Blogiversary Giveaway...EVERYONE wins!!

WOW! It is hard to believe that I began this blogging journey a year ago. I have met so many wonderful teachers through this community who I have learned from. I say this all the time, but I truly believe that blogging has made me a better teacher. I learn from wonderful people like YOU who leave comments and suggestions, and who posts on your blogs with inspirational ideas.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for following along and reading about my lil ol' classroom journey. It means more to me than I could ever say!

To celebrate, I am joining up with one of my fav bloggy friends Diane, over at Fifth in the Middle. She has 1,000 followers... isn't that amazing?!

To show our appreciation, our bloggy friends are helping us with two days of giveaways that you will not want to miss!

I'm not going to tell you exactly what you'll win (some of them are exclusive to this giveaway!), but they are products from the following bloggers:

Me :)

Today's giveaway is easy! All you need to do is fill out this form and wait for goodies to be sent to you! EVERYONE wins, but you MUST enter today! I will be reverting this post to draft status before bedtime tonight! Good night, everyone! Thanks for participating :) Come back tomorrow for more AWESOME chances to win!

Giveaway Form

Check back tomorrow for an easy and fun scavenger hunt that will qualify you to win a bunch of amazing prizes!!

I also wanted to share two quick student motivations that have worked SO well with my new group of kiddos these first two weeks. I'm linking up with the amazing Joannne (you have to read her mad scientist post today, it's great!!) :)
The first is my NOISE letters

Both of my classes start with the full letter on the board at the beginning of the day in both my classroom and my teaching partners. When their noise level is too loud, I take down a letter. If we get to  "E", there is nothing above a whisper allowed. If they lose ALL of their "NOISE" we go to silence. If anyone talks at that point we lose recess.  The letters they've lost carry over when they switch to Math and Science with my teaching partner. We had SUCH  a talkative group last year and knew this group would be, too. This has worked WONDERS so far.. hopefully it continues :)

The second motivation is an idea I got from one of the first blogs that ever inspired me, Lady Bug Teacher Files.  I {love} all of her amazing ideas! 
Last year I almost had a mental breakdown from giving out so many pencils. This year, so far.. problem solved! I numbered pencils the first day just like she suggested. I told students if they could keep that SAME pencil until Friday, they would get a sugarless chewing gum day. The applause and excitement erupted! I am proud to report that EVERY students, yes ALL 54 of them kept their pencils the first week!!!! The second week, only ONE student lost his. YAHOO! I can already feel the mental breakdown of pencil disaster going away this year :) 

These two little things have made my teaching life so much better. What do you do to motivate students?


Five for Friday..a BUSY WEEK!

I am so happy to back in the routine of things, blogging included! One of my favorite linky parties is always Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday, and now that the school year has started I love having lots to share!

Our first day went off without a hitch! We went over routines, did fun icebreaker activities like classroom bingo and 2 Truths and a Fib, and made 1st day of school books! Here is my teaching partner and I with our frame! Our kiddos pictures turned out ADORABLE!

I got homework folders up and running! I absolutely LOVE this system. It is definitely an adjustment for my fourthies, but I think it's a good one. I plan on doing an entire blog post next week about how these work, since I've gotten so many questions on my Instagram. I AM going to post the calendars as a TPT product, too. I am in the processing of finishing them for the entire year! If people want, I can start posting what I have now (through November) and add as I complete them!


We did classmate interviews this week and wrote newspaper articles on our classmates! First the students practiced on me by making up 2 questions they wanted to ask me in an interview. As a class, they asked me the questions, recorded answers. We worked on turning each answer into a sentence to write a paragraph with an introduction and conclusion. They had to do the same thing with an assigned classmate, but with 4 questions. The interviews and articles turned out great! I will post a picture when I get to school of them hanging up :)
We are up and running with interactive notebooks for Reading. As you all know, I LOVE this purchase from Lovin' Lit. It has been wonderful so far! The only problem?
Yikes!! This mess gives me SERIOUS anxiety.

Why can't they all be perfect little cutting and gluing kiddos like this amazing guy?! *Wishful thinking*
To solve the problem of the scraps, I actually picked up mini trash cans at Family Dollar for each team. So far, so good! (I'll post a picture later when I'm at school of these!)
We started our notebooks with this genre comparison. I made this to go along with Erin's lesson. It was a great introduction!

We took notes under the books about each genre, and wrote more genres that fall in those categories (we did one for nonfiction, too)

We did her genre book sort for fiction book passages. Kiddos did a GREAT job with this.

The next morning they walked into my carpet looking like this! Lots of whispers, of course! I unpacked 1/3 of my ENTIRE library (I only put out 1/3 at a time, and add more each trimester and remove some books to keep it fresh!) I put students in groups with a stack of books and they had to sort them into the correct bins. It was a great informal assessment of how well students were understanding this concept!
We reviewed our map skills with One Extra Degree's Exploring Maps, Pirate style activities. My kiddos loved making their compasses and classroom maps!

I had some amazing visitors, my daddy and Hayden! (for those of you that are new, he is one of the kiddos my parents have fostered for two years). They came to eat lunch with me and we played batman, of course! I love them so much.

Target find! Just had to share this $4 dress I picked up. Comfy and perfect for teaching.. love!

I was finally back to running by midweek when I felt my legs could handle it! I got in 3 morning runs of 2+ miles... Love the feeling the rest of the day after a good run :)

Volleyball season is in full swing, and starting off great! We are 4-2 going into the weekend, and finally playing the way we know how! I love this group of girls. So kind, fun, and talented! I am in the back right facing the picture.
Whether your in school or getting ready to start, hope you are all having a great week! Happy weekend. Make sure you come back tomorrow for an AMAZING giveaway that Diane over at Fifth in the Middle and I are having Saturday AND Sunday. EVERYONE wins! Two amazing days with amazing prizes! She is celebrating 1,000 followers and I am celebrating my 1 year blogiversary!


Mentor Text... WHO WAS for integration

It has been a while since I have been able to link up with two of my BBB's.. the Collaboration Cuties! I absolutely LOVE their Mentor Text linky, and I have gotten so many great teaching ideas from it!

My favorite week is the Social Studies week. I am always trying to integrate Langauge Arts and Social Studies because I feel there is never enough time to teach Social Studies with all of the ELA standards I have to address. And I LOVE teaching SS.  In order to try and fix this problem this year I decided to do two things:
1.) Order the Social Studies Weekly program that is aligned with Common Core-- It is a great, interesting, and engaging newspaper type resource that students read and we complete activities with. It is great for Daily 5 buddy reading!
2.) Order a class set of the "Who Was" books.

I absolutely LOVE these books. Have you heard of them? If not, I suggest you go to Target right now and pick one up! 

I first learned about these last year during our Famous American project. I wanted to get biographies on the Famous Americans my students were studying that were kid-friendly, and could be used for research by 4th graders. I stumbled across the "Who Was Abraham Lincoln?" and I fell in love! So did my students! 

This year, I plan to start integrating these books into Language Arts from the beginning of the year. 

We will read books during reading time in small groups as well as in Social Studies that go along with our Social Studies curriculum. Here are the books we will read pieces and parts from for sure:
-Christopher Columbus
-Paul Revere
-Abraham Lincoln
-Thomas Jefferson
-George Washington
-Martin Luther King Jr.

I also plan to integrate these during our biography unit, which is a big part of our common core 4th grade standards!

I actually just read the Who Was J.K. Rowling book for fun (since I am OBSESSED with Harry Potter) and it was SO interesting. I bought a copy for my classroom library!

I plan to make up a foldable for our interactive Social Studies notebooks to complete when we are reading these books. I will definitely post it on here when it's done :)

Do you have any great Social Studies books you use? Head on over to the Cuties and link up! I'd love to learn from you!

I cannot believe I have been on this amazing journey for 1 year. I have met some unbelievable people who I truly consider friends now. Lookout for an amazing giveaway coming next weekend! I cannot wait to share it all with you :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday Snapshots.. A tour of my room!

I have been a BAD blogger lately.. I'm sawry :(

We just finished our first week of school and I am EXHAUSTED. Now that we are back in the routine again though, I have lots of blogging to share! So you're going to see read me a lot more :)

I am linking up this Saturday morning before a full day of volleyball with Run, Miss Nelson's Got the Camera for her wonderful Saturday Snapshots linky and Tales of a First Grade Teacher!... A TOUR OF MY ROOM! :) I have posted a few previews on instagram and many of you have requested more, so here you go!

{My room from the back looking towards the door!}

{Behind my desk with my toolbox, organized drawers, note for the teacher bin and lamp!}

{My Word Work station. Lots of bins filled with dry erase markers, magnets, stamps, Thesaurus' dry erase boards, clipboards, playdo, and more!}
{More Word Work bins}

{Word Work Table}

{Full view of Word Work}

{Student Book Bins.. blue for one class, green for the other}

{Brain breaks, pick me pot, and compliments jar}

{Team caddy's with dry erase answer circles}

{Comfy reading corner!}

{Most of the reading corner.. kiddos LOVE this place!}

{View from my desk of the room}

{Left front of the board with Grizzly 5 Rules, Noise letters and schedule}

{Table in front of my desk where students turn in work, birthday balloons, and early finishers bin}
{Homework board}

{Back in my library, more shelves!}

{More of the shelves!}

{Library bins! I do blue for fiction and green for nonfiction}

{Close up of bins. Labels from my Turquoise, Lime, and Yellow classroom decor pack!}

{View of my desk}

{NOISE letters for classroom management.}

{Another view of the reading corner!}

{READ sign}

{Daily schedule close up}

{View from reading corner towards door}

{LOVE my word wall. I use glitter clothes pins to attach cards to the ribbons}

{Our Work Sparkles! Student display bulletin board}

{Student desks}

{Close up of the tree! We talk about our brains being "bare" before reading, and as we read we GROW. Students get to add a leaf to the tree each time they finish a book so it is full like our brains by the end of the year from reading!}

{Welcome sign outside my room}

{Full view of "Wondrous Words" word wall}

{Work on Writing Center with my Interactive Writing tri-fold from my TPT store! Also, I use the curtains for "teacher area" so students know not to go in there.}

{On my door. Still need a few more decorations up here!}

Hope you enjoyed your field trip to my room :) Thanks for stopping by! It's going to be a GREAT year.