Sunday, March 31, 2013

Autism Awareness Linky Party

Some of my favorite Bloggy friends and I teamed up to bring awareness to Autism by hosting  an Autism Awareness Linky Party April 1 - 12th.  April 2nd  is also World Autism Day.  April is also Autism Month.  Together, we can do our part to bring awareness to the teaching community.  

Each of the fabulous Blogs you will be visiting feature an Autism-friendly freebie to use in your classroom. We are so excited to share these materials with you, and to also bring awareness to Autism.  

Autism Facts & Statistics - Did you know?
  • Definition of Autism: A developmental disorder that affects the brains normal development of social and communication skills.  Most children develop the disorder by time they are 3 years of age.
  • 1%  of the child population in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an Autism Spectrum disorder.
  • Now,  1 in 88 children will have autism. (1 in 54 boys)
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmetal disability in the U.S.
  • Boys are about 5 times as likely to have Autism than girls.
  • There is no detection or cure for Autism.
(Source information: Autism Speaks, CDC, Autism Society,  and Google.)

I have worked with children with Autism.  If I had one tip to share with those who create learning resources it is to keep it simple.  Even though we all LOVE and appreciate cute products,  when the printables become too "busy" it is harder for children with Autism to be able to focus on the images (That goes for a few other learning challenges as well).  You can still make cute products, but keep in mind how the items will be used and by the groups of children.

Many of the products you will find in this Blog hop are created specifically for this Hop or were adapted to fit the needs of Autistic children.  I hope that you will enjoy all of the items provided, and give a big thanks to the wonderful ladies who took the time to share their creative talents to participate in this event!  

Autism Sources

Autism Freebies

Click the cover to download from Google Docs

Click the cover to download from Google Docs

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Autism Awareness Giveaway!

To add a little FUN to this link up, we have a fabulous GIVEAWAY package for one lucky winner! This is a gift pack valued at over $125.00 which includes the items listed below!

(The drawing will be held on April 12th in the afternoon.  You can check back here on the 12th, as I will have the winner name posted, as well as contacting via email. :)


Special thank yous:
To Karla for working so hard on the beautiful linky graphic, the wonderful bloggy friends who contributed to the giveaway:  Wendy, Martha, Samantha, Arlene, Merinda, Cyndie,Christi, Laureen, Mel,  Susan, Kathy, Cynthia, Lesley.  To Peggy Simpson who graciously donated a packet to the giveaway, and to Amber Fernbach who donated a copy of her book. Thank you to Margaret Bucklew For allowing me to use her puzzle piece graphic for the Giveaway.

April Currently

It has been a really busy weekend! I've been busy working on the Autism Awareness linky that starts um... in about an HOUR! I also have been working on SPRING CLEANING! Can you imagine? I ran out of chocolate on Friday, so I am a bit off my game! :)

Soooo....April is only a few hours away and I am sitting here feverishly sitting at my computer typing out the last of my blog post for the Autism Awareness linky party.  Ok feverishly might be dramatic, but it seemed to flow well. :)  This is my first Linky party to coordinate and I have to say, I have NOOOOOOOOO idea how other people do it.  I used to think I was somewhat organized, and a great fundraiser... I used to coordinate events all the time but wow.......I became pretty nervous and actually had a mini melt down yesterday. Thankfully, my bloggy buddies came to my rescue (thanks ladies! - You ROCK!!!)!   I did learn a few things about the process, and that I should never attempt to organize a bloggy anything without being fully stocked up on Dr. Pepper and CHOCOLATE!!!!!! :)

My Currently post below really should have said the "WHIR WHIR WHIR...HUM... of my head..." my head is filled with ideas and things I need to do.

My Dad woke me up this morning during a thunderstorm.  Those who know me well, KNOW that I am not exactly a morning person. I am more of a night owl by nature.  Phone rings, I answer it... and all I hear is..."wa wa wa wa wa wa wa"  somewhat smilar to "Charlie Brown's Teacher...." except for the voice on the other end of the phone was monotone and much deeper.  At the conclusion of the call, I look around and see both of my dogs on my bed hiding from the storm....  I was sandwiched in between 2 dogs and I couldn't move. lol   I laughed outloud as I realized that I was probably the only person awake at that hour sandwiched between 2 freaked out dogs while being awakened by someone that sounded like a radio announcer.

The day turned out to be beautiful,  65-70 degrees. The grass is growing fast, almost as fast as the baby goats.  The trees and bushes are starting to leaf out and the birds are signing a lot more.  Spring is one of my favorite times.

My best advice is to be thankful for what you have.  It is way too easy to compare oneself to others, or to see what someone else is doing.   When my thoughts start to go off course,  I think about my dear friend who sadly passed 5 months ago.  He was somebody that carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, and was always trying to do 9 million things at once. His self esteem was linked to all of the things that he did.  He was a relatively young-ish man that should have had several decades left to live and laugh with us.

Now that he's gone,  I think about all of the laughs we had and how lucky I was to have known him. I stop myself from dwelling too much on what isn't going right, and think about all of the great things that ARE going right.  I am thankful for what I have and will continue to work hard, live more, and laugh outloud because nothing is really worth stressing over.  Even not having enough CHOCOLATE to make it through the weekend!  

What was I thinking??? :)

Have a wonderful APRIL... 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Cleaning Sale!

Yes!  Crayonbox Learning is participating in the weekend Spring Cleanin' Sale!  Stop by my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, and take advantage of the 20% discount.  Sale ends March 31st!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recycled Seed Packet Matching - Take it/Make it

It's  time for another installment of Take it And Make it Thursdays, hosted by Cynthia at the 2nd Grade Pad!  Click on the logo above and you can visit all of the wonderful Blogs linked up.  

My project for this week is Recycled Seed Packet Matching!

Materials needed:

Large Popsicle Sticks
Recycled Seed Packets
Old seed catalogs, ads or photo/clipart images
Permanent Ink Marker
Glue – E600

Recycled crafts can be fun to create as well as educational. This project is one that the kids can help you with! There aren't any set rules as to what types of seed packets you use. In my example, I have used a packet of vegetable seeds, and 2 flower packets.


1. Gather together recycled seed packets. Select 5-10 different seed packets that feature a picture on the front. Look through seed catalogs, websites, or ads for pictures of the flowers/content of the seed packets.

2.  In my example, you'll see that I selected a picture of Acorn Squash, Dianthys, and Zinnias. Even though the pictures weren't exactly the same pictures as my seed packets, they were close enough.

3.  Cut out or print the pictures of the flowers/veggies to match the seed packets.
4.  Trim the pictures to fit on the end of a large popsicle stick.
5.  Laminate for durability. (Optional)
6.  Count out as many popsicle sticks as you have pictures. With a permanent ink pen, write the name of the flower/vegetable on one end of the popsicle stick.
7.  Glue the picture at the end of the popsicle stick opposite the writing, and let dry completely.

Once the tags are completely dry, the game is ready to be played.

Variation: Another variation to this game is to have the children sort vegetables from flowers by sorting into recycled aluminum cans marked with seed packets.

All of the supplies used to create this activity can be purchased from your local Dollar Tree/Store.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Techie Tuesday...Facebook

I really hadn't planned on writing this particular Blog post today, but I happened across a message on discussion regarding Facebook launching the thread comments for Pages (Launched yesterday, March 25) and there were several people asking how to set it up onto their pages.

This is a feature that has been in the works since last November. Facebook was beta testing it with a small collection of pages.  If you are unfamiliar with the new feature,  I'm including some screen shots of my own Facebook page to show you.

The screen shot above shows you where the new comments feature will be located in threads.  With this feature, you can reply to comments without having to tag the individuals that you are responding to. 

Right now, FB Page owners have the OPTION of turning on the comments. This may not be the case later in the year, as most pages will automatically have the feature. 

To locate this feature, you'd go up to the tool menu just above the Cover Image where it says Edit Page (yellow arrow points to it).  On the pull down menu you will scroll down to where it says Manage Permissions.  The page will open (as seen in the screen shot below)...

When you scroll down to where it says REPLIES and then tick the check box and save the changes.

The next tutorial will focus on adding and changing tabs on the Facebook tool bar.

Fern Smith's Thursday's Tech Tips for 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Raindrops on roses...and whiskers on bunnies?

I was reminded of the Julie Andrews song, "A Few of my Favorite Things" while listening to the wind howl and rain this weekend.  (Which followed the snow on Thursday, which was a bit of a shock after having warm spring temperatures.)  Though instead of whiskers on kittens,  I was thinking bunnies would make a more suitable lyric considering that it's close to Easter.

This Blog post will feature TWO freebies.  I found this cute game I had made which matches umbrellas to rubber boots in my files and thought it was pretty fitting considering the weather. It is included in both full color and black and white in case you'd like to color your own.

Click on the image to download!

The game consists of a center sign, umbrella cards, and boot cards.  The patterns on the cards match up.  This can be played with more than one player as in the game of FISH, or turning them over for a memory game.

The second freebie I have for you today is more Easter related, though it can be used  beyond the holiday.  This game consists of a center sign, bunny number cards, and 2 carrot markers for odd and even.  The object is to sort the bunny cards whether they are odd or even. (1-24)   This game is included in both full color and black and white!

Click on the image above to download!

This would be a cute game to pre-make and put into Easter baskets for the kiddos or for your class before they leave for Easter break.  

I plan on coloring some Easter eggs later this week. Yep, for me! LOL  I found these really cool coloring sticks at the Dollar Store, I am going to test them out.  I remember as a kid, my brother and I used to color eggs using vinegar and food coloring.  I miss the simpler times, don't you?

Coming up this week will be releasing a couple new products, a newsletter, and on Thursday I will be linking up with Cynthia from 2nd Grade Pond for her Take it and Make it linky party!  (It's LOTS of fun.)  

I hope that you have an amazing week!!

On April 2,  Educents will be launching their new website!   It's a new website that will offer different deals on educational supplies/products.  Click on the  Educents logo above, and sign up for a FREE account and receive a $10.00 gift card to be used in the Educents store when it opens.  Who doesn't love free?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Hoppy Teaching,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bunny Book Craftivity

Click HERE to download Bunny Book Template!

Materials Needed:

Bunny Template (included)
Writing Paper
Glue Stick

Scrapbooking Scraps
Colored Paper
Squiggly Eyes

Young children learning to write love to make little books and practice writing on any piece of paper that they find. I created this project with young learners in mind, but it also can be adapted for adults too!

This bunny book is a simple project that can be made as a group project or with light supervision. You can create different variations by changing the colors of the cover, or adding different types of paper for the pages, or adding embellishments to the cover.

With Easter right around the corner, the bunny book would make a great gift idea. Add some crayons and wrap in cute cellophane for an inexpensive party favor or for classroom parties.

  1. Print and cut out the bunny template.

  2. Fold 1 piece of 8 x 11” cardstock in half (width)

  3. Unfold cardstock with the fold verticle.

  4. Glue the bunny cut out flap onto the top, right
    side of the cardstock. You will want to adjust
    the bunny cut out so that the head is sticking up
    above the closed book. (See picture)
  5. Fold a 2nd piece of cardstock in half and glue
    it on top of the previous piece covering the bunny
    cut out flap. This will provide a sturdy cover for
    the book.

  6. Fold in half 3-5 sheets of writing paper. You can
    use lined or unlined.

  7. Place the writing paper fold on top of the fold
    of the bunny book cover.

  8. Staple the bunny pages and cover along the fold.

  9. The book is finished, and now can be embellished.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the "Find the Leprechaun's Gold Blog Hop."  The winner of the $100.00 TPT Gold is Aanika P.  You can learn more details on Christi's page here!  This Blog hop was a lot of fun.  Stay tuned for more activities coming up!  Have a great week!

Educents is a new store for educators coming online April 2.  If you click on the logo, and go sign up at their website you will receive a $10.00 gift card to use in their store once they open. FREE.  Who doesn't love a little free? :)   Just a few more days to get signed up!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Hoppy Teaching,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Playdough Mat Freebie

Materials Needed:

Spring Playdough Mat Template 
Page Protectors

Playdough mats are a great way to work with kids on their motor skills, shape recognition, alphabet and number skills. It is also a fun activity for kids to play with on rainy days when they can't go outside and play.

The template provided is Spring/Easter themed, and is ready for use.

Using page protectors is an inexpensive way to keep the playdough from sticking to the cardstock template. You can use lamination film, but the page protectors work just as well and then the cards can be stored in a 3 ring binder when not in use.

Playdough Recipe:

1 ½ – 2 Cups Flour
1 ½ Cup Water
2 TBSP Oil
2 TBSP Alum
½ cup Salt
Food Coloring

Mix water, food coloring, salt into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil on high until the salt crystals have dissolved. Put flour in a bowl and add oil, Alum, and any scent (optional). Once the liquid has dissolved, pour it over the flour and mix completely. Start out with less flour, and if it's sticky add a little bit more. Store in a closed, tight container. Will stay good for several months. If it gets dry, add a little water to it.

Just a reminder to stop by the Find the Leprechaun's Gold Blog Hop for some great freebies and a chance to win $100.00 in TPT Gold! :)   The Blog Hop ends on St. Patrick's Day - March 17th.

Happy Teaching,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Clothespin Game

Materials Needed:

Tulip Clothespin Game Template (click link to download)
Lamination (heat laminator or clear contact paper)

Colored Clothespins:

Small – Medium wood clothespins
RIT Liquid Dye

The Spring Clothespin game is a fun, and flexible game that can be adapted to the age group you're working with, skills, and themes. The PDF template that I have included in this tutorial features a tulip, but any character/theme can be substituted.

On the first example, I put words on the flower pots. The object of the game is to find the rhyming word in the bubble that matches. The correct answer is clipped with a colorful wood clothespin.

In the second example features simple math problems written on the tulip, with the answer being in the bubble that is clipped by the small wooden clothespin. I put pre-cut cards in a cute cello bag, including a little bit of recycled (pink)shredded paper, 3 colored wood clothespins. The bag was topped with a simple cardstock header and ribbon. Perfect for party favors, holiday gift giving, teacher gifts, or a surprise for your children. The options are endless for this game!


1. Print off a copy of the Spring Clothespin game template provided.
2. Color, and cut out prior to laminating. (The lamination will have a better seal of the game cards are cut out and then laminated).
3. After the cards are laminated, the cards are ready for play.

Coloring Wood Clothespins:

1. Select the number of wood clothespins that you'd like to color.

I used the smaller wood clothespins for this project tutorial, but it's recommended
to use the larger clothespins when working with young children.

2. Select the color dye that you want to use. RIT dye comes in a dry or liquid coloring in an array of colors. For this tutorial I used the liquid dye and I think it worked better.

3. Put warm water in a plastic or glass container, add the RIT dye to achieve the desired
color that you want.

The longer that you keep the wood clothespins in the water, the darker the color they will be. For large batches of pins, use 2 cups of warm water and ¼ cup liquid dye. I dyed a small batch and so I did not use as much water or dye. For my example, I used Petal Pink RIT dye and it took a few hours for the color to soak in to the desired color. Depending on how dark the dye is, you may not have to leave
the pins in very long before they have reached full color.

4. After the pins have been dyed, pull them out and lay them on paper towels or something absorbant (not fabric because the dye will stain it).

I let my clothespins dry over night to make sure that they were fully dry before I used them.

This spring activity has been linked up to my buddy Cynthia's "Thursdays Take it and Make it Linky Party!!!!"  It was such a cool idea for her to put together.  Be sure to click on the logo above to visit Cynthia's blog to see other "Take it and Make it" projects and also to show some bloggy love all around! :)

Next week,  I will have an Easter project to share!  Stay tuned!

Just Kiddin' Around....Literally!!!

Nothing encompasses the term "springtime" better than baby animals.  Closer to home, it means time for BABY GOATS!   This kidding season, we've had babies being born not just at my barn, but also at my Mom's barn across the road.  Since the end of February, we've been spending most of our time going back and forth to the barns checking for new babies.

So far, we've had 8 kids at my Mom's house (all BOYS!)  and at my house we've had 7 (4 girls and 3 boys) with 2 more does left to kid.   Making sure that the dairy goats are taken care of can be a full time job, but one that definitely comes with it's rewards.

Some of the rewards are pictured below:

Pippy (r) is going to be leaving after she is weaned, and going to Kentucky.  The little boy (l) is for sale.  He is a livewire.  These kids are Alpine x Oberhasli. They spend their day drinking milk, playing games. They are quite the dynamic duo.  Their super power is to be able to leap over objects and make really cool jumps while banking off of the wall.

This little cutie is headed to southern Arkansas to be a part of a show herd owned by a young high school student.  By day this little doe sleeps, and by night she is bouncing around her pen with her brother. She has a secret identity as Wonder Goat. She has a golden collar and an invisible jet pack that takes her all over the barn saving goats from harm.

This little guy is having sweet dreams of flying through space.  When he grows up, he wants to be an astrogoat. His favorite tv show is The Big Bang Theory,  and his favorite food is warm milk with just a hint of alfalfa.

After being overdue 9 days,  this trio (boy (l) girl (middle, and behind) has made us ready for anything.  They don't care about deadlines.  They have written the book on being fashionably late.  The boy, like most males, was holding up the show because his hair wouldn't part down the center the way it should.  He was determined to be first, so he held his sisters captive until finally "grandmaaaaa" changed his mind.  His sisters joined the party later.  The bigger female kid is going to live with Pippy and become a show goat.  They are going to work it on the runway and show off their great capacity to milk. :)   The "little sister" is small in size, but not in determination.  She was walking, talking, and ready to eat before the rest. 

I created a dairy goat packet last year, which will be one in a series of farm related products that I will be posting this spring.  This particular packet features a drawing that resembles one of my goats here on the farm. The packet also explains that, and shares a photo of her for the classroom!

Click the sample to view the contents of the Dairy Goat Packet!

Next up will be a Blog post on SEEDS.  I love this time of year.  You can always tell that it's springtime in the Ozarks because of all of the bright yellow daffodils along the highway.  When we moved here in 2000,  I wasn't real sure why there were all the flowers.  I thought at first maybe it was something the Highway Department had done to beautiful the "Natural State."  It wasn't until a few years ago one of the local towns people told me the real scoop.  Everywhere you see the daffodils is where an original homestead was.  He said that when you view it from the air,  you can see where all the plots were.  Back when the area was homestead and farmed,  the walkways to the homes were lined with daffodils.  I thought that was pretty neat!

See you next time!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


When I think if springtime, I think of birds and butterflies, baby animals, and the color green. Where I live, the pastures are starting to "green up," and the birds have taking up residence on my deck looking to make their new nests. I'll have a few projects this spring focused on birds!

That brings us to butterflies. There is something magical about butterflies. There are so many different colors, shapes, and sizes. I enjoy taking pictures of the different varieties. You could do the same with your class by using disposable digital cameras and take pictures of the different bugs, butterflies, and birds that you observe with your class!  I've used photos to create curiosity bulletin boards where I blow up the images, and see if the students can identify what the subject of the photo is.  I also have printed digital pictures onto cardstock, and made puzzles.

I have a butterfly freebie for you today:

Click the Butterfly Cover to download the freebie!

This freebie includes an 8 card butterfly flashcard set, a butterfly coloring sheet, and a butterfly color by letter worksheet.  The flashcards are provided in both full color and black & white for flexible printing options!

My Bloggy friend, Karla from Life in Special Education has organized a wonderful fundraiser for a little boy at her school who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor (cancer). It's so hard to think of a child so young having to deal with such grown up problems.  Karla and some of her Bloggy friends (including yours truly) contributed some wonderful teaching materials which she has bundled together to help raise funds for Cole's family.  The products are valued at over $160.00!!!!   For a $25.00 contribution, you will be sent this amazing packet.  Over and beyond the materials you'd receive, it would be helping a family that is already going through so much.  It is unknown how many surgeries or treatments Cole will need to have. Click on the logo above, and visit Karla's Blog.  There you'll see pictures of Cole, with news/information about his care. It would mean a lot to me if you would pass the word along to your bloggy friends and PIN on Pinterest as well. The more we can get the word out, the more we can do to help Cole's family!!! Thank you!!!

Have you made your way around the Find the Leprechaun's Gold Blog Hop?  There are just a few days left to make your way around to all 15 Blogs to collect your freebie and gold coins.  What is super cool about this Blog Hop is that when you collect all 15 coins and come up with the correct phrase, you can enter to win a chance at $100.00 in TPT Gold!  Can you imagine how much fun stuff you could purchase with $100?

This link will take you back to my Blog post that tells you all about the Blog Hop.  You can continue on from there by following the links on each Blog.  Good LUCK! :)

On the drawing board this week, a spring pattern packet, butterfly activities, and Easter goodies!  I can hardly wait to show you what I have been working on!   Now that kidding season is almost over! (whew!),  I will have more time to write, draw, and create!  :)  

I am excited for this spring!  I went out to the barn this morning after the heavy rains and the pastures were all bright green.  The new grass has come up over night and it's the prettiest shade of green.  

Wishing you a wonderful week!  Feel free to leave me a comment,  I LOVE hearing from all of you!  

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Find the Leprechaun's Gold Blog Hop

Yay!!   Are you ready to find the Leprechaun's gold?

I've teamed up with 15 of my bloggin' buddies to have a little contest for St. Patrick's Day!   On each of our Blogs, you'll collect a gold coin with a word written on it.  When you have collected all 15 coins, the words spell out a special phrase! :)

At the end of the Blog Hop,  you'll write the complete phrase into the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $100 in TPT gold!

Are you ready to get started?

My Blog is the....

If you'd like to start the Blog Hop from the beginning, click on the Start button below and visit Cynthia's Blog.  While you're there, pick up the freebie she has for you and show her some Bloggy Love and if you aren't already...follow her Blog! 

If you click on the link "Find My Freebie"  below to download my freebie!!!

The next stop from here is Laureen's Blog  "Teach with Laughter" to show her some Bloggy love and find another gold coin! (And freebie!)

After you've visited all 15 Blogs, and collected your freebies (and gold coins), you'll stop back by Christi's(Ms. Fultz's Corner) Blog to enter the contest.  The freebie and coins will remain up on each of the Blogs until the drawing on March 17th.  Be sure to tell your friends, and thank all of the ladies who have made this Blog Hop possible by following their Blogs and TPT Stores!!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Good Luck! :)