Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mentor Texts

Hey friends!

Kelli & I are happy to report that we successfully made it through another week!  I know I'm definitely excited for a long weekend!  

This week Kelli and I began the preparations for our presentation at the Keystone State Reading Association's fall conference.  Originally we were worried about having enough to say to fill our time, but once we started preparing, we realized we have SO much to say that 2 hours really isn't enough!  One of the things we talked about was our LOVE of Mentor Texts during our Writing mini-lessons.  We both have a lot of favorites, so in the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing those with you.  I decided to start with my absolute favorite picture book, If Roast Beef Could Fly by Jay Leno.  I LOVE this book and so do my students.  The best part is, the back of the book includes a CD where Jay Leno himself reads the story.  The kids really enjoy having the book read by him since he uses funny voices and a lot of expression as he reads.  I use this book every year to introduce the students to the format of a narrative.  We talk about how Jay hooks the reader and develops his characters, how he describes the setting through his vivid details, and how the plot unfolds naturally.  We take the time to list out the sequenced summary of the story on a Free Plot Diagram Printable from Scholastic so we can see the different parts of the plot, and where they all fall on this graphic organizer.  Students then have the visual of how a story is written, and take time to write their own.  

Do you have a favorite Mentor Text that you always use in your classroom?  What is it and how do you use it?  We'd love to hear about it!  

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!  


Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Week of School

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

I wanted to check in now that we have officially made it through our first week of school with our new 4th graders.  My plan was to tell you all about my newly acquired LOVE for Whole Brain Teaching after spending my week introducing students to many of the techniques with Kelli, but she has beaten me to it!!  I feel completely transformed as a teacher using these strategies in the classroom, and the best part is how much our students LOVE them! My heart smiled hearing from so many of our new students that "Fourth Grade is the best!" or "I wish I didn't have to go home for the weekend!"  I can't wait to get back into my classroom with those kiddos on Monday!  

Another awesome classroom management technique that Kelli has brought into my life is Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a free website where you can track your students' behavior and time on task throughout the day.  It's such an amazing tool for teachers!!  Class Dojo is easy to customize so you can improve behaviors specific to your classroom and grade level.  The students receive instant feedback, and they love the adorable monster avatars.  The best part?  Parents receive weekly reports about their child's behavior once they sign up with an email address!  Student engagement, parental communication, and documentation of behaviors...Class Dojo is the best!  Check it out and comment below to let us know what you think!

Have a great weekend! 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

7 Habits of Happy Kids & Whole Brain Teaching

If you ever visit my classroom, you'll immediately discover that I LOVE Whole Brain Teaching.  It has revolutionized my whole-group instruction and classroom management!  I have also recently become fond of Sean Covey's 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  If you've never heard of either of these, I highly recommend checking them out.  Now that I know about them and use them in my classroom DAILY, I don't know what I would do without them!  Thank you, Chris Biffle and Sean Covey!

Click and begin your exploration HERE:
Chris Biffle's Whole Brain Teaching Website - FREE Stuff!
My Pinterest Board for the 7 Habits of Happy Kids

The two worlds of WBT and the 7 Habits magically come together in this video.  Awesome!
7 Habits WBT-Style Video


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Celebrating 50 Followers in 1 Month!

In case you haven't already noticed, I have been spending way too much time on Teachers Pay Teachers this summer.  Becoming a seller has been a fun new adventure!  I'm excited to announce that I have gained 50 followers in my first month of business!  To celebrate, I would like to invite you to do 2 things:

#1 - Visit Learning in Wonderland here for a chance at a $25 TpT gift card and other FREE goodies.
#2 - Write a comment below including your name and email address.  I will randomly select one person to choose any product from my TpT store store for FREE!

Hope you're enjoying the new school year!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's that time of year again!  TeachersPayTeachers is hosting its' Back to School Sale!  The sale runs today and tomorrow ONLY!  Don't forget to enter the promo code: BTS13 to get an additional 10% OFF at the checkout!  Click here to start shopping!

My ENTIRE store is also 20% OFF until tomorrow!  Click here to check it out!

Have Fun!

To add to Kelli's post, my ENTIRE store is 15% off until tomorrow as well!  :) Click here to find some new Math, Writing, and Science items!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Win a $25 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Certificate

ANOTHER great giveaway!  Can you believe it?!  The more time I spend collaborating with the TpT crowd, the more impressed I am!  There are so many wonderful teachers out there blogging and sharing their amazing resources.  I've been trying to connect with as many giveaways as possible to share the love!

This giveaway is HUGE.  There are SEVERAL prize packages that you can enter to win.  One of my products is featured in Prize Pack #5 for Grades 3-5 teachers.  Also, don't miss out on the raffle for the $25 TpT gift certificate.  I'm entering in that one for sure!!!

Click HERE to enter all the great giveaways!

Good luck!
:) Kelli

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Good afternoon, everyone!   I've wanted to post on here for a while, but am finally figuring out how to do it!  I'm so excited that we are going to be able to share teaching ideas, stories, and materials with you through this blog.  

This week, Kelli and I have been extremely busy setting up our classrooms in our new school.  After a lot of hard work, they are starting to take shape!  August is the most exciting, and most stressful, time of the year for me.  Of course I can't wait to meet my new students, but I am always very anxious about those first few days of school, setting routines and learning names.  Does anyone else feel that way?   

Kelli and I are working together to find fun, interactive activities for the first week of school as we get to know our 46 fourth graders.  Since I'll be teaching Math this year, I plan on completing "Math About Me" with my students on the second day of school to show them how important numbers are in their lives.  What are some of your favorite activities for the first week of school?  How do you get to know your students?  We'd love to hear from you!  

Have a great Saturday! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Another Great Back to School Linky Party

Join me in finding some more fabulous Back to School resources!  Why spend so much of your valuable time creating more resources when there is already so much great stuff out there created by hard working teachers like yourself!  Grab it up!  There are lots of items for FREE!

CLICK HERE to find your some great treasures to add to your Back to School stash!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Enter to Win a Giveaway Valued at Over $100

What could be better than FREE Back to School resources??!! Get lots of fabulous resources from high quality TpT sellers with the click of a button. One of my products is featured in this giveaway!  :) So... get clicking on over to Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom blog to enter. Hurry! The giveaway closes FRIDAY (8.9.13).
Good luck!  I hope you win!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Baby Step #3 - Linky Party!

So... two days ago I didn't know what a linky party was!  I truly feel like a foreigner trying to learn how to live in a new culture as I venture into the world of blogging.  :)  As soon as I {sorta} figured out the whole "linky" thing, I decided to go looking for one to join... and... ta-da!  Here it is.  It's a Back to School linky party hosted by Christine Preslar from Preslar's Place.  Woohoo!  Thank you, Christine!  All you have to do is click on the button to grab some great Back to School FREEBIES and other goodies.
Click HERE to visit the party!
I'm featuring my FREE Common Core Fiction Reading Response set.  It's product #52.  :)
Click HERE to get my freebie!
Find some great new resources and party it up!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Common Core Opinion Writing Graphic Organizers for K-6

Woohoo!  I am super excited because I JUST finished my latest project - a set of Opinion Writing Graphic Organizers for grades K-6.  Click here for a description of this resource and be sure to DOWNLOAD the PREVIEW!

To celebrate, I'm throwing a 20% OFF SALE in my TpT Store, Wise Words, until Sunday, August 4th!

Happy Teaching!