Sunday, April 29, 2012


I love to do Novel Studies with my 3rd graders!   My kids seem to enjoy Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing the most.  They simply love humorous fiction.  They identify most with the 4th grader in the story, whose annoying little brother stirs up more trouble than one can imagine.  I, on the other hand, identify with the parent, who at his wits end with the younger sibling's misbehavior with food says, "Eat it or wear it." lol  
  I'm starting a new novel study this week on Indian in the Cupboard.  It's a far more challenging book for my soon to be 4th graders, but they truly enjoy it, and almost inevitably dive in to the sequel over the summer! Nothing makes me prouder when they come back in the fall with their comments about Return of the Indian.  I'm always looking for ways to create something fun for the kids to put together while doing their novel study.  This year  I was successful with a paper bag book (used with Chocolate Touch), a novel study house foldable (used with Stone Fox), a fish bowl foldable for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and will be using my latest "cupboard creation" for Indian in the Cupboard.  What are some cool things you do to implement novel studies or literature circles?  I'd love to hear about them.  I know there are some other GREAT ideas out there! :-)  PLEASE SHARE!  

Have a great week!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Welcome to Spotlight Saturday, where I hope to share a couple of great FREEBIES I've found while out searching Pinterest, TN, and TpT.  I've quickly learned that this is going to be a FUN task for me each week.  Maybe in my retirement there's a future for me in Private Detective work....out sneaking around for good deals.  Who doesn't love a good freebie? There are plenty out there, that's for sure!  So LET ME GET STARTED...First, I want to introduce you to 2 quick downloads this week.  The first one is from DOWN UNDER TEACHER...Yep...a REAL Aussie!  Kylie has a 50 page multiplication unit focused on the 2's, 5's, and 10's.  It has 8 different activities that can be used as centers or small group instruction.  The pages are colorful and very attractive for little eyes. A great grab for 2nd-3rd graders learning multiplication.                                                                                                                                                 
 Check out freebie #2 from my new friend, Kristi over at LUCKY IN LEARNING.  Kristi is a 2nd grade teacher and NEW to the world of you know what to her the love!  :-)  We've ALL been new bloggers once.    Who isn't inspired by a trip to Disney? Kristi was, and created a cute Fairy Tale foldable that focuses on the story elements and the characteristics of  fairy tales.  An adorable add to your genre units!                                                                           
So....not to bad for my first week of searching, huh?  I'm on the prowl again this week....No blog, pin, or store is safe.  ;-)

PhotobucketHappy Weekend friends!                                      

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Sale, A Giveaway, and a New Saturday Feature

I am really enjoying the new TN site.  This is SALE & GIVEAWAY week for me!  I've got everything in the store on sale for a variety of percentages off!  (Some even 50%) Check it out!  With the Kentucky Derby fast approaching (May 5th), I also put the Probability & Kentucky Derby unit in a giveaway on TN!  Be sure to enter before Sunday!  
Finally, I'm going to add a new feature to my blog each Saturday called SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY!  I plan to Spotlight a couple of my favorite freebies & provide links to them.  That means I'll be on the prowl for some outstanding goodies for us all!  Check back each Saturday for the newest treasures I've found.  :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S.P.O.R.T. day & a SALE on TN! :-)

Well, I survived, (ahem) I mean WE survived S.P.O.R.T (Students Preparing Outrageously for TESTING) day on Friday. Call us crazy, but my teammates and I decided to review for testing in a FUN way!  8-9 year olds get a little uptight over their first BIG state mandated test, so we thought this approach might be a good strategy.  (Ask me after results come in if I'll do it again! lol)  Check out the photos below:  Students (and teachers) arrived wearing their best sporting event attire (jerseys, uniforms, headbands, ponytails, etc.)  We stretched and warmed up with a little "YMCA" action. 
Our games included a few games/activities from my TpT and TN store.  (Bullseye, Corners Game, Road Runner, and Match!)  Then we moved to the outdoor activities, including a balloon pop relay where students had to run to a chair, sit on and pop their balloon to get their review question, answer it correctly, and return to tag the next student!  *A favorite of all!  Students also had to give up one of their shoes for a shoe relay, where the teachers stuffed their shoe with a review question.  Students had to race to retrieve their shoe AND answer their question before returning to tag the next student.  Finally, we concluded with a beach ball toss.  The beach balls had different subject matters written on them.  Students took turns catching the ball and we'd ask questions from the different subject matters.  

I TOTALLY needed a nap afterwards, but my students will never forget how they prepared for this test!  * Email me if you need a list of activities, parent letter, ideas, etc.  It was a BLAST!   
Photobucket    In closing today, I'm excited about my TN "Countdown to Summer" sale running from April 22-27th, with some items up to 50% off!   Link @ right on my TN link.  :-)   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Analogies Driving School

I got tired of not having anything CUTE to teach Analogies with, so created this unit to help.  My students are anxious to earn their "Analogies Permit" upon successful completion of "Analogies Drivers School."  (click link to view) Also, it's the last 3 days for my giveaway on TN.  I have a Story Map collection in there for GIVEAWAY (3 lucky winners!)  Here's a link to that giveaway. 
    STORY MAP COLLECTION               Photobucket

Monday, April 16, 2012


Nothing like a week's worth of graphing!  I'm so excited to post this unit in my TpT & TN store, as I've been working on it for weeks!  I finally got to try it out on my class and they give their FULL APPROVAL!  :-)  They truly loved making the class graphs and couldn't wait to see what graph we'd do next.  Instead of "Good morning Mrs. Harper,"  I was greeted with, "What graph are we doing today?"  They especially liked the application piece where THEY THEMSELVES got to go around the room collecting data for their own graph.  This unit follows the "I do" (teacher modeling) "We do" (class together) & "You Do" (now you try) style.  It's my new favorite!   Click to view it on TpT!                               GRAPHS GALORE                                 Photobucket

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And the Winners Are...

YAY!  I survived my first blog giveaway! I'm happy to announce the following winners...(drum roll, please!)  Brynne, Stacey, Jodi, Krista, Kimberly, & Adrienne!  See results here:  NEW BLOG CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY WINNERS     THANK YOU, THANK YOU for entering and helping me celebrate my new blog adventure.  Don't be a stranger! I plan to have another giveaway soon!  That was too much fun!                                                                                             Photobucket

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Easter Brady Bunch

It's my last day off on the long weekend.  It's also the last little break we get before the end of school.  You know what that means...CRUNCH TIME.  My students and I have a lot of work to do before testing in 2 weeks.  Although, we have this GREAT day planned the Friday before testing...  I can't wait.  I'll keep you posted on the event and post pics afterwards (if we all survive).  :-)
I trust everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  I was happy to have the BRADY BUNCH all together.  It's difficult getting all of us together for 5 minutes, let alone for pictures.  BUT, somehow we managed.  For those of you that don't know me well, my husband and I have put together the modern day Brady Bunch.  His 3 and my 3.  The only thing missing is ALICE (which I would kill for)  Oh, and instead of 3 boys and 3 girls, we have 5 boys and 1 girl.  (Yes, she's rotten)  Here's my rowdy crew of 6 all together.     
   We're only a few days away from my NEW BLOG CELEBRATION giveaway.  (Click HERE to enter!!!)  If you haven't entered, you don't have much longer.  Good luck to all!    Bananas for my Brady Bunch today,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Horses, Easter, & and a Game of Tag!!

My Easter weekend got started with a surprise invitation from my parents to drive back home to Kentucky for a trip to Keeneland.  I'm not a gambler, but I do love horses, so thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather, time with my family, and cheering on ALL the horses!  :-)  
My NEW BLOG CELEBRATION giveaway is on it's LAST WEEK.  WOW!   (Scroll down to ENTER!)  I've been so excited to meet some new fabulous teachers who have stopped by and said hi and/or entered.  I had no idea how much blogging creates a sense of team spirit.  I'm soooo looking forward to networking and learning so much from peers.
Finally, TAG I'm it...apparently.  Not once, but twice.  THANK YOU Corinna over at Surfin' Through Second and Barb over at It's About Time. All I can figure is that I'm not very good at TAG if I'm IT twice. ;-)   But sounds like fun, so will be stalking some blogs tonight to pass the torch on to some other teacher blogger who least expects it.  HAPPY EASTER and maybe, just're IT!

Here Are The rules:

* Post these rules
* Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you.
* Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
* Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged!)

I was asked the following questions and my answers follow:

1. What is your favorite sweet treat?    Anything Chocolate & I'm happy :-)
2.  What other profession besides teaching did you aspire to?  Nothing...always knew I wanted to teach
3.  What talent do you possess that not many people know about?  I can whistle about 20 different ways.  
4.  Who is a celebrity that you would love to meet?  Tim Teebow (just admire his courage, faith, and integrity)
5.  What inspired you to become a teacher? Another teacher & a chance to teach basic spanish to an elementary class when I was in high school.
6.  If you could do a Teacher Exchange program for a year, where would
you want to teach?  Hmmm...Alaska (break out the winter coat)
7.  What is your favorite pair of school shoes?  Anything flat that I can stand in all day
8.  What are your top 3 favorite places to shop?  New York & Co, TJ Max, Belk
9.  What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you
while teaching?  I was teaching K at the time and I was teaching at an inner city school with a rough little crowd (I LOVED THEM!)  But I said, "Boys and girls, I'm going to read you a story called 'Is Your Mama a Llama'  One of my K students blurted out..."Is your mama a ho'?"   I honestly thought I'd die right there.  
10.  How/Why did you get into  blogging?  Someone suggested it was a great way to meet other teachers, get my items out there, and FIND some great items, teachers, and sites.  How true!

OKAY all you "IT" friends, here are your questions to copy!  Can't wait to read your answers!!!
1.  What teacher inspired you most & why?
2.  What has been the most challenging behavior problem you've had to deal with!
3.  If you didn't teach, what would you be doing?
4.  What do you do in your summers off?
5.  School lunch or bring your own?
6.  What is one word that describes your teaching style?
7.  Coffe or hot cocoa?
8.  What is the ideal # of students to have in a classroom?
9.  What's the funniest thing a student has ever said to you or asked you about?
10.  If you could choose a celebrity to team teach with for a day, who would it be & why?

AM EXHAUSTED after this one....Gotta get to bed.  I want to be asleep when the Easter bunny arrives!  


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Just posted this item in my TpT store!  You gotta' love the old Charlie Brown classics.  Your students will enjoy this graphic organizer that accompanies the video, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.  (available on i tunes or dvd).  It's FREE to the first 25...(HURRY HURRY!)  If you miss out, no worries...I still have some freebies available to GIVE AWAY.  Scroll down to the NEW BLOG CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY and enter to win....April 1-15th!  Happy EASTER everyone! 
 Blessings, Photobucket

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Today I'm reflecting on all the FIRSTS that have happened in the last several months.  There's something special about all the FIRSTS in your life, don't ya' think?  Hesitantly, not having a clue what to expect,  I opened my TpT store in November of 2011.  I remember jumping (literally, not figuratively) up & down when I sold my FIRST product! I remember my FIRST follower!  I won't forget my FIRST piece of advice from a great seller.  I am thankful for my friend, Kim (,  who was the FIRST person I talked into joining me on TpT! I started my FIRST blog this past week, and finally decided to have my FIRST giveaway which started TODAY! (Scroll below to No Monkey Business New Blog Celebration Giveaway post) What are some of your "FIRSTS" that make you smile when you think about them?   :-)  I'd love to hear about them...                                                                                                                             Photobucket



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