Fantasy Graphic Organizer

Hi!! I wanted to share a file I'll be using tomorrow. We've already learned about the different literary genres earlier in the year, but I've had many new students since that time and we are getting into a new unit for Writer's Workshop's a little graphic organizer for fantasy.

The top part will be for a definition of the genre and the box will be for descriptions, titles, and/or pictures of various fantasies from our classroom library. I hope it can be of use! :)

Fantasy Graphic Organizer
Borders by Miss Tiina at

KWHL Chart

Waaaa!!! My vacation is rapidly coming to an end! Although, I guess I am only half-serious because I am anxious to get back and work on our last major projects for the year. BUT...I am going to be out the Monday we get back! I have to go to a testing workshop with a colleague and, while I normally don't mind workshops, I am not thrilled about missing the first day back with my class. I always feel like that's a crucial lets-get-back-to-work day, don't you?

So, in efforts to still launch the units for the end of the year, I am working on some graphic organizers my wonderful substitute can use with my class while I am gone. The KWHL chart shown above will be used to launch the study of our state, for Social Studies. I left this version open-ended, so you guys could download and use if you'd like as well.

I think this should come in handy for our last units: our state study/research project and our ecosystems unit. What units are you working on for the remaining weeks??


VOICES Headers {free download}

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you are all off to a wonderful weekend with your families and friends!

Tonight, I'm sharing some signs I don't actually use (as of yet) with my class (we began a new Writer's Workshop program earlier this year, so I wanted to stick with the basics of that program and get comfortable with it first). But the VOICES Board is something I've seen a lot around the Internet in the past...and I have been thinking implementing this for awhile.

So when I received a very sweet email asking about a VOICES Board to coordinate with the CRAFT Headers, I thought it would be a good time to get this set up. I know there are others out there who use VOICES as well, so I'm really hoping this is something that can be used!

The file is in two parts...the first features the headers and the second file has matching lined paper for the strategies (in the same fashion as the CRAFT ones). To typed on the pages with the lined paper, you will just need to create a text box over the lines--this will allow you to type the strategies you would like, on top of the lines.

Have you used a VOICES Board in the past? Did you find it to be helpful for your students? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

VOICES Headers (PDF)
Coordinating Lined Paper (PPT)

Circle graphics courtesy of The Digital Bake Shop.
School-themed graphics courtesy of Traci Reed (at

Class News Sign

So technically I'm on vacation. I should feel relaxed. But I guess my mind isn't on vacation with the rest of me. I just can't turn off the stream of school-related thoughts! I think it's because the year is winding down--and quickly.

Plus I made the mistake of flipping through my calendar to review the major events for the rest of the year and completely freaked myself out--it's a scheduling nightmare!

I knew there was only one way to calm myself down. Make a sign!

So this little sign will be on display when we get back, along with our calendar of events and any important information the students need to know (test dates, fieldtrip forms, project rubrics, etc.). I know, I'm bad for not doing this all year, but wall space becomes taken up quickly by so many other things! I'm hoping this will help my students and I stay on track in the remaining seven (SEVEN??--where did this year go?!?) weeks.

I hope some of you can use this too! :)


New blog features around here!

Hey everyone! Well, I may have gotten a teeny bit carried away with those thumbnail galleries we were talking about the other day. But once I got started, I couldn't stop!!!

I decided I wanted most of my pages to have this kind of feature, except for my home page, which features my latest posts as usual. So...most pages now have thumbnail galleries featuring posts under those given subjects/categories, like so:

Organizing blog posts with thumbnail galleries!

Hey guys! I hope you are all having a nice weekend! I'm a lucky girl right now--I'm on vacation this week!! And, like any obsessed-with-my-blog-teacher, I've been using some of my free time to work on things for my blog!

And one thing in particular that I've been working on lately is my organization on here.

Creating Direct Downloads (again, apparently)

Please tell me this is normal. And not a sign of aging. Or blogging for too long--I mean it's only been about a year and a half! But I seem to have forgotten some things I have already posted in the past.

As in the other day, when I was happily telling you how I'd love to share a video on how to directly link downloads on your blog and blahblahblah. 

So cut to today, where I'm halfway through a video and getting this weird deja vu feeling. So I cut the video and go back through my old posts and there it is. The exact video I was going to make today. Already made. And, eerily enough, almost the exact format and wording I was using in TODAY'S video. Huh. At least I'm consistent. 

So, if you are interested, here it is again!

I think it's time for me to sort through and update some of my tutorials. That is one project I will definitely tackle next (vacation is in five days!!!). For now, you can access my old and forgotten-by-me tutorials by clicking the page tab at the top of the blog, if you'd like to see more.
Have you ever forgotten what you've posted on your blog? Will we be going through this blogging-aging process together? I would feel so much better!!

Creating Printable Previews with Powerpoint!

Can you tell we were working on alliteration this week?? I have a new video to share and I wanted to cover too many things at once and just didn't have time SO...

This is a video about creating previews of multiple-paged printables to link to your stores or Google Docs or whatever you'd like to link to! Like this:

And it can be done using Powerpoint. At least, I hope it can be done with Powerpoint for most.

I have some more information about how to create direct downloads right on your blog (I think I have a written tutorial on that, but not a video). If you are interested, just let me know! I really hope this is of use to some of you. I read such lovely comments from newer bloggers (and found some awesome new blogs to follow!) so let me know how it goes. And thanks to my old buddies who always watch these--even though you know how to do all this stuff! Love you guys!

ETA!! I just learned this from Emily, check out her WAY better way to make screenshots instantly--here's her comment: "Love it as always, Kristen! Here's another little shortcut you can try so you don't have to screen shot. Choose File > Save as Pictures. It makes a separate file on your desktop of all the slides. Then you just drag them into a new PP presentation. Easy peasy! =) Thanks for another great tutorial."
-Emily @ Second Grade Silliness

Thank you SO much Emily, this is perfect!!!

Designing Printables with Powerpoint

Hello!!! I've had many emails lately asking how I design my printables. I honestly don't use anything fancy--just good old Powerpoint! I know many of you do the same, but I hope this video will be of help to bloggers who are just starting to create printables or anyone looking for a good program. Oh, and there might be a new little trick for my seasoned blogging friends regarding text color. You'll have to let me know about that probably all know and I'm the last to find out! Thanks for watching!! :)

Blog Changes!

Hey everyone! It feels like an eon since I've been on here!! We're busy at school prepping for a huge literacy night and it is starting to take over EVERYTHING!!! I did manage to upload the beginnings of a new design that I've been working on in bits and pieces for a long while now...
You'll be seeing some more changes to the blog over the coming days and weeks (if I can get on the Internet!!!). I hope things will be a little cleaner and easier to find as I wrap up the new design. Ok, off to catch up with my DVR and the blogs--thanks for stopping by! :)
Back to Top