Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Earth Day Classroom Display

Reduce, recycle, reuse . . . how do you encourage students to help our Earth?

Earth Day is just a few days away.  Since it is one of my favorite holidays, I spread out our learning throughout the whole month.

Over the last few weeks my students have been learning about our Human Footprint on the Earth.  They have been examining ways that we positively and negatively impact nature and the environment.  As we learn, we have been keeping track of interesting facts we find.

Students then wrote a letter to Earth making a promise to leave a positive Human Footprint throughout their lifetime.

One of the materials we had received from Donors Choose was water color paints.  We painted our Earths to get a more natural look.

I took pictures of students with their hands up and they glued their Earth and their letter to their hands.

We displayed them in the hallway for all to see.

My students have the whole world in their hands.  Hip Hip Hurray for the Earth!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 New Year's Resolutions

Welcome 2016!  A new year, a blank slate.

One of my favorite New Year's traditions is creating some new resolutions!  I love looking back at the previous year, reminiscing about what worked well and what I could improve, and setting some new goals.
This year, rather than setting specific goals, as I have often done in the past, I have made my resolutions a little more vague.
My first resolution is to live healthier.  Having Type 1 Diabetes, this is a major goal of mine.  I've kind of, shall I say, let myself go after having Natalie.  It's time to treat my body with the respect that it deserves so that I can have more energy and a happier spirit.

 My second resolution is to live happier.  Rather than focus on what I want in the future (last year's goals included a shorter drive to work, teaching at a new school, purchasing a new house) I want to sit back and enjoy what I already have.  I want my focus to be on making and developing connections with family and friends and experiencing new things, rather than focusing on tangible items.

I want to show my thankfulness for those around me, slow down, and enjoy the little things.  I want to look away from my cellphone and into daughter's shinning eyes and share her adventurous and joyous spirit.  I want to put down the computer and enjoy a nice conversation with my husband after dinner.  I want to hold off on cleaning more and play with my dogs.
My third resolution is to Create, Connect, and Collaborate more with educators, families, and experts around the world.  During the school year I plan on setting aside a little time each weekend to work on transitioning products that I have created for my classroom to be polished and ready to be posted on TPT.  I plan on scheduling posts and comments for my blog and Facebook at this time.  I plan on prioritizing my projects so that i can focus on the ones that are most meaningful to me and my classroom, and then sharing them with teachers all over the globe.

I am truly excited to be attending the 2nd Northeast Regional TPT Meet-Up in Rochester, NY this April.  I can't wait to share what I've created so far, connect with new friends, and collaborate on some new projects with teacher educators from all over NY and beyond!

My final resolution is a big one: to find BALANCE!!!  This is a goal I continually find myself returning to.  Sure, I've balance out my time pretty well over the last few years....but it still never feels like I have enough.  I want more time to sleep, more time to spend with family and friends, more time to create.....but I can't create more time.  At the age of 30 I've finally come to the realization that maybe my issue isn't that I don't have enough time.  Maybe the issue is how I am managing it.  Maybe my to-do list is too long?  Maybe it is ok to not check off every item on it.  Maybe I need to prioritize what needs to get done.  

I plan on spending my time by focusing on bettering myself, my family & friends, and society in hopes for a better future.  

Have you thought about your New Year's Resolutions for 2016?

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Stitch Fix - December 2015 Review

So, after a little break in ordering, I finally decided to sign up and receive a new Fix.  I was excited to see that my little package arrived on Christmas Eve.  Stitch Fix did not ask me to review their product, I just wanted to pass the experience along to you!  

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  If not, you can read more about my first Fix here!  Stitch Fix is a fabulous fashion retail company that assigns you a personal stylist who handpicks you a "Fix" of 5 clothing items and accessories (based on your style profile) and delivers them right to your front door.  Each Fix is customized to your unique taste, budget, and lifestyle.

You are not obligated to purchase anything, shipping is FREE, and the initial $20 you pay when you schedule your first fix is deducted from the price of any items you purchase.

No time to shop?  No problem!  Schedule your Fix and 5 amazing pieces, picked just for you, will arrive at your door for you to try on in the convenience of your own home.  If you choose to keep all 5 pieces you get an additional 25% discount off the total price of your package.  If you would like to send a piece back you just pop it in the enclosed envelope, stick it in your mailbox, and it ships back for free!

My box arrived beautifully wrapped and I had a personalized letter addressed to me from my personal stylist.  I love how she mentioned specifics from my Pinterest page and my blog!

Styling cards are included with examples and ideas for each piece.  I love these because they give great ideas for what to wear.

When I scheduled my Fix I was hoping for some conservative, yet fun and comfortable school outfits that I could wear while teaching.  Check out the variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors this time!

Alright, enough jibber jabber, here is what I got in my Fix:

Collective Concepts Red Idell Dress - $98

I love the deep red color of this dress.  Not only is it perfect for the holidays, but it would also be cute as a Spring / Summer dress.  I love pieces like this that are so versatile.

Bottom line, it was cute, comfy, and came down to my knees.  A little expensive, but I love it!

