Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rockin' in My Snowy Shoes

I hope all is well with you, teacher friends! In NC, we are in our 2nd week of snow days, and cabin fever is settling in. Last weekend, I escaped the snow for a few days in Atlanta. It was a blast...
A *huge* group of amazing teacher-bloggers!
I visited the ExExpo, and it was amazing!! Can you tell I was having fun? (More on this to come!!)
Rockin' in my EDExpo shoes with Pete the Cat!
For now, I'm off to fill my cart!! Seriously, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale!! Most stores (including mine) have all items priced at 20% off. For an additional 10% discount, use the code "HEROES" at checkout. Click the button below to visit my TpT Store! Enjoy!!

 Hello Mrs Sykes on TpT

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

EDExpo 2015

I am super excited about attending EDExpo 2015 this year! In just a few weeks superintendents, curriculum coordinators, and retailers of educational brick & mortars and online stores will meet in Atlanta, Georgia for the premier showcase of educational supplies, materials, furnishings, and products.

What will I be doing there? I'll join a group of educational bloggers in sifting through the amazing school products. Our job sounds fun: Find the latest and greatest products you just have to get for your classroom. Challenge accepted. :)

I am looking forward to meeting the bloggers, scanning the aisles for cool tools for school, and visiting Atlanta. I'll fill you in after EdExpo!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Home Office Hacks - A Bright Idea!

I'm so excited to be back with the Bright Ideas group! Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite hacks for my home office.
These organizational hacks might help you begin the new year with a few fresh ideas for your home office.

Back to Work Here reminder

Don't you hate working with huge files? I really hate trying to update old files, because I'll get halfway before my adult ADD kicks in. I created a PowerPoint slide called "Back to Work Here!" It helps me restart quickly.

Listen to the iPod without speakers

Love listening to your iPod/phone? Tired of dealing with speakers on your desktop? Put your iPod in a glass or mug to amplify the sound. I use this both in my classroom and my home office to reduce desktop clutter.

Don't Lose Your List

I'm much more productive now that I've trained myself to keep my to-do list under my mouse pad when I leave my desk. My desk looks more organized, and I always can locate my notes quickly.

Work in a Happy Place

My home office used to be half of the "catch-all" room over the garage. The other half is the kiddo's playroom. Shockingly, I didn't get much accomplished there. My laptop stayed on the dining room table, since I love the natural light in that room. Recently, hubby moved out the dining room table (we never used it anyways, since we have a table in the kitchen.) I moved in my desk, office chair, printer, file cabinet, and a cheap bookcase from Craigslist, and I am happy as a clam. :)

Contact Paper = Awesome

I recovered my old file cabinet from when I began teaching in the 90's. I found a fun roll of shelf paper at Big Lots, and had a blast. If you choose to try this, make sure to remove the handles (if possible) to help you get a smooth finish.
If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook and Teachers Pay Teachers
for more great ideas. For my other bright ideas, click here. For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse the link-up below. Thanks, y'all!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January in my Intervention Groups

Happy 2015! I have enjoyed the last 2 weeks, as I took the time to slow down, reflect, and spend time with my family. As 2015 begins, I wanted to take a moment to share some easy and fast materials I'll be using with my Literacy Intervention groups. Please note: all of my intervention groups are upper elementary, but these can be customized as needed for your class. Each of these activities includes fun materials to practice essential literacy skills. Enjoy!

Fun Word Searches for January

My kiddos enjoy word searches, and the words in these help to "front-load" my kiddos with the appropriate vocabulary to be able to participate in rich discussions.
Click to download for free from my TPT store

Click to download for free from my TPT store

Speaking and Listening About 2014

I love Flocabulary, and the Year in Rap 2014 does not disappoint! From the Winter Olympics to Ferguson, Missouri, the Year in Rap is sure to generate opportunities for speaking and listening within your class, too! For a close listening activity, use the "Fill in the Blanks" sheet, and allow repeated listening. I'm going to use it as a journal prompt: "Describe an important event from 2014. Be sure to justify why this event was important."

Click to visit Flocabulary's Year in Rap 2014

Essential Mid-Year Comprehension Skills

We are going to be focusing on Analogies and using Context Clues. I use task cards as a quick and effective way to differentiate for my struggling readers. Added bonus - the quick assessments are a fast and easy way to see who needs remediation.
Click to view these in my TPT store

Click to view these in my TPT store
 Looks like I'll spend this weekend printing, laminating, and cutting task cards!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Letters For Building Words - Free Download

Just a quick post to share the letters my students use when we Build Words. The vowels and consonants print on separate sheets so you can copy them on colored paper, if you wish. I usually use colored paper for vowels, since it helps us make sure our words always contain a vowel. Enjoy!
Click here to download for free from Google Drive!
There are many ways to use these - I usually keep a few laminated sets at my small group table. They are handy to pull out and demonstrate a concept quickly with a small group.

Another way I use them is as an accommodation for students with disabilities. I have had several students with reduced muscle tone, so I try to modify assignments that involve cutting for their benefit. My problem? They loved to Build a Mystery Word. My solution? They have their own set of letters in their pencil pouch, and when we Build a Mystery Word, they can participate without stressing over the cutting.

I'm sure you can think of other uses for these cards! Have an excellent rest of the week, y'all!
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