Monday, March 31, 2014

A is for Alpha Boxes

So excited to be part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I am totally pumped and I know that I can do this (I hope).  My goal is to share with you teaching strategies that I have found to be valuable, teaching tips, freebies, amazing children's literature, and basically anything education related. So sit back, relax, and let's get started.

Isn't it weird how we will use a great reading strategy over and over again and then completely forget about it? I haven't used alpha boxes since last school year :( I know! Alpha boxes are a great tool to increase vocabulary, help summarize ideas/concepts, monitor comprehension, and promote student dialogue. This one reading strategy is jam packed with awesomeness. So, I finally used alpha boxes with my students as a review of  what they had learned about the planets. Check out some of their work, still work in progress. Click on the blue letter A to download template for alpha boxes.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning Time!

It's that time of year we all look forward to (or dread) Spring Cleaning! Don't worry:) I'm talking about cleaning out our wishlists on TeachersPayTeachers and this weekend is the perfect time. I know I save all my favorite items in my wishlist and purchase a few each month. Also, did you know that you get credit for leaving feedback? Then you can purchase even more items- how awesome is that?!

Now, we are joining a bunch of fabulous blogger friends and having a Spring Sale! You can visit Georgia Grown Kiddos to see a link up of all the participating stores. All of our items will be on sale and below are some of our faves. They are especially popular with our third graders.

Oh my gosh! My student's writing has never been so creative nor have they ever been so eager to write. Our Thought Launchers have such fun, writing activities that just ignite my kiddos imagination. Click on the covers to visit our store.

 Our students absolutely love problem solving these jumbles.They are great for practice and higher level thinking.
Critical Crumbs focuses on the four critical areas of the Common Core Math Standards (third grade). These can be used as daily practice/warm-ups.
And much more! Happy shopping!

Monday, March 24, 2014

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of our Spacetastic giveaway. We know you will enjoy all the goodies you will receive. Woo hoo! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Outer Planets

We have been learning about the outer planets using our Reading to Learn booklets. I love that our students are using think marks and sharing with peers about what they have a question about or what they are wondering more about. I think it's that magical moment teachers cherish and can't quite put into words. If you teach, you know what I am talking about.

My kiddos work samples of them using think marks, finding similarities and differences, and providing evidence from text to support their answers. Pretty cool huh!?

Here's another great thing- You can win our inner and outer planet booklets and three great anchor books to enhance your students learning!! Just enter our raffle below- hurry it ends Monday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spacetastic Giveaway!

You don't have to leave the solar system to win these spacetastic goodies from 2 Smart Wenches. The giveaway includes two of our Reading to Learn booklets, The Story of Inner Planets and Outer planets and some great books to add some rocket fire to your planet unit. So don't hesitate. The countdown has begun! Good Luck!

Here's what you have to do to win:
1. Follow our blog
2. Follow us on TeachersPayTeachers
3. Be a fan on Facebook

US Residents only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Being Creative and Innovative

This year our school has been focusing on the 4 C's. For the next two months we will focus on creativity and innovation. As with our previous post on Critical Thinking we want to share with our students what being creative looks like and emphasize that it is a skill that develops with practice.

There is a helpful article that discusses creating a classroom environment that fosters creativity,  30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom. It's more geared to what teachers can do, but clarifies what creativity looks like in the classroom and thus helps us (the teachers) encourage and create opportunities for our students to be creative.

We put together a poster you can share with your students. Click on the pic to download. Let us know what you think- we love comments!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Thanks to Lucy from Kids Math Teacher for sharing about the A to Z Blogging Challenge that is happening in April. This is the first year we will participate and I have to say it sounds like a lot of fun. If you are interested click on the badge to the right to sign up. Happy Blogging!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Read Across America Day!

Yesterday would have been Dr. Seuss's 110th birthday and there is no better way to celebrate his birthday than by reading. Hope your day is full of fun, books, and reading.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Shopping Goodies and Our Winner

There were so many great sales going on for the 3 Million Teachers Strong TeachersPayTeachers sale. But my buying focus was on melonheadz adorable clip arts and KG fonts. I am a total clip art addict and my wishlist had been growing for some time.  Blog Hoppin' is hosting a link up so that we can share what we purchased and see others bought too. Fun huh?

We also had a giveaway and the winner of our TpT gift card is...

Saturday, March 1, 2014


It's March and time for a new Currently. I look forward to seeing how creative and cute each monthly Currently is. If you haven't had a chance to link up, here is your chance. Just click on the word Currently and let the fun begin.

Well, we finally got some decent rain in Southern California. Everything looks so beautiful and renewed after a good rain. Love it- especially when I don't have to drive anywhere today.

Last year my husband and I fell in love with the taste of Starbucks Casi Cielo coffee. It's not always available so we stock up.

Since my three doggies love following me around the house all day I thought how can I get some help with the house cleaning. I know they're totally willing- Hmm...

Oh I love books, especially children's books. I tend to not budget well when it comes to books. I am always on the look out for new titles and books that can inspire my students and me.

I have to say that typically I have lots of patience. But I have been struggling with the lack of kindness of some students in my class. It can be completely discouraging for me at times. I need to refuel and refocus on the positive qualities my kiddos possess. Good pep talk!

Can you find the question based on my clues?