Monday, June 27, 2016

A Few Little Giveaways to Get You Ready For Next Year

I know that for some teachers, talking about preparing for next year is blasphemy, while for others it is music to their ears.  Either way, I have gotten together with a few of my blogging besties to make sure that you are prepared!

We are each giving away one of our top-selling TpT items - the best part?  You can enter as many of these giveaways as you would like!  There will be 4 winners (one for each giveaway) in all.

I am giving away my number one selling - Kicking It Math program.  Although multiplication is the top seller, I will let you choose the version that you want if you win (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, or factors).  You can read more about it here if you would like.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nichole from The Craft of Teaching is giving away her number one best seller, Quadrilaterals 2D Shape Sort.

Quadrilaterals 2D Shape Sort with Shape Cards

There are several different ideas for how to use the shape cards, as well as the Common Core State Standards that the activities can align to for third, fourth and fifth grades. Graphic organizers are provided which can be enlarged to use with the cards or used as-is by using the numbers.

This product includes:
24 different quadrilateral cards for sorting (with numbers)
Graphic organizer for sorting by quadrilateral name
Blank graphic organizer for “open” sorting
Quadrilaterals Quiz with Answer Key
Blank Reference Sheet for students to complete and keep in folders or notebooks (with answer key)
Venn diagram for comparing and contrasting attributes
Triple Venn diagram for comparing and contrasting attributes
6 sorting mats for use in centers

Triangles: Shape Sort with Shape Cards

2D Shape Sort Bundle: Quadrilaterals and Triangles

Next up is Karen, from Planet Happy Smiles who is giving away one of her top sellers, her Book Clubs product.

Book Clubs

Book Clubs are a GREAT way to extend your students learning!

This set of 60 book study discussion question cards will help guide your students during their "Book Clubs". They also added a "Book Club Journal" to help your students record their ideas!

✱42 fiction task cards
✱18 non-fiction task cards
✱PLUS Book Club Response Sheets

There are picture clues on each card! It helps make them user friendly for the younger readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last but not least, just in time for Shark Week, Kathleen from A Plus Kids is giving away her Sharks Interactive Lapbook.

Sharks An Interactive Lapbook

Use interactive materials and informational text to create fun, fact-filled lapbooks about sharks and how they live. Your kiddos will learn about sharks and their environment and then use the information to take notes and document facts in the shutterfold, diagrams, pockets, flipbooks and foldable notes included in this dynamic resource.
This resource contains general information about sharks and concentrates on the following eight sharks: the great white, blue shark, oceanic white tip, tiger shark, whale shark, hammerhead, mako, and nurse shark.

In addition to the interactive materials, this teaching tool includes informational text, student-generated vocabulary books, fact or opinion cards, a crossword puzzle, and 32 “I have, Who has?” activity cards. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Don't forget to enter ALL 4 of the giveaways to win each prize!  And stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more product giveaways to get you ready for next school year!

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Manifesto and $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway

I was following along with a Twitter chat recently when I came across this old blog post from Ali Edwards about creating a Summer Manifesto.  I loved the idea of putting together a list of all the things that you want to accomplish over the summer (what can I say, I'm a to-do list kind of girl)!  Here is my Summer Manifesto:

I also LOVE this Summer Manifesto written as a poem by Andrea at Hula Seventy.  As I read it I thought, this would make a great writing lesson if I was teaching summer school or year round school.  My wheels started turning even more and I thought, I could have my students write a School Year Manifesto as a back to school activity!  If you have any thoughts or ideas about this I would love to hear them!

Would you like to create your own summer manifesto?   I have a blank template for you below.  Just right click it, save as a jpeg, and add your own text boxes to it.

If you create one and post it on your blog or other social media account I'd love for you to share it below using the linky widget.  Please link directly to your post vs. your general blog link. If you link up, be sure to comment on at least 3 other blog posts!

If you are struggling to write your own Summer Manifesto, this post by Simple Scrapper might give you  a starting point. 

And as we plan all of the ways we are going to enjoy our summer vacation, I know that most of us just can't turn off that teacher brain completely!   If you are perusing the TpT website checking out ideas for classroom decoration, back to school activities, or organizational tools, I know that a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card would come in handy, so here is your chance to win one this week!


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 7/1/16 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reading Strategies Goal 1 Supporting Pre-Emergent & Emergent Readers

Welcome to our book study of The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers by Jennifer Serravallo! I am joining forces with some other fabulous teacher bloggers to discuss the reading strategies we come across in this AMAZING professional text!  If you missed my first post about this book study, you can find it here, along with a suggested way to set up your book for easy reference.

