Homophone Hugs!

Told ya I'd be back with another idea I have for the "shaker bottles" that I posted about the other day. (If you missed it you can check it out HERE)  Well, another area my kiddos needed work was with homophones so I made these........

I am super excited to introduce these to my kiddos tomorrow for Word Work in our Daily 5.  I've put this on my Teachers Notebook store if you are interested.  The set includes 40 pairs of homophones and 2 different types of worksheets to use with them.  (click on pic to go check it out:) )

I also wanted to remind you about the wonderful book giveaway...Pink Tiara Cookies for Three!
It ends at midnight tonight so if you haven't entered, it's super easy......just leave a comment about the book for the author. That's it....done....who couldn't use a new book for their library...especially one that teaches kids how friendship really should work:)  Click on the pic of the book to enter.....hurry.....quick...before time runs out......like now.....go....................ok, you guessed it....I had a latte after school:D  BUSTED!

P.S.  I have been tagged....a few times.....I will get to that (hopefully) soon.....hopefully:)


Guest Post and Giveaway!!

Hey all!!!  I am beyond excited to be a part of The Pink Tiara Blog Tour:))  Maria Dismondy is a teacher turned author and is touring now with  her wonderful new book Pink Tiara Cookies for Three.  This is a wonderful story of friendship and teaching kids how to work things out and do the right thing.  I just love any character building books!!!  Books like this make our world and classrooms happier places:D  I am so excited to have her here as my guest today:

I am thrilled to be a guest blogger today on 4th grade Frolics! I am also excited to use my lesson planning skills from back in the day (um, it’s only been since September that I took a leave from the classroom) when I was teaching.
 Today I am providing you with a lesson that you can use with my newest children’s book, Pink Tiara Cookies for Three. The lesson can be use from grades K-5.
Large Group Time: Read the book to your class. Take time to ask plenty of questions before, during and after reading.  Ask children to think about a time that they felt left out when playing with friends. Please remember that this book looks like a book for girls but the lesson learned is also a very important one for boys.
Friendship Triangle: On a large piece of chart paper, make a large triangle. In one corner of the triangle write “Say” in another triangle write “Do” and in the last corner write “What Not To Do”
Brainstorm: As a class, use both the book and children’s personal experiences to fill out the three corners of the chart. There are some ideas below. Friendship Triangles can take up a lot of energy from both students and the teacher trying to solve them. Time and energy that could be used doing something more fun! Working with children to learn strategies to use when issues like the Friendship Triangle occur, will help your classroom run more smoothly.
Include others                            
Have more than one friend                             
Think about the qualities you want in a friend                             
Get involved in activities where  you can meet new friends                                                               

Kind things to others
How you feel
Talk to your parents/teacher about your feelings

What Not to Do
Do not threaten others
Do not purposely exclude others
Do not create "clubs" where members decide who can and can not be included

Independent Work: For older students, you can have them write to a prompt about  a time they felt left out. What happened? What did they do? How did they feel afterwards? Hand out the Character Cut Out picture from Illustrator Cary Pillo. Have the class fold the paper like the diagram then cut out the character. Be sure they do NOT cute where there are not dotted lines by the hand. This is what holds the paper dolls together. Once they have their group of three friends, they can decorate them to look like the three characters in Pink Tiara Cookies for Three or like themselves and two other friends they have. Display your triangle chart along with the writing and paper dolls.

Thank you so much Maria for guest posting today and for sharing your wonderful ideas with others.  Be sure to check out her new book Pink Tiara Cookies for Three HERE

If you purchase a copy from her amazing website (HERE) you can get an autographed copy:D

Click HERE to link to her site and check out her other wonderful books!

You can win a copy of this wonderful new book about friendship and a tiara cookie cutter!!  All you have to do is leave some love (comment) for Maria here at this post.  That's it!! Don't forget to leave your email with your comment so we can contact you if you win.  Giveaway ends Jan. 31 at midnight.  Jump in and leave some love....this is a wonderful book to add to your home or classroom:)

Thank you Maria for allowing me to be a stop on your tour:)))

Base Word LOVE

Celebratin Saturday all!!!!  What a week!  Gonna post quick, clean a house that's taken a serious hit this week, dogs to groomers, and then I'm hoping doing some SHARPEN the SAW...Leader in Me style and greatly needed!!

Shakers, tumblers, bottles!!!  They are everywhere in one way or another....blogs, Pinterest....they are all different but have one thing in common...... they are all tools to help kids learn.  I have posted about my Vocabulators (HERE), which are big versions of shakers.  I also made Shake, Write, Learn Tumblers (HERE).  Sunny Days made super cute Synonym Shakers (HERE) and my bud Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits made awesome Discovery Bottles (HERE) and Third Grade Thinkers made Base word Bottles (HERE).....SO much inspiration and creativity and I'm sure there are tons others!

After a recent online assessment that correlates pretty closely with our big state test coming up, I saw some places I need to up my game with my peeps .....prefixes, suffixes, and base words was one place (I have plans for another theme coming up)!  The Base word Bottles inspired me to make my own. 

I'm calling mine Base Word Love...(gotta be the upcoming Vday thing)  I am using the worksheet that Doris posted on her blog with her Base word Bottles:) (sadly I have some OCD traits....doesn't every teacher have a little????????  so I am sure I will have to make a work sheet that matches my bottles....I'm a mess)

I would LOVE to share the words I made for my bottles/jugs....they are more like jugs...I couldn't find bottles the size I wanted but base word jugs just doesn't sound good or right or ..................................
hence, Base Word Love.

I've posted them at my Teachers Notebook store for free if you want them:) Just click the pic:D
Now I must go....my vacuum and swiffer await!!

Winner of Blue Snowflake Giveaway!!

Hey all!!!!  Sorry I'm posting soooooo late....super, crazy, busy!  This is gonna be short and sweet!!  Thanks bunches and bunches with sugar on top for entering my giveaway!!!!  I wish everyone could win...........

winner tonight is:
Congrats Natalie!!!!  Please email me at tara.eiken1@gmail.com with your info so I can hook you up with My Blue Snowflake.  Thank you soooooo much My Blue Snowflake for jumping in on this giveaway with me:)) 

P.S.  I have some things in the making.....like literally not done making them yet...check back in the next day or 2 to check it out:)
P.S.S.  My Great Fuzz Frenzy door lost :,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,(((((  WAAAAAA!!! 
 My roomie's door won and it was awesome but was super hoping we would win.  My kiddos were pretty bummed:((  But great teachable moment....it's not about winning....it's about trying your best and being proud of what you did and not giving up. 

Door Decor - Book Whisperer + A Reminder

Quickie post!!!  It's Literacy Week.  Lots of fun!!  We are having a door decorating contest.  I wanted to share our door.  One of my kiddos fave books in the world is The Great Fuzz Frenzy.
Super cute book....lots of great lessons to pull out of this one.  Well, anywho, we decorated our door Fuzz Frenzy style...Here are some pics......
(it's hard to see the underground tunnels)
and some close ups.....
I also wanted to share......our school is doing a book club on.........................

Woot! Woot!!!  I am sooooo excited!  This book changed my whole teaching world (along with Daily 5).  It's too fun to hear others chattin about it and sharing !!!  Love!!!

Don't forget, my yummy giveaway with My Blue Snowflake ends tomorrow night at midnight. 

And now I have to go do something....anything.....dishes, laundry, run around the house.....oh my goodness, I had a Starbucks Venti (which means HUGE) Iced Vanilla Latte and I'm pretty sure I'm close to heart attack mode because the caffeine has kicked way in and I am driving my poor son crazy because I can't stop talking and dancing and snapping and ............................................................................................HOLY COW....I hope I can sleep tonight....probably not:(  My fault!!

Love Letters - Freebie

I'm catching the love bug with Valentine's Day coming up.  I got these adorable hearts at Frog Spot and just had to make something....so here are some "love" letters:D  They can be used for making words activities, boggle,....whatever you want:)

Because I love my followers sooooo much......these are my love letter to you FREE today at my

Don't forget about my 800 follower giveaway:)  You get to pick the prize from My Blue Snowflake's teacher section.  If you haven't entered you can do that HERE.

Almost 800 Giveaway:D

Ok, so I am sooooo close and I can't wait any longer:

a) because I am really excited about the giveaway and

b) because my dear friend Kim is counting and watching and counting and.......if you haven't seen her blog, you have got to go there and check it out and say "Hi" and leave her some love cuz she's a super sweet bloggy bud!!!  Her blog is Finding Joy in 6th Grade.

So here we go.  First of all I can't even begin to believe I am almost at 800...I am humbled and in shock and I don't even know what to say!!!!!  I love blogging and truly have made the neatest friends in blogland not to mention all the amazing ideas and encouragement and laughs and the list goes on........

Focus Tara!  So I found the cutest Etsy shop the other day called My Blue Snowflake and the owners are 2 sisters that work together (so cute) and they are awesome!!!  The winner of this giveaway gets to choose any necklace or key chain from their teacher section in their shop!!!!!  Did you hear me.....you choose!!!  Here's a sneak peek at what you could pick from....
TEACHER GIFT Elegant Personalized Bottle cap Keychain Rhinestone Apple, Mother grandmother TEACH love inspire, Learning, Teachers Gift
TEACHER GIFT Personalized Bottle cap Pendant  Keychain Necklace, Back to School TEACH love inspire, Learning, Teachers Gift Present
TEACHER GIFT Personalized Bottle cap Pendant  Keychain Necklace, Learning, School Teachers Gift Present, Year
So super cute, right???  So here's how you can enter...be sure to leave one comment for each thing and you can do as many or as few as you would like:

1)  Follow me or tell me if you already do - 1 entry
2) Make My Blue Snowflake a fave - 1 entry (HERE)
3) Tell me which item you would like from that shop (HERE)
4) Blog about this on your blog - 2 entries (leave 2 comments)

That should do it:)  Thank you My Blue Snowflake (who btw is a Florida neighbor:))) )

RULES: Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 yrs or older. Giveaway ends Wednesday, January 25, 2012  at 11:59 EST. Rules must be followed. Winner is selected using Random.org and will be emailed and given 72 hours to respond. In the event of no response, a new winner will be chosen.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to have read these rules.

Vocabulary and Fun and an OH MY GOSH!!

Yipee....it's Friday:)))  AND my baby girl is coming home for the weekend so I am oh so happy!!  Wanted to share what we did in vocabulary today.  I have posted about our vocab journals before (HERE) and LOVE the way we use them BUT saw a different idea blog stalking this week and decided to switch things up a bit and try something new.

I came across this idea at Amanda's blog, One Extra Degree.  Super fantabulous blog, btw!!!  She blogged about a neat idea she does with her kiddos.  You can read about her super idea here.  I tweaked mine a tiny bit to fit the needs of my peeps.  I put the kids into teams and gave each team one of our new vocab words.  Still using their same vocab journals each team had to:
- look up the word in a dictionary and define it
- illustrate it
- write a sentence with it
- write part of speech
- then teach it to the class

They had a blast using the ELMO and playing teacher. I was super impressed with the connections they made with the words themselves with their pictures and their teaching the words to their classmates:)  As each team taught, the others copied down the new words in their journals.  These journals are a really valuable resource for them.  I'm thinking I'm going to love doing it this way!  I love them being the teachers and also using/practicing dictionary skills and using teamwork:)  Also, some of the kids within the same teams drew different pictures.  That was neat because some kids related to one and others may have related better to the other.  They got to chose which pic they added to their journal.  This is a totally new way of vocab for us......I'll let you know how it "sticks" after they take their tests but if today is any indication......we may have SUCCESS:D

Ok, for the OMG.......this little cutie...........Petunia
well.........ummmmmm.......well,....is not a Petunia!!!!  More like a Peter, or Paul, or Pedro..........!!!  Ya, I know....try telling 22 4th graders that their girl bunny needs a name change!!!!  So, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be......can you believe I didn't get one "how do you know????"  Just a bunch of "OH MY GOSH!!!!"  So, rabbit doesn't have a new gender friendly name yet....we're working on it and I'm open for any ideas:) 

On a lighter note, PLEASE stop back in tomorrow for a super giveaway!!!!  I'm really close to 800 followers so am going to celebrate with a giveaway and it's YUMMY (and it's not food!!!)


Boggle Board = Word Work Fun!

Pinterest is a blessing and a curse.....well, only a curse if you're OCD like me and when you see something, you just have to make it that minute or have it that minute or order it cuz you saw it there or.... or... or...............OR................OR............................................................................

Ok, you get the idea.  I have had a very boring, generic version of boggle that my kiddos have done with some letters and a pocket chart.  I am super excited to say.......NOT ANYMORE!!
Here is my new boggle board:D  (I wish I would have backed up to show how big it is)  I have seen these huge metal sheets on Pinterest in a few places as magnetic boards.  I don't have tons of space in my room so got one of these.  It is an oil drip pan.  Dummy me thought it was a pan that goes under some big huge oven.....nope, under a car.  You can grab one of these at a car place (I got mine at Auto Zone) for $9.99.   That's it!!!!  They are really pretty big and the part I like the best is you can move'em or put them away....whatever!  I also bought a roll of the magnetic tape to cut into pieces and put on the backs of all my letters....easy to change out!

The letters for my boggle game are at my Teachers Notebook store if you are interested:) (HERE)  My kiddos are going to use a worksheet from my pen pal buddy Rebecca's blog at Create*Teach*Share (HERE).  Be sure to check out her super cute boggle board too:)  I keep my extra letters here...
Happy boggling (is that a word?????) all:)


A Day in My Shoes Linky!

I am linking up with Miss Klohn at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher for her first linky party..... A Day in My Shoes.  Not sure a day of my life is "linky worthy" but here's a peek anyway....this is a typical day....of course I have a few VERY not typical....but this is the norm:)

4:45 - I wake up...notice I didn't say the alarm wakes me up!  The alarm is set for 5:00...I can't remember the last time an alarm woke me up.  My internal clock makes me NUTS!!!!  Even on days where there is not school....Yup!  I am up before 5!!  Uggg!  Shower!
5:10ish...making coffee and oatmeal with blueberries.
5:15 - eating my oatmeal and watching the morning news (and quickly checking the blog world)
5:25 - drying hair/doin makeup/doin hair some more/deciding what to wear.....switching cuz I don't like it.....trying another outfit......
5:40 - waking up the teen and the hubs
6:00 - packing lunch (if I remember), filling my thermos with coffee (never forget that), loading my Vera (which I have been packing WAY too heavy lately and have screwed up my shoulder/back:((( )
6:20 - kiss teen, kiss hubs, load my car and am off
6:22 - call Mom....(usually call her every morn before work)
6:30 - Unload and head to my classroom....pray the custodian doesn't scare the tar out of me...there aren't very many people here this early and one morning he came out of a door that I didn't know was there and well.....let's just say, I freaked a little.....trudge to the end of my hall with the bags, thermos, sometimes rabbit, praying I don't drop anything....wishing I had taken my classroom keys out before I started down the hall....
6:35 - Flip on lights, computers, unpack bags, lunch in fridge, check email, turn on Itunes...got Adele this week so have been listening to her:), write morning routine on whiteboard, catch up on miscellaneous (grading, lesson planning, emailing, changing things in the hallway,....teacher stuff)
7:30 - one of my good buds from 3rd grade stops and picks me up and we go to the office together to get mail, drop off copying, and chat
7:45 - chat with Student Teacher about "game plan" for the day
7:55 - use potty cuz that won't happen again until.......well, don't know when!!!  I think if they took xrays of teacher bladders they would see that they are much larger than others....don't mean to be gross...just speaking the truth!  Anyone agree with that?????
8:00 - let in the peeps, finish teacher stuff, check agendas, parent notes....kiddos are getting their book luggage and doing their morning routine which is READING ( a la The Book Whisperer)  I always have a few who weren't able to finish up classwork the day before so they are working....music is going and they are quiet...(P.S. if they come in tooooo noisy, they go out and come in again...NOT starting the day off all wound up and winding up others:// )
8:35 - Bell rings and we're OFF!!!!  Morning announcements live on the TV put on by the 5th grade:)  Take attendance, send notes to office with messengers
Some mornings have a morning meeting on the carpet, some not...go over the day (so no one is surprised) and my expectations
8:50 - 9:50  Math Block - We start off with a few review questions...right now that's multi-digit multiplication!!!!!  Can't seem to get it to STICK!  Then move on to lesson...variables and expressions are in the makes right now
9:50 - put away dry erase boards and Math books and transition to Reading block
9:50 - 11:20 Reading Block - Go over focus skill for the lesson, review genre we are on,
Daily 5 (which is 4 right now including guided reading)
      - Work with Teacher (guided reading)
      - Read to Self
      - Word Work
      - Work on Writing
11:20 Writing Block - review/prepare, review/prepare, review/prepare....demand write practice.  We are getting ready for the lovely (not so much) state assessment of Florida Writes.  (let me clarify...I love teaching writing...I super love to read their writing.....I don't think it is necessary to stress kids out, put a time limit on it and a score based on a state test....especially WRITING when it is soooooooo subjective!!!  I've been with my kids all year.....I have seen the struggles and gains all year and now someone, a stranger who doesn't know that student A has a learning disability, or student B's parents just broke up, or student C has severe anxiety, or...... is going to grade them based on 1 paper!!!!   ok, better change the subject......)  Last week we polished narratives.....this week it will be expositories!!  Wish I had more time.....
11:45 - start potty breaks
11:53 - line up and head out to lunch
12:00 - maybe get back to room in time to scarf down something...usually not...usually taking care of teacher stuff (phone calls home, papers, notes, looking in files.....)
12:23 - Pick up the kiddos back to room
12:25 - quickly chat about how the rest of the day is going to play out
12:30 - line up for recess
12:32 - recess/ play crowd control/referee/counselor/nurse/ have eyes in the back of my head!!  Chat with my teamies:D
12:55 - Whistle (farmer style....I have a really loud whistle with my fingers)  gets'em every time) and the kids come and line up, head back to room
1:00 - drinks and Science/Social Studies block - cram as much of this in as I can
1:30 - iii time - vocab/math/reading comprehension.....what ever the need is....
1:45 - stack up and pack up - Do a read aloud if there's time....they LOVE to be read to....possibly because I read like a goof ball with different voices, drama, sound effects, and more drama
1:50 Line up for specials on the weeks that we have it....
2:00 while peeps are at specials more teacher stuff (phone calls, emails, paperwork, RTI stuff, lesson plans, cleaning up, grading....)
2:30 - pick up kids, return to class, line up, say good bye, make sure I have checked any transportation changes, make sure I haven't forgotten anyone
2:35 - Dismissal....let parent pickup kids go, walk rest of line out and around bus loop and back to front.....wave, hug, remind kids to do homework, Goodbye!!!!
2:45 - return to room and do more teacher stuff.....I am usually there anywhere from 3:15 - 4:30..sometimes 5.....head home to blog stalk and chillax with teen and hubs.....
5ish - ???  Ask the teen if he has homework....ask again and make sure he did it...feed the farm (bunny, fish pond, birds, sugar glider), straighten up house...usually change into sweats!!!   I am super spoiled cuz hubs usually cooks supper...then we act like 2 old people and sit on the couch and multitask watching TV, chatting, I'm blogging, texting or Skyping baby girl at college, and playing Words With Family on my new Nook.  Every night we play this game....can you say old fuddy duddies and no social life.....oh well....it's relaxing:)

If ya made it through my day......YEAH!!!  I also wanted to tell ya about some new fun (thank you Frog Spot for the super cute borders) boggle buttons I have made and have added to my Teacher Notebook store.  My kids love this activity for Word Work but my original boggle buttons were OH SO BORING....now I have fun new ones to add Tuesday:)  AND if you have hung in there and read this super loooong post I have a freebie for the first 5 people to comment on this post will get the Boggle Button Mania set for FREE:D  Don't forget to leave an email!!


MLK Mobile Activity and Sharing some Love

Happy 3 day weekend all:)  I wanted to share the Martin Luther King Jr. activity we did yesterday (in case maybe anyone needed an idea for next week.....or, there's always next year)  First my kiddos watched two video clips about Martin Luther King Jr. that I had downloaded from United Streaming.  They were super intrigued and I have to say, I even got goose bumps during the parts of his famous speech!

After the video clips we brainstormed some of the words that stood out and were important to Martin and what he stood for:
Then we read the book Martin's Big Words
and added to our list.  We talked about Martin's dream for this world and how one person can and did make a difference.  Then each child got a card, inspired by the words we discussed, each child had to choose a word and write about their dream for the world today.  (their word on one side and their dream on the other)   They attached their card to a mini "world" they made and we made a mobile of our dreams for the world:D  ( I have to say, some of their dreams brought tears to my eyes...they really put some thought into this)

I also wanted to join the wonderful linky that Mrs. Wills is hosting to share some love with Joplin.  Those teachers are trying to rebuild after the devastating tornadoes last year.  You can donate a TPT product or Teachers Notebook or gift card to help those teachers as they rebuild.  I'm sharing my Snowman Boggle and Snowy Day Word Sort.  I know I couldn't do what I do without the help and support of fellow teachers so let's link up and send them our love and support:D

People Place Value Freebie

Ok ya'll....this is going to be a quickie because I have had a LOOOOOOOOOONG day.   It was a tough one....I am not going to complain, I am not going to elaborate....but I am WH to the double OO to the P.E.D.  WHOOPED and just done and going to chillax with my fam and play words with family with the hubs.....but before I do that, I wanted to post a freebie.

This is for my teeny, tiny buddy and for anyone else who would like it.  Yesterday I posted about the awesome idea I got from Jennifer at Lifelong Learning....place value people.  My kiddos just loved it.  (You can read about it here)I made some numbers for a freebie today:D  (No, if you are looking closely, they are not the ones in the pics....they are better....the ones it the pics I can't share because I can't buy a different commercial license for all the alphabets I bought......but the new ones I made are better and cuter and wonderful because they are from KPM Doodles and I love her because she is awesome with letting teachers use her clip art and they are cuter because the activity is called place value people and these numbers have legs like people AND...........................................................................................................................................................

ok.......breathe Tara.........as you can tell from my massive run on sentence I have had a long day!!!  So I have posted these cuties on my Teachers Notebook as a FREEBIE and would love it if you could use them:)
Click on the pic to go to my Teachers Notebook and get a copy:)
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