Sunday, November 29, 2015

Go BRONCOS!!! Broncos Win Giveaway!


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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


Saturday, November 28, 2015

TPT Wishlist Linky

True confessions: I've never been out shopping on Black Friday. I know there's deals. I know people think it's fun. But all I have to think about is crushing throngs of people and I want to crawl under the covers.

Cyber Monday on the other hand? That's my kind of sale. Buying stuff from the comfort of my house, by myself, and still getting a great deal makes me want to get my clicking finger in good shape!

I know I'm getting my TPT wishlist ready to go so I can shop, shop, shop on Cyber about you? I'm linking up with Jen from Teaching in the Tongass to share some of the top wishlisted items from my store (and some things I can't wait to buy)!

Here are the top three wishlisted items from my store along with some of the comments left by customers:

This product is also part of a money-saving bundle with Triangles: Shape Sort with Shape Cards!

Earlier this year, this product was featured in a product swap I did with Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher. Check out her blog post to see what she had to say about it!

This is a great product to help students practice how to write a great response to a question!

Here are a few things on my personal wishlist:

I can't wait to get these cards! My kids need some reminders to use mathematical vocabulary in their writing and these will be perfect.

These look like the perfect way to challenge my students! Fractions will be coming up soon, and I am looking forward to getting these challenges in front of my students.

What's on your wishlist for the big sale Monday and Tuesday? Don't forget to load up that cart and then use the special code SMILE to get an extra 10% off your total!

Monday and Tuesday my whole store will be on sale for 20% off, including brand new products AND bundles, so make sure you click over and stock up!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thanksgiving Blog Hop

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday, by far! I love the family time, the food and the time to relax and unwind before the craziness of the Christmas season starts. I am so excited to be participating in this great blog hop celebrating the awesomeness of Thanksgiving!

Thanks to the wonderful ladies at The Classroom Clique for hosting!

It is pretty hard to pin down just a couple of things I'm thankful for. Everyday, I can look around and see things, big and small, that I am so grateful for. I'm going to narrow them down to two.

This guy. He's the love of my life and the light of my life. We have fun together every day and he makes my laugh until I snort. (Yes, that happens.) He takes care of me and supports me and I couldn't be more grateful that he's my other half.

This crazy, amazing, beautiful, wondrous job I get to do every day. I love teaching. Even when it's hard and frustrating, it's still the best job in the world. Watching these kids grow and learn each day makes me so grateful to go to work every morning!

When my husband and I got married, we would run all over the state for each holiday. It was exhausting! We finally figured out a solution: my parents and his parents come to the same location! Even better? The location is my in-laws' gorgeous cabin in the mountains! Each year we all gather up there and cook together, watch football and go for walks (if it's not too cold). We take all the dogs to play and romp and lay by the fire. All in all, it's a pretty great family time.

I created this little freebie with my fabulous fifth graders in mind! We have been hard at work adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals. What better way to practice than going shopping for Thanksgiving feast supplies? Click the picture to take you to my store where you can download this quick and easy freebie!

Make sure you check out all the wonderful posts and freebies through the rest of the hop!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Word A Day!

I am feeling really lucky this year. I have the kind of class that tries everything you throw at them, and does it with gusto.

Like when one of my students who visits our ESL teacher came back to class with a little notebook and explained that he was trying to find awesome and interesting words to fill it with. And he agreed to share this plan with the whole class. And just like that, everyone wanted a notebook to keep vocabulary in too.

Coincidentally, we had also just introduced the CAFE strategy "Tune Into Interesting Words."

Once this idea started to spread like wildfire, kids were coming up to me left and right wanting to share the words they found in their writing. Since we had a few extra minutes the first day, I let one person share a word they had found.

And since we are such a gung-ho bunch? It's become a daily routine.

Each day, during Read to Self, each person keeps an eye out for interesting words - they can be words they know, or words they don't. They record them in their notebooks...

At the end of Read to Self, one person volunteers to share their word, which I record on a sticky note.

Then, they read the sentence where they found the word. We do a quick turn and talk about what everyone thinks the word means based on the sentence.

A few people share out their ideas. We try to decide what part of speech the word is and come up with a possible definition.

Then, we use the classroom iPad to look up what the word actually means. I LOVE this Learner's Dictionary from Merriam-Webster. The definitions are much easier to use than a traditional dictionary - I hate it when you have to look up words in the definition to understand the word!
Once we know the part of speech and the definition from the website, we come up with a definition in our own words. I record it on a sticky note.

Then later, I will let the student who volunteered the word write everything on a card and we put it up on the board!

This has been such an authentic was to incorporate vocabulary into our day! If we don't have time to get to a vocabulary word, I hear about it! Everyone is involved, and I've already seen some of the words we discuss popping up in their writing.

I've never been great at incorporating vocabulary instruction into our days, but my students' enthusiasm and excitement has made this one of my favorite parts of the day! I can't wait to see all the words we will have as the year progresses.

How do you incorporate vocabulary into your day? I'd love to hear more ideas to help this time become even more effective!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Currently

It's been a while since I've joined up with Farley at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade for her monthly Currently link up!

Aaaaand...since my blog has been a big ol' desert lately, I was really excited to see that it's Currently time!

Listening: Our DVR has been on the fritz so I'm just now catching up on DWTS. Not sure who I like the best, but I think Bindi is pretty darn cute!

Loving: I drove home signing my lungs out today because I love my class, I love my school and I think my principal is pretty awesome. I love feeling happy each day at work!

Thinking: FALL!!! It's my very favorite season. Even though it's still pretty hot here, I have faith it will get cooler soon. Leaves are changing - that's my proof!

Wanting: Can't wait to haul out all the cold-weather clothing!

Needing: The only downside about fall? So. Many. Papers. If anyone wants to grade papers in exchange for very, very little money (read: what's in the change jar) or possibly just adult beverages, please let me know.

Boo-tiful: Changing leaves. Random emails from former students. (Feelin' the love!) Getting great feedback on a challenging math lesson. All gorgeous in my book.

Thanks for checking in over here! Don't forget to head over to Oh Boy! Fourth Grade and link up what's Currently going on with you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Product Swap and a Giveaway!

Don't you just love it when you find a new resource that you know will make your teaching life easier? I know I do. Luckily for me, I met Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher during the TPT conference this summer, and let me tell you, she has some AWESOME resources.

Today, we are both blogging about a little product swap we did! I'm so excited to share Kelly's awesome 5th Grade Math Journal Prompts.

This year, I am working on implementing lessons through the Engage NY curriculum modules, and I LOVE it. But I was also looking for something to add to the mix that would help kids show their problem solving skills while using some of the amazing concepts they are learning through Engage NY.

Kelly's product really has great problems to showcase what students are learning in our daily math lessons. For each Common Core Standard, there are 4 journal prompts. The Table of Contents below shows each cluster of standards, but the journal prompts are for individual standards!

Not to mention, she gives some awesome ideas for HOW to use the prompts in your classroom! (I'll show you how I used them in a minute!)

I decided to use the first prompt with the whole class to reinforce a standard we had been working on:

Each page focuses on problem solving, creating a representation and writing a sentence with your answer. We had been working on using place value concepts to discuss how much each digit in a number is worth and why. So this prompt seemed like the perfect way to reinforce this idea and see how much my students had learned!

First, I had my class work with partners to discuss the problem and solve it. They were able to think of a model that worked for them and then get their equation, solution and sentence as well. I liked having them work in partners for the first one, since they were getting used to the format and it was new! (When we did a second one this week, they worked on their own.)

It was great to see them applying what we had already learned in a new way!

The best part? They LOVED it!! Here are some of the things they had to say about this activity:

"It was so fun to do. I like that it is organized." -Z

"I liked this activity because it helps keep yourself organized. The thing that was most helpful was the model." -C

"What was helpful was there as a spot for everything." -F

"I liked this page because I like my thinking organized. It was helpful because I  knew where everything was supposed to go." -J

"The boxes were big so I had room to write." -M

This product has been kid tested and it got glowing reviews! I would also give it my stamp of approval.

Students were able to take previously taught skills and concepts and show their understanding in a new way. I love that I can use something as a quick formative assessment to see where kids are in their learning! I can't wait to get on to other standards so I can continue to use 5th Grade Math Journal Prompts. Maybe I might even use some as a preassessment!!!

See?? The wheels are still turning.


Thanks so much to Kelly for swapping products with me! If you want to check out my product that she tried in her classroom, head over to her blog, An Apple For The Teacher!

An Apple for the Teacher

Are you looking for new ways for students to show their understanding?? Well, you are in luck. Enter below to win a copy of 5th Grade Math Journal Prompts and a $10 giftcard to TPT!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's your new favorite teaching tool?? Share in the comments below!

Monday, September 7, 2015

SLANT Box Exchange Awesomeness

If you haven't had the opportunity to participate in the amazing SLANT Box Exchange put together by Jameson at Lessons With Coffee, I bet you will want to after seeing this!!

I was SO extremely lucky to be randomly paired with the fabulous Rachel from Mrs. O Knows. In case you weren't sure, SLANT stands for Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers. And I could TOTALLY feel the love from Rachel. 

We knew each other a little bit already from some collaborative blogs and Facebook groups, but this was an opportunity to get to know each other even better. The theme was Summer Jam, so we decided that we would put together a box to keep summer going. Rachel asked me questions about my favorite music, hobbies, food and activities that make summer what it is. Before I knew it, she sent me an email to say my box was on the way!!!

When I got home and checked the mail, I found this adorable box full of goodies!
Rachel is so crafty! Even the box was super cute!
When I opened the box, I found a sweet note and individually wrapped presents! I'm sure that my mouth dropped open with excitement, because my husband asked me if everything was ok...

Everything was packed in so neatly, I was hesitant to even take stuff out of the box. But, I'm sure you know, I quickly got over it and started opening each one!

Each one had a tag with a note! So thoughtful!
Every gift was SO perfect for me. Rachel really took the time to get to know me, and made sure each present reflected that in some way. I haven't been so touched by a gift in a long time...I even got a little teary eyed while I was opening them they were so thoughtful. She paid attention to my favorite team (the Broncos), my favorite beverages (coffee and beer), my favorite snack (Chex Mix), my favorite music and more. Even if you didn't know me, after seeing the gifts in this box, you would totally know me!!

You'll notice the Chex Mix is missing? Someone else in this house loves it too....
I am so glad I participated in this exchange. I loved getting to know Rachel better, and hopefully making her feel as special as she made me feel!

Thanks so much to Jameson who puts this whole thing together. It's a lot of work and I'm sure it's not easy, but I really appreciate it because it gives us the opportunity to get to know other teachers around the world! If you are interested for next time, make sure to watch for upcoming sign ups by following Lessons With Coffee.

 Thanks again to Rachel! You made me feel really special! :-)