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Earth Day Freebie and Reader's Theater ON SALE!

Earth Day is tomorrow....have you planned anything for your class to celebrate?  I've got a couple quickie ideas for you!

Here is a freebie with a quick writing activity and a list of ideas that your class can do in honor of Earth Day.  Just click on the picture below to grab it at my TpT store!!

While you're there, you can pick up my original Earth Day Reader's class is doing this and they have had so much fun reading their parts!!  We haven't decided yet whether or not we will "perform" our parts for a larger crowd...this makes some of my kiddos a bit nervous!!  I have to admit, it is a pretty cute and informative little story.  It is ON SALE today!!  Check it out:

Have a happy Earth Day and a great week!!
Love and peace,

Writing Informational Text -- Step by Step!!

My students are having so much fun with our informational writing unit and they are learning so much.  The process we are using has really helped them to organize their writing and has given them a much better understanding of non-fiction text structures (which has also helped them with comprehension of non-fiction text).   I am so excited about this unit that I wanted to blog about it:

Here are the basic steps we have followed:

1.   We started by making a list of "expert topics" or topics they could write about without doing any research.

2.   Then after much discussion and deliberation, they chose a topic they knew a lot about, cared about and would be interesting to others.

3.  Then they spent time breaking our topic down into 3-5 subtopics, that would ultimately become the "chapters" in their books.

4.  Next students write out a table of contents.  They tried to think of clever ways to write the headings on their contents page so they would capture the attention of a reader.  So instead of "What Dogs Eat" they might name their chapter, "Dinner Time!"

5.  After that, students worked on writing an introduction for their books.  We reviewed how to write an introduction that introduces the topic while also captivating the reader.  As part of the introduction, they made a list of special vocabulary words they would like to include in their books (they will make them "bold" within the text).

6.  Next came our "descriptive" chapter.  Students chose a chapter from their table of contents that would be best written with a descriptive structure.  They then did a web as a pre-writing activity before beginning their draft.  During the several days that we worked on our descriptive chapters, students also practiced writing "partner sentences" to make their writing more clear and descriptive.

7. Next comes the "sequential" chapter.  Students chose a chapter from their table of contents that would be best suited to a sequential structure.  They then did either a timeline or a flowchart as a pre-writing activity before writing out a draft.

8.  Then they chose a chapter that would work well with a compare/contrast structure.  They worked on either a venn diagram or a t-chart for pre-writing before writing out a draft.

9.  All along the way they have been doing sketches or draft illustrations to include in their books.

10.  For their last 1-2 chapters, students will choose any of the three structures we have previously used to build their draft.

11.  We will finish up with a conclusion.

After we spend a few days editing and revising our work, and adding some fancy illustrations, diagrams and photos, the students will end up with their very own published book!!

They are really loving this unit...they literally cheer when writing time rolls around (at the very end of the day).  If you are interested in doing this unit with your students, you can get all of the drafting pages,  teacher examples (including a full sample text), and quick and dirty mini-lessons in my Writing Informational Text Resource Pack which you can pick up at my TpT happens to be ON SALE!! 

Have a terrific weekend!!

New Products...and HUGE Giveaway ends Friday

It was back to work this week after a nice, long Spring Break.  It has been raining since we've been back and the kids have been inside for recess.....but that said, it hasn't been so bad.  Really!!  I love the tail-end of the school year because my thirdies are almost fourth graders and they are really seeming like "big kids" now.  We can get so much done in the course of a school day compared to the first half of the school year!!

We are knee-deep in non-fiction text and loving every minute of it.  We are reading and writing informational text at the moment and my students are really into it.  Lucy Calkins, in her reading units, told us to "Rev up our minds" to get reading to read non-fiction and they loved that so much that it got me thinking about some new posters and anchor charts.  I have been working on a new resource bundle and it is finally done (at least for now)!  Check it out!!

So cute...70 pages of posters, anchor charts and graphic organizers!!

I can't wait to whip these out next week with my kiddies...their minds will be revved!!

I am also a member of our school's Green Team.  We meet with a conscientious bunch of thirdies after school twice each month to work on making our school more "green".  I'm mostly along for the ride since my teaching buddy does most of the work.  However, we wanted to do something special for Earth Day and I created Reader's Theater.  Of course, I knew I would also make it available at my TpT store.  It includes character cards that can be made into necklaces or stick puppets.  If you need an activity for Earth Day...check it out!

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22!!

Now for a funny story....we were looking up our spelling words in dictionary and one of the words was "colonel".  I asked the kids, "Have you heard of Colonel Sanders?"  Not one of them had!!  My buddy teacher came in during this conversation and said...."you know....KFC....big bucket of fried chicken?"  One of my students says, "Oh yeah....KFC...I know THAT guy!!"  I just burst out laughing!!  I guess I am from an "older generation"!!

Don't forget to enter my Giveaway!!  It ends Friday!!

Love and peace,

HURRAY!! It's a 100 Follower Giveaway and it's HUGE!!

Well....I made it to 100 followers!!  I started this journey in October and I have loved every single minute of being part of the blogger's club!!  To celebrate,  I am having a giveaway!!  

Some of my favorite bloggers have hopped on board, which is going to make it really special for me and for four lucky winners!  Thank you to these great blogirlfriends!!   Entering is easy....just follow our blogs and our TpT stores.  You might also want to follow our Pinterest boards and Facebook, but that is optional!!  There are four separate giveaways listed can choose the ones you like best or join all four!!  This giveaway ends on Friday, April spread the word!!


Giveaway Prize #1:

I am giving away a $25 TpT Gift Card plus one free item from my store (your choice)!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Prize #2

Gina is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store.
 Jenny is giving away from her store.

 Jivey is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store!

Giveaway Prize #3:

 Erin is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store.

Alison is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store

Rae is giving away from one free item (your choice) from her TpT store

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Giveaway Prize #4

Brittany is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store.

Holly is giving away  one free item (your choice) from her store

and....Terri is giving away one free item (your choice) from her store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


With love and peace,

April Currently and Common Core Literature Thinkmarks

A new month already...they are certainly flying by this year!!  I am finally on Spring Break and enjoying every blessed minute!  Here is my April Currently....

I love the song on the Sprint commercial where they show the video progression of the girl growing from a baby into a tween.  I found out it is a wonderful artist..Alexi Murdoch.  I ended up downloading the whole album (Time Without Consequence).  It is great stuff!

I'm on Spring Break and it's great!  I am doing a bit of spring cleaning and working on some new products.  Basically, just enjoying this little breather...much needed.

I'm thinking a leisurely sushi lunch!!  At least today, I'm awake early enough to eat lunch.  Yesterday, it was breakfast for lunch!!

My classroom book nook has been bugging me lately.  I really feel like I want to "remodel."  I would love some new color coordinating baskets (instead of a mishmash of colors) and some new labels.  I just created some new ones for my TpT store that I think I will use.  I got my old bins from the dollar store, but I am finding that they are falling apart.  I might just break down and buy some of those really pricey ones from Lakeshore or Really Good Stuff.  I just find it hard to swallow...I mean over 5 bucks for a plastic basket...c'mon people, give us teachers us a break!!  They must think that our school districts pay for that stuff...ha ha!!!

I LOVE the green theme in Mrs. Short's Second Grade!!

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It's still cold here in Michigan...we hit a whopping 40 degrees yesterday...ugg.  The sun IS shining though...and it feels awesome!!

My advice is....slow down....we teachers move way too fast through life.  Some of us wish our days away to get to our next vacation!  Ladies, take time to stop and smell the roses.  Enjoy those beautiful smiling faces that walk through our doors each and every day!!  Enjoy their silly stories, even if they go on and on.  Relish each "a-ha" moment!  Savor that book you are reading to them...because they are hearing it for the first time.  Appreciate their hugs, they come from the heart.  Teaching IS your enjoy each moment!

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!!

Yep, I've got some new products....nothing fancy, just some stuff I needed for my own class, so I thought I'd share....

I've also got Thinkmarks for Grade 2 Standards

Kids love giving their opinion on everything!!
My kids love to give each other cards on their birthdays!!

Got noise???  Here are two freebies for you!!

Stay tuned...I've got a HUGE 100 follower giveaway coming up very, very soon!!\

Love and peace,