August 14, 2016

The Starfish Story

Tomorrow is the first day back for many teachers, and it is easy to approach the first day like this.....


BUT.....how about challenging yourself to begin the year like this....


I know it is hard.

I know it is tough to set the alarm and actually remember what day it is.

I get that it is painful to put on real pants (pants that actually button, zip and aren't made of stretch fabric).

I get that the thought of styling your hair and putting on makeup makes you want to curl into a ball and cry.....but you can do it folks!

In fact, here is a bit of inspiration that was shared with me, this week, from my district's Director of Learning. It is called The Starfish Story, and you may have heard it.  If you have--that's okay--it is a good reminder of how we can make a difference.  If you haven't--then you are in for a treat!




So, as you are beginning your year remember you have the power to make a difference.....one starfish at a time!

If you would like to share The Starfish Story with colleagues, you can download this freebie on my TPT store.

August 5, 2016

Flashback Friday.....The BEST game!

So this is my last official day of summer.


That picture pretty much sums up how I feel.

So.....since school is quickly rapidly approaching I thought I would have a #FlashbackFriday to a great team builder game to use a the beginning of the year.



It is called The Best Game....because that is exactly what it is.....THE BEST GAME!

You can download the game for FREE at my TPT store by clicking here.....

You can read ALL about it on the old blog post, by clicking here.....

Now, if you don't believe that it truly is THE BEST GAME......look at the smiles on these kiddo's faces...


Or if you want further proof.....check out these reviews.

I'm not lying people. 

You, and your class, should try it this year!

Oh....and happy start to the school year!



July 31, 2016

Best Year Ever Sale

What are you doing August 1st and 2nd?

If you said, "Why....I am shopping on TPT during the BEST YEAR EVER sale!"

Then you, my friend, are a genius! :)


Most stores are 20% off.......BUT if you enter code "BestYear" at check out you receive an additional 8% off!  Yay!!!

So.....fill those shopping carts now and happy shopping!


July 26, 2016

DIY Chalkboard Sign--Freehand!

Apparently I was feeling crafty this week because I learned to "french braid" my hair. I would post pictures.....but my husband informed me that I needed A LOT more practice.  Thanks babe. :(

 Although I am not too proud of my hair.....I am proud of my VERY FIRST chalkboard sign!  I did this baby freehand, without using printables. I know....I am crazy, right?


A friend of ours was going to throw out this chalkboard....but (luckily) we snatched it up before it made it to the trash.

I am not going to lie---it hung on our wall blank for about two months.  I was actually scared to make a sign---because I wanted it to be PERFECT.  Uhhhh hello........chalk is able to erase.  What  dummy I am.

Anyway...once I got up the courage to attempt a chalk design, I did my research first.  Also known as: Pinterest.  That is the modern day encyclopedia, right?

Check out my Chalk Talk board---that is where I pinned a lot of ideas, tips and tricks.


I started the process by finding a quote I wanted to use.  This sign is in my kitchen, so I knew this quote would be perfect.


Next I planned out how I was going write my text using paper and pencil.  This is where Pinterest became my best friend.  There are tons of pins on font ideas, lettering, shading, best font combos,etc. Once I had down my design I practiced, practiced, practiced.

Next I measured the size of my chalk canvas .  I had 26 inches to work with, which I divided into seven rows for my seven rows of text.

It is difficult to see....but that is why I used the blue painter's tape.  On the painter's tape, I measured and drew seven sections, that way I would know if I was making some text too large...which would make me run out of room at the end.


When I had my spacing down, I knew (eek!) I was ready to start.  I taped all of my practice drawings around the outside of the chalkboard.....easy to see and remind me what I was going to do.

Then.....I just went for it!



Here are my tips on creating a successful chalkboard sign:

  • Mix fonts (bold with skinny, scripts with serif, tall with short, thick with skinny, etc.)  Having contrasting fonts makes your eyes happy!
  • Embellish--this means add doodles---like arrows, banners, symbols, dividers, etc.   Again--this adds visual appeal. 
  • Research--hit up pinterest or google and get ideas.  There are a TON out there!
  • Plan ahead--this might not be the best for everyone, but it saved me time.  Grab a piece of paper and plan your fonts, your doodles, spacing, etc.
  • Practice--again not for everyone--but saved me time because I knew what I was doing once I started with my chalk.  
  • Have fun--be artistic and creative!  If you make a mistake---erase it, or turn it into something great!
If you want to become a professional ....check out this book:  The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering .  A friend of mine read it, and apparently it is amazing!  

  

Did you know you can also sign up for online classes?  Another friend of mine (I guess I have a lot of friends that chalk art) took a class from Hand Lettered Design

Check out their website.....they have free downloads, tips and tricks!

