November 27, 2016

Giveaway and a TPT sale!!!

I have two REALLY EXCITING things to share......

FIRST.....enter below for a chance to win a $10 TPT gift card!  Whoop Whoop!!!

You only have one week to enter, and you can't win if you don't try!  So....get your entries in before December 5th!!  I mean....who wouldn't want to win 10 dollars to TPT???
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Second.....TPT is having a Cyber Monday Sale!  Wahoooo!!!


The sale runs two days, starting tomorrow (November 28 and 29)!  Buyers can salve up to 28% by using code CYBER2016 at checkout!

Best of luck for the contest and happy shopping!!

If I were you, I would get those shopping carts loaded now.......



November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving---and a TPT sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blogging friends!

Image result for thanksgiving comics

In honor of this festive holiday, I am having a sale at my TPT store, Mind Sparks!  Everything will be 20% off Today (November 24th) through Sunday (November 27th).

This means 20% off all of my bundles, like my most recent bundle of comprehension quick checks.



This means 20% off all of my games, like the newest Connect Four I just made.  Whoop whoop!




Happy shopping....but more importantly....HAPPY EATING!



November 20, 2016

Pastries for Parents



Community involvement is a HUGE focus in our school district, as I am sure it is in many of your districts.  If you are searching for some great ideas....I have got one for you!

Last week, the elementary school where I work hosted Pastries for Parents.  As the interventionist, I was the lucky one (thankfully I had some amazing helpers) who planned the event.  That may sound like a complaint---but seriously---I love planning events, but there is no way I could have pulled it off without my volunteers.

Anyway....the turnout was AMAZING!  We had so many parents show up that parents were circling the school to find parking spaces.  It. Was. Awesome!


Want to know the format?

Well.....our school opened its doors at 7:15am. Parents, students, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents filtered through the donuts, juice and coffee line and then headed to classrooms where they read or played games with their child.  

Teachers were asked to leave their classrooms unlocked and to set out books and games students and their families could use.  Many teachers set these things out the night before and instructed the students on what they could do with their parents.  All in all this event was little prep for teachers, yet they did (and they were so gracious and willing) to give up their Friday morning so parents and students could be in their room.  If opening up teachers classrooms are not an option for your school---you could have books and games set up in the gym, library or cafeteria. 

Students and their families were able to stay(if they wanted) in their classroom from 7:15 to 8:15, and then at 8:15 our principal got on the intercom and notified parents that the event was over.  All students then reported to the gym for morning announcements, and our regular school day began. 

Want to know what you need to pull off the event?

First, you need to secure volunteers.  I needed help with passing out donuts, filling juice cups and serving coffee. I believe I had about 6 people helping me serve.

Second, you need to notify teachers.  

Third, you need to pre-order all of your supplies. We ordered our 30 dozen donuts, plates, napkins, frozen juice and coffee a couple weeks in advance.  We wanted to give the bakery plenty of notice--as 30 dozen donuts PROBABLY requires extra help.   

Fourth, you want to set up your donut and drink station up the night in advance. My janitor did this for me---love her!  I also mixed the frozen juice in large jugs and set the jugs in the refrigerator.  Making the juice in advance saved me some time in the morning......


Fifth, you will have an early morning pick up of donuts. I picked mine up at 6:30am.... yikes...right?  I wanted to give myself plenty of time to set them up, and get the juice out before parents and students arrived.

Check out my early morning tweet....

Sixth...ENJOY THE EVENT!






November 14, 2016

Quick Draw (A GREAT game to review vocabulary!)

Where do the weekends go? I swear I blink and the weekend is gone.

Anyway....I wanted to share an extremely easy, no prep and engaging game you can play with your students.  I call it quick draw!



So--the title isn't the greatest---but trust me the kids will LOVE the game! 

Basically quick draw is a game to review or introduce vocabulary terms, words on a word wall or even spelling words.  

Quick draw requires virtually no prep and the materials needed are in almost every classroom.  

Doesn't this sound like a great game--huh?  No prep.  No materials. AND fun??

Anyway.....

Here's how you play:
  1. Determine the list of words you want to introduce or review
  2. Provide each student with a marker board
  3. Provide each student with a dry erase marker 
  4. Shout (okay maybe not shout...but say) the word aloud to students
  5. Give students 30 seconds to illustrate the word
  6. Say, "3.....2.....1....show me!" and every student MUST hold up their illustration (if they are still drawing I give them a warning, and tell them they get paper pencil next time)
  7. Select a couple of students to explain their drawing to the class
It really is a great game!!  I played it with my whole class when I taught fourth grade, but I also play it with my small groups for intervention time. Pictured below is Quick Draw in action......


If you want to download the "cute directions" on how to play this game....you can download it for free from my google drive, by clicking below :).


Hope you all are having or had a great day! :)