Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

The last day of 2013.. I can't believe it's already here.  This year has literal flown on by!  This is my second year in PreK and I love that God placed me with such precious children.  I saw one during the break and it just warmed my heart.  Hubs got to see her (I talk about her all the time!) and said again and again that he couldn't stop smiling after seeing her hug me and just the look on her face and the excitement in her voice.

I will be getting a student teacher in just a couple of weeks.  Very excited to have her join me and my little family.  I have such special stories of each kiddo that it might even be difficult for me to share them!  Gosh!  That sounds bad!!  I am such a mother hen when it comes to my babies!

Here are a few things that I'll be looking forward to for the new year! HUGE thanks to Peach for the Teach for this fabulous link up!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hope for the holidays.

I couldn't wait to sit down with my little guys to make the snowman handprint ornaments.  I showed them all a picture from online of what it would look like.  They have always loved the feel of their hands being painted.  They giggle and say how much it tickles.  I put them in their center groups and one group at a time they come to me for the ornament project.

Once I start painting on the scarf, eyes, hat, and carrot nose, the snowman comes to life!  Seeing their little hand turning into a work of art just amazes them.

It was time for specials, so I lined them all up and we walked to Music class.  I came back to my room and sat and worked on as many ornaments as I could get to while they were gone.  As I sat there, I fell in love with what I was seeing.  Memories being made.  A snapshot of each child on this very day of his or her life.

I was painting on some carrot noses when it occurred to me just why we take so much time with the kids to do these "silly" "time consuming" projects.  For memories.  We do them for the many Mama's and the Daddy's who, unfortunately, have faced tragedies.  I have given memories to the Mama whose TWO kids I had who perished in a house fire.  Teachers give memories to those families whose children have been take away by idiot gunmen who come and take our babies from us.  It's heartbreaking.  Those were the thought that went through my mind as I painted on details.

It was time to pick up my lovelies from Music, when I met up with my partner teacher.  She looked at me and said, "There's been another shooting in Colorado."  I couldn't believe it.  The very thing I had been thinking.  Just wanted to hold them all so close to me.

An ornament will never replace a Mama's baby.  But hopefully it be a memory she can hang on her tree to remember today's moment in time.

[To make these ornaments, just paint your child's hand white and place an ornament in their hand.   Take the pointed end of a paintbrush and dot on snow.  When the handprint has dried, add on a warm cap and a scarf.  Use the end of the paintbrush again to add perfect dotted eyes and mouth.  Use a small brush to dab on the carrot nose. That's it!  Make sure to add the child's name and year on the bottom or back of the ornament.]

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When the little red-headed girl moves.

What do you do when the little red-headed girls moves away?  You know, the little one that has tugged at your heartstrings since the first day of school.  The one that makes the goofiest comments and always brings a smile to your face.

In my case, it's not a red-headed girl, it's a blond-headed boy.  He "says" he is moving.  Of course, we hear that all the time and most of the time it is inaccurate/misinterpreted information.  But when he said he was moving, all I could think was NOOOOO.. not this one!!  He is such a doll!  He is super in love with me! LOL  He is like Flight of the Bumblebees on Steriods as he flits about in front of me, holding my hand or my leg.

Hoping I won't have to say goodbye.  But if I do, the hug farewell will be filled with some really wonderful memories.

#PEGS  #dimplesareagirlsbestfriend

Sunday, December 8, 2013

13 Days of Christmas?!

Have you heard of the 13 Days of Christmas? I just found out about a group of bloggers who are offering a freebie each day and then having a giveaway at the end.  You may recognize many of these blogger/TpT sellers.  I have linked the graphic to Day 1 of the giveaway.  I can't wait for it to start... these are some incredible teacher/authors!!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Can I just share my two favorite FB Freebies?!!!

I am brand new to a couple of the sellers' stores on TpT and am SO thankful I clicked through today and found some INCREDIBLE freebies!  Wait until you see what I downloaded:

First this beautiful set of winter kiddos from Lindy Du Plessis.


The other freebie I fell in love with was from Okinawangirl 

Her item was an Interactive Numbers activity with precious little stockings and gingerbread men. Click either picture to go to her FB page to download!!  I can't wait to use this!!


December Frenzy Map

I want to share the FB Frenzy map with you, too!!  Look at how MANY hops there are!  I KNOW!!  I can't believe it either!  Just download and click on any of the start pages and return to go to the next set of pages.  How easy is that?! :D


December Facebook Frenzy

It's finally here!!  The December Facebook Frenzy.  I can't tell you how many goodies I have downloaded today!!  SO many different categories to click thru AND it includes MUSIC and CLIPART!!  My favorite!!

I am excited to be offering my Dasher's Number Line Adventure.  It is the smaller version of a much larger unit in my store.. I am thrilled with how it turned out!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A little, red visitor in our room!

Our classroom recently discovered an additional person in our classroom.  He is very small and so, very tricky!  Yesterday, when we met him, he was hanging from our flagpole!  The kids immediately saw him, even before he was introduced.  We discovered that his name is Twinkle Toes and he was sent to our classroom to check on the kids for Santa.  Twinkle Toes is a scout elf for Santa.  He reports back to Santa each evening as to how the kids were that day.  We are having to be extra careful, and the kids definitely remind me, that we cannot touch Twinkle Toes.  Apparently, his Christmas magic will leave and then he won't be able to report to Santa when the kids have been on their best behavior!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Game Show Bonanza

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed making my new Game Shows!!  I'm working on one for Landforms at the moment, but have quite a few for 2nd-4th grade Math and Language Arts.  I've really upped the game by adding game show contestants and actual on the spot automatic scoring.  It's really added a LOT to the games and the teachers (and students) are having a fun time with them!

They are basically in a Jeopardy style format with categories and dollar amounts.   There are four contestants, so you'd begin by dividing your class into four groups. Those four groups choose which "contestants" team they are on.  One by one, a team will choose a category and dollar value.  A question appears and the team answers.  Once you guess an answer, you click the "Check Answer" button for the answer to appear.  If you got the answer right, you click on your "contestant" to award your team the point value.  You can now choose to go back to the game board to choose another question OR go to the scoreboard where you'll find the contestants at their game console, which also shows the current scores.

The games all follow Common Core Standards and include:
Multiplication & Division Facts
Place Value
Comparing & Ordering Numbers
a Halloween Theme for Grammar

Here's a link to the Game Show page at my TpT store:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tiny-Toes/Category/Game-Show

Thursday, October 3, 2013

She just ate too much!

One of the best parts of teaching PreK is the funny things the kids say!  Recently, we were reading a book in which the grandmother came to babysit the little girl.  Mom was obviously very pregnant: didn't have room on her lap for daughter to sit on anymore, knitting tiny clothes even when her dolls didn't need clothes...

As much as I questioned the things Mom was doing and that she returned home with a baby, only one figured out that she had been pregnant.  (The one who figured it out is about to have a little brother!)  So, suddenly as everyone is saying ALLLLL their moms are about to have a baby, one boy said, "My mom's not about to have a baby, she just ate too much food!"

Gotta love em!

Apple Centers

Who doesn't love Apple Themes at school?!  We have had such a good time with it.  We even related it to habitats since a star "lives" inside an apple. So here we are.  We've talked about apples, graphed them, and tasted them. Now to stamping with them.  It was exciting to discover the star inside, especially when we were about to stamp with them.  Each child got half of an apple and dipped it in the red paint.  Not all of the kids got the star to show up in their pictures, but the ones who did, were so proud!
The next center was to glue down Apple Jack cereal to their colored apples.  I drew in dots as a guideline to where to put their dots of glue.  They have not had a ton of experience with the glue bottles yet, so I was very impressed that the majority did so well with their dots!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

i Write Words lite handwriting app

The kids are LOVING this iWW lite handwriting app. (i Write Words) It was a FREEBIE app and so easy to use.  The desktop icon is a giraffe, so the kids recognize it instantly.  There are quite a few options to choose from once you tap the giraffe.

Once an option is chosen, a little crab appears along with an upper (or lower) case letter. (Numbers are also an option to choose from.)  When the letter appears, numbers mark their way to show the direction you should be writing.  You put your finger on the crab and follow the numbers.  If you do it correct, he will continue with the next section of the letter.  If you go off course, the app will "squeak" at you and return to the beginning of the letter.  It took the kids a few times to realize, OH!  I'm going the wrong way!

They love the lady's voice that speaks words of encouragement and just the simplicity of the format.  A small bonus.. really a HUGE bonus, is the little wheel at the bottom!  When you've completed the letter or word a little wheel appears and it is spinning.  You angle the iPod over a little and the letter will slide into the wheel and gets "eaten" up!

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 Questions With Teacher-Author Tiny Toes

I am beyond excited to tell you that I am this week's Teacher-Author on the TpT blog!!!  Talk about completely humbling!  Here is a link to the post:


Beginning of the Year Testing

Halfway through testing the classes for Beginning of Year testing. We'll do this each 9 weeks prior to report cards. We test on colors, shapes, upper and lower case letters, the sounds of the letters, numbers, and writing their first name. We have a LOT to cover this year!

