Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nonfiction Features in Text

For those of you teaching your kids about nonfiction reading and writing, here's a free mini book that can help the students remember some of the basic features of nonfiction writing.  The mini book has cut and paste examples and facts for each of the 4 basic nonfiction features: Table of Contents, Pictures and Captions, Glossary, and Index. 

I walked my 1st grade students through the different features using a Science text book first.  Then we worked together to sort through the facts and examples to cut and glue onto our pages. When all done, I took a grade on the mini book and sent them home for the students as a reference for nonfiction text features. 

(For some reason I wasn't able to upload this to TPT, but here are the links to Google "Drive" and Teachers Notebook.)

Or click here to get it from Google Drive. 

Hope you like it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And the winner is . . .

Lori Rosenburg!

Congrats Lori!  I will be emailing you with the details, so start thinking about which of those pens you'd like me to send you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Teacher Addictions

The 1st step to overcoming an addiction is admitting you have a problem, right?  So I confess . . . I am addicted to office supplies.  Pens in particular.  If I calculated the odds based on my teacher friends, I'm pretty sure you have an inclination towards them too.  In fact you probably have an inclination to a specific kind of writing utensil.  Flairs?  Sharpies perhaps?

I consider myself an equal opportunist when it comes to writing utensils, switching from one brand or style to another depending on my mood and the quality of my handwriting on a particular day.  (Am I the only one who has good handwriting and bad handwriting days?)

As a writing utensil junkie, you can imagine my joy when I found this in my mailbox:

(Please excuse the photos.  I can't seem to get them to upload right side up!!!)

Zebra sent a really sweet pen portfolio filled with a sampling of their pens and mechanical pencils.  Totally. Made. My. Day!  (It also made some of my coworkers a little envious!)  The portfolio had 8 different kinds of pens, 2 mechanical pencils, and 1 highlighter. 

I have to admit that the sampling made me a little nostalgic.  The Zebra 301 retractable professional pen series totally took me back to my grade school days because believe it or not, I used to use these all the time!  I had them in blue and purple and remember feeling so grown and mature with these "fancy" pens.  Now when I visit my parents I always see an economy pack of these in my dad's desk.  While they're not exactly my style these days, I did notice that they now come in the smooth-flowing gel options too.  These pens are still favorites of my sister and my dad; they are a nurse and a doctor (respectively) and need really fine point pens to write in charts. 

I'm partial towards a fatter tipped ball point pen now, so I really enjoyed the Z-Grips.  They've got a fatter build and a nice rubberized grip, too.  The ZMulsion, however, was a nice surprise.  I tend to lean towards ball points because of the "smear factor" of gel pens, but gel pens tend to write so much more smoothly.  The ZMulsion is great because although it's a ball point pen it glides over the paper as smoothly as many gel pens do!  (If you want to try one of these for free, Shoplet is having a free giveaway with a chance to win a gift card!  Click here for more details.)

Another item that took me back to my childhood was the Z-HL highlighter.  This wasn't the one I used when I was in school, but the smooth highlighting reminded me of the old school Zazzles.  It's crazy how everyone wanted to borrow a highlighter as soon as I pulled out that rainbow pack of liquid highlighters.  You know, when I see my kids get into mini arguments and spats over their "special pencils" or pens, part of me totally gets it. 

No matter how old I get, I don't think I'm ever going to outgrow the little pleasures and excitement that bubbles up when I get my hands on cute office supplies!  (BTW - the cutesy Cadoozles mechanical pencil that looks like a novelty lead pencil is totally adorable. . . and not just to my students!)

While Zebra pens and pencils aren't always the cheapest option on one of my favorite aisles at the store, you'll always know they give you quality.

*Confess your love/addiction to office supplies in a comment below and you could win your choice of Zebra pen/pencil.  I'll randomly choose a winner on Saturday, September 22 and send it to you in the mail!
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