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March 30, 2014

E is for Evidence

Well hey there!  I'm back today with a little reading freebie for you.  I like recording sheets that are workhorses: one sheet, many uses.  I hope this recording sheet can be a workhorse in your classroom.

I am like a broken record when teaching reading.  My kids have always know they have to prove it with text evidence.  I like this recording sheet because it has a concrete connection for them.

{Don't worry.  The giant I Teach. What's Your Super Power? bar is not on the download.  That is for Internet purposes only.  Every since a hair tutorial blog hijacked one of my pictures for Pinterest traffic, I've been a little paranoid.}

This sheet would be great for character traits, making predictions, main idea, planning expository essays, theme, and whatever else you can think of.  Click here or on the picture to download.

How do you teach your kids to prove it?


March 28, 2014

Happy Spring Sale


Well happy spring to you!  I am not a cold weather gal.  It's why I told my husband I won't move north of I-10.  But even way down here, it's been an unusually cold winter.

See that pink line? Anything south of it is a geographically approved living location.

I did tell you I'm not a cold weather gal.  He did convince me to move about 30 miles north of I-10, but that's as far as this gal's going.

But today we've got a high of 84, and I'm feeling the spring time love.  It put me in the creating mood, and I whipped this mini set up.

I have to be honest.  I'm not a very good seller.  Y'all are my tribe, and I know how much my tribe makes.  And it's not a lot.  That's why I love these mini sets.  They're $2.00-$2.50.  You've got everything you need to whip up a product cover or whatever you need to make without breaking the bank.

A whole bunch of other TPTers are feeling the spring love too because we've got a big old spring cleaning sale going on.


Happy spring my friends!

March 16, 2014

How to Create a Watermark in PowerPoint

I haven't added anything to my Blog Baby Blog page lately.  If you're new here, it's a page full of links to tons of blogging tips, tricks, and tutorials.

Today, I'm showing you how to make a watermark using PowerPoint.  I make everything for my blog designs in Photoshop, but PowerPoint has a ton of great features for creating.

Take a look here:

It's a super professional video.  My phone starts ringing in it, and at one point, some neighborhood kids run screaming past my house.  I at least had the sense to put the dogs out, so they aren't barking in this video!

March 4, 2014

February Favorites

Y'all! It's a new month, and I'm here to share some of my favorites from February with you.



You ever buy one accessory, and it starts a whole decorating snowball?  This one little deer head did that.

He inspired this whole wall makeover in my office.  I can't tell you how much I love him.  The deer is from Decor Steals.  The boxes, shelves, and magnet boards are from Ikea.  I just Gorilla taped two magnet boards together and covered them with a linen like fabric.

This office makeover is the sources for my Currently ?????? Deer, Ikea, and Bombshell Pro (font on the labels.)  Here's a close up of how yummy it is.
I ordered this beauty from Plum Paper.  It was time for a big girl planner.  I have been using and loving my May Designs calendar, but I needed more room.  I'm going to write a whole post about it when I have some sunlight and can take better photos, but here are some highlights.

I love this planner because:
•You can choose what month to start your planner.  Decided you need a planner in February?  No problem.  Just tell them what month to start your 12 months at.

•This was a biggie for me-you get to choose your innards.  I don't need week by week planning space.  I'm not that kind of girl.  I need the monthly spread.  But I also need room to write out my daily to do lists, so I chose to get extra lined note paper in between my months.

•Tabbed months.  Yes.  No more flipping around.

•It's pretty, and I like pretty.
These shoes.  Swoon.
I've written before about my Tieks and how much I love them.  Here's the thing.  I have wonky feet.  It's fine in the summer when I can wear sandals, but the winter and closed toed shoes are not my friend.  So for me to find cute shoes that are comfortable on my wonky feet?  It's a big deal.  Yes, they are expensive as you know what.  But they are crazy comfortable, crazy cute, and Shazam! That neon.  How fun is that?
I'm in love with the Walgreens app.  I normally HATE when stores have an app.  They do pretty much nothing, and I feel like they just want free ad space on my phone.  But not the Walgreens app.  Oh no my friends.

I take nearly all of my pictures on my phone, and then promptly do nothing with them.

Who's with me?

The Walgreens app has a photo section.  You open it, select the photos you want, select your Walgreens, and Boom.  One hour later your photos are ready.  It was handy when my girls wanted pictures of Murray the day of his birthday party.  You can even print Instagram pictures.
Ummm, your kids don't throw the dog a birthday party?
I love the 15th of each month.  It's when my TPT money gets deposited into my Paypal account.  It's also the day I transfer the money out of my Paypal account for my monthly contribution to Compassion International.  It makes me so happy to use this extra money to be a blessing for someone else.  I wrote about it here in a post titled Sharing My Blessings.

Happy March everyone!

March 1, 2014

Currently March and a Winner

Wowza! It's March, and I am so happy.  I spent all of January and February telling my husband I was over winter and ready for March.  And it's finally here.


Listening: Happy.  Need I say more?  This song puts you in the right mood.

Loving: Swoon.  This planner.  Go to their Etsy store.  You can choose what month you want it to start, so no need to wait until August or January to get organized.

Thinking: I cannot wait for this trip.  I have been a few times, but my husband and kiddos have never been.  So excited to share this with them!

Wanting:  Nnnnneeeeeewwwww shoooooooooesssssss.  Mmmmmmm.  Love them.  I bought a pair of nude Tory Burch sandals last year and wore the heck out of them.  They still look good, so they're getting a pair of new friends this year.

Needing: Taxes.  Oh Lawd.  I'm not opposed to paying them, it's a part of life.  But the massive amount of work that goes in to getting ready?  Ain't nobody got time for that.  Except that the time I spend hunting for deductions will save me money.  And I do want those new shoes . . . .

?????: What do these three things have in common.  deer, Ikea, and Bombshell Pro?  The answer will be in my post tomorrow.  With pictures.

And now a winner!  Jen commented on my sale post that she was going to purchase some games from Extra Special Teaching.

Head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to see what is currently going on with everyone else!

February 26, 2014

Resources That Keep Us Afloat

Hey hey!  I'm linking up with the other gals from Owl-ways Be Inspired to share some of the resources that keep us afloat in the classroom.  I hope you'll find a few things to add to your wish list before the big sale Thursday and Friday!
As much as I love classroom posters (and I've made about a million), kids don't always want to get up to use them while they're writing.  I love these because they come with mini poster sets.  Laminate them, put them on a ring, then put them out at their tables.  When you have reluctant boy writers asking to use these, you know you're on to something.

I made three different sets.  The first one is an editing set.  The next two are revising sets.  One focuses on "writer talk" to revise.  Banish boring works, show don't tell, that kind of stuff.  The second focuses on parts of speech to revise.  Look for nouns, add adjectives, etc.  I find that different types of kiddos respond better to one way over the other, so I always make both available.  You can buy them individually, or purchase the bundle here.

Here are some more products I'm loving from other stores:

Sub planning.  Most fun ever!  Tanja from Journey of a Substitute Teacher has some awesome sets in her store.  This one geared toward 3rd grade, but she also has K-5 sets, themed sets, all sorts of awesome sets.  These would be great to have for that morning you want up with the stomach flu or some other nastiness.  Have these ready to go in a folder, get your sub, and go back to bed. Nice.

Last is a set from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas that I'm kind of in love with.  Holidays start getting the short end of the stick around third grade.  With state mandated testing, it's 100% all of the time.  This set would be a blast for St. Patrick's Day.  It's educational, but it's also fun.  I think it would be great to have a whole day with this set to celebrate AND learn.
      


What are you buying during the big sale Thursday and Friday?
Leave a comment to win any single item from my store.  
Then visit the other ladies to find some more resources that helps keep a few of my teaching buddies afloat!




January 17, 2014

Getting Rid of the Grocery List Writing

Grocery list writing.  You know-I went home.  I ate a snack.  I watched T.V.  I played outside.  It's hard for kids stuck in this type of writing to break out.  Buy hey-these kids are going to grow up and be our engineers, scientists, and accountants, so give them some writing love.

I got to work in a second grade classroom recently with some sweet second grade kiddos.  They were writing a personal narrative about a time they lost something.  I wrote a grocery list story on the board (in black).  We then talked about how to add to these sentences to improve them.  We also discussed how to create a picture in your readers mind by add sentences with no action-just thoughts or feelings.

I think there are some kids in your room who are never going to come to you and say, "That Patricia Polacco book moved me deeply.  The next time I write a personal narrative, I am going to use figurative language as beautifully as she did."

And you know what?  That's perfectly fine.  This is a great way to help kids work within the thinking framework they are comfortable with.  If you've got grocery store list writers, how do you help them stretch?
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