Monday, January 28, 2013

Teachers Supporting Teachers - Update!

I am SO pleased.  I started the Teachers Supporting Teachers campaign in December after the shooting that occurred in Newton, Connecticut.  After a month of donating proceeds and collecting it from everyone who participated, I am happy to announce that not only did we meet my $1,000 goal but we have more than DOUBLED it...we raised $2,155 for the teachers and students of Sandy Hook!

Be sure to follow the blogs of the wonderful ladies who participated.  You know they have good hearts since they donated a month's worth of sales so selflessly!!

Before I announce the winner, a quick question.  I'm working on a Sight Word packet but want to tailor it toward specific grades.  I'm making a Kinder, 1st and 2nd version.  How do you choose your Sight Word lists?  Dolch?  Frye?  Combination?  How many words are on your list for the year?

Now for the winner of the $20 Target gift card!
{drum roll please...}
Number 11...Kyp McLaren of Mrs. McLaren's Little Superheroes!  :)  Thank you to Kyp & everyone else who linked up, made purchases, donated their proceeds or spread the word about the campaign!!  Think of the lives you'll change and the hope you'll bring!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is coming up on February 10th.  I like to touch on it as a way of learning about other cultures and comparing customs.  Christmas Around the World is always popular, but then we tend to forget the rest of the world the rest of the year.  Here are a few super simple ways to celebrate if you're interested!

{dragon dance}
2013 is the year of the water snake but the dragon dance is a major part of the yearly celebration.  Show your students pictures like these or maybe even a video clip of the dragon dance.  The choreography shows a dragon chasing a pearl with the intention that if the dragon catches it, the pearl with bring him good fortune and prosperity.

{lion dance}
The lion dance is often confused with the dragon dance but is actually a little different.  The dragon requires multiple people and their faces are shown but the lion dance only uses 2 people {they only have 4 legs!} and their faces are covered by the costume.  You can see examples of the lion dance in this video.

{dragon crowns}
Then find a dragon or lion coloring page that you like, attach it to the front of a sentence strip crown, run streamers down the back {for the dragon} and let your students make their own celebration dance!

{fire breathing dragons}
Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.  KangarooBoo made them using paper cups, popsicle sticks & streamers.  The kids blow through the back to make the flames fly!

{pattern block dragons}
Use die cut pattern block pieces to let your students create their own dragons.  If you'd rather stick with the 2013 theme of the water snake, just don't add the legs!  ;)

Always extend by writing on the back, of course!  They flipped to write with a white colored pencil.  :)

{paper lanterns}
Show your students pictures of children in China just like them to compare celebration symbols.
Follow the DIY steps to make a simple paper lantern with streamers.

{Chinese New Year symbols}
Create a Bubble Map of celebration symbols using the vocab cards at Communication 4 All.  Or print the large vocab posters, put them in your writing center and let your students explain what each symbol means.

{history of the Chinese New Year}
While you're there, download the awesome powerpoint story about the history of Chinese New Year {perfectly acceptable for young children} by clicking on the image below.

{fortune cookies}
Tell me you haven't been sitting there thinking of orange chicken as you read this.  Or beef and broccoli?  Whatever your preference, Chinese food meals always end the same...fortune cookies!  Kids loooove cookies.  Make these cute ones out of cupcake liners then serve a real one for a snack.

{ni hao kai-lan}
Nick Jr.'s special friend Kai-Lan can also tell you a lot about China, their culture and the Chinese New Year.  Click on the picture of her below to be taken to a video clip of her explanations and maybe even learn a few Chinese phrases!  :)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flash Sale: Teachers Supporting Teachers

The Teachers Supporting Teachers campaign wraps up tomorrow!  My goal is to raise $1000 to send to Sandy Hook Elementary and we are close!  We have one more day to see if we can hit the goal...and then some.

If you have any items in your TpT wishlist, now is the time to get them from these 18 teachers who are donating their proceeds.  A few of us are throwing sales today and tomorrow to get as much of a donation as we can!
{get to the stores by clicking on the images above to be taken to the linky party}

If you want to link up to give but haven't yet, it ISN'T too late! You can link up here or follow the steps below to make your transfer.

Log in to your TpT account & click on My Sales.
Then View Transaction Details.

Click on Check my Sales and filter the dates to start December 14th & end January 14th.  That will give you your total sales & earnings for the month we committed to donating!

To transfer to the funds {so I can send one large check from all of us} log in to your PayPal account & click on Send Money at the top.

Put my email { } in the To box and the amount you raised in the Amount box.  Click on the Personal tab and choose either Gift or Other, it's up to you.

That should be it!  :)  You can always email me with questions and there is still time to sign up!  :)  If you promote it on your blog and leave the link on the Teachers Supporting Teachers post you can still be entered to win the Target gift card!  :)

Thank you friends.  Thanks for helping to make a positive difference in the midst of a horrible situation.

Friday, January 04, 2013

phonetic spelling

Every class is different.  I know this.  All kids learn differently.  I know and fully believe this as well.  But I can't help but feel like I am doing something wrong when the activities I've always done are just over the heads of my students this year.  My drive tells me it's time to start writing small moment stories with beginning, middle and ending events...but instead we're still trying to sound out words with a focus on beginning, middle and ending sounds.  {sigh}

Blame it on the new school?  Blame it on my teaching?  Blame it on the rain?  {you're welcome children of the 80's}  Nope.  Just brush it off, move on, and create something we can actually use.

If your kids are working on writing down the letters they hear {phonetic spelling} this should switch it up just enough to give them a break from writing letters.  The first page works with words with 3 sounds and the second page uses words with 4 sounds for a bit of differentiation.

I hope you find it to be helpful!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Not a resolution...a life change.

I don't do New Year's resolutions.  I help my students choose a goal to set for the new year and explain what resolutions are but I figure if there's something I care about THAT much, I should decide to do it for life.  {I know that's the point of some resolutions but really, I can't seem to stretch one through February.}

My Currently link up with Farley says that my OLW is {bless} because it's about time I consistently choose to see the positive.  Not just in my life but in my community and the world around us.  No more avoiding the news because it's depressing.  If there's nothing good to focus on, we can make something good.

Over the holiday season a lot of us {myself included} were busy with family, friends and taking time off to relax, unwind and ignore we should have done.  But that also means we weren't blog stalking as frequently and I want to be sure you know about the fundraising campaign that's taking place for Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.  To participate:

*choose a percentage of your proceeds to donate
*link up on the Teachers Supporting Teachers post
*share the button on your blog, FB page, etc

By linking up you are entered to win a $20 Target gift card.  By sharing the button on your page you are entered a second time.  To link up & read more about it, go to Teachers Supporting Teachers.  Even if you're linking up now you can still fully participate from December 14 - January 14 by checking your sales in TpT.  More info on that later.

For now...on to currently.  :)
{click to zoom in}

Happy 2013!  I hope you have uncountable blessings!
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