Behind the Scenes at #TeachersTakeSacramento2016!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I honestly can say that I don't even know where to begin with this post.  I have had a few weeks to process, decompress, and come off the high that was #TeachersTakeSacramento2016.

I headed to Sacramento on Friday with my friend Shyra from Junior High Core Values!  We had a fun drive up!  We put together lyrics to a left/right game, caught up on classroom stories, and sang to the radio.  We got up there and had the Bell Hop help us unload my car.  It took 2 trips to our rooms to get everything from my car!!  So much SWAG!!!!

Friday evening, Erin (Very Perry Classroom), Sarah (Tales of Teaching with Tech), Laura (Teaching from Beyond the Desk), Shyra and I went to dinner with the TPT Crew.  We had such a great time.  The restaurant had a FRY MENU!!!  Delicious!!!

Friday evening, we had an unofficial meet up with some Teacher Pay Teachers authors and bloggers at Armourth.  It was nice to finally meet these ladies that I feel like I have built friendships with through social media!  

Armourth was awesome, but I knew there was still a LOT of work to be done in preparation for the meet up the next day!  So the #CAFab4 went upstairs and began working on the most AMAZING Swag Bags EVER!!!  There were so many boxes at one point, that I wasn't sure I was going to have a place to sleep!

At about 2am, the bags were ready to go! We celebrated with a quick cheers and some delicious Original New York Seltzer!  I am not going to lie...going to sleep that night wasn't easy!  I was far to excited for the next day!  :)

On Saturday morning, we were up early!  I remember opening my eyes and looking at the clock.  7:45am.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Way too early!  But I was so excited!

We headed over to the State Capitol with all of the t-shirts and the camera to meet up with all of our teacher friends!  We got the camera set up and the shirts handed out!  These shirts were made by Marty from Graphic Traffic, a local business here in the Bay Area!  We had a couple of our great teacher husbands to help us take the photos!  They even got silly and started taking pictures on their backs and upside down!  :)  

Once we were done with our photo, we sent everyone off on a fun scavenger hunt of Old Sacramento!!  Laura from Teaching from Beyond the Desk created a fun scavenger hunt!  A few weeks before the meet up, the 4 of us went to Sacramento to see if we could figure out all the amazing places on the list!  It was a blast!  There are so many amazing photos under the hashtag #TeachersTakeSacramento2016!  You should check them out!!  Myself and the girls headed back to set up for our meet up!  We had the greatest bell hop!  He helped us get everything into our cars and somehow we managed to make it all fit!!  

The evening of our 1st Annual Teachers Take Meet Up was INCREDIBLE!!!!!  71 teachers shared stories, dinner, and won some UNBELIEVABLE giveaways!!!!  I am still speechless about how generous and supportive people are!  We had amazing giveaways and swag bags, none of which could have been possible with out companies and creative Etsy crafters that support teachers.  THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR DONORS!!!!

Teachers Pay Teachers, Classroom Friendly Supplies, Lakeshore LearningNickel & Suede, Seat Sacks, FunkyMonkey, Kendra Scott, Pampered Teacher, Skinny Pop, Hue HD, Erin Condren, Trashy Crafter, Toms, Go Noodle, StarTee, The Instagram Prop, Gifts By Gaby, Crave the Look, OhKoey, Math Grab, Glitter Sips, Tulipe Studio, Drink Up Buttercup, JNLSewCute, Ted and Lucy, Bright Winter Studios, Zoey's Attic, Front Row, Remind, Mary Saunders, Maria Dismondy, Heidi Songs, Educational Insights, Pixie Perfect Stamps, Better Life Bags, TailWind, The Teacher Crafter, Neenah Paper, The Original New York Seltzer, Yogi Tea, Jenga, Udderly Smooth, Sprout Classrooms, Carson-Dellosa, Blue Orange Games, Rachel Cole-Jamberry Consultant, Spelling City, Plan Book, Laugh Eat Learn Designs, Sheila Jane Teaching, Chloe and Isabel Perfume

The tables were UNREAL!  Sarah from Tales of Teaching with Tech was the visual designer behind these tables.  She had a vision of what she wanted them to look like and she nailed it!!  Everything looked great!!!


Erin from VeryPerryClassroom worked hard at creating an amazing DropBox link for each attendee!!!  With over 35 wonderful products from some FABULOUS TPT Authors!!!  These goodies spread a cross the different grade levels and subject areas!  

Kat from Sprout Classrooms made these GORGEOUS wine glasses for every attendee!  We had them set up on the tables as teachers arrived!  They were beautifully made!  

A huge thank you to Sheila from Sheila Jane Teaching!  We celebrated's 1st Birthday with these delicious mini cupcakes!!

I am still overwhelmed with joy and happiness and my teacher heart is still so so full.  I am so grateful to be a part of this teacher community!  I am so happy that I can call these girls my colleagues, my friends, my tribe.  I am really looking forward to 2017 for our next #TeachersTake Pacific Coast Region Meet Up!!!!  


Friday, November 13, 2015

It's HAPPENING!  The Pacific Coast Region Meet Up is ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!!!  I feel like it was SO long ago that we started kicking around the idea of a HUGE meet up...and here I am sharing it with all of you!

The weekend we have planned is filled with fun and collaboration opportunities!!  We have AMAZING giveaways and an awesome SWAG bag for all of those in attendance!  Space is limited!

When:  February 19th-20th!
Where:  Sacramento, Ca
Cost:  $45  (Includes full dinner, t-shirt, and Swag bag!)

How do I sign up?

1.  Complete the form!  COMPLETE THE FORM HERE!   WE ARE SOLD OUT!!!!!!  :)  Email me to be on our WAIT LIST!

2.  Pay your $45 using PayPal.  Send money as FRIENDS/FAMILY to

3.  Book your hotel!  :)  We recommend somewhere in Downtown or Old Town Sacramento!  All of our activities will held around the capital and old town.

Once you are all signed up, you will receive an e-mail closer to the event with even more information and a few surprises!!!  :)  We can't wait to meet you!!!

Sharpeners & More!

Monday, October 26, 2015
I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am about this!  Back in September, I got an email from one of my favorite companies, asking if I could do a review for one of my favorite products.  It's the one product that is in my classroom that the kids CAN NOT TOUCH!  Lol.  What is this amazing product?  It's the NEW, PURPLE Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!  Why do I LOVE this product so much?  Let me tell's easy as 1, 2, 3!

1.  It is SO easy to use!!!!  

2.  My pencils, no matter how janky they are, they come out PERFECTLY sharpened!  

3.  Clean up is EASY!

My students bring me their broken pencils and colored pencils to be sharpened.  I think they sometimes break them intentionally just because they LOVE how excited I get about using the sharpener.  I want them to eventually start using the Best Sharpener Ever, but they have to earn that one!  hahaha.  My principal is planning on ordering one for every teacher at some point I think!  Yes, they are THAT GOOD!

GREAT NEWS!!!!  I am going to GIVE ONE AWAY!!!!  Enter here to win a new PURPLE SHARPENER  & Other goodies!!!

This month, I have also been having SO much fun with math in my classroom.  My 5th graders have been skyrocketing through their math class and have enjoyed all of the different little things that I have done to make it engaging.

One of the things that I have loved using with my class, is the Math Challenge Cards from Carson-Dellosa!  When I pull these out, they go nuts!  They love working as a group to figure out the challenges! We have had so much fun!

The other thing that I have been using is my newest TpT Product, Multiplication War.  They had a chance to create their own cards and cut them out.  Next week, they get to play!  I can't tell you how excited they were on Friday.

I feel like there are a lot of amazing things happening here at HoooRayforTeaching!  I can't wait to see what the next couple of months has in store!  Stay Tuned!  :)

Totem Pole Project

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
This week, my students turned in their Totem Pole Projects!  They worked really hard on them and they came out AMAZING!  We do a short, 2-page unit on Totem Poles in our Native American unit in Social Studies.  This is easy, fun, and the kids LOVE it!  Here are some pictures on the completed Totem Poles!

This project was not created by me, but given to me by another teacher/friend.  Enchanted Learning has this project, but I am also including what I had out here! 

I will continue to add goodies now and again, so be sure to follow so you get updated!  :)  

Happy Wednesday!

Fall Tree Project

Friday, October 2, 2015
Last year, I found an amazing project for Fall on A Clutter-Free Classroom!  I enjoyed creating a similar project with my students. This year turned out better than last and I wanted to share it with you!!!

The first thing that I did, was have students (of course) put their name on the back!  Lol. I forgot this last year. Next, we talked about the colors of Fall. I passed out those colors of tempts paint to the groups. I gave them a small amount because I wanted them to use less paint so that it would dry faster. Then, I had them create a sunset. Thankfully we had some beautiful sunsets this week, so they had images in their head and tried to create those sunsets. 



After they dried, I had them freehand a tree with branches. I did a sample on the board and shared ideas from last years blog post. I explained that their trees had to be about 2 inches shorter than the black paper. This way it wouldn't reach the top of the page with the sunset. I told them they could add a hill too it if they wanted. Once they were done with drawing the tree, I had them cut it out and glue it on the sunset. I explained that the bottom should be all along the bottom of the sunset so the tree doesn't look like its floating. Lol. They turned out amazing!!!!


I am so proud of how well these projects turned out!  I can't wait to put them up on my bulletin board tomorrow!!!!!!!  


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This year's classroom is by far my FAVORITE when it comes to decorating.  I had a blast doing DIY projects, hanging bulletin boards (and re-hanging them), and coming up with new/improved ideas to keep the kids interested!

My classroom "facelift" began back in June/July.  My school was going through phase 2 of their re-carpeting and man was I excited!!!  I took this as an opportunity to work on my big DIY project!!  I had these old, laminate, wood book shelves in my classroom.  The previous teacher had stuck stickers all over them and then later peeled them off, which took the laminate with them.  They needed a serious pick me up!

I asked my boss if I could paint the bookshelves....IN THE CLASSROOM!  Lol.  The deal was, that it had to be done before the old carpet was pulled out of the room.  So I went to work!  I headed to Home Depot and chose colors.  I wanted grey and blue, but I wasn't 100% sure.  I was there for an hour and was completely excited by my final choice!!  I even used the Home Depot Paint App to see what the final product would look like.  :)

The week before I left for Vegas for the TpT Conference, I took to my bookshelves.  I sanded, primed, and painted.  

I had never done anything like this before and I was really excited, but nervous.  After all sorts of mistakes, I was really happy with the turn out!!!  There were 2 bookshelves, but I only took pictures of one of them.  Ooops!!  

 Once I was done with the shelves, I locked my keys away and promised I wouldn't come back into the classroom until August.  I stuck to that (sort of).  I came in to drop things off, but didn't start any "REAL" work until August 1st.

It began with a major must change in my classroom.  When I walked in, they had installed new paper towel dispensers in the classroom.  The problem was, it was installed on my bulletin board!  haha.  I talked to our maintenance person and asked that it be moved.  He made the changes so that I could get to work on my boards.

I then began work on my boards.  I was SO proud of my boards.  Since 5th grade is a huge Social Studies year,  I knew I had to have a social studies board.  I am starting off my year with a simple US Map on the board.  We have already started talking about the 50 states and will begin working on our state reports!

 My FAVORITE board EVER was my student work board.  Up until the end of last school year, I didn't really understand the fascination with AstroBrights.  That was until I created this board.  Now, I am OBSESSED!!!!  I can't tell you how long this board took to make.  The first time I put the black paper up, I was short by about 3 feet on the second layer.  The boards are really big.  So the top was easily covered.  The bottom...not so much.  So I removed all the paper and realized I had no more back.  I ran to Lakeshore Learning and picked up new black paper.  I had to start completely over because they were different colors of black.  The dyes were different.  Once I got the paper and boarder up, I started with the AstroBrights.  Of course, they were not lined up correctly, so I had to take them down and start over.  The struggle is REAL!!  Lol.  I think after about 2 hours of putting paper up and moving it, I finally got it!  I stepped back and looked at it and did a happy dance.  It looked AMAZING!  I was so proud of my board!!!!!

I was also proud of my other boards...My personal board is a favorite of the kids.  They love to see pictures of my family and friends and hear stories about them.  :)  My birthday/rules/calendar board turned out awesome too!!!  I was just over joyed at the final product this year!

Another project that I spent a large amount of time on was my book corner.  I went to Wal-Mart and found these amazing bins that were only $1.00 each!!!  I purchased them in multiple colors and it got me excited for this project!

I decided to completely redo the way the books were organized.  I wanted to organize them into genre.  This took a LOT of time.  Thankfully, I had 4 days where I could just sit and focus on the books.  I looked up every single book on Reading Counts and put them into the genre that was listed.  Once that was done, I put them into their new bins and added genre tags to the front.  Once I placed them on the shelves, I again took a step back and did my happy dance!!  :)

There were so many other mini projects that took place in my classroom.  From organizing pens, to refluffing puff balls, to creating birthday goodie bags, and hanging up their reading check out pockets.  It all began to come together.  Since I teach at a Catholic School, I wanted to be sure my prayer table was something the kids would enjoy and feel comfortable visiting if they needed time to reflect alone.  Overall, I am so happy with the way things turned out!  I am also really excited to add photos to their classroom Instagram board on the closet!  :)


Before school started, my staff went on a retreat to an beautiful location in Santa Cruz, Ca.  We spend time as a staff,  at the beach, which makes the meeting portion a heck of a lot easier!  We do team building activities, have a bonfire, enjoy s'mores, and get some of our "meeting" stuff done, all while listening to the sound of waves hit the beach.  It is something I look forward to every year.  Here is a sneak peek...

 The day the students walked into the classroom, I knew the year was going to be a good one.  I went to bed the night before school, knowing that my classroom was complete.  It was something I was so proud of and content with.  It was different than past classrooms.  It was filled with new ideas and new colors.  On the morning of the first day, students came in to a goodie on their desk.  It said, "5th Grade is Going to Rock!"  The board in the hallway, said, "Let's start 5th Grade on the Right Foot!"

I think this year in 5th grade truly is going to rock!!  We are definetly starting off on the right foot!!  I hope you all have a wonderful school year!!  :)

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