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Time for a Hall Pass Linky!!


I'm linking up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for a HALL PASS!! 

    P = Product
A = Area
 S = Signal
 S = Sanity

Give me a P!!! 
My favorite product has to this one:

We are still in the midst of writing essays and these resources have been extremely helpful!  I am so proud of the writing my students have done over the past few weeks.  This was a really difficult unit, but they have really stepped up to the plate and I feel really good about how much they have learned about writing essays.

Give me an A!!!
My favorite area in my classroom is definitely my book corner.  

But I have also fallen in love with a new spot:  the cupboards over my sink. I know, right?!  I have designated this area as a place for us to record our thinking about our current read-aloud.  The kids add character maps with illustrations, vocabulary words, information about the author and more.  Right now, we are reading The BFG by Roald Dahl, but these cupboards have also hosted Because of Winn Dixie and Shiloh this year!!  I recently added a "Twitter Board" where students can "tweet" their ideas about the book!!  Before I open the book to read, I pull one of the "tweets" from the board and we have a little discussion.  The kids absolutely love this and it encourages great discussion about the book.

Give me an S!

My "go to" transition signal has always been my chimes.  However, they recently got broken and I have resorted to a "magic" word.  I picked this up from Holly over at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade.  Every few days or so we pick a new magic word....and when it is spoken, everyone is to stop, look & listen for directions.  Our favorites have been "Doodlebug" and "Whizzpopper."  

Give me another S!!

How do I keep my sanity?  I breathe, breathe, breathe.  If you are familiar with Conscious Discipline by Becky Baily, you know about the magic of breathing.  When I start getting the feeling that I'm losin it.....I take a S.T.A.R. breath and tell myself..."I am safe and I can handle this."  It really works wonders for me.
I Am Safe Breathing Cards 
I also have to force myself to get to bed at a decent time at night....otherwise chaos will reign.  I am not the type of person who can function on 3-4 hours of sleep...I need a solid 6-7!!

Now I'm off to take a little catnap...that's right, I'm on mid-winter break!!  Of course, I'm sick!!  I only get sick while on vacation.  Duh!

Love and peace,

Informational Writing Resources Giveaway!!

I think its great that the common core has raised the bar for writing. Writing is sooo important and can really make or break a person professionally.  I have always thought that it was one of the most important skills for students to master.

 An effective writer is usually successful in whatever profession they choose. I am not talking about journal writing, personal narrative writing or fiction writing.  Students need to be effective technical writers.  They need to know how to organize an informational piece of writing, whether it be an essay or a report.  This is the type of writing that will be required of them again and again...throughout school and into their professional and personal lives.   Those people who find it difficult to write effectively, will find it difficult to succeed not only in their professions, but in their lives.

Math, Science, Social studies???  All of those subjects require students to also be effective writers.  More and more students are being asked to explain their thinking in writing on formal assessments.  As educators of all levels, we need to invest more time on writing instruction

We need to take the focus off of "fluffy" writing like narratives, fiction and journal prompts, and emphasize the meatier types of writing including essay, memoir, biography, and information reporting.  These are the types of writing that will help our students to succeed in all aspects of their life.

That is not to say that we should ignore other types of writing, but we should definitely put more emphasis on writing informatively

I have recently put together some resources to help teachers bring informational writing to their students easily and effectively (I hope). The unit focuses on delivering information in written form using three organizational structures:  description, sequence, and comparison.  It also gives students several pre-writing strategies.  It shows how to use pre-writing strategies to organize their draft using the following to tools:  flow charts, timelines, boxes & bullets, and webs. 

The best thing about this new unit is that I have included a complete sample text to help guide students through the process of writing their own.  It is soooo helpful when you have an example to show students exactly what you are looking for. It is nearly impossible to find time to create model texts for my students ahead of time, and when I try to generate writing in front of my students, I can never think "on my toes."  This resource kit has all of that done for you!!  I can't wait to start using these resources with my students!

Check it Out Here

On to the good part....drumroll please......
Can you tell how proud I am of this product....I put some hefty time into this one!  I would love some feedback from my bloggin peeps, so I want to give it away to 2 people who follow my blog.  If you are not currently a follower....well, join up right now!  If you are interested leave a comment below.  

 Love and Peace,

February Currently and a Freebie

Happy February everyone!!  I'm linking up with Farley for this month's currently:

My Lhasa Apso cracks me up.  When he wants something really badly, he doesn't whine like a normal dog...he meows like a frickin cat!!  I wish I knew how to leave a recording of this on my blog, because you would die is a perfectly formed "Meeeooowww!"

I am so darn happy lately, and I don't even have a really good reason.  I just feel content with the simple things in life....homemade soup, comfy jammies, cute puppies.  Kinda pathetic and sickening, I know, but it really is true.  I have had some struggles the past few years and things have just smoothed right out and I couldn't be happier with life!

I am excited to be doing students book clubs for our next unit in reading.  I put together some resources for my kiddos to use that are also now available on my TpT store (hate to throw in a sales pitch in the middle of my Currently, but hey...its MY blog!!).  I love being part of a book club as and adult; especially a teacher book club!  I am hoping that my students get to experience that special kind of connectedness you feel when you're part of a book club.  We will be doing Mystery Book Clubs, which I think they will really find fun!!

Check it Out with a Click!

Wanting...nothing really!!

A snowy, slushy mess is predicted for tomorrow morning.  I am hoping that the God of Snow Days smiles down on us here in Southeast Michigan and grants us the most awesome thing every...A SNOW DAY ON FRIDAY!!  I love my job, but an unexpected reprieve is a blessing now and then!

I know I am not alone when I say that Tattling drives me BANANAS!  This year I am following the Conscious Discipline formula for building classroom community and managing behavior and I have found a magic cure for tattling.  When "Little Miss Priss" comes over to deliver the news that "So and So" isn't doing what I told them to do I simply and so, so sweetly say..."Are you telling me to be helpful or hurtful?"  Oh boy...that gets them really thinking!  You can get a variety of answers to that question, but either way a teaching moment is created and "Little Miss Priss" learns a great lesson about how to be more helpful without tattling.  For more information, visit Becky Bailey's website on Conscious Discipline.

I'm ending with a freebie.  In preparation for our Book Clubs, we are revisiting "Stopping to Think" when we are reading and when and how to use a sticky note.  I put together this reference sheet for my kiddos and a cutsie sticky tracker.  It is also included in my Book Club Guide.  Click HERE to get them!

 Love and Peace,


Super Sale!! 28% off Everything!!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am participating in the huge Super Bowl Sunday Sale at TpT.  I am offering 20% off all of my products and TpT is tacking on 8% off to make a Grand Total of 28% off!!  It is time to clear out that Wishlist friends!  Just enter the promo code "SUPER" at checkout.  Happy shopping everyone and GO....Wait...who's playing the Superbowl?  I'm so clueless when it comes to football..but I love the commercials!!

Here are some of my latest products:
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Love and peace,