Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quality Counts Board

It's about this time of year that students get antsy and don't always put forth their personal best.
I find myself saying over and over, "Is this your best work?" or "Did you rush?"
So, this week I'm bringing out my trusty Quality Counts Board.
I ordered a large size car magnet from Vista Print a few years ago titled "Quality Work". When needed, I simply display it on my white board. Then every so often I will pick a few model work samples to hang underneath it.
The work I pick has to show quality effort. If I pick a student's work he then gets to write with a special pen until I replace their work with someone else's. It works like a charm and saves some of my teacher sanity as the "holiday-itis" sets in.


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Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 11th Read Aloud

I recently added the book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein to my classroom collection.
It tells the true story of the Frenchman, Philippe Petit's, tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.  The theme of perseverance is a great point of discussion after reading this book. As I was preparing my lesson, I located this wonderful craftivity over at The Best Childrens'
Students work on goal setting, as Philippe Petit did with his tightrope feat.

Here's my rendition of the craftivity:

Other just as useful resources for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers can be found over at Scholastic. Resources include lessons on analyzing the character traits of Philippe Petit.

Will you be doing lessons to honor September 11th? I'd love you to share your ideas.


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Start the School Year with Kindness

As I start each school year I promote the idea of Bucket Filling.
I recently was introduced to a story, Each Kindness, that would be a great discussion starter for older students which covers the consequences of bullying.

The story introduces us to Maya, the new girl at school who is not accepted by the others.
She wears second hand clothes and eats weird food and her efforts at forming friendships are all but ignored. Then one day she is no longer at the school and the teacher shares a lesson on kindness to the class. Each student drops a rock in a bowl of water and witnesses the ripple which is like each little kindness we show towards others. This book doesn't have a happily ever after ending, which is a great lesson to discuss with students. It  can make them realize that we don't always get a second chance to make things right and that behaviors and choices have consequences.

After reading this book you might even want to keep a bowl of water and rocks to drop in to show ripples of kindness towards classmates.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Name Tag Magic

I've been back to school for just over a week. If you are one of the lucky ones still enjoying summer vacation I envy you. But I'm popping in with a neat nametag trick. This year I printed my name tags on the printer with a cursive font since I teach third grade. They turned out so neat, clean and uniform looking. Once you get the line up the way it looks best on your particular name tag design it easy to print up your whole class set. Give it a try!

TPT is having a Boost Day Back to School sale August 19th. Don't miss out on great savings.
All my products, even my money saving bundles, will be 20% off. Plus you can get an additional discount at checkout using the code MORE15.

Be sure to share your classroom "Monday Made Its" over at Tara's blog.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made It

I've had a busy day. Just got back from my nephew's water polo games. He won both of them. Woot!
I figured I needed to be a little bit productive before I sit down tonight to watch The Bachelorette. So I spiffed up my education related Pinterest boards. I created board covers for them. I'm so pleased with how they look. Now, I didn't create covers for every board. I left my personal ones as is. Should I be consistent and do them all? Give me your thoughts?

Click {HERE} to view all my boards.

Be sure to share your Monday Made Its on Tara's blog.

Also the Christmas in July sale some sellers are having on TPT lasts through tomorrow. Go take a peek.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Five for Friday

I've been a busy reader on my summer break. Here are my most recent reads. I really enjoyed Whistling Past the Graveyard. What have you been reading?  I need more ideas.

I've been enjoying my time with Harley too this summer. Just as the school year was ending he had to have his 2nd surgery this year. He's quickly becoming one pricey dog! He had a huge mass/swelling under his neck area that seemed to appear overnight. Surgery was done to get to the bottom of the issue. The vet thought it might be his salivary gland or cancer. After a biopsy, it showed that it wasn't cancer and just a huge infection of the salivary area. Now a side effect of Harley's surgery is one side of his lip hangs low and he can't control his drooling, so as a good mama I'm wiping his mouth several times a day. I wouldn't trade it for any other option though.  I even got this decorative pillow at Kohl's that has the cutest quote:  All you need is love and a dog.

I'm joining in with many other sellers to have a TPT Christmas in July sale.  You can certainly grab some great deals.  I've put my most popular bundles on sale with even greater discounts than the typical TPT sitewide sales. Shop on July 13th and 14th and search on TPT using the phrases:
ChristmasinJuly or #ChristmasinJuly (no spaces).

Any goose down pillow lovers out there? I've had them since a child and never considered anything else, but my current ones were getting a bit raggedy. I made the switch to a latex pillow my mom suggested and I'm pretty happy with it.

No soda for me since school ended and to be honest I haven't really missed it. I've been drinking lots of water and iced tea with no added sugar. For my water I've used a diffuser and have flavored the water with sliced lemons and grapefruit.  What other combinations would be good? Let me know.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

It's Christmas in July with a TPT sale

Hope summer is treating everyone well! I've been avoiding anything school related, but you won't want to miss out on some cool summer deals at the Christmas in July TPT sale. A group of sellers have come together on July 13th and 14th to entice you to begin thinking about the new school year.
Participating sellers have greatly reduced the pricing of 4 featured products of their choice. You can take a sneak peek at what will be on sale by going to TPT and searching either the following phrases (with no spaces between the words).


Here is what I'll be offering. Be sure to wishlist them now and return to purchase them on the sale days.

Mega Task Card Bundle- 40 Reading and Language sets -Original cost would be $120 if bought individually, but for the sale it will be offered at $78.

Click on pictures to view product descriptions

Swat It Grammar Bundle- 7 fun games- Original price if bought individually would be $21, but for the sale it will be offered at $13.65.


To the Point Grammar Bundle- 6 games original cost $24, but on the sale will be offered at $15.60.

Bottle Cap Math- Original cost $8, but on the sale will be offered at $5.20.

Flash freebies of regular priced items will be offered by various sellers so be on the look out for them in the mix too!  You can see all the sellers who have linked up to this sale at Yara's Sea of Knowledge blog.

Happy shopping!

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's June and Five for Friday

My niece and her husband have been in town the last two weeks as they await their roadtrip to Alaska. They will live there for the next 3 years as her husband is in the Army. Most of their stuff will be shipped from their current base in Georgia, but they will be hauling this trailer along with two dogs. The trailer was in my driveway until they left on Monday. Safe travels to them and sad faces for the rest of the family having to say goodbye.

 While in town, my niece made birthday cupcakes for Shane (her husband). She shared a few with me. Wow, these Oreo Cupcakes were so delicious.

Some of the family also spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm and I have to tell you that a ride at Camp Snoopy (did I say Camp Snoopy-the kid zone) just about did me in! It was the rollercoaster The Sierra Sidewinder. I know my limits and DO NOT go on crazy rollercoaster rides, but since it was at Camp Snoopy I thought  that it couldn't be that bad. I was totally shocked with the speed and spinning teacup action on this rollercoaster. I was seated with my twin sister and we were both a mess. I should have known something not so kid friendly was up when we noticed a camera in each seat. They film you while on it and you can see yourself afterwards. Boy, my brother in law was so disappointed that me and my sister's video camera was broken and did not capture our screaming antics. You can take a peek at some other random strangers on the ride if you are not familiar with it.

I planted some basil and have been using it regularly to my scrambled eggs in the morning. YUM.

 My basil kick continues. This was a dinner one night this week. Tomatoes topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, basil and olive oil and then baked. Light, fresh and easy!

Today, two weeks after the last day of school, our school staff is having a goodbye celebration for our principal. After being our leader for 12 years she is taking a district level position. Yay for her, but bittersweet for the staff. We will be starting the school year in August with a new principal. I look at it as a time to celebrate change and new beginnings!

Share your Five for Friday over at Doodle Bugs Linky.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Office Space

I'm about two weeks into my summer vacation and have been occupied with some home "catch up" cleaning. I've worked on spiffing up things I've neglected during the school year....dusting, cleaning windows (YUCK), organizing cupboards and so on.  So when I saw this fun share your office space linky I knew it was right up my alley.

I have a whole spare room office. I use it mainly for storage of all my teacher junk. I keep my paper cutter, laminator and all sorts of disorganized piles of nonsense inside the closet that I did not take a picture of. So on the bright side of things it looks like my office is neat as can be.

Even though my office has plenty of desk space, I find I do not do any of my computer work for grading, lesson planning or TPT creating there. I much prefer sitting at my dining room table to do all that, with my dog, Harley, lounging under the table at my feet usually.

Harley is my work buddy. He's a big ol lab and he just has to crowd into my work space.

So what does your home work space look like? Link on up and share along with Schroeder's Shenaningans in Second Grade and Lucky Little Learners.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Adverb Action!

I like to introduce a lot of grammar concepts through literature tie ins.
The author, Rick Walton, has a whole series of language adventure books that are perfect for this.

For adverbs I use his book titled Suddenly Alligator which is a zany story about the adventures a boy encounters as he heads to town to replace his smelly socks.

I created this worksheet to use in conjunction with the book.
Students are to find the correct adverb to match the clues from the text.


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