300+Page Freebie - Graph-a-Week

THANK YOU to everyone for celebrating Teacher's Clubhouse's 6th Birthday with us!  We've enjoyed giving out 6 weeks of new resources!

This week is our final FREEBIE - a 315 page Graph-a-Week {Bar Graph Edition} for your classroom!  This resource has been on my "to-do" list FOREVER!!  I plan to do a graph-a-week during our morning meeting each morning. 

My plan is to have students submit their data on Mondays, we'll sort and analyze it on Tuesdays, we'll complete the graph together on Wednesdays, students will create their own independent graphs on Thursdays, and we'll ask/answer questions with the data on Fridays.

This file contains 5 graphing questions for each month of the year (that's 60 questions in all - plenty to pick-and-choose for the school year).  Each graph comes in FOUR different formats - a bar graph counting by 1's, a bar graph counting by 2's, a double bar graph to compare boys/girls, and a blank double bar graph to compare in other ways of your choice (perfect for teachers teaching multiple classes).

I plan to create a Pictograph Edition and a Line Plot Edition before next year so that I can focus on a different graph type each quarter and then mix it up the last quarter of the school year to review!

If you download this freebie and enjoy, please share the link on your blog or Facebook page to spread the word to others!!  And, leave us some feedback love!

I hope you're able to use this in your classroom!  Oh yeah, and we're throwing a 20% off sale in our store right now as well, so while you're there take a look around and stock up!  Remember that we have TONS of classroom themed units to help you prepare your classroom for the new school year!

WBT: The 5 Rules with a FREEBIE

Do you already have a routine for coming up with classroom rules that you LOVE?  I know I did.  I used the Rights/Responsibilities in my classroom and had my students create our classroom rules with me.  I felt like this gave them more ownership in the rules.

However, after reading about Whole Brain Teaching last year, I decided to dive in as much as possible, which meant trying out their rules in my classroom as well!

Whole Brain Teaching has a set of 5 universal rules.

1) Follow Directions Quickly
2) Raise Your Hand for Permission to Speak
3) Raise Your Hand for Permission to Leave Your Seat
4) Make Smart Choices
5) Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy

I loved them.  Hook, line, and sinker!  They had me from the start.  Really with these 5 rules, you don't need anything else.  These rules cover the bases!  The great thing about them is that if your school uses a school-wide system that requires certain rules, they will most likely fall into these categories!

What I loved most about the rules were the hand gestures that went with them.  You can read a description of the gestures and see WBT's visual cues of these rules at their website HERE.  As students were taught the rules, they were taught the gestures and those really seemed to make the rules "stick."  Think about it, if the rules are just posted on the wall somewhere, the students don't really think about them.  But, by reviewing them daily WITH hand gestures, the rules are now running through their minds!  We would practice the rules DAILY for the first month of school, with a different child leading us in the rules.

Take a look at this video to see a 1st grader leading her class in the rules -
Throughout the day, if students are not following a rule, the teacher can just say "Rule Two" and the students should state the rule and complete the hand gesture as a reminder.  There is no need to call out the students who are breaking the rule, just give the whole class a reminder.

It's important to note that Rule #5 is KEEP my dear teacher happy - not "make" my dear teacher happy.  At the WBT conference, they emphasized that it is not the students' job to make us happy!  However, they should KEEP us happy and they can do that by following the first four rules!

I tell my kiddos that I am happy when everyone is learning.  So, if someone is doing something that stops them or someone else from learning then that does not keep me happy!

Remember also that we talked about The Scoreboard yesterday and that if students do not "win" on the scoreboard then they practice the rules for 2-minutes at the end of the day.  I must say that I really didn't have any big behavior problems last year.  I definitely had some "potential" there, but I really think WBT helped with much of that.  Soooo many of my parents who had children with ADD loved WBT and the fact that students had to teach other students and use hand gestures during lessons.  I even had some parents to ask if it could be noted on their child's 504 that this particular type of teaching made a huge impact on their child's progress so that next year's teacher could consider using it!  That was huge!

I displayed the rules in my classroom in frames right above my behavior clip chart.  I will keep my rules their this coming year, although I'm going to try to trade out my clip chart for the WBT "Super Improver Wall" so I'll let you know how that goes!

Here's a look at my rules.  I have a monster-themed classroom so I created these monster-themed subway art rules.  Just click the image below if you'd like to download them to use in your classroom.
{Click the image above to download the WBT Monster-Themed Subway Art Rules}

If you don't want Monster-Themed Rules in your classroom, I understand!  Stephanie over at Third Grade Thoughts has some cute WBT rules that you can download - see this post.

I hope this helps if you're looking to implement Whole Brain Teaching next year - definitely give "The Big 7" a try.  It's very easy to implement all of these classroom management strategies your first year!

Remember, if you're interest in sharing "The Big 7" with other teachers at your school, you can pick up the signs I'll be using in my workshops to help them remember all 7 of these strategies using mnemonic devices.  Just click below!

Also, don't forget to follow me at Bloglovin' and then enter my Bloglovin' Giveaway!!
See ya tomorrow for our FINAL freebie and it is a MEGA MATH freebie, so don't miss out!  If  you didn't pick up our Grammar Flippers yet, today is your last day....click below!


WBT: Mirror & Scoreboard {App}

Before starting my WBT post, let me just show you what I broke down and bought today...

THE MATCHING CHAIR!!  I almost snagged it up yesterday but I really was hoping it would be discounted a little more.  But it was the ONLY one.  And, the hubs kept telling me to get it.  He is NOT good to have around when shopping.  But, he does know me and I always wait and "think" about things and then when I finally decide that I want them, they're always gone!

I resisted.  I'm leaving for vacay tomorrow, and I thought that it would be "meant to be" if it was still there when we return.  Do you ever do that?  I always play these mind games with myself when I shop. 

Then Rachel {The Tattoeed Teacher} sent me a pic of TWO chairs in her car!!!!  WHAT?!  Now, I would have to see pics on her blog of her allllll comfy in that chair and be mega jealous!  It is THAT comfy, y'all.  I'm pretty sure it was made for my tush - perfect match.  Well, that pushed me over the edge.  Not to mention that I was getting my nails done RIGHT BY Hobby Lobby at that time.  I think that was a sign!

So now, the teacher has a brand new comfy, beautiful reading spot.  I may do read-alouds ALL DAY LONG {it was tempting already}!

I really don't have much to buy {or make} for my classroom this summer since I revamped it all last summer, so I feel okay about this splurge.  The one thing I wanted to buy were new rugs.  I threw out my two mid-sized carpets at the end of the year so I certainly need to replace those, along with my{very} old, as in rescued from the dumpster years ago, primary-colored GIANT carpet since it is not going to match this chair AT ALL.  So, now I'm on the lookout for giant carpets.  Let me know if you see a deal on any....my main colors are red and turquoise/teal.


Whole Brain Teaching:  
If you have questions about WBT, feel free to leave them in the comments.  At the end of this "series" of posts, I'll try to answer all of the questions that have been asked.  However, know that I am in NO WAY a WBT expert.  I just watched a ton of YouTube videos, downloaded a ton of their FREE RESOURCES, and jumped right in last year!  

Yesterday, I posted about Teach/Okay and Switch.  Today, we'll start with MIRROR.

Mirror is a great technique to have your students repeat what you say or your hand gestures so that they are involved. 

When you want the teacher to mimic your gestures, you just hold your hands up {elbow bent, palms facing out, forearms straight up} and say Mirror.  Then students hold their hands up ready to mimic your gestures.  If you want them to mimic your words, you just say "Mirror Words" when you make the mirror sign.

When students imitate your motions, their motor cortex is activated, which is the brain's most reliable memory area.  If they mirror your WORDS along with the gestures, FOUR parts of the brain are activated at once - seeing {visual cortex}, saying {Broca's area}, hearing {auditory cortex}, and doing {motor cortex} so the chances of the information "sticking" increases greatly.  When these four parts of the brain are all active it is known as "Teacher Heaven" in the WBT world.  :)

Check on this video on Mirror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeAUmiobvmc

Pretty cool, huh?  So, now we've talked about 1) Class/Yes, 2) Hands & Eyes, 3) Teach/Okay, 4) Switch, and 5) Mirror.  These techniques are all super easy to implement, it will just take a day of modeling and practicing. 

A day?  ONE day?  That's it?  Yes!  Especially if you incorporate The Scoreboard!!
The Scoreboard  is a very simple "motivator" to keep students on track. Basically, you just need somewhere to draw a T-chart.  One side has a smiley face and the other side a frowny face.  This is what my scoreboard looks like:
 I wanted a portable whiteboard so that I could carry it around the classroom with me, take it to lunch {I totally recommend this}, etc.  I found this one at Target last summer and it was perfect since it had a pen attached and came with two magnets.  I just covered the magnets and edges of the board with turquoise duct tape and used my Cameo to add vinyl letters to it and it fit my room perfectly. :)

When students are doing procedures really well, you reward them with a tally on the smiley side.  You can involve them with "one-second parties" by letting them clap their hands together (once) and saying "Oh, yeah!"  They love this!

On the other hand, if students do not complete procedures as expected (not quickly, with talking, etc) you put a tally on the frowny side.  You can also involve the students on this side {it lets them get a little energy out} by saying "Mighty Groan!" when you tally a frowny.  When you state this, students lift their shoulders to their ears and then force them down quickly with a grunt {ugh!}

The key to having the Scoreboard work is to use if often and never let the difference between smileys and frownies be greater than 3.  If that starts to happen, FIND SOMETHING to reward or improve upon!!  This is called the +-3 rule.  This rule is in place because if the teacher rewards too much the children will become lackadaisical and if you punish too much students will become resentful. 

I was SUPER consistent with The Scoreboard at the beginning of the year last year.  It was so great when the students were just learning procedures.  I was tallying like a mad woman! :) Later in the year, once they were sooooo good at those procedures, I feel like I became a little slack with the scoreboard and I noticed a difference in their behaviors!  I definitely had to pick it back up!

Students' goal with The Scoreboard is to try to have more smilies than frownies at the end of the day.  If they do, they are rewarded, but not with candy or trinkets or prizes.  The reward could be 2-minutes of free time, a two-minute brain break, or two less problems of math homework, etc.  TWO??  Yes, you will be surprised at what students will do for a two-minute or two-problem reward!! :)

Now, if students do not "win" on the scoreboard, I would have them practice The 5 Rules for two-minutes.  That doesn't sound like much, but trust me.....2-minutes is a long time to practice 5 rules!
{5 Rules Post will be tomorrow!}

*** NOTE: For grades 5-12, WBT recommends using STUDENT/TEACHER on the scoreboard rather than SMILEY/FROWNY***

At the WBT conference, I learned that there is a Scoreboard App.  While most things with WBT are absolutely FREE {I'm still not sure how they've managed that, but I'm not complaining!}, the APP does cost.  It's $4.99 - anyone that has used it has said it is fabulous!  I have not used it.  I think it would be fantastic for when I'm not in the classroom, but I like using my little whiteboard in the classroom and I wouldn't like that I would then have TWO scoreboards going.  But, if you carry your iPad or iPhone with you at all times, it might be worth checking out!

If you try it out, let me know what you think.  I am easily persuaded. :)


WBT: Teach-Okay and Switch + My New Classroom Addition

Let's start with the REALLY important stuff....

I fell in love with this little sofa the first time I saw it at Hobby Lobby.  I thought it was perfect for me red and turquoise classroom.  Can you imagine curling up and reading on this?  I used to have a sofa in my classroom and love the "homey" feel of it.  But, it was $500.  Waayyyyy too much for the clasroom.  Well, I just happened to be in Hobby Lobby today and it was 66% off!!  Holla!  It is now in my garage.  They have a super comfy chair that is similar to it, too.  It fit my tush perfectly.  I think I need it, too, but I'm going to wait and see if it gets marked down anymore.  It was the same price as the sofa. :(

Alright, now let's move on to the "other" important stuff.  My last WBT post focused on Class/Yes and Hands & Eyes.  Now, let's take a look at what you do with them once you have their attention! :)

After getting their attention, you TEACH.  But, not in the way that most of us teach.  The key to teaching with WBT is to CHUNK - or "mini" chunk.  We, as teachers, talk WAY too long!!!  We need to break down our lessons into mini-chunks (30 seconds to 1 minute) and then have the students do the teaching!!

Remember that saying, "Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I will remember, involve me and I will learn."

This is where my absolute favorite WBT component comes into play...
{Click the image above to download "The Big 7 Signs" to share with your staff}
This is the way Teach-Okay works.  {If you don't want to read my ramblings, scroll on down for a great video that explains it to you!}

The teacher teaches a "mini-chunk" (just a couple of points) using hand gestures.  Using hand gestures worked SO well for me last year...I tried to put a gesture with every single concept and it really seemed to help my students!  Then the teacher claps twice and says "TEACH".  The students then clap twice and say "OKAY".  They turn to a partner and teach the concept to their partner.   When the teacher feels they've had enough time to teach, the teacher then says, Switch and the students "switch" roles.
{Click the image above to download "The Big 7 Signs" to share with your staff}

WBT recommends that teachers assign students roles (student 1 and 2, or peanut butter and jelly) so that the teacher can say "peanut butters teach."  However, I did not do that this year.  I think that would work beautifully if your students are typically at their desks during your instruction and you partnered them with someone sitting next to them.  In my classroom, students are typically seated on the carpet for instruction so they are not in assigned seats.  If I assigned them a partner, it would take them too long to find that person.  Teach-Okay should be a very quick process.

Instead, I taught my students that when I said "TEACH" they were to turn around and partner with the person closest to them.  At some points in the year, I had an odd number of students and in that case, I instructed them that if they saw the person left without a partner near them, they should turn and pull them in (so there would be one set of three).  It sounds like this may be chaos, but it worked BEAUTIFULLY all year long.  Of course, we practiced and practiced at first to see how quickly they could get partnered up.  If they did it super quickly and everyone had partners, they earned a point on the scoreboard (more on that later) and if it took them too long or people were left without partners, I earned a point on the scoreboard.  It only took one day of practicing and they had it for the whole entire year!

I fell in LOVE with Teach-Okay.  How had I not thought of this before?  I mean, I did have my students "turn and talk" in the past, but teach-okay took it to a whole new level.  After teaching a little chunk, I could listen and observe (because students should be teaching with those same gestures that I used to help them remember key words and concepts) to make sure students understood concepts.  If they did, I would move on to the next set of small points.  If not, I could reteach the concepts right then and there!

Why does Teach-Okay work so well?  Students are involved.  They are not just listening.  They are hearing, seeing, saying, and doing!  Plus, they are enjoying learning - all components of the brain are involved, which makes learning so much more powerful!  And, SWITCH ensures that every single student is actively learning.  Those students who like to do all the talking are forced to listen and the students who would prefer to sit back and listen are required to instruct.  This technique gives every student the opportunity to be engaged in speaking and listening in the classroom.

A few small tips I learned from this summer's conference that I plan to implement with Teach-Okay next year:

* Have the student that is teaching STAND.  That way the teacher can easily see who is doing the teaching and watch their gestures for comprehension. 

* Have students HIGH-FIVE each other when the "switch" command is given, as a cue to switch roles.

* Have students reach up in the air and pull an imaginary {light}switch when the "switch" command is given to prompt their brains to switch roles.

Video Explaining Teach-Okay in detail: {sorry my video embedding is not working on this computer}


This video shows the Teach-Okay technique (and others) working in this same teacher's 3rd grade class:


And, of course, you can see MY FAVORITE WBT Teacher (1st grade) put this in action here:


Finally, don't forget to follow my blog at Bloglovin' and then enter my GIVEAWAY!


Show Me Some Bloglovin Giveaway!

Hey y'all!

You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following my blog through bloglovin!  I know that change is hard...so I thought I might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

I am doing a giveaway for all of my fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin. You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  Just go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with Bloglovin' so that you can follow me.  Please be sure to leave your Bloglovin' username in the Rafflecopter entry. Since I can't see the list of all of my followers (yet), I am asking that you "like" this post on Bloglovin' after you become a follower. I can see who has liked the post, so that will be a way for me to verify the winners!

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  I moved all of mine over (over 1,000...YIKES...and it only took 4 minutes - super quick!)

BUT, please go to my bloglovin link in the Rafflecopter below and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of my  bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me through bloglovin, please enter this giveaway!!  I will be picking 2 WINNERS and each winner will get their choice of 2 UNITS FROM MY PRIMARY (Teacher's Clubhouse) or INTERMEDIATE (Lightbulb Minds) TpT STORE.....your choice!  :O)


Class? Yes! Hands and Eyes!

Whole Brain Teaching: Classroom Management - Post #1
{Click the image above to download "The Big 7" WBT Classroom Management posters}

As teachers, we have a whole "bag of tricks" in our classroom management bag.  Today, let's talk about those "attention-getters."  Whether your students are playing learning games around the classroom or your in the middle of a class party with tons of visitors, there are always those times when you need to get their attention - and fast!

Some of the tried and true methods that most of us have used for years include:

1) {teacher} 1-2-3, Eyes on Me! {students} 1-2, Eyes on You!
2) {teacher} claps a pattern with hands {students} repeat the clapping pattern with hands
3) {teacher in a whisper} If you can hear my voice clap two times {repeat until all students are participating}

Those are all very effective, but let's face it.  Sometimes, you need their attention NOW, not after clapping three different patterns.

This is where "Class?  Yes!" from Whole Brain Teaching comes in.  It's purpose is the same as all of the above, but it's SUPER QUICK!  One word.  You've got them.

Here's a video from Coach B himself about the Class/Yes technique:


Of course, there's room to have fun with it.  The whole trick is that however the teacher says "Class" the students have to repeat "Yes" using the same tone and expression.

Some of my favorite ways to use Class/Yes this year included:

Classity-Class-Class : Yessity-Yes-Yes
Classy-Pooooo : Yessy-Pooooo
Ohhhhh, Classss : Ohhhhh, Yesssss

Some of these super silly ones (classy poo) may not work as well with older kids, but you can come up with your own variations.  A 4th grade teacher at my school, Jennifer,  that went to the WBT conference with me shared her class favorite and I just may have to borrow it.

Think of Alicia Keys' song "That Girl is on Fire"....

She would sing, "Class Are you on Fire?"  and students would say, "Yes We are on Fire!"

Love, love, love that one!!  Do you use class yes?  If so, what is your favorite way to use it??

Now, once students understand Class/Yes, I'm all about throwing those variations back in while you have the time.  But remember, if you need them super quick, just a simple one word "Class" grabs their attention!

Here are some of the cute variations that we use throughout the school year once they've mastered the class/yes.

September {teacher} All Set? {students} You bet!
October: {teacher} Hocus Pocus {students} Everybody Focus
November (testing month for us) {teacher}Ready to Rock? {students} Ready to Roll
December  {teacher} Ho, Ho, Ho {students} Off to Work We Go
January {teacher} 10,9,8,7,6 {students) 5,4,3,2,1
February {teacher} Heart to Heart {students} We're Ready to Start
March (testing month for us) {teacher} Easy Peasy {students} Lemon Squeezy
April {teacher} Abra (students) Cadabra
May {teacher} Holy Moly! {students} Guacomole

When students are active in the classroom and I want them to settle and be seated, I use this one and they should be seated by the end...

{teacher} Criss Cross {students} Applesauce

When students are scattered around the classroom with learning games and I need to give additional instructions or make an announcement where I want their hands off of everything, I use one of these...

{teacher} Hands on Top {students} That Means Stop (students put hands on their heads)
{teacher} Macaroni and Cheese {students} Everybody Freeze (students freeze)
{teacher} Zip Your Lips {students} Hands on Hips (hands drop what they're doing and go on hips)

When I'm looking to have a little more fun, I'll use some fun animal action ones, such as these...

{teacher} Alligator, Alligator {students} Chomp, Chomp (with arms stretched in chomping motion)
{teacher} Mouse, Mouse {students} Squeak, Squeak (with hands on face as whiskers)

I would love for you to share any attention getters that you use in your classroom.  I will work on compiling these (above) and any you share in the comments of this post into a FREEBIE of cards to use in the classroom, so SHARE AWAY!!

 {Click the image above to download "The Big 7" WBT Classroom Management posters}

 If you find that your students are not fully focused on you when they say their response to your "class" (or other attention getter), immediately follow that with "Hands and Eyes."  This command prompts them to fold their hands in their laps and look at you intently (even leaning forward toward you).  All focus should be on you.  This prompt can also be used when you're teaching and have a very important point to make. 

These are probably the simplest of the WBT Classroom Management strategies to implement in your classroom and should be started on Day 1.  Hour 1.

More on the other "Big 7" later this week!

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Whole Brain Teaching Freebie and Winners Announced!

As you know, I attended the Whole Brain Teaching Conference last week in Louisiana.  I'm super excited about sharing more about these teaching strategies with my school next year!

The first day of the workshop was all about Classroom Management, which is definitely the key piece {and most used piece} of WBT!  There are seven components to the Classroom Management piece, known as "The Big 7."  I used "The Big 7" in my classroom last year and fell in L-O-V-E with each of them!

As they introduced "The Big 7" at the conference, they went through each letter of "T-H-E-B-I-G-7" with some sort of "visualization" that was intended to help you remember each component.  I cannot explain to you how the letters connected with each component because it made ABSOLUTELY no sense to me.

