Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Cleaning Sale

This is just a quick post to let you know I am joining hundreds of teachers at Teachers Pay Teachers for a huge Spring Cleaning Sale.

I am offering many items on sale for 20% off. You don't need code to save with this sale. 

I have an empty cart now, but this sale and the thought of an extended school year have me thinking of lots of products I would love to have to get me through June 20.

Don't forget if you have purchased from my store in the past, or from others at Teachers Pay Teachers, you can earn bonuses by giving feedback for those purchased products. Bonuses can get you more for your money.

Thanks to Georgia Grown Kids for hosting the huge linky to help you find stores offering sales.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Works! March's Installment

I have not been very consistent lately. I had this post planned for weeks, but needed the pictures. Here is my latest product review.

Quite a while ago, I was contacted by Scott Ertl from Bouncy Bands. He was willing to send me a set of bouncy bands to try in my classroom. What are bouncy bands? It is a piece of rubber that students can bounce their feet upon, reducing the need to get up and move. It is a great concept, especially for those fidgety children that need movement breaks. The first set arrived in the fall. I don't have student desks, but  use tables instead. I had to borrow a desk to try what was essentially a bicycle tube and PVC pipe. The tube ties to the legs of the desk and the pipes keep it from being pushed to the floor.

I thought the product had merit because it used inexpensive and reusable materials that may have ended up in a landfill instead. The downfall was that we had trouble keeping the inner tube tied on the desk's legs.

This student is vertically challenged and likes that she can
rest her feet instead of having them dangle.
Scott then offered me two new versions of the product. One has clamps that make the loops (yippee no more untying!) and the other is made from a rubber rope. Both are big improvements over the first version. What I liked about the set with the clamped loops is that it was still the bicycle tube, keeping it more "green" that the other. The last set is more practical, but also slightly more expensive. My students liked the ability to keep their feet busy. They didn't like that the original kind can only be used on desks. The rope and clamped tube stretches to work on our table legs.

I loaned the last two sets of bouncy bands to our occupational therapist. She works with several children in a few buildings in our county. I couldn't get the bands back. A teacher in one of the other buildings loved them and laid claim to them for several weeks. When attending a staff meeting, the OT watched staff members and the administrator using the bands. I guess they really aren't just for kids, but for anyone that struggles to sit still.

An Original Bouncy Band is $5 plus shipping while the new Bouncy Band is $6.50 plus shipping. They also can be purchased in larger sets. Each set comes with the set of PVC pipe.

I would have to say Bouncy Bands do work. You can find them here. If you use alternative seating as an option for fidgety students, you may want to consider adding Bouncy Bands to the mix. They are kid tested, teacher approved.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March Monday Made It

My Monday Made It project for this month was making some props for pictures. With so many snow days, I find myself struggling to stay motivated when I know I will still be in class when most of you are well into your summer projects.

On one of those snowy day, as I sat at my desk, I noticed the frame I made last summer. It hangs on my wall over the door, where I look at it almost every day. I decided it was a shame to not use it a little more often. While perusing the aisles at Michael's, I found these adorable props to go perfectly with my frame. So although I didn't make them, I did paint them. The kids cannot wait to pose with the props for some new classroom photographs.

My kids are into mustaches and every Thursday is Bowtie Thursday in honor of the principal. The hats and glasses were too cute to pass up, and are less like to spread lice.

We are also going to use the props for a play later this spring. Can't wait!
What did you make for this Monday in March? Don't forget to link up with Tara.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Umm, Pi!

We celebrated an abbreviated Pi Day on Friday. We were coming off snow day #15 and 16. My kids loved the activities in spite of the fact there was no food involved (the room next door measured round snacks).

We used Miss Math Dork's Chain of Pi to make our own chain. We didn't get through all digits, but they were proud to hang our chain in the hall for all to see. I forgot to snap a picture of their chain. They want to finish the rest of the digits when we get home from camp. They loved reciting the digits using the chain, challenging to do it without looking at the numbers, using just the colors.
Miss Math Dork's Chain of Pi

We also made pi posters From Cindy Lam. 

The pi flip book is by Danielle Knight.

I have a few more things that I need to complete before tomorrow's trip to camp. I am hoping to schedule a post for tomorrow's Monday Made It, but packing is more important. Have a great week, I know I will have an interesting one.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Broken Record

I wish I had something new to share with you, but like fifteen other days this winter, I am at home for a snow day. Living just outside Toledo, Ohio means that we broke the record for the snowiest winter on record, before yesterday's eight inches.

The greatest risk right now is that all the snow we have had will melt and add to the already swollen rivers and streams. Last year, the state shut down the bridge that cuts the community where I teach, in half. They have already stock sandbags for the inevitable thaw that threatens to raise the river to an all time. If the bridge is closed, we close school because half the students cannot get to school.

Judging by the icy roads between my house and school this morning (I attempted to go do some work), the county has exhausted its supply of salt. If we don't have the state intervene, we will not be out of school until June 20th. We do not have air-conditioning in our building, except the office and computer labs.

I hope we are at school tomorrow. I have Pi Day activities and need closure with my kids before we head to camp on Monday. I hope we are over snow, and the bitter cold. I don't mind being with my kids at camp, but my idea of "roughing it" is staying at a Red Roof Inn instead of a 4 Star Hotel. The tough part is getting through the drama of pre-camp activities and anxiety, and leaving my own family for three days. This year has been especially difficult.

Please pray for sun and warmth, and drama free days for me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March, Currently

 It's March 1st. We have at least six inches of snow on the ground, and more is on the way. I could choose to wallow in self-pity, but choose instead to link up with Farley for Currently.

It's late afternoon, I am the only one at school. I just came from watching my "borrowed" girls play basketball, and want to finish a few things. 

I am in love with Farley's new design. I am glad she put Buck on our currently. I am sure my daughter wouldn't think so, as many mornings she has a too close encounter with the neighbor herd of deer.

We go to camp in sixteen days. It better warm up fast! We are forecast to have a couple of inches of snow tonight and sub-zero temps again this week. We have had snow, ice, fog, and even 70 degree temps during previous camp visits in March. Somehow I don't image we will even see 50 degrees, but a girl can hope.

Since hubby started the new job in December, we haven't had much time together. His days off are my long days at school. He works every weekend, which is why I often find myself at school. A date night with leisurely dinner and a movie would be awesome. It is hard, when we have always been a "pair."

We have missed fourteen snow days this year. When we went to our new observation tool we knew there was no way it was going to work as scheduled. We are to have two informal and two formal fifteen minute observations a semester. The calendar was set, so we knew which day to expect him. Informal ones are drop-ins. Formal ones require a formal lesson plan be sent 24 hours in advance. I missed two formal observations. The first was to have been the first week back from winter break, but we took an "extended break," so I missed it. The second one, was scheduled for MLK day. We had in-service. I have a date this week, and am thinking I should ask for it to be a formal one. My next one after that? The first day we are at camp. :)

Can you guess my question?

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