Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two for Tuesday: Week 3

And the deals continue! For those who are new to this linky, every Tuesday bloggers choose two items in their store to put up for 50% off regular price FOR THAT DAY ONLY! This is a great chance to score some amazing products, so I would recommend clicking on the picture above to see who else is participating. Of course, that is, after you finish seeing what I have to offer. :-)

Happy Happy Happy Literacy Centers - Comprehension and Wor

These Duck Dynasty themed centers were a BIG hit with my students last year, and I love that you can use them any time of the year. Centers are geared toward students in grades 3-5 and include Fact & Opinion, Cause & Effect, Main Idea, Context Clues, Guide Words, Suffixes, Synonyms, and Antonyms. Today you can get the pack for only $3!

Synonym and Antonym Centers All Year Long

This Synonyms and Antonyms pack actually has TWENTY-FOUR different stations (12 centers for each), making it my largest pack so far! Today you can purchase it all for $5!

As always, happy shopping! And don't forget to come back tomorrow for week 6 of my book study on Bringing Words to Life.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made-It: Citronella Candles

Three weeks in a row with something to share for my Monday Made-It! I'm so proud of myself! And this week, I actually have something crafty that I made. Shocker. I know.

Wednesday evening was my very first Pinterest party, and we made Citronella candles! I wanted to do something that would be useful for the summer but was still pretty and fun. I found this pin here that had SIMPLE and easy to follow instructions. Sold!

Mosquitoes are out again! Make some  homemade citronella candles. The natural way. Very Easy ! Via Freepeople. com

Then I gathered my supplies. A.C. Moore has great coupons every week in the Sunday paper, so I gathered them to get my wax (I bought the 4 lb brick after learning that a lot of people weren't able to come. That was enough to fill 5, maybe 6, mason jars) and candle wicks. I recommend getting the big ones! We already had mason jars and a hot glue gun. Then I cheated and bought citronella fuel instead of the oil because it's (a) cheaper and (b) easier to find. We were sweating it whether that was actually a good idea or not. So far, no explosions!

The funniest part was trying to break apart the stupid block of wax! We tried with a knife first and finally found success after pulling out Steven's tools. We ended up using a flathead screwdriver and a hammer. That worked just fine! If you don't want that extra frustration, I would recommend buying the wax flakes. They only came in 1 lb bags at the store, though. After that, you just melt the wax, take it OFF the stove before adding a very small amount of citronella, then pour it in your containers (where you've already glued the wick in place) and let it cool!

We also added little burlap koozies because I had extra burlap from a made-it I did back in May and still need to share about (maybe next week). My only negative about these candles is that they sunk in a lot in the middle. I'm not sure how to prevent that. It may be because we used fuel instead of oil, and that changed the consistency. I don't know.

And finally, proof that I have in fact tried out the candle and seen with my own eyes that it won't explode. We also didn't get eaten alive, and I felt like we didn't have as many bugs (just flies). That may be just because of the time of day (jury is still out on weather it does prevent them or not), but we at least had a pretty candle!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday - July 18


This has been a busy week, but we've had a lot of fun!

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I've been wanting S'mores all summer, but we had to get rid of our firepit after it rusted. So when we got together with some friends last weekend, we brought all the supplies to do it at their house. Someone else is a fan, too!

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We spend a lot of time with Steven's family, but this week we had a surprise visit from his brother and kids who live in TN! They called Monday saying that they would be here the next day. Keagan LOVED having all of his cousins around to hang out. I thought this picture of the boys was too cute not to catch.

I had to pry him away last night, and I know he's going to be bored with just us today. Hopefully we'll have a chance to go visit them before school starts back!

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Wednesday was the big VA Blogger meet-up, and I had SO much fun! There were more bloggers than I expected, and I was only able to introduce myself to some of them. I also was terrible about taking pictures, so almost all of these are stolen from Mrs. Stamp (Thanks, Karen!) who, by the way, is SUPER sweet! Everyone I talked to was, and I could have spent a good week getting to know them better. Some of the girls I learned lived pretty close, so we may be getting together again soon. Plus we decided another VA Blogger meet-up was in order much sooner than last time!

Since 4 of the Adventures in Literacy Land ladies are VA bloggers, we had to get our token picture together (Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars, Jessica from Hanging out in First, and Carla from Comprehension Connection). We also did a gift exchange, and I scored this awesome basket from Rachel at Mrs. O "Knows" - such a sweetie! We're hoping to get together very soon since she lives pretty close!

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I felt bad because I was basically gone all day Wednesday between the meet-up and a Pinterest party that I'll share more about later. But my sweet little boy greeted me with this picture and said, "I colored mommy!" That morning before I left, he told me I looked like a princess. Boys are too sweet!

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Yesterday we spent the day at the pool! My little fish wore his daddy out. He stayed in the pool for hours, and he's even starting to doggie paddle on his own!

I did get in this time and actually swim, but I spent more time outside of the pool with this little guy! He's 1 month old now, and he's just too cute!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bringing Words to Life: Chapter 5

While you're reading this, I'm at my first big blogger meet-up!! Vegas may have been too much for this year, but I am so excited to be meeting a bunch of amazing VA bloggers today! Nikki from Teaching in Progress put it all together, and I've been anxious for today's arrival for quite some time now. I'll be sure to post pictures later, of course!

Today also marks the halfway point of this book study (and my summer...wah!) as we review Chapter 5 and instruction for the upper grades. This is also where I have to start reading again because this is as far as I got before deciding I MUST do a book study. Good news is that I can write my posts as I read and everything is fresh on my mind!

First thing is that students need to encounter and use the word frequently before they really know it. They recommend introducing about 10 words per week, and there should be AT LEAST 10 different meaningful interactions with each word by the end of the week. It's also important to make sure that you mix it up. Don't introduce the words in the same order or with the same activity each time. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Within these meaningful interactions, students need to be able to use the word, explore facets of word meaning (expand their understanding of the word so they can apply it to various contexts), and consider relationships among words. One great way to explore facets of word meaning is by providing examples and non-examples for students to label for target words. When introducing relationships between words, show how two target words that seem unrelated can work together. Use them in sentences together and formulate questions for students to ponder and discuss. The more connections we can make, the better our students will understand the word!

Finally, it's important to alter your definition slightly throughout the week. Why? If we give the exact same definition each time, students run the risk of only memorizing the definition and not truly grasping the concept of the word. And remember, our goal is for students to be able to USE these new words, not just define them. We're creating literate individuals, not dictionaries!

Before I go, I wanted to share probably the most common schedule to teaching vocabulary. I also included some examples of activities for each section. The book actually breaks it down and shares examples of specific wording for student-friendly definitions at each level (upper elementary, middle, high school), so if you're unsure, I would recommend checking that out for more clarification.

Next week's chapter is all about assessing and maintaining vocabulary, so be sure to come back and read all about it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two for Tuesday

I don't know if Two for Tuesday will be back this week or not (last week was supposed to be the end), but I am so bummed to have missed the first 5 weeks that I decided to go ahead and do it even if I'm all alone!

»»»»UPDATE: It's still on!!!!

So, for TODAY ONLY you can purchase these two products for 50% off the regular price! Tomorrow, they will be back at full price, so hurry and tell your friends!

Back to School Literacy Centers - Comprehension and Word K

This is one of my newest sets of literacy centers which includes 4 comprehension centers and 4 word knowledge centers specifically created for students in the upper elementary grades. These regularly sell for $6, but today you can score it for $3!

Fact and Opinion Centers All Year Long

And since my brand new packs for Main Idea and Cause & Effect did so well last week, I decided to offer my new Face & Opinion pack this week! It includes TWELVE themed centers to take you through the entire school year. This pack is usually in my store for $9, so you will have some major savings if you purchase today!

Happy shopping!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It: July 14

I'm still not doing any huge, crafty things over my summer break because we've been busy making friends and memories by spending time with lots of people from our new church. This has been a huge blessing to all three of us! I have a small "made it" for this week, but I will have something a little more in depth to share next week because I'm hosting (and attending) my very first PINTEREST PARTY!! One of my friends told me about these a while back, and I've been wanting to go to one for a while. So I mentioned it to the girls in our community group, and we're finally making it happen! I'm very excited, but you'll hear all about it next week.

This week's made-it has to do with a certain restaurant that is very near and dear to my heart:

No, I never worked there or anything. I just really love their chicken...and those cows! So every year, they have a Cow Appreciation Day where you can dress up and get a free meal. Seriously, you can't beat that!

Keagan and I have participated for 3 years now, although we're still pretty basic on the costumes so far. Next year I'm determined to actually have something a little better. I'm thinking of getting a pillowcase and sewing some felt spots on. Here's Keagan's costume for this year though!

I was going to use white trash bags and paint the spots on, but Steven has students that work at our Chick-fil-a, and he didn't want to look too tacky. So I just cut out a few quick spots and pinned them to Keagan's shirt. He wasn't a huge fan of that and kept asking me to take them off, but he held out longer than I expected. It helps that he understood it meant he got yummy chicken nuggets!

I also had to look back and dig up the pictures from our previous two years. I can't believe how much he's grown! Last year, he had just started saying "Moo!" when he recognized a cow. This year, he can tell you exactly what the cow is doing and more!


What have you been making?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Five for Friday 7/11


Wow! I feel like the weeks are starting to fly by, and I don't want that! On the flip side, we've been making the most of our summer and have done quite a lot this week.


We had a very fun 4th, beginning the day with a little trip up to a nearby train town for their quirky walking parade. We went last year and had a blast, but it wasn't quite as good this year. Still, Keagan was thrilled to see 5 trains pass through!

Later we went swimming, and someone's becoming fearless around the water. Uh oh!


Last Saturday, we made a trip down to Williamsburg. Keagan was thrilled to see the horses. Steven and I remembered why locals hate summertime down there. TOURISTS. EVERYWHERE. Traffic was terrible, and it was so busy. Still, Colonial Williamsburg was nice to walk around once we got there.


During the weekdays, we've been filling up our time with play dates. I'm loving being able to get together with some of the moms from our new church and start to build relationships. And Keagan is loving having other kids to play with during the week.


This week is all about the deals! Tuesday was IHOP's 56th anniversary, so we met up with a group of about 24 others from our church (including kids) and all got short stacks for $.56!

But today is the deal I've been waiting for...Cow Appreciation Day!!

Keagan and I have done this one for the past two years, and of course we're going again today! I think we finally got the trick of the easiest, best cow costume!


And finally, Cassie from Funky in Fourth is celebrating her 100 follower giveaway with some amazing prizes! Her blog is precious, so please go check it out and send her some love!

Okay, time to make some cow costumes! Maybe I'll even share the pictures later!