Using Google Forms as a Reading Log Alternative

13 November 2016
So, this school year happened, hasn't it?

Switching grade levels has really put a hold on any blogging I've done, but I have this awesome idea to share with you all that I'm making time to blog!

A couple of factors have changed since moving up to fourth grade... obviously my students have a completely different set of needs than my second graders did.  Learning to readjust my thinking and make things more relevant and engaging for my students has become a focus for me.

Veterans Day Activities FREEBIE

06 November 2016
Veterans Day is November 11th, 2016. One of my favorite ways to honor our military families is during my Language Arts block with activities that celebrate veterans' dedication to our country. Read on to check out my Veterans Day Unit Lessons FREEBIE!

Teaching Math Equality to Primary Children

17 October 2016
My first graders are working on our equality unit this week. This is one unit that makes me cringe just a little bit because of the challenge of it, especially being at the beginning of the school year. Here's some of the things we have been learning:

We sorted subtraction (seen here) and addition (not pictured) sentences for different ways to equal a difference or a sum.

Alphabet Journals...4 Steps for Journal Writing

27 September 2016
First grade teachers work hard every year to send independent readers and writers to second grade.  But every first grade teacher forgets what September means in first grade...it means they are still kindergartners.  The re-post can be a good idea for journals at the beginning of first grade.

What can I write about?

UGH!  This is one way to curb the "I don't know what to write about blues."  These alphabet journals combine decoding, illustrating and writing in a way that can be completely individualized.
Writing can be challenging at the beginning of first grade. These journals can help students decode, create, and illustrate.
I have always suggested teachers use the sound chart as a topic chart for writing, but whe I sat down to make a journal for that, I decided I could make the journal decodable.

4 Easy Steps

Writing can be challenging at the beginning of first grade. These journals can help students decode, create, and illustrate.

1.  Decode.

Each page has a decodable picture.  MOST pages are cvc words (dig for d, log for l, pan for p).  The highlighted initial letter keeps the journal is alphabetical order.  Of course, the vowels were tricky.  I have 2 options for each of the vowels.  Option #1 has a cvc word with the vowel highlighted in the middle.  Option #2 is a two-letter or three-letter word starting with the vowel (ant for a and up for you).
Writing can be challenging at the beginning of first grade. These journals can help students decode, create, and illustrate.

2. Illustrate.

If you want a good story, give your students time to make a good illustration.  Each page includes a clip art picture for the decodable word.  Students will complete the picture.  The picture above shows a boy digging on a construction site.  Another student used the same picture to draw a garden scene and a third student drew a the boy digging with a pirate flag in the picture.
Writing can be challenging at the beginning of first grade. These journals can help students decode, create, and illustrate.

3.  Write.

Of course, this is the goal.  Students have to write about their picture.  The more detail in the picture, the more detail in the writing.  "The gum is in the gum shop. The gum is mine.  The gum is different colors. The gum comes out."
Writing can be challenging at the beginning of first grade. These journals can help students decode, create, and illustrate.

4. Repeat.

Students can use this journal to create a book of stories.  

If you'd like a FREEBIE sample of this set, feel free to click on the picture below or CLICK HERE
If you would like to visit my TPT store and check out Alphabet Journals, click the picture below or CLICK HERE.  There is also Set 2, 3, and 4.

Constitution Day Activities

06 September 2016
Are you searching for meaningful activities for Constitution Day?  Would you like to be able to conduct your Constitution Day activities during multiple core subjects?  If you said yes, then this post is for you!






I always like to try to combine my social studies curriculum with my language arts, and Constitution Day is no exception. Combining my Constitution activities during both subjects means I'm not confined to a single subject or block of time.

First, I like to make an anchor chart as a class of freedoms at home and school.  I keep it up for reference during the Constitution Day activities.  More on that later!

After making the anchor chart, we read a book I LOVE, We the Kids, to teach the preamble!  It's great for read-aloud or you can assign parts of it to older students to explore.


We the Kids book to introduce the Preamble to the Constitution.


