return the favor background

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fa La La Llamas and A Giveaway too!

Click the picture to go to their webpage.

Get ready for DJ Inker’s annual
 12 Holly Daze SALE!!!  

That’s 12 delightful days full of fabulous flash SALES, daily FREEBIES, new products and holiday smiles.  :)

The fun begins at 12:00am EST on Saturday December 1, 2018.  But remember… 
each holly day lasts for just 24 hours! 

Join our email newsletter list for daily reminders, and you won’t miss a thing… 
Click here to Sign up for the newsletter!

I just posted a new reading product perfect for Christmas and 2nd and 3rd graders. 

There are 8 stories and each one has 4 multiple choice questions to answer and one written answer.

Click the picture to go to my store. 

The clipart and fonts are adorable and are from 
DJ Inkers. I know you've seen my admiration for DJ Inkers before. They are one of the best companies to work with. No kidding! 

They have given me the Fa La La Llama set so that I could create something for you. 
It's in my store now and it's half off for a few days! So grab it quick!

 Not only that, but they want me to give a holiday set to one of you! How fun is that?

The winner gets to choose either
 Jolly Holly Days


Holidays Around the World

And I'm going to give away my newest set of Christmas Reading Passages, too. 

Enter the Rafflecopter below and follow the directions. I'll pick the winner next Friday and that will give you plenty of time to use it this year. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Returning Santa Letters to Your Kids

I love seeing all the fun that goes along with letters to Santa. I'd like to share what I did with my Santa letters. 

My second graders wrote their letters to Santa in early December. I used this as part of a letter writing lesson. They had to tell Santa at least 3 things about them and also ask 3 questions about him. I didn't want their letters to be just "gimme gimme gimme!"

Some of the letters had 2 or 3 pages!

The kids think I sent them to the North Pole, but I really sent them to a high school class that was called Marriage and Parenting. (You could also send them to a creative writing or English class if you can work it out with a high school teacher.) The high school students were taught how to respond to the 2nd grade letters.  They did not to tell the 2nd graders that they were going to get things they had asked for. They'd say things like, "I'll try to bring you something from your list," or "Many boys and girls want that same gift!"

Before I sent the letters off, I also had the students fill out an Author's Page (I told them we would use it when we wrote books, which we did.) This Author's page was sent along (secretly) to the high school students. This way the high school students would have more information to respond with, that the 2nd graders hadn't told them.

When the letters came back to us, our secretary and librarian would run in shouting that Santa had just dropped something out of the sleigh. These ladies would run to the window shouting and squealing! That made all the kids also run to the windows. Many were sure they saw Santa, or a shadow, or the sleigh or a cloud that looked like Santa! Oh how they believed! It was just precious to watch. Then we would read the letters from Santa. Any adult who walked in was asked to "READ MINE!"

The high school teacher would later send me back the original Santa letters. I didn't tell the class that I had them. But I tucked them away in a folder along with a list of their parent's names and addresses. I also stuck a copy of the yearbook from that year in this folder. 

Fast forward to 10 years later when these same 2nd graders are now seniors in high school. I contact the secretary at the high school to see if she can find the addresses of the students that were in my class. I realize that some may have moved but that's where Facebook is a very handy tool. I'm usually able to find a few that have moved away. 

I write a letter to this group and in it I mention some of the things they are asking for Santa to bring them. It's a bit of a history lesson as many of these gifts are no longer popular. I mention how their handwriting looks or how they spelled the words and hope that those are better now. I tell them that I have kept my eyes on them, watching for them in the local papers or in school news on the website. I hope that they believe in themselves now as much as they believed in Santa ten years ago. Along with my letter, I enclose their original letter that they wrote to Santa.  I also include a copy of the yearbook page with all of their pictures on it from 2nd grade.

I send these letters to their homes around the week before Christmas. I want them to have a gift from me that makes them reflect on their own childhood and how I still care about them. 

Sometimes I run into the moms of these kids and they are so thankful that I have held on to these letters for so long and found their child to return it to.  Many families move from home to home and they lose things like this during so many moves. I'm happy to give them this gift!

So if you're writing letters to Santa, before you mail them out, make a copy of them. Either send the copy to Santa, or keep the copy for yourself so that you have something to send them in 10 years. (Or whenever they are a senior!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How to Read and Write 3 Digit Numbers Better

I feel like I've been in a slump about making products for you. But this last few weeks, I've been on a roll! Yea! It's about time!

Today I am sharing with you a set that you can use now for the Thanksgiving season and one for Christmas. 

They come in both color or black and white. My school is very watchful on the color printer. So having the option to print something useful in black and white but on colored paper is a bonus!

The students that I work with love these games. But besides building the complete 3 digit number from the expanded form, I also ask them to tell me how to read that number. It's interesting to hear how they try to read those big numbers. 

There is a recording sheet and an answer key included. Writing these numbers is also a skill they have to learn. Have you seen them write the number 263 like this: 200603? Yup, that happens all the time. 

And while I was at it, I updated my Halloween set. You may already own this so you may want to upload the newer version of this. 

You can find these in my store by clicking the link under each picture. 

But. . . . You can also win a set by just commenting below which one you would like. . . FOR FREE! 

On Saturday, (November 17th) I will pick my winners. It could be one winner, it could be more. Just take your chances and see what happens. 

This is a time of year to be thankful, and you are one of my blessings, so I want to give back to you!

Don't forget to leave a comment below. Tell me the set you want and whether you want them in color or black and white. Spread the word!  I'm feeling rather generous!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Expanded Notation the Turkey Way!

Do your kiddos understand expanded notation? Do they need more help with it? I might have an answer for you. 
I have two new products posted in my TPT store.

The first is a colored set, bright and fun to look at. There are 24 cards with different 3 digit numbers for your kiddos to put together into the correct numbers. You can find it in my store here.  

The second is a black and white set. You can save your colored ink and print these on colored paper instead. I found some awesome brown cardstock to print mine on. You can find this set in my store here

I'm giving two of these away on my facebook page. It's an easy entry. Just comment before Saturday morning, (November 10th) and I'll pick the winners then.