Back to School Bash!

It's the week I've been waiting for…and keeping a big secret…until NOW! It's time for the 2014 Back to School Bash, and I couldn't be more excited about hosting it with some of my favorite teachers bloggers friends! Be sure and follow all of these girls to stay up-to-date on what you can win over the next few days! It all begins TOMORROW and it's completely out of control! So brace yourself!


Along with the 18 Bash Baskets that you will see in a minute, there will also be a GRAND PRIZE, but that won't be announced until…

Are you ready for some amazing giveaways and prizes? You will want to stop by all of the blogs above for you chance to win all 18 Bash Baskets. I know, I know…you are so excited! Like jump out of your chair excited! But…it doesn't start until tomorrow.So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of our awesome sponsors! 

Let's Talk Teacher {All About that PD!}
1. SDE: A two-day conference or seminar. 
2. The Ron Clark Academy: School visitation and signed copy of Crash Course by Kim Bearden

Classroom Essentials
1. Classroom Carpet from Kids' Carpet
2. The Quietest Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies
3. Jumbo Classroom Timer from Lakeshore Learning Materials

What's in your teacher bag? 
1. Laptop Sleeve and Teacher Bag from Lilia Vanini 
2. Custom Phone Case from Cuptakes
3. Younique Fiber Mascara (because every teacher needs fabulous lashes) :) 

Classroom Must Haves
1. Personalized Pencil Decor from Yellow Bee Boutique
2. Chalk Talk Classroom Decor from Mardel
3: Teepee perfect for a classroom reading center from Ashley Gabby Designs

Classy up the Classroom
1. Pencil Decor from Young Love aDOORable Decor
2. Bebop Birdie Classroom Decor from Mardel
3. $40.00 TPT Gift Card

Classroom Swag Bag
1. $100 dollars worth of swag from Educational Insights
2. $100 Gift Card from Carson Dellosa
3. $50.00 TPT Gift Card

Decorate My Space
1. Dear Class Painted Canvas from JG Creations by Jenna
2. $100 Gift Card from Schoolgirl Style 

Accessorize Me!
5 Winners: 
$30 Gift card to design your custom case from Put a Case on Me! 
1 Winner: 

For the Love of Blogging
1. $125.00 Custom Blog Design from PJ's Design Laboratory 

All Things Monogrammed
1. Denim shirt and boot socks from Shop Memento
2. Monogrammed clutch from Social Manor
3. Monogrammed bracelet & necklace from Antebellum Baubles

It's the Planner in Me! 
1. $100 Erin Condren gift card to customize your dream planner

If the Shoe Fits!
1. $100 Gift Card to Jo Totes
2. $50.00 Gift Card from Tieks

Feed Your Marker Addiction!
1. A years supply of Scentos makers

Organize Me and More...
1. C. Jayne Teach Teacher Anchor
2. Decor Pack and $25 Gift Card from Teach Created Resources
3. Caddy from Land of Nod

Techno Savvy
1. HUE HD Camera and Animation Software from Hue Animation
2. $25.00 to MPIX (Print your instagram pictures)

Rock On with these Resources
1. 3  CD's from Kids Count 123
2. Jack Hartman's Science Songs All Day Long
2. Swag Bag from GoNoodle including a GoNoodle Plus Membership
4. ALLSTAR Ellison Machine from Ellison Education

Classy Up Your Resources
1. All Fonts Commercial License form KG Fonts
2. Lifetime License of Clip Art from Sarah Cooley
3. $35 Gift Card from Graphics from the Pond
4. $35 Gift Card from Melonheadz Illustrating 

The Teacher's Kid
1. Monogrammed Lunch Bag from Tin Tree Gifts
2. $50 Gift Card from Married in May
3. Back to School Dress from Round the Bend Again

As if all of that isn't enough…each basket will also include…

It all begins tomorrow! Don't forget to look for this little button on each blog that will take you directly to the next prize package! Hopefully this will save you lots of time during the B2S rush! 

See you all back tomorrow for some giveaway fun! 


Today, we know more about teaching than we ever have before. Research has shown us that teachers' actions in their classrooms have twice the impact on student achievement (Marzano, 2003a). We also know that one of the classroom teacher's most important jobs is managing the classroom effectively.
My number one goal when starting a new school year is establishing a positive, proactive environment through effective management practices.  The secret to effective discipline is proactively building relationships, not reacting punitively to student misbehavior. I truly believe engaging students actively in the process of determining class rules and expectations can create a positive climate from the start.
Providing clarity about the content and expectations for instruction will guide students to understanding the rights and wrongs. To ensure I'm establishing and communicating learning goals, I manage my classroom with CHAMPs.  Developed by Randy Sprick of Safe and Civil Schools, CHAMPs is widely used program that proactively promotes positive interactions. 
In 2011, I wrote an article as a monthly guest columnist for Really Good Stuff about CHAMPs Management Program.  In the spring of 2012, I received an email from Randy Sprick asking to feature the article in his spring newsletter of Safe and Civil Schools.  Please link here to read my featured post.
My CHAMPs aligned behavior charts are the largest component to my day.  I break down each component of the workshop using the CHAMPs framework. 
Establishing the lesson or work time with specific conversation levels, will guide the students to understanding if talking is allowed and what level it may be maintained.


There is nothing worse than explaining a task or working in small groups and having a little lovely interrupted repeatedly.  Defining ways in which they may receive help eliminates lots of stress.

For this section, I kept the activity as a reminder of the content focus. I verbally ensure that kids are aware of the specific activity within the content focus. 

Bathroom, water, and pencils can be another LARGE distraction.  Expectations can be very different when learning in a whole group setting versus working independently.  To ensure my
students understand the expectations, I clarify during transitions.

I've defined the levels of conversation, how to get help, the activity in which the kids are working, and what kind of movement may take place.  Now I want to clarify what it means to participate by specifying work time as small groups, with a partner, alone.

Having CHAMPs to define classroom expectations sets students up for success.  This file is available for the next 48 hours at half off the original price.  Click the preview graphic for a link to this specific file.
The fun doesn't stop with a positive approach to behavior.  I'm also featuring my Center Management Cards.  Organization is key to successfully implementing effective centers.
A sharp, well-maintained classroom sends so many wonderful and powerful messages to students.  Combing different aspects of the classroom from room arrangement to d├ęcor or supplies to curriculum support, you create an environment that reflects best teaching practices. Setting the stage for children to learn and ensure all is comfortable contributes to an effective working environment. 

My center cards are designed to ensure that students are able to transition between two centers effectively.  I designed my cards with warm and cool colors.  Within this file, I have 40 different literacy center options and 10 math cards.  I provided all options with a warm background and a cool background.  Each week, I select 10 centers.  To prevent myself from creating a lot of work, I keep many centers the same and rotate out one component.  Example: Listening center receives a new book.  Poetry center receives a new poem.  Reading center has a new book bin.  To add variety, I change out other centers.  Example: One week we might work on the overhead.  The following week I might use playdoh.

My students are aware of where to complete their center because I provided matching posters.  Organization is key for the kids to understand when and where they must move to complete their centers. 

Newly added to this file are teacher cards and posters.  If you previously purchased, please redownload your update! 

My favorite part of this file is providing my kiddos with the student cards so that they can personalize themselves for the pocket chart.


The Watermelon Seed

I'm thrilled to be linking up again with Deanna Jump for Book Talk Tuesday and couldn't be more excited to share another fabulous find from the exhibitor hall in Vegas.

When I stumbled across The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli, a 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winning Book, I was captivated.  The whimsical illustrations show an adorable lime green crocodile with a passion for watermelon.  This story has a simple text with fabulous features perfect for a close reading in grades K-2!

I can remember hot summer gatherings at the community pool with my friends and family.  My mom slicing the watermelon wedges for all to enjoy.  Biting into the fruit and laughing as the juices dribbled down my chin.  And then the sudden fear that I swallowed a seed.  Oh dear, the stories my friends would tell...  We were certain that a watermelon vine would grow a patch in our bellies. Can you relate?  
Certainly the main character, a watermelon-loving crocodile can!  After becoming distraught because of swallowing a seed, the crocodile believes it will grow inside of him.  The story is told straight-forward with accessible vocabulary and takes a peek at a childhood fear.

The simple script captivates readers through humor!  It's text and storyline couldn't be more perfect for props, puppets, or retelling skits. 
Integrate onomatopoeia with words such as chomp, slurp, gulp, grumble, and burp.
This is a wonderful book to discuss emotions such as love, like, fear, anxiety, despair, and relief. 
 Top off your lessons with a bit of science and learn about the life cycle of a watermelon seed.

Finally, draw students in with an outstandingly clever end using a watermelon seed to bring the story to life! 
Will the crocodile grow his own patch?  Will he have a love or fear of watermelon?  I encourage you to pick up this enchanting tale and explore the words and pictures through close reading with your students. 
 Here's a trailer preview...
I can't express how much I love Artfelt. I purchased this adorable book and coordinating felt pieces so that I could animate the words and actions of this charming story.  I love that my students will have the ability to reenact the words during literacy centers with high engagement.  I sure hope you find this collection as loveable as I do!

Have you visited Artfelt on Youtube?  One of my favorite videos from their channel is "Make a Rainbow".  Check it out!