Flipped Classroom idea:  There's also plenty of videos on YouTube of people reading the book.  You could assign the video for homework the night/days before Constitution Day.  Then, students can come in and be ready to talk about it without a read-aloud.

After reading the book and/or watching the video, we revisit our anchor chart and put stars beside the freedoms that were also mentioned in the Preamble  

Next, I like to explore the vocabulary of the Preamble because it is so challenging robust.  I love the language used, but most students don't have any background knowledge of words like "posterity".  To do this, I use a graphic organizer.


The first version of the organizer provides support with pictures and synonyms for the meaning of the Preamble vocabulary.


Constitution Day activities.  Vocabulary graphic organizer for the Preamble to the Constitution.


The second organizer is a "challenge" for students who are ready to tackle synonyms and vocabulary independently.


Constitution Day activities.  Vocabulary graphic organizer for the Preamble to the Constitution.


If you'd like to pick up a copy, click here.


Do you have Constitution Day activities or materials that make the day fun?  I'd love to hear about them!


Constitution Day activities that can be done in Language Arts and Social Studies or Civics class.   Vocabulary graphic organizer for the Preamble to the Constitution.


Where to Find Free Resources for Your Classroom

28 August 2016
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
Good afternoon!  This is Meghan from 'Vestal's 21st Century Classroom' and today I want to share information about one of the most important things to any teacher... how to get free stuff for your classroom!  According to researchers, the average teacher spends between $500-$600 out of pocket each school year.  Personally, I have always thought this number seemed a little low but, either way, that's a lot of money!  In recent years, more sites and stores have begun offering ways for teachers to get free resources.  You just have to know where to go and what to ask for.  Here is a list I have compiled of some of the best places to find free resources for your classroom:
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
Donors Choose is one of absolute favorite teacher sites and has been a huge blessing to my classroom!  This site operates as a crowd funding site for teachers.  Post a project and then anyone who logs onto the site can donate money towards the project.  The nice thing is donors get to select how much they want to give towards the project.  It can be as little as $5 or more than $1,000.  I have been given games, books, basic supplies, and even a white board through Donors Choose.  Donors Choose is also backed by several legitimate sources including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal.  Keep it mind, if you use Donors Choose, it does require some work.  In addition to writing the initial project summary, you also have to send your donors pictures and thank you notes from the students.
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
With Adopt a Classroom, donors are able to adopt a classroom for a year or give a one time gift.  If they choose to adopt a classroom for a year, the donors agree to give a set amount of money to the classroom each month.  The nice thing about Adopt a Classroom is that you do not have to keep posting new projects, like with Donors Choose.  Rather, you can put the money that is donated each month to whatever supplies you need that month.  The downside to Adopt a Classroom is that it is not as well known as Donors Choose.  Since fewer people are aware of it, I have found it more challenging to gain support.
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
I just learned about From One Hand to Another and am very excited about it because it primarily benefits Virginia classrooms!  From One Hand to Another was founded in 2008 by music superstar and Virginia native, Pharell Williams.  This organization is guaranteed to leaving Virginia teachers feeling "happy."  Each year From Hand to Another hosts a huge back to school donation program.  If you are in need of classroom supplies, be sure to reach out to the organization soon to see if you can take part.  Also, if you register on the From One Hand to Another website, elementary and middle school classrooms can gain access to free content and lessons.  Finally, if you live in the Virginia Beach area, be sure to look into the From One Hand to Another summer camp.  Each summer more than 500 students are treated to this free camp.
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
Over the years, one thing I have learned is communities want to help students and schools.  Sometimes you just have to be willing to ask for help.  I have received classroom donations from McDonald's, local bookstores, doctor offices, markets, Amazon, and movie theaters.  To do this, I just draft a simple letter that explains what my students need and how the donation will benefit my students.  The important part of writing donation letters is to deliver the letter in person and ask to speak a manager.  This option does take some time but it also gets the community involved in your classroom.
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!
Teachers Pay Teachers should be saved in every teachers 'favorites' folder.  While most products on Teachers Pay Teachers are paid resources, there are also thousands of free lesson plans and activities.  Sellers post free products as a way to generate interest in their stores.  So, if you download free content, be sure to follow the seller's store and/or leave feedback.

I hope you have discovered some new ways to get resources for your classroom this school year.  If you know of any places or sites (that are not listed here) that offer free teacher resources, be sure to leave a comment.  
In this post, you will find a list of sites and places you can visit to get free resources for your classroom!


Your Local Reading Council

25 August 2016
Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Your Local Reading Council

An Overview

 Certain communities are fortunate enough to have a local reading council.  I am a proud member of the Chesapeake Reading Council (CRC).  The mission of CRC is to "promote literacy throughout our city".  The Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA) is a professional organization that has the same mission for the entire state of Virginia.  Our state association falls under the International Literacy Association (ILA), formerly known as the International Reading Association.  With membership to my local reading council I automatically become a member of the VSRA.  I am also a member of the ILA.  I urge you all to join your city, state, and international association....... read to find out why!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


A Partnership With Your Public School System

Chesapeake Public Schools has been an amazing supporter of CRC!  Before the official school year starts, our Superintendent, Dr. Roberts meets with our Executive Board.  The Board shares their ideas for the year and shares the new calendar of events.  Dr. Roberts shares his ideas and assists in making CRC a strong partner of Chesapeake Public Schools.  Dr. Roberts is always one of the first official members every year!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the 2016-17 CRC Executive Board

 Dr. Roberts also invites CRC to the yearly Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  The President of CRC addresses all of the administrators in the city.  The administrators lend their support by becoming members, choosing CRC building representatives, and participating in the CRC activities throughout the school year.
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the CRC 2014-15 Executive Board at the Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  Our first official t-shirts were being revealed that morning "Keep Calm and Read On!" 

 

Fun and Free Literacy-Based Nights For Your Students

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! 
CRC hosts fun literacy nights every year!  The students that come are treated to swag, literacy based activities, treats, and most important a great book!  For the last few years (including this up and coming year) Cathy Collier (ILA Board Member, a Past President of VSRA and CRC) comes to read one of her favorite books to our local students.  Families can enjoy a fun night out for free!  The parents and children love these nights out together and look forward to them year after year!

 

Activities Through the School...... and More!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! 
CRC holds certain city wide school events!  The elementary aged students participate in the Young Writers' Event (top right).  Students become authors of their own book or a class book.  Those books are displayed the night of the event and the authors receive a _______.  The middle and high school students can participate in the Literacy Jam (left).  Students who participate in the Literacy Jam can win awards and be able to read their submissions to the audience.  Every year we also host extra other events that are free to the community.  One year we were fortunate enough to have Steve Somers Amazing Teacher magic show Fizz Boom Read.  Those who came out to the event were treated to a fantastic magic show based around literacy (bottom right)!!!

 

Honoring Those Who Make Epic Strides for Literacy City Wide!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2014-15 was Kim Pinello, Principal from Hickory Elementary School (Left).  James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2015-16 was Sonya Beasley, Principal from Southwestern Elementary School (Center).  Reading Teacher of the Year for Chesapeake and Virginia State, Laurie Lees (Reading Specialist at Hickory Elementary School).
Each year CRC celebrates amazing dedication to literacy through numerous awards.  Each school chooses a Reading Teacher of the Year.  From those teachers a Reading Teacher is chosen to represent the entire city.  This past year Chesapeake's Reading Teacher of the Year went on to become the Reading Teacher for the state of Virginia!  Administrators are also able to win the prestigious James D. Mullins Leadership Award.


Community Outreach

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council has a huge heart!  Every year they participate in community outreach events in their own community and beyond.  CRC participates in the Chesapeake Regional Hospital's Baby Fair.  Books, literacy based toys, and literature on "how to help your child read" have been given away to hundreds of expectant and new mothers over the years (left).  Workshops were led by CRC Board Members at the Chesapeake R U Ready Family night to help students with comprehension skills this past year (top right).  Once a year CRC reaches beyond their local boarders and supports literacy in other countries.  This past year students in Haiti were given books to support their library.  In the 2014-15 school year CRC gave backpacks and books to students in China (bottom right). 

End of the Year Celebrations!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council also celebrates the great things that happen throughout the year!  Every year the Reading Teachers of the Year (RTOY)  are celebrated.  This year a local author (Jen Milius) and a speaker were invited to the event.  RTOYs also shared their great ideas, were invited to participate in a book exchange, and had yummy food in their honor!  We also have a yearly banquet where RTOYS and Building Representatives (among others) are thanked and celebrated!

 

Chesapeake Reading Council's Great Year Ahead!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

Our new shirts are ready!!!  They are inspired by the VSRA theme for the 2016-17 year "Literacy:  The Root Of All Learning".  I'm so excited to be able to wear my shirt proudly!

So much happens due to the hard work and dedication of the CRC Executive Board, Committee Members, and volunteers!  Take a look at the Calendar of Events for this coming year!  I'm so excited to participate in every single event.

 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

In this post I have listed a few things that make CRC great but I couldn't list them all.  Please take a look at the Benefits of Membership (below) to see the extent of what is available to CRC members. 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

What Will Make YOUR Reading Council Great This Year?

Tell me about your reading council!  Are you already a member?  What activities are your favorite?  What events are up and coming?  Do you have questions?  I know that many of blog followers and post readers are already involved..... so share some ideas or events so that we can all support them!  Thank you!  I can't wait to hear from you all!!!

 

 

 

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Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

Classroom Communication: Bloomz Review

24 August 2016
Classroom Communication: Using the Bloomz App
*I have not received anything in return for this review from Bloomz.*

It's like finding the match to the glass slipper in Cinderella - the perfect classroom communication tool.  Some parents don't check email. Some parents prefer text messages.  Some parents like Facebook or Instagram.  What's a girl to do?  Communicating from the classroom isn't my forte - and it's usually the thing that gets put on the back burner when I'm swamped.  I'm hoping free App and website Bloomz the answer!

Growing Your Lessons with Bloom's Taxonomy

21 August 2016
As all teachers in Virginia know, the state-wide guaranteed curriculum for Virginia is known as the Standards Of Learning (SOL).  The standards have been revised year after year and the rigor has been turned up in all state tests.  In an effort to make testing triad aligned...Virginia has put an emphasis on HOW the standard is taught, using Bloom's Taxonomy.
The standards have "upped the rigor", but have you? This Bloom's FREEBIE will help you meet the appropriate Bloom's levels on your lessons.

GAFE: Make Google Forms for for you!

20 August 2016
Google Apps Forms: How to make Form grade your student work easily using Quizzes

Make Google Forms Work For You!

It's no secret I love all the Google Apps, but Forms may have just become my favorite with their new features. In the past I used the Flubaroo Add-on to grade my quizzes. It's still a great add-on, but it's just that, it added on one more step. Now you can grade within Forms itself and save yourself so much time!

A Little Back to School Motivation

13 August 2016
Hi everyone!  It's Haley from Owls and Lessons, Etc. and I'm so excited to share with you today some clips that will hopefully inspire you for the upcoming school year.  I'm sharing two of my favorites and one new discovery!


motivational clips to help you start your school year inspired!

Back to School Essentials for Reading and Writing

08 August 2016
Back to School is a very exciting time of year for students and teachers as well. On August 1st of every summer I go into what my husband calls, "school mode."  This is when I begin preparing myself mentally and tangibly for the coming school year.  After a long summer break full of  "me time,"  I finally begin to get serious about looking for great ideas and products that I can use for my new kiddos.

Certain Back to School "essentials" are must-haves for the coming school year. Reading and writing are those skills that we want to get our students started on right from the start. Every minute counts towards getting a good head start on developing great readers and writers.

Back to School Read Alouds

06 August 2016
I have already been back for my first teacher workday. I can't believe my summer is over! But after our first meeting and getting into my room for a few hours, I'm getting excited! I am teaching a combo first and second grade class again this year and will have a child for a second time, so I can't repeat some of the fun things that I do at the beginning of the year, including some of my read alouds. I have been on a hunt!

Creative Ways to Communicate with Parents

28 July 2016
Looking for some ways to improve communication with parents this year!? Here's a few creative ways to communicate with student's parents and get them more involved in the classroom!
It seems like some years are easier to maintain communication with parents than others.  If you are looking for some new, creative ways to communicate with your student's parents this year, look no further!

Brag Tags in the Classroom

27 July 2016
Have you heard of Brag Tags? I had seen them on Pinterest but didn't really know what they were until a coworker and friend of mine mentioned she wanted to try them in her classroom. In my quest to make them for her, I started to really like the idea of them and decided to implement them in my classroom as well.
So what are brag tags? They are little badges that the students earn throughout the school year. They can be earned for character related traits or academic accomplishments. You can hop on over to my blog and read more about how I intend to use in my classroom.
I got some super cute new clipart today and decided to make a "bee themed" set of brag tags. Maybe you can use them in your classroom, click here to download.

Give EVERY Child The Opportunity To Succeed!

25 July 2016
Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!   


The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!

CAT: Computer Adaptive Testing

22 July 2016
CAT: Computer Adaptive Testing and What It Means For You!

On July 15th, the Superintendent of the state of Virginia released this memo stating that the CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) format of the Math 4 and 5 SOL test would begin to be administered in the Spring of 2017.  A second memo, found here, also stated that students in grades 3-5 would also begin the CAT test in Reading this Spring.  So what does this mean for you and your students?

Making Virginia Readers Choice Work in Your Elementary Classroom

21 July 2016

It's all the rage ~ Virginia Readers Choice -right?! OK, so maybe you have a hard time getting your elementary students to read these magnificent books, but it can be done. It just takes a little ingenuity and passion for reading.

Three reasons to use Google Docs now

20 July 2016


I hope our summer series on all things Google Apps has you thinking about how to implement some new tools in your classroom this fall. You can find previous posts here:  ClassroomSlidesFormsHangouts, Drive Today I'll show you one of the quickest and easiest GAFE tools, Google Docs. Seriously, you could do this the first week of school.

Starting Your SOL Test Prep in September

19 July 2016
Virginia is for Teachers: Tips to Start Your SOL Test Prep in September

If the title of this post made you groan, I totally understand! It feels like it was just testing season and nobody wants to talk about it again until next spring! I know, I know. But the sooner you start thinking about the SOL tests, the more time you and your students will have to feel ready to tackle them. If you hit the ground running when school starts in August or September, you can lessen that panicky feeling you get when April rolls around and you realize how much content there is to review! There are lots of easy ways you can start preparing for the SOL tests at the beginning of the school year - and the good news is that you're probably already doing a lot of them!

Organizing Files on Google Drive to Maximize Learning Time

18 July 2016
Are your students struggling to find items you've placed on Google Drive for them? Are you searching for a way to organize all those files you've created?  Then this post is for you!
Organizing Files on Google Drive to Maximize Learning Time

Getting Ready for Next Year While Still Relaxing!

16 July 2016
Getting Ready for Next School Year While Still Relaxing
If you're anything like me, it isn't long before the year closes that you start thinking about freshly waxed floors, unopened school supplies, and new beginnings.  Don't get me wrong - I am loving summer time (especially this year with five month old twins).  But let's be honest - August will be here before we know it!

I can't get into my classroom for a while because of summer school and cleaning classrooms. I've learned that there are a few things I can do now that help ease that dreaded Teacher Work Week stress - and keep me out of my classroom the weekend before school starts!  Here's some ideas to help your transition!

Back to School Freebie

13 July 2016
Hello all! Haley from Owls and Lessons, Etc. with you today, talking about the three worst words a teacher can hear in July.

Back. To. School.

Sorry.

I hope to make it up to you by sharing with you a little treat I used this past year to give my students when they arrived at open house/registration. 

Back to School Freebie for students

How to Transform Behavior Using Mascots

12 July 2016

This is Quentin the Quality Penguin.  He goes home with a quality student every night and the student writes about him.  He or she writes about what Quentin did at his or her house and reads it to the class the next day. Pictured next to him is his read aloud book that teaches about being a quality students. We sell his book in our store.  Just click the image to read more.  He really helps the class remember how to be quality students.  The students love earning "Quentin Dollars" when they do good work.  They use them in our class store.  This FREE DOWNLOAD is an awesome addition to our penguin mascot.


