Busch Gardens in the rain? Yes, please! #WhatAMan2017

Disclosure: I received complimentary Busch Gardens tickets.  Post contains affiliate links; if you make a purchase through these links, it helps to pay for giveaways like this one. Opinions shared are mine.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to rent out an entire amusement park, having it all to yourself for the day?  Now I know what that feels like!

At several points in our spring break trip to Williamsburg, VA, the universe seemed to conspire against us. Both kids got the flu. We had to change hotel rooms three times.  The weather imploded on itself by the end of our trip.  It was a sopping wet day when we headed to Busch Gardens.  My husband was ready to bail, but the kids and I gathered up our ponchos and insisted on going.  We are so glad we did!   [Read more…]

Huge Savings on Microsoft Surface Pro – Student-Friendly Tablet #Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.  Opinions shared are mine. 

Microsoft Surface Pro #giveaway

It’s hard to believe that this is my 20th year of teaching!  Out of those two decades, 19 years have been spent in a 6th grade classroom.  It’s been so long since the days of having a rainbow-colored wrist from my overhead projector markers.  Technology has changed so much during my teaching career.  Through it all, Microsoft Store products helped me maintain a rigorous level of learning in my classroom, no matter what subject or content.   [Read more…]

Dont panic if your child says I Hate Reading

Disclosure:  This is a self-sponsored giveaway. The post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.


I hate reading.  Have you heard this declaration from your children before? 

When students enter my class each August, it’s inevitable that some of them will claim, “I hate reading.” It makes my heart hurt a little, because reading is so crucial to survival in our modern age.  Every day for the rest of their lives, their reading skills will influence their success and understanding of the world.  However, my approach to this teenage brick wall is very passive.  I don’t try to change their minds. I try to change their experience.  It’s hard to overcome a teen’s determination to be stubborn.  I’ve found that most students who claim they don’t like to read just haven’t found the book they like to read.  By introducing them to titles of different genres, it’s usually possible to find at least one book they’ll grudgingly admit they like.  Here are my secret strategies…just don’t tell the kids! [Read more…]

To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space by Dr. Dave Williams

Disclosure: I received this book to enjoy; post contains affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.

My children love to read fact-based books. Trivia of all types are popular here, especially with my 12 year old daughter. She starts many sentences with, “Did you know…?” My son, however, is fascinated with bodily functions. That’s typical with 2nd graders, so I’m hoping it’s just a phase he’ll outgrow. For now, I’m grateful that we can fulfill his potty talk desires with an entertaining, yet educational, book like To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space by astronaut Dr. Dave Williams.

To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space by Dr. Dave Williams review #giveaway - enter at savingsinseconds.com [Read more…]

Keeping tweens happy for an adult-free evening – thanks to Classroom Friendly Supplies

Disclosure: I received the adorable yellow sharpener in exchange for an honest review. Opinions shared are 100% mine.

Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener - the BEST! savingsinseconds.com Each week, a small group from our church meets at our house for a time of fellowship.  The adults meet in one room while the kids entertain themselves in another area of the house.  Our collective kiddos range in age from toddler to pre-teen, so there’s a wide gap in interest and ability.  This week, I set out a coloring station for the kids.  The littlest children were given crayons and stickers, while the older kids had an assortment of coloring pencils and a very cool coloring book. The coloring station was a hit! Coloring isn’t only for kids, though. If you’re into adult coloring books or Bible journaling, take note!  Classroom Friendly Supplies has the best pencil sharpener I’ve ever seen!  [Read more…]

Can Amazon make your School Days easier? Enter the #giveaway for a chance to win $50 Amazon gift card #SchoolDays2016

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links used for self-sponsored giveaways like this one. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission.
#SchoolDays2016 #giveaway
Back to school season has always been a thrilling time to me. The school supplies aisle is a haven for me, as much today as it was 25 years ago. The bloggers in the School Days Giveaway Hop want to make it easier to head back to school this fall.  Be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway below, then head to the other participating blogs for more chances to win! This giveaway hop runs from 8/16-8/30. Now, the big question is — what school supplies would you buy with a $50 Amazon gift card? [Read more…]

5 Reasons to Visit Patriot’s Point in historic Charleston – home of the USS Yorktown

During a recent trip to Charleston, SC, my family received complimentary tickets to visit Patriot’s Point.  We’ve been to Charleston several times over the past two decades, but somehow we’ve missed this amazing attraction.   Here’s why you should visit Patriot’s Point on your next Charleston trip!

5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown [Read more…]

Celebrate Earth Day with Classroom Friendly Supplies

Disclosure: I did not receive any products in exchange for this post. I am a paying customer of Classroom Friendly Supplies.

It’s homework time.  Can your kids find a sharp pencil?

Best pencil sharpener ever - #giveaway savingsinseconds.com

I should get enough of the graphite-gobbling wooden sticks at school, where my students easily run through a gross of pencils per grading period.  For some reason, though, I’ve never outgrown my love of a freshly sharpened pencil.  Traditional bookshelf-mounted sharpeners weren’t practical for my classroom arrangement.  I purchased handheld sharpeners, which were almost immediately lost or dismantled by my student.  Plus, the Oops-I-dropped-the-pencil-shavings moments got old pretty fast.  Heavy duty electric sharpeners cost around $75 and just wouldn’t last through the year. Color me disheartened. So when Classroom Friendly Supplies claimed to have the quietest pencil sharpener, I was all in.  I purchased 5 for my classroom (one per table) with my classroom budget, and bought one for home use with my personal money.   [Read more…]

Be a champion for girls’ education with Malala #HeNamedMeMalala #WithMalala #ad

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for 20th Century Fox. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Teaching social studies really opened my eyes to the plight of women over historical periods and across geographical borders.  If you haven’t been challenged before, try teaching a group of 6th graders about the way education works in other countries.  You might also explain how non-democratic governments work, and why it’s so important to value the opportunity to vote.  Tweens have a way of bringing the truth into the open, and they can sniff out injustice like bloodhounds.  When Malala’s story went viral in 2013, the focus was on her injuries. As I read more about her, though, it stunned me to learn that Malala  had been an advocate for girls’ education for years!  This courageous young woman has so much to give to a world that longs for freedom and individual rights.

[Read more…]

5 Ways to Use Book Sneak Peeks to Get Kids Reading

Disclosure: **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

5 Ways to Use Book Sneak Peeks to Get Kids Reading - savingsinseconds.com

My wonderful teaching assistant came into school a few weeks ago with handfuls of book sneak peeks.  These are small promotional booklets to draw attention to an upcoming release.  They often contain the first two or three chapters of the new book.  My students could NOT get enough of poring through those pages!  After a few days, the newness wore off, and those goodies sat untouched on my whiteboard tray.  Would you throw them out?  Teachers are known for their hoarding ways, and I’m not immune to a little bit of hoarding.  Here are 5 ways I use book sneak peeks to get kids to read!  [Read more…]