Sunday, April 19, 2015

CanvasPop: Review and AMAZING Giveaway!

Today I am excited to talk about CanvasPop and their amazing product!  I was contacted by the company a few weeks ago asking me if I would like to review their product in exchange for a free canvas print of a photo of my choice.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity!  I think my husband was more excited than I was because he thought I would actually have a picture of his Corvette made (um, no, we have kids I want to see on my wall, lol).
So, I sent them the picture and a few days later my canvas print came.  The packaging alone was so professional, so I knew once I got to the print, I was going to be very happy.

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Here is a quick video on the process they use to create the canvas prints:

The canvas itself looks exactly like it was hand painted.  The canvas is taught around the frame and the stapling is perfect (everything is nice and tight around the frame).  The hanging wire is placed exactly where it needs to be and holds the frame in place without any movement.  Here is the final product:

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I am extremely pleased with the final product, the ordering process, and the customer service after I received the product. My husband (notice we did get his Mustang in the print!) is already ordering new canvas prints.  We decided to give this one to my mom for Mother's Day, since it has all of her grand-kids in one place.
I am giddy to offer you this giveaway on behalf of CanvasPop! The winner will receive a FREE 16 x 20 canvas print (about an $80 value) of their favorite photo!  All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and then cross your fingers.  The winner will be announced in one week.
Also, as a thank you for being a follower of my little blog, CanvasPop is giving all of my followers a 35% discount throughout the next few weeks (the code will expire April 30th, 2015).  Just use this code when you order and the discount will be applied:


Just go to and check out all of their amazing products!  They have a 100% Lifetime Love guarantee, so you can't go wrong!

100% Lifetime Love Guarantee

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 11, 2015

South Florida Blogger Meet-Up: Save the Date

It is time for all of our blogging buddies from South Florida to get together and Party!  Elizabeth over at First Grade Stripes and I have put together a sweet luncheon for those of us who live in the south end of Florida (of course all Florida bloggers are more than welcome to join in on the fun) on May 30th.  We are hoping to have a jam packed day filled with fun, friends, and folly!  The details are listed below and we would love for everyone to come! Please comment below with  your email if you want to be added to the list or you can email one of us directly (see flyer for info) and we will include you in all of the email updates.  
If you have anything you can donate or know of a company/person who can donate goodies to our peeps, then leave that information as well.  We need all of the help we can get.
We look forward to meeting everyone and we hope that you are all excited to meet us too!

               First Grade Stripes               

Friday, April 3, 2015

Currently... April

I can't believe it is April already!  Today was a great relaxing day and I thought a lot about what Good Friday really means. Sacrifice is hard, but it is something we should all take to heart and take into practice as we travel through our lives.

Here is what I am currently up to today:

Link up with us over at Farley's blog by clicking her button below.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Achieve the Core: A Website You Can Use! (The First in a Series)

How common is common core?  Well, it depends on where you teach and who "tells" you what you should or should not be doing in your classroom.  I teach in South Florida, which in my opinion, means that I have several different "entities" dictating what I should or should not use in my classroom.  Of course, everything I am told about is "highly suggested"...

This is an introduction on how I came to be comfortable with the CCSS, now the Florida Standards.  Starting next week, I will be posting weekly on using the ELA Shifts and how you can use these resources to help you achieve your goals that you have with implementing the shifts as pain-free as possible.  I would also love your feedback and questions!
My journey with the common core started at its inception years ago when I was selected as one of about 25 teachers in our state to create ELA formative assessments for a bank of items for the teachers in Florida.  I worked with a team of extraordinary teachers for over 2 years and we found that common core wasn't so common after all.  All of our districts had different ideas of when to roll out the standards, what the standards meant for our students, how to teach the standards, and which curriculum would best meet the needs of our students while teaching the standards.  Some districts were way ahead of others and some were so far behind that I think they are still drowning all these years later.  Needless to say, we felt a need to share what works best for us and we collaborated so much over those 2 years!  I took the best from the best and brought it to my team at my school.
There came my label as the CCSS expert at my school (expert: not at all,  educated on the standards:  yeah you could say that) and I was on the CCSS implementation and now I help out with the transition to the Florida Standards, when needed.  I mostly help my team of fourth grade teachers, as the Florida Standards mean different things for different grade levels, at least at my school.
Last summer, I was given another great opportunity and that was to become a Florida Standards Advocate.  A fancy name for someone who just wants everyone to understand how to best use these standards in teaching our students to be the very best they can be.  It hasn't been easy!  Teachers are a hard sell, but parents, well they are even harder.  It is difficult to have everyone see eye to eye, but we are getting there, standard by standard.  
The Florida Standards Advocate team works with Student Achievement Partners, a team of people around the nation who work to help states with the transition and implementation to the Common Core or whatever rendition of the core each state may be using.  Let's face it, you can call it whatever you want, but we are teaching Common Core in one way or the other.
Student Achievement Partner's website:, is amazing!  You will find mentor texts, mentor writing samples, a basal alignment project, mathematical practice help, and all things from a to z that have to do with helping our students become core conscious.   Student Achievement Partners are a non-profit organization dedicated to help teachers do the work of teachers by supporting them with the Common Core Standards. 
I hope that you take a look at this site and as it says below, STEAL all you can and share it with your colleagues.  You too can become an "expert" in helping teachers, parents, and essentially students become Core Minded!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Happiness Project

Our book club reading over the past few months has been "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  This was a slow read because I was trying to take in everything she was telling us.  I found that once I realized this was her way of making things right in her life, it was easier for me to read.  I enjoyed reading all of the different projects she worked on each month and my favorite was what happened in May.
May was all about finding the play in our lives.  I need to find time to play more often.  I don't always take the time to just have fun for the sake of having fun.  I always make plans and that is my downfall.  When the time comes to fulfill the plans I have made, I cancel them and just stay home.  I think I work better when things are spur of the moment.  Then there is no room for me to resist the playtime!
If you would like to join our blogger book club, please head on over to Cardigans and Caffeine to find out more.