Monday, February 23, 2015

Saving One Classroom at a Time!

Have you heard the surprise? There is a TPT sale coming up to help clear out your wishlist! With the upcoming TpT sale, we want to help you find "heroic" products that have helped others in their classrooms.

I recently received some wonderful feedback on my daily morning work for a year bundle.  I chose one that sums up exactly what I was aiming for when making this product. Thank you Lauren H. for letting me know how much you are also enjoying the morning work! She stated, "I love how each week is only one skill to focus on, this helps my students be more independent with their morning work and doesn't overwhelm them! Thank you for sharing this resource!" This bundle will provide you with a year's worth of morning work exercises that are self explanatory, educational, and fun. These activities can be used as whole-group instruction, in small groups, centers, or as homework.They serve as a great way to allow parents to see what grammar skill was worked on each week, are directly related to CCSS in grammar, and are a simple way of assessment.

Click on the image above to check out our amazing morning work or click {here} to go to my other bundled products that will be at a SUPER price during the sale.
Browse around the linky for other heroic products, or feel free to grab the graphic and link up your own! Link to a post containing one heroic product and its feedback. Use the graphic if you wish. (No direct links to stores or products, please.) Include the linky button and link it back to this post so others may find great heroic products.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Way to Go- Postcards!

If you read my blog, you know I love motivating my students to do their best. I also love letting their parents know how their children are doing. One of our school wide goals is to promote teacher/parent communication. I whipped up a quick post card design and sent them off to be printed. These cards quickly became a huge hit with the teachers, students, and parents.

I wanted the cards generic looking so every teacher, in our school, could use them. I grabbed a picture of the school and put it on the front. I also used our school sign, mascot, and PBIS traits to make it personalized. The back has plenty of room for a note from the teacher and the student's address.

Teachers send these out for a number of reasons...growth, improvements, recognition, achievements, or really anything. I made it a habit to send a few out every Friday. I put a star next to the student's name in my grade book, when I send them a card, so I can keep track of who received one and who did not. We are lucky because if we put these cards in the "interoffice mailbox", they will provide the stamp and mail them to the student for us. So it is a free way to recognize students for doing awesome, make them feel important by receiving mail, and let the parents see that you care.

You should see the students after they receive one of these postcards. The grin from ear to ear, thank me, and then show me their best behavior... hoping they will get another postcard soon. I've even received thank you emails from parents, telling me how excited their child was to receive mail and how proud they were of their child. One of my students even told me that they earned dinner out at a restaurant from the positive report sent home. haha

Vistaprint Tips: Are you familiar with this printing service? If not, you need to check it out. They have AMAZING customer service and are always available to help. Before ordering need to search "Vistaprint coupon codes" in Google or your favorite search engine. 

Personally, I like using the website for coupon codes. I've always had good luck with them.

The above picture is what you should look for. I always try to score free shipping too because that can always be a deal breaker. I think we ended up with 500 postcards for $18.00 for the school. I was excited for that deal and so was my principal (who graciously paid for them).

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to help you out designing, finding coupons, or ordering your postcards! For more ways to motivate your students, check out Joanne's linky for the week. She is always so creative!

Monday, February 2, 2015

FREE Reading Comprehension App!

Did you ever find an awesome app that you love and want to share it with everyone you know? Well this summer I randomly came across a great app that was free for the day. I used it often in my fourth grade classroom and don't be turned away by the name because it is definitely appropriate for 3-5 students. I was super excited to find out today that it is back to being free. I don't know why or for how long, but all I know is you need to grab it and fast! I think it is normally $2.99, but still a steal for everything it does!

As you can see in the picture above, the app is called "3rd Reading". There are other apps for different grades in a bundle,  for 4th and 5th, so if you like this, that might be an option if you wanted to spend money. 3rd Grade Reading Comprehension, from Peekaboo Studios, offers ten reading comprehension passages with ten or more questions keyed to each. Questions range from rote comprehension to inference, vocabulary, summarizing and sequencing tasks. The app is simple and straightforward. It will provide reading comprehension practice. As soon as a student chooses an answer, the app tells the student if it is correct or not. If it is not correct, the app shows the student in the text where the answer was found. It is a great way for students to go back and reread for the correct answer choice. 

My students love using any type of technology in the classroom, so during reading time, I have no problem letting a few students work on this app. It keeps them engaged in their work and they love knowing their score right away. 

Hope it helps you out too! :)