Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TpT Sellers Challenge Week 3 - Create Your Masterpiece

Third week of TpT sellers challenge is here! And it is fabulous! It provided me with a chance to show you what I've been doing lately. Hopefully it's something you can use in your classroom!

 My classes always get so excited to track their progress and to see those boxes filled with stickers! That's what I thought to make a unit around this poster chart. It is a great tool for the teacher not only for the motivation it inspire in students, but also because by a simple look, you can see who needs extra support.

This package contains all you need to start the school year motivating your students to learn their sight words. It is EDITABLE. Once it's assembled it measures approximately 22" by 25". It is made by gluing together six sections, printed on 6 letter-size pages (landscape orientation).

Use the poster this way: Type your students’ names, print, and assemble. Tip: once it's assembled, paste to bulletin board paper to make it stand out. As students start to lean more and more sight words, they earn stickers (I use those stars from the dollar store) that they place themselves on the poster by their name. In my classroom, when students earn 5 stars (20 sight words), they pick a prize from the treasure chest, but this is up to you.

Also includes:
  • Hand-outs for parents with four lists of sight words (editable, just type the sight words from your school district). In our district, the sight words are divided in four quarters. If this format is different from your school, please contact me and I will be very happy to adjust it to your needs
  • List of activities and games parents can play with their children to help them learn the words (included).

  • Recording/assessment sheets. Use these when assessing by checking off the words they recognize. Send this report home so parents know what words they need to work on (it has the words from my district, but you can edit this accordingly).

  •  List of challenging activities for those children who have already learned the sight words. Many times these children can quickly recognize the words while reading, but they cannot spell them correctly when they write, so these activities are helpful with that area.

  •    Incentive cards (half page, color and B&W). You can give these to students if you want them to have at hands a way of tracking their learning, besides the poster. This is something they can keep at their desk or in their folders. When they learn 5 sight words they get a sticker they can place on one of the boxes, until all the boxes are filled.

  •  4 different certificates (half page), color and B&W (editable, just type students name and date).

 Like I said, this is a great tool to motivate your students, but also it motivates me to have my whole class reach their potential. Even my low expectancy students have in the past reached the 50 mark, and passed it. When I look at the poster and see some students with only a few stars, it tells me I have to do something about it. I never give up! So, I start looking for additional ways to help these students. For instance, I send sets of laminated flash cards  home. I ask my high students who already know the sight words to practice with their peers who need extra support. When I have middle school students coming to volunteer in my class, guess what? I have them to pull my students and help them with sight words flash cards or games. Additionally, I add more sight word activities to our literacy centers; assign sight word targeted activities in our computer program (we use Destination Success); and look for different resources, such as videos, songs, anything that target the sight words they have difficulty with. Above all, I keep a closer eye on these students to ensure that they make progress, even if it's slow, it's okay as long as they are moving forward. 

Of course, sometimes there is something else going on, like learning disabilities, and don't I know that! As a mother of a dyslexic boy, I know that sometimes sight word recognition is painful for kids like my son. The key is looking for multisensory materials and resources. In my son's case, he was able to recognize sight words by focusing in just a few at the time, and using letter tiles to spell the words. Nowadays they are great apps for sight words, and so many computer games. The progress these kids make is painfully slow sometimes, but it is progress, and I take that! Even if it takes them longer, I don't care as long as they get there!

As always, thank you for reading! Enjoy your week!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for a Damp-Clothes-Friday with a Broken Dryer!

We finally made it to Friday! This week my dryer died on us, RIP. Back to the old times, hanging the clothes outside to dry! Seems like every summer something goes bad! Last summer was the AC, talking about an unexpected expense! So, we've been shopping around for a drier, and considering if we should go ahead and replace the washer too, as probably will soon quit too. Appliances nowadays are not built to last much longer than five years (if you are lucky), and our washer and drier are hitting the nine year mark, at least! Not sure yet what we are going to do, but we'll have to make a decision soon.

I went back to the dentist to finish my root canal, and I'm still sore, so I'm taking Advil, trying to feel a little better. Also yesterday was my scheduled annual mammogram, another one of my least favorites things to do. I'm telling you, this week has not been any fun at all with all the squeezing,  and drilling!

 Good thing yesterday I received my T-shirt, which I absolutely love! Got it from A+ Images http://teachershirts.com/ Isn't it super cute?

Among other things I've been working on a Sight Word Poster. It's not ready yet, as I'm still doing the final polishing touches, but this is how it looks:
This is a newer and much cuter version of what I have used in the past. Although it might seem small in this picture, it's actually 22" by 25". It is made with 6 pages (landscape orientation). Since it is editable, you can type your students' names before printing.
Every five words students can recognize, they earn a sticker that they paste by their name. (I use those little stars they sell in the dollar store). Every 20 words, they can pick something from our treasure chest.
I can't tell you how well this has worked with my all classes so far. Children just love to track their accomplishments. Even my lower expectation students have been able to reach 50 sight words and above by the end of the year. This is also a tool for me, just by looking at the poster, I immediately know who I need to provide extra support to. So, I could say this is an incentive for me as well, as I want ALL my students to reach their potential.
Of course this package will include much more than the poster. I'm also working on editable sight word lists to send home, with list of activities that they can do at home, incentive cards, certificates, etc. I hoping to finish it by this weekend. Stay tuned!

Lastly, I am extremely excited and full of expectations about tonight's soccer game between Argentina and Colombia. We are reaching the semi-finals, so it would be the end of the road for the losing team. I'm originally from Argentina, so I'm really hoping that Leo Messi pulls his magic, and makes us winners! But I am a little nervous, as Colombia has an excellent team as well. It starts 7:30 ET, Yay!

As always, thank you for reading! Have a marvelous weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream.... It's free!

Second week of TpT Sellers Challenge!
This week is all about dreaming big, after all it's free right?
What things  do you dream to do or what places  do you dream to go with the help of your TpT business?
Let me tell you, I have so many dreams! However, if I would have to narrow it down to three, I think they would be:

My first dream is not really for me....it's for my son who dreams about signing up for this soccer camp at FC Barcelona, one of the best soccer clubs in Spain, recently winners of three cups. Maybe you heard of it. Famous soccer players such as Messi (from Argentina), Neymar (from Brazil), and Suarez (from Uruguay) are part of this team, just to name a few.
Every summer they host a two-week soccer camp for kids, all day training with some of the best coaches you can ask for. Of course, it's not cheap. And of course, he could not go by himself, he is only 15, so the three of us have to go. Besides Barcelona is such a beautiful city, we have to go!

My second dream is to have our own swimming pool! Who wouldn't like that!? Specially if you live in Florida, where you can enjoy the pool pretty much year round. We have access to the community pool, but you know it's not the same as to have it in your own backyard.
Wouldn't look great? Yep...that would be me, LOL!

My third dream I think it's every parent's dream: to be able to pay for your kids college.
So there you have it...my three dreams. We are so lucky that dreaming doesn't cost a thing!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five for Friday - Weekly Linky Party

This is my second week participating of this Linky party, and I want to tell you...I really have been giving this Five for Friday a lot of thought. Hope somebody is reading, because really, I've even been  taking quick notes during the week about what to write on Friday. So, lets begin:

This week had a terrible, awful, the worst beginning I could possible imagine! I am sorry to be the carrier of such catastrophic news, but (if you haven't watched the latest episode of Games of Thrones **BIG TIME SPOILER ALERT**: Jon Snow died! I'm still shocked, mourning his loss, as he will be terribly missed!! I just can't believe it!
If you haven't figured it out yet, among other TV shows, I'm also a fan of Game of Thrones, and last Sunday aired the season finale, which like I said was catastrophic! Jon Snow was one of my favorite characters, and now he's gone! What's going to happen with Ghost, his pet wolf?! Who is going to save Westeros from the white walkers?! So many questions...and we won't know the answers any time soon, unless you read the books, of course.

For my number two however, things started to look pretty good this week with the Copa of America: Argentina won against Uruguay, with one goal by Kun Aguero! And what a goal!! Fortunately, if you missed it, you can watch it here:

 I just started using a new Wen hair product which I haven't tried before. I've been a "Wen Girl" for almost two years now, but I really love this new Mandarin Italian Fig Restorative Cleansing Conditioner. Not only smells like heaven must smell, but also I feel my hair feels so good. I live in Florida, and since I use Wen my hair is not frizzy (which with the humidity here, it's really a lot to say!), or dry, and it remains clean longer. Chaz Dean says that friends don't let other friends to use shampoo, so if you are still using it, I would really recommend to give Wen a try. My hair's texture has completely changed since I started using it: that's one thing about these products, you see and feel the difference right from the first use. I will never go back to washing with shampoo! I even bring it with me when I go to the hair salon, so they can wash my hair with it.

Two of my students were on the local news this week! Apparently some of their videos on YouTube went viral, millions of people have already watched them. They are brothers, and they happened to be in my kindergarten class a few years back, first Braeden and then Bennet. They are so cute and absolutely adorable, that I am no surprised at all that so many people watched their videos:  Port-St-Lucie-children-on-a-viral-video Awwww! Aren't they?!Very smart kids, super nice family, I really miss them!

I started slowly to give a fresh look to several of my products on TpT, thanks to the Makeover challenge proposed by TeachCreateMotivate. This is the first update I made to one of my bestsellers:

The Free Sample, also got a face lift:

But this was just the beginning....see? this opened a can of worms, because now I feel like all my products need some updating.
Look at this:

And there is more....but I don't want to bore you with my new project...Yes indeed, I have a HUGE summer project in my hands. What about you?

As always, thanks for reading! Until next post!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 1 - Makeover Madness!

Yay! This is awesome!! I'm participating in this new challenge presented to TpT Sellers, and I think is going to be so much fun!

When I learned about the challenge for this week, I knew immediately what product was going to be the lucky one. This is my first choice. I picked my Kindergarten Homework Calendar because every time I see the front cover I shiver...It really needed a make over! It's one of the most popular items in my store, and recently, after so many requests, I finally made it editable.

Since I fixed this cover, I had to do the Free Sample as well. Can you even read the old cover that says Free Sample in red? That old cover really had to go!

I think this challenge opened a can of worms! Now I have to start updating all my items!
We'll see...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Did someone say Field Trip?

Is it just me, or you too get a little bit of a headache as soon as there is a field trip on the horizon?
I love field trips, don't get me wrong! Having the opportunity to get out of the classroom and break the routine to do something different and fun it's really awesome, but it's so much to do and to think about before we can even get one foot on that bus. Tell me about it! Collecting money, writing receipts, permission slips, who can chaperone, who is going to bring lunch from home, who is going to need lunch from school, who needs medicine to bring along, things to bring on the trip, what if someone gets lost???
Well, one way to make things run a little more smoothly it's to keep it organized. With that in mind, I started working on this package a while ago, and I just finished it today. And the best thing is that is on sale for $1, just for today!

Here is a preview:

This package includes:
- Variety of class checklists to keep track of students attending, permission slips, money collected, chaperones, emergency information, etc. (provided in black and white and full color).

- Don’t forget to bring list (black and white, and full color). Editable: you may need different things for different field trips, so you can just edit accordingly.

- “If I get lost” tags (full color) Compatible with Avery labels 8164 (prints 6 per page). However, you don’t have to print on adhesive labels. You can print on regular paper or card stock, laminate, and you have your tags. They are editable so you can type the school name and your phone number before printing.
- Activities for before and after the field trip.
- Letter to send home (editable).
- Full color covers for your Field Trip Binder. I’ve included several choices. These are also editable, so you can type your name.

Well, hopefully your next field trip (and mine!) will be much less stressful, and much more enjoyable and memorable! 

Thanks for reading!