Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Year Yet Blog Hop!

Let me sum up 2013 in one word....

If you've seen how very little I've blogged this year you might be nodding your head  saying, "ah... so that's why she didn't blog very much!"

Hopefully, 2014 will bring less stress to my life.


to help you go back to school after the holidays feeling stress free, my bloggy friends and I have some FREEBIES to help you get started!

Welcome to the BEST YEAR YET Blog Hop and Giveaway!

From New Year's Eve until January 2, you can hop around our blogs and grab a FREEBIE from each of us.  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at The Teaching Tribune for your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes.

Christina Marie's photo.
Today I am offering the product below as my freebie.  Simply click on the picture to take you to my store to download it.


While you're at my store you may also want to check out these products, just perfect for those first few weeks back at school.



Be sure to continue the circle on the blog hop by clicking the button below.

We truly hope that 2014 is your best year yet and that it brings you good health, happiness and many other good things.

Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Countdown!

Hard to believe how fast this year has zipped by and it is almost time for Christmas... AGAIN.


To celebrate, I will have one item in my store at 50% off each day for the next 12 days (minus tomorrow for a day of remembrance for Sandy Hook Elementary).  Each day, the product will get bigger and bigger!

Today you can get my Dear Santa, Letter Writing Activities for ONLY SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!


Want to grab some more units at half-price?

Visit these stores for more great deals!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Giveaway at The Teacher Studio

Have you checked out my friend, Meg's, HUGE giveaway over at her blog?

She's celebrating her new blog with over $600 worth of prizes.  It's running for 6 days, so stop over and show her some love and enter to win!

giveaway button november 2013.png

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Language Arts Excitement

Do you struggle to find great Language Arts activities for your students?  For some reason, Lang. Arts just always seems to be the one lacking.  To help you find some great products, I've teamed up with several other top sellers and Educents to provide you with this great bundle for 3rd and 4th grades.

Very excited to be a part of the bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my "Let's Learn About Newspapers".  This unit will help you teach informational text in your classroom by simply adding your local newspaper.

There are many other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  
Centers, printables, vocabulary, book studies, interactive notebooking and so much more!  I am very excited to use these items in my classroom.

Hop over to

to see what great product she is offering!

But that's not all!   Since you are on my blog I would like to give you a chance to win something extra for free!  Please follow me or pin something or shout it out on Face Book and enter to win any item from my store.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The deal won't last long so head over now!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Trick or treat!  Cynthia is busy tricking people over at my blog for today and you are stuck with me!  This is Michelle here {from Well Michelle?}!

I'm taking over this blog today as my trick, but keep reading to get your treat!  Hehehehe {haunted laugh}!

Several bloggers at {The Teaching Tribune} have joined together for this Trick or Treat Blog Hop. You will find more tricks as well as plenty of treats as you hop from door to door.

So now here is my little Halloween treat for you!  This FREEBIE includes a healthy Halloween party idea complete with a parent letter to get it organized. Also included is a mental math skeleton game that the students can play during the party! Happy Halloween!

{Click here to get his special treat!}

Now it's time to go "next door" to discover the next trickster and collect another treat. Click on the picture below to take you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Interactive Centers

Do your students enjoy doing interactive activities?  So sad to say (but true), for several years we weren't allowed to cut and color because it was not true instructional time.  Seems CRAZY doesn't it???  Even my 4th graders enjoy getting to color, cut out, and glue!!! 

While I learned loads of valuable teaching strategies while we were a Reading First school (for many, many years), I greatly missed the fun and enjoyment that was taken out of centers and activities.  I am a firm believer that if the students ENJOY what they are doing, they will LEARN!!

Here are some of the interactive centers my students have been doing...

 My kiddos ask every day if they are going to get to play with their Cootie Catcher.  (The answer is usually yes.)  After our reading lesson, they get to use these with a partner to answer comprehension questions.  I'm so glad they consider it "play"  haha.  I love to walk around the room and hear their questions and answers!
 It just seems like fall is a great time to learn about spiders.  With this activity, I got to bring in some informational text for the students to read.  We talked about facts and opinions also.  They loved doing this activity and wanted to know "when do we get to do something fun like this again??"  Yep...FUN!!!
 We have worked so hard this past month on multiplication of 2-digit by 2-digit numbers and also 4-digit by 1-digit numbers.  Once again, by just changing the format and doing it as an interactive activity, the kids thought it was so much more FUN than a traditional worksheet.  I'm so glad they haven't caught on yet!  lol
Earlier in the year, we worked on rounding.  I was really surprised at how difficult it was for so many of them.  We continue to work on it daily in our Daily Math Spirals and notebooks.
I was so excited to see after they finished this Rounding Rakeup Interactive, that they have finally gotten it!

In case you haven't tried using Interactive Centers and Activities in your classroom yet, I have a FREEBIE for you!  We've been learning about idioms, so I whipped up a little interactive to use this week.  Just click on the picture to get your own copy.

You can see this new unit, Interactive Centers and Activities for Fall,  in my TPT store.  Click on the preview to see all the Interactives we've been making.

I LOVE to make learning FUN!  
That's just...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Building Relationships

 Do you build relationships with your students?  What do you do with "that" child that pushes EVERY. Single. Button... DAILY, many times???  Have you tried to build a relationship??

After all, it's not simply about teaching.  You bring home not only papers to grade, lesson plans to write, activities to make, but you bring home every student, especially THAT one on your heart each and every day.

That's what makes you a great teacher.  No matter what the impossible situation.  No matter, how tired and exhausted you might become.  It really is all about the students.

I'm sure you've had lots of different scenarios in your own classroom. In my 25 years of teaching, I've had plenty of my own.  I've built some great relationships and made some new friends.

I know for a fact, that I understood exactly what it means to build relationships about 15 years ago when I had a student die...in my classroom.  A child, 6 years old.  I was the last person he ever spoke to and I was the last person he ever heard speak to him.  Later, his parents sent me the sweetest letter, thanking me and telling me since they weren't able to be with him, they were so glad I was because he loved me.  I loved him too.  I love ALL of my students.  Even those hard ones...deep down.

I've spent my evening making some phone calls to parents.  I've set up some conferences, encouraged a parent to help her son study his 3s multiplication facts, because he just cannot pass that timed test, called just to say I enjoy having their child in my room.  The extra time and effort I put into this, REALLY makes all the difference in the world.

I have 80 students that I teach this year.  YOWZERS.  It's taking me a while, and I've not been able to make contact with all of them yet, but writing a note in the agenda and e-mailing parents is another big part of my week and a way to make contact and build relationships.

This year, I chose two students that I had contact with in 2nd grade. I knew one had a really bad home life and she wears a GIGANTIC chip on her shoulder because of this.  The other student had already developed a swagger and an attitude.  I hand wrote both of them a personal note telling them how glad I was to have the opportunity to teach them.  I made it very personal about what was going on in their lives and where I could see them at in a few years as they were getting ready to graduate from highschool.  I told them that I believed in them. 

I saw both students read the note, but they never mentioned it to me.  Would you believe that both of them are my two biggest champions?  They try to make sure the rest of the class is doing what they are supposed to do.  They tried their hardest to be the best student they can be.  One of them (in a self-contained eip math group) has made huge gains with only 7 weeks into the year.  It's amazing to watch the turn around in their attitudes... all because of a note that took me about 10 minutes to write.

Building a relationship?  Yes, it takes a little extra time, a concentrated effort, and looking a little deeper into each student.  But, it is so worth the time.

If you were the last person to speak to that student, would you have no regrets?  Build that relationship.  You'll never regret it!

In fact, I think it's time for me to choose two more students to receive a handwritten positive letter from me.  That's just...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy World Gratitude Day!

Do you know what today is??

Don't feel bad, I didn't either until my bloggy friend Mel, from Graphics From the Pond, informed me that Sept. 21st is World Gratitude Day.   I had never heard of this day, but WOW... what a positive celebration!

There are so many things that I'm grateful for... God, my salvation, family, friends... the list could go on and on!

I have so many blessings in my life.  It's great to be able to share with you, my loyal followers, how grateful I am that you have faith in me and my products.  So, just for today, I am sharing with you a 117 page unit of mine for your calendar board.  I have made it free just until midnight tonight.  So stop by and download your freebie now!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I am so grateful for YOU!

A few of my closest bloggy friends have joined together to make a gratitude blog hop.  So visit Karla at Life in Special Education to find some more love and gratitude and grab lots of freebies.  At the end, you'll also have a chance to enter for a $50 TPT gift certificate!

Happy World Gratitude Day!  Be sure to let others know how grateful YOU are. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Whole Lot of Multiplication, Some Growing Up, and a Love of Cereal Boxes

It's time to be real...

I. am. so. tired!!!

That is all...

The down and dirty!

Can you relate??  (haha...  I'm talking to the choir, right??)

I am so enjoying my move to 4th grade.  I'm not sure if it's the schedule (specials at 8:15 and I don't have another break until recess at 2:10... Yep, just realized 6 straight hours, NO WONDER), the move to a new grade which also means new curriculum to learn, the resignation of our principal, the firing of our superintendent, or just the fact that I'm getting old (CERTAINLY, not blaming it on the last one!  HA).

It seems it's Monday morning and the next thing I know, it's Thursday afternoon.  I barely get planned for one-week and it's time for the next.  At this rate, summer vacation will be here before I know it!  :-)

We've been working hard on multiplication.

We made these lap books from my Multiplication Unit.

Under the property flaps, the students wrote the definition.  On the opposite side, they showed an example equation.  When this is lifted, they drew an illustration to match.

Here is the front cover.  The pocket will hold the multiplication facts they need to practice.

Inside the book, is a multiplication table the student completed and the multiplication strategies for the facts 2-9.

A closer view.

When all the flaps are lifted, the multiplication strategy is revealed.

 We started the year in reading, with my Judy Moody Was In a Mood book study.  
Here is what they want to be when they grow up.  I was really surprised at the different type of answers given in 4th.  A FBI agent, horse jockey, olympic swimmer, cell phone tower climber, were just a few of the more interesting ones.  We did mini-research projects and wrote about the jobs.  Some of those had to be done on line.  We certainly don't have all of those topics in our library.

After we finished that unit (just shy of 3 weeks), we spent a couple of days doing one of my favorite activities...

My student always have such a good time doing this unit.
It is a FREEBIE in my store if you are not one of the 36,198 people that have already downloaded, stop by and get it for your own class.  Just add cereal boxes!!!

I LOVE showing the students that you can read ANYTHING, even a cereal box, because that's just