Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: August 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Best Amazon Teacher Supply Deals

I love shopping on Amazon. They have amazing deals, I can shop in my pjs at whatever time of day I want and as a prime member I get all my goodies delivered to my door in just 2 days (sometimes even faster!).

Scotch Thermal Laminator  - This little laminator is awesome! Amazon throws some amazing deals on it so be sure to scope it out before you buy. I scored mine for $17, have had it for a few years now and use it A LOT. You know teachers LOVE to laminate everything so we can re-use it. It's still ticking with absolutely no issues. I highly recommend this laminator to have at home or school.

Apache 100 Pack Clear Universal Thermal Laminating Pouches  - With all the laminating teachers do we need inexpensive pouches that work. Don't be fooled because these are not "name" brand pouches - they WORK and cost so much less!

Mr. Sketch Scented Markers - This is one of those purchases that's just for FUN. I love using Mr. Sketch markers when working on charts or going around the room and checking my students' work. They smell so fun! The students love it and get such a kick out of trying to guess which scent I will use. Amazon usually has these for the lowest prices out of all the stores/retailers.

Expo Dry Erase Markers - Using colors while I'm teaching helps keep my students' attention and let's me have a little fun with my visuals. I set aside "Teacher Only" dry erase markers and my students know not to use them. You can catch some back to school sales for these but if your colors run dry or you find yourself needing more - Amazon usually has them at a reasonable price when compared to office supply stores.

Sharpie Fine-Tip Permanent Markers - Sharpies! Am I the only one with a sincere love & addiction to all the colors?!  I have tons of sharpies, yet I'm always grabbing a new color. I use them for everything - posters, charts, labeling, etc. Unless you score a super sale at Office Depot or Staples (usually only on 1 marker at a time) during Back to School sales Amazon sells the big packs for the best deal you can get your hands on.

Standard Pocket Charts - Are you ready for this? Amazon has tons of pocket charts in all different colors and sizes and they are usually cheaper than you can snag them for in Teacher Supply Stores! Pocket charts can be pricey BUT they are also a teacher must have because they are so versatile in the classroom. Check out all the pocket charts Amazon has to offer before buying anywhere else - you'll most likely save if you're not in a hurry to purchase.

PaperPro Prodigy One-Finger Stapler  - I can't tell you how many staplers I have gone through because I have gone for what's on sale. They just don't last or hold up to stapling on bulletin boards, walls, etc. A GOOD stapler is an investment that teachers need to make! This one is AMAZING - so easy to use yet durable. I like the fun red one because I like to add a fun pop of color to my supplies when I can.

Swingline Desktop Hole Punch - I honestly don't know what I'd do without my desktop hole punch. I use it ALL the time for teaching and Girl Scouts. I've had this hole punch for years and it's still going strong. Amazon's price beats all the local office supply stores.


School Smart Electric Standard Pencil Sharpener  - We have this pencil sharpener at home and it's awesome. It's a compact size, works super fast and really sharpens well.  It is only good for standard width pencils though so I couldn't use it in my classroom.  I also have to admit it's not the quietest sharpener but it works so fast that it's not disruptive. After countless sharpeners that simply did a poor job of sharpening our pencils or broke easily I am happy to have finally found a winner.

  X-Acto School Heavy-Duty Electric Sharpener  - This is the pencil sharpener I have in my classroom. As a kindergarten Teacher we start the year off with wide pencils. Most standard sized pencil sharpeners don't account for those pencils. This one has a handy dial made for different sized pencils - perfect for the classroom! Amazon usually has it for cheap - I got mine for less than $25.

Bostitch Magnetic Staple Remover  - I can't tell you how many nails I've broken over the years removing staples from walls or bulletin boards. This staple remover is my FAVE and I hide (ok, maybe hoard is a better word) it so that it doesn't get "lost". You'll thank me for this one!

Paper Mate Assorted Color Pens  - Gone are the days of correcting student papers in red - get colorful! I might have a thing for colorful writing tools but these making writing notes, correcting student work, etc so much more fun.

These are just a few of my teacher "must-haves".  I hope the list is helpful to you.  
What are some of your teacher "must-haves"

Here's to scoring some great deals as you shop for your teacher supplies. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

10 Graphic Novels for Girls (8 -12 Years Old)

The Oldest Diva is really into graphic novels but this was a genre I was not too familiar with. In my quest to keep her engaged with reading, I decided to delve in and see what had captivated her attention. In the process I found some highly engaging novels with captivating characters, amazing artwork and relatable plots.

Smile (& Sisters too!) by Raina Telgemeier - We adore Raina's graphic novels.  My 9 year old stumbled upon Sisters at a school book fair and was instantly drawn to it because 1.) It was about two sisters (definitely relatable!) and 2.) It was a graphic novel which is currently her favorite genre.  She has read both Smile and Sisters numerous times. Raina writes in a relatable and laugh out loud humorous manner.  I love that the sisters learn how important that they are to each other in Sisters and that Raina learns to embrace who she is, how she looks and what being a true friend means in Smile. We hope there is more to come!

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix by Raina Telgemeier - I loved the Babysitters Club books when I was in elementary school. I was so excited to find them in graphic novel form by our fave author because I knew my daughter would be drawn in. I was 100% correct! She can't wait for more of these to be released and reads them as soon as they arrive in the mail.

Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke - Zita's best friend is abducted by aliens and she must save him. These books are fun and captivating as we join Zita on her intergalactic adventures. Her adventures are filled with fantastical creatures, unique friends and lots of bravery.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson - Being 12 isn't easy, especially when your faced with best friend troubles, impending junior high and joining a junior roller derby league when you can barely skate.  Astrid has heart, spirit and determination. The book has lessons on friendship, being honest, working hard, perseverance and even the parent-child relationship. The story was realistic, humorous and heartfelt. This is Victoria Jamieson's debut novel and we look forward to seeing more from her in the near future.

El Deafo by Cece Bell - Cece suffers from hearing loss and must wear a hearing aid. She feels different, isolated and longs to simply fit in. The story chronicles her journey in an honest and relatable way. As a mom, I really liked that Cece was a strong character who ultimately learns that her disability was not a weakness.

Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi - Emily & Navin lose their father in a tragic accident and are forced to move into their deceased great-grandfather's house where they find a mysterious amulet and are thrust into a dangerous adventure to save their mother. These novels are a little dark and deal with some sensitive subject matter (parental death) but the art work is amazing and each novel delves a bit deeper into the characters and leaves you wanting you more.

Giants Beware! (The Chronicles of Claudette Series) by Jorge Aguirre - More than anything Claudette wants to be a giant slayer so she embarks on a quest to find a giant. Claudette is feisty, brave and not your "typical" girl which my daughter loved. The characters are relatable, the plot is engaging and the artwork enthralling. This is one that will be read again and again.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson - This one was handpicked by the Littlest Diva and initially met with resistance by the Old Diva because it was pink and featured unicorns. Well, Phoebe ultimately managed to worm her way into the hearts of both girls with her sarcasm, humor and quirkiness. In short, don't let all the pink fool you - this is more than just a cutesy book.

The Princeless Series by Jeremy Whitley - These are not your typical helpless princesses. They are brave, daring and adventurous. You'll get hooked and want to read more - we did!

Cleopatra in Space Series  by Mike Maihack - It's Cleopatra of Ancient Egypt BUT with a sci-fi twist. This Cleopatra gets zapped forward in time and onto a distant planet where she finds herself having to save the universe. Fun story, engaging characters (there are talking cats!) and awesome artwork. So far there are 2 novels in this series but we'll definitely be seeing more and we're looking forward to them.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on our list -
Have you read any of these graphic novels?
Do you have other graphic novels to recommend to us that we should add to our "must read" list?