Sunday, November 25, 2012

TPT Sale!

There's nothing like a good sale!  This Monday and Tuesday TPT is having a huge Cyber Monday sale!  I decided to join in and I'm offering 20% off every item in my store.  If you buy any of my items and use the TPT sale code CMT12, you get a total of 28% off!  And, I decided to extend my sale until Wednesday!  I hope you stop by and check out some of my items :)  Click HERE to access the sale.

On another note, I've been nominated by a few people for a Leibstar Blog Award and I'm so honored!  I'm going to post again when I have some time to answer the questions that go along with the award.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Card Exchange


I just found out about this great project! It connects schools around the country in a holiday card exchange. The deadline is November 19th so sign up asap! 

Holiday Card Exchange Information

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Giveaway and Fun Film Friday!

Classroom Compulsion is having a great giveaway. I joined in and I'm giving away my Period Practice Thanksgiving Theme. Check it out!

And here's my fun film this Friday!  It's a Schoolhouse Rock video helping kids realize the difference between subjects and predicates.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reading Strategy: Predicting

Things are getting back to normal up here in NY (except for our little gas crisis...but that's another story).  There are still a lot of people without electricity and homes...and now we're getting a Nor'easter!  It's actually snowing out right now!  We need a break already.  I decided to offer a new freebie to celebrate (?) our first snow :)  Click HERE to access a free sheet to help your little kiddies keep track of what they are predicting in their books!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I usually post only about school related things, but as a teacher in NY I wanted to post a little bit about what's been happening in NY with Hurricane Sandy.  As you know, Hurricane Sandy has had a substantial impact on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas.  People have lost everything due to floods, winds, snow, and even fire.  There are still thousands of people without electricity or hot water.  Please consider helping those in need.  This was taken from the Red Cross Website:
"Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013."

You can also click HERE to access their webpage.

I was extremely lucky to have nothing happen to my house or my family, but there are so many who were not as fortunate. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun Film Friday: Halloween

Tis the season...for Halloween :)  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays so I thought I'd share this cute video.  As I was looking at YouTube I realized that there are some really.strange.videos out there for Halloween, but this one is super cute!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I've been having some computer problems this week but they are finally all worked out!  It was touch and go for a while but now everything is (almost) back to normal.  This week I'd like to give a shout out to O "Fish" ally a First Grader.  She's having a giveaway and I donated my Period Practice: Thanksgiving Theme.
Even though it's a first grade blog, she is giving away items for all different grade levels.

Also, I'd like to give a warm welcome to my new followers!  I get so happy to see new followers and am honored that you enjoy my blog :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reading Workshop Character Chart

My class is currently doing a character study in Reading Workshop.  They are working in partnerships and reading about the same character.  Ideally, they should be reading the same book but unfortunately I don't have enough copies of each book to go around.  I have to say, even though I have a lot of struggling students, they are doing a great job with their conversations (even with's amazing how much they have to say about that dog!)  I thought I'd share one of the charts we are using.  It shows some of the lessons we've done so far.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Turkey Time!

Ok, so it's not quite turkey time yet, but the weather has FINALLY gotten cooler in NY and it makes me think of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Yum! To celebrate this time of year, I've created some ELA editing practice with a Thanksgiving theme.
You can find it HERE on TPT!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Classroom Management Tricks of the Trade

I know that this is the time of year when the kids are getting comfortable and may be exhibiting a few challenging behaviors. Here's a quick video showing one teacher's technique for getting the students' attention.

For some reason I've never been able to use this technique. For me, giving a clapping signal works best when the kids are doing group work. I use "hands and eyes" when they are working independently. I say "hands and eyes" and the students echo me and look to wherever I am. It works great!

Do you have a way getting the students' attention that other teachers could use?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Making Inferences Freebie!

I'm starting to teach my students how to make inferences and created this freebie to help them keep track of their thinking. Click HERE to download.  Enjoy!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Nuts About School

Hello teachers! I hope that if you have a three day weekend that you are enjoying a relaxing Monday! I just wanted to share some new funding opportunities for teachers:

This week is Donor's Choose Friends and Family Week. Any donation will be matched by the company! Donors just need to type the word PUMPKIN into the "match or gift code" box.

There's also a sweepstakes called "Nuts About School".  Teachers can enter once per day and win up to $500 in school supplies.  Sounds pretty good to me!  The last day to enter is October 12th.

description of sweepstakes

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Wake Up Their Brains!!!

This is a good way to have kids practice their multiplication facts through song and movement.

