Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Just like everyone else, I can't believe that today is the last day of 2011.  Where has the time gone?  I'm joining up with A Teacher's Treasure to post my resolutions for 2012.  As I reflect on 2011, it was full of new adventures.  I started a blog.  I started a TPT store.  And just recently started a FB page.  It also contained saddness as I lost a dear friend to a tradegic accident and we lost two former students.

I don't know what 2012 will hold but I'm hoping for wonderful things.  Here are my resolutions.


1. I would like to put into practice the math work stations I learned about last year and do some more reading on literacy work stations.  I haven't quite figured out the best way to impliment it because I only have 3 children that are totally independent.

2. I need to be more organized.  My desk is always a mess. 

3. Better impliment the assistive technology in my class.  I have 4 children using switches with their computers.


1. Lose the 50 lbs I've been carrying around for the past 5 years. 

2. Continue to blog on a regular basis and I write some articles on switches and assistive technology.

3. Continue to make quality products to add to my store.

4. Spend more time with my husband and kids. 

Here's to a wonderful 2012, filled with love, hope and joy.  Have a safe night everyone.

Don't forget to enter my Giveaway by following my blog and TPT store and leaving a comment here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with a Ring of Bloggy Giveaways!

Are you looking for new ideas to revitalize you and your students for your return to the classroom? Look no further- inspiration is straight ahead! The New Year has arrived and to celebrate its arrival we are celebrating with a HUGE giveaway from a Ring of Elementary blogs!

Twelve blogs have joined together for a MEGA New Year Giveaway! The winners of the giveaway will be able to choose any item (winter themed or not) from any of the Teacher Pay Teachers stores listed below. Nearly 100 items will be given away in this HUGE event!

Each blog will have 6 winners.

Each blog will select and post 6 winners for that blog.

Third Place: There will be THREE third prize winners that will be able to choose any (of the winner’s choice) ONE item total from any of the blogger’s Teacher Pay Teachers store listed below.

Second Place: There will be TWO second prize winners that will be able to choose any (of the winner's choice) TWO items (total) from any of the blogger's Teachers Pay Teachers stores below.

First Prize: ONE grand prize winner from EACH blog that will win any (of the winner's choice) ONE ITEM from EACH blogger's Teachers Pay Teachers stores listed below!

Here are the participating blogs/ stores:

Classroom Confections

How do you enter? There are several possible ways to enter:

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment on this blog post saying you follow (or note that you are already a follower).

2. Follow my Teacher Pay Teachers store and leave a comment on this blog post saying you follow.

3. Blog about this contest and leave a comment here.

4. Visit the other blogs and stores, and enter according to their instructions.

However, there are still MORE ways to enter! You can also follow the blogs and stores of ALL the blogs participating in the list above to increase your chances of winning! There are at least 24 chances to win even if you DON'T blog!!!! Remember to comment that you follow their blog and TpT store on their blog!

All winners will be chosen on January 6th, 2012 by 8:00pm Eastern time.Good luck! Maybe YOU will be one of the big winners!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Store

You can now find some of my products at the Kleinspiration Teacher Store.  Click on the picture to head over there and check it out.  There are other great items over there too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

11 in 11 linky party

Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten and Kristin over at A Teeny Tiny Teacher are hosting a linky party.


I can't believe that 2011 is coming to an end.  Where did the time go?  2011 held some wonderful things.  Will 2012 hold even more.  Here are my answers
11. Favorite movie you watched:
I would have to say "Brides Maids".   I saw it with my girlfriends and it was wonderful.
10. Favorite TV series:
I didn't get a lot of time to watch much tv this year but did try and tune in the X-Factor when I could.
9. Favorite restaurant:
Probably Swiss Chalet.  Love their chicken. 
8. Favorite new thing you tried:

Definitely blogging.   If you had asked me at this time last year if I would be blogging. I would have said you were crazy.
7. Favorite gift you got:

My Nana died just before Christmas last year.  My mum just gave me a beautiful necklace that was hers.  It's a cross.

6. Favorite thing you pinned:

My next favorite thing is pinning. There are sooooo many great ideas there.  We did this on our door this year.

5. Favorite blog post:

My favorite blog post was the one I just did on our Christmas Concert.  The children worked so hard and it really turned out well.
4. Best accomplishment:

Having over 300 followers.  I still can't believe that people actually read what I write and want to keep coming back.
3. Favorite picture:

All of my favorite pictures I can't share because of the kids in it.  Here is one of my boys from the summer when we went tubing with some friends.

2. Favorite memory:

When we told the children we would be taking them to Disney in the summer of 2012.
1. Goal for 2012:

To continue to blog on a regular basis.  To continue to add products to my store. And the usual get fit, eat better goals that never seem to last long.

2011's Top Three Most Viewed Blog Posts Linky Party!

Fern Smith over at Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! Is having a linky party for the top 3 most viewed blog posts.   Up until this point I hadn't really thought to check.  So here are my 3.  The number in brackets are the number of page views.

1.  Math Work Stations Chapters 1 & 2  (1,192) This was so much fun to participate in.  I learned so much from this book study.

2. Math Work Stations Chapter 8 (1,159)

3. Freebie Friday (1,085) This is still free if you are interested.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Concert

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. I type surounded by boxes and papers and opened games.  Hmm.....maybe I'm putting off doing some Christmas cleaning.....

I thought that I would share with you what my class did for our Christmas concert for the parents on the last day.

This year we decided that each class would take a turn and do a little something for the parents.  So, what to do?  Sing a song?  I have 3 students that don't talk.   Do some actions to music?  I have 4 students that don't have sufficient motor skills to do actions.  Then I saw Deanna Jump's Happy Holidays free emergent reader post.  I thought it was perfect. 

We made decorations for each of the pages of the book.  We either had the children hold up their picture when it was their turn or we mounted the pictures on the back of their wheelchair.

 Each child had one or more lines in the story.  When it was their turn, they said their line and held up their picture.  For my non-speaking students, we programmed a couple of Step by Step Communicators with their lines and hooked them up to switches so that they could activate them.  Two students used head switches and one accessed it directly with their hand.

 For the last line in the book, they had to draw a picture of their family.  We pasted this on the back of the other picture they had so they just had to turn the picture over for the last line.  We had all the children say the last line together.

Thanks Deanna for the wonderful inspiration for our concert.  The parents loved it and our speech pathologist was overjoyed that we were using some of the skills that we have been learning in a real live situation.    You can check out Deanna's orginal blog post here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Playdough

Finding presents for my students that they can all use can sometimes be difficult.  This year I decided to go with an idea that I saw on Pinterest.  I followed the recipe from here.  Note to self: read the instructions first.  I never thought about it being a COOKED playdough recipe as I have always made the non-cooked kind.  I threw everything in the bowl and wondered why it was a big sloppy mess.  Luckily it still worked when I threw the big sloppy mess into the pot and cooked it for a few minutes.

 I added some glitter and peppermint to the dough and made half of it red.

I found these lovely little jars at the Dollarama for $1 to put the playdough in.
I rolled the dough into snakes and twisted it into the jars.  I took me forever to get them the way I liked it.  I made up some labels and viola! Peppermint Playdough.

Here is the original pin from Pinterest.

                                                                                      Source: via Mandy on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Jaime over at What's the Buzz in First is having a huge giveaway for reaching 600 followers.  You could win 16 units from various TPT sellers including my Pizza Unit.  Head on over to What's the Buzz in First to join in.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Parent gifts

Parent gifts.  Each year it's a struggle to come up with new ideas for gifts for the parents.  I sometimes have my students for more than one year so I can't reuse the same ideas.   In the summer I found these wonderful frames at Michael's Craft Store for next to nothing.  Honestly, I think they were about 25 cents each.   I also had a stack of old Christmas cards that we cut up into small pieces.  I little bit of podge latter and viola!  We have wonderful Christmas frames.   We took pictures of the children against a Christmasy background with a Santa hat on to put in the frames.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crafts - Day 4

Source: via Mandy on Pinterest
Last week I saw this pin and thought it would be perfect to try with the kids.  And then I saw this wonderful article by Debbie Clement at Rainbows Within Reach about Circles + Polka Dots + Open Ended Art.  It reminded me about how important it is that children are allowed to experience art in their own way and not have it directed by me or my Educational Assistants to look "perfect".

I started with my Sizzix machine.

My circle die cut.

And scraps of green in various shades.
I made lots of circles in different sizes.

We talked about the shape and the colour of the circles.   We talked about the shape of a tree and the difference in the shape of an apple tree and a Christmas tree.   Wouldn't it be funny to make a triangle with circles.  After our talk, I let the children create what was in their mind.

And then they decorated their trees for Christmas.
Here is their end result.  Nothing like the original picture but a work of art non-the-less.

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