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This post is sponsored by Walmart. 

Back to school season is here! It's officially time to shop for all the back-to-school supplies. This time of the year is extra exciting for teachers.  There is nothing like the smell of a brand new box of crayons. Tell me i'm not alone?

Although back-to-school shopping is a teacher's favorite time of the year, it might be a dreadful time for parents. Not only is finding the best deals tedious, but going to the store and shopping with littles can be a lot more time consuming than we need it to be. 

The Best Place for Back-to-School Shopping

Well, shopping just got easier with Walmart! Their back-to-school selection includes everything and anything you could possibly need to start off the school year.  Walmart always has the best deals.

Even better, Walmart.com offers shipping to home, store, and store pickup. This means contactless and painless shopping! School supplies at the click of a button. 

I headed into Walmart last week to check out all of their supplies, teacher goodies, and teacher outfits. Here are some of my finds which are all available on Walmart.com or through the Walmart app!

Back-to-School Supplies at Walmart

This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

I found these 'Colors of the World' coloring supplies that I had been looking for! I literally did a little happy dance when I found out they had all three---crayons, markers, AND colored pencils!

Found this pack of blank books that includes 8 individual books for only $3.00. These are perfect for publishing books, morning journal, and much more.

ALLLL the bins! These book bins and caddies are perfect for organizing supplies and classroom libraries. They have tons of color options online!

So many colorful writing tools and highlighters to choose from!

These half composition notebooks are perfect for vocabulary notebooks! The pack includes 10 notebooks for under $5.00!

This felt money pack would be so fun to use during a money unit or even for a classroom economy system.

Walmart.com also has the cutest back-to-school teacher outfits! I complied a list of some of my favorite pieces below. Hover over the images to shop.

I hope you have theee most amazing back-to-school season and school year! Happy shopping!

Are your students struggling with vocabulary? Looking to make vocabulary instruction and review exciting for students? I'm sharing five ENGAGING, collaborative ways to review vocabulary with your students! All of these vocabulary activities would work best with partners and/or groups.

1.     Find your match- Divide students into groups. Assign each group a vocabulary word and give them 4 sticky notes. Students will write the word, definition, synonym, and antonym on each of the sticky notes. Collect all the sticky notes. Then, give each student in the class ONE random sticky note and have them stick it on themselves somewhere visible. (They may have a word, synonym, definition, or antonym!)  Students will walk around the classroom and try to find their ‘vocabulary group’.  (Matching word, definition, synonym, and antonym) 

Grab a FREE vocabulary map printable below!


2.     Vocabulary Charades- I use this as a review activity right before our weekly vocabulary test! I assign a vocabulary word to each pair of students (sometimes we have three students per group. It all depends on how many words & students you have.) Students are given five minutes to discuss with their group and come up with a mini ‘skit’ to represent their word. Their skit must be completely silent! Everything must be acted out. They come to the front of the class and act out their word. Once they are done, they get to choose an audience member to guess what word they were acting out. (audience members must also explain what the word means)


3.     Bean Bag Story Toss- Start by giving your class a story starter. (For ex: “I opened my desk drawer and couldn’t believe what I spotted inside!”) Then, toss a beanbag to a student. That student must add a sentence to the story and use one of their vocabulary words in the sentence. He/she will then toss the beanbag to another classmate and that classmate will add another sentence to the story. Continue until all students have had a chance! 

You might want to record the story on anchor chart paper as the students add on and read the final product at the end!


4.     Word Detectives- Pair up students and give them a piece of chart paper. Students will write sentences with their vocabulary words. (or a story if you have higher achieving students) Have students cover up the vocabulary word in each sentence using a sticky note. They can also just draw a blank instead of actually writing the vocabulary word. Students will then trade chart papers with another group. Each group will use context clues within the sentences to try and guess the missing vocabulary word. 


5.     Prefix/Suffix Competition- Set up a line of buckets filled with prefix and suffix strips inside. Students will pick up a vocabulary card and then toss a beanbag inside a bucket. If they make it, they will get to pick a paper strip from inside. If the prefix or suffix matches their word and they are able to make a new word, they score a point for their team!  


