Tag - teachers

Quick and Easy Holiday Teacher Gifts {Guest Post}

Cheap Holiday Gifts

If you haven’t met Stacy, she’s kinda crafty, which explains her blog She’s {kinda} Crafty. I met Stacy at Bloggy Boot Camp Atlanta and found out that she also lives in Charlotte – just like me, has two girls – also like me, and is crafty – {like I wish I was}.

Thus the reason I asked Stacy if I could feature one of her posts on MommyB Knows Best. I love crafting, Etsy, and all things creative, however I even though I think I can be semi-crafty I just don’t have time for it. Boo!! But I can live vicariously through others right?? Are you the same way or are you really, truly crafty?

For some kiddos, this is the last week/half-week of school so if you’re looking for easy, last-minute gifts for the amazing people who care for and teach your children I love this Peppermint Hot Cocoa craft/recipe:

I saw this cute recipe online at My Recipes and thought, why not! I bought the jars at Hobby Lobby while they were half off (so $1.25 each), the powdered milk ($10), sugar ($?? I can’t remember but it wasn’t much, just a 4 lb bag), 3 containers of unsweetened cocoa powder ($2.50 each), 2 bags of mini choc chips ($2 each) and 1 bag of brach’s peppermint candies ($2.29) so around $35 for 8 gifts (plus tags and ribbon). I think they came out adorable but it was a little touch and go in the beginning. I found that using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop was the easiest way not to get powdered milk, cocoa, and sugar ALL over my counters. I first tried using a funnel but that was a colossal fail!

Cheap Holiday Gifts

Once they were all assembled I added a little square of fabric I cut out using my pinking shears under the cap (I used Ball Jars) along with some ribbon and a tag I made for the gifts that include the directions on the back. In case you are looking for a last minute teacher or neighbor or family gift I have included the tags below, you can right click on them, save them, and print them. I cut them out using my paper trimmer, glued the 2 sides together, and used a hole punch so I could attached them with the ribbon.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Tag Front

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Tag Back

For more info on this post, and to check out Stacy’s blog head over to http://www.sheskindacrafty.com and check her out on Facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/sheskindacrafty

Also here are a few other crafts that may fit your holiday needs:

From CheckItOutDawn: Teacher’s Gift Box and Acrylic Frame Notepad Set

From Blessings Multiplied: Christmas S’mores in a Jar

What did you give your child(ren)’s teacher for Christmas? Did you make anything special this year, feel free to leave a link or instructions in the comment section!

Back to School – 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading

Are you in Back to School mode? Miss A has already started 2nd grade and Lil’ C is getting ready to start Pre-K for the first time this week. Though we encourage our girls to read with us and read independently throughout the Summer we often find that schools recommend or require a form of reading throughout the school year, which, being a book-worm, I love. We recently received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples to work on Summer reading lists to challenge our kiddos and keep their brains going through the Summer. We also realized it’s coming in handy for the school year for Independent Reading.

Here are 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire for Independent Reading:

10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading on MommyB

 

1. Set a time limit for reading/use. While I don’t ever want to stop Miss A from reading, sometimes it’s necessary to move on to our next task or work on another piece of school work. The Kindle Fire allows us to create profiles for each child and set time limits with Kindle FreeTime.

2. Technology encourages reading. While we have our own library and occasionally check physical books out from our local library, often times our girls want “screen-time” aka to play on technology. We have noticed that even though books are often the same on the Kindle Fire, the novelty of having the book in electronic version makes it more appealing, and however we can get our girls excited about reading we’ll take.

3. Easy access to books. Another great thing about the Kindle Fire are no last minute trips to the library and books are never out of stock like bookstores or libraries. We love heading to storytime and the bookstore, but we also enjoy the Kindle Fire’s easy access to a variety of books.

4. Features to personalize their reading experience. Kindle Fire HD offers your child adjustable fonts, line spacing, text-to-speech, built-in reference and dictionary. Students can also add their own notes, highlights, and bookmarks that they can access from their Kindle or any device with the free Kindle app, personalizing their reading experience and making an even more enjoyable experience.

5. Reading incentives made easy. Recently, we decided that we would offer Miss A even more incentives to read {aside from her school work} and give her the opportunity to earn screen-time through reading. The Kindle Fire is an easy way for her to transition from her reading time to her screen-time and has a number of free and paid apps including educational games and fun apps alike.

Miss A Independent Reading with Kindle Fire HD MommyB

 

6. No returns necessary. Have you ever forgotten to return a book by the due date? Kindle Fire allows you to skip the process of returning a book even when you’re just e-borrowing a book.

7. Teach new vocabulary. With some books Kindle Fire can read content with their Text-to-Speech feature. This feature isn’t meant to replace reading for your children, however in some cases it can help your child learn how to pronounce words and read along with books that are above their reading skill.

8. Find a good fit. Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that fits both Miss A’s reading level AND maturity. If you’ve ever been in the same situation you’ll understand that having the option of choosing a new book immediately is a huge relief. I love that Kindle Fire allows us to make that change without having to research, go to the library or store and get a new book, it’s an easy swap.

9. Read on-the-go. Of course you can take a book with you wherever you go, but Kindle Fire HD allows you to take up to 6,000 books* with you, that’s a lot of choices and a lighter load than a bag of books.

10. Shared classroom content. Kindle now allows classrooms/schools to share content using Whispercast. Whispercast allows schools to centrally manage Kindles, provide internet access, control settings, and meet the unique needs of students.

Do your children use Kindle Fire HD for Independent Reading? What are your favorite benefits?

Check out the Kindle Fire HD at Staples.com for more specs and details, protection plans, financing, free ship-to-store, and if you’re not a member already, check out their Rewards Member program for possible discounts. Also

College students – Save up to 80% when you rent and up to 50% when you buy Kindle eTextbooks.

*Kindle Fire HD can hold up to 6,000 books alone or less when you add apps, music, or movies. Wi-fi is needed to upload new books to your Kindle Fire HD.

 

I received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples in order to test out and review the product. I did not receive compensation and any and all opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

What is a University Model® School?

Disclaimer – I do not work for Naums nor have we started schooling at Naums, all information is from the Naums website or information shared from people who have been schooling and my general but limited knowledge of the University Model® school setting.

Lately I’ve had quite a few people ask me what school Miss A will be attending in the Fall and to explain more about how her school works.

Let’s rewind to school last year when Miss A was attending 5-day, traditional private school. DaddyB and I felt that, for a lot of reasons, the school Miss A was attending and a traditional 5-day school weren’t a great fit for Miss A so with the fact that we were open to moving (since we sold our home and re-rented it back ((a story for another day)), that we could really explore all schooling options.

The public school for our neighborhood at that time was not an option for several undesirable reasons, but we looked into other private schools in different areas and counties, did our research on charters and after reviewing all of our options we decided, through much prayer and thought, that the University Model® school seemed to be the best fit for Miss A and our family.

 

What is a University Model® School Answers and information on MommyBKnowsBest

 

What is a University-Model® school?

The University-Model® school (UMS) model is an option for education that is not the traditional 5-day setting. According to NAUMS (National Association of University Model Schools) “the UMS model of education takes the best attributes of home schooling and combines them with the best attributes of traditional, Christian education.” For our family we felt like it would be the best of both worlds, we would have more time to spend with Miss A (and Lil C once she starts Kindergarten), and give more hands-on learning, while focusing on a university style program.

The program at the school we chose (which keep in mind each University-Model® school has the same foundational roots, but can be very different), is strongly grounded in faith and both character and academically driven.

Our school is a private school, not a co-op for homeschoolers or a public/charter school. I believe this is similar to most University-Model® schools, but am not 100% sure if this includes all of the schools.

“The ultimate goal is that of producing wholesome, competent men and women of character who make a positive difference for Christ in the next generation.” Naums.net

 

How is University-Model® school different from traditional public, charter, magnet, or private schooling?

This school system is unique in that it is not a 5-day program. This model gives students a portion of professional full day classroom instruction and a portion of home study days with curriculum provided by the classroom teacher.

For our specific school Miss A will have 3 classroom instruction days and 2 days of home study. For our family it was amazing to think that we will have more days with Miss A than she will be in school (counting weekends Miss A will have 4 days at home and 3 days in school). Curriculum is based on several factors and highly supported with communication between teacher and parent.

Some things we loved specifically about this school and the University Model® are that they are founded on faith, character and academically driven, in our program subjects can be integrated, the school Miss A will be attending has an amazing support system for both mother and father.

Here are a few quotes from parents who have been using the University Model® with their children about what UMS is:

My short short explanation that usually is followed by a conversation is “picture university/college. You don’t go into class every day, but you have work to do every day. My kids go into class three days a week with their professional teacher and then we do work assigned by that teacher at home two days a week: projects, reports, review work, etc…” A Mom Who Tried Homeschooling for a Year and Realized it Wasn’t a Good Fit for Her Family

A combination of professional classroom time with two – 3 days at home using school developed lesson plans. Family and Christianity are also a common tie for all UMS’s.” Susan S.

 

What is a University Model® School Answer on MommyBKnowsBest

 

The biggest reason we chose a University-Model® school

While academics are important to our family we felt that we could have more time with our children and play an even larger role, while cultivating their relationship with God and enriching their character. To us, having healthy and happy children who have the tools to happy and healthy adulthood, were invaluable.

If you are interested in learning more about NAUMS and University-Model® schools please feel free to reach out to me via my contact form or head to NAUMS website Naums.net for more information.

 

Please keep in mind we have not started University-Model® school as of this post publish date and that each school within the model are very different and others may have different opinions or experiences. The above message is to both educate on the University-Model® school and give you one mom’s opinion.  I will update any information in this post as it comes available to me.

 

Sweet End of School Classmate Gift Idea {Craft}

Placemats

Miss A celebrated her last day of school yesterday. Her school put on a great Pre-K (and 3’s) performance and it was awesome. I only teared up a little. Mostly when the teachers were talking about all the amazing students.

We too were super thankful for all of Miss A’s classmates, and wanted to give them a special, “End of School” gift to let them know how much we love them. I knew I wanted something personalized so I went to our favorite kids gift site Frecklebox.com and decided on their place mats. I did a post reviewing their products a while back that you can check out here: Frecklebox Gifts. Since then we have bought several birthday gifts from them and bought some more placemats for the girls, plus they are always running discounts.

Miss A handpicked each placemat, from a number of different themes for each classmate, making the gift even more personal. A dinosaur for Kaleb, ballet theme for Natalie, and so on for each of the 7 children in her class. She was so excited to be a part of the gift selection.

Placemats

The only gift-related problem with our place mats is that I didn’t know how to wrap them or give them a label. I tried to come up with something witty that included, “I’m glad we MAT” instead of met, but scrapped that idea. Then I remembered I had lollipops left over from Miss A’s birthday party, hooray for my brain that never stops!

So on my drive home from her school, yesterday morning, {yes the morning of the last day of school} I was brainstorming wording ideas for the placemats and lollipops. I came up with some fun wording for the lollipops and added our personal information for her classmates to contact us for summer play. Here’s the image of the card I made:

End of School Classmate Gift Lollipop

I found an image of a lollipop and went to town on iPiccy, {which I highly recommend}. I made it black and white and faded the image a little so as not to overpower the words. Then I used a bright, kidcentric font to print our message.

Here are the finished products, I ended up taping the lollipops and cards on the back of the placemats, all the recipients, aka kids were super excited for their one-of-a-kind gift and pose with Miss A for one last Pre-K picture.

End of School Lollipop Gift Idea

End of School Gift Idea

This was a GREAT way to end a year of school. I hope this gives you some gift ideas for your end of the year classmate gifts.

What are your children doing for the end of the year? Do you have any unique end of the year crafts or ideas??