Thursday, July 2, 2015

Currently July

Happy Wednesday Thursday folks!

Today, I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her famous monthly linky party: Currently. I can't even remember the last time I was on my game enough to link up. Feels good. :)

So... here's what's shakin'....CURRENTLY...

I love to just put random shuffle on my iPhone and see what comes up. You can hear anything and everything and I just love the random. It can go from the Bleachers to Macklemore to Katy Perry to Bruno Mars to Death Cab for Cutie.  I just love the variety.

Why did I wait so long to get on Instagram?!? I have no idea, but I'm addicted now. If you don't already, please click here to follow me.  We'll have soooo much fun!

It's almost the most wonderful time of year...if you're a teacher that is! It's almost school supply season. I was in Office Max yesterday and they were definitely clearing out space and starting to set up for school supplies!! Ahhh!! I need new pens, new markers, new post its... well, basically new everything!!

I love the Pilot Precise V5! They are pretty much magical!

My Amazon box should be here any day now, but I want it NOW.  :)  It is filled with wonderful books that I'm chomping at the bit to read. Look what I found online...

This picture makes me sooo happy! Amazon boxes and coffee. I'm in heaven. LOL. Can you tell I lived in the Seattle area for 10 years?  I can still consider them local, right?!

This summer I took the plunge into TPT. For years I have been posting the quality effective resource on TPT for free but they weren't always super cute. But now... I've purchased all super adorable clip art from Scrappin' Doodles and Creative Clips and I'm totally obsessed with making everything cute and effective and fun!! I want to revamp everything! LOL. Who do you love to buy your clip art from? Favorites?

All Star: 
This summer I've been really proud of all the reading I've been doing. I have a book with me everywhere I go. No seriously... everywhere! Just in case I have a few moments to read. And the funny thing is, the more your read, the more you WANT to read, so I have just been devouring books like crazy this summer. At least devouring books by my standards. My comprehension is through the roof, but I am not what one would call a fast reader. If only.  Just imagine the books I could get through then.  To see what I've been reading, visit my Fiction Friday page and check back every Friday for my newest post to celebrate children's literature.

That's all for me! What are you up to??

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hello Instagram!

Hellooooo Instagram!!

I finally jumped on board and got an Instagram account for my teacher-self! (I can't believe all the great stuff I've been missing out on. There are awesome teaching ideas, classroom ideas, freebies and so much more! I'm so glad to be part of this teacher Instagram community.

I'd love to connect with you through Instragram. Please consider following me @teachingthief. Just click the Instagram logo above to do so. More fun posts coming soon!!

I'd also love any and all advice you have for using Instagram as a blogger, teacher, and TPT creator. Please help and guide me. 

Thanks y'all! Let's do this thing!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Magic Squares: Supporting ELA Vocabulary & Concepts {A Magical Giveaway}

I did it! I am taking the plunge.  I finished my first product for TPT.

Ahhhh!!! I'm so nervous and excited all at the same time.

But... y'all... I'm also so proud of my work. :)

Introducing... ELA Magic Squares
An Activity Pack to "Magically" Support 
ELA Vocabulary & Concepts
One of my student's favorite activities we did this year was our Non-Fiction Text Feature Magic Square. I knew it was popular in my room, but then I looked on TPT and it was popular there too! It was right then and there that I started imagining the possibilities and this is the final result! Isn't it cute?!

What are Magic Squares?

In the simplest form, a magic square is a puzzle. The puzzle itself consists of 9 squares that contain vocabulary words and their definitions. When the square is completed correctly, all definitions match up and the border of the square is left completely blank. (Which is awesome for teachers because you can quick check student work in seconds!!)

How can Magic Squares be used?
Magic squares can be used as a whole group activity, literacy station, review, or intervention activity. You can run individual copies for students have them glue completed squares on construction paper or in their ELA journals for reference. You can also copy squares on colored paper, laminate, and use over and over again in stations to build student's problem solving skills and content vocabulary mastery. The choice is yours.

How do Magic Squares support student learning?
Magic squares give students an opportunity to revisit the vocabulary they have learned in a new and different way. As teachers, we present material in many ways to help our students make connections and "lock in" their learning. This is just one more great strategy for students to work with the content vocabulary but in a new context. The puzzle element challenges even the highest students in your class. For the kids who want a quick match up game, the magic square pushes them to think outside the box. They must manipulate the pieces, use problem solving skills, and review the content vocabulary all at the same time.

What vocabulary is covered in this activity pack?
The ELA magic squares that are included in this packet cover the a variety of topics covered throughout the year, including:
  • Non-Fiction Text Features & Purpose
  • Reading Genres 
  • Poetry Terms
  • Drama Terms
  • Writing Terms
  • Parts of Speech
How should I introduce this to my class?
Don't give too much away! That takes away from the fun. I tell them they are getting a vocabulary puzzle.  Their job is to match the vocabulary word with the definition. They will know they have completed the square when the outside border is blank. (I usually draw a sample on the board, so they know what I mean by a clean edge). The only other hint I give is to start in the center. The center square is the only square with all four sides filled with writing (vocab word or definition) From there, I let them figure it out. Do some get frustrated a first?  Yes. Do they give up?  Never! They always want to figure it out and the feeling of success they have when they do is priceless!! 

My class LOVED this activity and I hope your class will too.  

How about a freebie?
Sure! I can't wait to share the fun! Click here to grab your free Text Feature Magic Square from my TPT store today! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and valued.

Now for the giveaway...
To win a copy of Magic Squares: An Activity Pack to "Magically" Support ELA Vocabulary & Concepts Grades 3-5 just enter the giveaway below!
Don't forget to check out my TPT store for other great activities and freebies!
a Rafflecopter giveaway