December 20

Send a “reading” themed holiday e-card!

Reading Rockets

Reading_Rockets_picReading Rockets is one of my FAVORITE websites! It is a great resource for educators; it has basically anything and everything you need to teach reading. Reading teachers can also find information to give parents, pamphlets to hand out on curriculum nights, and information on English-Language Learners.

Currently, you can get a reading themed holiday e-card on Reading Rockets! Customize it and send it to whoever you want!! Take the opportunity to send these e-cards out to colleagues, co-workers, parents, and anyone else you think might like them!

Here is an example of one of the many reading themed e-cards available from Reading Rockets currently…

I can’t think of a better way to promote literacy and Holiday Cheer than this!!
seasons_readings_e-card

Season’s Readings to all

& May the New Year be filled with

Blessings, Happiness, and Good Health!!

…from Educator’s Helper…

November 15

Need books for your classroom library? Win them!!

UBAM_free_booksI mentor new teachers and one of the biggest complaints I hear is that they don’t have any books for their classroom libraries. Here’s an answer to that problem!!

Win $50 worth of free books! No purchase is necessary!! Go to http://bit.ly/bcU7NH, enter “bookstore” and then click on the top tab that reads “free drawing.” Make sure to enter everyday to increase your chances in winning!!

This drawing is held monthly so remember to start all over on December 1st!!

October 12

Docs that Teach

Docs that TeachDocs_that_teach

I came across this site looking through a blog that I follow on twitter. Although I may not use this type of material often, for the grade level that I teach, I figured I’d let readers know about this resource. If I could think of a way that elementary educators could use this website; here are some ideas that come to mind:

  • researching histories of the American flag
  • the original Colonies and documents that came from those Colonies
  • researching the history of the Pledge of Allegiance came to my mind as well as our National Song.
  • If you work at a diverse school, perhaps students could research documents across states, presidents,

As I type I seem to come up with more and more ideas and now I’m thinking WOW- I could probably create some awesome paired/and/or-cooperative projects… I should retract my original statement!!

Middle and High School Educators probably don’t need my ideas as I’m sure they could post their own amazing ideas on this blog about how they could use this website… which I would definitely welcome!! If you are an educator at the secondary level and are already using this website, leave us some ideas on how you use “Docs that Teach!”

 All and any ideas from educators are welcome- If you are an elementary educator with ideas on how to use “Docs that Teach,” please submit your ideas here by leaving a comment. If you are already using the site, please share how you have used it and which docs you have used in your classroom!!!

“Docs that Teach” seems like a great, FREE, resources that can help supplement any social studies and history curriculum; as well as help your students and/or child conduct research for webquests and projects. Good luck using this website. Please share any feedback you have!

September 5

online literacy resources

Welcome back to School!!!

schoolhouseMost educators and students are now back to school or will be back to school, by Tuesday September 7th, 2010. For those who are already back and looking for Literacy Center ideas- I wanted to share some resources with you that I came across myself.

The first website was a GREAT one with lots of great links to other sites. It is called The School Bell. The School Bell has great resources and ideas for Word Wall, Dolch Sight words, Math Centers, Literacy Centers, and much more.

Another helpful resource, which is one that I have blogged about before, is SanchezClass.com. If you click the link and you do not enter immediately, make sure to “Enter” the website and then go into the “Teacher’s corner”… I found loads of great ideas in the Curriculum Resources Section! Most of the information on the site is geared towards grades K-6- and it’s wonderful information too!!

FCRR– is the Florida Center for Reading Research- not only are the resources all research based but they are all FREE! At FCRR, there are downloadable literacy centers geared towards every grade level, k-5, and for almost every skill you can imagine. The only problem (if you can even call it a problem) is that you have to look through all of the material to find what you need or you might as well download it all! There are assessments as well, available, monitoring tools, checklists…. pretty much everything you can ever need for literacy is here.

One of the tools that I definitely want to use this year as a resource and literacy station is the classroom computer. I have four computers this year and definitely want to use them to increase literacy skills. In my search for tools, I have come across the following programs (I hope you might find them useful too)

Teaching Heart- One more additional source for Literacy Centers: http://teachingheart.net/LC.htm

Of course, if one cannot find what he/she needs at any of the sites above…then the following site is the “GO TO PLACE” to find anything you need- a must “follow” and a must “newsletter” to subscribe to— Larry Ferlazzo’s Blog- He blogs about All things educational… http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/

If you do not find what you need for Literacy Centers using the resources above and need something in particular- Let me know- I am attaching some resources that I am using in particular for my own classroom; such as directions for the Poetry Center, Sentence Making forms, Listening Station Response sheet, etc…

I hope you enjoy the resources… Let me know by leaving a comment!!!

