Monday, October 5, 2015

Boo to You! Halloween Blog Hop

I am super excited to link up with some of my blogging buddies to bring you this fun Halloween Blog Hop especially for 3rd-5th grade teachers/bloggers.  
Since you knocked on my door, Here are a couple of treats for your goody bag.

I L♥VE using picture prompts for writing activities!  
Here are some of my favorites.

This one would be great to accompany the book, 
There's a Monster Under My Bed.

 This one would be cute with any Little Witch books.

Here's a haunted house that's not too spooky.
Who lives here?
What happens here at night?

And here a couple of eerier settings.

On a fun note, here are some Halloween bookmarks for your kiddos.

You can grab them here.

And here's a quick and easy Halloween Literacy Center FREEBIE is all ready for you to print and go! Click on the image to add it to your treat bag.

In my classroom, October is all about MONSTERS!  Since so many kids it seems cannot participate in Halloween activities, I focus on monsters instead.  Here are some of my favorite monster books:

Another one of my favorite monster activities is this writing freebie.

The kids make smoosh monsters and then write descriptive paragraphs to identify their monster, BUT they cannot use any color words.  They have to focus on the other attributes that their monster has.
Here are some examples...

Can you match the monster to the descriptions below?

Click on the treat bag to add this freebie to your bag.

Want a chance to win more TREATS, OOZING with Halloween fun?!
Check out the TREATS (no tricks here) that are EERILY EXCITING in this giveaway!
This CAULDRON of TREATS features fabulous TpT products for grades 3rd-5th, as well as a TEACHER TREAT BAG that is to DIE for!

Knock on the door to see who you will be Trick-or-Treating with next! Get your treat bag ready, I have a feeling you’ll need it again!
{Click on the door image below.}

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carson-Delossa Product Review

As a Carson-Delossa Brand Ambassador,* I received some great products to share with you this month.  I have loved Carson-Delossa as long as I have been teaching (a L.O.N.G. time!) and this month's selection included a couple of my FAVORITES.

First up are the Learning Target and Essential Questions Cards.  Man I wish I had had these when I was in the classroom!  It would have made posting my Common Core objectives so much easier!

The box includes cards for all the Common Core standards, both ELA and Math, for the grade level that you select.  The learning targets are on one side, and the essential questions are on the other.  Both are in easy to read and understand, kid friendly language.

The Learning Targets and Essential Questions kit includes 105 standards cards, 1 header card, and 10 dividers. Each card features a standards-­‐based essential question paired with a corresponding “I Can” statement. The essential questions are designed to help keep lessons focused and to provide students with a clear understanding of the intended outcome. The learning targets, or “I Can” statements, serve as assessment tools for both teachers and students. The “I Can” statements also allow teachers and students to evaluate progress toward learning goals.

Here is a video from Carson-Delossa that gives more information about this great resource.

The next two products are already favorites of mine that I used regularly in my classroom.

The Spectrum series of books are great for quick assessments and additional practice for those who need it.  Spectrum® workbooks can save you from frustrating, endless searches for that skill-­‐specific practice or student artifact. The full line of Spectrum resources are developed by professional educators and aligned to all state standards. This series can easily become one of your best planning resources.  They are available for the following subjects:
•    Language Arts (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Phonics (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Reading (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Writing (Grades K-­‐8)
•   Spelling (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Math (Grades K-­‐8)
•   Science (Grades 3-­‐8)
•  Geography (Grades 3-6) 

The math series has pre- and post-tests for each unit and practice pages that are great for homework or to leave when you have a substitute.


I l♥ve that I do not have to scramble around trying to find resources for particular skills.

My favorite products of all are the Math 4 Today and Language Arts 4 Today series!  I have used these for years and they are even better now that they are annotated with the common core standards.  My fourth grade set is well-worn!


I absolutely love the format of these!  Each day, M-Th, there are 4 spiral review questions that are PERFECT for little mini lesson reviews.  Then for Friday, there is an assessment over the types of questions covered for the week.  A Common Core guide and answer keys are provided.


I always copied math on one side and language arts on the other.  The kids kept these at their desk and we used them for bell-work.  Then on Fridays I would pass out the assessments and take a quick and easy grade for the week.  LOVE♥LOVE♥LOVE THEM!

Head on over to Carson-Delossa by clicking on the links and images above, or get these and other great CD products at your local teaching store.

I would love to know what your favorite Carson-Delossa products are.  Leave a comment with yours.

*I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sharing Sunshine

I am excited to Link up with Hello Sunshine this month to help spread a little sunshine and school gets into full swing for most of us.

If you are a reader like I am, and truly love books, you want your students to love them as much as you do, right?  As we work with our students at the beginning of the year, getting them to choose books they will love and that are just right for them, I have a fun, very low prep activity to share with you.  All you will need is a copy of the book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

You can get it from the library, but seriously, you will want your own copy of this one!
I chose 8 different places in the story to stop.  These are the places that I stopped in the book: pages 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 32, 37, and 43.  You can choose any 8 places that you want to stop, but pause after vivid details to make it easier for the students to draw.

Have the kids fold a blank piece of paper into eight spaces and number them.
As I read aloud, I do not show the cover illustration or any of the pictures.
As I reach each of the places I have marked to pause,
I say, "Ready, draw!"
They have about 2 minutes to draw in that box what has happened so far in the story.
They must draw for the whole time, adding details that they remember from the story.
When the 2-3 min. is up, they put their pencils down and I continue reading until the next pausing point.  I repeat with all of the 8 spots I have marked in the story.
Here are some of my students' completed drawings.

These drawings are a GREAT way to informally assess listening comprehension!  You can use this activity with any book or chapter.  Just choose your 8 spots ahead of time and do not show students any of the illustrations as you read.  After they have completed the activity, you can go back and reread or show the illustrations.
This particular book has a great video that I showed the students after we read the book and completed the activity.

Another good book for this activity is Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy.  You can read my post here about it.

Have some "Sunshine" of your own that you would like to share?  Head on over to Hello Sunshine and link up!

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