Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!  Summer vacation is in full swing and I am as busy as ever!  It's so nice to have extra time to spend with family and friends.  I have also been a faithful blogger this week!

Her's a peek at my first full week of summer, thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching!

1. Last summer I purchased a class set of notebooks at Target.  They were on clearance for less than 25 cents each.  Of course, I had to get them!  However I don't know what to do with them now.  The covers are pretty girly, so I would need to put something on them.  This is where I need your help.  What should I do with them??

2. My sister's wedding is coming up in 2 weeks - I'm so excited!  My mom and grandmother both need a dress so we went shopping together.  The only problem?  None of us like to shop for dresses!  My mom did end up purchasing one, but my grandmother came home empty-handed.  As you can see, I was being uber-helpful and pointing out the ugliest dresses I could find.

 3. Helllooo chevron!  I went to Hobby Lobby this week.  Big mistake.  I may have found one or two things that I liked... I purchased a large magnetic board that will hopefully go in my home office.  If it doesn't work, it's coming to school with me!  Also, I don't have a classroom theme, but I'm trying to stick to just a few colors this year.  Pink, green and blue it is.  Chevron theme.  A little black thrown in. Hey, it's better than the "every color under the rainbow" theme that I have used in the past!

4. The Calendar Notebook was born this week!  I am so excited to start using mine!  Read more about it here.
 5. I went out to dinner with a few friends from work this week.  We ate right on the water.  It was beautiful!  It makes me really appreciate living in RI.  That is, until the tide came in and filled up the parking lot.  Luckily the valet moved my friend's car right as the water hit her tires.  Yikes!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

I'm joining Cara over at The First Grade Parade and throwin it back this Thursday!

I'm sharing a post from 364 days ago.  Literally, almost a year.  On June 28, 2013 I wrote about my Writing Journal Prompts.  I had just created them and was super excited about them.

Honestly?  I am still super excited about them!  They are a best seller in my store and it is still my favorite product that I have ever made (regardless of sales).  I decided to update them though.  So follow all the way to the bottom of this post to see the update!  And there might be a surprise in there for you...

June 28, 2013
Have you ever made a product that you are just super duper proud of?  I mean, I'm proud of everything I make.  But this one takes the cake!  I created morning journals for my students:

It includes writing prompts for every day of the school year - and then some!  There are over 300 writing prompts in here people!!

I also made monthly covers for the journals:

And included different pages of line paper:

These are one of my favorite things that I use in my classroom.  My students each receive their journal at the beginning of the month.  Each journal has a cover, a calendar and enough journal pages for the month.

They keep it in a folder in their desk.  After they come in and unpack every morning, they take out their journal and start writing about the prompt for that day.  Then they draw a picture to go with it.  We start with 2 sentences at the beginning of the year and gradually reach 5 sentences by the end of they year.  And I always say "at least" because they are welcome to write more than the required 2-5 sentences!!  I give them about 15 minutes each morning to work on their journals.

This is great for me as well.  While they are quietly writing, I am able to work on attendance, lunch count, etc without interruptions.  It also means I only have to gather morning work once a month, rather than every day.

The journals I created don't have dates on them, just days of the week.  This way, they can be used year after year!

Check them out:

Take a peek at my July Writing Prompts for free!

Here are the brandy-new covers...

The journal prompt pages...

And there are a lot more choices for lined paper now as well!

If you already own them, go download your free update now!  If you are interested in them, you can click the picture to get your own copy.

Or could you win a free copy!  I want to know what you are most looking forward to this summer.  Leave me a comment with your answer {and your email address!}.  I'll choose a winner before I go to bed tonight. 

P.S. ~ Check out my Instagram for another chance to win!

Thank you to everyone for playing, I loved hearing all about your summer plans!!  I had my husband choose a random number and our winner is First Grade Circus!  Check your email!  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer!

Today is my first day of vacation and the first day of summer!  Coincidence?  I think not!  I went to the beach with a few friends from school.  I promise Rhode Island has nicer beaches than the one shown above.  That one just happened to be a central location for all of us.  Just being outside in the sun was amazing!

It is also Friday!  Here are my five random photos of the week, which I'm sharing with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1.  My brother is an amazing cake decorator.  We always call on him when we need desserts.  Here is the cake he made for a joint birthday party last weekend.  We celebrated my mom, husband and sister's fiance's birthdays.  Such a fun day!

2. We've had a lot of rain lately, but this week it led to a rainbow and some pretty spectacular clouds.

3.  As our school year came to a close, we worked on Erica Bohrer's End of the Year Memory books.  The students loved them so much!  They pulled them out any chance they got to work on.  I highly recommend them!

4.  Thursday was a bittersweet day.  I packed up and left my first-ever classroom.  I am so excited about where I am headed next, but it was sad to leave my home of five years!  It looks so bare.

 5.  Anyone remember way back in 1999 when Brandi Chastain ripped off her shirt after winning the Women's World Cup in a shoot-out??  Ever since that day, I have wanted to attend a USA women's soccer team game.  I finally got that chance this weekend!  I got to see my sports heroes in action.  Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, to name a few.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Five for Friday!

Phew!  The warm weather hits and my calendar sure fills up!  Yesterday was our last Friday of the school year since this Thursday is our last day.  I will definitely miss my kiddos, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends.

Since it's {obviously not} Friday, it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my 5 random  photos of the week!

1. We did a simple Father's Day craft yesterday that I got from Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  The kids decorated the shirt and glued the pocket on.  Then they wrote a note to their dad (grandpa, uncle) and placed it in the pocket.  How cute is that?!

2.  I got to order teacher supplies this week!  We were given a dollar amount and a list to choose from.  I was so excited!  I have never done this before.  I'm not sure if we weren't given the option or if I just missed the memo every year.  Probably the latter.

3. I have been organizing and packing up my classroom for the end of the year.  My construction paper was in neat piles in my closet (take a peek here) but the colors were all mixed up.  Yeah, my OCD didn't like that.  With some help from my kiddos, we got it to color coordinate a little bit better!  I started packing it into plastic file bins.  The construction paper fits perfectly!

4.  We went on our field trip to the Mystic Aquarium!  You can read more about that here.

5.  Summer is {almost} here!  We headed down to our beach house this weekend and broke our the beach chairs.  They needed a little cleaning, so this is what the yard looked like:

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Field Trip!

Today was our big second grade field trip!  We visited Mystic Aquarium.  It was a bit of a far drive, but we still had a good time.  The students have been writing their Non-Fiction books about animals from the aquarium, so it was cool to see the animal they were researching.  They shared a lot of information with each other!

We started outside and got to see the beluga whales swimming underwater.  This was a huge hit!

Then we headed over to the penguin pavilion.  It was fun to watch these animals waddling around and swimming really fast in the water!

Then we moved inside and got to put our hands in the shark tank.  The water was a little deep, so I don't think many of them could reach the sharks.  It was a pretty cool experience anyway!

We watched the huge stingrays swimming around in their tank.

One of the coolest things about the Mystic Aquarium is the large Titanic exhibit.  One of my reading groups had read Tonight on the Titanic, so they knew quite a bit of information and were excited to learn more.  In this photo, the students are touching a replica of the iceberg.

 It was a busy day, but we had a lot of fun!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Non-Fiction Writing: Steps 2 and 3

We started our Non-Fiction writing unit a few weeks ago and things have been going wonderfully!  The students have very much enjoyed learning about their animal and are very proud of themselves as Non-Fiction authors.

As a second grade, we are visiting the aquarium on Monday on a field trip.  One of the second grade teachers came up with a list of 5 animals that we will see at the aquarium (and that the students were able to easily research).  The students chose their animal so that we had 4 students in each group.  We are going through the entire research and writing process with them.  I model each step with our "class animal" and then the students complete that step on their own.

Step 1 was to read over our sources with our partner.  You can read more about that here.

*Sorry about the random round circles.  My normal photo editing program was not working correctly.  Had to improvise!

They are just working so hard, that I had to share their photos!

Step 2 was to take notes on their research.   We used the note-taking templates that I made.  My original plan was to have them use sticky notes and place them in the boxes (they fit perfectly).  However, I could picture the sticky notes falling off and getting lost pretty easily.  So I just had them write in the boxes, which worked great!

 There was one page for their animal's appearance, one for habitat and one for diet.

Step 3 was to share their research with their group.

Stay tuned for the next steps in our writing process!  And keep your fingers crossed that we complete them before the school year ends!


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