Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Summer! How about a GiVeAwAY?!

Oh my gosh...what a whirwind end of the year! End of the year is exhausting, isn't it?! We ended school on a Friday, & Summer School started the next Monday. Phew! Can you say TIRED?! I did a 2 week summer school stint then a week of work at the SDE Conference (which was also tons of fun!)...I feel like SUMMER HAS JUST BEGUN!!

And what better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than with a giveaway?! I've got some prizes that will help you enjoy your summer just a little bit more.....

Check out my wine sippy cup. LOVE it! Can't you just imagine sitting outside enjoying the view & relaxing? Yup! Kady over at The Printed Poppy makes all kinds of sippy'll definitely
want to take a look around her store. She graciously offered this adorable (& clever) "I teach therefore I wine" sippy for one of YOU!

I ran across a gal who makes the neatest skirts! She actually makes these uber-adorable skirts from up-cycled Ts! So fun & comfy to wear in the summer. I get loads of compliments on mine! You know what's really cool? You can gather some of your T-shirts, send them to her, & she'll make a custom skirt from them for you! How cool would it be to have a skirt made from all of your concert shirts...or your running shirts...or your kiddos' sports team shirts? I know...right? The one pictured to the right is mine....the one in the pic below is the one the winner will get. Super cute...right?! I'm so excited to be able to giveaway one of these neat skirts on the blog.

Rafflecopter will be choosing TWO winners next Monday - one for the wine sippy and one for the upcycled skirt! Just click the entry options in the rafflecopter below & cross your fingers!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Writing Thief

What have you been reading this summer?

Well, I've been reading The Writing Thief by Ruth Culham.

I definitely could have used this book last year when I was writing the 5th grade writing plan.

Our school was looking to improve our scores on the 5th Grade Georgia Writing Test, so as literacy coach, I wrote the plan. It included daily journal writing, weekly mentor sentences, power writing, paragraph building, practice writing tests, and writing lessons based on the scored domains using mentor texts.

Ruth asks for and embraces change in what we are doing in the classroom to promote writing. We have clear definite scope and sequences for reading, math, science, and social studies but seem to be lacking the same clarity in teaching writing. I find this to be true where I am. A simple thing to note is that when I am in a first grade class, I am teaching capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, and I am doing the same thing in 5th grade classes also.  I am only doing it in 5th because my observations of student writing indicate that they need it. Where is the breakdown? Are we expecting the same mastery of skills in student writing as in reading and math? Something to ponder.

Ruth goes on to discuss some of the dumb things we are doing and how we can turn them around, the relationship of reading and writing, and the importance of excellent teachers teaching the 4Ws of writing.

And that's just the first chapter! Stop by ...

on Monday for more on the 4Ws and using mentor texts to teach writing! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Lovin' and a Freebie

With summer among us, I'm sure many of us have done many (well, maybe some) things on your Summer Bucket List, and.....
I am sure many of you are preparing (maybe even planning) for your return to home away from home (school). Yes, I am guilty too. However, I mainly have been loving my summer break-Sunshine (until 8:30/8:45 p.m.), relaxed schedule, lots of family time, pool, beach, farmers' market, berry and veggie picking, fun with friends, visiting family, vacation, kids sleeping in (well at least 2--but for the past week all 3 and, I've been getting up later too.), meeting hubby for lunch dates, catching up on house projects, tutoring, at home learning with my kids, library, movies, and the list goes on......

Then, reality sets in or my teammate says, "Let's talk business." (Meaning-Let's talk about Meet the Teacher, binders, supplies, procedures, behavior management, and the list goes on.....). So I get to thinking, reflecting, and dreaming. Then, I sit down to create new games, activities, and practice or edit things that I created.  I teach Math, Science, and Social Studies. Last year, I used the UPS check problem solving method. This is a previous post.
Here is my newest set of posters. This will be a limited time freebie. Then, I will place it in my store. I ask you leave a comment and become a follower to my blog. (I am in process of figuring out how to add the Facebook button again. I had it, but all was lost when my total blog was wiped. See previous AHHH! post

What is on your Summer Bucket List? What have you completed?
What are you preparing and planning for school? Be sure to grab your freebie and leave a comment

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

QR Code Breaking & A Freebie

Today’s post is brought to you by the letters Q and R.

It’s me again, Matt, that same guy that created plaid.  Today I wanted to share one of my favorite tools, QR Codes.  

“I’m pretty familiar with them,” you think rolling your eyes at me and noticing a quick response code on your McDonald's cup while perusing through the latest issue of Highlights and Ranger Rick.  

And I totally get that—but I figured I’d show you how I use them in my class and around school.  There’s a lot of different ways QR codes can be integrated into daily learning and I thought I’d share some of those.  Plus, I’ve got a brand new freebie for you to grab hold of and try with students, yourself, your kids, or your dog (if it has the brain capacity to do so).

Did you know: Creating QR Codes is free and simple.
These are three sites that I always use.
Did you know:  QR Codes can be linked to multiple outlets 
  • Text (which you can write yourself), 
  • URLs (which can be videos, images, websites, and more).
  • Email address
  • Locations
  • Calendars
  • WiFi networks
  • Messaging
One of the cooler elements of QR Coding is teaching my students how to become a QR Code Breaker.  Basically, I'm teaching the kids how they work and how they'll use them in the classroom.  It's easy and fast and they pick it up faster than teachers.  In my class we use QR Codes to read books.  

You gotta remember, a lot of my students are struggling readers and independent reading time isn't always fun because they can't read.  Well, I've changed that because I'll find books that are read aloud on the web and turn it into a QR code for them.  Suddenly these kids are reading and enjoying all the books that were originally too difficult (and now we're fostering a greater interest in reading and making kids excited).  Engagement is always the key.

So I've got a little freebie for you today.  I'm sharing QR Code Breaker: Scan, Read, and Answer.  These are worksheets with built in QR Codes on each sheet that will take students directly to a book.  Students can then listen/read and answer the questions that correlate on each page.  I like to call this active reading.  There's multiple routes students can take to finish the work sheets, and even a couple of levels based on the rigor your looking for.

***These are for every kid.  Not just struggling readers***
This will work for all students and all reading levels.

Here's a glimpse of how each worksheet will be set up.

TL;DR Edition:  QR Codes are cool.  Here is a freebie for you to try out.

If you still want to see some more QR Code ideas in action 
stop over and visit me at Digital: Divide & Conquer.  


Monday, June 23, 2014

Checking for Understanding

Hi everyone!  Do you sometimes wish you had a way to quickly check your students' understanding of a new concept?  Maybe you don't want to do a paper/pencil assessment every time?  I created some free posters that you can use.  Just add some binder rings and clothespins with student names and you are good to go!  I like to check after the first lesson and again at the end of our unit to see how students' knowledge has changed.  Click the cover below to snag a set of posters for your room!  For more assessment ideas click here!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Signposts in Reading (Freebies!!!)

Hey y'all!  This summer I've been reading the book Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst (I'm sure you've heard of it or seen it floating around Pinterest).  All I have to say is it is INSPIRING!  At first it made me a little nervous because it looked a smidge "textbookish" to me but it got rave reviews so I thought I would join up with a book study and give it a chance.  At least with a book study if I didn't love it, they would still keep me on track to finish it and have good ideas to share, lol.  Well no worries apparently!  It is a fabulous read (very easy and smooth) and has some wonderful ideas to use in your classroom.  Here is a little four minute clip from the authors that explains their purpose for this book.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the signposts you use as you read.  After reading this section of the book I can already tell that these six signposts are going to change my entire reading block!  Not only do they make the reader stop and think but it also leads them to comprehend certain literary elements (even the hard ones like theme!) without even realizing it.  Click on my button below to head on over to my blog and read more in depth about the six signposts and snag a few freebies to help implement them into your classroom!  Here is just a little sneak peek ;o)

Happy Sunday Y'all!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Did You Really Do Your Best? (Student Reflections @ the End of a Lesson)

Picture this:  You're sitting at the kitchen table grading papers, late Sunday night (because let's face it, you put it off until the last minute so you could enjoy every ounce of your weekend!).  You come across "Johnny's" paper and realize - IT'S NOT DONE!  Grrr...  Did he seriously not check over his work!?  How could someone turn in a paper not finished!?    Then a few more papers later you get to "Julie's" paper and realize - she did NOT try her best.  She didn't use the anchor chart you provided nor did she take her time!  

These are situations that we've all been in as teachers.  What if there was a way to limit the amount of times this happened?  I would love to share with you what I've done that's helped my students really focus on doing their best work and reflecting on their work before turning it into me.  

I call it "The Reflection Station".  It has this name because I want the students to know that reflecting on his/her work is something we should do constantly and every time we turn in an assignment, no matter how big or small.  I try to refrain from calling it 'the paper trays' or other words/phrases like it.  This has seemed to help make the concept stick more.  

So what IS 'The Reflection Station'??  Here's what it looks like!

I have typed up short, reflection type questions and placed them on the bulletin board behind where the paper trays are located.  Therefore when they are turning in a paper - they see them each time.  The questions are simple to read and simple to answer as well.  They consist of:

*Did I do the best I could?
*Did I use the resources my teacher gave me?
*Did I read the directions carefully?
*Did I double check my work?
*Did I think back to how my teacher taught this to me?
*Did I take my time?

These are a great visual for the kids to remember to ask themselves these questions each time they go to turn in a paper.  At the beginning of the year, we took a LOT of time to discuss each question and what it means.  We also worked on what to do if we answer one of the questions with a 'negative' answer.  Having the board up for them to see is one thing, but really making it meaningful and modeling it for them lesson after lesson is what made it work.  

To help make the questions even more meaningful, I would randomly assign them a question at the end of the lesson that they had to physically answer on their paper before being allowed to turn in their paper.  This made the reflection more concrete and it would also help me see if they understood HOW to reflect.  Sometime I would allow them to choose a question on their own to answer on their paper.  I would gear it to:  "Pick a question that may be something you don't always do...  Do you ALWAYS take your time?  Do you ALWAYS use the resources I gave you?"  This made it a bit more meaningful for them too.  

You can also see that in the middle of the questions is a stoplight themed 'grade myself' system.  These are becoming very popular now and I'm happy to say I've been using one for a few years now and they really do work!  Here's how:

After the students have decided "Yes!  I'm ready to turn in my paper" they then continue their reflection by deciding how well they thought they did on the actual concept/topic itself.  Green = They've got it and they can move on or teach others.  Yellow = I'm getting there and might need a bit more instruction.  Red = I'm not there yet and I'm not confident on this topic.  

Students then place their paper in the coordinating tray that matches their confidence level.  At the end of the lesson and when all students have turned in their paper - I then collect them from the trays.  I use this data to have mini conferences with my students on why they feel the way they feel.  Especially for those students in the 'red' tray.  I've found a lot of time kids will put their papers in that tray but get a perfect or almost perfect on their grade.  It's so nice to have those conversations with the students about 'Why did you feel this way?  and Look!  You did great!"  What a confidence boost for them!!  I do the same for the yellow and green.  The harder conversations are the ones where the papers are in the green tray but yet they obviously didn't master the objective of the lesson.  But what a great conversation it ends up being - so meaningful!  

This is something I had in place all last year in my classroom.  It did take some redirecting and reminding as they year went on.  Students would sometimes get 'lazy' and not do the reflections as meaningful as I would want them to.  But just like all lessons that need a refresher - that's just what we did!

I hope you've enjoyed my little idea and I'd LOVE to hear how you have your students reflect on their learning.  I do lots of other reflection type activities too that differ depending on the lesson, but this is one that is in place no matter what the lesson is.  It's worked great for me and I hope you have found it interesting as well!  If you want to download the reflection questions - Just click HERE or the picture below!  They are yours for free!

Oh - and what better way to have the students reflect quickly on their learning than by using exit tickets!  Check out my newest TPT addition - Show What You Know - Grammar Exit Tickets!  Over 30 Grammar concepts and over 40 pages of exit tickets to make ending your lessons much easier!  

If you like what you see, make sure you're following me on Facebook for other great ideas, freebies, and contests!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tina's Teaching Treasures and a Treat for you!

Hello everyone!

My name is Tina and I am the voice behind Tina's Teaching Treasures! I'm so happy to meet everyone and share my journey in teaching (and life!) with you!

A little about me... I have been teaching for just about five years.  4 of those years I have spent in third grade. I love teaching primary students and third is a perfect combination of littleness and independence. My classroom is bright blue and green and filled with bunting, bows and bins!

I've been married for about 2 years to an amazing and supportive hubby!  His name is Devon, but he is lovingly referred to as "The Cowboy" by my friends since he is from a small town.  He works for Ford and also doubles as part-time laminating cutter and TPT product proofreader.

One of my favourite things to do in my class is guided instruction... guided reading, guided math- anything!!  I have created some items to assist with the implementation of guided math in my class, and I'd love to share it with all of my new friends! Click here to download my Geometry 3G Common Core Guided Math Trio bundle!  Also, for more information, check out my blog post on starting guided math for pictures, tips and more!

I'm looking forward to getting to know you all, please come visit me at Tina's Teaching Treasures!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hello, Hola, Bonjour, Hallo + Freebie!!!

Hello everyone!!! I am Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd!

I am soooooo excited to be a part of this Class*y Collaboration!!!! Not only are all of the educators on here "Class*y," they are also such kind, dedicated, and talented people! I've wanted to be a part of a collaborative blog for a long time so this is definitely a new and exciting journey for me! Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!

A little about me...

I just finished my 11th year of teaching. Phew! Time flies when you're working so hard having fun!! :) I taught 6th/7th grade Spanish my first year as well as coached volleyball and basketball. Shortly after as soon as humanly possible,  I transferred to my current position of 10 years in 2nd grade! I have LOVED 2nd grade! I've also coached basketball here and now I do the Girls on the Run group! Now...there is a big change occurring for me next year...I'm looping to 3rd grade! Tests, Tests, Tests!! I'm soooo nervous, excited, anxious, etc. to get started on this new journey. I am super pumped to start creating new materials!! :) It's always a positive in my book! However, I am not looking too forward to the standardized testing that will come with it. Any and all advice from all you amazing teachers who do the tests every year is welcome!!! I mean we test in 2nd, but the tests we do are not high stakes. They are for our own teaching. I am one of those people that thrive on change so I'm ready for the challenge!! I'm glad to have my kids for a 2nd year too! A lot less getting to know you in the beginning of the year.

