3,000,000 Teachers Strong SALE!!

It's here, it's here, it's here!! (In my best opera voice -- funny!) Today and tomorrow only come once in a great while! It's a TpT site wide sale! Come snag my best selling Interactive Writing Center at the cheapest price yet! Perhaps you need to brush up on your fractions, reading comprehension, symmetry, elapsed time, equivalent fractions, or measurement skills...I have products for that as well! Or, maybe you're ready to get organized...I have SEVERAL BEST selling binders that will help you in no time at all! Come join me in this 3,000,000 Strong celebration! Outstanding job, TpT, on such wonderful success and for having some great educators to help you out along the way!

Have fun shopping for the next couple of days and thank you all for your support!

3,000,000 STRONG and $100 to Celebrate!

Hi Friends... I hope this post finds you all well.  Did you hear the incredible news???
TPT is now 3,000,000 Teachers Strong!  WOW!!  What a milestone!  And the best part about this is that I am a little part of it.  I have found tons of amazing resources on TPT that I use in my classroom every day! I love creating resources for the teachers on TPT and for my own classroom.

Some of my good blogging buddies and I decided to get together and have a fun little giveaway to celebrate this huge milestone!  We will be giving away 4 TPT Gift Cards that are $25 EACH!  So...4 LUCKY winners will have a GREAT time having a fun little shopping spree over at TPT for the HUGE SALE!  You can get up to 28% off  of your favorite products!  Just use the promo code TPT3!  This is also a great time to clear out your wishlists. :) 

Here is just a little bit about the four of us...and don't forget to complete the Rafflecopter at the end of the post and there might be a fun little FREEBIE there for you as well!


So... Are you ready to try and win?  If so, complete the rafflecopter below and it may be your LUCKY DAY.  To make your day even LUCKIER... Below the Rafflecopter is a Fun little flip flap book FREEBIE for St. Patrick's Day!  Good Luck!

Visit my facebook page to get a "fans only" freebie!

And..here is your LUCKY FREEBIE....


From the Runway to Recess With Anna in NYC!

Hello to all of you amazing and hard working teachers out there! Today we are going to shake things up a bit. Instead of talking about the 3 R's...Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic we are going to take a moment to discuss the 3 F's...Fashion, Fabulous-ness and Fendi! Hmmm... let's swap Fendi out with aFFordable, or Fit, or maybe Fresh? You get my point!  My name is Anna and I am Joey's long lost,  but newly found  (Thank you social media)  friend from high school! I met Joey in 9th grade. We both had huge hearts, a love of art, makeup, shopping and all things sparkly! We clicked instantly and although we attended rival schools we were joined at the hip for the next 4 years. We even decided to go to the same college together. To be honest I may not be where I am today if it weren't for Joey. She is the one who took me on a college tour to Mercyhurst where we checked out the fashion program together, applied, got accepted and bought matching lavender and powder blue EVERYTHING for our dorm room! Her true calling was to be a teacher, so she didn't stay and sadly we grew apart but God had her guide me there and my life wouldn't be the same without that guidance. So Thank you Joey and thank you God (Social Media can't get all the credit) for bringing us back together so many years later! 

I'd like to take a minute to tell you about myself so you can feel comfortable listening to fashion advice from a girl who wore a gold top and animal print spandex skirt to her high school graduation...(PS I totally pulled it off and got voted best dressed of my senior class..Joey can vouch!) I graduated from Mercyhurst College with a BS in Fashion Merchandising as well as an associate degree From FIT in New York City. I've been in the fashion industry for the past 10 years working as a production intern, assistant buyer, store manager and now a senior account executive at a luxury Swiss and Italian trim supplier here in the Big Apple. I work with designers like Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Alexander Wang in which I help them create beautiful custom trims for their fashion lines. I've lived in New York for the past 8 years and I've also traveled to Paris and Italy a time or two. Although I work with  these Fancy Shmancy designers I couldn't possibly afford to wear all of their clothes but I do a great job playing the part at a fraction of the cost. I also keep my wardrobe fashionable yet comfortable because I'm always traveling around the city and on my feet. Try walking on subway grates in heels...bad idea. So are you ready to trust me yet? Let's do this!

My purpose for this post is to walk you through 5 spring fashion trends that were seen all over the runways and "teach" you how to fit them into your every day school attire. The trends I chose include: Pastels, Wide Leg Pants, Geometric Prints, Black and White, and Floral. These will carry over easily from the runway to the classroom and are flexible enough to take you to happy hour or into the weekend. I steered clear from other spring trends like crop tops, white on white, and see-through sheer fabrics which weren't so classroom appropriate. (I mean, if you feel the need to rock a sheer white crop top to a party over the weekend by all means, go for it, just don't post pics on Facebook and definitely don't tell anyone I gave you that piece of fashion advice! lol) Anyway, it's been a LONG winter and I'm sure you are just as eager as I am to break out your dresses and sandals so let's get started and hopefully I can add a little spring to your step when you walk into your classroom these next few months, even if you are just making up snow days! 

Survival of the fashionably fittest.

What would spring be without shades of baby pink, pale yellow and soft greens and blues?! The runways were swarming with these heatherd hues and I couldn’t be more excited!  After hiding from the Vortex in dark sweaters and heavy coats I’m ready to lighten up! To freshen the look mix and match pastels like DKNY did or pair it with neutrals like a smokey gray as seen by Rebecca Taylor…My favorite is adding a pop of an unexpected bright color like kelly green or coral!

from the runway...
                        DKNY                                   Rebecca Taylor                                  Burberry

...to recess.

This pale yellow spring jacket from Zara would brighten anyone’s day! Wear it with skinny jeans on the weekend or over a dress to work. Zara $159

Wear this sheath dress with a neutral blazer like black, white gray or nude. Or you can cover up with a pastel pink or yellow cardigan and nude flats. The Limited $98

If girly pastels aren’t really your thing, try an accessory. This Long Champ zip up tote is cute, classy and will be functional as it carries your personal items to and from school. Nordstrom $95

Finally after all of these months our legs are FREE! Bare legs, skirts, dresses, and wide leg trousers have made their way back into our wardrobes! I know you are used to your skinny jeans and leggings but a breezy wide leg is flattering on so many different body shapes and are a great alternative to dresses since they give you that same airy feeling. My tall teachers can wear them with long tunics and a cinched belt or tuck in a contrasting colored blouse and pair with flats. My teachers in the vertically challenged club, including myself, should buy a higher waist pant or do a monochromatic look with the same color top as the pant to elongate their torsos and pair with a comfortable heel.  Keep it neutral with Khaki or gray like Marni and Michael Kors or dare to be different like my muse, Chanel , in pretty pastels! 

from the runway...
                              Marni                                       Chanel                                    Michael Kors

...to recess.

Wear with a fitted top in any color you choose with a brightly colored scarf and flats or wedges if you are short. $79.95

Love this look just how  it’s pictured with a simple chambray or denim top neatly tucked in and accessorize with a scarf or necklace. Anthropologie $88

Black wide legs with a high waist are elongating. Go monochromatic with a black top and a bright colored heel to add height and contrast. A bright statement necklace would top it off Express $69.90

Let’s see if I can remember anything I learned from 8th grade Geometry class... Triangles are 3 sided, Squares are 4 sided, Circles have no sides, but you my friend, have an infamous amount of sides! Express ALL of your sides with these beautiful shapes of spring! Geometrics were seen on the spring runways in numerous sizes, colors and combinations. Use what I have already taught you and go for pastel hexagons or black and white polka dots. This is a trend you can have a lot of fun with so get crazy and enjoy it! You’ve earned it…fair and “square!” (giggle) 

from the runway...

                     Sass and Bibe                               Alice and Olivia                          Clover Canyon

...to recess.

Pair these window pane ankle pants with a simple T in a bright color then add a black cardigan or blazer and a fun statement necklace. Ann Taylor $89

This diamond print blouse has the cutest pom pom detailing in the front! Wear it tucked into a black skirt and a pair of colorful flats. For night unbutton it a bit and slip on some red heels and bright lipstick! Loft $59.50

Cute geometric cut out oxfords will look great with a shirt dress or colored ankle pants. Wear them with bright socks if you dare! Anthropologie $79

I know I’ve been preaching color for spring but you can’t get anymore crisp and clean than this classic color combo! I live in New York therefore 97% of my wardrobe is black.  Something tells me that a lot of you may have this same magnetism toward black clothing. If that’s the case, this trend is easy because you probably already own pieces that you can combine and BOOM…spring trend #3 is conquered without even leaving the house! Or, if you need an excuse to shop (I mean who doesn’t?) jazz up your go to black dress with a new white blazer…oooorrr just splurge and buy EVERYTHING new! (Guilt be gone! Consider anything black or white investment pieces! The cost per wear will pay off, I promise!)  If you need to add a splash of color… DO IT! Add a bright accessory like a citrus shoe or (here we go  again with the pastels) a touch of blush pink like Rag and Bone did on the runway. 

from the runway...
                           DKNY                                      Rachel Zoe                               Rag and Bone

...to recess.

