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Must Have Items for Your Classroom

Teachers are always looking for ways to inspire and teach their students. There are the tried-and-true methods that teachers have used for decades; however, very often teachers look for something new and different to shake things up a bit for both themselves and their students.  Luckily, there are some amazing products out there that can help you make the classroom more interesting for all of you. Read on for some classroom products that are much better than just a pencil and paper!

A Trundle Wheel

What is a trundle wheel, you may ask? A trundle wheel is a handle attached to a wheel. Your students can push the wheel and measure a surface, with a clicking sound at each specific measurement. It’s a great way for kids to really understand measurements and find out exactly how far a meter is. It is one of those things that kids can’t wait to get their hands on, and once they do, they won’t even realize they are learning.
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Blocks That Get Them Moving

Every teacher knows that if kids have to sit at their desks and pay attention for too long, their ability to learn, think, and remember deteriorates rapidly. When they get antsy, they can’t concentrate, and some of them act out in an attempt to get rid of that energy. Get them out of their seats with a teacher-approved method, and get them moving and laughing with classroom brain-break activity dice. These big foam blocks have instructions on each side that range from encouraging activity (pretend to jump rope) to encouraging laughter (crawl like a baby for one minute). Allow a few minutes with the blocks as a reward as an end-of-the-day activity for them to look forward to or on the fly on a day when you notice they just can’t sit still.

Moon Lamp

Almost every classroom has a globe that shows the kids the earth, but how about a “globe” for the moon?  Moon lamps are a three-dimensional way to show the surface of the moon, and having one in the classroom is sure to inspire wonder, imagination, creativity, and lots of questions about astronomy. The moon lamp lights up and can even change colors.
As a teacher, you know that a variety of fun things in the classroom helps to inspire learning and fun. Make your classroom a place the kids can’t wait to come to every day!

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Enroll in a Teaching Position for Amazing Benefits (Guest Post)

There are one too many reasons one enrolls into a teaching job. We’ve all had those teachers who were an inspiration and contributed towards the people we are today. Not only do people not forget about their influence upon us, but they will surely remain remembered for as long as we live. Many people who wish to enter the education system want just that and tuition jobs (click here to sign up as a tutor) are the place to start.

The benefits of becoming a tutor are endless as there are a lot of subjects to be taught and not only will people have the opportunity to help other people to become more self-aware individuals, but also people who enroll in the teaching position will never get bored as classes are extremely interactive and simply amazing taking into consideration that you will work with a whole lot of different people from different backgrounds. A tutor positions has a lot of advantages and they should be highly regarded if one desires to make the big step in becoming a teacher.

Chance to Earn Amazing Money

Teachers do not usually earn a whole lot of money in one single go but salaries are extremely competitive to other professions. Teaching careers will give those who opt for such professions to get promoted over time and will have the option to give private tutoring classes in order to supplement their earnings.

Important Benefits

There are a lot of extra benefits of becoming a teacher and these include health insurance as well as some amazing pension plans which are becoming rarer among other professions but one can count them as an added perk in a career which involves teaching. Other benefits which come from being a teacher involve sick days as well as tuition reimbursement and one could easily find that a teaching job offers a lot more than one would initially think.

Amazing Education Career

One has to take into account the happiness factor when enrolling in a profession but teachers usually have it all when it comes this factor as their job is generally stress-free and motivating to do. Teachers will feel extremely motivated and confident when they are practicing their job and a lot of people will benefit from these factors starting from students and going up to friends and family as you will always be energetic and invigorated. A career in education will always yield some amazing opportunities to develop as an individual and feel great about the job.

Mastering a Subject by Teaching It

There’s an old saying stating that it takes some years of teaching before one could state that he or she can master a subject. One of the best ways to learn a favorite subject is teaching it as students might ask you questions which require some research in order to clearly explain it. Being a teacher will always come with opportunities for improvement and research.


Kindergarten class photo and updates

It has been a while since I have posted about my family. I have been utilizing my time wisely. It has been amazing having a good portion of the day to myself and I make every minute count. A lot of people assume I have all of this "extra time" with everyone at school and work. The truth is, I have been working harder and time seems to slip away each day. By the time I think I am making a dent in my to-do list, school pick-up time creeps up and my day goes into the next phase of busyness. I always wish I could have about 2 more hours each afternoon. 

William has been loving school. He leaps out of bed each morning without me having to wake him up and he is always very enthusiastic about it being a school day. It has gotten to a point that he arrives to the car in the afternoon in tears. He cries because he is not ready for the school day to end. Here I was thinking that it would be a long and hectic day for him. I was so wrong! 
They took school pictures a few weeks ago and although I am not a fan of them, his came out so cute! I can't believe he smiled nicely. I have the hardest time these days getting him to cooperate for photos. I volunteered on picture day and it was fun getting back into the swing of being involved in elementary school. William's class is the absolute sweetest. The class consists of 6 boys and 14 girls. It is so cute seeing William with his friends and it was a long time coming. His teacher says that he has a lot of friends and everyone enjoys being around him. We are so glad that he has no issues adjusting socially. He loves being around the other kids and has really gotten into the whole school routine. Around school he is known as having the best smile. It's wonderful having such a happy and content kid. His sisters were the same way.

I am thrilled that I am the classroom mom. I love helping out with anything I can. I really look forward to all of the fun activities, field trips and connecting with other parents this school year. It feels like the time is already going by so quickly.

How is the school year going so far for your children?

Kindergarten update: William loves school!

We are into our second week of the school year and so far, so good! William walked into the school last week with the biggest smile on his face and was full of excitement to be in big boy's school. We were lucky to have met his teacher and teaching assistant a couple weeks before school at kindergarten camp. I really think the camp was a great benefit to help break him into being in school. He goes to bed without argument and wakes up on his own. It's nice to have a 5 year old boy wake up each morning fully rested and excited to start his day. We have a very simple routine in the morning and he has already gotten into the groove of things. We walk him into school each morning and let him lead us to his classroom. He knows how to get there but being a curious little boy, he gets a little sidetracked sometimes. Daddy insists that he needs to prove he can get to his class on his own before he is allowed to go into the school by himself. I don't have a problem with that. It's nice walking into the school each morning and seeing all of the warm smiles and welcoming good morning greetings from the staff and other parents.

I have gotten positive feedback from his teacher and look forward to keeping close communication throughout the school year. We are so lucky to have such wonderful educators. Of course I have signed up to volunteer to help out with pretty much everything! I did so much when the girls were in elementary school and got to see what an asset parental participation is to not only the student, but also to the teacher and other students. My first volunteer job will be picture day next week and I am really looking forward to it! It's a good way for me to get to know some of William's classmates.

When I pick William up each afternoon, I ask him what the best part of his day was. He always starts off with, "We went to the playground two times!". He hasn't learned all of his classmates' names quite yet, but knows his main teachers and some of the related arts teacher's names. He just loves P.E.. His coach is the same one that his sisters had throughout the elementary years. It has been wonderful seeing a lot of familiar faces at the same school I spent countless hours in. We feel like William is going to thrive in kindergarten and the rest of his elementary school career. Oh, by the way, I did NOT cry on the first day of school! I didn't even have any anxiety or fear. I guess I feel like he is right where he belongs. I look forward to sharing more about his kindergarten adventures. Thanks for reading!

Smart tips to get your little one prepped for kindergarten

Tomorrow marks the first day of August and this means back-to-school month for many of us. Being a stay-at-home mom to a rising kindergarten student means getting my little one ready for a whole new world. Since William has never attended pre-school or been enrolled in any programs that are in a group setting, it will be a big adjustment phase for him (and me). It also dawned on me that there are plenty of things he is not used to besides being around other kids. I have been trying to remember the kindergarten days when the girls were in it. One thing that really stuck out to me was the use of hand sanitizer. Being at home most of the time, there has been no need for it. I purchased a bottle and have been teaching William why he will have to use it in school. Of course, I have had to be harder on him with potty practices. He still has never been into a public restroom on his own so I am still VERY a bit nervous about that one. 

Another important thing is his sleep schedule. We started putting him to bed at 8:00 each night and wake him up about 6:45. He had such a tough time getting up this morning so I think we will move his bedtime starting next week to 7:30. A lot of kids don't get enough sleep at night so we want to make sure to not interrupt his sleep schedule as much as we can, even on weekends. Once he wakes up in the morning, we go through the full morning routine of washing, brushing, breakfast and getting dressed. So far so good. 

I recall when the girls were in kindergarten, that they had lunch as early as 10:30 AM. What I do is prepare Will's lunch early in the morning between getting him fed and dressed. I pack his lunchbox as I would for school so he can get in the habit of opening it, eating/drinking and packing up in a short time. When they are that young it can take longer to get situated and they have a very limited time to eat. It's funny, I make him line up like they would at school and he calls me "teacher". It has been going very well and I feel confident that he will make it through lunchtime with ease.

Each morning I have specific practice worksheets, coloring pages and other things that are kindergarten-based to get his mind focused on academics. I even teach him how to raise his hand and not speak until I acknowledge him. It has been really good having his big sisters at home to help out with training him for school.  I have him enrolled in "kinderbee" camp from August 6-8 for him to be screened for placement as well as for him to get a chance to preview what big boy school is like.

He officially starts kindergarten on August 21st. William is so enthusiastic about school and we are all so excited for him.

I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I tell myself that each day :)

Dollar General/Procter & Gamble "Every Day Heroes"

Giveaway Closed. Winner is eclairre, congratulations!

