14 February 2015

Greetings from Japan!

I'm in Japan for a few weeks! Here's just a peak at what I've been up to! 

11 February 2015

Off on a Holiday to Japan!

Attention Readers: I'm taking a 3-week blog break!

It's looking like that the blog is going to go on a 3 week hiatus due to several factors.  The first being that this week I'm off to a holiday in Japan!  We'll be spending about 3 weeks in Tokyo and Sapporo!  I'm hoping to walk around and see all that I can see in Tokyo and we're off (mainly) to go snowboarding in Sapporo!  (We went to New Zealand for snowboarding about 6 months ago, so let's hope I can get back up on that board and improve my skills.)

Another reason why I need to take a blogging break is that my MacBook Air (2013 model) shut down randomly and won't turn back on!  I've called Apple and tried to get a new charger to see if it would come back to life, but it's looking like the only solution is to go to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.  Downside: I live 6 hours away from the closest Apple Store and I have limited time to try and get it looked at before we leave for Japan.  *FINGERS CROSSED* it's a quick fix that will take less than an hour altogether!  If not, cross those fingers again and hope they can hold onto my MacBook until I get back like 2 weeks later.  (Has anyone else had this problem with their 2013 MacBook Air?  I've heard logic boards needing to be replaced for a lot of these.)  Thank goodness I extended my Apple Care plan and I'm covered for the next 2 years!

I'm hoping to update once a week with pictures from Japan, so stay tuned for that!

04 February 2015

Titanic Reading Unit

Do you study or discuss Titanic in your classroom?  Do you work on informational text or books written to inform the readers?  Looking for tons of activities already planned out for you? Looking to incorporate Reading & Social Studies?

Well, I'm happy to this Titanic Reading Unit with you!  I've spent the past two weeks slowly creating this reading unit and compiling all the activities I've done in the past (plus some new ones) into a packet.

I have done this unit for the past 3 years when I taught 3rd grade.  In Florida we had to prepare our 3rd graders for FCAT (standardized testing), at the time, and when we were done we still had just over 2 months left of school.  Our team always enjoyed doing this unit after that to let the students truly enjoy something.

We allowed more time than normal for research and projects.  Our students always enjoyed this unit in the past!  We even got to incorporate a field trip to the Titanic Artifact Exhibition that does a tremendous job with the students! (I've been on this field trip 3 times and I swear I learn something new each time!)

Packet Includes:

  • Common Core alignment for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades
  • Handouts and Games for Reading Skills: Cause & Effect, Compare & Contrast, Main Idea & Supporting Details, Figurative Language, Vocabulary Development, Sequence of Events, and more!
  • Titanic Diorama Project - Handout and examples
  • Passenger Profiles - research real passengers
  • Reading Unit Test
  • Close Reading handouts
  • Answer Keys for everything
  • Writing essays
  • Book suggestions
  • Extra activities
  • Pacing Guide & more!

Please keep in mind this packet is aligned with the book The Titanic: Lost... and Found by Judy Donnelly, book is NOT included.  I bought my personal copy through Nook and share it on our projector using my iPad.

What did the students enjoy?

The students truly enjoyed their Diorama Projects and LOVED sharing them with the class! In the packet I mention this was intended as an "At Home" project, but we decided to bring in the supplies we wanted and were able to work on the projects whenever they finish their work early.  I gave time to work on just the project as well.  Most of my students did it in class and at home.  It's amazing to see what they come up with.

The students also enjoyed videos I would show of the real Titanic that researchers have taken over the years.  We also found interesting facts that the students thought were unbelievable.  AND, of course, our field trip!  They felt like they were actually on the Titanic.  They were given passenger ticket cards at the beginning of the tour, then had to find out if their passenger survived or not in the disaster.

What did I enjoy as a teacher?

I love, love, love this unit because it is quite rewarding to see the students excitedly engaged to learn more about this event in history!  I liked that I could incorporate Reading & Social Studies and allow time to expand their thinking.  It amazed me to see my 8-9 year olds handle this topic so well, a lot more understanding and mature than you would think.  I also enjoyed the variety of activities we created.

Check out this Titanic Reading Unit at TPT!

Make sure you click "Preview" to get an overview of the packet.

01 February 2015

TPT Showcase: Valentine's Day

Welcome to Fishing for More TPT Products! A series on this blog to showcase some inspiring Teachers Pay Teachers products. I will talk about some items that have caught my attention. Plus, for those who would like to share you can add your related links below. The idea is to share and inspire!

This week's showcase: Valentine's Day

By: Cara Carroll

Product Details: (K-2nd Grade, $5.00) This 50 page mini unit is full of literacy & math activities to implement into your classroom after reading the story, "Love, Splat", by Rob Scotton.

My Thoughts: I enjoy mini units centered around a book.  It's like you can bring a book to life!

By:  Deedee Wills

Product Details: (K-1st grade, $5.00) Help your students work independently with this February themed writing work station or writing center. Valentine's Day, American Symbols, American Presidents, and Dental Health themes are included.

My Thoughts: I love this writing packet because it includes different writing sheets but also related vocabulary cards!  Very helpful for your students when they're writing.

By: Babbling Abby 

Product Details: (K-2nd Grade, $6.00) The Sweetheart Snatcher is an engaging activity to use around Valentines Day in February. This pack includes multiple curriculum connections that could be used in correspondence with this activity, but allows you to do as little or as much as you want with your particular class. Feel free to use the optional lesson plan included, or adapt it to suit the needs of your students. It will also add to any candy heart activities you do to celebrate the season - i.e. graphing, sorting, etc.

My Thoughts: Love a variety of activities to make a Valentine's Day theme throughout the whole day!  You've got literacy, math, and more! (Plus, looks just adorable.)

By: Amy Lemons 

Product Details: (1st-3rd Grade, $5.25) Need some cute, but meaningful activities for Valentine's Day? This pack has printables that can be used for grading as well as cute craftivities!

My Thoughts: Again, love what Amy Lemons creates!  This packet has TONS of English Language Arts activities.  Plus, graphing, crafts, and a history of Valentine's Day.  I love informing students the background of holidays.

By:  Outta the Lines Teaching

Product Details: (1st-3rd Grade, FREE) FREE FOR LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! STARTING SEPT 2. This is a great pack for centers for leading into valentines day!

My Thoughts: Like that this is currently a freebie, helping those teachers on a budget.  There are 8 activities, ranging from even/odd numbers, addition, strategy game, measuring, word problems, and more!

 Add your link below!

Do you have a Valentine's Product or Post you'd like to share?