World Gratitude Day, a blog hop and a freebie!

September 21 is World Gratitude Day – a relatively unknown special day, but a great opportunity for us to have a quick chat to those that we teach and love – and tell them what we are grateful for! 

I am grateful for so many things! I realize it is a luxury to live a happy life in today's difficult times and that in many parts of the world, there are people living in very trying circumstances. I have friends and family I love, a job that I adore and things to look forward to every day. 

Right now, I am grateful to be back to almost full health which has allowed me to finally return to work after many long months.  I am grateful to be married to the most amazing man who keeps me sane when I am struggling.  Without his love and support, I wouldn't have been able to keep my problems in perspective.  He makes me laugh every day and has a heart of pure gold!  I was surely blessed the day I met him!  I am grateful for my wonderful fur baby Blue who greets me at the gate every day with unconditional love and loyalty.  The rest of my 'support group' also deserve a huge mention - you know who you are girls!  How lucky was I to stumble upon this most amazing blogging community where people care and support one another?  These special friendships have allowed me to moan/vent/rant without being judged and have kept me going during my most miserable days!  I feel very blessed right now and know just how fortunate I am to be surrounded by people who truly care.

The year TpT and blogging came into my life opened many doors I never thought possible.  On this special day, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has ever stopped by my blog, left a comment, shared a special moment, or visited my TpT store.  It feels so amazing to think that, at the click of a mouse, people from all around the world can connect with one another and teachers and students alike may benefit from a shared teaching resource.

To show my gratitude, I am turning a paid product into a freebie for today only!  Just click on the pic below to go to my store and download.  I would love it if you could share something from your life that you are grateful for right at this moment in time - sometimes we forget to think on the positives........

Wishing you a wonderful day - pay it forward if you can!

Click on the pic below to hop to Christi at Ms. Fultz's Corner to grab a fab freebie! Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter at the last stop 'The Teaching Tribune' for a chance to win a $50 TpT gift voucher!!

I'm adding in a list of the participating blogs, as we organized the hop quickly and we are all not live yet!  The list will enable you to bypass until everything is set up.

The blog starts here:


The rafflecopter can be found here:


Deals, giveaways and freebies!

Deals, giveaways and freebies - these words are like music to my ears!!  
Keep reading for a quick round-up!
Before I go there though, I just wanted to say how blessed I'm feeling right now! The sun has been shining all day, there is a slight chill in the air and Autumn is definitely on its way! This is my all time favorite season - there's just something so special about this time of year, the richness of the colors, the clear air and the crunch underfoot! I have been back at school for 2 weeks - I love my crazy class with all its' problems. Although beyond tired, I feel motivated and energised! (Remind me I said this later!!) I'm really scared of jinxing this, but so far, so good - I'm managing, actually.... more than managing! I'm so happy to be back and my anxieties about my health are lessening by the day - I feel I can finally put this awful year behind me and look forward to what the future brings! My happiness today inspired me! If you need a little clip art for your autumn projects, check out my little freebie:

Click the pic below to find more fabulous freebies from Martha at Primary Paradise: 
I would love it if you would also check out these giveaways - best of luck!
The first can be found at The Teaching Tribune where you can win a $20 TpT certificate:

.....or for your convenience I have added the rafflecopter below:

And the second can be found right here!  My 'pin it, to win it' is almost over, but you still have a little time to enter.  Just click {here} for details.
I have to finish with a great deal - I have been so excited to be part of this!  If you are a Kindergarten teacher you won't want to miss out!  There's not long left, so grab it while you can!
That's it folks - just a quickie for today!  
Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend and wherever you are in the world......
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Freebie Fridays


Pin It to Win It!

Only a few more days to take advantage of this great deal we have with Educents.  Over 1400 pages of activities that you can easily implement that will get you through your day!

How about a little fun with our Educents bundle?  Let's Pin In, To Win It!  That's right.  Pin any image from this blog post and enter to win any product from my store!

a Rafflecopter giveaway There are so many great products in the bundle... which will you pin?  


If you are ready to purchase, click below and head on over!  


Amazing Kinder Deal from Educents!

Kindergarten teachers... are you tired?  {Silly question right!}  

Well... we know this time of year can be exhausting and yet you still need great resources to keep your students engaged in learning and so I am very excited to share this amazing opportunity for you to stock up with Educents!

Over 1400 pages of activities for literacy, math, and even a little social studies!

From my store you will get 'Crazy Color Words Big Bundle'.  I know you will love it as it encompasses all you need to teach (or consolidate) color words! This big bundle includes a color chart, color labels, playdoh mats, centers, worksheet activities and a workbook.  All you need to do is print, cut and laminate and you are ready to go - your students will have fabulous fun with this action-packed bundle!

But that's just one product.  With this bundle you get 24 products from some other amazing sellers as well!  So we have linked up blog hop style for you to see what's included in this great bundle from Educents!  So hop on to the next blog to see what else is included!

If you love what you see as much as I do, go ahead and head on over to Educents to stock up!  


Focus Walls!

I know I have already posted this on our collaborative blog, but just thought I would post it here too, in case you missed it and might find something useful!

At the beginning of the year, my first graders are still very dependent on adult reassurance (they have aides in K) and there is frequently an air of ‘learned helplessness’ which can try the patience of a saint!  My classes are always 30+ and all day long my little ‘hip-clingers’ are tap, tap, tapping away at my hip with the same question – “what do I do now?”  I am very keen to guide them towards some independent thinking early on!  (Especially as my daily timetable does not set aside a time for guided reading – it has to be done whenever it can be fitted in!)  I therefore need to train my littlies to know what to do when I am not available.  From this situation grew my focus wall.  On the very first day they start to learn that everything they need to know ‘urgently’ can be found here.

My theme this year is safari, hence the banana tree! 

When I am reading with a group I use this light: 

The students know they have to wait. 

When I need their full attention, I use ‘Bella’:

Otherwise they use the focus wall as their aid until I am free.

The focus wall is also useful as any visiting parents can see at a glance what is happening in the classroom.  It also acts as a quick guide to any last minute subs.

The following are some of the things I use on my focus wall:

KWL Chart: The children have their individual copies which they complete in a small group. I take their responses and add a teacher version to the focus wall.  (They fold the 'L' section out of sight and complete this when the topic is finished.)

KWL Chart (Student version)
Top left KWL Chart (Teacher Version)
The self-assessment system is used as they are completing work.  They have a little dish of color-coded cards to use. When working with a guided reading group I can see from a distance who has placed a red card on their notebook.  As soon as I am free, they get my attention first.

The ‘Must do, May do’ board is my life-saver.  When students are unsure, they can check the ‘Must do’ board to ensure they have completed everything required for each session.  They then move to the ‘May do’ board (this includes a daily task board) which gives them a choice of activities to complete – this may be completing an online task, listening to an ereader, playing Boggle or a math game – these are rotated daily, so that they don’t always choose the same thing and get a chance to practice a range of skills.

Taskboard as part of  'May Do' board - this is just to the right of the focus wall.
The color-coded circles match the color of their tables.

My wonderful poetry skills on display - lol!

KWL Chart freebie - blacklines included:  Just click on the pic!

I hope you have found something that may be of use to you!  Thanks for reading!

A little extra that might come in handy!

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