Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for special educators blog hop (Tip & a freebie)

Hello!  I am hope you are enjoying our Thankful for Special Educators blog hop.  If this is your first time visiting Learning Ahoy, Welcome Aboard!

So first I am sharing a tip on how to make those cool white boards with the handle.  You know that ones that you pay easily over $100 for a class set.  Well one of my fabulous co-workers made her own and I just had to share it with you. It is so simple!! All she did was use the paddles from paddle ball and glue them on the back of old white boards that another teacher was getting rid of. Genius!! Her husband cut the boards down for her and sanded them so they were not sharp, but depending on the size of the white board you might not need to even cut down.

So, now for my freebie!  I was going to make it Thanksgiving related, but then remembered, Thanksgiving is over when our hop goes live!!! So I want you to have something that you can use in the rush of December.  In my classroom right now we are working on color words big time, so naturally I made a color word file folder game!  This will be a task box for one of my students.    I hope you get some use out of this and I would love a comment to let me know how you are planning on using it.

Ready to check out what the next Special Educator has in store for you?  Click on the button to check out Preschool Wonders!
Preschool Wonders

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kids Email: Review

I was given the opportunity to review KidsEmail.Org over the summer.  I jumped on the idea as my two older boys (ages 8 and 5) had asked to be able to email their grandparents.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to really set something up for them.

 Set up was super easy.  First, I created my parent account.  Next, I created an account for each of my boys.  I was able to set up various safety features, add all of the email addresses that they are allowed to send emails to and receive emails from, and I was able to personalize the account look for them.  My older one has a bit more freedom, while the younger one has all of his emails that go through me.  I sent their email addresses to all of their grandparents, aunts, and great grandparents and the emails started rolling in.  

The boys are so excited to receive mail.  Their grandma will send them pictures from their latest outing and my older son likes to send his last game request to his grandfather.   My older son actually helps his little brother access his email and write emails,  this has helped the 5 year old learn how to type on the computer, write sentences, and work on his writing skills.

I love because it is easy for me to set up.  I can make sure my kids are safe in their use of email.  I don't have to worry about strangers emailing them or the boys sending emails to strangers. I can choose if they are allowed to receive or send attachments, I make sure that there is a tag line on every email saying it was sent by a child, and it have so many other options.

 The boys are able to easily navigate and my oldest has taken to changing the  background to fit his personality.  I actually love this email so much that I  just re-need out subscription for another year!  I am also thinking about talking to a few of my students parents to see if I can set up an account for the students to use to email back and forth with me or their parents.  This will enable them to work on typing skills, sentence structure, and the life skill of writing an email.

You can check out for free  for 30 days by going to the website and signing up for  the free trial. If you do, I would love to know  how you use it.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy November (freebie!!!)

Can you believe it is November 1st already?!?  This school year is flying by.....

Yesterday, my son's kindergarten teacher asked me if I have a recording sheet for one of my Thanksgiving Hidden Letters. That in turn prompted me to update that particular product.  So here it is, still a freebie, but now with a recording sheet and updated directions.

To use this, students simply use a magnifying glass to find the letters hidden in the picture.  They then use a highlighter to mark off the letters on their recording sheet.

I hope you can use Thanksgiving Hidden Letters this month in centers!  Please leave a comment here if you download.  I love to know how you use it or your thoughts about it.

I originally posted this product back in 2011 at this blog post.  Shhh!!! You can find some more freebies on that post.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin shaving cream paint

This week with my 2 year kids I decided to paint pumpkins.  We used shaving cream, glue, and orange finger paint to make a type of puffy paint for our pumpkins.  We then in used our hands to spread it around.  This was a great sensory activity for the kids and they loved it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting Festive for Fall with the VA Bloggers

So how has the hop been treating you so far?  I love blog hops.  I get to check out new blogs and get lots of new ideas.

Fall if my favorite season.  Partly because I grew up on a pumpkin and Christmas tree farm in NJ that had the Application Mountains in our backyard.  The fall view was always gorgeous. Now that I have moved down here to VA I don't get to see as much of the beautiful changing colors, but I do enjoy the weather.

Oh Pumpkin: Alphabet letter game

In my classroom we are busy talking about community helpers, fire safety, and my favorite PUMPKINS!  We have been playing one of my favorite letter games called Oh Pumpkin.  It is a forever freebie in my store so if you have not downloaded it already, what are you waiting for?

Thanksgiving Color by Code: Sight word practice

There seems to be a lot of Halloween themed freebies going around right now so I thought I would make my freebie Thanksgiving/November themed.  This will give you ahead start on planning for next month.  This is a color by word activity that works on different sight words.  It is free for this hop ONLY!!! It will go to paid item on Monday so get while it is free!!  Click here to get Thanksgiving Color By Code: Sight Word.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop.  Now it is time to head on over to The Techie Teacher to see what Julie is cooking up!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Apples & worms (counting) & a new quick tip!

Hi everyone!

I made this quick file folder game this weekend  to go along with our apple unit.  The students count the seeds and then find the worm that has the corresponding number.   It is super easy to put together.  I simply printed it out, glued the apples to the file folder, then laminated everything.  I added clear Velcro (I love it, but much more expensive then the not clear stuff) to the side of each apple.  I made sure to out it on height same part of each apple as to eliminate confusion as to how to hook on the worms.   I am hoping to use this eventually as an independent task for one of my students.


To help make it more tactile ( Here is where the quick tip comes in!). I added small dots of school glue to each seed.  Once it dries it is clear and when the students count by touching the seeds they will feel a slightly raised texture.  This provides a little bit more input then just touching the laminated page would.  

If you would like to get your own copy of this file folder game, you can find it in my TPT store.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quick tip!

Hello!  Raise your hand if you thought I was a gonner!  Sorry about that, things have been a bit crazy.  I am teaching K-2  this year along with a 2 year old class.  I also started Grad school.  I have been working on trying to balance everything out.

 I have done really well with getting my school work done at school and today while making a task box I thought "I should blog about this!".  So I just want to share a quick tip with you on how I get magnets to create magnetic stuff.    

You know all of this magnetic business cards you get for free or the magnetic calendar that the PTO gives out every year (maybe it is just my school)?  Those magnets are perfect for repurposing!  All I do is cut the magnet to size, then put hot glue on the used side (the side with writing).  Then I stick it to whatever I need to be magnetic.  Simple right!?

I hope this little tip saves you lots of money.  Ask your friends and family for all of their old business card magnets.  Put a post on Facebook or Freecycle.  I am sure there are plenty that can be reused!