Splish Splash: It's a Summer Time Blog Bash

Woo hoo!  I can see summer just around the corner!  I have 4 days this week and then I get a little rest!
I am so excited to be taking part in this blog hop that includes close to 50 bloggers!  We are all  offering a freebie, giving away one unit through rafflecopter, and sharing what we love about summer.  I adore teaching, but am always ready for a bit of a break over summer!  Enjoy the hop! 

My freebie is only free during this hop- so be sure to grab it before 5/30/15!  My class loves to Write the Room or play Scoot.  This is a Summer Fun Write the Room (which can also be used as a Scoot game).  It includes 24 word cards, 2 recording sheets for differentiation, a chart of summer words (both colored and black and white), and writing paper.  This activity should help with all that extra energy kids have at the end of the year by getting them up and  moving!
Click on the link to be take to this freebie.

I love my nursery rhyme ELA and Math Centers unit.  The graphics are so cute (thanks to Educlips!).  My class has had so much fun using all the activities in this unit.  There are 6 ELA and 6 math activities.  I've included the table of contents so you can see what you'd get in the unit.  You can enter to win this at the end my blog post.  I've also included a sample from the unit  for you to try out.   A copy of one of the nursery rhymes (colored and black & white) and the long/short vowel sort.  This sample will only be available through 5/29/15- so grab it while you can!

 Click here for the sample:

 Here are a few pictures from the unit:

Noun, Verb, Adjective sort

A clock matching activity- match analog and digital times.

Place value matching:

A measuring activity:

The activities have recording sheets for students to record their answers or practice the skill.

My kiddos enjoying the centers:

Hopefully you'll enjoy this unit as much as my class does!

Here's a link for the unit on TpT:

Summer how I love thee!  What is not to love about sleeping in, a relaxed schedule, catching up on missed TV shows, reading books, not rushing ........

I love teaching, but if I didn't have the break during the summer to recharge, I don't think I could make it!  The school year is such a whirlwind- I feel like I'm making snap decisions all the time and that my brain doesn't get to turn off at all!

Here is what I love about summer!

1.  Not having to make a lunch to take to school everyday.  I can actually decide WHAT I want to eat WHEN I am hungry- not early in the morning!

2.   Getting to wear lounge clothes while I'm home.

3.  Watching the Today show.

4.  Reading books for enjoyment (and my huge pile of magazines that get ignored all year).

5.  Having time to think and prep for a new school year.

6. Reading professional development books and having time to actually THINK about how to implement what I read.

7.  Spending time with my family.  My children are grown & I don't get to see them as much as I'd like during the school year.  My husband and I are always rushing in different directions.  During the summer we get the gift of TIME!

8.  Friend time.  What's not to love about shopping, eating out, or a movie with a friend?

9.  Vacations- oh ya!  I don't know if others are like me, but I have a hard time taking trips during the school year.  Summertime is the sweet time to travel and not have to worry about school!

10.  Getting to see my room neat and organized before the crazy school time hits!  I love a tidy room, but once the school year hits I seem to have a hard time keeping up with it.  I have one time right before school starts that I can stand back and say, "Ahhhhhh".

How about you?  What do you love about summer?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Poetry Recital

I have a favorite end of the year activity I do with my class.  
It's a poetry recital.  
We had ours this past Friday and it came together beautifully.  My only regret is I didn't take pictures to share with you!

Here's how I do it.  About a month before the recital I pick through my pile of poems that I have collected over the years.  A majority of the poems are funny poems (Bruce Lansky, Kenn Nesbitt, etc.).  I assign the poems based on their ability.  For my sweeties that might struggle, I assign a super short poem (maybe even 2-3 lines).  I assign longer poems to those who can handle it.  This poem and a letter go home to their parents three weeks before the recital.  In the letter I give a date one week before the recital that they need to have the poem memorized.  To build anticipation, I read the class the poems on the day the letter goes home.  They are always SUPER excited.  Many kids come back the next day and can say a good part of their poem.  One tip- when I am running copies of the poems to go home, I always make an extra set to give away as the kids lose them. I know- shocking, huh?

