A HUGE Freebie and Character Unit

Preview the Book!

Pink Tiara Cookies for Three does a wonderful job at teaching students that exclusion is a form of bullying.  There are wonderful connections to be made within the story!  I was able to create a wonderful lesson on character development. 

Click image to purchase!

I created this terrific character unit to align with award winning author Maria Dismondy's story Pink Tiara Cookies for Three. Maria's message in this story is how bullying can be subtle but hurtful. This book tackles the concept of "Three's a Crowd" and how children have the tendency to exclude others.

I've created posters with the theme of friendship, self-esteem, individuality, and inclusion which are the primary themes within the story. You'll find information and links on bullying. I also created posters for character traits with featured lessons and reproducibles to align with the various traits. Students will work to develop adjectives describing the main characters. Also provided are graphic organizers to make generalizations through inferences to determine character development from the beginning to the end of the story. Don't forget to follow up your studies with a pink party (flyer included) to celebrate a bully free zone. 

Click image to download a big freebie!

Still want more... you can watch and listen as Maria reads this adorable story.  You will be hooked instantly.  

If you are eager to purchase  a copy of the book, check out Maria's website first!  When you purchase through her website, you will receive an autographed copy. Please visit Maria's website for additional information.  You can also purchase Pink Tiara Cookies for Three at Amazon!

101st Day of School

These pictures were taken in 2009 when my kids and I celebrated the 101st day of school with the 101 Dalmatians.  We had a blast.  Looping with the same group of students for several years forces you to think outside the box.

We made edible dog collars, ate mutt food (Cocoa Puffs), and made dog ears with 101 dots.  I could only find a few pictures but thought I'd share.  What a fun spin on celebrating the 100th day of school.


Book Buddies

A year ago, Cara Carroll of The First Grade Parade introduced readers to the Brown Bag Book Club. The idea originated from a workshop Mrs. Carroll attended by Linda Holliman. For literacy week, I'm introducing this club to my class.  I've worked tonight to prepare our bags for the lesson tomorrow.  The kids will read their own story and fill in the graphic organizer.  On Friday we will meet our FCAT buddies for the first time and share our stories.  I also prepared a bag for our 3rd grade buddies with questions so that our students begin interacting with meaningful book discussions.  I couldn't find a printable available so I recreated the sheet and wanted to share.  Although I love wonderful comments, you should link to Mrs. Carroll and thank her for the inspiration. 

Click on the picture...

Thank you to all that read my post last night and commented.  Love having my bucket filled.  I will follow up with the winners tomorrow.  I hope you have a blessed night!

Are You A Bucket Filler?

Are you a bucket filler?  This year has been the year of encouragement through our bucket filling program.  As early finishers, my students are allowed to write messages to their friends and deposit their kind notes into the recipients bucket.  I noticed the kids messages started out meaningful and most recently became superficial.  Sooo... the teacher in me decided to find a way to encourage positive praise.  I decided to send the kids electronic bucket fillers.  These really help build our writing stamina and encourage deeper messages.  I displayed the message with the LCD projector.  The kids loved that they received an email.  So. Simple!  Afterwards, the kids and I began writing a few messages to various classrooms.  We have received positive feedback.

You can send your own electronic bucket fillers here

You'll find some useful bucket filling resources here.

I want to fill your bucket too. Please read here!!!

100th Day Expectations

I've been asked to share more details about our 100th day projects.  I've uploaded both the file I used for my first graders and second graders to GoogleDocs.  I'm not too crazy about the website but it will allow you to edit the download to accommodate your 100th day celebration.

First Grade

Second Grade

RtI resources and Data you can USE!!!

I came across a new website to me and HAVE TO SHARE!! Yes, I'm shouting.  Actually freaking out in a wonderful way.  easyCBM has made RtI instruction easy peasy lemon squeezy!  Oh. Yes. I. Did!  

My school transitions for RtI from 915-945am EVERY MORNING.  Since the entire school is moving at once, we have more success transferring kids to various classrooms that will meet their immediate needs.  Sounds easy right?  With more than 200 students on my grade level alone... easy it is not!  

I currently have tier two word reading, tier three comprehension, and tier three math.  Wowzers!  easyCBM is a one stop shop.  I've linked their screeenshots pages so that you can see all the wonderful tools this website provides..AND for FREE!  

In Florida, teachers are required to give FAIR (Florida Assessment in Reading) to all students.  This website has K-8: letter naming sounds, phoneme segmenting, word reading list, passage reading fluency, multiple choice reading comprehension, math number and operations, math geometry, math measurement, etc.  Various grade levels provide different support options and you have access to ALL.  Students can take the assessments online or on paper.  I used several assessments for a baseline this morning and input the scores this afternoon and received magnificent graphs.  Just what MRT would love to see!  

You HAVE to check this website out today!!  I signed up and had immediate access to files.  YEAH!!! By the way..PURE excited here..I'm not getting paid for this.  So stop reading my post and  go check it out.

100th Day Projects

With the 100th day around the corner, my kiddos are preparing for their big 100th day projects.  Since we are in second grade, my kids work on groups of 100 through a 1000.  Last year was a BIG success.  Many students traveled through our primary hallway to take a look.  I couldn't find all my fabulous pictures but did manage to find a few.

Here is the rubric used:

Here are a few examples:

The darling who made this project had the final 100 peace sign on a t-shirt to match her project.  SOOOO CUTE!!!

 This darling made a key (located in the bottom corner) to go along with her arrangement of goodies!

Cherry Blossom Friends

Are you aware this year is the centennial celebration of the Cherry Blossom Trees given to the United States by Japan as a sign of friendship?  In honor of this remarkable event, Corkey DeSimone wrote a fabulous book called Cherry Blossom Friends perfect for spring.  Click image below for more information.

I love how the book features wonderful riddles perfect for primary students and rich history of the National Mall including the Tidal Basin and all the memorials of Washington DC for intermediate students.  The author also does a wonderful job of explaining the shipment of the 3800 tress from Japan to DC.

This past year, I recommended this magnificent read to my principal for one of our books of the month.  I was even more excited to hear the book was purchased for each teacher to feature in January.  My school looks so pretty decorated in pink.  I've been working with my students on a cross-curricular unit to align with the story. 

Included in the unit: Cherry Blossom Friends vocabulary flashcards, vocabulary response sheet, and vocabulary concentration, picture of schema chart and graphic images used for the chart, blossom KWL, Haiku poetry lesson, pictures of student poetry, and poetry reproducible, Non-Fiction Cherry Blossom book, Life cycle of a blossom tree poster, Non-Fiction vocabulary using Frayer Model, blossom artwork inspired by First Grade Best with graphics printable, pocket chart riddles to sequence, animal flashcards to match to riddles, pictures of the sequence activity, Monument'al Tour Guide book of all the memorials featured in Cherry Blossom Friends (written for primary and blank for intermediate classes).  


If you are interested in celebrating with my class, you can purchase this unit from my store.  

Click image above to link.

If you'd like more information on the 2012 Festival, link here


I cannot believe this past week flew by so quickly.  Here are a few pictures of our New Year Wish.  You can find the printable from Erica's Unit here.

I used the hats from my activity last year.

We are working on Persuasive Writing. I introduce the genre with OREO (opinion, reason, example, restate opinion).  We begin with graphic organizers until the kids understand how to write without the support.  I have a student working on a magnificent paper and cannot wait to share on my students' blog (located on the sidebar) when we are complete. 

The follow up lesson models how to transfer the writing into complete sentences.  I forgot to take a picture of our shared writing.  I will share tomorrow.

This book does a wonderful job at teaching reasons.  The kids enjoyed it too!

Here's a chart of various strategies the kids shared during our math lesson.

We are reading Cherry Blossom Friends (pictured on the bookshelf and located on the sidebar).  I'm awaiting a clipart request before I can share my unit which has been a huge success in class. Until then...

My picture is officially up on the wall at school.  The kids pass and pointed today at the wall of honor!  Thanks for all the kind comments of Facebook!