We learn in many ways.. through tracing, computer games, creating with playdoh, iPods, shaving cream.. you name it! Lots of practice in different ways.... keeps us all happy!

Are you able to test your little guys successfully without an aid in the room to help?  I thought it was going to be very difficult, but our learning centers have made the testing pretty easy going.  They know their groups now and have down the use of the centers.  One happy teacher here!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Johnny Appleseed's birthday

What better way to celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday, but with a game! I can't wait to share this upper and lower case alphabet interactive game with my little guys. We are just now introducing the letters, so I know it will be early for many of them. I know they will have fun with the graphics anyway. I'll take pictures and let you know how they did.

Number 3

Beginning of school has been busy, busy. I am doing Beginning of the Year testing on each of the small fries, which I get done during center time. We are looking at the number 3 this week. We are counting unifix cubes, building little snowmen with me, and stamping the unifix cubes into playdoh. We are also stringing together groups of 3 colors or shapes onto yarn for necklaces and counting out groups of 3 buttons in similar colors. What special things do you do when working with lower numbers? I know I'll be taking out the paints this week as we study the number 3.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Your classroom setup.

So, what do you have teachers?  Desks with storage, hexagon tables with no storage, pockets on the backs of chairs?  Where do your students put their supplies?  Any quick tips for storage?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mini Math Monday: 1st Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking

 I am SO in love with this SMARTboard lesson!!  It gives such a comprehensive look at 1st Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking.

It can be used whole group at the smartboard, on individual student computers, or, and this is the exciting part, as an APP on your ipad!!

There are a total of seventy questions in this lessons.  On the very first slide you'll see that you can actually jump ahead to any set of questions...so you don't ALWAYS have to start at question number one!  Your student can quickly jump to practice question 50 or 60 if they need to.

Each standard in the Operations and Algebraic Thinking is included here.  Questions are colorful and engaging.  Many have graphics and others are purely word problems for an excellent variety of questions.

I LOVE making these type of lessons!!!  The response I've had on them is very encouraging.

You can click on any of the pictures here to find out more about it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We have WINNERS from the 250 Follower Giveaway

I can NOT believe the turnout I had on this giveaway!  Thanks to everyone who donated, promoted, and ENTERED!!  RAFFLECOPTER selected the winners, but since I couldn't get the rafflecopter widget to appear on here, and to save my sanity, I made my own little winners' banners! =D  So, without further adieu, here are our winners!  I will be emailing the winners with their prizes this week.  Thanks again.. that was fun! =D  Jo

 And a HUGE shoutout to KPM Doodles for the incredible clipart used in the images for this giveaway.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tiny's Tech Tip Tuesday: Images in your Note to Followers

If you are a seller on TpT, then you know about your Note to Followers.  You get ONE note a month...so you want to make the most of it!

I recently sent out a Note to Followers which included an image promoting my 250 Followers Giveaway.  Another seller asked how I did it, so I made a tutorial to show how it's done.  Here it is!  I hope it helps you!  Jo

Friday, July 12, 2013

Stores offering CLIP ART!! Don't miss out!

If you are a clip art addict like I am... oh yeah...  Make sure to show these store your love by visiting and following!  They are the tops!  Thank you, thank you to:

Stores offering prizes for Middle School and High School

You just can NOT beat these upper grade level sellers!!!  I can't tell you how blessed I was having them add to my giveaway!! And if these were not enough...we still have more coming in!  WHOOP!!  Remember... little red star on their page allows you to follow them!  Special thanks to:

Stores offering prizes for Grades 3-5

You WILL want to go by these stores to follow them for more fabulous goodies.  You never know when they'll have a sale, so make sure to click the red star to follow!!  Thanks to:

Stores offering prizes for the PreK - 2 package!

These incredible TpT sellers have graciously donated items to this Giveaway!!  Make sure to stop by their TpT store or FaceBook page to help me thank them!!

Tiny Toes 250 TpT Followers GIVEAWAY!!

Here is is!  I am celebrating all kinds of milestones and super excited about it!  Want to know what excitement looks like?  260 Followers on TpT, 930 on Pinterest, 50 on my blog, and 100 on Facebook!!  If you're like me, you had to sit down when you read that!  I was not expecting it this quickly... and all I can say is a huge THANK YOU!!  Plus!! A giveaway!!  OH MY GOSH!!  You would not EVEN believe how many sellers have donated to this giveaway!  You will not want to miss entering this.  And they are still donating!!  I just have to say they really ARE the best group of teachers I've ever come across!!  Can't wait to start giving shout-outs for those who donated because you WILL want to go follow their stores!!  The giveaway goes on now until July 18..and the winners will be selected (by Rafflecopter) on July 20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time for some celebrating!! A GIVEAWAY!!

