Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Currently

I can't believe how glad I am to see February end! The winters are always tough here in New Hampshire (Why do I live here?) but this winter was probably the toughest I can remember! Plus, it's snowing again! Ahhhhhh!
Well, I was lucky to have my beautiful daughter here for an overnight, so she would wake up here for her 22nd birthday!

I can't believe how fast the last 22 years have gone by. I also can't believe how she has grown into a beautiful, brilliant young lady!

Well, enough about that sappy stuff, now I can tell about my Currently:

1.  I'm sitting here watching 60 minutes, trying not to get depressed that my vacation week is over.

2. Yes, that reads correctly. It should reach into the 40s on Wednesday! It's practically summer!! Whooooo hooooooo!

3. Between a quick trip to Atlanta, going out to eat a few times during my vacation, and just too much eating, I'm starting to feel that I've been having too much fun. I need to stop eating and start exercising while I can still (barely) fit into my clothes!

4. Did I mention how bummed I am that vacation is over?

5. Did I mention how sick I am of winter?

6. I know other parts of the world have spring break coming soon, but I just finished my winter vacation! I'm back to work, and March means report cards, conferences, and a few more weeks of winter before we start seeing any signs of spring. My next vacation is the last week of April, and that's a little too far away to start getting excited about!

Just thought I'd leave you with a little photo that was taken in Atlanta... when I won the Georgia basket! 

Don't forget to see all the other "Currentlys" at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Top Ten Teacher Blogger Products at Ed Expo2015

I had the best experience at the Ed Expo 2015 in Atlanta last weekend! I got to get together with 50 other teacher bloggers, check out an extremely large room full of new educational materials, and decide on my 10 favorites! Sounds like heaven, doesn't it?  It was!

I do want to mention a special THANK YOU to Sherron Washington, who organized the group of bloggers who voted on this list. I was very lucky to be a part of all this!

Here are the top ten new products at the Expo, chosen by teacher bloggers! (Well, ok, there are actually 12, since there were 2 ties!)

This countdown starts with a tie for 10th place!
I love anything that's self correcting, and these Cool Circuits do that in a big way! When you complete the circuit properly, it lights up! 

Learn more about Cool Circuits at the Science Wiz Website! (Be sure to watch THIS video!)

Aren't you aching to get your hands on these blocks? They are just wooden blocks, but as you can see, they are a great size and shape and offer a world of possibilities! I truly believe kids need "hands on" as well as opportunities for creative thinking! These people from Kapla certainly kept that in mind creating these awesome blocks! 

You'll see some amazing creations with Kapla blocks on their website: Kapla Website.

These pictures don't do this product justice. I suggest watching the video on the Chibitronics website to see the awesomeness of these Circuit Sticker books. These are amazing! They combine a knowledge of electricity with creativity. Science and art, fabulous!

Looking for a variety of pencil grips? Look no further! These single grip pencil grips not only help children learn to use a proper pencil grip, they are sufficiently squishy, colorful, and fun enough to motivate children to use them!  

See more at their website:  The Pencil Grip Website.

Got kiddos who can't keep their fingers still?  I know plenty of them!  These "Busy Fingers" are perfect for them! They come in a variety of colors and textures, and will keep those fingers busy while the child needs to focus. 

Learn more about these from their website: Fiddle Focus Website.

I want all these Math bands! Each color has a different multiplication table! I happened to know that children LOVE wearing these bands, no matter what they say. If they wear a multiplication family on their wrist all day, I think there's a pretty good chance of learning that whole multiplication table! Learning math facts is such a tough challenge for many children, I'm thrilled to see an educational company trying to make it easier and more fun! 

See their website: Learn in Style Website.

There have been so many times in my teaching career where I would have LOVED having an open number line at my fingertips! What a great way to get kiddos to develop Number Sense! F.U.N. stands for Fluency and Understanding Numbers. 

Be sure to check out their website: Learning Advantage Website.

There was a tie for #4... and two of my favorite products!
Goldie Blox were developed to encourage more females to go into engineering. These blocks are designed around books, and are just as much fun for boys as they are for girls! 

Here is their website: Goldie Blox Website.

I absolutely LOVE these fidgets! It's simply a marble inside some plastic mesh, but it's comforting and soothing and... simple! I know a few kiddos who could be calmed down by a fidget! 

See their website here: Endless Possibilities Website.

Everyone at the Expo was talking about this game! It's a box of square cards with words on them. Sound dull?  It's NOT! We had fun trying to work our words into sentences and stories. What a great way to develop vocabulary and language in a fun way! 

See their website: Say It Website!

The Reading Game is a fun way to engage beginning readers and have them reading in no time! Be sure to watch the video on the website to see how the game works.

There is a reason this product is #1! It was awesome! The magnetic letters are placed on the ipad, and the ipad sounds out CVC words. If it's a real word, there's a picture, but it also sounds out nonsense words. The ipad app is free to download. The number version is awesome as well, practicing 3 digit place value, and works with addition and subtraction. 

I know what you're wondering... how do I get all these incredible products! Well, just go to your local teacher store and inquire! If you go to, you can put in your zip code and find your closest teacher store!

My local teacher store is: Teacher's Pet. Trust me, I've been there many times and bought many items for my classroom there!

Aren't these products incredible? I feel so honored to be part of this list. Plus, there were a whole bunch of products I haven't even mentioned that are worth mentioning! That's my next post!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Things I did and DIDN'T do on my vacation!

I don't know how a whole week has gone by! 

How can weeks drag on while I'm at work, but fly by while I'm on vacation? 


I took off Saturday morning and came back Monday afternoon. 
It was a brief visit to Atlanta, but it was totally awesome!

I did get to attend the ED Expo 2015!
This was so exciting, and I came back with lots of samples!
I'll be sharing a whole lot more about this experience, so stay tuned here on Elementary Matters!


Between eating out in Atlanta (Yes, I did have Southern Fried Chicken and collard greens, Yum!), eating in airports, going out to eat with friends since I've been home, I've been eating too much!
I'm well fed, but I wasn't too happy when I got on the scale. I think I need to seriously watch what I eat!

I didn't get my taxes done, or even organized!

I meant to get the the gym every day that I was home, but that didn't happen!
Well, I did get to the gym one day, but that does NOT make up for all the food I've eaten and all the sitting around I've done!

Well, I still have the weekend!

Be sure to go to Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday link up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Latest News

Wow, what a whirlwind these last 3 days have been! 

I was blessed with the opportunity to fly to Atlanta, check out the Ed Expo 2015, filled with fabulous new educational materials, and talk to some really fabulous teacher bloggers!

Can you find some familiar faces in this photo? I know there's one familiar face in the center with a blue flowered shirt :)

It was truly a crazy whirlwind of a day! I do plan to blog at least one post later in the week, but I'm busy getting excited about something else right now: 

Yes, it's time for some shopping!
I've been saving things on my wishlist that I've wanted for a while. I couldn't possibly buy all of them, but I'll be putting my favorites into my cart tomorrow, so I'll be all set to grab 28% off by Wednesday!

My own store will be on sale at 20% from Wednesday through Friday. Be sure to stop on by!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lessons From A Bus Driver

A long time ago, long before I started working where I am now, I substituted.

One day when I was subbing in a third grade classroom, I had a very interesting conversation with one of the children.

The classroom was situated right near the driveway, so the children could see the buses drive up at the end of the day.

Here was the conversation:

Boy: Yes!!! The good bus driver is back!
Me: That's great! What makes him such a good bus driver?
Boy: Well one day after I'd been out sick for a few days, when I came back, he asked me if I was feeling better.

I've thought about that conversation many times. 

Clearly, the boy liked that bus driver because the bus driver paid special attention to the boy. The bus driver showed an interest.

That's all it takes!

Since that day, I've made an extra effort to let the children know I am interested in what they do. I find ways to let them know I'm glad they came to school that day. I think it makes a difference to say things like: 

After an absence:

One of my favorites:

The more you make your students feel welcome, the more they will want to perform! 

No matter how I say it, I make sure I am there for my students, making sure they know they are an important member of my class, and give them each a special greeting as they enter my classroom each day!

What are your favorite greetings?

If you like this bright idea, please consider joining me on these social media:

For more bright ideas from some of my teacher blogging friends, please browse through the link up below!

Thanks for visiting Elementary Matters!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

I haven't linked up with the Teaching Trio and their Sunday Scoop in ages! Here's my Sunday Scoop 3-2-1 for this week:

1. Last week was all about Valentine's Day. This week will be about Presidents Day and Mardi Gras. Then... I'm on vacation! But I have a ton of books about the USA and I'm bringing the big tub of them tomorrow!
2. My district has a Staff Development Day in March, and I usually teach a workshop to my fellow teachers. I need to get that paperwork together and send it in!
3. Since I only have a week before my vacation, I'm putting together my March materials! Here's a sneak preview at my latest collection:

Click the image for more information! :)
1.I do hope I can do some updating to my St. Patrick's Day Printables this week! I've got a lot going on, but these are in need of some updating real soon!
2. I'd rather do anything than housework! Well, except pay bills, which also should be on this list!
Next weekend I'll be in Atlanta at the Ed Expo 2015!

I am so excited about this trip! See THIS post to see what I'll be doing there and why I'm so excited!

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