Monday, March 30, 2020

Are You Sewing Medical Masks?

Here are easy directions:

I decided to add an opening to the inside of the masks I was making so an additional filter (like a coffee filter) can be inserted into the mask. I also changed the elastic to two longer pieces that fit behind the user's head to help save their ears.

The original directions can be found here:
Click the image above to see the original directions.

Here are the changes:

-Cut one piece of the fabric to 9"X7", but cut the other piece to 9"X8".

-Cut the 9"X8" piece into two pieces that measure 9"X4".

-Hem the two inside edges with a 1/4" hem.

-Tack the two pieces together at the ends of the hemmed sides overlapping about 1/4"

-Cut two pieces of 1/4" elastic to 13". Attach one end about an inch down from the corner of one of the 9" sides. 

-Attach the other end to the opposite side. Attach the 2nd piece of elastic in the same manner about 1" from the bottom corner.

-With right sides together, attach the back panel with the finished opening in the center.
I used fabric dinner napkins, so some of the outside edges were hemmed.
I just left them that way, but you don't need to hem any of the edges.

-Continue to follow the original directions stitching the sides and leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out.

-After you iron it flat and pin the pleats, iron it again (see original directions) and stitch around the perimeter.

Now, you have a pocket that is hidden on the back side of the mask. You can insert a coffee filter into the opening.

The elastic bands allow you to drop the mask below your chin.

And the coffee filter allows   you to breathe while adding a bit more protection. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends:

How To Make A Hospital Mask:

First, I want to say that these are NOT surgical grade masks. They are meant to be used when nothing else is available and you are left using a bandana. They may be used alone or over an N95 mask you might be forced to re-use. It is a last resort as something is better than nothing. That said, let's begin:

I got my instructions from a link my friend, Paula, suggested and watched this video. 

(There are other patterns on her site, too.)

Then, I added a little pocket and a twister tie so you can pinch the top of the mask over the bridge of your nose. 

Let's Get Started:

I gathered up fabric (100% cotton is best), 1/4" elastic, & twister ties.

Cut rectangles of fabric 9"X7" for adults (children size = 7"X5").

Cut 2 pieces of elastic 7" long for each mask.

Cut a twister tie pocket 1/2" longer than your twister tie and 3/4" wide.

I centered the twister tie pocket on the wrong side of one of the 9" edges of the rectangle and stitched 3 of the pocket edges leaving the bottom edge open. Backstitch all of your sewing.

Tuck in a twister tie and pin the opening closed.

Flip it over to the right side and attach one elastic piece on the 7" edge of the rectangle, about 1/2" down from the 9" edge. Do the same on the other 7" side. 

Now, pin the loose ends of the elastic 1/2" from the bottom on each side.

Repeat on the other side.

Place the 2nd rectangle over the first one with right sides together and elastic bands inside. Pin and stitch leaving a 3" opening at the bottom for turning. Be sure to use catch the twister tie pocket while stitching so you enclose the twister tie inside the small pocket. See both photos below before stitching.

(The 2nd rectangle is peeking out from under the dotted one.
It it a white fabric with a black design so this mask will be reversible.)

Now, clip corners close to stitching and turn right sides out. 

Iron flat. Then, fold in half (hot dog style) and iron a crease. Open and fold both long ends in (hot dog style again) to the center crease. Photos of this on on the Sweet Red Poppy web site. CLICK HERE.

Fold, pin, and iron 3 pleats towards the top (where the twister tie is), and stitch in place. Continue stitching along the bottom edge which will close the 3" opening. 

Here, you ca see how the twister tie allows the fabric to bend and stay in place over your nose.
I made 18 of these today. I plan to make more tomorrow. 

I made lots of happy, colorful ones, but now I'm making lots of the more popular plain ones. 

Hospitals will wash these. I washed mine with Tide Free & Gentle (which is not free and not particularly gentle, but it's fragrance free) and they did fine in a dryer on the low (delicate) setting. Since they are cotton, an iron helps, but I kept it off of the area by the plastic-coated twister tie. 

Do check with your local health care providers as not all are accepting these. For those of you who live near me, our local hospital is requesting a different pattern which I plan to work on tomorrow. Thanks to my friend, Kathy, for sharing this link with me: CLICK HERE for another pattern.

Thank you for helping your friends, community, and fellow humans. We are all in this together! Stay strong. We can do this!  

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Let's Make Learning FUN at Home because I HATE FLASHCARDS!

FREE for Parents To Use At Home:

Are you wondering where to begin when teaching your children at home? ESGI has your answers and it's FREE!  CLICK HERE for the free link.
Click the image above to get started FREE! 

Whether or not your child's teacher uses ESGI, you can use it for FREE with your child! 
(Directions on how to get started with ESGI for FREE are at the end of this post.)
Click the image above to get started FREE! 

Creative Ways To Use Flashcards:

Yes, I HATE flashcards. Life should NOT always be a test! But, if you use them as "skill cards" they can change everything:

Here is how to use flashcards in FUN ways:

1. Print your child's flashcards from ESGI.
(Directions about how to use ESGI for FREE are at the end of this post.)

2. Choose a few "skill cards" (let's not call them flashcards any longer) and have your child cut them out. (Use fancy scissors to make it more fun and to build fine motor skills as they are usually a little trickier to use.)
Have them cut around the
1st (a great word to discuss)
and keep the scraps.

                 Use the scraps for an art project!

3. Place 2 skill cards, back-to-back, inside a sandwich size zipper bag. 

4. Remove the air from some of the bags and seal.

5. Add air, by inserting a straw and blowing air into the bag, to some of the bags and seal.

6. Now, let's play! In the bathtub, or even in a sink, play "Sink That Skill!" Let the bags with air in them float as your child scans all of the bags for the skill you call out. "Sink the letter Q." "Sink the letter P."
Imagine the tub filled with floating bags of skill cards!
Click on the video:

And use the bags without air to stick skills to the tile. And don't forget to talk about sinking and floating to get a bit of science in too! :)

What Else Can I Do With These Skill Cards?

~Stick individual cards to your child's bedroom door or at the bottom of the stairs and have them slap the skill card and say the letter, #, sight word, etc. as they pass by.
~Hide a skill card under each dinner plate at the dinner table tonight and each person gets to look at their skill card and give clues to the family to help them guess the letter, #, sight word, etc.
~Copy a 2nd set of skill cards, cut them out and attach them, face down, to the refrigerator with magnets. Let your child play the Memory Game as they peek at skill cards and try to match them up.
~Use skill cards as "brag tags" and let your child tape the cards that have the skills they have mastered onto their shirt and wear the brag tags all day long. 
Whatever you do, make learning FUN and don't forget to return to ESGI to re-test your child's skills. They will be overjoyed to see the results as their pie graph turns green and, once they see this, they will actually beg you to test them! Really, they will! :)
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with ESGI for FREE! Here is how...

Getting Started With FREE ESGI:

If your child's teacher doesn't already use ESGI, NO PROBLEM! You can get a FREE account and use it at home.   Just CLICK HERE.
Then, just choose a few tests to run, such as letter names or sounds, number recognition, etc.
After you have tested your child you will have all of the information you need to work on the skills your child has not mastered yet. 
CLICK HERE to get started free.
If your child's teacher already uses ESGI, your child must have an amazing teacher! Just ask him or her for the link to your child's testing data. Then, you'll be all ready to print and play! 
CLICK HERE to get started 
until you get that link or password from your child's teacher.
The FREE LINK is good until July 3.

If you have ANY questions, just ask in by leaving a comment below and enjoy spending time with your child. You've got this, Mom & Dad! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

St. Patrick's Day FUN, A Rainbow FREEBIE, & a new promotion!!!

You Can Even Do These AFTER St. Patrick's Day!

Comparing Potatoes:

Everyone brought in a potato!

Before or after St. Patrick's Day, have your little ones each bring in 1 potato.
In a small group setting, measure them, weight them, compare them, and have your students line up in "potato size" order!
We used "non-standard" units to measure our potatoes. 
You can also use them to create potato prints. 

Leaving Tracks:

You might not have caught that leprechaun yet, but you might find his footprints! 
These Sit Spot footprints stick all by themselves!

I have always made these green footprints out of green construction paper, but now I get my re-usable green footprints from Sit Spots
They have so many different shapes and colors of Velcro Sit Spots!
You can even write on them and use them to play games. I got rid of my rainbow rug and I used them on the carpet for students to sit on. Sit Spots will send you one for FREE so you can see if they stick to your carpet. 

And, What Will They Find 

At The End Of The Trail of Green Footprints?  

