Fun Happenings Around here last week! John and I have wanted to send Matthew to the The Ian Eagle/Bruce Beck Sportscaster Camp at the ***Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, NJ for a few years. Both Ian and Bruce are the go-to sports guys having won a zillion awards between them. A lot of their "campers" have moved on to TV/Radio Jobs. A great opportunity. Right after camp, Bruce was headed over to Rio to cover his 7th Olympics for NBC. Can you imagine?
Matthew is all about 24/7sports and, as he approaches college application time, he knows for sure he wants a career in SOME type of sports reporting. Lucky for us, we live within easy driving distance to Montclair State University (Where the Yogi Berra Museum is located) and he was able to go. Finally!
He loved it! Most importantly, he's decided he'd like to puruse radio/sports social media rather then the TV side. THIS IS HUGE! Nice to know he's zeroing in a bit. Of course I know it could change and on-air reporting could be in his future. (He is a TV "pro" having auditioned for/getting a wee part in a David Letterman Skit a few years back! He played a Boy Scout. He doesn't speak a word but that's besides the point! :)
See him in action!
But I digress...
One take-away that he got from camp seems so simple but is a great nugget of wisdon: Say YES to everything that comes your way. They had about a dozen well-known speakers come in during camp and he swears each one said something to that effect. Be it calling play by play for a high school team or a a preschool baby crawling event, JUST SAY YES! You never know where it will lead.
The highlight for him? A Behind-the Scenes Look at Met Life Stadium (Press box amazing!) which is home to the Giants (his favorite team!) as well as their training center. Seriously, a dream come true for him. He got to look at their new museum and I'm sure his heart skipped a beat seeing these babies:
The Super Bowl Lombardi Trophies!!!
Hall of Famers...without looking at this player's name, I'm sure you reconized him!
Matthew with Jeff Feagles!
He got lots of cool pics especially of the players' (full) lockers at their training center but he didn't feel right posting pics of them because some of the guys had some pretty personal stuff in the lockers. (Framed pics/letters from families, etc.). The week was a success!
On a fun fact note from long ago...
***My husband grew up not too far from Yogi Berra's house. He and his friends would often ride their bikes the five miles to his house and Yogi and his wife (most his wife!) ALWAYS brought them out bottles of Yoo-Hoo! Although John has never been a Yankees fan, he's always had a soft spot for Yogi!
This commercial really got a not-so-nice reaction out of me. This is supposed to depict a teacher's first day of school? Um...no. Click to see.
Am I overreacting? Maybe. But seriously, do you know any teacher-on the first day- that arrives WITH the kids (I'm there at 6:15 for an 8:05 start time) and with that little bag?
Does it annoy you as much as it does me?? Commercial FAIL! Sorry Kleenex.
Now here's a throwback to one that makes me smile every year!
I admit to feeling like that parent once or twice in my life!
Am I the last person on Earth to have heard about this AMAZING product? Seriously?
I was down the shore for July 4th and needed to iron my son's shirt. It was one of those shirts that is like linen (but not) and is a wrinkled mess even straight out of the dryer. If it were up to me, I'd give the shirt away because it's truly a mess of a shirt but he bought it with his own money so...it stays.
Even the iron couldn't tame those darn wrinkles. After five minutes, I added water to the iron and RUST comes out of the holes onto the shirt! The only collared shirt for the restaurant. I had to scrub the line of rust out and then attempt to re-iron again but with a towel placed between the iron and shirt to save from yet another rusty stain. Hey, I was desperate Then my sister gets Downy Wrinkle Releaser out of a cabinet and a few sprays and tugs later, DONE!
It took less than a minute!
How to use?
Spray on clothes while on hanger, pull taut, and the wrinkles simply vanish! My sister said she has used it for years and it's never hurt her clothes.
I'm heading to Target tonight to get my own bottle and making sure I show Matthew how to use it next time he needs that shirt ironed! :)
Here's hoping you have an iron-free day!
***Check out previous post to see my Deal of the Week!
Only two more days! Don't want you to miss out!***
My Poetry Bundle is my bestseller and my most wishlisted...buying the bundle already saves you $15. Now save even more! I use these poems all throughout the year! Can't live without our poetry binders for various Daily Five activities. I also shrink them down and put them on my Poet Tree. Read more about my Poet Tree and grab September Poems free.
They are, honestly, horrible. Okay. Maybe MINE are horrible. The "legs" are too far apart for little hands and often the punch isn't lined up with the bottom hole. It's been hit or miss but mostly miss with my class using them.
It's been an increasing problem because I do way more activities that require using one like with these...
My kids LOVE using a hole punch to retell stories and, bless their little hearts, will put all their might into making the hole punch above work for them. (Some kids took me up on the suggestion to simply use a highlighter instead!)
BUT....a solution is here! I went to Staples and found these in the CLEARANCE BIN for 50 Cents! FIFTY CENTS!
They had HUNDREDS OF THEM! Only in black but they are SO GOOD and EASY to use that I cannot complain or whine about the lack of colors! The kids will have NO PROBLEM using these. They truly are perfect for little hands...
And big hands! Seriously, I feel like I hit the lottery! Since I was overly excited, my husband said he wanted to test one out. His verdict: "I need some of these for school, too!" Maybe I'll give him one of mine! :)
Go get yours at Staples today before they sell out!
Honestly, I'm so grateful each time I see a new follower on this Blog. Something must be in the water because I've had 26 new follower notifications in the last two weeks....not sure why but THANKS! To show my appreciation, I'm going to put these Pirate Duckies up for free until next week.
English and Spanish!
Numbers up to 50 so you can use in centers and for various activities!
I hope you can use them. Enjoy!
Edited to Add: I just made twothree more sets. Check them out in my store!
My printer has been on its last "print out" for about a year now. Honestly, when I printed, I never knew if it would take a minute or twenty to print ONE document. Sometimes I had to turn my computer on and off. Needless to say, it was stressful ESPECIALLY if one of my kids needed something last minute. And my printer was LOUD!
But as of 45 minutes ago, I BOUGHT A NEW PRINTER (HP ENVY 4520) for only $69 at Staples. THAT WAS EASY!. (GREAT REVIEWS!)
Its not just any printer, but one that would enable me to enroll in the HP Insta Ink Program that I just found out about a few days ago in the TpT Forums. As a teacher, I think it's IDEAL and I'm hoping I'm right! Teachers rave about the program and I already foresee COLOR printing everywhere in my classroom including game boards and center activities where I often printed in B&W due to CRAZY color cartridges expense. (For those of you able to print in color at school, Lucky, Lucky you!) You see, COLORMAKESMEHAPPY!
I signed up for the 300 (!!!) pages a month. Yep- a lot of pages but since I "only" pay 9.99 a month and only $120 a year, I think it's a STEAL! No paying for INK! (You pay for pages copied...it doesn't matter if in color or in BW) It gets delivered to me. I see lots of COLORED leveled books from Reading A-Z in my future!
Setup was a cinch: 20 minutes later, I printed a few documents from my computer and a beautiful picture from my phone! Yep- all wireless with, HONESTLY, a click of a few buttons. (I didn't even have to put in my wifi code!)
The Insta Ink program has been around for at least 18 months but it's new to me. Knowing I spent way over $120 on ink last year allowed me to make a no-brainer decision. And I'm FINALLY going to start digital scrapbooking! Yipee!
I'll check in after a few months (came with THREE month FREE trial period and let you know how it's going.) with a real USER review. In the meantime, if you need a new printer and have a need to print out lots of colored photos and documents, I think it's worth looking into. (NOTE: you can pay 2.99 for 50 copies a month as well as a few other plans.)
I know, I know...I still have five weeks left of THIS school year. But I just can't help myself! I'm already thinking about my classroom next year. I've been getting out my go-to/must-have September activities like poems for binders and my Math Open-Ended Question booklets. Are copies made already and tucked away? Yep. A lovely office helper had extra time so she made lots of copies for me so far. (Rocket Math, BTSN Materials, etc.) Jumping the gun? Nah. Just getting prepared. It helps take away some stress in August/September so and I can concentrate more on the teaching part of teaching instead of the time suck of prepping and wrestling with the copy machine. I Hope to have my must-haves copied through November by the the end of school this year. Wish me luck!
Now it's time to select ten projects I'm going to work on that I saw on Pinterest. I've selected one so far. See these chairs? I have six of them now and have created little seating nooks:
I want to transform them to something amazing and will use this lovely chair I saw on Pinterest as my inspiration! (I tried to link it to site it came from to give credit but it says Account Frozen. I will check back and link if it gets fixed.)
Isn't is adorable?
