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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Liebster Blog Award!


I would like to thank Heather from The Land Of I Can for nominating me for Liebser Award! I really appreciate your nomination, Heather!


The Liebster Award is an award for new blogs. Liebster is a German word that means: BELOVED, CUTE, LOVELY, DEAREST, and WELCOME.

To accept the nomination I must:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator (Heather)
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

Here are my nominees:

1) Mrs.Black's Bees a such a cute blog with a ton of activities for emergent readers and more! Check it out!

                                                       Grab My Button

2) Little Learner Toolbox I loved the tips and tricks for those who are just starting out as sellers on TPT. This blog will also keep you up to date with the newest technology and apps. This new "Ca-ching" app is way too cool!


3) Mrs. Brigg's Class is a blog filled with great ideas including those for Social Studies. I am looking forward to reading more of Ellen's posts.

                                          Mrs. Briggs' Class

4) Grasty's 2nd Grade Goodies I just LOVE Leah's blog design! This is an awesome blog for second grade teachers! Check it out!


5) Pawsitively Teaching is such an adorable and well thought out blog! This teacher-blogger is currently teaching 2nd grade and has fourteen years of teaching experience in Kindergarten through 4th grade! Wow! Can't wait to read more of her posts!


Questions from Heather:

1. What grade do you teach and why do you love it?
 I teach 3rd grade. 3rd graders are so sweet and still love their teacher! 
2. What is your favorite book to read to your students?
 I love "Clementine" by Sara Pennypacker. It's a great children's book and is going to be a classic. 
3. What do you love more: sticky notes, hole puncher, or dry erase markers?
 Can't imagine my life without dry erase markers but do love that hole puncher :)
4. What is your drink of choice to get through the day?
 I stopped drinking pop and coffee over a year ago, as I got onto a healthier lifestyle. I've always loved tea and even more now. 
5. Favorite school lunch that your cafeteria serves but you might not actually eat?
That would be pizza :)
6. How long have you been blogging?
I set up my blog last year, but was a little apprehensive at first about sharing my teaching experience with others. It took me awhile, and now I enjoy it. And the best part of it is meeting so many amazing teacher bloggers! 
7. What is your favorite TPT product?
I love "Christmas Around The World Scrapbook" by Sarah Cooley . Such a fun and creative unit!
8. What holiday do you look forward to most during the school year?
I look forward to all of them as it gives me a chance to pretty up my classroom, create more holiday activities and lessons, and celebrate with my lovely group of students. 
9. What do you do with your summers?
Ideally I enjoy visiting my family in Ukraine :) As this opportunity comes rarely, I spend my summers catching up on some housework, creating more lessons, relaxing with my son and husband somewhere on the beach or at the hotel.
10. Do you pick out your school outfit the night before or the day of?
This is a big one for me as I love fashion, style, and comfort. So yes, I do pick my outfit the night before. 
11. What do you wish all your students would know before coming to your class?
I wish they had better reading-comprehension skills coming to 3rd grade, but I do understand that English is their second language (just like it is for me), so I incorporate a lot of fun and exciting activities to help them become better readers. 

Here are my questions for the nominees:

1) How do you spend your free time?
2) How do you juggle your family life, teaching, blogging and creating lessons? Do you use a planner?
3) Do you work out?
4) Are you scared of anything?
5) Describe yourself in 5 words.
6) Cake or chips?
7) What was your favorite toy as a kid?
8) What is your biggest achievement in life?
9) Your funniest moment in the classroom.
10) Your celebrity crush.
11) If you were granted 3 wishes, what would they be?

I am looking forward to reading your responses! Good luck!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Five For Friday with a Giveaway

Love February,Valentine's Day and Winter Olympics! While most of you guys are getting freezing temperatures and snow storms, I get to enjoy warm weather with a little bit of rain at this time of the year. Sorry about that :) Even though it's 90 degrees here, I still managed to get sick. This flu virus, or like they call it here "Gripe Dominicano", usually stays with you for about 3-4 weeks. I am on my 3rd week now :(

I've linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share with you my weekly five.


Today, most schools are driven by data and standardized tests, and so little time is allowed for children's social and emotional development. I strive to incorporate as many of such activities as possible.
Last Monday I introduced "100 Acts of Kindness" Challenge to my 3rd graders. I decided to allow for it  2 weeks and have a big Kindness Celebration on Valentine's Day. We talked about how we can make the world a better place by doing nice things for our friends, family and neighbors. I made a printable with the list of simple acts of kindness and handed it to each child. You can download it here.

To my big surprise, they jumped right into it. This girl received a card from her former BFF :) So funny!

Here is the picture of out "Kindness" heart on the second day of the challenge.

And here it is on Friday of the same week.

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Theresa

As we learned about the layers of the Earth, I decided to throw a little art into this lesson.We made playdough earth models. I found this craft on Pinterest :) The kids loved it! They really enjoyed making the layers. And when we cut the planets in half, they thought that was so cool, that they asked me if they could take their creations home.

It can be so frustrating to read poor student handwriting! I believe, that it is essential to begin emphasizing the importance of neat writing in elementary school.
I created a simple form with the purpose of motivating my students to write neatly. I glue it into my students’ notebooks (inside cover) in the beginning of each school year. Every month I reward the students with neat handwriting (and those, who have shown some improvement) with small stickers. I’ve been doing this for 3 years now and it’s amazing how much of an effect such a seemingly small idea can have.

We've been reading, singing, writing, matching and memorizing multiplication facts 0-5. Although most of my students already know them pretty well, there are some that would benefit from extra practice. So, here is a fun game I came up with just the other day while practicing math facts with my students. I wrote a multiplication fact for each child on a little piece of paper and taped it to each student's shirt (answer not included but memorized by the student). The task was to come up to each of your classmates and give the answer to the multiplication fact written on his card. If you are correct, he draws a star or a heart on your card. The person, who receives the most stars (hearts), wins.

The winner of this challenge received a sweet treat :)

I am very proud and excited to be a part of an enormous giveaway hosted by An Apple For The Teacher who recently hit her 300 follower milestone! Over 60 teachers donated their products!  To participate, please head over to her blog. She has more surprises in store for the lucky winners. 


Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Life Monday - My Office

                                 MTM Logo

This week I am joining "My Life Monday" linky party hosted by  Beyond The Worksheet blog.
I love Lindsay's idea of sharing a little bit of our personal lives with each other!

Well, it's actually Tuesday. I did want to link up yesterday, but needed to take some pics of the office first, and it was too late and too dark...
So, here it is!

We just arrived home from school and my son went straight to the computer :) We kinda "share" it. Actually, he is taking it over :)
I don't like clutter, so I keep only a few things on my desk, such as a couple of decor elements, our family pictures and a notepad. 

All of my school stuff is behind these doors. This way noone gets to see all my "junk" (binders, textbooks, stamps, stickers, etc.) out in the open.

I bought this basket a long time ago because I loved how it looks. Don't you do that sometimes? I didn't know what I was going to use it for then. :) Later, I came across this idea (on Pinterest, of course) to insert empty toilet paper rolls inside the basket and fill them with pens and markers. Voila! Simple and smart!  

These binders are my pride. No, really, I put a lot of effort in organizing and decorating them. Each binder includes worksheets, tests, activities and projects. They save me a lot of time when planning for the next week of school! Everything is in one place and ready to go. 

My new school bag. I love that it even has a place for my water bottle, as it's very important for me to stay hidrated. 

I keep all my school necessities inside of this purse organizer. So convenient and no need to dump everything out of the bag in search of a pen or staples. 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a nice and productive week!