Saturday, July 27, 2013

Growing my Library

Yesterday was the day I had been waiting for for months...the library bag sale! Twice a year the public library sells books for $5 per bag. They sell a variety of books, movies, and audio that they, for one reason or another, no longer want to circulate.  The books are typically in great condition.  I usually stick to the children's section. I really do anticipate this day for months as it is a great and cheap way for me, as a new teacher, to expand my library.

I couldn't contain my excitement and went over for a preview earlier in the week. I, of course, had to take home a few must haves that day.  Here is what I got for $7 earlier on the week.  The thin readers were 25 cents a piece. The others were 50 cents a book.

Friday is the day for $5 per bag of books.  I calculated that I can fit about 55 books in a bag.  I cheat and bring my own bags to save the fifty cents they charge to buy their reusable bags.  That means that I am paying approximately 9 cents a book.  Sounds like a great deal to me.  Today I got three bags of books.  It was like Christmas in July!  Look at my haul!

I forgot to put another small stack of books in the photo.  I had some great finds today, though I came home with mostly nonfiction books. I still have to organize the books.  I may be forgetting about some great find buried in one of the bags, but right now I think my best find is that book top and center on the stack of books.  Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors! My student teaching class and I two years ago fell in love with her writing style as we read aloud Desperaux.  I can't wait to dive into this gem by Ms. DiCamillo! Now comes the best part, reading each book, entering it into my digital catalog of books, and sorting the books into baskets. :)

I also found even better deals on school supplies at Discount Drugmart.  Westcott scissors are 2 for $1. Rulers are 4 for $1. Two pocket folders are 15 cents.  I picked these up today and will be returning the others I bought earlier this week.  My search for cheap school supplies continues, though I don't think I'll be able to best these prices.

I hope you had a great day and that your back to school preparations are going great!  Do you have any secrets to share about buying school supplies or setting up a classroom library?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tori's Teacher Tips Math Giveaway

One of my favorite teacher bloggers, Tori, is giving away her math resources.  I have been following her posts about Daily 5 all summer and was so excited to see her teacher tricks for math.  I encourage you to go over to her blog to check out all of her fabulous ideas.  While you are there, enter to win the math giveaway!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to School Sales

Back to school season has started.  For my new job I am required to buy the school supplies for all of my students and the school will reimburse me up to $350.  So, I've begun scouring the sales! 

This week Office Max seemed to have the best deals.  Here is what I picked up:

Two pocket folders- 25 cents each
Packs of 100 3 by 5 notecards (limit five)- A penny each!
Westcott Scissors- $1

I also swung by Staples.

50 cent composition notebooks!!! I want to do reader's notebooks this year and I am still considering writing notebooks.  I have enough notebooks for each student to get two, but I've seen around the blogosphere some teachers cutting the notebooks in half horizontally.  I'm still thinking about doing that...hmmm

No shopping trip would be complete without a visit to Target for their dollar section.

I picked up two of these cute buckets with chalkboard labels.  I'm not exactly sure how I'll use them, but I'm sure they will come in handy!

Where is your favorite place to shop for good deals on school supplies?

Monday, July 22, 2013

iPads for every classroom

Just before the end of the last school year, my old school received the set of iPads I won for them!  The joy on the kids' faces was priceless.  I know that if the teachers use the iPads for learning apps, the students' lives will be forever changed for the better.  The students will be able to continue learning English and continue to fuel their desire to be life long learners.

I think the best news I received about my new job is that the school will provide me with an iPad AND four iPads for my classroom!  Four iPads for my 16 students sounds very reasonable.  I can't wait to share with you how we use the iPads in the classroom throughout the year.  The possibilities are endless!

Do you want a chance to win an iPad for you or your classroom?  Enter this giveaway from Teacher Created Resources!  Good luck!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Liebster Award Nominations

I am honored to have been nominated for a Liebster award! Thank you Jessica at Hanging Out In First!

The Liebster award is for new blogs with less than 200 followers.  It is my honor to accept the award and nominate more blogs like mine!

To accept the award I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5 - 11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

My nominees are:

Leaping Into Learning for her creativity and down to earth style.
Teacher's Take-Out for her creative name and cute blog.
Kady Did Doodles for her cute clip art and to inspire her to keep blogging!
Owl About Us for sharing in my blogging journey.
Creating Readers and Writers for offering inspiring blog posts about literacy.

Questions to me were:

1. What is your favorite subject to teach?
My favorite subject to teach is reading. I love watching students fall in love with reading and become better readers each day.
2. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to share my experience teaching abroad.

3. What is your favorite part about blogging?
My favorite part about blogging is that it has made me a more reflective teacher.  Networking with other teacher bloggers has also made me a better teacher.

4. What would you have done if you did not become a teacher?
If I did not become a teacher, I would have been a lawyer.  3 out of my 4 grandparents were teachers, but both of my parents are in law careers.

5. What is something that is on your bucket list?
Hiking Machu Pichu in Peru has been on my bucket list for a few years.

6. What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is a quiet family vacation in northern Michigan. My family has taken this vacation every summer for as long as I can remember. I love visiting the small towns in northern Michigan and the cool summers up there.

7. Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Kent State Univeristy.

8. What is your favorite children's book?
My favorite children's book...It doesn't seem right to have a favorite. My favorite author is Roald Dahl. He was the author that helped me fall in love with reading when I was in second grade. I enjoy reading Matilda before the start of each school year to remind me why I became a teacher.

9. What is one goal that you have made for yourself this year?
My goal this year is to learn and implement Daily 5.

10. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of taking the last year to teach abroad.  It is a year of my life that I will always remember and an experience I will continue to draw on for the rest of my life.

11. Are you married? Do you have children?
I am not married and do not have children.


11 Random Facts About Myself:

1. I played trombone in Middle School.
2. I was in running club in high school.
3. I have wanted to be an elementary school teacher since I was in second grade, except for when I was in fifth grade at which time I wanted to be an art teacher.
4. I graduated from college in four years.
5. I made it through college without drinking coffee!  I'm a tea drinker.
6. I would like to learn to play piano and violin.
7. I dream of someday being a published children's author.
8. My childhood best friend and I wrote poetry and submitted it to magazines, but never got published.
9. I tried oil painting as a hobby in high school.
10. I don't own a smart phone...yet.
11. I know how to knit and crochet.

Questions for my nominees:

(I borrowed a few from the questions given to me.)
1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What is your favorite subject to teach?
3. Why did you start blogging?
4. What is your favorite part about blogging?
5. What would you have done if you did not become a teacher?
6. What is something that is on your bucket list?
7. What is your favorite children's book?
8. What is one goal that you have made for yourself this year?
9. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
10. What is one of your hobbies?
11. What is your favorite technology to use in the classroom?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Look at this great giveaway I found out about from Reading Toward the Stars!
Welcome to our Kindle Fire HD giveaway! Sponsored by  Kid Lit Frenzy Read Now Sleep Later Nite Lite Book Reviews The Windy Pages The Book Pixie There's a Book The Late Bloomer's Book Blog Teach Mentor Texts The Reading Date Nancy Tandon Read Write Mom Show our blogger friends some love and at the same time earn entries into the giveaway! The Kindle Fire HD winner (US only) will also get their choice of 1 July or August Kindle eBook from Kid Lit Frenzy 1 YA Kindle eBook from Read Now Sleep Later 1 MG Kindle eBook from There's a Book If you are not from the United States, use the second Rafflecopter to enter to win up to $20 worth of books from  and an ARC or signed copy of a book from Kid Lit Frenzy (A list of possible prizes will be posted after July 14, so check back!)
If you are a blogger, you can earn an extra entry by re-posting the giveaway. Copy the HTML from this page and paste it into a new post. We cannot count your entry unless you leave us the link, so remember to paste the link into the Rafflecopter widget. If you cannot embed the Rafflecopter widget, here is the Share Link for the Kindle Fire HD (US only) and the Share Link for the International $20 widgets.
1. You must be 13 years of age or older to enter, or have a parent/guardian enter for you. All entries are subject to verification.
2. We will notify the winner via email within 48 hours after the contest's end (11:59 pm on July 29).
3. The Kindle Fire HD winner must have a mailing address in the United States. The International ($20 books) winner can be anywhere except the United States.
4. The winners will have 48 hours to reply with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen.
5. Contest sponsors are not responsible for items lost in the mail.
6. We love comments, but please do not leave personal information such as email or mailing addresses in the comments! We are using Rafflecopter because it will keep your information private.
Questions? Please email the organizer, Alethea, at frootjoos at gmail dot com.
Good luck!

Inspired by Kathy at I am a Reader

Thursday, July 11, 2013

While I Was Away...

With the end of my school year just a week ago and moving from Guatemala back to Ohio, life has been a little hectic.  I'm sorry for accidentally drifting away from blogging the last few weeks.  While I was away I missed some bloggy happenings.

First and foremost, Google Reader really did end, so be sure you are following me on bloglovin.  I have had so much fun using bloglovin to discover new blogs.  I am still getting used to the new layout and navigating my way around, but I think, in all, it was a good switch.

Also while I was away, I was featured over at Beyond the Worksheet way back on June 26th.  June sure seems like it was a long time ago, but it's only been two weeks.  (Wow...I can't believe I have been gone that long.)  Please click on over to Lindsay's blog, read her feature of me, and check out the other great posts she has written.

I still have many changes happening here as I settle in.  I look forward to sharing more with you about my first year of teaching in the states!