My Truth Monday: Fitness!


Life is starting to feel *a little bit* normal again.

I'm really afraid that by typing that out I am going to jinx the heck out of myself. So, before that happens I want to link up with my buddy Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade!

I loved how honest and real Denise was, and it inspired me to be the same way. I have s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d with my weight over the last 5 years and I am tired of it!! I've tried lots of diets and programs, and I've come to the conclusion that it's just going to come down to the thing I really want to hate: exercise.

I've taken the first step and planned out a few meals for the week. They aren't the most healthy things in the world, but they are certainly better than the take-out we've been living off of recently. I've even gotten my sweet boy on board and we're going to start working towards running a 5K later this year. I've downloaded the Couch to 5K app and I'm ready to start on Wednesday!! There's even a Hot Chocolate 5K coming up, and the timing seems perfect.

Before I go, I wanted to announce the winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Susan! Check your email! :)  

Leadership Story Sorts + a new 7 Habits {FREEBIE}

My coteacher recently returned from maternity leave, and we've spent some serious time revisiting the 7 Habits in what we call "family group meetings." We bring all 42 kids together so that they always hear the same thing from both of us at the same time. In addition, we want them to understand that we are all part of the same "family" at school. I have missed this element of our teaching partnership and I can't wait to get it going again!


One of the things we've brought in as a review activity are the story sorts from my Leadership Stories and Activities bundle.

For our third graders this year, we've read the stories in a whole group setting during our morning meeting. We give them time to debate and discuss which heading each social story belongs under. We've also used our content area lesson time to work through these stories as well.

Our 4th and 5th grade classes have been able to let students work in partners or independently to complete the sorts. I have really loved the discussions that come to life when we complete each sort.



The primary version of these sorts is actually a small group game!

Students will work to match the habit, an example of the habit in action, a non-example of the habit, and an illustration. You'll also find a Leaders Can/Have/Are anchor chart, an If/Then sort for each habit, and charts for you to create your own examples with your students. This is truly a resource you can use all year long to reinforce leadership skills!

In the intermediate edition, there are 4 scenarios for each habit with 2 different outcomes - a supporting example and a non-example. There are also blank cards for you or your students to write your own stories. Finally, you'll also find an intermediate set of the If/Then stories for your students to sort for each of the eight leadership habits.

Every class is different, and you know what will work best for your students. If you're using these make sure to show me on Instagram by tagging @elementarybookworm, or email me to share your thoughts!

Finally, I'm SO excited to share these FREE essential paradigms posters with you! If you sign up today, I'll be sure to send you some more FREEBIES for teaching leadership habits as well!

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    Make sure you check out the primary and intermediate versions of the story sorts to find the one that's right for your classroom. If you can't decide, there's always the bundle!

    Pin this post so you can save it for future reference as well!


    Big Kids Bundle on Educents + A Giveaway!!

    I am really excited to be a part of the brand new 3rd-5th Grade Educents bundle!! I've been looking at some of the primary bundles and hoping they would put one together for the "big kids" out there. Wish granted!! :)

    My excitement went into overload when I found out they would be including my Getting Creative with Common and Proper Nouns Unit!! I use this every year in my room and I am really excited about the latest updates to this pack!

    Our favorite activity in the pack is Proper Noun Tic-Tac-Toe! There are 3 different templates for this so I had plenty of choices for modeling the game, letting students play, and bringing out again for remediation, extension, or a great sub activity - IF they have played before! :)

    You'll get an original poem with a response page that connects to common and proper nouns, anchor charts, performance-based tasks, assessment options, and several games including the brand-new addition of I Have, Who Has: Common & Proper Nouns! 

     This was my favorite addition to the packet this year and my kids LOVE to play it! They have even asked several times if we could use it as a brain break!! (And of course, I said YES!) :)

    There are more than 30 other products in our bundle to bring  excitement and fun into your classroom!  You'll find literacy, math, science, social studies, and even some seasonal resources that will be perfect for the upcoming months!! Make sure you hop through to Tessa's blog so you can see all the goodies you will get in this bundle! 

    But that's not all!   I am giving you a chance to Pin It to Win It (well you win any item from my store.)  Pin any image from my blog and enter below to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    This bundle won't last long, so head over now!


    Five for Friday: October 4, 2013

    Let me preface this post by saying the only reason I am able to post on a Friday is because I am on a fur-cation. (3 back-to-back furlough days = a fur-cation) The only hiccup in this fur-cation was trying to explain to people that it had nothing to do with the hot mess in Washington right now. Way to overlap, Congress. Now get back in there and play nice!

    Here's a quick look at my (short!) week:


    I know this picture probably looks silly, but I did take it on an amazing day for our school. We were recently named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2013! I was in the middle of Writer's Workshop when my principal came over the intercom and asked everyone to turn their projector systems to Channel 5 for an important announcement. Then my principal and AP appeared on the screen and asked us to watch an important message. When I saw Arne Duncan's face pop up, I knew we were going to get incredible news! After the message played, our admins popped back up wearing blue wigs! We have been celebrating ever since! :) This is a big accomplishment for our sweet school. Around 70% of our students receive ESOL services, 98% qualify for free & reduced lunch, and 90%+ have met or exceeded standards on state testing for the last 2 years!


    I am still in love with Morning Meeting! One of the things we've added recently is a Celebrations and Changes chart. My Morning Meeting Director (a highly coveted class job!) asks the students to close their eyes and think of something we are doing well as a class and something we need to change. She/He reminds them to try and tie it into the 7 Habits. When she prompts them to open their eyes, they can share their thoughts and I jot them down on the chart. If something is repeated during the week, I give it a check mark. The kids LOVE seeing things move from the "change" side to the "celebrations" side!


    We wrapped up our unit on plural nouns... finally! I swear it took a couple of weeks (maybe 3!) to finally get all of those spelling rules down! The positive in all of that is that I was able to fine tune my singular and plural nouns unit. There are lots of new activities, and printer-friendly black and white versions of just about everything! My kiddos really like having a copy of the anchor charts we fill out together in our mini-lessons. It makes a great resource when they are doing homework and need a reminder!


    We've also been working on opinion writing pieces, and I have a unit that is about halfway done. :) I'm hoping to have it ready soon! My kids are loving it and their writing is growing by leaps and bounds! The challenging part has been making something that addresses all of my writer levels, so I hope it's something you'll be able to use as well!

    The charts above are from mini-lessons on thesis statements and writing about the reasons behind our opinions. The kids had to write about whether or not our school should get a pool. Totally an imaginary idea, but they had a blast!


    Last but not least, I'll just share my view for the night with you. This little man has been all up in my business. :) Herbie, meet the blog-iverse. Blog-iverse, meet Herbie.

    Go link up at Doodle Bugs! I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to this week!