Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year Resolutions...

A Peach for the Teach: Behavior Supports & Multi-Age

My sweet friend, Brandi from A Peach for the Teach, has created this cute link up for the New Year! YAY!

Do you make any resolutions at the start of the year?   I like to call them goals because somehow resolutions (in my life anyway) become forgotten about after about the first week or two. :)  I see a lot of people writing about how they are going to change their diet, lose weight, buy a house, or car, etc.  Those are pretty big goals.  I like to start out with smaller goals and work up to bigger goals.  Why?  I think if I start out with really big goals I set myself up for discouragement.   

I have a specific milestone that I am working toward for my store.  It involves taking a trip to a magical land where mouse ears are a requirement! :)   I have a media packet from this amusement park/cruise on my "thinking wall."   I look at it often, and I keep working toward that goal.  Chugga chugga choo choo! :)  I think I can, I know I can!   It just takes time and hard work!

One of my resolutions for this coming year is to find a good, HONEST guy that accepts me for who I am. I know that might seem like an easy thing, but it really isn't.  I haven't really been LOOKING either.  I have put this one in God's hands.  If it's meant to be it will be. :)

Professionally, I've been pretty blessed.  I think everybody wants to make a little more money, have a little more work to do.   I am the kind of person that needs the challenge of doing something more or different.  I'm developing a secondary product line which will definitely boost my creativity, but will keep fresh ideas churning. :)

A big part of my goal for this next year is to continue to give back.  I like to support Donor's Choose, as well as the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Both are great organizations.  Donor's Choose, if you aren't familiar with it, helps fund projects for equipment/resources for teachers. The Gary Sinise Foudation raises money to provide much needed services to wounded soldiers, EMT/Fire/Police.  I began contributing to this organization a year ago after reading about a smart home that they build for a solider that lost 3 of his limbs in combat.  I hope that more people will find ways in their own community to give back.  It doesn't have to cost money at all.  Helping a fellow teacher prep for their class, or giving a new teacher a resource that you no longer need... or even helping an older person carry their groceries to their car.  Something as simple as a SMILE can make the difference in somebody else's life.

Blog - Yea,  this tends to be my problem child. :)   I don't write on here as often as I would like to.  I try to write when I have something to say with meaning. I'm not a real fan of filling pages just to fill pages. :)  But that could change. HAHA! :)   Seriously,  I will be adding more content soon - but for now it's a little bit of a secret.

I will be hitting a couple big milestones very soon on TPT.  I am excited about it.  I definitely will be throwing a PARTY of some sort when I do.  Even if I have to be a party of 1. LOL    I've worked very hard to get here, and that's worth celebrating!!!  Of course, there's always a reason to have cupcakes and glitter!  Just ask Kathy and Susan from The Fun Factory. :)  I'm still getting glitter out of my carpet!

Lastly,  I'd like to take a vacation this year.  I will.  I have not gone anywhere or done anything for 12 years.  Yes, that is right.  I have not had a vacation in a loooooooooong time.  In part because I live on a farm and you can't just pack up and leave when you have responsibilities.   For the last few years,  I'd been healing from an accident.  I had trouble walking, sitting, standing, riding in vehicles, lifting  and was in a lot of pain while my pelvis and back healed. I didn't let it get me down, but it's hard to think about having fun on vacation when you're in pain.  The good news is that this year I turned a corner and am doing pretty well.  A lot less pain, and I can stand, sit, walk a lot more without having trouble.  So it's time to take a vacation.  

I hope that you've enjoyed this link up.  If you'd like to write your own resolutions, and link up, click on the graphic above and visit Brandi's page. If you don't know her yet, you'll want to. She's one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet!  Maybe she'll tell you how much her brother looks like Ryan Reynolds!  True story! :)

If you made it this far,  thank you for stopping by!   I LOVE hearing from my friends and followers. I'd love to hear what you may be doing for the New Year in your classroom!!!

P.S.  Here is a little freebie... this was included in the 2013 Winter Ebook on TPT!  

Click the Cover to Download

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Love for Sandy Hook

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. WE honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook. #love4SH

Monday, December 9, 2013

RAK in Honor of Sandy Hook

December 14, 2012  is a date that sticks in a lot of teacher's minds. It is the day that a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and 6 staff members.    Like many people, I was in shock that something so horrific could happen in a school.  Children (and staff) should never be afraid to go to school. 

The victim's families of Sandy Hook have asked that December 14 be designated as a day to perform Random Acts of Kindness to honor those who lost their lives.  

A Random Act of Kindness are gestures done purely to be kind or generous to someone else.  It could be a teacher, or student, family member, or stranger.  The best part about a R.A.K. is that there really are no rules or limits to what you can do to help someone else.

I have begun a list of things that YOU (and I) can do to give back.....

1.   Write a card/letter to a soldier deployed.
2.   Send a hand made Christmas card to a nursing home.
3.   Bring a plant to a neighbor.
4.   Purchase a cup of coffee (cocoa, or tea) for someone you don't know.
5.   Send an anonymous donation to a charity.
6.   Bring dog/cat food to an animal shelter.
7.   Collect canned food and deliver it to a local food bank.
8.   Volunteer to read stories to kids at a library.
9.   Schedule to visit a nursing home to sing songs, play games, & visit with residents.
10. Ask to help carry groceries for someone at the grocery store.
11. Donate books to a library.
12. Donate to Donor's Choose to help fund a classroom project.

For other ideas,  check out the Blog post 31 Days of Giving by a friend of mine from High School, Jenny Mac.  She wrote about ways to GIVE during the holiday season.  The ideas are pretty insightful, and most don't cost anything to complete. 

I created this festive holiday card to be used to write thoughtful notes as a R.A.K. project!  Click the image to download the cards.

On Teachers Pay Teachers,  I found a couple free products that focus on Random Acts of Kindness.
 A Year of Many Firsts published this packet, "We are Kind Kids."  Click on the image to be taken to TPT to download it.

Susanna from Whimsy Workshop Teaching created this cute activity book.
Click on the image to visit TPT to download this wonderful packet.

I will be sharing more about how Crayonbox Learning gives back later this week.  Thank you for sharing your time with me.  Have a great week!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently - 2013

When the new Currently comes out each month,  does anyone else hear that "AHHHH" sound as if the skies opened up and the angels sing?  :)        I look forward to this link up every month not only because it's a good time to reflect and share a little bit about myself (and learn more about others) but I also like to see what Farley has come up with.   Her style and creativity makes me smile.

This past week has been a bit busy for me.  I am working on a FRENZY on Facebook, and helping out a lot of people (which I like doing).  We've had some out of town guests at the parent's farm, Thanksgiving of course, and then horses come in and leaving.  {My parents raise registered Missouri Foxtrotter horses. My Mom is an authority in the breed, and so people come from all over the country, and world to learn from her.}  This week, we have horses leaving to go live in Italy. Exciting times.

LISTENING: I am Currently listening to the hum of my computer.  It's really quiet in the house right now, instead of the usual listening to music or movies on Netflix.  The snow geese are flying over head in their famous "V" formation, and I can usually hear the groups when they fly over.  They are later this year, since our weather has been so nutty.  And.. occasionally, my dog Jake starts snoring.. and running from something in his puppy dreams. ;)

LOVING:   I've been working on trying to gentle down some barn kittens.  The Momma cat is part Bobcat, it took me a year to gentle her down as she is pretty wild. Now she's ... well let's just say she brought me her kittens and wanted me to take care of them at 4 weeks.  The kittens were wilder than heck..  Now?  They cuddle in my hands and I can hand feed them.  The little silver one purrs really loud when I talk to her, or pick her up.  In a few weeks, I will find homes for them.  They will make great hunters.

"MOOSE"    - He has 4 tan boots, and is twice the size of all the other kittens. I've never seen a kitten this big at that age.  He's wider than the adult cats, and has really big paws. I think he takes after the really huge male cat that roams the wash.

"Kitten in the Headlights" anyone? :)  Her name is Silver.   She still has some kitty food on her face. The stunned look was just for photographic purposes. lol She was purring really loud when I took this.

Salem.  Everyone needs a black cat named Salem.  She is hilarious.  She can climb anything, land in anything, and will take a flying leap off the deck and land on her feet.  She is the first to gentle down. She will hold her paws out and ask for food.  Clever.

And last but not least....

Marked a lot like Moose,  (doesn't have a name yet)  he is a talker.  He's also a Momma's boy.  He will follow the Momma cat all over.  She weaned the kittens too early and this one tries to get a nip here and there.  He purred for me today, so I think we're getting somewhere with him. He was the last one to gentle down.

