Saturday, April 19, 2014

Remember me?

Hello, all! 
Long time, no blog!

It has been an extremely trying, roller coaster type of school year, and I can't wait to share the details with all of you in time.

For now, the blog is going to look funky. I'm going to remodel, maybe even change the name. In any event, I will leave the URL the same so that you can find me in the same place. =)

Anyway, hello to my almost 400 (can I just say, wow?!) followers. I can't wait to catch up with you. =)


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rock It!

So, the first few weeks of school have been exhausting to say the least! I'm sure many of you are in agreement. We are closing in on being in school for a whole month. I can't believe it!

At the beginning of the school year, I was contacted by a representative of Rock It! Transform Classroom Learning with Movement, Songs, and Stories, an ebook written by Steve Reifman. I was asked to take a look, try an activity or two, and write a review. As I've said previously, I'm always interested in reviewing things made by teachers! [Steve is a teacher in California.] I also love interactive activities that draw my students in, especially my special education students.

Here is the description from the representative. "This groundbreaking book shows teachers how to incorporate movement, songs, and stories as part of their instructional methods every day. Math and English language arts activities are aligned with Common Core Standards to help teachers meet those requirements using techniques that are lots of fun."

The ebook is 193 pages long, and it included activities for students K-5. As the description above states, the activities are Common Core aligned, so you can easily search the electronic document according to the standard that you are currently working on. There are chapters devoted to math, ELA, and Science/SS. 

There are also chapters with chants, songs, and movement breaks. I teach writing, math, and science, so those were the sections that I focused on. For writing, there are some movements for grammar that will be useful. I was pleasantly surprised that there were a lot of activities for place value in the math section. Place value instruction can be really dry! I am planning on sharing these activities with the paraprofessional who teachers place value during RTI! There are a few science activities, but none that align with the FOSS kits that I teach in third grade. I did see some social studies activities that my partner could use.

A couple chants that I will definitely use this year are the "Rounding Chant" and the "Three Kinds of Angles Chant." I love things that get stuck in the students' heads that offer guidance on a new or tricky concept!

This book would be great for new teachers to use to supplement an existing curriculum. It would also be great for any teacher who is looking to add more movement and song to their classroom climate! The activity pages are super easy to understand, and many do not require very much set up, so they would be great to leave for a substitute!

If you are interested in purchasing or wanting to know more, visit the book's website here, or you can find it on Amazon, Barnes and, and TPT.

Please note that I was sent a free copy of the text in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Free Career Research Resource!

Did you download my Researching Careers Writing Project?

Or, do you do some kind of career project with your students?

Or, are you a school counselor who teaches lessons about career choices?

If so, you need to visit Educents, like NOW!

There is a free resource that would really enhance the project! Not sure how long it will be offered, so run over now!

It is a set of 11 e-books all about different careers. The books look to be written at an upper elementary grade level. They are offered through The Old Schoolhouse and are regularly priced at almost $100 dollars. The careers included are a chef, doctor, farmer, firefighter, police office, military, pilot, veterinarian, video game designer, artist, and a missionary. There are also activities included with the books!

Because this looks to be a religious publication, I will need to blank out some of the religious speak throughout some of the interviews, but the rest is a perfect fit for my project!


Because this resource fits SO well with my product, I'll be marking down my research project product to $4! I'll be setting it back to regular price Friday after school. Click above to check it out. Even if you don't grab my product, these free career ebooks are definitely a steal!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Room Recess

I wanted to share a great resource with you all!

Let me start off by saying, I love reviewing products and resources that are made by fellow teachers. A while back, I reviewed THE pencil sharpener. Now, I'm reviewing a website developed by a fellow third grade teacher, Brian King, and it also did not disappoint!

The website is called Room Recess, and it is full of free flash games for students to play. Most of the games are intended to be projected onto a Smartboard, which is perfect for my Smartboard math center. The site features both reading and math games for students K-5, and you can browse for games by grade or subject.

One game in particular that my class [and I!] enjoyed was Flash Card Race. The idea isn't anything new, but the features make it special. I will express my thoughts in pictures. =)

How you know he's a teacher: (1) I am all about teaching a game structure and being able to swap the content easily. With so many choices, you can use this game early in the year for addition/subtraction, middle of the year for multiplication/division, and the end of the year to review all operations. (2) The time delay in between is probably my favorite feature. You can set it so students have time to get out of the way for the next person on the team to go. This cuts down on pushing, friends! (3) If two students are playing, they can type their names. If there are two teams, they can come up with a team name. This can hook even the most reluctant mathematicians.  (4) Okay, maybe this is my favorite feature! You can choose how long the game will go on by setting the winning score. So if you only have a few minutes, set it so the first team to answer 5 correct wins. Have a bit longer? First person to 15! 

This is what the actual game looks like:

I love that games aren't just for inside recess anymore. You can find games that align to your curriculum and/or standards, and they really boost student engagement. I urge you to browse the rest of the games!

Have you tried this website? What games did you enjoy?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TPT BTS! [so.many.acronyms]

Hey all! I don't know about you, but I've been waiting to hear about the TPT back to school sale. There are definitely a few items that have been sitting on my wish list this summer, so this will be a great time to scoop them up!

I thought this linky looked fun! Here are my two most wishlisted [is that a word? blogger doesn't think so.] items!

My area/perimeter cards are my most popular set of task cards! They are common core aligned & geared toward third grade, but there are definitely some challenging questions. They could be used in 4th or 5th grade as review, as well!

My Reading Response card set fosters discussion among a small or whole group of students after they are finished reading a text. A set of fiction and a set of nonfiction cards are included in the set, and there is a recording sheet included in case you'd like the students to write their responses as well. These can be used with high functioning firsties and all the way up through elementary school!

Um, yeah. I can't pick just one! Here are my top four items on my wish list!

*NOTE: Please do not pin the items below from my blog. Click the picture, follow the link, and pin the product! =) *

1. Snapshots of our Year Timeline: That's So Second Grade! 

2. Math Action Cards: The Lesson Plan Diva

3. Standards Based Assessments: Miss Nannini

4. Desire to Inspire Subway Art: Hope King

Are my area/perimeter task cards or reading response cards on YOUR wish list? If they are [or if you were about to put them there! ;) ], leave a comment with which item you'd like. I'll randomly choose one winner in 24 hours [10pm, Friday, EST] to receive the item for free! =)