Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to tell you 

No, seriously I just wanted to wish you all a

May you and yours be blessed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tic Tac Toe Survival

When we are out at a restaurant, my kids often turn to Tic Tac Toe while we wait for our food.  And, of course, there was the argument of 'I want to be the X.'  Why is 'X' so popular I wonder?  Well, anyway, I have come up with a few strategies to keep everyone happy so that I don't have to give them the 'teacher' look. hehe  It works for mom's, too.

Everybody can be an 'X'--just use different colors!

Use your favorite color and color in the square.

Use a shape other than an 'X' or 'O'.

Use initials.

I hope this helps your kids with their Tic Tac Toe issues!!  Don't forget to check back this weekend to find out who won my contest!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Anchor Charts or Anchor Art?

Let me start out by simply saying:  BUY the BOOK  BELOW!!!  If you get that much, just go click on the link below and get to processing your purchase.  In 2 days (in between dealing with bronchitis, a daughter with a stomach virus, a sub that didn't like my sub plans, and figuring out how in the world to get my testing done) this book has CHANGED the way I plan to 'attack' Anchor Charts, my biggest foe.

I went from


Now all I have to do is implement the ideas in class this week!

The two biggest things I struggle with at school is 1) time management and expectations other than teaching and 2) great anchor charts.  Because of #1 I don't have #2 and when trying for #2 I can't because of #1.  Got that??  

I have to admit that I HATE copying what other teachers do in their classroom <unless it is a really great idea hehe>.  But, let me tell you, I have resorted a few times to having a print out of a great Anchor Chart beside me as I began one with my class.  I used to think that was cheating.  Then I thought it was probably helping me and my kiddos.  And then I concluded, it was pretty dang smart because with it, my organization and the intent behind the chart would be out the door.  

This year so far, when I haven't been testing <ahem> I have tried to make some 'neat' charts.  I talk a lot about having sloppy copies and that I can go back <or we as a class can> to make the charts look nice later on.  It rarely happens because of #1.  It's not that I am a slacker....I keep telling this to is because I am a tester, nurse, social worker, 'wanna be' super hero that can save all kids, and I like to be innovative.  

So....thus, started my search for learning how to do great Anchor Charts the first time around.  And then....

I found Smarter Charts on the Amazon website the other day  when checking out the F/P updates.  I grabbed it right then because it looked like a great tool.

I couldn't wait to get it in the mail because there are some books that you just KNOW are going to help you.  And I was write.  I've had it for 2 days now and I keep reading it over and over, letting it all soak in.  With all of its pictures and all, it is a very easy read, too.

In this book you get around 30-40 Anchor Chart ideas, complete with instructions and little ideas that help you go from Sloppy Copy to at least a Hang-able Change-able!!!

The authors, Margorie Martinelli and Kristine Mroz suggest:

1.  A Good Chart Title
2. Use abstract material to make it understandable
3.  Use pictures to grab attention
4.  Use large post-its or color paper cut to size with a glue stick that lets you remove the paper
5.  Use student work to show the goals of writers.

Long story NEED this book!!

I've also been using my friend Courtney's anchor chart pack.  You may want to check it out as well.  Also, go see her blog at Swimming into Second!

Favorite Books For Back to School

Hi everyone. I am Heidi from My (Not So) Elementary Life.
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I was so excited when Jennifer asked me to be a guest blogger for her this week. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to post about. I have a million things happening right now that I thought I could share. One thing I have realized though: It is never to early to start thinking about the beginning of the school year.
And with that said, I thought I would share some of my favorite go to read aloud stories for back to school. 


A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue is a great book to have on hand to help teach your student’s about the difference between reporting and tattling. I start out the year with making a chart to figure out the difference between the two and then reference the chart and this book any time tattling starts to become a problem.  There is also an activity book that will help you with some ideas!

I love these books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and the kids find the pictures in How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? hilarious!!!  There is an audio book that can accompany it!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a great story to read to introduce the alphabet to your students. The kids will start to chant along. It is a great interactive book. 

Chrysanthemum is a must read book that helps teach students that it is okay to be “different.” We all come from different families and different backgrounds and no two people are the same. If we help students learn this at the beginning of the year and at an early age, then as they grow up they will learn to accept those who are “different'” than themselves. 

and my favorite (if I had to choose just one)


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is a MUST read book in kindergarten. The kids just eat this book up Smile 

Now this list is not my entire list, but these are some of my favorites and the ones my kids have loved the most or I have found the most useful in my classroom.

I created a freebie that can be used with any book. 

This freebie is a page from my new book response pack.


Click on the picture or HERE to take you to the pack where you can download the preview file and grab the freebie. 


Thanks Jennifer, for the opportunity to post on your blog Smile

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