Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th Of July Blog Hop!

Happy 4th Of July!
To help celebrate our wonderful country I am linking up with 20 other bloggers as part of a
For this month's hop we have set it up a bit differently!  Rather than hopping from blog to blog, all the participating blogs will be listed at the bottom of each post as a linky.  Just click on each blog's thumbnail to find their post and freebie!

I am honored to live in this wonderful country and couldn't be more proud to call USA my home!
I know I can never listen to this song too many times and it gives me such a wonderful sense of pride and appreciation:

So before we get to freebies and fun, click to play the video/song and lets take a moment to think about those that have served, and continue to serve, our country to give us the freedom we are celebrating today!

It is with great pleasure and honor that I get to share about 2 very important veterans in my life...
my dad and my husband!

My dad served in the US Army and was stationed in Germany for some time.  He narrowly missed being put into combat- and I thank my lucky stars each and every day that he was not!  I have fond memories of him teaching my sister, brother and I his version of German!  To this day I can still count to 10 in German! 
He still has his uniform- 50+ years later- and a sense of American pride that can never be taken away!  Recently my nephew had the opportunity to walk in the NYC Veterans Day parade while holding a poster size picture of my dad as he marched:
This is a shot of my nephew on TV with my Dad's picture!  It was so awesome to see them both on TV!!

My husband served in the US Coast Guard, and had he not had an accident that caused complete hearing loss in his right ear (which meant he had to be honorably discharged), I believe he would still be serving.  He spent time all over the country, but he spent the majority of his time served right here on Long Island- Coast Guard Station Jones Beach!  Coincidentally we bought a house less than 5 minutes away from one of Long Island's 4 Coast Guard stations!

I met him when he was a reservist and he loved his 'job'!  We actually met on a beach- in the most oddest of circumstances and he was wearing his Coast Guard t-shirt.  I had no idea, at the time, he was actually in the Coast Guard, but we hit it off right away and he has been my 'hero' every since!  He was born to be on the water, and as this photo shows, is most happy 'behind the wheel' of any boat!
 He spent many 4th of Julys out on the water serving and protecting those that were celebrating America and ran into a bit of trouble and/or bad luck! ;)  He is very proud of his time served and respects those that hold American values dear to their heart!

He tells our boys stories about the Coast Guard all the time!  When we go fishing he points out Coast Guard Stations and/or boats:
My sons are already so proud of Daddy and love to pick out Coast Guard books at the library and have many Coast Guard toys and Legos so they can be just like Daddy!

So to honor my hubby's time with the Coast Guard, his passion for boats, and to keep with a fun summer theme, my freebie for this 4th of July Blog Hop is simply...'flag-tastic!'
We recently remodeled our home and purchased nautical flag stickers to adhere to our front door.  Although not on there yet, these are the stickers we will be placing on the door:

Any guesses on what it may say??


I thought it would be fun to use the nautical flags, and the letters they stand for, to do some fun spelling and word activities!

Students (or your own children!) will use a Nautical Flag Alphabet chart to decipher 10 'summer themed' words!

Click the picture above to find the freebie product in my TPT Store.  Feedback is greatly appreciated!

Here is all you will get in the download:
These are the flag 'word' cards and here is a chart of all the nautical flags:
I found the images on wpclipart and compiled them into 1 'chart' for easy referencing.  You can use it as an 8.5x11 size or choose the option for printing '2' to a page to save some paper (and ink!)

Store the flag 'word' cards in a beach bucket for added thematic fun!

In addition, I included 10 picture cards that match the words on the flag cards.  Use the picture cards for predicting what the flag word cards will be and then check the chart to reveal the word and see if you are correct!

Laminate the flag word cards and have the kids use dry erase markers to write the letters under each flag until the word is revealed!  Match the picture cards to the new found word!

I also included a recording sheet to use if that is your preference for answering!

The words start easy (3 letters):
and work themselves up to a 10 letter word!

In addition to the reference chart, I also included the flags without the letters that can be cut apart.
 Students can work with partners to make a word and then have their friend 'crack the code' to reveal the word!
This would be a fun center activity for practicing sight words, spelling words or other fun summer words!
 You can make up a recording sheet for them or simply have them record the words made on a blank piece of paper.

Want to practice decoding CVC words- real and nonsense?  Have students pick 3 flags (you will need to put the vowels in a separate pile)- 1 vowel and 2 consonants.  Have them use the flags to make a word and then tell if it is 'real' or 'nonsense!'

You can even have the kids build their names to make a fun back-to-school or summer school bulletin board!

 There is a space for them to build their name, write it and draw a self-portrait.  You could also take their picture and glue it in there!

You can choose to print '2' to a sheet for a half sheet paper:

You will need to print the alphabet flags at '2' to a page, as well, so that they fit if you choose the smaller version!