 

July 4, 2016

Monday Made It

Happy Fourth of July!  I do hope everyone is enjoying the holiday and PARTYING LIKE IT IS 1776! :)

Partying like it is 1776....get it?  haha.....I would love to take ownership over that little gem, but I found it on Pinterest.

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky party!



I am slowly but surely adding more variations of my Slap Words game.  Today, I finished the consonant blend variety.....



This game includes practice with two-sound consonant blends and three sound blends. The two sound consonant blend game cards include: bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fr, ft, gl, gr, ld, lf, lk, lm, lp, lt, mp, nd, nk, nt, pl, pr, sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tr, and tw.  The three-sound blend game cards include: scr, shr, spl, spr, squ, str and thr.

An example of the game cards are pictured below.  For each blend there are four cards, totaling 150 cards in the game pack.  This means lots of time having fun reading words with two-sound or three-sound blends!

 

Slap Words Blend Edition is super easy to set up and very engaging for students!  Directions for the game are listed below---it is as simple as that!!


I hope everyone enjoys their day!


July 3, 2016

July's Pinterest Pick 3

One can always find something on Pinterest!  I seriously don't know what the world did PP (Pre-Pinterest).

How did parents create cool birthday parties?

How did we find delicious recipes?

How did brides to be plan their weddings?

How did I ever style my hair and dress myself?

I don't know....it is a mystery.

Anyway.....check out these cool ideas for Literacy Without Worksheet's July's Pinterest Pick 3 linky.





My first pick is a seemingly delicious and healthy (can those two words go together?) recipe.  I have been ***trying*** to lose weight this summer, yet I just can't seem to shed my extra chub.  Many of my friends have had success with Weight Watchers, so I signed up for a two month plan yesterday.  So far I really like it!  Anyway.....here is the pin!


The recipe is a ground chicken-avocado burger from California Avocado.  This burger even won some awards....which means it has to be good!


With this next pin....you may be seeing a theme develop.  You see this pin is about exercise.  Yes, people, I am trying to lose weight.


I've actually completed this particular circuit several times, and I love it.  This workout is from Spotebi, which specializes in at home workouts for women.  If you have time--check out their website as they have some great workouts!


I suppose my third pick should be something school related, huh?

I mean I have been thinking about school this summer (wink, wink).


I love this idea form Reading Mama that works with word families!  Recognizing phonograms, chucks or the rimes in words is an extremely important skill in reading development.  I love how this practice is also multisensory!  Fun!

June 21, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday

It is time for Show and Tell Tuesday for the month of June! :)  I am linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade to share four pictures of what is going on in my little corner of the world. :)


This past Friday, my husband and I made a quick trip up to Kansas City to see the Boys in Blue.


It is always a fun time at The K, especially when the Royals get a win!  I was able to see two home runs and the boys win! :)  Prior to the game starting we watched the Big Slick celebrity softball game which raises money for Children's Mercy, a local children's hospital.  There was an all-star cast including Rob Riggle, Paul Rud, Eric Stonestreet, James Marsden, Jason Sudeikis and many others.  

   
The picture isn't the greatest.....but that is all the Big Slick participants for a group photo at the end of their game.  The celebrities raised a record setting 1.3 million dollars for Children's Mercy!  Yay!  If you want to donate click here.


At the start of the summer some friends of ours invited us to their farm to see their baby goats that were just born.  In fact the mama goat had just had triplets....on my birthday! :)




They were so cute!!!  I tried to convince my husband to let me bring one home....but no dice. :(


I am a big fan of antiques and gardening....so when you can combine the two....IT IS HEAVEN!  My husband and I try to find rustic/antique looking pots, tins, buckets, etc......and then we use them as planters.  Check out the little beauties we found antiquing this year....


 Above is an old calf bucket that was used for feeding baby calves.  We loved it because it had a hanger in the back which allowed us to hang it from a tree branch ladder my husband made a few years back.

Pictured below is a rusty bucket sitting on top of an old stool, and then two antique oil cans with their corner cut out.

You can almost always find galvanized tubs at antique stores....and they make great homes for plants.  You just have to make sure to drill holes in the bottom for proper drainage.  We also fill our planters with about a fourth of lava rock and then good, rich soil. The lava rock helps fill the planter and assist with drainage. 

I was **ecstatic** when I found these little numbers.  They are cut form old license plates and then bent so they can hang.  Aren't they ADORABLE! 



Last but not least....... my latest TPT product.  Slap Words  is a fun and engaging game that reviews various phonics skills with students.  This particular game focuses on CVCe words--nonsense and real words.


Basically the game comes with a cards that you can cut and laminate.  When you want to play the game you lay the cards out on a table face up.  The "caller" reads a word and the first student to slap the word called keeps the word.  Students can slap with their hand or a fly swatter!

Kids love the game.....set up is simple.....and it can be played at a center!  Great game!!