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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gingerbread Everything and FREEBIE for this week ONLY

We decided to make Gingerbread men but our cookies will be have decided to leave our school.  Our Gingerbread men will be traveling all the way to Rockwall, Texas to Mrs. Beasley's class. In order for her students to determine whose cookie belongs to whom we must pay attention to the details as we write to her class describing our Gingerbread.  We reviewed adjectives to make sure that we write using words that will create a clear, picture in our reader's mind.
Look at these little cuties!!  There's not a doubt in my mind that their writing will be just a creative and detailed.  We will be writing tomorrow.  EEEKK!

Before math today we read The Gingerbread Baby and discussed the kind of Gingerbread house we would create for him.  The only problem was they had to use base 10 blocks AND they had to be able to tell the NUMBER that they used.  Look at some of these super cute homes for the baby.



A little math fun for everyone has kept us busy this week too.  





You can pick these up this week for FREE at my tpt store.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Santa Might Be Looking for Me...

Hi FRIENDS!  I've decided not to start my blog post with it's been awhile because that seems to be the way it is.   It's the busiest, craziest time of year and all I want is to cherish every minute and slow time down <->mainly, just on the weekends.  Those are the only days that are fast. 

Are you wondering why Santa is looking for me??? I have been busy crafting, building, sanding, sawing, painting, and glueing things.  There is a chance I may me mistaken for an elf.   Seriously though, it's a happy time out there in the garage.  

All of this started with a little run around the neighborhood on trash day a few weeks ago. his summer my best friend made the hubs and I go to someone's trash once because they were throwing cabinets away.  She has this gift for seeing beauty when others see trash. She turned the cabinets into beautiful pictures and quotes for other people.  Sooo...back to my run in the neighborhood.  I noticed someone throwing out cabinet doors (apparently everyone is doing it in my neighborhood).  I came back later with Lil' Miss and had her help me load the car up.  This is where is gets really awkward...the people throwing them out were home. Yea.  And they started talking with me. EMBARRESSING!! We exchanged numbers and they saved more for me and helped me load them in my car the next visit.


Well, I started turning cabinet doors into treasures for others as Christmas gifts.  I've had so much fun.  
I even made the Christmas blocks for teacher gifts from our fence scraps.  Ya'll....the crafting just CAN'T. BE. CONTAINED.


And personally I think everyone needs a Praise and Prayer board.  This one is not for us BUT I plan on making a personal one.  We should always have a PRAISE. 

BUT WAIT THERE'S more...I have decided to put an end to the marker madness in my classroom.  Do your kids lose their dry erase markers several times throughout the week? I seriously don't know what they do with them but I've got the answer.
A special place for everyone's marker. I have never used a chisel bit before until this weekend BUT friends, I plan on creating lots of things with holes.  I don't know what yet but it was a fun little tool and needs to be used more. 

After all of this work in the garage I decided to end my weekend on the computer making a fun little game for my kids to use as a review this week.  You can pick it up at my tpt store this week for FREE

I'll be back later with more details on this activity and some other FREEBIES.




Friday, September 30, 2016

No TRICKS Only TREATS {{freebie}}

I am LOVING this fall weather and October is just right around the corner.  Like 1 day away! Can you believe it?? It's my favorite time of year. {{hehehe}}  

We are rockin' and rollin' in 2nd grade or at least acting like we are.  Math stations and small math groups are in full affect and I'm adding new review games each week to our stations. 

Next week I thought I'd add a little October themed fun with my Fact Family Trick or Treat.

They will need to understand related facts and not get tricked in order to win this game.  
 It's {{FREE}} so stop by and give it a try. Happy Fall Ya'll!!
 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Changes in Matter {{freebie}}

I LOVE it when we can make a lesson hands on and we get to eat.  Yea, I realize eating doesn't happen with too many lessons in the classroom but it does happen when we start exploring the changes of matter when you apply heat.

I'm pretty sure the kids LOVE it as much as I do.  So I try to get as many different ways to EAT, I mean explore changes in matter as I can.  

A few years ago I had some wonderful parents buy me an air popcorn popper.  It is the best thing to watch the kids faces as they wait patiently to see  what is going to happen to the popcorn kernels.  There is always a lot of giggling and squealing.

During this unit we will use chocolate, apples, and popcorn-just not at the same time.  As little scientists they spend time exploring properties of the kernel before and after.  They will explore and record the properties of an apple then I always let them cut up their apples with a buddy and place them in a crockpot.  

On this day, I mentally prepare and fill up my patience tank because it is a lot of work BUT so rewarding to watch their faces and listen to their excitement.  A lot of kids are not involved in cooking at home so this is a fantastic experience for them and that is why I want them doing the preparation rather than myself -(because that is so much easier). 



You can stop by tpt to pick up this small little unit I use as we explore the changes in matter.





Sunday, September 25, 2016

So YUM for FALL

Some of the very sweetest seconds of my days are cooking with the people I LOVE. They make my heart pitter-patter!  We LOVE to cook together.  Now, let's be honest...I'm not a great cook BUT my people tell me it tastes wOnDeRfUl so I'm feeling confident enough to share it with you!  

In order to fully bring in the fall season (oh, and I had a couple of very ripe bananas ;-) we thought we would make some yummy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Pinterest is my go-to for recipes and today a found a keeper from Sweet & Delish. The only things that I did different was I used 2 bananas instead of 3 and I covered the bread with foil for the last 30 minutes.

It's yummy!!

For dinner tonight (and tomorrow) I decided to make my Taco Soup.  I usually just throw some things from the pantry into the crockpot because the crockpot and I are basically best friends. ;-)

I like to add Quinoa to my taco meat because it makes it a little more filling.

Taco Soup

1 lb. of beef cooked
1 can of sweet corn
1 can of diced tomotoes
1 can of seasoned black beans
1/2 a packet of Fiesta Ranch Dressing
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 cup of cooked Quinoa 

Obviously Kroger has the best prices. haha!

In the crockpot add 1 can of Sweet Corn, Diced Tomatoes, and Seasoned Black Beans. Brown 1 lb. of beef in a skillet.  Add salt and pepper to taste. While browning the meat boil 2 cups of water and 1 cup of Quinoa in a pot. (This makes about 2 cups of Quinoa-I used 1 cup for another meal that I was making a the time) Mix Quinoa and meat together in skillet then add to the crockpot mixture.  Add a 2 cups of beef broth, 1 cup of water, and this is where the story gets interesting...at this point I would add taco seasoning. **see side story** Add half a packet of Fiesta Ranch Dressing and 1 tablespoon of chili powder.
Cook on low for 3 hours. Serve with shredded cheese and corn chips.  It's DELISH!!

**I say..."Oh no, honey I'm out of taco seasoning all I have is Chili Powder.  I guess I could just create something of my own."  He says..."No, I'll run to the store for you. What else do you need?"  I say..."Just taco seasoning and a fall candle." ;-)  He says..."Okay."  
30 minutes later he returns with a brand new bottle of Chili Powder and a delicious fall candle. hahaha!!--and this is why we make a perfect couple.**  ^back to the recipe

Well, it's my new favorite fall meal.  It was wonderful and I know it will be even better tomorrow night.  If you give it a try let me know what you think. 
 
 
 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Moving In My Made-Its

Well, today I'm moving in all my crafts that I have spent making this summer. I'm excited to share my latest Monday Made-its with you and I'm excited to get them in the classroom.  
This might be my FAVORITE! I was telling my friend how I would LOVE to find an old desk to use as a child's teacher helper desk OR star student desk. She said "I have one that you can have." WHA?! I couldn't wait to get it home and bust out the spray paint.  


Because of the different areas and different colors, I had to use a lot of tape and it had to be done in phases.

After I Josh sprayed painted the desk I needed to find the right font for the chalkboard top.  

I decided to use SK Cinderella and printed it off as large as I could one sheet of paper.  I colored the back with chalk, taped it to the front of the desk, and traced the letters with a pencil. When the paper was pulled off it left a chalk outline that I then painted in with a permanent chalk pen.
We now have a SCHOLAR SEAT! 

My plan is to put a basket of stickers, stamps, fun pens, and pencils at the bottom of the desk.(more pics later) This desk will be reserved each week for a student that has worked hard and will be my teacher helper for the week.  This student will be the line leader, classroom helper, and they will have the chance to share something that they are an expert in with the class - which will go well with our Genius Hour. ;-)
  
I Josh made crate seats for my reading table.  I already had the crates I just needed to purchase:
1 yard of material (1 yard covers 4 seats)
sheet of plywood
foam cushions (4 cushions for $4 at Wal-mart)

  
My crates were rounded on the inside which required a little more sanding than if they were not. That seemed to be okay with Josh...

Look at those corners.  BEA.U.TI.FUL!


I did cut everything (so I kind of helped)...it was just almost impossible to use the staple gun with my left hand.-It was actually dangerous for the entire family.
 I LOVE how they turned out just don't look too long at the cushions because your eyes will go wacky with all the polka dots. I can't wait to see them in the room.
 
Finally, I put together some of my wall headers using paper papers and SK Sew Board font.




The sad and sweet thing is, my wrist still hurts from my bicycle wreck so Josh actually did a lot of my crafts for me.  He's so wonderful and CrAfTy--I'm so thankful for him. 

I've gotta go so I can get in my classroom. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Find Your Match B2S

While I wait patiently for the wax to do its school floor magic I continue to plan procrastinate. <-truth
Each week at my school we spend about 20 minutes completing what we call R time activities. This time is used to build classroom/school community, respect for others, respect for property, and learn to work cooperatively with a partner or group. We sing a song, find a partner, shake their hand, look at them while speaking in complete sentences, and work together on an assignment or a mission. 



I've created partner match-up cards for the first nine weeks of school to help students find a partner while reviewing a previously taught skill. These cards are quickly passed out and the students find their match to determine who they will be working with.



Our very first back to school R-time activity will be to Find a Friend...
First, they will look for a friend that fits their card AND they must also match that friend's card.  It will create discussion among all the students.
 
Once there is a match between 2 students they will then discuss what they find out about each other. After everyone has found a match they will introduce their friend to the class and tell the class what they learned about their friend.

Finally, they will complete A New Friend Venn with their partner.
This particular partner match is the ACTIVITY and the match up cards. You can pick up this activity {here}. 

Happy Friday!
 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blogging and Creativity

Well, tomorrow is the day that I present to teachers...as opposed to the little people that I LOVE spending my days with.  

I LOVE teaching but something about standing in a room of people my size makes me get all nervous. My prayer for tomorrow is that every teacher leaves the conference with excitement that is contagious and a new passion to foster creativity within their classroom.

Several years ago I had the privilege of attending a Digital Fluency workshop presented by Kasey Bell. She was amazing and I think I may have learned more from the 30 hours with her than I did in 15 years of training workshops. Seriously. One of the assignments we were given was to implement a new idea in our classroom.  I went with what I thought was the "easiest" for me. I mean, really, I didn't have time to do this and while teaching what I was expected to teach.  I just thought I'd get this assignment done so that I could check it off my list.

Who knew that it was going to change my thinking as a teacher and give my students a VOICE that WE (teachers) sometimes don't hear???

I started with a small group, I actually started with a higher independent group because I believe in empowering students with responsibility.  My first group was going to help me help the other students.  

Wow! The kids LOVED it. They had things they wanted the world to know.  They were experts in their element, they asked their classmates thought provoking questions, and they shared personal struggles that no one would have ever been aware of.  How had I spent the first 3 months of school with these kids and not really have known them??  I didn't know them because I didn't hear them until I gave them a blog and the power of a VOICE.

I don't work for EasyBlog but I am definitely a fan.  This is the blog format that I have chosen to use for my kids. 
I have my notes on the side and I think that if you're a teacher one of those notes is like a BLINKING NEON sign right now. 

Did you notice the note "Creativity is as important as Literacy"?? Yea, I thought you did.  <-I believe this with my whole heart.  Kids are naturally creative and a child that struggles with reading will use creativity to learn to read, understand, or comprehend.  

I KNOW this without a doubt because I have a little girl that struggles with reading and spelling BUT is BRILLIANT and uses her creativity to express her thoughts, share her voice, and figure out her world around her.  Children don't have to be a good writer to blog or share their voice and creativity, they are FULL of creativity naturally, we just need to foster it.  We need to give them opportunities to explore, ask questions, and use their voice.


Teachers--just start this with your kids.  DO NOT over-think it. My husband and kids are pretty good about going along with things that I want to try.  Ask your family to be your pretend class and set it up to use with them.  If you need to do this before school starts then practice and learn it with family or friends. This particular blog platform is EASY and they provide a lot of Q and A and videos to help you.  If you have a question they have the answer.

I would suggest teaching your kids about Digital Citizenship before you actually start blogging. This is the world we live in and I am sure if your students are going to a computer lab they are getting this lesson there too.

The above poster is from The Book Fairy Goddess. She also has bookmarks and other things to teach this lesson.  Click here for other options.


Ya'll I wish I could share this little girl teaching you how to do a multiplication problem! She's amazing! How many of my kids actually understood and learned by watching her rather than watching and listening to me?!? She became the EXPERT! You should also know that she struggled in math and when she became the teacher she learned it on another level. She became very creative in her way of teaching and understanding. I actually had to set a timer on her because she was on a roll with teaching and sharing her learning and could go for hours. ;-)



This is another kid that I would love for you to watch his How To Make An Airplane video. His directions are clear, precise, informative, and your end result is a super fast paper airplane. Teachers, this translates to HOW TO writing. This translates to how to improve or make it better, revision.  

These kids want to share their knowledge and creativity, their element of expertise with the world! 

You can decide how big their audience is.  I've allowed parents and classmates BUT this year my goal is to have BLOGGING BUDDIES. <-This is another class at another school. I would love to be buddies with a class from another country. I may have to reach out to some Australian teachers...who wants to do this with us?? 

Teachers, you can create H.O.T. Blogs!  I liked to link different news articles from DOGOnews and ask students to create, analyze, compare, and design a variety of assignments based on an article that they read. These articles are current events and can be tailored to a particular grade level. 

Kids have a VOICE and we need to give them a platform to share their voice and their creativity.  This can be done when they get to school in the morning, during Daily 5 or stations, in small group, or when they finish an assignment. I understand the struggles of getting everything in but I know that we find time for what is important.

Well, I think that I've definitely shared a passion of mine today because I don't generally think of myself as a writer and I got a little carried away with writing today. ;-)