Dollar Section Deals

Does anyone else love a good deal?  Is the dollar section your Kryptonite?  I just.can't.handle.the.temptation.

I went yesterday to Target to pick up a few things ad thought I would just "check out" the dollar section.  Bad idea.  It is more like the $13 dollar section! LOL!

Look at what I found!!!!!!!!!!!!


They had these awesome foam pirate hat and eye patches for only $1!!!


They also had these adorable foam swords for only $1!!!

How perfect would these be to use as props for the Readers Theater, "How I Became A Pirate??"



You could even by the packages and split up the hats and eye patches to stretch a dollar! For $10 you could outfit your whole class!!!

It goes perfectly with my End of Year Pirate Unit!


Do you have the same dollar section sickness? Do you think we can get a sick day out of that ;) ?????

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The "Next Year" Box


I loved this idea.  Once I figured it out, (and it it took me way too long to figure it out) I did it EVERY year at the end of the year!  I am not sure about other schools's end of year routines, but in the schools I worked at we had to clean our rooms, pack up most of our belongings, cover them with paper, and move them so the custodians could clean the carpets and the walls.  It was tons of work.  Not just to pack up, but also to UNPACK in July.


This was  my class the last year I taught.  No fun. All the stuff on the table needed to be packed up to go home.

Luckily, I came up with the "Next Year" box.


It saved my tush every year when I was unpacking for the new school year.  In the "Next Year" box I kept all the materials I wanted to be able to access quickly and prepare for the next school year.


I don't know about you, but waiting for copy paper was a pain.  Not only were the copiers crazy busy (and always jammed) after people got their paper, but you had to wait to get it. I always kept a ream or two in the "Next Year" box so I could get a jump on copies.


I have already written about using cheap, Wal-Mart sheets to cover my bulletin boards. I go ahead and pick those up in May and store them in the box.  I also try to run to the teacher store and pick up my "stuff" for next year to avoid the rush (and out of stock frustrations). I store all this in the box.



I also try to make all my copies for pre-registration in August (we called ours Sneak a Peek) so I didn't have the fight the copy crowd. It took me forever to set up my room,so every little bit helped.


I have several themes for back to school forms.  I used the owl theme.  You can pick them up for only $2 in my TpT shop.

Do you have a "Next year" box?  What do you keep in yours?  







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The End is Nigh {Freebies}

You can do it.  Just a bit more!

The end is so so so close.

I always liked to do fun things at the end of the school year.  In the past I did a really fun pirate unit that I wrote about here and here.  This year I wanted to do something a bit different.

Yippee Ki Yay, the cowboy unit was created!

It is super cute and I am so excited about it!  I left it really opened ended so you can do as much (or as little) as you want.


I tried to incorporate lots of crafts AND make it academic rigorous so I could justify it ;).


Students can create their own cowboy "paper doll" and write a story.  Graphic organizer and final draft paper are included.


Students complete campfire story problems.  These are differentiated and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade math word problems are included. The teacher can pick and choose to make it as easy or difficult as they desire!


Students create a boot using a glyph and then graph the information. The pack has a variety of graphs including a blank graph, a graph with a scale of 1, and a scale of 2.

A few other activities are included- these are just the highlights!  And the best part?  It is now on sale!  It was $6.50 and now it is only $5.00 until Monday, May 19th!! Woo hoo!


When I did the pirate unit, we also did a big Reader's Theater production at the end.  We performed the Readers Theater for parents in the library. Students painted "backdrops."




You can see one of the backdrops we painted for "How I Became A Pirate." I simply copied the book on a transparency, kids traced it using an overhead, and then painted it.  They LOVED it. I just hung them on the library shelves behind the student's chairs. 


Here is the whole class.  The whole thing was a BLAST!  I wanted something like this for the cowboy unit, so I found scripts for TWO cowboy-ish books!  Woo hoo!

I did NOT write these readers theaters.  I found them here on this awesome website and simply reformatted it.



It is the readers theater of this super cute (and funny!) book:



and the always popular readers theater


of this popular book



You can get both scrpists FREE by clicking on the pictures.

And not that you would EVER show a movie at this time of year (amiright?), but both of these books are also Reading Rainbow books featured on the show. I couldn't find any online links, but your school may have the videos!!!
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Bright Idea: Using Post it Note to Teach Context Clues


Today I have such a simple way to teach context clues.  I have done this lesson with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students and it is one of those lessons that is awesome every time.  I wish all lessons went that way, don't you!?!?

It helps that it uses my most favorite classroom tool ever: the post it note.  Seriously, what can't you do with these things?!?!



You can buy the fancy kind or make your own by cutting up a post it note.  I am cheap, so I always cut my own ;).




I love to use the book Zomo the Rabbit. Great example of a trickster tale and the vocabulary isn't too difficult.  It is perfect for introducing context clues. I also happened to have a big book version of it!  Really, you need a big book in order to do this lesson.  The kids have to be able to see the text.



Cover the tricky word with post it notes.  This is why is helped to make my own. I could cut the post it down to exactly the right size to cover the word.  No more, no less.  Often, I layered SEVERAL post it notes, so that when the top one was pulled off it revealed only the first few letters. Great way to talk about how using ONLY  initial letters and sounds to figure out an unknown word isn't always the most effective strategy. 





This lesson  always got a LOT of bang for my buck: context clues, decoding strategies, checking for meaning...the list goes on and on.  It was also pretty interactive and fun :).  That is a nice touch!!


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