Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Great Beginning Chapter Books

Happy Christmas vacation, Friends!

     Like so many of you I am enjoying family, friends, time off, and just a change of pace.  It is also a pleasure to have extra time to work on new materials for my classroom.

     During my extra time I have been working on materials for my reading time.  Several sweet girls in my classroom have the goal of reading chapter books and earn additional AR ribbons and jewels.  The girls are a bit below grade level and I would love, love, love for them to achieve their goal.

     Our school has the Accelerated Reader (AR) program.  As part of the AR program, students earn ribbons and jewels for the many books they read.  As students read higher level books they earn more ribbons and jewels.  Generally during second grade students really get into the groove of reading and earning AR ribbons and jewels.

     To help my students achieve their next goal I searched my classroom library for chapter books at their level.  I found several Patricia Reilly Giff books perfect for the girls and students just beginning their chapter book reading journey.

     Here are two new book packets that I will be using with my sweet girls.  Visit my TpT store to get your copy of All About Stacy and B-e-s-t Friends.

     I would love for you to check back often for new products, Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style post, and Five for Friday!

     It's almost ready - Popcorn Solid Read Aloud!  Stop by tomorrow for more!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Oh what fun!  This week we spent a little time creating and enjoying the season!  If you have read my posts during the last two weeks you'll remember that I'm giving my students 12 days of Christmas gifts.

On the 7th day of Christmas my teacher gave to me a special creative project.

The price of this gift $0!!!  

I was able to grab all the supplies from my stash of Christmas leftovers.  I didn't think I had enough green pipe cleaners, my paraprofessional suggested using white.  Several students selected white and created beautiful trees.

The expressions on the reindeer faces is priceless!

I found the tree on Pinterest and the reindeer was an oldie but goodie that grabbed from my stash.

A few students struggled with bending and twisting the pipe cleaners into the correct shapes.  With help from their friends and me everyone was successful.
Oh those sequins!  I have used and used my stash and they just seem to multiple.
Why not take a look at your stash of tidbits and create some thrifty fun.

Until next time,

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Five for Friday on Saturday

I know that Kacey isn't hosting this week but here are my five things from the week...

This week ended my first five days of the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts for my students.  You can read about the Twelve Days here

My students are really getting into the little gift each day.  So far they received a pencil, an eraser, two fancy stickers, they got to chew gum in class, and had hot cocoa while watching Polar Express.  This first week cost me about $7.00.  Not bad for the gifts so far.  Oh, I also was able to use up some leftover items from last year.  Win-win for me, I emptied out a little space.

As the students come into the classroom each day I have a message on the smart board...

On the first day of Christmas,
My teacher gave to me...

a holiday pencil!

Hopefully this will help them remember that they are only getting the small gifts and experiences rather than one larger gift.  My co-worker said one of her students stated, "What no big gift."  I probably would have taken away his gift for the day!  Life as a teacher is really hard sometimes.😩

Check back next week for a recap on days six through ten.

Glitter, glitter, glitter!  It's beautiful!  I really do love glitter!  I love when the kids work on this project. 

Every year the Senior Citizens dinner is held in conjunction with our elementary Christmas program.  For the past several years the second grade students have made two-sided stand up trees for the centerpieces.

Each student makes one tree.  Then my classroom volunteer glues them together around a paper towel tube or maybe a tp tube which the students painted brown.

The kiddos are free to glitter away!

On tasty treat day we made our reindeer snack.  Perfect learning opportunity along with our caribou unit.

Interesting listening to the students say these are all girl caribou (they didn't say reindeer).  When asked why, they explained the female caribou keep their antlers all winter.

Don't you love when they make connections to their learning!

Friday finally came and I was off to co-host a table at our church's Festival of Tables event for ladies.  All the tables were beautiful!  Here is our table.  Disposable plates and silverware made for quick clean up when the event was done.  Our centerpiece was grabbed from my coffee table.  Super easy decorating, I just walked out with two shopping bags while others carried out boxes and boxes of decor.

Shopping - finished!!!  My husband has to order a few things on line but that is his thing, I'm done with my shopping.

I was so excited about this deal...
At a local department store I gathered up many gifts.  The total came to $125.  I set out a handful of coupons and asked the very nice clerk to use what will give me the best deal.  She was super polite!  As she figured everything out, I was hoping to get the total under a $100.  The super nice clerk announced my total $42.92!!!  Whhaatt!  I was shocked.  I quickly paid so she couldn't say she made a mistake.  And my next thought was, "Why didn't I buy more!"  Merry Christmas to me!

Until next time,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style


     Christmas is fast approaching, the number of school days between now and vacation are shrinking, and the kids are getting antsy!  Did I say the kids are talkative, forgetting all the expectations, restless, and just plain fidgety!!!  All these things make our jobs difficult.

     So to make your job easier...

     Here's a freebie for your math class!  The board game is called Name It Measure It.  Players work to name 2D and 3D shapes and measure line segments.  The game will be perfect for center activities during math workshop time.

     Visit my TpT store to grab your freebie.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy December 1st! 

How is that even possible!  Christmas decorations are popping up around the school.  I put mine up yesterday after school with the help of three students who have parents that work in the school.  It was such a big help!

Today's thrifty idea is all about student Christmas gifts.  Over the years I have tried many different gifts for my students. Some students appreciate the gifts they get and others seem like they could care less about the gift or even "wrinkle their nose" at the gift.

This year I've decided to give my students 12 Days of Christmas gifts.  Why?  Because I will spend less money, make each day special, and incorporate some activities that we would have done anyway.  Now those classroom activities are part of their Christmas gift!

Here is a list of the gifts I'm giving my kiddos.  These are not in any particular order.

-Christmas pencil
-Christmas eraser
-Christmas stickers (I'll give each student one fancy sticker to decorate their folder)
-hot cocoa and holiday movie
-lunch in the classroom with a holiday cartoon
-extra recess
-Christmas bingo (with starbursts for prizes)
-candy cane
-chew gum in class
-homemade Christmas cookie
-Christmas tree cake (little debbie type)
-Christmas bouncy ball

Many of the gifts I found at my favorite Dollar Tree store!  Love that store!

I'll let you know how my 12 Days of Christmas gifts work out in my classroom.  I would love to hear what your give your students for Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gingerbread - Solid Read Aloud

     Are you getting ready for the busy month of December in your classroom?  I love to have my kiddos complete a gingerbread unit.  A fantastic variety of gingerbread books, compare and contrast activities, lots of glitter, and now a poetry connection with...

     Rachel and I have been busy getting the Gingerbread Solid Read Aloud ready!  This read aloud contains: poetry, comprehension work, writing work, gingerbread house glyph, and penmanship activity.

     I love connecting with my students during our read aloud time.  Adding poetry to our read aloud is a win-win for me and my students.  The Solid Read Alouds have incorporated poetry throughout the school year not just for a short unit.  I know you would enjoy making the connections with your students also.

     Pick up the Gingerbread Solid Read Aloud freebie and check out the full version.  Both products are in my TpT store.  

What's coming next for the Solid Read Aloud series?  
Popcorn Day is January 19.

When will the Popcorn Day Solid Read Aloud be released?
Stop by during your Christmas break.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm taking off this week - busy cooking a turkey, baking pies, and enjoying family time.  Oh, and before I did those things I cleaned and prepped for 8 guests who are staying for three nights.  Lots of family time with my daughters and their families!

I'll be back next week with more thrifty ideas for your classroom.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Hi Friends,

I have a thrifty game for your classroom.  This game can be modified for just about any math operation and it takes special prep from you.  It doesn't have a name but one student thought it was bingo.  So maybe the name should be Bingo with a Twist!

Today my students played the game connected with two digit addition.

Students create their own game board like the one shown. We just use scrap paper to make the game boards. Sometimes the students like to take the game home to play with their families.

Today my students filled in the spaces with the following math statements:
     odd number                               >90
     even number                             >80
     <50                                            <40
     >100                                          <100
You can see that my students repeated some of the math statements.

To play - 
     -partner                                   -2 dice
     -each partner gets 8 linking cubes
     -students may want individual whiteboards and markers to compute their answers
     -first player rolls both dice, they use the dice to make a two digit number, (for example roll a 6 and a 5, the two addends are 65 + 56)
     -the player places one of their cubes on a space that corresponds to the answer (note that more than one space would correspond to the equation but players can only cover one space)
     -play continues until a player has used all their cubes

This was a fantastic teaching time for the partners.  Some of the students caught on that if they roll a 2 and 4 for example, all they had to do was add 2 + 4 = 6 and the two digit number was 66!  Don't you love the numeracy development some students have!

My math students played the game for 20 minutes.  As I walked around and listened to the conversations everyone was on task.  If they weren't completing an addition problem they were helping figure out which space to place the marker.

I think next time I might only use boards with nine spaces and shorten the time to play.

The activity involves reasoning skills and strategy.  I like a game that makes my math kiddos think!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Five for Friday

My oh, my where does the week go?  Here we are again, back together for another Five for Friday.  Thanks, Kasey for hosting!

Like so many classrooms across America our kiddos had the opportunity to vote on Tuesday.  Nothing big and fancy just a discussion about voting and Scholastic News reading.

It is heart warming to a teacher's heart to see so much reading activity!  The kids grabbed their reading books and spent time reading with a partner.  Of course, picking a just right spot can be a bit difficult to agree upon.

If you haven't checked out yet, what are you waiting for!  It has many, many activities you can create with the few clicks of your mouse.  The word generator is great, Dolch and Fry words are available, simply pick the level your students need.

I like to create flashcards for one struggling reader to practice at home.
Tasty Treat day is always a big hit with the second graders!  This week we made our turkeys.  I really appreciate the two volunteers that come to my classroom every Thursday, they do a fantastic job helping the kids get their treat made.
Hip, hip hooray for our school!  Our students read 25 million words in the first quarter of school!  The reward - Flashlight Friday!!!  This was our first Flashlight Friday, I do have to say I wasn't so sure about the event but the kids really enjoyed it.  I even brought my book and was able to get a few pages read between students asking me, "What is this word?"  I may include this in my classroom incentives.
It has been a busy week.  Now that I look back I didn't even include our math activities!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday!

This week my math students worked on money skills during their exploration activity time.  Some students excelled at counting money groups and others needed more direction/instruction to count the money groups.

A scoot activity is a good way for me to work individually with students to count money groups.  As my para and I walk around the room we are continually assessing who needs extra help and who is ready to take off and soar with this skill.

Here is the scoot activity I created to work with my students on counting money groups.  Enjoy this freebie, leave some positive feedback if you would.  I included two ways to incorporate this activity into your classroom.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Five for Friday

Just like you, Friend, I'm glad Halloween week is behind us.

  Our school allows students to wear their costumes the entire day!  Last year was our first year doing this and I thought things would be CRAZY all day long.  I was pleasantly surprised with the great students both last year and this year.  They get a little excited when they first arrive but after everyone has a chance to show off their costume they quickly settle into our daily routine.  

I think the kids feel like they are partying all day long since they are wearing their costumes.  Our class did play a few 'just for fun' games throughout the day, so maybe we did party all day?!?  

What a great bunch of writers!  This is the first week that I've let the kiddos move around the room to write.  Up until now we have been practicing our procedures and expectations.  Can you hear the relaxing classical music playing in the background?  We even turned off a few lights!
I switched it up for these three girls this week.  We went into the hallway for our guided reading group.  To practice writing fluency I had them write their spelling words on the wall.  They were so cute when they even erased their answers.  One girl covered her answer so no one else would copy!

Students had a fun time playing Greater Than War.  Check out more details here.  Don't forget to grab your freebie.
It was a beautiful fall Saturday!  I enjoyed my day, I hope you did the same.  Looking forward to the extra hour of sleep tonight!

Thanks, Kasey for hosting this weekly linky party!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Hello Friends! 
I don't know about you but I can't believe that it is November already!  That means there is little time to get the November themes into the classroom curriculum.  

I created this freebie for my writer's workshop time.  Sometimes my students need a little inspiration when they are generating ideas for their writing.  This format is beneficial for my students that need that little extra. 

Download it here for free.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Five for Friday

Whaaat!  Sunday already!  Every weekend is sooo busy. Isn't the weekend time to relax and catch up on a couple of things?  The life of a teacher, we lament over the busy weeks and busy weekends but in the end...

We LOVE our profession!!!

We went batty with non-fiction work this week.  Creating diagrams, researching facts, looking for information on our anchor chart - it is so rewarding to see the kids engaged in learning so many different ways.

Why do kids love to paint?  Some teachers many cringe at the thought but I enjoy seeing the smiles on their faces and the accomplishment in their voice, "Look what I did Mrs. Brown!" 

These don't look like much yet, hopefully next week our final bat projects will WOW you!


The kids really enjoyed created their graphs will the Skull & Bones I picked up at Dollar Tree.  Now that I look at this picture I don't see any graphs, hmmm.  

Anyway, when they completed their graphs, the kiddos were able to create.  The little guy in the blue shirt was the trend setter.  When his classmates heard me say how creative he was with the skulls and bones, many others joined in the fun!

You can grab your Skulls & Bones freebie at my TpT store to be ready for next Halloween season.  If you would, please leave a positive comment I really would appreciate it.

Thanks, Kasey!  I appreciate all the creative ideas from teaching friends across the country!

Enjoy your Halloween party tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style


Perseverance and hard work are key, daily components in our math workshop.  As part of our workshop time I offer a variety of learning games and activities.  These activities help my students practice and review skills.  The kids enjoy interacting with a partner and they are "teaching" each other while completing the activity.

Here is an activity we did in our classroom this week.  Grab your freebie in my TpT store.  This resource is ready for you to print and play!  I'd appreciate if you would leave a positive comment!  


Friday, October 21, 2016

Five For Friday

Happy weekend!
      Fun with apples!  Does an apple float?  Is there part of an apple that doesn't float?  These were the science questions explored by my little scientists.  I love doing investigations with the kids!

     The beginning of each school year we begin with Henry and Mudge books.  The stories are wonderful and students can connect with many of the story lines.  To bring the Henry and Mudge craze to close we celebrated by making our dandy dog treats.  Thank you Pinterest for the idea.  I found the original post here -  Our dogs had mini M&M eyes and jumbo M&M noses.  Our school is not under a total peanut butter ban like other schools in our area, so we were able to use the nutter butter cookies.

     Fire Prevention Day is a big event for students in grades 1, 2, and 3.  The firemen are all volunteers and take a vacation day to spend the time with our students.  These men and women are great at giving the students lots of hands on activities and a wealth of information.  Thank you volunteer fire fighters!

     My school is fortunate to be able to get Scholastic News for all the students in second grade.  This fantastic resource provides for many learning opportunities.  Day one, we work through the article and questions on the back of the paper.  Then I extend the use of the Scholastic News by connecting it to a reading strategy.  Of course, we always watch the videos and play the online games provided by Scholastic.

     Last year our school district received a grant and raised matching funds to be able to install new equipment for all to enjoy.  Many thanks to everyone who worked to make this project a success!

Have are super weekend!