Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Mouth Is a Volcano! birthday was Monday--as was Open House--and I have to admit, I've been dragging a little this week!  My class and family were both so sweet and gave me lots of fun surprises to make the day special, but boy, I was so TIRED before Tuesday even rolled around!

Thanks, Miss Kitty's Class, for this hilarious pretty much sums up where you'll find me tonight. LOL

And can we take just a sec to talk about Instagram???  The perfect blend of teacher tips, teacher photos, and teacher hilarity...I love it!  If your not already following me on Instagram, just click the image below to see my Instagram posts and updates. 
Wednesday is here, and Labor Day is just around the corner!  I just LOVE school in September...high school football on Friday nights, college football on Saturday afternoons, and by then, our 4th graders have settled into a lovely school routine!

I wanted to share with you an adorable book that I read aloud in class today.  It was shared with me by a colleague and by students absolutely loved it! 
Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.  It was such a GREAT read-aloud for back to school, but could also be used to teach a variety of topics thoughout the year--manners, self-control, empathy with story characters, onomatopoeia, etc.  There are also many CUTE and ENGAGING pins on Pinterest with additional activities.  Click HERE to see some of those.  My students loved making predictions throughout the story and understood that for Louis (the main character) THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!  Blurting out is such a temptation when kids really do have so many great ideas!

This book reminded me also of Barry Tuckerman in our current novel read aloud, Gooney Bird Greene.  

He has has something to say about everything!  But, at least, he does remember to raise his hand LOL.  
We are loving the Gooney Bird Greene books, so I am including the link for them HERE as well in case you are interested in finding out more about these light-hearted, fun stories from Lois Lowry.   

One last thing...while perusing on Amazon today I did find one more MUST-HAVE.  Look at these adorable Emoji stamps.
I am adding these to my shopping list ASAP!  Click HERE to see them for yourself.  I am already brainstorming a list of ideas--student motivation, writing activities, student learning inventories and surveys, my classroom treat box, etc.  

Enjoy the rest of your week and your Labor Day holiday!  All the best!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Coming Soon...

Happy Saturday!  Just a quick update for your weekend...

I've been busy adding classroom-themed Growth Mindset Posters to compliment the themed Bloom's Taxonomy sets in my TpT store.  I'm so excited about how these are turning out.  

There is such power in teaching our children to have Growth--rather than Fixed--Mindsets, and I hope you love these as much as I do.  There are MANY MORE sets still to come, but I wanted to give you a little peek at what I'd been working on.  Click HERE to see them in store.

Enjoy your weekend!!!  All the best! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Maps and Globes, Oh My!

Hi, and Happy Wednesday!  How's it going for you in "Back to School" land?  We are rocking along pretty well!  2 weeks in and counting...we are officially on our way!  (And praise be, my feet didn't even hurt when I got home today LOL)
Our Social Studies year always starts with an introductory unit on "Understanding Maps and Globes."  This prepares students for what is to come in Social Studies throughout the rest of the year, as well as gives us an opportunity to dig right in to some fun and meaningful hands-on learning!

Many of you have messaged to ask me questions about my Maps and Globes unit, so I thought I would share some helpful info and insights into how you might make this work in your classroom.  Here are a few pictures and captions just to help tie it all together...

 This unit is broken into sections such as Assessments and Literature Connections, however it is not necessary to move through the unit in any exact order.  You may pick and choose what works best for your own learners.  For example, we always begin with making our "Passports for Travel" and reading from "Around the World in 80 Tales."  
You don't have to start here--it is just a great attention-grabbing starting point!  We visited "Canada" together by way of our SMARTboard, read the story of "The White Bear," and made bookmarks complete with strands of polar bear fur, AKA white yarn. 

In case you would like to see some of my other Social Studies materials, simply click the picture below to link to related items in my TPT store.  
I have discovered that there's nothing like world-wide travel to awaken the imaginations and dreams of our students!

As Jeanne Bendick says, "Questions are more important than answers...if I were a fairy godmother, my gift to every child would be curiosity!"

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Give your Monday a BOOST!

Hey, friends!  Just a reminder that TPT is giving us one last chance to save for Back to School with their one day BOOST sale!  Be sure to use the promo code OneDay to save an additional 10% off of the many stores that will be 20% off already.  Have a wonderful week, y'all!  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Back to School Room Reveal!

Hi, friends!  Hope you are having a great back to school season!  

Of course, I'm sure it's as busy and exhausting as ever, but I wanted to take a second to share some pictures of my classroom with you.  Our classrooms truly are like a "home away from home" for us and for our students, and this one holds a little piece of my heart for sure!  Hope you enjoy the tour...

Thanks for stopping by the Brain Train for a sneak peek!!!  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I'm guest blogging over on the Primary Peach today.  Click HERE to read my post and find some INSPIRATION for your ORGANIZATION this school year!  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Set the Stage to Engage with the Olympics!

Many of us are back at school already, and the Rio games offer us a unique opportunity to ENGAGE our students with some Olympic-themed fun!  I'm sharing a few of my fav ideas with you today in order to help you and your students BE INSPIRED as you GO FOR THE GOLD this school year!

Like any silly family, we love fun and games, so we've even gotten into the spirit at home.  And thankfully, the people I live with are really good sports! 
A few photos of our Olympic-mania...our medal ceremony followed a strenuous evening competition of straw javelin, cotton ball shot put, Gatorade lid discuss, and Nerf target shooting. Good times and only 2 disqualifications--LOL! 
Once dinner and our family events were done, I got busy updating my Olympic/7 Wonders of the Ancient World TPT resource while tuned in to the Opening Ceremonies! Interested in seeing more of this resource...just click the images above.

There are also a couple of Olympic-themed FREEBIES in my TpT store.  These pics are hyperlinked and will take you straight to them for download.
Lastly, I found few Pinterest pins that looked like they would also be fun to incorporate into the classroom as we set the stage to engage for the rest of our school year.

My friend, Susan, loves making these pipe cleaner athletes with her little ones.  They are easily adapted for the summer or winter games!
Or how about this for an adorable photo opp?
Coloring seems to be all the latest rage, so the Imagination Box offers this Rio-inspired gem...
Hope your weekend is amazing!  Want to spend it tuned in to the Olympic games while you write lesson plans or enjoy your last few lazy days of summer?  Click HERE to see the schedule!