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I am super excited about the new purple sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!  Have you seen it?  It's very pretty and a great addition to my collection!  I love their sharpeners.  If you haven't ever tried one, go order now!  They last forever.  

Do you need proof?  

My kids ask me how I get my pencils soooo sharp.  I tell them I have a secret sharpener!  They are in AWE and beg to see it.  I told them I might show them at Christmas.  

I really like this shade of purple, it has a jewel tone and it's very pretty!  I wonder what the next color will be?

This Little Piggy loves Purple!


Crock Pot Recipe

Hello Little Piggy Readers!  I have spent August working on my TPT Store.  I wanted to share my new "look".  I am trying to make my store more cohesive.  What do you think?  I like the way it's looking so far.  I think my covers are bright, but not overwhelming.  


Today I wanted to share a quick recipe.  If you're like me, you are pretty much solely in charge of dinner at your house.  And during the summer months I cook EVERY single night.  Once school starts, we eat way too much fast food!  So, I have a great crock-pot recipe that you'll love.

 I wish I would have bought 4 chicken breasts instead of chicken tenderloins.

I always forget the ROTEL in this dish, but you NEED it!

The first step is easy, open up your cans and pour!
Be sure to chop your onion and bell peppers before boiling your noodles! 

You don't fully boil the noodles because they soak up the soup in the crock-pot 
and will get sticky. If you end up prepping this night before, don't add the noodles until you turn on the crock pot.

Have you ever made Chicken Spaghetti?  
It's cheesy, yummy goodness!


August Currently!

I am typing at warp speed because I've NEVER EVER been within the first 100 on Farley's Currently!  

If you're a new blogger or you've been on the Bloggie Block for a while, link up with Farley & The Currently!  FUN!  

It reminds me of when I was a teenager & I would read Teen Bop's interview with NKOTB or Debbie Gibson.  Remember those? FYI...this one was on my wall until I left for college.

I went to EdCamp today & I had a great time with my teammates!  I've missed them this summer!  They are so incredibly supportive & one of them had some great news to share (see thinking...).

Yes, I need to really look at my TpT Cart & decide what I need.  I mean I can't spend $100 during the sale.  I need to make some decisions. What do I need for BTS and what can wait.

I'm not sure about my RAK's.  Maybe something for my daughter's teacher and maybe something for the Principal's I work with. Maybe both.  Probably both.

This Little Piggy wonders, what is one thing you can't live without in your TpT Cart?

Upper Elementary Back-to-School Blog Hop

Hey there friends in bloggie world!  
Great News...this is a blog hop!  Better News...You Can Win TpT Gift Cards!!  Whoop!  

If this is your first visit to my blog, I'm Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads and I'm a GT Specialist in Texas.  For 3 years I taught 3rd Grade Reading and I began this blog to share ideas and strategies with Upper Elementary Teachers.  

My heart belongs in Upper Elementary!  Yes, there are standardized tests, but tests don't scare me. Bloggie World is full of Primary blogs, but this hop celebrates & showcases Upper Elementary teacher bloggers.  

Most Upper Elementary classrooms in my area are departmentalized.  So teachers see multiple classes throughout the day, not just 1 homeroom all day.  It can quickly become overwhelming - especially grading.  My solution was to color code EVERYTHING!  I taught 3 classes and my classes were assigned colors according to their turn-in baskets.  Mine were pink (red journals), green and blue.  

What did I color code?
  • Folders
  • Journals
  • Grading 
  • Portfolios
  • Student Names on Classwork & Homework
  • Binder Clips for Paperwork
  • Tabs in my Grade book 
Of course my folders & journals were color coded. The pink class was pink/red because 3rd grade boys don't like pink (who knew?).  When my students turned in their assignments, they highlighted their names in the appropriate color. I used sticky notes to organize my gradebook.  I hope my color coding tip helps you start the year out organized!

One more tip, if you haven't ever used Frixon Erasable Pens...they rock. GO GET THEM!

Onto the goodies...
My newest product is free student binder covers.  I love how they turned out!  They will be free for August.  Hopefully they will help your students stay organized throughout the year! 

We are celebrating Back-to-School by giving away TpT Giftcards!  Yes, TpT Giftcards! Yippie!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To continue along the hop, jump on over to Katie Upman's blog, Sprouts Learning.  I love her doodle blog design.

This Little Piggy wants to know what is your favorite grade to teach?  Leave me a comment!


Top 10 Dollar Tree **FINDS**

I'm changing my theme this year to Robots.  I think it fits my STEM focus.

I decided on a color theme of turquoise and red with some lime thrown in.  I'm including lime because I've had a blue and green classroom for 4 years, but I don't want it to look Christmas-y.

While I was @ Dollar Tree today, I kept thinking of different ways that teachers could use these items in their classroom. I snapped some pics and thought I'd share them with you.

If you have iPads, tablets or computers 
there are days that you'll need earbuds.  

 Every teacher needs caddies!

Do your kiddos call sanitizer "hanitizer"?
In September you probably have too many bottles, but in March I PROMISE you'll open your cabinet and it will be EMPTY.  UGH. 

My daughter's school supply list asked for sandwich size baggies, quart size baggies and gallon sized baggies.  At the grocery store it would easily be $9!  $3 is much better.  
I always run out of gallon sized baggies, am I the only one?

This was a new find at my Dollar Tree!  A stylus for $1!  Wow! 
 And we have tablets with covers, but if you need one, 

Tissue is another thing that I never have enough of.  I was honestly shocked to find this at Dollar Tree.  The great news, they even have aloe in them so they aren't rough and scratchy!

I saw these stickers and they were about 3" & I thought someone out in bloggie world would love them!

I rarely use pencil pouches to store pencils, 
but I use them ALL the time!  
I normally keep paper clips, clothes pins or yarn in them.

If you hoard containers, raise your hand!  
Yes, I raised my hand.
The entire reason I went to Dollar Tree was
to buy red & turquoise containers. 

Last, but not least is wall stickers.  I saw the Monsters & thought that any one using ClassDojo would like those!  A few years ago, I was in a classroom that had patchy paint.  It looked like the previous teacher used cheap wall hooks for her keys or something near the light switch.  I ended up putting birdie and flower wall stickers over the holes. 

This Little Piggy wants to know what is your favorite item from Dollar Tree.


Dare to Dream: My Dreams

This week's TpT Seller Challenge was to blog about our dreams and/or goals for our TpT Store.   I was "gung-ho" Monday morning and began to write a post about my dreams.  As I began reflecting on my TpT Store, I realized that I needed more time.  More time to think about what TpT had already given us.  

Truthfully, I didn't realize what a huge blessing TpT has been for my family.  I debated - should I share what I've used my TpT earnings for?  I'm a blogger, AKA Oversharer.  

Well, my little store has had some flatline months and some pretty amazing months. I'm grateful for every follower who purchased an item from my store.  Even now, I am shocked that other teachers value the products that I make.    

TpT has had a huge impact on our family.  There are months when my TpT income has bought groceries for our family. Those months I am the most grateful for TpT.  I am serious.  

Some months I was able to cover my daughter's rising dance costs and others it helped pay for her daycare.

Last year my store started generating a little extra income and I was able to take our family on vacation to Port Aransas and my husband and I spent the New Year & his b-day at our favorite place in the world, Fredericksburg, TX (although the pics above are from a previous vacay)!

This year, I finally got a new dishwasher.  Now, you might think boring...but clean dishes are ahhhh-mazing!  I don't think our dishes have been clean in about 2 years.

In full disclosure, other than a house & cars we do not live in debt, so if we don't pay cash for it, then we don't do it or buy it.  TpT has helped us live like this.   

The rest of this post will focus on my goals for the next two years.  Fall 2015 - Summer 2017.

Next year we are celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary and we are going to Cancun to celebrate.  TpT has made this dream a reality for us.  Neither of us have ever been to a resort, nor been to Cancun so we're pretty psyched!   

Right now, we have carpet and tile in our house.  I HATE CARPET, especially 10 year old carpet that has survived 2 toddlers and 1 puppy!  I want new hardwood floors.  Well, okay not REAL hardwood.  I'd like wood laminate floors.  

My Girl is 6 and talks about going to Disney atleast once a week.  I am not an amusement park type girl and I've heard that the Disney Cruise is absolutely fantastic!  So, I am thinking that is a better option for us.  Not sure how realistic this goal is, but let's dream big!

As far as my store goes, I'd LOVE to be a top 100 seller in Texas.  Right now I think I'm still in the 400's.  Which is an improvement, but I really want to break the top 100!  

TPT has been a very unexpected blessing in our life.
Thank You to anyone who has ever made a purchase from my store. 


Why I don't use Instagram

Teacher bloggers love Instagram.  I'm on Instagram, but I rarely post.  Because my life is pretty boring!

Two things happened in my house today that were IG worthy.  First, all of our laundry was washed, dried, folded or hung up & put away!!!  Snore!  But I'm happy.  The 2nd IG item was Dora, one of our tadpoles grew legs.  Now, that was pretty cool & I was going to post it, but I cannot for the life of me remember all of the hashtags I'm supposed to use.

I'm sure IG is pretty awesome & I love the artsy pics by Taecher Bloggers, but it's just not me.