Custom Teacher T-Shirts

August 02, 2015

Recently, I came across and have to share my experience with them.  Lately, the trend for teachers has been to wear super cute, trendy shirts pertaining to their school or grade they teach. make these, as well as custom shirts for classes (CUTE shirts with photos drawn by each student) and bloggers.  Since I'm pretty proud of my little blog that I have here, I decided to try my hand at their custom blogger shirt.  

Free Teacher Binder Cover

July 19, 2015

Lately, I've been working on organizing my teaching materials to make life a little easier for me once school starts back in a few weeks.  One of the top things on my to-do list was creating a Teaching Binder where I have class information, meeting information, and assessment documents, as well as teaching resoures and materials for myself. 

Free Summer Goals Checklist

July 13, 2015

If you're like me, you have a long to-do list during your summer break.  Whether it be lesson planning, classroom organization, Teachers Pay Teachers, household projects, or lifestyle goals, there is A LOT I want to accomplish while I am on summer vacation! 

Although I am pretty good at keeping a list in my head, it helps me to physically be able to check items off a list.  There's just something about checking off an item that makes me motivated!  Instead of making a list on a post-it note, I decided to create a goal sheet to print and hang on my refrigerator.  The result was this My Summer Goals checklist!

Free Pre-K Assessment

July 05, 2015

Are you a Pre-K or Preschool Teacher?  Or maybe a parent who wants to help their child prepare for Kindergarten?  If so, this free Pre-K assessment and data tracker will help keep you accountable for your student/child's learning! 

Free Pre-K Assessment

Officer Buckle and Gloria Retelling Activity

June 28, 2015

Two weeks ago, I began my series on creating props to go along with children's books.  Back in college, I had to take a class on creating activities to go along with children's books.  Several of the assignments in this class involved creating props to go along with books.  The idea was to have students practice retelling stories using the props.  Throughout the length of the course, I created props for different books. 

This week I am going to talk about the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann.  I think almost all teachers are familiar with this book!  It's from a well-known author and has also been included in many basal series throughout the years.  If you happen to be new to this book, however, it tells the story of a police officer who tries to teach safety tips to students.  No one wants to listen until the local police department hires a dog.  Once the dog begins tagging along to the police officer's safety lectures, everyone wants to hear the safety rules!  Soon, the police officer discovers the dog is upstaging him during the lectures and he isn't too happy.  You will have to read the book to find out what happens!  Officer Buckle and Gloria is a good book choice to use with topics such as vocabulary, main idea, asking questions, making connections, community helpers, and safety rules.

Now, onto the retell props I created for this book! 


5 Tips for New Teacher Graduates

June 21, 2015

We are currently in the teaching job search period.  It's summer and schools are hiring.  Many recent teaching graduates are trying to snag their first teaching job.  I can't help but think back to when I was in this same position.  Looking back, there is so much I wish I had known before I went on my job search.  Having been there before, there are a few pieces of advice I would give to those beginning the interview process.  I've compiled a list of five tips all new teaching graduates should think about:

2nd Grade Common Core Measurement Unit UPDATE!

June 16, 2015

I recently updated my Second Grade Common Core Measurement Unit!  It now has some new graphics, including a new cover page.  The packet now contains less color graphics, which will help save on ink!!!  If you have purchased this packet in the past, please go to your 'My Purchases' tab on TPT and download the file again.  You can check out the updated packet here.

Old Cricket Book Retell Activity

June 14, 2015

Recently, I went through an old computer of mine and came across some activities and lessons I created years ago.  Some files even dated back to my college days.  Seeing some of these old activities brought back a lot of memories!  I still remember creating and using them years ago.  While going through these files, I couldn't help but think some of them would be great to blog about and share with others; so, that's exactly what I am going to blog about today! 

Back in college, I had to take a class on creating activities to go along with children's books.  Several of the assignments in this class involved creating props to go along with books.  The idea was to have students practice retelling stories using props.  Throughout the length of the course, I created props for different books.  I'll be sharing all of the books throughout different posts, but, today, I am going to share my favorite!

Have you ever read Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler?  It's a great read aloud and lends itself to so many learning standards easily!  The premise of the book is Old Cricket wakes up in a not-so-great mood one day, and his wife asks him to fix the roof.  He says he doesn't feel well to get out of having to fix the roof.  He soon encounters many obstacles in his day and by the end of the day, he REALLY is sick! It's a charming story with repetition, wonderful illustrations, challenging vocabulary, and a moral.  Students will certainly be engaged!

