Nov 30, 2015

Are you Ready for December?

What could be better? Start the month of December with some fresh, new products and enjoy them at a great price during TPT's CYBER SALE!! Eeeeek! I can't think of anything much more exciting as a teacher! PROMO CODE: SMILE

I love teaching in December, not only because it's short (ha!), but because I love doing fun holiday related activities. Yes, we are still allowed, so I do know that I'm lucky! {I have a super fun blog post that will go live on December 1st explaining what I usually do in December for Grinch Day!}

I have to admit that I'm really sad to not be in the classroom this year for December. If you have been following me on Facebook, Instagram, or here, you probably saw a few of my posts about having an accident back at the end of September, and I'm still off work. I visited my surgeon last week and there is just still no end in sight for me. Six more weeks of no walking at this point.

I noticed that here on my blog I had scheduled my GRINCH post to go live on December 1st (I scheduled it one year ago because after I did it last year, it was too late for people to USE it in 2014, so I wanted to make sure to post it again THIS December so people could see it and try it out!) Anyway, when I saw that was coming up and December 1st was so close, I got really sad that I won't be with my class this year to make sure it's a fun December for them. I've been reminded by some good friends that I can try to do some fun things with my kids at home and try to make up for it! I'm planning to find some fun crafts we can do in December here at home.

Well, enough about that, let's get to the fun December products that I have in my store! The best news is that I have bundled my most popular December items together this year, which give you a big savings if you purchase as a bundle!

If you purchased the 5 items included in the bundle separately, you'd spend $26.00, but I have this bundled for $20, saving you 23%. PLUS if you purchase it through the CYBER Monday sale, you will save even more! With my sale, plus the TPT code, you should be able to get this whole bundle for: $14.40!!! PROMO CODE: SMILE

 Just in case you don't NEED all of these items, or you already have a few, click here to see them each sold separately and ALSO on SALE! :) Don't forget the TPT code at checkout, I always forget!(Then I just get really mad at myself and you don't need that! LOL)

I also have a brand new item for the month of December that goes with the book, The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish. As soon as I saw it was out, I ordered it, and I loved it! So adorable! Then, I just knew that I'd want to some activities to go along with it. I created a companion pack with graphic organizers, a few writing response sheets, and a few hands-on centers. Click the picture below to see the finished product, but also click here to get the FREE sampler that I created to go along with it!

Some other super popular items that I have this month are below. The Two-Digit Pack would only be $3.60 during the Cyber Sale (with the code!)
and the Main Idea activity would only be $1.44!!!  PROMO CODE: SMILE

If this is your first TPT sale, you have been missing out! Now is definitely the time to stock up on the products that you were on the fence about buying. Not trying to do a sales pitch here, but I'm just sharing my experience, as a buyer too! I buy PLENTY for my own classroom and of course great clipart and items to create more products. It's my favorite time of year. Here's the way that it works, MOST stores will have a 20% off sale. So the prices you see listed in their stores for these two days (Nov 30-Dec 1) will be the price. THEN, when you are ready to checkout, put in the TPT PROMO CODE and you will save an additional 10%...which is off of the already marked down products, so overall that works out to a total of 28% off!

Here's what I do... I start going through my "Wishlist" first because over the last few months, I have added items that I see and don't want to forget about to my wishlist. I check to see if those are on sale (which most likely they are because just about every seller will put their store 20% off!) and then I decide if I still really want them and they are worth the sale price. Then, I start thinking about what I need for the next few months in my own classroom and just fill up my wishlist more! I hope that you can find some goodies to get you through the next few months! HAPPY SHOPPING!!! {Don't forget to enter the promo code!!!} PROMO CODE: SMILE

Nov 25, 2015

Teaching Fact & Opinion with Candy

I've created a full five day lesson/unit to help students distinguish between facts and opinions and I'm super excited!

It's a five day plan that starts by introducing the concepts of fact and opinion and ends the week with a short assessment of the skill.  In the middle, there are 3 hands on lessons that are engaging and fun for the students! I'm sharing some pictures below, then linking up the actual product at the bottom, which includes all of the details for these lessons.

Day one lesson plan focuses on introducing fact and opinion:

Day Two is Hershey Bar/Twix Day:


Day Three is Skittles/Starburst Day:


Day Four includes a hands on Fact/Opinion sort, applying skills learned from the first three days:

Day Five includes a quick assessment to check your students' understanding after the week of learning the differences between facts and opinions: 

 If you are interested in purchasing this 5 day lesson plan unit, see my brand new product below on TPT. If you aren't sure, be sure to Wish List it, just in case there is a sale that pops up soon and you can try it for an even lower price!

Nov 23, 2015

An EASY way to SAVE $$$ on Teaching Resources

If you are an avid Teachers Pay Teachers buyer, you may think I'm nuts to write this post.... BUT you wouldn't believe how many people don't know how important it is to leave FEEDBACK after you purchase items on TPT. Let me just give you some examples. I was looking over some of my statistics the other day and I have some of my more expensive bundles that I've sold 500+ of and only around 100 of the buyers have left feedback!

You may ask, why do I care? You may say, we don't have time to leave feedback! You may say, yes I see those emails come from TPT over and over "reminding me" to leave feedback on my purchases, but I just Don't-Have-Time! You may say, when they remind me to leave feedback, I haven't even USED the product yet, and I'm not going to leave feedback on something I haven't used in my classroom yet. (Very valid answer, but don't forget to go back and leave feedback later!)

Once you realize what leaving feedback can DO FOR YOU, you will realize that you can't AFFORD to not have time! Every time you leave feedback, YOU GET CREDITS TO PURCHASE YOUR NEXT ITEMS! Stop right there! Go to TPT now! Start leaving feedback! This is SO HELPFUL on your future purchases! What teacher doesn't need a little "store-credit" to use!? 

Let me share some real info with you, I'm copying this directly from the TPT site. (Click on MY TPT, then click TPT Credit Balance and you'll see the details there too, plus you'll see if you have any existing credits.)

From TPT:

How it Works
Earn TpT Credits for purchases on TpT. You get one TpT Credit for every $ you spend on TpT. Thing is, you only get the Credits after you Provide Feedback -- both a fair rating and a fair comment -- on the items that you purchase. We will round up for you, too! If you provide fair feedback on a $4.75 item, you will earn 5 credits. Every 100 Credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future TpT purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. 50 credits is worth $2.50, for example.
The program is retroactive to feedback provided on purchases since August 1, 2011.
How to Redeem TpT Credits
You can keep track of how many credits you have accrued here or on the top of the site after login. When you check out, you will be given the option of applying your TpT Credits to your purchase, thereby discounting your purchase price accordingly.

So, for every DOLLAR you spend, you get a credit. This is why it shocks me that so many people have purchased $20 units from me, but they haven't left feedback! They have 20 credits just waiting for them! Please, take the time today and try completing this. Remember to leave thoughtful feedback about your purchases (That makes it helpful for other potential buyers! Think about what you'd like to know about a product when you go to read the feedback before purchasing.)

Easy steps:
Sign into Teachers Pay Teachers

Click My TPT
Click My Purchases
Next to Sort by: click the pull down menu and click Needs Feedback
Click on each product that needs feedback, leave your thoughtful feedback for each product you have already purchased, then watch your credits rack up! Feel free to let me know in the comments below if this post was helpful, if you already knew this but never have time, and even better, after you go through these steps, tell me how many credits you rack up! Have fun!!!

Nov 22, 2015

12 Books of Christmas

I'm excited to be teaming up with 11 other AMAZING bloggers to share some of our favorite Christmas and holiday books in a fun 12 Books of Christmas Blog Hop!

Along with FREEBIES for each book, we are also giving away a copy of each book. Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post to find out how to WIN!

For my book, I chose The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish. Love all of the Pout Pout Fish books and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one!

