The Best {Resources} of 2013

Day 3 of a mega migraine here means total unproductiveness.  But, I had to come let you know about this AMAZING bundle that is available for a limited time.

22 fabulous 2nd/3rd grade bloggers joined together to bundle units at a major discount for you.  These aren't just ANY units either - the theme is "2013 Best Sellers."  That means that each and every unit in this bundle has already been proven to be a HIT.

The best news?  You can get them at a 78% savings!!!  Say what?  That's right!  22 units for just $29.99.  That's just over $1 for an entire UNIT!!  If purchased individually, these units would cost over $137!

The other thing that I love is the assortment.  Since the theme is "Best Sellers" this bundle has something for every subject - reading, writing, math, social studies - it's there!  Here's a sneak peek at what's included:

If I did my math right, you'll get almost 1,500 pages of teaching resources!! WOWZERS!  My addition to this incredible pack is my best-selling Poetry Pizzazz Unit.  I'll give you a closer look at what's included in that unit below...

So, what are you waiting for?  Head over to buy this amazingly discounted bundle at Educents right now!!  And, share this find with others so they can grab it, too!  It's only there for a limited time!

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Giveaways Galore!

Today I'm here to share some AMAZING opportunities to WIN a TON of new resources!

Tammy has reached 1,000 followers on her teaching blog and clipart blog and is celebrating with 4 separate giveaways!!  I'm thrilled to be a part of this.  Hop on over and enter them ALL!

And, the lovely Jen from Sparkling in Second is having a HUGE giveaway to celebrate a New Blog for the New Year.  Head over to take a look at her new design, become a follower, and enter to win!  Thanks for letting me be a part of your giveaway, Jen!

Good luck, friends!  Enjoy your weekend. XOXO

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My Secret Little Addiction

WARNING:  This post is not teaching related.  I'm in denial this week.  I'll get back into that groove next week. :)

Before I let you in on my secret little addiction...take a look at THIS!

Do you see that number there?  Right beside the thumbs up?!?  We are 75 followers away from 10,000 on Facebook!!  Are you following??  Click HERE if not!  We might just have to have a giveaway on there when we reach that milestone!

Now, back to that secret little addiction.  Here it is.  Ready for it?

I HATE to shop!  There you go.  If you ask my family.  They'll tell you that I LOVE shopping.  If you ask my friends, they'll tell you I LOVE shopping.  They're wrong.

What I love is fashion and new lovelies, but I HATE shopping.  I get absolutely NO joy from searching, browsing, trying on, or waiting in lines.  Especially not from the searching.

I cannot shop at stores like TJMaxx or Ross or Marshalls.  I have friends that find the CUTEST stuff there, but I walk in and panic sets in.  It's overwhelming.  I can't find anything.  I have to put the pieces together to make a cute outfit myself?  Too.  Much.  Work.  Ain't nobody got time for that!! 

I've always told the hubs that I need to become a millionaire so that I can have a personal shopper.  Someone who just fills my closet with new clothes.  There is nothing like walking into your closet in the morning and having new options.  It just makes the entire day wonderful! :)

Well, friends, I've found my solution and today, I let the cat out of the bag on Instagram.  Are you not on IG yet?  GO.  Now.  Stop reading and GO!  But, come back so I can finish telling you about my dirty little secret ADDICTION.  Oh, and follow me on IG while you're there - @teachingmaddeness


I don't know if that's a real word, but it's shopping ON Instagram friends.  Oh. My. Word!

Here's the skinny on my new little addiction.

1) You find a boutique to follow.  There are tons of boutiques on there, but only some let you buy right there on IG (others make you go to their websites....again, ain't nobody got time for that.)

This is one of my go-to boutiques...

I've bought from them MANY times and have always been beyond pleased with the service and items.  They sell a little of everything.  See that South Carolina bracelet (above center)?  That was my purchase today.  LOVE!!  Y'all know I love my arm candy!

2) When you see an item posted that you like, you simply comment with the word SOLD and leave your email address.  It's important to act fast, as they usually only have a few of each item in the colors/sizes you need.

3) A few minutes later, you'll get an invoice sent to the email address you provided.  I just use PayPal to pay the invoice and I'm DONE!

