Thursday, July 31, 2014

Win an iPad mini! A giveaway for teachers!

I'm so excited to bring you this awesome giveaway! 20 teachers have teamed up to buy an iPad mini for a giveaway. The giveaway is open to teachers (classroom and homeschool) who are living in the contiguous United States. The winning entry will be verified and proof of eligibility may be required. Please see the terms and conditions for more information. The entry options are really easy! Good luck!
If you are the lucky winner or you have access to an iPad or other classroom technology, you may be wondering where to start? How can I use these in my classroom? What do the students need to know? Some teachers at TPT compiled some of their best ideas into a free ebook for teachers: Tech Tips for Teachers.  It's full of great ideas!
A really easy and fun tech integration is using QR codes in the classroom. QR stands for quick response. A user can put some information (a web link, text, picture, etc.) into a site that will generate a code. The code can be scanned by students and show an answer, link to a website, etc. Teachers can easily create their own QR codes (I like to use the web site goqr.me) or there are many wonderful items at TPT that have already been created using QR codes. I have several QR items that link to stories. The Back-to-school stories are perfect for this time of year. These are stories that someone is reading (a librarian, author, parent, etc.) on YouTube. I have put the links into safeshare to avoid all the extra junk (comments, ads, etc.) on YouTube. That is another little hint for you - always put your link into safeshare and generate a new link before you watch something in class.

To use QR codes, you need an internet connected device (smart phone, iPad, tablet) and you need a scanning app. There are many free options available. I use Scan on my iPhone and the class iPads. The students know how to find the icon. They just click on it and then move the device so that the square target area on the device (see the top right photo) is over the QR code. That picture is blurry because as soon as I get near the QR code it picks it up and starts to scan! It will then take you to whatever information was inputted. This set of QR codes is for links to books about building character and social skills. It is called the Best Me. Once the code is scanned, the video is displayed on safeshare. I have other QR code stories in my TPT store.  

And now, for the exciting part...here is the giveaway! You could win an iPad mini with WIFI connectivity! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These other blogs have partnered with me to bring you this giveaway. They also have some great technology tips and products for you. Click on each blog link so you don't miss any!

The giveaway winner will be selected on August 10th. Good luck!
 

Resource review ~ Stories and Songs in Second

I have a fun post for you today! Cara from Creative Playground invited several of us to "swap" products with another blogger and review their item. I've always wanted to do this. :) There are so many creative products out there -- hence, the huge wish list that  I have on TPT! So, Jennifer at Stories and Songs in Second swapped products with me. She is such a sweetheart and I was so impressed with her products. She is very thorough and includes many extras to help support the teacher.
Click on the picture to buy this activity at TPT
The first product that I reviewed was the adorable Rhyming Boot Scoot game. It has several ways that it can be played. There are 48 cards (24 sets of rhyming words). Before I tell you about some ways you can use the cards, let me share all the things that she included in this pack.

There is a page with the 2nd grade common core standards -- not just the number, but the whole standard there for you to see. Rhyming is specifically addressed in the kindergarten CCSS. It's also part of phonological awareness which is part of the CCSS Reading Foundational Skills. I'm always surprised by the number of first graders who struggle with rhyming. When my boys were little we would make a game out of rhyming words while we were in the car. It's such a fun and easy thing for them to learn while they are little. Unfortunately, some don't get any practice until they come to school and then we need to make sure they have lessons and practice time to master this skill.

Jennifer also includes suggestions for stories and songs (hence her blog and store name!!) that go with this product. There are some fun & lively songs that you could use to introduce this game. One of the books that she suggests if you are learning about cowboys is Magic Treehouse - Ghost Town at Sundown. That is a great suggestion! There are also many picture books with a cowboy theme. I've included links for 2 Cinderella-type cowboy stories. There are links to find the books on Amazon and links to listen to the stories on YouTube.

Bubba the Cowboy Prince: You can listen to the story being read here.


Cindy Ellen: You can listen to the story being read here.

This game provides a great opportunity for a vocabulary lesson about Wild West Words! You can use the books and stories to expand their vocabulary. These are the words from the game that I would discuss with my firsties before playing: bandana, chief, chuckle, corral, hire, outlaw, round-up, rust, steer and sundown.

Here are 3 ways that you can use these cards.


#1. Concentration ~ A Matching Game
You can use the cards for a memory / concentration game. There are 48 cards altogether. There are 2 types of cards - square ones & a smaller wanted card. They all match together. There  may be too many cards for some students. You could always choose to use fewer. Just make sure you use the matches (for instance, use 1-12 of the square cards and 1-12 of the wanted cards). Students will play it just like the regular game. All cards are placed face down. Students take turns choosing 2 cards. If their cards match, they get to keep the set. The student with the most matches wins the game.

#2. Read & write the room - You could put a wanted card on each student's desk and make this a scoot type game. The students would go desk to desk and write a rhyming word at each desk. The other way you could use the cards is to attach them to things around the room. I usually put them on walls, sides of cabinets, pet tanks, etc. and just attach them with tape. Students then can put their worksheet (included in the pack!) on a clipboard and search for the cards. When they find a card, they write rhyming words in the corresponding box. Let them know how many words you want them to write.


#3 - Rhyme Round-Up - This is an independent activity. The worksheet is included in the pack. Students take 2 rhyming cards and write a sentence using both words. I will just have my 1st graders choose 1 card and they will write a sentence using that word.

I'm excited to use this game in my classroom. Visit Jennifer's store to purchase this item for your classroom. She is offering this item as a $1 deal through this Sunday! That is an amazing deal!!
Jennifer has a great back-to-school product that will help your students get to know each other. This Super Sleuth Student activity has interactive notebook pages. The students can put these in their notebooks and complete each section. Shhh! It's top secret! Tell them to be careful not to let the other students see their writing. Then you can put the notebooks around the room and students can guess who wrote each one. You could even use these to graph information - How many of them have the same favorite food?
For my 1st graders, I would put the pieces into a file folder. You won't be able to use all of the pieces that are included in the kit if you do this, but it will give them less writing which will work perfectly for this time of the year. I would suggest having them cut out the pieces, but you or another adult should glue or tape them into the folders so they are even and the pieces all fit. You could use double-sided tape. I used my Scotch ATG (advanced tape glider) which I LOVE for projects like this. It is basically double sided tape, but it rolls on easily and it doesn't leave any bumps. To glue or tape the tabs, just bend the tab backwards and then forward (like the 2 bottom pictures above this section). This makes it easier to see the line for the crease and leaves the tab ready to be glued or taped.

For the inside pieces (that will flap up), I would trace lightly around the piece with a pencil. That way when the student lifts the tab their writing area is defined. I would have the students draw pictures for some of the prompts (favorite food) and then label the picture. If you have birthdays displayed in the classroom, the My birthday is...prompt is a good way to show them where that information is and for them to find their birthday on the chart or wall display. There are a few prompts that will require a written answer such as My Favorite Movie is.... I would have them use Guess and Go spelling for those ones. When they are finished, collect their folders and put a sticky note on each one with their name. You can then review the folders and ask students any clarifying questions. Chances are there will be some answers that you won't be able to decipher! :) You can then read each folder to the class and have the students guess which student created that folder.When they are all finished, I would have them write their name on the front -- it would look cute inside the magnifying glass! Parents will love this keepsake activity that will remind them of the first few weeks of school! This Super Sleuth Student activity pack can be purchased in Jennifer's store.

You can follow Stories and Songs in Second at:
*Teachers Pay Teachers
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*Pinterest

For more product reviews, stop by these other blogs who are participating in the product swap.





Thursday, July 3, 2014

Congratulations, Stephanie Baker!


The Creative Teacher giveaway ended today and the winner was randomly selected by rafflecopter. Congratulations, Stephanie Baker! Stephanie has won the menu board that I created. Check your email, Stephanie, so we can get that sent to you. :)

There are more goodies in store for this summer! I may host another Creative Teacher Giveaway since I'm getting so many requests. I'm holding off on making a decision for sure until I find out if I have jury duty. That could make the summer busier!! I'm participating in a few other fantastic giveaways. Some are to celebrate milestones for their store or blog. There is a BIG one coming August 1st (shhh!! It's a tech prize!! You will LOVE it!!) And of course, our fun Fourth of July blog hop starts tomorrow. Make sure you check it out. There will be freebies and giveaways galore! You can even enter to win a TPT gift card. Enjoy your weekend! Stop by and visit my Facebook page for more updates.



4th of July blog hop ~ A freebie for you!


Happy 4th of July! I hope you are having a wonderful day enjoying time with family and celebrating our freedom. My dad and grandpa both served in the military. On these patriotic holidays, we remember those who've served to protect our country and the freedoms we enjoy. As I listen to the news around the world, which is especially grim at this time, I am reminded of the quotation that "freedom isn't free". There are many who have sacrificed their lives or health for our great country. I am so thankful for each of them. If you are a past or present service member or have family serving, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My freebie today is All-American Numbers - an I have, Who Has... game to identify the number that comes before. It is only free for today! A student will have a card that says something like who has the number that comes before 42. The student who has the next card will say, I have 41. Who has... and the game continues. My 1st graders really enjoy these I have, who has games. I have several ELA ones in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I used them last year and I think the students forgot that they were learning! They really improved in the concepts that we practiced with these games. Click on the picture of the cover (All-American Numbers) to access the free download. Don't forget to go to the end of this post to enter a giveaway (you can win a gift card for TPT!) and to get more freebies at the rest of the hop.

I also have a few other patriotic items in my store. The new items are currently 1/2 off. I list new items at 1/2 off for 24 hours. I will also be bundling all my patriotic units. This bundle will be offered at a discount on July 4th. All proceeds from the sale of the bundle will go to the Wounded Warriors Project. Or, you can click on the logo above to go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project page and select your own donation amount.




If you like all of these products don't miss out on this fantastic bundle! TODAY ONLY (July 4th) this bundle is only $10. It will be $18 tomorrow, which is still a savings! Today, all profits from the patriotic items will go to the Wounded Warriors Project. If you've been wanting to send them a donation, this is the perfect opportunity! You'll support a great cause and have 5 patriotic products to use in your classroom. Just click on the picture below to go to the Patriotic Bundle.


And as an added bonus, all of the participating bloggers have 'pooled their cash' to purchase 4 $25 TpT gift certificates and 1 $10 Target gift card!





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