Posts made in August, 2013

Find It Free!

Posted by on Aug 4, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Freebies  announced throughout the day on my Facebook page.

First hint – it won’t be first!

Clue # 2 Remember I work in Central Time!

Clue #3 At 12:30 some penguins decided to go for free. I hope you find them! The big one will happen nearer to a half hour than an hour.

Clue # 4 A brand new product is currently available for you to download and let me know your opinions! It will be free until about 4:15 – remember it’s Central time.

Clue #5 – Get ready the BIG one is coming!!!!

Sunday’s Fabulous Flash Freebies is underway on my Facebook page.

At times throughout the day several of my products will be available for brief periods for free. Today I am debuting my America Bundle. It contains (more than) 6 complete units.

It includes US Government (2 products), National Holidays with extra vocabulary, Elections, The Preamble to the Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance,and the Star-Spangled Banner. Each unit was created for my third grade classroom, but would work well through 5th grade. At some time today it will be free for only 10 minutes. I will be posting hints on my Facebook page and here on my blog.

Flash Freebie Sundays

Here’s a little share for you for checking in!



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Stopping Paper Clutter

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Freebies, general school | 2 comments

Stopping Paper Clutter

Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.

– Ronald Reagan



Monday Morning after staying for 3 hours on Friday to grade and clean up papers!



Tuesday Morning, working on Tuesday folders


Wednesday Morning the mess is starting to take over!

I really have a goal of taming the paper mess in my classroom. The pictures above are from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of a week when I was REALLY TRYING to keep papers organized and my work space uncluttered. I am not showing Thursday and Friday; it is just too sad.

I’ve read a few blogs on organization over the summer. This one is great:

I have a plan and I think it will help. I am going to label specific baskets for specific papers. I am going to think of them as (and call them) paper drop spots. I’ve been working on the labels:

Drop Spots

Drop Spot Labels


The ones for my classroom actually have a penguin font! These labels match my penguin decor. Many penguin decor items are available here:

This includes my Penguin Birthday Chart that is a cute freebie!

Penguin Birthday Chart Freebie


I went out to buy more baskets yesterday, but my Dollar General didn’t have any! So I will be out shopping for them again before school starts.

Some of the things I have been doing in my classroom with papers turned out to be a really good plan. I just need to keep up with my plan. AND if I have another student teacher this year, I need to train her (or him) about the plan.

If you have class organization ideas to share, please post them in the comments.

If you have an organizational product you’d like to highlight, please add it to the linky.



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Brain Breaks

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Freebies, vocabulary development | 1 comment

Brain Breaks

“I like nonsense, it wakes up brain cells.”  – Dr. Seuss

Brain Breaks

We’ve learned that regularly incorporating short movement activities into the instructional day allows children to get their ‘wiggles’ out, and energizes them and increases their ability to focus on the next learning activity.

Find It in a Flash

This activity helps students make associations (which also helps develop vocabulary).  The teacher needs a set of flashcards with colors,  shapes, letters, or numbers etc. For a quick brain break randomly flash a card, students must quickly find five things in the classroom the correspond to that card. For example, flash a square, students tell their shoulder partner or team 5 items in the room that are square, contain a square, etc. Flash red, find 5 red items. Flash “L” find five items that start with L or find the letter L posted in 5 places in the room. Flash 3 and students must find 5 things that come in threes in the room.

I have created 24 flashcards for colors, shapes, letters, and numbers for you to download free or buy it from my TpT store by clicking on the picture.

Find It in a Flash




Are You For Real?

I love this brain break because it is all about vocabulary! The teacher gives an unfamiliar word (for example, tintinnabulation) along with 2 definitions (the sound of bells or covering something with foil). Students are asked to discuss the word and definitions and decide together which definition is for real.

The Seat Exchange

During a review session, students who answer a question correctly switch seats with the person in front, behind, or to the left or right of them. Be sure to have many questions ready for much movement.

And If You Are Really Brave

Would you like to share a favorite brain break? Please write about it in the comments.

If you would like to share a product add it to the linky!



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August? Already?!

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

– Russell Baker

This morning I was wondering about how August got its name. I thought it was named for Augustus Caesar, but I wasn’t sure if  that was accurate. Well, I was right and I learned some really cool stuff! Did you know that August was originally the SIXTH month and its name was “Sextillia” which is Latin for sixth? I knew September, October, November , and December were all misnomers as their prefixes mean seven, eight, nine, and ten.

What I didn’t know was the March used to be the first month! Until 1752 the British and their colonies celebrated New Years at the spring equinox around March 22! Now all of the misnamed months make sense.

The word April may come from the Latin word for second, the Latin word for “to open” because of flowers blooming, or the Roman goddess Aphrodite. Its origin is not certain.

Februa used to be an end of year celebration and around 690 B.C. it became a whole month of celebration and was named February. January, March, and May are all named for Roman gods or goddesses while July, just as I thought is named for Julius Caesar. However, before he laid claim to the month, it was named “Quintilis,” which is Latin for fifth.

So much great information, and great for vocabulary building!

Yesterday I redid all of my birthday charts, because a buyer asked if they could be bigger and have more lines. The new ones are 8 by 5.25. The 12 months will need about 5 feet of space to display. The small charts are still available.


Larger penguin birthday  chart

The Penguin Birthday chart is a freebie.

Larger Monster birthday chartFind all of the birthday charts here:

What are some calendar activities you do with your class? Please link us to a favorite or post it in the comments. You can find over 4000 of them at TpT!


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