Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Guest Post on Minds in Bloom

On Sunday, I had a guest post published on Minds in Bloom discussing creative apps to use with your students in the classroom to help them think at deeper levels.  There are SO many great resources on Rachel's blog.  Stop by sometime and visit to look at her page!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year...Back at It!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone has had a great break from school and was able to spend time with those who are important to them.  I took a break from everything school related (school, blog, TpT) for a couple of weeks to refresh and renew.  I didn't want to be checking my phone while I was spending time with my family.

The break did give me some time to reflect and think about what I want to do different and what I want to improve in myself in my classroom in the new year, I am hesitant to use the word "resolution" because I feel like no one sticks to those, but I do want 2014 to be an amazing year.  

Some goals I have set (because if you put them in writing, others know right?)
1. Blog at least once a week about ideas to use in the classroom.
2. Develop freebies for my blog that only my blog followers and people who stumble across my blog will know about.
3. Plan at least one totally hands-on, no textbook needed math lesson every week
4. Work out at least three times a week (had to throw this in there!)

I put it out there in blog world, now i just need to stick with all of this, I have lots of ideas to share, I just need to make myself sit down and write them:)

Since it is cold where I live, I am putting my "Winter Math Bundle for Upper Elementary" on sale (only advertising it here!) Stop over to my store for a great deal on nine activities you can use in your classroom. There are great activities for individuals, math centers, and games for students to play together.  This will only be on sale through Sunday evening (January 5).
What are some of your goals for 2014?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Blog Hop!

Welcome to Engaging a Creative Classroom.  You have arrived at stop 

At each stop you will be gathering a winter freebie from our TpT stores.  We ask that you leave feedback on our stores if you like our freebies.  If you get lost along the way, you can check out the links at the bottom of this post.

The hop is set up in a loop, so you can start wherever you would like.  If you want to start at the beginning, check out Techie Turtle Teacher for the first stop.

The Addition Snowman game in my Teachers Pay Teachers store includes all materials needed (except dice) to play 9 versions of a game to practice addition skills. Students can practice +1, +2, +10, doubles, doubles +1, doubles +2, +9, hard facts, three addends.  Students will play to practice their facts and try to "build" a snowman during the game.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and downloading the freebie.  I hope you’ll be able to use my product in your classroom.  If you would like to know when I post new products and ideas, please follow me on Bloglovin or follow my TpT store .

Please skate on over to Teacher Times Two for your next stop on the blog hop.

Note:  If you are seeing this post after the blog hop is over, my product will no longer be free on my store after 8pm EST on December 15, 2013.  It will still be available to purchase if you are interested.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bloghop December 13-15 (over 15 Freebies!!)

Starting this Friday, December 13 and going through December 15 a bunch of teacher bloggers are getting together to do a winter blog hop!  Come back on Friday for more details...this will be a great chance to get over 15 winter freebies to use in your classroom. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

$130 Christmas Giveaway AND Free Resources!

My friend at Rockin' Resources is hosting a giveaway on her blog where you can enter to win a $100 Target gift card or one of two Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates.  Check out the link below to enter! There are several upper elementary teachers to check out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Free Editorial Graphic Organizer and Thanksgiving Break

Happy Turkey Day! I hope you have all had a relaxing break from school.  As much as we all love our jobs, I know that we love our breaks too.

Here is the Editorial graphic organizer freebie I promised (in this blog post) , it is also posted on my "Freebies" page on my blog: 

Editorial Graphic Organizer

Don't forget about the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday sale coming up on Monday and Tuesday next week!  Save up to 28% off on your favorite stores:

One more day before we get to go back to school to be with our kids!  I don't know about you, but I am definitely feeling refreshed after a break from school, but will still be counting down to winter break.  My school gets two full weeks off this year!  Before break, I want to wrap up my students current inquiry projects so we can come back from break with a clean slate.  It is hard to believe that we go back on December 2nd, so I will have to make sure I get everything done in the few short weeks I have.

What is something you want to do/get done in your classroom between now and winter break?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keeping Writing Exciting in Fifth

My district has been working on unpacking the Core Standards for the past couple of years.  A lot of hard work and time has gone into ensuring that we are helping understand what kids know and figuring out what to do if they already know it or if they do not know it.  The rigor of the curriculum is not a bad thing, but I worry about kids working so hard to learn that they forget to be kids.  It is our job as teachers to help keep the classroom fun and engaging. 

I have learned a lot about sales through teaching in my classroom.  The excitement of the students typically relates back to the "'pitch" given to them.  Being a fifth grade teacher, I know that my students have written many persuasive essays over the years and it isn't exciting by fifth grade, so I need to spin it different to engage them while covering the Core.

The past few years my students haven't written persuasive essays...they have written editorials...yes, pretty much the same thing.  Letting fifth graders know they get to do something that other grade levels don't get to is a great way to hook them right away.  When introducing persuasive essays editorials, I give my students a few high-interest and engaging editorials to read that I know will grab their attention and get them excited.

One of their favorites every year is written by a teacher who wants to ban homework, that gets them talking!  I try to find editorials that show both sides of a view and some heated discussions typically occur.  Seeing my fifth graders excited about writing and the topics they have chosen is awesome!  Writing time is usually a struggle, so I love seeing how passionate they are about their ideas and how much they get to learn during the process (even if they don't realize they are learning, which is the best type!)

I will post my editorial graphic organizer on here in the next few days as a freebie!

How do you keep your students engaged during writing??