Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Ultimate Comprehension Guide & a FREEBIE

   I am sooooooo excited to have put the final touches on something I have been wanting to create and implement for weeks now. And it so happens to come on the eve of the New Year. How appropriate right?  Drumroll please.....
   The Ultimate Comprehension Centers Pack has been a vision in my mind for so long and now I can finally touch it! I have been wanting something that my kiddos could use in guided reading group and then transfer into independent comprehension centers to solidify their comprehension knowledge. Many of my kiddos need the extra boost of comprehension saturation and now I feel like I can help them achieve it. I have included sample lesson ideas, pictures, and read aloud suggestions for the following strategies; visualizing & mental image, making connections, predicting, inferring, retell, sequence, questioning, determine importance, problem & solution, cause & effect, author's purpose, and a bonus context clues & vocabulary game. Each comprehension strategy contains a poster, mini-poster, multiple activities, games, and interactive journaling pages which adds an extra dimension to my kiddos learning! 
   I am also so excited to introduce my kiddos to the independent comprehension center bins when they come back in January too! This pack gives you a detailed "how to" set-up your own centers with all of the organization and labeling tools you will need to get your kiddos down the path of comprehension success! All you need to do is add the leveled books! You can grab this pack in my TpT store by clicking on the images below. It will even be on sale the next two days to celebrate the New Year! I have also included one of the many cause & effect activities below as a sample of the activities you will get in this huge 100+ pack. Let me know what you think!

POP! A Cause & Effect Freebie

Monday, December 30, 2013

January Math & Literacy Centers

   Is it just me or does anyone else wonder where the year went? I just realized that tomorrow is the last day of the year. The older I get the faster the year passes by. This year has been a great one for my family and I. My babies boys are excelling in 4th and 1st grade, my hubby is still helping the troubled youth of our society, and I am continuing to have so much fun with my teammates and teaching those second grade kiddos. I could never imagine in less than a year blogging and creating and sharing resources with all of my fellow educators would become such an important part in my life. I cannot wait to see what 2014 brings my family!
   Today I finally cracked open the teaching tote to see all of what I need to get accomplished by next Monday and then I closed it after a couple glances. Please don't judge. A girl just needs a little bit of a longer break!!! I am so glad I already printed, laminated, and placed my Winter Math & Literacy activities in my Daily 5 bins for when my kiddos return. You can grab this 15 center pack in my TpT store by clicking on the images below. Everything in my store will be on SALE the next two days to celebrate the new year. Enjoy!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Math Journals

   It is definitely harder to get all of the activities and units completed with a new puppy in the house. But Zoe is pretty darn cute so that makes up for my "potty breaks" every 30 minutes the last two days with her.
 Playing in the snow for the first time.
These two are inseparable. 
  I did at least get two math journals completed and posted in my TpT store this afternoon. I have uploaded my March Daily Math Journal {2nd Grade Common Core Aligned} and January Daily Word Problem Journal {2nd Grade Common Core Aligned}. Each journal contains student "I can" statements, CCSS activities and standards met. When printed the journals can be printed front to back, cut in half, and stapled to save paper. You can click on the images below to get copies for yourselves.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Bitter Sweet Christmas and a New Baby

   I hope all of you had a fabulous, restful, and magical Christmas with family and friends. After cooking and cleaning for family the last couple of days I was glad to have a quiet day today. It was definitely a bitter sweet one for my family as it will probably be the last in our current home. My hubby has been making the almost 2 hour trek daily to work each day the past 10 years so we have decided to move closer to his work. Taking down the Christmas decorations today was a little sad as this is the home my youngest has grown-up in, but I know great things will be in store for us in 2014! Beginning with our newest family member...
   Say hello to our Cockapoo Zoe! Our plan yesterday was to hit up the sales at the mall, go to the movies, and have a nice dinner. Well, while we waited for the hubs to finish his chair massage (did you know they give these in the middle of the mall? I think it is a little creepy, but the hubs loved it) the kiddos and I decided to take a look in the pet shop. Did I for once think we would walk out with a puppy. NO WAY! But once my kiddos locked eyes with Zoe the waterworks began. Not because they knew they could not get a puppy, but because she looks very similar to our former Cockapoo Jack who passed away several months ago. Well how do you say no to that...especially with the hubs who is a sucker for the boys. Thank goodness we got a ridiculous deal on her.
 We were a little emotionally drained last night so do not let his face fool you. They are besties already!
Awwww! Love at first sight. 
   Who knew a puppy was like having a brand new baby! We are kennel training so our house sounded like the beginning scene from Lady & the Tramp last night and we did have to go outside twice, but the new baby comes with no weight gain and soft hypoallergenic fur!So relaxing, grading writing prompts, and finishing some upcoming units will take a little longer than expected. But how can you be too bummed by this face...


