Saturday, March 23, 2013

Classroom Makeover (Kind Of)

I wanted to share my mini classroom makeover with y'all. As you know, I got rid of my teacher desk a couple of weeks ago. This week I worked on organizing my new "desk", small group area, and revamping my supply storage and math tub storage.

Here is my new "desk"...

I still needed an area to connect my laptop to my SmartBoard and for my Doc-U-Cam, so one of my amazing teamies had this arrangement in her room, and I thought I'd give it a try. I love it! My clutter is a work in progress, but it's not too bad for my first week without a desk!

I bought one of these toolboxes at Home Depot last weekend and it's already filled up with all my little odds and ends. It's not as pretty as other teacher toolboxes I've seen on Pinterest, but it serves its' purpose for now. Maybe a summer project!?.

I was also able to move my small group table to where my old desk use to be. I'm loving the placement of this too!

I'd thought I'd share how I organize my guided reading materials...

I have three groups. Everything I need to have for each group is in the group's drawer. Nothing groundbreaking... just works for me! Ha!

Inside the drawer, I have a folder that contains my handouts for the day, copies of the book, and the plans that go along with the book. We use the Good Habits, Great Readers reading program. 

Since I was giving my classroom a mini makeover, I decided to reorganize my math tubs and extra supplies too. Hey, why not right! It was only the week before report cards were due, I still needed to work on plans, grading, copying etc..., but you know how it is... one thing leads to another... before I knew it I was wanting to change EVERYTHING... well almost.

First, I had two out of the three tables that were lining my back wall removed. I put wire cubbies in their place. These red buckets (from The Dollar Tree) house my Math Tubs for the week. Last week we were reviewing money, so I had five money tub activities and one journal writing activity.

My money activities are from Jamie Rector. You can check out her pack here. I love it! These were great activities for my second grade friends! 

My math journal prompts come from Yvonne Dixon. You can find her March ones here. All her journal prompts are awesome!

The numbered buckets on top of my wire cubbies are my early finisher tubs. These are from IKEA. Three are math activities and three are for Language Arts. I allow my kids to choose which bucket they pull an early finisher activity from. The one means "I need help with this". This bucket has previously introduced skills that my kids may need extra reinforcement on. The two means "I'm working on this". This bucket has additional activities that support what we are currently learning. The three means "Challenge me!". This bucket has more challenging activities for either a skill we are currently learning about, or a previously taught skill. My kids love the freedom of being able to choose which tub they feel best suits their needs. I pull the activities for these early finisher tubs from many different places.

On the other side of my word work table...

This is where I store my extra supplies. My kids know where to find them, and they just go back and get what they need. The Pop Corn buckets are from The Dollar Tree.

I heart organizing! How do you organize materials for your classroom?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Friday... Friday... Friday and I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday! If you haven't linked up yet,! I always look forward to posting five random things from my week. So I'll get to it...

This week I decided to post five random things I've discovered through Pinterest, my sweet friends from work, blog stalking, etc...

1. I'm always looking for new ways to organize my room. As you may know from last week's post, I gave my classroom a little make over and got rid of my teacher desk. GASP! Y'all I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it! More on my new look later, but back to my random find... 

OMG! My heart skipped a beat when I saw this! I may have some OCD tendencies. Seriously though, I love a good organization system. It just makes me happy, happy, happy! I found this on Pinterest and I knew I HAD to swing on over to That's So Second Grade! to check out her Common Core organization. As you can see, she has a file folder for each Language Arts standard and they are grouped by domain. Ashley was even sweet enough to post her label templates. Love!

2. Have you heard of XTRA Math yet? One of my sweet teamies found this site and we are all obsessed with it. It's only been two days, but I swear I'm already starting to see progress in my kids' math fact fluency! The best part is, it's free! Can I get an AMEN! Check it out here

3. Another pin from this week was this one from Teaching With a Mountain View

I love this idea! Head on over to this wonderful blog to read more about this activity for identifying the main idea in a nonfiction text.

4. This is exactly how I feel right about now.

After last weekend's beautiful weather... it's cold again. Dang! 

5. If it's not moving, monogram it! I've been scouring ETSY searching for fun monogrammed things for summer. Hey, summer is only 8 weeks away! I even found monogrammed bikini tops! How presh!

You can check these out here.

I'll be back tomorrow to post pictures of my classroom mini makeover and how I organize extra supplies, guided reading materials, math tubs, and Daily Five. Now off to catch up on some Dallas and Revenge! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday


I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for another Five for Friday! Here are five random posts to show you a little peek from my week...

1. I'm blogging on my new I Mac!! I'm super excited, but it's taking me a little bit longer to post as I'm trying to get the hang of things. Ha! This is our first purchase for my new craft room! It's still got a long ways to go, but at least our major purchase is out of the way! Next on my wish list... a Silhouette!

2. My kiddos completed this fun craftivity this morning from my March "I Can" Craftivities unit. Theirs turned out so adorable, but I forgot to take pictures. Boo. :( So here is my example...

This unit includes three March themed craftivities for students to show their learning in a creative way! Each craftivity includes a foursquare style recording sheet, a template to make the craft, and lined writing paper for students to extend their thinking. Head on over to my TPT store to check it out! 

3. I totally have Spring cleaning fever!! Does any else feel that way too? Well... to kick off my Spring cleaning, I decided to rearrange my room... on a Friday... I was at school until 6... prolly not the best idea... Ha! I got rid of my teacher desk because who actually has time to sit behind a desk! Plus, it was taking up entirely way too much room. With that gone I was able to put my small group table by the window. Now I can look out at the beautiful day during guided reading. Happy, Happy, Happy! Everything is rearranged, but my room is.a.mess! Oh well, there's always Monday!

4. This week we worked on possessive nouns. I taught my kids to think of the possessive noun as roping in the object that it owns. So of course we pretended that we had a lasso and rounded up our nouns! Again, I forgot to take a picture, but my sweet, and incredibly talented, teamie came up with a rounding up possessive nouns writing activity. We took pictures of our kids in cowboy/cowgirl gear and had them make their best wild west pose. Too cute! Then they wrote a couple of sentences in third person to show they were taking possession over something. 

5. Have you visited All Things Katie Marie yet? If not, you totally should! I found her cute little blog while pinteresting one night and adorable. A fashion blog for teachers! I know...!

Have a great weekend friends! I'm going to enjoy the gorgeous weather here in Georgia and do a little shopping at IKEA this weekend!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five for Friday

TGIF y'all! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another edition of Five for Friday!


1. I'm so excited to share my new unit!! Before I do, let me start off by saying I am so behind on this unit! I know Children's Dental Health Month was in February annnnd I know it is now March, but I just got around to teaching my teeth unit this past week. Dang! I had to finish up my last science unit before I could start on teeth. You know how it is... too much to teach... too little time! Well here it is...

Here are a few more pictures of activities we've been working on from my Terrific Teeth Mini-Unit...

We also made this tooth schema chart...

We will write down our new learning next week and add it to our chart on a different color Post-It. We will then take our misconceptions and place them outside the tooth. The kids will write everything on their own schema, misconceptions, and new learning circle map (from my unit).

You can check out this little mini-unit in my TPT shop! I'm putting this unit on sale until Sunday for 20% off. Even if you've already taught your teeth unit... you can always stock up for next year!

2. I also updated one of my first ever units on TPT. This germ mini-unit needed a major upgrade! I added new graphics, a couple new graphic organizers, and a craftivity. Here's my new and improved unit...

Here are a few more pictures of this unit in action in my classroom...

We started off by making a Germs can, have, are anchor chart (labels are from my unit).

Then we read these two nonfiction books on germs...

Germs Make Me Sick! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) (Reading Rainbow book)

What Makes You Ill? (Starting Point Science) 
For each book, we completed a main idea and supporting details graphic organizer (available in my unit). Since comparing two texts on the same topic is one of our second grade standards, we compared these two books by content and by nonfiction text features. I made a large Venn Diagram and my kiddos filled out their own (available in my unit). 

Just for fun, we made these little germ craftivities (from my unit).

I'm also putting my Germ Mini-Unit on sale until Sunday for 20% off! You can find it here!

3. We've been working on opinion writing and we started a new piece last week based on the book Hey, Little Ant.

Product Details

I love this book!! Do you? 

I had my kids cast their vote on whether they thought ants were friends or foes before we started reading the book.

After we read the book, I let them switch their vote if they changed their mind, and we brainstormed reasons why the boy should or should not squish the ant. 

They started working on their rough drafts today, and I can't wait until I read though their writing next week! They were so sweet and thoughtful when it came to that little ant!

4. Have you stopped by my bloggy friend Elizabeth's page yet to enter her amazing giveaway? If not, you must! There are some amazing units up for grabs!! 



Your chance to enter ends Sunday, so head on over to Kickin' it in Kindergarten right now!!

5. Boosterthon began this week. Does anyone else participate in this fundraiser? It is awesome! The kids love it, and it is a great opportunity to raise money for our school! The theme this year is Highway USA and my class' team name is Genesi's Jeeps. My second grade team wanted to make our names car themed and I thought what better than name my team after my own car! Plus I love my Jeep! You can check out for more information!

Congratulations on making it through my long winded post! Ha! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Unit

Happy Wednesday sweet friends! We're almost there!

I'm finally done with my Terrific Teeth Unit. This unit is jam packed with fun activities to keep your kiddos engaged while learning all about teeth. Just add your amazing teacher abilities and voila! Here's a little peek...

You can pick up a copy of your very own at my little TPT shop!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mega Giveaway

My new bloggy buddy Elizabeth over at Kickin' It in Kindergarten is throwing a MEGA giveaway! If you haven't entered yet head on over to her amazing blog and check it out! You can enter for a chance to win some fabulous units!! I've donated my How-to Writing Prompt Unit!