Back-to-School Freebies

I know.  I’m not done with summer, either.  But, if you’re like me, when you think about the new school year there is a little thrill of anticipation.

When you’re ready for some great new lessons, activities, and teaching materials– all FREE– you’ll want to check out the resources below.

Download your own free Scrambled Paragraph lesson. This fun, print-and-go activity contains a scrambled paragraph with eight (8) sentences that can be put together only one way. Students assemble these paragraphs using transitions and inferential clues. Like training wheels on a bicycle, working with scrambled paragraphs helps students understand how to write logical, organized paragraphs! This is just one of many great freebies available in the Common Core English Language Arts: Free Back-to-School eBook Grades 3-5. Check it out here!back to school snipTo see the complete Common Core English Language Arts: Free Back-to-School eBook Grades 3-5, click here.  To see the Common Core English Language Arts Free Back-to-School eBook for Grades k-2, click here.

Have you found any other great Back-to-School resources?  If so, please leave a comment so we’ll know where to check them out!

FLASH FREEBIE! First of four thru June 2013!

THIS OFFER IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!


Flash Freebie with Green BorderFLASH FREEBIE! Between now and 5:30 PM, today, June 6, 2013, this popular product is yours for FREE!

Missed it?  Keep watching for three more FLASH FREEBIES through the month of June!

Scrambled Paragraphs 4-in-1 BUNDLE Activity Packets~ Four of my most popular products for 20% off the total price. Students use a structured template, as well as transition and inference clues to practice creating logical, organized paragraphs. This bundle contains the following four Scrambled Paragraphs products in a single, compressed file: Introduction, Basic, Intermediate, and Challenging. Fun way for students to learn how to logically organize their writing!

Scrambled Paragraphs 4-in-1 BUNDLE Activity Packets~ Four of my most popular products for FREE!  Students use a structured template, as well as transition and inference clues to practice creating logical, organized paragraphs. This bundle contains the following four Scrambled Paragraphs products in a single, compressed file: Introduction, Basic, Intermediate, and Challenging. Fun way for students to learn how to logically organize their writing!

The Power of Prepositions!

Prepositions are underrated.  Even adverbs, one of the most enigmatic parts of speech, gets more attention than prepositions.

What difference does it make?

Consider this.  Emerging writers often fail to use complete sentences.  Students who can identify prepositions and prepositional phrases are better able to identify the subject and verb of a sentence.  Once this skill is mastered, students’ writing is clearer and more complete.

To understand how to find subjects, students first need to learn about nouns and pronouns.  Once students have a handle on nouns and pronouns, teachers might want to consider moving on to prepositions.  Here’s why.  Many sentences have prepositional phrases.  The nouns and pronouns that end these propositional phrases are called objects of the preposition.  Students often incorrectly mistake the nouns and pronouns in these prepositional phrases as the subject of the sentence.

I love prepositions

Phrases like these can seem like sentences.  Along the slippery trail.  Stuck between two pages.  When the bus arrived.

Even when students seem to have mastered the ability to identify subjects and verbs, sentences with several nouns or pronouns can be confusing.  Check out this sentence:

Down the hill, past the grove of orange trees, Linda turned onto the shady, dirt road by the new school.

Students who have learned to identify prepositions and objects of the preposition are able to eliminate all the prepositional phrases in sentences, even one this long.  Let’s try it.  If we eliminate all the prepositional phrases– down the hill, past the grove, of orange trees, onto the shady, dirt road, and by the new school– that only leaves two words:  Linda and turned.

Down the hill, past the grove of orange trees, Linda turned onto the shady, dirt road by the new school.

Given two words to choose from, most students will be able to identify the noun (Linda) as the subject, and the remaining word (turned) as the verb.

Eliminating large chunks of wording from sentences makes it much easier for students to pick the correct noun or nouns that are acting as the subject, as well as the verb or verbs that make up the complete verb phrase.

SubjectVerbAgreementGraphicMy

After searching for materials that use this approach to teaching grammar and writing,  I discovered there was little to be had.  Below are the resources I’ve discovered, as well as those I’ve created for my own use.

There are many free worksheets at Super Teacher Worksheets.  However, it’s important to review all handouts carefully to avoid sentences that include infinitives such as to be, to go, or to see, that might confuse students just beginning to learn this skill.

There are several free preposition videos available through WatchKnowLearn.   Since most are geared toward a wide age range, you may need to check out two or three before finding one best suited to a specific grade.  Here’s a link to a short preposition SMART Board lesson on SMART Exchange.  And, this link at CafeTechno has some definitions and examples that might help clarify lesson content.

Here’s an 88-slide PowerPoint that introduces prepositions and prepositional phrases, as well as showing how to eliminate them to identify the subject and verb of a sentence.  For a limited time, purchase this product and receive a FREE copy of the companion product, Identifying Subjects & Verbs; Easy Mastery Using Prepositions & Prep. Phrases .

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This engaging PowerPoint is designed to teach students to easily identify the subject and verb of a sentence. The entertaining lesson contains animations, cartoon characters, and humorous dialogue. Students learn about a “trick” for identifying subjects and verbs. The key to the “trick” is learning how to eliminate prepositional phrases from the sentence. Any student with a basic understanding of nouns and verbs will enjoy success with this approach.

Check it out!

This resource contains 43 reproducible pages (plus answer keys) designed to teach students to easily identify the subject and verb of any sentence.  Using these materials students will learn to: identify up to 48 common prepositions, locate and cross out all prepositional phrases in a sentence, and scan the remaining words to identify the subject and verb.

Identifying Subjects & Verbs~ These handouts, printables, and assessments help students eliminate prepositional phrases to easily identify the subject and verb. Includes preposition handouts, step-by-step introduction, practice worksheets, and quick, easy-to-grade assessments.

Identifying Subjects & Verbs~ These handouts, printables, and assessments help students eliminate prepositional phrases to easily identify the subject and verb. Includes preposition handouts, step-by-step introduction, practice worksheets, and quick, easy-to-grade assessments.

Check it out!

If you know of any other free or low-cost resources that use prepositions and prepositional phrases to identify subjects and verbs of sentences, please leave a comment and share!

FREE Social Studies and Language Arts Printables

I’m always amazed at how much free stuff there is on-line… if you just have time to look.  Ah-h, there’s the rub.  Who has time?  Here are a few resources that are ready for immediate use.

FREE Emancipation Proclamation Commemorative Coloring Book with text provides an overview of the history of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The coloring pages feature Abraham Lincoln and notable African Americans, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama.  One of many free  government resources at Federal Resources for Educational Excellence.  Click here to see this coloring book.

FREE Word Box Worksheet Generator available at SchoolExpresss.  You can also make spelling, word search, and alphabetizing worksheets for your kids!  Click here to make a page like the one below.

Click here to check out this FREE list of transition words.  This is a great writing tool to share this students.  You’ll find a wealth of similar, print-and-go resources at Busy Teacher’s Cafe.

Transition Words PrintableClick here to check out this FREE KWL Chart with an engaging visual with lines for writing.  The easy-to-understand design brings home the point behind this common exercise.  Your students will love this lesson by Teachers Pay Teachers seller, Rebekah Benson.

KLW chart with brainClick here to check out this FREE Custom Writing Paper.  Design your own with images like Sponge Bob, Curious George, and Thomas the Tank.  Select other themes, too, such as animals, seasons, and holidays.  All writing paper can be printed in color or B/W, and with or without lines. Fun way to create writing paper for all occasions.  DLTK.com also has links for creating awards, bookmarks, and greeting cards!

FREE Shel Silverstein Poetry Workshop Kit

Since 1996 April has been celebrated as National Poetry Month.  With this FREE Shel Silverstein Poetry Workshop Kit your students can celebrate any time of the year.  Shel Silverstein’s classic poetry books such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, have long been loved by both children and adults.

This 10-page download contains reproducible writing activity sheets.  Each page introduces a different type of poetry including rhyming, epigram, visual, concrete, list, and rebus.  Not sure what each of this is?  No problem.  You’ll learn right along with your students, and you’ll both enjoy the charming Shel Silverstein illustrations.  Click here to check out this great free resource!ShelSilversteinPoetryUnit

Shortcut for Creating a List of Your Pinterest Boards

Are you an avid Pinterest pinner?  If so, there may come a time you want a complete list of all your boards.  After typing out my list by hand, I accidentally discovered a terrific short cut.

1.  Click on any of your pins as though you are about to repin it.

2.  Click on the pull down menu that generates a list of your boards.

3.  Place the curser near the list, a little to the left of the actual words.

4.  Left click your mouse and hold it down as you move the mouse down the list of board names.  The selected words will be highlighted in blue.  Let go of your mouse, hit Control+C.

5.  Open a word processing program.  I use Word.  Place your cursor on a blank page and hit Control +V.

Voila!  You should be able to see the items on your Pinterest list of boards that you just highlighted.

Pinterest Board Copy PictureClick here to check out the board pictured above.

10 Tips for Finding Free Resources

Do you need to introduce or reinforce a skill?  Are you teaching American History for the first time?  Are your classroom materials outdated or incomplete?  Do your lessons just need a little pizzazz?   There’s a goldmine of ideas out there, once you learn a few tricks.jpg_internet031

1.  We all have “go to” resources.  I like Teachers Pay Teachers and Super Teacher Worksheets.  I often find free or low-cost materials that can be immediately printed out and put to use.  Start with your own tried-and-true resources.

2.  Successfully searching the Internet is part luck and part finesse.  Select your favorite search engine– I like Google— and type in key words.  Be specific.  Instead of typing American History, try War of 1812 worksheet fourth grade free.

3.  Before clicking on any links the search turns up, check the web address.  For example, if Amazon is in the address it’s probably a product for sale.  If it ends in .com you may be required to log in to the site before accessing the material.  And, if it’s part of a larger site there may be a lot of pop-up ads.  You can’t avoid these entirely, but you can save time by carefully choosing which links to explore.

4.  Narrow your search.  Use additional key words or use the search tools at the top of the screen.  You’ll be amazed what a search for War of 1812 PowerPoint will unearth.  Or, try War of 1812 word search or War of 1812 webquest.

5.  Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Check the favorites tab on your computer.  At some time in the past you probably found a great resource and bookmarked it.  You didn’t have time to explore it then, but you knew it might be helpful in the future.  The future is now!

Pinterest Image

6.  Check out Pinterest.  If you don’t have an account, it’s easy to get started.  This rapidly-growing resource provides quick access to most any topic you can imagine.  Searching War of 1812 lesson I found “pins” with pictures and short descriptions of each resource.  Each “pin” links to the resource described as well as the “board” it came from.  Sometimes the source board turns up additional time-saving links.  Follow “boards” that specialize in areas of interest to access all current and future “pins.”

7.  Don’t overlook blogs.  We’re all pressed for time.  When you find a blog that reflects your interests and needs, sign up to receive notification of new posts.  It’s a lot easier to unsubscribe later than it is to try to find the blog when you go searching the next time.

8.  Organize your favorites.  Take a few minutes to do it on your computer or, once you have a Pinterest account create boards to store your links.  You can get to Pinterest with any device that has online access.  For example, I have a board for graphics, TpT, and free teaching resources.  I also have a few private boards for links to resources I haven’t yet explored.  Honestly, I’m not getting any kickback from Pinterest, I just think it’s a great tool.  It helps me organize and access all kinds of information.

9.  Open your school closet.  Look on the shelves near your desk.  There’s a lot more in those teacher manuals and supplemental books provided by the publisher than you remember.  Crack one open and look for extension activities and online resources.  For example, Harcourt Trophies has online lessons that students can use in school and at home.

10.  Finally, don’t overlook the teacher next door.  Sometimes the easiest solution is the most obvious.  Ask your “neighbor” if he or she has any good ideas.  Send out an “all call” email to the other grade-level teachers in your district requesting ideas that have worked for them.  Reach out beyond the four walls of your classroom to the greater educational community.  Collaboration is the most valuable resource of all.

Click here to check out Super Teacher Worksheets, a FREE resource I use all the time.

SuperTeacherWorksheets-homepage-header                    Teachers Pay Teachers has over 80,000 FREE resources.                      Here’s the link to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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