Saturday, November 24, 2012

TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale!

Thanks to The School Supply Addict for the cute button!

I can't wait for Cyber Monday, mostly because TPT is going to be taking 10% off all sales with the code "cmt12" and my store will be 20% off!

So this Monday and Tuesday November 26th and 27th, hop on over to my store to grab some of these goodies:

 My newest product: Math Quick Checks for Fourth Grade. This product aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning and the Core Curriculum. Put the cards on a binder ring and ask each student a question as they transition in and out of the classroom.

 Check out my Beezus and Ramona student booklet for 19-pages of skill-focused activities related to this novel.

My Word Study/Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe is also a best seller in my store.

And finally, my best seller- a reader's response packet for Because of Winn Dixie for guided reading groups, literature circles, centers, enrichment, etc.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday & Liebster Blog Award Nomination

I hope that you all had a restful Thanksgiving and that all you brave shoppers survived the crowds today. I still have never really been Black Friday shopping. I want to do it once, but it's just not for me! I admire anyone who can deal with so many crowds and pushy people on a day off!

I had an amazing Black Friday though because Heather from The Wild Rumpus nominated Fourth Grade Lemonade nominated me for  Liebster blog award! I am so stinking excited to put the Liebster Blog Award sticker/button thing on the side of my blog :) Thank you so much, Heather!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:

  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)

Here are some random facts about me!
1. I've had chicken pox 3 times.
2. I am obsessed with Harry Potter! I flew to London for the release of the 7th book.. stood in line, got the book and flew right back to the states. And I'm going to the Harry Potter Amusement Park this summer!
3. I went to Penn State. We Are!
4. I am getting married in September to my college sweetheart, who I met at Beaver Stadium!
5. I wanted to be a writer or a journalist when I grew up.
6. I have a terrible obsession with awful reality TV shows (Teen Mom, Sister Wives, Breaking Amish..)
7. I love that Heather said she has gray hair... so do I! And I'm only 23. It's genetic. Oh well.
8. My first car was a yellow convertible VW beetle.
9. I teach in the same school district that I was educated in from 1st to 12th grade.
10. I love travelling. My goal is to go to all 50 states. I've been to half.
11. My fiance proposed to me in Italy last March!

Questions asked by Heather:
  1. What is your best teaching memory?
    My favorite teaching memory is receiving a handmade bracelet from one of my most difficult students my year of student teaching (who still takes the cake for most difficult student I've ever had.. but also one of the sweetest). I still wear it today and I will always remember the little girl who gave it to me.
  2. What is your worst teaching memory?
    My worst teaching memory would have to be things falling apart in front of my mentor teacher and supervisor during my student teacher between an autistic student and an O.D.D. student in the classroom. I was so mortified, but now that wouldn't even phase me. There's so much that is out of your control as a teacher, the calmer you are, the calmer the students are :)
  3. What made you decide to start a blog?
    I started reading a ton of blogs towards the end of last school year and it was really changing my teaching and I wanted to share how well some of the activities I got from the blogs were going. After I started this blog, I think I've become an even better teacher.
  4. What's your favorite season and why?
    My favorite season is Fall! Football, Hoodie weather, apple cider, the leaves changing...
  5. Do you have a teaching idol? Who and why?
    My teaching idols are my fourth grade teacher Mrs. D, my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Kunkle and my AP Psych teacher Mr. Fitzgerald. The common thread between them all was that they all had spectacular classroom management and I enjoyed learning in their classes. 
  6. Do you have any hobbies, and, if so, what's your favorite?
    My favorite hobby is reading. I love getting caught up in the world of a new book.
  7. Coffee or Tea?
    Coffee! Tea is gross.
  8. Dessert: chocolate or other?
    My favorite dessert is frozen yogurt piled high with sprinkles.
  9. Snack: sweet or salty (Can you tell I haven't eaten yet this morning?!)
    Both! Chocolate covered pretzels and pretzel m&ms. Perfect.
  10. What were you prior to becoming a teacher?
    A student at Penn State. I was a journalism major first though.
  11. If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been?
    I probably would have become a journalist, but real estate and library sciences also interest me. I want to be a secretary in the Mad Men era.
Here are 11 questions for my nominees!
1. Do you own any pets?
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would would you go?
3. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
4. In the spirit of Black Friday, what is your favorite store?
5. What is your favorite book to read aloud to your students?
6. If you won the megamillions lottery, what would your first purchase be?
7. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
8. What is your favorite sport?
9. What are your favorite blogs in your blogroll (they don't have to be teacher-related)?
10. If you could time travel to one year for the whole year, what year would you go to?
11. Why did you start blogging?

The 11 blogs I am nominating:

Alright, nominees! Don't forget to comment on this post with a link to your blogpost!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Last Minute Deal: BarkBox for November + $5 off

As of an hour ago, I am officially on Thanksgiving Break!!! So I want to do one non-teaching post to introduce you to my favorite subscription ever. Have you heard of BarkBox? If not & you have a dog, you need to visit their website {here}.

I am a dog lover. I have a 1-year old miniature schnauzer named Brooklyn.
I subscribed to BarkBox for my first 3 months and got my 1st box last month in October. Brooklyn loved everything in the box, but I think I enjoyed it even more. There were toys, treats, coupons and supplies like disposable bags.

I first heard about BarkBox through another blog and was dying to get it. Luckily, one day I stumbled upon a groupon for the subscription at almost 50% off. Right now, TODAY, this groupon is being offered {here}. Normally the subscription is between $17-$22/month, but you can get a barkbox shipped to your door for as little as $11/month if you want to buy the six month subscription today through Groupon.

Seriously, you won't be disappointed. If you're not sold on the idea, get the 3-month subscription through Groupon. It's only $35 for 3 months!

This month (November), this is what I received in my BarkBox-
An antler chew toy. These aren't B's favorite usually, but since it's on a rope, maybe she'll like this antler chew more. I wish I could get her to like them, they're all natural and have no residue like all the other crazy chew sticks she likes.
Two $10 gift cards - to and dogtv. I heard about DogTV on the radio. It's a TV channel for you to leave on for your dog when you leave him at home. So ridiculous that someone invented it but I'll try it for free! No way I'm paying for it though.
There was actually another $10 gift card I discovered after I took all the pictures- to (a petsitting service website!)

These are actually the treats I buy Brooklyn, so I was happy to see them in the package. They're made in the US and I can pronounce all the ingredients!
I was super excited to see this toy in the BarkBox. It's chew-resistant (B is a chewer!) and I can freeze it (with peanut butter or other stuffing) or stuff treats in it! Anything to keep B busy!
Smoothie for dogs - Pumpkin flavored! I've seen these before and am super excited to try them! 
Brooklyn playing with the "Bionic" toy. I put some peanut butter in it.
I looked up all the prices of the toys, treats and such and all the items in the BarkBox this month. The value of the November BarkBox adds up to $60.99 by my calculations. It's a great value and you get to try out all different treats, toys and companies every month.

Go to their website {here} to find out more about the company. They're small, family-owned and 10% of the monthly proceeds all go to a local shelter or rescue.

If you miss the groupon, go to the website using this referral link for $5 off your first month!

Are there any subscription boxes you've tried out? I'm considering birchbox... I've heard great things.

I hope everyone has safe travels over the holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tremendously Thankful

I sure am full of thanks this season!

1. I am so thankful for all my wonderful bloggy friends. So many of you have contributed to my blog in so many different ways- giveaways, advice, linking up.. the list goes on and on.

One of the first friends I made in this bloggy world was Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper. We both started blogging at the same time and I know I have really leaned on her through this adventure. I am so grateful for all of her help and contributions to my blog. Not only that, but I find great resources & inspiration on her blog constantly.
4th Gr Flipper

Another one of my bestie bloggy friends is Liliris at Elementary School Garden. Her blog and her resources are so valuable because she has some amazing experience! I am so thankful she has a blog so that I can get a glimpse into her classroom. This girl is National Board Certified!!! Stop over to see her great ideas, giveaways and to congratulate her on her new National Board Certification.