The week of the poetry recital is practice week.  We practice getting on the stage and saying our poem into a microphone.  It's ALWAYS rough at the beginning of the week.  I make notes of kids who don't have their poem memorized.  I have a wonderful group of parent helpers that I have work with these kids during the week.  I also send home another copy of the poem with the child.  

The day of the poetry recital is always a blast!  The kids love it and want to get up and do it again! As they are saying their poem, I am below them on the floor sitting on a small chair.  I have their poem open ready to prompt them if needed.  As we are practicing all week, I remind them that I'll be doing this.  I think that gives them a boost of confidence knowing I'm there to help them if they forget.  I actually only have to help a few kids each year.  

The thing that amazes me is that even my shy, quiet kids perform.  I think it's a wonderful way to help them gain a confidence in pubic speaking.   I have had some very frightened children that I thought might not be able to do it, but they always pull through.  They actually want to do it, even though they are scared.  I personally have never enjoyed public speaking.  I wonder if it would have helped if I had had some opportunities like this when I was younger.

This is always a wonderful end of the year activity!  It's low prep and is always a hit!

I am part of a blog hop that is starting tomorrow.  It includes close to 50 participants.  Check back here tomorrow morning- 6 a.m. PST to start the hop!


I am really ready for a nice break.  I love my kiddos and all, but we teachers sure do work hard & deserve a little bit of time to slow down a bit!  I am teaming up with about 45 other bloggers to do a summertime blog hop which will start on  5/25/15 at 6 a.m. PST.  You will be able to hop through all the blogs and grab a freebie at each.  Also, each blog will be giving away a unit from their store.  
Please check back here on Monday morning to start the hop.  You have all week to hop through it- so sit back and enjoy a few at a time.
See you then!

Welcome to Day 2 of Teacher Appreciation Week!  If you missed out yesterday, you can check out some great teaching secrets for your classroom HERE.   Also, you don't want to miss out on the two giveaways we are hosting this week.  If you didn't enter yesterday, you can do so now.  Make sure you enter for both prize bundles so you have double the change to win!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Today, we are offering a collection of high quality classroom resources at a huge discount.  Below is a list of Best Selling Resources that have been discounted by 20%.  You can receive an additional 10% off at checkout by using the code THANKYOU.

This has been my best selling product.  It is has a fun mad-libs type story for the kids to "write".  They choose an adjective and noun card to fill in and create a delightful, silly story.  If this sounds like something you'd like, check it out here:

An InLinkz Link-up

We have also put together a collection of $1.00 Deals to help stock up your classroom for the rest of the year and next year.  I know I have added several of these deals to my cart.  Don't forget to use the code THANKYOU at checkout for maximum savings!

My class loves to play games!  BUMP is one they beg to play!  This set has Fry's first hundred words.    Each game board covers 10 of the Fry's words from this list, there are 10 game boards in this unit..  It'll be $1 for Tuesday 5/5/15 only!  Enjoy.

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What Works Teacher Appreciation Linky and Giveaway

I can't believe school is winding down for the year.  I can see summer right around the corner.  
I am joining with some other bloggers in a linky party.  We have some useful tips to share and 2 amazing prize packages available.  I also have a surprise freebie for you at the end of my post.  So click away, enjoy the tips, and be sure to enter to win the fabulous prizes.  Remember the more entries- the more chances to win!
Class Helpers
Do you have classroom jobs that your students do daily?  I have always believed this was an important task for the kiddos to do.  They help me and it helps build community in the classroom.  For 21 of the 22 years that I have taught, I have had cute charts with 8 to 10 jobs listed on them.  I had to change the jobs out weekly, which was always a task I dreaded on Friday afternoons (in preparation for the next week). I had a recording chart to keep track of what jobs each child did so that I could keep it even.  This took my precious prep time changing and recording this each week.  
Last year I read a wonderful post on the blog A Teeny Tiny Teacher.   She had a great system for classroom jobs.  I knew I had found an answer to my dreaded Friday afternoon task!  
Instead of having weekly jobs for several children, one child is the helper of the day!  I changed to this system this year and I LOVE IT!  I call it Superhero of the Day because I have a somewhat superhero theme this year.  I enlarged and laminated a graphic of a superhero (thank you Krista Wallden!) and stapled it onto a board in my classroom.
I then made some small cards with the student's names on them (I also added blank cards to add new students during the year).
I stuck a pushpin into the board and added a ring to hang the names.
Oh my word!  Can we say FREEDOM!!!
I love this!  Each morning I flip the card to the next card and a helper is born!  This person helps me with any tasks (lunch count, passing out papers, line leader, etc.).  I love this system!  If it's a girl superhero, she chooses a boy to be the line leader of the boys all day.  If it's a boy- he chooses the girl line leader. The kids are great about reminding me to flip the cards (which happens quite often!). If someone is absent, I usually pick different helpers during the day for the different tasks.  The absent person loses their turn in the rotation because- "You miss school, you miss out!"
This system has been so freeing and easy!  The kids get to be a superhero once every 26 days (I have 26 students).  I have found the students really enjoy this system and believe me- THIS TEACHER loves it too!

Pocket Charts
Do you like to use pocket charts in class?  I like to use them for my groups that I run during math or ELA. I have a rack (it's a rolling clothes hanger that I bought on Amazon) with 2 large pocket charts hung back to back with O rings- one on each side.  I often pull this out and have kids working on both sides. 
One day right before school started last year, I was browsing through Target's dollar section.  I found a stack of small pocket charts.  I love a bargain and thought I'd figure out a way to use them.  I bought what they had left.  
During this same time I had asked my husband to make me an anchor chart hanger using PVC pipe. As I was explaining what I wanted, an idea popped into my head.  Why not also have him  make me hangers for my small individual pocket charts? It turned out to be a great idea!  He made me 4 of them and I have used them all year.  They have been wonderful for one or two students to use for an activity.  The hangers are holding up great, but the $1 pocket charts are showing signs of wear. I'll definitely replace them if I find them again this summer.

If you are interested in making these, here is what you'll need.  You might have to adjust the lengths depending on the size of the pocket chart you find (mine are 14 1/2" by 21").
1- 10 foot 1/2" schedule 40 PVC
6- elbows 1/2" schedule 40 PVC
2- tees 1/2" schedule 40 PVC.
You'll need to cut:
 3- 14 " lengths 
2- 22" lengths
4- 6" lengths 
He said he just put them together and didn't glue.  You can glue them, but it's not necessary.  When they were finished they looked a little ugly, so I asked him to spray paint them white for me (it covered up all the writing on the pipes). 
Learning Activities
I love to use any activity in my class that will keep the students involved. If they can be moving at the same time- perfect!  One way I accomplish this is with Scoot or Write the Room activities. I have made all kinds of them for different phonics patterns and even have several math ones. You can see them here:
If you haven't used these activities before, this is how to use them.  For Scoot, numbered activity cards are placed on each desk.  I place the cards in sequential order because the kids get too confused otherwise.  Students move from desk to desk recording an answer on a recording sheet.  I usually play Scoot whole class (my kids cheer when they know we're going to Scoot).  These same cards can be used as a Write the Room. For Write the Room, put the cards on the walls around the classroom.  I don't usually worry about these being sequential.  The kids travel around to the cards on the wall and record their answer in the box on their answer sheet that matches the numbered card.  I usually do this activity as one of my small groups during ELA or Math.  The kids have gotten really good about quietly walking around the room, reading the cards, and recording.  They love this activity also. 
Here are some pictures of them playing Scoot this week (with my new measurement Scoot game).

I bought enough clipboards for my class at Amazon a year or two ago.  They have held up quite well.  I think they were around $1 each.  We use them  A LOT!  
As an appreciation to teachers during this linky party, I made a Summertime Noun, Verb, Adjective Scoot game to give to all of you.  This will be a paid product in my store after the linky party, so don't delay in grabbing it!  I hope you enjoy it!

Now for the exciting part!  We are giving away two HUGE prize packages.  You can enter on the rafflecopters below.  The entries you do on each Rafflecopter, the more chances you have to win one of these!  Good luck!
Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

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