Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014... Hello Top Five!
In honor of ringing in the new year tonight, I'm linking up with the lovely Ideas by Jivey for her Top Five Blog Posts of 2014 linky! I've had a blogiversary this year and can't believe how far this little blog has come in just a year! So let's look back at my top five posts of the year! I ordered these by the number of views per post :)

My #5 post of the year, was about our study of Canada and the lapbooks we were making to practice circle graphs and notetaking. This was a short and sweet link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! A few people asked inquired about the Canada Passport/lapbooks and they are now updated and on sale in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store!

My #4 post was for all my fellow dog lovers out there! In this post, I shared the novel Kizzy Ann Stamps which is an excellent book for a Civil Rights or Black History Read Aloud. I just love Kizzy and her dog Shag!

My #3 post was another book recommendation! This post was all about The Lemonade War and how my teaching partner and I integrated it into our economics unit with our annual Lemonade Day!
 This is definitely one of the most fun and sugary days in fifth grade!

My #2 post of the year was about an amazing new App I stumbled upon! The Scholastic Book Fair and Book Wizard Apps are truly amazing! My students loved grabbing an iPad or iPod and scanning books at the Book Fair!

And drum roll please....

My #1 most viewed post of the year... goes to "double stuffing" your paragraphs! This unit was so much fun to teach and I can't wait to these great resources again for our argument writing unit. Click the OREO below to grab a free graphic organizer from The Lesson Plan Diva!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and festive New Year! To celebrate and help ring in 2015! My entire TPT store is 15% off (today and tomorrow) including my new Social Studies Lapbooks. Check them out! Over 15+ Interactive Notebook/Lapbook activities for under $3!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Social Studies Lapbooks!

I've had the flu most of break and haven't had a lot of time to leave the house. There are only so many shows you can watch on Hulu and Netflix in a given day. So after catching up on Castle and Revenge, I put my sick self to work! Last year, Ohio changed our Social Studies standards and I had a hard time finding what I needed for my students. Since our district was short on resources, I used a hodge podge of articles, notes, videos, etc. In the words of Tim Gunn, I had a make it work year.  So, this year, I took our standards and made lapbooks for Canada and South America. I wanted a generic notes sheet that could be used for any resource. I'm still working on a Mexico & Central America lapbook but for the rest of the weekend both lapbooks are only $2! Two for the price of one! Enter to win a copy on Instagram!

Here's a preview of the Canada lapbook:

Here's a preview of the South America lapbook:
Freebies are included in both previews - so check those out before purchasing! Please, leave some positive feedback if you purchase :)


Don't forget to check out other great Geography ideas and products over at Fifth in the Middle

Hope everyone is having a healthy, happy, and productive break! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tried it Tuesday: Update!

I've done several posts about how much I'm absolutely loving Learn 2 Earn.Org {check them out here}. But, I thought an update and link-up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday was needed! When I first blogged about, we were just starting it out and going for it... so now after two months, I thought an update may be good for those of you on the fence!

Recap, Learn2Earn.Org is a new start-up company that tracks student reading. The aim of the website is to have students logging reading minutes online. They have a website at Learn2Earn.Org and even an Instagram {Learn2EarnOrg} account. They have a fundraising feature perfect for PTO readathons or schoolwide reading challenges so that students can get pledges for all their reading! Right now, our school isn't participating in a reading challenge but my teaching partner and I are loving all the other great things that are happening...

Some of my kiddos have made such a huge growth in their attitude toward reading logs and reading at home -- it is truly amazing! Plus, I don't have all that "paperwork" laying around and minutes to add up each week. Grading can be a little difficult since it's not alphabetical but that's really the only downside to this site! It's easy for the kids to do on an iPad or laptop. My students beg to post responses {a few are on a 13 - 15 day reading streak!} and get online so they can share a book with a friend or buy more stuff for their owls. Right now, titles like "Princess" and "Genius" are the trendy items to buy.

 Here's why I'm loving this site:
- Keeps track of students' books, minutes, and responses
- Created {and editable!} Common Core aligned questions
- Questions are engaging {Tweets, $500 Summary, Book told from an 80 year old character, etc.}
- Responses for fiction and nonfiction
- Averages the responses for you! {And you can set the date range!}
- SOCIAL {Students can comment, recommend, and "like" each other's books}
- Owlvatars!

Here's what I see as a teacher:

And just for fun... 
If you're considering joining or want to set up your free Whoooo's Reading Class {Click here} and use my referral link.  The upgrade is $5 dollars a month for custom scoring, custom teacher avatar, side bar of response expectations, and new prompts each month! I'm definitely purchasing the upgrade after winter break because my class is loving this site - so worth $5 dollars a month!

Whooo's trying out other new websites?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Week of Thanks: Wrapping it Up!

I know I was a little late to finish up, but I'm finishing up my Blog Hoppin Week of Giving with the letters K & S. I've enjoyed stopping by some new blogs and looking at all the wonderful things we have to appreciate.

This year, I'm thank for .... 

Of course, we all wouldn't be in this profession without our students. This year we have a particularly great group of students. I look forward to going to work each day and having "fun" with my classes. My favorite day of the week is Friday because we have our huge team meeting usually followed up by Kid President. We've used Kid President videos this year to teach about character and give our students something to dance about!

I'm proud to say we took part in Kid President's Socktober Challenge and collected nearly 400 items for our local food pantry including over 80 pairs of socks! If you haven't heard of Socktober it's definitely worth doing any time of the year...

I'm so happy to have this great tradition with my students. We've actually missed the past few Fridays with Kid President videos - and I think I miss it as much as the students. He's a great role model with such a postitive attitude.

Thanks Kid President for making our Fridays AWESOME!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2 + 1 = TPTCYBER : What's On Your Wishlist?

Many of you probably have your wishlists ready for Teacher Pay Teacher's Cyber Monday & Tuesday sale! You can get up to 28% off many of your wish listed items. Don't forget to add the code TPTCYBER before checking out.

So, as I check out my wishlist and finish up some products, I thought I'd take a few minutes and link with Ideas by Jivey for her What's On Your Wishlist? linky.

The number one wish listed item from my store is one of my very first products -- "Social Studies: I Can Statements" for American History. Looking back, these "I Cans" are simple and get the job done. I used this statments in my own classroom until Ohio changed it's Social Studies curriculum. 

You can get the updated version of these "I Can" statements based on Ohio's Model Curriculum for both 4th & 5th grades in my store as well.

At only $3 dollars regular price, you can get these as a great add-on item during the sale. They look great on colored card stock.

The second most wish listed item is a new product in my store. It's my Maya, Inca, Aztec Interactive Notebook pages! These can be used with any textbook, nonfiction trade book, movie, etc! These are a fun addition to any interactive notebook collection. I created these after striking out when trying to find "big kid" Social Studies interactive notebook pages that fit my curriculum.
Click the image to snag a freebie and download a preview!

First on my list are from the amazing Hello Literacy's TPT Store. I've had these on my wishlist for a while now but with our nonfiction reading unit in full swing - these articles would be a great addition for small group work and RTI. And of course, I need Short Informational Text Articles Set 1 and Short Informational Text Articles Set 2.

And you can never have too much clipart... I've wanted these Melonheadz cuties since they came out!

What's on your Cyber Monday shopping list?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Tha-N-ksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving blogging community! I can't wait to try some of my cousins apple and pumpkin pie today... the dessert table is where it's at our family Thanksgiving. But before digging into some pie, I wanted to link up with Blog Hoppin and continue A Week of Giving.

Today, I'm thankful for...

This may seem old-fashioned but I enjoy teaching my students the art of writing. Technology is wonderful and I use it for so many things but there is something about the physical act of writing. I know most of my students will most likely not became famous authors. However, the act of writing is empowering. It teaches kids to find their voice, provides a place for researching their opinions, and lets kids know that their ideas matter. When I decided I wanted to be a teacher, that confidence and skill of writing - helped me complete college applications and write many, many research papers along the way. I hope my students find pride in their notebooks and find their own voice along the way. Plus, notebooks are fun to decorate and personalize. And don't even get my started on finding that perfect pattern at the beginning of the school year...

I keep a Reader's and Writer's Notebook along with my students...

How do you use notebooks in your classroom?
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