Sunday, November 24, 2013

2 month TPT anniversary

It's officially been two months since I uploaded my first paid item.  Here are my stats:


32 products

I've sold 261 units.

Earnings:  $411.29

I'm feeling very blessed and appreciative to everyone who has supported me.  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Can I buy these in bulk?

Random Post for the day.....

Christmas Candy

Do I need to go on?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Free "App" of the Week

Every week, I try to include a FREE educational app in my weekly newsletter.  I introduce the app to my students at the beginning of the week.  When they visit the iPad Center during the week, they have a chance to play that particular app.  At this point in the year, I actually "lock" my iPad so they only have access to play that one app.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Class Song

I love, love, love this song!  I wish we could play it over the loud speaker every afternoon.  During my "Meet-the-Teacher" QR Code Scavenger Hunt, I had the students and parents listen to this song at one of the stations.  Now, we listen to this song every Friday afternoon before we go home.  It's honestly my favorite part of the week.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ranger Cookies

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Ranger Cookies are one of my favorite type of cookies.  Coconut and Rice Krispies seem like a weird combination, but I promise you won't be disappointed.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Keep in touch with PARENTS!

As a mom, I absolutely love it when my children's teachers keep me informed of what is going on in their classroom.  The more reminders the better because let's face it- we're busy people and sometimes forget things.

Here is a list of ways I keep my parents updated.  I promise it's not as hard and time consuming as it looks.

At the beginning of the year, parents fill out a form with important information.  This includes an email address for mom and dad.  (Click here to grab this FREEBIE.)  I send out email updates about two or three times a week.  I admit that seems like a lot, but again I feel like parents need a lot of reminders.

2.  Weekly Newsletters
I send home a newsletter every week with important announcements, as well as a joke, free app, and weekly website.  (Click here to view an example of my newsletter.)

3.  Keep an updated website.
I try very hard to update my website once a week.  I upload my weekly homework plan, as well as my newsletters, study guides, and school announcements.  If you don't have access to create a class website through your school, then try out Weebly or Shutterfly.  

4.  Twitter
I created a Twitter account this year for my parents and students.  I absolutely LOVE it!  It's easy and fun.  I also try very hard to only send out NEW information via Twitter.  That means I put stuff on Twitter that I do NOT send in an email or mention in my newsletter.

5.  Text Messages
I signed up at Remind101 this year and think it's absolutely fantastic!  Parents can receive FREE text messages about things going on in your classroom.  Again, I try to ONLY send out NEW information via text.  My goal is for a  parent to sign up for email, twitter, and text messages.  Therefore, I try not to duplicate the information I send out.

6.  Blog
I created a class blog that I try to update with pictures of things that happen in our class.  I want this year's students to start visiting it on a weekly basis, so I've started posting questions for them to answer.  (Click here to check it out.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Plays


      During my fourth year of teaching, I saw two Thanksgiving Plays in a teacher resource book.  I immediately copied them, passed them out, and told the students to memorize their lines.  At that time, it didn't even occur to me to tell them to wear costumes.  My-oh-my.... times have changed!

      Over the years, I've made many changes to my Thanksgiving Plays.  At one point, I decided to create my own plays based on those "original" two plays.  I've added different parts to fit the size of my class.  I've added a little humor.  I've added costumes.  I've added props.  

      Every year gets a little better.  I pass out the plays the day after Halloween.  Everyone has at least three lines.  The students are told to memorize their plays.  Students are told to wear costumes.  (I've actually had quite a few costumes donated over the years, so I happily pass those out to the students that need them.)  Parents and families are invited to watch the performances.  I also invite my administration to view the plays.  It really is quite impressive if I do say so myself.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Answer Keys ??

I need feedback from anyone that downloads stuff from TPT. 

I have gone back and forth with the idea of including an answer key with the items I sell on TPT.  Some of my products have an answer key and some do not.  It does take a little more time to create one and I was wondering if it's really worth it.  Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.  

I really appreciate any feedback you can give me since I'm always looking for ways to improve my products.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanksgiving Mad Libs

Are you looking for a fun and educational Thanksgiving activity to do with your students?  Look no farther!  I found a really cute Thanksgiving Mad Libs on Pinterest for FREE.

** I have found that students that look at the Mad Libs story before completing the assignment never turn out as funny as the spontaneous answers. 


