Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stop, Swap and Roll with a Giveaway!

Jungle Learners is hosting a cool swap!  Click on the link to hop on over!

I was paired with Mrs. Mouse!
I love her store name!  Is it her real name?  Nope!  But thanks to some cute kindergarteners who got confused with the name Mrs. Mize, a new name was born!
For the swap, I got a fantastic product!
I haven't met a student who can't benefit from a great file folder game this this!
You get frying pans labeled with short and long 5, sorting eggs, a recording sheet, and do you see those eagles and eggs?  They can be printed out as stickers and placed on the back of the eggs so kids can self-correct.  I LOVE when they can check over their own work.  The set comes in printer-friendly black and white too.  That's always appreciated.
Here's one of my students sorting the eggs after short and long e word work. Below, you see the self-checking.  To make it easier for me, I ended up putting the eagles and eggs on the backs of these eggs but went to my "Star" method to save time on the other four file folder games I made.  You can see that below.  Same concept!


You can see the recording sheet here and the alternate "Stars" Self-Checking I used.

My kids loved this fun sorting activity and we're going to be using more in Mrs. Mouse's BUNDLED package which you can win from her TpT Store!  How cool is that?
Click on link below my signature to enter.  Sorry I couldn't get it to show up here.  Head on over to Mrs. Mouse's Blog and enter for a chance to win a little something from me which I'll put on sale for 50% off for the duration of the giveaway! It's now an even greater value:  $6 for $15 worth of products!  Woot, woot!
Also, click on top Swap link to visit all the product giveaways!  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Go-To for Helping Students With Reversals

I've tried so many things in the past and it was always hit or miss with the kids until...

Yep...a simple letter written is washable marker on the hand seems to do the trick.  I've found that I only need to write the letter for about a week before the students are able to write the letter correctly on their own. 

Now when it comes to a student with multiple reversals?  (Which they usually have!) One letter at a time.  I don't move on until they conquer one at a time.  If the letter is in the child's name, I'll make that letter the starting point. 

Why does it work?  I honestly think because it's a constant reminder ATTACHED to them and at very close range.  Really! 

If you haven't tried it, give it a shot and let me know if it helped.

On another note, hope you don't mind if I show off John's latest artwork. I so wish I could draw!  Have a good night!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What's Your Favorite Crayola Color?

Sometimes I impress myself.  Ha! Now what I'm about to show you may be known by the world but it's new to me and I'm thrilled to have figured it out...

You can make a SPECIFIC custom color on the iPad or on a computer! Not where you drag the cursor around and hope to land on something you like.  Actually make it.

My son was tinkering on the iPad and wanted basic green.  The greens on his screen were all shades of olive.  Getting a "Christmas Color Green" was proving to be a challenge. I know, I know...but sometimes you get deep into a muddy palette and can't get out.  Have you ever wanted a BRIGHTER yellow?  A specific pink...bright but not too bright?  Sometimes I try to scoot that cursor over just a smidge to see if maybe the color I'm thinking of is SOMEWHERE on the screen.  Have you ever referred to a Crayola Crayon Color?  Now you can make the EXACT color!  It's oh, so easy!

When Matthew asked for "Christmas Tree Green," we started naming our favorite Crayola colors and that led me to a Wikipedia page that listed ALL of their colors.  (Google it!) I started playing around and easily was able to make them.  I like seeing all of the colors on the page in front of me and I can start to pick out specific color combinations that I want to work with in the future.  (Covers, anyone?)

I love it!  Look at the Blue Bell example above.  The arrows are the same exact color.  Cool, huh? 

I hope this is helpful and welcome news to you, too.  Have a COLORFUL DAY!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's the Scoop? (TWO Clip Art Freebies, too)

Joining up once again with Teaching Trio for The Sunday Scoop. 
Here's my scoop:

Part of me would be just fine without a snow day this year.  This would mean a very extended Memorial Day Weekend.  I believe it's 5 days! Maybe 6!  Hmmm...then again, I'm starting to feel stressed with all my deadlines coming up. Either way, I have no control over it so I'll stick to guessing along with everyone else!

Speaking of deadlines...gotta go!  I'll leave you with two clip art freebies!  I think he's owlfully cute!  Enjoy and have a great day!

Want to join the Linky Fun?  Click button!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a...New Student!

What do you do for a new student's arrival?  After I set up the child's desk, I have my kids make cards and letters and post a welcome sign by the door so it's the first thing seen by the students' family.  It's always nice to see your name front and center, isn't it?  Reassures them that I'm ready for a new student.
I assign a buddy that helps the new student unpack and "learn the ropes."  Once I'm sure the child feels comfortable in class- usually I wait until after lunch- we ask the child some questions.  I have pre-made questions ready.  Always insightful! The new student goes home with letters and cards (look at the letter that says I'm either 47 or...63!), a pencil, a picture of the "First Day" of school, and all of my newsletters to date.  (While I send via email weekly, I print out a few copies each week just in case I get a new student. Parents seem appreciative and it saves me time having to explain everything.  I always like to write a quick email during lunch to the family in case they're worrying about their little one and I call home in the evening just to officially welcome the family and reassure them that it was a smooth start.  Lucky for me, I've always had a smooth start!  In fact, last year, I had the sweetest girl join my class.  Lovely.  When I called her up to read with me, she said, "I'm a Level H."  (For the record, she was a K.) 

