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Monday, August 19, 2019

#MoveFor Learning Sweepstakes

As a teacher who is always on the move, comfortable and stylish footwear is essential. Nothing ruins a day faster than aching feet! I've always been a huge fan of Easy Spirit footwear, and I was thrilled when they contacted me to help them spread the word about their #MoveFor Learning campaign. It's very easy to stay motivated and excited about teaching when you're comfortable!

Easy Spirit's #MoveFor campaign celebrates the things that drive, compel, and inspire us on a daily basis. During the month of August, their #MoveFor campaign focuses on learning.

What do I #MoveFor? 

I am driven every single day to help my students be the best they can be. There's nothing I wouldn't do to keep my students enthusiastic about learning while they strive to reach their highest potential. One of the greatest feelings a teacher can have is when a former student comes back to visit, to let you know what an enormous impact you had on their life.

This is what I #MoveFor.

What do you #Movefor?

In honor of the #MoveFor Learning campaign, I am partnering with Easy Spirit and hosting a giveaway on my Instagram. One lucky teacher will win their 'Easy Kit', which includes a ton of favorite back-to-school essentials.

Let's take a closer look at what's included in this kit...

*One pair of Easy Spirit shoes of your choice.
So stylish and comfy!

*A Bostitch QuietSharp Glow Electric Sharpener.
This sharpener has many great features that teachers love. 
It even sharpens colored pencils!


*A Jord Apple watch band.
So pretty!


*A $25 Teacher's Pay Teachers Gift Card.
Use it to grab some back to school goodies!


*A Parcelly Keychain.
Adorable!


*A Happy Planner Agenda.
Stay organized!

*A Lara Bar.
Yummy!

*Dreyer's English Book by Benjamin Dryer.
A witty and fun grammar guide!


*School Treasure Chest Assortment from Oriental Trading.
Students will LOVE the prizes!



Who wouldn't want to win all these great goodies?

Head on over to my Instagram and enter to win the 'Easy Kit' Sweepstakes!

Click here to get information about my comfy shoes!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Classroom Carpet Giveaway

Five years ago, I was contacted by Jim Banks, owner and founder of KidCarpet.com. He offered me the chance of a lifetime! He said I could look through his large selection of beautiful, colorful, and up to code carpets, and choose one for my classroom. In return, I promised to write an honest review of how I felt about the carpet and he allowed me to give away a FREE carpet to one lucky teacher. You can read all about it here.

 I decided on the Let's Book It Story Rug because it was perfect for my classroom library.


My school administrators loved my new library carpet so much, that they purchased classroom carpets for many of the teachers in my school. Now my classroom had two beautiful carpets! This is the large carpet I chose:


The carpets have held up nicely all these years and I am excited to, once again, offer one lucky teacher, an opportunity to win a FREE classroom carpet for your very own classroom!


KidCarpet.com has such a BIG selection of classroom carpets in different sizes, colors, themes, and shapes. There is something for every classroom. The only issue you'll have is figuring out which carpet to get! They are very well made, up to code, and make any classroom cute and cozy.

The lucky winner can choose any preschool rug that is 7'6"x12' or smaller or classroom rug. This prize is valued at $279! This giveaway is only open to educators in the continental United States, since it is too costly to ship outside of the USA. Please do not enter if you do not live in the United States of America. 
Please be sure to read the terms on the rafflecopter. All entries will be closely monitored and anyone who does not enter with integrity will be disqualified.

Please tell your colleagues about this contest and share it on as many social media sights as you can. I really want to help spread the word about KidCarpet.com. They are the only "place where you can buy directly from the factory". Because of this, they offer HUGE savings on classroom rugs and carpets. They even offer 3-5 day shipping on select carpets.

You can check out the rugs available here:

and here:

Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Happy New Year Sale and Gift Card Giveaway!

Ringing in a New Year is always cause for celebration.
It's a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.
And, it's a time for reflection.

As we head back to school after winter break, most of us are armed with fresh new ideas, procedures, and goals. It's out with the old and in with the new!

As Oprah Winfrey once said, "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

To help you plan for the second half of the school year, my whole store will be on sale December 30-January 1.

Now is a great time to grab some new activities, to help you and your students reach your goals. I'll highlight a few of my favorite resources below, or, you can click here to see all my resources!

Need an easy way to incorporate fun and exciting writing activities into your daily routine? 


Children love to voice their opinions!
 Here is a great way to combine that with writing!


Another great way to easily incorporate many different types of writing into your daily routine.


Here's a wonderful way to incorporate science and language arts!


If you're not doing interactive notebooks with your students,
 now is a great time to start!



Building words is an engaging way for students to practice decoding and blending individual sounds in words.




Word sorts help students organize and classify words
 so that relationships among words can be seen.


Really maximize learning by combining sight word, grammar, handwriting, letter formation, spacing, and punctuation practice.


