<![CDATA[The School Supply Addict - Blog]]>Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:48:16 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Engineer-A-Coaster {Review & Freebies}]]>Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:06:18 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/engineer-a-coaster-review-freebiesLakeshore is one of my favorite sources to furnish and supply my classroom.  Although I don't live near one anymore (#sadsville), I still order plenty each year!  When they contacted me to do a review on one of their new STEM products, I nearly flipped out of my chair.  ME!?  A review!?  For a product from "teacher heaven" store?  Why yes.

I didn't even realize this because I've been in the kindergarten-business-fog, but they have a lot of new great STEM products (I want them all) and I just couldn't pass up the Engineer-A-Coaster set.  Honestly, I picked the product that I thought my kids would go nuts over, and they did.  

Oh, how they did.  I don't usually hear arguing in my room, but this brought it out.  They all want to use it.  ALL. THE.  TIME.  

So, here goes.  Here's why I've fallen in love with this awesome product.  
This set is totally hands-on.  As you can see, there are big chunky pieces to move around.  The basic premise of the product is to essentially "engineer a roller coaster", as cleverly described in the product name.  Kids move the blue tracks around, place the brown drop bin at the bottom, then test their creations with little cog wheels.  There are cards included to give them some ideas, but they usually go rogue.  They like to create the most ridiculous track formation possible (using every single piece).  They're 5 and 6.  It wouldn't be natural for them to follow the "recommended" track patterns.  Haha!  This set gives them a real-life experience with forces, motion, gravity, speed, and or course... big crashes.  They LOVE it.  Of course I sometimes have to steer them towards a more conservative design, but it's amazing to see some of the designs they've come up with.
They'll hold you hostage until you let them play with it.  I'm not kidding.  The first time I got it out, I nearly got mauled.  They came up with the idea to create a sign-up sheet and take 5 minute turns with a buddy.  Smart kiddos.  :)  We have had this thing for about a month and it is still the number 1 activity they request during any sort of free time or indoor recess.  As you can see, I have a big magnetic drip pan (found in the WalMart automotive section next to the oil) and it is perfect for two of them to synergize together to engineer their own coasters.  The one pictured above didn't fare well.  They told me it was a "disaster and anyone who would have been riding a real roller coaster like that would die."  Touche, guys.  
I don't think I have to tell you, but this product promotes so many things....
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Trial & Error
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • and having fun... obviously
Excuse my dusty kitchen table, but look at all the goodies!  The set is really well made and I can't foresee having an issue with breakage.  I may laminate my cards or put them on some sort of ring because they have gotten a little tattered from all the use.  They're still in overall great shape though!  You receive everything shown in the photo and the pieces are really easy to use with smaller hands.  It did take mine about a day or two to get use to the super strong magnets, but they're pros now.  It's actually a great fine motor activity for those kids who have have weak hand muscles.
I've used it for science, but we also use it for indoor recess!  You could even use the pieces to make letters (ones that have "sticks"), or even take it home for your own sweetie!  Here are some other places you can stick the pieces to if you don't happen to have an easel or magnetic board handy...
  • a fridge
  • washer/dryer if you have one that's not a front-load
  • metal door
  • you car (it's a stretch, but you could totally slap those things on the side of your suburban if you get desperate while your're tailgating with friends... and need a kid-friendly activity)

I went ahead and spent about 8 hours creating a video for you.  Haha!  No lie, I'm terrible at these and haven't made one in a while.  There's a demo of how it works at the end!  Yay!  

NOTE:  I made this in HD and it is still really fuzzy.  I'm going to play with it and try to figure out what's going on.  

If you'd like to get your hands on one of these sets, then head right over to Lakeshore's website!  I've even got a coupon for ya!  
Okay, what would it be if I did a blog post without some sort of printable or clipart product?  I've created some printables that your students can use with the Engineer-A-Coaster!  

Click to Download the Supplemental Printables! 

