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Cyber Monday Sale

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monday December 1 and Tuesday December 2 TPT is having a sale. Each seller will host their own sale and then you can use code tptcyber for an additional 10% off during checkout.

Check out the Lesson Deli Members here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Looking for some great Black Friday deals?  Several members of The Lesson Deli are participating in the Black Friday BUNDLE BASH!  Just enter BLACKFRIDAY14 in the search box on TPT and you'll be amazed by all of the great deals......huge bundles up to 20-30% off an already great price!  I plan to stock up.....and just think, no lines or selling out!  ;)

Spotlight On: Misty Miller from Little Room Under the Stairs

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hello! I'm Misty from Little Room Under the Stairs and am excited to be a part of the Lesson Deli ladies. This is my 19th year of teaching. I am currently a 7th & 8th grade Resource teacher. I teach remediation math and language arts in our local Jr. High. I taught elementary Resource for 12 years before moving to 7th & 8th grade.

Family is important to me. My family includes my husband, our twin boys, and our cat. Dan and I have been married for 23 years. We first met in 8th grade and then started dating at the end of our senior year of high school. We both attended Purdue University and married while still in college. Our boys, Jacob & Caleb, are almost 18 years old and seniors in high school. We live in the same town I grew up in.

For fun, I enjoy spending time with my family. We love going to the Smoky Mountains to camp, hike, and relax. We've also spent our fair share of summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Dan and I took up geocaching a couple of years ago and enjoy the mystery and hunt! I also like some time to myself to quilt, read, and scrapbook. Before joining TPT I made and sold digital scrapbook kits under the designer name of Designs by Snowlady.

I do love creating teaching products that teachers can use in their classroom. Teachers Pay Teachers has been such a blessing for me. I have been able to share what I do in my classroom with teachers across the world. Since my students are taking 2 math or 2 language arts classes every day, I need to make the subject enjoyable while they are learning concepts they've missed. Movement is one way I can do that. One of my favorite products is my musical chairs game. I always tell the kids it's not your normal birthday party musical chairs. With music playing, getting to walk around, and math problems to answer in a fun way, my students thoroughly enjoy it!

You can find my math products along with some background papers, labels, and borders in my Teachers Pay Teachers store: Misty Miller.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Holidays to all!

Math Madness Wednesday: Number Bonds

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Have you heard of number bonds?  They are a wonderful visual math tool for students to understand decomposing numbers. While many of these ideas are more for the primary students, they can help teachers of older kids understand what kids are learning in order to make connections to past learning or to reinforce skills students may be lacking.

There are MANY great ideas out there for ways to use number bonds.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Number Bonds:  Make 10 from Math Playground--This fun game is for everyone!  There are versions for many different numbers, not just 10.  Kids get to "shoot" a ball at a another number that would equal 10.
Number Bonds game:  Hoot Addition Game --Another fun computer game!  Different levels are available for all of your learners.  They get choices of numbers that might be correct and students can make the correct choice.  
Number Bonds YouTube video--This video lays it all out!  If you are new to number bonds or want to share info with your parents, this is a great video to use!
Article about Number Bonds--Similar to the video, but in print.  Lots of good ideas to use!

Kinesthetic Way to work on Number Bonds--I love this way of getting the whole class involved in a game!  Ten kids start on one bond, one rolls a dice, and that many kids move to another bond.  How many are left?  Definitely a nice way to get the "wiggles" out while teaching math!
Pinterest Board--Lots and lots of ideas for ways to use number bonds in your classroom!  Take a look when you have a chance. 
Want a "printable" way to practice task cards in your class?  You can grab my SNOW BONDS task cards with a FROZEN, snowy theme (along with some other winter goodies) from Educents for only $4.99 right now!  Task cards include QR codes (don't worry, there are some without the QR codes too) so students can self check.  Along with the Snow Bonds, you will also get my "What Shape is Sven" product to practice 2D shapes, my Missing Numbers, Winter Edition to practice writing numbers in the correct order, and my Color-By-Code CVC words to practice medial short vowel sounds.

Man's Best Friend

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I have a student this year who is on the hunt for all chapter books with a dog. As luck would have it, I happen to teach a few books that have a dog as a central character. Books with dogs are great books to share with your class because it is usually easy to get both boys and girls interested in the story.

The dog and main human character rely on each other and develop a deep friendship, and the human (usually a child about the same age as our students) has to take responsibility for the animal. These themes of companionship, trust, responsibility, and independence can be found in many animal books and are reasons I think kids love to read books with animal characters.

