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Summer Stock Up!

26 Jun

Summer is FINALLY here for us WNY teachers! My last day of school was yesterday, and I am beyond ready to relax and recharge. Of course, in between relaxing and recharging, I will be planning and thinking ahead to next year. (Do teachers really ever take a break?!) The summer always goes by fast, so I’ve decided to pull together some resources for a Summer Stock Up event to help us get ready for next year. Stock up now so you can relax and enjoy the last bit of summer! 🙂 Summer Stock Up This past year, I’ve been slowly building-up my fluency toolbox and creating resources that can be used as interventions with my RTI students. I like to dig deep into fluency and really target the specific area of fluency they struggle with. (Pace? Phrasing? Expression? Attention to Punctuation?) With a new year of fluency groups in mind, it is my summer goal to finish my growing collection of differentiated “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards.  Slide03 “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards are geared toward elementary-level students. They’re easy to use and perfect for the classroom! They can be used in many ways and are helpful for introducing, reviewing, practicing, and assessing fluency phrasing with your students.

(Sets 1-8 are ALL currently available on TpT!) 

These task card sets can be sent home for practice, used as a center, incorporated into Daily Five, or used in small groups. Directions and suggestions for use are included with each set. Scoop It Product Details Each “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Card set includes the same components, but just increases in difficulty. You can purchase one set, or you can purchase the whole collection! IMG_7212 There are two formats of task cards within each set. The task cards with scoop lines are perfect for students to practice reading with phrasing, following the scoop lines with their fingers as they read. Scoop It Reading Task Cards The task cards without scoops are helpful for students who need practice with identifying appropriate phrases within a sentence. If you laminate the cards, students can draw in the scoop lines (using dry-erase markers) and can practice grouping the different words together. They can then practice reading the sentences afterward. Scoop It Interactive Cards The 48 task cards in each set each feature a targeted phonics pattern. Set 1 starts off with pre-primer words and basic CVC word patterns. Each set increases in difficulty. By Set 6, your students will be interacting with multi-syllable words and complex vowel patterns. Use multiple task card sets to differentiate your practice and instruction. IMG_7217All of the “Scoop It” task card sets are currently available in my MsJordanReads store. The collection consists of the following sets:

There is also a “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Card Bundle if you’re interested in grabbing all the sets at once and at a discounted price.

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“Scoop It” Freebie & Giveaway

Be sure to stop by my Facebook page this weekend to download a FREE sample of my newest “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards (Set 2). Just look for my “Summer Stock Up” tab to download it. When you’re done, click “More Freebies” to stock up on additional resources from the other participants and see their products in action! Also, as part of this wonderful Summer Stock Up event, I am offering a giveaway for TWO lucky winners! Each winner will receive the completed “Scoop It” sets that are currently available in my store. Enter by completing the form below. I will be randomly choosing the winners Friday, July 3rd and announcing on my Facebook page. The winners will also be notified by email!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! Thank you to everyone who entered. A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Allison Kieffner & Jennifer Lyman for winning my “Scoop It!” Fluency Task Card giveaway! (An email will be sent with the resources!)

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Happy Summer!

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FarFaria App Review

30 Aug

As many of you know, I’m always looking for new literacy resources to help support my struggling readers, especially ones that can I can use with my classroom iPads. A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to try-out a great app for kids – FarFaria. I was not familiar with the app, and I typically don’t do a lot of product reviews, but I was curious to try it out and explore what it had to offer!

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Although FarFaria is designed for children (ages 2-9) with bedtime routines and story time in mind, I would recommend the app as a perfect resource for classrooms too! If you are a teacher with a limited classroom library, or are looking for eBooks to use with your iPads and devices, this app would definitely be for you!

Getting Started

The FarFaria app is a free download from Apple or Google. With the download, you’ll have access to ONE free story a day! I like that the company gives you a chance to explore the stories and experience the app without feeling obligated to buy a subscription. If you are interested, you can buy a subscription which includes unlimited access to all the book collections (over 750 stories!). The best part is they add FIVE new stories each week, so the collection is always growing and changing!

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The app itself is very student-friendly, and it allows students to read independently. This would be perfect for DEAR time or for “Read to Self” during a Daily 5 rotation. If you only have a few iPads in your room, students could take turns using the app during your scheduled literacy blocks. You would need a set of headphones, but the students could sit at their desks (or pretty much anywhere in the classroom) to interact with this app!

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Classroom Perks

I can see many perks for owning this app as a parent. The number one perk would be the unlimited reading opportunities. You could bring your iPad in the car, share a story at bedtime, and provide iPad time during downtime throughout the day. Completing at least 20 minutes of reading every day would be no problem! It’s like having a children’s library in your pocket (well, maybe not your pocket… but maybe your purse or backpack?).

As a teacher, I really enjoy the variety of texts. The FarFaria collection includes quality books that cater to the interests of every child. With eleven categories of books (e.g., fairy tales, animal stories, adventure stories, classics, etc.), the children in your home or classroom will have many different genres and topics to explore.

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Each category includes books at different levels. The levels range from 1 (Pre-Readers) to 4 (Fluent Readers). Your children can pick a “just right” book and read on their own, or they can choose an easier book to read for fluency practice. They can even choose a challenging book and read along with the app! For the classroom, you can have students complete individual “FarFaria Reading Logs” so you can check-in on the levels and genres they’re choosing.

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The “Read to Me” feature is probably my favorite part of FarFaria. From my experience with read along books, I would assume it would be the kids’ favorite feature too. Kids love story time! They love being read to. Similar to RaZ-Kids and the B&N Nook (color) “Read to Me” books, though, I always encourage parents to make sure there’s a balance of using the “Read to Me” feature and having their children read on their own. Listening and following along with a story is great for modeling fluency (and great for bedtime!), but it’s even more powerful if the children listen to the story and then read it on their own after. If the text is to hard to read independently, parents can encourage their children to listen to a story that’s challenging and then pick an easier text to read and practice their fluency. Reading on their own allows kids to practice reading with good pace, phrasing, expression, and attention to punctuation. They can challenge themselves to “read like the iPad” and use it as a model for good fluency!

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Another great feature is that the FarFaria app allows the children to choose stories to read when they don’t have WiFi or internet access. By selecting a story as a “Favorite,” it allows them to access the text offline. This is great for when you’re traveling and you want your child to read in the car or during those in-between times when you don’t have WiFi. Again, I’m not sure how this could work with a whole class using one device and selecting favorites, but it’s great if you only have one child or a small group using it.

FarFaria Resources

Check out the FarFaria blog if you get a chance! Not only do they share new books and app features on the blog, but they also share awesome literacy resources, such as homework tips and literacy games you can play at home. There are many strategies and ideas for encouraging your child to read beyond the app!

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Happy Teaching!

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“Spring Has Sprung” Poetry Blog Hop (Stop #5)

28 Mar

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Spring Has Sprung!

Welcome to Stop #5!

I love spring, and I love poetry, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the “Spring Has Sprung” poetry blog hop! A HUGE thank you to Rebecca Reid, from Line Upon Line Learning (Stop #1), for organizing this fun, blogging opportunity. Really…I can’t think of a better way to kick-off National Poetry Month than with poetry freebies. Can you?!

Poetry Month = Fluency Month

Poetry is the perfect ingredient for building fluency, so one way to celebrate National Poetry Month is by turning “Poetry Month” into “Fluency Month!”

Students love poetry and they love performing, so think about integrating activities that would combine the two with a fluency focus. The Performing Poetry strategy from ReadWriteThink is perfect for this! Each week, you can introduce a new poem for students to practice fluency with. After modeling and going over any new vocabulary, students can practice throughout the week and put on an end-of-the-week poetry performance! The article by ReadWriteThink suggests having a culminating poetry event such as a Poetry Parade, Poetry Day, Poetry Theatre, Poetry Cafe, or even a Poetry Night with parents!

Using iTalk to for Poetry Performing Practice

One way my students practice their poetry performance throughout the week is by recording their poetry reading on the iPads using a voice recording app. Audio recordings are powerful, as it allows students to hear themselves as another person would. I use the iTalk Recorder app which is offered for free through Apple. Students love using this app to record their voices and listen to the recording afterwards. It’s very easy to use… for both teachers and students!

