Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?

I have just updated my Winter Pinterest board and it has tons of winter party ideas, gift suggestions, and great academic lessons!  Make sure to head over to The Organized Classroom Blog today to check out five that I highlighted, and then stop at my Pinterest board to see the rest!

See you there!

Hanukkah Activity Packet

Hey Friends!
 I recently designed some hands-on, engaging Hanukkah activities suitable for grades 1-4.   Stop by my TpT store to check it out!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Thank-You Gift

Yesterday's TeachersPayTeachers sale was AMAZING!!!  I was able to pick up some great products at great prices, and was overwhelmed by the interest in my products.  As a little thank-you gift, I created a fun Christmas Cootie Catchers activity for you.  Come on over to my blog to get your own copy.

Happy Tuesday!!!


Lit Circle Instruction Giveaway!

Make sure to stop over at The Organized Classroom Blog today to find out about a great resource (and a giveaway!) for teaching with literature circles!  Fun!

See you there!

Worm Goo...

Have you ever bought Worm Goo from Steve Spangler?  I love watching Steve do his science experiments on You Tube and The Ellen Show.  He makes me and my students laugh and learn at the same time. Jump over to my blog and see how I used Worm Goo in my classroom for an enrichment day.

or jump over to Steve Spangler's website for more fun!

Monday, November 28, 2011


This year a new administrator in my district mandated that ALL classrooms had desks arranged in sets of four. I didn't want to, so I didn't! (combination of clout, reputation, nerve, audacity?! LOL) In my experience, in groups of four ---- 1 or 2 students do the thinking/working, while 2 or 3 students are academic sponges or socialize! The mandate has recently been downgraded to a suggestion. ☺

My desks are in sets of TWO. It's hard to coast or be left out in a group of TWO!

That was the rationale behind my little set of "Partner Math" for elementary......

My whole store is 20% today. Don't forget the Promo Code to get an additional 10% off: CMS28

Free Vocab Ideas and a File!

I love guest blog posts because I always learn something new, and all of my readers also get a different "voice" to hear from as well!  I am pleased to welcome Ashleigh from Ashleigh's Education Journey to The Organized Classroom Blog today, who gives us some great vocabulary ideas - and a freebie!!

See you there!

A sale this big happens only twice a year!

I am so excited to announce a BIG, HUGE sale on  The owner of the TpT site, Paul Edelman, has issued a discount code that can be used on all purchases made on Monday, November 28.  In addition to this discount code, many of the teacher/authors are putting their items on sale.

I appreciate all the support I have received form all of you this year.  To say "THANKS", I have placed my entire store, Science Stuff, on sale for Monday and Tuesday, November 28 and 29.  Everything (digital downloads, books, CD's) will be on sale for 20% off.  If you use the discount code CMS28 at check out, you will receive an additional 10% off all purchases.

The discount code, CMS28, is good for Monday, November 28 only.

Happy Shopping!!
Happy Teaching!!

Cyber Monday Sale! Up to 30 % off Wise Guys Store (Grades 3-6)

Teachers pay teachers is having a Cyber Monday Sale! The site is giving you 10% off by using the promo code: CMS28. In addition Wise Guys will be offering 20% off of all of our products on Monday as well. You will be able to access our store on Monday by clicking here.

You will not want to miss this great opportunity to get lesson plans, activities, and projects up to 30% off!

It's Cyber Monday!

Shopping for some lessons today? Don't forget to stop in at TeachersPayTeachers for some AWESOME deals! Not only do many sellers have great sales in their stores, but Paul if offering an additional 10% off if you use the promo code CMS28 at checkout! It's a great time to get those high-end items you've been wanting.

All of my CDs are on sale, so don't miss out!

Have a wonderful day of shopping!

The TpT Cyber Monday Sale!

Use the promo code CMS28 and receive 10% off all products at  Take an additional 20% off all of my products at TpT.  
Go to my TpT store at...

Some of my best-selling TpT products are...
Test Prep Tournaments For Any Grade and Any Subject
Revised version now has 12 test prep tournaments. Students will have fun reviewing for your state's standardized tests, district tests, and classroom tests. The 72 pages include football, baseball, and tic-tac-toe game boards & specific directions for 12 tournaments. 
Teaching Tips From an Award-Winning National Board Certified Teacher
This revised 95 page product now has 134 teaching tips and 40 forms.   The topics include Classroom Management, Discipline, State Standardized Tests, and gives you a step-by-step plan for the first week of the new school year. 
Word Problem of the Day - 200 Word Problems & Charts
Teach the "Word Problem of the Day" to reinforce problem solving and review addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There are more than 200 word problems and the answers. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

I must say I'm pretty pleased with myself ☺.......I drew that ☝ (instead of grading tests from last week)

YOU could draw it too! Use the "objects" in MS Word. The wire is 2 green lines using the scribble line with a gray semitransparent shadow and green trapezoids. Use the free rotate tool to get everything tilted how you want it. I did a set of 4, grouped it, copied, and pasted it twice to make the string of 12. The bulbs are 2 rounded rectangles with a blurred shadow of the same color.

Need to dress up some documents or PowerPoints for the holidays without breaking copyright laws or drawing a gazillion individual shapes??!

Check out my new Christmas Borders:

It's 80 cents.

Everything in my store is 20% OFF through tomorrow.

Use the Promo code: CMS28 for an extra 10% with the sitewide TpT sale.

Your Christmas Borders will be 58 cents ☺

Narrative Essays - The Problem with Personal

Narrative essays are part of the composition experience, but can be problematic because of the personal subject matter. After one too many student meltdowns in the girls' restroom during the writing process, I've had to re-think some strategies. Check out my blog entry here to see what I've learned, and I would also love to hear from other teachers on this important subject.

Happy Teaching!

Laura Torres

The Best Way to End a Unit...

This is just one of many cakes I had the pleasure of "grading" last week!
Just finished a unit? Ready to move right into the next one? WAIT! 
Why not allow your students a little time for a creative project based on the unit you've just completed? It gives them time to process all they've learned and apply it to something they like. 
Check out my blog post on letting your students put the cherry on top of the unit with their creativity. 
They will thank you later. (Plus, you may just get to eat some fantastic cake!)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

10 Misconceptions about the Spanish Language and its People

This 12 slide powerpoint features 10 statements which ask students to decide if they are true or false. Click ahead, and it will tell you the answer and also give an explanation. Also includes links or other information in the notes section of the powerpoint.

These are 10 things that a lot of students don't know, but they definitely should. Features common misconceptions about the Spanish language worldwide and in the US as well as about the people who speak Spanish. Great lesson to talk about stereotypes and perceptions. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a person is called "Spanish" because they speak Spanish, which is something I hear a lot, not just from children, but from adults as well. The goal of this lesson is to put an end to ignorance and inform people about what reality is.

For the full 10 questions, follow the jump... Some of these states are true, some are false. Do you know which ones?
1. Spanish is spoken the same everywhere.
2. English is the official language of the United States.
3. New Mexico was once part of Mexico.
4. Everyone in Mexico speaks Spanish.
5. Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day.
6. The U.S. has a larger Spanish speaking population than Spain.
7. A person who speaks Spanish is Spanish.
8. A Mexican can be blonde, blue eyed.
9. English is more common than Spanish worldwide.
10. Taco Bell is Mexican food.

For more lessons, check out our blog at

Just Posting a Few Free & Handy Items Lying Around...

A few free items to share, some of my own and another one from a fellow TpT friend, Connie Casserly! 

Find my blog posting about her creative activity at this blog link: 
(Simile/Metaphor Activity)

Some Other Freebies You May Find Useful:

Flow Map to Use for MULTIPLE Lessons & Texts!

Identifying Literary Elements Using Rap Music: Auditory Learners!

Parent Email & Contact Update Request Form 

Prediction & Outcome Chart: Literature Activity- Group or Individual   
Cheers to All in Your Cyber Monday!!
Shopping & Selling!! Have a great one! 

Trim the Tree with Teens!

Looking for some fun teen number practice?  Stop by my blog and pick up this ordering teen numbers freebie!

What are you wondering?

Winter is such a magical time of year!  I find myself doing a lot of wondering....and so should our students!  I just put together a great resource using winter photographs and wondering prompts.  It is available for FREE on my website!  Come on over and check it out!

Three Cyber Monday Tips!

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