Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teacher Feature Tuesday: Tina's Teaching Treasures

Our featured teacher is:
Tina's Teaching Treasures
Tine teaches Grade 3 in Burlington Ontario, Canada
Tina's TpT store opened in December 2011. Check out her TpT store and her blog

Why do you teach?
"I love the kiddos and all they have to offer.  I love my job and look forward to it each day. It is so much fun learning, playing and connecting with the students"

Why did you open your TpT store?
"I was purchasing on TPT then thought "Hey, I could do this!" and tried it out!"

How has TpT made a difference in your life personally and/or professionally?
"I have learned so much about creating valuable resources and I have also connected with so many great teacher-authors that I look up to so much!"

I wish someone had told me...(share some advice for TpT sellers)
"...not to stew over low ratings/feedback! Some people just don't give out 4s across the board.  Its okay!"

We've taken some time to look around Tina's Teaching Treasures store! She has some great elementary resources! Check them out!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teacher Feature Tuesday: Andrea Mason

Our featured teacher is:
Andrea Mason
Andrea teaches Kindergarten in Georgia. 
Andreas's TpT store opened in July 2012. Check out her TpT store and her blog

Why do you teach?
"I teach for so many reasons!  I love the way my students' faces light up when they've learned something new and realize that they finally get it!  I love how every day is different and each day brings a new adventure, new reasons to laugh, and new memories."

Why did you open your TpT store?
"Last summer I decided to redo my classroom theme and had a hard time finding things that were just what I was looking for.  I started to create my own items for my classroom and thought I'd open my store since I had all of these products that other people might like to have as well.  After posting my classroom decor items, I started working on academic units for Kindergarten."

How has TpT made a difference in your life personally and/or professionally?
"TpT has been a huge help to me with navigating through the Common Core Standards!  Creating products that are aligned to the Common Core have helped me understand the depth of the standards as well as the best way to teach them. Personally, TpT has been a wonderful thing.  My husband and I are pursuing adoption to start our family, and my TpT earnings have been a blessing to our adoption fund!"

I wish someone had told me...(share some advice for TpT sellers)
"I wish someone had told me how addicting it would be! :)  Haha!  Really, though, it's been a challenge to fit everything in.  But, once I found a balance between work, home life, and TpT, it's been a lot better."

We've taken some time to look around Andrea Mason's store and her I Heart Kindergarten blog! She has some great Kindergarten products and we can't wait to catch up on her fun blog as she works getting her classroom set up for this year!

Can you believe July is almost over?!

We want to apologize for getting behind in the schedule (again). This has been such a crazy month!
This week's Make It Monday should be up soon! Today, I had an interview for a second grade position at the same school that I accepted the Special Ed Parapro position recently! I'm waiting to hear back as to whether or not I got the new position. I should know something by the end of the day.

I know I mentioned it once, but we will be revamping the schedule again. This is going to be our last week with this schedule. Sunday we will have a guest blogger! Then next weeks we will be taking a break from schedules and just have some Back to School themed posts throughout the week! [Teacher Feature Tuesday isn't going anywhere! We'll continue posting it as scheduled!]

We will be working on a new schedule and getting it ready for you! Look forward to a linky party or two!

**I'll update when I hear back about my interview!**

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teacher Feature Tuesday: Book Buddies

Our featured teachers are:

 Reba & Susan
Book Buddies
Reba is a retired 2nd and 3rd grade teacher in Charlotte, NC.
Susan is currently a 5th grade Literacy teacher in Charlotte, NC. She has taught for 25 years and got Teacher of the Year 2012. Between the two of them, they share interests in travel (Reba-mountains and Susan-beach), good books, good music, time with friends and family, gardening, using their talents and interests in creative ways. "This might not sound adventurous, but it is the stuff of life!" Reba is from the beautiful mountains of Tennessee and Susan is from the excitement of New York!
Reba & Susan's Book Buddies TpT store opened in November 2012. Check out their TpT store!

Why do you teach?
"For both of us - lifelong love of learning, sharing our knowledge, seeing those eyes light up, and the joy of helping children grow to their potential."

Why did you open your TpT store?
"TpT is such an intriguing concept, and we have always collaborated and created some pretty great stuff (at least we think so!); such as an extension curriculum for gifted and talented kids, novel studies, etc. This is a perfect venue for our enthusiasm, creativity and (possibly obsessive desire to teach, teach, teach in a way that inspires curiosity and excitement)."