EX: Student picks the word “fortunate” and the prefix “un”. Since he is able to make the word ‘unfortunate’, he scores a point for his team.

Here are some of my favorite vocabulary review resources!

Vocabulary Camp Task Cards and ELA Center Activities:(PRINTABLE and DIGITAL) Includes six sets of task cards focusing on context clues, multiple meaning words, prefixes and suffixes, antonyms and synonyms. Also includes DIGITAL versions of all task cards compatible with Google Slides! :)

Prefix & Suffix Task Cards (PRINTABLE and DIGITAL): Review third grade prefixes and suffixes with your students with these fun task cards/Boom Cards! 

This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Simply click images to shop directly!

Fractions can be one of the trickiest skills for young learners to master. Before diving into our fraction unit each year, I like introducing fractions using readalouds. Children are able to better understand mathematical concepts when they're applied to real-life situations. I have a few favorite fraction books that I use to introduce the skill and the vocabulary associated with it.

1. Fraction Fun by David A. Adler

*Affiliate link- If you make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Fractions are made easy in this simple and hands-on math concept book. You'll learn what the top and bottom numbers are called, and what they mean. You will also find out how to recognize and compare different fractions. Just follow the clear instructions and you will learn the most important thing of all -- that fractions can be fun!

2. Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds

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Miss Bloom runs the Strawberry Inn, and she loves visitors. All through the day she welcomes a cast of hilarious characters until all the rooms are taken. It’s a full house! But in the middle of the night, Miss Bloom senses that something is amiss — and sure enough, the guests are all downstairs eating dessert. Readers will be inspired to do the math and discover that one delicious cake divided by five hungry guests and one doting hostess equals a perfect midnight snack at the Strawberry Inn. Piece of cake!

3. If You Were a Fraction by Trisha Speed Shaskan

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If you were a fraction, you be part of a whole. You could be part of a pizza or part of pie. You could be part of an apple or part of a pear. What else could you be if you were a fraction? This colorful picture book describes fractions in a way that makes learning math fun!

4. My Half Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed

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The wacky fun continues as a young boy awakens to find a half-head of hair. After chugging down his glass of milk that s two-thirds gooey paste, he and his friend are off to camp for a day of fraction fun and an out-of-this world soccer game.

5. Whole-Y Cow by Taryn Souders

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Using one very entertaining cow, math teacher Taryn Souders has devised a very clever (and fun) way of explaining fractions to beginning learners. One whole cow, calmly eating hay, decided to act differently on this particular day. One whole cow - what should we do? I know! Let's paint one half blue! Prompted by a poem and a visual clue, students are asked to answer what fraction is illustrated in the cow's antics, starting with halves and progressing into thirds, fourths, eighths, and tenths.

6. The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

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Each ring of the doorbell brings more friends to share the delicious cookies Ma has made in this beloved classic.

7. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns

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Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are having a family reunion! Mr. Comfort starts cooking up his famous spaghetti and meatballs, while Mrs. Comfort carefully arranges eight tables and thirty-two chairs so that everyone will have a seat. The tables look lovely, the food is ready, and here come the guests--with their own seating plans!

8. Fractions in Disguise by Edward Einhorn

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When a valuable fraction goes missing, George Cornelius Factor (a.k.a. GCF) vows to track it down. Knowing that the villainous Dr. Brok likes to disguise his ill-gotten fractions, GCF invents a Reducer—half ray gun, half calculator— that strips away the disguise, reducing the fraction to its lowest common denominator and revealing its true form. With the Reducer in hand, George seeks out Dr. Brok in hopes of retrieving the missing fraction. 

9. A Fraction's Goal- Parts of a Whole by Brian P. Cleary

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In this fun-filled look at fractions, Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable demonstrate how fractions work by splitting whole objects into parts.

10. Give me Half by Stuart J Murphey

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How do you share a pizza? You split it in half! Two siblings split a yummy lunch and discover that using fractions can be messy. 

With every new year comes lots of reflecting and goal setting. But who says goal setting is just for adults? Just like the grown ups, kiddos are more likely to succeed when they reflect on previous experiences, set goals, and track their progress.

 Student Goal Setting & Data Tracking

 Student leadership notebooks are the perfect way to hold your students accountable this year. They can reflect on previous quarters, set new quarterly goals, and track their academic progress throughout the months. This is also a great place for students to graph in their assessment data and monitor which areas they need growth in // which areas demonstrate strength. 
Once your kiddos are independent enough to understand their progress, they'll be able to share it with others through student-led conferences. These conferences are designed to encourage students to speak about their progress with their teachers, parents, and/or guardians. They'll be able to showcase work they're proud of, discuss academic and personal milestones, and elaborate on their goals. 
 Students can now track data virtually! This resource includes both printable AND digital versions of the Leadership Notebook.

 Want to try out the quarterly goals tracking sheet? You can grab the freebie below! 

 Whole Group Data Tracking 

Some students perform better when they're held accountable as a whole-group. Aside from individual leadership notebooks, I also incorporate data tracking posters in the classroom. We talk about taking ownership over our learning and how we can track assessment data as a whole. Each week, two student leaders help fill out the class average for our reading and math assessments. We also track our iReady lessons! 

 "Dear Future Self" Writing Prompt 

The 'Dear Future Self' writing prompt is great for a new year activity, but can also be used as an end of year writing prompt. Before writing, we discuss how we envision ourselves in ten years. We talk about personal and career goals. Students then write a letter to themselves which explains what they believe their life will look like in ten years. Some students go home and create a time capsule for their letters. They put keepsakes inside from the current year and store it away to open in ten years. (This can turn into a whole class new year activity as well!) 
 Grab the free writing template below.

If you're looking to instill a student leadership culture in your classroom this year, these activities will help you get started.

Wishing you the best year ever!


 Our family grew by one this year! Capri will be a month old this Christmas and i'm beyond excited about starting new Christmas traditions as a family of three! (well, four with Buddy)

 I asked you guys to share some of the unique traditions in your family and you all had so many good ideas. I know many mommas are out there brainstorming ways to make the holidays extra special for their littles. I've complied a list of 15 holiday traditions that will make Christmas time extra magical for your family. 

This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Simply click images to shop directly!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to shop items mentioned throughout the post.

1. Twelve Days of Christmas Books

Wrap up twelve books and place them under the Christmas tree. Each night leading up to Christmas (starting December 13th), unwrap a book and read it by the tree or fireplace!

Here are some of my favorite Christmas themed books:
(Click the image to checkout the books + descriptions!)

2. Memorable Ornament

Each year, gift your kids an ornament to represent their year. It can represent a hobby, family vacation, favorite food, milestone, etc!

You can also grab a clear plastic ornament and fill it with something special from that year. (EX: hospital bracelets to symbolize baby's birth)

3. Christmas PJs + Movie the Night Before Christmas

Wear matching PJs the night before Christmas. Curl up on the couch with some hot chocolate and watch a holiday classic.

4. Santa's Breakfast

Surprise your kiddos one morning in December with a decorated breakfast table filled with Santa's favorite breakfast items. 

Here are some ideas:

- Gingerbread Waffles

- Santa Pancakes

-Snowman Hot Chocolate

-Reindeer Donuts

>>> Check out these fun Christmas breakfast ideas kids will love

5. Spread Joy to those in Need

Gather as many family members as you can and prepare lunch bags filled with homemade sandwiches, chips, water bottles, and a mini hand sanitizer. Drive around town handing out bags to those in need during the holiday season.

6. Holiday Charcuterie Board

Host an annual holiday charcuterie board night! Stock up on holiday snacks and sweets (Trader Joes has a great selection of themed treats!) Each child is in charge of designing a mini charcuterie board.
Here are some inspo pics:

7. Handprint Ornament

Create an ornament with your child's handprint each year and engrave the year on the back. Compare the handprint sizes each year to watch how much they're grown!

8. Donuts & Christmas Lights

Put on your family PJs, jump in the car, stop at your local Dunkin' Donuts to grab some hot chocolate & donuts, and drive around your neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights.

9. Show your Appreciation

Show your appreciation for delivery workers during the holiday season by setting up a 'Thank You' station in your front porch. Fill up goody bags with snacks and add some water bottles.

The sign is a freebie designed by @TheAmyGroesbeck 
(Check out her Instagram to get access to the link!)

10. Winter Bucket List

Create a winter bucket list with your kids. Jot down each idea on a slip of paper and place them inside of a jar. Each day (or weekend!), take out a slip and enjoy the activity with your family! 

11. Carrots for Santa's Reindeer

Leaving cookies out for Santa on Christmas eve? Don't forget about his helpers! Add some carrots to your plate for Santa's Reindeer.

12. A Day at the Christmas Tree Farm

Spend the day at the Christmas tree farm. Pack some lunch, set up a picnic, and pick out your family Christmas tree.

13. Light it Up Bicycle Ride

Add some garland and string lights to your bicyles and take a ride around the neighborhood. Want to make it an extra special ride? Bring a small speaker and play Christmas music as you tour the neighborhood with your family.

14. Hot Chocolate Bar + Decorating

Surprise your kiddos with a hot cocoa bar stocked with Christmas mugs, marshmallows, gingerbread cookies, sprinkles, peppermint sticks, and anything else you can find to fit the theme! Decorate your home while sipping on some warm chocolate. 

>>> Read more on how to set up a hot chocolate bar

15. Pizza Night

A nontraditional spin to Christmas dinner-- homemade pizzas on Christmas day!

16. Cookie Decorating Contest

Host an annual Christmas decorting contest with your family and friends. Pick a theme each year and set up all the decorating goodies! You'll need cookie cutters, icing, sprinkles, candy, etc. Have some boxes ready so that your guests can take some cookies home. 

 Here are some cookie theme ideas: 

 + Gingerbread Men

+ Christmas Trees

+ Santa 

+ Snowmen 

 + Ornaments

     + Reindeer

17. Pack Shoeboxes for Kids

Tis' the season for giving. Pack a shoebox filled with toys and goodies for kids in need. Learn more about packing a shoebox here.

18. Design Ugly Sweaters

Design your own ugly Christmas sweaters. Grab some white sweatshirts, craft paint, gemstones, patches and see which family member can come up with the most creative design.

19. Holiday Campout

If the weather permits, camp out in your backyard. Wear Christmas PJs, read Christmas stories, and munch on holiday snacks.

20. Surprise your Neighbors

Fill small stockings with treats and hang them on your neighbors' doorknobs.

21. Kindness Advent Calendar

Instead of an advent calendar containing treats inside, how about a calendar filled with kindness acts? Fill each date with a slip of paper containing a random act of kindness. 

Here are some ideas: 

 + Pay for someone's coffee 

 + Spread kindness post-it notes around the grocery store 

+ Write a letter to the mail carrier thanking them 

 + Shovel snow for a neighbor

 + Donate food to a food bank 

 + Drop donuts off at the local fire station 

 + Take coloring books to the children's hospital

22. Christmas Tree in Every Room

Set up a themed Christmas tree in every room of the house. Let your kiddos choose the theme for their bedroom tree every year and help DIY ornaments to match.

23. Santa's Magic

Leave a trail of 'Santa's Magic' (glitter) and footprints around the house on Christmas day. 

23. Set up an Animal Toy Drive

Many animals are in need during the holiday season and the local animal shelter is always accepting donations! Design flyers to place around the neighborhood letting your neighbors know that you'll be collecting items to drop off at the shelter. 

Here are some items that are usually needed: 

 (Check with your local animal shelter for a more specific list) 

 + Dog & Cat Food

 + Snacks 

 + Toys 

 + Blankets

24. Twenty-Five Days of Gratitude Tree

Have each family member share something they are grateful for each day in December. Write down each response on a cutout ornament and place it on the 'Gratitude Tree'. 

25. Christmas Memory Book

Include special memories, traditions, and photos to represent the holidays throughout the years.

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I hope these traditions make the holidays extra special for your family and little ones!



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