Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teachers Helping Teachers Tuesday!

Today is the first week of my new Pay it Forward Tuesday series!

Each Tuesday, I will be featuring a new teacher on my blog.  I will share lots of fun info about that teacher and you will pay it forward by providing fun feedback on 3 of that teacher's products in order to enter the giveaway.  Then, next Tuesday, the featured teacher will pay it forward by providing the prize for the new giveaway!

Today's featured teacher is......

Sebrina Burke of Burke's Special Kids!
Burke's Special Kids

Let's get to know a little about her:

"I love many aspects about teaching. I find that the challenge of continually learning ways to help students of all levels find success, whether it is baby steps or milestones, keeps me energized in the classroom. Everyday I grow and learn alongside my students. Despite the fact my students have personal struggles, they come to school ready to learn and give their all. My students inspire me to be the best I can be. 

No other field provides opportunities for collaboration like teaching. Teachers are an amazing source of knowledge and inspiration. Working together we can meet the challenges today's students face."

"I wanted the opportunity to have my hand on the pulse of the future. I considered being an attorney for family law, but felt teaching gave me a more direct way to have a positive impact on children growing up in today's society. Many students have troubled or unstable home lives, but when they come to school they have a safe place to learn and grow in my classroom. I hope to make a difference in the life of students I teach. As adults, I want them to have a secure and positive place in society."

"Currently the favorite item I have in my store is the Four Square Math Word Problems. I developed this out of the need to increase my students' understanding of real world math concepts. In addition, so many of today's standardized tests focus on student ability to comprehend and solve math word problems. This product engages students in small groups, and focuses on collaboration and math discussion. Students develop and solve word problems, with each member of the team playing a role. Key words and pictorial representations are utilized. This product is easy to differentiate and includes a visual lesson for the teacher to use in small or whole group to support students who struggle."




"Being organized allows you to focus on student needs in the classroom. Part of the process of being organized includes daily reflection..what worked, what didn't. Don't be afraid to adjust lesson plans based on what your students teach you that day!"

"Phonemic Awareness Treats is currently my best selling product. It targets the areas of phoneme segmentation, initial phoneme matching and isolation, and rhyme recognition. Mastering these skills is important for early literacy success. There are 23 pages that include printables and three activities that can be used for instruction or literacy stations. Warm Up With a Taste of Rhymes has students matching visual cues on marshmallows to the picture on their mug. In Tasty Sound Sort, students sort colorful cupcakes with pictures by the beginning sound. The final activity is Initial Sound Bingo and features colorful animals that represent the sounds. Answer keys are included. This product is appropriate for homeschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade. Any student who struggles or is learning phonemic awareness skills would enjoy and benefit from this product."



 So that is all about Sebrina!!  Be sure to check back next week so that you can enter to win her Phonemic Awareness Treats!

Since this is our first week, I will be offering one of my own products as the prize for today's giveaway!  I will be giving away my Tattling Vs. Telling Pack, perfect for the first week of school!

There are a few rules for the giveaway.  Check them out:

In true teacher style, I am going to share with you an EXAMPLES/NOT EXAMPLES chart for feedback!  This chart shows what good feedback really is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow my blog so that you don't miss out on next Tuesday's giveaway!

Do you want to be featured on Teachers Helping Teachers Tuesday?  Click on the picture below for directions for signing up!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ezra Jack Keats Author Study

I don't have a lot of time to do author studies, but I LOVE them.  I love sharing books with kids, finding patterns within an author's style of writing, and getting children to LOVE authors.  I think that it is a wonderful way to expose children to different books and to get them to enjoy reading!

I am joining a group of ladies today to share with you some wonderful book units by Ezra Jack Keats.  You will hop along each of our blogs and pick up a materials to teach one of his books.  By the end of the hop, you will have enough material to put together an entire author study for your kids!
I am going to share with you a few more facts about Ezra Jack Keats.  Since I am the end of the hop, I will share with you about the end of his life.  Keats never married or had any children of his own.  He died of a heart attack in 1983.  Ezra Jack Keats illustrated over 85 books.  He had written and illustrated 22 books.  He had even designed the sets for a musical version of his book The Trip.  This show, called Captain Louie, can still be seen today.

I am sharing with you the book Regards to the Man in the Moon.  This book was one of his last written, only being published 2 years before his death. While looking through his collection of books, this one stood out to me.  It is about a little boy that turns some old "junk" into a space ship.  He and his friends "travel into space," fueling their ship with imagination.  When I read this book, all I could think of was my own son.  I imagine him sitting in a cardboard box, flying through space (with Buzz Lightyear, of course).  This book went straight to my heart because I see first hand that there are still children out there with vivid imaginations.  There are still children out there that can turn old "junk" into a new adventure, just like Louie in Regards to the Man in the Moon.
 I am sharing with you today a few pages from my book unit on Regards to the Man in the Moon.  These pages can be used completely on their own as a science extension to your lesson or can be paired with the rest of the unit for a great book study.  In this science extension, students learn to turn old "junk" into something new (also known as recycling).  Students are encouraged to take old materials that would otherwise be thrown away and, with the help of a little imagination, to create something new with it.  The pages included give students a place to write about their final project!  Pick up your sample here or by clicking on the picture below.


 If you would like to pick up the full book unit, I have it on sale for this weekend only!  You can pick up the full unit on sale for only $2.

Or you can have the opportunity to win the full unit by entering the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to head back to the beginning if you haven't picked up all of the freebies! Just click on Whistle for Willie!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Oughta Know! Blog Hop

I am here to share with you something that you just gotta know if you are a teacher!  This is such a fun idea for a blog hop, but I must say that I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one thing.  Since the new school year is coming up, I thought that I would share with you my fun folders!  This is an oldie but a goodie!

