Saturday, March 31, 2012

Every Teacher Loves Freebies, So....

You would be absolutely crazy not to check out Kids Cog Works' Blog Post which provides lists of AWESOME Blog Pages with FREE RESOURCES!! How great is that for a go to source? Adrianne Meldrum is the author of Kids Cog Works! She has amazing ideas! Visit her blog, and definitely bookmark and share her post!!   Visit her on Facebook too!
Adrianne, thanks for this ULTIMATE FREEBIES LIST!! 
Innovative Connections Freebies Page by Ann Marie Smith Free Teaching Resources List

FYI: There are 20 FREEBIE PAGES by some spectacular teachers and bloggers! Who knows the actual number of FREE items!!! Too many to count, that's for sure.... 
Adrianne also wrote an awesome guest post on my blog titled "Ka Pow!" Check it out!!I promise that you'll enjoy it!
Do you have a freebies page on your blog? I'd love for you to let me know that you stopped by and visited her post! What did you think?

 Ultimate Freebies List of Teaching Resources From Freebie Pages and More!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Strategy I Just Came Up with for Implementing Test Prep Activity!!

I don't know about you, but I drum up my "COOL/NEW" ideas at the most inopportune times! Today's was in the middle of last class! This is an alternate approach for an item I have in my store titled: 
(ON SALE TIL MIDNIGHT....hint, hint! :)
My hope was a "GIANT WORD WALL" just's more fun!! 
My suggestion today is this...
MAKE IT A MATCHING GAME using YARN to attach term to definition---and don't even bother with cutting out terms...unless you want them separate!

  • I also printed mine out on colored paper and laminated them (imagine that)! 
  • Straight across the top of my wall are the literary terms.
  • Underneath and staggered are the definitions all in a random arrangement! 

Students will take turns reading definitions, deciding the right term then attaching yarn from definition to term!! The end result? A funny web of learning!!! just undo the yarn end from the term or the definition (not both) and you are set for the next class!! SUPERB TEST PREP ACTIVITY!! Yes, I'm uber excited about it right now----I could possibly think later that I overreacted, but...just go with it! Below is a pic of my wall---didn't clean up before :) & I haven' t yet attached yarn to one of the two parts of matching elements!
Superb Test Prep Activity by Ann Marie Smith Students take turns, web of learning
Perfectly fine to scatter them about the pictures or flag or file! Works for my students and me!!! Yarn is yet to be attached!!!
I would love your suggestions or thoughts!! Please leave in a comment below, even if you just want to say you like it or you will try it---or just that you stopped by to check out the idea!! Thanks so much!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's That Time...

SALE TIME! Quick, Quick post to let you know I've put every item, digital and used hard good, in my store on sale all day March 28th and 29th!! 
I've posted several test prep teaching tools you would certainly find useful, as well as some new freebies! 22 Freebies in all! Become a follower because I have many more freebies in the making, as I am a contributor to Classroom Freebies Too! Obviously, I'll be creating many new free downloads, especially as the summer nears! Have a great rest of the week! It's downhill from here--Wonderful Wednesday!
See a few freebies right here:
Hope to see you in my TpT store!!!
P.S. What types of classroom items do you look for most often? 
If you have an idea for a freebie you'd like to see posted, leave it in a comment below! I would love for you to share your ideas!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Innovative TpT Teacher-Author You Should Get to Know...

Laura Candler of Corkboard Connections

What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?        
I'm currently retired, but I used to teach 4th and 5th grade.

If currently in the classroom, how long have you been teaching? If not still in classroom, how long did you teach?                 
I taught for 30 years!

When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?
         I joined TpT after I was already selling ebooks and materials from my own website. I guess I joined up out of curiosity and because it seemed so easy. I was fascinated with it right from the start!
         I was amazed at what was now available to teachers to help them sell their lessons easily because it was so much work for me to set up my own website, figure out how to install a shopping cart on it, create a newsletter, and so on. I immediately saw the benefits of TpT and became a premium seller right away.
         Someone else created the site, someone else was sending out newsletters and marketing the materials, someone else was handling the payments. Wow! What an opportunity for teachers to easily start selling their own materials online!

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:
         I would advise a beginning teacher to find teachers at your school who have a passion for teaching and spend as much time with them as possible. Stay away from negative grumblers and find people who face the daily challenges with a smile. Don't get frustrated and overwhelmed the first year; just tackle what you can handle and do what you can. The next year is so much easier!
         The advice I would give a veteran teacher is to throw out your old lesson plans from last year and be willing to do things differently every year. You've got to keep up with new technologies and always seek to improve yourself and grow as a teacher. If you ever get to a point where you are not happy with your teaching situation, either change schools or change grade levels to give yourself a new challenge. If that doesn't help, maybe it's time to move on to something else. Every child deserves a happy, caring teacher, and if you are no longer happy in the classroom, go where your passion is leading you!

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
         What was unique about me as a teacher? I guess that would be my ability to quickly and easily create engaging lessons for my students that challenged them on many levels. I loved a bit of chaos in the classroom as long as things were getting accomplished and we were learning and having fun. Also, as a teacher I prefer to dress really casually and comfortably. I would have worn jeans every day if allowed to do so!
         Outside of the classroom, I enjoy outdoor activities like snowshoeing, hiking and kayaking. I'm happiest when I'm outside enjoying nature, challenging myself physically in some way.

TpT Store Link:

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 was born in New Hampshire but moved to the south over 35 years ago. I now live in North Carolina. I have been married to the same wonderful guy for 30 years and we have two terrific daughters. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate degree and UNC Pembroke for my Elementary Ed Masters. I earned National Board Certification in one of the first few years it was offered and became recertified about 5 years ago.
         I have written 5 books for Kagan and was a trainer for his company for a short while. I recently published another print book, Power Reading Workshop, and I'm excited about the results teachers are getting with that program. 
         I guess my biggest accomplishment was being awarded a Milken Family Foundation Award back in 2000 - it came with a $25,000 cash award that wasn't earmarked for the classroom!

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


If you are a TpT Teacher-Author and would like to be featured on Innovative Connections, I love to have you!! I'm always seeking Innovative Teachers with fabulous materials and information to share with others! Just fill out the entry form link under my tabs at the top of this blog! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Have You Heard the News from Lessons in the Middle?

Because I've collaborated and networked with Krystal Mills of Lessons from the Middle since I became a seller on TpT, I am ANXIOUS and feel that I JUST HAVE share some news... She has one of the biggest giveaways I've seen! It started today! It is definitely something you want to check out if you are intermediate grades~! 
A few tidbits from her post:
The best thing about this giveaway: Everyone wins!
Let’s face it, we all love to enter contests. However, it’s disappointing when you never, ever EVER win anything! I was one of those people who treasured the “participation” ribbon that everyone who ran the race received. So now, I’m giving you, your very own. Everyone who follows my blog and fills out an entry form will be rewarded with a virtual goodie bag of resources from myself and my fellow TPT friends. You’ll each be emailed a package of amazing freebies: Lessons, activities, games and more, for your classroom as a THANK YOU for following my blog! How can you argue with that? You can’t! Oh, but it gets better…
Five lucky winners will receive a bundle of resources, valued at over $40.00, that have been generously donated by some amazing teachers. 
Not only that, one of these five winners will also be awarded a $25 Amazon gift card to spend at their leisure!
In addition to these five winners, 7 lucky teachers will win a shopping spree in one of the TPT stores listed below! It’s the luck of the draw. If you win a spree from Science Stuff but you don’t teach Science – buy some items and donate them to your school or pass the winnings along to a colleague who teaches that subject matter. Think of it as a random act of kindess!

Shopping Sprees Have Generously Been Offered By:







Finally, one lucky winner will receive a $10.00 TPT gift card (donated by TeachersPayTeachers) to spend in ANY TPT store. What’s on your wish list?

Okay--so there is a little info to let you know what's in store!!! SO--I SUGGEST YOU GET TO HER BLOG AND ENTER!!! AREN'T YOU IN THE MOOD FOR SOME GOODIES???


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Using Picture Books to Teach Allegory...

Stories to Teach Allegory Eve Bunting's "Terrible Things" Reading Analyzing Literary Elements, creative project and assessment toolEve Bunting's "Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust" 
Use this great read to introduce a unit on The Holocaust! 
Or it can be used to introduce topics such as:

  •  Bullying
  •  Racism/Prejudice
  •  Different Cultures/Religions
  •  Kindness
  •  Helping Others
  •  Acceptance
  •  Violence
And don't forget the LITERARY ELEMENTS you can teach using this story....
  • Allegory
  • Metaphor
  • Symbolism

My classes just started a unit titled "The Spirit Within," which focuses on The Holocaust. Prior to reading Night by Elie Wiesel and  The Devil's Arithmetic  by Jane Yolen, we usually begin with Bunting's story and then venture into analyzing literary elements such as those above. As a creative project and assessment tool, the students create allegories of their own! I'll be sure to post pictures of the great projects they produce! Can't wait! 

Ann Marie Smith

Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Innovative TpT Teacher-Author You Should Get to Know...

Heidi Befort of Globicate!

What grade level(s) and/or subject(s) are you currently teaching? What grade levels have you taught prior to this year?
4th/5th Multiage

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

When did you join Teachers Pay Teachers as a Seller? What made you decide to become a seller?
I originally joined Tpt to sell some classroom books and activities, but decided to do units and activities that I thought went along with my blog or that I was working on in the classroom.  I'm a work in progress and continue to refine and hopefully improve my items.

One piece of advice you can give to a beginning teacher & one piece for a veteran teacher:
Hang in there, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and be dynamic for your students!

Something unique about you both as a teacher and outside of the classroom:
I'm a National Board Certified Teacher, and I have a Master in Elementary Education, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing...I'm a registered nurse and worked for 15 years at the bedside before driving a school bus, and getting my teaching certificate!

TpT Store Link:

A particular product you'd like to share?

What other bio information would you like to share?
I'm happily married to Wayne for 25 years, have 3 children...a daughter who is a nurse in Texas, a daughter who is a Peace Corps Volunteer and teaches Secondary English, and a son who is majoring in Electrical Engineering at ASU, my alma mater!  I love photography, flowers, camping, and blogging!

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


Twitter: @Globicate

If you are interested in being a featured Innovative TpT Teacher-Author on my Blog, please fill out the entry form just under the tabs at the top of my blog! Thanks so much!
Ann Marie Smith

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rated a Top Ten!! See These Top Ten Rated Blogs...

A Fabulous Fellow Teacher/Blogger, Louise Morgan of The Frugal Teacher, awarded me the "Rated a Top Ten" Blog Award!! Thank you very much, Louise! I am honored and have only waited a week to post because I just passed along the "Lovely Blog" award...didn't want to "toot my own horn" too much! Again, Thanks Louise at The Frugal Teacher. Teachers, check out her blog!  I have chosen some spectacular blogs that most of you may be familiar with but felt as though they should definitely be sporting some "My Blog is Rated a Top 10" they are definitely 10's!! They are as follows:

Terri's Teaching Treasures

Hunger Games Lessons by Tracee Orman

Jennifer Runde of Runde's Room

Sally's Elementary Matters

Mrs. J's 5th Grade Chalk Talk

A Middle School Survival Guide

The Polka Dot Owl

Leanne Baur's Teaching Tales

Lorraine Vasquez's Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies

A Modern Teacher

Please Stop by TBA's Blog for Award Details and Grab Your Award to Post on Your Blog!
Have a great Friday and Weekend!! Happy St. Patrick's Day (early...)--Wear you green!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Springing Forward with Giveaways!!!

Thanks to All Participants--I've reached my intended a fairly short amount of time! Thanks to all!
Attention Loyal Followers and Future Loyal Followers....
I'm currently at 222 votes in my TpT Store and at 189 followers. I've reached 240 Facebook Fans and over 100 Blog Followers! I'd like to see my TpT Store grow to reach the 200+ mark in followers! I've got many new freebies and priced items lined up to load/create/produce, so you'll be benefitting from upcoming freebies to be downloaded if you are followers. If you are not already following my store, please stop by for a visit, download freebies already there, and "FOLLOW" my store. Those that fill out the google doc stating name, email, date you followed my store, and other links in which I can connect with you and network, I'm going to email you several priced items for FREE!! Anyone filling out the google doc will receive the items for FREE! As a thank you to my current followers, this includes you as well. However, knowing you do not remember the date you followed, please put a rough estimate (a week, months, 3 months..etc. ago in which you became a follower! 
I will give away these 5 items: 
Participles and Participial Phrases Printable with Answer Key

Making Inferences: Two Charts for Creating Inferences While Reading!

Appositives and Appositive Phrases PPT Lesson with Practice

Create a Story Elements Poster: Rubric, Plan, Samples, Guidelines

Compose Songs from Text: Reading Project Printables & Rubric

I will be emailing my fantastic followers of my TpT Store the 5 items (close to $10.00 in items) once I've reached 200 Followers there... If by chance I reach more than that when I sit down to do it, I'll be sending these items to everyone on the google doc---SO be SURE to fill it out and DOUBLE CHECK your email address! I cannot be responsible for incorrectly submitted email addresses!! I hope, if you've been a follower, you'll go ahead and fill out the entry below before I reach 200 followers....otherwise, you will miss out on the free items!
You may click on my Signature Below for a LINK to my TPT Store or the TpT Store Icon in top right sidebar of my blog!! 
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MY FOLLOWERS ALREADY and YOU GUYS THAT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY of 5 Priced Items from my Store!!  I'm on Spring Break, so "HAPPY SPRING BREAK" and Cheers to a Springing Forward to a smooth, fast, and successful 4th Quarter of the school year!! 

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