Let me know if you buy it!  I'd love to hear about some more fun ways to use it.  :)  
<![CDATA[Home Office Makeover]]>Wed, 04 Feb 2015 02:55:38 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/home-office-makeoverMost of you may remember that my husband and I moved back to the states about a year and a half ago, after living in Switzerland for two and a half years.  Living in a 600 square foot apartment really gives you an appreciation for space... and having a laundry room.  One of the things I've been working on for the last few months is our home office.  In Switzerland, it was the couch and the dining room table.  It worked, but one of the things I really wanted in our new home was an office!  A place to store all my crap, do all my work, and shut the door when it turned into a hot mess (and it does).  I'm not gonna lie... I still like to bring the laptop to the couch, but it's not "the office."  I thought I'd share my space with ya!  

The photo below is my Swiss work area... aka the dining room table.  I didn't have a lot of stuff over there, so it wasn't too bad.  I just shoved everything into a tiny closet when we had guests.  
And here's my space now!  I love really neutral colors and haven't put too many bold colors in our house (except for the dining room and master bedroom).  This room was a baby-blueish-gray color before and it made me nauseous.  We went with Porter Paint: Ashen.  I LOVE it.  In fact, I love it so much that this is the same color of our living room and hallways.  It's like a beige with a hint of gray.  
The big beast desk is from Target!  It can be found in their online collection and believe me.... it's sturdy and worth the price.  Check out the desk.
The two tall shelving units along the back wall are more for decor.  There is some stuff stored on them, but I really just wanted a place to put photos, decor pieces, and something to break up the big beige wall.  They're from IKEA!  One of my favorite places!  Check out the shelves.
This little desk piece may be my favorite in the room.  I found it at Hobby Lobby and it's darling.  I keep printer cartridges, paper, and cardstock in those three drawers.  They're the perfect size!  The mirror is also from Hobby Lobby and was SO UGLY when I bought it.  It was a sad ugly teal mirror put in the sale area.  It was originally around $300 and I walked away with it for about $30.  A little spray paint gave it a new life.  Those wire baskets are from Walmart and can be found in the kitchen area.  They are those little baskets that you can hang inside your cabinets.  I threw the big hooks away, spray painted them to match the mirror, then hung them up with some nails.  $10 for a really simple and cute storage solution.  
Check out the wire baskets.   I can't find Hobby Lobby's furniture, so I'm sorry!  
My two favorite things to decorate with are fun antiques and photos.  I love being reminded of trips we've taken, special days, and of course... family.  :)
Besides antiques and photos, I love finding inexpensive pieces or taking old things and jazzing them up a bit.  I'm telling y'all... spray paint does a world of wonders.  This old vase was black and scratched up before I went cray cray with the paint.  I also don't have anything against fake foliage.  I'm not huge on fake flowers, but I'll do the green stuff.  Since the office doesn't get much natural sunlight, it's an easy way to add some "life."  :)
The right wall... complete with hooks for my "smaller" teacher bag.  There's not a hook strong enough to hold my massive one.  Haha!  It must weigh 50 pounds.  
Another one of those baskets... and a giant chalkboard!
A little reading nook in the corner.  I'll be quite honest.  I don't read here.  I'm not a big reader [aaahhhhh... gasp].  If I do manage to read, it's usually at night... in bed.  I have a bible app (OliveTree) on my phone that I've loved using, but as for real-life books?  Ehhhh... I'm working on it.  The chair is from World Market and the little table is actually milk crates from Walmart and an old picture frame for the top.  I was struggling to find a table I liked.  The crates double as storage!  :)  Check out the crates.  Check out the chair.
Okay, I feel bad.  I'll be honest again.  This chair is from our dining room.  Hahaha!  I am struggling to find a chair I like, and I'm not buying a fancy chair for a corner that will just collect dust.  So.... I stole the chair for staging purposes.  Forgive me.

Now, for the desk area.  This is where the magic happens and the clutter collects.  
Cheapest organization trick.  I think I got all of these pieces at Walmart.  The basket is in the bathroom area and the glass pieces are in the kitchen area.  Less than $8 for all the pieces.  
Some more spray paint magic!  I had the little white teacher candle holder (gift) and I found two more that kind of matched.  They were black before!  
This little guy is another antique.  It's an old tea bag tray thing (I think) and I use it as a drawer on one of the top desk shelves.  It's cute and functional.  
There's also an unsightly cord problem and a black file cabinet hidden on the far end of the desk.  
Finally... this may give you some insight as to why I chose the silly name for my blog.  This is JUST the stuff I have at home.  If you saw my school cabinets, you'd think I was "certified."   Instead of clothes, this closet holds office supplies, files, craft stuff, and more.   
One of my three sidekicks.  See?  I told you I like beige.  He's my favorite shade of it.  :)
I hope you've enjoyed the little tour of my office!  
<![CDATA[Where's My Teacher!?]]>Wed, 26 Feb 2014 01:58:04 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/wheres-my-teacherLast week, my sister had her sweet baby.  Arranging a sub is my LEAST favorite thing to do.  I can't stand it, especially for kindergarten.  Heaven forbid I have a sick day.  I'd rather suck it up and go.  I'd rather go to the dentist.  

Here's a fun and easy activity that you can do with your kiddos if you're out!  It's easy and you can do it regardless of what grade you teach.  Ok, maybe high schoolers would think it's lame.  Elementary kiddos... they'll still bite.  I just call it "Where's my teacher?" writing.  

Easy. Peasy.  Give them a prompt and let them go to town.  Besides me nearly peeing my pants while reading them, they got some genuine writing practice in and it wasn't just busy work.  

Here's my favorite one from last week:
Ok, how easy?  I'll try to upload some blank prompts soon!  I'm working on a project right now, so no time.  Honestly though, it will take you about 2 minutes to make your own with your name on it!  Don't wait on my prompts if you're anticipating on doing this.  Just whip one up!  :) 

I'll have to post some pictures of the others.  This one was the closest to what I was actually doing... waiting for my sweet niece to arrive.  A lot of the others involved hilarious illustrations of our dogs, who appeared to have gained weight.  

Happy Tuesday, friends!  We're anticipating ANOTHER snow delay/cancellation tomorrow.

<![CDATA[Roll & Write]]>Wed, 22 Jan 2014 17:26:46 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/roll-write
This little gem is something I use a lot.  This year, I have my toughest group I've ever had.  Not just behavior, but also academically, and energy-wise... is that even a word?  Dear lord, I swear some of them drink Red Bull for breakfast.  I do love them to pieces though.  Some are tough, but the bazillion hugs I get each day make up for the frazzled hair and shear exhaustion.  

I've got a WIDE range of kiddos and this is something that I've found works with all of them.  I use this for morning work, but you can use it for a center, homework, or whatever you want.  I just call it roll & write.  Basically, you print out the skill sheet you need (or make your own), pair it with a die, and let the kids go to town.  It takes them anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes to finish it.  

I LOVE it because it gives them extra practice, I can differentiate it if I need to, and it's fun!  What kindergartner doesn't love playing with giant foam dice?  You can use regular dice, but I've found that it drives me bonkers when all 22 of them are being thrown on hard tables at the same time.  Get some foam dice if you don't have any!  Or just use a piece of felt for them to roll it on.  Problem solved.  

I'm working on a reading one for my higher kiddos, but I'm just not finished with it.  
Here's one of the pages:
I've included 16 pre-populated sheets with...
  • lowercase letters (grouped based on formation)
  • uppercase letters (grouped based on formation)
  • punctuation
  • numbers
  • and shapes

I've also included 3 blank templates so  you can make your own!  For example, I have a student who struggles with curved numbers and letters.  I have him work on c, o, s, 2, 3, and 8... differentiated work... done!  :)  Woohoo!  You can find Roll & Write in my TPT shop. 
Happy Thursday everyone!  I'm working on snow day #5.  It's getting ridiculous, but it's been nice to create and blog.  :)
<![CDATA[Binder & Product Cover Freebies!  ]]>Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:43:45 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/binder-product-cover-freebiesI'm on snow day #5 here... and I'm slowly losing my mind.  I'm THAT teacher who would prefer not to have them, except for maybe one in February when we have a long stretch without a break.  Needless to say, I've been trying to tackle little things that have been stuck at the bottom of my "to do" list recently.  

Yesterday, it was binder organization.  Lame, I know.  I'm sort of type-a when it comes to organizing, so everything has to have a cute label and a place to call home.  

I whipped up some cute binder covers and wound up wanting to share them with ya.  :)  So far, I've got 2 sets.  If I have another snow day, then I might get the urge to make some more.  I thought chevron and polka dots would do though!  

You can grab BOTH of these for free!  The chevron set is in my TPT shop and the polka dot set is on my Facebook page.  
I hope you can use them!  I just wanted to share as a little "thank you" to those of you who have stuck with me since July.  We finally feel settled in our new home, jobs, and life.  I really miss being able to create and/or blog each day, but my 22 kinders well make up for it.  
Here's a little sample of what I did yesterday... plus walking around like a cowboy because I just started working out again... and it's painful.  

Happy Wednesday y'all!  

Deal of the Day (I mean week) is back up!  Check out the sidebar to find out what's on sale this week.  :)  

<![CDATA[Setting Up a "Freebies for Fans" Tab on FB]]>Tue, 02 Jul 2013 17:38:53 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/setting-up-a-freebies-for-fans-page
Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a technology whisperer.  The extent of this tutorial is seriously the extent of my knowledge on the topic.  If you email me requesting additional help or personalized troubleshooting, I will more than likely point you to GeekSquad... or just not answer.   Not trying to be a bish... just honest... and I don't have time to put on my tech support hat.   I learned all this using good ole' Google, research skills, and patience.  

Ok, let's get started.  

A LOT of you have been asking how I set up my Freebies for Fans tab on the Facebook page.  

Lemme tell ya.  It was a good combo of magic, angry eyebrows, and wine.  I've had this thing up for a while now and I believe it was when the fangate thing was starting to take off.  There weren't a lot of tutorials out there, so I had to play around and learn a lot myself.

I realize there are other ways of doing this, but here are the steps I took:

Step 1:  Install Woobox HTML Fangate on your Facebook page.  
I don't normally talk like I've just downed a giant bag of Pixie-Stix.  I have a 5 minute limit. 

Step 2:  Customize your tab and add content.
Please note that I made this video first, and refer to "not showing you how to install it."  Then I made the first video because I couldn't find the one I originally used.  Don't be confused.  I just did it in the most backwards way possible.  
Clear as mud?  

Step 3: Some crying, swearing, angry eyebrows, and/or wine consumption may be necessary.  Possibly a combo of all 4.
You'll eventually get it to work and figure out the right settings for your page.  It takes some patience and time just playing around with settings. 

Step 4: Post awesome freebies or other fun stuff for those sweet fans.  I use MediaFire for linking up files.  You can also use Dropbox, GoogleDrive, and other filesharing sites.  

Ok, I hope you learned a little something today.  I know there are probably some tutorials already out there, but this is the way I set mine up.  Hope I covered all of the questions that you guys sent me recently.  Again, this is the extent of my knowledge on it.  I'm sure there's a "tech whisperer" out there somewhere who can give you more details, but I'm not it.  :)   

If you feel like sharing, feel free to pin this little thing...
Video Tutorials: How to install and setup a Facebook Fangate tab
Happy Tuesday everyone! 
<![CDATA[Technology Tuesday: Replacing Ugly Facebook Tab Buttons]]>Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:37:10 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/technology-tuesday-replacing-ugly-facebook-tab-buttons
I'm baaaack...   It's been a while guys.  I know.  My calendar notificatreminds me each week that I'm not living up to my scheduled post standards.  

