And the winner is...

Lori Rosenburg!!!  Thank you Lori for entering My Favorite Things Giveaway! And enjoy all of your goodies!  What a great way to end your week!

I have one more "Favorite Thing" to share with you. My new teacher bag!! I started the year without a teacher bag (teacher-sin #1) as I just could not find the right one! Then one Saturday I was lulled into the GAP to do some fall-clothes (celebrate-the-end-of-the-first-full-week-of-school) shopping and I spotted this bag! I had to have it! 

I very rarely buy anything that is full price but this I just had to have! 

I don't know what it is about this bag, I love the grey, coral, and lime green color combo and the think strong strap, and the many pockets both on the outside and the inside...and the lime green inside... it just makes my teacher-heart happy every time I see it :)


Sunday Night Freebie!

Do you need something to perk you up on a Sunday night??! :)  

Here you go!

I started teaching my students about non-fiction text features last week and they LOVED it! I grabbed a bin of children's magazines from our school library and they had at it. We found bold text, illustrations, pictures, picture captions, maps, diagrams, labels... it was the most fun I have had teaching text features in a long time! 

So this week I want to take things a step further and have my students really think while they are reading informational text. 

I created two classroom posters and matching student bookmarks, and because it is Sunday night and we all have to go back to work in a few hours, I decided to make this a Freebie!




Included= 15+ activities and suggestions for introducing responding and chatting about Informational Text in your classroom! Enjoy!

Download the posters and bookmarks at my store for free! Follow my store to be the first to find out about other freebies I post!


Friday-eve Fun!

If you follow Jen @ Hello Literacy you've probably already seen this today, but just in case you don't..OH MY WORD! This noise monitor tool is so so soooo fun!!!

The balls bounce when they hear noise! The noisier the bouncier, lol, the quieter the more still the balls are...so the goal is to keep the bouncy balls still. 

My students and I played around with this today and tried different ways to get the balls to bounce. Stomping, clapping, pounding our desks, setting down books, coughing, opening and shutting the door.

Just make sure you turn on the microphone.

And I also noticed it works way better if you make the window as big as you can.

So fun! Happy Friday-eve! 

And don't forget to enter My Five Favorite Things Giveaway!!


100 Follower Giveaway!

EEEEKKKK! 100 followers :)

To celebrate all of you wonderful bloggers following my little 'ol blog I just had to put together a giveaway... but what to give away?

How about my Favorite Things??!!!  

To start, five has been my FAVORITE number since I was in the 4th grade, joined The Net Wreckers (soccer of course) and was handed a jersey with the number 5 on it :) 

So included in my giveaway are 
My 5 Favorite Things

My first favorite thing:
I can't live with out my digital clip art these days and my go to doodler is Kirsten from KPM Doodles! I first found her when I was looking for pirate clip art for my new classroom theme. Since then I just can't stop buying her super cute doodles! I LOVE that you can purchase combo packages where the doodles come in color and in black and white! Kirsten is offering Winner's Choice (one COMBO pack or two single packages).

     Classroom Helpers Digital Clip art     Classroom Helpers Digital Stamps

My Second Favorite Thing:
 Fonts and borders. Jennifer from Hello Literacy has the greatest font choices, and she offers many for free! I am thankful for her free font downloads that I have found other ways to support her by purchasing and LOVING her doodle borders! Jennifer is offering one of her her most popular items: Rainbow Words. Thank you Jennifer!

Grab My Button

My Third Favorite Thing:
All things Mrs. Bainbridge (classroom website and blog). I discovered her classroom website by accident two years ago. She has a PLETHORA of classroom files for teachers to download for free! I use her Morning Meeting greeting and activity cards every day! My students totally look forward to our Morning Meetings and the fun ways we will greet each other. Christina is offering a Winner's Choice: Any one item from her store!! I personally LOVE her Flippy Books!

Bunting Books and Bainbridge

My Fourth Favorite Thing:
Dreamlike MAGIC :) Ahhhhh even the name just makes my heart happy!  Alicia has the brightest, most fun, cute, and exciting background papers, borders, frames, flags, invitations, blog designs and FREEBIES!!! I just love following her and sprucing up my stuff with her AWESOME products! Alicia is gifting my giveaway winner a $15 credit to use toward her store! EKKK! Can I enter my own giveaway, lol, kidding!

Dreamlike Magic Designs

My Fifth Favorite Thing:
Finally feeling like I am getting the hang of creating useful documents using my computer. Creating quick and simple documents on my computer has always been pretty easy for me. But creating deeper, more meaningful, aligned, cross-curricular documents has been more of a challenge for me. A FUN CHALLENGE! As you can tell by my first two favorite things, I love purchasing and downloading clipart and fonts to help inspire me and help me just feel better about my documents. So I am offering my most favorite item in my TPT store right now. The Calendar Math Yearlong Workbook!! 

This document is PACKED with teacher guidance pages, cover options, monthly calendars (with and without clip art), hundred's chart, tally recorder, student resource page, and 10 different monthly worksheets. It is intended that one month will focus on one of the worksheets all month.. Every month is a little different, slowly increasing the level of difficulty. Give you students the opportunity to write, solve, and prove what they are learning during your calendar routine!

Ok, so how do you win My Five Favorite Things Giveaway??  Enter below and cross your fingers my friends! Next Wednesday (well I guess early early Thursday morning) the winner will be revealed! YAY! Good luck! And thank you again for helping me reach 100+ followers! I appreciate all of you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



I am a little beside myself. 

For the longest time I was stuck in the 20's with my followers. In fact, the first six months I had my blog I didn't even share my blog address with anyone, so those first 10 followers... no clue how they found me. Then I met my first blog friend Darleen from Third Grade Love

Third Grade Love

She opened my eyes to the possibilities of blogging--learning from other teacher-professionals, inspiring each other, and best of all encouraging each other!

I quickly became a blog hopper and slowly started interacting with other bloggers. I am just amazed by the fun things going on in classrooms across our nation! How lucky our students are!

I have gone from my first blog friend to slowly meeting others. 

I met Terri from 1st Grade Princess over the summer and she gave me great ideas for some of my TPT products...she also introduced me to Barb from Ruby Slippers who made over my blog :)

 1st Grade Princess

I enjoy chatting with my blog friends, I love seeing what's going on in their classroom, and I love learning from them. 

In celebration of 100 followers I am putting together a giveaway. 

It is called My Favorite Things Giveaway :)

I am waiting to hear back from a few possible donors, then I will be posting the giveaway...hopefully by the end of tomorrow!

In the mean time! Head over to my TPT store for editable, printable, and FREE Themed Classroom Newsletters!


Tell me something good!

I'm linking up with Jennifer over at Rowdy in 1st grade today to tell you all something good. 

We are all in full on school-mode by now...some a little more routined than others...and today being the official mark of one week in school I am feeling mostly excited, which is a welcome change from how I felt this time last year.

It is hard for me to believe that I am in my 6th year of teaching already, uhhhhhh, when did I get so old?! My 10 year High School Reunion is this year, yikes!

Anyway, I am trying out so many new things in my classroom, on top of learning and integrating the CCSS, that I am so very thankful to have an eager and kind group of 2nd graders (and parents I might 
add!). So although I am busy, and my desk space has never been so messy, I am still excited for this year. Truly excited!

Something good happening in my classroom:
My students are LOVING all the GLAD stuff I have used in my classroom so far. By far the TPR (Total Physical Responses) are the favorite...with the Team Points in a close second. Today we were reprocessing our Here, There chant and as I was standing there doing all the (sort of silly) TPRs, ALLLLL of my students were engaged, excited and totally into it! Even the student who does almost nothing all day except peel and pick at his pencil. Yeesh, I need to figure something special out for that one!

Something good happening at home:
I am 3 THREE THREE followers away from having 100 followers! YYYYEEEEEEEEEEE!!  I can't believe it! I will definitely be doing a give away, so get ready my blogging friends!

Link up! Share something good!


Learning Targets + Daily Schedules

Two huge goals of mine for this school year are posting daily Learning Targets and a Daily Schedule.

So far I am loving this! Every morning right after announcements from our Principal I go over the Learning Targets and our Daily Schedule with my students. I created the I can ___ statements for the Learning Targets (working on the ELA cards still...there are LOTS of them!) and I also write Learning Targets that are not so academic yet still very important. 

For example, last week we worked on 

1. I know the 3 Personal Standards.


2. I can line up safely after recess.

I do not plan on typing a Learning Target for everything we work on throughout the year, but taking time to type Math and ELA Learning Targets feels like a good use of time since we will constantly be revisiting those CCSS throughout the year. I think I will create science and SS Learning Targets as the year goes...

Something that came to me at the end of the first day of school was to "grade" ourselves on how well we feel we met each Learning Target. So at the end of each day, just before we pack up, we go over the Learning Targets one more time. We "grade" ourselves by giving a thumbs up for "Yep! I can do that!" Thumbs sideways for "I'm still working on that..." or thumbs down for "I really need to work on that one... or... I totally forgot about that one!"  This grading helps me see where my students feel they are and helps me know whether I should keep the Target up there tomorrow or if we can move on. Each day I use a different color marker to add Learning Targets to help differentiate between new and "old" targets.

As for the daily schedule... I found myself writing, erasing, adding, taking away...from my daily schedule and I quickly realized I needed to do two things. 

1. Make the Daily Schedule much simpler (this was taking WAYYYY too much time!)


2. Type something up! (this was taking WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much time!)

Whelp! Here they are!

I created the schedule cards in four colors: pink, teal, orange/gold and white (not shown...obviously, lol). I also created them with clip art and with clocks.  Finally, I created them in two sizes: two cards per page and four cards per page. I prefer the four cards per page but I thought younger grades may appreciate larger cards. Find them at my TPT store :)

These cards are so cute and SUCH a time saver! I have mine printed and just need to laminate them in the morning. I bought some of that self-stick magnet strip stuff that I will then add to the back of each card making them easy to put up on the board, move around, and take down as needed.

How do you post your Learning Targets and Daily Schedule??


Week one: Check!

This week was wonderful! I love my new class, I love the changes I have made to my teaching style after being GLAD trained, and I am just plain excited for this school year! The first page of my Parent Handbook included a page about me which explained that I will be getting married this year, that my last name will change at Spring Break, and why we have a pirate theme in our classroom. My students are so excited for all of the upcoming changes and to be pirates! They ask me questions about my fiancĂ© and wedding daily! Yesterday one of my students asked me if I could bring him in for show and tell :) 

Would you like to see some before and after pictures. I got a new phone between my befores and afters so the lighting looks so much better in the afters...which makes the after pictures look that much better I guess :)

Before: as you enter my classroom


Before: looking toward the back of my classroom


 Before: Looking toward the from of my room from the back of my room

After: these black bins will soon be labeled and will hold Welcome Work with task cards and manipulatives. I am working on these this weekend. I will be posting them each month on my TPT store.


After: teacher space behind my desk


After: our gathering space and where I do most of my direct instruction this year

After: Calendar Math--I am doing all of my Calendar Math on the SmartBoard this year, partly because if you notice in my pictures we have VERY little wall space! I like to put up student work on the walls so taking up that space with a lot of calendar stuff really made my room look, I dunno, not student-centered. So I have the main calendar stuff up (calendar, money and time) the rest of the stuff my students will see when we do calendar math on the SmartBoard. They also have a Calendar Math Workbook that we will start next week. 

After: This was taken just before Open House

After: Parents received a Parent Handbook, a checklist, Transportation form, Classroom Volunteer Form, and Student information form. All except the Parent Handbook were included in my TPT Open House Packet

Students received my First day of School Poem and the goodie back to match!
These were a HIT! Students were wearing the stickers the next day, they brought back the erasers, one student even kept the life saver in his pocket for the first day of school :) So cute!

Birthday Surprise! About 30 minutes before Open House started my wonderful mom showed up to surprise me with balloons and cake! A complete surprise! And what a thoughtful, yummy surprise it was! I forgot to take a picture of the cake before we quickly began cutting and putting cake on plates, but it was very cute (Tinkerbell chocolate cake) and very yummy! My students from last year who came to visit me got to take a piece for not forgetting me :) 

My mom even found a super cool pirate balloon!!! I need to carefully deflate it and hang it up in my room somewhere special.

When I finished my room and was taking pictures I was in love with it, but now looking at the pictures I feel like it is so boring! I need to do an art project this week and bring some excitement to my room! I also need to bring more pirate to my room!

This will eventually have pictures of my students on the ship looking eager to be in 2nd grade and excited to be on a pirate ship :) I found a pirate ship image in google images I liked, projected it onto my white board, taped up some white butcher paper, and traced :) I learned that little trick at my GLAD training this year! What a great tip!!!! Makes me look like a real artist, huh?!

So, we are off to a great start! 

Any pirate themed art project ideas???