Sunday, December 28, 2014

Who made the cut of the 2014 Top 50 Tweeters in Tennessee Education?

That's me, right there at #41! This was a cool little suprise I recieved a few weeks ago.  I feel pretty special to be among the ranks of these fabulous and influential Tweeters! Here is the complete list if you'd like to follow some of these cool folks!

This list was compiled by Professional Educators of Tennessee.  If you'd like to read more, click {HERE}.

Are you on Twitter? If so, leave your link in the comments below. I'd love to see what you have to say!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Labels, Labels, Labels! Who doesn't love a good label??

How cute are these??
I think teachers have a special love for labels.  Before I became a teachers, labels were not that important to me.  But since, labels have grown to be one of my most favorite things.  They have also evolved, from handwritten, to printed, to printed with backgrounds. You get the gist...
I label everything with help from my Silhouette and Kidecals.  I'm sure you all know the fabulous Silhouette Cameo {vinyl cutter}, but do you know Kidecals??
Kidecals offers labels for EVERYTHING.  They are durable and super cute! Watch this 45 second video to get a feel for all you can do with Kidecals.

Chevron makes everything better!
The decals were easy to apply and have not even shown a hint of peeling off and I've been using them for 5 months now.
I get compliments ALL. THE. TIME.
You can take your labels and decals from BORING to BEAUTIFUL too!  Kidecals has a special just for my readers....enter the coupon code "kidecals2014" to receive 15% off your order! 
Do yourself a favor and check them out!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Storybook Pumpkin Patch

"Growing" a storybook pumpkin patch in your classroom or library is a fantastic way to get kids excited about reading! Students simply choose their favorite book character and decorate a pumpkin to look like that character.  My only rules are that the pumpkin can't be cut or have holes poked in it because this drastically shortens its shelflife!
 Below are some characters I've had in the library the past few years.
As you can see, this project doesn't require much more than a good imagination! 
Here is the letter I sent home concerning the project-
You can download an editable version of this letter by clicking {HERE}.
The download will open in Powerpoint.  The text will look different unless you have the fonts I used (which were DJ Punkin, Annie Use Your Telescope, & Architects Daughter).
Have fun growing your pumpkin patch!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I found a new passion!!

Ok, so this blog post is a tiny bit lot off the topic of education, but I promise you'll forgive me...
I am so excited to announce that I am an independent presenter with Younique! You may remember my blog post back in May about the most amazing mascara ever invented.  Well, after trying 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique, I was hooked.  I spent a few months thinking about buying into the company and decided to take the plunge in August.  I had several pro and cons to joining the Younique family...

For example, some of my cons were:
1. I don't know ANYthing about applying makeup correctly.
2. Some people were born to be sales(wo)men, I was not.  I'm to quiet and a chicken when it comes to approaching people.
3. I don't want to be one of those annoying product pushers that junk up Facebook feeds.

Some of my pros were:
1. I'll get a discount when I order for myself.
2.  Commissions are paid every THREE HOURS, not weeks later, like most other companies.
3. The Presenter's Kit comes with tons of makeup for only $99.
4. I'll meet new people and have a great support group. (I knew this because my friend Jackie sells it.)
5. Parties are done through Facebook so I don't have to talk to people face to face! (See Cons #2)

The pros out weighed the cons in my book and I went for it.  Honeslty, you don't need a background in sales to do this.  The products speak for themself.  Just take a look at my eyes!
Younique has an extensive line of products and cosmetics are made from natural ingredients and hold up to the test of a long work day.  I have seriously loved every product that I've tried.  I have used the mascara, primer, eye pigments, cream foundation, pressed powder, eye liner, lip gloss, blush, moisturizer, and face wash and I stand behind each product.
Younique is truly unique in that it is the first direct sales compay to market and sale almost exclusively through social media sites.  I love this-no cleaning and buying snacks for home parties!

I had a lot of negative selftalk going through my head when I started this venture 1 month agon, but I'm proud to say that I am rockin' it! I just reached the second level of presenters- I am yellow!
As of this moment, I've sold $1389.30 in retail sales!  I don't say that to brag-I'm telling you to prove that anyone can do this!  All you have to do is love the products and have a passion to share them with others!  I am in love with the cosmetics and facial products and I want to share it with the world!
Enough talking! Take a look at some of my products-

If you'd like to host a virtual party and earn FREE products just let me know!
Please visit my Younique webpage and Younique by Dana Facebook page to see more beautiful pictures!  
Thanks for letting me share my new passion with you! If you'd like to have lashes that go on for days or any of our other products, just visit my webpage.  If you have any questions, I'm here- just ask!
 I'm also on Instagram at Younique_by_Dana.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pool Noodle Phonics: Decoding Matters

I recently presented at a conference for my school district on the roots of reading development.
This slide is one of my favorites from the presentation.  I'm such a reading nerd...
Here are some things you need to know about reading development and comprehension:
    •Reading with comprehension is the product of decoding and language comprehension.This means that a student who’s missing either component will not be a good reader.
Reading is more than the sum of its parts; a weakness in any essential component can undermine the whole complex activity.Students must decipher the alphabetic code in order to read words accurately.Students must read words accurately and fluently to comprehend, they must understand language in order to comprehend what they decode.The end goal of reading is to gain meaning. If we skillfully teach all essential components, students will be well prepared to read and comprehend what they read.Research was conducted by Haskins Laboratory and Yale University on several hundred children who were followed from K thru college.  They found  that most good readers are good in both decoding and comprehension and most poor readers are poor in both decoding and comprehension. These poor readers cannot access the words to make sense of what they’re reading.  About 20% of poor readers have good comprehension and poor decoding.  These students have strong language skills.  Many of these students are dyslexic.  About 10% of poor readers have poor comprehension and good decoding skills.  These usually have poor language skills.

A focus of my presentation was how to easily create activities that work on the decoding side of the Simple View of Reading.  While looking around the dollar store for items to use in phonemic awareness activities, I spotted the pool noodles and an idea to use them for segmenting and blending suddenly came to me!  I'm all about activities that are cheap and easy and that's exactly what this one is!
Want to save this idea for later? Pin this image!

Step 1- Cut a pool noodle in to small chunks {3-4" is plenty}. 
Then, slice off an edge {see pic above}.

Step 2- Write 1 letter on each section.

Step 3- Put the letters on the edge of a desk.
Say the sounds of each letter- /p/  /a/  /t/

Slide the letters together and blend the sounds into a word.

We just blended pat!

Change out the vowel and do it again!
You can even make the vowels out of a different colored noodle.

See how nicely the pieces hug the edge of the desk!?!

Here are some more phonemic awareness activities to help meet the CCSS above...

What are some of your favorite activities for segmenting and blending?
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