Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten, Stress, and Shopping!

Huge *shout out* here to Ms. S. at Just Teaching... Kindergarten, who awarded my little blog with a Top 10 Blog Award!  Thanks so much!!  I'm really just pretty honored that people who aren't related to me, married to me, or my students care about what I've got to say.  It's pretty surreal for me, but incredibly appreciated!
 Top 10 TBA
To pass this award along, I decided to take some time and give out this award to 10 special bloggers who have gone out of their way to make me smile everyday! 
 my Top 10  6 award list:
     I know that I'm breaking the blogging world rules, but I'm stressed, short on time since it's track-out week for me!  Add in Read Across America Day, Camp Read A Lot, volunteering for the book fair, preparing report cards, and planning for an impromptu Parent event on Friday.
     Wish me luck!  I'm going to need it!!  When you're filling your Teachers Pay Teachers carts with goodies for the Leap Year Sale, be sure to stop by my shop for a moment.  I've added another prefix/suffix game, reading vocabulary flash cards for upper elementary, and Common Core I Can posters for 1st grade and 2nd grade.  Happy Shopping!!
Is it Friday yet??  (Too early!)  :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinning Permissions

Just so you know...  I'm joining up with the legions of bloggers who are giving permission to Pin images from this blog to Pinterest.  Not sure what this is all about?  Click the image below for more information.


Leaping Lizards... It's a Sale! and a Vocab Freebie! :)

Yay!  Fill up your wish lists because Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating Leap Year with a sale! TpT usually only throws three sales a year so this one is a nice little extra. Everything on the site will automatically be 10% off when you enter the code L2P9Y and  I will be putting my entire store on sale for 20% off as well. To me this sounds like 30% off, but someone with higher math skills than me figured out that it's actually a discount of 28%, still not too shabby! I have tons in my wish list cart, so I am going to get my shopping on!  :)

Also, I finished my Mystery Word of the Week packets last night!  I'm excited to share these with you; I used to share these with the teachers I worked with as a Literacy Coach.  Teachers always loved how fast and easy it was to implement, and the students improved their vocabulary and dictionary skills.  Each packet includes posters for 5 Mystery Words.  I'll be adding more as I finish.  Here's the pirate theme!  Click on the image below to visit my TPT store.
and on my Teachers Notebook store...
Here's the Alien theme (different words than the pirate theme!) on TPT
 and on my Teachers Notebook store...
 To try these out in your classroom, download a free week here.  If you grab it, I'd appreciate your feedback.  Thanks!  Happy Sunday!!  :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Need to Read!

I {heart} my students!  Every day they make me laugh.  Each of them are such unique people with amazing personalities.  I found this today, and I had to share.  My class has been Post-it note crazy lately, wanting to use them for everything!  As I was picking up after school, I came across this:
It says "I need to read!"  As a literacy gal, it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.  What did your students do today?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Addition and Subtraction Games from my Home Learning Kits

Hello, Blogland!!  Whew!  This week is off to a roaring start.  I just uploaded my Addition and Subtraction games to TPT and Teacher's Notebook.  Take a peek below!



Interested?  I'll send a *free* copy to the first 2 followers tell me you are following both stores!  (Leave an email address, please!)  Happy Tuesday!!  :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snow Delay, a Giveaway, and my New Store! ;)

Ahhhh... the 2 hour delay for snow. Wonderful words, particularly with so much of the country not attending school anyhow tomorrow for Presidents' Day. We got an ice/snow mix falling now, and it's quite peaceful. I spent several hours this afternoon with my favorite soon-to-be-9-year-old and 7 of her closest friends squealing and running in a pack all over the house, so the peace is very necessary. ;)

Don't you just love this button?  Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and others are teaming up to do a "Lucky" Giveaway.  Check it out.  Now.  I'll wait...
So, I "opened" my Teachers Pay Teachers store earlier this month, and have been stunned by the positive response. In an effort to receive more of the money from purchases, I'm opening a Teachers' Notebook shop, too. The button is on the sidebar to visit, or you can just click here. Be sure to visit and select me as a favorite store, so you'll have access to my newest items. If you have feedback, comments, or just plain ol' advice, I'd love to hear it!! Which store do you use?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What's Your Graduation Year? Freebie

Several years ago I taught in a school that focused on making sure all students knew the year they would graduate from High School.  This was in an effort to reduce drop-outs early by helping students see themselves as capable of graduating High School, and put it in their mind daily.  I was looking back at old files, and ran across this one, so I thought I'd update it and share!  Click the image below to download in Google Docs.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I've been Professionally Developed!! & Higher Level Thinking Questions

Today was an early release day for my school, which is more exhausting day than normal, because I still squeeze in reading, writing, math, etc, except that we eat lunch early, have no specials, and have no recess.  Then, I was Professionally Developed for 3 hours about our upcoming CCSS transition.  Whew!!

Now it's the weekend, and I'm excited!  I'm throwing a birthday for my favorite soon-to-be 9 year old in the world.  :)

I finished my Higher Level Thinking Questions the other day, so I thought I'd share.  Click on the image to visit my TPT store.  They are only $1, and have cute clip art frogs.  Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tiered Words Text Talk Lessons

Sooooo, I was at a meeting recently where we discussed the upcoming Common Core adoption for our state.  

{OK. Side note.  This makes me hyperventilate.  Every. Time. I. Type. This.  We are adopting CCSS next year *without a transition year.*  Worst part?  I'm at a year round school, and we aren't guaranteed to have resources from the state ready in July, since they always target the traditional calendar schools.  This means the beginning of the year information comes out when I'm working on 1st quarter report cards.  OMG.  Breathe in... Breathe out... Breathe in... ok.  That's better.}

What does this have to do with the title of this post? You must be asking this by now, and I'm starting to wonder, too.  Oh, yeah.  We were looking at the 2nd grade CCSS objectives and noticed that a great deal of emphasis was put on the tier 2 words for vocabulary instruction.  We had a great discussion, which reminded me of Beck's book, Bringing Words to Life.  Odds are, you have a copy in your professional library at school, or can access it through your local public library.  It's definitely worth reading, as it will give you a new perspective on the power of a read-aloud. Try a goal of purposefully introducing tier 2 vocabulary weekly through a read-aloud, and you will be amazed at the results!!!  :)

If you are like me, and always looking for more resources that are already laid out for you, I've found several.  First, there are a ton of lessons ready for you in the back of the Bringing Words to Life book.  As a Literacy Coach, I used this book with my teachers to help us enhance our vocabulary instruction.  Here is a quick overview:
Step 1 Choose 3 words to explicitly teach from the text.
Step 2 Use the word in the context of the story, article or book. (Share a sentence from the story)
Step 3 Provides a student-friendly definition. (Ask the children to repeat/read the word.)
Step 4 Provide examples in contexts other than the one used in the story.
Step 5 Students practice with examples or provide their own examples. (Ask the children to repeat/read the word.)
Repeat steps 2-5 for all words.

Step 6 Do a concluding and/or practice activity for all words presented.
Adapted from: Bringing Words to Life by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan 

Here's a fantastic resource for planning your search for Text Talk lessons: Utah Reading First - 101 Text Talk lessons 

Does your state emphasize tier 2 word instruction?  If so, how do you integrate this in your routine?
 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Whew!! Wait.. is it only Wednesday?

I can't be the only one feeling like it should be a bit later in the week!  Valentine's Day should count for at least 2 days.  I'm not fully recovered from the candy hearts everywhere, the surprise cookie cake, and the general hoop-la... a 3 day weekend would be so sweet, but it is not to be.  Oh well!!  ;)

I finished my "Magic E" word family game - it's played like the game Uno - to help my green beans learn the common word families with the silent e.  Click on the picture to visit my TPT store.  Feel free to become a follower on TPT, so you get updated when I post freebies and new items.  I appreciate your feedback, and I'm still digging through my "literacy specialist" files to update/post new files.  What are you looking for to help with word work, reading strategies, or guided reading?  Let me know!  :)

Want a copy?  I'll email it to the first 2 people to leave their email and an idea for a future file!  Happy Wednesday!!  :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's mania and Oh, the Giveaways!

Wow!  Made it through a crazy but fun Valentine's Day with my 2nd graders!!!  We unexpectedly had my teaching assistant out {sick child - poor thing!!} and my parent volunteer wasn't able to come it {family commitment - don't we all understand!?!}, but we were rolling on through the day...
10 minutes before lunch, one of my students is called to the office for a sec, and comes back *beaming* holding a cookie cake.  She's so excited - apparently she's been planning this with dad as a surprise for the class!  Hard to be upset, except it *DID* break my stride for a while as I had to check ingredients {possible food allergies} and find a knife {um... note to self; keep a butter knife at school for this stuff!}, and keep my class calm-ish, since we are supposed to get a bit more done in our day...  All's well.  I located a knife and shared the cookie cake, popped on a video about the origins of Valentine's Day, and rolled with it.  Whew!!

Came home to find several giveaways from favorite bloggers, and had to share...  :)

2nd Grade Rocks is hosting her 200+ Follower Giveaway.  Enter before midnight on Friday to win $10 at TPT... Who wouldn't love this?

Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade is hosting her Bang-N Giveaway.  The prize is a super-cool personalized stamp from  MyRubberStamp.etsy.com.
Whew!  Off to relax... or work on magic e word work games... whatevs.  Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

More VistaPrint Love!

VistaPrint... oh VistaPrint... what would I do without you?  Here are a few more of my VistaPrint classroom creations; maybe they'll inspire you to make something for your classroom. 



A car-door magnet reminding the sweet peas to find the answer to their question from a classmate...

 Business card - sized magnets... Students write their name on one with a Sharpie and we use them to create bar graphs, Venn Diagrams, indicate where we are in the writing process, etc.

Self-inking stamp to label classroom library...

Personalized postcards for parent contacts, supply reminders, thank you notes, etc...

Another car-door magnet listing our morning routine...  so many different ways to use these!

A cute personalized notebook for taking notes at meetings.

Self-inking stamp for stamping notes to be signed...

My personalized teaching bag...  Love it!

Personalized stickers to label my items in the classroom...
I purchased all of these items for free, which means I just paid shipping.  I always use the cheapest shipping, and it takes about 2 weeks.  If you don't have an account yet, click here to use my referral link for 80% off your 1st order.

An award... {Not a Joke!} Really?!? Wow!!

Award?  For moi?  Really?  I'm {almost} speechless... at first I thought my brother way playing a joke on me, but I checked it out!
By the way, years ago, I signed my brother up as being interested in supporting the local ballet troop.  Even though he's moved 3 or 4 times, he still gets lots of mail from them!  Shhh... he thinks it came from one of his former roommates!  So you see it was a legitimate thought that he might play a joke on me...

Anywho... {back from the tangent - it just takes a while when I'm excited!} Tessa from Tales From Outside the Classroom has presented me with the Liebster Award.  Omigoodness!  It's so neat-o and professional-blogger-looking.  Thank you, Tessa!  :)  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you should; she has lots of great ideas to share with grades K-3 classroom teachers.

The Liebster award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers.  Because I've been given the award, I need to find 5 blogs to give it to.  I'm excited to give it to 5 new blogs that I'm already following.

Ms T at 2nd Grade Math Maniac
Sandy from Soaring Through Second
Taylor at Baking... Crafting... & Teaching
Leea from Set This Circus Down
Linda at Primary Inspiration


Have a wonderful Monday!!





Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winner, Winner, Winner and a TPT Sale

Yay!  I love me a giveaway, and it's exciting to do one myself...  I know, I'm easily amused!!  My hubby tells me all the time! ;)  Here's the winner of the Common Core I Can Posters giveaway...
Congrats, Misty! Be sure to send me your email address so I can get this out to you! Don't despair if you didn't win, because my TPT store is on sale through Valentine's Day.  Stop by and pick out something to use with your class this week!!!  I just finished my Imaginative Narrative Packet, which my class will use this week. 
And, of course, the Common Core "I Can" Posters are on sale, too!

Have a relaxing Sunday.  :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You Know You're a Teacher When...

I'm linking up with Kindergarten Lifestyle for the "You Know You're a Teacher When..." linky!  I can't wait to see how you know you're a teacher!!!


Don't forget to enter the Common Core I Can Giveaway!  I'll draw names Monday around 9AM Eastern time, after breakfast with the kiddos.  :)

Prefix/Suffix Freebie & Common Core Giveaway!

Whew! I finally posted my new Prefixes/Suffixes game on TPT, so I hope you'll hop on over to check it out. It's free for a short time. Click on the picture for the TPT listing...
By the way... it's the last day to enter my 2nd Grade Common Core I Can Posters giveaway! I'm really excited about this, and I'll choose a winner Sunday morning after breakfast with the kiddos, so around 9 AM Eastern Time. If you haven't entered, go ahead!! There are currently 11 entries and 3 ways to enter, so you have *very* good odds of being a winner. Click on the picture to go to the giveaway...
Enjoy your Saturday, y'all!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How do you Differentiate?

I enjoyed dessert with a dear friend tonight. She is an ESL teacher at another school, and we were discussing how to differentiate homework for her uppergrade students who are still acquiring English. Her students get work on their level throughout the day, but they have grade level reading passages for their reading homework. We brainstormed easy methods for the teachers to differentiate the reading passages... keyword easy, since we all know teachers are already slam busy. My suggestion was she find a friendly lower grade teacher to borrow the reading passage supplement book that was bundled with our reading adoption (Houghton Mifflin) make copies for the teacher, and give them a file folder so they can pull differentiated homework daily. How do you differentiate for English Language Learners? I would love to hear your ideas! Don't forget to enter my giveaway below for a set of Common Core I Can posters! I'll notify the winner on Sunday! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2nd Grade Common Core I Can Posters Giveaway

Anywho... I've posted my 2nd grade Common Core "I Can" posters for reading and math on TPT if you want to go check it out. And I thought I'd give away a copy to a lucky winner. I'm trying to get ready as NC "dives in" to Common Core (without a transition year). Feel free to look at my TPT store.
How to enter: 1. Pin this post (leave a comment linking to your pin) 2. Blog about this giveaway (leave a comment linking to your blog post) 3. Become a follower of my blog (leave a comment saying that you are following) That's THREE chances to win! Don't forget to LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS in case you win! I will use Random.org to pick a winner on Sunday, February 12. The giveaway has ended!  Congrats to Misty!!  :)

What Do You Love?

I'm linking up with Funky First Grade Fun for the "What Do You Love?" linky party. It looked like a bunch of fun to share our loves as we prepare for Valentine's Day!! So.... What do YOU love?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Currently...

Yay! It's time for another Currently from Farley. I'm loving the Random Acts of Kindness!! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine Candy Freebie

Here's a fun freebie to have your students sort candy hearts and practice fractions, comparing numbers, and graphing. Click on the picture to download yours for free. Leave a comment if this is helpful for your class. Happy blogging!! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quirky Letter to the Class

My students love to leave notes for the class to read in the morning. Typically, they remind each other to have a great day and earn extra Golden Hawks (class rewards for positive behavior). Today we walked in and saw this:
It begins with "Dear Paper," (why??? I'm not sure!?!) and ends with a reminder that it's Groundhog Day today. My class cracks me up. What is something quirky that your class does?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Post-It Management, Subtraction Sue, and More!

Good evening, bloggy friends!! I thought today I'd share a bit of my classroom with y'all. Warning: Long post ahead!!! First up: Post-it management. I don't know about you, but I'm so enamored with those little sticky sheets. We use them to predict. We use them to show our thinking. We use them to mark where we needed to infer. Today, we were using them to document our connections, and I finally had a method to keep them organized: this chart paper grid with the prompt on a whiteboard. I got the idea from Pinterest, (where else!?!) and I'll go back in a bit to see if I can follow the pin to credit the idea source.
Next up: Add Man & Subtraction Sue. So stinkin' cute!!! I got the idea from Carolyn, one of my amazing teammates, to help kids know what to do when they add and subtract. Add Man is very muscular, and *loves* to push things together. (Think math manipulatives!) Subtraction Sue has anger issues; she rips things apart. Add Man & Subtraction Sue are not friends, but sometimes they do help each other out. Here is our lovely reminder of Add Man and Subtraction Sue. My class really gets into it, and they have made up motions to go with each "person." Go figure!! :)
Finally, the "and More" from the title of this post (because I just needed to share a few more things) Forgive all the pictures! :) Subtraction anchor chart:
Rounding anchor chart:
Our CAFE wall: (though we refer to it often, we keep forgetting to add our new strategies!!)
Thanks for hanging in there for the long post!! Have a wonderful rest of the week. :)
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