Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Did you hear!?  TpT is 10 and they are celebrating with a sale!   Below are a few of my favorite products in my store!  Check them out and click the TpT image at the very end of this post to see them all {and much more!}.  My store will be 20% off and YES bundles are INCLUDED!  WOO HOO!

All of the products shown above can be found in my TpT store!  Click the TpT image below to start shopping {and saving!}.  Don't forget to use code celebrate at checkout for an additional savings!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Guided Reading Bundle

Have you been eyeing my Kindergarten or 1st Grade Guided Reading Bundle but haven't taken the plunge?  Right now is the perfect time to get it for your classroom!  Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tomorrow, it will be on sale!  You can't beat 20% off PLUS an additional 10% off from TpT!

  • It's the end of the year.  Summer is the perfect time to get the contents printed, laminated, and placed into binders or bins for the upcoming school year!

  • You won't have to scramble around to find resources during the hectic school year.  Everything you need for guided reading levels AA-K are in one spot for you.  The materials can also be used whole-group if you wish!

What are you waiting for?  See what other teachers like you have said about this phenomenal resource below!

Here are a few sample activities from the 1st Grade Guided Reading Bundle.  Having activities organized by level is a life-saver!  Can we say differentiation!?!

Click below to grab this GREAT DEAL!  *Don't forget to enter promo code "celebrate" at checkout for your additional 10% off!!!

PS-I have a Kindergarten Guided Reading Bundle, too!!!  Happy Shopping!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Nonfiction Notebooks

Nonfiction is such an integral part of the Common Core State Standards.  As teachers, we tend to gravitate towards using fiction books for our read aloud books in class.  When we think of "classics" or favorites, we think of beloved book characters and feel-good stories.  I find that if I don't plan to use a nonfiction book as my read-aloud, it just doesn't happen.  My personal library contains LOTS of books, but the only nonfiction I have are important people, Social Studies books, and a small area for Science books.  My classroom library also contains mostly fiction books.  I've been trying to build up the nonfiction over the past few years.

The truth of the matter is, that while students enjoy hearing classics, they also LOVE having nonfiction read to them!!!   They eat it up!  Lions, Tigers, Bears, Insects, you name it!  Our kids are like little sponges that soak up what they read and learn about.

A few years ago, in an attempt to incorporate nonfiction more frequently{long before CCSS}, I created a nonfiction unit.  The unit focuses on giving children time to browse nonfiction books and take a deeper look at the components of nonfiction.  The components are compiled into a book, called  a "Nonfiction Notebook."  Teaching this nonfiction unit is one of my favorites!  I'm currently knee- deep in the middle of it now!  We started last week and are finishing up this week.  My kids have had many experiences with writing nonfiction during writing workshop.  They've also been exposed to nonfiction print {because we don't have a reading series or any materials to teacher reading other than what we buy ourselves on TpT...rant over} with Lyndsey's nonfiction reading units.  Thank goodness for those or our poor kids wouldn't have much exposure to nonfiction at all!

Below are a few pictures from our nonfiction notebook unit!  If you'd like to snag this great resource for your room, click the cover below!


Saturday, April 30, 2016


This past week, we learned about synonyms.  The kids really grasped the concept by mid-week!  I am excited to see them start using synonyms in their writing during Writing Workshop!  Below are a few of the activities we did.  There are also some FREEBIES for you!

My "Levels J-K" guided reading pack has a lot of synonym activities in it.  The poster below is one of the goodies in it.  See it HERE. 

This is a cute anchor chart that I thought about making.  Click HERE to see it on Pinterest.

We watched THIS video clip/song each day.  Warning:  It gets stuck in your head!

We did a whole-group sort one day where we honed in on a few words and added some synonyms for them.  This display will remain up for the remainder of the year.  The kids use it during Writing Workshop.  You can do this with any list of words!  I tried to pick common ones for mine.

 Here's a close up from a past year.

We read a few books and practiced saying sentences orally with Lakeshore's shades of meaning word fans.  These are also excellent for Writing Workshop!

A few years ago, we made sunny synonyms.  The kids wrote a word in the middle and wrote synonyms for it around it.  You can get the free sun printable HERE.  Warning:  This was made as one of my first products!  Back in 2012 I think!  Don't judge!

For Literacy Centers, we practiced matching cheese to mice.  The cutouts were from Dollar Tree several years ago.  Grab the free labels and recording sheet HERE.  

We partnered up and did this match from Anna Brantley.  I tried to find it for you but couldn't.  I downloaded it years ago and I'm sure it was free.

We did a quick cut and paste from Lavina Pop.  You can get it HERE for free by downloading the preview of her product.

Hope you found some new ideas to add to your bag of tricks!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poetry Bonanza!

I've already shared a post about poetry recently, so I won't bore you with another one, but I wanted to take time to post all of the great things we've done in our poetry unit.  I will limit this post to few words.

After we finished up our unit, it was time to get ready for our annual "Poetry Cafe."  We wrote about ourselves using Teaching with Love and Laughter's free "All About Me" writing.  These were shared with parents at our Cafe.

We got our poetry anthology books all ready for the big day!  *I staple all of their poems inside a piece of construction paper.  They decorate a cover and glue it to the construction paper.

I always like to have the kids make a sign for the cafe.  I recently was gifted Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks at the French Lick Teacher Blogger Meet Up.  I knew these would be perfect for making our sign!  I printed out some letters and had the students help decorate them.  The colors of the Kwik Stix are so beautiful!  Neither the kids nor I could believe how quickly the paint dried.  Literally in seconds.  Mess-free and quick-dry?  Amazing!  If you want to check out Kwik Stix on Pinterest to see what other people are doing with them, be sure to follow their board HERE.  You can purchase Kwik Stix on Amazon by shopping HERE.  **Keep reading this post to see how you can win a set for your classroom!

Didn't our sign turn out so cute!?!?!?  I took each child's picture in front of it for our Memory Books.

On the big day, the parents come, we share our poems with Jazz music and darkness.  It gives the room a feel of a real cafe.  I make brochures to give out and we have milk, juice, and donuts.  We also share our Phonics poetry folders with our families.

The Poetry Cafe is a great tradition that the kids will always remember.  Spring is a great time to use my easy-to-implement Poetry Unit.  To get it, click below!

To enter to win a free set of Kwik Stix paint sticks, follow the Rafflecopter Giveaway below!

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