Posts tagged ‘crystal P.’

Melissa and Doug Easel Giveaway!
admin | May 3, 2011 | 9:05 am
Lesson Pathways has partnered with Gummylump.com to give away this fantastic Melissa & Doug Easel and kids art supplies to a lucky winner!

First, let me tell you about what a cool product you’ll be entering to win!

The Melissa & Doug Easel and kids art supplies are amazing.  The look on my daughter’s face when she saw all of the bright colors come out of the box was just priceless   She couldn’t wait for me to assemble the easel so that she could, “Paint, Mama! Paint!”

And here’s the good news – it’s extremely kid-friendly.  I know, that sounds kind of silly to say since I’m reviewing a kids product.  But let me explain.  The first thing my daughter did was to draw on the chalkboard with the dry erase marker.  It wiped right off.

One of my favorite features is the no spill tops on the paint cups.  And even when she has gotten paint other places than where I intended for her to do so, it has wiped right up with just a damp cloth.

I also really enjoy the paper roll holder.  It’s so nice to have the paper right there, stored and ready to go.  And finally, the easel is adjustable so that it will grow as my daughter grows, so she’ll be able to enjoy it for  many years to come.  We’ve always enjoyed Melissa & Doug Toys, but this one is destined to become a favorite.

Now, here are the details so you can enter to win one of your own!

There are plenty of ways to win:

Please leave a comment below for each entry you make.  The winner will be randomly selected using a random number generator. The contest will end at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 13.

Any household that has won a giveaway from GummyLump.com in the past 90 days is not eligible for this giveaway. Should an ineligible entrant be chosen as the winner, all rights to the prize will be considered forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
This offer is open to US residents only.

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Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband. She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher. She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

Partner Spotlight: Teacher Created Resources
Lesson Pathways | March 17, 2011 | 10:00 am

It’s always a good idea to stick with what you know. You’ll never, ever read a blog post from me about particle physics or about household organization tips. That’s why the folks over at Teacher Created Resources are so successful at what they do. The name is right there in the title – they are teachers, creating resources, lesson plans, school supplies, and materials for the people that use them – parents and teachers!


Over 1500 products from Teacher Created Resources


Teacher Created Resources is a leading publisher of high quality educational products, such as lesson planners, classroom decorations, and other teaching materials “created by teachers for teachers and parents.” Our products are used in early childhood, elementary, and middle school classrooms and cover all aspects of the curriculum–language arts, social studies, math, science, technology, and the arts.”

At Teacher Created Resources, you’ll find a wide selection of curriculum items, decorative materials, books, and other teaching aids. This Web Based Lesson Planner is really cool: Create, edit, and store lesson plans online! Find out more!

There is even a Free Stuff section with lesson plans, daily events, a newsletter, and more. Subscribe to Teacher Created Resources’ free newsletter to find out about exclusive special offers and get free e-books!

Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband. She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher. She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

*every purchase you make through the links in this blog post will help keep LessonPathways free
Partner Spotlight: The Old Schoolhouse Store
Lesson Pathways | March 10, 2011 | 10:00 am

For years, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has been the “go-to” resource for many homeschool families.  We’re proud to present them as part of our partner spotlight series this week!

The Old Schoolhouse Store

Are you looking for some great ideas to supplement your homeschool curriculum? The Old Schoolhouse Store is a great place to start!

At The Old Schoolhouse Store , you’ll find a variety of resources – and for every budget – there’s even a Homeschool Dollar Store!

You’ll find something for every aspect of the curriculum – math to science to reading and from preschool all the way through college prep.

Stay up to date with current homeschooling issues and topics by subscribing to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine . It’s wonderfully informative and will provide you with activities, articles, and even tips on meal planning.

The Old Schoolhouse Store has so much to offer – take a look for yourself -you wont’ be disappointed.

Have you shopped the Old Schoolhouse Store before?  What do you recommend?

Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

*LessonPathways.com receives an affiliate commission for each purchase through the links contained in this blog post.  All opinions expressed in this post are that solely of the author and are not swayed by our affiliate partnership.
Partner Spotlight: OfferMatic
Lesson Pathways | March 3, 2011 | 10:00 am

If you’re looking for a new way to save, check out this week’s featured affiliate partner, OfferMatic!  It’s quick, easy, painless saving!


Offermatic - Automatic Savings

These days everyone is looking for ways to save money. Savings, deals, and freebies sites are booming. Coupon clipping is becoming the new rage. So, why not find a way to save money automatically? That’s what Offermatic does for you!

You simply register your debit or credit card with Offermatic (it’s 100% secure, anonymous, and free). By doing this you get:

  • Automatic rebates applied directly to your card (no coupons to use!)
  • Reward points towards gift cards and special offers
  • Exclusive discounts (based on what *you* like to purchase)

Offermatic offers you real savings! All of the discounts they offer are at least 50% off – and some go all the way up to 90%. They also find you amazing freebies (my personal favorite!) that you won’t find anywhere else.

Offermatic is safe, free, and easy to use.  Plus, right now you can Save $10 on a $20 Amazon purchase, when you sign up today!

Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

*LessonPathways.com receives an affiliate commission for each OfferMatic registration through the links contained in this blog post.  All opinions expressed in this post are that solely of the author and are not swayed by our affiliate partnership.
Partner Spotlight: Borders
Lesson Pathways | February 24, 2011 | 11:00 am

If you’re in need of books (and what homeschooler ever has enough books???), please consider making your purchase through our affiliate partner, Borders.  Every purchase you make helps to keep LessonPathway free for everyone!


Borders.com

I’ve always said the best way to get kids interested in writing is to give them a topic that they love. This week, I get to write about a place that I love: Borders!

I love both the brick and mortar store (mostly because it’s an excuse to get a latte.) But I also really enjoy shopping at Borders.com. They have a great selection of books, textbooks, calendars, music, and movies. (And more!)

I always sign up for savings and discount clubs (and inevitably lose my card), so of course, long ago, I signed up to become a Borders Rewards Member. (It’s ok if you lose your card, you just have to remember your email address, and most days, that’s not a problem for me.)

Borders Rewards Members get extra savings – it’s easy to sign up. You can choose either the free membership where you get free shipping on online orders of $25 or more, 30% Hardcover Bestsellers list prices, coupons, and more! Or upgrade to Borders Rewards Plus for just $20 and get all the benefits of the free program plus, 40% off Hardcover Bestseller list prices, 20% off Selected Hardcovers, and 10% off most everything else — plus FREE shipping on your online orders!

Right now, Borders has some extra incentives and promotions happening. I’d say they’re definitely worth checking out!

Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

*LessonPathways.com receives an affiliate commission for each purchase made at Borders.com through the links contained in this blog post.  All opinions expressed in this post are that solely of the author and are not swayed by our affiliate partnership.
Partner Spotlight: Tea Collection
Lesson Pathways | February 17, 2011 | 11:30 am

Did you know we have a serious selection of affiliate partners?  When you shop through our links, every purchase you make help keep LessonPathways free!

Each week, we will highlight one of these great retailers in our new feature, “Partner Spotlight.”  This week’s spotlight was written by Crystal P.

Spring is coming! It really is, I promise! It’s almost time to put away those heavy old winter clothes to make way for some new, fun Spring outfits!

Tea Collection has just launched a fabulous new spring clothing line for women and children! This vibrant and colorful collection is Catalonia-inspired and has a distinctively urban, modern feeling. I especially love the coastal vibe of the new Barcelona Beach collection for boys and girls. These pieces, inspired by bright art nouveau tiles, breezy plaids and awesome graphics, are not only beautiful but also they’re wearable.

Here are some of my very favorites:

The La Rambla Dress for women is stunning, fashionable and perfectly poised to transition from casual to smart.

The Jardin Ruffle Twirling Dress for girls is absolutely gorgeous and sells for only $29!

The Surfer Stripe Hoodie for boys has a laid back, Barcelona beach feel while remaining super stylish. Best of all, it’s only $27!

Plus you can get 10% off of your first order just by signing up for their email list!

*While LessonPathways was compensated for this post, all opinions expressed here are the unbiased thoughts of Crystal P., LessonPathways Team Member.
Writing Series Wrap Up
Lesson Pathways | February 16, 2011 | 10:00 am

PresentAll good things must come to an end.  But for you and your children, it’s a beginning.

The Writing Strategies Series on Lesson Pathways blog may be over, but now is the time that you can put your resources together and foster a lifelong love of writing in your student.

Feel free to bookmark our posts to refer to later if you need them.

  • Teaching Writing That’s Fun to Read
  • The Writing Process
  • Choosing A Topic
  • Giving Writing Feedback
  • Motivating Your Child to Write
  • We hope that you enjoyed this series on teaching writing.  Do you have any thoughts you want share with us?  We’re looking for volunteer bloggers!  Drop us a line at contactus@lessonpathways.com to learn more!

    Motivating Your Child To Write
    Lesson Pathways | February 2, 2011 | 9:20 am

    This is our final installment in the series “Teaching Writing.”  Today, Crystal shares with us a few tips on motivating children to write.

    Boy writingDo not put statements in the negative form.
    And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
    If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
    great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
    Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
    Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
    If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
    Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.”

    ~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

    Is it any wonder that it can be so hard to get kids to write?

