Tag Archives: School

Online Learning Classroom Student Cards Printable

by Jennifer Wieland

In this new and crazy world of Covid 19 back-to-school is vastly different for most of us this year. My kiddos are 100% online learning this year and as such, this has created it’s own unique problems. How do you manage a classroom online as a teacher without a class full of students all talking at once online? If you mute them and un-mute as you call on people how does a child get the teacher’s attention? Enter these handy little online learning classroom student cards.

Online Learning Classroom Student Cards Printables

These handy little cards were an idea of a fellow parent in a FB group we have in our town this year to help supply families, teachers and schools with items they need for this uniques school year. She relayed to us in a post how a teacher she knew had told her about cards that the kids could hold up to the camera to get the teacher’s attention without disrupting the class. I read it and thought, what a brilliant, freaking idea!

Online Learning Classroom Student Cards Printables

Let’s be honest here. this not only helps the teachers manage their online classrooms but families with multiple kids can keep the volume in their own houses down. This has an added benefit of also not disrupting your other kids if you’ve converted a room in your house or the kitchen table to the family classroom this year.

Another mom and I pounced on this and each made our own sets to distribute to teachers and parents at their requests. We both just opted for the three basic ideas that were originally mentioned. These are the online learning classroom student cards printables that I’ll be using.

I Have a Question Online Learning Classroom Student Cards Printables
I Can't Hear Online Learning Classroom Student Cards Printables
Bathroom Break BRBOnline Learning Classroom Student Cards Printables

To download the printable pdf files all you need to do is click on the images above for each one. These pdf files were originally designed to use with Avery 5390 (badge inserts). Don’t have those? No problem! Just print them out on card stock instead.

Want the cards to hold up throughout the entire school year? use clear packing tape or clear shelf liner to cover the cards. I used clear shelf liner on mine. Then I punched holes and used a binder ring to keep them together and make flipping through them easy.

Malt-O-Meal® Cereals Makes School Mornings Tasty, Easy, Affordable

by Jennifer Wieland
Malt-O-Meal® cereals make school mornings tasty, easy and affordable for the family! #RealValueRealDelicious


School mornings are rough for many of us. Whether you are a stay-at-home, work-at-home or work outside of the house parent it’s difficult getting the entire family up, moving and out the door with different personalities at play. That’s why I love grabbing Malt-O-Meal® cereals. Malt-O-Meal® cereals make school mornings tasty, easy and affordable for the family!

Malt-O-Meal® cereals make school mornings tasty, easy and affordable for the family! #RealValueRealDelicious

My oldest son and I are usually the first ones up in the morning. He is trying to get up and ready and out the door for work while I am trying to roll the other kids and my husband up out of bed. Sounds easy enough but we have learning centers in my area and that means we have staggered start times for the schools. My 12 year-old has to be up first for his bus at 7:05. So once he’s dressed he gets a bowl of his favorite Malt-O-Meal® cereal to start eating while I go and wake up my 7 year-old. Her bus arrives at 7:33. As she comes down for breakfast and my 12 year-old is leaving for the bus I’m left dashing back upstairs to wake my 9 year-old and husband. My 9 year-old has a bus that comes at 7:54 and my husband has to be dropped off at the train station a half mile from us by 7:50. To say our mornings are a long, drawn-out affair is an understatement!

Malt-O-Meal® cereals make school mornings tasty, easy and affordable for the family! #RealValueRealDelicious

Malt-O-Meal® cereals are a life saver for our family! Malt-O-Meal® makes 34 different varieties of cereal! With that many varieties each of my family members can always find just what they want at a price I love. My oldest has been a fan of the Cinnamon Toasters for a long time now. For me, Malt-O-Meal® keeps my shopping budget on track with great prices! Pair that with this valuable coupon and you can’t beat the price! My other reason for loving Malt-O-Meal® is that with their resealable bags there’s never any waste. This ensures that each and every time we are rushing around on busy mornings that my family is getting a fresh bowl of cereal. No stale stuff for my group!




8 Awesome Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

by Jennifer Wieland
Wayfair Housewarming Party - Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas #wayfairhomemaker

Wayfair Housewarming Party - Teacher APpreciation Gift Ideas #wayfairhomemaker

It’s hard to believe that the end of another school year is quickly approaching! My kids will soon be moving on from their teachers they currently have and it’s time for me to thank them for the tremendous job they have done for them and the rest of their students this year. Having worked for our school district before and being an executive board member of our PTA I know how hard the school staff work each and every day.That’s why when I got to host and pick what I wanted to do for a Wayfair Housewarming Party I knew I wanted to focus on teacher appreciation gift ideas. Teacher Appreciation Day is May 3rd this year or you can always just wait and hand them out at the end of the school year. Either way, your child’s teacher will definitely appreciate these gift ideas. 

Being a printable lover, foodie, baker and all around sweets junkie I have some fun and easy ideas from past years here on My Sweet Sanity but I am also going to share some awesome ideas from some of the other Wayfair Homemakers as well. 

Wayfair Housewarming Party - Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas #wayfairhomemaker

Photos courtesy of Wife In Progress, Organized 31, Craving Some Creativity and Tiger Strypes.

Upcycled Pringles Can & a Free Teacher Appreciation Printable from My Sweet Sanity (That’s me!)

This is a great way to reuse something and turn it into something special. It’s a project the kids can help with and once the project is done the kids can also help bake a special cookie treat for their teacher to fill it with.

End of Year Teacher Appreciation Gift: Up-Cycled Pringles Can - My Sweet Sanity

As a baker and someone who routinely baked for the staff when I worked for the district I can tell you how much a little sugar boost is loved during the day.

End of Year Teacher Appreciation Gift: Up-Cycled Pringles Can - My Sweet Sanity

DIY Painter Tile Coasters from Wife in Progress

I absolutely adore this idea as a teacher appreciation gift! It’s inexpensive, your child can do it themselves and it’s so functional! Your child can let their artistic side come through with this project. Plus with all the warm weather everyone knows how much cups sweat so this would be a great way to help a teacher protect their desk and all the papers they have on it. 

DIY Painted Tile Coasters for Teacher Appreciation #WayfairHomemaker

Photo courtesy of Wife In Progress

DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts from Organized 31

I don’t know about you but for my kids being on IEPs and having special needs they have multiple teachers, aides and therapists that all deserve thank yous at the end of the year or sometimes at just random times. I love this easy, inexpensive and fun way to tell your child’s teachers thank you for all they do. I know the sugar and caffeine rush will also go a long way in making the days easier on them. 

DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts #WayfairHomemaker

Photo courtesy of Organized 31

Candle Jar Succulent Garden from Wife in Progress

I am a huge fan of crafts that recycle or upcycle things that would be normally tossed into the trash and end up at some landfill. I also happen to burn a lot of candles here and am excited to give this a try not just as a teacher gift but for me as well. As for a teacher gift succulents in small planters like this are a great way to gift some greenery to a garden loving teacher with pots small enough for her to keep in class near the windows. 

Teacher Appreciation gift idea - Candle Jar Succulent Garden #WayfairHomemaker

Photo courtesy of Wife In Progress

Teacher Appreciation Printable Gift Tag and Tea Gift Idea from My Sweet Sanity

I am a tea drinker and I know there are a lot of others that love the stuff as well. Last year I created this adorable lemon slice gift tag printable to attach to an insulated cup filled with different teas and sweeteners. This is a fun and useful idea because who couldn’t use an insulated cup especially a teacher when there are still many schools across the country without air conditioners. This will definitely help keep a teacher hydrated. 

End of Year Teacher Gift Tag Printable

“Back to School Cake” from Tiger Strypes

This is a fun, cute and creative way to help a teacher replenish their school supplies for the next year! Plus, as we all know, every great celebration needs an equally great cake! You could even get creative and swap out the pencils for some fun can colorful pens or colored pencils. There are so many possibilities with this one and the great thing is you can get most of the supplies you’ll need to make this at the dollar store. 

Wayfair Housewarming Party - Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Back to School Cake #wayfairhomemaker

Photo courtesy of Tiger Strypes

Free Teacher Appreciation Printable from Craving Some Creativity

This beautiful printable is delightful in its own right but I love how she used a ruler to make it into a stake that sits inside of a flower growing kit! What a perfect and special card and gift idea for a teacher who loves to garden! Plus, the DIY flower growing kit will make for a nice summer project one afternoon. After hours and hours of kids in a classroom I’m sure the quiet project will be a dream.

Wayfair Housewarming Party  Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas - Free Teacher Appreciation Printable #wayfairhomemaker

Photo courtesy of Craving Some Creativity

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub from Wife in Progress

After a school year of dealing with rambunctious children all day long, every teacher deserves a little pampering. This simple homemade gift is easy to do and I’m sure will be appreciated as a way to get sore, tired feet summer ready. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of peppermint or want a more summery scent, that’s no big deal. Just swap out the peppermint essential oil for something more refreshing like lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. 