Because this book isn't your typical professional development book filled with individual "chapters" of narrative, each teacher blogger will be giving you a glimpse into the 13 goals that are represented in the text. Each goal area is filled with many valuable strategies that will help you to support and guide your students as they become better readers.  Keep in mind we are only highlighting a FEW strategies in each section, there are 300 strategies in the whole book.

One of the things that I love about  this book is that it supports a wide range of readers.  I don't know about your class, but my students always seem to come to me with a wide range of abilities.  As a 4th grade teacher, my class last year had students reading at the Pre-Primer level all the way up to high school level readers!  This book can support them all!  I also want to point out, that I believe in "teaching the reader not the level".  Sometimes students may read at a certain level, but be missing some key skills and strategies.  That is one of the beauties of using strategies, you can work with multiple reading levels often at the same time.

Even before reading this particular book, I have been a huge Jennifer Serravallo fan! I own most of her other books and I regard her as one of the best literacy consultants out there!  I love that she shares her expertise so eloquently, and in such a user friendly way!

We are going to go through the goals in order, so we will be starting with Goal 1: Supporting Pre-Emergent and Emergent Readers.  In this section, there are twenty strategies given to support your most beginning readers.  I have a picture below of the strategies listed in this particular goal from the book.

As you can see, Serravallo  includes the strategy title, the level the strategy is appropriate for, the genre to use the strategy with, and the skills the particular strategy help to develop.  I have picked three of these strategies to focus on.  

Focus Strategy 1: The WHOLE and Teeny-Tiny Details

I chose to focus on this strategy because although it is listed as a strategy for emergent readers, I think it would make a great introduction to main idea and supporting details for your older readers.  I find my students really STRUGGLE with this skill, and this is a great way to engage them into the idea of the parts that make up the WHOLE.

In this strategy, you would have the students focus on what a whole page of non-fiction might be about and then what particular smaller parts might be about.  Some of the suggested prompts include

"Say, 'This whole page is about...'"

and "Now zoom in on a small part. Say what you're learning."

I think these really give a concrete representation to what main idea and details are about.

Anchor chart taken from The Reading Strategies Book

Focus Strategy 2: Characters Do, Characters Say

This is another strategy that can easily be applied to older readers.  One of the 4th grade reading standards, RL.4.3 asks students to describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a characters thoughts, words, or actions).  This strategy asks the reader to look at a picture book and tell what the character is doing and what she is saying.

In the particular example that Serravallo uses in the book, the character doesn't say anything on the first page, so she actually infers what the character might say.  Making inferences is another skill that older readers often struggle with as well.

I love the book The Great Fuzz Frenzy, and I have used it for similar lessons to this one.

There are a lot of great illustrations that you can show your students and ask them to describe the character based on what they are doing, saying, and thinking.

Make sure the students give you evidence to WHY they answered the way they did.

Focus Strategy 3: Act It to Storytell It

My students absolutely LOVE this strategy.  They love having the chance to act things out and ham it up a bit.  In this strategy you ask the student to use their "face, body, and voice to bring the story to life."  You might use the book The Great Fuzz Frenzy again, specifically the part where Big Bark says that he stole the fuzz (pictured above).  You might read the words without showing the illustration and ask your students to act it out.  Then show them the illustration so they can compare their actions to the ones imagined by the illustrator.

Many students, particularly those who struggle with comprehension have not figured out how to "make a movie in their head" as they read.  This strategy is particular helpful in having them slow down and really picture what is happening in the story.

If you would like to purchase the books mentioned above, you can find them here.

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase using one of my links, which helps to support the blog.  All opinions are my own and I only promote brands and products that I have used myself and truly love. 

Don't forget to check back next Thursday with Hilda from M&M Bilingual who will be hosting goal 2!

We would LOVE to read your posts about this book as well!  If you have written a blog post about this book, feel free to link up below!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Explore Like A Pirate Book Study Ch.3

Today I am linking up with Sweet Sweet Primary for our book study of Michael Matera's book Explore Like a Pirate.  Join us each Tuesday as we share our takeaways from this book that is all about engaging your students.  If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

This chapter is titled: New World, Old World, and is essentially a comparison to the old ways of learning with the new ways of learning.  Michael Matera says that his passion for gamification stems from his belief that "we must continually discover methods to move away from the unbending, monolithic structures of education."  What our grandparents' generation needed in school is not what the students of today need.

Games Make Kids Want to Learn

As educators we must inspire our students to be self motivated learners.  The author says the focus of standards, while important, is not what touches the soul of our students.  He reminds us that we are not teaching standards, we are teaching students.

Inspire the Extraordinary

Matera uses several mantras with his class.  One of these mantras is: " Strive to do the extraordinary"  He says that we live in extraordinary times, so why would you strive to be simply ordinary?

