Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buy 2 Get 1 FREE! + a Freebie! :)

Lately I've been feeling SO very grateful for TPT and blogging.  The collaboration and support among bloggers/sellers is nothing short of incredible and I feel so honored and humbled to be a part of this community!  As a way to thank all of you amazing people who follow silly old me via my blog or my TPT store, I wanted to do a fun sale! I'm throwing a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale from now until Monday night! All you have to do is purchase your two items and email me at with the third item of your choice, as well as your  TPT username! :) *CLICK HERE* to head over to my store!
To thank you AGAIN for being here and being so fabulous, here's a word work freebie from me to you! It is from my Word Work Choice 2 pack! I will be using it this week during literacy centers.  Click the image below to download!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Synthesizing with Flowers!

Well, hey there! Can I just say that I'm *still* madly in love with this new blog design?  I'm so excited to come and write about something educational after a little blogging/creating hiatus.
We just started a new unit in reading and it's all about Synthesizing.  Let me just say -- At first, I had NO idea what synthesis even was! Everything I was reading on it just sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo and our *curriculum* left a lot to be desired.  So I've been busy as a bee coming up with ideas on how to teach this concept that is terribly hard for those sweet second (Almost third!) graders to grasp!  So Synthesis = How your thinking grows and changes as you read.  After wracking my brain, I looked to my left and saw this gorgeous yellow flower one of my sweeties brought me and decided I would teach my kiddos Synthesis using flowers.  Because they grow and change... DUH! :)

Now, I'm no artist so don't expect a whole lot from this anchor chart... surely when YOU'RE teaching synthesis, you can pretty it up a little! :)  But, this is how I introduced the idea of synthesizing to my kiddos.
We have spent all week reading stories and discussing how our ideas and thoughts are growing and changing.  We've been using graphic organizers to get our thoughts down on paper AND we've been working in small group to synthesize during guided reading.  Synthesis is an EXTRA special skill, because it requires us to use all those other awesome strategies that the kids totally forgot about and need to review like crazy REMEMBER! :)  We've been busy making connections, inferring, and analyzing illustrations this week!
If you are stuck on synthesis yourself, I created a mini-unit to go along with this anchor chart! It has a lesson plan for introducing synthesis, some post-it note charts for guided practice using trade books, 3 different graphic organizers for assessment, thinking stems and strategies for small group, AND a cute little synthesis craftivity! Click the icon below to check it out!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Blog Makeover!

YAY! I'm so excited. As you can see, my blog got a MAJOR makeover. I may be a little biased here -- but I'm in love with it! I've been in a bit of a "creating lull" ... just not feeling too much motivation this week. This new blog is just want I needed. And a new BUTTON! I love buttons!
For anyone who is looking for a new blog design, I HIGHLY suggest contacting Megan over at A Bird in Hand Design. She was wonderful to work with and she got this done SO quickly! I feel like we were in constant contact and she worked really hard to make this design represent me. Click the picture below to go check out her blog!
A Bird in Hand Blog Design
Oh, and guess what! Tomorrow is FRIDAY! :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April in the Making LINKY! + a Freeeeeebie

Hey there bloggy friends! So, I made somewhat of a New Years Resolution in Passing this year to be a better blogger.  I've gotten much more consistent with my blogging, but I think I could do more! I'm not quite ready to do weekly linkies, so I decided I would make my own monthly linky that all of you lovelies could link up to! And so, today, this is born ...
I will post one of these in the first week of each month -- starting today with April! Then you'll have a week to link up with us! :)
 Each month, you'll answer the same five questions!  Tell us about your favorite part of that month, what you've got going in in your classroom, Something you "Must Have" for the month, something you plan to make, and one goal you have for the month!
Then, once you've answered your questions, be sure to head back here to link up.  Then you can check out other blogs to see their "Months in the Making!"  Please comment on at least one blog that you know and love as well as two blogs that are new to you! 

Alright, I'll start! :)
My favorite part of April is digging out the Spring Clothes from the depths of my closet.  I'm in somewhat of a style transition as of late... definitely trying to mix it up.  So APRIL is calling OUT for me to go shopping!  I've been scouring Pinterest for some cute Spring outfits.  Here are a few that I found....

Can you tell I'm into the whole "Pastels" thing that's going on right now? L-O-V-E
 In class we'll be continuing operation "All Things Spring"  We've already started working in our Smile.. It's Spring Literacy Pack.  Up next, the kids will make their own version of a Spring Craftivity/Poem using their five senses.  Here's my example:

 This is from my Smile... It's Spring Literacy Centers! The pack comes with 6 additional centers and activities that are Common Core Aligned.

We're also beginning our April Math Journals!  I've blogged about math journals a million times before, so I won't go into detail here.  Just know -- They rock!  Here's a freebie from the set that you can try in your class!

If you want to know more, you can check out the item in my store by clicking the image below!
 My absolute, without a doubt, daydream about it, MUST HAVE for April:

Hershey's Chocolate Eggs.  Go out and buy 15 bags, you will not regret it! They only come out around Easter time, and I'm always sure to stock up!
In an effort to cook more and eat out less, I have actually gone back to LOOK at all my food pins on Pinterest.  Are you guilty of pinning a bunch of amazing stuff and then never going back to make/try it all out?  I have a friend who made a pinterest board titled "Stuff I've Actually Done" ... Genius!  Here are some recipes that I *HOPE* to make in April!

Stuffed Peppers in a Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce
*Because they SOUND amazing!*
Caramel Pretzel Brownies
*Because they LOOK amazing!*
My April Goal is to work out, in some small way, at least 3 days a week.  That may sound like a small goal to you, but I am obscenely lazy.  The second I get home, I'm on the couch and it takes a serious emergency to get me off!  My husband is a member at Planet Fitness and they can bring a guest with them each time.  I have discovered they have WiFi.  So the plan of action is to take my iPad a couple days a week and just do the bike or the elliptical while reading!
Alright, that's it for me! Now hurry and link up so you can share your April in the Making! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently, Some News, and a Freebie.

As always, I'm in complete shock that another month has come and gone.  I'm happy to welcome April, though, because that means the temperatures should finally start mellowing out.  Our Easter actually turned out really nice. No coat = Happy Sam!  To celebrate April, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy! 4th Grade for her April Currently!
They are all pretty self explanatory, so no need to go in depth for you!
I usually try to post about something else on a "Currently" day, so you're not left without something educational to read.  I so wish I could do that for you!  I've been working on about a million different projects, a little at a time, so I've got lots of Works In Progress(es?) going on!  I do have some news to share with you though!
I'm super excited because.... AS WE SPEAK... Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs is working on a Custom Blog Design for me! I'm so excited to step out of this little Blog Outfit I've worn since I started in August and into something Fresh and ADORABLE! :)
ALSO, sometime this week, I plan on starting a Monthly linky that I would  LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to come link up to!  It will be a way for us to get to know each other a little better and give us the opportunity to share some things going on in our classrooms at the same time.  Check back soon for...
And lastly, if you made it this far... I've got a little freebie for you --  nothing special but perhaps it could help you out a little when you're exploring non-fiction texts! We've been working on Summarizing and Paraphrasing for the past few weeks, and I've been using this little guy as an assessment piece.