Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A new Givaway at the DIY dish

Do you like fabric? I LOVE fabric, some, my husband for example, may say that I am a bit obsessed with fabric. I can't really disagree. I have an extremely large fabric collection. My only saving grace is that I usually use as much fabric as I buy so that it isn't a growing collection, only an ever changing one.

Anyway, the DIY dish is giving away a $100 gift certificate from fabric.com. I really like fabric.com. They often have a great selection in their $1.95 a yard fabric and then there are always coupon codes so the price decreases and I have had excellent customer service with my past few orders. If you like fabric I recommend checking them out, and check out the DIY dish to enter the giveaway. Oh, they are sharing a FREE picnic quilt pattern this week too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Addition to Previous Post

Ok, after additional reading I am NOT going with Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons. Apparently it is boring and can be hard to transition to regular print since they use special symbols with certain sounds. Instead I want to share a fun, FREE site that I used while I was teaching in special ed., Starfall. I actually taught children to read using this website and their books. They have really developed their program since then. I've let Jovi play on it occasionally and she liked it, but when I started her she didn't have the patience to go through each lesson. Anyway, being on the computer is really motivating for kids and Starfall does a good job introducing sounds, but you'll probably have to sit next to a younger kid to make sure they go through the lesson appropriately instead of just playing. I am thinking about getting their teaching guides and using it as my reading curriculum. We will see. It's a great site no matter what I choose though.

Preschool websites to share

Starting in August I will be teaching two preschool classes. One for Pre-K and one as a mixed 2s and 3s class (if, by chance you live in Frisco I still have openings). They will have totally different curriculums. The 2s and 3s is pretty easy, it is an alphabet based curriculum, the same one I used with Jovi. The Pre-K curriculum though will be totally different and I'm writing it myself. It will have monthly themes with regular school subjects being covered daily.

Anyway, I've been doing lots of research and thought I'd share some of the amazing websites I've found. There are two blogs that have just blown me away with their generosity. This lady (i believe her name is Carisa) has put together a bunch of awesome resources. If you go into her tot books and packs she has all sorts of printable, themed activities that you can make into super awesome folder lessons (a step up from folder games). I've already printed out a bunch and will post pictures once I put them together. Her tot trays has a bunch of great ideas, especially for multi age or medium sized groups. You can focus each child on specific skills you want them to work on. The rest of her website has lots of good information too.

The next site I want to share, I found through the first site. This lady is a homeschooler and makes me want to homeschool with how organized and FUN she makes it sound. She finds and lists the coolest lesson resources and posts downloadable, printable items that she makes for lessons. She created her own alphabet curriculum and I'm thinking about buying it (it's only $10) to supplement what I currently have. The large percentage of what she has on her site is FREE, it's just if you want everything, all in one download that it costs money.

I want to warn you about the next thing I want to share, it costs money, a lot of money. It is meant for school use where no one thinks much of dropping several hundred dollars on a good curriculum. This curriculum is called TouchMath. The first time I was introduced to it was when I was an elementary school special ed. teacher. My mom also used it in her special ed. class. The teacher I took over for so she could move to a fourth grade class had used it for years and taught it to her fourth graders. Six years after I learned it so I could teach it, I still remember and use my touch points when adding and subtracting (before that I was a closet finger counter). Anyway, I cannot speak highly enough about this system. It makes math tactile without manipulatives and allows kids to see what is happening without a numberline. I just bought the preK program off of ebay. The company will send you a FREE training DVD and manual so you know how to teach using the system and they give you some FREE items with it. Anyway, I ordered the DVD and if I have 5 more people watch it with me they get all the free stuff along with it plus two more items they sale on their site. If you are interested let me know (if enough people from Justin are interested, I'd come up there to watch it). You can make your own worksheets and items once you know the system so you don't HAVE to buy their stuff, it just makes things easier.

And the last item I want to share is the one I know the least about. If you know anything about this book, I'd love to hear. I am thinking about using Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons as the basis of my PreK reading program. It is phonetically based and made for one on one use, but I hope to adapt it to a group. I've looked at it online and skimmed through it in a bookstore. I hoped my library would have it so I could make sure it was what I was looking for before I bought, but no such luck. I'm ordering it from amazon and will make a final decision about using it after I read through it.

I hope you found something useful in what I posted. :)