April 2015 | Teaching in the Tongass

Monday, April 27, 2015

muffins with moms

Happy Spring to you! I am in the midst of getting ready for one of my favorite events of the year...Muffins with Moms!  This will be my 7th year hosting this event and I couldn't be more excited! Never heard of Muffins with Moms? Skeptical that you wouldn't get any moms to come?  Rest assured, friends. I thought I'd start off by giving a few tips to host your own Muffins with Moms event!
Ideas and activities for Muffins with Moms

muffins with mom
Muffins with Moms can really be held at any point in the year, but I prefer to hold it the Friday before Mother's Day. It is a great way to celebrate the meaningful holiday, and if you live close to your own mom, be sure to invite her as well (my mom comes every year!).
muffins with mom

I make it very clear that any and all women are invited to Muffins with Moms. I work in a Title I school. Not all moms can make it. Some are working and can't take the time off. Some are busy at home, are in prison, passed away, live in another city or just plain refuse to come into school forwhateverreason. I have this honest conversation with my kiddos. We come to the conclusion that if it's not your actual "mom" that comes in, no biggie. You can invite grandma, or auntie, or your neighbor lady that lets you jump on her trampoline in the summer. Which leads me to #3.
muffins with mom

Even parents with the best of intentions can fail (I'll be the first to admit, I am not supermom). Sometimes we forget important events. Plan on someone not coming. Plan on a few no shows and you'll be happy you asked for more volunteers. Ask your nearby high school if they have any students looking for volunteer hours (cheerleaders, sports teams, health and government classes sometimes require these hours). Ask your school staff if they can take an hour (your principal might be totally on board with this--mine have been!) to come and support any students that didn't have anyone show for them. And if it's not 1-1, don't worry. Students can share any volunteers if need be!
muffins with mom

Most parents will need at least a week's notice in advance. If you can let them know as soon as you've put it on your school schedule (check with your admin to make sure there are no other events at the same time!), you'll get a better turnout. You'll also likely get more people that want to help if they have time to plan ahead...which leads me to #5!
muffins with mom

I always ask parents to help! Most moms love to help out with events like these, and this is a great opportunity for them to feel like they are supporting their kiddo. I like to provide the coffee and cups (I buy paper travel cups w/lids) and ask parents to bring in the rest.  If you communicate through email, ask parents to "reply all" so they will know what is already taken or you'll get 500 muffins and no orange juice...or vice versa. Or, if you're even more of a tech savvy teacher, a google doc will work great for sign-ups, too.

We get the fun and excitement started by making my Muffins with Moms Craftivity. We have these ready to give as a little parting gift as the moms leave.

muffins with mom

muffins with mom
And how cute is this frame to take photos of kiddos and their adults?! 
muffins with moms frame
You can find this craftivity, frame, editable muffins with moms invitation and MORE not even pictured in my Muffins with Moms {the complete kit}.
muffins with mom
So, there you have it.  A few tips to get you started. So, tell me, have you hosted a Muffins with Moms event before? What tips do you have to share? Comment below!

P.S. If you're already thinking, "What about the Dads?!" you might be interested in this Donuts with Dads event kit.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

a few freebies

I recently posted this photo on my Instagram and Facebook:
I had a few requests from people who also use Reading Wonders or Math in Focus, so I made a set for K-5. If you have either of these programs, feel free to download by clicking below.
After attending my school's latest PTO/Site Council meeting, it became apparent that there isn't really a system for passing the torch when it comes to hosting a Friday Fun Night fundraiser. So....I pulled together what I already had and made one. I made it completely theme-less so that it can be used at any point in the year. Use all of it, some of it or none of it...it's free, so please be kind and don't ask me to change it just for you or leave negative feedback because it doesn't work for your fundraiser ;)
And 1 more before I go....my school is also trying to raise money for some new playground equipment and therefore, I volunteered to take our usual "thank you" class photo. So, I whipped up these posters for my own class and figured you might be able to use them as well! Enjoy!
In other news, I created this to use with one of my kiddos. You might find it useful....?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

gaga for gonoodle!

If you're coming from the GoNoodle blog, WELCOME! Just scroll down to grab the FREEBIE!

Have you heard of GoNoodle? If you haven't, you're in for a treat! GoNoodle is a FREE website for teachers that is full of FUN and ENGAGING videos to do with your class. Yes, I said "do." As in, brain breaks and fun movement videos to get bodies goin and brains ready for learnin! Seriously. Amazing. Did I mention it's FREE?! 

When you sign up, you'll get to choose a "champ" for your class. This little character will be sort of like your mascot while you finish different activities. After completing a few videos, he'll go into the transmorgifier and *something special* will happen! Your champ will go through a big change and the kids will LOVE it and if they're anything like my 2nd graders, they'll laugh hysterically and go crazy (in a good way, I promise!). So, while we were in the midst of our current champ (there are lots to choose from once you outgrow one!), I created this little GoNoodle writing craftivity. 

Meet Freckles. Cute, right?!
My class is totally googley-eyed for GoNoodle!
I love how different they all turned out!
Acrostic version. I'll never tire of inventive spelling. #fabeluse #speshle
Apparently, Freckles likes to shake and move his feet.
From one of my boys that typically doesn't like to write...he wrote to the bottom of the page y'all. Bottom of the page.
And I threw in a Sentence Scramble for early finishers. My neighbor teacher (hi Dukes!) is using Oogles right now, so I made one for her class as well.
Click below to download these FREEBIES! I hope your kids enjoy them as much as mine did!


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