2/6/15

Whats up? Everything it feels like!

I always promise myself that (insert hand raised to side) I am going to blog often, make new products daily, have some witty story to tell in a very eloquent manner and be active on social media. 

Life has a different way of unfolding itself around about me.  It seems as though even a shower cannot be had without multi-tasking and trying to wash the bathroom, and dictate messages to my ziplocked phone while I am showering.  I am sure my backside is shaped like the car seat, and since my daughter drives every where now I manage to do a little social media and marking in the car.

Over the summer during my "leisure tie I prepped the first 1/3 of my year.  Yup - September to December laid out in all my classes, bindered or bagged, sticky noted directions, cut, laminated, photocopied and in bins.  I coach volleyball during this time and several of my own kids play the sport so this is a necessity.  However, it spoiled me.  No "night before" prepping for several months is something a girl can get used to.  My nights now are filled with binders, booklets, and my computer as I try to live up to my own high expectations. And maybe grab a few hours of sleep and keep up on marking!  BUT  - I love being a Mom, I love being a teacher, and I love being involved at church, and I love coaching.  So I wouldn't really change a thing (other than guaranteeing teachers a 250% raise for all the hard work and love we pour into our jobs!)

That being said -  highlight of my "school" life was my To Mine or Not to Mine Role Play Scenario!  This was part of my latest addition to my store - Minerals, Mining, and the Environment

 This resource starts off by providing student handouts that provide basic information on minerals and mining. The handouts also discuss and compare surface and underground mining; who, what , where, when and why and their environmental implications. There is a set of review questions to complete with the handouts. There are links to a ton of great resources, videos, and diagrams included to supplement the lesson.

The second part of this resource is one of my favorite things to do with my class. It is a scenario role play.

"We are residents of a small town of just over 500 people. The economy of our town is faltering and there is a high rate of unemployment. Our town – Pleasant, has recently been the site of geological exploration and a deposit of mineral was discovered. The deposit is near the surface so the company that owns the land where the deposit was found wants to build a strip mine. The strip mine would be located where a popular hiking and picnicking area is located.

We understand that the project will provide jobs for residents so we welcome the development of the mine. However, there is some concern about the state of the land after the mine eventually closes. Many of the townspeople want the company to take accountability for the mines reclamation and land restoration.

 The mineral deposit that is located near the town is not highly valuable right now. The mine will not be a profitable undertaking if the company has to pay for the reclamation, as such the company can’t agree to restore the land. However, like most resources, the world market may change and in the future the deposit could become much more profitable."

In our role play scenario each student gets a role; from the CEO or the Publics Relations officer of the Mining company, to a single stay at home mom, a local garage owner, geologist, politician running from re-election and so on. They each prepare a report using the brainstorming sheets and guidelines to present in character at the "Town Meeting". They must decide to support the opening and the subsidy, or to vote to wait and not support the opening at this time.

This is an opportunity to get your students thinking critically, applying knowledge and understanding in a real and relevant way, and to work on their persuasive writing and debating skills.

This is the one activity that all of my students look forward to and go all out preparing for. In total it takes about 10 days to prepare (1 45 minute class each day) and present. They come dressed in character and we invite other staff members to listen and even vote if there is time.


The presentations were amazing - they had some amazing research and brought up a ton of relevant points that I had not even considered!  The debates were great - tons of meaningful questions, well thought answers, and back and forth that showed a great deal of critical reflection.  Very few of  my students did not over prepare and take their roles very seriously.  I was SUPER proud of them!

If you are interested in winning a copy of this product leave a comment below and one lucky person will a special email after this weekend!!

1/5/15

New resources to prove I have not died!

Have I been busy - totally.  In the last few weeks my little man turned 7, I celebrated my 15 year wedding anniversary, cleaned a bunch of closets, moved my kids rooms and  - mommed.  Mommed should be a word, like "ran".  Ran tells me you were running.  Mommed implied cooking, cleaning, reading, washing, braiding, comforting, driving, shopping...you know, Mom stuff.



We had a very chill Christmas break - lots of just being lazy, read the Mortal Instrument series again, played a lot of hours of Minecraft and Advanced Warfare with my children, and enjoyed the down time.  I corrected NOTHING for the first holiday ever! We got Zoe One Direction tickets for July and me and Cheyenne are going to see Black Veil Brides for her 18th birthday. Online shopping for Christmas gifts FTW!! Freedom got a bunch of Walking Dead and cow goodies.  Abby got Frozen everything and Asher video games, Lego, and Minecraft.  I enjoyed the time with my family immensely and thank God that I have a job that allows me the time to be with them and make so many amazing memories.  If only it had been a little more snowy and a little bit warmer.....


I also took the time to work on completing two products I have been using in my class for some time now. The first is my Math Challenges: Problem of the Week, or POTW as I refer to them.  Problem of the Week is all about challenging our students to use their higher order thinking skills and make meaningful inferences and connections with strategies and calculation methods they already have. The emphasis is on HOW we get an answer not only on getting the right answer. It is all abut their critical thinking!

50 Problems of the Week are included; Logic problems, brain busters, Sudoku, word problems, number sense challenges and more! As well I have included all applicable answer keys, bulletin board lettering and teaching suggestions. This resource can be used as a weekly challenge, bell ringer activity, early finisher activity, or math center. 

This is something that I will forever use in my classroom because I know it works and I have first hand seen the payoff the investment into critical thinking makes on their ability to tackle word problems and other math challenges with confidence!

The second product is one I am actually using RIGHT NOW with both my grade 7 science classes.  It is the Minerals, Mining and The Environment resource.

This resource starts off by providing student handouts that provide basic information on minerals and mining. The handouts also discuss and compare surface and underground mining; who, what , where, when and why and their environmental implications. There is a set of review questions to complete with the handouts. There are links to a ton of great resources, videos, and diagrams included to supplement the lesson.

The second part of this resource is one of my favorite things to do with my class. It is a scenario role play.

 We understand that the project will provide jobs for residents so we welcome the development of the mine. However, there is some concern about the state of the land after the mine eventually closes. Many of the townspeople want the company to take accountability for the mines reclamation and land restoration.
The mineral deposit that is located near the town is not highly valuable right now. The mine will not be a profitable undertaking if the company has to pay for the reclamation, as such the company can’t agree to restore the land. However, like most resources, the world market may change and in the future the deposit could become much more profitable."

In our role play scenario each student gets a role; from the CEO or the Publics Relations officer of the Mining company, to a single stay at home mom, a local garage owner, geologist, politician running from re-election and so on. They each prepare a report using the brainstorming sheets and guidelines to present in character at the "Town Meeting". They must decide to support the opening and the subsidy, or to vote to wait and not support the opening at this time.

This is an opportunity to get your students thinking critically, applying knowledge and understanding in a real and relevant way, and to work on their persuasive writing and debating skills.

This is the one activity that all of my students look forward to and go all out preparing for. In total it takes about 10 days to prepare (1 45 minute class each day) and present. They come dressed in character and we invite other staff members to listen and even vote.

"We are residents of a small town of just over 500 people. The economy of our town is faltering and there is a high rate of unemployment. Our town – Pleasant, has recently been the site of geological exploration and a deposit of mineral was discovered. The deposit is near the surface so the company that owns the land where the deposit was found wants to build a strip mine. The strip mine would be located where a popular hiking and picnicking area is located.

If either of these resources appeals to you make sure to stop by my TPT store and check them out a little more.

Ciao!!

12/1/14

HUGE SALE!!!


Over at TPT we are celebrating the holiday season with some great deals on thousands upon thousands of amazing resources created by the most amazing people - teachers!!!

Save on EVERYTHING on Dec 1 & 2!

Use promo code TPTCYBER for 28% off everything in my store - Grade  7 Heaven !! Plus keep an eye out for special deals hidden in the seasonal resources!

Fill your cart! Sale is ON Monday Dec 1, 12:01 a.m. ET through Tuesday Dec 2, 11:59 p.m. ET

You must enter promo code: TPTCYBER  when you check out to save!  Been checking something out for awhile and hesitant to commit - now is the time!!!


I cannot wait to fill my cart after work today!  Happy Shopping!

11/18/14

Long time no see, er read. and VOLLEYBALL is almost over.

For a brief period of time from October to the end of November my life becomes a blur of tournaments, practices and games.  I coach Grade8 girls volleyball.  Throw in five kids, a full time job, my TPT, and the occasional few hours of sleep and you get..one lousy blogger!

As I pointed out in earlier posts I live in Winnipeg, MB Canada.  People affectionately (or not so affectionately as it were) refer to it as Winterpeg. In Winnipeg we already have that "festive dusting" of snow that we carry 8 months a year, 9 if Mother Nature prolongs her return like last year and there is still snow in June. To celebrate my return to the cyber world I am offering 3 seasonal markdowns for early years and a great deal for middle years teachers.

My Gingerbread Literacy Mega Pack is on sale for $3.00 from $5.75.  This Gingerbread Literacy Mega Pack is chalked full of great activities that can be used with many of the different Gingerbread books (gingerbread Man, gingerbread baby, gingerbread girl, gingerbread friends, gingerbread cowboy etc.). This package is beautifully full color and full of gingerbread book related goodies.

It includes:
• Alphabetical word sort with gingerbread cookie cards
• Venn diagram comparing two different gingerbread stories
• If I were a gingerbread baby writing prompt and lined paper
• Another ending to the story writing prompt and lined paper
• 5 senses Gingerbread Cookie exploration
• Describing Words graphic organizer
• My favorite gingerbread story writing prompt and lined paper
• Beginning, middle, and end story sequencing worksheet
• Story re-tell
• Story elements
• Punctuation practice sheets
• Full page themed and colorful Punctuation Posters as well as a Write a Good Sentence poster
• Three personally written gingerbread themed poems
• Fill in the missing vowel practice sheet
• Inference, text to self, text to text, and evaluation questioning cards
• Gingerbread baking sequencing cut and paste
• Gingerbread recipe cards
My Gingerbread Punctuation is 50% off at only $1.75.  Gingerbread punctuation  is set of whole class lessons or centers. It is chalked full of colorful, fun, yet AWESOME learning activities.

Included are:
• Roll Your punctuation: punctuation dice and recording sheet (can be used as assessment)
• Write your own sentence using punctuation prompts (laminate and use dry erase markers as a center tub)
• Center cards to guide students or punctuation mini posters
• Comma Practice assessment sheet
• Punctuation Practice assessment sheet
• Gingerbread Punctuation Pal Craftivity
• Center work: punctuation mix and match game: 10 center cards and a sheet of punctuation pieces and recording sheet



and last but not least for a limited time only my Gingerbread Math Activities is only $1.00.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This pack includes:
• Gingerbread Man themed number sequence to 30 – one with benchmarks and one without to allow for adaptations.
• Roll a gingerbread, a following directions activity.
• One or Two More than or Less than gingerbread man activity
• Pictorial expression activity with writing number sentence practice.
• Gingerbread measuring activity with printable rulers
 
This was one of my Grade Ones favorite activities!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now for the MIDDLE YEARS teachers... I have just started my new unit this week - The Earth's CrustIt is 50% off this week only for $3.00. Being a geology major this is half of my favorite unit I get to teach.   The 34 page student use pack covers the composition of the earth, its layers, rock and mineral properties, classifications, and uses, the rock cycle, mining, mineral deposits, soil formation and profiles, as well as a 2 possible extending learning projects.

The student use pack includes:

• Brainstorming sheet
• Worksheets and links for two Bill Nye Videos
• Vocabulary Group Project
• Hands on activities like Rock Cycle Fudge, Properties of
Minerals Stations, and Mining Chocolate Chips
• Diagrams, worksheets, information pages
• Rock cycle sentence strip and poster project
• Property Word Search
• Crossword Puzzle Assignment
• Extension Assignments and Activities like design your
own cookie mining invention, create your own cross
word, etc.

As well as a 37 page teacher resource pack with answer keys, teaching suggestions and important links, images, instructions, scripture verses for biblical integration, vocab sheets, as well as a quiz, adapted quiz and answer keys.

Works well with Hands on Science or Nelson Science and Technology 7. However, relevant information is provided in the booklets so they are not necessary. Resources are referred to as "extending learning" activities should you wish to include them.
 
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favorite classroom activities that tie into the Earth Sciences.  I am stoked!!

10/13/14

Halloween Bash Blog Hop!


  Taking part on a fun Halloween Bash Blog Hop put together by the amazing girls at The Teaching 2 Step. I love this season sooooo why not share it AND throw in some great resources and an amazing giveaway!

I really enjoy everything about fall (well, lets be honest, everything but the fact that it welcomes in winter).  With fall comes leaves, pumpkin spice everything, plaid and Halloween. I have enjoyed dressing my kids up every year and have learned that some costumes are great (like the home made cat outfit that was ADORABLE) and others were not so great (the mummy costume that unravelled all night until Chey had no costume left).

Here are some of my Halloween favorites for you :o)

Lets start with my Monday Markdown item (top left corner shows it in action) and a limited time freebie. My favorite Halloween season activities were done back when I taught grade one.  I used my Pumpkin Themed Literacy and Word Work stations to reinforce  -it, -en, and long e word families. 

This includes:
•A themed poster for each word family that you can laminate and use an anchor chart or print off and place in each student’s spelling/ELA folder.
•A Fall Rainbow Words set which includes the words to print and place in a jar, a printable dice template, as well as the recording sheet with basic instructions.
•A word match cut and paste activity using the three word families.
•A word sorting station, the students are to place the right pumpkins in each word family pumpkin patch and a recording sheet
•A crossword puzzle using the three word families and an answer key
•A themed I have Who has game including 24 word family cards
•An easy reader that you can print out and read with your students or print in black and white and get them to color and read.

This resource is half price for this week only. 

 
 
 

The freebie is my Pumpkin Themed Math Booklet.  This 6 page workbook includes (show in action on the top right:
•Number recognition re: tally, money, subitizing, visual blocking
•Cut and paste for motor skill development
•Pattern recognition and generation
•Number recall/sequencing
I laminated the sheets and created centers for math stations. 

I LOVED the pumpkin craftivity pictured in the top center.  Each student got a mini pumpkin and we did sink or float predictions and tests. Inside the craftivity pumpkins we put together as a class we wrote descriptive paragraphs about our pumpkins.  It was one of our first looks as chocolate words. We also tasted pumpkin cookies, made pumpkin seeds after doing an estimating activity, and used similes to describe the inside of our large class pumpkin.
We topped this off by reading Pumpkin Town and doing a poster board sequencing activity.  It was a great Pumpkin Week in 1B :o).

Now for a great RECIPE...



a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Monday Markdown and whats up!

The last two weeks has been CRAZY!!  Volleyball season started and I coach the Grade 8 team - Chey is my assistant coach and another parent also comes to help out.  We  have had a clinic and two practices a week.  We also already have our first tournament and first game under our belts.  We lost the tournament - we came in 3rd.  BUT we won the game. 

My girls are beginning to understand the rotations and PMS (power, middle, setter). 

On top of these activities I have Freedom travelling to Memphis this year on her spiritual emphasis retreat - they study freedom in the physical and spiritual sense.  Also Cheyenne is graduating this year.  So we had a Memphis meeting and a grad meeting on top of Friday and Sunday volunteering.  I love being busy but my blog pays the ultimate price (and so does our meal times LOL!). 

However, this weekend I caught up on marking (more or less), clean the kids rooms (I even washed the walls), watched the season premier of Walking Dead and Supernatural.  I bought all five kids and myself
jackets, boots, mitts, hats, scarves, and other necessities (that was a fast thousand dollars) and I am proud of myself - did not buy one book (although I wanted to very badly).  I even managed to cook a rather interesting Thanksgiving dinner with the help of my in-laws and their BBQ.
video
Finished the weekend by playing a prank on my kids.  Me and my husband found this creepy butler animated ornament that wobbles and moans.  We snuck it into the kids rooms while they were sleeping and turned it on.  The reactions were all over the place.  The best was Freedom who is a zombie junky like myself - she cried, curled up in a ball, and told it to go away.  Obviously, I need a new zombie apocalypse partner....

Second off - here are my Monday Markdown items this week, as usual one for middle and one for early years.

My early years product is festive :o)  My Pumpkin Themed Literacy and Word Work Stations is half price.  Here is the deets: My Pumpkin themed literacy and word work station unit focused on teaching the –it, -en, and long e word families.

In this package you will find the following over 24 pages:
•A themed poster for each word family that you can laminate and use an anchor chart or print off and place in each student’s spelling/ELA folder.
•A Fall Rainbow Words set which includes the words to print and place in a jar, a printable dice template, as well as the recording sheet with basic instructions.
•A word match cut and paste activity using the three word families.
•A word sorting station, the students are to place the right pumpkins in each word family pumpkin patch and a recording sheet
•A crossword puzzle using the three word families and an answer key
•A themed I have Who has game including 24 word family cards
•An easy reader that you can print out and read with your students or print in black and white and get them to color and read.

I loved teaching this in grade one!

My Middle Years product is my chevron Ecosystem Vocabulary cards. They are hard to see but they are up there on the black board with my underwater ecosystem display.  This is a set of 39 Chevron themed Ecosystem vocabulary cards. Great as review material, game pieces, as part of a word wall, or classroom display.

There are also 3 blank vocabulary cards.

This resource is part of my Interactions Within Ecosystems unit which you can check out here --> http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Interactions-in-Ecosystem-Full-Unit-1403059

Vocabulary is a great way to not only introduce main themes but to make sure that the content is being understood - especially for the not so avid readers who do not always take context clues or have other strategies to help them decode and comprehend the text.

I also just wanted that there is a great Milestone Giveaway happening over at School House Treasures.   I was more than pleased to be able to donate a WINNERS CHOICE to the giveaway and help her celebrate her momentous event.  Check it out!

9/28/14

A great weekend and planning ahead as a Mom... {Monday Markdown a little early!}

Friday was our class field trip to the Fort Whyte Center.  We do navigation, GPS, and ecological surveys.  We usually go in the spring but this year we chose to go in the fall.  It was beautiful there! And my group - for the most part - was awesome and camera hungry LOL! I had a lot of fun taking scenery shots - with no filters it was so amazing. My group did a jump shot with the colored leaves, they were pretty stinkin' creative.



On another note, I live in Winnipeg.  It looks like this:
9 months of the year.  So when my husband suggested that we go camping one more time to take advantage of the great weather I jumped on board without asking where or when.  Literally. My kids were asking questions like "Where are we going?" and "When are we going to be back?" when I told them and I had zero answers for them until I went back to ask for the details.

I volunteer with NURV on Friday nights (my churches amazing youth program) so after I was done at 10:45p.m. we started the over three hour drive to Fairford River. My oldest daughters words; "YES!  Road trip buddies!" She drove for les than an hour when we had to stop for a pee break.  The Northern Lights were AMAZING and we were both very sad that you cannot take a picture of them.
Anyways, back to my story... she hops in the passenger seat and proceeds to go to sleep.  ABANDONER!!  I drove the next 2 hours and 45 minutes by myself.  At least I had headphones and  some great music - I played my YouTube acoustic playlist which includes The 1975, Black Veil Brides, Robert Pattinson, Jamie Campbell Bower, Passenger - and a bunch of other acoustic covers.  It was a great road trip buddy.

We spent the next day and half fishing, sun bathing, camp firing, and taking more scenery shots.



We caught 12 fish - one carp, one cat fish and the rest were pickerel and tasted pretty darn good. Today it was SO COLD and raining so we headed home.  Thank you Gramma and Grandpa for an amazing time.

Looking ahead ay my week: 3 volley ball practices, 3 staff meetings, some professional development, a lot of assessment completions on basic skills in math, organizing science packs for labs until Christmas, a few grade level meetings, and two new products to finish up.

My Monday Markdown items this week are my Ah-Mazing Guided Reading Tubs or Centers - reg $5.50 on sale for $2.25 this week only.  It was one of my favorite activities to use in my grade one literacy block.

Dr. Alphabetical Order: put the words into alphabetical order and record your work on the recording sheet. This works not only on alphabetical order but also on fluency as they read through the words and record them.

Sentence Superhero: there are 36 sentences that all need the help of a sentence superhero! Correct the sentences by adding capitals and punctuation and recording your work on the recording sheet. This helps reinforce the idea between an asking sentence, a questioning sentences, and an exciting sentence.

Ch-ch-chunking Champion: Use a variety of word maps and alpha tiles to create as many words as you can to be the chunking champion. Beyond working on creating words through stretching and chunking this activity helps reinforce proper letter formation of letters with “tails” and “necks” on recording sheets with practice lines.

Blend/Digraph Memory Monster: Match a “blend/digraph” card to a picture that has a word that starts with that blend or digraph. Can be one large game or three smaller games to shorten game play for 15 minute rotations.

Sentence Chef: Our little sentence chefs will be using three ingredients {provided on three color coded spinners} to cook up some good sentences – nouns, adjectives and verbs. Recording sheets are also color coded to affirm independence of students who are still not completely confident with the parts of speech. There is also a “draw me” box that allows them to illustrate their silly sentence to confirm comprehension.

What’s Next Ninja: Our little ninjas will sequence the events of a story by arranging story strips in the right order. There are five different stories they can practice on and each story uses a different form of understanding; ordinal numbers {first, second etc.}, before and after, large, medium and smaller etc., in a variety of real life experiences such as making a bed, making a sandwich, making a snowman, sequence of a day and so on. Recording sheets allow students to draw a comic strip to show their understanding.
For my fellow Middle Years teachers may be interested in my Dynamic Earth Unit.
It is regular price $6.00 on sale this week for $3.00. A unit on the forces that build and shape the earth: from Faults and Plates to Mountains, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

28 PAGE TEACHER RESOURCE INCLUDES:
 All applicable answer keys
 All links included for videos
 Links to images, resources, websites that will support your Lessons inserted where you will need them for convenience.
Posters for Sandwich squish lab
 Handouts for group activities – types of volcanoes, types of folds and faults
 Teaching suggestions for lessons
 Lab instructions including dialogue

 22 PAGE STUDENT BOOKLET INCLUDES:
 Rubric page
 Questions for Plate tectonic video on YouTube
 Plate tectonic activity page
 Types of faults info and room for diagrams
 Earthquake handouts and information on body and surface waves
 Mountain information handout and cut and paste
 Mapping Mountains Activity (requires an atlas) along with map
 Mountain review questions and extension activity
 Crossword to complete with Pacific Ring of Fire video from YouTube
 Volcano information handout
 Parts of a volcano definitions and hand drawn diagram to label
 Types of volcanoes group activity and worksheet
 Volcanic Eruptions Lab handout
 Sandwich squish lab pages and rubrics

 Unit project – Volcano Research Journal (including mapping activity, diagram, creative elements and a rubric to follow).  Includes Scientific Process and extension activities using Nelson Science and Technology Grade 7 text. The extension work is just that – an extension. It is not required to use the booklet or teacher resources.  Also included are the unit test, adapted test and a key for both.
Looking ahead as Mom I am excited about a new product that came out today.  My son is in Grade 1 and we need to work n his reading fluency and comprehension.  I bought these FLUENCY STRIPS SET ONE  by the Moffat Girls and LOVED them for my daughter.  Now SET 2 is up!!  Check them out here - they should be in every Early Years teacher arsenal and every parents "help at home" kit!!  No kidding!