Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pie, Pie... Me oh my!

We just finished up an AR incentive at school where, for every 25 points earned, the students got to choose a teacher and throw a pie in their face.

The pie day is tomorrow... and we're currently under a lake effect snow warning until tomorrow morning... so... I wouldn't mind if you sent a few "Boom boom for snow"s my way.  Or wore your pjs inside out.  Or put a potato by your alarm clock.  Or a spoon under your pillow.  Or flushed some ice cubes down the toilet.

You get the idea.

I wouldn't mind pushing the pie day back a few!  Not that I don't want my TWELVE pies smashed in my face... but... you know what I'm sayin'?

Do you have any AR incentives at your school?  The first marking period, they got to throw a water balloon at the principal for every 25 points and my building earned over 100 water balloons during the marking period!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fry Phrase Winner and Young Author Celebration

Well, winner #1- kellybb31 is the winner of my Fry Phrase pack at Teacher's Notebook!  They should have *hopefully* contacted you via e-mail with the download link for the product!  Congrats and thanks to the 100+ who entered!  :)

Today was a BUSY day at school.  It was early release day, which is always so crazy!  But we also had a Young Author celebration, complete with cookies, bookmarks, and lots of student written books!

This year we had books printed by Student Treasures.  All of the 3rd grades made class books and the 4th and 5th graders all wrote their own books and got a free copy!

Today we had the kiddos all split into groups and they got to walk through classrooms to look at books and then hear the books the other students had written.

Because we had to do class books, our 3rd graders wrote darling letters to Santa... check out this sweetie's letter and illustration:

Since we made 1 books for the class, each 3rd grader took a copy of their page and picture to their group.

Here are some of the kiddos reading their books to others:

It was a very positive morning and the kids loved it!  If you aren't familiar with Student Treasures, you should check them out.  The books truly cost us NOTHING... and every 4th and 5th grader got their book for FREE as long as the 3rd grades did a class book.

Now, I'm not going to lie- it was a lot of work.  More work than I thought it would be since we all only made one page... but it was totally worth it!

Check in tomorrow... I've recently finished two packs and I'd love to give them away... so I'm thinking it might be tomorrow.

Here they are if you want to take a peek!
 Check it out on TpT .

This one is a Valentine themed hallway hunt... my FAVORITE!  We'll be doing this on Valentine's week in the classroom.  I love doing these hunts- I'll hang the cards in the room, print the recording sheet, and it's an instant "must do" for grammar for the week... and students can do it on their own, quietly, during Daily Five!  LOVE IT!'

And then... my newest LOVE...
Quotation Monsters- 3rd grade CCSS aligned for 3L.2.c.   Check it out on TpT.
I'm in absolute LOVE with this one!  The graphics are SO stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BLERG! Fry Phrase Pack Error and a Freebie as a Peace Offering!

How come kids aren't as observant about errors in their own work as they are about errors in ours?  And why couldn't mine have been a little quicker to find it?!

We've only been playing "Roll, Read, Repeat" for DAYS and having so much fun doing it!  See- here we are... having fun!

Then, today, one of my little friends laughed and said, "With three dice, how can I ever roll a 1 or a 2 for this game?  I'll never get to read those phrases!"

So glad for such a smartie... but wishing he'd been a little quicker to come to that conclusion!  Or, even better... wishing I had realized it first!  You know... a week ago!

So, each Roll, Read, Repeat board in all of my Fry packs has been changed to have 16 spaces, numbered 3-18 so that every square can actually be read!  I de-activated them all this afternoon to spare anyone who wanted to purchase them from buying the error packs... but if you downloaded them prior to about 10am today, you have the baddies.  I'm so sorry!!!!!!

I'm SO sorry and beg your forgiveness if you purchased any of them!  I had my kids today just roll 1 dice for a bit to do the #1 and #2, but the rest of the ones I print will have the right number of spaces on them to play the game!

To make up for it, here's a corrected free board from the 5th 100 pack... with 16 spaces!
Tune in tomorrow for the winner of the all six Fry pack giveaway!  Click HERE to enter if you missed it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebrating with a GIVEAWAY!

Picture it...

Michigan.  2013.  The rain falls on the snowy ground, freezing instantly and making a slick mess.

A girl sleeps.  She hears the alarm and pushes snooze many times before finally getting out of bed.

Make-up on.  Hair done.  Dressed.  Coffee made.

The phone chimes.  It's her mother, congratulating her on the snow day.

Snow day?!  No phone rang in the early morning to declare this...and she was already dressed and ready for school!

But, sure enough, the news confirmed it.  School was cancelled.  That girl was me.  And that day was today.

I will send the 1 Fry Phrase pack of your choice to the first person who can comment and tell me what my little story above is mimicking... here's a hint... I love to do it on every snow day!  Yay!  Brenda, comment #6, figured it out!  The Golden Girls is one of my all time favorite shows and I love snow days because I actually get to watch it!  I was telling my snow day tale like Sophia always does in the Golden Girls!  I just e-mailed you.

So, I'm celebrating!!!!!  Yesterday I finished all of the Fry Phrase packs that I had been working on so I am going to attempt a giveaway using the system at Teacher's Notebook since the bundle pack for all six is too large to e-mail.

If you would like to win all SIX Fry Phrase sets, you can enter at Teacher's Notebook today and tomorrow!  I'll announce the winner on Wednesday!

Just click the picture to enter!
Check out the pack on TpT or TN too!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dos and Don'ts for Creating Products

First- one more Fry Phrase set is done!  This is for the 5th 100 words.  It's got a cute game called PB & J that I know my kiddos are going to LOVE!  I'm planning to complete the 6th 100 tonight and then I'll be done with the Fry Phrase sets!
Find it on TpT

Second- this week's Friday Facts are a bit late.  So, sorry they aren't here until today!  I had a few requests to do Dos and Don'ts for creating products.  So, here are my two cents about that:

Do create your own original ideas.  I mentioned that last week.  You can do it!

Don't forget to check and see that things can print... that includes borders fitting on the pages.  I'm a border-a-holic and now that I have started using them, I have to have them on everything or it looks naked to me!  It's easy to size them too large and then they don't quite print... I try and avoid that by doing test prints!

Do credit the font and graphics designers you use.  I use so many now that I have a general credits page that I include with products.  It lists and links to anyone and everyone that I *might* have used in my product.  This was definitely an evolution for me... I have to work on going back and changing my old ones as they are not as thorough!

Don't use copyrighted characters in your products!  Dare I even say their names...?!  A certain green, mean fellow who doesn't like Christmas.  A feline who loves to wear a red and white top hat and cause mischief.  A reading management system many of us use that was created by two female siblings... Just check out the forums for what you can and can't do and be careful.

Do ask someone else to check out your products.  I know that I become to wrapped up in my stuff that I think I know what it says and I miss errors!  I'm so thankful for patient and understanding buyers who don't get upset when I have to make corrections.  It doesn't happen often, but it's every seller's nightmare when the dreaded error is discovered!

Don't forget to put your name and/or blog on your products!  In the beginning of creating, I only included this once.  Then I had it everywhere.  Then I realized that might make people unhappy... but it protects you and it allows people to track you down for more!  :)  I am now putting just my blog address on *almost* every page in about an 8-point font.  It's small, but there so people can find me if they need me!

Do consider creating preview files and DO give detailed product descriptions!  'Nuf said.

Last... don't forget to show off how you use your products in your classroom.  Join a product swap.  Any time you can bring your items to life, it's a bonus to you!  Not only do I love seeing what ya'll are doing, but if it's working for you, I want to do it too!  I'm going to brag about my friend Tracy (and myself a little too!)... here is an OUTSTANDING example of what I'm talking about.  Tracy and I paired up for a product swap a little bit ago and she completely brought one of my items, my Partner Reading Party, to life.  I was so impressed with how Tracy used my product in her classroom!

On a side note- if you're blogging about someone else's resources, don't forget to give them a shout-out!  And then let them know about it!  :)  Talk about filling a bucket!  Not only that, but it's so nice to let people know who's helping you out in your classroom.

If you have other tips, please leave them in the comments.  I love seeing them and I know other teachers do too... they always get lots of replies!

I'll try to get this out on time next week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Fluency Fun!

Today I worked with my intervention group on the 4th 100 HF word Fry Phrases.  We had so much fun!

We played one of the games from my 4th Fry Phrase pack- "Say it like a...".  They had to spin a spinner and read a phrase as a character- pirate, princess, teacher, kid, mouse, giant, witch, farmer.  They LOVED it and I was cracking up!

Check us out...  These ladies used a pencil and paper clip for their spinner.

I happened to have a plastic casing for spinners... so these boys were the lucky ones who got to use that!

I LOVED hearing this group of three boys do "Teacher" and "Princess" voices!  Hahaha!  This was such a feel good and fun activity... after a week of temps too low to have outdoor recess, everyone's going a little stir crazy.  This was a fun way to work this morning!

And I just put the finishing touches on a pack for the 1st 100 HF word Fry Phrases.  This one has the "BUMP" style game too and a game called "Watch Out for Mr. Wolf" that features some Three Little Piggish elements... sure to delight 1st and 2nd graders who are so familiar with every version of that story!
 Find it on TpT

I've also put a bundle pack of all four of the Fry Phrase packs on TpT.  It's $12.00... so essentially one is free since they are $4 each and there are 4 in the pack!
 Check out the BUNDLE on TpT

Tune in *hopefully* tomorrow for some product Dos and Don'ts as part of my little soapbox series!  I say *hopefully* because, well, it's Friday... and a week without outdoor recess has made this teacher crazy too!

Last question... would anyone want Fry Phrase packs for the 5th and 6th hundred words?  Not sure if I'm going to work on that right now... I'm "Fry Phrased Out"!  But, if others would like them, I might start sooner that I thought!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Most Fluency Phrases, Pics, and a Winner!

We played the game "Roll, Read, Repeat" today and my kiddos had so much fun!  One came up to me after and said, "Mrs. Bainbridge... I actually liked that game"!  As if she usually doesn't like the fun things we do... Haha!

Check us out...

If you didn't get your free game board with 18 fluency phrases on it, click here to get it!

So, tonight I added a 2nd Fry Fluency Phrases pack to TpT.  This one is for the 2nd 100 words and also has the "Roll, Read, Repeat" game but has a different 2nd game inside.  The new game is called "First to 20" and I think the kiddos will love it!  They have to "LOCK" down stacks of five phrases... and cross their fingers they don't draw a card that unlocks their locked stack!
Find it on TpT

And last... a winner!  Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday that you enjoyed the freebie!  The winner is #11 Brenda @ Primary Inspired.  I'll be e-mailing you so you can choose whether you'd like the 2nd 100 set or the 3rd!

I hope to have more finished this weekend... we'll see what happens!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fry Fluency Phrases #3 and a Freebie!

Do you use Fry Phrases in your classroom?  I'm currently using them with a reading intervention group and I'm loving it!

I love Fry Phrases because they take sight words and put them in a context.  I am always amazed at students who can fly through sight word assessments but miss basic words when reading a text.  Fry Phrases take those high-frequency words and put them in a context so that students have an opportunity to connect and transfer their reading skills.

We're currently working on the third set of fluency phrases, so that's the pack that I just put up on TpT and you can have one of the games for free!

The pack has assessment and graphing pages (perfect for RTI!), a "BUMP" style game for practicing the phrases, another game called "BUMMER DUDE!" which is one of my signature sayings, and directions for turning "BUMMER DUDE!" into a fun dice game!  This current pack is made for my 3rd graders who need extra support... so I'm thinking that 3rd and 4th graders would benefit the most, but I had some 2nd graders last year who would have loved the challenge!  PS- every font that I used is one that I made!  :)  Yay!
 Find it on TpT!

Anywho- you can click the image below for one of the "BUMP" style game boards.  The pack has 5 of the games, which I called "ROLL, READ, REPEAT".  If you don't know how to play "BUMP", students need 10 "markers" like Unifix cubes or BINGO chips.  Each player rolls three dice, adds to find the sum, and then reads that spot on the board.  If they are correct, they put their piece there.  If another student rolls that number, they can knock the other student off!  BUT... if a student rolls the same number twice (while their marker is still on the spot) they can put a 2nd marker on there and then the space is locked and no one can bump them off!

The winner is the player who uses all of their pieces first!

If you download the file and enjoy it... if you let me know in a comment, I'll choose one to win my whole new pack tomorrow!  :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MLKj Day- What We're Doing

If you're off on Monday... you're a lucky duck!  My hubby keeps bragging about his Monday off and I keep reminding him about my summer off... but I'd still love a three day weekend to get my report cards done... which really means to START them!  I was going to do it tomorrow, but an opportunity to shop has arisen and I'll be doing that instead!

