Sunday, February 7, 2016

It's a SUPER Day and Giveaway!

Today is the day!!!! THE SUPER BOWL! If you know me (and even if you don't) you probably know what a HUGE Broncos fan I am, and today...the Broncos are playing in the SUPER BOWL!!!

Just in case that doesn't give you the chills (like it does me) we are doing a SUPER Link Up and Giveaway that will!


So many amazing bloggers (15!!!) have gotten together to share a SUPER classroom idea, a SUPER resource AND have a SUPER giveaway. If you have been following along all season, this giveaway will rock your socks!!!


I learned this SUPER classroom tip from a great friend and colleague a LONG time ago, but it has always stuck with me!


Once, many moons ago, I was looking with jealousy interest at my colleague's clean and clear kidney/guided reading table. (In my room, it was the table with the most junk piled on it by the end of the day.) She told me that every afternoon, before she went home, she did a "10 minute tidy." She set her timer for 10 minutes and cleared that table, and anything else that needed tidying, before she went home. Ever since that day, I have been a firm believer in the 10 minute tidy! I do it before I go home - I pick up papers, put away extra supplies (where they belong, not just in another pile), put books back where they belong and make it so my table is clear when I come in the next morning. It's actually a huge relief to come in to a clean space.

There's an oatmeal cup on there!!!!
Ahhhhh.....ready for tomorrow.
Up next, a SUPER resource!


In the SUPER giveaway below, you have the chance to win HUGE product pack with resources from all the amazing bloggers participating. From me, you can win my Decimals Activity Pack.

If you don't want to wait to see if you win, click above! My whole store is 20% off today!
This is a great resource for upper elementary teachers - it has ideas for comparing decimals, practicing different forms (like standard, word, expanded and unit) and naming/matching decimals. One of my favorite ways to use this resource was to use the decimal cards to form groups!


Each student received a card, then they had to find the other people who had their decimal number in all the different forms. Once they were all in the group, they had three questions to discuss about their Thanksgiving break. Then they traded with other people and found a new group! It was fun and a great review. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win this and so many other great TpT products!

Last, but not least.....a SUPER giveaway!

It has been a fun season of Broncos Win, You Win giveaways, and this giveaway tops all of them! It's SUPER awesome.

If you win the Grand Prize, you win everything in the picture below!



If you are a Runner Up, you win everything in the picture below!



Each pack includes a $50 Amazon gift card, 18 SUPER resources from awesome TpT'ers, a $25 SitSpots gift card, a Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener, a $10 Knowledge Bound gift card, swag from GoNoodle, a Bling Whistle from Champagne and Polka Dots and a pack of pencil grips from Pencil Grip Inc.!

If you are the Grand Prize winner, you will ALSO get a $25 Tieks gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in all the Broncos Win, You Win giveaways this season! It has been a blast connecting with people who love the Broncos (and free stuff) from all over!! Don't forget to check out all the blogs below for more SUPER classroom ideas! And....

GO BRONCOS!!!!



Sunday, January 24, 2016

GO BRONCOS!!! {Giveaway and Blog Hop!}


The Broncos did it again!!! What an unbelievable game! I can't stop smiling and shouting and screaming and jumping up and down!

The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl!!!

My Football Journey

I used to watch football with my dad when I was a little girl. Way back then, he was a season ticket holder and every once and a while I would get to go to a game with him. I have great memories of being in the stadium (usually in freezing cold weather) and holding my dad's hand as we got to and from our seats. In those days, you could bring thermoses with soup and my mom always made sure we had soup and a warm afghan. I wasn't a huge fan back then, but it definitely developed my love for sports!
These are his lucky Bronco shorts.
Later on in life, my roommate in college was a sports reporter for our local newspaper and we got into the fun habit of watching games together. When I got my first teaching job, it turned out that many of my friends (and students) were huge Bronco fans too!

This was before the last SuperBowl.
And since joining the blogging world, I've found tons of new Broncos friends!!! We've been teaming up all season to cheer on the Denver Broncos and have some really fun giveaways!

A Fun Freebie

I love to talk football with my students and it's a great way to get them engaged in math! Check out my newest freebie for something fun to do this week.


A Blog Hop




Make sure to hop all the way through for some great ideas to incorporate football into your lesson plans this week!

To keep hopping, click on Ashley's button below! Once you get back here, you'll know you've make it all the way through.


A Giveaway!

We are so proud of the Broncos and we want to share our enthusiasm!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GO BRONCOS!!!! Stay tuned to see what we have in store for the BIG GAME!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ways Google Apps Make My Life Easier: Learning Targets



Time for some real talk: I used to HATE Google apps. Especially Google drive. It drove me crazy that everyone would be working on the same thing at once and it was super slow!

But then, I moved districts. My new district does almost EVERYTHING with Google apps. So I figured I better get on board and get over my hatred negative feelings toward everything Google. (Except Gmail - Gmail has always been awesome. And just plain Google is pretty great too...I mean who can live without that?)

With the help of a few friends, I have finally come to realize the many ways that Google is trying to make my (and your) life easier!

Today, I want to show you how I use Google slides to help me effectively share Learning Targets in my classroom.


Our school has recently been doing professional development for teachers about using Learning Targets with students. I've worked on doing this in the past, and I haven't been particularly successful. Good intentions aside, I would always "fall off the wagon" and forget to post them or really help students understand them.

This time, I tried to think about how I could really use Learning Targets for the benefit of my students AND to help me be a more organized teacher.

Enter Google Slides.

Here's a look at how I'm putting Google Slides to work for me every day!

Each week, I begin creating a slide deck of Learning Targets:


I project the slides throughout the day, so that students and I are on the same page. This keeps me on track, with the learning objectives at the forefront of my teaching, and it gives students a clear focus for their work during the day.

At the end of each day, I'm able to evaluate whether we need new Learning Targets for the next day, or if we will still be working on the same ones. Either way, creating a new slide is quick and easy and keeps my teaching focus on track.

I have also been able to use Google Slides in place of some charts, which has saved some trees!


Overall, Google Slides has really helped me be more transparent with my students. I know what I am teaching, they know what they are learning AND we have a record of everything we have done throughout the day and week!

Have you found a great use for Google Slides? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Stay tuned...I have some great ways to use Google Drive and Google Classroom coming soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When Friends Get Together....You Win!

Have you had a chance to check out my friend Kelly's blog, An Apple for the Teacher? She is a great resource for tons of great teaching ideas. I am so glad that I met Kelly in Vegas last year...she has quickly become one of my best blogging buddies!

This fall, we started off the year by doing a fun product swap! Kelly graciously let me try out her product, 5th Grade Math Journal Prompts, and I absolutely LOVE them. They are aligned to the standards and they are an easy way for me to see what students are understanding!



You can check out my blog post about our fun swap {here} and see how this product looks in action!

Now, we are joining up with a bunch of awesome bloggers and TpT authors to bring you an incredible giveaway! Each month Kelly has been giving away $25 to TpT, but this month she reached out to several of us so we could make the giveaway even more amazing.


That's right!!! $75 to TpT...when friends get together, everyone wins! Click over to An Apple For the Teacher to enter for your chance to win!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First {Currently} of 2016!

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe that 2016 is here? I spent most of New Year's Eve thinking that it's not possible. I know I am going to write 2015 on everything for at least 3 more months...

Luckily, Farley at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade keeps us all on track, and she's ready to go with the first Currently link up of the year! :-)


Here's what going on with me:



Listening: It's pretty quiet around here this morning. Just one of my old golden guys sleeping and snoring. I'm sure the other one is sleeping and snoring somewhere in the house...and maybe my husband too? Who knows? ;-)

Loving: This community of TpT participants, teacher bloggers and amazing teachers has me in awe this morning. There are so many inspirational blog posts floating around - so many heart felt conversations - so many teachers around the world supporting and uplifting one another in the name of the children we teach - that it makes my heart really happy. Keep rocking it, teachers!

Thinking: This break has gone really fast! I am definitely looking forward to seeing my 5th graders on Tuesday (work day on Monday) but I blinked and the holidays are over and I guess I better make some kind of lesson plan for next week.

Wanting: UGH. CHORES. CLEANING. TAKING DOWN DECORATIONS. NO THANK YOU.

Needing: This one is going to take a little work. I really need to find my stride - my teaching stride (we are starting a new literacy program next week - yikes!), my TpT'ing stride (more quality products coming soon!) and my personal stride (this husband of mine is pretty great - he needs my attention too!). Everything is a balance, and I really want to work on that so that I can be the best teacher, wife, sister, aunt, EVERYTHING I can be!

One Little Word: Perseverance is a word I use TONS with the 5th graders, and it's about time I took my own advice. (Shhhhhh! Don't tell them! They already persevere with GUSTO and I don't want them to know I haven't been!) I keep thinking about blogging and TpT and teaching. ALL things I want to be really good at it - but here's the thing. I keep thinking about quitting (NOT teaching) and I have to just remind myself that anything worth doing takes grit and guts. Giving up on TpT or blogging would be the easy way out - instead I think I'll stick with it and push forward! Only great things can happen that way. So I will PERSEVERE right along with my inspiring 5th graders.

There you have it folks! Currently January is in the books. Happy New Year to all - I hope your week after break goes great and brings you tons of joy!

Don't forget to share your Currently over at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Good Reminder

My students keep their backpacks on the backs of their chairs.

Some are neat with everything in their place. Planners are tucked in a pocket, snacks are zipped neatly into a pouch, and gloves and hats are snuggled into the nooks and crannies.

And then there are other backpacks. The ones that are overflowing, stuffed full and jumbled. Drawings and lunch boxes spill over the sides, and occasionally a pink stuffed animal peeks its head out.

There's one more category: the ones where I can tell that a child's life is in disarray. Papers are crumpled, extra clothes are stuffed inside, and it's pretty clear that no one has looked in their backpack since August.

When I walk around the classroom and I happen to catch a glance inside the different backpacks hanging on chairs, it reminds me.

It reminds me that it's my responsibility to provide the safety and structure that ALL students need - I know for some students it may be the safest and most structured part of their life.

It reminds me that I have to be patient and kind - I have to keep the whole child in mind, not just the student part I see at school every day.

It reminds me that, first and foremost, the people I share my day with are children - they aren't just mini-adults. They are still learning (in school AND in life) and I owe it to them to support them when they make mistakes, not turn it against them.

It reminds me to take a step back and *think* about the individuals who lives are represented in those backpacks - they need me to appreciate who they are and what they need.

Every now and again the universe sends me a reminder like this, just when I need it. It stops me in my tracks and makes me rethink. I smile at my students more, really listen when they tell me a story, and make sure that I give them grace when they need it. (And hugs if they want them...)

This beautiful mess of a job is so much more than imparting knowledge...and I appreciate the reminder.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Go BRONCOS!!! Broncos Win Giveaway!

GO BRONCOS!!! GO BRONCOS!!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

In case you aren't aware, I am a HUGE Denver Broncos fan. Like, my husband won't watch football with me in public because I am so embarrassing HUGE.

Luckily, I have some kindred spirits out there and we have been teaming up this football season to host some fun giveaways, and today is no exception!

The Broncos beat the Patriots tonight!!! And that means you win too...check it out:


Make sure you check out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a set of Broncos magnets (sparkly, nonetheless!) and $25 to spend at Teachers Pay Teachers!!!

You know there's a sale going on tomorrow and Tuesday, right?? $25 sure would come in handy!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Craft-Of-Teaching


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining in on the fun and GO BRONCOS!!!