January 16, 2017

The power of LETTER TILES

Happy Monday everyone!

I am sure many of you are enjoying your day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but not me.....we have a teacher in-service today. Joy!

Find more Teacher Humor at the Teacher Next Door's "Teacher Humor" Pinterest board.:

I honestly am surprised we are having it, because before the weekend even hit meteorologists were predicting the "Great Icepocalypse of 2017."  Supposedly we were supposed to have multiple waves of debilitating ice which would down power-lines, prevent driving and cancel EVERYTHING.

Did we get this ice.....Nope!  All we got was rain.....so there goes the day off I was hoping for.

Anyway...I can't really complain.  At least I have power at my house.....

Thanks to the rainy weather, I was able to stay home all weekend and put the finishing touches on my newest TPT products.....letter tiles! :) I am pretty excited about them! :)

Click the picture above....which will take you to my TPT store where you can download the letter tiles freebie! :) 
Most K-2 reading programs contain letter tile kits, which is amazing!  Letter tiles are A MUST when students are just learning how to read and spell.

These precious tiles allow students to manipulate the letters and sounds in words. AND building words takes on a multi-sensory approach.  We all know these little babes need to be able to do hands on exploration.

The kits at my school look like this:

Consonants are in yellow, and vowels are in pink for easy identification.    The dots at the bottom are "sound dots."  When students are spelling the word "dog", the teacher asks  "whats the first sound," and the student responds "/d/" and places the matching letter tile on sound dot one.  When the word is completely built, students point and say each sound and then say the whole word.  It is a pretty fantastic routine.

Not only do letter tiles provide many opportunities for students, it also affords endless opportunities for teachers to get students interacting with letters, sounds, word building, etc.  The ideas for letter tiles are endless!

Now...not everyone has access to letter tiles, or letters....especially teachers of older grades....so my newest product makes letter tiles accessible to everyone!  Whoop!  Just print, cut and your kiddos are ready to go!

My motivation for these product came from my  DESPERATE need for tiles that included advanced vowels, consonant+le, r control vowels, etc.  I wanted the older kiddos I have to be able to manipulate sounds in words, without running out of tiles and I also wanted them to see the words in chunks.  Many of the kits that are sold do not include these advanced word building concepts....thus I had to create my own.  My kids have loved it!

Click the pictures below to take you to TPT to download whichever tile set you need....and don't forget to download the freebie above!

January 2, 2017

The Highlights of 2016

I realize 2016 has already left us, but it is never too late to reflect.  Right?!?!

Today, I am linking up with Daisy Designs for her Highlights of 2016 Linky Party!

 My first highlight is accepting a new position at an elementary school in my district.  It is the same job (literacy and math interventionist) but at a K-4 school, instead of a 5-6 building.  I AM LOVING EVERY MINUTE! 

 My second highlight is the #silospringbreak trip my husband and I took in March.  For our spring break we traveled to see (with our own eyes!!!!) Waco, Texas and hopefully catch a glimpse of Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Although we didn't meet them, we did have a blast at the Silos, Magnolia Market, Harp Design Company and scoping out all of the sites we see from our TV as we watch our fav. show! 

My third highlight (although I should have ranked it #1) is that my sister moved back to the United States from Germany in August.  Her husband is in the military and they have lived in Germany for the past two years.  I was so excited to have her back stateside....and only two hours away from me!

 My fourth highlight is a combo of many days.  You see, we travel up to Manhattan for all of the KSU home football games and we have a TON OF FUN!  We probably attend 6-8 games a year--tailgate, spend time with family and watch some GREAT football. 

 My fifth and final highlight is all of the family time we had over the holidays!  We love Christmas around here.....and the best part is spending time with the ones we love!


December 20, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday

Today I am linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade for her linky party: Show and Tell Tuesday!

The goal of the linky party is to showcase up to four fun things you have going on in your classroom or personal life, and then tell all of your readers about them!

On Monday we had "Hot Cocoa Bar" in my classroom as our holiday party.  The kids drank some delicious crockpot cocoa and were able to to top it with goodies of their choice! :) While they were sipping their tasty treat, we played Christmas music and colored some Christmas pictures!  We sure had a fun time! :)


If you want the recipe for the Crockpot Cocoa, click the pin below!




