Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Made-It (8.25.14)

It's almost the end of August.  Many of you are back to school and I feel like the least productive person on the planet.  I'm keeping two small humans happy every day which is enough work for me right now.  Fortunately, I was able to carve out a little time to put together this blog post and link up with 4th Grade Frolics for the Monday Made-It linky.

This one was made for my friend and #1 blog stalker.  Her birthday was coming up and she is getting ready to head back to school after having baby #2.  She says she's going to miss me this year, so I thought I would give her something to remember me by.  I got her a box of her favorite flavor of Spark and labeled each packet inside with either an inspirational teaching quote or teacher humor.  Here's how the gift turned out:
(here's the gift)

 ( the sign on the top of the box)

(each packet had it's own little quote on it)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Inspiration, New Products, and More!

I saw this today and it spoke to my heart.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs, but one of the most rewarding at the same time.  I will certainly miss it this year!

I'm home with my two kiddos full time this year.  When I have a spare moment I have been busy creating some new products and updating others.  As you can imagine, spare time is hard to come by with a newborn, toddler, and husband who is busy helping to build our new house!  

A new product I created was for Gooney Bird Greene.  This book is perfect for 2nd graders.  I use it when we are building stamina for writing.  Gooney Bird Greene tells absolutely true stories and the kids can't help but want to write just like her. 

I just completed the remaining books in The Magic School Bus chapter book series.  This wasn't an easy task because there are 20 different books all on a wide-range of science topics.  I love the books because they really draw students in with a combination of fiction and nonfiction.  Since the series is finally complete, I was able to put all of the book packs into a bundle.  Here are some pictures to see what's included:

Finally, if you're following my Facebook page you already know that I recently updated my Chocolate Touch pack.

Up next I'll be updating my book tub labels, dice game packs, & working to finish the Horrible Harry series.  Whew!  Just reading that goal makes me tired!

Monday, August 4, 2014

3 Months

I just looked and noticed that almost three months has passed by since I last posted here. I could go on and on with excuses, but here's the real reason:
This little man joined our family in June.  We are so fortunate because his big sister loves him to pieces!  I have decided to take a year off to stay home with my babies.  I still plan to keep creating and sharing along the way.

One of the first things I'm going to do today is shop the big TpT sale.  I have a lot of clipart calling my name!  My store will be 20% off.  If you use the promo code BTS14, you can save an additional 10% (total savings of 28%).

The only product I'm going to highlight right now is my new Magic School Bus Bundle.  I managed to finish up the series this summer and have now bundled all of the books into one pack.  The books are written at a 3rd grade level, but the books work great for read alouds, too.  Look at the pictures below to find out more about this pack.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Cards

The dilemma arrives year after year....what will my students make for Mother's Day this year?  In the age of Pinterest, it's hard not to get bogged down and feel the pressure of one-upping the previous year's gifts.  However, I am emotionally and physically exhausted this year.  Have I mentioned that I'm almost 8 months pregnant, too?  I needed to streamline and simplify.  If you're anything like me, keep reading to see what we made this year.

I knew I wanted to make cards.  I also knew I wanted to include 2 key items: a recipe for a great mom and an opinion writing piece.  I had a regular pregnancy check-up one day and my sub is a retired teacher who is VERY creative and loves writing.  I decided to leave her my plans for the recipes so she could add that special, magical touch.  Little did I know that she would go above and beyond and have my kids come up with a third project for the cards.

First up: the recipes
The sub had the kids brainstorm measurements and ingredients for making a great mom.  Here's a shortened list of what they came up with.

dash, sprinkle, cup, touch, pinch, teaspoon, tablespoon, handful, etc.

love, care, tenderness, silliness, craziness, laughter, creativity, hugs & kisses, patience, discipline, forgiveness, support, vigilance, etc.

The Steps
Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Stir them carefully until mixed well. Pour mixture onto your counter and mold with love.

I brought them home, typed them, and added some great clipart (Melonheadz, KPM Doodles, Molly Tillyer, Creative Clips).  Here are a couple of the recipes before the kids colored.

Next up was the opinion writing piece.  This was our first venture into opinion writing for the year, so it was pretty scripted.  In case you are interested, here was the paragraph frame we used:

I have the greatest mom in the whole world!  In my opinion, my mom is special because _______ .  I know I have the best mom because _________ .  I believe my mom is outstanding because __________ .  Everyone should have a mom as wonderful as mine!

After some quick editing, the kids were ready to work on their final copies:

Then, we tackled the project I wasn't planning on.  My sub worked on writing metaphors with the kids about their moms.  Here was the chart they came up with:

Not only did she start this writing project with the students, but she also cut out the supplies needed and made an example for the kids to finish with me when I returned.  Here are the hearts the kids created with metaphors inside: 

So, after working for a week on these projects, here are the cards we put together:






In the end I have decided that this project is great because it didn't take any time away from our normal day.  I didn't have to hear any parents complain that they had to help make their own Mother's Day gift.  Probably the best of all is that this project didn't cost me anything except the time it took to type up the recipes and purchase some clipart.  Oh, and let's get real - you know I'm going to find another project to use that clipart for.  So now I'd love to hear what your students made for Mother's Day this year. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

TpT Appreciates Teachers

In case you haven't heard, TpT is having another BIG sale.  This time it is to show appreciation for hard-working teachers.  Go through your purchases and make sure you leave feedback to bank those store credits.  Then double-check your wishlist and get ready to save some money on the items you want and need.  My store will be marked down 20%.  Don't forget to enter promo code TPTXO at the checkout to save an additional 10% off your purchases.  That will give you a total savings of 28%!  Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Celebrating Sara

One of my blogging buddies is having a celebratory giveaway.  She just got married and is ready to celebrate her birthday, too.  

She has had many days of giveaways and it's not too late to enter any of them.  There are some amazing prizes.  I'm a part of the Day 5 giveaway and the lucky winner will receive one of my newest math packs: Park It! (Place Value Centers, Games, and Practice Pages).

Head on over to Sara's blog to learn more about her giveaway and enter to win.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Power Outage

Tonight I'm taking my cue from Remy Charlip's book Fortunately:

Fortunately, I had some great plans for science this afternoon (okay, we were going to watch a weather video clip).

Unfortunately, someone near the school was cutting trees too close to the power lines.  The power went out just after 1:00.

Fortunately, the lights in my classroom only flickered and came right back on whereas other classrooms were dark or only had 1 light on.

Unfortunately, my classroom went completely dark about 1:45 and we still had 2 hours left in our school day.

Fortunately, my kids go to recess at 2:00 followed by activity at 2:20.

Unfortunately, the power did not come back on in time for my students to return to class at 3:00.

Fortunately, my kids love being read to.

Unfortunately, they had just come from Library where that was also the back-up plan.

Fortunately, the students weren't little turkeys while they packed up and listened to yet another read aloud.  So, we got to play four corners for the last 10 minutes of the day.

Unfortunately, I live close to the school which means the power was out at my house, too.

Fortunately, I was able to get in the house and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, the power remained out until about 6:00.

Fortunately, my daughter came home in a great mood and we were able to enjoy some quality time doing puzzles, singing songs, playing superheroes, and we even managed to have a dance party.  Now I'm ready to crash for the night!!