Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Second Chances


Yay for second chances! If you're anything like me, the day after the big BTS sale, you thought about all of the things that you SHOULD have bought - extra KG licenses, clip art sets, posters, etc. Well, TpT is giving us another chance!


These 5th grade CC math INBs are a steal from {Blair Turner}. The set isn't complete, but buy them now, and you get all of the updates for free! NBT and MD are complete, and that's what most of us probably start out the year with anyway.


For the past two years, I couldn't have cared less about math since I didn't teach it. Now that I'm back to self-containing, I'm snatching up all of the math goodies I can find to use during math workshop. I'm excited to get this math game bundle from {Nick Reitz}!


The extra 10% that TpT is giving (with the code BOOST) makes it a great time to stock up on bundles. I have a bundle of {ELA centers} that will cover back to school, fall, thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, spring, and a generic one. As I make more, you will get them for free.





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Idea - Protecting Crate Seats






If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on {Facebook}, {Pinterest}, or view {previous Bright Ideas} for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from many more bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!




Friday, August 15, 2014

Friends on the Fives - Learning in the Little Apple


Hi!  I’m Jane from Learning in the Little Apple.
I am a Midwest teacher like Diane, although we are rivals when cheering on our college teams.
She roots for Iowa, while I am a Wisconsin Badger fan through and through!
 
 I am honored to be guest blogging here on Diane’s site as a part of her
 Friends on the Fives feature.
I have been blogging for about two years, and have been teaching for over 20.  Last week I ran into a former student who told me he was 26!  Sheesh!  When did that happen??
My teaching life has been so invigorated by the online friends I have met and connected with through blogging.
I have taught at every level between Kindergarten through fourth grade, and have a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on the Gifted.
I am currently a third grade teacher. I love to read, and I encourage that love of reading in my students.
I often try to share my literature related lessons and activities on my blog.
One popular post on my blog gave readers a heads up about a favorite book for jumping back into a new school year.
 Are you looking for the perfect back-to-school read aloud?  Well look no further, because School Days According to Humphrey is that book!
I stumbled across the Humphrey series of books by Betty Birney while visiting Barnes & Noble about two years ago.
The main character (Humphrey, the hamster) struggles with adjusting to new classmates at the beginning of the school year. The new classmates represent a wide variety of personalities, just like your average present-day classroom.
 I created a PowerPoint presentation to introduce each of the chapters in this book, and it can be yours for free in my TpT store.  
The PowerPoint slides in this product introduce each chapter of this inviting book, as well as Humphrey's Rules for School. Also included is a reflection booklet for students to visualize and respond to each chapter in the book.
 I have projected the slides from the PowerPoint on my Interactive WhiteBoard as I read the chapters aloud.  The book could also be used for small group guided reading activities.
Betty Birney, the author, has given permission to use photos from her teacher-friendly website (http://www.bettybirney.com) in the PowerPoint. The reflection booklet supports CCSS for ELA. Additionally, the concepts of cooperation and responsibility presented in this book support PBIS strategies. 
This book provides a key lead into a study of series books.
I hope you are able to use this in your classroom in the coming year.
Check out my blog for other great literacy ideas, like this product to use with your study of series books!
You can also find me on Instagram at "Learning in the Little Apple", too!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher Linky


It's been a few hundred followers since I've done one of these, so here we go...

My name is Diane and I have taught fifth grade for 15 years, all in the same district in Iowa. I also have my masters in educational technology. This year, I am moving districts, but I will still be teaching fifth grade. So even though I consider myself a fifth grade expert, looking at the curriculum of my new district is making me feel like a first year teacher. The upcoming year will definitely be interesting...

Anyway, yesterday I celebrated my twelfth wedding anniversary, and we have two daughters, ages eight and four. I rarely blog about my family or post their pictures, due to weird things that happen on the internet and all that. But, they do exist and I love them :)


THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
Pretty much go into an Office Max or similar store, spin around, and point at something, and that is one of my favorite things. Sharpies, laminators, electric three-hole punch, binders, organizational things, technology... yep.

IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
I would love to work at an airport, maybe be the person that uses the light sticks to guide planes into the gate. I don't know why. My dad retired from a large company that manufactured radios for commercial and military planes, so maybe that's why. I don't fly much, but airports and airplanes fascinate me.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Loyal, organized, generous

FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________, SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"
I'm glad summer is over...

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
Oh, I am horrible at these questions. I guess that I would love to have someone that would fit right in and be a fun person to be around. Maybe Ellen Degeneres? She seems like she would be a lot of fun!

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
I have no clue. Maybe one of you have an idea?

Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
The ability to have more time in the day. I just have way to much that I want to do.

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
Drawing a blank...

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
What's Up by 4 Non Blondes, but I would probably be awful. Regardless, it's one of those songs you just have to sing along with...

Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Neither. Late morning is my time to shine!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
I have two that have been keeping me busy this summer. I am so excited to be implementing both in full force this year.



Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
Many of you know that I love college sports. But only a few of you know that I played tenor saxophone in the University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band. It's where I met my husband and many of the friends that I still keep in contact with. Every fall, I go back and participate in Alumni Band, where we spend about an hour in the morning going over drill, and then we perform pregame in front of 70,000+ screaming fans. It's still a rush almost twenty years later :)


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Spark Student Motivation - Brag Tags Revisited


Today I am linking up with {Joanne} (Hi, Joanne! I know it's been forever *waves*) for her student motivation linky.

I know that I've blogged about brag tags before. I've used them off and on over the past two years. Since I'm going to be more self-contained this year, I plan to use them more consistently because students really do love them!

I first used them two years ago in conjunction with the {Reading Olympians} program. Students earned them when they passed each set of words.
These are tags that I made. They weren't part of the RO program, but they won't be in my store because I don't think that I can piggyback on their program. Anyway, they were highly motivational.

Then I won some seasonal brag tags that I could give all of my students. That was nice because then everyone could have one without trying to earn them. They became part of my seasonal gifts to students. Since I didn't want to buy the nicer plastic ones because of cost, I decided to make my own.


Last year, I read a {great blog post by Nick} about encouraging students to read across genres. That post inspired me to try it in my classroom, so of course I had to use some cute clipart I had just purchased to make these.



They sold pretty well at the BTS TpT sale, and some of my followers had mentioned that they would be using them for the 40 book challenge that Donalyn Miller talked about in The Book Whisperer. I REALLY have to read that book!


When I finally get to read it, I will have to tweak anything that need to be tweaked to make them fit a little better. In the meantime, let me know if anything needs to be adjusted to work better for those of you using them for that purpose.

Two weeks ago, I had made some more brag tags for a bloggy friend, and I kind of got on a roll.




I just cannot wait to get started with brag tags this year! If you want to give them a try, you can buy all of my brag tags {here}.


Or, if you want to make your own (they're really addictive ;) ), I have just the template {here}.


When I get my September close reading texts done, I'm going to work on some character trait ones :)


Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Blog Hop


UPDATE: Due to some time zone differences, please be patient with us as we get everyone live!

Several fifth grade teachers and I have gotten together to give you some advice for back to school. Some of you are already in school, and some of you will begin school soon, so hopefully everyone can get some helpful tips. And there's a giveaway when you reach the end :)

Even though we teach big kids, they still are excited to use their new supplies. And really, who can blame them? A fresh set of colored pencils or markers is awfully exciting. I like to have one of my first activities involve something that they can color, whether it's a table tent name tag or the cover for their math binder. Maybe it's a collage showing me everything they know about American history.


They may also enjoy sharing a bit about their break. You can download {this freebie} from my store. Students draw or write on this organizer to share events of their spring/summer break. I give students five to ten minutes to draw or write in each section. Then I go around the room and allow students to share one thing from their paper.


Usually on the first day, and sometimes while they're coloring, I start reading the first read aloud book of the year. My favorite book to start the year is There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom. It's about a new kid, bullying, self esteem, and a bunch of other fifth grade concerns. I kind of gloss over the infatuation with the counselor, but that's just me ;)

Hop on over to {Amy} for her back-to-school tip!

Math, Science, Social Studies...Oh, my!

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win some great back-to-school goodies!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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