Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Memorable Wedding

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

I just got married one month ago (I can't believe it's already been that long!) and I had the most beautiful day of my life.  I was surrounded by my husband, family, and many of the people I love and that love me.  
The day was months and months of planning and of course, there were some stressors along the way (what wedding doesn't have at least a little stress?) 

Do you want to know what helped me? Getting my supplies at Oriental Trading.  I used a lot of local Facebook groups to get the best deals, because who wants to pay full price for things I am going to use for one day.. not me! However, for things that I couldn't find and that I knew would help make my day more memorable, I turned to the wedding section of Oriental Trading.
This was my venue for our upstate New York wedding.. very simple but it really was perfect for us.  

I loved the place cards from Oriental Trading.  They went along with our silver/light pink theme for our wedding and were the perfect touch. $3.99 for 50 of them - you can't beat a great deal! :) 

One of the highlights of our wedding was the candy buffet.  Our guests loved it.  I will say, it was a lot of work.  Buying all the candy and putting it together and making sure I had enough bags, glassware and scoops was a little stressful.  Seeing how happy our guests were though and how much fun it was - was all worth it.

We got a few candies from the pink themed candy buffet.  I love salt water taffy so we had to get it. :) 

Here is our beautiful wedding cake.  There are so many cake knives/servers to choose from and you can even get them engraved to treasure forever.  

Our unity candle was so special.  Our mothers lit the two candlesticks and we lit the candle during the ceremony.  I will say that it was a little windy and our candle blew out a couple times, but it made us laugh. :) I highly recommend doing something personal/special during your ceremony.

My advice to those of you planning a wedding (if you are on a budget):

1. DIY wherever you can and enlist the help of your friends.
I ended up doing a lot by myself but wish I had asked for more help - your friends/family love you and want to help :) 

2. Start a board on Pinterest to get ideas.
You don't need to share it with everyone, but it will be helpful to get inspiration.

3. Join local wedding Facebook groups.
I got a lot of my wedding supplies from local wedding groups that were selling for a percentage off because they only used the supplies for one day (just like I was planning on!) Please just be careful, go with a friend, and meet in a public place - do not put yourself in any danger. 

4. Search around for the best deals.
It might be time consuming, but if you can't find anything on local Facebook groups then check out Oriental Trading and other websites like Amazon for the best prices.  You won't be sorry!

5. Smile and enjoy every moment.
There may be things that go wrong during the planning process or the actual day of the wedding. Just smile and know that everything you do and every moment is one step closer to one of the most important days of your life.  Smile and have fun! :) :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Activities on Education.com

Education.com aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, Education.com provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.

Here's a fun activity you can play with your child at home or in your classroom.

Activity: Word Builder
This time-based word-building game is the perfect way to boost your child's vocabulary and reading skills. Mix and match letters to see how many words she can come up with! Each round of this word builder is different to keep the game fresh for hours of learning and play.

What You Need:
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Timer

What You Do:
  1. To start the game, write four random consonants and three random vowels on a page in the notebook and pass it to your child.
  2. Help her set the timer for 30 seconds, then have her write down as many two-letter words as she can think of in 30 seconds.
  3. Once the time is up, go over the words with her and discuss which ones were spelled right.
  4. For the next round, write down four new random consonants and three random vowels on a new sheet of paper.
  5. Pass the notebook to your child, set the timer for 30 seconds, and this time, ask her to write down as many three-letter words as she can think of.
  6. Once the time is up, review the words with her and discuss which ones were spelled right again.
  7. You can play as many rounds as you like, upping the word length by one letter each turn. If your child feels comfortable, keep challenging her and you just might both be surprised at how many words she can come up with!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Ancient One and End of the Year Gifts

My students and I were so lucky to receive a copy of T.A. Barron's fantasy adventure, "The Ancient One." A couple of my students were excited to get their hands on a copy and begin reading.
We normally have independent reading time during our Daily 5 and they decided to write a short review on what they thought so far:

The students are enjoying the fact that this book is an adventure about helping the environment.  My one student Kate who is reading was excited to see the main character's name - Kate!
My fourth graders enjoy adventure, suspense, and visuals - the maps that can be found on T.A. Barron's site go right along with the stories.  How cool is that? My children are so impressionable right now and some have developed a dislike for reading :( However, when they can relate to a story and follow a character that they love, they feel like they are a part of it.  

You can find "The Ancient One" at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and Amazon! :) T.A. Barron has many other great books that you can check out.  I personally want to check out "The Wisdom of Merlin" myself.

