Monday, August 10, 2015

Computer Choices with Links

Hi friends, it's been awhile since my last post.  I started this summer with a to-do list a mile long.  There were several projects that I intended to finish and others that were still ideas floating around in my head.  One project that I had to finish for sure involved my Computer Choice Cards.  I had created Computer Choice Cards awhile back and really loved them.  You can check out a post about them here.  There was one little problem that always arose in the classroom.  It  often took quite a bit of time for my little ones to type in the websites.  By the time they finally got to the webpage and logged in, it was often time to move on.  So, to solve this problem I resorted to cluttering my desktop and toolbar with a zillion favorites.  This was easier, but it wasn't the fix I was looking for.   I still had my heart set on finding a more efficient way to use my computer cards.

One night while watching Big Brother, I had a crazy idea and decided to pause my show and roll with it.  I decided to place my cards on a digital clothesline with clickable hyperlinks.  

The sites are divided into 3 sections:
* Free 4 All Sites
* Join 4 Free Sites
* Subscription Sites

This resource contains the same exact sites that are in the free printable resource here.  
This file includes links.

The file is designed to be used digitally rather than printed.  My plan is to simply save it on the desktop of all my classroom computers and devices.  Students can choose a site they'd like to visit, then simply click and go.  I've been playing with it for a few days now, and I've found that they generally open in 0-15 seconds.  They are hyperlinks, so they will only open as fast as your computer allows.  Regardless, this is still a whole lot faster than it takes for my second graders to type the websites themselves.  I can't wait to get it rolling this year and I look forward to having it on my teacher computer as well.  I will definitely utilize the sites more with them simply a click away!


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Friday, July 3, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Make Your Masterpiece

This is the third week of the Seller Challenge hosted by Third in HollywoodSparkling in SecondPeppy Zesty Teacherista, and Teach Create Motivate. This week is all about CREATING.

I am super excited to share my newest product.  I had so much fun creating a product all about Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp.  I also loved having a chance to create some clip art especially for this product.

I love starting the year off with Miss Nelson.   My little ones always make great connections to the story and the themes are so easy for them to relate to.  I can't wait to introduce these activities to my incoming second graders.  Here's a little peek at some of what's included:

There are other great activities included to teach your students about writing friendly letters.  A friendly letter template is included, so students can write Miss Nelson or Viola Swamp a letter persuading her to return to Rm. 207. There is also a Miss Nelson poem that students can place in a reading response or poetry journal.  It's a great poem for students to visualize and make connections to.  The Diamante poems will be a little more challenging for little ones, but I have included word banks to make it as easy as possible for younger learners.

If you love Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp as much as I do,  I really hope you'll check out this resource.   You can click on the image below to head over to TPT to check it out.

As always, I'd LOVE to give away a free copy to one lucky teacher.  Simply leave a comment with your e-mail and I'll draw a name later this evening.  

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Dare to Dream

This is the second week of the Seller Challenge hosted by Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Teach Create Motivate. This week is all about dreaming BIG.

When I first began my teaching journey, my dreams were simple. I wanted to inspire my students.  Little did I know that I would be the one to be truly inspired.  I've been inspired by so many amazing teachers along the way.  I remember when I saw a teaching blog for the very first time, I was like a kid in a candy store.   It was like a dream come true to have so many fantastic resources right at my fingertips.  I knew right away that I wanted to be a  part of this amazing community of teachers.  Thanks to blogging and TPT, so many of my dreams have already come true!  I've learned so much, made new friendships, and the extra income has truly been a life saver for my family.

As I think about dreams for the future...I find that inspiration remains constant on my list.

1.  It was inspiration that led me to where I am, and it's that same inspiration that keeps my classroom evolving and changing with the times.  It's important for me to stay inspired and keep that zest for learning and teaching.  I still get excited every time I sit down in front of my computer to embark on a new resource for my little ones.  I don't ever want to be one of those teachers that loses their spark.  Even my blog headings are evolving with me...

2. I would also really love to travel with my family.  It is sad to say, but my hubby and I have never traveled outside of Texas.  My littlest one has a severe feeding issue and aversions that can make eating on the road difficult.  God is answering our prayers and my sweetie is slowly but surely making progress.  He actually just came off of thickened liquids this summer!!! It was a HUGE milestone for him.  We definitely want to travel more and let our little guy see more of the world.

3. I'd love to one day become a published author.  I absolutely LOVE writing! If you've purchased some of my products, you may have noticed that I often sneak in original poems and stories into my products.  I really hope to one day write a children's book or maybe even a book of children's poems.

4. I also dream of one day building a new home.  Years ago, we were so anxious to get out of our tiny apartment that we just jumped right into our current home without hesitation.   It's been perfect for many years, but as our family grows, so has our need for more space.  I've already kicked my poor hubby out of the closet and I still don't have enough space (trust me it's tiny).   I also have my washer and dryer in the garage- UGGGG!  I end up battling the bugs and Texas heat every time I do laundry!  I dream of a larger home, but I do have a lot of love for this cozy first home.

My friends, what are your goals???

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Product Makeover

I am super excited to join the #TPT Seller Challenge hosted by Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Teach Create Motivate.   The first challenge is to make over a product.  For this challenge, I decided to give some love to one of my personal favorites.  This product contains my mighty message or theme posters.
The posters pretty much stayed the same, but I did add one more mighty message to the set.  It was time to add RESPONSIBILITY.  My students requested that I add it to our posters, since it's a theme we started to see frequently in many of the books we read.

If you purchased this product in the past, you are in for a surprise.  There are a couple of additions to this resource that I think you'll LOVE!.  Now included, you will find the Mighty Messages on a ring.  I absolutely love these!!! My eyesight is not so great, so sometimes I have trouble reading my posters from afar.  It will be nice to have these cards right at my fingertips.
 The cards can be printed 2-sided.  The back contains lines where you can record book titles that correspond with each of the mighty messages. 


I also added these tabbed journal pages that can be used to introduce each of the messages.  Students will also use these pages to keep their own list of book titles for each of the mighty messages.

This is one of my favorite resources and it's one that gets used daily by my little ones.  I love that my students often explain the mighty message of a story without any prompting from me.  This truly makes my teacher heart burst with joy!

Check it out in my TPT Store!!!
I'd love to give away a free copy of this resource.  Simply leave your e-mail in the comments and I'll give a free copy away to one lucky winner tomorrow evening.

And the winner is...

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Father's Day FREEBIES

Yay, summer has arrived and I am beyond excited.  This was a very long school year for me.  Our district underwent a lot of change this year and with that came some growing pains.  I'm sure there will be a lot more changes on the horizon, but I plan to embrace those changes and continue doing what I love.   I especially loved all of my sweet second graders this year and am truly sad to part with them.

It took 11 hours to pack my room this year.  That's pretty crazy!!! Looks like I'm going to have to purge some of my stuff when I return in the Fall.  My hubby is convinced that I'm a hoarder.  He may have a point...perhaps I'm one of those hoarders in denial.  I guess he hasn't heard the saying one person's trash is another person's treasure.  I won't let him know, I was grabbing all the goodies being thrown out by my teacher friends.

 With summer finally here I have a list of a few things I plan to do...
1. Enjoy my FAMILY!
3. blog has been seriously neglected over the last year!
4. Clean my house
5. Exercise (Maybe this should be higher on the list.)

Today, I tackled #3 on the list.  I worked on a few projects for Father's Day.  I even made some clip art.  I haven't done this since last summer.  I'm surprised I even remember how to do it!

The Daddy Clip Art is a FREEBIE in my TPT store.  Head over here to grab it.

I also made some  DAD Recipe Cards for Father's Day.  There are a few different versions.  You could put a picture on the left hand side or use the version with the frame and they could draw their daddy in the frame.  You can click the image below to get this FREEBIE.
I also made a coloring page for Father's Day.  Click the image below to download.  Did you notice I used my FREE Daddy Clip Art?

In honor of all these Father's Day printables, I have to share the wonderful daddy to my 2 boys.  I am truly blessed to have him in my life. 

I also want to share my own daddy.  Here he is with my oldest son.  As old as I get, my dad is still there for me come rain or shine.  Love you DAD!!!

