Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Teacher Week 2015: Tuesday

Spicy Chicken Crockpot is a favorite meal of my family.  I love because it's yummy, healthy, easy, and cheap.  What more can you ask for?!!

1.  Put boneless chicken breast in the crockpot.  (It can be frozen!!  That's the best part because I never remember to plan ahead and defrost chicken.)
2.  Rinse and drain a can or two of black beans and dump in the crockpot.
3.  Pour in some frozen corn.
4.  Add a packet of taco seasoning.
5.  Pour in a whole jar of salsa.
Cook on low all day.

(I don't measure anything.  The more chicken you use, the more other ingredients you will want to use.  I used 3 chicken breasts, 2 large cans of beans, a whole bag of corn, and a large jar of salsa for my family of 4 recipe.)

Just before supper, take a fork and stir it all up and this is what it looks like. You can eat it on nachos or as a taco/burrito.  Add some cheese and you are ready to go!  It freezes well and makes great leftovers for lunch.

Head over to Blog Hoppin for more yummy meal ideas.

Blog Hoppin


Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Week 2015: Monday

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin for this year's Teacher Week.  Today is 5 Fun Facts.

1.  I am a wife and mom.  I am married to a middle school teacher and we have two amazing daughters.  They keep us busy and entertained!  

2.  I LOVE to quilt.  I don't have much time for it, but it's a great stress reliever.  Here's one of my favorite quilts.  I made it for a sweet friend who retired a few years ago.

3.  We adopted 2 basset hounds from a wonderful organized called Belly Rubs.  Bassets are the perfect pet for teachers as long as you get at least 2.  They are pack animals and need another dog to be with to be happy.  They sleep about 20 hours of the day!  So, we take them out in the morning and play a bit before school.  They sleep all day.  Play and potty when we get home and then they are ready to sleep all night.  Sweetest dogs on the planet!

4.  I love to read.  My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.  I cannot bring myself to read the newest book Harper Lee released.  

5.  I have taught special ed for 17 years and love it.  I can't imagine doing anything else.  I love seeing kids learn and enjoy going to school.

Well, that's enough about me.  Head over to  see who else has linked up.

Blog Hoppin

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Procedures and Book Creator

I can't believe that summer is over and I am already in my 3rd week of school.  If you are still on summer vacation, enjoy it for those of us back into the school routine.  Speaking of routines, how do you teach routines/procedures/expectations to your kids? I;m sure your first response is, "Practice, practice, practice."  That works great for all of the kids who begin the school year with you.  But, what do you do when you get a new student?  Or, what do you do when a student needs to be reminded of the routines later on in the year?  

I use Book Creator.  (It's a fantastic app that is so easy to use that all of my students can use it independently after a lesson.)  The first week of school while I taught all my routines, procedures, and expectations, we created a book.  When I get new students, they can read this book at anytime throughout the year.  It's also great when a student just needs to be reminded what is expected of them.

We decided to keep it very simple since this was our first week of school and I wanted to make sure that everyone participated.  We created a simple cover and jumped right in to the book.  Here's a few pages of our book.  These pages were focused on showing respect.

I asked students how they show respect at school  I made a list of everything they said.  Then, we decided what was important to include in our book.  We also discussed what picture to take that would show respect.  

My students have a very hard time waiting their turn.  They decided lining up is one time we have to wait our turn.  We also talked about other times throughout the day that we have to wait our turn. (See that little speaker button?  That is a student reading the sentence on the page.)

 The students also thought looking at the speaker was important and wanted to include it as a page.

Ready to learn is one of my favorite phrases to use.  When students are off task while I'm teaching, I just ask them to show me "Ready to learn."  We practice what this looks like and sounds like.  Here are two students demonstrating it perfectly.

Helping other is also important in my class.  This page reminds us we can always do small acts of kindness for everyone we meet throughout the day.

I love using Book Creator for our procedures.  We made several other books that focus on entire routines such as arrival.  When students enter the classroom, we ask them to do several things each morning.  This can be very overwhelming for some of our kids.  By using Book Creator, students can review any routine at any time and as many times as needed.  Since the book has both text and speech, all of my students can read the book independently.   I hope this has given you some new ideas for teaching your routines/expectations.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tinker Crate

Have you heard of Tinker Crates?  It was the best find of our summer.  My daughter who is 7 loves it.   The site says the Tinker Crate is geared for 9-12 year olds, but my daughter is very curious and loves science.  There are also other crates for younger kids and a Doodle Crate for kids who like art.

This month, she got to make a trebuchet.  The kit comes with everything that you need to complete the project.  This is my daughter reading the instructions and putting the base together.

The instructions are extremely easy to read.  Each step is clearly labeled with lots of pictures.  Here's a close up of the second step.

My daughter is putting the finishing touches on the trebuchet.

Here is the finished trebuchet.  It is locked and loaded.

She couldn't wait to pull the firing pin and send the ping-pong ball sailing through the air.  

She was actually able to put the entire thing together by herself.  She only needed a little help with pushing the pieces completely together.  She just wasn't strong enough.

If you want to look into the Tinker Crate, you can get $10 off your first kit.  Use this link {HERE}  (I will also receive a credit if you order a kit with my link.)


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Geography Lessons

How to make geography lessons stick - Educents blog

How do you teach geography? Do you spend hours creating a map, labeling, cutting and pasting? It's so fun imagining all the ways this Mona MELisa reusable US Map can be used in the classroom or at home. All the states, capitols, and geographic information is ready for you to stick on to the map!

Here are a few geography activities to try:
  1. Playing "Name That State" with family and friends during the holidays. What better way to get the whole family together than a game for kids of all ages. Work in teams or alone to identify states and challenge seasoned family members in lightening fast rounds.
  2. Need a little direction? Use the compass to have children in the class describe where states are in relation to each other. Let your kiddos take turns directing each other around the country by using the directions on the compass. They'll have an awesome time walking their fingers from east from west in search of the correct state-- but be sure to watch out for the oceans!
  3. Guess and reveal state capitals by peeling away the brightly colored shapes. Remembering capitals can be tricky, but the easy to peel states with state capitals hidden underneath offer up a great way to ditch the flashcards and take the learning to the walls!
  4. Keep track of where you've been (or where you're going). I love this one! Use the state names to label the states where all of the students in your class have been.

What a cool tool for your geography lessons! Don't miss out on all this time-saving geography tool, so be sure to check out the discounted Peel, Play & Learn sets on the Educents site.

Mona Melissa Peel & Play Geography Set

Looking for more ways to save on geography resources? Check out more geography deals.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Special Ed E-Book and Giveaway

Here in the south, summer is almost over.  I head back to school in less than 2 weeks.  I can't believe how quickly summer flew by!  Some of my special ed friends got together to help you all get ready for the new school year.  We put together an awesome e-book.  It's full of tips and freebies.  You can download it here.

I am giving away a room theme from my store to a lucky winner.  (The more entries, the more winners I will choose!)  You can see my room themes here.  

Here are some of my favorite room themes.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Magic School Bus Science Club

Looking to inspire young minds when it comes to science?
Adopt the Ms. Frizzle frame of mind.
Educents Blog (6)
Learning about bacteria is fun, but has your family ever GROWN bacteria? Let the “professionals” show you how AMAZING it can be!

In the World of Germs kit, Magic School Bus scientists grow bacteria and fungi, test antibiotics, make a fungus bubble, grow mold, wake up fungi, cultivate bacteria in yogurt, and use yeast to inflate a balloon! Get an exciting new Magic School Bus Science Kit delivered to your doorstep every month for a YEAR! These science experiments for kids include making clouds in a bottle, making rain, the greenhouse effect, making a thermometer, making a tornado, creating your own weather chart, and more! Educents has the award-winning Science Kit subscription for 50% off (+ free shipping within the US)!



