Introducing “Love Learning With Liana!”

FeaturedTeacher2Welcome to a new “Featured Teacher Tuesday!” I’m so excited to continue in my journey to create products, while supporting other dedicated teacher-sellers.

Today, I would like to highlight the work of Liana Davis, from “Love Learning with Liana.” She is living her dream as a first grade teacher. Her goal is to provide the social justice to students that she received when she was a child–an immigrant, a non-native English speaker, and from a family that lived modestly.  She knows that every student has the capacity to learn, and she loves to see her students shine. To read more about her teaching philosophy, click here.

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Liana loves the unscripted feel of first grade.  Besides first, she has also taught Kindergarten, and high school English.

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Liana is also a newlyed!!! She got married in January 2015 to her college/Bible study sweetheart.  If you would like to see pictures from her wedding, click here.  She is a new seller on TpT–since March, 2015. She was always creating products for her classroom, and she thought why not share them with the world!

If you know Liana, then you know that she never sits still, much like every other teacher who takes on the task of teaching full time, blogging about it, and creating products for Teachers Pay Teachers. To find Liana’s store, click here.

Liana’s most popular product is the Book Report for Grades 1-3.

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Head here for her no prep math printables:

Math Unit 1 Number Sense

Unit 2 is also available here.

Also, she has just posted a FREE short a sorting set!

ShortASortActivityFinally, head here for her Fall Fluency, Phonics, and Writing Activities.

Thanks for supporting our group of teacher-blogger-creators! Thanks to Heidi Martin from “Droppin’ Knowledge With Heidi Martin” for organizing our link-up!

Please also try…

Halloween!Poetry Music The Bundle Poetry Music October Guided Reading Strategies Activities and Songs {Beanie Ba

Introducing Featured Teacher Tuesdays!

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Dear Edu-Friends,

As you know, I love creating materials for grades pre-K through 3rd grade. I’ve just joined an AMAZING group of first grade teacher-author-bloggers. We are going to be linking to each others’ blogs for “Featured Teacher Tuesdays.” Please visit often to meet motivated colleagues, to find fun FREEBIES, and to learn lots of ways to enhance your classroom experience.

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This week’s featured teachers are Samantha Gibby and Lisa Fain, also known as “The Primary Sisters.” You can find them at http://theprimarysisters.blogspot.com/. They teach together at the same school in North Carolina!!! These ladies feel so blessed to teach with each other everyday. (I still remember when I first started teaching and volunteered in my sister’s class everyday. I wonder if we’ll ever teach together again!)
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The “Primary Sisters'” adventures as Teachers Pay Teachers sellers began last summer. As they were sitting in a hot tub at the Outer Banks, they began to think of resources they needed to best complement their Words Their Way spelling instruction. (You can check out some of the their short vowel word work packs in their TPT Store!)

short e word workSince July, Samantha and Lisa have been busy creating products. They feel so blessed to be on this amazing journey and are thankful for the wonderful teacher friends they are making along the way. The excitement of creating materials that meet their students needs has been the force that keeps them going.

 Samantha and Lisa are married and both have 3 children. Their oldest sons are in college at NCSU and Appalachian State, but they are still busy with their other teenagers who cheer and play football for their local high school. They enjoy being active in their churches, traveling, feeding the football team each Friday night and surfing the internet. They feel so blessed to be on this awesome journey and are thankful for the wonderful teacher friends they are making along the way.

These sisters are always looking for ways to make learning fun and hands-on. Check out their new Halloween-themed Boo games by clicking on the pictures below.

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Also, enjoy these flash freebies. Students will also LOVE these hands on CVC word wheels, and “Sight word Roll Say Keep” is a great addition to any literacy station.

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Roll, Say, Keep Game with Dolch Words

Be sure to follow these creative sisters on Instagram, Facebook, Teachers Pay Teachers, and Pinterest.

 

Please also try…

Halloween!Poetry Music The Bundle Poetry Music October Guided Reading Strategies Activities and Songs {Beanie Ba

  ***Link to Feature Teacher Tuesdays by clicking here!

 

 


Organize Your School Day With SONGS!

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As you prepare for the beginning of the school year, consider organizing your day–and your lesson plans–around music. Music brings joy to both students and teachers. Songs are amazing tools for organizing a classroom, and for managing a classroom, in a very positive way. In this post, I’m focusing on my CD, “Start the Day With a Smile.” You will see that with simple songs, your children will be motivated to sing, think, learn…and smile!

Organization Tip #1: Teach Children to Focus First Thing in the Morning

To start organizing your day, why not teach your children to “Start the Day With a Smile?” This song is a great way to get children to gather together on the floor and focus first thing in the morning. At the beginning of the year, teach the first couple verses to your children.

Say, “Repeat after me: ‘Start the day with a smile'” (“Start the day with a smile.”)
“And let it last awhile.” (“And let it last awhile.”)
“Have you heard the new style?” (“Have you heard the new style?”)
“Start the day with a smile.” (“Start the day with a smile.”)

Next, tell them that they will be repeating “Good morning” in four languages. Practice repeating so they are ready for the song.

Starting the day with a smile is a great tradition that can last through the entire year. Starting from Day 1 helps the class to bond as a happy, loving community.

Here’s a little song sample!

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Often, after singing this song, we gather in a community circle. On the first day (or on any day that a new student enters), we say our names and something about ourselves. On other days, we may say something we did last night, tell about our families, or do a math/language arts lesson.

Organization Tip #2: Set Rules & Expectations

You just got all your children to sit quietly and attentively on the floor, to join together in song, and to smile. They’ve introduced themselves…What’s next? How about discussing rules of the classroom? For younger children, I recommend focusing on 1-2 rules/day. I like to create student-generated rules and organize them based on “best practices.” While this CD includes an “I Can Follow Rules” song, I would skip to focusing on a simpler song first.

Please Listen Quietly” teaches children to “Put your hands on your head. Put your hands on your shoulders. Fold your hands in your lap,” Enya-style! These are simple instructions that will last throughout the year when trying to bring the young ones “back” to focusing!

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Organization Tip #3: Practice Lining Up

Standing quietly in line can be a challenge for little ones. “The Quietest Line” teaches children to stand in line as they learn to count forward and backwards to and from 10. Their brains are working, their fingers are moving, and standing up super-straight at the end becomes as fun as “The Quiet Game!”

Start by teaching the song, one section at a time, on the floor. Ask children to hold up their corresponding fingers as they count forward and backwards. Turn this song into a reading lesson when you connect it to words using a poster, a projector, or just printing it out. Use this song to introduce math lessons as well. You could gather in a circle, give children objects, and create lines with the objects. You could also choose ten children to stand in line and count them. Later in the year, use the “karaoke” version of this song to count starting with a number other than one, or to count by various numbers.

Here’s a sample page from the song book. Feel free to create a poster out of it, or photocopy it for your whole class. (Just scroll to the bottom of the Products page on this site to print this ENTIRE book and four more for FREE!!!)

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There is one important thing missing from these words. At the end, we all say, “Shhhhhh” and stand with our hands at our sides, facing forward. I highly recommend singing this song without the music as you are leaving the room, if the children start playing in line, or as a “filler” for those times that you’re waiting in line, e.g., for the library–but the librarian’s not ready yet!

Organization Tip #4: Wrap Up Your Day

At the end of the day, gather on the floor. I like to pass around a stuffed animal and ask students about their favorite parts of the day. Next, teach them the song, “End the Day With a Smile,” using the techniques I described above.

Note that my “Start the Day With a Smile” CD includes more songs about working out, friendship, eating healthy foods, washing hands, cleaning up, and more. Karaoke versions are a fun way to get children to read and sing independently. You can also use them when modifying words to meet your students’ needs.

I hope that music becomes an integral part of your school day. It has always brought joy for me as a teacher, and I believe it makes learning fun, memorable, and meaningful to students.

I’ve organized some of my songs by grade levels at Teachers Pay Teachers. You can SAVE if you buy bundles–Or click on individual products in descriptions to purchase music separately.

Please click here for the pre-K bundle.
Click here for the Kindergarten bundle.
Click here for the first grade bundle.

I’ve teamed with the “Sharing is Caring” blogging cooperative to share LOTS of ideas for organizing your classroom this year. Click below for more ideas from your teacher-blogger colleagues!


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ENJOY your school year!

Sincerely,

Jenny Kramer
“Miss Jenny”

 

TEAM: Together, Everyone Achieves More!

Hi All,

Today, I’m feeling really thankful for the times that I’ve TEAMed with others to achieve more. I’d like to share a few collaborations that led me to become a teacher, and to bring Edutunes to where it is today. I’ll start with a few pics and song samples of the “end” (where Edutunes is today) in case you’d like some entertainment as you read on!
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“Lips the Fish,” with Deanna Jump:

      Lips the Fish Edutunes Deanna Jump

“Apples, Apples,” with Deedee Wills:

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I started writing this blog with a feeling of pure gratitude. Then, I ended up realizing that my “areas of gratitude” could be categorized into ways to help kids, classrooms, and schools … While this blog ended up being “all about me,” I’d like to blog more in the future about all these categories:

-Getting families involved in children’s education: The “Home-School Connection”
-Developing friendships and collaboration in the classroom
-Attributes of great leaders/administrators
-Attributes of supportive colleagues
-Things I’ve learned from “coopetition” on Teachers Pay Teachers

1st Area of Gratitude: My Family

My original songs were all in collaboration with my family. We’ve been writing little raps about our dogs since I can remember. Sample: “I want a bone, and I want it now. If you won’t give it to me, bow wow wow!” I still remember my 5th grade poetry unit, and how they helped me to write “A Mouse in My Shoe…” Perhaps I will someday turn it into a song! They have given me so much support over the years, from helping with college, to buying my first computer. I am so thankful for my sister, Lisa, who helped to get me my first teaching job. She gives me amazing ideas and uses my materials everyday in her Kindergarten classroom. A little known fact…When Edutunes, teaching full-time, speaking around the country, and life became too much for me, my dad basically took over and kept Edutunes alive … And of course, Edutunes continues to thrive because of the support of my loving husband, Rob!

2nd Area of Gratitude: Friendships

Flash back to my education program at the University of Hawaii in 1996. My roommates, Mia and Andrea, were working together on our final project. True story–Theirs was SO good that I wondered if mine would get a passing grade in comparison! They asked me to be part of their group and gave me the job of painting a rainforest. I said, “I can’t paint a rainforest.” I painted most of a rainforest, and they each added an animal. It turned out amazing!!! I never would have painted a rainforest without them. I also may not have passed that class:) Thanks to both of you for your friendship, and to Mia for continuing to use songs with your Kinders everyday! (I will find that rainforest and post a pic asap!)

3rd and 4th Areas–Professional Relationships/Leadership and Collegiality

I believe that Edutunes would never have happened without an AMAZING principal and extremely supportive colleagues. I still remember the day that my principal, Dr. De La Vergne said, “You should do something with these.” This principal’s six words inspired me to produce them professionally. She encouraged me to do a study of teachers in the district. Eighty teachers gave me tremendous feedback that resulted in the songs I have today. There were SO MANY problems with my original ideas!!! In today’s increasingly negative education culture, I feel so thankful to have had such positive experiences.

While discussing colleagues, I want to mention the people who have really made Edutunes possible–Randy Renner, David Beldock, and Pierre Grill–My amazing producers.

5th Area of Gratitude: Teachers Pay Teachers “Coopetition

I feel so grateful to be part of Teachers Pay Teachers. I just went to their annual conference, where I learned the term “coopetition.” Teachers help each other as they make products, even as they compete. I have recently teamed with two TpTers, Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills. I blogged about using songs to teach about Deanna’s adorable “Guided Reading 101” characters below. As you may have read, we’ve collaborated to create Guided Reading Strategies Activities and Songs {Beanie Babies Guided Reading}. Click the link to see more about how Lips and Friends can help your students learn effective reading strategies.

While some people would keep business relationships to themselves, Deanna is an amazing person. She introduced me to Deedee Wills and recommended that I write songs to accompany her best-selling poetry units. We’re not even finished yet, and we’ve already been #6 on the TpT best-seller list!!! If you like “Apples, Apples,” please click here to find out more about our “growing bundle” of poetry-songs. (I’ll blog more about these soon!)

Where will Edutunes go from here? I became a teacher because I wanted to make a positive difference in the world. I feel like I’m doing that–in my classroom, and beyond–with my songs. I’m taking a sabbatical this year to study for a doctoral program in “Educational Design and Technology.” I hope to find ways to use technology to bring those songs that started out as an “Ode to the Dog,” out into the world!

I’d also like to be a positive “coopetitor:” I’d love to feature guest blogs from people like Deanna, Deedee, Mary Carr of “Carrberry Creations,” and Paula McClendon of “Dazzle on a Dime,” the ultra-positive Nikki Heiman from “Creative Inclusion,” and MANY MORE!

Please tell about collaboration in your life, in your classroom, in your school…Through your additional ideas, we can TEAM up to make a greater difference–and to achieve more–together!

Reading Strategies and Activities, by Deanna Jump & Edutunes

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Hi Friends,

I have teamed with Deanna Jump to create an exciting new product. I was originally inspired by her “Guided Reading 101” packet. This packet features seven characters that teach reading strategies. “Eagle Eye” teaches you to look at pictures for clues; “Lips the Fish” teaches you to form the sound of the first letter of a word with your mouth; “Chunky Monkey” teaches you to look for chunks (letter patterns) in words…& more!

My students and I LOVED the characters, so I wrote songs about them. Next, Deanna added 101 pages of new, AMAZING ideas. Our new product is titled “Reading Strategies Activities and Songs {Beanie Babies Guided Reading}”. Please click on the title for more information, and for a preview of the “Lips the Fish” song.

Here are a few strategies for using these materials in your classroom:

1. Just play the music. Songs transform the atmosphere of a classroom, and children love to sing!

2. For SHARED READING time, project the full-color version of songs, and ask a student to point as the class reads. You can also print out copies of songs so that all children can follow along independently.

3. Ask children, “What do you notice?” after a song plays. One child may summarize the reading strategy. Another may point to the chart and say, “I see the letter b!” If this is actually the letter “d,” this is a great time to complement the child for finding a letter, and then to teach the letter “d.” Another more advanced child may say, “I notice ‘sh’ makes the /sh/ sound in ‘fish.'” In this way, all children will learn from each other, and you will get a chance to better understand your students’ individual levels and needs.

4. For GUIDED READING time, focus on the strategies in songs to figure out words in the songs! (Note that these songs are intentionally a little unpredictable, because I want children to use them as reading tools. Their desire to sing along gives children the motivation to READ along as they sing.) Next, use the tools in the packet to connect songs to books.

5. You may also include the songs in a READING CENTER. Children can point to words on the lyrics sheets as they play the songs. Feel free to create packets, so that children can flip through all songs. Again, use additional tools from the packet to reinforce concepts.

6. Children may also choose to read songs during INDEPENDENT READING time.

7. For HOMEWORK, children can read songs, describe strategies, and then use the strategies while reading other books with their parents.

***Customers have made so many kind comments about the songs. Thanks so much … You made my day! Here are a few:

“My students love these! I’ve heard them singing these songs as they’re walking through the hall. Thank you!! Just what I needed to help make another connection for these students.”

“This is great! We were already using these strategies. I can’t wait to add in the songs! My students LOVE to sing!”

“Yeah!! This is just what I needed to go along with my reading strategies. Thanks so much!!”

“You forgot to tell customers how to make the children STOP singing these cute songs when we’re done. :-)”

“My son likes all songs. He ask me to sing every day. Fun and creative songs! Thank you very much!”

“I can’t wait to use these with my Kindergarteners! All of your products are so wonderful. Thank you for making such great products that my students love! Don’t stop making them.”

This new product also works perfectly with my Early Phonics, Phonics Time, and Advanced Phonics Programs, available from the Products Page of this site.

Thanks for your interest in our new product…Please feel free to comment below!

Sincerely,
Jenny Kramer

The School Year Is Ending!

End of the Year Writing Craftivities -  87 p. / Common Cor Are you ready  for some fun end-of-the-year activities? I’ve created eight crafts along with K-3 memory books to help your children document all the great times they’ve had in your class in my “End of the Year Extravaganza” packet. This product is currently on sale.

    

Summer FREEBIE: Task Cards & Good-Bye Poems for Students L

Who doesn’t love a FREEBIE? My new “Summer Slide” packet includes two end-of-the-year wishing-you-well poems, 60 summertime task cards, and much more! Enjoy, and please leave positive feedback if you like it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is coming soon. This can be a really happy time for many children–or a difficult time, if children do not have a mom at home. I’ve created a 50-page Mother’s Day packet to meet all those children’s needs. It includes blank writing prompts, as well as prompts for “mom,” “mommy,” “grandma,” and “mum.” It also contains the main “flowers-in-a-vase” craftivity, along with tons of other options…Purses, bears, candy, and more! This packet has been a best-seller on Teachers Pay Teachers for two years in a row. Please click on the image to learn more!

Mother's Day!
Here’s a sample of my NEW Mother’s Day song. Use the lyric sheet as a starting point for creating student-generated versions…For grandma, for dad, for siblings, and more!
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Please follow this link to get the full version!

Magic E Freebie to Celebrate 1,000,000 Hits on YouTube!!!

I can’t believe this! I officially have over 1,000,000 hits on my YouTube channel!!! The strange thing is, almost every video was a song sample!

YouTube is a great venue, I’ve decided. I can make a difference in children’s lives, and they get the benefits of my hard work for FREE! At the same time, I can “monetize” the videos and make a little money for myself.

To celebrate, I’ll be giving away TONS of freebies! Here’s the first: My “Magic E” video!

“A Beautiful Oops” – A Favorite Book for Helping Kids to LOVE Making Mistakes!

Something sad happened in my classroom today. It’s happened before, so luckily … I knew what to do about it.

I was creating artwork with the children. We were doing a line study. We talked about horizontal lines, vertical lines, curved lines, and lines that curve into each other to act like playful roller coasters. We talked about different basic media–Crayons, colored pencils, markers, and paints. We shared ways our abstract art looked like something different to everyone who saw it.

Everything seemed to be going well…Until a child started crying. She didn’t like her artwork. She started hitting herself and calling herself names. I said to her (Let’s call her Ann), “Nobody hits my friend Ann…Nobody…And nobody is allowed to call my friend Ann mean names…Nobody!”

This seemed to change her mindset a little. But she was still sad.A Beautiful Oops book review via Crafting ConnectionsThen, I pulled out one of my favorite books. It’s great for grades K-6 … It’s called “A Beautiful Oops,” by Barney Saltzberg. On each page, the author features a mistake. On the following page, he turns it into something beautiful. Ripped paper becomes an alligator. A hot cocoa stain transforms into a frog. I love the words…”A smudge or a smear” … (Turn the page to see amazing art) … “Can make magic appear.”

The whole class appreciated their artwork a little more. Each child was more motivated to take risks. Thanks, so much, Ann, for your “Beautiful Oops.” Because you shared your feelings with us, I thought to read this book … And the whole class made better, more inspired artwork!