Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dry Erase Surfaces Made Easy {A Bright Idea}

It's that time again!
Are you ready for some...

I've got a simple idea to make learning a little more fun!
Have you heard that you can paint surfaces to be dry erase?  Yes, you read that correctly!  Many surfaces can be used with Dry Erase pens!  Check it out...

I started with a thrift store coffee table that my in-laws found for me a few weeks ago.  I painted the entire table with white spray paint.

Next, we found this awesome product at our local Home Depot:

I had originally planned on painting the top of the coffee table with chalkboard paint, but found this instead.  I think it will be much better!

My husband followed the directions on the package and covered the top of the table with two coats of the dry erase paint.  We let it "cure" for about 3 days and my sweet daughter tested it out.

Looks good, right?

But, how does it erase?

Not bad, right?

I'm sure not many teachers plan on putting a coffee table in their room, but think about the endless possibilities:

Clipboards, table and desk tops (if you are granted permission to paint school furniture), filing cabinets, etc.  And if you are super lucky and can paint walls and cool??

I hope you found a new little trick while visiting!

If you are new to my blog and enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or at Teachers Pay Teachers for more great ideas!

For more bright ideas tons of different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

What are you waiting for?  Have a great time checking out the links to find more

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm Supporting Breast Cancer Research with Tieks!

Cancer Sucks.  And it is all around us.  If you haven't been personally affected by cancer, then you should consider yourself very lucky.  I have had several family members and friends lose their battle with cancer including my grandfather, my aunt, and my daughter's best friend's mother.  

In my daughter's young life, she has seen cancer strike and take the lives of two very special people in her life. And very quickly, too.  How do you explain that to a young girl?  You can't.  You can only listen and love as she cries and questions.

We need more research for a cure and we need it sooner than later.  More importantly, we need people to take the time to educate themselves about early detection.  Especially women.

Which is why I was so very happy to team up with Tieks and the American Cancer Society to promote awareness during the month of October. 

I received these beautiful pair of Tieks about two weeks ago:
You might have seen my excitement on Instagram when they arrived:

I am lucky enough to already have 2 pairs of Tieks and I LOVE them.  I love this pink pair even more!  Not only are they supporting a wonderful cause, but they are even more comfortable than the other two pair that I wear ALL of the TIME.  Read more about my love of Tieks and check out my other two pair {here}.

But this pair....swoon :)

Do you know the following facts?

-In the U.S., 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
-Every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.
-Every 15 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer in the U.S.  
-When breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage, the 5 year survival rate is over 95%.
-It has been estimated that if every woman over the age of 50 had her yearly mammogram, breast cancer deaths in this age group would drop by 25% or more.

-Ways to increase your chance for early detection:

Please, please spread the word.  My daughter and I would appreciate it.  Now, if only I can stop her from wearing my Tieks...or maybe not.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Currently It's October...Really?

October already?

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's Currently.  I've missed the last two months, I think??

Listening: To the TV in the background and my sweet dog moving around on the floor.  Poor fella is getting a little old and when he moves around, it seems to catch my attention.
Loving: My ELL students! I love working with these students.  In the few short weeks that I have been working with them, I have seen tremendous growth already.  Plus, they are precious.  PRE.C.IOUS!!
Thinking: About the weekend...need to take care of a bunch on the growing "to do" list around the house...
Wanting: To hit a few more bucket list items this school year.  It's my daughter's senior year, so time is of the essence.  I can't believe she'll be off to college next fall.
Needing: Pretty much nothing...except maybe more time.  Or a time machine.
And for my Trick or Treat:

I recently hit a milestone on Teachers Pay Teachers and this week, I am celebrating by sharing my Multiplication Lapbook.  You can still snag a free copy until Sunday!  Thank you to everyone for all of your support over the last 3 years!

Now, what have you been up to lately?  Check out everyone's CURRENTLY over with Farley!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interactive Notebook Cover {A Freebie!}

I've recently transitioned into a brand-new teaching adventure teaching ESOL and I love it!  My ELL students are amazing and I can't wait to learn and grow with them this year.

Last week, I officially started pulling them for their instruction.  The first few weeks of school were spent testing new ELL students and completing federal paperwork.  Those were probably the longest weeks of my entire teaching career because I missed seeing students.

Which is one of the reasons that I've been sporadic (at best) with posting to this blog.  I really haven't had too much to say.

Now that I've started seeing students, I hope to start sharing more of what we are doing.

I'll start today with sharing our interactive notebooks.

If you have been a reader since the beginning, you already know that I am a strong believer in interactive notebooking.  Yes, "notebooking".  It's a verb.  As in we "DO" this together.  It requires active thinking and "doing".

When I transitioned into this new role, luckily for me, I was partnered back up (although virtually as we are in different schools) with my best teacher friend in the whole-wide-world.  I shared two years ago about how sad I was that she was leaving me to do ESOL.  You can read all about that {here}.  But, now that we are back together, we have been sharing ideas again and we are back to being like peas and carrots :)

Anyway, she has been notebooking with her ELL kiddos and I knew that I would want to do that, too!

Take a look at the covers we created last week.

Do you need a notebook cover?  I made this one available as an editable file.  Check it out by clicking on the image below:

Do you use interactive notebooks?  I'd love to hear about how you have your students create covers.  Leave me a comment below!

Hope to be back soon!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finally, a Classroom Reveal :)

Hello all,

I know it's almost the end of's fall after all.  But, I am finally ready to show you what I have made of my new classroom.

If you have been around for a while, you know that I have changed jobs, changed schools, and pretty much changed everything that there is to change...

Change is good.
It's good for my soul, that's for sure.

So, sit back and enjoy my new view:

First, let me show you the focal point of my classroom.

I love it!  It is so bright and cheery and several people still stop by daily to pop in and let me know how inviting it looks.  It's kinda hard to miss a bright orange sofa.

Back story:  My in-laws moved to town this summer and sadly luckily their sofa wouldn't fit up the stairs to their bonus room.  So, I said, "Hey, I know just the place for that sofa!"  I mean, duh.  How perfect is it?

I've had the opportunity to sit on it a few times to read some books with my ELL students and they love it!  (So do I.)

Mostly, though, we sit here:

See the cute, yellow chairs?  Donors Choose, baby! Thank you, donors and Donors Choose!!

Reading nook:

Complete with a few yellow chairs.  I still need another bookshelf.

One of my filing cabinets made it's way over to my new school.
Don't worry, I replaced it at my old school ;)

And, what classroom is complete without a few poof balls hanging?

That's one of the reasons it's taken me so long to post these pictures.  I just hung them last week.

So, there you have it.  Wish you all could come visit and sit on the big, orange sofa with me.  I'd make you a coffee.  For real, why don't you stop in?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

And, How Have You Been? And, Giveaway Winner Announced

So, I've been a little MIA lately.  I've been in a blogging/creating slump lately.  I've been overwhelmed with my job change (in a good way), and have wanted to devote all of my energy to my new position and to my family.  I hope you understand :)

However, I woke up with the most amazing feedback on Teachers Pay Teachers and it made me miss y'all.

Check out the sweetness:

It totally made my morning.

So how have you been lately?  Are you back into the swing of things at school?  Did you just head back?  I hope you all have a wonderful 2014-2015 school year!

Now to the winner of the BIC Giveaway!  Congratulations to Chris L.  You are going to love the goodies from BIC!  (I sent you an email.)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BIC Product Awesomeness Giveaway!

Back in early August, I was contacted by a BIC representative to review some new products and I was happy to check them out.  I've always loved school supplies.  What teacher doesn't?
Here are a few words from BIC:

Bic's main goal this year is to encourage students to write more often, because writing is by far one of the most important learning tools for a child's academic success in growth.  As you know, writing fosters children's emotional and cognitive development, helps foster critical thinking skills and improves academic achievement.

To help achieve our goal, BIC has launches the "Fight for Your Write" campaign, which reinforces how fun and empowering writing can be.  The campaign, which can be found at, offers information about writing and tips from literacy expert Pam Allyn to help parents, caregivers and students make a commitment to write more often.

From those words, I knew that I had to participate in their campaign!

Check out some of my favorite BIC products:

Do you spot some of your favorites in that pile?  I know you spot the 4-Color Ball Pen.  If you are a product of the eh-hem '70s or '80s, those were THE THING.  And, they still are!!

As much as I love those, however, I was even more excited to check out their newest products geared towards little hands.  Since I'll be teaching children with smaller hands again, I thought these tools would be perfect for my ESOL classroom.  The Fight for Your Write website states that these pencils were developed with teachers and kids and have a unique yellow guiding line for proper finger position:

I've already spotted these gems in Staples and picked up extras.  I know they will come in handy!

Here are a few of the other goodies in the product set:

Amazing items, huh?  Wouldn't you like to get your hands on this awesomeness?  Well, you can!  They have allowed for me to give one of my readers the same BIC product set.  Check out the rafflecopter and enter!  The winner will be announced next Thursday!  Good luck!