Canned Food Drive & Fire Safety

Every year, right around this time, my school puts on a Food Drive. This year our local Food Bank is unusually low on canned food items so we are having a Canned Food Drive. We brought in 1,400 food items last year as a school, so our principal and Student Council Mayor have challenged us to beat that number this year! 

I have a slight competitive-ness in me...


I wish it were a contest between grade levels! We did competition fundraisers ALL THE TIME when I was in elementary and I LOVED IT!!  Probably because my class won most of them ;)

so I talked with my teammate about it and we decided to team up and make a 2nd grade goal. We started pretty conservatively with a goal of 250 cans. We have 52 2nd graders, so that would be about 5 cans per student.

We wanted to make a visual statement for everyone in our school to see...we hope students will feel inspired to start their own classroom goals, or even better, try to beat us!

Because we have been spending so much time on tens and ones in 1st trimester and answering questions about data, we created a picture/bar graph.

It is hanging in our common area right at the door where students go in and out of for recess :) 

Across the bottom of the chart are the dates of our Food Drive. 
Each day we add the total number of cans brought in by our 2nd graders.

Here is a close up of the images we are using to track our data. 

A single soup can is the ones... a bundle of soup cans is the tens...

 The cans my class brought in today... 24 :)

 Yesterday we had one lonely can. Today as a grade level we had 43!!
We are already up to 44 and we still have 10 days to go!!

I am pretty sure we will need to up our goal next week sometime!

When we add the soup can images to the chart we count by ten and one, then we count by ten and one again to figure out our total so far!
We can practice adding double digit numbers now, and subtracting from a three digit number, too!

I just love the visual, the math, and the little bit of "bring-it-on" we are displaying!

I am working on a tracking sheet for individual students to use throughout our Canned Food Drive, too. Then we can discuss how the data changes, compare dates & information, add, subtract, discuss tens and ones... I love this activity! My students love it too! I think they love how huge we made the chart :) That was the first thing they all said "That chart is so big it covers the whole window!"


We also had our Primary Fire Safety Assembly this week. Our local Fire Department was AMAZING! They were so engaging with a wonderful skit, songs, movements, sounds, puppets... We all learned so much! Check out our Fire Safety poster we created to capture all of our learning!

Did you know STOP, DROP & ROLL has changed to STOP, DROP, COVER & ROLL! That was a new one for me!

Next, we took our learning and practiced writing complete sentences with matching pictures. We shared these with our principal who loved them! How can you not?! Look at those great pictures!

 I love the fire colors in this one!

Happy Weekend, friends!

Anyone else having a Food Drive at school right now??


Cyber SALE Extension

Cyber Monday and Tuesday were good to me... you all were good to me! Thank you so much for choosing to put my products in your shopping cart this year!

As a little thank you I am extending my Cyber Sale through today, Wednesday 11/28. You will be able to get the 20% off from me, but the 10% from TPT was a Monday & Tuesday only thing!

Be sure to check out my earlier post which highlights all of my most popular items, and FREEBIES! 

Thank you so much for all of your support!


Liebster Blog Award {EEEEKKKK!}

A few days ago my email "dinged" to let me know Caitlyn Delaney, from Fourth Grade Lemonade, posted a comment on one of my blog posts. I love getting comments so I opened the email right away to see what she had to say and to my surprise, she nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!! 

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)

So here are 11 random things about me:
1. I am getting married April 6th on a cruise ship in Seattle.
2. I am going on my honeymoon April 7th to THIS PLACE

3. I may be one of the only people left on planet earth that religiously watches a Soap Opera. I can't stop tuning into General Hospital (ps. my fiance knows all of the story lines, too...hehehehe)
4. I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go. A reusable water bottle! I even keep a brita in my classroom for fresh water!
5. Every time I dream of "home" I dream of being at my childhood home. We lived there until I was 19. I have yet to dream about my parent's new house (they have lived there almost 10 years, and I live there for 8 years before moving in with my fiancé).
6. I have to set a monthly spending limit for myself at Scholastic.com--I have a book-buying addiction!
7. I have a Great Dane. He weighs more than I do, he can rest his chin on my chest WHEN I AM STANDING UP (granted I am only 5' 0'' tall...), and he loves to snuggle in the morning after my fiancé has left for work.
8. My middle name is June. And no, I was not born in June :) I was named after my grandmother on my dad's side.
9. A woman offered my parents 50K to buy me when I was still inside my mom! She was taking a Stained Glass class from my parents and had been trying to have a baby for years. She didn't care if I was a boy or girl, or what I looked like, she just really wanted a baby! I hope her dream eventually came true. I am thankful that my parents wanted me more than they wanted the money!
10. I love Apple products! All of them! I especially love the FaceTime feature. Perfect for when either my fiancé or myself is out of the area. He actually helped walk me through getting the TV back to the right "input" feature or whatever by me holding the remote up to the camera, and he saying "push that one on the right, then the one on the third row down..." YEESH! Thank goodness for technology!
11. I am the Technology Leader for my school! This is a super fun Teacher Leader committee that I get to be a part of and be the first to know and learn all about the newest technology out there! I also get to push the district to invest in new technology. 

Questions from Caitlyn:
1. Do you own any pets?
Yep! One Great Dane, Malone...and two cats, Gus and Porter.
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would would you go?
CABO!!!  Going in April 2013.
3. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Working one on one with students. I wish I could have more time in my day to do this. When I work one on one with them not only do I learn more about their needs as students, but I learn more about their wonderfulness as kiddos!
4. In the spirit of Black Friday, what is your favorite store?
Target. But the line was WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY too long! The $35 door buster 600 thread count sheets were NOT worth the wait. My sister and I unloaded our arms (no carts were left by the time we finally got in the store) and walked out the door!
5. What is your favorite book to read aloud to your students?
Anything about friendship or family or being bully free! I love the Bucketfiller books! If you have not heard of these, please check them out!
6. If you won the megamillions lottery, what would your first purchase be?
Oh wow. I would totally pay off all of my student loans. I hate making those payments every month. Then I would take my whole family on a vacation somewhere relaxing... like Cabo :) 
7. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Recently my fiancé and I have been spending all of our free time at Lowes and Home Depot (home renovation stores). The second phase of our big remodel starts this week. EEEEKKKK!
8. What is your favorite sport?
Growing up it was soccer. But since meeting Josh, he is slowly converting me to being an Ice Hockey fan. GO CANUCKS!
9. What are your favorite blogs in your blogroll (they don't have to be teacher-related)?
Christina Bainbridge was the very first blog I happened across! I didn't realize this world was out here until finding her blog one day. And even then, it took me over a year to realize "wait...maybe there are other blogs out here like hers?!"
10. If you could time travel to one year for the whole year, what year would you go to?
Honestly I would go somewhere where I could relax all day. I am not into touring places and being on the go go go! I love learning about the history of a place for a day or two, then I just want to relax.
11. Why did you start blogging?
I love being inspired by the amazing people out there that I would otherwise never meet or know existed. I love getting to know people this way and I love being able to share my ideas, too!

Here are 11 questions for my nominees.
1. Where did you go on your honeymoon, or where would you like to go for your honeymoon?
2. You're leaving work late, again, and you are just too tired to make dinner. Where do you stop to get a quick bite on the way home?
3. Do you sit down and eat your lunch? Or do you have a "working lunch"?
4. What is your go-to thing to do when you need to get away from it all (work out...call up a friend for a coffee date...)?
5. When did you know you were meant to be a teacher?
6. If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been?
7. Do you have siblings?
8. Do you have pets?
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be? Why?
11. What color pen do you correct student work with? 

The 11 blogs I am nominating:
1. Mrs. Kelly's Class
2. Blooming in 1st
3. Hoot Hoot Hooray!
4. I Love TWEK, Tasty Technology Treats for Teachers
5. Learn to teach and teach to learn
6. Learning in the Little Apple
7. Lighting a Fire in 3rd Grade
8. Second Grade Chatter
9. Sensational Seconds
10. Simple in Second
11. Smiles and Sunshine

It's going on sale tomorrow!!!

I started getting together a reading fluency center for my kiddos over this wonderful Thanksgiving Break and I just kept adding, and adding, and adding to it!  

I ended up with a product I am so proud of! Check it out! I think you will love it...especially because it is 28% off Monday and Tuesday (11/26 & 11/27)!!!

The cover + a Table of Contents (NF text features!)

Example of one slide (fold in half for student's booklet)
10 popular and funny songs and poems included!

I added 5 ELA activity pages, too!

Here is the example of ELA activity #1: Tune into Interesting Words.

I will be printing, copying, and stapling my books together tomorrow at school. I think I will wait until the first December day of school to introduce them to my students though :)  Kind of like radio stations switching over to Christmas music before Thanksgiving... I just can't start with Christmas-themed stuff in my classroom until our calendar reads DECEMBER. 

When do you start with Christmas-themed activities in your classroom??


It's a CYBER sale!!!


Take a quick look at some of my best sellers!

Year Long Calendar Math Workbook

10 Easy-to-set-up Math Stations

I have math assessments for 1st and 2nd grade 
based on the new CCSS
Teacher Checklists are included

2nd grade example

I can statements for Kindergarten, 
1st and 2nd grade math 
(insect and pirate themes available)

Plus lots of FREEBIES

A fact-filled craft all about the Liberty Bell!

Thanksgiving placemat + addition practice!