I made up this 'recording sheet' for names just for my blog readers and fans:
This sheet IS NOT part of the download, so you will need to download it separately if you would like to use it!

For management purposes, if you are using the flags for making words in a center (as suggested above as an alternate activity), purchase a 'letter box' to keep the flags organized:
 tape the chart to the inside cover so that it is always there for reference!
By doing this students can easily find the flags they need, as well as return the flags to the right spot when they are done!

Differentiate the pack as needed for all your different learners!
It's sure to be 'smooth sailing' for both them...and you!

So I am ready to enjoy some barbecued food, fireworks and family fun with these cuties!
If you want to make this cute hat I have all the directions and printables for free by clicking the picture above!!

And if you are looking for something to 'burst in air' that is fire free and full of fun, we tried out 'exploding paint bags' this week and had a BLAST!  Click the pictures for the 'how to!'

For this weekend I have put my ENTIRE TpT Store on sale for 20% off!
In addition, I have a few deals that are sure to 'free' up some of your cash for other holiday fun!
Click each of these thumbnails to purchase them at an even further discounted price!





And as an added bonus, all of the participating bloggers have 'pooled their cash' to purchase 4 $25 TpT gift certificates and 1 $10 Target gift card!
The first four selected will receive the TpT gift certificates and the 5th winner will receive the Target gift card!
Enter here, or on any of the participating blogs:

Ready for your next post and freebie?  Here is a list of the participating blogs for this month's 4th of July Blog Hop!  
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and safe 4th of July!

Until next post,
post signature


  1. What an awesome giveaway! I love your freebie - how fun! We plan to watch the fireworks on the waterfront if the hurricane stays away! :) Happy 4th!!


    Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners

  2. I love your post! Loved learning about your dad and husband :) Definitely heroes! Thanks for the amazing freebie! My son is going to love playing with these!! Happy 4th of July!
    Differentiation Station Creations

  3. My husband was injured in Iraq so the fireworks and the crowds are too much for him. We are going to spend a relaxing time at home while my son goes with his grandparents to pop some fireworks! :) A win win for all!

    Thanks for the goodies! I look forward to the blog hop and learning about new blogs!!

  4. I will be using this awesome freebie withy own kids! Thanks:)

  5. Love the freebie and the giveaway! My father-in-law served in the Coast Guard during World War 2 and remained in the reserves for many years afterward. My own dad was in the Marine Corps during World War 2 and the Korean Conflict, then stayed in the reserves, becoming a Colonel. My husband was in the Marine Corps during Korea! I am so proud on them and their service to our country!

  6. Thanks for the blog hop and contest! We are cooking out on the 4th with friends. I have so many wonderful units on TPT that I could use some help purchasing for my Title 1 kiddos. Happy 4th, Julie Gornall

  7. Thank you for the freebie and the giveaway. Would love to win. I enjoyed reading about your dad and husband. My husband served in the Marine Corps in Desert Storm. Unfortunately "Arthur" has put a damper on our plans for today, so we will be celebrating tomorrow. Happy 4th!

  8. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I am saving it for next year!

  10. I would LOVE to win a TPT gift card and would use it towards back to school activities!!!

  11. Thanks for a great Giveaway for a great holiday. Tonight we plan to watch the Fourth of July fireworks on TV, then go watch them at the park. Tomorrow we are going over to see our Grandchildren and have a cookout with them. I can't wait to use all of these freebies with our summer school kids. Thanks for everything.

  12. I'm hoping to win this so I can buy some amazing updated materials to teach second grade. I'm returning to 2nd after 9 years in Kindergarten.

  13. Enjoyed reading about your family members. Your freebie was perfect as it could be modified for so many grade levels. Hope your 4th was wonderful.
    Burke's Special Kids

  14. Proud US NAVY mom spending the 4th with hubby, son #3, & granddaughter #2...SO FUN! Wendy 1stgradefireworks 1stgradefireworks

  15. I love your freebie! I'm sure my Grade 2s will as well. Just curious, what is the font you used for "Smooth Sailing With"? I love it! Thanks, Bryn

  16. Thanks for the freebie! Very creative! Your little ones look so cute in their hats and beards! Hope you had a great 4th!


  17. This is a great FREEBIE! Thanks for sharing this! I loved reading about your family!

  18. Loved your post. Thanks to your dad and your husband for their service. Your freebie is perfect for back-to-school. I think it would make a fun first day activity to solve a Welcome to First Grade puzzle and then let them write their name with the flags!

  19. Wow... what I could do with this give-a-way!! Thanks for doing what you do... I love it! :)

  20. That song gives me goose bumps EVERY time I listen to it! I love the flag idea. It can be tied to so many different things and is so fun! Thanks for sharing!

  21. This post is popping with ideas! I just love your freebie too. Thank you so much!

  22. I love blog hops & cannot wait to use everything with my students to enhance work stations! :) Thank you!


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