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Around the Classroom & Saying Goodbye to Manning

   I have to start this posting by saying how much I LOVE my new blog design by the 3am Teacher. She did such a fabulous job and I feel like I have a new baby in my life! Check out her store on TPT here and her blog here for fabulous ideas and clip art!
   It feels so weird not prepping for the classroom tomorrow. Wait, who am I kidding!!! I cannot wait to sleep in and finish up Christmas shopping. Speaking of Christmas last week was very eventful in the classroom. Here is a look at our week in pictures...
 My kiddos parent gifts.....reindeer hand print melted crayon art!!!
   Here's how we made these precious works of art. We took simple canvases and stamped our hands on them with various brown colors. We then hot-glued crayons to our "fingers" except the thumbs. My kiddos favorite part was taking a blow dryer to the tips of the crayons to melt them. 
 I then took all of the canvases home and mod podge reindeer heads on under each hand print. 
 Only 23 to mod podge and add red noses to. 
 We also made reindeer food to go along with our art, but we got to eat it! 
 What are presents for parents without presents for kiddos too? 
 Each kiddo received a book on their level, pencils, stickers, candy, and free book coupon from Scholastic. 

   Along with all of our festivities last week it was time to say goodbye to a little elf. Manning ended his mischief on Friday. My kiddos had grown so attached to Manning in his short time with us. A few tears were shed on Friday as they left the classroom. I knew they all wanted to give him a hug, but they were too worried about him losing his powers to fly to the North Pole. Here is a look at some more of Manning's daily shenanigans.
 Making snowflakes. How artistic is he!
 Someone let Happy Feet out again, but this time for a snowball fight!
 Who made this mess?
 And this mess? This very tidy and organized teacher was a bit anxious with the mess Manning left. 
 Manning's letter says, "Santa does not like messes not one little bit. Hurry you better clean up and make it quick!" And yes, he is hanging from the ceiling. 
 Someone is trying to rush the 100th day of school!
 Where am I supposed to read???
 Someone got together with Ms. Laboy's classroom elf, Brandon, and messed with our principals computer!
 Manning and Brandon having too much fun with the photocopier. 
   And even more pictures of the two besties! Manning wrote on the white board, "Brandon made me do it!". After the laughter from my kiddos they all decided that Manning was not making a good choice blaming Brandon for all of the pictures posted around the room. So they suggested that he needed to be more proactive and take responsibility for his actions. They are just too cute!
   And this is what my kiddos found on Friday. It was fitting that Manning had bells for each kiddo as it was our Polar Express day. This little guy will be missed, but he has a more important job to prepare for the next two days!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thank You Sale

  This will be a quick post tonight. With all of the craziness of the last week scrambling to get winter assessments completed, making two days of sub plans, and trying to keep my classroom kiddos calm, I am over the moon with all of my supporters here and over on TPT. I just sold my 1,000 product this week! I could never image the products I make for my classroom would be used by so many more. As a giant THANK YOU everything in my store is on sale through tomorrow night. Click on the image below to be taken to TPT. Happy early TGIF!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Classroom December Decor, Our Elf, & Upcoming Week

   This post will be a whole bunch of randomness! We have had a GREAT week despite the arctic cold that hit our state. We started the week in the 60's on Monday and then dropped to the single digits and below zero the rest of the week. Thank goodness our classroom elf, Manning, has warmed our classroom spirit up! You can read about Manning's arrival and my Elf on the Shelf unit here. After reading about his special mission it was time for my kiddos to find him each morning to draw and write about him in their journals.
 Monday: Manning arrives in style!
 Tuesday: Forget elf, mountain climber perhaps?
 Wednesday: Least someone got to sleep in on this c.....o.....l....d morning. 
 Thursday: Oh no! Where is our class pet Happy Feet?
 Manning has decided to become mischievous and piggyback ride our class pet! 
 Friday: Payback perhaps for yesterdays mischief? 

Here is a peek at part of Manning's plan for Monday. More to come later in the week!
   Last weekend I posted some pictures of my home for the holidays and this weekend I wanted to post some pictures of my home away from home...the classroom.
 Here is our writing center. I have a bunch of gingerbread materials out to support our Compare & Contrast unit we completed last week. (You can read about that here.) There are stickers, stamps, finger puppets, fancy paper, stencils, stuffed writing buddies, and picture prompt cards from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer movie. 
 Here is a look at our much loved Christmas Writing Tree. I have a bunch of arctic animals placed on the tree that the kiddos can take off and write about. This is a picture from later in the week when their "clean-up decorating" is not so pretty. 
 I changed the circle colors above my student work tree trunks out in the hall to whites, blues, and grays to represent snow. These are now covered with our gingerbread proper noun flip books. 
 This is our classroom door. The kiddos love the bells on our door ringing every time they go in and out. 
 One my my teammates door. I made asked if they could put bells on their doors too!
My other teammates door. She has bells on her door knob too! Hehe!
   Our kiddos have been having so much fun the past week with our Christmas Around the World unit. (You can read about it here.) I just love the setup we have this year being able to travel to all of the countries. This week I have the pleasure to take my kiddos to Russia and England. For Russia we will be making folding nesting dolls and for England we will be making these Christmas Poppers.
   My kiddos have been collecting toilet paper rolls for this activity for weeks not knowing what we will be using them for. We will decorate the outside of tissue paper with markers, fill the inside of the rolls with candy and little toys (those are already in my classroom),then rolling up our decorated paper and twisting the ends. Once our travels are over the kiddos get to pull both ends of the paper to make the tube "pop" and release all of their goodies.
   We are finally taking a break from addition with regrouping in math to measurement. Here is a look at the anchor chart we will use on our math focus wall to help use identify various measuring tools.
   On Tuesday we will be making our own "rulers" and measuring various sized candy bars and gummy worms. (Thank god I am not a very big candy lover because I have a lot of candy in my bag right now!) We will then be discussing and completing activities with inches, centimeters, and feet. We will finish the week by making a life sized gingerbread house with specific measurements within a group.
   I just checked the temperature for tomorrow and it is going to get up to 21 degrees! YIPPEE! A heat wave is right around the corner folks! Have a great upcoming week.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Classroom Elf, Manning, Has Arrived!

   Last night I was really nervous about the first day back from Thanksgiving break. How were my rambunctious kiddos going to act.....let alone my normal kiddos. I was VERY surprised that my kiddos were on their best behavior. It could be perhaps that our classroom elf made his arrival today.
    I thought it would take my kiddos forever to notice our package from the North Pole sitting on my reading chair especially with all of the Christmas decorations around our room. But, those kiddos are observant when I don't want them to be!!! They all noticed the box as they were walking into the room as though there was a blinking arrow above it. We used our inferring skills to make a prediction of what was in the inside of the box. My kiddos were so excited to see our elf, read the letter from Santa and The Elf on the Shelf book, and get their own writing journal. My favorite part was my kiddos coming up with a name for our classroom elf. I picked five kiddos at random and they gave me a name and spelling. Here were our five choices......
   I love the spelling of Elpherd. We are working on "ph" as another choice to the /f/ spelling and this kiddo really wanted the /ph/ spelling. I also thought it was too cute that we had four really creative names and then a Thomas. That made me chuckle. Anyways it was a close race and Manning scored with my kiddos. Can you tell my kiddos are a little Denver Broncos crazy?!?!? After learning that we cannot touch Manning (so that he doesn't lose his magical powers to fly to the North Pole each night to report to Santa) you would have thought that Santa Claus was sitting at my desk all day. My kiddos were little angels....even my rowdy boys. Is there a way Manning can stay in our classroom until the end of the year? Well Manning is already up to some tricks. I wonder how long it will take my kiddos to find him tomorrow morning?
    You still have time to snag my Elf on the Shelf: A Classroom Unit for 28% off in my TPT store through tomorrow. Have a magical night!