Saturday, December 8, 2012

We Love Hot Chocolate {Math Motivator}

Most of my chickadees struggle with knowing their basic math facts (and I can tell their isn't a whole lot of practice going on at home).  To motivate them to practice and learn their facts  I came up with the Hot Cocoa Challenge. 
 
We made cups of cocoa out of constuction paper.  My chickadees were told what facts to practice for the week and that they would be quizzed at the end of the week (I am differentiating, some students are practicing add./sub. facts and some are working on multiplication facts).  If they scored 80% or above they would earn a marshmallow to put in their cocoa.  We will be doing this each week from now through January. 
 
After they have earned 3 marshmallows for their cup, they earn a cup of hot cocoa.  After 5 marshmallows, they will earn cookies and cocoa.
This pic is from the first week (not all of my student's cups are pictured).  I can not tell you how excited my students were about being able to earn a "marshmallow" for their cup.  They kept telling me all week that they were practicing and on Friday, all of my students who were in school that day earned a 100% on their math facts and earned their first marshmallow.  We just finished up our 2nd week and not only are all my chickadees still talking about practicing at home, they did well on their 2nd assessment.
If you need a way to motivate your students to learn their math facts, give this a try.  I am still amazed and happy at how giddy my chickadees were when they got to glue their marshmallow onto their cups of cocoa!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Place Value Cups

Happy Fall everyone!  It has been well over a month since my last post.  School has been b*a*n*a*n*a*s!!
 
I wanted to share with you a great resource shared with me by a fab colleague.  She found the idea on the internet.  I do not know the whe who or where she found it (maybe pintrest?) so I can not give the proper credit/link to the idea.
 
Have you ever heard of place value cups?  They are cheap and easy to make.  All you need are Styrofoam cups and Sharpie markers (I love for any excuse to use Sharpie markers).
To make your place value cups, simply write the digits 0-9 along the edge of the cup.  Use a different cup and color for each place value holder in the number.  We were working on 3 digit numbers, so I used 3 cups.
 
My chickadees used these with a Brace Map to show the different parts of a number, and with the
co-operative learning structure Rally Coach to show the different forms of a number.  They loved that they got to spin the cups around to create their own number.
When I was walking around helping/monitoring I could not believe the number of times my students kept saying to one another how much fun using the place value cups were.  They thought they were the best thing ever.  What more could I want!!?
 
My hubby (who teaches 1st) plans on using the place value cups when he teaches 2 digit numbers.
 
Give place value cups a try.  You won't be disappointed!
 
Have a great 1st week of October!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rubrics/Scales for Learning Goals????

Last year my district adopted a new evaluation system for teachers.  The Teacher Evaluation System, Bridge, is based on the research conducted by Dr. Robert Marzano connecting Effective Instructional Practice to Increased Student Achievement.
It was a heck of alot of information to digest at once. 

Part of our evaluation/effective instructional practice that will lead to increased student achievement was to post a learning goal on the board for each lesson that was taught throughout the day.  While this did take up considerable space on my board, and was a pain to write, I understand the importance of having it posted for the students to see and refer back to.  The learning goal was also accompanied by a generic rubric that students used to "rate" themselves.  For my chickadees this was an easy, peasy 0-2 rubric that they would use to rate themselves privately using their fingers over their heart.

2-  I got it
1- I am beginning to understand, but still need some help
0- even with help I.D.K

This year we need to have a specific scale/rubric made for each learning goal, for each lesson, that is taught throughout the day.  This is an enormous amount of rubrics/scales that have to be created.  In my district one of the pre-planning days when I go back is dedicated to the task of creating these rubrics.  We are also implementing the Common Core this year along with a new grading scale for k-2.  We previously used letter grades (E S P N) and will now be using numbers (0-4).  To give you an idea a 3 will mean working proficiently at grade level for the skill.  I have not yet had any type of training for the common core or the grading.  My district will be training everyone the day before we have to make the rubrics/scales.  I want to make sure I have a correct understanding of the Common Core and grading before I start making any rubrics.

