June 3, 2017

End of Year Gifts

I did it! I survived my fourth year - and I can't believe it's already been that long.

It may be a little late, but I loved my gifts for my students and room mom this year, so I thought I'd so you real quick!

For my students, I bought the giant bubble wands from Walmart that lots of other teachers buy. It's a great deal! I download a free tag from A Little Red Bird Teaches and ta-da, it was done!

I did pitchers for my room moms again this year. This time, I filled them with Lifesavers and made the tag to match. You can download the editable tag here.

If you're still in school, hang in there! You've got this!!

May 2, 2017

Point of View Song

I dropped a new beat recently...

My sweet students REQUESTED a song to the tune of Stiches. 
Ahem. I didn't know I was adding DJ  and songwriter to my job title, but it's cool.

Click here to download a PDF of the lyrics.

Click here for the music I use (on YouTube). 

Video... coming soon!


April 5, 2017

Punctuation Paragraphs

At the start of the year, I had a lot of students that struggled with putting ending punctuation in the correct spots.  They knew that they needed to use periods, but would put periods at the ends of lines or in seemingly random spots.

I tried helping them by correcting their own writing, by having them read it outloud to try and find the natural stopping points. However, NO ONE enjoys reading their own writing. That's no fun! 

My solution was to create my own paragraphs - missing the punctuation - to help my students determine where punctuation is needed. 

I call it "punctuation puzzles" to make it sound more fun than it actually is, but there are a few ways that you can make it even more exciting:

Who doesn't love food?! I used Skittles as periods, but you could use M&Ms, Cheerios, mini marshmallows.... the options are endless.

Side Note - Macaroni noodles make great commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks!

Playdough is another great option. I found these mini containers of neon dough at the Dollar Tree... eight for one dollar! What a deal! Students like being able to choose their own color.

Playdough makes it easy for students to create a variety of punctuation marks. 

Markers are always an option. Print on cardstock and laminate so that you can reuse them for years. 

Or, print on paper so you have a permanent work sample. 

Another perk of using markers is that you can also have students correct capitalization as needed. 

To meet the needs of and to scaffold my students, I created four different levels of punctuation paragraphs: just periods, sentence types, possessives, and dialogue

Each level has a key at the bottom to show the types of punctuation marks that may be needed in the paragraph. 

Think this could work for your classroom? Check it out by clicking on the image below. 

March 21, 2017

Classroom Book Tasting

I was inspired by Hope, Mary, and many others to finally host a classroom BOOK TASTING! 

On Friday afternoons, I usually coteach a STEAM lesson with a coworker. However, during Read Across America week earlier this month, we decided to do a book tasting instead of STEAM. 

I collected a wide variety of books to appeal to students with varied interests. I tried to stay away from series that many of them are already familiar with. 

We set the scene with some cheap tablecloths, battery-powered candles, dim lighting, and Italian music. 

Most of my materials, including the placemats and bookmarks, came from Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching

I ended up making my own menu to make it really simple for my second graders. You can download it for free here

Wanting to buy some decor for your book tasting? I spent less than $20 on {reusable} materials for the entire event! Here's what I grabbed from Amazon:


Have you tried a book tasting yet? Let me know how it goes!

February 26, 2017

Just a Note...

Changes are coming! 

I'm planning to start grad school this summer. I'm not sure if I'm ready to be a student while I'm a full-time teacher, but I'm up for the challenge!

The application process was lengthy and required a few recommendations. I know that my administrators are OH SO BUSY, so I almost felt guilty for asking them to write recommendations for me. 

A handwritten note goes a long way... and chocolate doesn't hurt either! 

I printed these cards on Astrobright cardstock, wrote a heartfelt note inside, and ta-da! I hope they feel appreciated!

Download the free printable here.

February 23, 2017

Plane Shapes Song & Activities

My students want me to be a full-time songwriter now. This one was a much bigger hit than the last! 

Click here to download a PDF of the lyrics.

Click here for the music I use (on YouTube). 

Click here to see the Instagram video.

We've been practicing our 2D shape skills with these task cards, which include shape identification, angles, and symmetry. 

We also made these fun plane shape robots:

After a week full of learning about 2D shapes, students got to wear a bracelet to help them show what they know. The bracelet has a QR code on it that says "Scan for a surprise!" The QR code leads to this Have Fun Teaching video (via SafeShare). They loved it! 


Pin this post for later:

February 11, 2017

Resources We LOVE (& a Giveaway)

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

I'm excited to be teaming up with a great group of teacher bloggers to give away our favorite resources to some amazing readers. Plus, you can enter to win a $100 gift card to our favorite place... TARGET!

As I was trying to decide what I wanted to give away, I looked around my classroom to find a few of my favorite things. I decided on something that is just for you, teacher, because you deserve to treat yourself sometimes!

My cordless glue gun is one of those items that just makes my teacher life a little happier. How liberating it is to walk around with a hot glue gun, without having to worry about a cord - ha!

I'm giving away one SureBonder cordless hot glue gun, one pack of regular hot glue sticks, and one pack of metallic silver hot glue sticks. (affliliate links) 
I've never used colored or metallic hot glue sticks, but it sounds like fun, right?!

Enter to win right here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, who doesn't love Target?

Below is where you can enter for a $100 Target gift card. You must complete all parts of this Rafflecopter to be entered for the Target gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it! 

Click on the image below for more resources we love and more giveaways!

February 9, 2017

Look Inside My Tutoring Binder

I reorganized my office last week. While doing so, I found my tutoring bag from last year. 
(This is a judgement-free zone, right?!) 

I spent a lot of time and effort preparing for tutoring, so I thought I would share my binder with you to make your tutoring life a little easier.

My binder is divided into four sections: writing, fluency activities, fluency passages, and comprehension. Under each picture, you will find links to products, most of which are FREE!

 Keep in mind that we also worked on homework and any specific skills that the child needed each week, but the binder was full of resources and back-up activities to help fill time. 

About Me cover page by Lyndsey Kearney

Writing Checklist by JD's Rockin' Readers

Handwriting Poster by Steve Hungerford

Stretch a Sentence by Cassie Thomas

Backs of laminated cardstock pages double as dry-erase boards. 

Portable Word Wall by Where the Wild Things Learn

nametag by Primary Graffiti 

(These are Amazon affiliate links.)

Georgia's standards for all subjects


Roll and Write a Story by Where the Wild Things Learn

blank writing paper 

Boggle Word Builders by Krista Walden ... We LOVED these!


Roll and Read by 180 Days of Reading 

other favorites (not pictured) by The Moffat Girls

One Breath Boxes (not pictured) by Donna Coleman


Reading A-Z (subscription required)

lots of fluency passages on Teacher Pay Teachers (not pictured)


Dice Games by Melissa Mazur

We usually used spinners similar to these (affiliate link).

Roll a Long Vowel Team by Barnard Island

Magic E Read, Write, Draw by Callie's Creations

Lastly, stock your bag with high-interest books, highlighters, small treats like candy or mini erasers.

Whew! Did I forget anything? Did you grab any of the linked freebies? 
Let me know if a comment below!