Category Archives: Reviews

Oriental Trading

I was given the opportunity to be a Community Blogger for Oriental Trading Company. I got a gift card and could buy anything I wanted to use in my classroom, so here’s what I got!  (I’m SO excited!!!)

This is the Awesome Alphabet Pocket Chart.  I’ve wanted one of these for a long time!  I’ve seen these on different sites and they were always so expensive so I kept waiting.  Now I have one and it didn’t break the bank!  I love this chart because it comes with the pocket chart which can be hung on a garment rack with a pants hanger or book binding rings.  It can also be hung on the wall with some of those 3M Command hooks (love those!)  I also love how I can use this pocket chart over and over with a variety of activities:


The pocket chart comes with all these different cards.  IMG_5158

The kids can put the picture cards in the appropriate pockets on the chart. IMG_5159

Each picture card is labeled with the word on the back–I’m thinking how great this would be later in the year during Writer’s Workshop.  How do you spell raccoon Mrs. Poindexter?  The kids can go get the picture card!IMG_5160

Also included are the lower case letters so the children can match lowercase letters to the correct pocket. IMG_5161

And of course there are uppercase letters as well! 🙂IMG_5162

I also got these Center Organizing Charts.  I didn’t know that Oriental Trading carried Carson-Dellosa charts, but they do! 🙂  These are going to be great next year for my Literacy Work Stations.  Sometimes there just isn’t any room to put a center activity in my already crowded class room, so these will hang wonderfully from the wall or door!  IMG_5163


Each chart (there are 3 in the package) has two larger pockets on the top and a smaller clear pocket on the bottom.  I’m thinking that any materials for the activity will go in the top two pockets and dry erase materials or small items like dice will stay in the smaller pocket.  They are super strong too!  They will hold up to 5 year old use! 🙂 IMG_5165

You get three charts in each package, green, blue, and yellow. IMG_5166

The next item are these dry erase stars.  (They also come in apple shapes too!).  I’m going to use these at my small group table next year so my kiddos can write down their work and not have to waste anytime getting out paper and pencils.  The stars are removable and reusable!  I hung this one on my wall to try it out and it was super sticky and took a little effort to pull off, but the paint wasn’t harmed! 🙂  IMG_5167

I took this picture after I erased the words just to show how cleanly they erase. 🙂IMG_5168

I also picked up this 100 Days of School Countdown Banner.  It was a steal at $1.49! 🙂  I’m going to hang this up in my classroom and we are going to have some fun counting up to the 100th day of school next year! 🙂IMG_5169


I can’t ever have too many dice! 🙂  I got a dozen of these foam dice (1 1/2 x 1 1/2) so my kids could play some math games.  We always loose the traditional sized dice so these will be great and easier for us to find!  I also like them because they’re foam.  That means they will be quiet! 🙂  I liked that there are two of each color, making them easier to put 2 in a center and to figure out what center is missing a die. IMG_5171

I got these Laser Smile Face notepads because I had a great idea about how to use them!  I watch my kiddos when we are out and about collecting information in our science notebooks and although those are wonderful, they are sometimes really bulky to carry around.  I thought we could use some of them as travel sized notebooks! There are 6 dozen in a box–that’s 72 of them in all, so they will last me a few years!  When we are done writing down information, the kids can tear out a page and put it right into their bigger science notebook.  IMG_5172

I also thought I might order some more notebooks with the spiral biding and use them to respond to math questions.  I’m thinking I could write and number on each page and the kids could flip to the correct number that answers my question. 🙂

Did you also know that Oriental Trading offers FREE shipping on orders over $25 until August 24, 2013?  That’s a great deal!  I’ve already got a wishlist going there! 🙂

What are your favorite Oriental Trading products?  I’m always on the hunt for more! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

The opinions expressed in this blog post are entirely mine and were not influenced by Oriental Trading in anyway.  I was provided with a gift card by Oriental Trading Company. 🙂

Reusable Dry Erase Pockets

I’m not sure about you, but I love all things dry-erase!  I do get tired of having my kiddos tied to writing on just the plan surface that dry-erase boards have.  We are locked into the plain surface, and can’t really be creative with our responses on them.

That’s where these Reusable Dry Erase Pockets from come in!  They are 9 x 12 sized which is an awesome size for little Kindergarten hands!  The binding around the edge is super strong too!

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Some of my favorite things about these pockets–

1) I can insert ANY pages I want to!  We used a plain piece of paper inside because we were working with word families, but I so could have put lined paper inside or a quick review sheet inside.  You can put anything you can fit in these awesome pouches!

2)  My kids can write on BOTH sides of the pockets.  They thought that was cool!  I asked my kiddos to write their word family on one side and then some sentences on the other side.







3) I love that the kids can choose the color they want, or I can assign each table a color to keep at their table. 🙂  You can get both ROYGBP or Neon colors!

4) The dry erase markers erase SO WELL from the pockets!  None of those messy streaks left behind like on my dry erase boards!

5) We can store our markers in the pouches, so they are always ready to go!

6) You can use these on the overhead if you use one of those! 🙂

7) I can quickly change out what’s inside!

8) These are going to be great in centers!  I can put check lists in them that my student’s can check off to make sure they have done their jobs at their work stations

9) When my kids practice their name writing at the beginning of the school year, we can put first name on one side and last name on the other, for lots of room to practice!!

10) The flexibility!  I can use the pockets in a TON of different ways!  Also, using these pockets makes me feel “greener”!  I can make a few copies of things and my kids can practice over and over using the same copies without the need for more! 🙂


The opinions expressed in this post are mine and have not been influenced by the company in anyway.  I did receive a set of Reusable Dry Erase Pockets to try out in my classroom and I’m happy I was able to! 🙂


Kristen 🙂

I think I’m in love….

…with The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener!  Troy sent me one to try out in my Kindergarten classroom and it’s seriously one of my new favorite things!  The kids stood in line just so they could use it and they still bring me pencils to sharpen even when they don’t need to be, just so they can use it!

If you’re not familiar with this awesome pencil sharpener, you should be!  I could sharpen pencils ALL day!


I love the red color!  It’s so easy to use, my K kids caught on in about 5 minutes.  All you do is pull the metal part out, pinch the black squares at the top and start twisting the handle!  It sharpens in about 1/4 of the time that my old electric sharpener did and the point is much finer using this sharpener.  The best part is that it even sharpens those cheap dollar store pencils like butter!  You can also secure the sharpener to the table or other flat surface, but I like being able to take it with me and my kids are able to come get it, sharpen their pencil and bring it back to me.  I also love how many “scraps” the clear bin at the bottom holds.  Seriously, we must of sharpened 30 pencils when I took this picture and it’s not even half full! It is REALLY quiet!  I can’t believe that I was sharpening pencils and didn’t disturb any of my kiddos while they were at work!  I usually only sharpen before and after school on my electric sharpener because the noise is so loud!  Oh, and that annoying arm vibration you get from your electric sharpener–gone!  A few cranks of the easy to use handle and you are all sharpened! 🙂


The kids really like that the metal part on the front that holds their pencil lets them know when their pencil is sharpened.  I like it too, because they can get back to their work. 🙂

You can’t beat the price either!  $24.99 for one of these beauties!  My husband tried to steal this sharpener from me, so I think I’m going to need to get one for him too! 🙂

You can check out Classroom Friendly Supplies here.  Be sure to tell Troy that I sent you. 🙂

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Kristen 🙂

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