Is anyone currently using the Marzano based evaluation system and/or a different rubric/scale for each lesson that is taught?  What do you think of using a specific rubric for the lesson vs. a general rubric?  Do you have any examples you would be willing to share?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Peek At My Room...Pre-Set Up

Since my "official" day back is about 2 weeks away (wahhh!!) I decided to swing by my classroom to pick up a teacher's edition I needed to start my lesson plans for the upcoming school year.  My team shares lesson plans and I am responsible for the 1st two months of school so I thought I'd get a head start.

Now as you may (or may not know) from a previous post we have to pack up our classrooms(and make sure as much as possible is off the floor) at the end of every year so that maintenance can come in and wax the floor/clean the room.  While inconvenient and time consuming I don't mind doing this so much because it gives me the opportunity to clean and organize everything for the upcoming school year.

This is what greeted me (besides a mildewy/garbagey smell) when I walked in my classroom door.
Empty boxes that were damp and had mold growing on them!!??
A book shelf blocking the entrance to the bathroom
Some of my items that were neatly stored by yours truly thrown haphazardly in the bathroom.  Notice the items on and in the toilet!!!!
Student agendas, ink and books for the team were delivered to my small hybrid classroom

Why would there be numerous damp, empty boxes with mold growing on them in my classroom you might wonder.  Well, teacher friends, that is due to maintenance accidently throwing all of the brand new math books that you see in the photo above, away in a dumpster for a day (the boxes that the books were in were clearly labeled to be delivered to my room and had my name on them). Oh, also, it may have rained on the day they were in the dumpster.  They thought they were trash (I kid you not). When the mistake was finally realized maintenance retrieved the books and told the school's bookkeeper that only a handful of the books would be unusable and that they would deliver the books that could be used to my room.
Well nobody checked the "usable" books that were delivered to my room, but thank goodness I went to my classroom when I did or who knows what I would have returned to.
The boxes were damp and had mildew growing on them (why they would think I would want dirty, wet, empty boxes is beyond me) as did many of the books.
Multiple pages in this one book looked like the page you see above.
I had to go through each book one by one to see what was really salvagable.  I won't even tell you about the mess this made.  Some of the books still had garbage and dirt stuck between the pages.

I. was. very .livid.

I ended up only being able to keep around a quarter of the books.  Thousands of dollars down the drain.  What infuritates me even more is that the head of our school's maintenance stopped by room and was insisting these books were usable.
Usable?? Can. You. Believe. It.

Was it wrong of me to tell/ask this individual "Who in their right mind would use a book that has mold growing in it or give it to a child to use? Who thinks it's okay to put damp, dirty books/boxes in my room and expect me to clean the mess? I also stated it was not in my job description to have to come to school and clean, never mind clean a mess that was left by adults who should know better.  And what's with my stuff in the toilet?  I don't spend my hard earned money on things for my classroom so it can be flushed down the drain."
I also may have told this individual that maintenance needed to read a book on cleaning or take a cleaning workshop. 

Maintenace at my school leaves much to be desired.  I sent an email to my admin. with many pictures to go with it and am waiting for a reply, unfortunately they were on vacation when this happened.  I just hope there is money left in our school budget to re-order books and that we get them on time.  I am trying to think positively about this, at least this issue was found out about sooner rather than later and I have started steps to rectify the issue.
What does continue to bother me though is that maintenance sees nothing wrong with the way my room was left for me and that they feel the books can still be used.

I'm sorry for this rant, but I thought writing it in this blog would be cheaper than therapy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back to School Unit

I was in Target and Walmart yesterday and could not believe all the back to school items that are out already.  I had to contain myself from buying too much.  The hubs (who is also a teacher) could not have been any more disinterested in all the brand new pencils, crayons, pencil grips, plastic storage containers I need storage container intervention  that were surrounding us.  Hubs thinks I am a weirdo sometimes because the smell of new crayons, or a bunch of newly sharpened pencils gives me a little thrill!  Come on...how many of you get a thrill from brand new school supplies???  I know I am not the only one!!

