Sunday, January 8, 2017

How to Turn Research Into Quality Writing


For the last couple of years I have been working with my colleague, Marie Rodriguez-Gonzalez (the kids call her Mrs. Rod-Gon.) to develop a comprehensive research and writing project using penguins as the theme during the month of January. We have both really had fun with the project, and have watched our students do some amazing writing. 

We actually begin with a fun web-quest. Originally, we used this amazing product from created by Linda McCormick.
Even the web-quest has morphed and we now use this new product.


In an earlier post, I have written and explained about the first steps in the writing project. Click here for the earlier information.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Penguin Research Provides Real Rewards

I am so excited to introduce my Penguin Research Foldables Project. I started it last year and have continued to work on it. This year I have added lines to the foldables so students can produce neater writing. I have also included a "links" page for each penguin that can be pushed into Google Classroom to help students with the research and note-taking. I have mini-lessons to help students with the actual research and note-taking part of the writing. My goal is to have students feel comfortable looking up information, reading about it, and then putting information into their own words.


The more comfortable students fill with putting information into their own words, the better writers they become. Studying about these cute little birds give my students to opportunity to practice reading, comprehending, writing, and listing resources that will carry into other subjects.

There are two free penguin products for you to try out. Just click on the pictures to get your freebies today. Since I just live finding freebies and I had to make sure to include a couple in this product.
Last year, when I gave students the choice in which penguins I wanted them to study, both the Snares-Crested & Yellow-Eyed penguins were ignored, so this year I plan on beginning with them for my mini-lessons. I have also made both of them FREE, so click on the title or the picture to get yours today.


I absolutely had to add a STEM activity to do with my penguins.
Students love a "hands-on" approach, and I have to admit that there are no penguins in the area for the students to actually see. Having them look up information and then create adorable foldables is the first step for me. I have to add that this is part of my "Around the World" series, as students will store these little foldables in their suitcases until "Open House" in May. They will also get passport stamps for each area where they penguins they study live. I will be working on that next and then post to let you know when they are ready.

I still have a few days before school begins, so I have my work cut out for me. What is your favorite penguin?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Educational Savings Event

Image credit: Educlips

Happy New Years! In my opinion, New Years is the best time to get great savings on products. That's why all products in my TpT store  are marked down to save teachers 20%. I know many other teachers have marked their products down as well. Just click HERE to visit my store.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Plus 25 FREEBIES!

Thanks to Teachers-Clipart for this cut clip!

Happy New Year! Here are a few freebies that I have discovered while on vacation! Hope you like them. Just click on the pictures to take you to the product. Let me know which one is your favorite by leaving a comment on the bottom.

I'm a sucker for foldables and interactive notebook stuff. Here is a good one.

Here is chapter one of Classroom Management. Chapter one is free, but the book is only $3.00, so it sounds like a really great deal. This will be my reading for today. I can't wait.

Ready for some clip art?


How about a head band for our little guys?

Another foldable.

Figurative Language definitions for your word wall.

Check out these little cuties!

Mrs. Groom' Room does an amazing job of providing banners each season. Check out her winter banners. If you look around her site, she will have more available.

I usually have students go over reading goals once a month, But it is also important to go over the big goals. I think the first week back to school in January is a fantastic time to review goals and set new ones. This one is perfect for interactive notebooks.

This is an independent activity I just could not resist. I think music is such an important part of my life, and I want to expose students to some of the classics as much as possible.

I like to sneak measurement into my classroom as often as possible, so measuring will become a part of how my students operate. 

Who doesn't love legos? I had to download it because there are so many ways to use legos in the classroom.
I have purchased quite a bit of clip art and fonts from Zip-a-dee Doo Dah. I use a person's freebies to get to know there work. If I end up using the freebies, then I check out their other products and I follow them.

Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah does a lot of bundling, which can really save you money, and it has a sale going on right now. You need to check them out!
This product is from my own store and I have actually blogged about it. See it here. As I explain about it, I also direct you to yet another freebie! Check it out and let me know what you think.

This is one of my favorite poems by Jack Prelutsky. I use it as a writing center. The kids love making it for their mom's, and they love giving it with a box of chocolate. Of course many of the kids take the poem literally and they each the chocolates before giving the box to Mom. 

It is really time I created some of my own reward passes. I need to make some with an ocean theme. I have the clip art and now the time. Hopefully you will see a freebie from me soon. Until then, here is one you can get right now.

I couldn't resist. I love Christmas and this adorable little foldable is one I found during the holidays, so I have not had a chance to use it yet.