I have been using fun folders for about 3 years now.  My students' fun folder is a folder full of things that they can go to when they have finished their work.  Is it fun?  Well, I think I have kind of tricked them into thinking it is fun! hehe.....sneaky, sneaky!  Our fun folders contain things like a blank hundreds chart, our handwriting page, fun writes, addition cross out, retell charts, and addition/subtraction pages.  What makes them fun?  They are ALL laminated so that the little ones can use dry erase markers on them!!

So I am also going to share with you a few organizational tips!
            *I keep all of these in a folder that students keep in their desk, making them always on hand.
            *Each student keeps an eraser and a black dry erase marker in their pencil box.  I recommend black, as the colored markers do not erase so well.
            *I number all pages in the top right hand corner with the student's number so that if it is lost, it can easily be returned to its owner.  You will want to number these BEFORE you laminate.  The kids LOVE to trace over their number with their dry erase marker, which incidentally, removes sharpie.
             *Inexpensive eraser options include small pieces of felt or cut up wash cloths.  With felt, it needs to be changed out often as it can turn the kids' fingers black.  With wash cloths, you can wash them!  You can get a pack of these for $4 at Wal-mart and cut them in quarters for MORE than enough for your whole class!  (I have also used old socks and t-shirts!)

               *For cleaning your "boards" I recommend Awesome Cleaner!  This stuff ROCKS!  It is ONE DOLLAR at the Dollar Tree.  Who can beat that bargain?  Once a month, I have a parent volunteer gather all of the folders and clean all of their "boards."  It keeps them from getting too gray and dingy and works great.  (By the way, this stuff removes stains from anything and everything!)

               *Color code them!  If you color code your "boards" or pages, it is really easy for students to find what you are wanting them to work on.  You can tell students to take out their yellow board instead of finding their addition page.  It helps students to find what they need quickly.

 Have I mentioned, that these are exceptionally handy when you have a sub?

Easy peasy sub plans:
Reading - Read aloud a story and have students complete the retell chart (green board) in their fun folder.
Spelling - Have students write all of their spelling words using a fun write (on their red board).

Math - Have students complete their addition/subtraction facts (yellow board).  If they finish early, they may play addition cross out with a partner (purple board).

No prep!!  =)

I do hope that you will stick around and check out more great ideas on both my blog and the others in the linky!  If you are not already following, you can do so here!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Classroom Rewards

We all have our own little tips and tricks for managing the classroom. This is the time of year when we reflect on those things that work and the things that don't.  Today I wanted to share with you something that worked for me last year.
That is Class Dojo rewards.  I know there is a lot of debate over Class Dojo and whether or not it should be used, but I am not getting into that debate. I understand all sides and say to each their own.  Today I am going to share with you how I use Class Dojo and how it works for me! Plus, I am going to share a freebie with you!
I love to use a rewards chart with my dojo. What I love most, is that Class Dojo tracks your students' points for me!  That means no extra work for me!  Can you hear my happy dance?

So, I have this rewards chart and every time that a student reaches a new goal, they get a new reward!  Click on the picture to grab this rewards chart for your own room!

I check their rewards total about once a month or so and update my bulletin board.  My bulletin board has each students' monster (the one that they create the first week of school) and the color "belts" that they have earned.  I have to apologize because I cannot find my picture of my bulletin board.  Basically, however, I just put a small strip of colored paper next to each dojo monster to show what color "belt" they have earned.  Now, last year I titled this board Karate Kids thinking that with all of the new movies and tv shows about karate and dojos, my little ones would be sure to "get" this.  They did not. =(  So, I am giving you the opportunity to help me come up with a new title for this bulletin board this year.  Leave me a comment with a great title and I will choose the best one for a chance to win a product of your choice (under $10) from my store!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fourth of July Blog Hop

Today is Independence Day!  This is one of my most favorite holidays of the year.

My father served in Vietnam and was one of the most patriotic people I ever knew.  The most important thing that he taught me was to love my country with all my might and to be proud of being an American.  I try very hard to pass this feeling on to my own children.  I want them to appreciate how very lucky they are and to be appreciative of those that served our country so that we can continue to have our freedoms.

So, I am a bit of a sap when it comes to patriotic holidays.  I am the chick wiping away my tears as I am watching the fireworks explode above me and listening to "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," and "Proud to be an American" in the background.  It gives me chills just writing about it now.  Some of my favorite stories to read to my class include The Wall by Eve Bunting and  The Impossible Patriotism Project by Linda Skeers.  I cry every time!

I am so fortunate to live an hour away from Washington D.C. because I am able to take my children to the spectacular memorials that make DC what it is.  It is a remarkable experience every time!

So in honor of all those patriots out there, we are celebrating.  We are celebrating with you, because even if you have not served as a soldier, you serve every day as a teacher.  You still give your life for our country, our kids, and our future!

I am sharing with you my new Guided Reading Labels for your classroom or book room!

These are great for your baskets and your books.  You can even print them directly onto labels and stick them right into your books!  They will also go great with my other new set of classroom library bin and book labels.  I hope you will check them both out!  If you pick these up, be sure to pick up some TPT love (aka feedback)!  I am really close to 1000 feedbacks!  WOW!

While you are there, be sure to follow my store so that you can enter the rafflecopter below and check out my 20% off SALE!!

And as an added bonus, all of the participating bloggers have 'pooled their cash' to purchase 4 $25 TpT gift certificates and 1 $10 Target gift card!The first four selected will receive the TpT gift certificates and the 5th winner will receive the Target gift card!

Enter here, or on any of the participating blogs:

Now you can check out the next blog on our list!  Just follow the linky!