Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do Your Lesson Plans Say This?

On this beautiful Thursday, look at your lesson plans and pretend you see this...

Have a happy, and CALM, Thursday!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TpT Sale 27th and 27th!

TeachersPayTeachers is having a site-wide sale. Can you say, "Ya hoo?"

Sale begins at midnight tonight and goes through the 28th. Check out my store and all the other sellers' stores. Fill your wishlists to the brim. Happy shopping!

Click on the link below to check out my store.

Happy shopping!

Happy Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day! Friday is right around the corner!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thrilled to be Nominated for the Liebster Award!

Wow! As I'm grading papers, I get a notification that I've been nominated for an award I've never heard of. It's the Lieber award for new blogs. I'm ecstatic!

Thank you, Susanne Ash, from Create, Educate, Inspire for nominating me. Check out her blog!
Create, Educate, Inspire
A little about the Liebster award:
The Liebster Award is an award for new blogs. Liebster is a German word that means: 

To accept the nomination I must: 1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator (Suzanne)
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them.

Here are my nominees: 

 Sassy Savy Simple Teaching
Love your posts, Dianna! 

Love the classroom activities, new products, and suggestions, Kathy!

Inspiring quotes and helpful tips posted on this colorful page!

I connected with Appletastic in the TpT forum. Awesome and detailed products posted, Shelly!

Love your hot chocolate placemats and many other wonderful ideas!

Here are my questions from Suzanne.

1. What grade do you teach? Do you love it or would you switch grades?
I teach 3rd grade. I team teach. I teach ELA, reading, and SS, and my teammate teaches math and science.

2. What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom?

Unkindness, students speaking with sarcasm or a negative tone to others (I nip this in the bud instantly)!

3. What inspired you to start blogging? Seeing all the phenomenal blogs from others. You inspired me!

4. What is one teaching supply you couldn’t live without?
Binder clips! Use them all day, every day!

5. What is your favorite lesson to teach?

Alliteration/ poetry

6. What is your favorite dessert recipe?
Heath/Toffee Cake (yummy!)

7. How do you spend your weekends?

With family, pinning, relaxing, watching movies, reading, & creating TpT products.

8. Coffee or pop? 
Definitely coffee (the stronger the better)!

9. Share a technology resource that you love using in your classroom.

iPods and apps, iPhone, Acers, work work games,

10. What is your favorite children’s book to read to your students?

Animalia, The Dumb Bunnies, I'll Meet You Halfway, The Rainbow Fish (sorry, I couldn't just pick one).

11. What is your typical bedtime on a school night?

Uh oh, I'm in trouble here. Too late, for sure (usually around midnight). 

Here are 11 random facts about me:
1. I adore animals. I own three animals (all have been adopted/rescued).

2. I'm addicted to pinning and TpT.

3. My favorite restaurant is Outback.
4.  I love all genres of music except opera.
5. I'm feel withdrawals when I don't have my iPhone (I know, bad)!
6. I wear an "I Am Second" bracelet daily.
7. My favorite date with my hubby is sitting in my pajamas and ordering Take Out for dinner.
8. I love reality TV.
9. My favorite flower is a tulip.
10. I chew gum all day long, every day (thank goodness for sugar-free)!
11. I love fishing but won't take the fish off the hook (that's what my hubby is for). LOL!

Here are my 11 questions for my nominees: 
1. What grade do you teach? Are you self contained or do you team teach?
2. What is your greatest challenge as a teacher?
3. What inspired you to start blogging? 
4. What is one teaching supply you couldn’t live without?
5. What is your favorite lesson to teach?
6. What is your favorite app to use in the classroom?
7. What is the number 1 thing you do in the classroom that you think brings you success?
8. What's your favorite brain break?
9. Share a technology resource that you love using in your classroom.
10. What is your favorite activity to do with your students?
11. What is your typical bedtime on a school night?

I can't wait to see my nominees' responses.

Happy Monday!

This is so true! Remember this as you journey off to school. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More Inspiring African Americans Who Changed the World

Love this site! It's full of great information. Of course I HAD to include my hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These are people we can aspire to be like...determined, hard-working, and especial courageous.

The website is:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

As a Teacher, Do You Ever Feel This Way?

Most of us had the day off yesterday. Ahhhh, the relaxation. I can still feel the warm breeze and hear the chirping of the birds.

I came across this tonight and chuckled. Thought you might enjoy it too!

Have a great week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy President's Day - Enjoy This President Rap

Happy President's Day! My students LOVE this catchy President Rap by Rhyme, Rhythm, & Results. I bet your students will, too!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cute Simile/Metaphor Video

I love this video by TheBazillions. What a great review of these two concepts that can be easily confused.

As a matter of fact, TheBazillions have many fun educational videos. I actually subscribed to their youtube channel so I would miss any future postings.

Here's the video. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Full Moon? Watch Out Teachers! LOL!

Noticed the BIG, beautiful full moon outside and thought this was perfect! Too funny!

Character Traits Valentines

Last week, my children wrote the character traits of two main characters from a story we read in class. For Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to not only review character traits but to have our peers list traits of one another.

 My students really enjoyed this activity. Each student wrote his/her name on a heart. Then we moved around the room (one heart at a time) and wrote one character trait of that particular person (kind-hearted, energetic, giving, unselfish, humble, ambitious, etc.) with our name below the positive word we wrote.

 To help the children with spelling and to give suggestions on words to write, I displayed a Character Trait List on the projector. Before the activity, we went through each word and starred the positive traits and crossed out the negative traits (which they were NOT to use). This is also a perfect opportunity to discuss meanings of words such as "humble," "ambitious," "timid," etc. It was so much fun watching my students read what others thought of them.

Great way to build confidence on this special day! Be sure and have students fill one out for you, too. I have mine displayed proudly in my room.

Proud of Our Character Trait Hearts!

Writing POSITIVE Character Traits

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today's Inspiring African American...Maya Angelou

Today's inspiring African American...Maya Angelou

I've seen this remarkable woman speak on several shows before, and I'm always amazed at how eloquent and impacting her words are. I had no idea that Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King had asked her to help them.

 Learn more about this incredible speaker, author, educator, poet, and actress on her site at:

photo from

Recently, she wrote a beautiful tribute poem for Nelson Mandela ("His Day is Done"). Incredible words! Enjoy!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Today's Lesson...Theme, Character Traits and Setting

Today we reviewed 3 important reading skills: finding the theme and setting of a story and giving character traits of the main characters based on textual evidence (I used a graphic organizer from The Elementary Teacher Big Book of Graphic Organizers). 

My students did really well. To help, I gave them a character traits list, they were able to use their books to reread and find evidence, and they were able to use the class iPods to check meaning and spelling of traits and other words.

Today's themes were two really pertinent ones we can all learn from: don't compare yourself to others and be PROUD of your own talents and skills.

Blessings and hope you all had a marvelous Monday!

Today's Inspiring African American...Otis Boykin

This incredible man was an important inventor. Thank you, Otis Boykin!

photo from

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Show Me the Similes and Metaphors!

After finishing last week's centers, I had a few students who wanted to show off their skills and knowledge with similes and metaphors. Fabulous job!

Happy Sunday!

Too Funny and Sadly True

Happy Sunday to all! I love this!  Hope you get a little giggle out of it like me.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Simile and Metaphor Superstars

After studying similes and metaphors throughout our poetry unit, students applied this skill by writing several on the board. Way to go!
Board Full of Similes and Metaphors
Learning in as Fun as the Playground
Dr. King is as Wise as an Owl

Friday's Inspiring African American...Garrett Morgan

Today's inventor? Garrett Morgan- an inventor and businessman. He cleverly invented the gas mask, the Morgan safety hood, and smoke protector.

Hope you all had a marvelous Friday!

Happy Friday! Time to Dance!

TGIF! It's time to do my "Happy Dance!" Wishing you all a blessed day!

photo credit:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alliteration is Alive!

Alliteration is everywhere in our room!

First, we read an incredible book by Graeme Base called Animalia.  This beautifully illustrated book walks readers through the alphabet using alliteration with upper level vocabulary. This book initiated great conversation about unknown words. In addition, each page is peppered with pictures that begin with the featured letter at the top of each page. My students loved finding the "camera," "crayfish," "castle" and many other "C" words on the "C" page.

After reading this colorful and engaging book, each student received a letter and had to write an alliterative sentence with their letter. I reminded them to use $100 words, imagery, and to check punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. We ended up with some beautiful, alliterative sentences to display in the hallway.

Alliteration Wall

Massive Monkeys march in Minnesota while munching on majestic melons.

Zany Zebras and zero otters zigzagged to the massive zoo.

The angry,  agitated alligator ate the armadillo and snatched the armadillo away.

 I had a couple of really creative students who finished their alliterative station early. They wanted to show off their alliteration skills. Enjoy!

Hope you will make "alliteration alive" in your classroom. Your students will love it!

Blessings and happy teaching,

Today's Inspiring African American...Madam C.J. Walker

Way to "straighten things out" Madam Walker! I applaud you!

Info. from

Picture from:

Hope you had a glorious "hump day!"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today's Inspiring African America...George Washington Carver

Today's inspiring African American makes me think of peanuts. Yes, it's George Washington Carver. Not only did he made numerous products with peanuts, he taught the farmers to to keep the soil nutrient-packed by alternating crops!

Hats off to you, Mr. Carver
photo snapshopt from

Monday, February 3, 2014

Today's Inspiring African American...

Today's important person is Jan Ernst Matzeliger. He received a patent for his incredible machine that increased the speed of shoemaking. 

Way to go, Jan! 

Hope you had a beautiful Monday!

Have a Blessed Monday and Don't Forget....

Happy Monday! As we head off to school today...remember the IMPORTANCE of our career choice.

photo credit:

May you have a blessed day,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Black History Month!!!

Happy Black History Month! 
It's February, which means it's Black History Month! Yay! Of course, we've been reading (and talking about) inspiring African Americans all year long.
After we watched Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech," we read about many of the non-violent and peaceful ways that Dr. King strode toward freedom. We then discussed how we could do the same in our lives.
We CAN keep the dream alive!!
We all wrote about how we can act more like Dr. King at home and at school.
What Can You Do To Stride Toward Freedom?
What Can You Do To Stride Toward Freedom?
Recently, we read Salt in His Shoes (a story of Michael Jordan). We learned that Michael Jordan became successful through determination, hard work, and failures. We then wrote the BME (beginning, middle, and end) of the story.
Salt in His Shoes
Salt in His Shoes
Look at my BME!
Check out my BME!

Today's Inspring African American - Lewis Latimer

Have you heard of Lewis Latimer? I know I haven't. It's surprising because he was an important inventor. Who is he, you ask?

Wishing you a wonderful beginning of the week. 


Saturday, February 1, 2014

A MUST WATCH if you're an animal lover

Happy Saturday to all! How many of you cherish, and adore, your pets? I know I do. I have two rescued cats (Haley and Lainey) and one rescued dog (Zoe).

This video brought so much joy to me and, yes, caused me to shed a tear or two of happiness.

Zoe sat on my lap while I watched (and thoroughly) enjoyed this video.


Black History Month is Here! Today's Person - Elijah McCoy

It's February 1, which means it's Black History Month. Yay! Each day I'll be sharing an African American that made a difference and positive impact on society and our nation.

Today's person... Elijah McCoy (picture and information from