Digital resources are highly engaging and keep students
 motivated and focused on the subject.




Looking for fun whole class games or literacy centers?


In addition to the sale, as a thank you for putting your trust in me and my resources (and for reading through this incredibly long post!) I am giving away TWO $25 GIFT CERTIFICATES TO TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS! You can use them to purchase anything you want from anyone you want. There will be two winners chosen.

The winner will be notified on January 1, 2019, in the morning, in case you want to purchase anything from my sale!

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below. There are lots of ways to enter. The more you choose, the greater your chances are of winning. Please enter with integrity. All entries will be verified before the winner is announced.

Good luck to everyone!
Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 1, 2018

National Fire Protection Association Resources

This is a post sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and SparkySchoolhouse.org.
However, all of the opinions stated in this post are my own.

October is Fire Prevention Month and October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. It's time to start gathering resources to help teach all about fire safety and prevention. This all-important subject should never be skipped and ample time should always be set aside to make sure you cover all the important topics.

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a ton of resources for educators and families? They have exclusive, instructive fire prevention week materials that will surely excite and engage all children. All of their resources and materials are geared towards preschool through primary elementary school-aged children. They have videos, apps, lesson plans, and more and they are all easy to find, fun to use, and will surely make a lasting impression on children.

So, where do you find all these goodies? The first place you need to visit is Sparky School House. Sparky School House is the NFPA's teacher portal for fire safety education. Here you will find music, videos, games, and lesson plans. Just choose your grade level and have fun exploring all the fun materials.

Here's a music video called NFPA Firefighters on Their Way.
It's really cute! It teaches kids about the job of a firefighter and the role they play as community helpers and does it in a very catchy way.



Here are some of the lesson plans you'll find.
(Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.)
You'll find a teacher guide to Teaching Fire Prevention Week, and a how-to and design template for students and families to create a home fire escape plan. There's even a parent letter you can send home, which is offered in English and Spanish. Children are asked to assist their parents in finding the smoke alarms in their home and to test them to be sure they are in good working condition.



Interested in web-based apps for your students?
You'll find two here and here!



Help Sparky the Fire Dog® practice his home fire escape plan before going to the carnival! It's interactive and exciting, even for adults! LOL! There are even spelling and math lesson plans you can download that correlate with the app!



Another fun place to visit is Sparky.org. This is the NFPA's site for kids to learn on their level through activities, videos, and web-based games. Here you'll find printables for all ages and grade levels. I'll highlight a few of my favorites...

Teach kids how to prevent wildfires!


Here's a great way for students to practice their ABC's!



Everyone loves to find hidden pictures!

You'll also find an interactive way to learn all about firetrucks!



And tons and tons of videos!



This video teaches children how to make a home fire escape plan.



Here's a peek at the apps students can play.
Two of them are web-based and the rest can be played on a device.



There's so much I could show you, but my post would be way too long! I encourage you to click on the links in my post and explore on your own. I know you'll be as excited as I was to find these treasures! Please share the links with your teacher friends so everyone can enjoy them.

You can find Sparky and the NFPA on social media...

NFPA on Twitter
Sparky_Fire_Dog on Twitter
theNFPA on Facebook
SparkyTheFireDog on Facebook
NFPAdotorg and #SparkytheFireDog on Instagram
NFPA on Pinterest

Happy Fire Prevention Month!




Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sight Word Fluency Activities to Maximize Learning!

Do you find you don't have enough time in the day to teach everything you planned?

Of course you do!

­čśôSadly, most of us do!

Resources that maximize learning are sometimes hard to come by, which is why I'm always motivated to create my own activities that integrate different subjects and/or cover many different skills.

Here are some brand new Pre-Primer and Primer Sight Word Fluency activities that do just that! And, they're fun to complete, which is an added bonus!


These sight word fluency activity sheets combine the following skills...

✅sight word fluency

✅decoding unknown words using picture clues

✅handwriting practice


Each sheet highlights one Pre-Primer or Primer sight word.

To complete, students...

✅Read and color the word.

✅Write the word four times.

✅Read three similar sentences, which contain the sight word, plus many other sight words, most of which were previously taught. The sentences also contain one unknown word, followed by a picture clue. Students use the picture to help decode the unknown word.

✅Write each sentence, using their best handwriting.

Lots of skills being practiced in these activity sheets!

I created them in color and in black and white. You can print a colored set to laminate or put in page protectors, for students to complete with dry erase markers.

Or, you can print a sheet for each student.

I also used the same words and sentences in these sight word fluency books.


Children love to create books, right? I created these activity sheets and books to complement each other, but they can also be used alone.

They can both be used for...

✅morning work

✅whole groups

✅small groups

✅independent work

✅centers

✅interventions

✅homework

They are low prep for you and high interest for students!

The books can be taken home and read to family and friends or kept in book boxes for repeat readings.

I think you'll love them too, but, if you want to try before you buy, you will find a free activity sheet and a free book when you download the previews. 

