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Keeping School-Aged Kids Busy on Road Trips

This year for Spring Break, my family of 5 made the 15-hour trek to the Florida panhandle. While we have a TV in our car, I really didn't want my kids to be glued to a screen for the entire trip. After a fruitless search on Pinterest for road trip games for kids, but I couldn't find anything, I decided to make my own.
A blog post from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

Road Trip Bingo kept all three of my kids busy for at least an hour. And then they started cheating...
A blog post from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade
There are three different versions of the bingo cards so they could all play.

We all worked together on the License Plate Game, with my older girl keeping track of our finds for us.
A blog post from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

The third one, which I don't have a photo of, is an Alphabet Bingo game. The first person to find a word on a sign or a building for each letter of the alphabet is the winner.

I don't want you to have the same struggle I did, so grab these Road Trip Games free!


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A blog post from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade


Lice in the Classroom

Last month, I had lice in my house.

Yep. I said it. I'm admitting it on the World Wide Web.

 I'll spare you the saga, but basically, both of my daughters AND I had it. I spent 2 days trying to fight it myself. When I realized I was not only losing the battle, but losing my sanity as well, I waved the white flag and called The Lice Lady. Yes, she's a thing. No, that's not technically her name. She has a machine that kills all live lice and dehydrates the nits so that they all die, and then she combs them all out. She is a MIRACLE WORKER, I tell ya.

While we were there, I picked her brain about treatment/prevention, so today I want to share some of the things I learned. A lot of this info was new to me, and I was able to take this knowledge back to my classroom.
Do you have lice in your classroom? DON'T PANIC! This blog post gives tips and busts myths for these irritating insects.
This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. For more info, please see my full disclosure policy.

Classroom Jobs Made EASY

Teachers all have different priorities, and for me, classroom jobs just isn't one of them.

I've done classroom jobs a few ways. I've had jobs for every person in the class, including a job called "Vacation" which gave that lucky student the week off from doing a job. I've had jobs for only about 1/3 of the class, so kids were 1 week on, 2 weeks off. I've let students choose their jobs (which takes FOREVER, by the way), I've assigned jobs... and I've hated every single second of it.

Yes, I know that giving students jobs in the classroom helps to give students a sense of responsibility in the classroom community. But I just don't have the time or the desire to switch jobs every week, track who's doing what, or getting on the case of students who aren't doing their jobs. I have better things to do! #sorrynotsorry

However, there are times when I need someone to grab the lunch bin and bring it back to the classroom, or I need someone to run across the hall and borrow a book from another teacher. So last year, I started using The Hip Helper.

Formative Assessment: the What, the Why, and the How

I remember the first time I heard the words "formative assessment." I was a junior in college taking a class called Measurement and Evaluation, and my professor wasn't very good at making the topic of assessment exciting... which in hindsight, is very unfortunate.

Fast forward about 10 years, and my principal asked us all to participate in two book studies for the books Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan William and Feedback by Jane Pollock. Through reading these books, I discovered the importance of purposefully using formative assessments in my classroom.

5 Tips for Surviving Your First Year as a Teacher


I loved my first year as a teacher. I had a great class with super supportive families, and 12 years later, I still keep in touch with several of my former students and their parents. That first year is filled with emotions: excitement, enthusiasm, exhaustion, confusion, fear, stress... Today I want to share my top 5 tips for surviving in your new chosen career. Chances are, this is your first professional job, and you do not want to mess this up!
Calling all beginning teachers! This blog post has 5 tips for making your first year as a teacher a successful one!

1. Find Your Tribe 

I was lucky to find my People right away at my first teaching job. I didn't have to go far... my teacher friends consisted of my team and a few first grade teachers across the hall. We were all first, second, or third-year teachers, so we had a lot in common.

But what happens when you don't click with your team? Unfortunately, it does happen some times.
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