Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leader in Me Mini-Series: Leadership Notebooks

Something big is happening at our school this year!  We are becoming a 7 Habits Leadership School.  If you're not sure what this is, don't worry, I wasn't either, lol.  Stephen Covey wrote the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Leader in Me is essentially the school/kid version of that book.  As a school we won't start implementing the 7 Habits until next month but we have started using Leadership Notebooks regularly in place of our Data Notebooks.

If you use a Data Notebook in your class you'll notice that our Leadership Notebooks are not that much different...  Just a few more things added.  Now, I will be the first to say that I'm not 100% sure that this is how a Leadership Notebook should look/be set up, or if there even is a way to do it perfectly, but this one works fabulously for us!  Here is an inside look at what we have in ours. 
FAIR WARNING:  This is an insanely long post but full of freebies.  Just click on the image to snag yours!

Starting off, every student has a 1" white binder with a page view cover.  You can have your students bring in tabs or make your own.  We made our own using file folders that we cut in half and hole punched! 

The very first thing the students and parents see when you open the binder is a letter to the parents explaining what a Leadership Notebook is and the expectations for both the student and parents.
Next up is a Parent Review and Comments page.  We will send these notebooks home a few times every month.  This page keeps parents updated on what has been added since the last time they saw it and has a section for them to sign or comment and ask questions if need be.
Our tabs are as follows:

My Self: This is where you can find everything personal about students.  Their goals, behavior, homework tracker, contributions, etc.
 Every month students create an academic goal and a personal goal to work on.  The first time I introduce this I only have them focus on their academic goal.  The following month we will write a goal for each: academic and personal.  More on this coming up with Leader in Me Mini-Series: SMART Goals.

Academics is a huge focus in schools, obviously, but you also want to teach your students to be good people!  We talk about contributing to our communities in different ways and keep a log of how they contribute to our school.  We have many opportunities to do so through fundraisers and Kids Care Club and every time they contribute something (time or money) they get to color in a box.  I will tell you that this is what my students gravitate to more than anything!  They LOVE being a part of something and helping in any way they can.  Since they have started filling out this form I have become inundated with contributions from my kids!  Makes for one proud teacher :o)

Reading Data: Here you can find their Lexile scores, fluency graph, graph for Unit Tests, and their Reading DE scores.  You can also keep track of how many books they've read, Reading Genre Challenge, etc.  Add whatever you want!
Math Data: Very similar to the Reading Data section!  Students keep their  Multiplication Masters Fluency Tracking Chart, Math Chapter Tests, and Math DE scores here.

Science/Social Studies Data: This holds their science and social studies tests so far...  Maybe later on I will think of more things to add but that's about it for now!

Writing Data: Samples of student writing and county writing scores are housed here.

The back also has a special cover that we slide in!  Together we made a Class Mission Statement and everyone's Leadership Notebook has their own copy of the statement so they can see it even when they go home.  This was written word for word by them!  If you want to know how to write your own class mission statement, keep your eyes open for Leader in Me Mini-Series: Mission Statements, coming soon!

Whew!!!  You made it!  I told you it was a long post, but click on some of the photos and you can grab yourself a free copy of that document!  Do you implement Leadership Notebooks in your class?  How do you like it?  Anything I should add to ours?

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Well I have been keeping a BIG secret from most everyone in the world!  I was finally given the okay to tell my kids at school and I wanted something original for my 4th graders to figure it out.  So I posed a bunch of riddles.  The last riddle in the bunch was this:
Mrs. S and her husband take a picture together.  There are three people in the picture.  How is this possible?
My kids came up with some pretty amazing answers!  We had the photographer, photo bomb, a shadow, and even a tree... yes a tree.  Have you figured the answer out??
After about a minute of guesses my kids finally came up my daughter or son, but then couldn't remember if I already had one or not.  I told them I would find out if it was a boy or girl in three weeks and you instantly saw the light bulbs!  Needless to say they were VERY excited!  Now I just need to figure out a cute way to reveal the gender to them.  Any ideas?!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Orange Ya Glad It's a Blog Hop 2014!

Thanks for visiting our blog hop! :)
I am the
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I am super excited to share my Spelling and Vocabulary Stations Set with you today! :)

Here's some of what you'll find in the pack!

I'm so glad that you stopped by to check out my preview! :)

Would you like to try out a station from my pack?

Click HERE to download your freebie! :)

Something fun that we've added this year is an instagram puzzle!
Here are the rules! :)

Your instagram letter clue for my page is...

