Sunday, March 1, 2015

easy peasy book giveaway

Like many of you, I am a book lover. I hoard them like they are little nuggets of gold. I get excited when I see a particularly beautifully illustrated one that I don't have. So, when I saw a couple of Alaska titles I didn't already have (gasp! how can that be?!), I knew I had to get my hands on them! And, because you all are so awesome, the lovely folks at Sasquatch books are letting me give them away!
First up, in honor of the upcoming Iditarod race (March 7th), check out Alaska's Snow White and her  Seven Sled Dogs by Mindy Dwyer.  Mindy must be a genius. Combine a classic fairytale with an Alaska theme...BOOM. Instant classroom excitement. This is Snow White with an Alaskan twist! The illustrations in this one are sharp and bright!
Next up, My Wilderness An Alaskan Adventure by Claudia McGehee. This is a fun trip back to the frontier days of Alaska, long before it was a state.  My favorite part is the adorable little squirrel that follows the little boy in his travels to Alaska! I absolutely love all of the color and lines in this one! So fun for 2nd graders to find him!
And because the folks at Sasquatch Books are so unbelievable awesome (seriously, all of my favorite Alaska books are from them), they're letting me give away both titles! Enter below to win!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

spark of inspiration blog hop

It's here! It's here! Our big blog makeover reveal! I belong to a super sweet group of blog authors that recently revamped our blog! If you're coming from the ever talented and beautiful Tanja's blog (Journey of a Substitute Teacher), welcome! We used to be A Class*y Collaboration, but now we're A Spark of Inspiration! Ta-da! Fun, right?! And, we all know everyone loves freebies, so we've got some goodies in store for you! 

To celebrate, I'm offering up a sampler freebie from my Iditarod unit. What kid doesn't love fun, colorful bookmarks with a cute doggy?! Click below to grab it!

It is a sampler freebie from my Iditarod Unit, click below to check it out...the Iditarod starts March 7th!

Now pop on over to visit the super sweet blogger, Lori! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

we be jammin

It's finally here! My sweet friend Christy over at Crayons and Whimsy will be taking orders for Jamberry wraps featuring my Smiley School Supplies clipart! Leave your email in the comments and she'll contact you about making your order smile emoticon Oh, and 2 people who make an order today will get an extra treat with their order!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

clipart for a cause

I have something really special to announce! What the Teacher Wants is hosting a fundraiser for a very deserving local family here in Utah. 

Here's what she has to say about the fundraiser:

Some of the biggest names in the TPT clip art world have all come together to help raise money for a sweet little "Heart Warrior" named Ryder. 

Ryder's mom, Jessie, and I used to teach together at my old school. We worked together for 6 years before she and I both changed schools and began teaching in different places. She is one of my dearest friends and I loved every second of working with her. She is full of life, hilarious, and one of the best teachers you'll ever meet.

Fast forward a little bit, and I have a heartbreaking story to tell you about my friend Jessie. After going through a relatively easy pregnancy with her 4th child, Little Ryder Cannon was born on December 2nd, 2014 and was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect. He spent over 180 days in the ICU while doctors tried everything they could to fix his heart. 

During his life, he underwent three open heart surgeries, one of which was an experimental surgery to replace his heart valve; he was the first baby at Primary Children's Hospital to ever have it done. That surgery was a success and earned him the nickname of "Heart Warrior." However, the doctors were never able to completely fix his broken heart. Ryder spent 30 days on the heart transplant list, but unfortunately the new heart never came. 

Little Ryder passed away in August of 2014 at only 8 and a half month old.

{Photography by: Crystal Spencer Photography}

During his short time in the world, Ryder blessed the lives of many. This little Heart Warrior leaves behind a mom, dad, two sisters and a brother who miss him every single day. The financial burden of it all leaves a huge stress on the family. The medical bills are still coming in and Little Ryder still needs a headstone for his grave.

{To read more of Ryder's story, click here.}


For this reason, I have put together a fundraiser on Ryder's behalf. 

All donations collected through this "Hearts for a Heart Warrior" fundraiser will go to help the Cannon family with Ryder's medical bills and will also help purchase a headstone for Ryder's grave. 

For your $25 donation, you will receive "The Ultimate Valentine's Day HEART and LOVE Inspired Graphics Mega Bundle" There are over 300 graphics included in this amazing pack!

(These are both exclusive graphic sets and are not available anywhere else.

These are custom designed for this special fundraiser!)

Melonheadz: Exclusive Heart Warrior Bundle

Natalie Kay: Valentine's Day Pennant Banner

This fundraiser starts right now and will run until Valentine's Day. I know that Ryder's family will be very appreciative for any and all donations they receive! Thank you!!

iditarod shenanigans

I have only a few days left before I leave my babies behind (they go to my mom's house...yay!) and head back to work.  I've been on maternity leave for about 3 months now and it's been AMAZING to say the least. There's really nothing like being home with your family :) BUT, time to get to work and shower regularly again...what?! Who said that?!

I'm planning on kicking off my return with a little Iditarod fun! I compiled a list of Iditarod related books...these are some of my favorites!
Some of the books in my display area:

And I added an Iditarod Musher Craftivity to go with the Iditarod Dog Craftivity!
And here's a little FREEBIE if you'd like to get in on the fun!
Check out some of the fun we had last year...

We are on our 3rd full week of Iditarod madness up here in Alaska (you can read all about some of my Iditarod literacy activities that we did here)...and let me tell you, these puppies are having a blast! Here's what we've been up to lately in the land of Iditarod!

I keep all of the masters for my unit in 1 big binder:
And put the centers in binders (rather than tubs or buckets).
I printed some clipart, glued it onto a blank poster paper and laminated it. Now I can write on it with a dry-erase marker and reuse it every year!
 And I also added a quick reusable Iditarod word wall for students to reference when writing.

The Red Lantern Award is given to the last musher to cross the finish line in Nome, so of course, I had to have one to stress the importance of hard work and determination! I bought this one on eBay a few years ago. I also brought in a pair of fleece dog booties to show the class what the dogs in the Iditarod wear to protect their feet from the ice! They loooved these 2 artifacts!
 We began our week by learning about the mushers that are in this year's race (I printed off biographies from the official Iditarod website). Students were responsible for writing about their musher and personalizing a mini musher to keep track of each day on the checkpoint bulletin board.
 Then, we colored these Musher Trading Cards, added neat facts we found (think Pokemon power info, but mushers!) to the back of each card, and let the exchanges begin!
This is a new page added to the Iditarod Unit, so if you already bought this unit, go download your updated version for free (go to My Purchases in TpT)!!! I stuck mine in a page protector and update it in the morning when we move our mushers.  

Sadly, 2 of the mushers that were assigned scratched (dropped out), so they live in the "Scratched Zone" now!
Money games!
Multiplication and division is much more engaging when puppy food is involved!
 Brushing up on our expanded form skills again:
 Doubles and doubles +1 practice:
 We used these number bonds to practice our splitting of tens and ones:
 Fingerprint dogsleds! Sooo cute!
Reading Iditarod books and working on Adopt-a-Dog journals: guessed it! Another anchor chart :)

Ohhh the importance of 10's Friends!!!! We can't practice this enough!
Solving for an unknown and fractions!
And YOU HAVE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT! A super sweet volunteer made this whole thing for us to hang up! You can't tell from the photo, but each of those flags are cut out construction paper, not printed from the internet! And the letters are all bordered with black and layered on top of looks A-MAZING in real life. Trust me. I was speechless when I opened up the delivery! I promptly cut it out and laminated it so I could hug it all night hang it up in the hallway with our other Iditarod stuff.
 Terrible lighting in the hallway, as you can see from the difference in the photo below.
 We also made our Iditarod Husky Craftivity dogs!
A tip for prepping craftivities:

 I printed my bookmarks, laminated them and used pawprint ribbon from JoAnn's to make them extra special and fun.
Each of these activities comes from my Iditarod: An Integrated Unit. Click below to check it out!

And for those of you who are looking to spice up your bulletin's some clipart!