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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with a Ring of Bloggy Giveaways!

We're ringing in the new year with a great giveaway! Twelve blogs have joined together for this great MEGA New Year Giveaway!  The winners of the giveaway will be able to choose any item from any of the Teacher Pay Teachers stores listed below.  
Nearly 100 items will be given away in this HUGE event!
Each blog will have 6 winners.
Each blog will select and post 6 winners for that blog.
Third Place: There will be THREE third prize winners that will be able to choose any (of the winner’s choice) ONE item total from any of the blogger’s Teacher Pay Teachers store listed below. 

   Second Place: There will be TWO second prize winners that will be able to choose any (of the winner's choice) TWO items (total)  fromany of the blogger's Teachers Pay Teachers stores below. 

First Prize: ONE grand prize winner from EACH blog that will win any (of the winner's choice) ONE ITEM from EACH blogger's Teachers Pay Teachers stores listed below!

 Here are the participating blogs/ stores: 



How do you enter?  There are several possible ways to enter:

1.      Follow my blog and leave a comment and leave a comment on this blog post saying you follow  (or note that you are already a follower). DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN CASE YOU WIN!  

2.      Follow my Teacher Pay Teachers store and leave a comment on this blog post saying you follow.

3.      Blog about this contest  and leave a comment here.

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

 However, there are still MORE ways to enter! You can also follow the blogs and stores of ALL the blogs participating in the list above to increase your chances of winning!  There are at least 24 chances to win even if you DON'T blog!!!! Remember to comment that you follow their blog and TpT store on their blog!

All winners will be chosen on January 6th, 2012 by 8:00pm Eastern time.
Good luck!  Maybe YOU will be one of the big winners!

Don't miss my latest Valentine's Day freebie!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Valentine's Day Card Making Center

Okay, so I am WAAAAY too excited because Christmas isn't even over yet and I'm already on Valentine's Day!  It's just that every year I put out some card making stuff for the class.  It's usually just some folded paper, stamps, hearts to cut out, markers, etc.  But look out for this Valentine's Day!!!  I have a newly prepared "Valentine's Day Card Making Center" that allows students to design their own unique cards by cutting, gluing, coloring, copying prepared text, and even MAKING THEIR OWN ENVELOPES!  (Yes, I finally sat down and worked out a nice pattern for that, LONG overdue!)

Anyway, I'm letting everyone know because I have it for 50% off (just $1.50!) until Monday, December 26th.  Sorry I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll be sure to take some when I put it out for the class or maybe earlier if my daughter, son and I make some at home.  Click on the caption below the picture to check it out!
Click here to see my latest activity

As always,
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Snowball Game

We are waiting for the snow at our house.  And not because I like snow (I don't), but because that would be the perfect time to play the new game we learned at Language Stars* this week.  It is a perfect game to play both at home and in the classroom.

As usual, the game was very simple, yet effective with toddlers.  My almost-three-year-old son LOVED it!  And so did every other child in the class.  It was certainly proof that you don't have to buy expensive toys and learning materials when boxes and things around the house can be just as entertaining (especially if an expensive toy came in said box).

The topic for the class was winter time (or something like that), so we were learning words like snow, snowflake, snowman, etc.  And what makes a better snowball than a cotton ball?  Very simple:  The teacher took out snowballs, threw them around, gave each child a small net and demonstrated how they should count each snowball as they put it in the net.  My son thought that was the best game ever!  He proceeded to pick them up, count them, throw them around the room on his own, and pick them up again.  And I thought, "This is a definite must-play at home." (Sorry we don't have any pictures, I got caught up in the game, too!)

I'm still thinking about how to best use the game at school.  At home, we'll use it just like we did at Language Stars, practicing "xue hua" (snowflake) and counting.  At school, I'm thinking about attaching sight words to the cotton balls or graphing the number of cotton balls each child is able to pick up.  Even though it's such a simple concept, there are many possibilities!  First, I just have to check to see if I have enough cotton balls!

As always,
Thanks for reading!

*We get 50% off of our Language Stars tuition for my blogging.  You wouldn't know I was a couponer, would you?
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A FREEBIE and "Silly Bear's Sight Word Addition Games"

My latest product is finished!
"Silly Bear's Sight Word Addition Game" combines addition practice with sight word reading.  The different versions contain nearly all the Dolch sight words and are appropriate for use in grades pre-k to third.  Click on the caption below the picture to take a look:
Click here to check out my latest product

Take a look at the similar FREEBIE that goes with it.  Click on the caption below the 1st picture.  Please take a few moments to add it (and/or my store) to your Teacher's Notebook favorites  :)

Click here to download this reading & math freebie

Thanks for reading!
Teacher Tam
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

A New Sight Word Book Set for Winter and a FREEBIE!

I just finished my latest product!  It's a set of 5 sight word emergent readers for prek to first with a winter theme.  Each book comes in 2 versions to help you with differentiation.  Over 40 Dolch sight words are covered.  But, the best part is, there's a FREE BOOK to go with it!
1) Check out the set of readers by clicking on the caption below the cover page.  (Don't forget to become a follower of my store while you're there!  My new products are always 50% off for the first 3 days and followers get an email notice of new items.)
2) Get your free book by clicking on the caption below the picture of the book's first page.

Click here to view my new product

Click here to get a FREE emergent reader 
If you like my freebie, I would be very grateful if you would click here to add my Teachers Notebook shop to your favorites. 
Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Most Mandarin of All?

My youngest son got to go to Language Stars* for the first time this week.  His older brother was sick and make-ups are difficult for us because of our schedule, so I took Will instead.

I knew he would love class before we walked in the door.   We've been working on Mandarin since he was about 6 months old, so hearing the language is nothing new to him.  In fact, I talk to Will in Chinese more than my other 2 children.  Perhaps it has something to do with him being a captive audience in his high chair during lunch time . . . But when I talk or sing to him in Mandarin,  his face just lights up.  He knows it's different and special somehow and he loves it.

So, needless to say, Will seemed to feel right at home in our parent and tot class at Language Stars.  Even though he's only 15 months old, I was still expecting that "what-in-the-world-are-they-saying-mom" look of confusion.  (Maybe I'll own that one:  I probably have that look at lot!) Yet, my son had no such response.  He plowed right on, playing with toys and being all shy with the teachers as if it was perfectly normal that everyone around him was speaking Mandarin (There were 2 teachers this week.  One is a new teacher in training.)  To me, it's just more evidence of how young children process language much differently than we do.  He didn't care if he understood every word or not.  It was as if he was saying, "As long as there are toys and fun activities, count me in, Mom!"

Will probably did recognize some words, though.  The theme was "bedtime routines." We had already learned some of the words from a video that we have.  We use them every night as we get ready for bed.  As the class practiced the vocabulary, Will was so excited to take a washcloth and pretend to give the teddy bear a bath.  (Perhaps he was just glad that, for once, he wasn't the one in the tub.)  Kid-friendly, age-appropriate activities like this kept him engaged the whole time.

The class pretended to give Teddy a bath
I think Will is going to be able to speak the most Mandarin of all.  Even though his only words so far are "Ma Ma," "uh oh!" and "deng" (light in Mandarin), he seems the most interested in the language and has received the earliest exposure.  It will be interesting to see if I'm right.  But whether I'm right or not, there is one thing I'm sure of:  All 3 of them will be able to speak more Mandarin than me!

* We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our experiences at Language Stars.  I say "we," but I guess it's just me since my 4-year-old can't type yet!
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Freebie and "Reindeer Reading Games"

     I am so excited that my latest product, "Reindeer Reading Games," is finished!  It has 2 games:  A board game where students read CVC words and a card game where students sort sight words according to their number of letters.  As always, it will be on sale for 50% off for the first 3 days (thru Friday). Click on the caption below the picture to check it out:
Click here to take a look at "Reindeer Reading Games"

AND DON'T MISS THE FREEBIE!  Click on the caption below the first picture to download it from Google Docs.  
Click HERE to download the FREE emergent reader
Directions for printing:  You can print the pages back-to-back.  Then, cut only on the horizontal line through the middle, stack the pages correctly, fold and staple.  :)

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

HUGE Cyber Monday Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Be sure not to miss the big Cyber Monday sale on TPT!  Many stores (mine, too!) are offering 20% off on top of the site-wide 10% off (use coupon code CMS28 at checkout).  Even though the sign says 30%, the discounts are applied one after the other, so it actually works out to 28%.  But, still a GREAT sale!  I know my wishlist is full and waiting!

Click here to visit the main site
Click here to visit my store
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Don't Miss My NEW MATH FREEBIE!!!!

