Sunday, March 31, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day

April 2 is World  Autism Awareness Day, and several of my bloggy friends and I are joining together to bring you products and a rafflecopter giveaway of products that will be helpful to you in the classroom when you have student on the autism spectrum in your classroom.

Click here to learn more about World Autism Day and "like" the Facebook page.

When our friend, Danielle, first mentioned doing this giveaway and blog hop, many of us were hesitant because we weren't sure that we had products or could create products that were "appropriate" for use with children on the autism spectrum.

Perhaps many of you have felt that way when you had an inclusion child in your classroom.  What materials should I use?  How do I make accommodations for this child in my regular ed classroom?   If you were lucky, you had an aide or a TSS person assigned to the child who helped you understand what you needed to do.  Unfortunately, I know through personal experience, that insurance is changing the role of the TSS in the classroom and is cutting the number of hours they will pay for a TSS to be in the classroom.  So it is up to you, the classroom teacher, to make it work.  Well, through this blog hop, we hope to arm you with some resources you can use in your classroom with special needs children, as well as award the winner of the rafflecopter with an amazing packet of resources!

 Click here to visit Crayonbox Learning and enter the rafflecopter for the resources giveaway.[/caption]

Danielle (Crayonbox Learning) and Karla (Life in Special Education) were invaluable in helping us and guiding us as we sorted through what makes a good resource for a special needs child.  What did I learn, you ask?  Well, I learned that, with slight modification, much of what I have would work.  I learned that pictures and text should be simple, clear, and uncluttered.  I learned that autistic children often have difficulty identifying emotions and need help developing social skills, so materials along those lines would be suitable for them.

I also did some research on my own and found that token charts are often used to as part of behavioral management plan for special needs children.  I flashed back to my little man last year, who was diagnosed PDD, and remembered the sort of velcro puzzle thingie that his TSS used with him, and thought, "A-ha!  A token chart!"  So that is what I am offering as my freebie today.  You can download it by clicking on this picture.  There are four puzzle token charts you can use with a special needs child or even a regular ed child who needs extra help with controlling his/her behavior.  They range from 6 pieces to 16 pieces.

Autism Token Charts-002

Directions for token board use included

Autism Token Charts-003
 Print and laminate as token board base. Add velcro to hold puzzle pieces in place.[/caption]

Autism Token Charts-004
Copy, laminate, and cut the puzzle parts out. Use velcro to attach to puzzle base.[/caption]

Autism Token Charts-001
Click here to download your token chart freebie.

Please be sure to click on the frog below and visit all the other blogs involved in this link-up.  You will come away with some fantastic resources from top-notch educators!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring break means spring cleaning, right? Yesterday, I took down all my curtains and sheers and washed them all. Ugh, what a dusty, dirty job that was! And I was totally shocked at the number of dusty cobwebs hiding behind those curtains! What did I expect with a dog and two cats, though?

Well, in addition to spring cleaning our homes, I am (with several other bloggers) having a spring cleaning sale at our stores starting tomorrow, March 3o and ending Sunday at midnight.  I'll be offering 15% off every item in my store, so now is a great time to get those items you've wishlisted and check out the newest products I've added to my store, such as...
3rd activity Moon review game_1
Updated moon unit activites

fairy tales story box-011
Story Box Retelling and Sequencing with Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Long Vowel Combination Anchor Charts-003

Long E anchor chart with included sorting center

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120-chart, one more, one less, ten more, ten less braintwister pictures

Sorting Sentences by Statements and Questions

Be sure to check all these out, as well as my other resources.  And then click through to Dilly Dabbles blog to find all the other stores holding a two-day spring cleaning sale as well.

Have a blessed Easter and enjoy your spring break!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make It and Take It Linky Party with Second Grade Pad

I'm very excited to finally have a make it and take post to link  up with Second Grade Pad.  Every  Thursday, Cynthia hosts a linky party with really cute make and take crafts for classroom, home, and/or every day use.  Today, I am linking up my Story Cube post.
Story Boxes-001

 Be sure to head over to Cynthia's blog and check out all the other great ideas!
Click here to visit Second Grade Pad Take It and Make It Linky party. If you've got a make and take, be sure to link yours up as well!

Tonight we are dying eggs at our house.  I love doing this every year.  It's one of the traditions that I look forward to.  This year, we will have a few extra people joining us. My son has a girlfriend this year, so I assume she'll be joining us.  And my nephew and his wife are expecting their first child!  Yes, I'm going to be a great aunt!  Can you believe it?  So my new niece or nephew will be joining us, in utero, of course!  We wind up dying about 4 dozen eggs!  Egg salad sandwiches for lunch for the next two weeks!

