Landform Flipbook

So, I have to vent for a second. I don't EVER post about my personal life, but I am feeling the need for some bloggy friend support. I have been staying at work SUPER late since school has started this year. I didn't leave the building until 6:30 today and 6:45 yesterday and then I come home and I STILL have stuff to do! 

My significant other normally travels every week and is home on the weekends. He just recently stopped traveling a few weeks ago and his next work project is located in our own town so he's been home. It is always kind of an adjustment when he is home all the time because he is a VERY active person and enjoys going out and doing things on a regular basis during the week and I just can't keep up sometimes. I, on the other hand, have been swamped with things for school and so I am often doing work on my computer when he gets home. 

He essentially told me last week that he wasn't happy. It think it mainly comes down to how much time I have been spending doing my work. There are some other things, but this is the major problem. I have been trying REALLY hard to get everything done at school so I don't have to bring anything home, but I just can't seem to get it all done. And to top it all off, I am flippin' exhausted after my BUSY 12 hour day. I have vowed to try harder to do more things with him and around the house instead of coming home and working every day, but I still don't know that I will be able to do this all the time because of everything I need to do and how tired I am from my day. So, I guess I just need your advice...How do you balance it all and have a life?? Seriously...what's your secret?!

Anyway, on to the goods! I posted yesterday about my landforms flipbook we made in class this week! 

Remember, these cute things!? The students finished making theirs today and I totally forgot to take pictures of them!

Click HERE to download your free file! 

Also, I am in the brainstorming phase of my new Halloween unit and Lord knows when I'll be able to sit down and ACTUALLY work on that with everything else going on in my life right now, but just know, IT will happen sometime before mid October! =)  

My idea is "Boo in the Zoo: An Animal Themed Halloween Unit." I want to incorporate ELA, Math, and Science all in one. 

Here are some things I'm thinking:
* Animal Research (Bats, Owls, Cats, Spiders, and other creepies)
* Spooky and Weird Animal Adaptations
* Habitats Trick or Treat (Students would pretend they were going Trick or Treating in each habitat and draw or write things they would find there to add to their Trick or Treat bag) I know it sounds crazy, but I'm still in the thinking phase! =)
* Bewitching Words (Students would pick and animal and write describing words)
* Monstrous Metaphors & Spooktacular Similes (Animal related of course!)

That's all I've got so far! What do you guys think?

Any requests or suggestions of things you would like to see included? I'd love your ideas! 


  1. Bless your heart!
    There were things that needed to be done yesterday after school. And I left. I just left. I came home and I rode bikes- made a good dinner- caught up on DVR with the MR- and laughed on YouTube with my Littles-
    Remember that you already go above and beyond- but you HAVE to take time for you! It will get done. It will happen. DOnt leave yourself out- :) You need those breaks-

    Going Nutty!

  2. Ginger your foldable is fabulous!!!!!! So excited to make one with my kiddos this year!!!! Mind if I add it (with proper credits of course) to my foldables page and link to this post?

    Hope all is well :)

  3. Work is important, but the ones your truly love matter most. Balance is hard, but if you prioritize and come up with a schedule that works for BOTH of you, you can make things work. You just need to decide what your priorities are. It's hard, I know, but my son always trumps work, blogging , etc. Good luck, Ginger and remember to stay true to yourself!
    Thanks for sharing the freebie! So excited!

  4. Girl, I can totally relate. I am at working until 5:30 (have to leave then to pick up my son on time) and then I work at home all night long, all weekend long, etc... I wish I had an answer for you. Our profession is tough and getting tougher all the time. Add to that our desire to want to be the best at what we do and our need to create/blog, it is a lot. I feel stressed all the time and wonder when if I am missing too much of this precious time with my family while they are young. Hang in there. It has to get better... right??

