Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesday ~ Stephanie from Special Edventures!



This week our Featured Teacher is Stephanie Darling from Special Adventures!


Stephanie Darling is currently a 1st Grade Teacher in Central Arkansas.  This is Stephanie’s first year in 1st grade, she previously taught special education for 5 years.

Stephanie is married to her husband Kenny, who is also a teacher.  They work in the same elementary school where they met just a couple years ago.  They were engaged and “ran off to Vegas” to get married.  Their little family has grown by 1 as they have a yellow lab, Ozzie keeping them on their toes.  
Stephanie loves teaching!   She is having a blast this year in first grade and is very passionate about helping all students learn in fun and engaging ways.  Stephanie has really enjoyed learning so many new things from teachers in her online teaching communities such as facebook, blog, tpt and more. You can find Stephanie on
Instagram @specialadventures
Periscope @StephaneDarling
Blab @StephaneDarling
Twitter @StephaneDarling
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/darlings123/

Besides running her blog, Stephanie is also a TpT Author!  You can find her store at Special Adventures with Stephanie Darling. Some of her newest products include…

*Seasonal Mystery Passages for fun close reading practice.* Click the link to check out Stephanie’s latest Winter Themed Passage.
These packs are perfect for working on reading comprehension and close reading as well as vocabulary development.  

Stephanie also has created an entire year of 2nd Grade Math Curriculum and has a growing bundle that when completed in June will be an entire year of 1st Grade Math Curriculum.  These sets are aligned to CCSS and have all you need, games, hands on engaging lesson plans, reinforcement pages, differenciation, assessments, explicit instructions for use, to save any teacher time, money and energy in planning and teaching math.

Check in next week for a new Featured Teacher! If you want to be part of the next 1st Grade Teacher Blog Linkup, leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Engage Students with Flocabulary!

So, has anyone else seen the show Rap Game?  It features 5 kids under the age of 16 that want to be rappers & are already on their way to being super stars!

Why am I talking about this?

Because our students (especially if you work in an inner-city school district like I do) listen to rap, memorize the lyrics, and sing those songs all day.... 
...so what? who cares? you ask?  

Well, these songs engage our students, get their attention (and keep it), and they sure can remember those lyrics, right?  What if they could be that engaged in learning and remember important information you are teaching just like they do with those rap songs?

THEY CAN!  If you follow me at all, you know I use Whole Brain Teaching and I love the Ron Clark Academy.... both of these teaching strategies use catchy phrases & songs to engage our students.  With WBT alone, I have 100% student engagement all the time!  However, I am not always so creative to make up cheers like this....

So, when I need to teach my students a concept, and need some inspiration, I use Flocabulary!

Flocabulary essentially provides education rap songs for all subjects grade K-12!  If you have never seen or heard of this, here are some previews...

Addition & Subtraction (Primary)

Shakespeare's Macbeth Rap (Secondary)

4th Grade Vocabulary

And they also have the Week in Rap (with a junior version) newscast every week so your students can stay current with world events!

Okay, you get the idea?  These are awesome!

I use Symbaloo so that my students have easy access to all our class websites & I recently added an icon for Flocabulary.  When my students are done with their work, I will allow freetime (sometimes).  Flocabulary has become the only icon they ever want to go on when there is freetime now!

I will tell you... it is TEACHER HEAVEN when you hear your students rapping about concepts you are teaching in their FREE TIME (for fun)!

And that is not all...

Flocabulary provides lesson plans, CCSS aligned videos, quizzes, weekly news updates, write your own academic rap features, and right now they are offering FREE TRIALS!  My district has purchased a subscription for all of our teachers & my only wish is that more teachers would use it!

Click the image to get your extended FREE trial and bring Flocab to your school!  I LOVE it and am doing this blog because I see how much my kids love it... it's all about the students at the end of the day and whatever we can do to reach them, get & keep their attention, and help them learn, is what we should do.

Flocab has worked for my students & that is why I wanted to share it with you all!  

To find out more about what Flocabulary offers, CLICK HERE!  If you use Flocab, I would love to hear from you!  Leave me a comment and let me know how it works for you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesday ~ Christina from Hangin Around in Primary!

It’s Featured Teacher Tuesday!

This week I would like to you to meet Christina from Hanging Around In Primary.

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Christina has been teaching for 21 years (gasp!) Most of her teaching has been in Grade 1 but she has also taught Kindergarten through Grade 4.  She also spent 3 ½ years working as a substitute teacher at the beginning of her career.  She has been teaching in a small village just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada for most of her career.  

When not teaching Christina is spending time with her family: a busy 12 and 15 year old and a husband who runs his own business.  She loves to travel and spend time at the cottage.  
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Christina has always had a passion for teaching.  When she was growing up, there was no question about what she wanted to do when she grew up.  A first grade teacher was her dream job and she has been fortunate enough to teacher 6 year olds for the majority of her career so far.  

Christina has always had a passion for creating her own classroom materials and sharing ideas with her colleagues.  She stumbled upon Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012 and got the nerve up to post her own products in the winter of 2013.  Since then she has continued to add products and really grow her store.  She has many freebies to help early primary teachers out in Math, Literacy and Classroom Management.  Click on the covers below to check out some of her popular freebies.  

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Christina loves to teach using centers to engage students and keep them practicing crucial skills.  Some of her most popular math centers are

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She also creates products that support directed teaching as well.  These comprehension checks are perfect for whole group teaching as well for small group instruction.  The Word Jail is one of her favourite products.  She uses it to help students learn to read and spell those tricky rule breaker words.  Her students love it.  
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Christina has been blogging for about a year and half.  She enjoys sharing what is happening in her classroom and showing off her products in actions.  You can check out a few of her most popular posts below.  If you like what you read be sure to follow her to keep up with her posts!  
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You can also follow Christina on Social media.   Check out her accounts below:

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I hope you enjoyed meeting Christina this week for our weekly Featured Teacher post.  See you again next week when you will meet another first grade teacher!  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesdays ~ Lauren from Curriculum & Coffee!

Welcome back for another week of Feature Teacher Tuesdays!

This week’s Feature Teacher is Lauren, over at Curriculum and Coffee!

Lauren is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister, and a dog mom to her Brittany Spaniel, Ace
Isn’t he cute?!

Lauren is in her third year of teaching first grade in Southwest Ohio. She loves to create, blog {when she can! The school year is SO busy}, and spend time outdoors with The Hubs and Ace. With a knack for tech, Lauren has taken those skills and applied them to the blogosphere, serving as her school’s Technology Learning Consultant, and to her TpT store.

One of Lauren’s Best Sellers in her TpT store is her Fact Family Activities!

These activities are interactive, and encourage student engagement with cutting, pasting & putting together fact family puzzles

Another one of Lauren’s favorite things to teach is grammar and writing conventions. She saw a need for a product that was engaging, and fun, but still served the need for her students to practice those capitals, punctuation marks, proper nouns, commas in a series, dates, and all of the other CCSS convention standards! The best thing? You can grab all THREE of her DOLs in one big bundle!
Lauren’s students LOVE taking a red pen to these pages and becoming the grader. Students gets to find all of the mistakes, and then rewrite the sentence. After, Lauren has her students complete a dictation sentence where she tells them how many points the sentence would be out of (capital, period, name title {Mr.}, commas, etc), and students get to grade each other’s dictation sentence.

Check out these other awesome products that you can find in Lauren’s TpT store that are 20% off this week, February 9-12!

Don’t forget to follow Lauren!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesday! Jessica from Tales of a 1st Grade Teacher!

This week’s featured teacher is Jessica Berggren from Tales of a First Grade Teacher


Jessica is a wife, mother of 2 and First Grade Teacher. She has been teaching for 18 years and has a Master’s Degree in Math, Science and Technology for Elementary Education.  Her teaching journey began in 1998, New York City in Queens, NY. She moved out to Long Island 2 years later, where she was a 4th grade teacher. In 2004, she moved to Florida with her husband and 1 month old baby girl. She taught 3rd grade for several years, before an opening popped up in 1st grade. She was looking for a change and decided to let her principal know she wanted to move to 1st grade. That was 9 years ago. And she’s never looked back!

This year she was voted Teacher of the Year at her K-8 School by the Faculty and Staff. What a tremendous honor!!

In 2012, Jessica heard of a website where you can share, buy and sell lessons plans. She began to create things for others that she had been using for years. You can see her store here:  Store/Tales-Of-A-First-Grade-Teacher-Jessica-Berggren

One of her favorite products is her Chevron Chic Blends and Digraphs pack.
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It combines her love of creating decor and sound pedagogy in 1 product. This beautiful set includes posters for your classroom as well as practice for all of the blends and digraphs. The chevron colors are turquoise, orange, lime green, red and light blue. Each blend is accompanied by a bright and beautiful graphic.
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Jessica’s favorite subject to teach is Math. Her Common Core Geometry Unit is creative, and fun! It includes a fun character named Miss Polygon. She will help you introduce your unit, and get your students engaged and excited to learn shapes! Common-Core-Geometry-Unit-starring-Miss-Poly-Gon-641360

If you are looking for an engaging unit to get your students interested in shapes, and to get your own creative wheels spinning, then this unit is for you!
Of course, Jessica loves to share Freebies as well….
Here are 2 freebies she uses every year in her first grade classroom.       
Daily 5 Pacing Guide:
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Geometry Lesson Introduction Freebie:

Be sure to follow Jessica on:
Periscope: Talesof1stGrade