Follow me on Bloglovin' and WIN!

Hi fabulous followers!!

You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on June 30th.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following our blog through bloglovin!  I know that change is I thought I might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

I am doing a giveaway for all of my fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  You can go to my sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows my followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin.  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow me.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to my bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of my bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter my giveaway!!  I will be picking 2 WINNERS and each winner will get their choice of 2 UNITS FROM my TpT STORE!  :O)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It's Bloglovin' Blog Hoppin' Time

By now I know you all have heard/thought about/wondered about/worried about this whole new blog thing! I know I've been feeling these anxieties.

After lots of time venting with fellow bloggers and sending mass emails to Bloglovin', I am feeling MUCH better about it! I am glad Tori is having an awesome linky party to spread the BlogLovin' LOVE... and check back tomorrow for another fun one :)

Lastly, I AM GETTING A BLOGGY MAKEOVER!!! The amazing and talented Megan who blogs over at I Teach, What's Your Super Power? and designs over at A Bird in the Hand Designs
I am honestly ECSTATIC about sharing it with everyone. She was unbelievable to work with, amazingly talented, put up with my crazy attention to detail and visualization, and blew my socks off with her amazing design! It should be up tomorrow so make sure you check back to see :):)

All right y'all, I'm in Vegas so I'm off to ENJOY!! Woot woot.. see y'all on the flip side :)



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Fun day Sunday Happy Day!

Summer is already going quickly, but I am enjoying every second of it! This has been a wonderful week of family, friends, and relaxation time! 

I wanted to pop in to link up with one of my fav BBB's, the Collaboration Cuties! This week's Mentor Text linky is for Social Studies. Here's one that I use in my room with a freebie!

One of my favorite things to teach in Social Studies is the Civil Rights Movement and talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights activists. 

It is such a wonderful way to integrate LA and SS and have meaningful discussions and learning. We do this with my Martin Luther King Integrated Pack, and using many picture books such as this one!

This story is about Jackie Robinson during his beginning days in the Major Leagues. He goes through many struggles of discrimination and has to learn to look past it all to focus on his goals and dreams. His teammate, Pee Wee Reese, stand up for him and pledges to be a good teammate to him, regardless of his skin color. 

I love this book and the message it sends. It is such a great tie in to Civil Right as well as Character Education.

I also tie in Language Arts skills with this graphic organizer. You can click on either picture to download it for free!

Hope you're able to use this great book! There are so many wonderful things to be done with it :)

I have to share some other good news!!! I don't know if you saw, but one of my freebies was featured today on the newsletter!!!! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY DAY! Oh my... I squealed/screeched/screamed with delight and scared hubs outta bed! YAHOO :)

Thank you all for being wonderful, following, reading, discussing, suggesting, and collaborating! I LOVE this blogging and TPT community.

Welp, I'm off to finish movie night with the hubs and work on my classroom decor pack. I am completing it all in my color scheme: turquoise, lime, yellow, and brown. So far in this pack I have:
-Welcome Sign/Banner
-Library Genre Labels
-Word Wall Headers
-Calendar Cards
-Month Headers
-Table/Team Signs
-Hall Passes
-Yesterday Was, Today is, Tomorrow will be posters
-Daily 5 Station Signs

I am also thinking of doing leveled book labels (DRA and A-Z levels). Any suggestions on what else to add? It is going to be a large pack! If you leave a comment with a suggestion, or just something I already have that you like I will pick one winner when I am all done to receive this product for free! :) Just leave your email with your comment!

Have a great beginning of the week, everyone! 

{Hubs on the phone, brother-in-law Andy, and seeester in law Adrienne! 
We got to see them in Columbus this weekend :)}

Featured on Friday Freebie!

I am so excited to share with you an amazing Friday feature that one of my fav bloggers, Tonya is doing! Every Friday, she is featuring a freebie from one blogger!
Today's my day, so head on over to Tonya's blog and check it out! It is a great writing freebie that can be used in most classrooms! Enjoy!

Check back later for my Five for Friday update :) I'm off to another day in the gym, but getting a pedicure after! :)


The Truths of Technology and a WINNER!

One of the things I have been exploring this summer is how I can integrate technology into my classroom more next year. I wanted to reflect on this a little and share a little about my journey with technology with y'all...

I have had the opportunity to work in two very different school districts. The first district I taught in was in a low socio-economic area, with many students who had little to no access to technology in their homes. However, during my 2 years teaching this school, I had ample technology to use and have the students use in the classroom. At each grade level we were lucky to have a 1:2 ratio of laptops to students. In other words, we would share a class set of laptops between two classes. Basically, we were able to use them every other day, or we worked out a consecutive day schedule as needed. This was amazing! These laptops had the capablities of multiple softwares, were new and worked fast, and connected and STAYED connected to the internet. I also had a brand new Smartboard and teacher computer that I was able to use to present ideas to students, create interactive presentations, and allow students to present projects.

One of the main projects we used these laptops for was "Our Trip Down the Nile River." On the first day of the project I moved all of the desks out of the room and used floor tape to tape the shape of an "Egyptian Felucca" (sailboat.) I then created a video in MovieMaker with photos, sound effect, and animated features where we "sailed" down the river as we sat in our Felucca. We visited our first site, The Great Pyramids at Giza. After this opening day, students were engaged and excited. I then put students into groups and assigned them each a site along the Nile. They had to use Moviemaker to create a presentation where we could virtually "visit" their site. Their rubric included requirements such as interactive element, sound effects, a certain number of photographs, and to make it as realistic as possible.

This is just one example of the many ways we were able to use technology because we had the technology available. I never realized just how wonderful and lucky we were, until I moved school districts. I LOVE the district I teach in now and I LOVE teaching 4th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies. However, because we are more of a middle class school district, the state funding is not the same and we do not have the monies for the technology that I was used to. We are lucky to have Smartboards in every room that I use for presentations, interactive lessons, videos, and sound recordings. We also have laptop carts, but only about a 1:5 ration of laptops to students. These laptops are extremely old, in need of reimaging, and struggle to connect and stay connected to the internet.
I will be perfectly honest, due to the struggle we have with our technology equipment, I don't use it nearly as much as I should. I get so frustrated when I plan a lesson integrating technology, and the technology doesn't work. I feel like I spend so much wasted "teaching time" and moments just trying to make everything work. I would like to get past this frustration, and try and incorporate technology more in my classroom next year. I would like to get back to using it in Social Studies like I used to, especially. By using it with our Social Studies curriculum, I will also be working in Language Arts concepts and Skills.

I also discovered a WONDERFUL new technology last year called "Schoology", basically a "Educational Facebook" for the classroom. This is something I plan on using regularly next year for Language Arts group discussions and relfection. I will also use it to give comprehension quizes that can be completed at home or at school, and to keep parents and students updated on projects and upcoming assignments. Another technology I'd like to use more of is Wiki's. I think it would be a great idea to do group Social Studies projects where students create their own group Wiki on their topic, and students can navigate through it to learn about that topic.
Do you experience similar frustrations with technology? Am I the only one who feels guilty and that I'm "wasting" precious instructional time trying to get technology to work? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I also want to thank all of you for downloading and leaving positive feedback on my 300 follower freebie! I hope you are all able to enjoy it and use it in your classroom :)

Thank you all who shared my giveaway, too! My husband picked number 6, so Lori over at Life in Room 24, you win two free products from my TPT store! I am emailing you now to claim your goodies :) Congrats!

Giveaway frenzy!!

Before I am off to spend 10 hours in a gym coaching volleyball today, I had to pop in and share a few things! 

First I wanted to remind everyone that my lapbook will be free at my TPT store until 9pm TONIGHT! My thank you to you for being a wonderful follower!!

Because all of you wonderful followers are leaving such AMAZING feedback, I'm gonna give another chance to win!

Here's how: share this post or the original post from Monday about the giveaway on your Blog, Facebook or Instagram! Leave a comment with the link and your email and I'll pick a random winner on Friday who will receive 2 FREE ITEMS OF THEIR CHOICE from my TPT store! 
Just another way of saying thank you to all of you amazing bloggers out there:)

It is also giveaway frenzy over here at The Wild Things! I am participating in FOUR amazing giveaways with some pretty phenomenal prizes! So hear on over to these 4 ladies awesome blogs to make sure you're following and enter to win:)
{Tori's 800 Follower Giveaway!}

{Sabra's 300 follower giveaway!!}

{Carrie and Caitlin's 100 follower giveaway!}

{Andrea's 600 Follower giveaway!}

Head on over and enter to win some unbelievable prizes!

And don't forget to pick up your freebie for being my follower and share for another chance to win!!:)


Happy 300 Followers Giveaway for EVERYONE

Hi Followers!

YOU are amazing!

Yes, I am talking to YOU. Each and EVERY single one of you! It is because of all of you that this little ol' blog of mine has continued! Thanks to your love, motivation, enthusiasm, and support I come back to this computer and pour my heart out to you amazing peeps.


Seriously, thank you just isn't enough! So to celebrate all of you, I am giving EVERY FOLLOWER my newest TPT pack!

MANY people asked if I would be making a generic Fantastic Folder lapbook like my Narnia Lapbook. I thought this was a GREAT idea from all of you, so of course... ta da!! Here it is :)

This 40 page pack includes foldables to create your own Fantastic Folder with your kiddos! This fun and interactive folder includes activities that covers 7 CCS standards. 

The best thing about it? Since YOU are one of my followers, it is all YOURS for FREE!!! That's right, FREE! Honor system here, as long as you follow, pick it on up at my TPT store here:)  Share on Instagram, Facebook, blogs, wherever so all of your friends can follow and pick up this great resource, too :)

It will be free until Wednesday at 9pm for all of my followers to have plenty of time to pick it up! Feedback is always appreciated, but I just want you to enjoy it :)

Before I go, I MUST link up with one of my fav. blogging buddies for a linky party that always gets me in trouble (shopping trouble, that is! ;) )
My first Made-It is a classroom made-it! I have seen those "In Our Family" signs all over Pinterest and a few for classrooms, so I wanted to make one for myself! So I set out for a few supplies: Insulation Board from Lowes, Paintbrushes, brown spray paint, white-blue-lime green paint, and stencils. Here are some photos of what I created!

I stenciled the words "In Our Classroom We..." and "We Do" and "We Are" then I hand painted the rest.
{I know it's not perfect, but I LOVE it and can't wait to hang it up!}

My second made it is for our bedroom! If you saw in an earlier post, we painted the wall behind our bed black with gold glitter. This has been the theme colors for our master bedroom and bathroom. I wanted to spice up the wall behind us, so I set out for a project!

I picked up wooden letters from Hobby Lobby, spray paint, picture frames, and ordered some wedding pictures! Here's how it turned out...
Can't wait to see it in contrast to the black wall when hubs hangs it!! (He doesn't operate on the "get it done by Monday-Made-It time like I do so I will have to wait.. haha!) I will post a picture when it's all done :)

So head on over and link up with the amazing Tara

AND DON'T FORGET! Until Wednesday at 9pm, you can get your FREE lapbook JUST for being a devoted follower :)


Father's Day and Happy Followers!

I have been enjoying this weekend filled with family and fun! I hope you all have, too! :) Yesterday we celebrated with my Father-in-Law with a beautiful day filled with pool time and games! We played Poker and Black Jack to "warm-up" for Vegas... too fun! :) Today we had a fun dinner, presents, and games with my dad and my side of the family! I was born with the most supportive, loving, selfless, and modeled example of what a man and father should be! I was then lucky enough to marry into a family and gain another unbelievable, loving, and supportive father! I certainly hit the jackpot :)

I hope all of you had a wonderful day with your Fathers, Grandfathers, fathers of your children, whoever is that wonderful person to you! 

Speaking of Daddy's, one of my biggest followers and supporters of this lil ol' blog of mine has always been my daddy! And I have now reached 300 FOLLOWERS!! Woohoo :) Such an exciting thing! 

I will be celebrating this milestone tomorrow with a giveaway that will include a big freebie for ALL of my followers. That's right, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE of you amazing people who take time out of your day to read what I have to say (even when I do ramble on;) ) 
{Thanks to Lovin' Lit for the ribbon and Coffee, Kids, and Compulsive Lists for the frame!}

So stop back in tomorrow so you don't miss the chance to pick up what I promise will be a worthwhile freebie! :) Happy Father's Day, everyone!


An adventure for your classroom!

Can you feel it?

That's the joy and excitement coming out of me as I am on SUMMER BREAK! YAHOOO!!! :)

What have I done my first two official days off? Grad work, working out, and working on crafts! I've been busy, but it's SO nice to know I can do it on my own schedule with summer days!

I wanted to pop in today before I go grocery shopping to link up with a great linky that has just started and I am SO excited abut!

This amazing new linky with Reading Towards the Stars!

When I was thinking of what book I was going to review, I knew I HAD to do this one.
All of my followers out there, I know you probably could've guessed it before I said it.. but it's because I LOVEEEEE this book.
I always blog about my Fantastic Folder Narnia Lapbook that we wrap up the year with, but I've never really gone into detail as to WHY I use The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in my classroom. So here's my review on WHY!

I still remember when I first read this book. It was the summer between my 4th and 5th grade year, and I was at that age where finding books I like was getting hard. Most books were either "too young" for me, or my mom wouldn't let me read them because they were "too mature." It was so hard to find anything! My mom suggested I read LWW, so I listened to mom, and I did!

Let me tell you, it was LOVE at first page.

A book filled with a land of fantasy where there is danger, evil, kindness, talking creatures, war, and love? I was hooked! It's for these same reasons that boys and girls alike in my class love reading this story every single year.

The four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sent away from their homes in London, to the Professors house in the London countryside because of the air raids in WWII. <<I LOVE that the book begins with this. Right away, we tie in history and my students want to learn more! I have students spend a little time researching about who was bombing them and what was going on in the world. It makes for great discussions and connections.

When the children arrive at the Professors house they find that it is a very old house, but a mansion. They spend time exploring the many halls and rooms, and are intrigued by it all. Then, one day, while playing hide and seek, the youngest, most curious, and loving sibling Lucy, hides in a wardrobe in an empty room. It is through this wardrobe that she discovers Narnia. Here she meets Mr. Tumnus, a faun, who tells her all about the evil White Witch who claims she is queen and rules over Narnia, making it always winter and never Christmas! He tells her of the prophecy that 2 sons of Adam and 2 daughters of Eve need to fill the thrones at Cair Paravel to break the spell of the white witch.

Eventually, her 3 siblings get into Narnia with her, and the magical tale of adventure, suspense, good vs. evil, forgiveness, and righteousness begins.

Hooked yet? You should definitely read it if you haven't already!

There are SO many teachable moments in this book. The themes are so powerful. My students always produce such wonderful writings of good conquering evil, being able to forgive those who have wronged you, the power of family, sacrifice, and so many other themes that you find in the story. It is a great way to introduce or review Figurative Language because the book is rich in it and the students can understand it. It is FILLED with symbolism and imagery that even 4th graders can understand! Students vocabulary is broadened by the difference in the 1940s way of talking combined with the British accents. C.S. Lewis describes everything in such vivid detail, including his characters, so students can get a true picture of the story in their mind.

Read it, teach it, love it. You won't be sorry, I promise! I use my Fantastic Folder and a Powerpoint that has a series of chapter review questions, writing activities, discussion activities, and extension activities to teach this book (I will be making this Powerpoint available on TPT soon, I promise!) Even if you don't teach it in this way, at least use it as a read aloud.

Let the adventure begin :)

Let's start this week off right!

It's the beginning of what will be my first "official" week of summer! YAHOO! :) We had our last teacher workday today.

We have to do 8 hours of "Redbook" (professional development) hours a school year, so I am getting ALL 8 done tomorrow with a 7am-4pm training. {YIKES! 7am?! Oh well.. then it's summer, right?!)

In the meantime, I had to share a few little things with y'all of course :)

First off, a quick Monday Made it since I CAN'T RESIST linking up with Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics (one of my favorite blogs, as y'all know!!)
I needed a little something to send my kiddos home with this summer. I couldn't bear the fact (doesn't bear look weird there?! sorry... ADD.. anywho!) that they would go all summer with NOTHING to review what we've learned?! Yikes!!

I know THEY WILL ALL complete the packet and stay up to date with everything I taught them and look at it every. single. day. :) :) :) :) :) :)

**Insert wishful thinking here***

But hey, a teacher can dream, right?!

So I whipped up this little pack! I tried not to make it TOO long so it wouldn't be overwhelming for parents or kids and they might actually do it!
I included a little reading statistics and note to parents about the importance of summer reading. I also included a summer reading contract, and a book list with mini summaries to hopefully get kiddos excited about learning!

Next I included graphic organizers for literature and nonfiction that reviews CCS standards and can be used with any book.

I also put in there a quick CCS aligned grammar review, and a weekly writing schedule!

Simple, easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?! Now let's just hope they use them!! :)

You can get this at my TPT store by clicking here. It will be FREE until I get home later... so pick up your free copy while you can and leave me some love if you like it! :)

Next, I wanna link up with another AWESOME blog.. Teaching with a Touch of Twang!! Cute blog, right?! As I'm wrapping up my classroom, I wanted to include a couple MUST HAVES for this summer and getting ready for next year!!

My first summer MUST HAVE?!

BOOKS! I know.. lame-o, right?! But seriously. This is when I catch up on ALL of my trash/romance/suspense novel reading! I just can't get enough!!! I just finished up a series called "The Black Dagger Brotherhood." There were 10 books in all, and I am in a serious depression now and missing my characters :)

{How I always totally feel!!}
So now I am totally in need of some new romance/suspense trash novels! Any suggestions?!

My next must-have?

I spend SO much time at these two stores in the summer. Hobby lobby is craft central and now that I have Monday Made-It to encourage me this summer, I am totally going to be spending even MORE time there (Hubs, I know you are totally smiling and shaking your head reading this!!)

Target is a must-have for EVERYTHING. Need I say more?

Next must-have? THE SUN AND WATER!

Living in Ohio, I swear I am dying for summer EVERY year. I am lucky that my in-laws are amazing and have a wonderful pool that I can use whenever I want and it is close by!! So that's where I sit and read my books! :) (Sadly, I'll probably be reading a lot of grad school books this summer by the pool.. yikes! But at least it's by a pool, right?!)

Head on over and link up your must-haves, too!!

Lastly, I am SOOOOO excited to share this AMAZING giveaway that I am a part of over at Miss V's Busy Bees!

If you don't already follow Sara's blog, shame on you! (haha just kidding.. but really, you should, she's awesome!!) AND I LOVE her blog design! I'm all about all things nautical :) 

She is having a wonderful 1 year bloganiverary giveaway that is seriously THE BOMB! I can't believe I get to be part of it with so many blogs that I look up and aspire to! There are over 100 prizes you can win and it goes on for a week! You definitely need to head on over and check it out and enter!! :)
Sara Button.png

Summa, Summa, Summertime!

WHEW! It has been quite a week!! Sorry I've been MIA, but it has been a crazy week! Now that it's over, only 1 teacher work day and 1 PD day stand between me and SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's a glimpse into our crazy, fun-filled week!
We had lots of fun with our "5 day countdown balloon activities!"

We finished up our The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe unit with the movie! They LOVED it and SO many of them in their "Snapshot of my School Year" books wrote that this unit was one of their top 3 things we did all year! Their "Fantastic Folders" turned out AMAZING! They were SO proud of them, and so was I!!

One of their favorite balloon activities was water balloon day!! They were SO excited when we popped the balloon and found this activity. We did a few balloon tosses, my teaching partner and I showered them with water balloons, and then let our kiddos who missed zero homework all year throw them at us! They LOVED it!

Joe and I got to babysit our favorite cuties one night!! We ate dinner, made homemade ice cream, walked to the park and played for hours, enjoyed our ice cream, and watched cartoon Batman and cuddled. I think we had as much fun as them! Love them to death :)
We braved the elements and forecast of entire day of rain and still went on our walking field trip to our local ice cream stand. We barely got wet and the kiddos LOVED it! It was a long 2.5 miles with 55 fourthies, but it was worth it!
Our Father's Day craftivities turned out adorable!! My kiddos were so funny when they said "We NEVER make crafts for our dads, only our moms!" They were SO excited. Too cute!
My nail lady did it again when she amazed me with my nautical themed summer nails! (My fav DESIGN!) They look even better in person and I LOVE them!

We had our end of the year awards ceremony and gave out our awards! They LOVED all of the creative awards celebrating their personalities! :)

Another one of our fun balloon activities was chalk day! Our fourthies enjoyed decorating all of the sidewalks around our school and it looked awesome!

We sent them off with LOTS of goodies: A popsicle, Kool Aid, and Krazy straw to "Have a Krazy, Kool Summer!"(click here to get this tag for free) fun Wadsworth themed bags to use next year at Intermediate School, and a review packet for summer! {Some of my kiddos were so excited for the learning pack.. really?! Too funny! One of my girls said, "Mrs. Cap, thanks for keeping me ready for 5th grade!" Haha, love her!}

Our school does an amazing send-off for our fourthies. All of the classes and teachers and parents line the walkaways with streamers and decorations and shout, high five, and cheer our fourthies on to their next adventure! It is awesome!

I know I've shared this with y'all before, but I am BLESSED to have such an amazing teaching partner this year! One of my biggest fears when I made the switch to this district wasn't just the school of teachers I'd be with, but the person I'd be sharing my 55 fourthies with. Let me tell you, it couldn't have turned out any better! I had the time of my life this year, mostly in thanks to this awesome gal! She has the same bubbly, happy, and "sparkly" personality I do, shares my passion for kids, and my passion for all things glittery and sparkly! So OF COURSE I had to surprise her with shirts for us on the last day of school with our famous quote this year, "You can NEVER have too much sparkle!"
I got SO many amazing gifts from my kiddos on the last day. Awesome gift certificates (including nail certificates, they know me SO well!) classroom decorations, home decorations, blinged out tshirts, and so many other amazing goodies! They are too good to me :)

Besides laying out by the pool with a good book and cold drink, Vegas, and relaxing, want to know what I'm most excited for this summer?!...
HAHA! You got it! :) Can't wait to pee whenever I need to!

Head on over and link up with these amazing linkys! Happy weekend and summer to y'all :)