31 Bits Lunar Light Beaded Necklace - $54

I love the variety of bead colors that appear in this necklace, making it easy to wear alongside a variety of outfits.  It looks adorable with the red dress.

Not only is this beaded necklace absolutely stunning, but it has a wonderful story.

41Hawthorn Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer - $78

This blazer is a cute navy blue.  It pairs well with many of my blouses, as well as the red dress that came with my fix.

The 3/4 sleeves make it a little more comfortable to wear in the warmer weather months that are hopefully shortly ahead.

It is professional, but comfy.  The fabric is super soft.

Skies are Blue Haldis Roll-Tab Henley Blouse - $58

I feel in love with this blouse the second that I pulled it out of the box.  The deep navy blue is one of my favorite colors.  The fabric is super comfy and light weight.

The 3/4 sleeves help to hide my Omnipod Insulin Pump when I choose to wear it on my arms.

The buttons accent this shirt and bump it up a notch in  my style file.

Love love love it!!!

Pixley Ellie Printed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse - $48

From a distance, this blouse look like your ordinary black and white pattern.

But upon closer inspection, you can see the black and white pattern actually forms elegant elephants.  How cute is that?

This 3/4 sleeve blouse is definitely unique.  Wear it as a statement piece, or pair it with your favorite blouse or blazer.

So, what should I keep?  If I keep all 5 pieces I will get a 25% discount.  It's very tempting.  I can honestly say I love it all!

I'd love to hear your opinions!  Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Stitch Fix

Want to snag your own Stitch Fix?  Use my referral link here.  By going through this link you will help me feed my next Fix!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Zearn in Math

Do you use Engage NY's Math Modules (Eureka Math)?

Have you heard about Zearn yet?


Oh my.....let me tell you about an amazing gem buried in the trenches of common core math.


It is hard to find quality educational websites, games, activities, and videos that align with Engage NY's Math Modules for Common Core Math.

However, Zearn is a new site that will make learning fun both inside and outside of your classroom.....

....and did I mention....it's FREE?!?!?!?!?

Yes, ladies and gentleman!  FREE!!!!!!!!

Use it on your computers, use it on your iPads, just use it.  Give it a try.

Zearn walks students through each lesson beginning with fun and fast paced fluency practice.

Next, it gives video examples and explanations for how to solve problems that are kid friendly and engaging, it provides students with virtual manipulatives that students can use to solve complex problems.

Zearn walks students through each problem, providing them immediate feedback, and additional problems to try if they are struggling.

You can sign in as a whole class and project the days lesson for all to see on your Smart Board.  Or, you can create an individual account for each child in your class and they can progress through the lessons at their own speed, or you can assign them a specific lesson to try.

Zearn is great for the flipped classroom.  Students can walk through the lesson at home and then you can practice and review the concepts in class.

Zearn is great for centers during a guided math design.  Students can be split into small groups and they can rotate between working through the lesson on Zearn using a laptop or tablet, they can play fun games, complete other stations, and then meet with you.

Zearn can be used to review for the mid-module and end-module assessments.

Zearn can be used for a student who was absent and missed the day's lessons.  They can work through the lesson from home, and on their own time.

Or...for sub plans.  The software can be manipulated with ease and will walk students (and the sub) through the day's lesson accurately.

Zearn is AMAZING!!!

If you use Engage NY's Math Modules (Eureka Math) then you should give Zearn a try.

Looking for other materials and resources aligned with Engage NY's Math Modules?

Check out my:
- 3rd grade review packs
- 4th grade review packs
- 4th grade Interactive Math Notebook packs
- 4th grade Application Problem of the Day packs

Friday, December 4, 2015

Show Me the Green - A Fun Read Aloud About Organic Gardening

I was recently contacted by Dianne Venetta to review her fabulous books:  Show Me The Green! for free.  Of course, I said YES!!!!

I immediately began reading it to my 4th grade kiddos the day it arrived.  We had been studying plants so the timing of this book's arrival was perfect.

In this story, two children (Lexi and Jason) enter a contest and discover the world of gardening.
  I love how Dianne Venetta is able to fill this fiction book with interesting facts about organic gardening in a way that not only entertains, but educates students.

I have created a little fact holder for students to store some of the new organic gardening facts that they have learned while we read the book.  You can download it for free here.

If you haven't had a chance, be sure to check this book out!  Your students will LOVE it!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Hello, Hello!!!

I know, it's been a while.

So, I figured I'd put out a little update.

My husband, daughter, 2 dogs, and I finally moved into our new house.

I began teaching 4th grade (for the ninth year) in a brand new school district that I love.

We had Open House on Monday.

....and we are still living out of boxes.

I've had to take a little break from TPT these past few weeks....but  in a few weeks I will be ready to get back at it.

So, what am I currently working on?

  • Application Problem Pack for Engage NY's Fourth Grade Math Module 4
  • Third Grade Module 3 Review Pack
  • Updating the rest of my Problem Solving Packs
  • Giving a face lift to my Problem Solving Posters

Thank you for sticking with me through all the craziness and changes.

Cheers to a new school year!