Sunday, January 5, 2014

is in love with Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

I am in love with music. It is my meditation. I love everything about it. I love how it can play with my emotions and relieve me of my constant need for control. It’s like I get to take a break from everything that is crazy or chaotic and just get lost in something beautiful, or peaceful, or energizing, or whatever it is I need as an escape. I love how it can pull me out of a dark place, instantly put a smile of my face, make me cry for no reason, make me cry for a loved one, take me to an exact moment of my past, give me motivation and energy or calm me down.

I also love the fact that my husband shares this passion with me. I will admit, however, while I enjoy music, he tends to be a little obsessive about it. He can name that tune, finish that song, recall the year of that album was released, you name it, he probably owns it.

When asked the question, "What is your favorite song?", my go-to answer has always been  "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison, however, my musical tastes are constantly changing. In fact, as of recently, my favorite group/singer duo has been Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Talk about love at first listen!!!

A few months ago I was searching online for the song "Live Forever" by Billy Jo Shaver and accidently opened up a song with the same title. I realized right away it wasn't what I was looking for, but I ended up listening and about 3 more songs later, I was completely hooked. Pure talent and love with this couple. Have a listen to my favorite (for the moment) of their songs, "Someday" here. Enjoy!

Their official website:
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After Christmas

I just read this ADORABLE, little book, "'Twas the Day After Christmas" with my two-year old, which he received as a gift from his uncle & auntie (my brother & sister-in-law) yesterday. Of course, I just had to share the excitement and joy I the experience.

The story starts out, 'Twas the day after Christmas (note the date of this post - how appropriate, right?) and all through the house, every creature was stirring..."What's going on?" said a mouse! You get to interact by lifting flaps throughout the book to help this worried little mouse figure out how to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round. ...So stinkin' cute!!!

But wait! That wasn't even the best part! When we were done reading the story, my son turned to me and said, "Mumma, that is just like "Kissmas" time and Mumma and me clean it ALL up!" (which we've been slowly doing today).

The teacher in me was SO excited to hear him making text-to-self connections for the first time, I almost cried!!! I know any teacher will completely understand that.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

is participating in the Cyber Sale on TpT!

Who doesn't love a sale, especially if it makes our lives as teachers a little easier during the busy holiday season (and beyond)!  Teachers Pay Teachers is having their annual Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale... all you need to do is shop and enter the code CYBER at checkout to get some great deals!  Many sellers (including my store, Tanya Rae Designs) are offering 20% off on those days. By entering the code, you will receive a total of 28% off your entire purchase! Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!!!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

is gearing up for the big Back to School Sale on TpT!!

It's here! It's finally here! Any teacher looking for last minute goodies for his or her classroom would be just crazy not to shop the TpT Back to School Sale! As a seller, my ENTIRE store will be 28% off will the coupon code: BTS13. I'm actually running my sale August 18th through the 20th.

As a teacher getting ready to teach a whole new grade level, you can bet I will be shopping on the sale dates. My wish list and cart are OVERFLOWING! If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out all of the amazing products on TpT, especially in my store. ;) I offer clip art, resources for Common Core, and more! Start transferring your wish listed items to your cart, people!


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Monday, August 5, 2013

on landing a dream job and staying organized this school year.

That's right, I did it! I got the JOB! No more day-to-day sub jobs. No more school hopping. No more INTERVIEWS! I got my dream job!

After my husband and I moved our little family back to our small, home town last June, I was very nervous about getting another full time teaching position. I didn't even know if I wanted to work in my hometown district, which I can't believe I'm even admitting to now. "Maybe it will be strange to teach the children of my old classmates", I thought. "Maybe it would be best to live here, and teach in a neighboring town", I had convinced myself.

Then the school year started and I got my first call to sub in the district. It only took that day to make me realize this is exactly where I want to be. This district, the one where I spent my 13 years as a student, myself, is small, but progressive. It produces amazing teachers and is filled with people who truly care about the education and future of children. The test scores are among the top in Wisconsin. The elementary school, where I will be teaching, is a fairly new building, has up-to-date technology and an AMAING principal and staff! Did I mention the school is only about a mile down the road from where we live? I have died and gone to heaven!

The biggest change is that I will be teaching 2nd Grade, when all of my full-time experience has been at the 5th Grade level. It makes no difference to me, however. I am SO excited to work with this age group and learn to be the best 2nd grade teacher I can be. I just don't know where to begin!!! Well, I know where to begin, but it's really hard to focus when I have so many ideas swarming through my brain. Luckily, I have a few weeks to get my classroom ready and brain prepared.

The first thing I plan to do over the next week, is get my Teacher Planner / Organizer printed and bound into a book. It literally will be my saving grace over the next 9 months. I've used a planner every year that I have taught and I don't know what I would do without it. This year, I updated the planner to include all of the Common Core Standards for each grade level (K - 5). Of course, I will only be putting the 2nd grade version in my planner. I just haven't decided on which theme I will use. As of right now, I have four in my TpT store. I'm also working on a Football themed planner right now. You can check them out by clicking on the cover pages below.


Here's to a well-organized school year!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale on TpT

Have you heard about the Teacher Appreciation Sale??? It's Tuesday and Wednesday and it's going to be AMAZING! Everything in my store is 28% off with promo code: TAD13.
Also, I just added some Colorful Cloud Digital Frames & Borders (also on sale) to add to your clip art collection.
I Teachers!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

TpT Wishlist Spring Cleaning Sale!

Although it doesn't look or feel like spring in my Wisconsin backyard, the calendar says it is so. I have to admit, though - all of this snow and these 30 degree temps are making my spring cleaning a little bit easier to handle this year. After all, I don't want to go outside!!!

After this weekend, I can check one big thing off my "cleaning" list...

I won't even dare disclose the number of items I've wishlisted. But, luckily for me, a bunch of TpT sellers are joining together to host a Spring Cleaning Sale! This could be extremely awesome or very dangerous - especially with my addiction love of clip art and the enormous amount of fabulous designs just waiting to be loaded into my cart.

For those of you in this same predicament...I am also taking part in the sale. EVERYTHING in my store is 20% through this weekend! Happy Cleaning!!!

I've recently added some really fun, time-saving phonics and word-work resources to my store and this would be the best time to get your hands on them!

When I worked with beginning and struggling readers in a Title 1 position, my Short Vowel Practice Games were an absolute hit! The children loved the games and wanted to play them over and over again, which gave them tons of practice. I even had parents tell me how engaged their children were when they brought the games home for extra practice. Each game is also sold separately on my store!

My Phonics Flip Books are great for word work practice for those using Daily 5, as an addition to your literacy centers, sent home as extra vowel and sight word practice, or for students that finish other activities early and could benefit from extra practice.

This pack of 5 Sight Word Games & Activities, can be played with any list or group of sight words your students are working on. I've used these with kindergarten students working on letter sounds and identification, and with 1st through 3rd grade students working on specific sight words. I've also used  three of the five games; Roll, Say, Keep, Read Around the Road, and Polka Dot Hop with 4th grade students working on fluency phrases. Designed to save ink - print them on colored card stock, or have students color and/or decorate them before laminating, for extra fun!
Another great pack of games to use in centers (also designed to save on ink or print them in color): Dice & Domino Math Centers.
Of course, I have to mention a few of the digital designs I have added to my store lately (click on the thumbnails for more information)...

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