Aside from teaching, I live in Indianapolis with my wonderful, lovable, puppy acting, almost 9 years old Sheltie/Border Collie named Gracie! I adopted her almost 8 years ago, and I really don't know what I'd do without her. She just got a fur cut the other day so here's a before/after photo. She looks like a different dog! :)
I love to run races more than train for them! hah I do enjoy running though! The past November, my sister and I ran the Disney World Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon! I rant the Disney Princess Race a few years before that. Disney is just awesome!!! This November it was even better because it was all decorated for Christmas already. 
I just finished my 9th half marathon a couple weeks ago so now I need to find a good place to run my 10th! :) 
So my summer is including relaxation, learning, working out, planning, relaxation, TPT CONFERENCE IN VEGAS (not that I'm excited or anything!) and some organizing... :) You know what I mean! 

Since I'm getting organized for next year, I thought you all might be able to use my newest labels I made for my drawers in my classroom!! Click on the picture or link below to download them for FREE (normally $2)!!! I hope they come in handy as you get organized for the coming school year! Click here to my blog post about how I use the labels to organize my materials!! 

Click here or on the picture below!! 
I can't wait to get to know you all as I join this awesome group of teacher bloggers and share ideas/moments/etc. together!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Nicole :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Six Syllable Types

One of the big goals for our third graders is to be able to read multi-syllabic words. One of the most helpful things we can teach them is to learn to recognize the six syllable types so that they can break apart multisyllabic words into decodable units.

If you need a refresher course in the six syllable types, start by visiting the Reading Rockets website by clicking {HERE}. Read their article on the six types of syllables for some background knowledge. Be sure you click on the link for syllable games, too.

For some ready-to-print syllable activities for your literacy stations, check out the information at the Florida Center for Reading Research by clicking {HERE}. If you visit only one website this summer as you are preparing for next year, this should be the site!

I've posted a quick freebie for reviewing closed syllables on my blog. Click on the pic below to get your copy!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Toolkits

This year I wanted to make a summer packet for my students that they couldn't ignore! It's not so much about what's inside for some of these kids, but how you present it.  If they are excited to open it and show their parents, I'm hoping they are motivated to dig in and actually do it. (If anything, I hope parents are guilted/pressured inspired to motive their kids to do it.)

We've been dabbling in close reading this year, so I wanted to incorporate that into their summer packs. 

They really love sticky notes and highlighters, so I had to include those two things! The magnifying glass was more of a prop that they really enjoyed. We'd read the first time to "get the gist", then pick up our magnifying glasses to show we were ready to read closely. Sometimes they'd put their magnifying glass around the words that gave text evidence to one of my questions too. Here is a picture of what I put in their packets:

I'd love to hear some other ideas for this summer toolkit. If you have some ideas, leave a comment for me. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Free Font For You!

First of all, Happy Father's Day to the dads out there and moms that are doing Dad's job. :)

It is a gorgeous day here with lots of celebrating, so this is going to be short and SWEET!
I made you all a free font- just click the picture to download!

Want more free fonts? Head to my FREEBIES FOR FANS tab on my Facebook page.

Also, I am having a HUGE GIVEAWAY involving Tiffany & Co. earrings, gift cards, and word work bundles! Click the pic to go enter this super easy giveaway- no extra info is needed in the rafflecopter.'

Have  a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hey Y'all! It's a New Face - and a Freebie!

Hello Class*y Peeps!

I'm so excited to be a part of this phenomenal group of bloggers! I'm pretty sure the ideas I've found here have saved my teaching tail at least twice  three times who knows. A LOT.  :)

I'm Abby from Third Grade Bookworm, and I live in Georgia with my sweet husband (Mr. Bookworm) and our 4 fur babies.

Mr. Bookworm and I on a hot date. He's a keeper. ;-)
We have a real LIVE baby on the way in September and I am spending a LOT of time this summer getting ready for his arrival.

I just finished my 12th year of teaching, and I'm coming out of the classroom to work as an EIP teacher (Early Intervention Program) at my current school. I'll go in to classrooms and pull small groups of kids that teachers have identified as "at risk" for falling behind in math or reading. It's going to be really different, but I'm super excited to give it a try!

To celebrate joining the crew here, I have a brand new common and proper noun freebie pack! It will be perfect for back-to-school and fall when we head back. (Gulp.)
Click Me!

I hope it's something you can use! See you soon!