Thursday, February 26, 2015

Resources in Action in My Classroom & A TpT Sale!

With TpT's 28% off sale today, it's a great time to snag resources you'll be using over the next few months. I know I need to finish-up my cart this evening, too. :) If you click on any of the blue/purple links or pictures below, you can learn more about the resources showcased! 

Krystina teaches in New York and has been such a sweet follower and friend over the past year. She is the best at sharing photos of my resources in action in her 5th grade classroom, and I love her dearly for that! Last fall she shared this picture of her "We Believe" wall, and I was so impressed. Love this. Love her. Love the blogging/teacher world.

My first subway-art product, my genre posters remain one of my favorites. They jazz up an upper-elementary room without being 'cute' or 'childish'. Visual appealing? Absolutely! Babyish? Not at all!

Without fail, it makes me giddy to see classroom libraries. These are amazing places that build community and change perspectives on the importance of reading. My iRead labels for Primary and Intermediate libraries are great for organizing your library space while still being visually appealing!

The lovely Tara from 4th Grade Frolics, shared my Root of the Week Rolodex during this summer's Monday Made It, and I was beside myself! Tara is absolutely amazing, and I was so excited to see her shout-out. :)
My Black, White, and Yellow Organization pack is full of labels and editable goodies for the classroom. I love seeing these labels on Sterilite containers!

One of my sweet college friends, Elizabeth, used my Black, White, & Yellow Organization pack to create classroom job labels. :)
I also loved seeing Diane's (Fifth in the Middle) 5th graders using my hands-on Greek & Latin Roots games. They're perfect for building an understanding of common roots during literacy centers!
The lovely Deb Hanson used and blogged about my Making Inferences pack. This resource is great for students who are struggling with inferring and need something a little more concrete. Students are given an inference and work backwards, providing the paragraph from which that specific inference could be made. I loved seeing how detailed Deb's student-responses were! 
I love how Marci turned my Main Idea note-taking guide, into an interactive notebook template!
I always love seeing my resources in action in classrooms around the country/world. If you ever have a picture to share, I'd love to see it! :) Outside of the resources above, below are some of my favorite resources. All these resources are 28% off today and tomorrow only (with the code BTS14 at checkout).

As you're preparing for the upcoming school year (eekkk!), you might want to check out some of my subway art posters and my labels for organizing your library!

 And of course, I can't leave out my Primary friends! All of these resources will also be 28% off.

Well, friends, I'm off to fill my cart, and I'll be back to share what I snagged! :) Have a fantastic evening. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Flocabulary: Using RAP in the Classroom

Well friends, I'm stopping by for a true-teacher-confessions moment....

I'm a rapping teacher. Yep - beat box, darkened classroom, EXPO-marker microphone - that was the 5th grade me. When I turned into Miss. Win-tizzle (my teacher-rapping name), the crowds went wild and I had my 5th graders eating out of the palm of my hand. Main idea, root words, allusion - yep - they were ALL about them.

A few months into the year, my Miss Win-tizzle was struggling to come up with new material. Thankfully, through a teaching friend I found Flocabualry and signed-up for a FREE trial. Flocabulary is a website that hosts a library of Common Core aligned raps for K-12. Friends, WOW! My cool factor (which was obviously high) sky-rocketed!
Last year, my 5th graders were 'BIG kids' and loved all things cool and hip. They thought it was beyond cool that I can ‘rap’ with the video and loved joining in. If all we did all day long was listen to Flocabulary, I am certain my kiddos would declare me the best teacher ever.

There are loads of videos covering all different subjects. Obviously, I focus mainly on the language arts videos, but if my kiddos clean up quickly enough in the afternoon, we jam out to a video of their choosing (remember, I am in the running for the best teacher ever).
From main idea, to inferring, to the stages of writing, we use a new Flocabulary video atleast once a week (with the standards listed on the page!). You can browse the videos here, without having an account or sign-up for a 3 MONTH FREE TRIAL (say what?!) here.
With every rap/video, there is an online activity that we complete together. We used Kagan’s Numbered Heads Together to work cooperatively and then, checked our answers. Sometimes, I also printed the lyrics of the song at 80% and taped them in our interactive reading notebooks. That way, when we listened to the rap, we could sing/rap along! Plus, the lyrics have the option of ‘deleting’ words, so students have to pay close attention. Each video/rap also includes a printable as an extension of the video. The printable asks students to ‘prove’ their mastery of the skill – sweet!

Using Flocabulary's 5th grade vocabulary program, partnered with my Interactive Word Wall, we love adding high-quality words to our word wall each week. The raps feature 10 words each week (15 words when you move into the 6th grade program), practice activities, and a weekly quiz. Using this fun and hoppin' raps, my students learn these words faster and have a greater understanding of the words' meanings. I have been SO impressed with the Flocabulary Vocabulary program! (Note - although I love the content videos, the vocabulary rap videos take the cake. With a nice mix in word difficulty my students actually remembered and used the words MONTHS after we first studied them. #teachersuccess)

When I first joined Flocabulary it was under a FREE trial and I took the plunge and purchased the year-long plan ($96). Yes, it was pricey, but it was completely worth it. With a comprehensive vocabulary program, content videos, and hours of student engagement, it was one of my best 5th grader purchases. Personally, it was totally worth it. Also, my kids cheered when they learned I renewed the subscription (again, I am the best teacher ever ;)). If you are ready to spent the $96, consider applying for a grant from your local PTO, district, or even, Donors Choose.

PLUS, right now, you can get a free subscription for 3 months. The free trial will carry you through May, so you can work on your PTO or school to pick-up a new subscription in the Fall! My one piece of advice - doooooo it..but fast - you only have until the end of February!

So are your a rapping teacher? If so, do your students love it as much as my 5th graders? What's your favorite way to use it in the classroom? If you're not a rapping teacher (yet) click here to sign up for your FREE account by the end of February!

Well friends, happy rapping!