Be on the lookout this week for a giveaway from OVER 40 TpT sellers!!  I can't believe it!  They are all joining in to help me celebrate my followers!  This week... it's going to be all about YOU!  Stay tuned!!  It's coming....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What an honor! The Liebster Award times 2!

This is such a cool surprise!  TWO fabulous bloggers have nominated me for the Liebster Award!  Thanks so much to A Day in the Life of a Title 1 Teacher  and Secondgradealicious for thinking of me.  I began blogging about 6 years ago with my Journey Through Breast Cancer blog.  I wanted to give a positive viewpoint of how God held me as I went through cancer, how I told my girls, and just what each day held.

I started blogging again earlier this year, but this time about the exciting world of Pre-K.  The silly things they say and do.  And some of the lessons I use with them.

 In order for me to accept this award, there are a few rules that I have to follow:

  1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
  2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator
  4. Share 11 random facts about myself
  5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
  6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them!
11 Questions From A Day in the Life of a Title 1 Teacher:

1. What's one of your funniest teaching moments? I love this overheard conversation between two of my 2nd graders:  girl one (referring to morning tutorials): Did you have Odyssey this morning?  girl two: No, I had kolaches!

2.  Have you traveled outside of your home country?  I went to Canada on vacation with my grandparents when I was a teen., but no other place since then.

3.  If you could be on a talk show or reality show which would it be and why? I would want to be in the audience of Ellen during a give-a-away!!  LOL

4.   What made you decide to start blogging?   Originally, it was to keep track of my journey through breast cancer.  It was hard to keep track one day to the next without writing it all out and it was a way to keep family and friends informed of what was happening.

5.  If you could have any superpower what would it be and why? The power to heal either by word or touch as there is so much hurt in my classroom.

6.  What actor/actress would you want to portray you in a movie?  I would love to be portrayed by Amy Adams!  Such a girl next door, yet incredibly beautiful.

7.  What's your favorite book?  The Velveteen Rabbit.  It reminds me of my Granny!

8.  What is your favorite way to spend your free time?  Swimming or brainlessly watching an episode of Say Yes to the Dress! =D

9.  If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?  To Heaven to spend more time with my Granny and to meet my mother.

10.  If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Same as above!  With my Granny and my mother... they would be proud to hear of my family, job, and the things I've done and overcome.

11.  If you didn't teach, what job would you have?  I would be Mayor.

11 Random Facts About Me: 
1.  I have never taken a foreign language... high school or college.
2.  I was in Kindergarten when my hubby graduated high school.
3.  I am an exercise DVD junky even tho most of them just collect dust.
4.  I love to cut hair... I've cut hubby and all 4 kids for many years now.
5.  I still cry just during the opening musical score of Black Beauty.
6.  I wear a hearing aid.
7.  I have an extremely dry sense of humor.
8.  I don't own a TV.
9.  I have recently developed a phobia of bridges!
10.  During my time with cancer I overcame my life long fear of public speaking, teaching in front of the principal, having to present....
11.  I feel ellipses belong in most sentences...

11 questions for my nominees: 

1.  Are you married?  How long?  Children?
2.  Do you prefer a snowy winter or a hot summer?
3.  How early do you do your Christmas shopping?
4.  What is the one thing you've always wanted to do but haven't been able to?
5.  Which gift certificate would you most want to recieve?
6.  What drink (alcoholic or not) do you most order when you eat out?
7.  Have you ever wanted to learn to sew, crochet, or knit?  Can you?
8.  What does you ideal date night look like?
9.  If you could bring your act to X-Factor... what would you bring?
10.  Are you a night-owl?
11.   On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest ability...where do you put your technical abilities at school?

My Nominees:
1.  Ms BBZ
2.  Teaching with Nancy
3.  Mrs. Balius's First Grade
4.  Leaping into Learning
5.  Desktop Learning Adventures
6.  Texas Teacher Round-Up
7.  Zoom Zoom Classroom
8.  Miss Martin's Classroom
9.  Making Math Magic
10.  Creating Art With Kids
11.  Second Grade Stories

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Tiny Tech Tip Tuesday- A Pin Surprise

    I found out the most incredible thing this week!  How to find what boards your pins are on.  Why would this even be important you ask?  For a couple of reasons.  One-just to see what kind of boards you are getting pinned to.  Two-so that you don't pin to a board that you've already pinned to.  There are times that a group will get together and pin for each other... you want to make sure you are pinning to a board that doesn't already have that pin!

