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April 24, 2011

Vocabulary Give Away

One of the lovely ladies I follow is having a vocabulary giveaway. Click here to see what to do to enter. I hope I win.

April 22, 2011

Free Math Books

Kumon is teaming up with Scholastic to provide your family with 5 free books. All you need to do is get your child (ages 5 to 12) to complete the following activities and send them in. 5 books for the cost of a stamp. Yup. I'm in. Take a look. Unfortunately you can only do it once per household.

April 15, 2011

Bringing Words to Life

My school had a book I had been meaning to check out for some time in the library. So over Spring Break I checked it out and read it. I loved it. So I thought I might share some of the things I learned. You can find it online pretty cheap.
Some of you most likely have heard of it or have seen principles from it. In fact just last week, Melissa at F is for First Grade just posted something on her blog that followed similar principles. I hope to follow in her footsteps and use these principles to inspire vocabulary instruction in my classroom.

Beck, McKeown, and Kugan encourage teachers to focus on a couple of key words in a trade book read aloud each week. They encourage an emphasis on associations, descriptions, sentence stems, and questions instead of definitions. I hope to work more on this next year. I'll be honest. It is a great idea. But I'm not sure starting it a month before school ends is a great idea. There is always next year!

Fountain of Fonts

Amanda at One Extra Degree posted about free fonts at Lettering Delights. Well, last night I followed her links and got some free fonts ad clipart to use on future projects. My husband laughed but humored me.  Then today I spent hours looking through at least a 1000 fonts. No joke. Not all of them were free but I did find some really cute ones on sale for a $1. I exercised some self-control and whittled my wishlist down to 7. That is impressive. There were so many cute ideas.

Two of the fonts are going to be writing lifesavers for me. I purchased LD Trainer Vertical Lined Dots and LD Modern Cursive Trainer. Handwriting is something that several of my children struggle with and I  have some children with special writing needs. I used to dot out each word for a separate spelling list. Can you talk about time consuming? Now I can just type it out. I am SUPER excited.


I also bought a sign language font. I taught the ASL alphabet to my children at the beginning of the year and we have A-D down through repeated self-checks. But my vision is for my children to practice sign spelling their spelling words or high frequency words to another child. The repeated practice will help them memorize words, see the spelling words in a new way, and develop a new skill.

My favorite is the cute clipart that I plan to use on a writing project. It is something I have been meaning to make for a while. But I lacked the artistic ability to draw it and I wanted it to look cute. I will try to keep you updated on how it goes.

My husband came home and I just had to show him the adorable things I found. He smiled and reminded me there are plenty of great websites with free fonts. I laughed. And he had one up in my browser in under a minute. I love my computer genius. Marrying him was my best decision ever. The site he pulled up has all kinds of fonts and just like he said, they were all FREE. Take a look. I think I downloaded at least 15.  :D  I'm grateful for such a supportive husband.

Speaking of fonts, another blog I follow What the Teacher Wants introduced me to Kevin and Amanda Fonts. They are fun, easy to install, and the kids love the break from Times New Roman. My favorite is Annoying Kettle.

Now, if only I could figure out how to use these fonts on my blog I would be ecstatic. Maybe one day.

April 4, 2011

Kid's say the darndest things

Today one of my little boys tried to get out of PE. Again. Last week he said he was not feeling well, so I sent him to the office. Our PE is before lunch, so I assumed he was hungry. I gave him a fruit leather but he still called for home.
This week he told me he still wasn't feeling well. So I asked him what was wrong. He said "my tummy hurts." When I asked him where, he said "in the middle. Where it is green." Intrigued I asked is he would be comfortable showing me. He lifted his shirt a little to show me his cute little belly button. Which looked completely normal.
"You can't see it. But it is in the inside." He proceeded to pick his little belly button. I assume he was trying to show me his belly button lint. I could not help the grin that spread from ear to ear. I might even have giggled. The office manager assured him he was ok, giving her word as a mother. He still worried for the rest of the day. :D
It was the highlight of my day. Seriously. Much better than the speeding ticket I almost got, the sub plans I had to make, the new student I had to prepare for, and the bills in the mail.