Fun Friday means FREEBIES!

I know I'm breaking the 2 posts a day rule, but I absolutely love the Freebie Friday linky party, and I just had to link up real quick. So this will be short and sweet! (at least as short and sweet as I get since we all know I love to talk!)



Last week in my room we began our Chapter Book studies. One of the things my students were most excited about in 4th grade reading is that to them, 4th grade meant they "get to read more chapter books!" {insert excited 4th grade voice here.} I use this big time for differentiated instruction, and my groups and books are by DRA level. In order to keep this organized, I have a binder for each class, which has 5 groups. I will blog more about this later, but today you can pick up my group data sheets for free here!

My next freebie came to me today! We have been working on making our writing more "vivid and colorful" in our classroom. My fourth grade friends have been using lots of vivid adjectives and adverbs this week, and let me tell you, their writing is improving! I wanted a word work activity today to practice adjectives, and so my "Roll the Adjectives" activity was formed! I am now working on an entire roll the dice unit for different parts of speech for word work, but you can pick up the first piece, adjectives, at mt TPT store. There is a black and white as well as a color copy for whatever your needs are. Here's a preview. Click on the picture to download it for free!
 
(p.s. I was SO excited when I saw Melissa's free bright chevron paper over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late. I snatched this AWESOME freebie up and already used it on this pack! Get yours here)

Enjoy your Friday Freebie shopping everyone :)
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I heart giveaways and followers!

I have to say, one of the most exciting things about this whole blogging experience has been gaining followers! It is so hard to do... and I get seriously giddy when I log in and see I have a new follower!!!! :) So today, when I saw Melissa over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late was now following me, I was so excited! I love reading comments and was pumped about the comment from her:) Low and behold, I head on over to her blog, and find she is having a 100 follower giveaway!!


 I have to say, I'm slightly jealous! I cannot wait until I have enough followers for a giveaway! I'm thinking maybe at 50? :) Anywho, her giveaway is absolutely WONDERFUL! It includes one of those awesome quiet pencil sharpeners that I would just DIE to have in my room.

There are SO many great activities from many wonderful blogs on there as well! I will keep my fingers crossed and hope I win:) You should head on over and check it out for yourself!

I also HAVE to share that I just finished my last DRA!! They are all in the computer, logged on the folder, and filed!!! Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!! I have 56 students, and for those of you that have to do DRAs I know you can relate. For those of you that don't, they take FOREVER!! They are a good reading formative assessment tool, but with this many students, it's tough. Needless to say, there will be a few yummy drinks in my future this evening:)

Happy Friday everyone :)
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SURPRISE! I've been nominated!

I logged in this morning, and much to my surprise I found I had been nominated for the Leibster Blog Award by Danielle over at Classroom Cupcakes! My excited scream had my husband wandering in to see what was going on, and he shared in my excitement to be part of this cool blog award :) So here it goes!

11 Random Things About Me:
1.) I'm allergic to shellfish. I know, all you seafood lovers out there feel bad for me. My family and hubby LOVE seafood, but it obviously doesn't love me!
2.) I absolutely love being active. Whether it's running, playing volleyball, or tennis with the hubster, I love to move!
3.) In complete contrast with the fact above, I LOVE fastfood. Like seriously guys, it's a problem. If hubby wants to cheer me up, or take me out for a celebration, it's not fine dining for this girl... I love me a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger, with Big Mac Sauce, a large fry and a Diet Coke. Seriously... it is my favorite.
4.) I am a Diet Coke snob. Yes, I am one of those people at restaurants who asks "Do you have Coke or Pepsi?" and then kindly refuse the Pepsi product or get GIDDY when I hear Coke.
5.) I have FAR too many clothes. I seriously could go an entire school year and not wear the same outfit. That includes shoes, too! When hubs and I got married, we got a 50 pair shoe rack, and he told me what didn't fit, had to go! Needless to say I filled that up and "boots, flip flops and running shoes don't count!"
6.) I {heart} book stores. I would spend an entire day in any bookstore if I had the time. Going to the library is like shopping for me, I'm a kid in a candy store!
7.) I am the biggest Harry Potter nerd. I read the first one in 6th grade, and I've been hooked ever since. No really, I mean NERD. I went to every single midnight book release, AND movie release. And yes, I dressed up... even when I was 21 and in college (insert embarassed face here.)
8.) I want to have 4 children (at least that's what I say now, I guess we will find out when we start!)
9.) Hubby and I are proud owners of half of our high school gym floor. It is currently sitting in storage at bro-in-laws garage (Thanks Andy!) When they built our new school, we bought the center court since we  both played on it (hubs basketball, me volleyball) and plan to make it our basement floor one day!
10.) I don't like coffee or tea, but wish I did! I love  the smell!
11.) I've been to Disney World over 20 times and I still think it is the happiest place on earth!
 
Questions from Danielle with my answers:
1} If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
 "I like to move it, move it" by WilliAm from Madagascar. I feel like I am constantly on the move with no time to just chill.. but I love life that way!
2} Why did you choose to become a teacher?
Honestly, I didn't want to be a teacher since I was a kid like most. I wanted to go into Physical Therapy. But, I got into coaching my senior year of high school, and realized I {loved} working with kids. I couldn't imagine doing anything else!
3} Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was inspired by Christina over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. I student taught in her building, and I was in awe of her teaching strategies and I loved reading her blog for more ideas.
4} What has been the best thing to happen in your years as a teacher?
The best thing to happen to me is getting the job I have now. Don't get me wrong, I loved my old school too, but this place feels like home. If I stayed in my same position until I'm retired I would be more than perfectly content.
5} Skittles or M&M's?
Definitely M&M's. I am a chocoholic!
6} What was the last book you read for you?
Rapture by Lauren Kate. I started reading the series last year because my 6th graders were reading it and I tried to keep up with what they liked. I ended up really enjoying the series and the last book just came out so I recently finished it.
7} Apple or Android?
Apple. I am seriously in love with my iPhone.
8} If you could create a new species, what would it be?
A Tusky! A combination of a tiger and a husky.. my two favorite animals!
9} Acrylic nails or au naturale?
Neither. I get gelish on my nails and I love it!
10} What food makes your mouth water just by saying it's name?
Besides McDonalds? Hungarian Chicken Paprikash... but it has to be my families recipe. My all-time favorite food and what I ALWAYS have on my birthday.
11} What are your plans for the holidays?
Spend lots of time with family and friends. Hubs and I are lucky that both of our parents live in the same town as we do, so it makes it easy for holidays. My family comes and spends Christmas Eve with his family, and we all see eachother on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve with my in-laws is one of my favorite traditions. We have homemade fried seafood (Lake Erie perch that I can eat!) LOTS of pasta,  and broccoli. It is the meal I look forward to all year!
 
Questions for blogs I am nominating:
1.) When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
2.) What's your favorite holiday tradition?
3.) What movie was made after your life?
4.) If you had a day to do anything you wanted, what would you spend it doing?
5.) What/who are the top 5 things in your life?
6.) Fruity candy or chocolate?
7.) Coke or Pepsi?
8.) If you were a millionaire, what would you do?
9.) What habit of others annoys you the most?
10.) What's the craziest thing a student has ever said or done in your classroom?
11.) What could you not live without in your classroom?
 
Blogs I'm nominating:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks to everyone who read this post! I love getting to know new bloggers and spreading the word about wonderful up and coming blogs! Those that I nominated, remember to comment when you post (if you choose to, which I hope you do!) because I am excited to read your answers and ge to know you more! :)

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Cyber Monday beats Black Friday! :)

I have to say.. I am well rested, warm and cozy right now! I did not brave the crazies and go Black Friday shopping. I value my sleep and time with my family too much! For those of you that did, I hope you got wonderful deals. :) I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving filled with lots of food, family and love. I know I did!

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in TPT's Cyber Monday + Tuesday sale!!!! While I'm not a Black Friday fan, I am a HUGE Cyber Monday fan! I love the idea of shopping in the comfy coziness of my own home, and still getting great deals! I {love} that TPT is doing this sale! Everything in my store will be 20% off, and then TPT will give you the 10% which will make everything.... 28% off!! (Don't ask me the math, that's how they do it! I teach Language Arts anyways ;) )

Thanks to the 3am teacher for creating this great graphic!
 
