Happy 2015!

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!  Be safe ringing in 2015!

My TpT store is 15% off to ring in 2015

You can find lots of other stores on sale at The Primary Chalkboard!

(Early) New Year's Eve Sale

What better way to ring in the new year than a sale!?  This is a great time to pick up some New Year's activities for the week back.  Here are a few January items from my store that are 20% off today and tomorrow!

Writing prompt activities with a New Year theme

Writing prompt activities for the 100th day of school

A fun way to practice multiplication facts

Morning work/Bell ringer activities for the entire month of January

Writing prompt activities with a Winter theme

This one is FREE!  A fun way to get students to write about their break

Click on the links below to see all the other stores participating in the New Year's Eve sale!

Need a case for your tablet?

Many classrooms are getting iPads.  My district has an iPad cart for each building to share.  Teachers each get their own iPad.  I love being able to take attendance or a add a quick grade as I walk around the classroom.  Since I got my iPad in the fall, I've been looking for a case.  I wanted one that would also act as a stand.  All the other cases that I have owned for my personal iPad are zip cases or rubber without a way to stand the iPad.   Shoplet.com office supplies to the rescue!

I was recently asked to review the Universal Fit Tablet Case by Solo.  I love this case!  My favorite feature is the fact that the tablet can adjust to multiple viewing angles.
The tablet case can fit any tablet from 8.5 to 11 inches.  It has tensioned clips designed to securely hold any brand of tablet or eReader.
You can securely close the case with the magnetic strap.  The magnet is strong enough that the case stays shut even in my book bag.  I'm very happy with the case!  You can check it out also with other promotional productsmedical supplies, and office stationary at shoplet.com!

Meet Kona

We have a new member to our student body this school year and she walks on all fours!

Kona is being trained to be a guide dog.  The PE teacher at our building went through the training to become a foster parent to Kona.  Kona will be with her for a year while she trains her to be a guide dog for the visually impaired.  The students love Kona!  It's taken a while to get used to not petting or distracting her (for students and teachers).  I mean how sweet is this dog!
We did several things as a staff to prepare students for Kona's arrival.  One of the things I did in my classroom was read a book about a guide dog.  I read Cindy Lou and Sammy Too Go to the Mall, The Adventures of a Guide Dog Team by Cheryl McNeil Fisher.

It is the story of Cindy and her guide dog on their trip to the mall (told from the point of view of the dog, Sammy).  The book helped explain to students why Kona's job is so important.  In the story, Cindy even has to tell people not to pet her dog because he is working and needs to stay focused.  This story helped students understand what Kona will be doing after he finishes his training in a year.  

Snapshots of Thanksgiving Break Writing Activity (and it's FREE!)

Thanksgiving Break is my favorite time of the year!  I love spending time with family, eating delicious food, and getting things ready for Christmas.  Going back to school on the Monday after break is always a rough day!  I'm worn out from all the activities from the past few days and know that it's going to be a long three weeks until Winter Break!
I made Snapshots of Thanksgiving Break as a quick morning work activity to get students writing and reflecting on their break.  It will be on their desks first thing tomorrow morning and will give me a few extra minutes to get ready for the day!  You can find it for FREE in my TpT store!
My students are used to writing about breaks throughout the year.  I also have Snapshots or Spring Break, Fall Break and Winter Break for free in my TpT store as well!  I hope this quick activity helps ease you back into your week!
Don't forget about the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Saving Sale on December 1st and 2nd!  My store is on sale now thru Wednesday!

Yes, please!

I just like to laminate.  Laminating's my favorite!  You can only imagine the happiness I felt when I was asked to review the Fellowes Callisto 125 Laminator from Shoplet Office Supplies.
 It is absolutely beautiful!  I love it!  It has so many features.  It has four temperature settings including a cold setting.  The machine stays hot on the inside but is cool to the touch on the outside.  Unlike my other personal laminator from Scotch, the Fellowes laminator can laminate documents up to 12 1/2 inches!  Documents go in the front and come out the back.  You don't have to worry about feeding it into the machine at a perfect angle like other machines.  This also solves the problem of all your pieces falling out if you are laminating small items.  It has a reverse button as well.
The laminator also came with a pack of pouches.  This included a sheet to clean the machine after each use!  This will definitely be my go to laminator.  It is so easy to use!  You can check it out also with other promotional products, medical supplies, and office stationary at shoplet.com!

Fall Break Freebie and a New Daily Grind

Our first week long Fall Break is in the books!  I have to say that starting school a few days early was well worth the week long break.  My family took a mini-vacation, I got several doctor appointments out of the way, and I had time to make a little freebie for you!
Snapshots of Fall Break is a quick writing activity that students can do when they return from break.  Two types are offered for those of you that get a week off and one for those of you who just get a few days.

You can download it for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I also had time to finish my 9th The Daily Grind edition.  This one is for the month of November.

It's on sale in my TpT store for the next 24 hours!  You can also purchase all 9 for a discounted price!!  It's on sale too!

