Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to School Sale on TPT

For those of you that don't know, TPT is having their annual Back to School Sale right now! In addition to that, my shop will be hosting a 20% off sale... which means everything from my shop is 28% off if you use the code BTS13 today AND tomorrow!!!

Hurry on over to my store {here}!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Spectacular Plum District Giveaway!

Plum District is having a HUGE Back to School Giveaway!!! You could win over $5,500 in prizes- which includes a gap gift card (PERFECT for teacher outfit shopping) and personalized frecklebox gifts. All you have to do is like their Facebook page {here}.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet The Teacher!

I'm linking up for Teacher Week '13 with Blog Hoppin!

1. I teach fourth grade in Northern Virginia at a Title I school. This will be my third year teaching. I did one year of teaching before this as a student teacher in Pennsylvania which was also at a Title I school so I've never taught a class that wasn't affected by poverty. I feel like teaching in a Title I school really makes the job even more rewarding.. getting to know these kiddos and making a difference in their lives.

2. Other than teaching, I'm planning my wedding. I'm getting married on September 21st (40 days from now!) It's really getting down to the wire and with the beginning of the school year, I know that this next month is going to be a whirlwind. But I am so lucky to be marrying my best friend after 5 and a half years of dating.

3. I have a miniature schnauzer named Brooklyn. She's the snuggliest little pup you'll ever meet. When she wants to love you, she suffocates you. Anyone else's dog do this??

4. I absolutely love travelling. My fiance and I have been fortunate enough to travel around the country and internationally. We've been to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, shopped in Milan, gambled in Las Vegas, parasailed in the Outer Banks, paddle boarded in the gulf of Mexico, laughed and cried at Broadway shows and have eaten chicken fried steak in Texas... and much more.

5. I went to Penn State. Happy Valley is really the happiest place on Earth. Everyone should see a football game there. My dog's name is Brooklyn because Joe Pa was born there.

6. My fiance proposed in Cinque Terre Italy. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Words can't even describe how perfect it was.

7. I am best friends with my co-workers and don't know what I would do without them.

8. My newest hobby is running! I love running. Especially because there's so many great trails to run on and sights to see in the DC area. I have signed up for a 5k every month for a year (until next April) and it really keeps me going.

9. Another one of my hobbies in the fall is fantasy football. My fiance and I got both of our families involved in the league and it has been so much fun. It makes watching football even more fun and it's great to have a little inter-family competitiveness.

10. My go-to fun fact about me is that I've had the chicken pox three times!

I would also like to announce the winner of the giveaway that I hosted last week during the Southern Hospitality Blog Hop is.....

Friday, August 9, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

I am super excited to do a Favorite Pins Friday thanks to First Grade Parade! So here are my favorite pins I've seen lately!

I love the idea of a little bit of a theme to Open House. came up with a neon themed back to school party and they have a ton more ideas here.

Then next there's a cute teacher gift. I'm thinking I could put this on one of my coworkers desks on the first day of school or it could be for a first-year teacher. The idea is from

I also just think this is a super adorable idea and wish I had a chalkboard somewhere because it just won't look as cute with a dry erase board. Unfortunately this is one of those pins that I can't find a home for. So the thanks for this idea goes to an anonymous teacher!

Bern from Mom 2 Posh Lil Divas featured a cute experiment to introduce the Scientific Method. It's called the Dissolving Peeps Experiment. How super cute! This will definitely be used in my classroom this year!

If you want to see what else I've been pinning, you can click HERE to follow me on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Upcoming Giveaway!!

Heather Matthews over at Peacocks and Penguins is SO close to 300 followers! To help her celebrate, I am donating a product from my TPT store that you can win in her GIANT 300 Follower Giveaway. Seriously guys, get excited!!!

You should follow her blog because the more followers, the closer the giveaway! And you'll be notified about the giveaway that way :) Other than that, she's an amazing blogger who teaches fourth grade and has some fabulous ideas up her sleeve. She's actually one of the first blogs I started following when I started this blog!

If you want a preview of all the products in Heather's upcoming giveaway, click {here} to read all about them!

And don't forget to scroll down to my blog post about the blog hop- my giveaway is still open to win some freebies from my store!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

VA is for Bloggers - Southern Hospitality Freebie Blog Hop

Welcome to Virginia!

Virginia is for Lovers Bloggers!

A bunch of us Virginia bloggers are bringing in the new school year by extending a bit of southern hospitality.  You can follow along the blog hop to visit 20+ Virginia teacher blogs for terrific teaching tips and fun freebies to help get your new school year off to a great start.

At the end of this post, you'll be able to see everyone who's a part of this blog hop! Pick one of us Virginians to start with and roll through all of our blogs to collect a ton of great freebies, ideas and resources!

The freebie I have today is one that is perfect for back to school! The activity is simple but it's a great way to kick off the school year in writing. 

I always start the year by reading and passing around a book called "Amelia's Notebook." It's a great mentor text for writing because it's fun and shows how students can tie in their personality to their fiction and nonfiction writing. The kiddos have really been excited about writing when we start off the year with this book.

This is Amelia's Notebook and it's a series so there are multiple books!
So then the next step is for the kiddos to begin their writing notebooks. I know that an empty notebook can be daunting to a fourth grader, so the first page of our writing notebook is our Heart Map. We fill in each space of the heart with something that is important to us that we can later reference to get ideas for a story.

The example on the right was made by one of my students that was so creative but told me on the first day of school that he hated writing and reading. I like to think that starting the year off with a fun, artistic activity made him hate writing just a little bit less. 

Click on the images to grab this freebie from my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I love receiving feedback on freebies, it helps me make my freebies even better!

You can also enter into this giveaway to win 3 products from my TPT store! That's right! You win, you choose!

Here's some of the products you could grab for free if you win!

Beezus and Ramona book companion with tons of vocabulary study!

Word Study or Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe for independent student practice with weekly words

Math quick check cards- put them on a binder ring and quiz your kiddos during transitions! See the blog post about these useful little things here.

The next stop on the hop is Nikki from Teaching in Progress! She is the hostess and organizer of this whole blog hop sha-bang so you can't miss her blog!

Teaching in Progress

Be sure to check out all the blogs below too!

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Currently

Wow! I can't believe it's already August!

I'm going to go a little out of order on these because the thinking one is my priority at the moment!

Thinking: I woke up yesterday in a PANIC because I realized it was August 1st. I get married in September. That's next month!!!! There is so much to do. So that's why that's my "thinking" in this month's currently. Thankfully it's all gradually coming together. All the big things are done and my first fitting for my dress is on Monday! So excited to marry my best friend, but so stressed about everything going perfectly.

Loving: My best friend got me HOOKED on this show called "Impractical Jokers" on TruTV. Seriously, I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's a hidden camera show where 4 guys who have been friends forever dare each other to do crazy things and they have to do them or they lose! I've seen them pick a stranger's nose... convince a stranger to let them clip their toenails... pretend to be a shoe salesman and say ridiculous things to customers... I can't even begin to do it justice, but it's definitely recommended!!!
Wanting: I've been told I hoard classroom books. I just love books and I love reading and reading everyone's blogs doesn't help because I hear about such amazing books! Right now I'm wanting the book Riptide the most because I heard about it from Carla at Comprehension Connection yesterday during the Thursday Book Talk linky party hosted by Andrea at Reading Towards the Stars.

Back to School Must Haves-

1. Tervis tumbler for all that coffee! I didn't used to be a coffee drinker. And then I became a teacher.

2. Thirty-one bag- this is something I don't have but desperately want.

3. Genre Labels from Ladybug Teacher Files (Who am I kidding, I want everything from her!)

Also, I am super excited to be involved in a blog hop that starts on Sunday! You can hop through a bunch of VA teachers' blogs and get a ton of freebies along the way! Here at Fourth Grade Lemonade, I'll feature a freebie and have a giveaway! Be sure to stop by on Sunday to start the tour :)

Back to School Goals

I can't believe it's August already! The summer has flown by but it's not over yet!!! It is time to start mentally prepping for the return to school. Our kiddos will come back after labor day here so I still have some time but I love that Jess at I {Heart} Recess is doing a Back to School Goals linky party.

Personal Goal: I have been running this summer. I'm a beginner but in April I decided that I want to register for a 5k every month and I have had so much fun with it. I get to support charities, do color runs and run with friends and my fiance. It's quickly become my favorite hobby!! So my goal during the year is not only to keep running, but run a little more during the week. Hopefully that won't be too challenging to balance!

Organization Goal: Organization is my weakness. Everyone's pinterest ideas at the beginning of the year always look so amazing. I'm organized in the beginning. It's all perfect for Day 1. Then it's all downhill from there. I'm one of those people with a messy desk who can find everything and then the second I clean it I can't find a thing.

Planning Goal: I want this year to be memorable to my students. All those lessons you did in elementary school that you still remember? I want to make that a daily occurrence in my classroom.

Professional Goal: Some of you bloggy teachers have such cute outfits. One of my goals this year is to really spruce up my wardrobe!

Students Goal: I want my students to love reading. This goal can't really be measured but I think that if you love reading, it translates into success in a ton of different aspects of life, not only academic.

Motto: Keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan! Always.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Talk Thursday- Baloney!

How stinkin' cute is this book?

I've seen it before at book stores and such, and it's such an eye-catching book. But what made me fall in love was the book's description.

This book is PERFECT for my ELL kids. The majority of my students are in our ELL program (English Language Learners) or have been in the past. So I think they could really connect to this book. But like the description says, everyone can relate to learning how to read! We've all done it.

So, obviously, I immediately checked out this book and added it to my Amazon wishlist because borrowing this book from the library isn't going to cut it. And I couldn't help but write a blog about it for Andrea's Book Talk Thursday!!!

I found this great activity on TPT by Smart Chick Teaching Resources.

The activity she created to go along with this book focuses on context clues. Context clues are useful to all students, we know this. But context clues are invaluable to ELL students. 

Sometimes my students get stuck on a word during a test and freeze up! One time during a test, one of my students had never heard the word "jug" before and she decided she could NOT answer the question because of this. It was a math measurement problem and if she had gathered context clues, she would have been able to easily solve the problem. So every year, context clues is a main focus in my classroom.

With this activity from Smart Chick Teaching Resources, the students fill in a chart during their quest to find the meaning of the strange, outlandish words in "Baloney" by Jon Scieszka. They have to identify the clues that helped them determine their hypothetical meaning of the word.

For example, here is a page from the book-

The students would have to guess what they thought "Torakku" meant and identify the clues in the text and illustrations that helped them arrive to that conclusion.

So glad I found this book and Smart Chick Teaching Resources today!