June 30, 2012

12 HOUR SALE!!!!!

Everything in my TPT store and my Teacher's Notebook store are 20% off until midnight tonight!
Don't miss the savings! :)

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 27, 2012

I made a blog button... and a freebie!

Oh YAY!  Just made me blog button... after a few online tutorials I got it done.  I call it productive.  Some may call it procrastination because I have to finish my reflection for my writing class that ends Friday.  Ok maybe I was procrastinating.  It'll get done. However, I'm watching the Olympic Swimming Trials right now so I'm a bit distracted.  :)

I have loved this writing class.  SO many great ideas are flooding my brain to use with my 4th graders this year.  Yep, still can't believe I'll be teaching 4th grade next year!  I'm currently working on an entire writing curriculum for the upcoming school year.  I'll post it when I'm finished but until then check out some more back to school packets that I'm posting to my TPT store and to my Teacher's Notebook store.  I am having zebra ALL over my new room this year so I thought a jungle themed beginning of the year packet would be great to do!  You can grab it HERE or HERE!

And here are the matching letters FOR FREE!
And then I decided... how about a detective one?
You can get that HERE or HERE!

And then I've REALLY been thinking about what I want my classroom management to look like.  I want opportunities for kids to feel rewarded when they are doing what they are supposed to.  I decided that I wanted to create a color-coded system.  My favorite part is that if you have an OUTSTANDING day... you make it into our Hall of Fame!

Check this out HERE or HERE!

What are you doing for your classroom management system?

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 18, 2012

Daily 5, Smarty Pants, and Freebie!

Before I blog on the 2nd chapter of the Daily Five for the book study (chapter 1 is HERE) on Wednesday, I thought I would address questions I received about my file folder system to organize student work.  After trial and error, I decided that this was the best organizational tool for ME!  I started the beginning of D5 with trays where students turned in their work. By Friday, there was a huge stack of papers and I had to sort them and it was just CRAZY!  So I got a crate for around $4... one like this...
 and filled it with hanging file folders.  Each file folder had a number on it (my student's numbers for their papers).  ANY work that was completed for the D5 was to be turned in to that student's hanging file folder.  That way, I could grab it on Friday, staple it with the checklist, slap a grade on it, and I was done!  As far as grades, I just did completion for the 6 items that had to be turned in.

I made posters for my classroom to display what was mandatory to be turned in by Friday.  If it's mandatory, I put a star beside it.

Read to Self-
Read Classroom Library Books, Library Books
Book Browsing
AR Tests
*Scholastic News
*IDR Tasks (any independent reading tasks for their notebooks that I give them for the week)

Read to Someone

Listen to Reading

Word Work-
*Fun Spell
*Word Wall Words  - I use the form HERE.

Your Choice

I have a simple checklist that I use and check when each of these is turned in!

I've created another "Beginning the Year Pack" but this one is using the adorable clip art "Smarty Pants" from Scrappin' Doodles!  Check it out HERE or HERE!

And grab your freebie to match it HERE or HERE!

Well I am going to work on some writing pieces for my writing class!

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 17, 2012


Go HERE (TPT) or HERE (Teacher's Notebook) and grab your freebie.  It's a letter set that can be used a variety of ways in the classroom! They can be used on a Word Wall, up on a bulletin board, decorating a wall, and even word work activities!  It just so happens to match my "Beginning of the Year" item that I posted yesterday! 

And Happy Father's Day to my mom... she had to act as my father and my mother!  She's an amazing single mom that truely puts others before herself.

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 16, 2012

Still in school mode, folks!

I've spent all week in a Writing class and it has two more weeks to go.  I'm not QUITE out of school mode yet and I'm already getting things ready for my new 4th grade classroom.  I've definitely got some things in the works.  Here's something that I finally finished tonight.  You can get it HERE or HERE!  It's for a western theme.  What types of themes would you like to see?

I'm also posting a freebie in the next few days to coordinate with this set! :)

June 13, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study

I LOVE using the Daily 5 (D5) in my classroom.  I linked up with Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations for her Daily 5 Book Study.  Read my answers and then go check it out for youself!!!! :)

1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block?
I used to use literacy centers in my classroom because that is what my entire grade level was doing.  I spent a LOT of time creating items, setting up for the next week, etc.  It was becoming more time consuming that it should have.  When I started to implement the D5 in my classroom, my literacy block of the day became a lot more engaging.  My students undoubtedly became more independent as they were held accountable for their own rotations and making sure that they got everything in.

2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers? 
My students have become quite comfortable in finding a book to read to self and then to someone.  Just having that time to sit down and make that choice has developed quite a love for reading in my classroom.  The writing in my classroom has increased exponentially!  I was always giving them a prompt but I began letting them choose what they wanted to write.  We went from writing what pet we wanted to …a student write about a town who lost its sunset and what they did to get it back.  LOVE IT!

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
I’m pretty much the only one in my school that’s doing the D5 but it has been such a great experience trying out what I like best and what works best for me and my students.  I made posters for my walls as to what my students could do and what they must do.  They turned everything in to a file folder with their number on it.  I had a checklist that I could attach to all of the work and send it home the following week.

Next week is Chapter 2. Questions to think about while reading Chapter 2: 

1 .What goals do you have for your classroom as you work to implement the principles and foundations  of the Daily 5 discussed in chapter 2? What support do you need to do this?

2. What stands out as the most significant aspects of this chapter? 

3. How do the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure (trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina), align with your beliefs that support your teaching strategies and the decisions that you make about student learning?  

June 5, 2012

Reading Comprehension Bookmarks

This year, my Professional Growth Plan was on parent/teacher communication.  I worked and worked and researched and researched and researched some more on ways to make parent/teacher communication more efficient and just plain better!  I added weekly reading tips to my newsletter each Monday.  I sent home daily behavior reports and homework charts.  Another thing I decided to send home was Reading Comprehension Bookmarks to help parents ask their children questions as they read their homework reading for the night.  I used those bookmarks during independent reading and partner reading as a way to know what to ask.  Check it out HERE or HERE!  And better yet, it's only $1 :) 

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 4, 2012

Disaster Zone and June Currently

Oh dear.  There is nothing in my 2nd grade classroom.  It's absolutely  the cleanest it's been in two years.  One of my 2nd grade teammates refuses to even go near my door because she doesn't want to even peek in to see the nothingness that is in Room 410.  However, at the other end of the school is a completely different story! Boxes and bins and posters and bulletin board trim and everything else that I've collected during my 2nd grade stay is shoved on shelves and cubbies and in cabinets and drawers until the custodial staff does the floors and I can come  in and get some rearranging done.  My OCD isn't appreciating this but  it gives me a little bit more time to figure out where I want everything!

Well Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade has posted the June Currently!  June?  Is it seriously June already?  Here's mine...

Make sure you go over to her blog and link up too! :)

Smiles and Snapshots,

June 1, 2012

4th grade here I come!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm moving to 4th grade.  I have spent the past week moving apartments AND classrooms... still at the same school just at the other end.  Needless to say, it's been exhausting but summer is just around the  corner.  I'm going from polka dots to zebra and oh boy am I excited!  So I'll be spending my summer studying 4th grade curriculum and getting my act together. :)  Today was move-up day... a day that I get to spend 30 minutes with my new kiddos for next year!  It is spectacular and exciting and I can't wait to see what this new journey holds.