Monday, April 29, 2013

#teachertalktuesday on Instagram!

Hi Friends!
We're back! At least I (Jackie) am! My sister's on a fun little trip to Asheville N.C. with her new(ish) man. My computer's been broken and was being fixed for a couple weeks, and my old one was waaaayyyy too slow to do anything on, so I've taken a little break from the blogging and TPT world. I've missed it, but I kept up with following others on my phone through blog lovin' and facebook! I'm so happy to be back with ALL my files in tact! I was nervous that I was going to lose them, so I will be backing EVERYTHING up this time, just in case! I'm really happy and extremely relieved that my computer is back home, safe, and sound! I'm so happy to be BACK!

I was checking out facebook yesterday on my Iphone when I noticed a lot of these posts popping up!

The buzz was that Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants! and Michelle from Apples and ABCs are throwing a weekly instagram party called Teacher Talk Tuesday! Each Tuesday you can share a picture from your day on Instagram! Fun and simple!! There are SOOOO many bloggers out there with Instagram, it's amazing!  I have a personal Instagram account, but I thought it would be fun to have a Sister Teachers' Instagram too! You can follow us @sisterteachers or click the picture below. 
click above to follow us on Instagram!
I'll be back sometime this week once I catch up on emails and stuff to tell you all about my Thinking Maps training and what we've been up to! =) See you on Instagram!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted AND Tried It Tuesday!!

I'm linking up with Latoya from Flying Into First Grade for her weekly "Let's Get Acquainted" linky party! This week's topic... Stranded on an island- What three things would you have with you? Fun!! If I were stranded on Key West, I'd be a happy camper... not sure about being stranded anywhere else though. Gilligan's Island didn't look too terrible!=)

First up is my family. I couldn't live without them! 

Next is a fishing pole. I'd rather fish for food than hunt for it. 

Finally, I'd need some sunscreen. Although I do tan pretty well, I also burn really easily if I don't use some kind of protection. 

Make sure you check out Flying Into First Grade's linky to see what other bloggers would bring with them! 

I'm also linking up with our friend Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her "Tried It Tuesday" linky! 

So, it's no secret {at least in my house} that I'm NOT the greatest cook. I really don't enjoy cooking, at all. Unfortunately, my husband works a lot of nights so I'm left to cook for Makenzie and myself a LOT. Ugh... what's a girl to do? Fortunately, I have a Pinterest board with LOTS of different yummy recipes!! Here are two of my favorites that I've "tried" a whole bunch of times. They're both super easy, and even not so gifted chefs, such as myself can easily make them!! =) 
click the pic to find the recipe
These ham and cheese sliders are TO DIE FOR!! I made them the other night {for the millionth time}, and I had a few leftover, so I'm going to reheat them for dinner tonight! I LOVE the poppy seed- mustard sauce that's drizzled over the top, and the melted Swiss cheese inside is soooooo stringy and yummy!! This recipe calls for 24 white dinner rolls, but for a family of three it's a bit much, so we just buy 8 potato rolls {hamburger buns}, use less ham, and less Swiss cheese, and it works just as great. I also don't use miracle whip... I just stick to plain mayonnaise. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!!  You have to check out this super cute food blog {The Girl Who Ate Everything} while you're looking at this recipe too... she has SOOOOOO many delicious recipes!! 

click the pic to find the recipe
My next awesome Pinterest find is this chicken, broccoli, cheese, and stuffing foil-pack dinner.  You wrap all of the ingredients up in a tin foil packet and bake! That's it!! It's super easy to make and even easier to clean up! I follow the exact recipe and it's delicious!! Makenzie even eats it, and she's wicked picky! I have to go food shopping tomorrow, so this stuff is definitely on my list of things to buy!! 

Not too much teachery stuff going on in this post, but everyone needs a teacher break now and then. Make sure you link up with Holly and Latoya!! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mentor Text Linky- June 29, 1999 {Making Inferences}

Happy Sunday!
I'm linking up with Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for their new mentor text linky party! I love that they're having this linky each week to highlight amazing books and authors that many teachers might not know about. I must admit that mentor texts are not my strong suit, so this definitely going to be a learning experience for me, I'm really excited about it! =)  Head on over to Collaboration Cuties to share your best mentor texts!

I really like the book June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner! I've used it for the past few years to review making inferences, alliteration and vocabulary development. I also tie it into our planting unit during Spring time. =) In this story, Holly Evans launches vegetable seedlings into the sky in order to study extraterrestrial effects on the growth and development of those seedlings. On June 29, 1999 HUGE vegetables start appearing all over the United States! After a few days of news stories about these vegetables, Holly concludes that these vegetables could not be hers because she did not have arugula seeds in her experiment. She wonders where these vegetables could be coming from? It's not until the end that the hilarious and unexpected twist happens! David Wiesner uses humor, minimal text, amazing illustrations, and alliteration to tell this fabulous story!  I've used this book in 1st and 2nd grades, but I think it would work for any elementary grade. =) 

click the image to find this book on
I'm off to enjoy this awesome Florida Spring weather, but you should Head on over to Collaboration Cuties to check out some other great mentor texts for Language Arts!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays... Homework Club!

I'm linking up with one of our BBBs, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching, for her very first linky party ever! It's called "Spark Student Motivation Saturdays"! I LOVE this concept, especially toward the end of the year when "Spring Fever" sets in! Make sure you head on over to her linky to check out what other amazing bloggers have to say about keeping student's motivated until the end of school! How cute is this button?? I love the sparkle!!

Over the past few years I haven't had any issues about students not completing their homework or turning it in on time until this year. I couldn't believe how much it was like pulling teeth to get assignments back from a certain few students. I was kind of at my wits end until I saw this pin one day... 
The very fabulous Molly from Lessons with Laughter blogged about her homework club and how her students are rewarded at the end of each month for completing all of their homework assignments. I thought this was a brilliant idea and I immediately started it with my students. Guess what? It's a HUGE success!! All of my students LOVE being in the homework club, so they're motivated each month to complete all of their assignments and turn them in on time. We eat together on the final Friday of each month . As an extra special  treat, my daughter Makenzie and my husband come and eat with us too. My kiddos LOVE eating with Makenzie! She makes them laugh. It's too cute! 
 If your students are struggling to complete their homework, this may do the trick. =)  Here's a picture of my homework club located on my front white board. 

Be sure to check out Head Over Heels for Teaching for this way cool linky party!! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five For Friday

I'm linking up Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly linky, Five For Friday! Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up, too!
This week was a pretty busy week back from Spring Break. I'm so excited that there are only 8.5 more weeks to go!

1. I've noticed that my students aren't too secure with contractions {almost all of them... yikes!}, so I retaught it and did lots of practice work with them. I thought they needed a good visual, so I did some "contraction surgery" and produced this anchor chart. Sarah from the Fabulous First Grade blogged all about it {here} and has a great freebie you can find {here}. The band-aids really made my kids think about exactly where the apostrophe goes. They did their own surgery during word work time, but I was too busy working with my groups to take pics. :-(.

2. We're in a pretty severe drought here in Orlando right now, so we welcomed the rain these past few days!  We wrote all about what we do on rainy days. They had a choice of writing from an expository prompt: Tell about what you like to do on a rainy day, or a narrative prompt: Tell a story about a rainy day. I would say, it was pretty much 50/50 which is surprising. Most of my kids tend to write expository because it's a bit easier, but it was nice to see the kids actually writing stories!! =) They produced their writing using one of  "craftivities" that I've been using for years... even before I knew what a craftivity was! =) They came out really cute! 

3. On Thursday morning our Principal called us down for a quick meeting. He gave out the Teacher of the Month award... we won it back in December, so it wasn't us this time. But... he also gave out service pins! These pins go to employees who have been with the county for 10, 20, and 30 years. Well... they are about a year or so behind, so I finally got my pin for 10 years service! =) I can't believe I'm almost done with my 12th year already! I seriously feel like I just finished college. 

4. Every Friday I do fluency checks with a handful of students who need more oral reading fluency practice. I like to use the passages from Reading A-Z. I like them because they're leveled and there are a few passages for each level. My kids take a folder home each Monday. Their homework for the week is to practice it a few times each night and then bring it back to me on Friday. I then listen to how they're reading and give them some pointers for how they can improve. I also time them, but I stress to them that the point is not to be the quickest, but it's to be accurate, use punctuation correctly, and have inflection and expression in their voices as they read. They've improved so much since beginning these folders in November. =) If you've never checked out the Reading A-Z website, it's a must see. There are so many resources there... it's definitely worth the subscription! The picture below shows my binder {I have to make it a lot cuter!}, an example of a fluency sheet, the crate that I keep all of my reading passages in, and my students' fluency folder. This is definitely my tried and true method for improving oral reading fluency each year. 

5. Today is a sad day for my sister and I. Two years ago today, we lost our favorite teacher, Dr. Salvatore Fiore. We called him "Doc".  He passed from a heart attack in his sleep. He was only 57 years old. He was the most amazingly talented teacher that I have ever known. Not only was he a teacher, but he was a tremendously accomplished musician, composer, and conductor. My sister and I were so blessed to have been his students in high school. A few weeks back I posted about being in a show choir. Doc was the director, as well as the director of our 150 person high school choir and 40 person select chamber singers group. The best part of his teaching and directing style was that he tough, but kind. He set huge expectations for everyone to rise to, and we did. Each time we performed, it was magical. He always believed in us, and knew we could be anything we wanted to be. Without his support, encouragement, and amazing singing groups, high school would have stunk. Our 27 person show choir, Vocal Motion, performed and competed all over the country and each year performed at Disney World {starting the year after me}. The pictures below are of my sister's Vocal Motion group, and "Doc" in one of his conductor pictures {got the pic from Facebook}. The picture on the bottom is of one of the "end poses" during her show at Downtown Disney. The top left picture is from one of her Winter concerts. I wish I had pictures and videos of me when I was in the group, but unfortunately I don't. It was pre-digital camera age. I don't know why someone in my family didn't have a regular camera though?? Too bad. I'm saying my prayers for his family who lost this wonderful man far too soon.  RIP Doc, we will always keep you in our hearts and prayers.  

Make sure you link up with Kacey for her fun linky!! =) 
PS... The cute papers are from Glitter Meets Glue Designs and the stars on my kids faces are from Ashley Hughes ! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things... Let's Get Acquainted!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... these are a few of my favorite things! That's one of my all time favorite musical movies. =)

I'm linking up with Latoya from Flying Into Fist Grade for her fun "Let's Get Acquainted" Linky Party  to share a few of my favorite things!  =) I'm a little late this week, but as the saying goes... better late than never! =)
Make sure you link up with Latoya if you haven't already!

Here a few of my favorite things...
I love target! It's a one stop shopping experience!! In my opinion {at least here in Orlando}, it's so much more pleasant and MUCH cleaner than those other one stop shopping places that have the word "mart" in them. I love that most of them in the area have a Starbucks so I can walk around with a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino! I also love the dollar spot! I <3 Target!

So... I know this isn't a "show", but I can't narrow down my favorite show on this network since I love so many of them! On the weekends, I've got HGTV on almost all day long! A few of my favs are Property Brothers and Income Property. I also like House Hunters even though it's staged. 

By far, the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae from Friendly's is my ALL TIME favorite sweet treat! I grew up loving it, and when I first moved to Florida I was a server at Friendly's and would indulge in them every once in a while. Haven't had one in a while though... I may have to head over to I Drive, to find the only Friendly's left in Orlando and get my sweet treat fix. 

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE authentic NY Pizza from my hometown, or probably most "real" pizza places from Long Island. The pizza here in Florida is just OK. It's not great, but I'll eat it. I'm pretty much a self proclaimed pizza snob. I will not buy pizza from those "chains", unless they have a really good deal for multiple pies for my class pizza parties. I'm such a snob. ;-)

I love the Cheesecake Factory. Their food is delicious, and their Adam's Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple cheesecake is to die for! Luckily, we have a Cheesecake Factory pretty close to our house! =) 

Make sure you link up with Flying Into First Grade to share some of your favs!!  
{Thanks to Ashley Hughes for the CUTE paper and Stars!}

Check out Keeping It Kool in Kinderland's amazing 375+ giveaway!! It's super Kool!! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Keepin' It Kool In Kinderland's HUGE Giveaway!!

I am excited to share with you that Khrys over at Keepin' It Kool in KinderLand is celebrating her 375+ followers by throwing a HUGE giveaway and I am a part of the fun!

Check out all of these fabulous prizes! 



Didn't I tell you this was going to be HUGE?! Be sure to enter soon and good luck!!
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