Sunday, August 3, 2014


Hey there!! Welcome to the Elementary Grapevine! Doesn't that name just make you want to bust out and sing "I heard it through the grapevine..." as a California Raisin??  :) OR maybe, that's just me! haha 

 Well, I am Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd.
I am soooooo excited to be a part of this new collaborative blog with amazing bloggers!!! Blogging has seriously brought so many great people and opportunities into my life that I can't wait to share in that journey with you!!

All little about myself...
We started our school year last Monday! Can you believe that! We had a teacher day on Monday, and students came on Tuesday! I'm looping for the first time ever so it really seems like I never left! Thank goodness I had to switch rooms, or I'd think I was in the Twilight Zone seeing the same kids in the same room. hah :) This year is my 12th year of teaching. Boy, does time fly! I started my career in 6th/7th grades teaching Spanish carting myself around with a cart since I didn't have my own room. Oh, that was so not fun! However, I coached volleyball and basketball which got me through! The next year I transferred to my present day school to 2nd grade. Up until this year, I had stayed in 2nd (10 years). I guess I got promoted?!? hah It sounds good to me! I also run a Girls on the Run program at my school that will start in the next few weeks.

After 11 years of teaching, you'd think I would have all the back to school procedures, activities, etc. down and polished, but I don't! I do feel like it is a different kind of stress after so many years, though. With me, this year was different since I have my same kids. SOOO, I had to twist my arm (I love creating!!) to change things up so they I didn't feel like I was still in 2nd grade with them. 

With that, I'd say my biggest tip for back to school is to BREATHE!!! As much as well all want to be super teachers, we just don't have enough minutes in the day (or sanity) to have everything PERFECT for that first day! AND you's OKAY!! We are normal! I'm not going to say I wasn't in my classroom frantically trying to finish everything, I mean EVERYTHING. BUT, there comes a point when you say, ready or not, here they come! The kids don't know what you don't have done unless, of course, you tell them. ;) The room will be PERFECT in their eyes because you're there welcoming them. Everything seems to fall into place (at least by fall break :). It's one of the hardest things to do when you're getting ready for your new students, but the less stress on you to have the room perfect, the more time you'll have to get all of those amazing activities ready for the newest bunch!

Now, something that I've created that I think is going to really help out this year is My Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags, Small Group Cards, Bookmarks and more set! (short name, huh?? :)
I've been using the small group cards with my theme from last year, but I wanted to switch themes and add more versatility to the concept to be able to use it all around the room. With new teacher evaluations, student expectations, etc., finding ways to make things more efficient while also meeting expectations is a win win! 

How about a FREEBIE, too??? I don't know about your kids, but my kids often struggle with character traits! So I came up with Cooking Up Character Traits to help spruce up the topic! We use one of my FAVORITE books, The Three Ninja Pigs to start with this!! I hope you and your kids find it useful and fun, too!!

Well, I feel like it's Christmas Eve with the TPT sale starting in ohhh 5 minutes (ahhhh :)!! I have so many things in my cart right now that I had to stop looking at it or more seem to appear! I'm also joining in the fun too! My store will be up to 28% off with the TPT code! So I would love for you to join me over at my blog, instagram (my favorite), Facebook, TPT, and Pinterest

Wishing everyone a happy back to school time!! :)

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