Friday, June 29, 2012

Some of my favorite math games

Well this is my 2nd post in a row about math games.  As you can probably tell I love using games all the time in my classroom to reinforce skills taught. 

Since I have so many new followers  I'm sharing the link from Dec.  It was for a student gift for x-mas using a deck of cards. But I thought it would make for some easy and fun math games to use during math centers. I always buy the deck of cards at the dollar store.  They have 2 in pack.  So it's a fairly inexpensive math center.  Just click on the image below see the post.

Also I uploaded other games to my TPT and TN stores.

Round 'Em Addition

Round Em Up Multiplication

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Having Fun With Number Sense Fun and Linky

Yesterday I was going to post about Number Sense, but got distracted with a Music Linky Party.  Well today I found another linky party.  Miss Nelson's You Tube Linky Party. Since my post about Number Sense also involves You Tube I can do both!

Students and number sense is something that I'm always trying to improve on.  This seems like a topic that is a struggle for a lot of students.  With the new CCSS students will need to have a deep understanding of number sense.  So I have some fun activities that I like to use to help teach Number Sense. 

Math Rocks Ones, Tens, Hundreds

Place Value Game from Teacher Tipster

Place Value Song from Teacher Tipster

Computer Games for students:

If you like these ideas I have a new unit Having Fun With Number Sense Fun. It has games/activities that students love.  Besides playing music in the classroom I like to play learning games in just about every subject.
This is a two player game that students can play.  Students roll place value dice and they need to place the numbers so it reads from least to greatest. 

Another activity in that unit Guess My Number.

If you are interested check out my TPT and TN links at the left. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Music in the Classroom

Today I was going to post about Place Value, but I came across Mrs. Madden's Tune Up the Music Linky Party and I just had to do this. 

I just love listening to music in my classroom!  Whether it is for just for listening to while working or to teach a concept.  I can not sing at all!!  So I have tons of music that I have downloaded or have bookmarked on Youtube.
Here are some of my favorites.
Reading Rock Songs.  I have purchased the CD's  I have the first three. 

My kids love acting out this song!  You can listen to it online before buying through itunes.

Skip Counting

Solid, Liquid, Gas

Bat Echolocation Song

For Earth Day a Michael Jackson Song

Hand washing for kids : Pump  the pump   Music Video

Well that's a few of my ideas that I use for music in the classroom. If you have any music ideas that you like to share in your classroom; be sure to join the Linky Party.  I'm always looking for new ideas for music in the classroom.

Wed. I will blog about Number Sense.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Up Early, Birthday Sale, and Giveaway Winner

My dog, Pebbles, woke me up early this morning, and I just decided to stay up.  Yesterday was my blog's birthday, and I was so busy that I forgot to run my sale yesterday.  So I have all my items on sale today and tomorrow at both of my stores.

Here are some of my popular items if you are new to my blog.

Themed Behavior Clip Charts on sale for $2.40 (they come in a variety of themes)

Back to School First Day Guide Books on sale for $2.40

Addition and Subtraction Puzzles- A Great way to get students thinking.  Also on sale for $2.40

Persusasive Writing Unit on sale for $3.20

And much more so check out my stores.

And now finally the winner of my It's My Birthday Giveaway  . . . .

winner is Rachel M.  Congratulations!  After I post this I will be emailing you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Personal Reading Menus

During Guided Reading my students are reading.  They are either reading to themselves or reading with a partner.  I'm not one of those center type of teachers.  I hate making or buying things for centers only to have students lose a piece and then it's pretty much no good anymore. 

I still might have students work on vocabulary (work on words if you are a Daily 5 person), Word Work, or writing but that is usually something they do on their own as morning work and finish to start off guided reading if needed.  Once students finish that then they read.  For me students do not get enough time reading.  As much as I try to encourage reading at home students never seem to read enough.  So I have my students reading whenever possible. 

The last two years I had a FACE of a reader bulletin board, but if you read below I will be changing my bulletin board up a bit this coming year.  (Still working on the details.) So I will be looking to incorporating ideas from both.  I think all good teachers take a little bit away from every book or blog post that we read, workshop we go to and make it our own so that it works for our group of students.  Well anyway since I'm celebrating my blogs birthday I thought I would give away another freebie.  You can click on the image below to download my personal reading menu in google docs. 

You can arrange the sheets to spell either CAFE or FACE. Each one of my students has this in their book baskets. They bring them with when we meet for small group instruction.  This way it helps students keep track of what strategies they have been taught and are responsible for when they read. 

Don't forget to enter my It's My Birthday Giveaway!
Winner will be announced 1st thing Monday morning.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Math Freebie

As promised I would have some freebies to celebrate my blog's 1st birthday.

Here is the 1st freebie.  Race to 50.  Click on the image below to open in Google Docs.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway below.

