Do you use sign language in your classroom + a helpful website

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I'm fairly certain after visiting friend's classrooms and my colleagues that some sort of sign language goes on in your room.  Even if it's a form of unwritten/unspoken gestures that you use to communicate with your students. Here are a couple I use every year: 

One year a few years back I had the sweetest girl that was hearing impaired.  I used this device to help her.

Communicating is so important in the classroom to help second language learners feel more help kids that have hearing issues or verbal issues of some kind and to be honest just for a teachers sanity sometimes as well.  Whether you have a second language learner, an emotionally disturbed child that has verbal issues or want to establish a well run classroom I'm sure you agree how important non verbal cues can be.  
If you are looking to reach a more diverse audience on your website for your classroom or your blog you need to check out:

They offer website translation so you can reach more of an audience or the parents in your classroom even on your own classroom website.  Swing by and check them out! 


12 days of Christmas Giveaway

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Are you guys ready for a giveaway?!?  I've hooked up with some very sweet and talented bloggy buddies to bring you an amazing 12 days of Christmas holiday MEGA giveaway!  Here are the details:

As you can see it is well worth your entering each day!  Here's the 411 for today's giveaway:  

Join in the fun and enter to win there's 3 more days!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Texting the Elf...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hi guys ~ so here's a new twist on the Elf on the Shelf...I moved from first to third grade this year and I'm sure most of you know I'm absolutely LOVIN' it!!!  So....I  have changed a few things but knew I HAD to still do the Elf.  I looped some of my kiddos from when I had them in first and they were asking if Snowflake was coming back.  So I did this to get the momentum going...
I showed the kids my contact info on my phone with Snowflake the Elf's picture and contact info.  I told them we've been texting back and forth for weeks.  I even told them she got a bit sassy with me and I didn't want her to come right away.

So as you can see I was kind of their 'hero' today...I mean you should've heard the ohhs and ahhs and shocked responses after I showed them my phone.  My phone ding dongs like a doorbell when I get a text and I got a couple texts today...the kids would whisper - "the elf, the elf!"  This has been a fun way to get the excitement rolling.  
I didn't want to do the elf as long this year.   We have a lot of district assessments this time of year and I didn't want to take the focus off of learning...look at me I sound like admin - LOL.  But seriously we have been working so hard I didn't want the daily distraction.  So I thought the last week and a 1/2 would be perfect!  If you want to still do the elf thing but don't want the stress of having something everyday of December start it later and use this idea.  It's been fun to see their excitement...the momentum before the elf actually comes has been really fun and different!  More elf fun to come soon...swing back by friends!

If you need an elf supplemental pack to go with your elf on the shelf you can pick one up {here}


Do you need books for your classroom?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hi friends!  I hope you are looking at either a 9 day vacation or a short week ahead.  Either way it's a nice little well deserved break for you!  I HAD to share my brilliant friend Deb's post over at our collaborative blog:  The Primary Chalkboard.  If you have ever asked yourself :  Where can I find some books CHEAP for my classroom?  Than this is the post for you.  You need to go read it - I can't wait to grab some more books to stock up my library from changing grade levels.  Swing on by and read about it. Save it as a favorite because you won't want to lose this bookmark! 

Click { here } to head over:

The website shows this map and all you do is click on your state/area to find them...easy peasy!

For more great ideas visit the Primary Chalkboard often for ideas/tips/giveaways and freebies!


5 for Friday

Friday, November 7, 2014
I'm so excited it's Friday!  It's been a busy, long week!  Here's what we have been up to:

This week we are learning all about main idea and details.  I was racking my brain trying to figure out a way to make a fun seasonal craft to use for it and ...I thought why not use my Turkey Craftivity from first grade last year and switch it up?!?  Well that is exactly what I did...

    turkey craftivity

Rather than have them do this exact craft I thought I could take off the legs and make the feathers - details.  So this is how I modified it:

turkey craftivity

As you can see it's very similar but works perfectly for third grade as a main idea and details turkey.  My kids were so proud of them!

My friend typed up some information on Thanksgiving and I handed these out to each table.  The kids took turns choosing which section to focus on for their main idea/details.

Main idea turkey craft  

Ok so have you all heard of Humphrey the Hamster?  Oh my goodness I can't even tell you how in love my third graders are with him!  It's a wonderful book series by Betty Birney. I have purchased about half of them and will be sure to get them all.  The writing is brilliant and we can't help but fall in love with this funny hamster.  You can find out more about this series { here }

This week resulted in the end of my daughter's high school volleyball season!  It was great fun and it was the first time I was team mom for her ever.  Such a great group of girls.  I love being a mama! <3

Anyone else out there use StitchFix?  Oh my goodness I'm obsessed!  If you don't know what it is:  basically it is a personal shopper that picks out 5 items for you based on your profile choices/styles you like.  They are shipped to you and you can pick none of the items or just a few or even all of them.  What you don't like you ship back ( on their dime ) and you have a very cute, sassy wardrobe.  Here is one of the skirts I got the end of October:

If you want to give it a try:  you can visit the site and use my link here to help you:

Lastly I wanted to share my November pack with you:  I do a What I'm Teaching pack for each month:  Here is my November one...check it out { here }

November print and go pack, thanksgiving

Head on over to Kacey's blog to join in the fun!  Tell us about your week and link up:  


Freebie just in time for Halloween

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

So I know you all have seen it on Pinterest

...YES Halloween is on a Friday!!!!  Best news ever - well almost!  I just wanted to share a project I did in class today that my kids loved!  I have been making a life size one of these candy corn guys for years.  This is the first year I shrunk it down to make it kid sized - kinda like a bite sized candy bar I guess.  I turned it into a freebie for you all to enjoy!

and here is the one that has been on my door for years...

This little project would be perfect as a center rotation at a party on Friday. ( If you are allowed to have a party... we aren't so we made ours today. ) We have the 'party police' in our you too?  We are allowed 2 parties a year.  Man do you remember when we grew up.  I think we had popcorn parties alone like twice a month not even counting holiday ones.  Oh well ~  I think I turned out okay with all those parties...LOL!  You can grab the freebie {here}
Tell me : how many parties do you get a year?


5 for Friday

Friday, October 24, 2014
I'm so excited to be linking up again for 5 for Friday...I have been missing out on this for way too long.  It has been a wonderful week and I can't wait to share about it:
First off tell us about your week and link on up with Kacey by clicking the link below:
This week was AWESOME!!!!
First I introduced the fun pumpkin chair pocket REWARD!!!!  I picked up a cute pumpkin chair cover at the Dollar Tree store and introduced it to my students.  I told them that I will be looking for kids on task, engaged, participating with role model behavior to have it on their chair.  Throughout the day I look for a student that is deserving of it. ( I move it around every hour or so ).  At the end of the day whoever has it on their chair can go to the Treasure chest.  They LOVE it and it's perfect to keep their behavior in check until Halloween. 
It's working like a charm!!!
My room mom did this with my Franken Rhyme Pack craft:
On a personal note my #3 was extra special:
Every year our high school has a volleyball game for the CURE.  It's all in honor of breast cancer awareness. I'm team mom and made the bows for the girls...they sure looked great!  Here my boy and I are heading out ready to cheer my daughter on!!!
We have been studying spiders and making anchor charts from non fiction text.  Today we pulled out the main idea and details and turned that into a spider craft...this equals FUN for my kiddos!
My last little bit of fun is the brand new multiplication pack I made this week:  It has a RHYME for EVERY fact 2's - 12's.  You can pick it up { here }
Here are some sample pages:
Well there you have it!  I'm so ready for FALL ~ This SO. Cal girl is ready for boots and scarves so if you are experiencing cooler temps can you send it my way?!?  Tell me about your week!

How to Use Dollar Tree Finds in your Classroom

Sunday, October 19, 2014

So I'm here to talk to you about the dollar tree and what GREAT treasures and finds are hidden there. 
 First of all:  It's sooo CHEAP!!!  That is a huge plus and benefit for teachers right?!?
Second:  Be open minded and go in there thinking and maybe even bring a notepad.  I have jotted ideas down and seen something to match that idea.  For instance I knew I was going to make a pack about main idea and I wrote down the word meatballs.  I knew right away when I found 'tongs' it would work for my meatball main idea center - see:

Third:  There are TONS of seasonal items there every month.  So be creative on how you can use these.  I saw ice cube trays and immediately thought of 'arrays' for multiplication.  So I added some witchy, pumpkin and skeleton erasers and I now have an array math center for about 5 dollars.
If you look closely at the grid item in the's a sink mat.  When I looked at it I immediately thought:  multiplication chart:

See how I might think's almost the same.  I purchased about 8 trays because as the trays are added the array changes if we are working on say 7's or 8's instead of 3's or 4's.  It gives you lots of options.
Here is a fun freebie to go along with the ice cube tray idea:

If you find a blow up reindeer write math equations on it...have a game of quiet ball where the kids toss it to each other and whatever their hand or thumb lands on they have to answer that many ideas all you have to do is be creative and ....SHOP!  Have fun and share some ideas you have used from the Dollar Tree.