Monday, December 29, 2014

Half Way There Sale!

My holiday has been filled with food, family, and working on a new interactive notebook. These babies really take a lot of time to churn out, so be patient with me.

My father -in-law, who is a great guy, has been diagnosed with lymphoma.
He is a Vietnam Vet. My husband took him to the doc this morning for a cat scan, and his (my father-in-law's) facebook comment was, "I got this."

How great is that? Brave...I commend him. Pray for his well-being.

The good news is--my Industrialization and Imperialism Interactive Notebook will be ready in time for the big sale on the 31st and the 1st. And at 20% off! All of my products will be on sale both days, right along with other fantastic secondary teacher's products:

Check It Out!
Here's a sample from my latest interactive notebook:

See it Here!

Working on this one (and all of them) has been a long journey. They are time consuming, but completely worth it. My students' morale has increased right along with their scores. Seriously, their scores were great this year, and I had parents tell me that they plan to keep these notebooks for good. Ah, don't we all keep a memory box? There's something about being able to say, "Flip to page such and such," and there it is in a history class, right until the end.

Now, if I can just get through Unit 12....

Speaking of the sale (from Dec. 31-Jan 1), I'm, not the only one involved. There are other fantastic teachers with amazing products. Here are a couple of free samples below:

Here's a great freebie from Created By Mr Hughes, perfect for thinking about those New Years Resolutions!:

Check This Out!
Here's another fantastic new year's freebie from Addie Williams, ideal for helping your students to set their goals for 2015:

Perfect for the New Year!!
Here's a wonderful writing activity from Tracee Orman, complete with graphics and a foldable, that also encourages students to consider their goals for 2015:

Here it is!

For all of you social studies teachers out there, here's a graphic organizer from Michele Luck's Social Studies that I know I'll be using in my own classroom:

Find it Here!
Here's a research project from Juggling ELA over Greek Mythology, perfect for English or social studies:

Get it Here!

And, finally, if you're tired of boring writing from students, here's a freebie from Connie that teaches them to show instead of tell with their writing:

Click Here!

Enjoy the new year's freebies, and be sure to check out the upcoming sale on the 31st and the 1st! 

Let me know how your holidays are going in the comments below. And be sure to check back next week for more freebies and ideas!

Until then,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Break...What?

Yes, it is confusing...the holiday break. I, once again, awoke on the first morning of the break to the scratchy-throat-ed awareness that I was sick.

I have a mile-long to do list each holiday, and each holiday, I get sick. I wallow on the couch, occasionally trying to get something done, but eventually succumbing to sleep. My son dances around me, asking if he can please have a coke or play "Grand Theft Auto."

That's the point when I lift my heavy head off the couch, croak a bleary "No!" and go back to sleep. I always awaken to him wasting his holiday away on Mincraft and cartoons.

Why does this happen every year? I don't know, but I've spoken to many other teachers who often endure the same fate. Someone once told me, "We hold it together, and then we collapse."


Teaching is a great, family-friendly profession that allows for great hours and a LOT of time off.

But the time off is spent recuperating from and preparing for the whirlwind race that is the school year.

So here's to the holidays and making a teacher's life easier. Free stuff for your classroom below. Try not to write any lessons for the next week, and happy holidays!

From me, here's a free (for a limited time) lesson on analyzing primary sources. There are activities, a PowerPoint, and cloze notes.

Click Here!
Here are a set of free reading task cards from Jessica Tobin:

Click Here!
Here is a wonderful free Shakespeare Scavenger Hunt from Juggling ELA:

Click Here!
Or try this free clip art, perfect for Presidents' Day from Charlotte's Clips:

Click Here!

Enjoy, and let me know how your holiday is going in the comments below!

Stay tuned next week for my latest world history interactive notebook reveal and yet more fantastic freebies.

Until then,

Monday, December 15, 2014

Collaborative Testing and New Year's Freebies

This is how we usually test in my classroom:

We break out the dividers, and close ourselves off. Talking is a cardinal sin, and we look down, down, down. That's how testing should be, right? Well...yes. Most of the time.

But last week, we tried something new. Collaborative testing.

Notice, the dividers are stacked against the wall, and interactive notebooks are out. This is not a strategy I would use often, but I will use it occasionally. Here's why:

1. The students were focused.
2. They discussed questions.
3. They searched for answers.
4. In several cases, they chose not to answer as their partner did, but they explained why.

In short, they considered and discussed each response.

It was astounding to watch. I believe using it too often would cause the strategy to lose its effectiveness. Plus, a test definitely has value as an individual assessment.

But used sparingly, it encourages collaboration and debate.

The activity I'm having them do in the new year is the opposite--it encourages reflection and introspection. Students compare historical New Year's Resolutions to current ones and use foldables to create a booklet of their own.

You can get it for free here:

Get it Here!

It's also featured in the Arts and Humanities Teachers Pay Teachers Winter Holiday Ebook. This book is full of tips and free gifts from fabulous teacher-authors. It's a gem, and there's one for every grade level. Thanks a million to Julie Faulkner for taking the time to put this one together:

Get it Here!
Speaking of fabulous teacher-authors, check out my fantastic free finds for this week:

On the management end of the spectrum, this lesson plan template from Michele Luck’s Social Studies is perfect for planning a whole unit:

Get it Here!
This high school freebie is an amazing deal from Jamie Edwards—Write On! It includes a PowerPoint, worksheets, and common core aligned lesson plans on teaching the writing process:

Get it Here!
And for teaching a difficult concept to the younger students or struggling readers, you can't beat this Inference Carousel Activity from The Teacher Treasury, complete with pictures, captions, and worksheets:
Get it Here!

Have you ever given collaborative tests? Leave a comment below, and let me know!

Enjoy your much-deserved winter break, and check back in next Monday for more teaching tips and freebies.

Until then!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Who Doesn't Love Scrap-booking?

Especially when it's about crime. Oh yes, all about crime. In my sociology class this past week, we cut out articles from the newspaper, explained what type of crimes they exemplified, and analyzed them under the umbrella of specific sociological theories.

It was engaging for the students, plus it re-enforced the information we needed to learn in our Deviance and Conformity Unit.

We followed the activity up by assigning punishments to the crimes based on Georgia's Crime and Punishment Code. The students read the suggested maximum punishment according to Georgia Law, and then explained the punishment they would dole out for each crime and why.

After that, we watched Frontline's "Solitary Nation," about the effects of solitary confinement in prison. The students answered questions on a film guide and considered alternatives to solitary confinement.

Overall, it was an engaging and relevant activity, and you can get all of the worksheets and links here:

Get it Here!
Two weeks 'til the holidays and working to keep it relevant! What are you doing to keep your students engaged so close to the finish line? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Here are my fabulous free finds for this week:

Astoundingly amazing clip art and borders from RebeccaB Designs:
Get This Freebie Here!
Homework passes any student will covet from Queen of the Jungle:
Get This Freebie Here!
And finally, a Non-Fiction Worksheet appropriate for nearly any grade and any subject from Ruth S:
Get This Freebie Here!
Have a quick and productive countdown to the break!

Check in next week for more fabulous freebies plus a bonus holiday activity from me.

Until then,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers

If you've never checked out, you really should. It's a site that has teaching materials for every subject imaginable...and the best part? All of the products are created by teachers for teachers.

Check out my Sales!

I was strolling through Barnes and Noble tonight, sipping a latte and thumbing through education books, and there's some really good stuff out there. But I couldn't help thinking about a lot of it, "Who actually uses this stuff?" Or, "There's no way that would work in my classroom."

I don't feel that way on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have purchased or downloaded many products on the site that I have printed off and used in my classroom with little or no prep.

Since teachers create the materials, they have generally used them in their own classrooms--in the trenches. The products are practical and creative and not just some publishing corporation's idea of what should work.

Today and tomorrow, the site is having a sale--most teacher-authors are discounting their products by 20%, and the site offers an additional 8% off if you enter the promo code TPTCYBER. So it's a great time to check out stores on the site if you're looking to spruce up your routine or just save time. It's hard to beat 28% off!

My latest Interactive Notebook can be found there, along with all my other World History Interactive Notebooks.

Check out my latest!

I also have freebies, English products, world history products, sociology products, and seasonal products with a lot more coming soon.

There are some amazing stores and products on TPT--literally something for everyone. Here are a couple of fantastic freebies you might want to try that I've found in other teacher's stores:

TPT is a great place to find content--
Here's a helpful activity from Different Drummer Secondary English Resources that is common core aligned and great if you're teaching social studies or English:

Find it Here!
Or creative clip art--
Here's a beautiful freebie from Utah Roots to spruce up your handouts:

Find it Here!
Or helpful classroom management tools--
Here's a practical parent contact log from Kacie Travis:

Find it Here!
You will find what you're looking for on TPT. And there's still one more day to save 28%.

Where have you found the most useful teaching resources for your classroom? Leave a comment below, and let me know.

Come back next Monday when I discuss crime scrapbooks in sociology.

Until then!