Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daily Five- a refresher!

Now that the school year is almost over (7 days here!), I've heard from lots of teacher friends via e-mail who have questions about how I do Daily Five in my class.  I just wanted to do a quick Daily Five refresher.

Soooo... click on the picture below to see all of my Daily Five posts.  You can even get that freebie on one of the posts!  :)

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Luna Winner!

My first giveaway using Rafflecopter was a success!  Congrats to #121 Lynnea!  I've sent you an e-mail address, so be looking for it!

I'm STUFFED after a tasty cookout at my parents' house!  I'm ready to spend the rest of the night watching TV and mentally preparing for school tomorrow.  8 days left!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Top Teachers SALE-a-bration!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I'm joining up with lots of other bloggers to offer 20% off in my TpT and TN stores today, tomorrow, and I'm extending it until Tuesday.  Enjoy 20% off everything... that means my classroom theme packs are only $8.00 for those of you looking for some cute items to spruce up your room next year!  You can find more sales at the linky party over at A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Hope you're all enjoying your long weekend!

My TpT shop          My Teacher's Notebook shop

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Classroom Things I Can't Live Without... a linky party!

Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory is hosting her first linky party and it's great for the end of the year, since we're all thinking about ways to be better in our classrooms next year!

Not only does this linky appeal to my love of perfecting my craft in the classroom... but it's also giving me ideas of ways to SHOP!

So, here are my favorite resources that I couldn't live without in my classroom... clicking on the picture for each one will take you to the vendor site so you can check them out if you want to!

1.) My Mimio Pad!  I love this thing!  We use it all day long, every day.  I was fortunate enough to have one sent to me after my proposal was funded on Donor's Choose and then the parent group at my school bought one for everybody else too!  If you aren't familiar with a Mimio Pad, it acts as a portable mouse.  You can control anything on the computer from anywhere in the room.  This, coupled with my document camera, has made my overhead projector and transparency film obsolete!  Not only that, but my students LOVE the Mimio Pad.  We use it for everything!
2.)  My rug!  This was another item funded for me on Donor's Choose.  I love that it gives us a clear area for group work, my students each have an "assigned" spot, and the squares give boundaries for bodies and personal space.  We do most of our learning here together on the carpet.  Love it!

3.)  My daily organizing bins from Lakeshore!  These live behind my desk and store the things I need for each day of the week.  It makes keeping materials together a cinch and I can *usually* find everything I need!  I am a planner and this helps me be able to plan things in advance (ie. projects and other things), toss them in the bin for the day I want to use them in a week or so, and then know right where to find it!  With 8 days of school left, it's way too messy behind my desk for me to let you see my actual bins... here's the stock photo from the Lakeshore website!  :)

4.) Daily Five.  Can I say that?  It isn't really a resource, but it has really changed and intensified reading instruction in my classroom.  This past year was my third year using Daily Five and my 2nd using CAFE too and I love it.  So do my students!  I've done loads of blog posts about Daily Five and CAFE.  Click those links to see loads of pictures and find out more about it in my classroom.

5.) Last... I would say my books.  My classroom books are among my most prized possessions.  When my school caught on fire in August 2008, my classroom was destroyed from water damage and all of my possessions were trashed.  The clean-up crew did salvage my books... which was AMAZING as I have a huge collection.  Reading and teaching reading is my favorite thing and I am very proud of my classroom library and my own personal collections of books that I use for teaching.  Here's a snapshot of part of my classroom library.  Oh... and my gutted classroom after the fire... just for kicks!

What are your favorite classroom resources?  Head over to Teacher Idea Factory and link up to share!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Giveaway!

 Happy three day weekend!

I have one last giveaway up my sleeve from Learning Resources.

Remember this box?

Well, it's time for the last item... the Luna Interactive Projection Camera! FYI- that is not me below... I've been wanting to blog about this, but keep forgetting my camera at home!

We've been using this in my classroom and it's great!  I have a document camera provided by the school, but one thing I especially love about the Luna is that it has a light, which mine does not.  The images are so clear and bright on the screen and we love that!

This little gem just pops out of the box, plugs in to your USB port, and installs easily in minutes.  Then, you open the software it comes with, place something under the head, and... it's instantly projected on to your board or projection screen!

You can easily zoom in just by moving the arm closer to your document or items you are showing off.  And... not only can you project objects and documents, but you can use this to record too!  I haven't tried that yet, but I think students would love recording themselves reading and then watch the video back!

The best part is how affordable the Luna is!  It's under $200.00 and is a great tool for the classroom!

Learning Resources has proven time and time again what a wonderful company they are for providing high quality resources for teachers at good prices and they have SO supported the blogging community by sending bloggers these items to test out!  Well, they have not disappointed... they are also allowing me to give away a Luna to one of my lucky bloggy friends!

All you have to do is enter by Rafflecopter, which I'm trying for the first time... just leave a blog comment, like Learning Resources on Facebook, and follow my TpT store.  You can do as many or as few of those as you would like for a total of 3 entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen on Memorial Day.

Want more info on the Luna?

Learning Resources website
Read reviews for the Luna on Amazon
Find Learning Resources on Twitter

Thursday, May 24, 2012

End of the Year Memories Freebie

I am so TIRED!  We spent the day at a historic (an historic?) one room school house and then to the fruit farm!  I'm burnt and tired, but it was super fun.  And I got the last of the pictures I needed to finish my end of the year movie... which is being burnt onto a test DVD right now!!!!!!!

The fabulous most teeny tiny teacher, Kristin, wondered what songs I included... well, I would never want to violate copyright laws by including music I don't have the rights to... but... if I DID include songs, I suppose I would have things like "Hoedown" for our first day of school pics (Western theme and all), Chuck Berry's "School Days" and the Jackson 5's "ABC" for classroom stuff, Bruno Mars' "Count on Me" and "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story for other stuff... possibly "Thriller" for Halloween, "Jingle Bells" by the Glee cast for Christmas, ELO's "Beautiful Day" and Jack Johnson's "We Are Gonna Be Friends" might also be included.  I would probably also add some instrumental stuff like "Chopsticks", "In the Hall of the Mountain King", maybe some "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" for holiday stuff and also the Green Lantern theme... the version from the movie "Kill Bill" is a good one.

So... there's my two cents!  ;)

Yesterday I took in the pictures of each kid that I didn't use for the scrapbooks that I made and they had to pick their favorite one and write about the memory of that day for one last hallway display.

Here's a picture of how they turned out.

They had so much fun looking through them and sharing pictures with friends.  It got me super excited about actually giving them their scrapbooks!

You can get your own copy of the writing paper below!  This could be a nice keepsake for your kiddos too, if you're looking for a quick end of the year gift... possibly a framed picture and a piece of outstanding writing to go with it!  :)

I'll be back around this weekend!  Have a good Friday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My End of the Year Gift for My Kiddos...

This is my 6th year teaching and each year, I have made my students a sort-of-scrapbook as an end of the year gift.  I can't take credit for the idea... my fabulous first principal's daughter's 2nd grade teacher (did you follow that?) made them and my principal thought it was up my alley so she showed me and I've been doing it ever since!

It takes a while, but I do a little bit each month when I scrapbook and then at the end of the year, it's just a matter of cropping and sticking the pictures.

Tonight I got them DONE DONE DONE... well, except for the spot on the front of each where the class photo needs to go.  It's hard to get everyone at school on the same day!  I'm hoping that will happen tomorrow and I'll be able to get someone to take our picture so I can print and finish them this weekend while I'm wrapping up our end of the year DVD.

Anyway... here are the pictures for one of my kiddos.  The big space on the front is for the class photo which, as you now know, is impossible to take.  And the big white splotch is where I edited out the rest of this friend's name.  I use a big scrapbooking letter for their first initial and then finish their name with colorful stickers.  Everyone gets different stickers and big letters (whatever "leftovers" I have from my own projects) and they love seeing everyone's names!

We're working on an end of the year memory book right now, which I bind inside each one of these.

