Saturday, July 26, 2014

Back to School!

I haven't blogged in sooo long!  I'm guilty of trying to pack everything I can into this SHORT summer, so I have been very busy!  Now it's time to get down to it, and by "it" I mean back to school!  I didn't change my room too much because I really felt like I had a good thing going last year.  I did add a "Published Work" bulletin board to hang all the wonderful writing my students create.  I have also decided to do away with labeling the mailboxes, cubbies, etc. with each students name.  I always give students their very own number at the beginning of the year, which we use for lining up and other things.  Why not label things with their number?  That way I can leave the labels and use them the next year!  I know, it's not rocket science and many have done it...I'm just now getting to it!:).  So I made simple number tags to label with.  Since I made them why not post them for FREE on my tpt page?  Get them HERE!

Next on my list of back to school stuff was treat labels!  I want to pass out treats to parents and students who come to Meet the Teacher Night and of course I have to put those pins on pinterest to use and use a cute label!  I found the cutest labels!  I am using "Parents like you are so refreshing!" to label my bottles of water with and "You are "o-fish-ally" a second grader" to tie to my bags of goldfish crackers!  I'm so excited!  Again, I made them for me so why not share!  Get your FREE labels HERE!

So...What have you been doing to get ready for this school year?  Please share your ideas!
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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Next Year! Already?

I know I'm CRAZY!  Why in the world would I already be thinking about next year?  Don't lie, you know you have too!  About half way through this year a teammate and I started incorporating themes as a way to integrate everything and keep kids engaged.  Well we love it so much we have started creating a timeline of every week for next year!  We are 12 weeks into our planning, and are so excited!  We are looking to do author studies, holiday themes, and science/social studies themes to keep the content connected through the day and week!  Take a look at some of our planning!  Do you incorporate themes?  If so, how do you do it?  What themes do you use?

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday: Spring Break Edition!

1. I have started working on A LOT of new products over this break!  I only finished one :(...but it's a goodie!  I just love using math stations for spiral review and reinforcement!  So I thought why not make my own for the end of the year?  It's called Blazzin' Into Third Grade, and it helps review and assess all the math common core standards for second grade.  Right now I just finished the Algebraic Thinking and Operations unit, but have been working on the rest!  Hopefully I can get these bundled and out before May:)  

2.  I started my little guy in soccer!  It is an organization in NKY called Happy Feet, and he loves it!  We have only had two classes, but I'm in love!  It has storytelling, songs, and teaches technique for soccer!
3.  Spring Break has been AMAZING!  I love that I have a job where I get these week long breaks to relax and regroup!  I have gotten so much done! More importantly I have spent some much needed stress free time with my family!
4.  My first two classes for my Masters are coming to an end!  (Thank the good Lord!)  I have done well but boy is it fast paced!  I feel so out of practice writing these long papers and citing my resources.  Thankfully I am doing well and looking forward to my next two!  CRAZY!  RIGHT?  I love learning about what I do:)
5.  Heading back to school on Monday to wrap up my research on peer conferencing in writing.  My littles are doing so well with this and I can't wait to share the results!
Thanks for stopping by!  Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to read some more awesome teacher blogs!
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently!

It is absolutely beautiful in Northern Kentucky today!  I just love hearing the shouts and giggles of my kids playing outside!  The weather is 70 today but doesn't look so great the rest of the week!  Shame too since we have had outside recess all week and now rain:(  
I am thinking relief from being 3 weeks away from finishing my first 2 masters courses!  This time next year I will be done!  
I really need a new pencil sharpener in my room!  I don't know what they do but the things never last!    Now the debate is which to get?  If you all love yours comment with the brand!
I am desperately needing Spring Break!  The kids are ready too!  Today I told them it was canceled because of all the snow days!  APRIL FOOLS!  They were not happy!
Our hours are 8:30-3:40, with students by 8:55!  It just doesn't seem long enough to get in everything I need to.  As of right now we are going until June 3rd, but the school board is voting on taking some calamity days in a couple of weeks!  I hope they take them.  These kids aren't gonna last that long!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently...

