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Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's Off to Work I Go...

Well summer, it's been real.  We knew it had to end some day.  I just wish it wasn't so soon.  We had a good run.  Good times...bad times...I will treasure our time together.

After a very sad break up with summer vacation it was back to figuring out what to do with my space.  Last year, I had an owl themed space.  This year, I went with a zoo theme based on Krista Wallden's super awesome Zoo Clip Art which you can find here.  

I don't like clutter and I don't like having things up that won't get used...especially in such a small space.  Here's what I have done so far.

My word house is up.  It's waiting for the millions of post-its that will cover it.  I have no idea why all my pics are blurry so my apologies in advance!

This was me sorting out my awesome, can't wait to use posters (I made them smaller).

Here they are in action.  While I liked them up and want them up, I ultimately took them down.  I just don't have enough space in my cubical and don't want every inch of my walls covered.  I think I am going to put them on a binder ring and use them as flash cards.  I did something similar last year but I like mine better ;)  If you are interested in getting these posters for yourself, here are the links: Short Vowels, Long Vowels, R-Controlled Vowels, Vowel Digraphs, & Diphthongs.

Here's my student supply section on top of my binder bookcase.  I made a mini welcome sign along with pics of my family and favorite books.  Last year, all my student supplies were located in that white box you see.  I found certain grades were destroying my pencils and erasers.  I am holding them accountable this year by giving each group their own pencil box.  This way they can't argue with me about it being a different group who destroyed my supplies.  This is also where I have the student hand sanitizer and tissues.  They are kept far away from me and I have my own NO STUDENTS CAN USE THESE supplies right near my spot but where they can't touch it.  I try hard to minimize germs, not for myself but my own babies at home.

Here are my cute zoo themed behavior charts!  I hate buying them so I made my own to go with my theme.  Also, I color code my groups so I did it to their charts as well.  It will be easier for them to find their chart!  Like the signs above the sticker charts?  They are a great freebie from Class of Kinders and you can find them here!

That's really all I have to show you right now.  Apologies again for the blurry pics.  The lighting in my space this year seems really off.  I'm finishing up my NO PREP Vowel Diphthongs packet.  I'm also working on a pirate themed r-controlled vowel packet, NO PREP Halloween Packets (currently just Kindergarten is almost done), and of course a NO PREP R-Controlled Vowels packet as well.  Stay tuned my friends!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Clip Art Freebie Galore!

Freebies, freebies, freebies!  I'm pretty sure TPT will be yelling at me soon for the amount of freebies I keep posting lol.  It's nothing too fancy yet.  I've posted several backgrounds, borders, and small frames.  I have a huge desire to make my own clip art and have been trying to do so for a year now.  I've tinkered with it but ultimately, my children make it impossible to really sit and play around with things!  I've been self-taught in a lot of tech things since high school.  I can figure things out IF I have time to play with it.  I've downloaded some free programs to play with.  I've just been using GIMP but I've recently downloaded Inkscape and I hope to have some play time with it soon!  

Until then, here are some simple but awesome freebies for you to enhance your products!
Some other things I'm working on in the clip art department are swirled backgrounds, a Halloween bundle (backgrounds, borders, and small frames), and polka dots!  I will try to keep most free but I may have the bundles listed for a very low price.  I am also working on a NO PREP Diphthongs packet as well as Diphthong Posters.

I'm going to be weeding through my store soon.  I will be getting rid of things that never sold and I probably made a long time ago.  If there's something you've been holding off buying, please do so soon!  If it disappears before you get a chance to purchase it just let me know.  I am now off for a day of lounging at my mother's pool with my aunt, cousins, and crazy boys!  I need to cherish these last few days of summer!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter, Number, & Clip Art Freebies!

Freebies!  Wahoo!  Gotta love them!  I know I haven't posted freebies lately and I apologizes.  Most of the things I work on are big projects that take quiet awhile.  The following two things I created to use with my 3 1/2 year old and wanted to share with everyone as well!