Wayfair Housewarming Party Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas - Homemade Peppermint Sugar Scrub #wayfairhomemaker

Photo courtesy of Wife in Progress

Crafting and DIY not your thing? Don’t you worry! Wayfair has a great selection of items that any teacher would be happy to get as a gift. Many teachers spend money out of their own pockets to stock and decorate their classrooms and a stimulating classroom helps to engage children. Just head over HERE and browse some awesome classroom necessities so your child’s teacher can get a jump on next year without taking a hit to their pocketbook. 

Do you have any other great Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas?



Facing the Crossroads of an Autism Spectrum Parent

by Jennifer Wieland
Facing the Crossroads of Autism Spectrum Parent when you've reached your limit with the school district do you then homeschool?



I worked for our local school district last year. I am the president-elect of our PTA and chair or co-chair of four other PTA areas as well as serve as room representative. I am that parent who tries to help and make their children’s schools the best they can be. It’s getting harder and harder for me to do this though. To say that my time and devotion to this is worth it when my 11-year-old son who is on the Autism Spectrum cries or goes into a meltdown every morning before school or shuts himself away in his bedroom as soon as he gets home from school and has tears in his yet again. So now I’m facing the crossroads of an Autism Spectrum parent. 

Facing the Crossroads of Autism Spectrum Parent when you've reached your limit with the school district do you then homeschool?

What are the crossroads you ask? Well, I’m sure it’s different for every Autistic family but for me it’s that I can’t support a school district anymore that does not meet my child’s needs. That his left him to flounder and suffer on a daily basis. A school that reports of bullying are said they are being managed but aren’t. So how did our family reach this point and what should we do now?

Our history…

Luke was diagnosed at the age of four with Autism and severe ADHD. It took us forever to get a diagnosis because his doctor at the time kept ignoring me saying something was not right. She would just say, “He is a typical, hyper, little boy.” and I’d reply back with he has three older brothers and I know what typical is and this isn’t it. He was to hyper (He could stay up for days with no sleep.) and basic things seemed to be very hard for him to master. He could work in a CAD like program to develop model train plans but we could get no where with potty training. He is a sweet boy who gets frustrated easily with himself if he can’t do something in the way he perceives to be perfect. Nothing happened though until I took him for a visit again to the doctor after he had been up for days, was bouncing off the walls and in a full meltdown. Then she finally referred us for testing and we got our diagnosis, changed pediatricians and contacted the local school district about what we should do.

Kids Oktoberfest

The good…

The school district did some additional minor testing and monitoring and promptly referred him out of district to a school that would be better for him. I was leery at first and was afraid this was not a good idea. He flourished though. He loved it there and had great staff that you could tell truly loved him and since he was with other kids who didn’t fit the world’s idea of normal he made friends. He even grew so much that he was sent to a satellite classroom at a school district in another town where he stayed for a few years. He enjoyed that school experience too but in third grade his special school district said they thought it was time for him to go back to our school district. There was testing and many meetings to get everything worked out and to make the transition easier because he had only ever been in tiny classes he would start in summer school. We all figured the smaller class size and the shorter day would be a good fit. 

He did great in summer school! Made a friend or two and transitioned exceptionally well into fourth grade. His teacher that year was great and he had an aide with him all day who was just amazing! I would pull up to the school and hand Luke off to him and he’d be waiting at the end of the day to give Luke back to me and give me a full report on the day. As problems arose we would work as a team to tweak things and keep everyone involved and on the same page. He was working at a kindergarten and early first grade level when he went there but he was an avid learner. His reading specialist still says she has never had a child who loved to read so much. He had friends and was happy and developing by leaps and bounds. By the end of that year he was at a second and third grade level for most things. He did so well he was given a presidential award that year. Then came his IEP meeting for fifth grade. 

Luke President Award

Our district is broken up into learning centers. There are four schools. One is pre-k through second grade, one is third & fourth grades, one is fifth & sixth grades and then the last is of course for, seventh & eighth grades. This meant that a child that does not like change was going to be moved and transitioned yet again. His IEP meeting was very much a wreck. They had no definitive staff or placement setup for him at the new school and so I was left with very little information about what exactly was going to happen. 

The bad…

Fifth grade rolled around and I started seeing red flags left and right but tried to stay positive. Luke’s teachers did not contact me at all prior to school starting to go over anything… oookay I thought. When I did try to speak to his homeroom teacher she was very curt with me at the meet and greet.  I emailed her with a list of things that I needed to know about if they were or were not in place. They worked on the list (This wouldn’t have been a rush if anybody who was going to have him would have been at his IEP meeting.) and got stuff in place. I assumed that he would have his own aide as he had before because all of this was still new and he did need the help. I later learned he just had an aide here and there at different points of the day. The case manager he has tends to make questions, requests or problems I bring up into a pissing contest with me and not a true effort to help this child in her care. He’s in sixth grade now and still has her. They completely stopped all of his occupational therapy and have moved him to general education classes. His only positives he ever talks about is one of his teachers and she also happens to be one of his Special Olympics coaches and that is something he really enjoys. 

Luke Bowling SO

And the ugly…

Since last year he has faced bullying repeatedly. From lunch items being taken and tossed back and forth and then crushed and smashed. To kids telling him every day (literally) that he is dumb and stupid and that everyone hates him and that’s why he has no friends. To threats of actual physical violence against him from classmates. I of course contact the school about all of this and I’m told it is being addressed and yet he still has to sit with his bullies in class and at lunch each and every day. I have been at the school during lunch recess and have witnessed my child being the only kid with nobody to play with, that everyone ignores and it breaks my heart for him because I know he wants friends but doesn’t know how to make the kids like him. 

What to do?

So now I’ve reached the point where I am just tired of the fighting with the school to get them to do what’s right and what they should do. I am tired of seeing my child hurt every single day. I want to fix this for him but at this point the only way I think I can fix this for him is to pull him from school and homeschool him. He used to love school. I want that for him again. I don’t want his school life to be nothing but bad memories and feelings.

I worry though, can I do this? I am not the most organized person to begin with and I worry that maybe he will need more than I am able to do as far as education. Then I think maybe this will be better. Maybe this way he gets the one on one he needs but has been lacking? Maybe this way he gets to go out into the world and try more daily social situations? Have any of you faced this and made the switch or found a way to get the school to really listen and meet your child’s needs?


P.S. – Before I get a lot of negative comments here I want people to know this is just a brief overview of the problems and issues as well as the good things. 



Four Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

by Jennifer Wieland
4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

If you grew up in Chicago and attended a CPS school then you are more than likely familiar with the classic CPS lunchroom butter cookies that you used to be able to buy at lunch. These cookies were a favorite of students for years and years. If you didn’t attend a CPS school then maybe you were lucky enough to find a store that sold knockoff versions of the cookies. Either way, these cookies are near and dear to many a people who remember them from their youth.You’ll know the ones I’m talking about because of the distinctive ridges in the cookies.

So if you have had these cookies or you’re just a fan of a good, simple butter cookie then this is the recipe for you! These cookies are such a buttery treat and what makes them even better is that they only require four, yes I said four ingredients to make them. In the world of baking there are few things that are easy to make than these cookies.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

Once you mix the four ingredients you will see that you will end up with a drier dough that is almost crumbly.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

I used a 1 oz. scoop for my dough balls which is larger than your average cookie scoop. You can use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and then roll it into a ball. You follow that up with the classic finger press to flatten that gives this cookie its distinctive ridges.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

Don’t press down too hard or too far otherwise you will end up with edges that are overdone. You want their to be about 1/4″ thickness on the edges. That way the edges are just turning a light, golden brown when the cookies are done.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies
Yields 18
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165 calories
16 g
27 g
10 g
2 g
6 g
33 g
90 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 27mg
Sodium 90mg
Total Carbohydrates 16g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 c. salted butter, softened
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  4. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and cream together on medium-high speed with a mixer until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the vanilla. In three batches stir in the flour and mix just until combined. Scoop out the dough with a 1 oz. scoop or use a tablespoon to scoop the dough. Roll into balls quickly as the more you handle the dough the more the butter melts. Place on the prepared baking sheets and using your three middle fingers press the dough down so that the edges are about 1/4" thick. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  1. There is a lot of butter in these cookies the more you handle the dough the more it melts. That is why I prefer to use a scoop over rolling. If that's not an option for you just do a very quick roll of the dough in your hands.
My Sweet Sanity https://mysweetsanity.com/

I bet if you remember these from your Chicago Public School days then you also remember the Lunchroom Peanut Butter Cookies as well. Make sure to grab that recipe too!

CPS Lunchroom Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are simple to make but are definitely a rich treat meant to share with others. Do you have any childhood treats that you miss?

Some of my favorite products to use to make these cookies are:

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