Tuesday, November 26

Take It Back Tuesday --- Syllable Freebie

Here's a little "Take it Back Tuesday" post for you...originally posted in early November, 2012.

Hope you enjoy the freebie!!!


Why not take a little advantage of all the sweet stuff {from Halloween} and incorporate it into some syllable work? This sweet freebie includes a work page (and key) that can be used in class or as homework as well as a literacy station (it includes a recording page, as well).

I love comments and TpT Feedback. Hint. Hint. Shameless plug.

Click the first picture to download it. 

The station can be used in two different ways...a simple matching up of the words with the pictures or to sort the pictures into number of syllables and try spelling each sweet on the recording page. If done the second way, the word cards could be used for students to check their spelling.


Since making that freebie, I posted two Syllable Sets...click either pic to check them out...


Hope you link up to Hope's awesome Linky Party over at Second Grade Shenanigans!

Couldn't ya just cry over the 80s pix?? Love me some Melonheadz!


Monday, November 18

TpT DIY: User Instruction Pages

I am very excited to teaming up with some of my favorite blogging buddies to give tips and advice on creating amazing products for Teachers Pay Teachers!  I sure wish I had this information when I first started out!  

If you want to get started on TpT or improve your products click here for some tips from top sellers

I have the privilege of talking about User Instruction Pages...

How to write amazing explanations and allign your products to the Common Core so that your units are teacher friendly and sell like crazy-from Growing Firsties

My goal is to always create with the user in mind...to be as explicit and teacher-friendly as possible!

1st up...
Background: Jen Sykes   Frame: Jen Jones   Fonts: Kim Geswein
Why include a Table of Contents?

For me, as a buyer, I LOVE them for two big reasons...

1.) Since packs get disassembled once they're printed...ya know...some pages go to the copier, some to the laminator, etc...a Table of Contents will help you re-assemble your stuff so you know what goes with what.

2.) A Table of Contents helps me save my file in all the right places while the ToC page is open when I save.

For example, if the pack contains a combination of Literacy and Math activities, like in Plenty of Love, I like to save it in multiple folders on my computer and a ToC comes in handy...
While saving, I'd have the above "What's Included?" page open on my screen to my different folders...based on the contents of this particular pack I would save it to these five folders...

Monthly Activities/February

Word Work/Synonyms & Antonyms

Math/Fact Families

Math/Place Value


I probably wouldn't save them specifically to my Math/Addition or Math/Subtraction folders because I have so much in those folders already...

Without a ToC type page, in order to save I have to scroll through the pack and save as I go. Sometimes the packs I buy are huuuuge and a ToC makes the saving process so much more efficient.

And being a teacher, I'm alwaaaaayzzz looking for ways to increase efficiency!!!

Can I get an Aaaaaa-men on that??!!

I don't always call it a ToC...as you can see here, too...

Sometimes I include mini-pics of the pages, too...but I more often do that in the other part of my topic...

Next up...
Background: Jen Sykes   Frame: Jen Jones   Fonts: Kim Geswein
Some products are truly "print & go." In my opinion, those packs don't need Explanation pages...especially if they are 30 pages or less of use-able content.

If it's not a truly "print & go" pack, put some time into making Explanation Pages...they'll help the buyers that want it tremendously, which will really help your ratings, too!

An introductory page, such as this one from Finding Proof, can help explain your thinking...

So can a page of "Big Ideas" that a unit is trying to impart...

Building STAR Readers Pack is a huuuge pack with several sections...so there are a variety of instruction pages...

Here are some of the pages in the Mini-Lessons Outline...

In larger packs, it can really help to have a page at the beginning of each section such as... 

Simple pages like these can help, as well...

Referring to & citing specific Common Core State Standards is helpful for many of your buyers. 

Not all states implement CCSS and not all districts require teachers to cite the specific CCSS, so I tend to keep the list of included standards within an explanation page or two in order to appeal to the majority of buyers...and to keep it simple and uncluttered for buyers that don't use/want the CCSS.

Thanks for sticking with me!!! I wish you happiness and success as you begin or continue your TpT journey!!!

Do you want more amazing tips on how to make your Teacher’s Pay Teachers products sell, sell, sell?

Or even some CLIP ART FREEBIES?????

Click any link below to learn from my sweet friends...

