American Heroes Research Unit

It's finished! I have been working on updating this unit most of the week. I'm excited to say it is done! Wow! I added a ton of stuff to this unit. It is now Common Core Aligned (reading & writing) to first, second, & third grade standards. This packet will guide students through the entire process of creating a research report on a famous American. It includes a student planning packet that will lead them through the process:

  1. Gather research - a research guide AND printable notecards with supports.
    Meet FDR! What a great "Pocket Person"!

  2. Turn the notes into a written report (with the guidance of the planning packet).
  3. Choice of writing pages: Either D'Nealian or Zaner-Bloser with built in supports (cloze type activity), primary lined in both landscape and portrait, and regular lined paper in either landscape or portrait.
  4. Revise and edit guide in the planning packet.
  5. Planning guide for a "Pocket Person" (which can be used as a visual aide for a presentation, and/or posted in the hall as an interactive learning tool for others).
  6. A rubric to guide students and serve as an assessment tool.
I mean, this is a comprehensive tool that will guide your students in creating a high quality, standards based research report. I love that it has tools built in to differentiate, too! I do have a few kiddos that need the cloze type writing paper. The cool thing is that they can produce the writing on that paper, and then re-write it one the more formal paper if they'd like.

I've just added this to my TpT store, and it's ON SALE until Sunday!!  However, I'm so excited about it, I'd like to give two away!! Just leave a comment below telling me how many times per year your students do research reports. I'll choose two random winners Friday night.

Pinterest, Pinterest

I've been pinning away this evening. I've been pinning stuff for Read Across America. I know the big day is actually this Thursday, but we're going to be doing all things Seuss (dare I say it?!) next week. So here are some of the pinteresting pins I've pinned (Ha!).

Check out this awesome FREEBIE! It's a *Birthday* themed Place Value Read the Room! So, so cute!! this comes from The Brown Bag Teacher. If you click on the pic, you can download it free from TpT
Lots of my kiddos need practice with place value, so this will be perfect next week!

HoJos Teaching Adventures posted the link to this cute little consumable (which I noted is a "printable used by permission from

And this looks like so much fun! Thanks to Mrs. Terhune's First Grade Site for this idea. . .after reading the book, poll the class about whether they think they will like green eggs and ham. Then make them in class and try them out!

And speaking of green eggs and ham. . . . how about these? Mmmmmmm!So cute and yummy!!
You can find directions at Love from the Oven.

I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple's Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday Linky. Stop over and check out all of the other awesome pins other bloggers have found!

American Heroes Unit - Proofers Needed!

I am working on updating my American Heroes unit. This Common Core Aligned unit, guides primary students through the steps of developing their own research reports on a famous American: from reading biographies and collecting information on notecards to creating a "pocket person" to illustrate their report and serve as a visual aide for an oral report.

I've been working hard on updating it today and I'd LOVE to have a couple people proof it for me! Just comment below with your email if you're willing to help! I'll send it to the first three people.

Thanks bunches!!

Pinspired Plans for the Last Week of February!

The dental hygienist is visiting us on Monday, so we we're going to be doing lots of dental health stuff this week. Starting off with Primary Reading Party's Dental Health Literacy & Science Unit.

I also found this interesting activity on Pinterest.  The original source is Blue Skies Ahead, You should stop over and check her blog out. She has lots of really great ideas and activities for Dental Health Week. We'll see how this one goes in the classroom. It'll be interesting to see what the kids think about how what we drink affects our teeth.

And I also found this awesome Tooth Fairy Freebie! Class of Kinders is the original source for this awesome little gem.
I'm linking up with Learning in Wonderland's Pinspired linky party for teachers. I love checking out all the pinspired plans other bloggers have each week. I get TONS of great ideas! Make sure you get over there to check out all of the ideas! Or better yet, link up some of your pinspired plans!

Also, make sure you check out this giveaway. My sweet friend Tonya, over at Tonya's Treats for Teachers is having a fabulous giveaway in celebration of her 700 follower milestone. Two great prizes! Winner one will get products from 25 terrific bloggers (of which I am one!) & winner 2 will get some great prizes too!

And of course, I couldn't leave without letting you know about my good friend Mrs. Leeby's giveaway too!

1-800-Celebrate *Just a few hours left!*

There are just a few short hours left until my 800 follower celebration giveaway ends! Do you have your entries in? There will be THREE winners of three fabulous prize packs- each worth about $50! Will you be one of the lucky three?

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Hall Pass Linky!

I'm linking up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for this fun linky. Here's how it goes:

Product - My favorite product is my Beanie Baby Decoding Posters. I think they're super cute and they really do their job. Just tonight, during a conference, I heard one of my little boys, as he pointed at the posters,  tell his dad, "See? That's what I can do when I get to a word I can't read. Get my lips ready....chunk the word...." 

Area - A favorite area of my classroom is my Math Focus Wall. This was really the first time I created a space that is so effectively instructional. I use the activities on the wall daily to help build some of those foundational skills: time, money, hundreds chart, function machine, fact families. I've found that almost all of my kiddos have mastered many of the skills just from this daily exposure. They can read an analog clock like nobody's business! I've adjusted and dropped the skills they've mastered from the daily routine. 

Signal - I use a variety of signals. The one I use most is Class! Yes! from Whole Brain Teaching. Basically, I say "Class!" and they respond, "Yes!". The key is they have to say Yes in the same way I say Class. So, if I say Class in a high voice, they say Yes in a high voice. If I say "Classity Class", they say "Yessity Yes". You can read more about it at Whole Brain Teaching.

Sanity - How do I stay sane at work? Hmmm. . . . . . . . 
I suppose I should think of someway to stay sane. . . . . but what fun would that be? LOL

I suppose if I HAD to find something that keeps my sane it would be
Big ol' glasses of iced tea and

my 20 minute lunch! Woooo! Who would ever guess how much you can get done in 20 minutes? (Other than teachers, of course). Heat up lunch, eat said lunch, check emails, check texts from family, run to the copier, stop off at the restroom, and do a little organizing in the classroom. But if it wasn't for those 20 minutes. . . . . . . 

   My 800 Follower Celebration giveaway ends tomorrow! Make sure you get your entries in!

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Desire to Inspire~ A Linky!

I found a new blog tonight, and I'm linking up with her Desire to Inspire Linky Party. Brittany over at Lovely Literacy & More has a great idea for a link up.....the task is to post about 3 non-teacher blogs that inspire you and 3 teacher blogs from which you gather inspiration. I'm all about blog stalking hopping, so this linky is right up my alley!

 I find inspiration all over the blogosphere. Here are my top three non-teaching blogs I am currently stalking...

Apples and Pencil Skirts
I LOVE checking out this blog. Though I'm no where NEAR this fashionable, I love checking out all the styles and the way she pairs clothes, shoes, & jewelry. I definitely find inspiration here, and I TRY to be fashionable! Maybe someday, I'll get there.......

Dashing Dish
I found this blog last school year. She has THE most amazing low cal, clean eating, just plain healthy, but super delicious recipes! Every recipe I've tried from her blog has beena keeper! She also a christian and posts wonderful devotionals. I highly recommend popping over there to check out the wonderful and gorgeous recipes. You will NOT believe how wonderfully gorgeous these healthy, low cal food dishes look! Mmmm! Love her!

Pen Pals & Picture Books
What fun this blog is! Reviews of and activities to go with awesome picture books. They have some really great ideas to share. The two authors of this blog were actually college friends who lost track of each other "until one day the magical facebook fairy reunited them". You will find some really great activities to go with books that you already have. You'll also learn about some new gems in the picture book treasure chest! Please go take a look around and see for yourself!

And here are the teaching blogs that I am currently stalking (out of the hundreds!)....

Clutter-Free Classroom
Oh, I SO need the inspiration from this awesome blog! I love all of the terrific ideas she shares, and my goal is to create a classroom that is clean visually and functions effectively for me. I am SO not there! I am diligently working on her Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge 2013. So far, I've completed the first three challenges. (Hoping to post pics of my organized teacher desk tomorrow. . . . if my conferences aren't too overwhelming!)

Learning with Mrs. Leeby
I recently found this wonderful blog and have been having a great time getting to know Mrs. Leeby. She has some really great products (and some great giveaways, too!). It's really been a joy reading along with her. Make sure you go check out her blog and follow along too.

Tonya's Treats for Teachers
I really enjoy reading Tonya's posts. She also has some really terrific products. . . .lots of freebies. . . and great giveaways! (She's so, so close to a 700 follower giveaway, too!). Plus-- her blog is just so stinkin' cute. Please stop over and check her blog out!

Don't forget to get in on my HUGE 800 Follower Celebration Giveaway! Over $120 worth of products/prizes! 

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My Pinspired Plans (2/18) & Fan-tab-ulous Giveaway!

This week, we're starting of with Presidents' Day. I saw this the other day and snagged it up real quick. How fun! Presidents Day POP UP Books! My kiddos are going to love, love, love making these. I'm telling you, I can't wait to show them what they are going to make! Thanks ever so much to Educating to the Core for designing these awesome books!

 Then, we have these super cute Presidents Day Word Work Activities to keep us busy, thanks to Falling into First
We're also re-visiting quotation marks. I love the poem on this anchor chart, which comes from the Scholastic book Punctuation Celebration. Thanks to Courtney from Swimming in Second for sharing the poem and the source!

I'm linking up with Learning in Wonderland's Pinspired linky party.

I'm hosting a fan-tab-ulous stupendous giveaway to celebrate my 800 follower milestone. There are THREE prize packs each worth over $30. That's about $120 total! Make sure you find out more & get your entries in!!
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Oh.My.Gosh!! I cannot believe that I will soon reach the 800 follower mark! That just seems insane! I can remember so vividly how excited I was that I had SIX followers! I was practically giddy, for goodness sakes! And now I'm nearly to 800?!? CUH-RAY-ZEE!!

I wanted to celebrate big for this milestone, so I sent out the call to some of my bestest and favoritest bloggy friends. And did they ever answer the call! I am so, so thrilled to let you know about this giveaway. I have THREE great prize packs and will have THREE winners! Here is how it will work: Winner 1 will have first dibs on choosing which pack, then Winner 2, and Winner 3.

In the Math Prize Pack:
All Things Money from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas
Ten Frame Mini Unit from Mrs. Patton's Patch
Mathopoly: Addition & Subtraction w/Regrouping from First Grade a la Carte
Place Value Campout from Pitner's Potpourri
Any one choice from My Shop

Science/Social Studies Pack:
Me on the Map:US State Reports from Extra Special Teaching
Inventors: An Engineering Unit from One Extra Degree
Blast Off! A Space Unit from Fun in First
$10 TpT Gift Certificat from Learning with Mrs. Leeby
Animal Research Book from Funky First Grade Fun
$10 Gift Certificate from Joy in 6th

And in the Lit Pack:
Fabulous Fables from Primary Graffiti
Fix Up the Mix Up Sentences from Rowdy in First Grade
Famous Feline Friend Fun Pack from 3rd Grade Gridiron
Fry Phrase Pack of your choice from Buntings, Books, & Bainbridge
101 Ways to Make Spelling Fun from Teaching with TLC
Roll & Cover Gameboards Pack from Stories by Storie

Just click down there in the Rafflecopter to get started! Good luck to all!
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