Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's a Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

It's that fun time of year again ... Teacher Appreciation Week! Yes, in some places it's just one day, but you deserve MORE appreciation than that! So at the iTeach blogs, we're celebrating in a big way!

So, thinking along the lines of Laura Numeroff, we want to know, "If you give a teacher a gift card ...", what would YOU got a gift card from a place you love to shop? Just like you, we at the iTeach blogs have our own ideas about that, and are all sharing what we'd choose!

For me, the choice is colorful cardstock.

This is a sight that makes me sigh.  I linger in this aisle far longer than necessary, but to me it is just so beautiful. It's a visual treat, and truth be told I also like feeling the texture of some of the oh-so-cool papers. It's been a while since I've done much scrapbooking, but my hoard is waiting patiently for me, knowing I'll be back someday. When the day for scrapbooking returns, however, I know I'll also be sneaking back to this land of beauty for "just a few little things" I'll need!

A variety pack like this one would also be on my gift card list!

Love the variety of colors! {I can promise you that I did not paint my nails to match the color on the package, but that's pretty amazing, isn't it?} I mostly use the 8.5X11 inch size, which can go right through the printer.

How to use colored cardstock in your classroom?

* Print a set of game cards on colored stock on your black and white printer. Really jazzes it up.

* For differentiated card sets, print each level on a different color. Makes it so easy to sort them quickly!

* Laminate a sheet for each child for a yearlong display. Just write the child's name on each colored sheet, laminate it, and hang all the sheets on a wall in your classroom or hallway. To make an easy-to-change display, just put sticky tack on the back of the child's work and pop it onto the laminated cardstock. When it's time to change the display, the front page will come off quickly and cleanly.  I like to use 12X12 cardstock for this, so it gives a gallery effect of matted display pages.

* For class books, a bright or patterned piece of cardstock makes a unique and attractive cover.

How do you use colorful cardstock in your classroom?

What you you get if you were given a gift card for Teacher Appreciation Week? What about a $25 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers, Amazon, Target, or Starbucks? It could happen to YOU!

My blogging friends at  iTeachFirst have gotten together to offer you the chance to win! Just click on the image below. It will take you to our blog where you can enter to win from April 26th through May 2nd. Tell your friends about this one ... after all, who wouldn't want a chance at these great prizes?

Here are some more iTeach bloggers sharing what they'd do with their winning card! Please visit - maybe you'll find a great idea that's just what you need!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Three Ladybug Freebies ... in Their New Homes!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

It's time for more spring cleaning at my TpT store, so I thought I'd start by sweeping out some of the bugs!

Apparently at some point in time I was simultaneously obsessed with ladybugs and suffering from memory loss, because there are were three ladybug freebies in my store. Oops.

These two ladybug games, previously at my store, will now be housed at Google Drive and accessible only here.

The first is a short u game, Ladybug, Ladybug. Get it here.

The second is a programmable game board, March of the Ladybugs. This is programmable, but not editable. In other words, you can print the board and then write in whatever skill you want your students to practice. There's a game board, blank cards, and two sets of cubes and spinners. Click here to download.

I decided to leave the last set at my store. Can't have a store with no ladybugs, after all! It's called Ladybug Lane. It's a set of two Common Core games for first grade math with a 120 board game and a set of cards for a battle game - doubles and near doubles addition facts. Click here to see it at my store.

Sorry if this post is confusing, but I hope that it will help some of you discover at least one freebie that's brand new to you! Enjoy!

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Plants: More Than Meets the Eye! Plus, a Plant Freebie!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

It's the wonderful season for growing plants again! Chances are, you'll be doing some planting in your classroom this spring, so I'd like to share some helpful resources I've come across, plus a freebie, too!

Many of our students may have little or no experience with growing plants, so they think it's kind of magic. You put a seed in soil, water it, and - poof! - a plant appears on the surface of the soil! We tell them about roots, and show them pictures, but seeing is believing. That's why I love planting projects that have visible root activity, like these ideas from Pinterest. They really give students the big picture of plants!