What are your Easter traditions?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ELA Common Core Make It and Take It Story Cube

I have got a really cute make and take idea for you today!  It is a story retelling cube, somewhat similar to the inflatable ones, but better!!!  Why better, you ask?  Well, besides the fact that you will get much satisfaction out of making it yourself in all your free time (ha!), it is customizable!  With a few - okay, one - clever design twists, I have taken that generic story retelling cube and made it completely customizable to your needs!
Story Boxes-001

 To begin, gather up the following materials:  a square tissue box, glue, scissors, packaging tape, velcro, blank paper of any color, printed out sides.

story box 1
Gather all your materials.

Trace the sides of your tissue box on your blank paper and glue to all sides.
tory box 2
Trace and glue blank paper to cover the sides of the tissue box.

Wrap the box with the clear packing tape for extra strength and durability.  Remember, our little munchkins are not always the gentlest of children!
story box 4
Wrap all around with packaging tape for strength and durability.

Cut out and laminate the six labels, one for each side of the cube.  I used the packaging tape to laminate my labels since my laminator was at school when I made this box.  Add velcro to the labels and to the sides of each box and stick the labels to your story box.

\ add velcro to each side of the box and to the label.And voila! Your own story box, ready to be customized, is done![/caption]

And voila!  Your very own customizable story box is ready to use!

story box 5
The generic version is perfect for retelling any story!

I use this box in various ways.  Sometimes we roll it like a die, and a child tells about whatever part of the story is showing on top.  Sometimes I use it in a small group and  give it to one child to start, and we go in order with characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, and my favorite part.  As one child finishes his part, he passes it to the next person. This way, everyone in the group gets a chance to (is forced to) participate.  Sometimes I switch out the labels for beginning, middle, and end with problem, solution, and this reminds me of . . . if the story lends itself to this.  And finally, I switch it out with pictures that go along with a specific story, such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", and the children use it to summarize and retell the story.

It took me about 20 minutes to make the actual box.  Once it is made, swapping out your side panels is very easy with the use of velcro.  I made a second one to put in my library center after the children became familiar with using the story cube.

Click the picture below to download the labels for the sides of the boxes.
story box 1
click here to download!
fairy tales story box-011
Click here to visit my TPT store and look at the Goldilocks and the Three Bears packet.
I also have completed Goldilocks and the Three Bears story panels for the story box.  You can find them by clicking on the picture below.

Keep an eye on my store for upcoming stories to switch out on your story cube.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Easter and a 2-day freebie

During this time of preparing for Easter, when our little ones are so focused on the Easter Bunny and the treats that he will be bringing, it can sometimes be hard to help them focus on the true meaning of Easter.

A long, long time ago, I was introduced to this little gem of a book that ties the first Easter Bunny into the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus called "The First Easter Bunny".   The little rabbit tells the Easter story through his eyes as he follows Jesus through the events of Holy Week.  At the end, it beautifully ties the duty of the Easter Bunny to Jesus.


I was shocked at how expensive it is through Amazon.  Of course, it is the hardback version, and I have the paperback version.  I found it in a Catholic bookstore in my community, so maybe you can find it in a Christian or Catholic bookstore near you.  If you can find it, this book is well worth the money, whether you share it with you class, your Sunday school or CCD class, or your own children.

On a different subject, I just finished my newest resource to help my children remember the most common ways to make the long E sound.

Long Vowel Combination Anchor Charts
Click here to visit TPT and download this within the next 48 hours for free. 48-hour freebie will end April 1 at 12:00 AM.[/caption]

Long Vowel Combination Anchor Charts-003
Assemble the anchor chart two ways, in one long line of four or 2X2, for the best fit in your classroom. I chose the 2X2 for my classroom.

This will be free for the next 48 hours, starting now and ending at 12:00 Midnight on April 1.  It will last the duration of the Spring Cleaning sale!

Have a great day and a very happy Easter!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Luck of the Irish!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you!    I have not one little drop of Irish blood in me.  Not even a smidgen.  And yet I have two kids, one named Sean and one named Colleen Erin.  Can you get any more Irish than that?

Sean and Colleen, 17 and 7

I hope you had a chance to hop around the blogs, pick up the St. Patrick's Day freebies, and make good use of them the past two weeks.  Today is the big day, the day that the $100.00 TPT certificate is awarded.  And the winner is --- drumroll please ---

Aanika P!

Congratulations to Aanika for being the grand prize winner!  You can go to Mrs. Fultz's blog to claim your prize.

click to Visit Ms. Fultz's Corner and claim your prize!

