videos. 

stalked looked at Kayla Delzer's classroom Twitter account.

I bought her Digital Citizenship unit on TPT!

I even had my principal onboard with using Social Media!

Here was my problem..
I teach FIRST graders! 
5 and 6 year olds! 
Babies!

This summer I was a summer school academic coach. I got to spend each day visiting classrooms. (When the million things on my To Do List were done, of course!)

Last week I was visiting an ESOL classroom. They were learning about volcanoes. Of course they got to make one erupt. I was taking a video. One of the first graders asked if we could put it on YouTube. His friend said, "Hey! Maybe it will go viral!"  

This was my sign. A six year old knows what it means for a video on YouTube to go viral. 

A lot of kids, even young ones, are on some form of social media or they are at least exposed to it. 

The scary thing is that kids are not scared of social media. Even scarier is that they don't know how to use social media responsibly or safely. 

That brings me to my first reason for deciding to take the plunge into using social media in my classroom.
My FIRST GRADE CLASSROOM.
I want to create Digital Citizens! 

I mentioned Kayla Delzer before. She is a master at creating digital citizens. I will be using her unit at the beginning of the school year. Click the picture below to purchase it.

My second reason goes back to why I love using social media. I want my students to be able to connect with, collaborate with and learn from others around the world. Just like I do!

This summer I stumbled across a children's book I wanted to use in my classroom. Of course I wanted to create a companion product to go along with it. We all know how some authors feel about teacherpreneurs using their literature.
To be safe I decided to contact the author to ask for her permission. I emailed her. Within minutes she emailed me back. Minutes I tell you!!! Not only did she give me permission, she gave me her blessing and is now working with me to finalize the product.
This was an amazing opportunity for me. I was beyond excited. I got to "chat" with a real author. I am an adult and was over the moon about it.

Can you imagine how excited students would be to hear from an author? 
A scientist?
An explorer? 
They could even connect with and collaborate with students around the world!!! 

So there you have it. I'm taking the plunge into social media in the classroom. I know it won't be perfect and I am sure we will hit some bumps along the way but I'm excited and ready for the challenge. 

Do you use social media in your classroom? Please give me pointers or share your stories with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tell All Tuesday Summer Snapshot

Hello everyone! We are linking up for Tell All Tuesday!



This week's linky is all about...



It's no secret. We live in Florida. We love summer. We love the sun. This week's linky was perfect for us! Here's our Summer Snapshot.


We often spend time at the beach. And by often, we mean at least once a week.

This particular picture was taken at Flagler Beach. Flagler Beach is a little beach town with a lot of beachside restaurants and shops. It also has the Flagler Pier which you can see from the picture.

We love this spot though due to the proximity to a beachside winery. It is lovely. They have wine slushies. They are amazing! And perfect for a hot summer day!

What do you love to do during the summer? Do you love the beach like us? Let us know below!

Check out the Link for other Teacher Summer Snapshots!




Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tell All Tuesday Answers!!

Hey everyone! We linked up for Tell All Tuesday.

This week was fun......



Here are our answers to Two Truths and Lie!

We are both teaching summer school....TRUTH!

Maybe one summer this will be us.....

But not this summer.

Christy is teaching Kindergarten CSI and is lucky to have several of her kiddos from last year. CSI stands for Comprehension and Science Investigation. It is a very hands on program where the kids do reading and math but get to spend most of their day doing Science. There are lots of Science Investigations. The things they are doing with the iPads are amazing. We can't wait to use them in our classrooms next year!

I (Meredith) have taught summer school almost every summer I have been teaching. For the last two years I have been the CSI Coach. I am basically the school's liaison with the county, the organizer, problem solver, fire putter outer and supply finder! I get to visit all of the classrooms throughout the day to see what fun things the teachers and kids are doing. It is a nice change for the summer. My OCD and logistical side loves it! The only downside is that I have to carry around a radio.
I am not a fan.
AT ALL.

Our Summer School program runs for four weeks. The weeks are four day weeks. We both LOVE the three day weekend part!


First Grade is our favorite.....TRUTH!



Yup, first grade is both of our favorite grades to teach. Christy has taught K, 1 and 2. I have taught 1, 2 and a 1/2 combo. Even though I will be teaching a 1/2 combo again this year I am part of the first grade team and my classroom is in the first grade hallway!


We love winter......LIE!

Our blog is called Sunshine, Sand and Scissors for a reason.

We live in Florida.

Our school is a little beachside school. It is located just off of A1A.
{{Anyone singing Ice, Ice Baby? BEACH FRONT AVENUE.}}
We get to see this every morning.


Beachside schools are pretty unique. Our school just celebrated its 60th anniversary. That means it has survived the sun, tropical storms and even hurricanes for more than 60 years!

One very unique thing about our school is that our hallways are outside. Our classroom doors open directly to the outside.
This means our transitions can be very hot. (Florida in August. If you have ever visit then, I do not need to say anymore.) Most of the winter months are gorgeous and make up for it. When most of the country is buried in snow we are enjoying our outside walks to lunch or Special Area.
Our transitions can also be very wet. We have awnings over most of our hallways, but it is usually pretty windy because we are so close to the beach. Most teachers keep rain jackets and rain boots in their classrooms.

Here is a picture of our classes in the hallway last year so you get a better idea. (We were decorating the sidewalk for our third grade friends getting ready to take the FSA.)



We would love to hear what is unique about your school!