Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Wednesday: Organization

I am a day late again but I am here to link up with Blog Hoppin' for their Back to School Teacher Linky. Today's theme is organization!

Eesh! I LOVE being organized and one of my favorite stores in the whole world is The Container Store! HEAVEN. Plus I am a Virgo (we are stereotypically well organized) But do I actually have time to be super organized? No! Especially during the school year. I need all the help I can get. This summer I brought home about 12 boxes of stuff to organize into binders and envelopes for language arts centers and math (Like A Teeny Tiny Teacher did earlier in the summer). Did I do it yet? NO. School is in 2 weeks!  

So basically I have my own activities for language arts either in these types of binders or envelopes. Activities that I run off go in the binders but reading centers hopefully each get an envelope. My favorite place to buy the binders is Wal-Mart and the envelopes are at Target for about a dollar a pop. 

 Here is an example of a center already in an envelope and labeled nicely. My goal is to get more envelopes with clear labels and maybe even labeled with what box they are in - or I could assign each box a number and put the number on the envelope to make it easy peasy to return the items to the right box.

Here are a couple examples but from Amazon. The prices of both are actually very similar. The folders are about $1.10 each and the binders are just about the same prices as at Wal-Mart, if not cheaper. Click on either image to get more info at Amazon.

What I want to do this summer is get these envelopes in these plastic boxes in a more organized way. And efficient. For example, the Christmas centers take up more than one box so that is not working out too well. I haven't quite decided how to do it. Should I separate the centers that are holiday-themed or keep them in with the other activity and sort by topic (for example have a box of short vowel centers). I may just have to survey what I have first. If you have a suggestion, let me know! 

Here's a full box with some nice and some jacked-up labels. Need to fix! 

My other major organization strategy last year was making this tool kit (Here is my post about it from last year). I bought the tool box from Home Depot and spray painted it white. Then I got the labels from Kristen Doyle on TPT here. Clearly I need to make some labels for a couple of drawers for this year. 

What is your favorite organization strategy or tool? Comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School Teacher Week Linky - WHO am I?

I'm excited to link up with Blog Hoppin' for Back to School 2014 blog posts! I may not be able to do all of them - we are not back to school yet and I haven't even been in the classroom so I can't take any new pictures. I am going in on Thursday but right now I am trying to study for the MA MTEL for SEI. Massachusetts teachers you know what I am talking about, right? I do not want to take that RETELL course. Ugh! The test is tomorrow at 4pm. So after I write this post it is buckle-down town! 

Each day this week there will be a different themed post. Today's post is all WHO!

1. ME
Well, you know I am Bex and I live in New England. I grew up near Boston and the only time I didn't live in New England is when I studied abroad in college in Cork, Ireland.

I have been teaching for 16 years! I was a reading teacher's aide for a year and ever since then I have taught second grade. I have been in 3 schools but my current school has been where I have worked for 13 years now. Wow.... Unreal.

I also started blogging in 2012 and decided to venture into the world of Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook back then. I also have little shops at Buy Sell Teach and Edworld Exchange right now. I have so much fun blogging and sharing ideas, suggestions, inspiration and products with fellow teachers. I did go to the summer TPT conference in Vegas and had such a blast!

Here is one of the collages I previously posted. On the top L that is me and my Adventures in Literacy Land co-author Erin Cobb, and on the top R that is my cousin and I on our balcony! Fancy view!

My newest job I have is as am a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. I LOVE IT! I am obsessed a little bit with nail wraps. Check out just some of my jamicures. If you have never tried it please let me send you a sample so you can fall in love. Just click here or on the image in my sidebar. I have so much fun throwing parties and sharing nail wrap fun with everyone! 

Plus aren't these custom teacher nail wraps totally cool?! And you can BUY them! Click here to see my blog post about how to hook yourself up with a set!

I have a small immediate family - one brother. He is a little younger than me. He just bought his own single family house - wow! He has a beautiful friendly cat that I love to visit.

Here we are back in the day and here is Jack the cat!

My mom and I are super close. She is my best friend (well my first best friend) and we have fun together and I can count on her for support of all kinds. She lives about 45 min. from me with her husband. Here we are in the 1980's! No making fun of our hair! And I have a pic from just a few years ago!

Dad lives in our hometown. He is a super huge sports fan. Dad has had a lot of health issues and been very sick but is now doing better. He loves spending time with his kids and his "granddog" and "grandcat".

My "baby" is my Saint Bernard Bailey. If you follow my blog you know he got very sick this June and last summer too and amazingly bounced back. I am lucky! He is sweet, goofy, nervous, and in general a big baby. Little chihuahuas can easily frighten him. Other things that are scary to him: the yeloow sign they post on the lawn after they fertilize it, a lone plastic bag or piece of trash on the street or lawn, the new bushes that were put it, a lone leaf blowing down the street, the squeak of a door... the list goes on! Good thing he is VERY cute!

Bailey as a puppy with my friend Ben. Bailey was about 6 months here. NO I am NOT kidding. On the right, goofy boy.

Adult Bailey's favorite pastime.

I am lucky to have a lot of friends and a lot of close friends. I have known some of these girls for 22 years. 

Here are Jenney and I on a girl's trip about 10 years ago.

Here are my girlfriends Anne, Jenney and Martine at our friend Kim's wedding!

My cousin is one of my best friends! Obviously I have known her since I was born - she is a little older than me. I used to get her hand me down clothes! She lives in VA :( but we are able to see each other at least twice a year usually. This year she went with me to Vegas! I also just went down to visit her and her family this past weekend. Her daughter was really really into me! It was cute.  Her son and I are birthday buddies. September 12 y'all!

Here is my cousin, me and our brothers goofing around back in the day.


Chocolate Ice Cream (Brigham's) with Jimmies

Vosges chocolate (found out about this in Vegas)

Great TV like the Walking Dead

Terrific bands like The Drive by Truckers, Kings of Leon,  and Wilco, but also other artists like Bruno Mars (so talented), Brad Paisley (also talented and clever)  and many more!


And finally.. I love sleep! Never can get enough!

Hope you had fun learning about me and stop by for the next post this week!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Target Tip and New Freebie!

Hey all! I have a quick hot tip for you about Target! I was shopping in the Dollar Spot last night and I saw they had these cute, durable, informative animal books!

I grabbed a whole bunch for my prize box!

I also have a brand new freebie for you today. My Second Grade Interactive Notebook for Language Arts has tons of useful contents to help your kiddos become great writers - but I thought some of you might like to see a small sample. So you can download part of the informational writing section! If you want to take a look click here or on the picture below! Happy freebie!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Five for Fraturday Time!

Hi all! It is Five for Friday on Saturday so can we call it Five for Fraturday? That reminds me of the episode on Friends where Chandler is all nervous about Monica thinking some guy is funnier than him so he starts saying dumb things like "Why don't we call fried chicken "fricken?" I will have some fricken!?"

I am linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share my 5 of the week - not to recap old Friends episodes so here goes! By the way, don't forget I am giving away a pedi pack with some Jamberry sample wraps so click here to check out that blog post so you don't miss it!


#1 is that I am trying to enjoy the time I have with Bailey. He has been so sick I don't know what is going to happen with him... so when I see a moment like this I have to just observe, smile, and sometimes take a picture! Another tough summer morning for him! Well, at least it seems tough for him to keep his whole body on his bed...

#2 I have a challenge from my Jamberry team, and if you are up for helping me meet the challenge, you can book your Jamberry Facebook party with me. I mean, you get to relax, have fun with your friends online (so no cleaning or setting up!) and maybe earn some hostess rewards! Why not! Go to this link to sign up for your party or comment below! We are also having a fun Facebook event for anyone who is remotely interested in becoming a Jamberry consultant themselves. There are some big never-before-offered incentives to joining so why not at least check out our Facebook event here

My mom wanted to do something fun and different this summer so we drove into Boston and went to the top of the Prudential Center building to the 52nd floor (that's right floor 52!) for lunch at the Bay Tower Room. It is a fancy place but for lunch it was pretty laid back and affordable and hey, you can't beat the view! Some people pay $ just to see the view from the 50th floor, so why not get a meal and look out the window of the 52nd floor too! Here are some of my pictures!

   I was so excited, the first ever Jamberry Stylebox was just released and I got mine in the mail yesterday! Wow! It is so cool! There is one exclusive wrap that no one else can get in it, an 2nd sheet of nail wraps to coordinate, a style card (apparently, based on the quiz I did online, I am Miss Monochromatic) and some application tools. Each month you get more than $30 of products for $25 (well I got the 3 month subscription but if you get the 6 or 12 month ones, you save more $ and you know I am SO going to be switching to one of those, lol). Check out the pretty! I can't wait to put them on! Get details or take the quiz yourself here!

I was even psyched about the box!

 Ooh pretty!

 It comes with a style card and link to a style video!

On point with the chevron and the purple!

Application tools!

How can some of you be starting school or have already begun? WHOAH! My first day is Sep. 2 but I can tell you all are back or almost back because my brand new interactive notebook product was snapped up by a lot of you. Thanks so much to my awesome followers on TPT who tried it and gave such nice feedback. Just because I am now inspired I am working on a new INB!  You can look at my current one by clicking here or on the image below.

By the way while we are on the topic, I am super flattered and  delighted that I now have 700 TPT followers and my Facebook likes are SO close to 3,000. Holy mackerel! You know when I get there we are going to do something AWESOME! You will love it! Thanks for all the love guys!

PS Don't forgot to grab your favorite of the custom Teacher Nail Wraps. Click here to go to the blog post about them and to enter the GIVEAWAY or click on any of the images!

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