Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peek at My Week and Winners

My spring break is over...{insert crying face}, so I'm linking up with my buddy Jennifer for her fun linky, Peek at My Week to share what will be happening in our classroom!
We have our 10 countdown days until testing when we come back! Stress is on! We're going to be doing a lot of review and revisiting topics my students struggled with this year.
One fun game we will be playing is Area & Perimeter Scoot-my students are addicted to Scoot, and lucky for me, because they don't realize they're still working while they complete these task cards! It's more fun when they get up and move around! As a teacher, I love this concept because EVERYONE is engaged! I have a couple of students who aren't big fans of math and even they LOVE Scoot! If it's a newer concept or a difficult one, I allow them to work in partners. 
I will also be using my friend Jivey's Diving for Decimals-I want to make these next two weeks fun, but with an academic focus! There's a couple of games that will fit perfectly with my review!
And, you know how this time of year goes...after spring break they can get a little crazy! We will have to review our classroom procedures before we start anything! If you don't have a copy of these, grab them free here.
My second son will be turning 10 this week! Double digits! He's grown up so fast, how does this happen? You're changing diapers one minute, then sending them off to college the next!
I'm very excited to wear my newest addition to my shoe family this week: 
Aren't they adorable??!! Shut up, right?? :)
The winners of my Pin It To Win It contest for my Testing Goodies Pack are:
Congratulations to Angela and Hope! Check your inbox, there will be a goodie waiting for you!
Thank you all for pinning. They'll be on sale until tomorrow evening if you want to grab them and get your students excited about testing!
Hope you have a great week! I know some of you will be enjoying your spring break! Have fun!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Test Taking Goodies

Happy Saturday Friends! My Spring Break is coming to an end even though I'm still in denial!
When we get back we will need to be super focused because we have our big state testing in 10 DAYS!
To get them excited about test day, I have created many goodies over the years. The first thing we will do is start our countdown. Each day we will flip a number over (I hole punched the cards and put them on book rings to hang in the front of our classroom). It's a great visual to remind them we need to be serious and every second we have to review is valuable!

I will have them sign a pledge after we have a discussion of the importance of showing how smart you are on the test! I love hearing their thoughts on testing (good & bad). Each student signing the pledge makes it a team effort, we're all in it together.  I made posters for attendance too-I want them to know I appreciate everyone being present and on time! I know there are several acronyms for testing, but I wanted something to match my style and my classroom, so...I created SPARKLE! Sooooo excited about this! (Do you see the sparkle paper to match??!!)
Acronyms have always been a great tool for me to remember important things!

To make testing review fun, each student will use their response cards to show their answers. Quick, easy check for me too! And, of course I like the little incentives to help distract their fears and nervousness! I send home notecards for parents to write words of encouragement for the day of the test and my students write each other words of wisdom too. Again, it's a TEAM effort! Parents getting involved helps prepare them at home (I also send home a parent test taking tips).
They will also get a door hanger to tell everyone they're going to bed early to be ready for testing-they like this because it keeps their siblings out of their room! :)
I know many of my students will still be a little nervous (I get nervous too), but at least we can make these next ten days fun and motivating! What do you do to get ready for testing?
Want to win this 70 page Testing Goodies Pack? I will pick two winners!
Pin to win! Pin any of the images above, copy and paste the URL address in the comments. Please your email if you don't have a blog. Happy pinning!
If you don't want to wait, it's on sale for 20% off here!
 Get those carts cleaned out!!! So many stores on sale!

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday: Poetry

It's Wednesday, which means two things: my spring break is half over (boo!) and it's time to link up with Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday! This week's topic: poetry.
 Amelia from Where the Wild Things Learn is creative, sweet, and beautiful, and I have the wonderful opportunity to brag about one of my buddy's poetry products today!!