 I can't take credit for the art showcased in the pictures above, but I can say I work at a school with some amazing educators!  I mean....how cute, creative and festive is all of the artwork that is currently on display at my school?!?!

Last but not least.....allow me to showcase my adorable pooch and her equally cute cousin!  OR....better yet "Santa Paws and her reindeer!"  Pictured above is Rudy (my chocolate lab and school's therapy dog) and Zoey (a dachshund with more personality than you can even imagine.)

Have a great week everyone! :)

December 16, 2016

Flashback Friday---Cute Holiday Gifts!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today its is all about a #flashbackfriday to some pretty cute Christmas gifts I gave my students.

These reindeer suckers are cheap, festive and easy to make!

If you want the full set of directions on how to make these little babes, click here to take you to my original post.

Now for those of you that are lucky enough to call this your last day.....have a super fun and RELAXING break.

For those of you that still have a few days left with your kiddos......  YOU CAN DO IT!

November 27, 2016

Giveaway and a TPT sale!!!

I have two REALLY EXCITING things to share......

FIRST.....enter below for a chance to win a $10 TPT gift card!  Whoop Whoop!!!

You only have one week to enter, and you can't win if you don't try!  So....get your entries in before December 5th!!  I mean....who wouldn't want to win 10 dollars to TPT???
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Second.....TPT is having a Cyber Monday Sale!  Wahoooo!!!

The sale runs two days, starting tomorrow (November 28 and 29)!  Buyers can salve up to 28% by using code CYBER2016 at checkout!

Best of luck for the contest and happy shopping!!

If I were you, I would get those shopping carts loaded now.......

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving---and a TPT sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blogging friends!

Image result for thanksgiving comics

In honor of this festive holiday, I am having a sale at my TPT store, Mind Sparks!  Everything will be 20% off Today (November 24th) through Sunday (November 27th).

This means 20% off all of my bundles, like my most recent bundle of comprehension quick checks.

This means 20% off all of my games, like the newest Connect Four I just made.  Whoop whoop!

Happy shopping....but more importantly....HAPPY EATING!

November 20, 2016

Pastries for Parents

Community involvement is a HUGE focus in our school district, as I am sure it is in many of your districts.  If you are searching for some great ideas....I have got one for you!

Last week, the elementary school where I work hosted Pastries for Parents.  As the interventionist, I was the lucky one (thankfully I had some amazing helpers) who planned the event.  That may sound like a complaint---but seriously---I love planning events, but there is no way I could have pulled it off without my volunteers.

Anyway....the turnout was AMAZING!  We had so many parents show up that parents were circling the school to find parking spaces.  It. Was. Awesome!

Want to know the format?

Well.....our school opened its doors at 7:15am. Parents, students, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents filtered through the donuts, juice and coffee line and then headed to classrooms where they read or played games with their child.  

Teachers were asked to leave their classrooms unlocked and to set out books and games students and their families could use.  Many teachers set these things out the night before and instructed the students on what they could do with their parents.  All in all this event was little prep for teachers, yet they did (and they were so gracious and willing) to give up their Friday morning so parents and students could be in their room.  If opening up teachers classrooms are not an option for your school---you could have books and games set up in the gym, library or cafeteria. 

Students and their families were able to stay(if they wanted) in their classroom from 7:15 to 8:15, and then at 8:15 our principal got on the intercom and notified parents that the event was over.  All students then reported to the gym for morning announcements, and our regular school day began. 

Want to know what you need to pull off the event?

First, you need to secure volunteers.  I needed help with passing out donuts, filling juice cups and serving coffee. I believe I had about 6 people helping me serve.

Second, you need to notify teachers.  

Third, you need to pre-order all of your supplies. We ordered our 30 dozen donuts, plates, napkins, frozen juice and coffee a couple weeks in advance.  We wanted to give the bakery plenty of notice--as 30 dozen donuts PROBABLY requires extra help.   

Fourth, you want to set up your donut and drink station up the night in advance. My janitor did this for me---love her!  I also mixed the frozen juice in large jugs and set the jugs in the refrigerator.  Making the juice in advance saved me some time in the morning......

Fifth, you will have an early morning pick up of donuts. I picked mine up at 6:30am.... yikes...right?  I wanted to give myself plenty of time to set them up, and get the juice out before parents and students arrived.

Check out my early morning tweet....