The first I want to introduce you to are my Alphabet Trace Cards.  Thanks to Educasong I purchased a really great Alphabet Pictures Clip Art Mega Bundle.  I loved this clip art because it wasn't the sameeee alphabet pictures I was seeing everywhere!  I have them available in color and black & white...for FREE.  Did I mention that already ;)  Simply print, laminate, and cut down the middle.  You can either clip them together with a binder ring, put them in a folder, large zip lock bag, whatever works for you!  They make great centers or just extra practice!  There are two to a page so if you want to make them smaller just change your printer settings to whatever fits your needs.

Now onto my Number Trace Cards.  Thanks to Krista Wallden at Creative Clips I purchased a fabulous Zoo Animals clip art bundle.  I love it!  I plan on having a zoo theme in my area this year so I'm using them in my decor as well.  As with the Alphabet Trace Card these are available in color and black & white.  Same directions too, just print, laminate, and cut down the middle!
 My final freebie is a bundle of Chevron Backgrounds.  There are 9 different colors available in vertical and horizontal standard paper size.  All files are PNG.  I like using them in my products so I thought I'd share them with you as well!  Keep your eye out for more clip art coming your way!  Right now it's nothing too fancy (I'm working on it but my boys don't let me have a long enough chunk of time at the computer haha) but they will definitely be a great addition to your product!  I will try to keep most backgrounds/borders/frames free.  I hope it helps you get started with your own products!
 I hope these freebies will be a great use to you.  I really enjoy making products and I know that a lot of you are on tight budgets!  If you enjoy my freebies, please think about purchasing some of my other great products!  Poke around my blog too see samples of them!  Also, I'm always open to suggestions.  I make a lot of things based on my needs but if any of you have ideas...please let me know!  As always, ENJOY!  I'm off to the amusement park for some fun in the sun!  Yay season passes!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Five for Friday...FUN WEEK!

So much fun this week!  My husband took Thursday and Friday off.  It was our "summer vacation."  We had a play date earlier in the week with my niece.  On Thursday, the four of us headed to the Bronx Zoo.  Friday we dropped the boys off at my mom's, we checked into a hotel, and went to a Yankee game!  Thanks  Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting!

I put up a few new products.  These two are my bigger two.     I also have a few really great freebies.  I'm planning on making more too!  Keep checking back!


Play date with the princess!  The kids seriously love the water table my mom picked up at a tag sale.  They also love my 90 cent plastic garbage pen storage bins haha.  I actually had to go inside and get a third one so they could each play with one.   


We finally had a fire in the fire pit and roasted marshmallows.  A little late I know haha.  My little one made this face every time he bit the marshmallow!

Cuteness overload in that top pic!  They were sooo excited to be at the zoo!  We had a blast!  We saw a polar bear playing with a ball!  It was AWESOME!  I recorded it too but my phone and Facebook are currently hating on each other :(

Last but not least, my hubby and I said "goodbye" to Derek Jeter and his cuteness...I mean awesome baseball skills.  It was really sad.  I heard a couple of people yell "bye" to him as they left the game.  Won't be the same!  Oh, and I totally made it on the jumbotron lol!  I was one of those people who didn't realize it at first then started waving like crazy when I did!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pirate Alphabet Treasure Hunt

Hey everyone!  Happy hump day!  My boys had super fun playing with their cousin today.  They didn't want to stop!  They had fun playing with one of my latest products that I created with them in mind.  My Pirate Alphabet Treasure Hunt is a great letter recognition activity to help our little friends.

I found this great jewel clip art from ZisforZebra's store.  It was the perfect thing to be my treasure!  I also picked up Ashley Hughes' super cute pirate clip art.  I plan on using it to it's fullest when I make my Bossy R activities.  Oh and did I mention I bought this (and so much more clip art) during the awesome back to school TPT sale?  Yay!

This activity has 4 treasure chests.  26 uppercase letters are split amongst 2 chests and 26 lowercase letters are also split amongst 2 chests.  The jewels come in uppercase and lowercase.  You decide how to play.  For today, my son and niece worked with uppercase on everything.  I buried the jewels in the sandbox.  They dug them up, told me the letters they found and placed them in a clean bucket.  Sadly, they didn't make it to the part where they put the jewels in the treasure chest because my little one decided the jewels needed to go in the water table.  *sigh* What a waste of ink and laminating paper!

