30-40-50 and almost 60

Dear Friends…
I just got home from an incredible journey (it took me 10 minutes to think of the right ‘word’ to describe this journey).  Incredible sort of describes it.  Exhausting and overwhelming and magnificent also somewhat come close!

 

A couple of years ago…my daughter suggested that when she, her husband, and I all turn 30,40, and 50 (in the same year) that we go on a trip to celebrate the decades we’ve all been alive and very blessed to be on planet earth together.  Being as my sweetheart is ‘almost’ 60 he was coming too.  Fortunately (most of the trip) my ‘almost 1 year old’ grandson came along as well.

 

We went to the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.  Having never been to any of those countries before I gotta say that I was only ‘very‘ excited to see where the Sound of Music (favorite film of ALL time!) took place and NOT eat sauerkraut.  Ohhhh how wrong I was.  Two weeks, roaming around from train to train with my loved ones and seeing some of the most beautiful places on planet earth (that I’ve ever seen in my entire life!) was just about too much happiness.  I was on beauty-stimuli overload!  The people, history, art, cobble-stone streets, the fantastic food (don’t get me started on how amazing french fries are in this part of the world!) and the sheer stunning-ness of the locations we went to was….well, I’ve already use all the words I know how to use to describe it.  I’m just now, after being home for a couple of days, catching my breath.  Let me just add a little p.s. to this….if you’re in Salzburg Austria, go on the Sound of Music tour.  I cried like a baby over every song and gazebo I saw while on it.  And…go to Hallstatt Austria for a look at what I imagine heaven to be like.  Send me a postcard when you do.  I’ll completely understand how it’s difficult to come up with the right ‘words’ to describe it.

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It’s good to be home, and not smell like a street urchin and have Wi-Fi available anytime I want.  And to be with my loved ones here whom I can describe with the same words as I did the trip. I guess always the important lesson to remember is… love exactly where you are and who you’re with.  Life and trips of a lifetime go by so quickly.  I can’t remember who said “be here now”.  But what a good statement to live by.

 

I love traveling.  Always have.  Near or far…I’m a gypsy at heart it seems.  Traveling has been the best education of my life.  It changes and inspires me to draw and write more and to just be a better person towards all people.  I believe with all of my heart that around the world, we pretty much want the same thing.  To be happy and have our loved ones happy as well.

 

I’m back to the drawing board for DJ Inkers to share with you what inspired me on this journey…and throwing in another load of wash right as soon as I send this off.

Here’s ‘to 50′ being the BEST year ever!

Big ALPS smiles and heart….
Dianne
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Yay for our Guest Blogger! Bringing smiles to teaching the 3 Branches of Government

We are excited to introduce Aris, our first GUEST BLOGGER at DJ Inkers.  :) We just love her ideas… & it’s so fun to see what she’s done with our clip art and fonts!  Plus, President’s Day is right around the corner… so the theme is perfect!  So, without further ado…

 

Hello DJ friends!  I’m Aris Rossi from Sailing into Second and I’m beyond excited to be guest posting for Dianne today! {Holy moly these are some HUGE shoes to fill!} Today I’ll be sharing some mini lessons on the 3 Branches of Government using DJ Inkers Kidoodlez U.S.A Clip Art!

 

In social studies, we’ve been learning about our U.S. Government, specifically the 3 branches of government. I started out with a pictorial input chart (a strategy adapted from Project GLAD)
where I created colorful visuals of information (picture notes) to describe each of the three branches. I drew the picture as I described each of the vocabulary words and concepts. I also used colors to organize/chunk important information. It’s super important to revisit the chart on multiple occasions to add additional information or images.  We always keep our pictorial input charts available as resources all around the classroom. At the end of the unit, I “auction” the charts or KWL’s off to students…they go b-a-n-a-n-a-s over them! It’s absolutely hilarious! Here’s an example of the one we’ve been using during this unit.

One activity I used to help my students remember what each branch does and is responsible for was this fun sorting activity! 

When introducing a new unit (for social studies, math, science, or even language arts) I also like to use an inquiry chart (very similar to KWL) to assess and activate background knowledge, address misconceptions, teach revision and learning as a continuous process, and to model reading/writing skills. I know…sounds like it couldn’t possibly hit up all of that stuff, but it really does! This strategy comes from the inquiry method approach to science to think, predict, and hypothesize. The students also keep a copy for themselves in their social studies interactive notebooks to refer back to after we finish our unit (see below for example). 
 During small reading group centers, I pulled out these informational text reading passages and comprehension activities I created about each of the 3 branches. We spent a few days doing close reads with these bad boys to really soak in all the great information found in each passage!
In addition to all the informational text reading, we dove into all academic vocabulary using my vocabulary matching game and cards! They loved all the vocabulary flip books too!


We even got to create some awesome patriotic stories using picture cards! Isn’t the clip art simply ADORABLE?!?

Overall, I’d say they enjoyed learning about a topic that might not always be a hit with the kids. It really helps to branch out (no pun intended!) and teach this topic across the curriculum. We spent many days focusing on the important aspects of our U.S. Government, but really made it accessible to my students in a variety of ways and activities. DJ Inkers Kiddodlez U.S.A. Clip Art made these activities and worksheets MUCH cuter!  What are some ways you use DJ Inkers in your classroom?  I’d love to hear all about it!

 

And as a special gift, DJ Inkers has a coupon just for YOU to SAVE 25%!  All you have to do is enter coupon code:  DJUSA in the box at the bottom of the ‘view cart’ page, click apply & enjoy!  Just be sure to use your coupon before it expires on President’s Day (February 17, 2014).

 

Sailing into 2ndIf you liked these ideas you can find the full 3 Branches of Government Unit here! I’d also love it if you would stop by my blog at Sailing into Second! 

 

 

-Aris Rossi

 

 

Thank YOU, Aris!   You are adorable.  Teachers like you make us look good.  ;) 

 

If you are interested in being a guest blogger at DJ Inkers, please contact us (smiles@djinkers.com) & send us an idea for what you might like to blog about.  :)

NEW DJ Fonts for Teachers!

Ohhh I LOVE a new DJ font!   There’s something SO amazing that happens inside my heart when I see the letters, doodles, critters and designs I draw come to life!  It’s, as my dear friend Julie says, “life changing”.

 

I designed our NEW DJ Fonts for Teachers months ago.  It’s been something we’ve been asked to put together for ages now… and for good reason.  Teachers love DJ Inkers FONTS and CLIP ART.   And my darling Alix (my daughter and the mother of my very cute grandson Jackson!) has been working her fingers to the bone in putting this whole NEW Fonts for Teachers package together.  She’s utterly amazing and works hard to keep things moving around DJ Inkers.   I couldn’t do it without her.

 

Fonts for TeachersWe’ve selected 5 font-astic fonts especially for teachers and smiles at school. There’s DJ Basic Block, DJ Chunky, DJ Handwriting, DJ Simple, and DJ Starstruck.  Here’s a sample of the fonts in this NEW collection.  I know for certain teachers will LOVE this set.  And…it’s just dang cute.  We took particular care to follow the ‘correct writing’ guidelines, but added that fun element that you love to design with.

 

Many of you may already have the DJ Chunky (modified) font and DJ Handwriting.  (Very popular DJ fonts!).  So we’ve also made all of the fonts in this collection available as single font downloads for your convenience.   Click here to shop all of our font-astic fonts!

 

Please share what you’re creating with our wonderful fonts & clip art.  I love to see what you’re doing!  Keep the ideas and comments coming.  We love hearing from you!

 

Hope February is fabulous!    Many smiles & heart!

 

Dianne

Sharing Smiles & a BIG DJ Inker’s Giveaway!

DJ Friends….

 

Hope your first weeks of 2014 are going absolutely fabulous!   I loved an ad I saw a few days ago that said ’HAPPY YOU YEAR‘!   In my head I thought “if only”…seems like everyone and everything gets attention before I give any to myself.  I’m sure you can relate.   But it IS a new year and new resolve that each day, one smile at a time, I can change the world.  It’s the one thing I know I can do each day for sure.