He also tells them:  "Life is about choices, so choose wisely."  He encourages them to spend time doing things that will stretch their skills, and push them to try new things.  I think this is great advice for everyone, not just our students!

Since using gamification in his classroom, Matera says that he has seen an upsurge in the extraordinary within his students.  I am excited to continue reading along to see the ways he puts this in practice!

If you would like to join us on this gamification journey there is still time to link up.  And just a helpful FYI, it's FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now!

And don't forget to enter the current giveaways I have going on right now!

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How to Save Money on Your Teachers Pay Teachers Purchases

I have been buying and selling products on Teachers pay Teachers since 2009, so it is safe to say that I have learned a trick or two about how to save money on my Teachers pay Teachers purchases! Today I am going to share with you some things I have learned.  AND... if you  read along to the end, you will have a chance to win a $25 TpT gift card which will save you even more money!

Leave Feedback

Did you know that Teachers pay Teachers gives you credit for leaving feedback?  You earn 1 credit for each dollar that you spend (and they even round up!) when you leave feedback for purchases you make. Every 20 credits = $1.00 to spend!  You can find more details about the TpT credit program here.

I have a few tips about leaving feedback as well.

* If you don't remember if you've left feedback for a purchase, you can check your purchases tab.  If you haven't left feedback you will see this message:

Just click on the provide feedback link and you can rate the item you purchased.  You will see a form that looks like this:

* Please, please, please read that message before you leave feedback (all of the TpT sellers will appreciate this)!  It asks you to contact the seller before leaving feedback if there is an issue.  We are all human beings and sometimes make mistakes.  There may be a typo or two that a seller missed even if they had several people proofread it.  They may have an incorrect answer in the key.  If you contact them, most likely they will fix it as soon as you let them know.  Then you can leave feedback based on the corrected product.

* If you have trouble downloading a product, contact TpT directly before leaving feedback.  

* Leave thoughtful feedback.  If you rank something lower than a 4, you might explain to the seller what was lacking so that they can fix it (again, contact the seller first to see if they will fix it BEFORE leaving feedback).  "Thanks" does not accurately let the seller know that you loved (or hated) the product.  I try to point out what I did like about the product such as "I appreciate that you made this editable, or that you included black and white versions as well as colored."  This kind of feedback lets a seller know what they should include in a product which makes TpT products even better!

Follow Your Favorite Sellers on TpT

Many sellers list their brand new products at a discount of 20 - 50% off for the first 24-48 hours.  By following your favorite sellers, you will be notified of their newest products first and can take advantage of these great deals!  Sellers will often send out newsletters or posts on their blogs when their are site-wide TpT sales or when they throw their own personal sales.  You can follow sellers directly on TpT by clicking on the star under their store name on TpT.

Follow TpT on Facebook

Teachers pay Teachers has their very own Facebook page (you can find it here) where they showcase various different products, blog posts and more.  They also share freebies! Many of the freebies are only available for a limited time, so you want to make sure you are watching that page!  While you're at it, follow some of your favorite sellers on Facebook as well as they often share freebies for their followers.  I have shared flash freebies on my Facebook page, and often ask for editors to look over my new products in exchange for the completed product for FREE!

Team Up With A Friend

Teachers pay Teachers has an option for you to buy multiple license for an item at a reduced rate.  So, if you find an item that your friend or whole team would like, you just need to buy a multiple license to share it with them.  When you make your purchase, you will see this:

If you click on the edit link, you will see a screen like this:

It defaults to the one purchase, but if you need additional copies you can change that and you will be charged the reduced rate.

To save money by teaming up, you would ask your friend to share the price with you.  So.. in the product above the price would be $1.25 for the first license, and $0.63 for the second license.  The total would be $1.88 which divided by two would be $0.94 cost for each of you.  If you are purchasing for your team you would save even more by splitting the cost multiple ways. The above item is not super expensive, but think about how much you could save by sharing on a larger purchase or bundle!
Find Giveaways

TpT sellers are by nature a generous group and LOVE to have giveaways!  You can win products or TpT gift cards from a variety of different sellers.  This is why you want to FOLLOW your favorite sellers on their social media and blogs!  I have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to offer giveaways on my blog all the time! We give away a $25 TpT gift card each week and a $75 TpT gift card each month!  You can knock a whole lot of items off of your wish list when you win!

And speaking of those giveaways, it is time for our weekly giveaway!


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Co-hosts:  Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),  The Chocolate Teacher, A Plus Kids, Third Grade Giggles, Kamp Kindergarten, Stephanie Rye - Forever in Fifth Grade, Mrs. Irvin's Toolbox, Jackie Crews, Jewel Pastor, and It Happened in 3rd.

Giveaway Organized by: An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/26/16 and is open worldwide.  

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Check here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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