Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fun & Free Friday (Late Sunday Edition)

So sorry that our Friday post is just now being posted on Sunday! We had a crazy busy Friday and then our internet kept going in and out Friday night and Saturday. No fear though, it is here! Hope you enjoy it even if it is 2 days late! 

This week was busy but still lots of fun! We spent some family time playing video games! (Yes we are video game junkies!)
Lil Man had the most fun this week! He had dance camp for most of the day Tues-Fri. Each day had a dress up theme too!

Friday evening I had to drag Lil Man to a meeting with me for my "other job." At the end of the meeting, I got a new wallet that I'm in love with!

And now onto everyone's favorite part of our Friday post...

Free (click images to download)

Jessica Osborne shared this great freebie with us!
This great freebie will help you get the ball rolling on your back to school plans! These surveys help you get to know your students at the beginning of the year. And then at the middle and end of the year, it gives your students a chance to reflect on how the class is going, what they like/don't like, and what they want to happen.

Aspire to Inspire brought us this next freebie!
Have you ever play Scattergories? We love that game! This game is similar in design. Players are asked to think of a word for different parts of speech that starts with the chosen letter. Can't wait to use this game!

Erin Palleschi shared our next freebie this week!
This fun themed freebie has students collecting data using tally marks and creating a bar graph! So cute! Think we should have Lil Man do this on our next movie night before we can watch the movie!

Diving into Learning shared our last freebie for the week!
This fun game has students determining whether addition facts up to 5 and up to 10 are true or false in order to be the first to the finish line. What a great way to practice addition fact fluency!

Thank you to those who shared these freebies! We hope everyone enjoys them!!

If you would like your freebie featured, fill out the form

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Math Dominoes

Sorry that today's post is so late. Today has been just crazy. Steph got an email response last week asking her for an interview today at the school we completed our student teaching internship last Spring. We were very excited! So she went to the interview today. Less than 2 hours after her interview, they called to offer her the position! She starts in August as a Special Ed Parapro! We went out for dinner with her family to celebrate!

Manda has been working hard on some math dominoes this past week. She has created two sets for our store. She was inspired by some domino manipulatives that were in the room Steph long term subbed in.

Click on the images to check out each product in our store!

Print them out on card stock and laminate those bad boys for a fun, sturdy game! Tell us what you think!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wired Wednesday

Wednesday already? Manda and I went to the pool to lay out (and to swim of course) while Lil Man was at dance camp. It's been such a pretty day!

Well I'm feeling kind of defeated when it comes to Wired Wednesday. I really want to add a page bar across the top of our blog with drop down menus. I stayed up until 2am trying to get it to work. My plan was to get it all set up and then blog about it for our Wednesday post. But as you can see ^^ it didn't happen. So I don't really have a post for you today :(

I'm off to try and figure it out though. If you have drop down menus on your blog or know how to add them to blogger, I'd love your help!

Also, be on the look out for a poll to be posted towards the top of the page in the sidebar. I'm going to create a "Next week on Wired Wednesday..." poll and let our readers vote!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teacher Feature Tuesday: The Creative Classroom

Are you ready? It's time for the next edition of Teacher Feature Tuesday!

Our featured teacher is:

The Creative Classroom

Stephanie teaches 6th-8th grade English Language Arts in Gonzales, Louisiana! Stephanie loves to create art projects for her classroom and says she spends way too much time and money making her classroom a completely unique space for her students and herself.

Stephanie's TpT store The Creative Classroom opened in June 2012. You can check out her TpT store and her Facebook page.

Why do you teach?
"I knew from a very early age that I wanted to work with children and make an impact on their lives. The past five years have been so rewarding for me. I work with academically and behaviorally at-risk students. Being able to build a relationship and reach my students has truly been an amazing experience. It brightens my day and reaffirms my career choice when I see my students accomplish their goals and begin to see just how bright and strong they are."

Why did you open your TpT store?
"I opened my store last summer because I was curious to see if others would find my activities useful and worth purchasing. I didn't really have high expectations or quite know what to expect, but I continue to be amazed at the success I have achieved in a short amount of time."

How has TpT made a difference in your life personally and/or professionally?
"I find that TPT has helped to strengthen my skills and make me a more effective planner. I am constantly pushing myself to create bigger and better products for my students and my store. It has also helped to build my confidence in my teaching styles and methods. Each time someone buys an item from my store or leaves positive feedback, it means so much because people I have never met are showing faith and appreciation in my products."

I wish someone had told me...(share some advice for TpT sellers)
"I wish that someone would have told me about the importance of title pages and quality previews when I first opened my store. It wasn't until I visited the forums in December that I began to learn this advice from other sellers. It would have saved me LOTS of time because I had to go back and revamp a lot of products. Once I did that, my sales really began to increase."

We've taken some time to look around The Creative Classroomstore and she has some great resources! Head on over and check out what Stephanie has to offer! Be on the lookout for one of her freebies being featured here on Fun & Free Friday!

Monday, June 24, 2013


We have 100+ 'likes' on Facebook! We're hosting a giveaway on our fan page! Head on over to enter for a chance to win 5 great products from some of our generous fellow TpT teacher-authors!

Make It Monday: Bottle Cap Craft

Last week, I asked Lil Man if he wanted to make a bottle cap craft with me. He got all excited and said he knew exactly what he wanted to make! It wasn't quite the bottle cap craft I had in mind, but it was fun getting to watch his craft come together!

It all started with some bottle caps and colored paper.

I helped trace the bottle caps onto paper. Then used Mod Podge to attach the paper to the caps.

He drew a sun, we made some clouds, and a road. Then put it all together...

Like I said it was not quite what I had in mind, but it was fun watching his creative juices flowing!
Share your bottle cap crafts with us! I'm going to be working on some different bottle cap crafts in the coming weeks!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Can you believe it's time for a new week already? We spent all of Saturday lounging around at home and at the pool! Sunday we made a family trip to the movies to see Fast & Furious 6! (We've spent the last week re-watching 1-5 before going to see it).

What you may have missed this week...(click images to see full post)
Lunch Skewers

Getting to know The Applicious Teacher

Blogging for Kiddos/Lil Man's Blog

Skittle Science

Great Freebies!

We have lots of great stuff to look forward to for this week! Are you with us? Tell us one thing you did this weekend!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Facebook Frenzy!

We have joined a Facebook Frenzy hosted by Creation Castle! Make sure you visit our Facebook page to get your June freebie! And make sure to follow the link to the next page! Visit all the pages to get all the awesome freebies, there's 15!

Fun & Free Friday

This week we had lots of fun! We spent a day inside just doing a little bit of everything! We finally broke out the Rockband (packed up for the last 4 years).
 We had fun getting the turtles out and letting them roam around some too!
Lil Man was excited to have some great down time this week! 

CherryWorkshop shared this great freebie with us!
These Summer themed freebie frames are so stinkin' cute! We can't wait to use them in some new products! Download yours now to use in your personal and commercial items!

Differentiation Station shared two great freebies with us this week!
Both of these fun themed freebies are great addition practice! Both are designed to be used as math centers, but they could definitely be used individually! We're excited to let Lil Man practice some addition with them!!

Second Grade Stories shared this awesome freebie!
This fun Summer themed freebie lets kiddos work on CUPS-Capitals, Understanding, Punctuation, and Spelling! This is great practice!

 Thank you to those who shared these freebies! We hope everyone enjoys them!!

If you would like your freebie featured, fill out the form

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Skittle Science

We did a little science experiment with Lil Man that we found on Candy Experiments. We all enjoyed it!
It's a really easy experiment to do. All you need is a bowl or cup, water, and Skittles!

We started with just a few Skittles to see what would happen...
The colors at the bottom were really cool! 
All you do is drop the Skittle into the water (gently) letter side up. The color coating will dissolve in the water (we used warm water to help possibly speed up the process). The "S" is printed in an edible ink that doesn't dissolve in the water. If you watch it slides off into the water; then the letter floats to the top. At some points when the color was dissolving it almost looked like the Skittle was spinning. We ended up with a lot of Skittles in our bowl...Can you see the floating S's?
Here's a video (it's actually like 2 or 3 combined):
It's the very beginning and the very end of our experiment. At the end you'll see a green Skittle dissolve and the S float to the top!

Hope you enjoy our little experiment; we sure did!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making the Switch: Bloglovin'

Follow our blog with Bloglovin

As you have probably already heard, Google Reader is not going to be available after July 1st. We have made the switch to Bloglovin'; have you? I'm excited to see what it's like. It was really easy to import subscriptions from Google Reader!

I just downloaded the app on my tablet, and I must say I'm already in love! It's so easy to use and keep track of exactly what you've read and where you left off! I know that I'm going to love this for the times at the dance studio!

Wired Wednesday: Blogging for Kiddos

Wow! Can you believe it is already Wednesday?! I feel like this week has flown by! Manda is home with us today so everyone is happy! Lil Man and I are super excited to share today's post with you!    
**Disclaimer: bare with us this post got a little long winded!**
 Last week Lil Man was watching some videos on Brain Pop Jr. He watched one about blogs. Unfortunately, unless you have a subscription to Brain Pop Jr., you won't be able to watch the video. You can read a little about it on the page though. Basically, the video tells you what a blog is (web log), describes some types of blogs (general topics, specific subjects, personal, photo, travel, news, etc.), explains the parts of a blog (title, author/contributors, posts, tags, comments, archive, links, pages, etc), shares ways to participate in blogs (writing and publishing posts, including photos and/or videos, and reading and commenting on others' blogs), and shares a little about safety with blogs (not sharing personal info).

Later in the afternoon after watching the video, he made a comment about blogs. We told him that we have blogs that we post on (this one and personal one). He made the comment that he could start a blog. We didn't think much of it at the time, but since then, while we've been working on blog posts for here, he's made other comments.

Yesterday, we were discussing topics for upcoming weeks and he made a comment, "I could make a blog and talk about my family, things we do, and being a dancer." Mind you, he is 7 years old and doesn't really enjoy this idea is both scary and intriguing at the same time! We've always had the thought that we would like to have classroom blogs so we decided that this would be a great experience for him and us!

I spent some time researching last night about how to help him set up his blog. What he needed to know, what I needed to know, and any information I could find really. I just wasn't sure where to start with him. I actually watched the Brain Pop Jr. video myself so I would know exactly what it had talked about (hence the notes from above). I found a great Blogging Rules printable from Scholastic. I also read a blog post 14 Steps to Meaningful Student Blogging, which is of course directed to teachers getting ready to blog with their students, but I definitely got some ideas.

So then it was time to sit down with Lil Man and get him started!
We discussed about some rules:
    --Only use your first name
    --Don't put the name of your school or dance studio
    --Don't put the name of the apartment complex
    --Don't give any personal contact info (email, phone number, or address)

Then we talked about some things that he can talk about on his blog. He was having a hard time coming up with what to say so we made a circle map:

Then we sat down and wrote out his first post (I had to write because he started tearing up when he realized we were going to write it on paper. Told you he doesn't like writing; it's a big weakness we're working on.) We also helped him come up with a catchy blog title.

Then I sat down with him at the computer and set it all up. I let him choose all the fonts, background, and everything. Then he sat down and typed what we had written. 
We're excited to help him get started. We all talked about some ideas for posts for him to do. We'll keep you updated on how his blog is going! If you'd like to visit, just click the screen shot above!