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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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