  5. Miss Squirrels is right, some days you just need to walk away from it all and enjoy yourself. The beginning of the year is a little harder because there is always so much more to do, but aim for one night a week you don't bring any work home and you walk out of school at a decent hour. As the year progresses, add a second day, then if you are lucky, a third day. As for weekends, my goal is to have at least one weekend a month where I don't do any work. On the other weekends, I do my best to keep my work to one morning or afternoon.

  6. Love this landform activity! We are currently studying landforms, so definitely going to borrow this idea and share with the other 4th grade teachers. Thanks for sharing. Also, love th idea of a Halloween themed research project. I have been super buys also. I am sure hoping things slow down soon.

  7. This is SO cute. Thanks for sharing.
    As for balancing, if you learn the secret, let me know! I leave work late, come home to eat dinner, and am back on my computer doing more work or grading.

  8. I am struggling with getting everything done this year too! If it's any consolation, you are definitely not alone. I agree with the other ladies. You need to just leave and spend time with your family and friends. It will get done. I am not a morning person at all, but I like to go in as early as I can. I tend to get more done in the morning than in the afternoon when I'm exhausted!

    Good luck! It's going to be a tough year for sure!


  9. Thank you for your awesome landform worksheets. I am sorry to hear that you are swamped though and that it is taxing your home life.

    Do try and grab some time just to relax at home. Having that peace at home makes all the difference when we go out to the big world.

    Don't worry about trying to re-invent the wheel - even if you can. Try to find wheels that are already round and work great for other people and use those.

  10. Thanks for the free file! I've always used the AIMS Web activity as well and always have to buy tons of construction paper, so I'm totally going to use this this year! I love that we're on the same unit in Science as well ;)

    As far as the other thing goes, to be honest, I don't have much of a life. I'm married and we're both kind of homebodies. We don't go out that often because we're always so tired! Like Miss Squirrels said, sometimes you just have to leave. I've come to realize I will never get everything done I need to...even if I stayed at work overnight! Sometimes you just gotta go. I usually bring things home, but rarely do anything, especially on weeknights. I usually spend Sundays finishing up lesson plans and grading, but not always. Good luck...I'm sure it will all work out!

    Living A Wonderful Life

  11. Thank you for the landform foldable! It is perfect and the kids will love it! Best of luck to you in your personal situation. Being a teacher is a vocation that can eat every waking moment of your life (and some of your sleeping ones too). Sometimes you need to just stop (even when things are left to do because there will ALWAYS be stuff to do) and just enjoy time with your loved ones. Anyway, you'll be in my prayers.

  12. Ginger, I'm with Stacy (Squirrels), sometimes you just have to leave the pile at school. You already go above and beyond the call of the job. It's ok not to do EVERYTHING you would like to do... That's how I've learned to balance (not that I have it ALL figured out). You have to take time for yourself and those you love. You just have to... (((Hugs)))

  13. I just wrote a post on this myself Am I Doing it Wrong? . I think this a common problem for many teachers. Especially right now with so many changes happening in education, expectations growing, and the implementation of Common Core. I feel we are in a transition phase and until the powers that be decide what direction we're going, how we're going to get there, and what we're going to do when we arrive...the expectation will be to do it all. The real question is how do we maintain relationships with those we love and not get burnt during the journey. The advice I've gotten is first things first. Family first...then work. Good advice, but hard to follow I know because the list of to dos for teachers is overwhelming. Let me know if you find any other good tips. I'm looking for guidance too!!
    First Grade and Fearless

  14. I am mostly a non-commenter, but I feel your pain and need to respond!
    First, it's been the same with me this year. However, I'm starting to notice that we are all a little happier if I stop what I'm doing and give myself over to my family for a few hours in the evening. Not only that, but it's early in the school year. If we continue going full tilt like this, we'll be burnt out by December. I would tell you to let your guy have you for a couple of hours in the evening. It's good for him but you also need the time.

