Tech Tuesday

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 9 comments

I'm so excited to be linking up with my new blogging buddy Marie from 

Over my Spring Break I did some serious work in the app department...downloading FREE apps that is. I got 2 classroom iPads through a DonorsChoose grant [read about how I got my project funded here] and they needed an update! I spent a lot of my time searching the App Store and Pinterest just to find apps that didn't cost money, which is the hard part. 

In our district our technology department doesn't support Apple products, they have chosen to go with another tablet. Being the Apple addict that I am I got permission from my principal to purchase iPads through grants knowing that I would get no support from the district if needed. Even though I'm completely on my own, I'm totally okay with that! There are SO many more resources in the Apple App Store that I can't find in the Google Play store. 

My favorite FREE app that I found is called 

Make 10+

This app is simple - it's a quick game for students to practice sums to 10. 

In our 2nd grade collaborative team meetings we do a lot of common scoring and data analysis to find students for intervention groups. One of the largest groups who needed the most work at the beginning of the year were students who needed practicing memorizing their sums to 10. This would have been the PERFECT independent practice for them. I will definitely be starting the year with this next year.

Here's how you play:


As new tiles come up the player continues finding matches to make 10. Simple and easy! 
Did I mention this app is FREE? And no in app purchases to distract your learners. 
It is a primary classroom must-have

What are your must-have primary apps?

Have you entered to win my Telling Time Bundle yet? Click here for a chance to win this $5.00 bundle for FREE! 

March Blogger Match-Up: GIVEAWAY

Sunday, March 22, 2015 2 comments

And just like that...I'm out of the competition. My sweet friend at Miss Johnston's Journey is getting this fantastic set of Time Puzzles from my TPT store

Now it's your turn to win! You have one week from today to enter to win this HUGE set of Time Puzzles.

One lucky winner will get 189 puzzles!

Spring Break Mark Down - Final Day

Friday, March 20, 2015 No comments
Today is the last day of my Spring Break...

And while I'm so sad because my 12 hour sleeping schedule is coming to an end, I'm excited to bring you the last day of my Spring Break Mark Down.

Today I'm marking down my entire store! That's right, EVERYTHING in my store is 20% off today only.

For the remainder of the my break (3 sad days) I will be discounting my entire TeachersPayTeachers store.

Want a chance to win more?
Enter to win a $10 Credit to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

March Blogger Match-Up

Thursday, March 19, 2015 No comments

Do you love March Madness? My blogger friend Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom set up this awesome competition to celebrate March Madness.

It's simple, you sit back and watch our teams win and lose - and when we lose, YOU WIN! When a team loses in each round that teacher will be giving away a $5 product from their TeachersPayTeachers store. 

Now for the bracket...

Hmm...sounds like we're rooting for Valparaiso University to win! Have you heard of them? I sure haven't (clearly I'm a huge College Basketball fan).

Either way, go Valpo! 

Want to Know Who Else is Playing? And Who Is Already Out?

Very Perry Classroom cheering on Arizona
A Kindergarten Life for Me cheering on Georgia
First Grade Buddies cheering on Iowa
Miss Case's Classroom cheering on Georgetown
A Grace-Filled Classroom cheering on West Virginia
The Class Couple cheering on Xavier
More Time 2 Teach cheering on Georgia State
Owl-ways Learning cheering on UCLA
Learning with Mrs. Langley cheering on Belmont
Second Grade Stories cheering on Indiana
The Neat and Tidy Classroom cheering on UC Irvine
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten cheering on Coastal Car.
Miss Johnston's Journey cheering on Maryland
The Creative Classroom cheering on San Diego State
Fifth in the Middle cheering on Wichita State
Lessons with Coffee cheering on Arkansas
The Kinder Garden cheering on Notre Dame
Exploring Elementary cheering on NC State
Inspired Owl's Corner cheering on Oregon
Frampton's Fundamentals cheering on New Mexico State
Learning in the Little Apple cheering on Michigan State
NC Teacher Chick cheering on Utah State
Sara J Creations cheering on Oklahoma
ELA Everyday cheering on Duke
Rock & Teach cheering on Albany
Create Teach Share cheering on North Dakota State
One Happy Teacher cheering on Gonzaga
Sounds Like Fun cheering on Louisville
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie cheering on Cincinnati
Year2tastic cheering on Kansas
Sparkling in Second cheering on Wyoming
One Sassy Teacher cheering on Villanova
Coach and Teach 24/7 cheering on St. John's
Hardcore Teacher Resources cheering on LSU
The Whole Wheat Class cheering on Oklahoma
Teaching Maddeness cheering on UAB
Its Elementary My Dear cheering on Ohio State
Live Love Serve Teach cheering on Providence
 Education Kingdom cheering on North Carolina
A Dab of Glue Will Do cheering on Dayton
Learning to be Awesome cheering on Kentucky
Kovescence on the Mind cheering on Butler
Mrs. D's Corner cheering on Robert Morris
Where the Wild Things Learn cheering on Buffalo
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers cheering on North Iowa (UNI)
A Trendy Teacher cheering on Valparasio
Lucky to Be In First cheering on Wisconsin
O-H So Blessed! cheering on Virginia
Tales of Teaching with Tech cheering on Woffard
Third Grade Cupcakes cheering on SMU
A Tall Drink of Water cheering on Baylor
The Blessed Teacher cheering on Lafayette
Mrs. 3rd Grade cheering on VCU
Mixing It Up In The Middle! cheering on Mississippi
Blossoms of Blue in 2 cheering on Northeastern
Technology Timeout cheering on Harvard
Brittany Kiser cheering on Texas
Making Meaning with Melissa cheering on Purdue
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! cheering on Iowa State
First Grade Roars! cheering on SF Austin
The Learning Chambers cheering on Hampton
Teaching is Sweet cheering on Eastern Washington

