Monday, July 21, 2014

EASE Summer Institute

I just found out about an amazing arts program for special ed students and I am completely bummed that I can't attend.  I thought I would share the info with all of you in case you could attend.  It's a 3 day training with lunch and materials provided for only $75!!

Here's the info!

EASE is not just an add-on program, but instead is intended to be integrated with academic curriculum, as an entry-point to student engagement. Though in special education classrooms student engagement and learning objectives also include social-emotional growth, such as eye-contact, turn taking, and self regulation. Teaching artist, Nancy Volante, described such success in her EASE classroom: “The classroom transformed. We were all engaged in the self-expression of three non-verbal students with autism who were clearly communicating and socializing through their gestures, movements, and facial expressions.”

The Everyday Arts For Special Education (EASE) Summer Institute is a three-day training that explores the multiple benefits of curriculum-integrated arts instruction for elementary students with disabilities and inclusive settings. Discover the many ways in which basic music, movement, theater and the visual arts activities can be used to enhance student learning, communication and socialization.  Over three days participants will learn about the EASE methodology, dividing the time between hands-on arts activities and discussion.

  • Time: Thursday August 7th- Saturday August 9th 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Location: Urban Arts Partnership, 21 Howard St, 5th Floor, New York, New York 10013
  • Fee: $75 total includes light breakfast, lunch, and arts supplies for three days

You can find more information and register here.  
Ease Summer Institute


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Advice For the New School Year

I am joining Jamie from Tales of a Carolina Girl.  She is hosting a blog hop for special ed teachers.  She's asking for teachers to give advice.  Even if you're not a special ed teacher, hop over and read the advice.  You just may find a new strategy for the school year.
Head over to read more advice.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Meet Me

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune.  Head over to get to know about your favorite bloggers.  While you are there, download the template and link up with us!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Two for Tuesday

Don't have a heat attack, y'all.  I am blogging two days in a row!!  The Teaching Tribune has all of these amazing linky parties and other activities going on which is helping me feel motivated to blog.  This has been a tough school year, but summer is here.  Even though it's summer, I'm sure you are already planning bits and pieces for next year.  Here are a couple of products to help you get started.

This file addresses all of the CCSS for 1st grade measurement and data.  So this is perfect for all 1st grade teachers, kinder teachers who need enrichment activities, and 2nd grade teachers who need remediation.  It's on sale for $2!

This is my amazing superhero kid classroom theme.  It has everything you need to spice up your classroom.  It has over 250 pages with many editable files.  It is on sale for $7.50. 

Make sure you head over to The Teaching Tribune to see all of the other amazing resources on sale for 50% off.

Monday Meet Up

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune.  If you haven't visted TTT in awhile, you haven't missed much, but that is getting ready to change.  We have a summer full of fun and freebies for you.  Make sure you visit TTT and see what we are up to.  

Meet my friend Lacey.  She's an amazing lady!

You can visit Lacey's blog by clicking on her button.

Hope your summer is off to a great start.  If you're still teaching, I hope summer begins soon.  


Friday, May 23, 2014

How about a deal?

Educents is offering a great deal.  You can get 10% off plus FREE shipping.  Make sure you use the code: special10free  Offer is only good through May 26.  


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Day 3

Are you tired of your current room theme?  Here's your chance to win your choice of a room theme from my store.  Here's a sample of what's in my store.  You can click on the picture to see what is included in each theme.

Head over to my Facebook page to enter.  Look for the Day 3 picture.  You have the opportunity to earn two extra entries today.  Good luck!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciate Day 2

How about a little TpT cash?  Enter the rafflecopter on my Facebook page to win.
Good luck!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Day 1

Happy Teacher Appreciation week!  As a thank you to all of the amazing teachers, I am going to do a few little giveaways this week.  Before I get to the giveaway, I want to share an amazing teacher with you.  When I was in 2nd grade I had the most amazing year.  My teacher's name was Mr. Holt.  He was the only male teacher in our elementary school.  All of the kids loved him.  I was very excited that I was lucky enough to be in his class.  He told the most wonderful stories.  Whenever we had an extra few minutes, he would go into a grand tale about Jack.  Jack was a very mischievous boy and was always in trouble.  Mr. Holt gave the characters exciting voices and incorporated his full body in his storytelling. When I began teaching, I contacted him and asked where he got all of his stories, because I wanted to be just like him.  He was so kind to me and helped me find all of the best Jack Tales so that I could share them with my students.  Mr. Holt is no longer teaching, but he will always have a great influence in my life.  

Now for the giveaway!  Head over to my facebook page.  You will find all of the details there in the post with this picture.  You can win a product of your choice from my store for you and a friend.

Make sure you check back tomorrow.  I have a few more surprises cooked up for you all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bloggy Friends

When I began my journey in the blogging world, I had no idea where it would lead.  It began as a way to learn how to become a better teacher and share some tips and strategies that worked for me.  Along the way, I met an amazing group of friends.  My husband likes to call them my "imaginary friends" because we have never met in "real life."  It's funny how you can grow to cherish a group of friends that you've never shared the same state or even country with.  My bloggy friends, as I call them, have a very special place in my heart.  They are a group of people I go to for advice, share my struggles and joys with, and celebrate all aspects of life with.  I was deeply saddened when I found out my sweet friend Teresa from 2nd Grade Pig Pen passed away yesterday.  I think the fact that it hit me so hard, shows just how special she is.  She never complained even when she wasn't feeling well.  She always had a kind word for all of us. She had a special dance for every occasion.  My favorite dance was her money dance, followed by her snow dance!  She truly was a very special lady.  You will be forever missed, Teresa.
2nd Grade Pig Pen

Technology has completely changed how we interact with the world.   I know I am not the only teacher who has bloggy friends who they haven't met in real life, but are very real friends.  Life is short.  We are not guaranteed the next breath, much less the next day. I challenge you to take a few seconds and let those who have touched your heart, both real and imaginary, know just how very special they are.  Spread some of Teresa's kindness by telling your friends you love them. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fashion and a Freebie

This is an unusual post for me.  I was contacted by Eshakti and asked if I wanted to try out one of their dresses.  After looking over their website, I said, "Yes!"  First, I couldn't believe the number of styles available.  It took me forever to decide which dress I wanted.  This is what I chose.

I absolutely love it!!  The color is fabulous!  It is bright but not over the top.  What I love most about the site is the ability to customize the dress for an extremely small fee.  Since I am a shorty, I was able to order the dress in a custom size.  This means you take all of your measurements and enter them into the site.  If you are not sure how to take a measurement, there is a picture to show you exactly what to do.  The dress arrived about 2 weeks after

ordering.  Besides the ability to customize the dress, I have 2 favorite features.  First, it has hidden pockets.  I don't know about you, but I am always taking things from kids and sticking them in my pockets while I am teaching.  It is very hard to find dresses with pockets.

The other feature I love are these little snaps in the shoulders.  With this, you don't have to worry about an straps slipping down.  I hate worrying about if my straps are showing in sleeveless dresses.

Head over and check out their dresses.  Right now, they are on sale.  Buy 2, get 1 FREE!

Now for the freebie!  

This is a simple snatch game that students can play in pairs to practice addition. You will need one copy of the Snatch game board, 2 dice, and 10 tokens per set of students. This is a perfect addition to your  math workstations.  You can download it by clicking on the picture, or you can click {here}
Happy Easter!!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oral Writing

Have you ever heard of Whole Brain Teaching?  It is not new, but it is new to me.  My friend Christina from Sugar and Spice introduced me to it and the amazing benefits for kids.  When I retuned to school after Christmas break, I began to implement some of the strategies from Whole Brain Teaching.  I saw incredible results in writing.  My kids struggle to write a complete sentence.  We have been working on writing a basic complete sentence all year, and no matter what I have done, most of my students still have not mastered this concept.  Until now!!!  With the use of Oral Writing, my kids are writing paragraphs.  We went from unable to write a complete sentence to writing a 4 sentence paragraph in just a few weeks.

