Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Must-Haves & Tech-Tip

There is less than a week until school starts and just thinking about it makes my head spin. Since today was the first day I could get into my class, I'm feeling a bit frazzled. With most of the decor for my room in place, I decided to tackle the closets, which have been the bane of my existence for the past five years. Looks like I'll be there every day this week.. bye, bye summer!

On to the real reason for the post, it's Teacher Week! As if I needed more of a reason to be attached to my laptop.

I get so many fabulous ideas from you all and I am a list-making fool this week! So many great ideas to try out! So many fab things to buy! In true procrastinator fashion, I have left too many things to be done this week so I am piggy backing Monday & Tuesday's post. Sadly, tomorrow's classroom reveal won't be ready until at least the weekend. I'll just have to drool over your rooms until then!

My must-haves in the classroom are simple...

Let's be serious... this is on everyone's list.
Although according to the source of the image, it's not such a great idea.
They obviously are not teachers.

These are my fave for making anchor charts.
 I love the color choices and stock up when they go on sale!

I have upgraded to the Erin Condren Planner this year! Watch out!
Hopefully it will be here soon!!

Finally, my teacher binder is my bible.
{Sorry, no pic!}
 I am re-vamping it and it will be better than ever.
I'll definitely share it when it's finished! :)

Ok, on to my Tech-Tip Tuesday. I wish I had more to share but there's not much technology available in my room, with the exception of a few things..

This machine has drastically changed the way I teach.
I use it for everything from showing the nooks and crannies of a sedimentary rock to showing off student work to enlarging text for read alouds. Yes, we read aloud constantly in fifth grade and this machine helps make it work.

This website is my new favorite math site:

My students can go on to practice their multiplication facts from school or home and I receive email updates with their progress. It is beyond student friendly and the best part? It is FREE!

I also just begged my principal via email, with links and selling points, for an interactive white board or a Mimio {which is portable!!} and I'm hoping that there is some money in the budget. My life would seriously be complete.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back to School Shopping

You know it's summer when the only blog posts have been Currently link ups! This summer has been a whirlwind that has included some major events such as raising our new puppy and honeymooning in the Dominican Republic. It really hasn't included any talk of school. Like, not even a little bit. I haven't even talked to my TBFF's much. Teacher BFF's, according to my students. I'm kind of contemplating a big change, that I'm really not ready to talk much about on the blog, but it has explained my absence even before the summer started. I'm hoping that I will receive some sort of guidance in one direction or another and that I can get back into the swing of things soon.

So, I recently experienced that first night of laying awake in bed with a million thoughts running through my head that need to be checked off the list for the upcoming school year, as well as the looming deadline for unchecked items from the summer list. We don't go back for another three weeks but I started trying to get back in the groove today. I hit up Staples and the Dollar Tree with my lists, and the miracle of all miracles happened.. I didn't buy a thing. Strangely enough, I then went into TJMaxx and walked out with more cash than I had when I went in, after returning a few items and um, not buying a thing. Seriously, I then stopped at CVS to pick up a script and it was free. The stars aligned or something because this never happens. Obviously, I then went into Panera and proceeded to spend $15 on soup and a sandwich. Eh, I guess you win some and lose some.

Ok, my point is coming. Usually when I go out to buy school supplies, I spend the remaining portion of my summer savings and load up my living room and then my classroom with goodies. Then I try to convince my husband that I really need hot pink post-its with zebra trim because it makes me a better teacher. Sound familiar? :) Well, something went terribly wrong this year.. Staples changed their teacher discount policy. I'll give you a minute to let that sink in, if necessary....... 

I heard the rumors but didn't believe them. Did you know this?? Ok.. old policy = teacher limit of extreme deals (1 cent filler paper, 10 cent folder, etc.) is 25 versus the two or five or whatever low number they choose. New policy = regular low limit of extreme deals and the remaining amount, up to 25, that you paid full sale price for (99 cents instead of 1 cent.. um, huge difference!) you get back in Staples Rewards, which is essentially a gift card to Staples in the amount that you spent. Sounds lovely, right? Yeah, well it takes about 5 weeks and comes in your email.

Now, I don't know about you, but I certainly appreciate only spending 25 cents on 25 packs of filler paper for my 25 students who usually come to school without it even though it's on their list. I definitely appreciate someone helping me out a bit when I'm buying school supplies for children that are not my own. I don't get it. I told the very nice man (seriously, he was so nice that he almost had me loading up on Staples Rewards) that I just didn't understand and he said, "yeah, it turns most people off". Um, ya think? Why do I want to come back in 5 weeks to pick out full price items? Then, I'll end up seeing star shaped Post-its or damask filing folders and spend even more money. That's if I even see the Rewards coupon in my inbox. In early September, my personal email is swamped and I usually have what I need to start the year, because you know, it already started and all.  I'm onto you Staples. I just may adding to my Walmart list, where they price match, and apparently have delicious steaks, too. Well, according to the commercials.

Really, though, it's off to Target next. You all know what happens when we go to Target. Ugh! I need time to mourn the loss of Staples but Target never lets me down :)

What are you going to do? Are you still loading up on filler paper this week? Should I go back? I'm so torn. Especially because it smelled SO good in Staples today. Fresh notebooks, new pencils, and Post-its, oh my!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Currently

I love this link-up! Obviously, since it's the only time I've posted this summer.

I missed out on July because I was a crazy lady trying to get ready for our trip but I like Farley's new rule of 3. Go to the two blogs before you and the one after and comment. LOVE it! :)

It's huge because I didn't realize how small my font was!

Ok, my B2S must haves are all things I have on my list for the year that I still need.

1. I'm pretty sure that Post-It chart paper will save my life. Nothing like being able to move those anchor charts all over the room!

2. Flair pens are my fave! I'm not into Sharpies the way that a lot of teachers are but I loove Flair pens. Maybe this is weird, too, but our math workbooks have kind of greasy paper and the Flair pens write so smoothly on them when I'm correcting!

3. Since we now use our gorgeous new coffee maker that we received for our wedding, at home, my Keurig is coming to school with me! Even though I don't have a sink in my room, I will make it work. I have to lay off the Diet Coke.

Is it Fall, yet? I am so over the summer.

Go play!

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