Cyber Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers~ Awesome Savings!

I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving break with family and friends. As you head back to school tomorrow, be sure to get some shopping done on Cyber Monday and Terrific Tuesday on Teachers Pay Teachers. Grab all the items on your wish list and take advantage of some great discounts. I've created many engaging, fun activities to help you along these very hectic weeks ahead.  Happy Shopping! 

Check out my store for some holiday ideas your students will love.

$10.00 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway and Sale

This week I've been busy setting up my classroom.  Summer  will soon be behind us. School begins next week. To start off this school year I am having a 20% off sale off on my entire store including bundles. Take advantage of the annual Back-To-School Boost from the Teachers Pay Teachers site wide sale and be sure to  use the code  BTSBONUS to earn an extra 5%.  My sale will continue on until Wednesday.  If you win you can use it on the sale. Winner will be announced on Wednesday! Please comment below on what you plan on purchasing for your classroom at this sale.

Good Luck!

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Giftcard Giveaway for Teachers Pay Teachers and a chance to win an Interactive Notebook

To kick off the new school year, I thought I would do a giveaway for a $20 .00 Teacher's Pay Teachers gift card and my Interactive Notebook Bundle which is becoming one of my hot sellers. Take advantage of these beautiful sunny days before summer quickly passes us by! For some of you,  the summer is quickly winding down and you are preparing yourself for Back to School.  This summer I've been working  hard on making several updates to many of my products.

Before entering this giveaway in the Rafflecopter below, I first just want to highlight a few of my Interactive Notebook products that I am particularly proud of and can't wait to share them with you.

Interactive notebooks have been a HUGE success in my classroom  as I have been using them these past couple of years. Throughout the summer I have been adding several new pages to these products to make them even better.

Have you tried Interactive Notebooks in your classroom? Interactive Notebooks are a fantastic, fun way for students to learn and interact with new information as well as a great way to practice and review skills introduced. By adding an interactive feature, learning becomes more meaningful and will spark interest. This type of learning involves so much more than just simply listening to the teacher and then filling out boring worksheets. Keeping interactive notebooks in the classroom helps kids to be more responsible and take an active part in their learning. Unlike worksheets that go home and often don't ever get looked at again, interactive notebooks stay in the classroom as students work in them to build upon and review skills. It is also great for all those paras and incoming teachers that come into the classroom because they will have a better sense as to what topics you are learning about and what needs to be reviewed and taught.

Interactive Notebooks provide a way for students to think and plan and use their creative side while they write, draw, color, cut, and glue. You can use different interactive notebooks in so many ways in all subject areas at any grade level. You may think that all this cutting and and gluing might be a little scary especially for the little ones. However, if you plan things out right while thinking about where your students are developmentally and let the students work at their own pace, it can be done!

This summer I created my very first video on YOU TUBE. Interactive Notebooks is something that I am pationate about and I wanted to share with you some GREAT tips for you to get started. Please check out my video and let me know what you think.

When creating my interactive notebooks for kindergarten, I thought about being sure that my activities did not require a lot of complex cutting skills. I made sure that there was not any complex folding or the notebook did not contain too many flaps. I also thought about not having lots of loose pieces that can easily become lost. I've seen some really cool interactive notebooks with pockets to keep pieces in, however I think that this may cause a problem with little ones, as pieces will just fall out and get lost. If you teach kindergarten, then you know how upset students can get if they lose something. They can cry so easily.

So far, I've created six interactive notebooks.  Students used them in small groups during either literacy center time or RTI time. At first, you need to slowly show students where to cut and fold. My interactive notebooks are very simple and easy for students as they are asked to cut only on the dotted lines and fold on the solid lines. After they fold, there is a large enough area for students to paste down in order to make simple flaps. lt is so important to provide an example of what your expectations are before the kids get started. Once they get the hang of it, they can work more independently. Once they finish a page, they can work on the next one until literacy or RTI time is over. "NO MORE, I'M DONE, NOW WHAT DO I DO NEXT." I love interactive notebooks because it keeps students busy in a meaningful way while you are able to give your attention to other students who may be struggling. You also get a chance to run a small group for guided reading or RTI instruction. My groups are never more than four or five students to keep things manageable.


To make this extra special I've decided to bundle these Interactive Notebooks to save you even more.
Now on to the giveaway! Good luck and happy shopping! Be on the lookout for the annual Back to School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. It will be happening soon! You can save up to 25% off and use your gift card to choose whatever you please from so many amazing teacher authors.

I am thrilled to announce the winner! Ewelina is so incredibly grateful and appreciative. She made my day just reading her email as it put a  BIG smile on my face.  Here is what she wrote to me after I sent her the giftcards and Interactive Notebook.

THAAAAANK YOU SOOO MUCH! I'm so excited and speechless. 
This is one of the greatest morning I've had in my life because I'm totally crazy about this sale and I'd like to buy more :-) BTW, I've never won such a competition.
I'm really grateful for this wonderful opportunity. 

Have a lovely day and a New School Year as well :-)

Best regards,

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California Dreaming Giveaway! Enter to Win 1 of 6 $50.00 Gift Cards

This is the Gift Card Giveaway that YOU have all been waiting for…Take a chance and you just might be ONE of 6 LUCKY winners. You dream it and we will find that card just for you! Planning a trip somewhere????  You can win $50.00 toward that DREAM vacation….have some resources wish listed on TPT??? A TpT gift card will be waiting just for you. OH and that Kate Spade Purse you have your eye on…YEP $50 is yours to add to the stash you have been saving to grab up that cute accessory! Tag a friend and let them get in on this great chance to win a fabulous Gift Card of their choice!! Be sure to follow this Blog as I will be hosting more giveaways in the future! GOOD LUCK!!!! 

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Memorial Day Dollar Deals and Special Savings

Enjoy spending time with family and friends
as you celebrate this Memorial Day. Be sure
to join in on savings from Teachers Pay
Teachers on two special sale events.

You can find products for just one dollar by
using the hashtag


Several sellers have also discounted one special
product in their store with some huge discounts.
Check out Teachers Pay Teacher to find some
stellar products from some very memorable
sellers on Memorial Day using the following


Getting Started with Procedural Writing for kids

Young students love showing off their skills as they explain how to do certain tasks to others. Procedural writing informs the writer's audience how to do something. The goal is for students to write instructions that clearly and accurately teach others how to perform a task. In order for students to start procedural writing skills, they first need to understand what they are trying to give instructions on, who they will be giving instructions to and how they will divide and sequence their procedure into simple steps to follow. It is a good idea to provide youngsters with topic prompts for activities in which they are familiar with and which they are likely to perform regularly. Some prompt ideas based on familiar activities for young children include: "How to Make a Bed" or "How to Tie Your Shoes." To prepare young children before they begin writing on their own, verbally walk through how an activity is performed while presenting the steps by acting them out or using illustrations. When starting with procedural writing it is best to keep it short and simple. We want to build our student's confidence as they begin to sequence steps and write how to complete a task. To prepare young children before they begin writing on their own, verbally walk through how an activity is performed while presenting the steps by acting them out or use illustrations. I teach kindergarten and below is a sample lesson of how I presented a procedural writing lesson with my students on how to make a paper snowflake.

Begin by Modeling
Start by demonstrating for students on how to do a simple task. For instance I wanted to show my students a simple way to make a paper snowflake. I had a blank piece of white paper with a large circle on it. I modeled how to cut out the circle with scissors.  While I did this I did remind my students that when we use scissors we must follow scissor safety rules. They were also reminded to put their thumb on top while cutting and their thumb leads the way as you need two hands to cut with. One hands guides the paper while the other does the cutting. Young students need lots of practice with scissors and this was the perfect opportunity to remind students how to use them properly. Next I folded my circle in half two times to make a pie shaped piece. Since I teach kindergarten I did not want my students to fold a third time to make a pie slither since it would be too difficult to cut out the shapes in the next step. Then I modeled how to cut  shapes on the folds. Finally I opened up my snowflake and revealed it to them. Each year my students are always fascinated with how beautiful the snowflake looks when we open the folds. I also remind student the importance of picking up all the scrap pieces and writing their names on the back of each art project they make. 

Follow my Instructions
I gave the children instructions on how to make a paper snowflake. Each child had their own piece of paper with a large circle already on it. You could add an extra step and have them trace a large circle before getting started.  I reminded my students to follow the oral directions and listening carefully. As I stated the directions I emphasized transitional words such as first, next, then and last. I also explained that procedural writing/instructions needed to be written as commands and we had to be bossy. Students followed each direction as I had them first cut the circle.  Next, fold it two times. Then, cut out the shapes. Last, open up your snowflake. 
Model writing instructions
Next, I chose a child to make the snowflake again. This time the class had to give the instructions and I wrote them on the board. (Shared writing). The child who was making the snowflake had to listen carefully to the directions the students came up with while doing this. After writing the directions on the board and choral reading them as a class,   I chose a couple student to find all the transitional words in our writing and underline them with a blue marker. I also chose a couple of students to come up and find all the bossy words (verbs or action words) and underline them with a red marker. 
Independent procedural writing
The next day I let my students work on their own procedural writing piece. I gave them the following writing prompt with the transitional words written for them. You can grab this writing prompt for free by clicking here.

Students feel empowered when they can teach someone a task. They will feel a sense of accomplishment and self worth.  Procedural writing can be done at any grade level. We learn  95% of what we teach to others.   

My students really enjoyed this engaging lesson. It has helped them with sequencing events as  most students can now accurately explain how to perform simple tasks. To differentiate for some of my struggling students who may not have the language skills or the writing skills to complete this task, I do pair these students up with student who are more capable and helpful so everyone can learn. Here is a picture of my cabinet in which we proudly display some of our work. 

I have developed several writing prompts that can be used throughout the year. This pack includes everyday activities such as "How to Make your Bed" or "How to Make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich." In the winter students can write about topics such as "How to Decorate a Christmas Tree" or "How to Build a Snowman." In the warmer months they can write about "How to Make Lemonade" or "How to Build a Sandcastle."  Sometimes I prefer my students to make a mini book in which they can illustrate each task and other times I just have them use this writing prompt paper. If you are interested in these writing activities your can check out here:  "How To Writing Prompts" or "How To Mini Books."

Do you do procedural writing with your students? How do you go about it! What are some strategies that you would like to share? Please make a comment and I will be happy to reply.