Throughout the month of September, Dollar General® is teaming up with Procter & Gamble® to celebrate schools and honor teachers during its year-long “Every Day Heroes” campaign. Now, you can honor schools in your community. Dollar General is offering the opportunity to win money for your school through its “Write to Win” sweepstakes. Customers ages 21 and over may visit the Dollar General site to submit a brief essay about why their school deserves to win. Three essays will be selected and the winning schools mentioned in those essays will win $10,000 each. I have many friends in the education field who would love a chance to win $10,000! I urge you to participate or pass along the word to anyone you know who would like a chance to win for a great cause.

Procter & Gamble is providing a prize pack for one lucky Momfiles reader to win. This prize includes a sample of Tide PODS, Prilosec OTC, Cascade Action Pacs, Ultra Downy Scope Outlast mouthwash, a Dollar General cosmetic bag and a Dollar General reusable sandwich container. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on September 18, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

 Procter & Gamble is providing me with a prize pack as well as one for the winner. No other compensation was received. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.

Shelly, Mom Files

The finished teacher gifts

I spent the morning baking up these lovely little mini-loaves of blueberry crumb cake for the girls' teachers. By the way, the cake tastes even better the next day! I wrapped each cake (once cooled) in plastic wrap before putting them in the cello-bags. Brie chose the color and although it does not match the tags she did not seem to mind. Actually the whole family thinks it looks cute this way. The girls wrote their own personal message in the cards.

We even stuck a plastic knife in the bag just in case the teacher wanted a little snack. I sure hope they like them.

I can't believe this is the last week of school. I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.

Shelly, Mom Files

Blueberry crumb cake {a must-try recipe}

I was trying so hard to come up with something yummy to bake for the girls' teachers as an end of the school year "thank you" gift. Since I have a dozen+ teachers to give a gift to I figured baking was the most economical choice. I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. I followed the recipe exactly as she stated except I got confused and I think there was a typo about adding cinnamon in the cake part. I only put the cinnamon in the crumb topping and it was perfect. I think if I added it in the cake it would have been over-kill.
I actually made this cake for us to test out before I go nuts baking a ton of cakes that were not very good. I will separate the batter into individual mini pans for the teachers. I think they will love it. My family really enjoyed it and I really liked the fact that the only ingredients I had to purchase was the blueberries and butter. I had everything else in my pantry/fridge. I tell you what, that Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman certainly knows her stuff!

Shelly, Mom Files

Parents are the first teachers

Today I am making these sentence strips and other random tidbits as part of William's daily learning activities. He has shown a lot of maturity with his memory and vocabulary so it is time to step things up. I plan to hang some of these in his room so he can read them out loud every morning when he hops out of bed. We did something similar with the girls and I really think it helped.

One very important thing we feel every child needs is to have self-confidence. Why should a child not feel like he or she is the best? I feel like the old school teaching methods I used for the girls were a success so I am doing the same for William. I am still playing with the idea of home schooling him. We shall see!

Shelly, Mom Files

Adopted Ed Review

I received the sweetest book called Adopted Ed by Darren Maddern (illustrated by Erin Fusco) to review. Although I am not adopted nor my children I do know many people who were or have children that were adopted. I really love how simple this book is for younger children to understand. The illustrations are very fun and lively and really help tell the story. It is a heartwarming and encouraging story about overcoming bullies and being proud of who you are.

I really think this is an excellent resource for parents, grandparents, family members and elementary school teachers to read since adoption is so common. The end of the book shows some famous people you might not have known were also adopted.

Darren Maddern is just one of the many millions of adopted people throughout the world today. You can learn more about him here. Please check out Adopted Ed on Facebook and Twitter.

I received a copy of the book from One2One Network for review purposes only.

Shelly, Mom Files

Holiday teacher gifts

My last post was about baking mini pound cakes for the girls' teachers and here they are! I did not go with the lemon ones because I did not like how they turned out. I went with the one I made last year and whenever the name Paula Deen is mentioned you know it's going to be perfect!

They look a little rough but trust me they are so moist and rich. Dwayne was drooling over the little taste he got.

We wrapped them up in plastic wrap and then in decorative tissue paper along with a copy of the recipe inside.

I think they came out cute :) Here is the recipe I used....

Grandmother Paula's Sour Cream Pound Cake *Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen


1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

*NOTE: I used 7 mini loaf pans and baked for an hour instead.

Teachers are the best

Today the parents at my girls' middle school are doing a luncheon for all the teachers for Valentine's Day. The theme is a soup and salad lunch and the volunteer coordinator rounded up moms to get their crock pots ready! I volunteered to make my famous chili that my family so loves. The girls say "it tastes so good, makes you wanna slap yo mama!" Can you guess who might have taught them that one?? I had to let the family 'sample' the chili to be sure if would be safe for the teachers. Well it passed their test and they asked if we could just keep it for ourselves and say I forgot today was the luncheon. Sneaky little devils!

I also baked cornbread muffins since my kids refused to let me buy pre-made ones. I had to label them so they would keep their greedy hands off! Dwayne still thought he was getting one. He says how would the teachers know there was one missing? Typical Dwayne. He was mad at my label. ha ha!! Dwayne, you can talk about me tomorrow for Vent Day Wednesday.

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