My Wishlist: Reddit Gifts for Teacher 2013

The fantastically amusing Reddit (if you are not familiar with's a social media news site) is being especially awesome right now! They are matching generous souls with needy teachers to send them care packages based on wishlists! Fellow teachers, if you want to share a wishlist,go check it out on Reddit: 

So, here is one poor teacher's wishlist. 
Dear Reddit, please help!
My two Android Tablets, plus pug hair. He thought the tablet photo shoot = pug pets time. It did. He sheds. :/ Yes, it is an old HP tablet and a nook color. Not a nook tablet actually. My husband has magic android operating system skills, I don't know how it works but it does!!
I teach all the basic subjects to Kindergarten kids, many of whom started this school year knowing barely any letters, numbers, or shapes. I have to have them reading, writing, adding and subtracting by May! To accomplish this, I LOVE to use technology and especially tablets. I have two old somewhat hacked android tablets and my Asus transformer already, but the school also just gave me two iPads to use with my students! Yay! 
What is missing, however, are good apps and tough headphones. I have bought many google play apps with my personal money for the android tablets, but as I am trying to pay off graduate school loans while saving money to start have my own kids in a somewhat fiscally responsible way... well, I just know I am going to hurt my budget buying more apps this year. Also, I will remind you I teach kindergarten and they literally EAT headphones, so I am always in need of new headphones that have not been severed by mindless chewing. 
I won't give an X amount needed because I really don't know  - so just surprise me! I am thankful for anything you could send! THANK YOU!!
Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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One Amazing Pencil Sharpener!

Hi everyone!
Pre-planning is behind me and school starts Monday! It's still a little hard to believe summer is officially over. 
With school starting back up, I knew I needed a new pencil sharpener, and was eager to try the one everyone is raving about: the interesting manual sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies. 

The graciously gave me one to review - and the following review is my unbiased opinion of their product. 
First, I have a video showing some features I thought were easier to show in action, complete with a demonstration from my baby sister at the end:
I believe I am going to like this sharpener because it can sharpen all sorts of pencils to a very sturdy yet long point. It sharpens pencils quickly, and you can tell when the pencil is done without peeking at because you can feel and hear when the blade stops touching the pencil. The bin that catches the shavings really catches them all, too! No mess! 
As a Kindergarten teacher - I was hoping it would be easy enough to operate so that a student could help sharpen pencils for me. This is something I would never usually allow...but I believe it is feasible with this! You saw my baby sister in the video operating the sharpener: she's only six and was able to use it after just one brief demonstration from me! Notice that she is sharpening a colored pencil - it worked just fine for that! She had already sharpened the other end...and wanted to do the other end for the video camera! 
The construction is mostly metal, which is so rare to find in this age of plastic everything. There is a little plastic, but it is rock solid. For example, I dropped the shavings bin from about 4 feet to my hard tile floors and it was totally fine! Because it is not electric, you won't have to worry about a motor burning out. Furthermore, the blade is easy to remove so if it does get gunky you can clean it off without a major disassembly project. 
In summary, and to quote my best friend who also was drawn into testing it while she sharpened over 100 pencils with it for me ...
"It's FABULOUS!!!"

Their website offers a ton of good information and videos all about the sharpener, so you'll want to go check it out. I would not hesitate to buy this now that I have tried it.
The sharpeners are only $24.99. Go check out all the other colors by clicking the button below, or share this review with some friends and persuade them to buy one too - there are discounts for buying 3+!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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Liebster Award and Slant

This week has been a perfect, fun last week of summer vacation! To add to my delights, I just got nominated for the Liebster Award!

This is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, in order to promote that blog, show appreciation, and hopefully draw more followers. To accept this nomination, you need to do a few things first. 
1. Link to the person who nominated you. 2. Answer questions from your nominator. 3. Share 11 random facts about yourself. 4. Nominate five or more blogs with less than 200 followers. 5. Pose questions to your nominees. 

