Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Letter Construction Kit GIVEAWAY!

Hey everyone!  I am SO excited about this GIVEAWAY!!  Learning Resources is offering one of The Moffatt Girls' Readers/Followers an opportunity to win this AWESOME Letter Construction Kit!  I am telling you now...we LOVE this kit!

This is a FANTASTIC resource and I am so excited to have this for both of the girls!  The Letter Construction Kit comes with sturdy plastic pieces that snap together. You can construct letters of the alphabet by following the simple instruction cards.  Recommended ages: 3-7.

For Sophia: Sophia (2 1/2) had a great time trying to following directions while constructing letters of the alphabet.  We also used them to practice the sounds of each letter.   Can't you just see her brain working as she constructs the lowercase letter e?   I LOVE it!  I did need to stay by her side and help her put the pieces together, and it was a great way for her to figure thing out, since she is a "do it myself" kind of girl:)

There are enough pieces for 4 students to simultaneously build the same letter!
Audrey used these to make sight words!  I can't even tell you how much FUN we had with this kit!  The hands-on interaction with constructing the letters really makes it a valuable educational tool!

For Audrey:  I laid out the letter cards for the sight word "said" and she began by finding the pieces that make up each letter.  Then she assembled the letters to make her word!  This is perfect for helping us with spelling the word as well!
Not only can you construct letters and words, but this is such a great way for kids to play with shapes and use their imagination!  Audrey had fun making a flower:)

Win it!!
Here is YOUR chance to win this AMAZING resource!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Shout Out and a FREEBIE!

I am giving a shout out to my friend Jackie at It's Elementary for her first FREEBIE!!  She made an adorable pocket chart calendar for the month of June!  If you like it and download it, be sure to send her some blogging encouragement! 

Hop on over to It's Elementary and grab your FREEBIE!  Whoo-hoo!

Dive Into Your Imagination Review

The other week we went to the aquarium and returned to find a package in the mail with the video, What Makes a Fish A Fish, from the Dive Into Your Imagination series.  The timing could not have been more perfect!  It was an excellent follow up to their fun trip to the aquarium!


This video was absolutely fascinating and takes you on an underwater journey of discovering all kinds of interesting fish.  The girls really enjoyed learning about the shrimp that cleans the mouths of other fish to how some fish disguise themselves in different ways.  Annie Crawley did an outstanding job in filming and capturing the most interesting fish in the sea!  After watching the video, the girls could not stop talking what they had learned.  This is definitely a video that we could watch again and again! 

Educator Guides: We also received the Educator Guides, which is awesome!!  They have templates where you can make fish, flash cards for matching sea life to the correct names, counting with fish, fish writing template and so much more.  As an educator, I really appreciate the that lesson objectives are stated, extension ideas and the fact that the lesson plans/ideas are linked to Common Core Standards!  This addition to the DVD makes it easy to incorporate into a classroom or a homeschool environment.  

*Note to Homeschoolers: The guides are available as a printed version for $299 (for the entire set) or as individual PDFs for $69.95.  As a special for the Homeschool Crew and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine followers, Annie Crawley of Dive Into Your Imagination will GIVE you a set of PDF's with purchase of DVDs.  When you place your DVD order, just let her know in the notes that you are a homeschool parent.

Other videos in this series include:
*What Lives in the Sea?
*Dive Into Diversity
*Visions of the Sea

How much do the DVDs cost?
Each of the above videos, including What Makes a Fish a Fish, cost $19.95.  I think that this is a video worth owning!

Disclaimer:  I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review on my blog.  I was not influenced by the product or the company.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CVC Build-a-Word WINNER!

Thank you to ALL who entered our giveaway for our newest product, CVC Build-a-Word Mats!

 The winner for this product is...

Congratulations Karyn!!

For the next 48 hours I am putting this product on sale for 
 20% off!  
Thanks again for entering and to those who added it as one of their favorite items:)

Click the buttons below to purchase this product...

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Every year we order caterpillars, but I forgot this year:(  It slipped my mind and I just forgot.  It is always such a wonderful experience to watch the caterpillars grow and turn into a butterfly!  The girls love it and it really is such a magical experience!

We were on our way to run some errands the other day when Audrey hollered, "Look Mommy!  A big worm climbing up the house!"  Well, upon closer inspection it turned out to be a big, fat caterpillar who was climbing to higher ground to make his chrysalis!

Well we scooped him up and put him in our butterfly garden kit from last year.  The very next day he made his chrysalis!  Come to find out, our front yard is swarming with big fat caterpillars!  We have already found 4 of them!!

Keep your eyes open for those caterpillars:)
Update:  Thanks to the first person who left a comment under this post, I did a bit of research:  Is is a butterfly or the terrible gypsy moth?   Good news: we have 4 Morning Cloak Butterflies!  That was quite a scare though!   I sure know more about the difference after my research:)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

CVC Build-a-Word Mats and a GIVEAWAY!

How about a GIVEAWAY for our new product?  There are two ways to WIN!

I wanted to make some CVC mats for Sophia, even thought she is not ready for them yet.  I know she will enjoy these when we start them in the fall.  This printable works with 88 CVC words!

This product because it meets the needs of 2 levels of learners and it is linked to many Common Core Standards.

Option 1 - Students who know their sounds, but are still not fully able to blend the sounds together can use the mats (with picture and word cards) to build a word with one-to-one correspondence.  In the above picture, you can see the picture of a bed with the word spelled out.  Beginning students can match the letters to the correct boxes and eventually sound out the phonemes and blend the CVC word.

Option 2- This option is perfect for students who are working on sounding out each individual phoneme and then blending the CVC word.  The picture clue is provided without the word and can be a great way to assess a student's needs, weaknesses and strengths.

Now on to the GIVEAWAY!!
Two opportunities to WIN!
1.  Head on over to my current Giveaway on my Teachers Notebook Shop and enter to win.

2.  Click {HERE} to visit our new product on our Teachers Notebook Shop.  Add our blog or this product as one of your favorites:)
Make sure to leave you email so I can contact you if you win:)
Thanks so much for entering the giveaway!!

A winner will be chosen on my Teachers Notebook Shop on Satuday at 12am EST!
A winner will also be chosen here on my blog on Monday!  Blog giveaway ends on Monday 12pm EST.  
Two chances to win and just two clicks away.  

You can also purchase this product now...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun with Magnets!

Magnets are just FUN!  You give a kid a magnet and they will entertain themselves.  Well, I recently decided to stop pinning and actually implement one of my pins, with a twist.  We had SO much FUN!

The materials we used were pipe cleaners cut into small pieces, some brads and paper clips.  You can use anything that is magnetic.   I put them in a plastic container that I had and we used the large red magnet, which I picked up at Lakeshore.

I didn't really plan the "Patriotic" theme, it was just what I had on hand:)

The girls pulled the magnetic items up the side of the container and had a blast seeing how many things they can grab.  

Well...all of those little magnetic things found their way OUT of the nice and neat contained container.  Oh well...they had fun:)

I went to make some lunch for the girls as they continued to make a mess discover and learn great stuff with our magnets.  When they were done "playing" my two little sweeties complained about cleaning up the mess, which was all over the floor by now.    Well...actually, Audrey complained and Sophia just walked away from the mess.  

I told Audrey to just use the magnet to pick up the pieces worked:)  I wish all toys were magnetic and that easy to clean up!  The girls enjoyed this activity!  So simple.  So FUN! So educational!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Toddler Tasks Week 8

It is absolutely AMAZING to see how quickly a little toddler can change in just a few weeks!  I am really enjoying our learning journey with my little Sophia.  She is always eager to do "school," but she knows what she does and doesn't like.  The best thing that I can do for her is expose her to a variety of activities and follow her interests.

Here are a few activities that we recently participated in:

Use equal parts glue and tempera paint to give painting a glossy look when dry.  

This little honey LOVES to paint and if you ask me, I think there is some talent here;)  It was such a nice day that we just had to take it outside.  Of course I also wanted to keep the mess outside:)

Painting is such a FUN activity for kids!  They enjoy the process of swirling the paint and they love seeing how colors mix together.  I think Sophia had so much fun painting this page that she almost painted a few holes in the paper:)

 Number Recognition with Counting Mats
We got these adorable Learning Mats from Homeroom Teacher.
These mats are great for interactive counting and the mats focus on numbers 1-10.  There are 60 colorful fish that go into these cute fish bowls.  Sophia liked to sing the song from the Leapfrog Video, "Two, two fish the sea.  Tell me the number of fish in the sea!" 

These mats really helped her nail the concept...

 On the back of each of the Learning Mats, kids are give the opportunity to trace each number and then practice writing the numbers on their own.  The great part about these mats is that they are both durable and erasable:) You can purchase these Learning Mats {HERE}.

Listening Skills
We has some more fun with our whiteboard.  I drew a picture of a girl on the page and then gave Sophia some oral directions about coloring.  For example, I said, 
"Can you color the polka dots on her dress red?  
Can you color her hair brown?  
Color her shoes any color you want."
Oral directions are a great way to help children use their listening skills.

Shape Identification and Recognition
We did the same activity with shapes.  I drew shapes on the board and asked Sophia to color them specific colors.  I wasn't sure if she knew the name of the hexagon, so I asked her to tell me the name of "that" shape, as I pointed to the hexagon.  She responded, "sheshagon."  That satisfies me...I think she know the name of "that" shape:)

She was completely engaged the entire time and loved this activity.

Sound Discrimination (Can be used as an assessment)
I wrote a bunch of letters on the whiteboard and called out the sound, not the letter name.  However, you could also use this for identifying letter names as well.  As I called out the letter sound, she erased each one.  She did a GREAT job!  We have also used this activity to practice a few sight words.

Number Discrimination
I used the above method to assess her number recognition skills.  As the activity progressed I realized that she didn't know the number zero.  She asked me what it was, I told her and then she got it.  This was fun for her and it helped me assess her needs in regards to number identification.  

She likes to use a paint brush to wipe away the numbers.

And now for a very important skill:
FRIENDSHIP-She LOVES our dogs:)  She usually reads to them, pets them, talks to them, feeds them and SITS on those poor little dogs.  I think they feel loved:)

Be sure to check out our other posts for toddler tasks {HERE}.

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