Sunday, January 27, 2013


Thanks for stopping by my Bloomin' Blogger Sundays, where you can get weekly tips and how-tos on blogging! This week I will be walking you through the steps to add "Pinterest" buttons to your blog. We will add the "Follow me on Pinterest" button and the "Permission to Pin" button.

*Note: Please read Laura Candler's post {here} on the importance of having permission to pin before pinning. 

Adding the "Permission to Pin" button: 

Step 1: In the top right corner of your "blogger" dashboard go to:
>then, layout (on the lower left sidebar)
>add a gadget (on your right or left sidebar, depending on if your blog design is 2 or 3 column and where you want the button located). 

Step 2: The gadget screen will open.
>Scroll down and choose "Java Script/html"

Step 3: This will place a new gadget in the right hand side bar that will read "Java Script/html."
>Click on that gadget.

Step 4: A new screen will open.
>In the box, copy and paste the following code:
<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" /></a></center>

You do not need to add a title, as the button says it all. 

Step 5: Click
>Save and the "Permission to Pin" button will now be added. 

Step 6: You can move the button to where you want it located in your blog sidebar by holding down your cursor on the gadget and dragging it up or down. 

To add the "Follow me on Pinterest" button

Step 1: You will complete the same steps as above, but in step 4 you will copy and paste this code instead of that one:
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" title="" alt="" width="141px" border="0"/></a>

Step 2: Change the portion I have highlighted to your Pinterest address. This is the web address displayed on your Pinterest "homepage."  

Step 3: Complete steps 5-6 above and that's it! You should now have both of your Pinterest buttons on your blog. 

As always, if you run into any problems send me a comment below and I will try to further assist you. Thanks for stopping by and I hope this information was helpful for you!! :)


Saturday, January 26, 2013


I'm a little late, but it's never too late for FREEbies, right?? Who doesn't love a Freebie anytime? 

Here I have for you an adorable Valentine poem for you to give your students for a "No Homework Night." An easy & cheap gift for your kiddos if you can't afford to buy gifts for your whole class!

Freebie Fridays
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Also......if you're a new blogger, be sure to visit me every Sunday for FREE blogger how-tos on my "Bloomin' Blogger Sundays!"


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'm linking up today with Mrs. Sheehan at Learning in Wonderland for a PINTEREST party! What a great idea for a linky.....and she's giving away a $25 Applebee's gift card to one of the entries! 

All you have to do is link up an idea or two you found on Pinterest and are planning on doing the upcoming week with your kiddos. 

I have been doing alot of Valentine Day pinning! With February around the corner, Valentine's Day just three weeks away, and multicultural night at my school in four weeks, I have been on the hunt! 

Here are a couple of PINspired activities I will be implementing in my room the first week of February. 

 Multicultural Night is Feb. 25th at my school. Since it is only a week or so after V-day, I found this unit on Pinterest and thought it would be a great activity for my class to display at Multicultural Night. We will begin working on this unit Friday. It covers V-day in 6 different countries. 

I've also been pinning ideas on what to make and give to my students for V-day! I love all four of these so much.....I just can't decide which one to do! Which one do you like best?? I am thinking the Pop Rocks if I can still find these. Do they even sell these anymore???

Hope these ideas will be as PINspiring for you as they were for me! If you have have trouble pulling up these, you can go {here} to go to my pinterest boards! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Welcome to "BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS" where every Sunday you can stop by and pick up a new blogging tip or two! 

I started this weekly featured post because I too, am new to blogging and wanted to be able to share the things I am learning each week with other new bloggers. Learning the tips & tricks to blogging can be very time consuming & now you can save some of that exhaustion by stopping by my blog every Sunday! 

It will also hold me accountable for one of my blogging New Years Resolutions, which was to make at least one post every week! 

Now on to the tip of the week.........

 Bloomin' Tip #2:
Today I will share with you how to take the graphic design we made last week (or another), resize it, and so you can use it as your "Blog Button." 

You will need:
A photo editing program- I use Gimp 2. You can download it for free {here}
Your graphic design

Step 1: Open the graphic design you made in PowerPoint and save it as a png file to your computer. 

Step 2: Open Gimp 2 that you downloaded above.

Step 3:  In the Gimp toolbar, click on 
>file, then
>locate the graphic design that you saved as png to your computer  (this will be found wherever you saved your image)
>double-click your image. It will now be displayed in GIMP.

Step 4: In the GIMP picture toolbar, click
>scale image

The "scale image" screen will open. 

Step 5: Change the height and width to a size between 125 & 175. Height and width should be the same so that your button is a perfect square, and click

Tip: According to the research I found when I made my button......the size of your button should be 125x125, however,

I found this to be too small when I inserted my button on my blog. So my blog button is 175x175. You may have to play around with this to get the appropriate size.

Step 6: Click
>Save as, 
>Change the name. Do not save it as the same name of your original image you started with in case you need to revert back to the original. 
>Click save. 
A "save as png" window will appear. 
>Click save.

Step 7: Now you will need to go to a Photo Hosting Website of your preference to get an html code for your new button. I use You will need to create an account, but it's FREE! 

Step 8: Photobucket Steps
>Click upload
>Browse files
>Locate the graphic design you resized and saved, and double click.
It will appear in your library at the bottom of the screen.
>Click your image
>To the right, under "image links," click HTML Code

Step 9: Now to insert it into your blog.
>Go to your blogger dashboard, click 
>Add a gadget
>Scroll down & click on "html/javascript"

The html/javascript screen will be displayed

>Give a title (e.g. my button, grab my button, etc.)
>In "Content" right click and paste your the html code you got from photobucket.
>Click save
>Drag & slide your button where you want it positioned on your blog.
>Click save arrangement. 

That is it! You now have a lovely blog button, so that others can easily identify you and share your blog with others. 

I hope these steps worked and walked you through with ease! If you have any difficulty feel free to leave me a message and I will do my best to assist you! 


If you made it through this & still have your definitely deserve a FREEBIE...............

Here I have for you "Addition Fact Homework Practice" 1-10. I have a student that cannot seem to master her math facts, so I came up with this for her nightly homework. I send the same fact sheet home everynight until the student has mastered those facts. It only took her two weeks to master the 2's. 

Click {here} to download this FREEbie! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will spread the word about my weekly "BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS!"

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Welcome to the very FIRST feature of my new "BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS" where every Sunday you can stop by and pick up a new blogging tip or two! 

I started this weekly featured post because I too, am new to blogging and wanted to be able to share the things I am learning each week with other new bloggers. Learning the tips & tricks to blogging can be very time consuming & now you can save some of that exhaustion by stopping by my blog every Sunday! 

It will also hold me accountable for one of my blogging New Years Resolutions, which was to make at least one post every week! 

Now on to business...........

 Bloomin' Tip #1:
Today I will share with you how to make a graphic design like the one I have above. This is also how you will design a customized  "Grab Button" for your blog. 

You will need:
PowerPoint (I am using version 2007, so if you have a higher or even lower version my directions may slightly differ)

PowerPoint is the way to go for designing all of your graphics. It is extremely user-friendly and doesn't have all of the hangups of MS Word. It also allows you to save your work in jpeg and png formats which allows you to use them on the web without distorting your image.

Step 1: Get some cutesy clipart that you like. 
You'll need a background and a frame, and if you like, clipart images to add a finishing touch. Some places do offer free clipart, but I have found that the cutest clipart comes with a price. However, it is very expensive; ranging from $1 to $5.00 for kits. These kits will contain the frames, backgrounds, and images. I love Dollar Graphics Depot, where all clipart is always $1. You can often find free clipart from many teacher blogs as well. I also find alot of free clipart just from visiting "FREEBIE FRIDAY" hosted every Friday by Teaching Blog Addict

Visit my Pinterest clipart board {here} for some of my favorite  places to get clipart! 

Step 2: Open PowerPoint and insert your background. 
At the top of the toolbar in ppt, you will:
>Click on insert
>Click on picture (not clipart)
>Locate the background you will use for your design that you downloaded & saved to your computer.
>Double click the image and it will be inserted on your blank ppt slide. That easy!

Step 3: Now do the same to add your frame or border. 

Step 4: Add your text. 
>In the toolbar, click on insert
>Look to the right, and click on text box
>Click anywhere within you border or frame and begin typing. It doesn't matter where your text is at this point, because you will move it where you want it. 

Step 5: Move & arrange your text. 
>Click on the text to make sure there is a highlighted box around it.
>Position your cursor over the highlighted line until you see an image of an intersecting line appear
>Hold your left mouse button down & drag and position the text where you want it. 

You will repeat step 2 to add your cutesy clipart images. And then drag them just as you did your text to position them. 

Step 6: Saving your graphic design.
Once you have your design like you like it. 
>In the toolbar, click the "office button" in the top left corner. It is the round colorful button all the way to the left. 
>Click save as
>In the save as screen, at the bottom (file type), pull down the file type drop down menu and choose to save as a png file. 
>Choose the location of where you want to save it on your computer & click save. 

You're done! Now to insert it into your blog post.....
>On your posting page, in the toolbar click the picture image
>Click upload
>Locate your design where you saved it on your computer
>Double click your design & it will begin uploading to your post. 

That's it! You have created your own graphic design. 

I hope you found this information very helpful, and that you now have yourself a beautifully designed graphic. If you get stuck or have any problems, you can email me at 

Join me next Sunday for tips on how to resize this image (or another one) and add it to your blog as your blog button. 

Monday, January 7, 2013


Do you have a classroom ipad? 

Did you know that MeeGenius.....the #1 app for children's ebooks offers a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to teachers with unlimited book downloads?? That's! Most of their books are $2.99, but teachers can get them all for free. Just go {here} and complete and submit the form. 

Today was the first day back from break for me.....and my official day to start my resolutions. One of my blog resolutions was to give back more to my fellow bloggers. Since I am new to blogging and new to designing/creating materials, and I don't have alot share this early in my blogging journey......
I thought up a way that I can give back and share something every week. 

As a newbie, I find myself spending countless hours figuring out how to do things on my blog..........
like how to design a button & generate a code,
how to resize an image,
how to make & insert a signature,
and so get the picture!

So I thought that once a week, I will share something that I have learned to help make life easier for other new bloggers or those looking for the same info. How-to's. 

I want to make a button for this weekly post that I will do & am looking for some help with the name. I just can't seem to come up with anything "catchy." So far I have come up with..........since my blog is "The Bender Bunch".......

Bender Bunch Blog Bug
Beginner Blog Bug
Blogging Tidbits
Blog Bits from Bender Bunch

Help! I don't like any of these.....and they're sounding more like blogs than a special ongoing post. If you have any ideas, pretty please send them my way! 

In fact, I am going to give away a $10 Starbucks or a $10 Target Gift Card......Winners the person that provides me with the winning title....that is, the name that I choose to use! It wouldn't even have to be associated with my blog name, this is just where I started my brainstorming. Just looking for something cute & catchy!

Now for the first "Monday Made It" for 2013, I made a couple of things for my home, pinterest inspired, and a classroom Valentine Activity.

"B" for Bender. Had a blast looking through
all of the old photo albums. Now I can look
at family memories everyday!
This will actually go
on a high, cathedral ceiling wall. I just hung
it here to take the picture.

This is a simple curtain rod
and 2 x 4's.

 And last, a Valentine Estimation Activity.

Go {here} to download this activity! 

Now....For FUN....SECRET SNOWMAN!! One last thing to share that you can do at your school this week for fun!  I just love this kinda stuff! 

To welcome in the new year 2013 - we are having a secret snowman at our school for the month of January.  Those that CHOOSE to participate (it is of course, optional) had to sign up the last day before break....but you can still do this tomorrow at your school! Today we drew the name of who we will be a secret snowman for during the month of January. Here's how it works! 

