Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Break….Relaxing and Creating!

I have been on Spring Break this week and have enjoyed every minute of it.  I have been reading professional books and blogs about Daily 5.  I think I am going to dive into that next year.  I tried to implement it a few years ago, but we were in the process of adopting the Common Core Standards, and I really was overwhelmed.  After teaching the CCSS for three years now, I feel much more prepared for implementing it in my classroom.  
I am still in the planning stages, but one TpT product that I know that will be perfect for the Work on Writing rotation is Joey Udovich's Interactive Writing Center.  I bought it earlier this year and have used it with my kids.  They LOVE it!  They can work independently and a writing of their choice.  So, I am SUPER excited that I already have that in place and ready to go for next year!  If you have not seen this product, I HIGHLY recommend that you check it out!  It's adorable and effective!  What more can you ask for?  If you want to read more about it, you can check out her blog post here.  

If you are a 3rd-5th grade teacher that implements Daily 5 in your classroom, I would love to know what works for you.  Do you have any great products, like Joey's, that you have purchased or created that work well with Daily 5? Have you read a valuable blog post that you think does a great job explaining Daily 5?  Please leave your comments, ideas, etc. for all of the intermediate teachers out there that are implementing or just thinking about implementing Daily 5 in the classroom.  I know we would all appreciate it!  ;)  

Okay, if you have stayed with me, I have a freebie that I have created to share with you, as well.  I have been looking for ways to motivate my students to read books other than fiction (mostly realistic fiction).  Although, realistic fiction is great, I want them to branch out and read different genres.  In order to promote reading across the genres, I created a "challenge" of sorts to motivate them.  I plan to start this once we return from the break.  

Here is how it works:  
1)   Print the bookmarks on cardstock and laminate them. Give students the bookmarks and a copy of the reading log for tracking reading. 

2)   As students read books from the different genres, they should record their books and the genres on the reading log.

3)   Once a student has read a book from each genre listed on the bookmark, he/she will give the reading log to you.  If you use Accelerated Reader or similar program, you can verify if the student took the AR tests over the books. 

4)   Reward your students with the included certificate, and you may want to offer a prize of some sort.  I will probably offer a homework pass, candy, and a little something else, as well.  Also, I have included a header for a bulletin board and little tags. The students can put their names on the tag for the bulletin board. So, my students can join the "Reading Across the Genres" Wall of Fame.  Kids love to see their names on the wall.  

5)   Repeat over and over!  The file offers all pages (with the exception of
the reading log) in both color and black and white for your printing convenience.  

If you would like to download this freebie, visit my TpT store.  

Let me know your thoughts on Daily 5 (which I think will be more like Daily 3 in my classroom) and I would love feedback on the freebie!  

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Go Big Blue!!!! C-A-T-S…CATS! CATS! CATS!

The UK Wildcats are going to the Championship game and you score!  Click here to check it out! 

While you are visiting TpT, check out Krista Wallden's 10,000 followers giveaway!  Ten days of her favorite things.  

UK heading to the Championship game, free clipart from Krista Wallden, and I'm on Spring Break!  Does it get any better than that?  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hurry, Hop, Win!

I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with some SUPER FANTASTIC 3rd-6th grade bloggers to bring you a blog hop and giveaways!  

At each of our blogs, you will have an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a $25 TpT gift certificate.  Each blogger is giving away a gift certificate.  This comes just in time for the TeachersPayTeachers: 3 Million Teachers Strong site wide sale beginning on Thursday. 

As you are shopping and stocking up on resources and preparing for the rest of the year,  you might be interested in checking out my materials for Greek Mythology.  I am getting ready to start this unit with my kids mid-March.  It is ALWAYS a hit with my students every year.  Click here to check them out in my store.  

Now for the giveaway!  Before you get ready to enter, make sure you stop by my store and pick out your favorite product.  Leave me a comment with the title of the product and link if possible.  If you win, the product AND the $25 gift certificate is yours!  That's it!  Easy-peasy!!!!  :)  Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you enter my giveaway, head over to 3rd Grade Thoughts, the next stop on the hop.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Follow the Trail Product Swap Giveaway

Are you up for an adventure this week?  A number of fellow intermediate teacher-bloggers have joined to provide you with blog-hopping fun this last week of January.  Perhaps snow covers the ground outside where you are reading this from, making a real outdoor hike out of the we thought we would offer you a trail to "hike along" from the comfort of your couch!
Back in December, I was partnered with Meg from The Teacher Studio! Meg and I checked out the resources available at one another's TpT stores, and then picked one that we wanted to use in our classroom in January.  (How fun is that?!)  I was so excited to find her Entrance and Exit Slips to Guide Instruction resource.

As a teacher, do you often find yourself asking, "Did they get anything out of the lesson today?"  or "Do they remember anything from yesterday?"  Using formative assessments to see what the students took away from the lesson, misconceptions, what they retained, etc. is a great way to guide instruction.  Meg's pack offers a variety of "learning checks" to use to help teachers and students track learning and progress.  The possibilities for using these in the classroom are absolutely ENDLESS, but I will show you how I used these in my ELA class and in Science.

In Science class, we have just started a unit on weathering and erosion.  I wanted to see what the students remembered from the previous day's instruction, so I started the class with an entrance slip from Meg's pack.  I asked the students to make a bulleted list of what they remembered about weathering and erosion from the day before.  This was great because I could quickly see who had misconceptions, who was on target, and what I needed to review before starting the next lesson.

In Reading class, we have been studying nonfiction text structures.  One of the ways I used Meg's entrance slips in this class was by posting questions on the board as a bell ringer.  The students had to read four to five paragraphs and determine the text structure of each.  One day the bell ringers were passages with multiple choice options. Another day they were fill in the blank. Here are some examples of those.

I used Meg's exit slips to end class as well.  One day, I had the students choose a text structure and sketch an organizer that would represent the text structure.  Then the students were to write what the text structure was and key words that were often used with their chosen text structure.  As you can see, not every student chose the same text structure.  It was interesting to see what stuck with each student.  

I think my favorite form that I used was one of her student reflection assessments.  This entrance slip gave the students an opportunity to reflect on their learning and to tell me what concepts they felt they needed additional help with.  I LOVED reading the students' reflections because they were SO honest!  They really helped the students take ownership for their learning and provide me with information to guide future individual instruction.  

Honestly, I could go on and on about how great these are!  They can be used with ANY subject and have endless possibilities for implementation.  Another bonus is that there are two formative assessments on each page so they save paper.  Always a plus!  :)   

Now, to help with your exercise for the day, here's what you need to know about our hike and giveaway!
Hiking Tips 
-Start anywhere along the trail!

-Along the way, stop by each blog and read about the resources swapped between bloggers.

-Enter to win the resource that is featured at each blog in the raffle below (the same raffle is at each blog, so you can just add to your entries as you go!). While you are at each blog, if you’re not a blog follower already, sign on to follow! (You can earn bonus entries for following all blogs once you unlock the additional entries.)

-The raffle is open until midnight on January 31, so feel free to take a break from your hike, rest up, and finish it later! 

One winner will receive the entire set of resources being featured by all 14 collaborating bloggers AND a $25 TpT gift certificate! 

Here’s the list of blogs to "hike" to: 
Swap Stop A

Swap Stop B 

Swap Stop C 

Swap Stop D 

Swap Stop E 

Swap Stop F 

Swap Stop G 
 Well, friends, settle in on your couch and grab the granola. It's time to get your hike on! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Did Someone Say Free Fonts????

Well, I must admit, I have a problem.  Those that know me well, know that I am absolutely a font-aholic!  I literally get a rush when I find a new font and download it to my computer.

Now, I am taking my obsession to a new level.  Yesterday, I played around and created nine fonts while enjoying my snow day.  I thought I would share with you the fonts.  Creating the fonts was fun, but naming them….not so much!  Anyway, if you are interested in downloading these fonts, click on the picture below and it will take you to my TpT store where you can find them.  My favorite fonts are Shelby Smiles, Shelby Teacher, and Shelby Dots.  :)

I hope you enjoy these fonts!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyber Monday + Tuesday

I am SUPER excited to announce that TpT is having a BIG Cyber Monday + Tuesday sale!  This is my favorite day of the whole year to shop, shop, shop!  I plan to stock up on some incredible resources. 

Everything in my store will be marked 20% off, plus TpT is adding an additional 10% discount.

While you are shopping, you might want to check out the new product I posted.  If you are like me, you feel like you are flip floppin' through the Common Core Standards…which kind of inspired the title of my latest project.  LOL!!!

Whether you are using my Reading Interactive Notebooks or have gathered resources from several places, my new flip flaps might be a great addition to your notebooking materials.  I have created 60 flip flaps to go along with the CCSS for grades 3rd-5th.  Here is a preview of some of the flip flaps included:

My favorite flip flaps are the nonfiction and fiction genres.  :)

No matter what stores you hit up…..plan ahead and stock up!  Shop 'til you drop, friends!!!!! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Science Holiday Challenge Freebie

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I am planning ahead….especially in Science. Every year that I have taught Science, I have sent home a little Science Holiday Challenge to help the kids review Science concepts over the break. In years past, I have offered extra credit for completing this activity, but now that my district has gone to standards based report cards, extra credit is not needed. So, this year, I plan to use this activity as a review during that CUH-RAZY week before the Christmas break. I added this file to my TpT store as a freebie for you to download. I hope that your kids love it as much as mine have in the past! I love a little "holiday" science! If you download it, I would love to know what you think. :) Just click on the picture below to check it out for yourself.

Have a great Monday evening!