Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mentor Text-Teach Theme With Teammates

Linking up with the Amazing Amanda and Super Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for their very first linky party! So glad to be a part of this new adventure with these fun and fabulous ladies! However, this linky party may be expensive! I know we're going to get some great ideas and want to go right out and buy all the books we don't already have!
I'm on spring break so I'm going to do my best with my pictures and information. I'd like to talk about the book Teammates.
 This powerful story is about Jackie Robinson becoming the first negro to play on an all white team, the Dodgers. He is treated poorly and has to endure through many obstacles during his time on the team until one of his teammates PeeWee Reese takes a stand for Jackie Robinson. I use this book to teach theme: there are so many possible themes for this book which sparks great discussion and "friendly debates". Some include: friendship, stand up for what you believe in, courage, accept others' differences, equality. My students create a theme poster based on the theme they select.


It's a great lesson to show that many books have multiple themes. My students need to justify their decisions with text evidence and support from the book. These posters are available in my TPT store.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning Sale!

If anyone is planning on doing the Spring Cleaning Sale on the last two days of the quarter, I whipped up this little logo...what do you think? I can make changes before I post the file for anyone to grab for their blog posts or what not....
1. I'm having a sale at my TPT store! 20% off Saturday and Sunday!
2. I made a new product! My students loved my first set of idiom posters, I decided to make a second! I've also bundled my first and second set to save money!
I've also included a pre-test, post test, and answer key!
3. We're having our annual Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow evening on our cul-de-sac! We've been holding our Easter Egg Hunt for several years now, but last year we started the "Evening Hunt" because our little ones aren't so little any more! We wanted to increase the difficulty of finding eggs, so they hunt for their eggs in the dark using flashlights! They LOVED it last year! I found these eggs on Pinterest!  
Pinned Image 
Just put a glowstick in the will be perfect!

4. Cleaned out my closet this spring break-at least I got something accomplished!
4 bags full! Thanks Judy for your discipline! (And we didn't even argue about what to get rid of!) Yes, I have to have intervention when it comes to cleaning my closet!

5. Guess what??!! I'm starting my own linky party! I want to host a party about how we motivate our students and the student incentives we offer in our classrooms. I know we have tons of ideas to share for this topic, so I'm super excited! I want to keep it simple, since I know we are all very busy and there's lots of linky parties out there. A quick blurb or picture, or both to explain ONE of your magic tricks! I will keep you posted of the details this week. Still trying to finalize a name...if you'd like to vote or have a new idea, I'd love to hear from you. Next Saturday is the big party!
Spark Student Motivation Saturdays (Thanks Amanda)
Super Student Incentive Saturdays
Step Up Student Motivation (Thanks Holly)
Spark Student Motivation/Incentives Saturdays
I hope you all will link up for my first linky party!!!! A party is no fun when you're all alone!
Thanks Kacey and Amanda for hosting these two parties!!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Workshop Wednesday-Mentor Texts

Sorry I'm posting twice today, didn't have internet last night-don't worry I got a credit on my bill after I explained I was missing my linky parties!!! Linking up with one of my FAVORITES…Jivey for Workshop Wednesday! This week’s topic is mentor texts to teach author’s craft. I use picture books and novels to teach writing and reading every week so to choose a couple is very difficult for me. (This needs to be another Workshop Wednesday topic for sure-hint, hint!)
I want to start with Hatchet, which is a chapter book and obviously a longer mentor text, but my students pick up so many writing ideas from Paulsen’s craft. The effective use of sentence fragments and repetition throughout the book sticks in my students’ minds and transfers over to their narrative writing. At first the repetition kind of bugs them, but they grow to appreciate it and use it in their writing. This book offers me the opportunity to do a grammar lesson on sentence fragments right from the beginning! They notice this craft everywhere now! In addition, the descriptive writing using all senses makes you feel like you’re in the Canadian wilderness!
Gleam and Glow is also wonderful for description! Who doesn't love Eve Bunting??!! The similes, figurative language, and strong description tug at your heart! It strings you along as a family endures hardship and sadness during a war. They have to leave behind their two fish in their family pond. When they return, the pond is teeming with life! The ending I feel is important because it brings us back to the beginning (circular endings). We also talk about how readers like a happy ending and how we want to make our readers happy! :O)

On an earlier post, I talked about a mentor text I used for personification; check it out here if you missed it.
 Go check out what other teachers are using for mentor text! I'd love to hear what books you share with your students to teach author's craft!

Tried It Tuesday-Classroom Procedures

So excited to link up with the awesome Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her first linky party Tried It Tuesday! We can talk about ANYTHING we've tried that has been a success or failure-great way to learn from each other!
Today, I'm talking about classroom procedures because I'm thinking about how I'll have to review them Monday when we return from spring break! :O) Procedures are different from rules and I realized the year I was an academic coach a lot of teachers had rules, but not procedures. I think we forget that some teachers have different procedures, some are more structured, some have more choice, so in order to get what we want from our students we need to set guidelines and teach procedures that work for our classroom. The front loading at the beginning of the year sets the tone for your entire school year. I spend a lot of time reviewing, practicing, and modeling procedures in the beginning which makes life easier the rest of the year. I still review small procedures and give reminders daily. This sets students up for success...they know the expectations. My procedures are written in a positive format and each student keeps a copy in their desk. These are the "bigger, more common" procedures for my class. I also have what I call "smaller" procedures like using the restroom, tissues, water, etc. If a student consistently fails to follow our procedures, I will have them review the procedures, circle the one they are having trouble with, and complete an action plan to correct it. These procedures have worked well for me, so I'd like to share! Download your copy here as a FREEBIE for this week only in honor of Holly's first linky!! Enjoy and feedback would be greatly appreciated!

I'd love to hear how you teach procedures in your class! Please comment below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

This week's topic: NOUNS-favorite person, place, thing, and animal. It's so great getting to know all of my bloggy friends a little better and meet new friends through this link up.

Be sure to link up with LaToya  from Flying into First Grade to meet and learn about other bloggers!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Reading Organizers

Linking up with the fab Jivey for Workshop Wednesday - yes, I know it's Sunday! This week's topic is Reading Organizers. I heart reading time with my students (whole group, small group, individually), it doesn't matter-just enjoy hearing their thinking! Their thinking plus my obsession/addiction to Post-It notes led me to design this creation: Reading With Post-Its! I've always been a fan of students organizing/collecting their thoughts, so we use graphic organizers in all subject areas. My students keep track of their thinking on these Post-It templates-something about those yellow squares makes it more exciting! The beauty of the Post-Its? Students have to be concise and thoughtful with their language due to limited space.
Here are some examples from a piece of non-fiction text we read in guided reading:

Students kept track of their thinking while reading on their templates. After reading, they had to sum up their reading in one sentence (difficult task for many of my students). 
 This example is from a compare/contrast post-it template about indentured servants and slaves. Students completed the post-its during my read aloud (Molly Bannaky) and shared/discussed with partners. They completed their summaries independently. It was great to see them using their "notes" and realizing the importance of being selective with the information they write. I use graphic organizers in all aspects of my reading block--guided reading, independent use, whole class lessons, written language, and content areas. For whole group lessons, I've had students take their individual thinking (post-its) and place them on an anchor chart so we can hold all of our thinking. When we read each other's thinking, we see other perspectives, confirm or revise our thinking, or tweak our wording.
My students love holding their thinking on these templates! I just have several copies ready to go at all times, there's one that can be used for almost every reading lesson. This resource has 22 pages of reading/language arts templates to use with common sized Post-Its. Enjoy a FREEBIE here and try it out because I'm linking up with Free 4 All with All Things Upper Elementary
Thanks Jivey for hosting this workshop!!! 
And my friend Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road is having an Ah-mazing giveaway which I'm so proud to be part of! Check out her adorable new blog by clicking the box below!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five For Friday

Happy Friday everyone! And for some, Happy Spring Break! Linking up with  Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness tonight!

1. The big reveal from my 2 Truths and 1 Lie is..... I was never a contestant on the Price is Right, but it has always been my dream! (Not as much since Bob retired). I owned a nail salon for about 5 years, great job while going to school-got to make my own schedule and create amazing nail art! And, I performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in high school when I was on the dance team-best field trip ever!

2. I appreciate all the positive feedback and comments about my newest creation Scan To Win Tickets! I have two winners! Congratulation ladies! I hope you love them!

3. My Super Hero Cape...doesn't every teacher have one??!! I just realized I never showed pictures of my cape from one of my first blog posts (someone just inquired)! Isn't it amazing? Check out my "M" with the heels? Come on, right? You can't help but smile right? I only wear this when I'm very serious about a teachable moment and need my "Super Powers"!!! :)

And, of course, it's reversible!!!!! Warning: very difficult to take photos of silver lamae-so shiny! I wear this side of my cape when I want my students to be "dangerous" thinkers!

