Snow is Falling...Books are Calling!

With all of the snow we've been getting around the country, I wanted to incorporate a fun, festive holiday activity into our reading class today that reinforced basic story elements.

I divided the students into pairs and let them choose a picture book from my library (because this was a one-period-long activity). They read the book together, discussed their "questions to ponder" (character traits, sequencing details, problem-solution, etc.) and then completed a "Snow is Falling...Books are Calling" activity:

The students were each given a blank template
On the right side of the book, the students write: the Title, Author, Genre, and Theme
On the left side of the book, the students write one sentence for the beginning, the middle, and the end
In the speech bubble, the students write an advertisement from the book’s perspective
For example, “Read me! If you like books with fun, realistic characters and an intriguing plot, you’ll love me!”

Here's a sample using the book Finn Cooks by Birte Miller

Here's our class bulletin board - aren't they cute?!

Click here to download the "Snow is Falling...Books are Calling" ready activity for FREE

On a separate note:
Good-bye February! You sure were lots of work fun! February sure was chalked with TONS of holiday activities - and it's a bittersweet good-bye. I am ready to get back to some normalcy though.

To give February a proper farewell, all of my February activities are 20% off in both my TpT store and my TN store now through Sunday (3-3-13). 

These products include:

  • February MEGA Activity Packet
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Packet
  • Groundhog Day Packet
  • President's Day Activity Packet
  • Black History: They Had a Heart for Justice
  • Black History: Famous Footsteps to Follow
Stock up now for next year...and save!

Building Skills with Biographies!

Diane from "Fifth in the Middle" has come up with a wonderful linky idea where bloggers can leave their url at the state where they teach. It's a great way to meet fellow bloggers from your state.

Plus you get a cute button! :)

Any other New Jersey bloggers out there?

Head on over and join your state!

Now, onto the real reason for today's post...


As you know, February is Black History month, which is the perfect time to study famous African Americans. We've been studying TONS of famous people and learning all sorts of interesting facts about people from all walks of life.

So I decided to combine our study of African Americans with the a study of general biographies and came up with this fun project:

Here is the detailed instruction sheet:

Here is a sample of the ABC booklet:

 There are 3 differentiated activities - the students choose ONE to complete:


I have also included a Venn Diagram compare-contrast activity where the students compare their lives with that of the person they studied:

And finally, the students can complete a Certificate of Excellence about their person of study:

The kiddos LOVED the project - and did such a fabulous job! They are full of random facts about many famous people. I love watching their curiosity pique.

Click HERE to head over to my TpT store to check out the full details.

Well I'm off to lesson plan for next week - au revoir, my blogging friends!

Sink or Float?

Today I want a shout-out to all you bloggers out there who teach the younger grades. To the teachers who spend much of their days sitting on the floor, chasing after runaway dice, managing carpet time, wiping noses, tying shoelaces, reprimanding tattlers, and comforting little hearts.  

I think you are brave. I think you were blessed with an extra dose of patience. I think what you do is important.

And I know there are a whoooollllle lot of you out there in the bloggy world :) I am always amazed at the sheer number of Kindergarten and First Grade bloggers - you are quite prolific. And I love seeing your ideas, hearing about your kiddos, and entering your classroom for a few minutes each day. You have inspired me, challenged me, and motivated me to invest my heart into my students.

So, in honor of you, I've created a product aimed at the younger grades:

My "Sink or Float" Activity Packet is 18 fun and engaging pages to reinforce/assess the concept of sinking and floating.

I have 3 Activity Suggestions:
1. Sink/Float Scavenger Hunt - gets kids up and moving!
2. Center Sorting Activity - reinforcement/assessment
3. Hands-on Science Experiment - get kids excited about learning!

Packet includes: 
* Directions/Activity Ideas
* Sink/Float Posters
* 20 Game Cards in 2 sets: 20 with words and 20 with pictures added
* 2 tracking sheets
* Prediction Paddles

Here are some sample pictures from the packet:

I've included two sets of cards: one with words and pictures and one with just the words (for teachers who don't want the students to rely on the pictures, but to focus on reading the word) 

"Prediction Paddles" for informal assessment (both pre- and post-assessment)

Two recording sheets for different activities:

 Click here ("Sink or Float")to visit my store and add this baby to your shopping cart! :)

As usual, I'd like to give away this product to the first TWO people who comment with their name, e-mail address, and a suggestion for enriching students who need an extra challenge.

Novel Study Packet Winners!

On Friday I blogged about two new MEGA packets I have posted for two novel studies: Charlotte's Web and Hunger Games.

Tonight I am giving away THREE packets to faithful followers who left a comment.

Drum roll please!

And the winners are...

