1.31.2013

Writing Prompt for Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Writing Prompt www.traceeorman.com

You can use this writing prompt Friday or Monday with your students for Groundhog Day (Feb. 2).

The prompt is from my collection of almost 400 prompts to last an entire year: 
With the handouts, the prompts align with the Common Core State Standards for reading informational and writing.


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1.27.2013

Love is in the Air...Valentine's Day Freebie Link-Up


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Valentine's Day is less than a month away, so I thought it would be fun to have a link-up of Valentine's Day freebies from my teaching friends. 

I have a new free download I wanted to share with you: 
Love is Owl You Need Free Bookmarks
Click image to download your freebie on my TeachersPayTeachers store.
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I also have several additional Valentine's Day freebies. Just click on the links below to download.

Do you have a freebie for teachers that you'd like to add? Please link up below either your blog post or free download and share this post with your followers and friends. Thanks & enjoy!

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Valentine's Day Freebies Link-Up at Mrs. Orman's Classroom
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1.15.2013

Brighten Up the Winter Blues with a Poetry Cafe

Have a poetry cafe event in your English class www.traceeorman.com
Host a poetry cafe this winter!

For me, January through March seems to be the hardest part of the school year to get through. The students are either restless (or just plain tired), the weather is always cruddy (I live in the Midwest), and there's really no holiday breaks to look forward to. (Not that I don't love my job, but you know what I mean...)

To break up the monotonous routine and get students excited for literature, my colleagues and I have put on "poetry cafes." The students all gather during their English class period in the media center and take turns sharing their favorite poems, songs, and other literature. Some of them share their own original poems, others read old favorites. The Foods classes make coffee, cocoa, and treats to sell and our librarian put together packages of books, writing journals, candy, and gift cards to give away toward the end of each class period. Every student who reads aloud is given a raffle ticket. Each class period we drew several tickets for the prizes. It has always been a favorite event of students in English classes.

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You can easily host a poetry cafe in your own classroom before doing a school-wide event. We tend to do the school-wide cafe every-other year or once every three years. During those off-years I host my own in my English classes. We move all the desks out of the way and have pillows and beanbags so students can relax on the floor (I do have carpet). Then I put up holiday lights. Students sign-up ahead of time to bring goodies and bring their own beverage. I usually pick up small gifts of pens and journals/notebooks from Target's $1 spot.
Poetry cafe raffle or door prizes ideas www.traceeorman.com
Find clearance items in the school supplies section for door or raffle prizes.
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This past fall I found some great magnetic poetry kits at WalMart for 50¢ each. They were 75% off from their back-to-school sale. I also picked up some locker white-board kits, cute post-it notes, and locker fresheners. It's so much easier to find things the girls would like, but the boys seem to like anything they could use in their car. Of course, candy always works for them, too. (I teach high school, so if you have any suggestions for other things that boys would like, please share!).

Do you host a poetry cafe? Share your ideas or a link in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!


1.13.2013

Doodle Clip Art (and More) for Commercial Use

Over the past few weeks I've uploaded several new clip art packages for commercial use in my clip art store. I have so much fun creating these and love seeing them used in different products. :) If you are using them in yours, leave a link in the comments to your product and I'll pin it on my Pinterest board!
Loopty-Loo Doodly-Doo Frames http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Loopty-Loo-Doodly-Doo-Clip-Art-Frames-Commercial-Use
Loopty-Loo Doodly-Doo Clip Art Frames
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My Loopty-Loo Doodly-Doo Frames are quickly becoming one of my most popular clip art packages. It includes over 50 frames in several different styles. All the frames include a fully transparent image (the center & all traces of white are erased), a white center, a horizontal layout, and a vertical layout. Some will include even more options.
Doodle Frames Clipart Graphics http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Loopty-Loo-Doodly-Doo-Clip-Art-Frames-Commercial-Use
Use the frames on different backgrounds for various looks.
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Another bundle, which can be purchased at a significant discount or as separate packages, is my Just a Little Sketchy Doodle Frames package.
Just a Little Sketchy Clipart Doodle Frames and Shapes http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Doodle-Sketches-Bundle-of-Clip-Art-Graphics-for-Commercial-Use
Just a Little Sketchy Doodle Frames and Shapes
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It is the combination of seven different packages of rough doodle sketches in various shapes. These are great for using in school publications (yearbook, newspaper, literary magazine, newsletters, camp brochures, etc.), as well as in your worksheets or other printables for your class. I think they appeal to a wide range and age of students, too.

The package contains the following shapes: circles, rectangles, squares, and arrows. It also has several "frames" packages: fences, criss-cross, little boxes, jagged lines, and squiggly dots.

I created several new smaller bundles of clip art: Starburst Backgrounds & Frames, Rough Lines Borders & Frames, and Glossy 3-D Buttons & Backgrounds: Rectangles. They offer nice clean looks for a myriad of possibilities.
Starburst Backgrounds & Frames GraphicsRough Lines Clip Art FramesGlossy 3-D Backgrounds & Buttons

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My clip art terms are:
• You may use these images for commercial, personal, and educational use. 
• You may use them in free or priced products.
• You may use the clip art in editable documents, Smartboard, or PPT files for priced products, but NOT for freebies (see next item).
• If you use the image files in a FREE product, please make sure the file is secure and in PDF format so the images cannot be copied.
• The files themselves can not be resold in a clip art/graphics package, but you may use the images commercially if they are used/embedded in your lessons.  
• Please link back to my website somewhere in your document (it can be in fine print): www.traceeorman.com or my TpT store: www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman OR...you can copy this button and use it in your products, if you'd like:
Clip Art and Graphics by Tracee Orman www.traceeorman.com
You may copy & paste this button to use instead of a link-back.

NOTE: Some of my smaller packages have more liberal terms that do NOT require a link back. Also, you can use my free clip art graphics in any type of format (Word, Powerpoint, etc.).

You can keep up with all my new graphics and clip art packages by following my "Graphics and More" pinboard on Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by & I hope you enjoy these new packages!

1.03.2013

Common Core Journal Prompts: My Resolution to Have My Students Write More

A Year of Journal Prompts by Tracee Orman http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

The only way to become a better writer is to write more. And contrary to popular belief, practicing this skill does not have to be painful for students.

I love journal prompts. They force the students to think about things they may never think about, but they also give them an opportunity to pour out their inner feelings and thoughts they may never share orally. They are a perfect way for students to practice writing without realizing they are "working" on their writing skills.

I have a bundle of prompts that I use in my classroom throughout the year. They are based on current events, historical events, authors, literature, art, music, sports, weather, science, pop culture, holidays, and more. Some force the students to think about touchy subjects that question their ethics. Some are silly. Some connect with the units we are currently studying. No matter what they are writing, they are practicing critical-thinking skills, as well as writing skills.

I use journal prompts as my go-to resource when we have a little time left over or when I need my students to settle down. There's something calming about the activity. I used to have my students write three or four times per week, but I've found in recent years we haven't had as much time to devote to the activity. One of my New Year's resolutions is to have my students journal more often.

I've linked a couple of free prompts from my "A Year of Journal Prompts" bundle (which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards). You can also download a sample of the prompts for August {here}. The download doesn't have the full-page slides, but it gives you an idea of what kind of prompts I use with my students. I try to give my students 10-15 minutes to complete their responses, which means I expect them to write more than just a few sentences. My bundle contains handouts that give students more direction, but I usually just project the prompt on the board and students write in their notebooks or type on their laptops. For students who are gone, I print the page or email them a screenshot of the prompt.

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A Year of Journal Prompts http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

Direct link to prompts:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

Clip art used in images:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Doodle-Sketches-Bundle-of-Clip-Art-Graphics-for-Commercial-Use

Fonts used in images:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/KG-Seven-Sixteen-Personal-Use


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1.01.2013

Homemade Beaded Bookmarks Teacher Gifts

DIY beaded bookmarks tutorial www.traceeorman.com

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If you are ever looking for an easy but thoughtful gift for a teacher, here's a tutorial on how to make your own beaded bookmarks. I like to make these and give them to my colleagues. There's not a teacher I know who doesn't at some point need a bookmark. :) 

What I love about these bookmarks is that they won't fall out of your book, they won't damage the pages, and they look beautiful dangling out from the pages. I also love their name: book "thongs." Because they go in the crack of your book. 

You can follow the visual tutorial pictures here for making the bookmarks. If you do not have the exact supplies, that's OK. You can improvise or use materials you prefer or are more comfortable with. Feel free to pin the tutorials on Pinterest or link to this post.
How to make a homemade beaded bookmark DIY www.traceeorman.com

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Here is the tutorial for making a beaded "dangle" to pretty-up your beaded bookmarks. 
(These can also be used for making earrings, necklaces, fringe, sun-catchers, etc..)
How to make a beaded dangle DIY www.traceeorman.com


If you are interested in making the personalized charms, which can be attached to the jump or split ring, I blogged about making the charms in a separate post HERE

DIY Personalized Charms http://www.hungergameslessons.com/2011/10/diy-create-your-own-hunger-games-charms.html