Sunday, March 30, 2014

Six Giveaways!!! Oh My!

Have you entered the fabulous giveaway over at "The Learning Chambers?" Stephanie is celebrating her new blog makeover and is giving away prizes from 20 great bloggers.....including me!!!!

I'm so excited to be a part of Stephanie's giveaway! And you can enter right here on my blog to win this bundle that features my "All About Ants" unit. 

This bundle also includes other awesome products from Owl be in Kindergarten, One Sassy Teacher, and Mrs. Richardson's Class. 

K-2 LA and Science Bundle 

But this is just one of the five amazing bundles you could win! So be sure to head over to Stephanie's blog to check out her new blog design and enter the other giveaways!

I'm also hosting a giveaway!
Enter here to win a free 3-month subscription to the book app, Farfaria!!

Click {here} to read my review of Farfaria!

Happy Sunday! Two more weeks 'til spring break!! 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Easter Rhyming Freebie & Giveaway!

Happy Friday!!!! 
I have an Easter Rhyming Freebie to share with you and a Giveaway!!

Download {here}.

Freebie Fridays

I'm also giving away TWO 3-month subscriptions to Farfaria; a children's book app!!

You can read my Farfaria review {here} or scroll down to my previous post to learn more about this awesome book app I'm using in my classroom!

Enter Here!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

FARFARIA Book App Review & Giveaway!

Are you looking for ways to engage your students in storytime? Do you use children's book apps for storytime?? Do you pay $$money$$ for every book you download? If you answered yes to any of these, then you definitely need to check out "Farfaria." 

Farfaria recently contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in doing a review of their app in exchange for a free subscription. Duh, a free subscription! Well, yeah!!!! We all know how much teachers love FREE stuff! Not to mention, it was perfect because I recently began doing daily storytime in my classroom using digital books on the ipad and was getting frustrated that everyone kept teasing us with a few free book downloads and then wanted money!!! Heck, we're teachers......we can't afford to pay for that! Just let our kids read!!! Right?!

I've been using Farfaria now in my classroom for daily storytime and I cannot tell a fib.....I LOVE it! I cannot think of one complaint. Let me just cut to the grind!

There are 11 genres you can choose from!

Here's a peak at "Genius Jungle" of the favorites in my classroom!
However, their most favorite and mine too....has been "Sing Along City."
I just love all the sing along books in this genre! I'll never have to search for songs again! They're all right here!

Once you choose your book, there are 3 options to choose from......Auto play which plays the audio book page by page automatically, read to me which lets children turn the pages, or read myself. You can read it now, or tap the blue button at the top of page and save to your favorites. As you can see, the Sharks book above is labeled in the lower right corner as a level 4 reader! I love that all the books are labeled by reading level.
I also love that you can search books by most popular, A-Z order, newest, or by reading level using the light blue tabs you see under the books. Again......super user-friendly!!!

Whats even more awesome is...........

*Farfaria has over 600 books in their library, with 5 new stories being added each week.
*It is very user-friendly
*There are 4 reading levels to choose from
*You can save books to Your Favorites for off-line reading
*You can pay nothing and still download & read one story a day for FREE

I've tried Reading Rainbow, MeeGenius, NOOK kids, and couple other book apps, but Farfaria is my new favorite and most likely the only book app program I will use again.....unless I need a book they don't offer! 

When compared to these other book apps; I like Reading Rainbow, but they want $10 a month to access their books,  MeeGenius charges $5 a month or $2.99 a book, and NOOK is not only complicated as heck to navigate; taking up valuable time....they also charge per book! I love that with Farfaria, I don't have to do a book search beforehand or before writing my lesson plans and load books onto my bookshelf! When it's storytime I simply open my ipad and the Farfaria app on my Smartboard, choose a student to come up and choose a book, and we are enjoying a good book within a couple seconds. 

I use the apple "Dongle" to display my ipad onto my Smartboard. I've also noticed a huge increase in student engagement during storytime since we began utilizing books on the ipad. 

Now you may be much is a subscription to Farfaria! Farfaria only charges $3.99 a month for unlimited access to their entire library and it is so well worth it!!! But lucky for you, they are generously GIVING AWAY a 3-MONTH FREE SUBSCRIPTION with unlimited access to TWO of you! Just enter the rafflecopter below!

You will love this app! Good Luck!!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Field Trip & An Ant Study

It has been a busy day! We went on our field trip today! We went to In & Out Burger, the Courthouse, and then the Police Station. We had such a blast and the kids were so well behaved! I was so proud of them! We practiced yesterday how to act and even used a play cash register to practice ordering and paying for our food! I didn't even care that there was a mile long line behind us today.....and neither did the awesome In & Out Associates. We let each student go up individually, order, pay, and get their own number. It was great practice for the kids and always surprising to find how many students have never ordered for themselves because their parents always do it for them! 

And we're off!
Thanks Silver Rider for transporting us around for free of charge!

In & Out Burger gave all the kids hats and stickers!

The kids all got to sit on the Judge's throne and stamp the gavel, while saying, "Order in the court."

The students inside a jail cell!
The kids covering their noses shows you just how stinky it was in there! They definitely don't want to go there again.

One of my students getting shackled!

The students all got bags of goodies from the officers!

All the students got to sit in the police car and press the sirens and lights!
BIG FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're also about to have some ant fun! Our ants should be arriving any day and my Ant Unit is ready for them! I know scary thought, right?! Ants in the classroom.......yikes!!! Many of my students are with me for 6 years (K-5), so I have to change it up each year. We've done ladybugs and butterflies a couple times, so I decided to change it up this year with an anthill from Insect Lore. All of their other live insect kits have worked perfectly, with no mishaps, so I hope the same will be true with this one! 

You can purchase your own anthill {here}

Here's a preview of my Ant Unit!

It is currently discounted in my TpT store! You can check it out {here}

Also, be sure to stop back tomorrow! I'll be doing a review for the children's book app "Farfaria" and will be giving away a free 3 month subscription to TWO lucky winners!!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Made It

I was so excited to see that Tara had her Monday Made It up, because I just finished this yesterday!

Inspired by a previous MMI post....that I cannot remember who from. If it was you or you know who it was let me know so I can give credit. 

On my to do list for several months now, it is finally complete and I just LOVE it! I can't stop looking at!

The lettering and the clock mechanism both came from Amazon. The frames were purchased from both Dollar Tree and Walmart.
That's it for me this time, but before I go......

Have you heard about the Lots of Socks campaign for World Downs Syndrome Day?? Scroll down to my previous post to read more about it and find out how you can win an Amazon gift card by participating! 

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amazon Giveaway & A Freebie

Friday is World Downs Syndrome Day (WDSD). It's on 3/21 each year!!! The date for WDSD was chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Downs syndrome.  

This year's campaign is to raise awareness is called "Lots of Socks." We are hoping that everyone will wear "lots of socks" on Friday to help increase an awareness and spread the word about WDSD. 

You can wear lots of socks, one sock, colorful socks, or maybe even three socks to represent the 3 chromosomes!

To help spread awareness, I'm giving away a $21 gift card to Amazon!!!

WDSD Lots of Socks Contest!

How to enter:

1. Participate in the "Lots of Socks" campaign on 3/21.
2. Post a picture of you, your family, your kids, OR your students wearing lotsa socks to my Facebook page {here} by midnight (PST) on March 22nd. 

Extra Entry - Earn an extra entry into the contest by pinning the button above and leaving a link to your pin in the comments!

A winner will be chosen and announced on March 23rd. 

Even if you're not participating in the sock campaign, you can still help spread awareness by pinning the button and/or sharing this on your blog, with friends, or on your social media sites! Thanks in advance for helping to get the word out there!

Have you got your leprechaun dust ready for tomorrow??

Well since I haven't posted a freebie in awhile and I don't have any great finds to share with you today for my "Great Finds Sunday," I have a cute last minute freebie you can do with your students tomorrow. 

Kids are amazed to see how this magic dust turns green when they add milk....and even more amazed to see that it has little nuggets of gold in it! 

If you don't have a jar, baggies work just fine! Just be sure NOT to let your kiddos see the pudding box. 

I also have my kids say this magic chant......

"Leprechaun, Leprechaun
Never to be seen,
Make me colors
Turn to green."

Download {here}

This recipe and label are from my classroom leprechaun kit and it is 50% off today. 

Have a great day!!!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wear Lotsa Socks on WDSD & Win an Amazon Gift Card

Did you know that Friday is National Downs Syndrome Day (WDSD)? It's on 3/21 each year!!! The date for WDSD was chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Downs syndrome. 

On this day, people with Down syndrome and those that work and live with Down syndrome people throughout the world participate in activities to increase public awareness and to create a voice for advocating for their rights and well-being. 

This year's campaign is called "Lots of Socks." We are hoping that everyone will wear "lots of socks" on Friday to help increase an awareness and spread the word about WDSD. 

You can wear lots of socks, one sock, colorful socks, or maybe even three socks to represent the 3 chromosomes!

To help spread awareness, I'm giving away a $21 gift card to Amazon!!!

WDSD Lots of Socks Contest!

How to enter:

1. Participate in the "Lots of Socks" campaign on 3/21.
2. Post a picture of you, your family, your kids, OR your students wearing lotsa socks to my Facebook page {here} by midnight (PST) on March 22nd. 

Extra Entry - Earn an extra entry into the contest by pinning the button below and leaving a link to your pin in the comments!

A winner will be chosen and announced on March 23rd. 

Looking forward to seeing LOTSA socks and spreading awareness for Downs Syndrome! For more info, you can visit the WDSD website {here}.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Amazing Day with Science, Gardening, & Leprechauns

I am so excited!!! What a great day it has been! First off, I finished my NV Alternate Testing up........I can breathe! I don't know if any of you administer the alternate assessments with your students, or what the alternate assessments are like in other states.....but in NV we have to record and videotape them, not to mention deal with a bazillion materials. Here are some of the materials I had to have just for the Science assessment:

a real apple, plastic apple
a real orange, plastic orange
a real table, a toy table
a toy horse
a real flower, silk flower
a hat
a toy boat
3 water bottles--one full, one empty, one 1/2 full
a cup full of paper clips
a cup full of rocks
a cup full of cotton balls
two small boxes--one empty, one with small gadgets

And they don't send any of these materials....we have to gather them ourselves. Needless to say, I'M DONE and oh what a relief it is!!!

The other exciting news that I'm SUPER excited about is that one of my Autistic students got approved today for in-home therapy sessions....40 hours a month....paid for by the district!!!! Yeah! That's right! An outside agency partnered with The Lovaas Center and Autism Partnership will be going into the home and providing this child with social/behavioral/communication therapy intervention. 

I am so excited to be able to obtain this amazing opportunity for her as her parents have not been able to afford additional therapy. This is probably one of my biggest educational accomplishments I've achieved during my teaching career! Thrilled beyond words! You just gotta dig down deep and find those resources! 

So yes, it's been an AMAZING DAY!!!!!

We also started our rocky candy today that will be ready to eat for St. Patrick's Day! If you've made it before, then you know it takes about 4-5 days to make. 

Super easy though, just a waiting process! This makes it all the more fun for the kids though, as they get to watch the process and see the changes taking place each day!

We also did a little spring planting today! 

If you were a reader of my blog last year around this time, then you may remember the cute little garden we had right outside our classroom door last year!
This year I moved classrooms and had to give up my garden bed.   :( So was so perfect and probably the only downfall of the new classroom! There is no place for a garden bed near my new room, which is why you see us above planting in containers this year. Oh well, we will have our garden regardless....and it's portable! The kids just love it so much and it really brightens up the school!

Well if you're still planning your St. Patty's Day and want a visit from a Leprechaun, check out my newly posted Leprechaun Kit!

 Just like the "Elf on a Shelf" tradition, but with a Leprechaun! Includes everything you'll need for a fun-filled day of Leprechaun mischief. Check it out {here}.

Until next time..............

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