Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two For Tuesday: 50% Off Two New Products!

I'm so excited to be linking up for Two For Tuesday with The Teaching Tribune again!
SO MANY great deals last week! Thank you to those who purchased and left kind feedback! I love getting positive feedback, it makes me feel appreciated for my hard work and want to create more!
In case you haven't had a chance to see this linky, let me fill you in...
TWO OF MY PRODUCTS will be 50% off TODAY!
Here's a new product to introduce to you....Guided Reading for Fiction & Non-Fiction {Before, During, and After}...grab this for 50% off today only!
Do you ever get stuck during guided reading or during a reading lesson with questions to ask your students? I created these higher order, perfect with any text questions to keep my students and I on track! I created student recording sheets to monitor their written responses as well.
 Photos and directions are included to make this stand in this resource. Place all questions on stand and flip over as needed.   
Fiction and non-fiction questions are color coded on different colored paper for easy use to elicit oral and written responses during reading. 
And, you can grab this necessity up for 50% off today too! This Multiplication Bundle has everything you need to get your students excited and motivated to memorize those darn multiplication facts!
This bundle includes my newest product Multiplication Bracelets! I know my students are going to crazy over these!
Your students will be so excited to wear these bracelets and the best part...they learn their multiplication facts by staring at them all day!
Students can wear bracelets with answers or fill in the blank. Use accordion style file folder to store multiplication bracelets for easy access to the whole year! 
This bundle also includes my Mastering Multiplication Facts Incentive Program and Multiplication Rings. All three products in one place, all for a discounted price!!
 Grab these DEALS up...they will only be 50% off today!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: READ Prize Board

***Due to the summer break, I will leave this linky open for a month-please link up any and all ideas whenever you'd like.
If you follow my blog, you know I'm a HUGE fan of Reading Counts! It's a great incentive and motivator to promote reading. Our school offers incentives (remember the dunking booth!) and I offer incentives in my classroom too. However, I wanted to challenge my students further than earning points-I wanted them to increase their accuracy rate. I created a READ prize board and placed it at the front of my room. Every time a student scored a 10/10 on a Reading Counts test they got to sign a spot on the board for a chance to win a prize. I had several students who read longer text so to make it fair, I allowed them to sign their name on a box for every two points they earned. (If the book was worth 10 points, they signed 5 times).
Once I introduced this new incentive in our classroom, these sheets filled up quickly! It was important for them to double check their answers to aim for that 10/10!
I keep these letters in a bucket and pull one winner when the board is entirely filled.
*It could be pulled at the end of each day or several winners when it's filled-many options.
Simple idea, but motivated my students to read more carefully and it revived some of my readers who were slacking a little! :)
*It could be used anything for reading: 100 book challenge, completed reading logs, improvement on weekly reading tests, Accelerated Reader, #  of minutes on a reading computer program, etc. 
This will be an exclusive FACEBOOK FAN FREEBIE for a LIMITED TIME ONLY! Because there's no way to leave feedback, I'd really appreciate it if you SHARE on Facebook. :)
THANK YOU for liking and sharing in advance!
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.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reading in the Wild: Dedicate Time to Read

I am so glad that I'm a part of this summer book study! (It holds me accountable!)
Thank you Catherine from The Brown Bag Teacher for organizing an awesome book study!
These two wonderful bloggers are hosting this week's book study!
I want to share with you what I read about in chapter 1 of Reading in the Wild (Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read). When you read a book written by a reading guru like Donalyn Miller and learn that you do many of the things she suggests already in your class it makes you feel great about your practice. It confirmed some of my thinking for my reading classroom and gave me some things to tweak and think about. Let me share...
Donalyn Miller discusses the importance of providing students reading time at school and home, which we all know to be true, but sometimes can be challenging with schedules, state mandates, testing, the list goes on. I have independent every day. It is not a center in my classroom...my first year of teaching I realized that didn't work for me. I couldn't monitor their reading, it was loud, and I wasn't always sure if they were skipping or doubling up on the reading center since my groups change so much. So, while I pull my first guiding reading group everyone else is reading. It's perfect because if I finish early I can meet with individual students during this quiet time too. You just have to make sure you rotate which group you call first so the same group doesn't miss it every day.
To try to get my parents involved at home, I show this data at open house. I find it to be very eye opening to parents. (Donalyn uses different research in her book, but shows the same results...the more you read, the higher your reading achievement). I encourage my parents to have a family routine for reading time and to be readers in front of their children.
*This chart is a powerful tool to show parents.
One of the first things you should do in your reading classroom is build stamina for independent reading. I usually start off with about 10 minutes the first day and add five minutes a day as they are ready until we get to 30 minutes. I explain it's like runners practicing for a marathon, they don't run 26.2 miles the first time they run. We need to take small steps (together).
**I love the first day when I ask them to stop reading after 10 minutes because it's usually not enough time for 4th graders even at the beginning of the year and they get so mad! LOL! Of course, this builds excitement for the next day! I want my students to BEG me for reading time! Sometimes I surprise them with a Reading Recess (ooooh, aaaaah)! This year I plan to create a class graph of our progress. I think this visual will motivate my students to attain the 30 minute goal!
We talk about expectations before we begin our reading time, so the tone is set, but we revisit our chart after we read that first day after they observe other behaviors they want or don't want to see again. 
*This anchor chart was compiled by ideas from my class 2 years ago. I make a new one each year.
After a couple days of reading, I notice some of my students aren't "reading", so we meet on the carpet to create an anchor chart of what they think fake reading and real reading looks like. I love when they spill all their "fake" reading secrets! Oops!
*This anchor chart was compiled by ideas from my class 2 years ago. I make a new one each year.

One of the ideas I want to implement from Donalyn is recording my observations (for several days) from a student who is fake reading  and then use them when I conference with them. You know those students who spend most of their reading time "looking" for a book, distracted by every little thing around them, or those struggling students you know couldn't possible read The Yearling, but "'pretend" to read it anyway. This will be a powerful tool to use when conferring with them and setting reading goals.
Another idea shared by Donalyn (I like calling her by her first name like she's my friend!) was to talk with your class about their favorite places to read. I plan to record all their favorites to try to make sure our classroom is set up with an environment they will all be happy, motivated wild readers.
One of the challenges I face every year is giving my struggling readers enough time to read every day in class. Donalyn stresses the importance of allowing this time. "We reduce the effectiveness of reading interventions when we don't provide our lowest-performing students reading time and encouragement. Developing readers need more reading, not less." My problem is these students need double reading groups (I am the ESE/Resource push-in class) and need to be "remediated" more often so they lose that time to read independently. I need to balance my schedule and rotation of groups better so these students can practice the skills and strategies I've taught while reading on their own. Definitely one of my high priority goals for next school year.
**Do you have any suggestions or tips for carving out more time for struggling readers?
I'd love to hear your suggestions or thoughts about this post!
Check out all the other great posts about this fabulous book! This subject is such a love for me so it's an easy read! Order a copy today to read along with us! You don't have to be a blogger to comment-the more we share, the more we learn!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two For Tuesday: 50% off TWO products including my NEWEST product!

I'm so excited to be linking up for Two For Tuesday with The Teaching Tribune for the first time! Want to know what this linky is all about??!!
TWO OF MY PRODUCTS will be 50% off for one day! I know I'm late to this party, but you have almost 8 hours to snatch up these deals!
I'm so excited to share my newest creation with you! This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES!! I actually finished it a couple of months ago, but after using it in my classroom, I had to revamp it. (I originally made circles, which wasn't easy for me to assess, so I tried triangles and it worked perfectly!)  I haven't had a chance to blog about it, but I hope know you're going to be excited about it!
Want to make teaching reading comprehension interactive and fun?
I present to you...
Interactive Reading Comprehension {Includes Key Rings, Posters & Organizers}
This tool will be invaluable in your classroom! You can use it during guided reading or whole group. Your students will love using the key rings as interactive manipulatives while learning! And, it's a quick way for you to assess their learning! (3 different print options)
Students use the triangle manipulatives to point to cause & effect relationships in the text.
See how easy it is to assess?
The color coded triangles match posters with a student friendly definition to refer to. If you'd like your students to record their thinking, this pack includes matching organizers for each skill! There are 12 skills included!
I knew these would be a hit in my class, but I had no idea I'd have a student ask to keep one of the key rings on his birthday!!! {puffy heart}
**This would be perfect for an observation!
This is a perfect time to purchase this product so you have the summer to make your key rings! You can make a reading group set, a class set, or by skill.
My next deal of the day is...
Great way to build suspense, incorporate technology, and motivate your students!!!
Students can use an iPad, iPod, or smart phone to scan (using a QR Reader) to reveal their prize!
My students will anything to earn one of these tickets!
**60 pages-most prizes are little or no cost to you! :)


Also, if you haven't had the chance to snatch up this deal from Educents, you have two days left!
This Book Bundle can be used all year-18 products valued at over $90 for only $19.99!
That's like a $1 a unit-deal of a lifetime! So excited to be part of this amazing bundle with my amazing friends! :)
Click HERE if you're not a member of Educents...it's FREE!
Click HERE if you're interested in the Book Bundle!
Shop 'til you drop!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: You Be the Teacher!

Happy June!
My husband and I just got back from Napa Valley Thursday night-it was an amazing trip! It was a much needed relaxation time for both of us, but we missed our children so much while we were gone (we haven't been away from our children since my first son was born, 15 years ago).
We visited The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Muir Woods, and 7 different wineries. (I also had two massages!!) My husband worked very hard to earn this trip from his company and now I'm already telling him he has to earn it again for next year! :)
Here are a few pics:

 If you ever have the opportunity to visit Napa Valley, I highly recommend it! It's a beautiful place!
Now, time to share how I sparked some motivation the last week of school!
I blogged about this motivating and engaging idea a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share some of this year's lessons with you. My students thoroughly impressed me!
It's so funny to see how the kids imitate me!
This young lady did a bullying lesson on feelings. I was quite impressed with her lesson and the way she managed the class. When she called them to the floor she said, "I want you to push in your chairs QUIETLY," and then she said, "Raise your hand if..." She also pulled name sticks to make it fair for everyone participating. Most impressive to me was the way she modified her lesson midway when it wasn't working...a true teacher!
 Another creative lesson was presented by this little teacher...she taught her students how to make Moon Sand! She was very clear with her instructions and had the kids' full attention! I think her favorite part was wearing the microphone! 
 I didn't realize how "crafty" my students were until week! This teacher taught her students how to make homemade ice cream! She was super organized with all of her materials. She was definitely a prepared teacher!
 This young man taught his students how to correctly throw a baseball (YES, this is the one who dunked me!!). Don't worry, we went outside for this lesson...they were just warming up! My favorite part of his lesson was his hook-he showed a YouTube video of Fifty Cent when he threw the opening pitch at a major league baseball game and it didn't exactly go to the catcher! This was his rationale for teaching them how to throw and aim correctly!
 We also had some teachers teach writing, double digit multiplication, how to check division problems, how to make a door hanger, and more!
If you need a motivating idea for your students, you've got to try this!
It's such a wonderful way to showcase your students' talents!
*My only suggestion is to at least give yourself a two week window. We started late this year and unfortunately, we didn't get to everyone (it was optional, but I'm sure there were couple of shy kiddos who were relieved!).
Pick it up in my TPT Store...FREE! Please be kind and leave some sweet feedback!
Have a super weekend!
**Trying to decide if I should keep this linky going through the summer since we don't have students. I was thinking we could post items/ideas we find during the summer that will motivate our students when we return to school.
 I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Dunking Booth

It's S-U-M-M-E-R!!!
The end of the year is bitter sweet isn't it? We're so happy to take a break for summer, sad to see our current class move on. The last day is just filled with emotions!
Our school had a goal to increase our Reading Counts Points...if we earned 50,000 Reading Counts Points we would get a dunking booth. (And, we made it!!)
The top 10 readers able to choose ANYONE they wanted to dunk! Now the good news is that 5 of the 10 top readers in the school were in my class, the bad news is I knew SOMEONE would pick to dunk me! And, guess who it was? The pitcher of a baseball team...of course, right??!! I'm just lucky like that!
His mom and I are best friends so he sent me texts taunting me the night before!
Nice, right?? I think we made each other nervous!
Well, I decided if I was going to be dunked, I wanted to go I wanted to be dunked in style! I made a sash that read "Dunkin' Diva", wore a tiara, and a big sparkly tutu!
 Of course, if you're going to dress up like that, you have to make a grand entrance! LOL! One of my other students escorted me to the dunking booth. I tried to get the crowd on my side, but they wanted all the teachers to get wet! I had them chanting and cheering!
Here he is...my baseball player!
 See how he's holding the ball? Yep, a real pitcher! Yikes! And, do you see all those kids watching?? I was super nervous!

I was dancing and screaming up on that seat! The bad thing about this booth is that the target was in the front so you didn't know when you were going down!
 Actually, it was so hot, it felt refreshing to get wet!
Of course, my baseball player and I made up after I got out..I gave him a big, wet hug!
(See the photo bomber in the back!)
Also, that big tutu held a lot of water...so when I got out, I shook my hips back and forth to get all those kids who wanted me dunked all wet! LOL!

School wide incentives are very motivating to EVERYONE! Even the students who didn't get to dunk a teacher loved participating! I know next year we'll have even more readers!

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.

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