Sooooo it's the end of the year.  My fourth graders have accomplished so much and they were wonderful to work with.  I knew that they deserved wonderful things sooo of course I went to Oriental Trading for my party needs.  I am also getting married this Saturday (4 days, no big deal) and they also are amazing with wedding supplies!

These tote bags were adorable to put lots of goodies in for my kids.  They were bigger than I had expected, but they definitely hold their weight.  These are perfect for lighter objects however, because I know with lbs and lbs of weight, these would break.  I told the kiddos that they would be able to put their beach stuff in these (towel, sunglasses, sunscreen) or put a light book and personal belongings in them as well. 

My kids (at all ages) love oriental trading prizes.  I got the sticky hands (they LOVE anything like this!) and some fun mini neon bouncy balls!  These are mini though and I don't recommend for younger children. 

 I wrapped their goodies in treat bags from the dollar tree to stay organized with the smaller items.  
My fourth graders faces light up with these ADORABLE FOXES.  I can't... they are just too cute.  My 9 and 10 year old boys and girls loved them :) They come in blue, pink, orange, and red.  

I am always a happy customer with Oriental Trading!

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guided Reading

Carson Dellosa has so much to offer for reading.  I was excited to be offered to review Guided Reading resources for Grades 3-4.  

Each book has a specific focus that you want your learners to hone in on.  Click on the links below to check out each topic.

Something I love about this resource is that there is 6 text cards in a pack (full paper size) and they are dry erase.  My kiddos don't feel like they are reading a regular book.  Even at the ages of 9 and 10, they get excited about using dry erase markers and picking out their own colors (it's the little things!) 

 My kids love to highlight and keep track of their learning.  This helps them locate text evidence and we also did a fun "game" where we would highlight the most important sentence in the paragraph - they had to read their sentences out loud and then discuss why they found their sentence to be a key part of the paragraph.  Fun and they were able to debate and support each other with the sentences they chose!
 Something else that helped with the dry erase is highlighting key vocabulary and drawing pictures.  There is not a lot of room on these guided reading activities to draw or write, but little pictures such as the one below were helpful for the visual learners.  For example, one student drew lava bursting out over the vocabulary word spews.  
 Something I loved about these Guided Reading packs were the different ways to assess.
In each book, there is a discussion guide, writing prompts, and graphic organizers.

In the corner there is a prompt on each dry erase activity labeled "Write about it!" and I loved using these in their reader's notebooks and on sticky notes.  Very quick way to assess and if we did not have time for a quick write, we would hold a quick discussion about the prompt.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Love those Guided reading packs.  At $19.99 each, it can get a little pricy for us teachers.  But if you are in the same grade level, you can use them year after year and it's a different way to introduce students to new texts and have multiple copies for guided reading.

 If the price does not tickle your fancy, even getting one of these books with a topic you may need a more ideas for works too!

My fourth graders were proud of their cute mother's day gifts.  
They decorated paper bags and placed a decorated pot in each with this TPT freebie "Thank you for helping me grow" :) 


Disclaimer: Carson Dellosa sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rae Dunn Giveaway

Just a few more hours of our Rae Dunn Teacher Blogger giveaway!  I am so excited to be teaming up with Reading and Writing Redhead and some wonderful teacher bloggers.

You will not only be receiving a 10 piece set of Rae Dunn pottery pieces, but some amazing TPT resources as well! Good luck!  Ends at midnight tonight (eastern time!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fourth Grade Freebies

Teachers Pay Teachers includes so many amazing resources from educators around the world.  I am so lucky to have been a part of this journey for 6 years and to have worked with so many talented teachers.  I am beyond blessed!
I am so lucky to have started this blog and to connect with all of you. So.. for my fourth grade teachers (since that is the current grade I am teaching ;) ) I wanted to share with you 5 fourth grade freebies on TPT that are great downloads.  Don't forget to leave the sellers kind feedback!

1. Need 4th Grade Common Core Math Checklists... for free? :) Check out TeachLiveDream's great freebie! Very simple and readable and student friendly with "I Can" statements.  
4th Grade Math Common Core Checklists (FREE!)

2. Idea for back to school? Class newspaper! Love this idea from Laura Leppke :) 
First Day of Fourth Grade Newspaper

3. I love this freebie from Create-Abilities - I know for sure my students need the review for two-step word problems :)
FREE 2-Step Word Problems Using the Four Operations

4. Perfect review for Geometry from I Want to Be a Super Teacher - can be used at multiple grade levels.
Geometry Introduction or Review PowerPoint Freebie PDF and

5. Figurative Language posters full of info from Kirsten's Kaboodle :)
Figurative Language Posters FREE

I hope you enjoyed these freebies! XO Have a great day!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wedding planning and purchases

Hi everyone!  So I am in the process of planning one of the most important days of my life... my wedding.  It's coming up this June and I am frantic. :) I have not been a bridezilla [I hope] by any means, but I am stressed to the max because of the $$$$. I am sure so many of you that have been through the wedding process or are going through it understand what I mean!
To keep the cost budget friendly, I have turned to different sites and DIY projects.  One site that I have found most helpful is Oriental Trading.  I have always turned to Oriental Trading for my teaching and crafting needs, but for my wedding?  Heck yes!  Last year, my beautiful cousin got married and being her maid of honor, I got a lot of the supplies at Oriental Trading from a card bird cage to special favors to bridal shower decor!

I wanted to give you all a sneak peek into my wedding and what some of my ideas are :) The colors are light pink, gray/silver, and black.  I am getting married in upstate NY where I am from and at the craziest time of year - the end of the school year!  :)

Something my fiance and I discussed with my minister was lighting a unity candle.  We loved the idea and I found these gorgeous unity candle. I love the personalization and the fact that Mike and I will be able to keep this forever.

Place cards! Perfectly simple, silver, and ready to be written on!  Instead of doing anything too fancy, I decided to be cost effective and "hire" a friend who writes in beautiful calligraphy for my guest names and table numbers.  50 cards for only $3.99!

Image result for wedding cake
Dessert?! Cake?! Who doesn't love cake... this is one of the best parts of getting married - cake tasting ;) And I had been thinking so much about a cake topper... should I put my dog on the top too?  Should I have Mike and my names?  A bride and groom silhouette? Hmmm...
The cake topper I decided on was simple and elegant.  I surprised myself because I was thinking cake toppers had to be elaborate and I have seen some pretty luxurious ones.  However, I went with a personalized cake topper where the glass shines just right. 

Hmmm... favors.  This was a toughie.  Being me and loving food/goodies, I am going with... a candy bar!  I am so excited.  I bought gorgeous glass vases on a Facebook wedding site with all of the scoops and supplies.  (I will pick out the yummy candy when we get closer to the wedding!)  
After getting the vases and glassware, I checked Etsy, Amazon, and eBay for personalized wedding treat bags.  I came across this pin on Pinterest, and they were beautiful.
Wedding Favors, Favor Bags, Candy Bar Buffet Bags, Rustic Wedding, Fall Wedding, Popcorn Bags, Custom Wedding Favors, Candy Bags, Kraft 110:
 But with having a more cost effective wedding, I realized I could get plain bags and boxes for guests to fill with treats, and place stickers on them to make them a little "sweeter" (ha, see what I did there?) :) These thank you stickers are only $2.49 for ONE HUNDRED.  Say whaaaat?  Some of the prices for personalized treat bags were $2.49 for 5 bags or stickers!  I know these are not specifically personalized with my name on it, but I didn't think it was needed.  
Planning a wedding is about discovering what is really important to you, and what you can budget and live without.  I can live without those cute bags :)
If personalization is something you cannot live without, check out these cute options from Oriental Trading!

Centerpieces.  I saw this bling from Oriental Trading and I had to have it.  Such beautiful crystals (or "ice" as they call it) and very good quality.  I am going to be filling my vases with a touch of this ice and placing light pink roses in the vases with water.  
 Since I am not buying the fresh flowers ahead of time, I bought some fake flowers to get the effect of what it will look like.  I will also be placing round mirrors below the vases and votive candles around the vase.  I can't wait to see what it comes out like...and I can't wait to show you pictures ;) 

There's more to come with my wedding journey and planning, but I feel relieved to be on the right track with these great products.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below xo

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Joy Cowley Contest

Hi everyone! Happy Snow Day to me today.

I wanted to let you know that there is still time to enter Joy Cowley's contestThe Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway by Hameray Publishing is here! One lucky classroom will win an entire set of Joy Cowley Collection leveled readers (60 books), Joy Cowley Early Birds lower-leveled readers (45 books), all of her newest big books (34 big books), a set of finger puppets, and more!

These books pull in even the most reluctant readers with their humor and whimsy. Your students will clamor to keep reading about their new friends: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Hungry Giant, the Meanies, and more. Recurring characters make them reach for the next book, and playful storylines lead them to finish it. All books in this package are written at guided reading levels C–I. Read more about the books included here.
This contest is closing February 28, so enter now! Winners will be announced March 1.  ENTER HERE! :) Good luck!