Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Featured Teacher Tuesday - Week 7



This week our featured teacher is Heidi Martin from Droppin' Knowledge! Heidi is also the wonderful hostess of this fabulous linky party.

high res button.png

Heidi Martin is a 1st grade teacher and Whole Brain Teaching Staff Member!  She is also a mother of a 13 year-old daughter (Lord help her), a newlywed, and she is expecting a baby boy in January!

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 7.15.34 PM.png

Heidi has been a teacher for 4 years at a priority school in Racine, WI.  You can read all about her teaching journey HERE!  She was voted 2nd best teacher in her county last year and recently won 3rd runner up in the Thred-Up – Raise a Hand for Teachers Campaign!  Heidi has a passion for helping under-privileged students and loves to watch her first graders grow into leaders.  Through Whole Brain Teaching, Heidi teaches her students to become teachers and run a self-managing classroom.  Whole Brain Teachers like to call it “teacher heaven!"  You can read all about Heidi’s WBT Journey here!

If you want to learn more about Whole Brain Teaching, join Heidi for WBT Wednesdays on her blog and Blab.IM show. Just search WBT on Blab to find upcoming and past shows.

Besides running her blog, Heidi is also a TpT author!  You can find her store at Droppin’ Knowledge with Heidi Martin. Some of her newest products include…

These packs are perfect for working on sentence structure while team-building at the same time.



To see how she uses these in her classroom (and see other versions available), CLICK HERE!

Her **BEST SELLER** is her Editable Newsletter Templates!


This comes in a PowerPoint format so all you have to do is add your own text!

Now, how about some FREEBIES?

For 2 days only (November 17th and 18th), you can get a copy of Heidi’s Add the Room activity ~ November Edition! and the Add the Room DECEMBER edition for FREE!



A favorite forever freebie are Heidi’s “Author Check” cards:

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 5.54.33 PM.png

Get more Freebies HERE!

Thank you for checking out this week’s featured teacher!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and we will see you back on Tuesday, December 1st to meet Elisabeth from Literacy and Lattes!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Featured Teacher Tuesday - Week 6

Happy Tuesday! :)

Our next featured teacher is Carol Polston over at The Chocolate Teacher.

button white background.png

Carol is in her 23rd year of teaching.  She has taught mostly first grade with a few years of second and kindergarten sprinkled in here and there.  Her love is definitely first grade.  Carol's favorite part of teaching first grade is seeing the growth in her students from the beginning to the end of the year.  This growth never ceases to amaze her.  She feels blessed to be able to be a part of her students’ growth!
Carol has been married for 38 years.  She and her husband have three grown children and two adorable grandchildren.  An unusual fact about Carol is that she had the privilege to teach all three of her children in first grade.  Her older two children she taught as a homeschool teacher and her youngest child was in her 1st grade classroom in public school.  Carol feels happy that she got to teach all three of them how to read!  Her youngest daughter is now also a teacher (teaching P.E. - a love she did not get from her mom).  


Carol loves teaching just about every subject (ok, maybe not P.E.).  She especially loves to teach phonics and reading!  Grammar is also a subject she enjoys teaching.  Carol started creating phonics and language units to sell on TpT a little over a year ago.  She enjoys creating units to use in her own classroom and to share with others.  The first grade classrooms in her district use her phonics and language units.  You can click the links below to see a few of these.




Carol also enjoys providing activities to get her students up and moving as they learn.  To encourage this, she has created Write the Room activities.  These activities are a bunch of fun.  Students move around the room looking at cards that are pinned to the wall and they record their answers on an answer sheet.  These are a highly anticipated activity in her class.  Carol has created quite a few to go along with her weekly phonics skills.  You can check out her short vowel word family bundle here:


Carol also just completed a beginning mapping unit.  She used it in her classroom and the kids loved it.  The culminating activity in this unit is a map skill lap book.  You can see it here:


Carol has quite a few free products in her store.  Here are two that you can try that will introduce you to her phonics units and Write the Rooms:

kn phonics freebie.png


Are you wondering why Carol named her store with the unusual name: The Chocolate Teacher?  You can read all about why she did that here:   

button white background.png

You can follow Carol at these sites:




Thanks so much for taking the time to read about Carol.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Five for Fraturday

Don't you just LOVE Kacey's weekly linky party!?  I sure do!  I may not get around to posting every week, but when I have time, I love knowing she is always there to host!

November!?  How did that happen!?!  Ah, well...I guess I need to just embrace it.  I am totally in love with my new calendar cards!

We took 15 minutes or so on Friday to celebrate 10 days of 100% perfect attendance by having a basketball shoot-out!  It was a fun, free, and easy-to-implement activity. 

I started a new high-frequency word practice activity to my students this week.  They went on a HFW hunt in books.  I introduced this activity to the whole group and they searched in books for about 15 - 20 minutes, but moving forward, this sheet is just going to go into their reading toolkits and they an add to it as they see fit.

I kept it pretty simple: 1) find a sentence that has the HFW, 2) write the sentence, and 3) highlight the HFW.

My students voted on which Election Day-themed book to read.

We graphed the ballots.

Note to self for next year: Do not use bingo dabbers.  The paint smeared when the kids folded their ballots and it was difficult to tell which book they voted for.  *sigh*

My students practiced writing high-frequency words in shaving cream...errrr..."Magic Spelling Foam."  They loved it, of course!

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by!  :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Trendy Teacher Linky Party


I was hoping that Daylight Savings Time would help with the whole lighting situation in our bedroom.  Yeah, not so much.  Anyway, here's to another week of Trendy Teachers!

boots - Aldo
leggings - No Boundaries (Wal-Mart)
dress - American Eagle
cardigan - some no name brand (I bought that cardigan in a pinch when I was freezing my buns off at the Orange County Market a few years ago.)
necklace - some boutique in Spain

black pumps - Aldo
skirt - cutie patootie hand-me-down from my sweet friend
(You probably cannot tell, but that skirt has pockets!  Adorable!)
sweater - Old Navy
black tank top (under sweater) - New York and Company
scarf - American Eagle
ring - freebie with purchase at a local crafters marker

shoes - Old Navy
jeans - Banana Republic
turquoise sleeveless shirt - Banana Republic
blazer - another adorable hand-me-down piece from my generous friend
matching necklace and earrings - Hmmmm...Charming Charlies, maybe?

white pumps - Nine West
corduroy pants - Old Navy
tank top undershirt - Ralph Lauren
striped button-down shirt - American Eagle
sweater vest - Ralph Lauren

The earrings and necklace set are Lia Sophia...and a recent gift from my ma.
I love my sapphire studs.  Those were a gift from my hubby a few years ago.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)  I really encourage you to snap some pictures of your outfits in the morning before heading to work and then link up when you have time.  Whenever I am in need of some help when I am picking out my outfits every Sunday night, I refer to outfits that I have pinned online.  So share you outfit choices...I would love to see 'em!