Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cyber Sale Wishlist

Tomorrow the big TPT sale launches and I don't know about you, but my Wishlist has gotten a work out.  I am ready to move tons of the product into my cart.

I will be discounting my entire store by 20% and with the code CYBER2016 you get an additional 8% off.  I wanted to share the top 3 wish listed items from my store.

You can grab these items and my newest series during the sale for an amazing price!  Also, be sure to check out all of the other bloggers participating in tomorrow's amazing sale!

Happy TPTing!

Monday, November 21, 2016

I Am Thankful For You!

I am so grateful for this amazing community!  I wanted to say Thank You, by sharing one of my all time favorite craftivities; The THANKFUL Book!

For the last, well more years than I can count, I have been guiding my students through this awesome project.  This puzzle book shows different components of the earth that we are grateful for.  We work page by page so that everyone's book ends up in the correct order.
I have learned that starting with the last page and working backwards is the most successful.

I love how these pages create such a beautiful scene.

The front cover is tricky.  I used to cut out the circle for my students, but now I just make a slit for each one.  I make sure that students know to stay inside the circle and they seem to get it.
This craftivity is all about gross motor and scissor use, but there is also a writing component.

Students are able to reflect on two people, things, places, whatever it is that they are thankful for.  The final book is the perfect gift for kiddos to share with their families.
Please let me know if you end up trying this project with your students or children.  If you are on Instagram, please tag me (@searching4tchrbalance) so that I can see your creations!

Thank you, again, for your amazingness!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It's Time for a Review: Buddy Reading

There is something about November that causes wacky behavior and a need for review in my classroom.  This past week, we focused in on partner reading expectations.

We played "Who Wants To Be The Best Reading Buddy?"  It was my take on role playing No Way, Not Quite, and Just Right partner behavior.  I had three students come up to the front to be contestants.  I then jumped into the role of their reading buddy.
With the first contestant, I was a disaster of a partner.  I didn't look at the book, I kept saying, "This is boring", and at one point I threw the book.  The judges (the rest of the students) tried buzzing me out many times.  We then talked about everything that went wrong.
As the reading buddy to the second contestant, I actually looked at the book, but I kept telling the buddy all the words.  I interrupted her a million times, and didn't give her a chance to share.  Again, the judges made their buzzing sound and reprimanded me for being a crumby partner.
After reviewing everything I needed to change as a reading buddy, I was the perfect buddy with the last contestant.  The judges were very happy and I was impressed with their attention throughout the activity.

We created this poster as a reminder of all the expectations that we need to remember for Buddy Reading time.   You can grab a copy of this poster by clicking this link, or the picture.
Remember that it is easy to print this as a larger poster.  Just click on "Poster" on the print page, and increase the scale to 150%.  It will print onto 4 pages and you just have to tape or glue them together.

What is one Buddy Reading expectation in your classroom?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November Literacy Fun with The Ugly Pumpkin

I LOVE the fall!  I love the change of colors here in the Pacific Northwest.  I love the crisp air.  I also love reading The Ugly Pumpkin, by Dave Horowitz.  It is an adorable tale about a pumpkin that can't understand why no one will choose him to be their Halloween Jack O' Lantern.  It isn't until he stumbles upon a group of squash that he realizes who he truly is...a SQUASH.
My students always get a kick out of this squash, and love the happy ending.  I created several activities that accompany this book years ago.
I finally gave my companion pack to this book a huge overhaul!  

This pack contains:
Pumpkin and Squash facts
Pumpkin and Squash photographs
Pumpkin Versus Squash Venn Diagram
The Ugly Pumpkin rhyming activity
The Ugly Pumpkin Figurative Language Matching activity
The Ugly Pumpkin Story Maps
2 templatespicture option
answer keys provided for all activities
Ugly Pumpkin Craftivities

Head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store to grab a copy of this fun filled pack!

What is your favorite things about this time of year?  What is your favorite fall picture book?

*this post contains Amazon affiliate links *

Friday, November 4, 2016

Student Vacations...What Do You Do?

We don't have a fall or mid-winter break.  Boo Hoo!  Because of this, I feel like parents try and take full advantage of the long holiday weekends in November and January.  Each year, I have students that vacation with their families and end up missing several days of school.  It seems harsh to send classroom, but sending nothing seems crazy to me, too.
That's why I send a vacation journal.  I have several bags prepped and ready to go.  Each bag has a journal, pencils, eraser, sharpener, and colored pencils.

I also have a note on the inside of each journal explaining the purpose of the journal.

The journal is meant to be a way for the student to create learning opportunities, while recording memories.  I always allow kiddos to share their journal when they get back.  It is so fun to hear about their favorite part of each day.

Grab this journal cover and letter here or by clicking on the above picture.

What do you do for kiddos that are going to miss school days for vacations?