Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mega 100 Follower Giveaway!

It's finally here! My first giveaway! It's like Christmas morning! Thank you to my 100 followers and those who follow by email! This venture has been a great learning experience and a wonderful way to share and receive ideas to improve my practice! Can you believe that there are 11 fellow bloggers kind enough to donate an item or two from their TPT Stores for my giveaway??!! I appreciate all of my new bloggy friends for their support and help to host this celebration! I'm so excited! Hugs to my new BBFs (Best Bloggy Friends!) for their generosity!

I'm donating any three items from my TPT Store!
Collaboration Cuties
Amanda from Collaboration Cuties is donating any magnificent item from her TPT Store!
Covered in Glitter and Glue
Jessica from Covered in Glitter and Glue is donating any marvelous item from her TPT Store!
Ideas By Jivey
Jessica from Ideas by Jivey is donating any super item from her TPT Store!
Looking From Third to Fourth
AMC from Looking from Third to Fourth is donating her graphing unit from her TPT Store!

Grab My Button
Khrys from Keepin' it Kool in Kinderland is donating any amazing item from her TPT Store!

Caitlyn is donating her huge Rocks and Minerals unit from her TPT Store!
Fifth in the Middle
Diane from Fifth in the Middle is donating a custom personalized banner!
Confessions of a Teachanista

 Caralee from Confessions of a Teachanista is donating any fantastic item from her TPT Store
I {Heart} Recess
 Jess from I Heart Recess is donating any wonderful item from her TPT Store
 My Photo
Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road is donating any fabulous item from her TPT Store!

Sister Teachers

Jackie from Sister Teachers is donating TWO items from their incredible TPT Store!

Shut up, right??!! Isn't it amazing? I told you it's MEGA! I wonder if I'm allowed to enter my own giveaway??!! You have until next Friday to enter!
Just enter the Rafflecopter. You have up to 39 chances to win!!!
All entries will be verified.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CD Book Report-New Product & Giveaway!

I'm so excited about this new creation! We just finished the novel Wringer and wanted a fun way to wrap up the I made a CD Book Report! My students were so excited and eager to start this project! A jewel case and some paper can do wonders! Many of my students brought it home just to finish it! We created a "Playlist" together based on themes of the novel. Some of which include: Trouble (I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In), Don't Stop Believing, Final Countdown! If you're familiar with this novel, you'll appreciate these songs-I couldn't believe what they contributed to this project! Students responded to their reading by citing text evidence, supporting their thinking, and justifying their feelings on 10 different "cds". I've included some photos of their amazing work.

I'm so thrilled with this new creation I want to share it...the first 3 people to leave a comment and follow me on TPT will receive it for FREE!
 If you're a lucky winner, you will find included in this download are directions, student sample photos, and a rubric for easy grading!
I hope you and your students enjoy this unique book report!
Don't forget my BIG giveaway starts tomorrow evening!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013


I'm soooooo excited! My little blog has reached a milestone! (It happened in the middle of the night last night!) I've been waiting for this moment for a while now, and now that I've reached it, it's kind of stressful! How does that make sense? I've never planned a giveaway!!! I was wondering if some of my bloggy friends would be interested in helping me out by donating an item from their TPT store along with my items for my 100 follower giveaway? I would greatly appreciate it! Please email to let me know. I'd like to start the giveaway by Friday.
Thank you to Collaboration Cuties and Covered in Glitter and Glue for already agreeing to donate!! Hugs to both of you!

Please come back to enter the giveaway on Friday!
And now, it's off to bed! Teachers need a good night's rest before the big test too! My amazing writers better get a GREAT prompt so they can show off their mad writing skills!
Good luck to all Florida 4th grade teachers and students tomorrow on their writing test!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five For Friday

I'm linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 random things from this week. I'm glad it's Friday, but that means we're closer to...
Our State Writing Test!!! Here is our countdown...yep, two days left. At this point, I have mixed feelings: on one hand, I can't wait for it to be over, on the other hand, I think...if I had one more month! I am so proud of my students and their hard work they do ALL year, and I know this is just "a moment in time" of their writing careers, but I want these judges to see their GREATNESS! So, of course, I use the following:
Yes, it's magical pixie dust! You know you say to your students, "If I had some pixie dust I'd sprinkle it and everything would be fixed!" Well, they sell it!!! I was explaining to my students today that we can't have anything on the walls or desks to "help" us in our writing and they were upset that they couldn't use some of our "goodies" for writing. I wasn't going to show them this "magic" until the morning of the test, but I could tell they needed this inspiration! They were so excited! (Of course, there's always a few that are skeptical!) hehe! Hey, if it works on a few, it's worked!

We're now reading Flying Solo as our class read aloud. I'm fortunate to have several class sets of  chapter books, but I don't like them to keep them in their desks (for obvious reasons). Keeping track of their thinking with sticky notes is important to me, but all the sticky notes were falling off and finding "their" book in the tub was so time consuming! This seems like such a simple idea, but it's taking me all these years to think of it so I wanted to share in case it can help someone else: I have 6 groups in my class, so I used color coded rubber bands for each group. One person from each group gets their books and passes thems out. It literally takes seconds to get our  books passed out!
Each group made a t-chart of their predictions based just on the cover of the book, then after reading the summary on the back. I can't believe the detail they observed to make such great inferences! For example, "I think the students and the teachers don't get along because there's an apple which represents teachers, but then there's a pencil stabbed through the middle." Also, "I predict that there will be 1 kid different from everyone. The other kids are wild and mean to the teacher and "solo" means: 1 nice kid out of all." Pretty great thinking right? BTW, they're both incorrect!
I took this bulletin board down today (from Literacy Week). Just wanted to share the "theme" one of my students came up with! Pure genius! We've incorporated heels/shoes into EVERYTHING! Even for Red Ribbon Week: Shoe Away Drugs! Love them! They know how to warm my heart!
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Show & Tell Tuesday-Read Alouds

 I'm excited about linking up with Denise for Show & Tell Tuesday-Read Alouds (so many great recommendations)! Without a doubt, read alouds are my favorite time of the day!!! The rich discussions, deep thinking, and collaboration that goes on during this time in my classroom makes my head spin...literally! I have so many favorites, but I'm going to condense my list to 3 picture books and 3 chapter books. I guess this gives me another thing to post about at a later date! I'm very fortunate and have a big massive collection of books and can't read them all in one year, but my "MUST-HAVES" include:
Product Details
 Faithful Elephants is a true account of the war in Japan during WWII told from the perspective of the zookeeper.This book is as incredible as it is sad. It shows children the impact of war without violence, but may be for an older audience. This book will definitely tug at your heart! That being said, the passion and emotion I get from my students writing responses to this book is incredible!
Warning: I've NEVER read it without crying!

Product Details
 A must read for February: Henry's Freedom Box is a true account of the Underground Railroad. It's inspiring and touching. This short narrative has gorgeous illustrations (Caldecott Honor) and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Henry makes it!.
Just read this one last week! It seems like I'm recommending a lot of heartbreaking stories (my students say EVERY book I read is sad!), but they spark so much emotion, which makes for great lessons in reading and writing! This narrative is also about the Underground Railroad, but is told from the rag doll's perspective. It's a creative book to teach students about this subject. 
Product Details 
 OMG! Stumptown Kid is such a suspenseful action-packed novel! You and your students will find yourselves cheering out loud during this read aloud! It sparks many feelings: from outrage to extreme delight! Although it has a baseball theme, boys and girls love it! It's set during segregation and teaches kids about equality. This book fits so many themes: overcoming challenges, equality, teamwork, believe in yourself, friendship, the list goes on and on.
Product Details
An all time favorite! (Love Jerry Spinelli) Just finished this novel last week-it has a twist ending, leaving us up in the air. As much as my students begged me to read so we could finish the book, they didn't want it to end! The main character has so much weight on his shoulders and has big decisions to make for a 10 year old. Students can easily make connections with this book because they can relate to peer pressure, love for animals, secrets, and fitting in. You won't be sorry if you read this one! We're working on a project that I'll be posting by the end of the week. It's my latest creation and my students are thrilled about it! (Stay tuned so you can learn more!) 
 A classic-Hatchet. Every time I read this book (at least a dozen times) I find something new and interesting! It's a story of survival (physically and mentally). Brian struggles with giving up and losing hope, but soon realizes his positive attitude is his key to survival. Gary Paulsen's craft is easy to spot in this book and I love that my students start copying his style in their own writing...makes me so happy!
These are my LBBs (little black books) for my classroom. I hope you will use one in your classroom! I've love to hear your favorite read aloud. Please share below.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Class Heart Photo & More

I have a few blog posts ready to go for this week, but I wanted to quickly share some Valentine's ideas from last week...
Our class photo...all 25 of my kiddos! Isn't it precious??!! I TOTALLY love that it represents our class so well! I had it blown up as a poster for my bulletin board! I had a copy printed for each student-they loved it too! This idea was inspired by a similar photo on Pinterest, but with only 12 kids (I was up for the challenge!). Thanks Terri for the cute saying in the heart!
 (Warning: A little tricky to pose!)
My son's Valentines... Ring Pops with a tag that read, "I'm going to POP the question: Will you be my Valentine?"
This was from a previous post, but I wanted to show you my daughter's Valentines again.
And, for my personal children, I always make them Valentine coupons...they look forward to them every year! The #1 coupon......breakfast in bed!! It's always used the next morning, this year I include two of those babies!
Hope you had a great weekend! I appreciate all comments and like to return the favor!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Five For Friday/Flashback Friday on Saturday

Hope you're having a great weekend! I'm linking up with Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Flashback Friday with Teaching Maddeness...a day late! Better late than never!
Vote on your favorite...1, 2, 3, 4, or 5!

(1) Text Detective Notebooks-Student Samples: I'm very proud of my students and their "evidence citings" work in their new Text Detective Notebooks...this was my observation lesson. I read a biography on Harriet Tubman and my students had to find character traits that Harriet possessed. They then had to write in their notebooks support from the text to support the trait they chose.

(2) Text Detective Notebook Labels (Freebie). Use on any spiral bound notebook for your students to record their "evidence"! I printed mine on full page labels and placed on mini spiral bound notebooks.

(3) Observation Done! My pre-observation meeting, scheduled observation, and post observation meeting are complete! It feels like you lose 10 pounds after this week doesn't it??!! I much prefer a walk in observation! It's the anticipation that gets you! Anyhow, my principal and I had great discussion during our meeting and I feel appreciated!

(4) No, this is not a stamp for no name papers! (But could be!) My class is so amazing-I find my self saying, "Who are you?" to them every time they shock me with an unexpected high level answer. So...I decided to visit one of my favorite stores, Office Depot, and I designed a custom stamp. I stamped several post-its to pass out to my would've thought I was passing out full size candy bars!!!
Cute right?? I love it! I used it this week for graded papers too!
(5) As a follow up to my Harriet Tubman biography, I read Almost to Freedom to my class. They were on the edge of their seats the entire time! They made such great connections and initiated so many topics from this read aloud: slavery, point of view, character traits, different perspectives, theme, genre.
Hope you have a great week! What's your favorite of the five??!! Would love to hear from you!
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