24hr New Item Freebie {Day Five}

Welcome back! Today is Day Five of my "sELFless Acts of Kindness" Challenge!


Wow! This was a whirl-wind week! I have loved sharing some new products with you, meeting new people, and finding some of your holiday freebies, too!

Today I have a Christmas Complete Sentences activity for you! I am still reminding my 3rd graders to have a capital at the beginning of every sentence and a period or end mark at the end... although I must admit, I don't have to remind nearly as much as I did as a 2nd grade teacher last year! 

Download it now while it's free! Hurry! Hurry!

I would love to hear what you think about these activities, too! Feedback is always welcome ;)

Check out the Grammar Games/Activities from Day One, Two and Three! They are on sale now for $2.00, or you can buy them as a bundle and save money (see the end of this post for more details).

Buy the Christmas Grammar Bundle for $5.00 and save $3.00!
This is a growing bundle--buy now to save money!! 

By the end of the week you will have all 5 Grammar activities/games. 
1. Christmas Noun Sort (included now)
2. Christmas Verb Tense Sort (included now)
3. Christmas Cookies Compound Words (included now)
4. Christmas Abbreviation Match-up (included now) 
The price will go went up to $5.00
5. Christmas Complete Sentences (included now)
The price will go went up to $6.00

Happy Friday-Eve!


24hr New-Item Freebie {Day Four}

Welcome back! Today is Day Four of my "sELFless Acts of Kindness" Challenge!


Have you been participating in the challenge? It is such an easy way to make someone smile... make someone's day a little brighter... or just reconnect with someone you work with but hardly ever see! One of my greatest work friends teaches right next door to my classroom, but because we are on COMPLETELY different recess/lunch/specialist schedules, I never get to talk to her other than a quick wave as I pass her classroom and she is happily teaching away! I have a special "sELFless Act of Kindness" planned for her tomorrow ;)

Well, let's get back to you! Today I have a Christmas Abbreviation Match-Up game for you! My students LOVED our Abbreviation week in November--especially when I threw in tricky ones like oz. and lb. --WHAT?! :) 

Download it now while it's free! Hurry! Hurry!

I would love to hear what you think about these activities, too! Feedback is always welcome ;)

Check out the Grammar Games/Activities from Day One, Two and Three! They are on sale now for $2.00, or you can buy them as a bundle and save money (see the end of this post for more details).

Buy the Christmas Grammar Bundle for $5.00 and save $3.00!
This is a growing bundle--buy now to save money!! 

By the end of the week you will have all 5 Grammar activities/games. 
1. Christmas Noun Sort (included now)
2. Christmas Verb Tense Sort (included now)
3. Christmas Cookies Compound Words (included now)
4. Christmas Abbreviation Match-up (included now) 
The price will go went up to $5.00
5. Christmas Complete Sentences (coming Friday--re-download the product Fri. night)
The price will go up to $6.00

Happy Friday-Eve!


24hr New-Item Freebie {Day Three}

Welcome back! Today is Day Three of my "sELFless Acts of Kindness" Challenge!


I am loving this opportunity to share some freebies with you! Hopefully they are coming in handy these last few days before Winter Break... I know my students are getting harder and harder to keep engaged! Mixing in some Christmas-themed activities is just the trick!

Today I have a Christmas Cookies Compound Words for you!

Download it now while it's free! Hurry! Hurry!

I would love to hear what you think about these activities, too! Feedback is always welcome ;)

Buy the Christmas Grammar Bundle for $4.00 and save $2.00!
This is a growing bundle! 

By the end of the week you will have all 5 Grammar activities/games. 
1. Christmas Noun Sort (included now)
2. Christmas Verb Tense Sort (included now)
3. Christmas Cookies Compound Words (included now)
4. Christmas Abbreviation Match-up (coming Thursday--re-download the product Thurs. night) 
The price will go up to $5.00
5. Christmas Complete Sentences (coming Friday--re-download the product Fri. night)
The price will go up to $6.00


Do something sELFless today ;)


24hr New-Item Freebie {Day Two}

Welcome back! Today is Day Two of my "sELFless Acts of Kindness" Challenge!


Today I have a Christmas Verb Tense Sort for you!

After today it will be added to my Christmas Grammar Pack where all of the "24 hr. New Item Freebies" will be available together for a bundled savings!

Download it now while it's free

(Day One: now available for $2.00)


24hr New-Item Freebie {Day One}

I love seeing all of the "sELFless acts of Kindness" going around cyber world lately. 


My class is full of active Bucket-Fillers who work hard every day to be kind, respectful, considerate, compassionate people inside and outside the classroom. 

I introduced the "Acts of Kindness" to my class last week and they loved it! 

I believe in leading by example and that is where my newest Freebie comes into play!

Each day this week, I will post a Christmas-themed freebie for you to grab and enjoy! But grab it quick! It will only be free for 24 hours!

