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Monday, May 21, 2012

My New Life Cycles Product--Get it for FREE!

     Yes!  I FINALLY finished my 72 page Life Cycles set.  It took me F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!  I really thought that I would never finish it.  The pictures and fact pages took me a long time, but here it is!  I created it because I have something similar in my classroom now, but they are line drawings and I have always wanted photos.  Now I have them!
     It is now on sale at my TPT store for half off ($4) but will be $8 regular price.  But, I'm going to give away a copy to the first 5 people who blog about it!  I've done this before, but this time, we'll do something a little different. . .
    1)  Leave a comment below with your email address if you are willing to blog about my NEW Life Cycles product.
    2) I will email you the file so you can take a look at it first.  This way, you can write an honest review after seeing the item.
    3) Then, you blog about the item, including a link to its page in my TPT store:
   4) Please leave a link to your blog post in the comments below.
    That's it!  If you would like to get a free copy to blog about, please leave your email address in the comments below.  If you don't have a blog, be sure to CLICK HERE TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY on Teachers Notebook!

Click here to view my NEW LIFE CYCLES PRODUCT!!!



Thanks for reading and checking out my new product!




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Thursday, May 17, 2012

What are YOUR (K, 1st, 2nd) students doing this summer?!

     I want all of my students to be super ready for 1st grade!  So, I made a summer skills review pack for my little ones to do over the summer, just to make sure that the "summer" slide doesn't happen to them!  It is based on the Kindergarten Common Core standards for Math and Language Arts.  It includes every standard that was possible to do in "worksheet" form, as well as a board game complete with 5 sets of cards (addition, subtraction, sight words, sentences, & blends/digraphs).  It has been well-received by other teachers and PARENTS, too!  
    Since it was SO popular and my niece will need the next set,  I made one for firsties, too!
    Then, Katie Conklin, who has 2nd grade now, created a great set for 2nd grade.   Hers has something a little extra called "Third Grade Thrillers."  These are 10 challenging third grade activities to give students a look at what they'll be doing in the next grade!  Awesome!
   Anyway, check out our packets by clicking on the captions below each picture.

Click here to see the Kindergarten Set

Click here to see the First Grade Set

Click here to see the Second Grade Set

As always, 
Thanks for reading!  


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rocket Science, Nobel Prizes, and a Little Mouse

      You'd think that my kid had just won a Nobel Prize.  Any time one of them recites a poem, sings a song, says a new phrase, or answers a question in class (especially if it was one that I couldn't answer myself), I just beam with pride.  In a way, I suppose it seems quite simple.  I mean, we're ALL programmed to learn a language when we're small, so it's not like it's rocket science or anything (at least not for a child).  But to me, for some reason, knowing a second language is the ultimate achievement.  

       When you put together my pride in their accomplishments and my husband's new iPhone, look out!  He has been driving me crazy with it for the last couple of weeks.  "Look, honey!  I can take a picture of myself and then make it burp!"  "Oh, yeah, great honey,"  I say while thinking, "Somebody actually sat down and wrote a program for that?"  But my ears did perk up when I heard the words "voice recorder."  Then he emailed me  THE  MOST ADORABLE audio file and I was hooked!  And what's the first thing I did with it?   I recorded my son reciting a poem in Mandarin, of course!   My daughter first learned this poem at the non-profit school she attends.  He heard her working on it several months ago, but he couldn't recite it.  Then, he just joined the 3 to 5 class at Language Stars*and they have been working on it.   I thought it was so cute that I just HAD to share it!

     I hope I get the translation of this right, but it's something like this:  A little mouse goes up a lamp post and eats some oil.  The cat comes and the little mouse falls down.  The "gi li gu lu" is the sound of the mouse falling down.  How cute is that?!  What I really love is that my little one does the motions with it, so you know that he understands what the poem is about.  You can even hear him pretending to chew at the part where the mouse eats the oil!  
The title of the poem, "Little Mouse"

     When your kid comes home from class reciting new poems like this, you just KNOW that a Nobel Prize can't be far behind!   Whether there is also a degree in rocket science or not remains to be seen.  I'm just happy that my kids are coming home from Language Stars*  with so much knowledge.  It also doesn't hurt to have a few cute poems to recite at family gatherings, getting the same applause as any Nobel laureate.  Well, if you count grandma, it would be more!  

Thanks for reading,

*We receive 50% off our tuition for sharing our Language Stars experiences with the world!   

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Sales!

Don't miss the big Teacher Appreciation Week sales that are going on in both of my stores!  
At Teachers Notebook, the site is running a sale all week, so my products will be 20% off from Saturday, May 5 to Friday, May 11.
On Teachers Pay Teachers, the site-wide sale runs from Sunday, May 6 to Tuesday, May 8.  My products will be 20% off and you can get an additional 10% off by using coupon code TAD12 at checkout.  

My Teachers Notebook Shop

My Teachers Pay Teachers Store 

Thanks for taking a look at my stores!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Learning Chinese by Playing!

For this post, I thought I'd share a little bit about what we do at Language Stars* that makes it so much fun for my kids.  What keeps them engaged week after week, eager to go to class?  What makes learning a second language so effortless and enjoyable?  Here are two activities from the last couple of weeks that will help demonstrate what my children are loving about class . . .

For the past 2 weeks, my son's Parents and Tots class has been studying body parts.  Even though it's not a very exciting topic at first glance, his teacher made it so by bringing in a few extra props and some enthusiasm.   The first of the props was this really cool squeezable rocket.  Both of my sons absolutely LOVE this toy!

This is one of our favorite Language Stars learning props!  

The teacher first has students tape pictures of different body parts to the wall.  Then, she calls out a body part and all the kids launch their rockets at that picture!  I know it sounds really simple, but the toddlers have a ball just playing with these mini rockets!  It was hard to get my son to put it away.  He wanted to keep launching it around the room to practice using it.  It's funny sometimes how siblings have similar toy choices.  
Body parts posters to hit with the little rocket toys

I have to find out where in the world they found this next toy.  It's a cute stuffed toy , an attention-getting alien, and a learning tool all in one!   You should have seen my son's eyes when the teacher pulled it out of her bag!  He turned and looked at me like, "Did you see that, Mom?  Isn't it cool?"  But of course, all he can do right now is point and pull me toward the bright, colorful puppet.
The colorful puppet with a bag full of velcro body parts

Using the puppet, the teacher engaged my son and the other toddlers by handing them each a candy-corn colored body part to attach to the puppet.  As she passed them out, she would say the new word several times and encourage the little ones to repeat it.  Not only are puppets a draw in general for kids, but this one was so unique that it held their attention longer than usual.  All of the kids were eagerly participating and engaged.  The puppet was just as big of a draw as the tub full of water was a few weeks ago when we were studying vehicles.   Puppets AND water?  No wonder my kids love going to Chinese class!  

My son plays with boats in a tub of water--always fascinating!

Hopefully now you have some idea of what my little ones are doing during class:  They're having fun AND learning Chinese!  Why can't it be this easy for adults?  

Thanks for reading,

* We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experiences.  

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