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

You Oughta Know About...Task Card Storage

I am thrilled to be linking with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her You Oughta Know Blog Hop! 
You definitely oughta know what I found at Target!!!   I absolutely love shopping at Target.  It's rare that I leave without something new for my classroom, even if it's only a new pack of scented markers. But, one day, I found something even better than scented markers and fancy washi tape!  I was strolling the aisles of Target (okay I was actually chasing around my 5 year old), when I laid my eyes upon this...

You can probably imagine what I was thinking...Oh my gosh, these are PERFECT for task cards!!!  I mean they must have seriously been envisioning teachers as they created these containers.  They are the perfect size for task cards and there are 6 individual containers per bin.  I thought I'd hit the jackpot for sure.  My husband on the other hand just shook his head, and looked at me as if I were crazy.  He simply doesn't get how exciting new containers are for teachers! Of course, I couldn't buy just one, I filled that shopping cart up with 6 of these puppies!

I have been teaching for 11 years, and I am just NOW realizing how fantastic task cards can be.  I can't even come up with a good reason for why I've never used them in the past.  Honestly, I think it was in part because I had no idea how I'd store them.  Now, that that problem is solved,  I've been filling up my TPT shopping cart with task cards galore.  There are so many amazing task cards on TPT, and I seriously can't believe how many are even free!

If you already have a bunch of task cards that simply need a home.  Head off to Target, you'll love these!   I was able to fit 2 sets of task cards in each of the smaller boxes. 

The task cards I'm using are all Math, so I created labels for each container.  They are free for now, so be sure to go check them out.  The bottom portion is editable, so you can be more specific about the task cards inside.  For most of them, I simply put how many cards are in the set.  I hope you'll leave feedback if you download.  I'd love to hear what you think.

I also created this generic recording page that you can get for free by clicking the image below.  I wanted my students to be able to use the same recording page regardless of which task cards they chose.  It works as long as there are no more than 40 questions.  Luckily, all of the sets I have, have less than 40 questions.  I wanted to have a bunch of these pages available, so my students can simply grab it and go with their task cards.

Thanks a bunch for dropping by and head on over to check out all the neat ideas by other bloggers.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Tall Tale Extravaganza...

We had such a great time learning about tall tales this year.   It's honestly one of my favorite units in second grade.   Slue-Foot Sue has always been ones of my absolute favorite tall tale heroes.  I mean she rode a catfish the size of a just gotta love her!  I found the Idiom worksheet below, which is part of the Evan Moor's Tall Tale Literature Pockets resource.  When I saw the title of the page...I knew I'd have to create a downright silly Slue-Foot Sue to match.  They had so much fun with idioms, and it certainly looks like Slue-Foot Sue bit off more than she could chew!

I get all of the Tall Tale stories that I read aloud to my students from the Evan-Moor Resource.  It's an amazing resource.  The Slue Foot Sue template we used can be downloaded below for FREE.

You certainly can't learn about Slue-Foot Sue without learning about Pecos Bill.  I mean she is his better half.  We worked on these webs after learning about Pecos Bill.  Click here to get the free download.

We made the same posters as last year and I really fell in love with their illustrations! You can check out last year's post here if you're interested in reading more about the posters.

We always learn about the four tall tale heroes in the graph above.  But, this year we added a new tale to our list.  I had the opportunity to correspond with the author of the story, A Rip Snortin' Tale of a Toad.  The author is Ruth Bates and I was super excited when she reached out to me to share her adorable tale.  I really couldn't wait to share it with my students.   I'm always thrilled any time there is an opportunity to incorporate new books about Texas into the curriculum.  My students just fell in love with Rip and they are still talking about him today.  I also found out via Instagram that apparently there in a parade for Rip each year in Eastland, Texas.  If only, we could travel that far for a field trip.  How cool would that be?

Here are a few of the activities we did along with the book.  There are so many cross-curricular activities that could be done with this book.  We spent a week on this story, but we could have easily spent another week on it.


All of the Rip activities can be found by clicking the image below.
If you are interested in this adorable book, you can purchase A Rip Snortin' Tale...of a Toad directly from the author, Ruth Bates.  Her e-mail is listed in the image above. 

 I'd love to give away a free autographed copy to one lucky reader.  Simply leave a comment below with your e-mail and I will contact the winner via e-mail.  I will choose a winner Friday, April 3, 2015.
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