28 Aug 2014

Freebies for Back to School

It's Back-To-School on Tuesday for most Canadians!

Sidney, from Teaching is a Gift, has compiled this fabulous eBook.

Click to grab your FREE copy!

But don't let the word "Canadian" fool you. This 47-page gem has TONS of tips and freebies for every teacher, Canadian or not.

Here's what my page looks like (you can click the image links to grab my freebie or visit my store):

Grade ONEderful Back To School page Seasonal Panda Clipart Short Vowel Charts on TpT

Every single page offers one teaching tip, one freebie and one product (to purchase)! And there are goodies in here from Kindergarten right up to secondary school.

How awesome is that?

I hope you click on the eBook image and check it out for yourself.

Thanks, Sidney, for all your hard work!

Teaching is a Gift

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27 Aug 2014

Leaving a Linked Comment

I have a bunch of tutorials on my other blog, Ruby Slippers Blog Designs. They're no longer available since I converted that blog to a web format.

A friend emailed me tonight and asked how they could add a signature link when commenting on other blogs.  That's when I realized I need to move my tutorials over to this blog.  So here's the first one:


If you like to leave comments on other blogs, it's nice to have a direct link to your own blog underneath your signature.

These are the ones I often sign off with:

And here's my code:

<i><b><a href="http://gradeonederful.com/">Grade ONEderful</a></b></i>
<i><b><a href="http://rubyslippersblogdesigns.blogspot.com/">Ruby Slippers Blog Designs</a></b></i>

YOUR code will be:

<i><b><a href="YOUR BLOG URL">NAME of YOUR BLOG</a></b></i>

I learned how to do this from Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files. I LOVE that gal! She's the best :)

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26 Aug 2014

"What's Under Your Cape" book review!

I just had the pleasure of reading this fabulous book by Barbara Gruener.

In case you don't already know, Barbara is also the author of the blog The Corner on Character. She's a counselor and character-coach at a school in Texas.

And happily for all of us, she shares years worth of counselling wisdom in her fabulous new book (BTW, Barbara didn't ask me to write this ... in fact, she doesn't even know I'm doing this:))

What's Under Your Cape is a quick read, but is PACKED full of excellent suggestions, quotes, little songs and book recommendations.

Her book is divided into 11 chapters with each chapter titled after the letters in "Superheroes". She writes about service, unconditional love, perseverance, empathy, respect, honesty, enthusiasm, responsibility, obedience, encouragement and self-discipline.

There are so many great ideas in this little book that it's hard for me to pick a favourite. BUT here are a couple of ideas I'm definitely going to use this up-coming year.

1.  In Chapter 1, S is for Service, Barbara talks about a number of very worthy service projects, but the one that struck a chord with me is her Pet Project.  I'm a bit animal crazy, as are most 6-year-olds, so we're going to be starting our year learning about pets (in an inquiry-type format) with a visit to the SPCA and hopefully a visit from the owner of our local cocker spaniel rescue society.

2.  Barbara discusses having a Joy Journal. I love that idea! I think I'll combine it with responses to quotes. Her book has a ton of character-strengthening quotes that I want to read/discuss with the kids on a regular basis, so I think combining the two ideas in one journal will be perfect.

The other thing I really appreciate is all the book recommendations, many of which come with suggested activities. I'm not familiar with all the books, but I know that lots of them are perfectly suitable for Grade 1 students. Barbara has recommended books to me in the past and I have loved EVERY SINGLE one of them, so I know that these books will be well worth tracking down. 

If you don't already own this book, please stop by Barbara's blog and check it out. 

Thanks for stopping by!


The Corner on Character

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21 Aug 2014

Changes & Priorities

Butterfly Changes Poster

Hi Everyone!

As you can see, I've decided not to wait until September after all.  I've had a great summer break and it's time to blog again.

I'm going through some growing pangs, though. At least that's how I'm choosing to think about it.

If you've been following for a while then you know I have two other blogs: my class blog and my design blog, as well as two facebook fan pages. For a long time now I've been feeling overworked and stressed out by all the blogging and social media demands I've placed on myself.

Changes were/are in order. I need to prioritize and streamline so my life can feel sane again.

So here's what I've done:

1. Changed Ruby Slippers Blog Designs to a web page format. I won't be posting there anymore. BUT I'm still designing custom blogs (hint hint) and will keep my portfolio page up-to-date.

2. I'll be closing down my Ruby Slippers fan page and using my Grade ONEderful fan page only.

3. You'll notice that I'll occasionally promote my design business on this blog (like today:)) but the majority of the promotions will be on my Grade ONEderful fan page where I'll have giveaways and flash freebies and such.

I don't think you'll notice TOO much difference here at Grade ONEderful.  My favourite posts to do are book reviews and sharing our classroom art, so that will continue. But I just wanted to give you a heads-up.

4. The reason I initially started a teacher blog was to share what I'm doing and thinking about in my classroom. I don't think I've strayed too far from that (for too long), but to help me get solidly back on track I'm going to try and end each post with a little shout-out to another blogger. 

Before I do that, though, I want you to know that I'm giving away my newest Halloween papers on my fb page. Be sure to check that out if you need some (you can see them in my sidebar). I'll announce a couple of winners tomorrow morning.

ALSO, if you like the changes graphic I made, please let me know. I was thinking of making it 8 1/2 by 11 in print quality. If there's any interest then I'll go ahead and do that.


Sandi has one of the best blogs in town. She shares the most fabulously down-to-earth child-friendly kindergarten activities and books I've ever seen. Please check her out!

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20 Aug 2014

My Ice Bucket Video

My summer break isn't over yet ~ YAY! ~ but I thought I'd share my ALS awareness video.
Enjoy and see you again in a couple of weeks:)

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7 Jul 2014

Happy Summer!

Hi Everyone!

I'm taking a summer break from Grade ONEderful. 

My plan is to return in September (when school starts up again) and post a weekly book review with related activities.  I already have a LOT of those and they're my favourite posts to do:)

You can still find me at Ruby Slippers where I'll be working away at new blog designs and clipart.  I'm now booking blog designs for August!

Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

Have a fabulous summer!

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27 Jun 2014

Digital Books GIVEAWAY!

Hi Everyone!

It's been a little while :)  That's what happens when all the districts in our province go on strike. It's been two weeks now ... and it kind of dampens your enthusiasm for, umm, school-related activities!

But never mind that, it WILL all get sorted out in good time:)

The real reason I'm here today is because I'm very excited to introduce a fabulous new app chock-full of digital books for your kids.

Here's the company description:

Before I go any further ....

Disclosure: Zach, from FarFaria, contacted me awhile ago and asked if I'd like to review FarFaria in exchange for a 6-month subscription. Well, yeah! Of course I want to do that. And I'm VERY happy I did!

'Cause this a beautiful app (which also happened to win a Best Apple Mobile Award) and I can hardly wait to use it in my class in September (yes, the strike WILL be over by then, right??).

When you fire it up you come to this fetching page called "See The World".  It's here that you make your book choices.

You can choose from Animal Kingdom, Adventure Island, BedTime Bluffs, GoodLand, Looney Lagoon, Preschool Playground, Fairy Tale Falls, Classics Grove, Genius Jungle, Sing-Along City and Mt. Make Believe.

Here's a selection of books to peek at:

The books range from primer to level 4, which seems to be about a J or L level.

You have the choice of listening to the book or reading it yourself. I really like this option. Once you've read the story to your child or student they can listen to it over and over until they're ready to try it on their own.

You can "favourite" books, too. This is especially cool because the personal library you build up can be accessed off-line.

I think my favourite area, though,  is Sing Along City. There are tons of cute stories set to song. I can see using these with my pre-school aged grandchild as well as my early Grade 1 students.

You can visit their site at FarFaria.com. You have the option of grabbing the free version, where you can read one book a day OR unlimited access for $3.99 a month. From what I've seen so far it's totally worth it!

Okay, time for the good stuff. Zach has offered a membership GIVEAWAY!

Thanks for stopping by:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 Jun 2014

Super Dad Freebie!

I have some Father's Day freebies for you. And I'm actually posting these in good time because I thought Father's Day was THIS weekend. I had my kids madly making their books yesterday, then got home and realized I was a week early. Silly me ~ lucky you!

Click the image above to grab this package.

You'll get the version below, plus the same one for Grandpas.

The pages are purposely plain because I like it best when the kids do all the decorating themselves. Here are a few samples with an older template I had:

I also found this card from an old issue of Mailbox Magazine. We're going to make this next week to go along with our Super Dad booklets!

Click the image to grab.

Thanks for stopping in!

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3 Jun 2014

Currently in June

So happy to join this month's Currently with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade!

1.  This run was especially sweet 'cause two days ago I ran a HOT HILLY 10k race and yet today's run was relatively easy with no lingering aches and pains. Yay!

2.  Okay, I know this one is kind of braggy 'cause I designed my new look myself, but I absolutely LOVE my new colours. Do you recognize the colour palette? It's from David's Tea.

This amazing tea store has been in town for awhile but I only just went there a couple of weeks ago. Colours aside, I'm LOVIN' their teas.

If you've been following my blog for a while then you know that I've had a tree in my header forever. I loved that tree and got lots of positive comments on it. But I've had this blog for about three years, and I just needed to do something different.

Shameless plug now: If YOU need a change then come visit me at Ruby Slippers. I have a June opening left and next to teaching, designing blogs is my favourite thing to do!

3.  I just purchased the coolest little Gratitude app for my iPad. The last thing I do at night, and the first thing I do in the morning, is check my emails etc. so this is perfect. Nothing better than starting your day with a little gratitude.

4.  BC teachers are in the middle of contract negotiations and it's not going well. We're in phase 2 of our job action (rotating strikes) but at the same time the government has "locked us out". We're not allowed to work with students or even be in our classrooms at recess and lunch!!  It's crazy, stressful and just not fun. But we'll fight the good fight and keep our fingers crossed for some compromise and a quick settlement.

5.  Summer holidays ... this one speaks for itself:)

6.  We're in the middle of a big kitchen reno (a complete gut). It's going to be finished at the end of June so I'm really looking forward to having lots of friends over for dinner.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Farley's blog for some more Currently's!

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