There are so many activities and resources in this unit! I'll share the first few I plan to use when I return from spring break next week! Because you know what next week is start of right? Yep, poetry month! I like to give each one of my students a file folder to keep all of their poetry writing in until we publish our final products. Amelia's flipbook of poems is perfect to glue in the inside of the folder. Super cute isn't it? :) It's the perfect introduction to poetry and each page has the requirements for each poem, plus space to for students to write their own.
I'm super excited about this next lesson! Anything that incorporates music is very motivating and engaging to students! Students will identify the figurative language found in Katy Perry's song "Firework".
And, of course, we will have to listen to it several times just to be sure we heard ALL the figurative language used!

These next two lessons will be used at centers. I've taught figurative language all year, so these activities will be perfect "projects" for my students to complete on their own.
First up...Alluring Alliterations...students will each be assigned two letters to write and illustrate an example of alliteration.
Second...Write Your Own Idiom...this one will be really fun for my students because we worked on idioms ALL year and they love them! I can't wait to see what clever idioms they come up with!
These student created idioms would make a great class book. Our class books never collect dust, my students are always looking through them! :)
I can't wait to update next week with student work pictures!
I also have two products in this bundle, you can read more about them here.
You can grab this goodie plus ten other products for the unbelievable price of $10.99!! That's 75% off!!
This is the steal of a lifetime!! Head on over to Educents to pick up this steal of a lifetime!
And if you have never purchased from Educents before.. they always have a great deal for your first purchase.  Click here if you are a first time purchaser to take advantage of a  special offer just for you!
You can also take peek at some of the other products included in the bundle at any of the links below!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: End of the Year Awards-Now Editable!

I'm on Spring Break and trying to catch up from our cruise and life this week! I'm very happy to be finally linking up with my oh. so sweet BBB Holly for her Tried It Tuesday!
I'm sharing something with you that I FINALLY had a chance to TRY...making an editable product for TPT!
I've had a few requests to make my End of the Year Awards editable. Do you know that feeling when you don't know how to do something and it's just easier to say no or put it off until later? I've been doing that for several months now. Well, today was the day to TRY IT! Two of my BBBs (the host of this awesome party) and Jivey both have done tutorials about making this possible. If you use a Mac, use Holly's directions by clicking here. If you use a PC, use Jivey's directions by clicking here. I just followed the step by step directions and voila! These girls made it look so easy and less intimidating!
My End of the Year Awards are now editable!
 After your product is saved as a .ppt file, (make sure you save it first as a .ppt file or you won't be able to edit it) then you need to save it as a .jpeg. It will ask you if you'd like every slide or current slide only-choose every slide. 
It will save all the pictures in a folder for you!
 The next step is time consuming if you have a lot of pages because you have to input each picture onto a new slide. Under the design tab, click format background, then choose picture, from file, then choose the location all the pictures were stored. Do this for each one (remember I have 52 awards, so it took a while-not hard, just tedious).
Then you can add a text box (this is what makes it editable!) in powerpoint. Now others can add their student names and their own fonts while keeping all the clipart and template "locked". Yay!!

When combining two different type files (.ppt and .pdf) they need to be zipped.
So, I also want to share how to create a .zip file in case some readers are wondering...
Just right click on your desktop, click new, then click compressed/zipped folder.
So simple!

 Name the file.
Then you can copy and paste the files or drag them over to the folder on desktop!

 I hope that tip helps someone! Enjoy your Tuesday!!!
**If you've purchased this, please download again {here}-it now has the editable version included, plus I added 8 more awards for a total of 52!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Educents Poetry Bundle

Do you know what's coming up next month??!! Poetry month! One of my favorite things about writing is teaching figurative language, which is a huge part of poetry.
Some of my favorite books/resources to teach idioms and figurative language are:
These are great for students to reference in your classroom. When I have a figurative language center, I leave several copies of the Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms out for students to use.

Poetry is just so fun to teach.. I hope you share the love! So some friends and I have teamed up with Educents for an amazing bundle of instant downloads to teach about poetry!

This bundle includes two of my products that I know your students will love and will be used all year long! 
This first product is one of my first products on TPT and I created it to get my students to use more idioms in their writing.
This bundle includes a pre-test and post-test. I just like to see what they know when they come into 4th grade...
Loving the end results!
I leave my idioms up all year long, but they could be introduced one at a time and put on a bulletin board. (We don't have much bulletin board space and I like the way it looks lined around my door!)

I make these posters interactive by having students place their name on a Post-it note every time they use that particular idiom in their writing or in conversation. That sticky note is a sure way to get them fired up about using these idioms!

Next up is one of my favorites...Figurative Language Bulletin Board and Tracking Sheets.
I love this because it is a year long bulletin board and all student produced!
As students find figurative language in books or during my read aloud, they record them on Post-its and put them on my metal cabinet. It's a very exciting time in our classroom when someone gets to post on the board!
When one of the sections fills up, you can start over again!
My favorite part about this part of my classroom is when I see students running over during writing to use one of these awesome examples of figurative language in their own writing! 
They also record their findings on student tracking sheets to reference in their writing folders.
Again, my favorite part about these products is that they are YEAR long, interactive, and brighten my classroom!
But wait, there's more...several of my buddies have combined their amazing products for this bundle! 
For a limited time it is $10.99 from Educents which is about 75% off!  It also includes these other great products so there is sure to things you love!  

And if you have never purchased from Educents before.. they always have a great deal for your first purchase.  Click here if you are a first time purchaser to take advantage of a  special offer just for you!

You can also take peek at some of the other products included in the bundle at any of the links below!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spark Student Motivation-Giant Magnetic Spinners

Do you know what today is? It's Spark Student Motivation Saturday!
And, it's the day after my co-ed kickball team won the CHAMPIONSHIP!
We had to play 3 games last night, but we did it! Undefeated season!
I'm so excited to present another easy idea to get your students excited and motivated!
Giant Magnetic Spinners!
I actually won these at the Florida Blogger Meet Up!
As soon as I pulled these out of the package I was excited!
These can be used for EVERYTHING!
I wanted to review for vocabulary, so I asked my students for some ways they like to review and this is what they came up with. I try to give them choice and allow them to be part of the decision making in our classroom, I get more buy-in this way.
*Side note: They were a little disappointed the spinner didn't land on the snowball fight! LOL!
I put numbers in the next spinner to use for a math review game. The number spun was the number of tickets they could earn. They REALLY wanted the 10 at the top!
After reading a mentor text, I gave them choice again...choices of how to respond to reading. They loved spinning to find out their assignment (they still had to work, but spinning to find out makes it more exciting!).
It can also be used for vocabulary review. Students give a synonym, antonym, part of speech, sentence, definition, analogy, etc. 
Or an academic incentive! I love when students pick the things that you love to teach them as the "FUN" things for an incentive! :)
 Are you wondering how I made the circle? Do you have one of these? It's a chalkboard compass-I had to dig to find this baby! I've been at my new school for 6 years and it wasn't built with chalkboards, so I was worried I may have gotten rid of it (but I save everything!). I just put a skinny dry erase marker in the end where the chalk is supposed to go.
These spinners offer endless possibilities and could be used for ANY grade level!!! Grammar, science, review games, read alouds, computer sites, assignments, math, the list could go on and on!
The important part is to have your students help you fill in the spinner sometimes to offer choice, plus it's enlightening to see what assignments they like and what they view as "fun" in your class. Plus, they're usually so much more creative than us, let them do the thinking! Of course, you get the final approval, so you don't have to write it if you don't want to. :)
The pack comes with 3 different spinners and they wanted me to switch it every time we used it. Because I won them, I'm not sure where they were purchased, but I found them here at Amazon.
I hope you like this easy and motivating idea to use in your classroom!

*I will be on a cruise next Saturday, so I will not be posting live, but the Spark Student Motivation link will be open for the next two weeks, so feel free to link up!

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

And, other motivating news is that my super BBB Jivey is having a super giveaway!
Check it out here!
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