This is an excellent list of character traits and a "must have" for every student. It is so helpful in reading and writing. 

Clip Art Creations is a new store for me and this is the first product I have downloaded. I chose it because it is so bright and cheerful. 

Artifex used to be new to me, but now I am an avid follower. I have purchased many clip art packages. 

Sarah's work is new to me also, but I just loved these realistic pennants. I can't wait to see what she makes next. 

I started to check Sarah out, and discovered this little gem. I am officially a follower after running into this craftivity. You see, I am a sand collector and this will be one of the last writing projects my students will have this year. I just can't wait to use it. I actually found a similar goal setting activity that I began the year with, so this little freebie is just perfect for my classroom.


Here is another new clip artist that I have just discovered. I might need to warn you that I spend a ton of money on clip art. I am definitely going to need to learn how to do my own clip art. 

Bonus Freebie

I just found this on twitter and had to share it. Check it out!
Kelly Malloy found this from the Brown-Bag Teacher. 

I also forgot to add clip art from one of my favorite all time clip artists- Educlips
I have purchased more clip art from Educlips than anyone. She also has a ton of freebies out there, so I recommend that you take advantage and check out her store.

Okay, now I would love to here about your favorite freebie. Just send me a message from below.







Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Monumental Rewards for this Seasoned Teacher on Graduation Day

Some days blogging is so easy because I am sharing about things the students have accomplished, or I am posting about a new program I have discovered for the class to use. I just love picking something to share that I think will benefit my readers.


Today I want to share an experience that is on my heart, and I find this kind of sharing a bit more challenging, because I am the type of person who has always kept my feelings close.
I am a seasoned teacher of thirty plus years who went back to school for my Administrative Credential and Master's Degree. When I began this journey, I knew I wanted to go through the graduation process, but did not plan on the blessings that came my way on Graduation Day.

I expected the graduation to be low key with only my husband in attendance. I mean, really.... who wants to sit through a long graduation ceremony right before Christmas?
Instead, I ended up with twenty-five family members from both sides of my family.  After the graduation ceremony, we had a late dinner together.  I had almost all of my favorite people in one room at the same time, and I was there to enjoy it.  Thank you family.  I feel very blessed.  I love you all very much, and my heart is very full.
The second blessing happened right before the hooding ceremony. A beautiful young lady, with a smile I will never forget, walked up and said, "Do you remember me?" I had had Marina in my third grade class almost twenty years ago. She was my "Teacher of the Day."

Back then, third grade was the highest grade in our primary school. To help teach about our election process, each third grade teacher would divide her class into two groups. They would take on an animal for their party's name and then nominate students to run for "Teacher of the Day."  We had a debate,  primary election, and then the winners from the primary election would run in the general election. The winner would then teach for a day in January.  The "Teacher of the Day" would make lesson plans for reading, math, spelling, science, PE, and art. They would gather the supplies needed, and be inaugurated the day before they became the teacher.   On that special day, the "Teacher of the Day," Marina, was called Miss Garcia by the classroom teacher, who sat back and took pictures; as well as all the students. Miss Garcia took roll, taught all of the lessons, did recess duty, dealt with any discipline problems that might have arisen, answered the phone, and ate lunch with the other "Teachers of the Day" in the teachers' lunch room. It was a huge responsibility and honor for one classroom student each year.

On Graduation Day, when I reminisced about  "Teacher of the Day," Marina stated that she knew back when she was the Teacher of the Day that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. It touched my heart to hear that one classroom project had such a lasting and life changing effect on her. As elementary school teachers we don't always get to find out what happens to our students as they move on. We don't usually get to know what effect certain lessons or extras we do in the classroom have on the students with whom we teach, so this news was extra special to me. I was then privileged to sit next to my former student as we both received our masters degrees. It made for an extra special graduation ceremony. I consider this a monumental reward for teaching the last thirty-three years!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Super Savings with Cyber Monday for Teachers


We all love to save money at anytime of the year, but especially during the holiday season! Every product in my store is 20% off and if you use the code: CYBER2016, you will get an additional savings, for a total of 28% off. Bundled products brings the savings up to almost 50% off. Too see my products, just click here or on the picture above.

Here is a Quick Look at some of my Favorite Products:

Just click on the picture to go to the product.








This is the time of year that I really stock up. If you see any amazing deals, remember to share them with all of us, by leaving a link to the great deal in the comment box at the bottom of the blog.

Happy Shopping everyone!