Birthday Giveaway

birthday giveaway

Birthday giveaway time! I’m celebrating my 41st birthday today, and I’m so happy that I want to celebrate with you. You can win ANY item in my TPT store for FREE! You choose! Want to enter? All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 4th by email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Responding to Literature

spring breakYippee! Only one more day until spring break and I am definitely looking forward to a week filled with much-needed family time. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Mother Nature will provide Southern Illinois with some sunshine for outdoor fun too. However, you never know what she will deal you. It is not uncommon to wear flip-flops one day and have it snow the next. She is a little unpredictable…kind of like my second graders!

Since Easter is only a few days away we filled our classroom learning with spring literacy activities.  I used Jan Brett’s book, The Easter Egg because I love her beautiful illustrations and the message of selflessness the book has.

responding to literature

As we read and re-read this book we focused on story elements. We used this graphic organizer as a visual tool to write about the story elements. You can grab it for FREE by clicking on the image below.

responding to literature

For one of our re-reads we wanted to explore story elements in an interactive way so we used these responding to literature retelling sticks. You can check them out by clicking the image below. They were super easy to make. I laminated them (because I am addicted to my personal laminator) and hot glued them to craft sticks.

responding to literature

responding to literatureI found there are different ways to utilize them in the classroom. Sometimes we pass the bucket around and I let students pull out any stick they want to discuss. (We often start the year off doing this so that students get comfortable with talking in front of  their peers and build self-confidence.) Sometimes I hold the bucket backward (so the students can’t see the words) and have students blindly pull out a retelling stick. Both methods provide a versatile way to orally review a story’s elements.

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March Pick 3 Pinterest Linky

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Wow, I could have sworn that March just started! Here we are in the middle of March and I am preparing for my last week of school before spring break. Where has the time gone? I thought I would join up with Inspired Owl’s CornerPAWSitively Teaching, and Just Reed for their monthly Pinterest Pick 3 Linky.

Here are my three March Pinterest picks. I hope you find some new ideas and find some ‘pin’spiration to finish out this month!

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bunny basket

We are making these adorable baskets for our candy-free egg hunt in Room #7.

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peep cups

I love how cute and simple this is!

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grass head

Who doesn’t want to grow their own Mr. Potato head? A fun activity to go with our unit on plants.

carpe carrie



Pinterest is a visual bookmarking
tool that helps people discover
and save creative ideas.

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Domain 3- The Heart of What We Do

Recently I attended a Southern Illinois Reading Council spring meeting on Effective Literacy Instruction in Domain 3. I am happy to report that I walked away with some great resources to share with you today.  I have included links to them below.

So much has changed in the educational world since I first started teaching 16 years ago. There was one computer in my classroom, a newly installed dry erase board to cover up my old chalkboard, and a teacher-centered learning environment. Flash forward to current day and there is a technology rich environment with multiple computers, a Smartboard, iPads, and a student-centered learning environment.

In the 21st century student-centered learning environment I am giving my students the keys.  My students must work collaboratively and exchange information, think critically, and have active, inquiry based learning. I am embracing this change and loving student-centered learning! How about you?

Check out some of my literacy instruction strategies and resources I use in Room #7 by clicking the images below.

domain 3

domain 3

Domain 3 Tools and Strategies Links 

Formative assessments (a virtual binder full of ways to collect evidence of student learning) –Formative Assessment

Brain Breaks (I promise your students will LOVE this!) –GoNoodle

iPads in the classroom (app suggestions too)-iPads in the Classroom

Writing (broken down by grade level, visitors can find grade level specific tools and resources that relate to text types)- Illinois Writing Matters

Math (math blog that incorporates math, literacy and technology)-Creative Math in Middle School

 

On a different note…did you see my Illinois blogger button? Click it in the sidebar and view other blogs by Illinois teachers. Thanks for dropping by!

carpe carrie

 

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Springing into Learning Blog Hop

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I am excited to link up with Elementary Antics for my very first blog hop. Together with 40 other bloggers we are Springing into Learning by sharing ideas and freebies for spring. I cannot wait to see all the wonderful and FREE spring product ideas!