Now, that you have an idea of what the book is about, I want to share the props I created for students to act out the story in a retell lesson.  Keep in mind, these photos were taken in my college dorm back in the day!

Creative Ways to Get Kids to Read

June 09, 2015

 “I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt!”
If you could read the whole paragraph effortlessly, then you must know the benefits of reading fluently! And we’re sure you would want your children to read as effortlessly as you just did! Try these creative reading games and ideas and get the younger generation to read.

End of the School Year Freebies!

May 10, 2015

It's hard to believe the end of the school year is almost here!  This year has seemed to go by quite fast.  I wasn't sure May was ever going to get here during the months of January, February, and March, but here we are now in May, and it's going fast! 

Free Literature Theme Cards

May 03, 2015

My afterschool tutoring group has recently been working on identifying Main Idea and Theme, specifically CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.9 - Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). 

To help my students understand what theme is, I used this little acronym I've seen all of the Internet: THEME = THE Message.  The kids thought this was so neat, and I found it really helped them remember what Theme is and how it differs from the main idea.

Main Idea Teaching Hack

April 22, 2015

As state testing nears, I've been tutoring a small group of Third Graders.  We've been working really hard on our reading skills.  Recently, one of our objectives was CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2 - Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

I've found main idea to be tricky skill to teach.  At first glimpse, it seems like an easy task, but students often focus on key details, and sometimes they focus on details that are not even relevant.  After much pondering, I FINALLY came up with a simple trick to get students to zoom in on those important words related to Main Idea.

Bouncy Bands Review

April 19, 2015

Do you have students in your classroom who struggle with hyperactivity and/or short attention spans?  I do and am constantly trying to find new ways to accommodate my students' needs.  Recently, I was asked to review Bouncy Bands and jumped at the opportunity.

What are Bouncy Bands?
Bouncy Bands are a device that help keep students' feet active.  Created by Scott Ertl, an elementary school counselor in Winston-Salem, NC, Bouncy Bands allow students to prop, bounce, and stretch their legs and feet. 

Free Titanic Reading Comprehension Packet

April 13, 2015

As a child, I was FASCINATED by the Titanic.  Sure, the movie came out during my childhood, but I loved to read books about it, too.  Fast-forward a few (ok, several) years, and I am still fascinated by Titanic.  I enjoy reading articles, visiting museums, and watching documentaries about the fated ship.  I secretly get really giddy whenever I encounter a student who shares my fascination, and, trust me, there is at least one kiddo who is a Titanic fanatic every. single. year.

Two years ago marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.  I created a free unit at the time to go along with the important occasion.  Since then, it has received a lot of wonderful attention and feedback.  This year, I wanted to spruce it up with some new graphics!

April 15 (Wednesday) marks the anniversary of the sinking, so this week would be a perfect opportunity to use this packet.  If you can't work it into your plans this week, this Titanic packet will fit into your plans at any point in the year!  Consider it an opportunity to discuss non-fiction or informational texts or a fun end-of-the-year activity!

Now, onto the packet!

Free Spring Sight Word Game

March 22, 2015

A few years ago, I came across some adorable Easter erasers in the Target Dollar Spot.  The pack came with 50 assorted erasers.  This year, I came across individually packed Easter erasers in the Target Dollar Spot!  They had several different packs, but I decided upon buying bunnies and chicks.  I picked up several bags! 

These erasers can be used for a multitude of activities in the classroom, but I decided to use them as game markers and created a Spring-themed Four-in-a-Row Sight Word game.

Free St. Patrick's Day Reading Packet

March 08, 2015

St. Patrick's Day is only a few days away!  Here is a FREE reading packet to get your students into the Irish spirit!

Valentine Thank You Cards

February 15, 2015

If you were lucky like me, you received a bunch of thoughtful gifts for Valentine's Day from parents and students.  I was so appreciative of such thoughtful families I wanted to write thank you cards.  Only problem is that I didn't have any cards on hand!  After some quick thinking, I decided to whip these Valentine-themed cards up and print.  Super easy!

Even better news?  You can download these and make your own cards too!  I included both black and white and color versions.  Enjoy!


January 26, 2015

Every now and then, I'm pulled into a conference room and given the lowdown on a new program to implement with my students.  Sometimes the programs are useful; sometimes they are pretty bad. 

Recently, another one of those said programs came to me.  This time it came to me via an email.  The name of the program was MobyMax. 

What is MobyMax?
MobyMax is an online program/resource for K-8 students and teachers.  It covers Math, Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and State Test Prep and is aligned to the Common Core Standards.  The program is designed to review skills, assess, and progress monitor.
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