March Madness Blog Hop


March Madness

Let the March Madness begin! 

stop 9

I’m teaming up with an awesome group of 12 bloggers this weekend in a March Madness Blog Hop that you won’t want to miss!  Each of the bloggers is giving away a free gift for you at their Buy Sell Teach Store.  In addition, along each stop of the hop you have the opportunity to enter a rafflecopter to win a fabulous prize.  The winning name on the rafflecopter from each blog will be entered into the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to spend on your choice of products at the Buy Sell Teach Store!  Therefore, if you win this rafflecopter you have a 1/12 chance of winning the $100!  That is something to be happy about!

This week we have been working on creating summaries after reading fictional text.  We started with this anchor chart where I introduced the concept of Somebody, Wanted, But, So Then, as a stepping stone for including the most important elements in our summaries.  


Next we worked on a puzzle that included the most important events in the story.  Doing this as a team allowed everyone to participate and encouraged rich discussions.  

summary puzzle

Then we completed our graphic organizer.  We are in the process of completing our summaries, but I can tell they will be more cohesive and contain the important story elements that are needed.  

This weekend I am giving away a printable of the summary puzzle and graphic organizer at my Buy Sell Teach Store!  To download it for FREE Simply click the picture below to grab it for your classroom!

Summaries are a Snap

Click to download.

How does the raffle work?  Each blog throughout the hop has a separate rafflecopter.  Enter each time to increase your chances to win.  At the end of the hop one participant from each blog will be entered into a raffle for an opportunity to win the $100 toward BST. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter for the chance enter your name into the big giveaway for a $100 dollar gift certificate at BST, and hop over to the next blog for another free product to use in your classroom!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click the pot to hop to the next blog post!  You won’t want to miss what Life Over C’s has to offer!

Next Stop


Happy Hopping!


Mentor Monday Linky 2/24/14: Determining Importance

Mentor Monday 2-24-14

I have to admit to a little secret.  During college I was the highlighter queen!Embarassed  Everything I read in my college text books seemed important.  Later, when working on my Masters Degree, I realized I didn’t have the “need” to highlight every sentence.  With more background knowledge and experience I innately was able to determine what was new, relevant information.  My students have the same difficulty when they are reading to determine importance.

Today I made brownies.  Ingredients that were important included the mix, oil, and eggs.  However, to make them more delicious…if that is possible, I added walnuts and dark chocolate chips.  Those last two ingredients blended to make a more cohesive whole that was pleasing, but were not necessary for making brownies.  My students need to sift through the words, sentences and paragraphs for information the author intends them to learn.  They need to discriminate between information that is important vs. information that is simply interesting. They need to understand that even though the walnut and chocolate chips are interesting, they are not the most important information.

Determining importance

Determining importance example with brownies.

Thumbing back through my go to book Mosaic of Thought, I found an important list of why readers make decisions regarding what constitutes important ideas in text.  Keeping this list in mind, assists in modeling how to sift through the text to determine importance.

  1.   Reader’s purpose
  2.  Background knowledge
  3.  The need to find specific information
  4.  What the reader finds aesthetically pleasing
  5.  Ideas the author seems focused on or repeats throughout the text
  6.  Text features (bold print, etc.)


The mentor text I choose today is Snow and Us by Jillian Powell. 

This text is interesting and  considerate of young readers.  By this I mean, the author is quite obvious in pointing out important information by using bold print and providing “snow facts” in a sidebar.  This would be an ideal book for introducing this reading strategy.  

Snow and Us

 I have included a graphic organizer you might find helpful when teaching this important strategy. 

Determining Importance snip

Frame by Dancing Crayon Designs


I hope you enjoyed reading about determining importance.  What mentors books are you using to teach this strategy?

Keep on Reading!




Bright Math Ideas Blog Hop 2/22/14

Bright Ideas Math Blog Hop

Are you ready for some “bright” math ideas to use in your classroom?  Well, even though I typically focus on language arts, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join 19 other friends in sharing some ideas that you can take right back to your classroom Monday morning!  Each of the bloggers in this hop will be sharing a product that is free this weekend, so be sure to hop all the way to the end! Smile

This week in Kindergarten we continued to work on using ten frames when adding and subtracting numbers to ten.   To increase engagement we added some “sweet” word problems and graphics.  The students were more than happy to work through these problems as we discussed them.

Subtraction with ten frames

After practicing with paper, pencils and crayons, I created a few fun games that offered additional practice in a game format.  The first game we played was A Basket Full of Ten Frames. The students had a blast determining the value of the ten frame, then locating that number on the game board.  My students are receiving intensive intervention so I wanted to give them extra practice identifying numbers out of order.  

Ten Frame and Numbers Game

The next day we played another game, Sweet Sums.  I used both game boards but a different set of cards and let the students play with partners.  This provided more opportunities to actually work the math problems.  This game uses visual representations (jellybeans) in the form of an addition sentence.  The students used a die this time to move their game pieces around the board.  We had an immensely enjoyable time while honing math skills.  

Sweet Sums

Both of these games are available in my TpT store, just click the photo below if you are interested in checking it out.

TpT Sweet Sums Product

Next week we will be working on composing and decomposing numbers to 19.  In the meantime,  I uploaded 2 free printables from the product above just for you!  The link below will take you to the download.  I hope you find them as helpful as I did!

Free Math Blog Hop

Be sure to continue the blog hop for additional awesome FREEBIES! The next blog spot on the hop is to an awesome teacher, Shanon at OCD in First.  I know you will find great information and another wonderful product to utilize in your classroom.

Until we meet again, keep reading AND enjoying all those awesome math products! Laughing


Click here to go to the next blog on the hop.


Mentor Monday Linky 2/17/14: Figurative Language


It’s Monday again, well almost Tuesday since I am running a little late. Smile  The weather in North Florida today was absolutely beautiful!  Or in light of today’s topic should I say…it was as lovely as a new blown rose!  

Figurative language is in a writer’s toolbox for a very specific reason.  By adding figurative language, writers are able to create vivid descriptions and lively connections for their readers.  However, our students often lack the tools to fully understand how to interpret figurative language when reading text.  Not only do they miss out on the joy of the words, sometimes it is just outright confusing for our young readers.  By exposing them to many examples and teaching them to recognize figurative language when they run across it, our students will learn to enjoy the beauty of words.  

Many of our favorite books can serve as mentor texts for figurative language.  Emily over at the Reading Tutor/OG , and all of the linked blogs on her page have many awesome examples.  The book I am going to share today is full of old fashioned country wonder.  However the theme of the book is universal, sharing special time with someone who loves us dearly. 

Saturdays and Teacakes is a joyous book filled with onomatopoeia as the young boy journeys by bicycle to his Mammaw’s home.  Pedal, pedal, p-e-d-d-a-l-l-l … up the hill, and whoosh! down the other side.  After the day’s adventures he follows his grandmother into her sun-splashed kitchen where they make teacakes and fill the kitchen with a smell sweeter than summer gardenias.  The author spatters similes like an artist flicking his paintbrush throughout the text.  I love the one about mixing the butter,  featured on the page below: “It was smooth and pale yellow and smelled like fresh cotton candy at the county fair.”

Saturday and Teacakes

After a day of day as beautiful as a new blown rose, the young boy pedals down the drive again and glances back at grandma who is sitting in her metal glider and waving.  “She is waving to me. No one else.  Just me.”  It’s no wonder the text on the last page is “Don’t worry, Mammaw.  I won’t ever forget.”

Saturdays and Teacakes2

Recording figurative language in our classrooms and writer’s notebooks gives our students an edge when they are looking for words to add to their own writing.  I have included a sample sheet to add to your notebooks for recording favorite similes/metaphors that you run across when reading books together or independently. 

Simile and Metaphor Collection

Until we meet again…Keep reading and writing!


Snow Day Sale

Snow Day

I live in sunny (currently rainy Smile) Florida, however my blogging friend Carla is facing a HUGE snowstorm in Virginia. This is an unusual event for her state, so in honor of her “snow day,” a few blogging friends and I are holding a Snow Day Sale! We each have two products that will be discounted Wednesday and Thursday until 10 PM EST.  That should warm everyone’s heart!

The first product I have for sale is my Ultimate February Bundle.   It includes 66 pages of printable games, centers, and worksheets just right for Kindergarten and first grade intervention students.  You guessed it!  It has a Valentine’s Day theme so would be perfect for this time of the year.  This item is normally $7.00 but is discounted to $3.50 for the special Snow Day Sale!  

Ultimate February Bundle

My second product focuses on phonemic awareness in exciting and engaging ways.  It is 23 pages of fun activities that provide additional practice in basic pre-reading skills.  This product normally sales for $3.50 but is on sale for just $1.00 during this event.  Even if you don’t have snow, it is still the perfect time to enjoy a hot chocolate treat with a cupcake!


rhyme cups

Rhyming Hot Chocolate

Sound Sort Cupcakes

Sound Sort Cupcakes

I hope you stay warm and dry!  Enjoy this opportunity to do some TpT shopping whether you have snow, rain, or sunny skies!

Happy Reading!


Be sure to check out all the fabulous sales below!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pin It on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: