Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap into March with Ultimate Goodies...

My store sale will last until midnight on March 1st!!!

February 29, 2012 is LEAP DAY and TpT is celebrating it with a LEAP DAY SALE! Get 10% off your purchase using the above promo code! Plus, you'll get an additional 15% off most items in my TpT Store! One Day Only for TpT Promo Code. 
Happy Shopping...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Innovative TpT Seller to Get to Know...

What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?        
Currently: Substituting and tutoring. Taught in the past: English I, 8th grade English, and PK-2.

If currently in the classroom, how long have you been teaching? If not still in classroom, how long did you teach?                       
In the classroom since 2008

When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?
In 2009, a co-worker of mine was sharing some kinder activities with me, and I thought they were fabulous. She told me she found them on TpT for free, so of course, I signed up immediately.

I didn't become a seller until 2010, when I was teaching English. I didn't have the materials I needed to teach the class, so I made my own. Eventually, I thought, "Why not post them on TpT to help others?" I've been a TpT seller ever since!

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:
One piece of advice I'd give to a beginning teacher is to relax and be flexible. (If I could go back in time, this is the advice I'd give to myself.)

One piece of advice I'd give to a veteran teacher is to not be afraid to change with the students. Students are always evolving, and teachers should be, too!

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
As a teacher, I really like to incorporate technology into my lessons. I just see so many uses for it, and I think that -- in most cases -- it's exciting for the students! I also really enjoy "out of the box" assignments; I appreciate creative lessons that are exciting!

Outside the classroom, I love to create websites and dabble in digital design. It's a new hobby, but I am really loving my time spent playing with Photoshop!

TpT Store Link:

If you like, please leave a link to one of your best selling products here:

Are there any other sites you’d like posted for others to access?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Have You Gotten or Granted Permission to Pin?

Laura Candler of Corkboard Connections and Teaching Resources has started a great link up for bloggers to grant followers/visitors permission to pin from their blog! Great Idea, Laura! 
If you are a blogger, please read her post about this!  You can also link up on her blog post and grab her code for "Permission to Pin" to add to your blog!

So, I am granting permission for you to pin my images I've posted on Innovative Connections, as well as my blog button/link, etc. I am not speaking for the images of guest bloggers or "Get to Know This TpT Teacher-Author."  Please feel free to also pin from my TPT STORE. Please follow my Pinterest boards and repin anything you like to your own boards!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wise Owl Factory's Video Gives a Shout Out to Teacher Resources...

I am soooo grateful that Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory featured a product of mine, found on my blog and in TpT and TN Stores, in her you tube video about the Pinterest board "Featured on We Teach!" Various other bloggers/teacher-authors' products are mentioned as well! It's totally worth your time to view video and check out the products!

Visit the "Featured on We Teach" Pinterest board here!

If you are not yet a member of We Teach, it is a great place to connect/collaborate with many teachers and bloggers, and other great people!
Thank you so much, Carolyn Wilhelm!
Check out the video below and feel free to comment to tell me what you think!

The product of mine she mentions in the video is my free Persuasive Essay Research Organizer Pack! Please download it and use as you see fit!

Have a great rest of the week!!
Innovative Connections, connect/collaborate, video featured on we teach Ann Marie Smith

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ring and Review Game...

Innovative Connections Ann Marie Smith Engage you students, soda bottles and tapeA Review Activity by Leanne Baur of Teaching Tales!

This review activity will definitely engage all of your students!

To prepare, collect empty 2-liter soda bottles and tape together in a triangle or rectangle formation.  
Purchase shower curtain rings at a dollar store.  
You will need to type test review questions and cut them apart or record them with a marker on index cards. 
 Place one paper or card into each bottle.  
Students play by taking turns and tossing the shower rings onto the soda bottles.  
If the student rings one, he/she removes the question from the bottle and reads it aloud to the class.  
The person who gets it correct will have the next turn (even if it means going ahead of the class).  Students of any age would enjoy Ring and Review!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Get to Know This TpT Teacher-Author...

What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?  
Primary and Secondary: Math and English
When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?    
I joined Teacher pay Teachers as a seller before 6 months. I saw good traffic, especially teachers, and it made me think to be a seller for my educational creations.

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:     
            Try to interact more with students.

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
            I just want to teach the same way as students want to learn.

What other bio information would you like to share?
I am working as a curriculum developer for many Educational sites.

Are there any other sites you’d like posted for others to access?

Thanks to Bhakti for participating! 
If you are a TpT Teacher-Author and interested in being featured, click on the link under the tabs above or here "Get to Know This TpT Teacher-Author"


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pictures to Get You Pondering....and Writing...

