Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vegas!!!



Hey there!  I'm sorry, it's been awhile!  I sort of went to Vegas and lost track of time!  The 3-hour time difference does that to you (which I never got used to, by the way!).   I'm sure by this point you've heard about the TpT Conference that they held there in Las Vegas!  My husband has sort of always wanted to go to Vegas so when I mentioned that I wanted to go to the TpT Conference in Vegas over the summer he was like "When do we leave?"  LOL!  Major arm twisting there!  ;O)

So, I went to learn about how to be a better business person, but truth be told, I really went to meet some of my blogging friends, and the TpT Conference was an excuse side benefit.  ;O)

I'm linking up my escapades with my sweet friend Deirdre from A Burst of First!

I traveled with my good friend Jessica from Ideas By Jivey  who also brought her fiance!  (The boys had fun while we were at the conference so again, very little arm twisting!)  Here we are about to board the plane!

We met up with our sweet blogging friend Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road, who also came in on Wednesday!  We were sooooooo excited to meet in person!!!  Here we are at the Hoover Dam!
We went to the Stratosphere Thursday for dinner!  It rotates above Vegas and we went at the perfect time!  We got to see it during the "day" and at night!!
  
The food was AMAZING and it was an awesome experience! When we sat down my husband said "We are SO blessed!" and he is so right!
I know you wanted to see my food, right??  ;O)

I'm getting ahead of myself though!  We went to a blogger meet-up on Wednesday night and it was CRAZY seeing so many bloggers!!!  I met Katie Knight from Teacher to the Core!  She was one of the first bloggers to really reach out and help us when we first got started over a year ago!  She was completely humble and sweet and denied doing anything to really help, but that's why I love her!!  You can see that from the GIANT smile on my face!
I also got to meet Lisa from Growing Firsties but I didn't get a picture!  She is also super sweet and had the kindest things to say to me!!!  Love her!

Now, there's nothing like being in a room full (and I mean full!) of bloggers and hear your name being yelled across the room!  Yep, that's what happened and it was Ms. Molly from Lucky to Be in First yelling at me!  She is adorable, funny, and super sweet!  A bunch of us got together for a picture!
In this picture is Molly, Deirdre, Christy, Jessica, and me!!

Speaking of Deirdre (from A Burst of First), we are like long lost friends!  Two moms with three kids, we were on the same page the entire time!!  :O)
Friday we had the TpT Conference and got a group picture with a my favorites!
In this picture is:  Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road, Diane from Fifth in the Middle, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching, Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper, Jessica from Ideas by Jivey, Rosie from Rosie's Rambles, Michele from Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans, Me, Molly from Lucky to Be in First, and Deirdre from A Burst of First!

Here is some photo booth fun that we had after the conference!  These crazy hooligans (me, Joanne, Jessica, and Erin from I'm Lovin Lit) are hanging on my fridge!  (Cracks me up!!!  Obviously based on my face in the last picture!)

After the conference we had dinner with more blogger friends and then another blogger meet up with Courtney from Ramona Recommends!  (Which apparently I didn't get a photo of...grrrr, I was not so fast with the pictures.  Something I will do better with next time!)  But, I did get to meet the ABSOLUTELY sweet Molly from Lessons with Laughter!  Love her!
We had a little Bridal Shower for Jessica since she's getting married this year!  How awesome is it that people who have never met in real life still get together and throw a shower for our fellow blogger friend?!?
This is me, Jessica, and Joanne!

Saturday night we went on the High Roller, which is a giant ferris wheel that goes over Vegas!  So awesome!  Here we are, me, Jessica, Christy, and Diane!  Also a picture of me and the hubby (who is terrified of heights but wanted to go anyway!)
  
 

It really was an amazing experience!  My only regrets are that I'm pretty shy and so in a room full of bloggers it was hard for me to step outside of my shell and just walk up and meet people!  Well, ok two regrets- not getting enough pictures!  But the battery on my phone kept getting the life sucked out of it!  Next time, I'll have a better plan!

There really isn't anything like this blogging world we are a part of and I am so thankful for all of our fellow bloggers AND all of our readers!  It really is so fun to meet in real life!!

Have a great week friends!  I'm on countdown to going back to school!  Only 11 days left for me!!!!  
PS- If you don't follow me on Instagram, you may want to since I'm way faster at that these days than blogging!  (eeeeeek, sorry!!!!)  Did I mention I saw "Bruce Willis?"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Winners and a Two for Tuesday Deal for you!



Hey there!  I'm here with some winners of our New Nation and Government articles!  I appreciate it so much that you all repinned it for me!!  Here are the winners! (Apparently I said I'd pick two.  I got a little trigger happy on the random number generator!  Oops!)  ;O)
Congratulations!  I have emailed you!!

But do not despair friends!  If you didn't win, guess what?????  I am putting it on sale for HALF OFF today in our Two for Tuesday sale!
What what????  I know, right?  Lots of blood sweat and tears went into it but I appreciate y'all so much that I'm marking it down!!  Take a look!

Here is an example of the articles with the flipbooks:
You can go to our post HERE to see how we use these.

Our second product that we are placing on half off today is our Light Articles!!


 

I hope you enjoy these deals!!

Well, I am off to Vegas for the TpT Conference tomorrow!!  I'm bringing my husband with me.  I don't think he's going to mind while I'm at the conference all day Friday!  I'm pretty sure he'll find something to do!  ;O)

I'm praying we have a safe trip!  It's our first trip leaving our three kids.  We haven't had a vacation just the two of us in 10 years!  I'm actually nervous!  I hope all goes well!  And, Stacia is heading to Seattle to visit family and then to Canada!!  Please send positive thoughts and prayers our way for safe travels!  I can't wait to share what I learned when I get back!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Nation and Government Nonfiction Articles and How I do Interactive Notes in our Social Studies Journals {Opportunity to WIN!}






Whoa!!  Three posts in one week!!!  Shocking, right???

Well, you asked and I have delivered!  So many of you have been so sweet with your feedback of our Causes of the American Revolution and Events of the American Revolution nonfiction articles!  And then, you asked for more S.S. units!

Well, here is another unit!  New Nation and Government!  Take a look at what's included:

Here is an example of the articles with the flipbooks:
Sometimes I use the flipbook but other times we take interactive notes.  It just depends on how much information is in the passage and how much I feel is important for them to remember.  Here are what our interactive notes look like:
I have mentioned this before HERE but in case you want a refresher, this is how we organize our notes:
I read over the article (beforehand) and decide how I want to break it up into sections.  It's USUALLY by paragraph, but sometimes I chunk more together depending on how much meat each paragraph has.  I could have chunked all the legislative section together, all the executive together, and all the judicial together, but it was too much information.  I wanted to switch colors so the different aspects of each branch stood out.  So for each section I find important, I change the color of the marker or colored pencil.

Whenever possible, we draw pictures.  But sometimes, like with government, it's difficult to draw a picture.  So, we include words.

If you have any questions about how we do this, just let us know!  We'd be happy to go into more detail!!

If you can use these nonfiction articles for your New Nation and Government unit, you can check them out in our TpT Store.  Or...you can pin it to win it!!  Yep, you got it!!  You have the chance to win them!!

Here is the pin:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/515451119824823686/

Click on the pin and repin it.  Then, copy the URL of your pin and paste it in the comments.  Also, leave your email address so if you win, I know where to send it!  I'll choose two winners!!  

I hope everyone enjoys the 4th of July tomorrow!!  A big thank you goes out to all of the men and women who serve our country to keep us free!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mentor Sentences Task Cards Freebie and SALE!




Happy Hump Day and Wonderful Wednesday!!! :)  I have some treats for you!

I am beyond excited to finally share with you something I have been working on for awhile!!! Well, you know how much Amanda and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mentor Sentences....so....I wanted a way that my kids could continue to practice the skills we review during Mentor Sentences.......something that they could do independently or in a small group........something FUN.....but not a lot of prep for the teacher.....SO......I have created Mentor Sentence Task Cards!  :)  I can't wait to try them with my students this year, and I look forward to hearing how they work for you!

Even if you don’t use mentor sentences, you can definitely use these task cards!

First, I created a Freebie pack of Mentor Sentences Task Cards with sentences pulled from the book Enemy Pie. I know a lot of us read this at the beginning of the year, so I thought this would go perfectly with introducing these task cards. (Of course you don't have to read the book to use the task cards though!)


The goal of these cards is for students to identify and analyze GREAT sentence writing. We want our students to see the way that authors craft sentences, and we want them to learn from these mentor authors. We developed these task cards to support the grammar and writing skills we teach through mentor sentences. The task cards are an easy and fun way for students to review skills we've discussed in our lessons. Students identify parts of speech, types of sentences, analyze punctuation, figurative language, and more. The cards are set up in a multiple choice format so they are great for test-prep as well. The skills incorporated are aligned to Common Core Standards in grades 2-5. 

Next, I created 2 more units, but included game boards as well so that my students could review grammar skills in mentor sentences while playing a game! And, these units are on SALE TODAY through FRIDAY

The first unit is focused on Nouns and Verbs


The second unit is focused on Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives


There are different ways to use these cards:
-These cards can be placed at a center for students to use as they review. Or, they are a great “Early Finisher” independent activity that students can do. Place the cards and recording sheet in a large plastic bag or envelope, and students can bring it right to their desks.
-You can use these task cards as part of a Scoot Game. In this game, each student “scoots” around the room with their recording sheet as they answer the questions on each card. It’s an easy way to add in a little movement when our kids start to get squirmy!
-Our favorite way to use these cards is as a partner game for review. Two game boards (one color and one black and white) with directions are included.  It’s a great way for students to review what they have learned, and they are having fun playing a game at the same time!

I am working on MANY MORE units right now so if you like them, please be on the lookout for them...some will be focused around grammar skills and others will be thematic....for example, sentences all centered around the water cycle or animal adaptations or the American Revolution, etc....

Also, I am linking up a FREEBIE with The Teaching Tribune for her Worksheet Wednesday! 
This is a page from one of our Best Selling Units: Enemy Pie. I figured this would be perfect to link up today because this Enemy Pie sheet goes right along with the Free Enemy Pie Mentor Sentence Task Cards! Yay! :) 



Please check out all the amazing free worksheets linked up! :) 

I hope these can be useful for you and your students! If you download the freebie, please leave feedback to let me know what you think! Thank you and have a great day!  :)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Two for Tuesday- Back to School Mentor Texts {The Name Jar and Officer Buckle and Gloria}





Happy Tuesday! :) and Happy July!
I am excited to share a HALF OFF Deal for y'all! Well, actually 2 HALF OFF Deals! That's right, these units are 50% OFF!



I've created 2 units based around 2 FANTASTIC Back to School Mentor Texts- The Name Jar and Officer Buckle and Gloria.  I actually just finished the Name Jar Unit, so I am really eager to use it with my kiddos in August.



This unit is centered around the mentor text The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. This is a fabulous book to dive into with your students. It is great for close reading, and the text dependent questions will help your students think carefully and deeply about the text.

Included in this download are activities centered around Common Core Skills: 
*Pre-reading Activity
*Vocabulary Chart
*Comprehension Assessment
*Text Dependent Discussion Questions
*Text Dependent Writing Prompts
*Literary Elements Graphic Organizer
*Character Traits Graphic Organizer
*Letter to Grandma Writing Activity
*Nouns and Verbs Printable
*Verb Tenses Printable
*Adjectives Printable
*Quotation Marks Printable
*Synonyms Printable
*My Name is Special Writing Prompt
*Name Poster Activity
*Answer Keys



The second unit is centered around the mentor text Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. 


This mentor text unit is a great way to welcome students back to school and prepare them for a successful year in your classroom! 


After reading the adorable book Officer Buckle and Gloria, use the activities and printables included in this unit to discuss classroom rules, review literary elements and more!
*Literary elements printable
*Comprehension assessment
*Safety tips writing activity
*Writing about rules activity
*I broke a rule writing activity
*Only 1 rule printable
*My favorite part of the story printable
*We stick together writing activity using text evidence
*Classroom rules papers and posters {including a candy themed classroom rules poster your students will love!}

I hope these deals can work for you and your students! Please check out all of the other deals at The Teaching Tribune

Also, please stop by our friend Christy's blog for her huge giveaway!!!




Have a great day! :)


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