Thursday, September 11, 2014

What did you say?

If your students are like mine, then you know how fidgety they can get sitting in their seat while we go over skills. For a change of pace, we did a fun activity to practice an otherwise boring skill: Types of Sentences!

I gave each student a sticky note labeled with a sentence type (declarative, interrogative, imperative or exclamatory) to place on their forehead. The students weren't allowed to look at their own label. Students were then encouraged to "mill" around the room and find a partner or actually several partners. They would then read the label on their partner's head silently and give an example of the sentence type. For example, if their partner's label read exclamatory  they would say an exclamatory statement and their partner would then try to guess the sentence type label they had. Then they would switch roles and move on to other students.

At the end of the activity (after most students have had a chance to find various partners) each student would find their own label on the wall and form a group. Each group then explained to the whole class what their sentence type was, what kind of end mark it had and give an example. The kids had a blast! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Anchors Away Monday (Plot)

Happy Labor Day! Hope you all are enjoying your day off (or getting ready to start school if you haven't went back already)! I'm linking up with Deb from Crafting Connections for her Weekly Anchors Away Monday!

 We started school two weeks ago and it has been crazy busy since! The saying, "There is no tired like teacher-tired at the beginning of  the year!" couldn't ring more true!  I've been exhausted for the past couple of week and we still don't have everything running smoothly at school yet. Schedules are a nightmare (hopefully, this will be completed soon) and getting into the swing of things is grueling! BUT, it will get better! Hopefully... :)

This week my reading class will be focusing on plot! This is one of the anchor charts I plan to use as well as a video clip to help students understand the important aspects of plot!

I also plan to use this video clip from

This is a GREAT site for quick teaching clips! 


I plan to combine these two activities with their interactive notebook in order to teach plot! We will be revisiting the story Because of Winn Dixie this week in order to dig deeper into the text! 

Have a Fantastic Labor Day!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Five For Friday August 22 A Peek into my Room!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Weekly Linky Party!

For this week I'm sharing some of my classroom decor since we have just started back to school! :)

First up! My new door decoration! I think it turned out cute!

                          This is my group behavior board!

This is my Words With Friends Bulletin Board! 


 You can find this in my TPT Store!

 My Bulletin board for "S'more Smart Students" great papers!


 A fun Quote for the Week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


 I'm linking up with ERICA from Heaven in Grade 7 for a HUGE Back to School Boost Blog Hop Giveaway!!   To enter head over to my TPT Store and  choose FIVE products from my store you would like to win. Leave a comment with your choices in the comment box of this blog post along with your email address. I will choose 1 winner to win all five of their wishlisted products from my store! Have fun! I will pick a winner at 6:30 a.m. on August 20, 2014 my time (Central Time) so you'll know BEFORE the sale ends if you are the winner!  IF you aren't the winner then don't forget to take advantage of Teachers Pay Teachers ONE DAY BOOST sale for a savings of up to 28% off! When you are finished click on the picture below to check out all of the other giveaways!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Anchors Away Monday August 11

It MONDAY! You know what that means! Anchors Away! I'm linking up with Deb from Crafting Connections for her Weekly Anchors Away Linky Party!

With the common core focus on reading closely and providing evidence I've tried to find some good anchor charts which will help the students learn to read close and find proof.. I love this one with the detective theme!

This one was found on A Walk in My Shoes


Adorable isn't it?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

High/Low Linky August 9

       Today I'm linking up with Julie from A First For Everything for her High/Low Linky Party!

 First up, my high for this week! Two weeks ago for Wordless Wednesday I posted a pic of my sad useless rack chairs which are horrible for grouping! Several of you responded with various answers as to the type of desk you have in your classroom. Many of you have tables (the best way to group) and several of you have flat desk (the next best way to group) which can form tables when placed together.  As happy as I was for you, I did have a twinge of jealousy since I've been begging for better desks for several years. Well, guess what was in my room yesterday! Yep! Some GREAT group forming desks! I'm so excited!!!

.... now, for my low for the week.... This is my last week of summer since we start school next week.. I had hoped to make it to the beach before school started, but that didn't work out...My dad had shoulder surgery and I needed to stay and help him so the beach trip wasn't going to happen.. We did, however, make it to Branson for vacation before the surgery so that is a high with my low.. LOL.. I'm still holding out hope for a chance at a cruise trip during December.. We shall see! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday "What is YOUR discipline policy?"

What day is it? HUMPDAY! It's Wordless Wednesday and I'm linking up with

 Miss Decarbo at Second Grade Sugar and Spice for her Weekly Linky Party!

We all wish for model classrooms where students are ready, willing and able to learn, but let's face it, some days are going to be less than stellar and some students will prove to be quite a challenge. What is your discipline policy? Does your school focus on PBIS and how is it implemented? What happens to the student who refuses to comply no matter how positive you try to be or how engaging your lessons are?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Anchors Away Monday Double Entry Journal

I love anchor charts! I've seen soooo many great ones on blogs, pinterest etc. that I can't wait to use in my classroom this year! Today, I'm linking up with Deb from Crafting Connections for Anchor's Away Monday to share one of those fabulous charts!

This is one of the anchor charts I plan to use during the first few weeks of school to teach the students about close reading and thinking about what you read. This double entry chart gives the students an area to write information found in the text as well as an area to reflect on the information they find. Disclaimer: This is NOT my creation. I found this on pinterest and loved the idea. This chart is found on All Things Upper Elementary if you'd like to read more about it!

All Things Upper Elementary

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Three Fun and Engaging Close Reading Strategies for Common Core Reading, Speaking and Listening Standards!

