Facebook Giveaways!

Hi Friends!  I am enjoying my one week off this summer at home.  I've been cramming in all of my appointments (dentists and eye doctors and ear doctors, oh my!) reorganizing my cabinets and trying to get my life in order before the total craziness of school starts.  We start next Tuesday, and my little ones don't come until the following Monday.  Yikes!  I need to kick it into high gear.

In the next few days I will be doing a few giveaways for my facebook friends ONLY... No, I will not tell you when.  You might want to follow my Facebook page to get in on the action :)

Follow my Facebook page {HERE}

¿Hablas español?

Have you seen Anchorman?  LOVE that movie.  I think I have a weird crush on Will Ferrell just because he is so funny.  

ANYWAY, I kinda speak Spanish.  As in on a good day I can have a fluent conversation with a six year old.  I say this because one time in Costa Rica my bff and I DID have a 15 minute long fluent conversation with a six year old and we were SO proud of ourselves.  

There are lots of students who speak Spanish at my school... enough that we have a Spanish SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) classroom in each grade starting with pre-K.  Lately I have been making some bilingual products for my TPT store and have been having my friends at school double check them for me.  In the interest of still having friends at school (haha) I am looking for a bloggy friend who would be willing to check my very basic vocabulary words in exchange for the finished product.  

In particular I would love a fluent, native Spanish speaker to check for spelling and accents, and to tell me if the vocab word I chose is correct, or if there is a better one (as in one that people actually use in everyday speech). You wouldn't be translating, but checking my translation.  I am guessing that the whole thing would take about 10 minutes per product.  If this interests you, please email me at adventures.in.k.blog@gmail.com.

Sweet Back to School Deals

I am so happy that I popped into Office Depot a couple days ago.  They had 1¢ sales and buy one get one deals galore.  I just might have to swing back through and grab some more.  When I rolled up to the counter with my arms overflowing and a little one helping me, the cashier said "Oh, you're a teacher.  I can just tell.  Want a teacher appreciation bag?"  Love! 

Look what I got for less than $20!
  1. 6 pencil cases - 1¢ each
  2. Goodie bag filled with coupons, a sharpie, a flair pen and an expo marker - free (leftover from teacher week)
  3. 2 packages of Twistables crayons - $5.29 (buy one get one free)
  4. 3 Prismacolor erasers - $1
  5. 2 packages Expo dry erase markers - $10.99 (buy one get one free)
  6. 20 folders - 20¢ 
 Total before tax: $17.55

*note: I had to have a 7 year old friend buy 10 of the folders and 3 of the pencil cases for me

Happy back to school shopping!

Freebie Friday

Here are some of my favorite freebies, all in one place!  Enjoy :)

1. Labeling Mini Unit
My kids looooveeee to label.  First we practice all together on the whiteboard.

I created this mini unit to use during small groups or independently.  It also makes great homework.  Enjoy!
Labeling Mini Unit

2. Drawing Stick Animals
I framed this and hung it up in our writing center last year.  The kids loved it because they were less frustrated than trying to draw animals the usual way.  Download your freebie {HERE}

3. Shape Mini Word Wall
I am obsessed with mini word walls.  I display them doublesided in 8x10" clear frames.  Grab your free copy {HERE}.

4.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear class book
 This is one of my very favorite activities.  We do it every September, and the kids read it all year long.  You can download it {HERE} and find the directions {HERE}.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Covers

Therapeutic Thursday

Here are some of my favorite ways to relax after a long week at school:

This is my all time favorite splurge.  Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, you name it.  I love them all!

Trashy TV
There is nothing I love more after a long day at school than sitting on the couch with my laptop blogstalking and watching some pure trash on TV.  My most favorite are the Real Housewives... OC, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta... any of them will do.  I'm also a huge sucker for Teen Mom, True Life and any makeover type shows.  Especially love the marathons!

The Gym
Okay, before you start hating me, hear me out.  I HATE going to the gym, but as soon as I leave there I feel a million times better.  I feel more relaxed, less guilty about having an extra glass of wine and even sleep better at night.

And spending time with this guy

Technology Tip Tuesday - Changing Page Orientation (PC and Mac)

I am reposting my most favorite (and most viewed) technology tip for your PC, plus adding info about how to do this on a Mac.  You can see the original post {HERE}.  

I had wondered and wondered how to have pages going both horizontally and vertically in one document.  I had tons of documents on my computer named "Homework - Horizontal" and "Homework - Vertical".  I was so sick of saving different versions of the same thing!  I FINALLY figured this out and it totally changed my life.  It is so much more convenient to have pages going both ways!
I whipped up a little tutorial for you:
I used my Plants and Seeds unit on TPT to demonstrate.  Also, I use Word 2010.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
 1.  Highlight the text on the page that you want to change the orientation of.

 2.  Go to the Page Layout Tab.  Click "Margins" then click "Custom Margins" on the dropdown menu.

 3.  Click "Landscape," then "Selected Text," then "OK"

 Here is the closeup of the most important step!

There you have it... one page that is rotated while the rest remain the same.  I hope that this helps you as much as it did me!

You can also rotate one page orientation using Word for Mac (my version is 2008).
I am using my Color Word Cards & Word Walls (in English & Spanish) to demonstrate.

Here's how:

 1.  Highlight the text you want to change the orientation of.

 2.  Go to the Format dropdown menu, and choose Document.

 3.  When the Document window pops up, choose the Page Setup button on the bottom.

4.  When the next box pops up, choose the horizontal page layout button (the little man icon on the right).  Click OK.

5.  Next, choose the "Apply to Selected Text" option on the dropdown menu.  Click OK.

 6.  If this warning box pops up, choose Ignore.

 7.  Stand back and admire your handiwork!

Must Have Monday

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' all week.  Hop on over and link up :)

Avery Heavy Duty Sheet Protectors
I use these babies for almost everything.  They are in my lesson plan binder to hold everything in there.  They are in my unit binders to hold all of my materials.  They are even taped to the wall to hold instructions, schedules, signs, etc.  My favorite way to use them is as lamination in a pinch.  Just throw a worksheet or activity inside, tape the top shut and use a dry erase marker.  I usually print on cardstock and doubleside them.  Best of all, you can store them in a binder when you are done :)

Heavy Duty Scotch Tape
LOVE this for laminating in a pinch and so much more.  It's super thick and works for almost anything.  I especially love it on my clammy basement walls!

Mr. Sketch Scented Markers
Can't live without them.  I use them for ALL of my anchor charts, shared writing, etc.  The colors are so bright and vibrant, and the smell is divine!

I use this stuff for EVERYTHING.  I have it in dots, strips, squares and industrial strength and can't get enough!  I actually just bought some more of it today!
Personal Laminating Machine
I have had my little laminator for three or four years and it is still going strong.  I love to buy the 5mm lamination sheets to make all of my games and anything else that will be handled a lot.  I also use the 3mm for anything else (because it's cheaper!).  I buy those at BJ's, which is way cheaper than anywhere else I've found.  Also, I just found a great deal for the photo sized sheets of 5mm at Lakeshore.  100 pouches for $9.99 plus 20% off.  Gotta love it!

My Back to School Purchases

Here are my three magical TPT purchases from last week's big sale.  I couldn't be more excited to print and laminate these puppies!

It came with alphabet posters, number posters, shape AND colors.  I can't wait for my classroom to be all cute, colorful and chevron-y.  Is that a word?  I am thinking about getting them printed out professionally.  Any suggestions about where/how to do this?

I am SO excited to print these puppies out and label all my books!  A friend and I partnered up two years ago to make labels like these, but we didn't get very far.  I am SO happy to have these big labels for my book bins and little labels for each book!  Maybe I will even be able to corral my boyfriend into doing some of these for me :)

I adore this unit!  Super cute art projects, text-to-self connection sheets, data collection and more. 

Guest Blogger: Gender Friendly Practices

Hi bloggers! My name is Kendra and you may remember me from my post last summer Mary left me for Michigan.

Now you may not know this, but Mary and I are complete nerds, and we’re taking a few online classes this summer. (I know, I’m regretting it some days too!) One of our classes is on gender and how boys and girls learn differently. It has been super interesting and opened my eyes to a few key differences that I wasn’t conscious or aware of. As soon as I started reading, I was already imagining my classroom and aspects that I would change/add. (Let’s be honest, I was also saying “ah-ha!” to a few of the things my husband does on the daily). I wanted to share a few quick ideas, since I know many of you are gearing up for the school year already. Although I normally teach the “big” kids (5th grade), I think these strategies can easily work in the primary grades too!

1. Lighting

Boys and girls work best in different light—this was a real light bulb moment for me! I had no idea! Most girls work best in low light, where as the majority of boys respond to bright lights better. How great would it be to create different nooks in the classroom for girls and boys to use? I can already picture a back table or area with lamps that boys can turn on when they are working there.

2. Graphic organizers

If you’ve ever dated a boy, this next difference won’t come as a shock (it will probably confirm some long help suspicions you’ve had!) Verbal communication is strength for most girls; where as boys often rely on nonverbal communication. This fact totally explains the many boys I’ve had that have struggled with the prewriting process in my classroom. An easy fix is to differ the process: allow girls to discuss their ideas and then record them in writing on graphic organizers. For boys, graphic organizers that allow them to draw pictures help them to recall their ideas as they get ready to write. They even add extra details based off of the pictures they started with.

How do you make your classroom gender friendly?

Back to School SALE

Yippee!  All of the products in my little TPT shop are 20% off PLUS an additional 10%.  Just click {HERE} and use promo code BTS12 at checkout. 
Best sellers include:
Tons of people are buying (and loving this one)... and it's only $2.16!

Color Word Cards in Spanish and English
  Also a super steal at $2.16!

This unit is my baby.  I spent a gazillion years on it and think it is great (not to be full of myself or anything!).  Seriously a steal for 80 pages of fire-y awesomeness at $6.48

Also only $2.16.  
Vegetable memory
Vegetable bingo with six gameboards
Vegetable graphing
What is a Vegetable? emergent reader

Also only $6.48 for 87 pages of planting fun in the sun (or in the classroom... but who cares?)
Seed tracking journal
Plant dictionary
Plant labeling activity
Dolch sight word cards
Emergent Reader
Writing prompts
Vowel word family practice
T charts
Tree maps
Math journal prompts
Numeral recognition
Scissor skills
and much, much more!

Guest Blogger: Oh, She Dabbles

I have known Carrie since 8th grade (we are both Maine-iacs and went to school together).  She started Oh, She Dabbles not too long ago, and I have been totally blog stalking her for the last couple months.  I am kinda sorta obsessed with her blog!  Enjoy!

Hey all! I'm coming to visit today from Oh, She Dabbles, where I write about personal style, food, DIY projects and other adventures. I'm an elementary school teacher and thought I'd share my current project that I'm working on for my class. The start of August always makes me begin anticipating the next school year and it's the same for many of my students. This is an effort to help them start the school year on the right foot. At the end of the year, I have my 4th graders write compliments to each other student in my class. We do this anonymously and I collect their sheets at the end of the period. (This could easily be adapted to younger students by having them dictate the compliments to you.)

At the beginning of August, I compile these compliments to send to the students. This year I decided to use Wordle to create fun tag-cloud style cards.

I cut these out and glued them to scrapbooking paper in a complimentary color.
On the back of the card, I wrote a quick note to each student. I told them that these would be coming, so they know what to expect. When they come back to school, many students have thanked me for these compliments. It's a fun and easy project with a nice, positive impact!

Thanks, Mary, for having me guest post today! And thanks for reading! Come visit me at Oh, She Dabbles!



Hi Friends!  Just popping in really quick on my vacation from a tiny little coffee shop with a ginormous Dell computer to let you know that I am jumping on the TPT sale bandwagon.  In case you are living in a cave and haven't heard (kidding, of course!) you can save tons of money tomorrow and the next day on thousands of items.  ALL of the items in my little shop are on sale, too!  I am offering 20% off, and TPT will throw on an additional 10% off of that price (hence the 28%... I would love to say that I figured this out on my own but I actually had to email and ask.  Which is why I teach kindergarten and not high school algebra, or statistics or some nonsense). 

Check out my store {HERE}
Enter the code BTS12 to receive the additional 10% off
My sale is running from today thru the 14th.  Come check it out!  I promise I have some cute things in my store that will make your life easier (and cuter).