Themes for Secret Snowman
1 gift/week with a maximum of $25 for the month!

Week 1 - stress reliever
Week 2 - Diet and Nutrition
Week 3 - Fitness
Week 4 - Friendship

Our Secret Snowmen will reveal themselves on Thursday, January 31st at a morning breakfast by providing their final friendship (week 4) gift to their snowman at the breakfast. Of course, you can choose to do this however it works best for your school and colleagues. I'm having a hard time coming up with a "Week 3 Fitness" gift though.

Any ideas for a fitness gift in this price range???

That's it for me. Hope you found something useful.....
And don't forget to send me your ideas on a name for my weekly  "how-to" post. The contributor of the name I choose wins a $10 gift card to their choice of either Starbucks or Target!

Can't wait to read everyone's ideas & suggestions! 


Sunday, January 6, 2013


Hi Everyone,

I am so excited to have an awesome "Valentine's Freebie" for you all to teach estimation,
in a fun Way,
for Valentine's Day. 

I'm excited because I have been taking so much from all of you, and I vowed in my New Year's Resolution to start giving back.......And I'm excited because it is my first "REAL" design. I say "REAL" because although I have made numerous things for my classroom, I have done it drably in MSWord without cutesy clipart and cutesy fonts. 

I graciously thank all of you for your creations, inspiration, support, and tips, and for introducing me to the world of creativity!. I am happy to be able to provide this FREEBIE to you and I hope you will like it and be able to put it to use it in your classroom! :) 

Click Here for your FREEBIE!


Thursday, January 3, 2013


Okay, so I am just loving this blogging thing.......
don't know if that's a good thing.....or bad, because
I'm neglecting many other things I should be doing.....   :(   :)

Anyhow! It's been a blog crazy day for me. For those that have
been following my blog, you know that one of my resolutions was to change my blog design, because I was not happy with it and it didn't define me.
Well, if you noticed.....I changed still doesn't totally define me, but it's much better.....
so I'm moving up.....little by little. I definitely like it much better than my previous one.
I actually kinda REALLY like it!! I'm frugal and am trying to avoid paying for a template, although it would make me happy, this will do for now!!!

Problem that now my button and signature doesn't match.....AND,
WORSE of ALL......
the blogs I follow didn't transfer over to the new template......ugggghhh! :(

We're talking blogs that I value....blogs I have been inspired by and follow as often as I can.......and special ed blogs that are REALLY HARD to find!!!!

Does anyone know how to retrieve these w/o deleting my new template??? I did back up my old template before adding the new one, so the info should still be there.....
but I don't want to lose the new arrangements I've just placed in my new template either!!

And I must have spent hours making that button....and now can't remember how I did it!!

What to do??? 

Needed a new template, and it is growing on me.....certainly an improvement.....but prior to becoming impulsive.....
like an ADD person,
and searching new templates,
I was brainstorming a linky and some resources to share with all of you for a change, don't know how I got off track!
And now.....of course....
my buttons....and my favicon have to all match!!!

It'll come together sooner or later! 

before I delve myself back into this blogger trivia again.....I wanted to link up with Lisa at "Growing Firsties" thanks to "Confessions of a Teaching Junkie" and give a "SHOUT OUT" to a few blogs that have been inspirational to me over my winter break!!!! However......

I just realized I don't really meet the criteria for the rules of this linky.

This Linky Party has 3 components:

1. Link a post where you have given two shout outs to two bloggers that have inspired you. One blogger with fewer followers and one  with more followers than you. This seems obvious, but please make sure you give links to those inspiring posts/blogs so others can be inspired, too!

2. Please let the two bloggers you are shouting out know that you're doing so. Leave a comment on their blog - maybe on the post that inspired you or on their post dated closest to when you link up. They'll most likely want to know what it was that inspired you to give them a shout out. :)

3. We love Farley's "Rule of Three" which means that once you link up, please comment on the posts of the two previous bloggers that linked. Then, come back later and comment on the post of the blogger after your link.

So, I'm going to just "Shout out" to a few that have inspired me, w/o linking up because they deserve it and since I like to be a rule follower.

Thanks to these two blogs below for inspiring this post.............

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

Sunny Days in Second

SUNNY DAYS IN SECOND GRADE inspired with her new "Show-n-Tell-Tuesdays." Can't wait to follow this linky every week!!! She also shared her "Weekly Word Wizard" sheets and her "Calendar Task Cards" which are fabulous!!! 

Teaching With Moxie

TEACHING WITH MOXIE inspired me with her new blogger tips and shared her Sandy Hook gadget with me from Ruby Slippers! I was also reminded that she is the one that inspired me to make my pompom dry erase markers a few weeks ago.....when I could not remember who the idea came from. 

Teaching Maddeness

Teaching Maddeness was just a beautiful blog that not only hosts a linky for new bloggers, but her writing style and talent is just so inspiring! Also, love her "Clubhouse" Store. 


COLLABORATION CUTIES saved me alot of time and provided me with many insights on being a new blogger & how to receive and reply to blog comments via email!!! 

OK, OK, so maybe I will go ahead and link up anyway....
my husband HATES it when I use my "for 1,2,3,4, and so on"....
but you guys won't mind....that's another thing I love about blogging!!
For one.....
these teachers deserve the "shout out".....and Two....
I see many others breaking the rule..........
which I don't usually do....but hey, they say rules are meant to be broken, right????
And three....I need to link more traffic......
And four.....I need to show off my new blog design!

Gonna try to get my blog back in order as well as work on some things to share with you!!!

For those that returned to school today....hope you had a good day!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Liz over at "The Happy Teacher" is hosting a H-U-G-E New Year Giveway featuring over 70 items!! 

There's a chance to win.....
K-2 Math/ELA resources
3-5 Math/ELA resources
 & more!!!

Entries close on the 9th, so get over there and enter!! You can  get there by clicking {here}. Good Luck!!

What Did They Say!?

I've also decided to be the first to link up with "A TURN TO LEARN" and her new weekly linky party! I thought it would be fun to share.....and to read all of the funny things our kiddos say! I work with special needs sometimes my students say some really crazy, off-the-wall things!

The week before break....the one that sticks in my head and has made me chuckle on a whim....more than a couple times is:

One of my Autistic boys, clear out of the blue, says to one of my aides, "Do you have a husband?" When she said, "No." He said, "Well why don't you go get one?"

Look forward to reading your kid's silly comments! Here are the rules!

Rules for the Linky Party:
  1. Share a story that one of your kids said on your blog!  If you don't have a blog, leave a comment with your story!
  2. Use the HTML code at the top of this post to link back to the post!
  3. Comment on the two blog posts before yours!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Currently

I hope everyone had a safe & happy New Year's!!! Who's going back to school tomorrow??? Our break came really late this year, so we don't return 'til Monday, the 7th. For those going back tomorrow......I'll be thinking of you! link up with Farley's famous "Currently" over at Oh boy, fourth grade! 

My washing machine.....I believe is off balancel. It's been making this loud noise that I don't think is normal. It's not the clothing......I think it is sitting unlevel. 

I'm really loving that I still have five more days off of school!!! :) Who's going back to school tomorrow?

I made enchilada casserole for dinner.....I shouldn't have gone back for seconds. I'm feeling a little full right now!

I am still  CAMEOLESS!! Do you have a cameo and what have you made with it??

Doing pretty good with my winter break projects actually......but still have more to do. Time is quickly running out!!

My OLW......Blessed. I feel very blessed to have everything I have. 
I am blessed for my children,
my loving husband,
family & great friends, good health, 
my job, my home, food on the table. 
We all had a beautiful Christmas.....all together & safe..... and I feel very blessed for that. 

And that's my Currently......
Now if you haven't go link up here!


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