Saturday, September 26, 2015

Giveaway Time!!

It's been awhile since I posted to the blog and there have been a lot of changes in my life!! In July I made the decision to leave the classroom. It's been something that has been on my mind for awhile now. I LOVE teaching and my decision to leave had nothing to do with that. It was all the other "stuff" that was going on that made the decision easier for me...

I am now the District IT Training Developer for the school district I taught in. I'm sitting behind a computer all day, which has taken some getting use to but I really enjoy what I doing. I've always been pretty tech savvy, but I have learn quite a lot since I started my new job.  We are doing a computer re-fresh (7.2 million $$$) this year and all the new computers will either have Windows 8 or 10 on them. Since I'm a Mac girl and the latest Windows I worked with was 7, I had some learning to do before being able to make tutorials for our teachers. 

I've also been placed on the team to re-vamp our district SharePoint site. They didn't have the teachers using it until this year, so I had no previous experience with it. I'm watching training videos as well as reading up on SharePoint so that we can have a more organized site than we do now. I've also been able to use my graphic designer skills to help brand the site.

Do any of you use eSchool by Sungard? That is my other big project. While teaching, I only used it for attendance and report cards. Since starting the new job, I've learned what other great tools it has. I've been busy creating tutorials for their gradebook as well as visiting schools and doing some training sessions with teachers.

As exciting as this new adventure has been, I do miss working with my student...but not enough to go back to the classroom. I figure I'm still helping students by making the lives of their teachers a little easier and less stressful.

Now on to the giveaway!!

I was contacted by USB Memory Direct about getting some thumb drives. Who doesn't need another thumb drive? I swear I've got a ton already, but I'm always picking up another when I see a great deal on them. And who could pass up such cute ones?? 

I fell in love with the key fab drive the moment I saw it!! They have a ton of other cute ones too! You can even get custom shaped ones too! Next time you are thinking of picking up a new drive, consider USB Memory Direct when ordering!

So who would love to get $20 worth of products from my TpT stores?? For the winners, I will load $20 worth of products from either of my TpT stores to the cute key fob thumb drive and mail it to you. So not only do you get $20 worth of teaching products or digital items, you get a free thumb drive!!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. The more people that enter, the more prizes I will give away! For every 500 entries, I'll add an additional thumb drive to the giveaway (up to 15), so make sure to share this giveaway with all your friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 29, 2015

Painted Palette Inspiration plus GIVEAWAY

When I saw Creative Teaching Press's Painted Palette collection, I knew it would be something I needed for my classroom. As you've probably seen from post of my classroom, I live bright colors!! This line is perfect for me.

I wanted to share how versatile the Painted Palette collection is by giving you some color inspiration.

Creative Teaching Press is proud to be celebrating 50 years of teachers helping teachers. It was 50 years ago that a veteran school teacher named Luella Connelly got the idea to make her creative ideas for fun and effective teaching available to other teachers. And with the success of her “Recipes for Creative Writing,” CTP was born! Since then, generations of teachers have looked to our family-owned, teacher-managed company for the supplementary materials they need to help their students learn and make their classrooms a positive learning environment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to Adventures in Room 129 for another look at the great products Creative Teaching Press has to offer.

Adventures of Room 129

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I don't know about you, but one of my first purchases as a teacher was the EZ-Grader.  Having grown up with a mother that was a teacher, I knew how much it would be used.

18 years later and this is what it looks like....

Notice that it has both my maiden name and my married name on it. The corners have come apart and I had to re-attach them with brads from my scrapbooking stash.

When I saw their booth at the EdExpo, I knew I wanted to check out their newest products.

I fell in love with my EZ-Grader all over again!!

They now come in cute pink and purple (my favorite colors)!!

And for those of us that are over 40, they now have a large print EZ-Grader.

But my absolute favorite of the new EZ-Graders has to be the That's Correct! grader. I will be using this ALL THE TIME!! I do all my classwork and homework on a points system.  After a long day of school, I'm usually grading on a half working brain.  This will be so handy to just glance over and see the amount of points that I need to give.

Don't have a local teacher's store to purchase this at? Check out the EDMarket Dealer site.

My local store, United Art and Education, also sells on their website.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up

Last year when I came back from the Spring Teacher Meet-Up, I didn't think anything could be better than the weekend I had just experienced.  I was wrong. This year's meet up surpassed anything that I had imagined.

Last year, I went with my husband and mother. I'm a VERY shy person and didn't feel like I knew anyone well enough to room with them.  My husband and mother are gamblers, so they didn't mind tagging along with me.  This year I wanted to stay with some of my blogging friends from IN. Well, I waited too long and everyone already had roommates. I reached out to the group and found some others looking for another roommate so it worked out perfectly.

I was lucky to be the roommates of Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and Hilary from Second Grade is Out of this World. We stayed up talking late into Friday night. It was fun hear about educational things going on in other parts of the country.

Hilary, Greg and I I mentioned earlier, I'm a very shy person. I'm trying to put myself out there, so I made myself sit with people I didn't know. I ended up finding another 5th grade teacher, Lauren from Tastes Like Paste . Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of our table :(

The first thing we did was eat lunch. What is a get together without food, huh?? Then we did an ice breaker that ended with everyone introducing themselves.

Next we did our teacher tool swap, which you can read about HERE. I received this cute jar and Flair markers.

We did a whole group "Tips and Tricks" session. They had everyone fill out cards with topics they would like to discuss and then had an open forum. They presented the question and anyone that felt knowledgeable on the topic stood up and spoke.

We did some organized table sessions were we talked about anything from how to fit it all in to apps to use in your classroom. I was asked by Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lillypad to join her in talking about great science and social studies websites.

This year for prize giveaways, they gave us five tickets and we put them into the bags of the giveaways we were interested in.  I won this cute t-shirt from Claire Lynn Designs.


Special thanks go out to all the companies that donated to the giveaways:  SDE, Sit Spots, Tallahassee Sunday, Schoolgirl Style, ESGI, Hue Animation Studio, Brain Pop, Seat Sack and Younique by Dana.


We also had some great goodies that everyone received.

We got markers, gel pens and stickers from Scentos.

A teacher planner from Erin Condren.


Stickers, Mini Designer Cut-Outs and Mini Magnet books from Creative Teaching Press.

Bags from Lakeshore and Vera Bradley.

and a nail file from Origami Owl donated by Brenda from Primary Inspired.

The evening was topped off by the Pajama Party sponsored by Teacher Pay Teachers and Go Noodle. We got a large stickers from TpT and a lanyard from Go Noodle. We played music, took pictures, decorated pillowcases and of course had some food. A great time was had by all.

I can't wait for next year's blogger meet-up!!

You can enter to get you own bag of swag by entering below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the blog posts of the other bloggers that joined us for the weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gift Exchange Linky

I had such a great time at our Spring Blogger Meet-Up and I can't wait to tell you about it.

We did a "My Favorite Tool" exchange while there.  I took my favorite stapleless stapler and hope that the person that received it likes it as much as I do.

Since there were so many people this year, we broke up into grade level bands. I was in the 4-5 group.

I got one of my favorite tools from Tracy at 4th Grade Dynamic Duo:  

Flair Pens!! I use them all the time!

They came in this cute little jar. I can't decide if I want to take it to school or leave it at home as it matches my home office.

Be sure to check out all the other cool tools that teachers received!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Classroom Organization: Taming that Paper Pile

For years, I would end up with a pile of ungraded papers that was a mile high.  This year I finally found what works for me!

This paper tray was used for many different things over the years and this year I decided to re-purpose it!

I don't collect math homework because it is for practice. I want the students to be able to ask questions about the problems they had difficulty with the night before which can't happen if I collect their homework. They do get credit for the homework, but it is based purely on completion.

I do collect science and social studies homework and of course I have tests and quizzes to grade.

The trays sit on the corner of my desk. I made mini signs, printed them on cardstock, laminated them and then attached them with double sided tape (use this all the time in my classroom!).

I use the top tray for tests and quizzes because I allow the students to make corrections to those and it is really easy for them to just drop the corrected papers on top.

I think being able to see exactly how many papers I have to grade for each subject area keeps me from putting off the grading (I don't know about you, but that is top on my list of things I don't like to do!!) and getting a pile a mile high.

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For more Bright Ideas, be sure to check out the linky below!