Monday, December 30, 2013

Poster Maker vs. Poster Maker

Besides having a blast working on my sister-n-laws baby shower, I've been researching poster makers today! Our school just had a fundraiser before break and several of the teachers would like to use the money to purchase a poster maker to make common core materials and materials from the Engage NY site. Since I'm the fundraiser coordinator, I get to do some shopping!!! Well it seems everywhere I look, you have to contact a sales rep in your area. Aarrggh! Darn it...I don't want to contact you, just gimme a price! 

I was wondering if any of you have a poster maker at your school, and if so, what kind and what do you think about it? How about the up it expensive to maintain each year? Here are the only two I've been able to find.

This is the VariQuest. It seems to be the most popular and the most high tech! It comes with software loaded with templates or you can enlarge your own images. It is ink and toner free....apparently the ink is in the paper itself. This is cool, but it looks like the paper ranges from $100 - $189 per roll, with the largest roll making up to 30- 23"x32" posters. Although it can print up to 36" wide posters. I really like this one!

Here's a video showing what this amazing little machine will do.

This is the other one I found....the Polar Studio Express, but this one uses ink, so ink cartridges would have to be purchased year after year. It appears that this one only prints up to 24" wide posters. I couldn't find out too much more info on this one. When I try to pull up reviews on this one, all I get is reviews on the Polar Express Movie.....haha!

PLEASE PLEASE share if you have any information regarding either of these! I have messaged both companies requesting a quote!

I also had a pretty good response yesterday on my thoughts of doing a behavior management Q's and A's type weekly series. I'm still running thoughts through my head, but basically teachers would submit specific questions about a behavior dilemma with a student or even in their class and I would showcase the question and provide tips, strategies, and resources to assist the teacher. Or another thought is to use the questions I receive in general to direct a specific and general behavior post each week.

What would you like to see? Do you have suggestions? Are you having issues with a particular student or other behaviors in your class that you could use assistance with? 

Answer one of these questions in the Rafflecopter below for an instant entry in my giveaway!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now, off to soak my black eye peas for tomorrow! After, I link up with "Simply Kinder" for her great TEACHING BLOG ROUND UP linky party! Be sure to head over, link up, find some new blogs, and show some love to some new bloggers!!!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Writing Frames & TpT Giveaway

It may seem like a small milestone to some of you, but many of you were there at one TpT store just reached 300 followers this week!!! It was just months ago that I only had 50 followers! So that only means one thing.....a giveaway! 

I've also been trying to think of something I can do to give more to my blog followers and to get more people reading my blog! I need some inspiration! Inspiration from you! I make so many posts that get no comments....not one! My posts are often viewed by many people, but no comments! Am I that boring? Sometimes I feel like I'm just talking to why bother, right? It's just those few comments here and there that keep ya going and make you feel like you're helping someone, giving back, or that what you have to share is important. 

So if anyone is reading this....what are some things you'd like to see more of or learn more about? I've given up on linky parties, as I've had three and no one ever linked up....oh I actually did get one link up on one of them! LOL! Last year, I made the resolution to do a weekly blogging tips series....which I gave up on after 4-5 months of no responses! 

Then, I got to thinking.....what am I good at? What is my specialty and something I really know alot about that could benefit my teacher followers! BEHAVIORS! That's what I'm good at....shaping and transforming behaviors! I love taking the most challenging kid that no one can do anything with and transforming them to the most well-behaved kid! 

So....on that note, I was thinking of taking this and running with it! All teachers face behavior challenges in the classroom, right? Maybe I'll do some sort of weekly behavior Q's and A's on the blog. Still working this through my thoughts of how it would work. I'd love to hear any ideas you may have! 

And on another note.....I've just updated my "Writing Frames" set with two New Year's writing frames. 

If you've purchased this set or want the set, you can download the revised set from TpT. Or you can grab them below for free. Each frame has two levels; one with lined paper for those students still needing practice with letter spacing and formation, and a level for the more advanced writer. 

And now the giveaway I promised for reaching my 300 follower milestone on TpT!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll pick two winners for this giveaway.....each will get to pick ANY 5 items they'd like from my TpT store!

Be sure to spread the word!!!!! Have a great night!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas, January Math, & Winter Freebies

Wow, I can't believe all the people I see already taking down their lights and tree! I used to be that way, but I think as my kids get older and become closer to moving out (16 & 19) I seem to subconsciously want to keep it up even longer now! I think another reason is that it came so fast this year that it's hard to believe it's already over! 

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a fun New Year's Eve or Day planned! My husband works on New Year's Eve and Day, so we won't be doing much!  He had Christmas Day and Eve off, so I am very gracious for that! However, on New Years we will continue our traditions which are to make our black eye peas and ham hocks (although I'm the only southern girl in the house that actually eats them), watch the New Year's TV shows and the ball drop in NY, drink champagne (maybe with some OJ....have gotten to really like those Mimosas, ya know), and sing "Auld Lang Syne," blow horns, and shoot confetti at the strike of 12! I don't even care to go out on New Year's! Spending it at home with family is such a joy & tradition....and fighting the New Year's crowds.....NO THANK YOU! I'm a homebody!!!!

So back to Christmas.....what were your favorite gifts? Here are mine! 

I just love my new chevron iphone case....and my's new too....99 cents with my AT&T upgrade! Love a deal! And absolutely loving little miss "Siri!" She's awesome!  

 My New "Thirty-One" monogrammed bag that's been on my wishlist forever!! Such a nice bag! 
Just love this notebook from my teacher colleague!!! I'm obssessed with the "Live, Laugh, Love" theme. It's all over the place! 

I also got a frying pan with a LID.....yay! Don't have a photo of that because it's dirty, but it was much needed! 

The last day of Christmas break also ended the journey for my student teacher and we all pitched in and got her a "31" monogrammed bag too, filled with TONS of supplies!

Boy would I have loved to get this as a gift when I was student teaching!!! She loved it....of course! 

I also want to share my new "JANUARY MATH" packet with you for those looking for K-1 January themed activities! I just finalized and posted it to TpT tonight for $3.75

This is only a snapshot of some of the pages included, 35 pages total! 

You can access the packet {here}.

I'm giving you these 2 pages of the packet as a sampler for free {here}. And if you missed last week's freebie.....

You can get my free Thank You Note Cards {here}!

Freebie Fridays


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Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Gift or Two For You!

Happy Holidays!

Dropping off some holiday goodies for all of you to thank you for following and to make up for my absence!

First I have for you............

15% off of everything in my store through Christmas Eve!

A different free paid product for 3 days, 12/22 - 12/24! Today, my gift to you is my "Calculator Math Task Cards!" They will be a free gift to you until midnight tonight (PST). Click on the FB button at the top right of this post to follow my FB page and get notified of tomorrow's freebie! 

And last, FREE Christmas thank you notes for your students, colleagues, friends, or family. Just print these out, cut and fold. They are blank inside, 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches and fit the standard notecard envelope! I don't know about you but I always end up with several of these envelopes lying around from messing up on the cards! If you don't, you can always purchase cheap invites at Dollar Tree for a buck and just use the envelopes. Another alternative if you don't want to mess with envelopes is to seal them with a sticker seal. 

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Be sure to join in on the fun linky parties going around! When I saw "Miss Kindergarten's" linky "Thirteen in 13," I had to link up because the theme of my Family Christmas Card this year was......."Top 13 in 2013," so this was a done linky! Some of you may have seen my card and read about it in this post! 

Here's my Top 13 of 2013!

Casey at "Second Grade Math Maniac" is also hosting a 2013 year in review linky party!

Have a happy and safe holiday! 
Don't forget to download your gifts and follow me on FB to get tomorrow's Christmas gift. 

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently, Holiday Ideas, & A Treat

WoW!!! I can't believe that my last blog post was also last month's CURRENTLY! I knew it had been awhile, but really? Where did November go? To make up for it, I'm cramming some recipes, treats, and great holiday ideas for you into this post! 

Listening - Yes, football is always the background noise at my house on Sundays this time of year! 

Loving - My staff gifts and Christmas card! I wanted to do something different and unique this year for my Christmas card and Pinterest came to the rescue.....or should I say Andrea Dekker and Tilly Claire's Designs! I fell in love with the design of Andrea's card and when I tried to order them, I found that she had it custom made at Tilly Claires. So I decided to try and make my own and here it is......

And if you're looking for gift ideas for your colleagues, here are my staff gifts I finished up last night........

I purchased these match-box style nail files from Current for $3 each. They are so cute and each box has 12 files. 
I cut the green tags from my cameo, but you can grab the pink tag here if you'd like! I just love the pink and green together!

Thinking - Since I teach self-contained for grades 1 -5 and have the same students for 5 years, I have to reinvent the wheel each year when it comes to holiday crafts and gifts! Here are a few Pinterest ideas you may like.

My wanting and needing.....let's just say are not happening right now!

Tradition - Monkey bread! If you haven't had it, here's the recipe! The tradition goes all the way back to my husband's childhood. Yummy stuff, and even better.....quick and easy on Christmas morning!

Before I go, I have a Santa treat you may like! I just added a Santa letter and list writing frame to my "Let's Write!" Writing Frames Set. These premade writing frames are the perfect solution for those struggling writers! Students fill in the missing parts and then they can copy their paragraph onto a sheet of paper for a perfect paragraph. Two levels are included; level one provides a lined handwriting format for students still working on spacing and letter formation and level two provides regular lined paper for more advanced writers. 

So if you've already purchased this set from my store, you can go and upload the revised copy to get the Santa letter and list.....or you snag them below. 

If you want the whole writing frame set, they will be 28% off, along with everything else in my store tomorrow and Tuesday for TpT's CYBER MONDAY SALE!!

Have a great week!!

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently & CCSS Resources

Time for Currently with Farley over at "Oh Boy Fourth Grade." 

Have you checked out the Engage NY common core site?? This site was highly recommended by my district! Developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department; this site is loaded with common core aligned educational resources, instructional content, performance tasks, videos, and other great materials for grades K - 12. There are complete curriculum modules for ELA and Math, including aligned homework resources. It is a gold mine for the common core classroom! 

It took me some time to navigate through and finally locate the modules and downloadable resources, so to save you some time, here is the path to guide you there. From their homepage, on the left sidebar click on......

>curriculum modules for ELA and Math
>Common Core Curriculum (choose ELA or Math)
>Choose grade
>Then, you will need to scroll down to bottom of page and click on the module link that will be located on the RIGHT side. 

Bam, you're in! 

I have gotten so far behind at school working with my student teacher this year, but on the upside.....the Engage NY site has compensated for some of the lost time! 

A couple of other great sites I stumbled upon today while delving further into common core are "Teaching Channel" and the "Georgia Standards" Common Core site. You will want to check both of these out if you're looking for common core support!

Now for a YUMMY PIN! 


Recipe from "Nerdy Baker"

And one last invitation to review an online program!

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for KG to grade 5 students. I've been given a 6-week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation for a free trial and chance to write a review for them. You can access the open invitation {here}.

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Buddy Program & Some Halloween Fun

My BUDDY PROGRAM is off and running! I have been working on setting up a buddy program to allow the 5th graders at my school to assist my special needs students during lunch, recess, and in the classroom. I was amazed with the number of signups......27 students signed up!!! And they have been so wonderful with my students. My students are soooooo excited too to have a BUDDY! They couldn't wait to see them today! Here are a few priceless captures I was able to get today!

I met with each of the 5th graders for about 20 minutes prior and explained how to interact and work with my to encourage them to use their words and how to encourage their independence and help ONLY WHEN NECESSARY! Too many times, people try to do everything for these individuals, when they need to be taught how to do things on their own and can do more than many realize! 

I also provided each student a bio summary of the buddy they would be paired with. The bio included things about my students like their favorite color, their interests, their grade, their pets, etc. This helped the buddies to spark conversation with my students. 

If you'd like to start up a buddy program at your school and don't know where to begin, I'd be happy to help! Below is a sample of the letter that was given to the 5th grade classes introducing the program to help get you started. Feel free to download it and edit, or use the letterhead! 

 Tomorrow night is our school's Fall Fest and this year we are having a door decorating contest! I had just read "Aargh, Spider" with my students and completed some really fun activities from Miss Kindergarten's Mini Spider Unit, so I decided to use this for our door decorating! 

I really love how well my girl turned out that I duplicated from the front cover of this book! You can get Miss Kindergarten's mini spider unit to go with this book {here}. And it's free!!! 

I've also been breaking in the new Cameo finally! I made these for my aides and student teacher.

Inside each bag is..............

A notepad & pen

 A candle holder

And their favorite chocolates

I also cut these from my cameo and will put some goodies in these for my students! Loving this machine and its capabilities!!! The possibilities are endless!!! 


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