Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Word Resolutions Linky

I've never been big into making New Year's resolutions, but this one word resolution got me thinking.  I like to think of this more as a "goal."  

HAPPY....because when you're truly happy, everything else just seems to fall into place, right?

Now head on over to Primary Powers to see other "one word resolutions."

Primary Powers

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chris Van Allsburg

Of course, everyone has heard of "The Polar Express," but have you really explored any of Van Allsburg's other books?  This man is amazing!  I love the story of how his career started and his process of sketching and writing for his books.  You can read more about that here.  Be sure to read about Fritz, the dog too.  It's a heartwarming story and you'll find yourself on a search to find him in all of Van Allsburg's books.

Here's a quick glance at all of his books.  He has recently published a new book and is currently on a book tour.  You can find the tour schedule here.
I recently started a mini-study with my 2nd graders on Van Allsburg's works.  Naturally, I timed it so we could watch "The Polar Express" just before the Christmas break! 

But we started with "The Widow's Broom" and they loved it.  After doing some research into how and why he creates his sketches, they appreciated the black and white pictures in the book a lot more.  For those of you that don't know, the broom comes to life and has a personality.  After a lot of discussion and brainstorming my students were asked to pick a mundane object and bring it to life through a writing assignment.  You can find it here, if you are interested in using it with your little smarties.

I've also included a writing sheet for them to create their stories.  I hope this helps and I'll be back with more freebies as we explore more of his WONDERFUL books.  So check back from time to time and be sure to comment with things you have used in your classrooms.  Chris Van Allsburg is an amazingly talented man.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Stitch Fix Reviews 2 and 3

If you've never heard of Stitch Fix, you can read more about how it works in my first review here.

I'm behind on my Stitch Fix reviews, so today I'll be doing a review of my last two fixes.

My second fix was just OK.  Of the five items I only kept two.  I asked for warm and cozy sweaters and I received the Moon Collection Alexander Graphic Knit Drape Front Cardigan. The pattern is not my favorite but when I put it on, I was in love and decided to keep it.  It is NOT flattering at all and I'm still trying to get past that.  Here's the best pic of this beauty I can come up with.  

I also kept this SOFT, SOFT Octavia Rickshaw Graphic Print Knit Infinity Scarf.  I already have a chevron one with the same colors but at $34, I decided to keep it.
I requested colored jeans.  I can't wear jeans to work, so wearing colored jeans is my way around this.  The Mavi Gold Nigel Tall Length Skinny Jeans in (olive green) pictured below fit like a glove and felt like butter!!!  I LOVED them but have a pair of pants the exact same color, so I couldn't justify paying $138.  I'd love these in another color and may request them in another Fix.
Also in this box was this Oak & Olive Balton Sleeveless Abstract Print Dress!!!  Hmmmm....I'm still trying to figure out how this fits into my request for "warm and cozy items."   I did try it on but it did NOTHING for me.  So it went back with the jeans.
My final item was this Pink Martini Dennis Textured Knit  Sweater.  It was cute but snug and see-through in parts.  I had no extra room to squeeze a shirt under it, so back it went.
So that's a wrap on my November Fix.  Again, I kept 2 of the items, not too bad.

For my December Fix (which I just got today), I requested distressed, boyfriend jeans and I got these Mavi Ruxin Distressed Boyfriend Jeans.  They fit and feel really good, but I'm not too happy with the dark wash.  I think I'd like them better in a much lighter wash.  My thought right now is that these will be returned.
I requested this exact jacket after a co-worker got it in her last fix.  I was happy they were able to find one for me.  It's the Mystree Kalia Faux Leather Shawl Jacket, if you want to request it too.  I LOVE it!!  It's very well made and has a lot of great texture.  Defiantly a keeper.
I also asked for this Market and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan in a blue or red color, after I saw in another on-line review.  My stylist was only able to get it in this burnt orange color.  I love it for someone else but I'm not sure it's a good color for me.  I'm still undecided on this one.  It can be worn open or zipped up.
Next was the Market and Spruce Fierro Elbow Patch Crew Neck Sweater.  It is nice but I look better in brighter colors and this is a little too plain for me.
And finally, the Market and Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeved Tee.  This is really thin and plain.  It is a little too big and it just hangs on me.  This will be going back.

You can read about my first Fix here.  BTW, I'm having some buyers remorse from that fix about keeping the Abstract Print Tulip Short Sleeved Shirt it's soooo not ME and the Metal Bauble Necklace.  I've not worn either of them. :-(  I was so excited to get my first Fix that I made some exceptions and kept everything.  I won't let that happen again. To settle  my excitement, I now peek at my items by using the "checkout" button that appears when your Fix ships.  Does anyone else peek?    

If you want to give this Stitch Fix stuff a whirl, here's my referral link.  It's definitely fun and worth the $20 styling fee.  So until next month I'll keep pinning and giving very detailed comments in the notes to my stylist.  I think this is the key to a good fix.  And lots of pinning on Pinterest.  That helps too.  
Let me know what you think of my last two fixes and go ahead and complete your style profile.  It's FUN!!

I have not received compensation from Stitch Fix for this blog post.  These are solely my opinions about my experience with this service.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quick, Easy Recipes for Busy, Busy Teachers Linky

All of us "gals" over at the Teaching the 2-Step are having linky party for quick, easy meals to get us through this busy time of year.  I'm sharing one of my all time favs.  Talk about easy...this is easy!!!

Be sure to head over to The Teaching 2-Step to see more quick recipes or you can click around below.  I hope you find something you can use.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Operation ELF~Creative Clips Selfless Challenge

So the one and only, Krista Wallden from Creative Clips has come up with an awesome selfless holiday challenge and it includes free clipart!  There's no catch or grand prize, just do some random acts of kindness and get more of her great clipart.  

Here's what's on tap for week one:
In return for your selflessness she is giving us this FREE clipart.  Here's just some of the cuteness for this week.

She's also included some adorable gift tags as well.  You can grab them here.  Be sure to leave her some love if you download.

I'll be back with pics of my random acts of kindness later this week.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Made It~Winter Holiday Freebie

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Made it Monday to share my latest forever FREEBIE.  After this week of "thankfulness" we will be planning for December.  This freebie will be perfect for those "in-door" recesses and a great math review.  
 Be sure to leave feedback. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo for Wordless Wednesday.  My kinders are finishing up a mini-study on spiders and this is a glimpse at our day. :-)  This makes my heart smile.

Head over to her blog to see other Wordless Wednesday pics.

BTW, did you grab my spider freebie?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stop, Swap, and Roll~Product Swap

I was excited to participate in a product swap hosted by Melissa from Jungle Learners.  She was kind enough to pull this thing together and matched me with Michelle from Teaching Ideas for Those who Love Teaching.  I choose a product on onomatopoeia from her store.

This was a perfect fit for my little gifted learners.  I used this product with my 1st graders.  I started out by playing the song, "What Did the Fox Say?"  
Then we discussed some of the sounds the animals made in the song.  Next, the big, fat word "onomatopoeia" was introduced!  I tried to make this as fun as possible!!  We discussed the definition and brainstormed for more examples.  Then the pages from Melissa's packet came into play.  We listed and practiced writing sentences using onomatopoeias.  I'll admit it was fun just hearing them try to pronounce "onomatopoeia." 

When I thought they had a good grasp on the skill we moved on to a paragraph, where they had to locate and list the onomatopoeias.  This is also included in Melissa's must-have onomatopoeia packet.

Also included is a quiz to assess knowledge gained in the lesson.  We will be doing this in our next class.  I feel certain they will do great with all the practice this packet contains.  There are several other activities included we didn't even have time for.  If you are teaching onomatopoeias to your little ones, this is the product you need!

You can enter for a chance to win your very own copy of this below or head on over to her TPT store and get it now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more product reviews and giveaways click the link below.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Fun and a Freebie

**Updated 10/30/14 and revised FREEBIE.

I was recently going through some pictures and wanted to share some of my pics from Octobers past!!

An Elvis pumpkin for the annual decorating contest.

We lost to a pig pink pumpkin. :-(  I just noticed that Elvis has no nose...oops.

We had fun studying standard and non-standard units of measurement.
A few die cut pumpkins, a yard stick to measure and mark the standard unit side and you have a lesson on measurement!

Below is our interactive bulletin board that is a lesson of its own.  I used die cuts of leaves and wrote double digit addition and subtraction problems on each one.  The students had to solve the problems and decide if the answer was even or odd. 

I've seen several teachers posting pics of what their students thought they should be for Halloween, so I joined in!
This is what we started with:
This is a few of my favorites:

And finally, for those of you that are still reading, here's your freebie!

Happy Halloween and don't forget to leave me some love in the comments.