Monday, October 10, 2016

Which online educational subscriptions are worth it!

Teaching at 1:1 school, I am often asked which PAID online subscriptions do I use in my third grade classroom. Teaching in a tech-focused school district for three years ago, I feel like I have been exposed to a lot of great online resources. BUT ARE THEY WORTH THE $$$?

Flocabulary: I was introduced to Flocabulary three years by my teaching partner.  I could hear  booming (she has really great classroom speakers) catchy rap-based songs coming from her classroom. Since that moment I was HOOKED!

Have you ever thought... I want a really snazzy video clip to introduce this new concepts or I want a video that will reach all my learners. Every time I have thought that, I turn to Flocabulary and with little effort find the perfect video for math, an ELA concepts, or science.

Take a minute and watch this video, I took of my third graders watching the "I Feel Smart, I Feel Good, Multiply 0 & 1." This was their only second time watching the video. You know it is a catchy rap, when you catch yourself singing while cooking dinner!

IS IT WORTH IT?: Yes! And here is why.... over the last three years Flocabulary has gone up in price but it is STILL worth every penny. Engagement is key in my classroom and Flocabulary makes that happen.

Manga High: This is my second year using Manga High and my students LOVE IT! We use Manga High for our K-8 school district.  MH is a game-based platform to help kids works at their level. I really like how you can create a "challenge" (or assign a specific common core standard) that my students can practice.  One of my students all time favorite game is PEDMAS Blasters. I only wish I could block or hide certain games until I teach the concept.

IS IT WORTH IT? Yes... if your district is willing to pay for it.  If not, it is on the expensive side. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

End-of-the-year gifts

It is that time of year again! END-OF-THE-YEAR.... (teachers are celebrating around the world.)

I have had THE BEST CLASS this year. So I wanted to celebrate them by giving them two gifts. I just read an article that if a child does not read during the summer, they could loose up to 3 months of their reading growth!! YIKES!! So my standard gift is choosing a book within their reading level but this year I designed some book plates to make the books extra special.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Teachers Take Sacramento 2016

The last five months leading up to the Pacific Coast Meetup was a whirlwind of EPIC-NESS!!  As each company (small and large) donated and believed in bringing like-minded teachers together, my excitement grew. As the meetup came closer, I felt as if we were prepping for a wedding! (minus the white dress) It was very POWERFUL to have group of educators in one spot. The hashtag #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 was perfectly fitting for our meetup weekend!

Oh KoeyTulipe Studios, Pixie Prefect Stamps, Glitter Slips, JNL SewCute, Math Grab, StarTee, Crave the Look, Gifts by Gaby and Bright Winter Studios.

Some people I reached out to first was some inspiring Esty sellers.  I feel like Esty is  to the handmade-crafting world as TpT is to the education world.

It is not everyday that an ordinary third grade teacher gets to feel like Oprah... or Ellen! (I love them both!) These wonderful companies gave us the opportunity to give back to all the wonderful teachers that attended our meetup! ***Plus, teachers love FREE stuff for the classroom, wardrobe... etc!
(Trashy Crafter, Classroom Friendly Supplies, Erin Condren, Heidi Songs, Educational Insights, Maria Dismondy, Nickel & Suede, Seat Sacks, Kendra Scott, Funky Monkey Scarves.

Let's chat about the amazing relationships that were formed. I got to meet and rub elbows with some powerhouse TpTers, bloggers, social media gurus (Yes.... I am talking about Sheila Jane) and hardworking teachers.  One aspect that I was so jazzed about was the amazing support from Teachers Pay Teachers. We felt very honored to have TpT Amy, Elliot and Jillian attend our meetup.
Sporting our new #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 shirts and having a blast with the TpT gang!

  Let's talk some teacher swag!! TEACHERS LOVE SWAG! This was so fun to hand out to all the teachers at the meetup.  We all work so hard and it was wonderful to give a token of appreciation!                                                                                                        Teachers Pay Teachers, Yogi Tea, NeeNah Paper, Erin Condren, TOMS, Jenga, GoNoodle, SkinnyPop, Original New York Seltzer, BlueOrange Games, Utterly Smooth,  Mary Saunders, Carson Dellosa,  Rachel Cole-Jamberry and Sprouts Classroom
The whole experience just made me realize how wonderful the teacher profession is and when we come together we can make such amazing things happen. Erin, Laura, Brianne and myself decided that we wanted to make something big happen and together we planned a fun-filled weekend. Check out their blogs as well! :) This meetup was successful because of all the companies that donated, people would donated TpT products to our dropbox link, Sheila Jane for the delicious cupcakes (and the rays of happiness), the TpT family, the blood, (lots of) sweat and tears from the CA-Fab4 but most of all... for all the teachers that used their precious weekend to join together and have an amazing time.
And of course we cannot leave you out of our meetup....join in on the fun and win a SWAG BAG!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 8, 2016

Gearing up for Valentine's Day

Sometimes you just need a quick list... of all your students' names for your Valentines party. So I am sharing with you my quick list... so all you have to do is insert the names!! Let the sugar induce crazy begin.

