Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NEW and IMPROVED Data Notebook

I'm very proud to announce a NEW feature added to my #1 best seller "My Data Notebook".  You will now be able to edit the pages in order to personalize them for your individual student needs.  This feature was inspired by a special education teacher who needed space to write her students' goals.  You will love all of the possibilities that come with personalizing this product.  
Download this data notebook for K-2 students, as well as students with specific goals.  

Check it out here:


Keeping your students accountable just got BETTER!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

HOT Summer SALE and a Pizza Party

I'm beyond thrilled to be home for the summer!  In the 2 weeks that I've been home, I've been able to accomplish so much!  As a teacher, I find it difficult to do "spring cleaning" because that one week we have off in the spring is usually devoted to actually breathing and taking a mental break.  

So far this summer, I've completed 95% of my spring cleaning, had several trips to our community pools (been trying to find out which one we like best), spent some quality time with my boys and husband, I actually got to lay outside to try to get some color on my white skin, AND I was able to finalize this product that I completed at the end of the school year.  

I hope that you might be able to use this super cool pizza unit, "Pizza Party," sometime during the upcoming school year!!  It's definitely a good one!!  There are 13 literacy activities that include a variety of different skills to practice.  Your students will enjoy sorting pizza themed nouns, writing about how to make a pizza, and building words using the letters in the words "pepperoni pizza".  There are 12 math activities ranging from addition/subtraction games, measuring pizza themed pictures, and counting using base ten cubes.  I was able to use these activities with my students and they LOVED learning with pizza.  We had a pizza party at the end of the week to celebrate the end of the school year.  Click on the photo below to check it out:

I am running a sale on all of my products to celebrate summer relaxation.  There are 2 sales running between my Teachers Notebook store and my TPT store.  

Enjoy 50% off all products from my Teachers Notebook store from June 23-July 23.  

Enjoy 20% off all products from my TPT sale from June 27-June 30.  

My new unit "Pizza Party" has been posted at both stores...check it out now for a GREAT price!!
Have a wonderful summer and don't forget to take some time for yourself.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reflections and Under Water Graphing

As we are approaching the end of the school year, I have been reflecting on my year as a teacher, a mother, and a wife.  It has been a different kind of year for me with many changes:
I am about to finish my first year of teaching at a new school and I'm so happy that this opportunity fell into my lap.  I have made some great friendships and am fortunate to have a wonderful grade level that supports my opinions and decisions.  I can't wait to find out what the next school year will bring. I'm already thinking about how to rearrange my classroom. :-)
My son, Gavin, started kindergarten this year and will soon be a big first grader.  He continues to amaze me and reminds me every so often that he's growing up.  I guess he thinks it's funny to see my reaction of grief, because I just want him to stay little.  He continues to tell me that after first grade, he will be in 2nd...3rd...4th...5th...and so on!  Landen, my 3 year old, is always trying to be like his big brother.  He is intrigued in whole "going to school" thing and can't wait to come to the "big boy" school.  He's my challenge but always keeps life interesting.
My husband and I bought a house right next to my new school and I couldn't be happier to be so close.  It makes my commute to and from school much easier!  I was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and that has caused the most changes in my life.  It has really been a challenge to deal with but my husband has been so supportive and gentle.  I am so grateful to have him right by my side, taking care of me and really focusing on my well being.  I think that this has had a great impact on me as a wife and it has allowed me to take advantage of each day that is given to me.

Now onto the Under Water Graphing smart board lessons!!  

I just recently finished this smart board presentation to go with our graphing unit.  It's one of the few products that I have posted this year.  Click on the picture above to check it out in my TPT store.  I'm hoping that I will have more time this summer to get caught up and make some new and exciting products for you to explore.  There are some really cute and engaging slides that will keep your students excited about graphing each day!  Here's what's included:
There are several videos and video clips embedded on each of the pages.  I have also included a link to an online graphing website that will allow you to create your own graph!!  It's super cool!!  
 Your students will learn about the different kinds of graphs and how to read them.  They will learn how to create a graph and how to compare the data.  The best part of the presentation will be the last two activities!!  Your students will love the spin and graph game!!  You can use this game as a math center and they can click on numerous links to play some graphing games.
I hope you all enjoy your students for the next few days/weeks of school!  Hopefully they aren't too crazy for you!  Just remember that you are leaving your mark on each and every one of them.  They will remember you for the rest of their life.  That's one of the best parts of being a teacher!  
Have a wonderful week!  Summer is almost here!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Alligator Research Bundle {with Math and Literacy}

I'm starting to get a little stir crazy after this long 5 day weekend due to the massive snow storm we got in North Carolina.  We had early dismissal on Tuesday and school was cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday, AND Friday!!  Plus the weekend...it's now Sunday and I'm ready to go back to school!  (Wait...did I just say I wanted to go back to work!?! lol)  Anyway, I'm glad to say that all this time off allowed me to finish my new product that I've been working on!  YAY!! (I know, right!!) 
GET 5 FREEBIES FROM THIS UNIT----click the picture below and download the preview!!
READ MORE to find out how to get the entire unit for FREE!!
I've been creating products for over 2 years now and I've learned so much in the process.  My first products contained a TON of color and I never realized how costly it was to print.  I guess it's the little things that I took for granted.  Now that I'm at a new school (without a color printer), I've been printing my own color copies either at home or I send them to the UPS store.  Now that I understand how impractical colored units are, I have jumped on the print n' go trend and created a triple threat product for you!  I introduce you to the PRACTICAL, all black and white, printable unit that contains Alligator Research, Alligator Themed Math Activities, and Alligator Literacy Activities!! 
Your students will be so excited to take learning into their own hands when they are able to visit various websites to learn about such a cool topic (the boys especially!).  
 They will also be able to listen to alligator themed fictional read alouds using the literacy connection links.
Your students will continue to be engaged throughout their math and literacy practice because it all follows the same theme!  There are over 40 activities included in this unit.
 I just love doing research projects with my students!!  
We have researched penguins, polar bears, pants, and famous African-Americans.

What research topics have you talked about or done with your students??

SHARE your favorite topic by commenting on this post.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

UBD Units: ELA and Math

I have had a lot of requests for the UBD units that my team created last year.  This post will explain the UBD model and also give you resource links to the units that my team created.

UBD or Understanding By Design is a new way of teaching that's basically a backwards design.  You come up with the assessment first and then create your teaching sequence geared toward the assessment.  (Kinda like teaching to the test.)  The units are designed to teach the most important topics at the beginning of the school year and these topics are usually taught longer due to the complexity.  You basically want to dig really deep into the minds of your students so they REALLY master the skill.  The phrase I have heard that's best used to describe this teaching method is:
"Teach a mile deep and an inch wide"
"Teaching an inch deep and a mile wide"  
In my opinion, the old way of teaching (spiraled) teaches students a mile wide because we are teaching a million different topics (a mile long) every other day (ok, I know...I'm exaggerating!)  But really, how much of this information taught really sinks in??  I believe that the UBD units help students to have more time learning a topic instead of bouncing around all year long.

The new school that I moved to does not use the UBD's but I do miss using them.  It makes total sense to teach deeply instead of just skimming the surface like the spiraled units of the past.  I'm hoping that my county will adopt the UBD model soon because this spiraling of units is driving me crazy.  LOL!  END RANT! :-)

Here are the links to the ELA and Math units that we created:

These should be ELA units 3-8.  We didn't do unit 1-2 at the beginning of the school year.  We started our UBD's on unit 3. 

Unit 3: Characters

Unit 4: Nonfiction

Unit 5: Fix-Up Strategies

Unit 6: Reading Across Genres 

Unit 7: Thinking Deeply About Characters

Unit 8: Reading Science Topics


Unit 1: Numbers and Place Value

Unit 2: Addition/Subtraction Word Problems

Unit 3: Fact Fluency-Unknowns-Adding 3 Numbers

Unit 4: Comparing-Adding 2-Digit Numbers-10 More/10 Less

Unit 5: True/False and Unknowns

Unit 6: Data and Graphing

Unit 7: Geometry

Unit 8: Fractions

I hope these units will help you plan your next UBD or lesson plan.  The units are not completed to perfection so please feel free to overlook any mistakes...they were created with limited time during the school year.  Each unit takes 1-2 hours to complete.  I know you can imagine trying to squeeze these units into the regular planning time that teachers are given.  I was fortunate to work with an awesome team of first grade teachers that were dedicated to creating these units with me.

Have a wonderful week!!