Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Show Us Some Bloglovin - GIVEAWAY Linky!

Hey y'all!

So, by now, you have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st. Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following our blog through bloglovin! I know that change is quite a few bloggy buddies of mine (BIG thanks to Amanda & Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for setting this all up) thought we might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

We are EACH doing our own giveaways for all of our fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin. You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following our blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow. You can go to my sidebar on the right and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin under my other social media icons. Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow us. Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry. Then, go to this post on bloglovin and "like" it. This will allow me to track & verify entries!

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps. BUT, please go to my specific bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin. To ensure you are following, make certain that the blue button at the top of me bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter the giveaway!! I will be picking FIVE WINNERS and each winner will get their choice of TWO PRODUCTS from my TPT store!

Make sure to LIKE the post on Bloglovin' after you've gone over there to follow me. It's the first post that pops up right under the "FOLLOW" button!! This is the ONLY way I can verify entries... without it, your entries won't count.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
get the InLinkz code

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Feature Teacher Friday (Er.. Saturday) - {My Second Sense & Where the Wild Things Learn}

It's time for the second week of...
This week, we've got two AMAZING bloggers who I've grown to know. I adore these two bloggers and am so happy to have them featured here on the blog!

First up, we've got Tania from My Second Sense
Tania was asked the same questions as Julie & Mary were last week. Let's see what she said!

So, you became a teacher. Why?
I love to challenge my students!  I have always been 'granted' a well behaved classroom with well established routines and high expectations. I like to call myself organized and passionate about what I do. There is always time for crafts in our classroom. 

You've been teaching for how long? What grade do you currently teach? Have taught? And what grade is your all time favorite?
Taught for 10 years. I teach 2nd grade and that's the only grade I've taught so that's my favorite!

Now onto the fun stuff...

Tell us some of your favorites - food, color, movie, TV show, thing(s) to do during your downtime, etc.
Food: Indian and Mexican 
Color: red
TV show: Law and Order SUV, and Dancing with the Stars
Down time? Ha...not sure what that is, but I like to scrapbook (when I can). TPT and blogging have taken over my 'free time'.

How about types of books to read? What was the last book you read? What will you be reading next?
I have not read anything for pleasure in a loooooong time. I am a teacher nerd at heart. I read teacher books :)

What is your favorite indoor activity? Outdoor activity?
Indoor: TV couch potato (hello netflix)
Outdoor activity: Walking

If you could have any animal or creature as a pet, what would it be?
Dog- mine had the best 14 years any creature could have asked for.

If you were a crayon color, what color would you be?
Red :)

If you were an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be?
Coffee- always ready for something new :)

If you could visit ONE place for vacation, money not an object, where would that be? Why? Who would you bring along, if anyone?
Europe- have not been there yet. Argentina (Patagonia) will be my second choice. There is so much culture to be discovered :) I would bring kids, hubby, and mom.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
More technology- making frames is a must for me right now.

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?
Travel around the world.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln or Bill Clinton

What is your favorite quote?
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Einstein

To end this survey, choose ONE product from your TPT/TN store that is your favorite. Provide us with the link so we can go shopping :)
I don't have a favorite product because I love them all :)

Personally (from Sara, Miss V's Busy Bees), I absolutely ADORE Tania's new product, her 2013-2014 student planner. Oh yeah, it's editable!! How AWESOME of a product is this for students to be able to keep track of their things JUST like us teachers do??? Check it out in the link below or by clicking on the pictures (credit is given to Tania, the owner of the products)!
Tania, thank you for being a FEATURED TEACHER!! I am SO happy to have had you on my blog & cannot wait to see what else I learn from ya! :)
Next, we've got my fantastic friend, Amelia, who blogs at Where the Wild Things Learn.
Where the Wild Things Learn
Miss Amelia was asked the same questions... below are her responses!

So, you became a teacher. Why?
Growing up, I always said I wouldn't be a teacher. My mom was one, and I wanted to do something ""different."" I was going on visits to play volleyball in college, set and determined to be a physical therapist. Then, my junior year of high school I decided to coach a youth volleyball team. I couldn't believe the passion I had for coaching those girls. I cared so much about them, not just the sport of volleyball. This planted the seed of which I grew to know teaching IS my passion.

