old wood shabby background

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Alternative Valentine's Party

I'm sure that your minds are beginning to think about your upcoming Valentine's Day party. I'd like to share with you what we do for our Valentine's Day parties.

First of all the kids are asking all day long, "When is the party? When is the party? Is it time yet? How much longer until the party?" 

Be honest. . . your kids say that too.

Here's something you can plan that will eliminate those questions. 

Have your party in the morning. . . first thing! Right after they arrive. Right after the pledge, attendance, and lunch count. DO IT! Get it over with! Be done!

Here's how. 

You can either plan it with your food service people and order a special breakfast from them. We have had pancakes, or scrambled eggs, or whatever is available. You will have to contact them and plan this ahead of time. That's why I'm telling you now. 

Or you can have families bring food in. Maybe a breakfast casserole, muffins, a pan of scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, regular toast, fruit, juice, or whatever sounds good to your kiddos. Maybe some moms can stick around to help serve it too.

Once breakfast is over you can start the party. . . because, let's face it, the party is what they really want!

We passed out our valentines to the classmates at this time. (our whole school did their parties in the morning, so it was convenient to pass out to other teachers too.) 

Once they are passed out, they can then open them.  Read them. Laugh at them. Blush. Giggle. Scream. Whatever they like to do in your class. 

After that, you are on your own. You can do a craft, a story, an academic activity that is a Valentine Theme. Or you can go back to doing regular work. It's your choice. Your kids might be a bit high, but they will not be asking, "When is the party? How long until the party? Is it time yet?"

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Story Problem Woes . . Help is on the WAY!

I have been doing lots of practice with story problems with my 2nd graders. 
I felt pretty strong that they knew or at least had an idea of what they were doing. 


I was wrong!

When they had to take a test on only story problems, 
they just collapsed and forgot how to do them. 

Some kids could just find the answer, 
but had no clue how to draw the picture (a needed skill on the test!).

Some kids could draw the picture, 
but ended up with the wrong equation or wrong answer.

So on Monday, it's back to the beginning 
for me and those students. 

 They say repetition is needed. Sometimes a child needs to hear something or do something 28 times before they have committed it to memory. Monday will be #1. 

I will start with these  problems: 

 We had been focusing on the CUB method. I think they can circle the numbers, underline the question, and box in the important words now. 
 But do they really know what to do once they find the important words. I need to help them visualize what the problem is doing. 
We will spend a lot more time drawing the pictures that match HOW to answer the problem correctly. 

If my kids are struggling with this, I just can't be the only one. . . so I'm going to put this set of story problems on sale for $1.00 until Sunday night at 9:00. 

Click the picture to go to my store.

You can print the work pages front to back. 

And just for fun and to help you out, I'm also putting 2 other products on sale for just $1.00 until Sunday night at 9:00. 

Warming Up To Regrouping using QR Codes
Click the picture to go to my store.

Frozen Fractions is a great way to match up the fraction number with the words, the set, and the fraction picture. 
Click the picture to go to my store.

Click the picture to go to my store.
I decided to make up another set of 10 story problems for practice. 

You can grab them for free right here

 If you do, please leave me a comment below. Let me know if you think these will work for you. 

If you are one of those who are snowed in this week, these activities will be great to do when you come back. And if you're not snowed in, maybe these will help you pretend that you have snow all around you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Store. Big Sale. Clean Out The Wish Lists!

Everything in my store is on sale for 2 days. Clean out your wish list and get those bargains!

Monday, January 18, 2016

School Board Appreciation Gift

This month in our district we celebrate School Board Appreciation month. Each building is asked to do something to show our appreciation for the board. We have 7 board members so it's not too big of a thing to get around. Our school threw out many ideas and kept only two. One of them was mine. 

I thought I'd share this with you in case you want to take the idea and run with it. 

We asked some first and second graders to draw pictures of something they like to do in their school or something about their school. It didn't take long for these kids to put their ideas on paper. 

Then I took them to a local printer and had them made into note cards. I put the school logo and the child's name on the back.  

Each board member got 10 cards with envelopes to use as they please. I also gave each child 5 of their own cards with envelopes so their families could be proud of them and use them too. 
All this was under $40.00!

This is the back of the cards.

Except it wasn't this blurry in reality and I included the child's name!
I removed his name to protect his privacy.

I tied them up with a cute red ribbon, put them in a red bag with their name tag on it and also threw in a few chocolates. 

And that's it! So if you need a gift for someone, you might want to try this. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Take a Closer Look for January

Take a Closer Look and see the January product that I
 have on sale right now.

 I'm teaming up with Flying into First Grade

You can too. Just go to her blog and see exactly how to do this. 

My kiddos really need help understanding how to do the 2 step story problems. 
Is that a problem with your students too?

I want you to grab these right now so that you can help your kids really focus on what they have to do on story problems. Many of you will be doing winter assessments and these just might help your kids do better on them. 
 Here is the collage of pages that are included.

This is a closer look at the pages. 
This page is the front. 

I print this on the back side. This gives the students a place to draw their pictures to help them figure out the answer, plus it gives them a space to write out the steps they used to solve their problems.

This is 20% off until the 13th. And while you're at my store, be sure to sign up to be a follower so you can see my new products when I add them, and get any messages that I send out. 

There is also a free set of 2 step story problems that you can grab to give you more to work with. They are completely different problems. 

I hope you find something fun to help you make it through the winter!

Time for a REWIND - Good For Your Hands!

This is a post that I wrote last January. I thought it would fit perfectly as our winter snow is on it's way and we could get between 2-5 inches. . . But who believes the weatherman?

We are in the heart of the winter here in Michigan. 

Do you have some left over bottles of lotion? You know the kind where you don't like the scent any more. Or there's not very much left? Or you got some new flavors for Christmas and just don't know what to do with the leftovers in those bottles? I have a solution for you. 

You know how when it's this cold outside, our kiddo's hands get real red and chapped? Well, you can use those leftover bottles in your classroom so they can keep their hands soft and unchapped. (is that a real word?)

Grab a plastic bowl that you were going to throw away anyway 
(see this is also a way to recycle things!)
and put all those lotions in one place.

Then grab my label that I made and slap it on the front and the back of this container.

This is the back of the container.

It's very important that you take some time to teach your kids HOW to use lotion. I had problems with my 2nd graders so I know that Kinders and firsties will also need directions! 

Some of my kids were squirting a huge puddle on their hands. (I suspect that they have never squirted lotion before!)   Some kids wanted to put one squirt of EACH kind in their hands at one time! And then I had kids whose hands  were filthy and they are smearing lotion on top of all that dirt! So I made this list of directions to help you have more success than I did!

If you'd like a copy of the sign you can grab it here! 

If you do get it, I would love to know! So leave me a comment or two. I thought about putting it on TPT so I could keep track of how many do pick it up, but this might be easier for this little bitty thing! 

I hope your kids love this!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The True Cost of Free

I love being a teacher. But long before I even knew I wanted to be a teacher, I was creating colorful things for others. 

I had forgotten all about it, until a while ago, but I made creative colorful signs for the inside of my friends' lockers. I made things to decorate the typing room walls. I made signs for my friend's weddings. Today people pay someone to make a sign that says The New Mr. & Mrs, Dalton! I did it for fun. 

Today I still create things for fun. They are colorful, cute, and always something that I need to use with my kids. And when I heard about TPT I thought that if others could do it, maybe I could too. Maybe. . . just maybe. . . someone else might like my stuff enough to buy it. 

But sometimes I hear comments from other teachers who don't understand why I don't just give my stuff away.  I do! Sometimes, I do give things away for free. I do that for many reasons, mainly because I too, love a freebie. But my rule is always this.  . . .  I MUST LEAVE A KIND WORD AND THANK THE PERSON FOR GIVING AWAY A FREEBIE.

You might be surprised to know that some of my free products have thousands of downloads and less than 10 people take the time to say thank you. 

I spend my own money to buy the wonderful clipart that is available from Krista at Creative Clips, DJ Inkers, Ashley at School Supply Addict, Beth at Zip-a-dee-doo-dah and many others. They are worth every penny that I spend.  There are fonts that I have purchased, too. With some of the clipart and some of the fonts, there is a license that has to be purchased. 

I spend many hours creating, thinking, editing, and revising each product to be sure that it is just perfect for you and your students. If it doesn't line up with the next page, then it's harder to cut on a paper cutter. If there's a typo, then you get mad. (I would too!) If it isn't perfect then you aren't getting your money's worth. I want you to be extremely happy with it before I put it in my store. 

I want to keep creating for you. It's a labor of love that I am thrilled to do. It's also a job that I appreciate getting a little money on the side to cover my own expenses too. 

I have a friend Laura Candler who has said this better than I can. I'd love for you to read her thoughts on this topic. Click here to read about it. 

If you hear others complaining about not getting enough free things, please send them to my blog or Laura's blog and help them to  understand why we can't give everything away for free. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

It's time to share with you some of my favorite Pinterest Picks for January. 

"Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link". 
I have had my eye on these cuties for a while and I will just have to make them this year. They are so eye catching and easy to make. 

If you live in the cold cold north and have too many days where you have to stay inside because of frigid temps, this game could just be a life saver for you!
"Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link". 

I love a great poem that is fun and easy for our littles to learn. These cutsie snowmen will keep them wanting to say the 5 Little Snowmen poem every day!

"Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link". 

I hope you've found something fun to do to help you and your littles make it through January. If you want to find out more, just look below and choose some from my other friends who are also sharing their favorite Pinterest finds.