 This year I'm excited about incorporating some new strategies in my ELA classroom as well as using some of my old favorites with my new set of students!  Some of the strategies I plan to use with my fourth graders include:

                                  Strategy 1  The Fishbowl

A Fishbowl discussion in Mrs. Gross's 5th Grade Class (Detroit Future Schools)



     This first strategy was first introduced to me by my cousin who teaches high school. The picture above is NOT her class, but one that I found on a blog using the same technique with younger students. The Fishbowl Discussion Strategy uses two groups of learners seated or standing in two circles. The first group, the fishbowl group, are the students in the center of the circle.These students are the ones who are actually discussing the topic or answering the focus questions. The outer circle of students, the observers, are watching the the discussion group, taking notes about what they are seeing and hearing and will use those notes to add to the discussion after the "fishbowl"  group has finished. Both groups have an important task and are contributing to the lesson. This is an excellent way to teach the common core speaking and listening standards.Students are also encouraged to use Accountable Talk with phrases such as "I'm hearing you say...."  "I agree with ...."  "I disagree with..." etc. Students MUST cite evidence from the text to support or refute their or their classmate's contribution. The diagram below shows the seating arrangement for the "fishbowl" discussion.

               Strategy 2 Keep It, Cloud It, Junk It

This is one of my favorite strategies. I've used this for the past couple of years and the students really enjoy it!  My students have always caught on  well to this one and the lesson is truly run by the students rather than led by the teacher.


                     Strategy 3 Jigsaw  Method 

This is a short video clip of how one teacher uses the Jigsaw method. I like the fact the students are give a specific part of the text to analyze in their group. Then after small group discussion they will move to whole group discussion where they teach their peers what they learned, observed, noticed etc. about their aspect of the text.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Freebie Friday! Hopping Homophones!

I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict  for Freebie Friday! 

This fun Freebie is great for grades 2-6! Hopping Homophones is part of my Language Games which are aligned to the Fourth Grade Common Core Standards.  

This game is designed to play with a partner to practice the Common Core State Standard:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1g Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their)

It is great for centers, partner play or small group!

Click on the picture to get your free copy today!



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Five for Friday!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday Linky Party!


The good news....I have decided to join the fun Blog Hoppin 2014 scavenger hunt! The bad news... I have no real clue how to use instagram! I obviously need to find a teenager to help me! :) 

I'm giving away a HUGE ELA bundle this week! Be sure to check out my blog post to find out how to enter!

I was excited to get to dine on my favorite meal!  Crab Legs! Yum!!!! 

I visited this interesting  natural bridge which is found in Arkansas (the natural state)! Love it! It used to be used for logging I believe, but now people aren't even allowed climb it (much to the disappointment of my twelve year old) due to safety reasons! 

What Albert said...:)   We really do need to find simpler ways to explain our lessons to the students. If we can't, then we don't understand it enough ourselves. :)

HUGE! Fourth Grade Back-to-School Bundle Giveaway!

As a way of saying "Thank You!" to my customers, I've put together a HUGE Back-to-School Bundle Pack for Fourth Grade (most material can be used for grades 3-6, but the products were created using 4th grade standards!). One lucky winner will receive this pack which includes 3 puzzle games for centers (figurative language, character traits, roots and affixes), ALL THREE of my Research to Build Knowledge test practice sets, my five day English Language Arts sub plans, my Write to the Point bundle which includes bookmarks, posters, writing to text and graphic organizers,  my MEGA BUNDLE for Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (includes my year long daily spiral review, posters, and all 7 task card sets), and last but not least my close reading evidence marker bundle. These evidence markers will help students analyze poetry, non-fiction and fiction using special markers to indicate specific features of the text! This Giveaway Bundle is over a $50 value!

I've chosen to run my contest from August 1 at 12:00 a.m.-August 4 at 12:a.m.  so that it will not run into the Teachers Pay Teachers Sitewide Sale which is August 4-5..This way if you are not the winner and would like one or more of the items in the bundle then you will still have time to  score a 28% discount on the products. :)

 Please enter by following the instructions on the rafflecoptor below.Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop til You Drop! What's In Your Cart?

I'm linking up with Jenna over at Speech Room News to talk about my latest products and  what fun exiting items I plan to purchase during the HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Sitewide Sale!  My store will be on sale during August 4-5 so you can save up to 28% off on everything!

I've been working hard this summer on several new products. Since I wasn't sure exactly what grade I would be teaching this year,  I have worked on materials for several grade levels.

One was my Sixth Grade Conventions of Language Interactive Notebook!  This interactive notebook covers ALL of the Sixth Grade Conventions of Language Common Core Standards. Students will use interactive activities to master the skills. Of course, their completed notebook will serve as a FABULOUS study guide for the state standardized test as well at the end of the year.

Since Text Mapping is my new FAVORITE skill for digging deep into Non-Fiction Text, I also made a Text Mapping Interactive Notebook which will work great for grades 3-6!  This interactive notebook teaches 16 non-fiction text features, teaches students HOW to use Text Mapping and has an 8 page article on the Titanic for students to practice their text-mapping skills!  I can't wait to use this in the classroom!


Now, you may be wondering what I'm buying from other fabulous teachers during the Teachers Pay Teachers HUGE Sale!

Clip art, fonts and frames are  my favorites!  So here are a few items in my cart! As well as some great review skills for my little guys!

Fun Fall Letters by Primary Polkadots

ELA Daily Review by TEACHA2Z

       Clip Art Fall Season Kids by Cara Taylor!
GREAT social studies bundle from Elementary Lesson Plans

 So now that you  have had a peek in my cart, what is your cart??
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