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literacy, writing

Student Treasures Book Publishing

Are you looking for new ways to motivate your students to write?  Are you tired of publishing student work the same way each unit?  Have you heard about Student Treasures?  If not, Student Treasures is a company that will send you kits to turn your students into published authors.   Best of all, it’s totally free!

There are several options, but we use the school-wide program.  Primary teachers create class books with their students.  In this project, each student contributes a single page to the class book.  One free copy is bound for the class.  Intermediate teachers create individual books.  In this project, each student writes an entire book.  The book is bound for free.  Extra copies can be ordered for both types of books for around $20, but teachers can purchase copies for much less.  I’ve purchased several over the years to use as examples for future classes.  Student Treasures can be used for any grade level, not just elementary.

I’ve found this unit to be an authentic way to teach the writing process.  While our class publishes one project each month, the unit that results in a hardback “real” book is always the best.  I typically start the unit in early December and wrap it up at the end of January.  In the sometimes chaotic Christmas season, Student Treasures keeps students motivated.  It’s also proved to be a great way to teach time management because we’re on a deadline to mail the books out for publishing.

The last few years I’ve used alphabet books for this project.  I use several mentor texts to show that alphabet books come in many varieties and aren’t just easy books for developing readers.  We also create anchor charts and idea lists to generate quality writing.  Then the students select their theme and are off and writing.  Some of our past topics included  movies, sports, holidays, and school.  When the bound books return in the spring, we hold an Author Party to celebrate and share.  I love it!

If you’re interested in Student Treasures, click on over to their website.  If you decide to try it with your class (or school!), I’d love to refer you and earn Scholastic dollars for our school library.  Drop me an email and we’ll trade information.  Thanks, and happy writing!


Super Bowl Halftime Sale

I know I just posted about the Valentine’s Blog Hop a few days ago, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to share the Super Bowl Halftime sale too.  Many teachers are offering their products half-off during the halftime show.  Lots of them are already on sale now and will remain that way through the Super Bowl so you can enjoy the festivities. =)

I’m offering one item from my reading, writing, language and math shops. These are on sale NOW and will stay on sale through halftime.  Don’t miss it!  

Reading: Chocolate Touch Book Club Packet
Writing: Amazing Animal Research Unit
Language: 10 Parts of Speech Posters
Math: Three Digit Subtraction PowerPoint Game
You can find all of the sales on the Super Bowl Sale Pinterest page.

literacy, reading, science, social studies

Do You Quizlet?

I heard about Quizlet last summer and was eager to try it with my students this year. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s definitely worth checking out.  Basically, it’s an online flashcard program that allows you to create your own flashcards and then use them to play games. There are also assessment options.  As a bonus, everything you create is printable too.  It’s not just for vocabulary either.

I used Quizlet for the first time in October to help my students study for our social studies unit test.  They enjoyed playing the games and were really engaged while we used our classroom projector to study as a class.  A few of them logged on from home too.  I love it when that happens!  

Unfortunately, I sort of forgot about Quizlet and haven’t used it since.  Oops.  As I was updating our classroom website, I came across our Quizlet links and decided to use it again for our upcoming science unit test.  It took me less than five minutes to type in our vocabulary words and definitions.  I have games ready to go for tomorrow and an assessment for next week.  I’ve already shared the link on our classroom Facebook page for home use as well.  It really is that easy.

I’ve made it my goal to upload more flashcard sets ahead of time so they’ll be ready to go for our upcoming units.  You can also browse from a ton of premade sets.  I plan to use Quizlet more frequently in our room, and I think you’ll find many ways to use it too.  Hop on over and check it out!


Let’s Play Tag!

The Rules:

1.  Post the rules.
2.  Post 12 fun facts about yourself.
3.  Answer the questions the tagger set for you in her post, and then create 12 new questions for the ones you tag.
4.  Tag 12 people and link them in your post.
5.  Let them know that they have been tagged

Twelve Fun Facts about Me:
1. I was married on a beautiful beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this summer.
2. I love to sing, though I’m a terrible singer.  It’s all about the joy in your heart though, right?
3. We want to have kids someday, but for now our three dogs are completely spoiled.
4. I started a personal blog first, but my teacher one is quickly becoming my favorite.  Shhh… don’t tell the others.
5. This is my seventh year teaching third grade.  Third graders are my favorite!
6. Reading and writing workshops are my favorite time of the day, but science experiements are fun too. =)
7. It’s my goal to read 50 books this year.  Children’s books don’t count toward this title, but I read a ton of those too.
8. I was voted “Most Energetic in the Mornings” in college.  I hate getting out of bed. ha!
9. Sewing is quickly becoming my favorite new hobby.
10. Baking is pretty fun too, but sewing is friendlier on the calorie count.
11. I bought 6 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from my girls this year!
12. With all of the ups and the downs, I can’t imagine being anywhere else than our classroom.
My Questions from Michelle over at Teach123:
1.  Do you prefer chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla? Chocolate all the way.  Bonus points if it’s in the form of ice cream.
2.  Who is your favorite recording artist? I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I’ve been hooked on Bon Jovi for as long as I can remember.
3.  What is your favorite cereal? I only eat Special K Cinnamon Pecan.  My husband gets in trouble if he eats the best part, the bottom of the box!
4.  What color is your vehicle? Glacier Blue, fancy eh?
5.  Name 3 songs on your iPod. Top 3: Rhythm of Love, Daughter, Carolina in My Mind
6.  Do you prefer winter or summer?  Summer, I love the beach!
7.  Do you prefer mountain hideaway or beach house? Beach house with a sunset view over the ocean, please.
8.  Who is your favorite book character? I really like Biddy Malone. She should be more popular. Love the story and the illustrations!
9.  What is your favorite t.v. show?  Ellen!
10. What are you really afraid of? Blood. My students get their own band-aids.
11. What is your favorite restaurant? Bravo.  My husband and I went there on our first date.  The food is delicious too.
12. What is the best thing about teaching? My kids. It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives and politics of teaching, but my kids make every day worth it.
My Questions for My Tags:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What’s your favorite children’s book?
3. What do you love most about summer break?
4. Chalkboard or whiteboard?
5. What do you remember most about your favorite teacher?
6. You get to have a secret super power.  What will it be?
7. What was your last Halloween costume?
8. Any collections or favorite hobbies?
9. Who do you admire most?
10. If you could buy one splurge item (for home or school), what would it be?
11.  Did you make a New Year’s resolution?
12. Are you addicted to Pinterest yet? 

Bloggers I’ve Tagged: These are long-shots, but being new to the Blogging World I decided to tag the bloggers I’ve been following (and looking up to!) for a while now. I think it’s also a way to introduce you to fabulous blogs you might have missed.
10. Teacher 2 Teacher (it’s a group blog with contributors, but a great one!)