Saturday, August 17, 2013

So Much and a Sale

I am exhausted. I have been trying to get my room ready, but haven't had a lot of success. I decided to paint four bookcases, a cabinet, and two large paper storage units. Decided last week I needed it done. I talked hubby into doing much of the painting while I put up backgrounds and borders on my bulletin boards and caught up with colleagues.

I also have continued with my walking. I set a goal here to walk 50 to 75 miles before school started. Since July 28 I have walked 50 miles. I hoped to reach the 50 mile point on my birthday yesterday, but was too tired and my foot was sore. I walked six miles this morning, faster than I planned, and have suffered. I still hope to get to 75 before September 3, when kids return. I have to figure out how to block out the time for the mileage, room setup, finishing projects, setting up and scoring our home cross country meet, and the list continues endlessly. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

One thing that does excite me, is the prospect of emptying my TpT wishlists. I cannot wait to start shopping. What will you buy? This sale is fantastic. To be able to save 28% on so much of my wishlist items will allow me to purchase even more! Yipee! Don't forget the code!

Thanks Michelle, at The 3 AM Teacher for the adorable banner!

Friday, August 9, 2013

I didn't know

Warning: this is a long post!
I didn't know that Dixon Ticonderoga, "the pencil company", owns Prang brand school supplies. I was contacted by a rep, offering me an opportunity to review some of their products. The only catch was I would need to provide an honest review of their products on my blog. Any school supplies that I don't have to purchase myself, they are a good thing. Their campaign slogan is "Get the good stuff".

 When my box arrived, I was a little surprise to find a set of Ticonderoga pencils, Prang brand water colors, markers, and colored pencils. To help with the comparison of their product to other brands, they also included a package of pencils, markers, colored pencils, and water colors from other companies. What? There is a risk in doing that, in that I could like the other products better.

I have always chosen Ticonderoga pencils over the competition. Our school purchases these dependable pencils by the gross. I do admit, I purchase those cute theme plastic wrapped pencils from the dollar spot at Target for prizes, but Ticonderoga pencils outnumber other brands in my room by far. My favorite pencil is their triangular black pencil. It is great for helping students with correct pencil grip and reduces stress on the hand. I didn't get my favorite pencil, but the pack they included came pre-sharpened. I will save most of these for the first day pencils for my kids. I hate sharpening pencils. The comparison set of 8 pencils, weren't sharpened. They did not sharpen well in my classroom provided sharpener. They were quickly eaten up. The Ticonderoga pencil I tried, performed well and sharpened well in the same sharpener.

The Prang water colors were in a heavier, sturdier case. The size was comparable to the other brand included in the box. I liked the Prang brush. It was definitely a big improvement over the other brand's brush. The paints performed about the same. I do think the Prang case will hold up better to my fifth graders.

I loved the Prang colored pencils. They were a thicker pencil with my preferred triangular shape. The lead was a big improvement over my usual brand. I definitely choose these over other brand.

The Prang markers came in a set of 10 +2 additional markers. That was a great feature. I got most of the colors I use in one box. My usual brand had a tapered tip, making it easier to color small spaces, but the Prang markers didn't crush down in the hands of my 3 year old niece. She walked off and left the markers with the lids off. I decided to check their claim that they could work hours later without being capped. I didn't want to push them to the 24 hour frame they claim, but after six hours, they were just as good as when I opened them. This is a real plus in a classroom! Caps are always getting misplaced, only to have the custodian find the lid when sweeping. (My lady even picks up the caps, pencils, erasers, and places them in my Lost and Found can!)

I was very impressed with the quality of the Dixon Ticonderoga and Prang products. I know I will look for these products when I shop for supplies. I don't know if the price is in line with my old favorites, which is what usually draws me to the supplies, but for the quality, they've won me over.

The best part about the product review? I got a sample of supplies I didn't have to purchase, and they have included a coupon code for me and my blog readers. Click here to download  a $0.50 coupon for a water color set.

I also didn't know that this weekend was JoAnn's teacher appreciation weekend. Teachers will receive 25 percent off all purchases throughout the weekend at Jo-Ann stores nationwide. And the best part is no coupon is needed! Simply present your current teacher identification and state-issued photo identification upon checkout.

To find the nearest Jo-Ann location, click on the here.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently it is August 1st

I cannot believe how quickly time is moving. I still have a month before students return. I have some PD days here and there, so before I know it, my break will be over. Farley's linky has me trying to focus on the necessities.

My daughter is sunning herself (to get a tan for Senior pictures) and let the dogs out to run. They hate that they cannot get in the pool with her, so they race around the outside hoping she will let them in. 

With the temps more moderate, I am reminded of my favorite summer vacation spot in the U.P. of Michigan. Wish I was there with my S-I-L now, but I have too many things going on here. 

I have a C.R.A.F.T. in-service tomorrow focusing on implementing the Daily 5 in the upper grades. I cannot wait! 

The haircut is coming soon. It has been too long, and I cannot stand the hair with the humidity when school starts (no air).

I still have a list a mile long of things I want to do this summer. Painting the kitchen, my daughter's bathroom, and some other projects means I better get busy. I also want to reorganize my classroom and paint shelves there!

My husband thinks I had the iPad surgically attached to my hand, since it is too often there. I use it for blogging, blog stalking, and creating during the summer. During the year, I use it for music in the classroom, listening to audiobooks, playing games, notekeeping, etc. 

I have been walking, and hope to walk 50-75 miles before school begins. My feet give me fits, but a great looking and comfy pair of shoes helps. I need to find some new ones before school begins. Some of my favorite sandals will help me start the year as well. No flip-flops allowed. :(

I have so many things I have made or saved to print. I need lots of colored ink. I have two printers in need of more ink right now. I have also depleted my stock of cardstock. Adding both to my classroom wishlish!

What about you? Don't forget to link up!

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