Growth Mindset Activity: Learning Style Quiz and Hemispheres of theBrain

09 July 2016
Would you like to get to know your students on a deeper level and discover their learning styles all at once?  How about a way to teach your students their learning style strengths while teaching them realistic ways to practice with the opposite learning styles.  Then this post is for you!
Growth Mindset Activity: Learning Style Quiz and Hemispheres of theBrain

We've been using Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci in our county.

One of my favorite activities I did in college was to learn if I was "right-brained" or "left-brained". We've all heard the talk about how we are either one or the other. Turns out, most of the successful people in the world have more balance between the two hemispheres. So, I wanted to create an activity that would not only gauge students' learning style, but also give them strategies to create the balance that successful people have. 

To read the rest of the post and learn more about learning styles, click here.


Summer Anchor Chart and Writing Prompts

08 July 2016
Even though it is summer, teachers are always thinking about great ideas for their classrooms. Some schools are in session year round and there is always a teacher looking for ways to enhance and encourage children to retain the skills they acquired during the regular school year. Parents and teachers alike look for resources to help keep their children excited about reading and writing.

Back to School Pin Ideas

07 July 2016
Back to school can be a very stressful time of year. I started thinking that in less than a month, I will already be back. No more shorts or flip flops. Or multiple cups of coffee. No more bathroom runs whenever I want. I have a lot that I still want to pack in this next month! But I still want the beginning of the year to be a smooth transition.

Why Writing Must Be Part of Your Daily Routine

04 July 2016
Writing has a strong connection to reading growth and achievement. Find out why in this post by Comprehension Connection on Virginia is for Teachers.

If your day is busy, and you're pinched for time, what do you eliminate from the schedule? Do you snip a few minutes from each lesson? Maybe you divide a lesson across two days? Perhaps you remove a lesson from the list? Whatever you do, do not short change writing, and here's why...

Google Apps for Education GAFE: Google Hangouts on Air

02 July 2016
Have you discovered Google Hangouts? Well, in this post, you can learn how Google Hangouts on Air is being used in one of our school and how it's worked.

If your school is a GAFE district, Google Hangouts can be useful in a few different facets. Google Hangouts is very similar to Skype, so it can be used to video chat with others as well as type to chat. It can open within Gmail and is easily accessible. This can be used to communicate with colleagues, other professionals that you would like to make a guest appearance in your classroom, or even parents! There is another awesome part of Google Hangouts that I am going to focus on today, and that is Google Hangouts on Air.


Too Much "Teacher Stuff"? Have a Teacher Yard Sale!

30 June 2016
Are you bogged down with too much "Teacher Stuff"?  Teachers are often collectors of items that are "too good to throw away."  So don't!  Summer is the perfect time to have a Teacher Yard Sale!  

Wondering what to do with all your extra "teacher stuff"?  Why not have a Teacher Yard Sale!?

This is the perfect way to reduce your classroom clutter (or your collection of school items at home!)... plus you can earn a little summer spending money too!  You can free yourself of "teacher stuff" in 3 easy steps:  Sort It Out, Organize, and Advertise!

Daily 5 in Upper Elementary & Middle Schools

28 June 2016
Find some great tips, strategies, and resources for implementing Daily 5 into an upper elementary or middle school classroom!
About 5 years ago, I was working for a district that required teachers to begin using Daily 5 for language arts. Initially, I struggled to make Daily 5 work for me. As a 4th grade teacher, at the time, I felt like some of the stations and activities were too easy for my students and not beneficial to them. Then, I had the opportunity to attend a Daily 5 conference with the authors of Daily 5, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. At the conference, I learned several strategies for implementing Daily 5 in any classroom and have since found great success using Daily 5 with my upper elementary students. Today, I would like to share some of the strategies and resources I have developed over the past 5 years for making Daily 5 work in any upper elementary or middle school classroom.


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