Friday, August 26, 2016

Rock N Learn w/ Educents

Sale Alert! For just 24-hours, all Rock 'N Learn DVDs and board books are 50% off with FREE SHIPPING on Educents with code BLOWOUT. Rock 'N Learn's award-winning DVDs for children in grades PreK through 8th grade teach and entertain with music, humor, and super fun characters. Tip: if you're new to Educents use code WELCOME16 for and additional 15% off PLUS Free Shipping.  

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Save even more by getting a bundle! Here are my favorites, with each DVD now less than $10.

Multiplication & More Math Collection:

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This DVD bundle includes: Multiplication Rap DVD, Division Rap DVD, and Fractions & Decimals DVD. Kids discover what multiplication math is all about, learn facts through 12, and practice skip counting. Plus, kids learn division math concepts and facts and begin working with fractions and decimals. These fun math songs and zany characters hold attention and get results!

Early Math Collection:

This DVD bundle includes:Money & Making Change DVD, Telling Time DVD, and Addition & Subtraction Rap DVD. This math DVD set is a fun way to boost math skills for the early grades. Math facts are easy to learn with fun music and exciting animation. Kids learn all about counting coins and bills and practice making change. They'll also learn to tell time to the hour, half hour, and minute using traditional analog clocks.

Science Collection:

This DVD bundle includes: Physical Science DVD, Earth Science DVD, Life Science DVD, and the Human Body DVD. Award winning actor Vic Mignogna gives a voice to Marko the Pencil, who whisks learners away to his Super Science Station for an unforgettable adventure in learning. Special bonus sections present material as it might be found on a science test. And with Marko's test-taking tips, students are sure to improve on standardized tests.

Sight Words Collection:

This DVD bundle includes: Sight Words Level 1 DVD, Sight Words Level 2 DVD, and Sight Words Level 3 DVD. Sight words are the most frequently used words in the English language, and these DVDs helps students read them automatically. This set covers all pre-primer Dolch words, all primer Dolch words, all 1st Grade Dolch words, and many words from Fry's list.

Want to save EVEN MORE!?!  Use code  GETREADY for free shipping on ANY order!!!  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Blog Launch Giveaway for Hello, Teacher Lady

I'm super excited to be celebrating with Shana from Hello, Teacher Lady, as she launches her new blog!  Several teacher-sellers have contributed awesome products, along with other amazing items:  Chloe + Isabel's Sand + Sky Open Cuff bracelet, $25 in Lula cash, $20 in TPT credit to EB Academic Camps, and a $55 Target gift card!  To enter, visit:!
You don't want to miss this!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Secondary Back to School Giveaway- Prize Packs that are "On Point"

I'm so excited to be linking up with Lauralee Moss from Language Arts Classroom and Julie Faulkner from Faulkner's Fast Five for their annual Secondary Back to School Giveaway!!!  This year the them is... "On Point for Back to School!"

There are 87 sellers who have donated over $400 in amazing products for ALL subject areas!  The best part... TPT is sponsoring the grand prize winner with a TpT swag bag full of goodies along with Starbucks and Target gift cards!!  You can see all of the prize packs below.  Enter to win at the Language Arts Classroom between August 1st- August 5th!  You definitely don't want to miss this!!!  Best of luck, and I hope all of you have an amazing 2016-17 school year!!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

#Best.Year.Ever- Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale

Can you believe that it's time for another school year to start? No matter if this is your first year or your twentieth year teaching, the Back to School rush can be chaotic and overwhelming. Let the TPT Secondary ELA Sellers help you have the #BEST.YEAR.EVER! Join us in celebrating the TPT Back to School Sale. 

Visit the stores below during the #BEST.YEAR.EVER! TPT Sitewide Sale to save up to 28% off of products on August 1st-2nd:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Writing Wednesday Link-Up --July

I hope you gained as many ideas and incredible tips for developing and implementing writing as I did from last month's link-up! Hopefully by the time we have to go back to school, you'll have a ton of plans in your back pocket ready to break out and use with your students.

Last month I discussed how I introduced the argumentative writing process.  This month I'm going to share how I put the process into action by having my students write their own argumentative essay.  First, let me be honest.  I had really dreaded introducing this concept to my 6th graders.  I had quite a few students who really struggled w/ reading in general, so I knew explaining the whole argumentative essay process would be challenging to say the least.  But I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they grasped it, after taking them step-by-step, through each stage of developing the essay using my Argumentative Writing Unit.  This gave them the ground rules and all that they needed to know.  Now I just needed them to APPLY what they had learned.

To do this, I used the amazing an article called, "Why You Won't Find Her on Spotify" from the amazing Scholastic Scope Magazine!   For copyright issues, I can't post the article here, but if you Google the title, it should come right up.  This article discusses streaming services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, etc. and whether they help or hurt the music business.  The article talks about why Taylor Swift isn't available on certain streaming programs.  After reading the article, I created a digital chart in Google Slides for students to access, similar to the one that's included at the end of the article.  *FYI- In Scope, there were several graphic organizers that students are to use in the writing process.  I modified them for my students and created digital versions.  You can access all of these herePlease make a copy before using, so that you don't edit my original version.  To do this, once you open the document, click "File," then choose the "Make a Copy" option.* Using the chart, students had to come up with 3 reasons streaming is not good and 3 reasons it is good.  Then they were to choose the stance that they were going to take when they wrote their own essay, and use the 3 reasons to develop a thesis statement.  This was Step 1 of the process:

For step 2, after deciding which side they were on, they were to find evidence supporting their stance.  I told them they could use the pieces of evidence from their chosen side in the previous chart, but they also needed to come up w/ 2 or 3 more.  They did this using the digital graphic organizer below:

In step 3, they were ready to begin their intro paragraphs.  We had previously discussed writing strong hooks, background statements (as we call them-- some may call this a transition statement), and thesis statements when we began the Argumentative Writing Unit.  

