Creative Thinking and a Mini-giveaway!

Hi everyone!  I'm so sorry it's been a while!  I have had lots of change going on in my life recently, but I'm glad to report I have emerged unscathed!  I have made some big decisions in my professional life which I am feeling very positive about, so it's onwards and upwards!

This is a little fun post today and you have nothing to learn from it - haha! What it lacks in content, it makes up for in the 'cute' factor!

Back story: I have a large class of first graders this year, with many on IEPs. There is a huge range of ability and many boys with diagnosed conditions. All year I feel like we take one step forward and two steps back. We are nowhere near where we should be in terms of curriculum and I feel like it takes most of the morning to 'warm-up' their brains. My timetable and planners have changed considerably during the course of the year. I have not lowered my expectations of my little sweetpeas, but have had to change my approach to their learning. Many still struggle to work with any degree of independence, so some months ago, I introduced 'morning work', which is not something I would typically have done.

The students have a set routine every morning which deals with house-keeping issues and then they go straight to morning work. As most of you know this typically includes some type of challenge or review of skills which students should be able to do independently. This works to some degree, but I am always on the look out for something different to change it up. I see this period as the students 'brain warm-up' time, as it takes so long to engage and motivate them. Our weekly timetable must include a standalone lesson on 'Thinking Skills' - resources and ideas can be hard to find!! So...I needed to 'kill two birds with one stone' - what an awful saying.....

In my quest for something that delivered both needs, I came across this wonderful blog: First Grade Wow. This blog is run by Nancy Vandenberg and I just love her ideas!

Just click on the pic to read about this resource.
These are some of the results! Aren't they just adorable?!

I have some new clip art products (and a Write and Wipe Bundle) to share with you.  Several weeks ago, I started a new product called 'January Journalling' - I think I am going to have to change the name!  Perhaps Winter Waffling?!  My mind has been so busy with change, I haven't been able to knuckle down and concentrate, so it was easier to create clip art!  However, if you are on the look-out for winter-themed writing keep checking, as it may eventually get finished before Spring arrives!


Mini-giveaway:  these are some recent additions to my store.  If you leave a comment stating which you would like, along with a contact email, I will choose a winner and send you the product for free!


Font Pack

Also I have added a 'Seller Starter Pack' to my store.  I've been working on this for such a long time and am finally excited to be presenting it!
Included are 12 elements - 232 images in total.

Perhaps you are a new TpT seller just starting out and looking for some basic elements? A quick way to have just what you need at your fingertips, as you begin to create those first few products.

Maybe you are a seasoned seller who would love to have everything you might need in one folder, as a 'go to' pack?

Whichever you are, hopefully you will find just what you need in this mega bundle.

I have tried to include elements which would work with any product, e.g. polka dot and chevron papers.

Here's what you get:

Paper Pack 1: Polka Dot; Chevron; Check/Plaid (3 packs)
Paper Pack 2: Cover Pages - Sticks; More Scribbles ( 2 packs)
Frames: 3 styles - Glitter; Black; Color (3 packs)
Headers: Doodle (includes JPG, PNG and filled centers) (1 pack)
Labels: Chalkboard Circles (1 pack)
Tags: Colored Tags (1 pack)
Fonts: 12 Toolkits Fonts. (1 pack)

All papers are in 'letter' size to better suit your projects.

I have included a detailed preview of everything you would receive in this pack - the image thumbs reflect this also. Please check these carefully to decide if the elements suit your needs.

The total cost of the individual products is $37.50, but can be yours for $8.00!  Click the pic below to check out exactly what's included.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

2014 and freebies!

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you're all enjoying it thus far!

I have two words for you that I'm very excited about:  QUAD CORE!!  Lame, I know - I don't get out much - lol!  I woke up on Christmas morning and found Santa had left me this little baby:

I had so many computer troubles last year, my clip art, documents, pictures etc were all housed on four 32GB pen drives and two external hard drives, as my poor dual core just couldn't cope any more!  I had removed every program that I wasn't using and was really fed up switching pen drives in and out to get what I needed.  I spent 3 whole days in my pyjamas putting everything known to man on this new laptop and I still have about 700gb free - oh joy!!  Windows 8.1 is not so bad once you get your head around it and I'm totally addicted to playing with my new baby!  I splashed out and bought several new programs, so it will be bread and water for the rest of this month!

We all know that this time of year is a time for reflection, a time to put our house in order, so to speak.  I know my own faults so well, no self-discipline, world's worst procrastinator, always late for everything (I don't know how my hubs puts up with me!), housework shy (lol!) and on the list goes.....Every year I resolve to change this, but have finally realised I'm setting myself up to fail - I just can't change my character.  I get stressed trying to be the person I think I should be instead of enjoying the person I am.  This year I made one resolution only, well two, but intertwined.....lose weight, exercise more to try to stabilise my health issues.  I didn't wait until the new year to start this, it has been an ongoing process for a couple of months.  I am determined, by summer, that I won't be embarrassed to wear summer clothes any more!!  Yesterday I stepped on the scales and found I have now lost 20lbs - I have amazed myself - haha!  Ideally I would like to lose another 20lbs.  I feel the benefits already, I can bend down (and get back up again!) without my back hurting, I can paint my toenails, in fact I can even see my feet - woohoo!  The second stage is stepping up the exercise.   Just this week I booked an appointment with a 'Well Woman' clinic to have a once over and see if I need to make any other lifestyle changes.  My parents both had heart attacks - my Dad died at 44 from his, so it's really time to take stock, especially because I spend so much time sitting at the computer since I joined TpT - so it's onwards and upwards with the "Bloggy Butt Take-down" - are you on the same journey?  What do you plan to change this year?  I love the opportunity to start afresh and want to keep trying new things both personally and professionally.  I start school on Monday and I'm already getting that feeling of dread in terms of what stress lies ahead for me - I know many teachers experience this.  I dearly love teaching my little firsties, but sadly teaching is about so much more than this and it's the 'rest of it' that many of us struggle to cope with.  The night owl in me can't make myself go in any earlier, so I plan to stop being the last person standing every day.  The days are on the turn and I want to be home to go to the beach with Blue.  I'm going to stop working through my breaks and actually take them.

Some new products to present:


Some freebies for you!  Hope you find something useful!


Here's to a fabulous 2014!  Let me know what you're up to!

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