Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Back!!

Can't believe that it has been almost a year since I blogged last!! Seriously where has this year gone?!? I am happy to say that I have FINISHED grad school and graduate next Saturday!! This year has been a whirlwind with not only grad school but a new reading series and Common Core. I don't think I have felt so overwhelmed in my life! I am blessed to have such wonderful co-workers who support one another through the good, the bad and the ugly! Now that I have overcome one obstacle (grad school) I feel like I can breathe a little and get back to what I love to do!

First on the agenda.... Christmas shopping!!
Ok... I might have shopped more for myself thanks to great online deals!

I also had to spread the holiday spirit in the classroom! Meet our elf on the shelf "Snowflake." He has been getting into all sorts of mischief. 

While I insisted on doing more Christmas shopping this weekend, I decided to pick up gifts for my classroom parent volunteers. Each year I like to go to Bath and Body Works  to snag some of their wonderful Winter scents! Who doesn't love a 6 for $20 deal on hand soap and 5 $5 travel sanitizer bottles?! The best part is, I had a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase! JACKPOT! I then proceeded to head to Hobby Lobby where I purchased ribbon and plastic cello bags. I saw a neat idea on Pinterest and decided to make my own gift tags! How clever is this?
You can  get your own holiday soap gift tags here

16 more days until Christmas! Lots to do!! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Freebie Friday

Friday, Friday, Friday!!! You know what that means, freebies! I am trying to finish up my Valentine's day unit and once it is done I will put a sneak peek up here! Once Monday rolls around it is back to reality, work, grad school and little sleep. So trying to get as much done now before I will be swamped.

 In my last post I showed you my unit for "The Mitten," this is such a popular storybook for this time of year. I loved doing it in Kindergarten but had to change things for my second graders. I added a "Noun sort" worksheet in my Literacy Pack which includes nouns from the story. Students will sort the nouns by person/animal, places or things. They will then cut and paste into the correct columns.This is a great way to get them warmed up and review Nouns once they get back from the Holiday break!  At my TpT store I put the worksheet up as a freebie and you can also download it here to from my google docs.

CLICK HERE to download!

I have had some very sweet comments from some fellow bloggers and since everyone is getting back into the swing of things I decided to give an additional freebie but only for followers on here, this will not be a freebie on my TpT store. 

CLICK HERE for your free download. 

At my TpT store you can find this worksheet and much more included in "The Mitten Kindergarten Math Unit" (which is aligned to Common core) or under "The Mitten" Pattern Worksheets where you will find 2 more pattern worksheets in color. This is great for seat work, centers and assessments. The patterns focus on color, shape, direction and size. 

I have to say I am excited to get back to the classroom and back to the kiddies but I am nervous that they may have forgotten some things since we were last in school. Don't you love that first day back when they are half asleep and you can be dancing around like a money and they still won't wake up? If you went back to work this week,  feel free to share how your students did getting back to the classroom!! :)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheers to a new Year!!

Christmas is over... New Years is over... It's 2013.... NOW WHAT?!? My resolution this year is to focus on myself! I accomplished last years resolution to get into "kick butt" shape. This year, I want to focus on relaxation, success and happiness. :) I am going to try to limit my stress load (if that's possible). I feel like wrinkles are starting to show up a lot earlier than they should!!!

After fighting the crowds for last minute Christmas gifts, and spending time with my family during the holidays, I decided to squeeze some time in to work on some projects. During the month of January I love to focus on winter activities, one of my favorite units is "The Mitten", it is going to be a lot different this year in second grade than it is in Kindergarten. I pulled out my Kindergarten folders and found some math centers that I have made in the past. Since I can't use them now, I figured other people might be able to!

This is a 63 page Kindergarten math unit!! It is aligned to the Kindergarten Common Core Standards. Take a peek of it at my TpTstore 

There are 8 pages in both color and black and white where students will match the numbers 1-20 to the number word.

There are 20 pages full of green and pink mittens to laminate and use for math centers. These cards focus on number sense and the numbers 1-20. Students will count the number of mittens on each card. 

There are 20 pages full of green and pink mittens with numbers 1-20 and the number words. Laminate, cut and use for math centers. Students can match the numerals to the number words. 

Complete the pattern worksheets! There are 2 colored copies and one black and white copy in which students can complete each pattern. 

And for second grade I created a 12 page literacy pack to go with "The Mitten". This unit contains worksheets for problem/solution, noun sort, compare and contrast, sequencing and a story map.
Click here to go to my TpT store and check it out!!

Since it is almost 10pm, I should probably get a head start on my New Year's resolution and kick into full relaxation mode! Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years!! :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa's elf!

To add to the last blog, teachers also have to be Santa too!! It's been a long evening of wrapping presents and getting their polar express bells done!! With Polar Express day tomorrow and our holiday party on Thursday, I hope I can make it through everything! ahhhh!!

I wanted to share a cute winter writing assignment we did in our classroom. Our curriculum asked us to create a expository writing piece explaining a winter family tradition. Sounds easy huh? Until you get all the hands raised with a question, "What is a tradition?"

 I decided to take this idea and add some sparkle to it! It came out just adorable!

Here  is the final project! In my "Winter Family Tradition Unit" I provide winter paper to write on. However,  I decided to be brave and have the children type their work print on holiday paper. 

I introduced the writing assignment by reading "When the Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant. We brainstormed a few ideas and discussed the importance and value of a family tradition. 

First the children needed to fill out the graphic organizer to help brainstorm ideas. There are several graphic organizers to choose from in this unit. Above and below are two different examples.

Students used their graphic organizers to begin their rough draft paper. After conferencing with each child they were able to write their final draft. As I said previously, the unit does contain black and white, writing paper or colored writing paper. 

The best thing about this unit? I included a writing rubric! These always come in handy when the children need to know what is expected of them. 

Click here to get the Winter Family Tadition unit at my TPT store :) 

Hope you all enjoy!!! And PLEASE leave me some feedback so I can see how this unit worked for you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Every Teacher is a Hero

With the saddening news of Friday's tragic events, there seems to be a little glimmer of hope. The hope that America finally sees the true role of a teacher. We do not have the glamorous job that many think we do including having summers off or leaving at 3:15pm. A "great" teacher, treats each child as if they were their own, we are not only their teacher but mother, friend, doctor, psychologist, and the list goes on and on. I have been overwhelmed with the wonderful and thoughtful emails I have been receiving from my parents today. I never knew how I affected these children and beyond thrilled to see I have made a difference. I received a poem from one of my student's mother's. I thought it would be nice to share. 

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

What a beautiful poem!! Please keep all the families who were affected in your prayers. Thank someone, do a good deed today, and don't forget to say "I love you!" <3

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's December Already?!

It's the most WONDERFUL time of the YEAR!!!! Grad classes are done (well until the spring semester) and my classroom  is in full swing for the holidays!! Nothing makes me happier :) We have our Elf on the Shelf "Snowball" keeping an eye on all the good little boys and girls in my class. Now that the smoke has settled, I looked at my calendar and realized just how close we are to the winter break and how much we have to do! Talk about a stressed out teacher. It's times like these, when I wish I had elves to help me!

My all time favorite book is Polar Express. We devote an entire week to doing fun activities and lessons before we get to wear our pajamas and make hot cocoa while we watch the movie. I was left in charge to create a fun literacy Polar Express unit for our Second Grade team. Since we have review weeks for reading comprehension skills, I decided to incorporate as many as possible. This unit contains Cause & effect activities,  sequencing, identifying character traits, compare and contrast, and writing prompts. Here are just a few images of the 12 page POLAR EXPRESS UNIT. The unit it in both B&W and color. 

Check out My TPT store :) to get this item! :)