Few things please me more than opening a card to read a lovely note from a friend or relative and finding a little surprise tucked inside. However, I don’t get that much mail anymore, so getting personal emails from loved ones runs a close second on the “Oh, wasn’t that thoughtful” meter. Or how about winning an online giveaway and scoring a gift certificate to your favorite shopping venues? Over the past couple of years I’ve entered teacher giveaways and won a cool (and very sturdy) pencil sharpener, markers, graphics files, and certificates for online shopping.
Well, this week, you could win one of two $50 gift certificates to spend anywhere on Teachers Pay Teachers! My friend Deborah at Happy Edugator is celebrating her birthday, Spring, and a speaking engagement. A bunch of us TPT teacher authors are joining her celebration. The rafflecopter starts tomorrow, so pop over to her blog and check it out!
And while you’re at it, all of my Spring resources are on sale for the rest of this week http://bit.ly/2naFBeE
We are giving away Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards!
And not just one….TWO $50 gift cards to TpT!!! The contest will start on Wednesday, March 22 and run through March 26. The entry window is only open until 12 am EST 3/27, so don’t delay entering!
Are you ready to enter to win a $50 TpT Gift Card?
You have several chances to win if you enter these 2 rafflecopters!
Be sure to follow what the entry question asks you to do…if selected as a winner and you did not answer the question you will be disqualified!
So take a minute and enter the contests…you just may get lucky!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Last Look – New Beginnings has been a phrase that has been turning around in my mind for the past few weeks. I’m in the process of rebirth and renewal now that I am officially retired from my full-time, out – of – the – house career as a public school teacher. It’s a change that I have been happily anticipating since I announced the intention to retire three years ago.
Many people have asked what I planned to do as the date came closer. I was never at a loss for ideas of the many things that would be possible with more time. Of course having the means to act upon all those plans isn’t a reality yet, but I am working toward it. Right now, it just feels like summer break, not really “The End”. I am slowly organizing and pitching things I don’t need anymore Do you have any idea how much a preschool special education teacher can accumulate with the notion that “maybe I can use this at school”? Let’s just say that I am starting to eye the neighbor’s blue construction dumpster with fondness!
(No, that is not me dumpster diving!)
I’ve left much of my materials for the new teacher, since she is new and hasn’t collected what you need to make learning come alive for three to five year old children. But I have also brought home quite a stack of children’s books to inspire me to create digital download teaching resources that I sell through several online venues such as TeachersPayTeachers, TeachersNotebook, and Educents. These were new ventures I started in the past two years on a very part-time schedule in anticipation of meaningful work I could do at home.
As I consider this period of Last Look – New Beginnings the part that I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to resume sewing, quilting, painting, collage making and any other artistic outlook that captures my fancy. I’ve missed using my paints and fabrics, but I always knew I would come back to them, And, that time is now!
Our hallway bulletin board changes monthly to reflect topics and seasons. Here A Chick bulletin board came together easily over the course of a few days while the preschoolers enjoyed singing and dancing along with several Spring and Easter videos. You and your class can create a colorful bulletin board too in four easy steps. We always emphasize process over product, so this project is very child-centered.
Step One: We started by having each child pose for a close-up photo pretending to blow a feather. This was so much fun to watch! We place a chair against a plain section of wall and used our smartphone to snap the photo. With so many apps available, you can crop and tweak the image to show just their face. I sent the photos to my mail and then downloaded and inserted them into either Powerpoint slides or Word pages and resized and printed. We used regular copy paper and the color printer at school for the faces.
Step Two: The children each painted 18 x 24 inch paper with pastel paints in either vertical or horizontal stripes over at the easel. Pastels were easy to mix in four individual paint cups adding a little red, green, purple, and yellow to white. Pro tip: ALWAYS start with white paint. You don’t need much added color to get a lovely tint. These paintings were then set to dry for a day on the drying rack.
Step Three: Scissor Time! After the backgrounds dried, we folded them in half and drew half of an egg shape with a zig-zag or curved top. The children cut the egg shape from the folded paper and were quite pleased with the resulting shape. Using the painted paper scraps, they then cut simple wing shapes. We prepared the face photos and heads by drawing a large circle on the back of the photos and drew a larger circle on yellow construction paper. The children cut the circles. (Since there is a lot to cut, we spread out this step over two class sessions.)
Step Four: Time to Decorate! The children then glued their face photos to the yellow construction paper circles, added some wispy feathers, an orange beak (scrap of orange paper snipped into a triangle) and an “eggshell” top to their heads. (These “eggshell hats” were made by using extra painted paper and cut to fit the heads.)
All our little chicks loved looking at their classmates “hatching” from the colorful Easter Eggs. Here A Chick, There A Chick was a fun project incorporating painting at the easel, cutting, gluing, and singing!
Remember the indoor fun you had as a child building forts and tents in the house with couch cushions, tables, chairs, sheets, and blankets? I recall spending hours playing with my sister with our dolls and stuffed animals, cozily sequestered in our make-believe worlds under the card table mom would set up in the living room. When my own children were of that age, we continued the tradition, adding books, crayons, and clipboards of scrap paper. With so many frigid days this year, we haven’t been able to go outside to play at school, so out come the play huts, sheets, and stuffed animals! Instant Indoor Fun!
What are your children’s favorite indoor fun activities that engage their imagination and social skills?
We try to change it up everyday with different items to count. Earlier this week I grabbed a stack of extra valentines and foam hearts and “Counting Valentines” was born! My kiddos are also working on recognizing numerals 1-10. I wrote large numerals on each card with a permanent marker and then handed one of the girls the stack. Her first task was to name each card, and try to put them in order from 1-6. Then we counted out hearts and matched them to the cards. It was a familiar task with novel materials and kept her engaged. She asked for a set to take home to show her family so they could play together.