Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TPT Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream!

Yay!  I'm finally catching up with the weekly TPT Challenge offered by Sparkling in Second, Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista.
This week's challenge is 'Dare to Dream'. 
First, let me say I'm the kind of person who has aspirations and goals; however, I'm also a realist.  It's a bit hard for me to think my little 'ole TPT store will ever become huge…..to the point where it could be a large portion or sole source of my income.  But, then again, the point of this challenge is to dream big, so here it goes!
These goals are in no particular order, but are definitely things I have dreams about.  
  • I would LOVE to go back to school.  My ultimate goal would to get my PhD.  My dad is a big inspiration for me in regards to that dream.  But, in the meantime, I would choose to get another degree in social work and then become certified as a play therapist.  The only thing stopping me from that are the dreaded student loans that have become acquired, not just my own but my children as well.  If money were no object, I would enroll tomorrow!
  • Volunteer is another dream and my dad again is another reason for this dream.  After he retired,{he had his doctorate in English, taught at a private college, and was a wonderful writer} he volunteered at an inner city high school, helping in their English department.  He also worked at homeless shelters and soup kitchens.  He is my role model.  If time, money and work were no object, I would love to spend more time helping others, just like he did.
  • My own children are young adults just starting their lives after college.  I wish I could help them get their feet on the ground financially.  I also dream of being a grandma someday and having the flexibility with work and finances to babysit and spoil my grandkids rotten.  :)
  • Mentoring other teachers, whether it as a presenter at workshops or teaching education courses, is another big dream of mine.  If my TPT business took off, I would love to participate in all the conferences like 'I Teach K' and other professional development offerings.
So, there you have it….nothing particularly fancy, but definitely something worth dreaming about!
What are your dreams?  Hope over to link them up for the TPT Challenge:  Dare to Dream!

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nursery Rhyme Book Makeover!

I am linking up with Sparkling in Second Grade for TPT Seller Week One Make-Over Madness.  As usual I'm a little late to the party, but as my dear daddy used to say better late than never!  Hopefully, I will catch up to week two sooner than later.  :)
I would like to showcase my nursery rhyme theme pack entitled 'My Book of Nursery Rhymes'.  When I originally blogged about it HERE, I was inundated with requests for patterns so I put together a pack. 
I recently updated it to include more patterns for pages to add to the book.  I have to say this is probably my all time favorite theme to do with my littles.  Many haven't had much exposure to nursery rhymes, and for those who have it's a great reinforcer.  It's so exciting to watch them become engrossed, almost consumed by learning the rhymes.  When our book is finished they can virtually 'read' it from cover to cover by themselves.  Pretty exciting stuff, especially for preschool loves.

Here's a look at some of the new rhymes included in the pack and the sweet ones making them.

'Hey Diddle Diddle' 

I changed up the 'Humpty Dumpty' pattern for another option.  Students colored the brick wall {which can be difficult for some littles to stay within a confined space}
'Humpty Dumpty'
'There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe' was added.
'An additional 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' art activity was added.
An 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' Craftivity is also a new addition. (The patterns are similar but still a bit different than this page)
A different 'Jack Be Nimble' craft has also been added.
In addition to the crafts, which includes a small version of the nursery rhyme to glue onto the page, there are also different large nursery rhymes to glue onto the back of the page to double the rhymes in the book.  Here's an example:

My sweet ones couldn't get enough of their book.  :)
 My students LOVE it when we do a Nursery Rhyme theme.  I love it when I hear my sweet ones reciting nursery rhymes.  These patterns have been added to my pack, but the price has remained the same.   Click HERE or on the picture below to take you to my store.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Spotlight!

Hello friends!  I finally finished a pack I've been working on and wanted to share it with you on Kindergarten Dragons 'Spotlight Saturday'linky.
 Thank you, Erin, for allowing everyone to showcase something on their blog.
I always use the book 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear?' by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle at the beginning of the school year to assess the stages of color learning for my little ones.  Since there are three stages to color recognition, it's an easy way to take a quick peek at each individual student.  The repetitive text of the book also make it a favorite among my sweet peas.  They quickly memorize it and enjoy 'reading along' with me.  I know there are tons of really great freebies to go along with this book and I have used lots of them.  However, I hadn't found everything I needed for all the different levels of learning, especially at the beginning of the year when everyone seem to come in at such varying degrees of skills.
My pack is 81 pages and is filled with retelling activities and ideas, along with essential questions about the book, plus tons of ways to differentiate according to the level of the learner.  I have also included ways to make your little ones actively involved with the learning/assessing that takes place.
Brown Bear Retelling Pack What’s Included:
Vocabulary cards to use in a pocket chart
Three levels of Essential Questions to use to assess comprehension and ‘wh’ questions
Sequencing activities to help learners retell the story, also available at multiple levels to help  differentiate according to the level of your learner
Interactive Emergent Readers, available in three levels.  Students can match colors, read color words, and write a word in the sentence.  Pick the level that best fits the needs of your learners.
Class Book template with ideas included.
Color the Room activity with additional ideas included to make it a write the room for more advanced learning
Question cards with varying degree of difficulty to be used individually or as small or large group activities
Retelling cards/puppet pieces that can be attached to Popsicle sticks or hole punched/strung with yarn and worn as a necklace to actively engage young learners as they retell the story or hold up pieces while the story is read.

Here is a quick peek of some of the activities.
Sequencing sheets where the little learners cut and glue the pictures to retell the story.
However, if you have some students that are not at that level yet, you can use this type of sheet instead.
Little ones can find and color the picture according to the question asked.
There are three levels of interactive readers to choose from.  This allows for differentiation among students with the same type activity.

There are also three levels of essential questions to assess comprehension of the story along with 'wh' questions.

There are question cards that can be laminated and cut apart to use as individual, small or large group activities.  The questions are asked with varying degrees of difficulty, which allows each child to be successful and challenged.
There is a 'color the room' activity that can easily be made into a 'write the room' activity.
These cards can also be used to play a memory type game.
Vocabulary cards can be used in a pocket chart.
Puppet Retelling Pieces allow for students to be actively involved during the reading of or the retelling of the story.
A class book template is also included.

I don't know about you, but any class book we make is quickly a favorite on our bookshelf.  Little ones take ownership and pride in their work!  I truly love seeing that while listening to them 'read'.
The pack is on sale for $2.75.  I hope you check it out and leave me some feedback of your thoughts!  Click HERE or on the above picture to take you to my store.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Bucket List!

I'm linking up with What the Teacher Wants for a Summer Bucket List linky party!
As I re-read through my list, it appears to be pretty simple…..
Let's hope I can accomplish that!  :)

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award!

I must confess, I am feeling a tad guilty {ok, more than a tad} for being AWOL in the blogging world lately.  Life simply has been getting in the way……more to come on that later?   However, I was super thrilled to find out that Kate from Fun in ECSE nominated me anyway for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'.
Thank you, Kate!  If you have not checked out her blog, you must.
Fun in ECSE
 She has such amazing ideas and tons of great freebies!
Here are 10 fun facts about me.
1.  I just finished my 6th year teaching at the early childhood center in my district.
     Next year, I will begin a new adventure in an elementary building {excited but nervous}where I will
     teach a Title One preschool class.
2.  I was a parent educator for my district before I went back to the classroom.  I had the privilege of   
     providing parents of little ones developmental information to help them know what to expect and
     ways to encourage growth.
3.  I have two children {seems weird to say adult children} aged 25 and 23.
4.  My son just graduated from college and my daughter teaches school in Arizona.
5.  I have a wonderful lab mix dog named Bella.
6.  I am the youngest of eight children.  
7.  I love to travel, especially where there is a beach!
8.  I love to read and look forward to finding time {fingers crossed} this summer to pick up a good 
9.  I just picked up a 10 speed, reminiscent of my bike I had years ago, and have started riding 
       again……so much fun!
10.  I like funky pieces, whether it's decorating or clothing and accessories.  If it's unique and fun, I love 

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this award.  Each blogger has shared a wealth of knowledge and wonderful ideas to help me in the classroom.
Christine from Autism Classroom News
Tracy from The Bender Bunch
Melissa at Jungle Learners
Be sure to check them out!  

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)