December 16, 2013

My Name is Erin...And I am an Addict...

A Melonheadz Addict that is!  Woot Woot!  I am so excited to be part of Nikki's exclusive Melonheadz Addict club.  As you can see I am proudly displaying my addict number 96 badge on my blog.

Good news - if you would like to be a member of this exclusive club you can too!  Here's a link to check out Nikki's offering on her blog :)  Melonheadz Addict Club!

9 more sleeps until Christmas - Be safe everyone!

December 15, 2013

Holidays Around the World, Facebook & A Follower Freebie!

I'm back!  Trying to manage a household with 3 kids under 6, work, work out at the gym and work on my TpT resources (WOW...that's a lot of stuff with the word "work" in it) my blog is like an old friend that I'm able to catch up with about once a month.

At least I always seem to come back with good stuff.

First up is my newest unit - I can't tell ya'll how many hours went in to this one!  Holy Hannah - even my kids did a happy dance for me when I finally posted it on TpT last night.  This unit is SO SO much fun.  5 Holidays, 5 Posters, 10 Original Readers, 1 awesome paper bag passport + crafts, procedural writing and more.

Next up is my brand new FB page!  I'm hoping to tend to it more than my poor lil' old blog.  Please check it out and "like" it if you want to follow along!  Once Upon A Classroom FB Page

And last but not least..a little freebie for you!  Thanks for sticking around.  It means so much that you care enough to lend me your time and interest.

See you in 2014!

November 2, 2013

Superhero Spelling & A Bookmark Freebie!

Phew!  I really need to dust the cobwebs off of my blog - and not because we just had Halloween!  I have been very busy working on a few resources and have let things slide a little lot.

I wanted to tell you a bit about my newest resource - 'Superhero Spelling'.  I've included all of the Dolch Pre-Primer words and put them into 5 different graphs.  Each word is written in a different font to help kids learn how to recognize letters and words even though they may look a bit different.  Each word collage has a tallying and graphing student recording sheet.  Once students have found all of their words, they make tally marks and graph their data.  Finally, there are 5 super fun follow up activities.   What's great about this resource is that you can start it in class and then send the follow up activity home or use it at the center.  Sending it home is a great way to get parents involved in their child's learning.  Here is an example of what one of the word collages looks like:  

And here is one of the follow up activities:

Click on the cover to see this resource in my store!

And now for your freebie!  Your students will love having their own superhero sight word bookmarks.  Use these as a reward for learning all of the Pre-Primer words or give them out to students to use during quiet reading time.  Click on the pics to download!

Happy Teaching!

September 5, 2013

Happy Early Halloween Freebie!

I know, I know...we JUST started back.  However, the fact that it is only September has not deterred retail stores from stocking their shelves with halloween stuff since July.  Seriously...JULY peeps.

When I saw these adorable graphics from Nikki over at Melonheadz I knew I had to use them to release a new FREEBIE reader in honour of my favourite holiday.  So here it is!  It's a cute little rhyming book that includes contractions on each page.  After reading the book, students must write out the contractions at the bottom of the page where indicated.  There's even a page at the end for your kiddos to draw a picture of themselves all dressed up for halloween!  Click on the picture to grab your own copy!

And don't forget my Spooktacular Halloween Math & Literacy Fun Unit.  It's FULL of activities like sorting, patterning, graphing, sequencing, making words, class book, sight word bingo, and a cute pumpkin life cycle craftivity!  Click on the 
picture to check it out.

Happy Teaching!

August 29, 2013

Chatty Chipmunk and Likewise the Owl

While back to school shopping for my own kids yesterday at Walmart, I happened upon these little gems!  Meet Chatty Chipmunk & Likewise the Owl.  

Chatty Chipmunk has two features - "Quirky Questions" and "Amusing Activities".  He asks questions like "Which person in the room would you like to be stranded on an island with and why?" and "If you could travel through time, where would you go and why?".  This would be excellent set up as a writing centre or whole group writing activity.  Press the button, record the question (there is even a repeat button) and start writing!  

