Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

My fabulous bloggy-friend Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having another Linky Party!  This one is for us to share based on the phrase "Kids Say the Darndest Things..."

So, here is mine.  I don't even remember what we were all talking about when this came up, but I think one student shared where his/her parents met.  Then a few more chimed in.  I asked this boy (second grade) if he knew where or how his parents met.  Well, he told me "No, but..."
Gotta love these kids and the funny things they say!  Out of the mouths of babes, right?  Join in the fun!  Right-click the blank template and make your own.  Then head over to Kindergarten Lifestyle's blog and link up!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Alphabet Eggs!

I am really excited to share this project with you!  It is simple to create and can be used for the alphabet or numbers.  I created a SlideShare to show you all the pictures and ways that I created my eggs.  Basically, the idea is to put a letter on the top half of a plastic egg (like letter A) and a letter on the bottom half of the egg (for this example, letter C) and have the child tell you what comes in between those two letters: B.  When he or she opens the egg, there is a little chick with the letter B!  What other concepts can be practiced in this manner?

Franklin Anybook Reader Review

I just purchased the Franklin Anybook Reader after it was recommended by our Assistive Technology consultant.  It is a very affordable, user-friendly devise that would fall into the mid-tech level for Asssitive Technology.  It is currently priced at $33.50 on 

With the emphasis on differentiation in today's classrooms this is a very versatile tool that can allow you to have more flexible grouping practices while students are working on independent work.  Small round stickers are activated by the "pen" and then you record.  Once the student presses the pen to the sticker it plays back what was recorded.  Imagine the ability to have a student reading a book that is being read by you on the Anybook Reader and having YOU think-aloud to model what good readers do!  Imagine placing stickers are predesignated spots in text for students to stop and answer a prompt you strategically inserted.  Think about how this can be used for word work: Students are prompted to find the words with a particular sound, or words that belong in a certain category.  The possibilities are endless!
The only con that I have found is that I wish you were able to pause it.  If it were able to pause, you could use it to read to students in smaller chunks and then they could stop it to answer questions or fill in responses.  The other down-side to this one partiular model is that it does not hook up to headphones.  I believe that the 60 hour version has a jack for headphones.  I am not positive though.  The 60-hour version is priced at $50.96:
Here is a brief video from the Franklin company highlighting the product and how it can help students with challenges:
Overall, I think it is a great investment! My students love it (I am a special education teacher) and I also shared it with our school Speech Pathologist and she was very impressed.  What ideas do you have for utilizing this in the classroom?  I would love to hear how you could put this to use in your class! Thanks :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You Know You are a Teacher When...

Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a LINKY PARTY using the pic above!  Come on over and join us!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant

It's really hard not to love anything written by Cynthia Rylant and this little gem is no exception!  This is a sweet book for grades PreK-2 about a little boy who makes valentines for his family, his dog, and his teddy too!  It is simple and sweet and the perfect springboard into creating valentines in class.  Here is a little freebie I made up to go with the story!  Just click on the picture below to get your valentine :) 

A quick shout out about the graphics: they are from Graphics From the Pond and they are FREE too!  Mel has some awesome clip art and gives some amazing freebies so check her out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Presidential Predicates and Their Loyal Subjects!

Don't you just LOVE the play on words!?!  Only another teacher can appreciate that corny expression :)  I plan on using this as a file folder activity.  There are two mats: one for George Washington and the other for Abraham Lincoln.  Print these on card stock and laminate them for durability.
Next, there are cards with predicates on them.  These are facts about each of the presidents.  Cut and laminate these as well.  Make sure you shuffle them well.  Then students will select a card and read the predicate to decide which president is the subject.  This is a great time to review verbs of being as well.  I plan on using this as a closure after our read alouds about the presidents and other activities.  I hope you can utilize this in your classroom :)  Stop by and let me know if you use it...I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

President's Day FREEBIE!

President's Day falls at the perfect time in our curriculum (or was our curriculum purposely designed around all of these holidays?)  We learned about fact and opinion and the students are presently learning about author's purpose and non-fiction text features.  So, when President's Day rolls around I plan on reading a few great books about our two greatest presidents.  Two books are written by Patricia A. Pingry.  The first is The Story of George Washington.  The second guessed it ~ The Story of Abraham Lincoln.  My second grade students struggle with decoding, so the simple text in these two stories lends itself to independent reading for struggling readers.  I created a Venn Diagram FREEBIE for all of you!  You can grab it on my TpT Store by clicking the picture below :)
I have a few other books that we will read in preparation for President's Day.  Some are just plain fun like George Washington's Cows by David Small.  Others will be going home with my students to read aloud, practice fluency, and share what we are learning about in school.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Assistive Technology

I love all things tech and I am a special education teacher, so it is obvious that I would LOVE assistive technology :)  I am on the AT Team in my school district and I can tell you it is pretty exciting when you see a student PRODUCE and demonstrate their knowledge by using an assistive technology tool that had they not had access to would not be able to perform.  Sometimes teachers don't realize that assistive technology can be as simple as a pencil does not always have to be "high tech" and cost a fortune.  I happen to work in a wealthy district where the majority of the students have their own iPads at home so access is not a problem.  If anything, it is the plethora of new information, tools, and apps that we are bombarded with daily that can put us into brain overload and leaves many running for the hills.  It can be intimidating to think you have to learn all of this new stuff and right away! 

I think teachers should start off slow and invest their time and energy into one or two tech tools that will yield the best return on investment in terms of student output.  Furthermore, once you learn to start navigating new technology you will be less fearful when approaching something new and more apt to figure it out with less time invested.  Most of the technology tools I use I have learned through self study.  I still don't know ALL of the bells and whistles on every tool.  There are still things that I can do in Word that I probably have not discovered yet!  So, my advice is to ask some techy teachers what they are using and love and get the most out of their students by using.  Let them show you some of their favorites and then dive in.  Even if you only doggie paddle, you will be on your way to a new shore!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One of those days...

I am having "one of those days" friends :(  The internet and TeachersPayTeachers are not making my life easy this morning.  My latest freebie, Burrow or Bust! (I discovered this morning) is not printing correctly.  I have no idea why, but I am sure it will keep me awake all night tonight trying to figure it out!  I also started a second TpT Store yesterday for toddler related products and it disappeared.  Makes me want to crawl in bed and hit the "rewind" button :)  Sooo, speaking of TOTS...I want to share two of my other blogs that you may enjoy.  The first one is Trendz-n-Traditionz and it is devoted to family traditions and holidays.  The other one is all about Toddlers!  It is Toadally Tots!  I created an awesome Groundhog Day Tot Pack that will be a freebie as soon as I can straighten out everything with TpT.  Come on over and join me if you would like. I would love to see you there!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Groundhog Freebie!

Good morning bloggers and Happy Tuesday!  I just wanted to share another Groundhog freebie I created with you.  It is called "Burrow or Bust!" and it is a BUMP addition game:)  As usual, please just click on the picture to grab it.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Happy Sunday everyone!  We got some snow here and I have to admit it was the perfect Sunday for staying in my pajamas :)  I had an opportunity to do one of my favorite things (yes, I am addicted): PIN on Pinterest!  Well, as I was pinning I looked back at my blog and realized that I didn't have my OWN freebies posted here!  So, I want to let you all know about some great freebies that are on my TpT Store :)  The first one is Groundhog Grammar.  This is a four page document with twelve Groundhog Day related words on the front. Students determine if each word is a common noun or a proper noun and sort them correctly while capitalizing proper nouns as needed. Next, students alphabetize all twelve words. Last, students sort the words according to the number of syllables each has.  Just click on the picture to grab that one!
The next one is another Groundhog Day freebie!  This one has been downloaded the most:  It is a Groundhog Day Packet that is four pages and contains a word search, tally worksheet with questions, a reading comprehension passage and a page with fact or opinion statements.  Just click on the picture to grab that one too!
And yes, there is still MORE Groundhog fun at my TpT store!  The last one Groundhog Contractions:  A ten page file that can be printed on card stock and laminated if you desire. There are word pairs that need to be matched to their corresponding contraction. Word pairs have a groundhog depicting spring, while their corresponding contractions depict a winter groundhog. Can be used for "I have...who has?" game or can be used as a center during word work time. There is a recording sheet included as well.  Grab that one by clicking on the picture as well :)
If you have not already downloaded my FREE Groundhog Grub treat bag topper...definitely go and get that.  This is just plain FUN!  You can even make up some Groundhog Grub bags for your colleagues too!
There are more FREEBIES at my store so please take a look around while you are there.  I also posted a great Valentine Math Center with a focus on regrouping and money!  This one is not free; it is $2.75.  If you decide to purchase and check it out please let me know how it works out for you in the classroom.  I would love to hear your feedback :)

Thanks everyone and have a GREAT week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Want to Win an ENTIRE SET of Books for YOUR Class?

Hi everyone!  I am hosting a HUGE giveaway :)  I am going to give an entire class set (regardless of your class size) to the person who directs the most traffic to my Facebook page and/ my blog.  If the person who directs the most traffic to my FB page is different thank the one who directs the most to my blog I will give them BOTH a class set of my book!

My book is Peanut Butter and Jelly Possibilities: Youthful Inspirations and it is a non-fiction book geared toward students in grades 4-9.  It is inspirational ~ it tells the stories of many young people who have made a difference in the world through love, hope, charity, courage and commitment.  Each story is followed by discussion questions.  Click the link to the title of the book above to check it out on Amazon.  The book is also available on my TpT store.  Just click here!

Even if you do not teach grades 4-9 you can still help a friend by directing them here and perhaps THEY will win :)  So here we go:  you can help direct traffic to my blog by simply picking something to post on your site or telling them about this blog.  I am looking for a large special education audience regardless of grade.  My facebook page is

I will determine the winner on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm.  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So Excited About Storybird!

I can barely contain myself with this new tool that I stumbled upon!  It is called Storybird at  As a special education teacher I am always looking for new and interesting ways to help my students express themselves and engage them interactively.  They are growing up in a digital age and we need to meet them in their comfort zone.  Storybird allows students to choose from tons of beautiful artwork and create a "storyboard" and then create a story to go with it.  It is almost like writing a picture book by illustrating it first.  I am so excited!  I know I am a geek, but this stuff makes me want to do a happy dance :)  Here is a sample story from their website (not created by a student, but still an awesome example to see!)

Decisions. Decisions! on Storybird

No More I'm Done - Stenhouse Publishers

Read this book for FREE online! When you go to the website just click the upper right corner of the book that says "Preview Online" and you will have access to the ENTIRE book!

Here is the link:
No More I'm Done - Stenhouse Publishers

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Treat Bag Topper FREEBIE!

I talked about this treat bag for President's Day, but now it is finished and I have a picture!  It has an adorable birdie and it says "For a Patriotic PEEP!"  I fill a sandwich bag (6" wide) with star-shaped marshmallow PEEPS.  

You can grab YOUR own printable topper for FREE over at my TeachersPayTeachers Store...just click HERE.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Fun FREEBIE for Groundhog Day!

Who doesn't LOVE a celebration?  Well, I have to say that Groundhog Day is one of my all time favorites!   I think it is because it is such a safe and fun day ~ no need to worry about offending anyone or being politically correct, etc.  Well, I just uploaded a FUN FREEBIE on my TpT Store!  Groundhog Grub treat bag toppers!  I put Gummi Worms in a cellophane bag (you can also use a Ziploc lunch bag, etc.) and they were a BIG hit with my students last year!  CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR OWN :)  Here is what mine look like:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FREE Bag Topper for President's Day!

I thought I would share a fun freebie with you all on this fabulous Sunday!  I plan on creating treat bags for my students for President's Day that are filled with star-shaped patriotic Marshmallow Peeps!   I created this cute bag topper and wanted to share it with you!  Just click on the picture for your freebie!
Hope you love it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome to the Resource Resort!

Welcome to The Teaching Resource Resort blog!  I am so glad that you stumbled upon this site and hope that you are able to gain insight, resources, and perhaps a little encouragment too!  My name is Dawn De Lorenzo and I have been a special education teacher for over ten years.  I have taught in numerous settings including public and private school and in a number of roles: Special Needs Service Coordinator, Director of Early Child Education, Replacement Classes (a.k.a. Self-Contained), Inclusion or Mainstream Classes, and Resource Room programs.  Within that scope I have taught Grades 1, 2, 4, 5, and all middle school grades.  I was a facilitator for University of Phoenix's online program in Curriculum and Instruction and was an adjunct professor of English at Middlesex County Community College in New Jersey.  I am the author of the book Peanut Butter and Jelly Possibilities: Youthful Inspirations.  My greatest joy is our beautiful daughter who is going on three years old.

I have a love and passion for ideas and resources!  I currently teach second grade in a Resource setting and I am the teacher that colleagues come to when they need ideas, materials, or help pulling a theme together with multiple resources.  My hope is that this blog will put some of those ideas and resources into your hands so that your life is a little easier and you can more readily meet the needs of the diverse learners you engage each day.  Thank you for spending time at this "resort" ~ I hope you enjoy your stay!  If you like what you see, please grab a button and share with your colleagues and friends!