    So, go to the pin that you are wanting to know more about.  In this case, I want to see where this Landforms activity has been pinned so that I don't pin it in the same place again.

    Click on the picture to make the pin bigger and NOT the repin button.

    See the number in the red Pin it box?  That tells you how many times the pin has been re-pinned.  

    Now click the number to see the boards this has been re-pinned to.

     Of course, you can always go to your own Pinterest dashboard and click the pins link to see where YOU have pinned your pin personally.  But in this case, you are now seeing where OTHER people have re-pinned for  you.

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Mini-Math Monday. My dice obssession.

    Do you love dice as much as I do? Because I LOVE them!! They have always been one of my favorite centers! There is nothing you can't do with dice! One year I gave them as Christmas gifts to my students along with several pages of math games we had been playing in class. They were SUCH a hit! I know we like to give cutesy gifts at Christmas... but you should REALLY consider giving dice! Games to play with dice: add 2 dice together.. write out the equation on a dry erase board, roll dice and subtract, roll three dice and add, roll three dice & add two two of them together and subtract the third, roll and multiply, roll to see how far to advance on the game board, roll and cover that many squares on your hundreds chart... it's endless.   I LOVE the idea of the containers!!  I saw this on pinterest and the photo links back to the original pin if you want to repin it.  I never actually did this in my class, but wish I had.. oh my gosh those dice can fly!

    What games do you play with your dice? If you sell games on TpT, I don't mind you linking to your cool dice game! If you do, just tell how you play the game!

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Blog hopping with BlogLovin

    If you're anything like me, you've KNOWN that the Google Reader was going to be leaving for quite some time now, BUT you never did anything about it!  Well, Google Reader is now a thing of the past and BlogLovin has taken it's place!  Now, to find those Teacher Blogs that are out there that you wished you knew about sooner!  I know I am on the hunt for new blogs!

    I've just joined in on a Blog Hop sponsored by Teaching is a GiftA Teacher Without a Class is also joined up with her.  Make sure to Follow my Blog, LEAVE ME A COMMENT, then grab her button below to follow the blog hop! 
    Teaching is a Gift

    How about a Game Show FREEBIE for Kindergarten!

    I LOVE this game and so have a bunch of others who have caught this on Pinterest!  I want to make sure my followers here get to see it!  A quick, fun way to practice Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten MATH. This powerpoint game can also be played on your SMARTboard. 
     Students take turns as they call out an animal and a number. Click on the square they have chosen to reveal a question. The students can now use their whiteboards or notebook paper to write their answers. Click the space again to reveal the answer. If the student whose turn it was got it correct, he can click the sound icon to hear the applause! Click one more time and the question completely disappears. This just helps to see which questions are left on the game board.
    This game includes K.CC, K.OA, K.NBT, K.MD, and K.G
    I'd love to hear your feedback on this one!

    How to Link to Other Products in your TpT Store

    It is SO important to link to other products in your store.  It could be that you offer one product in a variety of colors or patterns.  Or maybe you have a bundle and want to link back to all of it's smaller pieces.  Here is how to do it.

    Tiny Toes Blog


    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Does your school have smartboards?

    We had two smartboards on our campus.  I eventually had one..but it was broken! LOL The projector worked on it, so I used it.  Since I didn't have a smartboard, I was given an eBeam, which turns your white board into a smartboard... I am not able to mount a projector from my ceiling (portable building) so I took the broken Smartboard!   Gotta love technology!

    Anyway, the projector on it went out so it was doubly dead.  Had maintenance take it from the room.  I completely redecorated the room..or at least the furniture in the room!  The eBeam has a USB cord that goes in your computer, so it has to be nearby your desk.  So after the redecoration, I finally have a smartboard again.  Well, an interactive whiteboard...to be politically correct! :)

    What is in your room?  Smart?  Mimio?  eBeam?

    Saturday, June 29, 2013

    What Teachers Make

    I LOVE this video by Taylor Mali!  If you have not ever seen it, it will leave you cheering, refreshed, and ready to take on a new classroom full of students!

    The Flipped Classroom

    As I said in an earlier post, I learned briefly about the Flipped Classroom while I was at ISTE this week.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the classes although it looked very creative.  I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and pictures on how I could use this in the PreK (or lower elementary) classroom.

    ISTE Conference in San Antonio

    We had about 14 people from our district go to ISTE in San Antonio this week.  I am still exhausted from it all.  This is a national educational technology conference.

    We found out last minute that we were going to actually be able to take some of the classes.  We were originally scheduled to attend the floor only, which in this case, is more than enough in itself.  In the case of PreK, many of the floor products were better suited to me anyway.

