Monday, February 8, 2016

How To Win A Super Bowl Writing

When your state wins the Super Bowl, it's hard not to take some time to run with it the next day! I wanted to use the moment to do a writing lesson with my kids that was outside the box. As often as I can I like to tell my kids that, "Some days our learning it just too big for the classroom!" They know this means we are going to bring out lessons somewhere else in the building. So today we headed to the gym to review our transitional words, burn some energy, and work on a new writing piece.

Due to time constraints, I am doing this lesson with them in two parts. We did part one today and will finish up with the second part tomorrow. To start I gathered up my easel, supplies, and we headed into the gym. 

Once we were in the gym I had these guys ran three laps around the gym to prep for writing burn some energy while I set up shop. (That giant Bronco in the background was done by an awesome teacher at our school but not something I created for this lesson. ;) ) I taped the each of the four footballs on a different wall in the gym. 

We went over our prompt and went over our objective which was to review transitional words and use them in our Super Bowl writing. There is also a little chant and song we do to coincide with the word "transition" that I wish I could show you. It's nothing fancy though. We march in place and say, "Transition, Transition" while moving our fingers to the right and then we move our arms and feet one big step to the right as we finish with, "one sentence to the next!" I'm all about chants and body movements to help teach academic language!!

After this they got to run to each transition word that is taped up around the gym. When they get to the word I clap two times and say "Stop". One students is called on to read the word, then they all shout the word, and off to the next word we go until we're back where we started. 

Then as a group it was time to sequence a few sentences I had typed up as a sample response. Followed by working together with a buddy to sequence four different sentences together. I had the sentences in envelopes so they were easy to distribute and I also assign the pairs as I hand them out. I make sure to let them know up front that they're only getting 2-3 minutes TOPS to do this together so they get right down to business. 

 I run around the gym checking their work and listening to them read the sentences together. Then we come back to the easel. Part two involves them traveling at their own pace from football to football on the walls writing their own response to "How To Win a Super Bowl." But we'll be getting to that part tomorrow. You can download the sheets we'll use for that as well as all the other parts to this lesson by clicking the image below!


I hope this ones helps get you and your crew up and moving!! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Grinch Day :: Reindeer :: Polar Express

Hello. It's Me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet...

A little Adele anyone?! Ha!! But seriously. HELLO!! From the other side of this computer!!! It's been awhile since I've blogged and I've really missed my little corner of cyberspace. I wasn't sure where exactly the best place to pick back up, but what better place than smack dab in the middle of the present?! It just so happens to be December. Teaching in December. It's not for the weak of heart!! But in the midst of all the crazy, it's fun to work in some magical moments! 

This past Friday was our annual Grinch Day! The kids love it every year and I have yet to ever tire of it. Here's a peek at ours with a few FREEBIES to snag along the way. 

The day before I send home a little note with my class so that everyone can get into the Grinchy green spirit.

Of course, reading the story is an absolute must!!! All the kids want to tell me about the movie. I like to let them know that the movie is based on this original story. 

Then we  listen to the You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch song and jump into adjectives. Together the class brainstorms words describing him and his heart before it grew. We come up with words to complete the sentence:

"You're a __________ one, Mr. Grinch!"

Writing about How to make the Grinch Grin is always worth a few laughs. Some of the kids wrote about giving him cars, hats, and big presents from Santa, but you can read my favorite two below. This writing sheet is a freebie from A Cupcake Teacher that you can grab on her blog, here

We also make some Grinch faces to display alongside our writing. 

Another activity I re-use each year is this Grinchy Green Word Scavenger Hunt I made with "ch" words. (You can download it here.) This one is always a lot of fun and can really been done in 10-15 minutes.  I love the top shot I snapped of my little green mob as they were entering the lobby to begin the hunt! 

When the hunt is complete they earn their Grinch licked candy canes. It was a Grinch Day miracle y'all!!! The ALL green candy cane boxes were back this year at Walmart ($2). And this tiered teacher heart grew a few sizes upon finding them. For the past few years I have made a class set by hunting down multiple boxes of the Starburst multi flavor candy canes, but this year I was in and out in less then ten minutes!! I adore these tags from Cara and have used them year after year. They're a freebie here on her blog. The kids get a kick out of telling everyone who will listen that the Grinch went and licked their candy canes green!! 

