Monday, December 3, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Over the last three weeks I have been BUSY! I have started a lot of different things in my classroom. My second grade kiddos are keeping up and I am so proud!

Here is just a list of some of the activities going on in our room:
1. Math Journals- I love reading the students explanation of why or how to do a problem
2. Writing- At my current school we teach a very specific English curriculum. The students are finally getting a chance to write. They are loving every minute!
3. Cursive- My kiddos are learning the basic cursive strokes. I see them doodling EVERYWHERE!
4. Math- 4 and 5 digit addition and subtraction! They are doing a wonderful job at learning this hard task.

This just SOME of the stuff keeping us busy. I can tell that they are excited for the holiday and I cannot wait either. Who doesn't want time off school to eat cookies and give presents?

As I am preparing for the holidays in my classroom I have decided to read The Mitten by Jan Brett. I know that this book is challenging for some of the students but I believe that they will be engaged. I have created several worksheets to accompany this lesson and you can purchase them by clicking under the picture below! I can't wait to see how my students react to this amazing story. (I may just have to print the worksheets in red and green as well!) How are you celebrating and teaching Christmas in your room?

Click HERE to purchase your copy for $1.50 today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mayor Hubble is in Trouble!

I have found that the current reading curriculum wasn't quite challenging or engaging enough for some of my students... students who at the end of October were reading at the end of the 2nd grade level! 
Even though it is extremely important that they read the same stories as their classmates in order to retain the same phonics skills, I wanted to make sure that they continued to stay engaged. So, today I started Literature Circles. The kids were so excited (don't tell them, so was I!)

With just four students I choose a novel that I thought would keep them engaged. When browsing through Scholastic Book Clubs I found some perfect books... INCLUDING: 

I have a couple Weirder School books in my library but this one looks like a blast. I can't wait to see how the story unfolds. 

 Today I passed out the student's Literature Circle Journals (click the title to buy them for $1.00). We talked about the jobs and started reading. I created the schedule below but did not complete it... I'll keep you posted on my success. If you have any ideas or have done lit. circles, I would LOVE to hear from you! 

Literature Circle Schedule

20 minute rotations/ 2 days a week = 40 minutes a week

Day One:
1. Assign Jobs- allow the students to review the instructions for their job during the week 
            *There are four jobs and each students will receive a new job for each chapter.
TIME:  2 minutes

2. Read Story- Round Robin Reading, Sticks-each student reads a page until
            *The goal is to read one chapter in 15 minutes. However, this may take longer at first
            *The teacher can start by reading a page to demonstrate fluency and expression for the students
TIME: 15 minutes

3. Student Practice-work on assigned jobs
            *Students will have to complete the rest of the job during their free time
TIME: 3 minutes

Day Two:
1. Story Map
            *Pass out stick notes. Each student will be assigned the task of writing down the story elements:
            Every Time
            -main idea
TIME: 10 Minutes
2. Student Presentations
            *Each student will have 2 minutes to present their job
            *Then the teacher will discuss anything important that may have been missed.
TIME: 10 Minutes 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where Is the Time?

Do you ever feel that you are running out of time? You have a to-do list that grows and grows and grows. I dream of the day where I become the teacher that has everything planned and does not have anything new to create. (Unfortunately, that will never happen.) When I start one project, my mind goes a mile a minute and I think about 20 other projects. Balancing teaching and graduate school keeps me busy and never seem to find a way to get ahead of the game. I got lucky and had two days off school last week, but did that help... NO! Why? Because I kept taking on more projects... They never stopped.

However, I have three things that I was able to finish with some extra time and the start of my fifth class.

The first project I tackled was a basic Weather Journal. For one week, student's have to observe the weather, temperature, and clouds. You can grab this freebie at my store, just click the first image below.
Click here

The borders came from Graphics From the Pond and the fonts came from (I forgot to include a page with these credits.... SORRY!)
The second project I created were literature circles. I am getting ready to teach my students how to use them this coming week, and will post a specific blog next week! You can grab this mini unit for just $1.00 at my store also!
Click here to purchase this mini unit!
The third project that I created was a reusable Story Map. I was inspired by many Pinterest users. I will post a picture once it is laminated! I plan on using it with my literature circle groups! 

After I took a break from assignments, I am back to them.... I love my class (despite the countless hours of work).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Celebrate Good Times... C'mon!

