Teaching in High Heels

Monday, April 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations, Rachel!
I will email you to get your contact information so that you can receive your amazing prize...ASAP!
Thank you so much to everyone who participated and to Learning Resources for sponsoring this giveaway. 
Next week..I'll be giving away another fabulous product...so stay tuned..you won't want to miss it..I promise!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Out of this World {a Space Unit}

Remember yesterday I posted that I was almost done with my space unit?
Well...I'm done!

And here is a little preview....
74 pages of out of this world fun!
If you see what you like...and you're interested in it...you can find it at my 'lil TpT store.
It's on sale for $2.99 for the first 24 hours...after that it'll go up to $5.50...so take advantage while you can! 
As always the first 2 night owls...will get this little unit free of charge...just leave a comment and don't forget to include your email addy..so I can send it asap. 

Hope y'all have a great evening!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Randomness on a Friday

Hey y'all...after 3 days of administering our lovely STAAR test..I am 12 kinds of exhausted..but delighted it is finally over! I'm sure all that hard work is going to pay off beautifully. ;)
This is what got me through the day...
Yes...coffee and FUN DAY! We had fun day in the morning...only in the morning because it's been too dang hot in the afternoon...think 105 degrees hot! Wowie! And it's still April...can you imagine July and August? Scorchers for sure!
In the afternoon..I started DRA testing with my little darlings..so proud of them..they are doing awesome. 

On another note...
Learning Resources has a fabulous teacher grant that you should definitely check out...here's a little info to get you started. 
Learning Resources announces the sponsorship of a teacher grant hosted by WeAreTeachers. To apply, teachers must answer this question: “How would you use portable interactive technology to create collaborative lessons?” After the application process concludes, educators can invite colleagues to vote for their favorite lesson ideas. Each of the three top vote getters will win a set of three now!Boards and three GeoSafari Tuff Cams, a prize package valued at $2,000. Additionally, two merit-based winners selected by a panel of teachers will each win one now!Board and one GeoSafari Tuff Cam, a total value of $700. Teachers can apply for the grant online through May 22, 2012.
For more information and to apply for the grant click here.

Oh..and don't forget to enter the Easi-Speak USB Recorder Giveaway. Click here to go to that post.

One last thing...I want to leave you with a sneak peak at my next unit...coming soon...I promise.
Have a great evening...toodles!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easi-Speak USB Recorder Giveaway!

I'm sure that y'all have heard of the company
Learning Resources, if you haven't I seriously recommend you check them out...they are fabulous! 
I am lucky enough to have been contacted by them to do a review and giveaway..and I couldn't be more delighted! 
First of all the Easi-Speak USB Recorder is really cool..and I'm not kidding when I tell you, your students will not want to put this little gadget down! 
Here is the product description taken from the 
This fun and easy wireless recorder encourages even the most reluctant student to speak up! Click the button, record, then simply play back and listen (up to 4 hours of audio)! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! It's a great tool to use in the classroom, you can use it for storytelling, interviews, dramatic play, intervention activities, teacher conferences, and my favorite fluency! 
The USB makes it easy to connect to your computer (PC or Mac) and upload the WAV or MP3 files...I also love that you can charge it on your computer via the USB connector. 
I absolutely LOVE this product...and yes I have used it with my firsties...and yes they are totally lovin' on this little gem...but my favorite moment so far has been recording my little 3 year old singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star...awww...cuteness! Makes my heart melt!
Here is an 8 second glimpse of what I heard and saw..adorable..if you ask me. ;)

and here's another little video I thought you might like...

So I know...you guys are wondering...when is she going to get to the giveaway part. Ha! 
Well..finally..here is how you can win..this amazing product.
Follow Learning Resources on Facebook.
Follow Learning Resources on Twitter.
Follow my TpT store.
Follow my 'lil ole blog.
Leave a comment for each entry you complete..that's it..piece 'a cake, right!?
You have 4 chances to win...giveaway ends on Monday, April 30 at midnight..the winner will be announced on Tuesday. 
Good luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Sweet Birthday!

Hi friends! Remember this post last year? 
Awww..it's that time again..my sweet girl turned 3 today! Ahhh! 3...can you believe that?!? 
How time flies..when you're having fun! 
In honor of my 'lil princess' birthday..I am having a flash sale 'til midnight. You will find everything on sale for $3 or less...at my TpT store...enjoy! 
I'm off to do some more celebratin'..with cupcakes and ice cream..yummo!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Hey y'all!
Just a little short post to let 'ya know that Once Upon a Time...a Fairy Tales Unit is ready to go! This 72 page unit is jam-packed with fun and magical activities! I just finished uploading it to my TpT store..and since I wasn't able to upload it in time for the Tax Break Sale..it is now on sale for $2.50..but only for 24 hrs...after that it will go back to its regular price of $5.50. So I recommend you go by my 'lil store and grab it while it's still on sale! 
As always..the first two night owls to leave a comment with their email addy...will get this unit free of charge!

On another note..I'm delighted to have been contacted by Learning Resources to review some of their products...one of which is this little lovely...
So please come back and visit..this weekend..because there's going to be an amazing giveaway!
Until next time, toodles!

P.S. I'm uploading the unit to my new TN shop soon...;)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tax Break Sale!

I'm joining the lovely Hadar and many other fabulous bloggers for a little Tax Break Sale! 
I have also completed the literacy part of my Fairy Tales Unit..{woohoo!}..and will be uploading it to my TpT store and TN shop tomorrow just in time for the sale! 
Here's a sneak preview...
Hope you like it! ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Miscellaneous {and a new unit!}

Hi lovely friends! 
I had a wonderful Easter Sunday yesterday...it was a lovely time spent with family. 
I hope y'all had a great time too. 
This post is full of miscellaneous stuff...thus the title. ;) 
So hang on..and let me take 'ya for a ride. Ha!

I've been having way too much fun with the Instagram app on my iPhone 4s..and here's the proof. 

Love how this app..makes pictures look so pretty!
Don't you think?

Okay..so today is the last day of my fabulous 4 day weekend..that means we are in for the long haul starting tomorrow...no more breaks..until May 31st! Ugghhh..so little time..yet summer seems so far away! 
Anyone else feel that way?
During my long weekend I decided to work on some Spring literacy centers for my firsties..and here is the fruit of my labor..lol!
It is 47 pages long of fun and engaging activities to help your students practice the skills they've been learning. 
You know the drill...the first 2 people to leave a comment with their email address will get this unit for free! 
But don't be too sad if you don't comment in time..because I've decided to put my Spring into Literacy Centers on sale for a $1 until midnight! After midnight they will go up to their regular price of $3.50. 
Hope you take advantage!

I'm off to do some laundry and catch up on some school work. 
Until next time, toodles!

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Guest Blogger...Kacey

Hello! My name is Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching.

A year ago {this same week} I had the honor to blog for Gladys and share the first glimpse of my classroom with the whole blog world. This is possibly one of the reasons I started my own teaching blog..I fell in love quickly with sharing my ideas with y’all {yes, I live in the south!}.

You can see that blog post HERE. It’s all about FROGS!

So, a year later- I have my own blog and TpT store!

What a year a difference makes!

I wanted to tell you about my {free} calendar cards that I share monthly with my readers. I started these in October and they have become a monthly freebie.

So if you are interested you can download the free calendar cards in my teacher’s pay teachers store.

And, while you are there you can grab the past months too! 
Months available are October-April 
They are all free and available for you to download.

The link to my store: Doodle Bugs Teaching

Thank you again Gladys for letting my guest blog for 2 years in a row for you!
Come visit my blogs and say hi!
xoxo, kacey

Doodle Bugs Paper

Thank you so much, Kacey! LOVE, your calendar cards and your cutie blog!! 

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Blogger..Valerie

Hi everyone,
My name is Valerie and I am the author of All Students Can Shine.

I am so excited about being a guest blogger on this amazing blog!
I love using technology in the classroom and I know my students appreciate it too! Every time I turn on my Smart Board, I can see their little faces light up! They get so excited to see what new website I have to share with them or what games we will be playing.
Kids today are so involved with technology in their everyday lives that
it only makes sense to incorporate it in our daily lessons. It is a
great way to engage our students in their learning experiences.
Technology in the classroom creates a new type of learning environment
which includes active participation, motivation, and success!

Today, I'd like to share with you some spectacular online resources.
The first link is called A Story Before Bed.
This website allows parents and teachers to record themselves reading books.
Students can then watch the recorded books over and over again! This is
great for students who are struggling with reading and need someone to
read to them. Also, if you are doing the Daily 5 in your classroom, it
is perfect for “Listen to Reading”. They have a huge selection of books
to choose from and they are giving away free recordings to teachers!

Storyline Online and Read To Me are also for listening to stories but these are read to you by a CELEBRITY! My students are always very impressed with these websites because "famous people read to you"! 
The next one is called Into the Book.
This website is dedicated to helping students learn reading
comprehension strategies. They are equipped with videos, interactives,
lesson ideas, book lists, and links. Teachers can download resources
such as songs and posters. Students can complete interactives and print
their work when they are done.
Progressive Phonics is FREE but you must register to have access. Books are used to teach the alphabet and phonics for beginners, intermediate, and advanced readers. Each book can be downloaded as an eBook (read on your computer) or as a printable version. Each story comes with follow-up activities.
Literactive is for Kindergarten and Grade one students. The Road to Reading section includes nursery rhymes, pre-reading activities, CVC words, letter sounds, and blends. Guided reading books come with related activities that can be used to help develop reading skills such as rhythm and sequence. All books and activities are animated!
Professor Garfield is an award-winning website filled with interactive learning activities. It is filled with stimulating games and is constantly under revision. 
For more great resources like these ones, visit my website at Explore and Learn Online.
I'd love for you to come visit my blog and become my newest follower. I am constantly sharing new online resources, units, and FREEBIES! Hop on over to check it out for yourself!


Thank you so much, Valerie! These resources are amazing!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guest Blogger..Abby

Hi Everyone! I am Gladys's guest blogger today, which I am thrilled about! Don't you love her blog (and her)?!! My name is Abby Alley, and I am a 2nd grade teacher in Chicago - Chicago Public Schools. I've been teaching at the same school for all five years I have been a teacher. I've taught 2 years of first grade and this year is my 3rd year in second grade. I love primary! My blog is called Ms. Alley's Class (not very creative, I know), but I would love if you would come over and visit/ follow!
Ms. Alley's Class 
Ok - on to my post...I am going to talk about teaching vocabulary for two reasons. First, I don't know about all of you, but vocabulary has always been one of those things I just don't know if I'm doing right. I seem to change it every year and nothing has seemed to be the perfect method. I've tried using the words from the basal, choosing my own words from the "story of the week", having a class "interesting words" board that we add to when we read/ hear interesting words, and this year I have a Fancy Nancy Word Wall for "Fancy Words." Of all the years, this one has been the best - I think because the kids are so engaged in reading all of the Fancy Nancy books - but I still wasn't satisfied. What was the proof that my students' were actually learning words? 

About a month ago, I took a 1 credit elective to finish my masters in reading. The class was on teaching vocabulary! It exceeded my expectations to say the least! The class consisted of attending a conference with Margaret Mckeown and then one class with my favorite professor in the world (Sunday Cummins) to debrief and extend our learning. 

It could take all day to tell you everything I learned...so I'll just highlight some key points (sorry if you already know all of this!!):

*Kids need 12 interactions with a word to remember/ internalize it

* We should be teaching tier 2 words (words like reluctant, dazzling, ravenous) - not to be confused with tier 3 words (hibernate, orbit, colonize) - words that are specific to a content area and will only be found in that context

*We should be talking about and taking into consideration when planning a read aloud (especially for ELLs): cognates (favorite/favorito), idioms (it's raining cats and dogs), multiple meaning words (clear, trunk)

*We should teach vocabulary using quality literature - both fiction and nonfiction

*We should be intentional about the way we speak - using words on purpose

***Vocabulary knowledge is directly linked to schema about a topic, which is the largest contributor to comprehension...so it's important! 

One of the most interesting things I learned is that by reading a book, it helps us learn words that were not in the book. Now, at first that makes no sense...but after learning that we think about words as concepts and in our minds we create imaginary ties and connections between words, it makes more sense. Our goal is to create more and more links between more and more words so that our students have a deep understanding of words. For example, think about the word: "compassionate" - I bet you can come up with a definition easily and can give many examples of what it means to be compassionate. That's because you have had a lot of experience with that word (especially being a teacher :) ) Now, think about the word: "abjure" - if you're like me, you may have heard it once or twice, but don't really know how to talk about it. We want our kids to be able to talk about words like we can with "compassionate."

Soooo I have been giving this a try in my classroom -- and although I am not a pro yet -- I have already noticed a difference. The first thing I did was notice how often I say, "Clear off your desks." That sparked a conversation about the word clear and how many ways we use that word. My kids just loved talking about it! They are so curious about words and can't wait to use them in new ways!

One thing I've been trying is making one of my reading mini-lessons a vocabulary mini-lesson everyday (as opposed to twice a week...oops). I use a read aloud throughout the week to focus on 4-6 words depending on the book. I try to throw in a little comprehension too! Monday I usually just read the book for enjoyment and then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are learning the words, and Friday is review/ and a possible activity. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the important teaching days. I have of course chosen the words ahead of time through a careful reading of the book. I always introduce the words first. Then we talk about how each word was used in the book and we come up with a "kid friendly" definition. This is the most important step - getting them to use the word in their own context. This is where so many students "mess it up." So often I find students either misuse the word or use it in wrong context, which does not help them internalize what the word really means. For example, last week we had the word, "cozy." I had a student say he was "cozy while riding my bike with no hands." It was so important that I disconnect "cozy" from that experience and re-connect "cozy" to other words and experiences! Sometimes I have my students act out the word if it's appropriate or talk about a time when they were _____. It just depends on the word. On Fridays, once they have learned all of the words and had a lot of practice with them - I try to assess them by forcing them to use the words together. For example, "Would it be more pleasing to you if someone demanded you to give them your toy or requested that you give them your toy?" The bold words would be the vocabulary words. This really forces students to understand the meaning of the words!

This week we have been reading The Amazing Bone by William Stieg. I love his books - especially for vocabulary! (We read Dr. De Soto last week.) 

We are learning: regret, ravenous, replied, imitate, and amazing

On Friday they are going to use this "bone" template to use one or more of the words in writing as another opportunity to use the words and a great way to assess. Feel free to download it and use it in your classrooms! If you do - I'd love to hear about it!!

Thanks, Gladys for letting me post! And thanks to everyone for reading!!

Thank you, Abby! I absolutely LOVED your post! We can always use some tips on teaching vocabulary...you did a great job!

P.S. Finally...I have the winner for the Vocabulary SpellingCity Giveaway! Pamela Fulk (#36) is the lucky winner! Woohoo...congrats, Pamela! Please email me so that I can give you the contact info...thanks everyone for participating...and thank you Vocabulary SpellingCity for this AMAZING giveaway! Love, love, love your website!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guest Blogger..Rachel

Hi Friends!
Ms. Rachel here from Ms. Rachel's Room.

I'm newish to blogging and I just love this bloggy community. I am a second year, special education teacher so I'm going to talk about how you can make having a kiddo with an IEP in your room NBD (no big deal).  Thanks so much for having me here Gladys!

You might have a TON of kiddos with an IEP or none at all, but typically a general education teacher does not need an entire IEP, just a sort of cheat sheet.  Currently, Im not using this because my kiddos are self-contained but I created this document awhile back so I could help a friend! I've kind of cutesied it up.
You can grab them off of Google Docs by clicking HERE.
Hopefully, your special education teacher will share this stuff with you, but often times, I'm hearing that they are not sharing them.  Maybe you can share them with your special education teacher!

The first form is a general form that says IEP cheat sheet, should just be to give you an idea of what's going on with your kiddo!  The second one is just a few reminders about accommodations and modifications, that can be tricky!  I made the documentation sheet because if any parents or basically anyone wants to know, every teacher should be able to show their documentation!  I added the column about teacher prompt or student initiated because it is important for students to be using these accommodations on their own!

Now, I know as much as the next teacher knows, that IEP's are not the most exciting thing out there... however they are important and are the law!

Let me know if you can use these documents or if you would like another section or anything!
Thanks for having me Gladys!!!!!
Thanks Rachel...I love your documents...they'll definitely come in handy in my classroom! Thanks for sharing, girl!

P.S. Later this evening...I'll be posting the winner of  the VocabularySpellingCity Giveaway! Good luck to all who entered!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April Fool's Day!

Hey y'all! 
I'm sure today will be a fun day of pranks and jokes..I do have 4 kids after all. And who doesn't love a good knock-knock joke? I know that my boy sure does...he has a whole book full of them...and still can't get enough! Ha! But have you ever wondered what the origin of April Fool's Day is..my other boy is a history buff and he loves researching things...so when I gave him a challenge..he rose to the occasion..that's my boy! 
So here is what he told me...
In the 16th century most people in Europe celebrated the New Year on or around April 1st, they followed the Julian calendar. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII pulls a switcheroo and decides to replace the old Julian calendar with a newer, more reformed calendar..called {very appropriately} the Gregorian calendar. So with this calendar New Year's Day is celebrated on Jan.1st. According to popular belief many people either refused to accept this new calendar or didn't learn about it soon enough...and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. Poor souls from then on were called April Fools..these people were made fun of for being traditionalists and were at times tricked. 
Hmmm, interesting. 

Okay..so now that you know what the origin of this fun day is...how do you feel about celebrating April Fool's Day in your classroom? Do you trick your class? Do you just tell jokes? I would love to know!

April Fool's Day Read Alouds
And some fun April Fool's Day activities I found floating around in blogland. 
from Annie at Kindergarten at Heart
from Rachel at Sub Hub

I'll leave you with a knock, knock joke...
Knock knock. 
Who's there?
Boo who?
Don't cry, it's only a joke!

Hahaha! Okay..not that funny..but cute nonetheless. ;)

Happy April Fool's Day!