I usually start thinking about the upcoming school year in earnest from mid to late July.  What do I need to buy? get ready? make? revamp?

In preparation for the upcoming school year I have put together a Back to School Unit that includes activities for First and/or Second Grade for the first week/few weeks of school.  This is what is included:

Playground Safety Writing Stationary (2 diff. line sizes) and circle map
* Summer Memory Writing Stationary (2 diff. line sizes) and Craftivity
 *All About Me Tree (students choose adjectives to describe themselves and add either the leaves or apples to their tree). I usually only have students choose 5 adjectives and add a background to their tree paper.
 *My Favorites (students tell about their favorites or draw a picture of their favorite)
 *Find a Buddy Who... (great ice breaker, great way to introduce cooperative learning structure)
* Odd and Even Number Sort with differentiated recording sheets and word cards included, so this activity can be used with cooperative learning structure Mix and Match or with slight modification Quiz, Quiz, Trade
* Before and After Bus Fun : students will tell the number that comes before and after a specified number (with differentiated recording sheets)
* Crayon Box Short Vowel Sort with sentence extension
 *Rhyming Apples : students will make pairs of rhyming words (with differentiated recording sheets and sentence extension); this activity can also be used with cooperative learning structures
* Apple-solutely Craftivity

I myself, use all of this activities during the first week(s) of school.   
You can snag yours here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Font Find and Clickeritis

Clickeritis: (verb) The process by which you go on the computer looking for one thing, but something else catches your eye and you click, go to a new page...see something else interesting..click..go to a new page..click...an hour goes by...hubby asks did you find what you were looking for (or you finally look at the clock)...think to self "what was I looking for again??"

I suffer from this almost everytime I go on the computer.  How 'bout you??

Here is a cute font I found while suffering from "clickeritis".
Love the stripe details.  You can get this free font here.

A good book and fruity beverage are calling my name!!
Happy Friday

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July Currently and A Nice Surprise

Hi lovelies!  I am so excited to be linking up with Farley for the first time at
Oh' boy fourth grade
for the July Currently.
Here are my currentlys :)
It was also a nice surprise to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from Patty at 2nd In Line and from Tammy at First Grade at Storybook Cafe.  I am going to do another post about the award after I do some blog stalking as I need 15 blogs to pass the award onto.
Thanks again ladies!!  It made my day!

I think I hear Starbucks calling my name...


Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Font Find

Hi everyone, I am back from a nice relaxing break in the Carolina Low Country.  I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing, pampering your self :) summer!

I am back to creating and craftivity mode (back to school unit, Journeys units are in the works)!!!

I stumbled upon the most adorable free font.
This is called Waves Font.  My preppy self can't get enough of it.
You can download it yourself by clicking here.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Bulletin Board Storage Upgrade!!

My last day of school was this past Friday, so summer has officially started for me :) 
 While packing up my classroom (everything has to be off the walls/floor for "maintenance purposes") the cardboard box I normally store my bulletin board sets and posters in started to break.  This was my second cardboard storage box that has started to buckle and refused to hold its shape.  One of the handles had also split and broken off.  I think some of the breakdown of the box is due to the heat and humidity here in Florida.  My classroom is a hybrid (an upgraded portable) so that doesn't help the heat and humidity situation.
I decided to cave in and purchase these bulletin board storage bags from Carson-Dellosa.
They are awesome !!  I bought two of them  (side note...the cardboard box met the recycling bin).  One to hold my bulletin board/decorative sets and one to hold posters that I use for teaching and for students to use at workstations.  They are expandable and have a handle.  The best part is that these 2 storage bags take up a lot less space than my previous cardboard box.  Since storage is very limited in my hybrid classroom (only one tiny storage closet) I am always looking for ways to improve my organization and storage.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Multiplication Fun

Hi everyone.  I am so jealous of everyone who is already on summer vacation.  10 more days for me.  At least all of my end of the year testing is done!!! :)
My room is getting a little more under control as I have been trying to neatly put things away and pack up my classroom.  Even though this year is not yet over I am thinking about how I want to decorate for next year.  This is some cute trim I just picked up at my local teachers store.  I can't wait to use it next school year.
It's from Creative Teaching Press.  Most of the items that I use for decorating my classroom are from them.  I loooove their stuff!!

