Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Sale!

A special thanks to Rachel Lamb for the sweet graphic :)

Check off your wish lists, 
Fill up your carts....
Because Cyber Monday 
is when the deals start!

Head on over to my TpT store to receive 20% off of all of my products. Don't forget to enter the code: TPTCYBER for an extra 8% off, site wide. Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Because sitting on the shelf is SO 2012!!

Hey friends! I'm back and pretty proud of myself. While it's lame that I only did ONE day of Blog Hoppin's linky party, I'm pretty happy that I'm at least blogging twice in one week!! ha December is literally RIGHT around the corner and I'm getting ready for Monday's elf visit. I know EVERYONE is familiar with Elf of the Shelf and the brilliant role it plays in classroom management. If your students are anything like mine, they are out of control rather challenging during the month of December. ;-) And the elf is the PERFECT solution. Now, I know what you're thinking.....I don't have time for that?!?! How do I stage him each day?
Here are some easy solutions for you and ways to position your elf, that will literally send your students over the edge with excitement....but pull them in on behavior, too (because he is watching, don't forget)! 
While my students are at lunch or taking a bathroom break, I have my assistant (or myself) stage the grand entry. Last year: I cracked the window, left Santa's hat and a few bells, and sprinkled snow all around. 
I even scattered snow around the classroom, so it would appear that Santa had been walking around. You must have detail....students pay attention to detail! ha And the more you do and more realistic it looks, the less questions asked! ;-)
I use this Insta Snow mix. You just add water and it expands 100 times it's original size. It feels like real snow....very soft and even COLD! Which just adds to the magic of it all. This was picked up at Cracker Barrell last year but can be purchased anywhere really. Click here to order it off of Amazon. 
Here is what Santa left: an official letter explaining the elf, Mr. Elf himself, The Elf on the Shelf book, and in the bag...some reindeer food (oatmeal and glitter). I read the letter and the book, and we talk ALLLL about the Elf and what his name should be. Then, we pass out the reindeer food and talk about how to sprinkle it on your lawn to guide the reindeer in. After that, I get started. Each day, I look for a new and creative way to position my elf. Here are some of the fun things I've come up with. 
Every elf needs a sick day - right?!?!
Jingles enjoyed some elf sized doughnuts (cheerios, peanut butter for icing, and sprinkles in a matchbox) and brought the class Krispy Kreme to enjoy! At least he shares...
The Abominable Snowman was spying on Jingles and caught him! I picked this guy up at Hobby Lobby last year. 
1. Jingles was a villain and the Superheroes rescued us (mask is from American Girl's Bitty Bear)
2. Jingles making a snow angel out of sprinkles (MUCH easier to clean up vs. flour)
3. Jingles got into Miss Eberhart's stickers
1. Jingles lassoed some cattle (made from pipe cleaner) and brought us a book to read, The Gingerbread Cowboy
2. Jingles decided to roast marshmallows (toothpick and mini marshmallows)
3. Jingles got into our letter magnets
Jingles took a hot air balloon ride around the classroom (made from paper lantern, curly ribbon, and a clear cup)!
Calgon...take Jingles away!

Well, I hope you've gathered some new ideas and I've convinced you to do Elf on the Shelf, if you don't already. I promise it is worth the mayhem and your students will love it! You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the great Elf pins I've pinned. Just click the image below. 
Stay tuned. I'll be back with more ideas and pictures of my elf THIS year. I can't wait for my explorers to meet him on Monday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

T is for...Technology

Hey ya'll! I'm linking up with the sweet gals over at Blog Hoppin' to bring you a week of Thanks! This season is a special time of year when we can look around us and be thankful for what we have. Especially a few days off! And I mean that.... 
This year, Blog Hoppin' is doing A Week of Thanks a little differently. Each day is a new letter....like an acrostic! Every day (that you choose to participate) you can share with us what you are thankful for - but here is the catch; it needs to begin with that day's letter. So, today is T...tomorrow is H...Wednesday is A - - you get it! Yes, it spells THANKS! 

So, today...T is for....Technology! Honestly - what would we do without it? I'm thankful for all the wonderful people I've met through blogging and the great ideas and motivation they provide me with!!
I'm also thankful for the millions of great websites out there that provide my students with educational opportunities at a price of FREE, no less. 
Here is my computer center. I have 4 student computers....and yes, they came over on the ark and still have floppy disc drives...but, the important thing is - I have them and my students LOVE using them! We frequent sites such as:
Click on the images to visit the sites - they are visited often by my explorers. We certainly cannot forget GoNoodle. This is the most wonderful website EVERRRR! My students are obsessed. If you are stuck inside due to weather or your students just need to get some wiggles out - this is the best website in the world and I am certainly proud to say that I am a teacher who brain breaks!
You can catch my students in action if you follow me on instagram. I post a lot of our Brain Breaks and crazy dancing on there. And seriously. Does it get any better than instagram? I'm oober thankful for the different editing options it provides because it has the ability to make any picture...look a hundred times better! ha Anyone second me on that?
Click the image to follow me
Instgram name: erin.eberhart
And last but not least...who can forget Pinterest? Seriously - what did we do before it? I feel like I can no longer even think of an idea or possibly make anything remotely cute without checking the inter-webs first and seeing what brilliant idea is online. When in doubt, go to Pinterest. ha If you're interested, you can follow me on there, too! 
Click on the image to follow me
Pinterest name: erinee21
I'm beyond thankful for Technology...the hair brained ideas it encourages me to try...the people it connects me with....and the opportunities it gives my students. What are YOU thankful for today? Be sure to head over to Blog Hoppin' and link up for the letter T. I'll be back tomorrow with H.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday, ya'll! And while that is normally a good thing....I am a little sad that it is here.
You see, I've been on Fall Break ALL week. I have enjoyed every single moment. Every one. Including my few days in oversized sweat pants. ha!! Sadly, I am very serious.
This really is a true statement. I could NOT wait to just play catch up and relax a little. Mornings with coffee, watching TV, actually cooking dinner and not being on the go all the time....it has really been good for my soul! I'm sad to see the week come to an end. Back to the grind on Monday. On a happy note, I am looking forward to seeing my little explorers. 
Speaking of all things Fall - - has anyone tried this?? Holy Mother!!! Life changing. And no, I'm not being dramatic. It is literally the best ice cream I have ever tasted!
Just read what all it includes. Spiced Pumpkin ice cream, pecans, cinnamon-honey-praline sauce - OMG. My mouth is watering as I type this and I really think it would be inappropriate to have ice cream at 6:30 in the morning. Which - why in the world I am awake at this time over Fall Break, I have no idea....
Onward.
I've been wanting to do clip art for a long time. But haven't been sure how to grab the bull by the horn. I'm still not sure I fully grasp all there is to it. I love so many of the artists out there and would never want to compete....but doodling and art has always been a passion of mine. Here are just some random doodles I did over Fall Break. I haven't figured out how to convert the files to PNGs though. Despite the number of YouTube tutorials I've watched, I still don't get it. Any suggestions?
Are these cute? Would anyone even use them?? I don't know...
My Fall Break has also been spent finishing units that I've had ongoing for months. I've had some requests for different packs and I've never finalized them to post on TpT. So, I made myself sit down and get.to.work! Here's what I ended up with.....I would say this is a record. Posting 5 packs in one week (granted 2 are bundled) but hey - - that is HUGE for me! ha 
I finished my Blends and Diagraph Flashcard set. This set includes 26 student flashcards, a checklist, and word wall. It's great for student practice! It goes along with my Blends and Diagraph Poster set {here} or you can grab the bundled pack {here}. 
I also finished my Journaling and Book Review pack. If you have purchased my Explore Informational Reports unit, you'll definitely want to add these 2 to your collection! They accompany that unit perfectly. OR - for 20% savings, you can grab the bundled set {here}. I am seriously rather proud of myself. ha I have never in my life posted that many units in 1 week. I so want to do better...
While I'm on Fall Break...I've spent it in North Carolina with my love. Long distance relationships can certainly be trying, but I'm thankful for the time off so I can be here. One of my best friends lives in Charlotte and I'm off to meet her today. 
She took the day off work so we can have quality girl time. First up on the agenda is a Blow Dry Bar! These are apparently all the rage here. Anyone ever heard of them?? We have appointments at 10:45. I'm pretty excited.....and my hair could definitely use the help.
Stay tuned for my hair do! ha Head on over to Doodle Bugs and link up. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New and excited!

OH MY WORD! I am drooling ya'll! Are you noticing my new...oh so sophisticated...blog design?!? Kassie Garlock from Designs by Kassie pulled my vision together perfectly. I wanted so badly to get away from the safari look and transition into something that was fun, fresh, and modern.
Kassie did it!!! She was wonderful to work with, quick to respond, and patient with my bajillion emails asking for changes here and new fonts there! ha It was a chore - - believe me! And, she pulled it all together beautifully. Exactly what I wanted! if you're up for a new design, I recommend her. 

Thanks for all of your hard work, Kassie! It is JUST what I had in mind! :) Maybe this will inspire me to blog more. ha After all, this is my 3rd post in a row. 

Someone pinch me!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Writing, labels, and freebies - Oh my!!

Whoop whoop. I'm back folks.....2 days in a row! Today, I'm posting about what's been going on in Writer's Workshop. I began with labeling and my explorers are doing so well with it! I loved Julie Lee's idea on labeling the teacher and Cara Carroll's idea of making an anchor chart to hold the labels...so I went for it. And oh.my.word, my students loved everything about it. Brilliant.
Here is the after math of it all. ha And I'm not sure what is up with my outfit. Well, I do know. I was running late and went down to my garage to leave...in just my shirt and shoes....hoping my black pants were clean and hanging in the laundry room.....and, well, I was wrong. ha And I didn't have time to go back upstairs and change my shirt...so I grabbed the first pair of pants I could find. Wardrobe fail. They did NOT match. heh Good thing I'm with 5 and 6 year olds all day....
It is important to remember, that when teaching Writer's Workshop, (you match your clothes) AND you generate ideas for writing with your students. ha ha Providing "live" demonstrations, while showing the students how to write the same type of text they will, is so important! You should provide interactive writing opportunities where you "share the pen." When you do this, you're inviting the students to record some parts of the shared text. Here is my classroom example of pen sharing:
And for those of you not familiar, this is a labeling chart on our sweet and precious Gertrude. You can read more about our classroom pet here. We discussed how a label gives the reader more information and how we needed to educate others on our guinea pig. ;-) Afterwards, students labeled their own guinea pig.
If you're interested in a Gertrude labeling page, you can grab it by clicking the image below. Also, check out Katie Mense's most recent post on labeling and the great freebie she included. So smart! 
I also wanted to share with you a great sheet I put together based on the teachings from Dr. Deborah Rowe from Vanderbilt University. There are many conditions that support young children's writing and we must remember that students learn write best when the learning instructional environment provides: 
1. A purpose for writing and a real audience
2. Immersion
3. Demonstrations
4. Collaboration
5. Response from Others
6. Engagement
7. Responsibility
8. Expectation
9. Approximation
These are great to remember when carrying out your Writing lessons and conference times. This reminder sheet is tucked away in my plan book and I refer to it when planning. I sure hope you've found some helpful tips. Happy Writing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nocturnal Animals and a freebie!

Hey friends! Long time, no post. I've missed you all. I wanted to post on what my Explorers are learning this week. It's my favorite unit to teach - - nocturnal animals! Here is a little glimpse into what we will be doing. 





We will be making Owl fact books from Deanna Jump's unit. These are wonderful for teaching sentence structure, labeling, and illustrations. We will record some of our new learning on a have/can/are chart and afterwards, dissect owl pellets!
I purchased an owl pellet kit through a STEM grant and my students (last year) LOVED it! You can get a similar kit from Amazon {here}. 
This great little poster was included with the kit and showed the bones students might find when they dissect their pellets. Students were able to bring their bones up to the poster and figure out what part of the Vole it was from. A Vole is a small rodent, resembling a mouse, but with a stouter body. Here is a picture of a Vole skull we found. 
My students begged to take their findings home and show their parents. They were so excited! I'm not so sure my parents were, though. ha ha My explorers, this year, are already counting down to dissection day! It is definitely a wonderful, hands-on learning experience. I plan on teaching about Bats as well and I want to begin with a KWL chart. Here is one that I've put together. We will begin adding to it, tomorrow.
Afterwards, we will compare and contrast Bats to Owls and make a Venn Diagram. 
This wonderful idea stemmed from my bloggy BFF - Katie Mense and it came together so well. The bat pattern is from Cara Carroll and the Silly Shaped Owls can be found here. If you're interested in doing something like this with your students, you can grab the Venn Diagram labels and a recording sheet below.