Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blog Launch Giveaway

I'm super excited to help celebrate Ashley's Brainy Centers Blog Launch w/ this amazing GIVEAWAY!  She, along with several other awesome Teacher-Authors, came together to support the blog launch by donating some incredible products from their TPT stores.  In addition, you can enter to win a $50 TPT gift card AND a $50 Target gift card!!!

The product that I'm contributing to this giveaway is my Point of View Digital Interactive Flip Book.  This product includes:
• Explanation of the following types of point of view: 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person limited, objective, and omniscient
• Links to videos explaining each type of point of view- students can click directly on link and view
• Interactive practice activities with moveable pieces
• Answer Key

The best part is that it's completely paperless, meaning you can access it through Google Slides.  If you would like to print instead, you can also print directly from Google Slides.  Good luck and head on over to Ashley's Brainy Centers to enter! 
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Writing Wednesday Link-Up!

Since writing is such a huge part of the Common Core Standards, I've decided to start doing a blog post on the last Wednesday of the month, called Writing Wednesday.  On the last Wednesday of the month throughout the summer, I plan to share some strategies I use with my middle school students and would love to hear what you do w/ in your classes, as well!

This month, I'm going to highlight my Argumentative Writing Unit- Google Drive.  This unit demonstrates each step that should be included in an argumentative essay.  It walks students through the various elements of each paragraph, then requires students to identify the elements themselves (hook, background sentence(s), thesis statement, supporting evidence, concluding statement, etc.) .  

Once students have developed a clear understanding of all that the essay should include, then the unit delves into perfecting each of these areas; they will work on writing strong hooks (attention grabbers) developing strong topic sentences and supporting details, as well as conclusion paragraphs.  The best part-- it's paperless (although it's printable if necessary), and it's interactive, which allows students to work w/ the movable pieces that are included in the Google file.


Please feel free to link up and share your strategies or products that you use to teach writing.  Don't miss our next linky for more writing strategies--the last Wednesday of July-- July 27th.






Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Kingdom of Oceana Giveaway

I am super excited to have been asked to review the book, The Kingdom of Oceana, by Mitchell Charles.  This is a great book for approx. grades 5-10, and is the first in a new young adult fantasy series.  See the synopsis from the publicist below:


The Kingdom of Oceana, by Mitchell Charles, is recommended for ages 9-15.  At it’s core, it is a story about a sibling rivalry.

Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

Warring factions spar for control of Oceana, sparking an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers. With the help of ancestral spirit animals, a shape-shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must fight for his rightful place as the future king of Oceana.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure filled with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also dealing with real-world environmental issues like ocean conservation. To learn more or to read an excerpt from the book, go to http://bookpublicityservices.com/kingdom-oceana-mitchell-charles/
 
I can't wait to incorporate this with my middle schoolers!  It's a fantastic way to integrate Common Core Standards as well as higher order thinking skills. 

See the book trailer below:


In order for you to enjoy this book and share w/ your students, I'm giving away 1 free copy.  Enter at the Rafflecopter below between Sunday, June 26- Wednesday, June 29th:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lit with Lyns Follower Appreciation Giveaway

I am super excited that I have hit 500 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!  This couldn't have happened without all of you, and I can't tell you how grateful I am.  When I started creating products for TPT, my goal was to come up with activities and lessons that would make other teachers' lives easier in the classroom.  Hopefully I have been able to do that in some form for you.

To show my appreciation, I am having a giveaway from today, Sunday, June 12th- Wednesday, June 15th.  To help make this giveaway even better, I have 23 amazing Teacher Pay Teacher's sellers who were gracious enough to donate a product or allow the winner to choose a product from their store (w/ the exception of bundled items).

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecoptors below.  Remember, by following each of the TPT stores (or the social media outlet stated in the entry option), the more opportunities you'll have to win!  Feel free to enter both giveaways. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Incorporating Digital Resources in the Classroom

Although I'm so glad summer is finally here, I must say that this year was a great one!  This year I definitely had some challenging students, many of which struggled a great deal.  I had been forewarned that this was the case, so I immediately began looking for strategies that would keep these kids engaged and on task. This is where digital resources came into play...