Scare and Share Blog Hop

Happy (early) Halloween!  The Indiana Teacher Bloggers are having a Scare and Share Blog Hop! Hop along to find all the freebies and dollar deals waiting for you!
I made this little freebie especially for October.  It's a spin off of my top seller!  I hope your students will enjoy the early finisher activities in my Halloween I'm Done Jar!

I'm offering the following products for $1.00 all weekend long!  

Keep the fun going by hopping over to Allison's blog, Stuckey in Second for another freebie!

Check out all the other Dollar Deals below!

Genre Jar Makeover

Who doesn't love a makeover?  My Genre Jar was in desperate need of one.  It was one of the first products I made when I joined Teachers Pay Teachers two years ago.

I gave it an updated look, as well as added anchor charts for the different genres and book cover genre cards.  Here's what you got with the old jar...

Here's what you get with the new jar...

You can check out my Genre Jar in my TpT store or download the update on your my purchases page!  It's 50% off for the next 24 hours!!

Just what I needed!

Recently I added an All About Me Banner for Back to School in my TpT store.

I wanted to display them above the lockers right outside my classroom and was looking for a way to make them stand out.  Shoplet.com Office Supply to the rescue!  The asked me to review Neenah Paper Astrobrights colored card stock and paper.
My school doesn't provide card stock or bright colored paper.  We have white and goldenrod!  The Neenah Paper Astrobrights Colored Card Stock was exactly what I needed.  The colors are so bright! It's heavyweight and I had no problem using it in the copier.  It's acid and lignin free.  The 8 1/2 x11 sheets come in reams of 250 sheets.  My banners fit perfectly!
 You can see the banners copied on the card stock (top) and paper (bottom).  The pictures and words really pop out on the bright colors!  The colored paper comes in reams of 500 sheets.  It is acid free and fade resistant.  I know I'll find lots of uses for this paper in my classroom!
If you would like to check out any of these products, Promotional Products, Medical Supplies, or Office Stationary, click on the links provided.

Smead Product Review

If you asked me one word to describe myself, I would probably say organized.  I like my classroom to be nice, neat, and organized.  I don't have time to constantly search for papers.  One of the keys to my organization are file folders.  It was a dream come true when Shoplet.com Office Supplies asked me to review products for Smead.  I was sent SuperTabe Erasable Manila Folders, FasTab Hanging Erasable Folders, Vertical File Folders, and a Step Index Organizer.
The FasTab Hanging Erasable Folders are amazing!  I couldn't believe it when they sent me a Sharpie Marker and Pentel Eraser to use on the folders.  I didn't think it would be possible for the Sharpie to erase from the tab but it did!  I'm so excited that I no longer have to stick in the tab labels or buy new folders all the time. Yay!
Shoplet also sent SuperTab Erasable Manila Folders.  Again, WOW!  I couldn't believe how easy it was to erase the marker.  This is going to save me so much money!  If you are like me, I can't simply mark out the label on a used file folder.  I always end up getting a new one to use.
I also liked the Vertical File Folders.  This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that" ideas!  I love that I can keep the files upright in my book bag.  The horizontal file folders always get bent in my LL Bean  bag or the papers fall out when I put the file folders in vertically.  Problem solved!  Now they just need to make them with erasable tabs!
The Step Index Organizer is another great option for transporting papers back and forth in my book bag.  I like that it has a clear window that allows you to see the contents of the organizer.
If you would like to check out any of these products, Promotional Products, Medical Supplies, or Office Stationary, click on the links provided.

Close Reading Independent Reading Activity

I began using close reading in my classroom two years ago when I started teaching high ability students.  I absolutely love it!  It is so much fun to see students take a passage and critically examine it. Close reading helps students develop the habits necessary to fully engage in a text.  My students work on these habits daily in reading group when I'm directing them.  I wanted them to begin using the habits when they were reading independently.  This is why I made Close Reading on a Ring.

It's an independent reading activity that helps students use the strategies that we have practiced in reading group.   Students can use the binder ring of cards and tool kit during workstations or when they are reading independently during the day.  It comes with 30 cards that are color coded for the skill that students are practicing.  I have also included a set of editable cards for you to make your own cards.

The binder ring of cards includes 30 cards that students can use to examine their passage.  I get many of my passages from ReadWorks.  This website offers hundreds of reading passages that can be downloaded and printed ALL FOR FREE!  You can choose a reading passage by key words, grade level, lexile level, text type, or skill/strategy.  I also print pages from books we've read in class or that are in our class library.  Passages are kept in file folders with the binder ring of cards and tool kit.

The tool kit that students take to their seat includes five highlighters and a highlighting key that are in a pencil case or pouch.  I use a case that I got at Office Max for 25 cents!

I love looking at their passages after they have closely examined them and taken notes in the margins.  ReadWorks also offers question sets for many of their passages.  These can be used to assess students and to work on test taking skill.
If you would like to take a closer look at my Close Reading on a Ring, you can check it out in my TpT store.  It's 50% off for the next 24 hours!