Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Read to Write - Evidence Based Writing

I have to share this awesome resource with you! A few months ago, the folks at Zaner-Bloser asked me to try out their new I Read to Write product......& I am here to tell you I. LOVE. IT! 

We're really working on close reading, finding evidence, and citing evidence in their writing. Boy - is I Read to Write perfect for all of that! 

Here's what I love about it:
  1. 17 different articles/texts in content areas: Science, Social Studies, and Math.
  2. LOTS of text features included! Rich text with quality text features isn't as abundant for 2nd graders as it is for older kiddos. Love that this resource has quality text features!
  3. I Read to Write supports students to READ, THINK, WRITE.
  4. Kiddos are guided from locating and highlighting the evidence, writing their answers to the questions on the sidebar. (READ)
  5. Multiple choice questions are included to assess comprehension/give kiddos practice at answering those kinds of questions. (THINK)
  6. Finally, there are two questions that require kiddos to use higher level thinking skills, to synthesize the information they've read, to respond, using evidence from the text to support their answers. (WRITE)
  7. The writing tasks don't require kiddos write in just one genre: they're able to write in informative, opinion, and narrative.
  8. Truly gives kiddos powerful practice toward success on those next generation assessments. 

This has been so successful with my kiddos that I have already put it on my purchase list for next year. No lie. I encourage you to stop by Zaner-Bloser and check it out. There are levels available for 2nd through 6th. You can evenrequest a FREE SAMPLE and see it first hand!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Booking Across the USA - Norman Bridwell

I'm so excited to be part of Booking Across the USA this year & get to help celebrate children's authors from across the country!

I am from the great state of Indiana. And do you know what celebrated children's author is also from Indiana? Here's a hint...., my hint may have been a little too easy. Did you guess?

Yep-- the creator of the beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog was born & raised right here in Indiana. Did you know that he never really intended to be a children's author? He loved to draw as a child & teen, and originally wanted to be an illustrator. He got rejection over & over.....and one editor even told him his drawings were awful and she couldn't imagine anyone wanting HIM to illustrate a book!

Eventually, one editor told him to think about writing a story around his drawings......and she pointed to his drawing of a baby girl & a horse-sized dog. I guess you could say that was the birth of Clifford
the Big Red Dog! The very first Clifford book was published in, there are over 80 titles in the Clifford series.
I admire Bridwell as wonderful children's book author, but even more so for his perseverence. His experience with rejection and the way he dealt with it is a great example of intestinal fortitude and perseverance.

 My kiddos are going to be reading lots of Clifford the Red Dog books this week. I'd love for them to learn more about the author, and to learn about how he never gave up on his goal and kept trying. I created a Respond to Text with Proof reading activity for them to use. To grab a copy for your class, just click on the pic below & download from my dropbox!

I'll leave you with a little bit of Norman Bridwell wisdom..... 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Primary Inspired on Educents

Yay! I'm so excited to finally share the secret! Educents has opened up a MARKETPLACE & Primary Inspired is officially open!

To celebrate the launch, I've got a FREEBIE to share with you.....AND my friends & I teamed up to host a $50 edubucks giveaway!

Have you tried my I Spy's yet? They're a BIG favorite with my kiddos! They are super engaged while they're working on them.....(shhhh! They don't realize they learning!). Click on the pic above to check it out& download in my Educents store!
Educents has organized some givewaways! Here are some of my favorite primary teachers on Educents. PLEASE FOLLOW PRIMARY INSPIRED on Educents so you don't miss a thing!
Educents Marketplace $50 in Edubucks Giveaway #7 - Second Grade Stores

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ninja Bunnies!?! Dollar Sale!

These darn Ninja Bunnies have been running amok in my store. AMOK, I tell you! I mean...running around chopping prices. Some are just 20% off.....but some are actually chopped down to JUST ONE DOLLAR!! It was pure crazy! LOL

You'll find these are just $1:
 I Spy Sight Words SPRING Edition These are one of my kiddos' FAVE activities. I'm not kidding, y'all....they are so engaged while they're doing it that you could hear a pin drop! I love that they're getting addition practice AND graphing practice.

These two Phonics Activity Packs:
Lots of teachers tell me they like using these phonics packs because of the variety of activities: Poster/Anchor Chart, Search & Write the Room, Build a Word pages, Word Sorts, Search & Sort pages, & even a Color By or I Spy page!

And my Place Value Activity Pack Bundle, which has two super fun games included!
Make sure to take a look around while you're in my just might find some other surprises in there! (wink, wink)

Those Ninja Bunnies weren't just running amok in MY store.......check out all these other awesome DOLLAR SALE items!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend in Review! #springteacherbloggermeetup2015

 I'm here to tell ya, friends....if you ever have the opportunity to go to a blogger meet-up....GO! Yes, even if you're stepping out of your comfort zone. I can't tell you how many times I heard people say, "I really was kind of nervous about glad I did" at a meet-up. Heck, I was one of them. My first meet-up a couple years ago with the Indiana bloggers, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. So glad I went! The people I met there are now some of my best friends! 

BUT - THIS blogger meet-up? IT.IS.THE.BEST meet up ever! Seriously! There's just something to be said for getting together with like-minded people: people who share the same interests, who are passionate about the same things. Like my good friend Jenny said, this meet up is more like a retreat. Not only is it super's also rejuvenating & inspiring.
We owe a BIG thanks to Holly Ehle of Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connection  and Brittany Banister 
of Mrs. Banister's Kindergarten Kids for organizing it all! Hats off to these two ladies! They planned a full weekend of awesome! We started Saturday off with a catered lunch & lots of chatting!
Brandy- Firstie Kidoodles & Stacey - Teaching Ever After

After our favorite teacher tool gift swap, there were small table talk breakout sessions. My sweet friend, Amanda of The Primary Gal & I hosted a table talk all about the social media side of blogging & TpT. Wanna know more about Pinterest & Facebook? Just let us know!

Next activity of the day? Teacher swag! Wow! There were so many companies that donated gifts & door prizes. So great to know that teachers are so appreciated! Check out that picture....those are just some of the items everyone went home with! Just some of the sway: bags from Lakeshore & Vera Bradley, markers, pens, & stickers from Scentos, more cute stuff from Creative Teaching Press, goodies from Scentsy & Origami Owl, & wait for Erin Condren Teacher Planner!
And guess what?! We have a few swag bags to give away! Keep on reading to find out how!
Thanks, TpT!
What a day! And we haven't even started with the PJ Party! We had so much fun at the lunch meet up last year, we knew we wanted more time to hang out next time. Holly & Brittany cooked up a super fun PJ Party. BIG tHaNkS to GoNoodle & TpT for sponsoring this event! Wow! Oh my was stupendous! TpT & ROCK! I seriously cannot thank you enough!
If you don't GoNoodle with your class, you've got to try it out! My kiddos absolutely adore GoNoodle! It's great for a quick brain break & WoNdErFuL for indoor recess. And that song we're daancing to up above? Pop See Ko! My kiddos favorite!! 
Decorating pillow cases.
Photo booth fun with Adventures of Room 129

Greg Kindergarten Smorgasboard & Annie Ride Away with Mrs. Ridgeway

Megan Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade
Whew! It was a busy, busy whirlwind of a weekend, & not nearly long enough to enjoy being with these wonderful friends!
To hear more about the through the blogs below...

An InLinkz Link-up

Here's your opportunity to win your very own swag bag! Just look at all that awesome in there! 
Just click into that rafflecopter widget down there, get your entries in, & cross your fingers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 27, 2015

Collaborative Math Conversations *Giveaway!*

Disclaimer: This product was provided by the company for review. Following is an honest opinion regarding the product. 
Didax let me try out this set of Common Core Collaborative Cards....& I was hooked the minute I opened the box! Oh my gosh, y'all! This is just all kinds of wonderful!

Written by Kit Norris (who also had part in writing the Common Core Standards), this Grade Level Set, which comes with 36 cards for each of the five domains: Algebraic Thinking, Base Ten, Fractions, Measurement & Data, & Geometry
Here's how it works: 
  • For each solution/answer, there are 4 different cards that model that solution/answer - each in a different way. The picture to the right shows an example: the two kiddos sitting next to each other have cards that model 3/4. 
  • Each card also has a role: Discussion Leader, Resource Manager, Recorder, Team Captain. I LOVE that they're already built in! Being able to talk about their thinking in math is SO important! And having these roles ensures that each kiddo in the group has a more equal voice than they otherwise might have. 
There are several ways you could use this in your classroom, but here's how I used them. I mixed up sets of the cards & passed them out. Kiddos' first step was to determine the answer for their card, then give me a thumbs up (see the two kiddos in the pic?). When I saw that most had their thumbs up, I gave them a signal to start looking for the other members of their group. They knew that they needed to find 4 people who had the same answer. After gathering all four together, they used the roles that were on the cards to discuss & plan a presentation to the rest of the groups. 

Oh my word!! They LOVED it! It's not often that you hear kiddos say things like "That was FUN!", "Can we do that again?", "Can we do these every day?!" in math! Especially not when the activity is rigorous & requires some higher level thinking.....& that's just what these Common Core Collaborative Cards do! That's one of the reasons I was so excited to try these's not often you come across an activity or strategy that explicitly encourages higher level thinking, collaboration, and verbalizing mathermatical thinking! I love how well it not only supports those Math Process Standards like "construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others", but gives kiddos continued practice with those skills! I mean, I was thrilled with the math talk that I was hearing! I mean, seriously....check this out! 
I am just so in love with this product! It's been so effective in my classroom, & my kiddos are loving it! I am thrilled to tell you that Didax is giving away a Class Set for one of YOU! 

Here's the small print: Didax can only ship within the U.S. These sets are only available for Grades 3 thru 6. Ready to enter? Just click down in the rafflecopter widget & cross your fingers!!3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bunnies A-Go-Go FREEBIE!

Today is the last day of my Spring Break. Sad face.
But guess what?! That means I only have 9 weeks + 4 days  (+4 because we have 4 snow days to make up) left until summer! Aaaaaand....we're not even going to talk about how stressed that makes me right now....only 9 weeks +4 days to get A LOT of stuff in!

Anyway -- enough about all of that. I just figured out last night that Easter is only TWO WEEKS away! (Time sure does fly, doesn't it?). I've pulled this color-by-place-value activity mini-pack for my kiddos to work on in the next couple weeks, & thought I'd share it all with you!

So here's my little Happy Spring gift for you! Just click the image below to download from my dropbox!