I just finished a Freebie product for September/October: Word Wizard Make-a-Words! They are the perfect way to teach and reinforce sound/letter combinations. It's a FUN and EFFECTIVE activity that my students look forward to each week. I hope you can use the packet and maybe even start YOUR OWN SEPTEMBER 2015 FILE NOW! It's never too early! Enjoy!!
Some of the kids in my class have really struggled with retellings this year. It's a scratch-my-head moment each time I see a child struggle because I've worked so hard to model them- oral and written-several times a week. Some tell a little of the beginning and basically jump to the end. What's the rush? It's almost like the middles have been zapped away! This is true for both written and oral retells. My struggling students weren't engaged in the retells at all. Were the stories too long? That's what I assumed. So I've tried to have them practice with shorter stories with a clean, crisp story line like Ezra Jack Keats' books. Simple. Classic. Relatable. But I wasn't having too much luck with them either. So, I adapted my retelling anchor chart and made a retelling sheet that's fun to use. A Punch Card!
How do I use it? So glad you asked! Partners each get a card and after retelling story to themselves to practice, (a must!) they get to tell story to each other. As each one tells story, the partner punches the square as they say the words in the box and continue on with the details. Ever since I started using them, the kid have rocked retellings! Seriously. Who knew a little punch would mean so much to them? Before I introduced the cards, I had them practice being MY PUNCHER as I retold stories. But PUNCHING is only part of their partner duties. It's important for them to not only practice the punch part, but the other "P" part, too! Yep- they are officially PPPs. Punch and Prompt Partners. Last week I read The Sandwich Swap to them and all the kids did a super job at retelling this lovely story. Click here for a link to the video I found online. if you don't have the book.
It's one of my favorite books with a great message on tolerance and friendship. If you want to watch it and try out the retelling above, click the retelling pic above. It's a freebie that I hope you can use. If you have a different book you want to use, just white out the title and write the new title in. No biggie! I hope it motivates your little ones as much as it has mine. So do you have any tips for retellings for me? I'm all ears and eager to keep my kiddos on track now that they seem to finally have the knack for it. All tips welcome!
I'm so thankful for my milestone that I'm offering this fun Flash Freebie for the next week. It's also going to be featured/linked on the TpT Facebook page sometime this coming week. Included are some partner/interactive activities. Grab it and enjoy!
These are First Grader students with our Art Teacher, Jill Ward. She is amazing and the kids adore her! I love seeing how the kids' projects turn out so differently. I so wish I had an art teacher like Jill when I was a kid. My Catholic School didn't have art, music, gym or any other extra teachers. Sigh.
This is from a Kindergarten student. So cute!
My idea to share? In my school, most of the art is kept in the art room until the big show at the end of the year. Some of it is displayed of course but there's way too much to display every single project, correct? So why not ask your art teacher to borrow some to display in your classroom? Can't think of an idea for your outside BB in March? Problem Solved! Ask her (or him!) for one of your kids' projects! I'm grabbing some of these amazing lions for my windows in my classroom. They sure will brighten up my room, won't they?
One of our School Goals this year is Health and Wellness for students and teachers. We've increased Brain Breaks, have Yoga at lunch for the kids on rainy days, have quick meetings while walking around the gym, etc. But my favorite move toward achieving this goal for the teachers? The Zen Den! It's a very small room (storage!) that's been transformed to a quiet, peaceful, reflective escape.
When you walk through the door, you're greeted by the soft sounds of some "spa" music from an iPod, a few dozen quotes and Power Words on the walls, a lovely Essential Oil Lavender aroma in a soft-lit room (lamps were brought in) and the sound of trickling water. I had to put my flash on for these pics. Quiet and peaceful. A welcome change!
For our kickoff, we had three days of fruit/cucumber infused water, hummus and pita chips, veggies and some other healthy snacks.
Lotions, books, and a file folder full of quotes/words for us to take back to our classrooms... Candles are battery operated and truly added to the peaceful feeling.
I love these coloring pages and can understand why they are so popular at the moment. I started this one day and someone continued working on it the next..,
We had comfy chairs around our table and off to the side was the massage chair. On Friday, teachers were treated to a visit from a massage therapist! This was supposed to be a three day event but we are working on making it a permanent fixture in our school. I visited during lunch all three days and during a few prep periods and truly felt refreshed. I hope our Zen Den is here to stay!