"Share the Wealth" Saturdays! Check It Out!

Mark your calendars for EVERY SATURDAY! You won't want to miss these great opportunities to gather some amazing free items from amazing teacher-authors!

Click HERE to see past Saturday's goodies.

Click HERE to go to An Educator's Life. On the right hand side, Become a Follower (and/or sign-up for e-mail notifications) and then enjoy the goodies!


P.S. If YOU have something free to offer educators, please feel free to be a participant. Rules will be posted on Saturdays Linky Page.


Announcing A NEW Resource from MrHughes

Another great new classroom resource has been created and added to my Teacher's Pay Teachers (TpT) Website.

This resource is perfect to keep your students reading ALL SUMMER LONG! To check it out, click on the picture. (9 pages total for $3.00- A STEAL of a DEAL!)

While you are there, be sure to click on the "Follow Me" button to be notified of new products. At least one new product a week is our goal!

Check it Out Now!


Teacher Appreciation Challenge!

Will YOU take the Annual Teacher Appreciation Challenge?


It is that time of year again, where teachers get to stand back and be appreciated for all their hard work.


It is that time of year again where teachers fantasize about being able to stand back and have their students tell them thank you. You know what I am talking about, THANK YOU , APPRECIATE YOU, YOU ROCK! In my dream world it would sound something like this: "Thank you, Mr. H,  for helping me, guiding me, supporting me, nagging me, disciplining me, loving me, cheering for me, always greeting me, teasing me, making me laugh, spending your own money to help me learn, defending me, protecting me, celebrating with me when I finally understand, worrying about me 'til you can't even sleep, hoping for me, praying for me, high five'n me, and above all, valuing me as a person.

I know, I know, I know.

It really isn't about glory, praise, or even monetary thoughtfulness. (Although those things aren't a BAD thing!). It really is about the things that I would love to be thanked for (see above).

The real gift for a teacher is when you have a special "aha" moment with a student, or when a student makes you laugh, or, better yet, when they walk in Monday morning and greet you BEFORE you can even say hello. These examples of simple, yet hope building moments are my favorite.


Would a card be nice? Yes.
Would a gift rock? Absolutely (just not candles)
Would a letter or note from a parent or student be loved and read over and over? Yuppers!

But, those things really aren't what Teacher Appreciation is really all about. It is about letting a teacher you currently have, or have had in the past know what a difference they have made in your life.

So, I want to thank some special teachers in MY life-

Mrs. Q was an amazing teacher (2nd grade). Not only did she help me learn to be obedient, she taught me the wonder of reading Roald Dahl books. I will forever be grateful to her for that. (Not to mention we had the coolest loft and fish tank EVER!

Mrs. D was my 5th grade teacher. She was scary yet awesome. She bought us a book off every book order that we would read together. She had a mini-pond in the MIDDLE of the classroom floor. She loved books as well and shared stories with us often. We also got to earn tokens (poker chips) and then trade them for cools "stuff" once a month. I remember buying my mom a mini-doll. Good times those were!

Ms. Z was my 6th grade teacher. The funniest part about that is that she is still teaching 6th grade in my district and we see each other often. She taught me that friendship isn't just about being popular. She also taught me that Gordon Korman writes AWESOME books and I still share those with my students every year. She helped me understand money and how to save and spend it with a class banking system!

In High School (we don't have a middle school/jr. high here in town) the first teacher that comes to mind is my father, Mr. Hughes. He was not only my history teacher and my class adviser for 6 years, but he was my dad! Oh, everyone thought that I had it easy with my father being my teacher- W-R-O-N-G! I never got away with anything, he saw my report card before I did, and if a teacher ever had a problem with me, I was in his classroom in a heartbeat. Yes, I learned to appreciate my father as a teacher, AND as a father. Being in those same shoes this year and teaching my own son, it is a very rocky road to travel, and my father handled it MUCH better than I am. Thanks dad!

Miss J was one of my most favorite teachers. Not only did she help me develop a deep love for music, but she encouraged me to compose music. Under her watchful eye, I wrote many musical pieces for the high school choice as well as many instrumental pieces for piano and various band instruments. She is truly on of the greats when it comes to teachers.

Mr. P was also a favorite. Although as students we were scared to ask for help (and we would often take turns asking about a problem and then explain it to the group) I learned more about math in those 6 years than I think I learned about math my entire life. It was hard, it was tough, and I wanted to quit A LOT! But, everyday, he helped our class try again, and again, and again. Thanks Mr. P!

I have to thank Julie Meyers, Jane Friel, Helen Gurr, Karen Empey, Gina Ellis, and Whitney White. These are some REALLY special people from Alpine School District. They were really my first mentors and colleagues.  I learned SO much from each of them.

I also had several favorite college teachers. Most recently, I have to thank Claudia, whom, with out her help, patience, and guidance, I would NEVER have graduated from the University of Utah with my Masters in Educational Leadership. I can't tell you thank you enough Claudia, you are truly one amazing adviser and mentor. I ALMOST wish I was still in school so I could continue to learn from you- ALMOST!

Mr. Z is on the list too. Not only has he been an inspiration over the last two year I have know him, he is truly a teacher worthy of his most recent acknowledgement- "Teacher of the Year". Congrats Mr. Amazing. Thanks for all your ideas, support, and friendship.

And, I can't end this post with out thanking the faculty I currently work with. We have a pretty amazing group of teachers here at the elementary. Ms. D, Mrs. Q, Mrs. H, Mrs. Q, Mrs. N, Mrs. S, Mr. P, Mr. J, and Mrs. T. (It looks funny when you only type their initial). I want to let YOU know that I appreciate all your hard work for the students of our community and support of me and my noisy, crazy ways of teaching. You are one FANTASTIC faculty!

I am sure I have missed a few teachers, but as I sit here on the eve of Teacher Appreciation Week, these are the teachers that come to mind.

Thank you,
THANK you,
Thank YOU,

Now, for the challenge!
     I challenge you to blog about, send an e-mail to, write a card to, send a small gift, whatever- the THREE to FIVE of the most influential teachers that have affected your life (for good)! Remember to say WHO they are and what the did to make a difference!

The Reward?
Well, the reward is letting teachers know that YOU care. But there needs to be something given to those who make an effort. So, when you have accomplished your mission, leave a comment about it the post on my Educator's Life Blog!  Click HERE to go directly to the post to leave your comments. (Facebook comments, etc do NOT count!).

 Next Sunday, I will do a drawing and ONE lucky winner will win ONE FREE item from my TpT store (see below for more info)! If I don't know you, be sure to leave a way to contact you! :) 


Are you up to it?


I have started selling some of my lessons, ideas, and shortly my musical compositions that are classroom-tested and student approved on Teachers Pay Teachers (or TpT). For the next three days, they are have a Teacher Appreciation Sale, where you get an additional 10% off reduced prices from sellers. (I am offering 15% off for these three days + the 10% 0ff from TpT= 25% off my offerings! Wahoo!)

Click the picture below to be taken to my store. Check out sales there and on the entire site! Don't forget to click on the "Follow Me" button on my store's site to be notified of new products!

Share the TpT Store Sale with ALL your friends!
Have a great day and week teachers- YOU HAVE EARNED IT!


Edmodo- Why You Should Use It

Okay, so I signed up on a whim. Something that I seem to be keen to do with little follow through. (I really should get busy and unsubscribe to all those sites I found weren't really worth it). This site, however IS AMAZING! I think of it as Facebook meets school. The kids can interact with each other and with their teacher(s).

But it goes much further than that. As a teacher I can create and assign quizzes, test, surveys all with little effort to create. I can embed media links that will play right from the Edmodo page so that the students don't have to leave the site to veiw them.

You can create groups so that students can collaborate with peers on an assignment. Parents can signup with a special code from the teacher so they can view parts of the site and see what their student is doing.
I have been using it this year with decent success. I can remind students of upcoming assignments both in message form and in a very user-friendly calendar page that easily lets me organize and display upcoming due dates and such.

As a teacher, I strongly encourage to check out all the amazing advantages this site has to offer. (Including teacher communities for all levels and subjects).

Go on, click HERE...you KNOW you want to.


Pirate Week! Try It...

The coolest classroom around


So, September 19th is International Speak Like a Pirate Day! And true to tradition, the room was decorated and busy schedules adjusted to squish in some pirate fun. Our ship sails for a full week rather than one day. With all the work to get it ready, it should be savored like a good (ginger) ale.

Arrrr... ye scruvy dogs...

"Come to the Pirate-Side he will"
There, I had to let out my inner pirate.

It has been really fun so far. The kids loved walking into our room and looking around at all at decorations and changes both big and small. A big hit was the pirate make over on Darth Vader. My wife sure did a great job with the decorations! Se even gave our spinning book rack a pirate flair.

One of my favorite parts of the week is the "booty board". Inexpensive prizes are purchased and displayed for the young sprogs to covet over. During the week I hand out "dabloons" for good behavior, being on-task, homework turned in, etc. Then, at the end of the week, the students can trade in their gold for treasure. Sometimes I do an auction, sometimes I let the student with the most gold choose a 2 prizes, and then go down the list. I am not sure how it will work out this year.
'Tis the Booty Board, ye Scurvy Dogs!

I also do three pirate contests. I challenge the kids to build a mini-pirate ship, make a jolly roger (pirate flag), and come dressed like a pirate (on Friday only). The scallywags are never required to participate in the festivities, but are encouraged to participate. Usually there isn't any worries about entries. I have three judges come in and judge winners. Those deemed the most fearsome, most creative, and most daring receive a small prize which includes extra dabloons to be spendin' on booty.

Notice the bounteous reading treasure
During the course of the week, we also read a short book from ReadingA-Z.com about priate boats and flags. The students read an assigned short chapter (2-3 pages) in small groups, highlight important information, and then make a poster. These groups then do presentations for the rest of the class while the class takes notes, make a positive comment, and writes one question they still would like to know. I love this part of the reading workshop. The kids are almost always engaged in this unit of study.

Our Piratey Book Rack
 Thursday we will be having a Pirate Insult contest to see who can come up with the longest, coherent pirate insult (they were given a list of pirate terms to use). I love this activity as well, as it encourages my students to become fluent. They write out their "insult" in advance and then they read it in front of the class. The class votes on who they felt had the best phrase and read it the most fluently and "piratey". Winner gets a boost to their dabloon stash.

Enter if ye dare...
Another fun contest I do is I copy some pirate coloring pictures and I do a contest to see who can color the best pirate picture. Winner gets a dabloon boost as well. And, depending on the formation of my room, I may also a group coloring contest. I have purchased several of the jumbo coloring pirate books from the Dollar Tree. I give each group ONE picture to color together. That activity has a lot of value in that the group must work together to create the finished product. I give the winning a group a prize that they must also share, like a big candy bar or bag or small prizes. That way they must still cooperate and agree on who gets what. What a valuable experience for my class.

This be the back of our ship
Well, now that I have given ye' scruvy dogs all me priate secrets, I best be shovin' off and looking for other ships to plunder...


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