Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Changes are here!

Well I have been wanting to say something earlier but literally haven't had the time. I have accepted a new position in another county. Anyone who knows me knows this decision was very difficult. I'm terrible with change...seriously. I can't even stand to move a piece of furniture to a different location after I have placed it in one spot. I am a creature of habit and routine for sure.

BUT, this opportunity is something you can't pass up. I'll be teaching 4th grade at a gifted school. Its the only full time gifted school in the state of Florida. At 25 I feel so lucky to be given this opportunity and I'm thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure.

New curriculum.....

New grade....

New school...

New district....

But I feel so peaceful, so I know I made the right decision. Now this peace vanishes instantly when I think about the condition of my room right's a train wreck. Usually at this point in the summer my room is done and I'm ready to roll so this is new to me, but that's ok. It's coming together and by the weekend it will be done. Pictures to come! Off to go work on the 3,000 things I have to do before school starts!

Take care.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Favorite Back to School Activity Linky

I am linking up with Jodi from Fun in First for a great linky! Check her website out. She's awesome! 

The first week of school is always insane and full of fun! I always like to do the following activity with my students on the first day of school...its a great ice breaker activity for the kids to get to know each other and for me to learn about my kiddos. 

I like to call this "Getting to Know You Puzzles." Here's how it works...First, you need this template...

Please excuse my cropping abilities..or lack there of...there is a bottom to the template, I just chopped it off. :)

I print the template on card stock and give each child a copy with the template facing down. Each student decorates the plain side with pictures and facts about his/her self. Once they are done, they turn the sheet over and cut the puzzle pieces out. Then I give each child a Ziploc bag to put their pieces in. Once everyone is done, the students take turns buddying up and putting together each other's puzzles to learn more about one another. Great ice breaker activity! I love watching the kids interact and help each other out! Here are some pictures:

Great news. This activity is in my TN Shop for only $1.00! Click on the last photo to check it out! Enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

200 followers and Monday Made It...FINALLY!

Alright, I made it to 200 followers! YAY! I'm excited... hmm...I haven't even thought about a giveaway, so be on the lookout for something in the upcoming days. 

I have been DYING to partake in Tara's
for awhile now. I have been making and working on things for my new classroom theme, but I'm not ready to reveal all that yet. :) 

BUT...I knew that I would be able to do Monday Made It when my friend Katie called me. 

Katie is one of my dear friends. I met her many years ago in college. We instantly got along and stuck together to keep college fun and full of laughter. After graduation we both got jobs in different districts, so I don't see her as much as I would like to. I fondly miss our Panera Bread lunch dates we would share before classes and seeing her every several days a week. Now we resort to meeting up on holiday breaks and summer vacation. A few weeks ago Katie called to say she was looking to do an ocean theme in her classroom and would I be willing to help? Would I be willing to help?? Are you kidding me?? YESSSSSS. I LOVE A GOOD THEME AND CLASSROOM MAKE-OVER. I love spreading theme love everywhere and BONUS....last year I did a nautical/ocean theme in my room and have a TON of stuff. This was a win/win situation...I'd get to spend some time with my buddy and she would take my decorations off my hands. Now I don't have to worry about where to store all those goodies. Thank you Katie for saving me from a Mark dispute...."TANYA, WHY IS ALL THIS OCEAN STUFF IN OUR OFFICE AND GARAGE??" You know men...

So last week we spent two days together and made head way in her room...

Here is what we "made" last week....

"Coral" made out of some fake flower arrangement you can see I'm very in touch with flowers and home decor as I don't know the official name for these orange and blue accents.

Her library.
We first organized and categorized her books which as many of you know takes a while! 

This hangs above her library.

I can't wait to see it completely done. :) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm baaaaaack....

Oh my goodness, I hope I remember how to post a's been a long time. Things have been crazy...let's got out (tears). I had a WONDERFUL group this past year and we were a tight family. Three days later I started summer school, which ends this Friday. Mark and I also moved to a bigger place. We are finally settled in and all is good. I'm writing this post on my brand new iPad. :) *giggles* My fabulous parents help fund my new friend as an end of the year gift. I'm in love. Like love. Please tell me there are others that feel the same way. Well I'm keeping this short and sweet. I have to get back into posting everyday. I truly miss it. Take care!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

An abundance of appreciation

I am having a sale in both of my stores to extend my appreciation for all you fabulous educators out there. I have been blogging since December and I truly feel blessed to partake in this talented and genius community. Thanks for all you do. :) Enjoy! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Favorite Travel Cup Linky Party

Hi friends. make up for my absence lately, I have decided to host a linky party. I'm feeling a little scared though. What if no one comes? What if my party "theme" (topic) is lame? What if someone has already done this idea and I am breaking linky party copyright laws. OH DEAR. This is overwhelming.


Ok..some background information..

I recently just got a new Tervis Tumbler as a gift... I am a Tervis freak. I love all things Tervis. I'm slightly biased because the Tervis factory is 30 minutes from where I live. I am a nutcase when it comes to my drinks being cold. Cold like Alaska..cold like the iceberg that struck the Titanic...cold like FREEZING. Ice is my best friend. I have to have it in my drinks. I don't drink anything warm...don't ask why, I just don't like it. No coffee. No tea. I will drink the occasional hot chocolate but other than that...its FREEZING all the way.

I FAITHFULLY bring a Tervis filled with ice water to school everyday. Last week I forgot my cup. I realized this 20 minutes into my drive. I actually considered turning the car around. How could I forget my cup? That question played in my mind like a broken record. This was like leaving my watch at home...or my laptop...or my HEAD...I felt so lost...and thirsty....the last 10 minutes of my drive into work was torture. I thought I wasn't going to make it. The thirst was unbearable. 

I have two wait now three cups which I rotate and change around. 

This has been my new favorite. I got it for Christmas from one of my students. It's so me.

and then there's my teacher cup. The Boosters committee gave each teacher one of these during Teacher Appreciation Week last year. How awesome was that?

and new one..which I adore and can't wait to rock tomorrow...

That terrible day reaffirmed how much I depend on my Tervis buddies and how they add happiness to my day....which prompted me to host a LINKY PARTY.

Mother's Day Idea, New Items, and SALE

If you were wondering (which I doubt you were)..yes I am alive. I've been working on activities and items for my teacher stores... that's pretty much it. I have no grand excuse as to why I haven't posted. :) 


Friday we worked on our gifts for Mother's Day and I grew 27 new gray hairs... we used paint. Paint is an abandoned word in my room. We seldom use it...and when I say seldom I mean 3 times a year...Christmas, Mother's Day, and preparing for Project Night. I turn into the Exorcism when I bust out the paint. I simply can't handle it...

We made "I love you to pieces" photo frames. We painted wooden frames pink and random puzzle pieces yellow, blue, and purple. When everything was dried, we glued the puzzle pieces onto the frames and wrote "I love you to pieces!" on the frames. They came out darling! This week I will take black and white pictures of the kiddos for the frames...wrap them...and DONE! 

As mentioned before I have been working feverishly on adding more items to my stores. Here are some pictures of what is NEW:

To celebrate May and my new items, I am having a sale over at TN. Check it out. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I'm feeling so anxious... it's a good anxious though. I'm just ready for the FCAT to be here and I know my kiddos are too. We have been preparing for this test since the first day of the school and they are totally ready. We had a "Good Luck" celebration on Friday with a huge ice cream party. My darling parents brought in fabulous toppings to make incredible sundaes. I wish I had taken pictures but I was "toppings" server and my parent volunteer was "ice cream" server. Our hands were too sticky to use a camera. :) My parents are so considerate and giving. I'm so blessed. :)

Last week we did a last minute lesson on perimeter. Perimeter on grid paper and counting units is always tricky for 3rd graders. I found this idea on Pinterest and it was a TOTAL hit!

Using Cheez Its for perimeter? HOW COME I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS? It worked so perfectly! My kids LOVED it! One little darling said, "I will totally rock perimeter on the FCAT now!" Too cute. :)

Off to go watch TV and R.E.L.A.X. To any Florida bloggers who teach intermediate grades, good luck tomorrow!  


Yes, I am hopping on the "Tax Day Sale" band wagon and throwing my own in my TpT store! Everything is 20% off, so swing over and check it out!

3rd - Reading, Holidays/Seasonal, Math -
Click on the apple to access my store. Sale ends tomorrow!! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sale and idiom fun!

Hello friends. Happy Easter! A little early I know...I imagine all you parents out there, buying and getting ready for the Easter Bunny. When I went to Wal-Mart today there were masses of people in the candy and Easter aisles. Fun times...Mark and I get slightly jealous that we can't use the excuse of children to go down the "fun aisles." Sometimes we go down, but usually one of us comes to his/her senses and talks the other one out of buying a 95 piece bag of candy.

I am having a "Hop into Spring" SALE over at my TN Shop. Everything is 20% OFF! Check it out!

Today I added an Idiom Matching Game to my shop. There are 30 pairs which students must match the idiom to its definition. Perfect for centers!
Click on the picture to see more. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Testing and a freebie

We are 5 school days away from the FCAT (a standardized test we must take in Florida and our 3rd graders HAVE to pass in order to be promoted). As I'm sure you can imagine, tension is high right now. I haven't slept a full night's sleep in about a week, but I am determined to keep the spirits high in my classroom.

Last year I decorated my room in a football theme before our big test. The kids really enjoyed it. We called ourselves "Team V" and my kiddos banned together in true team spirit to support and encourage each other for the FCAT. 

This year I continued with tradition. We decorated team jerseys and hung them from our ceiling. Go Team V!

We also created football players to match our theme. These came out A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. I got the template from "A Cupcake for the Teacher" over at TN.
Check her stuff out...her items are fabulous! 

I put the team jersey in my TN shop for FREE. Click on the photo below to access the template. Enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All the world's a stage...especially the classroom

Mark and I are going to see the musical "Wicked" TOMORROW. For those who have seen it, you know how A.M.A.Z.I.N.G this show is. This will be our 4th time seeing it and the excitement is still there. I first dragged Mark to see "Wicked" about 5 years ago. I literally had to drag him. He buried rocks in his shoes attempting to make it difficult. He didn't have "theater appreciation" and I vowed I would convert him to the dark...or wicked side. Now years later and with several shows under our belt, we make it our mission to see at least 2 shows a year. I knew I would be able to fix him...I mean convert him.

I know we won't always be able to take our adored trips to the theater with a family, mortgage, etc., ONE DAY... so I plan on thoroughly enjoying tomorrow night and savoring every minute of it. A HUGE BONUS is that Mark snagged us front row. FRONT. ROW. How could we ever top that? 

After teaching for a few years now, I have come to realize that teaching is a lot like acting.

Growing up 30 minutes from NYC, I have seen my fair share of Broadway shows. My mom took me every year to see a new show and as I grew older, my friends and I would venture to the city to enjoy what Broadway had to offer. I didn't just love watching shows, my passion was to be a part of them. I did high school and community theater for 5 years. I was fortunate to snag leading roles when we did our fall performances which were strictly plays. For the spring musicals I was always given supporting roles, because I can't hold a tune to save my life. It's dreadful. I wouldn't recommend anyone being exposed to such torture. Mark has endured such pain and he says his eardrums will never be the same. So naturally being a Broadway actor was out for me in terms of a career. Rats....

Now years later, I have left go of the Broadway dreams, sold the display case I held on to for my future Tony, and have accepted that I was never meant to be on Broadway. My destiny was to become a teacher. 

Teachers are the greatest actors. We are the true thespians. 

The classroom is a stage....minus the skin burning lights. What job allows you to dress up as Ms. Frizzle or paint your face for Dr. Seuss day? Granted those examples are referencing to special holidays and such, but even on just any regular day, we are actors waiting for the show to start. It's on from the second the kiddos come in. We're expected to play COUNTLESS roles and mold ourselves to fit our students' needs. No complaints students are generous audience members who frequently shower me with support and love. (No roses tossed on stage it would hurt if a child chucked a rose at me 2 feet away)

This girl isn't Broadway bound and I couldn't be happier....teaching is my mission. I still get my Broadway fixes in the car. I pretend to be the green witch from Wicked and belt out all her prized tunes... I once cracked my driver side window. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Another new classroom friend...

I was lucky enough to team up with Troy who is the creator of 
for a sponsorship. 

He so kindly agreed to send me one of his fabulous sharpeners to test and review. 

Isn't it adorable? I was curious to put this baby to use! Like many other teachers out there, I have fallen victim to many pencil sharpeners or perhaps they have fallen victim to my kiddos... Earlier in the year, not one but two $50 pencil sharpeners met their untimely deaths in my room. Tears were shed and wallets deflated each time I begrudgingly drove myself to the office supply store to buy yet another one. When I kept seeing Troy's pencil sharpener on other blogs, I was certainly interested. 

When the package came containing my new friend, I did a little happy dance in the school office. Okay, time for a test...

Pencil sharpener meet two new pencils...

After a few turns of the handle....

Hmmm.... sharp!


I am impressed!!!

Also, it was very quiet!!


Quiet seldom comes along in a teacher's lifetime... 

Okay bad news...Troy's sharpeners are currently sold out. (Whomp, Whomp...but it proves how popular his sharpeners are!!) On his website he says he will have more in April! Check out his website (click on the photo below) and get yours today or whenever they come back in stock! Thanks Troy for a great creation!