Sunday, April 28, 2013

Giveaway Winner of Whimsy Workshop!


 Congratulations to Lisa!! :) Please check your e-mail! And for those of you that would love to check out everything that Susanna has to offer, I encourage you to browse through her TPT store!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whimsy Workshop Graphics (Giveaway)!

Hello, hello! I am introducing my newest friend and find for adorable clipart and products..
Susanna from Whimsy Workshop Graphics
This sweet and successful lady has been selling products on TPT, and she has amazing products that are fit for many grade levels (centers, printables, no prep art lessons) and she also has been blessed with the adorable talent of art!
I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A with Susanna :] Here is the fun info I got!
1. What inspired you to get started with clipart?
I spent many years doing more traditional art and illustration styles, and I've always used drawing during my lessons to help students connect with whatever concept I'm teaching. However, my clip art drawing style actually emerged during a very difficult time for my family. One day I said to my husband, "Things are so sad right now - we need more whimsy in our lives!" I started doodling cute little animals to cheer myself up, and they did cheer me up! So when I joined TPT, Whimsy Workshop seemed like an appropriate name.
2. What advice do you have for people starting out with creating clipart?
There's a steep learning curve if you're not techie - I spent SO many hours watching tutorials online while learning photoshop. Once you've got the basics down, try to develop your own style and have fun with it! I like clean lines, bright colors and characters that make you smile when you see them. Those three qualities do more than just decorate a page - they are meant to capture students' attention and inspire them to engage in the activity.
I find it helps to have a specific lesson or concept in mind before you start. For example, my fairy tale clip art and mask sets were made specifically for my own class Reader's Theater lessons. The Whimsy Town graphics were inspired by a trip to Carmel, California and all the adorable houses near the ocean.
3. Where are you from?
I'm from near Vancouver, BC where I've lived most of my life, apart from traveling around Europe during a house exchange with my family. I have two teenage boys, and my husband teaches music and computers at my school. It's quite fun when he has to come and take my class away twice a week!
4. What do you teach?
I've taught K-3, and currently I'm teaching a split grade 1/2 class. The abilities are so varied (reading levels from 1-45 in the same class) that differentiated activities are a must! My teaching philosophies involve teaching the whole child, meaning that social/emotional issues are given equal weight to teaching academics.
This year was one of my most challenging classes with 14 out of 23 reading below level when the year started! I soon realized it was not an academic problem, but rather a self-regulation problem. After a year of trying everything I could think of and many new ideas, there are only 3 students still below level now - but I still have two months to get them caught up as well!
5. What are your hobbies?
 My hobbies are art related: traditional painting, writing and illustrating childrens' books, and puttering around in my garden. I'm always busy adding new products to my TPT store, blogging and collaborating with all of the amazing teachers I've met online.
Her clipart is some of the best out there I have seen with incredible prices.  Adorable animals, backgrounds, color, b&w!
Below are images of her clipart that are available at her store:


Now for the great part... a giveaway!  Susanna is generously donating any TWO clipart products of your choice to one lucky winner... This is such a wonderful giveaway, and even if you don't win, become a follower of Susanna and stay up to date on freebies, sales, and the latest of her adorable, easily afforded products. Good luck... there are many ways to enter.. be sure to share ;)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook

How exciting!! The Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook is the largest collection of worksheets and activities for teaching the Fourth Grade Common Core State Standards. This workbook includes over 850 pages of Worksheets, Activity Centers, and Posters that teach all the Fourth Grade English Language Arts Common Core Standards and all the Fourth Grade Mathematics Common Core Standards! And this is now available to YOU!!
What a wonderful resource that will help you even more with full aligning to the Common Core standards. I feel that we never have enough resources and this is perfect to help you with TWO subject areas. Very easy to enter for this FREE giveaway... and if you don't want to wait, this resource is only $39! Check out the Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook TODAY! This free giveaway ends in just two days.. 4/21/2013 so head on over, fourth grade teachers!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Science Fair & Figurative Language

Hello hello! Welcome to my blog post :] I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday! Not only because she's one of my besties, but also because I have a lot of time on Tuesdays when Mike is in class [he is going to be teaching just like us..but 4 year olds! God bless him!]
Something that I tried (alongside the first and second grade teacher at my school) was doing our Science Fair differently.. in the past, the teachers have put on a science fair night for the children to come and check out our experiments.  The only problem with this was that the children who didn't get to go, didn't get to see.  So, this year we held it at the end of the school day and had all the children walk around and see what the teachers came up with, AND what our students came up with! :] The only downside with this was not ALL parents can go (because of work), but most of them made it and were excited their kids! There was even a little skit performed by a couple teachers.

Check out some of the amazing projects that our kids did!

It was so wonderful watching them be so proud of their work.  And it was a nice distraction to state testing... we took the first part of our ELA's today, the rest are tomorrow and Thursday.  I thought that the reading material was fine, but the questions were very tricky.  Definitely higher level thinking.  All I can ask for of my students is that they do their bests!
And I did treat them today!
A concept that seems to be difficult for my students to learn is figurative language... so what did I do? Made a Figurative Language Pack! ;) Check it out here on TPT and here on TN [whichever your shopping preference!]
Here is a preview of the printables you can find in this pack:

And this has nothing to do with teaching, but I went to A.C. Moore yesterday on one of my "breaks" from working, and bought a vase, a few flowers, and some marbles... and came up with this :]
Have a wonderful rest of the week :] :]

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Winner of my 400 Follower Giveaway!

First of all, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered.. even though there is only one winner, it truly means a lot to me! I love each and every one of you and appreciate all you do for me... thank you!!
The winner of the giveaway is... Mrs. Peggy Paulson!! What a sweet, sweet lady! You deserve it, Peggy! Thank you for EVERYTHING you do... your prizes will be sent to you soon! Congratulations!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Hello! It's Tuesday, so I am linking up with my best buddy Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper with her Tried it Tuesday linky!

The topic for today is something that I "tried" last year... my inspiration comes from my lovely friend Tara from K-2 is Splendid.  She introduced me to the "BEE Binder" which stands for "Bring Everything Everyday."  You have to check out her post here on all of her organization techniques.  It's wonderful and she is one of the most talented teachers I know!
This post and picture below are from 2010 but still by far one of my favorite blog posts ever!
So with the help of Mrs. Leander and all of her creativity, I came up with my own type of binder.... a T.R.A.V.E.L. binder! - Total Requirements And Very Effective Learning (spells TRAVEL!)
Here are some of the things that my kiddos keep in their TRAVEL binders :) And again, so many of the ideas came from my lovely friend... so I can't take all the credit... just for coming up with my own resources (except the Clip Chart that you can find HERE for FREE on TPT from Tara's store!)
 I also got the idea for writing prompts and speller's choice from Tara, but I created my own :) Maybe sometime I can post them on TPT/TN if there is enough interest for them! Basically every Wednesday my kiddos choose a writing prompt to complete in their homework notebooks, and they choose a speller's choice every Thursday to do in their homework notebooks (because spelling tests are every Friday.) 
 In each child's TRAVEL binder, there is also our class schedule, school calendar, homework guidelines, and clip chart.  This keeps parent's updated daily and keeps communication strong.
 You will notice that my student's homework notebook is full of stickers! That is because every time a student is on "Outstanding" on the clip chart, they receive a sticker.  10 stickers = a prize, 15 stickers = a private lunch, and 20 stickers = lunch with the principal.  This is not something the entire school does, this is something I made up for my classroom :)
I had to share this with you that I saw outside... the first flower :] It is Spring!!

You are probably wondering why I posted a picture of a bunch of Crunch bars... well, I went to my local Walgreens and was asked to donate to the troops overseas.  Of course I would, but then they tell me I need to buy some yummy CANDY and all the money will go to them.. and they were about 40 cents each!! So of course I got a bar for each of my kiddos, and even one for myself (the skinny cow chocolate!) So if you can, check out your local Walgreens, buy a candy bar, and give back to our wonderful troops! :]
 Don't forget to check out my 400 Follower Giveaway! Going on now until Sunday :]
My friend Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars is having an amazing 5 day giveaway!! Become a follower of her blog and make sure you enter each day :] I am so happy for her blogiversary and over 500 followers!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

400 Follower Giveaway

Hello lovelies!! I am just shy of 400 followers, but hey, I cannot wait to have my BIG giveaway any longer ;] I am teaming up with some wonderful and talented bloggers/sellers/teachers/friends! They mean so much to me!  YOU all mean so much to me too... I thank you for hanging with me over the past year/year and a half.  It has been an amazing experience getting to know each of you!
My giveaway will include the following prizes and wonderful teachers:
From me, you will win a $20 gift card to and any product of choice from my store! :]
The wonderful Jenny from Owl Things First is donating a $10 Starbucks gift card!! Sweet!
4th Gr Flipper
My dearest friend Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper is giving away winner's choice from her TPT store!  Great units and DBQ products!!
 Miss V’s Busy Bees
My sweet girl Sara from Miss V's Busy Bees will be giving away winner's choice at her TPT store!  Very engaging products - I especially love her landform unit and making words activities!
Primary Teacherhood
Ashley from Primary Teacherhood and Justin from Classroom Game Plan are giving away any TWO units of choice from their store!  Ashley and Justin are a very sweet couple I met in college.  I am so happy they are blogging and selling! 
The very talented Erin from The Open Door Classroom is giving away ANY unit from her TPT store ($10 or under)! There are so many great choices at her wonderful store! I wish I could win ;)
 My beautiful celebrity friend Hadar from Miss Kindergarten is giving away her #1 top selling Mother's Day Purse! - Amazing! This is perfect for MANY grade levels and will be a sure hit with your kiddos!
Conversations in Literacy
The fabulous Lori from Conversations of Literacy is giving away her K-1 Spring Centers! As you many of you know, I teach third/fourth grade, but I have some primary followers out there! How amazing does this unit look?  Lori is the best!
 The talented Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars is giving away any unit from her TPT store! She has many literacy activities to choose from.. such a talented lady! :)
K-2 is Splendid!
My very bestest and colleague Tara from K-2 is Splendid is giving away any unit from her TPT store.. I am telling you, she's so talented and has engaging hands-on units for multiple grade levels and topics! A definite prize within itself!
Third Grade Love
The wonderful Darleen from Third Grade Love is giving away her Charlotte's Web Chapter Questions - a great resource to have with this classic novel!! Darleen is one of the sweetest people I have met on here... please become a follower of her! :)
 Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings
Brian from Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings has a fun prize to give!  His Search and Find Highlighting Math Facts contains 10 worksheets with facts from 1's to 12's of all operations! A cool, different activity that is very engaging for children!
Fun in 5th Grade
Angela from Fun in 5th Grade is giving away any product from her TPT store! She has a lot of great task cards and other upper elementary products!

Yay, who doesn't need more products for teaching Science?! Susan from Science for Kids is donating any product from her TPT store! (I wish I could win this!) Ps-Isn't her blog button the cutest?!
Fancy Free in Fourth
And last but CERTAINLY not least, the beautiful Layla from Fancy Free in Fourth! She is absolutely glowing right now with her beautiful baby bump! Layla is giving away her Whole Class Journal Set #1 - engaging and fun journal prompts!
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to giveaway these UNBELIEVABLE prizes!! I wish I could win all of this! ;) But guess what.. YOU CAN! Please enter using the rafflecopter below.  I hope you can follow each of these wonderful persons because I promise you will learn a lot from them.
Thank you so much!! Giveaway begins 4/7/13 at midnight and goes through 4/14/13 at midnight! Please tell your friends and remember to come back for extra entries and share this giveaway :]