Sunday, September 22

TPT {Writing} Best Seller Party

Have you visited Caitlin and Carrie's blog recently?

Phew! They are at it again!

This week they're hosting another TPT Best Seller's Party and Giveaway. This time it's all about WRITING!

Several TPT sellers have donated their best selling {writing} product for you to win. All you have to do is find the rafflecopter box at the bottom of their blog post! Yay!

I checked my TPT store, but I have to admit, almost all of my products are reading-related. I only had one writing product that was for sale, so I decided to donate it!

I used to teach fifth grade. In Social Studies, we would teach the 13 colonies. One project we would do for that unit was create these story circles. In my product, I have included pictures of the ones my kids created. There was a lot of diversity in their design choices, so I tried to recreate that diversity in my product.

This is a project that could be used for either narrative or informational writing. You could tell a story using these circles, or you could share information you learned about a topic. It's also a project that could be completed with any age group, so I included two different types of writing lines, a more primary version and an older elementary version.

When my fifth graders were finished, we glued the circles for each region of colonies together. They made a colorful decoration that hung from our ceiling for awhile. The students did a very nice job.

Starting today, you will have a chance to share your best selling writing activity through the party AND enter the rafflecopter to win all the amazing products!

Here's how:
1. Take a look at your TPT store and sort your products by 'Best Sellers.'2. Find the product that is your best selling writing related product. 3. Link up your best selling writing related product. 4. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win!5. Spread the word about the party and giveaway through all your social media!!

The party will be up for one week on Table Talk with C and C, so hurry over there!

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Wednesday, September 18

Listening to Reading with a Freebie

I went home sick yesterday with a slight fever, a stomach ache, and a serious headache. I feel better but decided to stay home one more day instead of going to an out-of-town meeting today.

I wanted to share one of my Reading centers with you all today, since I have time.

My principal stretched his funds at the end of last year and bought me a listening center because I didn't have one. Crazy, right? A second grade teacher without a listening center. No more!

I've been exploring all kinds of possibilities with it to find stories that go with our weekly Storytown stories. TumblebooksPebbleGo. Do you have other suggestions of places {websites} to find listening stories?

The students listen to a story one or two days. Then, they respond to the story. Currently, this is the response sheet that the kids are filling out. I ask for the book's title, a sentence, an illustration, and a caption.

For now, the sentence is supposed to tell me something that happened in the story, but later I could see asking them for an opinion, a prediction, a question that they had while listening, a fact they thought was interesting, or a connection. Right now we are drawing a picture of one of the characters in the story and labeling their name. I could see that box also being used for their favorite scene in the story.

If you would like to use our listening response sheet, please grab it HERE. Comments and suggestions are very, very welcome.

Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, September 16

{Reading} Best Seller Party

Caitlin and Carrie from Table Talk with C & C are hosting a very exciting TPT Best Seller Party and Giveaway this week. I am very excited to donate to a product to this giveaway! It's my first time!

They wanted to have a party and giveaway that showcases all of the hard work and dedication that goes into making our products meaningful and engaging for our students. We all know how passionate we are about blogging and TPT product-making. They also wanted to celebrate our hard work and accomplishments as a TPT seller. Because of the countless hours of creativity we put into beautiful and thoughtful products, our products deserve all the love they can get!

The best part is that they connected with 14 16 TPT sellers who have donated their best selling reading activity and they want you to enter to win these products!!! You will win all 14 16 items FREE!

When I checked my store, I found that my product, Adjectives: Color, Size, and Shape, is my best seller, so that's what I donated to the giveaway. YAY!

This product includes two sets of pictures/word cards that the students can sort. They are trying to decide which adjectives match each picture. There is also a recording sheet where the students are asked to look at their adjectives and decide which ones tell the color, size, and shape of the pictures. Also included in this product is a 3-flap foldable that can be used however it fits in your classroom instruction.

Since I am a second grade teacher, this product fits with L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when write or speaking. e. Use adjectives and choose between them.

Starting today, you will have a chance to share your best selling reading activity through the party AND enter the rafflecopter to win all the amazing products!

Here's how:

1. Take a look at your TPT store and sort your products by 'Best Sellers.'
2. Find the product that is your best selling reading related product. 
3. Link up your best selling reading related product. 
4. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
5. Spread the word about the party and giveaway through all your social media!!

This party will be up for one week and then we will share the winner from the rafflecopter.

The party schedule is:

Please join us and celebrate the hard work, creativity, and countless hours that we have put into making teaching and learning more fun and engaging. :o)

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Sunday, September 15

Budding Blog Party

Jess at I {heart} Recess hosted a Budding Blog party last week. I'm late, but I'm here! I'm finding it very difficult to find time during the week to blog AND I'm not always remembering to take pictures of things I want to share. *Need to get better at this!

Why did you start blogging?

I love being a part of this community of teachers. Education certainly has changed. We can not only be a part of our school community but a part of a global community, working for the good of the kids we see everyday.

I love sharing my ideas and resources with other teachers. I think we encourage and inspire each other to become greater teachers than we could ever become on our own.

What is your favorite subject to teach?

Since I teach 2nd grade, I teach many subjects, but I think my favorite might be Science. I personally try to make sense of things around me, so I find Science very interesting.

Teaching Reading makes me nervous. I'm the least confident teaching Reading. However, I'm slowly taking classes towards a Masters in Reading to hopefully make me into an amazing Reading teacher.

Describe your teaching style.

I love teaching in small groups. Reading and Math. This is why it kills me that I'm having trouble seeing how small group centers/rotations/stations fits into our new Math Expressions curriculum. I love them (and believe in them) that much.

I also try focusing more on the positive in my room than the undesirables in my room. Some days I do better with this than other days, BUT I am also trying out some Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom.

Give three interesting facts about you.

It's hard to know what's interesting about yourself. Maybe someone can relate with...

I don't like to fold laundry. Can't someone just invent an affordable dryer that dries your clothes then magically folds and organizes it too? I did however enjoy it yesterday morning as my two girlfriends sat in the room with me and chatted.

On a non-work day I easily sleep in until 9 or 9:30. Yep, I don't have any kids.

I love to ride my bike around the neighborhood or down to the frozen yogurt shop, but I don't do that often enough.

Do you have a TPT store?

Yes, I do. I started it January 1st. CLICK HERE to visit. For a long time I was trying to figure out what my niche would be, because at some point, I learned that that's the best way to be successful on TPT, and I think I enjoy making the book studies the most, so I think that'll be my niche... maybe.

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Friday, September 13

2012-13 Photo Book

Every summer I make a photo book of the school year. I love using Shutterfly when they have a good deal running. Sometimes you can get 50% off, and usually once a year they will send me an offer for a free Shutterfly book. All I have to pay is shipping (about $8).

Here is the free book that I made of last school year.

Create your own personalized photo books at

Sunday, September 8

Tailgate Party & Grandparents Day

Week 3 is complete.
A 4-day week, but it was LONG!

Once a year our school holds a Math and Reading Night for families to come and participate. It's actually a requirement because we are a Title 1 school, but usually most families only come if we are serving some sort of food. A few years ago, my fellow 5th grade teacher and I organized it like a Math Mystery Night where they were gathering clues to solve the mystery of who trashed the principal's office. It was nice getting back to a fun theme this year, something parents, kids, and teachers could get excited about. I'd like to think that's why we had such a good turnout (not because of the hotdogs).

We had an assembly with the high school cheerleaders to hype the kids up. Someone came around during the day and face-painted each of the teachers. We had a surprise guest (our high school drum line) that came that night, too.

I made a bookmark for parents to take home that will guide them on what to say if their child struggles when reading. I printed it front/back on cardstock. If you would like a copy of the bookmark, click on the picture above!

The kids got to make their own fun bookmarks out of foam. I had stickers and beads/bells to put on the string on top.

It was a long day, but it was really great!

Of course, Friday we celebrated grandparents.

In the past, we've had them come for breakfast, but kids come very late to class, then, and they run out of breakfast. It's just been too busy. Some grandparents have turned away. This year, we had a Grandparents Cookies and Tea time at the end of the day. Much better!

mint chocolate chip cookies...YUM
We were finishing centers, so the grandparents came in and sat with their grandchildren until we were finished. Then we had snacks (cookies and Kool-aid). Some of the grandparents took their grandchildren to the Book Fair in the library. The others sat in the room and listened to a read aloud.

It was GREAT!

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Saturday, September 7

Busy, Busy, Busy!

What a busy couple of weeks it's been!

I finished a new book study over a James Marshall book, George and Martha Encore. I haven't added a product in 2-3 months, so I'm pretty excited. I will use it in my classroom when we start our MTSS (RTI) small groups. For today and tomorrow, all the book studies in my TPT store will be on sale! Hope you have time to stop by! I'm even willing to give the first 2 people who comment with their email addresses a free copy of that newest book study.

Spelling is not going nearly as well this year, BUT if we have to take 2 weeks for every Spelling list, then that's what we'll do. These are essential Spelling rules to remember that will help them be successful later on. We spent the last two weeks on this list. Here's an ABC order that we used. Even if you don't use Pathways to Reading, you might still want to use this in a word work station. Grab it if you like!


My husband is an artist (on his iPad, these days) in his spare time. He's discovered these art groups through Google+ where people will comment on his drawings. Between him and the mini-me I created, I thought it would be fun to create some drawings of my students. I remember I used to do that while I was still in college and worked at a daycare. Sometimes the kids would be playing, so I would just sketch while I was watching them. The iPad sure makes coloring them WAY easier. You're welcome to right click and save them and use them for clipart if they're useful to you.

The SLANT Box Exchange

Finally, I never realized there was a place to link up to share our SLANT boxes.

I received . . . from Heather at The Busy Busy Hive. :o)

What a treat that was! I love getting fun mail. It sure beats all the bills and junk mail we get. I think one of my favorite parts about receiving packages about from other teachers is that (1) you know you're going to appreciate whatever is in the box because teachers understand each other and (2) you get to know other teacher bloggers in a more personal way and (3) I get to try new products that I might not have picked out on my own. I love the SLANT box idea, and, while I probably won't participate every month, I most certainly will participate often. Thanks, Jameson at Lessons with Coffee, for setting this up each month, and thanks, Heather, for a lovely, wonderful surprise!

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I'll be sharing about a couple of big events that happened this week (and there will be another freebie)!

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