Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Teacher Hero

There are many reasons or people that led me to my chosen career path of teacher.  When I look back through my years as a student there are two people in particular who stick out to me the most.  Thank you to Luckeyfrog's Lilypad for helping me to remember the why.

The first wonderful lady in my life was Mrs. Buffington.  She was my 2nd grade teacher and I thought the world of her.  When I look back on our time together I see how she really helped me to embrace my love of helping and teaching.  One story in particular makes me giggle when I think about our year together.  Please keep in mind I am not proud of this event, but it was a tell tale sign that I would grow up to be a teacher.  One day Mrs. Buffington was out sick or at a meeting (because you know we attend a ton of those).  There was of course a substitute and you know nothing good usually comes from having a sub.  Mrs. Buffington had a stack of worksheets on a shelf in the back of the room.  Anytime there were extras she would put them on the shelf.  A couple of friends and I got the bright idea to take some of those worksheets, so we could play school.  I took it to the next level and also took some workbooks.  We were able to carefully sneak them into our backpacks.  When I got home, my friend and I were playing school in my room with the door closed.  Again, nothing good comes from a closed door.  My mom came in and caught us with the stolen goods.  This is where I gave major props to my parents.  The next morning they marched me into school and took me to my classroom.  I had to tell Mrs. Buffington what I did the day before.  I was mortified!  She was very sweet about the whole thing and just had me return the workbooks.  I'm pretty sure she was able to see what I would one day become.  Thank you Mrs. Buffington for a wonderful year!

The second lady came into my life much later.  She was my high school Spanish teacher and we all called her Señora Shinovich.  She was the spunkiest and most exciting teacher in the whole school.  She was the reason I continued to take Spanish classes in high school.  She actually made me want to become a Spanish teacher (I ended up in elementary education).  The other day I ran into her in COSTCO.  I looked at her and said, "Señora?"  She recognized me immediately!  It has been over 10 years since I sat in her classroom, not to mention I was 9 months pregnant with two other children climbing out of the cart.  That meant the world to me that after all of the students who came and went through the years she remembered me.  Thank you Señora for being a positive influence in my life!

Both of these ladies are the reason why I am who I am today.  I love teaching and I am sure it is because of their infectious personalities and desire to teach.  I hope to one day become that for one of my students.

I would love to hear about your teacher hero and I bet they would also love to hear it too!  Reach out to your teacher hero while you can.

To help celebrate all of you teacher heros TPT is having a sale.  Today you can get up to 28% off anything in my store.  Just be sure to use the code HEROES.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dog Days of Summer $1 Sale!

My Indiana blogger friends and I are at it again!  This time with a Dog Days of Summer $1 Sale!  This sale blows my mind every time we have one.  The amazing discounts are out of this world!

For the next two days I will have 4 of my favorite products discounted to $1!  If you buy all 3 it is a savings of $5.50.  Who couldn't use a little extra cash in their pockets to spend on more amazing classroom materials?

I have included some of my favorite beginning of the year and fall products.

This is probably one of my all time favorite products!  Fall Fun! with Nouns and Adjectives features activities for both whole group and small group including Nouns Sort and a I Have... Who Has game.

The Lemonade Themed Accelerated Reader Pack is the perfect way to encourage little readers to reach for their goals and become stronger readers.

I love that I have Mystery Readers come to the classroom! We had our first reader for the new school year come yesterday and the kids LOVED every minute of it.  I even got the sweetest email from the mom.  Check it out:

Pumpkins Galore has been a huge hit in the past with my kiddos.  They really love Pumpkin War and even requested that I create more themed war games so I did with Love War (more to come this year).

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you are having a wonderful start to your new school year OR are enjoying the last few days of summer.
Check out the amazing products from my friends below.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pop to Win Math Game Review

I recently had the opportunity to do a review for Lakeshore Learning.  I met up with Scott from Lakeshore Learning while in Vegas this summer and I fell even more in love with their products!  What a great guy with awesome ideas!

I reviewed the Pop to Win Math Game.  I have been searching for almost a year for different activities to use in Math centers.  This game fits right in with my idea.  It is for 1st grade, but there were other grade levels to choose from AND it relates to the Common Core Standards.  LOVE IT!

This game can be used at the beginning of the year with a small teacher led group and as the students gain familiarity and independence it can be easily incorporated into Math stations.  My kiddos had so much fun playing together!  We used only the Operations and Algebraic Thinking cards to wet our feet.  For some it was a challenge and for others it was a great way to review skills they already knew.

This is a must have for my classroom!  We cannot wait to play it again!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mystery Reader

I started having Mystery Readers in my classroom last year.  Have you heard of it?  A fellow teacher did it in her classroom and I decided it was a great idea.

I invite all parents to sign up for a day to be our class Mystery Reader.  When they sign up they give me 3 clues about themselves.  My students try to solve the case prior to the reader coming in.  It was so fun watching them deduce who it was.  I even invited staff from around the building to join.  The kids were thrilled when that happened!

I love these collages because you can see the joy on both the parent and students face!  I am helping to create a memory that will last a lifetime!

Last year, I invited people through email and they signed up using a Google Doc.  I liked the Google Doc because people could see what dates were taken immediately.  The problem was a lack of participation from parents due to them not reading their email.  Shocker I know!

Most of my schedule was filled up with staff, such as the Dean of Students, Librarian, Secretary, and Art Teacher.  It was loads of fun seeing another side of them.

The Mystery Reader is in charge of choosing and providing the book to read.  Our Secretary shared a book about snowflakes called "Snowflake Bentley".

The kids were entranced by the different snowflakes and how they were so difficult to be photographed.  

Our Art Teacher's old neighbor published a book about the area where she grew up.  She ordered it online and shared it with the class. 

Our Dean of Students read "Skippyjon Jones".  He did the voice perfectly!  Lets just say that the students weren't the only ones cracking up!

I think your class would love to add this new tradition to the classroom.  I created a Mystery Reader Pack this year to encourage more participation. 

I will be handing out the invite letters at Meet the Teacher night.  I also included a thank you card in the pack that can be signed by the whole class.  There is a space inside of the card to print and attach a 5x7 photo of the Mystery Reader with their child or the class.  They will love the memento!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crate Seats...Easy as 1,2,3!

Today I am going to share with you how I made my crate seats.  There are many blog posts about this very topic, but in case you haven't seen them I will share my way.  

Teaching Ever After

These crate seats have got to be the easiest project my husband and I have tackled!  Keep in mind that there are different dimensions for different milk crates, so I will not be giving you cutting dimensions.

You will need milk crates, fabric, sturdy wood, padding, a staple gun, and tools to cut the wood.

Teaching Ever After
I seriously got over 2 yards of fabric for $13!!
I purchased my milk crates from Target a few years ago.  When I was there a few days ago they did not have green, but had pink and another color.  The fabric came from Joann Fabrics.  I got a yard of each color and that was MORE than enough.  

Step 1: May or may not have started with my husband dumpster diving for wood.  We live in a developing neighborhood and there are tons of scraps.  I am not advising you to do this, but it is an option. Hehe!  I don't have a picture of him doing it unfortunately.

Teaching Ever After

He was able to score some 3/4" plywood.  It wasn't perfect, so he had to square it off with his circular saw.  

Step 2: He took the dimensions of the inside lip of the milk crate.  The wood will sit on the lip.  I am sure this project could be done in a different way if the crate does not contain a lip, but the crates I purchased from Target had the lip.

Teaching Ever After

Step 3: Using the circular saw (and all of the proper safety gear) he cut the plywood to the proper dimensions.  When he was done we tried to fit it in.  It did not work because the corners of the crate were rounded.  He took off a small amount off of each corner of the plywood to make it fit.

Step 4: We used foam mats to pad the plywood for a more comfortable seat.  It isn't like sitting on a comfortable couch, but it did the trick.  We trimmed the foam mat to size. 

Teaching Ever After

Step 5:  This is where I had some fun.  Up until this point my awesome husband had done all of the work.  I laid out the fabric face down and put the foam mat and wood face down on top of it.  I decided to cover the whole bottom portion of the plywood with fabric to prevent splinters.  I used my husbands air nailer that shoots staples with 18 gauge 1/2" staples.  I am sure that you could use a regular staple gun.  We just didn't have one at the house.  I stapled one side at a time being sure to pull the fabric tight each time.  When I got to the last two sides I wrapped it like a present.  

Teaching Ever After

That is all there is to it!  Easy Peasy!  I hope I explained this clearly.  If there are any questions PLEASE feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quietest Pencil Sharpener GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey everyone!!  You may remember my post a few months back about the most awesome pencil sharpener by Classroom Friendly Supplies.  If you did not catch that post you can read it {here}. Trust me you will want to read it!

Well, Classroom Friendly Supplies contacted me and asked if I wanted to give one away to my readers.  Um....yes!!!  So here it is my friends!  Complete the rafflecopter below and good luck!  If you are not the lucky winner you can still get a 5% discount on your very own sharpener using the code below by September 6th.  School starting soon?  No worries they arrive really quickly!  


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas in July Sale!!

Can I just say that we could not be holding this sale on a better day.  It is FREEZING in Indiana!  I can't handle anything below 75 degrees.  I am not kidding you!

I am linking up with some friends of mine for a dollar sale.  I love any excuse to shop at a bargain price, so lets celebrate Christmas in July!

I have 4 of my favorite beginning of the year items on sale for $1.  Trust me it will be the best 4 bucks you have spent. :)

My Classroom Management Tools has everything you need to get started off on the right foot this year.  I blogged about it {here}.

Monthly Writing Journals are a fun way to spruce up your writing station and an exciting way to have students share and collaborate.  I have a great way to organize them.  Check it out {here}.

My kids totally love the Groovy Cat.  So why wouldn't they be motivated by a Groovy Cat Clip Chart.

Fall Fun! with Nouns and Adjectives is one of my favorite products and I look forward to expanding on it soon. 

Be sure to check out all of the other awesome deals going on!
Happy Shopping!