Peek at the Week!

Don't think I dare write Sunday any more!  I'm not quite sure how I get so behind sometimes!  Just a short post for you today.

Want to start off with a little teaser for you this week - it's been a while in the planning and I'm so excited that the time is almost upon us!  Details will follow soon, don't want to let the cat out of the bag too early!!


(Did I mention my Van Morrison tickets have arrived?  Did I?! Did I?)

I finally got stuck into my classroom decor sets and am really so excited about them!  I love doing this kind of creating when my thinking brain has deserted me.  I have many more ideas, but was sooo pleased to get my first really complete set finished.  It's on at a discounted rate in my TpT store and I sold one the first evening I posted it!  That's the good thing about living in a different time zone - I get to wake up to cha-chings!  Just click on the pic below if you want to investigate.


If you're on the hunt for some awesome freebies, don't forget to check out Manic Mondays!


And this looks like a lot of fun - check out the blog post and see if you would like to particpate - what a great idea!



Leaving you with a little thought:



Don't forget  to check back on May 5th!!  Speak soon!

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Giveaway Winner!

It's over!!!!!  What an amazing giveaway - thank you so much for your entries and your lovely, lovely comments - you are all just the sweetest!  It was great fun checking in every day to see what was going on!
So, the winner is (*drum roll!) ...........................Katie Smith!! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!  I have sent you an email Katie - get choosing!
Thanks so much to everybody for taking part - your '3 words' made me smile!

On to a more serious topic.....Kreative in Kinder has reopened her fundraiser to help teachers and students caught up in the Texas tragedy. 


For a donation of $25 you will receive $150 of TpT products and be helping some very precious people in need.  Please consider donating to this very worthy cause and take a moment to read Crystal's story.  Just click on the pic below to visit her blog. 



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Peek at the Week and QR Codes!

Sunday Peek at the Week - my third one and I still haven't managed to post on a Sunday!!

Lots to share with you this week - the blogging world is so busy!  

If you're a pinner, I'd like to introduce you to two new collaborative boards.  Up to this point, I've joined loads, but I've never actually created one of my own.  Well, time to jump on that bandwagon and give it a go!  Most of the collaborative boards I pin to are all about TpT products - there are so many out there, I really didn't think I needed to add to it, so I decided to go with something I enjoy.  I'm always looking for new and interesting ideas to display children's work.  (Bulletin boards really should be interactive - but that a whole other story!).  We can all get stuck in our ways and I was really looking for some inspiration.  I've even found some controversial displays!  Just click on the pic below to go to the board.  I would love it if you would consider sharing your pics and ideas - just leave me a message at the usual places and I will add you.


Pardon the pun, but this first one may give you some food for thought! 'Take away words' - this board caused quite a stir on facebook - opinions??

The second board belongs to my lovely friend, Cynthia.  She's mad keen on photos from the classroom and wants to see students and teachers in action, as well as those all important TpT products!  Just click on the link below to check out her board.


Which leads me nicely onto products in action!  There are two great product swaps going on at the moment and well worth checking out - it's great to read the reviews of TpT products and see them in the classroom, tried and tested.  Just click on the pics below to check them out.


The second swap can be found on my lovely friend, Samantha's (aka Ms Smarty Pants) blog.  Lots of blog-hopping and reading to keep you entertained!


This seems to be the season for giveaways - they are all over my facebook newsfeed!  So many fabulous things to be won!  I'm leaving you with just two for now!  My lovely friend Martha has hit a fab milestone on her newish blog and wanted to celebrate - just click on the pic below.


The second one is mine!  Just a reminder that my little mini-giveaway finishes soon.  Thank you all so much for joining in the fun and leaving your sweet comments - you are all so kind!


Do QR Codes mean anything to you?  I'm seeing more and more products on TpT using QR codes - don't students today have so much more fun in the classroom?!  I know what the codes are, but really wanted to know why they are a useful as a teaching tool - what's the point of them?  I'm no spring chicken, but do like to keep up with technology - I don't want to have that blank look (which often happens!) when a young coworker uses an 'on trend' term and I'm still thinking 'I miss my chalk board'!  So... 'google it' (my 'professional development' when I'm stuck at home!).  I found an interesting article that might help make things a bit clearer.

This article was written by Andrew Miller, an education consultant from www.edutopia.org.  I've picked out just a few for you.....

Make Your Classroom Greener
Save a few trees! Instead of making more printouts than everyone needs, give your students a QR that takes them to the instructions, announcement or assignment. It can save you space on your wall, and keep your classroom greener.

Incentivize and Praise
Award prizes by having students scan a code leading to an animation or badge. When they pass a test on commas, perhaps they get a code that takes them to a badge for Comma Guru! Students can even create their own codes to award each other. When a student sees something great happen, they can give a code that links to messages such as "Good Job from Andrew" and "Thanks for doing your part for the team."

Make Learning Stations
Put codes in different areas of the room that will take students to different online activities, videos or content. Using a great tool like the discussion protocol of reciprocal teaching or a graphic organizer will help facilitate their interaction with the linked content.

Check Answers and Reflect
Have students check their answers by scanning the QR code after completing a test or assignment. As a teacher, you can visually confirm when students are checking their work and can also check in to see how they are doing. This will help track individual learning and can provide an opportunity for you to facilitate student reflection.

Provide Extension Assignments
A great way to provide optional activities for students who want to excel is to simply put the code on the class assignment and let them follow it to the extension activity or question. It won't take up much space, and might facilitate a little excitement about the extension assignment.

Compile Research
Have students create codes linking to items discovered during research. These could be posted in class wikis on a specific topic, or on a wall in the classroom. It helps give them ownership of the research process and literally creates "walls that talk."

Differentiate Instruction
Perhaps you have a poem for students to analyze. You can provide additional scaffolding with a link to a recitation or focused questions to get them started. Use the QR to help you manage differentiation of the various strategies in your tool belt of teacher practices.

Vote
QR codes can be a great voting tool allowing students to vote by simply scanning the code as they enter or exit the classroom. This can save time, and it gets your students up and moving.

QR codes are a great arsenal for the teacher tool belt. Just remember, this technology is a tool and needs to fit a purpose. It can help create engagement in a lesson, manage your classroom, be part of student work or facilitate inquiry in a project.

I couldn't leave it there without actually creating a code myself, so scan with your iphone/ipod/ipad and see my message.....QR codes definitely get a big 'like' from me!  Hopefully when I get my 'zillion' ongoing products finished I can turn my head to creating a QR filled product!  If you don't have a scan app already - here's the link to a free one:  SCAN


Lastly, brain breaks have been on my mind and I threw out a question on my facebook page for people's favourites.  The lovely Jenny left me this link:  (hilarious!)



Hope you danced along!!

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Sunday Peek at the Week!!

Still having trouble with my days as you can see, although this time, I've managed to be a bit earlier!
 
What was up last week?!  Well, ta-da!  As you can see I've got a new coat!  An amazing technicolor dream coat.....!  I keep logging on just to look at it - I LOVE IT!  And who was the amazing person that created this for me?  CHRISTI FULTZ - come on down!  What a clever and talented lady Christi is!  I first met her exactly a year ago (and 2 days), when I bought my premade blog from her.  Don't worry I don't have an amazing memory, I just happen to have a little widget at the bottom of my blog that tells me when my Blogoversary is - more of that later.....
Back to Christi.  Mrs. Fultz's Corner is Christi's personal blog, but she also has a blog design site with an amazing portfolio.  Just click on her button below to check it out. 
 
Christi was very patient with me, as I must be the most indecisive person ever!  I'm not so good with knowing what I like/want, but can just about say what I don't like.  I left the design in Christi's hands and she made it work!  I won't go into the ins and outs and trials and tribulations of trying to illustrate a 'toolkit' - I couldn't have been in my right mind when I came up with this name - but since it's too late to change it, we just had to go with it and we got a result!  Thanks so much to Danielle at Crayonbox Learning  for drawing the perfect teacher's bag for me!  I can't thank both ladies enough! 
 
This was the perfect 'cheer me up' remedy - out with the old and in with the new!  It's so me and I'm delighted!  If you are considering a new blog design, Christi comes highly recommended by many, (especially me!) - your blog is delivered promptly, efficiently and professionally, all wrapped up in a smile!
More of the 'cheer me up' remedy.  Those who read my blog will know that I have some health problems and am currently out of school on medical leave.  Well, the best update ever is that I started my treatment today and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be!  I'm a bit tired and sore (had the biggest sleep when I got back from the hospital) and apart from feeling like I'm going to spontaneously combust from overheating, I am NOT SICK!!!  So far, so good.  I return in a fortnight for more of the same, but feeling very positive at the moment.  If I have a wobble, I'll just look at my blog - it makes me smile :)
To cap it all, I get to see Van Morrison in concert in June, playing in a castle approx. 2 miles away!  Can you imagine the castle all lit up?  It will be so magical!  This place was one of my playgrounds growing up.  It was built in the 13th century and lost part of its kitchen to the sea.  My town is just behind by the beach you can see in the pic. Van the man and.....'ooh, my brown-eyed girl'...... - I feel so very lucky!


I am currently messing around with working hard on several projects for TpT, but it takes me sooo long to finish anything!  I'm 'working' on a pack of gameboards, as well as a huge Math unit on 2D and 3D shape.  I will be uploading one part this evening, so if you are in need of some info posters, just check out my store.
  
Many teachers are now in the fortunate position of having ipads/ipods in their classrooms, so I wanted to let you know about a regular post that you may find very useful!  This is a weekly post with information about apps that have been tried and tested in the classroom.  There's so much choice out there, it's often hard to know what could work with your students.  What I like about Christi's post is that the apps have been used, so she's speaking from personal experience.  Just click on the link below to check out the latest addition:  Dyslexia Quest.

If you're looking for a ton of fabulous poetry resources or just want to link up, check out this fabulous linky at the Peanut Gallery.  Just click on the pic below.
Lastly - just for fun!  I wanted to do a mini-giveaway to celebrate being here in the blogging world after a whole year and to thank you all for reading along and supporting me and also to celebrate my new look!
Up for grabs is a $10 TpT certificate and 5 items of your choice from my store.  I'll let it run until Wednesday to give you plenty of time to enter. 
  
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
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Which day is it?!

Hi everyone!
It's been a few days!  This post was actually intended for Sunday, but some things got in the way!
 
As I'm currently not in school, I've been struggling to find things to blog about, but I don't want to lose touch!  As I remain active in all other ways, I'm still finding loads of things to interest me that I'm bookmarking for when I return to school.  Last week was a very busy week with events happening all over and I had the idea of doing a weekly round up (on Sundays!). 
 
Although we're all part  of the same blogging community we don't all read and see the same things.  I still want to share, so I was thinking perhaps I could have a 'Peek at the Week' type of post.  I would love to do it every week, but was thinking maybe I might run out of things to share!!  Anyhow, I've decided to give it a go and see how it pans out.  What I will be sharing will be completely random, no categories ( a bit like my thought patterns!), but they will be things that have caught my eye/interest me for a variety of reasons.
 
Have to share this first though!  I FINALLY got my newest product finished!  It took me so long to complete, it was like pulling teeth in the end!  I just didn't know where to stop!  I wanted it to be as complete as possible so teachers would have a range of teaching tools and possibilities for differentiation to choose from. It's now for sale on TpT at a discounted rate for the rest of this month.  Just click on the first pic below if you want to check it out!  I intend to sell some parts separately and hope to get those up by the end of the week.




I will be changing my freebie on facebook later this evening - a compound word poster and worksheet - so don't forget to check it out!

For the last 2 weeks I have been part of a link up for Autism Awareness Month.  A group of us got together to produce some Autism friendly freebies to highlight the need for resources to help students in our classrooms.  There is also a fabulous giveaway at the end of the linky.  The Rafflecopter can be found at Crayonbox Learning.  Just click on the first pic below to grab your freebies and enter.  The giveaway closes in approx. 1 day - so go quick!

Many of you will have heard of the lovely Mel:  Graphics from the Pond.  Mel is currently involved in a fundraiser to help support Bundaberg East State School in Queensland Australia, which was recently devastated with flooding and storms.  Many TpT sellers donated products and the combined result is now available to buy for $15.00.  Please consider donating as you will help many children in need and gain some wonderful resources at the same time!  Just click on the first pic below to check it out.



Some of you may have come across Primary Paradise - another good friend, Martha (wave!).  Martha does a fabulous Saturday post where she shares the best freebies she has found that week.  Martha's Saturday post is a great resource for unique and interesting freebies, so tune in at the weekends to check it out.  Just click on her button below.



I am always filling my shopping cart at TpT, but you can never really know if a product will work for you unless you use it!  I always find product swaps interesting because you get a unique look at the product in action.  There is a fabulous product swap going on right now with lots of little mini-giveaways of the products in question.  Hop on over to Samantha at Miss Smarty Pants and enjoy a good read!  You never know what you might find!  Just click on the first pic.

     

If you are a 'Take and Make It' kinda girl, you might want to check this linky out.  Cynthia over at 2nd Grade Pad has started this Thursday link up for all things useful that you can take and make, from resources for the classroom to recipes.  I love to check out this weekly read to bookmark great ideas for when I'm back at school. Just click on Cynthia's button below and say hello!

 

I recently started a new board on Pinterest: Tutorials.  There are so many fabulous bloggers out there with all these wonderful videos on how to do things!  I have watched so many over this last year and have learnt so much, but of course I didn't bookmark them!  Now that I have my little board, I can bookmark straight away and check back later when I need to refresh my mind! 
 
One recent tutorial (not from a blog!) that caught my eye was how to change settings in Powerpoint.  Many of us use this program to create our products, but many also use it to create clip art.  One problem with this is that the automatic settings save the pics in a low resolution, therefore they don't look as good as they could.  I have to admit I have done this without knowing.  For good clear clip art, you need to be saving work that you have made on Powerpoint at 300dpi.  The following tutorial explains how to change your settings to allow this to happen.  Don't be daunted by how the tutorial looks - it's really quite easy, but make sure you follow the instructions carefully!


Phew - that's it!

On a personal note (for those interested), Blue is eating better and wagging his tail - he has now turned his attention to our cat!  He is coping much better than we thought he would, although he's still whining a bit in the night.  :(  I always go to him because it's hard to hear, although my hubby says this is not helping (I know he's right).

Good news too, in that I finally start my treatment next Tuesday, so please think of me then!

Lastly, just for you, an inspirational thought:


Hope you found something useful to take away with you!
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