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Teacher Feature Tuesday featuring Krista Miglorie

So excited to feature Krista Miglorie from Lil' Sprouts Pre-K!!!

1. How long have you been TPT'ing?

About 8 months and loving it!!

2. What's is your most helpful advice for new TPTers?

You won't make millions over night! :) Have patience, put out high quality products that you are proud of, and spend time on your logo and product covers. People buy with their eyes first, and the content second.

3. What is your most helpful advice for beginning teachers?

Collaborate with your coworkers, especially those that have similar teaching styles. What works for them will probably work for you too!

Any additional tips?

The TPT community is AWESOME! When you need help or want to boost sales, check out the forum. You'll become even more addicted to TPT! :)

If You Like Awesomeness, Keep Reading Below!

I love sight word activities and this is one of the best ones I've seen yet. I love the multiple opportunities to have students recognize words and increase their word knowledge.


Sunday Scoop: March 29, 2015

Happy Sunday!
Sunday Scoop Time with Teaching Trio!

Have to do:

  • Create themes for books
    • At the last staff meeting, we talked about how to group the books in themes. I aam planning to go through the books and try to create some sort of alignment guide for book selection. So if we have a lot of non-fiction books about animals at a certain level, that we can have activities to go along with them to make the learning more cohesive for the students.
  • Begin Testing
    • It's testing time! For the next seven weeks, I will be doing testing for our sites. It's a big job with over 300 students to test, but like the topic says, it's something I have to do.
  • YQPA
    • Ughh!!! Definitely on the have to do list. I had to do an evaluation of two programs and have to upload the content tomorrow morning. I am soooooooo not looking forward to this. I have had to attend trainings, conduct multiple observations, and do all of these things for work. I honestly don't like doing it and considered failing the qualifying exam so I won't have to do it it, but c'est la vie. The good news is that after tomorrow it will be done, so thank heaven for that.

Hope to do:

  • Start planning for summer institute
    • My books came in (see the happy to do below) and I hope to start thinking about my summer job and how to incorporate this material. I will be training 40-50 Teach for America teachers this summer as a Diversity and Community Specialist. It will be considerably easier this summer as I will not be 9 months pregnant lol. We had great results last summer, so I am just looking forward to improving my sessions for this year.
  • Get addresses
    • Sigh, wedding plans, oh wedding plans. This is the week to send the Save the Dates for everyone. Four months out and I am personally stressed. Can I get a Woo Sah? I know I just have to take everything day by day

Happy To do!

  • Read my new books!
    • So excited to check the mail today! For the record, we only go to the mailbox every two weeks. I hate, hate, hate bills, so checking the mail every day is not my thing. I was happy to get my new books!
I have Doing Critical Literacy by Hilary Janks to inform my summer work and a series of articles I want to write for Teacher Feature Thursday. The Classroom Management Book by Harry Wong to best support my teachers this summer, and The Morning Meeting Book to inform their planning for their morning meeting time. 

I can't wait to get started with these books!

What is your week looking like?


Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapter 7

Nothing is better than a good book, especially one that gives you great ideas for instruction. That's why I'm sharing the wisdom gleaned from the book study of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites by Dr. Marcia Tate, hosted this week by Teacher Extraordinaire Deanna Jump.

This week I'm writing about Chapter 7: The Use of Manipulatives, Experiments. Labs, and Models.

I really enjoyed reading her opening story of her daughter's classroom experience in chemistry and the lack of alignment between the work she was doing and what real chemist would do. A lot of what we ask students to do is just memorize the information and be able to repeat/write it back. I started to think about ways to empower students to do the teaching and learning.

How often do we just give students paper and pencil to demonstrate their learning? I certainly know I'm guilty. This chapter took me back to a science lesson in my first year of teaching, where my students had to draw a model of an animal cell. When it came to draw pictures of the cells, students simply copied the cell from the book. I actually cringe internally when I think of my first year teaching in a self contained classroom. I always felt so overwhelmed and always in scramble mode to come up with lessons, so that many times I didn't think about the bigger picture when teaching.

By year three, in my math and science departmentalized classroom, we were building camera obscuras, growing pumpkins for Halloween, and conducting weekly science experiments. Much better!

