Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Gifting with Oriental Trading

Oriental Trading is a place where I can meet all of my holiday needs - crafts, gifts, party supplies, and fun.  I am so excited to share with you some of the fun gifts I got for my fourth graders from Oriental Trading.  They sent me these items (for free!) for me to review the quality and greatness of their products.  As children get older I think it is just as important to celebrate their holidays and culture just as much as the younger children.  I am bringing the spark back into holidays!
How much are gift bags normally?  They are usually around $1.  I loved these gift bagsin packs of 12 for $6.  I gave all of my girls the red bags, and the boys the green bags.  The gift bags were very sturdy and cute - the only thing I would change is you can see where the handles are glued on the side (maybe a way to make it less noticeable) - but for 50 cents each, what a great deal for everyone!

48 mini, mini notepads for less than $5!  These are tiny but so cute and my fourth graders LOVE things like these... there's enough in pack for me to give all of my students two of them.  I would definitely make a purchase with these in the future!

Who remembers slap bracelets?! I loved these as a child.  Of course when I saw these on Oriental Trading, I had to request them. I love these metallic snowflake ones (perfect to use after Christmas too) but they also have many other different kinds.

Do your students love sticky toys? MINE DO!  This bundle came with TONS of sticky insects, animals, and little alien guys.  Some of them are really small and cute but others are big hand slappers and noise putty that are really going to be a hit!

 The footballs and penguins were my differentiated gift between the boys and the girls.  I liked the footballs a lot - I thought they were going to be a little bigger, but I know my sweeties will love them.  My favorite thing I received were these adorable penguins.  They were great quality and I know that they will be a huge hit.  I wish I could keep one for myself! ;) 
 I am so excited to spend the next week with my students and we are going to do the "5 Days" (instead of 12 days) of Holiday fun. The last day before Christmas Eve they will get these gifts from me and hopefully enjoy every prize.

Check out Oriental Trading's Christmas Shop because there are items up to 75% off.  
I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday and some well-deserved time off! 
Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading? Visit their coupon page for the latest in sales.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Math Thinking Mats and Infographics

Carson-Dellosa is a company that has tons of teacher ready materials.  I was really excited to receive the following products in the mail last week:

When I opened the Thinking Mats, I noticed right away the correlation with the Common Core.  We use Go Math for our math program, and it is very rigorous and definitely builds on the strategies learned year after year.  The quality of the cards was very impressive to me.  Each activity comes with perforated pages that I put into baggies to keep the center together.
 I have nothing but positive things to say about this product.  The students are engaged and eager to play.  As the students get older, sometimes they will begin to lose that spark for learning that they have when they are so young.  After working in grades K-12, you can see a difference of enthusiasm for learning sometimes.  My kids regain that spark when they use this :)

When to use this product: Math centers, an enrichment activity, or a great review for your fast finishers :)
How many people can use this product: This is more of a partner center or for groups up to 4 people.  This is not a product I would use whole class.
The only thing I changed about our first center "Factor Flight" was taking a dry erase marker and underlining the 9 and 6 so the numbers would not be confusing for the kids (and so they wouldn't fight over the numbers!) :) Great product and well worth the money!

The Infographics activities are a great tool for me to review important concepts from our Social Studies curriculum.  For example, after studying the history of New York and map skills, I had the students practice reading different graphs and locating directions and specific places on a map.
Just like the math mats, these are thick, laminated material and who doesn't love to use dry erase?! :) The math activities were a little more engaging for all of my learners, but this product was a great way to help reinforce the material they learned.  And they are all cross-curricular!  As teachers we may feel we do not have enough time to do extra activities but this product combines ELA with Social Studies and even Math!

 When to use this product: Perfect to reinforce a specific skill, great for early finishers and perfect for a center activity.
How many people can use this product: I would say this is an independent choice (or with a partner)
Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you can check out these amazing products.  What do you do for math centers and social studies activities?

Have a great day!

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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kinder Teamwork Giveaway

Hi everyone!  I am so excited to be teaming up with some amazing people to celebrate Kinder Teamwork and her (now over) 1,000 Followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!
There are some great prizes up for grabs including a lanyard from Origami Owl and $25 gift certificate... what makes this giveaway really special is that there will be FOUR runners up to receive a $25 gift certificate as well from your choice of Really Good Stuff or Teachers Pay Teachers. 
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and best of luck in the giveaway!  We heart teachers! 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oriental Trading Wishlist

Hi everyone!  How is your Back to School experience going?  I live in New York and my summer is July through August, so I don't go back until September.  However, I am busily getting ready and decorating my room and familiarizing myself with the curriculum.
Where do you go to buy teaching décor?  Target?  Michaels? Walmart?  A local teacher store?  I do all of the above, but sometimes I don't have the time to go out or I'd rather happily browse at home.  One place that I know meets so many of my classroom needs is Oriental Trading.  What I love about Oriental Trading is their variety and they have so many brand names and familiar products that I already have and love.
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I am really excited to share my Oriental Trading Wishlist (and I got a few things from it that I knew would be essential for my classroom!)  Wishlists are such a great idea to not only keep track of what you want, but you can share out your wishlist with parents or other teacher friends. 
These pencil sharpeners are perfect for my prize bin.  I am really excited to be teaching 4th grade, and I know they will be responsible with them.  They are a little bit small so I wouldn't recommend them for really small children. :)
 One of my favorites were these magnetic clips for "no name" papers - this happens far too often in multiple grade levels! :)
Check out my bulletin boards!  I love the borders from Oriental Trading, but I also love the bulletin pieces like this "I can" objectives wall!

Oriental Trading also has me ready for my 4th Grade Social Studies Units!  One of our first units is Map Skills and learning all about New York State. 

 I got complimented on these lovely punch-out letters that I got.  I am in love! They are BIG and BOLD and STURDY. 
I also found cute composition notebook bulletin board pieces.  Very good quality (cardboard) that I can write the students names on and hang them :) Can't wait!
 Best prices for pencils and dry erasers.  I had to! :)
Check out my wish list for more details on these items... and make your own wish list if you have time!  If you want to share with me, feel free I'd love to see them!

Happy Shopping and Wish listing!

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Classroom Setup 2016-2017

I will be going into my 8th year of teaching in September.  I am at a new school and a new grade level.  This summer has been full of hard work and continuous effort.  I have worked with many wonderful children in a literacy summer program and tutoring.  I can't believe that summer is coming to a close and I haven't had a day to relax, but to be in the wonderful district I am, made all worth the hard work!  My journey and teaching path are no accident.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

So I will be teaching fourth grade for the 2016-2017 school year.  I haven't taught 4th grade in some years, but I can't wait to provide care and authentic experiences for my fourth graders!
What do you think? There is still time to jazz it up a little more, but this is the basic gist  :) 
Can we say books?! Holy moly.  After many hours of work, all of the books are now categorized with specific labels and ready for the children to read.  Lots of choices! :)  
 Our daily subject board and jobs.  You can find this adorable "Pencil me in" job chart HERE! I am going to be laminating and rotating names for the jobs.
Below are some of my subject bulletin boards that I will be adding to and changing throughout the year.  Crayfish and Geography are two of the first units that I will teach for Science and Social Studies.  I am excited to have lots of wall space for each subject area!

 Here are my Genre posters from Really Good Stuff and I LOVED these motivational posters.  This TPT freebie can be found HERE from Teaches Third in Georgia!
 My reading nook is one of my favorite areas in my classroom.  I love my 6 Traits of Writing Posters, my RACE sign from Fourth Grade Flipper, and my Text Evidence freebie I found that would look awesome in color (but I printed in black and white.)
My classroom won't be on Pinterest and all of my bins do not match.  I don't have the latest and greatest bulletin boards, but as the years continue and I develop more of a supply for décor, this is what it'll look like.  And I like it.  Sure I would love to have the chalkboard designs and all black bulletin boards matching and all of my bins to be labeled.  But for right now, it's all good!

I wish you all a wonderful 2016-2017 school year.  Make it the best year ever. :)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Back to School Sale

I am so excited for the Back to School Sale.. what about you?  What is on your wish list?
All of my products will be on sale for 20% off August 1st-3rd.  On August 1st and 2nd, if you use the code BESTYEAR it will be a total of 28% off... WAHOO!
Here's to the best year ever... that's how I feel each and every year and that keeps me going and keeps me happy.
Here are some of my products that I have loved using in my classroom and some "best sellers" in my store :) Click on the pictures to view the descriptions! :)
Fourth Grade ELA Common Core Pack Healthy Unit for K-2
Figurative Language Pack5th Grade Common Core Math Pack
First and Second Grade Nonfiction Close ReadsThird Grade Common Core Math Pack

I wanted to share some great anchor charts I created for my students, inspired by Lucy Calkins - many parts of her readers and writers workshop have helped me become a better teacher this past year.  These two posters were used for early learners and ENL learners to help learn the process of reading comprehension and strategies like "Turn and Talk."

 I love this Anchor Chart I pinned on Pinterest from The Brown Bag Teacher on Small Moments... Her post on Narrative Writing is a must read :) Personal narratives is a great unit in Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop.
Narrative Writing: Launching Writer's Workshop in 1st Grade. Love the ideas and anchor charts in this blog post!:
After connecting with this post, it got me thinking about creative writing and what I do in my classroom... small moments.  What if I could find some photos that are "small moments" that children can turn into something "bigger?" Details, creativity, and imagination..
I just finished a product for grades 1-3 - Creative writing with photographs.  I have used these a lot with my first graders last year, and this type of activity helps children more about themselves as a writer while using their imagination and digging deeper with descriptive words.

I hope you enjoy and you are enjoying getting ready for Back to School.  Happy Shopping! XO