Saturday, December 7, 2013

Turn on the Lights...Laser Lights Giveaway!

It's one of my very favorite times of the year.  Lights in the park, lights on the tree, lights on the house, and lights in the classroom!!  Light up your walls with some Holiday Text Feature identification practice.  With so many different types of text features embedded in informational text, students often get confused on which feature does what, what the purpose of the feature is, and what it looks like.  This new activity is an engaging game where students match the name of the feature to it's definition, as well as to an image that displays what the feature might look like. It can be done whole group, in centers, in cooperative teams, or individually. There's even a text feature reflection sheet.  Students get practice with a necessary skill AND you can "string them up" to light up your classroom with a colorful, holiday display.   Click on image above to grab!   

How much fun can you have this time of year (AND YEAR ROUND) with these LED finger laser lights?  The elastic strap slides over your finger for easy use.  They come in four bright colors:  blue, green, red, and white.  I found them on Amazon (40 pk) for $7.00.  Imagine sitting at your guided reading table having your students track print with these.  How about locating evidence in the text, or pointing out the problem and solution?  I'm thinking there are LOTS of possibilities!  So let's have some FUN with them!  Leave a comment with a suggested educational use for the LED lights in your classroom to share with other teachers.  I'll put the first 10 suggestions in a hat, draw ONE out, and I'll SEND YOU an Amazon gift card for $15.00 to get a set of your own!  That should even cover the shipping cost!  Rules are quick and easy:  
1.)  One entry per person! 
2.)  Share only one idea so lots of teachers can participate!
2.)  Email address must accompany your suggestion (so I know where to send the gift card!)

Bananas for those silly, little things that make me smile and say, "My students would LOVE this!"   Happy Holidays, friends! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Freebies and a Huge Sale!

Happy Holidays educator friends!
Here's hoping this finds you prepping for the holidays with your family, friends, and your classroom!  There's no better time to grab some teaching materials at a huge discount during the TpT Cyber Sale Monday, Dec. 2nd and Tuesday, Dec. 3rd!  Tons of sellers, including myself, will be offering 20% off their entire stores AND TpT is offering an
additional 8% off if you use the Promo code:  CYBER. (For a quick trip to the sale, click on the adorable Cyber Monday Sale Sign (created by the extremely talented Jen Jones @ Hello Literacy). What a great opportunity to stock up on some Winter and Spring goodies for your classroom.  Some of the newer additions to my store: The "Word Family Train Wreck" game is a great way to give your early readers an opportunity to practice their word families.  Students will delight in building their word family train. Watch out of the Train Wreck card, though!  There are 13 games in this bundle! (Best suited for K-1 classrooms)
For the 2nd-3rd grade classrooms, I added the Government Interactive Notebook a couple of months ago, which is probably one of my favorites.  I adore interactive notebooking and enjoy getting to see how each notebook turns out differently.  Students and parents both love them.  Studying becomes a lot easier with the information organized all in one place.
Finally for the math fans, I've added Math 4 Ways!  This unit helps students learn certain math concepts in 4 different ways.  If they are exposed to addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, money, time, and place value in various formats, they have a better chance of committing the material to long term memory.  If they can demonstrate the concepts in all 4 ways, they truly understand it!

Don't forget your HOLIDAY FREEBIES up for grabs:    Practice synonyms and antonyms with an ornament match game OR dress Frosty with a variety of hats, mittens, and scarves by creating an organized list!
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays this 2013 season.
Bananas for the blessings in my life each and every day...including my educator friends and TpT family!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Less than $5.00 November!

I'm not sure exactly where October went, right?  But it's time to start looking past the Halloween craze and dip into those fresh, fall activities for your November classroom.  Check out some amazingly "COOL" activities I found for November below, including some FREEBIES and some incredibly fun classroom activities EACH LESS THAN $5.00

First up... some adorable, FREEBIE craft ideas for the Thanksgiving feast!  

