Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Time Out From Decorating for a Product Review

Just in time for decorating and setting up my new office,
I received some great office products to try out!



SCORE!


This awesome desk organizer is perfect for my new desk!
It has 2 deep wells for pens and scissors.
Love that they are deep enough that the scissors don't make it tip over.
There is a place for post-it notes and small paper clips, etc. on the top,
and two flip out compartments for larger clips.
L♥ve it!


Next up, a landscape clipboard.
Where have you been all my teaching career?


It is made from recycled plastic (love that!)
and is much easier to write on when carrying around
or on your lap.


 It also has a pop out tab perfect for hanging next to you desk.
This will be so handy!


Are you a pen addict like me?

When I left my classroom, I left a whole washtub 
full of pens and markers for the office staff!

I got home and hadn't kept anything to use in my new office.
So glad this shipment arrived in time!

I love BIC pens!
I might even have a couple new favorites.

Here's what I got to try out...




I loved the feel of this pen and the smooth writing.  
I do not usually like fine points, 
but this one writes great without catching on the paper.
(This was actually the widest of the writing lines of all the pens,
even though this one was fine and the others medium.)



This retractable (no caps to lose!) gel pen writes in a very smooth line
without skipping or catching on the paper.
It didn't smear when I rubbed my hand on the writing.
Even though it is a medium point (0.7mm)
It was just a little too fine for my tastes, 
but it was easy to write with and felt good in my hand.


also feature the Easy-Glide System
and were extremely smooth,
but again, even though they were 1.0mm,
they were a bit too fine for my taste.
The PINK ink is sure fun though!


The stylus pens are terrific!
A combination of retractable ballpoint pen and a built in stylus!
The stylus glides across screens easily providing fingerprint-free precision and control.
Definitely keeping these in my purse to use with my phone!

These were definitely goodies I can use in my new office!
Check them out for yourself!





The End of an Era... and New Beginnings

This has been one of the craziest months of my life!

I started off the month with 
lots of ideas,
BIG plans,
and enough energy.

BUT...

Where did May go?

Not only did I have to finish the year with my kiddos,
but as many of you already know,
I also finished my classroom teaching career.

I went from this...

my own classroom space with 30 years worth of stuff, 
and office space shared with the family.


To my own office space.


Definitely a LOT of work to do!

It was a strange and empty feeling, emptying and leaving my classroom.
I felt like I was leaving a part of myself behind.

Time to begin a new chapter in my life,
working full time on creating educational products, 
doing a little subbing, 
and hopefully, some consulting.

With that being said,
I apologize for not keeping up with blogging this last few weeks.
I was just overwhelmed!

Here's a peek at what I have been working on for my new office space.




I have given my Silhouette a work out!

Stay tuned to see the finished product!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Book a Day in the Month of May - Day 10



Today's book is an old favorite of mine.


Amos & Boris is the story of an unusual friendship 
between a small mouse and a large whale.
Amos is rescued by Boris when he falls out of his boat, and the two become fast friends.

The story is wonderful for character development, 
comparing and contrasting characters, and has
AMAZING vocabulary!

I have made up this little freebie for you.


I would love to hear what other kinds of activities 
you do with this beloved book!
Please share!
What are some of you other favorite books with a 
friendship theme?
 
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

When I Grow Up - A Book a Day in the Month of May Day 9



In comedian Weird Al Yankovic’s picture book debut, 
When I Grow Up
eight-year-old Billy enthusiastically discusses his many 
(mostly improbable) career options, 
from “snail trainer” to “friendly mortician” to “giraffe milker.” 

There is also a fun app to go along with this book!
Check it out here!


This book, along with Jack Prelutsky's poem,
"When I Grow Up,"

was the inspiration for what may be on of my 
favorite writing activity creations.

After reading the book and poem aloud,
students reflect on what they want to be when they grow up.

They brainstorm what they want to be 
and the reasons why they think that would 
be a good job/career for them.

The drafting pages are in and easier and a more 
challenging format which allow for its use 
in first through 4th grades.

 The easier version calls for 3 reasons,
a topic sentence, and a concluding or wrap-up sentence.
The more challenging versions calls for 3 reasons with expansions,
 a topic sentence, and a concluding or wrap-up sentence.
Next are pages for first drafts and revision checklists.
And finally, publishing copies and illustrations with a grading rubric.
These were so fun to do!

