Saturday, November 2

Apples, Apples and Halloween

I survived Halloween! Hooray!

I dressed up as Ms. Frizzle. Just so happened to be a rainy week and Halloween, too. I loved my sidekick Liz. She took me hours!

We did some fun apple experiments this week, though. (Click on the link to download a FREE experiment sheet I created.)

First, we found out the best liquid to put on an apple to preserve it, to keep it from turning brown, the longest.

Most of the kids hypothesized that water would do the best.

We brainstormed words that we might use when we taste apples. Then, we taste-tested green, red, and yellow apples.

Many of us, including me, had never tasted a yellow apple before. I was surprised that it tasted so similar to a red apple. The green apple was the most sour. Most of the kids preferred the red apple.

We put an apple poem in our poetry journals and used it to work on fluency.

I won an apple-shaped award for a PIE grant I wrote for a grow light.

These are the FREE apple products I found on TPT and used. Click on them if you are interested.


As an early birthday present to myself, I chopped my hair off! Love the change!

That's how my week went...
Happy weekend!

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Friday, October 25

Free Products and Scary, Scary Halloween

This week we had parent teacher conferences. Short week, but 2 lo-ong days. Loving that today gets to be a lazy day!

My conferences went well. I only had one conference (a Negative Nellie) that I'm already dreading their next one, but maybe my tune will magically change after a few months of working on that parent-teacher relationship. A girl can hope.

I hope your conferences go well too!

I just wanted to pop in and share a couple of FREE items I added to my TPT store, in case you're interested. Last week, I planned for the tier 1 reading groups to practice retelling stories and compound words using a couple different I 16 level books. If you can use them, please click to download the book study from my store.


I also created a new item FOR SALE in my store. Next week, I am planning for my tier 1 kids to read Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting. They're going to work on fluency with rhythm, rhyming words, and creative writing from a different point of view. Click on the book if you are interested in looking at or purchasing this product for $1.

I'll give someone this new product if you leave your email address in your comment.

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Sunday, October 20

Table Teams and More

I switched from desks to tables shortly after the year began, you might remember. Naturally, this last week, I finally began table teams.

I sorted my kiddos Kagan-style, per the AP's suggestion. He's a big Kagan fan. Each table has a high, low, and at least one middle student. 

Each spot at my tables is numbered. This makes calling on certain students pretty easy. I could say, "If you are sitting in spot number 2, please pick up a Storytown book for everyone at your table." or "if you are sitting at spot number 4, please stand up to share your table's idea." I like it! 

I assigned each table a color and created a little color insert for the table pencil baskets. I also hung a little monster above each table that matches their table color. 

My AP suggested a trophy for the table with the most points at the end of the day, so I made this guy with a base from Hobby Lobby and a little plastic figure I painted gold. The table with the most points at the end of the day gets to keep the trophy on their table the next day. I think I will extend the celebration so that the table who won the most that week will receive monster tickets to put in the weekly drawing.

The kids especially love when they can have a 5 second party to celebrate winning or receiving a point.  They can get up and dance and move.

Week 1 with the new table team trophy has gone well. I'm hoping this positive system is a lasting solution to the chatter/off-task-ness/not paying attention problems I have with this group. 

On another note, I found an adequate Ms. frizzle dress for my Halloween costume at school. I bought some pieces of felt to cut out little weather-related objects to put on the dress. I hope it turns out as amazing as I'm picturing in my head! Now I just need to find a Liz-style stuffed animal to carry with me on our parade at school... 

Do you dress up for Halloween at your school? 

Saturday, October 5

Number and Operations of Base Ten

It's been a week. Hopefully I get to a point where that's not the case, but I'm not there yet. Luckily, I had a nice long conversation with the AP Friday so we can turn this year around. This class is just special. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing, like I'm a first year teacher again. If I get a moment along the way, I'll share about some of the changes that will happen in my room. I'm hoping that before long, I'll be singing a different tune!

Today, I'm sharing some activities I made to use in my small MTSS (RTI) tier 2 Math group. They are loving these activities, especially the ones where we pull out the crayons or scissors. I think having a strong number sense is an important starting place!

We're currently working on the Number and Operations of Base Ten common core standards.

These are just a few of the activities I made. There are 12 in far. I debated on whether to offer these as a freebie or to post them for sale. I decided to post them for sale in my store, but I wanted to offer them FREE to the first 2 or 3 people who commented with an email.

Hope you are having an amazing weekend,
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Sunday, September 22

TPT {Writing} Best Seller Party

Have you visited Caitlin and Carrie's blog recently?

Phew! They are at it again!

This week they're hosting another TPT Best Seller's Party and Giveaway. This time it's all about WRITING!

Several TPT sellers have donated their best selling {writing} product for you to win. All you have to do is find the rafflecopter box at the bottom of their blog post! Yay!

I checked my TPT store, but I have to admit, almost all of my products are reading-related. I only had one writing product that was for sale, so I decided to donate it!

I used to teach fifth grade. In Social Studies, we would teach the 13 colonies. One project we would do for that unit was create these story circles. In my product, I have included pictures of the ones my kids created. There was a lot of diversity in their design choices, so I tried to recreate that diversity in my product.

This is a project that could be used for either narrative or informational writing. You could tell a story using these circles, or you could share information you learned about a topic. It's also a project that could be completed with any age group, so I included two different types of writing lines, a more primary version and an older elementary version.

When my fifth graders were finished, we glued the circles for each region of colonies together. They made a colorful decoration that hung from our ceiling for awhile. The students did a very nice job.

Starting today, you will have a chance to share your best selling writing activity through the party AND enter the rafflecopter to win all the amazing products!

Here's how:
1. Take a look at your TPT store and sort your products by 'Best Sellers.'2. Find the product that is your best selling writing related product. 3. Link up your best selling writing related product. 4. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win!5. Spread the word about the party and giveaway through all your social media!!

The party will be up for one week on Table Talk with C and C, so hurry over there!

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Wednesday, September 18

Listening to Reading with a Freebie

I went home sick yesterday with a slight fever, a stomach ache, and a serious headache. I feel better but decided to stay home one more day instead of going to an out-of-town meeting today.

I wanted to share one of my Reading centers with you all today, since I have time.

My principal stretched his funds at the end of last year and bought me a listening center because I didn't have one. Crazy, right? A second grade teacher without a listening center. No more!

I've been exploring all kinds of possibilities with it to find stories that go with our weekly Storytown stories. TumblebooksPebbleGo. Do you have other suggestions of places {websites} to find listening stories?

The students listen to a story one or two days. Then, they respond to the story. Currently, this is the response sheet that the kids are filling out. I ask for the book's title, a sentence, an illustration, and a caption.

For now, the sentence is supposed to tell me something that happened in the story, but later I could see asking them for an opinion, a prediction, a question that they had while listening, a fact they thought was interesting, or a connection. Right now we are drawing a picture of one of the characters in the story and labeling their name. I could see that box also being used for their favorite scene in the story.

If you would like to use our listening response sheet, please grab it HERE. Comments and suggestions are very, very welcome.

Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, September 16

{Reading} Best Seller Party

Caitlin and Carrie from Table Talk with C & C are hosting a very exciting TPT Best Seller Party and Giveaway this week. I am very excited to donate to a product to this giveaway! It's my first time!

They wanted to have a party and giveaway that showcases all of the hard work and dedication that goes into making our products meaningful and engaging for our students. We all know how passionate we are about blogging and TPT product-making. They also wanted to celebrate our hard work and accomplishments as a TPT seller. Because of the countless hours of creativity we put into beautiful and thoughtful products, our products deserve all the love they can get!

The best part is that they connected with 14 16 TPT sellers who have donated their best selling reading activity and they want you to enter to win these products!!! You will win all 14 16 items FREE!

When I checked my store, I found that my product, Adjectives: Color, Size, and Shape, is my best seller, so that's what I donated to the giveaway. YAY!

This product includes two sets of pictures/word cards that the students can sort. They are trying to decide which adjectives match each picture. There is also a recording sheet where the students are asked to look at their adjectives and decide which ones tell the color, size, and shape of the pictures. Also included in this product is a 3-flap foldable that can be used however it fits in your classroom instruction.

Since I am a second grade teacher, this product fits with L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when write or speaking. e. Use adjectives and choose between them.

Starting today, you will have a chance to share your best selling reading activity through the party AND enter the rafflecopter to win all the amazing products!

Here's how:

1. Take a look at your TPT store and sort your products by 'Best Sellers.'
2. Find the product that is your best selling reading related product. 
3. Link up your best selling reading related product. 
4. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
5. Spread the word about the party and giveaway through all your social media!!

This party will be up for one week and then we will share the winner from the rafflecopter.

The party schedule is:

Please join us and celebrate the hard work, creativity, and countless hours that we have put into making teaching and learning more fun and engaging. :o)

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