Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Teaching Tuesday: Autobiography vs. Biography


 I recently made a Native American Unit I'm pretty pumped about.  I LOVE teaching through Social Studies.  Obsessively.  It's over 70 powerpoint pages long.  Whoops.  I was covering a bunch of Informational Text TEKS  under the Native American umbrella, hence the teepees, and the examples of autobiography/biography books using real books about the subject.  If things slow down, I throw a printable version on TPT for free, but in the meantime.....here are all the sorting pieces. 






Monday, October 29, 2018

GMT: Dollar Store Pumpkins

Tomorrow I head to GMT to share some Dollar Tree pumpkins.  Here they are waiting to be bedazzled.  You can watch live on Channel 8 around 9ish.  Or, I'll post the video later on facebook.
I have the most archaic iPhone on planet earth, but my plan is to hit up a deal on Nov 10th, so hopefully I can bring all the feeds into the 21st century.  Time to up my Instagram and youtube game I guess as blog goes the way of the buffalo.  BUT, never fear, I'm not giving up here.  I started for me to save recipes and how to's, and I'll be here until the cobwebs make it impossible to get through!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Festive Popcorn

 I do this a lot for favors and gifts (Christmas, Showers), and it's so easy and tasty.  It hits the sweet and salty ratio just right.  This time I made it for an organization that was bringing in some guest speakers and their colors are yellow and this turquoise-ish blue.
 I bought some movie popcorn from Trader Joe's.  It makes 3 healthy size bags.
 I took about half of the chocolate and melted it.  I put mine in a ziplock and set it for a minute.
 I pull it out and start massaging it.  Then I put it back in the microwave for 30 second increments, massaging between each setting until it's liquid.
 I spread the popcorn out on wax paper so that it's one layer and snip the edge of the bag.  I then drizzle back and forth, tossing on sprinkles to the wet chocolate to adhere before it dries.
To get it even more chocolate-y, I toss it a bit when it dries and do more drizzles.  So easy, and a fun way to get any color going. I usually buy the chocolate already colored at the craft stores on sale, but you can also dye white chocolate with food dye to any color you want.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Teaching Tuesday: Snot and Buggers

      Look at me following through two weeks in a row.  Truth, I really am pretty good about following through with things, but I just wasn't sure if I wanted to add a teaching piece to my blog.  Truth, I didn't want to start a new blog either, so I'm just going to be me, which is someone with a lot of pots in the fire.  My goal is to make these more user friendly.  If you don't need teaching tips, skip Tuesday.  I'm not loading printable files today b/c I googled the images from the internet, and I don't want to get in trouble, BUT the ideas are easy to do.  I merged two ideas-SNOTS (Short Notes On The Side).  I have no idea who had that idea first, it was just an acronym I saw written at the top of a paper in a district lesson plan, and I googled what it meant, and another activity via Wade King, which I saw recently on Instragram.  It was done with math, but I found a way to adapt it to reading.  
     The first step is for kids to interact with the text. They write S.N.O.T.S at the top of their paper and then they jot down little thoughts as they are reading the text.  Let them use a green pen or pencil so it looks like they snotted all over their paper.  
     Then give them multiple choice questions.  Group them, print off the answer choices and they have to #1 decide the answer, and #2 go find the write booger that matches (A,B,C,D).  BUT have them put some green dyed vaseline on their nose and make them find the booger and pick it up with their snotty nose and take it back to their desk.  
   Winning team definitely needs some sort of green treat.  Sprite (snot juice) etc.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Halloween Shortbread Cookies

 These last few years have been a doozy.  I'm dragging behind on all things holidays right now, but I'm trying to check a few things off my to do list for sanity sake.  I bought these little black boxes two years ago at Michael's.  Two years.  I wanted to make a little Halloween or New Year's treat, but then life happened.  Add to that this recipe for short bread cookies I saw last year on Food Network I've been wanting to try and today I set aside some time.  I do love a decorated iced cookie, but the great thing about these is they are just glazed, so.....that was tonights plan.
 The cookies are really simple to make, and the icing glaze hardens on top, and the cookie literally  melts in your mouth.  I used cookie cutters my pal Kelly gave me from Sur La Table and they fit perfectly inside my box.
I lined the boxes with adorable wax paper I bought at Daiso this year and then added a bow....because no gift is complete without a bow.  So....tomorrow these will finally find a home in some of my pals boxes.  There are a few folks in need of some cookie treats.
Glazed Shortbread Cookies
Makes 2 dz 2 inch cookies.
Ingredients for Cookies:  
3/4 c. butter (softened)
1/2 c. powdering sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 c +2 T flour
1/2 c. corn starch
1/4 t. salt
Ingredients for Glaze:
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 T clear corn syrup
1 T melted butter
2 T warm water
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond flavor
Cookie Instructions:
1.  Mix butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
2.  Add vanilla.
3.  Sift in flour, cornstarch, and salt.
4.  Place in fridge for 30 min-1 hr.
5.  Roll on surface dusted with flour until 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out.
6.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
7.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Don't add color to the dough or it will look dull when finished.
8.  Cool before glazing.
Cookie Glaze Instructions:
1.  Mix all ingredients except for water.
2.  Add 1 T of water at a time until glaze is flowing.
3.  Color if desired.
4.  Use a spoon and drizzle over cookies
5.  Let cookies dry and harden for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Teaching Tuesday: Spooktacular Stories Day

I might do this on the regular....or this might be the only post ever.  When I'm not crafting or traveling, I teach.  My LOVE is lesson planning.  I'm a reading specialist, so I do a lot of school wide activities and test prep fun.    I love creating themed lessons.  Yes, I know there is a place to make/buy/sell lessons, but right now I'm not there.  I've been blessed with an outlet to make money (a very little bit) via ads on a place where I can give stuff away.  So.....maybe I'll get my act together and share the actual plans with TEKS and Objectives), or maybe I won't, but here is something I planned for my school on Halloween.
We have some families that do not celebrate holidays, so I was hoping by picking spooky stories this year (with one exception) we could do some school wide activities.
BOOK ONE:  I pulled Hallo-Wiener and provided some reader's theaters (just google it, there are a ton you can print for free), big letters that spell out Halloween to use to make words, and a sequencing activity (also found free via a google searching.  PTA also generously donated some flashlights to be able to do some dark reading.  I found a reader's theater about the history of spiders for the classes who would not be able to use this book.
(Bring on all the drama TEKS.)
BOOK TWO:  Creepy Pair of Underwear  Seriously, who doesn't love underwear?  We are actually doing this one last.  The gist is this bunny thinks he's brave enough to wear these creepy underwear, but decides the glowing is too spooky and he can't sleep....so he spends the rest of the book trying to get rid of the underwear, but they keep coming back (he even sends them to China and they come back in a package).  At the end of the story, he embraces them and they are hanging all over his room.  Each kid is going to get glow in the dark bracelets to take with them that day (and trick or treating).  There is a post card for them to write on and show what adventures they think the underwear went on next.  BUT THE BEST PART...I copied and blew up a picture of the underwear and made 500 copies.  The PTA helped me cut them out, and some parents are volunteering to come up and COVER the walls with them.  I'm going to have every teacher read it at the same time with a subtle message on the intercom and then we are coving the halls, so when the kids leave they are going to leave with 500 pairs of underwear all over the walls.  Here is the postcard printable.
Postcard Printable
(Great for letter writing, writing in sentences, predictions, inferencing etc).
BOOK THREE:  I Need My Monster  Seriously, the CUTEST book ever. And I found this youtube video and almost died.  This little kid is really put out b/c they want a scary monster and he/she keeps getting sent duds that aren't scary.  The PTA got glow in the dark monster fingers for each kid, and I made a handout with four monster pictures and I'm asking the students to create an ad to try to sell their monster via flipgrid.  (Great for adding descriptions to your writing.)
Monster Printable

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Creepy Spell Books



I saw this idea last year via Heidi Swapp.  I'm taking a couple of Halloween craft ideas to GMT on Monday, so I decided to bring this one along.  I'll post the video on facebook later, but here is a picture tutorial.

First, I got some clearance hardback books at Half Price Books.  They also sell them at the Dollar Tree.  I glued down some foam letters (they sell these at the Dollar Tree as well as craft stores).  I spelled out a few Halloweenish book words.

Next, I hot glued down some plastic creatures from the Dollar Tree.  I also cut some pieces of cardboard at an angle and pinned in some thumb tacks to the skeleton book.

Next up, I mixed some glue and water (you could also use Mod Podge).  I took paper towel squares and dragged them through the glue and then laid them on top of each book.  I pressed them down around the pieces glued to the top.  Once it dried, I repeated this to the back side as well.  The paper wrinkled a little as it dried, but this gave it more of a true old potion book feel.

I gave them a coat of black spray paint.  

Once that dried I took some gold paint and a paper towel and rubbed it and smudged it along the pieces dried below the towel.

It really helped the details pop out.  It was an easy project, and it will make a great place to prop up pumpkins and other d├ęcor for Halloween.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Halloween Sign


I got a scroll saw a year ago as a birthday gift.  It took me this long to finally get it out and play around.....now I know what it's capable of.....and hopefully it won't be another year before I do another project.  
I used vinyl to trace letters I printed out with my cricut and then cut those out.  The middle is really tricky and requires pulling the blade off and on, so.....lesson learned.  I painted them orange, and glittered the longer word, and speckled the Hello with paint splatter (with a toothbrush).  
I found this round wooden slice at Home Depot, and I painted it white.  I then measured out some horizontal lines with painters tape, and then sprayed it with black.  
I should have mod podged it before spraying so it didn't seep under the tape, but.....I took a sander and went to town to rough it up at this point so it wouldn't be so stark and 'smudge-ee' looking.  I glued the letters down with wood glue, and then add some felt flowers.