Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers are HEROES and we have a product for you that might save the day!




Hi there!!

With the upcoming TpT sale on Wednesday, we want to help you find "heroic" products that have helped others in their classrooms. We decided to get together with some blogging friends and share products that have helped others, but also to show how thankful we are when get sweet feedback on our products.  It really means a lot to hear that something we made is helping others!
We recently got feedback on our American Revolution Articles (Important Events) Nonfiction Articles and Interactive Notebook Activities that we really appreciated.  Take a look:

We're so glad that this helped make Jenifer's sub plans easier and was a "lifesaver" for her!  Our Social Studies nonfiction articles really are a unit in one!  Just print and go!  If you haven't seen any of our articles, click the image above or HERE to see them!  We will be having a sale on Wednesday, so that's the perfect time to buy!

Browse around the linky for other heroic products, or feel free to grab the graphic and link up your own! Link to a post containing one heroic product and its feedback. Use the graphic if you wish. (No direct links to stores or products, please.) Include the linky button and link it back to this post so others may find great heroic products.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

George Washington Biography Unit- Perfect for President's Day!



Wow, time is flying by! It's already February which means President's Day is almost here!

In my 4th grade class, we spend a lot of time studying the American Revolution and George Washington. His life was so fascinating! Most students know he was the first president of the United States, but they don't really know much more about his life and what he accomplished. So, I am reading the biography Who Was George Washington? with them. It is part of the Who Was Biography Series. We already read Who Was Neil Armstrong? earlier in the year, and they loved it!



I created a unit to go along with our study of the book (click here to see the unit in our store). It ties in so well with learning about the American Revolution- it describes the causes, battles, and life after the war- of course, you don't have to be studying the American Revolution in your class, it's just a bonus that we happen to be!  :)

In the unit, I have comprehension questions for each chapter as well as writing prompts. Then, I've also included graphic organizers to use throughout the book: KWL, cause and effect, summarizing, character traits, and more. I made a comprehension assessment covering the whole book to use at the end of our unit for a reading grade. I'm going to use some comprehension questions and writing pieces as reading and writing grades too (it's always good to have some grades- always seems like I run out of time before the quarter is up!)   :)


I have really been focusing on text-dependent questions with my students this year, so all of the writing prompts are questions that the students will use evidence from the text to answer. It's great practice for them to go back in the text to locate information and then use the information to draw conclusions and make inferences.

So, how am I going to use this book? You could use this book as a class read-aloud, in guided reading groups, in literature circles, or as a whole class study. Since I don't have many copies of the book right now, I am reading it aloud, and then choosing parts to have the students close read with me. There are so many activities included- I am definitely not using all of them- I'm picking and choosing what works for my kids and what we have time for.

I hope you can check this book out! I'd love to hear what you are doing to celebrate President's Day! :)
Happy Wednesday!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Mentor Texts for Winter!


Hi there!

As I am prepping to get ready to head back to school on Monday (Ah!!!  Say it ain't so!) I have been gathering some books that I like to use in January.  I thought I would share some with you in case you haven't started planning yet or in case you may have forgotten about them!

The first one that I LOVE to use is Snow Globe Family.  I'm sure you've probably heard of it or seen the cute crafts that so many teachers make.

Last year I read this book to my students (suggested to me by my friend AMC over at Elementary AMC) and I had my students write a story about "If I lived in a Snow Globe...".  Apparently I didn't take any pictures (or I couldn't find any) but we made snow globes with their pictures, fake snow from the craft store, and clear plastic plates.  This picture is from Molly at Lessons with Laughter (love her!!)- mine looked similar to this but their story was hanging next to it.  Click the picture and you can find her post about it.  (See, this is why one of my resolutions is to take more pictures in the classroom...)

I imagine you've seen these around pinterest or on other teaching blogs...my kids REALLY loved it...I highly recommend it and it's a great display that can stay up all winter.

Another book I used last year to review figurative language when we got back from the break was Snow by Cynthia Rylant.  I just love her!!  :O)


We used this book to go along with this pack from Runde's Room.

I just love these 3-D craftivities!   

You can find similies, personification, and alliteration in this book.  They will have to make up their own idioms, onomatopoeia, and metaphors to finish off the craft.

These are pictures from ours from last year!  (Hooray!!  I have a picture!!)  ;O)



The last book I'm going to share is Snowmen at Night.  This is a really simple, cute book, and there's actually a series!

We have been reading a magazine by Scholastic called Storyworks and in each edition there is a play (reader's theater).  I'm *considering* having my students write a reader's theater (in groups) that would be "What Snowmen do at Night."  Or, if they have an idea for "What Snowmen do _____", I will let them go in that direction.  It may turn out that it's just a story they write...it really depends on TIME, which we know is at a premium, but I think it could really turn out cute.  I'll let you know how it goes!!

So, there are just a few winter texts that I will be starting out with.  Do you have any "go-to" winter texts that I haven't mentioned that you can share with me?  I'd love to hear what they are (you KNOW how I LOVE books!)!!  Plus, I need to get them ordered ASAP so I can use them, so don't hesitate to leave some books in the comments!!!  :O)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 New Years Resolutions!


Hey there!

Oh my.

I know.

It's been soooooo long since we've talked.

I feel terrible about it.  Honestly.

I've been such a bad blogger.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to link up to The Third Wheel for her New Year's Resolution linky.
It was really perfect timing.  I haven't read blogs hardly at all (I'm a horrible bloggy friend) so since this was one of the first posts I saw when I actually started to read blogs today, I thought it was fate.  Because I need to blog more often!!!!!

And, you know what?  It really feels good to talk to you again!!  :O)

So, here are my resolutions for 2015.


HOME- MINIMAL CLUTTER
Wow.  My house was a mess.  I have spent the majority of our Christmas break cleaning.  Seriously.  This is the first day that I haven't organized something, packed something away, or cleaned.  But I need to clean up the kitchen.  But I'm not because I wanted to blog.  I'll get it later.  But that was the problem.  There are so many things going on, housework always got pushed to the side.  I try to stay very organized at school and unfortunately, although I'd like to be organized at home, I just have a really hard time.  The three little people in my life are one reason it's hard.  There are toys everywhere.  Everywhere.  And socks.  Holy wow, kids' socks are the bane of my existence.  My husband is not very organized.  So that's another person I find myself picking up after.  And then I just get tired.  Too tired to run around behind everyone cleaning up after them.  So I don't.  But then the cluttering begins.  So, it's my plan to pick up a LITTLE every day and try to get my two oldest to help a little.    And I'm going to get my husband to help.  I'll let you know how it goes.  ;O)

WORK- TIME MANAGEMENT
In order to be able to handle so many things at home, I need to get my schoolwork done at school.  Namely, grading papers, emails, and things that are just mundane paperwork.  I generally get distracted during my planning time and it doesn't seem long enough to get anything accomplished.  Then, I stay too long after school and my son, who is in kindergarten, goes berserk because he has behaved all day and he just has to let go.  So, I spend my after school time trying to corral him.  It's just not a good use of time.  So, I'd love to use my planning time better.  However, I think there will be some changes to our planning time (more meetings) when we get back in January, so I'm not sure how that will affect this resolution.  We shall see...

HEALTH- GET BACK TO THE GYM
I did really well going to the gym over the summer.  I did sort of okay continuing the first few months back to school.  But, by November, I got sick.  My sinuses were giving me a bad time and I had a horrible cough.  It hung on with me until about a week ago.  So, for about 6 weeks, I just wasn't feeling well.  Then my son got the flu at the end of Thanksgiving Break, and my youngest son has had ear infections off and on.  Anyway, there was a lot going on and I just wasn't able to get to the gym.  I wanted to go over this break but with all the cleaning I've been doing and then my husband's truck needing repairs (so he's using my car), I just didn't get there.  But, I will be taking my gym bag to school and going there after school again.  I have to.  I need to.  I will.

TPT/BLOG-  BLOG!!  UPDATE PRODUCTS
Well, obviously we just need to blog more.  Period.  But, part of my issue is I haven't been taking pictures in the classroom.  I did so well with it last year and I just got out of the habit.  So, I never have any proof of what's going on in my room.  But, I will do better, I promise!
When we first started on TpT, we didn't really have a brand.  If that makes sense?  Like, I can see a product, just a picture of it, and there are times when I KNOW who made the product.  Just based on the cover.  That's branding.  We need to go back through the products we first uploaded to TpT, update them, and make sure all of our products look like they are ours.  That way, people will know from first look that we created it.  Really, there is so much more.  We need to add a promotion page that links to other products that are similar.  We need to update the TpT product descriptions.  I can go on and on.  I need to finish the products in my head before I can go backwards, though.  Because I want all of them to turn out RIGHT and I'm afraid they won't if I'm distracted.

So, those are my resolutions.  If you decided to read them, I appreciate it, especially since I've been gone so long.  I hope you'll leave me a comment.  I know I don't deserve it, but I'd love to hear from you and reconnect!!  Can you forgive me???

I do hope that you have a blessed 2015!!  Happy New Year's Eve!!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cyber Monday Sale- What's on our Wishlist!



Hi there!!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to spend time with their family!

We are SUPER excited about the Cyber Monday sale coming up on TpT!!  Hopefully you have heard about it and have been wish listing some things you've been eyeing!  I know that I have!  Although there were a few things that I almost just bought anyway because I wanted to plan with them but I've tried to be patient.  ;O)

Have you entered to win one of the five $25 TPT gift cards yet? Today is the last day to enter. If you win, that extra cash will come to your inbox just in time for the sale! Click the image below to enter if you haven't already... winners will be announced tomorrow!


So, what's on your wish list?
It's always interesting to see what people have wish listed from our store.  Here are 2 of our top wish listed items.

Our top wishlisted item is our Causes of the American Revolution Nonfiction Articles.

These articles also come in a bundle with our Important Events of the American Revolution Articles.  If you are interested in both sets of the articles, you can find the BUNDLE HERE.  These articles are great for close reading!!
Our second top wish listed item is our Westward Expansion Articles with Interactive Notebook Activities and Flipbooks.  It makes me so happy that all of these articles are wish listed because they take a lot of time to research and write and it does my heart good to know that they are useful to others!

For those of you who really like using these articles, whether to help teaching your Social Studies units or for close reading, I just want you to know that I've been working on articles for The Thirteen Colonies!  I'm hoping they will be finished in the next week or so, but I'm waiting on some clipart to go with them from the wonderful Sarah at Educlips!  Once I have it, they will be uploaded!



Here is something that we have on our wishlist!  We used Michele's Fall Hundreds Board activity as a math center and our kids loved it!  So, of course we wanted to get the Christmas themed center as well!


Make sure that you don't forget to use the TpT code when you check out on Monday!!!

What's your most wish listed items?  And what's on your wish list?  Why don't you link up?  :)



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gift Card Giveaways- Enter to Win one of 5 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards! Happy Thanksgiving!





Hi Friends!!!  :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!!! Gobble, Gobble!

We are so excited for the holiday season that we couldn't help but spread some love! Lots of your favorite TPT Teacher-Authors and I have teamed up to give YOU some TPT spending money. We love you and appreciate you (and we wish we could give all of our fabulous followers some money)!

Enter the Rafflecopter below by simply following our TPT stores, and you will have a chance to win one of five $25 TPT gift cards! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Teachers helping teachers!


Hi friends!

I know that we haven't been the best bloggers lately!

And, it makes us sad that we haven't been able to blog in a while!  We love our followers and we love our fellow bloggers!

And, this post is a testament to how much we love teachers!

Our friend, Nick, from Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason is trying to adopt.  As a mama to three adorable kids (if I do say so myself), this is very near and dear to my heart.  I was blessed to be able to have three children.  However, I know that this is not the case for so many wanting and deserving parents.  I was also blessed to become blogging friends, and then real friends with Nick over the course of our blogging journeys.  When a few of Nick's blogging friends heard about his new endeavor, we got together in hopes we could help Nick and his wife with this incredible journey!  If you'd like to read more about his journey, please read more HERE!

A bunch of us have put together a bundle of PURE awesome resources!  These products are perfect for the fall, and some haven't even been released in our stores!  Please take a minute to check them out and possibly help a good friend of ours!













This is 19 products for only $25!!  And, since I'm so late, you only have until Friday to purchase them!

I'm sure you'll recognize some of your favorite bloggers within this bundle!

Elementary AMC 
Ideas by Jivey 
Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans 
Fifth in the Middle 
Head Over Heels for Teaching 
Pinkadots Elementary 
I Love My Classroom 
Fourth Grade Flipper 
I {heart} Recess 
Teaching with a Touch of Twang 
Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road 
Where the Wild Things Learn 

We love all of our fellow bloggers and all of our fellow teachers!  If we can help out in any way, we are glad to do so, especially in this situation!  We hope you'll take the time to check out this bundle!  It's got great resources, and it will probably warm your heart to know you're helping out at the same time!

We hope to be back to regular blogging soon!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five for Friday- Math Facts, Constructed Response Tasks, Stellaluna and Bats, Scarecrows and a Halloween Sale








Happy Friday, y'all!

We are linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the "Five for Friday Weekly Linky Party."  Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom! We have a Halloween Sale this weekend in our store!
Stellaluna and Bats galore! I know I already talked about Stellaluna on Tuesday's post- (click here to read it), but my kids and I just had such a great time with it! I have really been working on annotating with my students because I want them close reading and truly THINKING while they are reading. They have LOVED it! Check out how we have been analyzing text-


One of my students' favorite parts of fourth grade is spending time with our kindergarten buddies. We try to get together with them every other week to read, write, and help them with their fun projects! 


We reviewed multiplication and division fact families by making Halloween posters. I gave each student a colored sheet of copy paper. We folded it into fourths, and then they pasted the title, and bats in each box. Students chose their fact families and added some spooky decor! The adorable bat clipart is available from Krista Wallden. :)


Each student  worked on their own "Spider Facts" booklet. It is great practice for morning work, classwork, and homework! We ALWAYS need to review our facts! Click here to see it! It's on SALE this weekend! :)


We've been working on math constructed response problems. I want my kids to really be able to read a math story problem, analyze it, and then explain how they solved it. I started off doing these problems whole group so I could model my thinking. Then, I had the kids try them working in pairs. Now, we've been using them for homework. My students are enjoying them, and they are gaining confidence solving these tasks. If you want to use these in your classroom, please check them out here. It's on SALE this weekend! :)




Our HALLOWEEN items are on SALE this Weekend in our TPT store

I hope you have a great weekend, and don't forget to check out all the blogs linked up to Five For Friday!

Thanks for stopping by!


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