Tuesday, May 20, 2014

End-of-Year Gifts

We're down to 2 days left of school... so I've been busy putting together end-of-year gifts for my students, my son's classmates, my son's teacher and my co-workers. Here's what I've come up with.

For My Students.

"Don't forget to be a STAR reader this summer" cards with a Starburst attached. Easy peasy for sure. I started printing them in color... then I realized the kiddos will probably just throw the card away so I printed the rest on some cheaper colored cardstock I had lying around.

For My Son's Classmates.

Bouncy balls. I liked the phrase "have a BALL this summer". My son liked "BOUNCE you later". So I made them both.

And because I absolutely adore how they turned out, I'm sharing them with you. You can even edit them to include your own signature for the back side.

End Of Year Bouncy Ball Tags - EDITABLE

For My Son's Teacher.

Being a first year teacher that has faced many challenges during the year, I figure she deserves some serious pampering. So I put together a "Gift of Relaxation" basket for her. Included are: lotion, bubble bath, body wash, candle, soft slipper socks, loofah, soothing eye mask, yummy chocolate and a card expressing many "thanks"! It's the least I could do for all she's done for my son this year.

For My Co-Workers.

"Have A KOOL Summer!" quotes attached to a packet of kool-aid. No, I'm pretty sure most of them do not drink kool-aid but honestly, it's cheap and there's a lot of people to make them for so I just went with it. Plus it's cute.

I made some quick cards and just stapled them to the front. If I still had some creative juice (and extra time!) left, I would've attached them with ribbon... but I think it's still cute the way it is.

Just a few days left until summer break begins. So, so exciting!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Can See The Finish Line!

As a mom, I am trying... really trying... to give my very all and push through these last few days of school. I work at my son's school so I have to at least appear to have my head on straight. Every day my son is asking if we can just stay home and I so badly want to say YES!

I mean, let's face it, enough is enough. I am ready for summer. I'm ready for a brain vacation (of sorts... course we know an actual brain vacation would never be allowed!) and ready for a little down time. I'm ready to stay in my jammies all day long and spend my afternoons by the pool. I'm ready to go 2 full months without checking homework and getting clothes, water bottles, lunches, snacks and backpacks ready to go each night.

I feel bad, I really do... but I am so ready for summer!

So coming across this blog post from Jen Hatmaker... well, let me just say I feel darn good! I'm so glad I'm not the only mom "limping toward the finish line". Thank you, Jen, for putting in to words what I could not.

--> Jen Hatmaker - Worst End of School Year Mom Ever <--

Just a few days left, Moms & teachers... we GOT this!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Vowel Teams To The Rescue!

Whether you're doing Wilson's Fundations or not, I'm sure you understand just how complicated those vowel teams (vowel partners/diphthongs/etc) can be. My Title 1 kiddos really (really!) struggle with them. So I created various vowel team sets to help make learning those vowel teams a little more exciting.

Most of the sets are designed with a picture to help us remember the vowel focus.

For example, my OU/OW Vowel Team set has band-aids and ambulances to remind us of the "ow" sound in "owie".

Vowel Team: OU & OW

My OA/OW/OE set uses snowmen to remind us of the "oh" sound in "snowman".

Vowel Team: OW, OA & OE

The OI/OY team (also known as diphthongs) can be really tricky. This set uses cowboys to help us remember the "oy" sound in "cowbOY".

Vowel Team: OI & OY

The EA/EE/EY set uses bees because of the "eeee" sound in "bee".

Vowel Team: EA, EE & EY

My AI/AY set was the first set I made so they don't have a picture helper. They are football-themed to go along with the vowel "team" theme.

Vowel Team: AI & AY

I'm still working on the rest of the vowel teams. There's still so much work to be done. But, once I am done, I'll make all of the sets available as a bundle at a discounted rate. (I love discounts!!)

My kiddos LOVE using these sets. I will talk more about how I use these sets another day but for now, let me just say this... my kiddos are reading more words now than they ever have. I'm so proud of them... and so happy these sets are helping them learn their vowel teams!!