Before students began to work on their body paragraphs, I reminded them that each reason HAD to be supported w/ evidence from the article, another website, etc.  When had previously spent a great deal of time on what this looks like and how to locate the evidence in the Argumentative Unit I mentioned before.  After gathering evidence for each reason, they completed the graphic organizer below in step 4.
For step 5, the conclusion paragraph, we reviewed that it should begin with a lead-in statement, where they acknowledge the topic.  Then they will restate the thesis statement by beginning with a concluding transition word.  The last sentence--the concluding statement-- will be their last chance to convince the reader that their side is the best.  Again, they did this using the graphic organizer below:
My students LOVED using an article that they were interested in, and I really received some excellent argumentative essays after doing it this way.  What has worked with your students?  Where do you find topics to use when attempting help your kids master these skills?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.  Also, make sure to stop by the other blogs to get more incredible writing tips!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Digital Back to School Student Interest Survey- Autosave & Use for the Whole Year

Each year I pass out a student interest survey during the first couple days of school.  I try to glance over each of them, only to be interrupted by-- 1- my own ADD brain- oops, I forgot I'm supposed to be at a meeting or was supposed to turn in these student forms (one of the thousands we were supposed to collect), so I don't get a planning period today or 2- one of my 'real' kids, the ones that I gave birth to (since I refer to my students as "my kids" too) need help with homework, or 3-  any number of random things--toilet is overflowing, somebody needs help w/ homework, my husband can't find his...who knows what, the fire alarm is going off b/c my son is trying to cook his own grilled cheese again (I'm a good mom and teacher, I swear), or any number of things.  This year, I've decided that these obstacles are NOT going to get into the way!  I'm going to have easy access to these surveys AND be able to refer to them quickly when needed, but not because I have to put in a bunch of extra time!!!

On a serious note, I've learned that it's extremely important to know what's going on with your students--not just their likes and dislikes, but the more personal things that they may not want to share otherwise. I learned this the hard way a while back... I had a student who was often absent, and when she was at school, she rarely did her work.  I knew that the child was more than capable based on assignments and assessments she had completed previously, so I was unsure of what was going on.  I wasn't able to reach the parents and school officials didn't offer any insight into what might be the issue.  Fortunately, after several months of this, I finally got word that the child had been living in, we'll just say, a nightmare (and that's putting it lightly).  Had I known this sooner, I would've been much more empathetic.  Not that I wasn't caring to begin with, but the student had been very disrespectful to me, so by April, I was at my whits end!   I certainly don't ask the very personal questions in the survey.  I make sure to word it something like, "Is there anything you would like me to know about you?  Keep in mind, other students will not be seeing the surveys.  It will be sent directly to me."  Notice I didn't say that I won't share this w/ anyone, because by law, if a child tells a teacher something that may harm them, we are considered mandated reporters and have to inform the necessary individuals.

So how am I going to make process this more effective this year?  I created a Digital Back to School Student Interest Survey on Google Forms.  When students answer the questions on Google Forms, it saves automatically.  Then their answers are also automatically put into a spreadsheet-- also saved on your Google Drive (see the steps below for exactly how to do this).  How awesome is that?!? 

Throughout the year, I can refer back to all of the info I have stored, and I can add to it if necessary.  This year I also plan to have my students complete the same survey during the middle of the year.  This will allow me to see if there have been any changes.  Another plus is that you can modify the form if you need to make changes to questions or if you need to add new ones.

In order for students to complete these surveys, I will simply upload them to Google Classroom and add as an assignment.  For directions on how to create and add assignments in Classroom, see my guest post on Erintegration where I explain this in detail.  If you don't have Google Classroom, don't worry.  You can easily upload to Edmodo or another program, you can post the link to the survey on your website, or you can email to your students...whatever works best for you!

How do you use the beginning of the year surveys?  Tell me all about it in the comments. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Back to School Giveaways w/ Educents

Have you checked out the Educents Back-to-School Giveaways yet? Now through August, don't miss your chance to enter to win over $15,000 in prizes like talking stuffed animals, full-year curricula for all ages, a $250 shopping spree and MORE! Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.40.25 AM Here are a few I'm hoping to win:  The mCookie 101 Basic Kit from Microduino ($99 value!) -Microduino a known player in the maker community, their mCookies allow anyone who has an interest in electronic DIY projects to easily join the fun and bring projects to life.   Fun-Schooling Books From The Thinking Tree ($165 value!) -Flip to Fun-Schooling! 3 Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling Journals, 1 Spelling Journal, 1 Homeschooling Handbook for Moms, Timeline, Art History & 2 Bible-Time Activity Books. $250 Shopping Spree on Educents - Win $250 in Educents credit to shop thousands of educational resources that you can trust for your child's education! 17 Comment below to let me know which ones you hope to win!