Taryn's Unique Learning Email Facebook Instagram Pinterest Bloglovin TPT Store Home About Me TPT Shop Freebies Contact

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Linky Party and a Chuckle

My first grade intervention students are just darling.  After all, first grade is my sweet spot.  I noticed one of my little gals is seriously lacking phonemic awareness.  My vow was to mix a little bit in each day this group and I meet.  I found these goodbye phrases years ago either on Pinterest or TPT.  The author unfortunately did not put his/her name on them and after searching for them again, I gave up.  But I'm sure you have seen tags just like them.  They say things like "Be Sweet Parakeet" and "Take Care Polar Bear".  When I told them goodbye using a few of the phrases, there were smiles all around and on the way down the hall, we repeated these over and over.  We said goodbye at their individual doors, everyone with smiles on their faces, which marks a good day together.  The previously mentioned little girl gets to her door and looks at me and says "Bye bye Snowflake". And she was so proud of her "accomplishment".  Hence the reason why we are adding in some phonemic awareness to our time together.  Her honest attempt and her quirky expression on her face, just made me smile.  She didn't get it but I know she will!

Don't forget to use the hashtag #8daysofchristmas to get a fabulous Dollar Deal in my TPT store and many others as well.  Here are some of the products that I am featuring this week so be sure to pick some up at a great savings!

And Many More! 

Below check out these great products that are just perfect for this time of year.  My TPT friends will be leaving you a variety throughout the week so stop back and check them out often.

My best wishes for you to have a wonderful end of the school semester and a Happy Holiday.  I will be taking off for the next few weeks here on my blog. I will catch up with you in the new year.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Friday- Car Karaoke Songs of the Week

I'm thinking Car Karaoke should be on Fridays.  So I've decided I'm going to announce my favorite morning and afternoon commute songs on my blog right on time for Friday mornings.  While I liked many songs on the road this week, I've decided to go with these two.  Let me know what you think...

 Frankly, I forgot about "Working Day and Night" but it's so very Michael.  And then Paul Simon always reminds me of college and who doesn't love "Me and Julio Down By The School Yard" ?What songs did you hear this week?  Let me know below or let me know how geeky you think my selections are! :)  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wednesday Linky- And Some More Sunshine

I told you back in September that I was in charge of our school "Sunshine Committee" and that we had a Staff Restroom Decorating Contest.  I wasn't sure how it would go over, thought some people would think it was a ridiculous idea, but I have to say, our first grade team and their support staff have kept up with the decorating ever since the original contest.  Each month since, the restroom has been decorated with lights and seasonal decorations and you can't help but have a smile on your face when you are in there.  (That could be a sign of either the cute decor or the moment of silence you are having...that is to be determined!)

Now I'm up to having some more fun.  Let me explain.  When I was a kid there were plate decorating kits that we used to use. I can't remember what company made them but you decorated a paper template, sent the template off, and your drawing was transferred onto a non-breakable plate, which was then shipped to you.  You could have service for 10, decorated by every member of your family if you wished.  I thought it would be fun to make a "Kindness Plate" similar to those kits from a long time ago. The plate could be given to individual staff members, by another staff members as a way to recognize the hard work, talent, or the help that person has shown. Then that person will pay it forward and do the same for another staff member.  I let my fingers do the walking and came up with the current way to do this...ZAZZLE!

I set out to decorate a plate the updated way, on my computer and this is the design I came up with , even with the "Sunshine" theme happening. Take a peek at how cute it is! It was so adorable that  I ordered two so they would circulate twice as fast and spread the love faster.

I can not wait to see how my fellow staff members show their appreciation to one another by using this plate. I envision bringing a great lunch to a colleague, a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, a tray full of post it notes or office supplies, or I know someone will just wow me with their creativity. I will definitely report back to you.

In the meantime, it is the holiday season.  How do you encourage your students or staff members to show kindness, spread the love, and perhaps even a little bit of sunshine?  I would love to hear how you do it in your school so kindly post below a great idea.

And as for my fellow Teacher Authors, check out their great products below that either help spread sunshine, kindness, or perhaps even some holiday cheer.  To all my readers, this will be the last post before the holiday break. But I will be back after the new year to let you know what I've been up to and I will be sure to have some great pics to share too.

Best wishes for a happy, safe, and joyous holiday season for both you and your families.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Linky and Car Karaoke

I want to resurrect an old idea I had and try it out to see what you think!  I am a self-proclaimed music junkie.  I love to listen to music in the car anytime but especially on my way to and from work. since I'm in the car for about 45 minutes, which in Ohio, is a decent sized commute.

For years, I've always thought that certain songs remind me of certain people in my world. "American Pie" or anything by Dolly always makes me think of my friend, Mel.  "Sweet Home Alabama" reminds me of my college friend Katie. I always love thinking about my people based on what is playing on my car radio at any given moment.  I frequently send my friends photos of my radio display to let them know I'm thinking of them too.  And in fact, it makes me wonder what listening to all kinds of music in my classroom does for my students and their memories.  Do they remember sitting on their table tops each morning singing "Good Morning To You" by Greg and Steve as a way to greet each other.  Do they remember singing about "Alfredo Potato" by Rick Charette and the silly book we made to go along with it. And do any of these memories remind them of me?  Music is truly powerful in this capacity.

This brings me to this idea of having "Car Karaoke" to show you my favorite songs I hear in a given week during my commutes.  If I'm having a rough morning, a great song can improve the mood greatly.  You just can't be grumpy if you hear "Brick House", even on your crankiest of mornings. In fact, music does for me what a Grande Caramel Mocha Latte does for you.  It just doesn't keep me awake at night,

So here is this week's winner slide and it's only Wednesday.  I'm not going to make any promises as to how often I will do this. However, I do hope you will chime in to let me know you love the same song, or what you think of when you hear one of my featured songs or any song that you do the same for when you hear it. And yes...I will probably date myself too!

If you have never heard my a.m. song, you must check out the video. It was and is still hysterical to me.

My p.m. song is from the disco era and it makes me want to turn up the volume, open my sunroof, and drive a little too fast.  (Too bad it was raining and November!)

What songs do you have to crank the volume when you hear them? What do you think about the winners this week?  What songs make you think about particular friends?  I would love for you to tell me below.

Now before you leave, check out some great products below to use during the month of December from both myself and some of my TPT friends!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Linky- Thanksgiving Fun

Well this is the time of year that I get worn down and usually get sick. I've been fighting off bronchitis for about three weeks so I've been missing in action. But I'm back and my friends will be too glad to post some great November products right on time for Thanksgiving below, so if you are still looking for some great products, check out the links at the bottom.

Let me tell you about my latest product....my Thanksgiving Literacy Bundle.  It includes everything you need for literacy centers for your most emergent readers.  Here are some of the goodies that are included in this product.

First off, your students can sing this song to the tune of Frere Jacques.  All turkeys can be face down and your little ones can pick a turkey and say the letter name on it.  You can also use the flashcards to sequence the letters of the alphabet as well. And included you will find capital letters on turkeys and lowercase on bowls of cranberries.  My kindergarten intervention kiddos do not know all their letters so this has come in extremely handy for us.

In addition, my kiddos need work on counting syllables.  So included you will find a set of Mayflower Ship cards with pictures on them.  They are for clapping the syllables and sorting by the number of syllables in each word.

Next you will find my "In Your Pocket" activity.  This product is all you need to set up a pocket chart center.  Included you will find colored turkeys, color words, and color sentences for your students to read and match. These have been popular in my store on their own so I decided to offer it in this bundle as well.  Those turkeys are pretty stinkin' cute.

Well the turkeys were so cute I decided to include them again in this bundle.  Your students who are on the road to reading can sound out these CVC words into "Real" and "Nonsense" Words.  Included you will find header cards.  This is a key skill to teach your kiddos so they are listening to what they read to see if "it makes sense".  What easier way to begin than with a single word?

Next your kiddos will enjoy this Alphabet Sequence activity.  I simply include a basket of magnetic letters and an alphabet strip and they can find the missing letters.  You can also laminate them and have your students write on them with a dry erase marker.  This is a much needed activity among my "K" intervention kiddos.

Now this is a favorite of mine and I started with this at Halloween.  These punch cards are full size and I print them on card stock.  I also am an HP Instant Ink gal and I'm printing for small group only so I print them for my groups at home. They come in a variety of Thanksgiving pictures and in both capital and lowercase letters. Simply add a stack of the included alphabet cards and hole punches. Pick a card, locate the letter, and punch.  It amazes me how difficult the hole punch is to operate for little ones.  But they have improved since Halloween so I'm glad to add the fine motor to the academics whenever possible.
Finally, an activity to count the number of words in sentences.  Then your students can graph it. Simply add a paperclip and spin.  Read and count the words. Students need to see that words are separated by spaces and this little activity does the trick.

And as promised, I know many of my Teacher Author friends love to link up their great products. So check them out below and I'm certain you can find something to your liking!  Best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Intervention Goodie Bags for Students & Wednesday Linky

So this is the second attempt for writing this blog. My husband just felt the need to interrupt my train of thought and I lost about 45 minutes of my work.  UGH!  Doesn't he know not to interrupt...apparently not!  

I wanted to share my Intervention Goodie Bag Idea with you this week.  I am getting ready to send them home at our Fall Parent Teacher Conferences and am pretty excited with what I came up with this year.  I've always sent goodies home but this time is more extensive than in the past.  And if you do something similar, I would love to hear what you include in yours or if you have a product you sell that you think simply must be included.  Just comment below this post!

The first item included in my Goodie Bag is a set of Lowercase Blue and Red Magnetic Letters from Educational Insights.  I love that they are lowercase, they match the letters I use regularly in my classroom, and I absolutely love that the PTO funds them for me.  They requested that I collect them at the end of the year instead of gifting each student with a set.  My first order dwindled slowly over about 5 years and my second order is ready to go this year. Not bad...  I also love that students can visually see that each vowel is red and that EVERY SINGLE WORD WILL HAVE AT LEAST ONE RED LETTER!

In addition, I include a list of how to use the magnetic letters as well as an explanation that the PTO purchased them for "temporary use"!  

Next, I include an alphabet strip that shows "The Phonics Dance" as most K-1 teachers in my building use this.  Intervention students benefit from the consistency between in class and out of class so this applies to at school and at home as well! If you do not use this program, feel free to include any alphabet strip that works for your students best!

Also, I included a string of beads for segmenting words. I use these in my classroom as well so my students are all to familiar with these.  Simply have all beads on the left end and say a word.  A bead is moved for each phoneme to the right.  This helps students break the words apart as well as reinforce the left to right progression. I have attached them to a card with an explanation to parents on it.  I also ordered these beads from Amazon...are you sensing a trend.  The shoe laces were just from the local store.  Take a peek here:

The rest of the goodies, I will tell you about this weekend. So be sure to stop back then.  Also, check out below for some great items that your students will benefit from doing at home this time of the year for extra practice. My TPT friends are sure to post some goodies that will be of interest to you!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wednesday Linky- Spooky October

What fun and spooky things have you been up to this week?  I am working with seven of the most adorable kindergartners in intervention and letter identification, letter sequencing, and matching capitals and lowercase letters have been on our agenda.  And if you know me, I'm all about throwing some fine motor skills in whenever possible.  So I created these adorable Pumpkin Letter Match Punch for my kiddos and I could not wait to see how these worked.  So today was the day for a little trial run.

Take a peek for yourself...

 Let me just say that this clip art is totally adorable.  A big shout out to Kinder Alphabet for the pumpkin clip art.  Here is what you need to know:

*Punch cards are on card stock for ease in holding it.
*The letters on the cards I used today are sequential (ABC order) around the perimeter of the card to help these emergent readers find the letters.
*The cards come with out of sequence letters too.
*Some of my hole punches operate more smoothly than others.  If anyone knows of a simple hole punch, please comment below because I'm on the lookout.
*All of them were able to hole punch after some guided instruction.
*We could also discuss the shapes of the pumpkins so that was a bonus!

If you would like to take a closer look at this product in my store, just follow the link below.  And take a peek at the other links below from some TPT friends and you just may find something you can not live without this October.

Letter Pumpkin Punch

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Linky- Favorite Halloween Book

I have been teaching for close to thirty years and I have to say I pride myself on not doing the same things year after year. However, when you find a true classic, you definitely have to break this rule and just repeat.  I found a favorite Halloween book to use when I student taught. I can't remember if my cooperating teacher had the book or if I somehow stumbled upon it on my own.  But I made a "felt board story" for it and my cooperating teacher insisted that I make one for her as well.  Remember the old "opaque projector" and tracing in the darkest corner of your classroom?  We still have one in our building and I am pretty sure that none of our new teachers know what that hunk of junk is.  But, I have to say I think I've used the book and felt story every year since 1987-1988.  I think it has to be my hands down favorite Halloween book. It is definitely the kind of book that you know  every class will ooh and ahh and at which parts they will do so.  I've had a few books come close to the sheer joy I have when reading my favorite, but I think the longevity that I have with my favorite Halloween book definitely makes it stand out as number one in my mind.  Do you have a book like that in your collection? It's the kind of book that makes you want to buy a back up in case you can no longer keep the loose pages in order, you have put it through the binding machine and it still isn't working for you, and it goes out of print and is no longer available at your local bookstore.  In fact, this is not one that is typically even on the shelf at your local Barnes and Noble.  Are you just the slightest bit curious?

Drum roll.....please!

So good news...it is still available. And my suggestion is to run, not walk, and pick up a copy of this classic.  Your young readers will love this story I can guarantee it.  And so will you.  It lends itself very well to creative writing, story sequence, and story elements.  If you are so inclined, you can even plug in the old opaque projector and make yourself a felt story to use just like mine.  It will be perfect for literacy centers after you read it to your kiddos the first time.  Take a peek!

