Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Shopping!

No, I'm not talking the TPT sale, but I was there too!  I am notoriously bad at packing lunch for work. I've tried. I just end up tossing a bunch of stuff in a plastic bag, if anything, and call it a day. To be truthful, most days, I make it through the day on two cups of coffee and maybe a handful of something. Not good! In the spirit of trying to change old ways, this are my recent purchases:

I have never had a lunch bag! Isn't this a cute one? It was super cheap at TJ Maxx. I guess I'm into bright colors  this year!  I found the water bottle and containers at an area grocery store. The containers are Ziploc and were on sale.  Love that they are glass.  I have growing concerns about using plastics to store any foods. Likewise, the water bottle is glass. I found one I loved at Starbucks a few months ago, but lost the rubber gasket in the top and it leaks terribly. Alas, I never found another one at Starbucks. I did buy a ceramic travel mug there and just forgot add it to the picture.

Hopefully the bright cuteness will convince me to back a good lunch this year.

I was also inspired to try making my own flavored waters by The Yummy Life.  I really dislike bottled water and the idea of putting powders in my water, while tasting yummy, are not something I want to do either. So, I love the idea of using fruit and herbs to flavor water. I tried strawberry and mint yesterday. This could be a really good thing!

Don't they look lovely?!? Next DIY: flavored creamers!

The Huge Sale!

Yes!  It’s coming! The big sale at TPT starts tomorrow and everything in my store will be on sale!

Click on the banner to go to my store. Thanks Krista for the cute graphic!

You might notice that most of my products have my old logo and blog name on them.  I had a huge tragedy with my jump drive where I stored ALL my products.  Let’s just say I had to wait to get back to work before I can foot the bill of $500 to get that little guy fixed.  Lesson to all – do not keep everything on a jump drive!

I am linking up with  Fifth in the Middle for the

Back To School TpT 2+1 Blog Hop


Graphics by Megan @ I Teach. What's Your Super Power



The winner by far!  This is a great way to add poetry to your classroom in an easy to run center.

It’s a tie!

Multiplication Sticker Book


This a fun little book to help your little mathematicians master their facts.

Retelling Gloves


Love this one!  This is a great way to support retelling skills.  It is a research-based method and is my version of written research published in The Reading Teacher Journal several years ago.


You can check out my whole collection through the page linked at the top of the blog!

Oh my!  My list is really long! Plus I always find things I  “need” after the sale!  Then I have to wait until Christmas!

2nd Grade Common Core Morning Work

2nd Grade Common Core Morning Work by Second Story Window

Writer's Workshop Folder Printables

Writer's Workshop Folder Printable by Teach-A-Roo

We Are Authors: Launching Writing Workshop!

We Are Authors: Launching Writing Workshop! by One Extra Degree

Guided Reading Detectives - CC Aligned Grades 1 - 3

Guided Reading Detectives - CC Aligned Grades 1 – 3 by  Simply Skilled In Second

Happy shopping!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Classroom - It's Current State!

Ugh! I so wanted to join in Teacher Week 2013 at I'm Blog Hoppin, but this is what my room looks like:

This is the back of my room with the fire door to the right. If you pan left, this is the next corner:

The bathroom and sink area. Still panning left, this is the entry:

The black plastic is covering the coat cubby where TONS of books are currently sitting.
This is the front area in my room. I'm thinking of putting my guided reading table in that corner where the filing cabinets are. The window is to the left. It is the same layout as my previous room, just flipped. I think I will set it up in a similar fashion.
My carpets have not been done so it would be a waste of time to set anyone up. I have visions what what ths room will look like, but my summer brain refuses to work on it! Hopefully I'll have an update next week.
Hope everyone is have an amazing weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013


So, I have been working on this crazy paper forever! I have it done...mostly. I just need to proofread it and try hard not to change too much. It has been a rough seven weeks with this class folks!

We also got some results back from state tests and I think just about every teacher in NY is feeling beaten down. The results were not good. And not because the teachers didn't do their job and the kids didn't put everything into it that they had. Really it's just because the state moved the bell curve down about 30 points, putting a child who really is a four at a three or even a two. See, after the results come in, the state then decides where their cutoff points will be. Since their agenda is to show amazing growth over the next few years and impress those that hold federal funding, there will be an amazing steady growth over the next few years. 

Yes, they are playing a game. We all do it. The song and dance observations, the super pretty and packed portfolio, the extra sparkle you add to your lesson when you know you're being watched and when what you do it great without the extra glitter.

I don't think there are too many teachers out there who are feeling stellar about returning to the classroom in a couple weeks.

What I'm getting at is that I just haven't felt teachery this summer. My priorities are shifting with going back to school. The state scores meant to create motivation are doing just the opposite for many teachers that I know. I haven't touch BlogLovin in about two weeks, but have been pinning like mad...clothes and food that is. I cringe when I see all the teachers things that come up on my Pinterest.

You know what I realized? My obsession with blogs, Pinterest, and all things teaching have created a lot of stress in my life. It's always about finding a new idea and making things super cute. When I didn't have the time to spend on reading every blog out there and obsessing over my classroom, I found that I was more relaxed and had more of a life. When I started thinking about this, I realized that after thirteen years of teaching, I am still open to new ideas but I don't need to recreate everything all the time just because someone did it better.  What I do works and I don't need to "fix" everything.

I think teachers can be very competitive. It's in our nature. We all want to think of the best ideas and do their best lessons. But who says new and shiney is always better?

In this crazy season of winding down summer and gearing up for the new year, remember to take stock of what you already have and what you already know.  Don't feel like you are lacking because you don't spend your life on school, standardized testing tells professionals to do ever more, or to can't keep up with the cuteness all over the Internet. 

Feel great about who you are as a person and a professional.

Know that it is about what you say and do as a teachers that makes a difference. It's not about how much you have, how much you spend, or how cute your room is.

It's about the kids and helping them grow as little people.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Purging the Classroom

So, I have a question for folks. I know we are living in a digital age, but there are still tons of print products out there. What do you do with the teacher resources that you personally bought, but no longer want or need? I have thought about Ebay, but every time I read all the fees and guidelines I fell like it would be too much work for what I would get. 

Has anyone eve posted print times on TPT? 

I was also thinking of just putting them on my website to see if anyone would want to buy collections of resources on my blog.


It's time to clean out and down size! What do you think I should do with all of these great resources?

BTW, I have dozens of books waiting for a new, good home!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Teacher Haul

We're have I been? I realized that it has been a while since I posted! I taught two workshops last week and I was exhausted! This week I finished my final class of my most recent course, and if I am going to tell the truth, this post is actually part of my plan to avoid finishing my paper today! (It's hot and muggy in NY and I just don't want to work!)

Any woo... I had a mini teacher haul yesterday. Yes, I was procrastinating! I scored big time! I had been looking at stools from IKEA for my reading table but was not thrilled with the idea of having to be home for several days to catch the delivery. Joann fabrics to the rescue! I went to buy fabric to make new living room curtains and cruised through the college area and found these babies!

So cute! They are perfect and were 50% of, plus my 15% teacher discount. So, I got six super cute stools for $50.98! Less than IKEA plus delivery! They also had black and red and maybe pink. I seem to be on a turquoise and lime kick, so I went with it. Plus, I can always paint the seat if I want to make changes. Buh-bye beat up ottomans! I might go back and get a few more for a computer station.

In the summer sale aisle, I found these cute little signs for 75% off:

I thought they would look adorable on the wall in my classroom.

I'm not sure if this little guy will go to school or not:

The ipad is not great for pics, but I found this little coffee maker with a reusable filter in the college section at a large grocery store. I was bummed they didn't have anymore purple or lime, but the red is cute. It is like a super cheap Keurig. Don't get me wrong, I love my Keurig, but my big one is leaking water like crazy and I'm worried my counters and cabinets will get ruined. I don't want to shell out the money for a new one. Anyway, this little one does not have an auto shut off and that's what I like about my little Keurig at school.

I picked up a few other treats for myself, but nothing related to school.

So, I'm going to pretend that I can sit and do nothing for a while longer and maybe I'll run out of excuses to finally wrap up that paper due Monday!

Have a great day!