Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Vegas Baby!!

I think I am FINALLY recovered from the excitement of Vegas and the first TpT conference ever last weekend! Whew! What a whirlwind of a few days! One of my BBB's, Deirdre from A Burst of First, is hosting a linky party all about the conference in Vegas. Fun!
I had fun shopping before heading to Vegas and bought these wedges to match my Stitch Fix top. My bestie (and Vegas roomie!) Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching inspired me!
Of course, I had to buy some snacks for the five hour flight and hotel room! I am such a sweets junkie! It's a good thing I had these because Joanne can attest that I ate Twix for breakfast two mornings before leaving our room. :) Everything in Vegas was super expensive (to be expected) but I couldn't afford much more than one "real" meal a day! Lol.
I've never flown solo before, but my favorite part was the people watching at the airport. OMG! Anyone with me?!? It is especially interesting when I sat there with headphones in. Haha! As soon as I stepped off the plane in Vegas, the airport had slot machines right there! Wow! I've only ever gambled in a casino once in my life and spent a whooping $20. So, guess what I spent on the slots in Vegas? Yep...a grand $20!! I didn't win anything besides a dollar here or there and then gave up quickly. Also, the smell of smoke in the casinos gives me a headache. What a culture shock though!
 We stayed in the Bella Suite at the Venetian. Can you say Holy WOW?! Here is a picture of the lobby.
Joanne and I coordinated our flights to arrive in Vegas about the same time (I was coming nonstop from NY and she was coming nonstop from FL). I arrived at 7:30 Vegas time (10:30pm NY time) and her flight was delayed until about 9:00pm Vegas time due to thunderstorms. So, I had more people watching time! We took a taxi from the airport to the Venetian. I recommend that after a long day of travel. It was only $30 and we split the cost. I guess the shuttle takes a LOT longer. The funny thing is, the taxi ride from the hotel to the airport on our way to go home was only $17! What a deal for the two of us! 

After checking in, we went to the food court and met up with another BBB, Jessica from Ideas by Jivey! I LOVE her and it was amazing to meet in person finally!! Her top selling mentor sentences literally changed the way I teach grammar completely! So, we finally went to bed about 1:30 am Vegas time. I left my house at 1pm NY time to head to the airport and got to bed at 4:30am NY time. LOOONG day for this girl!

The next morning, we were up bright and early to register for the conference and have breakfast at 7am. They provided a nice spread for us and I ate up! :)
 I was THRILLED to meet so many of my BBB's that I have formed relationships with in the blogging world! Not only are they passionate teachers, but they are just wonderful women!! I hope I get to meet more BBB's in the near future! :)
In the picture front row left to right: Jessica from Joy in the Journey, Molly from Lucky to Be in First, Deirdre from A Burst of First, Rose from Rosie's Rambles
Back row left to right: Michele from Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans, Me, Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road, Amanda from Collaboration Cuties, Diane from Fifth in the Middle, Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching, Jessica from Ideas by Jivey
Throughout the day, I attended four conference sessions on topics such as copyright, improving TpT seller success, and data interpretation. It was so informative. I loved the session where my BBB Erin from I'm Lovin Lit was the presenter! I am so disappointed that I didn't get a picture with her. She was amazing to hang out with and is so down to earth even after all her quick success on TpT. I love her INB and have blogged about them HERE.

I was also so impressed with the session I attended by Rachel Lynette. I have followed her for a long time and have so many of her products. I have blogged about using her task cards in my classroom many times such as HERE. It was surreal meeting her in person!
I also met Laura Candler and had to get a picture with her! I love her Book Clubs and have blogged about using them in my classroom many times including HERE and HERE!
Friday night we hung out at an 80's bar right at the Venetian. Isn't this guy hysterical in this picture?
The Venetian hotel was like a city!! Joanne and I are both self confessed women with no sense of direction and I am still laughing thinking about us trying to navigate this hotel for three days! It never got easier and we would go from fits of laughter and to being super annoyed that we seemed to be wandering around aimlessly. Even the workers would steer us wrong! These are all pictures from the hotel below!
 Shops everywhere...

On Saturday we celebrated with a bachelorette party for our BBB, Jivey in our hotel room. Check out the decorative signs made by Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching!

Saturday night I went to see Shania perform with Joanne and Michele! WOW!! It was so amazing!
On Sunday it was time to head back to Buffalo and look who happened to sit right next to me on the plane! What are the chances of that?!? This is Karen from Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten and Everything Primary! We both had our lap tops open working on TpT products and realized we had both been at the conference. She is a top seller and well-known in the TpT world so I felt like I had just met someone famous! :)
Check out all the other fun adventure in TpT at A Burst in First! I am already looking forward to the next time I can hang out with my BBB's!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Two For Tuesday!!

It's Two for Tuesday with The Teaching Tribune!

Today I chose my top two best sellers in my store to mark at 50% off!
The first item that is 50% off for today only are Editable Danielson Teacher Evaluation Organizers. They are normally $6.50 and today are only $3.25 for 132 pages of organization help if your district is using the Danielson model for Teacher Evaluation.
This pack has been updated to included 132 pages of materials to help you organize and plan your Teacher Evidence binder aligned to the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teacher Evaluation Instrument. Many of the pages are editable for your needs. The mature style of the pages will appeal to any administrator or teacher grades K-12. My principal commented on how organized everything was at both of my conferences for evaluations last year after I used these pages in my binder!

The other best selling product on sale for 50% today are my Line Plots with Fractions math centers. 
These centers specifically address the following Common Core Standards:
CCSS.Math Content.4.MD.B.4
Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4 1/8). Solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions by using information presented in line plots.
CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.B.2
Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Use operations on fractions for this grade to solve problems involving information presented in line plots.
This product is usually $3.00 but is on sale today for $1.50!

Have you checked out the Tried It Tuesday link ups for July yet? 
This linky is open the whole month! 
Link up any idea you have "Tried" and stop back to read about other bloggers Tried Its!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Meet Me!

I feel like the Summer Bloggin Series with The Teaching Tribune just started and it is already the last week? I just finished my first week of vacation! I finally am getting around to participating again. I love reading these fun Meet Ups by other bloggers!
Thank you Teaching Tribune!


I will definitely be participating in the Two for Tuesday link up tomorrow, so check back! :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Throwback to the Archives Furday and Teachers Take Vegas Giveaway!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th! We are in for a quiet night after a busy day.
My kids never make it to fireworks on the 4th, so, at this point in our lives, we stay in at night.
I spent the morning with my daughter marching and performing with her cheer team in the county parade. We were #97 in the lineup, so waited around from 9:00-11:15 and marched from 11:15-12:30. I was thankful that it was a cool day with a high of 70.

I am late to the party but wanted to link up with my friend Nick from Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason for his Back to the Archive linky.

I am also linking up with my friend Angela at The Teacher's Desk 6 for her Throwback Thursday linky.
I chose a post from the summer of 2012 because it was my first Monday Made It and I am STILL LOVING the stool I made for my classroom! It has held up beautifully!! Many teachers are in the crafting, creative mode right now, so I think this will be a good post to throwback! :)

Here it is...
Well, I did it!  I am linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for my first-ever Monday Made It and I completed TWO projects!!  For both projects I used scrapbook paper.  I love, love to scrapbook in my spare time.  Why?  It lets me be creative even though I am not artistic in the least!  I cannot draw to save my life (it is actually a joke with my students when I try to draw anything and they love laughing at me)........but I can use scrapbook paper, glue, and COPY borrow other people's ideas:)
So, I have recently started pinning two weeks ago when I first entered the blogging world (shocking, I know!).  I started seeing all these stools on pinterest that people paint and thought, I could NEVER do that!  This is from Laurie Cole Designs on pinterest....AMAZING!

