Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bright Ideas: End of Year Purging

Today I want to share a "Bright Idea" with you.

I don't know about you, but I sure do accumulate tons of "stuff" for my classroom and have a hard time letting go of things (I think this is the definition of hoarding)!  At the end of each school year I "try" to purge as much as I can.  I recently came across this great acronym to help me actually let go of more "stuff" and I'm here to share it with you!

The acronym is ROLL.

I hope you find this tip useful!

If you liked this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, my blog, or Instagram!

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

End of Year and New FREEBIE

How many days of school do you have left?  We have 6 days!!! I don't know about you, but I feel like this year has gone by so very fast! These last few days have been chaotic and the next 6 will probably be the same, but it is simply a reminder that the end is near.  So if you are feeling the same as I am, just remember that it's almost over.

This post will be short and sweet, but I want to share a few things with you all.

First, thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway for The Reading Game!  The winner is:

Check out the cute Mother's Day gifts my students created in class for their moms last week:

The idea for these necklaces comes from the amazing teacher/blogger Lory Evans from Lory's Page.  Click here to read more about creating these necklaces!

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I've got a new Summer themed FREEBIE in my store!!  Click below to download your copy!  As always, feedback (good or bad) is absolutely appreciated :)

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  I've got a few fun things coming up that include giveaways and bright ideas, so be sure to watch for new posts.  The easiest way to stay up to date with my blog posts is to follow my blog by email.  To do so, simply find the heading "Follow by Email" to the right of this post, enter your email address and click Submit.  ***Please Note: The ONLY time you will be emailed is when I publish a blog post, you will not get unsolicited emails from me :)  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Reading Game Giveaway

I am here today to share with you an amazing resource I recently stumbled upon while at EdExpo. One of my lucky readers will be winning a copy of this great product, so be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

The Reading Game is an amazing resource for beginning readers!  This fun engaging product is an early vocabulary builder and learn to read game.  It focuses on teaching students to read by using 180 of the most common Dolch and High Frequency words.  On completing the series, the student has a reading vocabulary of 180 words and will have successfully read six story books all on their own!  Each of The Reading Game's six stories is told using just thirty new words.  These are broken down into six sets of five words.  The student learns to read each set of five words by playing a simple word matching game.  Frequent exposure through play hard-wires these words into long-term memory.  Rote learning is transformed into a fast-paced game with a winner every few seconds. (quoted from The Reading Game website)

This game was created by the author of the famous Wordly Wise series, Kenneth Hodkinson.  While visiting EdExpo, I had the privelage of meeting his daughter, Erika, who gave me a personal demonstration of how the game works.  I was absolutely intrigued and couldn't wait to use it in my classroom!

I have had the pleasure of using this game in my classroom for the past month and I am beyond impressed with the growth my struggling students have made by "playing" this game.  My students beg for more time to play The Reading Game!

This resource is super easy to use!  The format is the same at each level.  You can easily have parent helpers or tutors use this game with your students.  To see the game in action, be sure to visit The Reading Game's website and click on the heading "How it Works"  

In order to help educators with implementing this game and tracking student success, the makers of The Reading Game offer FREE assessments and recording sheets for the words taught in the game.  To download these, simply visit their website and click on the heading "For Educators."

If you think this resource is something you need for your classroom, enter my giveaway below!  One person will win a free copy of The Reading Game.   I will be choosing the winner on Monday, May 11, 2015.  Good Luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Reading Game can be purchased many different ways.  You can visit their website for a list of retailers by clicking {HERE}.  You can also purchase it using your Scholastic Reading Club bonus points, how cool is that?!  It can be found in the Bonus Catalog or on the website.  It is item # 045696.

Thanks for stopping by!!!  I'd love to hear any comments you have about this game or my blog :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

EDexpo Bloggers Top Ten Products

I was recently given the opportunity to visit the 2015 EDexpo in Atlanta, GA with 50 other bloggers! I am here today to share with you the amazing products that we found!

The mission we were given was to nominate our TOP 10 favorite products.  Here are the AMAZING products that were selected by the 50 bloggers who visited the entire vendor floor looking for the best products for the classroom:

*There are a total of 12 products due to ties!
*Click on the picture to learn more about each product!

KAPLA is an ideal toy for schools. KAPLA enhances a child’s creativity, develops spatial awareness and encourages concentration, perserverence and patience. Played within a group, KAPLA develops social skills by stimulating children to interact with each other. 

Created by Harry L. Nelson and Hiroshi Yamamoto, this puzzle emphasizes spatial reasoning and abstract thinking.  Lay down a puzzle card, solve the challenge by making a loop, and watch the board light up! Cool Circuits™ has 40 different challenges ranging from student to expert. Can you solve them all?

The inventor took her love of paper crafting and combined it with her science and engineering passions, and came up with THIS. Using LED stickers (yes, STICKERS!)  and copper tape, kids can create nearly flat circuits. It was so unlike anything I’d ever seen, and so perfect for learning about electricity!

The Pencil Grip increases comfort, teaches proper hand positioning, and improves control. Its ergonomic design also provides relief of hand fatigue and pain. Righties and Lefties simply place their thumb on the "R" or "L" on the grip and their fingers naturally fall into place.

If you’ve ever had a student who needs to fidget or has any kind of sensory needs, this is a thin foam block covered in four fabrics of different textures- perfect for velcro-ing under a student’s desk for a quiet, satisfying way to get the sensory wiggles out.

Math bands are designed to help students of all levels learn in a fun way.  "Math Bands for Multiplication" help students understand the relationship between multiplication and division, apply properties to multiplication, as well as practice fluency in multiplication - skills needed before moving to more advanced math concepts.  

The F.U.N.™ Empty Number Line explores the extensive versatility of the number line, while incorporating a motivational manipulative aspect. It represents the number system while, at the same time, is a manipulative where numbers can be moved, matched and plotted, up and down the entire number line. The possibilities for using the number line to identify equivalent numbers are endless, including whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and negative numbers. Grade level cards sets are sold separately.”

At GoldieBlox, our goal is to get girls building. We’re here to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase. By tapping into girls' strong verbal skills, our story + construction set bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things.

Boinks can be used in a variety of ways during occupational and play therapy.   Parents and therapists alike use boinks for those with Autism, Parkinson’s, brain injuries, strokes as well as cerebral palsy.

SayIt! is the vocabulary learning game loved by teachers, students and parents. Utilizing laughter as reinforcement, SayIt! is played in small groups of kids who help each other out and learn vocabulary, teamwork, critical thinking and theme building, to name just the overt benefits.

**This was my absolute FAVORITE product**
The creator of Wordly Wise and his daughter created a reading game that helps with reading fluency. Kids start with playing a memory game played with common words and sight words. Once all the words are mastered, kids are able to read a word card that uses the exact same words learned in the memory game. Once the levels are mastered, kids moved on to readers covering those same words. 

Touchtronic Letters are a new innovation from Junior Learning. The first classroom resource to work on an iPad. Touchtronic Letters combine the physical and digital worlds of learning. 

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog to read about these great products!   I am currently using a few of these and many others I found at EdExpo in my classroom.  I will be posting about each one in the coming weeks and months.

Be sure to stop by my blog tomorrow (Sunday, April 26th) for your chance to win one of these amazing products!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mentor Sentences Product Review and Giveaway

Today I'm here to share with you an amazing resource that every 2nd grade teacher needs!!  My friend Jessica over at Ideas by Jivey has created her famous Mentor Sentences for 2nd grade and I'm here to show you how they have worked in my classroom!


These mentor sentences go along with some of the most popular read-alouds and are a perfect way to work with grammar and author's craft.  Each of the lessons include lessons for four days plus an assessment for the end of the four days!

Before I show you how I used these mentor sentences in my classroom, I want to let you know that Jessica has a great blog post that will show you how to implement this resource in your classroom!
You can click {here} to check it out.

The first time we used mentor sentences was with "Three Snow Bears" by Jan Brett.

I love how the lesson guide is a one page format!!!


Set up is super easy!!  I had each student glue our mentor sentence into their notebook and I put a piece of chart paper on the wall next to the mentor sentence.  That's all!


As the week progressed, this is how our classroom display and student notebooks filled up.

Since this was our first time using mentor sentences, we completed the end of the week assessment together.

I was very impressed with the variety of skills I was able to cover during this one week with one simple sentence from our read aloud!!!  I am officially in love with mentor sentences!!!

The next book we used Jivey's mentor sentences with was "Olive, My Love" by Vivian Walsh.

I absolutely recommend this product to any 2nd (or 1st) grade teacher!!!  Jessica currently has 3 mentor sentence products available:
or you can now purchase all 4 units as as a bundle

Click on each picture to find out more about these great products in her TpT store! 

As a thank you for reading this post today, Jessica has agreed to let me give away her 2nd Grade Mentor Sentence Unit 1!!!!  Be sure to enter the rafflecopter below and tell all of your friends to come by and enter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!