Freebie Friday and a Giveaway!

It is official...I am in total. summer. break. mode.  I have found myself several times this week asking the hubby, "wait, what day of the week is it again?"  I can't keep it straight and I am totally ok with that because everyday has been so nice being able to workout, make dinners, keep up with things around the house and check things off of my "summer to do list!"  

one: Giveaway

We are so excited to be hosting our first official giveaway!  Blogging has become a big part of both of our lives and we genuinely enjoy every milestone that comes with it.  We have met some amazing blogging buddies, have enjoyed conversing through emails with followers and have learned so much from so many others. 

This past week we hit a big milestone for us, we now have over 250 followers! It is hard for us to believe but we are thrilled.  We thought to celebrate we would try our our first "Raffle Copter Giveaway!" We are starting small with just us and then we will hopefully do another giveaway closer to the beginning of the year and ask our blogging buddies to join for a bigger giveaway.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two: Star of the Week

Star of the Week is a very important part of first grade.  This is their week to shine!  It is a week all about them and to be honest who wouldn't love a week all about them?!!?  This year my kids anxiously awaited as I would announce each new star of the week.  My bus riders literally wouldn't leave (even though their line did) until I announced who our next star of the week was-they were just too excited!  

I am thrilled to be sharing my new Star of the Week product because I know just how special this part of the week is in my classroom and therefore a lot of thought went into this product!  

This pack is filled with educational activities to celebrate each of your students all week long!  Some of the activities include: 

Star of the week poster:  There are 4 version for students to take home and fill out with families.  I love seeing the hard work that goes in to each of these posters every year.  
Star of the Week Poster
Making Words:  Mix up the letters in the Star of the Weeks name (add a few extra letters if needed) and let kids make as many words possible.  Then tell students which letters they will need to figure out the star student's name!  I plan to use this next year to reveal my new Star of the Week each Friday-I can't wait!
Making Words Activity 
Star of the Week Book:  This I was able to try out with my kiddos this past year and they loved they pages!  They did a great job writing notes to their friends and making their pictures bright and colorful!

There are many more activities including notes to parents, venn diagrams, acrostic poem templates, congratulation certificates and star of the week banner to really get your week organized and so that you can celebrate your for Star of the Week all week with educational activities!  

Three: Book Study 

This summer I have a couple of books that I am working on for different book studies.  The first book I am currently reading is Learning to Trust: Transforming Difficult Elementary Classrooms through Development Discipline by Marilyn Watson.  

Our school's social worker read this book and recommended it.  This book is about challenging children and getting through to them in a kind and loving way.  Although I am not very far along yet,  I am genuinely enjoying this book and can see benefits to learning more about development discipline.

The author of this book works closely with a teacher, Laura Ecken, to discuss the ups and downs of trying to apply developmental discipline into a classroom.  As a teacher, this makes the book much more enjoyable as well as realistic.  I know I am not just reading some theory but instead I am reading specific examples of how it worked in Laura Ecken's classroom.  Therefore, making it much easier for me to imagine how I can apply these strategies and make it work in my own room.  

Four: Homework Incentive (and a freebie) 

In my classroom, we do not have much homework but students do have a little homework every night Monday-Thursday.  I do my best to make sure homework is something the can be done independently so students are able to complete it on their own without any excuses. 

I found this idea on Pinterest at the end of last year and began with using it with my students almost immediately.  Every time the entire class finished their homework I would write one letter from the word "Homework" on the board.  When we finished the word "Homework" students got 5 minutes of extra recess.  In a short amount of time I saw kids making sure their homework was completed (I only had a few this year that were not as consistent as I would have liked with homework) and they certainly knew how to spell the word "Homework!"   Instead of writing the letters I created some to hang in my classroom next year as we work to spell out the word. "Homework!"  Click here to get this freebie

Five: Nashville 

I am going to Nashville today and couldn't be more excited.  We are going down to celebrate one of my sorority sister's Bachelorette Party and have decided to make a weekend out of it!  My plane officially leaves in about 3 hours!  I can't wait to see and catch up with so many good friends,  celebrate one unbelievable friend and listen to live country music!

If you made it this far-don't forget to scroll back up and enter our giveaway for your chance to win 2 products from each of our stores!

Happy Friday!


  1. Congrats ladies on 250 followers! I have been following you for awhile & have been very excited to learn more about technology.
    Have fun in Nashville! Thanks, Jackie

  2. Have a wonderful and relaxing summer! ENJOY and SMILES!

  3. Congrats on the followers!! I found your blog through the freebie friday link and I'm happy I did! I'm an Illinois blogger too and I happen to live very close to Wheaton. :) Have fun on your trip to TN! I'm a your newest follower.

    Cheers To School

  4. I love the homework incentive. Thank you! What do (did) you do with the one or two students who consistently missed homework?

  5. Just found your blog and I'm excited for your contest..I have my eye on your star of the week pack.


  6. Congrats on 250 followers! I have not heard of Learning to Trust book...but it sounds very interesting.

  7. Congrats! Enjoy your time in Nashville!

  8. Awesome banner! I was thinking of doing something similar, but you did it for me:) Have a great time in Nashville!

  9. Congrats! Have fun in Nashville!


    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  10. Congrats on your 250 followers. The book you're reading looks great. Anything with Alfie Kohn's name on it has to be worth reading. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  11. 250...yea!! Have fun in Nashville. I love that city. So much fun.

    Curious Firsties

  12. Congrats on the blogging milestone! The book looks very useful! Love the homework idea!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  13. Congrats on 250 followers! It won't be long and you will have even more. :) Your Star of the Week pack looks great!
    Conversations in Literacy

  14. 250 followers! Yipeeeeee. Good for you. Enjoy. I love your homework banner-great idea. Have a great time with all your buddies in Nashville!

  15. COngratulations on your milestone! Love the homework idea...but my class would never have gotten a single letter this year...there was always someone who didn't have homework. (Then again, maybe peer pressure would have changed that! Might give your idea a try.)

  16. Congratulations on 250 followers!!!! I have the homework letters too, but if they spell homework, they have no homework for a week! Seems easy right? We'd get so close and then one person would forget it and have to start all over again.
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  17. Congrats on your followers! I am now following you guys everywhere. Thanks for the book sounds interesting and it has been a while since I read anything on classroom management. Have fun in Nashville! I love it there.

    Literacy Spark

  18. Way to go on 250 followers. I'm entering your give away in about one minute.
    You star student packet looks great. I haven't been doing a star student. This looks like a great way to incorporate it.
    Have fun in Nashville. It is a great city.

    School Is a Happy Place

  19. I love Nashville. We go there a couple times a year because it's not that long a drive for us. It has become quite the bachelorette spot. Have a blast.

    room 4 imagination

  20. yahoo, up to 250+!! Congrats girls! Also love the cute homework banner sign! Fun and easy way to make it more visually appealing and exciting! thanks for sharing!

    Table Talk with C & C

  21. I love doing star of the week! I think it's a fun way for kids to get to know each other more. Plus I like how it highlights all the different students. We do something each day with the star - poster, favorite book, few pictures, letter from parent to class, certificate.

    I love your HW banner too. Thanks for sharing it! I've seen them before and have thought about implementing it. I've also thought about Homeworkopoly. The banner is probably the easiest thing though. I'll have to keep thinking about it.


  22. Just stopped by to become a follower and saw you were having a giveaway. Lucky Day!!!

  23. Very nice blog, ladies! Congrats on the 250 followers. The Star of the Week looks great. Denise


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