Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Introducing the new Teacher Anchor {Giveaway!}

A few weeks ago I got a beautiful package in the mail from a sweet teaching friend, Chandra. I was able to meet Chandra of C Jayne Teach a few years ago while on vacation in Nashville and have been a huge fan of her Teacher Anchor ever since. 

Chandra is the definition of what a successful woman looks like. She's an accomplished teacher, a beautiful mama, and a successful business woman. 

Today I'm happy to tell you all about her Teacher Anchor. Every year Chandra sends me a Teacher Anchor and every year they get better and better! Her all-new shop just launched on May 1st! (Check out her blog for more information and special giveaways at

First let me tell you, this design!! {Insert heart eye emojis here!) Love the bright, beautiful colors - and bonus that it matches my classroom rainbow theme!!

Second, there's so much included in the new Anchor! There are more cover options, more forms (like these small group reading forms), a pocket, and it even features metallic ink on the cover! 

And last, but not least, you can win your own spiral bound copy of the Teacher Anchor + a shop discount of 20% off any additional purchases entering the giveaway below! This giveaway will run for 48 hours and we'll announce our winner on Saturday. 

This post was sponsored by C Jayne Teach. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's a Teacher Appreciation Sale!!

Happy Teacher Appreciation to all you wonderful, amazing teachers! We know you work extremely hard all year, spend countless hours helping your students be successful (both inside and outside of the classroom), and dedicate a large portion of your heart towards your precious students. 

You deserve a week to be celebrated!!

Starting tomorrow, we (and the good people at Teachers Pay Teachers) are having a sale!! Use code "celebrate" at checkout to save 28% on all your classroom resources to help you end your year. (Plus, you might want to get started thinking about resources you will need for next year!)

Here are some of my favorites to end out the year!

Check out our stores by clicking on each of the purple buttons:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Graphing Fun with a Game of BUNCO

Have you ever played BUNCO with your girlfriends? I was in a BUNCO group with 12 of my friends and we met once a month...each of us picking one time to host. The best part was being with my friends (and the food, duh), but we also had fun actually playing the game. It's a great tally graphing game and so I adapted it to play with my students!

The students play in partners and I have my 1st graders play with 2 dice (it's usually played with 3).
Round 1: Player one rolls and gets one point for every 1 they roll. If they don't roll at least 1, player two gets to roll. Each time they roll a 1 (because we are in round 1) they make a tally mark in the round 1 box.  If they roll both dice showing a 2, they get 2 tally points and yell out BUNCO. Get it?  

Round 2: The students are now trying to roll 2's. and get one point for every 2 they get. 

Round 3-6: Same thing but the number they are rolling for changes.

Make the rounds as long or as short as you want!  There are lots of variations for BUNCO if you google them. ;)

Click the picture to download!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

All About Water!

This is one of my FAVORITE thematic units to teach at the end of the year.  Just as you are about to get burned out... the Water Unit comes and saves the day (plus you end the week with a Bubble Day)!
This unit is PERFECT at the end of the year and might I add a buzz word.... STEM. There's lots of it in here!

  It's warm outside, the classroom is muggy and you're just about ready to be finished... it's the perfect time for a unit all about water. Not only is this unit fun, but it is the perfect integration of science, language arts, and even a little math. For those of you that only have 5 weeks of school.... um YAY for you. I still have 12.

This Includes:
Water Cycle Headband Craft
Water Cycle Map
Water Cycle Fill In
Precipitation Posters
Solid, Liquid, Gas Demonstration (with recording sheet)
Bodies of Water Passage (rivers, lakes, oceans, ponds-with vocab cards)
Ice Experiment (with recording sheet)
Water Smelling Experiment (with recording sheet)
Boat-Sink or Float (with recording sheet)
Favorite Water Activity (graph, data analysis, and opinion writing)
How to Have a Water Fight (writing)
Bubble Day Note
Bubble Day Homemade Bubble Recipe
Homemade Bubble Science Experiment (with recording sheet)
Bubble Factory (narrative writing)
Bubbles Cinquain Poem (planning sheet and writing page)
Bubble Art Directions
Bubble Poetry Walk (with original poem)
Double Bubble (math game with doubles facts)

Click {here} to check it out!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Poetry Pack - Makeover!

