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Well, here in North Jersey I’m watching bucket loads of snow come down on trees still full of autumn leaves. Their branches, unable to handle all that weight, are either bent to kiss the ground or breaking under the strain. My sister, a few miles away, is out of power and I see our lights flickering as well.
Cars keep trying to make it up our hill, but the snow is so heavy, wet and slick that they can only make it just past our house before they have to give up and turn around. No plows or salt trucks have been by and the snow just keeps falling.
Christmas songs have been going through my head all day, and I have to remind myself that it’s only October. Halloween hasn’t even happened yet!
Oh! Here comes a plow truck now! A whole line of cars just followed him up the hill. I’m sure they will be happy to finally get home, out of the cold weather and hazards that come with driving through falling branches on icy roads.
I hope you are safe at home, if you are getting this weather too. I’m going to be signing off now, for a while, just in case the power goes out. I want to make sure my computer is safe from surges.
If you don’t have to sign off today, I hope you spend a little time browsing all the free offerings here. And why don’t you leave me a few of your game ideas? I’m ALWAYS looking for new game ideas and I have lots of fun creating for you!
I love using the computer to supplement my teaching. And what a great way to get in some practice and a little bit of peace! (Come on, Moms, you know what I mean!) So grab your headphones, and take a look.
I have a special new section on the site that I’m going to show you now. I am using it as a place for my kids to start from to play games. I’ll list on it all the games I’d like them to work on. Once they have moved on from that topic, I’ll replace them with other things. I’ll leave a section at the bottom of games they have used in the past so that they, and you, can revisit them any time.
Want to find it?
Right now, these games are all from the same site. I just LOVE the ones where you have to catch the chickens. lol So do the kids. And they are practicing their math facts the WHOLE time!
I’ll be posting some “Game Time” cards soon that match the games listed on this page and allow you to let your child know which facts you’d like them to be working on.
Hope you enjoy them!
** PLEASE NOTE: This item is no longer available for free, but is now available for a small fee at my store. If it’s close to Halloween, it might be on sale or free for a few days. Go check it out by clicking HERE!**
Here’s a really quick freebie for you. I’m in the middle of last minute prep for a Trunk-Or-Treat. It’s my first one ever and I’m kind of going overboard, but there are several kids who are allergic to peanuts who will be there. Rather than give them candy they can’t eat, each child will be getting, along with a little treat, of course (-it is Halloween) a package of these adorable bookmarks!
The kids and I spent a bunch of time this past week cutting and glueing up a whole slew of these cuties. I made a few extra to keep around the house and already they’ve gone off to munch on the corners of my children’s books…
Do you want to make some to give out on Monday? In just a short while you could have them all done and here’s how:
First, download the Monster Corner Bookmark Template here. There are 8 different patterns included!
Print the monsters on card stock and follow the photos below:
1) Do some prep cutting (if working with kids… otherwise just cut the cuties out!)
Notice in this picture that I’ve done it two ways. The front one is for a little girl with pretty good scissor skills. The back on (green) is done for someone a bit younger who might not be able to neatly cut the teeth out. Since these were for gifts, we were going for neatness!
2) If you haven’t already, cut out, or have your children cut out, the three pieces of the monster.
3) Turn the monster body over and fold the two triangle sides over the square. Put the triangle with the teeth on the bottom and the plain one on top.
4) Glue the plain triangle to the toothy one.
5) Glue the eyes on any way you like (have fun with them!)
Now when you need to stop reading (don’t you hate that?) just let this guy nibble on the corner of your last page. He’s nice and thin and he rests far away from your binding, so he’ll never ruin your book.
I hope you have fun making tons of these guys! Stock up on card stock and printer ink, though. They are addictive to make!
I do! I do!
Here’s a fun one for practicing your addition facts. You can use it for sums to 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10! It can fit into your centers or curriculum (great for workboxes!) for months of fun practice.
Directions for setting up the game and directions for play are included in the file. It’s for 2-4 players (though I’m sure you could manage more than that if needed! Just print a second set of cards!)
I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you use this with your kids! I’d love to hear how it works for you
We wrote your names on little bits of paper and put them in a hat:
It’s my favorite cowboy hat! (Okay…. I guess it’s a cowgirl hat…)
Then we picked one pretty little girl to hold the hat up high, and make sure we were perfectly fair about the whole thing:
Then we picked another pretty little girl to pick the first winner. Katie, would you please do the honors?
Ooh… Look: In this picture you can see what I was talking about with the dining table being right by the front little hallway there. Do you see it? Tiny!
Oh… You want to know who she picked? So sorry. Here you go:
Congratulations Shazia! I’ll be emailing you shortly with your winnings. If you don’t hear from me, it’s because I don’t have your contact information. You can email me, at email@example.com!
Time to pick our second winner!
We picked a third pretty little girl to do the picking this time. Sarah, would you please?
Hey, do you notice the extra hooks on that shelf behind the girls? We used to use that for coats (and still do sort of) but it just gets in the way of actually entering the house. So we try not to any more.
Here’s who she picked….
Again, I’ll be emailing you shortly with your winnings… If you don’t get it in your email, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you had fun with this giveaway. If you didn’t win, you’ll still have until Friday to get this game for just a dollar. After that, the price will be going up to $3 to help cover processing costs…
Enjoy, winners! The rest of you, stay tuned… Another giveaway is coming soon!
I’m certain that there are a great many homeschoolers out there who are struggling with the same issues I face in my home. My home isn’t tiny, but it isn’t huge either and we certainly do NOT have a dedicated school room. We have a basement, but we also run a company from it, which means we can’t use it as a homeschool.
When we moved into this house, we had no children. The house has three bedrooms to it, but since we have filled them up with children, we can’t use those rooms for school. We’re lucky they all have a place to sleep!
Our kitchen is supposed to be an eat-in kitchen, which I suppose it could be for two or three people, but we are six. So we have a dining area set up in the living room. Honestly, the room isn’t really big enough to serve both purposes, but we manage it. And now that our children are school-aged, this room serves a third purpose: School room!
I’m pretty sure a lot of you readers who homeschool are in the same boat. You school where you eat. Really, it’s the only flat spot in the house suitable for writing on. So now, the question becomes… What on earth do we do with all the stuff that comes along with this job of homeschooling?
Here’s my advise: If you have a coat closet, find somewhere else to keep your coats. If you don’t have a coat closet, how about the linen closet? If you store your extra set of sheets for each bed under the mattress of each bed, and perhaps keep only two towels per person in the house… well, you get the idea.
Let me show you what we did.
Here is my teeny tiny front entrance. Really it’s just a place for doors to open. As you can see, we have some overburdened hooks just inside the front door (a door we rarely use) and currently the vacuum is residing there as well. I haven’t come up with a better place for that yet! I’ve hung our rather large-for-the-space American flag on the back of what used to be our coat closet.
Here’s a better view of the coat closet.
Wow. That image makes my front hall look huge! I assure you, it’s not!
In this next picture, I have opened the door to give you a peek inside. I warn you: I did not clean up for you! What you see is the result of using this closet for the past year or so. Considering my track record, it’s surprisingly tidy!
On the inside of the door is this little calendar that the kids are in charge of keeping up to date. Obviously we need to work on that a bit…. But they always tell me what day of the week it is, month, day and year.
Here’s a nice view of the chaos that is in our coat closet. But it is a controlled chaos that allows us to school every week day with few glitches. Check the key under the picture for more information about what is going on in there.
1. These are our workboxes. They are IRIS brand, strong, sturdy, big enough for everything I can think to put in them and they don’t care if you’re gentle or rough with them. The look just like they did when they were brand new and they are at least 10 years old. LOVE them!
2. My file box. Not much makes it into the workboxes without going in here first. When I find stuff online that I love, I print it right away and file it in the week folder that I want to use it. From there, it actually ends up in our boxes instead of me finding it a year and a half later, only to sigh and say “That would have been fun to do when they were in first grade…”
3. These are the drawers I see everyone using as workboxes, but I just don’t think they are big enough or strong enough to handle what we do. I use these as supply drawers. Extra dice, stamps, laminating sheets, hole punchers, glue sticks… you name it, it’s probably got a home in there.
4. This is a great hanging file folder holder that I love. It lets me keep things in view. I store a lot of file folder games in here. If I see them, I use them more!
5. There is a little book shelf over in this side of the closet where we keep supplies the kids need a lot. There’s a can we covered to be pretty that holds pencils, scissors, glue, rulers etc. Also, giant box of crayons, lots of craft materials, tracers etc. They love that spot.
6. Not pictured, there are two shelves above this area. I keep extra books and supplies up there, including some of my sewing stuff, which really needs a home of it’s own, but what’s a girl to do?
Now I’d like to show you where we actually DO school:
1. Our dining table. It’s nice and big with plenty of space for all of us.
2. Our book shelf for childrens books. Our globe is on top. And that blue and white plant pot is actually full of dry erase markers. Wondering about the big pink thing covering most of the shelf? Our baby loves to eat books or tear them up, so we hide them from her, except the ones that can take it. I love that she loves books, but I don’t want to have to replace our whole library!
3. That’s our book-eating baby. I’m pointing her out because we DO manage to complete our school day with her hanging around. We don’t do it all at nap time! I’ll expound on that in another post.
4. Our white boards. We have two of them stacked. The bottom one is magnetic and the top one is not. I wish they were both magnetic, but these work for now.
5. Our ALL About Spelling tiles. I put them on the back of a cookie sheet and hung it on a nail! That way we have plenty of space on the white boards without having to worry about drawing on our tiles when we aren’t using them. Best tweak I did this year!
6. I’m pointing out this doorway to let you know that school stuff is not contained here. This door leads to a hall that goes to the bedrooms/bathroom. We have all kinds of art and projects hanging on the walls and doors down there. TONS!
7. This is the painting we are currently studying. We change it at our whim. I was planning on doing it monthly, but we’ve been enjoying Mona Lisa, so she’s still watching us work.
I hope this has given you some encouragement to think outside the box, so to speak, when trying to work in the box. lol I hope you find a way to make school run smoothly! I’d love to hear how you have adjusted your school set up to fit in your particular setting.
Oh, and by the way…. We have our eye on an amazing home and we sure would love it if you could support us by maybe purchasing one of our products, or telling some friends about them. The new house would have a dedicated school room!
Have you signed up to follow this blog yet? You can sign up to get emails in the right side bar, or you can follow in Google Reader or any number of other ways. I hope you do, because there’s something cool coming tomorrow and I don’t want you to miss it!
Tell your friends to come on by tomorrow to get a free awesome math facts game for practicing addition facts with sums up to 10. It’s fun, it’s exciting, kids love it and, best of all, it’s a FREEBIE!
And don’t forget to enter to win the Journey To Verb Village game. It’s perfect for introducing or reviewing nouns and verbs. A GREAT center activity.
And, as always, feel free to take just a moment to let me know what topics YOU are working on with your kids. You never know…. I just might pick one of those topics to create a new freebie!