Egg-cellent Sale!!

As a fun Easter treat, we'd like to offer 20% off 5 of our favorite units.

Look through our stores to find each of our fav 5 items! These items will be listed as 20% off until March 31st!

And Then I Brought a Rabbit to School...

AND IT WAS SO FUN! If you read my post from the other day, you'll know that we've been researching rabbits all week and at the end of the week, I wanted to bring in a bunny!  Believe me... my student teacher and I were SUPER nervous about this little Bunny Foo Foo hopping around our classroom, but it was seriously a blast!

First, I put my students in groups so that they could research rabbits and fill out their graphic organizer:

 The next day, we read lots of books about rabbits and we did a shared writing and wrote an informational piece together as a class:

Day #3, they took everything that they had learned and wrote their own informational writing:

Next, they made their cute paper-plate rabbits and I hung them up in the hall:

And there you have it! Every ONE of my students will be asking their parents for a pet rabbit! YIKES!

Snag a freebie from this packet, right {here}!

All of this (including the bulletin board letters), can be found in my Rabbit Research Pack! Make sure you re-download if you've already bought because I added a few pages this morning!  Happy spring break to ME! :)

And my sweet friend Cheryl just uploaded a little extension on my vocabulary cards that I put in my packet! Check out her FABULOUS vocab book!!!

Rabbit Research for the Common Core

We are researching rabbits this week (all week) and guess what?!?!?  I found someone to bring in a pet rabbit on Wednesday to surprise my students. I AM SO EXCITED! They are seriously going to scream (but hopefully not...because I don't want to scare the bunny). We are fitting in some major informational writing this week and that makes our Common Core hearts happy, happy, happy! (But don't worry, if you don't want to research rabbits, I've included blank sheets so you can research any animal AND it can align with any not-so-common-core-standards!)

Included in this Informational Writing Pack:
Graphic Organizers (5)
Vocabulary Cards
Writing paper (5)
5 Sentences Writing Poster
Rabbit Craft
Generic Graphic Organizers (in case you don't want to research rabbits)
Generic Writing Paper

Click {here} to check it out! 

Spring Fever? NO WAY!

I'm doing this in my classroom again this year and it works like a CHARM!

Are your kiddos feeling the spring fever or are you the one going stir crazy!?
This management tip is used on our 1st grade team but will work in any classroom. 
It's great for springtime spring fever.
You need 2 Easter baskets and plastic Easter eggs (you need double the amount of eggs as you have if you have 25 students, you need 50 plastic Easter eggs).  Can anyone say Dollar Tree?

In basket #1, you fill the eggs with the students' names (one name in each egg).  In the other basket, you fill the eggs with strips of papers that have prize names on them.

Randomly throughout the day/week, pick a student to come and pick an egg out of the name basket.  They open up the egg and read the name {or you can pick from the basket instead of having a student do it-I just like to involve everyone}. If that student is on task they get to pick an egg from the prize basket (If they are not on task, you just quietly put the egg back and the students know that someone that was picked was not on task).  Here is a list of the prizes I giveaway. Some of them might not be applicable to you, but you can just leave those out.

{Click HERE to download the prize list}

After the winning student gets their prize, you also give them one of these certificates!  It makes them feel so good and you'll have VERY on task students all week.   

{Click HERE to download certificates}

clipart and or fonts from DJ Inkers (

Fancy Words and I'm No Cara Carroll

In the Language Standard of the Common Core (specifically the vocabulary and acquisition use), our students should be expanding their vocabulary!

So, last year I decided to use Fancy Words to introduce synonyms and the use of fancy vocabulary words.  My students this year just loved it so much!  They've been using their fancy words SO much lately. I'm almost sick of hearing the words humungous, spectacular, fantastic, and superb.  :)  Almost.

Of course, we start off reading Fancy Nancy to introduce Fancy Words (and we continue reading different Fancy Nancy books all week). Here are some fun things we did all week to work on our vocabulary acquisition (that's a fancy word for learning big words). P.S. that is a STEAL of a deal on a Fancy Nancy big book!

 Believe me... I'm no CARA CARROLL (have you seen this girl's anchor charts? To die for!). I cannot make a cute anchor chart to  Cara, can you give me some lessons????

After the book, we did a little craftivity.  We took the words that we learned and made wands with them (of course I called them wizard wands for the boys and princess wands for the boys).  They wrote their favorite fancy word on the star and drew a picture of the meaning of the word.

This is our Fancy Word Wall (also included in the packet).  My students came up with *most* of those fancy words up there!

To make sure my students are applying what they've learned, I challenge them to use fancy words in their journals. And when they come up to conference with me after journal, if I see any fancy words used correctly, they get to circle them with MY "magic marker". SO precious!!!

Check out my Fancy Word Activities pack {here}!

Best of UCET 2013

Last weekend we had the amazing opportunity to present at the UCET (Utah Coalition of Educational Technology) Conference. The hot topic this year was all about using iPads in the classroom. Most of the classes we attended focused on all of the cool apps available to support education. Here are 4 apps that we're dying to share!!

Three Ring (top left) - This is Natalie's favorite thing she learned throughout the conference! Three Ring is an online digital portfolio for your students! You can upload files to each student's name or simply snap a picture of your student's work and it places it directly into that student's online digital file. It's amazing - such a great way to organize student work electronically!

Doceri (top right) - Great app for turning your iPad into an interactive whiteboard. Allows you to access your iPad  through your computer.

Reflector (bottom left) - An app for your computer that allows you to access your iPad from your computer/projector. This is all you need to project your iPad on your whiteboard which bypasses the need for an Apple TV and/or the iPad projector connector.

Splashtop2 (bottom right) - An app that lets you access your computer remotely. Allows you to navigate your entire computer through your iPad. It's extremely helpful when showing websites and PowerPoints to students as you are no longer tied to your computer - you can walk around your room and still navigate your computer!

We had a fun time presenting our sessions. A few of our followers even came to meet us! I think we can officially say that Susie Q is our cutest follower - she came to both of our sessions and even brought some friends along! We also met the sweet Joell from Totally Terrific Teaching.

{Natalie, Susie, Rachelle}

I {Natalie} attended two of Lorrie Cook's workshops and was wowed both times! She's the one that convinced me to purchase the subscription to Splashtop2 and to buy Reflector. She also sold me on the iMovie app which my students are already enjoying!! I felt a little silly asking for her to take a pic with me, but I felt like she was so inspiring that I had to put her on the blog!

{Lorrie and Natalie}

Other highlights of the conference included an inspiring keynote address by Adam Scott Bellowshanging out with our friend Megan (she went to college with us and is our sorority sister), and the day when both Rachelle and I showed up wearing animal prints!

{Natalie, Megan, and Rachelle}

Overall, this conferences was a wonderful experience and we hope to continue presenting in the future! 

How I Spice Up Daily 5

It's that time of the year when your students are getting SPRING fever and it's not too long until they get SUMMER fever {but who isn't, right?}!  You might need to spice things up during your literacy block. :)  Aside from going over your anchor charts again and reviewing your expectations, I like to add a few "ooohhhs and ahhhhhs" to my Daily 5.  {You have GOT to read Daily 5 from The Sisters, if you haven't} We call them the bells and whistles and I ONLY bring them out when I'm in dire need.  I haven't pulled these out quite yet, but it's coming in due time. 
*PLEASE NOTE: each of these items come with a lengthy explanation on how to use them properly. You must teach the expectations for each item BEFORE you set them free to use them. :)

To spice things up in Daily 5’s Read to Self, I let my students pick a stuffed animal to read with.  The animal must stay in their lap or sit next to them and they are not allowed to play with it.

I bought these glasses at the Dollar Store and I just popped out the lenses. They LOVE to wear these to read with because they are MAGICAL!

These are whisper phones.  They LOVE these.  A middle school student made them for our school as an Eagle Scout project.  You can also purchase some here.  I make sure to teach my students how to hold the phone so it doesn’t touch their mouth and I give them tips on how to do it without hurting their ears. I also have them quickly wipe them down when they are finished.

Witch fingers. I mean… who doesn’t love for their finger to look like a witch? They love tracking their words (and never picking their nose with it)!

Each day, my students can pick from one of these activities:

I also like to add “Weekly Activities”. This is an activity that changes every week.  This week we are “scrambling” our spelling words.  This activity comes from my 123 Spell with Me pack.  Each week, it changes.

For Read to Someone, I like to give my students their Word Helper bookmarks to help when doing “coaching or time”.  You can find the bookmarks here. I just laminate them and keep them in a bin. When the students pick their partner for Read to Someone, one of their partners can grab a bookmark.  As they are reading, they can help one another by telling them what word helper to use when they come to a tricky word. They love pretending to be the teacher.

My students absolutely love writing letters to one another.  All I have to do is put writing stationary in the Work on Writing file and they are good to go! You can download lots of writing paper {here}.

Click {here} for the writing stationery {clipart from}

Also, if you don’t do journaling for bell work, then it would be a great thing to spice up your Work on Writing by making them some fun journals!  My students love to see what their cover will look like this month. It’s also great because you can differentiate how many lines are on each page.

My students will love this one and they are always on task. BUT, it is just nice to change it up a bit.  So, what I did was buy a bunch of headphone splitters so that they can listen to the same book at the same time. They love laughing together, singing together, and just sharing a good book together.  I only have about 3 students per book though.

Another great tool to spice up Listen to Reading is an iPad. I use the app Epic (can also do on a computer).  It is FREE for educators and has tons of options! Many books are read to the student so you can use it for listen to reading.

I also use Brainpop Jr. app (also available on a computer) for Listen to Reading.  The great thing about this app is that it has the subtitles at the bottom of each educational video! It's just like reading a book!  If you don't have a subscription, your students can get the free video of the week.

Need to spice up your guided reading lessons?
Perfect for kinder and 1st grade! But don't go...I have one for 2nd and 3rd (see bottom of post)

Here's 2nd Grade's:

Here's 3rd Grade's:

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