You know that feeling you get when you have a big project on your to do list and you finally get to check it off your list? That's how I feel now that I've finally been able to update my Poetry Pack unit!

I first came out with my "Poetry Pack" on TPT back in April of 2012 and it quickly became my best seller. I've gotten really great feedback on this product over the years as I know it was a big time saver for teachers looking to teach a poetry writing unit to their students. However, over the years the old design quickly became outdated. I've been meaning to give this project a makeover, but with teaching and raising my 3 little kids, it was always hard to find the time to tackle it. I made a promise to myself that I would get it done in time for April - National Poetry Month and I'm proud to say that I can now cross this project off my to do list. It is new, improved, and better than ever! I took a 20 page project and turned it into 50 pages!

Here's a look at all the updates: 

Each poster teaches about the form of poetry and it includes a poetry example. (All the poems were written by me!)

If you look closely at my Ode example, you might notice that I dedicated my Ode to Rachelle! Isn't her Melonheadz graphic absolutely perfect?!

One thing I'm really excited about is that you now have two options for your student poetry books. You can choose the blank pages or the guided interaction pages. I've always used the blank pages because then students have more creative freedom to do what they want, but the guided instruction pages walk students through writing each poem. I feel it is a great option for students who need extra help or just as an easier way for students to write their poems!

As some extra bonus features, I have a Teacher Information Page, Table of Contents with teaching tips, a grading rubric, an extra page for Concrete Poetry that includes shapes for extra practice, and bulletin board headers in case you want to turn your poetry posters or student examples into a beautiful bulletin board to display in your classroom or hall. I hope all of these will make your job easier!

Here's everything you need to know:

Want to teach a unit about poetry, but don't have the resources to do so? This "Poetry Pack" will be perfect for you! It's everything you need to teach a 3 week unit about Poetry! This is perfect for grades 3-5, but could easily be adapted for younger grades too!

*This Poetry Pack includes 11 forms of poetry posters and 7 elements of poetry posters. Each poster includes a description of the poem/elements and a poem to use as an example. (All poems are original - written by me.)

*This pack includes a blank book of poems for your students to create their own published book of poetry. 

*I have also included guided instruction pages that you could use if you feel your students need a little more guidance during the writing process. Use these instead of the blank pages.

*Bulletin board headers: Want to turn these posters into a beautiful bulletin board display? I have included letters you can cut out and use to create a poetry bulletin board.

* A grading rubric is included to make grading these projects easier for you!

Forms of poetry included:
Alphabet Alliteration
Creature Alliteration
5 Senses
About the Author

Elements of poetry included:
Figurative Language (Simile and Metaphor)

This unit should last about 3 weeks. Teach one poem each day and have students work on their own original rough draft of the poem. (11 days total.) Save some extra days at the end so that all students can create their own published book of poems. 

If you already own this product, please do and re-download this from your My Purchases page on TeachersPayTeachers for no additional charge. You get all the new features for free!

If you are interested in buying this product, it is available in my TeachersPayTeacher Store (click here) and will be available at the old price until this coming Sunday. After that, the price will increase to reflect the extra pages and features that are now included. 

Thank you and Happy Poetry Month, everyone!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Orlando Teacher Meet-Up July 2016

Our Teacher Meet-Up is moving to....

Sunny Orlando, Florida! July 13th at 6pm. #2016orlandomeetup

This will be our 5th annual teacher blogger meet up. If you've ever joined us before, you know there will be lots of fun, lots of laughing, and lots of prizes to give away! Thanks to our main sponsor TeachersPayTeachers

Here's a shot of some of the fabulous teachers who came out last year!
{Check out more pictures from our 2012 and 2013 and 2014 meet ups!}

At last year's meet up we gave away hundreds of prizes and this year will be no exception! We have lots of surprises in store for this meet up, so PLEASE join us!

(A peek at last year's prizes. All donated by our awesome sponsors!)
We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!  

What you need to know:

*All teachers are invited to this meet-up! You do not need to have a blog to attend this special event!

*You can RSVP on our official Facebook event page: HERE! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can RSVP by commenting on this post.

