Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thank An Educator!

Here is a set of free bookmarks for you or someone that you know, that has made a difference in the life of a child or another person.

The Starfish Story
It is a great product for administrators to give to staff members. It can be run on heavier paper and laminated for a lasting keepsake.

There are three bookmarks on the sheet. The poem listed below is centered on each bookmark. There is a set in color and another set in black and white.

by Loren Eiseley
Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human
figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think
of someone who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw
that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching
down to the shore, picking up something
and very gently throwing it
into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."
"I guess I should have asked,
why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"
"The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize that
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said-
"It made a difference for that one.“

You make a difference!

Friday, April 21, 2017

My May Days!

 May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It's a celebration of spring. It's a day of political protests. It's a saint's feast day and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.
As a little girl, I would hang small baskets of flowers on the doors of family and friends in my neighborhood, bringing in May to celebrate the return of spring.

We continued this tradition when our daughters were toddlers. My husband and I were lucky enough to live just down the road from my husband's parents. The day before May Day, we made little homemade baskets with colored papers.
 Simply trace a half circle using a plate to create the little cone baskets and cut it out. Then cut a strip of paper from one side to make a handle. Curve the straight edge of the paper in half over itself to form the cone shape needed to make the basket.
Glue or staple the edges of the basket together, plus add the handle by fastening it to 
each side of the basket. Ribbons or bows can be added, but are not necessary.
This project is so easy peasy to do!
The girls were always so excited waiting for May 1 morning to arrive! They picked whatever small flower bouquet they wanted from dandelions to lilac flowers. We would sneak down to Grandma's house hoping she wouldn't see us. The girls would tiptoe up to the door, hang their baskets of love, ring the doorbell and run to hide.

Of course, Grandma was always excited to see those adorable little baskets! She would play like she didn't know the two special little people that placed them on her door. This only lasted for a few seconds because the girls were too excited to stay in their hiding places. Every year Grandma would be totally surprised and there would be lots of hugs and kisses!
 I also used this activity with my little learners, making little baskets the day of May 1 or the day before, then sending them home. They tended to fill their baskets with lots and lots of dandelions! They came to school with delightful stories of how they shared their May Day baskets with family, friends or neighbors. Occasionally a little one would forget, then rush home after school to do it!

The stories they created while writing down what happened were full of happiness and a joy to hear being shared with the class! Every year it was a treasured teaching project!

 Wishing you a very special May Day!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Puzzles, Puzzles and More Puzzles

Puzzles are such a fun way to introduce, practice and evaluate learning skills! I have many available for different learning concepts, but the most popular one is
 They can easily be adapted for a variety of ages. Start the littlest learner by only using concepts introduced and starting with very simple examples!

The instruction page has several games to play using these pieces. For example, give each child a puzzle piece, making sure that another child has the matching piece. The students then scramble to find their match.
Print, laminate, cut apart, and use year after year!

Don’t have time to cut puzzles? You may have a valuable, untapped resource, in your student’s parents! Many parents work and are unable to help with activities or projects in the classroom. This is their time to shine! Simply send home the puzzles after laminating, with directions about how you want them to be cut. The puzzles come back with both the student and parents proud to be involved in helping the teacher!
Most of my puzzle activities have curved corners to keep children from being poked. I know it takes longer to cut them out this way, so if you are in a hurry simply cut them straight across for square edges!

I have a free product that give you a chance to use some of the different puzzle activities I have available.
This free product has 42 puzzles that include the concepts of solid shapes (cone, cube, sphere, and cylinder), hour time (12:00-5:00), antonyms or opposites, rhyming, homonyms/homophones, time sequence, size sequence, and things that go together.

I have many other types of activities like this, just look under
Puzzles and Games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Was Tweeted by TpT!

It is a known fact that everyone loves a shoutout! Thank you TpT for tweeting
about my blog post!
Read the blog post here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

World Read Aloud Day!

"LitWorld was founded in 2007 after Executive Director, Pam Allyn, renowned literacy educator and author, visited Kibera, an area of extreme poverty in Nairobi, Kenya. There, she experienced the urgent desire children had to read, write and share their stories, the barriers that stood in their way, and the amazing power of literacy to remove barriers.

Inspired after her first visit to Kibera, Pam returned to New York and mobilized a group of friends and leaders to join her in building a new movement founded on the belief that literacy is a universal human right. They created a movement designed not only to further basic literacy, but to further productive literacy defined by dreams that can come true.

 They have grown World Read Aloud Day from a simple call to action to a program that rallies over 18 million people online and over 1 million people across 100 countries through community events. People eagerly await the arrival of World Read Aloud Day and celebrate their innovative ways of taking action. From a girl in Haiti marching down her street with a sign advocating for her right to read, to the boy in Iowa hearing his favorite author read to his class over video chat, to a mother in the Philippines proudly listening to her daughter read aloud for the first time: 
This is the LitWorld story."

Saturday, January 7, 2017

One of a Kind Snowflakes and Snow Globes

The weather outside is frightful or delightful, depending on how you see it! If you have snow or no snow here are two fun activities for making memorable snowflakes and snow globes.
A different twist on snowflakes and 2D shapes together. Discuss the design of snowflakes and the 6 points. Introduce or review the five shapes, circle, square, triangle, rectangle, hexagon. Excellent practice for fine motor skills, cutting, and gluing.
There are 3 complete activities; 1 in blue shades, 1 in gray shades, and the last is black and white. Possible Sample Keys are included and are in blue shades.

You will need to decide which project to do and the type of paper to run it on. They can be made as a stand alone, but that is better printed on heavy paper. It can also be made by gluing the pieces down on another piece of paper.

Decide if posting the picture of the finished Keys, so the children may use them for reference. They could also design a snowflake that isn't shown on a Key. It is a good idea to give each child a baggie to hold their cut pieces until they have used them all.
I have another delightful creative arts and writing activity.
This fun activity includes the cover sheet, 5 snowflake templates to use and parent letter.

Print the snowflake template on heavy paper and send it home with the parent explanation letter.
Parent and child will decorate the flake together. When finished the student will bring it back to school to share. It then becomes a prompt for story writing and telling.

It does not have to be sent home and can be done in class, 
but a lot of "stuff" is needed for decorating!
It is always fun to see the different methods of snowing and makes an incredible display!
I have another activity that is kind of along the same idea!
Parent and child will decorate it together. When finished the student will bring it back to school to share. It then becomes a prompt for story writing and telling.

It is always fun to see the different methods of decorating, especially if you use the child's picture in the activity!

To add extra dimension cover the globe with a clear plastic lunch or dinner plate for a 
truly 3D look!
The product can be used with the above snow globe!
Snow Globe Picture and Writing Activity for Christmas or Winter
This cute activity can be used for winter and makes a delightful wall or bulletin board display.

The children can draw themselves in the snow globe or give them their picture to dress in snow clothes. I have covered the pictures with a clear plastic plate or bowl to give the look of the glass globe, not included. Add glitter or splatter paint to give the look snow falling.

There are two pictures of just the globe, no lines, one is in color and the other is gray shades for illustrating a picture. Three different line grids globes are available each in color and gray shades for a variety of writing levels.
I have many other winter educational activities and products to enjoy!
Happy snow days for many of you!
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