Sunday, November 23, 2014

What are your children hoping and praying for this Christmas? Black Friday Wish List and Giveaway

So the flyer madness has begun in my household.  Before the mail carrier can even get the toy flyers into our mail slot, he is almost ruffed up and tackled to the ground by my five year old daughter.  OK, I exaggerate a bit, but the girl is nuts for these things.  She gets the booklet from the mailman, races to the kitchen table, busts out her tub of markers, and becomes elated with each toy she circles.  She is almost out of marker ink at this rate!  I have already informed her that there is NO way Santa will be bringing her everything on her FROZEN wishlist.  Baby Jesus didn't need a life-size Elsa doll...

The wishlist for my oldest son is an iPad Air and Beats headphones, holy Moses at 8, the expensive items already get added.   My littlest son has no clue and is very delighted with any Matchbox car he has in his hand and loves the new bell he acquired because he got to put a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket.  My daughter simply needs to relocate to Disney World so she can live with Elsa and Anna, the Frozen sisters. 

Teacher Friends,
I know that this is an especially crazy time of year for you!  You are busy creating the best working environment in your classroom with engaging lessons.  The holidays are coming, so you are doing all you can to get everything in that you have planned to teach before the winter holiday break.  Your students are starting to get just as excited with the anticipation of everything!  In addition, I know you have 60 bazillion things going on outside of school to prepare for...family gifts, travels, meal planning and making, etc.  Your list is endless!  I feel your joy and pain!

I am not one to make a list, but shopping through teacher stores, I have a few things I can't wait to purchase for my classroom as soon as these items go on sale...I am obsessed with all KG Fonts and Tracee Orman knows her Hunger Games Trilogy stuff.  Her units are amazing!  I am not tackling the mailman or furiously circling.  Instead I am just crossing my fingers for a sale!


If you are not into fonts and middle to high school novel units, here are some items that I am thinking you might like.  I will be giving all 4 of these away and will also be planning a sale in the coming days (wink wink)!  As a special gift, I would like to give away this bundle of products...enter the giveaway below.  The giveaway runs from November 24-November 28th!  Enter the Rafflecopter and good luck to you!  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I would love for you to share any awesome gift ideas or teacher things that are on your list.  Comment below to share because I may need to update my wishlist!

Head to the Primary Pack and enter to win more goodies...
http://theprimarypack.blogspot.com/2014/11/black-friday-giveaway.html
  
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Supermarket Saturday Task Cards: How are you using them in your upper elementary classroom?



As an upper elementary reading teacher always on the hunt for resources and tools to motivate my students, I have been busy creating.  I find that I am always in need of teaching tools that are engaging and motivating, capable of being used in a literacy center, incorporated into Daily 5 instruction, small group, or even whole class work, and can be utilized with minimal prep time on my end.  Does that sound familiar? Or like any type of resource you could use?

I have found task cards to be one of these sought after resources.  They are a perfect way to be able to reinforce a concept and meet ALL student instructional needs.  Here is a peek in to how I have found them to be most effective.

PREP...
First, print them and have students cut them out.  I know that there are always a few students that I can heavily rely on for secretarial work each school year.  Pass this job along to those students that like to come in early, stay in for recess, or spend a little extra time with you in your classroom.  While there is not a ton of prep in organizing these for classroom use, students love to be put to work and help out.  Have students cut out the task cards, you can laminate them so they can be re-used, then re-enlist students to cut out the laminated cards, and use as you see most suitable for your classroom.

Ready for student cutting!
IDEAS FOR USE...
Task cards are an easy tool to incorporate into your classroom any day.  I have three sets that you can grab for $1 today only and start using immediately to enforce reading literature skills and vocabulary.

These Character Analysis Task Cards are perfect for deepening student understanding of how characters are feeling based on information that is shared in the text.  These cards have a mini-lesson and allow for students to support their understanding of the different feelings of characters with evidence.  Understanding characters can be a bit complex and I need my students telling  me more than just that a character might be feeling "sad."  I need to know why they are feeling sad and what information from the text made them arrive at this conclusion.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Analysis-Task-Cards-for-Grades-4-6-RL1-1559159


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gift of Reading Blog Hop: Winter Personification FREEBIE and a Holiday Giveaway!



This holiday time is B-U-S-Y!  You are scrambling to: spend time with family, tackle holiday shopping, maybe train for or wing some Turkey Day or Jingle Bell run.  If your household is like mine, this time of year is NON-STOP.  While I love the madness of people rushing around the mall and the excitement of the kiddos with their anticipation of the holidays and some time off, I know that is not the case for everyone.  So I am arming you with some resources I think you will LOVE, a joke, a recipe, and a FREEBIE to share with your students...

