Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My supply shopping adventures and winners!

The last day of giveaway winners are Margot O. for the pencil sharpener, Lori R. for a $10 TPT certificate, and Katie F. for a $10 TPT certificate!  Thank you everyone for helping me celebrate!

Day 1 of my shopping!

Office Depot  $5 total  (I had $20 in recycling rewards!  and $4 in shopping rewards)

Dollar Tree  $23.  Wait until you see what I make!

Michaels  $8 (forgot my ID, going back today!)

Target $10

Walmart  $4 Treasure Chests.  I bought three.

Happy shopping!!


Monday, July 29, 2013

I am going to get crafty this week and last day of the giveaway!

Sunday's winner is Danielle D.!
Besides starting to school shop this week, I hope to get some crafts done for my room.  Here are a couple of crafts I am going to try!

crayon organizer

I love this crayon organizer and I have baby food jars!!!  The bottom piece is a cake pan that has been spray painted.  I love this because the students will not have to dig for a particular color!

I have all those broken crayons from last year.  I have melted crayons before, but I hate the wax they leave behind on my cupcake pans.  This is a silicon mold!  I thought I would use these crayons as prizes or make a coupon for a special crayon day.

Gus The PlusLinus the Minus

I am also going to be painting some letters!  I will show those to you later in the week!!

Will I get it done?  That is the question.

Today is the last day of the giveaway :(   It is the easiest day to enter, because most of you have already entered! (That is a hint!)

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Good luck!!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Favorite Math Pins from this week and Giveaway day 7

New Poster:  The Parts of a Mathematician {Deeper Skin Tones}  $This is the "GIRL VERSION" of the poster:  THE PARTS OF A MATHEMATICIAN.   If you would prefer the "BOY VERSION," please scroll through the other p...This poster grew out of a request and was created in the style of the other posters (The Parts of a Writer, The Parts of a Reader, and The Parts of...                                                                                                                                                                       I think Andrea is going to be getting a bit of money from me in the next couple of weeks!  I love these mathematician posters.  I also love that she has brought out the darker skin tone.

This is brilliant!  Popsicle tens frames

Not only is this one a visual ten frame, but it is also using motor skills!

review game

This was originally pinned as a review game, but I thought it could be adapted to become a math fact game!

I love Pinterest and all the ideas that are there.  You can join me here.

Now giveaway time.  The battle over the pencil sharpener is fierce.  Get in there everyone!!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Five for Friday and Giveaway day 6

Thursday's winner is Cherie Mae Ong!


1.  Car shopping...yuck!
I hate car shopping!  I want something particular but we have a very strict budget.  It really makes it hard.  Our other dilemma is our family size.  We have to have a 3rd row of seats to be able to go anywhere together.  Not only are there 5 of us, but my oldest son is 15 and 6'2".  With two other boys coming along and a 6'2" husband, I know I am going to have 4 giants on my hands.  We need room!!  Can you imagine the five of us and our stuff in an impala?  That is what our rental has been!

2.  The school year is looming!  I officially go back on the 12th.  I want to go back on the 5th and get a head start this year.  But my bucket list is not done yet!

I would love to get my centers situated.
I would like to get three packets done for me and TPT.
I would like to get some charts done

3.  I am in the middle of my mentor training and feel that my brain oozes from my ear at some points.  Both out of boredom and complexity!

4.  Have you seen these?

Photo: Would your students like to meet a marine biologist, ship designer or dolphin trainer on Skype? Our Exploring #Oceans #Skype lesson series is starting in October! Sign up for updates - http://education.skype.com/exploringoceans


Skype in the classroom is going into the oceans in October.
Stem bite has some quick mini videos for science and math.
Pets in the classroom grants help you get snakes, gerbils, fish, lizards, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small animals into your classroom.  Join me on facebook to get notices like these when I find them!

5.  Giveaway!!!
Today's giveaway is more geared towards the 3-5 bunch.  However Collaboration Cuties has some great backgrounds and clip art!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yes I teach in North Carolina and giveaway day 5

Wednesday's winner is Rachael W.!
You many be familiar with the graphic that Ron Clark posted on Facebook last week.  I had to scroll all the way to the bottom.  There is North Carolina.  We moved here in 2004.  The nine years we have been here, pay for teachers has gotten worse.

What happened?  The Great Recession caused the state to not increase teacher pay.  Here in NC the state determines teacher pay levels and the local district can add to it.  The last time I got a raise was the last decade.  I think (because it has been so long, I can't remember now.)  it was 2009.  My next chance for a raise is 2014.  When I say raise this includes all raises.  There has not even been an adjustment for cost of living in that time.  At that time I taught first grade with 18-20 students.  I shared an assistant with one other teacher.  When I went to fifth grade, I had 20 students for each block and four of us shared two assistants.  Today I teach 25 first graders with no assistant.

I cannot say that I am proud to teach in North Carolina.  That being said, I love the students I have had the honor of teaching here in North Carolina.

This was released from the state about the current year's budget.  Teachers are being targeted everywhere and put down for various reasons.  Here in NC, it seems to be even worse especially with politicians at the state level.


For the first time in my career of more than 30 years in public education, I am truly worried about students in our care. With this budget, North Carolina has moved away from its commitment to quality public schools. I am disappointed for the children in our state who will have fewer educators and resources in their schools as a result of the General Assembly’s budget.
A bright spot in this budget is the end of the discretionary reduction. By ending this budgeting strategy, North Carolina is being more transparent and even-handed in our budget processes and providing relief for districts that have struggled to locate funds to return to the state coffers.
While the end of the discretionary reduction represents a move in the right direction, I am troubled by the lack of progress on teacher pay. Having an excellent teacher for every classroom is essential. North Carolina teacher pay is dismal compared to the nation and to all of our bordering states. Starting teachers can earn $10,000 more per year in some of our neighbor states, while a teacher with six years of experience will make the same as a first-year teacher here in North Carolina. Why should these teachers stay in our state? Add to that the end of pay increases for master’s degrees beginning in 2014-15, and there is even less incentive to work in North Carolina’s public school classrooms. We must quit talking about the goal of bringing our teacher pay to the best in the nation and start putting action behind those words.
There are many other details that are troubling. I am concerned that this budget will cost schools thousands of teacher and teacher assistant positions. Our already-large class sizes will continue to grow.
This budget fails to provide resources for textbooks, instructional supplies and technology that our schools desperately need to remain up-to-date, especially as our student population grows.
North Carolinians want strong public schools. Polls show it. My interactions with parents and students show it. Our own state leaders claim it. But this budget doesn’t deliver it. Teachers are working as hard as they can. Materials and supplies are wearing thin. Classrooms are crowded, and there are fewer adults in each school today than there were five years ago but there are more students than ever across our state. The rest of the nation is not sitting still, and neither are our competitors across the globe. Our children deserve more support. Their futures depend on it.

Each year it becomes more difficult for me to justify staying here.  Our family is in Ohio.  I do not make a salary that rivals many states.  The future will tell how this will affect North Carolina teachers and most of all our students.  Please keep us and our students in your prayers.  I hope someday North Carolina will be a leader in education!

Now onto happier things!  Giveaways!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wacky Wednesday Randomness and Giveaway Day 4

Tuesday's winner is Katie N.!

Hand Personalized teacher classroom name sign with cute kids

Isn't this the cutest sign?  I love the glitter details!  This is from Pink Fish Studios over on Etsy!

Diary of a First Year Teacher is having a little giveaway for Pink Fish Studios here.

There are a ton of giveaways going on right now.  Remember to check to giveaways page for all the ones I have found!

I have been fervently working on my new packet.  I am about 2/3 done and I think it will be good!

Enough of my randomness, time for another giveaway!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 things I've learned from Teaching and Giveaway day 3!

Yesterday's winner was Debbie P!

This feels a little like David Letterman.

10.  The clearance aisle is your friend.  Especially in late August and early September when all the stores start getting rid of their extra school supplies!!

9.  Get school supplies early and buy lots.  4.50 for a box of 24 crayons!!!  What?  At the beginning of the school year they can be as low as 25 cents!  Stock up!!  I also tell parents to stock up because the school supplies never last all year!

8.  Kids love stickers!  There were times I would give stickers as positive reinforcement.  I never saw such happy faces or such sad faces over a simple sticker.

7.  Your job is not restricted to school hours!  I have been at school some days 13 hours!  There are conferences, concerts, science fairs, festivals, etc.  We also work at home, during the summer (shocking isn't it!), on the weekends.

6.You do not love your students as much as your own children, but you do love them!  I saw some of my former students graduate from 8th grade in June.  There were many that were my little 2nd graders, there were more that were my 5th graders.  I cried to see them so grown up!  My first class are now sophomores.  In less than 3 years, my 1st class of 1st graders and my 1st class of 2nd graders will be graduating high school.

5.  There will be interruptions.  There are fire drills, tornado drills, lockdowns, picture day, fundraisers, book fairs.  I am one to hate interruptions to my schedule.  I am much more flexible in 1st grade.  I HATED interruptions in 5th grade.  It was a testing grade and the 5th grade math test was a monster.  I needed every single moment!

4.Tests are a reality and they are not going away.  In fact here in NC there are going to be MORE tests for more grades!  That should prove interesting.  So my little first grader that didn't sleep last night because his mother was arrested will be tested.  I found this picture that portrays a student's perspective of Washington state's tests.

3.  At a moment's notice a child will be the most precious thing on Earth.  This is a gift from one of my first grader's this year.  It shows perfect innocent childhood.

2.  Learn from every year and always move forward.  One of the advantages to teaching is that every fall we get to start all over.  One of the hardest parts is that every fall we have to start over.

And the number 1 thing I have learned from teaching........Drumroll please......

1.  A lesson I learned my first year of teaching.  When a child looks ill, they are ill.  Get them to the trashcan, bathroom, or nurse ASAP!  I had a child doing the TPRI with me (TPRI is much like Running Records).  I asked the child if they were okay because they looked pale and a little off.  The child said they were fine.  Not two minutes later she threw up all over my reading table!  That will be a lesson I never forget!

Onto the giveaways!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Advice for New Teachers and giveaway day 2!

I am officially over 200!!  Yeah!!

This week's linky is advice for new teachers!

Buy.... There is so much I could say here.  I thought paper was the best thing. We use it for printing, coloring, crafting, copying, folding etc and there is never enough of it!

Always...Ask Questions.  This is a hard one for me.  I am shy face to face.  I have had to force myself to be humble and ask questions or for help.  I know as a first year teacher, I knew it all!  Now I am much older and wiser, I know better.

Never...Isolate yourself.  One of my colleagues this year was a 2nd year teacher.  He isolated himself and struggled.  He did not seek us out until he was in big trouble or drowning.  You have to be open and ready!

Find...lots of resources!  Kids get bored very quickly, you need lots of resources ready for them.  Also you should always have a trick ready to go if you run into extra time!

Make...a teacher buddy.  I do not know what I would have done without my mentor my first 1 1/2 years.  She listened and encouraged.  She helped me find solutions.  If you cannot connect with your mentor, find another veteran teacher to buddy with.  I know my 2nd mentor was more hands off, but I depended on my teacher assistant who had 10 years experience.  She was invaluable to me!

Be...yourself!  Take advice, mull over it and make it your own.  You will not be successful in the classroom if you clone another teacher.  You have to find what you can do, what you feel comfortable with, and make everything your own.

Now onto the second day of giveaways!!!
Sunday's Winner is Lori R.!!

First the giveaway for the Quietest pencil sharpener!!!

Classroom Friendly Supplies - Pilot Mountain, NC

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's giveaway time!!

Let the celebration begin!

You could win a pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies! This contest will end on the 29th.

Classroom Friendly Supplies - Pilot Mountain, NC
I love this pencil sharpener!  I have a green one and a black one.  Then I bought blue ones for my son's teachers!

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Today's giveaway!  Act quick!  You have until midnight!

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Good luck!!