Thursday, November 29, 2012

Liebster Award!

I am so excited that I have been nominated twice for the Liebster Blog Award.  This is an award given to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers (I definitely fit that category!)  Check out the blogs of the two people who nominated me:

Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. You must answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. You must create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. You must choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

11 Random Things About Me
1. I have been a vegetarian for about 7 years.
2. I studied abroad for a year in Wales.
3. About 6 months ago, I found a 3-legged kitten on the street and adopted her.
4. Gone With the Wind is my favorite book and movie.
5. Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite author.
6. I played piano for 11 years and trumpet for 8 years.
7. I get a massage about once a week to manage my stress headaches!
8. I taught my first two years as a Teach for America corps member, but my college degree was in Elementary Education.  I just wanted to begin my teaching career in a low-income school, and that is the  population I am most passionate about teaching.
9. I love children's books and children's movies! :)
10. I traveled to Japan in high school as part of a sister city exchange program.  I first learned that I get airsick on that 13-hour flight.  
11. I get extremely motion sick when riding in cars or on amusement park rides.

Answer 11 Questions
1. Do you believe in astrology?
2. What is your favorite subject to teach?
3. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Luckily, I have so many to choose from.  The first one that popped into my head was when I used to pretend to grill alongside my dad.  I used rocks for charcoal, and I had a little plastic grilling spatula and fake hamburgers and buns.  It was a nice father/daughter tradition.
4. Any hobbies?

Reading, creating things for TPT, exercising, visiting with family
5. Do you believe in love at first sight?

6. Are you close with your siblings?

7. Dog person or a cat person? person right now because they're easier to take care of.
8. Apple or PC?

9. Best travel experience?

The year I lived in Wales.  It was my Junior year of college, and it was such a break from reality, like being in another world.
10. If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Pittsburgh, where my family is.
11. What is the perfect Sunday like for you?

RELAXING all day.  Rarely happens!

Next 11 Questions

1. How long have you been teaching?
This is my 5th year.
2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would like to try Italy.
3. What is your favorite unit to teach?
My kids loved the spider unit we did at the end of the year last year.
4. What is your favorite meal?
I can always go for some macaroni and cheese!
5. How long have you been blogging?
Just since the beginning of this month.
6. What is your favorite children's book?
Wow, such a hard choice. I really loved the Little House on the Prairie series, but also the Ramona series. I would wake up early Saturday mornings and read all day.
7. What is your favorite movie?
Gone With the Wind
8. Do you have any pets?
One cat named Scarlett :)
9. Do you have any children?
10. What is your favorite season?
I love winter because of the holidays.
11. What is your favorite band/music artist?
I love Frank Sinatra's voice.

Questions for my Blog Nominees
1. Who was your favorite teacher?
2. What do you do to manage your stress?
3. What is your favorite grown-up  book?
4. What is your favorite children's book?
5. What do you do for fun?
6. What is your favorite sport to watch?
7. Where do you want to live when you retire?
8. Do you give a lot of homework?
9. What was your favorite subject in school?
10. Where in America would you like to visit?
11. When did you start blogging?

I nominate the following blogs:

Please leave me a link back to your blog so that I can learn more about you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TPT Christmas Freebie Book

I am so excited to announce that my Christmas Freebie, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: A Reading Pack for Grades 3-4,"  was accepted to the Grades 3-5 TPT Christmas Freebie book!  When I got that email from Rachel Lynette, I started celebrating with kicking feet and screams of joy!  I will let you know when the Christmas freebie book is available.  Until then, check out my freebie that was accepted:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is enjoying a relaxing weekend :)  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cyber Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  Get 28% off at my store this Monday and Tuesday by clicking the link below.  I haven't been blogging much lately because all my family is visiting from out of town, but I will get back to it once things are back to normal on Monday!  Have a great holiday everyone!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Linky Party for BEST Products!

I'd love to direct you all over to Mrs. Balius's blog for her linky party.  She has asked people to link up their BEST product, so I'm sure there will be a lot of amazing products linked!  I linked up my Reading Objectives Bundle, with lessons, activities, and quizzes for main idea, summarizing, and author's purpose.  You can find her blog at Mrs. Balius's First Grade.  Thank you Mrs. Balius for this great linky party idea!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Giveaway at Classroom Compulsion!

I just received an email that the giveaway I donated one of my products to is beginning.  Head on over to Classroom Compulsion to enter to win one of 6 amazing prize packs!

One of the prize packs includes my Summarizing Pack, with a value of $5!  Check it out here:

I'm going to head over to the blog to enter myself for some of the giveaways :)

Cultural Acceptance

Today, we continued our Thanksgiving book countdown with a book called Duck for Turkey Day.
It is about a little girl whose family is Vietnamese, and she is upset that her family will not be eating turkey on Thanksgiving.  They will eat a traditional Vietnamese food - duck.  She is worried about being different from the other kids in her class.  It turns out, she's not so different after all - I won't give away the ending, but it's a great message!  This was a great read aloud for my class because it allowed for discussion about cultural differences and that differences are actually a GOOD thing.  It also gave me the opportunity to show them Vietnam on the map and to explain that not all people who look like the girl on the cover are Chinese.  My students all thought she was.  I love any opportunity to introduce new cultures to my mostly Hispanic class.  Do any of you have favorite books to read to discuss cultural differences?  I am always on the lookout because cultural acceptance is so important to me!  Happy Friday night everyone.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Book Countdown!

During the month of October, my class and I had a "Halloween Book Countdown."  Every day, I read them a different Halloween book.  They were so excited about read aloud time!  I decided to continue the new "tradition" and am currently having a Thanksgiving Book Countdown.  I'm not used to reading them picture books every day; in the past, I read chapter books to them during read aloud time.  But I am finding that I really like it.  Every day is a new chance to ask them several questions, such as:

1. What do you think the genre of this book is, based on the cover?
2. What are your predictions for what this book will be about?
3. What do you think the author's purpose for writing this book was?
4. What is the theme of this book?

The kids are becoming experts at answering these questions!  It is so much fun that I even look forward to read aloud time every day!  I think I just may continue the holiday book countdown tradition all year.  Today, we read Arthur's Thanksgiving.

It was the perfect book to go along with our minilesson on r-controlled vowels.  There were two examples right there in the title!  

What Thanksgiving books are you all reading your classes?  I'd love to hear some suggestions!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Well, made it through another Monday!  I actually don't mind Mondays because my kids usually seem too tired to misbehave much. :)  We have started practicing our multiplication facts, and they get so excited to learn those.  I found some cute ways to help them remember their facts on pinterest.  It is from, and I can't wait to use the 3's and 4's songs with the kids!

While beginning to teach them their multiplication facts, I am still teaching them their addition and subtraction facts.  We use the Mad Minute book, where they have to complete 40 addition problems in a minute, and most of my kids are still on the first level.  I have been teaching them a couple new problems every day.  We review with flashcards and the Doubles Rap every morning.  Hopefully more of them will start catching up with the rest of 3rd graders in America!  

Do you other teachers who teach 3rd grade have this problem?  Do any of you use Mad Minute? I think it's so important for the kids to know their facts so they can move on to more complicated problems with ease.  Anyway, time to relax a little before a new day tomorrow!  Good night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Sunday!  I am so excited to have a Thanksgiving Freebie to post from my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  This Freebie has two activities that accompany the book Thanksgiving Is... by Gail Gibbons.  The first activity sheet is for students to write their own metaphor for Thanksgiving, similar to the metaphors Gibbons uses throughout the book.  The second activity page is for students to use the graphic organizer to record how different cultures have given thanks over the years.  I think the kids will find that information very interesting!  If you would like this Freebie, click the picture below.  I hope you find it useful!

I hope everyone has a relaxing Sunday in preparation for the week ahead.  Only a couple more weeks until Thanksgiving break...hang in there!