Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Books Teachers Love: December Edition

Hello, friends! It's my favorite time of the month! When myself and 11 other teacher team up to bring you some of our favorite books for the following month that you, too, can use in your classroom. Not to mention, they are packed with freebies, ideas, and resources for you to use with the books! If missed the books I recommended for AugustSeptember, October, and November... check them out!
One of my favorite books to read during the winter months is The Biggest, Best Snowman. I LOVE the message it tells! This book is about a young girl who's family says is too small to accomplish much of anything. One snowy day, she decides to build the biggest snowman ever, but even her own family doubts her ability. She ignores them, and sets her mind to building the largest snowman. She gathers her friends, Reindeer, Hare, and Bear to help her build the most marvelous snowman! She proves to herself and all those around her that she IS capable of accomplishing anything she sets her mind to. Great things DO come in small packages! Themes: Self-Esteem, Confidence, Perseverance, friendship.After reading this book with my students, it creates a great conversation about self-esteem and perseverance. (Insert mini health unit here!!) My students lately have been ALL about interactive notebooks, so I created these two freebies. I hope your kiddos love them as much as mine! (Click on the pictures below to download these resources for FREE!)Want to win MY book PLUS these other three books? Enter below to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway An InLinkz Link-up

Monday, November 2, 2015

Parent Teacher Conferences

If you're anything like me, parent/teacher conferences can be quite stressful and overwhelming. It's definitely not easy to gather all the necessary information for each student that you wish to relay to parents. Not to mention, you have 15 or so minutes to get it all out! I have come up with some of my best tips, plus I have created an editable parent/teacher conference pack that is FREE to help you through these crazy couple of weeks.  
 I have my parents sign up during open house. I leave the sign up sheets on the back table with some pens and post-it notes near by. You can see my editable open house pack with the sign up sheets HERE.
 Over the past month or so, I have saved some important pieces of work from each student. Their first week writing assessment, Unit 1 math test, 2 minute addition timed test, and our first writing project. I sort out each student's work in their own pile based on the time and order of conferences. Now comes the work! I go through each paper and take notes about each student sample and put it in my editable conference template. I share this with parents while I am talking with them and give them a copy of it once we are done meeting. 
 Reviewing student work really helps me create organized talking points when I am meeting with the parents. 
We are all busy, so it helps to remind parents of their meeting with you! I usually send home reminders one week before their date. I also send this parent questionnaire. The 15-minute meeting time flies by, so it is nice to start with hearing parent concerns and questions! It is a nice way to start the meeting!
 Remember all the papers I saved for each student? I share those with parents during our meeting! I also share their student's survey with them during this time. We don't have the students at our meetings, so this is a great way to allow their view point and voice to be heard. 
 You will notice on my editable conference forms that I have a place for the student norms. It is a great idea to share with parents where the students are expected to be at that time and at where they should be expected to be at the end of the year.
Thank you's go a LONG way! :) I like to send these home with my students the day after their parent conferences. 
Want to download this entire pack for FREE? Click the picture below!
Well, I hope these tips and FREEBIE help you prepare! I would LOVE it if you left feedback after downloading. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Spiders: A Cross-Curricular Unit

The week before Halloween, my kiddos learned all there is to know about spiders and they LOVED every minute about it! Every other minute I heard one of them say, "...Interessssting!" (instead of "eww!"). We started with a reading packet of information. Students answered comprehension questions by coloring their answer in the text. They also labeled a spider diagram!I grabbed tons of spider books from the library. It was so cool to see kids running to read more about spiders! With all of our new information, we added to our spider word wall.Students sorted some of their vocabulary into verbs, nouns, and adjectives as an interactive notebook. Finally, we created a spider craftivity after writing an acrostic poem! They looked awesome hanging from my classroom ceiling. To check for students' understanding on what we just learned, they went on a fact hunt around the classroom answering either true or false.We did way more than what I remembered to take a picture of, but you can see below what is included!!
Check out my unit by clicking the picture below.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall into Great Resources

Happy fall, everyone! It sure is one of my favorite times of the year. Living in Michigan, we are blessed with the most beautiful colors on the trees. I drive in complete awe at God's creation! I am so excited to be blogging about some of my favorite fall resources with some FABULOUS ladies and teacher friends! I will warn you... I love fall so much that I HAD to sneak in some of my favorite {non-teaching} fall related pics to share with you all. First up... some of my favorite things to do with my students during fall! 
You can see all my fall resources at my store HERE.
October Writing Bundle- Common Core aligned and 5 different types of writing!
November Writing Bundle- Common Core aligned and 5 different types of writing!
We made apples during our apple day fun and wrote a "how to".
Two of my favorite crafts to do with my students are making skeletons out of q-tips (cheap, cheap, cheap!) and disguising turkeys! These are from last year-- how cute are they? (Santa Turkey!!) Disguising turkey craft is apart of my thanksgiving literacy pack
So, these aren't "tips" per say, but I have to share some of my favorite fall things! For one, I LOVE decorating my house with each major holiday. Fall is so fun and it makes my house feel so warm and cozy. 
Some of my favorite fall items: pumpkin mug, creamer, and pumpkin creamer (say WHAT!!). Can you say I'm a little pumpkin obsessed? Uh, yeah! My sister, Sarah, got me some of her favorite fall items and it made such a fun gift to receive. White pumpkin candle, Coach scarf, Williams & Sonoma pumpkin bread, Starbucks Fall coffee k-cups, fuzzy socks, and an adorable Starbucks mug!
Once the chilly weather hits, I can't help but make all things pumpkin! My sister, Katie, has the most amazing website dashingdish.com with HEAVENLY/low cal/low sugar pumpkin recipes. Heck yeah!
These are two of my favorite books to read during the fall with my students. I have offered lessons and FREEBIES for both books. For October's read aloud freebie, click HERE. For November's read aloud freebie, click HERE
Click here to check out 3 of my fall freebies!
Well, I hope you're enjoying this beautiful fall season as much as I am, and I hope you found some great ideas to incorporate in your own classroom. Here's the best part... us gals are giving away $100 gift card to TpT! 
Want to win $100 to grab some of these fall resources? Enter below!
Check out what other fall resources, tips, and freebies my teacher friends are blogging about! Hop around below! You can also check out all the products on TpT by searching #fallintogreatresources.