monthly wrapup

September Thoughts + Favorites

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september thoughts + favorites

Hi friends,

Yes, I know it’s a week into October already 😛 but I still wanted to share my September thoughts and favorites with you before we get too much farther into my favorite month!

September was really busy for me - I tried to teach as much as possible, create some fall things for my shop, and also pursue a bunch of other other side hustles (blog post about that coming later this week!) I feel like the upcoming time change and the back to school feeling always encourage me to work a little harder somehow. I’m looking forward to going hard again for October and then slowing down a little in November and December.

I was sick for the last few weeks of September with a cold that turned into a more serious flu, so I had a lot of teaching days where I basically just dragged myself out of bed 😢 I’m thinking of writing a whole blog post about managing online teaching while you’re sick, but things that got me through included keeping a heating pad on my lap and a humidifier close by, drinking tons of tea between classes, and resting as much as possible. I would love to hear how you guys handle teaching with a cold!

in my shop

In my shop this month, I mostly focused on fall and back to school themed items! Fall just might be my very favorite theme to create things for, followed closely by rainbows! 😊

Mid-Autumn Festival

Lots of you used the Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncakes, Vocab Cards, and Find-a-Star Game back at the beginning of September! I’m so happy I could help you celebrate with your students. I had so much fun with Mid-Autumn Festival this year, and I took lots of notes for next year. The word I found myself teaching the most this Mid-Autumn Festival was “rabbit!”

Pumpkin Numbers

I drew these a while ago with my digital pen and made them into some number props to use throughout the fall in my classroom. I love having something seasonal to hold up every time I ask “How old are you?” or help a student count to 10. These could also be used as a cute classroom decoration! By far my favorite things

Maple Leaves

I created these realistic maple leaf props from real photographs I took of maple leaves from my yard. I made medium and mini sizes! This was good practice for me in using Photoshop and different settings on my camera, and I learned a lot in the process. I hope to make a lot more realistic props from my photographs in the future, since I find they work well for a lot of my students, especially those who don’t like “cute” props.

Fall + Halloween Vocab Cards

These were maybe the most satisfying thing to create this month, since my students have been loving them and I was looking forward to building on my Mid-Autumn Festival Vocab Cards. It feels great to be slowly building a set of vocab cards based around my own classroom experiences and the words I’ve found myself teaching the most over the last year and a half. If you’re collecting them along with me, the Fall and Halloween Cards and the Mid-Autumn Festival Cards don’t have any of the same words. I’m looking forward to releasing more of these soon and learning more about how they work for you guys!

Mini Flashcard Sets

This month in celebration of back to school I released lots of mini flash cards: Alphabet, Numbers 0-10, Months of the Year + Seasons, and Days of the Week. I made a demo set in pink, blue, and green, but I’m also making personalized sets in your favorite colors! Pastels, rainbow, black and white - custom orders are my favorite because often you guys think of awesome combinations I never would have thought of!

in my classroom

This month, I was on the lookout for allll the cute fall props and decorations! Plus the back to school sales make it hard to resist

Fall Photo Booth Props

I’ve always found photo booth props work well in an online classroom setting, and these fall themed ones are really cute! I love the maple leaves and the different types of pumpkins.

Giant Pencil

I fell in love with this giant orange pencil this month! (It comes in other colors too.) My students always laugh when I bring out my giant sunglasses or anything remotely oversized, and this giant pencil would really make the class special for them.

Rose Gold Microphone

I’ve been thinking about getting a real microphone for my online classroom for a while now, and I love this rose gold one! I’ve seen it recommended by several teachers, it can be a speaker, player, or recorder, and it comes in lots of other colors too.

Emoji Sticky Notes

I showed these on Instagram and got some questions so I figured I’d repost them here! I recently bought more since they’re pretty inexpensive right now. They’re a cute, easy way to teach emotions, and you can easily laminate a bunch of them, attach them to popsicle sticks, or glue them down to some cardstock to make them more durable.

Happy teaching, friends.

Em 💖

June Highlights and Favorites

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July already?! I know everyone says that but I really can’t believe it. We are really in the swing of summer. I am so grateful for longer nights, our farm share, the nearby lake, and fans!

Highlights of this month were visiting my family in three states and opening my Etsy shop! I was able to launch with coloring pages, flashcards, star rewards, and some digital art downloads. I also started working on a Teachers Pay Teachers page and a Patreon account. It feels good to have done all the work of setting up each platform, syncing social media, etc. so now I can focus on adding new products!

TEACHING HIGHLIGHTS

I mostly saw regular students this June. I got my Grammar Advanced certification, and have been enjoying teaching and making props for the grammar lessons (honestly, it’s a great refresher for myself, and a bit more of a teaching challenge). As always, with all the traveling I did this month, I was so grateful I could teach from anywhere with a good Internet connection. I had fun setting up a little classroom in my mom’s sewing room. I enjoyed hearing about how my students celebrated Dragon Boat Festival (and using these wonderful stars from Teacher Lisa!)

SOCIAL

I got back into the swing of things with Instagram this month, and it continues to be my favorite way to connect with all kinds of teachers! Although I could/do spend way too much time on there, I am trying to set limits with myself so it continues to be a place of joy for me. This month, I focused on creating posts about my new products, and making fun arrangements using things from around my house and classroom. I also started a new account with my shop name where I hope to mostly highlight my products. One of the best moments on social this month was when The Introverted Online Teacher colored my printable name tag! I am consistently inspired by her posts.

Also … I’m getting close to 1K on @englishteacherem and I’m looking forward to doing a giveaway, so stay tuned!

EVERYTHING I MADE THIS MONTH

Here’s a little list of everything I made this month and where you can find it. Eventually, I do hope to have most of my products available on Etsy and TpT, with both digital download and physical versions, but I’m still new to the TpT format (creating a good-looking preview of each item, etc.), so I just haven’t had time to make everything available everywhere yet.

Alphabet Song Printable - 2 Versions (Patreon)

Bloom Where You Are Planted Printable Art (Patreon)

Color Cards - 12 Colors (Etsy)

Floral Alphabet Classroom Decoration (Patreon)

Floral Coloring Page (free download on my blog)

Floral Inspirational Art Prints (Etsy)

Marble Stars Reward System (Patreon)

Paint Box 2D Prop for Teaching Colors (Etsy)

Pansy Patch Coloring Page (Etsy)

Pastel Rainbow Stars Reward System (Etsy)

Planner Stickers (free download on my blog)

Pool Floats Reward System (Etsy, TpT)

School Supplies Reward System (Etsy, TpT)

Succulent Garden Coloring Page (Etsy)

Vegetables and Herbs Flashcards (Etsy)

Watermelon Stars Reward System (Etsy)

Would You Rather Questions (free download on TpT)

JUNE FAVORITES

NEW WHITEBOARD MARKERS

I am still in the market for new whiteboard markers! If you’ve been following my #whiteboardlettering adventures you’ll know I’ve been using the same fine tip wet erase set since I started. I still love those, but some of them are starting to fade and I want to have more colors to choose from (and my boyfriend probably wants them back, lol - I originally borrowed them from him!). I posted a roundup this month of some sets I’m considering buying, like this fun double sided (!) set from The Board Dudes and this fine line set from Crayola that includes some pastel shades.

ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER

I always use lavender essential oil on my wrists when I’m teaching (and, let’s be honest, all day long) and I’m finally getting a diffuser! I love this ceramic one and this white wood pattern with changing colors.

TEACHING SUPPLIES

This month I’m loving:

  1. The simple pastel look of these upper and lowercase letters (and the pretty wooden box!)

  2. This adorable pita pocket play set

  3. Beautiful play food in a market basket from Ikea

  4. Dry erase circles! I just discovered these and I’m dreaming of all the ways I could use them in my classroom - and of course I love the variety of color options. This set also comes with some hard-to-find whiteboard marker colors!

Goodbye June, hello July! Happy teaching, friends.

Em 💕