Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Found the Gold Freebie Hop!

The fun is here and gone right??  Wrong!  We are all recovering from what was a whirlwind of green, gold, and glitter.  The author's over at A Spark of Inspiration are coming together to help make your recovery even more enjoyable!  We are creating a pot full of gold just for YOU!  Each stop has a fun freebie for you to download and enjoy!  Make sure you hop all the way through.  Thanks to A Spark of Inspiration for hosting! 

Soooo....  Want some GOLD!?  With standardized test time coming up - these little friends of mine help my kids through it one page at a time.  They are quick and easy to use.  We spend about 15 minutes each day on a skill in the packet.  Is it the most fun of activities?  No..  But is it necessary that they get the practice?  Yes!  And with as little as 15 minutes a day - they barely realize they are doing it by the time they are done.  This packet includes concepts such as beginning, middle, and ending sounds, prefix/suffix/root words, synonyms/antonyms, syllables & rhyming.  Download a free sample of the packet below!

I hope you can find a need for it!  It you want to check out the entire packet you can do so HERE!

But WAIT!  You're not done!  Click the photo below to continue on!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

EdExpo 2015 TOP TEN!!

So I can't believe I've been able to keep all of this amazing information in all of this time!  A few weekend ago, I got the chance of a lifetime to go down to Atlanta with 50 other amazing teacher-bloggers.  We all attended the annual EDEXPO!!  What's this you say?  An AMAZING conference/expo put on each year by SDE to showcase some of the most amazing and engaging education products of the upcoming school year!  We got a chance to walk the floors and scour for our "Top 10" products!  All of the bloggers put their "Top 10" together and came up with the ULTIMATE Top 10.  Those vendors were given an "Eddie" award for being the 'best'!  Are you on the edge of your seat yet?  

Well, here they are!  If you're interested in purchasing any of these products, I encourage you to take a look at the EdMarket Dealer to find the best deals!   


The first product is Touchtronic Numbers & Letters from Junior Learning.  These amazing letters are paired with a downloadable app for kids to practice letter and number recognition as well as decoding and reading simple words.  Talk about engaging!  (Click the photo to learn more!)

This one is one of my favorites!  I love Wordly Wise and the same company makes this amazing game called The Reading Game!  This is perfect for early readers!!  The game works in stages to teach students how to recognize Dolch and Fry sight words and then puts them into sentences and eventually independent readers for the students to read!  Everything is fun, engaging, and wonderfully educational.    (Click the photo to learn more!)

The next game is just as fun and maybe even a bit more funny!  The Say It game allows students to practice on level vocabulary in a round robin type game.  This can be used in centers or at the bathroom during breaks!  Each student receives a card with a vocabulary word OR a fun word/phrase.  The students in the group have to create a continuous sentence without stopping using all of the words.  (This may be fun for us adults too *wink wink*!)  Click the photo for more!

There was a tie for forth place!  

Goldiblocks are a fun 'tool' designed to get girls into the building and creating mode!  

Boink Fidgets are amazing tools to use in the classroom for those wiggly little ones!  Fun and helpful all at the same time!

Number 5 was the F.U.N. Empty Number Line by Learning Advantage.  Number lines can be difficult for students to understand, especially when learning something like FRACTIONS!  This number line comes with all of the pieces for teachers and students to use and put together, together!  Chains and hooks allow students to connect pieces on the number line to see where everything belongs.  Very hands on and visual all at the same time!  

The next ones are super colorful and fun!  Math Bands!!  What a great way for students to help practice and learn their multiplication facts!  I can see my kids 'earning' each bracelet as they master their facts.  They can wear it throughout the day and can be memorizing their facts all day long!  

This next one really hit home.  I have so many students who I think would really respond well to this amazing product.  Busy Fingers by Fiddle Focus.  These soft, and tactile blankets and attachable fabric pieces are just what kids need to help them stay focused.  They can be mobile or velcro to a desk to stay in one spot.  This is something quiet that students with ADHD or someone who needs a fidget could use and its quiet!  Such an amazing idea!

So, I'm in LOVE with these products.  Pencil Grips have the most amazing...well, pencil grips!  They are designed to teach students how to hold a pencil correctly in a variety of stages depending on how the student is currently holding his/her pencil.  And they have more than just that!  You should SEE their Ultra Safe Scissors!  

The next one is great if you're trying to implement STEM into your curriculum!  

And there was a tie for # 10 too!!

 So amazing for tactile learners!

And last but not least...

These were just 10 (really 12) of the most amazing products in education around!  I'm super excited to be teaming up with some of these companies so you'll be seeing more of them really soon!  You could even have a chance to win a product or two ;) ;) 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my EdExpo trip!  I got to meet and remeet so many amazing people, teachers, bloggers, and friends!  It was the weekend of a lifetime!  Which product are YOU going to go check out?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Spark of Inspiration Blog Hop!!

We have been WAITING for this day to come for months!!!  The teacher bloggers over at #A Classy Collaboration have been working on rebranding our collaborative blog into something new and better.  And we are READY!!!  Please give a grand welcome to...

A Spark of Inspiration!

Make sure to click the header above to go check it out!  And please follow us while you're their if you don't already!  We have added so many new authors and lost a few friends that we felt like we needed a new do!  What do you think of it!?  I'm in <3!!  

So we're having an inspiring blog hop to celebrate.  What's in it for you!?  Well, take a look!

First, all of the author's have chosen a free product just for YOU!  Here's mine:  

I've taken my Grammar Exit Tickets and pulled a few pages I hope you can use!  Just click the photo above and its yours!!  But WAIT!!  There's more!  

IF you hop through the entire hop you can grab a lot more freebies!!! Make sure to stop by A Spark of Inspiration to see if you've won!  Here's your next stop on the hop!

Have fun!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Technology Must Haves - A Bright Idea Linky!!

Ok - so is anyone else super glad that January is over.  IDK about you, but that was a tough month.  My daughter got sick with pneumonia, everyone in the house got sick with the stomach flu, then we all got a cold, my washer went out, furnace is going out, husband was in a car wreck (don't worry - he's fine!), and school's been crazy.  February has been a lot nicer to far!!  ;)  Ha!  Anyways...  At the beginning of the year, our school went 2-1 on iPads in the classroom.  They have been great, but I must say, I'm very picky when it comes to what my kids do on them.  I just don't download apps and let them play.  What they do on them must be very meaningful.  So I'm going to share two AMAZING resources with you that are completely FREE that I hope you'll find as amazing as I have!  :)

The first one is an app called Show Me.  Can I say WOW!!!  This is a 'white board' type of app.  It has a lot of really fun features, but what I think it neat is its ability to take pictures and videos and save them to the app.  Oh the possibilities!!  I can see myself using this to keep videos on of math lessons for students who are absent.  They have a website that you can explore to learn more!

Here is a cute video of one of my kids using the app with cheese-its to practice area and perimeter!


The next amazing technology tool I want to show you is a website called  If you've never heard about this website I promise you, your jaw will drop!  I've created a little 'how to' video to introduce it!


If you don't have time to watch it, its basically a great website/tool that you can use for reading comprehension where everyone in the class gets his/her own username and password and can read short stories and take quizzes for points.  The neat thing is that the stories are differentiated and the better they do on their stories, the higher their levels go and vice-versa!  I hope you check it out!

If you liked this bright ideas, make sure to check out the rest of the link up!  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unifix Cube Reflections

Having students reflect on their learning is not a new concept.  Lots of teachers have discovered ways to have students think about how they feel on their learning.  Thumbs up and down, turning in papers or exit tickets in color coded bins, and drawing faces on their papers are a few widely used.  However, all of those methods show a student's feelings at the end of the lesson (or beginning).  What about throughout the entire lesson?  How do you know how your students are feeling in the beginning, middle, and end - and all the times in between?  The answer - unifix cubes!!  

This is not my original idea.  A wonderful non blogging teacher at my school came up with it and I just think its too good not to share! (Thanks Stephanie C.!)   Here's how it works:  

Each student gets his/her own set of the 3 unifix cubes.  The colors all have specific meanings:  Green is "I'm good", yellow is "I need a little help" and red is "Lots of help needed".  (I bet you could have figured that part out ;)  )    The students keep them on the corner of their desk.  At the beginning of a lesson I prompt them to change the cubes to show how they feel about the concept.  If its an introductory concept we talk about how they shouldn't really be on green...  If its review then they get to freely choose.  Then as we teach, learn, and practice the students get to change the cubes as they need.  I can prompt throughout the lesson but after a few days of using them, the kids got used to doing it and didn't need much prompting.  

I love using this because it helps guide my teaching more than anything.  I'm able to ask questions to students based on colors they are showing me.  I'm able to approach students during group work or independent practice to assist and clear up any confusion.  It has proven to be very beneficial.  :)

But don't just take it from me - listen to these two lovely ladies!  


I hope you'll take time to read some of the other amazing Bright Idea Posts from the link up!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, I hope you'll consider following me on Facebook for more great ideas!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snowball Fight Spelling!

I'm torn about the fact that I'm finding time to blog today.  My daughter was put in the hospital on Tuesday for pneumonia.   :(  She's only two and its so hard to see her so sick.  She's been having very rough nights and not sleeping well but luckily today she decided to take a 3 hour impromptu nap so I'm here!  This is a nice little getaway for me.

So before Christmas break, I came up with this super fun way to practice our spelling words.  We've done it once since and my little ones had a blast!!  We had a SNOWBALL FIGHT!!  So here's how the game worked:

First, I wrote out our spelling words two separate times on white paper and crinkled them up into snowballs.  This made about 20 snowballs for starters.  Then I made a misspelled version of each of the spelling words and wrote them on pieces of paper.  Since I have 24 kids I only needed 4 of those to start, the rest I kept on 'deck'.  So here's how we played:

Hopefully those rules make sense.  This made the kids accountable for being able to recognize which words were spelled correctly and which were not.  As students started to get 'out', I would add in a few more misspelled words to help make the game go faster.  The kids loved it - take a look!


(Sorry if the video is hazy - I'm not sure why it's doing that)  You can download the game directions by clicking the picture version from earlier in the post.  (Let me know if the download doesn't work).  I can see this game being played practicing lots of other skills besides spelling.  Long/short vowels, multiplication products, fact/opinion, etc.  I hope you find a way to make it work for you!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Need more fun winter themed fun in your classroom?  Try this fun context clue snowman activity!  Students get a kick out of learning how to talk like a 'snowman!'.  You won't regret it!!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome Christmas!! Sale, Freebies, and Cute Baby Pictures (Duh!)

Can you believe that Christmas is actually right around the corner.  It feel like yesterday I was 8 months pregnant and school was just starting.  Why does time seem to go so much faster when you're an adult? I miss those days as a kid when it took FOREVER for something to happen...  If only we could go back in time and tell our young selves to savor that feeling!  But alas, we cannot.  So I've been super busy with family and school.  And because I don't think I have enough going on in my life (cue laughter), I decided to start selling Scentsy!  I've only been at it for a little over a week and I love it!  I had a 'holiday' party a few weeks ago that was more of an Open House type.  I had over 7 different sellers there anywhere from 31 to Scentsy and Pampered Chef.  It was so much fun!  Lots of friends got some great Christmas shopping done! :)  I finally got parent/teacher conferences done as well.  I had all but one show up...  Pretty good turn out!  And last week (yes, the 2 day week of Thanksgiving) I had my unannounced observation.  It ended up being on a really fun fact family lesson that the kids had a blast with.  I have my conference over it tomorrow morning.  *Fingers Crossed*.  So this week is the first week in a LONG time that I feel somewhat normal.  Nothing going on at home or at school.  Just a typical work and home week and I can't wait to savor it.  I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a lot of fun as well.  I haven't even begun to dig into the leftovers yet.  That's what this week is for!  

So we've been doing a lot of fun things in Room 129 since I've been back.  We learned all about division recently...

And what better way to understand than with cupcake tins and marshmallows!?  You can download the recording sheet we used below.  Students used the division problems and used the marshmallows as the counters and the sections of the tins (from dollar store) as their 'equal groups'.  They really did a great job and understood the concept of division!  Click the photo below to download the recording sheet.  

We've also been hitting our Bossy R sounds along with some other "R" sounds that we're getting mixed up.  "air" sounds and bossy "ar" sounds seem to be tricky for my little ones, so I made this fun little center game for us to practice reading both and knowing the difference in sounds and spellings.  

Students spin the spinner and then find a word that matches the sound they landed on.  If read correctly, they then color in their square.  The person with the most squares wins!  Get if FREE by clicking the photos above!  

So as I said, my unannounced observation was this week and we were working on x and division fact families in math.  I'm super excited about when they came because I had JUST made this activity and was super excited to try it out.  It has everything..  game, QR codes, questions, reflection, etc. Blueberry. My kids loved it!  I wish I could have taken pictures of us playing but since it was my observation I couldn't...  :(  Here's a few pics of it all printed nice and neat though!  

(Yes... that is a shameless Selfie!  I've been in my office alone far too long today by myself - I needed a quick laugh!)

Click on the photos to check it out!  

So when I made the fact family lesson I was also in need of a fun plural noun lesson, so I did a similar activity with plurals!  We're doing this lesson tomorrow.  Man are plural rules hard to remember!  Any advice on how to get them to stick with the kids? Click on the photo to check it out too!

Can you tell we've been busy!?  And that I've been busy?!  

These two stinks keep me busy too!  They are turning TWO in less than a month. Can you believe it!?!?  And their baby brother is growing like a weed!  

Here's to your next three week of school going smoothly!  Also make sure to check out the HUGE cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale going on TPT right now.  Lots of huge savings!!  Click on the picture below for direct access to my store!  I hope you check it out!

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