More Persuasive Writing

I thought I'd share some more persuasive writing teaching ideas, including an awesome download! (I made it today and am in love... hehe.)

1. Show your students this PowerPoint. It teaches your students about The Bing, The Bang, and The Bongo. I do not know who originally posted it on the internet, but I am very grateful, I have used it for the past two years to introduce the 5 paragraph essay format. If you goggle, "The Bing, The Bang, and the Bongo and PPT," this is the first link that pops up. Or click this picture to download.
2. Share some tips for writing persuasive essays. I use this website, it is definitely above a fifth grade reading level, but I try to explain and give examples to help my students understand them.

3. Print off this download for your students. It is two parts. First, it gets them thinking about their 3 reasons (the bing, the bang, and the bongo), and also organizes their writing for a 5 paragraph essay. The second page is an outline where students get to practice writing an essay using the topic of their choice.

Good luck and happy writing! :)

I linked up with Teaching Blog Addict! :)

Management Monday!

Sub plans. Those 2 words make my body cringe.  I hate making them and preparing all of the items. I really loathe it. I absolutely, most positively HATE making sub plans.  BUT, I have found something that works for me and keeps everything organized for my substitute.
It's called a SUB TUB.
Inside of this tub I put all of the necessities for the day. 

Obviously everything you have planned for your sub won't fit inside of this tub. I actually set out everything for the lessons on my desk with sticky notes that label each of the supplies.

When I'm not using the sub tub, it sits by my desk where my teammates know where to access it.  It holds my emergency sub plans.
Items to put in the sub tub:
  • Bandaids
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Office passes
  • Lesson plan supplies (books, scissors, etc)
  • Sticky notes
  • Substitute Binder

The most important thing in the tub is my substitute binder. The tabs in my binder are:
  • Welcome letter (this letter welcomes the substitute and lists helpful people and students)
  • Class list 
  • Schedule (these are the main pages the sub will refer to)
  • Lesson Plans (these are detailed plans for things like math and writing)
  • School Procedures (lunch room procedure, map of the school, important contacts, fire drill)
  • Class Procedures (sharpening pencils, bathroom, transitions)
  • Behavior Management (positive reinforcements, consequences)
  • Comments (the substitute can leave comments for me to see the next day)

The best tip for writing sub plans are to:  WRITE THE PLANS AS IF YOUR SUBSTITUTE HAS NEVER BEEN IN any CLASSROOM BEFORE!  Even have someone read over them for you to make sure you are clear.  I am VERY specific. Click Here for an example of my schedule in my sub plans and click Here for an example of a math lesson plan (you might want to print this lesson for place value).  When you read them, try not to judge me. I'm pretty obsessive compulsive. {haha} ;)

{click here for a couple of downloads I made just for you and your sub plans}

 What are your thoughts about sub plans 
(as a teacher or a sub)?

Want/need more ways to organize. 
Check out this product:

Persuasive Essays

Our big state writing test is coming up soon. To get ready for it, our class has been learning how to write 5 paragraph persuasive essays. To model this, it's tradition in my class to do a shared writing piece on one of our favorite restaurants.

This year, my students nominated and voted Texas Roadhouse as our favorite.

We started writing a fabulous essay! I was so proud of our introductory paragraph, that I decided to take a chance. I sent a copy of it, along with a nice letter about how much my students love their restaurant. In the letter I mentioned that my students would love it if they could share some of their delicious rolls or an appetizer of sorts with our class.

I did not expect anything to come of it...

BUT, about a week later, I got a phone call from Texas Roadhouse saying that they loved our essay and would LOVE to bring some food to my class. My students were ECSTATIC!

Last Thursday they showed up to my class with ribs for everyone and coupons for FREE kids meals!
 His mom is a teacher at my school, and a reader of this blog. I hope she won't mind if I post a pic of him. :)
The nice people from Texas Roadhouse who brought the yummy food!

After we ate the ribs, we brainstormed a list of words that described how the ribs tasted. It gave us some great ideas of "sparkle words" to add to our essay! I am so thrilled at how great this writing activity is turning out to be. 

What a fun way to learn about persuasive essays!

Valentine's Activity you will love!

Remember a little while ago when I bought that cute "Love Monster" clipart package from Dj Inkers?  Well, it inspired me to do a little Valentine's Day art/writing activity
Start by reading either one of these cute books:

Love Monster, Love Monster,
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
       How about  _______ for your lunch?      
{insert something V-day related}  

They can make their own monster from scrapbook or construction paper.

Or you can make a class book by just drawing your love monsters:

 With this cover:

Click HERE for all of the downloads you need for this Love Monster Activity!

Einstein Award

I had a fabulous day today at the Utah Association for Gifted Children conference. I got a ton of new ideas that I'm super excited to share.

Idea #1: Einstein Award

Our presenter, Ed Zaccaro,  had a fabulous breakout session on math called Nurturing a Mathematical Gift Into a Passion.

He had a great idea - an Einstein Award. It's an award for teachers to have on hand for when a student answers a question that no one else can answer, or for having a math 'aha moment' for the first time, etc.

I love this idea! How often do your "gifted" math students get recognition?? Our presenter said that athletes get awards, praise, and recognition all the time for sports. Our students need that same kind of recognition for math!
Here's my version of the Einstein Award for you! 

I can't wait to implement this idea into my class first thing Monday morning.
What do you do to recognize your high math students? I'd love to gather more ideas!

(Einstein clipart used with permission by Ed Zaccaro)

Students Fighting Heart Disease

A quick plug for one of my favorite days of the year.... 
National Day to Wear Red
(in honor of Women's Cardiac Care and Heart Disease Prevention)!

Teachers, let's make this day HUGE! Encourage your students and your faculty to wear red on Friday, February 4th!!

Here's a note to send home to parents:
Click the picture to order your FREE red dress pin!
(®National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and AHA)

Valentine's Day Craft

This little tear art craft for Valentine's Day is not only fun/cute/easy, but of course it has a learning opportunity!  The students will learn about primary and secondary colors! They will even learn about what happens when you mix white with another color (white+red=pink: white+blue= light blue)! On any of the overlapping colors, the students need to tear that color to show what it would look like if the 2 colors mixed.  The printable is labeled so there is NO confusion. Thank you to my 1st grade team for doing this cute art activity!

{Click on the picture for the download}

A student's example
  • Construction paper {red, pink, yellow, blue, green, white (regular paper is fine), and light blue}
  • Glue

  • Have the students put the glue inside of their hearts instead of on their torn colored paper. It will go by a lot faster.
  • Have the students tear tiny pieces and start around the edges first.

If you have any art activities that you just LOVE to do in your classroom, let us know!

Valentine's Day Ice Cream

This little idea came from my favorite 1st grade D track teacher (thanks Ashlee)!  I will use it the Friday before Valentine's Day because I'm trying to do a healthy Valentine's Day Party (I think I might call that party- "I {heart} my heart!").   This is a super fun and yummy learning/social experience called Friendship Ice Cream.  They have to find other students to sign off on each of their items before they can collect the supplies for ice cream sundaes (ex: If they want a spoon, they have to find a friend who has lost at least 2 teeth).  It looks like this:

 {Click the picture below for the download with instructions}
 clipart and/or fonts copyright Diane J. Hook and used with permsission
clipart from KPM Doodles

A Valentine for my Valentine

After you look at this post, make sure you head over to ABC and 123 {love this blog}! I was a guest writer on their blog and I posted about graphing with food!  Check it out!
Whether you are looking for a Valentine to give to your students, your child's teacher, or the love of your life- here is where you can get some inspiration!

You're a great "catch"!
{with Swedish fish and gummy worms}

{Click the picture below to download the tag}

"Hogs" and Kisses for my teacher! 
"Hogs" and Kisses for you!
{With a heart pig and Hershey's Kisses}

{Click on the picture below for both of the tags}


You're one in a "melon"!
{with Sour Patch Watermelon}

{Click the picture below for the tag}


You're just "write" for me!
{with a pencil}

{Click the picture below for the tag}

Which one is your favorite?   
 Inspiration for "Hogs" and Kisses from

ABC and 123

I'm so excited about my post on ABC and 123!  I was a guest contributor for their blog.  Check out my post on graphing with food and get the 3 free printables!

Management Monday!

Here is a management tip that I'm sure ALL of you already use!  Each of my students have one pencil in their own pencil box. If their pencil breaks, they may put it in the "broken pencil" box and get a new one from the sharpened pencils (without asking me).  Anytime they find a pencil on the floor, they can put it in one of the pencil boxes based on if it's broken or not. I'm sure you already do this!

But, do you have a cute download?

{Click the picture below for the download}

Valentine's Day Center

Here is a center activity for sorting syllables-
{Valentine's Day Theme}.
Enjoy! :)  

How do you introduce syllables?  I use the "hand under the chin method". What about you?
p.s. Don't you just LOVE year round school {I'm on track break, yahoo!!!}

{click the picture for the download}

Valentine Monster Math

I am re-posting this because I changed it in many ways! 

This is no longer Adding 3 with the Love is now Valentine Math Monsters.  I revamped it and made various activities!!!! I just downloaded the "Love Monster" clipart from DJ Inkers.  I'm tellin' ya somethin'....IT'S THE CUTEST DANG THING E.V.E.R! I just had to make a game with it for Valentine's Day just so I could share it with you.  Here is an addition practice using 3 addends, a multiplication activity, and adding using 2 digit numbers.  Do you love it as much as I do? I'm also in the process of making the CUTEST art project inspired by these little critters. Look for that coming up!

{Click the picture for the download}

Valentine's Day Activities

Listen here, I love football season! I'm not even bluffing on this one {sort of}.  It gives me a PERFECTLY good reason to work on new fun things to do in my classroom and to share those ideas with the world. And, my hubby doesn't even complain that I'm not paying attention to him {because he is too busy yelling at the Steelers to pick up their game}. Oh, and there are some good looking hard working quarterbacks that are "fun" to watch!

Love Letters

This first idea came from some inspiration from {love, love, love this site}.  I took one tiny little explanation of a game and made it into 8 pages of printables!!! 
It is called love letters and I really think you {and most importantly your students} will enjoy this game/activity/word work. I've never taught during Valentine's Day so I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK (I'm usually off track).

{Click the picture for the FREE download}

Valentine's Day Book
The next idea is a great idea for any grade! Instead of throwing away all of those Valentine's Day cards that each of your students will get....instead....they will make a book of them!  They still make their cute Valentine's Day holders (tissue boxes, bags, cereal boxes, milk jugs), but will only keep their candy in it.  They will take out their cards and glue them into a book!

Here is what the cover of each student's book looks like:

And here is what the inside of the book looks like without the Valentine glued in (make sure each student has the amount of pages that you have students (example: I have 23 students in my class+1 (me)- each student will have 24 pages in their book):

Click HERE for the Valentine's Day book.

Valentine's Day Math Explosion!

I was just going to post my printable of "Graphing with Candy Hearts" because it's a tradition to do in every class, right?  Instead, I had an EXPLOSION of ideas and just kept making more and more.  I found tons of ideas at but really, most of the activities I did as a child in elementary.  Who played Valentines Battleship as a kiddo?  {F.U.N.}  I had almost forgotten how to play, but with a quick refresher from my husband (he LOVES anything to do with ships, cars, muscles, GUY STUFF), I was on board!  With candy hearts and a partner, your kiddos can have a blast!  It looks like this:

I didn't stop at Valentines Battleship!  Check out ALL of the fun games from my childhood that you can use in your classroom!

{Click the picture for the download ALL of the math activities-Free ;)}

Here is the same Candy Heart graph that is in packet, but this one has the color blue instead of white (it just depends on what brand you buy, usually the boxes have white and the bags have blue)

Clipart and/or fonts copyright DJ Inkers. Used with permission.
What was your favorite Valentine's Day game (math or not)?

Valentine's Day Word-O

Do you love Word-O?  It's just like BINGO, but with word wall words!  I have my students write 9 words from the word wall (they can be ANY words from there as long as they are different).  I call out one word from the wall and any student with that word on their board can cover it up with a candy heart (I write the word on the board after everyone checks their wordo-o sheet to keep track.  When they get 3 in a row they yell out "I love you" {hahaha} and get to eat their candy hearts (they have to read to me the words that they got 3 in a row)!  Here is what it looks like:
The instructions are included in this. I also included a B&W and color copy. And guess what?  It's a free download, as always! Do yo love it? Let me know!

{Click the picture below for the game}

Natalie (my blog partner in crime) wanted to do a fraction activity with this mat and she wanted some changes made. Since I just adore her...I made "Heart-O". Basically it's a blank slate and you can do whatever you want with it.  Maybe Natalie can comment below and let us know what she plans to do with her 5th grade class?  I just don't know anything about 5th grade curriculum (I love teaching 1st a little tooooo much).  Click HERE for the Heart-O.

Guided Reading

Here are a couple of tools to keep my kiddos interested in their reading group!  What's your trick? Please share your ideas

Magic reading glasses-  
These cheapies from Wal-Mart are just sunglasses with the lenses popped out. I think I paid $1.99 for 5 of them.

Witch Finger pointers- My teammate gave me these, but you can find them here for cheap!

 Googly eye popscicle stick- This item won't break the bank, but will keep your low readers on top of their one-to -one correspondence. 

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