Category Archives: teaching

Teaching Supplies from @Staples & #giveaway!

Well our second semester started! Half way through the school year and in our Resource Room (special education) we are finding new ways to support our unique range of kiddos we care for. We have been presented with some challenges and took them head on! But with the unique kids come unique lessons, crafts, and rewards!

One thing I learned though- it can quickly add up! And Teachers pay for a lot of this out of their own pockets. That is way I am starting to like Staples more and more! In their Education Supplies, they have things for teachers from Classroom Decor, arts & crafts to classroom storage and globes. They also have a really great reward program for Teachers.

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Marking it right with Sharpie and @shoplet

Being a para educator I grade a ton of papers. But the old fashion Red pen sometimes just doesn’t do it. I like having fun with my students!

Recently Shoplet (sponsor) asked if I would like to try some of Sharpie’s newest colors. I just couldn’t pass this up, something new for correcting math is always a plus.

I love the colors! Lets start at the top:

The Sharpie Premium Pen. This pen has a stainless outside. It writes nice and smooth and is now my favorite pen to use on everything from my checkbook, to my calendar.

Next up are the lovely Neon Permanent Markers. Oh how fun these are to check with! They are bright and fun colors. They are suppose to glow under a black light but I do not own one to test that theory out. But they are still fun to use!

Last two colors you see are the Metallic Permanent Marker. They are in gold and silver. They are equally fun to check with!

My students loved seeing all these colors. They liked trying to figure out what color I was going to bring in next and they now have their favorite colors. This makes it a lot more fun to check Math papers with!

You can find these on for a very reasonable price along with all your other office supply needs.

Have fun shopping!

~I received the above products in order to facilitate a review. No other form of compensation was exchanged. Regardless the above thoughts are my own and honest opinions.~

Fun with Learning and EducationalToysPlanet! #Review #HolidayGiftGuide

Around this time last year I introduced you to Education Toys Planet (sponsor). My kids received a really cool marble run and are still really into it.

This year I would like to introduce another product that they have. With my kids getting older it is important to me to have something that is not only fun but helps them with their school as well. I honestly do not like electronics much. But this item I am completely ok with them having.

The Math Wiz Electronic Learning Handheld Game is a fun gaming system that acts kind of like flashcards. It will quiz your student on addition, subtract, multiplication, and division. It has the sounds, the graphics, and can even act as a calculator! It is fast pace and has 8 skill levels for your child to try to pass.

My son is having a blast with this. To him everything is a race so the quick pace is a plus! I really like how he is having fun while learning. This is also perfect because in his class he is practicing his math facts and he has to have them memorized for addition by middle of December! Great way to keep him on top of things and going!

I really love this company and their products. I highly recommend them for part of your Christmas shopping! You can find this game and other travel games on Educational Toys Planet website! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

~I received the above item in order to facilitate a review. No other form of compensation was exchanged. Regardless the above thoughts are my own and honest opinions. ~

Learning with Oriental Trading Company ~#review

I have always known Oriental Trading Company (sponsor aka OTC) for their craft stuff and their party items. They always have cute activities and toys so we love to shop on their website.

Well over the years they have added items to assist teachers! They have items from games, to things to decorate your classroom and more! This year they added some fun new learning games to their mix. With working at my kid’s school in their Special Education room I thought this would be a great way to use some of these products.

I received 3 activities: Skip Counting Bingo (pictured above), “I have, Who Has” Rhyming Game, Sight Words Write & Wipe Cards, and some Chalkboard Paint.

I gave the rhyming game to the Kindergarten teachers. This game is very fun to play. You hand out the cards to the kids (each kid getting one card), Then they follow the cards so the first kid will say  “I have start what rhymes with cat?” then kid with that card will say “I have hat, what rhymes with plane” and so on until you get to the end. The goal is to help them read and rhyme. The kids have a lot of fun playing this game. They like to see how fast they can go with it. Each time they play it they get better and better. I would recommend this for Kindergarten-1st grade.

The Sight Word Wipe off is great for us to use in our room for extra help. They come with a marker and I think the best part of this is that more then one kid can use it. They have words from “saw” to “example”. My 4th grader who has autism loves to use these cards. She likes to practice her handwriting so this is a great way for her to practice. They have the dotted writing line to really help the kids get the letters how they should go. I think because of the words used that this would be more for 1st or 2nd grade levels.

The Skip Counting Bing is also being used in our Special Ed room for kids who need a little extra help. They come with cards so the teacher can write on the board 80,___,84 then the students can try to find the correct answer on their Bingo Card. They have cards for 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. This is prefect for 2nd and 3rd grade students. We haven’t had a chance to use them yet but I can not wait to.

Last but not least they have added Chalkboard pant. You can get it in either green or black. I received a couple jars of the green chalkboard paint. I have not had a chance to use this one either but I do have plans for it! I bought a table at an auction for 50 cents. I am going to be sanding it down and repainting it to use in our craft room and I thought it would be fun to paint the top with chalkboard paint so the kids can doodle on it! I can not wait to do that project. Now to just clone myself so I have time too!

If you are a teacher or even home school be sure to check out Oriental Tradings Teacher Section. They have a lot of fun items for your classroom and they are priced amazingly!

Helping Kids Read

For those of you who are new I recently started subbing at the school for the para’s that are there. I mostly assist teachers with reading lessons and once in awhile do additional one on one reading lessons with kiddos who are starting to show signs of struggling.

Over the past few months I have learned a lot of tricks from the teachers at my kids school. At my kid’s school they learn a total of 60 phonogram sounds before they are done with kindergarten. That is their base of reading education. When we first moved to the community my son couldn’t tell them any of them because his prior school did not teach them! They worked quickly with him and now he is almost to a second grade reading level. But a lot of that has to do with having parents who are involved to. I am a firm believer that the teachers are not the only one there to teach your child. Each parent should be involved in their education some how. Be active in the class room, communicate with the teacher, help with home work, read extra and maybe do some extra studies.

Today I wanted to share one thing we are starting to do in our house.  If your child’s school does not do phonograms you may want to just work on it by yourself. Otherwise this would just be great extra practice.

First you can print off free flash cards at  You will have to cut them and glue the fronts and backs together. But it is worth it. Some of these phonograms have some cute little sayings that you can use to help your child remember them. Here are a few video clips of my daughter demonstrating the motions:

Now here are the sayings (you can write these on the back of your note cards to help you)

m = have your child rub their belly while saying “mmmm”
qu = have your child say “The letter q is always written with a u and we say “qu” the letter u is not a vowel here”
x- “ks” have your child put their arms together in an “x” fashion
y- has 4 sounds- the child could also say “y is a spy keep it away from the i “
er – “er the er of her” point back and forth to each ear
ir- “ir the ir of first”  when your child says first have them hold up their point finger like they are saying they are number 1
ur- “ur the ur of nurse” move your hand like you are tracing a necklace on your neck line
wor- “wor the wor of works” cross your arms like an x on the ks part
ear – “ear the ear of early”  stretch your arms up like you are stretching or yawning
sh- “shhh” have your child hold their finger up to their mouth like they are shushing someone
ee- “ee double ee always says e(draw a line about the e)”
ay- “ay 2 letter a that we do use at the end of english words”
ai- “ai 2 letter a that we do not use at the end of english words why? english words do not end with i “
oy- “oy that we do use at the end of english words”
oi- “oi that we do not use at the end of english words why? english words do not end with i”
aw- “aw that we do use at the end of english words”
au- “au that we do not use at the end of english words why? english words do not end with u”
ew- “oo u that we do use at the end of english words”  wave your hand in front of your face while saying it
ui – “(say the 3 sounds) that we do not use at the end of english words why? english words do not end with i
ch- for the “ch” make a drumming motion for the “k” put hand up to the throat for the “sh” put finger up to mouth
ar- “ar the ar of car”
ck- “two letter ck used only after a single vowel which say a e i o u”
ed- “ed, d, t, past tense ending”
wh- have your child put their hand under their mouth and say it as if they are blowing a feather off their hand
oa- “o the o of boat”
ey- “a e that we do use at the end of english words”
igh- “igh 3 letter i “
eigh- “eigh 4 letter a”
kn- “n two letter n used only at the beginning of a base word”

These are all really simple and really helpful. Another site I have been told to look into is  My daughter brings home a lot of extra reading from that sight to work on. So I will be looking into registering myself to have access to this. 

I hope this help you guys as much as it has helped me!

~I am not a certified teacher. These are tips that have been passed onto me by the teachers at my kid’s school. I was not compensated for this posting~