I love that every single day is something different. I never know what crazy or sweet (and maybe annoying ;) ) thing my kiddos will do. And I wouldn't trade that for the world. What other job can you get 50+ hugs a day sometimes, and they're all squeezed with love! I always tell my friends if they have a bad day to come into my school because I always receive choruses of "" I love your outfit, you're so pretty, you rock!"" Elementary kiddos can be the best!

What other job can you walk away each day and know that even though it may have been a frustrating day, you may have just impacted a child for the rest of their life! That could've been the day they look back on later in life and say ""that's the day I decided I wanted to be..."" or ""that was the day someone finally showed they cared..."" or so many other things.

That is powerful. There isn't a better job in the world.

You've been teaching for how long? What grade do you currently teach? Have taught? And what grade is your all time favorite?
Taught for 3 years. I currently teach 4th grade. I taught 6th grade for 2 years before this. This is the BEST switch I ever made.  I LOVE my fourthies and it is such a wonderful age! 

Now onto the fun stuff...

Tell us some of your favorites - food, color, movie, TV show, thing(s) to do during your downtime, etc.
"Favorite food- Mcdonalds double cheeseburger with big mac sauce, fries, and a diet coke (YIKES, so unhealthy haha!) OR Chicken Paprikash (has to be homemade Hungarian.)
Favorite color- SPARKLES!!
Favorite movie- Dirty Dancing
Favorite TV show- The Office or Modern Family

I love to read. So much so that my husband has finally settled on the fact that every vacation we have a suitcase mostly filled with books (he was shocked to find this out on our honeymoon!) I love coaching volleyball and have been a high school varsity coach for 2 years, and I coach JO (travel.) I love to run but it doesn't love me! It takes me a while to get back into running shape, but i truly enjoy it! I love spending time with my hubs; playing tennis, working out, laying on the couch watching our favorite shows... anything!"

How about types of books to read? What was the last book you read? What will you be reading next?
I'll try anything, really! My guilty pleasure during the summer are romance trash novels. Harry Potter is my ALL TIME favorite series. I am a Harry Potter nerd. I actually dressed up for all midnight showings of the movie and books (yes, even though I was in college and out of college for some!) I loved Hunger Games, too. I just finished reading The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. They are great books! Now I'm in a book depression, missing my characters and not sure what to read next :)

What is your favorite indoor activity? Outdoor activity?
Indoor activity-volleyball or reading
Outdoor activity- sand volleyball, running, or laying in a pool or on a beach reading!

If you could have any animal or creature as a pet, what would it be?
A TIGER!!! (White siberian if I could choose!)

If you were a crayon color, what color would you be?
unmellow yellow because I love bright colors and I'm always bright and cheery!

If you were an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be?
CHOCOLATE (There's none better)

If you could visit ONE place for vacation, money not an object, where would that be? Why? Who would you bring along, if anyone?
Fiji. I think it sounds so exotic and amazing. I would bring my hubs :)

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Play guitar!

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?
Buy a big boat to spend our summers on :) Then go on a shopping spree!

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Harper Lee. I would love to hear all about her inspiration for To Kill a Mockingbird and learn about her life!

What is your favorite quote?
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”

To end this survey, choose ONE product from your TPT/TN store that is your favorite. Provide us with the link so we can go shopping :)

Amelia, thank you soo much for being a FEATURED TEACHER, as well! I loved having you here and getting the opportunity to learn MUCH more about you!

I won't be blogging for the next couple of days... my sister is flying into town to spend some time with me and Cody and all the fur babies!! SO, I'll see y'all when she leaves & I get back into the grove of things :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winner of Day 6 & Technology Thursday - {Bloglovin'}

What y'all have been waiting for... an announcement of the final winner!
Congrats, LaKeita!! Boy... am I JEALOUS of all those goodies she's getting!!

Thank you to EVERYONE who helped make my one year blogiversary SUCH a great experience. I met so many new people in such a short time and I hope that y'all will stick around to next year's blogiversary - Year 2! :)
So.. I know, it's all the rage and I'm jumping on the bandwagon.

Google Reader will be going kaput... disappearing... vanishing... SHUT DOWN.. on July 1st. Yep, this July 1st.

So, if you read your blogs through Google Reader (some people did, some people didn't... just depends on how ya like to read your blogs), you're going to need a new method.

And I'm here to tell ya all about this new method for our TECHNOLOGY THURSDAY post!

So, a lot of us bloggers headed on over to BLOGLOVIN'.

