Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dropbox - to download or check it out, go to

I am in love with Dropbox. Dropbox is an online file storage site. As a teacher, and as you can all relate, I have to work on school work all the time at home. However, our drive space at school is kept on a server that can only be accessed in the district on district computers. So, for years, I was traveling back and forth with a jump drive (multiple jump drives actually, because I tend to lose those pesky things all the time) and/or e-mailing myself constantly. It was quite a pain! Then, our district moved to Windows Sky Drive, because it came free with our district Outlook e-mail. I thought that was pretty cool, at first, because it meant I could access my files anywhere. However, I found it difficult to download and sync multiple folders, and it wasn't an easy process. I would have had to manually set up folders within the Sky Drive. I've also tried Google Docs. I do like Google Docs just fine, but when a friend recommended Dropbox, I was blown away.
Dropbox is the easiest file storage/backup site I've ever encountered (and it is completely free). You can carry your photos, documents, and videos anywhere. You literally just download it, and you choose which files to sync, and it will sync them for you, exactly as you have them set up. Then, you can download Dropbox on however many computers you want, and it will sync to all of those computers. I can now access my school files at home on my laptop, at home on my desktop, at school, and on any computer I ever encounter (even if you don't "download" Dropbox, you can still access your Dropbox from the internet). I even have Dropbox downloaded on my phone. Dropbox automatically saves my items to all of my computers, my phone, and the website - it does it all for me, and I don't even have to worry about it.
One cool feature about Dropbox is shared folders. My coworkers all downloaded Dropbox so we all have accounts. We can now share files and folders in a secure way where we can all access them. It's like having our own 2nd grade drive that is accessible right at our fingertips, wherever we go.
My explanation will not do this tool justice. I would recommend just trying it! Just think - no more flash drives, no more e-mailing documents back and forth to work, just easy peasy and free. If you are interested in checking it out or downloading, please please please click the link below, click the picture below, or click here (you can get free upgraded space if you refer others and if they use your link - easy way to get more space)!
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Communities Unit

Yay! My communities unit is finally done and ready for you all on TpT. Go check it out if you're interested! Click here, or click the preview pic below to head on over. There is a sale going on to get it for $3 off the regular price, so get it while you can! :-)

Oh happy Saturday. I was ready for the weekend, I must say. We had quite a week this week. Very busy and tons of meetings. On weeks like that, I am just exhausted and quite pathetically often, I am ready to crash and go to bed at like 7:30pm on Friday night. Anyway, I am feeling much more energetic today, and I've finally convinced my dear husband to peel himself away from the ridiculous t.v. to go with me to the pumpkin patch - one of my favorite activities in the Fall! We had quite a firm conversation last weekend about the fact that there are other things to do on the weekend besides watch sports (and I do like sports quite a bit, but still). He was in firm belief that Saturdays were for college football and Sundays were for NFL football. Don't worry, I helped shape his new view that there are other things going on.... ;-) HA!
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Freebies - Guided Reading Forms for Running Records

I just love Sundays... They are my "lazy" days. I love laying around with the hubby, watching football, napping/dozing off throughout the day, and just enjoying being home. :-)
Here are a couple freebies for you. One of my colleagues asked for a copy of one of these documents the other day, so I figured it may make a good freebie.

The first document is a running record form. How many of you get tired of counting words ahead of time and writing them out? I certainly did. It was NOT my favorite thing. So, I came up with this super simple, but very handy and effective, form. To use this form, all you have to do is keep recording while the student is reading, until you get to the bottom! There are 100 boxes, so once you reach the bottom, you're good to go. Hope this works for you as well as it has for me! To download, just click HERE or click the picture below.
The other freebie I have for you today is a data sheet I use to record running record scores for my students. I print a page for each student, and I keep it in my guided reading binder. Each time I give that student a running record, I record the info (including any observations or comments) on the form. This is then handy to have, because I can see a comparison of their scores on one page. I can also easily see/use this information when discussing students at PLC (professional learning communities) or when trying to figure out if a student needs an MTSS (RTI in other states) intervention. Hope you can use this form also! To download this form, click HERE, or click the picture below.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. If you haven't already, stop by my new Facebook page and click "like".

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finally on Facebook!

Well, I'm finally on Facebook! I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm there. :-) Help me out and stop by my Facebook page to "like" it.
If any of you have any tips or ideas on how to use Facebook in conjunction with my blog and TpT store, I'd love for you to share! Hope you are all having a terrific weekend. I'm one of those people that can't fall back asleep once I wake up in the morning, no matter what time it is. So, I've been up for the last few hours. While that is frustrating, at least I have a whole day ahead of me!
Stop by to say hi!
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Informational Text Feature Poster Pack Sale

Yay for Friday! As much as we love our classes and are quite invested in our students' progress, even teachers need some time off. ;-) Hope you've all got something wonderful planned for the weekend!
My Informational Text Feature Poster Pack is on sale for the weekend over at TpT! We will be teaching informational text features in a couple weeks for Instructional Focus, and I've finally finished my poster pack. I plan on printing, laminating, and displaying these posters that have a description and picture for each text feature. We've never taught text features explicitly for Instructional Focus, and I'm really excited to do so. I think this will be a great unit for the kiddos, especially since our students are expected to read informational text 50% of the time now. What great strategies for gleaning information from non-fiction informational text!
To download, click HERE for a reduced price over the weekend, or click the picture below. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sight Word Toss/Read/Write

We're definitely in the full swing of things at school. :-) I hope you've all had a great start to the school year so far!
To play this game, students will take turns dropping or tossing a chip, cotton ball, counter, bean, or pom-pom onto the board. The student will read the word he/she landed on, and he/she will write the word on the recording sheet. This particular download includes 16 various 2nd grade sight words.
To download a copy, click HERE or click on any of the pictures below:

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