Click here or below to see the activity sheets!



Click here or below to see the sight word books!


Want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE?
Click here or below to see the bundle!

I hope you enjoy these activities as much as I do!

Don't use the Pre-Primer or Primer words in your classroom?
No worries! Click here or below to see the activity sheets aligned to Kindergarten Journeys.



And click here or below to see the books aligned to Kindergarten Journeys.



Want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE?
Click here or below to see the bundle!



And click here or below to see the Sight Word Fluency Activity Sheets for the First Hundred Fry Words.



And, click here or below to see the Sight Word Fluency Books for the First Hundred Fry Words.



And, finally, if you want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE, click here or below to see the bundle!



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mead Laminator Review and Giveaway

My laminator and I have been best friends for quite a few years and I definitely cannot live without it. Sadly, it stopped working a few weeks ago and I was just about to purchase a new one, when, out of the blue, Mead contacted me, asking me if I'd be interested in trying out one of their personal laminators. They just came out with a brand new line of affordable laminators for the back to school season. Well, of course, I jumped at the chance for three reasons:

1. I needed a new laminator.

2. I wanted a really good, durable laminator and Mead® is a name-brand I trust.

3. Mead® is allowing me to give away a brand new laminator to a lucky teacher!

So, needless to say, deciding to review the laminator was a no-brainer for me!


Disclosure: I received compensation and/or products in exchange for writing this review, however, all opinions are my own. 


My new laminator arrived recently, and I was very excited to start using it because I had just created a new game and it was waiting to be laminated. I received the Mead® 12.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator.

Mead® also makes a 9.5" HeatSeal® Thermal Laminator, and a 9.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator.



My first impression was that it was a well made, attractive looking, white and gray laminator. No need to put this one away when not in use! I love the size and the fact that it is very lightweight. 


Inside the box was an instruction manual and a few Mead® EZAlign™ 3 mil Thermal Lamination Pouches. You can also use 5 mil lamination pouches, but I find 3 mil is sturdy enough for even my youngest learners.

See the grid lines through the plastic? Those really come in handy when you're trying to laminate in a straight line. Once the sheet passes through the laminator, the lines disappear. Poof!


The laminator I chose has a maximum document width of 12 1/2", which is perfect for laminating letter sized documents.
 The laminator itself is 18 1/2" x 5 x 3".


It isn't very wide, so it doesn't take up a lot of desk space. 


The on/off switch is in the back, along with the switch for the 3 mil, 5 mil, and cold settings. The cold setting is for the cold adhesive or pressure-sensitive pouches (not included.) There is also a jam release lever to quickly clear jammed or misfed pouches.


So, let's see how well this baby works!

The laminator heated up in about three minutes, which is way faster than my old laminator. I once owned a laminator that took so long to heat up, I'd plug it in and do some chores around the house while it heated up. With this laminator, I don't have to do any chores! Woo-hoo!

The outside of the laminator didn't get very hot, so I was able to laminate on my table without worrying about damaging it. 

Once the green light came on, I was ready to start laminating some gameboards from my Spin-a-Word Family game.


The document passed through nicely...


and looked smooth and felt very sturdy, when it was finished laminating.
 No bubbles. No flaws.


Time to laminate some of the playing cards and the spinner!


See the grid lines below? It's so cool how they just disappear!


*Laminating Hint: Make sure that there is plenty of room behind the laminator for the newly laminated document to come out.
 Now that's a mistake you only make once! #guilty


Here are some of my laminated game pieces!




Have you ever laminated something and when you cut it out, the laminate peeled away? That is a laminating nightmare! Well, no worries here. Everything I cut out came out perfectly!


Who's ready to play Spin-a-Word Family?





I am incredibly pleased with my Mead® laminator and I'm sure we will be best friends for a long time!

Here's what I love best about it:

It's small and lightweight.
It's very attractive.
It heats up quickly.
The outside of the machine doesn't get very hot.
The sheets go through at a nice pace.
My laminated pieces are smooth and sturdy.
The laminate doesn't peel away when I cut out my pieces.

You can find the laminators on amazon.com or mead.com.

Mead® 9.5" HeatSeal® Thermal Laminator

Mead® 9.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator

Mead® 12.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator

You can also follow Mead® on facebook and instagram!

So, now that you've heard all about my new best friend, I'm sure you are ready to try and win a laminator of your very own. 

Actually, the lucky winner will also win a box of 50 Mead® EZAlign™ 3 mil Thermal Lamination Pouches. Not only do the pouches have the grid lines, but they can also be cut to size and the remaining laminate can be saved for future lamination needs!

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below. There are lots of ways to enter. The more you choose, the greater your chances are of winning. Please enter with integrity. All entries will be verified before the winner is announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good news! Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade is also giving away a Mead® laminator! Head on over to her blog to enter her giveaway and double your chances of winning this great prize!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard