Monday, September 7, 2015

9/11 Patriot Day Booklet Freebie

See previous post about September 11 here.

 Friday is the 14th anniversary of 9/11.  I was in my first year teaching when these horrific events took place.  Just as then, it is difficult to discuss this anniversary with young children. 

As years go by and elementary age students now where not even born when the World Trade Center Towers fell, when Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA or when the Pentagon was hit by yet another airplane it can become more and more challenging to express to students the tragic happenings and what it has meant for all Americans.

A few years ago I created this free, printable booklet about Patriot Day and 9/11.  I just updated it again and it is available for FREE on my TpT store.
It is a four page booklet that lays out the events and the meaning behind Patriot Day.  Need help printing files as a booklet?  Check out the instructions below!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Target Gift Card Giveaway + Marketing Maven Goodies

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I am so excited to be part of Lindsey's fabulous giveaway!  She is ridiculously talented and so generous with the change to win one of 4 $50 gift cards to Target and several of her Markeing Maven products.  Go join in on the fun and giveaway on her blog It's Elementary, My Dear!  The Rafflecopter giveaway ends Sunday night.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How to print 2 of the same page on 1 page ~ Teacher Techie Tip

So, maybe I am the only dork that didn't know this.  In case I am not, here is a quick tutorial on how to print two copies of the SAME page on one page.  It's great for saving paper and keeping interactive notebooks neat(ish) and keeping Senorita stocked with sticks.

Need written steps with screenshots?  Check out this post.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five for Friday: July 10

Summer seems just about the only time I have had to blog this year, so I will enjoy Kacey's linky fun while it lasts.

{Image courtesy of, 
because I couldn't be bothered to waste time taking pictures of this deliciousness}

 Some friends and I met up for lunch at one of the best lunch spots in town.  It is only open Monday through Friday and only for lunch.  The wait line goes out the door everyday.  Oh, but it is so worth it!  I had a great French Dip sandwich and took home a piece of this mouth watering Wedding Cake.  So. Good.

 We also submitted our application to present at a local conference!  We gave the workshop twice last summer, but this conference is much bigger than a classroom.  We should hear if it was accepted by the end of the month.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

One part of the application was video of us presenting.  We didn't have that.  And my partner is in New York all summer for The Reading & Writing Project Summer Institute.  So, we had to figure out some way to do this.  I searched for tutorials of how to video tape a computer desktop and found this easy-to-follow video from Techno FYI.  Here is a clip of the video I made for the application:

The fashionable and fabulous Lindsey of It's Elementary My Dear clued me in to  I loved the navy dress she shared and found two more I had to add to my wardrobe.  The prices are fantastic.  I haven't received the order yet, and can't comment on the actual dresses, but I am very excited to get them soon!  Plus, I got 6% cash back from (referral link).

Finally, if anyone is interested in ordering custom, handmade, chair pockets/seat sacks from my Etsy shop, the next cut off for shipping is coming up on Wednesday, July 15.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five for Friday: July 3

Lots of outdoor fun this week!  I'm linking up with Kacey for another Five for Friday.

 My friend and I met up with a local running group to do a 5K on Sunday.  It wasn't too organized, which is good for 7 am on a Sunday morning during the summer.  We just kind of ran around the nature trails.

Hopefully we'll be able to meet up more often this summer for some running fun.  See that blue water drop at the top.  It's a water park.  Wouldn't it be awesome to run a 5K that ends with sliding down the water slide and plunging into the cool, clear pool?  Yes, awesome!

Tuesday we worked at our property in the woods.  We finally blazed a trail all the way around the lake to link the two sides.  It was hard work, but so worth it!

We headed back to the property today.  Three adorable armadillos walked up on us at one point.

This guy was not concerned with us at all.  It was lunchtime and he was hungry!  He even nudged my boot!

  {Click to play video}
I'll have to share some game cam pictures of the deer and turkeys soon.  Turkey chicks are also adorable!

Jumping back a bit, I am loving the MapMyHike app.  I downloaded it a few months ago for our first forays into the woods.  I like keeping track of how far we hike, and it is nice to find our way out.  Now that I started running, I use it a lot more.  It can be set to track miles and kilometers and it tracks routes.  Most of the time I run a little further than a mile, find a natural turnaround and come home.  But it is fantastic in the woods and when we run in new and different places.  Plus it is free.  Gotta love free.

Spurred by the #TpTsellersChallenge, I revamped a few more products.  All my Working with Short Vowel units have fresh, new covers and fonts.

Love. That. Fox.

I'm currently "Making my Masterpiece".  It is a big old set of activities for reading and spelling initial consonant blends.  Wahoo!

{In my photos, fonts are Jen Jones's Hello Fonts and the arrows are from Krista Wallden.}

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Big Time Blogging Challenge 15

So, I guess this is going to be the summer of online challenges. ;)
The newest challenge is from Michelle of BigTime Literacy.

Hey! I'm Adrienne.  I am a Literacy Interventionist (aka reading interventionist, but "literacy" makes it sound fancy and it really encompasses more of what I do) for grades K-5.  This position started last October.  Before that, I taught first grade for 10 years.  I LOVE first graders!

Recently, I started running/jogging because of inspiration from my teacher-friends.  In May I ran my first 5K (including running up stadium ramps, yikes!) and have 2 more planned over the next 3 month.  I still don't consider myself a runner, but it's nice to run for choice and not because a coach is punishing the team or because Zombies are chasing me.

My goal for this challenge is to get into a consistent pattern of blogging.  I like recording my teacher-life for future reference and personal encouragement.  Also, connecting with other teachers and bloggers is really interesting.  It gives me a fresh perspective and kicks me out of slumps and ruts.
Now on to a not-too-fun activity...mucking the chicken coop.  Yuck!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday: June 26

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday linky fun.
Summer time means family time in these parts.  We'll be getting more and more family time because my cousin-in-law and her family are moving 2 miles away from us!  Currently they are 800 miles away from us.  They came to visit for a few days, went house hunting and found the second cutest house in our zip code.  (Ours is the cutest, of course.)  In a few weeks we'll be #hanginatthehostetlers!  I can't wait!

Super fun family time almost got ruined by Mother Nature turning up the heat.  Triple digits in temperature and humidity.  Not loving it.  In an attempt to beat the heat, we loaded up everyone and headed to my mom's for some poolside shenanigans.  Sen wouldn't get in, but the rest of us loved it.
I love my mom.  To bits.  But she is not the most tech savvy girl.  We asked her to take a picture of us in the pool with my cell phone.  Apparently she has never done this in her life.  It took 15 minutes and I got 3 pictures of her jeans, an accidental selfie and a video of me being bratty.  Must erase the incriminating video... ;)  We did end up with a very good photo, however.

I'm also working through chair pocket orders.  I've made some really cute sets this week.  The chevron set in the middle is to coordinate with Dots on Turquoise.  It is going to look great!  I also finished two sets of double pockets.  More info on Etsy.

Just before the fam arrived my copy of The Ready Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo was delivered.  I was able to peek inside a little and I getting antsy to dive in.  It looks phenomenal!

Finally, we are using some of my off time to work at our way-out-in-the-woods property.  Our first path to the lake ended at an alligator nest, so we unanimously decided to move to a new path.  Yesterday we worked to forge through the wilderness (again) for a new path to the lake.  This spot is awesome.  It is on the southern end and is the future home to our dock.  I love this place.

It's been a great week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Week 2 Dare to Dream

Running a little later this week due to Super Fun Family events spilling over into this week. One weekend can't hold us, ya'll! Today I'm linking up week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge! This week's challenge is: Dare to Dream!
As of now, my TpT store funds some extras for my classroom and a splurge here or there.  I'm not one of the sellers that can say TpT paid for a new house or a trip around the world...yet.  I've been aspiring to those heights since I started the shop.  I am happy to say that I've had a steady increase throughout and that is really all I can ask.

Don't get me wrong.  I would LOVE spread the word of how revenue from my products helped us in big ways.

My first dream is to continue remodeling our house.  It was built in 1918 and I love it.  We are in a great location, have a nice spread of land and are close to lots of entertainment.  We just need to freshen up around the house.  We would like to have a new metal roof and renovate the kitchen.  It would be awesome to fund this more quickly so we can continue enjoying our house.
Next, we've been talking for years about taking a hike along the western Italian coast line.  For us, big vacations tend to get put on the back burner.  One of my goals is to squirrel away enough money to pay for the trip myself as a surprise.
Lastly I would love to provide keep-at-home resources for my students.  It breaks my heart when they tell me they don't have any books at home or that they can't get to the public library because it costs too much for everyone to ride the bus there.  Immediately I think of the trickle down of this situation.  Big sister doesn't have books so little brother can't get them as hand-me-downs and baby sister doesn't hear anyone read to her until Kindergarten.  During the school year I let kids borrow books to take home.  When I give students old books during a purge they are amazed when I say they can have them and don't have to give them back.  I'd love to give them new books to have and pass down to their siblings and cousins and neighbors.

We are a Title I school and can get low cost books, but even low cost books cost money (plus shipping, phew!)  My goal is to have enough extra funds to let students choose their own books to keep through First Books, Scholastic book clubs, etc.

There is still time to join in on the fun:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ready to Ship Chair Pockets

This doesn't happen too often.  Grab them up while you can!  I have two sets of completed chair pockets that are ready to ship.  Handmade by yours truly.

First, a set of 5 double, pocket aqua blue chevron with aqua blue backs in 14" width.

This set of five is perfect for your small group table, or if you are an SLP, interventionist or only work with a small group of students at a time.

The other set is 25 single pocket brown seat sacks measuring 17" wide, but they can be adjusted smaller if needed.
The brown will look great with a woodland, forest, or hedgehog themed classroom.  Also, brown is a great neutral.  I'm just sayin'...

If you are interested in chair pockets or seat sacks but these don't fit your needs, I can create a custom set for you.  Head over to my Etsy shop to get started!

Monday, June 15, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness

Today the TpT Seller Challenge provided me the motivation to revamp one of my best selling TpT products.  Ya'll, it was hideous!
Glitter background, crazy frames and the glow!  Good heavens the glow!

It took a few hours for me to finish the makeover, but it is so worth it.

Working with Y as a Vowel has been successfully updated!  It's on sale through Friday.

The original product was posted in 2013.  It was the third product I had for sale.  It's interesting to go back into old files.  I must have just learned how to add the glow around text because all the titles had some form of the glow effect.  Most had glow and shadow.

Step 1: Ditch the entire cover. 

Melonheadz's Nerds are one of my most favorite clip art collections.  Nerds have a special place in my heart.  This cutie got the call for cover girl today!

Add Hello Fonts.  'Nuff said.

Step 2: K. I. S. S.

That's right. I looked back to junior high for design inspirations.

I can admit it-the original was tacky.  The file no longer includes any glowing or glittering objects.  Not that I am strictly apposed to either.  I like a well-place glow.  I love me some glitter.  Both were overkill.

I also simplified the frames and borders.  The zig zag was too much for the small spaces.  I went really simple with plain, thick gray lines and a nice pop of red border in some places.

Lesson learned:  Alignment is your friend.  Sometime after finding the glow effect, I must have ran across the align button.  Boy, do I love that thing!  It makes it so easy to center, distribute and well...align.

Now I think the cover is eye-catching (for positive reasons) and all the pages inside are easy to read, have good flow and won't use up all the ink, even if it is mostly color.  Hopefully I can go back and add blackline versions, too.

As I scrolled through my products list I was able to tag a few more products due for a summer makeover.

Another part of the challenge is to track stats.  My beginning digits:

We'll see how the effort over the next month changes these numbers.

Join in on the fun!