Recording our observations

How can you make a sunset

Add milk to water to simulate the dusk and dirt in the air and the n shine a light through it. It created pink light :)

Growing Pumpkins for Halloween

The kids really enjoyed growing the pumpkins. They made the containers out of their milk cartons. We cut out a section and taped plastic over the hole so they could see the root systems growing.

Creating camera obscuras from shoe boxes and wax paper

They studied light by making camera obscuras using wax paper and shoe boxes. It was a really interesting lesson. They kept running around to see the images in their boxes. :)

Overall, I enjoyed this section because it helped me to reflect on my growth so far as a teacher and provided new ideas to push my instruction and materials further, Many of the students in my program would benefit from more hands on opportunities to learn. We already have manipulatives for them to use during homework help, so I am interested in how to help them incorporate them in new learning activities.

I certainly use these tips with the first year teachers I work with now, especially the non-verbal assessments for student knowledge. I had them develop more signals for I have something to add, I agree, and I disagree.

Below are my take aways and my plans to implement them in the future.

What were your take aways?


Freebie Friday: Fuel Cells

Hi All!
 Just finishing up my new Even and Odd Unit and wanted to add a page for Freebie Friday!

To Download click here!

Update: The full unit is complete!!! Click here for full access!


Thursday Tips for Teachers: Quick Daily Practice

It's Thursday! Time for another Test Prep Themed Tip!

Last week, I wrote about selecting your texts based on test item samplers to best support your kids. I know I struggle sometimes with creating text passages, but I still want to provide my students with quality texts to let them show their skills, even if they do have to take these tests.

This week's tips is how I break them down to make them more manageable for you and your students. When I was first teaching, I would give them the whole passage and then go over all the questions in one setting. Needless to say, they were burnt out and depressed over the strain of taking the tests and antagonizing over their wrong answers. 

When I was working with one of my mentee teachers, we came up with another way to make test prep more manageable. Instead of doing all the review on one day, we broke it up over the next four days so that she could incorporate test prep in small chunks, but still be able to teach her lessons. 

Prep Work:

Her prep work consisted of writing 8 questions for two writing passages. She used the same focus skills so she could measure their growth from the beginning of the week. 

On Monday, students take the whole passage and only review their answers for questions 1 and 2. This allows the teacher to record all of their data on how they did and prepare mini-lessons to support her students for the rest of the week. Writing her own questions allows her to work on the skill her students struggle with and prepare to lead mini-review lessons. 

Below is the sheet she gives to students to have them explain their thinking. They record their answers on Monday, so she can take the passages and answers, but the students still have access to their answers. This sheet is great because they can record their thinking and their metacognitive skills to think about their thinking.

When they take the second passage on Friday, they track their progress on individual trackers on how many they have gotten correct out of eight. This is just a simple way to invest your students in their growth.

All of these sheets are included in my FREEBIE STAR Tracker Packet. It also includes a sheet for students to track their mastery of specific learning objectives.

Hope this helps lighten your test prep!


Wishlist Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Just wanted to share my Wishlist List Wednesday item. Shout to Hanging Around Primary for hosting! 

The 20% off item is my new unit: Math Master Multiplication.

To see more details and pictures, click the link here

 CLICK THE LINK For the freebie!


Teacher Feature Tuesdays featuring CAROL POLSTON!

I'm so excited for this week's Teacher Feature. I put a listing on the seller's forum for Round 2 of wonderful teachers and had such an amazing response.

This week, our Teacher Feature is 

Carol Polston from The Chocolate Teacher

Read more about her at

She kindly took the time to share a bit about her experiences with Teachers Pay Teachers and teaching.

1. How long have you been TPT'ing?

9 months

2. What is your most helpful advice for new TPT'ers?

Take your time. Make quality products. Use high quality clip art. Make what you'll use in your own classroom.

3. What is your most helpful advice for beginning teachers?

Lean on other teachers that have taught for awhile. Use TPT! Follow some blogs for the grade level you teach for ideas, etc.

Featured Product

If you are in need of phonics activities, please look through her site! She has such great word work activities! While you are there, be sure  check out her unit on prepositions.  Her content is simply amazing.