    Second, that flip books is SO cute. We just covered landforms and I had the kids make a pitiful booklet with drawings and definitions. This would have really been CUTE! I'll save it for later. :)

  15. LOVE your foldable, Ginger! Thanks for sharing it! :) I totally feel your pain. After 15 years of teaching and 13 years of marriage, I still struggle with the balance. I think it's especially tough for those of us without kids (it's so much easier to "drop everything" for them). It is truly the one and only thing the hubs and I have ever fought over. Two years
    Amandaago, I decided I had to really do something about it and let go of some of my responsibilities (teaching tech classes for teachers, etc). Now, if I add something to my plate, I have to let go of something...but it's still a struggle! Hang in there and know you're not alone!

    Teaching Maddeness

  16. Oh, I completely understand. I'm right there with you and I have 2 little boys and a husband. I stay at school until 5 or 5:30. I bring stuff home and I rarely have time to do it. A lot of times when my kids are doing their homework or are watching tv, I can grade some papers or read my stack of professional books. It's stolen moments for me. I ask myself each day, Did I spend time with my kids today? Then I am successful for that day. More than if I got a stack of papers graded. No one outside our professions understands all that is on our plate. My husband is somewhat understanding but he can't possibly feel the pressure I feel every day. Hang in there. It sounds like we are all trying to figure this out.

  17. First time to your blog today! And we are studying landforms in our homeschool~ so excited to do this activity today. I want to add my two cents... yes, you can "have it all" but not usually "all at once." There are only so many hours in a day and you have to decide what to do with them. It sounds like your man is saying, "Hey! I want some attention too!" If he is normally out of town but sometimes home during the week~ it might be a good idea to either put off some of the things you normally do until he is out of town again- or try and work ahead the week before. Good Luck! I think all people have to figure out their own balance that works for them and you will get it figured out!

  18. Thank you for all your posts. I love visiting and using the amazing things you create.
    As for the time, I have challenges with that as well. A few things I have used to GREATLY help is our upper grade helpers. They come in and help with grading, numbering papers to put in my student's mailboxes, cutting, etc. They are invaluable! They even earn our school's SOAR ticket plus a little treat from me for their hard work. Instead of fumbling through papers at school I have scanned over 50% of what we do into the computer for instant access and easy printing to the office. Still working on the rest! :) I have at least three at home parent helpers to send things home in envelopes to them for grading (just include a pen, key to correct by, the papers, and a treat here or there and you are set!). For me I have stayed late just about every night for years. THis year I wanted it different so I have chosen ONE night a week to stay past 4pm. I chose the day my kids are in daycare to feel less guilty. My husband has class early so no matter what I wouldn't see him on that day. I stay until 6pm and do what I can. Yes, I do bring things home that others just cant do but refuse to do any of it until the kids are in bed and I have had some time with my husband. It has taken tons of adjusting this year, but I am so pleased with the results. Two months into the school year and I have my oops moments staying late, but most of all I get home to be a mom. Don't know if that helps, but I thought I would offer my two cents. :)
    Thanks again for everything!

  19. Thanks for the great activity. I can't wait to use it. I was doing may National Boards last year and we have 4 and 6 year old boys. What worked for my husband and I was having a dedicated day where I didn't work on Boards or work. Maybe you can work on a compromise that gives you the time you need without being hassled and he can have a couple of evenings, he knows your attention will be on him.

  20. As we all learned that life isn't easy... but you when your older and not in front of your class every day your going to be wishing that you were back at this moment. Make time for life, our work can't become out life. The kids will be ok, but you are the only person watching out for you... make time for the special guy! If he didn't care he wouldn't have had told he was upset/unhappy! Your an amazing person and this will work out!

