I finally made something and I'm so excited to be joining the Monday Made It linky over at 4th Grade Frolics. There are so many creative and clever teachers out there!  Reading the posts from this linky is always so inspirational!

I am down to 2 weeks left before preplanning week. I think it's time to get myself in gear and bust a move on my school stuff. Working under pressure has always been my way. I tend to waste my spare time! LOL!
All summer long I had this project on my mind. I wanted to create something crafty for my classroom and as a gift for my BFF and my sister, both teachers. I decided on this class motto canvas art. Here are the three finished projects:

This is a SUPER SUPER simple project. I started with a blank canvas and some paints. I chose blue/green colors for my background. You might chose to use scrapbook paper as an alternative to the paint when covering the entire canvas. If you do that I suggest using Mod Podge as a glue and clear coat for the paper. I use it often on my projects.

I gathered some scrapbook/craft materials that I had on hand. I hoard have a collection of stickers, embellishments, glitter, ribbons, buttons, brads, etc. so I am set for a project like this one.

After painting the canvas, I added background paper as an additional element. I had some scrapbook paper on hand that looks like notebook paper. I tore the edges and used Mod Podge to glue it to the canvas.  I decided on a motto or a set of ideals for the classroom. Looking at all the subway art out there gave me some ideas, as well. All three are different because that is just how I roll! LOL!  My favorite part of this project is that I can mix and match the stickers and not have to worry about it being perfect. I like the look of it all.  After you have all the stickers in place, go over it all with another coat of Mod Podge to seal it in and to secure the stickers. 
I may add additional embellishments, but I'm not sure yet. I like it the way it is. I can't wait to hang it up in my classroom! Hope my sis and BFF like their gifts.

Here is another canvas art project that I made for my home. I took the photo of my kids at the beach when they were younger and it's always been one of my favorites. 
Can't wait to check out all the craftiness today!! 
Hi all!
I feel like I've been in the land of the lost. I have had no time and very little motivation this week. Working in the summer really cuts into free time! LOL! I only have 2 days left of training then about 2 weeks off before preplanning week. All in all training has been very rewarding. Most of the teachers in our sessions have been so open to change and so positive about the information we shared. One teacher asked my partner and I if we ever come to schools to give presentations. WOW! That made me feel like we had done our job and did it well!

Today I'm so happy to get back in the groove of blogging AND joining my faves over at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky.
Social Studies text is the topic of today. I wish our 3rd grade curriculum had more American history embedded in it, but it doesn't so I find myself adding it in. Following our state mandates for social studies, though, gives me that "permission".  I think it's especially important to teach kids about the patriotic symbols of  our country, including patriotic songs. The Star-Spangled Banner is one that I'm sure most kids (and maybe adults) do not know the history of.
This informational text, By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner
gives kids a rich history of our national anthem.
The text is appropriate for upper elementary, 4th-6th, but I use it as a read aloud for my 3rd graders. I'll be honest and say I don't have a specific lesson for this, but it is certainly perfect for any informational text standards. I just like to read it for fun and pleasure and to teach the kids a little something!
The oil painting illustrations are stunning. At the end of the book you will find some primary source documents, too. The original manuscript for the National Anthem and historic maps are included. The author's note gives additional history, as well. If you are looking for activities to do with primary and secondary sources (which is a huge part of our 3rd grade curriculum) check out the National Archives or The Library of Congress.
Now I do love this book, but I will tell you it's a little hard to find. If you click this link * By the Dawn's Early Light  * you will find used copies at Better World Books...my most favorite used book destination! You may even find some other hard-to-find books there to add to your classroom library.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope this is a book you might use in your room!

I love getting boxes in the mail!! I recently ordered three new teaching resources from Amazon and I wanted to share them with you today.

The first one is Poetry Lessons by Georgia Heard. This book speaks about the importance of keeping poetry alive in our classrooms and offers tons of lesson and activities. One of my favorite quotes from the books is: "From poetry we learn the language of heart and soul. No one is going to write a resume with the language of poetry, but there are many enjoyable life experiences that reach beyond our career paths and help us become more well-rounded, compassionate, and empathetic human beings."
I love that quote and I think it's so true for poetry and literature. During my reading trainings this summer, we talk about CCSS which puts an emphasis on informational text, especially in the upper grades. I hope that teachers don't get so caught up in nonfiction that they forget the importance of literature. Literature is where we teach so many analytical thinking skills. Students connect with stories and characters. Literature can help kids see different points of view. Poetry is the same.  I feel like we have to have a good balance of all genres, remembering that there is a place for poetry in our classrooms. It can help us teach so many higher level thinking skills and the kids love it!

The next two books that arrived today are:

I like the layout of these books, especially the Your Turn Lessons. Skimming the book, I noticed some activities that I already do, but so many new ones, too.

I have read many professional books that use mentor texts to teach writing. Personally, it's the only way I know! I think it's something many of us already do.  The last chapter of both books is called A Treasure Chest of Books. The chapter is a bibliography of mentor texts organized according to writing traits addressed throughout the book.

Every once in a while I like to refresh my professional library and I think these three books are going to be valuable resources. I'm excited to start implementing some of the activities into my teaching.

If you're like me (and I know you are) you spend your own money on supplies and materials for your classroom and students. Every place I go I ask, "Do you give teacher discounts?" I figure it can't hurt...you never know. I do frequent craft stores, especially Jo-ann's.  If you do not have a teacher rewards card for Jo-ann's, click ❀HERE❀ to apply for your card today. You will get 15% off your total purchase every time you shop (full priced and discounted items) and they will give you a 20% off coupon for signing up. Remember that Michael's, AC Moore, Barnes & Noble, and Office Depot have discount and/or rewards cards for teachers. Some of these have to be renewed every year so be sure to update today and be ready to start the new year!
It's Saturday Snapshots linky from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera.
I'm sharing some random photos from my week.

For the upcoming year, I am going with a beach themed classroom (surprised? LOL!). I haven't had a theme for a while, so I think this will be a nice change. I've seen so many classroom decor sets floating around on TpT this summer, but they really haven't met my needs for my classroom. There are just TOO many pieces that I won't use. I decided to create what I am going to use in my room and sell each set separately, rather than as a bundled pack.  I was so excited when I had a sale within the first day of posting these sets! The customer? My very own SISTER!!  Love her for using my products and being so supportive!!

She is on the ball this summer. She has her sets printed, laminated, and has created some cute displays for her 2nd grade classroom.

Here are the agenda/schedule cards from the set you can find HERE. Since she laminated the cards, she can use a dry erase marker to draw the hands on the clocks to show the times of each subject. She'll be able to reuse these over and over. Included in this set are cards to display objectives and/or goals, as well.

Check out the adorable display she created.

I also designed a new beachy behavior clip chart. My sister mounted the cards on blue construction paper and laminated the whole display. You can find this set HERE.

Instead of waiting to use the school laminator, she brought her items to Office Depot. They use the nice thick lamination. I anticipate these will last a long time.
In addition to those two sets, I made a Classroom Jobs set, too. Check it out HERE.

These next two pictures are my fun Walmart finds of the week.
First these adorable fly swatters. I have seen them around the internet and Pinterest and now I have my own. I can see the kids having a good time using these. Just $1 each. Not too bad. Fun colors, too.

To accompany my beachy theme, I found these cutie $.97 composition books. I might use one for a new writer's notebook (I always write along with my students) and one to keep my meeting notes in throughout the year.

Lastly, nothing school related. I baked this yummy blueberry coffee cake in the morning and by dinner it's been half eaten. Must be good, right?! Click HERE for a link to the recipe.

What have you been up to this week??

Hello friends!
I am SO excited and honored to be part of a new collaborative blog just for 2nd and 3rd grade teachers!!
Our GRAND OPENING is today. Head on over to enter a fantastic raffle FULL of 20 amazing products perfect to start the new school year!! For the next several weeks, you will get a chance to meet each of the teacher authors AND you will get an exclusive FREEBIE each day!

What a great way to start the new school year! Looking forward to seeing you at Owl-ways Be Inspired!!

Hello Friends,
Just a quick post to share my new favorite thing!!

The design team over at Honey Bunch Blog Design created a logo for my little ol' blog!  I am in love with it! My plan is to use these on my photos, in my email signature, on my TpT products, and I can even create business cards or stationery. I'm so very pleased with their attention to details and for creating something so representative of my blog and ME! I love how they used the special details from my blog design to create these!

Along with these logos, they used my blog button to create my Instagram avatar, the cover photo for my Facebook page along with a new avatar for FB.  The banner on my TpT store was created by them, as well. The Honey Bunch gals are always so sweet and patient. Give them a visit and see what's new!

Thanks, girls!!!
Wishing you a wonderful day with friends, fireworks, and yummy food! 

We will be spending the day with our besties out at the pool and cooking on the grill (no electronics!!) Later tonight the hubbys will dazzle us with a backyard fireworks show! 

Remember why we celebrate today and enjoy!!
What was life like before Pinterest? How did we live without all of these fantastic ideas all nicely organized in one place??
To think I rejected it for so long!  When I did finally come around my life changed (a little dramatic there).  Just when you think you've seen it all, you can find something new on Pinterest!

Today I'm linking up with Ashley over at Just Reed for this fun 10 Pin Linky. Love this idea of sharing top 10s from Pinterest.

I've included the original source if I had one. My pet peeve is when I find a great idea and it's not linked to the original source. I always check where the pin links back to. Do you??

Here are my top 10 Reader's Workshop Pins.

1. The Thought Bubble from A Teacher's Treasure. I know my kids would love using this during class discussion or partner work.
2. I ❤❤❤ sticky notes. My kids use them during reading time everyday, so this idea caught my eye. Mrs. Prince & Co. created these great activities to accompany sticky notes. 
3. This Pin comes via Instagram. The students find crazy, fun facts while reading informational text. They can post their fact if they can show the teacher the text it came from. I can see myself creating a book basket of Fun Fact Books! Love it!

4. Sorry I couldn't get a full screen shot of this next Pin, but you can get the idea. I'm eating up as much info as I can on close reading.

5. From Cafe 1123, is this strategy for starting a reader's notebook.

6. Great alternative to traditional biography book reports. Love this wax museum idea from Cottage on Blackbird Lane.

7. Simple graphic for identifying main idea from First Grade Wow. Notice the use of sticky notes!

 8. More sticky notes! Here is a great bulletin board idea where student can recommend books to their classmates.

 9. If I can learn about new books to share with my students, it is a must Pin!

10. My bloggy buddy Jessica at Ideas by Jivey shared this anchor chart from Pinterest. It helps students see the various levels of thinking as they read. It guides them in writing better sticky notes.

Thanks for stopping by today! Visit my TpT Store today and tomorrow for 20%! 
Enjoy your 4th of July!

To celebrate Independence Day, I'm offering 20% off of everything in my TpT store! Enjoy a little shopping before the fireworks!

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