I also use songs to teach multiplication facts. I haven't taught them with gestures though and I think I'll try it this year. These are the songs I use with my class:

3 facts: Oh My Darlin' Clementine
4 facts: Gilligan's Island Theme Song
6 facts: Old Mac Donald
7 facts: Barney Theme Song (they don't really like this one...any suggestions?)
8 facts: She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain
9 facts: Adams Family Theme Song

Enjoy your three day weekend! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kids in Need Grant

Just thought I'd share this with my teacher friends!  I applied for this grant two years ago and received over $300 to supplement one of my science units.

Kids In Need Foundation

One more day until our 3 day weekend! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reading Salad

Even though it's not Friday, I have a short little video to share.  My students are currently learning how reading is not just reading the text, but it's also thinking about the book.  A couple of years ago I read a comprehension book which described how to create a reading "salad" from mixing the text (tomatoes) plus thinking (lettuce) to get real reading (a salad)  I can't remember the name or author from the book I got the idea from.  If you know what I'm talking about please let me know so that I can give the person recognition!

I modeled real reading with the book Jamaica Finds.  I read aloud and added the "tomatoes".  I stopped after a few pages and had the students think (the "lettuce").  We did this a few times.  Then, since I'm officially obsessed with Whole Brain Teaching, I had the students teach each other that text + thinking = read reading.  The boy I recorded did a really good job teaching his neighbor, but he froze up a little bit once the camera started rolling :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Science Giveaway

Cassandra at Adventures in Room 5 is having a Science Giveaway!  I donated my Butterfly and Ladybug Science Observation Journal (it's under the Life Science section).  Head on over and enter to win!

If you don't win you can still get my Observation Journal HERE!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Linky Party with Differentiated Freebie

Two posts in one day! Unheard of! I must be procrastinating from hanging up my laundry :) I was just about to do it (really I was) when I started reading my blog list and came across this linky party about differentiation and I couldn't resist :).

Taking a Walk on the Teaching Side- Differentiation Link-up

I had previously posted about my Differentiated Poetry Response Freebie (click HERE to read the post).  If you're interested in downloading the free response forms, you can click here to get to my TPT store.


Fun Film Friday! Whole Brain Teaching (continued)

I'm officially obsessed with Whole Brain Teaching.  I started using the teach-okay with my class this week and I noticed an instant change in the interest level of my group (for the better lol).  Here's a new video where you can see the mirror in words and gestures technique in a third grade classroom.

I love it!
I know not everyone is into this though so next week I promise I'll post something different!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pets in the Classroom

I just found out about this super easy grant to get reimbursed for classroom pets!  It's called Pets in the Classroom.  I applied on Tuesday for a reimbursable grant (up to $150) and I found out today that I was approved!  Pretty soon I'll have some little tadpoles in my class...I'm so excited!

I've tried all different types of animals in the class...
Hamster (ran away and a little mean...I'm convinced that it's hanging out with the mice somewhere in the building)
Lizards (hated feeding it crickets)
Tarantula (ditto on the crickets)
Hermit Crabs (super easy but I wanted to try something new)
Earthworms (neat for the kids but attracted fruit flies...totally gross! lol)

We'll see how the tadpoles turn out.  Have you tried any pets in the class and if so, what was your experience?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Comprension Strategy: Visualizing

It's our twelfth day of school in NYC and I'm so glad! I'm tired of routines and I'm happy to be teaching. This week the kiddies started learning about visualizing. I love teaching this concept! I start out having them close their eyes as I describe opening a lollipop step-by-step. I describe what what they would hear, smell, taste, feel, and see. You could practically see the kids salivating over the lollipop in their imagination :) After that we discuss why visualizing is necessary to understand our stories, and how to make a mental "movie screen".  I modeled with part of a book called "Raspberries: A Tale of Cooperation."  While I read, I give out jobs for the kids.  One group makes a mental image of what they see in their mind, one group focuses on what they hear, one with smell, and one with feel.  We discussed taste but didn't add it to the chart.  Here's what we created:
They write a V on the post-it to represent visualizing.

While the kids read independently I have them work on this sheet:

For homework the students read a book and sketch a picture of what they visualized.  Then they write what they saw on their mental movie screen.  If you're interested in doing the 5 senses worksheet and the visualizing homework sheet, you can find them here:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Whole Brain Teaching

My class is learning about the states of matter in science.  I was looking for a solid, liquid, gas video and couldn't really find any that I was thrilled with.  While I was looking on YouTube, one of the videos that popped up was about Whole Brain Teaching.  The techniques used in the video are pretty interesting...they utilize a lot of turn and talk and teaching to your neighbor.  I've heard about this before but haven't really learned that much about it.  In the video the techniques are being used with college students, but I think that certain aspects could definitely work for elementary kids.
Do you have any experience in Whole Brain Teaching?  Do you incorporate it in your classroom?  I'd love to hear more about it!

