Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm linking up with Michele from Making It as a Middle School Teacher for her fabulous linky.  She is asking us to plan ahead for 2013!

Here is my Year in Preview...can't wait to read about yours!


Saturday, December 29, 2012


I have just uploaded a FREEBIE to my TPT and Teacher's Notebook store's called Vocabulary Master. After seeing the pin on Marzano's 6 things students must do to learn vocabulary I put his ideas in to a vocabulary organizer that I could use in my classroom to make sure that I'm doing all parts to ensure the most learning is taking place.  What are you waiting for go check it out!  Click below...

Please leave feedback and let me know what you think!!  Thanks!

Dana :)

Friday, December 28, 2012


I am linking up with "Teaching Maddeness" on their Resolution-Solution Linky Party. I too am hoping that by recording my resolutions I will hold myself more accountable.
Teaching Maddeness
1. Get teammates and I decided to do Zumba together after school 2 days a week...luckily one of my lovely teammates is a Zumba instructor so she leads us. I would love to say I have run 5 miles without some of you this may seem like a small feat, but I will tell you if you know me I only run when something is chasing me so this would be huge!! 

2. Get more organized at my house...declutter (is that a word?) and keep up with our  laundry would be an awesome place to begin! I have my laundry under control at the moment and believe me I'm very proud!! HA! I would love to hear all of your resolutions! Please share and please hold me accountable!! 

 Dana :)

Celebrate the New Year with a SALE!

Come on over and checkout my Teacher's Notebook store 
I'm having a sale!  

EVERYTHING is 10% off through the New Year! 

Come and get my NEW writing pack aligned with Common Core or my Triple Technology Pack and implement more technology with student in the new year!  

Click the link below to head on over and check it out!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I need well okay would love this pencil sharpener!!  It seems it is mentioned on every blog that I read!!  Wouldn't it be a great way to begin the new year!   Fingers crossed I win!

Just click on the pic to go check it out for yourself!!

Goodnight blog world!

Dana :)

2012 Blog Best and Brightest

With the year coming to an end I couldn't wait to join "Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge" linky party.

Well to begin I have been very blessed in 2012!  I can't complain a bit!  YAY!  Looking back on the year I have made a couple of huge plunges that I didn't see coming along with a couple of humbling events.  

To begin "Your" favorite post was "Have you ever used Glogster?".  To read click here.   I'm new to the blogging community so all of my post have a few views, but I was ecstatic to see that this one has over 30 views and tops my list!!  The one thing I'm most curious about is an answer to my posed question, but I still don't have many comments there yet!  

My favorite post is "Kids Making Movies" because it was such a hit in my classroom.  How cool is it to get to produce your own movie trailer for a book you have read!  Students gleamed when sharing and were so motivated in creation of the videos I will keep this lesson and activity in my plans for years to come.  

An accomplishment I'm humbly proud of is my entering into the blogging world, Teachers Pay Teachers, and Teacher's Notebook all in ONE year!  I have learned so much from so many people!!  It has been so humbling that you all would even want my original creations and I can't thank you enough for your support! 

Fellow bloggers that I adore from the year are "I teach what's your SUPERPOWER".  At first I fell in love with the name, then I realized how much I admire what she shares and her many wonderful ideas.  Next is "Teaching in Room 6" I love the many ideas she shares and love reading her post!

Can't wait to read your Best and Brightest moments from 2012!!  Please share!

Dana :)


How well do your students write?  What is your favorite writing lesson to teach?  How do you get through to those unmotivated writers?  I ponder each of these on occasion. 
 I have been through portfolio madness, grammar push, and now ELA common core is staring down at me.  I often found that with my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders a blank lined sheet of paper was either their best friend of their worst enemy!  
Where did they start, what made their writing good, who has that much to say, were all questions that I received when beginning paragraph writing with a blank slate.

 I decided that if I could have them organize their writing using a graphic I could steer some students clear of hating writing.  I selected webs because it was an organizer they were already familiar with and it fit well with having a topic sentence and supporting details.  
My students latched on right away.  It was easy for them because they didn't feel intimidated by the blank lines they had to fill or worry that their writing wasn't good enough.  
Here is a picture of the beginning web...

The students begin with the basic brainstorming web, but then I carry the webs through to writing paragraphs.  I had students who were writing complete 5 paragraph essays and friendly letters in no time.

I have had so many people come and ask me how I teach paragraph writing so I decided that maybe this set of lessons was something you too could adjust and use in your classroom.  If you are interested just click here or on the link is for sale with a freebie in my Teacher's Notebook Store.  I too would love to give it away to the first two people who can share with me why they would like to have it for their classroom!  Please leave me a way to contact you!.

Thanks for your support!! 

Dana  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today was such a special day at school!  Of course with it being the LAST day before break everything was hunky dory (do you all use that word?).  
Anyway today was the day that my kids got to exchange their boxes of hope. 
 I give complete credit to author Laura Candler for this activity,
but I absolutely love doing it with my students!  
You can find the link HERE!  

This project is supposed to help students understand the value of a gift
 is not always about the money spent, but more about a gift coming from the heart. 
 My students looked forward to it with much anticipation.  When 1:00 came 
I had all the students to get in a circle and we exchanged gifts one by one.  
All waiting for the last to be exchanged before opening them.  All the students had
 such a twinkle in their eye.  They all tore into their gifts with such excitement all for
 the cost of nothing, but a little hope!  This is the 2nd year that 
I have done this and I believe this year was
 even more special than last!

What do you do for your students?

Dana :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

there are no words...

Not knowing what to say or if I should say anything is weighing heavy on my heart.  I have been praying and praying and praying again for the poor souls who lost their lives in CT.  It is such a terrible, unthinkable tragedy that I can't even wrap my head around it.  I do know that there are many teachers, parents, children, etc. across the country who feel this way also.  I couldn't sleep last night for dreaming about the situation and how I was going to address my students in the morning.  What was the best way, how could I control my crying, how could I address them?

It was difficult and heartbreaking to even think about, but we trudged through.  The kids went on with their day and I tried to teach and maintain routine as much as possible.  What I realized throughout the day and reflecting on it is the strength that we as teachers, principals, assistants, etc. have for our children.  I don't know about you, but I also realize I would have done anything in my power to keep my students safe!  The job of a teacher is not a job it is a way of life.  I love my students and hope that I am never faced with the situation that occurred in CT, but I only pray that I have the heroic strength that they all showed that dreadful day!


Monday, December 10, 2012

12 in 12

It is coming...12/12/12!  How cool is that!  I'm linking up with Little Miss Kindergarten and A Tiny Tiny Teacher to bring you my 12 in 12!  

 All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2012 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!? You can use these prompts if you'd like, or just type up your 12 favorite things! 

Here we go!

12. Favorite movie you watched:  I don't get many movies in, but my favorite would have to be Breaking Dawn.  I'm a huge Twilight all the books!  
11. Favorite TV series:  This is a tie between Mike and Molly and Grey's Anatomy.  I love my Mike and Molly for the laughs and of course she is a teacher.  I love my Grey's because of the suspense, drama, and the Mcsteamy doctors of course!
10. Favorite restaurant:  Chili's...I know it's odd, but it is a fav!
9. Favorite new thing you tried:  Blogging of course
8. Favorite gift you got: A much needed date weekend my parents for watching the little one!
7. Favorite thing you pinned:  Soooo many things to choose from, but here is my personal favorite
6. Favorite blog post:  I'm new to blogging, but I would have to say my favorite post to write was

I loved this post because I was very pumped to share how excited my students were when we got to make movies.  It was a win-win situation!  
5. Best accomplishment:  The opening of my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my Teacher's Notebook Store.  I never really had thought that I had items that people may be willing to buy that I had created.  I haven't sold a ton, but I'm so humbled and ecstatic that people are buying and liking my materials.  It makes my whole day when I receive an e-mail saying I've sold something!  Love it! 
4. Favorite picture:
I know this picture is my blog button, but it is one of my favorites from 2012 because I actually took this picture (and the aspiring photographer in me was cheering) at the zoo this summer.  I thought it was odd that the giraffe spread his legs so that he could easily reach the water.  It was a sight to see!

3. Favorite memory:  My favorite memory was probably the summer days spent with in the sun enjoying life!
2. Goal for 2013: I would like to become more fit and active
1. One Little Word: Healthy...I want this to be my motto in 2013

Go ahead join in on the party!  It is fun to reflect!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I can't believe it is Christmas time already, but just to get into the spirit I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade and her Currently linky party.

Here is what I'm up to...

Looking forward to what you are currently up to!!  :)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Liebster Award YAY!

I was so excited when I checked my e-mail and realized I had been nominated for the Liebster Award!  Thank you so much Erin from "Little Miss Primary".

Okay, here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. You must answer the questions that the nominator set for you. 
3. You must create 11 new questions for the people you nominate.
4. You must choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post. 
5. No tag backs to the blog that nominated you, but do leave a comment on their post with the URL of your Liebster post.

First a few random things about me...
  1. Huge Big Bang Theory Fan
  2. grew up on a 300 acre farm
  3. huge ketchup goes with almost anything
  4. hate grocery shopping
  5. pinterest addict
  6. hate to cook...I seriously screw up everything I try to cook
  7. obsession with purses
  8. had lasik surgery (I'm now 20-20)
  9. huge tech nerd
  10. am currently addicted to Duck Dynasty
  11. had 14 roommates in college (not at one time)
Now on to the questions...

1. What was your favorite childhood TV show?  I would probably have to say Full House
2. Does your name mean something special? If so, what?  Unfortunately not  :(
3. What is your favorite lunch to bring to school?  A deli wrap with pringles
4. What colors are your classroom?  teal and black...I have a zebra/safari decor
5. Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring?   Summer
6. What is your favorite type of exercise?   I wish I liked to exercise....but if I had to pick I would say playing softball
7. What are you hopeful for?  I'm hopeful for a library media job one day
8. Glue bottle or glue stick?  stick
9. What is one of your greatest strengths (it's okay to brag! :))?  Probably including technology in the classroom...that is my greatest passion I'm not sure if that makes it a strength.
10. Morning person or night?  NIGHT
11. What is your favorite day of the whole entire year? Why?  Christmas Eve...I love the lights and the suspense well and the Christmas movies!

Here are the 11 blogs that I would love for you to check out!

Here are my questions for you...

  1. National or International traveler?
  2. main course or dessert?
  3. What is the best compliment you've gotten from a student or parent?
  4. What is your favorite technology to use in the classroom?
  5. ocean or river?
  6. Apple or PC?
  7. What is your favorite first day of school activity?
  8. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
  9. If you could travel anywhere where would you go?
  10. Favorite quote?
  11. beach or mountains?

Thanks in advance for sharing!  I can't wait to read a little more about you all!

Dana :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kids making MOVIES

I have a really great 4th grade class this year and I am enjoying trying different types of technology with them!  I have a great passion for anything techy so my students don't hardly have a choice, but to become techy too!  Just to start here are a few of the tech things I've implemented this year thus far

  • Twitter...not so much love
  • Raz-Kids...some love
  • Classdojo...can't live without kinda love
I have tons of things to share about each one, but I thought today I wanted to share with you the fun my students had making MOVIES.  It all started when I wanted to integrate Animoto into my classroom and get the most bang for my buck the only problem is I wasn't sure exactly how.  I. finally. decided.  I created and gave my students a rubric and step by step directions for the site and let the creating begin! Below is a video one of my students made independently for a math project.

The annoying cool thing about Animoto is it only allow you to put so many characters on each page.  My students found this incredibly annoying, but I found it to be the perfect way to get students to be specific and get in the important information only!   You should have seen some of the videos.  For one assignment they had to include vocabulary, character traits with support, setting, etc.  As the students finished we had a movie showing day where they got to present and share their movie with the class.  They were so excited and I had the best audience!  Not only did the movie producers learn more than they ever thought possible, the audience now has a list of books they can't wait to check out!  It was a WIN WIN situation.

(HINT - Animoto has an educator's account that you can sign up for.  You get unlimited videos and must be renewed every 6 months, but it is soooo worth it!!)

If you are interested in letting your students produce their own movie I have my rubric and student directions in my Teacher's Notebook store and TPT store just click below.

I would love to hear how movie making goes in your classroom!!  

Dana  :)

100 followers...I just LOVE giveaways!!

I just love giveaways and "Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up" has the perfect one in my opinion.  She just hit 100 followers and is having an amazing giveaway!  Head on over and take a look!!  I have my eye on the perfect classroom pencil sharpener!

Share the love in the holiday season!!

Love & Laughter