Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Stitch Fix!

I'm excited to link up with my BBB Holly for Tried It Tuesday to tell you about something I have recently tried!
Do you LOVE getting packages on your doorstep? (Ok, really, who doesn't?)

Do you LOVE getting new clothes?

Would you LOVE someone else to do the shopping FOR you for your new clothes?

If you said yes, then Stitch Fix is for YOU! (And no, they aren't paying me to say that!) I am hooked. With as busy as my schedule is during the school year, this is the perfect way for me to get new clothes without doing anything but trying on the clothes when I feel like it! (Which let's face it.... it's as soon as I can get the box open because it's just so fun! I get to try on all the pieces with my OWN clothes from my closet! Not like trying clothes on at the store... I dread that actually.)

Here's how it works. First, you visit the website and fill out your Style Profile. There are quite a few questions, but it's to help make sure your personal stylist (you can say you have a stylist! hee hee!) is picking the right clothes for you. You can even share a link to your style Pinterest board if you have one! (You can check out or follow my board here if you want! I just got mine started...)

Each time you get a box shipped to you, it's $20. This $20 will be applied to any article of clothing you end up buying/keeping. I haven't met anyone that didn't keep at least one item from their box yet! They will ship you five different pieces. (And PS, if you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount!)
They take such care to pack your box! You even get a personalized note from your stylist! They also put a prepaid envelope in the box so you can ship back anything you decide not to keep for free.
They send you a styling card that shows ideas of how to wear the items they sent you. It's like when you see those cute outfits on Pinterest, but you actually have the clothes in the picture!
Sooooo here is what they sent me in my fix!

This time, I kept only two things. I've heard the more fixes you get, the more they know what you like and the more you will keep...! 

The first outfit (in the first picture) was a total keeper. I loved both the chevron shirt and the jeans! The shirt is so soft... adored it! 

I liked the flutter blouse, but wish it was a little smaller actually... or just more fitted. I felt like it was kinda maternity-ish. It was also a little expensive for what I would have liked to have spent. 

And I really liked the purse. You should be proud of me that I said no! LOL I just do NOT need another black purse, so I am returning that. 

The cardigan was just so-so to me. I had a hard time finding anything in my closet to go with it, actually. 

You might ask, how does Stitch Fix know what you are keeping, and why? When you have made your decision, you log into your Stitch Fix account and tell them exactly what you thought of each item! Here is some of my feedback:
Have I convinced you yet?  Go sign up! It really is such fun, and it won't be TOO addicting because you only get one shipment per month. :o) The worst-case scenario... you're out $20, send back all the items, and you tell them you don't want any more shipments after your first one. (I'm getting mine monthly!)

Do you get a fix already? I would love to hear about/see yours! Share in the comments! :o)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ramona Recommends: Love Her!

Hi friends! I am sharing a fun new blogger with you that you MUST check out (and follow)! When she heard my Workshop Wednesday was going to be about biographies, she was so excited to share some of her favorite biographies and I was so excited to let her share them with you here!! Don't forget to come back Wednesday to share how you teach students to write biographies in Writer's Workshop for Workshop Wednesday!

And now, without further ado... meet my friend, Courtney!


Hello! I am so excited and honored to be a guest blogger at Ideas by Jivey. I’m Courtney from Ramona Recommends. Nice to meet you! A few months ago, I started recommending books on my personal Instagram and received a quality amount of interest. I have always loved reading other teacher and fashion blogs. Ramona Recommends started on a Saturday night in November in front of the TV. At Ramona Recommends, I share my favorite children’s literature, and I hope you will open the MAGIC.

Like Jivey, I heart children's literature so much that my official count as of 3 minutes ago is 1331. WOW! I'm glad we share the same sentiments. If you are a collector as well, or want to start collecting, let me give you a tip. Start a digital database. I created mine in excel and each time I buy a new book or 10 I input the book(s) into my system. If I buy a new book, I must put it in my system that evening. #imakedealswithmyself. My spreadsheet is simple. It has the book title and author. That is it. Simple!

Today, I want to share three of my favorite children's literature biographies. Each biography I chose describes a little piece of me. Biographies warm my heart. I love learning about history through pictures and poetic language. Not all biographies have to be novels. They can come in picture book form too! Isn't it great!

Did you know that if you were a slave you didn't use your last name? Do you know Mumbet? In 5th grade, we learn all about the Revolution Era. I suggest Mumbet's Declaration of Independence be added to your book-shelve. Come learn about one woman's heroic fight for freedom in Massachusetts during the Revolution Era. The pictures are breath taking. When I hear picture books are just for 1st graders, it makes me so upset. I believe picture books are for ALL ages. Multiple perspectives and feelings can be drawn from pictures. This book is written for upper elementary+. The language and content is much suited for students who want to dig deep into the language and discuss the meaning of, "If she could have one minute in her life, just to say I am free..".

I don't know about you, but I love learning fun facts about presidents. Did you know that President Taft weighed 340 pounds? President Taft is Stuck in the Bath is a picture book that came out about 2 weeks ago. This book presents a fun way to learn realistic information through an array of overdrawn pictures, and slap of the knee phrases. According to some reports, it unclear if he actually got stuck, but because of his size you never know.

If you teach 3rd grade, I am sure you know about the series Who Was? I love this series. The books are well written and share a wealth of information about a variety of influential people. I chose to share Who was Walt Disney because Disneyland has brought so much joy to my entire family. Disneyland is such a magical place. Just Fyi- May 29, What is the Statue of Liberty will make it's debut.

To say thank you for reading, I would like you to grab this freebie. Be proud and share in the #iheartpicturebook club! To download click here

Stop by Ramona Recommends to learn about what children's literature you should have on your bookshelf! Come find me on Teachers Pay Teacher, instagram , and Facebook

Thank you for reading! Don't forget to OPEN THE MAGIC!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peek At My Week... returning from Spring Break... {and freebies!}

Oh boo. I have that dreaded Sunday night feeling again. Alas, my Spring Break has ended. I know that the next 6 weeks will fly by, but the beautiful weather we've had this week makes me long for summer!!

I'm linking up with the sweet Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings to tell you about the week ahead! :o)

First up, we'll be starting animal adaptations and ecosystems in Science. This is one of my favorite Science units! I'm going to link up with my girls Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties to share some mentor texts and freebies I'll be using in this unit.
The first book is one that Amanda shared today too! Great minds, I tell you.
What If You Had Animal Teeth?! is a great book to use when talking about adaptations and how animals' parts help them survive. As I read the book, my students will fill in this activity (which you can grab for free of course!):
Another great book for adaptations is What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?
Although this is a book for "younger kids," the older kids still love it. It covers a variety of parts, not just tails, so I have them fill in this interactive activity as we go (which again, you can grab for free):
The pages show a variety of different animals' parts, so they should choose one to draw and predict. :o)
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
As I promised my pal AMC at Looking from Third to Fourth, I am going to spend some time doing some Earth Day Activities this year... every year, Earth Day falls on or around our state testing and I always neglect it... but because of the snow this year, or testing was pushed back! One of the standards in ecosystems is how changes in the environment affect an ecosystem, as well as what leads to extinction, so this is where I can tie in my Earth Day activities! One book that I love, and AMC does too, is The Great Kapok Tree.
Don't have the book? I have two options for you! (And you should definitely choose at least one of these because it is such a great story!!)
You can watch/listen to the reading on YouTube:
Or you can have your students read it in a Reader's Theater (found on Timeless Teacher Stuff)! My kids will definitely be performing it as a Reader's Theater after I read it to them. :o)  I will also have mine think of other animals that live in threatened environments. We can do a little bit of research on these animals with Britannica Elementary and then do a quick write about why these animals are threatened and what might can be done to help them. (As you can see, there will be quite a bit of integration going on this week!)

We have a few writing projects going on this week actually! We have also been working hard to research Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, or Elizabeth Cady Stanton (students could choose based on who they wanted to know more about after we learned about these women). We will write our biographies of these women this week. (Don't forget to come back and see what we are doing with our BIOGRAPHIES for Workshop Wednesday, and link up your own ideas, too!)

We will also be writing back to our pen pals in New York (we're paired up with Holly's class from Fourth Grade Flipper)! Hopefully they will have some fun things to share about their Spring Breaks in their letters! I hope that Holly wants to be partners again next year. ;o) If not, I will have to find another class to be pen pals with because this has been so fun, and my kids have really enjoyed it! They have made a long distance friend, too- they are going to share addresses so they can keep writing even after this is over. How cool is that??

We are also beginning our measurement unit in math this week. It is my least favorite part of math. I know I'm not supposed to say that... but it's true. Thankfully, Tabitha at Flapjack Educational Resources makes it more bearable with her fun interactive SmartBoard Pack!
I bought it last year and not only was it fun for my students, but it was fun for me, too! :o)

Phew. Did you make it this far?? It's going to be a busy week. I'm tired already just thinking about it. Those of you who are just starting Spring Break... have a great one! Everyone else... keep on trucking! It's almost summer! :o)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fun Math Games and Facebook News!

Do you follow me on Facebook? If not, come follow me by clicking the link here! I share things there that I don't always share on my blog, like exclusive Facebook Follower Flash Freebies!

If you have been following me, or other blogs on Facebook, you might have seen some pages asking you to like a status because Facebook is not showing all of our posts anymore... but here's a better trick: hover your arrow over the liked button on my page and it will bring a drop down menu. 
If you select "Get Notifications," you will not miss out anymore! You can also add my page to your Interest Lists. I can tell that not everyone is seeing my posts because I get stats of my Facebook posts- I shared this strategy on my Facebook page as well and only 183 of 1,037 people saw it! Don't be one of the almost 900 who are missing out on updates, giveaways, or flash freebies!

For example, right now there is an EXCLUSIVE Pin It to Win It happening on my Facebook page for a new math games pack I created! (You have to play on my Facebook page to win, not here!)

Math Aces has games my kids have absolutely loved having in their math stations! I stock up on playing cards at the dollar store almost every time I go because they sell packs of two for $1! The cards do get a bit worn out since my kids love to play the games so often, but I always have plenty on hand.
Hope to see you over on Facebook! :o) You never know... there might be a flash freebie tonight, too...! *hint hint*

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Workshop Wednesday: Integrating Science into Reading

Happy Wednesday! It is a happy Wednesday indeed for me because it is my Spring Break! :o) Today for Workshop Wednesday, we are sharing how we integrate Science into Reading Workshop. And you know me...... I love a good mentor text!! So, I'm going to give you a variety of mentor texts in this post that you can use which also align with science topics.

These texts I'm going to share with you will go perfectly with the items in the awesome Intermediate Science Bundle on Educents! Some of my BBBs and I teamed up with Educents to get you a great deal on some fun Science products!

First up, Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang created a fun pack called Cooking with Science as well as a Scoot Game for Physical and Chemical Changes. She made the work easy for me because she already included a literature connection! Use a book from one of my favorite authors, Eric Carle, called Pancakes, Pancakes, and identify the physical and chemical changes that occur as you make pancakes!
Nick from Sweet Rhyme - Pure Reason included an awesome Scoot game to teach about Ecosystems and Biomes. What are Earth's Biomes is a fun book to use to introduce kiddos to biomes- and it has REAL photos of the biomes and animals. You could have them practice taking notes about each biome and give examples of plants and animals in each!
Nick also has a Human Body Lapbook included in the bundle! You could use one of my favorites, Parts, to have them identify which body system the boy thinks he is losing parts from!
Jessica from I {Heart} Recess also included two products in the bundle! Her first is a Rocks and Minerals Interactive Notebook. I used to LOVE teaching this when I taught third grade! One of my favorite books I always used in reading and writing along with my science unit was If You Find a Rock. It's a beautifully written book full of figurative language and descriptive language!
Jessica's second product in the bundle is a Light Interactive Notebook. I teach this in 4th grade, and even though this book is very simple, it is a great way to introduce your students to light, and it ties into our solar system unit a bit, too! The book Day Light, Night Light teaches how the sun, the stars, and light bulbs make light so we can see!
Speaking of the solar system, my friends Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties have included two of their products in this bundle as well- one is a Student Solar System Book. We loooooove Postcards from Pluto and their book is perfect to fill in information about the planets as you read it!
The girls' other product goes with The Moon Book! This is a fabulous book with great information and illustrations, and you'll want to read the book a few times to get in all of the activities in Collaboration Cuties' unit that go along with it. 
And the last item in the bundle is my Weather Interactive Notebook! There are so many great books about weather, but my favorite is What Will The Weather Be? because it goes into fronts in a kid-friendly way (along with other things), which is a pretty hard concept for them!

I hope these book ideas are helpful for your science integration, especially if you are grabbing the Educents Science Bundle - right now it is only $10.99 from Educents which is about 65% off! If you have never purchased from Educents before click here to sign up!

Next week, we are going to share how we have students research and/or write biographies in Writing Workshop! :o)

Now it's your turn to share!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Made It: Mentor Sentences Unit 4!

Oh my goodness, it's been a looooong time coming, but I finally got it done! I am sharing a TPT Monday Made It (Thanks Tara for hosting each month!) - I have finally finished set four of mentor sentences! The books in this one can be used at any time through the year!
If you aren't familiar with mentor sentences.............


Just kidding.

But really, you should definitely check them out if you haven't been following my blog previously. You can click the tab at the top of my blog called Mastering Mentor Sentences (or click the link here).

The fourth unit includes the following:

For today and tomorrow, you can get the fourth unit on sale, 20% off! 

Or if you have not previously purchased any of the units and would like to buy them all at the same time, you can pick up the bundle and save $6!
Sorry I don't have anything "homemade" this time, but I hope you will enjoy this made-it anyway! :o)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sparking Science Motivation {Weather}

Science is such a fun subject to teach! The kids usually get very excited for science time too because I never "just read the science textbook." We always do hands-on lessons, interactive notes, and of course, experiments!
I'm linking up with my BBB Joanne to give you some fun, motivating ideas for teaching weather!

You might remember I shared earlier in the school year how we made Water Cycle Bracelets. The kids really enjoyed this!
We also made water cycles in a bag!
And of course, we watched Bill Nye teach about the water cycle! Nothing more motivating than Bill Nye. ;o)

Finally... we used interactive notebook activities!
These interactive notebook activities are found in my Weather Interactive Notebook!

This set of interactive, engaging foldables is included in an awesome Intermediate Science Bundle on Educents! Some of my BBBs and I teamed up with Educents to get you a great deal on some fun Science products!

For a limited time it is $10.99 from Educents which is about 65% off! AND, through April 7, you can use the code ANNIVERSARY20 and get an additional 20% off! That's nine instant downloads for less than $9! And I can personally tell you they are all awesome products because I have them already! :o)    

If you have never purchased from Educents before click here to sign up!

You can also take a peek at some of the other products included in the bundle at any of the links below!
Have fun teaching everyone!