I just finished this freebie today and I am so excited to share it!  I can't wait to get it laminated and ready to use in my own classroom after Thanksgiving!  Take a look at the sample pictures below (the game is actually 7 pages).  Click on the caption below the LAST picture to get your own copy!

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Mom Drops the Ball--Or, Circle

My son knows his shapes in English, but not in Mandarin.  And I have to admit that it's all my fault.  My parents visited from Kentucky, we had a family birthday, I've been busy working on my "teacher stuff" . . .  I could go on and on with the excuses, but you get the idea.  Mom has officially dropped the ball when it comes to Mandarin class.

But I have to say that Language Stars* makes me lazy!  I know that the kids will get a great lesson (both new material and review) every time we go, so I don't worry so much about our "homework." I know, I know.  That's not the right attitude to take.  No matter how good the lesson is, I know that review and work at home is essential if we are going to see real progress in the language.  (For them AND for me.)

This week's lesson in the parents and tots class focused on shapes.   It was so well-prepared and engaging that I have to tell you about it.  The teacher had 3 different shape games:  1) shape boxes, 2) finish the house, and 3) fill in the picture.  (We did all 3 of these activities on Thursday because there are fewer children in the class.  On Saturday, we only had time for the shape boxes.)  

The teacher brought out boxes of 4 different shapes.  They were filled with pretend objects in that shape.   My son really loved the rectangular piece of "chocolate"!  The children practiced the words by asking for objects of each shape.

There were boxes of 4 different shapes filled with objects.
My son loves chocolate!
Then, she brought out a picture of a house for them to complete.
The students found the correct spaces for the shapes.
Last, students finished pictures of a caterpillar and a truck by attaching the correct shapes.

Circles and rectangles complete the pictures.
 With so many activities, you can see why I get lazy about our practice at home!  But, as I have said before, I know that if a word doesn't get practiced and used at home, the children do not learn it.  So I'll try harder this week to fit some shape practice in somewhere between turkey dinner and Black Friday sales!

*I get 50% off of our tuition for blogging about our experience.  Yet all the opinions expressed here are in no way influenced by it.  

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

A New Science Game--FREE for a Limited Time!!!

    I just finished "Summer Time:  5 Senses Matching Game"!  It would be a great addition to your 5 Senses Unit.  It's appropriate for preschool to first grade.  As you know, I love to send games home with my students, so a new science game is the best!  Click on the game title to go grab yours before it's gone!  FREE thru Saturday, November 12th!

Summer Time:  5 Senses Matching Game

Please don't forget to leave a rating!  And make sure you're following my blog so you'll know about more freebies!
Teacher Tam

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Freebie and a New Product!

     Yea!  I just finished my latest product, "Winter Word Work" today!  It's 48 pages of word family and short vowel work for preschool through first grade.  To go with it, I made 2 "Write the Room" pages where students find and write words that start with the letters in "snowman" or "penguin."  Just laminate them and have students use them again and again in your literacy center.  Click on the caption below the picture to download these FOR FREE:

Write the Room free pages
     To see what my latest product, "Winter Word Work," is all about, click on the caption below this next picture.  Don't forget!  It's on sale for 50% for the next 3 days (until Wednesday, November 9th).

Winter Word Work Pack

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An "Ah-ha Moment" is Hard Work

     "Does someone at your house speak Chinese?" I was asked this week.  That was after my son had his "wake up" moment during Mandarin class at Language Stars*.  All of a sudden, it was as if a light bulb had come on in his head.  I mean, you could literally SEE him reach some understanding about the language.  His "Ah-ha Moment" had come.  He was answering almost all of the questions the teacher directed toward him--and some of everyone else's!

     "No," I answered, "But we work on his Mandarin a lot."  That's the simple answer.  The more complicated one is that Grandma (Nen Nen) speaks Chinese, but Cantonese, not Mandarin.  She took some in school, of course, but it seems that her Mandarin is about as good as my French.  Which means it isn't.  But, she has also jumped on the bandwagon of learning a little Mandarin in order to help her grandkids learn.  That helps a lot because, even though Cantonese and Mandarin are two completely different languages, I think her pronunciation would have to be better than mine.  And, the more people who at least try to speak the language at home, the more the kids will see it as important and "the thing to do."
"Xiāngjiāo," he says the word for banana in Mandarin.

     The other part of the complicated answer is that, as a teacher, I know a few of the "rules" for learning something, whether it's math or a language.  One of the big ones is simple: "Use it or lose it."  All of the vocabulary my son was using were words that we have practiced or used extensively at home (at least 30 or more times).  He knows some colors, several fruits and a few vehicles.  He can also answer a couple of simple sentences, such as "What is your name?" "How old are you?" and "What is that?"