How has TpT made a difference in your life personally and/or professionally?
"There is an excitement about every day and what it may bring, in the way of sales certainly, but our heads are always brimming with ideas for the next new product. It is intensely gratifying to know that other teachers think highly of our work and that our products are being used in classrooms around the country -wow!"

I wish someone had told us...(share some advice for TpT sellers)
"The sellers forum is a priceless source of information.  I don't believe it would have been possible to achieve what we have achieved so far without it."

We've taken some time to look around Reba & Lauren's Book Buddies store and they has some super fun looking resources! Head on over and check out what they have to offer!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Make It Monday: Task Cards

This week for Make It Monday, I made some task cards. The will be our new Featured Freebie on our TpT store.

I included a color set and a b/w set. There's also 2 different recording sheets included! This is our first set of Language Arts task cards so let us know what you think! Click the cover below to download your copy!

Remember, if you download this great freebie, to leave some feedback!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fun & Free Friday

This week Lil Man had a ballet intensive for an hour each day. He really enjoyed it!
We're excited because we finally got all of our pictures hung up in our new apartment. 
Lil Man and I are enjoying each other's company and watching cartoons this afternoon!

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

Free (click images to download)

Debbie Bryant shared this great freebie with us!
This great freebie is a sample of a larger product. We have added the paid product to our wishlist! Debbie has set up a 34 week level spelling program that is aligned with Common Core! Check it out!

Live Love Math brought us this next freebie!

 This set of task cards provides great practice for multi-digit multiplication! Students will practice with simple equations and word problems. Once they have solved the problem, they can check their work using the QR codes!

Mandy Stewart shared our next freebie this week!
Add some fun to your students' spelling assignments! Let students pick their own assignment by using them Creative Spelling Task Cards!

Differentiation Station has come back to share another freebie with us this week and is sharing our last freebie for the week!
This fun game has students matching numbers up to 10. And as you can guess by the store name...differentiation is built right in! Students can match 2 sets of cards for a traditional matching game or match all three! This game includes a ten frame card, number cards, and cards with fingers representing numbers. There's also an extension activity!

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

We'd love to see more end of summer and back to school freebies for the coming weeks, so get them in! If you would like your freebie featured, fill out the form

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Throwback Thursday

We decided to link up and bring you a Throwback Thursday post for our Thoughtful Thursday this week! With all the getting ready for Back to School thoughts in mind we thought it would be fitting to bring back an old Maniac Math Monday post! Enjoy!


 Hey everyone it is the start of a new week and time for our second Maniac Math Monday! We have been working really hard on a project we would like to share with everyone this week. As we all know the end of the year can be very stressful for students and teachers with all the end of the year assessments. We have made a packet that serves as a way to review with your students and also allows teachers to see what areas the students are struggling with. We even used it in the place of weekly homework. It is a very useful tool to alleviate some of that end of the year stress.

We call this math packet the “Math Challenge” and it is aligned with the Georgia 5th grade Math Common Core Standards. It covers many of the topics that are covered throughout the year. It includes daily practice as well as weekly projects. It is designed to take 4 weeks to complete but can be graded weekly in order to assess how students are doing. 

We have posted the full "Math Challenge" in our TpT store and we also have a free preview for everyone to check out. Lets us know what you think!

What are some ways you like to prepare your students for their end of the year assessments? Do you think a challenge like this could be beneficial for your students? 

~Steph & Manda

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wired Wednesday: Adding a Poll on Blogger

I'm working on putting together several tutorials so let us know if you want to learn how to do something in particular! Here's a tutorial for you! Today, I'm going to show you how to add a poll to your blog sidebar! 

Blogger has a built-in poll gadget. I personally prefer using Polldaddy. You can sign up for a free account!

Or if you happen to already have an account (or a Wordpress account) simply sign in.

Once you've signed up/signed in, your dashboard will come up. 

Click "create a new.." and choose "poll".

Now it's time to type your question and options! 

Scroll to the bottom and set up the advance settings. Click "Create Poll."

Now, it's time to choose the style of your poll gadget and the size. Because I use them in the sidebar, I choose to to use the 'micro' style and 'narrow' size. Click "Save Style Settings."

You're ready to get your gadget! Copy the code. 

Now it's time to go to Blogger...go to your layout settings. Click "Add a Gadget."

Scroll down and choose HTML/JavaScript.

Paste the code you copied into the box. If you want to center your poll within your sidebar add the <center></center> tags around the code. Save it!

Decide where on your sidebar you want the poll to show up and rearrange if desired. Be sure to click "Save Arrangement" if you moved your gadgets around.

Finally, it's time to view your blog and make sure everything is exactly how you want it! You can see the one I created in this tutorial on the left side! This poll will be up for a while so be sure to vote and tell us your favorite part of "Back to School."

We also have a poll on the right side. Now as our reader, you can vote on "Next week on Wired Wednesday..." This poll will close at midnight on Mondays and be refreshed each week. The topic with the most votes will appear that Wednesday. So be sure to vote before midnight Monday (7/15) on our topic for next week's Wired Wednesday post!

Hope you find this tutorial super easy! If you have any questions just comment below, and I'll help you out! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Teacher Feature Tuesday: Lauren Thompson

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

Our featured teacher is:
 Lauren Thompson

Lauren just finished her first year of homeschooling Pre-K. Before this she taught 3rd grade, all subjects, near Dallas, Texas.
Lauren's TpT store opened in August 2012. Check out her TpT store and her blog

Why do you teach?
"Right now I teach my own kids at home because while I love teachers and schools (I was a public school teacher for 3 years) I really see the benefit of being able to teach my kids at their level, at home, and give them valuable life skills and values as well."

Why did you open your TpT store?
"While I was teaching in the public school and now as a homeschool teacher, I often find myself creating my own activities because I have an idea in my head and I can't find it anywhere! When I would share my activities with my colleagues, they were always very appreciative and complementary. So, I decided others around the world could maybe benefit from the things I was making as well!"

How has TpT made a difference in your life personally and/or professionally?
"I really enjoy being a part of the TpT community! Our family travels around a lot, so I am not in a place to really be connected to a community of homeschoolers for very long. TpT can go with me wherever we are in the world, and I can still feel a part of the teaching community."

I wish someone had told me...(share some advice for TpT sellers)
"Just be yourself! At first I would look around at the best sellers and try to figure out how to create a similar product. But as I moved forward I realized my personally best sellers were the things that were creative and unique, not like anyone else's!"

We've taken some time to look around Lauren Thompson's store and she has some super fun looking resources! Head on over and check out what Lauren has to offer!

Make It Monday: Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad

Is it Tuesday already?! Sorry we're being awful bloggers! Let's get back on schedule!

So we spent Monday hanging out at my parents house. I spent the a great part of my day in the kitchen making some amazing chicken salad! I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

This is what we're having for lunch the rest of the week! It's awesome!

 I wanted to hang the recipe card in front of me and the only magnetic surface I could find was the cabinet hinge! The downside to stainless steel appliances...

Ok so here's the recipe where you can actually read it...

First- 5 lbs chicken breast, 1 onion quartered, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 1 tsp parsley
Dressing- 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1 cup mayo, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 dash paprika
Final- 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp honey, 1 cup mayo, 8oz cream cheese

Add first five ingredients to 2 qt water and boil. Lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Let cool. Blend dressing. Shred chicken and mix with 1 cup of dressing. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour. Combine remaining dressing and final ingredients. Add chicken and mix well. Serve with crackers or in sandwich. 
Here's a picture of the first step...it smelled amazing! 

Here's the chicken and dressing after in marinated for an hour.
This is what the dressing and final ingredients look like mixed together. 
Doesn't look very appealing honestly. 

Here's the finished product! 

It sounds like a lot and it kinda is, but I promise it is totally worth it! It's easiest if you mix the dressing while the chicken is simmering. Then go ahead and put 1 cup of it to the side and mix the rest with the final ingredients. That way you can spend a lot less time in the kitchen. I didn't do this the first time I ever made it, but this time was much better and easier! 
What's your favorite recipe? 
If you try this one, let us know! 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

Wow! What a weekend! Our weekend started on Wednesday and is just now coming to a close. Originally, we said we were planning to post our Wed-Fri posts late this week. We've decided to just start fresh in the new week (sorry!). We took some time off, which anyone can respect, and now we're ready to get back on the ball!

 We have just 4 more weeks of Summer left! After (and within) those 4 weeks be prepared to see some changes taking place around here. We're going to change the schedule up some and some other fun stuff!

Stick around!