Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Practice

Summer practice was something I hated as kid. Being a teacher's kid I did not want to practice phonics on a hot summer day. I wanted to be outside in our pool! Now that I am the teacher and I have my own kids I have been working with them too.

Working Hard!

They actually seem to enjoy it! I noticed that they needed tracing practice and cutting practice from what came home from preschool. I grabbed some preschool scissors and we started to practice our skills! 

 My girls really seem to enjoy cutting better and ask to "cut stuff" ( I cringe when I hear it...wondering what they will cut!) I wanted to have them be just as into tracing. I pulled out my special teacher smelly markers and we got to work! It worked and they love smelling each marker as they use it.

Our final product!

  The girls are so proud of themselves every time they complete a page. If you are interested in doing some preschool practice you can too. Grab it here!

          Our next order of business is to master our letters and numbers! I turned to the Target Dollar Spot as a good start. We will be working on these things for the rest of the summer. The joy of being a teacher's kid!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mountain States Meet Up Recap


This month I got together with several other sellers from CO, NM and UT! (We were hoping for some AZ people too... so if you are from AZ come next year!) We had a great time and felt so supported by so many great donors.

To start this meet up would not have happened with out all of the hard work from Nichole at the Craft of Teaching,  Lori at Live Laugh Love Second and Kristin at Holmquist Homeroom. We also had a lot of help from Leah at Sum Math Fun and Mary at Teaching With a Mountain View. This great group of ladies was so much fun to get to know and to work with.
Our meet up started with a meet and greet it was fun to meet new people and catch up with other TPT friends. We had a photo booth set up too!
Next we had some round table discussions about Pinterest, Instagram, Teachers Pay Teachers and Blogging. I headed up the blogging discussions. It was great to hear from some experienced bloggers as well as some newer bloggers. We discussed:

Word Press VS. Blogger no one came to a consensus about this but it was discussed.

Blog posts need at least one pinable image for Pinterest. The image should be vertical so it looks better on Pinterest .

Base your post success on your views not your followers.

Use your blog to your advantage. Contact sites and offer to review items on your in exchange for items. Many companies will also contact you to review their product. There is often FREE stuff involved for you and sometimes a commission. You can Google programs for bloggers. I also brought up Educents. I am an affiliate blogger for them. You can sign up HERE (Please let them know Teaching In Bronco Country - Ashley Cook sent you) to do that as well. You get paid $40-$80 per post.

Longer posts about a topic seem to do better than several shorter posts about a topic.

You should aim to blog consistently. The magic number of posts seems to be somewhere in between once per week and once a month.

Try to blog about what you would want to read. Teaching things, TpT things etc. There should be a good variety on your blog and it should not just be about products.

Next we moved on to lunch and prizes! We had some amazing support and wonderful donors! We even gave a prize to the TpTer that came the farthest!

Steve Spangle Science               
Seat Sack                                      
Aussie Pouch                                                    
Teachers Pay Teachers                
C.Jayne Teach                      
Love & Logic                       
Heidi Songs                                         
                                   My prizes! I won Sit Spots! Plus Lori shared her Erin Condren planner with me!                                                             
Back to the Roots                      

The Wright Stuff Chics                  

Touch Math                             
L Paull Designs                                
Science 4 Us                                    
Erin Condren                                 
Scent Co                                       
Pencil Grips Inc                 

Needless to say our swag bags were AMAZING and you will have a chance to win one! U.S. Residents only!


The next activity was a teaching supply exchange! It was so much fun! There were so many pretty packages and everyone got an awesome new supply! I ended up with super cute post its and colored tape! 
We ended with bowling! It was a ton of fun! 

I really enjoyed being a part of the Mountain State Meet Up! We hope you are able to join us at our next one! 

You have a chance to win one of our awesome swag bags and a subscription to! We are giving away FIVE! Enter below and make sure to visit the other blog posts on the link up!

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 38m or on 9 entries total)

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 39m or on 9 entries total)

(Submissions close in 2d 23h 39m or on 9 entries total)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer and Homeschool Resources

Do you homeschool? Or do you tutor over the summer? Maybe you work with your  own kiddos to keep their skills current. I am in the last category myself. We are working on tracing, cutting and letters this summer. A great place to stock up is Educents!

This week, one of my favorite resources for Homeschooling and summer practice is having a Homeschool Sale! Get Free Shipping on all things homeschooling, road schooling, and un-schooling at Educents this week with code HOMESCHOOL16. Since it's just one use per customer, I suggest taking stock of what you have and your plans for the year so you can get Free Shipping on everything you need. Here are my top picks ranging from Science & Math to Music & Language. What do you need to stock up on?

Exclusive STEM Bundle (7 Kits)

Summer is a great time to start conducting science experiments - there is a little more space outside for a mess! This exclusive bundle at has seven kits for utterly fascinated learning. Whether you have a traditional homeschool, or you're un-schooling, this is a perfect set for science. And so fun! STEM bundle
Price: $59.99 down from $109.99 plus Free Shipping

Life of Fred Math Series

Whether you're new to Fred or you've been using his story to teach math intuitively to your littles for a few years, there's probably a new topic to cover (the series goes up until college!). This sale is a great opportunity to stock up on the next steps, whether it's multiplication, algebra or beyond. LofF 2

eMedia My Ukulele for Beginners

There are tons of instruments that kids can learn to play even at Educents, but the ukulele has such a wonderful, kid-friendly sound. This is a great instrument and a strong program for beginners learning their first notes.
   Price: $49.95 down from $69.95 plus Free Shipping

Complete Language Learning Set by PetraLingua

Studies show that kids pick up languages far quicker than adults, so it's great to get a head start when they're little. Learning a foreign language also helps kids learn about the world, and better understand important values at home within a larger context. We've chosen to learn a language from our family heritage. What would you learn?
 Price: $110.37 down from $137.98 plus Free Shipping

Leap Pad 3

This kid-friendly tablet is the on-the-go homeschooling mom's best friend. Kids become fluent in technology and the subject matter with a portable, easy-to-use tool. That's a win for everyone. leappad3
 Price: $99 plus Free Shipping

Famous People Freebie for Reading

Free shipping is great - and so are freebies! I like this one gearing up for Independence Day because it has famous people from US history, from George Washington to Sally Ride. Great for kiddos working on reading comprehension, and a nice supplement to social studies. famousfreebie
 Happy Homeschooling and summer practicing!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Spelling Debate

Do you have the spelling debate at your school? I have had it several times in my teaching career. "Does spelling help the students?" "Which words should we use?" "Spelling is statistically the most supported by parents." Etc....  At my current school we have done different lists and different programs and finally decided to compile our own lists based on phonics, high frequency words and content words. It was effective last year and we plan on doing it again this year. 
Grab It Here

I really question the spelling debate so I thought I would do some research. Does spelling matter in a digital age with auto correct? Does it help our students?

Here is what I have found:

Spelling Matters This article makes the argument that spelling does matter in your day to day. Writing I totally agree with this point.

No Friday Spelling Test This article is a suggestion of what a teacher does instead of a weekly spelling test. I agree with the points made as well. If the students are only memorizing words for the test there is not a benefit. The spelling ability needs to be able to carry over into their writing.

Why Learning Spelling is Important This article was one of the few that I could find that makes the case for spelling tests. I think there are several good points here as well.

I feel like I am back to square one on the debate after reading all of these articles. I still plan to give spelling. I do Friday homework packets so they have the weekend (if they want it) to practice and I try to make the spelling homework  and class work meaningful and fun. I also think compiling lists that are words that used in day to day teaching are valuable.

Weigh in! What do you think about spelling? How do you handle it in your school?

This blog post was originally written for the now inactive Resources With Altitude collaborative blog by me at the beginning of last school year. I have worked really hard at making meaningful spelling lists in this time so I wanted to share it again here.