Chatty's other feature is "Amusing Activities".  Press this button and you will hear things like "Say the alphabet as fast as you can - backwards!" and "Try to touch your elbow to your nose!".  How fun would this be as a brain break, end of the day activity or partner activity?  How about as a reward for doing something great or for the birthday boy/girl.    

Likewise the Owl speaks english and spanish.  Press the "Play Word" button and you will hear "The word is candy.  If you would like me to say the word again, press the repeat word button".  Other words include car, little, pizza, house, large, quiet, party, ice, cookie just to name a few!  This little guy would be great as an oral partner activity, pop spelling quiz, class team game (split the class into 2 teams - boys vs. girls etc.) and even as a word work centre.  

I'm going to use them as brain breaks, rewards, spelling practice, oral assessment, milling to music, as a literacy centre - the possibilities are endless.  The best $9.95 (each) I ever spent!

 What kind of brain breaks do you use in your classroom?

August 20, 2013

Community Helpers & A FREEbie!!!

I hope you took advantage of the Teachers pay Teachers back to school sale!  I know I spent WAY too much money on the cutest digital images from my favourite artist - Nikki at Melonheadz Illustrating!  My wish list is definitely smaller now.
I worked day and night to get my newest resource done in time for the sale.  I'm really proud of this one y'all.  It's an integrated unit on Community Helpers with the most A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E trading cards and anchor chart posters!  Click on the picture to take a peek!

And now for your FREEBie!!!!

Here is the Doctor Anchor Chart Poster from my Community Helpers Unit.  I'm only offering it here as a huge thank you for following my blog!  I appreciate each and everyone of you!

Happy Teaching!


August 15, 2013

Pinterest for Teachers & A BIG Secret Revealed!

I love Pinterest.  I mean, I LOVE Pinterest as much as I love chocolate.  That's a lot of love.
I am so excited to share that Pinterest now has boards filled with A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ideas specifically for us teachers.  Click on the picture to read about how you can get in on the action!

And now for the big secret.  This is big news.  I mean really big!  After much speculation about when it was going to happen I can finally let you in on the secret...the amazing Teachers pay Teachers back to school sale is about to begin!

Now is the time to stock up on all those wishlisted items you have been stockpiling.  I know I have a TON of resources I have been eyeing.  I am going to participate in the sale by offering 20% off my entire store (except for my "Buy My Store" option - it's already 50% off!).  However, by entering the Promo Code: BTS13 you will receive a discount on that resource courtesy of TpT!
Happy Teaching!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom

August 9, 2013

Buy My Store! and Meet the Puncs Anchor Chart FREEBIE!

It's been a whirlwind summer!  While my US friends have been busy setting up their classrooms in preparation for their new bunch of littles, I've been savouring ever last drop of summer. We don't go back until the beginning of September but the Back to School marketing blitz in definitely on.  Would you believe I saw Halloween stuff at Michael's a couple WEEKS ago?  Geez.

I've been playing with the idea of bundling my entire store and offering every resource for 50% off.  I think I've worked out all the details!  Those who "Buy My Store" will also receive every single resource I add from now until forever for FREE.  I'm offering two versions...US and Canadian.  

Click on the picture for all the details!!!!

I had a request to make Anchor Charts to go with my "Meet the Puncs" Reader Freebie.  I put together some 8.5" x 11" posters you can use to introduce/review basic punctuation with your kiddos.  Click on the picture to download now for free :)

Happy Teaching!

July 28, 2013

FREE eBooks for Back to School!

Welcome Back Teachers!

TpT sellers have been busy this summer! Implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a priority for many teachers. To help you get started or add to your CCSS resources, we have created a collaborative eBook: “A Bundle of Tips and Common Core State Standards Resources from TpT Authors.”This particular file is for teachers in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. Each page is packed with tips to help you incorporate the Common Core standards into your classrooms. Be sure to look for the link to a free item on each page.

Good luck and happy teaching in 2013-14!!

