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?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Week of Thanks: A!

I've been a regular blogger for four days straight - almost an entire school week. Wow! It's great to be back in a good habit even if I'm only writing a few short posts. I've been loving reading everyone's posts from A Week of Giving hosted by the wonderful ladies at Blog Hoppin'.

Today, I'm linking up to share my letter "A."

I'm thankful for... 

I think student artwork helps my classroom feel like my home away from home. I love looking at my students work. It makes my classroom come alive each year. Yes, I spent countless hours on bulletin board but having rotations of artwork can really bring a class to life. And when I'm working after hours or need a pick me up - looking a fifth grader's Native American mosaics, book wreaths, or dressed up turkey can really change your mood. Even big kids love to be creative and I think that's worthy of display.

Here's some artwork from my students' this year... 

But, I have a confession...

 I also love creating art as well although I'm no Van Gogh!

Mark your calendars -Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! Plus, I'm offering 20% off my entire store as well! Check out some of my new Social Studies interactive notebooks. Here's a peek at my newest addition...

Happy THANKSgiving! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Week of Thanks: H!

Today, I'm back linking up with the girls at Blog Hoppin' for their Week of Giving linky. H was hard to pin down. I love time at the holidays and I feel like school at times can be my home, however, if I'm keeping with a week of thanks... I couldn't make it through the year without...

I'm so lucky we have such great and supportive parents in our community. I know that it is a true blessing to have. Without our great parents and PTO, I know my time would not be as efficiently used. I've had parents help precheck my homework, grade spelling homework, make copies, hang bulletin boards, staple book orders, cut items for projects and plan class parties. They also donated breakfast for our Veteran's Day celebration and offer up some great "prizes" for our Lemonade Day! Plus, their kind words over the years have been true sanity savers. I can't thank them enough for all their help each year!

To my wonderful parents, thanks for everything!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Week of Thanks: T

Today, I wanted to quickly link up with the amazing bloggers at Blog Hoppin' for their Week of Giving linky. A short and sweet blog post for a short and sweet week. I like it!

Today, I'm thankful for... 

I can't express how grateful I am to work with  my teaching partners. We've been together quite a while now and I can't imagine working with anyone else. We all have that Type "A" personality but we make it work. We plan and work together and I can't thank my "P's" enough for all their help over the years. From co-teaching and planning, to integrating science and language arts lessons, writing a technology grant,  picking up copies, prepping for a sub, or helping run RTI Reading Groups during intervention, I have fabulous partners! I have learned so much from each of them over the years. 

Amie, Michelle, & Chelsea - Thanks for the help, support, and doing what's best for kids!
This comet loves her Team & Teaching Partners!  
We had to take to take multiple shots because of all the one-liners... 
We're worse than the kids!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Scoop & a TPT Sale!

 Okay, who else is excited for a TWO DAY week? As I was reading some blogs this morning, I saw several teachers have the entire week off... lucky! I'm excited to link up with The Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop linky before my short week!

Okay, so my dishwasher is currently assembled in the middle of my kitchen! Yikes! Some piece broke off the "little strainer basket" so now it won't latch properly and complete a load. This is just not good timing. Thank goodness for a pretty handy boyfriend. Besides, the dishwasher drama, I'm excited to prep for a TWO DAY WEEK (whoop whoop!) and do a small load of laundry for my two days of teaching.

I'm hoping to get a little pre-Thanksgiving cleaning done around the house today and tomorrow. I need to get things picked up so we can bring out the Christmas decorations. I figured the Christmas decor would bring me some cheer as I grade 55 Realistic Fiction pieces over break. I just finished one piece and now on to the second piece... I feel like I live with a basket of graded work hovering around me like a black cloud. Anyone else have this same feeling?

Last, I'm happy to announce I'm having a pre-Thanksgiving sale over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I just finished another set of interactive notebook pages, this time for Language Arts. Head over and check out  my Character Unit Interactive pages! I've also put my Maya, Inca, & Aztec pages on sale as well! Check out the previews for freebies!

Here's a little preview....

I'm working on some more Social Studies pages currently but they will probably not be finished until after my turkey coma this week! You can visit my store and sale here. Hope everyone finds great deals on Black Friday & Cyber Monday!
Don't forget to check out this week's scoop!

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Scoop

Up early to get some work done but I'm taking a little blogging break. I'm excited to finally have something to link up with Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop linky! I've been actively reading everyone else's linky posts but I haven't had much to say to get in on the action myself!

So here's my Sunday Scoop:

So, Sunday's are my get down to business days usually. Today, I need to lock myself away to finish grading the last of my essays. I also need to send home my minutes update for (check my previous post here) since we had a party on Friday and didn't get to see all my students.

I just can't brag enough about Learn2Earn. This website has been such a blessing for me and my students. Seventeen more responses awaited me this morning; I graded 48 on Friday. Couldn't be more proud of this student's reading success as I logged in this morning! Using text evidence to explain his answer and all... #fillsmyteacherheart

We also just got sent a long list of emails about meetings for OTES prep, IEP meetings, RTI meetings, and staff meetings for the remainder of 2014. I brought my planner home to write them all down. I just can't remember all these places and times without writing it all down and putting it in my digital calendar as well!

I'm hoping to spend maybe an hour or two grading or enjoying break to finish Mad Men Season 2. I got hooked yesterday and marathoned through nearly all of Season 2. Just three more episodes to finish up. What was life like before Netflix?? I also want to get all the dishes put away and cleaned up. We went to a friend's house for a game night yesterday so all left over dishes are still in the sink from prepping party foods and yesterday's misc. dishes. Thank goodness for a reliable dishwasher!

Last, I'm happy to write sub plans this week! I'm taking my first personal day of the year. I don't always take my personal days but this year, I'm taking some time to get my hair cut, go Christmas shopping and just get my life organized. I have all sorts of appointments I need to book and places I need to call and there just never seems to be enough time in the school day... Hopefully, it'll be a fun day to get recharged and get some things done before the holiday craziness starts up!

How are you spending your Sunday?


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Bookish November Currently!

It's November! I love getting caught up on the blogging world each month with Oh Boy Fourth Grade's Currently. Farley, Thanks for hosting & making this community a great place to share love and ideas!

So here's my November Life...

I love country music. I love Zac Brown Band. Seems appropriate that I'm listening to the radio while blogging & enjoying both my loves.

Okay, I know I've already blogged about my new "online reading logs" but if you need kids to "log" minutes, check out It's been a huge motivator for many of my reluctant readers. The conversations kids are having about books - it's exciting me! I love that my students are wanting to read for the purpose of reading (and buying some new stuff for their owlvatars). It's also great for my students who already love reading to share that love with the rest of the team. Additional Perk - I'm also loving the ease of "grading" these logs. Seriously, you can set a date range and it'll tell you the minutes logged and the average response on your questions. It does fiction and nonfiction. As a teacher who ditched logs and then brought them back in compliance with our district's reading initiative - this is awesome! Check out my Online Reading Log post!

In the words of Jack from Love that Dog, "This is the BEST, BEST, BEST DAY!" Today was Donalyn Miller Day!

Scholastic brought her into our school as part of a book talk tour. What?! I'm not sure how our school got so lucky but you better believe I was sitting front and center taking it all in. It's wonderful seeing research and affirmation backing up great things happening in our classrooms! Plus, as a reader and book lover -- she's speaking my language. And she's so nice! My OMG moment was chatting it up for 10 minutes-ish in the parking lot.

Her entire presentation can be found on under the heading "Projects &  Presentations." Which is great because my "after school brain" forgot a notepad!

Now, photos to document this awesome day!

Enough said. I still have a stack. I'm the slowest grader ever!

 Okay, before I hit up the Nerdy Book Club... I need some new books or series to get into! I just picked up The Fourteenth Goldfish at book fair. But I'm trying to find some other series books that might be new or interesting to add to my Nook. I've finished Maze Runner and I need something else... The One and Only Ivan? Shiver series? What's rocking your reading world?

I'm finishing up If I Stay as my own personal read. I know there is a sequel but I still need to see the movie. I'm one of those people - even though I always, always hate the movies.

 But, speaking of reading.... What are some great picture books that you're using in you classroom this month?

We just read the Ralph Fletcher collection of...

... as part of Realistic Fiction Writing unit. The kids are loving the figurative language and show not tell, plus, even big kids love picture books!

What's your November life like?
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