So don't let the rest of the month get away from you without checking out this book.  You will not be disappointed. And if you are in need of some great new Halloween products, check out the links below.  You surely will find some great products from my TPT friends to use this month as well.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wednesday Linky

My weeks constantly feel like a whirlwind...do yours? I'm trying to find more hours in my day.  So far I haven't succeeded. Take a peek and see what's been happening recently in my world!

I have mentioned before that I am in charge of our Sunshine Committee at school. I occasionally host a "breakfast cart" and set one up this past Friday. It is always a big hit and most of what I buy is gone by the end of the morning.  Do you have this in your building?  I'm thinking about suggesting that a grade level hosts this each month so we can have it more often.  I would love to hear if you do this in your building or any other suggestions to boost morale or team build! Here is what the cart looked like on Friday!

The Hubs and I went on an overnight to Louisville, Kentucky.  He humors me each year and we attend the St. James Court Art Show.  He had a great dinner out planned for us on Saturday evening and we attended the show on Sunday before heading home.  I collect glass perfume bottles and added this little beauty to my collection.  I absolutely loved it!

And a few other happenings from my Intervention Office that have been happening recently:

So as you can see...there has been a lot happening.  If your classroom has been that busy or if you are creating materials for teachers to use this October, feel free to share up to three products you have been using or that you have created.  Let's include one FREE item for this time of year if you are posting!  

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

End of October- Wednesday Linky

Happy last week of September.  It's hard to believe that time is going by so quickly. I'm certain you are gearing up for all the fun that October has to offer.  This week we are focusing mainly on literacy and math centers to use in October.  Here are a few of my favorites that you might want to take a check out for your classroom!

This next one is my number one seller in my TPT store. It is perfect for so many reasons.  Not only are you teaching kids to pick the word that makes the most sense, you are helping them learn this reading strategy....when reading a word and it doesn't make sense, go back and fix it.  I have two different versions of this clip card.  Definitely, check this one out.  You won't regret it.

Finally, this super fun format can be found throughout my store in a variety of different phonics sets as well as "Math Riddle Sets.  These are really fun for kids and not only teach inferring by beginning sounds as well.  Be sure to take a peek!

Please be sure to check out more great products posted by some of my TPT friends.  Such great variety from so many great teacher authors are just waiting for you to take a peek!  And sellers...be sure to link up to three centers!  

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Officially Fall

Tomorrow marks the first official day of Fall.  Here's hoping the weather decides to catch up soon. Sixty degrees, slightly cool. leaves changing colors, and that Fall aroma in the air.  It sure seems like we go straight from hot summer to freezing winter these days. So if you love Fall as much as I do, take a minute to post or check out the following products on TPT by some of my favorite Teacher Authors.  You are bound to find something here that you can use in your own classroom.  Have a great rest of the week!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spread a Little Sunshine- Sunshine Committee

Do you have a SUNSHINE COMMITTEE at your school?  This is my second year being in charge of The Sunshine Committee at our school.  And if your school is anything like ours, we can get caught up in the small details of our job and it can take a toll on the staff.  So it's become my personal mission to increase the FUN FACTOR in our building and spread some cheer when needed on a regular basis.

So here is how our Sunshine Committee works in our building. All staff are invited to participate and contribute $25 per school year and I have to say that the majority of our staff participates.  We recognize and contribute to showers, get well flowers, family illnesses, and try to incorporate staff events to increase our fun factor.  Last year we had a Chili Cook Off which was a huge success and this September we had a Staff Restroom Decorating Contest.  We have several staff restrooms throughout our building and most are in the grade level wings.  The idea came to me when visiting a staff restroom that had a cozy corner set up with some decorations and I thought this was a great idea.  After all, it is the only place where we can get a moment of silence during our day.  Here is the flyer that I posted on all of the restroom doors and waited for everyone to think I was crazy!  I sat back and waited while I hoped people would participate.

Most grade levels did participate which was great.  Those that did participate truly impressed me. Here are some pictures showing the results of our contest.

Fourth Grade Teachers went the philosophical route and hung framed art work, quotes, lights, and adorable fluffy pom poms from the ceiling!

Second Grade was the grade level that inspired the whole contest by setting up this cute corner.

Our First Grade team went for the seasonal approach and I think the candy bowl right outside the restroom was a bribe but I'm not sure!

And our Kindergarten Team just took it over the top! This was the winning restroom. Take a peek!

So a good contest always needs a winning prize and although they were declared the winners, the prize will be awarded at our next staff meeting.  What could it possibly be I bet you are wondering. Don't tell...

The Golden Plunger Award!

So do you have a Sunshine Committee in your building?  What do they plan for your staff?  I would love to hear from you so comment below!

Until Next Time,