In math we have been working on multiplication.  I recently read my chickadees:
This is a great book for teaching repeated addition or multiplication.  After reading the book my students created their own story problems.
I can tell I have the beginnings of a shop-a-holic in my class :)

They did a pretty good job overall.  I am so proud of how far my chickadees have come!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Classroom Explosion!!!

Okay, my classroom has not literally exploded but it certainly looks like that.  In my quest to start taking things down and packing up my room for the summer it looks like something exploded in my room.  Everything has to be off the floors/book shelves because everything is taken out of my hybrid so the maintenance fairies can wax the floor.  I am trying to pack things away in an orderly fashion so I will be able to find them when I return in August. 

My school already found out we will probably only have 1 day to get our rooms ready during our pre-planning week in August due to required district professional development.  It makes it awfully hard to "mentally" wrap up and enjoy the rest of this year with my chickadees when my mind is in hyperdrive over what I need to do to get ready for next year (now).  What will my "theme" be?  Should I make my parent packets now? What copies should I run off now?

I know it will all come together in the end (I keep telling myself) :)
17 days to go!! How about you?


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Sale

Have you heard?  TpT is having a Teacher Appreciation Sale May 6-8th in honor of Teachers Appreciation Week.

Items will be up to 20% off and Tpt will be kicking in an extra 8% off.  Holy guacamole you can save up to 28% off!!  I have many items on my wishlist I plan on purchasing.

If you click {here} you will be able to pick up my newest unit "I'm Ready for 2nd Grade {summer themed unit}".  It is $4.00 now, but during the sale it will only be $2.88.

Your little ones will be excited and engaged to use this summer themed unit as a wrap up to First Grade or even starting Second Grade. There are 5 literacy and 3 math activities. Each activity comes with a recording sheet and sentence extension (literacy items). 
Happy Shopping!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Making Big Books

Hi everyone!  It's been awhile since my last post, but school has been really busy and it doesn't seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon.  Usually it seems like this time of the year usually goes by soooooo slow, but not this year.  My chickadees and I will be practicing for the SAT 10 that we will be taking next week as well as getting ready for field day, FAIR testing and ORF testing.  I feel swamped :(  Anyone else feeling that way??

I wanted to share with everyone a class made big book.  Do you make big books with your students?  My students love it.  We read many different stories that had the same overall theme:  "The Enormous Turnip", "The Enormous Potato", and "The Enormous Carrot".  Then my chickadees created their own story following the story line but gave it a new twist.
Hence, the birth of The Enormous Apple!
Their story had a cowboy, cowgirl, tiger, and an alien (to name a few) trying to pull an enormous stubborn apple off a tree.  To make this big book each team in my class worked cooperatively to choose a character, write their page of the story, and create the illustrations.  I find creating big books, that are based on multiple stories with the same theme very helpful to my ESOL students.  I usually store my classmade big books and ones that I have purchased in a hamper.  The big books are available for students to read during their rotation through Read to Self during our literacy workstation time.

I hope everyone has a great start to the new week!  I can't believe it will be May in a few days!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And the Winner Is...........

Drumroll please.................................
Congratulations Mrs. Richling!  You've just won my Mother's Day Craft project.  Look for an email from me really soon!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mother's Day Craft Give Away !!

Mother's Day is coming up soon.  Do you have a craft in mind to have your littles make for their Mom, Grandma, or Aunt?  If not, what about A Cup of Tea Mother's Day Craft.
It is only $1.25 in my TpT or TN store.


Included with this craft are:
*example pictures
*directions to make the teacup and teapot
*pre-made labels with a message to mom/grandma/aunt for the front of the teapot and teacup
*patterns for the teapot and teacup
*patterns for flowers (used for decorations)



For one lucky person, this craft can be yours.  To enter my Mother's Day Craft giveaway all you have to do is:
{1} Follow my blog and leave a comment with your email address

and/or

{2} Follow my TpT store and leave a comment with your email address

So hurry up and enter, because this giveaway is only lasting until tomorrow, Friday at 9 p.m. EST. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Sparkle and Inspiration

It seems like it's been forever and a day since my last post.   Things have been really hectic as I try to map out the curriculum for the rest of April and May.  We have standardized testing coming up during the first week of May, so we will be practicing and reviewing alooooottttt! But for today, I want to share with you some activities that my chicadees have been working on and really enjoy.  Hopefully they will offer you a little mid-week inspiration.  I am constantly inspired when I read others' blogs :)

Sparkle
Sparkle is a quick game that my chickadees love to play.  It is a great time filler activity when you only have a few minutes but want to make the most of them.  To play Sparkle, I have all my students take out a scrap sheet of paper.  I choose 5 students to go stand at the front of the room.  They then have to spell one of our current or past spelling/vocabulary words.  As the students spell the word they only say 1 letter of the word, the next student says the letter that comes next, and so on and so forth until the word is completely spelled.  Once the word is completely spelled, the next student in line calls Sparkle and the next person in line is out.  Everyone has a sheet of scrap paper out, because if they are not up front spelling the word they attempt to spell it themselves on their paper.  The round continues until there is only 1 person left up front and then we start again with 5 players.

Taste Testing and Writing
We have been working on using our 5 senses to describe things when we right.  I brought in different kinds of fruit for my chickadees to look at, smell, and taste.  Afterwards they created a bubble map of their favorite fruit to describe it.
My example for the students :)

The apricots and kiwis were a big hit, because most of my students had never heard of them.  I was very surprised that they actually enjoyed them.  After the bubble map we worked on a tree map, and then they used their tree map to wright a paragraph.

Life Cycles
We have also been working on the life cycles of plants and animals.  This week we have focused on the life cycle of a frog.  We made a flow map of the life cycle using pictures, then my chickadees wrote about what happens in each stage.  It is made kind of like a foldable book.  My chickadees loved that their writing was hidden and you would have to open the flap to see what they wrote.

I myself am now off to find some inspiration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of This World Mid-Week Freebie

I am so excited about an upcoming space unit that my chickadees will be working on.  I love teaching this unit because there are so many engaging and fun things that I can do with it.  My chickadees are always fascinated when we explore real world concepts.  To go along with some new target skills that have to be taught I created this:

If you would like this freebie simply click here!
The word cards included allow for differentiation.  There are 2 pages of Tier 2 words.  This is a great activity for a literacy workstation or for cooperative learning.  I will most likely be using this for Rally Coach or for a modified All Write Round Robin.
Enjoy!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tag-O-Rama



Here Are The Rules:
* Post these rules
* Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you
* Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
* Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged!)

So first up are Marissa's questions.
1. Are you a night owl or early bird?? Definite early bird
2. What was the last book you've read? (Not related to teaching) I just reread The Hunger Games to get ready for a teachers vs. students challenge
3. What kind of movies do you prefer? Comedy, action, drama, love story??? Comedy or Action
4. What is your favorite grade to teach? 2nd
5. Coffee or tea? Coffee (iced)
6. Are you married or do you have kids? Married for 9 fabulous years
7. How long have you been teaching? What grades have you taught? I am going on my 10th year of teaching.  I have taught a half year of 4th Grade and the rest of my time teaching has been in 2nd grade.
8. Did you always know you wanted to be a teacher? Maybe subconsciously :)  I still want to be The President one day!!
9. What do you like to do when you're not teaching? I love to read mystery books or shop!
10. What is your favorite song that puts you in a good mood?  Hmmmm...I don't have a favorite song
 
 
Now for Judy's questions.
 