I have a small packet in my store if you'd like to check it out. I couldn't resist the cute storks and I just wanted to have something at my fingertips when needed.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Guided Reading Table Idea

My sweet friend, Maha, just returned from Maternity Leave.  When she came back to school, she brought these lovely benches with her which her husband MADE! How sweet is that?  She teaches K so she was sure to make them a bit higher for her little ones.

Aren't they adorable?  I LOVE the baskets under each one as well.  They're perfect for storing reading materials for each group.  Take a closer look at the top of the table:  GENIUS! 

The wipe-offs are simply laminated pieces of construction paper.  How easy is that?  Her kids love writing on them and it eliminates having to pass out whiteboards.  LOVE!  Saving time, cuteness, and functional all at once!  She's one smart cookie!

John's been adding to his clip art collection again.  Two talented husbands...lucky us!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Icy, Stormy Weather Makes Me...

Create flowers!  Can spring hurry on up, please?

We finally posted our heart critters yesterday...
you may recognize the fish and bear:

Enjoy your day off!  Stay safe!  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Sunday Scoop and Clip Art Freebie Pick (Today only!)

Join Teaching Trio for today's Linky! Get link on button below.  
Here's my scoop:
Clip Art of Tree is from Creative Clips.  Banana, pencil, color monsters are mine...Dandy Doodles!

John is finishing up a cute set of animals with hearts.  We took two of the images and made these sets that we just posted.  Want one?  Just leave your email in comments section TODAY and tell me which set you'd like as a freebie and I'll send it to you.  Don't be shy now!
If you want to follow my clip art store at TPT, Click HERE.
The good news: I'm just about to start writing four more books!  They are chapter books this time. The bad news?  My editor needs a synopsis for each book this week.  Trying to take a deep breath...  I want to get them written so I can work on my school portfolio.  Does your school require teachers to submit one?  It's mainly a reflection piece which IS helpful.  Just time consuming...

I am vowing to cut up my fruit when I get it!  I now buy 90% of my fruit at Costco.  It's incredible!  Great value and quality.  Downside is you get a lot.  Don't get me wrong, we can eat what we buy BUT sometimes I'm too lazy to cut it up and it goes to waste.  If I won a million dollars, I would have a full-time chef!  Yep.  One day!

And why do we have our tree (artificial, of course!) up this late?  Because it's filled with hundreds of ornaments that have such special meaning.  If not packed properly, they'll break and I'll flip out (I am pathetic, I  know.) so guess who must pack them up?  Me.  Everyone else is afraid to touch them.  Want to see some of my sentimental favorites?
For obvious reasons...
Barney because he truly did bring my kids joy, the faded ball belonged to my lovely mother-in-law, and the Charlie Brown was to celebrate writing my first book for Scholastic which was a Peanuts book...
Honestly, I could show so many more...we get one from each vacation, one to symbolize the "big happening" of each year with all of us (like a soccer ball and cheerleader when kids made teams, etc.)  Yes, our tree is filled with hundreds of stories that are close to my heart.  I'm always sad to take it down.  Sniff, sniff...

Want to join The Sunday Scoop Linky?  Click on button!
Have a great day! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Freebie: Place Value Exchange Game


I went back and edited my last post to include this freebie game but wanted to be sure those who asked when it would be posted saw it was available.  Grab by clicking on the picture:

I also offer a Money Exchange version in my store if you're interested:

Gotta give a shout out to John for posting his latest clip art:  Immigration!

Have a super day with your students!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Sunday Scoop...

Join The Teaching Trio for today's Linky! Get link on button below.  
Here's my scoop:

This year, I AM NOT, I repeat, AM NOT, going to sit down and try to do all of my report card comments at once.  If I commit to just two a day, I'll get them done in plenty of time and won't feel so stressed out about them.  Two a day is a walk in the park, right? Yea to stress-free anything!

Check back later if you want my Freebie Ones/Tens/Hundreds Place Value Exchange Game.  Hope to have done it today but most likely tomorrow.  I'll link it here.  UPDATE: It's DONE!

My team and I are super close and I'm lucky to work with women like them.  Simply AMAZING!  Finding a mutual date where everyone is available for a get-together has been tough.  But we've finally found one at the end of the month!  FINALLY!  Starting to plan it today.  Dinner and then fun or skip dinner and concentrate on a loooong cocktail "hour" with tons of appetizers and desserts??? Hmmm....Decisions, decisions.

Have a great Sunday and an even better week!