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Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday...Busy Week!

Second week in a row!  Yay! But I totally didn't realize I haven't posted since then!  It's been tough finding computer time with my kids lately.  By the time they go to bed, I'm exhausted too! Thanks  Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting!


 Let's start off by discussing my second failed attempt at infused water.  Gross.  This one was definitely better than the first nasty one I made (the first smelled sooo yummy but just should not be something someone drinks haha).  My son had fun making this too and was excited to try it.  The cucumber was overwhelming even though I used less of it than it said.  It also resembled lemonade...minus the delicious, large amounts of sugar!    


My son picked this book out because it had a moose on it.  When we got home and read it that night we were laughing hysterically.  This book is sooo funny!  You HAVE to act it out when you read it because it just adds to how funny it is.  It's about a duck making a movie about the regular life of a moose.  It keeps getting interrupted by the crazy animals (Moose included).  The director yells "CUT!" each time and also says "Take 1" and so on.  I will definitely be buying it and using it for reading aloud at school!  


Ah the simple things.  My little one was actually napping the other day in his crib!  Nap time is so important because it allows for some great one-on-one time with my oldest.  He loves playing outside and sometimes it's hard to do this with the little one running around.  He also loves to "wash" my car.  This was him washing my car and discovering the sponge could stick to the car.  Then he proceeded to tell me I needed to take his picture lol.  

I haven't talked about sensory bins lately because we've kind of been doing them outside lately.  We have *big* plans to make some sort of gravel pit/construction site outside for my sons.  While we were picking out things for it, he insisted his gravel pit needed a beach and picked out a bag of shells and little fish.  My little one was napping again (wahoo!) so we decided to play outside.  I spread out our giant ocean themed beach towel and he dumped out his ocean goodies.  He had so much fun pretending it was all in the ocean!  We talked about how they all felt, what they looked like, their sizes, etc.

I don't have a pic for this one (it's better that way haha) but I recently tried PIYO at my local Zumba studio.  It's a new workout by Chalene Johnson.  It was just what I was looking for!  I really want to stretch (Zumba doesn't do that) but it does it at a faster pace so you aren't just slowlyyyyyy stretching.  It's definitely cardio stretching if that makes sense?  They were offering a free trial so it was packed.  Some people left during it because it is pretty tough.  They say it's for everyone butttt I don't know lol.  I say it's for everyone as long as everyone realizes that they won't be able to do everything right away or hold things for very long.  I know I couldn't.  Actually I was surprised (in a good way) with myself.  As a former dancer/former dance teacher this is just what I wanted.  I miss that flexibility!  Click here to check PIYO out for yourself. 

That's it for now!  I'm off to NYC again tomorrow.  This time, just with my oldest and 15 1/2 year old cousin.  I used to take her a lot into the city and my son is dying to go again soooo perfect thing to do!  Plus hubby's not feeling it so he's staying at home with crazy baby.  Hopefully no weird characters try to come up to my kid again!  I'm sure I will be posting again about our adventure!  Happy Friday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday...I remembered!

This is my favorite thing but I keep forgetting to link up!  Thanks again to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this linky party!

These little boogers are seriously my whole world.  I wish I could spend every day with them!  Makes me extra thankful for summers off.  They decided to hold hands and watch tv one morning this week.  Then, of course, they proceeded to wrestle each other lol.  They baby won because Jake and the Neverland Pirates was distracting my older one.  Arghhhh haha.

It's summer which means Summer Reading Club at the library!  I'm bad and don't even take them to the one in my town.  We go to the one in my mom's.  I'm biased because up until last summer I worked there for 5 summers and helped run the program lol.  Since my oldest is also swimming there (it's a community center) 4 days a week for 4 weeks it just makes sense!  The library has tried different formats over the years and the one that seems to get the best response and is the easiest to run is when the books are weighed.  They have a baby scale on a table and when you have read your books you bring them in to be weighed.  The goal is collectively read "a ton of books."  So far, over 800lbs has been read and there's still a few weeks left!  There's also a board where each child gets a little marker and for every 10lbs they move up.  It's a travel/around the world theme.  Right now he's at the 20lb mark which means he's traveling in a train.  He's sooo excited and wants to read over 50lbs so he can "go" on the flying saucer in outer space.  Here's some of our MANY reads this summer.  And yes, my 3 1/2 year old likes Dan Gutman haha.  I just have to change "stupid" to "silly" because we discourage that words and he would just say it way too much!


This big boy is working so hard on feeding himself!  Yes, I am a crazy mother who let him feed himself a bowl of Cheerios and yogurt.  Messy?  Yes.  Great practice?  YES!

