Monday, August 10, 2015

Where in the World is Mrs. Wright?

Calling all Canadian readers and those who live on the edge! This post has a bonus for YOU.

I really struggled with what to title this post... 

Monday Made It? Yes, it is, because I'm going to share how to make a gif.

Great New Dollar Store Finds? Yep, it is full of those.

Special Edition for My Canadian Readers and US Folks Who Live on the Border? Well, yes, but lots of what I share on the post might very well be here in the US, too. 

Whatever it's title, this is a jam packed issue.

Now, here's a clue as to where I was. It's a very wet place.

Okay, so I bet you didn't guess. Here's another clue...

No, it's not Seattle. Come on, you gotta get it now...

Yep, Jonathan and I went to Niagara Falls a week or so ago. (No, I didn't photoshop in the rainbow. A rainbow appears whenever the sun shines– it's a rather lucky place heehee and truly beautiful. That's the Maid of the Mist boat hiding there in the abundant spray.) We spent a day at the Falls, a day at Niagara-on-the-Lake, a day with the Toronto relatives, and a leisurely day coming back the long way home. Great min-vacay. I could do a whole travel blog post on the great things we did in just four days, but I'll suffice to say, that you really should go. It was one of the easiest and funnest four days we've spent in a while. Maybe it will be a future post. 

What I'm blogging about today, is to tell you what I FOUND there! How many of you like Dollar Stores, Generals, Trees, Spots, etc? Well, I do, too. (So much so that I made Jonathan stop on the way TO Canada because I saw something on a blog that was in the Target Dollar Spot which I feared would be gone by the time we got back, which then rattled around in the car the entire trip... yes, we're still married... barely.)

A chalkboard and pencil jar were worth the extra stop. Cute, eh?

Well, in Canada they have dollar stores called Dollaramas! And as we were going down the highway There. Was. One!  So of course we had to STOP! Jackpot!

 These things were in my bag when I left...

A bizillion stickers. Don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but with a bizillion, I can do LOTS of whatever it is.

These little cuties are going to monster-up some of my math manipulates... so they're aliens, but that's a fine point.

A caterpillar ruler– we don't really talk about centimeters in kindergarten, but the kiddos can still measure away with this little tool. And I love that is it clear so you can see what's underneath.

A whole slew of cute erasers. Having little gifts on hand always comes in handy. 

These are really great. They come in four not-typical colors and have a nice grip. My kiddos write with clicker pens most of the time in writers workshop and these are going to be a big hit when I break them out in, say, cold, dreary March.

A minion can! Yes, please. I see a game in the making... throwing in letters, numbers...?

I LOVE these. It's hard to see in the pic but they are see-thru. A quick glance and I'll be able to grab the right one once they contain school stuff.

And I saved my favorite for last. CUTE! These are going to be a BIG hit in the writing center. Each little marker is a different character and color. 

Now I do need to point out that Dollarama carries items for $1, $1.25, $1.50, $2... you get the idea. Most US dollar stores really keep to a flat one dollar amount. I don't know whether this means that Canadians don't follow the rules, or just don't make rules, but either way, these items were great bargains. And throw in a favorable exchange rate for the US dollar, and it was an even better price for us right now.

There was one bummer– Dollarama would not take our US debit or credit cards. It kind of depleted the cash supply we had with us, but it was worth it.

My Canadian family members got a hoot out of us driving up with our tiny Smart car completely loaded to the max. They agreed, though, that Dollarama has great deals. I hope anyone who can, visits a Dollarama to see what teacher bargains they can find. I'm going to be driving the hour or so to Windsor a bit more often than before. And if you are no where near Canada, I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for some of these things here at home. 

Now, about my Monday Made It! I love gifs. Think they are a hoot. I use the site MakeAGif  to make mine. There might very well be other gif making sites, but this is the one I use. You'll need to sign-up for a free account. (btw- "gif" is pronounced 'jif' as in the peanut butter, not 'gif' with a hard G, as you often hear it said. Think, Gif the Giraffe snort... you'd never know I was a kindergarten teacher...)

MakeaGif walks you through the steps to make your gif. A series of photos with just slight variation, showing some change or action, make good gifs, but any photos can be used with variable success. I actually took the eyeglass wiper photos for the purpose of making a gif– silly, I know. It's how my brain works sometimes. Take whatever photos you want to use and put them in a folder on your desktop so you can easily find them when the MakeaGif asks you to upload. I suggest using smaller sized photos so they download faster.

MakeaGif gives you the option to make your gifs public or private, and offers various way to share them. If you want to put it on your blog, first download it to your laptop. If you open it on your laptop and use "Preview," which many laptops default to, you'll just see the photos in a set of still slides, not a moving gif. The first time I did this I thought I had done something wrong. However, if you add the gif download to your post via the "insert image" button, like you would normally add any photo, you'll see that it magically comes to life as soon as you place it. Easy-peasy. 

So, there you have it– bargains to look for and gifs to make. Hope you have fun... AFTER you click on back to Monday Made It and see what others have been creating. Thanks so much, Tara, for this linky. I always find new ideas. 

Hope to see you back here soon!


  1. My parents are Canadian, and I took many trips to the Dollarama when I was younger! You found a lot of great stuff!

    1. Hope some teacher friends can find it here, too. Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

  2. I knew where you were with your first clue! I visited Niagara Falls from the New York side this summer! Your Dollarama finds will function well in your classroom! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I like your *JIF*. I never knew how to make them. Thanks for sharing!

    My Bright Blue House

    1. Oh, good. I always like learning and sharing new things. I bet you have fun with it :) Thanks for letting me know. Kathleen

  4. Thanks for the tutorial for the GIF. I love going to Niagara Falls. It it beautiful at night with the falls being lighted from the Canadian side.

    1. You're welcome. Yes, we sat one night at a late dinner and gazed out as the lights came on. Beautiful. Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

  5. Love the chalkboard and pencil jars! I love the Target Dollar section :) Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yep. I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, exactly, but something :)


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