Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Taking the Work Out of Paperwork

It is finally getting to be time for me to sink my teeth into my classroom and begin to set up for a brand new year. Classroom setup is one of my favorite things about a fresh year. I love to redesign and put a lot of thought into my set up. Bulletin boards are one of my FAVORITE things to do. I put my heart and soul into design that I have found myself scrambling last minute for all the necessary paperwork to send home with my sweet new little ones for their grownups.


Click here to download from my TPT store!

This product comes with 13 different forms to use at Back to School time as well as anytime throughout the year! Plus, don't they look great on Astrobright paper? I love to copy those beginning of the year forms on different colors for multiple reasons. When I go into a student's file and need a form, I can find it quickly if I know what color I'm looking for. Plus, when collecting all those forms, if one goes missing, it's a helpful way to help students and parents when you can say, "We're missing your contact sheet- the green form!"

Here's a highlight of some of my favorites from the pack!

Info about your students!

This is where I can find out logistics about them, such as their favorite color or book as well as how the parent would describe their child. I like to know their strengths and perhaps any hardships that their child may be going through.

I have to admit, I never thought of a family holiday survey until working with my teaching BFF for the first time a few years ago. Holiday Surveys are SO helpful throughout the year. I love being able to know what they celebrate and calling on parents to help us learn more about their cultures in the classroom!

Contact Info and Communication Log!

It dawned on me this year. Why create a separate Contact Card and Communication Log? Everytime I made a phone call I took out both- why not combine them? Now I have a contact form with a communication log already started directly below it! I photo copy my full page Communication Log on the back of it to continue going should I need to! It's the little things sometimes that get me excited and this was one of them!

Release Forms and Transportation Forms

Whether we find it a sad reality or a smart tactic, I always feel more comfortable when I have a few release forms signed at the start of the year. Every time I participated in ANY food related activity, I used to give myself the heebie jeebies! I was constantly worried that a child would slip an M&M while counting during Math when at home they have a strict no sugar policy or touch an ingredient during a whole group cooking activity and discover an allergy for the first time! Now, I have my families sign a Snack and Food Release. It sounds so silly, but food is a huge component of my classroom. It makes so many lessons come to life, and while many times we are only handling the food and not eating it, I want to be able to use these fun reinforcers without the worry!

(We have a district wide technology and photo release form that is filed out by all students, but I've always created my own technology release as well. It allows me to photograph or video record students for our classroom twitter as well as post their work too! Additionally it makes me feel more comfortable blogging to all of you knowing I am being transparent with the families of the little ones I care so very much about. Those forms can also be found in this pack!)

I've also included a Transportation Form to help you get your little ones to and from school each day. When I get the data from this form, I make a class list of where everyone goes and hang it by the door. It's super helpful at the ever stressful dismissal time and it's also a great resource for a Sub!

There are also Back to School Night Reminders, Social Media Handle Sharing and so much more! Check it out here in my TPT store!

If you like what you see, use this to pin it to your boards for later!

Keep you head in the clouds!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

500 Followers {freebie} THANK YOU!


Thank you loyal followers who have helped me boost my TPT Store up to 500 followers! I cannot thank you enough! Three years ago I posted one product on my store to test the waters of this whole Teachers Pay Teachers thing never knowing how much it could turn into. A blog, instagram and store full of products later, I can hardly believe I've hit 500 followers. The sky's the limit now on what this passion for teaching can accomplish inside and outside classroom walls.


To better show my thanks, I decided to upload a freebie for you all!

Click here to download!

Some of my favorite teaching quotes and classroom mottos have been put together for you as a FREE download to help decorate your room. Great decor in a pinch for back to school or anytime of year!

Don't miss out on catching the follower freebies! Follow me by clicking the green star on my TPT Page here!

Next freebie comes at 600 followers!

Enjoy and THANK YOU for your support!

Keep your head in the clouds! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Up and At Em! A {Groundhog's Day} Pack!

I still feel like we are just coming back from Winter Break, and yet, Groundhog's Day is only 2 weeks away! Groundhog's Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate in the classroom. It is super child-friendly and adds a sense of "magic" to the air simply by the fact that the act of a shadow can predict our weather patterns. Just in time for the occasion, I've decided to make a Groundhog's Day Pack to help channel in on the fun of the day!

This pack has everything you need to celebrate the big day! Starting of course, with party hats! There are two choices depending on what happens with the groundhog's big debut in Punxsutawney! 

Along with the hats is a foldable reader with one sentence explanations of how the holiday works and what happens if the groundhog does or does not see his shadow. While these are a lot of fun, my favorite part of the pack is the ultra simple craft!

What better time to introduce (or reintroduce) the shape, hearts! Just in time for hearts to flood our classroom for Valentine's Day, this sweet groundhog craft is made out of three hearts!

There's also an option for a blank face if you'd like your kiddos to draw their own groundhog face!

There are also printables for tallying and graphing predictions for if the groundhog will see his shadow, making predictions as you read, and compound words (like groundhog!)

I hope you can find TONS of use for this pack in your own classroom! Get it here in my TPT store!

Have a Happy Groundhog's Day (I personally am rooting for no shadow and Spring to come early!)

Keep your head in the clouds!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Winter Reading {Freebie}

It was COLD last week in Jersey! Too cold to play outside, too cold to have the snow melt away, and too cold to even THINK! My principal was kind enough to have an impromptu Hawaiian Day! Staff and students were invited to come in with their Hawaiian shirts on, were greeted with upbeat hawaiian melodies playing on speakers in the hallways and our principal even handmade Pineapple Smoothies in the teacher's room during lunch! (Is he not the best at cultivating a happy school culture for his students and staff?!)

In honor of keeping the warmth moving strong, I figured the only right way to contribute to the winter blues was to upload a simple, no prep, FREEBIE for your budding independent readers!

My kiddos have been working hard on their VERY first sight word: CAN

Since we are already masters at our uppercase letters, now we can read sentences that start with, "I can" if we use picture clues to help! Check out our picture clues below for some of the pages of our I Can Winter Freebie Independent Reader

Download your free Winter Reader here!

Enjoy this little piece of sunshine amidst the bitter cold!

Keep your head in the clouds!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ms. Bacsik Gets Married!

Hello Friends! LONG TIME NO POST! I know it's been quite some time since I've been able to update the blog, but for good reason!


For those of you who have planned a wedding before, you are aware of how the closer to wedding day, the longer the to do list grows! Needless to say, between starting the school year completely unpacking my 6 years of teaching out of boxes (my classroom was under construction this summer), with only two days to do so (EEK!) AND planning a wedding 2 months away, my time was quite preoccupied outside of the classroom.

One of the highlights of the day, however, was absolutely having my class invited to the ceremony.

If you ever get to do so, please consider having your little ones at your big day. The kids and families have been talking about it ever since and it was the cherry on top of a perfect day!

So while you wait for some more blog posts (and I've already got a few started- gear up for some Winter and Groundhog activities coming your way!), enjoy some wedding photos in the mean time!

All Photos by the incredibly talented Janet Lanza, of Janet Lanza Photography

Keep Your Head in the Clouds! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes Companion Pack!

My mind has just been swirling with ideas for the first day (week.. month..) back to school! I have to admit, everyone's favorite groovy cat is the heart of my first month back to school ideas right now!

Have you read Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes with your class yet?
It's an adorable, fun introduction to colors (and resiliency! Social skill bonus!)

I cannot wait to share all my grandiose ideas for incorporating Pete into my opening day activities!
In the mean time, you'll have to check out this companion pack for the adorable I Love My White Shoes!

Check it out here!

It comes with a ton of student centered activities for practicing color recognition. Check out this recording sheet below!
This bundle includes food cards to post around the room like Write the Room- only this time, students are practicing color recognition and coloring the matching sneaker. I can't wait to show you some pictures of it in action once school gets started.

Similar in nature, the bundle also includes a create your own food die. Students LOVE rolling the die, and coloring the appropriate shoe in a playful game with a partner!

How great is this sequencing sheet? Simple cutting skills necessary and also includes color recognition. Great story retell activity for students to access their knowledge from a read aloud.

Can your students recognize the food, label its color, then create a pattern? I love this extension for my higher level thinkers.

However, my favorite part of this bundle is hands down the class book! Each sheet comes in black and white coloring book style as well as with colored graphics! There are different choices for pages as well. Plus, inside the download is a starter page and closing page as well as a family comment page to take turns sending home the book! Take a peek below!

Remember- you can download the entire bundle here!

What are some of your go to read alouds for the start of the year?

Keep your head in the clouds!

Monday, August 1, 2016

First Day Series: First Day in K!

Hi Friends! Can you believe it's August 1st? Or in my world, the *OFFICIAL* start of Back to School readiness! I always think of August 1st as the pinnacle day in beginning my prep for next year! I'd love to say I've already gotten into my classroom, but there is literally, NO FLOOR in there yet. Trying to stay glass half full and remember, I'm getting a brand new *tile* floor (no more rugs to makeshift clean up spills, drips, and drops anymore!) even if that means getting into my room at the tail end of summer!

In the mean time, I'll continue to prep some of the materials I may need for the start of the year. Back to School is what got me my start in the TPT world and blogosphere. By far, my most popular product has been First Days in First Grade- the very first product I ever made!

You can read some more about it in my early days here! Can you believe how dated that old cover looks from just a few years ago? I like to think I've stepped my blogging game up since then!

However, as I know far too well, grade assignments are constantly changing, and I'd love to get resources out to teachers of as many grade levels as I can! As you may have seen before, Seconds into Second Grade debuted this past spring!

You can read about the details of the product in my previous post here.

This summer, I decided to add another to the series. Introducing, First Day in K!

Come take a peek at some of the activities you'll find for your sweet kinders to do during the first week of school!

I love to discuss First Day Feelings on the first day of school regardless of grade level. It's important to acknowledge the plethora of emotions students may feel as they embark on a new adventure with many new faces- including their teacher's!

There's also they very adorable Put the Kind in Kindergarten! A great way for the littlest learners to think about how to be kind to one another. This is an excellent extension activity for the very popular Bucket Fillers theme. It also flows well from talking about feelings on the first day to general feelings of students everyday.

Coloring pages in Kindergarten are an excellent warm up. Most students have positive experiences with crayons and coloring and it helps ease tensions on the first day. Plus- it's a great Pre-Assessment and wonderful to save for portfolios to compare to the last day of school art masterpieces!

 How simple is this color word K sheet? You could do this whole class or individually!

Finally, the First Day in K flip book! SO simple to make, even for the littlest learners! Plus, it's an adorable way to share All About Me facts and another opportunity for students to get to know each other and make connections. Plus- it's another great portfolio keepsake! I love this one! I can't wait to use it!

Remember, you can purchase the entire pack here in my TPT store!

What are some of your go-to activities for the first week of school?!

Keep your head in the clouds!