  21. Just found your blog and I love it! I am your newest follower:) Stop by and visit me...

    Learn, Play & Have Fun

  22. What a great flip book! Thanks so much!

  23. I absolutely love your blog and I love this activity! As for your personal life...I honestly think we can all relate! The best advice I can give you is to always remember that your family comes first (which I'm sure you already know!). Try to arrange at least one day where the two of you just enjoy each other's company. Either make it a date night every Saturday night or "movie morning" reserved for Sunday mornings. No work! Don't discuss it and don't think about it! If you have kiddies (which I do) send them to grandma and grandpas for a few hours. BUT TRY to make time for each other...take it from a divorcee...sadly, if you don't find the time for him...someone else will :(

  24. Hi there,
    Wow this "balance thing" is a hot topic. I have been teaching 19 years and I am still doing nothing but school stuff all day, every night, and all weekend. I know my advice should be that you should learn to turn it off and pay attention to your husband...but I'm not. My husband and I have fought about this endlessly but I can't change my career or my commitment to it. I can't leave it at work because it's there the next day when I open the door along with 50 new things to add to it. My day is frazzled and I curse that I didn't just do it the night before. I stay late and then go home and wolf down some food and then do school work until bed. Earlier in my marriage I tried to "give him time" but I ended up resenting him. He was just one more person trying to get a piece of me. There was nothing left for me. I could close the school bag but I couldn't turn off my brain. I got frustrated that I felt like I was always trying to explain myself and that was the last thing I wanted to do after teaching all day with not even a second to use the bathroom let alone eat lunch. We are a hard working profession and it requires a ton of time to do it. My advice is not to apologize. He is an adult and he needs to deal with it. You love him but resentment is worse. I am still married and I don't have a good marriage but I got nothing in return in the way of support and I got so tired of always feeling like I was doing something wrong. I am sorry that our workload has become soooo unmanageable but never apologize for your commitment to your profession. If YOU need some down time then take it but never do it if someone is demanding it.
    I hope you find some peace. I truly feel your pain.
    You are in my thoughts!
    Natalies Nook

  25. Well of course he isn't happy- he wants more of YOU!!
    Seriously, no relationship is perfect, but you BOTH have to make an effort to adjust to the new routine. Talk it out and hopefully happiness will abound!
    I hate to hear you unhappy because I LOVE your blog, always upbeat, cheerful and full of wonderful ideas! Your bloggy friends are always here for you!

  26. Ginger, I am so sorry that you are going through this, and at such a busy time of the year! I agree with all the previous comments and sometimes you have to just leave it at school. I have the same problem about wanting everything to be perfect and being a workaholic, it is who I am! You are passionate about teaching and that shows. Taking a step back will be good for you too :)
    Big Hugs!
    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.

  27. Thank you so much for sharing this flip book! I'm in the middle of a landforms unit and this is so stinkin' adorable!
    You're so creative!

  28. First off, thank you so much for sharing this project. It is so cute and will fit perfectly in our social studies interactive notebooks! I will adapt a bit because I have 5th graders, but they will love it!!! Think I'll have then name a specific landform for each and try to create their own layers, but will have your copies for those who get stuck. Thank you!!
    Now, I really believe the time issue is a teacher's curse. So many of us our SO dedicated that nothing but the best will do. I never seem to get it all done either, and the only reason I'm writing right now is that my husband is out of town for 4 days....bring on the blogs, school work, and projects! :) Over the years I have learned to let some things go, I had to if I wanted a happy husband and kids. I'm not sure how long you have been teaching, but he first few years are the worst. Just remember, as long as you love the students and give them your best when you are there, they will learn and succeed. Hang in there and thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

  29. I can definitely sympathize. I was often at school by 6:30 and leaving at 6:30... and still not feeling like I had it all done. Then, when I would blog stalk, I would feel terrible because so many awesome people out there were creating wonderful things for their classrooms AND had children. I felt like I didn't even compare to some of them and would put even MORE pressure on myself to make things "cutesy" and more fun. After getting married, I realized that my marriage is my first priority. Although I still strive to go above and beyond in my classroom, I finally had to tell myself that once I got home, the work had to be done. That also meant no work on weekends (unless there was something major going on like report cards or open house). This has forced me to work smarter while I'm at school. I can tell by your posts that you are a hard working teacher that puts your all into your lessons. If possible, maybe you should try to find a balance between creating new material and using material that's already available (TPT, workbooks, school curriculum, etc). Also, do you work with your grade level team? It has really helped me a lot since my team and I started planning together and taking responsibilities for different things. For example, we saw that our students were struggling with main idea/detail so we each created or found something to share with the team. We trade off creating many resources for our students, which I normally would have done all the work on my own. It has really helped! I also pick one night a week to stay extra late - usually Thursdays so I can start planning and preparing for the next week. Maybe you could do something like that. Stay late one or two nights a week and on the other days get home early enough to hang out with the boyfriend. I know you will figure out the right balance!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  30. I apologize...I haven't read all of your posts.

    I have a teacher friend who has cancer. When she was teaching, she was AMAZING...the kids loved her, the parents loved her and she always shared resources with others.

    When she left, they had someone in the room the next day. Sure, she was missed but she was replaced. She is doing amazingly well and I hope she has many years left with her family. But, if she doesn't...she won't be replaced as easily in their hearts.

    It's a job! That's all!

    That being said...I know I spend way too much time at school or on school work. I wish I followed my own advice

  31. I agreed with everyone else, family MUST come first. One thing I have learned over the many years of matter how many extra hours you spend on school stuff you will still never be done. It is truly a job that has no ending place so YOU have to decide that ending place and it's based on your priorities so put your family and yourself ahead of the job. Good luck to you.

  32. I have set a 4:30 deadline for myself. If it's not done by 4:30, it will have to wait. There are days some things are just not worth grading, and in the garbage they go. School can be a 24/7 job, if you allow it to be (and I used to). My scores are just as good now. Sometimes less is more, and I try to work smarter, not harder. We have a great team that shares at our school. No one has to carry the full load that way. Put yourself and your family first. They cannot be replaced!

  33. You have to make home a priority. Remember that teaching is your job!!! Set aside specific days every week that you leave on time or at a specific time and the bag stays at school!!! You can do it! Once you get married and have kids, it only gets harder to balance and you have to get in that routine now!

  34. First - thanks for this wonderful item! My kiddos will love it. Now for the more important item - I too have this balance issue just like many others who responded. We even went to therapy over it. This is the advice we received and it has worked wonders - set a time you both agree is reasonable for you to work until - we picked 6PM during the week, no work on Sat and from 5 - 10 pm on Sundays. Next - the hard part for you - choose the items that are most important for you to complete - Thu, Fri and Sun I work on lesson plans, center activities and some web searches - pinterest and teacherspayteachers have been great sources of help for finding things that I need and are already made. I review and ans emails 2x/day - first thing in the morning and again at 5pm. I also have parent volunteers who do some of my prep work, taking down and putting up my bulletin board and working with students that need some flash card work. They also do some copy work for me if the copy staff is not available. Realize that you have to give up some things, like maybe the amount of time you blog or how many new things you can create in a week, etc. Now, every once in awhile, like tonight, we make an amendment to the work times so I can catch up or do something new (it happens for him as well) - but we try to keep that to 1 or 2xs per month. It has been hard, but it is working. Once you start, you will see there are things you can give up without jeopardizing your job or the quality of work. I wish you all the best and a very happy marriage.

  35. One thing I have to remind myself is setting priorities. Some of the things I am doing, is it really that important? Will the kids really notice a difference if I don't have the papers graded for one more day, or have the foldables hung on the wall? There is always something you can be doing as a teacher. But remember that family is first, for they are the ones that keep you sane! Hubby does need to understand that some days it you must take care of business. Set priorities and stick to them. Make sure you talk with him as well!

  36. I do the same thing. Everyone above is right, you need to take "Me time". Having said that I have to say I am terrible at taking my own advice. :(

    Thank you so much for the foldable -- my kiddos are going to love it! I have inserted it into my plans for this week and bumped something forward for next because I know they will enjoy it and get a lot from it.


