Celebrating the Spring in Our Step Linky & Giveaway!

Spring has sprung, and I'm linking up today with lots of blogging buddies for Celebrating the Spring in Our Step Linky and Giveaway!

This spring I have reached a milestone that seemed forever away back when I was just starting out.  I could retire this spring with a full thirty years since I bought five a while back when I was going through a period of burn out.  I'm actually enjoying my job more than ever and retiring isn't even on my radar.  It's just so weird to think I could.  I don't feel that old...

Advice Yoda - When 900 Years Old You Reach Retire You Should

I am so excited for the first spring and summer in our new house!  It certainly doesn't look like spring around here though...

These are the last little spots of snow in the yard.  I'm hoping that by the time spring break is over we could have some evidence of grass popping up.  Fingers crossed!

It's starting to sink in that my life is going to change dramatically in the next few months. Jake is graduating from high school and will be moving into Kettering University in early July to begin working on his degree in biomechanical engineering.  Bonny is graduating from college and will be heading off to Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey to pursue a master's degree in forensic psychology.  For the first time in 21 years, there won't be any kids in the house.  Thankfully I always have Fletch and Emmitt to love on, and I know I will be more grateful than ever for TPT and blogging!  I'm not very good at sitting around and doing nothing!

One of my favorite things about spring is starting my classroom economy!  It's amazing... 

how quickly and quietly students will get out their materials...

to see a student who has struggled to do homework all year suddenly do all homework on time...

that an entire class of fifth graders can be completely silent in the computer lab for 45 minutes...

just to try to earn some money!

The classroom economy is what saves my sanity every spring, and it's so easy to do.  If you would like help in getting one started in your classroom, check out my Classroom Economy Set in my TPT Store.  

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is an ABC research project.  I have two great research project bundles in my TPT Store, ABC State Research Project and ABC Revolutionary War Research Project.  Both of these bundles include lesson plans for 23 days, an introductory sheet for parents and students, a schedule template, a student checklist, a 2-page grading form, a 3-page packet on paraphrasing, a 2-page worksheet on how to write a bibliography, a 2-page practice sheet on turning notes into paragraphs, and a 30-page printable final draft packet.  

If you are looking for some fun activities for this week, I recently finished my "Easterdoku" Puzzles which are modeled after the addictive Sudoku puzzles.  These kid friendly versions have Easter themed pictures instead of numbers.

My "Easterdoku" Puzzles are FREE for five days only as a special Spring in Our Step freebie!  So, stop by my TPT Store and grab 'em up quick!

Be sure to hop on through all the other Spring Celebrations and enter to win one of three great prizes...$100 Amazon gift card, $75 TPT gift certificate, and $50 TPT gift certificate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Day of Spring Five for Friday!

It's been a whirlwind of assessments this week as the end of the marking period nears, but I thought I'd link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with a few random pics for Five for Friday.

As it's the first day of spring, I'm really looking forward to this last bit of snow in the yard disappearing!  All we have is mud and hydroseed right now, but I'm hoping within a few weeks we could have the beginnings of a lawn.

I don't know what got into Fletch the other night, but he was on a mission to find a specific toy and proceeded to empty the toy crocks.  He would find one toy he wanted to play with for a minute, then go back for more!  

This picture always cracks me up!  When Bonny was around 10 years old, she wanted to be a leprechaun for Halloween.  At the last minute, she changed her mind and wanted us to come up with a new costume.  As you can tell, we made her go with what she had...hence the really happy expression.  Thankfully, she can laugh about it now.  She put this on Instagram on St. Patrick's Day and one of her roommates made this great meme out of it.  

This goes under the heading of "Coming Attractions"!  I have decided to expand my social studies materials to 4th grade.  I am currently working on the 4th grade government unit in the hopes I can get it done in time for my friend to do this spring.  As with my 5th grade materials, the lesson plans and student packets adapted from the Oakland Schools units will be free to anyone who wants them!  Teacher resource sets will be available at my TPT Store.  Make sure you follow my blog so you will be the first to hear when this unit is ready to share!

Besides assessments, we have been crazy busy in room 205 trying to get our Studentreasure book kits finished by next Friday's deadline.  If you are not familiar with Studentreasures, you really need to check them out.  It is a way to get your students a hardcover book of their own work for free!  All you have to do is offer parents the opportunity to order additional copies for a price if they like.  But even if no one orders any extra copies, all your students will get one book for free!  

In the past I have had my students draw the illustrations by hand for personal narratives they had written.  This year we were working on them during our informational writing unit.  So, I taught them how to use Publisher to add text features.  It really has been a lot of fun.  You can find out more about Studentreasures by clicking on the picture below.

Make sure you check out all the other Five for Fridays at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

March Pick 3 Linky

I'm linking up today with Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner for Pick 3-This Month's Top Pinterest Picks Linky!

My first Pinterest find was one I came across last year.  I absolutely love these paper shamrocks from Sugar Bee Crafts!

Click on the pic to go to the original pin.

We read the book A Fine St. Patrick's Day which has a wonderful message about helping others.  

a fine st. patrick's day book

I challenged my students to come up with three random acts of kindness they could do for others and they wrote each one inside a petal of their shamrock. 

My second Pinterest find was on KidsPartiesAbout.com.  I always love seeing new ideas for bookmarks using paint samples.

Click on the pic to go to the original pin.

We are just about ready to have our second reading celebration for reaching our next milestone as a class and these would be perfect!  I would really like to modify them a bit and use a small shamrock paper punch, but I've been unable to find one yet.  If you happen to see one somewhere, I'd love to know where!

Last but not least, (actually it's my favorite pin) from Random Recycling is this adorable idea for celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday or Read Across America Day!

Dr Seuss party Green Eggs with Ham chocolate pretzel snack
Click on the pic to go to the original pin.

These marvelous green eggs and ham treats are made with pretzels, white chocolate baking discs, and green sixlets or M & M's.  Unfortunately I found this idea a little too late to do this year, but I will definitely be pulling up this pin for next year!

Be sure to check out all the other great Pinterest pins and link up three of your own!