I was nominated by:

And in turn I am nominating: 
1. Kate at Fun in ECSE
2. Cindy at Kindergarten Love
3. Veronica at Teaching with Giggles
5. Joanne and Suzanne at Kinder Learning Garden Blog

Here are the questions I will be answering:

1. What's your favorite school supply?
At the moment, my new pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Teaching Supplies! I am working on an extensive review to tell you just exactly why I have joined so many other pencil-sharpener-enamored teachers! This thing is just so darn nifty!
Groovy Green
2. What animal describes your teaching style?
A pug! Pugs are highly committed and will stick right by your side! I like to be right down on my student's level, giving them support in a friendly and supportive way! 

3. How many years have you been teaching?
I am about to start my fourth year, so three years completed! I have been at the same school and same classroom each year. 

4. What's your favorite restaurant?
There is a little Chinese restaurant in my town that has the sweetest family operating it where I love to go get Philly Roll Sushi. Nom.
5. Which season do you like best?
Spring - it fascinates me to see all the plants growing and flowers blooming, plus the weather is pleasant. Minus the pollen - the pollen is awful. lol!

6. Do you have a TPT store?
Nope....maybe someday...
7. What subject do you most like to teach?
Science! I have actually spent two days this week getting great science ideas at Project WET and Project Learning Tree workshops - so fun!
Celery Science - A Classic!

8. Do you have a class pet?
No, but I used to have frogs. I plan to get a new pet this year.
I have been reading this article for ideas and how-to info:
and Petsmart does grants for pets - did you know that?? 
9. What's your favorite part of your classroom?
My kidney table/ small group instruction area. It's full of goodies and is the spot where I feel like I have the best quality time with my students. Here is a pic from last year of that area, new classroom tour is coming later next week!

10. If you could hire anyone in the world to teach your class, who would it be?
Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the Kindergarten Cop. That movie is one of my favorites!!!

Kindergarten Cop (1990) Poster

My 11 Random Facts:

1. I have a pet immortal turtle. For real, immortal. His name is Fred.
2. I was just 19 when my husband and I got married and everyone's first question was if I was pregnant! We have been married 6 years now and still - No Baby! Kinda proud of that accomplishment...
3. I am grade level chair for Kindergarten at my school.
4. My favorite color is turquoise.
5.I lived in Oklahoma when the May 3rd 1999 tornado happened - so the Moore tornado this year brought back a lot of memories. Did get to meet President Clinton during that ordeal though...
6. I finish my Master's Degree in less than two weeks!! Hallelujah!
7. I have never made less than an A in any class. And on the topic of having a brain...
8.I am a member of Mensa! Got 99th percentile on the MAT last year so I joined for fun. I have gone to one outgoing and let me tell you, we're a peculiar and rather socially awkward group. :/
9. I cooked pork rind breaded spicy chicken the other day. Want the recipe sometime?
10. I take great pride in my manual car driving skills because I survived my first year teaching driving a 5-speed Mustang that would overheat everyday so I had to cool the engine via strategic manipulation of the engine thanks to having the car be manual. That was fun...
11. My sweet handsome pug is a rescue dog who went from snarling behind the toilet when we brought him home to rarely leaving my side when I am home! I love my pug!

Questions for the next 5 nominees!

1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What is your favorite back-to-school book or activity?
3. What is one of your must-have school items?
4. What is your favorite subject to teach?
5. Do you have a TPT Store or Teacher's Notebook Store?
6. Do you have a favorite source for fonts or clipart?
7. Do you have a classroom pet?
8. What is your favorite song or cd to use in the classroom?
9. What is your favorite holiday?
10. What made you decide to be a teacher?

In other news, today I stumbled upon and immediately signed up for...

Who LOVES presents? Who LOVES packages in the mail?
I know I do!!!

Basically, in the first few days of the month you sing-up to participate.
Around the 5th - you find out who you'll send a box to and who you will receive a box from.
Between then and the 20th, you go into minor stalker mode to get to know the recipient of the box you send as you plot and scheme what to send them.
1 Big Rule - out of the at least 5 items totaling at least a $10 value - one must be homemade! 
Every month will have a theme, this month is"A Few of My Favorite Things"
Doesn't this just sound delightful!!
Plus, it's not a long term commitment. You only sign up for one month at a time.
Who's in?!? Maybe I'll get to send YOU a present in a few weeks!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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