March currently! Linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade!
Currently I am listening to Kate Blanchett talk on the red carpet for the Oscars.  I recently went to see Monuments Men, and she was awesome in it!  Plus, don't you just love an English accent?
I went to Target and spent FOREVER in the dollar spot!  So excited about new goodies!  They had decorated cardboard clipboards for, you guessed it $1!  They are adorable, and my kiddos really need them because we do so much group work all around the room.  My next favorite goodie is my colorful felt tip pens!  Love to color coordinate my lessons with them:)
So reports all week have been saying we were expected to get a half an inch of ice and 8-12 inches of snow today and tomorrow.  Well, we lucked out because it's not quite that bad but looks to be bad enough for another snow day.  I have lost count but I think we are on day 12!  GRRRR!!  
With all this snow this winter I want nothing more than the summer sun!  I have so many fun events this summer!  Two friends getting hitched, my 30th bday, beginning masters classes, and spending time with my babies pool side!
I really need to get on the treadmill!  I just can't seem to change out of my jammies and into my tight, less forgiving, workout clothes.  I really need to so I can take this Biggest Loser Competition at school!  
HAWAII!!!  That's all I'm gonna say:)
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five for Friday

I am so excited to join my first linky parky with Doodle Bugs Teaching! snow days this week, but it doesn't look so good for next!  That being said I got a lot accomplished this week!
Guided reading groups just keep getting better and better!  So proud of my kiddos and how hard they are working!  This week we practiced our close reading skills with a passage about George Washington.  My littles worked hard on day 1 of the close read to identify words they had trouble reading or didn't know what they meant.
I love SCHEMA FOLDERS!!!  We began our week all about George Washington by writing down what we already knew about him.  I just use a simple file folder with one side labeled "What I already Know", and the other side labeled, "What I learned".  The front has a box where they can change the topic by writing it on a post-it and sticking it right on there!  By the end of the week they have so much new information they can add!
Indoor recess is getting old...VERY OLD!  Not only am I ready to climb the walls but my littles are ready as well!  With that I decided enough was enough they need to move.  So we started using Adventure to Fitness website to get all that energy out!  Indoor recess=not so bad:)
At our school, and really county wide, we have green teams.  It is a team that helps their school become more environmentally friendly.  I and another teacher lead our school's green team, and they ROCK!  They lead a campaign this year called, "Caps for Benches".  In Evansville, Indiana their is a company called Green Tree Plastics that takes your recycled plastic bottle caps and turn them into a bench! a school we collected over 400 pounds of plastic, and received our bench!  HOW EXCITED ARE THESE KIDS?!  The only face I didn't block out was my own little girl's!  She is ADORABLE!

Finally, we are doing The Biggest Loser at school with the staff and I haven't had much luck these past two weigh in's.  Well...I finally lost 2 whole pounds Friday!  WOOT WOOT! 
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

For the Love of Editing with a FREEBIE!

We actually had a full week of school this week!  We did have a 2-hour delay, but a whole week!!!   Which meant we were able to wrap up our opinion writing and get started with editing.  I don't know about you but editing for my little second graders is a toughy!  There are so many steps to the process, so it's hard to remember all the items on the editing checklist.  I decided my littles needed an easy way to remember what to look for.  I started using the acronym C.U.P.S.  Many of you may have heard of it, or even used it.  For those of you who are wondering...
C:  Capitals, U:  Understanding, P:  Punctuation, S:  Spelling.  
Easy peezy, Right!  When I introduced this to my littles I saw little light bulbs going off over their heads!  Finally, we could get past the understanding and get down to applying!  We took our opinion pieces and began editing one step at a time, and all together.  Using a cute little PowerPoint and mini-posters for each student, more about that late;), I started with C:  Capitals.  We went through our writing and looked for all of the components of capitalization:
1.  Do all of my sentences begin with a capital?
 2.  Do all of my proper nouns begin with a capital?
3.  Do all of the alone letter "I' begin with a capital?

Next, we went through our writing looking for all of the components of understanding:
1.  Do my sentences have fluency?
2.  Are my details organized with a beginning, middle, and end?
3.  Does my writing have enough details to help my reader understand?
To help with this part I broke out the whisper phones!  These are great for helping students edit for understanding.  Each student read their writing to them selves in the whisper phone which helped them to spot sentence fluency issues.

Then, we looked for all the components of punctuation:
1.  Do all of my sentences end with punctuation?
2.  Does my punctuation match my sentences?  Questions have a questing mark, statements have a period, and exclamations have an exclamation mark.

Last, but certainly not least, we looked for all the components of spelling"
1.  Did I underline words I wasn't sure of?
2.  Did I use my word wall to check these words?
3.  Did I stretch out the sounds of these words?
4.  Did I use a dictionary to look up the correct spelling of these words?
We went through each of these one by one as a whole group, after I modeled with my own writing.  It took us three days to understand what each meant, practice, and apply it to our own writing.  So worth the time!  Students received little bookmark style posters that I taped on their desks so they can have easy access and be reminded of this process!  You can find the posters for each part, the mini-posters for student desks, and a check-off sheet students can use and turn in for all of their writing here FREEBIE: Editing with C.U.P.S.  I would love to hear your strategies for editing, so please comment below:)