    Many of the classes are for PreK-12..this ALWAYS mean for 8-12!  I don't find a lot geared to the younger elementary, so that is the only slightly negative thing I have to say about ISTE.  With that said, a friend pointed out that Matt B. Gomez, a Kindergarten teacher/blogger, was there.  I do so wish I knew what classes he was attending beforehand to have a little more guidance on what to take.  This was my first year for ISTE and I would have loved to have a better run down on what I should have gone to.

    Jo and MobyBut guess who I met?  A bunch of characters, but my all time favorite has GOT to be Moby from Brainpop!   I saw him last year as well at the TCEA convention in Austin.  I took the picture and immediately sent it back to my students.  They were just as excited as I was!

    Many of the classes were on the Flipped Classroom.  Have you heard of that?  This was the first time I had been introduced to it.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any of the classes.  But, from what I can tell, it is letting the students watch a video of some sort at home (the lesson) and then when they come to school they apply what they've learned (the homework).  This way, they can ask questions, discuss the video, and help each other while at school when you have all the resources there with you.  Unlike when you are at home and possibly getting stuck on the concept.  It is very student led while the teacher answers questions and steers students to come up with their own answers.

    One table lesson I went to was on QR codes, which I have been particularly interested in the last couple of years.  This is something my 4 & 5 year olds can do.  I am so excited to be making some lessons for next year and posting them online.  I'll have to update this when I get some made.  I love the flexibility of QRs..you can have them provide answers, ask questions, they can be audio, text, a link to a video, a picture, etc.  I can see a lot of student initiated centers and learning going on with QR. 

    My mind was on overload the entire time!  There is just so much to take in.  I am very fortunate to have been able to go to ISTE and soak up all it had to offer.

    I would love to hear any comments on the flipped classroom!  How you use it..what you like or don't like about it.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Is it ever just too much?

    Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TpT, exercising...

    I do make a good start, but have such a difficult time keeping up with so many things.  I had about three days worth of Instagram.  I really liked it, but felt my pictures were just dumb compared to the ones around me, so I stopped!  That is SOO sad!! LOL  It would be a different story if I had some chevron in my closet, but I don't!  So, end of story.  No chevron, no instagram.  That's just the way it's going to be! =D

    My blog and FB... I don't know, I just don't update enough to merit conversation.  I need to be more creative or at least remember to take pictures when we do our cool stuff in class.  Same with FB.  I'm just not sure what to talk about!  Man, I'm such a Debbie Downer tonight!  I don't mean to be, but I look at all these great venue's and how they should help me connect, and I'm just not connecting!

    But I AM exercising, so that's good!  Now, if I would only lose some of the weight...

    I don't seem to have slowed down this summer tho we have not gone anywhere.  Busy making sure applications are turned in for my daughter who is starting her Masters.  Super proud of her!!  I guess that is it.  I work on all the stuff going on around me that I don't spend it on the things that I've started!

    Say a prayer for my niece Dana.  She had surgery today on her back.  She is young, 30s with THE cutest little boy ever!! 

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Insanity and the fitness challenge

    Fellow TpTer and blogger Ms.BBZ is holding a fitness challenge in June.  Part of the challenge is an Instagram picture a day, which, yes, I have failed miserably!!  LOL  I started off with a bang, then completely fizzled out!  Now that school is out and I can't use that excuse anymore, I need to get it in gear and start back up!  Here it is if you'd like to join us!  Our hashtag is #PADfitness

    The other part of the challenge uses the MyFitnessPal app (which is also online).  We have a small group that encourages one another.  We are able to see that the other person has fulfilled their daily allowance of calories and how much weight they have lost.

    The cheers and words of fun and urging on are priceless.  With the app, you can put in what you ate and how many calories it was and how you exercised and how many calories you burned.

    To get me started, I bought Zumba Core for the Xbox360 Kinect.  It is SO much fun!!  I look like a mad woman attempting their steps, but I sweat like crazy, which really surprises me!  I am only doing the short 20 minute workout!  (shhhh)

    Then June 10 came along!  That's the day the ladies at church (mostly teacher friends) started Insanity.  Can I just say there is a REASON why it is called that?!!  My legs... every muscle is screaming at me at this moment!!  I am inwardly jumping up and down, because I am unable to do it at the moment, that I am on the interview committee at school and not able to go today! HAHA  But, really, I can't wait for the next class!!

