Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making Cursive Fun with a Cursive License

To be honest...I don't think you have to work too hard to make cursive 'fun' for your students.  This is my first year back in third after about a 10 year span of being in first and second.  I forgot how excited they get to learn cursive!  I spent the first semester carefully teaching them the proper strokes for each letter and learning words...now we are a full fledged cursive class!  Part of that involves having my students receive a CURSIVE LICENSE.  They ate this right up and were thrilled to earn it.  I decided to make 2 ~ a large one for the wall to hang up like this:


Then I like to also make them smaller ones that I shrink down and laminate for them just like an I.D. ( on both they are required to sign and date too )


Now I also tell them that their licenses can be 'revoked' if they don't take care in writing neatly.  I have a license little pack if you are interested - it's already done for you:


I hope you are able to use a cursive license in your classroom...your kids will love it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The greatest pencil sharpener...EVER!!!



I'm so excited to share with you something that has been working out beautifully in my classroom this year.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on the ever amazing World's Quietest Pencil    Sharpener!  { click the picture below or here to visit the website }


First off I got to choose a color ~ seriously it comes in hot pink!  Hello - that was easy.  Yes please!  When I first found out that this sharpener was invented by a teacher I knew it was going to be amazing...and I was NOT disappointed one bit!  This sharpener is revolutionary!  I truly mean this.  I have used the wall mounted one...NOT a good idea!  The mount starts to fall off and it only lasts about a year or so.  I have used the LOUD mechanical ones that vary in how long they last.  Annoying!  
But this sharpener is all that it says it is!  It is QUIET!!!  It is EASY to use!  It sharpens QUICKLY and EFFICIENTLY!  I mean sometimes I stand in front of my mechanical one and pull it out several times only to find the pencil either a stub or not fully sharpened.  THIS one works so fast and when I pull it out I still find myself shocked at how sharp the pencils are so quickly.  Not only that you can easily sharpen them one handed.  Let's be honest...teachers multi task ALL the time!  So being able to be one handed is actually a nice option sometimes.  
You need to RACE on over to their website and get your hands on this asap.  You will NOT be disappointed at all.  There are so many colors to choose from ~ 5 in all.  Red, Black, Pink, Green and Blue.   Not only is this the best sharpener I have ever used ( in 21 years of teaching ) but...you are supporting a fellow teacher.  This is a win- win.  Be sure to check them out today!





Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently ~ January 2015!!

Hi my friends ~ ~ welcome to 2015!!!!  I can't believe how fast this school year is going and it's already January!  I have linked up with Farley for her Currently.  Swing on by her blog and link up - I'd love to hear all about your life.





So: I love Forensic File type shows if you don't already know that about me.  I still am in awe that it snowed in Temecula ( north of San Diego ) on New Year's Eve.  It was amazing!!!  



I really need to get my rear in gear and head over to my school to be sure everything on line is ready for report cards and that I'm prepared completely for the first week back.

I really WANT a pair of TIEKS but don't NEED them...someday!

I need to clean out my car and get ready for going back to school and carpools, etc.

I love to exercise but need to eat better (bye, bye chocolate pretzels).  I really want to do a real PD not just one for my school.  It would really stretch me.  I wish I could get my books published that I have had written since I was like 12.  
Hope you are healthy and happy in 2015.  I appreciate you all!! xoxox

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Do you use sign language in your classroom + a helpful website

I'm fairly certain after visiting friend's classrooms and my colleagues that some sort of sign language goes on in your room.  Even if it's a form of unwritten/unspoken gestures that you use to communicate with your students. Here are a couple I use every year: 



One year a few years back I had the sweetest girl that was hearing impaired.  I used this device to help her.



Communicating is so important in the classroom to help second language learners feel more comfortable...to help kids that have hearing issues or verbal issues of some kind and to be honest just for a teachers sanity sometimes as well.  Whether you have a second language learner, an emotionally disturbed child that has verbal issues or want to establish a well run classroom I'm sure you agree how important non verbal cues can be.  
If you are looking to reach a more diverse audience on your website for your classroom or your blog you need to check out:

http://www.smartling.com/use-cases/translate-websites/








They offer website translation so you can reach more of an audience or the parents in your classroom even on your own classroom website.  Swing by and check them out! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12 days of Christmas Giveaway

Are you guys ready for a giveaway?!?  I've hooked up with some very sweet and talented bloggy buddies to bring you an amazing 12 days of Christmas holiday MEGA giveaway!  Here are the details:



As you can see it is well worth your entering each day!  Here's the 411 for today's giveaway:  


Join in the fun and enter to win there's 3 more days!!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Texting the Elf...


Hi guys ~ so here's a new twist on the Elf on the Shelf...I moved from first to third grade this year and I'm sure most of you know I'm absolutely LOVIN' it!!!  So....I  have changed a few things but knew I HAD to still do the Elf.  I looped some of my kiddos from when I had them in first and they were asking if Snowflake was coming back.  So I did this to get the momentum going...
I showed the kids my contact info on my phone with Snowflake the Elf's picture and contact info.  I told them we've been texting back and forth for weeks.  I even told them she got a bit sassy with me and I didn't want her to come right away.


So as you can see I was kind of their 'hero' today...I mean you should've heard the ohhs and ahhs and shocked responses after I showed them my phone.  My phone ding dongs like a doorbell when I get a text and I got a couple texts today...the kids would whisper - "the elf, the elf!"  This has been a fun way to get the excitement rolling.  
I didn't want to do the elf as long this year.   We have a lot of district assessments this time of year and I didn't want to take the focus off of learning...look at me I sound like admin - LOL.  But seriously we have been working so hard I didn't want the daily distraction.  So I thought the last week and a 1/2 would be perfect!  If you want to still do the elf thing but don't want the stress of having something everyday of December start it later and use this idea.  It's been fun to see their excitement...the momentum before the elf actually comes has been really fun and different!  More elf fun to come soon...swing back by friends!

If you need an elf supplemental pack to go with your elf on the shelf you can pick one up {here}




















Saturday, November 22, 2014

Do you need books for your classroom?


Hi friends!  I hope you are looking at either a 9 day vacation or a short week ahead.  Either way it's a nice little well deserved break for you!  I HAD to share my brilliant friend Deb's post over at our collaborative blog:  The Primary Chalkboard.  If you have ever asked yourself :  Where can I find some books CHEAP for my classroom?  Than this is the post for you.  You need to go read it - I can't wait to grab some more books to stock up my library from changing grade levels.  Swing on by and read about it. Save it as a favorite because you won't want to lose this bookmark! 

Click { here } to head over:




The website shows this map and all you do is click on your state/area to find them...easy peasy!



For more great ideas visit the Primary Chalkboard often for ideas/tips/giveaways and freebies!