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grand Opening and $50 Giveaway

Wow!  This school year is flying by.  Things have been super busy for me, but I have some great news for you!  How about $50 to help you stock up on materials to get you through the end of the year? Educents has opened an online marketplace for teacher resources.  I know you already know about the amazing deals they have.  Now, you can find some teacher resources made by REAL teachers who are in REAL classrooms.  You can check out my store {HERE}  While you're there, follow me by clicking on the little heart.

You can download this sample of my Famous People Biographies Unit for FREE!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway by clicking on the link below.  You just may win $50 in Edubucks!

Educents Marketplace $50 in Edubucks Giveaway #3 - Second Grade Stores


Monday, February 23, 2015

Superhero Product Linky

I'm linking up with Diane from Fifth in the Middle. Head over to see all of the other amazing products that have saved the day.

I am sharing my Famous People Biographies Close Reading Passages.

This is a set of 15 close reading passages. Each passage is about a famous person in history. People include:

Martin Luther King Jr.
Clara Barton
Sally Ride
Leonardo da Vinci
Jane Goodall
Stephen Hawking
George Washington
Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Graham Bell
George Washington Carver
Marie Curie
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
Benjamin Franklin


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MobyMax Tablet Giveaway

Who wants a free tablet?  Of course you do!  MobyMax contacted me and asked if I wanted to try a MobyMax tablet since I've been using the web version so of course I said yes.  I was so excited to try it.   MobyMax has a complete k-8 curriculum in ELA and math.  MobyMax looks exactly the same on the tablet as it does on the web so there is no confusion for the kids.  They are able to easily login on the tablet or the computer. 

This is the MobyMax tablet.  As you can see from all of the fingerprints, my kids love playing with it.

Here it is next to an iPad mini.  Its a bit smaller, but the screen is large enough to easily see and operate.

 The MobyMax tablet is an Android device so you can also add all of your favorite apps for the kids to use.  They can also access the internet and anything else a typical tablet can do.

Here's a screenshot of the different parts of the MobyMax curriculum.

My favorite part of MobyMax is there is a section you can assign particular standards to each student that reflect their IEP goals/objectives.  This program will take the data for you for your goals/objectives!!  If you're like me, taking official data is the most burdensome part of the job.  Don't get me wrong, I take data all day long.  I can tell you where each of my students are working, but I hate the official data collection.  Anyway, this program will do it for you!  Also, the program is super fun so the kids LOVE using the program.  Each subject begins with a placement test and automatically assigns lessons to the kids based on their placement test.  EVERYTHING can be read aloud to your kiddos!  EVERYTHING!!  That thrills me.  This program is very easy for our special friends to use and they learn from it.  Also, when the kids are working and on task, they are earning time to play in the game room.  They earn 1 minute of play time for every 5 minutes they are on task.  If the students are "on task" and clicking lots of buttons (wrong answers) they do not earn game time for that.  When my students realized that, I had several mad kiddos.  I explained to them, they had to have at least 80% correct to earn game time and then I showed them the percentage they were at and they understood that hard work = game time.  That put a stop to random clicking right away.  Here's the exciting part, MobyMax is offering a tablet for one of my readers!!  Use the Rafflecopter to sign up for a chance to win. You will not be disappointed!!

You can also find more info on the MobyMax Tablet {HERE}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 6, 2015

MobyMax Tablet

Have you tried the MobyMax tablet?  It's pretty amazing, especially since you can get one for $69!!  Not only does it come preloaded with the MobyMax curriculum, but it is also a fully functioning tablet.  It is an Android device.  You can access the internet and download apps.

Here it is next to an iPad mini.  Its a bit smaller, but the screen is large enough to easily see and operate.

You don't need a device for each child.  You set up individual accounts for each student online.  Students use their login information to access their account.  Several students can share a device.  It would be perfect for centers or small group intervention.  Students can also access their accounts online without the MobyMax device.

Did you know that MobyMax give away a device everyday?  You can head over here for more information and to enter to win your own MobyMax device.

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