Saturday, October 29, 2011

November Writing Prompts

November is right around the corner! Here is a Writing Prompt Calendar to help students get ideas for writing in their writing/sourcebooks!


Great Read Alouds for Persuasive Unit

We will be starting our Persuasive Unit next week. To prepare my students for the next unit, I always like to read several picture books from whatever genre we will be doing. This helps the students become more familiar with the genre and it also sparks some ideas for their own writing. Here are some read alouds that I plan to read...

My Brother Dan's Delicious
Click the picture to purchase 

This book is about a boy named Joey who is left at home alone one night. He starts to see and hear strange things, but he has the superior wit to convince any and all possible monsters that his brother, Dan, is the better choice for dinner.

Earrings! (Aladdin Picture Books)
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This is a cute book written in which a young girl tries to convince her parents to let her get her ears pierced. I'll read it to the students and we can talk about the good persuasive techniques that the girl used, and what she could have done to let her parents pierce her ears.

I Wanna Iguana
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Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won't have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn't want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex's reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I'll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom's replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? This book will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.

I Wanna New Room
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This is the same author. Love her stories!
Ever since their baby sister came along, Alex has been forced to share a room with his little brother, Ethan, and it's a nightmare. Ethan always breaks stuff, snores like a walrus, and sticks crayons up his nose. No hardworking, well-behaved, practically grown-up boy like Alex should have to put up with that!

Writing letters to his mom convinced her to let him get his pet iguana, so Alex puts pencil to paper again, this time determined to get his own room. Though all of his powers of persuasion can't get his dad to expand the house, he does come through with a fun alternative-a tree house! 

Should We Have Pets?: A Persuasive Text
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A second-grade class presents arguments for and against pet ownership.

    This is a great book about a boy who just before he is about the squish an ant, the ant talks to him! The story proceeds with the ant and the boy talking and the ant trying to get the boy to not squish him. The neat thing about this book is that on the last page, the author leaves the end of the story up to the reader! I have my kids write persuasively to convince the kid to either save the ant or squish it. I use this as a great warm up to writing persuasively.

Literature Circle Worksheets

Here are some Literature Circle worksheets I created to use with my class. I hope to get them up and running soon! I plan on shrinking these worksheets to half the size so they can easily glue it in their reading notebook without having to fold them and have paper sticking out (because I really can't handle seeing that!). I hope you find these useful!

I'm also interested in knowing if anyone uses different jobs in their literature circles... please let me know. I'm always willing to try new things!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I figured out how to post documents on my blog!

When I'm determined, I slowly but surely get there! I have asked so many people how to share documents and with all their help, I finally got it. I actually watched a tutorial video on Miss Kindergarten's blog and since I am a visual learner, it finally hit home! I hope I did it right! Thanks Miss Kindergarten! 

There are still a few things I need to learn (like how to make sure the pictures/images don't go missing), but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. Here's the Surfing the Net sheet I made a few weeks ago for your computer centers.

BrainPoP Webinars!

In the midst of helping Louie with his homework, cleaning up after dinner, keeping Mia entertained, and watching a pile of math tests (yes, watching the pile...)  that need to be graded... I am finding a few minutes to BLOG! Because after all, I need some time to myself...

BrainPOP is offering free webinars in the month of November! This will be my first time viewing a webinar. I'm excited to see what information they have to offer!

I'm hoping to view the Engage Students With BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. Webinar. 
Brain POP | | The more you know, the more you know!

Log On and Learn: 
Join Us for Our Free November Webinars

Our free weekly webinars make it easy to participate in professional development; why not join us for one of these hour-long sessions? We're happy to provide certificates of participation upon completion. Questions? Have an idea for a topic? Let us know!
Please note, there will be no webinar the week of November 21st. Happy Thanksgiving!
Engage Students With BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr.  
Wednesday, November 2nd
4:30pm EDT
“Pop” in with special guest Kristen Olsen, Instructional Technology facilitator at Downers Grove Grade School District 58, as she shares her tips for engaging students with BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr.  She’ll cover searching for and planning specific lessons as well as different ways to incorporate the resources that support each of our movies. You’ll leave with a collection of best practices you can put to use immediately!

Digital Citizenship for Everyone: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Families
Wednesday, November 9th
6:30pm EST
Are your students safe, responsible, and respectful online? Kelly Mendoza of Common Sense Media hosts this webinar highlighting the ways BrainPOP helps build digital citizenship skills.  See how our resources and those offered by Common Sense work together, creating fresh ideas and easy-to-implement tools.

National STEM Video Game Challenge With BrainPOP and Gamestar Mechanic
Wednesday, November 16th
4:30pm EST
From the National STEM Video Game Challenge to ed tech conferences around the country, you’ve heard about the impact of games in education. But what does that impact look like? How do you make them a reality in your classroom?  Start with this unique webinar hosted by special guest Katya Hott of Gamestar Mechanic. She’ll take you through the process of working with students as they design their own games, harnessing and strengthening their STEM skills in the process.

BrainPOP Mobile:  Learning at Your Fingertips
Wednesday, November 30th
4:30pm EST
Discover how BrainPOP’s Featured Movie iOS app, newly updated to enable access to all of our movies and quizzes, brings learning to students’ fingertips!  We’ll show you creative ways to use the app throughout the day; you’ll also see how it can be used as a modification tool.  You’ll wonder how you ever taught without it!
  Can't make it? No worries - you can access all past webinars in our Archives.
About BrainPOP
BrainPOP® ( creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports teachers, and bolsters achievement - in classrooms, at home, and on mobile devices. Our proven and award-winning educational resources, uniquely suited for 21st century learning, include BrainPOP Jr. ®(K-3), BrainPOPBrainPOP EspaƱol, and BrainPOP ESL. Our newest offering, GameUp, highlights top, free educational games and aligns them to academic topics.  All of our resources are supported byBrainPOP Educators, a free professional community more than 135,000 teachers strong.  Aligned to academic standards and easy to use, BrainPOP sites host more than 11 million visits each month.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you Meghan at Inside The Classroom for passing on the Blog on Fire Award! I feel so special! It's so nice to know that out of so many fantastic blogs out there, she chose mine to pass this award to! I really do love blogging! It's such a wonderful place for teachers to share ideas and be recognized! I'm truly amazed at all the great teachers out there that share such a dedication to teaching!


So with this award, you need to share 7 things about yourself and then pass the award on to 7 "HOT" blogs!
So here goes...

1. I have 2 children. Louie is 4 and Mia is 2.. they are my life and I love them so much!
2. I originally wanted to be an accountant and attended Baruch College in NYC... I quit after a year!lol
3. I've been with my husband since I was 15 years old... 
4. My favorite vacation spot is ARUBA!
5. I watch New Jersey Housewives... it's my guilty pleasure!
6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE shoes and shopping for new clothes 
7. My favorite season is the Fall.. love all the fall fashion and busting out the sweaters after a hot summer!

I'm passing this award to these 7 HOT blogs!

Lutton 519

Runde's Room


Mrs. Bainbridge's Class


I Heart Teaching Elementary

Thanks again, Meghan... 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There's an APP for That!

You can't imagine my surprise when I learned that there was an APP for 
Partial Sums Addition 
on my iPhone! Partial Sums is taught to third graders through the Everyday Mathematics to make adding 2-digit and 3-digit addition easier. To me and other adults who learned addition in the traditional method, it's definitely confusing! But once you get the hang of it you realize why they are being taught this way. 
So if you are helping your child with their Math homework and you are very confused, you should consider buying this app for your iPhone! It's definitely worth $3.99!

iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 1
This app can be used to teach and study the partial sums addition method. The app is easy to use and it has an intuitive interactive interface with customizable colors and other settings. The user can solve random addition problems with small and large numbers. The number of digits in the numbers can be set.

Partial Sums tutorial and practice worksheets...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

1-2-3 Certificates!

I love to encourage my students to do their homework. My friends and colleagues think I am crazy for keeping track of every single homework my students do but it works for me! At the end of each month, I check my record book to see which students did 100% of their homework. These students get a printed certificate, a free homework night pass, and a "Montibuck" to spend in our class store. They were super excited to receive these today! Tomorrow... the clean desk fairy will make her rounds!

I like to use this site: 

to print out my certificates. 

Free printable certificates, certificate templates for kids, and blank certificates, certificates of appreciation, honor, and merit

 from   123 CertificateUse this 

certificate maker

  to print rewards for students, friends, family, party guests, anybody.  Reward the student of the week, the player of the game, the spelling bee winner, teacher of the month, employee of the year, a student that has worked hard, you can even reward yourself!  It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!   Reward somebody today!

It's so fast and easy, and the best part is they are personalized and you can type your name right into it. No need to make up your own, they have several different templates to choose from.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Family Fun Day!

As a teacher and a mom, you look for teachable moments with your children at anytime. So to kick off our family fun day, we watched a video on BrainPOPJr. Why not teach a 4 year old about Christopher Columbus? Louie loved learning about Columbus day and we actually watched the video a few times.

The Columbus Day video is actually free 
so if you don't have a membership you can still view it. Awesome... Love BrainPOP!

Next, we went pumpkin picking at
Hay Rides, Bouncy Houses, Petting Zoo, Magic Show, Face Painting, Train Ride, soooo much to do!

 Like a typical woman, my daughter thinks she can just about do ANYTHING! haha

If you are in the New York area, go to their website and get the coupons. They send you coupons for $2 off admission.

The kids had a blast! Still have to attempt Apple Picking.. Maybe next family fun day! :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Surfing the Net"

I know, I know... Don't I get tired of the BEACH theme? And the answer is definitely not! As I was "surfing the net" this morning, I came across yet another great website that my students can go on when they are using the classroom computers.


They have high paced math games for every grade level. They also have Money Math games which are excellent for the ESL children. They learn to match the American coins with the coin name. This would have been useful when I taught my ESL class a few years ago!

My favorite is the Math Racing Multiplication Game! 

So to make it easier for my students (and for myself as well!), I've created a handy sheet with all the websites they are allowed to visit while they are at the Computer Center in class. I also set it up that it is my desktop layout so they can quickly look at it.

Again, I don't know how to take screen shots of the documents and I'm trying to learn how share documents on googledocs. I'd really appreciate if anyone could give me some helpful tips. I'm trying to teach myself but it's really not easy! So embarrassed!