So what do you think of my new blog design? I'm thrilled about it!! Let me tell you what prompted me to get this. A couple of weeks ago I went to yet another conference (my husband asked me when I actually teach children....hmmph). This one was right in Dallas at the beautiful Hilton Anatole. This place is not just beautiful, it is bee-yoo-tee-ful. There was artwork every where, most of it Asian. In fact, the entire decor has this whole Buddha Zen vibe going on. I took a few pics:
There were quite a few from this Burmese artist - S. Moe Z. I love the colors
There were also a lot of sculptures, jade figurines, textiles, and antique furnishings. Really beautiful stuff.
Then there was this:
A big ole chunk of the Berlin Wall. How cool is that?
So, let me get back to my story. In the exhibit hall there was also this person:
Jennifer Smith-Sloane from 4Mula Fun! She had a booth featuring TpT sellers, and I thought 'Karen, you've got to get cracky-lackin.' There are a lot of teachers who are really having a lot of success with their products and I say good for them. I want to do that too. I love writing and creating TpT products, but my blog was so boring... I did a little research and found this designer:
Kimberlee Fullbright at  Digital Doodle Designs. She was awesome and affordable. I contacted her one week ago and as of yesterday my completed blog was up and running. Don't forget that the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday were thrown in there. Many of the designers I looked at were booked well into 2015 and quite a bit more expensive. Take a Bow Kimberlee!
(Side note: The Science Penguin was also at the conference, but every time I went by the booth, she wasn't there. I wanted to meet her as well, but I finally quit walking by their booth because I was afraid they would think I was some sort of creepy teacher-stalker.)
On to other news. Tomorrow: TpT Cyber Monday & Tuesday sale begins!! WooHoo! I know I'm shopping. To get ready for the sale, I've updated a few products. You know... updated graphics and tidied up fonts & layouts. I look back on some of my earlier products, and although I think the content is still spot on, my designmanship (is that even a word?) was lacking. Here are some previews of some updates.
The two products above are designed to complement books by Jean Marzollo: I am a Leaf, I am a Seed, I am an Apple, and I am a Caterpillar. There are lots of language arts skills activities included in both, and the Caterpillar/Butterfly has a set of measurement activities as well.
These will also be available as a bundle, which will priced at a forever bundle price to reflect an automatic 20% discount. It will be further discounted for the cyber sale.)
This set has activities for all Dolch sight words and Dolch phrases. The sight words are available in two different lists: grade level and frequency. There is also a bulletin board decor set for highlighting your Super Duper Sight Word kiddos.
And last but not least, I managed to get this little gem uploaded just in time for the sale:
I'm very happy with the way this set turned out, and I spent quite a bit of time working on it. After spending the past seven years teaching math, I came to learn a lot about what little people need...and that is plenty of exposure to the basic skills that build numerical fluency. I honestly feel like we are pushing our little ones to do too much before they are ready when it comes to math, and as a result so many lower elementary kiddos are missing out on building a strong foundation. But, that is a post for another time.
I hope you will take the time to visit my store. Everything will be discounted 20% and with the promo code TPTCYBER, you will receive an additional 10% off, which totals a whopping 28% discount. Don't forget to provide feedback on all of your previous purchases in order to take advantage of bonus points when you shop.

Y'all have a great week!

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Hello again!
I'm linking up with The Primary Pack for a fun Black Friday Linky party. First of all, you need to check their blog for a huge Black Friday Giveaway!!! This group of bloggers has put together a pack of their 28 most wishlisted TpT products.


Now I'm going to share with you my Black Friday wishlist:
1. Earth Science Interactive Notebook by Literacy and Math Ideas - 32 pages of interactive notebook activities for the following science concepts: The Water Cycle,Changes to Earth's Surface (Erosion, Weathering, & Deposition), The Rock Cycle (Metamorphic, Igneous, and Sedimentary Rocks), Earthquakes and Faults, Water on Earth (Lakes, Rivers, Oceans, Etc.), and Soil Layers

2. SeaHorse & Turtles Clip Art  by Fishy Scraps - I just love this beautiful set

3. Whales, Bats, Sharks, & Owls Clip Art by Educasong - I don't know about you, but Sara from Educlips is one of my favorite clip art sources. I am slowly collecting quite a stash of her work. I love it!


As you can tell, I have a slight clip art problem....

Now, I'm going to share with you some items from my store that are my most wish-listed and/or best selling!
1. Science Journaling Pages: Weather and States of Matter There are a lot of great interactive journaling pages in these sets that are perfect for science notebooks.

2. Polygons - Task Cards, Posters and Activities - One of my favorites! I got a lot of use out of this set last year with my second graders. Included are a set of task cards in test taking format.

3. Fun with the Hundreds Chart - Games to Develop Numerical Fluency - I developed this set when I was first moved to the lower grades. I didn't understand the need for a hundreds chart before in the upper grades, but boy did I learn fast!

4. Ones Tens Hundreds - Steppin' It Up With Place Value! - Place value can be a difficult concept for little ones. It's very abstract. This set provides plenty of activities for learning & practicing the objectives associated with place value.

Perfect for third graders learning their multiplication facts. This set was created with the intention of students making connections between multiplication and geometrical concept.

6. Christmas Math Task Card Fun - Task cards that address the following skills: Skip Counting, Patterns, Numerical Patterns (using calculator), Multi-digit subtraction with and without regrouping, Area and Perimeter, and Basic Graphing

7. Fact Family Christmas Trees for Sums 2-20 - This is a fun set for practicing addition facts that also makes a bright & festive holiday bulletin board!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Karen

Thanksgiving is almost here. Can you believe it? I'm really looking forward to five days at home with my family. November has been busy! 
At the end of last month my family and I headed down to Galveston for the TCSS (Texas Council for the Social Studies) conference. This year is the first year in a goodly number of years that I have taught social studies. With the completion of my master's degree my whole philosophy of teaching has changed, and I have had no idea where to start when it came to social studies. I felt like I had science/math brain and that I couldn't think outside that box. The funny thing is that I love social studies. I enjoy teaching math and science, but social studies and history are where my personal interests lay.
So my little trip to Galveston came at just the right time.  The conference was held at the lovely Moody Gardens, and I attended some great workshops...my favorites were offered by the Texas Historical Commission, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and Monticello
Some of my favorite freebies from one of the exhibit hall booths.
It was nice for my family to get away and have fun while I was attending workshops. My favorite part of the trip was the ferry ride from Galveston to Port Bolivar. It was totally free and totally awesome. We drove my little Ford Focus onto the ferry and then got out and watched the dolphins jump out of the water all around. That was quite a treat for landlubbers like us.

One of my goals for this trip was to bring back every one of my students a little seashell. So...we went seashell hunting.
In the little area on the beach pictured above, there were lots of these lightning whelk shells.
So, I also gathered up about twelve of these and stuck them in a baggie to take for my little peeps to look at when I got back to school. When I got them home and removed them from the baggie to clean them, not only did they stink to high heaven, but they had dead crabs in them!!! In a nutshell (or crabshell, ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom), I now have a bunch of stinky shells stuck in an ant pile in my yard. I'm hoping the ants will clean them out. I did take them to school first though, so the kiddos could see the little crab legs sticking out.

Coming Soon... Conferences and...crabs? Part 2

Y'all have a great week,
karen





Happy Saturday everyone! Time is surely flying by. I can't believe that it is almost Thanksgiving and...Black Friday. I certainly prefer the actual holiday to the shopping, but my kids were introduced to Black Friday last year and are looking forward to it again this year. It's their newest contact sport (sarcasm intended).
Me too I so want to get this and wear black Friday!

Time is also moving along over at The Teaching 2 Step, the collaborative blog that I contribute to. We started up in August and now have ten teacher contributors with experience ranging from homeshool & early elementary educators through high school. Sherri, aka Literarary Sherri is all about good novels (I love a good book), and on her blog she includes a quote from Grace Slick, which is all right by me. (You younger"ish" teachers may not know who she is, but I do...shoot, I've seen her in concert!) We even have an international twist with Mary Beth who has taught in Belize, England, and Africa, and with Marguax who is contributing all the way from South Africa! So exciting!

To celebrate our new bloggers, The Teaching 2 Step is hosting a little giveaway in honor of our newest members. Head on over to join in on the fun. There are also some sales going on this weekend as well.
 

You can also enter through the rafflecopter links below! 

Y'all have a great weekend!
karen

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