Sunflower Life Cycle Science Lesson

I love sunflowers.  I think sunflowers make the Fall Season so beautiful.  I created this science packet for Kindergarten-Second Grade students.  It includes picture cards in color and black and white.  Students use them to put the cards in order of the life cycle of the plant.  I also added a page for students to label the different parts of a plant.

Click here to see the entire contents of the packet.

This is a great video on the cycle of a sunflower.  It shows it growing over time and set to music.  In only 3 minutes, you can see a sunflower go from seed to a full plant! 

A few great books of Life Cycles:

Click the image to read more about it.




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Teachers Pay Teachers Banner Tutorial

One of my favorite TpT stores is Graphics From the Pond.  Just a few days ago I downloaded Mel's Dress Up Your Store Banners and Badges Clipart.  I absolutely love it.  This allows you to add a banner and a badge to your store.  Mel says, "It gives your store that WOW factor."  I agree.  You can head over to her blog and see a step by step on how to use it.  Mel lives in New South Wales, Australia.  The graphics from her Teachers Pay Teachers store are fantastic.  

Below are step-by-step directions on how I used Graphics From the Pond to dress up my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. 

 I like to change my banner out monthly to promote the different products or holidays.  It is a way to be creative and dress up my store.
Graphics From The Pond has great digital art.  You can see how Mel uses a banner in her store.

 This is the set that I downloaded here. Simply download it and choose the color banner you want to use.  I chose a pink banner!  To download Dress Up Your Store Pack click here.




Since I just created it, I have to wait on approval.  The good thing about TpT is that they look at everything to make sure it is acceptable.  Only links to TpT products are accepted.  You cannot create a banner promoting your own website.  Head over to my store and check it out!  

I hope this was helpful to you.  I would love to see what you create.  Comment below by adding your store link so I can check out your banner.
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Five for Friday-Blog Design Tips

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Today I'm sharing 5 blog tips with you.  I hope you enjoy!

1.  I had a tremendous amount of responses when I changed my blog design a few months back.  I think it is just perfect.  My blog was designed by Theresa from Always in Bluhm.  Her store is located on Etsy.  If you are looking for an elegant blog design for a creative and professional blog or a lifestyle blog, this is best place to look.  I even like the name of my package- Happiness!

2.  Blog Design Tips - Here are 4 simple layout tips.  

3.  What to Put Above the Fold- This is so important. Looks like I need to make a change or two myself.  Great information for new bloggers.

4.  How to Follow Blogs (Including Mine)






5.  What's your superpower?  I love this poster.







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Classroom Library

 Are you a teacher that needs to organize their classroom library? or Do you know a teacher that could use this awesome gift of organization?  I created this polka dot classroom library label packet and it is just perfect.  Take a look...
Here are the book labels that are included:

Fall, Back to School, Apples, Transportation, Math
Social Studies, America, Johnny Appleseed, Black History, Trucks,
Bears, Space, Owls, Zoo, Farms, Pond Life, Insects and Bugs,
Birds, Picture Books, Nocturnal Animals, Geography, Butterflies,
Super Hero, All About Colors, Food, Pirates, Fairy Tales, Travel Around the World, Bats, Winter, Summer Fun, Sports, Pumpkins, Weather, Snakes and Reptiles, Carnivals and Circus, Valentine's Day, Desert, Health, Captain Underpants, Ocean Life, Pets, Friends, Christmas, Spring, Penguins, Homes and Families, Native Americans, Science, Art, Writing, Shapes, 5 Senses, All about Me, Songs and Music, Money, Riddles, Cookbooks, Chapter Books, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Alphabet, Non-Fiction, Biography, Historical Fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Action/Adventure, Informational and Blank Cards for your extra bins.

Here is a closer look at the Classroom Library Book Labels:
No need to ever search for a book at the last minute and rummage through the bookshelf or crates for a book.  This packet organizes your books by themes!  

Let's get organized!  Download your set of Classroom Library Labels or give this gift to someone who needs it.

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Take a look at 2nd grade Small Group Instruction with Andrea Smith

This is a glimpse inside one of my classrooms.  The teacher is Andrea Smith and she teaches 2nd grade.  She does such a fabulous job at small group instruction that I asked her if I could share it with the rest of the world.  She graciously agreed!  At her teacher table, she is working with a group of students on compare and contrast.  The graphic organizer is a Venn Diagram and they are reading a passage about spiders and insects.

Group 1 Teacher Group:  Mrs. Smith has students use highlighters to highlight the details in the story.  The students use the information to fill out the Venn diagram.

A KWL chart was posted on the wall and the rules for small group.

What is the rest of the room doing?

Group 2: This group is working on sorting Adjective and Verbs into groups and recording their answers on a chart.  You can find this activity free on Teacher Pay Teachers by The Applicious Teacher



Group 3:  This group is working on word endings.  The students sort the word and picture cards into cards and record the words on the recording sheet.  
Group 4:  This group is working on a Halloween Syllable Sort by Fabulously First.  
This product was created by Deb Thomas.  It is free at Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Group 5:  Computer Group- students practice math facts and take accelerated reading quizzes.