Center Extension Activities (from READWRITETHINK)

Center Sheet  (the following are from -SchoolBell and TeachingHeart.net- Check both sites for more great materials!)

Poetry Center ideas

Literacy Box Recording Sheet

Read Around the Room

Spelling Contract

SpellingBuddy Test

Weekly Reader Report

August 24

Another GR8 Literacy Find!!

kids readingAs I was searching for some clipart this morning at 4 a.m.- I got sidetracked by this website that I had never come across before… It is called BookTrust and they have resources for (basically anyone) who wants to promote a LOVE and passion for reading! As educators, we know that if you want your children to become literate, successful adults, we need to turn them onto reading; someway… somehow!

BookTrust has materials for educators, parents, media specialists … basically (like I mentioned earlier) ANYONE!! This website seems to be out of the UK (as the end of the url is .uk- I brilliantly put those clues together…) and when I clicked on “Sharing Books” – I downloaded some amazing resources that I am going to use in my classroom and share with my colleagues at work.

I am also posting what I have downloaded here- Again- these resources are not my own but came from BookTrust- and I highly recommend that you check them out!!

http://www.booktrustchildrensbooks.org.uk

sharingpicbooks

_charactersharing picture books-

using your imagination

sharing picture books- setting and mood set by illustrator and author

sharing picture books- reading the pictures

August 23

Some awesome new finds!!

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had the time to post any messages but I even though I’m still extremely busy- I have to pass these latest “finds” across to anyone who comes across this website!!

First- I am a HUGE fan of Larry Ferlazzo’s website and he always puts out the “greatest lists” so if you are looking for something special… I would always check with his site first- and you MUST subscribe to his newsletter (if you don’t already!!) http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/  (plus- he has a nice Italian name- and from one Italian to another- we know our stuff… They don’t say “all roads lead to Rome” for nothing!)

Another MUST- with LOADS of great Freebies- and wonderful e-books that can make your life a breeze (as an educator) is Laura Candler’s Classroom! She’s truly a gem! Another newsletter that I love popping into my ‘inbox’… If  you don’t subsribe to hers… I wouldn’t wait another second- Here’s the url for here website- www.lauracandler.com

If you teach math, language arts, and pretty much any subject K-8- www.Didax.com is amazing!!! I was just checking out their catalog and thought- hmm… let me go onto their website- WELL…. Let me tell you- I just downloaded the most adorable mini-posters- and they have TONS (and I mean over 20 pages of FREE) activities that  you can look through and quickly download the ones that you like. With an easy tool for limiting your search, you can find the perfect activity within seconds!! I’m so happy I found this site- tell me what you think when you check it out!

Card/Board Games– this site is awesome- find a card or a board game tailored to any topic your looking for- (I don’t know how I found it but here it is…) glad I came upon it because it’s got some GR8 Math card games- I’m already going to try one out with my class this week! I hope it goes well… wish me luck!

I hope you enjoy the “New Finds” I’ve passed along to you… Please make sure you share some great finds here as well! Thanks for stopping by!

July 16

Never pay Retail…not with our salary!!!

hautelook1

I don’t know about other teachers in other states but in my state… an educator’s salary is tough to live on. So shopping isn’t always so much fun- especially if you are going to the mall on a tight budget… I try to avoid going anywhere- any place-any-store- where I know I will fall in love with something, some-shoe, some-dress,  that I can’t afford, it’s a heart-wrenching experience!!  Keeping that in mind, I haven’t gone to a store that charges SMRP (that’s code for “Suggested Manufacturers Retail Price” or whatever acronym it means for being ‘overpriced)’ … in a L-O-N-G time.

(I know my husband would beg to differ on this topic!!) Lately- I have truly been doing most of my shopping on this “gem” of a find { HAUTELOOK} that I can’t even remember how I came across it… but honestly… I am SO SO very HAPPY that I did!!! Can you see my smiling??

