Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Time Chaos Plus A Letter of Invitation

WHOA, the past week has been crazy busy!  I only expect it to get even more chaotic leading up to Christmas Break.  My class has been rehearsing for their Christmas musical everyday as mentioned in the past post.  This week we rehearsed everyday and have 4 performances this week, two on Thursday and two on Friday.  Try fitting in Core Curriculum with this going on and you have one EXHAUSTED teacher.  Though I have to boast that my students are singing, dancing, and memorizing their lines very well.  I can't wait to share the pictures with you next weekend.  Our fabulous art teacher created the backdrops out of foam insulation and they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Here are the letters of invitations that my students wrote to invite their families to the show.  We turned them into presents by gluing the bow on top and designing the construction paper using oil pastels.  Oooooh I love me some oil pastels!  (side note: I have the bow template to share, but left it on my desktop at school.  I'll post it Monday if you would like to use it)

I'm taking my daughter to Disney On Ice TODAY!  She loves everything Disney.  I can't wait to see the joy and excitement on her face!  Happy Sunday Friends!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

I {Heart} December

December is HERE!  
There are too many reasons to name why I love this month sooooo much!  My classroom is gearing up for the holiday season.  We've been busy with phonics, phonics, and more phonics.  Afterall, it is the basis for reading and well the kids love hands-on phonics activities.  I created this freebie for you to use as well to get the kids focused on word work while still enjoying holiday activities.  Click on the pic to get your word work freebie.

My students are preparing for a musical that they will be performing next week.  The music is very energetic and uplifting that I find myself singing the songs in the shower.  I just can't get them out of my head.  

Oh and....Our Donor's Choose Project was fully funded this weekend!  
What a great Christmas present to my class!!!  I can't wait to tell the kids tomorrow.

Happy December to all of you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

After Thanksgiving Sale

I don't know about you guys, but I am one T.I.R.E.D teacher.  Between eating all the delicious food and countless hours of shopping, I am exhausted.  But I am very thankful that I had these days off to enjoy with my friends and family.  Plus, I'm getting caught up on some much needed house work.  Ha!

I'm having an after Thanksgiving sale in both of my shops.  The Teacher's Notebook Sale started today and will run through Monday.  No code needed!

My shop will be on sale at Teacher's Pay Teachers beginning on Monday and ending on Wednesday.  Enter code CMT12 at checkout.

{Thanks so much to The 3AM Teacher for creating this cute button!}

Happy Holidays Friends!  
Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Break. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Teacher's Notebook & Turkey Ideas

Guess who made the Teacher's Notebook Newsletter???  
Yep, this teacher.  
I was so thrilled when I opened my email to find my shop as a featured shop.  It is such an honor to be featured and I am very blessed to be able to help other teachers.

This is the beginning of some much needed sunshine in my life.
 I just know it is! <3

Yesterday, we had students from the middle school, which is across the street, come to the 2nd grade classes.  They read and did two activities with the kids.  I could tell the middle school kids were nervous, but they did an outstanding job.

The kids made these "Missing Piece" faces from the book by Shel Silverstein.

Then, they created hand and foot print turkeys.  The kids kept saying the feet looked like potatoes.  Ha!

I wanted to share some fun ideas that I borrowed from Amy Lemons to prepare my students for Thanksgiving.  If you haven't heard of her, go check out her amazing ideas.  I borrow her ideas all of the time to help reinforce skills in my class.  My students created these darling bowls of mashed potatoes using her thanksgiving pack.  The kids listed 3 things they love about Thanksgiving.

And last, meet our "I'm Thankful for Turkey".  Isn't he just the sweetest?  I made him myself and the kids write things they were thankful for on the feathers.  

Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Family Time

My free time has been nonexistent the past 2 weeks.  As you all know, my husband just came home from his deployment last Saturday.  He was gone 6 long months!!!  We are so very blessed to have him back with us.

We wanted to have some much needed family time, so this weekend we took my daughter to a really fun farm.  Dean's Farm is located in Wilson, NC and there is soooo much for little ones to do.  My daughter picked a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, fed animals at the little animal petting area, rode a bumpy hayride, and of course played on the playground.  She had too much fun.  It was a kicking and screaming fit to get her to leave.

To finish up our sweet reunion, dad and I are about to head to the new Olive Garden for the family and friends event tonight.  Geez, I am hungry just thinking about the food.

Real quick, I wanted to share a simple printable for your students to complete for Halloween.  My students did this last week.  It was great to see them check over their answers.  It challenged them a bit with adding 3 numbers together.  Click on the picture to get it for free.

Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Easy as P-I-E

Woohoo!  Blogging 2 days in a row!  Trying to squeeze in all of the things we have been doing.  I always try to take pictures, but things tend to come up and I lose my train of thought.  I will get better at updating this more frequently.  The rush of a new school year is finally settling down (I hope!).

My students created these cute PIE plates to remember P-I-E (persuade, inform, entertain).  I had different books that the students looked through and then they had to decide the purpose of the book.  Persuade seemed a bit confusing for them.  I had the bright idea since it was Chuck-E-Cheese night for our school to have the students write a quick note in their journals to persuade their parents that they really needed to go to Chuck-E-Cheese.!  Now, they completely understand persuasive writing, at least for now.  We will have to revisit this again later, pretty sure.

I don't have a template for these.  My students did these all by hand using paper plates, crayons, and markers.  It was Pinterest inspired by this {PIN}.  I know it is so much cuter, but I was limited on time.  Hopefully, I'll try the Pinterest one in the future.

Off to finish laundry...Hubby will be home from his deployment next weekend, so I gotta get this place ready for his return!


Friday, October 5, 2012

The Battle of Frogs vs. Toads

We've been reading frog books all week and I am all "frogged" out!  Our basal story this week was "Days with Frog and Toad".  I wanted to bring in some other fiction and nonfiction stories to help us compare and contrast frogs and toads since it is not such an easy concept to understand.  They really liked buddy reading the stories together is discussing all things frog.

We watched a short clip from that gave a visual and auditory representation of the differences and similarities between frogs and toads.  I would put the link up here, but you have to have a membership to access it.  I highly recommend checking out for many subject areas.  It is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

Next, we made a T-Chart/Anchor Chart about things we learned.  It is similar to the one found {HERE}.  I love the virtual vine as well!

Students were given a Thinking Map (Double Bubble) Template to compare and contrast frogs and toads using the information from our anchor chart.  You can pick up the template we used for free.  Click on the pic!

I had the students pick which one was their favorite, a frog or a toad.  They had to write a sentence that told which amphibian was their favorite and write at least 3 sentences explaining why by inclduing facts that they learned throughout our study.  Some students are just learning how to write a complete sentence and when to use capital letters and punctuation.  The student work below is an example of a student who is in the developmental stage of writing.

This picture is just too cute for words!

That's it for today.  Enjoy your weekend.  It will be Monday before we know it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Tears!

GEEZ, am I ever so glad that this week is OVER.  It has been a very long and emotional roller coaster of a week.  I'm blaming it on the full moon because we all know how crazy everyone acts when the the moon is full.  My week started off great, until Wednesday and by Friday I was broken into pieces.  I have just been overdoing it...teaching, lesson planning, paperwork, keeping my daughter in good spirits while daddy is deployed, and the list goes on.  By Friday afternoon, all of the stress has knocked me off of my feet.  I have the most wonderful, down-to-earth principal who is such an inspiration.  She definitely knew the words to say to pick me back up.  Sometimes we all just need a pat on the back and to be reminded that we are doing our best even when we feel less than perfect. I also have some amazing teammates that make a girl feel loved.  I don't know what I would do without those girls!

This morning I woke up refreshed and renewed.  I had promised many people I would set the schoolwork aside for the weekend and relax.  So, I'm blogging instead...that's okay right?  It is my way of venting which is what I need.  My husband will be back in about 2 weeks and I am beyond excited.  He is truly my best friend and knows how to inspire me when the world seems to be pushing me down.    I have a feeling my broken pieces will be glued back together once he is home.

I wanted to share two activities my students completed last week.  First, they did apple abc order to review since some students continue to struggle with abc order.  They all did really well!!!  Another day, I had them work in small groups of 3 to practice identifying statements and questions.  They loved the fall trees and it really got them into the autumn spirit.  I had each group write the correct punctuation at the end of each sentence and then color all of the statement leaves the same color and all of the question leaves another color.  This made it easy to identify and sort when they cut out all of the leaves.  You can pick up by clicking on the pic!

Checkout Classroom Freebies for more ideas from amazing teachers!!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Sunday, September 23, 2012

5Ws and H and I'm Taking It Back to the Old School

Common Core has been on my brain!  I've been creating new activities to help my students identify with the Common Core.  We've been studying Common Core Standard RL 2.1-Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate key details in a text.

I got this bright idea from 1988 when I was in 2nd grade.  I remember my 2nd grade teacher making a huge poster and making us recite "who, what, where, when, why, and how" over and over and OVER again.  Good thing because it is stuck in my head FOREVER!  So, I made an anchor chart and posted it on the wall.  I already notice how it is helping my students ask questions while reading

Do you remember watching "The Electric Company"?  Oh my goodness, I think every teacher I had from Kindergarten through Grade 4 in the 80s put it on the tv at least once a week.  Man, how silly the show was, but I loved it!  I found this video and played it for my students.  The smiles on their faces brought me back to my childhood.  This is the newer version with Good Charlotte. Check it out!

My students created problem solving magnifying glasses by writing down the 5Ws and H.

If you are a blog follower (or stalker) you can get the magnifying glass template for free by clicking the pics below!


Be back soon with more fun activities we are creating!!!  Happy Fall FRIENDS!!!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's Almost Fall, Y'ALL!

Happy Sunday!  It is a very dreary Sunday here in NC.  It makes me wish fall would hurry up and get here.  The county fair starts next week and I'm already craving turkey legs, funnel cakes, and caramel apples.  I've been busy creating some fall activities for math based on the Common Core Standards for 2nd Grade to help me get ready for fall.  Pumpkins, Apples, and Scarecrows, OH MY!  Yes, this math unit is packed with all things for fall minus the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.  Can you say yum?!  Click on the picture below to view this item in my TPT store.

Click on the picture below for a freebie from this pack.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday friends!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekly Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe

Spelling ideas are always a task to come up with.  I have seen many Tic-Tac-Toe games for spelling, but I wanted something easy and simple and I mean way simple.  I love giving students choices when it comes to completing spelling homework.  Last year, I created a monthly spelling ideas page, but it was a task to come up with new ideas each month and consumed so much paper.  Thus, I wanted something more consistent that students could choose from for the entire year.  I wanted to share this Tic-Tac-Toe Homework page.  I give weekly homework on Monday in my class and I don't see the homework folders until Friday.  Instead of inserting a new page and using too many papers each week, I will put this in a page protector that stays in their folder all year.  No need to color in each square to form a tic-tac-toe.  I don't know about you, but there is already a growing pile of paperwork for me.  Here is my template if you would like to pick up a copy for yourself.  Click on the picture.

That's all I have guys!  
I haven't had a moment to breathe these first 2 weeks of school.  
Hopefully, things start to slow down a bit.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tuesday - Edmodo & Mimio

I'm back again today bringing you two technology tips.  

1} Edmodo
Funny name, but really cool website.  It is almost exactly like Facebook, but is meant for education.  I learned about this last week in a technology training.  We are using it to communicate to each other about our training for the technology grant our district received.  However, I have set up my own classroom and I can communicate with parents through this about so much.  You can post assignments, quizzes, polls, etc.  This will be a great communication tool this year especially for field trips and assignment due dates.  Plus, the kids will think it is so cool that they can join and be friends with me.

Our school currently only has 2 Promethean boards and 2-3 Smartboards.  I really, really, really wanted one, so I chose to write a DonorsChoose grant.  I had heard about a Mimio and knew that would be perfect!  It is a small piece that unfolds and sticks on your board.  you connect it to a laptop and projector and !BAM!  you now have an interactive whiteboard.  there is a mouse pointer that you use with it and you have to calibrate it each time you turn on the Mimio.  My students are always engaged and actively involved in learning with it.  So, if you are looking for an alternative this would definitely benefit you.  The price is around $500....not a bad deal at all!  Just make sure you have a projector and a computer to hook up to it.

You can read more about it HERE!

Thanks for stopping by and becoming a blog follower!  Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' for some more great technology tips!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Blog Hoppin' Must Haves

Happy Monday Friends!  
I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share some of my teacher must-haves.

1} Mr. Sketch Markers....Not only are they the most awesome markers, but they have a yummy smell too!  I use them on all of my charts.  Nothing.Else.Comes.Close!

2} Stickin' with the smell good things....I love, love, love smelly stickers or as they are sometimes called "stinky stickers".  My 2nd grade teacher had them back in the 80s and we used to try our hardest to get one and then we compared the different ones we got.  They were called Scratch 'n Sniff Stickers back then.  Now, I use them as rewards for my students.  They are inexpensive and sugar-free!  Ha!

3} PowerPoint!!!  Everything I create is created in PowerPoint!  Many times I tried to create cute frames and designs in Word and is so much harder for me.  If you have any tips, I would love to hear them.  But, for me, PowerPoint is my go-to program for EVERYTHING!  Look at the latest packet I am creating using PowerPoint.

What are your must-haves???  
Link up with Blog Hoppin' & Share!!!


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