Sunday, March 29, 2015

Monthly Writing Calendars BUNDLE: A TRUE Labor of Love

So early in the school year, I saw the idea of using monthly writing calendars as part of students' weekly homework routines.  I LOVED the idea and there were certainly many writing calendars on the Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers, but I wanted to be using calendars that included prompts for  different genres my students were working on each month, that included some research components, included options for creative thinking and brainstorming, and that looked CUTE!  So for the past 9 months, I've been working diligently on creating engaging, easy-to-use writing calendars!  My kids, parents, and teammates all LOVE these!

If you didn't want to use these for homework, you could use them for your Work on Writing time, Morning Work routines, or even as a Fast Finishers activity. You could simply use them for as a writing prompt idea bank, because there are 240 Writing Prompts Included!!  This BUNDLE even includes 48 seasonal papers for students to use for completing prompts.  Even though school wraps us for us at the end of May, I'm planning to send home the June and July Writing Calendars with my students to keep them writing ALL SUMMER LONG!

After 3 long days of finishing 6 months of Writing Calendars this weekend, I'm SO proud to have posted my Monthly Writing Calendars BUNDLE---which will be on sale for an additional 20% off of the already discounted bundle price through Wednesday!  The regular discounted price will be $18.00 (that is $6.00 less than buying the calendars separately!), but you can grab them for $14.40 NOW.  I truly have never been so proud of a project for my classroom and Teachers Pay Teachers!  Check them out!


Hootfully Yours,
Lindsay, The Owl Teach

Friday, March 13, 2015

Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop & Instagram Inspiration

Hey Guys!

I'm SO EXCITED to be joining several new blogger  friends for Year2Tastic's 500 Instragram Followers Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop!  I'm telling you that  Laura has created a fun hop for all of us to share how we find teaching inspiration through Instragram!

Here's how this Blog-Hop Works::
1. Read this post and make a note of my letter.
2. Click on a link at the bottom to 'hop' onto one of my fab blogger friend's post!
3. Read their post and make a note of their letter.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3!
5. Head back to Year2Tastic and use the 'Contact Me' section to submit your letter string- 
There is no particular order to record the letters in- just ensure you have 6!
6. Once you have submitted your letters follow the steps on the Rafflecopter.
You can enter as many times as it allows you to over the course of the weekend.
Names with incorrect letter strings recorded will be deleted from the Rafflecopter 
and IT will then decide the winner!


Honestly, as of 3 short weeks ago I had no idea just what an awesome tool Instragram could be as a blogger and primary teacher.  In the span of about 6 months, I honestly thought I was doing well to have 43ish friends following me on Instagram...even if half of those were family and close friends/colleagues, who have to follow me by default!  Then, one night's battle with Insomnia caused me to really start searching out some awesome teaching ideas, fellow bloggers, educational hashtags, etc. (#whodoesntloveagoodhashtag).  Overnight, through following several awesome teachers, I had 100 followers...a few weeks later and I'm over 400 followers!

Now, aside from the little pangs of joy that I get when I see that someone I have admired and followed is also following me, I've found so many AWESOME benefits of being a teacher Instagrammer!  For starters, I've already virtually met and formed relationships with teachers around the country--just like the ladies involved in this Blog Hop!  I've helped proofread a new product bundle for a fellow teacher, won a free product from the wonderful Nicole Swisher, and even given a few products away.  I've seen ideas that I could quickly adapt and implement in my classroom that were free of charge, because the Instagram Teacher community is so wonderful about sharing AMAZING ideas!  In fact, I saw this Moon Cinquain Poetry idea from Ms. Coletti's Class of Characters several months ago, and adapted it for all we had learned about the sun, stars, and moon for Space Cinquain Poetry for my classroom last week!

My Instragram journey is far from over, but I've already seen what a positive impact this social media tool can be!  As teachers through Instagram, we can quickly and easily connect to peers, share in our day to day struggles & celebrations, and meet new people from the comfort of our own homes (and in my case in my yoga pants with a glass of wine)!  What an awesome opportunity to collaborate and grow as teachers!  So, get out there and hashtag it up people!  You can even start following me on Instagram by clicking on the social media links above!  I can't wait to see you on IG!

My Scavenger Hunt Letter is...

Hootfully yours,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Birthday Weekend Giveaway

Friday was my 31st Birthday.  While many of my friends look at each added year of age as one step closer to "over the hill", I figure I might as well embrace it while I can!  I have a wonderful husband, perfect little boy, and awesome family and friends!

I had a great day at school with students and my teacher friends, drinks out with the girls after school, and date night with the hubs.  In fact, my amazing hubby really outdid himself with a special date night out for the two of us including dinner, a trip to Atlanta's Sky View Ferris Wheel, and drinks and desserts with some of our best friends.  It was one of my best birthdays to date!

So, I thought I'd host a little birthday giveaway here and on Instagram!  All you have to do is go to my TPT store, choose a product you would love for FREE and leave a comment with the product name below.  I will put all of your names in a hat and choose a winner tomorrow evening!  PS-If you follow me on Instragram you can get a second entry!

Hootfully Yours,
Lindsay, The Owl Teach

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Engaging Young Learners through STEM

STEM and/or STEAM seem to be the popular trends in schools now!  It was actually a little over a year and a half ago that several awesome colleagues from my school presented our whole staff with the term STEM.  Sure I had been doing aspects of STEM for many years in my classroom, but I loved the way that the whole STEM approach pulled everything together and gave opportunities for students to problem-solve, collaborate, create, and more in an engaging, structured, meaningful way!  Since learning more about it, I've been trying to incorporate it on a more regular basis with my second graders...and they LOVE it!

As a grade level team we immediately saw the value in STEM, and we found many free STEM lessons and activities on-line, but we knew that we would need to get our hands on a lot of supplies!  So, we built a STEM lab in our workroom, through donations of supplies from our classroom families!  Here's a FREEBIE copy of a sample STEM supply list to give you an idea of how to start building up your supplies at school too!

As a team, we then decided to host a STEM Day last year, to introduce the process to our students and parents!  Each teacher took on planning 1 STEM project, and our classes traveled from room to room throughout the day to participate in 4 different projects!  The kids ENJOYED every minute!

This year, my team has taken on STEM through planning together and participating in our own classrooms independently.  My class has already worked on a Georgia Regions and Settlement STEM, marshmallow shooters STEM, and a few other projects.  However, my kids and I agree, that our favorite STEM project thus far has been creating Marble Tracks to demonstrate what we learned about force & motion!  My kids truly blew me away with their designs this year and as a teacher, I can't think of a better victory than a collective "NOOOOOO!", when telling a class they need to stop learning, working, and talking to go to recess!  Another reason I love this particular STEM project, is that you probably have almost everything on hand to put this into place immediately! Check out the pictures of our STEM Tracks below!

If you are at all thinking about incorporating STEM into your classroom--DO IT!  Take on one small STEM project and get it into the hands of your kids!  They will grow, learn, and be engaged and you will reap the rewards of having planned a truly "hands-on" experience for your kids! 

Here's the link to my How Slow Can You Go?  Marble Track STEM project in my TPT Store!

Hootfully Yours,