I do like to look nice, I love nice things in my home, so this website… oohhh, it’s been the ANSWER to the question- “where can I find THAT at a price that I can actually afford???”… Last week, I bought a pair of DESIGNER… and I don’t mean – oh, it says designer but that’s just crypto language for some person designed it… These were “Lucky” jeans… and I got them for a steal. (less than $30… that’s a steal for a pair of “Lucky’s” for me- I’ve never found them cheaper than that- unless they’ve been worn and unwashed for years and then sold on ebay.) This weekend,  HAUTELOOK is having a sale event on Sweet Pea tops- and I’m in absolute heaven!! So I figured I’d tell anyone who would listen… and share my “gem” of a find with others-

If you like a great deal then you love- HAUTELOOK–  (pronounced “hotlook”…I think!!) They have sales on anything and EVERYTHING you can imagine!

stacking_peppermill

 

 Items for your home and outdoor living!!

  outdoor_chair

HAUTELOOK

 also has clothing for your children and significant other/spouse    skirt  I bought this very skirt for my daughter for $10-  just one of the deals this weekend from the many sale events taking place this week!!

I also bought myself 2 pairs of shoes… white_heel  This pair of adorable heels and another just as cute and delicious!! I can’t WAIT until they come – I’ve got to schedule a pedi so my toes look cute in them…

Another reason why  HAUTELOOK if so great… when your S.O. (Significant Other) isn’t sure what he can buy you for your anniversary, birthday, or holidays… you can just send a link to a pair of stunning earrings, like these diamond_earrings or whatever else you might want!! Just remind him that he’s saving so much money- so he might want to get you 2 gifts!!! LOL!

Never pay Retail…not with our salary!!

July 14

Florida Educators Association – WPB Conference!!

cta logoFEA logo

 The Florida Educators Association (FEA) alongside School District of Palm Beach county Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) is hosting it’s FIRST annual REGIONAL Summer Institute to be held in Palm Beach County!!!

This conference is FREE to ALL public school teachers but space is limited so if you are interested- SIGN UP FAST!!

The first 25 participants to sign up will receive a gift!! There will be prizes and gifts handed out all week long and the institute will host a hot breakfast and lunch on the first and last day of the institute! Each session will be worth a certain amount of Master Service Plan points- so check the FLYERS- if you are interested in attending and submit the paperwork ASAP!!! Not only will you learn the latest research in reading, behavior, math, family-school communications but you will also have loads of FUN!!

Click on the link below to access the documents!!

FEA-CTA 1st annual regional institute

 Palm Beach REGIONAL Conference.pdf

Palm Beach REGIONAL Conference registration form

July 7

Open Source Solutions

One of the topics that came up during our Birds of a Feather (a gathering of people who are interested in the same topic) during ISTE in Denver last week (for SIG-Literacy) was how could we use Open Source Solutions and what materials are out there and available to be used right now; as far as e-textbooks that can be uploaded onto classroom computers and e-readers.

Although I may not know of any specific titles anyone may be looking for…here are a few websites, blogs, links, and resources that I have come across ….

http://www.friedbeef.com/7-best-places-to-download-free-textbooks/

  • This is a blog post (from a website I recently found- that I have found to be very informative!!) and provides links to places where educators and students alike can download books and textbooks. It’s definitely worth checking this site out and you can also sign up for updates on the topic of “downloadable-free-textbooks.”

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

  • This is one of the GREATEST resources for Children’s Literature I have come upon in a very   l o n g  time. It is the International Childrens Digital Library. This site provides classic literature, representing varying cultural and ethnic writers, stories, families, and perspecitves. Included alongside each book is background information, extension activities, the actual publication date (as these are tales/books that are out of print), and country of origin. Each book can be read online, most of the books are very colorful and engaging which will help to entice your audience into wanting to read more and visit the site to reread the texts during independent reading time.

http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/

(The information found below was taken directly from the Curriki website)

  • “Curriki is more than your average website; we’re a community of educators, learners and committed education experts who are working together to create quality materials that will benefit teachers and students around the world.”
  • “Curriki is an online environment created to support the development and free distribution of world-class educational materials to anyone who needs them. Our name is a play on the combination of ‘curriculum’ and ‘wiki’ which is the technology we’re using to make education universally accessible.”

http://www.oercommons.org/

  • OER stands for Open Educational Resources. This is a wonderful site that provides tens of thousands of free resources to educators, including free and open textbooks.

http://community.k12opensource.com/events/opensourcecon-1

  • A Ning network created by Steve Hargadon (I’m a big fan of his!!) of educators- There is a wealth of information available on this website- it does require the you do Sign up!

I would love any feedback on the above resources- I will post more Open source resources once I know how you did with the above resources!!

Thanks so much for the feedback!!

July 5

New Posts: Math and Science

Check out the Science page for NEWLY posted information on an Invention Convention- and links to resources and sites which will provide you with information and lessons on INQUIRY and teaching students to question and wonder about the world around them!

The Math page has links and a Slideshow on Algebra resources- Don’t miss out on these GREAT resources!!