My second grade friends tried them first.






Here's what my fourth graders came up with...









You can grab this file by clicking the image below,
OR
PIN IT TO WIN IT!

Pin the image 
and leave a comment below with the URL of the pin 
and your email 
and I will randomly choose three people 
to receive the file as a token of my thanks.



Even though this was my first year doing this project,
I loved it!
So, I am linking up with Meg from The Teacher Studio
for her

Hop on over and see what other great lessons are being shared!





Friday, May 9, 2014

A Book a Day in the Month of May Days 6-7

This is kind of how I feel right now...


It's been one of those weeks years!
This is the roughest year I have ever had, 
and I am feeling more than a bit beaten down lately.
 I love teaching and inspiring students to do more than they think they can.
I am very passionate about what I do, 
and I love sharing that passion with others.

But for me this year has been one struggle after another.
My kids this year (most, but not all of them)
are rude and disrespectful, especially to each other.
They do not listen and are content to do the very least 
amount of work possible to just squeak by.
I have tried everything.
Nothing seems to work.
And I am feeling battered.

That's a big reason that I have not blogged as much as I would have liked.
Not much fun to share.

I continue to create in the hopes that SOMETHING will spark them,
but in our remaining 9 days I don't have much hope.

Don't give up on me!
I'm still here, still passionate about teaching, and still creating.

I just needed to vent a bit.

I am going to try to get caught up on my 
Book a Day posts and get back in the groove.

So without further ado,


Day 6 


C.A. Goody is a local author here in Phoenix,
and has been a favorite with my students for several years.
I have had the extreme pleasure to have her 
come to my schools in the last few years.
She always brings Charlie with her!

Here's her bio from Charlie's website...

C.A. Goody and Charlie live with their family outside Phoenix Arizona. Mrs. Goody’s first book, Charlie’s Great Adventure, took her as much by surprise as it takes her readers. The story was inspired when Charlie, who rarely left the yard and was outside only about an hour each day, suddenly disappeared. He was turned in to the local Humane Society five days later, having been found twenty miles from home. Soon after, as she sat petting Charlie, Mrs. Goody was wishing Charlie could tell her where he had been, and what had happened to him during his absence. She sat down to write a short story for her children about what Charlie had been up to, and the first book in the series was born.
Many parts of the story are true, including Charlie's hatred of riding in cars (he will yowl constantly until you let him out), his love of music and chasing flashlight beams, his ability to hug the people he loves, and his refusal to let the technician at the Humane Society give him any shots. The book was so well received by local children that Mrs. Goody began writing more stories about Charlie. She has many more story ideas, as Charlie continues to inspire new adventures on a daily basis.

Charlie is a cat  and all of her books are told from Charlie's perspective.
Great for teaching point of view!

There are now 8 books in the series, 
and your kids will L♥ve them!





Day 7


This is one of my favorite projects that I have done with my students!

When I discovered this book, I knew I wanted to use it in my classroom.
You can read my original posts here and here.

The first year I made the student's work into parent gifts for Christmas.

Then I added a class book to the project
(which I had made at Snapfish.)


Many of the parents bought copies of the book and I treasure mine, and look back at it often.
Favorite book I've made with my class!

You can find all of my Book a Day recommendations below.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop and GIVEAWAY!



I love Beverly Cleary's books!
They are just so perfect for the classroom.
Some of my favorites are the Ramona books.
Ramona Quimby is this spunky 8-year-old 
who has all kinds of adventures 
and gets into all kinds of things. 
(Much like MANY of the 8-year-olds I know!)


I have used this book as a read aloud and for literature studies.
The kids love it because they can relate to Ramona.

I created a literature study unit to go along with the book.


There are pre-reading, vocabulary, grammar, 
and comprehension questions 
for each chapter (55 pages total!)

I love her hard boiled egg debacle!

This unit is one of my best sellers and one of my favorites, too!

Here's a sneak peak...



For Teacher Appreciation Week
I am linking up with Amy from 


and over 100 other teachers and bloggers 
to bring you this 
AWESOME
Blog Hop and Giveaway!

You could win a copy of this Literature Unit!

So grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice,)
and hop on through to discover 
some great teaching ideas, 
freebies,
and a HUGE Giveaway! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.


Primary Possibilities

The TPT Annual Teacher Appreciation Sale starts tomorrow!


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