Finishing up the Week of Giving Thanks with "S"

I've really enjoyed linking up this week with Blog Hoppin'.  It's good to reflect on life and take stock of who and where you are and where you are going.

Today's letter "S" is brought to you by Sincerity.  

This is a word that I have lived by pretty much all of my life.  It was one of my main "requirements" in a husband.  It's something I look for in my students and something I am conscious about being with my students.  

I think of sincerity as saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Sometimes, drama tries to creep into my life at school and with my extended family so I have to remember to stay sincere.  

Maybe that's why I have a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree in my classroom.  :)

I would also like to sincerely thank Dr. Emily Levine and Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching and  for participating in my PIN it to WIN it a giveaway.  They will both receive a prize!

And speaking of Head Over Heels for Teaching, Joanne is hosting a fun linky:

The two most Wishlisted items in my Store are:

Getting off to a good start with any class is always a must!  I love to make fun, getting to know you items and these 2 fit that perfectly!

Now here's the item I'm saving to buy during the sale:

I think this will really help me to help my students be ready for our new Florida Standards Assessment which is very similar to Common Core.  

Has anyone else used this?  I'd love to know your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Black Friday Giveaway!

Since it's Thanksgiving Eve as I write this, I am going to share my next two letters all in one post...

A - Auctions:  My husband and I fantasize about becoming "American Pickers" and want to begin by going to auctions.  We haven't done this yet - we've spent more time at Estate Sales and such but it's a nice dream and since it's one we both share, it knits us together and I am certainly thankful for that.

N - Nerds:  No, not the candy, the ones that live in my house - namely my husband and my son who are known as "the science nerds".  I liken my son to the main character Lewis from "Meet the Robinsons".  (My younger son is so totally Stitch.)  

I am thankful for their fresh perspectives on things and for keeping things logical when I am most definitely not.  :)

And now, here's something else for you:

 I will be holding two flash freebie giveaways on Friday for my 2 newest text-based writing products:  PROS writing domains visual organizer AND Writing with PROS for Informative/Explanatory Essays.  


Stay tuned to this blog or check me out on Instagram or Facebook to find out the exact times!

And if you miss it, then there's still a chance to PIN it to WIN it by clicking {here}

And then there's also this "little" sale going on... :)

Thanks for stopping by - Happy Thanksgiving!!

Black Friday Wishlists!

I have to confess - I LOVE Black Friday!  The thrill of the hunt and finding the deals is so much fun to me.  So naturally I am super excited to participate in this super fun linky!

Now this week is BlogHoppin' s giving thanks week and today's letter to share what you are thankful for is "H".  So of course, I could choose "hunt", but I am also fond of "handmade".  Yesterday my son was amazed to learn that all the things on Teachers Pay Teachers are things people made themselves.  I guess it is pretty amazing when you think about it!

First up, my wish list:

Here are my wishes "life-size" - they are linked to the product listings:

Now here's a few items you might like to add to your wishlist:

And here are the "life-size" images that are linked to the product listings:

If you are a savvy Black Friday shopper, you know that there are terrific deals on this day as long as you know where to look.  

I suggest looking on Instagram this Friday.  That's when I will announce the times that I will be giving away the individual PROS products for free - but for one hour only during Black Friday!

If you happen to miss that, you could still Pin it to Win it by clicking {here}

Now don't think I have forgotten all about what this week is for! The hunt is fun because I do love a good deal - the deals I look for are hardly ever for me because I LOVE giving and making gifts.  

I make loads of handmade (remember, today is  "H" day) goodies every year and this year I have decided to make extra to give out to the local fire department, police, crossing guards and such other helpful folks.  You can share what you are thankful for too - join in the fun at BlogHoppin'!

Thanks for stopping by!

Anchors Away with PROS!

I am excited to share my newest anchor chart I made myself!  It's all about how to organize an informative/explanatory essay that is based on text:

My Mnemonic System for teaching students how to write a text-based informative essay!

This anchor chart was born from my PROS writing domains visual organizer:

Make an essay anchor / word wall like PROS!

PROS is a neat little acronym that I made up to help students remember the key areas in essays.  

P - Polestar Focus
R - Rules of Conventions
O - Organization
S- Support

Each part is broken down into manageable pieces that you hang up as you teach them, thereby making a great visual display like this:

Make an essay anchor / word wall like PROS!

My visual learners loved this and thought of it as an anchor / word wall for essays!

Then I added in this:

Teach the organization of text-based informative/explanatory essays with step-by-step examples, Cornell notes and interactive notebook activities all along the way.

It can be used with or without the PROS visual organizer and has Texts, Cornell Notes, Model paragraphs and Interactive Notebook Foldables!

My kinesthetic learners really enjoyed creating and using the INB foldables.  They said it helped them literally see the parts of their essay.

So what about the auditory learners, you ask?

They loved the acronyms - HAT, ACE IT, and ATT!

So you can see there's something for everyone with these writing systems.  :)  And I have them all ready to go!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Writing Freebie and Pin it to Win it!

I know I am a little tardy to the party, but now that I am officially on Thanksgiving break, I have time to share my newest products with a little contest and a freebie!

PROS is an acronym that I created to help students remember the domains of writing.  Each domain has its own title header and is explained/broken down into manageable pieces that each displayed on their own "card".  The idea is that as you teach each of these domains, you build a visual display.

I chose PROS because it's so motivating to my many sports minded students - especially the boys who tend to perk up with anything related to sports.

I have it hanging in my room thusly:

Under each domain are essential things to know in order to write a text-based essay.  Then, to put it all together in an Informative/Explanatory Essay, I made this:

This product focuses on the organization of informative/explanatory essays and explains how to write that essay based on text.  It is laid out in a "chunked" fashion so that you can go through the process step-by-step with example paragraphs, Cornell notes and foldables all along the way for each part of the essay.

If you'd like to win either of these products (or both!), pin it to win it and then comment with the pin's url.  Winners will be chosen at random next Saturday!

To add to the excitement, here is a freebie:

This gives you the essay example from the product above and asks students to cut apart the scrambled sentences and then physically place them in order.  The end product looks something like this:

My students really enjoyed this activity and I daresay it was pretty motivating!  My students completed this in small groups and were a bit competitive.  Then again, anything hands-on seems to be motivating for my students!

Click {here} or on the link above to get your freebie!
And if you could be so kind as to leave some positive feedback, I'd be very grateful!

Thanks for stopping by!

Holidays Around the Blog ~ "A Christmas Carol"

I am very excited to participate in this fun linky hosted by Mrs. Labrasciano so I can share how I celebrate the season in my middle school ELA class!

Of course I decorate my room - with lights around the front whiteboard and then there's my tree:

( Yes, it's a Charlie Brown tree!)

In the 7th grade ELA classes at my school, it is tradition to teach the play version of "A Christmas Carol".  

I have always loved reading and discussing the great story and then comparing and contrasting it to the Muppets' video version.  

First, we start with a little video background:

Then we read a scene, diagram the plot, discuss, take Cornell notes and then watch the Muppet version of the same scene with a Venn Diagram.

One of my favorite activities that we do during this time, is a point of view exercise.  I ask all the students to make a Christmas card from Scrooge's point of view before he changes.  Here's one exceptional one:

I love the attempt to re-write "The 12 days of Christmas" on the inside!  I think he really understood where Scrooge was coming from, don't you?  :)

After we have completely finished the play, on the last day (usually also the last day before the break) I like to play "Jeopardy" using the facts from the play version.  I always give the winning team a special holiday treat like cupcakes, but the "losing" teams always get a candy cane for each member of the team.  :)

Now that I teach 8th grade, I equally love teaching "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.  But that's another post for next week.  :)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the linky and giveaway below so you can stop by some more blogs for some more holiday fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway