Author Archives: Kathleen

I was so happy to be able to attend the meet-up Belmar, New Jersey last weekend. Over 50 TpTers gathered for a great social event hosted by Danielle from Study All Knight and Amie from Glitter Meets Glue Designs. It was great fun!

The food was delicious and there was great chatter in our beautiful room!

Danielle, Kim from English Oh My, Me and Shaeera from TpT

                                            The board Amie made to display the prizes.                                            Just drop your ticket into the cup numbered with the prize you would like to  win!

Amie and Danielle pick the winners!

I can't believe I won the $50 gift certificate Amie donated from her store. That's $50 of brand new glittery clip art! I can't wait to go on a great shopping spree!  It's going to be awesome!


A special thanks to Kim Crouch and her husband Clay, who were kind enough to let me tag along on the 2-3 hours long journey each way. I could not have made it without them. They have a generous spirit!  Thank you Kim and Clay!

Get ready! It's so exciting! It's time for another TpT sitewide sale and it starts at midnight tonight EST! Let's celebrate the chance to get some great BIG bargains! Get out your wish list and grab the things you want while they're on sale! I'm putting my entire store on sale for at least a 20% savings! If you use coupon code LOVETpT at checkout you will save a total of 28% off your entire purchase! Wow! That's awesome! To make this sale even more exciting than it already is, I have teemed up with four awesome teacher bloggers to co-host a fun blog hop with a $50 TpT gift card for a prize.

To follow the hop and have a chance to win a $50 TpT gift card you will need to go through only 5 blogs to collect a word in a pink conversation heart. When you have collected all 5 words and decoded the secret phrase, the opportunity for bonus entries will be unlocked.   The contest ends Wednesday at noon and the winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon when there will still be time to shop the the sale and spend those fun winnings!

Enter on the Rafflecopter right here!

Love TpT Gift Card Giveaway


When you get back to me you're done!  Have fun at the hop!  Wishing you good luck and BIG savings at the sale!









Exciting news! Zoe from ZippadeeZazz is celebrating! She has just reached two amazing milestones, 500 Facebook likes and 1000 feedback comments on TpT!  Wow! That's quite an accomplishment!

To celebrate I have  joined Zoe and other amazing TpT teacher-authors  to co-host a big giveaway!  Two winners will be chosen and each will receive a $60 TpT gift card.  So don't wait! Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! The giveaway starts now and ends next Friday, February 3rd when the winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget. Zoe will also contact the two participants who each win a $60 gift card to TpT. That's a lot of resources to make a teacher's life a little easier! Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Clip art by Glitter Meets Glue Designs and Artifex

Like most teachers, especially Special Education teachers, I'm a pack rat. The fact that I am a retired Special Education teacher doesn't seem to matter. I brought home some of my favorite things telling myself that I could use them to demonstrate strategies for my graduate students pursuing a literacy degree.  And that's true. I have used them and the college students appreciate the visuals. Recently I decided I needed to clean out a bit and make some room in my home office closet. I found a long-forgotten rolled up, tattered piece of chart paper with a list I had made with two of my 2nd grade (boys) resource students.  Trying to promote interest and enthusiasm for reading we were discussing what makes a book interesting and what we had learned about books we like. They generated ideas expressing the awareness they had about books and I was the scribe.  Reading the list today I can still remember how these two struggling readers were excited about sharing what they knew about books and how much they were enjoying what they had learned.  I took that worn old chart and made the graphic above duplicating exactly what the kids said. I think they were off to a pretty good start. What do you think?  How do your kids identify good books? Are your kids aware of what they like to read? Favorite authors? Subject matter?  Older kid need to identify what they like as well.


Once again I have joined a group of teacher-bloggers to co-host a great giveaway with a $75 Teachers Pay Teacher gift card as a prize. Wouldn't it be great to win that gift card and empty out your wish list? Enter below for your chance to win. The organizer, Kelly Malloy, invites you to join more giveaways too.  See the link at the bottom of this post if you would like to co-host too.
Prize:  $75 Teachers pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher).
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/13/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to enter our weekly $25 Teachers pay Teachers gift card giveaway as well!

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
 Kathleen in 8 Apples
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10 Reasons to Use Alphabet Book in Your Upper Grade Classroom


Many people think that alphabet books are primarily for teaching sound-symbol relationships to emergent readers. However, their use goes way beyond that. I’m not talking about reading them, although that is a good idea, I’m talking about the motivating and engaging activity of writing them. My hope is that after perusing these 10 reasons you will decide that alphabet books are great instructional tools that offer many benefits and want to create one with your class. My students always loved them. In fact, for many years, I taught a graduate-level content area reading course at a local college. The graduate students chose to create them as one of the culminating activities of the unit they were required to write for the course. Writing either one class book or individual books will help your students to better understand the more difficult topics in your unit.

Reason #1

Alphabet books can be written on various levels of complexity making them appropriate for content area subjects in the upper elementary grades on up. It is expected that more sophisticated students will have more sophisticated responses.

Reason #2

Your students’ vocabulary will increase. Vocabulary words are listed on an alphabet chart and discussed as material is read. Students need to have an understanding of the vocabulary in order to write a cogent paragraph demonstrating knowledge of the vocabulary word.

Reason #3

Students learn how to do further research, when needed, to get details necessary to describe the topic. Students re-inspect material read to cite exact details.


Reason #4

Writing a paragraph provides the student with opportunities for language development. Written expression is enhanced when the student must describe what he has learned.

Reason #5

When organizing their books students begin to understanding the importance of text structure or the format of how a book is organized. Students need to know that different materials are organized in different ways. Understanding how text is organized gives the reader clues as to what is coming next and helps students to develop anticipatory responses. Before beginning to write an alphabet book, the teacher needs to collect a few and review their text structure with the class. How are the books different? What do they have in common? When creating an alphabet book, students become aware of the importance of text structure. Each page in their book will include

A letter of the alphabet

An illustration



Reason #6

Concepts of the content area subject are reinforced as students use vocabulary words in context to write a passage for each letter of the alphabet. The task requires students to understand and be able to apply content area material. Completed books are great non-fiction, informational books that can be used to review academic material.

Reason #7

Students have an opportunity to show off what they have learned. Each book is a source of pride to be shared with the class, guests of the class (the teacher next door or the principal) and parents.

Reason #8 

Students learn to understand the difference between reading for enjoyment and reading for information. Students need to know how to use the information they have read. Writing vocabulary words in context helps them to demonstrate this.

Reason #9

Constructing alphabet books in the classroom is an activity that offers differentiated instruction. Poor readers and reluctant readers feel encouraged to participate. They can work at their own pace to choose the words they understand. Working with a buddy will help them to complete the task of describing a difficult concept. The best part is that is the teacher’s choice to set the requirements. Some students may only add a sentence while more able-learners will be required to add a paragraph with a minimum number of sentences.

Reason # 10

Creating an alphabet book is fun and educational! Students should have fun constructing their books and work with a buddy or a small group. Students can draw illustrations or find them in magazines or the internet. Sharing illustrations will add to the fun as well!

Here is a  pictures of ABC books my classes have written over the years. The ABCs of Animals book was written by emergent readers and contains only one word for each letter. All of the other books are on higher levels. The Halloween book was a fun book my resource students wrote after reading a few Halloween stories and poems. The Long Island book was a 4 months long project! As we studied various things about Long Island we added to the book until it was finally done in May of that school year.  When we studied Christopher Columbus we decided to make an ABC book to tell all about him.  I guarantee you that adults reading the non-fiction books will learn something they did not know.


If you would like to write an alphabet book with your class, you can make one using construction paper or you can purchase an ABC book for your students at my store. (The December alphabet book will be appearing shortly).  Better yet, you can enter the Rafflecopter to win a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card and have enough $$$ to treat yourself and your class to a great holiday activity.