This is a well organized process.  Students work independently or with a partner to finish the tasks.  All materials are organized in bins.  When it is time to end small group, work is turned in and everything goes back in the bin for the next group tomorrow.  When students finish early, there is a second activity of reading a sight word reader inside the bin.  Today's activity was to use a highlighter and locate all the "long i" spelling patterns throughout the book then read the book with a partner.

I have a wonderful group of teachers and I think it is great to share some of their classrooms with my blogging friends.

A big thanks to Andrea for allowing me to take pictures today.  It is so normal for me to be in their room but I don't normally take pictures of them.  However, this year I'm blogging more and sharing my classrooms has been a big request.   I can't wait to share another teacher with you again.  So glad I'm getting a lot of feedback about this and everyone is enjoying seeing my campus in action.

Tell me what you think...


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Meet Jenny Garwood

I'm spotlighting a wonderful teacher and blogger, Jenny Garwood.  Jenny's blog, Luckeyfrog's Lilypad, is filled with fabulous resources.  She is a reading specialist from Ohio and teaches grades 2-5.  Her blog has been established for a year and a half but she recently started selling and sharing some of her teaching materials on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Through blogging and Teachers Pay Teachers, the two of us met.   I'm following her store and she is following mine.


Because she is a fairly new teacher and has always struggled with organization, her blog shares a lot of new teacher tips and organizational strategies that she has found to work.  She says, "if they work for me, they can probably work for anyone." She loves teaching thematically and integrating lots of social studies and science (her two favorite subjects) into her literacy learning.  This makes learning fun and she says this is her most important job.  I must agree with that.
This is her blog.

Reach for the Stars Fluency Folders-
Jenny developed this to help students improve reading skills, but also to build confidence as readers and learners.  She is using the Reach for the Stars Fluency Folders with second grade.  Fluency is often taught as just reading faster-but then kids speed read and read without comprehension. This pack includes materials for teaching that fluency is more than just speed, but also pausing, accuracy, and expression.

Each week, the students start with a "cold read" and set a goal. Each night, they read the passage at home after their self-selected reading, and by Friday, they are ready for a "hot read" and coloring in their graph. Seeing the difference in just one week really encourages her kids to keep practicing and working hard in reading, because they really are growing!


Jenny loves that once the folders are made, the students' families have plenty of information about what fluency is and how they can work on it at home. Plus, she can use the same folders with all of her students but differentiate the passages they use.

From Jenny Garwood:
If you think you might be interested, you can check out more about how I teach fluency on my blog, and download the preview at Teachers Pay Teachers (which includes my Four Star Fluency bookmarks for free!) Of course, you can find a lot more freebies on my blog, too!

Take a minute and head over to her blog.

I have had several comments about loving this spotlight feature.  I hope you love it too.  Tomorrow, I'm spotlighting one of my very own teachers again.  I can't wait to show you this awesome teacher of mine.  Stay tuned...
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We are being Boo-ed!

I found this idea from Sarah from First Grader At Last.  This is the first time my campus will be getting Boo-ed!  Getting Booed is a good thing.  It is all kinds of fun!  Today I started the Boo Frenzy.  I made two Halloween buckets and filled each with candy, popcorn and a soft drink.  I then ran to the classroom of one of my teachers (while she was out of the room) and placed the goody boo bucket on her desk along with the envelope.  Take a look...


 This note hangs outside the teacher's door to indicate she has been Boo-ed.  This lets everyone know she has already had a treat and to pick another lucky teacher.


This envelope holds enough "I've Been Boo-ed" door signs for each teacher.   This keeps the next teacher from having to make copies.  The directions of the Boo Frenzy is laminated on the front of the envelope.

If you head over to Sarah's blog at First Grader at Last, she has a different letter.  I tweaked it a little.  With mine, they keep reusing the same bucket.  No need to go out and buy another bucket.  I also have two going at a time.  That means I Boo-ed two teachers today.  These two teachers pick a teacher each and Boo them.  This took me very little time and little money to get started today.  The smiles on the faces are priceless and well worth it.

I can't wait to see who get's boo-ed tomorrow!
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Meet Brooke Brown

Today, it is my pleasure to spotlight a friend of mine from Oklahoma.  She has started blogging and has opened a store at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Since I began blogging, I have had the opportunity to meet so many people that I may not have ever met in person.  Our blogs found each other and I thought she would be fabulous for you to meet too.  



Brooke Brown is currently in her tenth year of teaching and has taught first, second, and third grade. Brooke teaches third grade at Roosevelt Elementary in Norman, Oklahoma. She is National Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist, and in April, she was honored as the 2013 Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year. She opened her TpT store in June of this year and loves sharing her passion with other teachers! Language Arts is her very favorite subject to teach and most of her products are in support of language arts. She's either currently using or have previously used all the products in her store with her own students.

Take a look of some of her products.  And by the way, Brooke was just published in Teachers Pay Teachers newsletter.  That is a big deal and a very hard thing to do.

Click the link to read all about the Interactive Reading Journals

Click the link above to read more about Interactive Writing Journals



Brooke has earned the Principal Approved Stamp!



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