Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Treat for My Favorite Test Takers

Whether you're a proponent or an opponent of standardized testing, whether you're opting out or opting in, there's no denying millions of elementary and middle school children will be taking standardized tests this spring.  My child happens to be one of them.

Today starts the New York State ELA exams for students in grades 3-8.  This is day one of three days of ELA testing.  G seems focused and ready.  Now that he's in fourth grade, I think he has a better understanding of what the test will be like, and he'll be able to better manage his time this year.  He knows that we expect him to work hard, but he isn't stressed about it.  He knows we're proud of him no matter what.

To help ease the sting of the tests for his classmates, G and I put together some testing treats for his class.  We decided on the new Lego version available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It was a difficult choice between Stars Wars and Legos, but Legos won in the end.

Aren't they cute!

Here's a look at the treats as they came together on the dining room table last night.  We went with granola bars, Smarties, and Butterfingers.  You'll have to excuse the bright Easter tablecloth. Apparently we don't have any other spring ones left from last year.

Here's my proud guy with his box of yummy goodness ready to take to school.  He wasn't too keen on posing for this shot.  I guess he's gotten to "that" age now.

If you're looking for some quick treat labels, you can find all my versions in my TpT store.  I have them individually or in one supersized bundle!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oh, the Places You'll Go Test Prep Edition

I don't know where March went!  I meant to write this post back at the beginning of the month, but I got busy doing test prep.  I've spent the last three months working with some of our higher level students that just missed a Level 3 on our state ELA exam last year. It was the district's hope that a little extra work on writing short and extended response questions would help these students get 3's or 4's this year.

I've really loved working with these students.  They are so different than my struggling intervention students.  These kids just needed a little extra small group attention to improve their writing skills.  I'm so proud of the progress they've made.  I'm sad our time together has ended already.  Hopefully they're all enjoying their much deserved Spring break and are ready for their tests in two weeks.

One of the things I focused on with my third and fourth grade students was adding text-based evidence.  It took us a while to get the hang of it, but I feel like they've improved so much in this area.  So when Dr. Seuss' birthday rolled around and we decided to decorate our classroom doors and wall space, I just had to incorporate text-based evidence into my display.

I created text-based evidence term balloons.  You can find the balloons in my TpT store.  Then I made a cloud title using a font I found on DaFont called Doctor Soos.  It's a fun personal use font that works great for creating projects for your own classroom.  I added a little extra fun by making some Truffla inspired trees that I saw on Pinterest.  You can find several different tutorials on Pinterest by searching truffla trees. 

Here's my finished display.  I love how it turned out.  It was a fun way to keep my focus on text prep while celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday.  It was also great to see other teachers using it as a teaching tool when their classes passed by in the hall.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Background Freebie

It seems hard to believe that Easter is almost here and that our school district is on spring break. It's probably difficult to believe because my yard is still full of snow and ice. Despite some rain this week, the snow is melting slowly in our narrow valley.It's pretty sad when mud would be a welcome sight!

Here's the view out my front door this morning.  It's getting better, but I still can't see grass- even under the tree!

Since I'm in the mood for Spring, I decided to post a new freebie for you.  You can pick it up in my TpT store.  Click the picture or here to download.

 Easter Freebie

Don't forget there's still time to enter my 700 Followers Giveaway.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

700 Followers Giveaway, $25 TpT gift certificate, and a Sale!

It's hard to believe I've hit the 700 followers on TpT.  It's been an exciting journey.  I've always loved making my own instructional materials- even in the days when I was using PrintMaster to make my own classroom books.  Do they still make that program?  I have to say PowerPoint and Photoshop have made creating materials a whole lot easier for me.  Not to mention the amazing artists at TpT have much cuter clip art for teacher authors to use these days.

To celebrate my personal milestone, I'm having a giveaway  and a sale!  It's been months and months since I posted on the blog, but it seemed like a great time to celebrate with all of you. But before I give you the details I thought I'd share one of my latest creations with you: A new test treat label set.  I think these are the ones I'm going to make up for my son's fourth grade class.  G and his friends are still wild about building models out of snap blocks, so it all seems to fit. (No pun intended!)

 treat labels

 treat labels

 treat labels

 treat labels

You can find these and other test treat labels in my TpT store.

Now on to the giveaway!  I've decided to include the following prizes: First prize is a $25 TpT gift certificate, Second prize is your choice of any product in my store, and Third prize is your choice of any testing treat label product from my store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway