Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bright Ideas: Popcorn Words Book Cover

Isn't the back-to-school season is a great time to find bright ideas? Teachers are sharing their organization tips, decorating ideas and fun ideas for the first days of school. I'm  joining along with directions for turning popcorn bags into popcorn words (high-frequency or sight words) books.

Purchase a few packs of popcorn bags from your Dollar Tree or other discount store. To make one book cover...
Carefully open the bottom of the bag.

 Flatten the bag.

Trim the bottom off the bag so the bag is now 11" long.

 Open the bag and flatten it again as shown.

 Cut along one side.

 Now you have your book cover! Laminate, if desired.

Add the pages you'll be using this year for sight-word practice. Staple the sides.

 I haven't made my books for next year yet, but when I do they will be stored in a popcorn bucket. (Does it bother anyone else that popcorn is two words on these products?!)
Thanks for visiting! I'd love for you to leave a comment and follow my blog, Instagram, or Facebook!

For more bright ideas from 75 bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smart Kids Sister Blog: ABCs of Reading

Did you know that Smart Kids has a sister blog? ABCs of Reading is a place to find ideas for integrating the ARTS with BOOKS to teach COMPREHENSION strategies. Sound fun?!  

You and your kiddos can sing into schema, dance into determining importance, act out inferences, make visual art with visualizations, turn questions into poetry and make music with the meaning of synthesis!

This blog is purely lesson products, no advertisements. Just fun, practical ideas that are good for the brain.

For each lesson you'll always find:
* a summary of the book and a link to the book on Amazon

*the focus reading strategy (making connections, visualizing, inferring, asking questions, determining importance, synthesizing)

*the focus arts modality (visual art, music, creative movement, poetry, storytelling, drama)

*the lesson

Here are some books recently featured that are great for early learners. Click the covers to explore the lessons. I hope you'll follow the blog on bloglovin' and Facebook!

synthesizing + creative movement

making connections + drama

questioning + creative movement

questioning + creative movement
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Camp Twin Lakes: Camps for Kids with Challenges

I'm sharing information about Camp Twin Lakes because you just might know a child with challenges that needs a special camp. 

Here's why it's awesome. Camp Twin Lakes provides life-changing experiences to thousands of children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. There are three fully accessible and medically-supportive campsites that provide week-long camps and year-round retreats. They cooperate with 60 different nonprofit organizations and subsidize 80% of the direct camp costs ($800) for every camper served!

Just click on the camp calendar to see if there is a camp for that special child in your life. Listen to these awesome titles!

KidsServe2 (Kids with military parents.)
Camp Sunshine (Kids with cancer.)
Camp New Hope (Kids with sickle cell disease.)
Camp Strong4Life (Kids with weight management issues.)
Camp You B You and Camp Journey (Kids with autism.)
Camp Krazy Legs (Kids with spina bifida.)
Camp Walk 'N' Roll (Kids with muscular dystrophy.)
Camp ESP (Youths and young adults with developmental disabilities.)
Camp WeKanEatIt (Kids with Celiac Disease.)
Camp Horizon (Kids that have been abused.)
Camp Joint Venture and Camp AcheAway (Kids with juvenile arthritis.)
Camp Rainbow (Kids with blood disorders.)
Camp Twitch and Shout (Kids with Tourette Syndrome.)
Camp Wannaklot (Kids with hemophilia.)
and more!

Camp Twin Lakes Calendar and Camp Descriptions

Sunday I took my son to camp Twitch and Shout for the third summer. Camp T&S is a place for kids with Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder which produces involuntary movements called tics. What a blessing this camp  has been to our family!

My hope is that this information will be helpful to a child in your life. Support for these camps and specifically Camp Twitch and Shout is always appreciated!
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Monday, July 14, 2014


So I already blogged about all of the professional learning at I Teach K! I promise I went to all of my sessions and I will turn in the report to my district. NOW, let's talk about the shopping!

Walk with me into the exhibit hall. (I won more in there than I did in the casino....)

My traveling companions are going to get me for posting  a picture of our GoNoodle practice!
This first picture is of a FREE product my gang tried out. I know you've heard of GoNoodle, right?! Well, if you haven't, you can learn more about it by clicking this pic. It will take you to a video and the site where you can sign up for FREE. Be sure to read about their back-to-school contest.

Everyone was going googoo gaga over this product. You can find ordering info by clicking the ad.

Have you heard of Katie and Company? C-U-T-E flannel pieces with songs...Again, click on the pics if you want to check out her web site.

Lots of interesting ten frames. Sorry, I didn't get links for these. 
So what did I buy? I've had my eye on these clear pocket blocks for centers, but they were not easy to put in the suitcase! You can get them from Resources for Reading.

 Who would pass up edible dice?

 Last but not least, these CDs from HeidiSongs that have already been dropped off at school.

 If you want to see what other bloggers thought about Vegas, check out this linky.

Teach me how to think...not what to think.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

More PD at ITK!

In between all of the fun photos and Elvis sightings, there was some superb professional development going on at I Teach K! in Vegas.

My kinder peeps from Macon, GA! Love these ladies!!
For example, I stopped by my friend Palma Lindsey's presentation that was chock full off science ideas for kinders. Here is a pic of a teacher folding and throwing a tube of paper to learn about force and motion. We tried a quiet discovery idea...just put water on wax paper. Use a straw to move it around, break it up, count and more. 


I found one presenter I just couldn't stalk enough. I went to three of her sessions! Melissa Dickson knocked my socks off with information about  teaching reading and getting kids to think. Here we are learning about way to guide thinking and listening while reading non-fiction. 

Here are some links to some free things I found out about...

Teaching Made Easier (7 day trial)  (a place to get free photos)

Back to the fun....I went out to eat with Palma (KfUNdamentals) and Heidi (HeidiSongs) and Melinda (ESGI). You know you can save 400 hours on your assessments with ESGI, right? Well if I had 400 more hours, I would spend it with these ladies! Did we end up at a night club after dinner? No. We're so glam we went to the Target Dollar spot. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. So don't share that, OK?

Stays in Vegas...

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