Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa's Writing List

My students loved to write in the different categories of writing. They loved creating that postcard, making a list of school supplies, writing a letter to Grandma, and, well--they loved creating and writing messages in greeting cards!

My newest packet, "Santa's Writing List", includes materials on all categories. There are 50 pages of writing activities. Students can practice writing a persuasive paper, a mystery description, a "how-to" paper, research a holiday related idea, holiday poetry, and more.

As I've said before, I am a writer at heart. Once I start developing a packet, I just keep adding to it because there are so many ways you can engage students to be interested in writing! That is why I am a little later at posting was hard to stop. :-)

  Head over to my stores and take a look. Let me know what you think.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TPT Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale!

Fellow bloggers--
Don't you just love sales? I know I do. TPT is hosting a Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale. Follow the link to TPT, and check out my 20% off sale on selected products!!
Happy Shopping,

720 × 90

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Teachers Notebook Thanksgiving 2013 Sales Event

Hello fellow teachers!!                            

Please visit the sale going on at Teachers Notebook where you will find items discounted and build your own bundle to purchase materials you want. I am also holding a special giveaway to welcome in 2014. Three lucky winners will be chosen.

Follow the link


Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Turkey Writes" Packet

I love writing. For the most part, I always enjoyed teaching the process to my students. I loved seeing their growth throughout the year. It takes a good chunk of time to do writing. I only hope it does not get squeezed more as new things are implemented.

I have a writing packet about Thanksgiving that I have called "Turkey Writes". There are 10 writing prompts to choose from, and each prompt includes a writing title page where I have actually printed the prompt and lines to begin below it, lined page to continue writing, and an illustration page.

There is also a word bank of Thanksgiving words for students to refer to while writing. A graphic organizer using beginning, middle, and ending is included for planning.

There are also picture prompts, poetry, and list writing. Please check out this packet at my stores:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Veterans Day--Last Minute Freebie!

Hello everyone,
    Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but, I have a Veterans Day Freebie for you. It has information about the historic day with line art children can color--students could also use the information paragraphs as a way to highlight important information. There is a poetry page for an acronym poem and a word scramble page. Enjoy!! As always, you may find the product at either of my stores:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Freebie

It's time for some Halloween story writing!! I've created a free writing packet for you and your students to enjoy. I always liked to display these creative writing pieces.

Both of my TPT/TN stores have this product. Please enjoy and let me know what you think!
Have a great afternoon,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Story Elements

Good evening everyone!
  We actually had a little sleet here awhile ago. I guess it is possible even if not wanted. :-)
  So, I remember doing so much with story elements with my 3rd graders. I started with the normal ones: setting, characters, problem, events, solution. Then, I added genre and theme. I like for students to have a reference sheet they can use when necessary--like all of the elements' definitions. It was also good to have a practice sheet.
  We'd go through one at a time, introduce it, give examples, talk about it. Eventually we'd practice it. I had to refresh their memories from time to time with more practice.
  Well, I've put all of this together in my Story Elements Activity Packet. It's 30 pages of introduction, practice, reference sheets, and a Trifold Assessment for individual stories. I also added compare/contrast sheets to do between two stories for the elements. These sheets have graphic organizers that are always important for students to use.
  This packet can be found at both of my stores:

  Please leave some feedback on the products. I really appreciate your input! Have a great evening,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Scarecrow Writing Activity

Do you like scarecrows? I think they are one of the cutest parts of the seasonal decorations. So, I decided to create a writing activity based upon describing scarecrows. It is a practice activity for after paragraph writing has been introduced. Descriptive writing is an important level in learning the writing process and its different forms. Students can pull upon a given word bank along with their own knowledge to describe what they see in a picture prompt.

The first activity has students looking at a given color picture of a scarecrow. They have a Descriptive Writing Guide to help them make notes about what they see. After completing the Guide, students are then directed to write a topic sentence of introduction followed by sentences describing what they see in detail.

The second activity lets students create their own picture of a scarecrow complete with added details. After completing their picture, students again use the Guide to note what they see. This leads them to their topic sentence followed by sentences describing in detail what they see. A twist to this activity allows students to be critical readers looking for the correct picture that matches a given paragraph.

You may find this packet in either of my stores:

Have fun with this seasonal writing activity!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Project Pieces Drove Me Crazy!

When we did projects, we never had enough time to finish them. We had to put materials away. Well, that desk was like the catch-all for everything. I later changed to tables and loved them. However, we needed some way to store this stuff. In my last blog, I told you about a wonderful presenter. Here was her solution: Working Portfolios!!!

So, I got a couple of crates, bought come gallon-sized freezer bags and cut pieces of cardboard to fit the entire length of the bag. I numbered my kids, so I also numbered the cardboard pieces in the top right corner of each side. I designed labels to use on the bags, wrote the numbers on the labels, and stuck them on the top center.

The presenter gave us a little hint for those who love to trap air in bags--snip off a small piece on each of the lower corners--no more trapping air! :-)  I stood these up in the crates. I used 2 small crates, but one large crate might work.

What I thought was amazing was that most of the kids took to owning their portfolio, was proud of it, and made sure they filed pieces away until we worked on the project another day. Such an easy fix for a materials problem.

Here is a picture of the portfolio:

You can find this product at either of my stores:
  Susan        Enjoy organizing!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Binder Acronym Cover Designs

It has been a long time since I posted, however I have been working on a lengthy project and reflecting along the way on my teaching years. You see...I retired after 31 years this past May. I absolutely loved teaching until I began to grow physically more tired, and completely tired of the changes. 

So, now I am at home but wanting to hang onto my creative spirit that was always a driving force. Let me go back about 23 years ago when a colleague and I went to an organization workshop. The presenter came from Washington state. I loved her energy, and simple way of explaining using binders. I had taught 8 years in 5th grade and tried using folders. Well, there was always the shuffle of getting the right one out of the desk.

When I moved to 3rd grade, I was determined to find a way to help kids do a better job of organizing. (She talked a lot about other organizing, but that is another blog) She stressed we must explain every part of the binder carefully to the students so that they understood--and of course, be prepared to repeat it. :-)

She suggested students have the following materials: 1 inch or     1 1/2 inch binder with the clear view sleeve on the front; 2-3 packages of wide-ruled notebook paper; a pencil pouch; and a set of 8 divider tabs. Over the years I added a pocket folder to the binder as well.

We "loaded" the binders when supplies arrived. Items were placed inside in this order: pencil pouch with erasers and extra pencils; weekly calendar; divider tabs with subject labels; loose leave paper; and the folder which was marked "Leave at Home" on the left pocket, and "Homework" on the right pocket.

Students were taught to file reference sheets behind the correct subject tab to use when needed. Loose paper was used at home when needed. Assignments were recorded each morning on their weekly calendar. I would do a "calendar check" to make sure the assignments were on the calendar. 

I always did a handbook to explain all of the procedures to parents. Parents knew to check the calendar for assignments, go over homework in the folder, and remind their child to put it in the folder to come back to school. 

I was pleased that  most students managed to do a great job handling this organization. One binder for all things necessary for the classroom, student, and parent. Oh, there were some who needed extra time to learn the process. That is why we did a "binder check" at least once a month to reorganize. 

So, I'm sharing this because I have been working on a packet with 20 different binder cover sheets all based upon an acronym. I always printed these up for students to put in their sleeve on the front=ownership! The acronyms many times were based upon themes used in a classroom. For example, one year I used stars. So the binder became "My S.T.A.R. Binder". "S.T.A.R." stood for "Students Taking Awesome Responsibility" in their school work. I did not create these acronyms, but have linked the list I used to create the binder covers for them.

For each them, I have included 2 forms--a colorful one and a one with less color--your choice! That means 20 forms x 2=40 choices! Please check them out. Any feedback you give would be most appreciated. You can find them at my stores:

I've included a few views below. Thanks so much!!!  Susan 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monthly Poetry Packet

Good evening everyone! I don't know about you, but when it came to poetry, I struggled. And, then, the idea about having the kids combine knowledge of the seasons, using their senses, and writing sentences all came together in my newest packet: Monthly Poetry Packet. There are two different forms to choose from for the activity. I also included a brainstorming page for students to use when thinking about their senses in relation to each month. I love saving these throughout the year for an end of year booklet.

Please check out this product at either of my stores:

Please leave a comment about the product. I do appreciate comments as they help me when I design.


Hi everyone--I am sorry for the confusion for the items you see below that you saw another time on my blog. I changed my TPT profile to show my shop name. That changes the shop's URL. Then, I went in and changed the last few items I had posted to show the new URL. Sounds kind of strange, doesn't it?......Have a great day!

Friday Freebie

If you like cupcakes, how about grabbing the 2013-2014 Calendar Set with a cupcake theme? You can get it at either store:

Please follow me at Bloglovin' or at my blog Imagination Station:
Picture of Free Teacher Downloads at Teaching Blog Addict

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shop Sale--Teachers Pay Teachers!!

Today and tomorrow--a 20% sale on my store products at Teachers Pay Teachers!! Come and visit. Now is the time to get those products you'd love to have. Here is an example--My Back to School Fun Pack usually sells for $4.50. Sale price is $3.60!!

Another example would be my Descriptive Writing Packet that normally sells for $3.00--now priced at $2.40.

Check it out:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School SALE!!

Hi everyone--
There is a wonderful surprise planned for August 18-19 at Teachers Pay Teachers. We're having a SALE!! Come on over to check out the sales. We'd love to have you visit and look over the amazing products. Happy Shopping!
 **Special Note: You must type in the Promo Code: BTS13 when making a purchase in order to get the sale price.         

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Monster Theme Calendar Set Freebie

Anybody doing a monster theme in their room this year? Well, here is a monster themed calendar set that you can get for free at either of my stores:

I hope you enjoy it!!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

I usually read Mark Teague's How I Spent My Summer Vacation to my students at the beginning of the year. What a great story! I project it using my Elmo and the kids love looking at the pictures and love the exaggeration used to entertain.

I've put together an activity packet using this book. It is available at both my TPT/TN stores:
Hope you like it...leave me a comment if you would please. Have a great week everyone!!


Posting Test

I am posting to see if this shows up on Bloglovin. My last post did not.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Blank Calendar Set!

I've been working on a blank calendar set for classroom use year after year. It's finished!! You can use the calendar as a monthly individualized method of understanding calendar math. Students feel ownership when they have completed the calendar themselves. There are many other uses for the calendar on my idea page that is included. Each month is ready for students to write the days of the week, daily dates, classroom birthdays, special days of the month, write the year vertically in the boxes provided, and color the topper of each month.

You can find a copy at either of my teacher stores:


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Favorite Read Alouds

I absolutely love the first week back to school. One of the big reasons is of course the read aloud books that I read to the kids. I think this sharing, modeling, and engagement with the books sets a perfect tone to that first week. The books I choose are usually connected to some kind of activity that we do to build our community of learners. Here are the ones I usually start with:

*The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf.
The theme centers around acceptance of diversity and being able to see how everyone can work together. A box of crayons at a store do not get along because each thinks their color is the best. A little girl buys the talking box and takes them home. Needless to say they learn a lesson. I follow up this activity by giving each student a cardstock stencil of a crayon. They draw the labels, color it the color they wish, we put their name on it, and I put all of the crayons on a poster that I bought of a box of crayons. It stays up all year.

Here is a picture of our display. I include a quote from the book and a copy of the cover. I use tape to put the crayons on the poster and put them on it just like they would be in a box.

*Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Diversity is again the theme--being able to accept others--even those with a very different name. Chrysanthemum goes to school so excited only to wilt after others make fun of her name. Great book for discussion! I usually create on paper an acronym name poem form for each student. We discuss how to do these poems. Each student creates their own acronym poem. This is a great activity for a class book.

*Only One by Marc Harshman. This book is about working together as a group no matter how many in a group. All through the book you will find examples like: 12 eggs, but only 1 dozen. The activity that I do involves using 2 pre-made blank puzzles. I get the ones that are 24 pieces so that you have a total of 48 pieces. I write across the top of the puzzle (laid side-by-side vertically) "___ Students , But Only One Class". I also write each student's name on a puzzle piece. I also include my name on a piece. (**I finally figured out that if I turned the puzzles over and numbered them on the back, it was easier to put it back together again.) Each student decorates their name piece-around their name-and another blank piece. I put them together and into a poster frame that fits the size. It hangs all year in our classroom as a reminder we are a class!

I could not leave this post without mentioning the first chapter book I read to the class--in fact for 31 years I have read this book at the beginning and the children love it! I have "voices" I use for the characters. The kids love the voices of the characters. If I happen to use the wrong one--they will be sure to let me know. I love this book!

*The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. "Louis"--is born into the world lacking a voice. His parents soon figure out that he will not be able to go as far in life without a voice. So, Louis's father gets him a trumpet to use as his voice. The story shows how Louis overcomes his problem and the story is full of adventure and lots of life lessons.

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the year---choose some read aloud books to build your learning community. I think kids sense your love for reading from these activities, and it sets a wonderful tone for the year.

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