Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sneak Peak at Some Giveaways + a Surprise Giveaway!!!

It's a party... a Back to School Party, Teaching Heart style! (Read more about it by clicking here) We will have a week of giveaways. Here's a little sneak peak at some of the giveaways lined up for the week... You gotta stop by daily the week of August 10th to get in on the great giveaways. Grab a back to school party button now... see it over there on the right of the blog.

I have a surprise giveaway (over $30 dollars in value) that will be given on August 8th to kick off the big party. You will find out the surprise and the winner on the 8th of August. Here's what you need to do to enter to win the surprise giveaway... This particular prize is only open to people with blogs or websites

1. Put the button on your blog

2. blog about the party in a separate post before or on August 5th

3. and then leave a comment here on or before August 5th with a link to your blog post.
If you don't have a blog... come back the week of the 1oth... there will be many chances for you to win goodies too!

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Hopping Around the Blog/Web

It has been sometime since I have shared interesting posts, links, and ideas I have found in my many trips around the web. Thought I would take a moment to share a hodge podge of interesting thing I have surfed upon. If you see something underlined, give it a click and visit some fun links.

Getting Thrifty for Back To School

Hey moms, I thought this post on shopping for back to school supplies was very well written!

Back To School Time is Around the Corner and boy did I find this post about ways Teachers can stretch their dollar awesome. Also, check out Teaching Heart's teacher deals page here.

If you’ve had to dip into your own pocket to pay for library materials, you’re not alone. On average, K–12 teachers nationwide spend about $475 of their own money for classroom supplies.
(Click here to read more)

But I think this statement is more true... "On average, teachers shell out almost 1200 dollars of their own money in non-reimbursed expenses for the school year. " (Click here to Read More)

How is that Summer Reading Coming Along?

I blogged here about how you could get some free goodies from reading this summer. How's that going? It's not too late to start!!!

We have been a regular at our library as well as trying to attend story times at local bookstores on rainy days.

Family education has a great post called:
How to Keep Reluctant Readers Reading over the Summer. You should check it out!

Summer Reading Logs and Medals at Our Homeschool Fun

Soaring Into Reading: A fun Reading Log at Teaching My Little BookWorm:

I can so relate to this post, Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Weight Loss or Gain???
I am on a forever diet and exercise plan... How's it going for you? Here are some diet/exercise posts/links I enjoyed.

Oooh boy... at The Entertaining House

Recipes I am going to try with or without my kiddos!

Root beer Cookies

Asheville Pasta from a fave friend at This Mom's Many Hats -

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Things I would like to try with the kids...

Cool, make your own watercolor pages... Watercolor Thank You Cards

So many watermelon ideas.

Just too great not to share!

You know those animal kids plates you can buy at the store??? Look at these Zoo Pal Animal Masks

I dream to be organized like this...Legos and how we play with them - I just stepped on a Lego yesterday and ouch!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday & Sunday Something to Share?

If you have a blog or website that has to do with parenting or teaching, please take a moment to share! Just click the box below (where it says Mr. Linky, click here to add) and another window will pop-up asking you to enter your name and blog/website url.

1. Colleen

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Review - Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School

I love Amelia Bedelia books and read all of them as a child and as a teacher, I was sure to share them with my students. This book is super special because haven't all Amelia Badelia fans wondered what Amelia Bedelia was like as a child? I know I have and this book shows Amelia as a first grader. This is the first time Amelia Bedelia has been shown as a child. With this great story we now know that Amelia started out silly and that is just the way she will always be. Ordinary first grade happenings become extraordinary with Amelia Bedelia's literal take on all things first grade. Teachers can see themselves in Miss Edwards. She is patient but knows when enough is enough and tells Amelia, after she has gotten out of her seat many times to, “Please glue yourself to your seat.” If you know Amelia Bedelia, you can guess what she does when Miss Edwards just wants her to stay in her seat. Students get a look at a fun filled day and will laugh out loud when Amelia Bedelia does what she is told. The pictures by Lynne Avril really compliment the text and make the story even more exciting. My son loved seeing Amelia Bedelia try to put her nose in a book because he hears me tell him to do that often. This would be a great first week of school read or a special book to share with your child the night before they start school. This would also be a fantastic gift for a new teacher. I love Amelia Bedelia and enjoyed seeing her as a child in this terrific picture book!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick Back To School Links

Back To School Time is practically here, whether you wish to hear it or not. Never fear, Teaching Heart is here to make getting ready fun and easy. Popping by with some quick links, that promise to get you, your lesson plans, and your classroom ready for an awesome year.

Examples of First Day Lesson Plans can be found here:

Looking for some first week reads that are awesome for the first month of school. This link will take you to great books with ideas to match:

Looking for some classroom management ideas, look no more:

Want a great way to organize papers for your students? Check out this system:

Before you know it, Open House will be here. Get Ready here:

Pocket Charts are awesome… learn why, here:

AWESOME ideas --- 1000’s of happy teachers use Teaching Heart CDROM’s. Order yours today and be more ready for back to school than any teacher in your building:

Want to get those mini offices ready for back to school. Stop at this link for easy ideas:

Learning Centers can be fun and easy… Learn how here:

Calendar Time is an important part of most Prek – 2nd grade classrooms. Here are some awesome ideas:

Have you visited our Facebook Page and join:

Check out the blog daily:
Stop by the second week of August to learn how to win, win, win great teaching goodies!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back To School Party ='s Giveaways coming!

I know, I know... it feels like summer just started. Still, in a few weeks teachers will head back to the trenches. We are going to celebrate back to school, Teaching Heart Style with five days of giveaways during the second week of August. The 10th through the 14th! Lots of educational goodies to giveaway. You will not want to miss this!!! So mark you calendars. If you have a blog or website and sell a product a teacher, parent, or student could use for the school year (and you are willing to give away out of the goodness of your heart), please contact me before August 3rd. In your email please describe the product you wish to giveaway. Also, be sure to leave your website url and/or blog address. Thanks!

Need back to school ideas??? Click Here!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

With Kids, Who has Time to Exercise?

Okay, I will start this by admitting that I buy exercise DVD's and often put them on and about half way through I realize that I am really enjoying watching the people on the videos workout. Funny part (or sad part) is that I often am only watching the DVD via my comfy couch, not actually exercising with it. Similarly, I buy fitness magazines, the ones that include strengthening exercise one could do to get in shape. I look over the great strengthening exercises and say, "hmm, I could do those..." then I turn the page never to see that workout again.

Luckily for me, my girlfriend Amy, actually uses the magazines she gets and tries out the fitness exercises at home on her own. (Here comes the lucky "for me" part) Recently she has even started getting a few friends together to work-out "mommy-style". I am totally benefiting, by actually doing the strengthening exercises she leads in which she gets from her magazines. The best part, my kids are with me and I can still get exercise in.

Today we met up at a park. first we each got some cardio in. Some of us walked with strollers, some of us walked without strollers, some of us jogged, some of us carried children as we walked. The older kids (over 5) rode their bikes as we walked or jogged. Then, we grab our water, towels, and weights. Amy led us in the 7-day workout found in her fitness magazine and we all perspired more doing the workout. Amy did all the counting and demonstrating of the moves and each of us follows along. She uses the workout in the magazine like a lesson plan. Yes, I know you are jealous that I have a friend that does this for free... She is not for sale... sorry!

Yes, the kids were still in our yelling range and we could see each one. The little kids played play-doh on a large vinyl table cloth or did bubbles. Some of the older kids rode a bike around us or played tag together. Some played a little T-Ball even!!! Others ate a snack and watched the mommies perform. The littlest of the bunch crawled around on his blanket, played with baby toys, and his mommy even used him as a weight at one time.

When we were all done the kids won free playtime at the park while the mommies talked!

I guess my point is... really no excuses. This was free and somewhat fun (exercise to me is never totally fun! Hey, no pain, no gain!). Anyone can do it with all the great resources online. Amy even shared that the Fitness Magazine has a website that shows video of the moves to do. You can check that out here. Very cool website! So, grab some Gal Pals, a towel, and some weights. Grab a few goodies to keep the kids occupied. Add some music for more fun and you are set to exercise mommy style.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Garage Sale Tips From Nancy...

My girlfriend, Nancy, whom I get lots of great ideas from and who is the go to friend when you want to know something, has written a post on garage sale prep. She is great at getting organized for a sale... Here's Nancy!

For the last several years I’ve participated in various resale and multi-member garage sales. It is a great way to sell kids items such as clothes and books. My Mothers and More chapter recently took part in a large neighborhood sale. One of our members was generous enough to open her spacious garage to about 7 of us. (We’ve had other members do the same in the past and we’ve appreciated it) Our group does a 70/30 split with the group getting 30%. This sale was well organized and is an annual event. The woman who organizes it publicizes it well and has a map available at the entrance to the plan with participating house numbers and a general description of the things for sale. At one of our past sales the person hosting had the brainstorm to use her husband’s multi-fold ladder as a rack for the kids’ clothes. It was a great success and we used it at the next sale too. (Thanks Kristi and Damien)

When the sale was over everyone took what they wanted to keep for the next sale. We boxed and bagged everything else and dropped it at the Goodwill. Other times we’ve called the VVA and had them pick up the leftovers.

.I’ve taken the general ideas for tagging items from various resales I’ve participated in over the years. The best way to keep track of each person’s item is to have each individual tag their sale items with a 3 x 5 index card. You can ask each one to pick a color or use white. In the top left corner, have each person put their initials or name. In the top right corner put the size for the clothing or shoe item. In the center of the card put a very brief description of the item (this helps to find the right item if the tag falls off.) In bottom right corner put the price of the item. See example below.

NL Size 6x
Girls pink top with flowers


Secure the card to the item with a safety pin or with tape. Multiple items such as books may be bagged in a Ziploc bag and the card taped to the front. I usually tape the bag closed as well to keep kids from pulling out the books or pieces of toys during the sale.

During the sale anyone working can take the tag off and file them all together to be sorted after the sale. It works best to have one person hold the money but have anyone working able to take the money from the customers.

If an item’s price is negotiable and changed during the sale, be sure to mark the new price before filing the card away. Having several members working makes the day go a lot faster!

To prepare for the sales I’ve been in is a year round process. I have a 7 year old and as she outgrows a piece of clothing, I hang it on a plastic hanger (many stores such as Macy’s or other department stores will sometimes give away their plastic hangars) in a spare closet. Periodically I’ll tag a stack of clothes and put them in a large plastic tote. I do the same with toys, books and household items. If you do them in small batches it doesn’t get so overwhelming. When a clothing tote gets full, I’ll sort the clothes by size and alternately stack them, so I can just pull them out and hang them the day of the sale. For shoes, I attach them together with the elastic string that I save when I buy new shoes for my daughter. Kids’ clothes, books and toys are great sellers. Usually toddler clothes and baby items sell best. But you never know what will sell! One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Honestly, we have a lot of members buy each other’s things. I love this since my daughter is one of the oldest in the group and we have mainly girls in the group. My neighbor likes to say it’s not a garage sale; it’s the trading of the crap. But hey it works!!!

More Tips? Check out!


Friday, July 17, 2009

I am hoping to make you smile with Free Chocolate...

I saw this on my girlfriends status on Facebook and wanted to share with my readers... Hoping this would bring a smile to your face! Happy Friday!

It's free chocolate Friday... get a coupon for a free M&M Mars Candy Bar sent to you when you visit this site: https://secure.realchocolate.com/


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thinking about the law of positive attraction...

Have you ever noticed that the days you are in a good mood and are positive about life, you have a great day? Then there are the days when you are in a bad mood and can find the negative in everything, you have such a bad day.

I am a big believer in the law of positive attraction...

I believe that if you think positive thoughts, positive things usually happen and vise-versa with thinking negative thoughts. I think that positive people have positive friends... friends that want to hang out with them. Have you ever been in a bad mood and your friend was in a great mood... sometimes it is annoying to be around a positive friend when you are feeling blue, but I find it contagious and will usually snap out of my slump. I think that sometimes people don't realize how negative they are being... My kids are so bad, my husband can't do anything right, I don't have enough money to send my kids to science camp. Let's face-it we all can have these negative thoughts. I challenge you to turn those thoughts around and make them positive. My kids are healthy, my husband called me this AM just to say hi, and I can take the kids out on the trail or have a fun day at the park while the other kids are at summer camp.

Teachers, have you ever had a teacher in a lower grade come talk to you about a child that would be entering your class and all they had were negative things to say? I think all teachers have had this happen, I know it has happened to me. The first time, I was scared to even meet the child one teacher spoke of. My expectations were low and I had all these ideas floating in my head telling me how bad this school year would be with the said child in my classroom. Truthfully it wasn't so bad and probably would have been better if i was thinking positively about the child. After that one incident, I made it a point to never listen to other people tell me about a student. If they were speaking negatively, I just tuned out and nodded politely. The outcome for the year was much better this way... When I taught special education, I never read an IEP (the present levels of performance part) until the end of the first nine weeks. I wanted to start the year off positively and give each child a fair chance for me to see them in a positive light. It worked for me...

So my take is, good things come to those who think good thoughts. Choose positive friends, be happy, dance with your kids, praise God for the good in your life, love the one your are with like the day you met, turn a negative thought into a positive one. Love life, you only get one!
Want to read more about positive attraction, please check out these helpful links:

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Magic Tree House CDs From Wendy's

One of my favorite happy meal/ kids meal toys is a CD or an audio book on CD. My son, loves, loves, loves the Magic Tree house series (mostly due to last summer when Wendy' had the CD's and he first heard one he wanted to get the books out at the library). After that we have read a good many of the books with him.

I love them too, because they are entertaining and very educational at the same time. My six year old boy is in heaven learning about Ninjas, Dolphin's, Dinosaurs, and so much more through Mary Osbborne's stories.

We were both excited to find out that Wendy's has the Magic Tree house CD's again this summer and they are different from last summer.

So be sure to go get a kids meal at Wendy's.

Today when I went, I ordered two kids meals and asked if they could give me two different CD's vs. giving me the same CD in each meal. They did an when I got to the window, I asked if I could buy the two I do not have and they just charged me .99 a piece... I was excited and relieved to have all four with out eating two many cheeseburgers.

Also, if you would like more CD's of the Magic Tree house, there is a deal going on at Random House. You can get the CD's 25% off and free shipping... Here is the link with more details on that!

Teachers and Homeschoolers, check out all the great ideas to use with the various books by clicking here!

Random House also has great Teacher Guides for the books. Click here to check those out!

Activity Sheets to Match Many of the book can be found here.

Below are some books for teaching with the books:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Snap out of it...

Vacation is over and I need to snap out of it and get back into the real world... Before I snap out of it, I can look over the pictures when I should be unpacking...

If only we lived by the beach... my kids would never need other toys or TV (except for the rainy days)... they would be happy to play in the waves and build sandcastles all day long... evenings they would fly kites and play with sparklers and glow bracelets...

Bye, Bye vacations... no more walks on a moonlit beach.
No more lazy nights playing with sparklers and not worrying about bedtimes and what time we eat dinner...
Probably time to remove the bright orange nail polish off my toes...
I guess I will settle for a weekly Sushi lunch verses some fresh Lobster...
My hubby gets to shave again... that is a huge plus! He has a rule, no shaving on vacation. Ouch!

I need to stop eating the salt water taffy we brought back from the beach... help!!! Goldenrod Kisses... mmmm....

Time to unpack some more... will the washing machine ever stop running? How do you snap out of the after vacation blues?

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Best Pittsburgh Local Blog | Parents' Picks 2009 | Parents Connect

The voting ends very soon... so click on over & vote for us if you have time!
Thanks to all who have voted!

Best Pittsburgh Local Blog Parents' Picks 2009 Parents Connect

Posted using ShareThis


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week of Reads - DRUM ROLL... #7

Well, it has been seven days of great stories! Our last one to end the week is (drum roll).........

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Print graphics of a cookie, glass of milk, mirror, scissors, broom, & paper and crayons. Write the following sentences on sentence strips.

The mouse asked for a cookie.
The mouse asked for a glass of milk.
The mouse asked for a mirror.
The mouse asked for scissors.
The mouse asked for a broom.
The mouse asked for paper and crayons.

Place each of the above strips in a pocket chart. The student must place the graphic next to the correct sentence. In my classrooms students complete centers independently. Still, I like to know that they understood the concept. For this reason, I include a center sheet for the students to complete after each center. This center includes a center sheet that has the student do various things, such as; write the names of each of the six pictures, illustrate a sentence, and draw a line from the picture to a matching sentence.

Try Teaching Heart For Even More Ideas to Match This Book!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

WEEK of Reads - My Favorite BEAR! # 6

Who is your favorite storybook character? One of mine is Corduroy. So much, that when we created my daughters room murals, I knew Corduroy had to be in them. You see him above petting the Pokey Little Puppy.

I love all the Corduroy books and so do my kids. If you haven't seen the scholastic video of Corduroy, it is a must see. You can learn more about it below:

After you read the book and watch the DVD, crack open a pack of bear fruit snacks and use the sheet below for sorting.

Teddy Bear Sorting - Use this sheet to sort Teddy Bear Counters or Candy.The student colors each bear, sorts the counters, and writes the total number in the circle

Teaching Heart has more. Check it out!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Week of Reads - The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! #5

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!

"Here is the "real" story of the three little pigs whose houses are huffed and puffed to smithereens... from the wolf's perspective. This poor, much maligned wolf has gotten a bad rap. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a sneezy cold, innocently trying to borrow a cup of sugar to make his granny a cake. Is it his fault those ham dinners--rather, pigs--build such flimsy homes? Sheesh."
Writing Prompts:
1.Were the pigs good little pigs?
2.Was the wolf really a bad wolf? Could it have been that the pigs were jealous of him? What if he was really a nice guy after all!
3.Can you really believe a pig?
4.Where would that pig have gotten all of the bricks? Did he have a job? Really!
5.Could there have been a windstorm that blew the house down?


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Week of Reads - Caps For Sale # 4

Caps for Sale:
A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
Click to learn more or to order this book!

How about some monkey math? You could give each child a monkey (clip art) to cut out and then have a bunch of hats (construction paper ovals) available. They could make patterns on top of the monkey's head with the hats. Or you could do subtraction using the hats as manipulatives. You could also reread the story letting the children play the part of the monkeys.

Various Pages Found on CDROM # 4
Click to see CDROM # 4

Click for even more ideas!!!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week of Reads - Click, Clack Mooooooo #3

All week I will feature a favorite book with some activities to match.

Third Up is Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type

Before Reading:-Discuss ways we (humans) communicate with each other:

Email, Telephone, Talk, Write, Type...

-Now Discuss ways in which animals communicate: bark, jump, yelp, -Ask your students if they have pets?

How do they know when a pet wants something.

-Ask: What would it be like if animals could talk? What might a horse or chicken have to say to us?

*Discuss personification: when an author makes an animal or object take on characteristics of people.

-Ask your students to name some of the stories that they have read where the author uses personification.

List the stories. Examples may be: The Three Little Pigs, Clifford the Big Red Dog, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie...

-Show the students the cover of the book. Read the title. Ask the students if they think that the author will use personification in this book?

What makes your students think she will use personification?

Examples given may be: The title of the book: typing is not something cows do in real life.

Pocket Chart Vocab. Center:Place all the vocab. words in a pocket chart. Place the picture cards in a ziploc baggie. Have your students match the picture cards to the word.**Click her to print this center from Teaching Heart

More Awesome Ideas??? Just Click Clack Here!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week of Reads - The Kissing Hand #2

All week I will feature a favorite book with some activities to match.
Second Up is The Kissing Hand - Click Here to Purchase or to Learn more!
In the story Chester the raccoon talks about his fear of going to school. Most of the fears will be very familiar to primary aged children who are just getting back to school. Chester's Mom helps him feel loved and secure by kissing the center of his hand. She reminds Chester that her love is always right there and if he should feel frightened or scared or lonely he should simply hold the hand to his face and he will feel her love. Read this story through a couple of times before reading it to your class or your child . If you are a sap like me, then your heart will warm up and a tear will appear in your eye. I love this book!
Here is a pocket chart activity that Shana shared on http://www.teachingheart.net/ made.
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Shana/MS/1st gr

For more great Kissing Hand Ideas, click here

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Week of Reads - Lillys' Purple Plastic Purse #1

All week I will feature a favorite book with some activities to match. This may give you an idea for a summer read.

First up is Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

Fold purple paper and cut to fit inside baggie
Insert in baggie with fold at the bottom
Twist thin strips of paper to make handles-attach with glue dots
I have attached sheets I made for story recall, counting sets, and sorting coins.
Recall Worksheet
Counting Worksheet
Coins Worksheet

Leave plain or make a personalized label
Ashley's PurplePlastic Purse
You could put in "movie star sunglasses" and/or coins to practice coin recognition.Students could draw pictures or cut out magazine pictures of what they would keep in a purse.

By - Renee Liles/Arkansas shared with www.teachingheart.net

More Awesome Ideas to Match This Book - Click me!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

12 Years down... 90 to go?

Today I celebrate 12 years, (o, my!) of marriage!!! Happy Anniversary to The Greatest Hubby even if he is making me sleep in a killer bed.
Us at the Naval Academy (where we met) Ring Dance 15 years ago!!!
Hoping God will continue to bless us with more happy years!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Star Marshmallow Math Fun!!!

Happy Fourth of July all!!! I hope this little posts finds you dressed in red, white, and blue! I love July 4th. As a child we spent most of those 4th of July's in Florida with my Grampy. My brother would light off the fire crackers we would buy in South Carolina and I would run from the "loud chase after you ones" he would direct my way. Then of course there was the time that the neighbor boy would light Roman Candles in his mouth as we all sat around in amazement of his bravery that I now realize as stupidity. Yes, I have fond memories of summer nights and fourth of July as a kiddo.

As a parent, I recall being pregnant with my first child on the 4th. My husband had to read the baby inside of me the Declaration of Independence on the 4th. As boring as I find the text to be, I sat through it. Seven years later, he still reads it to my son.

Anyhow, I wanted to repost a fun learning activity that you can use at your 4th of July picnic if you happen to have these here starmallows.

Summer Math Fun!
A break for mommy. Get the marshmallow, hand over the printable sheet and tell your kiddos to have fun!!!

Buy Star Marshmallows and Practice Math Skill with these sheets... Click Here for Free Printable.

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