Book Raffle Time!!!

Hey guys!! How's everyone doing this week?? I must say, I've had a few ups and downs already this week, but today, I realized how much I love to TEACH!! I LOVE TO TEACH! As I was sitting with my kids on the floor during our math rotations, I felt this calm about me. It was one of those moments when you literally reflect on your life as if you were watching yourself live it. Does that make sense to anyone?? haha I was going over area with them as they tiled their squares and triangles, and I guess God knew I needed a reminder of why I was made to be an educator. I'm so thankful for being given the gift to reach kids and people alike. I don't think we all realize how much of a GIFT it truly is. NOT everyone can teach. AND the whole, "If you can't do, teach," quote that drives me nuts DOES NOT APPLY!!! We can all DO, but not everyone can REACH people. So just remember, YOU ARE AWESOME!!! You are doing everything you can to make a child's education the best it can be and to offer them experiences that will help them to lead the life they want to and be proud of it!! So KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK!!!! I'm so proud and honored to be among all of you!!! my soapbox I go haha, and onto...


***I cannot claim this idea for myself!!*** I, as probably a ton of you, scour Pinterest for ideas, inspiration, and in practicing to perfect my skills of procrastination! Well, one day, I came across the idea of having a BOOK RAFFLE!!! I LOVE BOOKS!!!!! I have a small HUGE addiction to books in  general, but mostly CHILDREN'S BOOKS! They're so beautiful, full of color, voice, good stories, and wonderful authors and illustrators!! I even love the SMELL OF BOOKS!!! Ask my students, I literally have to smell them when I open up the new Scholastic box I happily hopped down to the office to retrieve!! I remember wanting books from book orders when I was younger JUST to get that feel and smell of a new book!! AHHHH Am I crazy?!? haha Well, that's ok because I think it's actually made my students WANT to get their hands on books more!! So, I will take my crazy title and run with it! :) 

How do I run it?

This is the first month that I have started the Book Raffle, but I plan on doing a Book Raffle EVERY MONTH! At the beginning of the month, I put out 4 baskets with one NEW book in each basket. I placed them on top of a poster (read more about these in Books and Prizes :). The kids walked in and were immediately drawn to the display!! HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER! Right away, they started asking questions! When I told them that we would be having the Book Raffle every month, they literally cheered! I made sure to buy books that we've been reading or that I know they read a lot to pull that interest in even more!! :) Once again, HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER!!!

I carry around red raffle tickets that you can get from Walmart and any of those stores! Here's a link to them on Amazon.
We talked about how they can earn them and when together. I told them that these were very special prizes, and they took a little more to earn. So here is a list of ways they could earn raffle tickets in my room to give you some examples and ideas! 
Clipart by the amazing, Krista Wallden from Creative Clips!

1. Get a 5 in Specials is a huge one for me. We often talk about how we should behave in other places of the school, and even though, a 4 is still good, we shoot for the 5! They get so excited to tell me they earned a 5!! 

2. Every day 8 students wear one of our weekly vocabulary words on their clothes! We make gestures to go with each and practice them a ton! It takes very little time, and they love it!! I give the kids wearing the words 5 raffle tickets each. When a student walks by them, they can try to use the word in a sentence correctly to earn a raffle ticket! We definitely talk about when it's appropriate to do this and how they have to use the word correctly in the sentence, and (knock on wood) it's been going SO WELL!!!!! ALL of the kids, even my Level 1 EL students want to wear the words and talk to the others. Those kids also get a raffle ticket at the end of the day as long as they did their jobs wearing them. We even have Vocabulary Parades!!!! To read more about our Vocabulary activities, click on the picture below to take you to the post!
3. Getting at least 10 stars on their TEAM Homework has been WONDERFUL!!! I've been using Amanda Madden's, from Teaching Maddeness, TEAM Homework Newsletter and system to do my homework this year. It's all based on the Whole Brain Teaching Universal Teaching Model! I LOVE IT!!! I even have parents telling me how their children ASK to do more stars and extras for homework!!! ASK for MORE?!? Teacher heaven right here!!! The whole ideas is to give them ownership over their work. So they choose to do as little or as much as they want in the week, but they are ALL working together to earn a certain number of points! IF THE WHOLE CLASS reaches their goal, EVERYONE gets raffle tickets as well! We check in on Fridays! Check out her post all about this HERE!!! It's worth it! 

4. They receive Citizenship Reports every Friday that are due by the next Tuesday. If they turn them in early on Monday signed, they earn a raffle ticket! I really want to make sure the parents see these papers so this serves as double duty!! :)

5. We have our other management system with sparklers, etc. so if I see AMAZING, STAND OUT behavior, they can earn raffle tickets as well!! I try to make these harder to earn so they don't lose their uniqueness! :)

When they get the raffle ticket, they wait till they get back to their seats to write their names. Then they can choose which basket they want to put theirs in. This is a great REAL WORLD PROBABILITY lesson too!!! We talked about how are chances could go up if we put more tickets in one over the other. I love when we can DOUBLE DIP into other subjects!!! :)

Books and Prizes

Lastly, the actual books and prizes are the most important part to REEL them in!!! :)

FIRST, I want to make sure EVERY child gets a NEW book by the end of the year!! This does mean that once a student wins a book, they don't get to win another one until EVERYONE has won one! Now, you might be asking, "Then what's the motivation for those kids to keep trying to earn raffle tickets??" Well, I rummaged through the AWESOME Target deals a few weeks ago and stocked up on writing composition notebooks, circle paper key rings, folders, etc. so I can raffle those off as well! They can win multiple "door prizes" so that way they still have something to work toward. If you take a close look at the picture below, you will see a Scholastic poster beneath every basket. Since I use my points to get the Scholastic Books for the raffle, I also use the free gifts they give with the book orders for prizes too! The kids LOVED them!!!

I hope this gives you some ideas and a start to getting your own classroom Book Raffle going!!!!! It is soooooo worth it!!! I want to help me kinds find a LOVE for READING!!! This is one way that really spikes their interests and inspires them to dive into a good book!!!!!!

If you have any questions or other ideas to add, I would love to hear them!!!! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Happy READING!!! :)

A Vocabulary Parade + Theme FREEBIE!!

Hi ya'll!! How are you?? Anyone have a kind of crazy week this week?? I have nothing to blame but the Autumn Equinox hah, but PHEW there were a couple days that staying in bed might have been a better option! After those days passed, the week only got better! Wednesday was one of those teacher chills, feel good, hallelujah moments days when you are reaffirmed why you were called to this profession!

This year we started with a new reading series, Reading Wonders. Now, I'm one of those teachers that do not particularly like basals AT ALL! So with looping to 3rd for the first time AND having to figure out a new reading series, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but I think I'm getting a handle on it now!

One of my goals this year is to really emphasize vocabulary but in interactive ways. I am just not a fan of writing the word with the definition, and that's it. I have over 80% EL in my room which always keeps me thinking and creating ways to incorporate movement with activities which ALL kids will benefit from! you ever find yourself coming up with the best ideas in the middle of another activity or in the shower (which is my #1 idea generator! hah)?? Well, Wednesday, a new idea was born!


I started having the kids wear their vocabulary words last week, and since it went so well, I thought I'd better keep it going! I typed in the vocabulary words with the fonts KG Be Still & Know, KG Behind These Hazel Eyes and KB Really Dnealie which you can click on and download to your computer to use as well. :) Once I printed and laminated them on colored card stock, I took a little exacto knife and cut a slit in the middle at the top. I used the name tag clips so they were easy to attach to clothing. You could also use lanyards, but I didn't have any of those readily available!

When they are all ready, I place them on the rectangle table in my room. As we introduce and work with them throughout the week, we add them to the table to be able to be worn by students.


If you have had any EL students, you know that connecting a gesture to a word, idea, activity always helps!! Well...gestures help ALL STUDENTS learn!! Making those connections engages the students in a more personal way! Each time we add a word, we add a gesture to go with the word. We create this together so they can really take ownership over it and retain it better!! They LOVE this!! REPITITION, REPITITION, REPITITION! My students AMAZED me last week by their retention!! I used a Vocabulary Clozed Passage from Miss Jones on TPT that correlates to the Reading Wonders Series for 3rd grade! I had over 75% get 100% including most of my 16 EL students!!


Each morning when they come in, they can pick up one of the vocabulary cards, but they can only wear one once a week to make sure everyone who wants a turn, gets a turn. I don't MAKE everyone do it; however, I was extremely excited to see some of my quietest students taking them!! My two that speak very limited English, had them on one morning, and it just melted my heart. Not so much about the vocab words, but that they feel comfortable enough in the room to partake in an activity that puts them in somewhat in the center of attention.

Once they have the cards, they pin them to their shirts for the days (minus recess, lunch, and specials). As students go past the vocabulary students, they are encouraged to whisper the vocab. word to them for practice. Since it takes so many times for someone to actually retain a word, I thought this would be a fun way to practice it out of isolation. Today, I gave 5 Book Raffle tickets to those kids to give out to students who could use the word in a sentence correctly. WOW!!! Why haven't I don't a book raffle before?!? The kids were ALL about getting those raffle tickets! By the end of the day, the kids were able to say sentences beautifully! I'm telling you...TEACHER CHILLS ALL OVER!!!

During our quick whole group reading time before we start small group rotations, we may do the Vocabulary Parade as a review. Otherwise, we the kids beg to have the parade at the end of the day! The students with the vocabulary cards (the floats) line up by the door to parade through the aisle. The other students make a "road" for the parade to come down. As the students come down, the crowd (students) say the words AND do the gesture while the float (vocabulary card student) ONLY does the gesture. The next student started down the road after the one in front of them has gone through the whole way. 


Before I try to write down some plans for next week (or watch a new show :), I want to share the first organizer of my NEW SET to come out soon!!! We've been working on theme this week, and I wanted to use an organizer that gets my kids thinking in the right direction. So I created Theme Squared. This is the first one, but I have many more already created and going to be created. I took the 4-square method and put it to theme. The kids have to identify the theme first, then work around the square to PROVE IT! So 1. Identify and write the theme. 2. Identify and write the main idea of the story. Steps 3-5 Identify and write 3 pieces of evidence to PROVE THE THEME! My kids did really well on this!! So click HERE or on the picture below to download and try THEME SQUARED with your students!! I would love to hear how it goes!! :)
Below is a student example for you to see! :) Click on it to enlarge it. CREDITS: Kimberly Geswein's It Ain't Rocket Science, KB Chatter Box, and Creative Clips Borders!
I hope these ideas are helpful for you and your students!! If not, I hope you had some fun reading about them anyway!! hah :) Thanks so much for stopping by!!!!!