Friday, March 30, 2012

Three Bears' Breakfast & Fairy Tale Fun!

Yesterday was our annual "Three Bears' Breakfast" and we had so much fun!

After my hilarious pre-April Fool's Day joke yesterday, my students joined another 2nd grade class in the cafeteria for the breakfast.  We had an amazing spread of fresh fruit, OJ, toast, and (of course!) oatmeal.  We made sure it wasn't too hot or too cold, but juuuust right!

After the breakfast, we headed back to my room and I read them the story Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal which is a super cool Cinderella story that tells the story of Cinderella by weaving together Cinderella stories from around the world.  It's a must have for any fairy tale study!

Then we broke into groups of three and went on a fairy tale scavenger hunt around the school.  Each group got a card with 5 items on it and the items represented a fairy tale.  After gathering their items, they had to present them to their teacher and tell which fairy tale they stood for.  It was SO fun!  One of my groups got a teacher's shoe for one of their items (for Cinderella) and couldn't wait to come and show me their REAL shoe!  Another group, for Hansel and Gretel, got a real boy from a classroom!  :)

These girlies have a clock, rag, pumpkin, and a shoe... which fairy tale do they have?

It was super fun!

After that, each of us showed a different fairy tale movie and the kids got to pick which one they wanted to see.

We had a great day!

You can grab the scavenger hunt clues here!  And I have a few more free files on my classroom website, including the unit outline for the genre study!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pre-April Fool's Day Fun!

I've been laughing about this ever since last night...

Today was our last day before spring break, which I am now officially enjoying, and I decided to do a pre-April Fool's Day joke on my students.

I've done this in the past, but I didn't do it this last year because April 1st was on a weekend.  Well, I decided that it just had to be done this year, even though April 1st is on Sunday!

Anyway... it was a short week at school and we had our Three Bears' Breakfast today (more details tomorrow!), so I knew we'd be having too much fun to be bothered to do spelling this week.

So, my students came in and I asked them to get out their pencils and mini-offices so we could take our spelling test.  Well, my room immediately burst into shouts of "WHAT?!  You didn't give us any spelling words!" and "No way!  You said there was no spelling this week!" and "I'm going to fail!  You didn't teach us any spelling this week!".  Well, I usually run three spelling lists in my room, so I told the kids we were doing a spelling review and were all taking the same test... which relieved some of them!

I passed out my official spelling test sheet and commenced with my evil plan.

Number 1- there  "There is going to be a lot of sun today"
Number 2- is  "Today is Thursday"
Number 3- really "I am really happy to be here today"
Number 4- no "The answer to your question is no"
Number 5- spelling "Spelling words correctly is important"
Number 6- test "This is a test"
Number 7- today "Today we are going to have a lot of fun"
8- happy  "I am so happy today is our Three Bears' Breakfast"
9- early  "I went to bed early last night"
10- April  "April 1st is Sunday"
11- Fool's  "Fools are people who do silly things"
12- Day  "We attend school in the day time"
13- ha  "The clown told a joke.  I said ha"
14- ha  (But, Mrs. Bainbridge, you just said ha!)  "The joke was so hilarious I said ha, ha"
15- ha  (Ummm... again, Mrs. Bainbridge?)  "The joke was too funny!  I said ha, ha, ha"

Then I asked them to read the words... and a chorus of "Mrs. Bainbridge!  You tricked us!" and tons of laughter followed... most of it was from me!  I laaaauuughed and laaaauuuughed!  Oh it was too funny!

If you have school yet tomorrow, I'd highly recommend you try it!  The kids loved it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fractions are "SCOOP"er Freebie!

We did another fun fraction activity today.  One of my colleagues found this on Pinterest and we both did it today!  I'm not sure where she got the ice cream scoops from, but I'm sharing with you the writing paper and the hallway sign I made for us to complete the activity!

Here is the sign and writing paper:

I'd love a happy note if you like it!  :)  I'm sure you can search Pinterest for your own scoops and bowl pattern!  There is also a *much* cuter version of this sign in my "Fractions are SCOOPer" center set on TpT- and four great games for helping your kiddos master fractions!

Tomorrow is our annual "Three Bears' Breakfast", fairy tale scavenger hunt, and movie party!  I'm super excited!  I'll fill you all in with pictures later!

Have a great night... one more day until spring break for me!

Monday, March 26, 2012

One of those days...

Today was just one of those days.  My kiddos are squirrely and ready for spring break and a few are so upset about not being at school for a week that their behavior is not fun.

Whenever I have "one of those days" where I can just feel myself starting to freak out, I always read this quote that I have hanging on my board.  It's so powerful and true.  When I came across this as a first year teacher, it brought tears to my eyes.  I thought you might like to read it too!

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
― Haim G. Ginott

The thing that strikes me the most is that it is my daily mood that makes the weather...  How true is that?!  I have a sweetheart this year who has, at times, given me a run for my money (and sanity!) but when that kiddo has an off day, it is because I have set a bad tone or because I don't feel like I have the energy it takes to give that student the attention they need.

We have a tremendous responsibility and this quote just sums it up for me!  I hope it can be inspiring for you as well!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Poem Predictions Freebie & K-2 Reading Interventions

Happy Sunday!

As promised, here's a great poetry prediction activity you can use in your classroom!  If you grab it, let me know!  :)

I used this on Friday with my K-2 intervention group.  We have 8 intervention groups that run for 30-minutes every morning.  They are combined K-2 so we can pool our teacher resources.  We have a group doing Road to the Code, K PALS, 1st Grade PALS, sight words, word attach strategies, low fluency, high fluency, and I teach a CAFE inspired comprehension group for high readers.  I have three K and about 30 1st and 2nd graders in my group.  We work on deeper comprehension strategies and it has been so fun.  We used to do our groups by just splitting the kids up according to their DIBELS results, so this is our attempt at a truly RTI structured intervention program.  We've been doing it for about 2 months now and really liking it.

So, my group started by just talking about books.  We played a LOT of "Fiction Go Fish" and I loooooved walking around and hearing kiddos talk about what we had read together.

Then we mastered the "somebody-wanted-but-so" summary and now we're working on making and supporting predictions.

Anyway... on with the freebie.  It is 6 "what am I" poems and a recording sheet for students to write their guesses and support them with proof from each poem.  I did it as a "Scoot" type activity where I put the kids into 6 groups, each group went to a poem, read the poem, wrote their guess/proof, and then "scooted" to the next poem on my signal.  It was fun and interesting for me to see the difference in the thinking between the three grade levels!  My K kiddos didn't quite get the "proof" thing, but the 1st and 2nd graders did well on that!  Not having taught K before, being with the three littles that are in my intervention group has been fun!

Ok!  No more rambling- here is the file:

Aaaaaannndddd... I'm having sales at my TpT and TN shops too!  I can't believe that I have 1600 followers (especially because I just celebrated 1500!)... and that many people care about what I think and what goes on in my classroom!  I'm slowly but surely building up my TpT shop... TN has much more stuff on it right now.  If I were more organized I'd have contacted some of my bloggy friends to help me to a huge giveaway... hopefully I can stay on top of that for 2000!  :)
TpT     Teacher's Notebook
Alright- enjoy the freebie!  I'd love a happy note if you enjoy it!  How do you do interventions in your school?  As this is our first go at cross grade level interventions, I'm sure we'll be tweaking it for next year.  I'd love to know what you think!  How do you make sure you're moving kids and keeping your groups fluid?

Thanks!  Have a great Sunday!  Only for more days until SPRING BREAK for me!!!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I think I just saw a tumbleweed blow through here!

Everyone must be SO busy right now!  I know I have hardly updated my blog in the last week or so and my blog roll has only changed in the slightest of ways since Wednesday!

Where is everyone?!  I'm sending Michigan bloggy love to you all and hoping all is well!

I'm off for my monthly scrapbooking today with the rest of the SWANS (Scrapbooking Women At New Stores).  Yes.  We have a name.  And a logo!  And t-shirts!  HA!

I can't believe that I'm almost at 1600 followers already after just hitting 1500- thanks for caring about what I have to say and reading my posts that, at times, are extremely long and rambling!  :)

To celebrate, I'll be sharing a great predicting freebie tomorrow that I used with my K-2 reading intervention group this week- as well as explaining a bit how we do K-2 interventions at my school.

And, last but not least, "Jersey Boys" was great!  Hubby and I had a looooong discussion on the drive home about our favorite shows we've seen and, though it didn't make it into either of our top five, the person who played Frankie Valli was INCREDIBLE and hit those crazy high notes like nobody's business!  It was a really fun show!

