December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and a sale :)

I can't believe 2013 is already ending...

          to celebrate I'm throwing a sale at Teachers pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook!

Everything is 20% from today December 31st through January 2nd.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014 :)

December 24, 2013

Blogging Hiatus...

I honestly can't believe that my last post was from summer vacation! Here we are quickly approaching the holiday season...I promise I have a very good reason for not blogging as often as I would like...


hubby and I are expecting #3 :) It is a very exciting time in our house...getting ready for another little boy (due in February), potty training two 3 year-olds, and preparing for Christmas! Busy, busy, busy!

And to make this time of year even more exciting...
Wow! Over 500 followers :) I am so humbled by each and every one of you and as a thank you for sticking with me and this lil ole blog...I'm going to have a giveaway! (Expect to see it once the holidays are over :)

I do need a little bit of one of the prizes I want to offer a gift card...let me know out of my three favorites which one is most appealing to you...
        **Erin Condren
        **Teacher Pay Teachers

Leave me a comment letting me know which gift card you'd like the best :)

Merry Christmas from my family to yours :)

July 24, 2013

The Best Pencil Sharpener Ever...Product Review

I've purchased many electrical pencil sharpeners with the hopes of them lasting the entire year. And each year I'm continuously disappointed. The electric sharpeners are noisy and distracting and are easily over-heated leaving many students without their much needed sharpened pencils. Not to mention, when the motor dies, so does the pencil sharpener.

When I heard about this pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies, I knew I had to try it! The owner, Troy Decoff, whom is also a classroom teacher, sent one out within days!

When I brought this new pencil sharpener into the room, I had to model how to use it since my students had zero idea how such a device worked!

In this case, I sharpened a Smencil (pencils made from recycled newspaper). This sharpener can sharpen colored pencils as well without a problem!

My students love the ease at which they can sharpen their pencils and I love that it is so quiet! There are times where pencil points get stuck in the blade (especially with colored pencils).  This is a simple fix because the sharpener is very easy to open allowing you to remove the blade. (There are Photos and How To Videos on their website to help you!) 

I also love that the blade is replaceable! You can buy replacement blades at the site--that way you don't have to buy another whole sharpener!

To end this review, I thought it might be nice to hear from the ones who use the sharpeners the most...
"These pencil sharpeners are amazing. They're very quiet unlike electric sharpeners and they stop so you know the pencil is done and when the pencil is very sharp and this sharpener doesn't use plugs so you can save electricity. They have big containers and they won't cause a fire."

"I think the sharpeners are awesome. When I sharpen my pencil it doesn't take it 1 million times. It only takes 1 time to make it sharp. There is also really quiet which makes it really good when you're taking a test." ~~~~~~~~~~~"The sharpener is easy to sharpen with. It is adjustable to small pencils. It is easy to take the shreds out." 

"I think that the pencil sharpeners are helpful because they make less noise than mechanical sharpeners. Your pencil gets sharpened in 3 turns and the tip is really sharp and if the sharpener is broken, there's a way to fix it. But if it was a different sharpener it will not fix and if it can it will be a lot of work."

What do you look for in a pencil sharpener? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

July 18, 2013

Word Nerds Chapter 6

I'm linking up with Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang for a book study on Word Nerds!

Teaching with a Touch of Twang

I am absolutely LOVING this book and all the amazing ideas for helping our students appreciate words!!  Check out the link ups for the other chapters if you haven't yet:

I am posting about Chapter Six: Celebrate to Validate today. Chapter six is filled with fun and interactive ways to celebrate the learning of new words!

The celebrations take place at the end of the vocabulary cycle--as a means of honoring learning. The authors warn us that the celebrations look a lot like the vocabulary practice, but there is one big difference. The celebrations show students confidently using their new words as way to review and apply across different contexts.

The best part of these celebrations is that they act as a review before the actual assessment! 

I compiled some of the main ways the authors celebrate--I am so excited to try some of these out in my room! I think the students will have so much fun :)

Click Here to access your own copy :)

How do you review in your room? Is there one type of celebration you really want to try?

July 6, 2013

Summer Planning Giveaway Stop C-6

Thanks for stopping by on the scavenger hunt! Grab my secret word above and be sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin' by clicking Follow my blog with Bloglovin. If you're just starting the Summer Planning Scavenger Hunt, start at I'm Lovin Lit. Here is the item I've donated to the giveaway:

You can use this pack to create a fun and interactive way to help students make real life connections to math.

You might also be interested in my {Owl Themed} Parent/Teacher Conference Pack, which you can purchase in my TpT store for only $5!

 Good luck planning for your school year and thanks for stopping by!

July 1, 2013

A Traveling Mathematician's Notebook and Winners :)

So...I've been on vacation for 5 days and already I managed to look at my first days of school plans...sick I know! Luckily, as I was reading I remembered an awesome activity that I would do with my class...

enter...The Traveling Mathematician's Notebook...

What is it? 
It is a plain composition notebook that is used to collect ideas about math. Everyday, ordinary tasks and routines with a math spin :)

The purpose of a traveling mathematician’s notebook is to help students make real world connections to math. They think about the tasks or situations they encounter each day and how those scenarios relate to math.

I always introduce the Traveling Mathematician's Notebook after reading aloud, Counting on Frank, by Rod Clement.
In the book Frank makes noticings about what's going on and then wonders about the scenario. It is the same thinking I want the students to use as they encounter math outside of school!

I created a Traveling Mathematician's's a close-up of the other parts of the pack...

If you would like a copy of The Traveling Mathematician's Notebook pack, you can get it from TpT or TN :)

And the winners of my BlogLovin' Giveaway...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Bridget and Doreen!! There will be an email in your inbox very shortly :)

Thank you to everyone who entered :)

June 26, 2013

Fab Followers Giveaway and Linky :)

Hi fabulous followers!!

You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following my blog through bloglovin!  I know that change is I thought we might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

We are doing a giveaway for all of our fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  You can go to my sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows our followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin.  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow me.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to our bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of my bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter our giveaway!!  I will be picking 2 WINNERS and each winner will get their choice of 2 PRODUCTS FROM MY TpT STORE!  :O)

Good luck!

get the InLinkz code

June 25, 2013

The end is near--and a gift!

I'm not talking about Google Reader (though it is ending may want to see tomorrow's post for a surprise :)

---there is only 1/2 a day left for students...I have to stay the whole day, but I'm okay with that! On one hand, I'm sad to see this group go, but on the other hand, I've been dreaming of vacation since June 1st!!

I made them a little something...
I took owl accents from Oriental Trading and cut slits into each wing and wrote my little saying. Then I inserted an owl pencil (also from Oriental Trading). Voila--short and simple :) 

Any other late June enders? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

June 2, 2013

What to do year LINKY

I'm sorry for the haitus bloggy friends, but the end of the year is catching up with me! It's so busy and I really don't even have the enthusiasm to finish it...I still have about 16 1/2 school days left!

Even though, I am nowhere near next year, it is important to reflect on the year. So I'm linking up with Kim at Finding Joy in Sixth Grade to think about what to do differently next year.

Here it goes...
 Every year I tell my hubby that I'm going to do minimal work over the weekend and every year from September through May, I do school work on Saturdays and Sundays! This summer, I'm going to work on a weekly plan that will keep me accountable for the new year--and I need to find a way to make it work!

I am so bad at this...if you take a look at my home office, I have a stack of materials I used this year--all different units and all different subjects!This pile is going to take a few hours to tackle--whereas if I organize and put away as I go, a few minutes every other month! I've seen a lot of really good organizational ideas lately that I used in the past--I may need to try them again!

I think I did fairly well implementing the reading, writing, and math common core standards this year. However, the language standards I hardly touched (okay, let's be real--I glanced at the standards and that was it!! haha!) I definitely need some sort of plan for next year--maybe a regimented word study block where I actually make time for word study! 

Be sure to link up with is the last day of the party!!

Ahhh....counting down to summer!

May 7, 2013

Tried it Tuesday and a SALE!

I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for another

Now that our state tests are over, I can honestly say that my brain is in vacation mode! I can totally sympathize with the kids and their want to have fun (haha--dare I say that! Fun in school?!?! haha)

So to add a little excitement in my room--I've devised an addition to my behavior management plan because we all know that the last month of school is one of the hardest parts of the school year! It's a raffle system, which is used to reward students for completing their all their homework. (It could also be used to reward great behavior--if you chose :)

I give students the raffle tickets and they fold them up and place them in our raffle jar (I call it a chance can!)

Since it's the end of the year, I pull the raffle tickets a bit more frequently than if I were to do this during the year. (Next year, I want to use it on a monthly basis--one month's worth of raffle tickets, pull the tickets at the end of the month, then discard all unused tickets and start over for the next month. Just a thought!)

The prize...homework passes! The kids love them and so do I!!
Here's a little treat...
Click here to get your freebie!
a little freebie for all my readers! Thank you for all you do! You all truly inspire me to be a better teacher and blogger!

Don't forget that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a huge Teacher Appreciation Sale...
Enjoy 20% off my store today and tomorrow!

Teachers Notebook is also having great sales and giveaways at their site...

Teachers Notebook is offering an additional 10% off all sale products for the entire week--my shop is on sale for 20% off until May 10th :)

Have a wonderful week and happy shopping!!