Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adding Multiples of Five FREEBIE

Three things tonight:

1. Can you believe that it's only Tuesday?  I know me either.  I have so much still to do for this week and it's this week.  EEEKKK! I'm going to be working, working, working until Teen Mom tonight.  Clearly, I have my priorities.  

2. Don't forget my TpT store sale is going on until Midnight! :)

3.  While playing Get to 100, a game from our math program that has students add multiplies of 5 to Get to 100, today I realized several of my sweeties need some extra TLC when it comes to adding multiples of five.   So I created this little game for them and thought I'd share it with you. :) Tomorrow we'll be playing this game and then changing the game to Get to 50 for some of my friends until their skills of adding multiples of five becomes a bit more solid. 

I have uploaded this goodie to my Teacher's Pay Teachers store for ya'll for FREE. :)  All I ask if you download a copy is that you follow my blog or my TpT's store.  As always, if you like what you've downloaded positive feedback is always welcomed. :)

Click on the TpT logo to head to my store and pick up your copy! 

Tomorrow is Wednesday! Woohoo! :)  Enjoy your evening friends!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I've Been Tagged and a Sale

I'm just going to start off by saying today was a day and I'm glad I survived.  My students were angels but there were just other things that I don't quite want to get into here at work that just made today awful.  Luckily after a trip to my husband's work, where I enjoyed some broccoli cheddar soup and a baguette and a mint crumble cookie, I feel much, much better. 

To celebrate surviving the day, I'm throwing a sale!  :)  Beginning tonight through tomorrow at midnight, everything in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store is 15% off!

Click on the picture to head to my store!  There is no better time to purchase my best selling Telling Time to the Five Minute Activity Pack or my Valentine's Day math activities, than now! :)

A fun tag game has been going around the bloggy world and I've been tagged by several friends!   

Soaring Through Second
Crisscross Applesauce
Miss Smartie Pants
So let's get started!
So here are the rules:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Facts About Me
1. I'm an only child.  I do have a brother and sister in law though.  However, they live far away and I don't see/talk to them often.
2. I am the first person in my family to go to and graduate college.  My dad paid for my entire college education and I'm so thankful!
3. My stepmom is 40 and my stepdad is in his 80s.  Yes, I'm part of a true All-American Family. :)
4. I really love coffee.  My favorite drink is a misto from Starbucks but since they are just steamed milk and coffee, I've been making them at home lately.
5. I was introduced to my husband by the grandfather of one of my former students.  
6. I teach in the same district that I graduated from!
7. I come from a family of firefighters.  My grandfather was a fire chief and my dad is the chief of the same department today.  My uncles are firefighters.  It ends with that generation though.  I'm a teacher, one of my cousins is in sales, one is in radiology and two are hairdressers.
8. I pin a lot of organizational tips but organizing just doesn't come easy to me. It's something I really want to get better at.
9.  I own a lot of TV on DVD.  My favorites are King of Queens and the first three seasons of The Office, before it just got weird. 
10.  I started my masters in literacy three years ago and got bored and haven't taken a class since.  I'm really intrigued by the educational media design and technology program through Full Sail, so I hoping to start again soon.  My classes aren't a total waste, as I had to take 9 reading classes to get a limitation taken off my license, because I went to college in another state.
11. I'm a huge Ohio State fan.  So I get lots of fun Ohio State gifts from my students!
12.  I'm a coach with Girls on the Run and can't wait for our season to start! :)  We meet to plan our season tomorrow! :)

Since I was tagged by four people, I'm going to answer four questions from each of you!
Starting with my bloggy BFF, Sandy
1. Dogs or cats? DOGS!  I have the sweetest lab collie mix named Maddie! :)
2. Sweet or sour? Sweet!
3. FRIENDS or Seinfeld? FRIENDS! I can't stand Seinfield!

Now three of Holly's questions!
4. What's your favorite piece of technology? At home, I LOVE my Macbook.  At school, my Smartboard.  I also have an iPhone and adore it! :)
5.  Do you have a social life? Yes but barely.  This school year has been exhausting and I spend a lot of time planning and just detoxing on the weekends.  I'm hoping for more balance next year!
6.  Are you a phone talker? My husband lived in Atlanta for five months for work last year and we talked on the phone a lot. So I'm kinda over talking on the phone.

Now three questions from Latricia!
7. What place in the world would you most like to visit? My husband is Italian, so Italy!
8. If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be? Lucille Ball.  I Love Lucy is one of my favorite shows of all time and I've read lot of biographies about her.  I'd love to just have lunch with her. :)
9. What is the last movie you watched? Crazy, Stupid, Love

Last but not least, three questions from Miss Smartie Pants.
10. Do you get along with your colleagues? Kinda.  I'm much, much younger and that can make planning difficult.  They're very sweet though.  My former teaching partner is one of my best friends!  I can't wait to coach GOTR with her again!
11. Does your school encourage homework? What does your class do? Yes, my class does a packet.  My friends do a little bit of reading, math and spelling a night.
12. If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?  I'd be one of my students, to experience what being in my class is truly like!  

Opps! I forgot four questions from Stacy!
1. How long have you been blogging? I have been teacher blogging for a month.  I food blogged for a year before starting a teaching blog. 
2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Graeter's Buckeye Blitz! Peanut Butter with HUGE chunks of milk chocolate. LOVE.
3. Who is your number one blogging addiction, as in, gotta' read their new post every day??
Um, this is really hard!!!!!!!  I really love Kristin and Sandy!
Food Blogging Wise: Yes, I Want Cake and How Sweet Eats
4. Best find on Pinterest to date? (slightly selfish motivation)
Um, I really love Pinterest.  But I'd have to say my favorite teaching pin lately is this.  I can't wait to use it! My friends really need extra fact practice in the worst way!

I'm obsessed with coffee and love my hubby, so I ADORE this Pin!
Source: t1.gstatic.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Most of my bloggy friends have been tagged, so I'm going to break the rules and say "Tag, you're it, if you haven't been tagged!" 

Here are your questions:
1. What is your favorite book?
2. If you could vacation anywhere, where would it be?
3. What is your favorite movie?
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. Do you use the term soda or pop?
6. What is your favorite, I had a bad day pick me up?
7. What was your favorite grade in school?
8. Do you have any hobbies?
9. Are you a morning or night person?
10. Do you have any kids?
11. What is an item in your classroom that you can't live without?
12. What was your favorite TpT/TN purchase?

Okay, I think that's it friends! Have a great night! :) 
I hope you all had a great day!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

TpT: Ways to Help Planet Earth and a Freebie

Sorry to break the two posts in a day rule but I just wanted to let my Treasures Reading Series friends know I just uploaded my small group resource packet for A Way to Help Planet Earth!

Since it's a Time for Kids Week, I know I'll be doing lots more with my leveled readers.  Click on the TpT logo to head over to my store and check it out! :)

I know many of my Treasured friends don't use Treasures, so I pulled a Freebie out of my packet for you.  This review game reinforces the variant vowels OO and OU.  :)  Click {here} to download "Three in a Row!" To play, have students put the ou/oo words on the game board in the boxes and then spin the spinner.  If it lands on OO, then the students cover up an OO word, etc.  A student wins when they get three variant vowels in a row! :)

On a unrelated note, where did the weekend go? So not ready for Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Favorite Follower Award

Well, it's happening, the cold my husband had all week has made it's way to me.  I can't wait to just relax....all weekend long.  Which isn't much different than any other weekend. ;)

Of course, I started to feel a lot better once I saw the sweet Amanda at Learn, Laugh, Grow and Lisa and Beth at Made in the Shade in 2nd Grade awarded me this: 

Talk about melting my heart! Thanks so much friends.  :)

Of course, narrowing down my favorite followers down to two was a daunting task.  Ya'll are each so sweet and I appreciate your sweet comments oh so much. 

I've admired Courtney's blog for a long time and love her ideas.  I always love seeing her comments and the encouraging words she has to say. 

