November 30, 2014

Sunday Scoop: Wishlists

It's already Sunday and my Scoop this week is all about wishlists and sales.

Besides my scoop, be sure to also check out lots of other Sunday Scoops over at The Teaching Trio.

Speaking of wishlists and the TpT Cyber Sale... you have heard of this huge sale, right?

Jivey from Ideas by Jivey has a fun little linky going on where we can share two of our most wishlisted TpT items and an item that we have on our own personal wishlist.

The number one most wish listed and most popular item in my TpT store is my set of Poetry Task Cards.

This is a set of twenty poetry task cards. I print these task cards on brightly colored paper, put them in a small photo album and place them on a table with a collection of poetry books forming a poetry center. Students work with the task cards at specified times during Language Arts class or during free time throughout the day. In addition to the poetry task cards, I’ve included three bonus files: poetry pencil toppers, a poetry word search, and a poetry foldable.

If you use the special promo code TPTCYBER you can save nearly a dollar on this most popular item in my store!

The second most wish listed item in my TpT store is Year 'Round Mystery Pictures.

This product contains 24 Mystery Pictures, each offered separately in my TpT Store. Following a key, students match a word with its representative color, then color squares to reveal a mystery picture. The skills practiced with these mystery pictures are identifying parts of speech, verb tenses, synonyms, and how to form plural nouns. The individual pictures sell for one dollar each. By purchasing this bundle you automatically save 50% over the original price; then couple that savings with the special promo code you can save another three dollars. 

One item (of MANY) in my shopping cart is this set of Transparent Task Card Frames by Amy Alvis. 

I make LOTS of task cards and am always looking for fun and unique frames for them. This set of frames features something new: they are transparent. Place them over any digital paper and you can create custom frames! I can't wait to try them out!

Something else to try out is Jivey's blog.  Hop on over to read more wishlists... you'll probably find a product or two or three... to add to your own wishlists.

November 28, 2014

NEW Tech Talk: QR Codes

I'm joining Tasia from Great Minds Teach Alike for her brand new monthly Tech Talk linky.

I really enjoy classroom technology, from low tech finger flashlights and simple DVD players to high tech computers, tablets, and Smartboards. I'm game for just about anything! So when I first began to see those nifty little QR Codes popping up on TpT products I was intrigued. What were they for? I knew that QR Codes were used for prices and product information but beyond that? Teaching materials? OH YEAH!

With a QR Code you can make a task card self-checking. With a QR Code you can easily paste a URL to a homework assignment so that students can access a website without having to input the address and stand a chance of making a typo. With QR Codes you can turn a set of ho hum questions into a fun activity. With QR Codes you can link an instructional video in a page of student directions. The possibilities for using QR Codes in a classroom are limitless.

First, however, you do have to be able to create the code, and second your students have to be able to read the codes. The reading part is probably the easier of the two requirements. Today most classrooms have access to an iPad/tablet that has a barcode reader installed. Additionally, students have their own tablets, iPads, and iPods onto which they can quickly install a barcode reader. Simply use this scanner (hold the device over the code) to reveal what the QR Code represents.

You can try it yourself. Here is a task card from my newest set, Seasonal Sound Spellings. Open a barcode reader on your Smartphone, tablet, or other personal device. Hold it over the code so that it appears in the window. VOILA! You'll have the answer to the item on the task card.

In order to utilize the codes within your teaching materials you will need to use a QR Code generator. I prefer one called Quick Mark.

Scan to go to the QuickMark site.
Once you're there, you have several options: generating codes online or downloading the app to your phone, tablet, or pc. We're going to make a QR code online. Click Create Barcodes at the top and you'll arrive here.

Let's create a code that contains a writing prompt. Click on TEXT in the far right column under the heading OTHER. A text input box will appear. Type in a writing prompt such as What are some things that your family does to prepare for the Christmas holidays? Then click the green generate button. VOILA! You've created a code that you can download in your choice of formats. I prefer PNG as these files will retain their crispness as you enlarge or decrease their size.