1. Marion from "Mentoring in the Middle" - Hunger Games Packet


2. Amanda from Collaboration Cuties  - Charlotte's Web Packet
Collaboration Cuties

3. Amber from "Rock, Paper, Scissors" - Charlotte's Web Packet
My Photo

Congratulations ladies! Check your e-mails - packets are on their way! :)

If you didn't win, I say, "Don't cry, Shopgirl" (You've Got Mail fan, anyone?) because you can head over to my TpT store where these two packets are 15% off! Now through Tuesday :)

Happy shopping!

So Close to 100 Followers! Planning My Giveaway

I could not have imagined when I started blogging a few months ago how much it would take over my life fun it would be! :)

I cannot believe how quickly I've reached 100 followers! To celebrate, I'd love to throw a rafflecoptor giveaway!

That's where you come in, dear readers! I would love to offer some of your products (as well as mine!) in my giveaway.

"What's in it for you?" you may ask...

Heightened exposure! 

AKA: More traffic to your blog, TpT or TN store, Facebook  Pintrest page, etc.
And who doesn't want that?

Bloggers who live under a rock - that's who!

If you'd be interested in donating a product, please leave a comment or e-mail me at:

Thanks in advance - I can't wait to see what fun and helpful packages we can put together!

A Post Full of FREE Ideas! Plus a GIVEAWAY!

Hello blogging world!

I thought I'd share some spots to download FREE resources to brighten up your Saturday:

All Things Elementary is a great collaborative site aimed at teachers in grades 3-6. I love reading the different guest bloggers and stealing using their ideas. Once a month they do a "Free 4 All" linky. Hop on over to download tons of free resources!

Teaching Blog Addict is a great site that brings together resources from teachers all over the web. Each Friday they host their "Freebie Friday" link-up - and it's always TONS of fun.

And lastly, I have recently uploaded two new products:

Two NEW Packets:
I've been diligently working during my days off and have producedtwo brand-spankin' new novel studies: one for elementary grades and one for middle or high school grades.

Now these are not technically FREE, but they could be - just for you! Keep reading to find out how!

Charlotte's Web Activity Packet:

Hunger Games Activity Packet:

And to spread the joy, I'm going to be GIVING AWAY 3 packets to you, my beloved blog followers :)

Leave a comment with:
1. Your e-mail address
2. Which packet you would like to win (Charlotte's Web or Hunger Games)
3. Any suggestions for future book studies you'd like to see created

I'll be choosing 3 random winners on Sunday night.

Happy Downloading!

Good-bye Winter Break...It's Been Swell!

Happy Friday Folks!

I love Friday blogging - it's such a fun day for linky parties :)

I'm linking up with "Teaching Maddeness" and "Five for Friday" for their weekly Friday linky parties.


This week was WONDERFUL! I was on Winter Break (sorry to rub it in the faces of those who weren't!) and had a fabulous time. I am now mourning the end of a great week.

Here I am in the beautiful library at The Castle at Skylands Manor - a bed and breakfast my mom and I stayed in this week. I felt like Belle - all I needed was a rolling ladder :)

1. FREEBIE Alert!
With March quickly approaching, we can easily get overwhelmed, busy, and losing track of our beloved organizational plans and routines. Well don't let your work pile up - stay organized during the busy Spring season with this handy (and cute!) to-do list:

Grab a copy for FREE by clicking here: "To Do" List Template for Busy Teachers

Find more FREEBIES by clicking here:
2. Books Books Books!
I have done some serious damage to my bank account this week - and it all went towards BOOKS! Well some I got for free (from my library) and the rest I bought second-hand at the Strand (only the greatest bookstore in NYC!) I can't wait to add these babies to my classroom library.

3. Two cute Valentine finds:
I LOVE shopping in seasonal sections after the holiday - I'm a deal
How CUTE is this frame - "Admit Two" Only 39 cents!

This homemade-looking baby is from Michael's and was only $1.29 - I have a bit of a button obsession :)

4. One Meal, One Day
One Meal, One Day is a great campaign sponsored by Compassion International, an organization that is working to help desperately impoverished children around the world. This year's special cause is dedicated to helping starving children in Ethiopia and we are asking people to donate what they would spend on a meal to the effort. 

My friend, Becky, from Compassionate-Teacher is spear-heading this event in our bloggy world and is collecting donations. Also, as an added incentive, she is offering a number of great FREE products to everyone who donates $10 or more. 

Click here (Compassionate Teacher: One Meal, One Day) for more details about the giveaway and this courageous fight against hunger.

5. Two NEW Packets:
I've been diligently working during my days off and have produced two brand-spankin' new novel studies: one for elementary grades and one for middle or high school grades.

Charlotte's Web Activity Packet:

Hunger Games Activity Packet:

And to spread the joy, I'm going to be GIVING AWAY 3 packets to you, my beloved blog followers :)

Leave a comment with:
1. Your e-mail address
2. Which packet you would like to win (Charlotte's Web or Hunger Games)
3. Any suggestions for future book studies you'd like to see created

I'll be choosing 3 random winners on Sunday night.

Happy Commenting!

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