Twelve teacher-bloggers have joined together to have this fabulous hop that gives you chances to win one $10 TpT gift card at EACH BLOG.  It's possible to win a prize for every Rafflecopter you enter!  That's a total of 12 TpT gift cards to be given away.  So be sure to complete the hop for your best chance to win some great gift cards! The Rafflecopter ends Monday night at midnight so winners can shop at the TpT sale on Tuesday!

The winner is Hilda from MM Bilingual!


The Bender Bunch
Good luck to you!!
Kathleen in 8 Apples
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Once again I am joining with my good friend Kelly Malloy from An Apple for the Teacher and other talented teacher-bloggers to co-host a super giveaway. This month there are TWO prizes and there will be TWO winners!! One lucky winner will receive a $75 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card and a second lucky winner will receive a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. Wow! Wouldn't  it be wonderful to win one of those cards just in time to get some great new holiday resources for your classroom.  That would make the holiday-frazzles just a little easier to get through! So take a few minutes and enter the contest on the Rafflecopter.  Good luck to you!


Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 11/13/16 and is open worldwide.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kathleen in 8 Apples

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show and tell tuesday

I am linking up with Stephanie, from Forever in Fifth Grade,  to share some pictures in her Show and Tell Tuesday linky for October.  Teacher-bloggers are invited to share their favorite pictures of things they have been doing throughout the month.  This month has been a very busy one for me. Take a look at a few of the things I have been doing. Then check out what other bloggers you know have been doing.


show and tell tuesday 1

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So happy to visit our out-of-state granddaughters. It was so nice being there to celebrate Abby's 7th birthday. We had to have dinner at her favorite restaurant, Golden Corral. Everyone loves dipping those strawberries in the chocolate fountain! At only 7, she is as tall or taller than many 8 year olds. We want her to stop growing!! LOL  Just for a little while.


show and tell tuesday 2


Alexa is modeling her new outfit. She loves that "fur" scarf. It was so good to see her. She is growing so fast.

show and tell tuesday 3


Hubs and I went to Disney for some R&R. It was great having breakfast with Goofy. He's one of our favorite characters.

show and tell tuesday 4

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Needed to catch up with my BFF.  High tea on Long Island was the perfect setting for an afternoon of girl talk. Delicious scones, clotted cream, finger sandwiches and sweet little pastries were just so-o-o yummy. I can't wait to go back--after I work off those calories.

Click on the main button above to go to the link-up where you can find a link to visit other blogs and learn what's been going on with bloggers you love to follow.

Have fun reading and Happy Halloween!


Kathleen in 8 Apples

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Once again I am joining my good friend Kelly Malloy and some other talented teacher-bloggers to co-host our $75 monthly TpT gift card giveaway. Who wouldn't love to have $75 to spend on TpT resources and beautiful clip art? That would really save some prep time!!  Enter the contest by using the Rafflecopter below and I wish you good luck!
Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 10/13/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Kathleen in 8 Apples

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On August 11th, 2016,  torrential downpours of rain devastated several parishes across South Louisiana. The extreme amount of rainwater in such a short period of time, caused rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water to flood and destroy millions of dollars of property.  Countless homes, businesses, and schools were either washed away or flooded.  A few teacher-bloggers have organized a fundraiser to help out the Louisiana teachers who lost their classrooms and everything in them.

You can help by purchasing a bundle of resources donated by teacher-authors. That option is a win-win. The $25 bundles have tons of resources for you--valued at much more than $25 and organized by grade levels--and the money collected will go to help the Louisiana teachers. Or if you prefer, you can just make a donation, small or large.  So far over $2,000 have been collected.  We are hoping to do much better!

I urge you to help if you can.  The schools, teachers and the kids of Louisiana need us!  Check out this website for more information.



Kathleen in 8 Apples

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