We've also been learning All About Reindeer this month! Nonfiction studies in the classroom are a always a favorite. This month was no exception!!

We start with our reindeer mini- readers. I put these up under my doc camera and together we read through them and highlight all of the important vocabulary words as we find them. 

These words also remain on display throughout the unit so that the kids can refer back to them and continue to use them in their writing. Right now they're hard at work putting the finishing touches on their very own Nonfiction Reindeer books

And finally, these cute little reindeer are the first thing you see when you enter our room and they bring a smile to my face every time!!! Too cute!! 

Our last day before break is Polar Express Day! This is the hot chocolate bar that my teammate and I set up for the kids last year. I can't wait to replicate this cozy table of treats again this year. Crockpot hot chocolate is a MUST!!! Along with PJ's and a reading of the original story. 

I pull from my pack of Polar Express Day activities to keep the theme rolling all day!

Whew. That was a lot of December for one post! 

I'll leave you with these final words of December wisdom.

#twastheweekbeforechristmasbreak #teachingindecember

Monday, September 7, 2015

Objectives Made Easy

As the weekend winds down over here I wanted to show you one way I prep for the start of a new week. Part of my planning includes printing out my new weekly objectives!

Editable Objective signs. Type and display in the classroom!

 I created an editable objectives template for each subject. Tonight I looked at my plans for the week and typed these up real quick to take with me to school tomorrow. Print & go is definitely my style!! 

At school I display them on my white board using page protectors and sticky clips.

This makes it super simple to swap them out each week!

Side note: I'm thinking about moving these from the white board to a bulletin board this year, which will mean using staples instead of stikki clips for the page protectors.


 Me: "Hocus Pocus..."

My Whole Class: "What's Our Focus!!!"

That's what you will hear when it's time to read one of our weekly objectives!

It's amazing what those two little magic words can do to get kids excited about something like objectives! I like to call a student helper to point to the objectives with a special pointer as we read them all together.

Writing these in kid friendly language and making them interactive doesn't make me feel like I am wasting precious wall/board space, one of my pet peeves! We also refer back to them during our lessons. 

You can check them out HERE or by clicking the image above to see more. 

That's it! One more things off my ever growing to-do list!! Now I'm going to curl up on the couch and do a little Netflix-ing to end this glorious 3-day weekend. Hope y'all are doing the same. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How We Get Down With GoNoodle

Let's talk GoNoodle!! I first found out about the amazing-ness that it is two years ago and it's been a staple in my classroom ever since.  Read on to see how I use GoNoodle in my classroom AND enter for your chance to win your very own Champ T-Shirt!!

My group this year is already head over heels for GoNoodle!! I introduced the expectations for how to GoNoodle along with all of our other important routines like lining up in the hall and how to use the bathroom. Why? Because GoNoodle is one of our daily routines!

{GoNoodle-ing on the first day of school..zap it zap it make it happen!! }

So much so that I begin teaching the procedures below on day one! I can't even tell you how impressed I am at the way my class follows these four simple rules in just two weeks time. I don't even have to tell them to sit down after each GoNoodle. They do it automatically! 

I use GoNoodle to serve three purposes in my classroom...

I'm very careful not to only use GoNoodle as a reward for good behavior because it's not just something we do for fun. Brain breaks make such a huge impact on the amount of learning that happens each day. Two years ago I shared how our GoNoodle brain breaks helped transform my afternoons. The number we do each day is ultimately flexible depending on how our day is going and the overall needs for one. But to give you an idea, after the first few weeks (once our stamina has grown) these are the times you are likely to see them happening.

The afternoons are pretty long in our class. Brain breaks make for nice transitions. 

I have a tally system on my white board with smiley faces and frowny faces. If at the end of the day the kids have more tallies under the smiley face than the frowny face they earn a "Just for FUN" GoNoodle! This is also a time when we'll try new GoNoodles.

Last year, we were lucky enough to have Koo Koo Kangroo perform at our school as part of their West Coast School Tour!! As a result, we are perhaps just a little bit biased when I say they are our FAVORITES!!! :) My kids beg to do Koo Koo videos. They would Pop See Ko til the cows came home if I let them!

