Friday, August 29, 2014

5 Giveaways going on RIGHT NOW!

Happy Friday everyone!  This week, I have been inundated with so many fantastic giveaways, it was the perfect theme for this week's Five for Friday linkup with DoodleBugs Teaching!

Mrs. Beattie is celebrating 1000 followers on Teachers pay Teachers and to celebrate, she has a wonderful giveaway with many prizes to be won!

Yup, that's right, that's me in the Grade 6+ prize pack!  :) 

The Classroom Sparrow is having a great giveaway for their Back to School bundle (A $20 value!)  All you have to do to enter is go to their Facebook page and comment on their giveaway post!  

Krista Wallden from The Creative Chalkboard is ending her Fabulous Five Giveaway today.  She is celebrating 15 000 followers (and she's up to 16 000 this morning!) with a giveaway, a freebie, a daily deal and a 20% bundle!  All of the past 5 day FREEBIES are only available until today, so head on over to her TpT store quickly! (To search for them quickly, sort her products by Most Recent)

The Learning Center is having a 500 Follower celebration and some GREAT prizes available here too! They're on Day 2 of a 5 day giveaway, so head on over to their website and enter!

Last but certainly not the least is Lessons from the Middle.  They are having a wonderful Back to School giveaway with plenty of prizes that ALL teachers will love!

There you have it!  I wish you luck!  If you do happen to win, please come back and comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Have a very wonderful weekend, 

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making Reading Fun!

Happy Wednesday!

This Wednesday, I'm linking up with Mrs Plemons' Kindergarten for her wonderful Positively Pinspiring linky.  I have found quite a few wonderful pins this week that I'd love to share with you!

It all started with this pin here :

Marci Coombs

This pin was found while I was created my Back to School Bulletin Boards blog post, and I loved the idea!  A (small) part of me wished I wasn't on maternity leave so that I could go and do this in my classroom, but alas, it'll have to wait (hence why I pinned it, so I can easily find it next year).  

This is such a neat and cool way to make your classroom library just a little more fun for students.  It might take a bit of work, but once it's done, I'm sure you'll definitely be reaping the rewards!

Then, a little while later, I found this pin :

Unfortunately, it was an image-only pin, so I can't properly give credit. If it's yours, please let me know!

This is a reading chain, and it can inspire students to read and keep on adding links to their chains when they read a book.  I just thought it was a neat idea to see how many books one classroom can read!  It'd be a neat challenge to see how many books can be read in a month or two.

My next reading pin is a Bucket List that I absolutely adore :

No Time for Flash Cards

Isn't this cute!  I know summer break is a long time away, but you can also change this and make it a Grade 5 Reading Bucket List (or whatever grade you're teaching), and have students try to complete the bucket list before the end of the school year.  An interesting challenge that I'm sure most students would love to face head on!

And now for the last pin I found :

The Iowa Farmer's Wife

This isn't necessarily for the classroom, but these are great ideas to give to your parents on Teacher-Parent night to help them make reading fun for their child.  It gives a list of different ways to "read" with/to your child.  

Loving to read is something that is taught at home first, and sometimes, parents need a little reminder that reading isn't something that is just for school, but should be done at home too.

There you go, a few pins that I found throughout the week that should help make reading a little more fun for your students!


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to School Bulletin Board Ideas

Happy Friday!

I'm teaming up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another edition of Five for Friday!  This Friday, I'm going to be looking over some fantastic bulletin board ideas with you!

Here we go :)

Isn't this amazing!  Students and parents will absolutely love this bulletin board!  I absolutely love the reference to such an old game, and have all the students being the ghost/monsters :)  It might take a lot of work, but you'd definitely make an impression with this one.



Oh sorry, got distracted there.  Up is one of my favourite movies and this door (ok, technically not a bulletin board, but was too cute not to share) is a fantastic way to welcome your students for the new year!

For your viewing pleasure, click on the image for a very short clip of the Squirrel scene from the movie.

E is for explore

This is genius!  Students will absolutely love participating in the creation of this bulletin board!  I don't know about your students, but I have so many students pouring over Where's Waldo books every week at the library.    

Louise Lemans
This is a cute ideas as a first day activity as well as a back to school bulletin board.  Distribute post-its and have students answer one of 3 questions about their fellow classmates (hard to see, but the questions are on the top border).  A fun way to get to know one another!

Bunting Books & Bright Ideas
Now this is probably my favourite out of all of them.  This is so original and adorable!  I love this theme!

I have one more here for you, that's not specifically for Back to School season, but that I really wanted to share because I think it's just fantastic!

Got Art
It's such an easy bulletin board to do (it might take time though) and it can lead to so many great discussions in your classroom about how attitude can affect (negatively OR positively) any situation that they are facing.  I just love it.

And there you have it!  Hope you were inspired by some great bulletin boards.  Would love to see your back to school bulletin boards, just leave me a link in the comments below!

Happy Friday, 


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


That's right! You heard correctly! 

Teachers pay Teachers is having another Back to School Sale! If you missed your chance Aug 4 & 5, then clear your calendars! 

 On August 20th (yes, that's tomorrow), everything in my store will be 28% off!

There is one small catch, you MUST enter Promo Code BOOST when you check out, otherwise you'll only get 20% off (which is still good, but hey!  Let's get you the best deal there is!)

Happy Shopping everyone!

Have you ever thought of buying or selling on Teachers Pay Teachers and finding great ideas for your classroom?  Use my referral link today!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Math Games are Important

Brain Games and Teasers

I love math.


I really do!

I often think in numbers (every time I walk up stairs, I count them) but I come across it honestly.

For example, my dad once told me he was counting how many pages I read per minute on our bus trip down to Texas. We also use to play a game in the car of guessing exactly what time we'd be pulling into the driveway (of course, we'd wait for dad to pick first before guessing around him! haha).  Or how about the memorization game of 2+2=4, 4+4=8, 8+8=16... until you just couldn't remember anymore!

Yup, we were that family, we were math nerds.

But being math nerds taught me something, it taught me to understand numbers. Really understand them.  It taught me that they are everywhere and they are not scary.

Unfortunately, in our classrooms (or at least in mine), students are often afraid of math.  If they don't get it, they don't understand numbers, then they start hating math.  And by hating math, they stop trying to understand math, and the cycle continues.  And this cycle has to be broken!

And I have the secret to help break this cycle : become math nerds and play games.  Play those weird math games.  Have competitions as to how many seconds until the lunch bell, or how many steps to the bathroom.

In my classroom, while we were playing a math game, I realized it was time to wrap up and head to the gym for Phys Ed.  I actually had students whine that they didn't want to stop!  They never whine about stopping what we're doing for Phys Ed!  It was such a fantastic moment!  Oh, and the game?  Multiplication War with playing cards.  Exactly like War, but instead of having the highest card wins, the first person to say the multiplication sum wins (for example :  I lay a queen (12) and you lay a 3, if I say 36 before you, then I get both cards added to my deck).  Yup, they were practicing their multiplication table and that won over Phys Ed!

Find more math card games here

This is why, in my Teachers pay Teachers store, you will find various Math games.  I find them too important in the classroom to do without!  I make Bingo Games (always fun), task cards (although not technically games, students love using them since they're interactive) and I have, Who Has math games.

My latest Bingo Game, Place Value Bingo, was just added to my TpT store tonight, and as always, it will be 50% off for the next 24 hours only!  Right now, I only have up to ten-thousand, but am working on the hundred-thousand Bingo Game.

Place Value Bingo Game

I hope you start having fun with math in your classroom.  I'd love to hear about any math games that you play with your students!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to School Ebook - en français svp!

A few weeks ago, I had mentioned a FREE French back to school digital book that was being set up by a few Teacher-Authors.  Well, I was away on vacation when the book made it's appearance, but late is still better than never!

This book is the collaboration of 15 teacher-authors and is filled with amazing tips and free products to help make your first days/weeks back to schools as smooth as possible.  Also, all free products are a part of a larger paid product, so if there's something you love, you know where to get more!

Bonne rentrée scolaire!

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Where the Red Fern Grows : A Book Review

This week, I'm linking up with Mrs Jump's Class to talk about books.  This book was a classroom read back when I was in grade 7.  I absolutely loved it back then, and still love it today!  It's a classic that boys and girls both love, full of action, love and values. Have you guessed it yet?  It's Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

About the Book

This book explores the relationship between Billy, a ten year old boy living in the Ozarks and his two coon dogs, Little Ann and Old Dan.  After two years of saving up for his dogs, Billy finally has enough to purchase and sends for them (and you should see what he goes through to get these dogs!  Easily a classroom discussion on determination right there!).  They go hunting after some training and Billy promises the dogs that if they tree a coon, he will do the rest.  

There are some funny moments in the story, some foreshadowing but more than anything, there's determination, passion and love.  The love between the two dogs is apparent and well written, to entice the reader to fall in love with these two dogs just as much as Billy does.  Their love for Billy, and vice versa, is so touching, you can't help but wish you had dogs like these.  In the end, they save Billy's life but Old Dan, being the brawn of the two, bravely gives his life for his owner.  Little Ann, heartbroken and devastated, succumbs to a broken heart.  Between their two graves grows a red fern, which legend says to only be able  to be planted by angels.


In the Classroom

This book is suited for young teenagers, grade 7 and up, as it does deal with death in a very touching and sentimental way.  Although some younger students might be able to enjoy the book, I wouldn't feel comfortable as an educator subjecting younger students to this book without parental consent first. 

As mentioned above, this book gives the perfect example of a boy who is determined and works hard for what he wants.  In my classroom, I'd use this to my advantage by having everyone present something that they have worked hard for in their life.

Oh, and there's a movie!  What a great way to teach about compare and contrast! 

If you haven't read the book yourself, I strongly recommend it.  Make sure you have a box of Kleenex on hand, and don't say I didn't warn you!

Happy Tuesday


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

You Oughta Know About : Smart Classroom Management {August 9th}

I'm blog hopping with an amazing crew of teachers-bloggers to bring you another edition of You Ought Know - a blog hop about classroom essentials that you just HAVE to know about! I have learned so much in the past two monthly blog hops and I'm sure this month won't disappoint!

You can read about Whole Brain Teaching here and Weekly Paragraph Writing here (and don't forget to keep on hopping from blog to blog for more great ideas and tips.)

This month, I am writing about a website/book that I found that gives amazing tips on classroom management.  We all know that classroom management is very important for a successful year, but sometimes, we struggle a little bit to achieve that dream classroom we all want.

It's time to meet Michael Linsin, his blog and his book.

Oh man.  I can go forever and ever about the amazing way this man has changed my classroom management skills.  He talks about not undermining your role, taking charge of students behaviour, how and when to intervene with students and, what I consider the most important facet of a dream classroom : how to set your routine and being consistent.  He also makes it quite clear that as a teacher, you must be a storyteller, you must make your classroom FUN and interactive.  This is part of your job, and will make things run a lot smoother.

I read the book a few years ago, and I do find the book is worth every penny, but if you can't justify spending any more money (which I don't blame you!) then I strongly suggest reading through the articles he posts.  There are many!  I don't usually sign up for many newsletters, but this is one that I love receiving!

Here's an article on How to Have Effective Classroom Management.  And yet another one 6 Things You Must Do On The First Day Of School. In fact, there are 8 articles on the first days of schools!  To browse through them all, visit his website here.

You can follow Michael Linsin and Smart Classroom Management on Facebook as well.

And there you had it!  My classroom essential tip for the month of August.  I hope you find it useful!

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