Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And the winner is....

Thanks everyone for entering!  Since I had so many enter, I decided to give an extra prize to 2 other ladies. The grand prize goes to Ms. Richling!!  Ms. Richling, I will send your email to all of the teacher-authors who have donated a product and they will send you your file via email.  Please let me know which products you want from my store up to $20 and I will email them to you!

For 2nd and 3rd place winners, I will also give you $20 worth of products from  my store.  Congratulations Heather and Shawna!!  Just shoot me an email and let me know what you want!!  (mrs.banks.04 (at) gmail (dot) com)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just a few more hours....

Just a few more hours until a winner is selected in my giveaway!  Head down to the next post for all of the details and to enter!  Good luck!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's Giveaway Time!

I want to thank each and everyone of you out in cyberspace for following my little blog!  When I began this adventure about a year ago, I had no idea that anyone would ever want to hear about what happened in my little corner of the teaching world.  I want to say thank you to everyone by hosting my first ever multi-teacher/blog giveaway.  I have several AMAZING ladies who have offered up some AMAZING teaching resources for one lucky winner.  (If we have a super-amazing turn out, I will offer additional prizes for a 2nd and 3rd place winner!)  Here's what one lucky person will win!

$20 from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

100 Riddles for the 100 Chart $4 by Linda Nelson

Super Sleuths Sentences $2.50 by Michelle Walker

Long and Short Vowel Sort $3 by HoJo

Spring Unit Combo Pack $10 by Valerie Young
Gumball Hard and Soft C $3 by The Teaching Bank

Monstering Multiplication $6 by A Series of 3rd Grade Events

Dolphins at Daybreak Novel Study $3 by TchrBrowne

Mini Beast Math Centers $5 by Down Under Teacher

Spring Math and Literacy Centers $8 by D Conway

Wow!  That's a lot of stuff!  Over $80 worth of amazing teaching resources ready to use in your classroom!  So, who wants to win it all?  I do!  I do!  Oh well, since I can't win it, here's what you need to do.  Leave a comment for each each blog or store that you follow.  If you follow ALL of the stores, that will count as 2 bonus entries.  (Leave 2 additional comments.)  If you follow ALL blogs that will count as an additional 2 bonus entries.  Make sure you leave your email or blog so that I can contact the winner.  Here's the list of blogs and stores.  Hop over and thank each of these ladies for being so generous while you sign up to follow them!
Thanks to everyone for participating and good luck!  A lucky winner will be selected on Wednesday, March 28 around 5:00 pm!

To Follow each store, click on the product description above.  To follow each blog, click on the links below!

Primary Inspiration

Creative Classroom

HoJo's Teaching Adventures

FultzCorner Button

Down Under Teacher

The Teaching Bank

2nd Grade Pad

Go Figure

Terri's Teaching Treasures

Lessons From The Middle

Want to find more awesome giveaways?! The 3am Teacher is having a Giveaway LInky party!



Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to Make Your own Grab Button

This is a step by step tutorial.  I found all of this info by searching several sites and combining what they show along with what I figured out through trial and error (and I had many errors.)  Since I was able to figure this out, I know anyone can do it.

Step 1: Create your cute button.  Go to any drawing program.  I use pages from mac.  If you have a pc, use publisher.  Start with a square.   Make it larger than you need and we will resize it later.  Give the square a background color, add in any graphics that you like, and finally add in your text.  (Here's a quick picture of the different step I took to make my button.)
Step 2:  Turn your image into a jpeg or png.  On a mac, take a screen shot of the the image by holding down command, shift, 4.  This will allow you to draw a box with your mouse and capture the image of just your new blog button.  You want to make it as close to the lines as possible.  Save it on your desktop.  Go to the screenshot and open it in preview.  Go to "save as" and save it as a png.

Step 3:  Go to photobucket and create an account. It is free.  Once you have created your account, upload your image.

Once you have your image uploaded, go to album, click on edit under your picture.  It will take you to a screen like this.
Click on the resize button.  Change the size to 125 pixels.  (Standard button size.)  Click save.  You have made a button!!  Now all you need to do is write the code.  (I know, but you CAN do it! Stay with me!)


There are different parts of the code.  You will need your blog url, your photo url from photobucket (I will show you how to get this), and insert this info into the code below.

It looks long and complicated, but all you have to do is highlight each section and change it to your info.

Step 1:  Copy and paste this into a word document.  (I made a goggle doc, but for some reason it looks funny, but all of the parts are there.  Scroll down to copy/paste.)

Change the red part to your blog url. Blue is the name of your blog.

Green is the location of your image on photobucket.  Go back to your image in photobucket.  If you notice, there is a boc that says "Direct link"  Copy that info and insert it as the location of your photo.

Now, highlight all of the code and change the color back to black.  (I save a copy of this code in a word document so I can easily change it if I change my button.)  Go into your blog. Select "design" "add a gadget"  "HTML"  Type in your title.  Copy/paste your code into the box and presto, you have your very own "Grab My Button"

I hope you were able to create your own button without any problems!  If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them!
Good luck!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blog Makeover!

Life In Special Education

Well, I've spent the last few hours giving my blog a makeover.  With all of the hoopla over the dreaded Dr. S word, I was afraid to leave my "Dr. S" inspired theme up.  So if you have grabbed my button in the past, I would appreciate it if you would grab the new button without any "Dr. S" inspired graphics.

How do you like the new look?  All of the beautiful graphics you see are from the AMAZING A-manda Creations.  Make sure you check out her blog/store.  I will be adding a button just for her on my sidebar as soon as I feed the critters my girls lunch and put them down for some magic rest time!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It's science fair time!!  Since I have a room full of boys (only 2 girls!).  I try to find something that is interesting to boys.  They love crashing, bashing, and destroying things, so catapults seem like a great fit.  First, we learned a little about catapults and why they were used.  They loved the fact that catapults were used to crash through and hurl large boulders over castle walls.  We wanted to build the best catapult we could.  One that would shoot a giant boulder (mini-marshmallow) the greatest distance so we would have the strongest army.  We used a block of wood, thumbtacks, rubber band, and plastic spoons of various lengths.  The class voted unanimously that the longer spoon would hurl our boulder the greatest distance. We set up the catapult and conducted 10 trials with the short spoon and 10 trials with the long spoon.  We measured the distance of each marshmallow and averaged the lengths.  The results:  The short spoon won!!  It was able to hurl a marshmallow 10 1/2 feet and the long spoon was only able to hurl 6 3/4 feet.  The kids had a blast!  If you are interested in my catapult smartboard file, you can find it here.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Such a Sweet Surprise!

I was awarded the One Lovely Blog by We are ALL Special.  Thanks so much!!  I love finding other special ed blogs!  (They are finally on the rise!)  I hope you all will stop by her wonderful blog and see what she's been up to in her classroom!  

The rules:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you. :)

Here are the LOVELY blogs I have chosen:

These ladies were all chosen because they offer so many freebies, teaching tips, and encouragement! They inspire me with their wonderful ideas!  I hope you will check out their wonderful blogs if you are not familiar with them.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss Week in Review

I hope everyone has had a wonderful time celebrating the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss.  We have had so much fun this week.  I wish I had time to take pictures of everything that we did.

Monday: We read There's a Wocket in my Pocket and created our own creatures in pockets.  I got the idea from here.  In S.S. we read a biography on Dr. Seuss.  You can get it here.

Tuesday: In math, we made a goldfish graph.  (It is included in the packet with the Dr. Seuss bio from above.)  We created our own version of There's a Wocket in my Pocket class book. You can get it here.  In science, we read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and made oobleck.  We did several activities to decide if oobleck is a solid or a liquid.  I got my ideas from here.

Wednesday: We read Green Eggs and Ham and made a list of all 50 words that are used in the book.  (A recording sheet is included in the Dr. Seuss bio unit.)  In science we read The Lorax and discussed air pollution and how it effects the environment.

Thursday: We made our own class book based on Green Eggs and Ham.  You can get it here.  We also made cute Cat in the Hat pop-ups.  You can get it here.

Friday:  We read The Cat in the Hat and sequenced the book.  I got my idea from here.  We also played Dr. Seuss reading snatch games.  You can get it here.  In math we played Tree Snatch games adding 3 numbers.  You can get it here or here.

It was also dress up as your favorite storybook character.  I decided to dress up even though a student has a fear of people in costumes.  We have been working for months trying to help her get over her fear.  (Last year, she ran out of the classroom when she saw me dressed up!)  This year, she looked at me and said, "Creepy!" and that was that.  After about an hour looking at me, she asked to try on my cat nose and seemed just fine with the costumes.  She's made a lot of progress with it!

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