Sunday, July 27, 2014

Markdown Monday Linky Party! (July 28th-August 1st)

Welcome back to Markdown Monday!!
Please add your link below to join the linky fun! 
Link a product from your TpT store that you would like to "markdown" until Friday, August 1st. How much you markdown your product is up to you! 
We would love it if you displayed your product and the linky on your blog and then link back to us. Thanks so much and have fun!

If you're not selling, but looking for bargains, please check out the fabulous discounted products in the linky party below! (Be sure to check back all week as teachers may be adding products throughout the week.)

This week we are featuring:
It is $4.00 off!! 
Click on the picture above to check it out in our store!

We are so excited about our newest creation! This ocean themed classroom decor pack is editable so you can make it yours! Here are some of the many different things included in this classroom decor pack:

~ Number Bulletin Board Display~
Includes numbers 0-20

~ Helper Chart ~ 
The classroom jobs are editable as well as names on ocean animals.
~ Ocean Animals for Positive Behavior Rewards ~

~ First Week Award ~
These awards are editable as well. You can fill in all the information to meet your needs! 

~ Name Tags ~
You can edit these to type in student names in the font of your choice or print black and hand-write their names.

~ Birthday Poster ~
Type or hand-write names and print small or large to display in your classroom!

Head on over to our store to snag this pack on sale until Friday, August 1st!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July! 2-Day Sale Linky Party

Are you ready for a store-wide sale?
That's right, it's time for the....

We are linking up with My Fabulous Class and many other stores to offer you 20% off of our entire store today and tomorrow!

July is almost over and many teachers are heading back to school, so this is the perfect time to stock up on new finds or purchase those items you've had sitting on your wishlist for awhile...

Remember, our ENTIRE STORE is on sale! Back to school goodies galore plus TONS of learning themes for the whole school year! Score!

We'd love to hear what you snagged from us that you love the most!

Head over to our store at Kelly and Kim's Kreations on TpT to check out the sale!

Be sure to visit the other stores having a Christmas in July Sale also.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tech Tuesday - Our Favorite Printer


This week for Tech Tuesday we would like to profess our love for our Epson printer! Between the two of us we have owned many printers from many companies and we have never loved a printer as much as we do our Epson! 

Here is the first printer we had:
This is the Epson Stylus RX580, such a true and loyal friend 'til the end. It was a very sad day when (many years after buying) when a messaged displayed that said the printer had reached the end of it's life. 
*Sigh* *Panic Mode* *Oh No!!* 
*Call Epson*
"Please what can we do to get the printer working again?" "I am sorry m'am, but there is nothing we can do unless you want to send it off to have it fixed which would probably cost more than buying a new one." "Ok, (tear) but I need one that is comparable to this one." 

So here is the new one!

This printer uses 6 different inks (Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow, and Black). We know some of you might think "oh gosh, 6 inks, that is going to be so expensive," but is it REALLY more efficient than a printer that requires less ink cartridges. (Plus, you can buy high-capacity cartridges online which last even longer!)

You can copy, print, scan, and fax all with this one little machine. It has the ability to be wireless which a huge bonus if you have several computers in your house or want to simply print from your smart phone.
One of the features that we absolutely love is being able to print in poster mode.

Here is how you do it:
Step 1: File, Print, Setup...

Step 2: Properties...

Step 3: Page Layout...

Step 4: Check "Multi-Page..."

Step 5: Click "Poster Printing" and 2x2 shows up. You may alter this as well to create larger or smaller posters. This is how we like to print all of our growth charts and large classroom posters. (Even though we break them down for you in our packs in case your printer doesn't have this function!)
(You can make mini-documents too for student task cards and whatnot by selecting "Pages per Sheet" instead...Just another bonus feature!)

Here are some of our completed posters hanging in our classrooms:
Our walls wouldn't be what they are now without these amazing printers and their poster-printing function!

Tip! When you are done printing your posters, don't forget to go back into "Page Layout" and un-check the "Multi-Page" printing or your next document will print like a poster too! Ha! We have learned this the hard way...

If you would like a tutorial on how to then put these posters together you can find directions in a previous blog post: Poster Crazy!

Anyway, we LOVE LOVE LOVE the Epson all-in-one printers we have had and thought we'd share a bit about them and their awesome poster-printing feature for our Tech Tuesday tidbits!

(These opinions are, of course, all ours and are in no way compensated by Epson.
We just love their printers and wanted to share with you!)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Markdown Monday Linky Party! (July 21st-July 25th)


Welcome back to Markdown Monday!!
Please add your link below to join the linky fun! 
Link a product from your TpT store that you would like to "markdown" until Friday, July 25th. How much you markdown your product is up to you! 
We would love it if you displayed your product and the linky on your blog and then link back to us. Thanks so much and have fun!

If you're not selling, but looking for bargains, please check out the fabulous discounted products in the linky party below! (Be sure to check back all week as teachers may be adding products throughout the week.)

This week we are featuring:
It is 50% off!! 
Click on the picture above to check it out in our store!

This collection has over 400 word cards to help your students with letter recognition, letter sounds, vocabulary, reading, writing, etc. All 26 letters of the alphabet are included as well as some of the digraphs. Each card has a cute and colorful illustration and a written word to match. They can serve as models for writing letters neatly in lines as well as a model for drawing pictures. There are a variety of words and pictures included. Among them are sports, numbers, household items, colors, vehicles, and more.
 A few examples are pictured below:


These cards work well with our Awesome Alphabet Books that were featured in Markdown Monday last week. You can read all about using the two items together here. These are a must-have in our classroom writing centers! The children love using the word cards to create their books and also in their free-writing journals.

We both like to keep our cards in a Sterlite container with a lid with alphabetical dividers to be able to get to the ones we need easily for our letter of the week activities. They have also come in handy when working on vocabulary and word retrieval with several students with special needs, those who speak English as a second language (ESOL), or those who just have limited background knowledge and vocabulary for common pictures. They can also be placed on book rings by learning topic, letter of the alphabet, or seasonal words, etc.

How would YOU use them?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Markdown Monday Linky Party! (July 14th-July 18th)


Welcome back to Markdown Monday!!
Please add your link below to join the linky fun! 
Link a product from your TpT store that you would like to "markdown" until Friday, July 18th. How much you markdown your product is up to you! 
We would love it if you displayed your product and the linky on your blog and then link back to us. Thanks so much and have fun!

If you're not selling, but looking for bargains, please check out the fabulous discounted products in the linky party below! (Be sure to check back all week as teachers may be adding products throughout the week.)

This week we are featuring:

It is 50% off!! 
Click on the picture above to check it out in our store!


These books are just adorable! Each book is in the shape of something that begins with that letter.  For example, the letter Ii is in the shape of an igloo, the letter Yy is in shape of yarn. Above you will see an example of the Hh book which is in the shape of a hippopotamus. The children use Alphabet Word and Picture Cards (also in our store) to copy a word and draw a picture on each of the three available pages. We encourage the children to use the model given on the card to help with their letter formation as well as their drawing. After the books are complete, the children take them home and use them as a picture dictionary while writing sentences. At the end of the school year they have a book for every letter of the alphabet as well as a book for four digraphs. The children love these books so much and can't wait to complete them during their center time. 
Here is an example of the cards:

Visit us on Facebook tomorrow to check out the Facebook Fun & Free Hop!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scavenger Hunt with Blog Hoppin'!

Are you doing this fun Scavenger Hunt with Blog Hoppin'?

If you aren't, stop everything and join in the fun now! We are having such a good time! Here are some details from their post last Sunday:

Not only is this fun, but you can also be in the drawing to win a very cool prize:
Wow!!! Seriously?!?! That is such an awesome prize!!!
(Plus there are lots of other great prizes too!)

What do you need? All you need is a camera or a phone, and an Instagram account. That's it!! The wonderful people behind this scavenger hunt have made a very extensive list of items to find that are easy for anyone to find...well, some of them! Ha! Each picture is worth 1 point and you need to have 105 points or more to be entered into the drawing for the amazing camera pictured above or the other prizes they have available.

You also need to be sure to show this sign in all of your pictures:
You can find this sign, the list, and all the contest rules over at Blog Hoppin'! Click here to read all about it!!

You can alter the sign above to make it specific to you if you want or can simply write Blog Hoppin' 2014 on a napkin, the sign just has to be in your picture. Here are some of the pictures we have taken so far:
~ a lei ~

~ an August 2014 Calendar ~

~ someone wearing leopard print ~

Come and follow us on Instagram here to see some more pictures! 
We have recruited several friends and family members to help us out by getting in the pictures and they have been such good sports about it!! 

This list definitiely has some things on it that we wouldn't have planned on doing or looking for this summer, so thanks for the challenge, ladies!

Fun times!

Are you doing the Blog Hoppin' Scavenger Hunt?
We'd love to follow you on Instagram if you leave your link in the comments below!
What is your favorite picture you have taken so far?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tech Tuesday featuring iPod Listening Centers


What do you use for a listening center in your classroom? 

Do you still use cassettes?

Do you use CDs? Or do you use an iPod?
We have talked about changing our listening center over from CDs to iPods for quite awhile. As much as we wanted the iPods, we realized what an investment it would be to buy them and then do you trust 5 year olds with a brand new iPod? However, one thing we realized when using cassettes (even CDs) is that the children just didn't know how to use the listening center independently. We had very explicit directions in the center with pictures and everything, but it never failed, the children always needed help. So it was time to join the modern world and jump into the iPods. Surprisingly, the children know how to use them very well!

We asked for donations of old iPods or iPhones from parents of our students, both current and previous. We didn't get too many, but enough to get started with our new "cool" listening center. 

Then we started asking all of our fellow teachers if they had any books on CD that we could borrow. We were actually overwhelmed by how many CDs people had. We now have a very impressive play list of picture books on our iPods, but not all the books to go with them!

Now that we had the CDs, it was time to get them all uploaded into iTunes. Do you know how to import CDs into your iTunes library? It is actually very easy! First, insert the CD into your computer's CD or DVD drive.

A window will pop up asking if you want to import the contents of the CD into your iTunes library.
Click "yes" if you want to import all of the tracks.
Click "no" if you want to see the tracks available and only select one of them from the list that appears. (Just right click to import that track from the list.)

(Tip: Many children's books on CD come with TPS tracks or "Turn Page Signals" and these are the tracks we like best because the beep or chime to turn the page keeps them on track with the reader.)

As they are imported into your iTunes library, you can right-click the track and select "Get Info."

You can then add the title, author, album name, a grouping to sort them in a specific way, and so on.

You can even import album artwork to make it easier for primary-age students to know if they have found the right book on their device! 

If you want to organize your titles in a specific way, you can head to the bottom left corner of the program and click the "+" sign, shown below.

Select "New Playlist."

We decided to group our playlist by month to switch out the books in the center each month. It would also be convenient to group them by learning theme to keep the books on topic. There are tons of ways you could organize your titles! 


 Finally, drag each playlist you want your children to access over the top of the device you have plugged in so it can sync!

Voila! You are finished!
You can charge up your devices at the end of the week or leave them plugged in at the center when the children clean up.

When they turn on the iPod, our students know that the books are found in the single "music" folder at the bottom. All of the other apps or utilities we moved to the second screen to make navigation easy for the children!


Below, you can see a child selecting a classroom favorite, Pete the Cat!
It is an "October" book since we have a colors learning theme in October. We added the month number before it to correspond with the date they're used to writing on their papers.

Then, she is able to read along with the book without any problem!

A huge bonus to these iPod listening centers is that they are mobile! The children don't have to carry a huge tape player with them or stay in one place. They can cozy up in a quiet corner or use it at the desk or table.

A learning curve? Of course! But there are always those "techie kids" who have used an iPod at home (or who learn very quickly) and the others will catch on! Some may even be able to help YOU if there is a question!

We hope you're inspired to upgrade your listening center sometime soon!
The children are extremely motivated by these devices and love to listen to stories in this new and "cool" way!


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