Friday, November 15, 2013

Turkey Fun & Interventions

Brrrr!  It is cold outside.  I am loving very second of this cold front and I hope that it is here to stay.  Don't get me wrong, I L-O-V-E the summer.  What teacher doesn't?  But, I also love to wear leggings and sweaters because let's face it....they are just plain comfortable.  I still pull out my flip-flop during the winter.  They should be a year-round staple, in my opinion.

Okay, enough of my winter fashion sense.  Time to get down to some school business.

one of the most important things I like to teach is "thankfulness".  If we teach kids early about things they should be grateful for, I believe they will carry this with them throughout their lives.  Every year I use a turkey to create a list of things we are thankful for.  This year the 2nd grade team at our school was asked to create centerpieces that would sit in the middle of each table at an Air Force Thanksgiving luncheon.  I got an idea from Pinterest, and made it my own.  My students used their handprints to write things they are thankful for on each finger.  Then, we hot glued (or I hot glued) the hands to brown paper cups.  We also glued on googly eyes, an orange beak, and a red turkey "snood" or as I like to call it "gobbler".  I know that is absolutely not the correct term, but it just makes more sense to me and is a fun word to say.  They turned out adorable!!!!

All the students did an amazing job!

Here is our class "thankful feather" turkey!  I love bringing this back each year!

I also had a little time to do some intervention with sight words, reading fluency, and comprehension.  The kids read these passages with me and found each word every time we read the passage, which ended up being 4 times.  They made flashcards for school and home.  We reviewed these words and will continue to build their cards throughout the year.  this has been one of the most quick and worthwhile interventions I have found for struggling/emergent readers in 2nd grade.  I found this packet {HERE} and I love it!  I wish I could give it 10 stars, it is that wonderful!

Well, that's a wrap.  Do you know of any intervetion packets that you have found on TeachersPayTeachers or any other site that is quick and easy?  Please share!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Wild Weather Writing and Fair Fun

My, oh, my!  I have been blessed with many days to keep me busy.  My students have learned so much in such a small amount of time.  I can't believe we have been in school for 5 weeks.  Our days have been jam packed with rigorous activities.

Our Science unit is about everything weather.  From weather, tools, to cloud types, to the water cycle, we are busy little meteorologist.  On of my favorite things about teaching is INTEGRATION!   I can cover so many topics in fewer lessons.  We are required to have our students write informative essays.  For my lesson plans last week, we studied different types of Wild, wacky Weather...hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, etc.  My students read about all of these and then chose one to give us the low down on what to expect with this weather.  Hurricanes and Tornadoes were of cours ethe favorites!  My students made bubble maps to brainstorm and then created their writings.  They turned out to be wonderful with lots of factual information.  If you have never visited, you must check it out!  The kids explored this site and found lots of valuable resources to complete their writings.  Oooooh, there you have technology integration too!

My students enjoyed creating the bottom half of their bodies with rain boots which are a necessity for bad weather days!

Just a little pic on a monster truck ride at the county fair. This was taken after the tantrums and tears.  I'm not sure we will be going back to the fair again until she is 16.  This mom was worn out! 
Can you tell that my daughter is my husband in full, personality and all?

This past week we have been busy studying rhythm and rhymes in poetry.  Pics to follow soon.  Have a relaxing weekend.  Monday will be here before we know it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's Fall Friends!

I am loving every second of this cool, gloomy weather.  I actually accomplished quite bit by staying inside.  I have been going back and forth on what to do about National Boards.  I am not questioning whether or not to pursue it, THAT IS A GIVEN!  I want to be a NBCT!  I just can't decide what certification I want, Early Generalist or Middle Generalist.  All I know is early elementary which I absolutely love, butIi wouldn't mind changing to the upper elementary grades in the future.  Having taught Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd, I have been able to see how the curriculum adapts to each grade.  Hmmm, I'm just don't have a clue on what I should do???

Let me just warn you that I am about to jump all over the place on this post.  I have some of my pics from the past two weeks back logged and wanted to share some happenings in my life.

On Thursday,I received a letter from my local Congressman George Holding in my teacher box at school.  I looked at this huge envelope in my box and thought, "Oh my goodness! What is that?"  It almost felt like Christmas morning.  Then I saw it was from the House of Representatives and couldn't wait to tear it open to find this inside.

The envelope also contained an framed certificate, but I left it at school.  So, no pics right now.  let's just say I was in teacher heaven.  I still can't believe this is happening to me!  I also had a television interview with our school news channel.  I felt like I babbled on and on.  I am one of those people that doesn't like hearing myself on any type of video or recording.  Gosh, I am too critical of myself, but I really think I have a type of OCD .  I just want it all to be perfect. :)

The week before last, my students and my coworkers students created this pretty piece of art for our assistant Ms. K.  The students wrote tiny messages on the sprinkles and we hung it between our two classes to surprise her on her special day.  she loved it!  Our kids did an amazing job of keeping it a secret.

Also last week, my students began the writing process.  Narratives!  Such a big component of 2nd grade!  One of my sweet students wrote this about her best friend.  Too cute!  This activity really gives me an insight about each child.  Thus, I enjoy having my students complete this writing every year.  It was created by the talented Amy lemons and can be found for free {HERE}!

My plans for next week include seasons, weather, and Johnny Appleseed!  
It is that time of year my friends!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Author's Purpose, Exploring with PIE

One of my favorite things to teach is Author's Purpose.  I use the PIE acronym.  Persuade-Inform-Entertain!  Each year I find more and more great resources to use with this.  This year my students have Interactive Reading Notebooks.  You can find the one I am using HERE.  It covers all Reading Standards for Common Core 2nd Grade.  Nicole Shelby is fabulous!  My students and I love all of her packs.   I also use her Language Interactive Notebook which I will discuss at a later time.

I modeled how to complete each activity and away they went!!!

A flapbook to write the way to figure out the author's purpose by asking questions about a book.

Common Core Standard with the different type's of author's purposes.

This little piece of work was one of those last minute {AHA} moments.  I found this PREZI and I loved how there was a podcast of the story The Apple Pie Tree at the end.  I had students listen to the story and draw what they understood about the story.  Of course some students only drew one thing, but this little friend drew and wrote about everything she remembered.  I love how she analyzed the story and put her own spin on it.  Amazing!

We will continue discussing author's purpose for the next 3 weeks just to make sure they have it down.  I am having the students keep this in their journal so we can organize books we read into the 3 different categories. I want them to reflect on the stories we read so they are easily able to identify author's purpose when reading a story.  You can grab this freebie by clicking on the pic!

Have a restful weekend my friends!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Classroom Rules (I survived Week 1!)

Oh am I ever-so-thankful that we are into our 2nd week of school.  I love my new little friends!  They are a quiet bunch with such wonderful manners.  I usually have crazy dreams about my class leading up to the 1st day of school, but I didn't have any this year.  Perhaps the jitters of beginning a new school year disappear once you reach a milestone in your teaching career.

The BIGGEST thing I reinforced this week were the Classroom Rules.  We use PBIS, which I have mentioned before.  Every class has the same rules and expectations so there is consistency.  I love this!  The kids know the rules year after year, but I always have to reintroduce them especially because we get many new students each year.

This is what my classroom rules look like:

It looks so much better in person, but I wanted to take a quick picture of it with my phone so you could see how I put it together.  I had many requests for these rules, so I made many different templates for teachers at our school to use.  Click on the pictures below to get a free copy that you can use in your classroom.
Bright Classroom Theme
Beach Classroom Theme
Hope these help all of you get a great start to the school year!  I'll be back later this week with more things we are working on in 2nd Grade!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Week I Will Never Forget

This past week has been life-changing.  My mind has been on full throttle, my nerves shot, and my heart filled with joy.

Let me rewind a bit.  As you know, I was selected as Teacher of the Year for my school.  I was so ecstatic!  So, I spent my summer preparing my teaching portfolio.  Let me just tell you that it is a ton of work, but it also let me reflect on my beliefs about teaching.  I gained more knowledge by writing my ideas than you can imagine.

Fast forward to last week..  I interviewed with past educators for a spot as a finalist for my district as Teacher of the Year.  My nerves were on crazy mode.  I just didn't know which kind of questions would be asked.  Would it be Common Core Standards?  Maybe it would be about how I differentiate in my classroom?  Hmm...I just didn't know.

Well, to my surprise I received an email that I was selected as Elementary Teacher of the Year and would need to come back for more interviews to determine the Teacher of the Year at the county level.  Talk about lots of excitement and tears.  My mind was in a million places as I thought about what all of this meant.

On Tuesday night we had our Teacher of the Year banquet.  My nerves were there to visit me once again.  You would think I would have nerves of steel by this point.  Each TOY from each school was announced.  Then came the three finalists.  After we all sat back down the Superintendent stood and gave his speech.  As soon as I heard him quote what was in my portfolio I knew it was me.  My husband kicked me under the table because he knew all of the words from my portfolio.  I had spent so much time writing, reading, revising, etc. that I read it over and over and over again.  I am sure he was annoyed at times, but he just let me speak.

I stood up and gave only a few comments because the excitement had truly gotten the best of me.  I was in a room full of wonderful educators that certainly deserved this recognition just as much as I did.  I am truly honored and very blessed!

 Wayne County Schools Teacher of the Year 2013-2014

This is me with our Superintendent Dr. Taylor.

My wonderful,supportive husband and I.  All dressed up before the banquet.

The beautiful flowers are from my family back in Texas.  The award was presented to me from my sweet colleagues who truly helped my to get to this point.

Thursday we had Open House.  With all of the excitement going on I had to throw everything together last minute to make sure my classroom was the way I like it.  

We always take a grade level team photo after each open house.  These are the lovely ladies I work with and that keep me on my feet.  :)

I must get to bed and hopefully get plenty of rest.  I have 23 new 2nd graders to greet tomorrow.  I think this is the first year in 7 years that I am not nervous one bit!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Welcome Back Sale and Gift Idea

This week has been one of those weeks where you it seems you just blinked your eyes and it was GONE.  The good news is that my classroom is almost complete so i can share pictures with you later this week.  The bad news is that I still don't have the names of my students.  We are switching over to a wonderful new grade-book system "PowerSchool" and the names are still being input into the system.  I am truly lost without the names.  hopefully, we will get them tomorrow and I can get busy putting their sweet names on everything!

Don't forget that today and tomorrow, TPT is having the annual back to School sale.  You can get up to 28%  off items from all the amazing teachers that love to share their knowledge and expertise.  I have a wishlist going and can't wait to add everything I find to my cart. (Don't forget to enter code BTS13 at checkout!)

In other news, I love shopping for others more than myself.  I found these cute bubble earrings that are all the rage on Groop Dealz a few weeks ago.

 I mention Groop Dealz on here quite a bit because well, I just love it!  They have the cutest handmade items at discounted prices.  If you haven't checked them out you must click {HERE} now to go see what it is all about!

Anyway, I bought royal blue bubble earrings for all of my awesome teammates.  Royal Blue and Gold are the school colors and I thought these would make a nice addition to wear with our school shirts.  I bought the cutest little "Gift Card" boxes at the Dollar Tree.  You can't beat 5 for $1.  I placed the earrings inside and made this little gift tag.

Unfortunately, the template I used was template on my silhouette and I can't seem to figure out how to transfer that over.  So for you faithful followers I made a similar one for you to use.  Click on the pic below to get the template!

Off to Walmart I go to get some last minute school supplies that I forgot.  I hope you have a fabulous week either working in your classroom, sitting in meetings, or starting with a new classroom full of nervous students.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Classroom Pencil Organization

Let's face it...pencils can be a nightmare.  I sharpen about 20 or so at the beginning of every day and by mid morning they seem to have all disappeared.  Who REALLY has time for that?

I have a green container that the kids put pencils in and take pencils from as needed.  It truly is a catastrophe waiting to happen.  Some kids take brand new sharpened pencils even though they have a pretty sharpened pencil (just a little dull) to begin with.  Since I only used one container all the sharp and dull pencils would get mixed together which was complete chaos to say the least.  I finally decided to buy some really cute pencil containers at Target in the dollar section and make two separate places for pencils.  Since I haven't tried this before we shall see how this works. Fingers are crossed that this is the solution!

Click {HERE} to get your free template as shown in the pic.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Let the organization begin...

I just had to write a quick post about an amazing deal.  I know YOU have seen the really pretty rainbow rolling storage carts online or in a store.  They are usually priced in the $50 plus range.  Well, one of my sweet teacher friends recently purchased one from Sam's Club for half the price.  That's right folks, $25!  Since I had my eye on one for a while I decided to run to Sam's Club and buy one for myself.  I put it together in less than 10 minutes and I am in love!!!!

In other news, I have been slacking soooooo much this summer!  I actually traveled to Florida and Texas to visit family.  It was a much needed break from the chaos that is my life.  I just got back this week and am feeling a little overwhelmed with the start of the school year.  I start back with teacher work days next week.  When do you start back?

Just so you can see all the fun-filled times we had on vacation this summer, I want to give you a peek at some pics my family took.  I know this is more personal than teaching, but i love for all of my readers to really get to know me as something other than just a "teacher".
Me and My Sweet Sydnee

 Granny and Sydnee

Cousin Vivian and Sydnee horseback riding

I hope to be back later this week with some other things I am putting together to prepare for this year.  Until then, be blessed!


Friday, July 19, 2013

My Brain is on Summer Vacay

I have neglected my blog for the past month.  My brain has seriously taken a much needed vacay form all things school related.  Sometimes you just need to stop thinking about school stuff.  During the summer is when I handle all of my personal biz.  I've been bogged down with APPOINTMENTS!  I don't like that  It means I have to be patient with my time and I am not a patient person.  I always try to wait until the school year is over to take care of myself because I just do not like leaving my students nor do I like making sub plans.

Now, that my brain has started thinking about school related stuff again, I have been getting busy.  This week my grade level met and we made our curriculum map for ELA.  I borrowed the idea that the fabulous Deana at Primary Punch had and adapted it to our stories.  I can say I feel 100% much better about lesson planning this school year since we have all of this done.

This is what the format looks like. The organization is simple and easy to read!  What do you think?


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wrapping Up A Wonderful Year

This week has been a whirlwind of EXCITEMENT!   We had Teacher Workdays all week.  These days usually consist of cleaning up and packing my classroom, completing cumulative folders, and turning in equipment.  Let's just say that there was too much excitement that I didn't get everything done that I needed to so I have to finish on Monday.  Boo!  But, I have so many {excuses} that I don't feel terrible for not finishing up.

Excuse #1
Wow!  I am so honored that my colleagues have graced me with this title.  I am still smiling from ear to ear and feeling very blessed.

My amazing husband and beautiful daughter were at the end of year celebration to celebrate the awesome news!

Teacher of the Year and Beginning Teacher of the Year.  I think we still look fantastic though our makeup was smeared by all of the tears.

Excuse # 2

On Tuesday, some of the staff had to present technology tips at a Stem Expo for our district.  We all worked really hard to show and share all we know.  Go STEM Team!

Excuse # 3

This little cutie came to work with me the rest of the week.  While I was busy preparing my classroom, she kept insisting that she needed to play on the playground.  My team and I had to find many ways to keep her occupied.  Sydnee loves flowers (and butterflies) so we let her pick a big {HUGE} Magnolia from the tree.  She was over the moon.

There you have excuses!  But, I think they are perfect excuses as to why my room is not complete.  I am 100% sure everything will be completed on Monday.  I am READY for my summer vacay to begin!


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