  37. Wow, what a post! :) I love your landforms book and my kids will be making it in two weeks -- thank you!

    But thank you even more for "venting" and prompting so many responses. I've been completely overwhelmed this year (as have my teammates) with a new curriculum and grading system. If I get out of school at 6:00 it's an early night, and I'm getting less than an hour with my kids each day. My husband is a saint and has picked up ALL the slack but he can't pick up my guilt. :)

    To everyone who responded: thank you for reminding me that while my family hasn't complained at all, they still need more of my time and THE JOB IS JUST A JOB. I don't know how I'll do it, but I'm going to try very hard to get out of school earlier during the week so I can spend more time with my kids. They are far more important than my students!

    Ginger -- we can do it!
    :) Amanda

  38. Thank you for bringing up this topic. I struggle with this daily. It was so helpful to read your blogs and everyone's responses!

  39. It's tough, isn't it? I hope things are better by now, but I know it's tough for all of us at the beginning of the year, especially. I think for a lot of people, their job ends when they leave work. But I feel like there is always more I could and should be doing for my kids. It never feels like enough, and I need to start letting it be enough.

    I don't necessarily have tips for you, except to hang in there and not to feel obligated to keep up with all of our blogs :) Life is more important, and you're not the only one to feel overwhelmed with the time it takes.

    Thanks for the freebie, too. I'm thinking of you!

  40. Hi, love your blog! :) I just wanted you to know what we made this AMAZING Landform Flipbook yesterday and I posted about it here:
    I'd love for you to stop by! Thanks so much for the great freebie!

  41. Your flip book is awesome! Very creative! I might be using it!

    Also - give yourself a time limit. I don't know what you might be doing until 6:30, but perhaps make a to-do list and do the most important things until 4:30 or 5. Then, go home and spend quality time with your significant other. Try and do at least one thing at home before bed and take one day on the weekend to do everything else and prepare for the week. But make yourself a schedule, to-do list and a time limit to complete your tasks. It always helps me.

    I hope that helped!

  42. Hang in there......I just read this because I was looking at your wonderful landforms. I hope all is well, and thank you for sharing such a great idea!!!!

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  44. I LOVE this book. Thank you so much for posting it. husband is telling me the same thing. It's so hard to walk away when your mind is thinking about all the possibilities for your class.

  45. Just blogged about you and your fabulous resource!! THANK YOU so much for sharing!

  46. There is always so much to do in the classroom. Can you do more and better? Of course! But why? We give too much to our students and leave the crumbs for our most treasured loved ones. I decided to just work part time. My family, health/wellness is more important than my job. Teaching is a job…remember that. Money isn't everything. Prioritize!

  47. Can you update the link. It say that it does not exist. Thanks

  48. Can you update the link please. I cant download it

  49. Thank you so much for this free template. I have been struggling on how to teach landforms. My kids will love the visual.

  50. Thank you for this free template. I have been struggling on how to teach landforms. The kids will appreciate the visual. :)

  51. Thank you for this Freebie. I help with a kids English class in Nicaragua and these kind of things are PERFECT!

  52. Thank you for this free Template! This is perfect for one our of fun Pre - K / Primary activities today for Geography Week at Summer Camp.

  53. Sorry if this is a silly question, but do you glue it? I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to keep it together. Thank you!

    1. I actually staple them together for them when they are all finished! =)

  54. Read the book "Unshakable " by Angela Watson . It will change your life and help you find that balance. She has awesome tips on how to balance your teaching life and how to have a life outside of the classroom. She also talks about the 40 hr work week and has lots of tips on classroom management as well. Family first, always!

  55. I can't get it to open. It says it can't be found on Dropbox

  56. Does you link work anymore? It said the file was able to be located on dropbox. Thanks!

  57. I am not getting your link to work, it says the file cannot be found on dropbox. Are you able to fix it?

  58. I would love your link to work for this landforms activity. Is it still available? I would love an email.

  59. Really, really gooood! Thanks a bunch for sharing! :-))

  60. I know the feeling! I am also a coach helping people get healthy. I am hoping to transition into this as a full time job soon! Anyone can do it ,and teachers are especially great at it!
    But, I can't wait to use this land form flip book with my students! It's awesome!


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