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Students can save their recordings to compare before/after readings, reflect on their fluency, and set appropriate goals. The app also times the students, so it allows them to calculate a words per minute (wpm) rate of reading. Students can try to improve their wpm rate with each practice. (NOTE: You can save the recordings and use them as informal running records, too!)

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If you don’t have iPads in your classroom, consider using Audacity on your classroom desktop computers or laptops. It’s free and easy to use, as well!

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Poetry Theatre

I love the idea of Poetry Theatre as a form of “Poetry Performing.” While many define “poetry theatre” as a general performance of poetry, I have a different definition in my classroom. I’ve developed a series of partner poems that are like Readers Theatre plays, where students have a specific part they play in the poem. Each part is a different perspective (also great for teaching point of view!).  The partner perspective poems I create are have a back-and-forth structure, and students love changing their voices to sound like the two characters. These poems are great for fluency practice because students have to think about character voice and expression, while reading their lines with good pace, phrasing, and attention to punctuation. Just like with any poem-of-the-week, students can perform these in a culminating event to show off their fluency skills!

Are you interested in bringing “Poetry Theatre” or the “Performing Poetry” strategy into your classroom?

Blog Hop Freebie for Performing Poetry!

Scoop up my newest partner poetry packet for FREE below!

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(This poem will go back to being a paid product on 4/2/14)

 This poetry packet also contains comprehension activities to reinforce visualizing, character perspectives, story elements (see picture below), and answering text-based questions. (Supports CCLS!)

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It’s FREE for four days only, so hurry up and download your copy during this great blog hop event! 🙂

MsJordanReads Poetry Giveaway

To celebrate National Poetry Month, I’m giving away a copy of The Complete Partner Poetry Book to THREE lucky winners. This collection of partner perspective poems would be perfect for Performing Poetry. The collection includes 12 partner poems (including my newest poem above!).

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If you have iPads in your classroom, you can open the PDF file with iBooks and the students can read it like an eBook! You’ll need to get the files onto the iPads using email or Dropbox first, but after you click “Open With iBooks” it stays on the shelf until you delete it. I’ve created quite a library of digital poems and PDF files on iBooks this way, and students even create their own PDF “eBooks” and poems to read and share with the class!

Just like with any eBook in iBooks, students can highlight text and look up specific word definitions. Students can also use the highlighting feature of iBooks to go on phonics word hunts and find evidence in the text.

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Enter For Your Chance to Win This Product! 

(NOTE: This giveaway has ended!) 

Winners will be chosen 4/1/14 (7:00 PM EST) and will be notified that evening.
Submit your entry by clicking the form below!

Congratulations to Janet Hegg, Stephanie Chambers, & Kamala Schuster!

You are the three winners! I emailed you the poetry product. 🙂

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Hop Over to the Next Stop

Thanks for stopping by!

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Head on over to Practice Makes Perfect!

Happy Teaching!

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The Gift of Reading Blog Hop (Stop #20)

22 Nov

Blog Hop Overview:

At each blog stop, you will be gathering literacy-related gifts and freebies.  In each post, you will find a picture of a snowman with a letter on it. Collect all of the letters, record them on your Giveaway Recording Sheet, and solve the mystery quote. You will need this quote to enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

The hop is set up as a loop, so you may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning, to make sure you scoop up all the freebies, please visit the first stop: A Day In The Life of A Title I Teacher.  (This is also where you will go after you finish the hop to enter the giveaway!)

Welcome to Blog Hop Stop #20:

“Reading. Writing. Thinking. Sharing.”

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The Gift of Reading:

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The gift of reading is a lifelong gift. Helping the children in your life find the one book, the one author, or the one series they could fall in love with… it could change their lives forever. Maybe it’s the book that hooks them into the world of reading. Maybe it’s the series that motivates them to read moreto become better readers. Maybe it’s the author that helps them relate, connect, and understand life. Whatever it is, help your students understand the power of reading, and show them how it can truly change their lives.

I wish for you a holiday season filled with love, laughter, and MANY wonderful books! 🙂

Enjoy my FREE gift for YOU!

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(NOTE: Starting 8 PM on Sunday, 11/24/13, this item will go back to being a paid item in my TpT store.)  

The Winter Escape” partner poetry product will bring some poetry fun into your classroom! Use the poem to reinforce fluency, and use the comprehension pages to reinforce visualizing, retelling, making inferences, and writing text-based answers. Send it home with students, or use it in the classroom as a literacy center. My students love the back-and-forth structure of this partner poem and the activities that go along with it. I hope yours do too!

My secret letter is:

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Thank you for stopping by! If you’re not already a follower, and you would like to be the first to know about new post, giveaways, and blog hops, follow me on Bloglovin’ (click the image bel0w). You can also sign up for my blog posts via email (see right-hand navigation). 

 
 

Don’t stop now! Hop on over to Thinking Out Loud to pick up another amazing reading gift! If you get lost along the way download the Blog Hop Map here to easily pick up where you left off! 

Happy Hopping &

Happy Holidays!

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Super Sleuths Blog Hop! (Stop #14)

25 Oct

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You’ve arrived at “Super Sleuth Blog Hop” stop #14! 

If you’re JUST starting the blog hop, you may want to consider going back to the beginning so you can collect all the clues starting at the first blog, Comprehension Connection. You also have the option of starting here and then going back to the beginning blogs after you reach the end.

If you haven’t done so already, please download your Super Sleuth Blog Hop Form by clicking the link below:

Super Sleuths Blog Hop Form

You’ll need this for keeping track of the blogs you visit and for recording the letter clues you collect. This form will help you figure out the final mystery message so you can enter to win fabulous prizes at the end!

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(Graphics from www.mycutegraphics.com)

Blog Hop Overview:

  • 28 literacy-focused blogs have teamed up for this event! At each blog stop, you will collect FREE literacy resources and a letter that will help you solve a mystery on your last hop.
  • If you become lost or need to take a break during your “case,” you can locate the blog buttons at the very end of each post or go back to the first stop, Comprehension Connection.
  • While you are trying to crack the “case”, it may be wise to take notes.  You can use the form for assistance. (HINT: The answer to the “case” is a famous quote.)
  • You will only have from Friday, October 25th at 8:00 AM EST until Monday, October 28th at 8:00 AM EST to solve the mystery.  After Monday at 8:00 AM EST, all case materials will close and many of the free product links will send you to paid items on Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher’s Notebook.

Blog Stop #14

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SUPER SLEUTH FACT FILE:

What is “Making Inferences”?

Making inferences is when students draw conclusions from the text using the text clues and their background knowledge. Essentially, students are trying to figure out what the author doesn’t explicitly tell them in the text. It’s a higher-level thinking skill and involves “thinking beyond the text.”

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SUPER SLEUTH FREEBIE:

“Reading Detectives: A Focus on Making Inferences”

(Part of my Reading Hats for Comprehension Strategy Series)

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(NOTE: Starting Monday, 10/28/13 at 8:00 AM (EST), this product will be turned back into a paid product in my TpT store!)

As “Reading Detectives,” students will have to search for clues and information from the text to use as evidence. After collecting the evidence, they will have to connect it with what they already know to draw conclusions about the text. Students use their detective skills to fill-in the missing pieces, make inferences, and understand the “Big Picture” of a story.

Using reference materials, discussion cards, and an original “I’m a Reading Detective!” strategy poem, students will love putting on their “detective hats” to practice making inferences!

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**The Reading Detective is one of the six hats featured in Reading Hats for Comprehension at MsJordanReads! More strategy packets are coming soon!)

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SUPER SLEUTH LETTER CLUE:

On your form, you can record the letter…

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(Graphics from www.mycutegraphics.com)
More great literacy ideas and resources are waiting for you ahead, but while you are here, feel free to sign up to follow my blog (via WordPress, email, or Bloglovin’ using buttons on the right side navigation of this blog) or follow MsJordanReads on Facebook or Twitter.  I hope you enjoy the materials and ideas I’ve shared!

Are You Ready?

Blog #15

Big Time Literacy

Happy Sleuthing!

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MsJordanReads on Bloglovin

— — — — — — — — — —

Hey, Super Sleuths!

Did you miss a blog stop?

Here are the participating blogs (in order):

1. Comprehension Connection

2. Dont Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

3. The Reading Tutor/ OG

4. Learning Fundamentals

5. Reading and Writing Redhead

6. Ms. Ds Literacy Lab

7. Conversations in Literacy

8. Teacher Mom of Three

9. A Day in the Life of a Title 1 Teacher

10. Luckeyfrog”s Lilypad

11. Curious Firsties

12. All Four Reading

13. Thinking Out Loud

14. MsJordanReads

15. Big Time Literacy

16. Read with Me ABC

17. Teaching With Nancy

18. This Little Piggy Reads

19. The Literacy Minute

20. Book Units Teacher

21. Reading Toward the Stars

22. The Literacy Garden

23. Im Lovin Lit

24. Ripper Resources

25. Teachers Take-Out

26. Sweet Integrations

27. Reading is Elementary

28. The Rungs of Reading

Back to School: Fabulous Giveaway for Teachers!

19 Aug

It’s time for a… “Back to School” giveaway! 

Once again, I’ve teamed up with Dansko to giveaway FABULOUS shoes for the classroom!

I love Dankso shoes. They’re well worth the money, especially if you are a teacher who doesn’t sit down for more than 10 minutes throughout the school day. My feet are often screaming by the end of the day, and since I hate foot rubs (well, pretty much ANYTHING to do with feet), I’m forced to be more proactive. 🙂

The Baker style boot is my favorite in their current boot collection. These boots are perfect for “post-summer feet” (you know… ones that go into shock the first few months back to school). Like all Dansko shoes, you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds. Seriously. They’re great for the classroom, and once it gets a bit cooler, I’m looking forward to wearing them with fun tights and a cute skirt or dress. On my dress-down days, I can even wear them with my skinny jeans! My favorite part is the buttons — they’re different patterns and very fun! You’ll want to show them off, but you can totally wear these boots under dress pants as well.

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Oh, you want a pair of these fabulous boots, too? Well… you’re in luck! Not only did I score a pair for myself (to make sure they’re worthy for your tired teacher feet, of course), but now I get to choose ONE lucky winner to receive a pair as well! 🙂

All you have to do is “Like” a few Facebook pages! You can even share this blog post with your friends and colleagues – using the Rafflecopter options listed below – for more chances to win! One very lucky winner will be randomly selected at noon on Saturday, August 24th. The name of the winner will be announced on my MsJordanReads Facebook page. I’ll also be contacting the winner via email, so make sure you provide a valid email on your Rafflecopter entry!

How do you enter? Login to Rafflecopter using your Facebook account or a valid email. You may submit up to five “+1” entries, and then all you have to do is wait for your luck to kick in! Rafflecopter will randomly choose a winner from the entries submitted.

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*This promotion is sponsored by Dansko. Check out their website or Facebook page for their other “Back to School” styles. NOTE: If you’re a male teacher entering this giveaway, a men’s shoe will be substituted. (Don’t worry, you won’t be left out or forced to wear women’s shoes!)*

TpT Sale Reminder

Also, just a reminder… today is the FINAL day to score big on great “Back to School” resources for the classroom! Everything in my store (MsJordanReads) is 20% off, and you can use promo code BTS13 for an additional 10% the already discounted prices! You don’t want to miss out on these great prices! Read my blog post from Saturday, or click my store logo below to check out some of my “must-have” Literacy resources:

MsJordanReads on TpT

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Happy Teaching & Good Luck! 

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Teacher Appreciation Week

5 May

Thank You, Teachers!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m participating in TWO great sales! Everything at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and Teachers Notebook shop will be 20% OFF, in addition to the discounts that the two sites are offering! 

Teachers Pay Teachers

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(Thank you to Abby from Wizard of Boz for the cute sales graphics!)

I will be offering 20% off for all my products from May 7th to May 9th. It’s a two-day sale, but I’m offering an extra day! Don’t forget to use TAD13 at checkout to receive an additional 10% off! (NOTE: The 10% will come off the already discounted price, making the TOTAL discount 28% off!)

Teachers Notebook

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An addition to my TpT sale, all my TN products will be 20% off in my shop from May 4th – May 10th. Keep in mind, the extra 10% discount will be automatically taken off your purchase. You do not need a code for Teachers Notebook during Teacher Appreciation Week. While you’re there, check out the different giveaways and promotions they have going on!

Interested in new products?

Check out my newest products:

“Daily Fluency” Booster Pack: {Punctuation}

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“Cat and Mouse Chase!” {Partner Perspective Poem}

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Check out some additional products for the month of May:

Check out my most popular items:

Don’t Forget!

Remember, you still have until tomorrow (May 6th) to enter my Dansko Teacher Appreciation giveaway! You could win a pair of shoes for yourself AND the special teacher you nominate. Nominations will be posted May 7th along with the announcement of who the winner is!

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Happy Teaching… and THANK YOU!

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A Shoe-ly Amazing Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

29 Apr

Have you ever walked a day in the shoes of a teacher?

If you have, let’s face it — it’s exhausting! For those of us who are teachers, let’s add 179 more days to that one day. What you end up with is a very tired group of teachers (with very tired feet).

It’s a rewarding job, but teaching is truly hard on the feet. It’s “go, go, GO!” all day long… AND if your day is anything like mine, you’re lucky if you get to sit for even two minutes. Since naps are not an option, I pretty much resort to wearing very comfy shoes. 🙂

If I’m in my classroom, you may sometimes catch me wearing my slippers (shhhh… don’t tell anyone!), but of course I’m not always in my classroom, and it’s not always appropriate for me to wear slippers. Being on my feet all day, I’m always on the hunt for non-frumpy looking teacher shoes that are comfortable but still look cute!

I was very excited when Dansko approached me about teaming up for a Teacher Appreciation giveaway. I love that they are participating in Teacher Appreciation month and, more importantly, recognizing teachers for all their hard work and dedication. With this giveaway, not only do I get to share TWO pairs of very comfortable shoes, but I get to keep a pair for my tired feet, too! Win, win!  A giveaway for both of us! So, obviously I said yes. I normally don’t participate in endorsements, but I couldn’t pass this one up. Comfort for me and comfort for YOU!

I picked the coffee swirled Jenelle sandals, and tried them out for Western NY’s first sort-of-spring week this week. The Jenelle sandal ($135 value) is perfect for every spring outfit and will take you through the summer, too! It’s more comfortable than a flip flop and perfect for tired teacher feet. I really like them and am thinking may have to get myself a pair in another color (just don’t tell my fiance!).

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Win a Pair!

Enter my Teacher Appreciation giveaway and you could WIN a pair of these comfy sandals for yourself and a teacher of your choice! All you have to do is share this post (using the share buttons below) and then complete the entry form to nominate a special teacher that has made a difference in your life. Think about a current teacher (yes, just one) that has gone “above and beyond” and has truly inspired or influenced you. Share your story and you could win a pair of shoes for both you and your nominee! (NOTE: If your nominee is a male, I will offer an alternative shoe.) Nominations will be posted on my blog on May 8th.

Details: I will be choosing a winner randomly at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 6th! You can only submit ONE entry using the form below. The winner will be posted on my blog and contacted on May 7th.

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Everyday I thank the teachers that have influenced me. I work with so many special teachers who are extremely dedicated and passionate about teaching. I watch them shape the lives of countless children and truly make a difference. They are inspiring, and I would have a hard time picking just one!

I also thank all the teachers that once taught me! My second grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, is actually the reason I became a teacher. If she was still teaching I would nominate her in a heartbeat! She showed me how to bring a love for learning into the classroom, and I strive to be that kind of teacher everyday.

THANK YOU to all the teachers out there who are making a difference each and every day!

Best of Luck!

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Check out Dankso on Facebook or find their shoes at the nearest retailer! Dansko is also sponsoring a Thank a Teacher promotion where you can enter to win a free tote bag. All you have to do is share your teacher appreciation story using the form on their website! 500 winners will be randomly chosen!

Thank a Teacher with Dansko!

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