Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Right Time to Promote Reading During the Holidays

Students tend to get board during the holidays so promote reading.
Click on the Picture

Give students the opportunity to read independently during the holidays.

Attach a hot cocoa party to it and make it extra fun.

I have bundled all the Holiday Reading Themes into one place to create a growing bundle.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December Deals Deck the Halls for Joining January Jollies

What is a January Jolly and how do the December Deals affect them?

Well, a January Jolly is any accomplishment or hard work from December that shows up in January.  It is also my creative way of saying two things.

First, I have joined a monthly giveaway for a $75 dollar gift card that I hope one of my readers wins. If you win the $75 dollars, it will be ready for you to spend when you do your January planning. You have 36 chances to win if you complete the entire Rafflecopter. Here is it

First Place  - $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Second Place  - $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/13/17 and is open worldwide.
Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Second, is the flash freebie of my Holiday Reading program. 

I love to inspire students to read during the holidays. Eddie, my elf who visits each year introduces it to my children. I usually get about a dozen kids that participate and they earn a special hot cocoa party the first week back in January. Grab it Here. The Flash Freebie will not last long, so grab it now.

I am also featuring these holiday reading themes:
Just click on the pictures to go to my store.
Penguins are one of my favorite animals. Each year my students do Penguin research. To find out more about that you can read this blog post.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Magic for Trendy Teaching Marks the start of Cyber Sales to Create Huge Teacher Savings

I'm not sure why I enjoy this particular TpT sale, but it is one of my favorites. I guess it is like doing your own Christmas shopping. When I find great deals for my class, I feel like I am splurging on myself. That said, I have found some great deals, and I'm going to create a few of my own, so keep reading.

Check out the Dollar Deals in My Store

Just click on the picture!

An Extra Giveaway

Click on the picture to go to the Rafflecopter or just click below. They are quite easy to do and since I'm small potatoes in blogging and TpT, you have a very good chance of winning. 

A $25 Dollar Giveaway

Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card 
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/2/17 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

How Do You Get Ready for Cyber Monday?

I'm thinking ahead to Cyber Monday
because I want to be ready for all the great deals I anticipate. 

There are 3 great ways to get ready for Cyber Monday.

Get a good cup of coffee and snuggle into your favorite chair to look for great deals. Easy-Peasy, right? Don't forget to bookmark where you want to buy from. Remember to check out TpT because they always have a Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale, so you can save a lot on school stuff too.

Start now and enter giveaways to win gift-cards. Here is one that I'm hosting. They are easy & fun to participate in.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)

Co-hosts: An Apple for the Teacher, Ms. K, Digging Deep to Soar Beyond the Text, Teacher Gameroom, Kathryn Watts, Jackie Crews, It's a Teacher Thing, and Little Owl's Teacher Treats. Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.

Giveaway ends 11/27/17 and is open worldwide.

Take advantage of the Cyber Monday sales without the hassles of standing in line. It's my favorite way to shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Powerfully Creative Strategies to Motivate Students to Dig Into Text

I love to pass on great advice and strategies when I come across them.

This morning I watched an amazing video clip by Art with Jenny K and Brain Waves Instruction with Mary Beth called Easy Ways to Make Close Reading Stick
After watching the video I downloaded the freebie and discovered a wealth of resources. This video is a "must watch" if you want to creatively engage your students to reread text. It's always fun to find ways to make reading fun.

Mary Beth introduces several options for rereading that I'm sure you will love,

Jenny K had a really amazing way to make stickers, which she demonstrates how easy it in the video.

I know I sound like a commercial, but this is a really cool technique . . .

. . . that I plan on using in my STEAM class for a Christmas ornament that my students make. I have never put the message on my STEAM ornaments before, and with this strategy I can add the title.

FREE Beach Themed Christmas Ornament STEAM Planning Guide
Just click on the picture to get to any of these resources. This STEAM ornament will only be free for a short while longer, so grab it fast. 

I just have to add my Pitcairn Island Close Reading Lesson for those who want to add to their "Around the World" series - especially at Christmas.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Three Steps Inspire Students to Engage in Holiday Reading

Getting my students to read and to love reading is a top priority for me because I know first hand the joy in discovering the many worlds that can be found in a book. I used to run an auction at Christmas time, where students earned reading dollars to purchase fun little items; but that was costly and time consuming. I switched to another method which I have found to be very rewarding and not so expensive. I run my new holiday reading program in 3 easy steps:
#1 Introduce the Holiday Reading with one of these cool foldables:
Explain how your students can read in 15 minute intervals and keep track of their reading by coloring sections of the inside picture. For example, if I want to focus on exploring good books I would use the pilgrims and Indian because the inside has a ship to color.
or you can use this adorable turkey
We also have a tiger theme going on in our little town, so I couldn't leave out this little cutie!

No matter which one you choose, there are twelve sections to color in. If the student finishes the picture, that will translate into 3 hours of extra reading.

Get this free version at my TpT store.
It won't be free forever, so grab it soon!

#2. Explain incentives: I usually have several incentives that I tap into. My school does Accelerated Reader and new scores are announced each Friday at Morning Greeting. The librarian gives out prizes for reaching levels (5, 10, 15, 20. 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 75, 100, 125 etc.)

Each year I give my students the opportunity to participate in Magic Mountain's "Read to Succeed" program. If students read an extra 600 minutes (outside of regular homework reading) they earn a free Magic Mountain Ticket. 
Participation is free for me and I can tell who actually reads by looking at both the holiday reading foldable and their AR points (which I check weekly).  "Read to Succeed" isn't any more work for me and I get to give away a cool prize without paying for it. Did I mention that "Read to Succeed" is FREE? In my book that is a big win. 600 minutes is a lot for kids, but I break it up by having this little extra reading. 

To make sure kids want to read, I also add one more incentive. I host a special Christmas craft party during one of the PE/prep periods. I like to do a lot of Christmas projects, but there just isn't time. I usually pick one special project. 

This year I am leaning toward one of these two:
I call it Operation Ornament, and it's free (except for purchasing the actual ornaments)

If you have a source to get cut wood, and colored sand, that this one is a good choice. I was introduced to this design by sand artist Heidi McGrew.

Last year I blogged about some of my favorite ornaments. Many top-notch Kid-Friendly are listed HERE at Ornaments Provide Creative Opportunities #1 and Here at Ornaments Provide Creative Opportunities #2.

#3 Quick Follow-Through:

My goal is to make sure the craft is something that all my students will want to do. I usually show them a picture or two and then I do it right away after the holidays. The key is quick follow-through. Even though I usually only have about a 1/4 of my students participate, I do the special activity and make sure everyone then knows, I'll have some special reading something going on during the Christmas holiday, and they will all be invited to participate again. This second time, I have a lot more students participating. We have fun with it. Some of the other classes do this as well, so it is easier to promote excitement for reading.

This makes a great boost in AR points, and when every student in my class reaches 25 points we have a pizza party (provided by the school cafeteria). Again, there is no cost to me, but the students love the party. Some students have never made it to 25 points, so this is a real achievement for them. We do it again when everyone reaches 50 points.

So, that's how I inspire students to get into reading. The students begin cheering each other on, and then the real magic happens.

(Coming Soon... Christmas Holiday Reading)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Make Your Mark and See Where it Takes You" with International Dot Day

September 15th-ish was declared Dot Day by one teacher after reading The Dot, by Peter Reynolds. The Dot is a small picture book with an inspiring theme to persevere when things get tough.

The Dot tells the story of a caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way. The teacher dare's Vashti, the student, to "make her mark." Vasti's breakthrough begins with a simple dot on a piece of paper.  Encouraged by her teacher she sets off on a journey of self-discovery, letting her creativity bloom and, ultimately, inspire others. (Dot Day Manuel)

Dot Day was declared by teacher Terry Shay in 2009 and quickly spread across the world. This year there are more than 9 million kids celebrating Dot Day in 169 countries. To become part of the movement visit the International Dot Day sight.

Since I am teaching a STEAM class, I get to celebrate Dot Day everyday this week. Here are a few pictures.

Watch the animated poem below by Peter Reynolds as a tribute to teachers and their vital role in nurturing the learning spirit in every child.

Monday, September 11, 2017

School Has Started: Full Steam Ahead and Don't Forget the Giveaway

Yep! Another year has begun and it is already quite busy.  I have joined with other teachers to provide a giveaway. This week we are featuring a gift card from Walmart.

Prize: $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 9/15/17 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway