Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Tour Through Blogland

Hi friends!

I was incredibly honored and excited to get an email from the beautiful and talented Brittany from Lawyer Lookbook.  I was nominated by her to participate in a Tour Through Blogland.  Brittany is a southern lawyer with amazing fashion sense.  I've had a peek into her closet and let's just say.. I'm jealous!  Her blog focus is on being fashionable at work.  So, I hopped on board the tour through blogland to share with you what my blog is all about and give you a peek into the education side of blogging.

1.  What am I working on?

My creative juices come out in so many different ways.. but my focus has been and probably will always be creating lessons for early childhood classrooms.  I recently created a Kindergarten Home School curriculum.  The family seems interested in a 1st grade curriculum as well, so I plan to start that after January and sell it on tpt as well.  I have also been invited to present for SDE in February 2015 in Franklin, TN.  I will be talking about Interactive Journals for Little Learners.  Let me know if you plan to come!

Can you tell I'm excited?!?!?

I also plan to start incorporating more Promethean Board lessons for sale in my tpt store as well.  It's always exciting to teachers to receive a board, but many do not know how to use it or are afraid of it.  Hopefully, that's something I can help with in the near future.

2.  How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

Well, to begin with, it's not very often that a home school child can be exposed to some of the same things a child in a classroom setting is exposed too.  I can help with that!  I am a classroom teacher (currently at home) planning lessons to help families who want to home school.  I have also continued planning lessons that can be used in the classroom, but there aren't many educators who focus on the home school community.  I like to think that I am helping educate parents on what needs to be taught (in a very small way). 

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

I have loved following blogs since I began teaching in 2009, but I truly fell in love with blogging when I became a blogger!  One person once asked me on a plane if I was a writer.  I told her no..  Then, she asked me what I was writing down so quickly and I told her I liked to jot down ideas for my blog when I have time or something pops into my head.  After a few minutes she told me I was a writer and that blogging was just a digital platform.  In my mind, I felt more of a children's writer, because I normally like to use a lot of pictures.. haha!  But either way, its the perfect place for me to share my thoughts, ideas, inspiration to the world of educators, stay at home moms and the home school community.  I have always LOVED collaborating with my peers when in the classroom, and blogging allows me to continue doing that virtually!

4.  How does my writing/creating process work?

Well, as I mentioned above, my blogging ideas will come from random moments in time when I see something or do something and decide-- I'm going to blog about that! Or I need to create this because it can benefit other teachers.  So, I have a document on my computer with tons of "ideas", that is ever-growing and will never get finished, of things to create.  I also write things down in my Erin Condren planner or on sticky notes (my desk is never neat).  

 Creative minds
This is me...  which is why I write EVERYTHING down!

Now, I would love for you to meet the two lovely bloggers I am nominating!!

Kimberly from Loving Kinders

Tootles, I am Kimberly from Loving Kinders.  I am a teacher, blogger, mommy, educator, and TPT seller.  I have been teaching kindergarten for 7 years and I love every aspect of it.  May it be the runny noses, untied shoes, disheveled hair and breath, OR being called mommy, unconditional love and hugs, teaching the foundational aspects of literacy and math, and my most precious LOVE watching a child read their first book!

I have three extraordinary children ALL over the kinder-age but they still may pop up on my blog and Facebook once in a while.  I have an adoring husband who understands that my dedication to education and creating teacher resources may blur the line of obsession and addiction.  Join me on my journey! 


Hi, I'm Tiffany from Shoe Laces & Sweet Faces!  I am a wife, K/1 Loop Teacher, educational blogger, and lover of all things super hero!  I graduated from Lesley University with a B.S. in global Studies & Elementary Education and earned my M.A in Teaching from Sacred Heart University.  I am certified in elementary education as well as TESOL in both CT and MA.  I am currently in my 4th contracted year having worked 1 as a K-6 Writing Teacher, 2 in Kindergarten and my current year as a 1st grade teacher.  There is nothing more satisfying than stepping into my classroom each and every day.  Through my blog, I hope to share my own ideas about integrating the arts in academics as well as inspire other teachers to take on more leadership opportunities in their schools.

Thanks for hanging out with me for just a bit.  Be sure to check out these gals and follow them through the tour through blog land!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Made It: Merry Kiss-Mas!!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for a Christmas Monday Made it Edition!

Have you tried these A-MAAAA-ZING kisses?!?!  Oh my word.. I could eat an entire bag!  Well, so could my toddler.  Which brings me to this blog post..

You would think, being a "stay at home" mom I would make all kinds of crafts and cute things for her class and teachers at her mother's day out program.. Well, I don't!  I just get busy with stuff at home, pampered chef, my blog, my tpt stuff.. ya know LIFE!  So, I was determined to make something (ANYTHING) to take to her class for their Christmas party... and no I was not taking cupcakes!!! UGH- hated that as a classroom teacher.

I made these simple little tags.  You can grab them for FREE here.

And went to work...

Only about 30 minutes later.. I had them finished. Yay!!!

I might be just a bit proud of my Pinterest inspired student gift.
These would be the perfect Christmas present to your students without spending a ton of money.. just saying!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Questionnaire: 2014

I'm linking up with Fabulous in First for a fun linky on Christmas!

1.  When do you decorate?
Well.... normally I always do it the weekend after Thanksgiving.  However, since Thanksgiving was so late and we were out of town... I confess I did it the weekend before.  But to be honest.. I didn't care! haha  I love decorating for Christmas!!!

2.  Elf or no Elf?
As you can see.... it's not been the best year for our elf little friend.  I think I will try it again next year or maybe even the year after.  He might need to take a year off... poor thing!

3.  Christmas Cookies or No Baking for you?
Of course we will be baking Christmas cookies!!! Sara is so into "helping out."  So, I know she will LOVE baking cookies, and getting to eat them!  I am also a Pampered Chef consultant, so I have some yummy recipes I plan to try out over the holidays!

4.  Favorite Holiday Tradition?
I grew up with several family traditions, but one of my favorites was reading The Night Before Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve.  I plan to carry on this family tradition.

5.  Favorite Christmas Movie?
Well, there are a ton of favs.. I honestly can't pick just one...


6.  Snow or no snow?
I would love to have a white Christmas, but not too white that we can't visit local family.

7.  Favorite Christmas Song?
I really LOVE Michale Buble's Christmas Album.. Pretty much every song on here is wonderful!

8.  Favorite Gifts to Give or Get?
Of course jewelry.  But, if I'm being real...  I'd have to say something homemade or sentimental.  Sara's teachers made these adorable calendars for us to buy as a fundraiser and give to grandparents, etc.. Of course, I got one for myself as well!

Head on over to 
Fabulous in First
to link up and join the fun!

Monday, December 8, 2014

26 Ways to Teach the Alphabet

There is something exciting about introducing and teaching the letters of the alphabet.  As years go by, we (teachers) tend to get into the same teaching patterns, and we forget to incorporate something new and fresh ideas in our teaching.

Some of these ideas have been around for a while, but I wanted to compile a list of fun and engaging activities you can use to teach the letters throughout the year.

Here are 26 ways to teach the Alphabet:

1.  Letter Find

2.  Letter Songs by Have Fun Teaching

My kiddos LOVED these alphabet songs!  It was the perfect way to grab their attention and introduce each letter.  We also listened to these all throughout the year during transitions and as a review.

3.  Letter Practice

After introducing each letter my students would fill in a circle map of everything that starts with that letter and then do some handwriting practice.  Click here to check go the practice pages.

4.  Play-Doh Letters

5.  Circle Maps

These are perfect to do whole group when introducing the letters.
I snagged this from Smedley's Smorgasboard's post on ABC Bootcamp.

6.  Starfall

I loved doing each letter on my Promethean Board or as a review for a quick introduction.  My kiddos also loved going to this site during computer lab.

7.  Letter Poems

These are from Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten.  I couldn't find any pictures of the letter poems we did in my class, but her's are adorable! You can check them out by clicking here.

8.  Craft Projects

9.  Letter and Number Sort

I use this at the very beginning of the year when I need my kinders to do something easy on their own.

10.  Alphabet Chart

11.  Letters Posted in a print rich classroom!

Excuse the picture.. For some reason I couldn't find a better view of my letters posted.  This was from our Kindergarten Graduation one year.

12.  Alphabet Books

I like to do these books after introducing all letters.  It gives me a great idea of who is still struggling and with what letters.

13.  Art Alphabet Book

I did this art book at the beginning of every year I taught K.

14.  Anchor Charts

15.  Do a Dot Letters

These would be especially good for Pre-k children.  I just LOVE these!!  I am going to print this out ASAP to do with Sara.  

16.  Magnetic Letters

17.  Sensory Alpha Activities

There were so many ideas on Pinterest for "Sensory Alphabet" I couldn't pick just one!  Just remember, every child learns differently, and especially ages 4-6 it is incredibly important to incorporate hands on activities!!!

18.  Interactive Pocket Chart & Anchor Charts

Until I had a Promethean Board (and still some after) I would use magnetic letters and this chart to act out the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

19.  Dr. Jean Songs

There are so many awesome alphabet songs.  This one is probably one of my favorites!!

20.  RTI Kinder Activities from Abby Mullins

21.  Dry Erase Handwriting Practice

I found these at Target in the dollar spot! Score!!!
These are great for an added Literacy Center, I'm done activity, homeschool or Pre-K fun and so much more!  You can even stick these in your busy bag for church!!

22.  Sound Sorts

23.  Magic Letters

Love this idea from No time for Flashcards.  

24.  Literacy Centers

If you're like me and you teach thematically, then incorperating the alphabet in centers is a must!  This simple center is in my February Math and Literacy Center unit.

25.  Chicka Chicka & Other Alpha Books

I ALWAYS do this book at the beginning of the year.  It's definitely one of my favs!  Here's my post about it.

26.  Alphabet Websites and Games

It look's like someone has created a Symbaloo with all kinds of websites for learning the alphabet.  Click the picture to check it out!

I hope you all found some great ideas that you will incorporate next time you plan to teach a letter!

Have a great week!!!