Monday, March 30, 2015

Ninja Bunnies $1 Sale!

Some ninja bunnies broke into my store last night and slashed some prices to $1!!

Check out what everyone has discounted.  Here is what you will find from my store.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up 2015

Whew!  What a FANTASTIC weekend it was at the #springteacherbloggermeetup2015!  Have you seen all of the pictures with the longest hashtag in the whole world of hashtags?  If not, you need to go check them out.  The weekend was EPIC!!!!  I was horrible at taking pictures, but thankfully my friends weren't, so I am going to share some of them with you.

First off, I was very up in the air if I was going to attend this year.  I just had my newest bundle of joy only 3 1/2 weeks before the meet up and it was a C-section.  I wasn't sure I would be up for toting a little one around.  But I went last year and it was so much fun!  I could not stand the idea of not going again.  I convinced Mel D to go with me again and just like that we were on the road to French Lick (ok a little more planning went into it then that, but not much).  There may have been some behind the scenes husband conning charming first.  We couldn't help it though we just HAD to be there again.

We arrived in French Lick right by the skin of our teeth.  We left my house just before 6 am (a little early for Mel D, but this new mommy had been up since 3:30) and thankfully the baby slept and slept and slept.  Otherwise we probably would have been late and I HATE to be late. It took us a little extra time to navigate through the town because they had massive flooding from all of the snow melting.  I kept thinking to myself what if we get flooded in?  I was almost ready to turn around.

We started with some mingling and putting our tickets into the prize bags.  There were so many awesome prizes to be won.  Seriously, people and companies were generous!  It was so great to see some of my bloggy friends again.  Can I just say how surreal it is to have all of these friends who you have only met online and then you get together and it is like you have known each other forever.  It is just the coolest having so many like minded people together in the same room.

Then, we did a getting to know you activity.  Every table had to decorate a letter with information about yourself.  Then we had to go in front of the WHOLE room of over 100 bloggers on a MICROPHONE and introduce ourselves.  I was literally shaking like a leaf.  Thankfully I am really good at making fun of myself and did just that.  Then I found DeeDee Wills' friendly face and just focused on her.  She really put me at ease without even knowing it.  The tables combined ended up spelling out the mantra for the weekend...

After that, we had the teacher tool gift exchange which I blogged about last weekend.  You can read all about that {here}.  Trust me, if you haven't read about the tool I received you MUST do it now.

Then, we got together for some table talk sessions.  I went to Crystal Radke's session and got to hear all about RCA.  I have to say that is the newest addition to my teacher bucket list.  I hope I get to go there someday soon!  I also went to Christina DeCarbo's session and learned about the business side of TPT.  I took a ton of great tips away from her session about how to do things the right way.  Finally, I went to DeeDee Will's and Deanna Jump's session.  Can I just say how down to earth and funny they are!  We talked about Writer's Workshop.  So much great information!

Finally, it was time for the GIVEAWAYS!  It was like going to Oprah's Favorite Things show or Ellen's 12 Days of Giveaways show.  The swag was overflowing!  Check out the goodies we ALL went home with!  My teacher heart was pounding with excitement!  There was so many great things including new Scentos, a Vera Bradley bag, AND an ERIN CONDREN PLANNER! Shut the front door!
Are these crazy ladies done screaming about planners, markers, and stickers?!

After we all squealed with delight about our amazing swag we all began making dinner plans.  We decided to leave the hotel and we went to this little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant.  I got to share a table with some of the best in the teacher world.  I seriously couldn't believe I had landed there.  And wouldn't you know it, I didn't take a picture!  There is NO proof that I had dinner with Mel D from Seusstastic, Katie from Little Warriors, Erin from Erin's Ink, Crystal from Kreative in Kinder, Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class, DeeDee Wills from Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten, and Kim Adsit from Kindergals (she blogs with her daughter, Megan, who also joined us).  Ummmmm are you kidding me!!!  Yes, I totally just name dropped!  Wouldn't you?!  I enjoyed every second of dinner and laughed out loud more than once.

So if you remember from earlier Mel and I barely made it to the meet up on time.  We never had a chance to check into our hotel.  Since we were so last minute with our plans we had to stay at the West Baden Hotel.  Normally it is a quick shuttle ride to the hotel, BUT the entrance was flooded.  We seriously had to drive through B.F.E. to get to the hotel.  I was convinced we were going the wrong way, so we turned around only to find that we were in fact going the right way. Ugh!  After some roads out of Deliverance we made it to our hotel.  We only had enough time to check in and change into our PJ's.  Then we were right back out the door for the PJ party complete with pillows from the hotel.  We were a sight to be seen!

 When we made it back to French Lick hotel the PJ party sponsored by Teachers Pay Teachers and GoNoodle was in full swing.  Teachers in pink were dancing to GoNoodle, eating pizza, decorating pillow cases, and acting silly in the photo booth area.  It was a riot!  It really took me back to my sleepover days. Thanks TPT and GoNoodle!!

There is SOOOOO much more I could share with you about the weekend, but this forever post would seriously be a novel.  You should just come next year and experience it all for yourself.  You will not be sorry, unless Holly decides to organize a murder mystery party like we chatted about.  Might be a little too scary for me!

Can't wait to see you all next year!

Be sure to enter to win your very own swag from this EPIC event!

We’re giving away THREE Swag Bags

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also check out my other friends thoughts on the meet up.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Teacher Tool Gift Exchange- The It's Worth It Box

Wow!  The 2nd Annual Spring Blogger Meet-Up did NOT disappoint once again.  What an amazingly well executed meet-up by Holly Ehle and Brittany Banister.  Well done ladies! I will talk more about the awesome time we had in another post.  Today I want to share with you the teacher tool that I received during our exchange.  For more great tools visit Second Grade Sugar and Spice where there is an great linky happening.

The tool I received seriously made me tear up.  It could have been my rampant hormones since I just gave birth only a month ago, but I have a feeling it had more to do with this sweet gift.

She honestly slept like this the ENTIRE weekend at the meet-up.

We started the exchange with a fun left and right story written by Amanda Pauley from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten. It was hysterical because she wrote a part about taking a wrong turn and getting lost and it just so happened that DeeDee Wills and Deanna Jump got lost on their way.  They got so lost they needed a police escort.  We were all cracking up!

When I first opened my bag I have to admit I was a little confused.  This was the first thing I saw...

How perfect is this quote.  I am a busy lady with being a teacher, wife, and mom of three.  I do need to start living this quote.

Is this not a beautiful box?  Still wondering what it has to do with a teacher tool?  I was still wondering too.  Then I opened it up and read this poem...

When I say that I had to choke back tears I am not exaggerating.  We have all felt this way a time or twenty right?!  This tear jerker poem was written by Christina DeCarbo from Sugar and Spice.  Can I tell you that her blog name is PERFECT for her.  She is the sweetest little thing with the cutest voice. I absolutely adored meeting her and receiving this great teacher tool from her.  

When I got home I knew exactly what items I was going to put in my box first.  This year I got a handmade necklace from one of my sweet kiddos.  We have all gotten them, but this one was different...

Can you see what it says?  Miss-is-Hemphill! Oh my word is that NOT the cutest thing you have ever seen?!  This brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.  I just adore that I have impacted their lives so much that they are thinking of me when they are at home doing crafts.  I love my job!

This next item was delivered to me via one of our ENL teachers who goes from school to school.  This student is in 5th grade now, which is located at our middle school.  I taught her when she was a 2nd grader.  This melted my heart and makes all of the bad days SO worth it!

I look forward to filling this box with more sweet sentiments and treasures from students.  This is going to be the perfect pick me up for those days that I just need a reminder of why I love my job.  

Inside the box I also found Energizer Tap Lights.  Christina uses these during her Guided Reading groups. She uses them to have students show their thinking or they can light them up when they are ready to discuss their ideas with the group.  I really think my students are going to have a ball with these.  

My teacher tool was simply a Target gift card.  It was a bookmark too.  Isn't is cute? 

Thanks for the picture Em!

Em Hutchison from Curious Firsties received my gift.  Head over to her blog to see the essentials she bought with her card.  I am constantly shopping in the Dollar Spot or frankly anywhere in that store for things in my classroom.  I love to find things to use for fluency trackers, math manipulatives, or fun and engaging ways to keep my kiddos interested.  I have found witch fingers and laser lights to follow along with reading, white gloves to use for questioning strategies, erasers to use with ten frames, and fun glasses to wear to keep their little eyes focused.  It can also be used to spruce up your work attire.  Or lets face it a beverage other than coke for a rough week.

Here we all are sporting our new teacher tools.  What a wonderful group of 1st grade teachers!

I almost can't wait to get back into the classroom to start using my tap lights and maybe collect a few more things for my "It's Worth It" box.  I think I will try and enjoy my 3 more weeks of maternity leave though.

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!