The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher and Classroom Magic have teamed up to create one awesome Picture Prompt Linky Party! What an incredible idea and opportunity to gain tons of ideas for writing in the classroom...Just imagine the bell ringers, journal prompts, quickwrites, etc. that you'll have compiled for days to come! 
Click on the linky party image to visit the hosting blogs and see more picture prompts and the other blogs participating, and even link up your own as well... 

Here are a few picture prompts I chose to share:
Who knows what great responses you can get out of your students when a simple picture is displayed! Students have wild and huge imaginations! I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Where do my students go when they leave the room?

Do you keep documentation of who leaves the room and when?
Do you record when they come back?
Do you have any idea why this would be such an issue?

Some upper elementary teachers may have a need to keep up with this, but middle school and high school teachers should especially keep up with our kiddos' ventures from the classroom!

You see, some darlings like to amble about the halls, some waving into other classrooms, some ending up in the restroom when they should've been in the library checking out those books, or maybe some should be headed to the office and decided to make a pit stop somewhere else! Plus, if you are in a large school like I am, there are tons of places to go!

What happens next? You are asked where your student was and why he/she was not where you thought-- Or maybe, a fight breaks out in the restroom (unfortunately, it's a reality) and principals have to narrow down students to question---if they ever are able to get to the bottom of the situations! So, they need your help and you would be able to provide it this way.

That's when the Sign Out/In Sheet becomes a golden tool! You are able to provide sufficient documentation that a student was in fact in a designated area between the times of 9:00-9:08 or that the student blamed was back before the time projected on the hall cameras....either way, having this information recorded can be of great value to you, the students, administrators, etc.

We just never know!
So, download this free template I created this week (I ran out of copies of my old one, and imagine this---I couldn't find the template anywhere)! You can post it on the inside of your classroom door! Attach a pen/pencil next to it! Students do not think of leaving my room before signing out, and, of course, signing back in upon return!
Have a great weekend and holiday Monday (if you're off..)!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Subjects and Verbs....Verbs and Subjects!!!

Tired of hearing, "They was?" How about, "Mary and Jerry goes?"
Need a different avenue for teaching Subject/Verb Agreement? Thought so! 
I've created lots of word cards that I cut up and disperse amongst small groups in my classroom! They arrange the cards to form simple sentences! Then, your students write the sentences they composed onto these recording sheets! Get it by clicking on the image below!! Have them practice subject/verb agreement as in small groups, pairs, or even work in groups while having them record sentences individually! There are multiple possibilities..
I've have the sentence cards pack of 216 cards (below) that is in both my TpT Store and Teachers Notebook Shop, if you'd like to save yourself some time making your own!! 
Get them here in my TpT Store or click the image below! There are 54 pages of Subjects, Verbs, Prepositional Phrases, Conjunctions, and Modifiers (Adjectives and Adverbs)!
Subject/Verb Agreement Arrange the Cards to Form Simple Sentences
Be sure to download your freebie and remember to use it in multiple ways! 
Have students record sentences from tons of resources while they practice subject/verb agreement!! 
Thanks for stopping by Innovative Connections!
Innovative Connections by Ann Marie Smith

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Announcing 4 Winners...

Hello to all! I want to thank each of you who participated in the Valentine Blog Hop!! Thanks a million!
My 4 winners, selected with the random number generator on, are as follows:

Terri Brown of Terri's Teaching Treasures!
Leanne Baur of Teaching Tales!

I've sent an email to each of you! 
Please visit my TpT Store, pick out your 4 digital items, and email me the titles! 
I'll send them to you asap! 

Thanks again!! Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Freebies 4 U!!

Sweet, Incredible Adrianne Meldrum of Kids Cog Works has an awesome post up with quite a few Valentine Freebies! Get them fast and use tomorrow!! Click on her Blog Button below! Have a super Valentine's Day!!! 

Thanks to Adrianne for Providing Such a Great Idea!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Get to Know This TpT Teacher-Author...

Steve Gipson at Mr. G’s Creative Classroom!
What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?   9-12; I have taught grade 6-12!

If currently in the classroom, how long have you been teaching? If not still in classroom, how long did you teach?   7 Years

When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?     I joined TPT as a seller about 16 months ago. Since I started teaching, I have always created a lot of classroom materials myself. They were just sitting around on a hard drive somewhere, collecting dust. TPT seemed like a great way to share and maybe make a few bucks. I have always believed that we teachers needed to connect with each other more, and stop reinventing the wheel over and over. TPT helps us share, perfect, and refine our classroom materials. I also love that it allows us to circumvent the big publishing companies and put money directly into the pockets of our colleagues!

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:     
My first year semester of teaching was extremely difficult. I was trying to teach to the test, and do everything I had learned in the credential program. The students hated me, and I wasn't having any fun. So I just threw all that out the window and started teaching what I was interested in. I still adapted lessons to fit the standards (or, more accurately, I adapted the standards so they would fit my lessons.) I also started incorporating more multimedia and digital learning into the classroom environment, which was fin for me and the students. The transformations I made were a success. The students responded positively and I started having fun. I can remember my mentor teacher remarking on the change. “Steve, the students like you now!” she exclaimed. So the piece of advice to get out of all that: relax, be yourself, and remember you have to save your sanity before you can save your students!

For a veteran teacher, I would say two things: embrace technology and always work to refine and improve your practice!

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
I don't own a car. Most days, I ride a bike to work. If it is raining, I take a light-rail train.


One of your best selling product links :

Are there any other sites you’d like posted for others to access?
Twitter: @themrgshow
Facebook: Currently Updating...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You Know You're a Teacher When...

Just a fun little blog party that our fellow teacher/blogger Jeannie Partin of Kindergarten Lifestyle decided to create!
Visit Jeannie's blog to see her "You Know You're a Teacher When..." post
and Link Up on her blog with your fabulous "You Know You're a Teacher When..." Line that you know you are guilty of doing, thinking, buying, or saying!
Also, you can see them on Pinterest!
My, oh my, how teachers do think in their own unique fashion!!
Thank you, Jeannie, for this great idea!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Did you grow up reading comic books or the Sunday funnies? I did. My personal favorites were Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield. They are funny and kids can relate to them. Even super hero comics managed to find their way into my hands when I was young. I enjoyed the illustrations so much and the sound effects of the characters.I've discovered that struggling readers like comic books for a couple of reasons. The text isn't intimidating. The pictures catch their eyes. They don't seem as long as a book. When I introduce my struggling readers to Calvin and Hobbes, they fall in love with it. {So Do I} It's a fun and friendly text they relate to. Calvin and Hobbes have all kinds of imagination adventures in everyday situations. I especially like Calvin and Hobbes because the author and illustrator Bill Watterson uses language that is above where my students are. But because it's a comic book, they are willing to jump in and try those insanely big words. My 3rd grade student took a stab at the word "dictatorial impunity". The other plus is all of the grunts and groans and yells that require the student to access their phonics when they yell out, "WAARRGH!" If you have a student that continues to struggle with reading, consider getting some comic books into their hands. It just may change the way they feel about reading. Writing this blog post got me so excited about comics that I decided to make a freebie to share with all of you at Innovative Connections. It's got comic resources to help you find some great reads to share and a mini lesson where the students get to make their own comic strip. I can see the smiles now coming across your faces.... click here to download it right now. Adrianne Meldrum has a degree in Elementary Education. She currently tutors struggling readers and middle school math students. She is the author of and creator of Brain Tower . Adrianne is the wife of an engineer and a mother to three very handsome boys.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

What is "UP" --Interesting....

I've seen a version of this before and even used that version for a grammar lesson. This one is a little different, but I wanted to share it with you! Have a great day!

What's UP?

Imagine teaching this word to someone learning English.

I'm sure you will enjoy this. I never knew a single word
in the English language could be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and preposition.

Read until the end ... you'll laugh...
This two-letter word in English has
more meanings than any other
two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.'
It is listed in the dictionary as an
[adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car. 

At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. 

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. 

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. 

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time is UP!

Oh . . . one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night? 

Did that one crack you UP?

Now I'll shut UP!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Great Read...

As my colleagues and I continue to collect books that students recommend and/or love to read, I've managed to select titles that have great avenues for teaching all kinds of important topics!
Here are a few great book titles that should be on your classroom bookshelf:

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Young Samurai: Way of the Warrior
Alligator Bayou
Awake and Dreaming
The Glory Field
Romiette and Julio
Heart of a Champion

What novels do your students tend to favor? Please leave a title of a great book in comments! Thanks so much!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Get to Know This TpT Teacher-Author...

Chadwick Harvey of Literacy Solutions Links

What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?           
If currently in the classroom, how long have you been teaching? If not still in classroom, how long did you teach?            
 2 years

When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?
I joined Teachers Pay Teachers in August 2011 because I wanted an opportunity to learn from others while also sharing my own products.  As teachers, we invest a lot in our products and I feel we deserve return.

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:
Beginning teachers: Be open to hearing from others.  Borrow ideas, share ideas, learn as best as you can and you will be just fine as you progress into a veteran teacher.

