Tuesday, June 30, 2015

50% Off-Addition Bundle and Synonym Bundle

50% off TWO products TODAY ONLY!!! 
I just love a sale!!

 Thanks Cyndie for hosting a party with a sale! 

My ADDITION BUNDLE includes the mastering addition facts program, addition rings, and addition bracelets (fun accessories!). 

This entire program is everything you need to get your students excited about memorizing those necessary addition facts! It takes little time each day and students are very motivated to graduate! 
(A little prep making the rings, but they will refer to them all year. *Summer is the perfect time to make this purchase so you have time to get them ready before school starts.

Click here if you're interested in this bargain!

Next up is my Synonym Bundle which includes 20 posters for boring words with lists of synonyms, synonym rings, and synonym work mats-fun hands on activity to get another exposure to those words or perfect for a word work center. 

Posters can be printed in the color version or black and white (great for writing folders). The rings will be used every time your students write. I love seeing my students whip out their rings to find a better word. :)


The synonym work mats will be used for years! A quick and fun way to review synonyms for boring, worn-out words! This hands-on activity will be a favorite, especially if you make it a competition among groups! (Competition always spices things up!)

Click here if you're interested in snagging this deal! 

Don’t forget you can still get my newest product: Vocabulary Bundle for 50% off today too! 

Click here to see the product, click here to read more about it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vocabulary Bundle-Monday Made It!

Hello Friends! I feel like I have a heavy weight lifted off of me! Why? Because I FINALLY finished my vocabulary bundle! I've been working on it forever (literally, almost forever-since last year...ssshh! I'm so embarrassed!). It's just such a big product that I've been adding to and deleting from until just this morning...until I felt it was JUST RIGHT to share with you! 

 I'm very proud of this bundle-122 pages of activities, graphic organizers, games, teaching ideas, word lists, parent letter, photos/samples,  200 vocabulary word cards I handpicked for my students to use in their writing and conversations.

50% off until tomorrow!!! Grab it now-you'll be set for the year! Click here.

Here are a couple of the teaching ideas included in the bundle:

Get your students excited about vocabulary!

  • Use old magazines to cut up pictures of words that represent the vocabulary words.
  • Letters of synonyms can be cut out too. 
  • Go over each chart to make sure they can justify their thinking for each word. 
  • Students can go on a “gallery walk” and check each chart to challenge any pictures they feel don’t match the vocabulary word.
  • Use as a center, group work, whole class review.
All work has to be justified and discussed with their groups and the class. If they can justify their thinking I will leave the picture on the chart. This activity is a quick way to assess the depth of their understanding of their vocabulary words.

This activity is definitely a class FAVORITE!

GET OUT OF YOUR SEATS for a QUICK review game!

Directions: Split students up among the vocabulary words and have them write their word on one side of an index card. On the other side have students write synonyms or a sentence leaving a blank for the vocabulary word. Students walk around the room and find partners to “quiz” each other showing the opposite side of the word, then trade cards, and find another partner to “quiz”. Great review before the test. (An easy favorite Kagan Structure).**This structure can be used for ANYTHING in your classroom!

 Retirement Gift

One of my sweet friends retired as our school psychologist a few weeks ago and I made her a retirement subway art and framed it. This way she can be reminded every day of all the things she'll get to enjoy and all the things she won't miss! LOL!

That's my Made-Its for the week. Go check out my pal Tara's linky party for so many great ideas! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Interactive Character Analysis-Makeover Madness

I'm very excited when a "party" motivates me to get some work done! :) I've been wanting to add to these posters for a while now, so thanks to the TPT Seller Challenge hostesses for getting my butt in gear!


Interactive Character Analysis Posters
I've been using my character analysis posters for a couple of years now and I decided I wanted to try to make my teaching of these 50 character traits more explicit. I designed these 1/2 page, quick to model graphic organizers for each character trait.
I think this 5 minutes of direct instruction will prove invaluable when discussing characters all year. The organizers will allow me to quickly go over the trait, definition, and behaviors/actions that a character would demonstrate with each trait. 

The "secret" to getting your students to use these interactive posters and identifying character traits on their own is...

In those first few weeks/months of school, you need to model/discuss these traits with every mentor text you share with your class. For some books you may share one trait, for others you may have more. My students find it interesting how popular tenacious or courageous become and don't want to let the other traits feel "left out", so they start trying to find mentor texts for me to share with characters exhibiting those traits. I seem to share a lot of texts that have characters that are determined, hopeful, and optimistic. As part of MY summer homework, I plan to find new mentor texts that have sly, fierce, or humorous characters. 

These posters are referred to all year-perfect for making connections and comparing characters across texts. They are highly visible in the front of our classroom and each Post-It that is placed on the posters is shared with the class. All thinking must be justified by using text evidence. This sharing time is crucial for all of my learners-it allows my struggling learners to hear that deep thinking and my advanced learners to debate if they think a character has a more prominent trait throughout the text. 
*I promise this sharing and learning  transfers over to their independent work.

Highly visible and USED, the word "interactive" means just that. I like pretty things hanging on my walls too, but if you hang things to be made as a visual or as a reference tool, then you need to model the "use" of them so your students will use them too. They are a tool for me and my students to use in our classroom (the placement of these posters are a constant reminder to all of us). Here are some samples:

There are three things we do in our classroom consistently with each text we share character traits, theme, and figurative language. It just becomes natural for my students to add/find these things on their own after a couple of months of school.
{Insert excited, dancing teacher who is looping with her class next year and should be able to start these things back up again on day ONE!! I can't wait to see how our routines will fall back into place and how we will take it to the next level!} Here is an example I typed up from last year.

This set includes 50 posters, but I only have 35 posted at a time. I change them out as they get filled to expose my students to as many higher level traits as possible. 

If you've purchased this product, download again for the added organizers. :)
Click here to check it out! 

You may have other purchases that have been revised too! Under you purchases, sort by "Recently Revised" and it will list all the products that have had revisions. The product may have additional pages/resources that have been added or a correction made.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Looping!

 I'm sharing something motivating my students and I will be experiencing this year...LOOPING! I will be moving with my students to 5th grade. I'm nervous and excited about this adventure! I've actually looped one other time, but it was 14 years ago and so many things have changed. However, one thing that is still current is the friendships formed 14 years ago when we were together-so many of that class of 31 remain friends today!
Looping has many positives:
  • the promotion of stronger bonds between parents and teachers, teachers and students, and students and students
  • greater support for children who need stabilizing influences in their lives
  • a greater knowledge of students' strengths and weaknesses, allowing for differentiation to begin day one
  • increased opportunities for shy students as well as others to develop self-confidence
  • reduced anxiety about the new school year
  • a gain of teaching time starting immediately the second year (no pre-tests, getting to know you activities, lengthy procedure/rule practice)
In our county, elementary school is K-5, so for these students they will have two years together before heading off to middle school.
Looping revealed...my principal and assistant principal came in my classroom and had my students list the pros and cons of me moving to 5th grade with them. The list for the pros was long with such sweet reasons why I should loop. I also thought one of the cons was just as sweet, "The third graders coming up won't get to see how wonderful Mrs. Miller is." Another student was quick to point out they could have me when they get to fifth grade! LOL!
Here is a small snippet from when they announced I would be looping:

Administration sent home permission slips explaining looping and asking parents' consent to remain in the same class with the same teacher for 5th grade. Here are some of the comments that confirmed I had also made the right decision to loop:

Then we had to make it official with a special announcement:
 I texted this to all of my parents!

I also sent home a "summer assignment" to keep their brains from getting rusty. I assigned a class chapter book and a math practice packet. I also include a Post-it Bookmark and finger flashlight to make it a little more exciting. Truth: not everyone was excited about this part of looping! However,  after I explained the research of the academic gains with looping and how this summer assignment would give us a head start on learning in 5th grade, they all bought into it. After all, kids should be reading during summer any way! Now, we will have a common book to talk about the first week of school!

My summer assignment: CREATE NEW TRICKS and lessons my 4th graders haven't seen before! :)

I plan to keep all of my blog reading friends up to date with my looping adventure this year, so I hope you will come back and visit! Also, if you have any suggestions or tips, I'd love to hear them!

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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