Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who likes freebies?!?!

If you like freebies, you absolutely positively CANNOT miss out on this huge event!  Classroom Freebies has hit ONE MILLION views!  If you have not checked it out yet, you're going to want to bookmark this page.  (Seriously.) 

As part of our celebration we are posting tons of freebies we will be posting nonstop freebies for the next 24 hours.  There are more than 60 freebies scheduled to be posted!  See Charity Preston's (creator of Classroom Freebies) note regarding the celebration.  You can catch one of my freebies on there too!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Franken-sentences


Frankenstein
(verb) : To cobble something together in an inventive manner.

I think I overuse this word (if possible).

For example:
We recently moved this past summer.  Before our current, oh-so-spacious home we used to live in a great little townhouse.  That was the problem, thought.  It was little.  In efforts to save space my husband took one of my half bookshelves and a half cabinet, stacked them on top of each other, and then fastened them together in the back.

Frankensteining.

That's what I call my "Franken-cabinet" or "Franken-shelf".

That being said, perhaps you will now understand my newest center! I call it . . .

"Franken-Sentences!"

This is a fun way to get your kids to pay attention to reading for meaning.  Students must rearrange and piece together these broken sentences to create a working sentence.  Each sentence must make sense.

This package includes 10 sets of sentences, recording sheet, and answer key.  The 1st 5 sets show capitalization and punctuation that can be used as clues when piecing the sentences together. The last 5 sets do not have punctuation or capitalization and will be more challenging.

Click on the preview to get it from TPT.

Or click here to get it from Teachers Notebook!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heads up! It's a SALE!

Monday is such a huge day.  Not just because it's a holiday and we don't have school, but because I hold Martin Luther King Jr. in the highest regard.  He truly is one of my all time heroes.  That's why I'm celebrating his birthday on Monday with a sale!

Everything in both my TPT and Teachers Notebook stores will be 20% off!

Don't forget to stop by and pick something up.  I'm working on another product which I'm really excited about, so hopefully I'll be able to post it in time for the sale.  Keep an eye out!



1st - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Belated Thank You . . .

It's been a week and I have yet to thank Lory R.

from Fun for First for

the Liebster Award! 

Also, a huge gracious thank you to LeAnne from


and Laura from



tattling to the teacher

Tattling to the Teacher
for the


Versatile Blogger award!

It's seriously such an honor and encouragement to receive your nominations.

It's been a busy week so I'll have to come back later this weekend to fulfill the requirements of the awards and pass on the torch, but I'll finish it soon!

Seriously . . . THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do they know what they're worth?

What I'm about to share was birthed out of a very sad wake up call.

I had a student who came to school with lice.  Not a huge deal, right?  It happens from time to time and we all start to feel like our own heads are itching.  We get paranoid and check our hair and ask a friend to take a peek just to make sure.  The thing is, this happened to one of my students who comes from a very challenging background.  Your heart goes out to the kid because no one (especially that young) should have to deal with such trying circumstances.  On the day she returned to school (lice-free) I was dropping my kids off at P.E. and happened to notice what beautiful shiny hair she had.  I had never noticed before.  Why?  Because she had never come to school with it brushed, and to be honest I'm not sure how often it was washed.  Then I remembered that when I checked her hair that morning, her hair smelled really good.  It took lice for her to receive the care and grooming she should have been getting all along.

Combine this story with a note I got from a very nice mother.  Her absolute sweetheart of a daughter had been teased about the way she looked.  The girl is such a cutie pie, but the teasing made her self-conscious and mom's encouragement and words of affirmation telling her that everyone is different and these differences make them special didn't seem to shake those mean words echoing in her head.

It breaks my heart.

Don't they know how precious they are?

Many of them come from loving homes that fill them with encouragement.  Some are neglected.  So how are they to overcome their circumstances and become who they were created to be?  How can they reach their potential if they don't know all they are and all they could be?

That's when I decided that maybe we could start small in our classroom.  Just one small message at a time. 

I decided to post a dry erase sentence strip on the wall with one short sentence.


I determined that every now and then I would randomly change the adjective to remind the students of who they are: special, unique, loved, smart, cherished, etc.  We'd incorporate it into Language Arts with parts of speech and vocabulary!  It was just a short sentiment to insert into our day. 

Then I thought I would add something to it.  It's one thing for me to tell them that, but for them to internalize these words I wanted them to apply it to themselves.  That's why I added the box.


Just like our "Classbook" status updates in the hallway, I made this into an option for students who have finished all their work.  I set a stack of note cards next to the box so that students could write reflections about that sentence.  They could write down why it is true about them.  The cards could be anonymous (insert short vocabulary lesson) or they could put their names, claiming it as their own. 

When I explained to the kids that sometimes it's really easy to be hard on ourselves and think bad stuff about ourselves like we're not smart or we're not good at something I was surprised by how many kids raised their hands saying they could relate.  I told them that's why I would be writing them these sentences from time to time . . . to remind them about the wonderful things about themselves.  You should have seen their faces light up.  After 1 day look at some of the responses I found in the box.
"I am a good singer.  I am a good scientist."

"I am special because I was named after a flower and a lily pad and my middle name was named after a famous painter."

"My teacher loves me so does my family and friends."

"I am special because I use lower case letters."  (This student had difficulty applying lower case letters - he always used all caps.)
I know this is just a simple activity, but I really pray that it does make a difference for someone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More Penguins . . . More Write Around the Room!

It seems that your students are a lot like mine . . . they like to get up and move!  I've heard back from quite a few of you with positive comments regarding my Write Around the room activities.  It's really just a great way to get them out of their seats in a productive way.  I would have posted this one sooner except my husband's ancient laptop has gone in for (what we hope is) repairs.  That means sharing the one computer, but he has messages to prepare on the weekends for the middle schoolers at our church.  But hey!  It's finally done and I hope you and your kids enjoy it!

As we study synonyms our little penguin friends are going to keep us on our toes in search of matching pairs.  Each student will have the list of words without a synonym pair.  The goal is to find all the penguins running (posted) around the room and match the penguin's word to one of the synonyms on the word list.  Simple directions, but they still have to do some thinking!

Here it is . . . enjoy!

Click here to get it from Teachers Notebook.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Synonym" Toast Crunch!

Oooh!  It's been a minute since I've posted a new product!  Sorry!

Here's a freebie for you.  We're about to start synonyms so here's a fun game I made a couple of years ago.  Really . . . if you put anything into a game format, the kids go crazy over it!

This game is called "Synonym Toast Crunch".  It's played similar to war.  Each player get's an equal share of "toast" cards face down.  They will also have a stack of "Crunch!" cards next to them ready to use.  On the count of 3 they throw it down between them.  If the two cards make a synonym pair, the 1st student to slap a "Crunch! card on top of the words and yell out "Crunch!" gets to keep the pair. After the 1st round of cards, students will reshuffle the unpaired cards and redistribute them to continue the game.  This continues until all words have been paired up.  The student with the most pairs of synonyms at the end wins!  You may now crown the winner . . . "Captain Crunch!"  HAHA!
(I know . . . I've been labeled corny and cheesy way too much to deny it.)

Hope you enjoy!




(Or click here to get it from Teacher's Notebook.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Journal Prompts in the Newsletter!

Do you get the Teachers Pay Teachers newsletter? If you're not already signed up I think you should consider it! Each week they feature great products for sale AND great FREE downloads!

If you check out this week's newsletter, look out for my Year's Worth of Math Journal Prompts! (Yea! We made it in the newsletter again!)

Click here to go to this week's newsletter.
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