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So far Jolene has created 39 blog entries.
17 04, 2015

Learning Sight Words with Scrapbook Paper

By |2019-03-12T21:06:06-04:00April 17th, 2015|learning crafts, sight words|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I am linking up with Life Over C’s Learning with Your Craft Stash. Today, the craft item is scrapbook paper. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a big crate full of this stuff. I also think children love using it because the prints can be so colorful and fun.
Combine some fun, bright paper with sight words, and you have an engaging reading center or learning activity. After all, children need lots of opportunity to work with sight words. You want to keep education interesting and engaging to keep them learning, so one way to engage them is to turn those sight words into a craft. Just think, when you give them a word to decorate, they are taking time to carefully craft out that word. It is a great way for them to take a mental snapshot of the word, so they can pull it out like a photograph when they need it later on. Materials: You will need scrapbook paper, papers with sight words enlarged on the paper, scissors, and glue.
Now before you actually give them the sight word, there is opportunity for students to build up their fine motor skills with a cut-the-scrapbook-paper-into-strips activity. I recommend giving them a sample one, so they know about how thin to cut them. You don’t want them to be too wide. Too wide means the sight word is not going to have distinguishable letters. Alternatively, you could also cut the strips ahead of time with a cutting board for paper.
Next, have students write the sight word in glue.
Let students cut up one strip for the first letter. Note: Each letter takes about one strip of a 12 inch long scrapbook paper.
Encourage students to use a different pattern strip for each letter. You could also add in a little math by encouraging them to make a pattern.
 And that is it!
If you liked this post, make sure to sign up to receive email on the right when I post new posts.
Also, you can hop on over to Life Over C’s for some more posts on using scrapbook paper for educational activities.  Simply click here or on the image.
Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class!
Jolene 🙂
12 04, 2015

Oa, Oe, Ow, Oa, Oe The Vowel Teams

By |2019-05-29T14:52:24-04:00April 12th, 2015|hands-on, Interactive Notebooks, phonics, Reading|0 Comments

Let’s talk about vowel teams today, but before we do sing the title of this post to the tune of a famous boy band song from quite a few decades ago. I won’t say which one, but it you get if right, you got the right stuff, haha!

Vowel Teams Oa Oe 2

You know how we all see these cute CVC activities all over the place, but then students get to other phonics activities and suddenly…bam, the availability of hands-on centers are too often replaced with worksheets galore.

Vowel Teams Oa Oe 1

One of my wise college professors use to say, “If you can turn it into a game, do it!” Then she would go on to explain how they will learn more because if it is interesting to them, it is engaging to them. If they are engaged, they are learning!

  Relevancy is just important! What we view as relevant and what a young child views as relevant is two different things. Most often, they are not thinking about that math they will need when they are 25 to balance the checkbook. Nor are they thinking about how they need to become fluent writers to become a celebrity spy one day, I mean journalist. No way! Of course, they need plenty of writing opportunities. My point is they are not usually thinking they need to improve all their skills, so they can “adult.” To really engage them in learning, its important we get into their world to make it relevant. So what do children find relevant? Things like games, yup, that is relevant.
Vowel Teams Oa Oe 4
Vowel Teams Oa Oe 3
Enjoying putting puzzles together with their friends. Relevant.
Vowel Teams Oa Oe 5
Participating in class discussions with interactive anchor charts. Relevant.


Hands-on word work activities that tie into what they are learning to read. Relevant.


 Doing fun things like feeding sharks and gators as a word work activity in an interactive notebook. Yup, you guessed it. Relevant.
Adding some laughs to learning with some fun puns doesn’t hurt the learning process either. 😉  After all, research shows the connection of our memories with emotional experiences. (I have no research paper to point to on that one. It is researched-based though. I recall reading up on it many times in my college days. You’ve probably heard that before too).
Now, I know, I know, I know. No prep printables have their place. Sometimes, you need something for a quick review, homework, for a filler, etc. I get it. I am not saying those don’t have their place, but I am just trying to say its important kids get plenty of kinesthetic, relevant opportunities to master important things like vowel teams. The main point I am trying to make is worksheets should be kept in moderation, and children need more than just worksheets.
Vocabulary cards are also very handy. They can be used for self-checking and more. Some other ideas include putting them in alphabetical order, games like go fish and memory, matching rhyming words, and whatever else you can dream up. Cards like this are just handy and versatile. 🙂
Now this unit is HUGE. It is over 500 pages! Here is some organization inspiration. Baggies are my best friend, for real. I write on each bag what is inside to keep my sanity. 🙂 I like to keep it all in one spot (in the large coral container, minus the dice. When I plan on using these, I place them in a smaller bin like the shoe box container, and the reading center is ready to rock and roll.
If we want students to become fluent readers and writers, giving them relevant hands-on word work experiences, then we got to keep it relevant to young learners. That is what my vowel team bundled unit is all about. Making it relevant. Engaging. And ultimately, giving students a firm foundation in phonics to enable them to be fluent readers and writers. Click the picture below to learn more about this resource. 
Vowel Team Pin
 You can find these in the store as a big bundle and individually.

Don’t miss out! Get a free set of short vowel and long vowel task cards by joining my free newsletter here.  With the free newsletter, you will receive helpful tips, freebies, and more!

 Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class.
Jolene 🙂
7 04, 2015

Learning with Straws from Your Craft Stash & a Freebie!

By |2019-03-12T21:06:06-04:00April 7th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I am linking up with other bloggers to share learning ideas that can be done with your craft stash. Now, this will be a 21-day event covering many different craft materials you might have stashed at your home. I will not be blogging for each of the 21 days, but I am signed-up to post for some of them. You don’t want to miss a day, so make sure to click on the image to hop on over to all the action. 
Today, I am sharing what I consider to be a very important activity that all K-2 grade students should participate in every day. This is something that has always been a must in my morning routines. This activity is counting the days of school to teach place value concepts. It just sets such a firm foundation with math concepts, and it only takes a very tiny amount of time each day. Additionally, the activity is just relevant to young learners and hands-on. Each day, you are building up place value skills one straw at a time. There are many ways the days of school can be counted. My favorite method has always been with straws using a place value chart.
Each day, a child adds a straw to the pocket. When there are ten straws, they are bundled together with a rubber band and placed in the tens place instead. On the tenth day of school, I emphasize that the ten straws is one group of ten ones, so there is a one placed in the tens place. I then bring up how there are zero ones in the ones place, so that is why there is a one in the ones place.
When the hundredth day of school rolls around, we then bundle the ten groups of ten straws into one. A one is placed in the hundreds place, and I explain how there is one group of one hundred straws or ten groups of tens.

I just created this blog exclusive freebie! I do request that if you feel generous, share the blog link instead of the resource please.Click here or on the picture to grab your copy of the build-a-place value chart. 


Thank you for stopping by The Candy Class! Make sure to sign-up for email on the right for a free set of those short & long vowel task cards.
Jolene 🙂


3 04, 2015

New Twist on Coloring Easter Eggs & Happy Easter!

By |2019-03-12T21:06:06-04:00April 3rd, 2015|Easter, Spiritual Sweets|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Hope you all have a fantastic Easter! My son and I had some fun today coloring our Easter eggs. I was just about to wake up last week, and literally a picture like the one below popped in my mind. Well, my wheels started spinning to figure out how I was going to get color sugar to stick to a boiled egg.  First, I thought of using cornstarch, but decided to go with powdered sugar in the long run.

We actually got some science out of it by experimenting to find a way to coat the eggs with sugar icing. First, we tried mixing a ton of powdered sugar and a little big of water until it was thick like Elmer’s Glue (sorry, forgot to take a pic). We then rolled one egg in the gluey sugar. It did coat with sugar, but the sugar on it was damp and gooey. Not the effect we were going for at all. We then tried a cup of water and a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Not sure if the powdered sugar is needed or not. Perhaps, something for you to experiment with if you do try this.

To create: 
1. Boil however many eggs you plan to color sugar coat. If you need tips on boiling eggs, I am not the gal to ask, haha! Several of mine cracked, lol! There are plenty of recipes online. 😉
2. Prepare the “glue” by adding one tablespoon of sugar to one cup of water. (Or you can mix it up after you make the colored sugar.) I only call it glue because it is what is used to bind the sugar onto the egg, and is a good term to use for young children to grasp the concept more.
3. Pour granulated sugar on a small plate. I just poured whatever, so no exact measurement here.
4. Add 3-6 drops of food coloring to the sugar. The more food coloring, the more vibrant. I used neon colored food coloring.
5. We hand mixed our sugar by rubbing a spoon over the sugar. It was tedious, and you probably could pull out a mixer or use some sort of food processor if desired. However, I loved seeing little hands more involved in this activity, and not having to clean a food processor. I did have to add my own elbow grease to complete the mixing.  🙂
6. Make as many colors of sugar as desired.
7. Gently place the egg in the sugar water and roll the boiled egg around in it. Stir the water before adding the egg as needed.
8. Place the egg on the colored sugar and roll around until it is coated. If there are some spots, you can also pat some of the sugar onto the egg.
9. Keep eggs refrigerated if you plan to eat them. 🙂
•You probably could use store colored sugar. Not sure though. Some of the thicker ones may or may not work.
•Don’t let the colored sugar get too damp. It will become gooey and not coat well on the eggs. You may want to pull only a small portion of the sugar onto the area you plan to roll the egg to keep the rest of the sugar good for coating the next egg.
On a rabbit trail, I hope everyone has a blessed Easter weekend! I know I am feeling so blessed and just feeling grateful. The past month, I have been feeling kind of discouraged with my struggle to keep my life balanced. Overall, there has been lots of anxiety to where it has just ate up my joy. The last few days, I have been disciplined about going to bed at a more decent hour, waking up early, and working out. I am overall just feeling more joy now. I feel more balanced.  While I still have the long list of projects, I guess I am just feeling more relaxed about it. I don’t feel like I need to have it done yesterday like I felt too often this year. I’ve also have felt a seasoned word in my life, and that word is God has brought me back to life. Time to celebrate! And definitely time to celebrate Jesus this weekend because I would not be where I am today without his sacrifice many Easters ago. I truly hope you have a blessed Easter! 🙂
Thank you for stopping by The Candy Class! Make sure to sign-up for email on the right to receive notification of new posts.
14 01, 2015

100th Day of School….Let’s Celebrate!

By |2019-03-12T21:06:07-04:00January 14th, 2015|100th Day of School|0 Comments

Don’t you just love the fun of the 100th day of school? Counting the days of school is such a great, fun way to incorporate number recognition, counting skills, place value, and more!

Ideas for Celebrating the 100th Day of School

My favorite count the days of school activity is to have the students count the straws. I love it because it sets the foundation for learning the abstract concept of place value. Let’s just face it, if kids are thrown this suddenly in first grade without any concrete foundations, a LOT of kids are not going to get this concept.

I’ve had students that struggle daily with math, and still grasp the concept of the tens and ones place halfway through a year of kindergarten. Then when we get to the 100th day of school! Bam, they get the hundreds place too! So if you are teaching primary students or homeschooling a k-2 student, and you don’t count the days of schools with straws, chains, or something similar….start! You won’t regret it!

 Children that are a 100 days smarter deserve a celebration! For celebrating, they can be crowned.

Once they are 100 days smarter, they have a new view on life. Why not celebrate that with some 100 day glasses?

They can count to 100 by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. This one is the splat to 100 sheet, where they count by 2’s and fill in the missing numbers on the splattered gum.

They can fill in the missing numbers on a hundreds chart of write all the numbers in a hundreds chart.

I made this unit for kindergarten to second grade, so I added some written-form printables in there for those second graders too. Also, these work for differentiating instruction.  😉

They can write about celebrating their 100th birthday.

And yup, 100 birthdays does possibly mean eating 100 turkeys, lol! This writing activity is fun, and it offers room for some very cute creativity.

They can think of ways to do kind deeds by having $100 to pay it forward. We want to encourage good citizenship after all!

They can read about the 100th day.

(Drumroll) Teachers can save 100 hours of work with this no prep 100th day of school packet that is complete with fun crafts! Just print and craft! It includes several math printables incorporating that number 100, leveled Mini-Readers, writing craftivities, and extended writing activities too.

Find it here or click the image below. You can also search http://bit.ly/100DaysofSchoolNoPrep too.

Celebrate the 100th Day of School with a Crown, Glasses, and Fun No Prep Activities

If you would like to hear more ideas for the classroom, make sure to subscribe by email in the right column. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas
9 01, 2015

Can You Guess Where I am in My Logo Picture?

By |2019-03-12T21:06:07-04:00January 9th, 2015|Logo Story|2 Comments

I am joining in on a fun linky party, where we share the fun stories behind our logos. I am linking up with Jenny K.

So can you guess where I am in my logo picture? I am in the hospital holding my newly born son! And yup, I cheated on it. I got some rest and pulled out the make-up bag, lol, because that is just how I roll. So why did I choose post-delivery room picture for my logo? I did it because I did not have that many pictures of myself on hand when I was putting together my logo, I am not into selflies too much, and it was the best one I could find. I just don’t get in front of the lens that much because I am my family’s photographer.
There is my son born not even 24 hours old, already needing a haircut, lol! Good thing, I learned how to use the clippers! I am so blessed to have this boy as my son.
Here is a picture of him from this year.
That is my mom’s dog, visiting us, whom my son gets more excited about seeing than anybody else coming to visit us (shhh, don’t tell my mom!).
If you are wondering where he gets the black hair (and good looks), it comes from my husband, who is Indian. I’ve been asked if that is my son, lol, but those who are close to me, can see some of me in him (We share similar bone structures in our face).
You can hop on over to Jenny K.’s blog to either join in the linky or enjoy reading some interesting, fun stories about other teacher-authors and clip artists logos.
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
3 12, 2014

Interview with an Accordion

By |2019-03-12T21:06:07-04:00December 3rd, 2014|Interactive Notebooks, Interview with a Notebook Template|1 Comment

 Today, I am “interviewing” the accordion template.
1. What is an accordion template? An accordion template is a unique type of interactive notebook template. It consists of a paper that is folded just like an accordion. Now sometimes that paper can be shaped like a rectangle or it can even be shaped like a bunch of bears. The folds in the accordion leave separate spaces for adding educational content. These are great for students because they become a very unique graphic organizer that literally pops off the page. 
2. How can they be used? Since the accordion functions like a graphic organizer, think about using these for lessons that need to be filled with connecting information such as processes, chronological order, order of events, and steps.  

Here are Some Ideas:  
They are good for phonics activities.
Patters- Accordions are great for teaching color and number patterns. 
Number Patterns- Students can add missing numbers and/or do some skip counting.

Science- Learning the names of planets, parts of the body, or steps to the scientific process are all ideas that fit great with accordions. 
Spelling Lists- Why not have students write their spelling list on an accordion to keep handy in their notebook for reference?

More Ideas: 
•Order of events such as story sequencing or historical time lines.
•The steps to the writing process can be recorded on an accordion.
•Math Facts- You can write math facts on these, and students can put them out to practice memorizing their addition or multiplication facts. 
3. How else are these handy? Accordions are also handy because you can get a lot of information on them without taking up a gigantic amount of notebook real estate. If you look at this entry, you realize you can not only squeeze counting by 2s on the page, but you can include other types of skip counting on the same page! The same can go for adding spelling list. You can fit multiple spelling lists all on the same page. These accordions have lots of potential to maximize space in a notebook.  
4. These seem complicated to make. How can I make these and get everything else done? True, creating accordions take some design skill because essentially they need to flow. Now you could just place a bunch of squares together in PowerPoint. However, if you are telling students to cut on the solid lines. That is going to get confusing when you have solid lines running in the middle for folding. Good news, I create interactive notebook templates that are quality made in Adobe Illustrator at 300 ppi. The outer solid lines are for cutting, and the inner dotted lines are for folding. Less confusion, more productivity in the classroom. And these templates save you a TON of time because they are already made for you. All you need to do is add text boxes and images, and you are set to go. I even include a tutorial on how to do that!
This set includes all my accordion templates in one set. They come in png images and editable PowerPoints, include visual directions for the different types of templates, and a reference guide with a name system to help you find just the right template easily. Click on the image to link.
Many, but not all, of the accordions from the set above can also be found in my Interactive Notebook Templates 1000+ set. This set includes over 1,000 templates from many different template types. Click on the image to link.
Also, these template sets can be used for commercial use on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers as long as you follow my terms of use. 
You can email me questions about interactive notebook templates at teachcandyclass@gmail.com. Make sure to stop back by. I will be offering tips on a bunch more template types in the future.
Thanks for visiting!
Jolene 🙂


19 08, 2014

Gimme 5 Blog Hop

By |2019-03-12T21:06:07-04:00August 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Tomorrow there is another site wide sale going on! Yay! I love stocking up at site wide sales! My store will be 20% off tomorrow! (Spoiler Alert: I am about to release some new products hopefully before midnight tonight! The words Mega Bundle and Ultra Bundle will be in the title!)
Ok, my friend at Mrs. Hildebrand from a Grade 7 Heaven is hosting a Gimme 5 Blog Hop. You can link on any of the Gimme 5 images to her blog to hop on. She has a list of everyone participating there.
For my Gimme 5,look through my store and name 5 items that you would LOVE to have for a chance to win one of them! List them in the Rafflecopter to enter the contest. You will also get 5 entry points for liking my page on Facebook! (And you might want to like my TPT store anyway because I do 50% off most items when I first post them for a day or so.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a list of everyone participating. Click on the image to hop on.
Happy Hopping!


6 08, 2014

Engaging Alphabet Activities, Ideas & a Free Alphabet Flip Book!

By |2019-03-12T21:06:08-04:00August 6th, 2014|phonics|0 Comments

Alphabet Activities and Ideas

Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to share some engaging alphabet activities and ideas to help students learn those letters and beginning sounds.  Ideally, all first graders should come to class knowing these. Even in kindergarten, they really should know these. However, you know there is always at least one that is having a hard time with this very important foundational MUST. It is for that reason that I have a bit of an obsession with scouting alphabet activities for children to help them get over this hurdle. And well, maybe it has grown kind of unnatural, lol! I mean, giving a lady stink eye because she grabbed that Beanie Baby at the yard sale that stood for the missing letter I needed for my alphabet stuffed toy collection might have been overboard, lol! Sorry lady, but I saw it first! Or getting excited like a kid to see a bin of tiny knick knack toys that might help complete my collection of small alphabet manipulatives at my age is not very becoming, haha! Ok, so I have an abnormality with the alphabet. But maybe it is not. See, I want to see all kids succeed, and if they are going to succeed, they need their alphabet foundation to be solid. I believe it is important to find multiple ways to teach the alphabet to keep it interesting for students struggling in this area.

With that said, here is some alphabet teaching inspiration to keep that alphabet instruction engaging, hands-on, and fun! I also have a free alphabet resource to share with you also.


Activity #1 Alphabet Stuffed Toys

Stuffed Animals to Represent Alphabet Letters

These are handy for the letter of the week or letter of the day. You can let those who are struggling to learn their letters hold them too! You can use these as part of a sorting activity. Students can lay the pictures that make the same sound as the alligator by the alligator doll. You can have students place them in alphabetical order. I did my collecting of these at yard sales.

Activity #2 Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Students do a scavenger hunt for alphabet letters.
Snag up some small notebooks. I snagged up a pack at the Dollar Tree with several in one pack. Students can use them to record words they find that start with that letter. They can also illustrate some of the words too.

Activity #3 Alphabet Art

Add cups of small items in an alphabet center for students to use to form the letter of the day (or week). Then have them make a textured rubbing later on after it is dried. Sorry for no pic on that one yet.


Activity #4 Alphabet Formation with Toys

Forming Alphabet Letters with Toys

Have them line up those toys on a letter card! This duals as a fun sensory activity, and helps students who are struggling with remembering how to form those alphabet letters.


Activity #5 Beaded Letter Chains

Students form alphabet letters with bead chains


Another method similar to the toy formation is to to use some pony beads to form bead chains in different sizes. Students can then use them to form letters. For struggling students, you can provide some letter mats for them to form them on top.


Example of the different size bead chains


Here is the different size bead chains I used for the letters. You will want multiples of each size, of course! If your unsure on what sizes to create, if you do have some letter mats, you can use those to help you make the different sizes needed.


Activity #5 Alphabet Cards

Child with alphabet cards


I know this is nothing super original, but I just wanted to remind you how easy it is to create alphabet games with a deck of alphabet cards. All you need is two cards for each letter. These are a must-have for playing a game of go-fish or match. Easy to set-up. Easy to store. Effective and fun! You can also get some letter cards and some with the beginning sound pictures and have students play some sort of matching game with those. For more of a challenge, if you got some pictures of animals and things that represent a beginning sound with no letter, students can match letters to those. You can usually snag up a set of alphabet cards for a $1 too, so very cheap! 🙂


Activity #6 Alphabet Manipulatives

Students can have multiple, small trinket toys that represent targeted letters. Students can sort them by beginning sound by simply matching them by a letter card.  Students can have an alphabet journal and illustrate one of these under each letter too!


Activity #7 Alphabet Shaped Flip Books

Students enjoy creating alphabet books! The ones I created have 12 different activities for each letter. If you don’t have time for that many activities for each letter, you can always choose from the different activities easily.  They can stand solo as a book or be used in an interactive notebook. Best of all, you get a lot of activities stored on just a single page in an interactive notebook! It also really helps because students can revisit their interactive notebooks and take ownership of their work because it becomes a published work. You can find the alphabet bundle by clicking here.

Alphabet Interactive Notebook Craft Book

Click here or on the picture to link to the Alphabet Book Bundle

Sample of Alphabet Interactive Notebook Page

Sample of Alphabet Find the Sound No Prep Activities

Activity #8 Alphabet Soup

Ideas to Go with Alphabet Soup


This is a very popular activity (and I am not sure who came up with it, so I can give them credit). Put some magnetic letters in a bowl or pot, give students some spoons, and let them scoop up letters. Their response to what they scoop up is very versatile. Students can then write the letters, form the letters with some clay, or form words with the letters. They could also collect all the letter a’s to make a big letter a. So many possibilities!

Activity #9 Sort the Letters

Letter Sort
Get some letter beads or any letter form that you can fit many into a cup, and let students sort them into cups.

Alphabet Interactive Notebook Craft Book Freebie


You get the letter A Flip Flap Book for FREE when you sign-up for my free newsletter! Get the free letter A book by clicking here or on the picture.
Thanks so much for stopping by The Candy Class!

new logo 2-01

Jolene 🙂

27 02, 2014

Three Million Strong Sale & an Interactive Notebook Freebie

By |2019-03-12T21:06:10-04:00February 27th, 2014|Sale Shout|0 Comments

Click on the image to link to Blog Hoppin’ to find out about more stores throwing sales!

Don’t you just love site wide sales at TPT? I sure do. I can’t decide if I like the buying or the selling part more, lol! My goal is to not spend more than I make, but that is going to be HARD! I am planning to stock up on some clip art (yes, even though I make clip art, it is such a HUGE time saver for when I make my curriculum products. Plus, I feel like I am gathering my own personal art collection. I just love art and having a vast array of different styles.) I also have plans to buy some curriculum resources too. I am still debating on which ones, but I did buy that new Rockin Fluency Phrases set from Cara Caroll and LOVE it (and just realized I forgot to add the promo code!). What are you planning on buying?

Everything in my store is at least 20% off! Use Promo Code TPT3 to get an additional 10% off the sales price. Don’t be like me and forget to add that Promo Code! Good thing that was not my big purchase that I am getting ready to make. I am putting a sticky on my screen now.

I have a new Interactive Notebook Freebie that is a sample from my new Interactive Notebook Templates 100+ Design Edition for Commercial and Personal use. These come in fun prints of chevron, polkadots, and those bold trendy stripes. They are all in light gray for ink saving, and they print beautiful and text goes on top beautifully. They also include some transparent square that can be stretched to fit on top if you want some blank space. Here is a picture from my Interactive Reading Notebook for Non-Fiction that I published this past fall to see these design template concepts in action. Pretty much the summary one gave me the inspiration recently to make a commercial set of these.

Here is the Freebie. Click on image to link.
Now time for some blog hoppin’! Here is another Blog Hop going on for the sale:
Link by Clicking on the Images
Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class Blogspot!