I am thankful for Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for giving me a blog to aspire to. Her creations are always amazing. I am so thankful for her help and her teachers pay teachers store!

Another bbf (bestie bloggy friend) that I love is my friend Melissa from Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late. She's a Virginia teacher too, so obviously we were destined to be bbf's :) I can't say enough about this girl's collection of freebies. I am super thankful to have such a knowledgeable friend!
Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

Another blogger you should add to your blogroll is Nichole's blog The Craft of Teaching. Her posts are always useful and entertaining. I said this the last time I featured her on my blog, but her blog is one of my favorites because she takes so many photos and integrates them into her blog. LOVE IT!
 The Craft of Teaching

2. I am thankful for my family. The past year has been spectacular. I feel like I'm getting into the groove of teaching (the second year of teaching > first year of teaching). I couldn't have done survived my first year of teaching without the support of my family, my fiance, my friends that I consider family and having my puppy to come home to!

My miniature schnauzer Brooklyn
My fiance and I in Cinque Terre, Italy this past March

3. I am thankful for Thanksgiving break! I think that's self-explanatory :)

Formative Assessment at Work: Teaching about Stocks & Stockholders

All I do is teach Virginia history in social studies. Right now, my kiddos are learning about Jamestown. They actually are really excited about this unit because we're going to Jamestown on a field trip and the unit talks a ton about Pocahontas. They love talking about how the Disney movie differs from the real events!

However, there is so much vocabulary and dry information in this unit. With my ELL kiddos, this just gets to be too much. So today, I was teaching about the stockholders in the Virginia Company of London (say what???) and the kids weren't getting it, even with roleplay. So they went to PE and I had sometime to reassess my teaching and I came up with something that I think really worked...

I printed out a blank mini stock, which looked like a mini certificate. Each student got one. I told them that we were going to discuss how stocks work today so that we could better understand what being a stockholder entails.

So basically I pretended that I gave them some money and that they were going to buy a stock in the company of their choice. They had three companies to choose from: Pepsi, Disney and Facebook.

Once the students picked the stock they wanted and wrote it on their little certificate, we looked into how the stocks were doing, which you can do on Google! We pulled up a chart and compared the three companies. lets you compare as many companies as you want. In the upper left you can see that you can change the timespan of the graph from 1 day to 10 years. This led to some great discussions about interpreting the graph. We looked at the 10 year graph and talked about why Facebook didn't appear across that whole chart. And can I just say technology is awesome? The values of the stocks kept changing in real time, which excited the kids beyond belief!

So then, when the students had imaginary money invested, they really started to understand the concept of stockholders and stock. They asked some really inquisitive questions and discussed why they chose which companies they chose, which led to further discussion about how the public's perception of a company affects its value. It also led to a discussion about the economy when we looked at the 10 year chart because there was a huge dip for the last stock market crash. I'm pretty sure my class is full of brilliant stock brokers now!!!

Obviously hands-on manipulatives are so crucial to learning, but I'm wondering what other ways you all have changed your teaching with good results? Any recommendations for dry-information-filled lessons? I have to teach about the beginning of government in the colony soon!!! Any advice is appreciated!

P.S. Sorry I've been MIA from blogging for a bit! I have no excuse except for the November Slump. I hope you all are looking forward to Thanksgiving break! Ours starts tomorrow after school!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Awesome Giveaway!!

Ok, Megan just launched her 500 follower giveaway and HAVE to share it with you guys. She's giving away a ton of awesome stuff. From TPT resources to the quietest pencil sharpener ever. What are you waiting for? Click the button to hop over to her blog!!!

Overwhelmed in November

Has anyone else hit that point in the year where you're over the novelty of the new school year and all of all the work keeps piling up? Because I'm there. We have parent teacher conferences, report cards and everything else to do around this time. Ahh!

Here is my November Currently from the lovely Farley:

We have two Teacher Work Days today and tomorrow. I love teacher work days but the time goes so quickly. Every time I get something accomplished, I think of five other things I need to do!