I was recently faced with another daunting Facebook task.  Why are the simplest things so hard to figure out on there!?  Aaahh!  It drives me nuts sometimes.  Today, I thought I'd share my new found wisdom on how to rid your page of those hideous and un-cute buttons.  I recently gave mine a little makeover and it took me 5 minutes... once I figured out how to do it.  Trust me, it will leave you craving a big ole glass of wine if you attempt it solo (even if you're a tech nut).  

I hope this video saves you some stress and time if you've been wondering how to do it.  

Enjoy and let me know what you think!  :)  Be sure to hit that button on the bottom to expand your screen if you need to see details.  
Easy huh?  Hope my man voice was soothing.  Feel free to pin and share!  
Video Tutorial: How to Replace Ugly Facebook Tab Buttons
Pin Me!
<![CDATA[Technology Tuesday: Shadow & Glow]]>Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:26:49 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/technology-tuesday-shadow-glow
Since I'm a bit of a clipart guru, I thought I'd show you a couple tricks that will add a little pizzazz to the things you make.  Today is a video tutorial showing you how to add shadow and glow to your clipart and words.  Some of you are already pros at it.  Katie King and Amy Lemons are two that come to mind.  You can check out their resources and see what I'm talking about.  :)  

Enjoy!  Be sure to press that little square/circular button in the lower right-hand corner to enlarge the video and see my steps.  
Easy huh?  Here's the Derby Kids Clipart Set if you're interested.  

If you're into pinning, then here's a little button to pin!  
Video Tutorial: Adding Shadow & Glow to Clipart
Hope you're having a blessed week.  :)  
<![CDATA[Technology Tuesday: Aligning Elements]]>Tue, 02 Apr 2013 09:44:04 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/technology-tuesday-aligning-elements
Today's tutorial was a request from a follower who says "I made my first one [printable] a few weeks back, but had some trouble keeping everything lined up the same."   I hope this helps.  I don't know who you are (my suggestion form is nameless), but good for you!  Making sure your product doesn't throw us type-A people into a mental breakdown.  :)  

I know this is another pet peeve of mine... misaligned printables that require cutting.  Would you be excited to cut this?    
Trust me.  Spending a few extra minutes to make sure everything is nicely aligned will be worth it.  All of us Type-A (crazy) people will be satisfied... and you'll be putting paper trimmers to work around the world. 

Here are 4 basic ways to align your printables.  
I hope you learned something new.  :)

Let me know if you have anysuggestions  for future Technology Tuesday topics!  
Click here to suggest something.

Happy Tuesday everyone!
<![CDATA[Technology Tuesday: Say No to Squishing]]>Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:05:05 GMThttp://www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com/blog/technology-tuesday-say-no-to-squishingA pet peeve of mine, naturally, is squished clipart.  It drives me nuts.  I'm sure I drive you nuts, but not like this...
This is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  Let's discuss the why...

1.  The background is a hot mess.  It's beautiful and adorable in it's full-size glory, but my lack of tiling it has resulted in a clipart muffin top.  Not attractive.

2.  The star.  There's no reason for it to even be squished like that.  It's making me sick.  
If you're a newbie to making your own printables, then these videos might be helpful to you.  I know, personally, that I will hop right no past any products that look anything like the star card above.  I'm picky and like things to look proportional.  

This first one shows you how to "unsquish" that background paper and make it look normal.  
Pin Me!
The next video is super beginner-level.  It shows you how to resize clipart while keeping it proportional.  I also show you a couple ways to avoid squishing images.  Sorry I'm sick and sound like a man in this one.  Also, I barely ran out of time so the end is crazy.  Haha!   
Pin Me!
My last words were "Hope that helps!"  :)  

Hopefully this helped if your somewhat new to making your own things.  :)  Happy Tuesday everyone.

And "Just Say No".... to squishing... and drugs.  

Mostly to drugs though.