Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Creative Teaching Press giveaway winner!

Congratulations are in order for Amy M.! She is the big winner of these 7 products from Creative Teaching Press. They will be contacting you soon to get your shipping information! I hope you enjoy them, Amy... all of these things put together created an absolutely beautiful bulletin board in my classroom. Thank you so much to Creative Teaching Press for being so generous in letting me both review these products as well as give them away to one lucky winner. They are an amazing company that truly has teacher's needs at the forefront of their minds!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Saying goodbye to my class... and Five for Friday fun!

School is officially over! My last day with students was yesterday. This actually was one of the saddest goodbyes I've ever had to do...this was the absolute best class that I have ever had and there were so many amazing kids in my class. I had kids sobbing and crying that they didn't want to leave me... it broke my heart! I've had a couple parents e-mail me as well to tell me that their kids were crying about missing me at home after school... and I had just said goodbye to them that day! You can't tell me that that's not what teaching is all about... making those kinds of connections with your students and investing in their lives. They just want to know that you care and will give them a safe environment to learn in. I also had a parent text me a photo of a sentence their son wrote at home... it said "I like Ms. O'Bannon" in dry erase marker, and she said he was sobbing and said that he was going to keep writing the sentence again and again whenever it started to fade. Oh my word. Talk about ripping my guts out with that heartbreaking little story! I do love my kiddos so.

With that being said, it was a VERY busy week! I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

I teamed up with the great people over at Creative Teaching Press to review some amazing products from their Mustache Mania and Chevron classroom decor lines! I absolutely LOVE how my student survey bulletin board turned out! And I have to tell you, my students loved this activity.

The best part is... Creative Teaching Press has offered to let me give away all of these items for FREE to one lucky winner!!! The bundle includes 2 borders, jumbo library pocket charts, accent squares, punch-out letters, punch-out mustaches, and mustache sticker labels! The giveaway goes until Saturday... click on the picture below to go and enter! Hooray!

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One of my favorite things about kindergarten is their writing... it's amazing to see how much they grow. And I love their illustrations... they alway impress me! I love what one of my little guys wrote in response to the question, "Which community helper has the most important job and why?" His response: "Police officers are important because they can rescue you and don't want bad guys to rob banks." And his picture of the 'bad guy'... LOVE!!!

We had our Kindergarten promotion ceremony on Wednesday, and ours is always luau-themed. We sing Hawaiian/luau themed songs and give our kids certificates and leis. We have our students make their own decorations for the backdrop and it always turns out adorable. This has been a tradition of ours for years and it has become a favorite event of parents, students, and teachers!

I got this book for my students as an end of the year gift. It was only $1 in the Scholastic book order this month! I used bonus points to buy one for each of my students and I wrote them each a personalized message inside. 

This week was exhausting, but wonderful. I'm glad for summer break to be here so I can relax and have some time to myself! But first, my classroom calls... I've got a lot of cleaning, sorting, and putting away before I can officially "check out"! Hope you'll link up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday too! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mustache and Chevron Love from Creative Teaching Press GIVEAWAY!

This is the blog post that I have been looking forward to writing for a couple of months now and I am so honored to say that I have partnered up with the fine folks at Creative Teaching Press to review some incredible items from a few of their amazing new product lines! They sent me some fabulous products from their Mustache Mania and their Chevron decor lines and I knew exactly how I wanted to put it all together. I could hardly contain my excitement when the box arrived at school; and this is what  I found when I opened the box! Amazing!

Here's a detailed look at what was inside:

This AWESOME mustache border arrived a few weeks later - it was on backorder, because hello, who wouldn't want such an amazing border set, so much so that it completely sold out?

I decided to make an interactive bulletin board for my students to complete surveys in the mornings...appropriately titled, "I Mustache You a Question..."

Don't you love how all of Creative Teaching Press' products go perfectly together, even when they are from two different decor collections? You can't go wrong!

Let's dive in and take a closer look at each piece...

I layered the two borders to make a cute frame around the bulletin board. Love! The great thing is, the mustache border would look great with any color of their Chevron border in their store... they have every color you could ever want!

Creative Teaching Press sent me a couple of packages of their Fancy Black 4" Designer Letters, which were perfect for the header of my bulletin board. The quality looks so nice!

For the interactive part of the bulletin board, I wanted to make a defined space to show where that day's survey question was clearly posted. I used two of their yellow chevron backgrounds from their set of Chevron Solids 10" Jumbo Designer Cut-Outs. Each pack comes with 12 different jumbo cut-outs in 6 different chevron colors.

I also added two mustache cut-outs from their Mustache Medley pack as accent pieces at the top, which I also used for the big mustache in the title.

One of the best things about the mustaches that come in this pack is that they already have provided a slit in the side for you to put them on a stick or a rod! Perfect for a fun photo booth session! I used these cut-outs for my student response sticks. I wrote their names on a popsicle stick and then stuck the popsicle stick into the mustache slit. It fit perfectly! I stuck them all in a little cup and set them next to the bulletin board so the students could easily find theirs when they went to answer the question.

When planning out how my survey board would actually function, I knew I needed some kind of pocket, envelope, or pouch that would hold all of the mustache sticks for each of the response choices that would be large enough to hold multiple sticks without falling down or becoming too full. Creative Teaching Press' Chevron Solids Jumbo Library Pockets were the PERFECT choice! 12 different pockets come in 6 different colors. Since they are the jumbo kind, they easily held all of the popsicle stick mustaches. They were durable, too, because even with my kids pulling on them a bit to put their mustache inside, they held strong and didn't rip! I put two more of the square Chevron designer cut-outs behind those to create two more defined spaces.

When planning out my mustache survey board, I knew that I always wanted my students to have two answer options to choose from for each question. This needed to be something that could be easily changed out each week. I used these Mustache Sticker Labels (adorable) and laminated them so that I could write on them with a dry-erase marker. It made it so simple to erase each option and write the two new ones each week.

Once I finally got all the pieces together, the survey board was ready for student use! They were already super excited to know what it was going to be as they saw the step-by-step process of me putting the bulletin board together, but to make them even more invested, I chose a question that I knew they would all flip out about: Which Superhero Do You Like More? And I picked the two class favorites: Batman and Spider-Man. I knew it would be a tough choice between the two!

My students took turns making their selection and put their mustache stick into the pocket of their favorite superhero.

After we answered our survey, I wanted the kids to analyze our class data. I whipped up these little response sheets and we completed them together. They always love to see if their choice was "the winner"!

I didn't want to create a separate paper for each survey question, so I typed out the question on a little strip and the kids glued it to the empty question space on their paper.

They had to draw a picture of the option they chose; then we used tally marks to count up how many people chose each one. Then we recorded which option had the most, least, and whether or not their choice won the class vote. They absolutely loved every second of it!

Now we already know how amazing Creative Teaching Press is... they always seem to make the perfect classroom products that teachers love. But do you know what makes them even more incredible? They are giving one lucky winner EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT I told you about in this post! That's right, every last thing. Here's the bundle of amazing-ness you can win:

Enter using the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciation TPT Sale!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! All teachers work so hard to make sure their students have a successful and meaningful learning experience in their classrooms, so it's so great that we can have an entire week to honor all of YOU!

To celebrate, TPT is throwing a Teacher Appreciation Sale from May 6th-7th. By using the code TPTXO, you can get 10% off your purchase. To add to it, my entire shop will be an additional 20% off! It's a great opportunity to stock up on all of those things we'll need for the beginning of the year, when we'll have all summer to print, laminate, and put them all together (just what you wanted to spend your summer doing... right?!?)

Click on the picture below to go straight to my store! I appreciate each and every one of you!

Thanks to Michelle at the 3am Teacher for the adorable button!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Huge Giveaway!!

Some congratulations are in order for Caitlin and Carrie over at the blog Table Talk with C&C! They recently reached 1,000 followers on Instagram; and to celebrate, they are throwing a HUGE giveaway with tons of great products from some amazing bloggers! I was lucky enough to be included in their big celebration; and in one of the giveaways, you can win one of my best-selling products, How Many Ways {Decomposing Numbers with Counters & Number Sentences}!

Read below to find out how you can enter and win BIG!

We recently achieved a major milestone for our little ol' blog . . . . over 1,000 followers on Instagram!!  A-MAZING!!!!  So that means it's giveaway time!!!  
Who doesn't love a good giveaway?  Well, you are in luck!  We are having FIVE (yes I said 5) giveaways!!  I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our blogging/IG friends and am super excited to share these fabulous products with you all!!

So let's get started.
Click on each picture or the caption below it to see what each item is.
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Now onto the next one . . .
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But, wait . . . . there's more!!
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Oh we aren't done yet!  There's more . . .
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Last . . . but not least
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Be sure to check back next week to see if you are one of our lucky winners!!
We are so lucky to have so many a-mazing followers!!!
Thank you!!