Saturday, April 26, 2014

Time for a Change....

Not sure how I like my new blog look - I had noticed that the header hadn't appeared for awhile and finally realized it was because my free design that I loved was no longer "free."  So....this might be permanent or it might move on! LOL  I spent hours last Sunday trying to figure out HTML and do a blog roll (to no success)....and I miss my 3 columns :(  It's going to be an ongoing process, though.

However, that is not the change I mentioned in the title. 

This is about a change that my state needs to make for ESL/ELL students.  This year, one of my parents adopted 3 Ukrainian boys (brothers) and, along with their biological child, one of them is my student.  I simply love both of these boys!  "N" has really taken a shine to English and tries his hardest.  Math is his favorite subject and he caught onto English numbers very quickly.  I mean, I had NO idea that Ukrainian numbers were so very different!  He's been like a sponge this year and just absorbs everything!  He has struggled with the language and obviously, reading.  Still, he always has a smile on his face and his personality, like his spoken English, is really starting to shine.

"N" has an older brother in fourth grade and a younger brother in first that came with him.  They are not doing quite as well as "N."  My parent has been very perplexed this year at the lack of services that these boys have received.  We are a small county with a low ELL population, mostly hispanic, and many of the parents of these students do not speak English either.  I think that's why in this case, I realized how little we do for these students!  They are one of the most undersupported groups in our district!  The more I have discovered with this parent, the more brick walls she has hit, the angrier I have gotten.  I mean, everyone has a right to a free and public education, right?  Because this parent has vocally avocated for these boys and the lack of services, she's been treated poorly (in my opinion). 

Is it because I am also a parent of a child who I have had to advocate for in the past, to make sure his IEP accommodations are being met, that he is not ridiculed or bullied?  I don't know.  Maybe it gives me more sympathy.  However, I still don't think it's right.  We, as parents, are our child's best supporters and they look to us to not only keep them safe, but to fight for equality.

On that note, please consider checking out my parent's petition to increase services in our state for ELL/ESL students.  Please share it with others.  I'm hoping her voice and efforts will help make a difference!
Increase ESL student/teacher ratios for ESL & ELL students. Require schools to have ESL instructional plans in place with guidelines for instructional time based on LEP Levels.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hop On Over to the Easter Sale!

I'm jumping on the bandwagon with other TpT sellers and hosting an Easter Sale!  My entire store will be 20% off Sunday and Monday.  I'm also linking up with Teaching Momster for a sale linky, so you can see which stores are participating!

Some of my newest products, you've seen in my previous posts.  However, I've been busy this Spring Break and have added a few more!

I've added a Reference Bundle to join with my "Virginia SOL Map Skills" bundle.  Some of the items included in the reference bundle are:
There's also "Underwater ABC Order", "Using An Atlas", "How Do You Web?", and "Dictionary Detective."  The set is $5.00 for right now (a total value of $8.00), but as I add to it, the price will go up.  This would be an excellent buy now because you'd get it on sale, plus anything I add to it will be a free download for you!  I saw another buyer do this idea, and thought how cool the idea was!  I plan on doing a few more bundles as well!

I've also added a packet for this set of books here:
I at first ordered them from Scholastic a long time ago, thinking I'd use them for fluency readers.  I've since moved on from that thinking and decided how great they would go in one of my centers about vowels or word building!  I did a similar single sheet for the Star Wars set, but will revise that and add it to my store when I'm finished (that might be on my summer to do list!).  Students not only word hunt, but there is a comprehension component to each story as well.  Who doesn't love Scooby? :)

A few of my favorites:
So, happy shopping and be sure to check out Teaching Momster's link up! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sharing Some Great News!

Shifting Teacher K-2 is having a HUGE giveaway to celebrate her first blogiversary!

Shifting Teacher K-2 

Make sure to go to her blog and enter!  You can win her WHOLE store, as well as winner's choice from many other stores (including yours truly!).

Be sure to go check her out!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Special Bundle for VA Teachers

Wow, twice in a week - can you tell I'm on Spring Break? :)

Being on the outside of the Common Core seems to have its advantages and disadvantages.  Granted, Virginia claims they are aligned (and some like to tout that it was the basis for common core), but there is a LOT out there that is created for Common Core, which sometimes makes it hard when you don't teach multiplication in second grade or you teach Egypt and China in second and Mali in third!

So, on that note, I decided, based on feedback I've been getting at my stores, to bundle some Virginia products and add on savings to it as well!  This is my first attempt at the bundle:

Virginia SOL Map Skills Bundle!  For $6.00, you get:

All About Maps printable book ($1.00)
 Animal "I Spy" ($2.00) - I love this set and my kids had a blast finding the lost animals!
 Geography Visual Vocabulary Cards (in color and in black and white for $2.00)
 "Taking a Trip Around the World:  Mapping the U.S. and World Features (Virginia edition for $3.00)

As well as my "SCOOT:  Virginia Map Skills" (not pictured) that retails for $2.00.

That's a savings of $4.00 when you purchase the bundle, instead of buying them separately!  

The best thing about the bundles?  Once you buy it, even if I update it and add more to it, it will still be yours to download at no added cost.  I saw someone else offer that deal and thought what a great idea that was!  Trust me - I am definitely NOT finished yet and each year I seem to get a different group with different needs, so I sometimes feel I need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.  My pickiness is your advantage! :)

So, I hope to bundle some other themes as well.  If you have a suggestion, please either leave a comment below or email me at!  I'd love to be able to bundle some other items for savings as well, not just for Virginia teachers!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Freebies, Sales, and More!

Have you heard?  Teacher's Notebook is running a surprise sale starting tomorrow, April 16th through April 18th!  Every purchase will be 10% off your total!  I decided to join in on the fun, and my entire store is 25% off (and then you get the additional 10% off!).  This includes my newest product:
Be sure to stop by my store and check it out!

Also, while you're there, be sure to pick up my newest freebie based off the book, Meerkat Mail!  Click on the picture to download! :)

Well, today at 3pm started our Spring Break, and I hope to post some more products by the end of the week, including some major Magic Tree House fiction/nonfiction bundles I've been working on with my kiddos (as well as some additional freebies)!  Until then, happy shopping and have a great week!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

200th Product and a SALE!

I'm so excited that I just uploaded my 200th product on TpT!  In celebration, I've uploaded a really cool freebie that goes along with these wonderful books:


I picked up my copies at the Dollar Tree and KNEW there was something cool I could do with them!  My kids absolutely love anything National Geographic!  So, I created a packet that focuses on facts, sources, and fact/opinion.  

Since it is my 200th product, I decided to throw myself (and you) a party!  EVERYTHING IN MY STORE IS $2.00 AND UNDER UNTIL MONDAY EVENING!

Yep, had to announce that in all caps.  Even those $8.00 unit bundles?  $2.00.  

So I hope you will go, download the freebie {here} and maybe do a bit of shopping (now that the weather is getting warmer, we HAVE to get that new HVAC unit, so you're supporting a good cause!)....please follow my store if you don't already.  At some point, I'll figure out how to do one of those "follower only" freebies....and a BIG giveaway is on my list for SOME be watching! :)

Now, just to get thru Monday and Tuesday until our shortened Spring Break! (thanks a lot snow!).  Happy shopping! :)