2015 Back to School Teacher Emergency Kit Giveaway

teacher emergency kit giveaway 2 bagsOne Lucky Winner Will Receive TWO Back to School Teacher Emergency Kits!

I am giving away two (2) Teacher Emergency Kits to one (1) lucky winner! You can keep one kit and give one to a teacher friend (or make two teachers, friends, co-workers, neighbors… super happy and give both as gifts). Click HERE to enter. Giveaway ends this Friday, July 31 at midnight (EST). Shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada.

Winner will receive 2 cloth pouches and emergency kit contents. Each kit contains a $10 Starbucks giftcard, travel sized sewing kit, travel sized Aquaphor, travel sized Advil, Band-aids, and peppermints. See this BLOG POST for more details about the Teacher Emergency Kits.

teacher emergency kit giveaway full viewClick this RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK and follow me on various social media and/or comment on this blog post to be entered to win!

teacher emergency kit giveaway open bag

Making a Masterpiece

make your masterpiece one and only ivan

I spend a lot of time in the summer reading (even more) kid lit. I am always on the hunt for books I can use in my classroom. I have a core group of novels that I teach each year, but I like to rotate one or two out of the line-up and bring in something fresh. This year, I am adding The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I have spent the past week designing new materials to use with my students. While there are some materials I like to have for all novels I teach (chapter vocabulary lists and a character chart), I pretty much start from scratch every time I design a unit so that the activities are unique to that specific novel. Developing the ideas and wrapping layers of language skills into a unit of study are probably my favorite part of teaching.

  • I read lots of books for pleasure until I find one that catches my interest.
  • Once I choose a book I would like to teach, I read the book a second time and make notes. I circle key words, write notes and questions in the margin, underline important quotes, put stars next to interesting passages, and jot activity ideas at the bottom of the page.
  • Next, I set up my basic handouts that I use in every novel unit. I always add chapter vocabulary, and I always have a character chart of some kind.
  • After that, I often implement an ongoing task. I call this an anchor activity. Students might have to find figurative language in each chapter, write a summary “gist” statement after completing each chapter, or re-tell the chapter from the point of view of one character.
  • I add in activities that are unique to the themes, story, and writing style of the book. For The One and Only Ivan, students recreate the “puzzle” drawing Ivan paints with his message to save Ruby, the baby elephant. Based on evidence from the text, students draw and color their version of Ivan’s masterpiece. They cut their drawing into pieces, and a partner has to reassemble the drawing just like the character, Julia, did in the story. I want to keep the flow of the story going, so I won’t plan for these unique activities at the end of every chapter; I sprinkle them throughout the book.
  • Ivans masterpiece cuttingI also like to incorporate at least one non-fiction reading selection that supplements events in the story. In the Ivan story, students get to compare the book version of Ivan to the real Ivan who lived at Zoo Atlanta after spending 27 years in a glass enclosure at a mall.

One and Only Ivan real v book

Typically, the first year I teach a book, I am creating the items I need the night before I will use them with the students. Thanks to the TpT Seller Challenge, I had motivation to get a head start on my new novel for this school year. I also had a great editing buddy, DocRunning, who offered great suggestions for improvements.

 

RoomMom Dreams

roommom blog button large

It is (roughly) the third anniversary of TheRoomMom. When I started writing in June, 2012, I wanted the blog to be a resource for parents (mostly moms) with school aged children. I wanted to share all of the behind-the-scenes information I have as a teacher and as a mom– how to communicate with your child’s teachers successfully, what makes a really good teacher gift, how to handle homework effectively, how to plan and write a research paper– that kind of thing. Well, I am a little crafty; I like organizing parties; I love children’s literature, and I create teacher resources for educators, so I started throwing in group food recipes, party ideas, craft projects, favorite book lists, and lesson ideas for the classroom. TheRoomMom became a repository for all of the experiences I have as a teacher mom of elementary aged children.

Around this time of year, I take a little inventory and think about the future of TheRoomMom empire. What is my dream? Someday, I would love to write a children’s chapter book. All of the experiences I share here are my notes for the unwritten novel. I haven’t figured out my characters or my story, but I know the seed of the book is somewhere in here.

I have other dreams too. They vary, but most of the dreams involve working for myself and having an income I can use for non-essentials like sending my kids to a sleepaway camp similar to the one I attended growing up.

Happy birthday to TheRoomMom and here is to continued growth and good ideas!

dare to dream

Thanks to Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Teach Create Motivate, Third in Hollywood, and Sparkling in Second Grade for asking the dream question.

Brownie Cups

brownie cup mint chip sundae single

I hate it when my ideas don’t work. Mr. Star Wars had his 10th birthday yesterday, and he wanted brownies with ice cream on top for his birthday dessert. This was just going to be a family dinner and celebration since we celebrated his birthday with a few friends before school started, but I still did not think that a plain old pan brownie was birthday-y enough, so I hunted down an alternative.

I had seen an idea on Pinterest for brownie cups. They seemed easy enough and upon closer inspection, they even used a boxed brownie mix, which I thought would translate into minimal time and effort.

Here is what Dreyer’s Ice Cream told me I could make:

dryers ice cream brownie bowl

 Here is what I actually made:

brownie cup separating the pans

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 2 cupcake tins
  • Pam spray or Crisco
  • a little luck

brownie cup materials

Directions

  • Make the brownie mix according to the box directions. I think a fudgier brownie mix would work better than the one I used.
  • Spray with Pam or grease with Crisco the insides of a cupcake tin and across the top of the pan where the brownies will rise over the edge of the cup VERY WELL.
  • Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 full with brownie mix.

brownie cup pans

  • Spray or grease the bottom of the second cupcake tin VERY WELL and gently rest the second cupcake tin on top of the filled cupcake tin.

IMG_5540

  • Bake brownies according to the box directions. I baked my brownies about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the top cupcake tin. I thought it was best to remove while the brownies were still warm, but my brownies stuck to the pans, so I am not sure what to advise on this. I let them cool before lifting the cup out of the bottom cupcake tin after seeing the disaster with the top pan, but the base of the brownies completely stuck to the pan, so I ended up with brownie crumbles and broken brownie cups.

brownie cups sticking in pans

  • Take whatever brownie pieces you can salvage and put them in the bottom of a bowl.

brownie cup coffee sundae

  • Top with ice cream. Mr. Star Wars and Miss Priss wanted mint chip. TheRoomDad and I had coffee ice cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the ice cream.

Thankfully, broken brownie cups taste just as good as perfect brownie cups. Anyone else want to give this one a try and report back? Is it my cupcake tins that are the problem?

brownie cup mint chip sundae

Blasting Back to School: Giveaway and Teacher Emergency Kit

Blasting Back to School Blog Hop

I have my foot in two blogging worlds. I write about the projects I have going on at home with my family, and I write about my teacher world. This week, my foot is in the teacher blog world.

I am participating in a school blog hop. I have done giveaways before but never as part of a blog hop. Read on to find out how to enter the Back to School Giveaway and win this year’s RoomMom Teacher Emergency Kit. Visit other blogs in the hop for a chance to win more educational swag.

whats in your teacher emergency kit

Back to School Tip

At the beginning of the school year, stock a bag of emergency supplies to leave in your teacher desk. Think about items you need during the day that you would not be able to locate in the teacher workroom, the front office, or in the students’ school supplies.

Typically, the items I like to have on hand are a travel toothbrush or dental floss, hand lotion, chapstick, safety pins, Tylenol or Advil, Tums, an emery board, a few dollars worth of quarters for the soda machine, and (whispering) Tampax.

Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway for the chance to win TheRoomMom Teacher Emergency Kit! Two winners will be selected. Giveaway ends Saturday, August 9 at midnight (EST) and shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada. Teachers, this is a great little holder to have on hand. Parents, be your child’s teacher’s best friend and give this as a teacher gift the first day of school.

teacher emergency kits

Go to RAFFLECOPTER to submit an entry! 

But wait, there’s more! You have the opportunity to win something different on each blog in our group, so make sure that you visit the next blog in the blog hop at the bottom of this page. To enter to win the HUGE gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers, visit our group blog, Lesson Delicatessen. Make sure you hop through every blog to read all of the great back to school tips and be entered to win over a dozen prizes.

Click over to the NEXT BLOG for the chance to win more prizes!