Monday, March 15, 2021

Recycled Cardboard Crafts!

Like most moms and educators, ever since the pandemic started I have been trying to find creative ways to keep kids busy. I came across a fun craft you can make with cardboard boxes. Since many of us are ordering online more, this is a great solution for some creative art fun and a way to recycle those boxes!

You can find cool craft ideas and more at the Quill.Com Blog!



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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Learning the 44 Sounds and 26 Letters of English for Beginning Students

Gratitude.



Grateful. What are you grateful for? We are living in history-making times.
It is easy to feel stressed and sad. I try to think of one thing every day that I am thankful for. It can be something small, too. I can be grateful that my laptop battery lasted longer than I thought. I can be grateful for the library because I check out books for free. And I can be grateful that my dog greets me at the door each time that I come home.



I found a wonderful post about gratitude, self-care and how fragrance plays into that. There are some great free downloads like gratitude cards and a lunchbox note for your child. Go to FragranceX to read more about gratitude and to download your free printables!


Show yourself some self-love by taking the self-gratitude challenge HERE!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Learning Disabilities


I came across this infographic on Facebook and went to ser4kids.com
SER stands for Special Education Resources. It looks like they have some free resources for reading and for special education.

I will add another learning disability that has been recently discovered-
Dysnomia is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in recalling words, names, numbers, etc. from memory. The real problem stems from the fact that the words that they can not remember are essential, as they are needed for oral or written expressive language.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Green Scene

Green is on its way!
Spring is coming and so is St. Patrick's Day!

When my son Harrison was little, we would build a leprechaun trap from a shoe box. The leprechaun would visit us and leave chocolate coins along with his tiny shoe prints, tiny boots and teeny-tiny hat with mug. I usually bought the small stuff from the dollar store in the St. Patrick's section.

You can see the handprint rainbow with a pot of gold at the end that Harrison made from home school. And his shamrock.

This was a close-up of our trap. We used a shoe box and lots of creativity!

Here are some fun St. Patrick's Day finds I have made from the web to share with you~

Painting is always messy, but it is so necessary to help develop fine motor skills.
You can use an empty bottle and some paint to stamp shamrocks.

Use a marshmallow and some paint to make shamrocks.

You can do SO much with construction paper strips. 

Like...make a clover!

I love these easy paper strip 3D rainbows!
Source: Crafty Morning

Source: Twitchetts
Click the name for the link, they have 14 easy rainbow crafts!


Have fun creating and keep your eye out for leprechauns!!


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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Valentine's is Over.

I just realized today that I still had our Valentine wreath on our front door! Ten days later...lol. That pretty much represents my 2021. So crazy.



I love color so these babies were perfect.


I did get a beautiful bouquet and some sugar cookies for Vday. It was hard because here in Oklahoma (and Texas!!) we were hit hard by a long-lasting winter storm. It was blizzard-like conditions. I did not even go outside to try to make a snowman because the snow was powdery and it was way too cold! Here in our state, the gas and the electric company both had to do rolling black outs. So we were dripping all the faucets and when they turned off the heat we ended up with like 4 or 5 days with no hot water! And all water pressure was low. Some water came out brown when people went to drink it, but we have a pipe filter that took that out. There were times when we had no electricity, too, but it was not as unbearable as the ice storm we had back in October. You know its bad 
when you wear a beanie hat to bed!!!

Look at the number of closings!!!



Now there is no trace of snow in our yard. But I wanted to share a recipe for snow ice cream in case you can use it next time it snows!

First, put an empty bowl out to catch snow (because you so don't want to scoop it from the ground!).


Now I need to go find a non-Valentine door wreath in our laundry room!

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Monday, February 1, 2021

You Can Be a #MomBoss

Good News: Becoming A ‘Mompreneur’ is Within Your Reach


 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Staying at home with your children doesn’t mean you have to stay away from the workforce. In fact, if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you have the perfect opportunity to start and run your own business from home. It comes with challenges, sure, but it can be an amazing, fulfilling adventure to grow your own company and become a “mompreneur.”

Choose your own adventure.

Getting started with your own business can sound daunting, but let’s take it one step at a time. What do you want your business to offer? You can provide online accounting services, create and sell items, or any number of other things. Ask yourself: What are your passions? There are dozens of examples of moms doing this in myriad fields, from online tutors to event planners to babysitters.

The next thing you need to do is determine your audience and clearly state who your business is serving. This will help you when it comes to marketing and getting your name out there.

When starting a business — and especially when marketing it — it may be helpful to have some training or experience. One way to gain experience is to go back to school to pursue a business or information technology degree — both of which will serve you well as a small-business owner working from home. As a mom taking care of your kids, this can sound difficult, but online degrees (or even simply some coursework) can be achieved at your own pace and on your own schedule.

