Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bring In The New Year with All Of Us!

Come on over to The Primary Chalkboard and check out all of our stores that are on sale!

Click the above image to go to The Primary Chalkboard Blog

Also, come join us over at "Lucky to be in First" by clicking below!

If you want to go straight to my TPT store click on the link below!

Have fun shopping!

Monday, December 29, 2014

One Word Resolutions Linky

As the year comes to an end, it's always fun to think about how things might be different looking ahead to 2015.  It's a new start for becoming a better ME.    But honestly, I am not good at making or keeping resolutions! 

I'm linking up with the Supergirls over at Primary Powers for a fun linky - and a resolution I can hopefully keep! 

click the image above to join the linky

Health is my "one word" resolution for the new year.  I keep telling myself I am going to use My Fitness Pal every single day and I don't.  I keep telling myself I am going to get on that new recumbent bike and rehab my knee totally.  This year I am moving towards a healthier and happier ME!  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Are You Ready For The TPT Sale???

created by Whimsy Clips

I hope you have your "wish" list ready to go!  To go to my TpT store please click on the picture below:

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Creating a Scrolling Product Preview" For My TpT/Bloggy Buds!

Recently I found a few pins on Pinterest and looked at them and they were scrolling pins!  WHAT???  I know, that's what I said too when I saw it.  "I HAVE to know HOW to do this."  Well, I struggled with it for the evening and finally figured it out.  

I promised some wonderful Facebook friends (you know who you are) that I would make a tutorial on how I did it, so here we go:

When I create my TpT products in Powerpoint I always save it as a jpeg file in case I ever need the images for anything.  

Step One: So that is the first step is to make sure you have saved your powerpoint as a jpeg and it will save into its own separate folder (on a mac). Please make sure that you protect your work and put word art on your images that say "Preview", or "Sample".  When your preview is downloaded by a potential buyer they are getting images they CAN use if you don't protect your work!!!

Here is a link to my TpT store to download a free copyright watermark image to protect your products.

Step Two: Once you have the images you can now go to this website and upload them.  Here is an image from the website so just click on it and it will take you to "Make a Gif" website.

Step Three: Click on "add pictures".  I only uploaded 4 images the first time but I have done up to 10.  I am not sure if there is a limit or not on uploads. Here is what it looks like after you upload the images:

Step Four: As you can see, it lets you select the order you want to put the pictures in.  Click "continue" and this is what you will see next.

Step Five: Click on "Animation Speed" and change it to "custom set delay" at the bottom of the drop down menu.  I used 2000 since the listings they have are too fast.  It is listed in milliseconds so it needs to be slowed down quite a bit.  You will have to select the "Rating" before you can move on.

As you can see there are other options available to you; resize images, choose a category, gif details, and the last one is where you choose the rating. I recommend giving the gif a name in the "gif details" box.

Step Six: Click on "create your gif" and it goes to a new page and displays what you have uploaded so that you can see the speed and preview.

Click on "download" and you have created your gif.  As you can see I did name mine to keep in case I want it later.  It is also easier to find on your computer.  I use a Mac so it goes to my "downloads" folder.

Step Seven: I located the download and placed it on my desktop because I find that easier.  I went to TpT and uploaded the gif as my preview file and it loads pretty quick.  Now when you click on "preview" on TpT you have a scrolling preview!  

There is a catch to all this wonderful insanity!  I tried to "pin" the product with the animated preview to Pinterest.  Pinterest would not let me upload the pin and gave me an error message that said "oops, this is not a valid image."  It is a valid image but since it is an animated .gif it won't accept it.


Instead of adding it from the web I added it from my computer to Pinterest.  (that little plus sign at the bottom right when you are on your Pinterest page) Select the .gif, add your description, then create it.  After you have created it you will need to edit the pin to add a link to your product.

Okay, I don't think I have left out any steps but if I did please let me know so I can correct it here for future visitors!  The website did change from the first tutorial and I had to go back and change the pictures.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Am I Going to Holland Instead of Italy?

In all my years of teaching special needs preschool I held many mothers in my arms and in my heart.  I understood their pain and I walked with them through their journey.  I have been blessed to see some of these children grow up to be remarkable adults.  “I Give Tours of Holland” was a sign that once hung in my classroom and I was often asked: “What does that sign mean?“  I can't explain it better then what is written below:

Many years ago Emily Perl Kingsley wrote to the "Dear Abby" newspaper column to try and explain the experience of being the parent of a special needs child. This is what she wrote:

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel, it's like this...

"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland".

"Holland!" you say, "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The most important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there a while, and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."


Saturday, November 15, 2014


Welcome to the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link-Up!  This one is a special one! Over the past ten months we have shared lots of great ideas through our monthly Bright Ideas event.  This month we are re-capping all of those great ideas, just in case you missed one!  Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the past several months.

 Bright Idea Number One

This is where I tried my skills at personalizing a toolbox from Amazon.  Click the button above to view this post!

Book Sale Finder

If you want inexpensive books in your classroom, then you need to click on the button to find out how!

 Classroom Organization Tips

Interested in some quick classroom organization ideas?  Click above and find some ideas that may surprise you!

 Classhubz for Teachers

Interested in sharing pictures, messages and events with parents? Click above to find out how to use Classhubz!


Interested in a way to organize, assess, and track your student's progress? Click above to get more information using Blendspace!

 Cram Website

Interested in a website with more then 50 million flashcards?  It also has text-to-speech function.  Click above to get more information on how to use Cram!

I hope you have enjoyed these bright ideas, and that you have found an idea that you can use in your own classroom.  Be sure to check out the link-up below for tons more bright ideas from my friends!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Journey Through a Knee Replacement Update

Update on my NEW knee!

My surgery time was changed because the insurance company approved using the navigational laser at the last minute. So glad they did because I know it helped out my wonderful surgeon! The hardest part at the hospital was when they did the spinal block so that I wouldn't feel anything from my waist down.  My sons were waiting to be able to see me and never got to. That also was the longest part of my being in the recovery room. I couldn't feel anything and it is so weird when your brain is telling a part of your body to move and it doesn't move. I was in recovery for many hours waiting on the block to go away so they could put me in a room. The physical therapist came in the next day and I walked down the hall about 50% of the way and was rolled down the rest.  I walked into the PT room and saw the steps. YIKES!  The good news is that I did 20 steps. I have 14 at my house that I had to climb and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. What I learned is that you do not get rest in a hospital. I had someone coming into my room like every 30 minutes or every hour.  I couldn't get any sleep. Before I left I had to sit and wait on the walker and 3 in 1 commode to be delivered to my room.  The journey home was wonderful and just knowing that my bed was waiting on me to get some sleep. I slept most of the night and only woke up take pain medicines.  This morning when I woke up I realized that what I normally do was quickly going to be rearranged.  Now I just need to sit and read the mounds of paperwork to see what my life is going to become during the day time besides using my CPM machine. My son just brought me some watermelon and I can't tell you how yummy it is! Got to run and eat this yummy stuff and take some pain medications.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Journey Through a Knee Replacement!!!

I haven't written a post in quite a few weeks and there is a good reason why.  I have been consumed with getting my classroom ready for school. I have also been busy visiting the cardiologist, primary care physician, and dentist to get clearance for my total knee replacement.  I have suffered with this knee for over two years now and I didn't realize how much this knee pain was impacting my social and emotional health.  As I think back on last Christmas I remember my granddaughter asking me to come into her room to play with her dolls.  I couldn't get over the safety gate that was in her door and it wasn't one you could just open and go through.  It impacts me more today then it did then, or at least it feels that way.  It has been such a slow reduction in my quality of life and I had given up all social events or challenges.  Hey, if the Dollar Tree is a challenge then you know you are in trouble, right?  

Okay, so tomorrow I am having my bad knee removed (may it rest in peace) and having my new, good knee put in.  I am hoping and praying that all goes well.  This may sound strange, but I am so glad that this is happening tomorrow.  It is such a relief at this point because I have been in so much pain.  I didn't talk about how much pain I was in at school but it you watched me getting up, walking or sitting down, you knew.  I know this isn't teacher/education related but teachers are real people too and this is REAL! 

A lot of preparation has gone into this since July and I am ready.  My continuous passive motion machine (CPM) was delivered today and set up to meet my needs.  I got to try it on for size to see how it would feel once I get home.  If you don't know what a CPM is just google it or look it up on YouTube and there are plenty of videos to watch.  So tomorrow is "day one" of my journey to healing and I am looking forward to blogging about so that I can help others that may be going through the same thing.  The tough part was leaving my classroom of 21 first graders behind for a few months while I go through rehabilitation.  My prayers were answered and the teacher that I was hoping could do the job is doing it and I am at peace!  I am closing with a scripture that I have clung to for years: Psalm 56:3 "what time I am afraid, I will trust in thee".                 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back To School Curriculum Blowout Sale!

I am so excited to announce that is bringing back their HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From August 13 - 15, they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year!
Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

Preschool - Kinder Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 72% OFF


Kindergarten Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 75% OFF


K-2 The Write Stuff ELA Bundle - 68% OFF


First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) - 74% OFF


Poetry Curriculum & Activities Bundle (Grades 2-6) - 75% OFF


Tricky Math Curriculum Bundle (Grades 3-5) - 69% OFF


Complete Full-Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 6-8) - 77% OFF6-8

Management, Decor & Organization Bundle - 76% OFF


Don't Miss It!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale with TpT!!!

                This is the *BIGGEST* sale of the year!!

Stock up on all the teaching resources and lesson plans that you need for the whole year! 

Don't forget to enter the promo code BTS14 when you make your purchases!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Firstie Friends Giveaway!!!

Hello friends! 

Are you ready for a HUGE giveaway? 

I have gathered together with some AMAZING teacher bloggers and we have put together a fantastic set of prizes for you. We have 42 bloggers participating, so we are giving away a prize pack of 14 products each to 3 winners! :) 

You can enter on the Firstie Friends Facebook Page, and you can earn a LOT of entries. Go to the tabs under the header picture and click the tab that says "Giveaway". The giveaway will end on Monday, August 4th at 8pm CST. 

At the bottom of this post you will also find links to ALL of my Firstie Friends' stores! :)


Thank you so much for reading! Good luck in the giveaway!