Ok- off to scrapbook!  I'm working on finishing my pics from our trip to NYC last summer and making file folder scrapbooks for my students.  I only just started them, so I'm waaaay behind this year!  Yikes!

Blog at ya tomorrow... and let me know that you're still kicking out there!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fraction Fun Friday & Magic Tree House Goodness!

Today we had "Fraction Fun Friday" for math!

We made fraction kites... you can download the file for free on my class website!


We also counted, fractioned, and pictographed colored marshmallows!  You can snag that freebie at my TpT shop or Teacher's Notebook!

Now... for the Magic Tree House goodness!  I applied for a grant to receive free Magic Tree House books and fact trackers in my classroom and found out earlier this week that it was approved!  I got $160.00 to spend on Jack and Annie books!  I'm going to order sets so I can use them for my reading groups!  If you haven't seen the grant, you can get more info here.

Hubby and I are going to see "Jersey Boys" tonight!  I'm psyched!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sneezing! Hot! And Whining About It!

That's right.

I can't stop sneezing.

It's March.  In Michigan.  So, why is it 80 some degrees outside?

I'm just whining today.

But seriously... is it Friday yet?

PS- 3Bs and a C was a great success!  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3Bs and a C

That would be basketball, books, BINGO, and cookies!  Tonight at my school, we're holding our 3rd annual 3Bs and a C that my teacher friend T and I organize together.  One of the groups in our town generously gave us $200.00 which we promptly went and spent this weekend on fabulous prizes for BINGO (who doesn't love spending someone else's money?!  AND Wal-Mart has a new $0.97 spot- take that Target- and it had some really great stuff in it!) and our teachers at school were so kind as to donate milk and bake the cookies for us!

Last year we had about 250 people so I'm super pumped about seeing everyone tonight and hoping for a bigger crowd!

Check out our prize tables:

This year we split up the prizes and have some covered up so we can reveal more every 30-minutes... that way everyone has a shot at a good prize.  You get a sneak peek under the paper on the 6:00 and 6:30 tables!  Lucky you!

And these books my library was getting rid of so we swiped them and everyone who comes can have one for free!  We are also having a book fair as part of one of the Bs... so I guess, technically, someone could argue the whole "free" thing we've got going on here.

After 3Bs and a C, I have to drop my car off at the mechanic... squealing + hot smell + co-worker touching the wheel and screaming over his burnt hand = UGH.  I've had an SUV for a few years now and am SO bummed about having to drive the car tomorrow.  :(  BUT... after dropping the car off, hubby and I are going to Barnes and Noble so I can buy screen protectors for my Nooks which ALREADY ARRIVED!  We got them yesterday and I spent all night playing with them and getting them set up for my kiddos.

Newsflash- you can have up to 6 (I think it's 6) Nooks on the same account, so I hooked my student ones up to my account... but when I realized they'd be able to access my "US Weekly" and read about Snooki being preggers... well, I had to set up a classroom account for my classroom Nooks!  :)  So, once the protectors go on tonight, they can start using them tomorrow!

I'm so pumped about having them!

Anyway... 3Bs and a C is a super fun night and a great way for us to reach out to our school in a totally non-threatening way.  Does your school do any free family nights?  I'd love some more ideas!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Linky Party!

I love linky parties!  What a great way to find new blogs and make new bloggy friends!!!!

Kindergarten Lifestyle is hosting a K-2 blog linky party... so go and add yours to the list if you haven't yet!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Are You Gearing Up for Conferences?

Well, I'm not!  We only have fall conferences at my school, but after an e-mail from Crystal (who IS getting ready for conferences) earlier this week, I thought you might be getting ready too.

I've shared a freebie over at my TpT store for conferences.  I use this in the fall with my students.  We fill them out together as a whole group, going over lots and lots and LOTS of examples and potential goals.  Students select their own and think of things they need to do to reach their goals and ways their families can help them too.  I have them set goals for math, reading, and writing. 

At my conferences, I ask that my students come and they go over this with their parents.

I have been doing this for about three years and really like the dialogue that it opens up and the fact that it forces students to think about how they are accountable for their own learning, which is a big part of my beliefs about teaching and learning.

Anyway, you can click the picture to head over and get your free copy.  I'd love to hear how it goes if you decide to use it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Water Cycle Crowns and Donor's Choose Good News!

On Thursday we made these water cycle crowns.  This was one of those "quick-I-found-this-and-we-have-to-do-it" kind of activities.  I found something similar to this in one of my Mailbox Magazine science books but just changed it a smidge.

We used sentence strips to make the crown, wrote "sun's heat, evaporation, condensation, precipitation" around it and used and foam weather stickers that I had left over from last year on each section.

They turned out super cute and we had fun explaining the water cycle with our bracelets and our crowns!

And now for my Donor's Choose good news... I have been completely overwhelmed and amazed at the support my classroom families showed this week when I sent home a letter explaining how Donor's Choose was matching funds this week.  I sent the note home on Monday and, by the time I got home from school on Monday, one of my two projects had already been funded.  The first is for some math computer games from Lakeshore Learning.

Tonight my other project for 2 Nook 8GB Tablets and 2 cases was fully funded as well!  Grandparents, parents, my in-laws, and even one of my students chipped in to help bring the Nooks to my classroom!  I was reminded this week what a wonderful community I teach in and how lucky I am to have such great classroom families!

I can't WAIT to receive the Nooks!  I have grand plans for them and I know my kiddos will be so psyched too!  I wasn't there today, so I will have to wait until Monday to spread the good news to them.

Here's a Test!

Just trying to post from my phone...  A real post is coming later today, complete with pictures of our water cycle crowns from yesterday!

Ok...  Hitting publish!  Let's see if I can now blog from my phone!

IT WORKED!  Super cool!

Here's how I did it using the new interface- in your dashboard, go to "OVERVIEW", and look at the right-hand side of the screen.  There should be something that says "Get Blogger for Mobile".  When you click on it, it will ask you to put in your phone number.  Then Blogger will send you a text with a link.  Open your text, click the link, and (depending on what type of phone you have) it will take you to your Marketplace to download an app... and there you go!  Posts on the go! I also just did a search for "Blogger" in the Android Marketplace and the app you need was the first one. Perhaps you can bypass the steps above and set up phone posting by just getting the app directly from the marketplace?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Water Travels in a Cycle, Yes it Does!

We've kicked off our water cycle study with some super fun activities...

We learned a water cycle song sung to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" and complete with movements too...

We're observing the water cycle in action in our "water cycle in a bag"s that are hung on our classroom window:

And today we made water cycle bracelets, which are always a hit!

I have a freebie on my classroom website for the water cycle bracelets, if you're interested- it's in the "S" section for SCIENCE!  I do them a bit differently now- instead of putting all of each color together, we alternate yellow (sun), green (groundwater on earth), clear (water vapor), white (condensation/clouds), blue (precipitation) and repeat two more times.  We made them last year but as soon as I told my kiddos we were starting a water and weather unit, the first thing they wanted to know was if we were making the bracelets again.  I said no and they were super bummed!  So, we did them again!  This time I used pipe cleaners, though, instead of plastic string and it worked SO much better!

At the end of the day we also made water cycle crowns, but the pictures of that are on my real camera so I can't share those until I download them at home (the ones above I used my phone for and e-mailed to myself for quick blog access!).

Tomorrow we're doing the water cycle flippy book and next week we'll be able to start connecting the water cycle to weather... which is SUCH a fun unit!

If you haven't checked out the amazing contest my Michigan neighbor Holly at Crisscross Applesauce is doing to celebrate her new blog design, you must check it out!  Her new blog looks AWESOME!

That's all for today- tonight is Kindergarten Round-up and I'll be helping at that and then hitting the hay early.  I'm sick... AGAIN.  So, hopefully an early night to bed will help speed this thing along!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Somebody, Wanted, But, So Summary Freebie!

I love using "somebody, wanted, but so" to help my students organize fiction summaries!  Today I have been working on some things for our fairy tale genre study and we'll be doing this next week:
If you download it, let me know what you think!  :)

This is a perfect follow-up activity to the Little Critter freebie I posted a while back- summary cards.  Here's the link in case you missed it!

I am also so excited because I am now going to be contributing to The Best Endings... a blog all about BOOKS!  I'm finishing the 2nd in a trilogy right now (the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray), so I'm sure I'll be posted about that over there soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hooray for Donor's Choose & TpT News!

