Monday, January 27, 2014

FREE Teaching Reading and Teaching Multiage Resources

I just wanted to share two great finds (that are FREE) that I came across this week!

The first is for all teachers:
This site is a great resource for reading teachers of all grade levels!  You can search by reading level (you can find reading level correlation sheets in many places, an example is here) if you need to convert it to the leveled system that your school uses.  Once you have determined the level that you want, you can see reading passages and questions for a given skill that you are working on.  Or, you can choose the skill you are working on and find passages at various levels so that you can find something for your entire class!  There are both fiction and non-fiction sets available, including some that you could use to enhance your science/social studies instruction.  Plus, students could take them home to practice their reading skills there as well!

The second site is a resource for multi-grade teachers but could be of use to single grade teachers as well:

Education Northwest 
This site has several downloadable books that are ready to load onto your tablet for professional development on how to improve your multi-grade classroom.  Although it is aimed at rural classrooms, I think that there is some great information in there, especially for those new to multi-grade classrooms!

Here is some information from the site:

“The Multigrade Classroom” is a seven-book series that provides an overview of research on multigrade instruction, identifies key issues teachers face in a multigrade setting, and offers resources for multigrade teachers. Produced in 1999 under the Rural Education Program to address multigrade teacher training in rural areas, the handbooks are also applicable to schools in other settings and are among the few practical resources available on the topic. The books define multigrade instruction as grouping children of two or more grade spans with diverse ability levels into a single classroom where they “are encouraged to share experiences involving intellectual, academic, and social skills.” 

Titles Include:
-Review of the Research on Multigrade Instruction
-Classroom Organization
-Classroom Management and Discipline
-Instructional Organization, Curriculum, and Evaluation
-Instructional Delivery and Grouping
-Self Directed Learning
-Planning and Using Peer Tutoring

I hope that one or both of these resources will be helpful to you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Best Pizza Craftivity

I will fully admit that one of my weaknesses as a teacher is updating my bulletin board. So, for me to have a 2nd bulletin board up for 2014 by now is a first I think thanks to The Lesson Plan Diva!  Her pizza craftivity project was perfect for my class!  Students answered the question of, "What is your favorite pizza and why?" followed by creating their favorite pizza.
 My Opinion Writing Pizza Pack
First, we brainstormed adjectives to describe all of the toppings that came in the craftivity.

Next, students used their grade level appropriate planner that came with the product.  Then they wrote their pizza opinion writing.  We are working on adding adjectives and adverbs to our writing.

Finally, they got to design their pizza after having a writing conference with me.  I told them that if they did not write about a topping with adjectives, it would not be going on the pizza.  They were very attentive:)

Here is what one of the boards looks like.  For the life of me, I never seem to be able to get a bulletin board properly spaced.
Here are a few closeups too:

The students had a lot of fun with this project!  We will also be voting on our favorite type of pizza and graphing it (a graph is included).  In addition, we will be writing about the data that our graph shows.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Similes Bulletin Board

We have had our share of snow in Michigan over the last few weeks.  My students are loving it!  Due to all of the cold, we have had several days of inside recess too.  My class this year does not seem to mind too much as they are huge fans of all of the LEGOS and Lincoln Logs in my classroom:)

Anyway...I saw an idea on 

(Facebook page) over the break that I had to try!

The students wrote "snow similes."  I found a product on TPT for this and it was free!  You can see it by clicking on the picture.
Writing Snow Similes

Next, the students each designed themselves for this writing craftivity.  Many thanks to:

A Year of many Firsts
as she provides the perfect and again free template to do so!  You can see her blog post/template here.

This is how some of them turned out in my class.
Of course I love how this particular student designed his jacket to be from my alma matter :)
The students really enjoyed this product.  And I enjoyed it as well.  I am so thankful that everything was free as well:)

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I am happy to join up with
Techie Turtle Teacher
for her 100th follower giveaway! 

Look at all of the great products that you have a chance to win!  There are 21 products in all aimed at grades 1-3.
I donated my latest product:

Winter Sports Differentiated Math Puzzles
Click here to enter Techie Turtle Teacher's contest!

I will also give away a copy of my latest product to the first person who guesses my favorite winter sport to participate in (one guess per person please).  Just leave your e-mail with your guess in the comments.  Don't worry, it is not an obscure one:)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Another Snow Day...Another Sale :)

I am on snow/ice/wind chill day #3!  We have not had 3 in  row in my district in 23 years from what I was told.  Right now it is a balmy 18 degrees F with a wind chill of 8.  Get out the shorts!  :)  This pretty much sums up how I feel at this point...

I am thankful for the extra time, but I do miss my kiddos since I have not see them since before the break!  Also, just thinking about all of the catching up we will have to do when we get back.  I have been pretty productive at home today at least.  And, who can complain about enjoying some coffee and some extra time by the fire (electric fire, but it doesn't matter :) ?

So, I am offering a buy one product, get one snow/winter themed product for free for the rest of the day (Eastern Time)!  If you purchase any product from my store by midnight, you can get any snow/winter themed one (of equal or lesser value) for free!  All you have to do is either message me on my Facebook page or e-mailing me at: clossell @ (no spaces) with your buyer name, and the product that you purchased, as well as which snow/winter themed product you would like. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let It Snow Sale:)

I have enjoyed my last 2 weeks off! First, I went to Maryland with my parents to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and 7 month old nephew!  I just saw him at Thanksgiving and he has grown so much since then:) I felt so blessed to spend his 1st Christmas with him :)   We drove back to Michigan, and about 24 hours later were on our way to sunny California to watch my favorite team win the Rose Bowl which was a lifelong dream for me!  I love being a Spartan!!!  It was the best Christmas break ever!

Southeast Michigan is expecting a bit of snow (6-10 inches), and is expected to have sub zero wind chills over the next few days.  So, although school is scheduled to open on Monday, I have a small chance of having a snow/wind chill day.  I am very excited about the snow as last year was an unusual year in that we only got a few inches of snow where I live!  

So...I have decided to put all of my snow/winter/skiing themed products for 30% off for Sunday and Monday. So if you are interested, please check out my store here.  Also, leave a comment as to which winter themed product appeals to you most (by Monday night) and which ever product is chosen the most, I will put it at 50% off for the next week (at the end of the sale).  You can comment either here or on my Facebook page.  And, as always check out the freebies in my store as well!