 

So I’m asking you to help me by joining the DJ Inker’s affiliate program!  Share the smiles with me.  It’s free & easy to do (call and talk to my darling Dee if you need help)!  I know many of you (especially teachers) have blogs and websites where you create amazing things and share with your friends… & that’s all you need to get started.  PLUS… you can earn a little extra money too!  It’s win-win!  Sharing the smiles is what it’s all about.  :)

 

And my next new TAAA-DA is…(drumroll please)!  A fantastic giveaway!  We (well, Alix my webmaster) finally figured out the little widget so entering is easy for YOU and we have a better selection process for our winner.  Yeahoo!  Because our Kidoodlez Language Arts collection is newly available as a DOWNLOAD, we thought we’d go all-out and give one away to one lucky winner.  Enter right away & tell your friends!Language Arts samples

It’s going to be a GREAT year.  We are so grateful for supportive and incredible customers like YOU!  A big grin and thanks for the comments and heart that you share with us!

 

 

Smiles & Heart!

 

Dianne

 

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Good Tidings! DJ Inker’s storewide SALE!

Dear Friends…

Taaaa Daaa!!!  Feels SO good that my holiday shopping is DONE!  All online and in my jammies no less.  There was a time (so long ago) that all the gifts I gave were homemade and took me months and sleepless nights to complete.  I was such a die-hard ‘accomplisher’ …and young and not 50 (lol!).   Those were the good ol’ days for sure.   My honey and I had more time to relax and laugh with family and eat leftovers all weekend because we did it all online.  I’ve definitely decided it’s the way to go!   More time for smiles, heart and enjoying the season’s blessings.

 

It’s why we love the DJ Inker’s once a year 25% off the entire store sale….because we know you look forward to getting all the grins and creative downloads your heart desires on SALE!

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It ends at midnight tonight…so click on over now and give the gift of a grin (for yourself too!) this year!

 

Holiday Happiness to YOU!!

 

Dianne

 

 

 

Win $100 in our Holiday Teacher Contest!

Darling Friends!

 

Just wanted to post a quick note to you and remind you to enter the HOLIDAY TEACHER’S CONTEST we have going on at DJ Inker’s right now!  Pretty please enter it!!  I love seeing what you’re doing in your classroom with DJ Inker’s art.

holidaycontestIt’s a great way to share your ideas in the class room and WIN a pile of smiles too!

 

In order to qualify your project must:  be holiday or winter themed, use at least 3 DJ images and 1 DJ font (of course, you can use more).  Limit 3 project submissions per person.
One first place winner will get a $100 DJ gift certificate, with a $50 gift certificate for second place & $20 for third! :)  Entries must be emailed to us by midnight EST on Friday, November 22, 2013.  Send to: smiles@djinkers.com with subject line: Teacher Contest.  (We prefer PDF or jpg formats at high resolution, .doc format also accepted.)  Be sure to include your name and current email address so that we can contact you if you win!

 

All eligible entries will be featured in our ‘Ideas & Samples’ gallery for the holidays!  Winners will be announced on next month’s Teacher Corner email.

 

Can’t wait to see the smiles YOU’RE creating  :)

 

Dianne

DJ Inkers SOOOO Appreciates Teachers!

Hey there friends…

 

We are so excited to be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week here at DJ Inkers!!!  What a great holiday.  It’s wonderful to have a little reminder to give a BIG smile & some serious appreciation to the teachers in our lives!  We hope you teachers are being spoiled rotten by your students, co-workers & favorite stores!  ;)

 

We definitely want to extend our appreciation to the darling teachers who help make DJ Inkers successful!  We know we couldn’t do it without you.  So, in honor of teachers everywhere… our entire store is 20% off this week!!!

 

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Hooray!  All you have to do is ‘Shop for Smiles.’  The discount is automatic, & it couldn’t be easier to enjoy the savings.  (Sale ends Sunday, May 12, 2013 at midnight EST.)

 

Smiles to YOU!  :D

The DJ Inkers Crew

 

P.S.  Sorry… DJ Inker’s commercial licenses are not included in the sale.