Friday, August 1, 2014

Classy Up the Classroom: Bash Basket!

Well, hello August!  It's officially back-to-school season here in Ohio, and now that I am back from a much-needed vacation with Mr. Wonderful (and truthfully majorly jet-lagged as I write this), it's time to start tackling my classroom.  It's crunch time, people!  Crunch. Time.  :)  I know it has to be crunch time for many of you as well, so I am excited to share some information about how you can win classroom goodies to make your classroom really stand out this fall!  It's time for the Back 2 School Bash!!!  Woo hoo!!!!

Truthfully, I always look forward to tweaking everything and giving my room a little bit of a facelift each fall.  Although I haven't been in there yet, I am looking forward to adding a few new touches to make my home away from home even more inviting.  :) 

Friends, I am so excited to offer this amazing prize pack for our Back to School Bash!  How cute is
this Bebop Birdie bundle from Mardel?!  I seriously love the bright colors, chevron, and the sweet birdies... it makes me consider changing my classroom theme.  Hmm... I may have some shopping to do as I set up my room.  Zebra...or birdies... zebra....or birdies.  This set is just so stinkin' cute, and there are so many pieces available too!  You could win $100 worth of bird-tastic classroom goodies!  This bundle also includes this precious pencil door decor by Young Love aDOORable Decor!  How cute is that?!  And how cute would it look with the birdie decor?!  Precious as can be!  Enter to win below!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you feeling lucky!?  Click the image below to check out the next bash basket at Anna's blog

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back 2 School Bash! :)


It's almost August, and that means It's time for the 2014 Back to School Bash!  I couldn't be more excited about hosting it with some of my favorite teachers bloggers friends! Be sure and follow all of these girls to stay up-to-date on what you can win over the next few days... starting... tomorrow!  Maybe it will be your lucky day!  :)


Along with the 18 Bash Baskets that you will see in a minute, there will also be a GRAND PRIZE, but that won't be announced until…

Are you ready for some amazing giveaways and prizes? You will want to stop by all of the blogs above for you chance to win all 18 Bash Baskets. I know, I know…you are so excited! Like jump out of your chair excited! But…it doesn't start until tomorrow.So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of our awesome sponsors! 

Let's Talk Teacher {All About that PD!}
1. SDE: A two-day conference or seminar. 
2. The Ron Clark Academy: School visitation and signed copy of Crash Course by Kim Bearden

Classroom Essentials
1. Classroom Carpet from Kids' Carpet
2. The Quietest Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies
3. Jumbo Classroom Timer from Lakeshore Learning Materials

What's in your teacher bag? 
1. Laptop Sleeve and Teacher Bag from Lilia Vanini 
2. Custom Phone Case from Cuptakes
3. Younique Fiber Mascara (because every teacher needs fabulous lashes) :) 

Classroom Must Haves
1. Personalized Pencil Decor from Yellow Bee Boutique
2. Chalk Talk Classroom Decor from Mardel
3: Teepee perfect for a classroom reading center from Ashley Gabby Designs

Classy up the Classroom
1. Pencil Decor from Young Love aDOORable Decor
2. Bebop Birdie Classroom Decor from Mardel
3. $40.00 TPT Gift Card

Classroom Swag Bag
1. $100 dollars worth of swag from Educational Insights
2. $100 Gift Card from Carson Dellosa
3. $50.00 TPT Gift Card

Decorate My Space
1. Dear Class Painted Canvas from JG Creations by Jenna
2. $100 Gift Card from Schoolgirl Style 

Accessorize Me!
5 Winners: 
$30 Gift card to design your custom case from Put a Case on Me! 
1 Winner: 

For the Love of Blogging
1. $125.00 Custom Blog Design from PJ's Design Laboratory 

All Things Monogrammed
1. Denim shirt and boot socks from Shop Memento
2. Monogrammed clutch from Social Manor
3. Monogrammed bracelet & necklace from Antebellum Baubles

It's the Planner in Me! 
1. $100 Erin Condren gift card to customize your dream planner

If the Shoe Fits!
1. $100 Gift Card to Jo Totes
2. $50.00 Gift Card from Tieks

Feed Your Marker Addiction!
1. A years supply of Scentos makers

Organize Me and More...
1. C. Jayne Teach Teacher Anchor
2. Decor Pack and $25 Gift Card from Teach Created Resources
3. Caddy from Land of Nod

Techno Savvy
1. HUE HD Camera and Animation Software from Hue Animation
2. $25.00 to MPIX (Print your instagram pictures)

Rock On with these Resources
1. 3  CD's from Kids Count 123
2. Jack Hartman's Science Songs All Day Long
2. Swag Bag from GoNoodle including a GoNoodle Plus Membership
4. ALLSTAR Ellison Machine from Ellison Education

Classy Up Your Resources
1. All Fonts Commercial License form KG Fonts
2. Lifetime License of Clip Art from Sarah Cooley
3. $35 Gift Card from Graphics from the Pond
4. $35 Gift Card from Melonheadz Illustrating 

The Teacher's Kid
1. Monogrammed Lunch Bag from Tin Tree Gifts
2. $50 Gift Card from Married in May
3. Back to School Dress from Round the Bend Again

As if all of that isn't enough…each basket will also include…

It all begins tomorrow! Don't forget to look for this little button on each blog that will take you directly to the next prize package! Hopefully this will save you lots of time during the B2S rush! 

See you all back tomorrow for some giveaway fun! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smooth Sailing: Organizing Reading Strategy Manipulatives!

Okay, so maybe I just miss being self-contained sometimes.  Maybe I miss teaching math and science because of how inherently hands-on those two disciplines are.  Maybe I miss teaching little people sometimes.  Just a tad.  In all reality, I LOVE my departmentalized position, and I am excited to go back to a third and fourth grade (quasi-split) position to teach ELA and social studies.  I LOVE this position!  I just really LOVE incorporating fun props and manipulatives a whole heck of a lot.  So, I try to find ways to make my lessons concrete and kinesthetic whenever possible.  This means that I have a ton of tools to make this happen, and they need a place to live.  To function like a well-oiled classroom machine, everything must have its place.  There has to be a method to your madness.  Right?!  So, I am here to share how I store all of my reading strategy manipulatives.  It's certainly nothing revolutionary, but it works well for me, and I hope I can help a person or two by sharing how I organize my resources.  My hope is that it well set you up for SMOOTH SAILING as you begin a brand new school-year!

Okay friends, I really have to level with you for a moment before we delve into the topic at hand.  I am a HUGE proponent of matching your storage materials to your classroom color scheme.  I settled on bright colors nine years ago, and I have stuck with that basic color commitment ever since because I love it.  It's so cheerful and lovely!  Aside from a few themed activities like my Testing Tailgate, I intentionally do not let any primary colored items (aside from splashes of yellow) into my room.  Maybe you aren't as sensitive to shades and color families as I am, but I am the kind of person who fixes pictures frames at restaurants when they are slightly crooked.  I notice when a sconce is 1/8 of an inch higher than the matching sconce on the wall.  I just have OCD sensitivities, so for me, matching tubs is a must.  Notice that all of my tubs are the same color too.  Even though I have pops of pink, purple, black, silver, white, and lime green throughout my room, my tubs are all consistently colored.  It's less abrasive that way.  It creates a more calming effect, and it becomes part of the background instead of competing for attention with more meaningful classroom items.  As it should be!  Now, I have a basic metal bookshelf.  Nothing snazzy.  To jazz it up a bit and to cover some of the tubs to simplify this area further, I hung simple white curtains on a tension rod.  As an extra bonus, they make the classroom a little cozier too.  Notice how I number each tub with matching labels.  Yes, I could inventory my goodies that way, and it makes it easier for me to tell a student to grab tub number three, it also unifies the collection and distracts from the items inside of the tubs.
If you look at the second photo, you can see how I stash some of my larger props at the top of the stack out of sight.  I want them to be in a convenient location, but I don't want to see them.  :)

Let's take a peek at some of the contents, shall we?  I try to group similar items together according to reading strategies/purposes.  The first tub is full of items I utilize when I am teaching visualization.  The second container contains metacognition goodies.  The third tub is stuffed with sticky notes I've collected from the Target Dollar Spot over the last few years.  The fourth tub contains answer buzzers and the frames I use to label each answer choice to use with the buzzers.  As you can see, they are not organized haphazardly.  I can go over, grab the visualizing tub, and be ready to rock and roll in a small group instantly without wasting time digging through cupboards or sorting through objects.

