27 April 2013

Giveaway WINNER Announcement

Good Saturday to All!

Well, my blog giveaway has ended and the winners have been determined....
Nicole aka The Tacky Teacher has won the 4th grade bundle!!
Fabiola has won the K-3 bundle!!

Thanks again to all my darling bloggista pals for helping out with the festivities - it wouldn't have been the same without your kind support & generosity!

21 April 2013

Final Hours for Friends&Family Sale!!


So I'm going through my closet and it feels like I have absolutely NOTHING to wear, as I seem to have donated a lot of my spring/summer clothes OR simply have outgrown what I'm used to wearing because of what happens to my body as a result of getting my Masters AND working FULL-TIME!!  Hopefully once it's all over (1 week left of this double life), I will be able to drop the weight fairly quickly.

Anyway, these combined factors got me in the mood to do some online shopping to one of my fav. retailers: The Loft by Ann Taylor.  Luck should have it that they're currently celebrating their friends and family appreciation event and you can score 40% off EVERYTHING in their store (online & retail).  I wanted something washable (not dry clean only) and perfect for the warm months ahead here in AZ!

Look at my perfect-for-summer dresses below!

Next item on my to-do list, schedule a pedicure so the toesies can be equally as beautified!

P.S. hop on over to "This Little Piggy Reads" as she is also celebrating a giveaway this week! 

P.S.S. enter MY GIVEAWAY by clicking the banner below - you still have until 4/26!!

20 April 2013

Announcing My 20% Off Sale!!

It's a birthday celebration for the next three days over at my TpT store!  Please enjoy 20% off everything priced above $2 from Sunday through my official bday, the 23rd!! Also, I've just added my Cinco de Mayo celebration & printables pack - which you can snag at a discounted price - arriba, arriba, don't delay! :)

I just love it because it's so festive - I've even included a cinco de mayo banner (so inspired by pinterest & the pennant I made for Easter from someone's pin!!) There are plenty of activities that allow you to work on this fun unit with your upper grade kiddos while even aligning to the Common Core - booya!

As a grade-level team, we've always collaborated on a motivating way to get our students to perform their 100% best during the end-of-year testing and throw a Nacho Potluck Party.  We even tie it in with perfect attendance where they lose letters of the word NACHO which is adhered to their desk during testing week.  If they miss a day or are blatantly not putting forth best effort then a letter is crossed off.  We tease, "You decide not to try your 100% best on the tests.  Guess what? not-chyour party!"  This is done more to amp it up and get a good laugh of the kiddos the week prior to testing.   In planning of this fun & festive lunch, we send home flyers requesting donations for the "potluck party" including tortilla chips, canned refried beans, sour cream, etc.  The teachers rally together to buy a bulk-sized can of nacho cheese from Sam's Club and on the day of the party, we lug our crock pots and serving spoons into the classroom so we can warm the cheese and beans during the first portion of the day.  Everything you need to coordinate an end-of-the-year Nacho Party is included in my Cinco de Mayo pack! 

Fortunately, all this cinco talk has put me in the mood for a margarita - yum!!  
P.S. - Go Enter My GIVEAWAY here (you have until this Friday 4/26!!)

Lots of Love!

19 April 2013

"Cinc" a Peek!

Cinc a Peek [sneak a peek!!] at my upcoming Cinco de Mayo unit!!  As a thank you to all my bloggistas out there, here's a lil' Cinco comprehension freebie [just click the image to download]

Freebie Fridays
Classroom Freebies Manic MondayIf you're like me and loved the movie, Mean Girls, especially since it came out while you were in high school - you're gonna have to see this coming-of-age movie available on Netflix - it's called, LOL. (the title totally gave me super low expectations before putting it on ,but I got totally sucked in with the quality soundtrack and now I'm obsessed with the song that Miley's love interest sings in the movie!  The song I need on my iPod as of yesterday is called "Heart on Fire" by Jonathan Clay)  FYI: this guy [Douglas Booth] is set to be the new Romeo in an upcoming Romeo & Juliet movie - gotta love the hair.  It's like McDreamy hair or something! :p Wow, he was born in 1992 - I feel like such a cougar!!  I'm sure he'll be the next Edward Pattenson after the Romeo & Juliet movie comes out, IMO he's so much more handsome than Edward.  {LOL ended up meaning lots of love! cute!}

p.s. 7 days left to win my 200 follower & Bday Bash giveaway (see last post)

13 April 2013

Enter My B-day Bash & 200 Follower Giveaway!!