Make sure to drop by her blog for her wonderful teacher tips and products! I'm so glad that she shared her tips. 

If you would like to be featured on a Teacher Feature Tuesday, simply fill out the link below!


Sunday Scoop: March 22, 2015

Happy Sunday!
Checking with The Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!

Have to Do

  • Wisdom Teeth
    • Yes, I have to get my wisdom teeth out. Surgically removed. Monday morning at 8 am. So this time tomorrow, i will be minus 2 teeth and 1500 dollars. yay...
  • Odd and Even Unit
    • On a happier note, I will be finishing up by new unit on even and odd. So as I am nursing my mouth, I can finish up my answer keys.
  • Guest List
    • I'm finally getting okay with the guest list. We have a limit and some people won't be able to come. Some people will expect invitations, but the truth of the matter is, I really don't like them. Harsh I know, but it's my day and I want to have fun and not worry about Ms. Judgy McJudgerson. They will probably get mad and not speak to me, but WE DON'T speak anyway lol. (Steps down from soapbox). Anyway, it's nice to get the list together and get ready to send out the invites.

Hope to Do

  • Next Unit
    • After Odd and Even, I hope to start planning my unit skill unit. I'm thinking skip counting and pirates? Word problems and puppies? Hmm...
  • Deep Clean
    • It's past time to get this place together. We have been traveling and the suitcases sadly are still on the guest room floor. Over the next week, I hope to deep clean as I go room by room. 

Happy To Do

  • Enjoy Spring Break
    • Even though I have the surgery scheduled and cleaning on the list, I hope to get out and do something new towards the end of the week. Papaya will be in daycare so I will have the day to myself, It might just be a Netflix fest, but hey! It's MY netflix fest lol.
How is you week looking?


Friday Freebie! Even and Odd Practice Sheet

Happy Friday!

Just wanted to share a preview of my next unit on even and odd! This unit is based on 2.OA.4: Even and odd. The full unit will include a fun game about feeding the aliens or possibly losing a finger! The unit should be complete this weekend, hopefully before I get me teeth wisdom removed on Monday (Ackkk!)

Download Link
Hope this is a blessing to you and your students!


Thursday Tips for Teachers: Test Prep - Check the Copyright

Gearing up for test prep? This edition of Thursday Tips for teachers is devoted to the selecting of texts for test prep. Since it is my first Thursday Tips for Teachers, I wanted to share the gleaming golden nugget of knowledge that I recently found out and have been sharing with my mentee teachers.

When I was reviewing the state test for item samplers, I noticed that several of the passages came from Highlights, Click, and Cricket Magazines. 

All of these magazines are focused on children and feature fiction and non-fiction passages. I was not as familiar with the Click and Cricket Magazines, but a quick Google showed them to be similar to Highlights.

Why Not Use Only ReadWorks?

As much as I love ReadWorks, I really want to be strategic when selecting my texts for test prep. Many of the teachers use the ReadWorks passages during the year in class, and they can be overused when it comes time for test prep. They also come with questions that may not align with the learning objectives that my kids need the most. Using these magazine texts, helps to prep my kids with content that may be used on the test and the freedom to design and align my objectives.

Well What About Using the Practice Tests?

 Like Readworks, it can also be difficult to use the item samplers, as they are few in number. I like to save those questions/test for the diagnostic and summative assessments and use highlights to develop my formative assessments. These suggestions are only one way of prepping for the standardized tests. I like this system because it minimizes burn out on both the teacher and the students.

I would suggest looking closely at your test to find where your passages are coming from to further help your students prep. If there is no copyright, I would suggest  googling the author's name to find out more about where they have published in the past or find some of their other works.

Below are links to the highlights passages. I would suggest possibly purchasing a copy of these magazines to use in your classroom.

Next Thursday's Tip for Teachers is the break down of how to incorporate practice without becoming overwhelmed or overloading your students. One of the teachers I work with has incorporated this system and has seen a lot of growth with her students.



The Wonderful Teacher Feature is....

Nicole Chatz
from Primary Teaching Resources


2 months - but I've been creating my own teaching resources for as long as I can remember! I'd been toying with the idea of upgrading to a seller's account for a few years and finally took the plunge.


Sit back and observe for a bit before you upload your first product. There are lots of rookie mistakes you can avoid by participating in the Seller's Forum.


Don't try to do everything in your first year. The Internet is a blessing because it brings so many great ideas, but it's also a quick way to make yourself feel inadequate. Sometimes you just need to unplug and not worry about finding or designing the most creative lesson. Don't lose sight of the fact that it's your connection with the students that matters the most!


I love this grocery game! Like all of her products, it is colorful, practical, and engaging for students. 

I am so glad that she participated with Teacher Feature Tuesday. I love learning from other teachers and TPT'ers to how to grow as a teacher and as an entrepreneur. I especially love her advice about being patient with yourself and your store. I definitely had those feelings of being inadequate in the beginning, but there is a great quote that I'm trying to live by:

Don't judge your beginning by someone else's middle



FAB Activities and the Five Reasons You Need Them

Happy Monday!

Ever been stuck in a long, boring, unimaginative training filled with presenters who know everything, assume you know nothing, and who are responsible for a giant time suck of your day? Well not with FAB. My team and I attended a FAB training and it was honestly one of the best trainings I have ever attended.

F.A.B. (Fabulous Activities for the Brain) is designed to reinforce academics through movement to address the many different learning styles of students. All of the activities were hands on, relevant and easily adaptable to the students. LOVE!

Here are five reasons you need F.A.B. in your life:

FAB reinforces Common Core Objectives

One of the best parts of this program is how it gets the kids moving with still reinforcing the Common Core learning objectives. During the training, we were introduced to 10 different activities that students could use to improve their skills with money, skip counting, determining less than and greater than, and sight word practice. Inside of the book, the primary learning objective is listed at the top of each page. These activities are perfect to play during recess or to break up long standardized testing practice sessions.

FAB gets the whole body moving

F.A.B. is fabulous (pun intended) because the students are up and moving as they go through the learning activities. Instead of worksheets, students are demonstrating their practice as they retrieve the balls, match the cards, and generally engage in the activities. During the training, we were running after the balls, racing to win, and generally sweating to play the game and we were totally engaged with the process. I really wish that I have known about this when I had a classroom of 14 ten year old boys. Would have been great lol.

Easily Adaptable

All of the games were super adaptable. I could see simply changing the cards or objectives to suit your needs.
As we were playing my mind started whirring with all of the adaptations I can make with the kids in our program. We played a game of making compound words like pop and corn. I could easily see playing the game with suffixes and prefixes. We played another game with coins, which could have easily been adapted for dollars, tens, and fives to work with money skill.

Another adaptation is the use of scooters.  I saw a group of children playing with scooters in another program that I am in love with. I have memories of playing on scooters in elementary school and having the inevitable crunch of fingers. These scooters have handles to help protect fingers and add stability to the children racing.

I'm currently in the process of making a list of objectives that our students need the most help with to best support the students. With all the prep to get ready for TCAP, I am identifying the top ten skills to review with per grade and adapting the instructions for our tutors. I plan on posting more about test preparation this Wednesday. :)

Use materials you already have

While I'm planning on getting the scooter, many of the games just needed hoops, balls, and index cards. The picture below is simply a cut up pool noodle used as tokens. How cool is that?! After reviewing the items, it was clear that most of these things can be purchased from Dollar Tree.

Balls in a hoop. Who knew?

Alignment with Specials Staff

I love that all of this instruction occurs during specials on Friday in Physical Education. I love how it empowers special teachers and gives them the opportunity to strengthen students minds, as well as their bodies. In my old school, specials teachers weren't really looped into what was happening to the classroom and we weren't looped into their lessons. These FAB activities really create cross over support for all involved.



I was so invigorated by the training. I loved the content and how the presenters modeled it as well. The training was clear and concise, and they were open to all of the adaptations suggested by the participants. Instead of just watching a slide show, we were up playing the games, shooting the balls, flipping the cards, and racing for the money. We were so happy to win a FREE copy of the book to begin planning with our students.

I highly recommend the FAB book as a means of engaging your students. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go and visit this site. You will be happy that you did.  

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