Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How about some free glasses?

The most awaited part of the years- S-U-M-M-E-R has finally come. Aren't you excited to be in the beach, wear shorts, be tanned, be sweaty yet gorgeous and go to music festivals? Well I definitely am! What is summer without a new pair of eyewear? An easy remedy for this is to stop by and pick up a free pair of glasses so that you won't miss a moment this summer. New arrivals are part of the First-Pair-Free-Program. Now get yours fo FREE!

+ Looking for Retro Style Glasses?

A retro glasses frame offering a quirky retro look. This eyewear with bold color and fashionable design will lighten up your summers. The rectangular lenses are surrounded by thin and sleek rims, extending out to metal stems. Spring hinges add extra comfort to wear. Find out your own and unique style.

+ Looking for Oversized Glasses?

To be yourself and find your own way to show yourself! This eyewear with big conspicuous frame is so unique and attractive and they will let you stand out of the crowd. Oversized glasses are always your best choice for showing your star quality in the fashion trend.

+ Looking for Fashion Tinted Sunglasses?

These two pairs of retro-style sunglasses are somewhat different from traditional wraparound sunglasses I met before. It is of traditional frame shape with sunglasses lenses, which make you look more fashionable and elegant in this hot summer season.
Still have no idea about how to style your pairs? Check out a few ladies modeling their favorite Firmoo eyewear.
(The above model photos are all derived from Firmoo+.)
New Customers, check more products for your first free pair at Firmoo right now! You just need to pay shipping. First come, first served! (Simply clicking "LUCKY DRAW" on this page, you may even get a totally free pair including shipping free.)
About Firmoo
Firmoo is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars- 80%-90% lower compared to that in local store.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Teacher Blog Tuesday and Freebies!

Every Tuesday, I feature new bloggers- giving you a chance to find new friends and a chance for these bloggers to get their names out there.  If you would like to be featured, email me at

Today's first blogger is Sarah from 
A Sunny Day in First Grade

1.                           Name of blog and link:
                      A Sunny Day in First Grade

2.                         Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
It all started with Pinterest!  I found so many neat blogs and great teachers through my (slightly obsessive) searches on Pinterest.  These blogs inspired me to create more fun and exciting things for my own class.  I started my blog to share my ideas, meet some awesome teachers, and hopefully inspire others, as I have been inspired by so many of you. :)

3.                           Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I did my student teaching in 2nd grade at the school I am currently at.  I was super lucky because a first grade teacher (Dee) was retiring the following year.  First grade was the place I wanted to be!!!  Dee was so excited for me and gave me so much of her supplies, including books, games, centers, files, you name it.  I still find little notes in some of the files she left me. :)  I am so grateful that I was able to meet someone so kind and was helped so much at the beginning of my teaching career.  So, I have been teaching first grade for four years now.  I absolutely LOVE it!  I love how excited my kiddos get about everything!!  They are so eager to learn new things!  

4.                          What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Michael Franti & Spearhead: The Sound of Sunshine
Blake Shelton: Honeybee
Zac Brown Band: Let it Go & Knee Deep
Jason Aldean: Dirt Road Anthem

5.                         What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

That’s a tough one.  The thing that sticks out most right now is purchasing our home.  When the lease on our condo was up, my boyfriend and I decided to look for a house.   We moved in with his mom so we didn’t have to rent a place month to month while we looked.  My stepmom was a realtor so we got started looking right away.  It was stressful and there didn’t seem to be any houses that were right for us.  Eventually we found one, placed an offer, and didn’t get it.  So we continued looking.  Again, we found one, placed an offer, and lost it to another buyer.  This happened a total of 8 times.  That’s right, 8!  The last three or four, we even offered above asking price.  Luck just wasn’t on our side.  After 6 months of looking, a house that we had wanted came down into our price range.  This was the one, I knew it!  We placed an offer, waited a few days, and GOT IT!  I remember getting the text from my stepmom saying, “You got it!!! Congrats!!”  I was SO HAPPY, I cried.  I couldn’t believe it!  Although it was a very stressful and difficult six months, this was the house for us.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason!  I’m also thankful to have such a loving and supporting family that was willing to put up with us for so long while we looked :)

6.                         What’s your favorite TV show?
Oooo, how do I choose!!  CSI is probably my all time fave (although I am still disappointed that Grissom left!!)  I also have been hooked on The Following lately!  If only I had more time to get caught up on all my favorite shows :)

7.                          What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
My yoga pants.  I love being comfy!

8.                         Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
Next weekend will be 26….yikes!!

9.                         What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
The last book I read was the last in The Hunger Games series.  I couldn’t put them down!!  A friend told me about a series that is similar, Divergent.  I’ve been meaning to pick it up, but I just haven’t had time!!

10.                   What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Oreos….close to half the box.  I couldn’t help myself!!  The rest are tempting me! :)

11.                    Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.

Instagram: @asunnydayinfirstgrade

Here are some free items!

Next up, we'll get to know Tamra and Sarah from 

1.                           Name of blog and link: 

2.                         Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
We both teach first grade at the same school.  We’re down the hall from each other a bit, but with a few sticky notes back and forth and a bit of texting…it seems like were just next door!  We met just two years ago when Sarah moved up to first grade from kindergarten and Tamra moved to first grade from another school.  We shared a TA and soon found out our teaching styles and personalities are super similar!  Now besides planning together at school, we blog together and create resources together.  It makes it so easy to do all this since we always on the same page!

3.                           Tell us a little about your teaching background.
Sarah:  I graduated from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH and moved to FL after I graduated to get a job (OH had very few primary teaching jobs…I had a hard time even interviewing).  In FL we taught in teams of 4 or 5 and switched around often!  I got to experience MANY different styles of teaching and learned to get along with MANY different personalities!  While in FL I got my Master’s in Reading and after teaching first grade for 5 years, became a Literacy Coach for a year.  I had an interesting perspective on how teacher’s teach in the classroom, but really missed teaching myself!  My husband and I moved to NC after 6 years in FL.  My first position at my current school was Kindergarten (which I did not love so much) and now I have been back in first for 2 years.  I LOVE first grade!!
Tamra:  I graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, KS and taught 1st grade at both a public school and private school in Kansas.  My first year I only had 13 students!!! Can you believe that?!?  My husband and I moved to NC about 7 years ago and I have been lucky enough to remain in first grade.  Like Sarah, I think first is best!  After teaching in NC for a couple of years I got my Master’s in Reading at a local university called Meredith College.  I was so glad that I went back to get my Masters after I had taught for several years (rather than right after undergrad).  I learned a great deal and enjoyed applying new strategies in the classroom. 

4.                          What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Sarah: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong because I have a good life…a great husband and two adorable dogs!  Carry On by Fun. because there are always yucky times when I’m stressed or things aren’t working out right. If  I persist through things get better!
Tamra:  Celebration by Kool and the Gang; such an oldie but goodie!  It reminds me of growing up; I enjoyed life and still do.  There’s a lot to celebrate if you can get past the hard times.

5.                         What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Sarah: Last year I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivies.  I had to do a 21 day cleanse and then a 45 day cleanse to get the gluten out of my system and clear up my symptoms.  It was so hard to be on a super restrictive diet!
Tamra:  The year that I graduated from grad school, was pregnant (with morning sickness big time), and passed National Boards was TOUGH!!!   I still taught full time and tutored several days after school.   I had to work really hard to get everything done.  I’ll never forget that I had a color -coded calendar with deadlines for the various assignments, projects, conferences, meetings, etc. that I had to do…along with doctor’s appointments and such.  I think it prepared me to be a mom; there’s no spare time as a mommy either!  

6.                         What’s your favorite TV show?
Sarah: Parks and Recreation
Tamra:  American Idol when it’s on and I like Revenge (but I’m too behind to catch up at this point)

7.                          What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
Sarah:  My yoga pants!  They fit and feel awesome and I can wear my sneakers with them!  Can’t wait for summer when yoga/lounge wear becomes my main wardrobe!
Tamra:  The Gap sweatshirts that I found this past Fall.  They are comfortable and super cute. 

8.                         Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
Sarah: 30
Tamra: 33

9.                         What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
Sarah:  Last book(s) was The Hunger Games Trilogy.  Next up is the new Sophie Kinsella book!
Tamra: Last book was Gone Girl (it was very strange but kept you turning the pages) and next up for me is the same as Sarah; the new SK book. 

10.                   What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Sarah: Tortilla Chips.  I love them, but I am not supposed to have corn on my diet.  They are always my splurge!
Tamra: I am hooked on my daughter’s “Annie’s Summer Strawberry Fruit Snacks” at the moment.  I was never a fruit snack person before! 

11.                    Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.
Free Item:  Summer Reading Organizer

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you will go show these new ladies some love!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Some of my Summer Responsibilities

So, how's your June going?  Mine is going...busily.  {I realize that sentence does not make a lot of sense, gramatically, but it IS how my summer is going}  I haven't even been in the pool once this summer, much to my dermatologist's delight.  It's my own fault-I have taken on a lot this summer.  Too much, but it's too late now...
As you probably know by now, next year I will be the librarian at my school.  I have been working in the library a lot.  I am in the middle of rearranging the picture books (from AR level to author's last name), laying out a new floorplan, and sorting and organizing lots of stuff.
Here are some before pictures-

The door to my office!

My office

Soon to be the Teacher's Resource Library.

A different angle

As you can see- I have some work to do.  The walls will be painted and new carpet will be put down sometime in July.  It's going to be a race to the finish to have it ready by August 8th.  Keep me in your prayers!

I am also working as a Common Core Coach.  I was hired by the state to train other 1st grade teachers in the ELA Common Core Standards.  I am currently sitting in my hotel room in Chattanooga writing this- my final week of prepration is this week.  Then, I will spend 3 weeks in July traveling around and training teachers.  I walked around the downtown area this afternoon and absolutely fell in love with the city.  It's just adorable.  See if you agree-

Bicycles to rent!

A cute little pizza place!

A cool sculpture

It's just a lovely downtown area.  It has a warehouse district feel to it.  So cute.  If you get a chance, you should definitely visit!
What are you doing this summer?!  Tell us about your plans in the comments below!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tips for New Teachers

I am joining in with Mel D. (and many others) to bring you my tips for new teachers.  To find out who else has shared tips, click {HERE}.

1.  College will not prepare you.  Yeah, it'll prepare you in educational theory and methods, but it will not prepare you to face 15+ excited, little smiling faces on that first day.  You will need a plan.  Not just a lesson plan, but a plan of action.  How are you going to greet them?  What do you want them to do the second they step in your room?  Where will they put that mountain of supplies they can't wait to unpack?  Are you prepared to start off firm and slowly let up until you find that happy balance?  These are all questions college will NOT prepare you to answer.  You will need a plan.  Walk mentally through that first day.  Have a plan A, B, and C ready.  You may be planning on outside recess.  What if it's raining?  Just sayin.  Have a plan.

2.  Don't be afraid to ask your coworkers questions.  Don't worry about sounding dumb or worry that you're asking too many questions.  You aren't supposed to know all the answers; it is, after all, your first year.  If you are not sure, ASK!  After a few years, when you're not the new kid on the block anymore, it'll be your turn to answer questions.  See if your principal will give you time to observe another teacher. This is a great way to get ideas, see a different routine, and get a different perspective.  

3.  Make friends with the custodians and the secretary.  I promise you, they will be one of your best resources. 

4.  Don't gossip.  It's easy to get sucked into it.  I am the first to admit, it's hard to kep your mouth sht sometimes.  Whether its about a parent, teacher, or student- stay out of it.  It's so tempting, I know, but try not to be part of it.  You never know when it might bite you.

5.  Try not to live at school your first year.  It's going to be challenging to find a balance between work and home, but try.  You can't do everything your first year.  Choose just a few things that you'd really like to implement and focus on doing them well.  It's better to do a few things well than halfass a lot of things.  

What are your tips for new, or experienced, teachers? Please share your tips in the comments below!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is Your Desk a Mess? I Can Help!

Is your des a mess?  Do you have things all over the place?  Do you need storage that goes up, rather than out, to save on space?  Look no further.  I have the answer. (a great online office supply store) recently sent me the Deflect-o Storage Cubes to review.  I'll be honest.  When I opened the box, I thought, "These are kinda neat."  But was not super impressed.  I always give everything I review a fair shot, so I took them to school to try out.  
I really don't need words to tell you how they work.  They are so easy-see for yourself...

Arrange them anyway you choose!
Clip together so they don't move on you.  Clips are included.  There are even extra!

The sections are so large that even pens fit in and don't hang out! I've got 3 rolls of masking tape in that bottom drawer!

After filling each section of each cube, I was in love.  It's the coolest thing and holds so. much. stuff.
I was truly surprised at how much it held.  See the cube with the X dividers that I have pens and highlighters in?  they fit in fairly flush with the edge.  I tested a new, unsharpened pencil and it stuck out too much for my liking, but not pens!

The cubes are plastic, but a heavy plastic.  The drawers can be rearranged.  You really can customize them anyway you want.  The cubes are currently between $5-12, depending on what style you want.  Each picture above will link you to the product.  I like them because they hold EVERYTHING I need in a day's time and they stack so they don't take up too much desk space.  I give these cubes my stamp of approval!

*I received these cubes free from, to review,  and have shared my honest opinions about the product.*

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ten Pins for Classroom Management!

I am linking up with Ashley at Just Reed to share 10 of my favorite Pinterest pins dealing with classroom management.  The most effective classroom management tool I've found (in my ENTIRE 12 years of teaching) is Whole Brain Teaching.  It's a teaching style that totally works.  You can read about my experience {HERE}.  I began using WBT last year with my 1st graders and it was a total success.  They loved it.  I loved it.  It's a win-win!

WBT has its own set of classroom rules.  I chose to use them, others modify them.  That's one of the things I love about WBT, you can tweak it to fit your needs.

Whole Brain Teaching has many techniques that engage all areas of the brain.  Class-Yes, Teach-OK, and Mirror are just a few of them.  You can read more about them {HERE}.

One more little WBT nugget- STAR Homework.  I loved this system last year.  It gave the kids a sense of ownership and accountability.  {HERE} is a post on it, if you're interested. 

I used to have my students "pull a card" when they reached their limit of warnings.  Last year, I tried the clip chart system and had great success.  I read Rick Morris' ebook Clip Chart.  If you are not familiar with it, I recommend it.  Its an easy read-say 20 minutes- and its packed with ideas.  The positive reinforcement it offered is what convinced me to try it.  As you can see in the picture below,  my discipline clipboard hung beside the chart.  This clipboard went with us everywhere (a school-wide thing).  If a child needed redirecting in music or PE, that teacher took care of it in her own way, but also marked it on the clipboard so I would be aware of the problem.  
You can get my clip chart with 9 levels {HERE}.
You can download my clipboard form {HERE} for free.

This board is a wonderful way to know at a glance who is where.
This idea came from Spectacular 2nd Grade.

I loved these clocks last year.  A Pinterest pin inspired me to create them.  I made one for recess, special area, and lunch.  The hands were made of black foam (not shown).  

If you haven't taught your class to be bucket fillers, I highly recommend it!
Source: The Clutter Free Classroom

Post instructions!  This saves you from having to say the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Here is a GREAT way to know exactly what money brought in should go to!
Source: Anything But Perfect- has since moved to Hello, Cuteness!

This last pin speaks for itself!  Pure brilliance!
Source: Craft Addict

I hope you leave with some new ideas!  Go by Just Reed to see who else linked up!
Just Reed!
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