Monday, May 4, 2015

End of the Year Ideas {and some for next year too... and maybe a FREEBIE!!!}

Today was "Bridge Day"... everyone in the district moved up a grade for a few hours this morning.

I had a room full of 2nd graders... and now... the reality is setting in that the year is almost over!

I LOVE my class this year so so so so so much!  I always love all of my classes, but this group is extra special and I am not excited about seeing them go at the end of the year!

I want to do some things to make the end of the year special for them, so we'll be making a memory book combined with our monthly photos.

I have this pack up for free on TpT.  We do a picture and writing every single month and I hang them in our "baggie quilt" in the hallway...

Each month, the new pic and writing goes in the front so we'll soon be pulling all of these out and putting them in chronological order.  I love this because now every student has a book with a picture and writing sample {just a quick one!} to look back on for every month this school year.  I pulled all of the pages out of a few when I put in the pics for this month and it's AMAZING how much they've grown!

After we organize them in chronological order, I'll bind them into a book... and put some memory book pages in the back that we can work on the last few days of school.  It's a pretty simple memory book but I find my kiddos start getting sloppy when I do really long ones, so we'll try this quick one this year.

I know it's May so it's too late to do the pics and monthly writing now, but please stock this idea away and do it next year!

You can get the memory book for FREE!!!!  Click the pic below!

I also will be passing out awards at the end of the year.  I love doing this ceremony because EVERYONE will get recognized for something... from "Quiet as a..." for that one who is always so silent to "No Dust Bunnies" for your sweetie with a clean desk, there is literally something for everyone in here!  They're quick to complete in PowerPoint and everyone smiles and gets excited waiting to see what they'll be recognized for!

One last thing... did you know TpT is having their TEACHER APPRECIATION SALE Tuesday and Wednesday???  Stock up for next year and save 28%... just use the code "Thank You" at check out to get 10% extra off and save 20% in my store automatically too!
Thanks, Ashley Marquez, for the image!!!

What do you need for next year???  SNAPSHOTS!  Show What You Know!  Guided reading passages!  3rd grade assessments!  Quick and easy newsletters!  Quick and easy parent notes!  Wax Museum organization!  ThoughtMARKS for comprehension!  Writer's Notebooks!

Happy shopping!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Award Winners!

Check out the widget below to see if you are a lucky winner of my Editable Awards pack!

If you missed it, check out the pack by clicking the pic!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Half-sies {Completely Editable and Quick Note Templates!}

We've all been there...

Planning period.

You have to check homework, call two parents, answer your e-mail, scarf down your snack, and send home a reminder about the party in class tomorrow... not to mention trying to make it to the bathroom!

After the homework, phone calls, e-mails, and the snack, there are 5 minutes left.  And you STILL have to do the reminder note... so the bathroom will have to wait!

Well... not anymore!  Check out "Half-sies".  These are quick and ready to use parent notes... just add text boxes and type... and make it to the bathroom with seconds to spare!

Cute and easy!

They're $1 off for a few days!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

End of Year Awards {Giveaway!}

It's almost that time... the End of the Year!  It's crazy... this year has FLOWN by.  I have an amazing class and I'm going to miss them all so so so much!

One thing I do at the end of each year is pass out awards to my students.  I use my pack on TpT, which literally has something for EVERY student!

I'm going to give away TWO copies of the pack!

You must leave a blog comment to enter but can get extra entries by checking out my blog's Facebook page too!

It ends next Friday, May 1!  If you just can't wait, I've got the pack on sale until the end of the giveaway too!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

{New Product Alert!} WAX MUSEUM KIT!

Did I mention that I love Wax Museum?  Like seriously love it?  Like... L to the O to the V to the E it?

Well, I do.

So much learning happens and it's amazing to see my kiddos SO excited about what they're working on.  They literally ask me every morning when they walk in if we'll be researching today for our project and earlier this week, they CHEERED when they came in and saw the iPad cart because they knew we'd be doing research!

I just put the finishing touches on a Wax Museum Organization Kit that has everything needed to organize this learning for your classroom... parent letter, pacing guide, student notes pages... it's all there!

Just click the pic for more info!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adjectives, Adjectives, Adjectives {Just Add Marshmallows!}

Ok... if you're a TpT seller, you so get it.

I went into my binder and copied a fun activity for this week.

I made it a few years ago and haven't used it in the past year or so, so I pulled it out.

I cringed.

It looked un-cute.

And... gasp... it had COMIC SANS as the font!!!!!

We used it.  I winced as I watched my kiddos... they had a great time.  They laughed.  They enjoyed themselves!  They learned more about adjectives.  But I knew I had to fix it as soon as I got home!

So... a new, improved "Just Add Marshmallows" adjective pack was born!

SIX fun activities for working with adjectives!

Click the pic for more info {No Comic Sans included!}.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Free Online Must Check Out Learning Tool {LearnZillion}

Have you heard of LearnZillion?

It's awesome!  There are instructional videos for ELA and math that are all Common Core connected!

This week, we are working on transitions in our informational writing.  We call it "connecting words and phrases".  We added some pages to our Writer's Notebooks.  Students had to re-write a paragraph with no transition words to include transitions.  They did a great job!
Find this resource by clicking {HERE}!

Then we watched the W.2 "transitions" video on LearnZillion.  The video is in kid-friendly language and shows examples... and I loved that it showed a non-example too!

You should for sure check it out.  Click the image below to head over and sign up for your free account!

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year {Wax Museum!}

We are starting our research for our 3rd grade wax museum and it is literally the MOST wonderful time of the year!

I LOVE this project.  The kiddos LOVE this project.

This is what my classroom looked like last week...
 Neil Armstrong found a video...

 Bessie Coleman and Laura Ingalls Wilder share new knowledge.

 Caroline Herschel works on her timeline.

My "Anne Frank" found a virtual tour of the home she hid in... everyone wanted to know if their person had any virtual tours too!  :)
Rosa Parks finds pictures.

Kids everywhere using the iPads to research the historical figure they have chosen... watching videos, searching images, reading websites... I LOVE IT!

Last week we researched dates for our timelines.  This week we'll be gathering info for our speeches.
If you have never done a wax museum, I'd highly recommend you look into doing one.  It covers SO many standards for starters... and it's just plain fun and full of learning.  Like literally SO much learning!!!!!

Here's a rough outline of how ours breaks down:

*gather dates for timeline (8 important life events)- 2 days
*gather info for speeches (students use a specific outline for notes)- 2 days
*write speeches using notes (4 paragraphs, following a specific plan)- 3 days
*We spend about a week in class working to memorize our speeches, though memorization isn't required.  Then all students will give their speech to the class the day before we do our for real wax museum.

We also make "buttons" that people can push to activate the speeches.  Last year we made them out of paper, but this year we're going to have students use PicCollage on the iPads to make their button.  Some of my kiddos have already started and one had the GREAT idea of including a quote from her person on the PicCollage, so I'm going to have my students all do that too!

Students make their timelines at home using the info gathered at school.  They can e-mail me pictures and I will print them at school or they can print at home or they can draw images for the timelines.  We supply paper for the timelines- it's an 11x18 piece of construction paper cut in half lengthwise and students attach the two halves.  But lots of students make their own timelines out of science fair boards, poster boards, etc...

Students also put together a costume at home.  I teach in a high poverty district and, the past two years that we've done this, students haven't had trouble with this.  We've seen everything from a George Washington wig made by gluing cotton balls to a baseball cap to Michael Jordan's jersey made by drawing the logo of his team on paper and taping it to a t-shirt!  The students and families have been so creative!

Did I mention I LOVE this project???!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Assess ALL RL Standards on ONE Assesment!

New product alert!

FIVE assessments.

Each assessment is THREE pages long.

On those three pages, all EIGHT 3rd grade RL standards are addressed through TWO original connected reading passages!

Click the pic for more info!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Midunderstood Minds- Understanding and Experiencing Learning Difficulties {This is a MUST do, teacher friends!!!}

We've been doing lots of training at school recently about utilizing technology in the classroom.  One session particularly caught my attention... understanding students with learning difficulties.

As a teacher, it's my job to teach all students and I strive to do just that... teaching how students learn... BUT, I'll admit that I have wanted to say things like, "Of has two letters... it isn't 'u-v'... it's 'o-f'... how is it that hard to know that?!" at times.  Not a proud moment... but a moment of genuine not understanding on my part.

And how about, "I'm only going to give this direction once, so make sure you pay good attention!"... I can't be the only teacher who has said that before!  After doing the module on listening attention {and feeling SO frustrated that I couldn't do it and SO determined to do it correctly!} I'm definitely re-thinking some things for those kiddos who struggle with oral directions.  You have to try out the "Auditory Activity" in the attention tab... and let me know what you think.  This one was so hard for me and I just wanted to do it so badly!!!!!

You HAVE to try these things out.  You can complete simulations for reading, writing, math, and attention difficulties and I promise you will think of kids in your classroom that fit in each of these categories... AND guarantee you will come away with a new understanding {and compassion!} about students' learning troubles!

Click the image below to go to Misunderstood Minds.  Then, click the tabs on the left to go to each type of learning difficulty.  You can complete a simulation for each one by clicking the "Experience Firsthand" links at the top.

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