Where is the panic button?

Hello gorgeous friends. I have survived two weeks of school, and I did not have to do any of the following:

1. Take Valium
2. Sob
3. Or reach for the panic button more than twice.

Twice? you say.  Oh yes. I was reaching for the panic button when my desk looked like an earthquake had hit it. {No photo ‘cause, you guessed it, the camera was buried under the rubble} And I really panicked 5 minutes later when I realized that I only had 2 hours before the school closed with kids arriving the next day!


But, I pulled it all together and had a great first two weeks.  This is largely due to a couple of tricks up my sleeve. I want to share them with you.

Color Code your lesson plans and other lesson planning tips!

The first is kind of a no brainer… Lesson Plans. Planning is smart, but I am always surprised when people say, “Oh I don’t do lesson plans.”  I actually tried that for a month. I just used the teacher’s manuals and a schedule. I was late to an assembly, forgot it was school picture day, and found myself reaching for the panic button all the live long day. It does not work for me. Nor does writing tiny on single sheet lesson plans. So I make BIG plans.

How to make BIG lesson plans. No more tiny printing

DIY Tips:
1. Take your two page plans: I make my plans using Power Point.

2. Print and tape them together.
3. Grab white construction paper. Or go crazy and make your plans yellow, pink, or lime.

4. Photocopy. I placed the big uncut sheets in the external tray of our photocopier. This is not our photocopier… but close enough. See the tray on the right? That’s where I put the big paper. 

5. Click print/copy and Ta-Da. It works perfectly! No more tiny printing, and it’s one single sheet! I love it!

The second thing I want to share is being positive.  Not just in a “grit your teeth until they crack SMILE” kind of way. But really positive and deliberate about praising great behavior. I wrote a bit about this {here} and want to share how my daily 30 second award assemblies are going. 

30 second shout outs highlight excellence.  Like a mini awards ceremony! Simply print, photocopy, and reward!  More than 80 rewards included in full and quater sheet sizes.

The pink and blue 1/4 sheets up there are my “Printing Prince” and “Printing Princess” awards.  They went to the two kids in my my room with AMAZING penmanship.  It was easy to chose them, because the other papers were not so great.  But low and behold after rewarding these two, the next day about 13 of my kids could have gotten an award ! ! ! Simple … 30 seconds… no nagging! Here is what I do:

1. Right before dismissal I read a picture book while the kids sit on the carpet.

2. When we are done reading I tell them what the award is and call up the child.

3. Their faces light up!!!!  They quickly come up, learn how to shake hands, take their award and stand next to me.  I do this for about 2-4 kids using some of the 80+ awards I created.

4. Then, we all cheer for the kids and hold up our pretend cameras. 

5. I say “Take their picture”

6. The kids say “CLICK! You’re famous!”

I am telling you, it’s my favorite time of the day! I think it is their favorite time too. This makes the end of the day so special. I think the end of the day is super important.  I try to send them off in a calm, happy, Zen way, because that is what they take to the car with them. My “End of the Day” basket helps with this.

A day's end basket keeps imporant papers from getting burried throughout the day! Other cool tips for a panic free day!

I just bought this basket at Target. It has a small footprint so it does not take up much room and it can hold my papers vertically. I stash my fliers, daily homework, and reminder notices in this basket.  The basket MUST be empty or I don’t start the story.  It’s a great system, keeps me organized, and keeps our classroom running smoothly=Zen!


I have to share this graphic with you.  My fellow bloggin’ buddies are showing you our favorite products “Yearbook Style”. Dying! I love my pal Christina! Click her sweet name to link back up! 
 Teacher to the Core, Best and Most Yearbook Style

The big TpT sale is going this weekend and on into Monday!


Along my sidebar are great units that you will love and will bring you results! You can click any picture to read a blog post or you can click "shop" at the top of this post to see all my goodies with the links to TpT.  Happy back to school friends! I know this is going to be a great year!