I just sent out emails to the winner's of the giveaway!

Thanks to everyone that particpated :)

We had a beautiful weather day today!  It was 75 and sunny, not a cloud in the sky...lots of playing outside! Later this week we might get snow!

I finally finished making some games for teachers at my school.  It is on sale through tomorrow night!

1.  Snow in April!! CRAZY!  This was one of the trees in our yard on Tuesday.

2. Blooms Taxonomy- I just did a PD yesterday about higher level thinking questions.  It was awesome to watch the teachers get so engaged and excited.  We spent quite a bit of time taking traditional questions and turning them into higher level questions. We specifically worked quite a bit on analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions...Many of our questions began with the following words: examine, justify, explain how, relate, defend and support.

3.  The fun run I talked about 2 weeks ago has been rescheduled twice!!!  Once for thunderstorms and once for snow!  Hopefully this Tuesday, I'll be running a 5k with the students from my school!

4. I've been planning teacher appreciation gifts for my children's teachers.  I loved this idea from Nothing But Country.  Hopefully everyone likes A&W root beer :)  I'll attach a gift card on the twine.

5.  My son wants a Wipeout Cake for his birthday on Wednesday.  I'm a perfectionist, but I'm also thrifty, so I'm determined to do this :)  My husband found this picture on line and is pretty confident we can do this...I'll post pictures next week!

Today is the last day to enter my Earth Day/Week Giveaway!

Since I've been testing (for the last 4 weeks), I've been paying attention to the books students are reading, and then have been asking why they like the books.  PS- Many of these books have to be put on the back table, because students would MUCH rather read these books than take the test!  As a reading teacher, that makes me super happy to see students WANTING to read! I have students fill out this "Mini Book Report" to let me know what books they enjoy, so I can make sure we order books they like! 

Dork Diary Series- These have been SUPER popular with the girls. It seems like it is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls. It seems like there is a little bit of "drama" and girls can make lots of connections when they read the series.

The Infinity Ring Series- The students have been telling me that they love that they get to travel back in time.  They kind of remind me of a more "grown" up version of the Magic Treehouse books.  One boy told me they were like the 39 Clues books.  These books seem popular with both boys and girls.

Geronimo Stilton- These yellow covers are EVERY where in our building.  I think our librarian got a major bulk discount on these books!  I have not read these books, but the students in 3rd and 4th grade tell me they are funny, and they can't wait to read all of them!

Big Nate- This is another popular series, and the students love the comic style of the book. These books seem to hook more reluctant readers, because of the comics (less words).  They also like how the author uses the bold style print to emphasize when someone is mad or yelling.  It seems like these books offer some extra support for struggling readers. 

Franny K. Stein- These chapter books also offer many pictures, and even though the main character is a girl, the boys seem to like this series, as well. 

Anything by Rick Riordan!  His books are very popular.  Both the boys and girls LOVE them.  We have them in our bookroom, and many students in 5th grade are using them in literature circles right now.

Please don't forget to enter the drawing.  There is a $10 Teachers Pay Teacher's gift card, plus other items from my store!
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I'm excited to give away 5 great prizes.  Drawing is at 11pm on 4/27!

One $10 TPT gift card!

It is easy to enter...just follow my blog, mention the giveaway on your blog, or repin an item from my store on Pinterest.

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Since I'm a literacy coach, I don't work with students too often, but this week I am!!! I have some tutoring groups that will work on phonemic segmentation, helping with reading CVC words, comparing and contrasting and writing.  I'm excited to link up with Dee Dee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

Here are links to the Nonsense Words, Phonemic Segmentation and CVC games I'll use this week.

Here are some of my favorite picture books to use for Earth Day!

When I've taught informational texts about Earth Day, I always find that students are fascinated with the recycling process. I've also found that they LOVE the concept of reusing!  Composting is another COOL topic!  I've never been brave enough to attempt that at school :)

I have found that the Common Core Standards work so well with Earth Day, especially reading informational text and integrating knowledge...
The Chocolate Muffin Tree has great ideas on how to turn every day household products into art!

I'm proud to say that every room in our school has recycling bins for paper and plastic.  Then after lunch, we have student volunteers that rinse the plastic milk containers for recycling.  I have a feeling that if we had a compost pile, the students would be more than eager to become composters (I'm not sure that is a real word) :)
1.  This has been a hard week with sad news in our country.  I grew up about 90 minutes from Boston and am a huge Red Sox Fan :)  I'm so thankful for all the people in law enforcement.  My heart just breaks for the victims and their families.

2. I love the Origami Charm necklaces, but have very sensitive skin, and am afraid to buy a necklace that I won't be able to wear :(

3.  We have chicks in 1st grade....10 hatched!

4.  I love Earth Day!  Here are some picture books that can be used...tomorrow my whole post will be about Earth Day picture books.

