Saturday, February 18, 2017

Celebrating 2,000 with Brinca into Bilingual (Mrs.Nicolau)!

This week, I am celebrating with Mrs. Nicolau on reaching one of her goals (2,000 followers)! Several of us are helping her celebrate with TONS of Giveaways and prizes!! 

Read below for your chance to enter and win big!!


Mrs. Nicolau is giving away TWO RAE DUNN MUGS!
These cute mugs are very hard to find (depending where you live) and everyone is going CRAZY for these!

Let's giveaway a gift card!! Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 TPT Giftcard! Remember the more entries you have, the more changes you have to win!!!

Who does not LOVE TARGET?! We ALL do!!  So let's do a giveaway for a $25 Target giftcard!

Since we are going crazy with prices, why don't we get even crazier?!... Let's also celebrate with a $21.00 gift card from the AMAZING Melonheadz!

Last, but definitely not least! I have many blog friends that have joined me to celebrate this amazing event! They have all joined me to giveaway bundles by grades!!!

The first bundle is for our Bilingual K-1 teachers!

Next is the 2-3 Bilingual Bundle!

Last is our K-2 Grades Bundle in English!

Are you excited enough?! We sure hope so! Stop by Mrs. Nicolau's blog to enter on all these great prizes!!!
While you are there, drop a note to her. She LOVES hearing from her readers! :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Share The Love Hop

Valentine's Day is a day of showing you care and love for those special people in your life. This is actually something I try to do every day. However, I do get busy and sometimes forget to be grateful for what I have and show those certain people in my life how much they mean to me.  I am joining a few friends of mine this week in an effort to share how we "Share The Love" to some of our favorite charities, organizations, and families in need.  
We are ALL going to donate 10% of our earnings from February 10th - February 14th to the charities and families that are close to our hearts.  It is our wish that you may Hop through and feel it in your heart to donate something to one or even all of these charities and families.
My choice for the "Share The Love Hop" is a sweet little girl named Miaya. 
Miaya is a beautiful three year old little girl. In late January 2016 she came down with an upper respiratory infection that would not seem to go away with the antibiotics prescribed by her doctor. She was on her second course of antibiotics when she spiked a fever and started complaining about leg pain. She was taken to All Children's Emergency Center on February 21st and she was admitted for further testing. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on February 25, 2016.The diagnosis came as a complete shock to everyone as Miaya had been an extremely healthy child up until this point.
The day after her diagnosis Miaya was taken into surgery, to have a port put in, and they started chemotherapy later in the day. She will continue chemotherapytreatment until May of 2018. As you can imagine the medical bills the family are faced with are immeasurable. Miaya is the grandaughter of a fellow teacher and very dear friend to me. She had to take a leave of absence from her teaching position to give Miaya the care she needs. I am hoping through all of our love and support we will be able to help ease the impact of what is to come. I am asking all of you reading this, if you can spare even $1, every penny helps. You can donate with me to Miaya on her GoFund Me page: Miraculous Miaya.
In order to say thank you for Sharing The Love and donating with us, you can get a freebie at each stop.  My FREEBIE is a writing activity that encourages spreading love around the classroom and school while working on letter writing skills. It is a 10 page writing activity.

You can get it at my TpT store or by clicking Love Letters

In addition to this freebie, I will choose 2 people who answer the question below on this "share the love" blog post to pick an item from my store for free. I will randomly pick 2 winners on February 15th.  Here's the question:

How do you encourage your students to "Share The Love" with the world around them?

**Don't forget to leave your email address along with your comment below so I can contact you if you win!

Continue Sharing The Love (with one of my teaching Besties) Cristina of  McCrone Love at The Primary Besties!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stories For Their/Your Soul

This week I am joining my Kinder Friends to share about stories that we think are good for your soul.

I love reading. It is my favorite subject. I had a very hard time deciding on just one book that I love, so I am sharing 2.

1. A book for your teacher soul:
I have to tell you about this book that I read, researched, and continue to go back to while I am planning for differentiation in my classroom. It is UHHH-Mazing. It is called The Common Core Companion. This book goes through EVERY K-2 Informational and Literature Reading, Writing, and Listening/Speaking standard. It will take one standard then show you the K level of it, the first grade level of it, and the second grade level of the standard. Then it will give you examples of what the student could be doing, questions to ask, and examples of how to expand or remediate EACH standard. The Common Core Companion is a wonderful tool that can ease your soul when planning for whole group, small group, or individual lessons. I highly recommend you get it and use it! You can get it on Amazon for about $28.00

2. A story for the Classroom Soul:
One of my ALL time favorite stories to read is called A Frog Thing by Eric Drachman.  This story is about a little frog named Frank. Frank is determined to fly. But flying is NOT a frog thing!  Frank sets his mind to it even though others laugh at him and tell him he can’t.  This story is so much fun to read with the students in your class.  It teaches so many great lessons and will really warm the kiddo’s souls. The students learn (above everything else) that if you just be you and try, anything is possible. If you don’t have the book but would love to try it, you can get it on Amazon here OR watch and listen to it on You Tube here.

After using this text with your class you can always connect it to Science by learning all about frogs and their life cycle.  I use this Frogs Can Grow Too life cycle reader and activity set to work with my kiddos.  
This product will be for sale in my store until January 22, 2017. You can get it by clicking the link above or by searching #kinderfriendswinter on TPT.

Your next stop is my good pal Elaine over at Kitty Kitty Kindergarten.
She has a fabulous and uplifting story about empowering a class to share with you!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and an Apple Watch Giveaway!

Happy birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all!
This Christmas break is a time that I love spending with my family.  One of our favorite things to do is to experience new places and events.  This year we took three of our kiddos, the other one didn't deserve to go (JUST KIDDING!! He had to work!!) to see a walk through show called Ice in Orlando, FL.  It was amazing, super cold at 9 degrees, but still amazing.  Everything in the show is made completely of Ice. There are even ice slides! If you ever get a chance to see it I suggest you do.  Here are a few of the pics:
Heading in!
 The show told the story of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

 The slides were a HUGE hit!

 The reason for the season! Happy birthday Jesus!

Tis the season of giving, soooooo, I am participating in another FABULOUS giveaway.I believe teachers are some of the hardest working people in the world. In order to honor all of the effort, time, money, and love that you spend giving back to YOUR classroom, I am teaming up with some of my I Teach K-2 teacher friends to giveaway a rose gold Apple Watch!!!

In order to win, all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter located on our Facebook page. Just click the link below!  Good luck!

Link to Facebook rafflecopter:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holidays Around The World Giveaway

During the Christmas holidays, I love to teach the different holiday traditions that happen around the world. I created a packet a few years ago in order to have a fun interactive way for the kiddos to learn about these different traditions.  We learn about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali, St. Lucia, Chinese New Year, Las Posadas, and Christmas in Australia. This packet includes a reader with key words for each country that the students can trace and a passport to represent each country. It also has book suggestions, activities and games, and holiday crafts for each country we visit. You can get this packet by clicking Holiday Traditions Around The World.

I use this unit during our Science and Social Studies time about 2-3 weeks prior to Christmas break.  For my Reading Workshop time I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read and compare all of the different Gingerbread Man Stories.  There are so many of them out there and I have loved everyone that I can get my hands on.  Each day the students and I read a new book and complete a story map (which is a FREE download at the end of this post).  At the end of the 2-3 week time period that this takes, we compare all of the stories to each other.  Then we complete a Gingerbread Man Reader's Theater and decorate our very own Gingerbread Man cookies.

This is an extension of all our Gingerbread fun that gives some rhyming practice. It is an interactive reader, a rhyming center, and a sort activity.

This week I am joining my Kinder Friends with a fabulous giveaway.  We are giving away $25 gift certificate to TpT. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! There are also a few holidays items in each store for sale. Just search #kinderfriends in order to get 20% off!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now hop on over to my pal Pamela at Pocket Full of Centers for another FREEBIE and chance to win!

Monday, December 5, 2016

6 Tips for Holiday Success In Your Classroom

The holidays are in the air. Sure it is a time for kindness, family, and celebrations. However as a classroom teacher you know (and sometimes dread) that last week before a holiday break.  Just face it, the kiddos seem to loose their minds over night.  If you have seen this happen in your classroom, then this post is perfect for you.  Below I will share 6 tried and true tips to help you navigate that last week (and perhaps the weeks leading up) to a holiday break:

Tip 1: Keep your students busy with engaging time on task.  Make sure you have a several no-prep holiday learning games and activities on hand.  With all the excitement blooming around the students outside of school, why not bring it inside the classroom also.  keep in mind that you don't want the activities to just be "fluff".  They should be engaging review lessons (and possible new skills) that the kiddos can complete independently or with a partner.  This can even be done by playing games like Scoot, Quiz Quiz Trade, or Mix Pair Share but changing your normal classroom music to holiday songs.  A super fun activity to do that can reinforce shapes and bigger than/less than is to give each kiddo a piece of large construction paper and create a snowman.  All you need is shaving cream, Elmer glue, and glitter. Kiddos have to draw circles on their paper that are in order from bigger to smaller. Then they paint their circles and create a snowman.

Tip 2: Try to stick to your normal routines and schedules as best as possible.  Even with all the extra excitement going on the littles need their routines to be successful.  Also, upon coming back from a holiday break, you should take the first one to two weeks reviewing all of your classroom procedures and routines before diving right back in.

Tip 3: IF you do a gift exchange with your class, try doing one with books only.  Send a short and sweet letter home to parents asking everyone to bring in a new book that is $5.00 or less in value.  They should bring the book in wrapped with a label.  On the label, instruct the parents to leave the "To:" part blank and to allow their child to write his or her name in the "From:" space.  On one of the last days before break gather all the kiddos around your carpet area and play a little white elephant gift exchange game.  Each kiddo choose a gift (one at a time) and unwraps it. I always do a boy group and a girl group.  We all watch and admire the new books that we each get to take home. Its also a great idea to get your husband, dad, brother-in-law, or someone (that has had all the proper background checks required) to come in and play Santa.  Let Santa read a book to your class and hand out those small candy canes.

Tip 4: Give your class a gift.  I always give my class a book to take home over break.  I purchase them from the scholastic website for about $1-$2 a piece around mid November to ensure that they arrive on time.  Inside the cover of each book I write a sweet personalized note. Then I wrap each book so they each can open a present from me that will encourage them to read over the break.

Tip 5: One of my favorite events is my Polar Express P.J. Day.  I am not going to lie, this takes some prepping so if you are looking for last minute ideas it may/may not work for you.  First, I buy bell necklaces for each child in my class.  I put them inside a small box that is also filled with iridescent packing paper. I use a water bottle to lightly spray each bell with water. Then I wrap the box in brown parchment paper, attach a huge red bow on top, and then write our school address and Santa's North Pole address in the appropriate spots on the box. About 2 weeks before I plan on giving the students the fake package from Santa, I take the box into our cafeteria. I take it to the deep, deep freezer and leave it there. (You may need to get permission from your cafeteria manager to do that part.) Then I prearrange for someone in the office to bring the box from the freezer to my classroom at a certain day and time.  I send a note home for all of the kiddos to wear their P.J.'s to school on the day that I prearranged with the office to deliver our package.  We start the day by making hot chocolate. (Super easy way is to pour a gallon of chocolate milk into a crock pot first thing in the morning. Turn it on high and it will be ready in 2 hours.) I then read them the Polar express and make sure that I finish the story by the prearranged time that I had set with the office.  As soon as the story ends, in walks one of our lovely secretaries holding this FREEZING box from the cafeteria. The students eyes get so big as I make such a huge deal over how cold it is. Then we slowly read the address, predict where it came from and what we think is inside, and then open the package.  Each kiddo then gets a small bell necklace that has frozen crystals on it (from the water I sprayed 2 weeks ago) from Santa. This activity goes miles on getting them to behave and listen! Then of course we enjoy our hot chocolate.

Tip 6: Last but not least, engage your kiddos in a countdown to the holidays. This can be done with daily minute to win it games, creating a chain link count down, using a different random act of kindness a day, or by having them earn a special something each day.  For example, the last week before break I always give each kiddo a book (from above) but I also give them a little goody bag full of treats like a pencil, erasers, tatoos, etc.  Eventually I got smart and thought, why not make them earn the gifts.  Every year I purchase a holiday goodie bag of some sort, whether it be regular themed bags, small red stockings, or even Santa hats. Then I purchase five different class sets of small prizes from the dollar spot at Walmart, Target, or Dollar Tree. Everyday I show the kiddos the treat and tell them that they have to earn it throughout the day by following classroom rules and procedures and being kind to one another. Then at the end of the day I give each student the small trinket that they earned to place in their bag.  By the end of the week they all have a goody bag filled with gifts from me.

Well, I hope you received a few good tips from this post and are able to use them in your class this year.  Happy holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Treats for Teachers Giveaway

I love October. This month I am participating in a little Treats For Teachers Blog Hop and Giveaway!

With all of the anticipation for Halloween and Trick or treating, it is a great time to talk about characters and character traits. We go through a series of stories (like the ones below) learning about a character's physical traits and about their behavior traits. Then we end by the week of Halloween. The kiddos get to wear a costume based on a favorite story and then they can describe their costume's character traits (using the freebie below).  It is so much fun. The kiddos love actually becoming their characters by taking on the traits they believe they would have.
To begin this unit, I love to introduce character traits using the book Shelia Rae The Brave by Kevin Henkes.
Shelia has so many wonderful traits that are easily spotted in this book. It makes for great book talk and modeling opportunities with the kiddos.

I continue this unit using my ALL TIME FAVORITE Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Williems.
These books are excellent because the kiddos can actually connect to these characters on a personal level. The students can see how Gerald and Piggie have almost the same traits in each book.  These books also make it simple for students to be able to compare characters to each other. I only read about 6 of these books to begin with (even though I own We work through describing the physical and behavior traits together and then comparing Gerald and Piggie to each other. Finally, I read Waiting Is Not Easy by Mo Williems. This book is so very interesting because the characters behaviors actually switch places.  It is so fun to watch my students little light bulbs come on and wonder how that can happen!
If you would like to see more of my Character Trait activites you can click here.
(UGH! That cover is so ugly! One of my first TpT products in need of an update....coming soon!)

By this time we are closer to Halloween.  Students are able to come to school in a Character costume. We spend some time early in the day analyzing and describing their costume's character traits using everything we learned. Then the students must act like their character all day. They actually become their characters. They love, love this part!  You can click here to download this Halloween Character Mapping FREEBIE from my TpT store!

I am joining some Kinder friends in an incredible blog hop where treats are never ending!

At each stop you will be able to enter a giveaway to win FREE stuff for you and/or your classroom! Since the theme of this hop is "Treats For Teachers" I am giving away your CHOICE of any item from my store along with a $20 gift card to TpT. All you have to do is enter to win below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To continue on the blog hop, just click here to head on over to my pal Elaine from Kitty Kitty Kindergarten and see what treats she has up her sleeves for you!

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