Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sing your way through math

Carol Kohne was in yesterday laminating some music staffs. I know she's not a music teacher, so I asked what the staffs were for. She shared with me a fun way for students to learn about fractions. I thought I'd pass it along.

First she has students design quilt squares using fractions. So some students might make a "whole" square with just one color. Some might make a "1/2" square with two colors, or 1/6 with six colors, and so on.

Once the squares are completed, they connect the quilt squares together into one big quilt.

Next comes the fun part. They sing the quilt. So they might sing

laaaaaa for a "whole" square,
la-la-la for a "thirds" square.

How fun is that!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Most excitedly pleasantly surprised

Sometimes as a retailer, ordering products is a bit of a gamble. We'll see something in a catalog and think "that looks cool" but then when it comes, it's not as cool as we thought it would be. These Dr. Seuss™ book erasers are way cooler than they looked in the catalog.

To bo honest, I wasn't sure what they were really. I didn't know that they come gift wrapped in the cutest little box, or that you get Four erasers for just one dollar. (I was expecting each eraser to cost a dollar.) And I wasn't even sure how big they were going to be.

So imagine how excited I was to open the box and find 4 erasers each 1½x1x¼ inches, for less than a buck. I was so excited that I had to take one home last night to show Michelle.

If I was teaching, I'd buy 6 or 7 packs of the erasers, open them up, and give each student one eraser. And I'd buy the pencils to match. But I'm not, so I'll have to settle for oogling over them while they sit on the counter here at the store.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentines Goodies

This morning I had a real power morning doing all my deliveries. I'm sure some of the people I saw wondered "what was that streak?" as I dashed madly through the school halls carrying giant boxes of cardboard.

Anyway, we have the front of our store back and you don't feel like you're walking into a warehouse anymore, so I was able to take a picture of the Valentine's Day display Michelle put together. She's collected some cute things for boys or girls, and for young or old kids. My favorite is the smart snacks from Learning Resources (on the top) and the pink wedgits.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cardboard Boxes filled with Cardboard

I was supposed to write a blog all about Michelle's lovely Valentines display, but I can't get a good picture of it. The front of our store is filled with boxes (28 of them) filled with hundreds upon hundreds of science fair project boards.

Every year about this time we order project boards for the local schools and also some to sell to customers. We give the schools a really good deal, and many of them sell the boards to the students as a fundraiser.

Now the trick is that I'm supposed to deliver them all tomorrow morning but the roads are a nightmare. I passed at least 20 accidents on the way home tonight and barely made it home myself. Hello? cinders anyone? I'm such a chicken snow-driver.

One crazy thing: I realized that two years ago before we expanded this would have filled the Spanish and science departments completely. I'm reminded once again how nice it is to have a bigger space.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Even though the borders came in yesterday, I wasn't able to finish the display until this afternoon. I've been paying taxes (trust me, POP-Its are way more fun). I'm really happy with how it turned out. The pictures don't really do the product justice, so you'll have to come in and check out these totally unique products.

When you do, be sure to ask for a sample of the border that you can take with you.

These decoratives are like nothing you've seen before. The borders are die-cut and scored so that you fold them such that they stick up above the surface by about ½ an inch. (see the close up picture below). The cut-outs have a a paper "fan" that opens up to a "ball". Super cute!

Here are some detail pictures of the borders and accents:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New things

Okay, so I know this is totally retailer-geeky, but we inherited a few display racks from About Memories and More when she moved to her new location. We finally had a chance to put one of them together, and it looks so great! I've wanted a shelving unit like this for a couple years, but they're ridiculously expensive. Kirsten gave us an awesome deal on it, and now I'm like a retailer in a display store!

See that Butterfly Bungalow on the second shelf? We have one set up at the store and kids LOVE it. We've seen play tents going for twice as much, and this one comes with 10 caterpillars/butterflies! What a deal.

Tomorrow I'll be putting the finishing touches on a new display with some really cool new products from Carson-Dellosa.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy 100th Day!

Most schools are celebrating their 100th day this week, so Happy 100th Day to all of you!

PS, the star is a new product from Creative Teaching Press.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Reading Flash Cards

If you haven't seen them already, you need to come in and check out this year's hottest item by far: reading flash cards from Edupress.

They just announced their new products for the 2009-2010 school year (woah - 2010!) and they've added two new subjects to the line:  Following Directions, and Reading Between the Lines.  They look awesome.  We hear from teacher after teacher how much they love the cards.  In fact we have a hard time keeping them in stock.  Every time we get an order in, they're sold out within a couple days.

I just filled all the subjects and all the grades, so we'll see how long this batch lasts.  PS, make sure you learn the "secret" for sorting the cards by subject and grade level.  Edupress really thought out these incredible cards.