Editable newsletter templates

Editable CC Teacher Binder Covers 
(insect and pirate themed)

And my newest items


CCSS ELA Guiding Questions

Place Value Puzzles

Take advantage of this awesome sale while you can!!!


"The dog ate my homework!"

As teachers we hear it all...

"My mom didn't put it in my back pack!"
"You didn't give me homework!"
"My little brother colored all over it!"

and of course...
"My dog ate it!"

I had never actually heard the one about the dog, but yesterday, my teacher life changed forever... and for the better I might add!

One of my students made my day when he handed me this:

I literally laughed out loud. 
Yes, that is a baggie with the shreds of homework. The evidence.

But, at least he was responsible and brought back his homework! And I just love that his mom sent in the evidence with the note!

What is the best I-forgot-my-homework-excuse that you have heard?


Motivational Monday

Sara, over at Smiling in Second Grade, is hosting a Motivational Monday Link up! 

Right now I am motivated by my wedding. We have less than 5 months until the big day! I am in full count-down mode and upping my workouts and paying closer attention to what I am eating.

A few of my favorite motivators from Pinterest.

My fiancé's niece, our flower girl, chose her dress this weekend :) She LOVED it and so do I :)

What motivates you...every Monday needs a little boost, right?


Turkey Art

I have THE GREATEST art docent mom EVER this year! She comes up with the most fun projects for my students, and these projects have multiple steps...let me tell you! I am always impressed with all of the time she puts into planning and prepping for her lessons with my class.

Here is their ADORABLE Turkey art that she came and did with my class this week!

 They painted leaves white and them pressed them onto brown paper. Then sponged fall colors on the background.
Next, students chose from many different colors of pre-cut (by this wonderful mom!) of tissue paper. They used regular glue stick glue, then wrapped the tissue paper around the eraser-end of the pencil and pressed it onto the turkey.  

 Keep going... and going... but they really got into a rhythm! They loved this! 

And look how great they turned out!
I have parents and other teachers walking into my room daily complimenting our turkeys :)

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful and creative Art Docent Mom!

Thanksgiving Addition Practice Placemat {Freebie}

I am so super excited tonight because my students brought in over $90 in COINS for our Hurricane Sandy Coin Drive this week. Yesterday we had $28.02, which was awesome, but we decided with one day left we needed a goal. I talk to my students daily about the importance of goal setting...to read more difficult text, to pass the next math timing, to get to the next RAZ level...to donate coins to people/kids who need it more than we do right now.

So we set our goal for $50...which meant we needed to bring in almost $22.00 today (Friday). Then we talked about where the money would be going, why those children needed our help, and how we would feel if the hurricane had happened over here. We talked about maybe giving part of our Friday Treat money, searching the couch cushions, under the seats in the car, or even doing some extra chores around the house.

When my students walked in this morning they had happy smiles on their faces...proud smiles! As they brought their coins and dollars up to our Coin Drive cup they very proudly cupped their coins in their little hands and donated them to other boys and girls who need those coins a little more than we do right now.

Soon I heard, "Ms. O'Brien! The cup is overflowing!!!!" Yep! We filled our donation cup and then some! Mrs. Black (our principal) needed to make the deposit for the Red Cross this morning so I quickly started counting the coins and dollars. It took me a while though... my students brought in $63.40 TODAY! Making our class Grand Total = $91.42!!!! They were pumped! Impressed! Excited! One student said "That shows that we really care about them!" Another student said, "I gave all of my Friday Treat money!" Another student asked if we could write letters to the kids who would be getting the money, and I am going to look into that one! How cool would it be to have pen pals from the other side of the United States?!

So in celebration of my students being so giving, I thought I should do the same. 

I have been working on a Thanksgiving Addition Practice Placemat project and just posted it to my TPT store. It's yours for free! Go download it!

I am thankful for each of my followers, I love learning from you and with you. You are all inspiring educators and people.

It is quick, easy, and it is a sneaky way to get your students to practice their math facts while eating their Thanksgiving turkey! They can show off their addition skills to family visiting from out of town!


Liberty Bell Fact-ivity

I had hoped to get this ready as an Election Day activity, but it just didn't quite happen like that. 

The fall-flu hit my house this past weekend and it took everything I could to get out of bed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Today I am feeling much better so I finished this super cute fact-ivity (a fact-filled-craft-activity!)

So because it is a little late, but because I know you will love it and it can be used for other upcoming celebrations, like Presidents' Day... I am offering this product to you for free!

I include ideas for where to find information about the Liberty Bell.
Learning all about the Liberty Bell will help prepare your students for this activity!

Lots of templates for you!

And colorful examples, too!

The facts about the Liberty Bell hang from the bell... like the dangling part of the bell...which according to wikipedia is a clapper! 

Download it for free at my TPT store!