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Where Am I When I’m Not Here?

Okay, friends. It’s been a while and this post has been rattling around in my head {mostly at night when I should be sleeping} so it’s time to get this out here. I kind of stink at blogging these days, but I’m still very much alive. So where am I when I’m not here? Well…

math, product review, reading, writing

Carson Dellosa Finds for Reading, Writing, & Math

Third Grade Giveaway Pack for reading, writing, and mathIt’s no secret that I’m big fan of TeachersPayTeachers because I know my kiddos best, and I enjoy creating resources to meet their needs. As teacher-authors share resources and build our catalog, you’re left with hundreds of teacher-made products to meet each of your needs. But I’m also a big fan of NOT reinventing the wheel. Sometimes there are just aw esome resources already out there that save me just as much time. For this reason, I’ve agreed to become a Brand Ambassador for Carson Dellosa to review some of their products for you throughout the year. The opinions below are 100% mine. Be sure to check out the giveaway below too!

Differentiated ReadingFirst up for reading, Differentiated Reading for Comprehension. I love, love, love guided reading and prefer to use authentic literature whenever possible. However, assessments and standardized testing “practice” is also a must. This book is full of below level, on level, and above level passages and a corresponding response sheet. The nonfiction passages are actually really good and definitely appeal to students. I liked the mix of science and social studies topics– animals, technology, people. I also liked that the leveled passages all look the same. The layout is similar, but the length and complexity increases across the passages. At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell they were different as groups rotate through your table. The response sheets are a mix of true/false, short answer, and multiple choice. The last one on each page is an open-response prompt, which students can never practice enough.

Next up for writing, Evidence-Based Writing. Writing is my favorite time of the day, but it’s difficult for my students to plan their writing. I’m always experimentingEvidence Based Writing; prompts/no prompts, organizers/no organizers, checklist/no checklist, etc. I can never have enough tools in my bag, so I really liked this book too. It has resources for opinion, explanatory, narrative, and research writing and briefly covers prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. The bulk of the content are single page prompts with organizers to get students ready to write, which is often the most difficult part of the writing process. I love the variety of topics too, which leave plenty of room for student choice. If I was teaching narrative, for example, I would pick 3 of the 12 prompts and allow students to choose from those for their next project. It’s a good buy!

Finally for math, Curriculum Cut-Outs Match Challenge. These 35 little cards have a variety of uses in the classroom. I personally love turning practice into a “game” by posting questions around the room and letting students move around to answer the questions on their recording sheets. It lets students spread out, move around at their own pace, and work in different groupings. You cMath Challenge Cardsould also use these for scoot, toss them in a center, or work one-on-one to review the questions like flashcards. My only wish would be for a recording sheet {even a printable one you could download online}. The cards are numbered, but students or teachers would need to make their own response sheet to show their work and record answers. The cards are broken into 4 formats so students will complete number waves, generate number sentences for a given answer, complete function tables, and complete two-part number sentences.The cards cover addition/subtraction/multiplication/division skills for a good variety.

You can enter to win your own copy of these resources here. Giveaway ended!

I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.


back to school, giveaway, product review, technology

Go Noodle Blogger Blitz Giveaway

Blogger Blitz ImageUnless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard of Go Noodle. 😉 It’s a fun, interactive way to get students up and moving in your classroom. We all know that an awake brain is a brain that’s ready to learn, and Go Noodle can definitely help with that. I’m teaming up with a variety of Bloggers to share lots of ways you can use Go Noodle this school year, plus each one of us is giving away Go Noodle swag too, yay! 


Back to School Giveaway

Back to school giveawayThe back to school season is in full swing around here. You can tell because the parking lot is full of teachers’ cars from dawn until dusk, the school supply aisles are picked over, and my teacher friends on Facebook have gone mysteriously silent from sheer exhaustion. My feed is also full of adorable “first day of school” front porch pictures, mixed in with parents who are celebrating that the long days of summer entertaining are over. Those are always my favorite. 😉

Today, just to say thank you, I have a super simple giveaway for you. It’s my way of wishing you well as you head back to school and reminding you to take care of yourself this school year too. You deserve it!  One lucky teacher is going to win a pair of book earrings from The Trashy Crafter, a set of hand-stamped items from Pebbles Jones, and a $25 Target gift card too. You know we love Target’s dollar spot!

back to school, teacher tips

Partnering with Parents

parentipsSharp new pencils, neon pocket folders, shiny pink erasers, a new backpack with a working zipper… it can only mean one thing. Back to school season is upon us! I know we spend a good chunk of our summer preparing our classrooms, but today I want to focus on how we prepare ourselves to partner with parents. A supportive relationship with your students’ parents can make or break your year, so it’s important to get things off on the right foot. Here are my top three tips for doing just that.



Reach out to your students and their families as soon as possible. I like to send send postcards home as soon as class lists are final to begin building that relationship before school starts. I also make coordinating contact cards for the parents. You can print these on card stock, but I actually love printing them on magnets. I have a simple pattern here if you need one, but Vista Print has tons of great options too. Their templates make creating something of your own super quick and easy.