Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning Sale

I'd like to say I'm doing some REAL spring cleaning at home, but I'm NOT!  I'm enjoying my spring break!  I'll do some cleaning out of closets soon enough.  The weather hasn't even been warm enough yet to put away the winter clothes!  Brrrrr!  I am, however, planning to do some spring cleaning in my TpT shopping cart!  I know MANY, MANY sellers that are having a sale on Saturday, March 30th and Sunday, March 31st to help teachers clean out their wish lists and carts!  I've put EVERYTHING in my store 10% off for those two days!  Join the fun and grab some terrific spring savings!    :-)

Bananas for spring cleaning that doesn't involve closets!
Have a blessed Easter, my friends!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Spring Break It's Raining Main Ideas & Details!

It's Spring Break, and although it's not raining, it HAS been snowing!  Snow? On Spring break?  OUCH!  What's the weather like where you are?  Hopefully a little warmer than where I am! 

It IS raining Main Ideas and Details, least in our school.  One of the most challenging skills our students face and need to see over and over again, is the task of identifying the difference between main idea and the details that support it.  Hoping you and your students will find the FREEBIE adorable rainy day frogs helpful as you get closer to testing time!

Speaking of testing, I'm getting a Pinterest board up and going on Test Prep ideas!  Do you have any test taking strategies, resources, suggestions that you'd like to see on the Test Prep board?  Or would you like to contribute to that board?  Leave me a note with details! 

Bananas for time away from work to unwind with my family, despite the weather!  :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

101 Things to do with Travel Brochures & Spring Break

It's SPRING BREAK TIME for me in a couple of days! (3 days, 7 hours, and 22 seconds, but who's counting?) As if Spring break isn't wonderful enough, my district threw in an extra MONDAY off the week after Spring Break.  It's like this little bonus that I know I will cherish come Sunday evening at the end of the week!  What are your plans for the break?  (Or what WERE they if you've already had yours?) 

WHEREVER you go, I've got a job for you!  Stop at some rest areas to grab some free travel brochures! LOAD UP! If the rest areas don't have a lot of options, check your hotel lobby!   I'm always grabbing those free travel brochures to use with my students.  It doesn't matter what they're advertising, I can find a use for them.  :-)  I finally decided to create a packet that would assist teachers in creating a travel brochure center for students.  The Brochure Bundle consists of 101 activities to do with a variety of brochures.   The activity cards consist of Language, Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Science tasks that I'm SURE you can find a brochure for!  They're great tools for formative assessments on skills you've taught, review for state mandated testing, cooperative group assignments, pre-assessing activities, or even homework tasks that students can pack up and take home with them! 

They're colorful and high interest so students can't wait to see what brochures and activities will appear in the centers!  Since there are SO many brochures out there, it's possible they will never see the same brochure twice!  I keep mine in a clear, large, plastic pencil box that I got from a bargain bin.  If you can find the pencil boxes with handles, they look more like 'suitcases' and make the activities even more appealing.  

I geared these activities with 3rd grade in mind, but they really cover material that is addressed in grades 2-4 nicely.  Don't see a task in there that you'd like to see added?  Just email me.  I'll see what I can do!  

Surely you know me well enough by now to know I can't get too far along with this post without making it a little fun and interesting!  SO...the first 5 people to email me a photo of their collected brochures, gets the unit for FREE!  Safe travels!

Bananas for freebie brochures that you can engage kids with and especially bananas for Spring Break!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

SWEEP the Constructive Response Assessments

With the introduction of Common Core, our students have been required to take Constructive Response assessments in Math.  These are nothing more than challenging word problems that are equipped with multi-steps.  Students, however, are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the problem in a variety of ways. They are often asked to explain their thinking, show an equation to match the problem, and/or draw a diagram.  Our teachers quickly learned that students would often know how to solve a problem, but leave out key steps that the problem had asked them to display.  Missing that information led to students not earning all of their mathematical content or mathematical practice points.  Our fabulous educators got together and brainstormed all the different ways that students could demonstrate their knowledge base of the task. our school, we "S.W.E.E.P." the Constructive Response assessments (CRAs) by "putting in symbols where necessary, using words or labels to display what we're working with (yards, pounds, cookies, etc.),  writing mathematical equations to match the task, explaining our thinking, and drawing pictures or diagrams to show what we know!"  SWEEP!
I created this little mini-poster for teachers to display in their classrooms. They're training students to solve word problems using the S.W.E.E.P. acronym.  It's making a difference in student responses.  Their answers are not only more thorough, but teachers can easily identify where mistakes might be occurring.  
If your students are taking CRAs, feel free to use the S.W.E.E.P. mini poster to give students an additional strategy for what to include or double check for when tackling these type tasks.  

Bananas for brooms I don't have to actually use ;-)



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