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Scuba Diving Fun!

Hello All!
It has been SO LONG since I have posted here on Blog Hoppin' and I apologize for that! No excuses for me except that life sometimes gets in the way and we have to make room for the little hiccups that occur every so often! Anyway, I thought that I would share a quick and easy project that my students did during our Ocean unit at the end of the year. We live in the middle of corn and soybean country in Central Illinois, so oceans, scuba diving, and snorkeling are not visually present around here! :) But that didn't keep us from imagining that we were floating in the ocean, enjoying the animals and plant life that make the ocean their home! This project was one of many that we did and I can't say that it is my original idea because I have been teaching for so long that sometimes the ideas in my head blend with the ideas that have been there since I started! BUT even if this is not my original idea, I spruced it up a bit and made it cute and fun! Plus it is easy, easy, easy to prepare and there is no cost at all to do it, so that makes it even more fun! Even though we probably made snorkelers instead of scuba divers, we still discussed the differences between them and you can find real life pictures of both in my "Let's Make a Scuba Diver" packet. If you click my blog button, you will be taken to my blog post with more details about our scuba diving fun.  If you click the product image, you will be taken to the free download in my TPT store! Happy Summer!

Review/Giveaway Swap!

Happy weekend, friends! I just wanted to take two minutes of your time to let you know about a review/giveaway swap that I am doing this weekend with Charity Preston of The Organized Classroom Blog.

On my blog, Teaching in the Early Years, I am currently giving away three copies of Charity's awesome Beach Theme Classroom Essentials Kit (click HERE to check it out).

And, Charity is giving away three copies of my Early Finisher Board {the Complete 40 Weeks} on her blog. Check it out by clicking HERE.

The contest ends on Monday night.

If you would like to check out the items that you can win before you enter, please see the links below:

Charity Preston's Beach Theme Classroom Essentials Kit
Shelley Gray's Early Finisher Board {the Complete 40 Weeks}

Good luck and have a great weekend,

HearALL Assessment Recorder GIVEAWAY!

I just have to introduce you to my new BFF..FFFF! We will just call her HearAll Assessment Recorder from Learning Resources! This is seriously my new favorite toy and I can’t wait to put it to use with my thirdsters {thanks, Amanda Nickerson} this year! There are a billion ways that you could use this amazing gadget, {fluency assessment, reader’s theatre, literature circles, independent reading, etc.} but I can’t wait to incorporate it into our weekly “Book-it to Me” next year in third grade.

If you would like to enter for a chance to win my new BFF, head on over to Second Grade Shenanigans to find out how!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer and staying out of this crazy heat!!!!

Beat the Heat Summer Give-Away!

18 fantastic bloggers have teamed up for a SUMMER GIVEAWAY!
One lucky winner will get to choose one item from each TpT shop listed below! 
That is 18 lesson plan/ideas FREE!


This giveaway is EASY TO ENTER! Just follow this blog and leave your email address in a comment. You can also get up to 18 additional entries by shopping around each TpT store listed above. Then leave a link to the product you would pick from that store.  *Make sure each entry is a separate comment!*

The winner will be announced Monday night {tomorrow} at midnight. {EST}!


In order for your comments to be counted you will need to add your name to the Rafflecopter gadget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Clever School Teacher Giveaway

I'm having a giveaway to the Clever School Teacher!  If you haven't checked out their book bundles, you need to link now.  All books are package based on comprehension strategies, genres, writing traits, common core, etc...

Click here to check out the giveaway...
Click here to check out my pinterest board for Clever School Teacher products!

If You Take a Mouse to School

 Do you love Laura Numeroff? Do to love If You Take a Mouse to School?
I happen to think those blue overalls are too cute.

It includes:
-Sequence Cards
-Writing Activities
-Reading Comprehension Game with answer key
-Memory Game
-Sequence Sheet

What do you wish you could ask your upcoming students to bring to school?
{I wish I could ask them for their own headsets for listening stations.}

  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten

Learning to Listen Linky

*You can right click to save the graphic above to use in your link up. 

Teaching students to listen is no easy task. Sometimes, I feel like I am trying to herd a bunch of cats! 
I use a “Whole Body Listening” poster in my classroom.  The speech pathologists and ABA teachers at my school inspired the Whole Body Listening posters.  They use a Whole Body Listening Social Story they created through Boardmaker to give the students an idea of what whole body listening looks like.  Whole-Body Listening is a term coined by Susanne Poulette, a New York speech pathologist, in this article (click {here} to read it): Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills, Susanne P. Truesdale Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Vol.21 183-184 July 1990.  

As you know, many students on the spectrum struggle with eye contact while speaking.  I have found that through my years of mainstreaming, the social story worked well for all of my students.  So I decided to make a poster instead of social story to remind them.  When I need students to listen, I simply say “Whole Body Listening.” Click the pictures below to hop to my blog to download my posters and a class-made book activity for free.  

I have always used this book, Listen and Learn by Cheri J. Meiners as an introduction to listening in my classroom. 

Another adorable book is called Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow.
Through a bit more internet searching, I found this book called Whole Body Listening Larry at School!.  It was also inspired by Susanne Poulette's article.  I think this book would be great to read to your students on the first few days of school.  

Please, do not make "Whole Body Listening" a rule.  Most students cannot sit still for long periods of time.   Listening should be modeled through "Whole Body Listening" and exceptions need to be made for students with various needs.  I know I cannot sit still and listen for long periods of time.  

Here are some tips to help kids focus and listen:
  • Point to the "Whole Body Listening" Poster when you want students to listen.
  • Shrink the poster, laminate it, and place it on your students' desks.  When a student is not doing one of the characteristics of "Whole Body Listening," point to that characteristic.  So if he/she is not looking, touch the "my eyes are looking" part of the mini-poster. This is a good non-verbal reminder for the student and does not distract your other students from the lesson.  
  • Allow students to stand while working, as long as they push their chairs in.  I find they like to stand during center time and while creating art projects.  
  • Purchase "Movin' Sit Cushions."  These help the especially fidgety children by letting them bounce or move a bit in their chair while still sitting down.  
  • Place Velcro inside the student's desk.  He/ she can run his/her fingers along the soft and hard Velcro instead of playing with/cutting things in his/her desk. 
  • Give students a squeeze ball to squeeze so that he/she has something to do with his/her hands.
  • Abilitations Integrations "Chew"lery Chewable Jewelry  helps those students who tend to chew on inappropriate things.  This is a safe way for them to chew and focus at the same time.

*Susanne Poulette, a New York speech pathologist coined the term "Whole-Body Listening" with this article (click {here} to read it): Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills, Susanne P. Truesdale Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Vol.21 183-184 July1990.

Gift Bag Journals

Do have heaps of old gift bags sitting around your house like I do? Here's a great project that requires a gift bag, some duct tape and a few brass fasteners. Gift bag journals are perfect for students to write in, and can be hung on hooks on students' desks, or on a bulletin board. For a full tutorial of how to make a gift bag journal, visit my blog, Teaching In the Early Years, by clicking on the image below.

See you there!

Going for the Gold {and a FREEBIE}

Happy Summer to those of you who are already enjoying the sunshine! I am super excited about having a few months to relax poolside! So, before I head off to make that dream a reality, I just wanted to share my newest unit with you as I prepare for a new year!

With the summer OLYMPICS right around the corner, this year my kiddos will be "Going for the Gold." This is a perfect unit for back to school and will inspire and motivate your kiddos to dream big! You can check it out by clicking on the picture below!

If you would like to snag a little freebie from this unit, you can grab that {HERE}.

Happy Sunday, Friends!