Monday, December 17, 2012

Water Cycle, Holiday Elf Craftivity and December Memory Book Page Freebies!

Hey Y'all! I have not been able to post in 15 days, but who's counting? It's exhausting working all day and having a 12 week old baby! I looooove my job and I LOVE my son more than life itself, so any free second I have in the evenings has gone to one of the two above. The house, hubby and dog have been well as my blog! But no use crying over spilled I go!

I thought since I'd been MIA so long I'd offer up some freebies that you can pick and choose from. In science this week we are learning about the water cycle. We did an experiment where we left a cup of water in a ziploc bag and taped it to the window. We observed what happened in the cup when it was left in the sun and recorded in our science notebooks. I created a water cycle wheel from some super cute Melon Headz illustrating graphics. You can get the water cycle wheel here. (I know the words "water cycle" are kind of cut out, but I couldn't get it to fit perfectly.) We used a brad to fasten it to the page so the kids could spin it.

We also created water cycle bracelets. I got this idea from a training in my district but I changed the color of beads based on the beads I had in my closet. :) It worked though! For this activity, I gave the kiddos black pipe cleaners and one bead at a time as we went through the water cycle. Yellow is for the sun, white is for the clouds, purple is for precipitation, green is for the plants, black is for soil and blue is for rivers, lakes and oceans. I don't have a pic of the bracelets, I left the iTouch I took pics with at school. But you can get the recording page here. (I added the arrows after the fact, I am going to have my kids draw them in tomorrow to emphasize the "cycle" part of the water cycle.)

Last week we reviewed parts of speech with a fun elf craftivity I created. The kids had to use adjectives to describe their elf as well as nouns (common and proper) and verbs to create a story about their elves. You can check it out at my TPT store here. I am also attaching a freebie writing page you can use. Grab it here.

And last but not least, we will work on a memory book page for December. I keep a writing sample from each month and compile them into books at the end of the year. I change them up each year so I don't have a whole year's ready, it really depends on what we are doing in class at the time. Here's one we are doing this week, grab it here

Ok, baby is getting fussy with daddy, mommy duty! Night y'all!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Class Dojo

Well my first week back in the classroom was AMAZING! Monday was very tough I will admit. Leaving my baby for the first time brought me to tears but luckily he was home with Daddy so it wasn't as tough as daycare. This coming up week he will be with Grandma and I feel really great about that. :)

This week back I started Class Dojo with my kids. OMG I LOOOOOVE IT! If you haven't heard of class dojo you need to check it out: It's a behavior management system all online. You can add your students and award positive points for positive behaviors and take away points for negative behaviors. When you give points, the computer makes a sound. There is a different sound for positive and negative behaviors. Our computers are hooked up to speakers in our ceilings so the whole class can hear when points are awarded. So without me saying anything, students know when their on task or off task behaviors are noticed.

About midday I show the students their's DOJO percentage for the day. This way they know if they are making oto many negative choices that they have time to get back on task before the end of the day. If they have 70% or more at the end of the day, that's considered a good day. I created a chart for their take home binders that says 80%-100% is green, 70%-79% is yellow and below 70% is red and a conduct mark.

One of the coolest things about DOJO is that you can print out a report that shows the percentage of behaviors targeted throughout the day. I print out reports for students who struggled with a percentage lower than 70%. This is a GREAT tool for parents to see where their child is struggling in class. As you can see below, Hugh Jackman had a very bad day!

On Friday I printed out their weekly average. Every child looked at their scores and set a behavior goal for the following week in their data binders. For students who had 100% all week, they earned a special treat from me and got kudos from everyone. I looooove love loveeee this program! Oh and I don't want to forget to mention that students can login at home, change their avatars and see their reports from the week.
You've got to check it out! Also, I'm teaming up with Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late for her 100 follower give-a-way! I"m donating my Rudolph Creative Writing Unit. Check it out!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Data Binders and Free Fonts!

Hey Y'all! I've created a few pages for my data binders. I played with different fonts for the cover. I'm not going to go crazy with the pages in the binder yet, I'm really going to let my kids lead the way for these binders. I do have some basic pieces that I know I want in there for sure. 

When we get back from Thanksgiving break, it will be my first day back from maternity leave. I think it's a perfect time to reestablish rules, expectations and procedures. A great time to introduce data binders! Yay!

I'm going to start slow. We will work on our mission statement first. If you aren't familiar with The Leader in Me, one of the basic principles is beginning with the end in mind. As a class, we created a mission statement that reminds us of who we are and where we are going.    
I'm going to have my students create a mission statement for themselves. Who are they, why are they coming to school, what do they hope to do when they are here? (I wrote our classroom mission statement on one of the pages in Google Docs.) 

That first week back I also want my students to apply for a leadership role in the classroom. They all have had experience with the leadership roles and now they will pick one that they want to keep for a 9 weeks. Of course, they can't all get the same role so I'm having them list other choices. 

In addition, my kids will set home goals and school goals. (One for each.) Once we have some school goals, I'll be creating graphs for record keeping and they can place those graphs in their binders. Some students may have behavioral goals and some will have academic. I'm pretty excited about getting them together and I'll make sure to post pics and pages as we get them going. If you do these in your room please comment! I would love to hear different ideas!

Also, I found some super cute free fonts at Rowdy in Room 300. Really, really cute!! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

First day back in my room and The Leader in Me stuff

Hey Y'all! Today I went by my school and took my baby boy for all the teachers to meet. He's about 8 weeks now and just SO precious. My husband came to pick up baby Jackson so I could go to my classroom and see my kiddos. They were very excited to see me and very excited I will be back after Thanksgiving break. I was super happy to see them too but after they all left and I met with my long term sub...I have to admit, I'm freaking out!!!

You know how it feels when you've been gone one day...imagine 7 weeks! Eek! I also have the inclusion class which means I have to document, modify, accommodate and teach a little bit harder. So I have my work cut out for me when I get back. I'm trying to remind myself baby steps, baby steps, breathe, breathe! :)

So my room was pretty messy, not going to lie. Things were not in places they should be but I am going to have to just let that go until I can get things back the way I want. I don't know if you are familiar with The Leader in Me but we started that at our school this year. Here's a pick of our leader board:

Now I know it seems like it's just a job board, which it kind of is. But we take the approach that this is each child's leadership role in the classroom. We talk a lot about being proactive and showing leadership throughout the day. The children have had experience with each job at this point in the year. When we get back from Thanksgiving I'm going to start "data binders" for each individual student. I'm going to start SLOWLY with this. I don't want to overhwhelm myself or my students.

In the data binders I plan on having my students set goals and record their progress as they go. As I create pages for the data binders I'll post them here so y'all can check them out. If anyone else out there does these, I'd love some pointers!

Also before I go, found out about an awesome website with a super cool behavior management system. It's called Class Dojo. A 3rd grade teacher on my team implemented it last week and I am going to start when we get back from Thanksgiving. I'm super excited you should check it out! :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Heart Teachers Pay Teachers! Don't You?

Hey Y'all! I was sitting here on my laptop getting my lesson plans ready for when I go back after Thanksgiving. I looked at my district's scope and sequence and saw that we will be working on place value and two digit addition. I immediately started scrambling, looking for what I had on place value and what I can get together. Our district uses math Investigations and Envision, some lessons are great but some...well...stink! So many times I find myself creating my own games, lessons and activities like most of y'all out there!

So what did I do? I ran to TPT of course! I LOVE TPT!!! I just can't say it enough. TPT has saved me so many times! Just when I think I have to do a boring activity because I don't have time to get something cuter/more fun together, TPT saves me. I love that all the hard work and creativity of teachers can be shared and that those teachers can profit from them! Of all the professions out there, we are the only one that has to spend money on our job. Well we don't HAVE to but we want to so that we can make things better for our kids. I just absolutely love that teachers can now be paid back and rewarded for their creativity and hard work.

I also love that I can create units for my classroom and share them with other teachers out there! I love that I can do for teachers what they have done for me. I just purchased some place value packets from Cara Carroll and Fourth and Ten. I'm so excited about using them. And I'm so excited I don't have to spend hours upon hours creating my own things when I just don't have the time.

Ok just had to get that out there! I think I also just had an ADD moment, I was in the process of downloading my place value packets and started this blog post. That's ok though, happens to us all!

If you have love for Teachers Pay Teachers please feel free to share it below! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sight Word Linky Party, Rudolph Creative Writing Unit and almost to 100 Followers! Oh my!

Hey Friends! I'm on my last week of maternity leave but I am in no way sitting around! Today I am linking up with Katie at Teacher to the Core to share a sight word strategy. I teach second grade and I have several levels in my classroom. I do leveled spelling lists each week but all of my students have the same word wall words. We do a lot of word sorts in my room but one of their choices for word work is to do a buddy check. I posted about this in my blog before but I thought it was great to share for this linky party!

To do a buddy check, a student partners up with another student. It works like a buddy test. One buddy reads the word to the other buddy. That buddy writes the word down. The buddy who is the "teacher" checks the word. If it's right, they go to the next word, if it's not the "student" tries again. Then they check it and highlight the part/parts that they missed or parts they want to remember.

This activity can be used with any words you wish. You can grab a copy here:

On another note, I am so excited because I just finished my Rudolph Creative Writing Unit! I did this unit last year and my kids LOVED it. I jazzed it up with some cute fonts and graphics this year. I've also incorporated more of the six traits than I did last year. It's perfect for that after Thanksgiving before Christmas time when your students are going bananas about the holidays and you are pulling out all your tricks to keep them engaged and learning. 

The unit takes the kids through the writing process to create an imaginative story about Rudolph's nose. I incorporate the six traits in this unit as well. I made sure to make the unit TEKS and Common Core aligned. I teach second grade but this unit would be appropriate for first, second or third. Take a peek here!

And last but not least, I'm almost at 100 followers! I'm really excited about that. Be on the lookout for a give-a-way soon! :) Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Teaching Tip Linky Party!

Ok so, I'm breaking the rule about two posts in one day...but whatever! I haven't joined a linky party in a while and really wanted to share how Reading A to Z has helped my struggling students.

I'm the second grade inclusion teacher for my campus. I was also the kindergarten inclusion teacher before, so I always have students with a significantly broad range of abilities. Right now, I have students reading on a level A, students on a level S and everything in the middle! It can be quite daunting to keep up with them all and make sure every single one of them is making progress.

In order to help my most struggling students, I meet with them every day for guided reading but I also have a parent volunteer come twice a week. My parent volunteer works on sight words with my most struggling students but I also send them with leveled books from Reading A to Z to read aloud to her. As you all know, the more opportunities struggling readers have to read books on their instructional level, the more progress they will make.

I love Reading A to Z because I can print out leveled books, have a parent helper put them together for me and my students can read them at school and take them home. It is so crucial for students to have books on their instructional level at home. Many times I find that parents want to read with their child but they have no idea what guided reading is, what level their child is on or how to help them.

I make it a point to have a ziploc bag in their take home binders that they can put their RAZ books in. I speak with parents at conferences about the book bag and how crucial it is that they have their child read to them every night.

The RAZ membership is not free but it is so worth every penny! If you have a super awesome principal, he may even buy the membership for you. The website also has a ton of extra materials for you. (I'm not a paid spokesperson or anything, just a teacher who has been a RAZ member for three years and I've truly seen benefits for my kids.)

Click on the picture for a link to the website:

Six Traits Posters Freebie

Hey Y'all!

I have only two more weeks until I am back in the classroom and off of maternity leave...I cannot believe how fast it has gone! To get ready for my "back to school" week, I've been working on a writing unit. I have a super cute six traits bulletin board in my room (I don't have a picture because I'm on leave right now) but I realized I don't have posters I can display on my projector.

Soooo I created this little set to review the six traits as I teach my next unit on creative writing. (It's a super cute creative writing unit about Rudolph, will share as soon as I'm done.) Here are the posters if you would like to use them.  For some reason, the background colors didn't show up in the Google Docs link, but if you download them the background color shows up in PDF. Why? I have no clue! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Daily 5 Word Work

Happy Election Day! I'm still on maternity leave...the baby is about 6 weeks old and getting cuter every minute! I go back to school November 26th...I'm having mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I cannot wait to get back into the real world where I can have adult conversations with people other than my husband. I'm excited about teaching again, seeing where my kids are and getting fun stuff planned for them. However, I know I'm going to totally miss my baby boy!! :( Luckily, my mom and mother-in-law will be watching him. I'm glad that I don't have to take him to a daycare yet. Gotta remember to count my blessings, right?

So as I'm counting down the days back to work I realized I needed to finish the last four weeks of our spelling and word work plans. I use our district scope and sequence as a guideline, but my district doesn't have a real spelling program. Last year I discovered the book Words Their Way and loved it. So incorporated it into my daily five routine.

For our spelling practice each week we work on a certain pattern. These last few weeks my kids have been working on long vowel patterns. On Mondays I teach the "rule" (really more like a guideline since our language has so many exceptions) and the students take a pretest. If they test out of the regular list of words, then they get a challenge list. Whichever list they get, they put their spelling list in their BEACH binders (take home folder) and they begin cutting apart their words for a word sort.

Here is what their daily 5 word work expectations are for the week:

Monday: Take pretest, take list home for practice and do a closed sort (a sort with headers I give them). For example, if we are studying long a vowel patterns they will have a list of 20 words and headers that say "a_e", "ai", "ay" and "oddballs". Oddballs are words that look like they should follow the pattern but they don't, usually these are high frequency words.

Tuesday: Students must complete their closed sort and record it in their word work notebooks. If they finished this, then they may do an open sort (they choose how to sort the words), a blind sort (a partner reads the words, they spell it and put it in a category) or a speed sort (they time themselves to see how quickly and accurately they can sort their words).

Wednesday: They can choose to do one of the sorts listed above or use materials at the word work station to practice their words. I put out wiki stix, letter tiles, magnets, dry erase boards and strips and fun pens and markers.

Thursday: They repeat activities listed or do a buddy check. They can quiz their friends on their spelling words and highlight parts of the words they missed. You can download the buddy check paper below:


Fridays: We take a spelling assessment, I like to call it a Spell-A-Bration! Because we have two different lists, I have been pairing kids up and letting them quiz each other. It worked well for my class. With my struggling kids though, I have to give them a separate assessment. I have them use a word bank and take it with my special ed co-teacher in a separate room so that she can read it aloud and it's a small group environment.

So that's daily five word work in my classroom. I created sets of word sorts for the first three units of study in my room. They are in D'Nnealian font or a font called "cinnamon cake" which is more of a Zaner Bloser style font. You can check them out below:

Unit 1 word sorts: short vowels, beginning and ending consonant blends, consonant digraphs and complex consonants (hard g/soft g, hard c/soft c).
Cinnamon Cake Font version download here.
Unit 2 word sorts: long vowel patterns.
Cinnamon Cake Font version download here.
Unit 3 word sorts: special vowels like r-controlled vowels, vowel digraphs and vowel diphthongs.
Cinnamon Cake Font version available upon request! Send me an email at
Have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is it already November?

Well another Halloween is come and gone, Thanksgiving is around the corner...what?! I feel like this fall has just flown by! And I've been on maternity leave for five weeks...I thought time might pass slow but with a newborn there never seems to be a dull moment.

I've made it a goal for myself to get back on a routine and start kind of thinking about getting back in my classroom. I have some word sorts I need to get ready for when I return. My list of to dos is already growing and I'm not even officially back yet! Ah!

In the meantime, I've been working on some kindergarten TEKS cards and posters for a friend of mine. If you're a Texas teacher the "figure 19" standards are probably familiar. I made a set of kindergarten figure 19 posters for friend. They are essentially comprehension posters but are targeted to Texas teachers. If you would like a copy you can get it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store or click here.

Alright, off to get a few minutes of work in before the baby wakes up! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Baaaaaack! Well...sorta!

Hey bloggers out there! I'm proud to say I'm the new mommy of a brand new, very handsome baby boy! He was born September 21, 8 pounds 2 ounces and 19.5 inches long. This is my first baby so I've been completely overwhelmed with all things baby! 

Now that he is about a month old, things have significantly calmed down. I now have a little time to eat, sleep and maybe do a little work on my laptop. I've neglected my blog, teacher creations and pretty much everything else this month but now I'm getting back into the swing. 

Currently I'm working on a set of TEKS cards for my good friend Hannah. She saw the ones I made for second grade and wanted me to make her a set for kinder with a bee theme. I kept putting it off because I just didn't have the time, but I'm glad to say I've done reading and math this week. Woo hoo! As soon as I'm done with this set, I've got some great ideas for word sorts I want to use with my class when I get back as well as some science units I know are coming up. But...with the new's baby steps! Sometimes I feel lucky that I get to use the restroom! ;)

Here's a link to my kinder TEKS if you want to check them out! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Science and Math Vocabulary

Alright, so I have to admit, vocabulary is not the most exciting thing to discuss or teach. However, it's crucial to children's understanding, particulary in math and science. I've worked hard through the years to make sure I teach vocabulary explicitly. I make sure to use the vocabulary throughout a unit and I expect children to use the vocabulary in their reading, writing and speaking. (Great for all students, especially ESL!)

Here are some ways I incorporate vocabulary in my teaching:

Math Vocabulary Wall

I didn't have a lot of wall space so I used my blue cabinets as a math vocabulary wall. I added green border to the edges to jazz it up a bit. Each vocab card is on a piece of 8 and a half by 11 card stock. The vocab words are in green ink and the rest of the print is black.

Here's a closeup of one of the cards. Our school color printer has been acting up so that's why the card has a little bit of black smudge on it, but you cannot tell from far away.

I slide the cards under one of those little white hooky things with the sticky tac on the idea what they are called! But it makes it super easy to change out the cards.

One thing I like to do in science is use those little library pockets to store vocabulary cards. Once we make the cards, we put them in the pocket and glue the pocket into our science notebooks.

I use the window pane format for vocabulary. In the top left box we write the word, in the top right box we write the definition, in the bottom left they draw a picture and the bottom right they draw or write about what it reminds them of.

And on just a fun note, I found these neon dry erase markers at Target! LOVE THEM! :)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Managing the Writing Process

Hi Friends!

This week was LONNNNNNG and HOOOOTTT. I'm so glad it's Saturday! I finally get to rest my super swollen feet and watch some Texas Longhorn football! :)

In my classroom this week we are working on revising our personal narratives. This is our sixth week of school so we've been at it for a while. I find that second graders have a really hard time revising at the beginning of the year. They are still in the mindset of, "Well I already wrote it, I'm done!" I'm trying to teach my tooshy off and show them what great writer's do to revise their stories.

We worked on "showing, not telling" this week. I used Kevin Henkes books like Chrysanthemum and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse to teach them ways to show the reader what you're trying to say. We also looked at sensory words and created lists of sensory words to use to help show our readers what we want them to see.

This year I began using my old behavior chart as a writing process chart. The children each have a pocket will colored coded cards for each step of the writing process. I am so glad I made it because it matches my writing binders. (See my binders here.) So far it's really helped the children grasp the concept of a "process". Next week we will work on editing and finally some publishing!

Here's a pic of my writing process pocket chart. (The fish bowls at the bottom are part of my Daily 5 management system.)

Click on the picture above to see my writing process cards. I have brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. The last slide has several different ones on a page because I have 22 kids and it helped me save paper when I printed them out.
I'm due September 17th, so I may not be there to publish with them. However, my long term sub will make sure it gets done. The kids look forward to that part so much! I'd love to see what the writing process looks like in your classroom! Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Daily Five and Grades?

Hi Friends!

Like many of you, I am a huge fan of the daily five. We are in our sixth week of school and my kids are getting it. They are working independently on engaging and purposeful tasks and I am able to assess students and work in small groups. Love it! :)

The only issue I ever have is taking grades. It can be challenging. I like to give mini reading assessments after we've worked on a skill for a while, but I am supposed to have 8-9 grades per 9 weeks. I feel it is very important to hold my students accountable for their work during daily five so last year, I graded them on how they did during daily five.

I use the Words Their Way phonics and spelling program, so I incorporated that into word work. I require my students to complete a closed sort and record the sort in their word work notebooks. They can do many other things during word work time but that is a mandatory activity that I take a grade on.

I also require them to complete reading response pages. Right now, it's just ONE a week. I'm starting easy because they are still young and getting into the routine. I will raise the bar as the year goes on and my students become more fluent readers and writers.

I also include work habits as part of their grade. It's obvious who is off task, book shopping too much or using a volume that is not appropriate. When the kids know they are being graded on this it really helps them refocus.

I'm attaching our daily five menu (which they must complete throughout the week and return to me on Friday) along with their grading rubric. I have them staple all their responses to the menu and I check their word work notebooks on Friday. It can be a lot of work but I feel it really makes our daily five time effective and it holds my students accountable.

Do you do daily five? If so, how do you take grades? Just curious! Happy teaching! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Money, Money, Money!

Hey Y'all!

I have no idea how I'm finding the energy to write this blog post...but I found it somehow! We're learning how to count money in math this week and I was shocked at how many second graders I have that cannot identify coins! Eek! I got my Pinterest on and found some money poems and rhymes to use with my struggling kiddos.

I also found a super cool way to make counting money fun. It's called "money sticks". All you do is glue plastic money to craft sticks, label them and have students count the amount of money. This will be a super engaging math station that you can use in first, second or third grade.

I made two samples for a parent volunteer. She is going to make the sticks for me...yay! The blue sticks are my easier sets: less than 50 cents with a fewer amount of coins. My orange sticks are the more challenging sets: more than 50 cents with more coins. Gotta differentiate!

I put a letter on each stick so that students can record the amount next to the letter. I haven't created a recording sheet for this yet, it's on my to do! Alright y'all, gotta get some shut eye! 19 days and counting until my baby is due! Wish me luck that I make it to the due date! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Comprehension Connections and Trying to Keep it All Together!

I hope everyone is having a calm and successful start to the school year. This will be our 5th week in so we are in the full swing of things. Daily five is looking fabulous in my room, the kids are becoming more and more independent and I'm so proud of them!

I don't know if y'all have ever heard of the book Comprehension Connections, but it's amazing! Our district uses a lot of the reading mini-lessons from this book. It's great for all elementary students, especially those who struggle with comprehension skills.

Here's  an anchor chart I have in my room right now. It's a lesson called "The Reading Salad" from this fabulous book. The kids loved this lesson and the idea of the salad really helped them visualize metacognition.

In addition to making reading salads, I'm offically 37 weeks pregnant! The nursery is almost completely finished and I'm running around like a mad woman trying to get ready for a long term sub, having parent conferences and trying not to lose my mind! Wish me luck! Have a fabulous week!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

35 Weeks and TEKS, TEKS, TEKS!

Hey Y'all! Hope everyone is well. I'm in my 3rd week of school and things are going well. I am well into daily five routines and practice as well as math stations. There is still so much to do and so much to teach my little ones! I'm also 35 weeks pregnant and getting a little anxious about delivery quickly approaching. I still don't know my long term sub but I'm trying to get as organized as possible to help her transition into my classroom.

I've also been very busy creating and customizing my TEKS cards for other Texas teachers. I use the second grade set in my classroom every day and I love them! They are great for goal setting and ensuring that students know the objectives for the lesson. They are also on sale until midnight tonight at my "Teachers Pay Teachers" store.

Have fun getting back into your classrooms! While organizing my binders I realized I wanted to change my small group plans/organization. I just whipped up this documenation form to help me keep track of student progress in small group reading or math. To keep track of student progress I use those little check marks at the bottom of the page. It's quick, easy and effective. Feel free to grab it if you think you can use it! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Second Grade Synergy!

Hey Y'all! I hope your back to school shopping is going well. We are well into our second full week of school. Our school is a 7 habits school. Last year we implemented the program as a staff and this year we are teaching the habits to the kiddos. So far, so good!

There are a ton of cute graphics/posters out there to help make the habits concrete for the children. My second graders are enjoying the discussions we've had about the habits. It will still take some time for them to truly grasp the concepts and apply them to their own lives. I think the time we spend on learning these life skills will really pay off.

When we learned about habit 6 "synergy" we each got a puzzle piece and decorated it with our name and things we like. The kids then put the pieces together and they did really well! It took them a while to do it, there were 26 pieces total and that took a lot of synergy from everyone. It was a great way to teach the concept! Here's a pic of our final product. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School and Baby Showers!

Hello friends! I feel like the worst teacher blogger ever! I haven't posted in a sorry! We just wrapped up our 6th day of school today and I am beyond exhausted! The beginning of the year is always tiring but when you are 8 and a half months pregnant...triple that exhaustion and that's how I feel.

However, I am loving my class! I'm inclusion again this year and I have several friends with some pretty high needs...but I'm confident we can get them in a good place by the end of the year. I'm working my tooty off to get interventions started now and to get everything else into place before I go on maternity.

I completely forgot to take pics of my classroom today. I'll take some tomorrow to upload. I am working on making mini writing offices with my kids. I created a template for writing word wall words. I'm going to have the kids glue this on to two file folders. I am also looking for a black and white blends/digraphs chart. My second graders NEED that in front of them when they are writing.

Here's a template for word wall words you can add to a writing office or use for what you need:

You paste them side by side on a file folder, pretty handy!

Also, wanted to share some baby shower pics! Here is a picture of a frame I made for each of my hostesses. I have 13 hostesses so I had to make the gifts affordable. I purchased some frames from Walmart and created a template on my computer. I cut out the middle and saved that for a picture of my hostess with my baby! :)

These are some cute onesies my cousin bought us! (I'm a longhorn and the hubby is an aggie...)

Have a great evening! I'll be posting pics of the class soon! ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It!

This is the second time I'm participating in 4th Grade Frolics' Monday Made It! I love the idea of sharing cute teacher-made crafts, genius! Last year I purchased a blue, plastic chair from IKEA for my author's chair. It's a cute chair but I'm ashamed to say I didn't add much to it because I was overwhelmed with moving to a new grade level and just never got around to it.

I am happy to say that last week I decided enough was enough and that my author's chair needed some bling. So I purchased some spray glitter from Wal-Mart and some cute little clear rhinestones. I copied the word's "Author's Chair" from my computer in the "Elephants in Cherry Trees" font from Kevin and Amanda. I added a cute little pencil and then traced over everything with a black permanent marker.

I then took the chair outside and gave it a few coats of the glitter spray. You have to be careful with the spray because if you spray too much in one spot it will run and get yucky. I let it dry and then brought it inside. I would have to say it's a definite improvement from my old chair.

I didn't add rhinestones to the side of the seat because I know the kids will rub them off when they sit there and it will drive me crazy replacing them all the time!

And there is my author's chair, hanging out in my classroom. I like it much better! Beware though: the glitter may come off a little. But who doesn't need a little extra sparkle in their day? ;)