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It's Almost Sale Time!!! and a Shout Out

I love a good sale and I know most of you are probably the same!  So I hope you've loaded up your shopping cart over at TPT in eager anticipation of the Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale!  All of my products are on sale so with TPT's extra discounts that is a total of 28% savings.  You can just click on this super adorable button by Mrs. Hughes over at  The School Supply Addict to get to my store.   Happy Shopping!
 
Also, I wanted to give a shout out to my BFF who recently started a teaching blog.  She has super great and creative ideas.  Be sure to check her out at I Heart Recess!
 

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Giving Thanks...and Looking to the Holidays (FREEBIE)

I try to give thanks daily through prayer but after this week's events and it being Thanksgiving early morning (can't believe I'm up so late)...I feel even more thankful than normal.  My youngest son had major breathing issues on Monday...so bad in fact that we ended up being sent from the doctor's office by ambulance to the hospital.  Praise the Lord, he has improved greatly!

So instead of getting a good night's rest for the first time in a few days, I'm here pecking away at the computer, trying to get ahead on some school stuff so I can try to enjoy the rest of the break.

If you've followed me for awhile, you know that this is my state's first year using Common Core.  I can't believe that we're getting ready to begin our third ELA unit!  We are going to be focusing on Famous Inventors, Musicians, and Artists and we will be researching and writing biographies.  There are many graphic organizers out there to help with this process but none of them had exactly what I wanted my students to focus on.  So I whipped up this little packet of note taking pages that I wanted to share with you all as a thanks for being such awesome followers!

I also added my newest packet of Literacy Based Holiday Activities/Crafts!  These were activities that I came up with last year and we had so much fun completing them. I didn't think to take pictures last year but this year I plan to snap away.  If you're interested in this packet, please check it out at my TPT store.  (Or wait until Monday when it...and everything in my store...will be on sale!!!)
 
By the way, if you've read this far, just as another sign of thanks I will give my holiday packet to the first two people who comment.  Be sure to leave your email address!
 
Happy Thanksgiving!!! 
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Taking Time to Reflect and a FREEBIE

As teachers, we constantly evaluate ourselves and reflect on our practices.  That's how we grow and improve.  Well, this year my state is implementing Common Core Standards and boy am I reflecting like crazy on what I'm doing and how I need to change!

One thing I really struggle with is being more of a facilitator in math and allowing my students to discover how to solve problems.  I love being the star of the show (no surprise as our class is called the Celebrities, lol) and having my traditional teacher input time where I teach my kiddos what I know.  I many times revert to teaching algorithms or little tips and tricks to help students solve problems.  Common Core really wants students to focus on the why and being able to explain what they are doing.  In our professional development at school this week, we talked all about how students need to really truly understand the concepts and not just procedures.  With all that being said, I'm trying to improve how I teach math and am really trying to move to a model that my county suggests where students start the math lesson by grappling with a math problem first, then complete a math talk, and later in the lesson, I provide clarification or hit on important teaching points.  So as I was planning tonight, I created a few problems working with arrays (3.OA.1) and wanted to share them in case anyone else could benefit from them.  Just click on the pic to go to them:
 
I also wanted to mention that I've loaded a new Questioning Resource Pack to TPT that focuses on using Question Answer Relationships (QAR), the strategy monitor/clarify, and Bloom's Taxonomy question stems.  Please check it out if you're interested:


Oh, and leave a comment below (with your email) telling me a teaching practice that you've been reflecting upon lately.  I'll use a random number generator in a few days to pick two people to give my Questioning Resource Pack!!!
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