     Of course, the words that my son does not know are the words that I have not practiced enough with him.  During class, I realized that there is a collection of words that I know that he does not.  Who is this for, anyway?  I have dropped the ball on that one.  We need to be working on those words.  And, as talented as the teachers at Language Stars* are, I can't expect 2 hours a week (we attend 2 parent & tot classes a week) to do it.  If you don't use the word at home, your child simply won't retain it.  Well, I guess they would get it EVENTUALLY, but who wants to pay for that many classes?!  Sooner is better, in my opinion, so we work hard at home.  And, obviously, our hard work showed up in class last week.   "No, we don't speak Mandarin at home---but we TRY and that's worth a lot."

As always,
Thanks for reading!
Teacher Tam

*I receive 50% off our tuition at Language Stars for sharing our experiences on this blog.  Despite that, the opinions expressed here are my own.  I was a fan long before the blogging began.  
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lesson Cloud Linky Party!!!

Check out the science & math linky party!

     Thanks to the Lesson Cloud for hosting this great party!  Check out my latest math item that's posted there.  My students needed more practice on "making" numbers 10 to 20, so I made 2 different games.  This one is my fall version.  It's on sale for THE WHOLE MONTH OF NOVEMBER!!!  Click on the caption below the picture to see my "Scarecrow 10 Frame Game."  

Scarecrow 10 Frame Game

Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to become a follower to find out about sales, discounts & freebies!
Teacher Tam

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Monday, October 31, 2011


      I just finished my "Candy Canes and Cupcakes 10 Frame Game."  I was inspired by 2 things:
                 1) all of the Christmas decorations ALREADY in the stores and
                 2) my students who need more practice "making" numbers 10 to 20.
      Hopefully, this game will help my students and yours gain a better understanding of the teens as collections of tens and ones.  The type of game is a favorite in our class:  Try to get the most cards while avoiding a card that makes you return some to the pile.  It's a very simple concept that all of my students understand and enjoy (especially when I play and get one of those cards!).
      Be sure to download it now!  It's only FREE thru Thursday, November 3rd!!!  Click on the caption below the picture to read more about it and get the game!  Kindly leave a rating.
Candy Canes & Cupcakes 10 Frame Game
Thanks for following my blog!
Teacher Tam
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog on Fire Award

First of all, I have to thank Kimberly at Science, Etc. for this award.  The rules are that I have to tell 7 things about myself and nominate 7 more blogs for the award.

Here are 7 things about me:  

1.  I currently live in Chicago, but I'm originally from eastern Kentucky.  They are about as different as 2 places can get.  I like it here (obviously), but a part of me will always miss home.

2.  I LOVE coffee.  I drink as many cups a day as I have children (my own, NOT the number in my class).  That's 3 cups a day.  It makes me happy and keeps me awake!

3.  I LOVE chocolate.  Any kind will do, although Lindor is a favorite. (Hint, hint, husband dear.)

4.  I'm really into preserving family memories, but I hate to scrapbook.  I like to do video interviews with family members and always encourage others to do the same.  (Yes, I know that it's annoying, but I want others to think about how important videos of grandparents will be after they pass away.)

5.  I love to laugh.  I think that's one of the reasons why I enjoy teaching preschool and kindergarten so much.  There is never a dull moment and the laughter of children is contagious!  I think it keeps me healthier--and definitely happier.

6.  I am an avid tv watcher.  My husband likes movies, but I prefer television.  I like stories that go on and on and on . . . "Lost" was my all-time favorite show.

7.  I originally went to school to become a marriage and family counselor.  My master's is in clinical psychology.  But, while working on my doctorate, I had to follow the school counselor around for the day.  I ended up in the first grade room cutting out bulletin board materials and decided to stay!

Here are 7 amazing blogs that I follow.  I am nominating them for the "Blog on Fire Award," as well. Take a moment and pay them a visit.

1.  Nyla's Crafty Teaching
2.  Terri's Teaching Treasures
3.  A Place Called Kindergarten
4.  Bee's Kindergarden
5.  Crayons & Curls
6.  Doodle Bugs Teaching
7.  Mrs. Ayala's Kinder Fun!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Not Broadway, But It's Close Enough For Me

     I think I secretly want to be an actress.  Or, there's at least a little bit of an actress in there somewhere.  You definitely have to be one to be an early childhood educator, that's for sure.  I am reminded of that every day as I teach both my students and my own children.  You have to not only impart information, but entertain, dazzle, and somehow get them engaged enough to retain what they are learning.