Now I know that my post is all about organization, and I know that you are spending cash left and right as you prepare for the new school-year.  I am willing to bet that plenty of people reading this have not bought a single thing for yourself.  You might want a new skirt or bag, but you are stressing about buying it because you are spending money on setting up your classroom.  I know that guilt well, so I want to offer a chance to win a gift card for Ann Taylor LOFT.  I LOVE that "LOFT LOVES TEACHERS", and their style is perfect for the classroom.  It's one of my favorite stores... partly for the pretty clothing... and partly because they know how to have a good sale!  I am such a sale shopper, and they deliver on a regular basis.  They also offer a teacher discount when you show your ID badge.  (#winning)  So, are you excited yet?!  Enter to win below!  The giveaway will end on August 2nd.  In the meantime, let's get this party started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you want to hear something else that's exciting?  I am teaming up with a bunch of intermediate sellers to offer a big jackpot prize as well!  I'm offering my newest...Stop, Collaborate, & Listen: Speaking and Listening Like Rock Stars! Speaking and Listening skills are becoming increasingly more important inside of school and in the workplace. I believe that it is so important to lay the foundation in elementary school, to teach accountable talk, and to give my students plenty of opportunities to collaborate, share, and integrate technology! This packet is packed with 173 pages of activities that foster discussion, critical thinking, debate, and more! Of course, it's just one small piece of the pie! I will be choosing one person from the Rafflecopter to win the jackpot bundle too!  Yay!


Are you ready to hop around and find out what other goodies are being offered at my bloggy buddies' blogs?!  Click through below to enter to win more prizes and learn more about the products that are up for grabs!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rounding Out the Christmas in July Sale!

Hey, hey!  Good gravy, friends!  I have been spending WAY too much time working and doing stuff on the computer lately, so I am going to try to simplify things for the next few days.  I desperately need to UNPLUG, but I also want to be able to offer Christmas in July savings in MY SHOP, so here's how the rest of the sale will unfold.  Have a great week, friends! :)  I hope you find some time to unplug and enjoy the rest of the summer too!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vegas Teacher Blogger Meet Up!

Oh my goodness, I cannot even adequately express how honored I am that I got to be a part of the Vegas Teacher Blogger Meet Up!  My friends have organized it for the past three years, but this was my first year as an "event planner" so to speak.  It was so much fun working together to accumulate tons of fun prizes, but it was SO much more fun meeting everyone in attendance.  It honestly blew me away to see a room so stuffed with passionate educators.  I seriously get a little teary eyed when I think about teachers giving up their precious summer vacations to network and attend conferences to keep growing and adding to their proverbial tool belts.  It made me all goose-bumpy being in a room FULL of people just like that.  For real. It's such a neat experience when you can literally FEEL the energy that permeates through the space.  I'm an emotional girl... if you couldn't already tell.  ;)

In all seriousness, I am so glad that I was working by the door passing out raffle tickets because it was a packed house!  I actually got to meet people as they shuffled in through the door, and although I was slightly concerned that I would lose my voice before presenting the next day, and although I did feel a little bit like a broken record, it was all 100% worth it.  I had SO much fun chatting with everyone and putting faces with names and blogs.  Thanks for coming, friends!  I am already looking forward to next year!

We took over 200 pictures of the event and there's no way to showcase them all, but here are a few snapshots of the night.

It was so fun getting to meet some of our online bloggy friends for the very first time! Plus, we got to meet so many teachers from all over the country - we even had teachers from across the world!!
(Shout out to our friends from Spain and Australia!)

*To see more pictures from the meet up, visit the 

Here are the wonderful ladies who made this meet up possible and helped us line up such amazing sponsors.

(Not pictured: Kathleen Pedersen)

Besides meeting such amazing bloggers and teachers, the best part of the meet up was all of the amazing prizes that were donated from our sponsors! 

Here are all of our generous friends who offered prizes for our meet up:


Thank you to everyone who came to this event! We appreciate everyone who was able to come and mingle with us. We're already thinking about next year's meet up, so start saving your money for next year's Vegas meet up!!

Feeling sad that you couldn't join us this you? Wishing you could win some of these fabulous surprises? 

Well... as a special treat, we are giving away two Erin Condren gift cards!! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway