Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It {6/29/15}

Hey friends!  I'm off to my daughter's Freshman Orientation for the University of South Carolina today and we are super excited about what is in store.  I just can't believe the time has come for this major event in her life.  #wheredidthetimego?  If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen that hashtag a lot this year.  Before we take off, I'm linking up with one of my VEGAS roommates, Tara!  Are you headed to Vegas this year?  This will be my first time and I can't wait!

Last week, I posted a ton of pictures from Sarah's graduation party and promised to share one of the coolest features of her party this week.  
We had a photo booth set up in the back yard and it was a hit!
 This is my friend, Stacy, who is going to be starting her own teaching blog soon!  Isn't she adorable?

I made the frame.  It's made out of foam board from the Dollar Tree. Below is a little tutorial of how I created it.
Buy two cheap foam boards from the Dollar Tree.
I wanted the rounded edges, so I just found something round to create the curves.
 I had to make several attempts until I found the curve that made me happy.  :)
Then, the fun began.  I bought and FELL IN LOVE WITH a Hot Knife from Hobby Lobby!  Where in the world has this awesome crafting tool been all of my life?  So, let me break this down for you.  That tip gets like super, dooper hot.  Once it does, it cuts through this foam board like butta (you know, butter, but pronounced "butta").
Once all of the corners were cut, I used the first board to line up the second board to create the curve to match the larger board.  You can see in the picture below that I had to make several traced lines to get what I wanted...but that's OK.   You'll see later why it's fine...
Once the two boards are cut, the center has to be removed.  We actually used the center pieces for a display on the front porch.
 Ta-Da!  But, do you see that white?  Yuck.  Have no fear, spray paint is always near!!
Once spray painted, it was perfect!

Originally, I had planned on hanging it from the tree, but because it was foam board, it swayed quite a bit in the breeze.  I think it worked out just fine to have people hold it.  

Now, run...I mean RUN to your nearest craft store and get yourself a Hot Knife! 
Creative Versa-Tool Woodburning Tool Kit with Case
You will be glad you did!
My daughter's birthday was this week and we baked this beautiful cake together.  My husband laughed because she helped bake her own cake.  That's what happens when you are a grown up. She wanted a strawberry cake.  And not one of those "fake" strawberry cakes that uses strawberry Jello.  She would have no part of that!
We started with some fresh strawberries.
Then pureed them.

We added the puree to both the cake mix and the frosting.
It was delicious!
Want to make one of your own?  Here's a recipe:
Sadly, only two Made It's this week.  Next week should be a little better, I hope :)
Have you checked out this week's Monday Made It posts yet? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Monday Made It {6/23/15}

Hello from my poor, neglected blog!  It's been over a month since I've posted.  You might say I've been busy...but you could also say that I've been enjoying my summer.  It's a little of both, really. I'm here to share some of the fun things that I created for my daughter's graduation party for Tara's Monday Made It!

Sarah's theme was "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" and we had maps hanging around the house.  We created them using embroidery hoops and old maps.  I love the way they turned out.  You can see them in these two pictures:
 We also took those drink dispensers above and attached them to some wooden logs.  I love the rustic look.  The drink dispensers and tags came from Crate and Barrel and I love them!
Here are some more of the maps near the cake table.  That gorgeous cake was made by a teacher friend (thanks, Julie!) who used to make Sarah's birthday cakes when she was little.  Life is truly full circle sometimes.  Here is a closer look at that cake:
One of my favorite decorations (which is actually still hanging) was the feature wall.
Did you know that you can print black and white pictures from Staples Copy for CHEAP using the Blueprint paper?  You need to print the "Engineering Prints" and you can get an 18"x24" print for around $1.99.  With a few discounts, I got this whole wall printed for about $30.  You can't get a banner printed for that cost and this had such a stronger impact than a much smaller banner would have gotten.
One more decoration was the "Polaroid Picture" banner.
I just printed those on my printer to make them look like Polaroid pictures.  Simple. Cheap.
Finally, this display was in the foyer.  
I spray painted an old suitcase my mother-in-law found at the Habitat Thrift shop.  We decorated it and guests dropped cards in it.  The display on the right was full of treats for our guests to take away. I bought chocolates that looked like globes.  

Next week, I'll show you our photo booth.  Stay tuned!

Have you checked out this week's Monday Made It posts yet? 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

Two, four, six, eight…who do we appreciate?
YOU!  Teachers! 
Thanks to Joey @ Creating, Teaching and Sharing with Joey for the adorable image!
It’s Teacher Appreciation MONTH (because we deserve a whole month, don’t we?) and I've teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring an awesome giveaway your way!

Each of us has created a fun basket of goodies and will add to it a $25 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.  I’m sure you want to win!  When creating my basket, I actually bought double of a few items... because I wanted the items myself! 

Check out my basket:

What’s included?
*$25 Gift Certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers {Winner will be emailed the code.}
*Cute clipboard
*Notepads and sticky notes (You can never have too many!)
*Adorable pencils
*Lemon-scented candle
*Reuseable water bottle that looks like a water bottle--too stinkin' cute
*Winner's Choice of either my 4th or 5th grade Math Moves: Spiral Math Review {Winner will be emailed the file.}
Enter to win soon! This giveaway ends on Tuesday night at midnight just in time for you to spend that Teachers Pay Teachers gift card during the second day of the sale!  Make sure you check out all of the other fabulous baskets and enter to win those, too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tips to Stay Stress Free---Great Giveaway!

I’m linking up with some of my 3, 4, 5 blogging buddies for a terrific giveaway!  Huge prizes!  We wanted to help alleviate some of the stress that happens this time of year by sharing some tips to stay stress-free and by offering up 4 great prizes!

It’s that time of the year!  Testing time!  How many of you are gearing up for testing week?  Our testing begins in two weeks, but I know that several states are already testing (or have already tested).  So, how can we make this as stress-free as possible? Not only for us, but for our students?

I’m going to be sharing this acronym with my students in grades 3-5 as we get closer to testing.  I shared it with my fourth graders for the last few years.

We must help our students to RELAX.  Testing is hard, but if you use these 5 simple strategies during THE test (or any test), you will be able to relax and focus on the test.  Often, our students get so stressed out looking at the questions that they panic.  Just using the word, “relax” will help them to refocus and use the strategies included: 

R- Read the question carefully and then reread the passage or problem to find the right answer.
E- Examine every answer choice before you choose your answer.
L- Label your answer in the passage or in the problem.
A- Always check your work.
X- X-out answers that cannot possibly be correct.
Testing is inevitable; why not give our students some strategies to help.  You can grab that poster by clicking on the picture or by clicking {here}. 
So, do you want a chance to win? There are 4 prizes and 4 winners!  You will need to scroll through the Rafflecopter to see all 4 prizes.  Make sure you enter for each prize! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out some of the other great Stress Free Ideas!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chocolate Milk, Por Favor! {Book Launch and Giveaway}

I can not even begin to tell you how extremely happy I am to be writing this post!  Last summer, Maria Dismondy contacted me to see if I could help her out.  Um, of course!  I've loved her books and have used them in my classroom for the last few years.

She asked for me to write a brief teacher-friendly page for her new book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!  Celebrating Diversity with Empathy, about how to assist English Language Learners in the classroom.  I am truly honored to have had this opportunity!

Book Summary:  Johnny is a big fan of school but that all changes when the new kid, Gabe arrives.  Gabe doesn't speak any English, and that doesn't stop Johnny from going out of his way to be unkind.  But what will Johnny do when Gabe starts to make new friends?  Will he join the fun of making a new friend or turn the other way?  Johnny realizes a powerful message in this store where student differences are celebrated.  Read to find out how chocolate milk plays a major role in the discovery of the real universal language.  

Check out the book trailer.  You will love it!

Check out the book on Amazon.

Maria is not only an award-winning author, but she was a classroom teacher for many years. She brings that experience to her books.  She specializes in books about challenges children face. A topic close to her heart, Maria’s own childhood experience inspired her first book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Maria’s dedication to empowering children with courage and confidence has reached new heights, touching the hearts and hands of children the world over. Grounded in her belief that all children deserve a voice, Maria’s latest book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor, drives home the important message of celebrating diversity with kindness, inclusion and empathy. As a sought-after speaker, Maria spreads her message by presenting at schools and conferences across the country. She holds degrees in education and child development. Maria lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Dave, and their three book-loving children.

Would you like to win an autographed copy of her newest book?  We'd love to share one with you!  Please enter to win!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Educents Launch!

A few years ago, I was introduced Educents and I've loved it ever since.  Now, Educents is opening their Marketplace!  This means that in addition to their already AMAZING deals, they will now offer store fronts on a daily basis.  That means, that teacher-authors can now sell and create stores in the Educents Marketplace.  There are over 500 sellers already signed up and you can find some awesome deals anytime you need them!
To LAUNCH the new storefront, several of the sellers are joining in to bring you a little peek into a freebie offered in their new store.  In addition to that, we are hosting a giveaway for $50 worth of Educents credits!

Below is a preview of my FREEBIE!

This freebie is perfect to help review decimals concepts!

Check out my freebie over at Eductents {here}, or the whole storefront {here}.  

After you check out my store, be sure to check out some of the other stores listed below, too. Make sure you enter for your chance to win the $50 in Educents credits!!

Leave me a comment below for a chance to win an item from my store for FREE!  Let me know what you would buy with the $50 in Educents credits!