I am NOT big on stripes. They look great on a hanger but 90% of the time they look far less flattering on. If you aren’t 6 foot and 135 lbs wear stripes sparingly or across safe areas of your body. This shift dress is slimming because the stripes are at the bottom. Wear with tights or bare legs and flats or ankle boots. 
Kohls $63

I love animal prints! This one is safe to wear to work with slacks and a jacket to break up the print but for happy hour let loose and wear it with white jeans or tucked in a mini with a bright coral lips and a cobalt blue clutch! Ann  Taylor $79

Deal of the day! Lauren Conrad’s line at Kohl’s is great. You can get away with less expensive pieces in neutral colors because they won’t look as cheap. This jacket would top off any black, printed or colored dress, blouse or skirt or jeans. Wear day or night. Kohls $35!

Do you know the feeling of pure excitement when you finally see that tiny purple crocus popping out from the cold damp earth in the early weeks of spring? I LOVE that feeling! To me, that flower is telling me that warm, sunny days are ahead which puts a HUGE smile on my face. Why not put a smile on YOUR face and add a little, or a lot of floral print into your spring wardrobe. There is no rule on what flower to wear this spring or where the placement should be. Floral dresses, blouses and skirts are probably the most common but you can also show off those posies with a poppy printed skinny pant or an abstract bouquet on a jacket like the designers showed on the runway. Floral handbags and shoes are also fun and unexpected or wrap yourself in a tropical printed scarf. The options are endless. Channel your inner flower power and watch yourself bloom!

from the runway...
                   Oscar de la Renta                                 Tahari                                          Miu Miu

...to recess.
Mod cloth is my go to for fun dresses. This cutie has a fun floral and bubble print! Safe for work with a cardigan and belt but also sweet for a date, baby shower or a day shopping.  Pair with cute oxfords, flats or peep toe pumps.  Modcloth  $49.99

Wear these flirty floral skinny pants with a loose longer blouse or lightweight sweater in black, white or a color in the print. Pair with ankle boots for work and heels at night. Club Monaco $99

Soften a tough piece like a bomber with florals. Bombers are having a major moment right now. Throw it over a solid dress and flats for work and pair with a tank and cute shorts with heels for a night out. 
ASOS $75

Well, what did you guys think??!  Did she do a good job?  I think she did a wonderful job!  I had such a great time seeing how we can adapt high fashion to our chalk board and text book worlds!  If you enjoyed reading Anna's classroom fashion forecast for the spring, stay tuned, because we'll be doing it again for the fall fashion season!  Thank you, old friend...xoxo!!

Now, let's end with a funny blast from the past!  Don't laugh too hard!  Okay, maybe a little...hehe!  We had so much fun!

The life I was meant to live...

Okay, I'm here to admit it...I'm going through a little obsession in my life at the moment.  I am finding it really hard to say no to jewelry.  A friend of mine that I work with started a crazy obsession with a Pittsburgh-based company called Sabika.  I honestly thought...well, that's not me, until I decided to have a party.  Well, you can just imagine.  Things are a little out of control at this point.  So, in search of some cheaper and more meaningful jewelry (not that I'm ever going to give up Sabika, lol), I found these beautifully done teacher-inspired pieces on Etsy.  I really love them and thought that you guys would to.  If you click on the picture, it will take you to the page to get a better look.  They're all super affordable...and I think...inspiring.  I think that each of them speak to a teacher's soul, especially the old man librarian.  There's just something about books being stacked high all around him that calls to my soul...(sigh).  Love it!

I'm going to take a swim in the deep end of the pool for a second, so bear with me. I think I have always been called to teach.  I think that the history of teaching...everything from one room schoolhouses, to the wooden floors in my elementary school, have always called my name.  It's the smell of musty old books and the memories of my teachers walking by my desk saying that I was doing a good job, were whispering to me all the while.  

Upon graduation, like many others, I wanted to shake the dust off of my little town.  I wanted to be something greater than what was offered here.  Looking back now, I felt that I had to rise above it...and the people that surrounded me.  Shame on the immature me...  I guess that's why they say to "live and learn."  I spent the next year studying Fashion Merchandising three hours away from my hometown.  Although I was finding myself, I was a wreck inside.  At the end of my first year of college, I decided that I was going to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.  Upon my acceptance, we sent in my first year's tuition deposit.  I was moving to New York City.

At 6AM on Sunday, June 23, 2002, God was ready to speak to me.  The divine whispers and memories that were within me the whole time would be reawakened by a great tragedy.  A very dear friend of mine, as well as my three other sisters, died tragically in an automobile accident.  John was supposed to be with us Saturday night, but he decided that he was going to go to a party instead.  One too many drinks later, he drove his trademark old Dodge truck home...the one that took me on many back roads and fantastic adventures...  John didn't make it home that morning, and neither did his truck.

If John were alive today, he would have been my brother-in-law, and the uncle of two fantastic little girls.  After John's death, I fell in love with his brother.  You see, we all grew up together...we were literally next door neighbors and our families were bound together for quite some time.  So what does this have to do with teaching?  The week that John died, Mike (John's brother - my now husband) and I were driving to an auto parts store.  Ironically, this was the last place that John and I went together.  As we were driving, a feeling and a thought came over me like a ton of bricks.  I didn't want to move to NYC...I didn't want to leave my small town...I wanted to be what I was called to be, which was a teacher.  I remember feeling so overwhelmed with this thought that I literally said out loud, "I want to teach!"  I never felt more sure of anything before in my life!!  For the first time in a very long time, I KNEW that I was on the right path and that God had redirected me.  Perhaps it was John's gift to me.  I feel that with every bad situation comes something good.  

I always had a teacher's soul.  It just took a tragedy to teach me a lesson about being something "greater" than the life that I had been living.  What's greater than teaching?  What's greater than impacting the lives of children?  Not much.  I love the days when light bulbs go off and my students FINALLY understand what I'm teaching them.  It's a great feeling!!  This was embedded into my destiny...it just took a great loss for me to grow up a bit and realize what is really important in life.

Why all of this because of some jewelry?  I don't know...I was inspired. :)  Thank you for listening to me.  If you look at my other posts, this is the absolute MOST that I have ever typed.  I usually flood my posts with pictures, lol.  


Here are a few inspiring quotes that also spoke to me.  Have a wonderful day, everyone!  Blessings and love to each of you.

Share the LOVE Sale!

There's so much that I LOVE and my fellow teachers are definitely on my list!  To say "thanks" and to show my love, I am having a 15% off sale on every single item in my store now through Valentine's Day!

Click on the picture above to come check it out!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Making Discoveries, Sharing Love, and Giving Something Away, Hooray!

I just wanted to share some pictures of my kiddos working for the first time in their "Discovering History" packs!  I am not lying when I tell you that they now LOOK FORWARD to Social Studies!  They get to interact with one another, they get time to actively research using their books, classroom encyclopedias, as well as our classroom computers.  I walk around to listen to their discussions and to see their progress.  They were writing full sentences, smiling, getting along, and having engaging conversations...SCORE!!  

I always group the kids at varying academic levels and they typically aren't fans of this method, but I simply say, "There's a rhyme to my reason.  Simply trust me."  Then I smile and they smile back.  They're such awesome kids and let me just tell you...they LOVE when I get my camera out!  They think they're going to be famous...too cute!  Okay, enough chit chat!  Let me share some pictures of my students hard at work.  I'll explain some things along the way...let's go!

My kids are hardly ever at their seats.  We do so much partnering and group work, so this group of kiddos found themselves at my small group table.  Yes, the girl in the yellow is in the teacher's seat.  :)

So a part of my "Discovering History" packet requires the students to choose a "Historical Stand Out!"  They choose one historical figure from their lesson to research and report on.  So this young lady is doing just that. 

There are actually two vocabulary sections.  One is for the lesson's vocabulary, and this page that you're seeing is for five words throughout the lesson that stumped them a bit.  I'm sure you would agree that the vocabulary in any type of history lesson can sometimes be challenging.  This is to help aid their comprehension of their topic of study. 

It never fails...I always get asked, "Mrs. Udovich, why did men in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds dress like girls??"  Well, how do you answer that one?  We usually talk about different fashion trends and agree that this is one that will most likely NOT come back in style, ha! (No offense if this is what you were planning on wearing to work tomorrow morning. :)

Seeing as most of the pictures show the "Read All About It!" page, I wanted to show you a preview of some other pages that come in this packet.  Everything is aligned directly to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade CCSS for your convenience. 

Two more things...
#1: Valentine's Day is coming up, so to share the love, I wanted to share my appreciation and love for each of you with a Valentine's Day FREEBIE!  Enjoy!

Last but certainly not least, I was asked to be a part of a wonderful celebration for a very special person.  She was one of the first people to welcome me to blogging and to Teachers pay Teachers.  She was the first to share a blog post of her little ones using my symmetry packet on an island in the middle of the Atlantic (that I was fortunate to visit a few years back).  Her name is Lynn Furtado and she is celebrating her birthday with a giveaway this week!  Different teaching bloggers will be featured on her site throughout the week.  We have each donated a product that we're proud of that will be won at the end of the week by one lucky educator (it could be you!)!  Let's all wish Lynn a very happy birthday by participating and leaving her some love on her BLOG.  The giveaway begins on Monday, February 10th!  I will be featured on Tuesday the 11th. :)