Spring is my favorite season. I love that it is a sign of renewal, life, and growth.  I can finally see that spring is upon us in Illinois. I see it in the daffodils that are growing alongside the ditches. I see it in the tulips that are poking their way up through the ground. I couldn’t be more ready for it!

My spring freebie is a math activity for counting coins.

counting coins

I found a few different ways to use this printable. First, I cut up the answer key cards and had the students pull a card out of these (Dollar Tree) polka dot boxes and count out coins to match the card’s total. Then they put it all in these adorable felt eggs I found in the Target dollar bin and patiently waited for me to check their answers.

counting coins

At another center I cut up the coin cards. Then I had students count the amount and log the totals on the recording sheet.

counting coins

At the last center I used plastic coins and put them inside plastic eggs. The students had to count the amount of money in each egg and log it on the recording sheet.

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My students really enjoyed these activities. I hope your students do too! You can find my spring activity on Teachers Pay Teachers in my store by clicking the link below.

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How Much Money?

Thanks for checking out my spring idea! Be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating in the Springing into Learning blog hop. I am positive you will find some amazing ideas.

carpe carrie

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Quotation Marks & Macaroni

Who would have thought to learn quotations marks could be so much fun with a little macaroni and glue? Now it’s no secret that I absolutely love to use food in the classroom whenever I can. Who am I kidding… the kids enjoy it too! Since today was a gloomy and rainy day in Hometown Happy Illinois we were in need of something to brighten our day.  So what did we do? We pulled out the macaroni noodles.  (I keep the noodles stored in my classroom in a re-purposed Folgers can protecting them from small rodents.) Next, each student grabbed a bottle of glue and a handful of noodles and got down to work. The students used the noodles as quotation marks and glued them in the correct place within each sentence. It was a simple, effective, and engaging activity my students enjoyed.

Be sure to grab yourself a quotation macaroni FREEBIE below. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your macaroni quotation mark adventure.

quotation marks

quotation marks

quotation mark

quotation macaroni

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Macaroni Grammar-TPT

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Disclosure: Affiliate links posted on this website.

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Alaskan Animal Report FREEBIE!

The Iditarod has started and so has our classroom study on it and all things Alaskan. Since Happy Hometown Illinois is pretty far from Alaska, none of my students are familiar with either topic. Therefore, we decided to take a closer look at Alaska and the Iditarod sled dog race.

The students decided they wanted to learn more about the animals that are native to Alaska… so we brainstormed a list of things we wanted to identify about each animal. From there I created an Alaskan animal research page and kid-friendly directions to the Alaska.gov website. My littles worked collaboratively in groups of two, with each group using an iPad. The animals the class chose from were a moose, eagle, wolf, walrus, seal, snowshoe hare, Arctic fox, and ptarmigan. However, there are so many more on the website if you want each of your students to research a different animal.

We are still working hard on these reports. When each group completes their research they will get a choice as to how they will present their report to the class.  I can’t wait to see what my amazing 21st century learners will come up with.

What are some fun ways your students publish and present reports in your class? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

You can grab my Alaskan animal research report for FREE during the Iditarod 2016 by clicking the link below.

animal report

animal report

animal report pdf

Alaskan Animal Report-TPT freebie

I found an awesome teaching resource at Teaching in the Tongass TPT store (and it is on sale now!). It is loaded with lots of math and literacy lessons, a mushers biography study, and teacher tips. It was a ‘mush’ needed asset to our Iditarod study.

animal report

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First Blog Post and a FREEBIE!

Today is the day! I am super excited about my first blog post. Since we are starting our chapter on money in Room #7, I wanted a fun activity for math centers. I have TONS of plastic eggs and wanted to put them to good use.  I think my littles will love it! You can click the link below and grab this activity for free on TPT.

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TPT-How Much Money?

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As you can see, I decided to use plastic coins in my center. Don’t worry… I have an idea for the task cards in this activity packet and they involve some cute felt eggs I purchased from Target.

carpe carrie

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