THINKING:  It's been a really busy with the hustle and bustle of people coming and going this last few weeks, and animals as well.  In the midst of all of the work, I had kind of a bummer situation where somebody called me out on a public group for something that I really didn't do. There were several people that stepped up to support me, which meant a lot.  I've always had a hard time just "getting over" an injustice. I've given more thought to what the person said than the person deserved.  The actions of the person, reminded me a lot of high school drama. You know the kind I'm talking about.  The girl that sits at the cool girl table making fun of somebody else and gets her friends in on it.  Only she doesn't realize that each snipe she makes only drags her down. Yea.  Only I'm the somebody else that was being pointed at.  Well, it's been over 25 years since I graduated high school so this girl is having none of the drama.   I had to wrap my mind around why anyone would be so silly. I know in my brain that there will always be people in the world that think they can get away with saying mean and thoughtless things, trying to convince my heart of that is a tougher sell.  I prayed on it, and am moving on to more happy thoughts. :)  It's just been a tough couple weeks - and I ate a whole bag of MM's... it took me a week but ...well...I don't feel bad about that though.

WANTING:  I have to packets that I have been working on, what seems like FOREVER.  I decided to put everything aside tonight to get it done.  Wish me luck?

NEEDING:  A VACATION.   Anywhere.  On land. lol     I haven't taken a vacation in about 12 years.  Always some reason why I don't go anywhere.  I do live on a farm so there are a few times a year when I just can't leave. I do have a goal set to go to Disneyland (never been there) when I reach a certain milestone.  I'm almost there.  I have this Disney DVD on my "Thinking Wall" to keep me focused.    Yep, a vacation.  I'd like to go somewhere with white sandy beaches, a few touristy places to visit, and a nice view. 

TRADITION:  I have a thing for Christmas lights, since I was a little kid.  We used to pile everybody into the station wagon and go out to see lights.  There was an old man that had a 30 acre farm that used to deck those halls and trim those trees.  It made Clark W. Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation look like a newbie.  This man had animated displays, and Santa Claus would come visit and hand out candy canes.  My favorite time was when I was about 9 or 10. All the cousins, Aunts, Uncles piled in 2-3 cars and off we went.  It snowed so it was really pretty out.  My parents stopped to talk to Santa, and gave him a card with some $$ in it to help pay the electric bill. :)   He was touched, and was able to continue on for years more.  I've always loved Christmas lights - I have to get on it and put mine up!!! :)    What is your family tradition?

Be sure to stop by Farley's blog and show some love.  She's amazing.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

Holiday Hits from Crayonbox Learning

"Ohhhhhhhh the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful.........and since there is no place to go.............". WHY not pop on over to Teachers Pay Teachers to see what is on SALE!!!

The elves are jumping up and down in the tinsel, while listening to:

I have teamed up with some blogging friends to share with you what is on our play lists for the Cyber Monday day sale. 

The first song up is:

One of my favorite units is the Hatching Chicks, Life Cycle of a Chicken.  It was specifically designed for classrooms that incubate chickens as part of the classroom activities.  It features the 21 day life cycle in ring book and poster form. {Click on the image above to learn more about this packet}

The Hatching Chicks - Life Cycle of a Chicken collection features: 
Hatching Chicks Teacher's GuideChicken Bulletin Board PiecesChick / Egg Matching GameHatching Chicks Count Down Pocket Chart SetChicken Life Cycle Ring BookChicken Life Cycle DiagramChicken Life Cycle WheelChicken Memory GameChicken Word WallChicken Coloring PagesChicken / Egg Card TemplateChicken Life Cycle Posters (20)Parts of an Egg Worksheet (2)Chicken Predictability Activity w/ GraphingChicken Sink or Float Activity w/ GraphingEgg Alphabet PuzzlesChicken Journal / Book CoverChicken Journal Observation Worksheets

The second song on my playlist is: 

These little cuties were inspired by a punch card that I created for the Read Across America event last year.  The punch cards are a fun way for students to track the books they have read, improvement in behavior, or to record homework that has been completed and turned in.   There are 8 different designs 4 for Christmas, and 4 for Winter.   They come in full color, BW with numbered and unnumbered options.  Click the song image above to learn more about this product!

For something a little classic and slow.....

This sweet bundle combines 3 products!  Gingerbread Friends Activity Pack, Gingerbread Bunting, and Gingerbread Sight Word Ring Books.  This pack would make a great addition to gingerbread units!  Click on the image above to learn more about this holiday favorite!

To hop on over to visit the other play lists,  click on the link below.  A huge shout out to Christina from Bunting, Books and Bainbridge for putting this link up together.  It's been a lot of fun!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Santa Advent Freebie ...

Greetings from a very chilly {waiting for snow} Arkansas.  The high today was 20 degrees.  I smile as I type that because I recall just a few days ago, complaining that in order for me to make my winter resources,  I needed inspiration.  I was watching movies with the arctic {apocolyptic} type story line, and listening to music about falling snow and Christmas!  None of that really worked.....

Then today.... The National Weather Service issues a lovely snow warning.  I read with anticipation and a wee bit of excitement until I get to the very bottom of the notice.  "With accumulations of 1/10th of 1 inch"  Who comes up with this stuff? :)   1/10th of 1 inch?  That's not even enough to roll around on the ground making snow angels in. :)    But I digress..........      I have 2 pages left to write for my new Snow packet and it will be ready for "Snow -n- Tell..." :)

I wanted to share with you a freebie that I made a couple years ago.  No eye rolls, please...  Even though my original copy was made a few years ago, it is a classic that everyone seems to love.

Santa Advent Calendar
{Click Image to Download}

A free Santa pattern which cotton balls will be glued onto every day leading up to Christmas.   The pattern is unnumbered so you can write on it anyway you choose.  This pattern can also be used as a write on/wipe off type activity sheet. I hope that you will enjoy the activity as much as I enjoy putting it together.

Hanukkah begins on Wednesday, November 27th.    I updated my Hanukkah packet this week. I added some new task cards, a banner, and a calendar set.  Click on the image below to learn more about it!

Click the link below to learn more about the "Year Round Resource from Top Teachers" bundle from
Educents.  You might just find my Hatching Chicks - Life Cycle of a Chicken Unit included! :)

This is most likely going to be a short week for teachers in the U.S.  Thanksgiving is on Thursday.  {I can't wait for some yummy pumpkin pie!}  I hope that you have a great time with your families.  

Until next time...
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Year Round Resources from Top Teachers - Mega Deal

Looking for amazing resources for 1st and 2nd grades?  Then this is the bundle for you!   

I teamed up with 19 other fabulous sellers to create this exciting bundle!   The items included in this bundle 
may be used year round.  

I'm pleased to announce that I have a product included in this bundle from Educents.

Hatching Chicks - Life Cycle of a Chicken Mini Unit.
~ Best Seller ~

Hatching Chicks Teacher's Guide

Chicken Bulletin Board Pieces
Chick / Egg Matching Game
Hatching Chicks Count Down Pocket Chart Set
Chicken Life Cycle Ring Book
Chicken Life Cycle Diagram
Chicken Life Cycle Wheel
Chicken Memory Game
Chicken Word Wall
Chicken Coloring Pages
Chicken / Egg Card Template
Chicken Life Cycle Posters (20)
Parts of an Egg Worksheet (2)
Chicken Predictability Activity w/ Graphing
Chicken Sink or Float Activity w/ Graphing
Egg Alphabet Puzzles
Chicken Journal / Book Cover
Chicken Journal Observation Worksheets

There are many other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  
Centers, printables, vocabulary, book studies, interactive notebooking and so much more!

Click on the link below to stop by the next store in the loop....


The deal won't last long so head over now!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft...

Click the image to download a copy of the instructions and pattern

Hello there!

I finally have a chance to sit down and write this post.  It's been a busy week.  My sister was here from out of state for a week, plus I had a bunch of projects to finish up on before deadlines. Whew!  I made it.

Just when I thought that Fall was in the air, Mother Nature throws us a curve ball.  It was 90 degrees here today.  The unfortunate part is that the heat wave like that spawned some wicked tornado storms to the north east.  My heart goes out to all of the people in the areas hit by the tornadoes.

I have been busy working on some new materials for my store.  I have one really big project coming off the presses tonight.  Did you say you'd like a little hint?  Hmm.... "Snow time like the present..." to post some new activities.  Did you get it? :)

Today's post is about a Thanksgiving Centerpiece idea that I had a couple years ago.  You'll have to excuse this Blog post, it'll have just the one picture.   This particular project was featured in a publication, so I just had the one image that was sent to press.  I came up with this idea while I was kicked back daydreaming about thanksgiving leftovers. (No, not really....but it sounds good?)      I thought it would be fun for kids to make centerpieces that go on the table for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This is something that they can make with just a little assistance.

