Sunday, July 31, 2016

Best Year Ever!

It's August 1st!!!!
Some of you are already back in school or will be shortly!  
I have till the end of August before school starts.  I have heard so many teachers saying that they think this is going to be a great year!  It's so exciting to hear that and it's no wonder that TPT has decided to use that as the title for the SALE!

Schoolhouse Treasures tips for the BEST EVER SALE

Yes - It's Sale time!  TPT is have a sale August 1-2 and I'm joining with them!  By using the code: BESTYEAR you can save up to 28% off at checkout with purchases from my store!  (20% from Schoolhouse Treasures and then 10% off at checkout = 28% off original cost.)

To get the best out of the sale, here are some tips that I wanted to share:

#1 - Go through your wish list and weed out the things that you put there and forgot about because you really didn't need it ~ OR ~ you have things saved for end of  year or for the holidays!  You don't need them now and you can always search for them when you need it.

#2 - Visit your favorite sellers and click the tab that says "best seller" and change it to "most recent".
Schoolhouse Treasures tips for the BEST EVER SALE

That way you'll be able to see what items your favorite seller has recently added.  You might find something new that you like and need.

#3 - Go to your purchases section.  (You know how to do that, right? If not, here's how you get there: Look to the left of your TPT cart and hover over the "MY TPT" button. Scroll down to purchases.)  Okay, now that you're there, you'll need to see if you've given feedback on all your previous purchases.

How can you tell?  
If you haven't given feedback, you'll see the words "Give Feedback" under the title of the product.  If you did give feedback, you'll see the message, "Thank you for providing feedback on this item.  You rock!"  If you've never left feedback, it can be quite tedious, but worth it to catch up now.  Remember to do it shortly after purchasing something each time - that way you'll keep up with it.

Why is this important?  
Every time you leave feedback on an item, you earn a TPT credit.  Depending on the cost of the item, the amount of credit will vary.  TPT keeps track of your credits and once you have 20 credits, you can apply the credits to a purchase.  20 credits = $1 in savings.  Pretty Cool - isn't it?

When in your cart, you'll see the checkout bar and below that it says apply Promo Code ~ for the sale, you'll type: BESTYEAR and below that, (red arrow) is where you click to see if you have at least 20 credits to use and apply.

Schoolhouse Treasures tips for the BEST EVER SALE

#4 - The day of the sale, make sure that the seller is participating in the sale, and/or that the item you want is for sale.  Not all sellers participate, and some of those that do, only choose some of their items to be on sale.  Also, seller can determine how much of a discount they want to give, so check around to make sure you get your best deal for the sale! 

I hope you found some of the tips helpful!  Let me know in this comments if any of these in particular were helpful to you!  As for me, my TPT store is having 20% off everything! Click {HERE} to go directly to my store!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reading Strategies Book Study - Goal 6

Last week I joined up with other bloggers to read Jennifer Serravallo's book, The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide To Developing Skilled Readers

If you are just joining me for the first time in this book discussion, you might want to check out last week's review of Goal 5 {HERE}

Schoolhouse Treasures Reviews Reading Strategies Book - Goal 6: Characters

Goal 6: Thinking About Characters

Understanding characters is an important skill, only second to understanding plot and setting according to Serravallo.

Assessing character understanding would come after you know that the student(s) have an understanding of  plot and setting.  Serravallo suggests that this assessment can be simply asking questions about the character during a reading conference.

Jennifer also suggests that there is a continuum of developmental responses that you might see in their responses.  I've created a chart that outlines the types of responses and the level at which they should respond {HERE}  If a student is reading at a higher leveled book but giving you a lower level answer when discussing characters, then you know that they need more instruction in this goal.

Schoolhouse Treasures' Review of The Reading Strategies Book

The Influences on Character:

Who is it for: reader at N-Z+ Levels
Genre: fiction
The skills used: are determining cause & effect and inferring

Students need to consider all the influences on a character: setting, problems, other characters and what effects it might have on the character earlier or later in a story.

When  you study character in different situations, it will help you to see them from different viewpoints.  We can track these effects on a chart or diagram like the one below: 

Schoolhouse Treasures' Review of The Reading Strategies Book

Focus Strategy 2.jpg

Complex Characters:

Who is it for: reader at N-Z+ Levels
Genre: fiction
The skills used: comparing & contrasting; inferring

This strategy helps students to see characters are complex and not just one way.  In other words, they are like real people with many different sides to them depending on who they are around, the circumstances they face, and the setting.  

One way to do this is to create a T-chart and list the good and bad traits of the character.  Students list the ways that the character is bad and the ways he is a good person.

Click {HERE} to get a sample list of traits from Scholastic!

Another way to do this is to provide students with lists of words for traits and have them list as many as they can that describe the character.   A word wall could be made with these words and referred to throughout the year with different characters.

Creating a web with the character in the middle and then lines going off (similar to above Poppy chart) and on the lines students write the traits, but also gives evidence to show how they are the given trait.

Focus Strategy 3.jpg

A Strategy for Younger Students!
Role-Playing Characters to Understand Them Better

Who is it for: reader at F - N Levels
Genre: fiction
The skills used: inferring, visualizing, and fluency

Jennifer says that role playing helps a student to put themselves in the characters place to better understand them. Let students use puppets, props, or act out the scene with others.  Encourage them to talk and move like the character would.  

Provide these prompts too:
  • How would your character act?
  • Make the puppet talk like the voice of your character.
  • Now that the puppet acted like the character, how do you think they felt? and What kind of person do you think they are?
  • Based on what the character said or did, what are you thinking now? 

That's it for this review!  We are only highlighting a few strategies at each post.

To see with the introduction and the first 4 chapters (which I missed) click {HERE}.  This link brings you to Kelly Malloy's site An Apple For The Teacher

Join us in reading this book!  Get your own copy {HERE}

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Opening My 1st Elementary Box

Do you know about Elementary Box?  I just recently learned about it myself and earlier this month I received my first box for July!

Review of July Elementary Box

It's a monthly subscription much like Stitch Fix, but it's teaching materials - not clothing. It's different in that you don't have choices about what comes other than choosing your grade level. don't get to send anything back.

The cost is $29 per month.  There are other plans that will save money such as paying for 6 months or a year at a time.  (I didn't want to order multiple months at a time until I had a chance to try it out for a few months.)

It's a box of surprises that that comes once a month during the last week of the month.  The items are geared for the next month. (For example at the end of August, you'll receive a box of items for September.)

Let's take a look into what I got for the first month!

Inside of Elementary Box - July

This is what the box looks like when opened.  It came with a cute postcard on the top that was labeled July 2016.  The card read:  
"Happy Summer!  This month's Elementary Box is all about organization.  Filled with lots of super useful organizational items, you'll be sure to get next school year started out right.  But for now, enjoy your much deserved rest and relaxation."
The back of the card lists all the items with a description, along with their value.

Here's the first few items I pulled out of the box:

colorful dots on nametags, sticky notes and paper

This will definitely help to get me organized for next year!  I love the color scheme!  I am going with a black and neon pick and blue look so this matches perfectly. The sticky notes have a total of 808 sheets!  Yikes - that should last me for a while!  There are 36 name plates - plenty for most class sizes - I hope!   I am planning on using my for labeling items - so 36 is plenty for me. 

 (Not sure what I'd do if it didn't match my scheme - BUT black goes with many colors so if probably would be fine anyways.)

Then these items were next:

Punch cards and labeled clips in Elementary Box for July.

I'm loving the colors!  
The binder clips are large-sized and are labeled with: To Be Graded, Graded, Make Copies, File and Send Home.  I've been wanting these for a while now and was going to try labeling my own, but this is much better than what I could've done!

The punch cards are adorable and can be used for whatever you want to motivate students to do.  I've made some through VistaPrint and love using them.  These will be a nice addition!  I think I will use them to reward homework being turned in on time!

So, that's it for my goodies!  The total value listed is $38 for all of the above.  Overall, I'm pleased with the items and their quality.  I'll continue for a few more months and decide if I want to continue or not.  Maybe  you can help me to decide!
Let me know if you get an Elementary Box shipped to you each month OR if you've had it in the past.  Leave me a comment below!


And don't forget to enter into the giveaway for an Erin Condren Teacher Planner!  I posted about it {HERE}.  The giveaway runs until July 27th.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reading Strategies Book Study - Goal 5


I'm finally joining up with some other great bloggers for the book study of the Reading Strategies book by Jennifer Serravallo!

*Note: this is kind of a long post, but keep reading to the end as I have a related freebie for you!

Goal 5: Supporting Comprehension in Fiction- Understanding Plot and Setting

Why is goal 5 important?
  Jennifer says that it's important so that you can "help students achieve that lost in a book, engaged sort of reading that makes reading enjoyable."  And to do that, "they have to understand what's going on."  
Students who give you too much information with every.single.detail and those who whip through a summary and leave you wondering what the were the important details - are the students that need these strategies.

Three Strategies:

There are so many strategies that Jennifer provides for each goal that it's hard to pick just a few!
I'll focus on 3 for this post, but you'll want to visit other blogger's posts to see which strategies they chose to {HERE} to see who else is participating! 

(The link above will take you to An Apple For The Teacher site and you'll see her review of goal 5, but scroll to the bottom to see the linky to see others participating.)

Retell what's most important by making connections to the problem. 

Focus on this strategy by finding the pages where a problem is happening or the character and try to retell what's happening.  Find the problem and you will be able to tell the solution or resolution.  

Who is it for: reader at K-Z+ Levels
Genre: fiction
The skills used: are summarizing, retelling and determining importance.

Jennifer emphasizes that there is a difference between solutions and resolutions. {I must admit - this was an "aha!" moment for me.  I kind of thought they were the same.}  Getting kids to know the difference and identify whether a problem is solved or resolved is important as well.

Solved = the problem is just solved - over - done.  
Example: a character wants to have a dog.  The character does several things to convince their parents they are responsible and in the end - gets a dog.  The problem has been solved or there is a solution to the problem.

Resolved = the problem itself doesn't necessarily get solved, but the character learns to deal with the situation.  The problem is resolved.
An example: a character with divorcing parents thinks that their life is over and wants their parents to get back together.  At the end of the story, the parents still are divorced but the character has learned ways to accept the divorce.  That's an example of a resolution or how a problem is resolved.

Jennifer writes that books up to approximately levels M/N tend to have:
  •  characters with one main problem
  • problem is generally solved 
Books beyond that M/N have 
  • multiple problems  
  • the problems can be internal or external in nature.  
  •  have a more likelihood of having problems that are resolved not solved. 

Some of the suggested prompts to use when working with students on this are: 
What's the main problem? 
Explain how the story ends up.  
Is it an internal or external problem?
Is the problem solved or resolved?

Summarize Based on What a Character Wants

Focus on what the character really wants.  Think about the one most important event in each chapter that connects to whatever the character really, really wants.  Then summarize by saying the events in order or in sequence.

Who is it for: Levels L-Z+
Genre: Fiction
Skills: Summarizing and determining importance

Students may get confused with chapter books for summarizing because there are so many important events or lots of mini problems throughout the book.

To help students summarize, have them identify and keep in mind what the character wants with each chapter.  

Some suggested prompts to use are: 
  • What does the character want? 
  • Name the main event.
  • What is the main event of this chapter?
  • You are telling me about one chapter- connect all the chapters.
  • Yes, that's what the character wants - is it showing up across the book?

Not Just Page Decorations

Focus on white spaces, dashes, asterisks and symbols that appear on pages or within chapters.  It is an indicator that time is passing or there's a change to the setting.  Students should know that they need to shift the mental picture(s) in their minds to the new time or place.

Who is it for: Levels P-Z+
Genre: Fiction
Skill: Monitoring for Meaning

Jennifer writes that "this strategy can be combined with another one that helps readers to visualize" or "infer how characters get from one place to another" in a book.

Some suggested prompts to use:
Look through the chapter before reading to see if there is going to be any changes.
Ask students how much time has passed and how they know.
Read what came right before the (asterisks, space, dashes etc.)

Don't forget to go see other bloggers thoughts on this goal by clicking {HERE}.   The Teaching Thief is the actual host of this week's goal so be sure to check her post {HERE}.

And now....the freebie!

I've created a few bookmarks that summarizes these skills.  Students could use them when reading to remind them of the strategies.  Teachers could use them to identify prompts when reading aloud to the class or small groups.  

Reading Strategies Bookmark Freebie - Schoolhouse Treasures

For your free copy, click {HERE} to download from Dropbox and enjoy!
Are you reading along with us or have you already read the book?  I'd love to hear your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Erin Condren Teacher Planner Giveaway

Have  you always wanted to get an Erin Condren Teacher Planner, but couldn't justify the price?  Well, I have the perfect giveaway for you!!!!

I'm so excited to join fellow blogging buddies to bring you this opportunity to win your very own Erin Condren Planner like this one:

 I KNOW!! Exciting isn't it??
Here are the details:

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway ends 7/25/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

Good Luck!

Monday, July 11, 2016

5+ Things I Need in the Summer!

I'm enjoying the sweet days of summer!

Source: Pixabay

I've been out for about 3 weeks, but I know some of you are already having to think about going back soon - yikes!  Why does summer fly by so quickly?! 

Here are my 5+ top things that I must have or do in the summer.  If I don't experience or have these things, well then,  it just doesn't feel like summer!
(Note: The links included in this post are not affiliate links.  Just links to things that I like and want to share with you.)

#1 - Strawberries!

I love, love strawberries!  I especially love to pick my own at a local farm!  I use them in smoothies, to make strawberry shortcake, to can into homemade jams and more!

#2 - Blueberries!

Blueberries are so delicious!  I use them in so many ways: jams, cobbler, pies etc.  Again, I love to pick them at a local farm.  I remember picking wild blueberries as a child and how they were so tiny - but oh so sweet!  I can't pick blueberries without reminiscing about my childhood!

#3 - Books!  Books!  Books!

Schoolhouse Treasures

Did you think it was going to be another food item?  Nope - not this time!  I am a book hoarder lover!  I must admit though, I love to read textbooks more than just fiction.  (I know weird - right?!)  I can't help it - I enjoy learning new things.  I don't have much time to read during the school year, so I look forward to the time that I have during the summer.  During the year, I'll gather a collection of books that I want to read during the summer. are some of the ones from this year's collection:

Schoolhouse Treasures Reads
All can be found  on Amazon
I'll be joining in on the Reading Strategies book discussion link this week.  So stay tuned for that!

#4 - Going to the ocean!

Photo by Schoolhouse Treasures

Going to the ocean is a must do at least once during the summer!  For me, it's a little over an hour's ride to enjoy the salty air and to hear the waves slapping the beach.  I love to take pictures of the sandcastle competition, if I can.  I don't remember the creator's name, but isn't this fascinating? 

We tried to get to the sculptures, but there wasn't available parking for miles! We went to another nearby beach for the day and came back hoping the crowds had left, but they hadn't.  {SIGH}  This picture is from last year's collection.


#5 - Spending Time With My Family!

This is a given!  I need the time with my family to chill and relax!  Whether it's kayaking, camping or just going for a drive with my hubby, it's always a joy.  On the rare occasions that we have the whole family together (which is very rare now) it's truly a blessing! 

+1 - Lobster!


I know - I'm back to food, but I can't help it!  I have to have lobster during the summer or else it doesn't feel right!  My husband has a funny story from growing up.  His father was very antsy and didn't like to sit still.  The family planned a vacation trip to Maine.  On their way, they stopped at a restaurant and his dad ordered lobster.  After they ate, he said, "Okay, I'm ready to go back home.  I've had my lobster!"  Needless to say, that did not go well with the rest of the family!  

