WINNERS & Budding Bloggers Showcase: Coffee Cups & Lesson Plans

Lots of BIG NEWS today!  So, I've told you about the charity Super Bow-Wow Drive we're holding this week.  Our grade level brought in $600 TODAY in our Pennies for Puppies challenge!!!  They are knocking my SOCKS off with their generosity this week!!  Holy Moly!
And that's not the only BIG NEWS!  We just reached 400 followers at our Teacher's Clubhouse TpT shop!  That means we're giving away 4 FREE UNITS!  I used the random number generator on the original post and the 4 winners are.....

Kimmie (Please email me!!)
Lindsey - I sent you an email :)
Dawn - I left a comment on your blog. :)
Debbie - I sent you an email :)

Speaking of our Teacher's Clubhouse, we've just added ANOTHER new unit to our site.  This is a second Geometry & Fractions unit and it has all kinds of resources, including some to help teach how to divide shapes into rows and columns (you know, that new common core standard?) ;)  It's a great addition to our first Geometry and Fractions unit.  We just finished this unit in my classroom and my kiddos ROCKED IT OUT!!

Go ahead and start filling your cart at our TpT shop because we'll be joining the SUPER SALE on Sunday!
While we're on the subject of SUPER, take a look at the SUPER blog I have to showcase today....You're going to LOVE Michele at Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans!

Hello all!  My name is Michele and I'm the Budding Blogger for Amanda this week.
Thank you Amanda for picking me!  I'm so excited!

Blog Name:  Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

My little 'ol blog began in August of 2012- Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans, because honestly.. I literally Run on Dunkin!  My students know me oh too well, don't you think!

Personal:  I'm a New Yorker born and bred.  I live with my husband of 17 years, my two children, and my Bernese Moutnain dog, Mater..yes as in Tow-Mater. Orange is my absolute FAVE FAVE color... especially when it's complimented with blue- bet you couldn't tell that from my blog huh!
I'm a huge fan of college basketball-- Be loud.. Be Proud.. Be Orange.. go Syracuse!
and I'm partial to Gators Country as well.
Grade I teach and How long I've taught:  For the past 13 years I've taught 6th grade to some serious Smarties!  I have also taught 2nd, 3rd, 5th and been a Reading Teacher (6/7).  Total I have been teaching for 19 years.

What is your favorite subject to teach?  This is a tough question.  I LOVE teaching both ELA and Math which is what I am currently doing.  My undergraduate degree certifies me to teach Pre K-8.  It was specifically designed as a grant from the National Science Foundation for graduates to go into a Middle School Setting and teach Math or Science.  Lucky me, my FIRST job was in a 5th grade classroom teaching WRITING.. gulp.  I knew immediately what my masters degree would be in!  I love being able to incorporate the reading and writing skills into my math classroom.  Vocabulary is so critical with this new Common Core.

What would you see if you popped into my classroom and my teaching style?  If you popped into my classroom on any given day you would see most of my smarties working in small groups on an activity.  You may see a few on the Smartboard and me running around in my converse sneakers working with the groups.  For me it's a lot easier if I travel to them rather than calling them over to a group.  I tend to teach mini lessons using picture books for ELA and foldies in Math.  You will also see book boxes galore.  I don't have cubbies in Middle School, but my smarties each have a book box with their ELA interactive notebooks in them.  Hopefully you wouldn't linger too long in the doorway because someone will have invited you in to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

What gets me through one of "those days"?  A GIANT..cup of Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee.. and Dave Mathews Band.. 

What is one teaching resource I can't live without?  My interactive Math notebook.  I have absolutely LOVED doing these this year.  My students have really taken ownership with them.
What is one of my blogging goals for the year?  I would like to continue to write meaningful posts and meet more bloggers.  Beginning a blog and interacting with bloggers from all over the world has really helped me stay interested in my profession.  It has made me think differently as a teacher.  Do you know the saying "Think outside of the box?"  Since I began my ride into bloggyland,  I feel more like this...

