Tuesday, November 20, 2012


CHECK THIS OUT! I saw this in a first grade teacher's classroom and it the COOLEST thing ever! READING GLASSES!!! OMGoodness sooo cute. She found all these used old glasses at an auction, popped out the glass lenses, and now all the kids can wear glasses when they do their hard work. Look how studious the students look! They are so smart! And with those reading glasses on, well they can READ and WRITE just about anything! THE STUDENTS LOVE WEARING THEM!

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Friday, October 26, 2012


Okay....Everyone knows me as the hamburger lady! I LOVE to teach 5 paragraphs using the HAMBURGER organizer. I came up with this idea as a review. (and  to engage the kids with a FUN activity) The kids use sticky notes to put on each layer of the HAMBURGER so they KNOW what each part needs to contain.

TOP BUN/INTRO- They must write 3 things on their sticky note that the top bun/intro MUST contain--A HOOK, at least one DETAIL, and a THESIS statement. Then they come put their sticky note on the top bun.

The 3 middle parts- LETTUCE, TOMATO and MEAT are their 3 BIG ideas- They must write 2 things on their sticky notes that MUST be contained in each of these paragraphs--A TOPIC SENTENCE, at least 3 DETAILS, and RAZZLE DAZZLE word choice. They will do this for all 3 parts!

BOTTOM BUN/Conclusion asks what should this part do? On their sticky note they should put something like--WRAPS everything up like a BIG burrito! OLE'

After the lesson I serve SpongeBob gummy Crabby Patties. They look just like our giant hamburger and they're delish!

Enjoy the FUN and maybe get a hat like mine so when you teach the lesson you get to see the students' pearly whites shine BIG!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Fun

This was an awesome activity that could be done with any words as the main focal point. I had the kids do a brainstorm list of all the fun things they did this summer around the words, "SUMMER FUN". In kindergarten they were only able to draw pictures to depict their brainstorm list. You can see the progression up through 4th grade where the students wrote huge brainstorm lists and then drew pictures inside the letters of the fun things they did this summer. To get the best pictures, I told students I wanted to see lots of details in their artwork! Click HERE for free 11 x 17 blackline.Pin It

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our 5th grade team is doing a weekly newsletter. Each week they will take turns filling in the newsletter. What an AMAZING idea. Great teamwork gals! FREEBIE click HEREPin It

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


FOOD FOR THOUGHT ! This is poster size. Get your freebie HERE
If the clarity is not good I can email it to you.Pin It

Friday, August 24, 2012

Writer of the Week Idea...

This year in addition to framing students' work in the hall (see writer of the week post) I will be letting them write with a feather pencil all week. I bought the colored peacock  feathers and floral tape at Hobby Lobby. When explaining the idea to the students this year, I could see their eyes were dancing with delight!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

6 Trait Posters

Someone asked me for a copy of my 6 Trait Posters that hang on my wall, and actually I found these many years ago from a website. I believe it was kimskorner4teachertalk.com which has not been updated since 2008, so I couldn't find the posters on her site again.  I had to convert the file to be able to post them. I LOVE these posters.Get POSTERS HEREPin It

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

 In the younger grades, students do a lot of illustrating with details in their pictures. I discovered that bundling up their colored pencils and markers and teaching them to take only one out at a time and then slide it back in before taking out another one, works FANTASTIC. No pencils on the floor, no pencils rolling around, and no mixed up colors. Store them in a box or bucket and WAAA LAAA, you're ready to go!.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Blackline Hamburger 3rd & 4th grade

GIANT HAMBURGER ORGANIZER with tips and reminders for the students at the top of each hamburger part. I have the students write their 3 BIG ideas in the left hand margin. (not on the intro or conclusion) That way when I check their topic sentence, I make sure it matches what their original brainstorm idea was. Notice how I sign off with my initials on each paragraph in the margin before they can move on to the next one?  Oh, and I won't even look at it if they forget to indent :) Click on hamburger for freebie!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Big Hamburger

I have many hamburgers I will be posting in the near future.....sooooo please stay tuned!!! I use this particular 5 paragraph hamburger for my 3rd and 4th graders. One of the things I do is to use it under the Elmo to model great writing. We usually create a story together. When students use the 5 paragraph hamburger independently, I have them brainstorm to get their 3 BIG ideas, and create a hook (see previous HOOKS blog). I allow them to write directly on the hamburger. I have blackline hamburgers similar to this that I will be posting in the near future. After editing etc., they can then make their final copy with 5 paragraphs!  Here is the FREEBIE enjoy! Oh, I wanted to mention that this hamburger is 11 x17 which makes it EXTRA CooliO! 
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Word of the WEEK

I teach one different vocabulary word per week to each different grade level. I know it's weird to have a favorite vocabulary word, but 2nd grade has my favorite work this week.... "putrid" It's so funny when they can use it in their writing. It makes them so proud. I took some pictures of 1st grade student work this week. I had them illustrate their vocabulary word on individual white boards. Then we made a class train and students followed me around the room while we looked at all the cute illustrations. These pictures were my favorite illustrations of the word JUMBO :) Get your Freebie HEREPin It

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Thought of the DAY!
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I start working with students on"HOOKS" in 2nd grade. When I start teaching HOOKS, I tell students that it's just like catching a fish. You dangle some nice bait in-front of the fish and if they like it, BOOM! Gotcha hooked. If not they turn away uninterested. It's the same way with writing. This is how I start. First,  I read students a well known book and then have them practice writing different beginnings for the same story. This is the first thing we do in my writing class. Students can write their hooks in the squares that are provided on blackline. We practice for 2 weeks before moving on to finishing our introduction.  FREE links below

 3rd Grade HOOKS
  FREE links below

                                                              FREE links below

The idea for these hooks came from
This resource was found on-line at http://DenaHarrison.com 
Thanks for your inspiration!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Student poster

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beginning Middle End-paragraphs

I use this  hamburger organizer to transition 2nd-3rd graders into writing paragraphs. Students use this hamburger organizer to draft their papers, and then when they write their final drafts, they are able to easily transition into a paper that has 3 paragraphs. I tell them-- when you "FLIP" the paper on your hamburger---start a new paragraph (indent). When we start using this organizer, I like to read a story to them and then have them retell the beginning -middle -end in their own words. Then we transition to their OWN stories------To start off,  I like to write a rubric so that EACH student knows what each paragraph should contain in the beginning- middle and end. This is much easier for them to start understanding paragraphs and it's CONCRETE! By the end of the year, students spread their wings and can do it all ALONE!Pin It

Saturday, March 10, 2012


FREE poster HERE
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Friday, March 9, 2012


I teach this every week with students k-4. I challenge them to use proverbs in their writing to help with the trait of voice. Students love learning about the new PROVERB OF THE WEEK. Sometimes it makes them chuckle! Please join my BLOG and leave an e-mail address under this post and I will send you a FREE grade appropriate list! Thanks for checking out my BLOG!Pin It

Sunday, March 4, 2012

100% Effort BABY!

I hang this sign on my classroom door. Each student touches it as they walk into the classroom.  Just a reminder to themselves to give their very BEST effort! Get poster HERE!
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Descripto Man

THIS IS MY STUDENTS ALL TIME FAVORITE GAME!!! This is a game that I play with students once a week. The winning word gets a small prize. This is how you play. First each student gets a small piece of paper or notebook/spiral paper. You hold up a picture that you have cut out of a magazine. I hold the picture up for 1 min and 30 seconds--I set a timer. This can be any picture. (not just a man) Students then put down ONE describing word that they think no other student will put down. This may address any part of the picture. After the timer rings, I start calling on students around the room to report their word out loud. Everyone gets a turn. That way all the students get to hear all the rich words being reported. If a student calls out a word that none else has, it goes on a running list. If a student calls out a word that another student wrote down, then that word is disqualified or OUT. This encourages kids to NOT use common words like BIG or AWESOME. Students raise their hands if they have the same word as someone else as we go around the room. ---No talking -- only listening or raising your hand for a duplicated word. At the end of the game the teacher chooses the best word from the running list, and announces it in class. I glue the picture to white construction paper and put all the qualified words around it and then display the pictures on the wall. I encourage students to use RICH words when they write! Give it a try and let me know what you think!Pin It

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seuss Sayings

 Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss !!!!!!!
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

RIP-Rest in Peace

We put overused - "BABY" words on our RIP board. It says ....   Here lies Mr. Overused Word.
He was weak and old, now he'll never be heard.Pin It

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Music in the Classroom!