I'm pretty sure they were trying to line them up in the order you should introduce them in your classroom, but the connection to the actual letters in the words "The Big 7" went completely over my head.  In fact, the connections were so obscure that THAT was all I could focus on.  My head was sitting there making its own connections and mnemonic devices that actually made sense {to me, at least!}

Within minutes, my friend Jennifer and I had completely revamped the "visualization" of "The Big 7" in a way that made much more sense to us!  And, since we are going to be taking this information back to teach to our staff this year, we think it will make much sense to them as well!
This morning, I whipped up some signs to show the mnemonic devices we created.  If you are interested in introducing Whole Brain Teaching to your school or fellow teachers, feel free to grab these signs and use them in your workshop!

{Click the image above to download the signs}
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Here's an overview of "The Big 7" mnemonic devices that we created.  I'll be doing a post on each of these strategies this week - starting tomorrow!

1. T - The Scoreboard {each side of the T represents one side of the scoreboard)
2. h - Teach! - Okay! {the tall stick on the "h" represents the teacher standing and teaching, the short hump of the "h" represents the students sitting and teaching each other what they have learned)
3. e - Class? - Yes? {the "e" is part of the word YES}
4. B - Mirror {the two humps on the "B" are mirror images of each other}
5. i - Hands and Eyes {the "i" is a play on the word "eye" - also imagine the "dot" of the "i" as an actual "eye'}
6. g - Switch {the two "circles" in the "g" could be "switched"}
7. 7 - The 5 Rules {7 is a number and there is a certain number (5) of rules for the classroom}

I hope these mnemonic signs help you (and your colleagues) remember these WBT classroom management strategies!  I can't wait to start a discussion on how I (and you) have used these in the classroom!  Come back tomorrow to start sharing!

And, CONGRATULATIONS to the 6 WINNERS in my Blogiversary giveaway!!! Emails are on their way to you right now!

Suzanne F. - Alex & Ani Wisdom Bangle Bracelet
Leann - Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener
Elizabeth P. - TC Unit of Choice (Christmas Around the World Unit)
Francheryl - LM Unit of Choice (Word Choice Unit)
Sarah H. - Scotch Laminator
Denise S. - $50 Target Giftcard


Today is the Day!!

If you haven't entered my giveaway, today is the day!!  I will announce the SIX winners tomorrow!  And, if you HAVE already entered, remember that you can ENTER DAILY by "sharing"!!

We had the BEST comment posted to our Teacher's Clubhouse Facebook page this week...

How CUTE is that??  It's amazing to think that we've been creating and sharing our resources with teachers for SIX YEARS!!  We're so glad that so many other teachers are sharing their talent now and are glad that we joined the TpT community this year!

Speaking of TpT, our Week 5 FREEBIE is also up today!  Our Reading Strategy Flippers were a big hit last year, so we have created Grammar Flippers - a set of 23 flipbooks to assess students' knowledge of parts of speech, compound words, possessives, and MUCH MORE!!

{Click the image to grab our set of 23 flipbooks!}

Next week's freebie finale is already in the works...we're going to end it with a mega freebie that has been on my to-do list for a long while! 

Also on my "to-do" list - blog every single day this upcoming week!!  What have I been doing this summer??  ;)

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3941596/?claim=rrfrz4tb4hk">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Five for Friday: WBT Conference & New Orleans

My week was spent in Louisiana - or maybe I should say the car to be more accurate. ;)  I left early Sunday morning with a few of my best teacher friends and we set out for a 12+hour drive for the Whole Brain Teaching Conference.

1) On The Road

We spent hours and hours and HOURS in the car this week.  A BIG thanks to Mr. Madden for burning us CDs for the long trip!  The other girls may be just a bit tired of Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, and Flo Rida....just sayin'! :)

We traveled through South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana....all to end up in a little town called Pineville, LA!

2) Welcome to Pineville

Oh, Pineville!  We stayed at The Country Inn, which was also where "Coach B" and most of the others from the WBT Conference were staying.  It was quaint and everyone we ran into was sooooo nice!
These are some "yarn bombings" we saw in downtown Alexandria....so cute!

3) The Conference

Each day we met as a whole group in the mornings and then had grade-level specific "break-out" sessions.
{Susannah (left) and I (right) waiting on the conference to begin!}
We were pumped and set for Day 1 - All About Classroom Management!  We'll be teaching a Whole Brain Workshop later this summer for some teachers in our district, so I'll post more about it when we have prepared for that!  Basically, on Day 1 we learned all about "The Big 7" {the scoreboard, teach/okay, class/yes, mirror, the five rules, hands & eyes, and switch}- and in fact, Jennifer and I created our own way to remember "The Big 7" that we think is much more effective {at least to us!}  I'll share that soon, too!

