Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Day Sale

All of us at Upper Elementary Snapshots would like to wish you a "Happy New Year!" On January 1st only, all of our stores will be on sale! Visit each Teachers Pay Teachers store through the links below, purchase, and save!
 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Countdown to Christmas!

This time of year can be so busy! If you are like my family, you have probably already had at least a couple of Christmas get-togethers, parties, etc. This past weekend we went to my in-laws for their family Christmas. We had a wonderful time seeing family members that we have not seen in way too long. Here is a picture of my husband, my girls, and me.
 
Yesterday, we spent the day in town looking for my hubbie a recliner for his Christmas gift. I wanted to pick one out to surprise him, but I knew it would be too hard to find just the right fit without letting him sit in it first. I was right. I would have totally picked out the wrong one. I would have gone for pretty, but of course, he wanted comfort.  I think we found a nice compromise. While we were out shopping, we also found the Abominable Snowman! We had to take time to take some fun pics.

 Can you tell which girl is the clown?
 
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday! Enjoy your days off from school, rest, and enjoy your family and friends. Winter break can be so rejuvenating for teachers. It definitely gives us a needed break!
 
I know you probably do not have your mind on school, and I don't blame you one bit! I do want to share with you a couple of things about my store.  I have a few of my Christmas items on sale for $1 and $3 deals! You may want to stock up for next year! Simply click on the picture below to visit my store.  The sale items are on the featured items row. These will be on sale through Christmas day!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kelly-Benefield
 
Also, on my feature items row, you will see my January Border Hoarders Club.  If you haven't joined yet, and you love borders, then you don't want to miss out on this huge savings. Each week during the month of January, members will download new border sets, clipart, and more. Join now for a huge savings.  Simply click on the picture below and join now!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Border-Hoarders-Club-January-1584236
 
For those of you who can't wait, here is just a sneak peek at the first border set that you will receive in this club! The first week's set is HUGE! Currently, there are almost 50 pieces in this fun set. These borders are the same high quality borders that you have come to expect from my store. For those of you who have purchased the club membership, don't forget to download the first set the first weekend in January, and thank you so much for your purchase!
 
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!
 




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Trees Art and Christmas Activity

At my school, this is the last week before Christmas vacation! Yay! I'm ready for a couple of weeks off with my family, but before vacation begins, we still have a few days left. Now the question is, "What do I do with these kiddos who are even more ready to be out than I am?"

This week I have some enjoyable activities planned. We are reading Christmas themed books, using some fun task cards, completing some fun art and writing activities. For example, one fun art activity that we did was this easy tree art activity.  Students simply traced 5 or 6 Christmas trees on a piece of paper. I used the die cut machine to cut out a tree shape for each student. They turned the trees all different directions.

 
Next, the students outline and colored each Christmas tree with decorations.
 
Finally, they filled in the background with lines or designs. 
 
 
This was a quick and easy activity that the students really enjoyed. Also, very few supplies are needed: paper, pencil, crayons, and a die cut Christmas tree. I think they look bright and colorful on the bulletin board.
 
Another fun activity that we will complete this week is my Owl About My Christmas handout from my Owl About My Christmas Packet. You can find a copy in my TpT store.  If you need an easy activity that your students will enjoy completing and sharing, this is it.  Simply print and complete. Students will enjoy writing about their Christmas memories and favorite traditions, and you will love how adorable these turn out!
 
Your students will love writing about their Christmas trees, traditions, and memories!

 

I hope you have a very blessed week!



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Border Hoarders Club, Week 2 Freebie, and My Christmas Tree

It has been a while, but I'm finally linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics and Monday Made It.

 

I have hired for the second year in a row my own personal decorators for Christmas! They put up and decorated 3 trees in my house, and decorated my mantel.  They were fabulous and cost very little (two colas and a bag of chips)! Actually, my decorators are my teenage daughters! They brought everything down from the attic and did most of the decorating themselves. I am so spoiled.  Just take a look at the fabulous job they did decorating our tree in our living room.

 
The ornaments are mostly bought, but my youngest daughter helped me make the paper birds out of book pages and sticks from the yard.
 
 
 
 
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported my store and blog this year, so I have created some freebies just for you!  This week I have uploaded my Week 2 Christmas Gift Freebie.  Simply click here to download this freebie. I think you will enjoy this!
 
 
 
 
My latest clipart project that I am so excited about is my new Border Hoarders Club! I have been working frantically on clipart ideas for this fun club.  If you love borders and are a border hoarder, then this packet is just for you! Each week in January, you will receive a new set of borders (or other clipart).  Each set is a surprise that I hope you will love. By joining, you will receive these sets months before I offer each set for sale individually in my store. Another benefit is that you will save $$ by joining. I have been amazed at the positive response to this new club.  I'd love for you to join in on the fun!
 
 
Have a blessed day!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas Upper Elementary Snapshots Giveaway!

Today is the big day! Have you visited Upper Elementary Snapshots? If not, don't miss out! Visit today and each day through December 14th to receive one free, yes FREE, download each day from our wonderful group of teachers. While you are there, enter our giveaway!
 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and a few Monster Descriptions

I am linking up today with Doodle Bugs for Five for Fraturday (Friday). Yes,  I'm a day late.  Because I had such good intentions, I just knew that I would link up yesterday.  I remembered to take pictures throughout the week and I had five things ready to share.  Last night, however, when I finally sat down, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open.  I gave up and went to bed.


This week, we looked closely at story elements.  After reading aloud books and modeling for the students, I had the students work in pairs to read Chris Van Allsburg's book, The Stranger.  He is one of my favorite author/illustrators of children's literature, and this book is perfect for the fall.  Although students need a lot of help with the inferences in the story, they still enjoyed this book very much.  

Product Details
After reading the book, students used a graphic organizer from my Thanksgiving Graphic Organizers packet.  This packet contains 19 Thanksgiving themed graphic organizers that are perfect to use with any book or any Thanksgiving themed book.  I chose to use the graphic organizer that reviewed story elements. These graphic organizers are perfect for getting students to think deeply about their reading as well as expressing their thoughts on paper.




Our high school, middle school, and elementary have worked together to present an annual Veterans Day program for many years. We started many years ago in honor of our principal that we had at the time who was a Vietnam veteran.  Over the years, we have had many special programs and awesome speakers.  This year was no exception, in fact, it was one of the best that we have had in years.  (Sorry, no pics of the program!)  To decorate our halls, my students created beautiful flag inspired art.  You can visit Upper Elementary Snapshots to read more.  



Speaking of Upper Elementary Snapshots, if you haven't visited, please stop by.  I'm thrilled to be a part of this new blog with 11 creative teachers.  You will definitely recognize these fantastic teachers from TpT!  We would love for you to follow our blog for wonderful ideas, freebies, and giveaways!





Another fun activity that we did this week was in writing.  This is not an original idea, but I found this idea many years ago (I think it was in a Mailbox magazine).  I recently saw it on the Teaching Channel.  I simply had my students draw a monster (the cute kind).  Then I told them to write about their monster to describe how the monster looks.  When everyone had completed their monsters and their writing, I took them up and chose 4 pictures to display on the board.  Then I read one description and let the students guess which picture the writing went with.  After reading a few descriptions, we then discussed the importance of accurate descriptions.  We also talked about ways to improve descriptions.  The students loved this.






Also, this week my church had its annual Community Thanksgiving Meal.  Each year, the ladies in our church spend two days preparing and cooking a Thanksgiving meal that is free to all of the community.  Because of school, I have never been able to help the ladies during the day as they work and prepare the meal, but this year, because Veterans Day fell on Tuesday, I was out of school and able to help.  We had so much fun working together making slaw, getting the sweet potato casseroles ready, and peeling potatoes. Most of all, we had fun just laughing and talking and fellowshipping with one another.  Wednesday night, we served over 300 Thanksgiving meals.  This is a very large number for our little church.  I felt very blessed to have the opportunity to participate this year. 

Be blessed!



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Owl About My Halloween

I hope you are having a wonderful day! The weather outside is beautiful where I live, and I pray that you are enjoying this wonderful Sunday as much as I am. Next week we have a busy week scheduled at my school: Monday is Parent Teacher Conference day, next week is red ribbon week with dress up days and activities, and Friday is our Fall Fun Day.  Busy, busy, busy! ;)  
For our Fall Fun Day, students get to go to the gym during a set time to play fun fall games and jump in a bouncy house.  Most teachers plan fun lessons and activities that are associated with fall. Friday, as part of my fun lessons, I plan on using my Owl About My Halloween Pages to let students write about their Halloween plans. For a very limited time, I am offering this for free in my TpT store.  Simply click on the image below, download, and go back to my TpT store to leave a comment and rating! I hope you enjoy using this poster with your students.


If you like this poster, you may also like my Owl About My Thanksgiving Posters,  or my Owl About My Christmas Posters. 

Thanks for stopping by! 
Be blessed!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Upper Elementary Blog Post

I am so excited to be a part of the wonderful group of teachers called Upper Elementary Snapshots! I would love for you to visit and check out my post "8 Reasons to Use Flipbooks in Your Classroom."

To celebrate, I have several of my October themed TpT items on sale! Visit my store for some huge savings!
Candy Corn Clipart by Kelly B.
Halloween Themed Graphic Organizers
October Writing Prompts, Graphic Organizers, Papers, and Posters
Pumpkin Possessives Plural Possessive Nouns
"Owl" About My Halloween Poster

Fall Things Clipart by Kelly B.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cause and Effect and Free Graphic Organizer

In my last post I shared a list of picture books that are perfect for teaching cause and effect.  Today, I want to share with you the books that I chose to use with my class.  I used Spiders by Seymour Simon to model locating cause and effect in the text.


This is a perfect nonfiction book to find several excellent examples of cause and effect situations. As we discussed the cause and effect situations from this nonfiction text,  I wrote them on this anchor chart that I created.


For another activity to help scaffold the instruction, I chose Dav Pilkey's book Dog Breath. This is such a fun and funny book that students just love! I am a sucker for authors who are also illustrators, and Dav Pilkey's illustrations help tell this hilarious story and add even more humor to the book.

As I read this book, students listened for and jotted down cause and effect situations.  I stopped every few pages to discuss with the whole group or have students discuss the cause and effect situations that they found with their partners. Once the book was complete, I gave students a copy of this graphic organizer to complete. They simply used the notes that they had taken as I read the book.



I then instructed the students to write the cause and effect situations into a paragraph.  I also drew by hand my own version of Haley, the dog, for the students to color.  They mounted all of this on a bright yellow piece of construction paper which made this cute and colorful display for our hallway.






If you would like your own copy of the graphic organizer for FREE, simply click here!  

Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Using Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect

Hey ya'll! I know I have been away from this blog for way too long. I feel that I have lived away from home for the past two months.  We have been so busy with school, volleyball practice, volleyball games, and cow shows! In fact, my family is currently away at our state capital enjoying a fun filled two days of cattle shows.  I thought I'd pop in and share with you some things that have been going on in my classroom.

Cause and Effect

I absolutely love using picture books to teach reading strategies and skills to my students, and one reason is because the students love this as well.  We have been studying cause and effect.  There are so many choices for picture books to help model this strategy with your students.  I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.  



The Memory String by Eve Bunting is one of my favorite books.  It is such a sweet story of a young girl's loss, the memories of her mother, and the new memories that she will make.  This book is an excellent choice because it contains many situations of cause and effect that are perfect for discussion or to chart.


Pinduli by Janell Cannon is a great story for introducing cause and effect.  This story is also a wonderful tool to help students realize that saying unkind things can be very hurtful to others.


The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger is a new discovery for me.  I absolutely fell in love with the message of this book, and I thought this story was sweetly told.  This is a story of a young girl and her mother who must move into a house with an overwhelming amount of repairs.  After reaching out to the local church, people in the community come together to help this family fulfill the family's dreams of a home.  This book shows the best of a community and how we can greatly affect people's lives when we reach out to others. My students and I enjoyed this book very much.  In fact, it was one of my students who recommended it to me. Once again, this book is perfect for cause and effect.


Someday a Tree is one of my absolute favorite picture books ever. I read this to my students every year whether it is to review cause and effect or perhaps to just enjoy the beautifully written story.

I am not a big Madonna fan even though I grew up in the eighties, but I have to admit that I enjoy her book, Mr. Peabody's Apples. It teaches a wonderful lesson of the power of negative words and of how gossip can hurt other people.  There are many excellent situations of cause and effect that can be charted in this book.  By creating of chart of this story and leaving it up in your classroom, you not only have a wonderful reminder of cause and effect, but you also have a wonderful reminder of how negative words can hurt others; win-win.


Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince is a wonderful story of the Brooklyn Bridge and how P.T. Barnum helped dismiss rumors that the bridge would not be safe.  This is another great choice for teaching cause and effect. 

What are some of your favorite picture book recommendations for teaching cause and effect?

Have a blessed day!