Mentor Text Giveaway

Don’t forget to read to the end for a giveaway!

Writing an opening hook

How many times have your students started informational reports with…”This is a report about…” These opening lines are boring to the reader and even to the writer! So, we teach them to write an interesting hook that will engage the reader. There are many types of hooks that will quickly get the attention of your audience. This post is focusing on writing a question to hook readers. Why? Well, I found a great book! Isn’t that usually the case? We find a fun book and realize it would be a great mentor text for something we want our students to learn.

What if You Had Animal Eyes

Sandra Markle has written a great series of informational books that have a light, engaging style. The latest in this series is What if You Had Animal Eyes. I pre-ordered it on Amazon so that I could get it right away. My 3rd graders enjoy these books and I am all about stocking my classroom with books that get kids reading! These books start out with asking a question. They don’t just ask a question about an animal fact, but rather questions that will guide the reader in imagining the life of that animal. “What if one day when you woke up, the eyes on your face weren’t yours? What if, overnight, a wild animal’s eyes took their place.” (Markle, 2017) Each 2 page spread focuses on an animal. One page is informational and helps you learn all about that animal’s eyesight and the characteristics that make the eyes uniquely suited for that particular animal. The second page makes it personal. What would it be like for you to have eyesight like that animal? The book ends with a quick compare/contrast of animal and human eyes and how ours eyes are just what we need. It also includes a page on how human eyes work and a page about keeping your eyes healthy.

You could also use this book as a mentor text for other topics such as…

*Repetition (If you had ______ eyes you ___________)
*Organizing facts for readability
*Compare/contrast
*Using real photos alongside exaggerated sketches 
*Reading and/or creating diagrams (diagram of the human eye – page 30)
I’ve created a little resource to go along with this book. It includes:

*mini poster (quotation)
*mini poster (about writing hooks)
*worksheet to practice writing questions that could be hooks for various topics

You can download the FREEBIE here.

Reading Freebies and a Giveaway!

I’ve teamed up with some great bloggers who are doing a giveaway to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims. I have friends with family in Texas. Our pastor’s wife was in church when she saw a facebook message from her brother-in-law saying they were stranded and asking for help. It was so difficult for them to wait for news from 2,000 miles away. I was in Jacksonville, Florida during Hurricane Andrew and remember people from our church going to help. These types of losses are devastating and require long-term assistance. Dawn Vinas, a teacher who works with Houston schools, has started a gofundme to help teachers. Any donation will help. You can give to that campaign here. My heart is hurting as we are now tracking hurricane Irma and praying for the safety of all those in her path.
I’m in the Pacific Northwest and we are dealing with an entirely different hardship – wild fires. There are so many huge fires in our state and surrounding states. The sky this week has been thick with smoke and air advisories have been given. Students have had to stay inside all week. The sun looks red on many days. It is very surreal. A beautiful area that we travel through frequently, the Columbia Gorge, along the Columbia river is burning. I posted a picture on my facebook page of before and after. It is incredibly sad.

Each blogger has featured a mentor text and an accompanying download. Make sure you visit each blog to get all these goodies and tons of expert advice! Just click on the links at the end of this post to visit the next blog. One lucky winner will win a copy of EACH book. That is such an awesome prize! Enter through the rafflecopter links at the end of this post. The most important thing to do is to support the relief efforts if you are able. The gofundme link is a great way to support teachers and schools. There are many organizations involved in the rebuilding in Houston and other cities that suffered from Hurricane Harvey. We might not be able to do much individually, but together we can do anything! Let’s get these cities restored and offer hope to those who were displaced. Spread the word about the gofundme and this giveaway! Thank you!

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$75 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaway!

Win a $75 TPT gift card

Do you still have things to buy for back-to-school? I sure do! We have a great giveaway that could help you out. One lucky winner will get a TPT gift card for $75. It could be you!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher
Co-hosts: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),  A Plus Kids,  Teaching SuperkidsPeas in a PodEmbellished EducationLattes and LunchroomsKB3TeachDancing into FirstTeaching Ideas For Those Who Love TeachingThe Chocolate TeacherMs K MathKnowledge MobileMrs. RoltgenElementary Antics,  CrazyCharizmaCarla HoffThird Grade GigglesMickey’s PlaceRissa HannekenActivity TailorKamp Kindergarten,  Reading and Writing RedheadPlanet Happy SmilesA View Into My ClassroomMomma With A Teaching MissionSara RuckerThe Literacy GardenPam’s PlaceHeart 2 Heart TeachingMrs Humphries ClassSliding Into 1stGrowing Grade by GradeJackie CrewsLife As I Know ItSarah GriffinTeacher Treasure HunterGlistening Gems, and A Classroom for All Seasons.
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 8/13/16 and is open worldwide.
P.S. ~ There are 2 of these giveaways going on right now! When you are finished entering this one, visit An Apple for the Teacher to enter another giveaway. 🙂 

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Thanks for entering! Good luck!

Win a TPT giftcard! Teachers it’s time to shop!

It’s back-to-school time and TeachersPayTeachers is ready with new resources, 2 sales days and giveaways! Many bloggers were given giftcards to help spread the word about the sale. I’m happy to be able to give 1 lucky winner a $10 giftcard code. I’ll make it a quick giveaway so that the winner can spend the money right away!
The Teachers Pay Teachers sale is August 1st -2nd. I will have my entire Teacher Treasure Hunter store on sale. Combine that with the TPT discount (use code BESTYEAR) and you’ll save 28%. It’s time to fill those shopping carts!
 Classroom Tested Resources
The bloggers at Classroom Tested Resources have put together a BIG giveaway! It’s 3 days AND 3 different TPT giftcards. Be sure to stop by and enter each day of the giveaway. 
 QR Code Bundle
One of my best-selling resources is featured on the Classroom Tested Blog page and it’s on sale for today! It has nearly 300 stories. Kids scan the QR code and the page automatically loads so they can watch someone reading the book. They are perfect for listening centers. If you miss today’s sale then you can still get it on Monday & Tuesday through the #bestyearever sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!
Have a wonderful week!

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Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day! My TPT store is 20% off to celebrate. The sale will run from February 29th – March 1st.

Congratulations to Lisa who won a $25 TPT giftcard just by being a subscriber to the Teacher Treasure Hunter newsletter. If you want to make sure you’re on the list to get the next newsletter and be entered in the monthly drawing, just click here to sign up!

I’ve listed several new QR code story collections lately. Here is a quick peek at a few of the new packs:

Happy Leap Day! I hope you have a fantastic day of fun and learning!

Favorite Things Giveaway and Blog Hop *Gift Cards *Memberships

Hello everyone!!!

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Today we are throwing a big, humongous bash to celebrate YOU!
Last year we blogged about our favorite non-school related things, this year we have decided that we will share with you our favorite school things! So here we go:

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The first FAVORITE THING that I’m going to share with you is an awesome reading app for iOS devices. This app is a must-have for kindergarten teachers and for 1st grade teachers at the beginning of the year.

Kindergarten teachers, this is a great resource for the classroom or to recommend to parents. It has 20 little stories that each feature a word family. It also features sight words that students should be learning at this level. I love the option to click on the word and hear it. This really helps the students improve their skills and practice new words.

First grade teachers, remember those first few weeks of school when it seems like your students didn’t even go to kindergarten. They’ve forgotten how to form letters and they definitely can’t remember the sound each vowel makes. My phonics curriculum assumes that they remember all of this like it was yesterday. So, it does a quick 2 page review of short vowel sounds and then jumps right to the long vowel sounds. What?? Welcome to reality! I have to pause the curriculum and spend a few weeks of solid short vowel instruction. This is a GREAT time to utilize the Rhyme to Read app! It will give your students extra practice and build their confidence as beginner readers.

There is even a sale going on right now! It is only $4.99. You can find it here in the app store.

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My second FAVORITE THING to share with you – binder rings! These things are so great to keep little cards together. I’ve used them to organize sight words, spelling word lists (keep the list with your word work centers), QR code stories and more! Here they are holding together sets of QR code stories.

I’ve purchased these rings at Amazon and Staples. It is so nice to have a big box of them. I’ve found them at Wal-Mart, but they are usually different sized rings and many different colors. 
I’ve also used them to make “books” using multiple sheet protectors and some of these rings.
I mentioned QR code stories. Do you know what those are? Students scan a QR code that has been programmed to play a video when scanned. I have many of these sets in my TPT store. My codes use safeshare.tv links so that when a video plays the students don’t see other youtube videos that are around that one or any comments. The videos are all of someone reading a book. Many times the video shows the pages of the book (pictures and text) so that the student can follow along as they listen to the book. These are great for Daily 5 rotations (listen to reading). Here is a picture preview of the Winter Stories QR code collection.

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My 3rd FAVORITE THING is apple cider! I have had this love/hate relationship with apple cider in the past. I always think it sounds like a wonderful idea. I worked in a restaurant when I was a teen and loved making hot apple cider there for a treat on a cold day.

So, I buy a box of the single serve packets. I might even make a packet. It just tastes OK. The box of cider packets just sits in my pantry until it is eventually thrown away. The next winter this process is repeated.

This year, I passed by a box of K-Cups of Apple Cider and it sounded so good. I thought it might be a repeat of my previous experiences, but decided to just give it a try. I loved it! I don’t know why it would taste so much better than the packets. Hotter water? Better ratio of water to cider? More evenly mixed? I don’t know. I just know it is totally worth it to buy the K-Cup versions of this cider! I use 8 oz. of water. I am so happy to have finally found a delicious apple cider!

Thanks for joining us to hear about our favorite things. Now, on to even better stuff – great prizes to win!!

Once again we want to treat you all to our favorite things!!! Check out these great prizes!

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Enter the Rafflecopter to win this prizes!!!
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Come and visit my other teacher friends’ blogs for their favorite websites, organization tips and much more!

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How I Survived the First Day of School + Blog Hop + FREEBIE

I’m so happy to be a part of the Fall in Love with Teaching Blog Hop. Please read to the end to find a FREEBIE, giveaway from me & the blog hog giveaway! 
I’m sketching out this post a month before it is due. It is currently 8/24 and I have a week until school starts. I am hoping for that blog post title. Being ready for the 1st day of school & surviving are seriously in question right now!! Not only am I moving to a new grade (1st to 3rd), our school decided to renovate right before school starts. We were in desperate need of new paint and carpet and it was provided by a generous donor. The downside is that I am not in my room yet, and I’ve only been able to prepare some things at home. If I were still teaching 1st grade, I could go into auto-pilot and make this work. It is an extra challenge to figure out a new grade level when my room (as of tonight) has unassembled furniture and all of my things are in another space and can’t be accessed. 
15 days before school!!!
My online teacher friends (you all are awesome!) have been encouraging me with talk of a “blank palette”. My mind is simply on surviving Orientation (the night before) and the 1st day of school! I am mostly trying to not to think of all the details and keep moving to accomplish something – by the yard it’s hard, by the inch a cinch – right? 🙂
10 days before school!!

Carpet & pain completed – no furniture and can’t get to all my boxes 🙁
Some year, or perhaps this year, you will find yourself in a difficult situation which may even seem impossible. New administration/office staff/teachers, renovations and new grade level are the ones I’m dealing with this year. I want to pass along to you some of the great and encouraging tips that I received from my online friends. Of course, I will also have some teaching goodies along the way so make sure you read through to the end!
1. “This year my room may not be all that I want it to be. But, next year, it will be amazing!” – LOL! This comment made me laugh and think. It was posted by a teacher who will be moving her classroom after school starts. It always helps to know that you are not the only one. Other teachers are dealing with all kinds of situations and we are a strong and creative bunch who know how to make things work. Sometimes you just have to hold on loosely to your dreams and ideals and be willing to let some things go. 
2. “The students will love to help their new teacher set up parts of the room. Bonding experience!” So true! Anything that I can do together with the students will really help build our classroom community. I am likely going to go this route out of necessity. I am looking forward to having an older grade. I’ve made some lesson plans for the 1st week – can we really call it a plan for that 1st week? It may be more like lesson thoughts, hopes and ideas! I put in a time that first morning for them to sort through the supplies with me and label things and put them away. That will be a first! In 1st grade, you need everything setup and ready-to-go! 
3. “All that room needs is a motivated teacher to love on those students! You got this!!” My favorite comment! This is something that I just need to post above my computer this year. It helps to focus on what really matters – the students. We’ve been given a gift to have a part in these young lives. I’m so excited about the lessons that I have planned for this year – – both academic skills & character development. We truly have the opportunity to make a difference. These children are the present and the future! Find a way to encourage and inspire your students each day. Those are the lessons they remember long after they’ve forgotten how your room was setup or the little things that you wanted to get to and just couldn’t get finished. Let it go. Focus on the big picture.
BTW, these are all comments from some wonderful Instagram followers. It is such a fun way to share pictures. I am so inspired by the teaching ideas that I find there and obviously the teachers are so encouraging. You can follow me at TeacherTreasureHunter.
A work in progress…
pretty new bookcases
1st day of school! I made it this far. 🙂 Parts of the room look good!
I wish that I had some beautiful pictures for you of my entire completed room. Nope! It is getting close, but still a work in progress. The whiteboard (that I use for everything) was leaning against the wall for the 1st week and little things are being added all the time (new desk chair today and hanging pocket by the door). I’m still waiting for a place for the students to put backpacks and book bags. However, the parts that are finished are looking very good!
**Scroll down to the end of this post to read an update – How I’m Surviving After 4 Weeks!
I hope you found these comments from my online friends inspiring. If you need some practical tips to survive your teaching year, you may enjoy my FREE Classroom Planning A-Z Guide
I will continue to make materials that are suitable for 1st grade since that is where I have the most experience (and it will always have a piece of my heart regardless of other grades that I teach!). I will also be making more products for 3rd grade. I already have several animal products that are a great fit for both of those grades. I’ve used my animal research packs with groups of 1st-5th graders at the end of the year and they’ve all enjoyed the researching and writing. I’m going to give away 2 animal research bundles ($20 value each). Just join my email list to be entered into the contest. 
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UPDATE: After 4 weeks of teaching, I feel like I might survive! 🙂 Honestly, it has been a difficult experience but it does help to focus on the big picture. Here are some amazing things that have happened in the last few weeks:

*My new students are totally fitting into the class. We have a small school and it is a family like atmosphere. It’s so wonderful when they make new friends right away and feel like they belong. 
*One of my students told me right away that they don’t like to read and they only like Minecraft. I tried to suggest some great books and even mentioned Minecraft books. Nope! Fast forward to this week…that student has recorded the most reading out of all the 3rd graders (over 500 minutes) and won a special bead for the reading chains (see picture). He told me “I am so, so proud of myself!” THAT is worth so much!!
*I’m starting to figure out the 3rd grade curriculum and ways to incorporate the kinds of hands on teaching and activities that I love. Yesterday, the students pretended to be parts of the ear (2 students were the outer ear (arch for the sound to enter), the aisle was the auditory canal, 1 student was the ear drum, 3 were the bones of the middle ear (see the stirrup – triangular shaped hands), 1 was the cochlea (those curled up hands are supposed to look like a spiral!) and 2 students were the nerves. Of course 1 student had to be the sound and another the brain! They had so much fun bouncing the sound off the eardrum and through the middle ear and eventually to the brain. 
So, we are getting on to the important work of teaching. I still have a few bulletin boards to put up and some blank spaces on my walls. The kids have never once commented on that! Those aren’t the things that matter a whole lot to them. 
One of my sweeties wrote on the back of her paper – I love Mrs. Michael and Lizzy so much! I now rank up there with the classroom gecko – I’ll take it! I’m so glad that the students are learning and enjoying the process.
Click on the picture below to go to Jennifer’s post at The Blessed Teacher. She has some great tips for teaching grammar!

Labor LESS blog hop! Time Saving Tips + FREEBIE

Hello everyone!

ARE YOU REAAADDDY!!!

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It is Finally here!

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! I have joined forces once again with my bloggy friends to bring you the best, most amazing giveaway on this Labor Day weekend!

All of us have been thinking about  good ways in which to treat our readers and followers.   We thought hard, and I mean it! Really, really hard… and decided that  we can treat you to our best ideas to work smarter rather than harder… at school and home!

I know what it takes to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! I also know that we crave time for ourselves and our families.

So here I go!

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Here are a couple little tips (and a freebie!) that can save you time in the classroom.

Do you have students borrow pencils all the time and suddenly find that all the pencils at your desk or reading table are missing? A simple solution is to add a little flag to each pencil. Use a small piece of washi tape to wrap around the pencil until the two sides of the tape meet and stick to each other. Trim the tape into a point or just make it easy. Voila! Super easy pencil flag. There are so many patterns and colors of washi tape. You can even choose to use different patterns for pencils that belong in different areas. You can find washi tape at craft stores and even at Wal-Mart for a good price.

I love binders! I would much rather have my teaching materials in binders than in filing cabinets. I like to keep worksheets pages, printables and other ideas separated in monthly theme binders. I just type a list of the included themes on the front of the binder and use tabs to separate the sections.

I’ve included a free download for you to create your own monthly binders. You can edit the box on the front of the cover to make a list of the included themes. Just click on the picture above to download.
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Two of my favorite ways to spend my free time are spending time with my family and reading. Our family loves spending time together. We went on a few trips this summer and that is all my boys can talk about. They can’t wait until next summer so they can get out of school 🙂 and spend time camping and relaxing with the family. One is a teenager and one is a pre-teen so I’m grateful they still want to spend time with us! The time is passing way too quickly! Facebook just showed this picture from 8 years ago on Labor Day weekend.

What??  It’s hard to believe they were that little. Such precious memories!

Another favorite thing is reading. I have been teaching 1st grade for 7 years and I’m teaching 3rd grade this year. It’s only been 4 days of school so far, but I have to tell you that it’s been like a vacation! I was shocked that I could actually read with them during the free reading time and they don’t need my constant attention. I can actually get lost in a book and share with them afterwards while we talk about what we read. It’s wonderful! I finally had a chance to read Wonder (R.J. Palacio) this week. Such a great book! I love this quote from the book…

I stopped at a thrift store today and of course I had to buy even more books for my classroom! A few of these are for my boys, but most are for the class.

BTW, I share these type of pictures on Instagram. I’d love for you to follow me. I’m @teachertreasurehunter
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My most popular products at this time of year are my QR codes. They really do make reading centers a breeze. If you do Daily 5 or want to have your students listen to reading – this is the answer. Students can scan a QR code and listen to someone read the story. The links are of people (usually teachers & librarians) reading the stories on YouTube. The links do not go directly through YouTube, but are SafeShare links so that students don’t see other videos, adds or yucky comments. My students love these! Click on the picture below to see a bundle of QR packs. They are also sold individually and there is a free pack (Mercer Mayer stories) so that you can test them and make sure they will work in your classroom.

*Follow my TPT store so you don’t miss out on freebies and new products. Newly listed products are 50% off for the first 24 hours! 🙂

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your long weekend!

Top all these great tips and ideas  with these top-notch prizes!
A $100 gift card to Amazon

A $50 gift card to TpT
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2 $25 gift cards to TpT

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1 $10 gift card to TpT
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Thank you for reading! And now don’t be silly and get your hands all over this awesome giveaway!!

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Exciting News! Educents Store Launch & $50 giveaway

Exciting news! Educents has added storefronts to their marketplace. They are known for being the go-to deal site for teachers. They feature teaching products and downloadable curriculum that is offered at a bargain price for a limited time. I always thought of them as a groupon type of site for teachers. Now, they’ve added stores. This means that Educents can be your go-to place to find any curriculum you need. So, if you are looking for something to help you with teaching adjectives to your 1st graders you don’t need to wait for a special deal. You can go to the stores and search for your specific needs.

Here are 3 things that you really should do so you don’t miss out any Educents deals!

1) Download my Watch the Clock freebie! This game will help your students practice telling time to the hour, half hour & quarter hour. Students take turns being the time keeper. They get to watch the clock and announce the time when the clock matches their printed clock. A tip that I’ve learned for this game is to not start “clock watching” until there are only a few minutes left. You don’t want them to spend the whole time watching! Just set a timer for a few minutes before and give the chosen student a warning that it’s time to start watching. The kids love playing this game and get so much authentic time-telling practice! The cards are very versatile. There are so many games and activities that you could do with these clocks. So, download the whole set today!

2) Follow my Educents store! Just click on the heart at the top of the store. I’ll be featuring discounts and deals that you don’t want to miss. If you like Teacher Treasure Hunter products or have been wanting to try them in your classroom, then this is a great way to find out about new products. I’ll also be participating in some of the Educents deals which offer bundles at big discounts.

3) Enter the Educents giveaway! You could win $50 credit at Educents! Wouldn’t that be a fun shopping spree? Good luck!
Educents Marketplace $50 in Edubucks Giveaway #10 – Kinder & First Grade Stores https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Poetry in the Elementary Classroom

My 1st post at Classroom Tested Resources was posted yesterday! It is full of ideas for using poetry in the elementary classroom. You’ll find resources about finding poems and how to use them in your classroom. It’s a great time to get prepared for National Poetry Month which is in April and Poem in Your Pocket Day which is April 30th.

Hurry over to the blog so you don’t miss out on the amazing Teacher Swag giveaway. I don’t know about you, but I can never have too many markers in my classroom! Those Mr. Sketch markers are awesome for making anchor charts. So, enter today! Good luck!

I was asked to write a blog post for Accucut Education. It’s called Let Them Color. I was asked by another teacher recently if I let the kids color pictures on worksheets and papers and if so how long they should color. I thought that was a really good question. We have so much that we need to get done each day. Should we just skip all the coloring? Read my response and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

It’s Spring break here! I am beyond excited! These past 3 weeks have been incredibly busy and I don’t think I could have made it another day. 🙂 There is a reason that we need those break days in our calendar! Have a great week!

Classroom Tested Resources ~ Blog launch and giveaway!

Exciting news! I’ve joined a group of 30 teachers to start a new collaborative blog – Classroom Tested Resources. One of us will post each day. For this first rotation, we will be posting about plants, planning or poetry to bring you ideas for the month of April. I can’t wait to read each post!

We’d love to hear from you. You can follow Classroom Tested Resources on facebook, pinterest, google + and instagram (classroomtestedresources). Please comment on the blog posts. We want to bring you information and resources that are of interest and value to you. The best way for us to do that is to hear what you like and the topics that you would like to see featured in upcoming blog posts.

The news just keeps getting better and better – – there’s even a fabulous giveaway to celebrate the blog launch! Three winners will each receive a teacher swag prize that has some of our favorite products. You will love this prize pack! The giveaway is open until April 1st. You can submit your entries here.

I was recently asked to write a blog post for Accucut Education. You can read my post titled Let Them Color on their new blog.

Did you already have spring break? It seems like I’ve seen many teachers on social media who already had their break and some that have it this next week. Ours is this next week and I am in serious need of some down time! I’ve just finished 3 consecutive weeks of big events. We had the school auction, report cards, conferences and an Open House. Last night at the Open House, my 1st graders performed a Boxcar Children play that they wrote! I helped write some of the narrator parts, but otherwise it was all them. There were some very funny parts and a few natural actors who enjoyed their time on stage. They all became immersed in the book and it is now a favorite. I am certain they will remember this play for a long time and that the book will hold a special place in their hearts forever. Don’t you love it when that happens?

I’ll be back tomorrow (don’t faint!) to share my 1st blog post at Classroom Tested Resources.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!