    There are a few simple guidelines that you can follow to help your child become more comfortable with writing. Who knows, they might even enjoy it!

    Rule number one in getting a child to begin to write and to be comfortable writing is to make it personal to the child. Let them write about things that they know and things that they like.

    Make it fun. Not all writing is about format. Let it be about content and creativity.

    Remember that there will be times for focus on usage, content, format, etc. Those things will come a lot easier (for everyone involved) if you begin by fostering a love of writing. Give useful feedback — “I really enjoyed the way you described your favorite toy.” Encourage in areas that need more work — “Tell me more about what made you feel scared.”

    Finally, I beg of you, please — never, ever use writing as a form of discipline. So many middle school students have come to me hating writing, in large part because they were made to write as punishment.

    Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog athttp://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

    Giving Writing Feedback
    Lesson Pathways | January 26, 2011 | 10:00 am

    We hope you’ve been enjoying our series on teaching writing.  Today, we’re proud to present more great ideas from Crystal P. on how to give feedback.

    Report CardWhether grading your child’s writing or simply giving feedback, you want to put a positive spin on it, while still guiding your child through mistakes, making him a better writer. Here are a few simple tips to do help you along your way.

    Make your expectations known up front. Let your child know if you are grading to look for grammar, content, organization, etc. Try to keep focus on one or two of these aspects (especially through the elementary years). Let your child know, for example, if you expect all words to be spelled correctly or if you are looking for specific types of sentences.

    Use a writing rubric. This allows you to grade on multiple skills (grammar, content, fluency, etc) but allows for some wiggle room. It’s not pass or fail, all or nothing, and it helps you avoid making red marks all over your student’s paper. One example (of the many, many available) can be found here. (This will open a PDF file).

    Allow for free writing. When you do this, you’re looking for completion and attention to subject matter (if one was assigned). Don’t worry about spelling and grammar conventions. Let your child be free and creative. Use this as a chance to praise your child’s writing skills and and encourage them to write. Remember that not all writing has to be formulaic. Keeping this in mind will make the writing experience more enjoyable for you and your child.

    Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.

    Writing Strategies: Choosing A Topic
    Lesson Pathways | January 18, 2011 | 10:26 am

    childs fearsA sure-fire way to produce a look of panic on a student’s face is to tell them to get out their writing journal and write about whatever they want. Sure, there are a random few that are willing to take on this task, but more often than not, the kids will just freeze in place. But it’s not just kids that have this problem. Whether you’re planning a lesson or writing for yourself, you’ll often find that choosing a topic is the the hardest part.

    Of course, there are times when you want to give your child a topic to write on. You might want an autobiography on a famous scientist or a response to a literature assignment. On the other hand, there are times when you want independent writing to take place. It’s good exercise for the brain. But how do you get them to start? Suddenly, a blank piece of paper becomes terrifying.

    Some of the tips that I’ve found useful in guiding my students (or myself) in choosing topics are as follows:

    • Keep a notebook or journal with a page or two dedicated to writing topics. If an idea pops into your head, write it down. You may find that you never use that topic (because hopefully, after awhile, you’ll have several to choose from). However, before you know it, you’ll have a list waiting for you when you’re ready to sit down and start writing.
    • Five minutes of free writing. My students found this method challenging at first, but after a few times, they really looked forward to doing it. The tough part of this is that your pencil cannot stop moving for the entire time. (I generally chose five minutes, but you may want to shorten this time period for younger children). The fun part is that you can write about anything you want. You should write about whatever is in your head at the time. Allow a lot of freedom in this area. I’ve seen students make lists of their friends or what they would like for lunch. They might copy words off of a poster on the wall. I did not place restrictions on this as long as the pencil kept moving. Keep this page in your writing journal for future reference.
    • Draw a tree. The trunk of your tree is your base. Start with the first topic that comes into your head. Begin to draw branches on your tree by adding words related to that topic. You may find out that one of your branches becomes your actual topic.
    • Create a waterfall. I found this especially helpful when I wanted my students to write historical fiction. The top of your waterfall is your “big” topic. For example’s sake, let’s say you are studying the Revolutionary War in history. The Revolutionary War will be the top of your waterfall. Many, many topics can rain down from your waterfall: George Washington, liberty, Delaware, the Boston Tea Party, Green Mountain Boys, etc.

    These methods should keep you and your child armed with a list of ready-made topics whenever the time comes for independent writing. The more often you employ these tricks, the easier choosing a topic will become. I wish you the best of luck in your writing journeys.

    Crystal P. lives in Illinois with her many children, pets, and her husband.  She is a former (and probably future) middle school language arts teacher.  She is currently working from home as an independent copywriter,editor, and Lesson Pathways team member. You can follow her blog at http://houseofsloth.blogspot.com/.