On Friday, we discussed our favorite vehicles.  Since I have almost all boys, this topic grabbed their attention immediately.  We made a list of vehicles on the board.  When a student volunteered an answer, they had to back it up by using a "because" sentence.   For example, one student said, "I like limos because they are long."  We proceeded in this manner until we had a list of several different kinds of vehicles on the board.

Then, we used this frame to write an oral paragraph.

 Each time we orally wrote our paragraph, we would use different vehicles with different reasons.
After the class had practiced many different versions of the paragraph, they were turned loose to write their own paragraph independently.

I'll be honest, this is the time my class falls apart.  It seems no matter how much I explain and we practice, the class completely loses it during independent practice.  I always have a line of students around my desk with questions and a couple who have given up and have found something to play with.  Sound familiar?  Well, this no longer occurs in my classroom.

This is what happened:

This first student is almost a non-reader.  She wrote this entire paragraph without any help.  She didn't even ask a question.  I didn't see her until she brought me her paper to look over.  It is AMAZING!!
(Three of my favorite vehicles are Mustangs, yellow taxi, and Hot Rods.  I like Mustangs because they are fast.  I like yellow taxi because they can take us anywhere.  I like Hot Rods because they are fun.)

 These are two more student examples.

Not only did the kids write complete paragraphs, they all had complete sentences.  Each sentence began with a capital letter and ends with correct punctuation.  They also capitalized proper nouns.  Oral writing has been a miracle for my kids!

I hope you will check out my friend's blog for more ideas and more info.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lucky Leprechaun Snatch Game (Freebie)

This year has been crazy busy!  This is a quick post to share a game my kids LOVE to play.

 It's super simple.  This is a partner game.  Each student needs 7-9 tokens.  (They both need the same amount, but a different color than their partner.) Each set of partners will need 2 dice and 1 game board.  Students take turns rolling the dice.  Student 1 rolls both dice and adds (or multiplies) the numbers.  Student 1 takes a token and covers that number on the game board.  Student 2 rolls the dice, adds the numbers, and covers the space.  If Student 1 has already covered the space with 1 token, Student 2 can "snatch" the spot by removing Student 1's token and covering the space with his own token.  If a student rolls a number that he already has his token on, he can "lock" it by placing a second token on the space.  Now this space cannot be snatched by the opponent.  You can get this game {here}


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sailing Through Spring

My class has turned into a bunch of non-stopped talkers.  I can barely get a word in edgewise so I came up with the "Yakker Tracker"  It is super easy to use and has greatly reduced the amount of talking in my classroom.  

The day starts with everyone with 3 plain sticks in their pocket.  When a student talks out, he loses a stick.  If the student loses all 3 sticks, he earns a dreaded red stick.  Each red stick costs the student 5 minutes of their recess.  (Of course, you can adapt this to any number of sticks/consequences that are appropriate for your class.)

The first day, about half of the class lost all 3 of their sticks.  By the second day only about a fourth of the class had lost all of their sticks.  By the end of the week, only a few kids had lost a stick.  No one had earned a red stick.  The best part, I'm not fussing or complaining.  The kids are catching themselves talking out and stopping themselves.  It is changing the end of my school year!

The Yakker Tracker is super easy to make and you probably have all of the materials already in your classroom.  Print the pockets onto card stock or other heavy paper.  Fold and glue together.  I found it worked best to glue the flaps on the back like this.

After I had folded and glued all of the pockets, I glued them onto a poster board.  I laminated the whole thing.  Next, I used a craft knife to cut open the slits for each pocket.  And that's it.  Super easy.  You can pick up your copy of the Yakker Tracker HERE.  It will only be free during the sale.

Everything in my store is 20% off during the sale.  Make sure you use the promo code to get the extra 10% off.  Happy shopping!

Head over to my friends' blogs for more great ideas.

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