The first planting project has a bean seed in a plastic CD case. {You can click on any of these images to see them at Pinterest.}

One of the best visuals I've come across for watching root growth (short of the real thing, of course!) is this amazing video of the growth of radish seeds - time lapse photography over a nine day period. I love how the kids can see that action is happening beneath the ground before anything is visible on the surface. Sorry I can't get the video to embed, but if you click on the pic, it will take you directly to the pin on my First Grade Science board.

If you're planting with your class, stop by my Tpt store to download this newly listed freebie! It includes a class graph to compare germination times, a survey, and a template for persuasive writing.
Just in time to complement your own spring planting projects!

These plant activities are part of 1st and 2nd Grade Science ~ Data Collection and Writing Activities for Eight Science Themes . Click on the picture to see it at my TpT store!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Get Your "Animals!" Pack FREE!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Little learners love to learn about animals, and frankly, I love to teach about them, too! First of all, I think it's so much fun to empower our students with new information, knowledge that expands their schema and fuels their curiosity for more reading. Second, I don't think there's ever been a schoolyear when I didn't learn something totally amazing that I'd never heard or read before! It's fun to learn something new, and it's a great thing for our students to know that we are learning side-by-side with them, that our learning never ends.

Of course, being the cross-curricular-ly-minded teacher that I am {sorry, but that totally demanded making up a new word!!}, I had to find ways to expand learning about animals into every corner of our day! Some of those other learning experiences in literacy and math, plus quite a few more, are gathered into this pack which is currently a "DEAL!" at Educents!

Here are a few "close-ups" of what this pack includes.

This pack is currently 35% off, just $8.75 for the next few days, only at Educents.

But here's the Really Great Deal! 
If you sign up for a new Educents account (free!), there's currently a promotion that will give you $10 in Educents to spend as you wish.
If you get your $10 now, you can use it to get the Animals! Deal free, and even have some extra Edubucks left over.

You can spend your Edubucks on this deal.
You can spend your Edubucks at my Educents store.
You can spend them on anything you choose at Educents, and there's a lot to choose from!
Spend them as you wish, but don't miss out on getting them. Just click here to find out how... and tell a friend, too!

Have a great week! Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

100 Riddles for the Hundred Chart - 3rd Grade Free Sample!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

If you're a regular visitor here, you know how much I love using riddles in teaching. In addition to their ability to hold kids' attention and keep them begging for more, riddles are a great way to...

* review vocabulary
* model identifying key details
* model inferring and drawing conclusions
* refine listening skills

In other words, in addition to being lots of fun, riddles are totally Common Core, too!

Today's freebie is designed for use in third grade, but would also be great for math coaches and tutors. It's a set of twelve riddle cards for third grade math skills. Here's a peek!

Click here or on the image above to get your free sample set!

The complete set includes a riddle for every number from one to 100, along with an answer key to make this set perfect for independent use in math centers. If you'd like the complete set, which also comes with a solve-and-color activity, printable number grid game, and suggestions for use, click here or on the picture below to see it at my TpT store.

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Cleaning and Giveaway for PreK & Kindergarten!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

If you are a creator of classroom resources (and really, what teacher isn't?), the words "spring cleaning" take on a whole new meaning. It's time to make some fresh new products, but it's also a good occasion to go back to some "seasoned" items and give them a good scrub and shine!

So, that's just what I've done with Swing Into Spring: Math and Literacy Activities for PreK and Kindergarten.  New fonts, rearranging, taking out "over-coloring" (my apologies to those of you who printed a few of those pages before ... uh, I'm trying to live and learn...), new cover, better preview. And now I can happily say, I LIKE it again!

Here it is!

You can find it at either my Teachers Pay Teachers or Educents store.

There are a dozen hands-on math and literacy activities in this set. Here's a free little taste for you, a game for counting and filling ten frames.

Would you like to win the complete Swing into Spring set? I'd love to share a few sets! Three ways to enter, three winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just a reminder - it's not too late to enter the giveaway for Educents Bucks, right here!

Happy Teaching!

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