Birthday Blog Hop and Giveaway!

 
Guess what? It is Celeste from the Education Highway's birthday! And we are celebrating with a fun blog hop and giveaway, too! Plus we have a few fun summer tips and ideas for you too, now that it is the unofficial first week of summer. REALLY unofficial, especially since it's 23 days until school ends for me and I can start summer myself! Ha! Let's start with the summer tips and then you can see the prize packs, blog hop and rafflecopter to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Strawberries are great in the warm weather! Check out this fun and easy to make Strawberry Marshmallow and Cracker Cake Recipe from Rachel Ray. Nom Nom! Click here!
Image credit to Pinterest/Savoring Italy/BakeDuchess.com 

Let's be honest, if you don't have access to a pool, lake, or are landlocked (or just extremely pale and sensitive to the sun like me), outdoor activities in summer might not be ideal. Or the weather could be terrible. So you need some backups! For indoor activities, I have two great movies for you to check out - one for your family and one for you and your girlfriends. You need a girls' night out this summer-trust me!

First of course,  you and your family are definitely going to see Finding Dory! How can you not?!



Secondly, for your girls' night out, if you haven't heard of the movie Bad Moms, once you peek at the trailer, you will want to see it!



Click here or on the image below to grab this summer writing freebie! It would be great to send home with your students if you're still teaching, for some end of the year practice, or if you're tutoring or want something for your own child to use for practice this summer!

Now, let's take a look at what is in those prize packs! Scroll to the bottom for the rafflecopters so you can enter to win!









Prize Pack 1 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Pack 2 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Pack 3 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Pack 4 a Rafflecopter giveaway






Sit Spots!



Sit Spots: How they are working in my classroom

Hey everyone!  I wanted to let you know about SitSpots! Have you heard of them?  Did you know they were created by a kindergarten teacher in 2012? She had switched from 5th grade to teaching 25 kindergarteners and quickly realized spatial management would be one of the keys to success.  She created them to help her class and now they are shipping across the country to teachers like us. 

SitSpots will send you a sample so you can check and see if they are compatible with your carpet. You can also write on SitSpots, however, traditional markers and traditional Sharpie may smudge or come off. SitSpots recommends you use oil based sharpies. SitSpots even sells them
Sit Spots: How they are working in my classroom
I decided to try them out because I was noticing kiddos having trouble choosing where to sit and in particular how close to sit to others - and we don't have tons of space.  So some would sit thisclose to their friend and even when I told them to move over they would inch their way back so their bodies were touching again! Other kids would sit so far away from everyone else in the back or on the side that  I doubted they could see the lesson at the easel. Also, some kiddos were sprawling out like they were lounging on a beach towel, taking up precious room in our small space so other kids were stuck in tiny areas. I was always trying to get them to sit criss cross applesauce but tiring of having to say so multiple times each day.

To be fully transparent, SitSpots did send me a class set of  them with the understanding I would publish an honest review on my blog. I always write with integrity and you can be certain that everything in my post is true and not influenced by the situation.

I chose the heart shaped SitSpots because HEART is our school motto and we talk about HEART every day.  I looked at our rug area and estimated about how much room each child would need to sit criss cross applesauce on the rug. Then I had them try it out.  A few kiddos were a little squished so at the end of the day, with a forceful lift, I pulled a few hearts up and moved them. I had one kiddo who told me she was squished , but when  I looked,  she had tons of room compared to some of my students who were truly cramped. SitSpots helped me evaluate what was a reasonable amount of distance between students.
Sit Spots: How they are working in my classroom
Here is a side view of our meeting area. I had to instruct kids to sit right on them because at first I had two students during the day at different times started playing with them. They work kind of like velcro so that was creating distracting velcro noises. But I didn't have to worry that the kids could take them off because they are pretty strong. I can move them around but it is with a forceful lift. My second graders can't seem to lift them off easily.
Sit Spots: How they are working in my classroom
Overall, the SitSpots have been really helpful! They allow my students to sit close enough to see the lessons, but not so squished that they are uncomfortable and distracted. There are so many options available  that you could use them for lessons too. The 2-D geometric shapes looked intriguing and like they could have been used for math lessons. I can also see using them for random grouping, like "If you are sitting on a pink heart, you are in group one". "If you are sitting on a red heart, you are in group two".

I also informed the cleaning staff that they could vacuum right over them because I was thinking they would just avoid vacuuming that area. It is pretty convenient they can be vacuumed over. They are also great because they are way cheaper than buying an expensive area rug with stripes or squares to manage student seating. I also have assigned seats on the rug this year but because SitSpots have been so helpful I have recently been able to let them pick where to sit. A benefit is there are only as many hearts as there are kids, so if Timmy wants to sit next to his friend Keith (who distracts him) but the hearts next to Keith are already taken, Timmy has to pick a different seat. I also have a child who sits in a cube chair so I have him sit on the left side of the heart on the end of the 2nd row. That way he has a good view but isn't blocking anyone else's view of the easel.

The only thing I wish is that you did'n't need special Sharpies to write on them, but I think the fabric stickiness is more important than writability. The SitSpots website has a great, helpful information section. Click here to see it. Here is their store: SitSpots store. SitSpots has definitely been a hit and I have definitely given them a thumbs up to  my colleagues who have asked, "What are those"?