So there you go!  Those are my 5+ things I need in order to feel like I've had a good summer!  What about you?  What do you look forward to each summer? 
Leave me a comment below....I'd love to know!

#2 for Tuesday Linky!

This week I'm attending a 3 day in service workshop!  It was really hard to get up in the wee hours yesterday to attend.  I was actually 10 minutes late to arrive - that's how out of touch I am with a regular schedule!

Schoolhouse Treasures  #2fortuesday

I'm off in a bit to got to day two, but I want to share a quick post to let you know of my two half priced items for the linky!  I'm linking up with Chalk One Up for the Teacher and lots of other great teachers to offer 2 items for half price today only!!

Schoolhouse Treasures  #2fortuesday

First, is my Mental Math: Roll, Say, Keep center activity.  This activity has students adding 2-digit numbers in their head.  Great for centers or RTI groups.

My second half priced item for today is my Hunting for Conclusions!  This was created the year I had several boys in my classroom who were really interested in hunting.  Hunting is a big sport here in the Northeast and I was trying to engage the boys with their interests.  This activity has students reading short passages and drawing a conclusion.

Don't forget to check out other items available at half price today at Teachers Pay Teachers by typing in the hashtag: #2fortuesday

Hope you find something that you can use next year!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

#2 for Tuesday Linky!

It's Tuesday so that means it's time for the #2forTuesday Linky!

Schoolhouse Treasures #2forTuesday

I'm joining up with Chalk One Up for the Teacher again to offer you 2 different products at half price for today (7/5) only!

Schoolhouse Treasures #2forTuesday Cause & Effect and Interest Survey

My first product is my Cause and Effect Matching Game! 
This product has 16 causes and 16 effects written on cards that the students will turn over and match like a concentration-like game.  There is a recording sheet and an answer key as well.  

Today, it's the last day of my July 4th Sale at Schoolhouse Treasures, so you get this at half-price and with an additional 20% off!  

Final cost today is a big whopping $1.04 - less than a cup of coffee and you'll have a great activity for centers!

Schoolhouse Treasures #2forTuesday Cause & Effect

Next is my very popular Would You Rather...?: Interest Survey

Schoolhouse Treasures #2forTuesday Interest Survey

Get to know your students' preferred method of learning and their learning styles!  There are 33 questions in all, but you can use less if you want.  Can be done as a scoot game or whole group with the question presented to the whole class at once to answer.  

This survey product is half priced today and with the additional 20% off, the final cost is $1.60!!!

Click on the pictures or the names of the products to go to my store to purchase!

Don't forget to stop by Chalk One Up for the Teacher's post to see a lot of other great deals for today!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July...and More!

Schoolhouse Treasures TPT Sale Happy 4th of July!

    It's almost over, but I wanted to wish you all a happy 4th!  What is not over yet, is my SALE at TPT!  Everything in my store is marked down 20% until midnight on the 5th - (eastern standard time).  Click {HERE} to check out the sale!

Blog Goals

      I had been doing some reading about tips for blogs and one of the things I learned was that it's important to set goals for your blog.  After thinking about it for awhile, I've come up with 10 goals!  (I'm almost afraid of sharing as I'm already wondering what will happen if I fail to meet these goals? - don't judge me.)  I mean, I intend to do all these things, but I'm also a realist and know that life happens!  I'm going to think of this list of goals as a guide and not as set in stone!  So here goes:

#1...To post regularly - at least 2x per week!

#2...To share my teaching experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly!

 #3...Find new and different things to share with readers.

#4...To highlight and share organizing tips for teaching.

#5...To share other tips and ideas that I've acquired over the years in teaching.

#6...Share what I know about curriculum and planning.

#7...Mix the teaching with personal stuff, products and other fun things.

#8...To share lots of freebies with my readers!

#9...To build a relationship with my readers and other bloggers.


#10... To participate in linkies, sales, blog hops etc with other bloggers online.

That's it!  Those are my goals!
What goals have you set for yourself or your blog?
I'd love to hear in the comments section - I really do - that's what goal #9 is all about!