What is Bloglovin'?
Bloglovin' is a reader, similar to Google Reader. You can see all your blogs in ONE place simply by giving them a "follow" on bloglovin.

Everyone is moving their readers over to other sources such as Feedly or Bloglovin'. But personally, I think Bloglovin' is one of the best choices. I have been on Bloglovin' for the last year (ever since I started blogging) and have thoroughly been impressed. It was the only way that I read blogs... I never used GReader.

BUT, say you follow hundreds of blogs... that's going to be a LOT to import one at a time by hitting the follow button on


There's an easy peasy way to transfer all your followings that you have to Bloglovin' in a few easy steps, which I'll show ya below.

FIRST - Sign up for Bloglovin'. You can do so with your e-mail address or your Facebook profile - whatever you wanna do! But know that if you do with your Facebook profile, it will pull your information from your Facebook. 

THEN - You'll be prompted to import your blogs from Google Reader. Follow the simple steps to do so. 
Choose from which area - likely Google Reader.
Click accept when this pops up. It's just accessing your blogs that you follow on Google Reader
THEN you get this lovely status bar. I follow far more blogs than I thought I did.. so it may take a bit to import.
Enjoy reading your blogs in the same way you would have on GReader!

Cool thing about Bloglovin' that I like is that you can see how many unread posts you have at the top in the name of the website OR along the right side.

As you can see from my number of unread posts (3853), I'm a BIT behind on blog reading BUT I read a lot of posts by going directly to the blogs.

The other cool thing about Bloglovin' is you can see some details of the blog post without going. If something catches your interest, click on it! If not, click "mark as read" and move on.

You can also see how many people "like" a blog post or you can "like" blog posts to come back to them later... kind of like repinning something on Pinterest in a way!

OR you can share directly from Bloglovin'. Find a post you like? Share it with some friends!

Want to find out more about Bloglovin'?
MANY bloggers have posted their version or take on Bloglovin' - some have tutorials for setting up your profile, some have tricks of the trade (that I have yet to learn), and some even have tutorials for adding your own blog to Bloglovin'!

Check out some of these posts:

A little more indepth of what I did above!

Jivey gives us some hints, tricks, and some more details about Bloglovin' - check it out!

Once you've done all that above... make sure to follow me on Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!! I'd hate to have y'all miss some posts :)

TO FOLLOW: Scroll back up and look for my "+Follow this blog with bloglovin'" button on the upper right, directly below my other Social Media icons. 

REMEMBER: You have to click that blue FOLLOW button once it takes you to my blog's Bloglovin' page. It's easy peasy!

I hope this helped out some people and I hope some of y'all might have learned something new!

See y'all tomorrow for the second week of Feature Teacher Friday!! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Winner of Day 5 & Teacher Product Tuesday - {Dry Erase Pockets}

First of all, I know what y'all are waiting for. I hate waiting to find out, too, so here it is...
Congrats, Emily! She's got loads of goodies coming her way and boy... am I jealous of that Target gift card! Dollar Spot all the way ;) Check back tomorrow for the last day's winner! Cannot wait to see who it is.
Do you have those times when you dread making copies of a product you've printed out or you handed out your key on accident and it's written all over?? Yep.. I've been there.

SO, contacted me a while back (like... a BIG TIME while back) and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their C-Line 9x12 Dry Erase Pockets, which can be found here.

I decided to go ahead and give them a whirl.

I printed out a page from my soon-to-be-listed NEW pack Math Jokes, which is an addition and subtraction pack that has a total of 30 practice pages, 10 all addition, 10 all subtraction, and 10 mixed. Each page has 18 different problems (that go from sums and differences of 1 to 100) and then students have to figure out the riddle at the bottom of the page using the codes to the right of the page.

Anyways, I put it in the dry erase pocket and got to work.
Slide your page in. The obviously nice thing about these pockets is that they can be used horizontally or vertically.
Then, I went ahead and completed one of the addition pages. I wrote directly on the pocket with a dry erase marker with ease. It glided right over the material as though it were a dry erase board - only it was more personal! 
Then, I wanted to erase. Sometime when you have a dry erase board or pocket, erasing is a PAIN IN THE BUTT. I mean a pain... it leaves residue behind, it doesn't wipe off easily, you can still see an outline of the pen... NOPE. Not with these. 
With one swipe of a tissue, it came off SO cleanly, you wouldn't even know I wrote on the pocket.

And, because I wrote on the pocket and not the paper, I can reuse this SAME piece of paper from year to year!! Saves me not only ink from having to reprint BUT it also saves me some time of having to reprint, too!

Some ideas for how to use these in the class are...

Use in centers - have kiddos place the writing for the day or the math problems for the day in the pocket. You can check it over (if you so choose) and then wipe it away for the next kiddo to use!

Use when testing reading - you can slide one in a pocket for your kiddos and one for you, and your kiddos can underline or circle words they may not understand. This gives you, as the teacher, an idea of what students may need reviews on and what they could improve.

As for at home... the possibilities are endless, too!

Lists - put a piece of blank paper in the packs and use it as a list. Grocery list. Menu planner. To-do list. Anything!

Drawing - have your kiddos go to town with dry erase markers! Gives them a place to draw, draw, draw and it'll stay off the walls ;)

The other thing I love about these is that they can be stored in a simple place as they're all very thin. You can pull them out and have kiddos use them at their desks instead of trying to fit everyone up at the board. This way, everyone gets to participate, including that child that is too nervous to go to the board!

So, how would YOU use these in your classroom or your home? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear lots of your ideas - I know y'all have some! :)
**All opinions expressed on this product are of my own. supplied me with free product to review, but opinions are 100% my own.**

Monday, June 17, 2013

Winners Day 3 and 4 & Monday Made It {Party Puffs}

OH man, what a weekend! Swimming and sun, dehydration, research papers, homework... LOADS of sleep. It's been a long one but I am BACK.

And I owe you all TWO announcements of winners, so it's my pleasure to announce...

Congrats Lori & Robin! An e-mail has been sent to both of these ladies so they're going to have LOADS and LOADS of goodies being sent their way and I couldn't be more excited!

So, since I missed my Summer Reading Sunday, I'm going to have to make it up on Wild Card Wednesday this week... I spent OVER 11 hours on my research paper yesterday. ELEVEN HOURS. Yep... it was loads of fun. Come Wednesday, you'll catch a glimpse of some of my favorite reads :)

But now, it's time for..
Mondays are my favorite when it comes to summertime. During the school year... ehhh not so much. But when summer starts, AH, Mondays are like music to my ears!

How do you keep classroom management issues to a minimum in your classroom? Me, I like to use positive reinforcement and sometimes, I like to use rewards. So, for the reward portion, I decided I wanted to make a party reward jar.

I have a Cricut machine that I use when scrapbooking and decided to buy some vinyl when I was at The Lob (which is slang for Hobby Lobby). I also bought a jar and some pom poms. All of which were on sale. Heck yes!
I decided to use all this to make a fuzzy pom pom reward jar. I couldn't think of a creative name so I decided to label it with "Party Puffs."

First, cut out what words you want on your vinyl. I chose black vinyl because it would be best seen against all the bright colors of the pom poms.
Once you've got what you want cut out, start peeling off the backing and place on your jar in the order you want!
Tada! All finished!
Students will earn pom poms (or puffs) when they are behaving as they should (listening to directions, are on task, not misbehaving, were great when subs were here while I was out, etc.), receive a compliment from another staff member, and are exhibiting other such classroom behaviors.

The pom poms will start out in a plain jar will be transferred to the "Party Pals" jar. There are 100 pom poms and all pom poms must be in the jar in order to receive the party. It's an incentive for them to want to behave. BUT, pom poms can also be taken away... which is the classroom management - positive negative part.

But, I know that using rewards ALL. THE. TIME. is not the best resource. This is why I will not utilize ONLY this jar as my classroom management system, but I will use it as something that is fun AND rewarding AND engaging for my students. Just something a little extra :)

So, what did YOU make this week??

Link up with Tara by clicking the Monday Made It button above!

See y'all tomorrow for Teacher Product Tuesday!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Winner of Day 2!

Today is going to be a VERY short post, as I'm facing dehydration. I spent too much time outside with too little to drink so...

Day 2 of the Miss V's Busy Bees One Year Blogiversary Giveaway bash is done and I am so happy to announce...
Congrats, Heather!! An e-mail has been sent her way so she's going to have LOADS and LOADS of goodies being sent her way and I couldn't be more excited!

See y'all tomorrow for Summer Reading Sunday! :)
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