I have created a packet of activities to go with it. I have a variety of activities to choose from to use after reading the book as a read aloud with my class! Please download the freebie below to use a few of my activities after you read the book. Remember, if you don't own the book yet, you'll want to enter the raffle for a chance to win ALL of the books above! What could be more fun than that?

Thanks so much for stopping by! Before you hop onto see my sweet friend, Abbie over at Tales From the First Grade, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the total number in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy hopping!

Nov 4, 2015

Bear Says Thanks {Read Aloud Lesson}

Good morning! I wanted to share a post that I wrote over at Classroom Tested Resources, a collaborative blog that I'm part of! I was featured just yesterday with this post!

In case you haven't read it there yet, I wanted to share it here too! PLEASE be sure to head over to the CTR blog though to see tons of awesome ideas that a collaboration of teachers share DAILY! There are a variety of topics and grade levels covered...and some GREAT ideas!

I'm always looking for fun ways to teach (and review/practice!) nouns. I'm going to share how to use a simple read aloud and have your students help you find nouns in the story by recording them in their reading notebooks. Also, you could easily modify this by you (the teacher) creating an anchor chart as more of a shared lesson. It would depend on the age of the kids. My second graders can be kind of in between when it comes to the ability on this. Sometimes it's just easier for me to do a shared anchor chart together, rather than wait for each kid to "keep up" with us in their own notebooks. In doing this, I would have my own notebook under the document camera and I'd be working right along with the kids, so it would still be a "shared/guided" lesson.

First of all, I love The Bear Books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. My girls at home love them and my students love them. They are adorable and fun stories! (They are pretty quick reads, too!) For this lesson, I used "Bear Says Thanks".

I started by doing a quick mini-lesson with my students about what nouns are: person, place, or thing. However, I did add in ANIMALS to my list, too.  This can be kind of a questionable subject I have found, some teachers think you should just put animals under THINGS, which I agree with since they are THINGS. However, for this particular story, it worked well for me to actually add the extra category of ANIMALS because this book is all about animals and there aren't any PEOPLE included in this story. So, in this case, I had to show them that you won't always find something for all of the noun categories in a story because sometimes people or animals aren't included. I did keep the PEOPLE category on the simple chart we made though. We have done other activities where they have practiced finding PEOPLE as nouns, so I felt comfortable doing it this way.

Next, I started the read aloud and told students to listen for nouns that they hear in the story. But, I reminded them that we will read it a second time, so they won't if they don't remember all of them! (I just wanted them to enjoy the story first!)

Next, I asked students to just verbally name some animals, places, and things that they remembered from the story. We are sitting on my carpet (where we always do read alouds) and they raise their hands and share with the class some nouns that they can recall from the story. They could name quite a few!

After that, we head back to our desks and take out our reading notebooks. In my own reading notebook, I model how to draw a quick, simple chart (nothing fancy!!) and they copy it into their notebooks too.

Then, we opened up the book (under the document camera) and I started rereading the story while the students followed along, and we searched for nouns. We stopped on each page and started filling them into our chart together. They helped me and I helped them. 

We all worked together and my students loved it! I found it to be a fun and easy way to "come up" with nouns instead of just trying to think of them on their own. Especially because authors of some of these awesome books use such GREAT vocabulary in their writing that students would most likely not think of on their own. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't think of them either!!

Obviously, this idea could be used with ANY book that you choose at any time of the year! I also think this has helped my students with not only knowing what nouns are, but giving them some ideas for better vocabulary when it comes to their own writing! 

I've created a freebie to go along with this story as a special gift for reading my blog post today! You could easily put it into a workstation after teaching this lesson, just to reinforce the skill. Also, if you notice some students just not quite grasping the concept, this would be a fun and easy activity to do afterwards in a small reading group or one-on-one. 

If you really enjoy this book Bear Says Thanks, please visit my store for a full literature companion pack that contains multiple centers and activities to go along with the book. It's coming soon!

Don't forget to check out the CTR blog for some awesome ideas from a great variety of bloggers! Click below to head over there now!