Saturday, December 20, 2014

What does the TEXT say? TpT SALE!!

If you've been around ANY child in the past year then you've heard the annoyingly catchy tune "What does the fox say?". And unless you've been living under a rock, I am willing to bet you have even sung the chorus a few times.
Well my three boys had that song on loop last week. With that song stuck in my head I went into class each morning thinking about how my students are having difficulty with text evidence. I needed to find a way to reach them, something catchy that they would remember and use. Last year, I used the ACE strategy from Lovin' Lit's interactive notebooks with much success. However this year's crop of 4th graders just didn't grasp it with the same enthusiasm.
I was in the middle of correcting yet another batch of evidence-less responses when my son walked into the room singing that infamous chorus. Then, inspiration struck and I realized that "fox" could easily be replaced with "text"! The next think I know I've got a classroom bulletin board planned out and a head full of ideas!

After a few late nights on my trusty ol' laptop I had a brand new strategy for teaching my students to cite text evidence.
My new teachers pay teachers product contains the graphics I created for my bulletin board, posters with sentence starters and my new F.O.X. formula for providing text evidence, 3 different graphic organizers, bookmarks for reading groups or individual use, a rubric aligned to Common Core Anchor Standard for Reading RL.1 and RI.1, and some ideas for instruction. Best of all this new product (along with my new Speaking and Listening Discussion Tools) is on SALE this weekend. Stop by my TpT store to scoop them up for 15% off!
My students are LOVING the spoof of the song and, wouldn't you know, have started to show more text evidence in their responses! I hope you find this product as useful and I am. Please leave me some feedback and consider following my store for more inspired ideas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Made It!

Today I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for #MondayMadeIt! I LOVE to get crafty so this link up is a dream for me.
This is my first time linking up and I'm excited to share :-)
My first Made It is something I created for my classroom that has really taken off. I teach 4th grade and kids at this age want to share but are a little too old for show-and-tell. My solution.... The YouTank!

This YouTube spoof is the prefect fit for my technology themed classroom this year. It's just an old 10-gallon fish tank with a cardboard frame I created to look like a YouTube video frame. Each student is assigned a week in the YouTank during which they can fill the tank with items they wish to share with the class. Items stay on display for the class to see throughout the week. There are a few guidelines that students need to follow when bringing in items to share. This is the letter I send home:
Keep your eye out on my TpT store for a YouTank freebie coming your way soon!

My second Made It doesn't need an introduction. The picture speaks for itself...
After discovering that my two-year old had bitten all of our apples I decided it was the perfect time to try out a new recipe, Delightful Apple Spiced Scones with Spiced Glaze from SkinnyTaste (LOVE her recipes!) This was my first time making scones so I was a little nervous about it. However, they were super easy to make and tasted DELICIOUS!

My third Made It was a project that has been in the works since the summer. I had a bunch of toilet paper tubes lying around the house waiting to be recycled but wasn't quite sure how I wanted to use them. Then I came up with this...
I painted the cardboard tubes and cut slits in them. Then I used velcro dots to stick them to the wall under my whiteboard. The tubes are the perfect size to hold index cards! Each tube holds one week's vocabulary words. On the wall to the sides of the tubes I put up vocabulary activities for students to practice their words.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out more great #MondayMadeIt crafts at 4th Grade Frolics!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tech Thursday "Sticky Walls"

Today I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for Tech Thursday! This is my first time linking up and I'm super excited to see what new technologies everyone has to share.
I am sharing my love for Padlet today. It's like a digital bulletin board or wall that you can post sticky notes on, hence my nickname for them "sticky walls". I have created many sticky walls to use with my students over the years. You can see some examples of them on my class website. Sticky walls are a great way to quickly assess student learning and understanding of a topic. You can put the wall up on your classroom SMARTboard and student posts will pop up as they respond! Follow the directions below to get started on your own sticky wall:

The right side of the wall hosts your toolbar. Click on the gear to modify the wall. At any time you can click on the Padlet icon at top to return to your dashboard. Don't worry about losing your work. Padlet automatically saves it!
At this point your wall is finished and ready for use! Just double click anywhere on the wall to leave a post. You can also drag and drop files and pictures, add links to websites and articles, and even add videos. The possibilities are truly endless.
After pasting the embed code into the HTML section of your blog post you can switch back over to the compose view to see how your wall looks and add text.

Want to try out a sticky wall?! Below is a wall I created while I was grabbing screenshots for this post. Double click anywhere on the wall below to leave your comment. How would you like to use sticky walls in your classroom?

Don't forget to stop by Teaching Trio for more great technology ideas. Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Desperately seeking texts... & {GIVEAWAY} for your suggestions!

It's already December! Where did the time go?! Today I'm linking up with Farley @ Oh Boy Fourth Grade to bring you Currently December:
Listening: to Christmas music! The day after Thanksgiving a local radio station switches over to Christmas music 24/7. I couldn't be happier!

Loving: "The Affair" on Showtime. I started watching the show because Joshua Jackson is in it (my teenage crush from the Dawson's Creek days) and now I'm hooked! The characters are dynamic and interesting. I love how the show is told from two different perspectives. It literally is a "he said, she said" story.

Thinking: December came way too fast! I feel like we were carving pumpkins just last week. There is too much to do in the few remaining weeks till Christmas...

