June 30, 2014

Common Core Novel Study Notebook/Smashbook

Finally! After a week of working on this project, I'm finally done!!!!! :) I hope you all love this because I think it is so cool and unique and I can't wait to use it!

The Common Core Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook is a great way for students to be creative while studying and analyzing a novel. This activity covers 5 Common Core standards and requires a lot of deep thinking, but does it in a way that keeps the students' attention a little better than worksheets and essays. This unit will take approximately 3 weeks [If you choose to teach it as a 'unit'. See the bottom of this entry for another use of the Notebook/SmashBook].

Here's how I'm using it:
I used to teach the Holocaust unit in class, but now I'm turning it into a "home" unit while I teach a 3-week writing unit in class. I'm not going to have homework for this writing unit, so this Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook will be the homework. They will pick a book about the Holocaust, read it, and complete the Notebook/SmashBook as homework during those 3 weeks. As you'll see in the directions, I will be checking their progress multiple times along the way to make sure they stay on track.


I also created a FULL example myself to show the kids, and turned it into a Power Point for you all to use an an example:

And here are some of my pages:
 The page above is the Important Figurative Language page. It's creative and SmashBooky because of the little details like Washi tape, paper cut outs,  and different colored pens.

This page is the Major Characters page. Since it is a true story, I was able to find photos of the actual author and his father upon entering the Concentration Camps :(

There are 23 pages total that the students fill out during and/or after they read. The Summary page and the Reflections page require paragraphs with proper conventions, so writing is still enforced in this project.

Well I hope you all find this useful. While my example is being taught as a unit, you can assign outside reading, like one book per semester, and have them do this project with that instead of "teaching" it as a "unit". The rubric will also help you to be as objective as possible so parents don't pull the whole "this isn't art class" thing on ya ;)

Enjoy the Common Core Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook everyone!

June 24, 2014

Blogging, Reading, and Starbucks-ing

Well good morning everyone! I think my body is finally realizing it's summer because despite waking up at 5am, I was able to fall back asleep until 7:50am! Woot Woot!

So I showered up, ate breakfast [well, my morning banana], got my stuff together and headed down here to Starbucks, .7 miles away from my place. I thought about walking, but it's hot....and I already showered...and it's hot...and I didn't want to lug around my computer, book, and purse...in the heat. So I drove the .7 miles to Starbucks and I'll just work out tomorrow morning before I shower :)

I'm sure if you follow my blog you know I LOVE Starbucks...it's a little bit of an addiction. My kids know it too....I got a LOT of Starbucks gift cards for the last day of school :) So today is on them! Except Starbucks spelled my name wrong. With an "f". Um, excuse me....I spell it with a "ph" [the right way ;)]....but it's ok. It tastes the same :) And they have new straws! They're light green today! Yesterday they were dark green and today they're light green. BLOWS MY MIND ;)



I'm also halfway through The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I think I may need more than the 2 books I picked out for this summer. Please go to my previous post and link up to tell me some of the summer books you're reading because I need new material!! I'm getting through these books faster than I thought I would.

Well I hope you all are having a great morning! Join my link up and give me more books to read!! :) Thanks to Teaching Teens in the 21st for linking up already!

June 18, 2014

Summer Fun Reading Link Up

Yay for Summer! Wanna know why I like Summer? 'Cus I read books for fun!!!! I don't really do that during the school year, due to grading and/or reading what the kids are reading. So during the Summer I like to pick a few books to read just for me :) Here's the fun part...I'm turning this into my FIRST Link-up!



The first book I'm reading is....you'll never guess....The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Everyone is talking about it, and how great the movie looks, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I hope it lives up to the hype!

Click here for a link to the book at BNN


The second book I'm going to read this Summer is All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. I've read several of her other novels, and this is her latest one so I thought I'd buy it. Now, I can't attest to the quality of the story yet, but I have enjoyed her other books so I think I'll be pleased with this one.
Click her for a link to the book at BNN

So what are you all reading this Summer? Link up and let us know! Maybe we'll all find some good books to read/share! Add your blog to the link up below!



New Classroom Theme #4

I think this might be the last theme I do...unless someone requests one :)


So I thought I'd do a simple, clean, and elegant theme...especially for those that aren't really into classroom themes. This download comes with the Lesson Planner & Calendars, and the Sub Binder and all that entails :)

This Gold Polka Dots download comes in a zip file containing both Word and PDF files making it 39/78 pages.

Hope you like it!



So head on over to my TPT store and check out the Gold Polka Dot theme Teacher Binder Pack. Have a great day everyone! And thanks again for following the blog and supporting my TPT Store!

June 17, 2014

Tips Packet for the 1st week of school

I got really tired of handing out helpful papers and having kids lose them, put them in different sections, or whatever else students do with the papers we give them :) So I created the Tips & Tools Packet. I've used it twice now and it is so helpful! Now, all I have to do is say "Please take out your Tips & Tools Packet" and then tell them which page to turn to. I also hole-punch it for them so they don't have any excuses ;)

You'll notice that this is already on my store in a salmon & teal flag theme; I've now created one for the Turquoise and Black Arrow Theme :) I've also changed a few things on the 'How to Annotate' page to fit Common Core, so that change is reflected in the arrow theme Tips and Tools Packet :)

The download is a zip file and contains both Word Doc and PDF versions and is 7/14 pages :)

Hope you like it!
 [Is it just me or does this pic remind you of The Fault in Our Stars???]

And several other pages!!!

So head on over to my TPT Store to download this Turquoise & Black Arrow Themed Tips & Tools Packet today!


June 16, 2014

New Classroom Theme #3

Turquoise and Black Arrow

I am all about arrows right now; "Follow your Arrow", it can only be shot in a forward direction [symbolic], and the general look of them. So out of that came my new theme of the Turquoise backdrop with Black Arrows :) Yay!

The download is 42/84 pages because it comes in both Word Doc for editing, and PDF if you have trouble editing or would like to use as it. There are many more pages than pictures shown, so head on over to the download at my TPT Store and check it out!

*Please do not screen shot these pictures and use to make your own items; these took several hours to produce and let's keep it ethical...thanks :)

This download contains:
-A Teacher Binder Pack [Lesson Planner, Calendars, Section Dividers]

 -A Sub Binder [Welcome Page, Classroom Expectations, Notes, etc]


-And Classroom Posters


Hope you like this new Classroom Theme!!! I love it so much, I think I'm going to use this next year in my classroom :) Have a great day!



June 15, 2014

FREE Lesson Planner!!

Everyone loves FREEBIES!!! My Chalkboard Lesson Planner from last year was such a hit, I've updated it for the 2014-2015 school year and it's still FREE!

The reason this planner is free [versus the Binder Packs that are for sale] is that this planner only has the cover, a back page, the planner pages, and the important phone numbers page and notes page. Seven pages total to download.

I just make enough copies of the weekly lesson planner for the school year and take it to Office Depot for binding, and viola! :)


Enjoy your FREE planner everyone! And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there :)

June 12, 2014

Last Day of School SALE!

It's the last day of school with kids!!!! We have to come in tomorrow, but that's just to wrap stuff up :)

In honor of that...I'm throwing a Sale on my TPT Store! Everything will be 10% off in honor of finishing [surviving] the school year!!!


Items to check out:
-New Binder Packs for next year


-New Lesson Planners for next year
-First Day of School items

-Back to School banner and cupcake topper



-Back to School Night parent donations

Have a wonderful summer everyone!!!!!!

June 6, 2014

New School Year Classroom Theme #2

New School Year Classroom Theme #2:

Grey and Teal Chevron! Such a pretty combination I think :) So this classroom theme is a little on the softer side [as opposed to the Bootcamp Theme from Wednesday], and could work for any grade or subject.

There is a Teacher Binder Pack available that comes with a Lesson Planner and calendars w/notes sections for the 2014-2015 school year, and some dividers for your teacher binder.




Then we also have a Sub Binder available in this theme as well!



These are available in Word and PDF so you can change as needed :) 
So head on over to my TPT Store to check this theme out!! Hope you like it!












June 5, 2014

New School Year Themes: #1

The first theme I am thinking about doing is a Boot-camp Theme. I can use it in so many ways: Writing Boot-camp, Reading Boot-camp, and Speaking/Listening Boot-camp.

So I've made a ton of Posters, a Lesson Planner, and a Sub Binder. I'm really excited with how it turned out, and you can download it at my TPT Store.

New School Year Theme #1: Boot-camp

Here's a few samples of some of the items you'll get!
Cool motivational Poster for the classroom!


 A Boot-camp themed Said Is Dead poster!


And for my English peeps:
A 6-Traits writing poster!!!

It will be so easy to decorate too! They sell camo duct tape everywhere now, so I'll be covering tons of stuff with that, I'll get some green paper lanterns and hang those, and do a green and brown boarder on the bulletin boards. Easy peasy!

So head on over and pick up the Boot-camp themed Binder Pack at my TPT store today! Over 40+ pages [81 with PDF and Word]!!

June 4, 2014

Prepping for End Of The Year

Next week is finals week for our kids and then we're done! So I'm starting to prep for the end of the year by getting my TA gifts ready. I have 3 TAs this semester and it's been very helpful! I teach 5/4 which means I have no prep period, so they've been a life saver with grading little quizzes and completion homework assignments.

They all have a slight Starbucks obsession like me, so the perfect gift for them is a Starbucks card of course. But I wanted to do it a little cuter than just a card...so I made these!
When I bought the cards, I asked for three tall cups & frappuccuino lids. I then put some cute tissue paper in them, wrote their names on the cups [like at Starbucks], and put the gift card inside :)

Then I put them in a Starbucks bag, along with my cute TA Gift Tags that go with the Starbucks theme. 
You can find these TA Gift Tags at my TPT Store, along with another one...


Well that's just one thing to get ready before the end of the year! Many more to go!!! Hope you find these cute and helpful ;)

June 2, 2014

June Currently and an AWESOME cupcake design

Woo Hoo!!!! It's June!! 12 more days people...TWELVE. Only 9 school days with kids, but I'll count the weekend anyway 'cus I'll have to be grading :)

Well before I get to my Currently from Farley, I wanted to show off my awesome cupcakes I made for today's Staff BBQ. Sine the party was a BBQ, I went with BBQ-themed dessert: Hot Off the Grill cupcakes that I saw on Pinterest. I can not take credit for the design idea, but man am I taking credit for how they turned out ;)
The Pinterest ones are on the left [with the fancy lighting] and mine are on the right...not bad!

And now for my June Currently:

Well I hope everyone has a good last few weeks/days of school!!!