Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kwik Stix Review & Giveaway

Happy almost April! I'm super excited to share a fun product with you that I was asked to review awhile ago.

I will tell you that I am the least artistic person that I know, but working with elementary age students and having a child who is a budding artist, I have learned that sometimes I have to fake my artistic abilities at times. Thus when I was approached about reviewing this product, I knew that even if I couldn't get myself into it, I have plenty of students and my own little artist who would be happy to help me test these babies out.

This fun little box of paints came to us and you can't help but feel happy just looking at the box. How stinkin' adorable is the box??

The size is amazing. Elementary students are all pretty adept at using a glue stick, right? To me, one huge plus with this product is that these paints are the exact size and shape of a glue stick. Perfect for little hands but also not as messy as free painting.

Here is the blue stix opened up after use. You can see that it looks exactly like a glue stick and functions in basically the same way. Perfection!

Have I mentioned I am not an artist? How about some proof? I'll show you if you promise not to laugh *wink*

I made this little not-very-realistic bunny in about 2 minutes. No mess at all and the stix glide on just like using a glue stick. Very smooth and easy. The picture really doesn't do the color justice either--they are very vibrant and bold right out of the box. What elementary artist wouldn't be all over this?

But these products are so versatile...because my 13 year old squealed and jumped up and down when she saw them. Then she promptly stole them and ran into her room (with the requisite slamming of the door as teenagers are wont to do). I did ask her to play with them a bit and make me a picture and this is what she came up with. (Note: she was trying to replicate a painting her dad made over the summer of the ocean.)

I absolutely love and adore how vibrant these colors are. She made me promise to point out this is an "incomplete" picture, but the colors pop out and it catches your eye. As an artist, she gave a huge amount of praise for these stix because they were so easy to use. Her exact words were "I hope you don't want these back....you can't draw anyway." Thanks kiddo! :)


This was the next picture that she made. She continues to praise how fun these stix are because they aren't messy at all. You just paint and it dries fast. This picture really shows how vibrant the colors are since it features two shades of green.

The Kwik Stix are so easy to use! Just uncap and paint. They are small and super portable too, which would be awesome for traveling in the car (road trip!). I can especially see utilizing these stix in my 3rd grade classroom in an art station. There is no worry about the paint spilling and the students simply roll up as the get low. 

I am definitely going to break my own bank stocking up on these for next year! They are absolutely amazing and you have the opportunity to win your own set! Enter the giveaway now. Winner will be announced April 1st!



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Whirlwind

What a whirlwind I have been on for the past week. Wow. 

Last Tuesday we had parent-teacher conferences. They were originally scheduled for February 25 and March 1 but due to snow and weather delays, they were moved around. I had a trip planned for the March 10 which was one of our makeup days so I had to scramble trying to fit in families at other times so I could still meet with everyone and then had our long night of conferences on Tuesday. 

Wednesday night I had dinner with a lovely representative from Lexia Core 5 (the winner of our Shark Tank in February). She offered my school a free pilot of the program for one year. That was unexpected and very awesome! She told me that my passion for teaching and learning is contagious and that my eyes become a little bluer and my cheeks a little pinker when I talk about teaching :)

Thursday I flew to Washington DC for the Teaching & Learning Conference sponsored by the National Board. I went two years ago with The Husband after I earned National Board Certification. At the airport, in the shared van for the ride to my hotel, I met a wonderful couple from Los Angeles, the man being retired LAPD. They were fun to chat with and the man reiterated what the Lexia rep told me: that my eyes are brighter and my whole face just comes alive when I talk about what I do :) 

The conference itself was amazing. It is also so inspiring for me to be around so many other NBCTs. It's pretty uncommon on the West Side of Michigan and I'm kind of an anomaly. I just have so many things I want to do to further our profession and I won't stop until I accomplish them. If that means branching out on my own later, so be it. (It will happen eventually, just not sure how long it'll take.) I had an amazing time at the conference and left so inspired (and with a billion new ideas running through my head!).

Yesterday I found out that I was accepted for a summer institute at Princeton University via Gilder Lehrman! For one week at the end of July, I will get to participate in a workshop about the Thirteen Colonies with resources and information to bring back to my students. 

How freaking cool is that?? I am so excited about it, it is ridiculous. It is a highly competitive and selective process and I am absolutely astounded that I got selected. This is just pushing me forward with things I want and need to do to get where I'm going in my career. I feel like I'm on fire right now and just unstoppable.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Currently {March 2016} & Giveaway winners!

Happy March! This means spring (and my grandson!) will be arriving sooner rather than later. Yay!



Listening: I'm in my office and enjoying the quiet whir of the space heater fan. Oddly relaxing.

Loving: I am adoring all of the PLN connections I have made in the last couple of months. They are keeping me sane!

Thinking: I need more hours in my day...I am SO drained when I get home and there is grad work to be done and I'm just blah....if I had 5 more hours in a day, I could take a nap when I got home and still have time to get everything done.

Wanting: I seriously hate grading....it's the only thing (aside from over-testing) that I do not like about teaching.

Needing: I am in serious need of a nail fill. These nails are looking whack.

Polling Site: Yep, we are a polling site. Usually we have the day off for polling (or we have PD) but sometimes it occurs during school which is so not awesome.


And last but not least, the winners of the Pencil Grips giveaway are Mary Alison & Holly W :) Congratulations!