Monday, February 23, 2015

It's a TpT Sale!

Fill those carts because TpT is having a site wide sale!! My store will be discounted 20%, just use the promo code HEREOS.

Here are some of my top selling items-just click the image below to see it in my store!



300 × 300
Is your store on sale? If so, leave your link in the comments!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Elementary Writing Resources

graphic by Ashley Hughes
Tennessee has the luckiest students in the country.  At least in my opinion, anyways.  I am so proud of the work our department of education has done to equip our teachers with resources and strategies for the classroom.  This work began several years ago when we adopted the Common Core Standards.  The state department trained teachers who wanted to work as "Core Coaches" and lead this massive, state-wide training.  It was a success and the work continued the following summer.  Then, the trainings evolved into a "school team training series" with the coaches training teachers who were designated as "learning leaders".  These Learning Leaders were charged with the task of taking their learning back to their school and presenting it to their peers.  I have been a part of the school team training series this school year and have loved it.  Empowering teachers to go back and share their learning has been awesome.  My Learning Leaders have been awesome.  The Department of Ed has been awesome.  My co-workers have been awesome. In case you're not sure, I totally believe in the work we are doing.  When Learning Leaders email you and ask if you'll be leading the training in the city they've registered for, because they want you again, well..you guessed it, it's awesome.  So if you're a teacher in Tennessee, consider yourself blessed.  Your state department is working hard for you.  If you're not a Tennessee teacher, I'm sorry.  You're totally missing out and you should probably move here.

So on to the writing resources you came for... :)
One of our amazing 1st-2nd grade Core Coaches put together a Padlet with writing and math resources for you! 


I've shared the following Padlet with you before, but it's worth sharing again.

And another...

This Padlet was created specifically for 2nd grade teachers-


I've created several writing resources over the past few months and they can all be downloaded for free.  Just click the image.
Visual reminder for parts of a narrative story.



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Resources-1673911
The next blog post has lots of writing resources as well.  You can scroll down, or click {HERE} to go straight to the post. 
Please share your writing resource links in the comments!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Opinion & Narrative Writing Resources

Writing in Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Many teachers struggle with teaching writing.  Some districts have strict writing curriculum in place, while others have no curriculum and those teachers are left to fend for themselves.  Regardless of which category you fall into, Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD from here on out)  can work in your classroom.  SRSD is not a writing curriculum, but a framework designed to mesh with your current writing instruction.  If you're not familiar with this writing framework you can read a past post of mine HERE, visit the Think SRSD website, or checkout Project Write by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

The Common Core Standards for writing focus on these three mode- informative, opinion, and narrative.  If you invest the time to model and implement this strategy in your classroom, you will have students meeting the standards for these writing modes.

My past post was on informative writing, so today's will focus on narrative and opinion.  The mnemonic POW applies to all three modes: P-pull apart the prompt, O-organize my notes. W-write and say more.  POW can easily be applied to math tasks, by the way...
The librarian in me wanted a list of books I could use as mentor texts when either introducing or teaching one of the three modes of writing, so I threw together a list of picture books appropriate for read-alouds.  You can download the list by clicking the image below.

The mnemonic for informative writing was TIDE: Topic introduction, Important Detail, & Ending.

Within the SRSD framework, opinion's mnemonic is POW TREE: Topic sentence, Reasons, Ending, & Examine.  One of our Core Coaches created this cute graphic organizer that you can download by clicking the image.
Another popular mnemonic is OREO.  I don't know where this idea originated, but it stands for Opinion, Reason, Example, & Opinion (restated).
I found a nice, Common Core based PowerPoint that goes through the steps of opinion writing, using OREO, that was posted online by Birmingham City Schools.  I like it because there are multiple writing samples from students.  You can see that by clicking the image below.

Zaner Bloser also has some great resources for writing that you can download for free.  The opinion writing unit is great! You can access it HERE.

Getting back to the SRSD framework, the narrative mnemonic for 1st graders is POW+W-W-W What How.  The first three W's stand for Who, When, & Where.  Another mnemonic, created by a fellow Core Coach, is STORY.  The graphic below explains STORY.
If you are unfamiliar with SWAG (under Y), here is your explanation-
You can download the complete free resource HERE.

If it's graphic organizers, rubrics, or lined writing paper you need, download this resource!

If your students need a reminder when it comes to making sure they have all the elements of a narrative, this visual might help-
It is free to download from my TpT store!

I hope you found some resources that will help you in your classroom!  I will add to this post as I find more things to share with you.  I hope you will share great resources with me in the comments below.  Be sure to follow my TpT store to receive updates when new products are added and follow my blog by email so you never miss a thing!



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Who made the cut of the 2014 Top 50 Tweeters in Tennessee Education?

That's me, right there at #41! This was a cool little suprise I recieved a few weeks ago.  I feel pretty special to be among the ranks of these fabulous and influential Tweeters! Here is the complete list if you'd like to follow some of these cool folks!

This list was compiled by Professional Educators of Tennessee.  If you'd like to read more, click {HERE}.

Are you on Twitter? If so, leave your link in the comments below. I'd love to see what you have to say!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Labels, Labels, Labels! Who doesn't love a good label??


How cute are these??
I think teachers have a special love for labels.  Before I became a teachers, labels were not that important to me.  But since, labels have grown to be one of my most favorite things.  They have also evolved, from handwritten, to printed, to printed with backgrounds. You get the gist...
I label everything with help from my Silhouette and Kidecals.  I'm sure you all know the fabulous Silhouette Cameo {vinyl cutter}, but do you know Kidecals??
Kidecals offers labels for EVERYTHING.  They are durable and super cute! Watch this 45 second video to get a feel for all you can do with Kidecals.


Chevron makes everything better!
The decals were easy to apply and have not even shown a hint of peeling off and I've been using them for 5 months now.
I get compliments ALL. THE. TIME.
You can take your labels and decals from BORING to BEAUTIFUL too!  Kidecals has a special just for my readers....enter the coupon code "kidecals2014" to receive 15% off your order! 
Do yourself a favor and check them out!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Storybook Pumpkin Patch

"Growing" a storybook pumpkin patch in your classroom or library is a fantastic way to get kids excited about reading! Students simply choose their favorite book character and decorate a pumpkin to look like that character.  My only rules are that the pumpkin can't be cut or have holes poked in it because this drastically shortens its shelflife!
 Below are some characters I've had in the library the past few years.
As you can see, this project doesn't require much more than a good imagination! 
Here is the letter I sent home concerning the project-
You can download an editable version of this letter by clicking {HERE}.
The download will open in Powerpoint.  The text will look different unless you have the fonts I used (which were DJ Punkin, Annie Use Your Telescope, & Architects Daughter).
Have fun growing your pumpkin patch!
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