Sunday, January 27, 2013


Hi Everyone!

I hope your new year is going great! I am excited to announce that I recently gained my 1000th follower on TpT! I am so honored for all of your support over the last year. It has been fun getting to know many of you, learning from you, and sharing ideas and products.

As a huge thank you, I wanted to do something extra special for you! I found 68 (yes, 68!) amazing sellers who were sweet enough to donate items to a massive giveaway! I have spilt all of their incredible items into 5 gift packs and rafflecopter will be randomly choosing a lucky winner for each pack! :-)

To enter all you have to do is visit each store and follow the stores that meet your personal classroom needs! Also, while visiting the stores, remember to check out our freebie!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chain Reaction

Hi Everyone!

My name is Olivia and my blog is Liv to Teach. I am so excited that Primary Possibilities  arranged this great blog hop and that I get to guest blog for 1..2..3 Teach with me!

With the recent events in Connecticut and with Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this month, I wanted to share a wonderful program my school has used for the last few years. It is called “Rachel’s Challenge.” It is a program used to inspire kids to “start a chain reaction” of kindness and compassion. It is named after its founder, Rachel Scott, who cared about everyone and made it her life’s mission to touch the lives of everyone she came in contact with. She would go out of her way to help and encourage others.  She believed in finding the best and beauty in everyone!

Sadly, Rachel was one of the 13 people killed in the shooting of Columbine. After her death, her father was cleaning her room and found her hand traced on the back of her dresser. Inside the hand she wrote “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people’s hearts.” Her father wanted to see his daughters' mission continue, so he began “Rachel's Challenge.” The program inspires and encourages acceptance, unity, and random acts of kindness. It is so amazing to see our kids motivated to do kind acts for others and over the last few years we have seen how these kind acts inspire others to pay it forward, which starts a chain reaction…which could change the World.


Rachel and Martin were a lot alike. They both had big dreams, they both stood up for what they believed, they both believed that only love could concur hate, and they both had their lives taken much too young. But most importantly, they both made a huge impact and truly touched millions of people’s hearts! Their dreams came true!

Every kind act earns a chain link!
This month my students and I are going to discuss and reflect upon our dreams. We are going to talk about what it takes to accomplish dreams, how we can make change happen, and what they can do to one day touch millions of lives ourselves. We will also talk once again about how our differences make us special and discuss how boring the world would be if we were all exactly the same. Then, we will end on a high note by celebrating the lives of Rachel and Martin with “I have a dream day.” This day is always very special to the kids. They are able to get out of their school uniforms and dress up as what they want to be when they get older.

Official Rachel's Challenge Site

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Product Swap with Flying into First!

Hi everyone!

For the product swap I was teamed up with the fabulous Latoya from Flying into First!  I was so excited when I got to choose any product from her amazing store (psst---we are both having sales to celebrate this awesome swap!)

Since Martin Luther King Jr's birthday is coming up, I chose to review her "Martin Luther King Jr Unit including Literacy and Math Centers" which is 81 pages full of resources, perfect for a week long "MLK" celebration! 

The pack includes these wonderful activities that I will use for morning work each day!  Each one is great for reinforcing skills, while also staying with the Martin theme of the week!
We are going to read "Martin's Big Words" and they are going to watch the MLK brainpop.  Then spend two days using these great graphic organizers to help plan our writing!  

Once we have our ideas down, there are a variety of great writing papers the kids can use to publish their work!
The kids will also compare their own character qualities to Martin Luther King Jr. as well as Obama to MLK jr.
 Another exciting part of this pack are the literacy and math centers!
I especially like this one.  The kids will use the letters of the word "peaceful" to spell other words!
This week we are learning about place value, so I was really excited when the pack included a place value game!  So perfect---the kids will LOVE it!

There you have it!  An awesome unit, about an amazing man, designed by a very sweet blogging buddy and fellow first grade teacher!  I can't wait to use this unit  with my kiddos next week.  :-)

Please check out Latoya's blog Flying into First!  She is reviewing my "There was an old lady" unit!  Also, feel to visit our stores and take advantage of our sales! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guest Blog Hop! Welcome Teacher Mom of Three!


 A Passion For Peace

Happy New Year from Teacher Mom of 3 !! I am so very happy to be guest blogging today at Liv To Teach as part of the linky party/blog hop hosted by Primary Possibilities!

Just a quick little something about me:  I am an elementary reading specialist with 24 years experience in the classroom- from pre-school to grade 12! However, I just began blogging last May and love, love it!!  I have three sons:  one in college, one in first grade, and one in kindergarten. Yes, there is quite the age gap- LOL. 

Since it is January, I have been thinking ahead to Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday on January 15 (celebrated on 1/21). An incredible and inspiring man, I really have a passion to share his legacy with the little ones I teach and with my own children.  Today, more than ever, our kids need to know King's history, the battle he fought, and his amazing accomplishments, all done in the name of love.  What I have for you today is a collection of picture books to use in the classroom for read-alouds and independent reading.  Also, I listed a few websites with FREE items and great ideas and information for extending your study.  Enjoy!

 Picture Books About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

  • I Have A Dream by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This is a picture book and audio Cd set of King's famous speech.  Nominated for Best Picture Books 2012 by Amazon.

I Have a Dream (Book & CD)


  • Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier

For ages 5 and up- excellent introduction to King's speech. Narrative story infused with words from King's speech 

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  •   A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler (Cam Jansen author!). Illustrated by Robert Casilla

For ages 6 and up. Emphasis of book is on his childhood and family.

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Picture Book Biography)
  •    A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (Picture Book Biographies) by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Robert Casilla

    For ages 6 and up.  Details Park's life.

A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (Picture Book Biographies) (Picture Book Biography)
  •    If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine. Illustrated by Beth Peck 

    For ages 7 and up-  gives history of civil rights movement.  Answers the question, "Were children involved in the protests?"

 . . . If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King


  • Martin Luther King Jr. (Rookie Biographies) by Wil Mara 

    For ages 6 and up- a brief look at his lifeClick here to see the book listing on Amazon.  


  • My Uncle Martin's Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins  Illustrated by Eric Velasque 

     For kindergarten to grade 3. A story about King's life told from the perspective of his young niece.


My Uncle Martin's Big Heart
  •   If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold 

    For ages kindergarten-grade 4  

    A story about a young girl and a bus that talks.The main character learns why Rosa Parks is "the mother" of the Civil Rights movement.


If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks


  •   Happy Birthday Martin Luther King by Jean Marzoll Illustrated by  J. Brian Pin Kney

    For pre-school- grade 2.  An introduction to King's life- geared toward preschool.

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King (Scholastic Hardcover)


  • My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold

For ages 6 and up. Described as "innovative and stirring".

My Dream of Martin Luther King (Dragonfly Books)


  •   The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DerolfIllustrated by Michael Letzig 

    For preschool to grade 2.  A story about diversity~ poem turned into picture book. Crayons learn that they are all unique and important to creating the main character's picture.


The Crayon Box that Talked


  Kid-Friendly Websites

1.  Fact Monster 

Facts about King's life: includes a timeline, speeches, and quotes.  Facts about civil rights and civil disobedience. Includes pictures/photographs. The reading level and quiz are appropriate for older readers- intermediate-middle school. Includes a  crossword puzzle!

2.  Kid Pix slide show 

For primary students- created by a teacher.  Gives basic facts and includes a  quiz and word searches.

3. Scholastic 

Article for older students, but also includes a slideshow and free printables.

4.  Apples For the Teacher   

Free coloring pages and activities.

5. TeacherVision 

Free coloring page with a short bio on the page.  

6.  familyeducation  

Check out this site for (5) creative ways for celebrating MLK day with children.   

  I hope these resources are helpful to you as you plan your Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities!  

Thank you to Olivia for hosting me!! I leave you with a little FREEBIE I created for MLK Day. The packet includes a bubble map for recording important facts and two pages of vocabulary cards and pictures.  Just click the pic below to grab your copy.  Enjoy!


I guest blogged for 1 2 3 Teach with me!  You can view my post here!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Hi Everyone! 

Wow.  What a busy time of year!  I have no idea what my husband and I were thinking when we decided to buy our first house in the middle of all this craziness!  But we did---and we are so thankful and excited to finally have a place of our own to call home.  We are also thrilled for the opportunity to have all of our family over for the holidays! 

My students and I had lots of fun this month!  We started by exploring how many other countries celebrate the holidays.  We read a book, viewed a PowerPoint, filled out a fact page  and a craft for their suitcase, and had traditional food from each country.  It was great! 

(Love these packs! I can't remember who I bought it from, but I will look at the copyright when I get back to school and let you know!)
The kids also helped decorate the classroom with these beautiful snowflakes!  They did such a great job that no one believes me when I say that the kids made them!
Another very exciting event was the visit of Tinsel, our elf on the shelf!  Tinsel was a very sweet and funny elf.  He kept us all entertained with his silly antics!  He also left very tiny letters for the kids each day.  :)


To end the fun we had a huge party.  The kids all wore their P.J's and we had a huge cookie decorating party!  :)
 18 dozen cookies! 
Each kid decorated 12 cookies to bring home for their family and Santa! :)
They also made food for the reindeer!!
The kids brought everything home in these cute reindeer bags