Check out these fabulous eBooks:

Common Core Math: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades K-2 Common Core Math: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades 3-5 
Common Core English Language Arts: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades 3-5 
Common Core Science: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades 6-12
Common Core Social Studies: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades 6-12 
Common Core Math: Free back-to-School eBook for Grades 6-12
Common Core English Language Arts: Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades 6-12

Happy Teaching!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Teacher

July 24, 2013

The Prize Can #create2educate #sweepstakes

I love giving away little prizes in my classroom for good behaviour, when students meet their personal goals, because it's Tuesday and a whole bunch of other reasons.

I've tried many different ways of housing these little goodies from the not so cute (ziploc bag) to the expensive store bought much smaller in person than online cardboard treasure chest that lasted for one school year.

Thusly, the Prize Can was born!  Cheap?  Check.  Sturdy?  Check.  Cute?  Double check.

Here's how you can make your own!!!

I headed on over to my second home Michaels Arts and Crafts store to pick up materials for this project.  Don't you just love that as teachers we get 15% off EVERYDAY????  

1.  I bought yellow and grey cardstock, an assortment of ribbon, a can (make sure to remove the handle before you start) and the cutest little felt roses that make the perfect lid lifter upper on the can.

2.  I made a paper template by measuring the top of the can to the bottom of the can.  I also measured from one handle hole to the other.   I wrapped the paper template around the can and rubbed where the handle goes to figure out how far down I needed to trace my bathtub stopper.  It was about 1.5".  You could probably use a water bottle cap or any other appropriately sized round object.  Line it up so that the middle of the object is halfway onto your template and trace around your object.    

3.  Use your template to cut the cardstock strips that will go around the can.  You will need 2 for the top and 2 for the bottom of the can.

4.  Put the strips end to end and trace the other half of your round object.  You should now have a perfect circle (half on one strip and half on the other strip).

5.  Have you heard of Sookwang tape???  I love this stuff.  It's like double sided tape only it's more of a glue than a tape.  If you can't find Sookwang tape, Michael's sells glue dots that would work great too.  The reason I chose not to Mod Podge the paper on the can is because I like to change the theme in my classroom from year to year and I wanted to be able to change out the paper without having to buy a new can!  Run a strip of Sookwang or dab glue dots along the edges of the cardstock.

6.  Start by attaching the middle of the bottom strip of paper to the can.  Smooth the sides of the paper down around the can.

7.  Repeat with your top strip.

8.  This is what is looks like when the can has been covered with your strips of cardstock.  2 yellow on the top and 2 grey on the bottom.

9 & 10.  Cut a length of ribbon to 21".  Apply Sookwang or glue dots and attach it around the can where the papers meet.

11.  Trace something round (I used the lid from my Vitamix), use a circle cutter, protractor (are these still used???) or another object to cut a circle for the lid.  Apply Sookwang or glue dots and attach it to the paint can lid.

12.  I bought these cute little felt roses as a handle for lifting off the lid.  You could really use anything that sticks up.  

13.  Attach the handle.

14.  Here's a little tip from my baby hair clip making days.  Run a lighter along the ends of your cut ribbon to melt them slightly so they don't fray!

15.  Cut your ribbon into 6" pieces.  Knot them on the ends of your can handle.  Help yourself to a free editable chalkboard label from my TpT store by clicking here

There you have it!  The Prize Can!  Fill it with candy, little toys, classroom coupons, wet noodles or anything else you want to give to your littles. 

Now it's your turn!  Did you know Michaels is having a contest right now?  All you have to do is go shopping at Michaels, create your own classroom project and upload your creation to Instagram using the hashtags #create2educate and #sweepstakes.  Your project could be featured on Michaels "Classroom Ideas" Pinterest board and you could even win a $50 gift card to Michaels!   

Happy Teaching!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom

July 12, 2013

Holy Giveaways Batman!!!

My awesome, talented, creative teacher friends over at Tpt are celebrating all kinds of milestones this month and the giveaways are huge!!!!  

I've donated my Find it, Tally & Graph - Back to School resource to each one.  Click on the picture for a closer look!

Creation Castle is celebrating 300 followers!! Enter from July 12-19 to win!

Live Love Math is next...Enter from July 13-16 to win!

Comprehension Connection is also celebrating 300 followers!! Enter from July 15-20 to win!
And last but not least Owl Things First is celebrating 400 followers!!!!  Her giveaway is HUGE!!  Don't miss it!

Good luck!!!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom

July 1, 2013

Teachers Care for Alberta Fundraiser!

The recent devastating floods in Alberta have once again brought our wonderful international teaching community together in a joint effort to help those affected.  For the next 2 weeks, three very special bundles are available to purchase for just $25 each with full proceeds being donated to Alberta flood relief efforts.

This is a win-win!!!  You will receive resources valued anywhere from $150-$184 for only $25 and our fellow citizens of Alberta will receive much needed help!

The K-2 bundle includes 33 resources
The 3-5 bundle includes 34 resources and
The 6-12 bundle includes 33 resources

Click on the links to take you to Rainbow City Learning's TpT store right now and choose your bundle!

Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom

June 28, 2013

When it rains really does pour...

I'm back and let me tell you what I've been dealing with for the last week.  An out of town husband and 3 kids under the age of 6 with the stomach flu!!!  And then to top it all off, I got it too.  What a horrible week.

I'm happy to report we are all back in the pink and ready to begin summer break!

We found this little guy in our yard on the weekend and named him Mr. Shady.  Except that we found out Mr. Shady is really a Mrs. Shady who laid an egg in our sandbox turtle home.

Of course being the "teacher mom" that I am, I promptly suggested we go online and learn all about turtles and their eggs.  Our investigation led to me finding this cute turtle craftivity freebie from Stephanie Stewart that I just had to share.  Included with this craftivity is a can/have/need graphic organizer, baby turtle pattern and a fact sheet that the kids will use to show what they learned about sea turtles. I'm going to test it out on my kids first and then I'm tucking it away until next school year.  

Have you taught a unit on turtles?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Teaching!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom

June 14, 2013

Introducing Me

was what you might call a "spirited" child.

If it wasn't nailed down, I'd move it, change it, break it or otherwise do something with it I'm sure I wasn't supposed to do.

At the age of 5, I skipped school.  For a week.  

Thankfully, schools call parents now when their children aren't at school by 10 am.

I was one outgoing, happy, fearless, busy kid.

I did pretty well in school ...when I tried... and when it was interesting.

I wanted to be, and went to school to become a police officer.  

It's interesting how priorities change when you get married and think about having kids.  That's me marrying my best friend Michael 9 years ago.  WOW... that went by fast.

Not long after we got married I went back to university to earn a second degree...this time in education.  I knew I found my calling with the very first cut of construction paper and dab of white Elmer's glue.  

Seriously, what other sane person would be able to put on a yard waste bag and call themselves a Paperbag Princess and love it?

My teachers would never believe I have become one of them.

Fast forward a few years and meet our 3 healthy, full of life, spirited (I know...the apple doesn't fall far...God help me) children.

  Other things I love 


It has shown me all of the things that are wrong with my house that need to be  

I'm on an organizing tear these days, diligently documenting my success for prosperity because I know that my house will NEVER look like this again :)

My fridge before...

and after...
and if I were to take a picture of it today...

See what I mean?

I love art and all things creative.

I loathe putting away laundry.
I am

well intentioned


hard working

slightly clumsy

 a wife

a mom

a chaffeur

an aspiring organizational goddess and

I'd love to have you follow along my journey in the blogosphere!

Happy Teaching!

June 13, 2013

If You Build It...

If you build it....they will come!

I have finally decided to take the plunge and start up this humble little blog!  I'll document all the exciting happenings in my classroom, share fantastic new resources and awesome ideas with you.  I'll post freebies and paid items from my TpT store, feature other amazing educators and hopefully inspire you to try new things with your littles.

As a token of my appreciation for following along here is a special freebie from my classroom to yours.  It's an adorable little reader that introduces basic punctuation 
(. , ? ! ") to your kiddos.  You may wish to read one page at a time and then do a mini-lesson for each type of punctuation.  Kids love to read this book to a partner while practicing their best punctuation voices!  This book is a great way to introduce basic punctuation and it would also be a great review activity for the beginning of the year.

Happy Teaching!
Erin Palleschi
Once Upon A Classroom