This quick and easy fingerprint place card for the Thanksgiving table, brought to you by Spoonful, adds that something extra special to the place setting.  Not to mention it's a keeper for parents since it was made with their child's fingerprints.  Click the image for a quick list of materials needed and directions for putting together.

Another FREEBIE favorite is the Fingerprint Turkey Napkin rings.
This little goodie can be found at Make and Takes and includes simple items you probably have right in your classroom:  paint, paintbrushes, glue stick, scissors, cards stock, toothpicks, and a white paint pen.  Everybody will know just where to sit for the Thanksgiving dinner.  (And maybe the table setters can strategically place some folks!)  ;-)

Looking for something that doesn't have to go on the Thanksgiving table?

Beautiful fall leaves make simple, but elegant decorations for your classroom or home.  Check out these super easy to make newspaper leaves on display from Life With Little Ones.  I bet they would work on old book pages, too.  Create one or string several of them together for a beautiful fall feel in any room.

For all the rest of your November classroom needs, be sure to check out the following items from some amazingly talented teachers. Each LESS THAN 5 bucks!

Teachers who are linking:  Please link your item(s) in the correct grade level category below.  *Limit 2 items

Bananas for some fun in November,

Monday, October 14, 2013

30+ Units in a 3-5 Curriculum Bundle and Pin to Win Anything in Store

Happy Fall Ya'll!  My newest fall adventure?  Being a part of the Educents 3-5 Bundle of goodies! Over 30 high quality items from some amazing creators to be more specific!  The value of the bundle is over 75% off through Oct. 26th!  Click below for more details.   

I'm very excited to be a part of this mega-bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my Informational Text Graphic Organizers which are included in the bundle!  They were designed with Common Core in mind and are perfect for your guided reading group and close reads!  (They're great for making a few copies and keeping handy at your reading table to grab at a moment's notice when tackling non-fiction text).  Organizers include concept mapping, text features, timeline, steps in a process, facts, main idea, point of view, cause and effect, problem and solution, perspective, and much more.  Images of the graphic organizers are below.

There are also more than 30 other products in this bundle to get your kids learning!  Multiple subject areas included:  Literacy, math, science, social studies, and so much more!   Join the blog hop and Hop along to see ALL the goodies you will get with this bundle!  

But that's not all!   I am giving you a chance to Pin to Win! (You win ANY item from my store.)  Simply pin any image from the blog post and enter below to win!  You can pin and enter every day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deal won't last long so head over to grab your 3-5 Bundle now!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Multiplication Freezer Frenzy Freebie & A Back To School SALE!

Hopefully today's post finds you either settled in nicely to your new school year or getting excited about going back.  Either way, the TpT giant BACK TO SCHOOL SALE is happening this weekend...Sunday and Monday, Aug. 18th and 19th.  Be sure to visit your favorite stores and grab items for as much as 28% off.  I put EVERYTHING in my store on sale.  Be sure to check out a real steal on the BRAND NEW Accountable Talk Prompts.  There are 24 accountable talk stems that are sure to keep students engaged in the text...a goal of Common Core.  *Don't forget to use the PROMO CODE. Sellers will mark most of their items 20% off.  You'll get the additional 8% by using the PROMO code!  (See the beautiful button created by the very talented Krista Wallden at Creative Clips for PROMO code...Thank you, Krista!)
Teaching multiplication this year?  Be sure to grab my latest FREEBIE...Multiplication Facts Freezer Frenzy! My way of saying THANK YOU for your never ending friendship and support in the blogging world!  As students learn their facts, let them earn and add the corresponding ice cream to their base cone.  As a REAL incentive, I bought my students an ice cream from the cafeteria when they mastered all their facts!  Hmmmm....thinking I'll make a trip to Baskin Robbins tonight!  :-)
Bananas for incredible deals on TpT this weekend!  Happy Shopping!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Winner and Common Core Freebies in an E book

Congratulations to the "Giveaway...Our Way" winner,            .  Rafflecopter has spoken and the grand prize winner, Karyn Wilbur, won an autographed CD from Southern Push, a $25.00 gift card to TpT, and a $15.00 Itunes gift card.  A second congratulations goes out to Brandi Guerra for playing along with the music video trivia.  The answer was 5 ice cream cones used in the music video!  A HUGE thank you for your support and participation!  :-)

Ready for some Back to School Common Core news?  Several top notch teachers across the United States, helped create 8 Common Core eBooks that you can now download for FREE!  These amazing resources span grades K-12!  Each page of the ebook comes with a quick Common Core teaching tip, a link to a freebie, and link to some priced items that will also help you in your Common Core adventure.   Here's a quick link to each eBook available.  Simply look for your grade level and/or subject area and click! (There's a Math and E/LA eBook for each grade span, as well as a Science and S.S. eBook for the upper grades!)  Happy downloading!  

#1. Math eBook for Grades 3-5

#2  E/LA eBook for Grades 3-5

#3 Math eBook for Grades 6-12

#4  E/LA eBook for Grades 6-12

#5  Social Studies eBook for Grades 6-12

#6 Science eBook for Grades 6-12

#7  Math eBook for Grades K-2

#8  E/LA eBook for Grades K-2

Bananas for all this Common Core creativity in ONE place!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Giveaway "Our Way"

So how many of you can say you were in a music video this summer?  I CAN!  :-)  Okay, okay, so it was only for ONE second, but I was in one.  My little brother, who is pursuing a country music career, released his first album and music video this summer.  The band, Southern Push, hails from Nashville and consists of my brother and lead singer, Michael Moore, Carl Lindquist on electric guitar, and Travis Wilbourn, also on electric guitar.  The guys are truly talented and are "pushing" the limits to modern country music with their new album, titled "Honestly."  *To view the video, click on the first photo.

So what was it like to be in a video?  Very interesting!  My ONE second of fame took over an hour to film.  A segment of video that lasts 8 seconds, took over 4 hours to film.  Now I know why it takes directors so long to make a movie.  Yikes!  Some fun facts about the video besides my brother being the 'star'?  My own son is the younger, teenage version of my brother and my parents are the older version looking back on their life through photos and memories.   The young teenage girl is the daughter of a very good friend of mine from high school, and the basset hound in the video really IS my brother's dog. (And part of the reason that scene took over 4 hours to film!) The pizza restaurant scene was a "fly by the seat of the director's pants" shot. We took a break from shooting to have lunch there.  He just decided last minute he wanted to film there, too! 
All this summer fun led me to an end of summer giveaway in honor of the band and their  dreams of making music to share with the world!   What's to win?
1.) With the video release and album release on iTunes this week, I cornered the band for some autograph CD's to give away...The first one will go to the grand prize winner and the second one will go to the first person who gets the trivia question correct. (See the Rafflecopter entry requirements)  If the band makes it "big," you'll have one of the first autograph CD's out there. 2.) Even if you're not a country music fan, I bet you're a music fan of some kind, so a $15.00 itunes gift card can be used for WHATEVER type of music you like.  3.) Last, but certainly not least, the back to school frenzy has already started.  If you're like me, you're already stalking TpT for your new school year.  So I'd love to help out with a TpT gift card ($25.00), along with something from my TpT store!  So let's get ready for some end of summer fun "OUR WAY!"  
Bananas for an experience my family will never forget, 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 12, 2013

Engaging Students in Informational Text

Throughout Common Core you'll see an increase in the necessity of engaging students in informational text.  I know informational text (or non-fiction) wasn't MY first choice off the bookshelf, so how do we as educators increase the interest?   According to Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, an online professional development magazine devoted to preparing teachers to teach science while integrating inquiry-based learning, the key is modeling our own thinking while reading informational text.  It's not something we can breeze through once and expect kids to pick up on it.  It has to be taught explicitly to ensure students are not only exposed to it, but actually implementing the strategies themselves. An engaged classroom, deep in informational text, is discussing the facts, asking questions, making connections, testing sources, and rereading material for further understanding. Gone are the days of reading something informational in silence and be expected to:
A.) enjoy it 
B.) understand it 
C.) select additional reading information on it on my own
 (Flashback to some of my personal learning experiences)
Students must be allowed the opportunity to TALK about their discoveries, as well as inquire about the points they don't understand.  

After reading multiple books and articles on the Common Core classroom, I think I can sum it up with some very simple practices for encouraging students to engage in non-fiction. 
1.) Increase your library with non-fiction material. *Quality non-fiction material
2.) Have multiple sources for your informational text available. (Newspapers, magazines, etc.)
3.) Utilize some websites that contain e books and/or free downloadable articles on informational text.  (There's LOTS of FREE stuff out there!),
http://www.gobookee.net, and  are a few.
4.) Model HOW to read informational text.  Model how to read aloud, pause, think, ask or jot down questions, take notes, read with a friend, highlight, summarize as you go, make connections, etc.  The more kids see you do this, the more natural it will become for them!  *Be sure to grab my FREEBIE "Think Aloud" visual,  It's a great visual tool to use anytime you step outside your teacher role and become a student who is thinking out loud.  Click on the "happy brain" to grab.
5.) Provide many opportunities for Guided Reading practice with informational text.  WALK students through graphic organizers together so they won't be so intimidated by them when they see them on their own.
6.) Allow students time to talk...about what they're reading.  Allow them to share, ask questions, and challenge the information they read.
7.) Be flexible.  If teachers are learning anything about teaching informational text, it's that once students buy into it and become engaged, there's no turning back!  They become like little sponges wanting to learn MORE about a particular topic.  Your perfectly planned 30 minute lesson may turn into a bigger adventure than you bargained for!  
8.) Be creative and allow your students to be creative!  Provide fun and interesting ways to present informational text.  Give students the opportunity to display their knowledge from an informational text through projects, reports, displays.  Allow them to be the teacher or "expert" on the material.  

I recently created some Common Core informational text graphic organizers that can be
used with any informational text.  They're designed with grades 2-4 in mind, as those were the C.C.S.S. I used when creating...  FREE to the first 10 followers who can share an additional website (not mentioned above) and/or link to any informational text FREEBIE that helps the No Monkey Business blog readers further prepare their classrooms for INFORMATION INVASION  ;-) *Don't forget to include your email address!

Bananas for some great non-fiction, grade appropriate websites popping up everywhere, AND a long overdue trip to the beach (which has NOTHING to do with this blog post!)

Friday, June 28, 2013

BlogLovin' & Blog Huntin'

There's always something new to keep up with in social media, isn't there?  My latest adventure:  Bloglovin!    I'm still working through the details, but so far...I like what I see!  I was fortunate enough to get to transfer the blogs I follow from Google reader over to Bloglovin with a few clicks of the mouse.  If you weren't so lucky before Google Reader disappeared, it's NOT TOO LATE to search for some of your old favorites, and maybe even find some new ones to follow.   Let's go on a BLOG hunt together!  :-)  I've joined the Goin' on a Blog hunt linky with Laura Candler to help teachers find some terrific blogs to follow on Bloglovin' if you're up for it!   Follow on Bloglovin Getting started is easy! If you'd like to follow my blog, No Monkey Business, simply click on the black button to follow my blog on BlogLovin, which was a button created by the talented and super sweet Melissa over at Common Core and So Much More!   If you're ready to hunt for some additional teacher and student friendly blogs, click on the Blog Hunt button where you can peruse through some outstanding educational blogs. Happy Hunting!  
 Bananas for hunts that don't require camouflage and getting up early!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Read Like a Detective Book Study & Freebie

Have you read Teaching Your Students to Read Like Detectives?  It's a close up look at training students how to analyze and dive deeper into the text, as well as learn how to discuss text in a meaningful way.  I heard someone recently say, "When you teach kids to read like this, it's more like scuba diving, than water skiing."  
My teachers and I pulled together for a book study so that we could better prepare ourselves for Common Core and teaching kids to read more rigorous text with a purpose.  We had some fun along the way and I'd love to share the highlights.

Valuable lesson #1:  We decided it's important to create not only a text dependent classroom, but a SAFE, text discussion-based classroom!  By setting the stage early, you can foster a classroom where everyone's opinion, comments, expertise, learning, etc. has value.  The book discusses some key components to creating this type of environment.  I created an acronym to post on an Anchor chart to help remind our students what type of Reading classroom we would be! 

Valuable lesson #2 and key "take-away" from the book was the importance of keeping kids IN the text.  OH, how easy it is for them (and us) to jump into personal schema and bring what WE know (or think we know) to the text, instead of keeping our conversations centered around what the AUTHOR wanted us to focus on. The book gives some great question stems to help guide teachers BACK to the text when students start to stray.

Valuable lesson #3:  Teaching Narrative text (fiction) is still VERY RELEVANT and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!  When Common Core came along, one of my very first introductions to it was someone who said that Non-fiction was here to take over the world.  Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I began to wonder where literature would fit into all this Common Core stuff.  It didn't GO anywhere!  It's still as relevant and crucial to teach as it ever was!  

Valuable lesson #4:  Expository Text IS making a bigger splash! There are many cool non-fiction genres to expose children to.  The book gives a list of some signal words that help lead students to a better understanding of how text can be organized.  I put them on Anchor Charts to help alert children to some of the different types of expository text they would be exposed to!  They're NEW, but my ultimate goal is that they will carry over into the different genres of writing.  If students are writing a compare/contrast piece, the "signal" words on the anchor chart can also be used in their writing to assist them in keeping it a true compare/contrast!  

Finally, Valuable lesson #5:  Collecting evidence from the text can be fun!  I've included a FREEBIE template that can be used in your Common Core Reading classroom.  As you do a 'Close Read' of a text, you can have students scour the text for a variety of information you want them to focus on. There are lots of suggestions in the Teaching Your Students to Read Like a Detective book.  Our teachers will simply add the labels to the magnifying glass handles for what evidence they want the students to locate in the book. Students will record in the magnifying glass circles and share.  Click on the image to grab the freebie template!  :-)

If you're an educator and are teaching Common Core, this book is an excellent resource for your professional library!  If your faculty is into book studies, this one is a quick read and provides teachers with some essential tools for tackling the Common Core in Reading.  

Bananas for anything that helps my students become better readers,

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

As we hit Teacher Appreciation week, I first want to give a shout out to my own children's teachers past and present!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU for challenging them, loving them, encouraging them, teaching them, and caring about them each and every day.  You often have a thankless job, but there ARE a few of us who know just how hard you work, how much money you spend, how much time you sacrifice, and how much you must truly care about kids to be doing what you do each and every day.  

Here's a poem I found online about teachers that is PERFECT for this week.  Enjoy! 
by Kevin William Huff

Paint their minds
and guide their thoughts
Share their achievements
and advise their faults

Inspire a Love
of knowledge and truth
As you light the path
Which leads our youth

For our future brightens
with each lesson you teach
Each smile you lengthen
Each goal you help reach

For the dawn of each poet
each philosopher and king
Begins with a Teacher
And the wisdom they bring.

What a better way to celebrate teachers on TpT than to have another one of their GIGANTIC Sales!  Most sellers will offer 20% off and TpT will tack on another 8% off of that!  You get 28% off WITH THIS PROMO CODE:  TAD13 (Don't you just LOVE the adorable sign created by Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs?!)

Are you a seller that is participating?  What is that FAVORITE item in your store that will be available for purchase @ 28% off??   LINK UP ONE item from your TpT store that buyers ought to check out!  

BUYERS:  Here ya' go...Here's that one item from some of TpT's BEST Sellers that is worth investigating!



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