Dana {3rd Grade Gridiron}

Hey, y'all!

My name is Dana from 3rd Grade Gridiron.
I'm excited to collaborate with the authors of Owl-ways Be Inspired!  More importantly, I'm excited to collaborate with all of YOU!

First, I'd like to formally introduce myself.  :)

I have been teaching for nine years.  I taught 1st grade for six years and 3rd grade for 3 years.  I have a Bachelor's degree from Georgia College and State University, a Master's degree from the University of Georgia, and a Specialist's degree from Piedmont College.  
I'm born and raised in Georgia.  I grew up in Thomson, GA and currently live in a suburb of Atlanta.  I'm married to my silly and laid back hubby Dave.  We don't have children (yet), but we do have an adorable Cockapoo named Maggie.
Next, I would like to share my exclusive freebie!  
And it's just for our Owl-ways Be Inspired friends!!!
It's a secret code activity that your kids are sure to love!  There's even a question included at the end...so you can use it as a writing activity (and get a good idea of their beginning of the year skills).



Linda {Around the Kampfire}

Hi everybody! I'm Linda from Around the Kampfire.

I'm so excited to be a part of this collaborative adventure
for second and third grade teachers!  I am continually inspired
by these amazing teachers and I know you will be too!

Let me tell you a little about myself.  I'm the oldest of 6 and I have
5 younger brothers! As the only girl, let me just say 
it's a good thing I was the oldest! I grew up in Cincinnati
but now live in the Phoenix area with my husband and 3 {almost}
grown children. I love that it never snows in Phoenix but I sure miss the
fall season!

This will be my 19th year of teaching. 
Yikes!  Did I just say that out loud?  I've taught Kindergarten, 
1st grade, and have been teaching 2nd grade for 6 years.

One of the things I love most about teaching is
the creative outlet it gives me and that I can give my students.  
I like to teach my kiddos that their creativity is contagious 
and that they can inspire each other to think, learn, 
and achieve outside of the box!

Here's a little exclusive freebie I've created for you.  
As my district transitioned to Common Core last year, 
we began teaching collective nouns to our 2nd graders for the first time.  
I didn't have a whole lot of resources for this
so one of the things I decided to make is 

It's a fun little grammar/writing craft for your kiddos to 
define, compare, and identify collective nouns.  
I hope you can use it in your classroom!

Thanks so much for stopping by Owl-ways Be Inspired! 
I'd love for you to visit my blog, Around the Kampfire
and follow along on our classroom adventure!

I hope you've all had a great summer!



Jen {The Teacher's Cauldron}

 Hi everyone!

I'm Jen.

I have been super excited to "meet" all the wonderful authors of this fabulous new blog! Most of these bloggers I have been stalking ever since I started in this blog-iverse. Let me just say, that I am so honored to be apart of something so wonderful with some of the most wonderful ladies!
So, let me introduce myself.
I am getting ready to start my 11th year of teaching! ACK! I know. It's crazy. I have worked in a Title I school for all of my years. I have my masters degree in Elementary Reading and I'm a National Board Certified Teacher in Middle Childhood, General. (I look good on paper, don't I? ha!) I have been blogging for almost 2 years, and I took the plunge into creating and sharing in February of last year. Blog stalking, blogging, and creating as completely changed my teaching ways!! I get more and more excited about it each year!
Let's see.
I'm married to a firefighter (yes, I know...poor teacher and firefighter! haha!), our 5 year anniversary is this October, and we have two BEAUTIFUL girls (of course they're beautiful, right!?), ages "almost" 4 and 
1 1/2 years old. 

I live in Florida, and I love the beach! I am there as often as I can be, and if I can't, then we try to go to the pool in our neighborhood! I love trying new things, and seeking out of the norm activities to do, like skydiving, blueberry picking, you know...random things. When you hang out with me, here's hoping you don't mind getting your picture taken, because I love taking pictures....of everything! Blogging and Instagram don't help that much either! Cooking and baking are another hobby of mine. I also love to workout. I am "kind of" big into eating healthy, living healthy, and exercising. Right now I am actually doing a T25 Challenge. I started it 2 weeks ago. I actually started a personal blog, because I wanted to document all of this, and my children growing up and our travels. If you want to follow my personal blog, feel free to come on over and check it out! 
Oh, and here's the MOST important detail about me....
Yes, it's true. Today's my birthday. I'm just a little excited about it. I love birthdays! Last year, for my 30th, I went to the Keys with my family and turned 30 in Key West. That was super fun!!
Now, for what you're here for! Here are some reward cards I made. You can use them in so many ways! I have a few different versions for the behavior and then a reading card. You can do them weekly, or use them until all 10 are punched out on the cards. It's up to you!

Hope you like it!

Also, make sure you head over to my blog today, since it's my birthday! I have a special surprise for you over there!!! (shhh...it's a giveaway!)


Nicole {Teaching With Style}

Hello there!  I'm Nicole and I usually blog over at Teaching With Style!  You can also find me on my new WBT spin-off blog, Whole Brain Teaching With Style!

I am so excited to be a part of this collaborative blog!  There are a ton of teacher bloggers on here that I admire and am so proud to call my friends.  They inspire me to be a better teacher every.single.day. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy being a part of it!

About me:  I was born and lived in Oregon for 30 years.  I grew up on the Oregon Coast, went to the University of Oregon for college (Go DUCKS!), then moved to Portland.  I earned a Master's in Teaching from Pacific University with endorsements in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Reading.  I am also one class away from my ESOL endorsement.  Can you tell I love school?  I married my college sweetheart and we have two beautiful children.  Nathan is going into 2nd grade this year and we debated having him in my class!  But we ended up putting him in my good friend's class instead.  I was afraid he'd get sad if I had to treat him like all the other kids and not my sweet, special boy <3.  Last summer my husband and I moved our little family to the tiny island of Lanai in Hawaii.  It has been hard to assimilate to a new school, a new community, and essentially a new culture.  But it has been great.  I am so glad that I took this opportunity to branch out, meet new people, and live my life the way I want to.  The kids love it here too: it is so safe, we have tons of kids in our neighborhood, and we get to play outside everyday!  What's not to love?  Aside from my life, I love bright colors but I hate red, I love watching reality TV (Who's ready for the Bachelorette finale??), trying new foods, getting dressed up, wearing pajamas all day long on Sundays, having art and craft nights with my friends, and playing in the ocean with my kids.
Hubby and I on a date in Waikiki

Nathan and his buddies playing in the waves

The Fab Six - all the new teachers at LHES this year.  We have become the bestest of friends!

Painting party in my yard!


At Disney's Aulani Resort with Grandma (My MIL) for Spring Break

This year for Back to School, I wanted to focus on an organizational product, so I made you some portfolio labels!  I buy matching portfolios for my students each year for each subject.  I like to be able to tell them, "get out your yellow folder" and everyone knows I'm talking about math.  I bought full page shipping labels to print on, then I just cut with my paper cutter, and stuck onto each folder.  Easy peasy!  I included 3 different kinds of labels for you: chalkboard, color, and black & white.  You choose :)  I also included it in PDF where you write your students names with marker or PowerPoint to electronically add your students' names.  I hope you are able to use these labels!  Just click the image to download from Google Drive!

Go to my blog to see how I set them up in my room and for a little 
giveaway for the school supply clip art I used!


Megan {I Teach. What's Your Super Power?}

Hey hey! Megan here from I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
I'm so excited to get to be one of the ladies here at this little blog. This is such an amazing group of teachers.  I love that there's a blog to focus on this age group.  I've taught second and third grade, and they are by far my favorites.  It's such a sweet age.  They're independent but still love their teacher, and the sassiness hasn't set in.  What more could you want in a classroom?

For those of you that don't "know" me, I've taught for the last fourteen years. I'm a proud LSU graduate and have a Masters degree and Ed. S. in Reading.  Geaux Tigers!  I've been married to sweet hubby for 14 years and am mom to two precious girls.  They are 8 and 11 and smart and funny and amazing.  I love reading, shopping, and anything chevron. I am an organizational nut, can't start the day without Community Coffee, and am a sucker for anything in the Apple store.

I started my blog, I Teach. What's Your Super Power?, a little over a year ago after about six months of wanting to start a blog but being too scared. I found that I loved designing my blog just as much as I liked the actual blogging part. That led to my blog design blog (say that three times fast), A Bird in Hand Designs.

Whew. That was fast. Here's my freebie for you! I love these colors and hope you can find some fun ways to use them.  They feel perfect for the beginning of the school year-still summery but sliding into fall.

I hope you'll hope on over to my blog and visit sometime!


Meet Jenn at Charts N Chit Chat

Hello everyone!  I am Jenn from Charts N Chit Chat:  Best Practices 4 Teaching!  I think this is an awesome idea and LOVE this blog.  I spend time reading it just like you do!

A little about me...I am a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, aunt, cousin, and last but not least, a second grade teacher.  I am a southern girl--I like my pinto beans, cornbread, and grits <NO SUGAR!!--us southerners eat our grits with some salt and maybe some cheese!>.  I am married with 2 wonderful kids and my oldest is about to start middle school.  If I live through it.  HA!  If she lives through it!!

I spend a lot of my time reading professional books and collecting children's books.  I am always on the hunt for new strategies and new ideas to use in my classroom, so come on by my blog and drop me a comment if you have a new professional book or strategy that you have found.  I'd love to hear about it!

Now, for my freebie.  I had a blast making this for you all and I hope you enjoy it.  I originally made it to use as a rainy day recess game, but after attending Common Core training this past week I am looking at it with fresh eyes!  This new 'hangman' game lends itself to help with vocabulary development which is so important.  Enjoy it!

Along with this freebie, I want to share a favorite book of mine that I am reading right now.  If you want to find out more about it, just click on the cover of the book!

It has a phonics screener which I found out during Common Core training is SO IMPORTANT!  The theory behind this is that a student must be able to read a word before they can spell it.  The screener shows you which stage the student reads at (VCV words, VCVe words, etc) so that it is easier to differentiate spelling lists.  If you want to learn how to differentiate spelling lists, you can check out the book below! Words Their Way will help you figure out which stage the student is at in spelling!  Lots to do now to keep our kids moving!

Here Is How You Can Find Me!
Tools For School (A New Store Site!)

Thanks for coming by!  We love our readers!!


{Meet the Author} Amanda from Teaching Maddeness

Hi everyone!  It's Amanda Madden from Teaching Maddeness.  I always feel it's necessary to put my last name so you'll understand that the name of my blog is a play on my name - and not just think that I can't spell. :)

I am so excited to be a part of this new collaborative blog that is geared toward grades 2 and 3.  I've taught 2nd grade for 16 years now {geez...did I just put that in writing??} and think it is the absolute best age EVER!  How could you not love their enthusiasm for learning??  I am National Board Certified in Early Childhood {just renewed that last year - whew!} and have my Masters in divergent learning.  You could say that I love being a student, as well as a teacher!

I feel blessed to have spent my entire teaching career in 2nd grade, but I often feel that 2nd grade gets "lost" in workshops and inservices, as it doesn't really fit with K/1 but usually gets lumped in with them anyway!  I love the idea of putting grades 2 and 3 together for a collaborative blog and know that you will learn a ton from the other AMAZING authors here!

Now, to tell you a little bit more about myself.  I am a strong believer that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope this little collage of pics will help me out.

I am a southern girl, born and raised, but am actually more of a city-girl at heart.  I live in upstate South Carolina with my husband, a cat, and two Boxers.  I am a sports fanatic and can be found at all of the home games for my Carolina Gamecocks during football season.  My husband and I love to attend concerts and go to many each year.  Right now, I'm looking forward to Bruno Mars {in August} and Maroon 5 (again) {in September}.  We also LOVE Halloween...I would probably keep my house decorated and throw on random costumes year-round if it were acceptable! ;)  I'll jump at any chance to throw a themed-party!  I have a love for adrenaline sports, not shared by my husband, and LOVE to skydive, bungee jump, parasail, rock climb...I'll try most anything!  I'm a super girlie girl who loves to wear dresses and high-heels.  I put jalapenos on everything.  I read as much as possible and watch WAY too much reality television.

I hope you've been enjoying all of the fantastic freebies being shared during the "Meet the Authors" series here...I know I have! :)  I have another exclusive freebie for you that I hope you will be able to use in your classroom.  Speaking of "Meet the Authors"....

I LOVE to teach reading and will take any chance I get to do a read-aloud in my classroom.  I set aside a "read-aloud" time in my schedule each day, even though I actually read books all throughout the day in the subjects I'm teaching.  Each month, in my scheduled "read-aloud time", I read aloud at least one chapter book, but I also take the time during our read-aloud block to focus on one author each month.  As we read books by that author, we talk about the author's "fingerprints" - the things that the author does that sets his/her work apart from other authors.  As we focus on each author, we create a little bulletin board of the things we discover.  These "Meet the Authors" signs are a great starting point for the bulletin board and give the students a glimpse of what the author looks like and provides a little background information on them.  You would be surprised at how often the authors' "fingerprints" start showing up in students' writing - whether it be onomatopoeia inspired by Robert Munsch, detailed borders inspired by Jan Brett, or voice inspired by Mo Willems!  It makes my heart happy! :)

This pack of "Meet the Authors Signs" contains 10 authors, as shown below.  Click on either of the images to download the freebie!

If you would like Pack #1 that I previously shared on my personal blog, you can click here to snag those, too!  I look forward to this exciting new venture for grades 2 and 3 and can't wait to share more ideas with you!

I'd love to have you come follow my blog, Teaching Maddeness, by clicking below.


Lindsay {My Life as a Third Grade Teacher}

My Life as a 3rd Grade Teacher

Hi everyone! It's Lindsay from My Life as a Third Grade Teacher. I am honored to be contributing some ideas to this blog, because it is full of such amazing teachers and bloggers. (I'm actually a little bit starstruck!)

I am looking forward to spending another year in third grade this year. Third graders are some of the sweetest kiddos I know. I enjoy watching them get excited over learning new things. And they are still young enough for some missing teeth, too! I love, love, love teaching reading. Many ideas and resources found on my blog are literacy ideas. 

I hail from the great state of Texas (at least I have for the last few years). Before that, I went to school up in Michigan, which is where the majority of my family still resides.

I might be slightly addicted to social media. Having several apps on my phone is both a curse and a blessing. I am also equally addicted to reality tv shows. My favorites are the Real Housewives of New Jersey/Orange County/Beverly Hills, Big Brother, and The Bachelor. When it's not reality tv, I like to lay around and watch marathons of Law and Order SVU or cooking shows on the Food Network (though I rarely cook in real life).

My passion is traveling, and I wish I had an endless supply of money to go everywhere I wanted to go. My top destinations are Greece, Hawaii, Italy, and New York City.

I have a love affair with everything Red Velvet Cake (not a joke). Recently, I like it best in the form of frozen yogurt with Butterfinger on top.

I am really into sports, so I enjoy watching and playing them. My favorites are football, baseball, and college basketball. I live with my chocolate miniature daschund puppy. My biggest accomplishment so far this summer is potty training him.

I have a Back to School freebie exclusively for you today. This is called Summer Rewind and is a perfect independent activity for the first day of school or even Meet the Teacher. It is meant to "buy you some time" for when you are busy socializing with parents, collecting supplies, or doing all those crazy things we do on the first day of school.

It is called Summer Rewind because it is an activity done in pictures and it is reviewing their summer vacation. See how creative I was there?! Kids will use pictures and illustrations to fill out the information about themselves. This activity will free up your time and allow you to get stuff done on that hectic first day!

Just print out the pages double sided, provide some quick directions and art supplies, and let the kids go to town getting creative. You can have kids share their finished products with classmates and with you so you can get to know them right away. 

I hope you are able to use my freebie. Come stop by my blog and say hello!

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Tanja {Journey of a Substitute Teacher}

Hey everyone! Miss T here from Journey of a Substitute Teacher!

I'm so excited to be here and be part of this AMAZING group. Now you may be wondering, "Did she finally get  full time and is in 2nd or 3rd?" Nope, but I sub in those grades a lot! 2nd and 3rd are fun because they are more independent but still love learning. And they are still cute!

A little bit about me...

I love to read. Any kind of book basically. And I still have books from when I was in elementary school, from Little House on The Prairie, Boxcar Children, to Baby Sitters Club.

I love to go camping. My two favorite spots are by a lake or at the beach. But if you camp at the beach, it has to be in the summer, otherwise it can be rainy and wet.

I live in Oregon. About 2 hours to the beach one way and 2 hours to the mountain, the other. Smack dab in the valley and I love it. I also happen to be about 10 minutes back roads from the number one tourist attraction in Oregon. What is it? Our Premium Outlets. Sad day that it's not the beach, Crater Lake, or Mt. Hood. It's shopping. Lol.

When I'm not subbing, then I'm working on TpT stuff. Now that I've met Amy from TpT, I'm even prouder to be part of the family that has such a passion for teachers. My favorite part about it (besides designing the covers) is that my stuff is being used by kiddos all over! I still think that's the coolest thing.

Now I brought along with me a little freebie for you all and it's back to school themed! And it can only be found here on Owl-ways Be Inspired!

dice roll

You may know, if you follow my blog, that I love helping teachers be prepared for subs and this is a great thing to have in your sub tub/box/bin. Or it can be something that you have for the first week of school as an early finisher/fun math thing. 

All you have to do is make a copy (or a few) and grab some dice. There is something about dice that the kiddos just love.

I love these activities because they are simple and fun! With Roll and Race!, students partner up and each have a different color. They roll they die and color that many spots in. The color with the most spots filled, wins. You can even go a step further and have them tally which number rolls the most.

Roll and Draw allows them to design a picture. 

And Roll and Cover, they roll two dice and cover up the sum, so they have to do some addition. 

dice roll

Click here to grab it or click on either of the pictures!

So, there it is, my freebie just for you guys! I hope you enjoy it and that it helps make life just a bit easier when you go back to school. Talk to you soon!

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