Character Education and Bullying using JUST KIDDING and a FREEBIE

We have been spending a little time every month on Character Education as a whole group in sixth grade.  We have had several speakers come in to speak with our Smarties about bullying of all kinds.  Each month our team does a lesson about learning to accept diversity and find tolerance with each other.
In November, I read Just Kidding to my team.  Have you heard of this book?  It is by Trudy Ludwig

It tells the story of a boy who is being bullied in school.  The bully teases the boy, calls him names, makes fun of him etc. and every time he gets caught, the bully says : Just Kidding.  We talked about how saying "Just Kidding" is really a form of bullying.  We made an anchor chart about what you should know about Bullying to keep up on the wall as a reminder.

Lastly, we made Jack:  I called this activity Jack simply because I do not have a Jack in my class.  We start off with an anchor chart of a "student" that is clean and crisp.

I ask students to take Jack and then either:  Think of one mean thing that they have said to someone else, one mean thing that has been said to them, or one mean thing that was said to the student in Just Kidding.  Ever student takes a turn passing the paper and making the statement.  After they make the statement they crumple up the paper.  When we are finished, the paper is a huge wadded up ball.  Then we take turns thinking of a compliment that we could give others or that others have given to us, and we uncrumple the paper.  What we discover is this:
No matter how much we try to get rid of the wrinkles in the paper we can't.  We hung this on the wall as a reminder that "Just Kidding"  can be hurtful.
Finally~  and yes, sorry this is a LONG post.. we used the quote on my classroom wall and wrote about what it means to us as a class.
After all that... a Freebie!  I posted the paper that I created for the quote.  My students used it and we hung the paragraphs up in the hallway along with our anchor chart and "wrinkled Jack" for the rest of our smarties to see.
Visit my TpT store to pick it up! AND-- do me a favor.. leave me a comment or become a follower if you like what you see!


CYbEr MoNDaY! How fun!

I wanted to send a quick reminder that Monday and Tuesday at TpT you can get a great discount at My Store!  I'm offering 20% off all of my products!

I have posted a fun Math Word Problem activity for fractions I called "Wacky Wordies." 

 I made a hoiday edition and am currently working on a few more Wacky Wordie's with other Math components which I am hoping to get up and running during the month of December.  This holiday edition contains Task Cards for classroom use as well as a matching worksheet for students to show their work. 
Check it out if you can!


A Liebster Award.. you are all so kind!

What a pleasant way to wake up after Thanksgiving to find my inbox full of not one... not two... but THREE emails from lovely ladies who nominated me for a Liebster Award... you guys you are so kind and thoughtful!
Thank you to:  Niki at Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten,  Gina at Beach sand and Lesson Plans, and Heather at The Wild Rumpus for thinking of me.  These ladies have awesome blogs.. and even though I am currently teaching Sixth Grade Smarties, I am often checking out what else is going on in the EDU-Blog-World... it helps me learn what knowledge my smarties should come to me with.

The Liebster Award Rules:
1) You must post 11 random things about yourself
2) Answer the questions that the nominator created for you
3) Create 11 questions for the people you nominate
4) Choose 11 blogs you love that have less than 200 followers and link them to your post
5) No tag back.. but please leave a comment on THIS post with the URL of the Liebster so I can  learn more about you!

I sorta..kinda.. combined the questions from these lovely ladies:
So here goes:

11 random things about me:

*  I love Coffee... I bet you would have never figured that one out.. <hee hee> but seriously, I run on Dunkin  I should start a coffee club at school like my new friend Gina at Beach sand.. that's a great idea!
*  I own 4 pairs of Converse Chucks sneakers.. and I am hoping to grab another pair by Christmas.  I love to wear them on Friday's to school.  My smarties think I'm so silly..
* My favorite color is ORANGE.. it always has been.. so of course the NCAA teams that I <puffy heart> LOVE are the Syracuse Orange and the Florida Gators.
* I love to read.. all kinds of books.  There is a huge stack by my bed... I'm currently reading The Necromancer 
* I'm sort of umm... obsessed with Lego minifigures.  I love to play legos with my son and I love when you can buy the mystery packages to see what you can get.
*  My favorite candy bar is Milky Way
* I like watching Grey's Anatomy and Hart of Dixie.  When I can, I sneak in a little Vampire Diaries like Niki does. 
*  I have an 85lb Bernese Mountain dog that thinks he is a lap dog.
* Daffodils and tulips are my favorite flowers
* I can grow all kinds of things in my garden, but kill all my houseplants
* I'm a HUGE fan of Dave Matthews