 
A great thing about this sale is I JUST posted my Holiday Spelling Pack! It is over a weeks worth of activities with Holiday spelling words. Pick it up with your discount during the sale :)
Here's a preview of all of the awesome activities! Click on the picture to download :)
 
Pick up this pack and all of my other products with your discount on Monday or Tuesday!
 
Getting into the holiday spirit, and in the spirit of giving. I have also uploaded my December writing prompts. You can download them here for FREE! If you like these, you can also download my entire year's worth of writing prompts here.
 
Enjoy the rest of your days off! Happy Shopping! :)

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LOTS of thankfulness from this blogger!

When I logged in this morning I saw TWO awesome thankful linky parties!! In the spirit of being thankful, sharing, and loving.. I thought, why not do both?! So first up, Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6, has this awesome linky party to thank all of our blogger friends out there :)
1.) I am just thankful for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful community of online teachers! I feel seriously fortunate to have found out about blogger, and been able to get a site up and running! I have gotten SO many great ideas from many of your blogs, and feel like I've made so many friends already out there in cyberspace...and it's only just begun! It is a beautiful thing.


2.) The first blog I saw/stalked was Christina over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. I actually student taught in her building, and I was in awe back then of her wonderful teaching skills! When I taught in her district for a year, I followed her blog religiously... and now, even at a different district, I still get SO many good ideas from her, and love reading about her fun and loving classroom! She truly was my inspiration to get this thing off the ground, and I am so thankful for her :)


3.) So much of my classroom organization has come from Teri over at A Cupcake for the Teacher. She is such a wonderful, organized, and fun-loving teacher! I absolutely LOVE reading her blog and seeing her creative ideas. I am thankful everyday that she pops up in my feed of new postst!

4.) I absolutely love finding other upper elementary teachers on here and I was so excited when I found Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics. She was also one of my first blog stalks, and I love reading about her blog, linking up with her, and getting all sort sof great ideas!

Now time for the second linky party. I am linking up with Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts for her great Thanksgiving thankful linky! I feel thankful for so many wonderful things this year, so it'll be hard to tell them all.. but here are my most wonderful things:

1.) My AMAZING hubby. Seriously, without him, I wouldn't be the same person I am today. We have been married for almost a year and a half, and going on being together for 8 1/2 years. We were high school honeys, and he truly is my best friend. His love and support through good times and bad never fail. I am SO thankful to be married to such a wonderful man and have him for the rest of my life :)

Us at the Tim Mcgraw/Kenny Chesney concert this summer!
















2.) My TWO unbelievable families. Seriously people, I feel like I hit the family jackpot. Not only was I raised by two WONDERFUL parents, with an amazing brother and sister, but I married into an another amazing family. I gained a best friend for a sister, a wonderful brother, and two parents who love me as their own. Add in our extended family, and it surely doesn't get any better!
Here is Joe and I with both of our wonderful and supportive parents on our wedding day! They are both models for us on how love and marriage should be.

3.) My close group of friends. Joe and I have been blessed with some rockin' best friends. What's even better, we share a lot of the same friends! When choosing our wedding party, we were so happy to be surrounded by supportive people! We have friends Thanksgiving, Christmas, and celebrate birthdays together. We have Friday night game nights, and all support each other as coaches, teachers, or whatever job we do.











Here is some of our amazing support group at our wedding! I just love these pictures with our gals and guys :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.) Two wonderful jobs. I pinch myself everyday, in disbelief that I ended up in such a wonderful building with teachers who collaborate, help each other, and want each other to succeed. We really are a family here, and I look forward to coming to work EVERYDAY! My teaching partner is AH-mazing... and every teacher and administrator in this building is awesome to work  with! I am SO thankful. Speaking of my school, we were just recognized as a NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL!!! We were one of only 13 schools in the state of Ohio to receive this recognition. WOOHOOO!!! Total bragging rights for a while :)
 

Here's our principal Steve, and one of our teachers, Tami receiving the award and last nights board meeting.
 
I am also blessed to have a coaching job where I LOVE my girls and the school I coach for, and have an amazing athletic director supporting me. My travel JO team is equally wonderful and I truly enjoy coaching (even with the long hours!)

Here is my awesome high school team!
 
As you can see, I have lots to be thankful for and I truly feel blessed. Again, I'm thankful for all of you readers out there! Thanks for following and reading :) Enjoy your Thanksgiving with loved ones; I know I will! :)


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TESTS, TESTS, TESTS!! (and trying to squeeze in learning!!)

I know all of you teachers out there have felt like this at one point or another... I am SO over standardized testing!! 2nd and 4th graders in our school took the Iowa's all last week, and we are now taking the COGAT's this week. Not only are our fab fourthies worn out, but so are their fab teachers!! aaaaaaahhhh! If I have to read "Please open your test booklet to page 25. Please read the directions along with me as I read them aloud. They say:" one more timeeeee..!! I just have to keep telling myself **two more days, two more days! Now I know, sometimes testing can be nice because you have time to grade and plan, but I want time to TEACH! Our mornings have been completely taken up, and with specials in the afternoon, and lots of other extra things, that leaves us very little time with each of our groups.

Okay, thank you for letting me rant! I feel much better now :) Onto more important things... the learning we have been doing :)

I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving. I love the history behind it, the meaning, and everything that goes along with it! It ties PERFECTLY into our Ohio history curriculum, because we just wrapped up our early Native Americans unit (which I can't wait to share with you the students projects soon!) Speaking of their projects, here is a free download for a project I do with my fourthies every year! It is one of mine and their favorites! Students have to create a model of a Native American home, and complete a report with it. Click here to download the directions for this for free. Here are some pictures of past projects:

Every year they turn out grade and I LOVE seeing all of the new things students come up with!







Now back to Thanksgiving. When I was student teaching, I discovered this great interactive Scholastic website for the First Thanksgiving. Since then, I have been using this website to teach all about it, and supplementing with other books. This year, I decided to make a 4 day unit on The First Thanksgiving. I introduced the unit last Friday, and this week, since we have a 3-day short week, we are finishing the unit just in time for Thanksgiving. This unit has students predicting, inferring, researching, forumulating opinions, organizing writing and writing an opinion piece. Here is a preview of this unit:

Click on the picture to download this unit for only $1.50. Also, for being such loyal followers, the first 2 people to comment on this post will receive this unit for free :) Just leave me some love and include your email please! I LOVE reading all your comments!

Lastly, in addition to all this testing. I am up to my ears in reading chapter books! I decided to work into my Daily 5 a literature study. I grouped my students by DRA level, and we are reading a book on their level. Here are most of the books we are working with now (James and the Giant Peach not pictured)
So far this is going really well. The students LOVE their books, and I can work with students on strategies at their level. Which works SO much better than our basal! I am working on creating comprehension packs for each of these novels that covers all of the common core literature standards, and a non-fiction pack as well. I hope to have these up in a week or so! You can download my graphic organizer for main idea and summarizing non-fiction texts here.




Before I leave you I have to show you the yummy cookies I made for our staff Thanksgiving today.

 
Don't they look AH-mazing?! They were such a hit! Thank you, Pinterest! :)
 
That's all for now! Thanks for reading, folks :) Remember to comment to receive your Thanksgiving pack for free!
 
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Lots of craftiness in November!

Of course, two of my FAV linky parties are done in the first week of the month! So it's time for another post this week!:) This is going to be a long post because I have been teachery/crafty these days so bear with me... I promise there will be goodies :)

I love linking up with 4th grade Frolics for


#1 Halloween Haunted Houses
Now this one is a little late, but I have to share! I printed off the template for a haunted Halloween house and read my kiddos a Halloween story last Friday. They made the BEST haunted houses. We used each flap for a different story element (characters, plot, setting, and theme.) It was a great review and they LOVED making them. Here's some pics!




 




#2 Class election
Kristi over at Stellar Students had a great idea for election that I just had to use! We began electing our class mascot this week. I made cute bags for the mascots to go home in every Friday with the student to record in their journal their adventures with the class mascot. We are holding our election on Friday, and currently campaigning. The poses they put them in for their photos crack me up! Here are a few photos!







#3 Point of view
We have been working tiredlessly on identifying Point of View in a story. It's a big one for fourthies, and they have been doing SO well on it! Now, not to make myself sound all wonderful, but I had created a common core aligned unit for this before teaching, and let me tell you.. it has worked! After just a 3 day lesson on it, the students are identifying point of view in every book we read! Even when I don't ask them! PHEW... that makes me one happy teacher :) Included in this common core aligned pack are lesson plans, notes pages, whole class activities, small group activities, homework, and mini posters. Here's a preview
Click on the picture to download this product from my TPT!
 
 
#3 Thanksgiving Spelling Unit
I got a lot of great feedback from my Halloween spelling unit, and I love doing holiday spelling weeks, as do my fourthies! So I decided to create a Thanksgiving pack as well. My students are ECSTATIC about it. You can pick up your own pack just in time for Thanksgiving if you click on the picture preview below!


#4 Portable Word Wall
I don't use a bulletin board area for a word wall in my classroom. We use a vocabulary bulletin board to "expand" our vocabulary. I still wanted my students to have frequently mispelled homophones and tricky words at their fingertips, so I created this portable word wall. Students staple it into their writing folder as a reference. They absolutely LOVE it. So do I.. so much less editing for me, which I love! Here's a preview below and just for still reading this long post, you can pick up yours for FREE by clicking the picture.
I hope you enjoyed all of these classroom made its! Here's two at home made-it's to share! If you want the recipes, feel free to email me and I will gladly email them to you :)

#5 Zuppa Toscana Soup
This is a staple in my house during wintertime! My husband loves it and so do I! I make a large batch and freeze it every few weeks for lunches and dinners. YUM
 
 
#6 Chicken Paprikash
This has been a recipe in my family my whole life. It is ALWAYS what I requested for dinner growing up. Now I make it for hubs, family, and friends. I just made it last weekend and had some leftovers for lunch yesterday. If you have never had Hungarian Paprikash, you are missing out!
 
 
Thanks for hanging in there with me through this long post! Off to teach my fab fourthies today. It is going to be a crazy day with our Veteran's Day assembly that fourth grade is in charge of! Wish me luck :)

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November Currently and a *FREEBIE!*

Can you believe it is November already?!? This school year is already FLYING by! I'm ready though.. bring on the cold weather, comfy clothes, hot chocolate, and snuggling by the fire! (Ask me the same thing in February and I will be sick of it!) But for now, I'm so excited that it is Currently November time over at Farley's blog!

 
Listening: Of course I am still at school working because it was a CRAZY Monday, as I'm sure you can all relate! I get so much more done when it's an empy school though, I have to say! We had "practice" for our Veteran's Day assembly at the end of the day today.. and what was supposed to take 15 minutes, took an hour and fifteen, so... bye bye planning period and hello after school time! (By the way, it was not myself or my teaching partner that made it last so long... ugh!)
 

Loving: I absolutely love warm drinks on a cool Fall/Winter day! Even though I don't love coffe, I love fru fru drinks from Starbucks... and my biggest weakness is mixing all the cappuccino flavors at Circle K... oops!

Thinking: I cannot wait to get home to the hubs. He's actually picking me up from school today since I decided to walk this morning! Curling up on the couch will be wonderful after a hectic day <3

Wanting: I cannot wait for family get togethers and turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. Hubby and I both have big families and it is so great to see everyone so much this time of year.

Needing: Lesson plans, lesson plans, lesson plans.. ya'll know the drill! Thanks to meetings this morning and the long rehearsal... here I am still finishing them up for the week! Almost done though... *siiiigh

Music: Country music soothes my soul. In fact, I'm playing a little Tim McGraw right now. My students love listening to country during writers workshop or other silent work time. It relaxes me and it's easy to find school appropriate songs. I love it!

Thanks for stopping in and reading my currently! One of the things I've been working on here is poetry paper for my students to start writing their final copies of their Veteran's Day poems tomorrow. We are talking about Haiku's, Cinquain, and Rhyming poems. Click on the picture of the preview to download your free copy!


I hope you enjoy this freebie! And check back soon because I will be posting a great Thanksgiving spelling unit and Pilgrim unit!

Have a wonderful night blogger world.

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