Division FREEBIE!

Calling all 4th grade teachers!!

***Division Freebie***

I don't know about you, but grading papers is my LEAST favorite part of teaching lol.  Somehow, I remember LOVING these self-checking worksheets when I was a kid.  So I'm trying my hand at'em




Narrative writing

Background: I teach 4th grade in South Florida.  Here in my state, the kids take a writing assessment in 4th, 8th, and 10th grades.  In fourth grade the focus is on essay writing and on narrative writing.  We've been teaching expository writing since the beginning of school and now's the time to switch gears to narrative.

I've introduced problem-based narrative stories with a number of books.  Some of my faves are: 

Owen by Kevin Henkes
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down by Paul Johnson
Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
Mrs. Toggle's Zipper by Robin Pulver
The Most Perfect Spot by Diane Goode
You Can't Move a Hippo by Michael Catchpool

More on how I do this later...

So now, I need to teach this little sponges how to write these types of narrative stories.  

I wanted to share this first one with you all.  Leave me feedback with your email, and I will send you another little goodie.



Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) Sale!

Visit my shop for the deals of the season!!  Click on the link on the righthand nav bar!


TPT in Miami

After Deanna Jump's debut on CNN and CBS This Morning (and if you didn't see it, click the link to each station), I received an email from a local reporter in Miami.  Christina Hernandez wanted to interview me about Teachers Pay Teachers and my thoughts on the site.

"Sure!" I responded, with a mix of pride and anxiety.

On Monday, she stopped by (with her camera guy) and they stayed for about an hour.  While the cameraman set up and scoped out spots for the perfect shot, she and I chatted a bit about my pregnancy.  I'm a soon-to-be first time mom and she just had her first.  We swapped stories and she gave great tid-bits of advice.  But I digress... 

As soon as the microphone was attached, my heart pounded.  With each question, my breath seemed to shorten lol.  I don't think I had ever been THIS nervous!

She asked me about TPT and how I got started.  My friend and colleague, Mor Zrihen from a Teacher's Treasure, got me in on it.  She suggested I share my ideas and make some residual income at the same time.  Shortly after I began blogging, I set up shop.  Since April, I've enjoyed the benefits of TPT and met some great virtual friends in the process.

When asked who my "favorites" were to buy from, I quickly shared.  "Of course, Mor from a Teacher's Treasure!  Michelle at The 3am Teacher, and Jennifer Runde from Runde's Room."

Although my shout out didn't make the final cut, I'd love to share the two and a half minute clip with you all.




My 30 seconds of fame!

If you live in South Florida, check out NBC 6 tonight at 11pm (or DVR it if you will be asleep).  Check out the promo clip of Caitlin Clabby (AKA Kindergarten Smiles) and me talking about the perks of Teachers Pay Teachers :)


Thanksgiving Writing (gobble gobble)

So it's after school and I'm cutting out the sample for my next product.  I have a group of my students who stay in my class during aftercare because it's quite and they can do homework.  One of my fourth graders says, "OH!  Are we going to make THAT?!?"  (See below)  My response was, "Really?!?  You want to make this?"  I guess I forget these kids are still kids and like to make "kiddy" crafts lol.  With that, I added intermediate paper to my "primary craftivity"  Now it's for all grades ;).

Any thoughts?  Do any of you intermediate teachers out there do projects like this with your little artists?

For a copy of this "Craftivity" go to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.

I also uploaded some FREE writing paper :)  I'm trying my hand at creating graphics!  Enjoy!


Halloweeeeen Writing!

I just finished two fun "craftivities" (not sure I'm using the term correctly but it is an activity and there is cutting and gluing involved so...)

I just posted it to my TPT store.  Here are two student samples I was able to collect :0)

It's a candy corn BOOK LOL!

And one for the secular crowd fall!

