Saturday, June 15, 2013

Did I Feature YOUR Fabulous Feedback?

Hey friends, this is a fun little linky party hosted by Christina over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge.  On the 2nd Friday of every month, she will be hosting this Fabulous Feedback linky, so make sure to check the links on her blog and see if YOUR feedback is featured on any of our blogs!

The fun part: If you see your TPT username or feedback is featured on my blog, leave a comment with your email and I will give you a FREE product of your choice of similar value from my TPT store!  Isn't that fun?!  Check and see if your Fabulous Feedback was featured below!

First Up: This feedback was provided on my August/Back to School Writing Activities Unit.  I love that she is coming back for more!  :)  If you are "Newborn Learning Nook" on TPT, leave me a comment with your email to redeem your FREE product!

Next Up: This feedback was left on my Let's Investigate the... Characters pack.  I think this product is so fun to use with a mystery unit or guided reading groups, as Cheryl and Jen stated below.  If you're "Cheryl and Jen" on TPT, leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you a FREE product of your choice!

A big thank you to everyone for your Fabulous Feedback!  If your feedback wasn't featured above, please check back on the 2nd Friday of every month to see if you have earned a FREE product from my store!  I'm off to enjoy some sunshine!  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pin for later! {FREEBIE included}

I'm not even kidding when I say this will be a mini-infomercial.  I apologize in advance for this blog post being a big ole infomercial for products.  I would LOVE to blog about something a little more fun, but I have honestly been working like a crazy person on creating a couple of super time-consuming products for TPT, so I really haven't had time for anything else fun.  So, let's make this quick and painless - ha!

Let me introduce.....

4th Grade Common Core Graphic Organizers!!
Some of you are probably saying..."Finally!"

After a LOT of requests and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (kidding....kind of), these are ready and available in my TPT store!  These are very similar in layout to my 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade Common Core Graphic Organizers.  The graphic organizers included in this pack will provide formative assessments that are an easy form of documentation for mastery of the Common Core Standards.  Each graphic organizer highlights the specific vocabulary from the standard and some standards even have up to 4 different graphic organizers to target each specific part of the standard.  NOTHING is left out of this resource pack!  Using this pack of graphic organizers will ensure that you have taught and the students have mastered the Common Core Standards in Reading for Literature AND Informational Text.  Best part: They can be used with any book, basal, or ELA curriculum.  You can check out the contents below or click {HERE} to find this file on TPT.

If you are new to my blog or are finding me through Pinterest (how awesome is that?!), you can check out my other Graphic Organizer packs by clicking the pictures below.

Would you like to test out some of my graphic organizers first before you buy?  Click the picture below to download a FREE SAMPLE of my 2nd Grade Common Core Graphic Organizers.  Don't have time now?  Pin it for download later.  The Pin It button is beside the picture.

  Wait!  Don't go anywhere!  I also have Common Core Math Quick Assessments to match!

Click on the pictures above to check out these items on TPT.  Also, PIN AWAY, my friends!  If you're in summer-mode and can't even *think* about school right now, just pin a pic from this post and come back to it in August!  ;-)  If you notice, each picture on my blog now has a cool little Pin It button beside it, so that makes it easy for you to pin things right from the blog post to come back to later.  We won't even go into the html coding drama behind getting that "Pin It" button on this blog.... You're welcome!

One more thing and then I'm done - promise!  I have created a fun little Back to School Activities Pack also.  This will be lots of fun for your students and even includes a Classroom Display or Bulletin Board Display in the pack.  It's fun, easy, and engaging for the kiddos.  Check it out below or click {HERE} to check it out on TPT.  It's a great price!

Thanks y'all for tuning in!  Now... back to your regularly scheduled programming.  Next blog post: something fun, interesting, and light-hearted - promise!  :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday Fun!

Hey friends!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday this week!  And my FIVE are super random, but so is my life right now, because it's SUMMER BREAK!  I live for random in the summer time.  :)

1. Target Finds!
Oh, the Target Dollar Section got me once again!  I went in for some shorts to wear on vacation and I came out with Dollar Section Deals.  Check them out below.  They ALL color-coordinate.... ahhhh.

2. Vera Bradley LOVE
I admit it (and that's the first step right?).  I am totally addicted to all things Vera Bradley.  I have this pattern (called Canyon) and also the red, black, and white (called Deco Daisy) which is now retired *insert sad face here*.  We're going on vacation soon so I needed some more little cosmetic bags and such, right???  Does it make it any better if I got two of the items for 50% off??

3. My Blogging Calendar
This is a major shout-out to an incredibly talented friend of mine named Gina who blogs over at Third Grade Tidbits.  She created this little gem that literally is the only thing that keeps this little blog of mine running here lately.  I can keep track of all my blog posts, FB posts, Pinterest pins, giveaways, linky parties, and more!  If you're a blogger or TPT seller, you definitely need to head on over to her store and pick up this calendar.  It's amazing.  The best part: I printed it out at home in color (much cheaper) and then took it to Staples and they spiral-bound it for $4.23 - Holla!

4. Erasable Pens - What?
Yes, that is correct.  These are ink pens that write beautifully and ERASE!  So if you have one of those crazy expensive planners, don't mess it all up by scribbling and you certainly don't want to write in pencil (how boring!).  These are made by Pilot and are called Frixion.  They are fabulous.  I got mine at Office Depot, but you can order them online at Amazon too!  The colors are fabulous and match my cute little blogging calendar up above.  :)

5. Scentsy Plug-In
Isn't this little plug-in as cute as can be?  I just caved into the Scentsy craze and bought one last weekend.  I have it in my master bathroom.  I have a splash of red with chocolate and tan so it matches perfectly.  I also have a touch of red in my kitchen so I switch it between the two rooms...hmmm...maybe I need to buy another.  I am currently burning Sugar Cookie, but also bought Happy Birthday.  What's your favorite Scentsy scent?

Well, that's it for my Five for Friday!  I'll be posting these pictures on my 2nd Grade Stuff Instagram Account.  If you don't already follow me there, head on over and click Follow.  You can also just search 2ndgradestuff on your iPhone or other mobile device in the Instagram app and find me that way!

Now that I have the time, I'm actually getting back into pinning on Pinterest and am finding some awesome ideas for next year already!  If you just started following my blog or FB page, then you probably missed my craziness with my Pinterest account.  I had a ton of followers on Pinterest and then craziness happened with something about Twitter and Pinterest and other tech-crazy shenanigans and to make a long story short, I had to start my Pinterest account back from scratch, because I somehow deleted my awesome Pinterest account from deleting my Twitter account (boo!).  So if you don't follow my Pinterest account, you can head on over and follow me there also!  {Click Here}.

I promise I will stop after this one.  On my list of things to do this weekend is to add a Facebook Fan Freebie tab to my 2nd Grade Stuff Facebook Page.  This will be my way of rewarding those loyal fans that follow my Facebook page.  I will offer FREEBIES from that page that will be available to FACEBOOK FANS ONLY!  They won't be offered on my blog, TPT, or anywhere else!  So don't miss out on any FREEBIES by clicking "Like" 2nd Grade Stuff on Facebook.  I'm hoping to have the Freebie Tab up and running this weekend!

Stay connected with me friends!  And I will try to my best to keep up with the latest in social media!  ;-)  Have an awesome Friday and an even better weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Common Core Writing Q & A Session

I Have Common Core Writing Bundles!
Hello friends! After many requests, I have bundled my Common Core Monthly Writing Activities to save you some money!  However, because the files were large in file size, I had to create two separate bundles for them to fit onto the TPT servers.  You can see them below.

If you've never seen my Common Core Writing Packs or are just finding my blog, please skip down below the two bundle pictures and read the Q&A about why I believe these writing units help to develop strong, young writers.

Cover Page Graphics by Ashley Hughes, Krista Wallden, and The Enlightened Elephant.  Fonts by KG Fonts.

Cover Page Graphics by Ashley HughesKrista Wallden, and The Enlightened Elephant.  Fonts by KG Fonts.

Why Purchase the Bundle?
While bundling the units and making it easy to download the files all at once, I am also offering them at a discounted price.  When purchasing the bundle, you are saving 20% on all 11 writing units.  Not in school in August?  No problem!  The August Writing Activities are basically Back to School Writing Activities that can be done at any time when you start a new school year.  Not in school in June/July?  That's okay too, because the writing activities in the June/July unit can be used for end of year writing activities also, no matter the month.  You could even send them home with students to promote writing over summer break!  PLUS, if you really calculate the cost carefully like I did, the June/July Writing is actually free in the bundled price - just FYI.  :)

Previous Buyers - Notice Anything Different?
If you have already purchased these units, I have updated all of the files with clean, crisp fonts and have made some minor changes/revisions to a few of the files with some formatting and new graphics.  If you have already purchased, you get these revisions for FREE.  Just go to the product that you have already purchased and click Download Now to get the latest updated file.  Many of the changes are VERY minor, but the updated fonts and graphics and a couple of formatting changes help to improve the product.

Why Monthly Common Core Writing Activities?
I believe that writing is something that must be modeled, modeled, modeled by the teacher and then practiced, practiced, practiced by our students.  Each of the Writing Units offer practice with all 3 types of Common Core Writing: Opinion, Informative/Explanatory, Narrative, PLUS Shared Research Writing (also in the Common Core Writing Standards and often overlooked).  Your students can write one piece per week OR you can pick and choose writing pieces based on your students' needs or, even better, let the students choose!

These activities will not "teach" the types of writing, but will merely give the students practice with each type of writing each month with a themed approach and real-life writing activities, many of which are cross-curricular integrating science and social studies concepts.  The Common Core Standards focus on preparing our kids for the real world and these authentic writing pieces will do just that!  They are aligned to Common Core Writing Standards for Grades 1-4.

I have included primary writing lines, as well as intermediate for differentiation purposes and various grade levels.  With each activity, there is a writing task page (in color). This can be displayed on a projector screen, document camera, placed in a writing center, or put in a writing portfolio, binder, or notebook.  Next you will usually find some sort of graphic organizer or brainstorming/note sheet followed by the publishing pages and an extra page for the writers that get pretty lengthy with their pieces.

It's really exciting to revamp your writing curriculum in this way and it's also handy to show evidence of growth or lack thereof for evidence-based assessments or data tracking with your students.  For example, keep a Narrative writing piece from September and compare it to a Narrative writing piece in May and note the growth in their writing.  The best part: These writing activities can complement ANY writing curriculum or ELA program.

What Will My Students Be Writing About?
These are just a few of the authentic writing activities included in the entire bundle:
  • Students will publish a brochure for new students at their school to explain the playground rules (informative/explanatory).
  • Students will research and plan a field trip and write a letter to parents about it (shared research).
  • Students will write a letter to the city stating their opinion on whether children should be allowed to trick-or-treat after dark (opinion).
  • Students will write about a time when they were thankful for someone or something (narrative).
  • Students will write a how-to article on how to wrap the perfect Christmas present (informative/explanatory).
  • Students will write a letter to the superintendent stating their opinion on whether schools should be closed due to snow/hazardous weather conditions (opinion).
  • Students will write a personal narrative about a time when they have felt loved by a friend or family member (narrative).
  • Students will research and write an article about how rainbows are formed to give to another student in the school (shared research).
  • Students will write an article about the life cycle of a butterfly (informative/explanatory).
  • Students will write a letter to the school board, superintendent, or principal stating their opinion on whether or not students "need" a summer break (opinion).
  • Students will research and carefully plan a summer vacation to the beach and write a letter to their parents explaining the information they have found (shared research).
ALL these writing pieces and 33 more are included in this bundle!

Can I Get a Preview?
So you can see what's offered in the bundles, I am giving you a preview of each file included in the bundle (see below).  Click the Preview Pictures below to enlarge the picture so you can see the contents more clearly.  The link above each Preview Picture will link to the actual product in my TPT store, so feel free to click on over and check them out even further.  You might want to check out the Ratings & Comments tab for each Writing Unit to see feedback left from other teachers who have purchased these units.  I think you will find that many teachers are finding great success using these products in their classrooms.

August/Back to School Common Core Writing Activities

September Common Core Writing Activities

October Common Core Writing Activities

November Common Core Writing Activities

December Common Core Writing Activities

January Common Core Writing Activities

February Common Core Writing Activities

March Common Core Writing Activities

April Common Core Writing Activities

May Common Core Writing Activities

June/July Common Core Writing Activities

I hope you have enjoyed checking out these writing units or enjoy using them in the future.  They were so much fun to create all year long and now I'm able to offer them at a discounted, bundled price which is even better!  See the links up at the top of this post to check out the two bundles.  Thanks, as always, for your continued support, awesome feedback, and sweet comments.  Let me know what you think by leaving a blog comment below!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Currently in June...

Well, it's officially summatime and we are living. it. up!  My family and I have been soaking up the sun and getting a little sunburned in the process, but hey that's part of it!  I have evidence that I've done a *touch* of work along the way for you all.  You can check that out in my next post, but for today let's see what I'm "Currently" up to in June!  I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her super famous, always fun, Currently Linky Party!  Link up for yourself and join in the fun :)

Listening:  We've been outside all day and are a little sun-kissed, so my son is watching SpongeBob {his fave} and I swear the sound of that voice just makes me cringe!  Anyone feel my pain??

Loving:  I seriously love summer break!  I love my job - no doubt about that, but I also love the downtime of summer break.  I get especially excited to sleep in late, take a shower, throw my hair in a pony tail, skip the make up completely, throw on a t-shirt and flip-flops, and enjoy lazy days!  I swear this is the best part of summer.  Forget the work clothes, give this girl a tank top or t-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops and I'm a happy camper :)

Thinking:  This will be the first year that we are FLYING to the beach.  We usually drive, but wanted to make a memory for our little one now that he's old enough to remember.  So we did it.  We're flying.  I'm a nervous wreck.  If you knew me in real life, you'd understand.  I worry about everything, and being a bajillion miles high in the sky is definitely making me nervous, but I will just pray, maybe cry a little, and try to enjoy.  EEK!

Wanting:  I am finding myself searching Pinterest, Instagram, and blog stalking like a maniac already trying to get ideas for next school year.  My friend reminded me that "we JUST got OUT of school Jamie" and to relax.  Yeah, I'll try that right after I print out and laminate this cute freebie I found - Ha!  :)

Needing:  Ohhhhhh, the gym.  We have a love/hate relationship.  Every weekend I say I will start back to the gym on Monday.  Well Monday rolls around and life happens and I just don't get there.  Call it lazy, call it busy, call it.....well, we'll just try for next Monday.  :)

3 Vacay Essentials:  Sunscreen is a must.  If you follow my FB Fan Page, you might have heard this little snippet of a story.  I had a minor incident with spray sunscreen.  Apparently I need lessons in applying the spray-on kind of sunscreen, because after a day at the water park, I came home looking like Camilla from "A Bad Case of the Stripes" except my stripes were two colors: RED and WHITE.  Yikes.  My iPad is also a must simply because it's my life.  It's my social media, my calendar, my notes, my iBooks, and well, EVERYTHING!  It is attached to my hip and I like it that way.  Finally, books are a must on vacation.  I normally read on my iPad, but that doesn't work too well in the sun, sand, and ocean so I'm going to have to resort to old-school paper copies of books {sad story, I know}.  On my list are Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.  I'm still looking for others.  Any ideas friends?

Well, that's it for me!  If you want to share what's happening in your "neck of the woods" head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade and link up!  Check back tomorrow for some more news!  :)