One drawback to the dog books is often an animal dies, so be aware if you have a particularly tender-hearted teacher student in your class who might start crying in front of others at the end of the story. 
Below is a list of dog-centered chapter books that I like to use in the classroom as a read aloud or novel study: 

A few favorite activities I use with the dog books I teach could easily be adapted for other novel studies:
One activity I have been using for a long time is to have students write point of view journals as we read a novel. It is an activity that works well for different novels, but it is particularly successful with The Incredible Journey.

Students pick one animal after reading the first few chapters of the book. After we complete each chapter, the students retell the chapter from the point of view of their chosen animal. We share one journal from each animal every day and compare the different versions of the story depending on which animal's journal we hear. Students love comparing and contrasting the scenes in the story based on Luath, Bodger, or Tao's viewpoint. Students also love making the foldable burrito books that they use to write their incredible journals!

Another great assignment to help with citing textual evidence is to have students draw a "map" of a specific character's journey based on details in the text. With the novel, Stone Fox, students draw and label the race course based on clues in the story. There are many novels that involve a journey of some kind, and drawing and labeling the character's route using details from the story is an activity that requires close reading.

Do you read any animal books to your students? Are they successful?


Supermarket Saturday Linky - Thankgiving Resources for YOU!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Get ready for a feast of great teaching ideas! Check out this collection of unique Thanksgiving & Fall themed products from the Lesson Deli!

Supermarket Saturday - Thanksgiving!

We are doing a weekly linky to share some of our favorite products with you. This week, our products are all about Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite Thanksgiving products is my Pilgrims "fact tracker." I created this product to go along with the Magic Tree House series. Many of the fictional books now have a nonfiction companion. Pairing a fiction text with a nonfiction text is a great way to incorporate Common Core standards. Of course, you can always just read the nonfiction text, too. 

In the Magic Tree House books, Jack and Annie, the main characters, take many fun adventures. Jack always takes his notebook to write down important information. That is what gave me the idea to create my "fact trackers." Each of the "fact trackers" has three notes pages on a sheet. When you cut out each page and bind them together, the students will have their own notebooks, just like Jack!

Please click on the picture below to view this product in my store. While you are there, check out my large selection of "fact trackers."

Do you need some great Thanksgiving resources? Check out the amazing products in the linky below!

Spotlight on: Martha Hach from "The Owl Spot"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by The Lesson Deli!  I am so excited to be part of this great group of teachers.  I am Martha Hach, and am thrilled to say that I love what I do.  I've been teaching for 14 years, teaching grades 1 - 7 and everything in between.  Currently, I teach 5th grade in the mornings (ELA and math) and 7th grade ELA in the afternoons.  I'm also heading up the high school cheerleading squad this year.  You could say that life is quite busy!

I've always known that I wanted to be a teacher.  I can remember thinking in 2nd grade that I wanted to be just like my teacher one day.  And here I am, teaching in the same school that I grew up in!

I received my undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University in SC in Elementary Education. After teaching for a few years, I earned my National Boards license in Middle Childhood Generalist.  I also earned my Master's degree from Clemson University in Elementary Education with a focus in reading and writing.

My passion is teaching writing.  While attending Clemson University, I took part in a summer institute sponsored by the Upstate Writing Project and became a teacher consultant through the National Writing Project.  We use the model of teachers teaching teachers, and I've spent time presenting to teachers ways to improve their writing instruction on the school, district, state and national level.

I say all these things not to "toot my own horn," but to share with you my love for what I do.  And all of this experience goes into my products that I create for my TpT store.

So, aside from my teaching life, I've been married for 2 1/2 years to my amazing husband, Emil.  I'm completely spoiled, as I don't do any of the cooking or grocery shopping!  Emil has gourmet chef training and we eat in more than we eat out.  I also am a proud mamma of a Golden Retriever named Jaggers and a Beagle named Shamu (yep, like the whale).


A writing strategy that I use with my 7th graders is what I call "write like an expert."  What better way to teach a specific technique than to find someone who does it well to model! So, as we began our unit on descriptive writing, we first looked at J.R.R.Tolkien's description of a hobbit's home.  Tolkien starts his description:
 “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

We talked about Tolkien's use of examples and non-examples, and students tried using his model with their own descriptions.   Needless to say, I was quite pleased with the results.  Students were able to move out of their writing comfort zone and try something new, because they saw how a successful writer did it. 

Another great tool that I've created is my PAW - Poetry Analysis Worksheet.  This is a free download in my TpT store.  Click on the link below to my store so you can download one for your students. This is a great CLOSE reading activity as well as a tool for teaching different components of poetry.  

I've found this to be a wonderful tool in my classroom, and would love to hear what you think, too.  I hope you return back to "The Lesson Deli" frequently to gain some great teaching tips.

As always, happy teaching!  - Martha from "The Owl Spot"

Spotlight on: Erin Beers from Mrs. Beers' Language Arts Class

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hi there!  My name is Erin Beers and I am a 6th grade teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio.  I am thrilled to be a part of this Lesson Deli crew.  We are a group of 20 intermediate to middle school teachers who love sharing about our clever and "tried and true" teaching ideas and products for grades 4-8.  Please share our blog with your teacher friends and colleagues!   Also be sure to check in with us weekly as we have linky parties that feature amazing deals, steals, and FREEBIES.

It all started...

I graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1998 with my elementary certification in grades 1-8.  I have 15 years of experience in the classroom, all of which has been in an urban setting.  I have taught grades 5-8, but my heart is in 6th grade language arts, which I have taught for 12 years.  I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent English Language Arts.  I have my Masters in Administration also from Xavier University, and I dream of being a building principal some day.  I am hyper-organized and I struggle to sit still.  Like my students, I thrive with both structure and order. 

I have been married to my husband, Geoff, for 11 years and have 3 AMAZING kids, Brennan (8), Lilah (5), and Landon (1 ½).   Here is a recent pic of my crazy crew…

I am currently on “extended maternity leave.”  It is extended because I had my third child, Landon, in March of 2013.  With three kiddos, my husband and I decided that it would be the best decision for our family if I took some time off.  I have to say, it was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made stepping away from the classroom, but in retrospect, I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity.  It has given me priceless time with my children, the opportunity to refine my classroom resources, and the chance to take on tutoring, coaching, and troop leading roles.  When I told my mom that I would be taking time away from teaching she responded, “What will you do with your time?”  She laughs now when she visits and observes our non-stop household.  However, my plan is to return to the classroom when my littlest enters preschool.

Always on-the-go...
In addition to managing my nutty household, coaching soccer, and being my daughter’s Daisy Scout Leader, I love to read, write, and run.  While I am not currently teaching in a classroom setting, my teacher personality is ever present.  I am always on the look out for the perfect novels for my third grade son and for use in my classroom.  There is nothing better than finding that perfect book to get students hooked.  As a 6th grade teacher, I found that many of my students were struggling readers and I was always in search of high-interest texts to engage them and enhance their fluency and comprehension.  On my “extended maternity leave”, I have had the opportunity to write and create some reader’s theater scripts that are the ideal resources to help my diverse readers.  Here is a shorter script that I would love for you to download and utilize…it incorporates fluency, word work, comprehension, and writing-a perfect Daily 5 resource.

I would love to hear what you think, so if you download, keep me posted on how well it worked in your intermediate to middle school classroom with some feedback.  

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about me.  I look forward to sharing more tips and tricks, so check back soon!

Math Madness Wednesday: Project Based Learning

Hi all! I'm April from Performing in Education, and I am so excited to be guest hosting Math Madness Wednesday this week! I'm here to talk about using Project-based Learning to help students practice those tricky Math standards.

Have you tried Project-based Learning (PBL) in your class yet? I was first introduced to PBL a few years ago when we were taking our first look at the new Common Core State Standards. We didn't really know what to expect except that students would have to use the Math for real-world applications. Project-based learning was our solution to this new way of applying the standards.

What is Project-based Learning? Project-based learning is a teaching method where students gain and apply skills by working on a long project where they complete an in-depth inquiry into a specific topic or question. Like all teaching methods, it's not standalone. It can be added to the teaching you are already doing in your classroom. PBL allows for more real world application and in-depth understanding of the concepts your students need to understand.

What are the benefits for students? Project-based learning is exciting for students. The first time I did PBL in my classroom, students were voluntarily doing extra research and activities for their project at home. I am constantly impressed by the level of interest students take in these projects. Student interest equals engagement, which will raise your test scores without all that boring test prep. In the long run, PBL helps students practice life skills like creating a budget or starting a business.
What are the benefits for teachers? In project-based learning, students work to investigate the concepts by making their own choices. Once you've set up the parameters, the students do all the work. You are just there to facilitate. PBL also involves far less paper than worksheets, and far less grading. Students receive a final project grade, and observational grades throughout.

Are you convinced yet?

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's the perfect time to work on a Thanksgiving-themed Project-based Learning Activity! A few years ago, I began bringing in piles of grocery store ads and having my students plan their own Thanksgiving dinner. Throughout the years I've refined the process and created student handouts to focus on specific Math objectives. 

Here's a peak at a couple of wonderful kiddos working on a Thanksgiving Project-based learning activity:

My favorite part of this project is that the numbers for their calculations are coming out of actual grocery store ads that students can flip through, write on, and cut out! The colorful pictures and headlines make it much more interesting than a table of prices from a Math textbook!


I'd love to hear about your experiences with Project-based learning! What projects have you done in your classroom?

For a limited time, you can download five of my Project-based Learning activities at Educents for only $9.99, which is 50% off!

Spotlight on: Caitlin from TheRoomMom

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We will be spotlighting all of the teacher talent we have contributing to our collaborative Lesson Deli blog over the next few weeks, so check back daily for links to creative teacher authors and grades 4-8 resources. Our group targets products, tips, and classroom ideas for the upper elementary and middle school grades, and we would love to have you spread the word about the Lesson Deli group blog.

My name is Caitlin, and I am TheRoomMom. I currently teach 4th grade language arts but have experience with nursery school aged children all of the way up through seniors in high school. My sweet spot is definitely 4th through sixth grade. I love the reading level at this age and all of the great projects and writing activities I can complete with the students.

I attended Emory University and received a BA in Art History and French and had no idea what to do with that degree. The one thing I did love at the time was my job as a summer camp counselor in northern Minnesota. That experience drove me to a teaching program at Vanderbilt University where I earned an MEd.

I moved to Charleston, SC with my husband and our two children about 5 years ago but have also lived in New Orleans, Atlanta, San Francisco, Connecticut and a few other places (even abroad). All of the experiences with different schools and school systems has helped shape my teaching style. I am always tweaking lessons in my designated textbooks with supplemental materials and ideas.

My favorite part of teaching is connecting students with great book choices and designing unique novel units. I am a self-proclaimed children's literature expert and read juvenile literature constantly.

Once I find a great book that I want to incorporate into the classroom, I love designing fresh activities to enhance the novel for the students. I always included standard reading activities like chapter vocabulary, story plot maps, and character charts, but then I add a special "anchor activity" that activates many skills.

My students just completed a comic book page of their favorite scene from the book, Lunch Money. The comic book page had to follow standard comic book format, which we learned about in the story (and confirmed through research). That was the fun part... for the students. Then, they had to prepare a paragraph that told me why that scene was important to the story. I was so pleased with how many layers of thinking went into the whole project, The students had no idea how many skills I was sneaking in to the activity.

We will soon be starting our cross curricular business project. Not only do students read novels like Lunch Money, The Lemonade War, and The Bread Winner, which contain characters who start their own businesses, we also complete a research essay about an American business founder. I have the students use a pocket system in a manila folder to create sub-topics and organize their notes for the research essay.

As our final big project, the students launch a class business. Our Mason jar cookie mix business was so successful last year, we will be open for business again this December.

You can find many language arts products at my TeachersPayTeachers store or visit my blog,, for fun teacher mom ideas. Happy November and thanks so much for visiting!


Teaching Strategies: Tips For Your Visual Learners

Monday, November 10, 2014

A few months ago I wrote about assessing our students learning styles. I'm now working on gathering and organizing teaching strategies for each learning style. Here are a few things I've found helpful for our visual learners. According to an article on "Brighthubeducation" the following formats will benefit our students who learn best visually.
  • Look at words or images on a page
  • Use visual recall as a learning strategy
  • Imagining what things look like to remember them
  • Follow visual cues and landmarks during a journey or a task
  • Watch videos
  • Watch someone else perform the task or activity

Let's take a look at these strategies individually.

It's easy to spot a visual learner when teaching reading. These students can dive into a book. They may thrive on text. But what if you aren't teaching a reading skill? What about math concepts? These students benefit from having charts and diagrams, relating similarities and differences. Flashcards can be a helpful tool keep on hand. You don't have to buy them, just keep a pack of index cards on hand, and whip out a small set of cards for the facts, rules, or properties your students needs to memorize or learn. It can also be very beneficial to have your student write out these cards themselves, and include an example or a scenario that applies to the concept, skill, or understanding of focus. I use this simple personal glossary for every subject I tutor. 

Image from
What exactly is visual recall as a learning strategy? I"m glad you asked, because I had the same question when I read this article. Here's a helpful explanation, but in a nutshell, this simply refers to using some form of imagery to help remember things. You may have seen someone tie a ribbon around their finger to remind them to take medication, or hold up 3 fingers to remember the items they need to collect. These are forms of visual recall, and we can help our students learn to use this strategy by teaching them to take visual notes. Instead of just writing down a term and it meaning, draw a picture that helps the student remember the meaning and/or application. Use graphic organizers to categorize bits of information. Insert photos into presentations. Whatever it takes to help your student visualize the material.

One of my favorite activities to do with a few of my students, starts off with me saying, "close your eyes. Now, imagine..." It doesn't matter what we are studying, when the student begins the lesson with a quick imagination exercise, their minds are more engaged the entire session. Once the lesson is underway, the student might realize that the image they thought of was way off. In that case, it's important to take a moment to help the student "re-visualize" the idea or concept with the more accurate understanding. Later, when your student is testing or needs to retrieve the information for a project or assignment, that image will be there waiting for them!

The next strategy has more to do with materials we use with our students than the actual strategies we use with them. Lessons, apps, and programs we use with our visual learners should be easily navigated by visual cues. This is especially true for non-readers and early readers who might not be able to read and understand complex written instructions. Providing our visual learners with materials that have visual cues to guide them will help them navigate with ease.

Videos can be extremely helpful for our visual learners. I would suggest, however, to search for and select videos ahead of time rather than on the spot during a lesson. Because our visual learners will be using the imagery we provide them, we need to spend a little extra time and effort to make sure the imagery we use is accurate and applicable. With the influx of Common Core lessons, I have found LearnZillion to be extremely helpful with my math students.

As teacher and tutors, do we take the time to model the activity for our students? Our visual learners will benefit greatly from watching us work through a complicated equation or sorting elements into their groups and periods,

Dou you have a strategy or two that wasn't listed here? Share your tips in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

                              Stefany (Interactive Learning with Miss Stefany)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

SUPERMARKET SATURDAY SALE!! Happy Veteran's Day! To help celebrate this important holiday, the members of the Lesson Deli have once again teamed up to offer some great deals on some wonderful fall themed products. Save up to 50% off on these creative products to help warm classroom learning on these crisp fall days!

Math Madness Wednesday: Puzzles!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This week's topic is PUZZLES!  Do you use puzzles in your classroom?  My kids LOVE puzzles (and, honestly, so do I!) so why not make them educational!?  

There are lots of different ways to make puzzles.  They can all look the same or the pieces can be very different.  They can have only 2 pieces or have lots of pieces.  

But, how do you keep them all organized?  I have found that printing them in different colors can help!  You can color code them by skill (telling time, money, synonyms, etc.), by level (separate them into groups so kids know which color puzzles they should always look for), or by number of pieces in the puzzle.  

There are a lot of great ideas out there on ways to organize your puzzles so the pieces don't get lost or mixed up.  You can use envelopes (laminate the first for extra durability!), baggies, various containers from around the house, school supply boxes or pencil bags, or binders.  

Check out some of the CREATIVE storage solutions I have compiled on my Pinterest page {HERE}.  Two of my favorite are these.  

The first is to put the puzzles inside of pencil pouches that fit inside 3 ring binders.  This would be great to use to store puzzles by subject, time of year, or size!  (This picture was found on Pinterest, but did not have a link to the original location).  The second picture is from Counting Coconuts.  These containers were used for large wooden puzzles, but I think they could work with any type of puzzles and even for classroom games!  Since they are easy to stack, they would be easy to store.  Just attach a label with the name of the puzzle or game (or write directly on the container with a Sharpie!).  

And, how about a way to use the puzzles you already have in an educational way?  Use the back of the puzzles!  

For this example, I used a puzzle I found at the Dollar Tree. 

 I put the puzzle together on an opened pizza box turned upside down.  After the puzzle was complete, I put the other half of the pizza box on the top of the puzzle and flipped it over so I could write on the back of the puzzle with the pieces in order.  If you have some fast finishers in your class, they could even write on the back for you.  (Suggestion:  If you are going to do this with more than 1 puzzle at a time, use different colored markers so you can easily identify which puzzle they go with!)

For this one, I created a hundreds chart.  This makes differentiation easy!  Students can put the whole puzzle together or you can have part of it already put together and have them fill in the missing pieces.  You could also use the puzzle for matching math facts, words in alphabetical order, or even skip counting.

Students can put the puzzle pieces together upside down (by putting the numbers in order) and when they are finished, they can flip it over to see what they have designed!

Want some puzzles for your classroom?  I have 2 Puzzle Packs on sale at Educents this week only!  My Math Puzzle Pack includes puzzles for shapes, telling time, coins, and numbers.  There are 2, 3, and 4 piece puzzles and lots of options in this big pack!  

For my CVC pack, I have puzzles for each of the short vowel sounds.  Recording sheets are included in all of my puzzle packs!  

What are YOUR best tips for working with puzzles?