Friday, September 1, 2017

Back to School 2017

I am so excited to show you my second grade classroom.  I am moving from the upstairs in fourth grade to a downstairs classroom in second grade.  I am very excited - what a perfect age!
I love incorporating the Daily 5 in my literacy block.  Here is my Daily 5 and CAFE posters that you can find on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click HERE to check out the cutest CAFE headers and strategy cards.

Oriental Trading has a new addition to their website - Learning365 for all of your teaching supplies and other great educational resources. 

[[Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.]]

The photo below is my calendar area.  I love me some Georgia Grown Kiddos xo her calendar set are the best out there on TPT! Equally just as awesome, Good Enough Teacher has the best calendar pieces that fit perfectly in my calendar pocket chart.
To the right of my calendar area is my "I Can" learning objectives chart.  I LOVE this... there is actually more sections but I pinned it off to only have 3 sections.  It twists to hang perfectly straight and I can't wait to use my I can statements here.  You can use dry erase or cards!
[If you are looking for 3rd grade I can statements, check mine out HERE]

Looking for a little gift for your students? Mine are going to love these second grade pencils!  I love whenever it's personalized by grade level.

These magnetic dry erase owls are on SALE (under $5 for a dozen!) and they can work for table numbers, groups, reminders, or just cute BTS decor.  I have these located right now in my math area and I hope to find new ideas throughout the year to use them.  I already got a few compliments ;)
I also love these posters from Sneaking into Second.  So cute!
Magnetic alphabet squares are a must for me working in a primary classroom.  It's such a fun way to add practice to spelling and word work.  Incorporating the Daily 5 into my classroom I always try to find new ways for learning.

Something else that is perfect for my literacy groups are these highlighting reading strips.  For the primary grades sometimes it's tricky for kiddos to keep track of where they are with reading, especially when the print gets smaller and smaller with the more difficult books.  My sweeties will love using these during reading :) 

A fun, exciting part of second grade is learning about life cycles.  At my school, we will hatch chicks and monarch butterflies.  This 4 poster life cycle set is only $6.49.  You cannot find a better price for these quality posters!  This is one of the best deals for high quality posters I have seen out there. A MUST HAVE for a second grade teacher!

The last photo I'll end my blog post with is my cookie bulletin board.  While I was browsing through
Pinterest and TPT, I decided to create my own with cute clipart and personalize them with my kids names.  I used counting cookies from Classroom Chitchat.

I hope you all have the best school year.  Thinking of you all - for the ones that already have your routine down and for those of you just starting out and getting your classroom as ready as you can before back to school... Never forget - you are wonderful and we all make mistakes and learn from them.
Have a fantastic year! xo
Second grade starts my new journey.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dogs improve our health

Most of my blog posts are about teaching in my classroom, but I never want to forget.. that my sheltie-pom Lily teaches me every day too.
Yesterday was National Dog Day :) 8/26/17
To celebrate National Dog Day, I am sharing how dogs improve our health highlighted by PuppySpot.  Do you have a pet? I am so fortunate to have a sweet, intelligent, energetic, clingy pup.  She is a sheltie-pomeranian mixed breed and she is 4 years old.  

I am a teacher and sometimes I work too many hours and get easily stressed.  Coming home to Lily helps me relax and feel content knowing that there's a little pup waiting for me.

My sweet pup helps me relieve stress because she is energetic and needs lots of exercise (just like I need!)  She is so good with running along side of me (or walking.. mostly walking!) She keeps me healthy.

Most of all... Lily follows me everywhere and is a true loyal companion.  She does not even need to be leashed and I know she will stay with me at all times.  

If you have the time and commitment and love for a dog, it's the best "investment" I have ever made.  I have had at least one dog my whole life, but Lily is my first dog in my own place.  I love her :) If you are looking for a companion, check out the puppies that Puppy Spot has to offer.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1 Day Sale Giveaway

Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting a one day back to school sale... tomorrow 8/22! 25% off all of my products and so many wonderful creators out there with the code: BTSBONUS.  
Graphic designed by: Munchkins Inc.

Make sure you fill up your wishlists and also.... enter to win a $10 TPT gift card!
This giveaway will run today until 8/22 midnight EST.  I will chose a winner tomorrow morning and you will have plenty of time to still shop! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Memorable Wedding

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

I just got married one month ago (I can't believe it's already been that long!) and I had the most beautiful day of my life.  I was surrounded by my husband, family, and many of the people I love and that love me.  
The day was months and months of planning and of course, there were some stressors along the way (what wedding doesn't have at least a little stress?) 

Do you want to know what helped me? Getting my supplies at Oriental Trading.  I used a lot of local Facebook groups to get the best deals, because who wants to pay full price for things I am going to use for one day.. not me! However, for things that I couldn't find and that I knew would help make my day more memorable, I turned to the wedding section of Oriental Trading.
This was my venue for our upstate New York wedding.. very simple but it really was perfect for us.  

I loved the place cards from Oriental Trading.  They went along with our silver/light pink theme for our wedding and were the perfect touch. $3.99 for 50 of them - you can't beat a great deal! :) 

One of the highlights of our wedding was the candy buffet.  Our guests loved it.  I will say, it was a lot of work.  Buying all the candy and putting it together and making sure I had enough bags, glassware and scoops was a little stressful.  Seeing how happy our guests were though and how much fun it was - was all worth it.

We got a few candies from the pink themed candy buffet.  I love salt water taffy so we had to get it. :) 

Here is our beautiful wedding cake.  There are so many cake knives/servers to choose from and you can even get them engraved to treasure forever.  

Our unity candle was so special.  Our mothers lit the two candlesticks and we lit the candle during the ceremony.  I will say that it was a little windy and our candle blew out a couple times, but it made us laugh. :) I highly recommend doing something personal/special during your ceremony.

My advice to those of you planning a wedding (if you are on a budget):

1. DIY wherever you can and enlist the help of your friends.
I ended up doing a lot by myself but wish I had asked for more help - your friends/family love you and want to help :) 

2. Start a board on Pinterest to get ideas.
You don't need to share it with everyone, but it will be helpful to get inspiration.

3. Join local wedding Facebook groups.
I got a lot of my wedding supplies from local wedding groups that were selling for a percentage off because they only used the supplies for one day (just like I was planning on!) Please just be careful, go with a friend, and meet in a public place - do not put yourself in any danger. 

4. Search around for the best deals.
It might be time consuming, but if you can't find anything on local Facebook groups then check out Oriental Trading and other websites like Amazon for the best prices.  You won't be sorry!

5. Smile and enjoy every moment.
There may be things that go wrong during the planning process or the actual day of the wedding. Just smile and know that everything you do and every moment is one step closer to one of the most important days of your life.  Smile and have fun! :) :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Activities on aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.

Here's a fun activity you can play with your child at home or in your classroom.

Activity: Word Builder
This time-based word-building game is the perfect way to boost your child's vocabulary and reading skills. Mix and match letters to see how many words she can come up with! Each round of this word builder is different to keep the game fresh for hours of learning and play.

What You Need:
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Timer

What You Do:
  1. To start the game, write four random consonants and three random vowels on a page in the notebook and pass it to your child.
  2. Help her set the timer for 30 seconds, then have her write down as many two-letter words as she can think of in 30 seconds.
  3. Once the time is up, go over the words with her and discuss which ones were spelled right.
  4. For the next round, write down four new random consonants and three random vowels on a new sheet of paper.
  5. Pass the notebook to your child, set the timer for 30 seconds, and this time, ask her to write down as many three-letter words as she can think of.
  6. Once the time is up, review the words with her and discuss which ones were spelled right again.
  7. You can play as many rounds as you like, upping the word length by one letter each turn. If your child feels comfortable, keep challenging her and you just might both be surprised at how many words she can come up with!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Ancient One and End of the Year Gifts

My students and I were so lucky to receive a copy of T.A. Barron's fantasy adventure, "The Ancient One." A couple of my students were excited to get their hands on a copy and begin reading.
We normally have independent reading time during our Daily 5 and they decided to write a short review on what they thought so far:

The students are enjoying the fact that this book is an adventure about helping the environment.  My one student Kate who is reading was excited to see the main character's name - Kate!
My fourth graders enjoy adventure, suspense, and visuals - the maps that can be found on T.A. Barron's site go right along with the stories.  How cool is that? My children are so impressionable right now and some have developed a dislike for reading :( However, when they can relate to a story and follow a character that they love, they feel like they are a part of it.  

You can find "The Ancient One" at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and Amazon! :) T.A. Barron has many other great books that you can check out.  I personally want to check out "The Wisdom of Merlin" myself.

Sooooo it's the end of the year.  My fourth graders have accomplished so much and they were wonderful to work with.  I knew that they deserved wonderful things sooo of course I went to Oriental Trading for my party needs.  I am also getting married this Saturday (4 days, no big deal) and they also are amazing with wedding supplies!

These tote bags were adorable to put lots of goodies in for my kids.  They were bigger than I had expected, but they definitely hold their weight.  These are perfect for lighter objects however, because I know with lbs and lbs of weight, these would break.  I told the kiddos that they would be able to put their beach stuff in these (towel, sunglasses, sunscreen) or put a light book and personal belongings in them as well. 

My kids (at all ages) love oriental trading prizes.  I got the sticky hands (they LOVE anything like this!) and some fun mini neon bouncy balls!  These are mini though and I don't recommend for younger children. 

 I wrapped their goodies in treat bags from the dollar tree to stay organized with the smaller items.  
My fourth graders faces light up with these ADORABLE FOXES.  I can't... they are just too cute.  My 9 and 10 year old boys and girls loved them :) They come in blue, pink, orange, and red.  

I am always a happy customer with Oriental Trading!

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guided Reading

Carson Dellosa has so much to offer for reading.  I was excited to be offered to review Guided Reading resources for Grades 3-4.  

Each book has a specific focus that you want your learners to hone in on.  Click on the links below to check out each topic.

Something I love about this resource is that there is 6 text cards in a pack (full paper size) and they are dry erase.  My kiddos don't feel like they are reading a regular book.  Even at the ages of 9 and 10, they get excited about using dry erase markers and picking out their own colors (it's the little things!) 

 My kids love to highlight and keep track of their learning.  This helps them locate text evidence and we also did a fun "game" where we would highlight the most important sentence in the paragraph - they had to read their sentences out loud and then discuss why they found their sentence to be a key part of the paragraph.  Fun and they were able to debate and support each other with the sentences they chose!
 Something else that helped with the dry erase is highlighting key vocabulary and drawing pictures.  There is not a lot of room on these guided reading activities to draw or write, but little pictures such as the one below were helpful for the visual learners.  For example, one student drew lava bursting out over the vocabulary word spews.  
 Something I loved about these Guided Reading packs were the different ways to assess.
In each book, there is a discussion guide, writing prompts, and graphic organizers.

In the corner there is a prompt on each dry erase activity labeled "Write about it!" and I loved using these in their reader's notebooks and on sticky notes.  Very quick way to assess and if we did not have time for a quick write, we would hold a quick discussion about the prompt.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Love those Guided reading packs.  At $19.99 each, it can get a little pricy for us teachers.  But if you are in the same grade level, you can use them year after year and it's a different way to introduce students to new texts and have multiple copies for guided reading.

 If the price does not tickle your fancy, even getting one of these books with a topic you may need a more ideas for works too!

My fourth graders were proud of their cute mother's day gifts.  
They decorated paper bags and placed a decorated pot in each with this TPT freebie "Thank you for helping me grow" :) 


Disclaimer: Carson Dellosa sent me products in exchange for a blog post, but all opinions in this post are mine.