I just wanted to share what we'll be doing on Monday to honor MLKj.  I have a confession to make and that is when I was a child I was a little obsessed with Martin Luther King Jr.  A little.  My mom reads this blog and she's probably saying, "A little?!" right now.  Because it might have been more than a little.  As in- we once took a family to the home where he was born and the memorial site set up for him in Atlanta.

So, even though I'd love to be home on Monday, I'm also excited about teaching and learning about MLKj at school with my kiddos.

On the agenda is...

1.)  MLKj flippy book for morning work!

2.)  Reading A to Z book about his life... I'll be using the three different leveled readers to have my kiddos work in partners to read about him.  Our 3rd graders will also be making a fact wheel about his life after reading the book.

3.)  Doing a group coloring type project from Marygrove's MLKj Day download freebie!  We're going to have our kiddos work together to accomplish the coloring and re-assembling of the picture and then *hopefully* we'll have time for them to do a little writing.

4.)  Watching the Brainpopjr about MLKj's life.

5.)  Reading this book:


And then we are attending the reading of a reader's theater about the event in that book... I *think* that the 5th grade teacher who's class is performing the RT wrote it!  They were practicing in the library on Friday while my kiddos were taking their spelling tests on Spelling City and it sounded like it will be a great show!
That will pretty much wrap up my ELA block on Monday!  Hopefully my kiddos will leave my classroom more aware and informed so they can help make our world a better place!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Facts: Product Dos and Don'ts

First... the MLKj flippy had a tiny error!  A word was missing on the text portion- the "in" before 1968.  It's fixed and re-uploaded.  I, of course, have all ready run off 25 copies, so my kiddos will be doing some editing on Monday!  :)

Second... this week's Friday Facts for new bloggers and TpTers...

It's an easy one that *should* go without saying, but I have to say it, sadly:

It is *SO* disheartening to see sellers who are taking freebies from blogs and SELLING them in their stores.  I am sure we would all agree that is wrong!  We would not put up with our students copying... so why are adults doing it?!

The online teaching community is such a sister(and a little brother)hood and we take care of each other!  When we find products that someone has stolen and claimed as their own, we tell one another, and try to stop it from happening again.

You can only re-invent the wheel so many times so it is understandable when some products are similar... but I'm talking about out and out COPYING.  Not bothering to even be sneaky about it by changing fonts and graphics... just blatant stealing!

So, that's why today's DOs and DON'TS are simple.  Just don't do it!  Share and sell your own original work.  We all know this and, if you're reading this post, it probably doesn't pertain to you anyway... here's to hoping someone who didn't stop and think about this will stumble on this post and have a light bulb moment!

Next week I want to do DOs and DON'TS for creating products... I'd love to hear your opinions on this in the comments so I can work them into a blog post along with my own opinions!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winner! Winner! Ruined Dinner!

Yes, that's right.  Our dinner tonight was ruined!  I made some marinated steak that was so salty it was inedible!  :(  BOO!  We figured something out, but it hurt to throw all that money in the trash!

However, the other part of my title is Winner!  Winner! and I have the winners of my Groundhog Day pack and MLKj flippy book!

Hubby, that great ol' number picker, just shouted 40 and 8 for the giveaway winners... so, Tammy at Primary Paradise (#40) and Ashley at Just Reed (#8) I'll be sending you both my Groundhog pack and MLKj flippy!

I'm going to mark my Groundhog pack down a dollar for a few days... so if you didn't win and you'd like it... hopefully that helps!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Today is Tomorrow! It Happened!

You know... from the movie "Groundhog Day"?  Today is tomorrow!  It happened!

Anywho... today you can enter a giveaway that I'm going to end tomorrow.  It's happening!

I've recently put the finishing touches and updates on my "Greetings Mr. Groundhog" pack that is full of fun things to do for Groundhog Day!

It's got 30+ pages of Groundhoggy goodness (That's a thing, right?!)- ABC order, compound words, creative writing, graphing, snack making, and a flippy book

 Find it on TpT

You can win a copy... tomorrow I'll choose three comments at random and e-mail those people a copy of the pack!

Just drop me a hello in the comments!

I'll give away a copy of my newest flippy book too... for Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Check it out on TpT... it's just $1!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Potato Chip Champ Winner!

Congrats to comment #43- Angela Nerby at Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!  I asked hubby to pick a number between 1-44 to win the giveaway for the book The Potato Chip Champ by Maria Dismondy and you're the lucky winner!

Thanks to everyone for sharing their tips for building character in their classrooms... I loved reading the comments!  I hope you'll pop over to check out Maria's book if you missed the post and add it to your Amazon wishlist if you didn't win!  It's great!!!

Check back tomorrow, bloggy friends, for a Groundhog Day giveaway!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rug + Word Cards + Ball = Fun (and EASY!) Game for Learning!

Here's my rug:

I love it.  We sit on it.  We learn on it... and it's definitely a huge part of my instruction.

This coming week it will become a REAL part of my instruction when we learn more about homophones.  I made 20 homophone cards and will put one on each square...

I'll be lining the kiddos up in two teams and having them throw a Koosh ball.  Whichever space it lands on, that student will have to use the word correctly in a sentence to earn a point.  Then it will be the next team's turn.

My brain is swimming with how I could use this more often... laying out spelling words, vocabulary words, words for students to identify prefixes or suffixes, compound words... and the best part is that all it takes is the ball, the rug, and to whip up some quick word cards!

I hope my kiddos are as excited as I am about this one!

On a side note- you still have one more day to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Maria Dismondy's book The Potato Chip Champ!  Click the pic to head over to that post and enter.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Potato Chip Champ... Your Chance to Win!

Happy January 11th!  If you're like me, you're just finishing up your first week back after two weeks off!  After having time off from school, I'm sure you've been reviewing behavior expectations with your students... going over routines, desired behaviors, and reminding them how students should look in your classroom.

This is the perfect time to remind them how to be good friends too.

I was so excited when the lovely and oh so sweet author Maria Dismondy contacted me last fall to ask if I would be interested in receiving a free copy of her book.  I had the pleasure to meet Maria when we had a Michigan blogger meet-up and she's as kind and friendly as she is cute!

You may know her book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are, which is always a hit with the kiddos!  Her new book, The Potato Chip Champ, is just as outstanding!

This book tells the story of Champ and Walter.  Champ, who loves baseball and potato chips, doesn't love Walter.  In fact, he doesn't like him at all... and he can't figure out why anyone else likes him either.  However, at the end, Walter's kindness changes Champ's mind!

This is a great book about friendship in the face of adversity, walking a mile in someone else's shoes, and, as the cover says, "Discovering Why Kindness Counts"!

I love Maria's books because her true and ultimate goal is to help build character in her readers- truly.

I hope you will check out her book on Amazon by clicking the picture below.
Click here to find The Potato Chip Champ on Amazon!

But... here's the best part... you can WIN a free, autographed copy of the book!!!!!!!!!!!  Please leave me a comment with your e-mail address and tell me a way that you help teach character in your classroom.  I'll choose a winner on Monday.  What a great way to start a week!

If you have a second, check out the trailer for the book.  I L-O-V-E that there are book trailers these days!
The Potato Chip Champ Book Trailer: Maria on Twitter: Maria on Facebook: Maria's website: Maria's Blog: Be The Difference:  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

More Fonts... and Why I'm Lovin' It!

I just finished 10 more fonts!

Here's why I'm lovin' them...  I love that I'm making fonts with names that mean something to me!  I have three other font sets and all of them have a few fonts with names that are personal to me.  I might get to those, but today I'll tell you about my newest set:
Find it on TpT for $1 off!

Ok- CB Buntings is obvious.  I hope!
CB Chammie... my dog's name is Sam and so we would call him Sammie... which led to me calling him Chammie!
CB For True... hubby and I hysterically laughed the night a family member thought a candle was flameless then held his arm over the candle... only to feel the heat and exclaim in a moment of brain-fuzziness... "That candle is true!".  We still laugh about it!
CB Meggie Kay... Meggie Kay is my first Cabbage Patch Doll who was my very best friend for years as a kid!  She now lives in a box in the basement... and every time I see Toy Story, I feel guilty for that!
Some of my other sets have fonts dedicated to my grandmas (CB Trudy and CB 413), one for my mom (CB Reese and I guess CB Chrissyfer too), and my love of musicals (CB Mimi).
I love it!  :)

Check in tomorrow for a book review and giveaway!!!
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