Well....Here goes on my first music post. I use MUSIC everyday in my classroom. I use music mainly as a transition from the floor and back to their seats. It helps students to get their blood pumping before we go on to the next thing. I download all the music on my iPod and then set my iPod on the (speaker) tower pictured below. I do let kids listen to different types of music while writing...If students can't handle it, I turn it off. You might ask WHY? Well, I have 4 kids of my own, and I have noticed something strange and different in my older kids.  When they are working they have lots of stuff going on in their room. They may have the TV on,  music playing in the background, or earphones in listening to music ~WHILE THEY STUDY!!! This disturbed me because I grew up studying in a quiet room, and BY GEORGE, if it's not quiet, how can someone study? My kids explained to me over the course of many years and tears, that that's how everyone does it NOWADAYS. Both of my sons have been very successful  in school, and after listening to several people present about the digital world we NOW live in, and how kids can multi-task, I AM a believer! Music also works well with themed lessons. We are writing a pirate story in 2nd grade right now, so of course I downloaded a bunch of pirate songs for students to listen to while they work. They are very appreciative, and it makes school FUN! As Emeril would say it~~~ Let's Spice this up a bit -   BAAAAM! 
(in the classroom)

This tower even comes with a remote so you can adjust it from a distance. Looks like I need to dust my tower! HA HA
Thanks for reading get your MUSIC LIST freebie HERE
Comments appreciated :) Join my blog and check back often for updates!

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Friday, February 24, 2012


I saw this somewhere many years ago. It is very useful to help guide your students through the writing process. Get your freebie HEREPin It

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

High 5 for Reading

I use this for our response to reading. I use the hand as a rubric and it's easy for kids to check themselves because they have their own hand to check as they go along.  Click on the link to get the freebie. HERE
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Monday, February 20, 2012


Spring Smiles Freebie HERE

Kindergarten Freebie HERE

1st grade freebie HERE

2nd Grade Freebie HERE

Get your 3rd and 4th grade freebie HERE
I HEART comments :)
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Friday, February 17, 2012


This is the hamburger our school uses. Please join my blog, make a comment,  and include your email address. I will send you a lesson I created on PowerPoint that teaches how to use the hamburger. It is very kid friendly! Please get freebie HERE.Pin It

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Indent Poster

I have this poster hanging on my door! My neighbor teacher saw it at another school, took a picture with her cell phone, and WALA, I created my own.  Boy, this saying is so true. Get freebie HEREPin It

Friday, February 3, 2012

Writer of the Week

This is our first week displaying Writer of the Week. Students have their AMAZING work framed all week for everyone to admire. To make it extra special, calligraphy was done by our talented secretary, Miss Connie. What a great way to recognize students!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Introducing.... My trait Puppets! TADAAAA!

This is Igor Idea. He has a HUGE long TAIL and he loves de-tails. His eyes move around, so he is always watching YOU!

This is Wilma Word. She teaches word of the week to students. She has some quirky things about her. First, she LOVES to EAT hotdogs--all kinds. The kids know this, so I use it as an engagement tool right before we start some lessons. I say---What does Wilma LOVE to eat? The kids all promptly reply HOT-DOGS! She can smile or frown. She does have a broken tooth that she received from eating a frozen hot-dog! Kids adore her and students all over the school know that Wilma Words replace overused, boring, baby words like... nice, fun, and mad! Even the teachers tell the kids to edit and replace their worn out words with Wilma Words. She's Famous!

This is Victor Voice. He teaches us about feelings. He is really sad that he was born with a bum wing that won't flap, but he has a mean cock-a doodle-doo!

This is Sophie Sentence Fluency.  She is steady all the time. She is shy around the kids, and won't come out of her shell unless it's totally quiet.

This is Oscar Organization. He adores when 3rd and 4th grade students use the Hamburger Organizer! 5 paragraphs is what he likes. He loves to see those HOOKS and conclusions too.When Oscar gets upset he flicks hairs off his legs to show dislike. He eats small birds and hides underground. 

This is Convention Carlisle. He thinks all the kids are a bunch of nutcrackers. He speaks with a southern accent and has a little crush on a different teacher each year. The kids think this is sooo funny. Always check those conventions!
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