Sunday, April 26, 2015

Primary Peach Blog Launch, a Freebie, AND a Giveaway!

Hey there!  We are so excited to share some special news!!!  We are joining around 30 other bloggers from the great peach state of Georgia on a new collaborative blog called The Primary Peach!  Be sure to follow it so you don't miss out on amazing freebies and blogposts!
To kick off our launch, each of the authors is sharing an End of the Year freebie in a blogpost on their blogs so that they can introduce themselves!!  This is an amazing opportunity for you to find new bloggers to follow AND to SCORE with a bunch of FREEBIES!!!  :O)

So, please let us introduce ourselves!
Stacia and I first met when she did an internship with me in my third grade classroom about 8 years ago.  She came back and student taught with me the next year and we have been best friends ever since!  We love to collaborate and share ideas, but mostly, to learn from others!

Hi!  I am Amanda!  I'm the proud mama of three kiddos who keep me quite busy!  I taught 3rd grade for 11 years and this is my fourth year in 4th grade!  I've loved teaching both grade levels.  Next year I am moving into an instructional coach position at my school and I will be coaching teachers in grades 3-5 in language arts and math.  I'm a little nervous about this change but mostly excited!  I can't deny that I will miss having my own classroom, though!

Hi! I am Stacia! My husband and I are excited parents-to-be in just 2 months! We are looking forward to meeting our precious baby boy. I taught 3rd grade for 4 years, and I've taught 4th grade for the past 4 years. I love working with this age group. The kids are so full of energy and excited about learning! 

Our End of the Year freebie is a fun game that students can play to reminisce about the past school year. Just click on the picture below!
Here is what the directions page looks like:
We hope your kiddos enjoy this game and the memories it will bring back from the year!!

Now, here's where it gets REALLY exciting!!!  Because we are just launching The Primary Peach, not only are you getting all of these awesome freebies in this hop, BUT you can also enter to win our HUGE giveaway!!!

There are 4, count them 4, chances to win!  The biggest prize is a $50 gift certificate to TpT!  But, if you aren't the grand prize winner, no worries!  You can still win one of four $25 gift certificates to TpT!!  Make sure you go over to The Primary Peach to enter to win, then come back here and hop to the next author and get your next freebie!!
Good luck at winning the Rafflecopter!!  Now, please hop on over and visit with Deb from Fabulously First!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tips for staying stress free and a GIVEAWAY!

Hey there!!!

We know it's that time of year.  Testing.  Finishing out the year.  The kids have spring fever.  It can get pretty stressful!  There's a lot going on and it's often times overwhelming!!

So, how do try to beat the stress?  What about helping kids handle end of they year stress.  We're here to share a few ways we try to stay stress free AND we've got some great prizes to giveaway to help take away some stress!

First up, music always helps me.  It can totally change my mood.  I think this can also be true for kids!  We like to try to find inspirational songs (or thematic songs) that go with situations.  One of Stacia's favorites is from Hercules.

Next, Stacia also recently found that Disney did a weekly affirmation for a while that's actually really cute and makes good posters.  Even if you just show it to the students, I think it can be pretty motivational! (linked HERE)




Last, GoNoodle is a life saver!  When the kids are super squirmy and I'm trying to teach as much as possible before testing, these short brain breaks are the best!

And, because we know it can be stressful, we joined in with some friends for a giveaway!  Be sure to scroll through the rafflecopter because you have the chance to win 4 awesome prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and try to stay stress free!!  ;O)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Lucky You!!

Hi there!!!  LUCKY YOU to drop by today!  We are involved in a blog hop with 19 other upper elementary bloggers and we are all giving away freebies!  Whoopee!

Before I show you our freebie, I wanted to tell you why I feel lucky!!  It's probably not going to surprise you that Stacia and I feel lucky to get to work together!  It literally is what gets us through the day sometimes.  And we don't just feel lucky about getting to work together, the two of us, but also for our wonderful 4th grade team!  We are a very close group and we have become a family!  The support and love we have received from our teammates through the last few years helps us all get through the stress!
Now, onto our freebie!

Do you need something fun that will help your students practice identifying different lines and angles?  Well, then we have just the thing for you!

We hope you can use this freebie!!  If you download it, please please leave us some feedback and let us know what you think!!

Head on over to the next stop on our blog hop for another freebie!  Click the button below:

Have a fantastic weekend!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Alphaboxes- Fun from A to Z!

Hey there!!

I know!!  It's been so long since we've blogged.  I feel ya.  It's not because we don't love you, it's just that thang called life!!  Is anyone else overwhelmed?  Can I get an amen???

Well, I promise we are teaching.  So, I did something the other day that was super simple, but the kids loved it.  What was it you ask?  ALPHABOXES!!  I'm sure you've probably heard them and use them all the time.  But, it's one of those "things" that I know is awesome and simple, but I forget about it because THERE ARE SO MANY great things and I probably over complicate things.  But as I've said here many a time, simple is sometimes best!
So, we've been learning about the American Revolution (my all time FAVORITE unit in Social much so I get behind in the curriculum because I just love it so...)

And we were talking about the Declaration of Independence.  We read a really fun book!

I guess it's your normal ABC book, but wait!  Not really!  One of my students even commented, "It's amazing that the author could put the events leading up to the Revolution chronologically with the letters!"

Wait what?!?!  Did my amazing student just say THAT???  Yes, yes he did!!  God bless him!!  He was right!!  This book has events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and events afterward!!  And, all in order using the alphabet!  AMAZING!!

I wanted to read this book because it was a great review of what we had already discussed and a great preview of where we were going!
You don't even have to use alphaboxes with an ABC book!  You can just use it to go over material already taught, in ANY subject!

And you know what?  My kids LOVED this!!  We could have just copied what each letter stood for but we didn't stop there! Oh no!  They wanted to brainstorm every possible word they could think of for the American Revolution that started with that letter, and we added it to the box!  LOVE IT!!
They even got so excited, they started color coding!!  This was very motivating for my students, so I'm linking it up with my sweet, sweet friend Joanne for
If you'd like a copy of the alphaboxes that I used, click HERE and you can download it!  We pasted it into our notebooks, but you can use it anyway you'd like!  :O)

I hope you have some fun!  From A to Z!!  :O)

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 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 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.

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)

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...

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.

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?  :)

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