    I'll go ahead and post what I weigh now. 146.0  (YAY)  I started the week at 146.6  I am still eating about the same.  I am always under the caloric intake... always have been.  My big problem was that TpT came along and who has time to exercise when you are creating!  I needed to start moving again and it is paying off.  I am at the top my weight scale for my age/height and would prefer to be at the bottom of the scale, where my clothes will fit me better.  I couldn't wear my fitted outfits this year.  When I tried, I was very self conscious and not happy so I quit wearing the cute stuff.

    Darn!! I just checked the height/weight chart and I was 2 pounds ABOVE the scale!  UGH!!!  So, there ya go!  I am going to try to lose ten pounds.  It puts me where I have ALWAYS been and where I feel best about myself.

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    Letter of the Week

    I have taught PreK a year now and have absolutely loved it!!  OMG the joy, excitement, and things they say!

    We use Frog Street Press which introduces several letters at a time.  The first few weeks it introduces the kids names...and then the letters follow that.  What curriculum do you use and in what order do you introduce letters?  What about capital/lower case?  What are some favorite activities that you did this year to go along with introducing them?

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Calling all teachers...

    Summer is just around the corner.. do you:
    A.  Swim all summer long.
    B.  Travel.
    C.  Make lessons for the fall while you have time.
    D.  NEVER think of school OR lessons.
    E.  Something else.

    I LOVE to swim and cannot wait to put on a suit that unfortunately will not fit as well as it did last year!! UGH!!!  And I KNEW summer was on it's way!  At the same time, I have a notebook full of ideas that I want to get ready for the next school year.  I know I'll put in at least SOME time each day/couple of days into getting some lessons done.  We just are not travelers so no big trips planned. 

    What are your plans?

    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Guest Blogger: Page Protector Printables

    Many call me Leslie, but I'm also Mom, Mommy, Momma and Ms. Leslie depending on which child is talking to me! I'm also known as "wife of the Prez" in the blog-o-sphere. I don't use my husband's real name on-line, but instead call him "The Prez" and we've been happily married for nearly 18 years. Since my teen years I've taught children in one way or another through church—currently teaching a three-year-old class there. As a young person, I dreamed of one day teaching illiterate adults to read, and I haven't given up on that dream.

    But for now, my current field of learners are right here in my home! Since August 2009, I have taught our children at home. Back then The Prez and I had three children in our one-room schoolhouse, ages 10, 7 and 3. Today, we have six children in our one-room schoolhouse, ages 14, 13, 10, 7, 7 and 3.

    I don't teach just one grade as our children are in various places in their learning journeys, but officially they are just finishing up grades 8th, 6th, 5th, 1st (2 of them) and tot school! Four of our children were adopted from China through the Waiting Child Program, and our 13-year-old son is my amazing ELL student having only begun English learning at age 10 after he came home with us in 2010. In addition to having an ELL student, I also have two children in our schoolroom with speech delays and one with hearing loss. All of the different grades, ELL and differently abled  learners keeps our one-room schoolhouse very interesting and inspiring!

    As for my educational journey, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English, with an emphasis in Journalism, way back in 1995. I have always loved writing, and blogging has given me an outlet to continue that love. Before children, I worked as an Editor for a large publisher of religious materials, and then freelanced with them for many years until we had our third child. My blog became an outlet for continuing to write, and currently this blog chronicles our daily life as home learners living life large with six children at our home on 15+ acres in the country soon. We will be moving to the country in a couple of weeks.

    I opened my TpT store—Page Protector Printables and More—in July 2012 with my Page Protector Printables Calendar. It has become one of my best-sellers and I still believe in it so much because I've seen it help two of our children with daily calendar work in kindergarten and first grade. Up until the time I came up with this idea kind of on a whim, I had not found a daily calendar that really worked for them. I love to re-purpose items, and I had held onto these 9-Pocket Sports Card Page Protectors that I had long since emptied of sports cards. One day I was looking at them and thinking these would be so useful and hands-on, and the PPP Calendar Resource was born!

    Since making that product and seeing how useful and EFFECTIVE it has been, I've created many more Page Protector Printables. I continue to believe in the benefit of ACTIVE learning that engages young learners. Another aspect of my products that I love is that they are reusable again and again, and they are versatile for many learning styles. They do require the teacher to be involved in the learning process, but they also encourage small group use and use in intervention groups as well as learners of varying abilities.

    We use these resources in various ways, but when I first introduce a new Page Protector resource to my students, I often use it to assess their abilities in a given area such as Fractions, which is my newest Page Protector Printables product and utilizes a 10-Pocket Business Card Page Protector. Before my learners even realize they are learning and/or showing me what they know, they are having fun and asking for more! I believe children can learn so much more than we often believe if we just present the information in a way that is engaging and active.

    Thank you to JoAn for allowing me to share a bit about myself, my students and the products I have created for them to use and which I offer in my store at TpT.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    2nd & 3rd grade computer project

    Our principal asked me today to be the computer coordinator during our FLEX days (9 days) at school.  FLEX is a time for those kids who scored 75% or lower on academics or missed more than 7 days of school.  The academic kids will stay with their teachers during my one hour slot, but the attendance kids will come to me.  I think I might have free reign on what we'll be doing.  She suggested researching an animal or something, but it's up to me. 

    I don't want it to be a time of sit and play computer games, even tho they might be educational.  I want us DOING something!  I also have an iPad and 4 iPods.

    I know NewsMaker and some other programs, so might do something with that.  I could start a blog or a website and have them take pictures to put on there.  FLEX begins on Tues, May 28.... would love to hear your ideas of what you do...or would love to do!

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    The BIG news!!

    My daughter graduated from college last week with a degree in English.  That in itself is worth celebrating!  BUT wait!  There's more! LOL

    She is graduating with NO COLLEGE DEBT!!  When she started college we found out about a loan available to Texas kids in Texas schools called the B-on-Time loan.  It is from HHLoans. The B in B-on-Time is the key word. If you graduate with a B (3.0) or better then your loan is completely forgiven.  It was definitely worth shooting for.  Here is the payout for 2013-2014 school  year: 4-year public and private institutions: $3,850/semester ($7,700/year)  She also got scholarship money and some from my husband's military service (Hazelwood/Legacy).

    She had a rough several semesters where she wanted to come home because of bad dorm situation, but stuck it out.  Her grades plummeted and we were certain that the hope of no debt was gone.  Then a miracle happened when her brother was able to get in a house very near the college.  She rented one of the rooms.  Upon moving there, her attitude changed, everything changed!!  She finished her last couple of semesters on the Dean's List (4.0)  It was SUPER CLOSE, but she managed to graduate with a 3.0 or better.

    We are so proud of her.  But the purpose of this post is not only to congratulate her, but to give a shout out and endorsement for HHLoans.com  I'm not sure how we came upon their website, but I'm so glad we did.  If you are a Texas resident, it is definitely worth looking into.

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Guest Blogger

    I'm so excited to have my very first guest blogger here in the next few days.  She has a very exciting store and I'm looking forward to her sharing her unique style.

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    A college graduate!

    How can it possibly be that I have another college graduate in the house?!  I know, I know...I look way too young to actually have college age kids!  HAHA  But, yep, I do!  My daughter graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a Bachelor's degree in English.  She is about to go on for her Masters.  I am super proud of her!

    There is MORE to this story...but for now.. I can't say anything, so you'll just have to wonder what it could be!  But let me assure you it is HUGE HUGE HUGE!! =D

    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    Do you use a Teacher Binder to organize?

    I have to admit how much I LOVE my teacher binder!!  I was a completely mess...yes, embarrassingly messy! HA  The binder has really helped me "get it together."  Here are a few I have to choose from for the next school year.

    Teacher Appreciation Sale on TpT

    I am so excited about the Teacher Appreciation Sale happening on TpT May 7-8!!  I have my wishlist full of goodies!  It will be my 2nd time to participate in the sale and thrilled to say I have some special goodies in there this time!  One fun goodie is my new Teacher Binder Covers!!  Can't wait to start the new school year with those on by binder!!

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    They have NEVER been to McDonalds!!

    We have a perfect attendance incentive at my school.  Every time your ENTIRE class is present, you get to cross off a letter of the phrase "perfect attendance."  Each time you cross off all 17 letters your class gets some type of reward.  Here are the rewards:

    1st party- popcorn & a drink
    2nd- bubble party
    3rd- Frozen treats
    4th-Lunch at the park
    5th- Go to Sonic (drink party)
    6th-pizza party
    7th- a surprise!

    It's a big deal for the PreK kiddos to earn these parties!!  We just get sick a LOT!!  However, we earned our 5th party last week.  Our Sonic is just so close to the road that we decided to go to McDonald's instead.  This way, they got to play in the play center.  We were blessed a second time when McD also offered the kids breakfast! (a juice box and a sausage biscuit).  Many of the kids had not been on the bus before so it was really sweet seeing their reactions to it.

    But the play center.. I KNOW they've been in the play room before! LOL  Their excitement was contagious!  They had the time of their lives.  The hour went by quickly and we were back on the bus headed back to the school.  We had such a good time!  Can't wait for our 6th party!  We can do it!!

    Does your school have any kind of incentives for attendance?