A Magical Shopping Adventure

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So.  In the middle of summer, every teacher everywhere started posting photos about amazing back to school deals on Instagram.  I remember when “Back to School Season” was in August, and I would always feel nervous that there wouldn’t be enough crayon boxes left for me at Target.  Does this shopping season feel earlier to anyone else this year? 

Anyways, I just couldn’t stop looking at those IG shopping photos.  I am a sucker for school supplies.

No, really.

When I was little, I would bypass the candy aisle at the grocery store to look at all the glorious pens.  I’m still kind of that way.  I do love pens.  But this time, I was all about the gorgeous baskets and bins that teachers were finding at Big Lots and Dollar Tree.  They’re pink and turquoise and lime green and purple and beautiful.  And you know what?  NONE WERE LEFT FOR ME WHEN I WENT TO THOSE PLACES!!!  {Insert sad face here.}  My crayon nightmares came true, in basket form. 

I did manage to score some pretty amazing deals, though!  Especially on things I didn’t realize I absolutely needed until they were staring me right in the face.  You guys know what’s up.  I literally went into Target to ONLY buy cat food, and I ended up spending way more money on my students.  My poor kitty.  But one humongous major bonus {for me anyway} is a glorious find that I…found. {Sounds weird.}  Check it out at the end of this post!

I decided to link up with Kickin’ it in Kindergarten for a fun linky party!  This one is called Teachers Be Shoppin’, which I just knew I had to join because I love the name of it so much!  I love reading blog posts like this.  I’m always wondering where teachers get such amazing things in their classrooms, so I’ll let you know where I found everything.  I’m also giving price approximations, since I know prices vary depending on location.  Unfortunately, some of the things were on sale, which may be over already, but I know there are lots of great deals everywhere right now!  I’m including some AMAZING TPT products, too!  Hopefully this will help you out in your own magical school shopping journey! 


First up: Bins, bins, and more bins:


Clear shoebox-sized bins with pink lids: Target {approx. $5.99 for a set of 5}.  Adorable chevron pencil holders: 99¢ Store {well…99¢ each}.  Green, pink, and blue milk crates: Big Lots {approx. $3.50 each}.  Black bins with gray handles: Big Lots {approx. $1.50 each}.

{P.S.  Since I couldn’t find my beloved colorful bins from Dollar Tree and Big Lots, I settled for these black bins to hold books in my classroom library.  Stay tuned for a Monday Made It post!  I’m going to make them awesome.}


Because I can never have enough storage:


This colorful guy: Big Lots {approx. $28}


I am also very indecisive when choosing folders:


Seriously, I couldn’t figure out which colors I wanted to have for each subject.  So I bought all the colors.  You do this, too…right???  Folders: Staples {On sale: 15¢ each for the first 30, but I sweet talked the guy into letting me get 60 for that price!  The rest were 50¢ each.}  Composition books (wide-ruled): Staples {On sale: 50¢ each, and may require some sweet talking if you’re buying more than 30}.


Clipboards for clipping things!


Aren’t these adorbs?  Small plastic see-thru clipboards: 99¢ Store {99¢, These are perfect for centers!}  Regular-sized paisley clipboards: Dollar Tree {99¢, These are perfect for something I haven’t even figured out yet!}


Pretty much every school supply you can imagine:


Let’s take it from the top!  Binders and pocket dividers: Staples {Less than $6 each}.  Hipsterpotamus notebook: Target {I lost the receipt!  Approx. $2-3 dollars}.  Extremely colorful Post-it notes and Paper Mate pens: Staples {On sale: approx. $10 each}.  Various stickers, bookmarks, and pencils: Target dollar section {99¢ each}.  Ticonderoga pencils: Target {approx. $6 a box, I think. But they’re the best!).  Various erasers: Target, Big Lots, 99¢ Store {approx. 99¢ each}.  Large push pins: 99¢ Store, I also saw them at Dollar Tree {99¢ per package}.  Pencil sharpeners: Big Lots {80¢ each.  I bought about 20 of the green and blue ones, but they have other colors, too!}  Crayons: Target {On sale: approx. 25-50¢.  I bought way too many to fit in this picture}.  Glue sticks: Target {approx. $2-4 per box, depending on the size}.  Steno notebooks and graph paper: 99¢ Store {99¢ each}.

Here are some close-ups, because some of the pictures are kind of hard to see:


I just had to.  My love for pens is real.


I want to write everything on Post-its this year.  Even my blog posts.


Hipsterpotamus!  I’m still laughing…


I love scented erasers!  BTW, did you know there’s a website called everythingsmells.com?  I just discovered it right now!  They have a ton of school supplies.  This could be dangerous.


Ticonderoga pencils are the best ever!  {Stay tuned for a Monday Made It post on what I’m making for my students’ school supplies on the first day of school!}

And now for some TPT love! {Click on the pictures for store links!}


I am in love with my new planner/organizer by A Modern Teacher!  It’s adorable and has everything I want, and more!  A lot of teachers have been raving about the beautiful Erin Condren planners, but I do all of my planning on my computer.  I’m hoping to “take a page” from The First Grade Parade and make visual lesson plans this year!  Check out how she keeps herself organized here!

Grab Your Glow Sticks {12x12 Digital Papers for Commercial Use}

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that lately I’ve been listening to way more 80’s music than anyone should.  All of this neon goes so nicely with that!  So rad!


These math games are meant to be used as homework.  SO.  GENIUS.  My school uses math workbooks for homework, so instead I’m going to use these games as centers or Fun Friday choices!


And finally!  FINALLY!!!  My favorite thing of all!!!


Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time, I saw this magical chevron rug on so many teacher blog posts, and it made me stop in my tracks.  Basically, it was love at first sight.  I searched everywhere trying to find where it came from, and discovered that it came from Big Lots.  My local BL has only been stocked with boooring rugs, which I expected, since most of the posts I read were from around 2012.  I looked for similar ones at other stores, too, but nothing else felt so meant to be.  Then yesterday, I randomly found a BL far from home, and there it was!  I’m so happy!  I love love LOVE it!  Oh…the end!  {This would make a great read-aloud.}

I can’t wait to set up my classroom now!  I hope you’re all having a great time setting up your rooms!  Let me know if you find anything you can’t live without this year!  Or better yet…join the linky party, too! 

Happy Teaching!



Back to School Goals!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hi friends! 

I started seeing this Back to School Goals linky party going around Instagram, and I wanted to join in on the fun!  Thank you to
I {heart} Recess for this awesome idea!


Personal: I used to work out every single day, and then I fell off the wagon.  Now I’m determined to start it up again!  Unfortunately, if I don’t do it every day, I don’t stay as motivated.  But I’m planning to go to the Bahamas with family next year, so now I have something to work towards!

Organization:  I am NOT known for being very organized at home.  But at school, I’m kind of a rock star!  I looooove binders, file folders, cute boxes, binder clips, snack baggies, colorful paper clips...you name it.  I have worked really hard on coming up with a system that works for me to keep me from going crazy when I’m searching for something I need in my classroom.  Except for my library.  I’ve had magical dreams of leveling all of my books and organizing them by theme and reading level, but I never got around to it.  This is going to be a HUGE undertaking, but I am very excited to try it this year.  I’ve found labels that I’m super in love with {found
here! BTW, I adore Maria’s classroom! Check out the photos on her blog!}, and I’m using the Scholastic Book Wizard app on my iPhone and computer {check it out here!}.  I’m kind of dreading this plan, but the good news is, I only have to do it once!  Please let me know if you have any tips and tricks that work for you!   

Planning: I LOVE the visual lesson plans Cara over at The First Grade Parade uses.  In her plans, she includes small photos of read-aloud books and cover pages from TPT products that she uses during lessons.  Such an amazing idea!  Want to know how she does it?  Check it out here!

Professional:  My school is using Singapore Math this year, and I have to become acquainted with the program!  My goal is to create some helpful resources that align with SM.  We’re also working on revamping our assessments this year.  Sounds fun, right???

Students: I want to force inspire my kids to become more aware of their responsibilities and to “own” their work more this year.  I love when they get so excited to show off their work!  I would love it even more if they felt that way about homework…

Motto:  I LOVE KID PRESIDENT!  This quote is just so inspiring and relevant.  He’s so adorable!  And hilarious! 


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I hope you are all having a great end of the summer!  I know there are some year-round teachers who started school again this week, and I hope you’re having an amazing time with your kids!

Happy Teaching!



July Currently

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hey, kids!

I can’t believe it’s already July!  I hope you are all having an amazing summer!  Here is my July Currently.  Thank you,

July Currently

Listening: These guys are one of my favorite bands.  I looooooove Dave Gahan’s voice, and I love 80’s music! 

Loving: My “summer” lasted only a week!  I’m teaching summer school most of the summer, so I’m really excited for a day off!  Happy 4th, everyone!  Have fun and be safe!

Thinking: (Admit it, all of you have wondered every once in a while.  Cat people.  Dog people.  Small children people.)  My cat was being mischievous, and all of a sudden, she stood up and sat in a corner facing the wall.  I call that a self-proclaimed Time Out.  Way to go, kitty.

Wanting: I’m so proud of my team this year!  I’ve been watching most of the games (thanks, DVR and the trusty FAST FORWARD BUTTON) and it’s been an exciting World Cup!  That can only mean one thing: there are so many amazing teams out there!  I’ve been rooting for the underdogs, as well, but my heart will always be in Deutschland.

Needing: I’m in the midst of classroom decorating decision-making, and it’s hard.  Ya’ll know how it is.  I LOVE TPT for so many reasons, but I also slightly dislike it, because there are too many options sometimes.  You guys are too amazing!!!

4th Plans: When I was little, my mom and I used to crash our neighbor’s party and watch the Disneyland fireworks from their balcony.  It was great!  And now, we watch from inside, a little cramped and squished on the floor, but with an equally awesome view. 

I can’t wait to read what all of you are up to in your Currently posts!

Happy Teaching!