Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Mailbox Subscription Giveaway Winners

Thanks to all of you who entered the Mailbox Be the Difference giveaway. The ten lucky winners of the Mailbox Gold subscription are:

Number 34
Mary Hartman

Number 35
Jennifer Hancock

Number 11
Aunt Rosa

Number 12

Number 22
Alicia M.

Number 43

Number 1
Jodi Keifer

Number 7
Christine Crimmins

Number 24
Bobette Gore

Number 25
Sharon Roknich

Congratulations! Thanks again for entering and for The Mailbox for sponsoring the Be the Difference giveaway.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Moving On: Leaving the Classroom and My New Job

It has been an exciting week around here. I officially graduated from the University of North Texas with my doctorate in early childhood studies and I accepted a job offer as a prek instructional specialist for Dallas ISD. I am so excited to be part of a district that values early childhood enough to employee a large department of people as support staff for all of their prek teachers.

I am not sure where my new career will take Chalk Talk. That is all still up in the air for me. If you have any suggestions for how I can continue to support you and keep the blog going now that I do not have my own classroom I would love to hear from you. My new contact email is

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#BeTheDifference Giveaway

When I began teaching The Mailbox was my "go-to" guide for fun lesson activities and ideas. Over the years, The Mailbox has grown with the times. Now you can access tons of ideas online, as well as create customizable resources, flashcards, and classroom management forms that are all easy to print.  For all of you who are also fans of The Mailbox, you can join their #BeTheDifference movement by capturing a photo of what you are doing to #BeTheDifference in your classroom this year and posting it to The Mailbox Facebook page. You can also learn more about and join their #BeTheDifference sweepstakes while you are there

The Mailbox has generously offered to give away 10 subscriptions for one free year of The Mailbox Gold to 10 lucky Chalk Talk followers. You can learn more about The Mailbox Gold and all it has to offer here

To enter to win one of the free subscriptions, leave a comment with your name and email below. The winners will be announced Wednesday, August 13th. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Raise the Parr TPT Fundrainsing Sale

Lindsey Paulson has put together a fundraiser on TPT for the 3 year-old daughter of Teacher Reneee Parr who passed away unexpectedly on July 14, 2014. Lindsey has taken units that TPT sellers have donated and grouped them together in $10 bundles. There are a variety of bundles to choose from and most are valued at more than $40. You can learn more about the fundraiser here and check out the Raise the Parr TPT sale here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Read-Alouds for Back-to-School

After a much needed break I am finally starting to think about work again. After finally finishing my dissertation and completing my doctorate I needed a little time for doing nothing, thinking about things other than work, reading for fun, watching Orange is the New Black, and spending time with my family.

I hoped that a curriculum job in admin would open up in my area, but since that has not worked out yet, I am gearing up to go back into my classroom.

I just placed an order with Amazon for some new back to school read-alouds. I put together some of the class book pages I always make and made a few others to go with some of the new books I ordered. You can find my class book pages here.

Here are the new read-alouds I ordered. I love Is Your Buffalo Ready For Kindergarten?


Here are a few old favorites that I also plan to use...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Paddington the Movie

This Christmas one of my favorite bears is coming to the movies. I just watched the trailer for the movie Paddington and it looks like it is going to be super funny and a movie that all my students will love.

I was thinking the movie would make a good segue into comparing fictional characters to real animals (for example: comparing real bears to Paddington) or fiction vs. nonfiction. It could also serve as a springboard for writing about being lost or losing something important, for learning about families and how not all families are the same, or for comparing the geography for where you live to that of where Paddington is.

You could also work on letter writing skills, how-to writing for how to take care of Paddington, and creative story writing for other places Paddington could visit.



Check out the super funny trailer for Paddington. 

Check out more information about the movie on Facebook, Twitter, and from the official Paddington Movie website

Monday, July 7, 2014

July Sale at the Teacher's Vault

A friend of mine has started a website called the Teacher's Vault. It's another way for teachers to connect, learn, and earn together. One of my favorite features about the teacher's vault is how everything sold on it is standards aligned (TEKS and common core). The site even allows you to search for lessons and units by standard. The site's interface is user friendly and posting the standards to your units is super quick and easy. You can do it with just a couple of clicks. I also like how you can easily share your products via email, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and Pinterest with the "share it" icons displayed on your storefront page. 

In order to spread the word about the site, I am offering a sale on all of the items I have posted in my Teacher's Vault store. During the week of July 7-13, everything in my Teacher's Vault store will be half off. I am in the process of uploading all of my units. If there is a unit you are looking for that has not been posted yet, you can email me the name of it at 

While you are checking out the Teacher's Vault, register to win a Nook HD just by liking their Facebook page and joining their mailing list. You can learn more about the Nook HD giveaway here