Saturday, September 15, 2012

Johnny Appleseed Giveaway !

 September 26th is Johnny Appleseed's birthday! Yes that is soon! I have collected some great videos for the kiddos to watch to teach them about the life of Johnny Appleseed. I have also made a packet with two writing activities, a hat template, and a T or F sheet for the kids. I have posted it in my store here!

 I found these two videos ( CLASSICS WHOOP WHOOP) and have linked them for you below...

Here is the giveaway details...

On September 23rd I will pick 2 winners to receive the Johnny Appleseed Activity Packet and 1 free item of choice from my TPT store! All you have to do is comment on this post with the number of your email address and visit/like my Facebook page with a comment under the giveaway post!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Exploring Space with an Astronaut

This week's story was Exploring Space with an Astronaut!  This  was a fun story because there is no limit to the activities you can do with this story.  One activity I had my student's complete was a writing activity on what they thought space would be like if they could explore it. I asked them to answer these questions:
  • What would it FEEL like to visit space?
  • What would it LOOK like?
  • What would it SMELL like?
  • Would you HEAR anything?
I was surprised at how excited my kids were about this writing activity. When my kids get excited about writing I always feel like I have won. Writing can sometimes be hard to get students to do. They want to tell you ALL ABOUT IT , but they don't want to write it. After my students were finished they were allowed to color and cut out this trendy little astronaut I found here<---- . When I found this I signed up for  They have some really neat things. After they cut the astronaut out they glued it to black construction paper and drew their stars and planets with white (light colored) crayons. woo-lah! They turned out A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E! And their writings??!..... IMPRESSED ME! I will definitely try this activity again next year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reading and Math in action

 In other news I have been SLAMMED busy keeping up with second graders...... ready for it? SIGH!!!! They are busy bodies for sure but I absolutely love teaching 2nd  grade. I'm still moving things around in my new classroom and trying to figure out what exactly works best. Its a slow progress but I will get there eventually. I have been creating some new reading packets for each weekly story we have. I tried to include some fun writing activities that the students can get excited about . I have recently posted the kits for Henry and Mudge and A Walk in the Desert. Check those out by clicking the links!

  This year our school district has picked up a new math series called GOMATH! Its taking some time to adjust to a new series but so far I really like it. The website access gives you tons of animated resources that demonstrate the skills being taught. All of the manipulatives are digital with LOTS of noise which the teachers...I mean kiddos really like :) Next week we will be beginning chapter 2 which is all about comparing numbers. I have just recently completed a packet that has several activities for Common Core's comparing numbers. The packet also include the chapter vocabulary for that topic.You can find it here!

While working on different ways to write numbers this week I noticed my kids definitely needed some extra practice identifying the word for of numbers. Here is a little freebie practice sheet I  threw together to quiz my kids--->Name That Number Freebie

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big things are happening

 I have been busy trying to put together the last few things for this upcoming school year. One project I have recently completed is the small group seats made from those fabulous $3 target crates. A great co-worker of mine made some and they were so cute I just couldn't resist. They will cost a little bit of money, but I really think my students are going to enjoy them.
These are mine

These are Mrs. Mills' fabulous chairs to go along with her "peace land" theme :)
  for this project you will need:
1. 6-8 crates 
2. material (2 per yard)
3. 6-8 plywood squares  ( Home Depot cuts them to fit the crates , I got 6 for $4.01)
4. foam padding ( Joannes)
5. A staple gun ($8.88 at wal-mart)

I have read on other websites that you can get these crates for free from waffle house. It is worth a shot!

    While I was at Home Depot getting the wood cut I met a lady and her son. After having conversation about various things, which included teaching, my wood was cut and we parted ways. Before parting they asked for my number in order to get in touch with me about some school supplies. A few days later they contacted me and we met up. The two boys , Daniel (16 yrs old) and David (14 yrs old), were SO kind. They decided to gather a ton of supplied to help my students start out the year. I was so overwhelmed at the kindness of these two boys. Along with the supplies they also wrote this kind letter to my students....
and here are all of the  supplies...
I am beyond excited to read this letter to my students and show them all of the helpful supplies that were given by  these kind boys! 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Vocabulary Game FREEBIE

 This is a second grade compilation of the vocabulary words on cards ( word on one side, definition on back) They are organized by story. Just print out and laminate back to back.  Enjoy :)

 download for FREE here!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On the horizon...

Only a few more weeks until school starts back!  Summer has flown by. Seems like last week we were packing up and leaving on the last day. In other news, I have been working like a bee trying to get all of my ideas together to make sure that I have a very easy organized first year in second grade. My main focus has been how to manage all of their seat work so that it isn't such a sloppy mess like it has been. Sadly, I really struggle with keeping their desks neat and in order. NO MORE! This year it is up to them! I know several teachers at my school  have seat work folders so I thought I would give it a try this year. Today I bought 20 Plastic Poly folders from Target for about .50 cents a piece. Whoop Whoop! It isn't exactly a steal compared to the .15 cents paper folders but I  thought about these two things:
    •  They will last so much longer. ( No sloppy ripped crunched up folders being crammed into their desks)
    • I could very well use them next year if I explain carefully that it is my property and they better protect them! :: Insert evil laugh:: 
So then began the thought process of how I could make these folders more effective and sufficient (A teacher's two favorite words).  It didn't take me long to decided I wanted it to be something that would help minimize how many times I have to repeat myself everyday..... seriously. So I created a "Checklist" to insert into a clear sheet protector and attach to the 3 prongs. So every time they get ready to turn in their seat work at the end of the week they Must go through the checklist. I tried to add things that were my greatest pet peeves. If you have any suggestions or ideas for me to add please let me know and I will add the :) Click the here to download the checklist!

Finished product...


Monday, July 2, 2012

Collaboration Nation

 So now that summer school is officially over I have been "pinterest-ing" non-stop trying to find some quick print centers and games for my new 2nd grade classroom. While doing so, I found this SUPER site. Her name is Mary and she is the author of the blog Pitner's Potpourri. She has a whole page full of center freebies. I printed, laminated, and cut them out ..... Waaa-lahhhh!

Super easy centers that are all correlated with the 2nd grade common core standards. Thats right! COMMON CORE! ahhh... the simple life :)  Go check her out!

Friday, June 15, 2012


BIG NEWS! I am moving to 2nd grade this year. After teaching 3rd my first two years I am a little nervous but still so excited. Most of my teaching supplies are focused towards 3rd grade but it isn't a huge change thankfully. So I guess this means I will have to change my blog to a different name :) I have also taken my multiplication Sundae Unit and  copied/changed/edited it to make it compatible with 2nd grade Accelerated Reader goals. The idea behind this was to create some form of whole group motivation for my students. I love encouraging my students to participate in AR as much as possible. So basically what I did was create a printable bulletin board that can be printed/laminated and used to track their progress as a class. I usually have those students who want to take tests all day long, even during math time. THEN.... you have the students who just let everyone else take the tests so that their class still wins the school wide "most points" contest. This kit gives goals for the the class as a whole. For example, Once everyone in the class reaches the 2 pt mark then they receive the first part of the sundae, a cone! Once EVERYONE in the class reaches the next goal 5pts... they receive the first colored scoop of ice cream. This allows the students as a class to be responsible for reading independently. My goal is for the higher students to encourage the others to be more active readers.  In order for the whole sundae to be completed the students must work together.

     I have added this kit to my TPT account right here!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mother's Day Classroom Craft Idea

    I found these at Joanne's Fabric store for only $1.00 a piece. I used a coupon and ended up getting 15 for $12.83.I'm going to let the kiddos paint them for their mothers. It's a super cute idea and doesn't really cost much more then buying card stock and paints for other crafts not nearly as cool :) I already have a ton of paint in my classroom at school that I have collected over the last year or so on random little projects! Joanne's Fabric also accepts A.C. Moore coupons and offers a 15% teachers discount as well. I find my coupons online ( you can google them or get them off of all the coupon apps available for your phone)
 Coming Soon! Pictures of our creations :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

We Love Donors Choose

       Most of you already know about but for those who don't, I am about to tell you all about it and how you should take the time to sign up your classroom :) Donors Choose is a website that I discovered while searching the internet for free resources for my classroom. With teaching budgets being non-existent, it is very important to take advantage of any and all resources that we  teachers can get our hands on. The website is super simple to sign up for. In the past 6th months I have had 3 projects funded . This site allows you to pick whatever supplies you want , that's right, ANYTHING! I have received supplies for my classroom (0 cost to me) totaling over $1300.00 Cha-Ching! These supplies include math literature books, 3rd grade subject/grade level reading book bundles, and 80  subscriptions to Scholastic Reader. Yes, you read that correctly, 80 subscriptions. I was able to get one for every student in the 3rd grade at my school.