I'll be back later with more It's My Birthday surprises.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly Homework

First of all I realized after I blogged about the giveaway that I had made the first task on the rafflecopter a must do.  It was like my Facebook page.  I realize that not everyone is on FB so I will be having a birthday freebie later this weekend.  So I apologize for leaving anyone out.  It was my first attempt at Rafflecopter so now I know what NOT to do this next time.  I'm sure I will have another giveaway or two before school starts. Thanks to all you have entered the giveaway so far.  If you haven’t entered yet be sure to check out the post below this one.

Homework has always been a struggle for me especially getting kids to read every night.  I was always getting excuses as to why “Johnny” couldn’t do his homework.  The past year I tried some new things and it helped tremendously.  Hardly had anyone not complete the homework.

The first thing I did was go to a weekly homework packet instead of giving out homework every night.  I have always been hesitant about weekly packets.  That would mean I would have to know exactly what I was going to teach that week.  (I’m one of those teachers that is always erasing/scratching out plans and changing them.)  But I ended up doing was keeping my homework simple.  Every week students had the same spelling activities to complete, I gave a few math sheets which were just a review of the previous week’s lessons, and nightly reading. 

Nightly reading that has always been a struggle.  This is the 2nd thing that I tried last year that worked out wonderfully- My Reading Bookworm.  Every week I sent home a reading link sheet.  After students read they brought in their reading link(s).  They could bring them in as they read or all at once.  It didn’t matter to me as long as they turned them in.  When the student turned them in we stapled them to the bookworm that went around our classroom.  The students loved seeing the bookworm grow every day.  It was a great incentive. Of course I still had some students not read, but it was a lot less than in years past.

 Once we completed the link around the room we had a classroom celebration.  Celebrations could be as simple as a pajama day or you can tie it into another celebration like I did and we had pizza for our Winter Party before break. 

If you are interested in this packet it is now available for sale at my shops. 

Overall the weekly packets/reading bookworm was successful I will be implementing them again this year.  Of course I will make some changes.

This year I am trying to save on paper so I took 4 of the spelling activities that I used and I will be running the copies back to back.  Click on the image below to download in google docs. 
Does anyone else have any great ideas they tried last year that was a successful?  Leave a comment and tell us all about it.  We would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's My Birthday Giveaway!

I know in the blogging world that you are not supposed to post more than once a day, but I just couldn't help it.  I thought I would use Rafflecopter for my giveaway and just had to try it out.  So I thought why wait until tomorrow.

I'm so excited that my blog is turning 1 on June 24th.  I can't believe it's been a whole year.
So I am giving away $12 worth of items at my TPT store along with these amazing goodies from my bloggy friends.

"Does Your Story Answer These Questions".

Cooperative Learning Groups and Partner Cards

Courtney From Swimming In Second    
A Common Core Set for your grade level
A $5 credit to the Talbott’s Teaching Trove Store

Christina from Mrs. Bainbridge’s Class 
Fractions are “Scoop”er
The giveaway ends on June 25th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reading Workshop Bulletin Board

This past spring I went to one of the best workshops for reading (By Smekens Education).  It was a 2 day event, with the first day being Reading Workshop and the second being writing.  Since I paid my own way I only went to the reading conference.  After a ½ hour I was kicking myself for not signing up for both days. The ideas I was getting was amazing!    If you ever get the chance to see Kristina Smekens I would go. (You can click on her name I have the link to the site with lots of information!)  I know she does a lot of workshops in the Indiana/IL area. 

Well needless to say I signed up for the writing workshop in Aug.  It’s in the northern suburbs of Chicago (I’m from the southwest burbs), but I don’t care about the traffic.  I can deal with the commute for one day.  I’m sure I will be blogging about many of her ideas this school year.

For starters I love her yearlong bulletin board.  In the past I have read the Sisters “CafĂ©” which is a good book, but I love how Kristina Smekens has her bulletin board by comprehension strategy.  For me this makes so much sense.  Here’s a picture of one that I found on the Smekens site. (Hmm I don't know why it went sideways on me.)

At the conference she showed us a picture of an umbrella which had each of the comprehension strategies on them.  Under the umbrella were raindrops that had skills taught during a “mini-lesson” in kid friendly language. 

That got me thinking about how I wanted to do my bulletin board.  In the past I had a Hollywood theme, but I’m changing my boards and I don’t necessarily have to have a theme.  However, our school theme is construction this year since our school is getting an addition of 2 more classes and some other updates to the outside.

A couple of years ago I bought this set from Toy R US .  Sorry I couldn’t post the picture, but click here to see it.  Click here.

I bought it and for a reading tool kit.  Each  tool being one of the comprehension strategies.  That’s when I decided on the Hollywood theme and never used it.  So my plan is now to use the toolkit but in a different way.

I’m thinking my bulletin board will have a toolkit for each of the comprehension strategies.  The right below the toolkit can be the tools with kid friendly skills from our “mini-lessons”. 

I want to do the same for writing but have a different theme.  Kristina Smekens has more ideas just like that for the 6 Traits on her site as well. 

I’m really excited about this idea and I still can incorporate the ideas from another book I like “Comprehension Connections”. 
Does anyone have any other great reading workshop ideas to share?  Comment below if you do.  We all love getting new ideas. 

I will be back late in the week for my Blog's B-day celebration.  So be sure to come back and check it out. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amazing Giveaways and some new items

Mrs. E from The Sweet Life of Third Grade asked me to hook up with her on another awesome giveaway.  There are many fabulous bloggers who have teamed up for this giveaway. 

I will be giving away one of my First Day Guide Books.  I have them for many different types of themes.  Don't have a theme?  I also have some general Guide Books as well.  Just click on the image above to check out the giveaway. 

Also Amanda Madden has a 100 Follower Giveaway as well.  Just love all her ideas. Mrs. Madden was one of the first classroom websites that I started stalking  I mean following.  That's how I started with my Second Grade Locker Room site. 

Now for some new items that I posted on my TPT and TN sites over the weekend, and a reminder that my 20% 500th Follower Giveaway ends today.

Cooking Theme Clip Chart
Monster Theme Clip Chart
Cursive License Packet

Emergency Subsitute Lesson Activities

Coming Soon

Zebra Theme Behavior Clip Chart

Saturday, June 16, 2012

500 Follower Sale

Don't forget starting today all items in both my stores are 20%  off thru Monday in celebration of reaching 500 Followers.  So this is my way of saying Thank-you.

Hope everyone is enjoying the hot weather.  It's supposed to get really hot here in the Chicago area.  I hear that Monday/Tues. is supposed to reach 100 degrees with high humidity.  I like the hot weather, but not quite that hot!  I guess it will be good to stay indoors and work on some new items for my birthday blog celebration. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Another Linky and a Sale

First of all I can't believe how fast this week has hone.  Boy how the week flies by when I'm on summer vacation.  Only wish the work week would go as quickly.

Yesterday Jessica from Mrs. Standford's Class asked me to join her linky party.  This summer I'm trying to do more with my blog.  I like to join linky parties.  It's a great way to get to know other bloggers and what they do in their classrooms.  So are just so many great ideas out there.  If I only had the time to make or try all the ideas I have pinned on Pinterest.

So my Pet Peeves are not any different than the ones I already read about on this linky.

Of course the number 1 is the "You are not a Robot" comment when you post a comment on a blog.  Not only do you have to type in two words, but they make it so hard to read sometimes.  I know I'm getting older, but my eyesight is still good.  I feel like I'm at the eye doctor reading those things.
2.  Another thing about the posts is when you want to leave a comment on some blogs you have to scroll down the whole post plus all the comments.  I know I had mine like that, but I just changed it yesterday so that it is a pop up window.  No more scrolling through the whole post again and all the comments.  In the pop-up window you can still read through the comments if you like.  It just makes it easier.

3.  I wish when you reply to a comment it would post right under that comment.  Well I learned yesterday through another blog.  (Sorry can't remember which one that is right now.)  But you can change the format where you can do that, but then again I lost the abilty of having that pop-up window.  I guess I want the best of both worlds. 

So I hope this isn't anyones Pet Peeve but I'm going to celebrate having 500 followers.

Starting on Saturday June 16- Monday June 18 I will have a sale at both of my stores.  I have so many new followers in the past week that I thought I would have a sale.  My items might be new to them.  Hopefully today I will h ave some time to add some more of my items to my store.  All items will be 20% off.  So be sure to check out my stores on Saturday June 16- Monday June 18th. 

Don't forget about Mrs. Bainbridge's Birthday Giveaway.  More information on that on the post below.  My birthday celebration is coming soon.  So check back later for more information.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Birthday Celebrations!

My good bloggy friend, Mrs. Bainbridge is having a huge birthday celebration giveaway.  Click on the image below to find all the awesome prizes you can win!

I will be giving away my Fiction/Walk n Talks and bookmarks.

Be sure to check out Mrs. Bainbridge's Blog to enter.

My blog will also be turning 1 on June 24th.  I was planning on a huge giveaway also.  If you are interested in participating in my birthday blog giveaway let me know by emailing me at .
I plan to have the giveaway from June 22nd- 25th. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Reading Linky Party

Well it's been a long time since I linked up to any Linky Parties.  Every summer is my chance to catch up on some reading and read books for fun.  So I am linky up with two linky parties on summer reading. 


I plan to read the following:

Some teachers will be reading this for a book club this summer. Thought it would be an easy/fun book to read as well.

Heard this was a good one!

A book that I've been wanting to read.

And of course I always read an educational book.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

WooHoo It's Officially Summer Vacation

Yesterday was our last day of school.  I will miss my students, but I am ready for summer vacation this year.  We had a lot of  new changes in administration this past year, and I found out today that our AP will be leaving us.  So more changes are in store for next year.

Well I found this idea on a blog and just had to make this for a quick end of year gift for my students.
Click here for more information on how to make this simple end of year gift.

Here is  an end of year school freebie for those still in school or just file away for next year.

Be sure to check out my blog during the summer.  I plan to have lots of updates, sales, and new items through out the summer.  My plan is add all of my First day guide books/themed behavior clip charts to TPT and TN soon.