As the week goes on I will combine all of my Christmas-themed freebies into a bundle that will be available for purchase! Enjoy-- and pay it forward, friends!

Here is Day One (Christmas Noun Sort):

Christmas Magic

If you are anything like me, then you are searching for fun activities that will keep your student engaged from now until Christmas Vacation. YIPPEE!!! 9 school days left in 2014 for me!

I have found the perfect, easy to prepare activity that will not only A-MAZE your students, but this could be turned into a Christmas gift for your students to gift to someone they love.

Jenny K, from Art with Jenny shared her Shaving Cream Magic Trick Ornaments, and I am in love! 

Christmas Ornament Craftivity: Marbleized Paper Ornaments

Here is the video

I can NOT wait to do this with my students this week! 
I think I will make them earn it... art surprise for being on the Nice List all day long! :)


Black Friday Sale

I am trying to avoid Black Friday crowds, but still fill my Black Friday urges with online shopping. 

And I am so happy to see TONS of online Black Friday deals out there! WHOOP! 

So if you are like me and just can't wait for Cyber Monday, then head over to TPT for my Black Friday 20%off Sale! Everything in my store is 20% off all day Black Friday!

Happy Shopping!


Editing Tip!

Writing is THE most challenging subject for me to teach. I enjoy teaching the writing process, but when it comes to ideas and voice I struggle to find ways to help my students sound like themselves, and not like me. 

I am working on that. Being a part of a new grade level (currently 3rd grade...previously 2nd grade for 6 years) and thus a new team, yay!! I am being introduced to many new teaching strategies and tips!

If you struggle to teach your students the importance of editing, here is a tip for you!

Give your students a piece of paper and give them 5 minutes to draw/sketch anything--pencil only, no color. 

**I had my students draw living systems because we had just begun our Science systems unit. 

Allow students a minute or two to chat with the person next to them about their sketch. 

What is it?
Why did you choose to draw that?

Next, pass out a ball of clay or mini tub of play dough.

Now, tell students they have 10 minutes to make a 3-D model of their drawing.

After 10 minutes, ask them to compare their drawing and their 3-D model. 

What is the same? 
What is different?
What did you change?
Why did you change it?
 This student made her cat's tail shorter. 
She said it looks "cuter" that way :) 

 This student gave his panda a stick of bamboo.
Panda bears need bamboo of course!
(and he labeled all of the parts of his living system... teacher's dream!)

After this 20 minute activity your students will SEE (and understand) that when we write our first draft (the drawing) we do our very best and believe it is great! But then, when we have the chance to make it better (3-D model) we often realize we can make it better by adding this, or taking away that: editing. 

And now, for the rest of the year, when it is time for you students to edit, and they say "I don't need to" or "I like it the way it is".... all you have to say is "Play dough" and they will smile at you and realize you are right. Teachers are always right :)

A student happily editing with her red pen and 
CUPS (capitalization, usage, punctuation, spelling) paper

Happy editing!


TPT B2S14 Sale!

The Back to School 2014 TPT sale is just around the corner! Enjoy unto 28% off at most stores Aug. 4 - 5th!

300 × 250

My store is ready. Everything in my store will be on sale. My wishlist/cart are full of great products made by amazing teachers! 


Are you???!!!

Check out some of my favorite Back 2 School products from my store: *click the picture to go to my store...add it to your cart and wait patiently for Aug 4th *

1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Beginning of the year Math Assessments (3rd grade version is brand new!)

Open House forms--get organized quickly & collect information from families easily with the included forms and ideas. 

Chevron Classroom decor--I have this set up in my classroom and LOVE IT! I get compliments all the time!

Calendar Math Yearlong Student Workbooks--This is my absolute favorite product that I've created so far! I use it at least 3 days a week all year long!

Daily Schedule Cards 

Grammar Posters

One huge tip I can give you to get ready for this sale is to go back into your previous purchases and make sure to click the "provide feedback" button. Each time you provide feedback you earn TPT credit to spend on future purchases. You can save a lot of money doing this!

Happy shopping!!!


Calendar Math

One of my most favorite parts of the day is Calendar Math. 

I feel like we hit so many math skills in such a short amount of time {usually less than 15 minutes}! The kids are interacting with different activities, we are choral counting and solving, sharing strategies, making up problems to solve using today's number, and just having fun! 

A few years ago I created Calendar Math Journals to help me use our Calendar Math time as a way to collect data on my kiddos. Each student was given his or her very own monthly Journal and every few days we completed a page or two together.

For example, Monday we do Calendar Math on the floor in front of our Calendar. Tuesday, and Wednesday we do Calendar using our Journals. Thursday we are back to the floor. And Friday we do another Journal page. 

