Two for Tuesday - Time for Writing!

It's time once again for 2 for Tuesday hosted by Chalk One Up for the Teacher!

This week I decided to focus on a couple of products that will help you out with writing, which I truly believe is the hardest subject to teach!  Both of these products help with two of the areas which I think make teaching writing so difficult...quality samples of the type of writing you want from your students and how to score them.  

Both of these units include lesson plans, sample essays, student packets, graphic organizers, grading checklists, and more!

Today only, both of these units are 50% off in my TPT Store!  

Make sure you check out all the other 2 for Tuesday deals!

Show & Tell Tuesday - School's Out!

School has been out for six days, and I'm definitely getting into my summer routine.  It's so nice to stay up late and not have to get up at 5:30 in the morning!  My Show & Tells this month are a combination of school letting out and summer time starting...

My first Show & Tell is some yard work we have wanted to do ever since we first bought this property!  We were lucky enough to get four of those electrical/cable/phone boxes in our front yard and wanted to do some planting that would eventually hide them all a bit.  Here's a peek at what it looked like before...

What really gets me is the huge red pole.  I mean, really?  There are a few wires there sticking up about six inches out of the ground.  I know because that pole didn't exist when we first bought the property.  We just came by one day and bam!  There's a four foot bright red pole in the yard!  After several hours and the rental of a nightmare of a sod cutter...

Hopefully, everything will grow in nicely and hide this stuff.  What happened to the four foot bright red pole?  Gee...I don't know.  Amazing what a hack saw and some spray paint will do!

I wanted to show you guys how I put one of my Pick 3 pins into action in my classroom.  One of my Pick 3 pins from June was from Jackie at Here We Go Loopty Loo.  She showed how she celebrates the last 20 days of school with her students by putting fun rewards or activities inside of balloons and hanging them around her classroom.  You pop one each day and do the fun activity inside.  Here's the pic from her pin...

I cut it down to the last 12 days of school which was perfect since we had 12 days of school after Memorial Day, and I created "The 12 Days Before School Was Out".  I came up with twelve special activities that we would do each day and wrote them on a piece of paper worded like this...

On the 12th day before school was out, Mrs. Rye's class got to enjoy a potato chip buffet at snack time.  

On the 3rd day before school was out, Mrs. Rye's class got to sit wherever they wanted.

On the last day before school was out, Mrs. Rye's class got to have a pancake breakfast and watch a movie.  

You get the idea, right?  I rolled them up, put them inside of twelve balloons, numbered them, and hung them around the room.  

At the end of each day, I chose a student to pop the balloon which told us what the fun activity would be tomorrow.

My kids this year were gems right up to the very end, so I didn't need to tie any behavior management to whether or not we popped the balloon.  With a little more rambunctious class, I might do something similar to my incentive I do between Thanksgiving and Christmas and write a phrase on the board, erasing a letter every time the class is noisy or not following directions.  The class would need to have at least one letter remaining in order to pop that day's balloon.  This year it was just a fun way for me to show my kids how much I appreciated them!

My third Show & Tell was one of the fun activities I did with my students during our 12 Days Before School is Out.  It can be really challenging to get students to work quietly on anything during the last few days of school, let alone write, but this activity does it!  The idea is to buy as many candy bars as you can find that have names that can mean something else such as Crunch, Milky Way, Chunky, Mars, Mr. Goodbar, etc.  Then you display all of the candy bars for students to see and tell them they need to write a story that incorporates all of the names, but they can not be used as the candy.  They need to be used like this..."One afternoon, Mr. Goodbar was walking along 5th Avenue when he heard a loud Crunch beneath his feet."  The students must have all the elements of a fiction story and their story must make sense.  I tell the students if they are able to use all of the candy bar names and are willing to read it aloud to the class, then they can have one of the candy bars.  A little bribery goes a long way at the end of the year!  You could have heard a pin drop in my classroom for at least 45 minutes!

I created a fun little freebie for this that you can find in my TPT Store!

My last show and tell is twofer...a 2 for Tuesday that is!  I'm also linking up today with Chalk One Up for the Teacher for her weekly summer 2 for Tuesday where you can get some awesome deals on great products!

My 2 for Tuesday deals are all about books!  

First is my Book Quote Poster Set.  I had so much fun putting this together last summer.  I found 26 inspiring quotes from many of the most popular authors of children's books and created three different poster versions to choose from: black and white, colored polka dot, and photograph. Also included is a PowerPoint presentation of all the photograph posters!  Here are just a few...

I used a few of these posters on my window in the hallway...

You can get my Book Quote Poster Set today for half off in my TPT Store!

My second 2 for Tuesday deal is my 40 Book Challenge Bundle.  You can use this bulletin board and reading journal set to motivate your students to meet a 40 book challenge in your reading workshop this year! 

Included in the bundle are 5 banners, 12 bulletin board charts to track student progress, and a student reading journal set which includes 3 sheets for listing and rating their 40 books, 4 different graph sheets to choose from to help students track the genre requirements, 2 characteristics of genre note-taking sheets, a "Books I want to read" sheet, a good readers strategies sheet, a strategies reflection sheet, a generic reading log sheet, and 2 certificates for completing the challenge. 

Having a place in the classroom to keep track of how many books the students read, really does motivate my students to keep up on finishing their books.

This bundle is also 50% off in my TPT Store today!

Be sure to check out all the other 2 for Tuesday deals below!

I'm also participating in a giveaway right now for a $25 TPT gift certificate!

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Now here's what you need to know to link up and share your Show & Tells!

Linky Information:

1. This is a monthly linky.  The idea is to “Show” up to four pictures of things from school, home, etc. and “Tell” us all about them.  Created the most amazing bulletin board ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Have the best seats at a Red Wings game, right next to the bench?  Show & Tell us about it!  Play the best game at a party with your class?  Have a pet that just got the worst haircut ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Only have one thing to Show & Tell about?  Not a problem! 

2. Product promotion will be limited to one and only if you are introducing a brand new product or sharing pictures of how you just used a product in your classroom.  The focus should be on sharing, not pushing things to sell. 

3. Please choose one of your Show & Tell pictures as your image for the thumbnail and type your blog name to go below the picture. 

4.  Use the main Show & Tell Tuesday button and link back to my post.  Use the numbered Show & Tell buttons in your post to share your pictures.

5. Please leave comments on at least three other posts, including the ones before and after yours.  It’s always nice to get feedback from your blogging buddies! 

Two for Tuesday - June 14

I only have two days of school left, and things are a bit crazy, but I thought I'd take a minute and link up for 2 for Tuesday!

My first deal for the day is on another unit I created for this year that incorporates learning about the civil rights movement and my focus on close reading.  You can read more about how I used this unit here.  

This Civil Rights Movement Reading Unit will engage your students as they learn about Linda Brown, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., the bus boycott, Jim Crow laws, sit-ins, and much more while working on six Common Core Standards for reading. Included in the bundle are 11 days of lesson plans along with a 29-page student packet and sample answer key. 

Each lesson includes a read aloud with scripted think alouds to model thinking involving the common core standards, shared reading where students do close reading of common texts, and reading workshop. Nonfiction reading skills such as previewing, predicting, accessing prior knowledge, using text features, considering author's purpose and point of view will all be reinforced along with figurative language and making inferences. 

You will need a free membership at, a variety of books about the civil rights movement from your school and local libraries, along with one copy of each of the following books: 

My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris
Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone by Joyce Carol Thomas
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
Rosa’s Bus by Jo S. Kittinger
Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
Rosa Parks My Story by Rosa Parks
Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford
Love Will See You Through by Angela Farris Watkins
I Have a Dream by Kadir Nelson

You can get this unit in my TPT Store today for half off!

My second item is my Common Core Critical Verbs Bundle which you can use to prepare your students for Common Core and other assessments. Use this bundle to teach 37 critical verbs essential to test-taking success. 

Included in the bundle are 37 word wall mini posters, 7 sets of weekly student packets where students rate their understanding of the terms, define and write sentences for each term as well as provide synonyms and a drawing that shows the meaning of the word, and 7 critical verb quizzes. There is even a spot to record test question examples that use the critical verb. Answer keys for the packets and quizzes are also provided. Last but not least are an adorable banner to use on your word wall and a "This Week's Critical Verbs" mini poster!

This bundle is also on sale today for 50% off!  Check it out at my TPT Store.  

Two for Tuesday - All About Book Clubs!

It's time for 2 for Tuesday again with Chalk One Up for the Teacher!

I spent a lot of time revising my book club products these last few months, so I thought I would share those with you today!  

I have always enjoyed doing book clubs with my students, especially at the end of the year.  It is the perfect opportunity to let the students show all that they have learned throughout the year.  I love seeing my students become more independent, making quality annotations about their reading, and having thoughtful discussions with their peers about a book!

I did more this year than I ever have before with close reading and annotating.  I really feel like it paid off.  My students were going through the sticky notes like crazy!

Sometimes the hardest thing about book clubs is organizing it all.  I worked really hard to update my book club products to make sure they included everything I could think of that a teacher would possibly need to make their book clubs successful.  Using the Common Core Standards? These book club materials are aligned with 26 of the Common Core Standards for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. I also created the materials to be completely flexible.  You choose the length of your unit, which common core standards you want your students to focus on, and which of the several different note-taking options will best meet your students' needs and your unit goals. 

This bundle includes all of the following:

* Lesson plans
* 14 Learning Target posters
* 7 page Student Resource Book Club Packet
* Book Club Choices form
* Book Club Schedule forms (5 options ranging from 4 meetings to 8)
* Thinking Notes Graphic Organizer
* Thinking Notes Bookmarks (7 options for mixing and matching on 2-sided bookmarks)
* 27 Common Core Aligned Book Club Focus Ideas (Can be used with the Thinking Notes Bookmarks)
* Peer Book Club Evaluation forms
* Fishbowl Observation form
* Class Evaluation Checklist
* Book Club Evaluation form for teacher (5 options depending on number of meetings)
* Summary Graphic Organizer
* Summary Writing Frame
* Book Jacket Recommendation template
* 44 Common Core aligned Book Club Assessments (can be mixed and matched together or given independently)

This 93 page set is already a bargain at $4.50, but for today only you can get it for 50% off!  Check it out at my TPT Store, and please remember to leave feedback!

I also created a companion product...

The Hidden Girl: A True Story of the Holocaust by Lola Rein Kaufman is a great book to use to introduce your students to book clubs due to the fact that it is a highly interesting topic, is relatively short in length (97 pages), and has much for them to wonder about, discuss, and infer.

This companion product contains all of the following:

* Lesson plans
* Additional pages to go along with the Book Clubs - Common Core & More! packet
* KWL about WWII & Holocaust
* Character Maps (blank & completed)
* Setting Maps (blank & completed)
* Timelines (blank & completed)
* Map of Europe during WWII
* 6 Common Core aligned Book Club Assessments
* Book Club Evaluation Form
* Book Club Schedule
* Three Comprehension Worksheets

You can get this companion product in my TPT Store for half off today too!

I'm participating in a couple of giveaways right now with some other TPT'ers, so be sure to enter them below!  One is for a $25 TPT gift card, and the other is for a $75 TPT gift card.  Just think how far that could go during the next Two for Tuesday!

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June Pick 3

I'm so excited that it's June and time to link up again with Pick 3!

I know many of you are already out of school, but I still have eight days left.  I really don't mind it though, as I have a fantastic group of kids this year.  I will be sorry to see them go!  My first pin inspired me to celebrate the last couple weeks with them.

(Click on pic to go to original pin)

Jackie from Here We Go Loopty Loo shared her way of celebrating the last 20 days of school with her kiddos.  I cut it down to 12 as that was how many days we had after Memorial Day.  I'll be sharing details and pictures in the next couple weeks, so be sure to stop back by and see how it turns out!

(Click on pic to go to original pin)

Heather from Hojo's Teaching Adventures talks about a brilliant idea for having some fun with your kids in the last days of school!  

(Click on pic to go to original pin)

Upper Elementary Snapshots has some great suggestions for having a head start on the next school year before this one is even over!  I have to admit I start thinking about next year in March when things start to look a little dingy and overused!

Be sure to check out all the other June pins and link up three of your favorites!