Thank you all for playing along with us!  We had so much fun and got to meet so many new teaching friends!  We certainly feel like the Luck of the Irish shone on us!

For those of you who are a little bummed because you didn't win, I have a consolation prize.  My store is on sale today and tomorrow for 10% off!

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Mundane Life - It's a Blessing

Happy Saturday, everyone!  I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and put up a post for you all!  It's been a wonderful Saturday morning.  I   took my daughter to her colorguard practice.  She's learning to use the silks, now, as well as twirl.  While she was busy at colorguard practice, I met up with a good friend I don't get to see nearly enough ( which is sad because she lives 3 houses up from me) for coffee and girl talk.  Now, I'm watching the Penguins/Ranger hockey game and typing.  (Go Penguins!)  Do I ever get to stop multitasking?  Later this evening, we're taking my parents to my daughter's cheerleading banquet.  Just the mundane details of my life.  I'm sure many of you are doing the same types of things today.  Just another day in paradise, right?

Speaking of paradise, don't forget that Saturday means Primary Paradise's Top Five Freebies of the Week.  Click on the button below to check out her site and see what she's picked for you this week.

Click to see Top Five Freebies

Speaking of freebies, don't forget today is the last day to hop around the blogs for the St. Patrick's Day freebies and the chance to win $100.00 TPT gift certificate.

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Start your leprechaun's gold blog hop here.

I recently had this one-page sample from my newest resource, Numbers and Operations in Base 10 Common Core Braintwisters Springy Thingies, up as my fan only freebie on my Facebook page.  I have since put up a new freebie there (be sure to check it out if you haven't), but if you didn't get Springy Thingies, you can download it by clicking below.

10 more 10 less-001
Click to download your sample of Springy Thingies.

If you haven't discovered Crayonbox Learning yet, you have to check out her blog and this super-cute activity.  I can't wait to make this for my own class to use!
Click here to get to know Danielle and see her fabulous work!

As you go through your mundane life, running your kids around here, there, and everywhere, washing, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else you're doing today, take the time to count the blessing of having healthy children and consider checking out Life in Special Education's post about Cole, a teaching friend's child recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  It brings tears to my eyes to imagine what this family is going through, and if my donation of $25.oo for over $160.00 worth of teaching resources can make a small difference to this family, I'm more than happy  to cook at home one night this week instead of eating out.


Click here to visit Karla's blog and learn how to help Care for Cole.

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

To Pick a Pope and Caring for Cole

As you probably know, the papal conclave begins tomorrow to pick a new pope.  I have created this free resource to use with your class to explain how the cardinals go through the process of picking a pope.

 Click here to get your copy of Picking a Pope

Even if you aren't in a religious setting,  it is still a historical event that you can discuss with your class.

Also, a  bloggy friend has put together an incredible package of tried and true resources resources to help raise money for the son of one of her teacher friends.  Her son, Cole, was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare (in children) type of brain cancer.

The package has over $160.00 worth of resources, all yours for a minimum donation of $25.00.  Please head over to Life in Special Education and read Karla's post about Caring for Cole.

Click here to see how you can help Care for Cole.

Have a great Monday evening.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Numbers and Operations in Base 10 Flash Freebie is ON!

** UPDATE to the update**  The flash freebie is over, as is the half-off sale.  But, since I see new pins today, for the next four days, I am knocking $2.00 off the regular price of $5.00.  So you can get this item for only $3.00 from now until Saturday, March 16 until 11:59 PM EST.

UPDATE**The Flash Freebie has ended!  If you missed it, you can still get this item 50% off the regular price for the rest of the evening until tomorrow morning.**

From now until 6:30 PM EST, my newest product, Numbers and Operations in Base 10 Common Core Braintwisters;  Springy Thingies will be FREE!  Click the picture below to claim yours from my TPT store.

10 more 10 less-001
Click the pic to download your flash freebie!

Hope you get yours!

New Fan Freebie Up on Facebook!

In case you don't follow my Facebook page, I just wanted to let you know I
posted a new Fan Freebie.

10 more 10 less-001
Click here visit my Facebook page and claim your freebie. Be sure to click on the Free for Fans Only Tab!

It's a sample page from the newest resource I'm working on using the Numbers and Operations  in Base Ten standards 1.NBT.1 and 1.NBT.5.  I hope you and your students enjoy it.  When I finish the product later today,  look for a flash freebie on the product!  I'll be sure to let you know here and on Facebook.

Also, don't forgot our blog hop!  It is still going on all this week, so if you haven't followed the rainbow buttons, be sure to do so this week.  Click the link below to see the original post and start your hop!

Click here to view the original post and start your hop around the rainbow trail to TPT gold - a chance to win a $100.00 TPT gift certificate!

Enjoy your shortened Sunday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Saturday Morning (and a 50% off sale on Spanish resources)!

Good morning!  I love Saturday morning.  I've got a cup of coffee, I read the paper front to back, and now I'm putting in some computer time while SpongeBob plays in the background.  What's not to love, especially when the sun is shining!  Don't forget to set your clocks forward tonight!  Back to driving to work in the dark, BUT extra daylight in the evening when we are home!

I've got a few things for you this morning you might like.  First of all, if any of you  teach Spanish, you'll want to check out this old post of mine.  I've updated it with some links, there are a few freebies offered, and I'm throwing a 50% sale off of all my Spanish resources for the next three days.  What a deal!

Click here to see my old post, claim your freebies, and check out my other Spanish resources on sale for 50% off March 9 - 11, 2013!

Second thing is it is Saturday, and you know what that means!  Primary Paradises Top 5 Freebies of the Week!  Head over to her blog to see what great offerings she has for you this week!
Top 5 freebies pic

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Welcome to Stop 13 on the Find the Leprechaun's Gold Blog Hop

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Click this picture to download Leaping Leprechauns. I hope you enjoy the game and the blog hop!

What do you find at the end of a bloggy rainbow?  TPT gold, of course!  How much gold you ask?  Well, how does $100.00 in TPT gold (in the form of a $100.00 TPT gift certificate) sound to you?  It sounds awesome to me!


Together with 15 other dear bloggy friends, we are bringing you the most exciting treasure we could think of!  More exciting than that green frothy beverage some people partake of on St. Patrick's Day.  More exciting than finding a four leaf clover.  More exciting than dancing an Irish jig!  Here's what you have to do.  Follow the rainbow buttons to each blog.  It doesn't matter where you start, just be sure to complete the circle.  Visit each blog, download the freebie offered from wherever it is housed, and look for the gold coin hidden (kind of) in each freebie.  Collect (write down) the word written in each coin, put them into order, and figure out the secret message.  Once you've done that, head on over to Mrs. Fultz's Corner to enter the Rafflecopter.  You will have to enter the secret phrase.  That's it. No liking everyone and everything under the sun.  No promising your first born into indentured servitude.  Just enter the secret 16-word phrase and you are entered into the giveaway!  The prize will be given away on March 17th.

click here to find the rafflecopter and enter the secret phrase

So, once you've downloaded the freebie I have for you, head over to stop 14, Life in Special Education, where Karla has a wonderful freebie for you.

click here to visit Life in Special Education and claim your next freebie!
May the Luck O' the Irish be with you!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Less than 24 Hours to Go!


Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this event.  You WILL get a whole lot of quality freebies you will want to use in the next few weeks  AND a chance for a really BIG prize - the TPT pot of gold, if you will.  At 7:00 AM tomorrow morning, the event will go LIVE on this blog.  Be sure to check back early tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I've got a new freebie for you.  You may have already found it on my TPT page, but if not, here it is.  I've been sadly lacking in getting spelling practice in each day, and it shows in my kids' writing.  Words they should be spelling correctly, a  lot of them are not.  There is just not enough time in the day to squeeze in spelling lessons -- or so I thought.  Until I put my mind to the problem and the little light bulb went off in an ah-ha moment.  Morning work time.  Most of my kids are whipping through the proofreading practice and spiral review math sheet they already do before the bell to begin the day even rings.  So why not add a spelling component to their morning work.  There were some groans, until Friday morning, when I told them as  a reward for their hard work on the spelling sheets during the week, on Fridays they would play a spelling game!  Well, that changed everyone's attitude about morning spelling work.

Yesterday, they played the spelling games in groups of two or three.  They used their spelling notebooks to give each other words from their spelling list, and it was so cute to here them say I'm sorry that is not correct.  Could is spelled c-0-U-l-d (with extra emphasis on the missed U).  Or that is correct!  Good job!  And, something I never thought off, but THEY asked me,"If we finish all our words from this week, can we go back to the old lists?"  ABSOLUTELY!

So if you're struggling to get some spelling time in, you might want to try this packet of spelling activities as well.  Click on the picture to download it free from my TPT store.

Click the picture to visit my TPT store and download your free spelling activities. Four activities to use during morning work time or as homework to squeeze spelling practice into your day.

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Oh, Boy, Have We got a Surprise for You!

But you'll have to wait until Sunday to find out!

Here's a clue.  If you follow the rainbow, you're going to find the leprechaun's treasure!

To make the waiting a bit easier, enjoy this paragraph puzzle  from my How to Writing February/March edition.


Be sure to check back Sunday for the exciting announcement!
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