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Don't forget to write down the letter from each of your hop stops! :)
Solve the mystery word and post a selfie on instagram with your answer!
Don't forget to add


That way we can find you for the drawing! :)

Follow our adventures on Instagram by clicking on our pictures below! :)
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One lucky winner will win this amazing set of prizes!
Check it out!!

Next of my Favorite Fantastic Florida Friends...
Denise from...

Happy Hopping Everyone!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's Back... With a Twist!

I finally got my Meet the Teacher/Curriculum Night out of the way and now onto my big summer finale!

I am so excited to announce my second annual hop featuring some of your favorite Florida Bloggers! :)

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Click on any of the images above to be directed to our Facebook pages for more information in the next few days! :)
The hop starts on Sunday at 12noon EST! :)
We can't wait to see you! ;)

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Sale Galore Giveaway!!!

It's that time of year!  The one we all whisper about because if you say it too loud it comes true faster, lol.  It's back to school time!!!  My BBB's and I would love to help you get ready for this momentous occasion by giving away THREE $25 gift cards to TPT just in time for their Back to School Sale!

Need some ideas of what to get for your classroom?  Here are my two top wish listed items!
Editable Back to School Packet
This editable Back to School Packet includes everything you need to welcome your students and their parents to your classroom this school year! All the handouts are designed to help you get the most information possible about your new students and easily keep it organized throughout the year.
Not only are there resources for Meet the Teacher or Open House, there are also many activities and handouts to help you, and your students, learn all about each other that first week of school! The activities will require your students to work independently, in pairs, and even whole group, all while improving their social skills and making new friends in the process! I have also added "Teacher Tips" for each activity. Teacher Tips are just that, helpful hints or directions that let you know the many different ways to implement these things in your classroom.  Click on the image above to grab it for yourself!
Spelling and Vocabulary Stations: Set 1
Spelling and Vocabulary Stations are a wonderful way for students to independently reinforce their learning and enrich themselves through fun activities! Included are six different spelling and vocabulary activities and graphic organizers that require students to think critically, identify spelling patterns or word parts, write creatively, incorporate mathematics into their spelling, and so much more.
Each activity can be used with any set of spelling or vocabulary words.  My student's LOVE using these activities for Word Work time.  These are also perfect for literacy stations, early finishers, or even homework!  Included in this set are three different vocabulary stations and three different spelling stations.  Click on the image above to grab your own set!
Now here is one that I have had my eye on and will be snagging in this sale!
Included are 72 questions for any fiction or non-fiction text and in two sizes: key-ring size (my fav) and full sheet size to use on a bulletin board or as anchor charts.  This is perfect for my guided reading groups!  All I have to do is print and my Guided Reading station is all set up and ready to go!  I can eve pass out the key rings to students working together and have them trade off asking each other questions.  Click on the photo above to buy your copy of this product!
My store will be 20% off August 4-5!  If you enter the code BTS14 you get an extra discount!  Can't beat that!

Don't forget to enter the raffle for your chance to win one of three $25 gift cards to TPT!

Rafflecopter Code - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out my other BBB's and see what they have on their wish lists as well!

Happy shopping y'all!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Math Journal Prompt Notebooks

Today I am getting all my journals ready for my kiddos that are coming to me in two weeks!?!?!  I found this pretty impressive product for 4th grade math prompts last year and never ended up using it.  Well this year I'm going to give it a shot!

It's pretty great!  This product comes with 90 different math prompts that cover the different standards for the Common Core, a table of contents so you know which standard is covered in which standard, a rubric, ideas for ways to incorporate these into your class and much more!  Totally worth $9.95!  And no, I was in no way paid or asked to review this product, I'm just that excited about it ;o)
Thanks to my hubby who cut these composition notebooks in half with his table saw, I was able to get these perfect sized notebooks to use!  This product comes with two different rubrics and both rubrics are given in a one page format (to put in a journal) and large enough to put as posters on your wall.  Neither really worked for my half composition notebooks so I just retyped it into a smaller format.

I printed both the rubric and the journal cover that I created on a Post-It Full Label Sheet.  You can easily print this on normal paper and have your students, or yourself, tape it into the journal.  The truth is, I ran out of Scotch tape and have loads of the full label sheets, lol.  They are pretty cheap at our local office supplies store with my teacher discount.  All I have to do is cut, peel, and stick and they are ready for my students!

I placed the rubric on the inside cover so that students can always go back and refer to everything they need to get the best possible score.


Finally, place the covers on and TA-DA!  All done!  Once I meet with my team and we discuss lesson plans, I will print out the prompts/labels based on which standards we are teaching.

One of the things I am most looking forward to with these journals is that not only do my students get a chance to show how THEY like to solve the problem but they also have to EXPLAIN how they solved the problem.