Thursday, July 31, 2014

iPad Mini Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be able to bring you an iPad mini giveaway!!!  I don't have an iPad or iPad mini, so I am really envious right now :)
Whether you are a teacher in a school, or a homeschool parent, technology is a huge part of education right now.  I know my kids pick up on technology much quicker than I ever do.  I just moved into the world of an iPhone and for the first few weeks, I had them finding things for me.  Just shows you how quickly kids can pick up new technology.
Since I don't have an iPad, I thought that I would hunt around for some good apps for engaging kids in fun learning.  I found ipadkids that has tons of apps and reviews of these apps.  There is everything from teaching toddler hygiene habits to MoMa art lab where kids can look at artwork and create their own.
There is so much out there to explore.  I am hoping to get an iPad for my birthday, so I can try some out and share with you!!!
This giveaway is only open to teachers (classroom and homeschool) who are living in the contiguous United States. The winning entry will be verified and proof of eligibility may be required. Please see the complete terms and conditions at the bottom of the giveaway for more information.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The blogs below all contributed to the giveaway.  You'll want to visit each one of them to get tech tips, reviews, and more!

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Goodbye July.... Aloha August!

Can it be possible???  July is nearly over???
I have teamed up with 40 fabulous stores for...
This is a FABULOUS 4 day event that is full of sweet deals, savings and 4 amazing giveaways!
Here's a peak at what you are being treated to...
Each day a new 'deal' will be posted by the 40 participating stores! 
Be sure to visit their Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest accounts to find the daily deals and codes you will use in the TPT search engine to find the sweet deals!
(you can also find the codes on the pictures at the bottom of this post)

In addition, you can find the links to all the participating stores well as 4 rafflecopters!
That is right...4 rafflecopters!
Each rafflecopter is for a $50 TPT gift certificate!
Think of all the wonderful resources you could score with that...and just in time for Back To School!

Please visit each rafflecopter and enter! 
Each one will generate a winner- and yes- you can win more than 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores!
Be sure to come by and visit our social media sites each day for these reminder posts:

 Enjoy the deals, samples and good luck on the giveaway!
And most importantly, we all send our best wishes for a successful school year!
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Back-To-School Swap!

Swapping with other teachers is one of my favorite things to do!  I love getting to see and use new ideas.  I always get a creative burst in my own teaching, when I use someone else's stuff.   I was really excited to hook up with Creative Playground's "Back-To-School" Blogger Product Swap!
For this swap, I got to swap with Mrs. Lindsey.  She is a kindergarten teacher (my favorite age)!  I got to try out some of her sensory tub activities.
I love sensory tubs and tables!  Sensory tubs are so exciting for children.  They are able to explore novel and interesting things in a box.  Even before adding specific "academic" things for children to explore, there is so much learning going on in a sensory table.  Kids are exploring with their senses.  They are combining their tactile experiences with other smells, sounds, and visuals. 
Sensory tables/tubs can be as elaborate or simple as you want. You can use something as simple as rice, or create a themed sensory table.  I created a tadpole/frog sensory table, you can see here.
Now that I am home without a classroom, I have a make-shift sensory tub.  I just used a large, clear Tupperware tub.  For Mrs. Lindsey's activities, I filled the sensory tub with rice, rocks, and buttons.  I just used things that I already had at home.
We worked with the Alphabet Activities first.  It was so fun!
Lindsey includes upper and lowercase letter cards, as well as, 3 picture cards with the beginning sound of each letter.  She also includes cards with an upper and lowercase letter on each card.  Another nice feature of this pack is that it is all included in color and B/W. 
There are so many ways to play games with the alphabet sensory tub.  We matched upper and lower case letter cards.
 We also found a letter in the tub, after a lot of sifting and playing!
 Then matched it to the letter in the alphabet pocket chart.
We also matched letters to pictures with the same beginning sound.  It is very easy to differentiate for this activity.  There are 3 pictures for each letter.  For my daughter, I only put in 2 or 3 letters and sets of pictures at a time.   This helped her not get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.  You could also focus on the "Letter of the Week" and familiar letters.
She put the picture in the pocket chart with the matching beginning sound.
Another cheap and easy way to get students to really focus in on the specific letters is to place trays in front of the tub.  Students will match the lowercase letter and the pictures with the same beginning sound to the correct tray.  This helped my daughter to really focus in on the differences in the sounds that she was saying.
We extended the learning, by creating our own alphabet books for each letter that we worked on.  We went hunting around the house for our objects, but you could easily have every student bring in something that begins with the letter for show and tell.
 Then, you have all the components for your alphabet book.  Have each student hold their object and put together a quick and easy book.  Mine is laminated, but you could just do it on paper.  Or, you could put together a powerpoint slide show!  Seeing themselves really engages the kids and I bet they won't forget "their" word and beginning sound!
Next up is rhyming!
We placed the cards in the bin just like before.  My son hid all the cards for my daughter.  You could actually have this as a classroom job for a helper.  I know that would be a sought after job!
 One trick that we used, while playing the game, was to place the cards that did not have matches along the side of the tub.  That way when we chose a card, we could check for a rhyme with all the other cards.  This seemed to work very well. The cards were contained, but still accessible.
 She found a match!!!
With my daughter (4 years old), I only used picture cards.  Lindsey includes the matching words in the packet.  You can play the games in many ways.  You can match the picture star to the word star, or you can match the picture car to the word star.  Then, they are decoding words and finding the matching rhyme.
Another option is to only include words in the sensory bin.  They will decode the word and find the matching rhyming word.
Lindsey also included some extension worksheets for students to complete.
 They cut and paste the matching rhymes.
We had a ball with Mrs. Lindsey's "Sensory Tub Fun" activities.  She actually has a bundle, where you can get tons of skills to put in your sensory table.
Thanks so much for exploring Mrs. Lindsey's sensory tub fun with me! 
Head over to Mrs. Lindsey's blog to see her review of my Pirates!!  Aargh!!
 I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  Don't forget to check out some more amazing products in the link-up below.  Swapping is such fun!! 
You can win one of Mrs. Lindsey's sensory tub set here!
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