Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick and Easy Crafts for Mother's Day

A collection of beautiful images honoring Mothers.

Hey, everybody!  I'm blogging today over at 

Come on over and check out the great Mother's Day ideas.
You might even find a freebie or two!

Don't forget to follow Hello Sunshine too, 
so you don't miss any of the sunny fun we share there!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

Here in Arizona, the day are getting warmer.
Heck, we have had a few days that were downright HOT.
The mornings and evenings are cool,
and everything is in bloom.
You can definitely tell that

In light of that I am linking up with my friends over at
For a new linky.

Spring is the perfect time for teaching about flowers and growing things, insects, life cycles, kites, bubbles, and so much more!

Here are just a few ideas that I have rounded up for you!

Spring is a perfect time for an author study on Eric Carle!

Here is a link to a bunch of activities all about Eric Carl's books.

Click on the image to go to the original post.

Leo Leonni also has some books that are great for this theme.

Here's a great book about the cherry blossoms and a fun art activity to go with it!


Click on the image to go to the original post.

How about some fun spring art?

These are a few of my favorites.

I am in L♥VE with this suncatcher from
The Chocolate Muffin Tree!

Click on the image to go to the original post.

Also from The Chocolate Muffin Tree
is this awesome bird's nest project.

Click on the image to go to the original post.

It would be fun to make these garden flowers from recycled materials.

Click on the image to go to the original post.

These tulip prints would make a gorgeous classroom or hallway display.

Click on the image to go to the original post.

Teaching about plants this spring?
You might like these ideas.

I am definitely trying this one!  Science Fair project maybe?

Click on the image to go to the original post.

These cuties would be great to display at a spring open house!

Click on the image to go to the original post.

For links to all the ideas and resources, click on the image below to download the PDF.

What are your favorite spring activities?
Come join the fun!

For more Spring Ideas check out and follow our Pinterest board!

Follow Confessions of aTeaching Junkie's board Spring is in the Air! on Pinterest.

Head on over to Hello Sunshine! and grab the linky button and sharing form and link up!

Get Ready For Summer With a Fabulous Giveaway!

Spring has definitely sprung here in Arizona!  We have already had temps in the 90's!!!!!

To get ready for summer, I’m teaming up with The Invention Brothers to give you a chance to win a fabulous new beauty exfoliator called The Skoother® Skin Smoother, as well as an iPad Mini! 

If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, the 'Get Ready for Summer Giveaway' is for you! Enter today for your chance to win an iPad Mini, a Skoother Skin Smoother to help cure your cracked heels, or a Margarator giant party blender. With 25 prizes to be won, you don't want to miss out! 
 Have you heard of the Skoother? It’s the most effective way to quickly and easily smooth rough skin and calluses on your feet, heels, elbows and hands, and it’s unique design makes it much more effective than pumice stones, emery pads, metal graters (ouch!), motorized sanders, and other skin-smoothing gimmicks. If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, the 'Get Ready for Summer Giveaway' is for you! Enter today for your chance to win an iPad Mini, a Skoother Skin Smoother to help cure your cracked heels, or a Margarator giant party blender. With 25 prizes to be won, you don't want to miss out!
It’s easy to hold. 
It conforms to your body, making it quick and easy to use. 
It doesn’t require batteries. 
The Micro-Abrasive Screen is rough enough to remove stubborn calluses on your heels, but gentle enough also lightly smooth the skin on more delicate areas like your hands and knees. 
It has been medically-tested by a team of doctors at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor. 
It’s easy to clean. 
And by entering the Rafflecopter form below, you will have a chance to win one (1) of 20 Skoothers to get your skin ready for summer. But wait - it gets better! We're also giving away 4 Margarators® (1 Gallon Party Blender) and one (1) grand prize of an iPad Mini! What a great way to kick off the warm weather! 
All you have to do is complete the form below to enter between April 20, 2015 at 12:00 am EST and April 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST.
And if you don't win but would still like to be one of the first to experience the Skoother, simply sign up using THIS FORM between May 1, 2015 and June 14, 2015. 
The Launch Day Special for a Skoother is only $12 + free shipping. We will contact you through your email sign-up to give you more details! Good luck! For complete contest rules and regulations, CLICK HERE

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of The Invention Brothers / Comstock Studios Inc. Twenty-five (25) winners will be drawn randomly and notified by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond in order to claim their prize. If they do not respond within the 48 hours, they will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. This post may contain affiliate links.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"FREE" Money on Educents!

Have you been to Educents yet?
If not, now is the PERFECT time!

Educents has brought back the $10 New Member Credit. 
What does that mean for you?
Sign up for an Educents account now and receive $10 to spend on anything at Educents!
That's like FREE MONEY!

At a time in the school year when money is tight and sometimes nonexistent,
FREE is good!

Head on over and check out my Educents store and see what all they have to offer.  
There are tons of amazing deals!

And the Winner is...

Thank you all for the wonderful support we've received for our new collaborative blog, 

Thank you for the comments, the likes, the follows... And a special thank you to those of you who are new to Confessions of a Teaching Junkie!  I have lots of ideas and goodies  planned for the near future, and I hope you all will come back to visit often!

I so appreciate everybody's participating in my giveaway, and am happy to announce the winner of $10 to spend in my Confessions of a Teaching Junkie store on TpT and a $10 gift card to Amazon:

Teresa, I emailed you the Amazon gift card.  Please email me and let me know which products you would like from my store.

Head on over to Hello Sunshine 
to see who else won prizes and who won the $100 TPT gift card!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Losing Weight is HARD!

I have had several comments on my Instagram photos about some of the food items in my diet, so I decided to share with you too.

I finally broke down and signed up for the program at Red Mountain Weight Loss.

The program includes weekly fat-burning shots, daily doses of RM3 and a very restricted diet.  It has been a MAJOR challenge for me, but I am determined to make it.  Here are some of the meals I have been eating.

On this plan, I get 3 meals and a snack daily.  Breakfast consists of 4oz. of protein and a fruit (apple, orange, 1/2 grapefruit, or 6 large strawberries.)  Usually I have an egg white omelet with veggies, a protein shake with strawberries, or the protein pancake.  The protein shakes come from HealthWise.  They come in several flavors.  The pineapple orange is my favorite!  When I put it in the blender with a little ice, it tastes just like an Orange Julius!  It is also YUMMY when I add my strawberries to the mix!  

The protein pancake is made from the vanilla shake powder, an egg white and a dash of cinnamon.  It makes a large pancake and tasted better than I expected.  Instead of syrup, I heated up some Walden Farms Apricot Fruit Spread and poured it on the pancake.  It was yummy!

Lunch and dinner consist of 4oz. of protein and 1 1/2 cups of veggies.  To this, I can add any of the Walden Farms products, most of which are calorie free, carb, free, sugar-free.  Some have trace calories.  Here are some of the product that I have tried and can personally recommend.  Some of these you can get at Sprouts and Fry's.  I have found a better selection on Amazon, though.  There has only been one Walden Farms product that I have tried and not liked, and that was the Balsamic Pear salad dressing.  Everything else has surprised me.

The two things that I miss most being on a diet (besides sweets!) are bread and pasta.  Fortunately, I have found a substitute for the pasta that is pretty good. They are called Miracle Noodles
More Info

Made of naturally water soluble fiber with no fat, sugar, or starch.
Contain zero net carbohydrates and zero calories, no gluten -made of a healthy natural fiber called Glucomannan.
Easily absorbs the flavors of any soup, dish, or sauce.
Are instant and come in a variety of styles.
Have shown beneficial effects backed by medical studies for Type II Diabetes, Constipation, weight loss, and Cholesterol.

When you open the packages the smell kind of fishy (which is why you have to rinse well,) but they don't taste fishy at all.  They really don't have a taste, but provide a calorie-free pasta substitute.

I have tried the Miracle Rice, angel hair pasta, fettuccini, and tonight I am trying the ziti noodles.  
You can get some of these at Sprouts, from the Miracle Noodle site, or by clicking the images below to get them delivered right to your door from Amazon.

Here are a few of the "pasta" meals that I have made.

Spaghetti made with Walden Farms Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce with added ground beef, onions, and my mom's home canned tomatoes.

Chicken Alfredo with Asparagus made with Walden Farms Alfredo Pasta Sauce.

And my favorite comfort food, goulash, made with sauteed stew meat, onions, and my mom's tomatoes with Miracle Rice.  (this was the first Miracle Noodle that I tried.)

I also made barbecue chicken 9sauteed with onions and Walden Farms BBQ sauce) with mashed cauliflower that I cooked in chicken stock and added some of the alfredo sauce to the cauliflower to add some creaminess.

One of my favorite recipes that I have found on this diet is for Tomato and Basil Tilapia and Chilean Sea Bass.  It is very fresh and flavorful!

I am not trying to sell anything here or promote any particular brand, just sharing what is working for me.  There is a free Red Mountain Weight Loss app for the iPhone that has a ton of recipes that you can try even if you are not on their diet plan.

I've lost a few pounds so far, and will keep with it until I reach my goal!  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to Write a Talent-Show Poem

This idea comes from an email I received from Meadowbrook Press.

How to Write a Talent-Show Poem

Like Robert Pottle's hilarious poem, "The Kindergarten Concert," a "talent-show" poem uses the same rhythm and rhyme pattern as "Miss Lucy Had a Turtle" and can be sung to the same tune.

Miss Lucy had a turtle.          (A-3) da DUM da DUM da DUM da
She called him Tiny Tim.      (B-3) da DUM da DUM da DUM 
She put him in the bathtub,   (C-3) da DUM da DUM da DUM da
To see if he could swim.       (D-3) da DUM da DUM da DUM

The letters listed in parentheses on the right reflect the rhyme pattern; it's an ABCB poem, which means that the last word in the 2nd line (Tim) rhymes with the last word in the 4th line (swim).The number 3 next to the letters means that there are 3 beats in each line. If you clap as you recite the poem, you'll notice that you clapped 3 times as you recited each line. Notice that the last word in the first and third lines have two syllables (DUM da) and the last words in the second and fourth lines have only one syllable (DUM).

Now that you know the rhythm and rhyme pattern and can hum the "Miss Lucy" tune, let's get to work describing your talented classmates. Write down the names of kids in your class who have funny or weird talents:
-Is there someone who sings much too loud?
(Let's call her Mimi or any name with two syllables.)
-Is there someone who can wiggle his ears?
(Let's call him Will or any name with one syllable.)
-Is there someone who can vibrate her eyes?
(Let's call her Jill or any name with one syllable.)

What other talents do your friends have? Is anyone double-jointed or flexible? Can someone burp the ABCs? Does someone's violin give you headaches because it's so squeaky? Can someone throw M&M's in the air and catch them in their mouth?

Add them to the list and try to write some funny new verses (with four lines). The test of each new 4-line verse is: 
1) Can you sing them to the same ("Miss Lucy") tune?
2) Do they have just enough syllables to fit the song?
3) Do they have 3 da DUMs in each line?
4) Does each 4-line verse have an ABCB rhyme pattern?

Here's a Talent Show poem I just wrote to give you an example of what yours might be like. As you can see, it helps to have surprise ending.

My Classmates Are So Talented

Our class put on a talent show.
I was the talent scout.
Our talents were so awful that
our parents all walked out.

Will was wiggling both his ears
He flapped them all around.
He hoped to fly to Paris
 but, could not get off the ground.

Mimi sang so loudly;
we had to plug our ears.
Even so, her shrieking
had the audience in tears.

Jill vibrated both her eyes.
But it was hard to see.
When I got real close to look
she gave a kiss to me.

I'm planning the next talent show,
while riding on the bus.
We'll ask our teachers to perform.
I think they're worse than us. 

© copyright 2015 by Bruce Lansky.

This is just one of the useful Poetry Lessons in the "Poetry Class" section on There are 40 different lessons here!   Find a lesson you like and write a poem during April (to celebrate Poetry Month).

If you try this, please share some of your poems!
What are some of you favorite poetry lessons?  I would love to see them!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thematic Thursday - Make Every Day Earth Day!

This week's Thematic Thursday is all about 
Earth Day and Ecology Resources.
Besides Civil Rights, this is one of my favorite things to teach about because I think it is SO IMPORTANT!

Did you know...
It takes 250 gallons of water to grow the cotton for just one T-shirt.
Each year, Americans make enough plastic to shrink wrap Texas.
Recycling 1 million cell phones saves enough energy to power 185 
American households for a year.

This week I even created 5 new products to help you teach about Earth Day and two of them are FREEBIES!

I found these YouTube videos to help you get started.

This one's more for the younger bunch.

Here are some of my favorite books to use when talking about Earth Day.

This book has always been one of my favorites.  I made this set of comprehension and critical thinking questions to go along with the book.

Mandy, over at Teaching With Simplicity has this fun product to go along with The Great Kapok Tree.

Ari, The Science Penguin, has this cute writing activity.

Here are some great Earth Day art projects.

I love this collage from  Jennifer Runde at Runde's Room.

Click on image to see original post.

These flowers made from recycled materials are so bright and colorful!

Click on image to see original post.

How cute is this guy?  Great idea for a monster unit!

Your little learners would love this Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom tree!

Mother's Day is coming up and these coasters made from recycled CDs would make such cute gifts, and who doesn't have a bunch of old CDs lying around!

Old bottles, new buddies!
These adorable Earth Day planters are simply AMAZING!

And finally, this mosaic tree made from styrofoam packing peanuts would make a great class project.

This site has some fun interactive activities for kids to learn about recycling.

Here are some Earth Day goodies that I created just for you!



To download the PDF with images and links, click on the picture below.

Now head on over to Comprehension Connection and check out the other Earth Day resources and ideas and link up your own!

For even MORE ideas check out my Earth Day Pinterest Board.

Follow Confessions of aTeaching Junkie's board Every Day is Earth Day! on Pinterest.
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