Saturday, November 24, 2012

Huge Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale

It's hard to believe the Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close.  Four days goes way too fast.  I am excited about the big TPT sale on Monday, November 26th and Tuesday, November 27th.  You will definitely want to check it out.  I know I plan to stock up. 

Thanks to The 3am Teacher for creating the button above.  Visit her blog to snag her button.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Poetry

It's hard to believe that today is Thanksgiving and the Christmas 2012 season will be upon us.  I love doing a few different activities during the month of December.  One that I do is the Poetry Club.  Students have a requirement to memorize and recite one poem in front of the class. Of course, many students complete that task quickly and are excited to memorize and recite more so that's where the Poetry Club comes in.  I use my Poetry Rubric below to assess my students. I provide the students with a rubric ahead of time so students are well aware of how I will be assessing them. Students get about a week to memorize his/her poem before reciting it for the class. After students have met their requirement, I give my students the option of doing another one.  We come in after recess on Fridays and have a brief Poetry Club time which allows students to practice reading, memorizing, and/or reciting the Christmas poems. (10-15 minutes max)  It's a great way to practice fluency and reading!! Where do I find the poems?  I have accumulated many poems through the years so I use the ones from my files which I just happened to turn into Christmas Poem Packs that can be purchased through TPT or Teacher's Notebook.  I included all of the poems in three ways-one with colored clipart, one with black-and-white clipart , and one without clipart.  You will also find a certificate for each poem included in the poems pack.  But you can also just google Christmas poems, or find them in poetry books from your library.  It's something different we do during the month of December.


Click on image to visit TPT store!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

As I start to think about reviewing synonyms and antonyms, a light bulb went on in my head and I remembered the "I Have, Who Has" cards that I made a few years ago.  These are great for review and also helps with active listening.  I often do these multiple times and the students try to beat their score every time.  This is a very "think of your feet" game and they don't even realize that they are reviewing their synonyms and antonyms!  I have put this on both our Teacher's Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Click on the link and it will take you to our store.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hello!  During the month of November, our staff are going to be "Gobbled".  It is a fun way to show staff you are thankful for them.  The poem is attached (this gets passed out to each recipient with the special treats) and a sheet of paper that is divided into fourths.  This is also given to the  person that has been gobbled so they can write their name on it and hang it outside their door so people know they have been chosen and won't get duplicate suprises!  I even hung a staff list in the lounge that people are going to mark off names of staff to make sure everyone gets to participate!  Enjoy!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jumping out of an airplane that has been hit by enemy fire, being captured by the Germans, marching three months during the winter...... these are the thoughts that come to my mind when I think of Veteran's Day.  These are the thoughts of my grandfather, Howard W. Miller, a WWII Veteran.  My grandfather passed away on October 28, 2006.  I worked with him for several years organizing his military records, interviewing him, and writing his story.  In fact, I created a Shutterfly book in his honor.  This book tells of his service to our country from 1943-1945. In the book are official documents; letters and postcards to and from home, newspaper clippings of when he was captured, maps, cigarette wrappers that he drew on as a prisoner of war, Red Cross correspondence and so much more.  I really created this book for our family so his story could be told to future generations.  However, I love to use it in my classroom, too.  It is a wonderful tool to teach children about primary and secondary resources.  We discuss interviewing and how to put information in chronlogical order.  But, more importantly, it gets my kids excited to write. It gets my kids excited to learn about their family history.  It gets my kids excited to pay more attention to Veteran's Day and think of its true meaning. 

"Dear Folks, Love Howard"
A book created in honor of my grandfather
and his service to our country

A few years ago, my second grade team created a Veteran's Wall at our school.  We provided students with red, white, and blue die-cut stars asking their family to write the names (branch and/or War served) of Veterans on the stars and return them to school where they hung them on the Veteran's Wall.  It was amazing how many stars we had for only one grade level.  The kids took such pride in this wall! So here's a freebie to create your own Veteran's Wall at your school.  Thank you to all of our Veterans for their service to our country.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How many of you have been in the middle of teaching a great lesson when all of a sudden a student needs a Band-Aid?  I have always guarded my Band-Aids because they are scarce at our school.  Our school nurse gives about ten to start the year.  Well, I don't have to tell you how fast ten Band-Aids go!  So, I decided to make a Band-aid box.  I went to Michael's and bought a little white treat box for $1.99. (found in the gift wrapping section) Next, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a big box of cheap Band-Aids.  Finally, I made this sign and glued it to the box using a can of spray adhesive.  When school started, we went over the guidelines for using The Band-Aid Box.  Let me tell you, it has been a life saver.  Get yours today at our Teacher Notebook Store.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What a great day - we have added our first item to our Teacher's Notebook Store!  If you need some hands-on review for making change, come check out my first Teacher's Notebook item for sale!  This is a great Halloween themed activity for students to help re-inforce the skill of subtracting with zeros.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


With this week being Parent Teacher Conferences, end of the grading period, and goal reflection - as a grade level we decided to have some fun with popcorn!  Throughout this week, we are doing language arts. math, and science activities to keep the students engaged and excited about learning before we go on our two week Fall Break!  It is crazy to think that we will have two weeks off of school.

Check out a few of the things that we are doing!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Parent Conferences

Can you believe it's time for Parent Conferences?  At our school corporation, we will do conferences with parents on Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 until 8:00.  It makes for such LONG days!!

I like to make my parent conference forms simple yet easy to complete!  Since I have a multi-grade classroom of 2nd and 3rd graders, I also like to switch up my forms from year to year.  Obviously, my main goal is to give parents a good idea of how their child is performing in my classroom.  Over the years, I have found that a checklist works best. I am using the Parent Teacher Conference form available in my Teacher Notebook store.  It can be personalized to fit your needs. 

In addition, I know parents love to hear from their kids so I created the Self-Report Card.  The kiddos can use it to let parents and teachers know how they really feel about what's happening at school.  Sometimes, I find that a student doesn't feel so good about writing, but is a talented writer. This form is a great tool to help identify a child's self-esteem and know just where he/she might need a boost to the ego.  The kiddos have to write a letter to their parents on the back of the Self-Report Card which always brings a smile to Mom and Dad's faces!!  It's a great conversation piece during Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Enjoy this Self-Report Card as a freebie! 
Happy Conferencing!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A BIG shout-out to my cohort who created this amazing blog!  I can't wait to start posting all the great ideas we have!  Hope everyone is having a great summer...we only have a few more weeks until we go back to school.