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!

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!

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.

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!

Teaching the Four Types of Sentences

My class has been working on the four types of sentence over the last week.  This always seems to be a tricky concept for some students.  I think it's remembering the name of the sentences more so than knowing the reason for the sentence.  For whatever reason; declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory are just hard words to remember!  My solution to help students who just couldn't grasp the concept was to make a jar (of course)!  My Sentence Jar has several activities and games for students to play.

It comes with anchor charts for the four types of sentences (I've included the terms statement, question, command, and exclamation as well).  These can be used to introduce the types and then displayed in the room to remind students of the names.  Students can play BINGO, sort sentences, and search for sentences.  I also included an editable Power Point so teachers can make more BINGO cards and add their own sentences.  Here are a few more photos of the jar in action.

My students really enjoyed playing the BINGO game!  We will see if these activities helped when they are assessed on Friday.
My Sentence Jar is on sale for 50% off in my TpT store for the next 24 hours!

Monday Made It

I've made lots for my classroom lately so I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It!
I've been looking forward to finishing this spice rack turned supply holder for quite some time!  It started out like this...

Now it looks like this...

My daughter drew the clip art on the iPad.  The top of the rack has flowers painted on it.  It looks so cute in my classroom!

My next two Made Its are in the same picture.  I decorated this bucket for books I want to spotlight in class.  Also, I finally caved and bought a straw dispenser for my pencils.

This year I'm giving students a scented marker for a birthday treat.  I bought a clear bucket at Hobby Lobby and added a ribbon and a Happy Birthday banner.
I also used the same digital paper to make name plates for my students.  Since I teach a 3rd/4th grade class, I made two different styles for the different grade levels.

I have one week left before it's back to work.  Hopefully I'll finish my last few Made It's in time!!