Remember, any team that is out of the bracket has a teacher who is giving away a Freebie! Be sure to check out their blog.

Spring Break Mark Down - Day 2

Welcome back! I'm so glad that you're back to check out another great mark down in my store! 

This set has enough puzzles to keep your students busy for days! 

For your convenience I've organized this bundle into sets of:

-Telling time to the Hour
-Telling time to the Half Hour
-Telling time to a Quarter After
-Telling time to a Quarter Till
Telling time in 5 minute increments

When you purchase this product you'll be getting 189 PUZZLES to add to your center activities!

And the best part of all...? Each puzzle has a QR Code so that your students can check their work once they've matched the pieces. What's better than instant feedback?!

You can purchase this $5.00 $4.00 set today only at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

Spring Break Mark Down - Day 1

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 No comments
For those of you on Spring Break I hope you're having a great time! For those of you who are not...I am sorry. It has been wonderful. This is the first year I haven't gone anywhere for Spring Break and I'm not mad about it one bit. I'm averaging 12 hours of sleep per day and it's wonderful! 

Now, on to the sale! Each day I've decided to bring you one of my best sellers at a discounted price.
Also, because you're at my blog you're going to get a sneak peek of the product before you buy it! 

When you purchase this set you'll be getting 6 Conversion Posters.

Once you laminate these conversion posters your students will have a great time playing SCOOT. 

You will get 24 SCOOT cards, a recording sheet and an answer key. 

Sale ends March 18th at 11:59pm.

Grab it while it's 20% off! 

Customize Your Mac

Saturday, March 14, 2015 No comments

Recently I've been seeing a lot of people dressing up their Mac desktops with CUTE folders instead of those ugly blue default folders.

This has got to be one of the easier things I have ever done with my Mac.

Here's how...

Start with a basic Powerpoint slide.

You'll want to decide on what you new folders to look like. I just inserted a circle and used one of my favorite KG Fonts to write the name of the folder. 

Get creative! You can make the folder ANYTHING! If you want, find an image you like and paste it into Powerpoint. 

After you've created the image, highlight and copy everything that you want to be included in the folder picture.

Now head on over to your desktop and find that ugly blue folder that you want to change.

Right click your folder and select Get Info.

Next click on the little blue folder in the left hand corner.

Once you've got the little blue folder selected you want to press Command + V and TA DA!! You should have now have pretty desktop icons! 

I hope you enjoy your new stylish desktop!

Authors and Students Share Mutual Joy in Meeting

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 No comments
This is a guest post by author, Brenda "BK" Bradshaw.

I got an email from a teacher who invited me to her classroom. She said, “The kids are so excited about your visit! They can’t wait to meet you!” My first reaction was, Are they talking about me? There must be a mistake. Maybe they think they are meeting Wendy Orr, Jeff Kinney or Judy Blume and they will be very, VERY disappointed.

When I entered the classroom, I was overwhelmed by the response. Hugs. Eager smiles. Applause.  Oh, no, I thought. They DO think I’m Kate DiCamillo or Katherine Paterson—not BK Bradshaw. What if they ask me how it felt to win the Newbury?

Then the most amazing thing happened. It came from the tiny voice of a third grader who gave me a giant hug and whispered, “I can’t believe I’m actually meeting Crystal Brave!” Now, blending the identity of a main character with that of the author is a concept I hadn’t thought of, so caught of guard, I replied, “It’s nice to meet you, too!”

A few minutes after arrival, the contagious excitement of the students—and discovering they actually are anticipating ME and not Beverly Cleary, Rick Riordan or Judy Blume—relieved every ounce of my anxiety. During the days ahead of the visit, I was nervous about whether I would talk about things the way the teacher wanted me to, and in a way that would captivate the students and hold their attention. A well-organized and executed presentation is important, but the students’ favorite part, based upon the letters I’ve received, is “signing my book with my name and telling you my favorite part.” It’s the moment of personal connection that matters most, and I don’t get at all nervous about that.

The teacher who invited me to her classroom had offered her students a voucher to see me once they had finished the book and all related assignments. Having authors come to the classroom is so motivating to students that teachers have said things like, “I have students who haven’t finished a book all year who read your entire book. They are holding on to their vouchers like winning lottery tickets!” Herein lies an important reason to invite authors to your classroom: Motivation.

Beyond the motivation factor lays an opportunity for a more lasting impact. If the author shares with them secrets, shortcuts and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of professional writing, students can see the application of the day-to-day skills they practice in school with renewed interest. I got a letter from a student who wrote a sequel to Crystal Brave: Earthquake at the Taum Sauk. It was one page long, double-spaced, and apparently the most the child had ever written. I have received book reviews, essays, synopses and well-constructed thank you letters—evidence that the teaching surrounding my visit was effective (and affective).

Authors can be positive role models for being resilient, planning and organizing long-term projects, and communicating ideas effectively. The experience is equally gratifying for authors. We cherish the hugs, smiles, retellings, and letters—and the occasional mistaken identities. Authors don’t have to be on the best seller list to light up the eyes and hearts of students and provide an experience they will remember for years to come.

Brenda "BK" Bradshaw is a former elementary and middle school teacher, special reading teacher and assistant professor of elementary education. Now a mother of three, Brenda Bradshaw has always been immersed in children's literature. In recent years, her daughters have given her the inspiration to create the resilient female characters, Crystal Brave and Super Jewels.

Purchase Crystal Brave: Earthquake at the Taum Sauk here on Amazon.
Purchase Crystal Brave: Treasures of the Current here on Amazon.

You can also connect with BK Bradshaw on her Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Are you interested in guest blogging? Contact for more details.

Currently: March

Sunday, March 1, 2015 6 comments
I have also seen these fun CURRENTLY posts and I'm excited to participate in my first CURRENTLY link up, brought to you by Farley.

Listening: I cannot believe Grey's Anatomy is coming to an end. I am truly devastated. However, I'm SO glad that I have How to Get Away With Murder to fill my Thursday nights now. 

Loving: OMG I looked and looked at the Erin Condren teacher planners for ever last summer but I was too scared to pull the trigger and get one. Boys did I regret that! I finally got one for my birthday (in February) and yes, it doesn't start until June...but I was exited to start filling in some of my summer plans tonight!

I ordered this adorable sequin cover.

Interested in ordering your own Teacher Planner? Use my referral code here.

Thinking: Parent Teacher Conferences are right around the corner and I am hosting Student-Led Conferences for the first time. What are your best tips for successful conferences where the students run the show?

Wanting: Warm weather! We got slammed with a good 7 inches of snow this weekend, but no snow day! I'm all for a good snow shower if we get a snow day, but this year all of our weather has fallen over the weekend and we've been stuck at home on our days off. No fun! 

Needing: A personal assistant. Who doesn't? Working on school, blog, TPT and my Masters. I think I deserve one :)

Spring Break Plans: None as of now. I see a lot of naps and bad TV in my future. Have to catch up on all my Real Housewives.

I can't wait to read all of the other fun CURRENTLY posts. Make sure you post yours and link up too! 

Sunday Summary

I was trying to think of a clever way to share all of my classroom things throughout the week. And I thought about just blogging when I wanted to share something, but then I thought about how much time that would take...and time, what's that? So I thought I'll start a Sunday Summary post. Here I'll reflect on my week and all of the fun classroom things I want to share with you! 

Oh! And P.S. There won't be Earth shattering teaching ideas for every subject, every week. We all know how that goes ;)

This week we began our Early Foundations of Multiplication unit. We started with skip counting and even and odd numbers. 
I read these books to my class each day and they were a blast! 

The best part of each book was guessing what would come next! Definitely make sure you read them in order: One Odd Day then My Even Day and read My Half Day last.

You can purchase these books on Amazon by clicking the links above.

If you follow me on Instagram then maybe you saw my post about the pencils.

I was SO. SICK. of hearing about pencils... "My pencils gone!" "Can I sharpen this pencil?" "Someone chewed the eraser off this pencil!" so we tried something new this week. On Monday every student got his/her very own pencil with their number on it. The challenge was simple, keep your pencil all week and you'll be rewarded on Friday. It was just like magic. Not once all week did I hear about ANY pencils. I repeat, NO ONE COMPLAINED ABOUT A SINGLE PENCIL. On Friday I pulled out my jar of special pencils and every single student was able to get one because their pencils were in great shape. One student even said, "I only had to sharpen this once a day!!" Who knew!? Haha! 

On Friday one of my enthusiastic pencil pals suggested that they try to keep that same pencil for another whole week. I put a special mark on their flag and for any student who has their pencil next Friday too, they'll get another fancy pencil and an additional reward (iPad time, computer time, free choice, etc.). 

If you haven't tried the pencil challenge, I highly suggest you get it started ASAP. I'm never going back! 

Another new thing I tried this week was "Behavior Sticks". My hope was this will help my big time blurters monitor their shout-outs. Each student starts with 4 Blurt Sticks.

At the start of each day the students get a new chart to monitor their progress. They write down their strategies, their goal and how they will choose to celebrate reaching their goal. 

At the end of each of every subject the students fill out their chart, check in with me and then I reset their sticks by giving any that I have back. 

For this free editable download - click here
(I think it looks funky when you open it, but once downloaded it straightens out).

I hope that you have a fantastic week. I can't wait to bring you another Sunday Summary next week. 
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