When I began creating items for TPT, I set a sales goal... I REACHED IT! I am hoping to become quicker with my creations and keep them updated. But for now:

Click the picture above to receive your discounted items for the next 3 days (10/10/2012-10/13/2012).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

For Sale: Energy All Around Us

It has been a crazy four weeks with my kids! I only have 16 but it feels like 37... has that happened to any of you? Oh well, I still love them!

I finally finished my first science unit... Energy All Around Us. It is 30 pages of worksheets, activities, quizzes, and a test. 
Click here to purchase your copy!
I am off to fold laundry, grade some papers, and complete some graduate work... and watch the Steelers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Currently Creating!

I am currently creating "Energy All Around Us." This year, I want to become a stronger science teacher and involved my students in more hands on activities. I am excited to see them improve and become engaged. Here is just a tiny sneak peek:
I am so excited to create light sources (thanks Pinterest)! Hopefully I will finish my packed soon... I start teaching Science on MONDAY! YIKES!

How do you engage your small scientists?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Even though it is my second day of  SET UP is COMPLETE!

Here  are some pictures of my 2012-2013 classroom1
My word wall is on the far wall. The pegboard now holds center bags (coming in a later post... I promise) and the white contact paper is dry erase! Can't wait to start buddy reading and word works!

This is my Writing Center. You can find the supplies at my TpT store! 

Behavior Chart...Thanks Pinterest Users! 

Morning Meeting Corner. Once again thanks Pinterest! (I love my crate seat!)

Teacher Time...this is where I meet with my students during Guided Reading Groups! 

My Corner! Before the clutter began...

Star Student Board...

Library! (Picture above and below)

I apologize for my lack of blog etiquette. This summer I was busy preparing for the year, vacationing and completing a class. 

I will post soon! I am excited to share my first week experiences with only sixteen.... that's right SIXTEEN students!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sweet Summertime!

It has been awhile since I have posted. The end of the year came so quickly and I was not prepared. There was so much to do, so little time, and even some tears in my eyes.

We ended school on the 31st of May and went to SixFlags on the 1st. Then last week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had our final days of inservice. We packed up our rooms and had two luncheons. This year we lost a K-4 teacher, both 5th grade teachers, and our administrator. It's going to be interesting to see what is going to happen in the fall... I can't wait!

Right now, I am at my parents and then I am off to Maine! My friend (who is the other second grade teacherD) and her husband are already there and I am going to join them for a week! By then the end of June will be here and I am going to have to start thinking about what I need to do to get prepared for August.

My list is already growing:
1. Finishing "my morning workbook"-I will post this soon!
2. Working on adapting our current Reading Curriculum.
3. Adding games and activities to Math!
4. Planning out my room-set up
5. Starting and finishing my 3rd MS class.

It already seems like a lot to tackle, but I am excited. Next year, if all goes as planned, I will start my third year in 2nd grade!

What are your summer plans and fall preparations?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week Sale!

Click HERE to visit my store! 

Visit my TPT store in the next 2 days to get 20% off any item! (Plus TPT is offering 10% off with the coupon code TAD12).

Visit Erica Bohrer's First Grade to visit her sale!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Throughout the past year I have been working hard to become a more effective Reading teacher... easier said then done. I decided to make a simple packet including forms that I wish I had available. 

Click Here to Purchase!

In this packet there are monthly reading logs (very basic... I never remember to make a new one each month so this should help!), a guided reading handbook for parents, suggested books for students at various second grade levels, and guided reading charts and forms (simple reading rotation schedules, simple running record sheets, guided reading reports, and student response sheets). My plan is to print out the guided reading charts and forms and have them in a binder for easy use next year! 

I hope you enjoy! I know that I am already excited to use this! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Writing Center for Sale!

I finally finished my Writing Center. This year was the first year that I implemented centers in my classroom and decided that my Writing Center needed revamping! Even though I don't plan on using this until next year I cannot wait.

There are 55 pages of editing, writing, poetry, and publishing wrapped into fun activities.

Click here to purchase your copy today!  

Included in this packet you will find: 
-Editing Practice
-Monthly "Must Do's" from August to May
-Monthly Writing Prompts from August to May
-Folder labels
-Writing Tools
-Scope and Sequence (a suggested pacing guide) 

Hope you find this useful! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Been a while!

It has been a little over a week since I have posted... SORRY! I am trying to balance work, graduate school, and a brand new fitness routine. (The boyfriend is wonderful at understanding how overloading I am!)

I was working on a unit entitled Multiplication Madness. However, I had a creative mind block. So, I have started working on a brand new unit! I hope to finish Multiplication Madness and sell it sometime, so keep an eye out. My new unit is going to enhance my Writing Center next year. Look for it soon!

Spring Fever is here! Hope you are all keeping your kiddos controlled and enjoying some time outdoors!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Multiplication Madness...Coming Soon!

Here is the unit I am working on now! Hopefully, I will finish today or tomorrow. However, I start my MSED on Monday and have to clean. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daily Journal Ideas

This year in second grade I have implemented the use of compositions books as daily journals. We love the fact that students write everyday and review some concepts that they struggle with. Unfortunately, we find that the students are running out of glue fast, not all of the "Warm-Ups" are the same size and that they don't always follow the same format.

So... tonight I am brainstorming new ways to have students do the same thing while reviewing their math facts daily as well.

Any ideas would be appreciated!
Sorry for the short post. I had to write my Valentines and now I am going to let my creative juices flow to see what I can come up with! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

For Sale! Long Vowel Unit

I have finished. After my busy week I have completed my Long Vowel Unit! 
Click Here to Purchase this Unit!
This unit includes 30 pages of long vowel practice and assessment. In this unit you will find:
-Strategy Posters
-Center Activities
This is part two of what I am calling my "Mega Unit." This unit will include short vowels, long vowels, and irregular vowels! 
With this unit I am including a freebie! Click the image below to receive my Silent e Scramble for free! 

Now I am going to finish Grey's Anatomy and sleep! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

No Meeting = Productive Night

On a Monday night with no meeting I got home at 4:30! It made my night. I felt so productive. In fact check out my list:
1. Stop at the grocery store
2. Cook Dinner
3. Clean the kitchen
4. Watch last night's the Voice
5. Work on Long Vowel Unit
6. Watch the Voice
7. Make cookies
8. Go to Bed
As you can see... I have one item left! I am almost finished my unit and I will be posting it hopefully on Wednesday. Here is a little preview:
Check back by the end of the week! I may even include a freebie from the unit! 

I am off to finish watching the Voice and head to bed for my 16 hour workday tomorrow! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tag your it!

Sorry for the formatting. It seems I am having trouble.

Jana from Thinking Out Loud tagged me!

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 twelve new questions
4. Tag 12 people and link them in your post (I tagged 12 but didn't link to them)
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

My 12 Fun Facts:
1. I could eat 2 medium cheese pizzas in one sitting if I allowed myself.
2. My absolute favorite color is orange and someday I WILL drive an orange car!
3. I got to spend my birthday with my five day (now five month old) nephew! It was his first birthday party... hopefully my last.
4. I had the same initials as my sister until she got married and I say I won't do that to my children but maybe just maybe I will.
5. Last year I dreaded teaching reading. This year is quite the opposite! It is the best!
6. I would love to own a Chick-fil-a or a Dunkin Donuts. However, I would probably eat all the profits.
7. Shopping for books is a blast. I wish I could spend more money.
8. I still have to sleep with a light on.
9. I am a huge perfectionist. However, I wish I never had to clean.
10. I own and have seen all of FRIENDS at least 4 times.
11. I used to want to be a doctor.
12. I am "promised" to a wonderful guy who loves me depsite my quirks.,

12 (well 6) questions from Jana::

1.  Which do you prefer picture books or chapter books as read alouds?
I prefer picture books. I love their reactions to the pictures.
2.  Why did you start blogging?
I have tried before but this time I was determined.
3.  What has been the best moment of this year (school or personal)?
Hearing that I had a brand new nephew or getting my promise ring... it is a toss up.
4.  What do you do to unwind, take a breather, from school-related stuff?
Play RockBand.
5.  Class pet...yes or no? Why or why not?
No. I don't need another thing to stress over.
6.  What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Join Linky Parties and Posts like this! It helps! 

My 12 Questions for you:
1. What is the most dreaded part of your day?
2. What is the one most important lesson you want your students to learn?
3. What is your favorite blogpost?
4. Advice for making a schedule more flexible?
5. What motivates you to make it just one more day?
6. What is your favorite song of all time?
7. What is your favorite center to create?
8. Who is your favorite author and why?
9. Where do you grade your work?
10. What was your favorite teaching methods class?
11. Will you ever get a doctorate? 
12. What is your favorite subject and why?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My First Linky Party!

Happy Dally is having a linky party! I joined for the first time ever! My favorite read aloud book has to be First Day Jitters.  I was just introduced to this book this year and I loved the twist it provided for my students.