On the days when we are working in our Journals, I have our Student of the Week flip the calendar pieces, complete any writing on the hundreds chart, number line, tally marks, straws, money... so we are ready to go the next time we do Calendar on the floor. 

By the end of the year it is my goal that most of my students can complete the activity pages on their own. 

It got to be quite the task running monthly Journals, so I changed it up last year and tried Trimester Calendar Math Journals! This worked out amazingly!!

Here is how I set up my Trimester Journals:
Trimester One: Sept, Oct, Nov activity pages + cover, 100s chart, tally recorder, weather graph {one per month}, "Things I noticed about ___" {one per month}, and the reference page with months of the year, days of the week, skip counting info...

Trimester Two: December, Jan, Feb, March...etc.
Trimester Three: April, May, June...etc.

I double side when copying and staple three times along the top for durability. Very rarely do I have to restaple Journals. My students keep them in their "Unfinished Work" folders for safe keeping in their desks. I collect them only when I want to collect some data--most of the time I collect about 5 at a time to cut down on the pile. I also collect Journals before Fall and Spring Conferences, or before meeting with parents for other meetings throughout the year... just to show them a more clear picture of what we are doing in 2nd grade math and to show them what we did last month... how we have grown, and give them a glimpse into our future! {My kiddos love "looking into the future" especially when something looks hard! They can't wait to get there!}

Each Trimester Journal ends up being about 15 pages {front and back}. And remember... that lasts us 3-4 months! I say that is paper-well-spent!

I love our Calendar Math Journals! This is one of my top selling TPT items and since I am moving up to 3rd grade I will be working on a version that is more specific to 3rd grade skills!

 Here are some pictures of what my Teacher Journal looks like... when we complete our Journal pages together I have my copy under the Document Camera and each of my students has his or her copy out in front of them. I give them time to do the work independently before I call on students to help me fill in the answers in my Journal. For some problems {like the Shopping Problem} we decide on the item, price... or for the clock I tell them the time I want them to show... and then they get to work independently.

How do you do Calendar Math in your classroom? 

CCSS Overload

July is winding down... B2S sales are beginning to pop up... and I am forcing myself to stay away from my classroom for one.more.week. {I don't officially go back to work until Aug. 25th... Kids come Sept. 3rd}

This year I am moving up to 3rd grade. I am so super excited {especially because I get to take a few of my last year 2nd graders with me!}

But I am also anxious--mostly about the jump in skill level between 2nd and 3rd grade. I have loved teaching 2nd grade for the last 6 years! I know the standards, I know strategies, I have a plethora of resources and materials in my cupboards, cabinets and drawers. So now I need to learn my 3rd grade stuff! I. Can. Do. This!

I have spent most of my time just reading the standards then TPT-ing & Pinterest-ing ideas for each standard--this is mostly just helping me get a visual understanding of what 3rd grade looks like. 

I have also spent time looking through my 2nd grade stuff figuring out how I can tweak something I love {like my writing station} to make it work for my 3rd graders. 

When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I watch this video. There is something about it that inspires to keep pushing myself and reminds me why I am a teacher! 

Take a look!


Creative Clips Summer VIP

Have you seen this?! Are you a member yet?!

Ms. Krista Wallden is hosting an amazing Summer VIP Membership club--

Creative Clips Summer VIP Members will get:

- 10 Creative Clips Digital Weekly Newsletters with tips, updates and a summary of each week’s goodies
- Advance notice of two major summer sale dates
- Many samples of new types and styles of clipart before other sellers!
- Mini Sets of clipart and a variety of isolated images that will not be available in her store until after summer
- A full-set of clipart valued at $4.50 as a Back-to-School Summer Send-Off Gift (specific set will be included)
- Creative Clips printables which may include thank you notes, classroom labels, bookmarks, etc. that will jumpstart your school year with go-to goodies!
- Opportunity to provide specific feedback through exclusive surveys and polls to make sure Creative Clips is offering you everything you need/want!

WHAT?! Please tell me you are a member! This is amazing! 

I love her newsletters each week. Learning from other teachers/bloggers about tips and tricks that work for them is super inspiring for me!

With that being said I was inspired to revamp one of my most popular Back 2 School TPT {Freebies}

Click {here} for your copy!

And if you are a clip art lover/hoarder like me, make sure to sign up to be one of Krista's VIP members! I am certain she will inspire you, too!


EOY: Camp Week!

Every year our wonderful 1st grade teachers plan a super fun A-Z (26-day) countdown to the last day of school.

Maybe teachers in your school do this, too! Each day corresponds with a letter and a special activity that begins with that letter. For example, K day is King day and all of the boys in 1st grade are treated like Kings. They make crowns and everything! But then with Q day comes around the girls in 1st grade are Queens for the day... with crowns and everything :)

So my sweet 2nd graders began asking me if we were going to do an A-Z countdown.... like way back in March they asked me this! 

I reminded them of how special they felt each day when they were in 1st grade doing all of those fun activities and we talked about how it wouldn't be very fair (or as much fun!) if we did the same thing in 2nd grade. So I promised them we would do something different. 

The past 2 years I have done a 10 day countdown and although my kids love it, I wanted to do something a little bigger this year. 

So I took to Pinterest and TPT.... and after some searching I decided on CAMP WEEK!

I convinced my 2nd grade teacher teammates to do it with me so our whole grade level would be doing fun things together. And boy am I glad they were willing to join in... this ended up being quite the fun experience with a LOT of prep!

This is what our circle table looked like on Day 1.

We had writing journals ready (bright green cover), math journals ready (red cover), Camp Helm Memory Bags ready for names and decorating, and mini flashlights awaiting batteries from home. 

My students brought:
* one snack item (to be added with everyone else's snack item for a Friendship mix)
* one AA battery for their flashlight (which they got to keep at the end of the week!)
* and a pillow from home to stay at school all week (for reading by the campfire, of course!) 
* Letters from home :)

Each day we focused on one school rule--this was my big plan to keep everyone on track those last weeks of school :)

Day One was: Safety Always

We discussed what it looked like at Camp Helm and I showed them their special lanyards that they would be working to earn beads for (see last picture below...). 

We then constructed our Campfire--some students made rocks, some made logs, and we all made hand-print flames. 

2 weeks prior to Camp Week I sent home a letter explaining all the fun that was to come... and asked parents to write a letter to their student for each day of camp... like letters they might actually receive if they were away at camp for a whole week.  Parents wrote their student's name and the day of camp that each letter should be opened. I passed out the mail each day and students took their flashlights and letters around the room to read. I also found a YouTube video of a real crackling campfire to play for them to help set the "mood" :)

I snuck a peak over shoulders to read parts of the letters and can I just tell you that these parents wrote the most creative, sweet, fun, loving letters I have EVER read! I literally teared up daily! They wrote about how much they missed their student--how much their pets missed them--how they couldn't wait to come and pick them up from camp--gave them reminders (brush your teeth...watch out for bears!)--and said "I love you" lots!

After we read our mail then we made Friendship Mix and enjoyed it as our snack. 

In the afternoon we answered a camping themed question (ex. Can you set up a tent) from Andrea's pack and then completed a few pages of her math journal activities.

We ended the day reflecting and writing in their camp journal. This became quite the review of important literacy skills we learned throughout the year! They reminded each other to start with a main idea, use transitional words, add interesting words and details, and to remember capitals and periods!

Everyone had a chance to share their journal writing around the campfire.

At the end of Day One everyone got their first bead (pink) except for one little guy who really struggled to keep all chair legs on the ground at all times... don't worry! He was very concerned that he didn't earn his Safety Bead and worked extra hard to earn it on Day 2!

The rest of the week was pretty similar each day with campfire reading, mail from home, Friendship Mix, Math Journals, Writing Journals, lanyards... and FUN!

On the last day we made s'mores with marshmallow fluff. Have you ever used that stuff before??? It goes from fluff to runny, sticky, goodness in a snap!

Field Day happened to land on Day 2--extra fun at Camp Helm, let me tell you!

Our end of the year community hiking field trip landed on Day 4 (slightly planned). We hiked around the trails of our school's neighborhood in search of producers, consumers, and decomposers. Each student carried a special notebook with them to draw examples of each as they spotted them!

When we got back to school we made a 2nd grade mural to show all of the organisms in our community. It turned out so super AMAZING!

Overall, Camp Week was AMAZING! Teachers were stopping by all week wishing they were at Camp Helm wondering what was on the agenda for today.

Best of all, my students LOVED it! They told me over and over that this was the best week of school ever! Many even told me that they wanted to stay at Camp Helm overnight! :) Sweet, huh?

I loved Camp Helm! I would do it again in a heart beat! But... during Camp Helm week I found out that next year I am moving up to 3rd grade!! I am super excited (and really nervous!) but that also means I can't do Camp Helm again....hmmmmmmm.... what should I do next year??


Civics + National Boards

This year is literally zipping by for me. I am in full National Board-mode and have no intention of stopping until my Assessment Center Test is completed!

I am working away on Entry 2--Social Studies and had time to make it into a freebie for you :) 

We started a few weeks ago by talking about:
1. What is a community?
2. What are the three types of communities? How are they alike and different?
3. What is a community helper? How are they important to our community as a system?

And now we are moving on to the civics end of things. We started today with:
1. What is a law? Why are they important?
2. What is pedestrian safety?
3. How are laws created and enforced?

This led us to the three branches of government. This is not a focus skill for 2nd graders, but I felt it was important for me to introduce each "branch" to my kiddos, and they really enjoyed it!

Click the pictures to download your own copy for free :)