Enjoy :0)

States of Matter

Even though I have an intern, I still have the itch to teach (especially when it's something fun).  I realized that the class was studying the states of matter and immediately logged onto my Pinterest account because I knew I had some awesome pics.  I found two that I really liked and combined them into one activity.  The kids were so good during the process, one said, "It's so quite."  My reply was, "THAT'S what working sounds like."  LOL  Kids are so funny (and honest).

So here are the pins I had on my Pinterest for instiration:
Frogs and Cupcakes


This was what I ended up with.  
(I always show the completed model first - helps those "whole-to-part" students)

I passed out rulers, liquid glue and construction paper.  I also took the kids step-by-step through numbers 1-5 below displaying on the document camera.  Here were my directions to my 4th graders:

1. "Turn the paper landscape." (using math terms here people - no hotdogs or hamburgers here)
2. "Using ONLY PENCIL, write the title States of Matter."
3. "Using your ruler, draw a horizontal line under the title."
4. "How many inches across is the paper?"    
    "12 inches." 
    "How many sections do I want to make for my topics?"
    "What is 12 divided by 3?"
    "So I want to make a notch every 4 inches.  Place your ruler on the line you just drew and mark it at 4 and 8 inches.  Now do the same with the VERY bottom edge of your paper."
5. "Using your ruler, connect the notches to make two vertical lines."
6. "Now that you have three sections, copy my model EXCEPT, I want YOU to write in your OWN examples."
7. "When you are finished with your written work, raise your hand and I will give you a handful of 'particles'.  Use these to model how the particles look in each state of matter."
8. "When your work is complete, you may trace your pencil with marker and you may eat any remaining Fruit Loops."

Let me tell you, I had kids working so quickly and quietly.  They really enjoyed this activity.  I've already got the next idea cooking ;)

Update: Here is the bulletin board when all is said and done :)



Lacie, at Polka Dots & Pencils, is having a HUGE giveaway!  Check out all the goodies she has!


Main Idea Bundle - DONE!

Phew!  I finally decided to bundle my main idea/detail articles and graphic organizers!  So now my followers can purchase 5 for the price of 4 ;)  Every savings counts, right??

If you haven't seen my best-selling product, feel free to stop by my TPT store.  Or go directly to the bundle :)

Here are a few snap shots of what you'll find there:


Who wants their very own LAMINATOR??

Nicole, at Rowdy in Room 300, is having a spectacular giveaway!  You could win your very own laminator!!  Come join in the fun :)


Fundraise for a Cause

Alisha, The Bubbly Blonde Teacher, has had some sad news come her way.  Please read how she is raising money for a dear friend in need AND sharing some AWESOME teacher resources!  Go join in the giving (and receiving)!


Anchor Chart

I had a pretty productive week... Still trying to get into the groove (and remember to make ALL the copies I need to make each week).

I have an intern who is great.  (Hi Shane!)  I lucked out.  I hope he will take over when I'm on maternity leave in February (hint hint).  At any rate, he's great with the kids.  And just as strict has high of expectations just like I do.

I had to share this anchor chart with you all.  I think it's too cute.  The kiddos copied it into their notebooks (tried to any way).  This was the point in the year where the kids got to catch a glimpse of my "drawing" talents.  They were impressed to say the least.


Two weeks down... 34 to go!


The second week of school is over... I made it... We had a tropical storm last week (Monday was a "hurricane day" so no school - then Labor Day yesterday).  Nothing like cramming in work unexpectedly...

I wanted to share some of the new things I've rolled out for this school year!

1) Mountain Math - If you haven't seen it, it is a great review of pretty much every math concept.  And it's for grades K-8!  The down side is it's not technically aligned with Common Core, but it's still good review nonetheless.

2) Weekly Work - for when the kids finish early... I made a worksheet of activities I'd like them to do.  I have these GREAT Reading Comprehension cards for grades 3-5.  They are leveled progressively.  So based on their last year's test scores, I will begin each student on a different card so as to avoid any of the "I can't find the card I need," whining.  The kids will have until Friday to read 5 cards and record their 5 answers on the worksheet.
Next, I have a place for them to read an Accelerated Reader picture book and take a quiz.  

Then, they make up four math problems and solve them (six digit addition and subtraction, multiplication, division).  

Finally, I have a space for Boggle words :)

*Phew!*  I've got them busy busy busy all day! ;)

What did you try new this year?

Somethin' I made for the Parents :)

*sigh*  I've been napping all weekend!  I don't know if it's the pregnancy or the fact that school begins tomorrow ;)  Either way, I've got a ton to share and have been so busy setting up the class (and having endless amounts of in-service trainings zzz).

We had "Meet the Parent" night on Thursday.  I had a pretty good turn out.  Only three no-shows out of 25.  One is believed to be withdrawing.  So fingers crossed for 24 kiddo *grin*.

For the two-hour event, I made folders for each parent.  In the folders I had the following:

(on the left - things I needed back that night)
Parent Questionnaire (to fill out that night)
Emergency Contact info sheet for the school (G-D forbid if something happened on day one!)
A piece of paper to write their child a note (which I put in their desk for the first day)
School forms
A magnetic business card with my info on it
A little gift from me (see below)

(on the right - things I needed back the first week)
Emergency Clinic Cards
Discipline agreement
Why Reading is Important (can't find the exact one but similar to this)
Ron Clark's 55 Essentials (see below)

So I was trying to think of something clever to give to the parents as a symbol of our working together this year.  I knew I had to have store bought goodies but what to write as a note.... hmmm...

Here's what I came up with :)

It's a recipe for a Scholarly Student :)  I've got the "recipe" in my store :)

On a different note (ha pun hehe), We kicked off our pre-planning week with an inspirational speech from Ron Clark.  If you haven't heard of him, check out his story.  It's so inspiring.  It makes me so glad I chose teaching as my profession.  I saw the movie prior to this speech and it was great - worth a second viewing ;)

I've been reading his book The Essential 55 and let me tell you, my kids this year are TOTALLY doing all 55 (plus the 29 rules of etiquette).  Kids these days have lost those manners and fundamental actions each person should strive to live by.

Well, I'm off to go do some last minute things before I head off to bed.  First day with the kids tomorrow.  I'll dish on that later ;)


My Newest Game!!

Ok peeps, I've been working on this game for some time now and have finally got it up and running.  It's called Balanced Equations.  It's played similarly to Scrabble but with a math twist.  The game includes all the pieces, labels and student worksheet.  You can make it as difficult or as easy as you want.  You can omit the Double and Triple game pieces and just play with the points on the game tiles.  There are numbers 0-9, all math symbols, fractions, and blank tiles.

All you have to have is a hundreds pocket chart to play the game.  Check out these pics:

 This is the board ready to be played... (I cut up a small pocket chart to hold the tiles in play)
 Here is the first move...
 Replace the used tiles for more...
 And it's the next player/team's turn...

I'm so proud of this.  I cannot wait to play this with my kiddos!  Once I model how to play, I can even use it as a math center.

For a full description of what's included and how to play, check out my TPT or TN store.  Oh!  And back to school sales begin today ;)  So get it on the cheap!!




Hello fellow teachers!

Who doesn't LOVE a sale???  I will be throwing a sale on ALL of my products August 12-13.

Visit either of my stores (TN or TPT) to see what goodies I have.  Start filling up your cart :)

Also, TPT is giving an extra 10% off the sale price if you use the code BTS12!

Happy shopping!!!


Product Swap!!

So I was blessed to have a great swap for this little teacher-sharing extravaganza!

Big hugs to Jessica over at Mrs. Standford's Class for hosting this event and also to Michelle at 3am Teacher for using her talents in making our link button :)  Visit the rest of the swappers to see other phenomenal products reviewed by teachers!

Below is the wonderful (and useful for all age groups) product I received from Heidi at My (Not So) Elementary Life.  Heidi is a newlywed (awwwww!) and loves to use her creative juices to share her ideas with the world.  She is big on classroom management and she has much to share in the way of knowledge as well as products.  Her blog is full of ideas for ways to make your class run smoothly.

Here is one of her genius tools forming cooperative learning groups:

Ever heard of "Clock Partners"?  Well if you haven't, it's a way to group students into hetero/homogeneous groups.

Now, I printed these graphics (I printed two pages per sheet because I have older students and they can handle the small print).  There are two "clock" versions in the set so plenty for a class.  You can say, okay, I want all the 1, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock kids to make a group.  Or if you have them leveled you can say, "1 and 2 o'clockers meet me on the carpet for small groups." And they don't know the difference.  You can also, group kids in pairs and say, "Meet with your clock partner." And they can be grouped as peer/mentor or as students who have the same interests, learning styles, random, whatever.  The options are endless.

Here are a few screen shots of what I printed (my pages are currently in line at the laminator *crossing my fingers they will get done before school begins*).  Again, I printed two pages per sheet which makes the cards smaller.  There are a total of 60 cards per set and there are two sets in the pack.  Here is one page from the clock partners:

There are also cards for making pairs - Adorable, right??   And there are more pairs!!

Or for making small groups!  Students find their matching animal and each animal is a different color.  Or for larger groups, have the students find their matching color instead of animal.

So head over to Heidi's TPT store and download your copy ASAP!!  And if you're not a follow of hers already, you should check her out her blog!

Thanks Heidi for creating such an easy to use tool for grouping (and super cute too)!


!!Boggle Freebie!! (until August 1st)

OK folks...  Those who have seen previous posts know I'm been on this zebra print kick...  So I made the ever-so-popular-on-pinterest seat/storage crate creations and a BOGGLE board :)

Here are my two latest ventures...

The seat/storage crate is a hanging file folder crate + MDF (cut at Home Depot to fit on top of open crate) + zebra fabric + foam + ribbon = a kid-sized creation

For the BOGGLE board, I found a 11" x 11" magnetic dry erase board at Target (it came in a few colors - I'm kinda bummed I didn't get the neon green) + a cute border + printed zebra letters (which you can download for free until August 1st at my TPT store) + a magnet on the back of letters = a week's worth of fun for my kiddos!

I'm not sure which border I'm going to use (or not use either)... Feel free to chime in ;)  Background will most likely be black and the title will be zebra print.

Happy creating!


Make your Library Last Longer!!

(Like the Alliteration?? LOL)

"Mrs. Siegel (well, it was my maiden name back then but you get it), the cover came off this booooook," claimed the whiny child waving a copy of Goosebumps in my face.  I had to think of a way to keep my books intact year after year.

Viola!  I (and when I mean I, I mean I convinced parents to help me) began covering my chapter books with clear contact paper.  To date, I have not had one more book fall apart on me.  It was well-worth it to invest the time (or volunteer hours hehe).

Yesterday, I spent some time covering some of my book club books.  Yes, I have a closet dedicated to my book club sets of books... I know I'm not the only one.  But dang it, I have too many to have in my teeny weeny classroom.  So I sat myself down at the kitchen table, flipped on some ON DEMAND and watched a marathon of Dallas (my new vice) while I cut contact paper.

You need a roll of clear contact paper.  You can get this at Target, Publix, Ace Hardware, and just about anywhere that has a "kitchen" section.  You also need good scissors and your books to cover.

Here is a picture tutorial.

Cut 14" of Contact Paper (larger for thicker books)

Then cut the Contact Paper in half

Pull the backing off the Contact Paper and lay sticky side up.  Then place the binding of the book in the middle of the paper.

Gently lay one side down...

Then turn the book over to the other side.

Trim triangles off each edge of paper.

It looks like this when done with this step.

Cut where the binding is...an inverted "V" and then trim off.

Then you end up with this...

Fold in each edge to the back and front cover of the book.

This is what it will end up looking like.

And you're done!

I've also done this with some of my picture books, student workbooks, and soft-cover books that belong to my school.

Happy Saving!!

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