Making these was especially fun as I had half of these kids last year too... wow have they grown!  It's fun to look at the pictures and see where teeth grow in and baby fat goes away... these are such big kiddos now!

When I get invited to my first high school graduations in 2017, I hope I see these out from when I had my first class of 2nd graders in 2007!

I'm linking up with Courtney at Swimming Into Second... can't wait to see what everyone else is doing for their sweeties!

Monday, May 21, 2012

12 Days Left and 1000 Facebook Fans FREEBIE... KITES!!

How did THAT happen?  How are there 12 days?  How?!  Please tell me!!!!!

We're gearing up for a fun week...

Wednesday is KITE DAY!

AND... thank you for following me on Facebook!  This morning I hit 1,001 followers!  :)

To celebrate, I'm sharing my Kite Day activities with you... click the picture of the page below!  It's just a few things... but I love kite day!  I do it every year.  We read kite books, talk about safety and history, and make our own paper kites that really do fly- there's a link to the kite directions I use in the packet below!  This year I'm so excited that my 1st grade teacher friends are going to do Kite Day with me!  You friends are the best!

Here are my last year's kiddos flying their paper kites... we actually use straws instead of wooden skewers (I think that's what the directions call for).  And it works great!

Thursday we're going on a field trip.  One of the perks for my kiddos of being in a split class is that they get to go to both grade levels' field trips!  Last week we went to camp and it was SO fun!  We made pet rocks, brushed donkeys, made s'mores, did a nature hike and silly camp songs.  This week the 2nd grade field trip is to a local stone school to experience the past in the one-room school house and then we're going to a fruit farm for a day of talking about plants in the spring.

On Friday, I'm taking the day off.  It's not all fun and games for me- doctor appointment in the morning and then the rest of the day is my own!  Now, before you go and think I'm just skipping out... I'm using a comp day that I've been saving all year for just the right moment.

With 12 days left, that moment is now!  HA!

If you download my tiny tiny kite pack, I'd love to hear about it!

Yesterday I never got around to working on my end of the year gifts (the file folder picture was the hint!) but I did get totally caught up on the end of the year DVD I make every year!  All I have left to do is add the Kite Day and field trip pictures!  Whoot whoot!

I'm going to attempt to work on some of the file folder goodness now... wish me luck!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winner Alert! And Another SUPER Giveaway!

Well, friends, the dreaded stomach flu hit me again.  I spent the entire day yesterday running from the bathroom to the couch.  It was miserable.  My hubby took such good care of me and my dogs didn't leave my side all day!  :)  Fortunately, this one only lasted about 18 hours, where when I had it last month, it was a four day ordeal.  Today I feel like a new woman!

On to happy news... the winner of the giveaway for products from me, Sandy, and Lori is...

I'll be e-mailing you your packet of fillable end of the year awards (which I'm going to leave on sale at TpT for another week or so!) this morning and sending your e-mail address along to Lori and Sandy so they can send you your winnings too!

Now for another SUPER Giveaway... Mrs. Sykes is celebrating 200 followers with a mega giveaway full of goodies from other amazing bloggers.  I'm giving away the winner's choice of any 5 of my flippy books!  There are 10 bloggers participating in all... click her button below to head over and enter.  You won't want to miss out on this one.  It ends on Wednesday, May 23.

So, today it's my goal to catch up on all of the things I neglected yesterday.  I was supposed to go scrapbooking with my group and had to cancel.  I missed last month's when I had the super-evil-mega-miss-two-days-of-school-and-sit-on-the-couch-for-the-entire-weekend flu!  And last month I had planned to work on my end of the year gifts for my students... no problem, I missed it but I was going to do them yesterday.  AHHH!  I'm going to try and get a few of them done today so I can show you what I make for my kiddos.  I'm excited to show them off!  Here's a hint...  Who was doing the linky party for end of the year student gifts?  I want to link up when I'm done but I can't remember who it was!  Hopefully it's still open!

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Class Dyed Yesterday!

You can imagine the giggles when I said, "When you are ready to dye, bring your paper over to the table".  It took me a minute to catch on... 2nd graders are so silly!

So, this is a favorite art project of mine...

well, not just one favorite project- but a favorite material to make projects pop!

I LOOOOVE using my powdered dyes that I got at a conference a few years ago.  You just mix a bit with water in a jar with a lid so you can save the extra.  The kiddos draw a picture, pressing hard with their crayons, and then paint over the pics with the dye.

It resists the wax of the crayon and makes the drawings pop!

We made these yesterday... it was too fun!

My kiddos had to draw at least 8 landforms in a make-believe landscape.  We used our crayons and then pained the green and blue dye over the pictures.  When they dried, they glued labels on their landforms.

The dye I have is FAS brand and I bought it several years ago when two ladies from New Zealand were doing a literacy conference in my area- they were H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S and the conference was awesome!

Here's a pic of one of my little bottles of dye. 
I've checked out their website and it doesn't look like they have a distributor in the US... so if you know of a similar product, I'd love to find out where you got yours so I can get some other colors.  I have red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and vermillion... whatever that is.  We use it often and just LOOOOVE it!

Want your own copy of the landform labels?

Click the picture below!

Don't forget about our giveaway... winner announced on Sunday morning!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mystery Readers

So, usually in March, I invite parents, grandparents, family friends, etc... to come and surprise their child by being a "Mystery Reader"... since it's reading month and all.

Well, this year I slacked a bit (actually, I missed a TON of school in March so didn't think I should do it then) and decided to hold off for May when I knew I would actually be present in my classroom!

How it works is I send a letter home explaining what a "Mystery Reader" even is (click it to expand!)...
And, when I have the responses, I make a calendar and, discreetly and with the stealth only a teacher could have, slip it in their HORSE folder for their loved one to find.

And then the fun begins!

Every day I post the daily schedule on the board and, in May (but typically March), the "Mystery Reader" schedule card comes out.  They check the board first thing everyday to see if we have a reader coming!  After lunch count and Daily Five choices are made, I read the five clues that are sent in and *hope* that the kiddo with the guest coming will be the one to raise their hand to guess.

Then, the guest arrives at the specified time (I always do it right before or right after lunch so they can come eat with their kiddo) and they come in and read us a book!

I love it... especially the ginormous smiles when the kiddos figure out it is their grandma or mom or cousin or big sister or dad or grandpa coming!

So, that's one of the fun things we are doing this month... but usually in March!  See if you can guess who is coming this Friday...

1.)  I have been in your school building, walked in the hallways, and seen the classrooms.
2.)  I am related to someone in Mrs. Bainbridge's class.
3.)  The person I am related to is the oldest person in Mrs. Bainbridge's class.  (Are you figuring it out yet?)
4.)  The oldest person in Mrs. Bainbridge's class is my daughter.  (At which time the kiddos will be confused since our oldest student is a boy!)
5.)  I am a girl.

Well... who do you think it is?  Two free flippy books to the first person who comments with the correct answers!  :)  Aimee guessed right... my mom is coming on Friday!  I can't wait!

Don't forget about this great giveaway either... only about 40 entries so far... so you've a good chance to win!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scholastic Dollar Deal... My Favorite Poetry Book!

Did you see my poetry freebies for grammar (verbs, nouns, compound words, antonyms, and adjectives)?

Well... if you missed 'em, you'll have to check them out!

If you saw them, you can get the ebook they are from for only $1.00!!!!!!!  Someone tipped me off in a comment today, but now I can't find the comment to thank them... so, mystery shopper, THANKS for letting me know so I could share this!  I paid full price several years ago and it's been totally worth the $20 or whatever it was... so I know you'll love it for a buck!

Here's the link- just click the picture and it's the fourth book on the top row... I promise, you won't be disappointed!

Wait!  Don't leave yet!

Check out the giveaway I'm doing with Sandy and Lori!!!!!  Click the button below to check out the post and enter to win three great end of the year freebies!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Didja Miss Me? A Giveaway. And BUTTER!

I've been away for about a week and felt so loved today when Patty e-mailed me, blog commented at me, and sent me a text to check up on me!  :)  I had a bummer of a week last week and didn't do much of anything "extra" when I got home each night.  But I'm feeling more like me again... so I'm back to blogging!

So... first... a GIVEAWAY!  I'm teaming up with Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter and Sandy at Ms. Fiorini's Stadium to give away some goodies for you for the end of the year!  So... it's the end of the year as we know it giveaway!

All you have to do is leave a comment ON THIS BLOG POST letting us know that you follow each of our blogs and TpT stores!  If you share this on FB and/or blog about it, you can leave an extra comment!  I'll announce the winner here on Sunday morning at the first sip of coffee!

Here is what you can win... from me you can win my set of fillable End of the Year awards!  There are awards for almost anything you can think of and they are fillable so you can use Adobe Reader to type in who they are for, from, and the date!  If you check them out on TpT, you can download the attendance awards for free there!  They are $6.50 on TpT until the giveaway ends too!
Follow my blog     Follow me on TpT

From Lori, you can win this adorable Parts of Speech review game... summer edition!  I L-O-V-E this!  What a fun way to show off parts of speech knowledge!
 Follow Lori's Blog       Follow Lori on TpT

And, last, Sandy is giving away one of her End of the Year memory books in whatever theme you need!  This pic is of the dog book, but she's got them for just about any theme you might have in your classroom.  And if you don't have a theme, just pick your favorite!  Here is the list of themes Sandy has available... bee, camping, circus, construction, cooking, detective, dog, firefighter, frog, furry friends, luau, hollywood, sports, ice cream, jungle/safari, monkey, nauticial, ocean/beach, owl, penguins, picnic, pirate, polka dot, rock star, school, sports, star, super kids, train, travel, western, and zebra... WOWZA!

Follow Sandy's blog     Follow Sandy on TpT

And, last but not least, BUTTER!

We just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods and we loved it- even my boys!  We laughed so hard at parts and marveled at how life has changed (hello social studies standards!).

We were especially fascinated about churning butter so on Friday, we made our own!

I bought little jars and we poured some heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt in each one.  My kiddos worked with a partner or two (because they have to shake it for about 25 minutes)... but as soon as they saw the butter starting to form, they were hooked and didn't even mind the shaking!

We ate it slathered on crusty bread... it was a total winner!  I bought way too much heavy cream, so my students begged to do it again this week!  When I asked what they learned, the responses were, "life a long time ago was really hard... but they had awesome butter!".

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Last of the Grammar Poetry Freebies

This is it.  The last of the grammar poetry review freebies!

I'm having a week.  It hasn't just been "a day"... it's one of those WEEKS.  And I would definitely love a happy word from you if you enjoy it!
Again- the poem is from Scholastic's Big Book of Classroom Poems.  Go and buy it.  You won't be sorry!

Look for a giveaway next week!  Sandy, Lori, and I are teaming up to giveaway some end-of-the-year goodies!!!

Looking for more adjective fun?  Check out this totally awesome 80s adjective classroom or hallway hunt on TpT!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Robert Munsch, New Stuff, Book Club Freebie, and It's Tuesday

Really?  Only TUESDAY?!

We started our Robert Munsch author study this week and it's sooooo fun!  Yesterday I took pics of my kiddos... they had to smile with their teeth showing... and today we read Andrew's Loose Tooth.  Afterwards, they got this paper (from my pack of fillable themed writing paper!) and had to write about a time they lost a tooth!

I programmed the top with a cute little introduction to the assignment and then typed that they had to use 1 onomatopoeia, 1 strrretched out word, and repeating words like Robert Munsch.

Then they blacked out a tooth or two from the pics I took and printed yesterday... the result... the cutest little hallway thing you ever did see!

It was super fun!  And the stories they wrote were too cute!

Tonight I added two new items to my shops- book club packets with questions for Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business and The Littles.  I use packets like this often during my guided reading and like it because it gives my readers focus when I ask them to leave me and complete some reading and thinking on their own.  My goal is to tweak others and add more this summer.  I do lots of chapter book studies in my reading groups!

I wanted to get these up and posted because they are 20% off in my shops until tomorrow yet!  And I think you can still get an extra 10% off at TpT today still.

Here's a peek at how they look.  This packet is yours free for the book The Crybaby Cowboy by Carole Marsh.  It's a chapter book that is an easy reader... some of my on level firsties read it earlier and they were THRILLED to be reading a chapter book!  :)  If you don't have it, I'd highly recommend it as a great confidence booster!

Monday, May 7, 2012

One More Grammar Freebie- VERBS!!!

Ok- so I've shared compound words, antonyms, and nouns.

Here's the VERBS poem and activity my students will be doing as part of an all grammar review week of morning work (except for today since it was a girlie's birthday and we make a b-day book for kids on their special day!):

Again- this poem comes from Scholastic's Big Book of Classroom Poems which I would highly recommend you buy!  There are poems for EVERYTHING.

I had over 4,000 downloads of my Strega Nona freebie at TpT yesterday!  I'm so happy that so many people found it helpful!

Even though that event is over- and you all were SO generous with everything you shared for free too... I especially loved the "Money, Money, Money" pack that Sara at Smiling in Second Grade shared!  Anyway, even though that is over, tons of people are still doing sales at TpT and Teacher's Notebook.

Kinder Zoo is having a linky party for Teacher's Notebook sales and so is Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I'm doing 20% off until the 9th at Teacher's Notebook and TpT & you can get an additional 10% at TpT if you use the code TAD12 at checkout!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sale and my TpT FREE Item Today!

I can't wait to go shopping later on today for the great sales at TpT and Teacher's Notebook... and for the wonderful freebies everyone is sharing on TpT today!

I'm having a 20% off sale at both TpT and Teacher's Notebook and you can get an additional 10% off at TpT by using the code TAD12 when you check out!

My FREE item that I'm sharing on TpT for today only is my Strega Nona Mini-Unit.  I love this because it's great for a Tomie dePaola author study, just a plain old fun day, OR emergency sub plans!

I'm going to direct you back to another post to get the link only because that post also has the links to get to all of the other great freebies that generous teachers are sharing today.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Noun Freebie and Sale News!

 TpT          Teacher's Notebook

I know everyone's getting ready for sales this week... TpT is offering an EXTRA 10% off if you enter the code TAD12 when you checkout and I'm offering 20% off at both TpT and Teacher's Notebook May 6-9... AND Teacher's Notebook is offering 7 lucky winners each a $100.00 Teacher's Notebook gift certificate.  How awesome is that?  My store links are over there -----> See 'em?  It's actually more of a diagonal line up, but accomplishing that with dashes is a bit complicated!  Or click the links in the text above!  I hear you can browse, put things in your cart, and then check out tomorrow when the sales begin.  Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher is doing a great linky where you can find everyone's sales!  I'm headed over to take a peek at them right now...  Here is a peek for you at a few of my best selling items...

Tomorrow is the start of a day of free stuff over at TpT too!  Check back tomorrow to see what I'll be putting up for free!  It's one you can use in your classroom or leave for emergency plans for a sub... that's the only hint I'm giving.  It's one of my best sellers... but I left if off the list for a bit of mystery...

And, as promised, another poem with an activity freebie.  We're grammar reviewing this week for morning work.  And, while this format may be overkill, we love poems and I like this format, so we're doing a different one every day.

Here's the noun page:

I have a compound word and antonym page just like this posted on my blog somewhere!  You can use the "Find it Fast" labels over on the left to search for them if you missed them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Antonyms Freebie! And a post with too many graphics!

Did you all see the landform freebie I shared yesterday?  My comment box is empty!  I'm just making sure it was seen... I know a ton of bloggy friends updated yesterday and my little post may have been at the bottom of your blog list!  Maybe I'm just being needy here!  :)

So... you can click the link to see it today if you missed it!

Today I'm working on morning work for next week.  We're doing a grammar review each day next week, so look for more of these coming up in the next few days.

The poem comes from this great book by Scholastic:

And you can click below to get your copy!

I posted a compound words freebie just like that recently.  Here's the post if you missed it!

Here's a pic of the new stove I told you about yesterday... I think it looks AWESOME!!!!

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