Huge.. Big.. Fabulous... THANK YOU to Amanda for letting me use a little space on her blog today!  Please stop on by with a 'cuppa' coffee and visit me at Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans when you can!

What a Week Already!!

We kicked off our Super Bowl Fun Week with our Super Bow-Wow Challenge on Monday {if you missed this charity event I organized, you can read about it here.}  Our grade level is AMAZING!!  Our 2nd graders brought in almost 400 pounds of dog food on Monday and about 70 blankets today!!!

Let's just say that I may not be able to fit children in my classroom by the end of the week! Haha!  They are so stinkin' excited about helping these dogs and it just warms my heart every day!

We also had our special guest visit on Monday to kick-off our fun week of football!  My friend Brandon who played for my Gamecocks in college and then went on to play in the NFL for 10 years came to our classroom to talk to my kids.

Talk about an inspiration.  They loved in ATE IT UP!!  And, he was so wonderful.  He taught them that it's awesome to be a good football player, but it's even better to be a GOOD PERSON!!

They were amazed to find out that you can't play football if you're not a good student, meaning good grades!

He brought a TON of his old helmets and jerseys and they had a ball trying them all on!  He also brought a magazine cover he was on and his most prized award, his "Good Guy" award from the award given to the NFL player who performed the most community service that year.

They pretty much thought THEY were superstars after meeting him and getting his autograph!

On, another note......
We are ONE FOLLOWER away from 400 at our Teacher's Clubhouse TpT store.  You know what that means?  I'll be giving away 4 FREE UNITS of the winners' choices very soon....hopefully tomorrow?  Click on the image below to find out how to enter!!

Speaking of Teacher's Clubhouse, I have just finished a few units that have just been added to our site!!

Have you noticed that COLLECTIVE NOUNS are in the 2nd grade common core?  Well, there is not a lot out there to use when teaching this topic, so we have a new unit to help you out!  I used all of these activities in my classroom last week (PowerPoint, games, centers, practice and assessment) and the kiddos have GOT IT!  They are finding collective nouns EVERYWHERE now!  Just today someone found "raft of moon jellies" in a book we were reading!
As always, you can buy the entire unit (this one is $5.49) or you can just pick up the resources individually (PDFs for $0.99).  Click the image above to go to the unit.

And, also our Biography Unit is up!  This includes all of the resources I use to teach this unit.  I always model using Rosa Parks and the students choose their own famous person to learn about.  You can pick up the whole unit, or if you're just interested in the Living Museum {seen here} you can pick up the Bio-Buddies Project and Living Museum Essentials.

I'll be back tomorrow to showcase a new blogger and another NEW unit!!

Friday Flashback Linky: Living Museum

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!  And a short work day, as well!  WooHoo!  They were calling for a "wintry mix" to begin mid-day today (mostly freezing rain and/or sleet).  Then around 9:00 our principal came over the intercom and told all teachers to go check their emails right away.  Although it wasn't doing anything outside at the time (nope, not even rain) it said that the district would be dismissing all schools at 10:00! This was the view from my classroom window at dismissal time.  Gotta love living in the south! :)

I was tempted to keep this a secret for a bit longer so that the students weren't going crazy (we still needed to get a couple of things accomplished), but I decided to break the news to them.  And, to my surprise, they were UPSET!!

Seriously?  Where did these kids come from?  They were saying things like, "I don't want to go home," and "I don't want to leave Mrs. Madden," or "I'll miss Mrs. Madden today."

TALK ABOUT WARMING YOUR HEART!!!  This just may be one of the most loving classes EVER!

And then, all of a sudden one of my sweet girls says, "I KNOW IT'S THE SADDEST DAY EVER.  I'LL MISS  Mrs. Madden PIZZA!"  Hahahaha.....yep, that's right....I'm in competition with pizza, people!

That comment right there made me realize that I had to link up with Ashley from Primary Teacherhood for her new "Friday Funnies Linky."

I mean, we can all use a laugh by Friday, and let's face it, kids say the funniest things!  One day earlier this week, we were working on some more descriptive writing and one table had decided to use the word "icy" and one of my precious boys BROKE OUT into Ice Ice Baby!! Seriously, broke out - as in we had Vanilla Ice in our classroom for a couple of minutes!  I was almost on the floor rolling!  It's great to know some parents are keeping the 80's/90's alive!

Okay, back to my linky.  I had hoped to have more things to share this week, but we really needed to wrap them up today and with our early dismissal, it just didn't happen.

We did have our Living Museum yesterday and it was usual!  It is always one of the top events of our year!  Everyone from other classes to administrators to parents to grandparents come and they all leave in awe.  Last year, I got the SWEETEST email from a grandmother after the event and this year I had a mom asking me to move up to 3rd grade next year!  They LOVE it!

If you teach biographies (or history) I highly recommend hosting a Living Museum if you haven't already.  Here are a few pics from ours.

Each student chose a famous person to learn about.  We did all of the reading, research and learning at school, but a notice was sent home to parents about helping their child come up with a costume to wear on the day of the event.

Group Shots:
George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Michael Jackson
Peyton Manning, Mozart, Betsy Ross, Beatrix Potter and Pocahontas
Sacagawea, Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln
Statue Poses:
Students were encouraged to be creative with poses that could represent their famous people.  Then, they got in place and went into "statue mode."  Some of them were super creative!
Betsy curtsies with her flag nearby
Peyton is in throwing position while Thomas Edison is deep in thought
Sacagawea is on the "lookout" for new land with Lewis & Clark
Abe is "tipping his hat" to visitors as they pass by

I mean...could they be ANY cuter??  I swear, they came up with those poses completely on their own!

In Action
As guests came through, they would press the red button on statues that interested them.  Then, the statue would come to life and teach the visitor about his/her life (read their report that was written in first person).
Abe is telling others how trustworthy he is.
Betsy tells our principal that George Washington wants her to create a flag for the colonies.
Dr. Seuss shares some of the books he wrote.
Princess Diana wowed all of the visitors with her beauty and grace and of stories about helping the poor and sick.

I didn't get a chance to videotape all of my students this year, but I did capture a couple throughout the event.  I hope this gives you an idea of what it was like.  ;)

I'm signing off now so I can put the finishing touches on a few resources for a new Biography Unit that will include everything you need to teach this genre to your students and host your own Living Museum! 

I hope you'll link up to share a couple of things you did this week!


Hover to Pin It Blogger LOVE

Have you noticed that I now have a super cute "pin it" graphic that appears when you hover over any image on my blog??  I LOVE this new option and I'm starting to see it on more and more blogs!!

In order for you to see it, I need to insert an image so I'll take this opportunity to do some shameless plugs!  If you've been to the Clubhouse, you may have noticed that we're starting to bundle some of our larger categories that weren't already in UNITS for you.  Why is this so wonderful?  Well, when we bundle our resources into units, you get a discount - 50% off, as a matter of fact!  That means instead of $0.99 per PDF activity, you get them for less than $0.50 each!!!

Here's an example of one of our "newly bundled" units.  These are available at Teacher's Clubhouse or our TpT shop. of our items that I get emailed about the most from my class website is now available as a bundle, too!! Our Math Menus - perfect for differentiation and/or early finishers!!

Did you hover??  Don't you just LOVE that Pinterest symbol that pops up!?  I heart it.  I like that it's not "there" all the time, making the image look all icky.  It's like it's hiding until you need it. :)

Now, give it a try!  Pin one of these (shameless, I know.)
See how EASY it is for visitors to pin your pictures now??

Are you wondering why I inserted pictures that I already showcased on my blog??  That's because all three of the above activities are now available in our new Descriptive Writing Unit (below).
And just to keep teasing you with the new Pinterest pop-up image before showing you how to insert your own, here are some more images of some of our units that might come in handy soon!

So, what do you think?  Are you as in love with the Pinterest pop-up as I am?  Do you want to add this option to your blog??  It's easy!

It's as simple as copying and pasting HTML into your blog...Once.  That's it!  Make sure to look at the notes about "repositioning" as the original code places the button in the center, but I thought that was a bit distracting.  You can replace "center" in the code with the other positions provided if you want to change it!  Try it out and leave a comment if you add it to your blog so that I can hop over and see it...and maybe PIN something!

And while I'm plugging away in this more plug...

Just a reminder for all....Are you following the Teacher's Clubhouse TpT shop?  Check and see!  Just 20 more followers and we'll be giving away 4 units of the winners' choice!!!  Click below to read about it!


Budding Bloggers Showcase: The Craft of Teaching

 Hi friends!  We're halfway through our work week so you know what that means.....
This week I'm showcasing Nichole from The Craft of Teaching.  She teaches 4th grade and started blogging this summer, so you may have seen her around Bloggyville, but just in case you've missed her on!  Then, hop over, follow her blog and leave some bloggy LOVE!

 The Craft of Teaching
My name is Nichole Falkowski and I blog at The Craft of Teaching!
My husband and I love living in Colorado. We have been married for 10 years already! We don't have any human children, but we have two spoiled rotten Golden Retrievers and a crotchety tabby cat. When I'm not teaching or blogging, I quilt and scrapbook. I'm also a HUGE sports fan - GO BRONCOS!

This year, I am teaching 4th grade and loving it! Last year, I did a 4/5 multiage and had a rough time of it. I have been teaching for 10 years (wow - I can't believe that I'm actually saying a number with two digits in it already!). I really feel like my heart is in the upper grades, and I feel lucky I've been able to stay there.

I love teaching math! I used to hate it, but I went back to school and got a Master's degree in mathematics education and it changed everything about how I teach math and I love it now! I always tease my students that, even if they hate math at the beginning of the year, they will LOOOOOVE it by the end.

If anyone popped into my classroom unannounced, they might have a hard time finding me! I'm often sitting at the table with the students or on the floor with a group. Most of our days are spent working in collaborative groups or doing Daily 5 rotations. 


One of my very favorite classroom activities happens in the fall. Every year, my mom comes and we make applesauce in the crock pot. Every student has the opportunity to help with the recipe, and while they aren't helping they are observing their own apples and writing apple poems using their 5 senses. They put their poems on die-cut apples and we hang them in the hallway. The kids have so much fun and I'm always blown away by the amazing poems they create! 

When I have a tough day, it always helps me to remember that tomorrow is a brand new day! I also love to have chocolate - or any other comfort food that I can get my hands on. Spending time with my husband also seems to ease the load of a stressful day - I'm lucky to have him!

My favorite, must-have, can't live without teaching resource has to be my document camera/projector/SmartBoard combo. I know, I know....that's three things! But since they all have to be connected to work together in harmony, I'm calling it one! They mounted our projectors this year, and I was without one for about 3 days...everything felt out of sorts. :-/ Now that it's up though, I love it! We use the combo for just about everything...sharing work, modeling, interactive name it!
This year, as a blogger, I want to focus on making time to post at least a couple of times a week. I enjoy it so much and I love being a part of the blogging community!

I hope you all can pop over and check out what's happening at my blog!

 The Craft of Teaching

 Thank you to Amanda for featuring me here! It is an honor and I'm truly grateful!

Thanks so much Nichole!!  It was an honor to have you post on my blog!

Just a reminder for all....Are you following the Teacher's Clubhouse TpT shop?  Check and see!  Just 20 more followers and we'll be giving away 4 units of the winners' choice!!!  Click below to read about it!
Back to Top