Sunday, February 24, 2013


Busy, busy weekend! So much to do.......
and it's already Sunday! Yikes! I'm spending entirely too much time on blogging and creating, that I'm not getting anything else done that I should be. But....oh well, I'm having fun! I say that I need to figure out a way to manage my time more wisely, but yea right?....That never happens, cause I always seem to find more things to do!

So before I give you your Sunday Blogging Tip......I will share my two freebies with you that have been tying up my time this weekend! 

 This was a quicky creation, but was much needed in my classroom, and has been on my to-do list! I teach a multi-level classroom, grades 1-5, and my two fifth graders are really struggling with place value. I will laminate this on cardstock and use a dry-erase marker to write in numbers so that these students can practice daily. 

You can get it at Math Monday Blog Hop or {here}.

This is the creation that took up so much of my time, but I am very happy with the ending results. I'm not completely satisfied with the cover, but it is the content that counts!! I have searched everywhere for photo cards to teach my beginning language kids two word labeling and have not been able to find what I need! So in the blogging world, I've learned........

If you can't find it.....create it!!! RIGHT?
So, I did just that! And they are just what I was looking for! 

When teaching kids beginning language, we teach them ball, cake, jet, dog, shoes, ice cream, cat, hat, soup, etc. and that's what we are supposed to do, but once they master one word labeling, we must then begin to teach them two word labeling. 

Ex. Rather than cake, teach them to label white or chocolate cake.
Rather than ball, teach them basketball, soccer ball, and football.
Rather than shoes, teach them boots and tennis shoes. 

You get the jist! With these photo cards, you can teach your students to differentiate between 42 different categories. There are  3 photo cards included for each category.
Classroom freebies

Now, for "Bloomin' Blogger Sundays".........

Today's tip will be how to add "Labels" to your blog! For the longest time, I saw this on other blogs and never knew how to do it! Now that I know, I will show you! Labels are much like an index. It makes it very easy for your readers to see the content of your blog and allow them to easily find what they are looking for.  

To Create Your Labels:

Step 1: After you write your post, click on "Labels." You will see it to the right of your post under "Post settings" as you see here>>

Step 2: Type in keywords to describe your post (e.g. Linky Party, giveaway, freebie, Currently, Addition, Fractions, St. Patrick's Day, etc.). Separate each with a comma. 

Step 3: Click done, then publish your post. 

That's're done!!

**Blogger will automatically store the labels you have used so that for future posts including the same labels, you will only have to click on them and will not have to type them in every time. 

**NOW.....this happened to me. If you notice that your labels are appearing underneath your post, but are not appearing in your sidebar labels, you will need to do this. 

Step 4: Click on the edit tool icon below your labels on your live blog page, or go to the "layout" of your blog design and click edit from there. The "configure labels" screen below will appear like the one below. Deselect "selected labels" by selecting "all labels." All of your labels will now automatically appear in your labels on your sidebar. 

Step 5: Optional--You can also choose from this window how you want your labels to look. You can choose "list" or "cloud," "alphabetically" or "by frequency," and whether you want to show the number of posts by each label. 

If you don't have the labels gadget in your sidebar, this is how you can add it. Go to:
>design (in the top right corner of your blog)
>layout (left sidebar)
>add a gadget

When the "add a gadget" screen appears, scroll down to labels. Click on it and add. 

Give it a title, and click save. 

You can hold down your cursor and drag the labels gadget where you want it positioned in your sidebar. 

I will be out of my class four days next week and be MIA! Yes, 4 days! I'm a little worried about that! I shouldn't be, because I have two fabulous aides and a great substitute coming in, but I just hate being away that many days! It should be worth it though......I'm attending a 4-day hands-on Autism training in Las Vegas. I am hoping to learn lots to bring back and share!  


Friday, February 22, 2013


Today has been a very somber day. I arrived at school this morning to hear that one of my teacher colleagues was killed last night in a car accident. His wife is also a teacher at my school and was not in the car with him. It has been a very sad day and will have some difficult times ahead of us in the following weeks.

The computer is always my escape because it always seems to take my mind off of things. I've been excited all week to link up and share 3 freebies with you this week. I tell ya, I'm becoming obsessed with this design stuff!! It's ADDICTING! I can't stop. I just want to keep designing one project after another! Now that I'm finally accumulating some clipart and fonts to work with, I must say that these are my best two creations yet! 