Then there is sweet, sweet Sandy who is seriously one of the sweetest people in blog land.  Her comments always make me smile and she has some of the cutest ideas.  I mean have you seen her post with the activity she did with the book Giraffes Can't Dance?  Precious!

Soaring Through Second

I'm running out of energy, so a recap of our 100th day will have to wait until tomorrow,

 Happy Friday, friends!  Have a GREAT weekend! :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cause and Effect and Nouns!

Today was a really fun day in the classroom! We survived our second to last Dare lesson.  I'll spare you the details but the general idea of the lesson was about second graders, alcohol and a tree house.  Talk about the fun ole time.  

One of my favorite things about blogging is the sharing of ideas and resources.  Today we used Courtney's cause and effect organizer for a fun cause and effect activity.  I had the students buddy read the story and then I gave them a slip with two events of the story on it.  They had to determine which one was the cause which one was the effect. 

A proud teacher moment occurred when I saw several students visit our anchor chart and review our cause and effect words to figure out which event was the cause and which was the effect.  For example, this student used the word so to determine the cause and effect.  "The goose with one foot returned with a friend SO the girl is excited and happy."  

Here they all are hanging up in the hallway! My kids really enjoyed this activity, thanks for sharing your organizer, Courtney!
 In language, we've been studying nouns.  We don't follow Treasure's grammar anymore with the adoption of our new writing program.  We use Being a Writer, which I really enjoy.  It's been a challenge fitting in our writing lesson and teaching necessary language skills but we're making it work!  I had my kiddos do a noun hunt with our weekly story, A Goose's Story, and then we added the new nouns they found to our anchor chart. 

My kids really enjoyed this activity and were so engaged, carefully glancing through each page to find nouns.We then glued everybody's notecards on another anchor chart to display in our classroom.

Tomorrow is my second of eight biweekly all day meetings on the adoption of the Common Core.  I am loving the experience but creating good sub plans is always a difficult task!

Hope your Wednesday's were wonderful!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three Things on a Tuesday and a Math Freebie

One of the parents of my former students has the cutest family blog and often does a recap of her family life called "Ten on Tuesday."  She's a brilliant writer and I always look forward to her posts, and I'm taking a little creative license and putting my own little spin on her creative series, "Three Things on Tuesday."

1. I got brand spankin' new glasses today.
I am pumped about this.  My previous glasses were five years old and four prescriptions off.  My sweet eye doctor, who I've gone to since I was in second grade, strongly encouraged I get new glasses at my last appointment.  I usually wear my contacts but my old glasses were looking a little rough.   I mean crooked and bent and looking like a hot mess rough.  I am pumped about my new lenses because I can rock a high bun and specks for our 100th day of school.  I'm strongly encouraging my sweeties to come to school dressed like they are 100 years old but a high bun and some glasses are all I've got. ;)  I'm the teacher, so I get to take shortcuts like that. 

2. When things get tough, I rock out to Miranda Lambert and Kellie Pickler.  True Story.
Even though I have the sweetest group of second graders ever, this year has been extremely hard professionally.  So therefore, I like to blast and I mean blast, Miranda and Kellie on my way to work or jam out to my Miranda Pandora station in my classroom.   It pumps me up and I get through another day.

3. DARE is painful.  Very painful. 
It's the worst version of show and tell ever.  Today our friendly DARE officer showed my kids a picture of marijuana and talked about the dangers of sniffing household chemicals.  Nice.

Well anyways, as my sweet grandmother says, my district uses Investigations and Investigations is big on having kids create their own story problems.  Which is good because that is a common core standard and it shows true understand of the concepts of addition and subtraction. However, it's always so hard to get quality story problems! So I created these anchor charts to use tomorrow.  Hopefully they make a difference!

If you want your own copy, just click {here}! If you think these could be useful in your classroom, leave me a comment below! :)

I hope ya'll are having a great Tuesday!  Back to sub plans I go! I'm out on Thursday for Common Core implementation planning.  Woohoo! :)

Tell me one thing about your Tuesday. Ready, set, go!