*Please don't be shy! Every year we have people who are worried about not knowing anyone. This is a great opportunity to say hi to some of your favorite teacher-bloggers, as well as meet new friends and connect with teachers from all over!

*Please download the nametag template HERE.

*The meet up will be held at The Swan and Dolphin Resort, but the actual conference room number will be posted closer to the meet up. Follow our Facebook event page to get updates on the exact location.

We are super excited for our trip this year and know that this Teacher Meet Up will be the best one yet!!
Here are the meet-up organizers from last year!

Can't wait to see ya'll in sunny Orlando!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

K-4 Animal Research Projects

Animal reports are a fun way to get young students excited about doing research. Today I wanted to show how I differentiate my animal research unit for kindergarten all the way up through fourth grade. This is my 3rd year of doing these projects and I am always so impressed with all of the great work my students produce.

My K, 1st, and 2nd graders use the animal research templates found in my All About Animals Research Reports and we use the San Diego Zoo Kids website to do research on an animal. My 3rd and 4th graders use Google Slides to create a multi-media presentation. They do their research right in Google Slides or use (Google owned, kid safe search website) to do their research. Read more to see how I differentiate these reports for each grade level.


For my kinders, this is a shared research project. I introduce the project, turn on the San Diego Zoo Kids website, and then open up to an animal that we will research together. For this project, my students and I chose the African Elephant to research together. I first had them watch the 3 minute video on African Elephants and then we made a list of things we learned on the board. Then I'd read some of the information listed on the webpage and students would help me add the important information to our list. When doing our research, I always want my students to be able to answer these 3 questions: What do they look like? What do they eat? Where do they live?

From our list, students had a lot of information they could use in their reports. Here is a preview of some kindergarteners working on their reports.


1st Grade:

In first grade this project usually takes 3 or 4 thirty minute class periods. On day one, I model how to do the research report. I show them how to navigate the San Diego Zoo website and how they can find and choose an animal to research.  Together, we choose an animal that we want to research. We read the information together and then add it to our reports. I model how we can take the information and pull out 3 important facts. 

On days 2-3 the students get to do the project by themselves. They are really good at doing this since I spent the whole first class period modeling how to find information on the website. Most students will finish by the end of day 3, so on day 4 they can color their reports, write a non-fiction story on the back, and if they have time, they can choose another animal to research.


2nd Grade:

In second grade, I repeat my 1st grade lesson, but we take it a step further. After we fill out our report, I then have my students open up to a new Word document and type a one page report on their animal. (Students use a size 28 font and leave a spot to draw a picture after they're done.)


3rd Grade:

In third grade, we go straight to using Google Slides (you could also use PowerPoint or another similar program) to do the reports. I model how to design a cover page, how to get pictures (just click on Tools - Research and then you can search right in Google Slides), how to do research, and how to add their information into their slides.

I spend some time talking about the basics of doing research such as using reliable sources, copyright, and putting the information in their own words. In all, this project takes me 4 thirty minute class periods. At the end, students get to stand up and share their presentations with the class. 

I love how 3rd graders feel so accomplished for learning how to use Google Slides so proficiently. Here are a couple examples of their cover pages. 

4th Grade:

My fourth grade classes do the same as the third graders, however they go a little bit deeper. To incorporate the 4th grade state standards, I have students choose a Utah native animal to research, and they have to include a slide about what animal adaptions their animal has to survive. In 4th grade, I teach the basics of writing a bibliography and they must cite their sources at the end. 

Here's a little peek of part of a 4th grader's project. 

I absolutely love doing these projects with my students. It's one of my very favorite lessons of the whole year! It really is a great way to meet a lot of important writing and technology standards in an easy to do, engaging research project. And best of all, STUDENTS LOVE IT!

If you're interested in the animal report template that my K, 1st, and 2nd graders used, you can find it inside this Wild About Animal Research Report pack. I currently have this pack listed this as half off in my TPT store and will keep it on sale all week. 

If anyone is wondering what I do with my 5th and 6th graders, I plan to write up some details and post about them next. Hint: 5th graders do American History research reports and 6th grade does Space Reports. More about that later! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about animal reports! 
Do your students love it as much as mine?
Any tips and tricks you want to share?
Please leave a comment and let us know.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...