Thursday, July 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Word Work In Action

Thanks for joining me for this Throwback Thursday! This was originally posted in November of 2013, but is a popular one, and so handy as you start thinking about setting up a word work routine in your new classroom! Hope you enjoy it!

I FINALLY have the last part of The Daily 5 up and running! Most of my Word Work centers are ready for use!
I got them organized in this great organizer that I grabbed last spring when another teacher was purging her new classroom! Score! :) It is perfect for these!

Alphabet Stamps

I grabbed these at Michaels. They weren't cheap, but I did use a 40% off coupon!
The students have been keen to use them. I understand why... I would have loved using these at school when I was a kid!

Chunk Magnets

I inherited these with my new primary classroom.
Did you notice the blur to the second photo? That's because this student was so animated with these that I couldn't catch him in a still position!!

Rainbow Words

A simple one to include, but this one really speaks to the artistic students in the class. My girls especially seem to love it! :)


I knew this would be one of the most popular choices, and I was right! So far, I think it is the first to leave the drawer!

I have three additional centers planned that I haven't formally introduced to my students. Alphabet magnets may be the first to hit the chopping block... do these seriously not get made anymore? I have been all over and can't find them anywhere (except school supply stores that want nearly $10 per set!). The white boards are pretty much good-to-go. I purchased a class set of these from Scholastic. They are the double-sided kind - good for the neon dry erase markers on the back side - but the first time the kids used them the black side became extremely scratched up. I'm glad that wasn't what I purchased them for! Finally, you may have already seen the Boggle board I have in my room:
I've added a recording sheet and some instructions, but otherwise this is how it looks! Some of the students have played this already, and they LOVE it!! It will be joining the list of choices next week.

And what are the rest of the students doing while a handful are involved in Word Work? I am amazed...

They are SO engaged in all parts of The Daily 5 program! They love it, but I love it more! I don't think I've ever felt so in-touch with how my students are developing their reading skills!

All these centers PLUS the storage labels and activity sheets are available in my TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores! You can get them from TpT here:

or grab them at Teacher's Notebook by clicking HERE!

Are YOU using The Daily 5 and CAFE in your classroom? I would love to hear about how it is going! You can also grab a copy of my Daily 5 & CAFE bulletin board resource completely FREE right here! :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why TpT? Dare to Dream!

I've been on this voyage that is Teachers Pay Teachers for just about 2.5 years now and I know that some people wonder "What for?"... well the answer to this isn't a simple one.

Financial Freedom

My husband has been retired now for three years. He is also a teacher and lucky enough to do this when he turned 50. TpT for me is my future retirement project. I am hoping that I will also be in a position to retire when I turn 50. With my 40th birthday only one week away this is still far down the road, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it. Right?!

See the World

We LOVE to travel. In our nearly 17 years together, my husband and I have traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Caribbean. We're very excited to be heading to a new country this summer!! From our initial destination of Prague, Czech Republic, we'll be making our way into Poland for the first time and spending several days in Krakow. For me, this is the most incredible way to spend my time and money. What I gain from travel goes far beyond photographs. The people, the food, the sights, the language, the culture.... I can go on and on. I'm very blessed that we've seen so much of the world already, and I can't wait to experience even more of it!!

Creative Expression

I'm not a creative person. When I say that, I mean that I've always envied people who can paint or draw or play an instrument (I played the flute in school, but honestly... who does that in real life?!). For me, this TpT journey has become a way for me to be creative. Yes, I am creating teaching resources for use in my own classroom. That's my job. But somehow it really doesn't feel like work!! I love the time I spend creating. I love seeing my students interacting with the resources I create!
Growth and Changes in Animals Unit
Feelings Journal FREEBIE
Calendar Math for the SMART Board
"You Can't Catch Me!" Gingerbread Persuasive Writing
Grab & Guess FREEBIE
Fun Fitness Task Cards
QR Code Writing Prompts
Reading Response Graphic Organizers with SMART Board Bonus
Back to School/Classroom Testing Gift Tags
Back to School/School Theme Literacy Centers
You can check out dozens of other Dare to Dream posts in the TpT Seller Challenge by clicking through to the link up at Third in Hollywood or checking out #TpTSellerChallenge on other social media!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Year of Awesome - Week 40 {The Checkered Flag!}

Awesome day. Watercolor Day. Graduation.

My students finished up some fabulous watercolor paintings today! I'm thrilled with how they turned out!
Some of my former fifth grade students graduated tonight. I love seeing these little people blossoming into young adults! And to top the evening off... a former fifth grade student from FIFTEEN years ago was there to see her baby brother graduate and came over to say hi! It was such a surprise and so nice to see her after all these years! Awe. Some.

X is for eXtra Recess Day! It was a rainy and windy one, though, so we actually spent some time with GoNoodle instead. Not that my class was complaining!! They still love GoNoodle. Don't forget that next Monday marks the beginning of Camp GoNoodle! I think this looks like so much fun. You can sign up for FREE and get more information by clicking the image:

Today is our Year-End Extravaganza. Mostly that means we're completing our year-end jobs like emptying desks and cleaning the room, but when you give it a fancy name like this one it is exciting just the same! Haha! We actually got TONS done today. I wish I'd stopped long enough to take a photo of how my classroom looked when I left for the day! I'm thrilled!

We also finished up our Memory Books today and I got them bound together. They turned out great and are a real treasure for the kids to take home! This year, I used pages from my School Year Time Capsule package.
Today we ZOOMED into summer with a piZZa party! What an awesome way to wrap up the year! We also continued a tradition at our school...
Every year for as long as I've been at my current school (15 years!!!) we have gathered as a staff at the bus area and "twizzled" the kids out to begin their vacation. We spin the licorice over our heads while the kids cheer and yell their goodbyes from the bus windows on the way by. It is such fun - the perfect way to put a cap on the year!! This isn't the best photo, but it isn't easy to point and shoot while twirling Twizzlers over your head with the other hand!

Thanks to everyone who joined me for this Year of Awesome! Whether you linked up at some point through the year or read a post or two, I've enjoyed pulling some of the best moments out of each day to share with you. I can't believe that I've made it through all 40 weeks!

To all my coworkers and blogger friends also finishing school today - I wish you a wonderful summer vacation!

Now, for R&R!! I'll be back in a few weeks with new posts, but will be sharing some old favorites for the next bit while I head off on vacation! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Year of Awesome - Week 39

R is for Reflection Day. Today is the day we are working on our school year memory books. This year I decided to use some of the pages from my School Year Time Capsule package rather than my memory book set. I didn't do the whole time capsule this year because with a split class I have some of the same students. They're having a ball with these! (US spelling is included!)
Today we had some surprise visitors outside of our classroom! A goose and gosling had wandered up into the alcove at the front of the school and were wandering around outside of the windows. We took an impromptu field trip to head out and watch them. The kids were so excited to watch them and even got a couple of feathers they left behind!
Today was Twin Day. Unfortunately I missed it due to an appointment, but I hear the resemblances were uncanny!
Under the Desk Day was a huge hit. Not really sure why. The kids looked uncomfortable, and there were a few banged heads, but they loved every second of working underneath the desks!
Our Visual Arts Day included a trip to our local 4Cats Art Studio and it was really AWESOME!! We learned all about Jackson Pollack and did our very own splatter painting - individual pieces as well as a collaborative class canvas that we'll get to keep in the classroom!
It doesn't get more awesome than this! :) Have a great weekend everyone! Only ONE final week in my Year of Awesome left to go!