Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Snapshots

I thought I'd do a little review of my week through a few snapshots...

My kiddos have been learning about Jackie Robinson. They wrote about what made Jackie Robinson a hero on this little t-shirt template. Then they decorated the unlined side to look like the back of jersey.

We've been learning about 3D shapes this week. I can't tell you how much fun my kiddos had putting together their own model of a cube using marshmallows and toothpicks. I was a rock star! They even clapped when I finished assembling mine!

Friday we had a little 100th day celebration. After we read 100 Days of Cool...

100 Days of Cool (MathStart 2)
 we made these fun hats! They each used paint to make 10 groups of 10 dots on strips of construction paper.

They turned out so cute! They thought they were kings and queens with these hats on!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lately and a Freebie

It has been all kinds of cold here in Georgia for the last week. You know what that means... no outdoor recess!! Yikes! I was so happy to have a nice little three day weekend! I felt relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to kick off the week! Well... until I realized tomorrow is Wednesday and I have to start writing lesson plans for next week all.over.again. I know, I know... stop complaining about a short work week! HA!

I thought I would share a little bit of what we have been doing this past week... stuck inside...

We've been busy learning about 2D shapes in math and I had the kiddos make these shape mats to use as a visual while we are working on this unit. The shapes come from Amy Lemons' Shapin' Up unit. 

We also have been working on estimating and my super second graders have been making their way to the estimation station each week (an early finisher center) to make their guesses on how many items are in our class' estimation jar. I let one kid take home the jar each Friday to fill it up. They bring it back on Monday and we count the items in the jar, by making groups of ten, on Friday. It's so funny to see their reactions when they are either so close or... so far off! Last week there were over 400 mini marshmallows in the jar! Dang!

I also made this little freebie...

This can be used as a graphic organizer for any book. Kiddos can document their thinking before, during, and after reading on Post-its and stick the Post-it right onto the graphic organizer. You can even laminate these pages for durability!

I am lucky enough to work at a school that provides us with construction paper... thank.goodness! I seriously use large sheets of construction paper as folders for EVERYTHING! Any unit my kids are working on go into a makeshift folder like the one above. I let them decorate their folders to fit the unit and they love it! It makes me happy because I know that I can do extended units and they won't lose their papers! I do keep all their folders in a large basket... they would get too scrunched up in their desks! I also change up the colors I use so I can easily find the correct folder for the unit. At the end of the unit, their folders go home for parents to see their learning and their growth throughout the unit. It also makes it easier for me to look back through their work to see their progress when it's all in one place.

Head on over to my little shop to snag this freebie!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Math Centers and A New Look

So last week we had a Teacher Workday on Monday. PTL! Well... Tuesday my kiddos walked into the classroom to find this...


Ok, so the reason this was such a shocker to my second graders is because for the first half of the year they were use to this...

Oh yea, we went from tables to desks and let me tell y'all what... they were stunned.beyond.belief. I love it when I can get that kind of reaction out of them! Ha!

So this is a little close up of our desks and bookcases...

I'm telling you what... I'm loving this new set up! My kids stay in their own space, are neater, and I feel like I have more room to put all their "stuff". My kiddos have also gotten use to my OCD tendencies the way we organize our materials. EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE!

Let's hope it stays that way!

I wanted to give you a little look into how I organize my math centers. Nothing new... just my take on it...

I put my centers into clear plastic containers (from the Dollar Tree). In the container, I put copies of the recording sheet, center pieces, and the center's cover page/directions sheet. Of course I always laminate my centers for durability! If the center requires any additional manipulatives (dice, counters, rulers, etc...) I put those in the container too. This way the only thing my kids have to do is pick up their math center tub and find a good spot in the room to work. 

You can find my winter themed math centers in my little TPT shop!

There you have it... a quick little post... and as the hubs would say... at least you made it through Monday!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dollar Tree Finds

I'm always amazed at all the stuff you can find in The Dollar Tree! I spent almost an hour... not kidding... browsing through each aisle. Here's what I came across...

Valentine's Day candy and a little red container to put it in

silver platters and a scrubber...
I was inspired by Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and how she uses props to engage her students... so clever!

class take home pet and journal

Seriously y'all... Dollar Tree has some cute books for a classroom library!

I plan on using these to house math manipulatives. I got five of them so each table can have their own bucket of manipulatives handy.

Blurt Alert! I got this cute idea from here.

estimation station materials

Dollar Tree trip = success! 

What have you found at your local Dollar Tree lately? 

I also finished up my new how to writing packet! I think it is so much fun to teach how to writing. I begin my informational/expository writing unit with how to writing and I love how my kids are actually able to make connections to their writing when they write a how to piece. I always start this kind of writing by having my kids do what it is I'm asking them to write about before they start writing. Last nine weeks we did the how to make a s'more and how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from my packet. They loved actually making these things before they started to write! I got several thank yous after these lessons! They had so much fun and the most important part was that they were learning and making authentic connections to their learning. 

Please head over to my little shop to check out my new packet!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy, Happy New Year!

Hi sweet friends! I am back and ready to hit the ground running in 2013!! I go back to school Monday... Yikes! Thank goodness Monday is a teacher workday and this teacher has A LOT of work to do! 

I thought I would share a couple professional New Year's Resolutions with y'all...

- BLOG more! Y'all I've been seriously slacking and have neglected this poor little blog! I am going to try really, really hard to keep on top of blogging! Thanks to Dream Like Magic I have this awesome new blog design and I'm loving it!! I love all the bright colors, plaid, polka dots, and bunting!! To help me with my blogging resolution I am also going to try and join more linky parties. Man, I LOVE reading through them and I wanna join in the fun too!

- Don't sweat the small stuff (also a personal resolution)! I let myself get too stressed out. Sound familiar? I know most teachers feel the same way, but dang life is just way.too.short. to sweat the small stuff! My type A personality tends to get the best of me sometimes all the time.

- Keep on track to graduate with my Master's Degree this coming summer. Yep, I gotta keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in the end and to keep with it! 

- Read more...for fun... reading really helps me to de-stress and I need to give myself more "me time". I think this will help me professionally too! Happy teacher = happy classroom!

I also created a new unit over the break! 

This unit is made specifically for second grade, but could be used for remediation in third or extension in first. I have included 6 winter themed math centers. Each center is directly aligned to Common Core standards! Please stop by my little TPT shop to check it out! 

Here's a little peek...

If you're still on break... enjoy the rest of your time off! If your back at school TGIF!