Friday, January 22, 2016

5 FREE Math Websites

I do math rotations in my classroom. (Hands down the best way to reach all the needs of my students) I do four rotations, Teacher Time, Lesson Work, Tech Time and Game Time. I teach 1:1 and one of top tips I would suggest is MIX THINGS UP! My third graders can get "bored" quickly... so I keep rotating my Tech Time websites. So these are approved and tested in my classroom daily!

The first website I would like to showcase is FRONTROW. This website is common core aligned and you can assign a math concept to your students as well as they work on their independent levels.  It differentiates without us, the teacher, having to do ANYTHING!!!
 Ms. Idealistic insisted that Prodigy is the hottest thing in the wizard-math game realm. I was very skeptical about signing my kiddos up to battling math wizards with graphics circa 1986 Zelda. BUT MY KIDS BEG...I MEAN....LITERALLY BEG TO PLAY! As a teacher, you can set "battles" aka math challenges.  I also suggest setting up a profile for yourself because my students love to "battle" me.
MANGA HIGH is my hands-down my favorite and the kids love it too! It is aligned with the common core state standards and it is very user friendly. It has fun math games and my kids enjoy it. They do have a Premium version but FREE option is what I use in my classroom.

Sometimes you need your students to step away from the "gamified" websites and kids need simple. XtraMath is a great website where kids can build their fact fluency.
TenMarks is a site for teachers and students. TenMarks allows teachers to differentiated with a click of a button. And they have a huge database of test questions, so making that last minute quiz/assessment is easy to do!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Teacher Hack #2

rugs that curl, corners lifting

I don't know about you but I love my $14.99 IKEA rug in my library.... but I have the dreaded case of extreme rug curl.  Does this happen to your rugs in your classroom??? My third graders are constantly tripping over it.... (Uh-oh... #teacherfail)

I have a huge chevron (white and navy) rug that I love as well... but I have taken the blue painters tape and taped it down to my carpet.  Have you ever done that??? The problem with that is it is ugly and the tape comes up as the kids walk on it.

So I decided I was going to fix this horrible rug curl.  Of course, I went right to Pinterest and found all these expensive options.  YouTube came to the rescue!!

I went to Home Depot and bought these peel and stick flooring tiles for .25 cents each and put them on each corner of the rug. 
Instantly no more rug curl for the low, low, low price of $1.08! If that is not a teacher hack... I do not know what is! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Time in the Classroom: Frosty Frenzy

Polar Express parties are THE HOTTEST THING... right now on IG and Pinterest.  I of course wanted to do one in my classroom because we are use The Polar Express as a mentor text for mentor sentences this week.

But I realized.... A) Polar Express is not on Netflix or Amazon Prime (boooo!) B) It was close to a two hour movie and C) I usually like to put a spin on things.

So I figured that Frosty the Snowman is a classic, one hour and a few minutes in length and FREE on Netflix.  So my students still get to enjoy some hot chocolate, snuggle with their favorite teddy bear, wear comfy pajamas and watch a fun movie.

I made this flyer up... to add extra hype to the special Frosty Frenzy.

Enjoy the holidays with your kiddos!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Author's Purpose
My students were having a tough time understanding Author's Purpose. I decided I needed a hands-on way that my students could sort persuade, inform and entertain.

Let's be honest.... there's always old Scholastic Book Orders left over. So my students first sorted the mini-passages into the PIE categories.  Then they had a blast in cutting, sorting and gluing the clippings from the book orders.
I also do a STOP! GRAB YOUR BOOK! My students quickly grab their book and I have them tell me the Author's Purpose of their book. Using the sentence frame... The author's purpose of my book is to________. I know this because ( and they give a few reasons why!) This is a quick win-win as a teacher... I get to assess for speaking and listening standards, the other kids get good ideas of what book to read next and it is a perfect way to effectively use those 5 minutes before recess.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Teacher HACKS: #1

Hacks, Teachers, TOMS
When ALL love TOMS as teachers!

My teacher HACKS consist of buying youth TOMS. For example, (I do not have dainty, petite feet) I wear a size 9 in women TOMS and I wear a youth size 6.  The reason, I like buying youth is because they are CHEAPER, have more CUSHION and there are so many PATTERNS you can choose from!!

If my wide, solid caveman feet can fit into a youth TOMS... consider trying them on!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

#Teachers Take Sacramento 2016

So Erin, Laura, Brianne and I have come together to plan an EPIC meetup in February.

The weekend we have planned is filled with fun and collaboration opportunities!!  We have AMAZING (I mean AH-MAZING) GIVEAWAYS and an awesome SWAG bag for all of those in attendance!  Space is limited!

When:  February 19-20, 2016 (Friday is a causal meet&greet and Saturday is the EPIC-NESS!)
Where:  Sacramento, Ca
Cost:  $45  (Includes full dinner, t-shirt, and Swag bag!)

How do I sign up?

1.  Complete the form!  COMPLETE THE FORM HERE!

2.  Pay your $45 using PayPal.  Send money as FRIENDS/FAMILY to

3.  Book your hotel!  :)  We recommend somewhere in Downtown or Old Town Sacramento!  All of our activities will held around the capital and old town. Laura lived in Old Sac... so if you have any questions. Contact her and she will help you out!

Once you are all signed up, you will receive an e-mail closer to the event with even more information and a few surprises!!!  :)  We can't wait to meet you!!!