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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Virtual Teaching Expo!

  Wow!  I think Teachers Notebook has really outdone themselves on this one!  Check out this training event:

*  5 presentations by TN teacher authors  
* Buy your ticket on or before Aug 24th and get it for half price!  Only $10!  
* Plus, not only is YOUR ticket only $10, but TN will make sure 2 other teachers get 
   FREE tickets!  
* There's also a VENDOR HALL where showcased items will be 30% off  Aug 25th - 
   Sept 1st --- ONLY for attendees of the event!

Doesn't this sound AWESOME?!  

But, you still haven't heard the best part . . .
All attendees will receive a GOODY BAG with well over $100 in FREE materials!  One of mine will be included, as well.  I chose to include my "Add and Read Sight Word Sentences for Spring" (a $3 value) because my students really liked these games last year and the pack covers PreK to 3rd grade, so more teachers will be able to use it.  

I also have 3 items in the vendor hall for 30% off:

1) Math Journal Prompts for Kindergarten COMBO Pack

2) First Grade Math Common Core Cut-and-Glue Workbook

3) Word Work Pack:  CVC Word, Sight Words, Sentences, Blends & Digraphs

So, click on the "Save Big Teach Big" logo above.  Scroll down and look to your right to sign up!  Hurry because the promo ends soon!  

Thanks for reading,

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What?! It's the end of summer already?!

          I got a real kick out of my son's Mandarin class this week. In our Parents & Tots class at Language Stars*, we were studying emotions. It was the last class before the fall semester starts and the last "summer camp" outdoor class for my two older ones. Needless to say, it sort of crept up on me (happens to me a lot, actually). As a teacher, I know that HIS teacher was saying to herself, "Doesn't she read ANYTHING we send home?" as I proceeded to ask when the last class was and when the fall semester started. It reminds me of an infant with a jack-in-the-box. Surprised every time. 

     Anyway, the topic was "emotions." There's really nothing funny about that at all. Or, at least, there wasn't until the teacher took out this big picture of a stuffed bear. Also not funny. But then she started sticking these different faces to it and I found it incredibly funny. I just had to take some pictures. And, not only was it funny, but some of the faces reminded me of myself and my reaction to the end of summer.  

    First, this is how I looked at the beginning of the summer.  This is supposed to be bear's angry face, but I think of it more as a "game face."  I was ready to get things done this summer.  1) Start some more serious Mandarin study of my own.  2) Read more Mandarin books with the kids.  3) Find or make them each an age-appropriate workbook . . . . 

"Mama bear is gonna get stuff done this summer."

This, however, is EXACTLY how my face looked the last day of summer classes:

"What do you mean this is the last class?!"

This is a picture of me now that, not only do we not have class all week, but I also somehow managed to accomplish ABSOLUTELY NONE of my goals for the summer. 
"But summer classes just CAN'T be over!"
  Needless to say, I'm quite sad that summer is coming to an end.  And, just as I have every school-related semester since college, I vow to actually get something accomplished during the fall semester.  Promise.  This time, I'll at least try to read the memo about when it's over.  

As always, thanks for reading,

*We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experience.  But still, the opinions expressed here are my own.


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Saturday, August 18, 2012

WIN my Math Journal Prompts for Kindergarten COMBO Pack!

CLICK HERE to take a look!  

     I am really so excited about my new Math Journal Prompts for Kindergarten COMBO Pack that I decided to give 3 sets away for FREE (a $10 value)!  It includes Common Core based journal prompts with back to school, fall, Christmas/holiday, winter, & spring themes.  That's 200 prompts!

   Last year was my first year using the prompts and I felt that they really helped in many ways.  First of all, many students loved getting to draw and color during math, adding details to their illustration of each math problem.  Second, the journals are a wonderful assessment tool.  I knew right away which students had a good grasp of each topic and those students who needed more examples and opportunities for practice.  Third, the journals were a real asset during conference time.  They served as a tangible example of each child's math work, progress, and conceptual understanding. 

An example from the Christmas/holiday set
  Of course, I will be using them again this year!  And I want to give 3 lucky teachers out there the opportunity to use them, too!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!

    You will not want to miss the Back to School Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!  Many of the sellers will be offering discounts on their items, some as much as 20%!  You can get even more off than that if you use promo code BTS12 at checkout.  This is one of only a few site-wide sales all year (3, I think?), so it's time to stock up!  
  EVERY ITEM IN MY STORE will also be 20% off (28% with the promo code)!  Here are three of my items that you don't want to miss.  Click on each title to take a look.

1)  Math Journal Prompts for Kindergarten COMBO PACK  
         This set has all 5 of my math journal prompt sets included---a total of 200 prompts!  And, of course, they address the Common Core Standards.  Save $4 (even more during the sale!) when you buy the prompt sets as a combo.

2) Kindergarten Math Common Core Cut-and-Glue Workbook

      This workbook covers ALL of the Common Core Math Standards for Kindergarten!  There are 2 or more pages devoted to each standard.  

      I liked the kindergarten version so much, I made one for first grade, too!  It also covers ALL of the Common Core Math Standards for first grade and has 2 or more pages devoted to each standard.  

Then, here are 2 more great items that you'll find in MY SHOPPING cart!  Click on each title to take a look.  

     1)  Inquiry Process Science Unit--Six Experiments!   From Karen Langdon
     I think this looks great because 1) these look like well-planned activities that can easily be done in the classroom, and 2) I'm always on the lookout for thoughtful science activities!  

    2) Monkey Squares    From Barbara Evans

    I am buying this for my classroom, but also for my 4-year-old daughter.  She is ALWAYS asking me to do Suduko puzzles, but she's not quite ready for those yet.  I think this would be the perfect introduction!  

     And, while you're shopping, be sure to check out some of the other stores with items on sale.  We're busy making a nice list of them below :)  

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Colorful Class Time

     Does anybody know why it takes so long for some kids to learn their colors?  My daughter did okay with them, but both of my boys really seem to struggle.  Right now, my little one (who just turned 2 last weekend!) says that everything is "blue."  I would say that he likes blue the best, but if he thinks orange is blue, then does he really have a favorite?

    Luckily, COLORS were the topic this week in our Language Stars*  Parents & Tots class.  I welcome ANY opportunity to practice colors!  We had a lot of fun ways to practice them, too.  What I found fascinating was that they were very simple activities.  Yet, the teacher managed to keep his attention for the ENTIRE class.  He would start to walk away, but change his mind as the teacher brought out just one more can't-miss-it object.  And, as you can see from the pictures, there was nothing remarkable about any of the toys or activities (from an adult point of view, anyway), but, developmentally, they were just perfect!

    My little one loves placing objects in bags, purses, boxes, or . . . nets.  So he squealed with delight over placing his orange football in a tiny net.  Who would have guessed it?

A football & a net?  Great fun! 
     The teacher had also prepared an adorable flower mural.  She had 2 or more of each color with the middles missing.  The students took turns matching the middle to the correct flower, repeating the colors over and over again to practice.  I tried to get a picture of the completed mural, but the little ones liked it better without the circles, so they kept taking them off!

Completing the color mural
     And what toddler class would be complete without something to wave around?  So, the teacher pulled out rainbow ribbon wands and a fun time was had by all!

Rainbow ribbons to wave around
     Well, my son certainly had fun in class, and I hope it brought him a little closer to knowing his colors in Mandarin.  Really, I'll be happy if he learns just one more color.  He'd have a better chance of guessing it right if he picked more than just blue!

As always,
Thanks for reading,

*We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experience.  But all the opinions expressed here are my own.


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