You can use materials that you have around the house (recycled soup can, construction paper, googly eyes, etc).  The materials list is located on the instruction sheet.  Just click on the photo above for the instruction sheet.  It also includes the head, beak, and waddle pattern.

Do you have plans for Thanksgiving?  Do you travel to visit family and friends or do you stay home?   Our holiday is pretty low-key.  We used to have a pretty big gathering where my Mom would spend all day cooking all of this amazing food, and we'd sit down and eat at the end of the day.  I think my Mom has the best stuffing recipe ever!  {I imagine that everybody thinks that about their own Mom's stuffing!}

I hope that you all enjoy your holiday.  I'll have another post before the big T-day to share details on a project I am participating in..... in case some of you are traveling, I wanted to send holiday greetings.

12 days until Thanksgiving!!!

Have an amazing week!

P.S.  I almost forgot to mention that Hanukkah begins on Wednesday, November 27th this year!  If you are looking for last minute activities to share with your students,  I do have a Hanukkah Activity Pack in my store:  

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights begins on Wednesday, November 27th. This packet features Hanukkah themed materials, featuring symbols and terminology. 

1. Hanukkah Math Mats and Coin Counters
2. Hanukkah Card Game
3, Dreidel Game (featuring printable Dreidel and instructions)
4. Menorah / Candle Number Match
5. Hanukkah Cut and Paste Little Book
6. Hanukkah / Christmas Venn Diagram (with answer key)
7. Hanukkah Word Search (with answer key)
8. Hanukkah Writing Sheet
9. Hanukkah Coloring Sheets (Dreidel, Star of David, Menorah)
10.Hanukkah Color by Letter Sheet

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Hero Freebie

Thank you Veterans!

Veteran's Day is upon us.  It's a time to reflect, and show respect for the millions of men and woman past and present that have served our great nation.  Without our military service, who knows what our world would be like.

In my eyes, military personnel are heroes.  They put on a uniform every day, and put themselves in harm way so that we may be safe.  I have several family members who have served, or are currently serving in various branches of the service.

Click photo to download @ TPT

I'd been thinking about a project to share with you all day.   It is my vision of an interactive booklet.  It's simple enough for younger children with some guidance for cutting, and can be adapted for even older students.  It's a HERO book.   There are 4 pages to this HERO book, each page has a letter on it.  When compiled the booklet spells out HERO. (See photo above).  H is the cover, E, R, and O have different drawing or writing spaces for students to fill out.  When the booklet is cut out, the letters fit together.

As I was finishing the letter H,  I had a wild idea to include a small "dog tag" which can be attached with a string or ribbon with the name of a special hero.  (That part is optional).

Instructions for assembly as well as a photo of a finished booklet is included in this freebie.  Because the HERO Booklet is somewhat generic in nature, it can be used for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day or as a way to show respect to anyone in the student's life that is a hero to them.  I hope that you will enjoy this project as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you.

Today is the last day to download all of the freebies in the November Facebook Frenzy.  Stop by the Crayonbox Learning Facebook page today (11/11) before 8pm Eastern Time to hop through all of the pages and collect Thanksgiving freebies.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thanksgiving - What I am thankful for freebie...

Click cover to view the packet..

I am very excited to say that my Thanksgiving Turkey Learning Centers packet was featured in the TPT Newsletter today ! (11-3-13).

 This packet includes:
1) Tally Mark Activity 
2)  Number Cards 
3) 10 Frame Clothespin Game (0-10)  
4) 10 Frame Clothespin Game (11-20) 
5) Alphabetizing Activity 
6) Odd and Even Sort  and 
7) 10 Frame Thanksgiving posters 0-20 (2 styles).  

I have included both full color and black and white for the games. The posters are in full color only.

I am THANKFUL for TPT, and for all of my friends that have supported me along the way. I created this Thanksgiving freebie which is a 3 in 1 packet.  

Click image to download...

This Thanksgiving freebie includes a pumpkin template designed to be a topper and footer for a writing page.  Students will write what they are thankful for on a piece of writing paper.  The pumpkin halves are posted top and bottom.  The complete item can be used for a classroom display.   The packet also includes thanksgiving theme writing page and a worksheet where students will write new words made from the words Thanksgiving Freebie.

I hope that you enjoy this freebie!  I enjoyed creating it for you!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Freebie Fridays