Fun products from

I was recently asked to review a few fun products from Office Supplies.

These two products will definitely have a place in my classroom!  The Big Stacker Inbox works great for holding papers that need to be graded!  I love that fact that it has built in handles.  I can grab it and go!  It's extra deep which means it can hold a lot of papers.

The Compact Suggestion Box will be great for so many activities!  I know I'll use it next year during the presidential election or any other time we need to take a class vote on something.  My students will think it's so official!  I may use it as a compliment box, too!  I love that it can hold full size papers in the back.    Check back later to see the suggestion box decorated and in use!

Head to to check out these to products, other products by MMF, cleaning supplies, and medical supplies from Shoplet!

Activities for early finishers with a December Holidays theme

What better way to keep early finishers busy in December than Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzza activities.  My December Holidays Early Finishers Jar has 27 activity cards for each holiday.  The activities are easy enough for students to do without teacher instruction.  You can take a closer look at my December Holidays Early Finishers Jar in my TpT store.

Do you use a red ink pen?

The other day, as I sat checking math papers, one of my students asked me why teachers always use red pens?  Unsure of the real reason, I told her that red was the color of love and grading with red ink shows students how much we love their work.  This answer worked for her, but left me thinking about red pens.  I've read studies that explain why teachers should avoid red ink.  I've tried grading with other colors, but it just seems weird!  Until recently, I was a BIC Cristal Stic Ball Pen user.  These pens are inexpensive and easy to find.  Over the summer, I bought a three pack of Pilot Frixion erasable pens.  I loved the idea of being able to erase and still use red ink!  My love for this pen quickly faded when it ran out in just a few weeks and costs a small fortune.  Back to the BIC I went until recently when I was asked by Office Supplies to review the Pentel Oh Gel Retractable Roller Pen  and the John Dickinson Black n' Red Casebound Notebook.
I really like these pens for several reasons.  They feel really comfortable when writing.  I love a pen that has a comfortable grip and is thicker to hold.  (This is the one problem that I have with the BIC pen.  The hexagon-shape is not comfortable to write with even though the price is right.)  The ink in the Pentel pen also glides nicely across the paper.  My only wish is that Pentel would come up with an erasable gel retractable roller pen!
 I was also happy to receive the John Dickinson Casebound Notebook.  It has many nice features, including a date planner and several resource pages.  I also like the built-in ribbon marker for quick page referencing.  I plan on using this notebook for staff meetings and professional development since it matches my school colors of red and black!
I would love to hear your thoughts on grading with red ink and your list of go to pens!!

Officemate Breast Cancer Awareness Hole Punch

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. is supporting the fight against breast cancer by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Officemate Breast Cancer Awareness Hole Punch to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The 3-hole punch has a twelve sheet capacity.  

You can personalize your hole punch, and the rubber base folds back on one end to release the punched holes.  You can check out the Officemate BCA Hole Punch along with other office and cleaning supplies at

Drawing Conclusions and a FREEBIE!

I feel like I need to introduce myself because it's been so long since I had the chance to sit down and write a post!  With two daughters in high school, my life is crazy right now!  This past week at school, we worked on drawing conclusions.  This year I am making it a point to read at least one picture book a week (along with the chapter book I'm reading to the kids).  Reading great picture books is the one thing I miss about teaching first grade!  I'm not sure why I thought this had to stop once I moved up to a 3rd/4th high ability class.  I choose my book for the week depending on the comprehension skill we are practicing.  It just so happens that picture day and drawing conclusions fell on the same week.  I knew I had to read the book Picture Day Perfection by Deborah Diesen.

This book is hilarious and is perfect for students to infer their way to a conclusion at the end of the story (which is usually the wrong conclusion!).
I started the week with an anchor chart from my soon to be released Anchor Chart Toolkit for Comprehension Skills (this will be a companion to my Anchor Chart Toolkit for Comprehension Strategies).

We worked on making inferences last week, and how they help us draw logical conclusions.  As I read the book, students had to take notes on clues that would help them draw a conclusion at the end of the story.  Before I read (or students could read) the final few pages, they had to complete a drawing conclusions graphic organizer.

If you haven't read Picture Day Perfection, you need to go straight to the library or book store!  We were able to do so many activities using this book as a mentor text.
If you would like to grab a free copy of my Comprehension Companion for Drawing Conclusions, click on the picture below...

I would love to know what mentor text are your favorites and books that you use for drawing conclusions!

Back to School Book Favorites (and a FREEBIE!)

Finding a good back to school book for uppper elementary can be challenging.  Most of your students have already listened to Chrysanthemum a million times, and are wanting something with a little more content.  One of my favorite back to school chapter books in Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I read this book last year, and my students loved it!

Wonder is about a 5th grader who is going to school for the first time.  August Pullman's mother has homeschooled him up to this point because he isn't like your typical 5th grader.  Auggis has severe facial deformities which often cause a reaction from both children and adults.  The book takes the reader through the highs and lows of Auggie's school year.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Auggie's English teacher introduces the class to precepts.  A precept is a general rule that is intended to regulate behavior or thought.  Mr. Browne has a precept of the month.  Students talk about what the precept means to them.  At the end of the school year, Mr. Browne has each student come up with their own precept.  I had my students do this when we finished the book.  Here is my precept...

If  Wonder looks like a book you would like to try with your students, you can download my Wonder Precept Activity for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
You can check out some other great Back to School Book Favorites at the links below!

Enjoy and have a great school year!

What are SlickyNotes?

SlickyNotes are the best thing since sliced bread! recently asked me if I would review several SlickyNote products from EcoStatic.  Being the poor teacher that I am, I said, "Of course!"  SlickyNotes are reusable dry erase boards and notes that can stick to any smooth surface!  Don't believe me?  Try the Ecostatic Beginner Kit .

The kit includes 10 WhiteBoard Sheets, one large SlickyNote Note Pad, and one small SlickyNote Note Pad.  All of them stick to any smooth surface and are removeable (the notes are stuck to my office wall which isn't the smoothest surface)!!

The Note Pads are reversible!

 The colored sides are permanent and the white sides are dry erase!

The marker erased easily with a paper towel, but dry erase cleaner can be used as well.  
The WhiteBoard Sheets measure 25X30.  These sheets have so many uses in the classroom!  I feel like I'll no longer be held prisoner to my group area with the easel.  I can move the WhiteBoard Sheets any where in the classroom.  I really think students will enjoy using them as well!  If you can think of any other use for the WhiteBoard or SlickyNotes, please let me know!  I would love to hear from you. offers lots of different office supplies, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, and office furniture.

Oh Happy Day!

Any time you get in the mail it's a happy day!  I just got six of the most wonderful pens in the mail today from Office Supplies!  I review a lot of products from Shoplet, and I'm always thrilled with their useful office supplies.  The pens from Schneider did not disappoint either!

1. The Schneider Xpress is my favorite of all six pens!  This is a super soft pen.  It has a rubberized surface that makes gripping the pen very nice.  It writes very smoothly.  The ink is also waterproof!

2. The Schneider Slider XB is a thin pen.  If you like a skinny pen, this one is for you!  The waterproof ink dries quickly.  This is great for highlighting!  

3. The Schneider Memo XB is the perfect teacher pen!  The red ink is very smooth and dries quickly.  It has a rubberized surface as well.

4. The Schneider Slider Rave has the same rubberized surface as the other pens.  It has an hour glass shape which makes gripping easy.  The ink also dries quickly with this pen as well.

5. The Schneider Slider Edge is my second favorite pen.  I love the shape of this pen!  The barrel has a triangular shape that makes it very comfortable to hold.  The waterproof ink writes very smoothly.

6.  The Schneider Slider Memo XB 4 Pack is perfect for lesson planning!  The pens are just like pen number 3 but come in green, orange, purple, and pink.  If you like to color code your lesson plans, you'll love these pens!

Here is sample of each...

You can check out all the pens at as well as other promotional products , medical suppliesand office stationary at!

Five for Friday

It's been a long time!  I'm so excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

She gets home tomorrow!  My oldest daughter has been in Costa Rica with our high school's travel club.  She was able to spend time volunteering at a local girls school near Puerto Viejo as well sightsee and enjoy the culture.  I can't wait to hear about her trip!

I can't decide if I'm more excited about going to Vegas for the TpT conference or shopping for outfits to wear at the conference!  Here are a few of my purchases (so far).
I have a thing for maxi dresses :-)

Rain, rain go away!  I'm all for a rainy day in the summer to enjoy down time in the house, but it has been raining in Indiana for a week.  Yesterday this happened!
Our dog was checking out the damage to my husband's police car.  Luckily, the car came away unscathed!  The tree not so much.

I'm starting my fifth Anchor Chart Toolkit today.  I love making these toolkits!  They take the hard work out of making anchor charts.

Finally, since the rain has no plans of stopping today, I'm taking my daughter and her friend to paint pottery.  I think I'll paint a set of  "a to z" bookends that I've been eyeing!

Have a great weekend!!

Teachers Love Summer!

Who loves summer most?  We do!  I'm linking up with Aimee (I love her name!) at Primarily Speaking for her Teachers Love Summer linky.

Friends!  I love spending time with my besties.  We have late night porch nights in the summer, and our families even spend every 4th of July at the lake together.  These ladies make me smile!

Summer reading!  I love to read for pleasure and for inspiration during the summer.  There's nothing better than sitting out on the front porch in a rocker with a good book.  Right now I'm reading these two books...

Painting!  I love to paint furniture.  This year I'm painting a bench for my classroom and a chair for a fundraiser.  Here's my project from last summer...

Creating!  I enjoying having the extra time each summer to create products for my TpT store.  There's never enough time during the school year!  This summer has been pretty productive, so far...

You can check them out here.

Vacation!  This year we will spend our annual 4th of July vacation relaxing at Norris Lake, TN.  I'm most excited about going to the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference for the first time!  I can't wait to meet the faces behind all the stores and blogs that I follow!

The Today Show!  I love spending my mornings with Matt, Willy, Savannah, Al, Natalie, Carson, and Tamron.  My morning ritual is to watch the Today show while enjoying a chai tea latte.  I go through Today Show withdrawal every August when school starts!

I hope you have an amazing summer!!