Monday, January 23, 2012

TPT: Goose's Story and Cause and Effect Anchor Chart Freebie

I hope all of you had a great Monday!  Even though I dread Mondays, they are actually often some of the best days I have in the classroom and today was no exception.  We had a really great day.  With the exception of DARE time.  I hate DARE.  It's like a really, really bad version of show and tell that lasts for a half hour.  Except it's lead by a police officer who hypes up the kids on stories about stranger danger and has the kids act out "screaming like a little girl and running away" if a stranger approaches them.

I only wish I were kidding.

Academically, we spiraled back to cause and effect.  I treat the mini story from Treasures as a mini lesson and after reading "Bill Helps Geese Survive", we made this anchor chart.

Again, pretty charts aren't my thing but that's not the purpose.  ;)  I have uploaded the typed portions of my anchor charts to Google Docs if you're interested. Just click {here}.

I also finished my small group resources for Goose's Story last night! Woohoo! I've been loving using these in the classroom the past few weeks. Click the preview image to check it out on Teacher's Pay Teachers.

Lastly, my kids have been reusing some old anchor charts to draw on during indoor recess.  Which is brilliant because I despise having indoor recess games because I often find the pieces all over the room.  Today they made me this sweet Valentine's Day card.  ;)  Won't lie, it made my day.

Signing off to blog stalk ya'll now!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Pictures Grayscale Tutorial

I just want to say "THANK YOU!" to all my sweet followers.  This morning I was feeling a little down.  No real reason, just kinda blue and then I logged onto to Blogger and saw some of the sweet comments you guys left me while I was sleeping and then I got some great ratings and feedback on Teacher's Pay Teachers and my mood was instantly lifted! :)  Thank you!

Thank you for also participating in my discussion in homework too.  I appreciated everyone's comments and feedback so much!  It was hard moving to a new grade/school at the start of the year and basically be told "No way you can't do that,"  in reference to my homework routine.  I've got some great ideas tucked away for next year, and it's all because of YOU!

Last night while working on my math center's I found a pretty cool trick in PowerPoint, I figured out how to make pictures/images change from color to grayscale.  Since I don't often print things in color, I was pumped to find this little trick.

First, right click on the image you want to change.  Then select Format Shape.

Then, once the Format Shape box opens, click on picture.  Then, clock on Recolor. Then, click on Grayscale and then OK.  Your image will now be Grayscale!
If you have a lot of images on a single page to make Grayscale, if you group them together, you can make them ALL grayscale at the same time!

Once you hit OK, they all will Grayscale! 

Some of you also asked how I do my preview pictures for my units.  My skills with this are still progressing and I'm sure there are much better ways to do this. Edit: The easiest way to get pictures of each slide is to save your presentation as a JPEG/PNG file and then just drag and drop into a new Powerpoint presentation to create a preview picture.  Then save your preview picture as a picture file to use on your blog! :)  Thanks friends!

Thanks for reading this whole tutorial, I hope some of you find it helpful!  :)  I'm off to relax and finish up my lesson plans.  I took a personal day on Friday, so I have a little bit of the Back to School Blues. ;)

For my friends who use Treasures, I just finished my small group resources for Goose's Story.  I'll be posting a preview pic and a freebie tomorrow but if you need it sooner, click on the TpT icon to check it out!

Have a great Monday! :)

Teacher's Pay Teachers: Math is Sweet

Well, after many hours at the computer, my Valentine's Day Math Centers are complete!  I'm doing the happy dance as I type and you read! 

Click {here} or on the picture above to head to my Teacher's Pay Teacher's Store for more details! I'll be back later today, it's just after midnight as I type this with a little Powerpoint Tutorial. :)

Oh and the first person who comments below gets a copy for free.  It pays to be a night owl. ;)

Edit, I totally forgot to upload your freebie! Please forgive me! :) Click {here }to download your freebie from my Math is Sweet unit! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's Finally, Winter and a Freebie!

This winter has been strange!  At this point last year, we had several snow days.  It was great.  I loved those snow days. I had a very difficult class last year and it was great to recharge my batteries.  However, this year we've had NO snow days.  We really haven't had any snow at all.  Last night we got an ice storm and I'm loving the fact I have nowhere to go today and I get to be BFFs with my laptop and pjs.  However, next week we're supposed to be in the upper 40s and 50s.  So this winter weather is short lived.

In the spirit of my excitement, I created a freebie for you. :)
One of my favorite strategies for my students to use for addition and subtraction is an open number line.  Which you can see on this strategy chart.

Open number lines, or even counting up, requires my students to quickly recall what is ten more or ten less than a number.  We've been doing some type of ten more, ten less, one more, one less activity for our centers since school began and it's allowed my second graders to really visualize the 100s chart and be very successful with open number lines and counting up strategies.

My kids LOVE math center time, I mean love it.  They love if they're the few chosen to work with me or if they are playing a game/reinforcing a math concept with a partner.  So I created "Swinging Around the 100s Chart" for our next rotation of centers.

Since we are quickly approaching the 100th day of school, and I created some numbers to go along with the 200s chart, so students could practice ten more, ten less, one more, one less with numbers bigger than 100.

If you'd like your own free copy, then click {here} to head over to my Teacher's Pay Teachers store to pick up your own copy for free! I just ask if you download a copy that you follow my Teacher's Pay Teacher's Store or leave some feedback about Swinging Around the 100s Chart on its product page. ;)

Enjoy your Saturday, stay warm friends!  I'd also love for you to check out my post about homework and let me know your routine.  I currently switched up my routine, but I'd love to hear what other do to keep ideas in mind for next year!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Talk Homework

Can we talk about homework for a minute?  When I taught third grade, I had a routine that I loved.  Reading logs went home on Monday, were due the next Monday.  Spelling Contracts were sent home on Monday and were turned in a Fridays.  Math Fact Contracts went home on Tuesday and were due the next Tuesday.  I sprinkled math concept homework when needed and it worked. 

When I changed grade levels/schools, I had to say goodbye to my homework routine.  It was a sad, sad day.  My grade level had been doing nightly homework for years and wanted me to do the same.  It had a little bit of reading and a little bit of math and it was just and I was never a big, big fan. I liked  the fact we split up the homework load, and that I was only responsible for making our weekly homework every few weeks.  However, I got a lot of feedback from the kids and their families that it was a bit boring.  After reviewing the data from our fact fluency assessments, and seeing so many of my students below benchmark.  I knew we needed a change.  So change it up I did. 

My kids were in need of math fact practice and spelling practice, as previously spelling homework wasn't required.  So I tried to spring that in our new homework packet.  I got the template from the Abby's  TpT store, it's a free download, so check it out! :) 

I'm still playing around with my the routine, but I've cut back on having my kids read our weekly story three times a week.  They literally groaned on our second day of studying the story in class because they had read it so many times.  
I've also assigned nightly fact practice via the old math contract my third graders used.  Why mess with what works?  My third graders loved it and it made a big difference in their fluency scores.  So far, my second graders have really enjoyed it.  Win. :)
I'm planning to cutesy it up for you all and offer it as a download for ya'll.  It's a word document and it's a bear to change if I want to swap out some activities.  I made this before my obsession with Powerpoint.  Powerpoint, I love you. :)  My kids do two addition activities a week and two subtraction activities.   I'm still working on the math activities they do in addition to this, because I do feel that concept practice is important but I think doing something every night in addition to their fact contract is a bit excessive.  Most of the time, I'll have the kids complete a workbook page from our math program but I do know they will be doing this at one point this week to practice missing addends. 

Since my kids haven't been studying their spelling words like they should, I'm sprinkling these two activities throughout the week as well.  

On the night they do read our weekly story,  I plan on having the kids do more of a graphic organizer activity.  This is what we'll be doing this week.  

What are your thoughts on homework?  How does homework look like in your room?  I love for ya'll to share/link up your homework routines.    

So far the change has been positive and the only negative feedback I received was from a parent that I think honestly I'll never be able to please, so I'm just going to call it a positive change.  :)

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