Tech Tip: SignUp Genius

We are full-on in the Back-to-School season!  Are you enjoying getting to know your new students? We have some fun beginning of the year projects planned as we get ready to welcome a new batch of kids ourselves! And, even if a there is a tiny piece of your heart that may still be missing your kids from last year, you have to admit that it's exciting to start over with a new group.

As your year begins, you'll also be welcoming a new set of families and parents!

Scheduling parent volunteers can be challenging at times, but here is a little gem that helps us immensely with this - and with LOTS more:


Have you tried SignUpGenius?  We use this at the beginning of the year when setting up your parent volunteer schedule. In addition, we use this tool monthly to ask for help with and/or donations for projects, events, and special activities! Use it to find or schedule...
  • family members to be guest or mystery readers
  • parents to lead literature circle groups
  • resources for edible learning activities, STEM challenges, seasonal crafts and projects
  • volunteers for classroom party supplies or to take charge of a party
  • field trip chaperones
  • convenient times to meet with parents for conferences
  • parents to help set up for activities
  • help with big school-wide projects or events such as a chili supper or carnival
  • parents to present at our annual job-fest project (Career Days)
  • snacks for youth sporting events or practices
  • Sunday School teacher rotations
  • checking out shared iPads or tech resources
  • monthly pot-luck meals (also called a carry-in or pitch-in)
  • substitute coverage for after school classes
  • before-school or after-school duties (bus duty, for example)
  • principal observation or classroom visits
  • Flat Stanley host families
  • foods for international food day
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial - "But wait, there's more!!" - there are so many added uses for this web-based program!  

Follow the link, then scroll down to find out just how easy and amazing it is!

You create an account, then you're ready to "create a sign up."

 Now name your group and give your sign-up a title and a description; and then choose a theme.

Now you are ready to select the type of event and set the dates, if needed. You can choose a one-time event, a recurring event, specific time slots, a custom event, or just a donation without any dates.

You're able to set up automatic email reminders when you complete your sign-up.  You can email it to your parents from the website, or email it to yourself and send the link to parents.  Also available is the option to have emails sent to you when someone signs up.

Here is a look at how your sign-up might look:

That's it - you're ready to have people sign up! No checklists to check off sign ups or donations, everything is right there in your sign-up!

We're sure you'll love this as much as we do and will find some incredible ways to use Sign Up Genius!  Please comment below to share your ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous school year!

It's {Almost} That Time

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE June?  June is the "Friday night" of the summer break - all of that lovely time stretched out before you....a to-do list that is actually manageable....ahhh, June!!

Follow lovely June by busy July, and now the to-do-list begins to fill up a bit with all of the fun projects you want to do by the "End-of-Summer-Break," some for home and some for school.  You may have read a professional book or two (or three or four) and want to implement some of your summer learning in your classroom this year.

And then comes August 1st --- you undoubtedly wonder, "How in the world did it become August ALREADY??" June is a distant memory, and July is fading fast in the rear view mirror, and there are still a few {many} things left undone on that never-ending to-do list.

Ahh, yes - August 1st is the "Sunday night" of summer break.  What's left on your own to-do list? When do you return to class?  What is at the top of your must-do-for-the-new-year list?

For me, I try to get a handle on the first week of school - how to make it memorable for all of us while we get to know each other during those first few days.

Also, I try to update my curriculum slides for Open House, and I love to add in some slides that feature the students.

One way to make it memorable is to use a fun poster in a photo for each student, like these cute chalkboard posters/slides.  How can these be used?
  • these can be used in a time capsule if you make one
  • they may be out on your student desks for Open House (print the slide you need and have students fill in the missing info using chalk or a white crayon)
  • duplicate the slide or slides you need in a new PowerPoint presentation for Open House and personalize them with your students' photos and add in the missing info with a new text box (I like to make a separate PowerPoint with these photos and run it on a loop before and after my curriculum presentation)
  • you can even take such a photo of each student in your class with their poster and then pop those into a free app called Video Star and make a music video
  • and, of course, use this with your own at-home sweeties!! 

Since you dropped by - or because you follow our blog here - you can access these files FREE through August 5th before we add them to our store.  Now you can make your own memorable keepsake for the first day of school.

Here are some sample slide types and colors.  Choose one color for the entire class presentation, or you can allow students to select one of the four provided for each grade level.


Please leave us a comment below to tell us how you used these Chalkboard Posters!  Enjoy - and be sure to check out the sitewide sale on TpT on August 1-2! We'll have everything in our store discounted 20% and TpT offers another 10% off on top of that! Whether you are looking at a dollar vocabulary card set or a big bundle, the savings will be worth the time it takes to drop by for a look!