Friday, August 31, 2012

A wish come true....and a freebie

YAY!!! It's Friday and a 3 day weekend, which means lots of time with my little guy.  I am so fortunate to have him in my life and I was reminded again yesterday how precious his life really is. My nephew, who is 2 1/2 also has had quite a struggle in his short life. He was born in end stage kidney failure and was in need of  a transplant. My younger sister- his aunt- was a perfect match and when Matthew was 15 months old she donated her kidney and through prayers and lots of love, she saved his life.  The past 2 years have been rough for my older sister's family that not only includes Matthew, but her four other children as well, and I pray each night for them.  A few months ago, Matthew was visited by the Make a Wish Foundation. They asked Matthew if he could have a any wish come true, what would he wish for. In true 2 year old fashion, he said "I go to Mickey's house!" Well just the other day, the below proclamation came in the mail for Matthew.  

Through the generosity of those who donated to the Make a Wish Foundation, Matthew and his entire family will be sent from Pennsylvania to Disney all expenses paid!  How awesome is that!!!!! I couldn't be happier for them. Matthew sure deserves it, but so do his parents and siblings.

Now that I'm sure you are smiling and feel just as great as I do, how about a school related freebie? Here are answer choice cards that can be printed, labeled and attached to popsicle sticks. You can use them when students are choosing the correct answer in order to get a quick feel for the class, or when groups of students are responding. 

Have an awesome night!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rafflecopter Coming!

I am sitting here on a Thursday night, and can not believe the week is almost over. Time is flying by way to quickly for all I need to do at the start of the year.
I am excited about my 100 Follower Give-Away, and promise it will be ready this weekend! But, it the meantime, did you check out Crystals 100 Follower celebration?  Head on over now to enter! I'm loving the prizes she is giving away. Check back tomorrow for my Friday Freebie!

Have a Fabulous Friday

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School Books

My favorite time of year is when we head on back to school, I love nothing more than sharing great books with the teachers and students I work with.  So, I was thrilled to see this linky party going on and to get the chance to share some of the books that are near and dear to me!

I love, love, love this book. Use this book to teach students about working together to accomplish a task.  This book is filled with wonderful vocabulary like integrity and empathy while teaching students the best way to be part of a team.  Use this book over and over as teamwork issues arise in your classroom.

The OK book is written by Amy Rosenthal- same author as One Smart Cookie. We use this book to help us understand that being ok at something is actually a pretty great way to be. We then create a  "Classroom Connoisseurs" display that shows something we are great at. We can then refer to that when one of our classmates needs help.  

We just adore this book. Do Unto Otters helps students understand how to display manners and get along with our "neighbors" even when they appear to be quite different from us.

I found these books through non other than the Beth Newingham- I know she has inspired so many of us.  We use these books to kick off Independent Reading in order to find the best place in our classroom for each student to create their reading nook and when reviewing how to find that just right book.  BTW.....anyone know what happened to Beth's website? I was trying to check out her Theme posters and seem to hit a road block.

As a teacher I always loved this book, and now I love it even more as a mommy!  Great for the little ones who have a hard time leaving mommy and daddy. I know I'm sure to kiss my little Frankie's hand every time we leave each other. A few years ago, when I taught 2nd grade, we read this book over and over again- the kids love it. Then I stumbled upon the cutest stuffed Chester (in the pic above).  He became our traveling class pet. I purchased a little notebook and decorated it. I began the notebook with a journal entry and pictures of Chester spending time with my family. Then each student had a chance to take Chester home and record their week together in his journal. Because my kiddos were so sweet, I also added a bag of Hershey's kisses for them to share with their family.  We loved this project. Two years later, those same students were back in my class as 4th graders, and Chester's journal was our most popular classroom library book.

And Finally, Crystal, From Ms. Jone's Junction is having a 100 Follower Give-Away. I'm so happy for Crystal. She is such a great teacher- wait until you see the pics of all of her Monday Made-Its and her classroom.  I want to go back to being in 1st grade.  To help her celebrate, I am contributing my Genre Spotlight Set to her give-away. Be sure to stop by, congratulate her and enter her raffle.

Hope you have a wonderful Monday. Today should have been a school day, but because of Isaac, we are home on a Hurricane Day- haven't seen any rain yet!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a Circus in Here!

