Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"The Gruffalo" Book Unit GIVEAWAY!!

I just completed a book unit on "The Gruffalo". This book is one of my favorite books for children. The first 20 people to like my facebook, follow my blog, and follow me on my TPT store will win this book unit. Please comment on this post, so that I can contact you about where to send the file. The contest starts today and will go through June 12th. Thank you for all the support thus far!

P.S. There is a preview download at my TPT store and a detailed description to give you an idea of what is in the unit. Please leave feedback at my TPT store once you have received the unit. I would love to hear from you! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Best Practices 4 Teaching Blog Book Study & Freebies - Book Study on "Reading Without Limits"

I am looking forward to a book study that is starting this Wednesday. Best Practices 4 Teaching Blog is the one facilitating the study. The book being used is "Reading Without Limits" by Maddie Witter. There's the option of purchasing this book through your kindle if you are short on shipping time. Best Practices 4 Teaching Blog highly recommends this book and mentioned that there will be freebies given out during the study! We all love freebies!! Here is the link to her blog for more details. http://bestpractices4teaching.blogspot.com/2013/05/blogging-made-easy.html

Here is the link for purchasing the book! 

http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Without-Limits-Independent  ebook/dp/B00B1BGOZM/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What is on your summer bucket list?

This evening is rainy and dreary. They are calling for bad storms, and I hate when my husband is out in this mess. I just called and he is on his way home, though. My dog is going crazy because of the wind and thunder. I am just praying that our power stays on!! After the Oklahoma incident, if the power does go off, I'll try not to complain! It could be worse.  We need to remember them. 

Today was the last day of school for students, and I am starting to think about summer plans! I have took on the responsibility of directing Bible school this year, so that is a job in itself. Things are coming along nicely, but I have to get the resources together for the teachers before this Sunday. I felt lead to go a different route this year and not do Lifeway stuff. For my summer cleaning and decorating, I need to wash walls and clean out cabinets. I am going to work on trim. We moved a little over a year ago and that is still not done!! Who had time? I was still in school when we moved, and went straight into working afterwards. I am going to get new picture frames and other wall pretties and rehang everything, too. For fun, I want to go fishing and work up to 15 miles per week when I walk/run. I love to fish, but it's been hard to find time for it. It's something I like to share with my husband. I already try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, but I'd like to build myself up some.

Other things I'd like to do over the summer:
1. Go to Education Outfitters. It's a store that I just discovered a few weeks ago, and I can't wait to see what they have. 
2. Go to McKay's. It's a used bookstore. I'd like to stock up on some kids books for school. 
3. Go swimming.
4. Try a new restaurant. 

What is on your summer bucket list??
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Teacher's, where do you like to shop?

Hey everyone! This post is not really school related, but I felt like blogging about random stuff today. It's Saturday and I am letting my brain rest. Last night, our church had a benefit singing for the local fire department. They raised around $4500!! I was ecstatic! Today, we have a birthday party to go to. It's my niece's first birthday. :-) I went to town this morning and got her some pj's at Kohls. I also bought myself 2 outfits. I was excited because I never can find pants that fit. Of course, they were on sale and I got an extra 20% at the register. One outfit I'll be able to wear to church or work, and the other one will just be a work outfit. They are both the Sonoma brand. I just recently started buying that brand. I am loving the relaxed, but professional look. I have to be comfortable for work. No heels for me! Teachers, where do you like to shop? Do you like to dress up (dresses, skirts, heels, etc.) or do you like to be more relaxed (everyday chinos, fitted tees, polo shirts, etc.)?
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Therapeutic Riding

One thing I will be doing during summer break is volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility. The kids are such a blessing to me, and you can see the benefits that come from the therapy. I also love horses!! Anyway, therapeutic riding contributes to cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well being of people with disabilities and emotional needs. Therapy riding challenges the rider in many areas such as communication, trust, responsibility, patience, relationships, self confidence, and social skills. Horses are large animals and often they are intimidating to adults and children. Horses respond to human emotions and non-verbal communication. They are also smart, so it's hard to manipulate them. In return, this forces the rider to learn clear, positive and useful communication skills. Riders are forced to learn trust because they have to overcome their fear and learn to trust the volunteers and their horse before they can mount. It teaches responsibility because after the lesson, the rider must groom and care for the horse. Horses are very loving and non-judgmental, and because of this riders learn patience. The whole experience with them challenges the issue of self confidence and social skills. It may not seem like a lot is going on at once, but there's so much more to it than you'd think! Not only is therapeutic riding good mentally. It's good physically! Riding encourages stretching and strengthening of muscles that may be underused or underdeveloped. It improves coordination, helps develop both fine and gross motor skills, and increases awareness of the body. I think it's a wonderful thing, and a creative way to help children with special needs. What other ways could you keep special needs children from regressing during summer break?

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tootie Fruity Checkers

Here is a new freebie that I just added to my TPT and Teachers Notebook store! 



Directions: For this game, students will work in pairs. Each pair of students will get a checker board, a bag of tootie fruities cereal (2 specific colors), and a set of wall word cards. Have the pairs of students place their cards facedown in a pile. Have each one choose their color of cereal, and have them place all 12 pieces on the dark squares in the first three rows (on his/her side). Player A will draw a word card from the pile and read it to Player B. If player B correctly spells the word, he or she will move their game piece (piece of cereal) in a diagonal direction one space. If player B is incorrect, Player A correctly spells the word and places the card at the bottom of the pile. Player B’s turn will be over and he or she will draw a card from the pile for Player A to spell. When a player jumps over their opponent’s game piece, he or she will remove their opponent’s piece from the board. The students will take turns spelling words until someone loses all of their game pieces. 

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Strategies Do You Use?

Barb Rentenbach is an autistic author that was once a lonely, non-verbal girl. She went from biting, screaming, hitting, and smearing feces to discovering that she could communicate with the world through typing. Now she is able to tell people how she feels and she is also an author. She has a book out called "I Might Be You: An Exploration of Autism and Connection". Her story is extraordinary, and is definitely worth listening to. Here is the link: http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=273207

Does anyone have an autistic student that is non-verbal? If so, what strategies do you use? I would love to hear! 
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Hatched Butterflies!!

1. We've been studying about butterflies, and we had a butterfly net cage with caterpillars in it. I am excited to announce that they are now beautiful butterflies!! Life is such a gift. :-) Here is a pic, but it's hard to see through the netting.

2. Have you ever heard of Dandy-Walker Syndrome? I thought this website done a fine job at explaining it simply.
      by Dandy Walker Alliance at www.dandy-walker.org
 Dandy-Walker Syndrome is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum (an area at the back of the brain that controls movement) and the fluid filled spaces around it. The key features of this syndrome are an enlargement of the fourth ventricle (a small channel that allows fluid to flow freely between the upper and lower areas of the brain and spinal cord), a partial or complete absence of the cerebellar vermis (the area between the two cerebellar hemispheres), and cyst formation near the internal base of the skull. An increase in the size of the fluid spaces surrounding the brain as well as an increase in pressure may also be present. The syndrome can appear dramatically or develop unnoticed. Symptoms, which often occur in early infancy, include slow motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull. In older children, symptoms of increased intracranial pressure such as irritability, vomiting, and convulsions, and signs of cerebellar dysfunction such as unsteadiness, lack of muscle coordination, or jerky movements of the eyes may occur. Other symptoms include increased head circumference, bulging at the back of the skull, problems with the nerves that control the eyes, face and neck, and abnormal breathing patterns. Dandy-Walker Syndrome is frequently associated with disorders of other areas of the central nervous system including absence of the corpus callosum (the connecting area between the two cerebral hemispheres, and malformations of the heart, face, limbs, fingers and toes.
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gathering Time Packet

My goal to complete one new TPT item over the weekend was a success. For gathering time, I wanted some cards that would help students to correspond the days of the week with a picture to jog their memory, so I decided to make my own gathering time packet. It includes cards for weather, months, and days of the week. All you have to do is print, laminate, and cut them out. I am excited to share it as my newest TPT item, and I hope it is something that can be useful for you!! 

May 31, 2013 - I am excited about the improved Gathering Time Packet!! I think it's a wonderful tool to use during circle time when you have special needs students or ELL students. The new packet is still at the same links below.



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Friday, May 3, 2013

It's Friday! Weekend plans?

It's Friday!! I love my job, but I was in need of a break. This has been test week, and I think the kids were in need of a break, too!! Since there aren't many things planned for this weekend, I am going to stay in and work on my TPT products. I am new to the site, and I found some helpful tips for beginning sellers. I have a few different things I am anxious to get started on. Hopefully, at least one new item will be in my store before the weekend is over! What are everyone's plans for this weekend? I hope you enjoy it regardless if it's relaxed or busy!! 
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers vs Teachers Notebook (I need your input)

Good morning!! It's 5:40 a.m. in this household. I'm up for my morning coffee, and I began wondering if I should open up an account with Teachers Notebook. I just started a TPT store. Does anyone know anything different between the two? I wanted some feedback from teachers with experience on both websites, or any input teachers can give me would be great. Thanks, and I hope everyone has a wonderful hump day!

Please add me to your circle of friends! I want to connect with both special and regular teachers. :-) I am impressed with all of the wonderful resources I have discovered through other blogs!!
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