   How to make a TpT cover from Teacher to the Core   How to write amazing explanations and allign your products to the Common Core so that your units are teacher friendly and sell like crazy-from Growing Firsties
Do you want your TpT products to sell sell sell- Swap out fonts and clip art to make your units more appealing    The term TOU can be confusing-click for an easy explantion   How to make a credits page that will make your life easier and can be used on all your products.

Erica Bohrer has a WONDERFUL "Getting Started on TpT Post" that you can check out by clicking the picture below...

Sunday, November 17

Julia Cook Linky Party...Don't Be Afraid To Drop!!

Have you ever been afraid to try something new?

Have you witnessed your students afraid to try something new?

Then...it's drama, procrastination and maybe more drama to do the new thing...

Yet once it was done it turned out to not be so bad after all and in fact, was a confidence-builder and probably even fun??

Or, at the very least, it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be????


Enter Julia Cook's book...

I'm privileged to be reviewing this book for you today, as part of Laura Candler's Julia Cook linky party on her highly resourceful Corkboard Connections site.

Before I talk about this lovely book, let me tell ya, Julia has a boat load of wonderful books on her site...http://www.juliacookonline.com/!! Like a BIG boat load of books!!!

All of the books she writes are gateways to powerful conversations with our students (and our own children at home, too)...

Take a peek at just a few that are involved in the Linky Party...clicking this image will take you directly to Julia's website.

Don't Be Afraid to Drop is about two raindrops...a father and son...sitting on top of a cloud that is getting too heavy...they need to drop off the cloud, but the son is too afraid.

As you can guess, the son eventually DOES drop and ends up being so relieved that he did.

This book lends itself to wonderful discussion about worrying and fears.

We talk about times where a loved one has encouraged us to try something, even though we don't want to and also about times we've been afraid to try something and then did it and it wasn't so bad.

As always, I'm mining for writing topics and encourage students to write about their experiences. They often share stories about going down a "big" slide or a "dark" tube-slide...riding their bike without training wheels the first time...jumping off the side of the pool...

Kids have lots of examples and stories to share!

I generally have all students write in their Writer's Notebooks about their experiences and some students choose to write narrative books about their experience...This post {HERE} talks about how I use Writer's Notebooks in case you'd like to read more.

When I ordered this book, I also got these...
Let's just say, the bottom two were purchased with my feisty, spicy meatball five year old daughter. She LOVES them so it may be a while yet before they make it to school for my first graders! Let's just say I NEED to capitalize on her love of them! Cuz she IS a fiercely independent, yes-loving kind of gal.

Wanna order your own Julia books? Or add to your existing collection?

Make sure you visit the other folks in the linky to figure out what you'd like to order...

Along that vein...I'd love to help you out...enter the Rafflecopter below to win $10 to Amazon!!

(P.S. Head over to Teacher to the Core for the chance to win another $10 Amazon card!!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 15

Proud Mama Moment, Immature Joke & Goodwill Treasures in Five for Friday


1. This girl is meeting-ed out!
Here's a wee bit of what my week felt like...
Funny Workplace Ecard: We will continue having lots of meetings until we find out why no work is getting done.

2. My son's cursive practice just warmed my mommy heart.
HA!!!! Typical boy!!!

Sooooo....what do you call a teacher who doesn't...ummmm...pass gas...in public??

A Private Tutor.

Have no idea where he gets his immaturity??

3. I'm posting over at Primary Chalkboard today about a daily math routine I lovvvve...There "might" be a freebie.

4. Is it so wrong to want my 5 year old's pjs in MY size?? Owl...chevron...AND they are a $2.99 treasure from our Goodwill hunts...they were brand spankin' new with the Target tags still on them???? Love!

5. Two more nights of conferences next week...while I love connecting with parents (I really, really do!!!)...the havoc it wreaks on my "Life Factory" requires recovery time...grocery shopping, food prep, laundry...you know...cuz you live it, too! :)

Thanks for stopping by today!!!

Saturday, November 9

Fundraising Pack...Self-Evaluation Freebie...Coffee...T or T Pix

Love me some Random...cuz that's soooo my life! Hippity-hop, flippity-flop from one thing to the next, back to the first thing, on to a third thing and on and on until I forget about finishing the One Thing...

With that said...here's my 5 for Friday...

1.) Parent Teacher Conferences are the next two weeks and on Monday morning, I'll have my kiddos self-evaluate using this little form...

I LOVVVVE going through them after they have filled them out...and I pull them aside typically in a low key way to have them give me a little more info...it is so interesting to read how they perceive themselves!

It's a freebie over at TpT...and includes a version with and without the Quarter numbers in the upper right corner. Click below to download...

2. My amazing friend, Rebecca over at Darlin' Little Learners has put together the most lovely fundraiser for a family at her school. The mom is in the battle of her life...and her goal is to make as many memories with her husband and four precious young children as possible this holiday season...

Rebecca wants to help make that happen and asked some bloggy friends to donate products for...

For just $15, you will get over $90 worth of products from some fabulous folks AND you will be helping out this special family...
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Persuasive-Letter-WritingLeapin-Leprechauns-212526 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spelling-for-All-Seasons-Part-One-285549

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Happy-Holiday-Math-and-Literacy-Centers-170362 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkeyriffic-Centers-for-First-Graders-ELA-and-Math-923446

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Class-Made-Books-November-Edition-939763 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Christmas-Craze-Literacy-and-Book-Activities-429241

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elf-Capades-Math-and-Literacy-Fun-Common-Core-Aligned-422375 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Christmas-Reading-Comprehension-Activities-423283

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/New-Years-Craftivity-and-Writing-Pack-460037 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mistletoe-Math-Tubs-12-Hands-On-Math-Activities-for-December-432732


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Rave-Reviews-and-Opinions-A-Common-Core-Writing-Workshop-Genre-Study-Unit-592793 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CUPS-Posters-Student-Job-Card-Set-Chevron-and-Owls-807963

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elf-Christmas-Party-Creative-Clips-Digital-Clipart-749789 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Stacked-Stitched-Christmas-Trees-2-Graphics-for-Commercial-Use-414571

I'm honored to have Rave Reviews & Opinions Writing Workshop Unit included in this Fundraising pack! My students love to write reviews of their favorite holiday gifts.

To read more about and see a photo of this amazing family, please read Rebecca's post...

To help this family and stock up on all the fun, head on over to purchase the pack over at TpT, by clicking {RIGHT HERE}.

 (P.S. Rebecca had the cuh-yewt-est baby girl in September! Tinleigh! Awwwww!)

3. I am OBSESSED with my Contigo travel coffee mugs for my coffee/tea...(I'm a full-on Tervis girl for my cold stuff but really, really, really love Contigo for the hot stuff!)

They keep my coffee hot for over an hour and very warm for a few hours beyond that. I do love my coffee at any temperature but I will say I love having a sip or two after lunch (if I have any left) and having it still be warm six hours later!

I **might** have a few more, too. Does that make me totally lazy??

I put the lids and silver stainless ones in the dishwasher. I have put the painted ones in the dishwasher, too...my oldest painted one has paint chipping off the bottom part (which will eventually come up around the sides, I'm sure)...but for the convenience I don't mind.

They don't leak (as long as you don't overfill and have threaded the lid correctly, which is easy to do)!! They've been SIDEWAYS in my school bag before without a leak!

I'm obsessed!

Costco has twin packs of the 14 oz size for $20...but go to Amazon for your 16 oz or your 20 oz, which I kind of wish I'd done! 14 oz is a bit small for me many days...when I know it ahead of time, I bring a second one along...all filled up! :)

And...I don't use regular mugs at home 'cuz I love drinking from them so much!

4. Continuing briefly on the coffee theme...we get this from Costco in a 2.5 lb size...and I make it half strength...one scoop per two waters...YUM!

5. Sickness hit our household throughout October...we all took turns...and it was my turn during trick or treat weekend...while I stayed in bed, my husband, mom and step-dad made memories with my kiddos...thought I'd share these pics cuz they make me smile!!
 Zip-lining ghosts in the entry way...thanks to my creative husband who lovvvves all things holiday! Too cute!
 Emily, the Rosebud Princess Barbie...with a turtleneck in true WI form. :)
Scary Zach....he's 9 and informed me this year that, "Halloween is not about being cute, Mom." One of his favorite things to do was scare the bejeezers out of his sister...she was truly afraid of his mask and would scream and cry in terror.

Check out the other folks who linked up with Kacey for...
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