Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wise Guys Two Stars and A Wish for Back to School 2014!

We are excited to be a part of the Two Stars and a Wish Blog hop to begin the 2014-2015 school year. The beginning of the year is always filled with excitement and anticipation. We aim to help you by giving you two great star ideas and one big wish for our students this school year. Enjoy!

Our first star idea is to instill a love of reading in each child that steps through your classroom door. You may think this is impossible, but it isn't. On that first day of school, have your students write down their hobbies, what they like to do for fun, favorite TV shows/movies, and favorite books/genres. From that list, you can start to build, or add to, your classroom library. Just this past year, I had a few students who were behavior issues right from the start. But I sat down with each of them and found out their interests and preferences in books (wrestling, World War II, graphic novels). I made it a goal to use some of my Scholastic bonus points and even some of my own money to add books with these topics in my library. You should've seen the looks on their faces when these books arrived! They now knew two things about this classroom. #1 The teacher cares about them. #2 They have something to read during the school day! Just taking a little extra time in the beginning of the year can go a long way toward a successful school year!
Our second star idea is how to create active engagement in your students from the start. We have an amazing FREE resource that that includes 16 great ideas for you to use in your classroom to help maintain your students attention. You can download this free resource by clicking here or on on the picture below.
And our wish for the 2014-2015 school year is to help prepare our students for the Common Core State Standards Exam. In order to do this, we know that students will have to cite evidence from informational text when answering questions. We have created a resource titled Citing Evidence: A Kid Friendly Guide to CCSS Test Prep. This resource takes the students through the process of discovering what citing evidence means, how to use clues from the text, provides them with some sample texts to practice, and even gives an assignment at the end that you can assess. It also includes small cards to cut out that offer reminders for students when responding to questions that require them to cite evidence. You can download it by clicking here or on the picture below.
If you have enjoyed these bright ideas, please consider following our TPT store, and our pages on facebook, and pinterest!

For more star ideas, from more than 40 different bloggers please browse through the link up below and choose a topic that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

FREE Back To School Checklist for Grades 3-5

It is that time of year! Teachers are scrambling to get their rooms ready before the students arrive! We have developed a free checklist for you to use. This checklist has been developed after years and years of teaching. We have included the list in Microsoft Word as well so you can customize it and make it your own. Make this year a time when you are organized and ready for the students that first day of school!

You can access the FREE checklist by clicking here. Have a great school year!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Author's Purpose Anchor Chart: It's as Easy as Pie!

Teaching about author's purpose helps your students learn why the author wrote the story or article. Teaching author's purpose to your students is a great way to discuss the different varieties of text out there.

Below is an anchor chart that I display in my classroom when teaching the students about the author's purpose. It is so important to have a visual that students can see right in front of them.

A great way to remember the three different types of author's purpose is to remember the acronym "PIE."
P - to persuade (to convince the reader to believe a certain way)
I - to inform (to give information to the reader about a topic)
E - to entertain (to hold the reader's attention with enjoyment)

Please feel free to use the image from this blog post in your classroom if you teach author's purpose to your students!

If you would like to see an interactive PowerPoint about Author's Purpose that will get your students excited about learning in your classroom you can click here too.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Text Features Tips and Tactics for Success!

Informational Text is a huge part of the Common Core State Standards. In order for your students to understand informational text, especially textbooks, they need to know to learn about text features and how they are used.

Below is an anchor chart that I display in my classroom when teaching the students about text features. It is so important to have a visual that students can see right in front of them.

A great resource to use when teaching text features is a magazine such as Scholastic News or Time for Kids. Both magazines contain most, if not all, of these text features. They are also loaded with great informational text as well.

Please feel free to use the image from this blog post in your classroom if you teach text features to your students!

If you would like to see an interactive PowerPoint about Text Features that will get your students excited about learning in your classroom you can click here too.

What Happens in Vegas, Isn't Gonna Stay in Vegas!

What Happens in Vegas...

All I can say is, WOW! I just arrived home from Las Vegas!

What happens when you get over 600 teachers in one room together? One word can describe it for me: MAGIC!

I attended the 2014 TPT (teacherspayteachers) Conference and I have to say it was the best educational conference I ever attended by far! So many amazing people really showed me what has been missing in our Wise Guys marketing plan for the past four years.

When Eric and I started our Wise Guys store back in November of 2009 we were looking for a way to earn a little extra money for golf, during the summer. As months passed, and earnings increased, we realized that this was more than just a part-time job to earn money for our favorite hobby. We knew that TPT was something special. It was allowing us to become more creative in our teaching and to be able to share that with educators across the nation and the world! We were becoming Super Sellers! (I love that Team TPT included some males in the image below, courtesy of the TPT Keynote Address).
As Eric and I continued to create resources, we were finding that our passion for teaching was exploding as well. We sought out new and innovative ways to reach ALL of our students regardless of ability. We were having fun thinking of new teaching methods and activities that would spark a love of learning in our students.

So for the past five years we have been doing just that. But there was something missing from us. Yes, we have dabbled in blogging, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. But in reality, we had no clue how to use these amazing marketing tools to help grow our business even more. I am the first to admit it, we were terrible at this!

As we got leapfrogged in the top 10 list, we realized it was time to think about how to network and connect with other sellers and our customers. After all, we believed that we have some amazing resources that could benefit so many more students if we just knew the right way to do it.

Facebook has been a great place to connect with other sellers. Back in 2010 I created a facebook group titled "How to Increase Sales in TPT." Many of today's top sellers were (and maybe still are) members of this group. The problem was, I did not have the skills or knowledge of how to do it myself so I sought out other sellers. But, I did not learn from them like I should. Instead this group kind of split and fractured off into other groups and many became Super Sellers.  :-) 

The picture below shows a few of those members as I was able to connect with them in Vegas. Amy from Science Stuff, myself, Rachelle Smith, Deanna Jump, Kristen from Secondary Solutions, and Tracey from Smart Chick. We, unfortunately greatly missed Margaret Whisnant, Jason of PowerPoint Maniac, and Tracee Orman too for this meet up. This group has been like a second family to me over the past several years.

The number one takeaway from the TPT Conference was collaboration and networking. I learned so much in each session I went to. I wish the conference would've been at least two days.
So as another school year approaches, our #1 goal is to network with other sellers, and to work even harder at creating meaningful and relevant resources for teachers to use across the United States and world.

Next year, both of the Wise Guys plan on attending Las Vegas. I only got to meet a small handful of people this year, and that is my biggest regret. Both Eric and I want to connect with more of you!

We are both continually amazed at the tenacity, energy, and drive that the sellers of the TPT community has. It is that determination and spirit that will help us reach new levels this year.

I want to personally thank Paul, the founder of TPT. Without his vision and his passion, this unbelievable site never would have been created, and the thousands of teacherprenuers never would have surfaced. It has changed our lives forever!

I also want to thank all of the TPT sellers that I met at the conference who made me feel welcome and part of something special! There are too many to list, but you know who you are!

The countdown is on for next year! I am already super excited to attend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Morning Routine Activities: Getting Your Students Energized for Learning

Do your students struggle with that time in the morning when you are taking attendance, listening to students' stories, and getting them ready for the day? If so, this 10 slide Power Point is just the thing for you!

We have created this resource so each day of the week there is a relevant task the students have to do. Here are the daily choices: Monday Memories (journal writing), Trivia Tuesday, Wednesday's Words (famous quotes), Thinking Thursday (logic puzzles), and Fact Friday (math fact practice). The great thing about this resource is that there is room to add on once you collect trivia, quotes, and logic puzzles. You could add a slide right to the Power Point that you could use for the following year!

We have found that our students look forward to these each morning and love the routine that so many students need to start their morning! Click here to find this amazing resource now!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Text Features Anchor Chart and Interactive Reading Strategy Power Points for Classroom Use

Here is our eigth installment of using effective anchor charts and interactive Power Points for teaching reading skills to your students. Enjoy!

The focus of the above anchor chart and the two Power Points are for students to understand what text features are, how they are used in informational text, and how the reader can use them to help understand the text.

Our Power Points are all interactive, which means that your students are actively involved in the learning process! No more boring books that students don't connect too!

Learning can be fun, so go ahead and try out our interactive PowerPoint to teach this important reading skill! Reading can take you anywhere! Click here to find it now!