Then, I saw this one on I Heart Elementary using scrapbook paper and I began to think I could redo my stool too!
So, I am extremely embarrassed to say that this is what my stool looked like for 12 years:
I started with my supplies (scrapbook paper, acrylic paint, mod podge, spray glitter, and foam brushes):
First, I lightly sanded the stool with 220 sandpaper.  Then, I painted the stool's legs and seat.  The legs took FOUR coats.  I didn't prime first though and I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me.
I used my Cricut Expression to cut a scalloped circled for the stool top, a center circle in a coordinating paper, and a black monogram "S".  My last name begins with S but I am also going to call this the Sharing Stool where students can share book reviews and adventures with Lilly, the classroom pet.  
I glue the S on the red circle and then mod podged each piece in place.  I mod podged the whole seat and as other people had stated in directions I read, the mod podge dries clear!  I had never used mod podge before and this stuff is amazing!
I sprayed the legs with glitter and then starting cutting scrapbook paper to wrap around the 8 rungs on the sides.  I made sure the seam was on the under side and held each piece in place tightly for 20-40 seconds.  It held firm!  Then I mod podged the whole stool 2x and the seat a total of 4x.  I also bought a clear varnish because I thought the mod podge might be tacky, but it really isn't!  I may still add it anyway.  Here is the finished project:


I love how the one piece of scrapbook paper says, "4th Grade". It makes me happy.  Can you see the glitter on the legs?

My next project was originally inspired by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and she gives her inspiration credit to Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.  This was Mrs. Lee's sister's picture:

I just love the WELCOME sign idea and Tara's is super cute too!!  So, I set to work cutting circles on my cricut.  I used the circle on the "Going Places" cartridge and "Ashlyn's Alphabet" for the font.
Note to Self:  See picture below with letters too large.  When using "base shadow" on the Cricut, the letters come out larger than the dimensions set!  I wasted a whole piece of paper...ugh!
Then, I got it right.  I used my two favorite adhesives-Beacon's 3-in1 advanced craft glue for the letters and Scotch's advanced tape glider to glue the circles together.
I still have to laminate them and string them together.  I love how they turned out and they will go with my owl themed door.  It will be eerily similar to Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten's picture (remember I said I can COPY borrow?).




Next, I wanted to share this post by Kristin at Easy Teaching Tools about a Vegas Giveaway!! This time next week I will be in Vegas...Wahoo!!!

Las Vegas is just 1 week away and I'm beyond excited to meet so many other teacher bloggers who I've stalked, admired, and become friends with!
If you haven't heard, some of my bloggy friends and I are meeting up after the big Teachers Pay Teachers conference. Over 50 of us will be meeting {let's hope The Bellini Bar is ready for us}.  If you haven't RSVPd, there's still time here.
Not only are we meeting up for drinks and getting to know each other in real life…we're throwing a HUGE giveaway at the meet up.  Don't worry friends who won't be in Vegas, we're having a HUGE GIVEAWAY for you too!!!  So you won't have a fear of missing out, we're giving away amazing resources that will make teaching even better!

As most of you know, Erin Condren is the goddess of amazing planners and organization.  Plus, she wears adorable teal glasses and always looks to be having so much fun!  I bet she'd be a blast in Vegas!
She creates the prettiest teacher and life planners, calendars, and stationary.

Erin and her team have graciously offered 2 $50.00 gift cards to shop at her online store.
Her teacher planner is amazing because everything is in one place.  No more carrying separate folders back and forth.

The planner comes in gorgeous box.

The planner is so sturdy and well put together.  The book mark is great to keep your place.
 All of the divider tabs are easy to read {this planner covers everything}!
 The "Year at a Glance" section will make any teacher's heart happy.  Teachers are such planners and this just may be my most favorite section!
No more need for a desk calendar because you've got one here!  Like I said, I love having everything in one place.
The check list is great for keeping track of permission slips, important notes sent home, and anything else you need to keep track of.
 How precious is this little folder.  When you turn the page, there's one on the back as well to store your important papers.
 It's a bit blurry {silly iphone}, but you get the point!  There's a clear pouch to keep pens and pencils and a laminated calendar to use as a reference.

I can't wait until I get my school calendar to start filling this in.  Here's a full look into the planner
The amazing team at Erin Condren has offered to giveaway 1 $50.00 gift card to the teachers attending the Bellini Bar Meet up and 1 $50.00 gift card for those of you who won't be in Vegas.  How amazing is that!  We've also teamed up with these amazing teachers to bring you some amazing products as well.


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