     Several of the teachers at my school have had projects funded for their classroom as well.
Once you visit the site it will take you through all of the steps to sign up and create a project. You will have to write a little bit of information about your students and how the supplies/materials you are requesting will benefit your classroom. Once your finished the project is posted on the website. Donors from all over the world can donate to your project. Once your project has been fully funded the website orders the materials for you and ships them right to your classroom. How awesome is that right? Once you receive your materials have your students write thank you notes for the supplies. Print out your prepaid mailing label and Wa-lah! you are done and it didn't cost you a penny :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Blow Me Away Valentine FREEBIE

Okay, so I know it is a little late but you can always use it for next year. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail right?! :) For Valentines Day I used this great printable found here, and some miniature bubble packs I found at Target in the dollar section. The kids loved them!

Literacy Centers indeed...

 Keeping up with literacy centers (the changing and organizing) can be time consuming. I have put together a kit that has 4 different centers in it.
  • Listening- cumulative sheet that covers main idea and author's purpose for students to complete after each weekly story.
  • Vocabulary- activity sheet for students to complete for weekly vocabulary word.
  • Fluency - fluency strips
  • Writing- writing prompt print-outs
  • Center signs for all 4
This packet has 65 pages it in. It contains some great fluency strips for the 3rd grade level (high frequency words) as well as 30 pages worth of vocabulary words built from an analysis of difficult words that appear in basal readers and other books commonly taught in the 3rd grade. Those words were then analyzed to see how often they appeared on English Language Arts state tests given in the third, fourth and fifth grades. ( Great idea to add to fluency center as well!

  Stop by my store to get this kit for only $5.00

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

P.I.E anyone?

Visit my store to purchase these cute new author's purpose charts

AR Organization FREEBIE

Accelerated reader is a great way for students to gain fluency, practice reading, and take quizzes on what they have read.  But how do we hold our students responsible for their reading and quiz taking?Going into AR everyday to look up and find their scores is a little time consuming. Each teacher has their own method.  What I found works best in my classroom is an AR Quiz Tracker Notebook.

I took a 1 inch binder like this and added a trendy little cover (see attached to print cover). I printed it out on bright colored paper , inserted it in the cover slip, and set it next to my computer center.

Inside the folder is a page where I have labeled each weeks story. The tracker sheet has a place for you to write the weekly stories ahead of time. It provides an area for each student's name and an individual box for their grade. It is super easy for the kids to fill out and it helps me to see how they are doing. Occasionally I go into AR just to check out the sneaky ones ; )

Download AR Folder Kit here for Free :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A "sweet" approach to a sour skill...

     One thing I have learned in the last year or so is that teaching multiplication facts to 3rd grade students is not much fun. Seeing as how it is boring to me, it is likely just as boring to the kids. For some reason they absolutely love hate learning that small huge list of facts right? Well I was inspired by a FABULOUS teacher I work with to incorporate learning the multiplication facts into a "Sundae" theme...I added some tweaks to the idea making it to where it is used as a whole group incentive. The students have a new set of facts to earn each week. When the class has memorized that set of facts they ear a "scoop" towards a sundae. After the class has learned all of their facts the ice cream sundae will be displayed completely. It will also help to tell them once they complete it they will get to have a LEGIT ice cream sundae party (insert screaming children here). I have added this unit to my TPT store for only $5.00   
click here to buy it ! Hurry!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Getting in gear

    Only a few more days left until Christmas break is over. I have definitely enjoyed my time off  but a part of me is ready to get back to the kiddos. We have two in service days which will fly by. So much to do so little time. Once we return it is full speed preparing for testing. In March our students take the ARMT Plus. Oh boy right?! Ive created a little review packet for some of the math skills that we should have mastered once returning from our break. Hopefully after refreshing their memory and doing a little practice we will remember EVERYTHING.... in a perfect world :) It's okay to dream right? I have just started my TPT store so below I am going to make an effort to link my new math skills packet. My first item is only $1.75! It has 7 GREAT review sheets for math skills!
Buy it here

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