Isn't every day with a 2 1/2 year old a circus? It sure seems to be. I guess you could say my son and his little classmates were my "inspiration" behind my newest Teacher's Notebook item. Be sure to check it out. Still hoping to get to 100+ followers this weekend. So, I'm giving away this set for FREE to THREE followers.
Here are the rules. Blog about this post, and encourage your followers to stop by and become followers of my blog in anticipation of my 100+ follower give-away. Then comment back here letting me know you blogged about it.  The first three to do so, will get the set for FREE!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Almost at 100....

What a week it has been! My sister in law and her family just left after visiting Disney for a few days and then a few days with us at our home. We had a blast and Frankie sure misses his cousins already. So with their visit and the 2nd week back to school, I haven't been keeping up with my posts.

I'm planning my first PLC with Grades 3-5 on Monday and we are going to begin the process of aligning our standards and instruction with our state  Achievement Level Descriptors. I'm excited for the possibilities.

I'm also super excited that I am almost at 100 followers.  I have something special planned to celebrate. This picture is just a quick sneak peak at a FABULOUS give-away.  It sure is going to be one BIG file!  And even better...I have some fellow bloggers who are celebrating with me by donating some items as well. So....send as many friends my way as you can. When I hit 100+ I'll post the give-away.  If you want to help me celebrate by donating an item, I would sure LOVE IT!

In the meantime, have an awesome weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2012

YAY! It's the weekend!

I have had a long week. It sure is hard to get back to work. I am thrilled to have a partner reading coach at my school now. I feel much more focused and get much more done now that we are sharing the responsibilities. Its been nice meeting our new teachers- they are so positive and bring such a great energy. And OMG, the teacher's at my school sure can put together cute classrooms. They are so many Pinterest inspired classrooms that I am thinking of taking some pictures and doing a post on "Pinterest Inspired Classrooms!" I am back into the full swing of my own professional development and am excited that I have registered for the Back to School Virtual Teaching Expo featuring two of my very favorite bloggers- Melanie from SchoolGirl Style and Annie from the Moffatt Girls. Click on the pics for more information about the expo, and to visit Melanie and Annie's blogs. Right now you can donate $10 and get a FREE ticket.  

The Moffatt Girls

Who is going to join me? Don't forget to visit Corrina's blog and enter her give-away, just 2 days left.

Have a great weekend. We are heading to Disney for the weekend- one of the beautiful things about living in Florida- we can drive there, have a blast and come right back home. Not to shabby!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm Exhausted!

Well folks, I have been back to school for just 2 days and I am officially exhausted!  I am so excited though for the upcoming year. The best news came when I found out that we were able to hire a second reading coach. YAY!!! Our teachers and students deserve more time than I was able to devote when it was just me.
Tomorrow I am presenting a 7 hour training on CCSS ELA standard #10- dealing with Text Complexity. Boy is it going to get heavy...but I know we will have a wonderful learning experience.
I'm curious to hear from those of you implementing common core about how you chose text to use in your reading classes to fit the rigor of ELA Standard #10.  So, if you have any thoughts or comments, please, please do leave them!

Don't forget to stop by and visit Corrina's blog. Her 100+ give away ends in 4 days and you definitely DO NOT want to miss out a chance to win all of the awesome files she and other bloggers are offering.
Tell her Stacy sent you:)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last Day of Summer!

Happy Sunday Everyone,

For me, this is my last official day of summer vacation. While I'm excited for the start of the new school year, I have to admit that I will miss taking a mid-day nap each day!  We have 6 days of pre-planning prior to the first day for students. I am conducting a 7 hour training for our teachers on Wednesday on The Common Core State Standards: Shift #1- Text Complexity.  This is an exciting time for us as teachers, but this first shift isn't as simple as it may appear. Text that used to be our trusty old favorites in our classrooms may be looked at in a different way once we analyze the text based on the qualitative, quantitative and student/task lens.  I'll share more after our training on Wednesday, and am eager to hear all of your thoughts on how you are making the shift to CCSS and in particular how you are ensuring that ELA standard 10 is addressed with the rigor and depth it was intended to.

On a lighter note, there are two things I am excited about today. First, I am actually going to be liking up for my first Made It Monday tomorrow- that is if my "crafting" goes as planned today! Secondly, my bloggy friend, Corrina, from Teaching Fabulous Firsties is having a 100 Follower Give Away. I am   joining in her celebration and contributing my Owl Themed "READ" and WELCOME" banners.  

Visit her blog, congratulate her and enter her give away for some fab prizes from some awesome bloggers.

Just a reminder that I am having a Back to School sale in my teacher's notebook store through August 13th-all items are 30% off. Click any item below to take you to my store.

Happy Sunday!  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Freebies....and a Linky Party!

Happy Friday everyone.  I think I may be breaking a blogging rule, but I am linking my post up to TWO linky parties. First, I am linking up with Lindsay from My Life as a Third Grade teacher for her Reader's and Writer's Workshop Must-Have's Linky Party. 

Secondly, I am linking this post up to TBA's Freebie Friday- because I have a few Freebies in here.  This is my last Friday of summer vacation, so I wanted to be sure to celebrate with a few freebies for you!
Freebie Fridays

1.) Reading Essentials by Regie Routman: This book is my BIBLE for teaching reading.  So many wonderful ideas, but her in depth look at the gradual release of responsibility really focused my Reader's Workshop. Its an easy read and well worth the money!

The rest of the items have to do with Independent Reading because that is where my thinking has been this past few weeks. If  we don't spend the first several weeks launching and practicing this aspect of the workshop, nothing else will be able to occur.

2.) A well stocked and organized library. In my district, this is a NON-NEGOTIABLE. If we want kids to read, we need to give them access to books. If we want them to choose appropriate books, we need to make our library appealing to them.  And....most importantly, if we teach with a sense of urgency, our students should never have the opportunity to say " I don't have anything to read!" 

3.) Book Shopping lists: I also believe that another way to avoid "I don't have anything to read!" statement we should give our students an opportunity for book shopping and to keep lists of books they want to read so that when they need to select a book they have already thought about what they would like read.  Click on the pic to get a copy of the book shopping form that we use. I hope you can make use of it in your classrooms.

4.)  Reading Response Journals: Our journals are the place where the children keep track of their book shopping lists, reading logs, and responses to reading.  I've worked on developing these over the years. Our responses are done in the form of a letter (inspired by Fountas and Pinnell) but also tweaked to be sued as a connection to our whole group lessons and the standards we are addressing. This tweak came in the form of careful consideration of the questions that are posed for the students to answer. You can get a copy of the display I use for our response journals by clicking on the image below. Get it for FREE this weekend only!

So, what are your must-have's. Click on the links above to head on over to Lindsay's linky party and link up or read posts from others, and to grab some FREEBIES from TBA's linky party.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Give Aways and a Linky Party!

Wow! All of my blog stalking is starting to pay off. I have entered so many give-aways in the past day. I am keeping my fingers crossed. But, better yet through the give-aways I have come across so many awesome new blogs. Why didn't I start this blogging thing a little earlier....I feel like I've been missing out.
Check out these great blogs having give-aways!


4th Gr FlipperSecond Grade PerksAngelablogbutton

 Tomorrow, I am linking up with Lindsay from My Life as a Third Grade teacher for her Reader's and Writer's Workshop Must-Have's Linky Party.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to School SALE!

Happy Wednesday! This has been a CRAZY week. I am on common core overload after two days of training with the Charles A. Dana center. I have so many questions to ask you all about CCSS implementation, but I need another day to think on that before I post them.

On another note, I am hosting a 30% off sale in honor of heading "Back to School." Click on any of the pictures or active links below to head on over the my store. Be sure to check out my new "Genre Spotlight" bundle.  Please show me some lovin' by adding my store to your favs. Sale ends Saturday, August 11th.

Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on CCSS implementation and to share some of your thinking as well.

Sale on 11 products!
Runs from 8/8 to 8/11
In celebration of heading "Back to School", Leading and Reading is hosting a 30% off sale.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Sneak Peek and a FREEBIE!

Not much time to blog tonight. I'm busy printing some of the posters that I've made for my "Reading Coach office."  I'm heading into school tomorrow morning for a few hours before a training in the afternoon. Then I have two days of work with the Charles A. Dana Center from the University of Texas at Austin. My principal was one of four chosen to attend a series of four 2 day trainings to work with the Dana Center and key people from our district on implementing the change needed to prepare teachers and students for the rigor of the Common Core and the PARCC assessments. Each of the four principals were ask to select two members of their school team to be part of this leadership cadre with them and I am so excited to have been chosen along with our Math Coach.

I'll be sure to blog about our work later in the week, but right now I want to give you a sneak peek on what I have been working on as well as a FREEBIE!!!!

Here is your sneak peek...... I'll blog more about it tomorrow and will have it available in my Teacher's Notebook store:)

And now for your FREEBIE....
I just love to hear, read and listen to quotes about teachers, teaching, name it.  So as I was planning my new work space (which I hope will serve as a mini-training and meeting are for our teachers) I thought I'd love to have some of these quotes posted around for a little bit of inspiration. As I'm sure you have seen by now my theme is Black, White and Yellow.  It started out as just polka-dots but I found lovely digital paper from Print Candee and couldn't resist.  So if you would like a little inspiration too, click on the picture for your FREE download. Please show me some lovin' and add my store to your fav's.

Have a WONDERFUL week!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Teacher's Notebook Campaign

    Teachers Notebook is sponsoring a campaign to raise $10,000 (or more) from corporate sponsors and parents. All of the contributions to the campaign will be given to educators in the form of gift certificates to purchase the educational resources that they need.
    They need your help to make sure educators have access to the educational resources that they need for back to school as well as for the school year. Additional educational resources enables educators to better reach the varied academic levels of their students. Educators constantly strive to reach students above and below their grade level. Additional resources will help students be actively engaged and more likely to reach their fullest potential.
    Please help spread the word by visiting the fund-raising site and sharing it everywhere. Share it on Facebook, your blogs, your Pinterest boards and Twitter. The more people view the campaign, the more contributions will be made and the more gift certificates can be given away to educators.
    Leading and Reading will be hosting a sale from August 8th-11th in honor of heading "Back to School."  Be sure to go to my Teacher's Notebook store and become a follower NOW so that I can include you in the email regarding the sale.

    Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Freebie FridaysIt's Friday again, and so that means that I am linking up again with Teaching Blog Addict for this week's freebie. This week we met as a leadership team and school and one of the topics for discussion was positive behavior and classroom management. I remembered all of the pictures I saw pinned on Pinterest (remember, I'm obsessed) and shared the Behavior Management chart system that seems to be much more realistic and effective than the red, yellow, green card system which I used to use. I really appreciated the idea that we call come in "ready to learn" and have to earn the highest spot on the chart. Unlike when we use colors, everyone starts on green without accomplishing anything to get there other than coming to class ready to learn. I'm left wondering did this system allow for me to highlight those that went above an beyond.
A few days ago I downloaded this behavior chart for FREE from  Misty at 3rd Grade is Hoot! Be sure to check out her website- she has an ADORABLE Owl theme pack, an even cuter Cupcake theme pack and a super cool Superhero theme pack.

When I shared this idea with a friend she wanted one for her Hollywood Themed classroom- well actually its more of a red/black theme with some Hollywood touches. So that brings me to today's FREEBIE. Here is a copy of my Red/Black version of the chart. I hope you enjoy it- let me know your thoughts.
Also- be sure to check out my new products in my Teacher's Notebook store.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Feeling Creative Give Away

I must say that I am feeling quite creative today. I've added some new items to my Teacher's Notebook store that I am quite proud of.  Let me know what you think! Which is your favorite?  The first three teachers to respond with their favorite items will receive ANY item in my Teacher's Notebook store for free!

If you stop by my store, please show me some LOVE and add me as a FAVORITE! 

Click right on the pictures to head on over to TN!

Here are the new items:
1) Owl Nameplates: I have an obsession with owls lately- not quite sure why, but they are just so darn cute!
2.) Red/White Polka Dot Daily 5 Pack: Who doesn't love The Daily Five?  I'm so happy to have found this book and for all of the online Daily Five book studies going on.  I've learned so much and so I made some cute posters to go with them

3.) Yellow and Black Polka Dot "READ" and "WELCOME" banners. The inspiration for these banners came form all of the adorable posts I have seen on Pinterest for banners with ribbons, and the oh so creative Annie from Moffat Girls.  I knew I wanted both banners and right now I am working on putting them together with ADORABLE ribbon I purchased today from Joann's Fabric- I'll post some pic tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday!