Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Sale!!!

     I'm completely redoing my Texas Learning Fun unit on Texas state symbols. I'll be uploading the updated version soon, and the price will go up. You may want to purchase it now, so you can get the update for free. My new sight word game, Oh Donuts! is currently on sale for 50% off. I also have several new products that are perfect for back to school. Sales are on through Sunday night.

Graphics by Lovin Lit. Fonts by KevinandAmanda

Happy Independence Day!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Make Your Masterpiece

     Week three of the TpT Seller Challenge had us making a new product, and swapping with another seller to get feedback. I loved swapping. It's always good have a second pair of eyes look over things. I had two products I was working on that I decided to finish up for this challenge.

     The first product is a freebie that could be used as a literacy station or guided practice activity. I'll use it as guided practice, and then move it to an early finisher activity or literacy station. If you are a Texas teacher, it is TEKS aligned. The TEKS are on the color and black and white covers.

     You can download Synonyms Are Oh So Sweet! here.

    My second product is a sight word game. Erin Bradley has this adorable chevron mugs and donuts clip art that I just had to have. I also wanted to make a sight word game that I could use with my students and my boys to practice our words at home.

     Oh Donuts! A Sight Word Game is on sale for 50% off for 48 hours. You can purchase it here.

Click here to see the other Masterpieces!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Monthly Top Ten: TV Shows

     I'm excited to be linking up with Hailey at The Third Grade Nest for her new monthly link up, The Monthly Top Ten! This month is your top ten favorite TV shows to watch while planning, grading, blogging, or creating. We got rid of cable over a year ago, so I watch shows on Netflix or Hulu.

     It's pretty obvious from my list I like to watch dramas and teen shows. One Tree Hill will probably always be my absolute favorite. We named our youngest son Lucas after the character, Lucas Scott. 

     Click below to link up and share your top ten favorite shows.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently July 2015

     It's been quite awhile, but I'm linking up with Farley for July Currently.

     I'm listening to Ben-10. My Logan is sick, so I'm letting him watch whatever he wants. Summertime sickness is no fun. This is day three with fever, so we're headed to the doctor tomorrow.

      Our church takes a break from Wednesday night activities in July because we have camps and mission trips. I love being with our church family, but I'm also thankful to stay at home and have a movie night.

     I'm the STAAR (Texas state assessment) coordinator for my K-11 school, so I'm getting reading for high school EOC retakes next week. I'm ready to be done with STAAR for awhile.

     I really want to visit my sweet nieces (20 months and 11 months) and go swimming with them, but with a sick boy, we're going to have put off our visit to Aunt Calli's a little bit longer.

     I've created some new materials for back to school, but I haven't been able to print and laminate because we're all out of ink at home. I'm hoping the Mister is going to buy me some ink soon.

All Star At:
     I'm an all star at listening to my friends and family and being the voice of reason. Everyone wants to be heard. Most of the time that is all that is needed, but when they need some advice, I'm willing to give them a nudge in the right direction.

     I can tell other people all day long what they are an all star at, but I have such a hard time talking about myself like that. Is that a teacher thing? Or just me?

     To share your Currently July, link up with Farley below.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leveling Your Classroom Library

     I will be teaching 2nd grade ELA and Social Studies this school year. I'm excited for the change and new challenge after teaching math and/or science for the last three years. I loved teaching math and especially science, but reading has always been my first love.

     When I agreed to teach 2nd grade ELA, I found out that the school doesn't have any 2nd grade level guided reading books. We only have guided reading books for kindergarten and first grade. I had a little panic attack! How in the world am I going to get these babies reading where they are suppose to if I don't have any guided reading books?! After my mini panic attack, I realized I needed to figure out the reading levels of the hundreds of pictures books I have.

     I went looking for a way to level my books and found the Level It! app for my iPhone. *Disclaimer, I pulled this picture from their webpage,

     I was able to scan the barcode of the majority of my books, and it brought up the book along with the reading level. Then the book was added to my classroom library. I have between 300 and 400 hundred books, and it took me less than an hour and half to get them all scanned and entered. That time included restroom breaks and getting up to take care of things for my boys. Once the books are scanned into your library, you can sort by title, author, GR level, DRA level, GLE level or Lexile level. You can also search by key words, title, or author.

     If you scan the book and it doesn't show up, there's a way to manually type the book into the app so you can add it your library. The majority of my books had some type of reading level. We use the DRA assessment, so the DRA level is the level I use. The app includes a chart so you can find the equivalent between the different reading level systems. I used the chart to look up what the DRA equivalent was if they only gave a GR or Lexile level.

     There is also a feature where you can check books out to students and then check them back in when they are returned. You add a roster and then individual students. You can even add a photo and reading level to their profile. You scan the barcode and choose the student to check it out to. Then you can check books in two ways. First you can choose check in and scan the book, or you can go to the individual student profile, select the books they want to return, and then choose check in and it will check in the selected books. I plan on trying out the check in/check out feature with my students. I'll let you know how it goes.

     I was hoping I would have enough second grade reading level books because the majority of these books I bought for read aloud when I taught kindergarten. Fortunately most of my books are late first grade, second grade, or early third grade reading level, and I have plenty of books for each of the second grade DRA levels. I feel much better knowing I have enough quality literature for Reader's Workshop. I do have basal readers which I'm not super thrilled about but will do for guided reading groups until we can get some guided reading books ordered.

     The Level It! app is $3.99 on iTunes, and I feel like it was worth the money I spent. An Android version is also available.

*Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not being paid to share this app or my opinions. I just found the app to be useful and wanted to share in case the information was helpful to others.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

School is Cool! Literacy Stations

     I am so excited about these literacy workstations. I have been working on them for about a month now. There are a total of seven stations:

  • Complete or Incomplete Sentences?
  • Back to School Blends-th, cr, gl
  • Ouch! Sight Word Game-review of first grade word list, includes two ways to play
  • Nouns at School
  • Easy as A-B-C-abc order
  • School Routines-sequencing three events
  • Packin' My Bag-spelling

     The sentences station has a color and a black and white version. All of the other stations have a full color, a partial color, and a black and white version. An answer key is included for each station so students can check their work when completed. There is also a recording sheet for each station. I'm going to print two or three copies of each recording sheet, laminate, and put in the station with a dry erase marker or crayon. I'll have students show me or their partner their work before they erase it. 
If you use the black and white version, I suggest printing them off on bright colored paper. 

     Now I just need my Mister to buy some printer ink, so I can get busy prepping these. School is Cool! Literacy Stations is on sale until July 1st. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

TpT Seller Challenger: Dare to Dream

     I really had a hard time deciding what my dreams are in regards to my TpT store. When I originally started my store a couple of years ago, it was to help out other teachers and try to make a little money back on the time I spent prepping materials for my classroom.

     I realize that while my original intentions have remained; my motivation has grown.

     Three years ago, I left my full time kindergarten teaching job for a part time first grade science and fourth grade math job. I have loved working two days a week. I want to ensure that I will continue to have the ability to teach part time.

     Growing up my family was not able to take many vacations, and I want to be able to travel with my boys and give them first hand experiences I never had.

     This morning we went out to leave for Vacation Bible School, and I had a flat tire. Thankfully my husband was closing tonight, so he had not left for work yet. While I drop Grammie and the boys off at church, Joshua took care of the tire. I wasn't sure if we had a spare for my car, or if we would have the money to fix it until he was paid. (We bought the car used a couple of years ago, which is why I wasn't sure about the spare.) I was immediately stressed and worried. I would love to not stress when these unexpected expenses arise.

     You can visit Sparkling in Second to read about other TpT sellers'  big dreams or to link up and share your own.


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