Gumball Machine Motivation

My school is a PBIS school. That stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. 
You may have heard of it, you may not have. Either way, I came up with an idea to help encourage my students' positive behavior that can be used whether or not you're a PBIS school.

I give you, the gumball machine.

The gumball machine is filled with purple glitter "gumballs" (from Hobby Lobby, here) and colorful paw print beads (from Oriental Trading, here).
Paw-Shaped Large Hole Beads - 11mm FOAM BALL GLITTER CONFETTI 15-18MM
When I introduced the gumball machine last month, we decided what each item's prize would be. My students chose rewards that THEY wanted. 
Throughout the week, my students earn Grayhound Pride tickets for showing exemplar behavior by being respectful, responsible, and safe. 
Every Friday, I draw 2 of these tickets. They cross everything they have, hoping to be drawn!
They're the cutest.

These students earn a coin for the gumball machine. They come up, put their coin in, and BOOM!

 Out comes their reward(s). Sometimes they get one, sometimes two, sometimes several.  They earn every prize that comes out.
The paw beads are smaller than I had hoped, so sometimes they come out in groups, and of course the kids love when that happens! I love the bright colors of the paws and how perfectly they fit with our new mascot, grayhounds. My district did away with individual mascots and colors this school year, so now all 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school are purple and gray grayhounds.
They're SO excited to see what their peers get.
 The most common is the purple gumball.

Do you see how excited he is?! I love it!

Kids are more excited about the paw beads than they are the purple gumball. I think it has everything to do with the fact they chose what the prize would be. The only thing that costs me money is the sweet treat, which is just their favorite candy, so it's not too expensive, and keeping the prize box stocked.

I hope that this inspires you and gives you ideas of how you can reward positive behavior in your classroom! Please comment or email me at if you have any questions!

I was provided these products featured in this post from Oriental Trading for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone and based off of the experience I had with the products I reviewed.

First Grade Classroom Reveal 2016-17

This post is waaaay over due, but this teacher is t-i-r-e-d. 
Six year olds are exhausting... phew!
Not to mention I'm a business owner, TpT author, graduate student, wife, dog mom....#toomanythings
This post contains mostly pictures. If you have a question about something, that I don't really explain, feel free to comment on this post, or email me at
Also, some things (ahem, several) have changed, as most of these were taken at open house back in August. Follow me on Instagram for a more current view of my classroom ;)
Without further adieu, I give you, my 1st grade classroom.

Welcome to room 29!

Simple reminder!
 My anchor charts are on my windows, since they face out to a brick wall. I used large command hooks and curtain rods! :)
 Birthday set from Creative Teaching Press.

I display the mints and sign at open house and conference nights.
Dry erase circles were cut using a 12 inch circle cutter and Post It Dry Erase.

At open house I like to display my picture from that grade. Hello crayon vest! HAHA!

1st grade classroom setup

My editable classroom information flipbook has been a lifesaver for several years! It is the best thing I've created for my classroom. Parents l-o-v-e it!

Student Gifts
These were my student gifts at open house. You can read about them, on this post!

Back to school bulletin
At open house, I like to take pictures of my students and send them home the first week of school. This was this year's backdrop. My firsties with be graduating in 2028! (it will be here before we know it!)

The chalkboard changes throughout the year, especially for special occasions!

Hand signals which are part of my Brights on Burlap classroom decor.

Pretty standards calendar area. We keep track of the days using ten frames. It has really helped build number sense
This word wall is now full of sight words, common nouns, and all of our classmates' names.

1st grade back to school bulletin
Sonic has his own little space this year.
You can read more about Sonic, our classroom hedgehog, here!

I try to change our writing in the hallway every week if possible!
This our writing that is currently on display in the hallway. We spent 2 weeks on our monster writing! I used this pack here!

I absolutely love the little bunting I whipped up! :)
HOORAY! I completed my 1st day of First grade!
 Printable from Just a Primary Girl

I hope to become a better blogger after Christmas... OOPS! I do have a couple posts in the works!
Yay me!

Establishing Morning Tubs with Keva Planks

As I transition from 3rd to 1st grade this school year, I've had a lot of challenges to think about for my little learners. I read this post by Catherine at The Brown Bag Teacher about morning tubs as an alternative to morning work. I loved the idea, but wasn't sure how to get started.

Then the great people at contacted me about reviewing some of their Keva Planks products. When I received them, I knew this would be the perfect step towards morning tubs.

I received Brain Builders, Brain Builders: Junior, Color Pops: Teal, and Color Pops: Purple to try out in my first grade classroom.

I set one Keva Plank product on each of my desk groups. I put both Brain Builders together, since the Color Pops have more planks, to make it a little more even. I gave them no directions, other than to be respectful, be responsible, and be safe (PBIS school). They're imaginations ran wild!

They immediately started forming pictures and building structures. I love this "smiley face balloon" that one my kids created.

This one loved the cards included in the Brain Builders and Brain Builders Junior. You can see how proud she is of her stairs! She loved challenging herself and continuously called me over to see what she created.

This guy has become well known for his tall towers. He now builds them on the floor, because I won't allow him to stand on his chair when his tower gets too tall!

Although I love the Color can guess why (#branding #weddingcolors), my kids love the purple probably more, because that is one of our school colors! Go grayhounds! #purpleandgray

Many of my friends build together. I loved seeing their minds work together. They did this with no prompting from me. #proudteacher

 I love how easy the planks are to get out and put away. They're perfect for my firsties' small hands, and they absolutely love them! I recommend them for any classroom. Your kids will have so much fun, and the simplicity of them makes it super easy on you.

Stay tuned for more things I add into our morning routine! 

Check out more MindWare Toys on social media!

*This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided the sample free of charge
by the company to provide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own.

I'm not a watch person, but I fell in love with the wooden watch...

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a watch person.
I'm not even a jewelry person. Seriously. Give me my wedding ring, maybe some studs, and I'm good.
So when I saw JORD's Wooden Watches, I was like, eh...I don't wear watches.
But then I got one, and I fell in love.
It's light color matches It is the perfect accessory no matter if it is casual Friday at school....

or a wedding!

It comes in an adorable wooden box around a little pillow!

It seriously matches, everything! I think it's because it almost blends in with my skin.

Guess what?! JORD is giving away $75 to one of YOU to get your very own Wood Watch. It's so simple to enter, just a name and email. Enter the giveaway here. Even if you don't win, JORD is giving every person who enters a $20 off coupon! WIN! Giveaway ends September 15th!

Make sure to follow me on Instgram to see more pictures of my watch!
This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches.
Watches Made From Wood

Back to School Gifts with Oriental Trading

Back to school, friends! Teachers went back August 18th and we had Open House that night, too! Our Open House is where students and parents get to come in meet the teacher, drop off supplies, and look around their room. I always like to give my students a little gift on this night. 
Oriental Trading made it easy!
I chose 2 dozen Neon Canvas Drawstring bags. They work well with my brightly colored classroom! I love giving my students personalize gifts, so I obviously had to add their names!

I added these cute neon flexible pencils to their bag and added a tag. Pretty cute, right?
They loved them!

I also got a set of Neon Tall Storage Baskets, but haven't decided how to use them, yet. Stay tuned for that!

I also started a wishlist for parents that would like to donate to our classroom. You can check it out here. So far it includes bulk classroom supplies and fun prizes for students. Make sure to create your own wishlist just by creating an account. Just share your URL with your parents! I also added the link to my email signature!

I hope to have the reveal of my new 1st grade room on the blog next weekend! Stay tuned

I was provided these products featured in this post from Oriental Trading for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone and based off of the experience I had with the products I reviewed.

3rd Blogiversary- Day 12 of 12 Days of Giveaways

It's the final day of 12 days of giveaways!!!
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who has followed me on this teaching journey. When I started this blog, it was a sole reflection for myself and to make me a better teacher. Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would actually read and want to hear my ideas and what I did inside and outside my classroom. I love you all!

Thank you also to everyone who has helped make this celebration possible! :)

We saved the best for last! We may have just had the #bestyear TpT sale, but that doesn't mean you still don't have items in your wishlists and carts!

Today is $50 to TpT!

$50 TeachersPayTeachers Giftcard

Remember, all giveaways end tonight at midnight, so make sure you are all caught up! Winners will be announced next week! :)

3rd Blogiversary- Day 11 of 12 Days of Giveaways

Did you know that I started my teaching journey as a middle school teacher?! True story. I taught a 6th-8th grade reading class with students that basically slipped through the cracks during their elementary years. Those kids are now in high school, some seniors!

Thanks to these middle and high school friends for offering one lucky person these great resources!


3rd Blogiversary- Day 10 of 12 Days of Giveaways

I love me some coffee, folks! Seriously, if I don't have caffeine in the morning, I just can't deal.
runs on Starbucks

So a few of my friends are helping me with today's 12 days of giveaways for a $25 giftcard to Starbucks! Thanks a latte ladies! 

Remember, all giveaways end August 6th at midnight, so don't wait! These last few days don't last long!
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