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Little thing = Big Difference

Stop!!! Before you read this post please watch the video above. It's my MOTTO this next school year.
It's the little things we do that make a BIG difference in the World. It really speaks to me. It's what sparked my idea for happy notes and ordering the seeds of happiness. I can't wait to start spreading smiles around my town and the blogging world. I also signed up for the SLANT box exchange.  I'm so excited!!! Have you?
The SLANT Box Exchange

SLANT- Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers

Look what arrived yesterday! I have little apple seeds of happiness. They are for sale or you can win a pack of three by commenting below. 

Here's the idea behind the seeds:

Seeds of Happiness was born out of an act of kindness. Mark Borella, a sculptor, created small smiley faces from left-over lumps of clay. He gave these to his friends whose young son was dying of cancer. He told them: I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better so I thought I would bring you some smiles to help you get your smile back. I call them Seeds of Happiness. Sharing the Smiles continues to grow as our customers plant Seeds around the world.

These are my two favorite kindness stories.

When "One-of-a-Kind”is laughed at by Purple for being weird and Green playfully calls One a klutz after tripping on the stairs, is the Tease Monster to blame? With words of wisdom from Mom about the Tease Monster, One discovers that teasing is part of life. And not all teasing is the same. One learns that laughing at someone (mean teasing)has a hurtful bite, but laughing with someone is alright when it's not done out of spite. This the newest book in the Building Relationships series by Julia Cook.

PreSchool-Grade 2-On the way to the bus, a little girl smiles brightly at a young man sitting on a park bench. He has recently lost his job and is feeling discouraged, but Katie's smile inspires him to start looking for a new one. The young man in turn helps a woman change her flat tire; the woman, feeling grateful, leaves a large tip for a waitress; the waitress uses the tip to buy food for a picnic for her children, and they invite another family to share with them; etc., etc., etc. In the end, Katie and the man are reunited when he has a new position as a mechanic and repairs her mother's car. This enables the child to attend her grandfather's birthday party. The purpose of the story is to show how even the smallest act of kindness can powerfully impact the lives of others, but the events seem manipulated. Also, the waitress's tip enables her to buy sodas, potato salad, fried chicken, and a soccer ball, which seems highly unlikely. While the full-bleed, full-spread pictures of Lisa and the people she meets are colorful and competently done, this is an additional purchase.
Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

I've also ordered extra copies of these wonderful books. This week I'll be giving away tons of goodies so check back each day. Its part of my mission to send love to teachers who can then send love to their students. Leave me a comment with a Random Act of Kindness your students could preform around campus or town. I'll pick three winners and announce the winners during Saturday Snapshots.

There will be three winners 

Winner #1 3 apple seeds of happiness
Winner #2 book-Tease Monster
Winner #3 book- One Smile

Winner Winner

You can use real hershey kisses or kiss post its found at Staples. 
WARNING: One year I had real hershey kisses taped to index cards. The  little kiddos gobbled up ALL of the kisses while the parents where chatting with me. 

Couple of more hours of the BIG sale

Thanks for everyone who entered the giveaway. 

Congrats Karen! 

Thank you Quite a Pear! If you want some fun caddie labels go visit right here. You will not be disappointed. I'll post more pictures of my caddies soon.

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GOOD BAG for KIDS -nutrition to go!

“You can be amazing. You can turn a phrase in to a weapon or a drug. You can be the outcast or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love or you can start speaking up.” This video speaks to me. I love how positive it is!!!

Let's face it ....words hurt.  When I was little I used food as a crutch. I was teased from being overweight and it stung. I don't want any of my own students to ever feel like an outcast. I'm speaking up about being role models to students. 

This year I'm committing to getting as healthy as I can and being a role model for my students. Do you  set good habits for your students and own children? I'm not a mom just yet but I do know the importance of setting a good example. Lately, I've been so busy and I've been eating junk. It's all stopping TODAY. It's going to be hard but I need to get it under control.

I get it...today's families are busy and always on the go - unfortunately kids need to snack 4-5 times/day and convenient food is often devoid of nutrition. I've found an amazing product that I'm so happy to share with you.  

 GOOD BAG for KIDS's mission is to make healthy food available everywhere kids are!

All of the products in the bag have been hand selected as THE best products on the market, with every bag including: a protein, healthy carbohydrate, fruit supplement, healthy sweet treat, a probiotic, healthy fat/fish oil, kid's vitamin mix to be added to water, educational information for families, fun surprises and activities for the kids.

I just love the concept of GOOD BAG for KIDS by Dr. Natalie Geary. It's perfect because it  is an on the go, organic, nut free, gluten aware, shelf stable snack concept for kids.  Good BAGS include  a day's worth of snacks and supplements -  or it can also be used as a shelf stable meal replacement when in a pinch!  

The purpose of The GOOD BAG is that parents should never have to sacrifice nutrition for convenience. Snacks are carefully chosen for their nutritional content, age appropriateness and category to make up the necessary snacks required for a day or a shelf stable meal replacement.   GOOD BAGS are available at abesmarket.com and Amazon and Vine.com - 

Here's the fun part. Would you like to try GOOD BAGS? We are teaming up to give 2 winners 2 bags each. Use the rafflecopter to enter.

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Favorite Technology Finds EVER!

#1  Remind 101 is a great way to communicate with parents and students. The best part -it's FREE! Remind 101 allows you to send a quick text message to your parents or students without ever revealing your personal contact information. Parents can sign up to receive your messages by text or email. I've used this service for two years as reminders of important class events. I would remind parents of assignments due or special days at school! My parents loved Remind 101. It's so user friendly. It will not disappoint!

Here's an overview:

# 2 WordMark.It
This technology find is a lifesaver.  I **ALWAYS*** use Wordmark.it first before designing items for my room. I use wordmark.it for finding the perfect font for titles, student handouts, newsletters, sight word cards and more. This program is awesome!!! I highly suggest using it. It's super easy. All you do is type in a word, phrase, or set of characters and it displays your text in all the possibilities of fonts that are loaded on your computer. It's pure genius. Yes, I have the ability to hover over the text in powerpoint but this is much better. I'm such a visual person so it allows me to see ALL of my options. Why is this so cool? This comes in handy because some fonts are only lowercase, some are a mixture and some fonts do not make certain characters. Check it out and let me know what you think.

I seriously love fonts!!! It's a problem. I know there have been tons of font linky parties but I'm always finding more fonts. What's your new favorite font?

Here is my list of favorites **right now**

Fab Finds, Freebie, Giveaway

Picked up my helpers this afternoon so they could keep me company during my Monday Made It Crafts. I'm really going to miss MMI when school's back in session.

First I simply tied ribbon around the clipboard clasp.

Found these bookends at Office Depot. 

My inspiration is from Tales From a Fourth Grade Math Nut

I always needed a little easel~stand to display station directions for my visual learners but never found the perfect one. For my auditory learners, I record my voice using talk points. 

I was so happy to find this idea. It's pure genius!!!This is so simple. Simply glue a clipboard to a bookend. Couldn't be easier. Now, changing out station instructions are quick and painless. 

#2-I found some Chalk It removable, reusable, repositionable labels at Joann's for under $4 bucks. It had so many fun designs. It worked perfect for my new organization system. I stuck the labels to a piece of cardboard from another purchase and glued them to clothespins. I think they will be perfect for keeping me organized when I have a sub or parent volunteer. If I need things copied, filed, etc., I will just use one of these clips instead of a post it and a paperclip. What do you think? I say easy!

#3- Do you put out a wish-list at orientation or open house? I sure do! I've done many different themes over the years but this one is super easy. Just curious... what do you ask for? Any favorites?

You can use real hershey kisses or kiss post its found at Staples. 
WARNING: One year I had real hershey kisses taped to index cards. The  little kiddos gobbled up ALL of the kisses while the parents where chatting with me. 

Don't forget to enter our giveaway below!!!I'm off to check out more Monday Made Its because I just **need** to visit our BRAND NEW Joann's Superstore one more time. HAHA! 

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Sunday Smorgasbord

Linking up with Michelle for Sunday Smorgasbord.

Summer is coming to an end so we took a little road trip. I was able to get some back to school shopping in. Macy's was having a HUGE sale and I went to Staples. We don't have either store in my town. I can't wait to use the file sorter and little kiss post its. I had no idea Martha Stewart designed office supplies. She does it all.

We stayed at Hotel Duval for one night. Sometimes a day out of town is all you need to get recharged. We love Shula's 347 grill and the Level 8 bar located on the roof. 

If you ever eat at a Shula's 347 I highly recommend the blackened beef tips. They are so tender and just melt in your mouth. You can also order the filet blackened. 

I got my eyebrows threaded at Brow 23. I prefer the look of threading over waxing. If you haven't tried threading I definitely recommend. It does hurt just a little bit more than waxing but your brows will look amazing.

Last but not least I purchased a new fragrance. I am obsessed with perfume. I have way too many bottles but couldn't resist this cutie. Here's my newest one: HONEY by Marc Jacobs

The best part is that it matches my room perfectly. HAHA
I'm also obsessed with bees in case you didn't know.
Random fact- My wedding colors were
black, white, and yellow. 

Hope everyone has a relaxing Sunday!

Saturday Snapshots.... Winner and Room Reveal Day 1

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Thanks for entering our giveaway for the $20 amazon gift card. Did you know there's also one at the bottom of this post? Giveaways are one of my favorite things so keep checking back for some awesome back to school giveaways planned. You won't want to miss the ones I have up my sleeve. 

Has anyone stepped into their classrooms? My floors are READY! I don't want to rub it in because my sweet friend Tara is still trying to get in her room. I feel for her. It's so frustrating when you can't get in your room and you have a million things on your to-do list. It's happened to me too! IT STINKS! 

On Friday I went up and did a little furniture rearranging ... I still have lots of small details to wrap up. I was thinking that on Saturday- August 2,  I will hopefully be finished with my room and I will take tons of pictures.  I'd also LOVE to see your rooms as you finish them so please link up. Remember I will be hosting this linky every Saturday. I'll be picking a winner August 2 and if you've linked up any in July then you're automatically entered!

I'm going to miss this little girl when school starts. We have spent every day together this summer. She's my little shopping buddy. We also like to go see the baby dolphins and get ice cream. I wish she could stay this age forever.

Learning to crawl! This little cutie was crawling up a storm today.

 I'm loving my new alphabet. My students always have the hardest time with the lowercase letters so it's just perfect. I'm so lucky because I have a really sweet friend who made them for me. I don't know what I'd do without her. We teach at different schools and its been nice meeting up over the summer. 

Found this little gem at Hobby Lobby ... now I just need to find the perfect place for it.

I'm dying to bring in my polka dot rugs from IKEA but just haven't had a chance yet. I still need to add all of my caddies from Quite a Pear and black seat covers (aka ...target book covers). 

These were all of my helpers on Friday morning. It only took me 3 hours to arrange the furniture but I did have some help from their mommies. Thank you Danielle and Courteney! I couldn't have done it without you two!

I can't wait to see your Saturday Snapshots and classroom reveals.

Have you signed up to win custom labels to make your own cute caddies? Follow the guidelines in the rafflecopter giveaway!

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Favorite Pins and GIVEAWAY

I'm linking up today with Cara over at the First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday. There's also a giveaway so please enter. 

But first.... I'll announce the winner from yesterday
Flying to Fourth- Melissa 
Please email me your $10 worth of products from my tpt store and I'll email them to you.

Here are my pins this week.

Did you see my buckets/table caddies from the last Monday Made It?
They look totally new even though they are not. I am so pleased with my ribbon and label from Quite a Pear.  If you have your own caddies then it's so simple to add her precious labels.

Today you are in LUCK. Sweet Jessica at Quite a Pear and Dandelions and Dragonflies has teamed up with me to offer an AMAZING giveaway. Jessica is giving away 5 custom labels with ribbon so you can make your own personalized caddies. All you need is to find you some caddies. Target is usually a great place to start looking.  You can use plastic or metal buckets. Jessica will customize your labels and ribbon to match your room. HOW FUN??? I have pinned many things in the past from her awesome room. I'm sure you've seen it too. If not I highly suggest looking at this post. I just love all of her polka dots.

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Phonics Made Fun

Do you want to know why I'm so excited? I'm going back to first. I love first because I LOVE phonics. 
I'm not sure I was even taught phonics in elementary school. I can remember going to college and being embarrassed because I couldn't read a word while I was reading aloud.

Let's share our favorite phonics resources! I'll go first.

I'm pretty sure that the kinesthetic piece is missing in many programs but it's a MUST. I have found that using a different modalities helps activate every learning channel. Children learn with their eyes, ears, mouth and body. My students are usually in constant motion so it's only natural for them to love adding movement. Using all modalities is a way to make learning fun and engaging while also meeting the needs of the individual learners. 

Visual Learning
Visual learning can be supported by using letter shapes, pictures/posters. I can't wait to make these photo-phonics cards.
Auditory Learning
Auditory learning can be supported by saying the sound in different voices (loud, soft, alien style, high pitched or low pitched etc.)  I use a Johnny Can Spell CD.
Kinesthetic Learning
Kinesthetic learning can be reinforced by tracing the letter shape, scribing in sand, painting, play-dough or using movements such as Jolly Phonics or HeidiSongs. I also love these dough stampers.

Other Favorite Resources

Heidisongs- Sounds Fun Phonics is a MUST
Secret stories- Love Love Love
Circus Vowels- Wonderful picture book that teaches long and short vowels
Jolly Phonics- K teachers use this at our school and I'm so glad because I go over it as well
Youtube Videos like this one

Children learn in different ways and what works for one child may be less effective for another. I know for sure that I'm a kinesthetic learner. I truly believe in a multi-sensory approach. Do you teach phonics in a systematic and highly structured approach? Do you have a favorite resource?
Please share!

I'll pick a winner for commenting. $10 to my tpt store!

Giveaway Galore!

Meet Isla... she is obsessed with these behavior beads. I promise she will not take them off. Sleeps in them and tries to swim in them too. I need some suggestions for pre-k tags. I'm going to make some for her teacher. Would you like to help out? You can win a set for FREE by offering some tag suggestions! Keep reading for details.

If you have seen my Behavior Beads then you might also like the SPECIAL EDITION Rockin' Behavior Beads that I co-made with  Alison.

Here is the official list of Rockin' Behavior Beads:
~ Rockin' Behavior
~ Reading Star
~ Math Star
~ Studied like a Star
~ V.I.P. (Very Important Participant)
~ Drummin' up to Read!
~ Keyed up for Success
~ Boys Rock
~ Girls Rule
~ iRock
~My Teacher thinks I'm a Rockstar
~My Brain is Singin'
~Peace, Love, & Learnin'
~Rockin' with Responsibility
~I Made a DISCovery
~Rocked the Test

Ta Da! 
 Want to get your very own Rockin' Behavior Beads?  Go HERE.  

Click HERE for the original behavior beads.

I also made a programmable version so you can type your own text! If you don't have powerpoint then you could allow your kids to write their own name, etc.
I will giveaway 3 copies of the programmable version or a version of your choice.
See details below.
Intermediate Edition is **almost** finished.

To enter giveaway...
#1 Please leave a suggestion for more tags!
#2 Pin any of my behavior beads on Pinterest!
Don't forget to your email.

If you read to the bottom of this post, you are AWESOME because we MADE something else...a RAFFLECOPTER with a chance to win a $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD.  I know, I know...it's such excitin' stuff.  Hold it together enough to read what happens next.  This will end on Saturday. We will reveal the winner on the Saturday Snapshots link-up this comin' Saturday, July 27th.  Keep scrollin'...

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