Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop!

Welcome, everyone, to our Blog Swap and Hop! 
I know you will all enjoy Leanne's post and freebie about a wonderful back to school activity. I'm posting over at Teri's blog, A Cupcake for the Teacher. After you are done here, please hop on over to read my post about a cute back to school activity. I am also posting over at Mandy's blog, Mandy's Tips for Teachers. Please join me there, too, for another freebie! Then, hop through the rest of the guest posts by clicking on all the links on the bottom of this post. Have fun!

Hi everyone!  I am so EXCITED to be here guest posting for my good friend, Lori!  To start, I want to let you know a little about myself.  I have a teaching blog called Leanne Baur's Creative Classroom over at  I like to blog about classroom ideas and tips and there are even some freebies, too!  Stop by sometime and chat with me- I'd love to have you! 

The FREE RESOURCE I am sharing with you today is brand new!  That's right, I created it with your needs in mind!  We are all going back to school soon (no groaning, please) and I know we are going to need something fun to do with the kiddies.  The resource I have created for you is called, "What I Did This Summer Mystery Mask".  It is a fun get-to-know-you activity that will take up a good chunk of time.  Trust me, the students will be engaged in drawing, coloring, cutting, pasting, writing, and sharing!  Sound good?  I thought so, too!  To get your FREE RESOURCE, just click on the cover page of the item below.  It will take you to Google Docs where you can download the project for yourself.  Just go to "File" and "Download Original".  You will be able to save and print this activity and get an early start on those back-to-school files.  If you like this resource, please be sure to leave a comment letting everyone know! 
Well, I hate to go but I have more resources to create!  I hope to see you soon!  Have a great summer!
                                                         Warm Hugs and Loving Smiles,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop

Sounds intriguing, right? Since it's summer vacation, a bunch of bloggers have gotten together and decided to switch things up a bit. Literally! On Saturday, June 30, we are all going to blog on someone else's blog and someone else is going to blog on our blog. Crazy, right? Well, the best part is, you will all be able to hop through to check them all out. And, if I know teachers, I bet there will be lots of freebies and tons of great ideas shared with everyone. Remember the Teacher Appreciation Jackpot? This will be set up just like that. We're all linked up and ready to go! Below, you'll see the list of all the bloggers participating in this amazing event. You will LOVE my guest blogger. 

I also want to take the time to thank everyone who joined me last night for the facebook party. That was fun! To all my new followers; thank you so much for joining me!

Here's my freebie from the facebook party! 

I'm linking it up to Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Facebook Party

Welcome, everyone, to my blog! I hope you enjoy my freebie, which will only be active until 11:00 PM EST. If you like what you see, please follow me!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Citizenship Anchor Chart

I am linking this post up with Maria for Make a Difference Monthly. This month's trait is citizenship. Here is one thing I do to promote good citizenship in my classroom.

Here is a cute group activity I did in my classroom to promote good citizenship. As a class, we brainstormed ways we can be good citizens. Then, I wrote them all on a chart. Everyone signed the chart and we hung it in our classroom. I know the chart is kind of plain, but, I did this activity before Pinterest and blogging taught me to make more exciting charts! Next year's chart will have fancy letters and illustrations!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Al Pha's Bet...with a freebie!

This is one of my favorite back to school books! It's called Al Pha's Bet, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

She also wrote The Spoon, which is a great book, too. Al Pha's Bet takes place long ago, when many things were being invented, like fire and the wheel.  A man named, Al Pha, made a bet with himself to put all 26 letters of the alphabet in order. The king was looking for someone to do this daunting task, and Al Pha really wanted to be a part of history. Through a series of funny events, he found the perfect order for the letters, and the king rewarded him by naming his creation the Alphabet. It's such an amusing book and my students always want me to read it over and over again. Following the story, my students wrote about the book. Some wrote about how they would arrange the letters of the alphabet and some just summarized the book. I made a text to self connections sheet to go with the story. My students think of a time they made a bet with themselves to accomplish a goal. Then, they write about the goal they wanted to accomplish and how they were able to achieve the goal. If you would like to do this activity, just click on the image below.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ask me, ask me!

Do you get this a lot in your class? You ask a question and everyone wants to answer it. Or, you ask a question and the same two kids raise their hands all the time. This year, I alleviated these problems, and more, by using the ask me cup. I typed everyone's name on a card and put them in a cute cup. Then, whenever I asked questions during whole group lessons, I would simply choose a name from the cup. The children did not even need to raise their hands. The ask me cup helped me remember who I already called on and who I didn't call on. If I needed to assign partners for an activity, I would (without the children's knowledge) pair the cards and then put them back in the container. Then, I would pretend that I was assigning partners right then and there. Sneaky? Yes! But, very helpful! I used the ask me cup all the time and if I forgot to use it, you can bet my students always reminded me! These are the cups I used. I teach three different grades and always use red, yellow, and green to differentiate the grades.

These are the labels I used. You can click on both pictures to download them for yourself. The first one is a Word document so you can type in your own names. The second one is a PDF if you'd rather print them out and hand write the names.

If you don't already have a system in place for how you call on children, I highly recommend this one! Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up with Classroom Freebies! Be sure to go and check out all the other great freebies, too!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, June 11, 2012

Star, Star, Wish

I am a writing teacher and a very important part of my class is sharing. It is unbelievable how much a child can learn just be sharing his/her work and listening to others share their work, as well. Once a a child has finished reading his/her piece to the class, we do what's called star, star, wish. I did not come up with this myself and I'm not really sure where/when I picked this up, but, it is a wonderful part of our sharing routine. The sharer calls on two children to give him/her a star, which would be something the writer did well. "I think you wrote a very strong lead." "You used very strong verbs." They learn really fast not to say things like "I like your story." "I like your pictures." They must be specific in their compliments and they must be ready to say why they like this particular aspect of the story. Then, the sharer calls on one child to give a wish, or something that the writer could have done to make his/her story even better. Again, the children need to be specific and ready to explain exactly what they would like to see the next time. Star, star, wish is always a great learning experience for my little writers. I would like to share the sign I made to hang on my board to remind my students about star, star, wish. I hope you find it useful in your classroom, too. 
Thank you so much for all the kind comments about my blog. I can't begin to tell you how appreciative I am!

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, June 9, 2012

500 Follower Giveaway! It's a B-I-G One!

I am so excited to have reached over 500 followers! To show my sincere appreciation, I have put together a BIG giveaway, which includes products from many talented teachers and companies.

Please use the rafflecopter below to enter to win all of the following prizes...

You can enter this part of the giveaway below. Please be sure to follow all the directions so you don't run the risk of being disqualified. I have already had to remove some of the entries because some people have clicked enter without following the directions. Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky winner will walk away with all of the amazing prizes mentioned above. If you would like a chance to win one of 5 free Samson's Classroom accounts, please leave a comment below with your email and let me know that you follow their facebook page. I will use the random generator to choose the 5 lucky winners.

As a thank you to Easy Canvas for donating a free 8x10 canvas, please check out their main sight BuildASign, if you are interested in ordering any type of custom made sign. They are truly a wonderful company in which to do business.

If you would like to share this giveaway on your blog, feel free to snag the graphic I made:

And there you have it! Lots of great prizes and opportunities to win. I wish you all lots of luck and I look forward to announcing all of the lucky winners on Sunday, June 17. Thanks again for being such dedicated followers. I truly appreciate every single one of you!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard