Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sandy Hook-We Remember * We Heal * We Act

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

Monday, November 11, 2013

We are thankful for TIME-SAVERS

I am SO excited about participating in this fun and THANKFUL linky party! 

Today is all about T- TIME-SAVERS. 

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why they call it the present.“ – Kung Fu Panda 

For me it is all about technology!  

DropBox is a way to store your documents “in the cloud” so that you have access to them wherever you are. You can even access your documents from any computer that has an internet connection, regardless of whether the app is loaded on the computer you’re using or not. Here is the best don't have to worry about loosing or damaging your jump drive! You don't need it anymore! You also don't have to worry about having something on one computer and not on the other. All you have to do is save things to Dropbox! Yahoo! 

I love being able to plan out my lesson plans online. I love that my lesson plans are stored from year to year. I also LOVE that I can print the plans out either by day or by week. As well PLANBOOK just came out with an app for the IPAD. So now I don't even have to print out my plans as I can just access them on my IPAD. I love, love this app so much. 

This is the most amazing IPAD app ever. It is a GRADE BOOK and oh so much more. One of my favorite bloggers out there is Kristen from Ladybug Teacher Files. She has created a fantastic, wonderful, awesome post about her love this app as well! Enjoy it here!   

Grading spelling tests...ain't no one have time for that! Spelling City takes away that job from me as well as photocopy the tests! Spelling City has so many wonderful options for saving lists including creating child specific lists! 

What are your go to apps or web sites to help you save time? 

Hope you will check out all the time saving ideas back at Blog Hoppin

Blessings friends! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead

I love, love celebrating holidays from other countries in my classroom. I think there is nothing better than helping students to open their eyes WIDE to the world around them. 

The Day of the Dead, is particularly special holidays to me as I lived in MEXICO for 10 years!

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. 

We started off by reading this wonderful book!
I love this book because it is in English and Spanish! I love any chance I can to speak in Spanish! There is a wonderful Audible version available as well! 

We talked about the similarities and differences between how Americans and Mexicans pay their respects to people who have passed away. 

We also used some wonderful activities from Teachers Pay Teachers!

We had a blast creating our own CALAVARAS (SKULLS). Calavaras are usually made with sugar and they are used to decorate the graves and altars with during the celebration. We used black paper, chalk, water colors, and crayolas.


The High School Spanish students came over and celebrated with us as well! I love, love having the "big" kids come over and help encourage our learning!

We decorated skull cookies, I just love how they turned out! 

Oh and the local paper came out and wrote a great article about our celebration! Gotta love living in a small town!

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a 
life well used brings happy death.  
~Leonardo da Vinci

Happy Day Friends! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Easy Daysies Giveaway!

I was so excited when Creative Teaching Press contacted me about reviewing their newest product Easy Daysies!
I have to tell you that it couldn't have been better timing for me to receive the packet from them! The day before I was in a meeting about one of my kiddos. One of the plans of action was to create a visualize schedule for this student. I had started working on creating the schedule  and then I opened up the Easy Daysies Classroom Schedule Packet.

PICTURE! VISUALIZE! HMMMM I wonder if this would work for my student? (and for other students!)

I checked in with our Resource Teacher and he said to give it a try.

It has been AMAZING! My student comes in about 10 minutes early each day and helps me set up the schedule for the day. As we do that we are able to talk about the day, any changes to our normal schedule, and as well discuss when his break times could be. Not only does this help him visualize his day, it also helps him to focus on HELPING out his classmates. He loves that feeling!

The rest of the class loves the schedule as well because it is clear, organized, and so easy to see! The Classroom Schedule Packet comes with plenty of options including some blank cards to personalize your school day!

 I don't have any kiddos of my own, but I am a licensed foster care parent so I was excited to set up the Easy Daysies Schedule at my home so that when kids come to stay at my home they know what the expectations are. Things are different at each foster home the kids go to, so this visual reminder helps everyone out so much!  The kiddos that tried it out last weekend loved checking off what they had completed, it was almost like it was a game for them!  Which is a WIN-WIN for me!

There are SO many different options with this scheduling packet including the Starter Kit, Chores, and Special Times.

Our awesome friends at Creative Teaching Press have given me the chance to raffle off an Every Day Starter Kit! Love them! All you need to do is LIKE the Creative Teaching Press Facebook page! How easy is that?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

So Excited!

Oh Where Oh Where Did the Summer Go? I spent my first few days in 4th Grade this week and at a new school! It was a great week, but this Saturday morning I am oh so tired!

I wanted to make sure you knew about the AWESOME TPT sale is happening on SUNDAY AND MONDAY! Most shops are marked down 20% and then if you use the PROMO CODE: BTS13 you get an extra 8% off! For a total of 28%!

I hope you will check out my tiny, little shop: Exploring Elementary

Do you want to do something a bit different with writing this year? Do you want to include some cooking activities, but have no access to a stove? Well, this is the product for you! I tested out each and every activity with my third graders last year! We had a blast and learned so much in the process!

The other product I have in my store is

I love this product so much! First of all because it was my very first product I created for Teachers Pay Teachers. I was so nervous about posting it! Secondly I love using this journal prompts with my own students! I also love to see the growth throughout the year. The quotes can be a little hard at first, but as the students get more comfortable in the classroom they are not afraid to share their points of view. I LOVE THAT!

I hope you will check out these products and many more on TPT this weekend!

Oh my my cart is OVERFLOWING with products that I must have!

I can't wait to get theses amazing product from Nicole Shelby! I LOVE her products so very much! I think I own just about everything in her store!


I also can't wait to get my hands on this product! I think it will help me integrate a bit of technology along with listening centers! 


Happy Saturday friends and Happy SHOPPING tomorrow!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teachers Notebook SALE!!

Did you know? 
I've opened a Teacher Notebook Store.  

It has two items in it right now! Which I am SO very proud of! 

I am excited about all of the great tools, products, and ideas that Teacher Notebook has to offer! 

Please click on the button below and head on over to my store! 

They are celebrating BACK to SCHOOL ALL WEEK LONG with tons of sales and few awesome bundles up their sleeves! 


Happy Shopping Friends! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Google Forms-How they can CHANGE your life!

I have had a lot of time to read and plan this summer while traveling through China. I am moving to a new school and a new grade level so to have that time has been so helpful! I also got an IPAD this summer so I have been trying to see how I can use it in my classroom to help reduce paper clutter.  

I love conferencing with my students, but I always disliked that they had to come to me, that I couldn't go to them (well, I could go to them, but then I would have to carry my massive conferencing binder with me!). 

I started looking around for some different forms I could use on my IPAD, but I couldn't find just what I wanted. I was talking with my roommate one evening about this and she introduced me to Google Forms (do you hear the Angel Choir singing?).  This is one of those how did I not know about this items? 

If you use Google Drive then you have access to Google Forms. 

In about 30 minutes I created this Reading Workshop Conferencing Google Form! 

Click on the photo and it will take you to the actual form! 

Hopefully this tutorial will help you get started.... 

I hope this helps you! I think there are SO many uses for Google Forms. I can't wait to keep creating! 

I came across a few blog posts about Google Forms that I hope will encourage you: 

Google Forms that Teachers Should NOT MISS  
Using Google Docs Forms to Run a Peer-Review Writing Workshop
Using Google Forms in Reading 

Special thanks to: 
Jen Jones from the Doodle Chalkboard Frames and to Mrs. Skyes for the wonderful chevron paper! 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Teachers Notebook Daily Deals! AUGUST 2 ONLY! :)

I am SO excited to let you know that my newest creation 

is on Teachers Notebook 40% Daily Deals TODAY-AUGUST 2! You can pick up this packet for only $2.10!  

I created this proudct all last year with my third grade kiddos! I love to cook with my kids, but we didn't have a kitchen that we could use at school. So I brought my trusty crock pot in and every month we made something and then we wrote about what we did! 

This packet is for the fall months! 

Each month their a step-by-step recipe to follow 

Each month there is a different writing activity to go along with the recipe that was made!
This story wheel is for the other kids, but there is another included for the younger kids (with pictures). 

You will also find writing paper templates for each month! 

You can't beat this deal! Head on over to Teachers Notebook and pick up this creative writing product today! 

Thanks so much! Photobucket

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ABC's of China Post # 1

It is hard to believe that I left the States 30 days ago! I sit here in my hotel room and I am just amazed at all that has taken place in the past month! I have tried to blog several times, but the internet and blogger don't seem to work well here! This was the first time everything seems to be working! 

I was trying to decide what is the best way to do this post as there are SO many things to tell write about! So I decided to do the ABC's of CHINA! 

For those of you that don't know I am working in China this summer for the company Brain Gym. They are the creators of programs such as Fast Forward and Reading Assistant  Their goal in our three camps this summer is to bring project based learning to China. We not only have worked with many students, but also teachers. 

Adventure is a good word to describe all that I am doing this summer. A few pictures from some of our adventures....


to my class list (can you read the names?) 

to climbing the Great Wall of China 

B-Beautiful 美麗
Many of students don't know very much English, but they do know the word "Beautiful." They use it all the time! "It is a beautiful day!" "You are beautiful" "The flowers are beautiful " They are many things are SO BEAUTIFUL here! 

The Lotus Flower 

Red ribbons are tied around trees to remember special moments and/0r special people.  

This is at Westlake...words can't describe how BEAUTIFUL this place is....

I am looking forward to posting more this week! I am also finishing up  a super freebie all about China that I can't wait to share with you all! 

再見 (Good-Bye for now)