Leprechaun Pudding' and a RAINBOW 


(See below for the FREEBIE.)

Make Leprechaun Puddin':

First, check for allergies:
If you have students allergic to milk or lactose, use a milk alternative.
If you have students allergic to ANY NUTS, use vanilla instant pudding 

and a few drops of green food coloring.

Leprechaun Puddin':

 a gallon of milk (or a milk substitute)
 at least 3 large boxes of Jell-o brand instant pistachio pudding,
(Only Jell-o brand turns green when the milk is mixed in.)
(or use vanilla pudding with a few drops of green food coloring 
if you have any nut allergies)
a clear glass bowl
a large spoon
small paper cups (3-5 oz size)
plastic spoons
a measuring cup.
(Off brands don't work as well.  I recommend buying Jell-o brand instant pistachio pudding because it starts out white and turns green when the milk is stirred in.)  

DO NOT DO THIS ACTIVITY IF YOU HAVE ANY NUT ALLERGIES IN YOUR CLASS.  There are real pistachios in the pudding.  You can replace the milk with a non-nut milk substitute if you have any dairy allergies.  

While the students are out at recess, open the packages of Jell-o instant pistachio pudding and empty them into a large, clear, glass bowl.  I usually leave green footprints leading to the bowl where we find a note that says "You didn't catch me, but I left you some Leprechaun Puddin'."  

You can find green footprints from that are made of Velcro so they will stick to most carpets. 

Click Here for the link to the "right footsteps" and 
Click Here for the link to the "left footsteps"

Just add milk and stir and you will see the magic!"  

As I pour the milk (follow package directions for amount) into the bowl the children will gasp as the white powder turns green!

Stir until it's nice and thick and then spoon some into the cups for the children to enjoy.

Make a Leprechaun Rainbow With This FREEBIE:

Easy, breezy and quick to prep:  You can download it for FREE by clicking Here.
Here is my sample.

Just added this picture of the kids' work.

Click the image to grab the FREE download.  

For each child, you will need:
 1piece of white construction paper (9" X 12") 
 1 piece of each of the following colors cut to 1 1/2" X 9":  
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

Give each child 1 of each of the pieces above and have them cut the white piece into the shape of a cloud.  Then, they glue the colored strips, in order beginning with red, to the bottom of the cloud.  

I had each child trace the color word below and glue it to the end of the matching colored strip.  They also wrote their name on the line in the oval, traced the dotted letters, and glued them to the cloud.  They look so cute in our classroom.  

These look great and can stay up throughout spring and for Open House.  :)
Here is the FREE Download for your color words and cloud label.  Have FUN.

And, don't forget:
You can get an extra-long FREE TRIAL
(through June 30)
if you sign up for a free trial with
ESGI by April 19, 2020.
You also get:
$40 off of your 1st year 
and you will be entered to win one of
11 Amazon gift cards!
Just use the code: PALMAWILD
You can CLICK HERE to sign up.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Why Wouldn't You?

That's What I Asked:

I'm just wondering why you wouldn't try this!

Love that apron? Get it by CLICKING HERE.
Why wouldn't you try this when you get:   
(Must use the code PALMAWILD when signing up.)

1. a FREE entry to win a $500 Amazon gift card or one of ten $50 Amazon gift cards,
2. a 60 day trial and you don't even have to provide a credit card number,
3. $40 off of your first year if you choose to purchase,
4. access to tons of amazing tests created by ESGI or teacher authors (like me!)
5. a testing platform that will excite your students so much they will beg you to test them!

So, WHAT ON EARTH WOULD STOP YOU from giving ESGI a try? 

You say you have to use your District's tests? No Problem! Just create a custom test on ESGI that matches your District's tests. 

It's super easy. I'll show you how!

Let's say you want to create a custom test that will tell you which students can identify the "Story Elements" such as the setting, characters, the problem or wish, and the solution. 

#1: Log in to ESGI with your FREE trial and set up your class (by entering the names of your students, their gender, and home language). 
Click the image to get started.

#2: Check to see if a test like this already exists on ESGI's website by searching in the "Test Explorer" tab. 

#2: If you like an existing test, or even if you want to change part of it, click on "copy" and then name your new test.
This box will pop up so you can type in the name of your new test.
#3: Change any test questions you like. 

#4: You may also add cute graphics from the image library which includes lots of adorable graphics from D.J. Inkers!
Aren't these graphics adorable?
#5: Save your test and you are ready to test your students!

ESGI also has tons of tests made by your favorite "Friend of ESGI":
I spy my KFUNdamental TK Tests!
So, that's it! You can even use your existing tests!
Just create the same test on ESGI and get all of the data, records, charts, and information you need to meet the needs of EVERY student!

for your FREE 60 day trial, entry to win a gift card, $40 off your 1st year, and access to tons of amazing tests!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Celebrate My 8th Blogiversary & 02/20/2020 ALL Week! YOU Get The Gifts!

Here is What You Get:

Celebrate this week with me and get:

* 20% off of EVERYTHING in my TpT Store!
* An extended FREE trial of ESGI through 6/30!
* An entry to win 1 of 11 Amazon Gift Cards
   (valued from $50-$500)
* $40 off of your 1st year of ESGI

My 20% sale on TpT 
will run from 2/17 -2/20/2020 
to celebrate my 8th blogiversary of my blog:
Click the link above to see my SALE on TpT. 

The ESGI promotion runs through April 19, 
so you must sign up by then.
Here is the link: CLICK HERE

Click the image above to get started!

Have FUN shopping, saving, and enjoying
your FREE extended trial of ESGI.
Remember to use the code:
when you sign up at ESGI.
CLICK HERE to get started!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

I've Gone Wild and You Can't Image Why!

What's the least known letter in your class?

Give students Fun Foam Letter Stickers for
just the letters they don't know
so they can complete their
WiLd ChIcKa-ChIcKa-BoOm-BoOm TrEeS!
How can you quickly find the letters
each one of your students don't know?
Find out below!
Find out why I've gone Wild for ESGI:

ESGI's automated tracking and reporting system uses real-time student data to:
  • Individualize lessons
  • Create small groups
  • Guide whole class instruction
  • Collect raw scores and track detailed student progress over time
  • Access easy-to-read charts, graphs and reports
  • Convert your raw scores into your report card grading scale
  • And find out which letters each child has not mastered yet by viewing the reports!
Sign up for a free trial through June 30th using Promo Code PALMAWILD at .

Enjoy using ESGI!

Teachers that sign-up for a new ESGI trial account between February 23rd and April 19th:
  1. Will be entered to win a $500 Amazon Gift Card and 10 Runner Up $50 Amazon Gift Cards.
  2. Will receive a $40 discount off their first year purchase.
  3. Will receive ESGI free through June 30th

So, You Know The Letters They Don't Know, Now What?

Try providing these resources:
Students who needed to identify the letters B and b, located all of the uppercase Bs and lowercase letter bs on this Alphabet Chant page. They traced them with a marker and then they counted how many there were! Thanks to ESGI, I was able to target the specific letters they needed to practice.
My chants can be found by clicking HERE.

After they traced their letters on the Bb page, if they needed to practice the sound of /b/, they illustrated and labeled 3 items that began with the sound of /b/ on their Phonics Dictionary Page.
Students illustrate and label to create an alphabet book.
Click the image to see the set.
They come in color and in B&W.

This set includes 3 labeled images for each letter.I added more images by using graphics from old workbooks or old reading kits. Click the image to see the set of
Dictionary Pages and graphics.
During Small group instruction time, I used individualized RTI targeting specific skills for small groups based on the data I got from ESGI.
I am meeting with TK and K students on the skills
this group is ready for. I got my data from ESGI.
I used ESGI to track my students' skill progress so I was able to create small groups and target the specific skills that group needed. And groups changed according to the needs of individual students. 
My K students' tests were organized by trimester
using bold primary colors. 
My TK students' tests were organized by trimester using pastel colors. 

And, the individualized data that ESGI created helped me to make quick RTI kits for each student that targeted the specific skills each child needed to practice. (I just used the flashcards generated by ESGI to make little RTI kits.) 
Just place each child's flash cards in a plastic bag.
Volunteers, cross age tutors, & paraprofessionals
can all practice skills with each student by using
their individualized RTI kit.
I wrote TK tests for ESGI and you can find them by clicking HERE.

And did I mention that ESGI is so much fun that my students actually begged me to test them! 

Take advantage of this WILD opportunity to try ESGI through June 30 FREE: (No credit card needed!)

For more info about ESGI