A Common Core Teacher's Toolbox!

Friday, December 21, 2012

How can we help? Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.

      Like many of you, the tragedy at Sandy Hook has been on my mind nonstop. Being a teacher and a mom, I have experienced all kinds of thoughts and emotions when thinking of those Sandy Hook families. I've also been thinking a lot about what I can do and what my students can do to show support to that community. Today, I came across the link from the Connecticut PTSA website for  "Snowflakes for Sandy Hook".   The basic idea is to design snowflakes and send them  to decorate their new school. This is a small and simple gesture of support that we can participate in, without having to feel like we have to find the "right words" to say or write.  You can find more information and the address to the new school here.

   There are so many things I thought about writing from both a parent's and a teacher's perspective. I realized though the most important thing for all of us is to honestly, truly make each day count. Let your family know you love them, and let your students know how special they are! Remember, no matter how under appreciated we may feel as teachers, we mean more than we can ever know to our students (and they are why we do what we do ).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lights! Camera! Action....Verbs!

    I finally finished up my Verb Unit which I am super excited about! Sometimes I feel like I've lost every ounce of creativity I had back in college, and then some days it comes back in full force, and I don't know what to do with myself! It just so happened I came across some cute clip art from Scrappin' Doodles a couple of months ago, and I was about to begin teaching my students verbs; needless to say the creative lightbulb came on.  So, as I've been teaching my verb unit over the past month, I've slowly created movie themed verb activities to go with each skill. We are finishing up our verb unit, and with that said the unit is complete and now in my TpT store.  I made sure to align it with both 2nd and 3rd grade RLA Common Core Standards.  It is full of super cute movie themed activities that my students loved! If you are teaching verbs anytime soon, or are just looking for a fun way to review, then check out my unit. I'm sorry this isn't a freebie! But its is packed with over 60 pages of activities, and it's very teacher budget friendly!  It's really not in my personality to brag, but this is one creation I'm quite proud of! You can check it out here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Drawing Conclusions Freebie!

      I've added another freebie to add to your Common Core Toolbox of resources.  Drawing conclusions/inference is a huge skill for 3rd graders. I created a cute little mini-poster you can use as a way to help students understand exactly what they are doing when they draw conclusions. I also created a chart to help them practice drawing conclusions when they read. We have been having some fun with drawing conclusions in our classroom this week. Of course our class elf Nickaless is always up to some mischief, so the students draw conclusions daily about what he has been up to. We also have a little contest each day in honor of the upcoming winter break! Each day I bring in a wrapped present. As they day goes on, I give a clue about what the present actually is. The clues are left posted all day for the students to begin to draw a conclusion about what they think what is inside of the gift box. At the end of the day, everyone is allowed to give a guess as to what they think the present is once they have have been given all the clues.  If they get the answer correct, they are put in a drawing to win that day's present. This has been such a fun way to practice drawing conclusions. The students love it! Pick up your drawing conclusions freebie here!

    In other exciting news (at least for me). My class is finishing up our verbs unit. I have been creating activities weekly for whatever verb related skill we are working on, and I am about to post it as one huge unit in my TpT store! So be on the lookout for a very  cute and fun themed verbs unit! Coming Soon to a TPT store near you! ( Hmm you can use that last sentence to draw a conclusion about the theme of this unit!)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twas the Week Before Christmas Break and a Sale...

Well we've almost made it to Christmas break in my school district. Just one more week to go! While we get to do so many fun things this time of year, it is so exhausting. Some super exiting news for me,  I had a TpT sales goal I was hoping to make by Christmas, and I have been extremely blessed to have made the goal earlier this week. With that said, I decided to throw a "Twas the Week Before Christmas Break Sale" as a thank you to everyone who has been so kind enough to help me meet my goal so quickly. If you are in need of some fun activities this week check out my store. I have several freebies that are holiday and winter themed that can be adapted from 1st to 4th grade easily! I also have a Snowman themed unit that includes writing activities, grammar activities, fact and opinion activities, a sequencing snowman craftivity, Frosty task cards, and much more that could be used over several different days for some winter fun Of course this blog is dedicated to being a Common Core Toolbox for teachers, so I have several Common Core related items (many are free)! 

 In classroom related news, my students are just loving the Christmas Around the World unit! Of course Nickaless the Elf is always into something. The children came in to find him in the class treasure box yesterday! I'm thinking how nice it would be if Santa would let his elves stay the whole school year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Nickaless, Our Classroom Elf!

I purchased a cute little Christmas Around the World Unit that incorporates the "Elf on a Shelf" idea during TpT's big cyber Monday sale.  Teaching my students about holidays around the world is by far one of my favorite units. When I found the TpT unit that incorporated the Elf on a Shelf with the idea of Christmas Around the World, I thought it just couldn't be any cuter!

   Our elf arrived in our classroom yesterday morning. My students knew to expect a suprise when they came into the room, but I didn't really give them any clue as to what they were looking for. Once they saw the elf, they noticed he had brought along a very important letter from Santa.

The letter included a top secret mission which will have our elf flying all over the world to teach the students about Christmas traditions around the world! We also spent time naming our elf, and my students ended up voting on "Nickaless".His full name is Nickaless D. Elfer, to be exact!

We are doing lots of fun activities these last few weeks before the holidays, as I mentioned before. I created some Elf themed printable writing pages for both the primary and upper grades that you can use to try to incorporate some of those Common Core writing standards! You can download the Elf Themed Writing Resources Freebie by clicking on the picture below:


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Winding down for winter break...

We have 2 weeks until winter break in our district. It sure seems like we are getting out somewhat early in relation to the actual Christmas holiday, but we go back on January 2 which is really early. This is a fun, but crazy time of year in the classroom. I love to pack these last few weeks with fun holiday/winter activities.  We are starting a Christmas Around the World Unit with a little incorporation of the Elf on A Shelf idea this week. I'll keep the blog updated with our all of holiday fun!  If you need a quick winter holiday activity/idea to use with your kiddos in the coming weeks, you should checkout my Design a Gingerbread writing craftivity, or my Differentiated Winter Verbs Writing Activity.  Both are Free downloads! : ) The Winter verbs activity I'm linking below has winter themed writing pages for primary and upper grades that you can use with any writing activities you'd want your students to complete, even if you don't want to use the packet as I have it set up to be used.  Hopefully, these can save you a little planning time in the next couple of weeks!