Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday!

Yay for Fridays!  Only two more this school year - I can't believe it!  Today was a warm one.  We ended our week with two 90 degree + days.  My poor kiddos were awfully lethargic in a classroom that only has a fan.  Luckily it will drop back down into the 70s for the next few weeks.  But we definitely got a taste of summer!

Here are my 5 random pictures of the week..

1.  I found this on one of my student's spelling envelopes. I was very touched by it.  I am not sure he totally understands what it means, but it was cute.

2. I got to use some Reusable Dry Erase Pockets in my classroom this week.  The kids were so excited!  They decided that it should be a permanent word work center.  Dry erase markers are like gold to them!  Check out my post here to learn more about them.

3.  The library down the street had their book sale today.  These sales are a-ma-zing!!  Children's books are only 25 cents.  Most of them are in great condition.  If I get there early enough, there are a lot to choose from.  I got 32 books (and one VHS) for only $8.00!!  Definitely check to see if your local library has sales like this.  My goal is to donate all my books back to the library when I retire (a LONG time from now!).

4. We started reading Charlotte's Web today!  I haven't read this book in so long, but it is one of my favorites.  I'm planning on ending the year with this read aloud.  I've never done a whole-class book study before so this will be new for me.  I promise to share with you how it goes!  If you have any good tips for me, let me know!  We still have three weeks left, but I'm not sure that we will finish it.  It's worth a shot!  I am so excited about this!!

5.  We have been working on our Non-Fiction writing pieces.  We are creating All About books about an animal that we will see on our trip to the aquarium.  I am very impressed with how well my students are doing so far with their research.  Be on the look out for future posts on this project!

How was your week?  Go link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reusable Dry Erase Pockets

So excited to share these with you!  I was contacted by My Binding to test-drive their new Reusable Dry Erase Pockets.  I received a package of 5 multi-colored pockets in return for my honest review.

I got right to work, testing them out!  I used regular Expo markers and the Target-version of Magic Erasers (which I use on my white board).

An 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper slides smoothly into the pockets!

 They were very easy to write on and wipe off.

 I was actually quite surprised with how easily the marker wiped off.  Usually on the white boards, I have to apply a little pressure in order for it to erase completely.  Not the case with these pockets.  It also didn't leave any residue behind, which was nice.  That can get a little dirty after a while!

Then the kids got to work on them.

They have already requested that I add this as a spelling center!  The pockets are very durable, so I don't mind letting my kids get a hold of them!  Each pocket also has a hole at the top, so it can be hung up on a hook in your classroom.   Click here to check out the Reusable Dry Erase Pockets on My Binding!

Psstt...the cute word activities you see above can be found here in my TpT store!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Will You Do Differently?

It's that time of year when I start thinking about September.  Yeah, I'm not even out of school yet.  I am that girl.  As I'm wrapping up the end of the school year, I am always looking forward to next year.  Some people might call me crazy.  Some of you just might agree with me!

Kim certainly does!  Over at Finding Joy in 6th Grade, she is hosting a linky party to share what we are thinking about for next year!

Here is what I am thinking so far...

1. I hope to do more hands-on, long-term projects with my students next year.  I really want to instill that love for learning.  I'll have a better handle on the Common Core, so I will be able to plan these more meaningful learning experiences.

2.  Technology has become such a large part of our students' lives and I am hoping to incorporate it into my classroom the best that I can.  This also relates to my first goal.  I would love to have my students use technology to really take control of their learning in creating projects.

Okay, that's all I've got so far.  Nothing is definite for next year, which makes it difficult to plan and prepare.  I'll get there though!

What are you definitely going to do next year??  Go link up with Kim

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Polka-dotted Vocabulary Words!

We finally have a nice day here after a lot of rain.  My husband requested my help in the yard, but I told him I was doing work inside.  Shh...don't tell him I'm still in my pjs at 2:15!

Today I want to share with you my newest project.  It started back in the fall, when I created some Common Core Math Vocabulary words for 2nd grade.

I was recently asked to design some ELA vocabulary words that coordinated with the Math ones.  Sure!  I put together a set of over 100 cards that match the polka dot theme of the Math Vocabulary cards.  I had such a fun time putting this set together!

Each card has a border that is color-coded to a different Common Core strand.  It has the vocabulary word in large, bold letters.  Additionally, each card has a bright picture to define the vocabulary word.

The words can be hung on the wall to create a word-wall for students to use as a reference in the classroom.  The cards also fit inside a pocket-chart for easy access.

I love the bright colors!

I'm kinda partial to the cute graphics as well...

Can you use these in your classroom??  Click the picture below to grab your copy today!

 Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Optimum Organization

Organization?!  Did someone say organization?!  I'm pretty sure that is my middle name.  My mother may beg to differ.  Actually she probably wouldn't.  So when I heard Ladybug's Teacher Files and Fun in Room 4B were hosting an organizational linky party, I got all sorts of giddy!

I know Kristen shared her Teacher Toolbox as well, but, man this thing is genius!  It is the best thing I have ever made.  It has a little drawer for every small teacher supply imaginable!  I purchased the toolbox from Lowe's and prettied it up!  I always have my supplies right at my fingertips, without having to dig through a messy drawer to find the exact thing I need.  

You can find a template over at Elizabeth's blog, if you want to make your own!

Another of my favorite organizational items came about after I discovered Teachers Pay Teachers.  I had lots of cards and game materials for my Guided Reading groups, but no way to organize them.  Okay, okay, technically I had elastic bands around them.  Um, boring!

That's when I discovered these small accordion files...

...and these bins that they fit perfectly into!

Score one for the Dollar Spot at Target.  I kept some of the accordion folders intact, which lets me sort the cards if I need to.  In the others, I cut out the insides, so it is just one large pocket.

My last organizational items are a work in progress.  I really like the concept of them, however, I need something slightly different.  These bins have helped immensely in keeping paper clutter off my desk.  When I make copies or choose books to read, I place them in the bin that represents the day of the week I plan to use them.

The only downside is that the paper doesn't stay standing in the bins, but curls up instead.  Maybe plastic drawers or trays would work better?  I'm on the hunt for something that works well for me.

Go link up with one of these lovely ladies, so I can learn more organizational tips!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Non-Fiction Research

We are ending our year with some Non-Fiction writing in our classroom.  The second grade is going on a field trip to the aquarium, so the students chose a sea animal to research.  We borrowed some books from the library and, with help from our technology teacher, found some pretty cool facts online.  We used the following websites to find kid-friendly facts about our animals:

Today we started off by reading our sources with a partner.  The kids did a great job reading with their partner and discussing their new learning!

Our next step will be to take notes on the research that we have done.  Then we will be putting our notes into sentences...paragraphs...books!  We'll be non-fiction authors before we know it!  I'll be sharing pictures as we continue our project.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday!

Yay for Friday!  It's that time of year when the days go by way to fast and way to slow at the same time.  If you're a teacher, you know what I mean.  There is so much testing and loose ends to pull together before we release our students to the next grade.  On the other hand, we can taste summer (and so can our students!).  It's a crazy time of year.

1. I shared the blog planner I've made for myself for Made-It Monday this week.  I received lots of requests for it, so be on the look out for it soon!

Click the picture to learn more!

2.  For the #PADteacherchallenge on Instagram, I shared photos of my handwriting.  I've been told all my life that I should turn my handwriting into a font.  With all this new-fangled technology we have now, I could actually make that happen.  What do you think?!

3. I can't let a Five for Friday go by without sharing a photo of my puppy.  He was keeping an eye on the neighborhood at my friend's house.  Yes, he's standing on a computer tower.  Whatever works!

4.  The Tooth Fairy came today!  The dentist from our town comes every year to do a presentation for the second graders.  She brings along what I can only imagine is her secretary, dressed as the Tooth Fairy.  The kids get a kick out of it.  The kids get a goodie bag of floss and toothbrushes.  This year the teachers got a present too.  Missed out on getting a picture of the Tooth Fairy, but here's my present!

5. My special ed teacher is getting married this weekend, so I had my kids make cards for her.  They came out so cute!  Hopefully she's too busy to read my blog this weekend, since it's surprise!

Happy Weekend!  I have a double graduation and a wedding over the next two days.  I'll be one busy lady!  What's in store for you this weekend?


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