One thing you should look into when you start your business is forming a limited liability corporation (LLC). This is a type of business classification that offers small-business owners numerous tax advantages, less paperwork, flexibility, and of course, limited liability — meaning your personal assets are safe in worst-case scenarios. Before starting your Oklahoma LLC, though, check with regulations in your area, as the rules vary state by state.

Don’t get bogged down!

Another thing you will have to plan around is, of course, your child! Being a full-time mom and a full-time business owner is within your reach, and in order to make it happen, you need to make sure you’re taking care of all aspects of your life and responsibilities.

Working from home with kids can be a challenge, but with careful planning and generous flexibility, your business can flourish. And there are different challenges to be overcome, as well, depending on how many kids you have, how old they are, and what their specific needs look like. Be sure to create a strict schedule and manage your time wisely, create a mom-only room where you conduct your business, and communicate with your partner about your needs, as well.

One thing is for certain: Use naps to your advantage — in other words, when they’re sleeping, get some work done!

Treat yourself

Maintaining a work-life balance can be difficult, especially for stay-at-home moms who also happen to work out of their home office. But one of the main advantages of working from home with your kids is just that — you get to spend more time with them. Instead of worrying about a long commute or being away from them for long periods of time, they’re in the next room over, or within arm’s reach.

But you also need to make sure to designate some time for yourself, as well. Exercising, meditating, and simply doing things you want to do all serve a key purpose in helping you unwind. In turn, this will help you reset and be able to bring your best self to the activities of both “momming” and “mompreneuring.”

Get started now

There’s no time like the present! Getting started with your own business can be easy and fun — and ultimately lead to a fulfilling career in between all the diaper changes.

Guest post by readyjob.org in collaboration with  TwinkleTeaches.com.


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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Love & Kindness!!!



Guest blog post by Redbubble Life


February is known as the month of love, so we created a calendar to help you show your 
love each day leading up to Valentine’s Day (while staying socially distanced). We’ve included 
everything from treat tags that accompany baked goods to bookmarks you can add to 
donated books to cute lunch notes to brighten someone's day.




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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Organization Work Tips!!!

5 Best Tools that Make Organization at Work a Breeze

Source


Organizing your workday can be very tricky. Whether you belong to a big or small enterprise, getting through the gamut of workday tasks will always have its challenges. With the popularity of remote work gaining a strong foothold in today’s “new normal,” managing your workload while making sure that everyone stays connected and on top of things has become twice as hard. 


It can be a bear trying to get everyone on the same page. Too many tasks, meetings and collaboration, new information coming in daily, new employees joining, old ones leaving, trying to preserve and update knowledge within the company — how do you not get lost in the chaos?


Luckily, there are tools out there geared towards organizing your work and helping you run your workday more efficiently. There are hundreds of them floating around the interwebs and you can get lost in the chaotic list of organizational tools, ironically enough. So how do you choose the right one for you?

Choosing the right tool


First, you will need to take stock of what you have and what you need. What kind of service are you looking for? Are the tools you found equipped with the features you need in your organization? Compile a list of possible apps that might be useful for you. 


Second, once you've compiled a list of possible organizational tools that you might use, consider their ability to address all the things that you need them to do for you. If you can find just one tool to do all the organizational tasks you need done, then why get two or three separate tools to do what one platform can do?


Third, read up on the reviews. You’ll need to hear what actual clients have to say about the tools you are considering. Feedback is a key component to an informed decision; and once you’ve picked the tool/s you need, return the favor and write an honest and constructive review. 


Fourth, test them out. You really won’t know if the tool will work the way you envisioned it if you don’t try it out. Go through your pick list and take the tools for a test drive. Put them through the tasks you need them to run and see how well they hold up or how fast and efficiently they can accomplish those tasks for you. 


So now that you have the initial steps in choosing the perfect organizational tool for you, let’s delve into our list of tools (our absolute top favorites!) that we think might just be what you need.

The Best Organizational Tools for Work

Trello

Let’s start our list with Trello. This is a project management and organizational tool that uses task cards and project boards. This tool allows you to write down your daily tasks into virtual cards, assign due dates, and add attachments. You can invite your team and assign tasks to them, as well. 


Their project boards allow you to put your visualizations into an organized platform where you can monitor your project’s progress. You can collaborate with your team regardless of where each of you are based. It is very easy to use, and best of all, Trello syncs across all your devices. 

Slab

As their headline says, Slab is a “knowledge base that democratizes knowledge.” Slab is a nifty tool that lets you create, store, and organize your data. It also integrates well with your existing tools, so there would be no need to replace your stack and relay new instructions to team members. Its Unified Search feature allows you to pull any needed data from any of your existing tools. Sweet, right? This shaves off time trying to remember which tool has what data. Another useful feature is Slab Topics, which not only organizes data into folders and tags, but also provides relevant context for easier browsing, learning, and transferring of knowledge within the company.


It also offers dozens of templates from industry leaders to get you inspired and give you ideas一so whether it’s onboarding new employees, documenting weekly team meetings, or creating user manuals, Slab has an extensive library of templates designed for your organizational needs.


And a bonus: it’s easy enough to use that creating and organizing can be done even by the least savvy members in your organization.

ProjectManager.com

If you manage large and diverse teams, you might want to consider ProjectManager.com. This award-winning tool has over a thousand integrations including Microsoft Office, Salesforce, Dropbox, Slack, and Google Apps. 


It has Gantt charts, kanban boards, and task lists. They have project management software, planning tools, and project dashboards among other things. You can collaborate and plan projects with your team quickly and easily. It works on both PC and Mac and doesn’t need any downloads or complex installations. 

Box

Box is one of the most secure cloud storage services available today. You can choose with whom you want to share your files. You can store all your confidential business information into the Box Drive and rest easy that it will remain secure. 


It is also integrated into Mac Finder and Windows Explorer so you can use it in both Windows PC and Mac. You can edit any file, even CAD, in your browser and it will automatically be saved to Box. 


The app itself takes up little disk space. It allows sharing large files without having to download anything. You can just share the link to your files with your team. It doesn’t bog down your systems with large downloads, and it allows for easy and real time collaboration within your team. 

Microsoft OneNote 

If your company has a subscription to Office 365, you most likely have access to Microsoft OneNote, a great and secure collaboration tool that organizations can utilize in project management, process improvement, and daily operations. OneNote is ideal for managing projects with members in multiple locations as the tool allows real-time correspondence and feedback. 


A feature called SharePoint allows teams to create their own “wiki” and organize and store large amounts of information in one place, making streamlining ideas and resources easier for everyone. 

Conclusion

No matter how busy you get or how chaotic your work days seem to become, there is always a tool, or several, out there that can help you keep your tasks and schedules organized. These things are there to make your work a lot easier, your collaborations more fun, and your team engaged no matter where each of you are based. All you need to do is find the right tools that will work for you.


Guest blog post written by Mary Jo Johnson in collaboration with www.twinkleteaches.com



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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Baby Steps

Sometimes--well, a lot of times, life does not go as planned. What you think you want or will get does not happen. On top of that you could be living in history-making times with a pandemic and political instability everywhere. Among many other things. I know it is easy to get depressed or anxious. 
 


I experience it. Sometimes I feel like with my career that I am the unpicked doll on the clearance shelf. Sometimes I don't blog because I am too sad to put feelings into words. I know there will be more days like this. But let me tell you something. I believe in taking baby steps forward. Ever since I was a kid and watched "What About Bob?" the movie, I believed in the concept of baby steps. Today I was a little down but I made myself clean a new organizing system cart I had bought so that I could organize all my home office supplies. I took my time and just blanked my mind while doing it. Now I have organized pens and paper clips. Now I know where to find them, too. Baby steps! Try it. :)



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Help a Student with Dyslexia

Decoding Dyslexia IA has tips for a dyslexia-friendly classroom. 



Download this information sheet here: https://tinyurl.com/y5ujh8gz

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Pillow Fort Fun!!!


The Best Pillow Fort Activities

Building a pillow fort is a super fun activity that keeps your kids engaged while letting their imagination run wild. All you have to do is hunt down a few sheets, pillows and supportive furniture for you and your family to have fun for hours on end. Check out these tips and ideas from Apartment Guide to build the ultimate pillow fort where you and your kids can spend quality time and make treasured memories!

1. Have a tea party

Turn your fortress into a venue to host a lavish tea party. Dress up and make cookies and finger sandwiches to go with your fresh pot of tea. Have your kid send out these printable tea party invites to other members of your household along with matching tea and snack tags.

2. Play pretend

A fort is whatever your child wants it to be, like a secret cave in the wilderness or a pirate ship setting sail to find the lost treasure. The point is to let your kids' imaginations run wild and have fun. To help them create the ambiance they’re looking for, check out these printable fort decorations to transform their fun new space.

3. Watch a movie

Make some popcorn and break out the sweet treats and get ready for the ultimate movie night in your pillow fort! Make sure your fort is near a TV or set up a projector inside your fort to shine on a blank wall to make your very own movie theatre. Handheld tablets also work in smaller sized forts!

4. Crafting

Turn your pillow fort into the ultimate crafting station where you can let your children create pieces of art that can be displayed on the fridge. Try coloring, drawing or a crafting activity like these printable unicorn and puppy masks that can be cut out and worn using a string or wooden popsicle stick!

5. Read 

Reading is a nice and relaxing activity for your kids to do in their new little fortress. They can hide away with a good book or comic or listen to an audiobook that will transform them to a different place. 


Keep the fun going by making their fort a personal fortress that engages them in different activities that encourage creativity, imagination and leisurely fun! Whether you're cooped up indoors due to the winter weather or just looking for a fun weekend activity, pillow forts will help keep your kids entertained for hours.


Guest post by Apartment Guide in collaboration with the Twinkle Teaches Blog.




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