Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Why Teachers Make the Best Type of Friends

Teaching is hard.  In fact, it is very hard.  With the daily challenges and pressures that present themselves everyday even before we show up at school, I have found that it is imperative for teachers to find kindred souls in their peers.  Because who else understands more and can better help us find joy and success in the work that we do everyday, but our teacher friends?!

Recently I read the article on 27 Amazing Things Teacher Friends Do For One Another, and it got me to reflect back on the many friendships that I have made and kept throughout the years.  After going through my Facebook Friends, I realized, "Oh my goodness, almost more than half of my friends are teachers!"  And because teachers are so amazing, it's no wonder why teachers are the best type of friends to have!

1. Teachers are so incredibly generous and giving.  Teachers spend out of their pockets and go out of their way all the time for their students and anyone they know.  They are also generous with their time and do things for others that they know they may never be recognized for.

2. Teachers are creative beyond belief! Give a teacher a cold and bare classroom and he/she will give you the most amazing and inviting learning space you will ever see!  Give a teacher a box of recyclables and things that others may consider trash and he/she will give you the most incredible STEM challenge.

3. Teachers are supportive.  Had a bad day or going through something difficult?  Find a teacher friend next door who will listen to you, cry with you, and support you every step of the way.

4. Teachers are multi-talented.  Need someone to teach, coach, fix the copy machine, console a crying child, design a new bulletin board for Open House, cook for Friday's potluck, take on a club, and present at a conference all in one week?  Ask a teacher.  I bet you a teacher somewhere out there has done these and more in a week before.  Teachers are amazing!

5. Teachers are selfless.  Sure, they haven't eaten lunch because they spent most of their lunch replying to emails or talking to a parent on the phone, but that's who they are and what they do on a daily basis.  They are always thinking of others before themselves.

6. Teachers are spontaneous and fun! Need someone to help you spice up the lesson and make it more fun for the kids?!  Your teacher friend got you!  May it be running to the store in the evening to grab a list of things for tomorrow's lesson or dress up and look ridiculous to others outside of teaching, but your teacher friends will help make teaching so much more fun for you and learning even more engaging for your students!

7. Teachers are amazing!  From the little things to the great, BIG things that teachers do everyday, teachers really are amazing and I am so grateful to have taught with and become friends with so many AMAZING teachers!

So if you have teacher friends, hold onto them.  If you're looking for the most awesome friends around, find a teacher and be a good friend to them! :)


Monday, May 1, 2017

10 Simple Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  What have you done to appreciate the teachers in your life?  If you are an administrator, PTA/PTO officer, parent or fellow teacher, here are 10 simple ideas to show those special teachers how much you appreciate the hard work they do each day. 

These 10 chalkboard tags can be downloaded by clicking on this link: Teacher Appreciation Gift Tags.  These tags can be used with a variety of small gift items that you can pick up at your neighborhood Walmart, Target or grocery store.  

1.   It is so REFRESHING to have you as a TEACHER! 
Soft Drinks, Water, Sparking Water, Juice

2.   Thank You to a TEA-riffic Teacher!
Bottle of Tea, Bottle of Water and Crystal Light Package of Tea, Mug or Teacup with a few Teabags, a Box of Fancy Tea Bags, a Package of Loose Tea and a Tea Ball

3.   You are all that and a bag of CHIPS!
Small or Large Bags of Chips

4.   Thanks for Being such a SWEET Teacher!
Cookies, Cupcakes, Candy Bars, Jars or Container of Candy 

5.   Thank You for the EXTRAordinary Things you do!
Extra Gum

6.   Thank You for Helping our Students BLOOM!
Flowers, Flowering Plants

7.   Let us give you a HAND. You're one of the Best!
Hand Soap, Hand Sanitizer, Hand Lotion

8.   Thanks! You're the Balm
Any type of Lip Balm

9.   An Apple for the TEACHER
Red EOS Lip Balm

10.   Thank You for all that you do! You're the Best!
Any Gift Card

Click below:


Until Next Time...

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

End of Year Emoji Day

As the end of the school year approaches, I am always looking for ways to keep my students engaged and learning right until the last day.  This year I decided to create some activities featuring emojis to do just that.  I was inspired by the idea after Scholastic sent me some emoji themed bookmarks with my last book order.  The students loved them and were so excited because they contained those little smiley faces.  So I decided to host an "Emoji Day" to hopefully capture some of their excitement and help with the countdown to summer break.  Who knows, I may even stretch it out over two days!

To build some excitement about the upcoming emoji day, you can ask your students to dress all in yellow and black.  Then decorate your class door to greet them as they arrive in the morning.  During morning meeting show them some of the activities they will be completing during the day.  I also bought some emoji themed props to help set the stage for the day.  I found a kissing emoji at my local dollar store and I was lucky to grab these emoji themed buckets in the 50% off section of Walmart.  They will be great for holding the materials for each center.

I find this time of year it is important to change things up and try adding something different from the usual routine.  I am going to have students collect different emoji collector cards as they finish each activity.  This will work great as a motivator for students to finish their work.  These collector cards can then be kept in the student's wallet to take home at the end of the day.  I may add string to each wallet and students would be able to wear them as a necklace during the day.  I think it is important to let students be creative.  Give them a blank t-shirt or iPhone sheet and let them create what they thing the next emoji should be.

I think it is important to also keep practising math, reading and writing skills right up to the end of the school year.  My students slide back over the summer and I want to make sure I am doing my best to slow down this process.  Having students roll an emoji dice to practise graphing skills and reading all about emojis is a great way to keep students learning.  Did you know that there are 69 new emojis coming soon?  Did you know that there will be a curling stone, T-REX, and gloves?  I had no idea before doing a bit of research.  I also want my students writing everyday and adding some emojis just seems to make reluctant writers want to pick up their pencil and get started.

Finally, this time of year is all about making memories.  Students can make an emoji booklet which highlights some of their favorite things on one side and then collecting the autographs of their classmates on the other side.  What a great keepsake to look back on in the future.  If hosting an "Emoji Day" sounds like something you would like to try, you can find these activities here

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Grab & Go Centers!

Hey everyone!  I'm here to talk about some new center games that I'm so excited about!  I found a need in my classroom to have centers that were skill based and not necessarily theme related.  I was also looking for something that I could use to help differentiate the levels in my groups and provide choices.  
I came up with some fun independent Spill & Shake games that I can use ANY time of the year.  I can put different bags in my word work and math centers and kids can grab the one that they want! LOVE! 
I wanted to keep the format consistent, so I didn't have to explain the directions each week.  Kids come to these centers and they know exactly what to do.  I love that they're 100% engaged!
 I have kids in my class who need a lot more help with CVC words, so these games are perfect for them.  I have other kids who are well above kindergarten reading level.  So, I needed to challenge them more.  I created the same type of games, but with vowel patterns.  This was the perfect way to differentiate!

I have also used these games in my morning tubs.  Instead of having the kids color the pictures, they had to cover the picture with the colored cubes that matched the word.  They were so engaged!
I love that they have to think about the word/picture, and also what color it is.


Of course I had to make some fun games for math too.  These are helping my kids identify numbers on the 100's chart.  The kids love these games because they don't need any help doing it & they're 100% engaged!
  I love centers like this!

While we're on the topic of morning tubs (a new thing in my classroom), I wanted to show you guys a hot new game.  The kids are going crazy for this game!
It's called Build It! Buzz It!  

The kids lay all the cards face down in a pile.  Each kid has these colored cubes: red, blue, green, orange, and purple.  They have to match the same color pattern as the card by using their cubes.  First one to do that presses the buzzer and keeps the card!  They were having SO much fun with this game that I just had to buy different buzzers. 

{CLICK HERE} to find them! They can't wait to get to this bucket!  I'm a happy teacher!


Here's what the bucket looks like:

Here's a sneak peak at some of the other games I've made so far:
 (Can you tell I like to make games?!)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you found some new ideas to add to your morning routine or centers!



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Phonics Rules

Hey everyone! I'm Amy from Cahill's Creations.  
I'm here to talk about phonics rules for different letter combinations or "letter buddies!"

I saw a need to make some visuals for my kids because they're ready for more spelling patterns.  I felt that all the different letter buddies needed some serious attention.  
SO, I created a Hollywood themed phonics set!  

These letters just needed a red carpet and a spotlight.

As I introduce the sounds, I start with this card:

We talk about the different words that have this sound.  We practice reading and writing them on our whiteboards.  We always do a song in the lesson too!

Then, I show them the spotlight and we talk about how important the letter sounds are.
I made sorting picture/word cards to put in a center.  The kids sort the words and write them on a recording sheet.  To make this center extra fun I bought these fancy glasses to wear while working in this center.  They love wearing fun glasses!   

Click the picture to find these!


Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentines for your Students

Do you know what profession receives the most Valentines? I'm sure you know, it is TEACHERS!! Each Valentine's Day teachers all over the country receive Valentines from their current students, former students, coworkers, administrators and any significant others they may have in their lives. It's so AWESOME! 

So, how about your students?  Do you give them a Valentine each year? Chances are if you are an Elementary grade teacher, you give your students a Valentine card and possibly a small gift on this day of love.

If this is what you do each year, I have a FREEBIE you might be interested in.

This packet contains free Valentines you can give your class. With three to choose from, you are sure to find one to fit your needs:

Quarter Page Size Card: This card can be printed on card stock and given to students.  You can even add a special treat such as a pencil, or lollipop if you want to. Just punch holes or use clear tape to attach.

Treat Bag Tag:  This card is sized so you can print on card stock, cut out and fold over a snack size zip lock bag.  Fill the bags with candy, Goldfish crackers, Teddy Grams or any other treat you would like.

Ruler Valentine: This last one is my favorite! I try to stock up on rulers in August when they are on sale at the beginning of school. Sometimes you can purchase them for as little as 50 cents each.  Then on Valentine's Day, you can use this card to give them to your students as a very special Valentine's gift. 

One year my daughter used these to give to her classmates cute colorful rulers as Valentines.  They loved it!

This packet also has a couple of fun Valentine Activities you can do with your students on Valentine's Day:  a Graphing Activity (for which you will need a small box of Conversation Hearts Candy for each student.) and a word scramble:

If you would like to download this Valentine's Freebie   all you have to do is click on the picture below.

I hope you and your students have a great Valentine's Day.  Stop by and visit me at:

Until Next Time........