See? It really does give me SUPER POWERS! 
Thanks Sharron for making my Teaching Cape and this photo! I love it!
4. I made this Energy Fill-In for my students to rap up our energy unit in science. I can't believe how excited they got about this activity! They used their textbook, Sciencesaurus, and notes to complete their fill-in. Some used color, pencil, marker, drawings, facts, definitions-their creativity was amazing! (They asked if they could make one for every subject!) I told them...maybe, but I'm yelling YES!! in my head! You can pick up this freebie at my TPT store. If you download, please be kind and leave feedback.

Close up view of student sample:

5. Read Molly Bannaky, a short picture book biography, that tells the story a young woman who was sent to the American Colonies after escaping the punishment of death for spilling a pail of milk! The book focuses on indentured servants (first time exposure for my students) and slaves (a topic we've covered through multiple texts and articles this year). What a quick read to spark a lot of great discussion!

We completed a compare and contrast post-it template (photos tomorrow), part of my newest creation-the big reveal tomorrow! Hope you come back!
Hope you had a fantastic week!I'm officially on Spring Break!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scan to Win Reward Cards!!!

It's FINALLY finished! You're going to be so excited! My newest creation will make your classroom reward system one of a kind!
 My Scannable Reward Tickets (60 pages) will give your class the jumpstart they need! For a little over 10 cents apiece, you will want to be the first teacher to have this new incentive! Each reward comes 10 to a page, select and print the rewards that suit your class from the master list. (There are rewards appropriate for every grade level!) You'll be as excited as the students as they "scan and reveal" what they've won! EVERY student will want one! Prizes include: 100% on an assignment, lunch with 3 friends in the classroom, icy pop, movie during lunch, keep a drink on your desk all day, etc. Best part...the rewards are free or of little cost to you and they're reusable! What an easy way to incorporate technology in your classroom! All you need is a QR Code Reader App (free) and you're all set! Use these reward tickets for classroom management, participation, excellence...the possibilities are endless!

Print today...use tomorrow! (Your students will love you!)

I hope you'll visit my TPT store! I hope you're as excited as I am about these tickets-let me know what you think!
Would you like a chance to win these Scannable Reward Tickets??!!
Just follow these steps:

1) Pin my Scan To Win Reward Cards on Pinterest
2) Leave a comment with your email and the Pinterest ID in the comment (all you have to do is copy the URL after you pin it to your board and then paste it into the comment section).
So easy! I will use a random number generator to find the winners! Two lucky winners will be selected Thursday evening! Thanks for entering and reading my blog!

Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Truths & 1 Lie...Can You Guess?

I'm linking up with Latoya from Flying Into First Grade to help bloggers get better acquainted with each other and let our followers know a little about us with simple topics! This week's topic is to tell 2 truths and 1 lie. So let's see if you can guess it right...

1. I used to own a nail salon called Tips & Toes.

2. I performed (danced) in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

3. I was a contestant on the Price is Right (I didn't win).

Can you guess which one is a lie? Can't wait to see what you post in the comment section! I will reveal the lie on Friday.

Stay tuned tomorrow... I have a new product coming out!!! It's very exciting!
Follow me on TPT to find out immediately when I post my newest creation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Made It-March

4 Things to Share!

Money Gift Bag: A #1 hit at every party! My friend showed me this gift giving idea two years ago, and now it's expected we bring it to EVERY party! Even my own children want it! We had a birthday party last week, so I whipped one up! Take dollar bills and tape them end to end. Cut a slit in the bag wide enough for dollar bills to slide through. Roll dollar bills up and place in bag. Attach last dollar bill to arrow that says pull here. I've made so many, I decided to save time and make a template! If you'd like it, leave a comment and I'll send it to you!


Isn't that fun??!!
Reading Counts Point Board: I don't have any extra space or bulletin boards in my classroom, so I came up with this vertical point board. I originally made it to go up to 150 points, but my students are such avid readers this year I had to expand! They were very excited to see the new board last week! (Especially  my students that have been stuck in the 150 point club marker because it was the highest my old board went up to!) It stretches from floor to ceiling, but takes up little space!  I painted the clothes pins and Modge Podged the name labels onto them.

Countdown to FCAT: One of my students came in with this poster board after our state writing test. I think she liked our previous paper towel countdown (see post here) and came up with her own version for our next state testing date (math & reading). It's hanging on the bulletin board outside our door for all to see! Pretty impressed with her motivation!
Helpful Closet Tip:

Don't you hate when your boots keep falling over??!!
These fun noodles are amazing! I made these before winter, but I want to post it now because the fun noodles are back in stores! (Yay Dollar Tree!) Just cut fun noodles to length of boot and voila! nice and neat boots!
Linking up with Tara for Monday Made It! Check out some other great ideas!
 Make sure you leave your email address so I can respond (some followers are "no reply bloggers which means I can't comment back to you). Have a great week!
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