     To entertain usually means props.  Children love props.  This week, my daughter was learning a little fall poem in Mandarin, so we made leaves.  Even her little brothers got into the act!  Nobody wants to miss out on something fun!   Learning that boring poem was easily made fascinating by the addition of a few hand-drawn, child-colored leaves.

     In our parents and tots class at Language Stars*, props are plentiful.  One of the props for this week was so cute and entertaining I just had to blog about it.  My son got excited when the chef puppet came out.  (Okay, I'll admit it.  I liked the puppet, too.)  What child (and child at heart) doesn't love puppets?

My son takes his cake from the entertaining chef puppet

     At the beginning of class every week, the little ones have to answer two simple questions:  What is your name?  and How old are you?  To help in the "how old are you" department, the teacher brings out a cake.  Each child gets the same number of pieces as his/her age.  My son is used to this routine by now, so when the cake came out, he was not interested in the least.  In fact, he turned away to look at something else.  That is, until the chef came out!

     All of a sudden, he was engaged and learning again, taking his 2 pieces of cake from the puppet.  And, more importantly, he remained engaged the entire time, watching as each child took pieces of cake from the chef.

     So I think I'll take a cue from our Language Stars teacher this week.  I am definitely going to purchase a new puppet.

Thanks for reading,
Teacher Tam

*As a parent blogger, I receive 50% off our Language Stars tuition.  This doesn't affect what I blog about in the slightest, though.  I really like the Language Stars classes!
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can Homework Be Fun?

      I was always hesitant to send things home with my little ones.  But, as kindergarten slowly became the "new first grade," it became necessary to a certain degree.  I have also had several parents ask me for homework or suggestions about academically-oriented activities.  Then, after I became a parent, I found out why doing a "homework" assignment or two doesn't hurt:  you're spending time together, helping them with necessary skills, and finding out more about their current skills and areas that need work.
     But, I do NOT like to send home worksheets.  I always send games,  fun activities, or books.  One example is my "Friday Fun Backpacks" (I'll have to start these again soon) filled with books and related activity pages.  These are usually packed around a theme like Dr. Seuss.  One pack is just a LeapFrog with 5 sets of books & tapes.  Even the kids that say they already have one love to take it home!  Right now, I have some great ideas for a dinosaur pack and I've collected some books and other WAY-cool stuff, but just haven't had the time to put it together.  (I'm waiting for some beginning readers with dinos.  I wanted to make some, but I'm so busy! Let me know if you find any cool dino printable books.)
     The majority of homework that I send home are games.  I have probably over 100 different games by now.  Some are out in my classroom, ready to send home.  Others are boxed at school and in my basement!  Here's what my game basket looks like:

My homework game basket

     Games are an easy way to differentiate instruction.  Each child in my classroom (while still doing most of the same large group work and center activities) is working at his/her own level and pace.  For example, I always have a few students who are working on letter sounds, so I can send related games home with them.  Another group might be working on reading 3-letter words, so they take these games home.  One more group might need to work on reading simple sentences or long vowel sound words.  When students need more practice on a certain skill, I make a new game!  Here are a few of my games:
I made this game so students could work on short vowel sounds.  

These are both reading games where the students read 3-letter words.
     So do the games come back?  I know you want the answer to this!  Most of the games do come back.  Parts and pieces, now that's a different story.  But, these small things are bound to get lost in the shuffle, anyway, whether they go home or stay in the classroom.  I keep a list of student names, keeping track of which game they have played (both to keep track of material covered and the game).  I also send homework tags with each game listing the date they are sent and  the homework to be covered (and any notes about which set of cards to use or other instructions about the material).  Parents sign the tag and provide simple feedback about the game (was it easy/just right/difficult?).  I give sticker chart stickers for signed, returned games.  

     Believe it or not, my students actually ASK for the games!  They really like the games with cool graphics and playing pieces like cars or animals.  They return the games because they want to take another one home!

     So, here are a couple of FREE GAMES from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Be sure to get a copy for your class!  Click on the caption below each picture, go to the page and click "download."

A math game for greater than, less than, & equal to

A CVC Word Reading Game

Thanks for reading!
Teacher Tam

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Mandarin Obsession

     Some parents are obsessed with football.  I see them painting their minivans with "Go Bears!" or, better yet, listing the name of their son or daughter and other teammates ALL over the windows.  (How is it even possible to drive that way?!) Some are obsessed with karate, taking off early from work to chauffeur them to class, rushing them out the school door dressed in a disheveled gi.  But, least I think for one second that I'm better than any of these parents, I must take a long, hard look in the mirror.  I'm obsessed with Mandarin class.

     This morning, I got the dreaded call.  Our classes at Language Stars* were cancelled.  BOTH teachers were sick!  This would be no big deal except that my kids are already signed up for classes 2 times a week, the most that our site offers.  And, even though they have a great make-up policy,  I don't want a make-up class in Spanish or Italian.  How would that possibly help a Mandarin-obsessed mom?!  So I got online and found two other classes at another center--one of which started in 20 minutes.  Could we even make it in time?

     Out the door we ran, carrying my daughter to the car with no shoes.  And my son was just thrilled with being rushed out the door because 2 1/2-year-olds just love a frenzied pace.  Not.  By the time we made it to class (relatively on time, thanks to my husband's amazing mental map of Chicago), I was exhausted.  But, my Mandarin obsession was safe.  Everyone was in class, including my reluctant, speaks-not-a-word of Mandarin husband.

     It might be difficult at times (obviously), but my obsession is paying off.  Every now and again, just when I get discouraged that all my effort is for naught, something happens to remind me that my children are learning.  This week, it was my daughter who showed me that she is making progress.  I bought her a wipe-off board to practice writing her numbers and letters (in English).  I just opened it and gave it to her, disappointed as I watched my art-obsessed, handwriting-avoiding daughter flip it over to the "plain" side.  Better luck next time, mom.

     Yet, when I looked again, it was a sight to make a Mandarin-obsessed mom proud.  She had used the "plain" side to practice her Chinese!

Working on her Chinese writing
As always,
Thanks for reading!
Teacher Tam
*I get 50% off classes at Language Stars for blogging.  But, all the opinions expressed are my own.  

Here's my latest product, on sale for 50% off for the next 3 days.  I made the princess set for my daughter.  While she can count in Chinese, she can't match the character to the quantity.  So . . . Check it out by clicking on the picture.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Great Fall and Halloween Projects Linky Party!!!


    This is my first time hosting a linky party!  Yea!  I hope all goes well and I can figure out how to do this.
     Here's my own idea . . .
     My class and I just made new fall scene glyphs to celebrate the first week of fall.  They turned out like this:

     My class really enjoyed making them.  When they were finished, the kids spent some time looking at each others', trying to figure out what choices their friends made, how old they were, etc.  We had a lot of fun with it!  The only thing I would change is that next year, I'm going to add some grass!  If you want the free pattern, click on the picture above or here.
     To join this linky party, grab the linky party picture at the top and add it to your post.  Blog about your project and add a link to my blog.  It can be anything fall- or Halloween-related.  It can be a free or priced product or just an idea.  It would be great if your product was on sale, too! Then, just add your link below!  If you don't have a blog, just add your link below and FB or tweet about the party!
     Ann Marie over at Innovative Connections is having a similar linky party.  You'll want to check out some of the links there, too!

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Favorite Word Work Activity Linky Party!

     Over at "Rockin' Teacher Materials," Hilary is hosting a great linky party!!!!  I just had to join in!

     Here is my super simple, yet really effective favorite word work activity:  CVC word puzzles.

      Sorry, I don't have any pictures of my students using them, but you probably get the idea.  They help students who are just learning to merge the letter sounds to make 3-letter words.  Sometimes, I even cut the puzzles into 3 parts if the student is still struggling.  
      I use the puzzles during guided reading (and sometimes put them out as center work).  Once I have presented the word family, I have the student read all of the rimes (op, op, op, etc.) so he or she gets the idea that they are all the same.  Then, I  spread out the onset letters and let the student find the matches, merging the sounds to read each word.  When the student has completed all 5 puzzles, I have him/her read all 5 words again (to reinforce the pattern).  Then, I send the laminated set of puzzles home with the student as a homework activity.  

      A set of 6 word family puzzles is available in my TPT store for only $1.  Click on one of the sets of word family puzzles above or the link below to see the CVC word puzzles.  


Hope you are enjoying the weekend!
Teacher Tam
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