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!)