Freebie #1: Click {here}

Freebie #2: Click {here}

Freebie #3: Click {here}
This is a great activity for beginning writers. I have attempted to upload this as an editable version, so that you can type in the words of your choice (e.g. Today is Monday). I hope it opens for you as an editable document, as this is my first time attempting to do this. If not, let me know and I can try again....or you can always white out "type word here" and write your words in. Be sure to scramble the words you put in, so students have to unscramble them to form the sentence at the top. 

I hope you enjoy these freebies and can use at least one if not all three for your classroom! I would love for you to comment with any feedback! It would make my night!! :) 

Now for some fabulous giveaway (((shoutouts)))!!! 
Another fabulous find tonight for more freebies is "the school blog addict." I found this blog tonight through Freebie Friday.....and I love this blog!!!! Plus, she is the creator of Ashley Hughes Clipart, which is lovely by the way! 

She is also giving away this huge alphabet bundle right now!!!!

Another you definitely don't want to miss out on.........
the giveaway from "Learning with Mrs. Leeby.

Speaking of GIVEAWAY'S........I'm coming up on 100 followers very quickly........and was wondering if any of you out there are interested in supporting me in a giveaway!!! 

Oh, and one more thing........I just started "The Bender Bunch" facebook page lastnight! I'm still working on adding a link to my blog, but would love it if you checked out my page and "liked" it   {here}.

Freebie Fridays



Monday, February 18, 2013


Hi! I hope everyone is enjoying their extra day off.....if you have it off, that is. I saw that a few teachers are having Staff Development Day today.......on President's Day???

Our SDD is tomorrow, so the kids are having a 4-day weekend. Lucky for them!! My daughter gets the day off, but my son that attends k-12 virtual academy still has school. They don't have SDD's. 

I was so excited when Cindy from "Love2Learn2Day" left me a comment Saturday on my ten frames and linked them up on her Math Monday Blog Hop!! Thanks Cindy! If you're looking for Math ideas, or have math ideas of your own, this is your one-stop blog! 

Thanks for the inspiration Cindy to get these dice done lastnight. I'm linking up my dice today with Cindy and also at Classroom Freebies

Specifically, I made these dice to help my students learn to identify the dots on a dice without counting the dots, just like on my ten frames. Hopefully this will lead to them also doing this with their fingers. I briefly flash the card to my students and they will have to tell me how many and how they knew that. 

I made them in two colors so that they can also be used for matching, adding, and subtraction activities. As I did with the ten frames, I will cut these out, laminate them, and put them on a ring. 

The ten frames and dice are the beginning to building base ten knowledge for students. 

You can go {here} to get this for FREE!

Also, don't forget to visit Holly at Criss Cross Applesauce in First Grade for a HUGE Giveaway blog hop! Little time left....the giveaways started ending today and will continue to end throughout the week!

Another great giveaway is going on over at Ruby Slippers! She is giving away a blog design!!!! I have so been wanting a custom blog design! What a fabulous giveaway!

---Edit--- Quick edit husband just reminded me that today is our wedding anniversary!!! 19 years! So Happy Anniversary to me! Unusual when the man remembers and the woman forgets! Gotta Love That!! :)


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Welcome back to BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS where every Sunday you can drop by for a blogging tip or two! This week I have two blogging tips for you. I will show you how to insert your blog link directly into your comments.....and because I just figured out today myself how to schedule this weekly ongoing post to post at midnight on Sunday mornings, I will go ahead and throw that tip in as well!!

**edit**** Change of plans....despite the fact of just figuring how to schedule this to post tomorrow, I'm going to go ahead and post this a day early, because I don't want to delay shouting out about the 31 giveaways below.....and in all honesty, I need the URL of this post to earn my entries for these 31 giveaways, :) But first.....your blogging tips. 

Inserting a link to your blog into your comments is SUPER easy! 

This is all you do! Copy & paste the code below to the bottom of your comment before posting. This is what mine looks like. Make sure you change the text I have highlighted to show your blog address and your blog name. 

 <a href="">The Bender Bunch</a>

That's it! Easy, right??

Scheduling a post to post at a specific time and date is just as easy!!

After you compose your post, over to the right of the page you will see a list that looks like this: 

  Click on
>set date and time 

Select your date and time, and click done, then publish. 

That's it! Your post will now automatically post at the the specific time and date you have chosen! 

Now you know how bloggers follow through on getting their featured posts up in such a timely manner and that they aren't just sitting at their computers at midnight.....which is what I used to think! I love now that I can type up my Bloomin' Blogger Sundays posts now beforehand.....when I have the time, and schedule them to post on Sundays at midnight, so they are available first thing on Sunday morning for those of you that may be following this Sunday post!!! 

**Please note: I am using the most recent blogger platform, so if you are using an older version of blogger, these directions may be a little different. 

I hope you found these tips useful for your blogging! Please feel free to send me any suggestions for future Bloomin' Blogger Sundays posts if there is something you would like to learn how to do. 

Before I go, I must share a JACKPOT of  fabulous giveaway finds!!

First, I found Holly's giveaway at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade!

And then.....found that she has also been hosting a giveaway linky showcasing 29 other giveaways going on right now!!! One blog....30 giveaways!! How cool is that! 

Another giveaway I found today that is not listed above is from Brenda at Primary Inspired. She is hosting an 800 follower giveaway!!!! Be sure to stop over and enter!!! She is giving away 3 awesome prize packs!!


BLOG ON..........and happy Sunday! Hopefully you also have a 3-day weekend for President's Day! :)

Friday, February 15, 2013


I'm linking up with FREEbie Friday today to share my ten frames with you! I cut mine out, laminated them, and put them on a ring. These will work well for teaching your students how to quickly identify 1-10 without counting. I show each one briefly to my students and they have to tell me "how many" and how they knew. 

The set includes 10 frames and displays counters for 1-10. This is a preview of only two of the ten frames. 
You can go {here} to get these!

Freebie Fridays


Monday, February 11, 2013


Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a good Monday! If not, stop by Classroom Freebies and it is sure to cheer you up. There are almost 70 freebies posted there for you to grab. 

Also, after you're done at Classroom Freebies, be sure to check out this fantabulous giveaway that Aimee is hosting over at Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks. Tons and tons of great stuff being given away!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Since testing is approaching all of us......I'm sharing my testing signs with you. 

You can go {here} to grab these!

I also have an "adding with cubes" freebie for you! 
You can get it {here}.

Be sure to hop over to Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday and grab a FREEbie.....or link up your own. If you link up, don't forget to follow Charity's rule and comment to the two freebies before you! Hurry.....linky closes in a little over an hour!!

Happy Manic Monday! 


Sunday, February 10, 2013


It's time for "Bloomin' Blogger Sundays" again. Thanks for stopping by! 

Per the request of a fellow blogger, today I will show you how to add a blogroll to your blog and give you some tips on choosing the style of your blogroll.  

So if you're really new to blogging, you may not know....what exactly is a blogroll? 

A blogroll is a list of links to blogs that the blogger likes. It is usually included in the blog's sidebar. Some bloggers divide blogroll into categories. For instance, since I am a special ed teacher, I have mine divided into two categories....regular ed blogs and special ed blogs. 

While my blogroll makes it convenient for me to hop to my other favorite blogs quickly, it is also a great traffic driving tool. With each blogroll that your blog is listed the possibility that readers will click over to your blog. I have found many great blogs by using blogrolls from my other favorite blogs. I figure if it is on their blogroll, it must be a blog worth visiting. 

To add your blogroll.........

Step 1: From your blog webpage, go to design (located in the top right hand corner of your blog)

Step 2: On the left hand side of the page, click on layout. This will open up the layout of your blog. 

Step 3: Choose "add a gadget" from the left or right side of your layout depending where you want your blogroll and the design of your blog. 
Note: If you have a 3-column layout, you can choose to add it on the left or right side. If you have a 2-column layout, you will be limited to one side. 

Step 4: In the "add a gadget" window that will now be open, scroll down to "Blog List" and click on it. 

The "Configure Blog List" window will open that looks like this. Here you will customize how you want your blogroll to look. 

Step 5: In this window, give your blogroll a title

Step 6: In sort, choose to display your bloglist alphabetically or by most recently updated. 

Step 7: Choose how you want your blogroll to show by checking  the boxes of your choice.
The picture above shows exactly how I have customized my bloglist. If you like the way my blogroll looks, then select the same boxes as I have above. I have displayed mine a couple of different ways and like my current display the best. As you can see.....
I have checked...... 
title of most recent item, and 
date of last update. (See tips below for why I chose this display)

Step 8: At the bottom of the "configure blog list" window, click on "add a blog to your list." 

Step 9: In this window, select "add url" to add blogs individually by their blog address. Or select "blogs I'm following." If you select "blogs I'm following," a list of the blogs you're following will appear and you will place a check mark next to each blog you want to appear in your list. 

Step 10: Click add
Your blogroll will now appear in your sidebar in your layout screen. You may have to hold your cursor down on the gadget (blogroll) and drag it to where you want it positioned in your sidebar. 


Tip 1: When choosing the way your blogroll will display, I highly suggest choosing to display the "title of  most recent posts" and "date of last update" because this allows you to quickly skim your blogroll for posts that may interest you and you never miss out on linky parties, giveaways, or freebies. 

By choosing the date of last update, you can see how recent they made the post. I like this because for example....if the title of their post is a "giveaway" or a "linky party", but they posted it 3 months ago, then I know the giveaway or linky is most likely over and I won't waste my time visiting that post. It also indicates how long ago they last posted. 

Tip 2: If you don't like the way your blogroll looks, 
>follow steps 1 and 2 above, 
>scroll down to your blogroll in the sidebar
> click edit. 
The configure blog list window will open and you can change your design. Play around with it until you get it the way you like it. 

Tip 3: Any time you want to add a new blog to your blogroll, follow tip #2 above to open the "configure blog list" window and follow steps 7 and 8. 

Tip 4: If you would like to put your blogroll into categories as I do, you will need to complete all of the steps above to create a separate blogroll for each category as each will have a different title. 

Enjoy your new blogroll! If you need further assistance with this, please comment below and I will try my best to assist you. 

If you have suggestions for future "Bloomin' Blogger Sundays," feel free to send them to me. 

Have a great Sunday!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Hi! I'm so excited to be featured today on Amanda's BUDDING BLOGGER SHOWCASE SERIES over at "Teaching Maddeness!" 
Thanks Amanda! 
I love her blog.....she has alot of great things going on.
If you didn't find me through her sure to visit her and read my featured post!! 
If you did find me through her featured post....thanks for hopping over!

I hope you will be able to use this FREEbie that all of you inspired me to make lastnight. I am new to design, but if I must say so myself......
I'm getting better!!!

You can go {here}to get the Freebie!


Monday, February 4, 2013


So excited to link up with Tara for Monday Made It again..........especially since it is only once a month now. I am getting so many fabulous ideas and goodies from all of you wonderful bloggers out there! It has truly been very inspiring! I have become obsessed with making things! 

Here are a few of the things I have been making.

First, I made these computer log on cards for my students. With all of our programs, the students log in with their name and their student #. The log on cards I had before were not working so well because the font was too small. They were also very flimsy and printed on regular paper. These are much larger and on laminated card stock. I spaced each number so that the students can follow each number easily when typing it in on the keypad.

1-10 Valentines Count & Match

These are heart die cuts from Carson Dellosa that I just happened to find when going through some of my junk last week. For the dots I used a hole puncher. I had a pic for you of the whole set, but accidentally deleted it........that's typical of me. Me & technology are not the best of friends!

I have one student that cannot seem to master her math facts no matter what I do! So I made these for her nightly homework practice......let's see if this works! Click {here} to grab these!

Magic Money Pictures Center Folders

I love these! What a fun idea from Karla @ "The Connected Teacher." As students count the money in each rectangle, they color in that amount on the mystery sheet to reveal a picture when they're done!
Karla uses them in sheet protectors, but as you can see, I made them into center folders. I used green folders from Office Max and laminated them. Students will color in the mystery picture with a dry erase marker. I have been using these for a couple of weeks and it has really motivated my students to learn money.

Winter Fun Count & Match

This is too cute! And came from Amy @ 3am Creations. She has some wonderful creations! I was able to get it free from Freebie Friday, but it is available at her TpT store for only $2.00. Go {here} to get it. Even though you're getting away from winter themes now, you can get it for next year! Students count the buttons & match to the correct number. Although I did not design these......there was some assembly required. Cut, fold, glue, & laminate to end up with your cute little matching cards. I then put them in coin envelopes like below for my centers. I prefer these over baggies and use them for everything that will fit and they come in many sizes!

A cute Valentine poem to give your students for a "No Homework Day!"

Last, I put together four more math centers!
If you haven't visited, you need to! This site is loaded with free hands-on math centers! I just print them on cardstock, laminate them, and place them in a folder with the required manipulatives in a baggie that I staple inside the folder.

Oh, I almost forgot to show you one other thing I made! My "BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS" button.

This is a weekly blog post where every Sunday I post a tip or how-to for new bloggers. Stop by and check it out! 

Well that concludes my Monday Made It. Can't wait to see what everyone else has been making!!