1. Soup or Salad? Salad (I love Greek salad)
2. Designer Purse or Designer Shoes?  Designer Purse, it usually goes with more and does not hurt (unlike most designer shoes)
3. Favorite Music Genre? When it comes to music I don't have a favorite, I like a little bit of everything
   4.Pepsi or Coke..or Neither (explain)? I like regular Coke better than Pepsi but Diet Pepsi is way better than Diet Coke
5.What is the name of the board that you post the most pins on Pinterest? I have not yet been on Pinterest (this is very shocking to most of my friends)
6.Righty or Lefty? Righty
7. Favorite Season? Fall

8. The glass is always...? (half full or half empty) Most of the time, half full

9. When is your birthday? Don't worry about putting the year! November

10. Do you have siblings, if so how many? 1 sister


Now for the questions for those I have tagged.
1. Chocolate or Vanilla?
2. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
3. Favorite movie?
4. If you were stranded on a deserted island what 3 things would you hope to have with you?
5. Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind?
6. Heels or flats?
7. What is your least favorite thing about teaching?
8. Best Professional Development you have had is.....
9. Funniest thing a student has asked or said to you...
10. If you were given 1 million dollars what would you do with it?

My tagees......

Have fun!!  I can't wait to read your responses!















Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seining and Similies

Now that benchmarks, other end of quarter assessments, and report cards are done I feel like I can relax a moment.  Anymore, it seems as if I test / assess my students to death, never mind teach them!  Does anyone else ever feel that way?
We did have a nice respite yesterday since the chickadees went on a field trip.  Since we live near the water we were able to go Seining in a lagoon.
Teachers, students and parents love this hands on field trip.  If you are not familiar with seining, seining is the catching of ocean creatures (that live in the see grass beds) using a net (similar to volleyball net) that you drag along the ground at an angle.  We put our "catches" in a bucket and professionals explain to us what they are and characteristics of them.  Finally our "catches" are released.
Some of our catches!!  There is a comb jellyfish in the upper right hand corner of this photo, and that spongy looking thing below it, is a hairy sponge (that ejects a purplish liquid when stressed).  A crab is towards the bottom.

This week also found my chickadees learning about similes.  I thought they would have a hard time understanding what 2 things were being compared (and why) in a simile, but they caught on pretty quick.  Especially because this skill was reinforced through writing about themselves.  Egomaniacs anyone!!???
Students had to draw and label a self portrait and then write about their self portrait using similes.

Since I am now hungry as a wolf, I am off to cook dinner.  Have a Happy Easter !!




Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hippity Hoppity Sale and Freebie Reminder!!

If you have not yet gotten my Hippity Hop Antonym Freebie, get it soon!!  It would be perfect to use with your chickadees this week!!

I am also having a 20% off sale in my TpT store for today only.

So hop on over!!  Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Team Line Ups

I use many cooperative learning structures each day in my classroom.  One that is quick and easy for my chickadees to do is Team Line Ups.  Line ups are great because they provide practice of social as well as academic skills.  I usually use this for a quick spiral review of a math skill or for sequencing events.  An explanation for how Line Ups are done can be found here!

Below are pictures of some students completing Line Ups using number cards. We reviewed putting numbers in order from greatest to least and least to greatest.
 Their favorite part is being able to do their team "Happy Dance" or Cheer when they are correct.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Friday..New Blogger Helpful Hint..and a Question

New Blogger Helpful Hint....
If your a new blogger, like me, have you ever wondered how to make a link back to your blog when you leave a comment on someone else's blog?  I finally figured it out after checking with my bff....Google!!  Simply use this code after your comment.
<a href="insert url of your blog here">insert name of your blog here</a>

Now for a question for experienced bloggers :)
Can someone tell me how to insert a reply button after someone leaves a comment on a post?  I would like to be able to respond to comments but have no clue how to?  Right now I just leave a comment myself.

Fun Friday....
Today was an early dismissal Friday, so of course I worked in some crafting time.  We read stories about chickens and baby chicks earlier in the week.  Students created a Circle Map and a Flow Map  (luv, luv, luv, Thinking Maps) to organize their thoughts, then wrote an expository paragraph on chickens.
The Beginnings of a Circle Map
And our craft
"Just Hatched" Facts

I had an example of the chick hanging on the board all week and my little ones could not wait to make it!  You can get your very own right here in my TpT store or now here in my TN store!



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Signs of Spring

This will be a short but sweet post because I have to go brush up on my Hunger Games knowledge.  I am in a teachers v. students Hunger Games Jeopardy Game tomorrow!!

Fluency is something we are really working on right now in Second Grade.  We have a few minutes each day that we work on increasing our fluency.  To make fluency practice fun when we work on it whole group or when students are in a workstation I use these:
They are straws from Walmart.  You can also get them at Target (sometimes).  I have bats and pumpkin straws that we use during October and peppermint candy shaped straws that we use in December and now bunnies and eggs for March and April.  The students use the straw as a "word tracker".  They only cost around $1.  This plastic straw really motivates my chickadees to read!!

If you haven't downloaded my Hippity Hop Antonym freebie click here!!

To close, I will leave you with these signs of spring that came to visit me in my backyard!
Too cute!!!








Friday, March 16, 2012

Freeby Friday

Happy Friday!  I have an Easter themed freebie to share with everyone.

If you would like this item for you and your little ones simply click here!  If you download my Hippity Hop Antonyms, please, pretty please, with sprinkles on top, rate this item item and leave me a comment in my TpT store <3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Friends and New Ideas

Happy Wednesday everyone!  If you are on spring break I hope you are relaxing and pampering yourself.
A big shout out to Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle for the k-2 linky party.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you need to.  I have made many new blogging friends :)  Thank you to everyone who has found me, so that I could find you <3

I have a few cute ideas to share with everyone.  I'm sure everyone is familiar with story maps.  How about a high flying story map?  I just adapted a story map "frame" to a kite pattern.   The title and author are on the kite tails.  I love kite patterns because they can be used for so many things (fact families, a list of synonyms, antonyms, showing an amount of money).  Plus it gives me and my chickadees a reason to be crafty.. and.. who doesn't love cotton balls!!

My students also love word mapping.  They love seeing who can impress me the most with the synonym(s) and antonym(s) they come up with.

I am off to finish my next unit of activities for the Journeys Reading Series for 1st grade.  Why 1st grade you may think, when I teach 2nd grade?  A total act of love for my hubby who teaches first.  If you know anyone who needs resources, please send them my way :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

K-2 Linky Party and Planning Ahead

Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a Linky Party for Kindergarten through Second Grade blogs.  Go check it out and get a list of some great blogs!  This is especially useful for a new blogger like myself!

I returned to school today after a too short Spring Break!  It seems like March has only just begun but yet I have to already think ahead to April.  What?Why?? you may ask.  I have to organize work that I need copied for myself and my team. 

 At my school we have an Instructional Focus Calendar that shows what lesson we will be teaching, in each subject, for each day for the entire school year.  Each team works together to create this monster of a document.


Do you/your team/your school have something similar?
Back to planning for April...I have to look at April's IFC and the lessons that will be taught and decide what I want copied for me and my team (one of my duties).  Each teacher is only allotted 500 1000 (limit raised after spring break) copies for the school year.  This adds up very quickly if you run things off double sided.

If we turn items in to be approved by admin. as a team, the copies are not deducted from our limit and we do not have to supply the paper for those copies.  The items have to be turned in early enough so that enough time is allotted for admin. to go over and approve our copies and then.... finally... the copies...are made :)
What is your copy policy at school?  I am very curious :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Passing the Love to a Teacher in Need

I came across a linky party today at Kreative in Kinder that was for a super cause, helping those teachers/students who were effected by the recent tornadoes across 5 different states.
Saying I would feel devastated if I lost everything surely doesn't encompass how those effected by the tornadoes are probably feeling.  I have decided to help a fellow 2nd grade teacher with supplies to get going again and I am sure after talking to my team members when I head back to school tomorrow, they will be willing to pitch in as well.
Please spread the word and link up to help out!