Friday, March 22, 2013

Educational Easter Eggs

It seems like the week before a break is always busy.  Well, this week was crazy busy.  Our school's musical performance was this week as well as finishing up everything before Spring Break.

See this little gadget?  Looks pretty harmless doesn't it.

Usually it is.  Unless a student sticks his finger in the hole.  Yep, that happened today.  No biggie, right?  Well, I tried several things to get that sweet little finger out of that hole, but nothing worked.  My student begins to panic and tries to yank his finger out.  Well, that just maks everything worse.  Then, I notice his finger seems to be turning purple.  Now, I'm starting to panic.  So I did what every teacher at my school does.  You go to the secretary.  We all know that the secretary runs the school, but ours runs everything.  She is amazing.  I run into the office with my sweet friend by the hand and she sees my panic.  I show her his hand, and before I can get 2 words out she hands me the wooden bead.  I was so stunned!   I'm not sure who was more relieved, me or my student.

After I recovered from my panic attack, I had this cute little Easter Egg reading activity ready for my students.  While the kids were in lunch, I had an older student hide this basket of eggs in throughout my room.

After lunch, the kids got to go on an egg hunt.  They were all so excited.  They tried very hard to follow the "no running" rule.  After we found all of the eggs, we collected them back into the basket.  Students picked one egg at a time, took it to their seat, and recorded all of the word family words that were on their egg.  Then, they chose two words from each egg to illustrate.  (Each egg had a different word family.)  Here's a close up of a few eggs.

 The kids loved this activity and it is super easy and cheap to do.  It is also easy to modify so that you can reach all of your students.  You could make one color for the lowest readers and a different color for your high flyers.  Hope you had a great Friday!

You can grab your FREE student response page HERE.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Advice to You Linky Party

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I'm linking up with Ms. Fultz's Corner to share some advice.  This is my 14th year (5 in pull-out resource, and my 9th in self-contained) teaching and I learn something numerous new things every year.  My advice is  more along the lines of what I have learned over the years so maybe you can avoid some of the pitfalls that I found.

1.  You must be flexible.  Whether it's in your classroom teaching a lesson, working out a scheduling conflict with a coworker, or the trends in education, we are always changing.  I've learned it's ok to stop a lesson that is failing and start over or try something completely different right in the middle of my lesson.  Students don't always learn in the manner that we predict or they don't have all of the skills that we thought they had.  So, be flexible and try something else.  It's ok to scrap a failing lesson.

As a sped teacher, I have to work with almost every other teacher in my building at some point and there are always scheduling conflicts.  I've found the saying, "You catch more flies with honey." to be true.  If both sides are willing to give a little, the child benefits and that's the reason we are here to begin with.

As we all know, education is constantly changing.  We have to be flexible or be left behind.  We have to change our teaching methods, content, and test prep every time we turn around.  As technology continues to evolve, we must evolve to keep up and prepare our students.

2.  It's ok to ask for help.  We all need help so find someone who has been through it before and see how they handled it.  There are plenty of experts in your building if you are willing to listen.  An expert is not always the teacher who has taught 20+ years. It is sometimes the first year teacher.  I often go to the youngest teachers when I have a technology question.  They know more about it and bbunderstand it in a way that I have to work at.

3.  Have fun.  Love your job.  If you love your job, you will be much happier and effective.  That also means you have to take time for yourself so that you can recharge.  The most effective teachers are the ones that are the most well-rounded and have a life outside of school.

4.  Love your kiddos.  You are the only nice, amazing, kind, beautiful, and intelligent person many of your students will ever know.  Get to know your students.  Find out about their lives.  Hug them everyday.  Find something good in each child everyday.  "Be the difference you want to see in the world."

On another note, the fundraiser for my friend's son is still going on.  If you donate a minimum of $25, you will receive over $160 worth of teacher materials. (k-3)  Click the picture to learn more and go to the donation page.  I would greatly appreciate any pinning/sharing of this fundraiser.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Caring for Cole

A couple of weeks ago, a sweet teacher friend took her 5 year old son to the doctor for terrible headaches.  That afternoon, he was sent to Vanderbilt (4 hours away) and admitted.  He had brain surgery 3 days later to remove part of an enormous tumor.  It is cancer and it's very aggressive.  It's rare in children and it's rare to have it in the brain.  His doctors are consulting with doctors at John Hopkins and St. Jude to try to decide how to handle this cancer. To make things even more complicated, he also has brittle bone.  He spent about 3 weeks in Vandy and has now been sent home.  His family will receive some treatments in Knoxville, but will have to continue to drive to Vandy for some of his treatments and to continue to see his neurologist.

Can't tell he just had part of a brain tumor removed.  Love that smile!

I  know you want to help.  Anytime we hear about a child who is sick, it breaks your heart.  One thing the family has asked for is prayers, prayers for a miracle.  Another way you can help, is to donate money to their family.  The parents have missed over 3 weeks of work and will miss many more to care for Cole.  His medical expenses are already enormous and continues to grow daily.  Cole has a long road ahead of him and this is one stress we can help his family with.

Leaving the hospital and headed home.

Some amazing teacher friends have donated some of their fabulous "Tried and True" teaching resources for anyone who donates a minimum of $25.  If you donate, please leave your email address so that I can send you the bundle of 33 files valued over $160.00

Here's what's included:

Please consider helping this family by donating at least $25.  (If you donate less than $25, you will NOT receive the teacher resources.)

All proceeds will be given to Cole and his family to help with medical and travel expenses. 

Click the donate button below to make your payment through PayPal. 

Products will be emailed to the email address used to make payment. Please do not donate anonymously, or I will not be able to send you the products. 

ALL PRODUCTS WILL BE EMAILED as soon as possible and usually within 48 hours.  (Please check your spam folder.)  If you do not receive your files within 48 hours please email me at

Your donations will greatly help this family in their time of need. 
Thank you so much for your support. Words cannot express how very much I appreciate your support and prayers for this family.

The graphics used above are from the amazing Mel.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Leprechaun's Gold #14

What do you find at the end of a bloggy rainbow?  TpT Cash!

Yea!  You made it to stop #14!  One more stop and you will have completed the hop. Did you find all of the words so far?  Now, all you need to do is stop by #15, find the last word, and unscramble the sentence.  Enter the sentence into the rafflecopter and you will be entered to will $100 in TpT cash!  I hope you have enjoyed all of the freebies so far.  Freebie no longer available.  You can find it here for $4.00.

And the last stop is Ms. Fultz's Corner.  Make sure you stop by her blog.  It has the Rafflecopter so you can officially enter for the TpT gold!



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Read Across America Day/TpT GOLD!

Do you celebrate Read Across America Day?  It used to be one of my favorite days.  I would do lots of  activities in my classroom all week long that focused around Dr. Seuss and his books.  I would incorporate the books into all subject areas.  But, not this year.  Since Seuss Enterprises has been suing teachers for sharing anything they make in their classrooms that uses any character or book, I just can't bring myself to make anything, even for my kiddos. 

 This year, the ELL teacher I work with wanted to do a whole book theme for dressing up.  She chose Peter Pan and we went crazy!  We had so much fun.  She dressed up as Peter Pan, the resource teacher dressed up as Tinkerbell, and I was Captain Hook.  We even got all of the kids in my class involved.  I have 2 girls, so one was Wendy and the other we made a great Tick-Tock Croc.  (I love how it turned out!)  All of my boys were dressed as the "Lost Boys".  They LOVED it, because they got to carry around sling shots and swords all day (or until they hit someone with it!)  Don't worry, they were made out of cardboard!  

I wish I could show all of their sweet faces.  The art teacher painted their faces with brown pigment to look like dirt.  The boys really had a great time.

Here's a pic of the Tick-Tock Croc biting a little boy's head!  They had so much fun playing together!  They even wanted to put on a play!
 Overall, it was a great day, even though we didn't do one Dr. S activity.  We had so much fun!

In other news, I hope you check back tomorrow for some BIG news involving some TpT GOLD!

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