11 Questions asked of me by Mrs. Thigpen, Beach Sands and Lesson Plans, and The Wild Rumpus 
1) How long have you been teaching?  This is my 19th year of teaching
2) What made you start writing a blog?  I was looking to connect with teachers across the country to learn new ideas and share my experiences.
3) What is your favorite subject to teach?  This varies between ELA and Math.. this is exactly what I'm doing right now.. which I am LOVING
4) Do you have a favorite sport to watch or play?  I love watching College Basketball and Softball
5)  Dessert?  Pi.. I mean Pie all the way
6) How did you pick your blog name?  I love Coffee.. and teaching
7) What is the farthest place you have traveled?  I spent two weeks in Europe and went to London, Paris, Germany and Holland
8) Coffee or Tea?  Why COFFEE.. of course.. but I'm sometimes drink tea when my voice is hoarse
9) Would you rather live in a warm or cold climate?  I would rather live in a warm climate, although I like watching the seasons change
10)  What is your favorite holiday?   My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love being with my family without the pressure of wondering if I chose the right gifts for everyone.
11) If you hadn't become a teacher what might you have been?   I may have become an architect or a journalist

Now.. 11 Questions for my nominees:

1)  How did you pick your blog name?
2) What made you start writing a blog?
3) What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
4) Coke or Pepsi?
5) Who is your favorite music group?
6) What would you purchase if you had an unlimited budget?
7) What is your favorite book to share with your students?
8) What household chore do you like the least?
9) What professional book or conference changed something about how you teach?
10) What is your favorite color?
11) If you could eat lunch with a famous person, who would it be?

Here are the 11 blogs I nominated:
1) Literacy Sundae 
2) Fourth Grade Studio
3) Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
4) Active Readers and Writers
5) Mrs. D's Firsties
6) An Apple A day in First Grade
7) Little Miss Primary
8) The Second Grade Surprise
9) The Classy Teacher
10) The Happy Teacher
11)  First Grade Crusade

Don't forget to leave me a link to your blog so I can learn more about you!


HAPpY TurKeY LuRKey Day! and a SALE

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I hope that everyone has a chance to spend some quality time with their families today eating turkey and pie.. and potatoes.. and more pie.. and salad.. and ummmm more pie!

My smarties had so much fun this past week doing their Turkey Survival Kits.  I can't wait to post about it when I get a little more time...

I've got my products on sale.. including my Turkey Survival Kit which has been a best seller.. pick it up while it's on sale and save it for next year!
I listed below a few of my other products that are some of my favorites.  My kids really like the Holiday Word Work Dominoes.  I try to make sure I place that activity near my group table because I love to eavesdrop on their connections.. too funny!
This Holiday Pack has both Word Work and Math Activities including a fun Elf Glyph!
These are a series of Story Elements Graphic Organizers.  I bundled Christmas (3), Thanksgiving (2),  Fall/Halloween  (2), and Back to School (1)

Enjoy your family time... and eat some pie for me too!


I've Joined Teacher's Notebook!

Happy Sunday Night all!
I just wanted to post a quick hello and let you all know that I have started a store at Teacher's Notebook.  In honor of it being my new store I have posted my products there at 20% off until Thanksgiving.  Stop on over if you get a chance and check it all out!
I'm hoping to add other products once I get things organized and into the swing of things.
Old dog... new tricks and all.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week and that it goes by quick with all of your TURKEY'S!


Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts Linky

As I mentioned in my last post, November is flying by! As I was tooling around last night I found Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts.  She is having a linky party and asking bloggers to reflect a little on what Thankful Thoughts they are Stuffed Full of during the month of November.  How could I resist such a great topic?

First, I'm thankful for my family.  My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and my kids always manage to make me laugh.  In this picture they are Tebowing in front of Albert and Alberta at the UF campus.  They are silly and thoughtful and caring to others.

Second, I am thankful for my friends, both the ones that have been around for the ages, and the new ones I have made as I started this blog.  I think it is really important to support each other.. ROCK on fellow bloggers!

Third, I am thankful for my job.  I have been a teacher for a long time, worked in several areas both in Florida and New York, and at many grade levels.  Everywhere I have worked I have learned from my students as well as my colleagues.  What a noble profession!

Fourth, I am thankful that college basektball season has started!  I <puffy puffy heart> college basketball.  It is amazing to watch and a great way to get throught the gray, snowy winter months.... Until baseball and softball season start!
Head on over to see Lyndsey and Link Up!  Let her know how you are "Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts!  And don't forget to leave me a comment or two!  Lyndsey didn't ask us to, but it's always nice to pay it forward and backward when you join a linky!


Interactive Math Notebooks: Least Common Multiple and Greatest Common Factor Ladders

I can hardly believe that November is already half over!  I have been so busy with my Sixth Grade Smarties it is hard to believe that our marking period has ended and we have 10 weeks of school under our belts!

My group is working hard.  We are implementing so many new things this year with our district starting a new data tracking system and we are using a new math program at the Middle School.  I am still finding days where I am in a Love/Hate relationship with our DIGITS program, but it has definatley kept me on my toes and using my Interactive Notebook skills.  I have found myself forced to be more creative about how I present material.  That has been difficult to  master when I'm teaching information in a different order.  I have to hand it to the Common Core, it definatley has ME thinking about math in a different way.  
Anyhoo... we are beginning to review for our Unit A assessment.  I should have given it last week before the marking period ended..but hey we get in what we get in right!

So as I was creating my test and looking back at my Math Notebook, I realized I never shared my LCM/GCF foldable.  I needed to cover, Prime Numbers, Prime Factorization, Least Common Multiple and Greatest Common Factor in about 2 1/2 days.. ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!  This is information that ususally took me at least a week to cover.  I had to move fast, and not take up MOUNDS and MOUNDS of space in our Notebooks. I'm worried about running out of pages.  Two notebooks has to be our limit for this school year, otherwise I have a feeling my Smarties will lose them.  Enter this crazy foldable with the Ladder Method for using Primes to find the LCM and GCF.  My Middles LOVED it!  They LOVED the ladder method.  They LOVED the fact that they didn't have to do 2 different steps to find the Greatest Common Factor and then the Least Common Multiple.  I hope they remember it when we get to fractions!  If you are interested, you can get my foldie and lessons for this topic {HERE}.  Lessons are included for the Ladder Method, and Finding PRime Factorization.

I'm going to be spending the rest of this week prepping for our next unit and reviewing for our assessment.  I've made some Properties Match-up cards ( you can get them at my TpT Store if you are interested) to use in a center, and I already have my Algebra Matching cards for vocabulary.  I think I've got that covered... now it's on to making a few more review sheets!
Have a great week all!!!

Leave a comment below 

It's Almost Turkey TIme!

I'm so excited that Turkey Day is coming!  I know.. I know.. take it easy, it's not even the middle of the month, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Turkey day!  I love being with my whole family without all of the expectations of Christmas gifts.  I love pouring over the Black Friday ads with my mom and sisters, and making a plan for that crazy shopping day.
AND I LOVE the writing activity that I do with my students every year for Thanksgiving.
We make a Thanksgiving Turkey Survival Kit!  A What?  A Turkey Survival Kit!  We read a few great stories about turkeys who think they are going to BE Thanksgiving dinner, and then we brainstorm ways we can help them survive the holiday.

I like to get my families involved in this activity, so I ask them to work together to create models of their items and then bring them in to present to the class the few days before we break for the holiday.  It is SO MUCH FUN to see what they come up with.. I can't wait to see it again this year.  I wish I had pictures to show you. <sad..tear..tear...>  I wasn't that good at doing this before I started blogging.  So THIS YEAR, I plan to take a few pictures of the process and share them with everyone.

Meanwhile, if you happen to want a new spin on your Thanksgiving activities, the Thanksgiving Turkey Survival Kit is for sale in my Tpt store.  It includes activities for  3 stories, inference sheets, rubrics, writing sample,  and sequencing activities for younger students.  I have done this activity with students from grades 2-7 and they have all loved coming up with fun and creative items to keep the turkey's from becoming dinner!
I hope you will enjoy it too!  
Let me know what your Thanksgiving plans are this year!


November Currently with Farley

I feel like this year is flying by!  I can't believe it is already November.  I can't think of a better way to begin the month than linking up with Farley at oh Boy 4th Grade and her Currently Linky party!

Currently, I'm loving that college basketball has started.  I'm a big fan of Syracuse Orange Basketball.  Go Orange, and I love listening and watching my Big East team Rock the Carrier Dome!  It looks like it's going to be an interesting season.  College Basketball is great way to pass the LOOOOOOOONNNNNG winter months in NY when you are not a skier.
This is a picture of Carmelo Anthony from  Midnight Madness in 2011.  I haven't taken any pictures yet this year.

I'm wanting a cup of coffee so I can stay up tonight and finish a few projects that I have in the works.  I loved having the extra hour of sleep this morning, but now I feel like I want to go to bed and I still have way too much to do!  LIke NEEDING to get my Equations and Inequalities test done for my sixth grade smarties.  I have the assessment planned for Wednesday and they need  a review sheet so they have practice problems.  Geesh.. I guess what I'm wishing for really is Farley's personal secretary!

Go Link up with her latest Currently, and don't forget to share a little LOVE with her and with me too!



Veteran's Day Activities: America's White Table

Happy November all!
We managed to survive Frankenstorm Sandy and Halloween all in the same week. This east coast storm had a lot of HYPE and a lot of WIND.. but luckily we didn't have too much damage in our area.  Because of the nasty weather earlier this week I was able to finalize a packet I had been working on for my sixth grade smarties.

  It's a Veteran's Day activity I plan to complete next week using a book by Margot Theis Raven called America's White Table.   Have you read this book yet?  

It describes the small white table that is set in many military mess halls and dinners.  The idea of the table was created to remember the soldiers who were MIA or were POWs during the Vietnam War.  Although I have military family, and have been in several American Legions for various activities, I never knew what the table was for.  Raven does an incredible job in this book describing the importance of remembering the soldiers who gave their lives to maintain our freedom.  I really like this book because it shows a different perspective of the military traditions.  You can buy the book on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.  If you are looking for a few activities to go with this fabulous book you can head over to my TpT store and check out what I have.  I created a  preview download and a sheet that lists the symbols contained in the book if you are interested in a shorter version.  Anyhoo.. if you do get a chance to check it out, please leave me a little feedback on TpT and/or a comment here on my blog.. Better yet-- become a follower so you will know when I'm adding anything new.  I've got a fun writing activity in the works for Thanksgiving!

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