Saturday, August 13, 2016

Comprehension Pinwheels

I'm always looking for fun ways to incorporate comprehension into my small group time. This week, I've been setting up my new classroom came across these pinwheels that I bought from the dollar store. Today, I'll be sharing how I use these little gems during my small group time. 
Comprehension Pinwheels are a fun and unique way to check for understanding during your small group time. Come check out these fun tools that you can use for all subject areas.

A few years ago, I came across these fun pinwheels at the dollar store. I bought a few to use during my small group time. All I did was write comprehension questions on index cards and tape them onto each pedal of the pinwheel. This example has story element cards. 

Comprehension Pinwheels are a fun and unique way to check for understanding during your small group time. Come check out these fun tools that you can use for all subject areas.

Have your students spin the wheel and answer the question that is at the top. It's that simple! I love these because they can be used for so many different topics across all subject areas. I have sets for math and vocabulary too. The possibilities are endless. So the next time you see these little gems in the dollar store, grab a few! The kids love them. 

Have a great day! 



Sunday, July 31, 2016

How to Score Discounts on Teachers Pay Teachers

Hi friends! It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of Teachers Pay Teachers. It has changed my teaching style in so many positive ways. It is also probably no surprise, that teachers spend A LOT of their OWN MONEY on resources for their classroom. I recently learned that most people do not know that you can get discounts on the products you purchase. Today I'll be sharing how you can get some of your favorite goodies at a discounted price. 

Did you know that you can get discounts on your favorite Teachers Pay Teachers purchases? This post shows you exactly how to do that with a video tutorial. Come see how you can save money towards those classroom purchase!

When you purchase an item on TPT, make sure to leave feedback on those products. This allows you to earn credits towards future purchases. For every dollar you spend, you earn one credit after you provide feedback. If you buy a product for $3, you'll earn 3 TPT credits. They will round up for you, too! If you provide feedback on an item that is $4.75, you'll earn 5 TPT credits. Every 100 credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. 50 credits is worth $2.50

Check out this video tutorial to see exactly how to leave feedback. I'll walk you through the entire process, how to see which products you need to leave feedback on, how to check your credit balance, and how to apply credits towards your purchases. 





Now here are some tips from a seller on leaving feedback. First, if you have any sort of concern about the product that you purchased (spelling error, font choice, etc...) please contact the seller via e-mail or leave them a Q&A on TPT. Please don't leave bad feedback for this. Sellers are more than happy to  fix anything that may be wrong. You can also leave feedback on free downloads too. Although you will not earn credit for these downloads, sellers appreciate your kindness. Freebies are hard work to create. All products are time consuming, even if it is something simple. Take the time to say thank you for all their hard work.

Now go leave some feedback and redeem those credits for some awesome goodies!!!!




Friday, June 24, 2016

Place Value Toss

Hey ya'll! Place value is one of the first skills we teach at the beginning of the year and we review it throughout the year. Today I am going to share one of my favorite activities to practice this skill and it is a big hit with kids. It's called Place Value Toss! I'm all about hands-on learning and getting the kids up out of their seats. This game is perfect for that.

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.

Here is what you need to get set up. You can click on the affiliate links to purchase.

  1. 2-4 baskets (depending on the level you are teaching)
  2. 10 bean bags or something soft to toss. 
  3. Dry erase boards and markers
  4. Place Value Posters
I printed my place value posters 4 to a page and taped them onto the tubs. Label each tub based on the level of your students (tens, hundreds, thousands). If you are working on place value to the thousands you need 4 buckets, to the hundreds you'll need three buckets, or if you are reviewing two digits, you only need two tubs. 

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.


Here is how to play: 

1. Line the tubs up vertically. If it's a pretty day, take the game outside! If you are in your classroom, make sure you have plenty of space to spread out the tubs. 

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.


2. A student stands on a marked spot and tries to toss all 10 bean bags into the tubs. 

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.

The number of bean bags in each tub represents the value for that number. This represents 1,221 because their is one bag in the thousands tub, two in the hundreds, two in the tens, and one in the ones tub. The bags that didn't make it into a tub do not count. 

3. The kids that are sitting at their desks write the score on their white boards. You can do this with number form, expanded notation, word form, etc...Make sure they are seated in a way that they can see the bean bags being tossed and where they land. 

I have them draw a place value chart so they can keep tally of where the bean bags land. 

Place Value Toss is one of my favorite games to play when teaching and reviewing place value. It's hand on, engaging, and the kids love it. You can read all about how to play it on my blog.


4. When the teacher gives a signal, the students sitting at their desks show their answers. The students who tossed the bean bags reveals the answer (if they aren't sure, they can check with the teacher for help). If the students at their desks got it right, they get a point by putting a tally on their white boards. 

5. Then the game repeats by choosing another student to toss the bean bags. 

I hope your classroom will love playing place value toss as much as my class did. If you're looking for more ideas for your math block, check out my Math Pinterest Board. 





Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mother's Day Notepads

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

Mother's Day is right around the corner and I wanted to share this easy gift idea with you. If you are a teacher or a mom you probably have an obsession with notepads. You can never have too many of them. I can't be the only one who has a drawer full and still buys more when I see a cute one in the Dollar Spot! Right?!? Last year, we made these fun notepads to give as gifts and they were a huge success! Most importantly, they were easy prep and very inexpensive. For a class set of 22 kids, It cost me less than $10 to make these.

You'll need to download a copy of the notepad sheets! There is a copy for moms, aunts, and grandmas. I made copies onto fun bright paper from Astrobrights that I already had on hand. I bought a 5 sets of chevron pens from Dollar Tree and three sets of different colored ribbon from Dollar Tree as well.

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

These three rolls were barely enough, so I would suggest buying more than 3 just to be safe. 

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

I ran off enough copies so that each child could pick out 20 sheets to add to their notepad. Once you've made copies, cut them in half so you get 2 notebook sheets from one page. I used a hole punch to make 2 holes at the top. This is where the ribbon will go. 

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

I let each child come up and pick their own colors of paper for their notepad and then they chose which color of ribbon they wanted. We threaded the ribbon through the holes of the paper and tied a bow to keep all the papers in place. They add a little fun the the pen with these cute flowers.  I traced a flower pattern onto colored paper and and the kids decorate them and wrote sweet messages. I laminated them and glued them onto then end of the pen with hot glue. They turned out so cute! 

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

If you like this idea and want to use it in your classroom, you can click here to download the notepad sheets.  You can pin the image below to save it for later. 

Are you looking for a fun and easy idea for Mother's Day in your classroom? You kids will love making these notepads to give to their favorite loved one.

Are you looking for more ideas for May in your classroom? Check out my Pinterest board! 









Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring into Reading Giveaway



Spring is here and my friends and I are back to celebrate! We have each chosen a book to help you spring into reading (like how I did that hehehe) or to help get you though the school year. Each of us has also created a freebie to go along with the book we will be sharing! How awesome is that?!? All you need to do is hop to each blog to grab the freebie to go along with each book! There is more! You can also enter for a chance to win ALL 8 BOOKS! You read that right. Want to know how you can win? Keep reading this post to find out!


*This post contains affiliate links*
The Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems is one of my favorites. I chose Knuffle Bunny because I always loved sharing it with my class during this time of year. One of my favorite things about this story is that Mo uses real photographs to go along with his illustrations.


Knuffle Bunny is about a young girl named Trixie and her favorite friend, Knuffle Bunny. One day, Trixie, Knuffle Bunny and her dad take a trip to the Laundromat. They have the best day until Trixie realizes that somebunny was left behind once they got home. Will Trixie and her dad be able to find Knuffle Bunny? I guess you'll have to read the story to find out!

Knuffle Bunny is one of my favorite stories! This flip book is perfect for reviewing and practicing sorting syllables using words from the book.

I have a fun freebie to share with you that goes along with this book. This flip flap book is to be used to practice sorting syllables.

Knuffle Bunny is one of my favorite stories! This flip book is perfect for reviewing and practicing sorting syllables using words from the book.

You can grab this freebie by clicking here or on the photo below.


Knuffle Bunny is one of my favorite stories! This flip book is perfect for reviewing and practicing sorting syllables using words from the book.

Want to save this post for later? Pin the image below!
Knuffle Bunny is one of my favorite stories! This flip book is perfect for reviewing and practicing sorting syllables using words from the book.



Now for the GIVEAWAY details! Here is how you can enter to win 8 AMAZING books for YOUR classroom! Before you hop on to see my sweet friend, Jen from Teaching in the Tongass, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way and when you're done, add them all up and enter the sum into the Rafflecopter below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 12, 2016

10 Spotify Playlists that Every Classroom Needs

Do use Spotify? I've shared my top 10 playlists that every classroom needs. They are clean, kid friendly, and enjoyable.
Hey ya'll! Are you a Spotify user? I'm slightly obsessed with it. I've been a user for about 4 years and love everything about it. Spotify is a music app and computer download that allows you to create playlists of your favorite songs, download pre-made playlists made by others and browse tons of radio stations. I do believe that it is free to set up. I've had the premium account for years which offers unlimited playing and access to all the songs.  While I love Pandora and iHeart Radio, Spotify is different because it allows you to search for ANY song you want to hear. In the mood for some Miranda Lambert? Just search her name and ALL of her songs pull up. What if you want to jam out to some 90's boy bands? You are in luck! Just search N'SYNC or the Backstreet Boys and those childhood memories come rushing back! 

I'm all about music and it is a big part of my life, even though I can't carry a tune to save my life. When I was in the classroom, I aways had something playing in the background. Pandora was blocked at my school so Spotify was a great alternative. I had the computer download and all of my playlists synced to my phone so I could use both. I used music as a reward incentive. Every day I would choose a student or two to pick what song they wanted to listen too as long as it was school friendly. I could easily search and find any song they wanted to hear and saved all their favorites in a "school" playlist so that I always had them and didn't have to search overtime.  Let me share with you my top 10 Spotify playlists you can use in your classroom. 

Do use Spotify? I've shared my top 10 playlists that every classroom needs. They are clean, kid friendly, and enjoyable.


1. Kidz Bop Kids: You can find every single Kiz Bop album EVER on Spotify! It is fantastic!!! I love that I can play the current hits and know that they'll be clean and kid friendly. The kids never complained about it either.

2. Disney's Greatest Hits Volume 2: This fun playlist features songs from your favorite Disney movies such as the Lion King, Mulan, Pocahontas, and more.

3. Radio Disney: This channel has current hits that the kids love and it's updated frequently.

4. Deep in the Heart-Big Songs for Little Texans: If you live in Texas, you are probably very familiar with the Texas Country or Red Dirt music scene. It's my favorite! Artists like Reckless Kelly, Arron Watson, Stoney LaRue, Walt Wilkins, Randy Rogers and more put out a kids album. Some of the songs include "This Land is Your Land" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." It's super fun!

5. The  Countdown Kids: This playlist is definitely for the primary grades or if you have young kids. It features your favorite kids songs and nursery rhymes such as "London Bridge is Falling Down" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

6. Spongebob Square Pants: Yes, Spongebob has his own music playlist along with a few others as well. The kids love it.

7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: This is one of my favorites! Hearing the Chipmunks sing Uptown Funk is a must and the kids go NUTS over it!

8. The Raging Idiots: If you listen to the Bobby Bones morning show, you'll know what this is all about. Bobby and Eddie from this show have a comedy parody band called The Raging Idiots and all the profits they make go to charity. They just released this kids album and it is great. It features educational songs and provides encouragement for young children. I love it and so does my husband. We listen to it and we are grown adults! LOL The Planet Song is my favorite. It'll get stuck in your head for sure.

9. Mozart for Kids: This playlist is perfect for when you need some calming down time and a little bit of quiet.

10. The Piano Guys: These guys are amazing and play beautifully. This is another great playlist to have for those quiet moments.

My favorite thing about using Spotify is that there are NO commercials (with the premium) version. I never have to worry about what kind of language the kids are going to hear and I can control everything. It is my go to for all things music.

Do you use Spotify? What are some of your favorite stations?




Monday, February 29, 2016

Reading Anchor Charts

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

Over the past few years, I have fallen in love with anchor charts but I'll be the first to admit that my drawing skills are about on the level of a 2nd grader. I'm terrible at them so I decided to make these fun ones instead. 

Kids need visuals. It is that simple. I have always had anchor charts displayed somewhere my classroom for kids to reference the skills we are currently working on. They are perfect for a focus wall. 

This set of helpful anchor charts  cover the comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency skills that we work on in 2nd grade but could also cover other grade levels as well. It includes 45 colored and black and white posters. 

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.


Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

Each poster includes a visual image and a kid friendly definition. 


Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

Print them smaller (2 to a page) to save on ink. You could print, laminate and place on a ring for students to reference throughout the year. 

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.



Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

They also come in black and white version for a printer friendly option. AstroBrights Paper (affiliate link)  makes everything more fun. 

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

These can also be used in a journal to introduce and review skills. Print the posters smaller (2-4 to a page), glue into a journal and then show understanding or examples underneath. The charts you don't use, just tuck away for when you can or place them in a center for review. 
Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.


Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

You can grab these in my TeachersPayTeachers store by clicking here.

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.

Anchor chart posters are great visuals to use in your classroom to show what skills you are currently focusing on. This is a set of 45 colored and black and white posters that cover comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills. You may print them to display in your classroom or use on a focus wall. You can also print them smaller to use in journals.


Looking for some engaging activities for your literacy block? Check out my Reading and Writing Pinterest board for some great ideas.