Join my B-day Bash and Giveaway Celebration in honor of 200 blog followers!  I'm celebrating my 26th birthday on 4/23 so I'm giving you until the 26th to WIN!!  2 prizes are up for grabs: a 4th grade bundle & a K-3 bundle catered to the primary teaching folk.  THANKS to ALL who have offered to help out in my celebration!! :) Two lucky winners are going to SCORE one of these plentiful prize packs below:

If you teach 4th grade, this is THE prize just-for-you!! [however, all contestants will be accepted]
I can't believe Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files and Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrations have offered to donate to my giveaway: these ladies are AMAZINGLY talented!!

AND follow all of the 4th grade bundle contributing darlings below:
Ladybug’s Teaching Files - blog
Teaching with Simplicity - blog
Fab and Fun in 4th blog   
Melonheadz Illustratings - blog
Love Learn Teach - blog
UpperGradesAreAwesome - blog
Iteach1to1 - blog
Im Lovin Lit - blog
ThinkWonderTeach - blog
The Science Penguin - blog
Tanya’s Treats for Teachers - blog

WOOHOO - If you're more of a primary grade teacher, this is the prize pack just-for-you!! Yet again, I can't believe rockstars, Kelly from Beg, Borrow, Steal and Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class have offered to donate to my giveaway: these ladies are AMAZINGLY talented!!

AND follow all of the K-3 bundle contributing darlings below:
Rowdy in Room 300 (blog)
Learning in Wonderland (blog)
Teacher’s HQ (blog)
Third Grade All Stars (blog)
Teaching in Oz (blog)
StellarStudents (blog)
Jessica Stanford (blog)
Superlative Science (blog)
[a day in first grade] (blog)
SOS Supply (blog)
Beg Borrow Steal (blog)

07 April 2013

TESTING week & My Motivational Song

Remember when Ke$ha's pop song, Tik Tok, was always on the radio a few years back?  Well 4 years ago, I took the extra time over the Easter holiday to create my own Arizona TESTING WEEK lyrics, and out popped my rendition I like to call: Tik Tok (AIMS remix.)  Since then, it's been played on morning announcements, used at our AIMS testing pep rally, and sung as an extra boost of confidence/testing tips to help relieve student anxiety!  With the over-tested student population we have in this country, I try my best to make it seem less daunting with this uplifting little song {complete with gestures, of course!!}

There's also some other great ones out there, one of which being "Bubble It" sung to the tune of The Black-Eyed Peas' "Dirty Bit."

Within the lyrics, I have stressed "showing work is what we do" because I make it mandatory for the kids to show me their work regardless of the subject being tested on.  How do you show work in reading?  Well, it's quite simple since we've practiced since the beginning of the year by circling our evidence within the reading passage - i.e. where they found the supporting proof that the answer they chose is correct.

There are only FIVE school days left until AIMS testing arrives, which means homework packets this week require students to practice singing our AIMS song three times a night, sharing their 8 tried-and-true test strategies with a family member and any other last-minute prep material to reinforce tricky concepts.
Is McDonald's still offering free breakfast to students who take the AIMS test this year?? My kiddos always love this freebie meal only given to the champs about to test for an entire week - which means their younger siblings don't get to relish in this experience.  Each year they always RAVE about the apple dippers!!

GIVEAWAY hungry?  Skip on over to another Arizona lady, Granny Goes to School, as she is celebrating reaching 500 followers - congrats! 

05 April 2013

Inspiring Scientists [and 4th graders who pass the End-of-Year Science Exam!]

Linking up with Head Over Heels for Teaching on Spark Student Motivation!  
My tip:  Fighting the afternoon slump?  Re-capture students' attention with SCIENCE! :)

Even though my kiddos are tested every year on the AIMS Science test, my admin always seems to forget that I need academic time allotted for this sensational subject as well!

I have found that my administrators much prefer to harp on the tremendous importance of math and reading, but tend to overlook the fact that science makes up a substantial portion of our curriculum as well.  Enfuriatingly, my school and administration even denied our school the opportunity to go on a FREE field trip to the Arizona Science Center back in October since it would mean a good portion of the day outside of the classroom.  They believe our focus needs to be on "ensuring each child receives the best academic instruction possible prior to AIMS testing while all stay IN SEATS." GAG!!!  Even though I had attended the workshop to enable 100 students (aka my entire grade level) to attend free b/c we're a Title I school, the superintendent had forbidden any 'FIELD TRIPS, ASSEMBLIES OR SCHOOL FITNESS RUNS AS THEY WERE TAKING AWAY FROM THE INTEGRITY AND ADHERENCE OF OUR ACADEMIC BLOCKS' from happening at our school.

Outlandish, much?  Last year, we took the field trip in October and my students rocked it with the best science scores they've seen in years with a passing percentage of 82% (well above the state average of the 54% who pass on the Science test.)  Regardless, common sense, is never used and teacher input is never valued in this district!  Therefore, it is on me, the classroom teacher to perform miracles in isolation yet again because I hold my work performance to such an insanely high level of standard {gotta love having a Type-A personality!!}

To appease the administration masses, we study science with the 'required district adopted text' and I have the students "jump in read" since we're always working to improve our reading fluency and comprehension no matter the subject.  We take notes in our interactive notebooks, and I make it known to my students that if we don't ALL do our best to finish the lesson and keep up with our note-taking as expected, then they'll be missing out on the hands-on science lab and/or related BrainPop or BillNye vid I have stored away in my bag of tricks.  This also helps calm the nerves of the constant coach supervision we're under since they tend to walkthru at the beginning of the week moreso than near the end of the wk.  Needless to say all my encouraging of finishing the science lesson, creating diagrams and noting important vocabulary in their interactive notebooks gets the kids super-excited for what's in store at the end of the week (Thursday or Friday) when we have time for the science lab / video.

It's definitely a treat from the monotony of a textbook, and keep in mind, I never runoff worksheets from the basal companion guides cuz I don't believe in mindless tasks.  We already hone in on the important concepts through our notebooking and analysis of the nonfiction text features!  However, it's important to be able to think like a scientist, so the students always have a lab report to fill out as we conduct the experiments [The Mailbox 4th grade SUPER book has my go-to master.] Have a look at some of the pics below to see what gets the kids excited about science in my classroom:

What keeps my students motivated during the afternoon slump?  Science!  It's naturally something students are curious about.  Science lends itself to many hands-on applications, the thrill of exploring, and quite possibly a quick video clip from our dear friend: Bill Nye, NatGeo or BrainPop!

And if you've gotten this far, please feel free to add this to your Scientific Method files (a free companion to my Scientific Method unit on TpT)  Just click the image below to snag the freebie!
 Don't forget to stock up on cheap gummy bears (Walgreens frequently has coupon sales on these)!!

04 April 2013

Celebrate TBA's 2nd Anniversary with a FREEBIE!!

Teaching Blog Addict - Ultimate Freebie

What a bloggiversary for Teaching Blog Addict - Happy 2nd Birthday!! Enjoy the festivities with a freebie CFA on the various forms of literature: drama, prose & poetry.  [answer key included]  To download MY freebie, click on the image below!!
Also to all my shopaholics out there in AZ - we are able to indulge our glamour girl callings with the new outlet mall located less than 2 miles from my home: the BRAND NEW  Phoenix Premium Outlets which opened 4-04-2013!! Here are the first pictures of the evidence beautiful damage I was able to do to my bank account during my lunch hour on GRAND OPENING DAY!! I <3 this purse!

I only made it to the GUESS! store this time, but don't worry, there's still plenty of time this weekend.

Since April is my birthday month, I'm hoping I might be extra lucky and be able to win one of these newfound giveaways below:

:) Toodlez!!