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!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rangers Win Freebie!!!

It's Wednesday night rivalry on NBC, Flyers @ Rangers! Things got pretty heated last season during the Ranger's surge to the Cup, so of course tonight's game was going to be good.
While watching the game I finished up working on some bookmarks to accompany the Accelerated Reader program we are using this year in our classrooms. Students in my class have taken the STAR Reading assessment from Renaissance Learning. After taking the assessment students are provided with a specific, leveled range of texts that they can read successfully (their Zone of Proximal Development).
I wanted a way to share this range with my students to help them select appropriate texts for independent reading. With a little help from my students and AR BookFind, our classroom library is almost done being leveled. This combined with our snazzy new bookmarks will make it much easier for students to find books within their range!
Click here to download these bookmarks for free from my TpT store!
It's a shutout WIN! Let's Go Rangers!
~ Stacie

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Vault of Dreamers

I LOVE a good book! I love when a book transports you to a place completely different from where you are. I love when a book makes you feel as though it's characters are a part of you that you have never explored before. I love when you finish a book and it leaves you feeling invigorated. Your adrenaline courses through you like you've just won the Stanley Cup and your muscles (in this case your brain) tingle with excitement.

I just finished reading The Vault of Dreamers, by Caragh M. O'Brien. Let me first say that I would read ANYTHING she writes. She could write an add for vacuum cleaners and have me hanging on her every word. Last year I read her Birthmarked Trilogy and almost had to lock myself in the bathroom so I could get away from my kids and finish the series in peace and quiet. So you can imagine my excitement when I visited a local second-hand bookstore and found an advance reader's copy of Vault of Dreamers a week before it's scheduled release date! There were several spelling/grammar mistakes in this edition, but the language nerd in me loved finding them (and the teacher in me almost circled them in red pen).

The Vault of Dreamers is psychologically spellbinding and sucks you in from it's concept. The story centers around Rosie, a young teenaged student at the prestigious Forge School of the Arts. Forge is unique as it's students are gifted artisans who have every moment of their life televised as part of a reality show about the school. To help enhance student creativity 12 hours of sleep is induced every night. One night, however, Rosie skips her sleeping pill and notices strange things are happening once Forge's cameras go dark. She discovers that Forge itself might be an experiment with a secret world lurking behind the cameras.

This book is a must for anyone who loves fast paced action with side of budding romance. Rosie meets a boy while at Forge and gets her first experience with love. However this boy, Linus, works in the Forge cafeteria, which leaves Rosie wondering where his loyalties truly lie.

Most of all what I love about Vault of Dreamers, and O'Brien's writing style in general, is her amazing use of descriptive writing. Her pen morphs into a paintbrush creating stunning visuals in the minds of her readers.
A trace of dream clung to me as I surfaced into Tuesday morning, a shadow twin who stretched out from my feet, farther and farther ahead of me along the railroad tracks, until she detached and slipped away. Languorously, I smiled and rolled over. It was the first hint or a dream I'd had since I'd come to the Forge School, and I loved remembering dreams. I'd missed them while I was on the pills. (108)
The final verdict.... This book is a MUST read!

Up next: Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer,  by Ali Maier. I was contacted by a book promotion company asking if I would like a complimentary copy to review for my classroom. YES PLEASE! It's the story of 10 year old twins Maggie and Max, whose mom makes them keep a journal for the summer. The catch... they have to share the same journal and read what each other has written. Brilliant parenting strategy!

Keep Reading ~ Stacie