In the Spring I traveled to Nashville along with some blog friends to meet-up with the GoNoodle team on their home turf. While we were there I learned about GoNoodle PLUS. It includes 16 additional games, and the cool things is, they all incorporate academic content! I wanted to share one detail of what you can do on this end of the site because prior to the trip I had no clue myself. 

{Rocking the Champ T-Shirts....enter to win yours at the end of this post!!}

I can create & save my own questions to use with each game OR I can pick from pre-loaded content that comes with each game by grade level and skill. I can also select the length for each game. 

If you want to check out all of the PLUS features for yourself you can scroll to the bottom of your dashboard and sign up for a 15 Day Trial. 

Do you GoNoodle yet?! If not, you need to sign up... right now!!! It's FREE. 

Alright, it's time to talk GoNoodle Swag!! I'm giving away a Champ T-Shirt!!!
This shirt makes many a Friday appearance at school. 

Use the Raffelcopter below to get yourself entered. It's short and sweet!!

You can also save 15% off ALL the goods in the GoNoodle Shop
Sept 5-11th using the special code: BTSwithGoNoodle

Happy GoNoodle-ing!!! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Teacher Week: Make Ahead Meals

Ok so I'm going to keep it very real here and let you know that I do almost none of the cooking around these parts. Sure there are a few meals I can put together, but it's just not something I enjoy doing. Now eating, that's a whole different story. I LOVE the eating part!!! The planning and prepping, not so much. So that being said, Mr. Stewart gets all the glory for this post!!


In researching some healthy eats for us he came across some blog posts about mason jar salads. He preps them in batches on Sundays and we take them to work during the week. If you'd like to whip these up yourself his first important tip is:

Put the dressing in first so that the leaves don't get wet. Your greens will always be the last thing you put in on top.

You can really fill the middle with just about anything you'd like, but he gave me a list of suggestions to share with y'all below.


  • Red or green peppers, tomatoes, celery, carrots, cabbage
  • Quinoa or Orzo  (They make the salad more filling.)
  • Chicken or Turkey meat
  • Macadamia nuts or Walnuts
  • Goat cheese
  • Apples with lemon squeezed on top (It keeps them fresh!)
  • Grapes
Shake the jar before eating to spread your dressing and you're good to go! 

 Now please, do me a favor and head over to Blog Hoppin' to link up your best make ahead meals so that I can pass them along to my sweet husband. ;) 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Five Fun Facts #TEACHERWEEK15

Teacher Week 15' is here and I'm all in!! Today I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share five fun facts. Let's see if I can't dig up a little randomness for this one.  

1. I met my husband when I was 19, exactly one day before my 20th birthday! We were babies. At the time we were both studying aboard in Australia. Now, I'm currently in the very last year of my 20's. Eek!!! Say What Now?!! 

2. I love me some coffee, but the coffee don't love me! Y'all I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. But sadly, coffee can give me the shakes and some seriously awful headaches if I don't wait until AFTER a full meal is good and settled into my stomach before I drink it. So there is no *rise and shine pour a cup to get with the program* for me. I'd guesstimate that one out of every 7-8 cups turns on me. Usually because I tried drinking it too early or too late in the day. But I love coffee too much to quit it, so I keep coming back for more!! 

3. Fur babies. We have two. They're our only babies for now and yes, they're spoiled pretty rotten. They're both rescues. We got Ariel as a puppy and Ziggy when he was about a year old. Pretty certain her favorite thing in the world is snow and his are all his toys.  

4.  On our first teacher work day this year my principal surprised us with a trip to Sports Authority Field (Home of the Denver Broncos-!!) for a teacher training camp! We set goals for us and our students, had our PD in a VIP suite, and toured the stadium. We even had our own lockers in the visitor locker room waiting for us!!! 

5. FALL is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year and I cannot wait for it to be here!!! Bring on the boots, the pumpkin lattes, and all things Halloween!!!! 

Seriously, so stinkin' excited!! 

Want to share 5 facts about yourself? Head over to Blog Hoppin' to link up!! You can also get in on the action this year using Instagram or Periscope and the hashtag #teacherweek15.


And check out the schedule for the rest of the week. 
I'll be back tomorrow to share my current go-to make ahead lunch!