Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Love is the BALM!

Wahooo! Today I got my first Mac!  In the past, I have always used Windows computers, but about two weeks ago my husband and I started researching Apple computers (rewind... I should say, my husband started researching). He found a lot of positive reviews online explaining how versatile an Apple Macbook can be.  So we did some more homework, tried a Macbook Pro at Best Buy, and ordered one early last week.  It will defiantly taking some getting used to, but so far I am loving all of the features and boy is it fast! I think there is going to be a bit of a learning curve but who doesn't love to learn something new? :)

Can you believe January is almost over?  

I started getting ready for Valentine's Day today, it is going to be here before you know it!  

I purchased EOS lip balm from Walmart.  I always find them in the checkout line in a little box individually wrapped.  I made this FREE printable you can download from my store to show your friends just how special they are this Valentines Day. I have included four different sayings.  Each one says, you fill my heart with happiness, joy, delight, or love.   

I have also included two different shades of pink in the printable, so you can buy the light pink or purplish EOS balm.

To put them together you have two options.

Option 1:
Cut the printed page down the straight gray dotted lines to divide the sheet into 4 cards.

If you feel comfortable taking the seal off before giving it as a gift, then cut just inside the dotted circle line.  Untwist the balm and put the bottom of it through the hole you cut.  Twist the lid on top and the paper will stay between the balm.  

Option 2:
Cut the printed page down the straight gray dotted lines to divide the sheet into 4 cards.

It you don't feel comfortable taking the seal off before giving it as a gift, leave the seal on and cut exactly on the dotted circle line.  Then slide the balm ball half way through and secure with tape on the back.

I have done it both ways.  It defiantly looks better if you remove the seal, but at the same time I understand some people might not want to receive "opened" lip balm.  So do what you feel comfortable with! :)

I hope you enjoy them!  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kickin' Off The Kindness Challenge with Snowbuddies!

Next week we are starting the Kindness Challenge that runs January 26th through the 30th! If you are interested in joining us in the challenge visit The Great Kindness Challenge page! If your school is already signed up I would love to hear what kinds of things you are doing in your classroom next week, so comment below!   

via Pinterest
Today we spent some time getting to know our classmates a bit better.  Around this time of year I always like to mix it up and challenge them to make a new friend in the class. 

So today I paired them up with a student that I don't see them spend much time with and encouraged them to talk about their interests.   It is so neat circling the classroom hearing conversations about their favorite movies, colors, hobbies and so much more.  I know we do all this in the beginning of the school year but doing it mid-year makes a big difference too. We used these snowman Venn Diagrams that you can find for FREE in my store
 Snowbuddy Venn Diagram
 Snowbuddy Venn Diagram
The best part of my day was hearing them come up to me and say "We ran out of room in the middle of our Venn Diagram! I never knew we had so much in common!"  It was also exciting to see them come up with differences that make them each special and unique in their own way.  
Via Pinterest
If you visit my store and download the Snowman Venn Diagram I also have other pages in the freebie so you can do text-to-text comparisons with snowman read alouds.  I have included the book titles in the freebie PDF file.  


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Today I am just dreaming of summer! On a cold day like this it's hard not to remember those warm summer days spent in the sun.  For today we are stuck inside with more cold temperatures.  
Our beach trip to Charleston, SC
Summer 2014
Oh summer soon you'll be back! Until then it's time to get my kiddos summarizing so we can pass those DRA's come May! 

Summarizing can be a tough one at first.  We spend all of 1st grade telling our kids to verbally retell every detail they can remember and then SNAP! Welcome to 2nd grade...no more retelling all those facts.  It's time for you to decide whats important from the story and write it down in an organized summary! 

My first year teaching I had no idea where to begin! But then those best practices rang in my ear...model, model, model and just when you think your kids understand model some more! So modeling is what I do!  I start by reading the class a story during our mini lesson on a Monday and then we spend the week pulling out key vocabulary, learning the structure of a summary and examining different summaries all written about the same book.  We read good examples of summaries and not so good examples of summaries. Then we get our teaching glasses on and grade them with rubrics.  The kids think it's great they finally get to grade my work instead of me always grading theirs!   Take a peak at one of my summaries and the rubric...
 TpT Store
I have found providing my students with examples of the good and bad summaries they start to see the difference and understand what I am expecting of them when I ask them to finally go write their first summary.  After I feel like my students have analyzed a summary enough we start writing summaries in guided reading groups with books that are just right for them.  

To get my first week of summary mini lesson plans and printable summaries with rubrics and answer keys visit my TeacherPayTeachers store!  There is also a freebie there for you to grab of a blank summary form and retelling organizer! Hope you enjoy and HAPPY (SUMMER)izing!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Who Do We Appreciate? Go GoNoddle, Go, Go GoNoodle!

Elizabeth of Kickin' It In Kindergarten has started a linky all about GoNoodle and I couldn't agree with her more! GoNoodle has been a life saver for all those days when we couldn't have outdoor recess because of freezing temperatures, rain, or snow!  It also saves us right after our class comes back from lunch and they are all wound up from 30 minutes of unstructured time.  

I have built GoNoodle into our schedule now so that students have a chance to get some energy out and refocus their bodies and brains before beginning math each day!  My students love do do Zumba, Run with Us, and KooKooKangaRoo! 

This week we have been playing Pop See Ko on repeat because it is defiantly catchy and my students love seeing the silly characters pop out! 

The best is seeing my students cheer for the different "Champs" they can pick from.  Right now we are cheering on Squeaky Laroo and watching him grow. 

Thanks Elizabeth for this awesome linky!! Please head over to her blog to link up for your chance to win some GoNoodle SWAG!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy Brrs-day!

But really...Happy Thursday! This week sure has been an interesting one!

Tuesday we got a bit of snow and school didn't close.  My husband had to drive me to work and it took over an hour compared to my normal 20 minute commute.  But long story short I made it to school safe and sound and #closefcps trended world wide that day.  

Wednesday I finally shared with my students that we are expecting our first baby after a student asked me why my stomach was getting bigger and bigger by the day.  They were excited and full of questions but it is defiantly nice to not be keeping the secret anymore.  I'll post more about the big reveal later.

Now it's Thursday and school was closed because of the frigid temperatures.  When I woke up my weather app said it felt like -3 degrees out so I wasn't going to complain that I got to stay inside all day!  

Today was productive as I worked from the comfort of my couch. I worked on 4 week writing unit that integrates non-fiction text features, our weather unit, technology research, editing, and much more! It is a unit I have worked over and over through out my time teaching and I feel like it is finally perfected.  It will be coming to TpT soon! 

But in the mean time I wanted to give you this little FREEBIE...

When teaching balanced equations I have always found it helpful for my students to use the balance scale visual.  I usually use this in a technology math center either with IPads or laptops.  Included is a QR code that will take you directly to the balance scale my students use when completing their work.  If you are using a laptop there is also a link that you can add to your laptops favorites tab.  I hope you and your students enjoy!

Keep warm and enjoy your Brrs-day!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Here's Two a Knew Year & Homophone Activities

Opps! I spelled a few things wrong! Oh those silly homophones! Do you remember learning about homophones when you were in elementary school? Confused that a bear really isn't bare... or your aunt isn't really an ant...

This week I have posted a week long unit all about homophones.  It includes five days of word study activities.  Also, there are five days of reading and writing activities.  Visit my Tpt Store to get your copy!

 TpT Homophone Pack

 Tpt Homophone Pack

I have it set up so that each day students complete one word study activity using a list of 24 homophones.  

Then they also complete a second activity that is either done independently, whole class, or small group.  There are two book titles included to help you introduce the concept of homophones.  

28 color picture cards and 28 sentence task cards are part of this set too.  Along with these cards I have included 4 different activities that can be done in your class to best fit your students needs.  For an active class use the task cards for Quiz-Quiz-Trade or Scoot.  For students that love to interact with one another use the task cards for Fan-N-Pick, Kaboom or Showdown!  All directions for these activities are included.   

What I love about this pack is that you can use these task cards year after year but change up the activity based on your class.  For my class this year, Scoot and Quiz-Quiz-Trade are favorites.  But, in past years Fan-N-Pick and Showdown were definitely hits. 

A story hunt is also included in this pack and is differentiated to meet the needs of different learners in your class.  There is one story but I have adapted it in two different ways.  The first way students can read, choose and circle the correct homophone in a sentence.  The second way students have to hunt for the homophone and decide if it is spelled correctly.  If not, he/she will need to rewrite the word with the correct spelling.  It is definitely more challenging. 

I am going to give away a this unit for free to one follower on Instagram so head on over and follow me HERE!