Spring is Here - Poetry Hop

Hoppy Spring!  A.K.A. Allergy season in my house.  I woke up this morning with puffy eyes, my husband said I looked like a frog! Yup, a frog.  
This weekend, we're celebrating poetry.  Teaching poetry didn't come natural to me.  So, I had to pack my teacher toolbox full of little tricks of the trade.  Take a peek inside my Pinterest Poetry Toolbox.
I love seeing kids write little poems about the things they love.  I also love seeing kids become authors. Today, I'm going to show you how to make a brown bag book.  I PROMISE if you make this with your students and hang it in the hallway you are guaranteed to get "Oooh's and Aaaah's" from your colleagues and parents.  
The materials you'll need are: 3 lunch sized paper bags per student, scissors & a rubberband (ribbon is optional).  

Begin by cutting the ends off of each paper bag. 

Next, line up all 3 bags, fold into a booklet, cut about an inch slit into each end and slide the rubberband into place.

Now, you're paperbag book is ready to decorate.  For this project, you'll need to download my Poetry Brown Bag Freebie!

Each page has space for notes or a description and students can write their own poems to put on the "tag pages".  These pages have a ribbon attached like a tag or a tab.

To add the tab, simply cut strips of ribbon, fold over and staple to the back side of your paper.

I've made a few brown bag books in my teaching career and they tend to be on the girly side.   I tried to make this a little more generic and it looks cute, but isn't girly! 

Continue along our hop and check out my friend, Tara's blog!

Have you ever made a Brown Bag Book?  I've used it for cause and effect.  How else could you use it?
A special thanks to our graphic artists: Epiphanous, EduClips and Hello Fonts.


3,2,1 Sunday Scoop Link Up

For a while now, I've wanted to link up with Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop.  I just rarely have time on Sunday to blog.  Today, I'm MAKING time!  Here we go...

This Little Piggy wonders, have you ever made salads in a jar?


Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Dr Pepper 
These three things are from Texas, just like me.  While you might be celebrating Valentine's weekend with your loved one, I'm celebrating my love of Texas with my fellow Texas Teachers.

I'm a Texan, born and raised, North Texas is where I spent most of my days!  Yes, I love Will Smith and no, he's not a Texan.
Currently, I live in Waxahachie (wax-uh-hatch-ee).  I moved here when I got married about 9 years ago.  It is a small historic town, south of DFW with impressive landmarks and a thriving bed and breakfast business. You might have heard about it recently because Jon Kitna is now our head football coach.
Photo Courtesy of Troy's Photos
Waxahachie's courthouse is one of the oldest courthouses in Texas.  It was refurbished in 2002 with sandstone from the same quarry that was used in the 1800's to build the original.
This is an exact replica of the Munster Mansion.
Have you ever watched the Munsters?  Well, a couple in Waxahachie built an exact replica of the Munster's Home.  It's actually right down the street from my daughter's old daycare and I drove by it daily; however, I've never been inside.  During Halloween, they have a charity event where you can tour the mansion and the owners dress up like the Munster family.

I have lots of lessons that I love!  What matters is that my students love design challenges.  In my gifted pull-out classroom we do them daily.  Students are collaborating, problem solving, inferring, designing, hypothesising, researching and re-designing.  The really awesome thing about design challenges is....you don't need to buy a lot of supplies. 

This Freebie is from my font-loving friend, Nicole Shelby's TpT Store. I love that students can incorporate both STEM & Writing!  
If you haven't visited Smart Chick's TpT Store - RUN over there and download this awesome STEM freebie.  If feel like you don't have time to do design challenges in the regular ed classroom...do them on an early release day!  I promise they are 100% engagement.

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If you're a Texas Teacher, I have plenty of STAAR Resources for 3rd Grade Reading Teachers in my TpT Store, stop by sometime.   

Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

This Little Piggy Loves being a Texan!


100 Days of School Activities

Today I'm presenting a collection of ideas for the 100th Day of School Celebration.

I know these ideas are grade specific; however, your entire school can participate! You can host a 100 Days parade and have each grade level do something different.
*dress up like they are 100
*wear 100 day crowns
*make a shirt that has 100 items on it
*make a poster with 100 things
*create posters of different ways to make 100
If the entire school doesn't want to participate, maybe PK-2 can celebrate and walk down the "big kids" hallway.

If your kids make shirts, make one too!

Here's an APP that lets you take a pic of your student & then age them. Maybe you could have your kids write paragraphs after using the APP.

Does your grade level decorate for the 100th Day?

Maybe you can set up math stations in celebration?

If you teach Upper Elementary, I have an item you might like!

I have a Pinterest board full of ideas for a variety of grade levels. Check it out!
Follow This Little Piggy Reads (Deniece)'s board 100th Day Celebration on Pinterest.


Valentine's Day Teacher Gifts

I've never written a post about Teacher Gifts, but now that I'm the parent I find that it is another gift I stress about.  So, I found a few items I thought I'd share with you.

If you're the "crafty mom" or just enjoy making things...I think any teacher will enjoy these.

I found these pencils last year and I loved them! I think this is a cheap great idea if you have multiple kids and/or multiple teachers to buy for!

Is your child's teacher girly? If so, these will go over well.

If you're low on money this Valentine's season, here are a few thoughtful, but low cost gifts.

What if your child has a male teacher? What do you do? I found a couple of pins that I thought might work.

And finally, if you're like me and you tend to give school supplies, germ-x or tissues as gifts - at least make them look cute!

This Little Piggy hopes you got an idea for your child's teacher!


Winter Wonders Blog Hop Freebie

Welcome to our Literacy Land Bloggie Birthday Hop! It's been a year since we launched Adventures in Literacy Land!  Our goal was to share tips & tools for effective literacy instruction.  Along the way, I've made some pretty amazing friendships with other bloggers. We're adding a few new bloggers this year. I know you'll enjoy reading their posts.  

To celebrate our Bloggie Birthday, we are hosting a Winter Wonders Blog Hop.  Each author has a free literacy resource you can download and we're giving away not 1, but 4 Barnes and Nobles Gift Certificates!  

When I was in the regular education classroom, I saw 3 classes of Reading/Language Arts throughout the day.  By my 3rd class, the kids were playing "ants in my pants" and moving around in their seat constantly.  It was like one of those TV cartoons where the kids are staring at the clock and waiting for lunch or recess.  

I began using "round-the-room" review activities.  At the time, I would find articles or short stories and write questions that were aligned to my teaching standard of the week.  Groups would move from station to station and answer the questions.  As time went on, I began making these Round-the-Room activities and selling them on TpT.  They have become very popular and teachers love that students get to move around the classroom.  All of my Round-the-Room activities are CCSS and TEKS aligned. Today, I am offering my newest Round-the-Room focusing on Figurative Language for FREE during our Winter Wonderland Blog Hop!  This pack is perfect for 4th/5th Grade teachers.  

Visit Wendy from Read with me ABC

This Little Piggy wants to know are you departmentalized or self-contained?     


Gift of Reading Blog Hop

Guess what?  I'm not dead.
I know I haven't blogged in a while...but I have good news.  Today I will be sharing a freebie with you.

Some of my FB friends have gotten together to spread holiday cheer with FREEBIES!

Has this ever happened to you?  
You wake up 5 minutes late.  
You realize you forgot to pack your daughter's lunch. You pour a cup of coffee & realize you're out of creamer.  
By the time you walk out of the house you're running 10 minutes late.  
Yes, this has happened to me.  Okay, it happens more than I want to admit.  

My sanity saver is Bell Work.  It gives my students something to do while I'm getting things adjusted and drinking my coffee.  When I taught 3rd Grade Reading, my class began at 7:45!  Who's idea was it to start school before I finished my coffee?  I relied heavily on Bell Work.  My usual Bell Work was a short passage and questions that spiral reviewed the past few weeks of standards.  I like this format because it allows most students to be successful and it spotlights the students who need a little extra help.  
My freebie today is a Winter Themed Sampler of my STAAR Style Spiral Review/Bell Work.

Hop over to Emily's blog - she has some cute Cootie Catchers for you!

This Little Piggy plans to blog a lot more this Thanksgiving Break, check back!