Monday, December 3, 2012

December Currently

I am so glad I remembered to link up with Farley's Currently this month. I missed it last month so I am excited to link up this time.  If you would like to link up too, go to Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  Here is my currently for this month.

My Random Act of Kindness is for someone that I have never met.  When we enter our building over the weekend to work, we need to shut off the alarm and call Security to let them know that we are there. This gentlemen, Sam, (I don't even know his last name) usually answers the phone call. He has such a pleasant voice and is always so kind and friendly. I have wanted to do something for him for the last two years but never have.  I think it is about time that I take ACTION and DO IT instead of just thinking about it.  I'm hoping that he enjoys the gift card and takes his wife out for supper. (I am hoping that he has a wife. He has such a nice voice.  He should have a wife if he doesn't.)  :) 

Anyway, enjoy your next couple of weeks of school. Christmas will get here sooner than we think.

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Give-Away

WILD About First Grade!

Marissa over at WILD About First Grade is having a wonderful giveaway.  She is giving away a $50.00 gift certificate from KOHL's. 
The giveaway will end on Sunday, December 2nd so get over to her blog and sign up.
Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale plus Tuesday

Good Morning Everyone! It is Saturday and I have a lot to do today so I am going to post about a great sale that is coming up this Monday plus Tuesday through TpT (Teachers pay Teachers). I am very excited about this because I have 4 items in my cart right now that I was thinking about buying and Monday is going to be a perfect day to do it.  So if you have any items that you have been thinking about buying, do it Monday or Tuesday.

Here is the link to Surfin' Through Second TpT store.  She is the one who informed me about the Linky Party.

Surfin' Through Second

Here is another link from The 3am Teacher.  She is the one having the Linky Party. She has some wonderful items on her TpT store also.

Enjoy Shopping!
Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mixing Great Ideas for Turkey Book Reports

I am so thankful to have sooooo many great blogging friends out there that have some amazing ideas to help spice up my classroom teaching this year. I have been mixing and matching from different blogs and items bought from Teacher Pay Teacher that hopefully I will give credit where credit is due. Please forgive me if I forget something or post it wrong. Just let me know and I will definitely fix it.

What a fabulous last day of school before Thanksgiving Break. I don't know about everyone else but there are some teaching days that I wish would last longer because we are having so much fun in the classroom.  Today's lesson involved math, reading and writing. I love when I can use all my main subject areas in one lesson.  Here is how our day began:
                        We started out with cashing the students checks at our classroom bank called

"Flickinger's State Bank".  
This idea came from Beth Newingham's website.

They received their check that morning when they came into the classroom.  We talked about endorsing the check and why we need to do that.  Then the students endorsed their check and waited until their names were called to come to the bank.  I chose two bankers and one date stamper.  The date stamper's job was to check to make sure that they endorsed the check correctly. If they did, she would stamp it and hand it to one of the cashiers. If they did not have it right, she would show them what to do and send them back to their seats.  My two bankers were in charge of taking the checks and giving the cash to the customer.  Once the student received their money, they put it into their wallets and went back to their seats.  The other students that were waiting for their names to be called were coloring their turkey that they will be using for their book report.

After we finished with "Flickinger's State Bank", the students were informed that they would be buying the items that they need to complete the rest of their Turkey Book Report.  I set up the store very quickly and this is what it looked like.  Very Simple!

This idea came from Lesson Plan SOS.
Click on the picture and it will take you to their blog.
I handed the students a shopping list and the students needed to write down what they were going to buy and how much each item cost.  They needed to be very careful because if they bought 2 orange pieces, they had to make sure that they added $3.00 +$3.00  for a total of $6.00. It was an eye opener to see who could do this and who needed help.  The one item that I told the students that everyone needed to buy was 2 large brown pieces of paper.  Each of these pieces were $5.00 for a total of $10.00.

Here is their wallet with their money, shopping list
and their turkey they decorated.
Once the students received their supplies, they went and found the book that they were going to do their Turkey Book Report on.  They went to a spot in the room and began reading their book. (Read To Self Time).

Once Read to Self was over, the students came back to their seat and began working on their reports. They received six feathers. Each feather had information that the students needed to answer about their book. When they were finished writing the information, they cut out their feathers and glued it to one of the colored papers that they bought. They cut around the feather leaving some of the color showing.  They cut and glued their turkey onto the brown paper and also cut around that.  They glued the feathers to the turkey and began working on their summary of the story that goes inside the turkey.

Some of my students decided to add goggly eyes to themselves instead of their turkey's.  What a laugh!! Once she did that, it was a chain reaction.  Every student that bought goggly eyes were placing them on their eyes. :)

Here is the final product. They turned out so cute. I love the ones with the BIG EYES. We displayed them out in the hallway for others to enjoy also.

We still have a lot of learning to do with writing a summary but we are getting better every time we do one.  I so love my class and my students. They are really a great group of kids.  Thanks to all the great bloggers out there that helped me come up with this fun activity.  While I am speaking of great bloggers, Amanda at Teaching Maddeness is having a 1,000 follower giveaway. 

Go visit her page and see why 1000 people are following her.  She has wonderful ideas.  Thanks again for reading my blog.  Enjoy your family time and have a Wonderful Thanksgiving.

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quarterly Parties!

I can not believe how fast 

has flown. I have so many things to post so I am hoping to keep them in order so not to confuse people each day.  The end of our first quarter of school was October 10.  It has been so much fun working with my set of "SMARTIES" this year.  They are such a great group of students but some need some work on learning how to be responsible and respectful to others.  They are great with me in the classroom but when they leave my room, a few think the rules don't apply to them anymore.  I am sure that some of the teachers and parents out there know what I am talking about. Anyway, our second grade team decided last year that we would have Quarterly Parties for those students that showed responsibility and respect throughout the school day, including the bus rides to school and home.  Here were the requirements for them making it to the party.

·         Homework was completed (80%) for the whole quarter.
·         80% behavior in the classroom and specials.
·         NO office referrals
·         In class assignments were turned in on time and done to the best of their ability.

  What a difference we saw with homework being turned in, behavior in specials improving and no office referrals.  SO on October 10, 2012 we had our first quarterly party of the year.

Out of my 17 students that I have in class, only 3 of my students could not participate in the activities. It is a hard thing to have them miss this fun day (and sometimes it is hard on the parents too) but on the other hand it is a good life lesson.  They need to learn that there are consequences for the actions that they choose.  I will tell you that two of the students who missed the party this last time are on track to make it to the next party.  They are both working really hard at getting their homework turned in. :)  So anyway, that is how we decide who gets to come and who does not. On with the show!!!

As the students come into the classroom, the music from ToyStory was playing in the background.  Some of the students dressed up as cowgirls and cowboys for the day and others wore their normal clothes which was perfectly fine. As we started our day, the students made their own cowboy hats.  They cut them out and decorated them and then we fit them around their heads with cut sentence strips.  They looked adorable on them.


After we were done making our hats (about 30 minutes), we headed outside for the hoedown activities.  We had three stations that the children would participate in: 

1) Barrel Racing  
2) Steer Roping   
3) Hay Hauling

Each station was about 30 minutes long.  We were at the Barrel Racing first.  Each student was able to pick the color horse they wanted to ride. I was the official time keeper.  I showed the students how to go around the barrels and how to follow the spray painted lines so that they did not get any points taken off their time for going the wrong way.  What fun!  The student with the fastest time won a belt buckle from Pretty Prairie's Largest Night Rodeo.  Here are some fun pics of the students.

This is me giving instructions for the barrel racing.


Isaiah was the winner of the Barrel Racing.
After that event, we went to Roping Steers. This was fun to watch because none of my students this year have ever swung a lasso before.  Last year, I had a couple of boys who did very well and helped the other students learn how to do it.  It was a learning experience for them all this year. 


Angel was the only student who roped the steer!
The last station that we had was the Hay Hauling activities. I put my class into two teams and they had to move the hay bales from one side to the other side.  It was kind of like a relay race.  They had so much fun cheering each other on.


We were busy, busy, busy that morning.  The students went to lunch.  After lunch, we started making our homemade Rootbeer.  That was a lot of fun and a little eerie. These are my teammates. They made the homemade rootbeer and I took the pictures.  It was very good and the dry ice made it even better.  The kids loved it.


After making the rootbeer, we had to let it brew for about 30 minutes so the students moved all the desks and put down their sleeping bags or blankets and pillows and we began watching the movie "Toy Story 2".  The kids were so ready to relax and eat some popcorn.  They so deserved this day.

We are now working on the second quarter of school and last year we did a quarterly party with The Polar Express.  This year we decided not to do that because kindergarten and first grade did the movie.  We are working on having a quarterly party with a Grinch Theme. We are so excited about that. If you have any ideas or know of a site that has great ideas, pass it along to me.  We already have an adult costume for picture taking.  Can't wait!!

What do you do to encourage your students to do their homework or to be good citizens outside your classroom?  I was going to try and do a Linky Party but after reading the information about it, I'm not sure I understand how to do it yet. So if anyone would like to email me how to do a Linky that would be easy to understand, that would be fabulous.  Thanks so much!

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Farley's October Currently

Well, I have not done Farley's Currently in a while so I saw it posted on Surfin Through Second and thought I should do that this month.  Here it goes:
I think I am posting in her currently wrong but hopefully people will be able to read it.  I tried to find the how to do it again and failed.  Anyway, I am excited to read other currently's and visit other blogs.  Have a great Thursday everyone.

If you would like to join Farley's Currently, click the picture below.

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What A "WILD" Spirit Week

This week at school we had Spirit Week for Official Enrollment Week.  It was such a fun time with the students! On Wednesday we had Mix-Match Day so my student teacher, Ms. Thieme and myself, got into the spirit and dressed up.

On Thursday was Orange and Black Day so, of course, some of the teachers had to get into the spirit of being "Tigers".  Pictured below is: Ms. Arnold (Kinder), Ms. Martin (First) and Myself (Second).  It was so much fun and the students loved seeing their teachers faces painted.

Even though we were having fun with Spirit Week, we were also learning about our last Daily 5 for the school year.  "Listening to Read" was introduced to the students and it went so fast because the students knew exactly what was expected and how they should act when they participate in this center.  The one thing that will take a few of the students time to learn is how to start and find the story that they want to listen to on the CD player. I will be working with this group of students this week so that I can make sure that they understand how to do it before I start working with my small groups. It is going so well and I am so excited to see it all coming together.  We are still assigning Dailies to each of the students so they are not choosing their own Dailies yet but hopefully by the middle of October this will be happening.  I will keep you posted.

If you like to create using different "fonts" on your computer, you need to go over to Teaching Maddeness.  She has created some very fun free "fonts" that you can download to your computer.  I added a free new ones to my computer.  Even if you are not a teacher, these fonts are fun to have for any occasion. Click on the picture below to go to her blog and begin downloading.

Well, that is it for this week.  Hopefully next week I will have some pictures of our Daily 5 up and running with students doing some amazing work.  Have a great week with your students and children.

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Classroom Expectations, Caterpillars and two Giveaways

We have had such a GREAT two and a half weeks. My students are doing such a great job with expectations and classroom procedures. I am continuing to take it slow and it is so paying off.  The "two sisters" were so right when they talked about taking your time and making sure that the students know exactly what is expected for each activity that is in your classroom.  I am so very proud of them and proud of myself for sticking with the plan. I would also like to thank the parents for supporting the homework assignments. The students are doing such a great job of being responsible. 

I am excited to say that after school on Friday I came back to the classroom with a new milkweed plant and there are two caterpillar eggs on this plant.  Woot!! Woot!! I was very excited to find this.  SO we now have one small caterpillar and two eggs.  The eggs will hatch probably by Monday and within 14 days the caterpillar will be the size of the caterpillar below and will make its pupa and change into a Monarch Butterfly.  Exciting things are going to start happening in Room B8.  I can't wait.

I was talking a little bit about expectations and routines above and I wanted to share with you that I used "the sisters" I-Chart idea for my Math Stations and WOW!!!! what a difference from last year.  Math last year was NOT my favorite subject by far.  I felt like I did not train my students like I did for their Reading Block.  I was so pleased with the start of this year.  The students are so engaged and know exactly what is expected of them and how to act.  Here are a few pictures of the students working very hard on their math activities.

I am very proud of my students and brag about them any time I can. :)

Last but not least, Fellow Bloggers, Corinna over at Surfin' Through Second is having a 500 Follower Giveaway.  Vist her site and sign up.  There are some great gifts if you win.  Good Luck.  

Another Fellow Bloggers is Giving Away the Quietest Pencil Sharpener .

I have heard that this pencil sharpener is amazing. I would like to buy one soon but if I win one that would even be better. SO if you want a chance to enter her giveaway, go to Second Grade Math Maniac blog. 

Good Luck everyone!!!

Until Next Time,
        Happy Blogging

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The School Year Has Begun!

Welcome to a New School Year!

I don't know how all of my fellow bloggers post items every single day.  It has been almost a month since my last post.  I have been so busy and when I would think about writing on my blog, I was just toooo tired.  I am very impressed with a lot of you.  Some day I might be just as organized and not running around with my head cut off.  (At least that is what I have been feeling like getting my classroom ready for my wonderful 2nd grade students.)  When I started this blog in June, I stated that it would mainly be for my parents for the school year.  I wanted to post pictures and show my parents what we do in our classroom throughout the weeks.  So this is my first blog for Parents and Fellow Bloggers.  Enjoy Reading and, Fellow Bloggers, I hope you can use some of my ideas in your classrooms because I sure have used some of yours. :)

(Fellow Bloggers) Parents, welcome to our class blog.  If you were not able to come to Open House, here are some pictures of your child's new classroom for the school year.  Enjoy the pictures!

This view is from my classroom door looking in.

This is the view from the front of the room beside my classroom door.

 This is the back wall looking into my classroom library.

 This view is looking to the front of the room if I were seating in the classroom library area.

This is the view from my desk to the front door.

It is not a very big room but I love how cozy it is.  We become a family very quickly in my classroom and I love that.  Here are some more pictures of areas around our classroom that are important for students.

This is our Daily 5, Listen to Reading area. The students pick up a caddy that has headphones and a CD player and they pick a bag of books that are hanging on the blue rack.

This is the computer area that students will be doing the Lexia program on and they will also be taking book quizzes using the website Book Adventure.  This is one of my Daily 5 picks.

This is my CAFE board which will hold all of my Reading Strategies for my students to use. Thanks to Amy at The Resource(ful) Room for making the CAFE headings and cards.

Here is my DAILY 5 pick board. I will have the students pictures in the pocket chart and the pink and gray baskets hold the choices that they can make. I have not done it this way before so we will see how it goes when we start.

Here is our Bucket Filling area.  The students will be writing these during their Work on Writing time.  I got this idea from Corinna at Surfin' through Second.

Our comfy reading couch.  The helpers of the day get the chance to sit on the couch during our time at the Classroom Library and they also get to sit there during Read to Self.

This is the table for my focus groups and one-on-one confering.  I love my small round table.

Here is one of the three reading areas that I have in my classroom.  The students love the classroom libary.

This is my calendar area and math workstation area.

Well, that is all the pictures for now.  I hope you enjoy a little sneak peek into our classroom.  Now for an activity that we do in our classroom that the students love. :)

Some children may have started talking about Tigger.  He is our classroom mascot.  He is a stuffed tiger who gets to go home with a different student each weekend to spend some time with them.  Here is a picture of Mr. Tigger.

The students were so excited about taking him home.  Victoria was the first person picked and she reminded me each day that it was almost Friday. The students also take Tigger's Journal home with them so that they can record what they do with Tigger and share their experience with their classmates on Monday. I love listening to what they do.  Of course, Tigger had to spend the weekend with Mrs. Flickinger first and the students enjoyed listening to what Tigger did with my family.  It's a great writing idea and the students love reading each others entries.

What else can I talk about? We have been in school for 8 days now and I have 17 wonderful students.  My Daily 5 and CAFE are coming along very slowly which is what the "two sisters" say should happen.  My stamina for Read to Self is only 4 minutes but it will get better as the school year goes on AND my students are loving the classroom library that I have. :)  They are soooo excited to READ!! I am LOVING IT!

I hope everyone elses year is going as great as mine and parents if you have any questions at all or comments, you can email me, leave a comment here, or call me using the classrooms phone number I gave you on the newsletter.  I am excited to meet the rest of my parents at Conferences in two weeks.  I will be giving you a lot of information about the classroom and the expectations for the school year.

Unitl Next Time,
        Happy Blogging