Well, their donation doubling has officially begun!

I sent a note home with my kiddos to put a bug in parents' ears and one of my two projects is already funded only 3 hours after dismissal!  So, now we're getting some new computer games from Lakeshore for our student computers and for us to use together with the LCD/Mimio Pad combo (which is AMAZING!).

I am SO hoping my Nooks project gets funded this week too!  If anyone has gift cards laying around and are looking for a project to put them on... I'm your girl!  :)  If you are donating to anyone this week, be sure to do it via their "Giving Page" and enter the code BLOOM when you check out.

I have also just finished adding a bunch of files to my new Teachers Pay Teacher's shop... and *as soon as I can learn how!* I'll be having a "Grand Opening" sale!  Figured it out!  20% off until Friday!  I have about 50 items up...
1st, 2nd - English Language Arts, Reading Strategies, Math -

We just started our weather/water cycle unit today so I'll be posting some pics later!  Tomorrow Steven Courtney is coming to give a concert at my school at 1:00pm.  If you don't know who he is... you must find out!  He's a super fun, energetic kids' musician who just plain ol' ROCKS!

We're currently under a tornado watch, so I'm a bit creeped out!  Time for me to camp out in front of the TV to make sure I can be kept abreast of new and sinister weather... happy Monday!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Sunday & Something New

What a week!

NWEA testing on top of a full moon on top of it just being March and not having any breaks at school... well it's been a week!

I don't have anything wonderful or insightful to say today... just saying that I'm still here!

I've been reading like crazy on my Nook and have just put up a Donor's Choose for 2 Nook Tablets.  They will be starting their 50% fund match this week... so if you have any Donor's Choose gift cards or credits laying around that you'd like to share... I'd be so thrilled if you picked me!  :)  The fund matching begins tomorrow and they will be e-mailing out a code you must use in order for the funds to be matched and you have to donate on each teacher's Giving Page.  I'm going to send a note home to my kiddos and post the code here tomorrow in the hopes that we can get some Nooks for the classroom!  Here's my Giving Page if you'd like to check it out!

That's it for now.  Sorry it's lame... I haven't posted or stalked since Thursday and just wanted to say that I am here!  Just not feeling very motivated at this time.

BUT... I have also opened a shop on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have had some people e-mail me to say they primarily shop there and would I please consider selling there too... so, I've been working *slowly but surely* to put some things up!  Once I have a few more things up, I'll do a sale or something for a "grand opening"... for now, it's sparse but I'd love for you to come by and follow me!  :)

1st, 2nd - English Language Arts, Reading Strategies, Math -

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Day (aka- Thank Goodness Tomorrow is FRIDAY!)

I can't tell you how many times today I said, "Sorry *insert sweetie's name here*, we don't reward ridiculous behavior with attention".  It was a lot.  By the end of the day, said sweetie was giving themself reminders about that- "Stop.  Your teacher won't reward ridiculous behavior with attention"!

And, then, one of my girlies was hard at work on her book for "Young Author's".  Working, working, working away... she comes up to me, clutching this piece of notebook paper to her chest with a huge grin on her face and says, "Where can I put this when I'm done?".  I asked, "Are you done?" and got an emphatic head nod.  This girl is so smart and so fun and so capable.  So, I asked to see it and couldn't wait to see what she had come up with...

So, she rolls her eyes and blows her bangs out of her face... and grudgingly hands over the page. 

And it looks something like this (this is my quick visual for you):

She did have a good title on her paper and her name... which, any teacher knows is a small miracle sometimes!  So, I praised her title and sent her away to erase and do it correctly.

As the kids were packing up, she was loading her backpack and her story was laying at her table.  I glanced at it and OH MY GOSH.  It is SO good!  My favorite line is when the main character asks to go to the ball (we're in the midst of a fairy tale genre study, so lots of my friends are writing Cinderella variations) and her step-cat-mother says, "With those huge hairy feet?  They'd never allow those on the dance floor.  Of course you can't go!" and poor Caterella... she GASPED and ran upstairs to her room.

And that's where the story left off just waiting to be scribbled finished tomorrow!

So that was my day.  Her semi-finished writing brought a tear to this teacher's eye... and her scribbles made me laugh (on the inside, of course)!

AND... one of my good friends was accepted into the Special Education program at Western Michigan University today and my dad, who had his position at his job eliminated last summer, after months and months of searching got a new job today!  So I'm so happy for both of them!!!!!

If you won my giveaway and you e-mailed me, I have sent out the files... so if you haven't gotten it, let me know!  If you don't know if you won, check out yesterday's big reveal!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Winners x15, a McPhoto, My Booklist, and Something Fun for St. Patty's Day!

Ok bloggy friends... here's the big reveal...

If you're one of the people on my list, please e-mail me at and let me know which item you'd like from my Teacher's Notebook Shop.  You can check out all of my items by clicking the button below.

Next... The McPhoto of me greeting at the door at McTeacher Night last night!  We raised over $700.00 for our reading month committee!!!!!

My Booklist:

Mrs. Foote asked yesterday what I'm reading on my Nook... I just finished The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis.  If you are a fan of his, this is a MUST read.  He is one of my favorite authors.  I got to see him speak a few years ago at MRA (a big reading conference) and he was just starting this book.  He read us the first 20 pages or so and it was just so hilarious!  I've been waiting for it to come out and it was released in January.  **An addition:  He's a Michigan author, ya'll!  If you think you don't know who he is, you really do.  He wrote Bud, Not Buddy, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, and Elijah of Butxon- which are his three most popular books.  I LOVE HIM!**

Now I'm reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.  It's more along the lines of a teen paranormal type of thing, which is what I tend to read.  I'm about 1/4 done and I'm really enjoying it!

I still have I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella to read on my Nook yet and some "real" books that I got for Christmas.  And, I only have a few pages to go in The Fault in our Stars by John Green (who is another favorite author) but I'm super afraid that someone I love in the book is going to die, so I can't make myself read it!  However, I would highly recommend anything by John Green.  I've read (and own!) all of his books and I LOOOOVE them!  Looking for Alaska is one of his best!

Question for everyone who has a Nook... if we can connect somehow on Facebook, can we "lend" each other books?


Something fun for St. Patty's Day.  Marygrove College has posted a free mini-St. Patrick's Day unit over at their blog.  It's for K-2 and is super cute.  Last year I ruined the lives of my 1st graders because a leprechaun didn't come to our classroom and destroy everything like he did in Kindergarten.  Well, last year was my first year with firsties and I didn't know that was one of my jobs for the year!  Yeah.  Their lives were totally over that day.  I don't plan to make the same mistake this year and this mini-unit from Marygrove is perfect for a sneaky leprechaun attack!

And... if you missed out on the giveaway, all of my items are still 15% off until Sunday!  :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

McTeacher Night and Giveaway CHANGE.

First up... McTeacher Night.  What's that, you ask?  Well, it was a way for the reading committee at my school to earn money for March is Reading Month activities.  From 4:30-7:00pm, teachers in my building greeted families, bussed tables, got drinks, and cleaned up at our local McDonald's and we will earn 20% of all money spent (not including at the drive-through) for that period of time.

It was seriously so much fun to see everyone come out!  And I got to wear a spiffy apron!  ;)  Ronald McDonald even came to my school today and did a "Books are our friends" assembly for Y5-2nd graders!  Now some of my 2nd graders are getting "too cool for school" now that they know they are almost in 3rd grade... so at first, they were a little leery about going to watch Ronald, but he did tricks and sang songs and told jokes and they were all amazed!

So, that was my fun day.

We did our first NWEA (MAP) test and it seemed to go well.  My class goes every day for the rest of the week to finish up.

And, last... giveaway change.  I'm thinking that keeping the giveaway open until Saturday is too long because I'm itching to choose the 15 winners!  So... please don't hate me, but I am going to choose them TOMORROW night instead.  I haven't changed the SALE-a-bration to my shop- that will go through the weekend like I promised!  And I just typed 'promixed'.  Time for this teacher to get off the computer!

If you haven't entered yet... go!  :)  Here's a link to the original post.

Sorry for the lame post tonight!  I just worked out and it kicked.  my.  butt.  And I'm soooo tired!  I am going to curl up with my Nook and read my next book!  I finished my first one yesterday and loooooved it.  I feel like such a jerk for being so anti-e-readers for so long!  (And if you missed that post, here it is!)

Anyway... that's it.  15 winners, you're coming tomorrow!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Case of the Mondays...

That's what I have today- a case of the Mondays.

I did manage to get my 1st grade Common Core "Pet Shop Math Fluency" pack completed though.  It is very similar to the 2nd grade pack, except aligned to the 1st grade CCSS.
If you want to check it out, click the picture!  It's 15% off to "sale"-a-brate 1500 followers too!  :)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to celebrate 1500 followers... you can get a freebie from my 2nd grade CCSS "Pet Shop" set on the giveaway post too!

I was out of school today for a scheduled absence... I'm looking forward to heading back in tomorrow.  My class starts their NWEA (MAP) testing tomorrow... for the first time.  Ever.  Yikes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

1500 Followers... Freebie, A Sale, and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Whoo hoo!  Thanks friends!  I have hit 1500 followers and am having a SALE-A-BRATION where everything in my Teacher's Notebook shop is 15% off for the week!

I'm also sharing this "Graph It!" activity from my Pet Shop Math Fluency pack that is aligned to the 2nd grade common core math standards... you can snag the freebie by clicking the picture below!
 AND I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!!!!

The giveaway ends on Wednesday, 3/7, when I get home from my staff meeting and eat some dinner Saturday at the first sip of coffee in the morning... you know, when I eat my English muffin, sip my coffee, and listen to "The Golden Girls" playing in the background... so... all you have to do is leave a comment and on Wednesday night Saturday morning I am going to pick 15 people by random number generator and each person can pick one item from my shop! 

That's it!

Thanks for following me, commenting (which makes my day), and sharing peeks into your classrooms too!  You are all awesome!!!

PS- If you haven't been to Patty's awesome blog... you simply MUST check it out!  :)  She's posted some AMAZING pictures with ideas for reading month!  Go forth and follow her!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dirt Pudding Fun and Freebie, Nooks, & Other Musings About Randomness.

Howdy friends!  I feel like I haven't posted in FOREVER!  When I sat down at my computer tonight, it was the first time since Thursday night.  That is a lifetime for me.

Yesterday I did it.  I bought a Nook.  Now, I'm pretty sure that Barnes and Noble has my photo posted somewhere in the back with a sign that says "Never sell a Nook to this woman" because I, as a crazy book lover, have hissed and booed at the Nook guy every time I've walked in the store for the past three years.  And if you think I'm joking about that, then I am so happy you think so highly of me!  :)  I have been very anti-e-reader technology and embraced that crazy "our world will become Fahrenheit 451-ish if we start getting e-books!!!!".  I'm just weird like that.  And who doesn't love that crazy book?!

Anyway, earlier this week I found out some of my colleagues were using their iPads to do their Aims Web progress monitoring online and I was JAH-el-ous!  I've been doing it online but my kiddos come to my desk where my computer is, and they can see the screen, so they are freaking out the whole time and hoping I don't click my mouse because, if I do, it's probably an error so then they're looking between their passage and the computer screen and I'm trying to shield them from the screen... it all adds up to a stressful one minute!

So, I took in my hubby's Kindle and did my progress monitoring with it this week and looooved it!  So I had to have my own.  Hubby did some research and we found that, for what I want it for, the Nook Tablet was the best choice and the right price... iPad... $500?!  No thanks!  I'm sure it's super awesome and all of that, but my debit card was weeping in my wallet last night after I bought the Nook, a cute cover, the replacement plan, screen protectors, and treated myself to a gift card I could pre-load on my Nook and have already blown through.

I bought some math game apps and a super super cool drawing pad that I'm going to let my kiddos do for their spelling words on "Work on Words" during Daily Five.  I think I'm going to let the "leader" use the Nook each day... I don't know yet though.  Any other ideas for using it in the classroom?

And, of course, I got some games for me too!  I've been shooting bubble birds and doing Doodle Jump Deluxe all day!

But, here's the big news.  I have been buying books on it.  Me.  The freaky girl who thought owning an e-reader would instantly turn me into some kind of book burning weirdo and would lead to the destruction of the role of literature in our society.  I've been very passionate about this, so this is a biggie for me!  And I'm reading them.  AND.  I.  LOVE.  IT.  I love it!  So far, I've bought I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (which the awesome Lisa from Made in the Shade in Second Grade recommended to me after we got to talk books at our Michigan blogger meet-up), I got Catching Fire for free, and have been downloading samples of potential books too- tonight I read a sample of Deadly Little Secrets, A Thousand Never Evers, and Switched by Amanda Hocking which I started reading via the Kindle app on my cell phone, but it was just too tiny and, because that counted as having an e-reader and contributing to the downfall of society, I just couldn't make myself read it!  I even subscribed to my Weight Watchers magazine on my Nook and SO loved reading my magazine like that last night!

Anyway, hopefully you don't think I'm too big a weirdo now!

So, school.

Being gone Monday, Tuesday and half a day Wednesday was not fun.  I missed my kiddos... even my sweetest little sweetheart who makes me crazy!  He had a rough two days and, when I asked him about it, he said, "I just needed you to be here for me!"... Awwwww!  So, Wednesday afternoon he wasn't very nice to me because he was mad at me for abandoning them for the first part of the week.  But Thursday and Friday there was nothing but love from him!

We have been learning about mixtures and solutions in 2nd grade science.  How many adults do you think there are who know the difference between a hetero and homogeneous mixture?  Well, I have 21 1st and 2nd graders who do, oddly enough.  Last year we made ice cream in a bag to wrap up our study on this but I couldn't do that again since I looped with half of my kiddos... so instead, we made dirt pudding!

It was super fun!  :)  We mixed 6 cups of milk with three of the big boxes of instant chocolate pudding... talked about how we couldn't get the milk or the pudding back now, added crushed Oreos and whipped cream... and put a worm on the top of each!  It was tasty!  Then they wrote about how they knew dirt pudding was a mixture and which type of mixture it was.  One of my girlies wrote:  "I know dirt pudding is a homogeneous mixture because it's like this- for example, if you mix salt and pepper and then say 'oh no!  I need that pepper back' you can never get it back out.  That is the same with the pudding and the milk.  You can never get them back out".  Loved the voice in that one!

Here's the writing page we did in case you can use it too!

I also introduced my kiddos to our new classroom blog this week and they have LOVED writing blog posts for it.  I have several sitting in the folder on my desk that I forgot to bring home to type today, so I'll pick it up when I go in to my classroom tomorrow.  I did get up a post by two of my girlies on Thursday, so you'll have to check it out if you haven't.  They love writing the posts and I love that they are doing such great, authentic writing!


And, last, a big thank you to Kaleigh at
Kaleigh's Classroom, Karlie at We are all Special, Natalie at Teachery Tidbits, and Buggy in Kindergarten for awarding me with this "Lovely Blog" award!  :)  I'm always so psyched when someone finds my blog useful enough to be award worthy!

Last for real.  Why I love bloggers.  I got an e-mail this morning that one of our own is sick- Ginger over at Ginger Snaps has been in the hospital and there is some organization going around in the blogosphere to send her flowers and some units she can use in her classroom for subs or whatnot to help ease the burden of preparing for subs or even so she's got something ready when she returns to the classroom.  So, I just want to say that I love you guys!  I think it's so awesome when we all come together to help and support each other... some of whom we know only from what we read on our screens every day!  I love being a teacher!  What other group of professionals cares for and supports their own the way that we do...?  It's awesome!

Ok.  Officially the longest post ever!  Only three followers to go until 1500... and I'm planning a giveaway and a sale when that happens!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

10 to go!


After missing Monday from being sick, Tuesday for a conference, and half a day Wednesday for a grade-level meeting... I am flying by the seat of my pants this week!

It was so sweet yesterday... I was in the building, but in a meeting for the morning, so, since I hadn't seen my kiddos for two days, I went down to my room to greet them in the morning.  I was standing outside the door saying hello and every kid was so happy I was back... I got tons of hugs and lots of... "Hooray, Mrs. Bainbridge is back!" and then, they all walked in, saw my sub, and said, "And there's another sub in here!".  Luckily, I had good subs all week... but it was so nice to just be there for a whole day today!

We did something super fun in science, but I left my camera at school... so I'll post about it when I can show pictures!

For now, I have posted two STUDENT WRITTEN blog posts on my other blog- Look "WHOO's" Talking!  Again... I meant to post pictures but the camera it at school!

Oh- and 10 followers to go until 1500!  I'll be having a sale and a giveaway when that happens!
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