A joke your students are sure to love maybe get a chuckle from just in time for Thanksgiving...

You:  "Why did the turkey cross the road?"
Your Students: "I don't know and who cares!"
You: "Because it wanted everyone to think it was a chicken!"
You:  "HAHA!"

This is also the perfect joke to share at the Thanksgiving table!

Quick Recipe/Host Gift:  Pumpkin Spice Cookies

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0WRApjFnFcTZ0M2ZUdrY1NpZWs/view?usp=sharing
(click the image for your own copy)
I make these little gems for my kiddos all fall.  They love them in their lunches and for after school snacks.  If you are looking to get on the good side of another staff member or administrator, this is the perfect treat to share! I explain how healthy they are because of all of the Vitamin C from the pumpkin!

For a host gift, simply place each of the ingredients in a festive bag, attach the recipe with ribbon, and give to the host of your next gathering.  Piece of cake cookie!

Finally, here is a FREEBIE resource that is perfect for a whole class activity, a literacy center, small group, or independent student work.  To enhance, teach, or simply engage students in an exercise to recognize and grasp personification, GRAB THIS...

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Personification-Mini-Lesson-and-Literacy-Center-Grades-4-6-L5-1563658


Because it is holiday time and we are all in shopping mode, enter here for the chance to win $10 of your choice in products to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


I hope you have a festive Thanksgiving full of family, friends, and relaxation!  Head to the next stop for another great language arts resource from my amazing reading teacher friend, Gay Miller...

http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=920
 
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thematic Thursday Link-Up: Thanksgiving Ideas for Upper Elementary


http://www.comprehensionconnection.net/2014/11/thematic-thursday-linky-thanksgiving.html

I am not sure about you, but my family is holiday obsessed.  Any reason to put up decorations, we are in...here is a look at our turkey friend gracing our front yard.  Just wait until you see what Christmas brings...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Supermarket Saturday Linky: Veteran's Day


Do you know any veterans?  I do, and I am embarrassed to say that until about a week ago, I did not know much of the story behind my step-dad's military experience.  He is a Vietnam War veteran, which we all knew and recognized, but the story behind it all was something I had never learned about because I had never asked.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Celebrating Veteran's Day-Upper Elementary to Middle School


http://thereadingtutorog.blogspot.com/2014/11/mentor-monday-11314-books-for-veterans.html
It is Monday and the perfect day to find an ideal mentor text to share with your students.  This week's focus is Veteran's Day.  Whether you have a special veteran in your life or not, this is one of those holidays that is essential to share with our students.  We must help them understand all that our veterans have sacrificed for our country and continue to do so in order to maintain our freedoms.  So here is my idea for you...

While there are a number of great reads and read alouds, this is one that is most meaningful to my upper elementary students because it involves a dog.  I am not sure about you, but the majority of my students are pet owners and animal lovers.  This text is engaging because it is about a feral dog who forms a bond with Major Brian Dennis, a Marine fighting in Iraq.  When Dennis' troop is relocated, Nubs travels over 70 miles to find his special human friend.  It is a story about the kindness of a soldier and the strong-will of a dog who is seeking the perfect owner.

http://www.amazon.com/Nubs-True-Story-Marine-Miracle/dp/031605318X

Friday, October 31, 2014

Supermarket Saturday Linky Party: Fall Resources


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-About-Athletes-Informational-Text-Close-Reading-Fun-Pack-for-Middle-School-1105587

I have the perfect learning resource to share with you this week if you are in need of high-interest reads for CLOSE READING.  While this is not FALL-only, it is the perfect tool to utilize during this time of year, especially if you have students that are obsessed with sports and learning about athletes.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-About-Athletes-Informational-Text-Close-Reading-Fun-Pack-for-Middle-School-1105587

Every year one of the questions that I ask students on our first days of school Interest Inventory is "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I can honestly say that a solid 75% of my boys say they want to be "a professional football player or NBA star."  I am not a dream dasher, and I refuse to tell them they won't become what they are dreaming about, however, it is essential for them to understand that one does not become an NFL superstar on a whim!  ...and so I created this resource.

This All About Athletes: Informational Close Reading Fun Pack is crammed with passages that your student-athletes will love tackling.  This 35-page NO PREP Close Reading Informational Text BUNDLE is the perfect reading tool for your upper elementary or middle school students working to enhance comprehension with high-interest informational passages about current athletes. Inspired by my son-who is obsessed with all things NFL and NBA, this BUNDLE is sure to motivate your male hard-to-inspire readers!!!