Friday, January 17, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky. I don't know if I like this linky so much because it's fun, or because I'm always happy when Friday rolls around. I think it's a little of both! 

1. This week we wrapped up our Gingerbread unit. I know, I know, I'm a tiny bit late doing this, but I just couldn't fit it in before Christmas and it's just too much fun not to do it. Plus, it fits in really well with our fairytale study. I had my kiddos retell the story beginning, middle, and end style. They did so well with this! It made my teacher heart happy! We also put together these cute gingerbread girls and boys from The Bubbly Blonde. Go grab you a copy and tuck it away for next year, or use it now if you wanna be a rebel like me. Ha!

2. We also wrapped up our Jackie Robinson study. Jackie Robinson is one of our state's second grade social studies standards. In case you didn't know, Jackie Robinson was born in the great state of Georgia. We used Just Wild About Teaching's Baseball Stars unit to write about Jackie Robinson. I gave them three white circles with lines. They used the sentence starters "Jackie Robinson had…", "Jackie Robinson was…", and "Jackie Robinson wanted…" and wrote one sentence on each circle. 

"Jackie Robinson was a baseball player."

"Jackie Robinson had patience." 

"Jackie Robinson wanted to help all people come together."

3. Teach Dream Inspire is now on Twitter! Come follow along @teachdreamin! 

4. This isn't new, but I'm also on Instagram. You can find me @TeachDreamInspire.

5. I continue to be amazed by how awesome my team is! I seriously don't know what I'd do without them {especially after a full moon kind of week like this week}. Ya feel me?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Literacy Centers

I'm stopping by for a quick post about how I run my Literacy Centers. I have between 25-30 minutes for Literacy Centers towards the end of the day. Since the time is so short, my kiddos only visit one center a day. I have five centers set up, so by the end of the week, they have visited all five {fingers crossed…some loves forget what they've already done and do a center twice in a week…sigh}. They keep all their papers in a folder and turn them in at the end of the week.

Here are my centers…

Word Work

I have a table set up that my kiddos go to for this center. Here I give them a choice of two activities that they must do with their spelling words each week. After they finish an activity, they may write their words on white boards or build their words on a cookie sheet using magnetic alphabet letters. The key for me is to have everything at their center that they may need. This way they do not have to get up once they get to their station {well, except for Xtra Math…I'll get to that in a minute}. Here is a closer look at the word work activities that they must complete.

You can find these activities, and some more, in my little shop for FREE!

Work on Writing

I have another table set up for this center. Here my kiddos grab their monthly writing journal and get to writin'. I let them write about whatever they want because I usually give them topics to write about during our writing block and I wanted them to have this opportunity to let their creative juices flow. I do give them writing prompts, picture cards, word cards, writing mats, etc… just in case they are stuck. Again, they have everything they need for this center at the table {dictionaries, sight word dictionaries, pencils}. 

You can find these monthly journal covers and lined papers here.

Picture of the Day

I use the amazing Jen Jones Picture of the Day pack! My kiddos love it! I project the picture on my SMARTBoard and give them a recording sheet and they go to town making their observations and inferences.


This center is set up in my reading corner. I have a basket of books that I check out from the Media Center, or if they're lucky {HA!}, I let my kiddos pick one book a piece to check out for our reading center. When they do this, I make sure to remind them to choose good fit books! That includes picking books to meet our purpose for this center, which is to respond to reading. This means the books need to be sort of short because they only have 25-30 minutes at this center. The reading booklets are from the fab Amy Lemons.

Guided Reading

This is my meet with the teacher center. I pull one group a day back to my table and we usually read a book from our reading series Good Habits Great Readers and do an activity to go along with the book. This week, we have been working on main idea and details in nonfiction text.

Back to Xtra Math… I love, love, love {Did I mention love?!} Xtra Math. It really helps my kiddos develop their math fact fluency. Better yet, each kid can do it at their own pace. I have this going as a sixth center I guess you can say, but since it goes pretty quick, I let my kids leave their center when it is their turn on Xtra Math and then they return to their center when they are finished. My kids have done really well with discreetly telling the next person it is their turn {it really helped that Xtra Math has a video to show them how to do this}. The only center my kids cannot leave is Guided Reading. If you haven't checked out Xtra Math, do it!! I don't think you'll be disappointed! 

Well… I think that about covers it. There is my Literacy Centers in a nutshell.

and oh yeah… TGI almost Friday. That full moon thing this week just wasn't doing it for me!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Staying Organized {Freebie}

If your anything like me…you're majorly a tiny bit OCD… especially when it comes to organizing! I needed something to help me tackle the two main tasks, I feel, that I spend the most time on each week. Planning and copying are the most time consuming parts about being a teacher. I actually like to plan {call me crazy}, but I loathe copying. I needed a better system than just making a series of to do lists each week, so I created this weekly checklist…

I believe {fingers crossed} this will keep me organized each week and keep me from wondering "Did I already copy that?" or "What am I missing?". As you can see, I made a checklist for the subjects I teach. I have a planning checklist and a daily copies checklist. I also included a weekly copies checklist for those copies that I consistently need each week like word problem booklets, spelling lists, homework, word work activities, bucket filler slips, etc… Then, I also put a weekly prep checklist in to check off things like pre-created anchor charts, laminating, craftivity examples, books I need to checkout from the media center, etc… Finally, there is a little reminders section for, well, reminders. 

I also made a blank one with just lines for y'all…

If you can use this, you can grab a copy here

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday! I fully intend to watch The Globes tonight including all of the Red Carpet festivities! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday and that means it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky! 

1. Why do short weeks seem just as long as regular weeks? Boy am I tired and it was only a three day week with kids! Monday and Tuesday were teacher workdays. Monday was planned, but Tuesday was due to extremely cold weather. In Georgia we just don't do well with cold. This southern girl is a complete wimp when the temps drop below 60. Ha! I did enjoy two days of nothing but planning and getting report cards done. Wouldn't it be nice to have at least one teacher workday a week? Ahhh… I can dream can't I?

2. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that we took a little trip to London and Paris over the break. We had an amazing time and can't wait to start planning our next European vacation! 

3. This precious girl is a new addition to our little family. It's been awhile since my other two fur babies were puppies and I totally forgot how exhausting it was to have a little one. She's cute though, so that makes up for it!

4. I may have cried a little Monday night after my Noles won! My team finally pulled through for me! 

5. We jumped right back into the swing of things Wednesday with fairy tales. We are working on comparing and contrasting different versions of the same fairy tale. I love having access to a poster maker at school! It makes it super easy for me to make anchor charts! We talked about story elements as a class and the kiddos wrote on their graphic organizer while I wrote on this one…

We read The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Cowboy, and The Gingerbread Girl. As we read, we talked about how each of these stories were the same and how they were different. 

You can download a copy of this graphic organizer here.

{KG Fonts, Ink n Little Things, Pink Cat Studio}

Enjoy your weekend friends and link up with Doodle Bugs!!