On another note, no little critters today!!! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Favorite Read Aloud Linky Party

What a day! My students came back to school after our four day weekend (thank you Rosh Hashanah!) and they were all ready to learn. Then the small little gray critter invasion took over our room. More than one little mouse was caught. I have to say that my students handled it pretty well. I would, however, get the occasional story about when their uncle saw a mouse, or Mickey Mouse, or some other mouse story. I also got the more than occasional glances at the mouse traps. I was totally grossed out so I think they handled it better than I did! :)

While all of this mouse hysteria was going on in my room, I was actually able to do a read aloud. When I got home I was looking up some new read alouds online and came across this linky party and thought I'd link up! Here are some of my tried and true favorites:
 Roller Coaster 
Great for small moments and for teaching craft elements in writing.

My favorite for character studies.

My all time favorite!  You just have to believe me and read it :)

I've mentioned this one in a previous post.  It's great for a beginning of the year read aloud.

Read aloud time is one of my favorite parts of the day.  I hope that you enjoy some of these books as much as my class does!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Math Freebie

Hey all!  Just wanted to share this math freebie called Showing Your Work in Math from my TPT store.  This can be used for any math unit and it is similar to the format on standardized tests.  It really pushes the students to show their work and then write about it.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun Film Friday!

I know that we are all getting past those beginning days...the newness is wearing off and there a few students testing their limits.  I found this really good video of a way to help with transitions.  I can't embed the video on the blog this week, but click below to go directly to the video.  Enjoy!

NY Times Teaching Technique: Mixing Joy and Structure

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Week

We're almost at the end of the first full week of school. I think I'm going to sleep for an entire day during our nice four day weekend :) My class this year is a little...difficult lol. I have a couple of talkers and more than a couple who are still on summer vacation but they'll get there eventually!

Here are some things we've done this week:

Our first math lesson included finding math around the room and the world.

The students looooove this read aloud!  It's great for the beginning of school.  It's about a principal who loves his school so much that he keeps extending the school year.  In the end he learns that there needs to be a balance between learning in school and home.  Every year the students beg me to read this over and over!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fun Film Friday....ummm Saturday :)

Soooo last week was the first week of school and I am wiped out! You know you're a teacher when you fall asleep at 8:30 on a Friday night! Hence, no fun film yesterday. But I am making up for it and found a really great video series about guided reading. It's a little longer than usual but it is really helpful for new teachers, and can be a refresher for the veterans.

There are some other great videos having to do with guided reading on the Teaching Channel.
I hope that you enjoy watching!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Folder Fun

In an older post, I had talked about how I use and organize folders in the classroom.  Click HERE to view the post.  Today I finally sat down and got them ready for the first day of school (exciting Labor Day vacation, right? lol).  Here's a pic:
These were all from Staples.  I only buy the paper ones as those are cheaper.  I write the names of the folders rather than use labels b/c I like the writing to be larger than what would fit on a label (I know...I'm obsessive lol).  But it does help with management!  What folder/binder system do you use in your class?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Fifty Nifty Song

It's Friday!  Yay!  I noticed I've only written one other post since last Friday.  That's because I was setting up and dealing with back to school craziness.  I'm not ready to post final pics of my room yet but I will next week!
 But now it's Friday and time for another fun film.  Since I posted a Science video last week, I decided to switch it up and do Social Studies this week.  This is a song that I teach my class every year.  It's called Fifty Nifty United States and the kids love it!  There are a lot of versions of the song on YouTube, but I think this is the best to start off with:

I hope you like it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New and Improved Button

You may notice that my page looks slightly different.  I decided that my old button was waaaaay too busy and I needed to simplify it.  After a little research on how to create a button (I had totally forgotten) I'm finally happy with my creation :)

First, I had to find a background image that I liked.  I found this one by searching for Royalty Free images of gems and found one that I liked on Clker.  I used PicMonkey to edit my picture.  I uploaded the picture to Photobucket.  Then I used WikiHow to create the Grab My Button box.

What do you think?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fun Film Friday!

I know that there are a lot of blog themes out there...Make it Monday, Freebie Friday, etc. I decided to do something a little different and have Fun Film Friday! Each Friday I'm going to feature a different educational video.

I'm going to start out with a bang...literally! This is one of my favorite videos to show to my students. It's from Science Bob.  He has tons of videos on his website and on You Tube.

How fun!!!  Last year my students were so cute that they started clapping at the end!  The kids begged me to play it over and over!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homework Time! Free Homework Sheet

I am working on revamping my items on TPT. I just finished working on my homework sheet and I am offering it for FREE! I've used this sheet for years and it's a great way to communicate the weekly happenings of your class. It works for any elementary classroom. Click HERE for your free download!