What kid, teenager, etc. doesn't like technology???  I don't think there is one.  From elementary through...I don't think it ever ends (even my grandmother is on Facebook) you can't go anywhere w/o seeing people's noses in their phones or iPad.  With that in mind, I thought to myself, "That's how I'm going to keep these kids interested in what we're doing."  Fortunately, my school district uses Google Apps for Education.  But if your district doesn't use this, do not fear!  Google Drive can be used by anyone, and it's FREE!  Also, there are other programs out there that serve a similar purpose, like Edmodo.


At the beginning of the year, my district hadn't began using Google Apps yet, so I started off by using programs, such as Edpuzzle.  Edpuzzle is a website that allows users to customize videos from YouTube, Learnzillion, TedEd, National Geographic, Vimeo, and many more (for ALL subject areas).  You can even upload your own videos and then have the ability to crop, record audio, add comments, and my personal favorite, add questions for the kids to answer.  You can also set it up so that your students' work can be graded.  The best part of all--it's completely FREE!!!  To read an in-depth blog about Edpuzzle, click here to see a previous post I wrote on this.

Once our district  began using Google Apps, this is when I started really digging into how to implement technology on a daily basis and became 95% paperless.  This is when blended learning really began to take place.  Instead of using the traditional version of task cards, why not use digital task cards?  Instead of taking the time to make copies of the always dreaded worksheets, why not post online, but make it more interactive w/ movable pieces?  Your options are endless!


The most amazing aspect of all of this...my students were completely engaged and were mastering the material that I soooo needed them to grasp. Before long, they were showing me tips and tricks using Google Slides and Google Docs.

One of their favorite digital activities that we did was the end of the year review task cards that they did in groups.  With Google Classroom, there isn't a way to assign particular students a specific assignment without everyone seeing it in their 'stream.' This meant that I couldn't assign each group a different assignment, without it coming up as an assignment that was due for each student in the class.  The way I worked around this was to assign each student to a specific group, and on the assignment title line, I would say the group #, as well as the members' names that were in this particular group.  That way, students knew that if their name wasn't listed, they didn't have to turn this assignment in.  That also allowed them to see who their other group members were.  Once they got into groups, they chose a group leader, who then got all of their group members' emails and added them as collaborators for the group assignment.  This allowed them to work on the activity at the same time, and they could see what each other was writing.  If they didn't agree on the answer of one of the members, they can post a comment directly onto the page, in order for them to discuss this.  This also is helpful if you want to prevent students from getting loud or sharing answers that other students can hear.


The review covered several topics that I felt were important to go back over prior to end of grade testing.  The topics were:  main idea, text structure, point of view, and figurative language.  Here are some pictures of the students working on these group activities.




I can't say how proud I am of these kids and the growth they made.  I'm thrilled to be a part of this wonderful digital world, mainly because I see how much it can help our kids succeed.  To see more of my digital products, click here. 

I'd love to hear about your experiences w/ digital resources.  Tell us all about it in the comments below.  To check out more of my digital products, click here.





Sunday, June 5, 2016

#MSMSale on TPT- 20% off Sunday Only

I'm super excited to be participating w/ the members of my other blog, the Middle School Mob, in throwing a 20% off sale this Sunday ONLY! 

Each of the "mobsters" chose 10 items to put on sale, and will be using the hashtag #msmsale in these 10 product descriptions.  To see the items that are for sale, simply type #msmsale in the search menu.

Here are a few of the products that I will posting for 20% off.




https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Literary-Terms-w-Video-Clips-Activities-Google-Drive-2543012


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/End-of-Year-Student-Reflection-Google-Drive-2538429



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ELA-Test-Prep-Task-Cards-1798158

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Winner Wednesday

I'm so excited to be linking up with several incredible TPT sellers for Winner Wednesday, hosted by Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do and Sara from Sara J Creations

The product that I'm giving away this month is my End of Year Student Reflection for the Google Drive!  You can also find the traditional, printable format here. This End of Year Student Reflection is a great way to give students the opportunity to reflect on their year, as well as to provide feedback on what they liked and didn’t like in specific classes.

This product includes:
• Infographic reflection for a specific class.
• Question and answer reflection for a specific class.
• Variety of different templates for any class/subject area.
• Both printable and digital format

This link up will occur on the first Wednesday of every month, and you will have a chance to win a FREE product by signing up at the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway