Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chocolate Milk, Por Favor! {Book Launch and Giveaway}

I can not even begin to tell you how extremely happy I am to be writing this post!  Last summer, Maria Dismondy contacted me to see if I could help her out.  Um, of course!  I've loved her books and have used them in my classroom for the last few years.

She asked for me to write a brief teacher-friendly page for her new book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!  Celebrating Diversity with Empathy, about how to assist English Language Learners in the classroom.  I am truly honored to have had this opportunity!

Book Summary:  Johnny is a big fan of school but that all changes when the new kid, Gabe arrives.  Gabe doesn't speak any English, and that doesn't stop Johnny from going out of his way to be unkind.  But what will Johnny do when Gabe starts to make new friends?  Will he join the fun of making a new friend or turn the other way?  Johnny realizes a powerful message in this store where student differences are celebrated.  Read to find out how chocolate milk plays a major role in the discovery of the real universal language.  

Check out the book trailer.  You will love it!

Check out the book on Amazon.

Maria is not only an award-winning author, but she was a classroom teacher for many years. She brings that experience to her books.  She specializes in books about challenges children face. A topic close to her heart, Maria’s own childhood experience inspired her first book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Maria’s dedication to empowering children with courage and confidence has reached new heights, touching the hearts and hands of children the world over. Grounded in her belief that all children deserve a voice, Maria’s latest book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor, drives home the important message of celebrating diversity with kindness, inclusion and empathy. As a sought-after speaker, Maria spreads her message by presenting at schools and conferences across the country. She holds degrees in education and child development. Maria lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Dave, and their three book-loving children.


Would you like to win an autographed copy of her newest book?  We'd love to share one with you!  Please enter to win!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Educents Launch!

A few years ago, I was introduced Educents and I've loved it ever since.  Now, Educents is opening their Marketplace!  This means that in addition to their already AMAZING deals, they will now offer store fronts on a daily basis.  That means, that teacher-authors can now sell and create stores in the Educents Marketplace.  There are over 500 sellers already signed up and you can find some awesome deals anytime you need them!
To LAUNCH the new storefront, several of the sellers are joining in to bring you a little peek into a freebie offered in their new store.  In addition to that, we are hosting a giveaway for $50 worth of Educents credits!

Below is a preview of my FREEBIE!



This freebie is perfect to help review decimals concepts!

Check out my freebie over at Eductents {here}, or the whole storefront {here}.  

After you check out my store, be sure to check out some of the other stores listed below, too. Make sure you enter for your chance to win the $50 in Educents credits!!

Leave me a comment below for a chance to win an item from my store for FREE!  Let me know what you would buy with the $50 in Educents credits!  


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Can't Live Without It Linky--Come Join the Fun!

Hey everybody,

I think I'm ready to get this linky in full swing again.  Life happened.  Things got busy, and I put this on the back burner.

By the way, if you want to know more about my reasons behind this linky, head to my original post {here}.   If you'd like to join me, grab this button:


For this Can't Live Without It post, I'd like to share with you an e-mail service that I can't live without each weekend morning.

Have you heard of theSkimm?


Here's what they say about the service: "theSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day.  We do the reading for you- across subject lines and party lines- and break it down with fresh editorial content."

Basically, I can stay current with what is happening in the world and not have to watch the news to do it.  I don't know about you, but I just can't watch the news anymore.

Plus, these gals are witty and entertaining.  Often, I laugh out loud.  Not a bad way to start the day, right?

I'd love for you to link up your ideas and things that you can't live without.  It can be something you can't live without to make your life easier, something you can't live without at home or at school. Really, anything that qualifies for something you can't live without is fine!  For more instructions on ideas about what you can add, please read the original post {here}.





Sunday, March 1, 2015

Currently March 2015

What have you been up to lately?

Listening: Currently listening to my son clean up his mess in the kitchen.  I think he knew better because I spent the whole.day.cleaning.  Like the.whole.day.
Loving: Donors Choose!  I just got a special professional development project funded and I'm soooo excited!  I'll share more about it soon once the details are finalized and I know more about how it all works.
Thinking: I should really be working on my classwork for the Cultural Diversity class that I'm taking right now.  I'm currently taking one of the classes to get my ESOL endorsement.  This is my first of 5 classes.  Long road ahead...
Wanting: I am going to do another round of Whole30.  Have you heard of it?  Although my husband and I started eating healthy (mainly vegan) in 2014, we started to slip as the school year began.  Last fall, I saw posts by Rachelle (What the Teacher Wants and For Blogness' Sake) about Whole30.  I read the book, It Starts with Food and completed one round of Whole 30.  Now, I'm ready to complete another one to get me ready for my spring break plans....
keep-calm-ig
Needing: I'm not feeling all that great.  I need to get some Zicam to knock out whatever is making me feel cruddy.  (Could also have something to do with the fact that I've been eating poorly.)
Spring Break Plans: NYC!  I'm taking my daughter to New York City for Spring Break!  We are super excited!  Do you have some must-do ideas for us?

And...you know you're 1) a teacher when and
2) excited when...

You create a binder for your trip:


So what have you been up to Currently?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What To Do When They Are New (Giveaway!)

I am thoroughly enjoying my new job as an ESOL teacher and have had the opportunity to learn so much this year! 

My great friend, Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files has been such a wonderful resource for me this year.  She's given me so much advice and guidance along my new journey.  We both know that it can be challenging work though…especially when new students come midyear and are not speaking English yet. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your newcomer English Language Learners. And we would like to share what works for our newcomers…and  to learn what works well in your class too!

Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for newcomer English Language Learners:

Understand That It Takes Time
Did you know that it takes between 1-2 years for ELL students to acquire social language, but between 7-9 years to acquire academic language? For this reason, it is important to give all ELL students support in the mainstream classroom.  Even though an ELL student may carry on a conversation with you, he still may be struggling with academic language. 
Wait Time
Speaking of time, provide as much wait time as possible.  ELL students may need considerably more wait time.  Pay attention to how quickly you speak.  Too often teachers are in a hurry to say everything they need to say to finish a lesson.  Remember that less is sometimes more when it comes to speaking.  Slow down and speak clearly.  


Using Visuals
Provide as much visual support as possible to ELL students.  Visual support comes in various forms. Have a print-rich environment.  Label your classroom.  Provide pictures with word walls.  Model what you expect. Show, don't tell.  Simply telling and talking will be too challenging for an English Language Learner. ELL students will need the most support with content vocabulary.  Consider using Math or other content vocabulary word walls.  By keeping the vocabulary grouped by content, ELL students will be able to access the vocabulary easily.


Differentiate Instruction
I have found that within a classroom, there may be a wide range of reading levels.  Planning for that can be difficult.  I recently started a new series to help!  Below is the newest in the series:

These set of close reading passages all use the same vocabulary for each of the levels.  These passages can be used in a variety of ways. These passages are written so that there are nine different levels for the same story. These passages are designed to be used in small groups, however they can be used with a whole class when the vocabulary is introduced to the whole class and students read the level of text needed. This set was created to provide visual support for ELL students.  More to come in this series!

Value a Student's Home Language
Value a student's home language.  Take the time to get to know the cultural background of your ELL student.  Ask him about his home language and cultural.  If he knows that you value his background, he will be more likely to feel comfortable enough to participate more in your classroom.



Those are some of my favorite tips…but Kristen and I would love to hear YOUR tips for working with ELL newcomers! And, as a thank you for your readership, we'd love to have a giveaway. 

We are each giving away a $25 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers…just in time for the site wide sale this week!

We'd also like to give a product of choice from each of our stores…please check out the Rafflecopter below for more details on how to win these prizes! And be sure to visit Kristen's blog if you haven't, for more chances to win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ELLs in the Classroom {A Bright Idea}

How are you meeting the needs of the English Language Learners in your classroom?  


There so many ways to assist your English Language Learners in your classroom.  Let's focus on a few Dos and Don'ts that will help the most.




Did you know that it takes between 1-2 years for ELL students to acquire social language, but between 7-9 years to acquire academic language? For this reason, it is important to give all ELL students support in the mainstream classroom.  Even though an ELL student may carry on a conversation with you, he still may be struggling with academic language.  But, there are many strategies that you can use to help your ELL students become successful.
First, build a classroom community that fosters kindness and acceptance.   Foster a love of all languages and always value a student's diversity.
Do provide visual support to ELL students.  Visual support comes in various forms.  Have a print-rich environment.  Label your classroom.  Provide pictures with word walls.  Model what you expect. Show, don't tell.  Simply telling and talking will be too challenging for an English Language Learner.
Do provide plenty of wait time.  Pay attention to how quickly you speak.  Too often teachers are in a hurry to say everything they need to say to finish a lesson.  Remember that less is sometimes more when it comes to speaking.  Slow down and speak clearly.  
Do value a student's home language.  Take the time to get to know the cultural background of your ELL student.  Ask him about his home language and cultural.  If he knows that you value his background, he will be more likely to feel comfortable enough to participate more in your classroom.
Do promote activities that allow your ELL students to participate in group work.  When English Language Learners are given a chance to work in groups, they can practice language with their peers in a more relaxed and lower-risk setting.   

These are just a few suggestions for assisting English Language Learners in the mainstream classroom. Want to learn more?  If you are new to my blog, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or at Teachers Pay Teachers for more great ideas for working with ELL students.

For more bright ideas from tons of different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

What are you waiting for?  Have a great time checking out the links to find more
 BRIGHT IDEAS!





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Two New Math Menus---Giveaway(s)!!

I've been working on a few more Math Menus and *think* I'm almost finished with all 4th grade skills.  I'm planning on creating 5th grade menus next.  Here are the two newest Math Menus:

Decimals
and 

Area and Perimeter


Both are editable files so that you can adjust them to meet the needs in your classroom.  However, they are also ready to print and go!

I've bundled all of the menus and you can get the bundle and save over 20% off.  Check that out {here}.

I'd love to give you a chance to win one of the newest menus.  Pin either menu and leave the URL of the pin in the comments below.  You can either pin to this blog post or directly from TpT by clicking on the pictures of the covers and heading over there.

I'll pick 5 winners on Saturday night!  If you can't wait until Saturday to see if you win, I have both sets at 1/2 price until then :)

***Winners have been Contacted!***

Speaking of Saturday....I messed up planning my next installment of my "Can't  Live Without It" linky because I forgot that this is coming up on Saturday:


I guess you could say that the Bright Ideas Blog Hops are something I can't live without!  I will be back on Saturday to share my latest Bright Idea and hope you will come back for that!  I'll try to figure out a better time on the calendar for the "Can't Live Without It" posts.  Any suggestions?  A Sunday, perhaps?