Sunday, December 7, 2014

My favorite things

Hello!!! Welcome all of the new shipmates to Learning Ahoy!! Are you enjoying the blog hop?  So many great things up for grabs and lots of great products 50% off!!! (Be sure to search for #myfavoritethings2014 in TPT to easily find everything)  So now it is my turn to share my favorite things.(Make sure you go all the way to the bottom so you can enter the giveaways!)

One of my favorite ways to start the holiday season is to visit my family Christmas tree farm.  My grandfather started this farm when I was just a baby and I grew up helping him.  My boys have grown to love the farm just as much as I do!  This picture of B was taken at Thanksgiving when we made our annual trip to start off our Christmas season.

So my next favorite thing to share is my favorite restaurant.  Now, I am not sure if it counts as a restaurant, but I big puffy heart Dunkin' Doughnuts.  I love their coffee and their doughnuts.  I think it goes back to being younger and my dad always stopping at DD when we went to "The Shore" to visit family.  I am working on passing this love onto my children. (I promise there was no coffee in that cup and he had a pacifier in his mouth. )

my third favorite thing to share is an It Works! Body Wrap.  I love this for the holidays because it helps with all of the holiday extras you eat!  And to help one of you out with those extras, a wrap is what I donated to the giveaways.

If you want to check out what I have marked down head over to my TPT store .  If you have had your eye on Oh snow! or Where is the Gingerbread man? now is your chance to get them at 50% off!

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gingerbread Man!!! (Freebie)

I am linking up with Carla over at Comprehension Connections for her Thematic Thursday (Yes, I know it is only Wednesday!, I am getting a head start.)!

I have posted about my Gingerbread stuff before, but I wanted to share again for all of our new shipmates!

I love doing a week of Gingerbread man and all of the activities that go with it. One of my favorite activities (which I cant find a picture of right now) is making Gingerbread man ornaments.  Then one day just before break while the kids are out of the room, the ginger bread men all run away.  We go on a hunt for them throughout the building by following clues that are left behind. This works on so many skills, communication, social skills, reading, gross motor and it is just plain old fun!!!  I found the clues pre-made somewhere, again not sure where. (I think finals has my brain a bit foggy!)

Another activity I do is use this  interactive book featuring cute little gingerbread men (and women) during circle time. These gingerbread people are dreaming of being put in the correct spot such as over the house or between the elves.  My students have loved this book!

Last, but not least  is this gingerbread themed practice sheet works on time to the nearest 5 minutes.  I made this for a group I had a few years ago.  You can get it by going to this link!

I would love to know what Gingerbread themed activities you do in your room.  Leave a comment or link up over at Carla's blog!

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

I hope you all enjoyed the Special Educators blog hop this past weekend!  There were some great freebies.  I spent some of my planning today printing them all out and the rest kicking  gently caressing the copy machine.  How does that machine always know when I am short on time?

Anyways, if you are following me on Facebook then you know that I am challenging my boys to one deliberate Random Act of Kindness (RAK) each day for the month of December.  My hope is after spending a month working towards RAK that they will begin to do things for others without thinking.

Today we started by complimenting one person.  We talked about what it means to compliment someone and practiced lots of examples on our way to school.  Then over dinner we talked about who we complimented today.  I am so proud of my boys for stepping out of their box and really trying this today.  A said he told a classmate that he had a nice shirt (This was very hard for A as social skills are his major weakness) and B was super excited to tell me that he complimented 3 people today.  I was informed by my husband that C hugged a classmate as he left daycare this afternoon.

So, now I challenge you! Can you do one deliberate RAK this month each day?  I am creating a linky so other bloggers can share their experiences with us about their RAK.  If you are not a blogger I would love your comments or post your RAK on the Learning Ahoy Facebook wall.

 I will include the linky on all of my blog posts about RAK so be sure to follow along.  To see out daily RAKs check out the Learning Ahoy facebook page!

Need some help getting started? Check out these links below for some great ideas!

RAK 2014 Calendar
Spread the Love
10 Free or Low cost ideas

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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.