 So happy with how this turned out!  I love my colorful centers and all but I love not having to cut anything myself!  Yay!  I can't wait to print them out and add them to my diphthong binder.  I will be blogging about my binders and collections soon!  Click on the pic to head to my TPT site to check it out!

I was just feeling super inspired and my children have been behaving allowing me some work time so...I had to keep going!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how these turned out!  I'm so excited to use these!  My kids respond very well to things like this and they most definitely refer to them on a daily basis.  Working in a small space helps with that.  Whatever I choose must be meaningful since I don't have enough room but on the plus side, they also don't get lost in the clutter of large classroom walls!  Once again graphics by Pink Cat Studio has been super inspiring.  Wait 'til you see my diphthong materials!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you enjoy your weekend!  Mine will be filled with swimming at my mother's, church, and of course, my son seeing Planes Fire and Rescue lol.  Thank you Disney channel for LITERALLY counting down the days for my son and for making me have to explain why he can't go the day it comes out ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The lure of Target...

The only appropriate way to start off this post is this:


Seriously.  It must be written somewhere!  Of course I fell into the trap where I was just running there for one thing!  It took me awhile while writing this to even think of what I went in for!  I went in to see if I could find a bathing suit when those sneaky dollar shelves called me over.  I didn't go to my usual Target since I was at my mom's so maybe that's why I hit the jackpot.  Since I didn't have the kids (wahoo) I decided to take a peek and see if I could find any cute things for the gravel pit/construction site area we are building outside for the boys. Instead of the usual "eh" stuff my Target has, this one was stocked with classroom stuff!  Yippie!  The first thing that caught my eye were the magnetic letters.

I've been wanting magnetic letters forever but could never get myself to fork over the money for one of those nice box sets, nor have I found things I liked enough to make my own.  Well these looked good!  I bought 7 packs of uppercase and 7 of lowercase.  I don't work with more than 6 in a group so 7 should be more than enough.  I plan on getting a plastic craft case to put them all in too.

As if that weren't enough, my eyes were next lured to the birthday stuff.  Last year, I was disappointed I didn't have something cute for my kids on their birthdays.  The crazy straws and bags came from the dollar store but the rest was a good find at Target.  Pencils, fun erasers, a birthday badge, and a bookmark :)  I think they will be happy!

As I dug around for birthday stuff I found MORE cute (and useful of course) things!  My favorite find was probably the badges that say things like "I was a good friend" and "I did the right thing."  I'm always looking for a way to praise these things.  I figured they'd be proud to wear the badge.  People will ask them what they did to earn it and they can share their good behavior and maybe inspire others.

Last, but not least, FOLDERS.  I found them in the actual back-to-school section after I walking around and promising myself NO MORE.  I couldn't pass it up because I color code my groups and last year was a struggle to find the colors I needed!  I grabbed a bunch in each color.  The lady ringing me out asked if I left any for anyone else lol.  What have you already picked up for the new school year?  I hope you're making some good finds!  And now, I leave you with this:


Monday, July 14, 2014

NO PREP Vowel Digraphs Packet

I was dying to get this finished so...I did!  Here's my NO PREP Vowel Digraphs Packet!  I really like this because it doesn't require laminating, cutting, etc.  As much as I love that, it gets old and time is precious!

There are 24 black and white worksheets included. They are:
  • What Sounds Like Me? (AI)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (AE)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (EA)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (EE)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (IE)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (OA)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (OE)
  • What Sounds Like Me? (UE)
  • Fill in the Blank:  AI
  • Fill in the Blank:  AY
  • Fill in the Blank:  EA
  • Fill in the Blank:  EE
  • Fill in the Blank:  IE
  • Fill in the Blank:  OA
  • Fill in the Blank:  OE
  • Fill in the Blank:  UE
  • Match it Up:  Sheet 1
  • Match it Up:  Sheet 2
  • Word Scramble:  Sheet 1
  • Word Scramble:  Sheet 2
  • Sort it Out:  AI/AY
  • Sort it Out:  EA/EE
  • Sort it Out:  OA/OE
  • The Missing Piece

There are 6 different types of worksheets.  The first is "What Sounds Like Me?"  This activity quickly reminds students of a particular digraph and it's sound.  It provides an example and asks students to color in all of the pictures that say the same sound as the example.
The second activity is "Fill in the Blank."  There's one for each digraph.  Students are provided with a word bank.  They must then read each sentence and decide which word from the word bank goes in it.
My third activity is called "Match it Up" and asks students to look at each picture and decide which vowel digraph they hear.  Then, they may need to think about how that vowel digraph is spelled as well.  Once they think the know what it is, they can cut it out from  the bottom and glue it next to the picture.
For the fourth activity, "Word Scramble," students must try and unscramble each word.  They must keep in mind that each word will have a vowel digraph.
 The fifth activity is called "Sort it Out."  Each sheet focuses on a vowel digraph that can be spelled two different ways.  Students must look at each picture and decide which way the digraph in the word is spelled.  There is also a "neither" column if they don't even hear the given digraphs.  Students will glue each picture into the correct column.

The final activity is "The Missing Piece."  Students will look at each word and choose the vowel digraph that is missing.  They will then glue the correct vowel digraph to complete the word.
I hope this can meet your needs!  I know it will mine!  Now that it took me 2 days to complete this post I must go control my children...haha!

(Graphics by Pink Cat Studio)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vowel Digraph Sweet Treats

Yay!  New product!  I told you  I would do it ;)  I'm quite proud of how fast I made this.  Introducing my Vowel Digraph Sweet Treats packet! 

This packet includes 33 pages of 4 fun, colorful, candy themed activities to help reinforce vowel digraphs/talkers.  The entire packet comes in black and white as well so it's completely up to you on how you want to print it!  I made them with the idea of using them for my small groups.  They would work great for small groups or for center activities.

For "Candy Jar Sort," students will pick a piece of candy with a picture on it.  They will say the picture and listen to which vowel digraph they hear.  They will then place the candy in the correct candy jar.  Answer sheet included for self checks!

I know my students will LOVE "Read It, Spell It, Eat It!"  This is the one activity I intended on really participating in.  Teacher will pick a word card (if you feel your students could take turns reading this then go for it!).  The teacher will read the word aloud.   Students will write the word on their card.  You can either make it so they have to spell the whole word correctly or just get the vowel digraph they HEAR (ie:  either ay/ai) correct.  If they get it right, they move their piece up one space on the game board.  First person to "eat" their candy (get it up to the mouth) wins!

Now for Goody, Goody, Gumdrops!  Students will go through each picture card and use the gumdrop letters to spell out the word.  Simple but fun activity!

"Lollipop Mix-Up" is another one I know my kiddies will love!  Students will lay out the kid cards and see what picture each kid is holding.  They will then take turns picking a lollipop and reading the word.  After they read they word, they must match it to the picture that has the same vowel digraph.  This involves also knowing which spelling is correct as well so it might be best to save this one last :)

 I'm also feeling generous and want to give one away!   Anyone who comments on how they would use this product with their students will be entered to win it!  Giveaway ends Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:59PM EST.  Good luck!

I hope this product meets your needs!  My Vowel Digraphs/Talkers:  Posters, Activities, and Worksheets packet is one of my more popular items so I'm trying to provide more for you!  I'm also working on a "NO PREP Vowel Digraphs Packet" for myself and for you!   

(Graphics by Pink Cat Studio)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Lovin...

I hope everyone's enjoying their summer as much as I am!  I'm home with my two favorite little boys and couldn't ask for anything more!  Although the transition from working to stay at home summer mommy can be tricky, ultimately I adore it.  I wish I could be home all the time.  I'm more relaxed, my kids are more relaxed, my house is clean, and dinners are cooked more frequently.  Heck, I even planted flowers outside and am sprucing up our little outdoor areas!  Pinterest has also been inspiring me so stay tuned for the backyard rock quarry/gravel pit/town I'm making for the boys!

So far, my summer loves and I have gone strawberry picking.  We lasted 5 minutes because it was soooo hot!

Attended the kick-off of the summer reading club at the library.  I actually worked there for 5 summers and helped run it.  It's cool to go back with my own kiddies!  Here's my oldest getting a bubble haircut!

Our biggest thing so far was going to NYC!  We took my oldest when he was about 18 months old.  Now he's 3 1/2 and my little one just turned 1.  It was a blast but a LOT of work with the two of them!  My husband said he'll pass on doing that again any time soon but my oldest wants to go again.  Mommy has no problem going again :)  I've gone into the city a million times but I was definitely appalled by the number of people dressed up as kid characters (Disney, Sesame Street) in Times Square.  There are tonssss of them and they immediately run up to your kid.  They try to get your child all hyped up to take a pic with them then expect you to pay them for doing so.  My husband yelled at them to stay away.  It's just wrong.  Also, no joke, every couple feet the tour bus people are trying to get you to ride.  NYC it's time for you to fix this.  This isn't the NY I love!  PS...don't touch my kid.


With all of that said, I've also been making some new, exciting things!  My most popular products seem to be my Diphthong, R-Controlled, and Vowel Digraph packets.  I'm making even more resources for those topics.  My new Vowel Digraph packet will be posted tomorrow!