However, I have to admit that I love do any read aloud. Right now I am reading through The Berenstain Bears.  My kids love these books. When I am finished reading the book I put it in my "Author Study" bin in my library. They love to read these books any chance they get! 

What do you like to read aloud? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Totally Time-FOR SALE

I completed my Totally Time unit this morning when I should have been cleaning. Oh well. Here it is:

Click here for 34 pages of time

This unit includes 34 pages of calenders, schedules, elapsed time, and future time. The strategy posters in this unit were inspired by Marisa at First Grade Glitter and Giggles! I cannot wait to use them in my classroom. I am currently teaching time and my kids can use all of the reminders they can get! 

Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend with a little Felicity on Netflix in the background! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Life Under the Big Top

Over the last few days I have realized that my life has become a large balancing act. I feel as though I am preforming show after show under the Big Top. Here are some of the acts I have been preforming:
1. BLOG CONSTRUCTION: As you can see I have decided to makeover my blog. I still need to create a new button and make a couple of tweaks and I am not sure if I like it or not... all feedback is welcome!

2. COMING SOON: Totally Time!

I am working on a new unit for my TPT Store on Time. I am supposed to be working on more phonics units for my megapack but that can wait... I was inspired by another act I am preforming.

3. LESSON PLANS: We are in our 20th week of school and I am trying to stay ahead as much as possible. How? By lesson planning as much as possible.. I currently have reading and math  completed to the end of February. I keep telling myself that I am already half way done the year with them and the more I can get done at a time the better! (I will let you know how my progress is) Why am I doing this you ask? That takes me to my last act...

4. STARTING SOON: Graduate School! I got accepted to Walden University for my Masters of Science and I cannot wait! However, that means I need to do as much as possible and NOW.

As for now my Big Top is closed and I am going to shower and go to sleep.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New! My Reorganized Library

This year I have leveled all of my books and am continuing to add books and books and books. My students love it and I am so glad. Here are some pictures. I apologize for the quality. I was having trouble getting my flash to work on my iPhone.

I have found the buying books in the dollar section at Target, at the Dollar Store, and through Scholastic is the cheapest way to find books. My parents also have an amazing friend who goes to yard sales and finds wonderful deals. It is my goal to have books for each letter of the alphabet and to place them in folding red crates from the dollar store!

How do you use your library and find your books?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Now Featuring: Short Vowel Unit

35 pages of short vowel practice and assessment! I have finally put the finishing touches on my short vowel unit. Even though my students are already pretty great with short vowels I cannot wait to use some of these activities with them throughout the rest of the year to review.

Click Here to purchase this product.
Unfortunately, my blog post for tonight is advertising and no cute pictures of my nephew. Hopefully, next time I will have a picture of two of my newly revamped classroom library and perhaps even a preview of the long vowel unit I intend on making. (Depends on how much of a balancing act my life becomes!) 

I am off to get a wonderful night of sleep before FRIDAY and Chick-fil-a Lunch. What motivates you through the week? Me, it's eating Chick-fil-a with my kiddos on Friday. Doesn't take much! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Coming Soon: Short Vowels

Over my two week long Christmas Break, I was fortunate to be able to babysit my adorable nephew! He is now 4 months old and acts older. He spent his days playing in his saucer and even trying to hold his own bottle. He was enjoying spending time watching tv and even got upset with me when I accidentally blocked his view. He is turning into quite the character, and I must admit that it was a pleasure spending time alone with him and bonding. He has been working on rolling and even is starting to laugh and giggle. It was an honor to babysit even though I was named Crazy Aunt Krystal.

On the flipside, once my sweet little nephew tuckered himself out from playing, giggling and watching the world, I was able to watch him take a nice cozy nap and get some work down. I began working on a new unit. So far in my class we have focused a lot on vowels in our phonetic work. I decided why not make a vowel unit... I started with the easiest.... SHORT vowels.

With hope this Short Vowel Unit is going to part of a larger vowel unit that will become available for sale on my TPT Store. I am not quite finished with this unit but until then here is a sneak peek of what the unit will contain:

I have made two games, a center activity, one worksheet, and fluency practice with short vowels.  Keep an eye out for this unit to be finished... that is if I stop tackling 15 projects a day ( i.e., getting two weeks ahead on lesson plans, a diet, reorganizing my organized closet, and even redoing my classroom library... pics to come soon).

Oh and in case I forgot... I am now wearing a ring that holds the promise of marriage to the most wonderful man... no NOT an engagement ring.... well not yet.