Oh well. They still had fun!  I intend on using this with my Kindergarteners when school starts up.  I will probably use a small bin of sand or rice that can sit on my table but be easily stored.  I know they will love it!  Please check out my store...I've added some freebies!  I will be posting more on them tomorrow.!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Diphthong Moon Bounce

FINALLY!  You have no idea how long this took me.  It was seriously done but a couple pages were giving me issues when I was trying to extract it from Adobe to flatten everything.  Ugh!  And they were the simple pages!  Anywhoooo here it is!  My Diphthong Moon Bounce.

This packet includes 4 fun and colorful activities/games to reinforce diphthongs.  I created these to use in my small group settings.  3 of the games would be great to use for centers.  Read It, Spell It, Fly It was designed to be teacher led.  If you are like me and can't always print in color, NO WORRIES!  Every activity comes in black and white.  This allows you to easily print whenever you need to.  You could even do it on colored paper to jazz it up a bit.

Moon Landing Sort asks students to pick an astronaut card and say what the picture is.  They must then decide which diphthong they hear and place it on the correct moon.  Everything is based strictly on what they hear not the spelling of what they hear.

Read It, Spell It, Fly It is the activity I mentioned earlier and said it will be teacher run.  You can, of course, run it whichever way you feel works best for you and your students!  The students will choose a colored alien card and their color will be the same on the game board.  They teacher will then read a card to each student one at a time.  The students must write the word on their board.  You can either play it where they must spell it exactly right or that they need to at least get the diphthong they hear correct.  If it's right they get to move their piece up one space.  Whoever lands their flying saucer on their planet first is the winner!  My kids will love this!

 Star Light, Build it Right will make a great center.  Students will go through each picture card and build the word using the star tiles.  They can easily self check with the answer sheet.

 I KNOW my students are going to love working with these little aliens in Alien Mix-Up!  Students will lay out the planets and review each picture on them.  They must think of the diphthong they hear AND how it might be spelled.  They will then take turns picking aliens, reading the words, and placing them on the correct planet.

And now I'm tired haha.  Off to bed!  I should be posting my diphthong posters soon!

(Graphics by Pink Cat Studio)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Five for Friday

Another busy week in our house!  NYC, aquarium, swim lessons, and more!  Thanks  Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting!

 Lots of fun in NYC again!  This time my oldest and I took my 15 year old cousin.  I have been taking her since she was little!  We had a ton of fun.  My son seriously loves going.  Probably because he likes getting toys...haha.  This time, we rode the big Ferris wheel in Toys R Us and then did this super fun trivia game at the Disney Store.  They gave everyone in the game this lanyard and the Planes:  Fire & Rescue button.  We had the Monsters University one from our visit a few weeks ago.  They also gave him Planes:  Fire & Rescue trading cards.  All of that was great but doesn't make up for the fact that the Planes vehicles we bought that day all broke within a day!     


My aunt's birthday was this week.  We all went to my mom's to swim and eat lunch.  She LOVES the beach.  She spent most of life being in the Cape for her birthday.  I wanted to capture that for her :)  It's not as "nicely" decorated because my son helped haha.  But that's okay!  The concept is still super cute.   


We headed to a big aquarium in our state for my aunt's birthday.  It's not the one we usually go to.  This is a larger one that's a bit farther.  I haven't been there since my oldest was 6 months old.  Unfortunately, he had an attitude all day but my little one loved it!  My favorite photo is the last one :)

We attended story time at our local library again.  They like it.  Probably because snacks are involved!

And finally, we wrapped up our Friday by celebrating the fact that my little one was actual home to nap in his crib!  I love the time it allows me to have with my oldest.  We picked up some fly swatters for a letter game.  I think I might have seen this somewhere on Pinterest.  I will have to find the link.  I wrote all the letters on the driveway.  I would call out one and he'd smack it with the fly swatter.  It was fun!