It really is that simple and QUICK!  It's almost like you didn't even shop at all.  One day, you'll just get a surprise little package on your doorstep (too bad it doesn't just appear in your will still have to move it there yourself).

One thing that I LOVE about the shop above is that they include shipping in the posted price.  So, if it says $20 - that's all you pay.  There are no other charges added.  I've bought some really cute dresses from them for like $28 - including shipping??  Insane, I tell ya!

I posted about my secret little addiction on IG today to see if any of my IG friends knew of any other boutiques that let you buy right on IG.

It seemed that either my IG friends LOVED Insta-shopping as much as me, or this was a new concept for them.  But, many of them are already new-addicts as well. ;)  So, here are a few screen shots of some of my other favorite little IG boutiques.

So, if you're on InstaGram, start Insta-shopping!  You'll LOVE it.  You can stay in your jammies, save gas money, and have it delivered to your door!  It's a win-win all around.

And, be sure to let me know if you find some great little IG boutiques!  Maybe we can start a support know, to help each other find the great deals from the comfort of our iphones! :)

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Christmas Questionnaire {Linky Fun}

What a fun linky from Michelle at Fabulous in First...

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?
I am most definitely a hot chocolate girl.  In fact, I have one {or two} almost every day during the winter.  Starbucks.  I don't drink coffee, but their hot chocolate is to die for!  I even have it at home for those days when I just don't have time to swing by there.  And, I love drinking it from my new adorable Starbucks mug, too.  It makes it taste even yummier - if that's possible!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree?
We all know that Santa doesn't wrap presents! Duh!  That was the joy of Christmas morning.  You knew exactly which presents were from your parents {wrapped} and which ones were from Santa {just laying around}.  Since it's just the hubs and I at our house, everything is wrapped neatly under the tree now.  And organized...according to when they will be given out {don't ask}.

Colored lights or white?
We always had colored lights when I was little.  So, as an adult, I wanted white lights.  My husband always had white lights as a child and now wants colored.  The picture will tell you who got their way.

I'm not picky.  I aim to please. ;)

When do you decorate?
Ummm....whenever I find the time!  We usually get our tree the week after Thanksgiving, but that gets tricky since my husband is in retail.  I don't decorate until the tree is up.  It comes first.

Real or Fake Tree?
I finally talked my husband into getting a fake tree last year.  I'm all about convenience.  Who has time to go cut down their own tree??  I'm sure if we had kids, we would because of the "experience," but we don't.  And now, I don't have to vacuum a bajillion pine needles every day!

What tops your tree?
A snowman.  We love snowmen.  We've had it forever, though, so it might be time for a new one.

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
Going to cut down our Christmas trees when I was little.  I would ALWAYS want the little Charlie Brown trees.  I felt so sad at the thought that they might be left out of Christmas. ;(  And, going in search of Christmas lights.  My dad would drive to the next state to find the most amazing Christmas displays.

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
Of course!  My playhouse.  Oh.My.Word.  I loved that special place.  It was a house.  It was a school room.  It was my own special place in the backyard and I lived there!

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving!!  Although I HATE shopping for others because I want to find that PERFECT gift, but when I do it is an amazing feeling.  Since we don't have kids of our own, I love that we now get to "spoil" our parents the way they did us when we were kids (okay, and still do.)  And, I love, love, love adopting kids from the Angel Tree each year.  We have a BLAST shopping for them!  Boy, I still love Barbies just as much as I did when I was little. :)

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Don't throw tomatoes at me.  I don't love Christmas music.  I'm pretty sure it's because of all of my years spent working at the mall during the holiday season and listening to the songs over and over 24/7.  I still cringe when I go to the mall and hear it.  However, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Frosty the Snowman for some reason.  I think it was always left off of those tracks. 

Candy Canes - Yuck or Yum?
Yuck.  Chocolate.  Give me chocolate.

Favorite Christmas Movie?
Home Alone.  Probably because my husband loves it so much.  We watch it every single time it's on TV.

Do you shop online or at stores?
Both.  But, I do NOT go shopping with the crazies.  No Black Friday shopping here.  I don't like crowds.  I don't like grumpy people.  And, I'm not willing to do anything to save 10%.

Photo Cards, Letter, or Store Bought Cards?
I choose photo cards.  Hubs chooses store bought cards.  He thinks it's silly to do photo cards when it's just us and the fur babies.  But, occasionally I sneak one in!

Go link up, friends!

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Remembering Sandy Hook {Random Acts of Kindness}

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

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Reindeer Guide Words and Measurement Trees {A FREEBIE}

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to Kelly for winning the Polar Express Giveaway!  I've already sent an email your way! :)

Do you ever have those last minute brainstorms that turn into a bit of brilliance?  Of course, I use the term brilliance loosely. 

We're working on dictionary skills at the moment.  I went to pull out my Guide Words Bee Craftivity today when I realized I should be doing SOMETHING Christmas related since my room was showing no signs of the approaching holiday. 

Suddenly, I had a brainstorm to turn that craftivity into a reindeer one.  After all, the antlers would be perfect for the guide words.  And, Rudolph does "guide" the sleigh, right?  BOOM! Instant change of plans.

Great skill practice.  Cute display.  Win-Win!  So, I came home and got it "blog ready" for you. You can download this little activity for FREE below!

Let's just say I was in the Christmas spirit today!  We nixed our planned measurement activity and did this CUTE and EASY Measurement Christmas Tree activity that my sweet friend (and teammate) Kristen did yesterday.

It was SUPER easy.  I just had the kids fold green paper (one dark green page and one light green page) in half three times.  Then, they opened them and cut the strips along the fold lines. 

We're practicing measuring to the nearest inch at the moment (but you could assign any measurements - half-inch, centimeters, etc), so I had them cut the strips into the following lengths:

Dark Green - one 8 inch, one 6 inch, one 4 inch, one 2 inch
Light Green - one 7 inch, one 5 inch, one 3 inch, one 1 inch

Then they put the strips in order from smallest to largest and glued them onto black construction paper to form a TREE!  They added details of their choosing (tree toppers, trunks, ornaments, gifts, etc).

What are your favorite spur-of-the-moment holiday activities??

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My Classroom Is a ZOO!

It was a ZOO in my classroom today! Really! We've been working so hard on our informational unit.

My little zoologists set up their exhibits, consisting of signs, habitat dioramas, life-sized animal replicas, and informational books they had written. 

They taught visitors about an iguana's third eye, a camel's hump, and a peacock's eye spots.  It was fabulous!

The "safari hats" that I found at the Dollar Tree last year were the perfect little addition!  So proud of their learning and hard work during this unit! ;)

Don't forget to enter this giveaway for the ULTIMATE Polar Express Prize.  You have until Wednesday and can enter daily by SHARING. :)

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Elfcapades {Elf in the Classroom + Random Acts of Kindness} FREEBIE

On Thursday, my students came in to this sight...
That's right. I finally caved.  I let Santa send an Elf to our classroom.  Meet Mr. Sparkles.
On his way to our classroom, he saw these doughnuts that reminded him of snowballs from the North Pole.  He decided to bring the kids some - and he had a couple of letters for us.

The first was a letter from Santa, introducing the Elf.  The second was a letter addressed to Mrs. Madden.  It said that Santa knew our class used the Whole Brain Teaching scoreboard and it gave the kids a little challenge.

Our Elf will bring a present to our class (yep, he leaves it right under our class Christmas tree) each day for the 12 days of Christmas before winter break.  At the end of each day, we get to open the present.  If the students have won on the scoreboard, they get to keep the present.  If not, they get to see what it was, but they are not able to keep it. :(
The "gifts" are usually fun rewards for the students, but they are ALWAYS a way to spread kindness to others.  I love how our Elf is helping us spread Random Acts of Christmas Kindness during these last days of school before the break!  The Elf just puts one of the little "12 days of Elfcapades" notes into the gift bag each day...
As you can see from these examples, the "gift" (note) is a little fun reward for the kiddos each day but also a way for them to spread kindness somehow.  Our Elf just prepared 12 mini-gift bags numbered with the day and placed the note that corresponded to that day inside of the bag.  Easy peasy little present!

If you'd like to read more about this, or use this idea in your classroom, I've compiled it all into a little printable pack.  While, it's not editable, I hope that you can use (at least) parts of it, or that it will help spark a way that you can use it with your class.
{Download HERE}

Also, don't forget about our 12 days of Christmas Freebies at our TpT shop!  Day 8 has just been uploaded...

I'm linking this post up with the follow FAB linky parties...

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