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ETA review, RAK, & give away

I love getting packages in the mail...
and I was SUPER excited when 
ETA contacted me and wanted to send me this fabulousness...

 they sent me the starter kit and let me tell you I was EXCITED!!!
I pulled out one of the many books included in the kit
and started playing...
it took me a little while to get use to it... BUT
then I remembered they also told me to watch this video...
once I did I was good to go...
ha ha ha
and this Getting Started Page helped too LOL

 so I got my tile board and work page ready

I lined up my tiles in order at the top of the Versa Tiles board
you can see that there are letters at the bottom of the board... once you answer a question you will move your number tile on top of the corresponding letter space...
might sound confusing BUT
once you get the hang of it... it is SUPER EASY and fun

 see where it says answer box... that is how you know where to place your number tile
 so it just so happened that the answer to number one was 111.5 which is A
so I placed my number one tile on A
 you keep going... number two was answer F so I moved it to F
 when I was ALL done it looked like this... then here is the really FUN part
 close the tile board and flip it over to the back

when you open it back up there is a pattern... 
and this is what mine looked like...
see how under the the answer box (in the workbook) there is a small rectangle in the bottom left corner...
well that is where you compare your pattern with the correct pattern
and my patten DOESN'T match... 
that's right I got the wrong answers on 2 of them... 
do you see that?
did I do that on purpose?
did Bub come in and play with the tiles?
or did I really miss it?
who knows I will never tell
maybe I did it for the sake of showing how it is a self checker....

Versa Tiles has several books to choose from 
and all of them are GREAT 
here they are...

ok that is my quick review for Versa Tiles

let's SUM this up...
1- I found it to be brain stretching... I loved how I had to use different thinking  to make sure the answers matched the tiles which went in a specific place... really made me stop and think
2- even though AT FIRST I was a little stumped at how to do it... after reading the REALLY EASY directions it became really easy... WATCH THE VIDEO and READ the DIRECTIONS
3- I like the self checking aspect...  makes this an EXCELLENT center OR I am finished now what activity... I LIKE THAT
4- can be easily differentiated by using the scope and sequence included
5- it is more like a puzzle/game and it makes learning FUN

so if you are interested in more information click 
HERE to head on over to their web page

thanks ETA (Versa Tiles) for trusting me with this review... it was FUN and I can't wait to use these in my classroom!!!

the FAB peeps from ETA are offering one of my followers a kit just like mine
we can be twinkies... COOL HUH?
so here is what you have to do...
super EASY
NUMBER ONE you need to like ETA on facebook AND tell them FARLEY SENT YOU and THANK them for the give away... (it is always polite to say thanks)

NUMBER 2, 3, AND 4

so here is what I did... I randomly picked 3 (my favorite number) blogs from my July Currently... and you have to make sure you go and follow them!!! and tell them I sent you... (consider this a NOT SO random act of kindness... random on my part but since I am making you do it... I guess it is not so random for you BUT imagine their day when I HOPE a bunch of you go and light up their inbox with followers and comments... brings me SMILES and I hope it does for you too)

this is very random but leave me a link in my comments section of something really cool to do with my theme mustaches.. I am doing a mustache theme in my room  HOLLA... it can be anything... TPT product... decorations... anything... no duck tape though... I have that :)

here is Rafflecopter and the contest will end in 3 days on the 3rd... can you tell I love 3

a Rafflecopter giveaway


60 pounds of love, BESTIE, & chippy not dirty

Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics has a FAB linky and I can't wait to join!!!!
I have lots of BIG projects brewing but
I have been BUSY BUSY BUSY....
don't believe me... check this out...

I just finished a 3 week Writing Workshop called ABYDOS
it was great I even submitted one of my papers for publishing...
we had a bunch of homework every night
i felt like I was back in college...
I have tons of ideas swirling in my head and I can't wait to share some of those with you :)
but later

I have been walking most evenings too...
here take a look

YES you are seeing that correctly...
Bub is in the seat and Merriweather is hanging out of the storage section underneath
we get some cray cray looks BUT I don't care!!!
I get a really good walk in because I am pushing about 60 pounds of LOVE
I keep her leash on just in case
we do  walk by some well traveled roads so SAFETY first :)

I also got my hair done...
see here
not sure you can really see my haircut but I do love this pic... LOL

another thing is I had a DATE with hubs
see here...

we went out with a few friends and had a blast
I love spending time with hubs... he is after all my BESTIE
here is a not so good pic but here is one of my former 3rd graders!!!

OK and even though I was completely BUSY BUSY BUSY
I had to join Tara's Linky!!!!


so here is one thing I worked on....
I wanted to make a banner for back to school so I hopped on my laptop and type type type...click click click and wha LAA I have it... I cut out all the pieces and laminated them all and cut them out again...

to add the circle letters to the pennants I used tape pillows... that way I could rearrange them if needed and it made them pop off the pennant slightly

this is kinda hard to see BUT to make sure the circles were aligned and not wonky... I attached one circle letter and then would put the next pennant on top and then attach the circle letter... that way all the circle letters would be in the same place

attaching the circle letter

once all circle letters are attached I punched holes in the top corners and picked a pretty ribbon to lace through

here it is on my CHIPPY not DIRTY hutch

here is another one

and another one
if you like this
don't fret... I have it in my store...
it is normally priced $2.50
but for one week I will have it for $1.25
and just because I feel SUPER guilty when I post something for sale
I made you a freebie...
this is very much like the one I made last year BUT since my theme is mustache I just had to make a new one...          HOPE YOU LIKE IT
click on the pic and it should take you to my store where you can get it fo FREE!!!

ok there you have it...
hope you like my little creations and I hope you go and check out all of creations that have linked up with Tara


Jars, Fish, and paragraphs

Oh my gosh...
I couldn't wait to share this with you... I know I just posted yesterday BUT I am full of stuff I just have to get out there....
ok ok ok 
mason jars to be exact
But really any jar that has character...
jars jars jars...
that being said
can you guess that Donavon's Word Jar is one of my
FAVORITE books to read at the start of school...
I know I know I KNOW
I mentioned start of school
ACK I go back mid Aug... yikes
when do you go back?

anyways that was a *******squirrel*******
so since I love jars and

I came up with a super cute
Personal Word Jar Kit...
I am going to start it right away
probably the first week of school
OK maybe the 2nd
and then we will revisit it every 2 weeks or so
the way it is going to work is
Every few weeks we will have a word choice focus and they will be on the look out for the focus in their independent reading...
for example if  the focus is words other than said... then when they come across words other than said they can add them to their jars... I have detailed directions in the kit
but I think you get the gist of it right???

I am super excited about it :)
here is the link
Hopefully you love it too...
and my Mama said she saw plastic jars at the dollar store... how cute would it be for every kid to have their own real jar... Dollar Tree tomorrow... HOLLA for my mama!!!

OK I told you I had another reason for being absent from blogging... well it has to do with a THREE WEEK TRAINING
I am in ABYDOS training
now don't get me wrong... I LOVE IT
but my summer is slipping away while I am in this writing workshop... BUT I have tons of new ideas
and can't wait to share them with my kids... ONE is this one

this is such a funny story and unexpected FOR SURE
anywho... after you read this
you ask the kids to think of something they traded...
they are thinking in their heads... not sharing
shhhhhh quiet
continue to ask...
was it a good trade?
was it an unwanted trade?
and then you hand them a paper cut out FISH

and then have them write about their trade on the fish
be sure to tell them they won't have to share
UNLESS they want to
if they know they do NOT have to share they sometimes are more willing to take risks while writing
this was a GREAT activity and I already bought the book
a wonderful way to get a pre-writing started...
so what do you think... have you heard of this book?
the illustrations are AH-MAZING too... go grab you one :)

Speaking of my ABYDOS training...
we are treated like the kids we teach and we go through all of the writing processes as our trainers teach us different pre-writing strategies, editing,  and other amazing things...
we have a giant book

it is FULL of ideas and the processes and
this is the KICKER
all of these are research based
they tell you exactly why you should do it this way or that way...
really if you ever have the opportunity to do this training... YOU SHOULD
here is the link just in case you are curiouser...


one of the questions we were asked during training is...
what is a paragraph?
how do you teach paragraphs?
is there a standard?

OK now STOP and think about that...
really think about it!!!!
 the way you teach paragraphs... does it look like or sound like how you were taught paragraphs... SHAME
look at different books
are all of their paragraphs topic sentence based?
an indent doesn't mean a new paragraph it could mean emphasis
sometimes there is just ONE word
is that a paragraph?
where did paragraphs come from?
so are you thinking?
is it restricting our young writers to tell them it has to have a certain number of sentences... because does it?
is it a change in topic or thought???
is it a breather within a large drawn out scene?
what are you thinking?
i don't use paragraphs am I bad?
someone once posted in a forum that she didn't read blogs that didn't have paragraph... what ev
I told her NOT to visit me because i don't even have complete sentences HA

just thought I would share this little question with ya!!!
and I am not going to tell you the answer because there really isn't a concrete answer
so keep thinking about it... it is good to think about HOW WE TEACH!!!

Ok let your mind GROW!!!


Absent, Great Grandma, Inclined

Great Grandma lives in Gulfport, Mississippi... i use to spend my summers there and LOVED it!!! I have very fond memories of summers in THE SIPP!!! I was super excited to share some with Bub!!!

Playing in Grandma's backyard is the best!!! grandma liked watching him too :)
went to my FAVE place to eat... BLOW FLY INN... it is set up on huge pier and beams and the view is SPECTACULAR... and so is the FOOD... southern home cooking at its best

Our waitress was a blast and so sweet... Drew introduces himself as Drew Brees (the Saint's QB) so she made sure to hang his Blow Fly right by The REAL DREW Brees' fly... so cool
Had to visit my Aunt Deb... she and Uncle Larry have never met Drew... look at their backyard... I am jealous... we had a blast spending an afternoon with them

He fell asleep after Aunt Peg's (that is what he calls Aunt Deb) and so we went back to grandma's... we were going to go to the beach again... he woke up and was not happy SOOOOOO....back in the car and off we go
at the beach and we had a lot of fun... it was LOW TIDE and lots of fish and crabs were around...hubs is obviously excited about the pic with me right? and I didn't realize so much of me is cut off BUT I am not redoing this

see the difference...this is the AFTER the beach pic
i wanted to check out the new casino...  Margaritaville... it was FAB... we took Drew there for Lunch and then we headed back after he was in bed for a little slot action... It was really nice and the atmosphere was so chill!!!
this bakery is on the way to Margaritaville and I thought it would be a great pic... the local kids were allowed to paint a square (not technically a square but ya get it)

other highlights of my trip... cousin Kristen came over to visit... do all grandparents have those giant spoon and fork... and we went shopping of course AND i had to share the sno cone shack with bub... I went to this little shack ALL the time when I was little... I paid it forward here... the sno cones are SO cheap so i told her to keep my change (my winnings from the slots) and to let it pay for all the people behind me it possibly could... I guess NO ONE has ever done that before because she blessed me forwards and backwards... SMILING!!!

Our trip was great I LOVE seeing my grandma and Drew had a blast everyday!!! our 10 hour ride home was mostly through storms BUT bub handled it pretty good... HUBS not so much... LOL
 so that is ONE reason I have been absent from blogging... I will have more reasons ... later like Sunday so check back


 and if you are ever so inclined to go and vote for me ... I would very much appreciate it :)
Click on the circle to head right over there :)


Friday Night Review, No Squirrels, and Fudgecicles

I was soooo soooooo excited to be asked to look at some Lakeshore products
I really couldn't control myself ... it was so AWESOME
they sent me the Solar System Match Ups
found HERE

I was excited to open these and play around
and to be honest so was Bub!!!

this is what the box looks like... it says for 7+ BUT my Bub could still use some parts of it

BUB pulled all the pieces apart and wanted me to tell him all the pieces that had the vocab word(s)

the parts with the definition were too hard for him BUT I did read it to him and he remembered... Uranus rotates on its side and Saturn has the biggest rings and Pluto is a dwarf planet... the definition portion of the Match Ups is perfect for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders... they are simple,  to the point, and give just enough facts

I really LOVE how this is self checking... the notches are unique to each Match Up set... which makes it perfect for a center activity

you can even send this activity home with your kiddos that are struggling with The Solar System... it would be a REQUIRED Family Game Night... I have done something like this in the past and the kiddo doesn't even realize you gave them HOMEWORK...

Bub was able to identify the words with the pics and then I read the definition to him and he could match it up... this means you can partner up heterogeneously and both partners feel successful 

just wanted to give you another pic of how it is self checking... each notch matches up to its correct partner perfectly

Bub got mad when I purposely put Venus on the wrong planet... but I wanted to reiterate how it will not MATCH UP

all matched up and ready to put away... REALLY Bub pulled these back out and played with them for a good 30 minutes
 In my HONEST opinion
I really do like these Match Ups

My TOP 3 Reasons are:
ONE- they are self checking which makes it a GREAT independent and /or center activity
TWO- the definitions are short and sweet and TO THE POINT... there is not any EXTRA FLUFF it gives the important facts and I like that
THREE- its components make it a great game for all levels... my 3 year old LOVED it and I know my 4th graders would LOVE it too

Some other ways you could use these...
* speed game... shuffle all of the pieces and have the kids (individual or team) race to complete all of the Match Ups
* Planet Up... give every kid a Match Up piece and then let them partner up with their other 2 pieces... you could time them on this one too... who matched up first.. how long did it take the class to match up
* it could be used as an assessment for lower kids... a modification of sorts... depending on their level of course

As you can tell I really did LOVE this Solar System Match Up!!!
If you are interested please click HERE

they have several other Match Ups too
like Animal, Weather, Rocks & Minerals, Plants, Matter, Insects & Spiders, and Simple Machines

HOLY COW I want them all...
seriously we go OVER all of this stuff!!!!!

OK that about wraps it up...
and hey look I didn't have a single Squirrel moment... YAY Farley!!!

head on over to their FB page... right here.... and tell them FARLEY sent you!!!

OK it wouldn't be a Farley post without a pic of Bub
and YES he wrote this... I told you he is LOVING this Match-Up
 and I am attempting a video of his Solar System obsession
it is hilarious...
he says EARF... not EarTH like 10 times because he dropped a card on the floor
and well you will see
and hurry before your fudgesicle melts...you'll see

 alrighty that about wraps it up