Veteran teachers:  You obviously know what you are doing having been in the profession for a long time.  You deserve to be compensated more for your tireless efforts.

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
Inside the classroom, I never yell and rarely raise my voice at students.  When they get too loud, I use a technique of "60 seconds of silence" in which they put their hands over their mouths.  I prefer an interactive classroom with much collaborative work. 

Outside the classroom, I enjoy traveling.  I have been on a one month long archaeological dig in Israel and on a two week trip to Singapore.  Both hold a dear place in my heart.

If you like, please leave a link to one of your best selling products here:
What other bio information would you like to share?
I love playing basketball.  I received my training for the teacher profession at UNC-Charlotte.  I am currently single with a niece and two nephews that I see as my own children.

Are there any other sites you’d like posted for others to access?
Twitter: @chadwickharvey1

Saturday, February 04, 2012

50% Off During Super-Bowl Half-Time!!

Yep! Quick post to let you know that a lot of TpT Store will have a handful of products 50% off during Super Bowl  half-time!!
I've already set mine; I probably would forget to do it tomorrow!            

P.S. Just for fun, I made a QR Code for my store! Leave me a comment if you would try it and see if it works! I'd love to know how many people use the scan app for QR Codes on their phones!

The Power of Unexpected Words...

      As a middle school teacher, there are always days when I wonder if I am doing things right. Sometimes, I wonder what I can do to get someone interested in reading. How can I get them not to think of English as the most boring subject? Lol. Then, there are school years when that certain student likes to be the center of attention or show complete disrespect, just to do it. Those times truly get me down. I know I have dwelled on a moment (or several) like that and let it eat me up sometimes! 
      Not this year---I have had the best group of students this year...probably the best of all my years in middle school. That is not to say that I haven't had a "bad" day at school, because this week was a little trying. As it happens at times, I let a student get under my skin this week; I can't help it. I'm ultra sensitive and take it to heart when students are disrespectful. 
      However, and I'm getting to the point of my post, all of the negative/blue feelings I'd held onto this week washed away with just a few kind words. As I was checking emails this morning, I opened an email from a parent that simply wanted to tell me, "You Rock!" She thanked me for doing so much for her child this year. Because of me, her child enjoys reading again; because of me, her child enjoys English. The email said a bit more, all great things, but you get the point!
      In addition, I had a student leave me a note today to tell me how much she loved my class, and how she wished I could teach her every year until she finished school. :) She said I made English fun, and she was glad to have a teacher that cared about her students. 
      When a teacher realizes he/she has had such a positive impact on a child, it does wonders for the soul---at least it does for mine. These two simple notes made my day today! Two simple notes to say, "You rock!" and "You are my favorite teacher" made me smile inside and out all day! Obviously, I'm still smiling about it because it is 12:23 a.m. and I felt the need to share this post!
      I wanted to share this with you, also, to remind us all of the power that words have. Hurtful words can truly hurt. But, kind words can make the difference in someone's day, week, life...we never know how strong of an impact words can have! 
      As a teacher, it feels great to know I'm appreciated and that my students enjoy my class because of me! Knowing that I have had a positive impact on my students (at least 2 this is what makes me so very glad to be a teacher! 
      So, remember the power of your words! A few simple kind words do have a tremendous impact on a person, especially when it comes out of the blue!
      Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Little Humor from a Favorite Book...

You know those books that you just have to pick up sometimes, read a smidgeon, have a giggle, and then maybe you feel like you can regain your sanity?

Well, one of those books for me is Hide Your Ex-Lax Under the Wheaties: Poems about schools, teachers, kids and education by Cheryl Miller Thurston.

I thought I'd share a tidbit from it, as I read quite a few today, and it wouldn't be fair not to!!  As teachers, educators, etc., we can all appreciate the lighter side of life---I hope! If these make one of you smile, then I've accomplished what I wanted:

         Attention Deficit Disorder
Can all my friends' kids really have A.D.D.
 (Unless they are gifted instead)?
Aren't anyone's children "rambunctious" or "spoiled"
  (Or "sharp as a tack" or "well-read")?

and one of the best ones from the book:

You don't need a number two pencil for life.
An "A" will not find you a husband or wife.
You won't find fulfillment in filling in bubbles.
And "all of the above" is no answer for troubles.

For life is a Ferris wheel. Life is a laugh.
Life is a wonderful, wandering path.
Life is a mystery. Life is a mess.
What it is not is a standardized test.

I recommend a book or two or five such as the title above! It always helps to read a snippet here and there and just see humor in some situations!

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