Tuesday, February 28, 2012

St. Patty's Day Writing Paper Freebie & Leap Day Reminder!

Enjoy this freebie of the St. Patrick's Day paper from my Write Away! Themed Stationery Pack.  We use the John Collins' Program to organize writing instruction in my district (the FCAs that some of you asked me about on the "bee writing" I posted a picture of) and I love typing my FCAs right on these to make cute, fun writing pages for my kiddos!

Well, here is your free St. Patty's Day paper in both intermediate and primary lined!  Just click the pic!

Let me know if you love it!  :)

Don't forget about Leap Day tomorrow!!!!  If you're looking for something fun to do, check out my Leap Day Mini-Pack and/or my free Leap Day Flippy book!  Click the pic for more info!

Monday, February 27, 2012

About the Author freebie!

Well, it's official... my first "at home on the couch day" of the school year.  Yesterday I couldn't even make myself change the channel on the TV, so today is definitely an improvement... though I still have a fever!  :(  But you, my bloggy friends, have certainly helped chase the yucks away with your well-wishes... and your blogs that I have been perusing today from my couch!

BUT... I've gotten quite a bit of work done that I needed to on the computer!

One of the items on my list was to create an "About the Author" form to share with my colleagues as I am the "Young Author's" coach at my school this year.  In our county, there is a yearly writing "contest" for students in grades 2-5 and this year I'm the "coach" in my building.

So, I thought I'd share the form with you too.  It's available for free at my Teacher's Notebook shop!  I included a primary, intermediate, and a "fillable" one so kids could even type out their own!  Just click the pic to download.
Enjoy!!!!  I'd love to hear from you if you download it!  :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sickness and the Dreaded ERROR.

Why is being sick as a teacher SO much more work than being in any other profession?  I didn't feel great last night and feel even worse this morning.  I already have to go to school since that's how I spend my free time on Sundays... and my Gerbie is counting on me to come in and feed her... and my Valentine's bulletin board has been haunting me all week and needs to come down... so I can't just relax at home today and feel better.

Tuesday I have a conference, Wednesday I have a half day meeting... so right there are a day and a half that I'm already missing.  UGH.  I do not want to miss tomorrow too!  :(  I am going to put out my emergency sub plans binder for tomorrow and do a really quick and sloppy set of lesson plans for Tuesday... just in case!

And now... for the dreaded ERROR.  Last night, when I was not feeling great, I got an e-mail of a private message at Teacher's Notebook.  That always freaks me out.  What if it's someone saying something mean?  What if someone hates a file they bought?  Or worse... what if it's an ERROR on a file?????  Well, I just got on the computer, checked the message, and... yeah.  A dreaded ERROR.

So... if you downloaded my Feline in a Fedora (aka the pack about an author who has a name related to the medical profession and his/her last name is spelled with three S an E and a U) please re-download it!  The candy bar wrappers said "Would you eat this IN a fox?  With a box?" instead of with and in... and I'm pretty sure that kiddos would not be eating their candy bars IN a fox!

Sorry friends!!!!!!!!!  Click the pic to head over and re-download!
 **Late day addition from the couch**... still sick.  :(  Thanks for all of the well wishes!  I have been blog stalking from the couch and just came across something interesting on Amy's blog and that is the need to grant you all permission to pin my stuff on Pinterest.  I get so excited when I see something of mine that has been pinned... but in the interest of following rules, I have now given permission for you to do so.

You can read all about it at Corkboard Connections, give permission yourself, and link up to say you did so!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

3 Winners & Musicals... Obviously!

Well, "In the Heights" was AMAZING!!!!  It was positively electric and just wonderful.  You all posted such great musical posts yesterday!  :)  I had so much fun reading them!

Someone e-mailed me to ask what musicals I had seen... Are you ready for this...?  Get comfy because it's crazy.  And this all only started about five years ago... so...

The Producers, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked (x3), Cats, Hairspray, Spam-a-Lot (x2), Stomp, Beauty and the Beast, RENT (x5 and once with the Adam and Anthony- the two original lead cast members!!!), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (which is the funniest thing EVER!), Wizard of Oz, The Color Purple. West Side Story, Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins (we sat in the 5th row and she flew right over our heads!  AND... when Bert walks up that wall... OMG!!!), Fiddler on the Roof, Drum Line, Blue Man Group, Grease, Chicago, The Aluminum Show, Memphis (going again next month!), The Addams Family, My Fair Lady (and the rain in Spain was so boring!), The Rocky Horror Show, Cirque Holidaze, Rock of Ages (so fun!), and In the Heights.

We have tickets yet for Memphis, Jersey Boys, and Young Frankenstein... after that ends in May, I'm all caught up for now.  It's sick, you guys.  I just L-O-V-E musical theater.  Badly.  My hubby is so nice to support my habit!

Anywho, back to the task at hand...

I was going to select two random posts for my Common Core Math Fluency Pet Shop pack... but, Ann left the most charming comment that was just bursting with musical titles... so how can I NOT give one to her?  You'll have to check out her comment... it's #23 on yesterday's post.

And the two random winners are...
So... Emily, The Duffy's, and Ann Carnevale #23, please e-mail me at christina4062@hotmail.com and I'll zap it off to you!  I'll be scrapbooking today... yes.  We're driving in this CRAZY snow we got last night to go and scrapbook.  So, don't worry if you don't get the file right away!

Thanks for your great comments yesterday!  You guys are the best!  I'll be working on a similar pack that is aligned to 1st grade CCS soon.

And... hoping to share a freebie tomorrow!  :)

Don't forget about the Leap Day free flippy book on my Teacher's Notebook shop and all of my math stuff is 20% for the weekend!  Teacher's Notebook featured me as their "Featured Shop" this week!  I'm honored!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Math Fluency Common Core Pack!

I am so excited to unveil my latest creation for my kiddos... a pet shop themed math workstation pack that is aligned to the 2nd grade Common Core!  Of course, my firsties will be using this too as some of them are ready to do the centers in the set.

The pack is 62 pages and has 7 different centers!

Tonight I'm going to see "In the Heights" and I am SOOOO excited!  I've been memorizing the soundtrack for a month and can't wait!  Next month we have "Jersey Boys" AND "Memphis" (which we saw in NYC last summer and it was AMAZING!!!).  Anyway, I want to share my joy of the theater with you in a weird little way that doesn't really convey anything about the theater, but is still me sharing something none-the-less.  I'll have this pack- and all the rest of my math stuff- on sale for 20% off in my shop for the weekend... AND... I'll choose 2 random winners tomorrow to receive the pack for free!

Just leave a comment and say something for a chance to win!  Preferential treatment will be given to a comment relating to musical theater!  :)  Just kidding!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Blog!

I am so excited to unveil that... soon!... I will be running another blog.  Only this one will be for me and my students to post on to help keep classroom families up to speed with our learning!

The fabulous Patricia over at Primary Practice shared this blog post earlier about student blogging.  She recently shared it again at the 2nd Grade Teacher's Club and I was so jazzed about it!

When I started this blog last summer, that was my goal- a place where I could instantly keep parents up-to-date with the classroom... BUT... I had so much fun talking to ya'll that I quickly hijacked the blog and kept it for myself!  I have found blogging SO much more fun and easier than upkeeping a website so I do think I am going to let my classroom website expire when it runs out in June.

So... here's the new site!

I have only done one little tiny post and I haven't told my kiddos yet... but I hope you'll check it out!  You can click the picture below! 

PS- the web URL is whoostalking.blogspot.com... Am I the only one who finds that amusing/scary...?!

I plan to show my kiddos tomorrow and talk about what this means, send home a parent note for permission to post, etc... and hopefully kids will be submitting posts to me next week!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feline in a Fedora Giveaway Winner!

Don't want to cross any copyright boundaries here... so... the winner (from my blog!) of the "Feline in a Fedora" giveaway is...

...Sandra at Sweet Times in First!  Please shoot me an e-mail at christina4062@hotmail.com and I'll send you my packet and send Sandy your info so you can get the 2 packets she generously contributed to the giveaway!

Sandy will be choosing a winner from her blog too who will also get all our our "Feline in a Fedora" to celebrate Medical Field Profession Abbreviation Rhymes with Goose during Reading Month!

How's THAT for avoiding infringement!  :)

You can still get my packet for 20% off through tonight!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seuss Update, My Gerbie, A Sale, and Sad Target News

1.) Seuss Update:
I assume if you are using the "Cat In a Hat" graphics set from Scrappin' Doodles that you received the e-mail about the set and how we can't be calling anything we sell or share from that set "Seuss" related.  SO- if you downloaded my "Seuss" pack from Teacher's Notebook, be advised that the materials are still the exact same, but I had to change some of the wording.   I am so sorry!   I wanted to change the name of the pack to "Celebrate the Feline in a Fedora Day!" but my husband talked me out of it!  You'll probably be hearing and seeing this a lot from others who used the same set!  Oh- and I had to change one graphic on the flippy book for this issue too, but the content is the same!

2.) My Gerbie:
I didn't really share about this after it happened because it was just too sad... I spent an ENTIRE day crying about it... but my first class pet ever, the gerbil, Lily, had an accident over Christmas break.  She was staying with a student and had a wonderful Christmas where she was loved and spoiled like crazy!  But, she did not return to school... my kiddos were very sad but we reassured them that she was probably living a fabulous life in the walls of the home she stayed at over break.  But we missed her like crazy!  Well, about three weeks ago, that family brought us a new gerbil and we named her Gerbie!  That's right.  I used my "teacher power" to help influence the name selection.  I love calling her Gerbie!  Also... she might actually be a "he" but we don't really know.  He/she came to stay with me over this weekend as we had Friday and today off.  My husband and I went to do errands today and bought her an addition to her cage- so now she has an outside of the cage wheel, a fun loopy thing, and a 2nd little house to live in.  Here's the addition...

We spent way too much time when we got home watching her run in her new wheel and then abruptly just *stop* and she'd go flying around and around!

Here she is peeking out from her new wheel!

3.) A Sale:
I'm having a "Why Not Have a Sale" Sale over at my Teacher's Notebook Shop!  Everything is 20% off until Wednesday!

4.) Sad Target News:
I was so jealous when I saw all the great stuff Amy at the Resource(ful) Room got at Target so I had to get right down there today (even though I was already there on Friday and Sunday- I'm sick, people).  But Target had NOTHING for me.  NOTHING.  Can you believe that???  That has never happened before!

I did get these St. Patrick's Day pins at Target on Friday... if you go after them, be careful!  Some feature mugs of frothy yellow beverages which I can only assume is some sort of soda or carbonated lemonade... just wouldn't want to send the wrong message!:

BUT... the Dollar Tree came through for me!  I got these large foam dice:

These Easter goodies- pencils and foam shapes!

And these St. Patrick's Day foam shamrocks, a banner, and garland which I run across in front of my windows at school:

So that was my day.  It's back to the grind tomorrow!  Friday night my husband and I have tickets to see "In the Heights" which is (of couse!) a musical since I am not only addicted to Target but to musicals as well.  So, I'll be counting down the hours until I'm sitting in my seat ready to enjoy the show!

Have a great Tuesday and, for those of you who worked today, hope it was a good one!  :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Michigan Blogger Meet Up... SO FUN!

I just got home from an amazing afternoon with some incredible Michigan teachers...

Lisa and Beth from Made in the Shade in Second Grade
Amy from The Resource(ful) Room
Kara from Spedventures
Rachel from Ms. Rachels' Room
Jessica from Apples and Papers
Holly from Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade
and Andrea from Stepping Into First Grade

It was SO fun and I feel like I have 8 new friends!  :)  And, I didn't know some of the blogs so now I have new blogs to follow too!!!!!

We swapped school horror stories, shared books we love, talked technology, and got to know each other better... we even talked about some of YOU!  Who makes us laugh, who says stuff we would be too afraid to say on our own blogs (you brave blogger you!), who is lucky and wins all the giveaways...!

Thanks, ladies, for a super fun afternoon!  I hope we can do it again soon and more people can come and join us!

For some reason, the picture my camera took stinks and is super bright... put on some shades before you proceed!... so hopefully some of you got better pictures!

And here's the "perch the camera precariously on the ledge and set the timer while rushing back to your seat and waiting for it to flash" pose, which is a weird mixture of way too light and also DARK!

I can't wait to see other peoples' pictures and can seriously not wait to be able to do this again- you girls are all awesome!  I'm so thrilled we got to hook up today!  :)  And thanks, Amy, for putting it all together for us!

Michigan Blogger Meet Up & A New Freebie For You!

Today is the "Michigan Blogger Meet Up" and I'm so excited to meet some virtual friends for real!  :)  I'm actually going to leave in a minute (4 hours early!) to try and do some shopping and guarantee that I can find you guys (gals!).

I'm sure we'll all be posting pictures and smiles when we get home tonight!

Yesterday I had a pretty boring day, so I worked on some new things for Leap Day and St. Patrick's Day.  I've put the Leap Day pack on my Teacher's Notebook shop for sale and have a St. Patrick's Day freebie up there too!

Here's a link to the freebie (click the pic)- it's a St. Patty's Day ABC order very similar to the winter ABC order I shared a month or so ago!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Flippy Books, a Leap Day Freebie, and a Seuss-minder

I'm realizing that we Seuss enthusiasts can add "Seuss" in any word to change it and make it Seussy!  So, this is your "Seuss-minder" to check out yesterday's blog post to enter to win the giveaway that I am doing with Ms. Fiorini and to link up for Seuss freebies and items for sale!  You can enter the giveaway on both of our blogs to double your chances!

Second, I've added two new flippy books at my Teacher's Notebook shop!  I made a Seuss flippy that is in the party day pack... but I also added just the flippy on its own.  And I have just added a Leap Day flippy that you can get for free at my shop!  Just click the link above or the picture below!

I'd love to hear what you think if you download it!

I just put up a Leap Day Mini-pack too if you're looking for something fun to do on February 29th!  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Seuss Giveaway and Linky Party!

So earlier this week I had to laugh when I went to my blog to see who had updated theirs recently (is that called a blog roll?) and all but three of the most recent updates were about Dr. Seuss activities that people were sharing for free or selling at their shop!  That is when this giveaway and linky party idea was bo

It's funny how we're all gearing up for the same celebration in a few weeks!

So... Ms. Fiorini and I have teamed up for a Seuss-tastic giveaway!  All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog letting me know that you follow both of our blogs and both of our Teacher's Notebook shops!  You can enter on her blog too by doing the same thing- letting her know you follow our blogs and shops.

On Wednesday, February 22, we will both choose a winner and those two people will get a copy of my Dr. Seuss Party Pack and the two Seuss files she has created- a set of learning activities and a reading cafe organization pack which is GREAT!  As soon as she posts them, I'll link up to them so you can see the goodies included!

Here's a peek at my pack:

And here are Ms. Fiorini's:

So... (I really like beginning paragraphs with So... today!) follow my blog and Sandy's blog.

And my Teacher's Notebook shop and Sandy's shop too.

I hope you'll link up to my linky party too.  You can link up any blog post that has any Seuss item you have for sale or for free.  I think it will be great to have the links to our resources in one spot for everyone to peruse!  Please don't link to a shop or store- just to the blog post that tells about your item.  Also, please follow "Linky Party Etiquette" and link back to this blog post of mine!

Please join me and don't forget to enter our giveaway too!

I have today and Monday off... I've been sipping coffee and listening to Will and Grace all morning and I am loving it!  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Back-to-Back Assessment Game... My favorite!

Want a quick, easy, and fun way to trick your students into learning assess a skill? You've gotta play "Back-to-Back"!

Check out this not-high-quality video that I shot with T and C after school today (thanks T and C's moms!)...  It's a little wobbly!  Next time I'll use my camera and not my phone!

I was chewing gum and didn't even realize how awful it sounded but after numerous re-starts of the taping due to interruptions and giggles, the boys would have never forgiven me if I had made them do this over one more time!  So, sorry if I sound gross!  Also, I'm going through that "Ewww!  Is that how my voice sounds?!" thing right now.  Ewww!

I've never videoed anything for my blog before, so hopefully this works out!

I love this game and we do it weekly to practice tons of skills.  I can quickly look around the room and see who is getting answers right and who is struggling and it gets my kiddos up and moving.

I use it often during Daily Five as I have amassed a large collection of task cards that I didn't know what to do with.  I can read them orally, provide the choices, and then use this game to review the grammar skills and comprehension skills we practice during language arts.

Here are the basics of the directions for the game if the video wasn't clear...

*Choose your questions.
*Have students get back-to-back with a partner (say "Back-to-back!")
*Read the question.
*Students will choose their answer- sign language letters, thumbs up/down, show a card (ie. periods vs. question marks- you'd read a sentence and have the students show the correct end mark), etc...
*Be sure they cover up their answer with their free hand!
*Say "Turn around and show your partner".
*Same answer, 1 high five.
*Reveal the answer.
*Students give a double high five if they got it right.
*Say "Back-to-back!" and let the fun continue!
*At the end, I always have my students thank their partners!

Here are some of the ways I use this:
*with my huge mountain of task cards and students either write answers on a dry erase board or use sign language (like in the video) to hold up their choice of answer... we do this A LOT!
*math flash cards (students write answers on a dry erase board)
*true/false (thumbs up or down)
*syllables (show the correct number of fingers for the syllables)
*punctuation marks (would require the kids to have some sort of paper with the choices on it)

Patty at 2nd in Line shared some spelling cards the other day.  I was thinking these would be great for "Back-to-Back".  You could print them, display them on your document camera, and then students could hold up their sign language letter to match their choice!  Then just put up the next card! 

I hope this was helpful- if you have any other ideas on how to use this, I'd love for you to share them!  Hopefully I was clear (yeah- as mud!) with how this works in my classroom.  It's a super quick game to implement and works really well in a pinch.  I taught the game to my mixed group of K, 1, and 2 students during our reading interventions time today in about 2 minutes and then read them task cards to practice predicting outcomes.  It went well!

So, anyway, let me know what you think!

PS- my students were AMAZING while our Daily Five visitor was in today!  My kiddos always do a great job during Daily Five, as they love that time of the day so much... but I was one proud teacher!

Adding this pic to make this post PINNABLE!!!  This IS NOT the video... check out the video above to see us playing the game!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Valentine's Day is officially the last party of the school year... is it wrong that I was pumped about that when the last conversation heart had been eaten and the last card had been giggled at?

Now, my class will be doing our annual "Three Bears' Breakfast" to culminate our fairy tale genre study next month... BUT... that's more of an event than a party and I'll just be glad to be back inside of my own little teaching bubble minus the crazy amount of candy and cake balls!

I'm hoping everyone had a sane delightful day today! We're expecting a visitor tomorrow who is coming to check out how the Daily Five looks in my classroom. I love having people in to watch it... BUT... am hoping my kiddos come back in tomorrow as their normal selves. We had a full moon that was waaaay too full and lasted waaaay too long last week and then all of the excitement today... well, I'm just hoping for the best!

Happy Valentine's Day, teacher friends!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What are you doing tomorrow, Array freebie,... & Dr. Seuss SOS!

Happy early Valentine's Day!

What classroom plans do you have?

We are partying for an hour... and during that time, my kids will rotate between stations.  They will be...

1.) making my Valentine's Day flippy book
2.) playing JINGO and using candy hearts as their BINGO chips
3.) decorating their Valentine card holder
4.) doing a craft that has been planned by a classroom mom... I don't even know what this one is!  :)

We're having a pizza party for lunch and then moving on with our day.  I always think I'm going to do some real teaching on party days... and I'm still hoping that can happen.  But... just in case it can't...

we're going to do math with our candy hearts.  We usually sort and graph them, but this year we're going to do some array building to reinforce the concept of repeated addition.  Even my first graders are going to get in on that action because who won't benefit from practicing addition?!

Here's the worksheet I made... quickly.  I'm going to have them use their candy hearts to make each array and then draw the array (using Xs) in each box.  This could also be totally un-Valentiney if you can't use it tomorrow!  It's a *smidge* holiday-y, but I still think it could work on any day.
I've put all of the items in my shop on sale... just in case you're still in need of anything for V-day tomorrow!  ;)  Check out my Teacher's Notebook shop for more info!

As for the Dr. Seuss SOS... if you purchased my Dr. Seuss party pack from my shop, please re-download it.  Page 19 had an error on it and I am SO sorry!!!!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Busy, Buzzy Bees & Donor's Choose

It's FRIDAY!!!!  WHOO HOO!!!!  I *think* that last night my husband suggested we go to our favorite favorite restaurant tonight... but I was super tired and have been excitedly second guessing myself about it all day.  Could I really dream up a conversation about Chinn Chinn's in my head?  The answer is yes.

If you are from the SW Michigan area you MUST go to Chinn Chinn's.  It is modern Asian food that is super delicious.  Just don't go tonight, please, because it usually has a long wait to get in and I don't want any more people ahead of us than what there would normally be.  Take I-94 to Mattawan... it's AMAZING!!!!  I'm so hoping he really did say that!

On to the topic of school.  It has been an exhausting week.  Why is subtraction with regrouping so painful at times?!  Yesterday they all understood it and today it was like I was showing them something from another planet!  So, you know what my 2nd graders will be doing again next week... and what I'll be working on this weekend!

We've been working REALLY hard on identifying main ideas and details.  I have this amazing set of science readers that I received from Donor's Choose that have been a huge part of helping my students understand main ideas and details.

This week, we read Busy, Buzzy Bees by Allan Fowler.  After making loads of thinking maps to show main ideas and details, my kiddos were super interested in more bee information.

We watched a bee Magic School Bus, read some other bee books, created a bees can-have-are chart, did some informational writing about bees, and (just because I love craftivities) we made some super cute bees out of paper plates, paint, googley eyes, waxed paper, and pipe cleaner stingers!

Check out what we did!

We were busy, buzzy bees ourselves!  Enjoy the weekend... I know I will!

All of my Valentine items are still on sale at my Teacher's Notebook Shop if you're looking for anything for Tuesday!  :)

Last, I recently put up a Donor's Choose for a portable, interactive tablet type of device.  I have one that belongs to my school, but I really wanted one of my own.  It was funded today!!!!  Thanks, friend, for funding it for me!  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's SEUSStastic!

Ok, friends... is anyone else getting super excited about reading month next month... and Dr. Seuss' birthday?

I've been working on some fun activities for Dr. Seuss Day in my classroom next month and have 11... including a Dr. Seuss flippy book, awards, character creation, party game, quote posters, and more!

Check out what I've been working on...
Ms. Fiorini and I will be doing a giveaway for this pack and a pack she's working on very soon!

Until then, this is available in my Teacher's Notebook shop.  You can click the pic for more info! 

I had a doozy of a day and have nothing helpful or inspiring to say!  The highlight came when the bell rang at 3:10 and I had to leave immediately... couldn't stay after for even a second... so that I could make it home to meet my mom in my driveway to drop something off by 3:30!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Craft Time!

Updated 1/28/13-

I'm linking up with Mrs. Orman's Valentine Freebie Linky party to share this quick project with you in case you missed it last year!

I had a few minutes today and some really noisy kiddos.  We needed a break from desperately trying to work to just enjoy ourselves or someone (me) was going to explode.

So, we made these cute hearts:

And I hung them across our window while my friends were at music:

If you need a fun activity in the next week or so, you can download a copy of the pattern!  It's a definite "try it before you ask your kids to do it" type of activity!  Just give each kiddo two copies of the pattern in different colors, cut them out, and weave the "strips" to make the heart!  It was a little tricky for some of my kiddos... but the ones who "got it" were quick to help others!

Click below to download:
If you use it, I'd love to hear about it in my comments!  :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Do you know who Taylor Lautner is?

...well, one of my firsties sure does because today when we did this adorable craftivity from First Grade Blue Skies...

this is what she wrote:

Yes.  You read that right.  Because he has a 6-pack!

Hope you enjoy the chuckle!

Check out my bloggy friend Patty's new blog over at Second in Line.  She teaches to the east of me and I am so happy she's venturing out into the bloggy world too!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Monkey Math and a New Freebie!

I've been working on some new math centers for my 1st graders and have just finished a set of "Monkey Math" activities!  I'm super excited about them... and am printing as I type!  :)

Here's a picture of what is included in the 60+ page set...  If you click on it, it takes you to my shop where there's lots more information.  I've got this and all of my Valentine's Day stuff listed for 20% off for the week too!  And... like I've done a few times before... I'll send the first two people who comment and request the file and leave their e-mail address a free copy... if you'll tell me what you think of the activities!

And, if you click HERE, you can download a freebie from the center set!  This is the "number names" follow-up worksheet where kiddos choose a number and add new ways to name that number to each leaf (ie. 5 is 2 + 3, 10-5, 78-73, etc...).  My kiddos love doing things like this and always try to come up with super complicated, in depth ways to add or subtract to make the numbers.  And I love to see them thinking so hard!  If you download the worksheet, I'd love to hear what you think!

Off to a Super Bowl party at my parents' house this evening... I'm looking forward to some good food!

Happy Sunday and here's wishing for a great week ahead for everyone!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homework!... how it looks in Room 10

I'm linking up with the Lesson Plan Diva with this post about homework in my room... looking forward to seeing what everyone else does for homework too!  So, this post is an oldie, but a goodie!  :)

In my class, students have homework every night except for Fridays.

Each night, they have a math page (Homelink from Everyday Math), Speller's Choice, and 15-minutes of required reading from a book of their choice.

My students have a homework sheet that they get in their HORSE folders each week. Teaching 2 grade levels, I had to figure out how to manage this without making a ton of extra work for myself... so I tweaked my homework sheet to fit both grade levels. I made it a fillable PDF so I didn't have to worry about formatting or text changes from my home to school computer and then I just had to fill in the date and assignments each week from my school computer! You can see it below.

I don't use every Homelink and, since I don't send homework on Fridays, I do pick and choose the most valuable Homelinks to send home.

When I check folders in the morning, I do it while my students are completing their morning work/eating breakfast in the classroom. I pull out the math, check to see that spelling was completed, and put a star/sticker/stamp in that day's box if homework was completed.

I have a homework tracker booklet that I made that is a grid. Each students' name is written down the left and I write the dates across the top. If homework was completed, they get a check. If spelling wasn't done, I write an "S" and an "M" for math. If they forgot their HORSE, I draw an "X". The "class grid" file is for sale at my Teacher's Notebook shop or on TpT- here's a peek at it! The "name" column is fillable so you can type students' names in.

At the end of each month, any student who has completed 100% of their homework, gets invited to be in the "Homework Club". The kids LOVE it! Last year, I had 100% participation every month and the kids loved eating lunch with me in the room, so that is how we celebrated every month. I usually brought cookies or some sort of treat to share with them during our lunch too. At the end of the year, I always have a pizza party for the kids who have been in the club every single month. And those kids (the "Homework Hall of Fame") have their names printed on a sign that will hang in my room forever! They love looking back to see who they know from my former classes that are in the "Hall of Fame"!

"Homework Club" is a huge incentive to my kiddos and they take their homework completion very seriously! I do TOTALLY understand that when a 6 or 7 year old doesn't do their homework, it isn't their fault... it's more likely a parent issue. So, I do take that into consideration. And if you miss one night of homework, I do keep you in the club if you complete it late.

Habitual non-homework doers may need time in class to complete it. I know we are trying to instill responsibility in our students, but I also try and think about what is happening in my students' homes that might prohibit them from having the necessary support to complete their homework.

So, that's my homework in a nutshell!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Snowman Cookies & Quicksand

Ok, fellow Michiganders... where is all of our snow?!  We had a Snazzy Snack this week- Snowman Cookies!  But it just felt weird making them when there isn't a flake to be seen!

Check out the cute pictures of our snack!  We frosted three Nilla Wafers and then added the details.  One of those is the one I made as a sample... bet you can't guess which one!

If you don't know about Snazzy Snacks, you can learn more on my class website and I have some great freebies for it there too!  We love making them each month!

We're also getting ready for science fair next week.  Last year we played with Oobleck after learning about matter and I wanted to do it again this year but had to sort of re-purpose it... so we made "quicksand" instead.  We actually started out just trying to answer the question of whether quicksand acted more like a solid or a liquid and our project evolved, though the smart questioning of my sweeties, into trying to find out the best way to escape from quicksand!

We learned that when we made our animals struggle, they only sunk deeper and we couldn't pull them out... but if we left them alone, we could pull them out much easier.  So, we, Southwestern Michigan children and teacher, are now super prepared should we ever find ourselves in quicksand peril!

One of my sweeties even came up with the name for our project... "The TRICKsand" because he said it's tricky to know which state of matter it is and it's tricky to get out of!

I'm facing a busy, busy weekend... we have a wedding rehearsal tonight and showtime tomorrow and Super Bowl fun at my parents' house on Sunday.  We are starting a new RTI-modeled intervention program next week between all the K, 1, and 2 teachers in my building... I'm super excited, but in need of some desperate prep last minute organization for it.  So, I'm going to try and sneak into school for a few hours on Sunday- you know, in between laundry, grocery shopping, and making food for the Super Bowl party... wish me luck!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Got Milk (jugs for Valentine's Day)?

If your students are anything like mine, your kiddos will walk out of your room on Valentine's Day with loads of cards and goodies.  I love to have my kiddos make their card holders out of milk jugs!

I ask my students to bring in clean, gallon milk jugs with all stickers removed.  I cut the tops off, write their names on the front in my best cutesy handwriting, and then put them out as a station at my Valentine's party for them to decorate.  We use permanent markers and stickers to make them all lovey-dovey... and then we attach a ribbon to the handle just for kicks!

At the end of the party station rotations (because I have to have my parties done "centers style" for organization and calm) we pass out our goodies into our newly decorated holders!  They are super sturdy, easy to carry, and can be made into fun planters or storage thingies when the kids get home.  It's a win-win... great holder and a reusable!

Here are 2 pics of mine so you can see what I mean.

We've just started collecting milk jugs... and it helps to cut the tops off a few days before you plan to decorate them and I usually spray in some Febreeze then too... sometimes they come in a smidgen damp or the teeniest bit smelly... but letting them air out for a day or two and spraying in some good smelling stuff takes care of that!

What do you think?  Hopefully it's do-able for you... we love it!  :)  Since I looped up with half of my class, I debated doing them again... but they're just perfect.  My kiddos were so pumped when I told them we needed to start bringing in milk jugs and a few even said they are using theirs from last year at home still!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...