Sunday, July 19, 2015

Seven Steps to Landing Your First Teaching Job

Hello Primary Powers friends! It’s Jeannine from Creative Lesson CafĂ©. 

 I am here today to share some helpful tips for our friends who may be hoping to land their very first teaching job and for those looking to find a new position. 

There is some tough competition out there... but following these seven steps can help you secure the teaching position you’ve always dreamed of!

As you begin your job search for the upcoming school year, it is important to be prepared, be informed, be confident, be flexible, be focused, but be patient! A few disappointments may happen along the way, but with determination, you will eventually land the job of your dreams! Follow your heart, don't give up, and always know that your friends at Primary Powers are cheering you on! 

To learn more about what you can do for each of these steps, click {here}!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Facebook Super Selfie Challenge

Many of you may be wondering what all of the Las Vegas talk is about and why so many TeachersPayTeachers sellers are excited.  For the 2nd year, TeachersPayTeachers is holding a conference and I think many people are excited to meet, share ideas, and have fun with other teachers!

But not everyone is going--and that, my friends, is totally okay.  I have been there. I sat at home last summer with my sweet baby boy and felt like I missed so much of the fun!

This year we are changing that!

We want EVERYONE to be a part of the FUN!

Here is how you can join us:

1. LIKE our Facebook page.

Click the image above to head there now!

2. LOOK each day for a Super Selfie Challenge to be posted.

3. POST your selfie in the comments and be entered to win a prize for that day!

The fun begins on Wednesday, July 8 and goes through Friday, July 10.

We can't wait to see all of your beautiful faces!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Super Selfie Challenge in Vegas

Happy July friends! It’s Jillian here to share some breaking news!  To embrace the excitement that many are having about the Teachers Pay Teachers conference next week, the ladies of Primary Powers introduce the SUPER SELFIE CHALLENGE!

Heading to Vegas and want to play? Here’s how:

Wednesday, July 8th (Starting at the Blogger Meet-up) - Friday, July 10th 

1.  THE HUNT-  Keep an eye out for any one of these 15 Primary Powers Bloggers in Vegas:

They will each be wearing this pin for easy recognition!

2.  TAKE A SELFIE- Who doesn't like a selfie?  
  • If you find one of our bloggers, get out your phone/camera and take a selfie with us! (selfie stick optional!) 
  • Upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #superselfiechallenge
  • Be sure to tag the blogger and Primary Powers in your post!
3.  THE EARLY BIRD CATCH-  If you are one of the first 5 people to snap a photo with that particular author each day, she will present you with a card to redeem for $5.00 to her TpT store!  (That’s 15 authors, with a total of 15 gift cards per author… that’s a whole lot of TpT love!)

4.  GRAND PRIZE-  If you aren’t one of the first 5 to find us every day, don’t worry!  Still snap that selfie!  Your photo will still automatically enter you into our grand prize raffle!  The more photos you take, the more entries you have, and the better your chances to win!  What is that grand prize exactly?

We know that you will all be beautifying your classrooms soon (but not too soon!) and we wanted to help take some of the financial strain off of your back-to-school shopping list.  The grand prize winner of the SUPER SELFIE CHALLENGE will score a $200.00 gift card to Target to purchase any organizing bins, school supplies, or back-to-school outfits you may be eyeing.  Good luck, and we hope you find us in Vegas!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Close Reading Freebie

Hi everyone! It's Alexandria from Classroom Action with Ms. Jackson.  
I know it is summer, but I have been thinking of ways to help my students next year and decided to revisit close reading.  
I really want my students to dig deeper as they read text. 
Here are some helpful tips for the first, 
second, and third reads. 

During the first read students are getting an idea of what the text or passage is about.  I like to give a general overview before my students start reading.   The overview helps them build background and activate prior knowledge about the subject. During this read, students can tell what it is about, underline the main idea, and talk to a partner about the text.

During the second read students dig a bit deeper and try to understand the text a little more.  
Students read the text again, circle key words they may think are important, and determine the author's purpose.  I like to let my students talk with their shoulder partners about the text.  I usually circulate throughout the room to make sure my students are engaging in accountable talk about the topic.

 During the third read students usually have a good grasp of what the text is about.  I usually assign a task to them. Sometimes they answer questions, compare text, and relate it to their own life.  I also have the students write about the text. 

Students keep these bookmarks at their desk to help them work through the text.  I printed them on card stock and laminated them.  They last a long time and the students find them to be very 

I hope this gave you a brief overview of close reading and how you can use it in your classroom.  You can pick up this FREEBIE by clicking here
Have fun using these easy strategies with your class!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Earth & Martian Words! {freebie}

The end of the school year is quickly coming, but I'm already thinking about back to school.
I can't help myself!!!

This was one of my favorite games to play with my first graders at the beginning of the year!
It's called Earth & Martian Words.
It's a SUPER fun way to build fluency with CVC words.
What six year old wouldn't want to read martian words! ;)

It's really easy to play too.
You need two game with Earth words, one with Martian words.

The first option for playing is to simply take turns reading a word and covering it with a counter/penny or anything you have!  
This is how I play at the very beginning of the year.  
The kids choose whether they want to read an Earth word or Martian word.

The second way to play is to roll a dice. 
If the number is even, the player reads an Earth word and covers it.
If the number is odd, the player reads a Martian words and covers it.
Easy peasy! ;)

Your kids will be fluent little CVC readers in no time at all!
And they'll have fun doing it. :)

You can grab this FREEBIE in my store! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

5 Tips to Avoid the Summer Slide

Summer is a favorite time of year for almost everyone. Time with family and friends, evening BBQs, a looser schedule and the best part... time to rejuvenate! 

But as a teacher and mother, summer is also a time when I want to my kids to stay sharp and not forget all the good stuff they learned during the year. That is why I dedicate one hour a day to making sure my boys are reviewing and using their reading, writing, and math skills.  This is not always one straight uninterrupted hour in the day. Sometimes it's 20 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the car, and 20 minutes later in the day. I work it into our schedule for the day, so the kids don't even know they are doing it!

Read anywhere, anytime, any place.... Read by the pool, read outside under a tree, read under a home-made fort with a flashlight...Just READ! Make it a fun and different experience. They don't need to be at a desk or table to read. The most important thing is to make sure they have a book in their hand and they are reading. If your child is not an independent reader yet, make sure to read to them for 20 minutes each day. This will help instill the love of reading and you get to spend quality time together. 

Use flash cards or a deck of cards to brush up on math skills. Playing a game of WAR or Concentration is a fun way to review basic math facts.  You can use these flash cards for addition & subtraction and multiplication & division practice too. I just cut them out and put them on a ring. Then, I time my kids to see how fast they can get through them. They love to try and beat their old time. 

Once a week, we also take a timed test to brush up on our math facts. They try to complete all 50 problems in 3 minutes with no mistakes. If they are successful, they move to the next level. My kids thrive on beating the clock!


This is a fun way to integrate reading, writing, and following directions. Yes, your kitchen and children may look like this:
Image result for kids cooking
But, I promise you, it is something they will always remember and they will feel empowered! 

Make A Summer Scrapbook:
Take pictures of all the places you go and of all the things you do over the summer. Whether it's a trip to the beach, the local zoo, or a special family adventure, make sure to take LOTS of pictures. Then, decorate a scrapbook and have your kids write captions for the pictures. This will help them brush up on their writing skills and record their memories at the same time. 

Complete A Summer Workbook:
I always have my boys complete a summer workbook to bridge their skills to the next grade level. In the past I have purchased these books from Amazon: 
My boys loved completing them and working for a prize. It may be a trip to get a Slurpee or movie of their choice. No matter how big or small the incentive, it is important to set a goal and reward them for achieving it. 
I also created a review skills packet for my own second grade students. I sent this home with them for the summer with a new book. It helps them review all their reading, writing and math skills from second grade.

Whatever you do this summer for your students or your own children, make it fun and engaging. They won't even know they are reviewing skills they have already learned and they will be ready for the upcoming school year!