Now all you have to do is insert the code you have downloaded into your teaching document, notebook file, powerpoint presentation, etc. just as you do any other image file. One item of interest: If you like COLOR, you might like to download QuickMark to your computer. There are options for making your code either red, blue, or green beside the typical black. There is even a paid online version that allows you to really colorize your codes!

Before you leave to visit other Tech Talk posts, please be sure to read this QR Code!

November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Advent (FREEBIES Galore)

Welcome to...

What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Then add the TBT badge to your post and include your link below! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!

All about Advent (the 2014 season of Advent begins this Sunday, November 30th), this Throwback post then is timely in nature and full of goodies (FREEBIES and paid items) to help you celebrate in your classrooms.

This post originally appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 on Nov. 28, 2013.

Advent, from the Latin "ad-venire" meaning "to come to", is the first season of the Church year. For Christians, New Year's Day then is this Sunday, Dec. 1st. Advent is the time leading up to Christmas, a time that is oft neglected in our consumer oriented world. In the rush to BUY, BUY, BUY for Christmas, we neglect to prepare for the sacredness of the holiday... the real reason for the season. This is what the season of Advent is for.

Because I teach in a Catholic school, I have the luxury of celebrating the Advent season, a time of expectant waiting. Santa is kept to a minimum and only in the guise of St. Nicholas, the actual man- a bishop in Turkey long, long ago- who eventually becomes our modern Santa. Christmas songs are overlooked in favor of Advent songs. Instead of reds and greens festooning everything, our halls are decked with purple and pink, the colors of Advent.

We have a Christmas tree in our gathering space at school on which hangs holy ornaments, and the wreath in our hallway is an Advent wreath. It won't be until the last few days prior to Christmas break, starting with our school Christmas program that our attention will focus more on Christmas. Until then, we must remain patient, waiting in joyful hope, preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus on Christmas.

Even my lessons and activities next week will focus on Advent rather than on Christmas.

Next week's Spelling words...

... an editing practice lesson...

... and two graphic organizers...

... all have an Advent theme.

If you would like any of these Advent items to use in your classroom or homeschool, you can purchase the Scoot pack and Zap game HERE or by clicking on the pictures above. The spelling list, revising paper, and graphic organizers are a FREEBIE, and can be downloaded HERE or by clicking on the picture below.

Since last year I've continued adding Advent items to my store. Just click on the pictures to read more about each product.



Now it's your turn for a THROWBACK!

November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Not Your Ordinary Thanksgiving Feast

Do you ever do anything in your class just for the pure fun of it? What with all the high stakes testing and trying to meet Common Core Standards we just don't seem to have time for fun anymore! This past weekend I was contacted by one of my moms and girls with a plan for FUN. I knew that their idea would take time away from our class's precious schedule (and we were a bit behind as it was due to last week's Snow Day). However, I said YES!

Sooooo VERY glad that I did!

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast,
complete with jelly beans, toast, and popcorn.

The best part (besides the jelly beans and FUN)? 
It only took 45 mins.

Looking for more fun? Hop over to Miss DeCarbo's blog for more Wordless Wednesday posts!

November 24, 2014

Black Friday Wishlists

I've been making my teachery wishlists in anticipation of the upcoming holiday sales, so I'm really happy to join The Primary Pack for their fun Black Friday linky and GIVEAWAY!

My wishlist contains a little of this and a little of that that covers everything that I teach: Language Arts, Religion, and Science. I love a good bargain so you'll notice there are a few bundles on my wishlist. Bundles already have a built-in savings; couple that with a sale and you can't beat buying a bundle! You can read more about each of the items by clicking on the individual pics below my wishlist.

Now for a few items that you might like to add to your wishlist, again a little of everything that I teach. Just click on the individual pics for more information about each item. You'll notice I included a few holiday bundles on this list for you! Remember: bundles mean extra savings!

I can't wait to do some teachery shopping at the upcoming sales! Bet you can't either! Be sure you make your wishlists and check them twice! Stop by The Primary Pack to peruse more blogger wishlists and get some great ideas for yours. While you're there be sure to enter their GREAT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Shopping!