Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Back to School Product Giveaways

I am having so much fun giving away these AMAZING Teachers pay Teachers products, and we have some really big ones for you this week!  Remember, you can enter as many of the giveaways as you like and we will have one winner for each product!

First up, I am giving away your choice of grade level my Daily Spiral Math Review.  You can read more about how I use this powerful spiral review in my class here.


To enter to win this item, just use the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next, Bex Mawn from Reading and Writing Redhead is giving away her Second Grade Interactive Notebook for Language Arts!


Here is what she has to say about her interactive notebooks:

"The Second Grade Language Arts Interactive Notebook quickly became popular, especially with teachers who were looking to try something new with their students as they started a new school year. One of the hallmarks of my interactive notebook products, including this one, is that the activities are purposeful and beneficial, but the design is simple and not visually distracting. Even though I love all the adorable fonts out there and the cute clip art, I found my students could get distracted by the visual aspects of some interactive notebook designs, so I set out to create my own that has simple, clear borders, easier to read fonts, and that  keeps the students focused on the activity at hand (while still having fun). My Language Arts Interactive Notebook also covers tons of writing skills as well as building blocks to help students become better writers, such as grammar, parts of speech and understanding complete and incomplete sentences, just to name a few of the topics it hits.

I also know starting out with interactive notebooks can be a little overwhelming for the teacher, so at the beginning of the product I give several pages of tips and tricks on setting your students up for success with them. They will definitely come in handy, and if you have been using them for a while, you could just jump right in, or quickly look them over as a refresher. I hope you and your students enjoy them as much as my classes and I do!"

To win this amazing resource just use the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thirty-One Teacher Bag Giveaway

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed a particular bag that seems to show up quite a lot.

It is my favorite teaching bag ever!  But... as you can see from the wear and tear, it has seen some better days and is up for a replacement! Well... when I ordered mine, I thought maybe my blog readers might love a bag too!  So, I got together with group of my favorite bloggers to set up a giveaway just for you!

You can win the new and improved version of this bag (with a zipper top!).


Prize: Thirty-One Teacher's Bag

Co-hosts:  Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 8/4/16 and is open only in the US.

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!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate Book Study Ch. 8

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 adds to chapter seven's emphasis on tools, focusing on stockpiling items and earning badges.

Matera gives some examples of badges he uses in his class, but he suggests that you modify them to best meet the needs of your students and classroom.  

In his class, Matera uses two types of badges: leader badges and mini-badges.  Leader badges are earned by going on side quests (optional activities done for enrichment).  Mini-badges are given out on days when Matera needs high participation and student input.


This does not necessarily have to be money, but can be instead items that may benefit players in the game.  One item Paul uses in his classroom game is a small sword.  In his game, a small sword adds 20 battle points to the player.  In his class, students keep battle points in a sheet in their binder.  He suggests using card holders such as these.

 Battle points can be used in several different ways. Matera uses a Jeopardy style review game, and before play, teams tally their combined battle points and this total becomes their beginning score in the game.  

As an added bonus, if one of your math standards is adding together large numbers - your students will also be getting practice with this skill!  

Battle points can also be used to buy benefits such as:

  • second chances on questions
  • extra points on questions answered correctly
  • safety nets to avoid later penalties

Rule Benders and Modifiers

Matera says that these are "just plain fun".  He explains that students love them because of the fun ability to break or bend rules of the game in their favor.

One example he gives is the use of dice.  I know in my classroom that adding dice to anything can immediately up the fun factor and student buy-in. Matera suggests letting students roll for extra points when they first get to class. He says you can even use this as a motivation to get to class early by cutting it off as soon as the bell rings.

Although the beginning was a bit slow, these last few chapters really are getting me excited about all of the possibilities for gamifying my classroom this year.

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

$25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway July 22, 2016


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Co-hosts:  Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 7/30/16 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, July 21, 2016

Thirty-One Bag Giveaway - Summer Survival Kit

How would you like to win an amazing Thirty-One Bag filled with some summer essentials?


Prize: Thirty-One Summer Survival Bag (Thirty-One bag, sunscreen, flip-flops, beach towel, and cup TOTAL VALUE - $70)
Co-hosts:  Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

Giveaway Organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher,        A View Into My ClassroomCrystal Clear Teaching,      The Bender BunchThe Chocolate Teacher,               Cait's Cool SchoolHeart 2 Heart Teaching,                 Mrs. Humphries ClassSimone's Math Resources,   Jackie Crews, and Sarah Griffin (Daughters and Kindergarten).

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway ends 7/28/16 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!

Reading Strategies Goal 5: Supporting Comprehension in Fiction

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.

You can also find my thoughts and ideas on other goals in this book below:

Goal 1: Supporting Pre-Emergent and Emergent Readers   

Goal 2: Reading Engagement   
Goal 3: Supporting Print Work  
Goal 4: Teaching Fluency

This goal is all about supporting comprehension in fiction.  Serravallo says that in order "to help students achieve that lost-in-a-book, engaged sort of reading that makes reading enjoyable, they have to understand what's going on."  

Students who need to work on this goal are the ones who when asked to retell a text include EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, or the ones that say too little, or the ones who mention events in the story, but do not seem to have a clear understanding of how they are related.

Focus Strategy 1: Series Books Have Predictable Plots

As students become more proficient at reading, they often gravitate towards series books.  There are several benefits to reading series books including:

  • a deeper connection with the books' characters
  • an increase in comprehension
  • an increase in time spent reading 
  • less wasted time trying to decide what book to read next.
You may want to read this article about a Las Vegas school that created a culture of reading using book series.

In this strategy, you use the fact that things are often similar from book to book in a series to help students figure out what's most important, to retell what they've read, and to predict what come's next.

Serravallo suggests organizing your class into book clubs to give students support for understanding patterns in series books.  Some prompts you might ask students include:

  • What do you know about other books in this series?
  • Is there a patterns to how the stories go in other books you've read?
  • What might happen based on what you know about how problems were solved in other books in this series?

Focus Strategy 2: Let The Blurb Help You

Just like any other text feature, students need to learn how to use the blurb on the back cover of their books.  Serravallo suggests that you can use the blurb to teach text structure, main problem, and theme.  She also suggests a variation for using with nonfiction texts.

Some prompts you might ask students include:

  • What will the structure of the book be, based on what you read?
  • Do you have any ideas about the main problem the character will face?

Using this blurb from Big Nate Blasts Off, the students might determine that the text structure might consist of both text and comics.  They could also determine some problems that Nate might have including getting in a fight with Randy Betancourt, a crush on the new girl, Ruby, and doubts about the annual Mud Bowl.

Focus Strategy 3: Chapter-End Stop Signs

This strategy is great for those students who have trouble remembering events from a chapter books.  Essentially, you let students know that each chapter will have at least one important event.  You ask them to stop and jot about what that most important event is as soon as they finish reading a chapter.  When they pick the book back up, they can remind themselves what happened so far by re-reading their notes.  These notes can also be used to write a summary.

Serravallo says that students can use sticky notes, a notebook, or a paper with spots to jot after each chapter to keep track of their notes.

Chapter Stop and Jot
Here is a free Chapter Stop and Jot graphic organizer.

Remember, we are only picking and choosing some of the strategies to share with you - there are so many more great ones in this section as well as the rest of the book!  You can see a complete list of all of the strategies here.

If you would like to purchase the book mentioned above, you can find it 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. 

Amanda from The Teaching Thief is officially hosting goal 5 over at her blog, so make sure you head over there to see which strategies she chose to share!  While you are there, be sure to leave some comment love!
The Teaching Thief  

If you would like to link up your own blog posts about this book, feel free to do so in the linky below!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Back to School Product Giveaways

We have been having so much fun sharing some of our favorite TpT products with you!  It is time for another chance for you to win!  You can enter to win one product, or all 4.  There will be one winner chosen for each giveaway.

This week, I am giving away my Capitalization Rules! pack.  

Capitalization Packet - When To Use A Capital Letter - NO PREP

This packet will help your students to learn and remember all of the times that they should use a capital letter in their writing.  Best of all, there is no prep for you - just print, copy and go! To enter to win, complete the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paula from Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten is giving away one of her top sellers, Oceans Hundreds Charts. 

Ocean Hundreds Charts

It includes 8 ocean mystery pictures: fish, shark, turtle, crab, jellyfish, seahorse, whale, and an angelfish.  

This resource is super flexible, because each puzzle comes on both a numbered and a blank hundreds chart, with directions to further differentiate if needed.  Use these puzzles with units on animals, oceans, summers, or ponds.  

Skills covered include number recognition to 100, writing 2-digit numbers, following directions, and fine muscle development.  To enter to win this prize use the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our next giveaway is from Mickey's Place. She is giving away her Alphabetical Order product

 Here is what she has to say about her giveaway:

First Grade is filled with many skills to learn.  Here is a Hands-On Learning Game with 32 different ways to practice Alphabetical Order while practicing First Grade Dolch Words!
Best of All It Can Be Used Year to Year!!!!

Stop by and visit Mickey’s Place!  Most products are designed for use from Pre-K thru 4th grade.  Also, they are usable over and over!  Definitely a Time Saver!

A special thank you to Kelly for spotlighting this give away!


You can enter to win this product by entering the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Our last giveaway is from Cait's Cool School.  She is giving away her Matilda by Roald Dahl Read Aloud Activities.  Here is what she says about this awesome product:

"Read alouds in the classroom can be so fun in the classroom. One of my favorite books to use is Matilda by Roald Dahl. To continuously build my students' comprehension, we use question task cards to help my students really think about the story they're listening to. I've used these in whole group discussions, and have had small groups start their own book talks using these questions. They work well in centers, or even just a quick way to close out the reading for the day. I'm always so impressed by the connections they make and their understanding of the text that is demonstrated through their answers. And I know they're really in love with reading when I start to see copies of Matilda appear around the classroom because they can't wait to see what happens next! "

You can enter to win this product by entering the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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