5.  It is still getting super cold here at night....and I haven't been able to plant flowers yet.  I've been looking for lots of ideas.  Last year I did pink and white flowers....I'm thinking maybe purple and yellow or purple, yellow and red this year.

I went into a kindergarten class, and the students were sorting real objects in the word work station...the teacher was able to modify the activity based on level.  For example, one group was sorting based on beginning sound, and another group was sorting by ending sound.  The students sort them on a 30x30 inch mat on the floor that has all the letters on it.

Teachers can also pick out specific letters and only have students find objects that begin with those letters.  In addition, students can draw and write the name of the object they found.

This is the alphabet basket...full of objects from every letter!

You can actually buy kits with lots of objects for every letter these online, but they are kind of expensive (over $100).  To make your own...
1.  Check out your junk drawer (I found a plastic ring, mini-flashlight, heart, card, small ruler, pencil sharpener, eraser- please do not judge).
2.  Dollhouse/Barbie toys or clothes
3.  Sometimes they have erasers that are in the shapes of different objects.
4.  Happy Meal Toys
5.  Birthday Party Treat Bag Toys
6.  The Dollar Store has all sorts of "stuff" in the toy aisle
7.  Foam arts and craft shapes

Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
I like vanilla.
Orange- Favorite Memory from College
I have TOO MANY favorite memories!  I loved college.  I was in a sorority, and made so many wonderful friends.  I also met my husband in college :)  I'd say that would be my favorite memory. 

Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
Kansas State Wildcats

Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
 I like McAlister's Deli.  They have a great gluten free menu :)
Purple- Wild Card(Tell anything about yourself)
My favorite color is purple :)

Our school uses cooperative learning.  I've made all sorts of Table Mats for the teachers at my building. 
They are a great way to help with classroom management.  This set will be free through tomorrow night (just click on the picture).  Please leave feedback if you like it :) 

The mats are placed in the center of a group of four desks.  Each student is assigned a number.  To help with classroom management, you can...

  • Call tables by number when lining up, or when students need to move to the carpet.
  • Award team points based on behavior.
  • Since students have a number, in whole group activities, ask all of the same number to stand up.  For example, “All the 2s stand up!”  Another example would be, “I need all the 4s to pick up workbooks for your table.”
  • To mix things up and get students moving, students need to find a partner that is NOT at their table and has a different number than them.

Happy Friday!!!

1.  I finished my prelim-exams.  I spent all day yesterday and all day today in a tiny conference room answering questions.  They provided the computer, and I just worked, worked, worked (everything had to be memorized and my brain is completely full).  If I pass (and I hope I do), I will be a Doctoral Candidate!

2. Tomorrow is flag football!  My son loves it.  He caught a pass during the game last week, and at practice he caught a pass and ran it for a touchdown....however, all he wants to do is pull a flag :)

3.  I'm crossing my fingers that our beloved mower works!  It is about 20 years old, and it runs like a Deere...however, it is having a little trouble getting started.  PS- I'm not allowed to mow.  I once ran over a wasp nest (or some bee that builds nests in the ground) and jumped off the mower while it was still running.  I haven't had to mow in about 13 years :)
4.  This week we are having our annual 5k Fun Run/Walk at school.  You know how you end up committees at school...well I always end up on this one.  I love it... the students get so excited about it, and it is very healthy! We have lots of free "fun" fruits and veggies to try out, and I love running with the students.  This year it is going to be bigger and better, and we'll have a bounce house.

5.  Only 6 more days of state testing left!

I hope everyone has a great, relaxing weekend...I know I will!  If you haven't already entered, don't forget to check out the great drawing at The Polished Teacher.  I'm so excited one of my products is in the drawing - it is in the All Around Awesome Prize Pack!

I thought this sounded like a fun linky :)

1.  My family.  There is no way I could survive without them!  Plus my husband is super handy and has great survival skills.

2.  Sunscreen.  I never tan.  I just burn and peel and am pale again.  Sunscreen is a MUST.
3.  My iPhone.  This was hard...I debated between this and my nook.  Since I have the nook app on my phone, it won.

Other things I was considering...things to cook with, a bed, a pillow, protein bars, sunglasses, bug spray, and towels.
I thought this looked like a fun linky party :)  Our school uses Dibels, and these three activities help K-2 students with Nonsense Words and Phonemic Awareness.  I'm not super crazy about Dibels, but the data can be helpful in forming small groups, and finding out areas where students need additional help.  These activities can be used in literacy centers or in guided reading.  If your school uses Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies, then the cards that come with these games can also be used in numerous structures (Mix Pair Share, Quiz Quiz Trade, Round Table, Round Table Write & Rally Robin).

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