Cute Clipart

Kids on a Merry Go Round

I absolutely LOVE cute clipart.  It started back in the day when my supervising teacher introduced me to Carson Dellosa.  At that time, I quickly became a pro at copying it out of a workbook, resizing it, and adhering it to my worksheets.  I admit that I became slightly obsessed with Dellosa.  I especially loved their clipart CD's.  Over the years, I've also used CD's from Cliptures and FREE clipart from Discovery Education.

However, my latest clipart obsession is something my friend Teresa introduced me to.  It's simply FABULOUS!  Best of all, it's FREE.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Update on my TPT Adventure

Thank you again to all of you who continue to purchase my creations. It truly fills my heart with joy.  Here are my latest and greatest stats:

I published my first "paid" item on September 23.

I've uploaded 27 different products.

I've sold 191 "units."

My total earnings are $288.  (However, I spent $68 on the paid membership and two different fonts.  That means I've made $220.)  

I currently have 46 followers.  

I haven't done any true "marketing", but hope to do so within the next couple of months.

Until next time.....

Possessive Nouns Continued.....

Last week, I taught singular possessive nouns, plural possessive nouns, and irregular plural possessive nouns.  I still can't believe I crammed all of that information in one week.  I will definitely be revisiting this skill, but felt confident in the lessons I taught my students.  On Thursday morning, I created a fun and easy review game.  I hope your students will enjoy it as much as mine.

This game covers all of the possessive nouns listed above.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turkey Recipes

Cooked Turkey

Calling all cooks......

Have you ever asked your students about cooking a turkey?

Go ahead..... ask them.... and then you'll fall over laughing.  

Most students think you cook a turkey in an oven set to 15 degrees for only 30 minutes.  If only.....

Every year, my students write a recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey.  The less they know, the funnier the directions turn out to be.  

My students write a rough draft on notebook paper.  I edit them before they write a final draft on "fancy" stationary I created. 

Afterwards, I adhere it to brown construction paper and laminate.  I don't laminate a lot of things, but these are too cute to pass up!  Or, you could collect all the final drafts and create a class book titled, "Our Turkey Recipes."


Monday, November 4, 2013

Possessive Nouns

I think QR Codes are pretty spectacular!  

I think possessive nouns are NOT spectacular!  

Well, at least in the world of second graders.  Once I teach my students about that lovely apostrophe, they like to start adding the apostrophe to every plural noun they can think of.  Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating just a little.......

Do you have an iPad?  If so, click here to see what I just found on TPT.

I can't wait to use this FREEBIE at my literacy centers this week.   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let's color a turkey!

I know coloring might be frowned upon in our days of teaching common core, but let's face it....... coloring is fun and frankly our students need a little fun every now and then.  I found this super cute turkey and (gasp!) let them spend time in class coloring it.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Drug-Free Week CONTINUED.......

(Click here for my post about "iTune Out Drugs.")

I wrote the word "Drugs" in a circle and made a web as we brainstormed all different types of drugs.  I'm always saddened at how much they already know about drugs.  I even tell them that medicine is a drug.  They are always shocked to hear about that.  

At the end of our brainstorming session, I tell them why people take drugs and why it's so hard for people to stop.  My message is clear- DON'T EVER TAKE DRUGS! 

We also discuss all the different reasons why drugs are BAD!

I always follow up with a great book called, "Smoking Stinks!" 

Monday, October 28, 2013

iTune Out Drugs

Every year, we have a "Red Ribbon Week" Door Contest.  In the past, I've had students send in a baby picture and post them on my door with a sign that says, "Born to be Drug Free."  I'm happy to report that I'm changing things up a bit because I found a really cute idea on Pinterest.  (Click here to see the blog.

I'm excited to start my "Drug Free" conversation tomorrow and have the students fill out an iPod with one reason they will tune out drugs.  I'll post a picture of the final product at the end of the week.  

The Wonderful World of Typos

If there was only such a thing as "The Wonderful World of Typos."  I promise I do try to proof each and every item I publish.  However, there have been a few times recently that I was using one of my own creations and noticed that dreaded typo!  I hate, absolutely HATE, typos!  I truly apologize to anyone that has purchased an item and noticed a typo.  As soon as I notice it, I immediately correct it and send out an updated version on TPT.  However, if you notice one before me, then please don't hesitate to contact me and let me know.

Until next time.....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Schema, Schema, Schema

        I recently had the pleasure of watching my reading coach, Mrs. Raffo, teach my students about schema.  She taught a phenomenal lesson using a graphic organizer and a nonfiction book about pumpkins.  The students and I were truly amazed by her talent!

      Fast forward to today when I had the opportunity to use this same graphic organizer with my students while reading a story about prairie dogs from our reading series. (2nd Grade Wonders Reading Series-Unit 2, Week 3) Every student was thoroughly engaged while searching for text evidence. I loved it!  I emphasized that we ONLY had to use complete sentences while writing our "Burning Questions."

*** I promise I really do have better handwriting than this!  Although it was an engaging lesson, I was in a bit of a time crunch because the students were not in school yesterday.  Too much to teach and not enough time!

Click here to grab your FREE copy of this graphic organizer.

My reading coach had a great idea to place this graphic organizer in a weekly literacy center.  Add a piece of informational text each week and you're all set!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spooky Science Experiment

One of my best friends, Natalie, came across this neat science experiment on a third grade blog.  (Click here to see the blog post.)  This was the perfect experiment to complete with our unit of matter.  Natalie is always thinking of fun "hands on" experiments, where I tend to stick to discussions and worksheets. She bought her students fun Halloween themed gummy candy, where as I just grabbed some plain jane gummy bears from my stash at home.  Yes, I admit that I want to be a student in Natalie's class. 


- Each student was given a ruler and magnifying glass.  (Yet again- Natalie came to the rescue with a class set of magnifying glasses!)

- Students wrote their initials on the cup with a Sharpee.

- Students were called up one by one to our sink.  They dropped their gummy bear in the cup, added just enough water to cover it, and placed it in the blue basket.  Afterwards, I moved the blue basket up to the top of a book shelf.  I wanted them to be surprised the next day!

- My students waited 24 hours before examining the bears on the second day.

- I gave each student a napkin on the second day.  I dumped the water out of each cup before giving them the gummy bear.  They dumped the gummy bear out on their napkin and made observations.

Day 1- Gummy Bears

Day 2- Gummy Bears

Anti-Bullying Month

Check out these great books that help
teach students about bullies.



Halloween Books

Check out some of my favorite
picture books to read on Halloween.  



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Halloween "Fact" Families

I always enjoy teaching my students about Fact Families.  I share the story about fact families with as much expression as I can possibly come up with.  Every year, my students watch me with such curiosity as I talk about these families.  It goes a little something like this....

* Be prepared- it's long and a little cheesy! 

* Feel free to skip to the end to check out a Halloween bulletin board idea and a FREEBIE.

"Girls and boys, did you know there is a family of numbers that live in a house?  Yes, that's right!  They live in a two-story house and have some pretty weird rules.  (At this point, I draw a very basic two-story house and a roof.)  

Inside this house lives three numbers.  There is a baby, mama, and BIG PAPA.  Big Papa is the BIGGEST number in the house.  (At this point, I hold my arms above my head and make it look like I'm flexing my muscles.  This gesture represents BIG PAPA. I know it's corny, but it works!  Later in the year, whenever a student is stuck on a subtraction problem, I simply hold my arms up and they immediately remember "BIG PAPA.")

Well, in this house, when the three numbers are upstairs, they are ONLY allowed to create addition sentences.  After all, they are numbers and that's what they like to do best.  Well, the "Big Papa" is very nice.  He says to the other two family members, "You go first.  I insist."  (At this point, I draw a plus sign in the upstairs window. Then, I write two addition sentences and point out that the "Big Papa" is last in the number sentences.)

Well, when they travel downstairs, those numbers are ONLY allowed to do subtraction problems.  After all, they are numbers and that's what they like to do best.  "Big Papa" gets a little bossy and always insists on going first.  (I add the subtraction sign in the window and write two subtraction problems.)  

Guess what?  These family members are NEVER allowed to leave their house AND they are NEVER allowed to have any visitors.  (I explain that other numbers will NEVER be apart of those number sentences.)"

I also explain that they are a family.  That means those numbers are related, just like the people in their families are related.

After this animated story, I use three different numbers and model four more number sentences (two addition, two subtraction) without the house.  

This year, I took it a step further and had them create fact families on candy corns.  First, they wrote their fact family with a pencil. After I checked over it, they traced it with a black crayon and colored in the candy corn.  Last, the students picked out a piece of yellow or orange construction paper, glued their candy corn on it, and cut it out with a small border.