Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ditch the Worksheets = F.U.N.

Hi Friends....

I hope this post finds you all well.  A few weeks ago I stayed after school {in my very quiet classroom....ahhh} and I started thinking about how I could add some more PIZZAZZ to my 
Guided Reading Groups. 

As part of our reading series {Pearson Reading Street}, we must teach a comprehension skill and strategy each week, which will also be revisited many times throughout the year.   I find myself sometimes using the same activity or worksheet to practice the comprehension skill because I have to revisit it many times throughout the year.  Which lead me on my QUEST for something a little different and new for my kiddos... I headed on over to Pinterest....of course.  But sometimes when I am on Pinterest, my ADD kicks in and 5 minutes later I am looking at ways to organize my kitchen cabinets...I digress.  

So I decided to sit down and create something myself to ATTACK each Reading Comprehension skill I had to teach my little ones.  Then... the LIGHTBULB lit up in my brain!!!!!!  My kiddos have been LOVING and I mean LOVING my Writing Tab-Its that we use in our Work on Writing Center so I figured, let me create them for reading..... SOOOOOOOOOOO......

Reading Tab-Its was born!

This resource was a LABOR OF LOVE...I tell ya!  It took me weeks to finish it!  But it is DONE!
I am a happy girl... Is it weird that I want Monday to come so I can introduce our first 
to my class??!!

Yes... it is definitely bat-s&% CRAZY...I digress again!  LOL

But I am excited to put them to use and add them to our 
Interactive Notebooks!

Here are just a few highlights from this resource....

Making Connections Reading Tab-It...

Inferencing Reading Tab-It...

Main Idea and Details Reading Tab-It...

Text Features Reading Tab-It...

Vocabulary Reading Tab-It...

There are 21 different Reading Tab-Its in my Grade 2 Resource.

My Reading Tab-Its for Grade 1 and Grade 3 will be out VERY SOON.... stay on the lookout!

If you want to check this resource out in my TPT Shop, click the image below...

I also have a Third Grade and First Grade
Version too!!!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Big hugs,

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mastering Main Idea using Task Cards

Hi Friends...Happy Fall!  I wanted to take some time today to share HOW I teach Main Idea to my students...not an easy task...but doable using the right tools!

This past week, our skill that we were working on was MAIN IDEA.  I don't know about you, but my 2nd graders have a heck of a time with this skill.  Not sure why...but they do.  So I decided that this week we would read something every day and find the main idea and write about it in different hopes that they will have a better understanding.

Over the last year, I have found that using TASK CARDS in my guided reading groups to practice a specific skill has truly helped my students grasp the concept that I am teaching more readily.  Whenever I am in search of a specific set of task cards, I head right over to Rachel Lynette's TPT store because she is the QUEEN of all things task cards!  She has task cards for every skill under the sun.  So I set on my search for Rachel's main idea task cards and of course found the perfect set.  These task cards were for grades 3-6 so I only used them for my two highest reading groups...which was perfect because they need a bit of a challenge during our group time!

So... Step 1....

I introduce the skill of Main Idea using Rachel's task cards in my reading group.  I created a Flip Flap page to adhere the task cards to so we could add them to our Interactive Notebooks.  Here is how I set it up...

{keep reading on...there is a FREEBIE at the end :}

I print out the task cards in a SMALLER format.  I click "MULTIPLE" in my print dialogue box when I am printing which prints 2 pages on ONE page which makes them smaller!  I LOVE this little trick.
Then I cut them up and adhere them to my flip flap page.  Lastly, I photocopy the flip flap page in a back to front manner because there is writing on the opposite side of the page that says Main Idea and Supporting Detail.

Then I introduce the topic of main idea using these short and sweet text selections where it is MUCH easier to figure out the main idea and details.  

The students read the text selection and underlined the main idea ON the task card.  Then, they cut the flaps and wrote the MAIN IDEA on the inside and ONE of the supporting details that supports the main idea.  They were TOTALLY HOOKED!  They loved working with this flip flap book on Main Idea.

Thanks so Rachel Lynette for creating a GREAT resource!

I actually did this on Day 1 and Day 2 of my guided reading groups for this week.

Step 2....

Then on Day 3 and Day 4 we begin to APPLY our understanding of finding the MAIN IDEA using a non-fiction text.  These texts come from our reading program.  In order to practice the skill, I always have them write the main idea and supporting details that align with the text we are reading.  So after we finished our Main Idea Task Card practice, I introduced our guided reading book for the week and wrote the main idea and supporting details using my flip flap books.

Here is a picture of my little one completing it...

I also have this Main Idea Reading Tab-It that my students will complete in two weeks.

Our comprehension skills are practiced many times throughout the year, so in two weeks we will be working on Main Idea again and I will be using my Reading Tab-It to practice the skill.  I try to do a different activity every time I review a comprehension skill.  It keeps the kiddos engaged and having FUN at the same time.

This is my Main Idea Reading Tab-Its book....

Step 3....

On Day 5, we work on some comprehension questions from the guided reading book that are written in our reading notebooks.

As I mentioned, we use Interactive Notebooks in my classroom.  However, I also create a Guided Reading Lapbook with my students which is an ongoing project that we work on for a couple of months.  This Main Idea mini flip flap book is adhered into their Guided Reading Lapbook that I send home when it is filled.  Every week, as we practice a specific comprehension skill, we complete on of my flip flap books that aligns to the skill.

This is a sample of what it looks like....

So....That' it in a nutshell on how I introduce, teach, and practice Main Idea.  I hope you have found some tips that can help you in your classroom!

Oh...and if you are interested in checking out my flip flap books that I use in my classroom for my Guided Reading Groups, click the images below to check them out.
And DON'T FORGET to check out Rachel Lynette's Task Cards!  



On here is your FREEBIE to use when you decide to use TASK CARDS for your Interactive Notebooks!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spooky Spiders...EEEK!

Hi Friends... I hope this post finds you all well.  I was SOOOOOOOO excited to receive a Facebook message from one of my followers today that included this picture......

It just makes me ALLLLL kinds of excited when a teacher uses my resources and sends me pictures!  I just get all giddy inside and I CAN'T stop smiling!  

My Spiders Flip Flap Book is a PERFECT activity to do when you are doing a unit on Spiders..and it's even more FUN when you do it during the Halloween season :)  You gotta love thematic teaching :)

Anywhoooo...this resource is perfect for your students to do some research using expository texts and to address many of the Common Core Informational Text Standards.

This resource allows the students to label a diagram, compare and contrast spiders and insects, complete a CAN and HAVE graphic organizer, and then research a specific spider and write an expository paragraph using their research.

Here is a picture of what the pages look like...

Here is a cute little information video about's short and sweet!

If you want to check out my Spiders Flip Flap Book in my TPT Shop, click the image below.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Hop and some FREEBIES

Hi everyone! 

Remember our blog hop last month before the big BTS sale? 
The one where 10 of us gave a freebie sample of our best sellers?? 

Well, we are at it again! This time, we are offering up a freebie sample of our favorite September product! 

I wanted to give you a closer look at my favorite September product from my store. 

Introducing my Shape-Its... Theme-Shaped Writing Templates!

There are multiple writing choices for each month of the year!

This is one of my newest resources!  I am really excited about it too!  I don't know about you, but I am ALWAYS looking for new activities and ideas to spice up my writing center.  My little ones seem to get bored pretty quickly with the writing activities that I have in my center, so I figured that if I added a new writing Theme-Shaped Writing Template to my Work on Writing Center two or three times per month, this would be just the thing to keep my little ones' interest!  I think I may have hit the nail on the head with this one. They ALREADY LOVE IT!  I am a happy camper!  Woooohooo!

Here is an Apple-Shaped Writing template freebie from my pack to share with you! 

Click this image below to download your FREEBIE!

Like it? Love it?
Gotta have it? 
I am having a 15% Off Sale to CELEBRATE!

And now, I'm sending you off to another amazing freebie! 
Hope on over to my blogging buddy's blog. 

Check out Becca's post over at 
Teaching 1st with Sunshine and Smiles

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Giving Back with Classroom Goodies

Not long ago I was contacted by Office Depot to help them celebrate something pretty special!  Office Depot decided to focus on TEACHERS and ALL the incredible things teachers do each day to enrich the lives of their students and give of themselves to their students!  

Take a look at this...

I wanted to become a teacher because I LOVED children.  I wanted to help them learn how to read and write!  I wanted them to LOVE learning and become curious about things they didn't know about.  I strive each day to make my students excited about learning and most of all I try to make learning F.U.N. and hands-on!  I try to INSPIRE them each day and help them to rise to the challenges that they come to... I am a TEACHER!
And if YOU are a TEACHER you do the same thing each day and
that is why Office Depot is celebrating and giving back to

Office Depot gave me some goodies to help them spread the word about their Teachers Change Lives campaign { #teacherschangelives} and there is a goodie for you at the end....Keep reading!

Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher...ALWAYS.  I have never wanted to be anything else.  On Sunday mornings, my dad would take me to the local stationary store so he could get his Sunday paper and he would always let me pick something to buy as a treat.  Chocolate or candy...NOPE!  I would choose crayons, markers, highlighters, fun colored pens...anything school supply related so I could come home and play school...and now I get to do this EVERY DAY for REAL :)

Check out the F.U.N. goodies Office Depot sent me.... EEEEK!
I am like a kid again :) kiddos LOVE them..and so do I!  We use highlighters almost every day during reading groups to highlight bold words, definitions, important facts, and especially when we do our Close Reading activities to show where we find the answers in the text.

Next up...EXPO.  Yep, I LOVE these too!  I am a dry-erase teacher.  My students use independent dry-erase boards everyday.  I use them during reading groups AND during math groups.  We write down the connections we make about the texts we are reading and I always use them for quick checks during math.  Sometimes at the end of a math lesson, I will do a quick review and throw out some questions for them to solve on their white boards using their dry-erase markers and then when they complete the questions, they hold them under their chin to show their answers.  It's quick, easy, FUN, green (no wasted paper), and efficient!

Next up...SHARPIES!  If you are a teacher.  I am sure you are OBSESSED love can you not!  The colors, the perfect tips that allow you to write beautifully...heaven I tell ya!
I use my Sharpies to make my name tags for my students desks and I also use them for my anchor charts during lessons.  There are sooooooo many colors to choose a kid in a candy store :)

Paper Mate FLAIRS.... These are the ONLY markers that I use for grading papers!  I don't always use red!  I love using the blue and green for marking papers as well.  Sometimes my students use these flairs while they are proofreading their writing and will write their edit marks for capitalization, spelling, grammar, and punctuation so when they are writing their final drafts they SEE where they need to make their edits for the final draft.

Pens...gotta love them! These Inkjoy pens are my new OBESESSION! They write and glide across the page beautifully!  I LOVE to write in my planbook using different colored helps me to stay organized by subject and it is just "pretty" and what kind of elemetary school teacher would I be if I didn't like to write my lesson plans in specific colors :)  These pens are AWESOME!!!!  They write very smoothly...a teacher's dream!

Kid in a candy store....that's what I am when it comes to new school supplies and Office Depot does it right.  They have wonderful deals during this Back to School time and they have a SPECIAL DEAL just for Y.O.U.!

Some special discounts just for YOU, click HERE!!!

Thank You for stopping by my blog today to learn a bit about how Office Depot is celebrating ALL that TEACHERS DO each day and how they change and enrich the lives of their students.

And Y.O.U. are one of them...You enrich and change the lives of the students you touch each day with your words, lessons, and care....You ROCK and Office Depot agrees!

and you are part of that!  Be PROUD!

Thank you to Office Depot for giving me the opportunity to take part in this incredible campaign to celebrate teachers!  

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I received these products to help facilitate this review and was compensated by Office Depot for my time. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


Hi Everyone!
Have you heard about the upcoming TPT One Day  Bonus Sale????

Well…the sale is approaching quickly!!!  All of our stores will be on sale and when you enter the discount code you can get resources much cheaper!!!

I am teaming up with some great teacher bloggers to bring you a blog hop featuring one of my best selling products.  I want to give you a closer look and a FREEBIE to try out with your class.

Here are my blogging friends that are taking part in this fun little blog hop...

I used this resource with my own students last year and they LOVED it!  They loved the little tabs on the top and said they had fun making them...SCORE!  Learning, working and they are having FUN...a teacher's dream..I tell ya :)
I thought you might like to give it a try with your students!

And if you want to check it out in my TPT Shop, click the image below...

Now... head on over to Angela's blog The Daily Alphabet to check out one of her Best Sellers....

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my Math Tab-It's FREEBIE!!


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