Friday, October 30, 2015

Five for Friday!

Well, I said I would hopefully be back this week to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some exciting news!! Well I'm back, so if you read my Five for Friday post last week, you know what that means!!!

I won!!!! 

If you didn't read last week's post....and have no idea what I'm talking about...I was named Educator of the Year at the Community Awards dinner Saturday night! The night was amazing! You can read all about my amazing evening {here} or just scroll down to the next post.
No school today for this teacher! We honor Nevada Day the last Friday of October. I've joined in with all of these NV TpTers to bring you a sale today! Check it out {here}.
This is going on right now and I'm participating! Hop on over and grab some great tricks and spooktacular treats from numerous bloggers...and enter my giveaway!
We made some delicious, mini pumpkin cream pies this week! Super easy and no bake!
I got a little creative this year and made these cute treats for yesterday's Halloween party!

What a fabulous week!
If you didn't get here from the link up, head on over and link up your fun from your Halloween week!

Thanks a Bunch,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Educator of the Year!!!!

Yes, this just happened!!!! Saturday night, I received the most prestigious award I've ever received...The Educator of the Year Award during our Community Achievement Awards Dinner!!

It is so surreal and I'm still having a hard time soaking it in and believing it actually happened!  

I am still finding myself speechless and even debated whether or not to blog about this most amazing moment in my life...which is when I always look to my husband. He is my biggest supporter. He was the motivator behind me opening my TpT store and the reason I hang my B.A., M.Ed., and M.S. degrees on my wall behind my desk. 

I tend to be very modest. But after all, this is a teaching blog, and my special education adventure, so why wouldn't I blog about this amazing experience!!!?? Right!?

So this amazing adventure all started on 9/8 when I received a notification that I had been nominated for the Educator of the Year Award and it has been a whirlwind since.

This is just one category of our Community Achievement Awards that includes 14 categories ranging from Citizen of the Year to Entrepreneur of the Year. The Community Achievement Awards are held every year, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, and includes the areas in our tri-state area; Laughlin, NV, Bullhead City, AZ, Fort Mohave, AZ, and Mohave Valley, AZ. 

Once I received my nomination notification, it was requested that I send in a personal bio of 250-300 words and a 200-300 word statement of my biggest accomplishments. These were then judged and narrowed down by respected judges on the panel to Four top individuals. My essays made it to the top 4!!! This was super exciting in itself!! :)

I was then notified that I had made it to the next step, was in the top four, and now I needed to interview with the judges! 

I made an appointment to interview on 9/29 and when I showed up I was super surprised!!! I was expecting 2-3 there were 11 I believe!!! When I walked into the room, my heart sank and I immediately said, "Wow, I wasn't expecting this many of you." They all asked me one question. I was so nervous, my hands were literally shaking and I was thankful for the chair I sat in that had arms to contain my hands!! I answered all of their questions and left feeling really good about the interview! 

After the interviews were conducted with all four of the top nominees, the judges cast an anonymous vote. Those votes are then compiled to select the winner!! 

We then attended the dinner on 10/24. The night was amazing! I felt like I was at the grammy awards! The service was amazing and the bathroom was no disservice!! Hot towels, scope, special soaps, and body was literally amazing!!! :)

The Set Up for 500 attendees! It was such a beautiful setting...the pictures do no justice!
Displaying photo.JPG
The first hour was happy hour!
The second hour dinner was served...filet mignon!
Exquisite dinner!

The third hour was the awards!!
And then it happened!!! While it was all magical, this moment will never be forgotten!

The pictures aren't the greatest as they're all taken from my phone, and taken by my best friend that knows she is a horrible picture taker...and let's just say she may have had a few cocktails :)! But they are still memories to cherish!!!

When my name got called as Educator of the Year! Look at my sweet hubby giving me a standing ovation!! Love him!
Walking up to get my award!!
Walking the red carpet!

Getting my award!!!
Walking off stage with my award! :)
Hubby and I getting a little emotional!

My hubby and I!

My Best friend came!!!!

Them making me be silly!!! You should see my other ones!!

Thanks so much for sharing my incredibly amazing night with me!!! A day that will not be forgotten!! I am honored to receive this prestigious award and honored to have the privilege to make a difference in students' lives every day!!! :) 

Monday, October 26, 2015

SPED Tricks & Treats Blog Hop!!!

Are you ready for some great tricks and treats? It's a SPED Tricks and Treats Blog Hop hosted by my blogging buddy at Mrs. D's Corner! Just hop from one blog to another to grab some great tips and freebies from all of us this Halloween!

Easy Peasy Caramel Apples!!!

These caramel apples are great for Halloween and are so easy for the kids to make! Only 3 ingredients are required.

Caramel or Caramel Apple icing, small green apples, and sprinkles (not pictured). You will also need to pick up some wooden skewers and wax paper. I used dowel rods from the craft section so they were not pointy and sharp at the ends.

Now here's how easy they are! 

1. Prepare your apples by washing them and placing a skewer/dowel in the center of each one. Place them on your wax paper.
 2. Take the lid and seal off of the frosting and stick it in the microwave. Microwaves always vary, but I microwaved mine for about 45 seconds. You want it to be somewhat runny like liquid. 
3. The reason I suggest small apples is because students will dip and roll their apple around in the icing container itself. There will be some spillage with the first apple, but not the apples following.
4. Place on the wax paper and let your student sprinkle away. TIP: Allow icing to set for a few seconds before adding the sprinkles, otherwise they will run right off. It doesn't take long for the icing to set, so the dipping process needs to be fast.

That's it! 
Your candy apples are done in minutes and your students will LOVE them!!! :) 
A great and inexpensive treat your kids can make for their Halloween Party! And kids especially love eating things they make themselves!

And now for a little non-related Halloween trick I recently came up with that has helped me in my classroom!

I just love these little book sets from Lakeshore and my students do too....especially the non-fiction ones with real photos. But keeping track of who read what has been a challenge for me. You see, my students will grab books from the boxes that they have already mastered! Like all students they like to make us proud and like to have success! Who doesn't, right? 

So they were getting books they had mastered and showing off to me how good they are reading! When I would say slyly, "Didn't you already master this book?" Of course they would reply, "No." 

So while very simple, It's WORKING! My problem has been solved. 
I had one of my assistants tape this little insert into each book and my students will now write their names here once the book is mastered. I'm also making them use pen now, so my little slicksters can't erase it. 

Since it's gently taped, it can easily be removed and replaced as needed or each year without ruining my books.

If you could use this organizing system for your little readers, download it for free!

You got your TRICKS, now it's time for your TREATS! Click on each freebie pic below to grab all three of your Halloween freebies!!

And if that's not a pretty great Trick or Treat, I'm also having a giveaway!!!

Win this flashdrive bracelet loaded with 5 products of your choice from my store!

Enter here!!!


Click on Miss, Hey Miss' Button for more!!!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Five for Friday & Freebie!!!

I'm linking up with "Doodle Bugs Teaching" this week to share 5 random things about my week! I think October is all teachers' favorite and we've had so many fun things going's going to be difficult to limit this to only 5!!!

We started our week out with this SUPER COOL Science Experiment! I mean really cool! Watch the video and you'll see exactly what I mean! 

I told you!
All you need is a cup full of packing peanuts and Acetone. I would get more than a cup though, because your students will want to do it over and over again!!

We started our pumpkin life cycle project!!!

It's been fun for the kids watching for sprouts each day! This idea and the sign came from "Primary Techie" and you can read all about it on Primary Techie's Blog {here}. You can get her sign {here}. We don't have any sprouts yet, but we just did it on Tuesday. 

Halloween Crafts!!! 
Okay, I'm sneaking two in here!!!

 Cotton Ball Hanging Ghosts!!

 3-Dimensional Pumpkins
These were great for my students' fine motor skills and we discussed and compared the difference between 2-D and 3-D.

We started using my Money Mats this week and my students are amazing me! I have students working on all 3 levels!

Level One

Level Two

Level Three

Check 'em out {here}.

And last....I got my dress for the Educator of the Year Awards tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I love it! It's so me!

I'm super excited AND starting to get VERY nervous!! If you read my Five for Friday post about 3 weeks ago, then you know I was nominated for Educator of the Year and am now in the top 4!!! Tomorrow 1 of the 4 of us will be named!!!! It's been very exhilarating to say the least, and I am so grateful! So wish me luck!!! Maybe next Friday I'll be announcing the news on Five for Friday!!

I'd like to leave you with a popular freebie that you can use next week as you continue your pumpkin studies. You can print it in color or B & W. 

Click on this button for more freebies!

Go to Doodle Bugs Teaching to read more Five for Friday Posts!!!

Thanks for stopping by The Bender Bunch!
Have a great weekend!