Day 2 focused on Lesson Delivery and Day 3 was all about Writing.  The conference was very informative, especially for those new to WBT.  The conference was actually "WBT in action"...everything that was taught was mirrored and then taught to your neighbor - very high energy!

I can't wait to take the WBT strategies back to my school/district and show others how they work in my classroom!  And, I can't wait to try even more components in my classroom this upcoming year.
I'm not sure how we got lost so much in such a small town, but we seemed to constantly be going in circles all week long, so it was ironic that we ended up in the middle of "shutter island" trying to get out of there...we were just joking about it looking like Shutter Island and then as we were finally leaving it, we saw the Mental Institution sign so I had to snap a picture out of the back window! 

4) New Orleans

After 3 days of intense workshop, we were ready to drive on down to New Orleans!  We were super excited to visit NO for the first time.  We stayed at The Royal Sonesta which was right on Bourbon Street.  It was the PERFECT place to stay!

We had lunch at Saints and Sinners, which just so happens to be Channing Tatum's bar.  Unfortunately, we missed him by a couple of days, but the waiter said he is unbelievably nice to hang with! ;)
This girl does not eat seafood so New Orleans cuisine isn't really my thing.  I had a nice grilled chicken sandwich - the food was better than we expected it to be.
Can you tell which is which??  Hahaha!

Later that night, we headed to Jackson Square.  It was beautiful. 
After relaxing a bit at the hotel, we freshened up and headed back out for dinner and fun!
{Me (left) and Kristen (right) posing with the statue}

We ate at Muriels....wouldn't be back on my list, but remember that I'm not a New Orleans cuisine girl...
...and tried a couple of dueling piano bars.  I L-O-V-E dueling piano bars and am so stinkin' happy that we have one opening up in our town this summer!!!!

We fell in love with the tray guy at Pat O'Briens....and he fell in love with my friend, Susannah! ;)

We also fell in love with the town of New Orleans.  Being from South Carolina, it was like the perfect mix of Charleston and the Myrtle Beach strip!!!  So much to see and do....and not all of it was good!  The BEST people-watching EVER!!
This may be the only "strange" picture that is appropriate to post on my blog, but trust me there were MANY strange moments.  I kind of love Bourbon Street!!!!

After a great night of sleep at The Royal Sonesta....
 ...we were up early for beignets at Cafe du Monde.  DELICIOUS!!
I certainly hope to make it back to New Orleans again in the future!

5) Giveaway & Freebie

Don't forget that you can enter my "Amanda's Favorites Giveaway" this week to be one of SIX winners for some great prizes!  Remember, you can enter DAILY using the "share" option!!

And, you can also pick up our WEEK 4 FREEBIE still in our Teacher's Clubhouse 6th Birthday celebration!
{Click Above to Download - Types of Writing Signs Pack - Correlate to Patricia Polacco Books!}


Amanda's Favorite Things Giveaway!

In celebration of my 1 Year Blogiversary, I'm holding a giveaway for some of my favorite things!!

Thinking back on this past year in the classroom, these are definitely some of my favorite things!  There will be a different winner for each item!

1. Personal Scotch Laminator

Hands down.  My #1 favorite new addition to my classroom this year was my Scotch Laminator.  Let's face it, the ones at school stink!  They're either broken, or peel right off.  This baby is perfection every.single.time!  I have one at home and at school - love, love, love.

So, one lucky winner will get his/her own Scotch Laminator shipped right to their house!

2.  Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

In a very {and I mean VERY} close second is my Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener.  I mean it made it through an entire year - that is quite a feat by itself, AND it still sharpens EVERY kind of pencil to PERFECTION every.single.time!  Love, love, love!  If you don't have one of these in your classroom yet, you NEED this!!

3.  Classroom Theme - $50 Target Giftcard

My third favorite addition to my classroom was my new "MONSTER THEME" that I worked on all last summer.  Click here to scroll through those threads if you missed that excitement.  Since I can't personally come and decorate your room, I'm giving a $50 giftcard to Target.  Let's face it, that's where a majority of my items (chairs, rugs, dollar spot items) came from anyway!  Of course, you could always splurge on something just for YOURSELF from Target if you wanted. :)

4.  Alex & Ani Apple of Abundance Charm Bangle

Another favorite of mine this year {not so much classroom related} is piling on the bracelets!  I adore these Alex & Ani bangles, so I thought maybe you would, too!  One lucky winner will win the "apple" bangle in choice of gold or silver - perfect for accessorizing any outfit for the classroom. :)

5.  Teacher's Clubhouse Unit of Your Choice

Of course, I'll be throwing in some freebies from our shops!  First up is a free unit of your choice from our TpT shop!  Don't forget that we've recently added our Classroom Theme Units, so if you're looking to redecorate the classroom for next year, you could choose one of our theme packs!

6.  Lightbulb Minds Unit of Your Choice

And, I'm not leaving out you intermediate teachers!  If you teach grades 4-6 our Lightbulb Minds site has units for you, and the winner can choose the one he/she wants!

There are LOTS of chances to win!  You can even enter some of the options DAILY to improve your odds!  May the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

The SIX winners will be announced on Monday, June 24!

Oh, yeah!  And, don't forget to go grab this week's 65-Page Freebie from our TpT shop in celebration of Teacher's Clubhouse's 6th Birthday.....today is your last day to grab it!  Our Week 4 Freebie will be posted tomorrow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting My "Pretty" On!

I tried to take a couple of days off for a little "me" time.  Well, I'm not sure how well that worked.  I mean, I did squeeze in some "me" time, but I didn't exactly take the days "off."  Why is that so HARD??

I'm leaving for the Whole Brain Teaching Conference in Louisiana in a couple of days and I have SOOOO much to do before I leave!! I think I broke out in a rash last night just thinking about it all!

Probably didn't help that I spent yesterday at the pool...and "pretty-ing" up my iPhone.  Have you seen all the Instagram craze about the Cocoppa app? 

Here's how my iPhone looks now....
How CUTE are those icons???? Ahhhh...in LOVE!

If you're interested in doing this, it's important to know that these icons are really just shortcuts to the real icons (so DO NOT delete those!!!)  The 411 on this cuteness...

1) It's super easy (and quick) to change an icon (well, the picking out your icons is not so quick, but the actual change is!)
2) You will want to put the new CUTE shortcut icon on your desktop and then just stick all of your old icons in a folder on your back screen)
3) Since these are just SHORTCUTS, it takes a brief second for them to open - they're still very quick, so this wasn't really a downside for me.
4) Since these are just SHORTCUTS, they do not show "notifications" (for example, my "mail" icon will not show the number "1" when a new email comes in - I could swipe to the next screen and see that on my actual icon, though)  I actually like this function, as I stress over those notification numbers! ;)
5) The biggest downside is that you can't get them for all of the preloaded Apple icons (phone, settings, camera, and notes - my notes is an app not the preloaded Apple "notes")

That was a really quick 411, but you can find TONS of tutorials on the specifics if you do a Google search.  Here is the tutorial I found was the most helpful.

Did you notice that I even went back and made an icon for my own blog???  I figured that out myself *pat on back* - I just took a screenshot from my blog and cropped the button.  Then I used the upload button in Cocoppa (bottom center) to upload it as an icon.  Then, on "my page" in Cocoppa, it showed up as an icon that I could select and use!  I just insert my blog address as the url for a direct link!

Speaking of cuteness....look what came in the mail today from Very Jane....
Fun, wooden alphabet magnets!!  I thought they would be perfect for some center work in our monster-themed classroom!! {I HEART Very Jane prizes in the mail!}

And, speaking of mail, I also got a very fancy envelope from our school district today.  This was odd.  When I opened it, it was a letter personally from the Superintendent himself.  This might not be odd to most of you, but I work in a VERY LARGE school district (about 60 elementary schools alone!).  Needless to say, he has a lot to oversee so it's rare to see/hear from him...especially on a personal level.

But, I had a very sweet dad to write me the nicest email at the end of this school year (don't you always think those are the BEST GIFTS ever???), but he took it a step further and copied my principal and the superintendent on the email.  Well, this letter was regarding that....(all identifying information removed)
I thought it was very thoughtful of him to take the time out of his schedule to acknowledge this. 

Now, to go write a couple of my students back and then head back out for a manicure/pedicure and to play with my new MAC makeup.  I've got to get my "pretty" on, too...can't let my iPhone outshine me! :)  

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