Wanting: More time to create TpT products to stock my store! I feel like my head is so full of ideas I am going to explode! All I need is a little more time to put everything together, but as a working mom with three little boys that is nearly impossible.

Needing: Novel suggestions please! I am on the Language Arts Committee in my school and the Language Arts Council for Southeastern CT and we are working on revising our core literature lists to meet Common Core expectations. This is where you come in! I need suggestions for texts you are using or want to use in your classrooms. Please add your suggestions to the sticky walls below. Include the title, author, lexile (if you know it) and what grade level you use it at. The first 2 people to comment on each sticky wall will receive a free copy of my top-selling City of Ember Unit from my TpT store!

Giving: A FREE copy of my City of Ember Unit to the first 2 people to comment on EACH sticky wall below!

I LOVE sticky walls and have created many through Padlet to use with my students. They are a fast, easy way to display student comments on a projector/whiteboard during discussions and lessons. A great way to quickly assess student understanding of concepts. Best of all... it's FREE!

Happy December!

Cyber Monday is here!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.... Cyber Monday :-)
I absolutely love the idea of skipping the hectic, crowded stores and shopping from the comfort of my own home. One of the places I will be shopping today... the Teachers Pay Teachers sale of course!
Check out these new products available now in my TpT store:
If you couldn't already tell... I'm a bit of a hockey fan! Check out my little man in his first hockey tournament this weekend:

Don't forget to enter code TPTCYBER at checkout. I know I will be picking up several items from my wishlist today. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Scoop and TpT SALE!

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio again for the Sunday Scoop! Hope everyone has had a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend :-)
Speaking of the big TpT sale:
I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey to share the most wishlisted items on my TpT store and something from my wishlist that I will be purchasing during the sale tomorrow:
The number 1 most wishlisted item in my store is my City of Ember Novel Unit. The City of Ember Series by Jeanne DuPrau is one of my all time favorite young adult reads. I love teaching the novel and seeing the excitement on my student's faces as they start to make some inferences about what's going on  in the story.

Number 2 most wishlisted item in my store is my Giant iPad Classroom Job Chart. I made this for my classroom this year to fit our technology theme. It works great and student's love it.
My wishlist on TpT is ALWAYS full! On the top of my list is this Practice & Assess Reading Literature Printables set from Lovin' Lit. It doesn't get any better than NO PREP printables and answer keys to go along with her Interactive Notebooks that I am addicted to!

Happy Sunday Everyone! Don't forget to stop by the Teaching Trio to check out other Sunday Scoop's and Ideas by Jivey to see what's on everyones wishlist!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

Thanksgiving's over... our bellies are full and our fridges are full of leftovers! This means it's time to finish up Christmas shopping! I know people who love their Black Friday bargains, but for me it's all about the cyber deals. I started back in the summer so I've got a pretty good stockpile of gifts in our "Christmas Closet". However this doesn't mean I won't be taking advantage of some Cyber Monday deals for stocking stuffers and for my classroom! TpT will be running a sale Monday-Tuesday and I've joined in. Everything in my store will be 20% off :-) Just click on the image and use the code below:
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey and a Snowstorm!

As if an upcoming holiday break wasn't enough to distract our students, we now have to deal with a snowstorm and the possibility of our first Snow Day of the year! To help battle student's short attention spans I discovered some Thanksgiving activities from Erin at I'm Lovin' Lit (I have a slight girl crush on her work!) She has an ELA and Reading unit on TpT that includes a "close watching" activity where students watch a video clip on How to Bake a Turkey. They watch the clip multiple times, looking at a different aspect of cooking each time. I loaded up the video clips on my classroom blog and tomorrow (as long as there's no snow day...) I plan on using this activity with my students.

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's all an "Allusion" :)

I'm working on preparing for my upcoming formal observation and I realized that the lesson from our textbook was lacking background on allusion. We are piloting the Common Core Progress series this year from Sadlier School. It is a great series and has been a valuable stepping stone on our way to becoming more Common Core aligned. However the upcoming unit jumps right into mythological references (RL.4.4) without explaining what an allusion is. So as I sit here watching last night's New York Rangers game on my DVR (which we won, 5-0!) I developed a mini-lesson on allusion to fit into our interactive notebooks. You can find it here on my TpT store!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday Scoop (on Saturday!)

Since tomorrow is our 9th wedding anniversary (where has the time gone?!), I'm prepping a day early to link up with The Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!
Have a GREAT weekend!

Blog Makeover!

Today my blog is sporting a brand new look! A very BIG thank you to Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs for creating a blog that is even better looking then I had imagined. In honor of such a special occasion here is little freebie!
I am ADDICTED to using interactive notebooks from Erin at I'm Lovin' Lit! (She has an interactive notebook for everything!) We do not have an ELA Consultant or Curriculum Director in my small school, so the burden of adapting our teaching to fit new Common Core standards falls on our shoulders. Last year I discovered Erin's interactive notebooks and fell head over heals in love! They provide students with great visual's to organize their notes. And there is a lesson for almost every standard!
I created this rubric to help me assess my student's notebooks this year. It's just a simple check-in to make sure that they have all the notes they need and are keeping things neat and organized. It is also a great way to provide students with feedback and encouragement.
Click here to get this rubric @ my TpT store!

Have a great weekend everyone! And thanks again Megan!