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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday - Family Monthly Projects...and a new blog design!

It's Wishlist Wednesday - a little late!


Sorry guys! I forgot to prewrite my post and this morning was ALL about getting the stuff out of my storage unit and into my class. Today was the day. Ron had off of work and the sitter could take the girls and my principal said that they custodians said I could move in. The stars had aligned for me! haha!

Really. 

To get all of that together at one time is a miracle.

My poor husband. His pregnant wife can't do any of the moving because of the "heavy lifting rule" and the fact that it was about 105 heat index. So he did it. ALL. Bless his heart.

Here's a sneak peek of what transpired today. I feel so sorry for him.

Yep. That's a U-Haul.

He hates me.

I deserve it. haha!

Anyway. Back to the matter at hand.
(I have slight ADHD...can you tell!?)

Today, my Monthly Family Projects packs is up! 

I love this pack. Every month, I send home a project for the families to do together. The project changes each month. There is also a writing component that goes with it. 

I posted about my February one, which you can check out HERE, and there's a freebie for February you can download so you can see what it's really like!






Check it out in my shops:


You can grab it on sale until Friday night!

Enter below for a chance to win it! Since I posted the giveaway late, I'll pick a winner Thursday night at 7:00p.m. EST. They sale will go until Friday as usual.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

oh! One more thing. 

I just LOVE my blog design over here on my teacher blog. 

So I hired Megan to makeover my personal blog too!! I L-O-V-E it!!  Come check it out!!  PLUS, you can read about how I spent my birthday...because 

YESTERDAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY!!!

A Splash of Life

Come check out my new design and see how talented she is! :)


OH!! AND I'm loving all of the Teacher Totes!!  If you get a chance, check out my linky with all the cool teacher bags out there. I see a common pattern with a few brands.


Ok. I think I'm done now. 





Monday, July 28, 2014

Show Me Your Teacher Tote Linky!

So today I went shopping. LOTS of shopping!

I had so many things on my to-do list today, it was just insane. I started the day off with a run, and then my phone dinged with an email reminder from my doctor that I had an appointment this morning. Um... run was cut short! But, at least I got about 20 minutes in, right?

So after my doctor appointment, I took the girls bowling with my cousin and her kids. (I LOVE having family that lives here now!) THEN, it was time to start school shopping for Autumn, since she's starting VPK (Prek-K as most places call it). And of course, since I was buying stuff for her, I had to buy me some school stuff too, right?!  I will get into what I got myself later... (I'm sure most of you have seen my IG and FB picture of my ever growing pile in my dining room that needs to go to school). 

But, what I REALLY want to show you is my new Teacher Bag!!

I love it so much, I'm having a linky!! You can blog about it and link up on the blog, or you can Instagram your picture using the hashtag #myteachertote.

So here's mine! 







I really like The Vera bag. It's big and has lots of pockets, inside and out! The more pockets, the better! AND it zips closed, so when I do use it as a "Mommy Bag" then, I can zip it up and not worry about everything falling out!  

picture from the Vera Bradley website

I have used all kinds of bags... from 31 to my Mrs. Ross Bag from H.E.M Originals that I got last year, that I still LOVE.



I posted about it last year, check it out HERE. You can order one on Etsy! But the reason I needed a new bag was because I am also going to be using this as a diaper bag / big purse for EVERYTHING for the kids.

So, now I want to see YOUR bag!  Link up on your blog or Instagram... or both!!






Sunday, July 27, 2014

Getting Ready for the First Day of School - LOTS of Freebies!

I'm back from my OH-SO-LONG Road Trip up the east coast! It was so fun, but man, I'm glad to be home. I've already blogged about a few adventures on my A Splash of Life Blog. If you want, you can check them out HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I even got to meet up with a few blogger friends! I already blogged about meeting up with Katie (Queen of 1st Grade Jungle) - just love her!

But another one of my highlights is when I found the TpT office in NYC!!! I just kind of barged it and said "hi!" haha! I was so excited that I got to meet Karen and Amy!


One of our adventures was to stop at a laundromat to do some laundry. I've never done laundry at a laundromat, so I was kind of excited about this little side adventure! haha! Ron took the girls next door to Michael's and I stayed in the laundromat to stay guard. I had some time to kill, so I did a little work.



 I started creating my 1st Grade version of my First Day activities. You can read about why I made the second grade version on {this} post. I still laugh at it...and I'm pretty sure my first day experience in 1st grade is going to go about the same. We will see. I'm hoping it I have bugged enough 1st grade teachers to know what to expect! ha. Anyway, I made a 1st Grade version of the First Day Independent activities. 


Want the 2nd Grade version? You can grab that FREEBIE HERE.


I have a lot of other back to school freebies you can check out!
Read the posts for my Time Capsules: Beginning of  Year HERE and the End of Year HERE

Back to School Freebies! 
August Literacy Printables FREEBIE

And while I'm sharing Freebies, you might want to check out my "Getting Ready for Next Year" blog posts. They are FILLED with forms and such that I like to send home in the beginning of the year!
Check them out on THIS POST. LOTS of goodies!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday - Spelling Throughout the Year {grades 1, 2, and 3!}

This week for Wishlist Wednesday, it's my Spelling Throughout the Year pack (I have grades 1-3!)


Here is how it's set up....


Here is the scope and sequence for 2nd grade... (you get your choice of fry or dolche sight words, whichever you or your school prefers!)

Check out my post HERE to read more about what is included in the packs.

You can check out my post HERE to see how I keep them organized and display them!






You can look for them at my 


I have grades 1, 2, and 3!  They are all on sale until Friday! You can also enter to win a pack below! Giveaway ends tonight!







Monday, July 21, 2014

Label It and Write About It!

I have had a few people tell me that they want the "Label It" center from my monthly CCS center packs in EVERY month...they really like them!

So, I've decided to make MONTHLY Label It Packs! These will be separate from what is included in my monthly CCS center packs. I actually REALLY like these because they are great vocabulary words for writing. It gives their brain a place to start...some ideas.

My plan was just to make one big pack with all the months in it. But then, when I got started, I realized that just one month was almost 100 pages! The ideas for pictures just kept coming....and I had to make myself stop, or I could have gone even further!

So, here's what I came up with for August. Now, I know that some of you don't go back to school in August, or if you do, it might be the end of August, but you could still use this for Back To School themes. I guess that would have been a better title "Back to School" but then that would have messed up with with my need for everything to be uniform...haha!


In August, the themes are "Back to School" and "Getting to Know You" so all of the pictures correspond with those themes.  There are 11 pictures included...



There are 4 versions of each picture... A color one (mainly for teacher purposes), one that is JUST labeling, then 2 versions of the "caption" picture (regular lines and writing lines).




There are also 4 versions of each writing page. This layout will be the same for ALL of the months.


I have included word banks on each page so that it's easier for the students to know how to spell THOSE words. Even the writing pages have the word banks, which I love because that way, you could use JUST the writing pages for a writing activity and NOT the pictures pages. There are so many different ways you could use these activities!



Here are some examples of how you could have them do them in your class.

This one is JUST labeling and coloring:


This one is labeling, coloring and then adding a written aspect to it. This would obviously be for your more experienced writers. I like to have the kids "highlight" the words from the pictures in their writing with a light colored crayon (yellow, light green, light orange, or pink). For even MORE writing, there is a FULL PAGE that you could use!



Another option you could do is a lesser version of the written version. This one I like to do. I have the students label the picture and color it... but THEN they have to add in a scene. This is a scene of the girl walking to school. This gets them to think about settings and such.  Then, under the picture, they have to write a "caption" for the picture. Again, I like for them to highlight the words they use. 


Now some of the words they want to use won't be in the word bank. But that's when I tell them to get out their Spelling Journals



I have a "Category" section and just about about every theme you can think of is in there...and if it's not? Then we write it in! They have their own personal word walls whenever they need them! You can check out my post on them HERE.


You can check out my Label It! activity packs in both of my shops:


AND, since I haven't blogged about them since I posted them back in June, I've even had time to finish September's pack!


There are 13 pictures included in this month's pack... and the same kind of layout as August's pack. Here are the pictures included in September: 

Check out September in my 2 shops



Want to try it out for free??? You can download the freebie version from my August pack!





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday - Tasty Fact Math Quizzes

This week for Wishlist Wednesday, I'm doing my Tasty Facts Math Quizzes... BUNDLE!



Math Fact fluency is so important! Not only is a Common Core standard, but it's also the baseline for the rest of their math "career!" If they don't know their facts, there will be so much they will struggle with in math.

I start these in the beginning of the year...in all of my years of teaching 2-5, I have ALWAYS started with addition. You'd be surprised at which students DON'T know their facts from memory! lol

I keep track on the recording sheets...and as you can see I would still have some on addition, some on subtraction, and some even on multiplication - and this was when I taught 2nd grade! woohoo!


Check out THIS post on how I keep them organized...I also go into greater detail of explaining them...and answer some questions that I've gotten!




Check out THIS post to see our Addition Fact celebration and THIS post for our Subtraction Fact celebration.


You can just see the enjoyment of the kids who have earned their party!

I have put the bundle AND the separate packs on sale (in case you don't need the bundle) until Friday
But you can enter to win below!!  You can win the bundle so you'll have both sets (and I used both sets teaching grades 2-5). Giveaway ends tonight, but the sale goes until Friday night.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Sunday, July 13, 2014

Making the Most of Silent Reading Time


I have blogged about how I do this a long time ago. But I am kind of ashamed of the post, it was one of my firsts... the pictures are upside down or sideways and it's just horrible. lol. SO, I'm going to go a little MORE in depth with better pictures and explanations.

Silent Reading.

Do you do it?

I do....EVERY day.

I mainly do it every day because for my first 11 years of teaching, I never knew what the home life was of my students, so I wanted to give them an opportunity EVERY day to read... because we know how important it is to read, right?!

Anyway... I didn't want them to JUST read. I wanted it to mean something...to know that what we learn in class transfers to reading..and THAT's why we learn what we do. 

What I like to do is use the skill reading logs as daily classroom reading logs. I always do a mini-lesson before reading (a refresher of a skill we've already learned!), and then while they read, they do a “book hunt” looking for words that match a skill. This usually takes a lot of practice in the beginning, but then becomes very easy and quick for them to do!

Here are some pictures of how I have my students keep track of the words they find or the problem, characters, setting and such. I cut up post-it notes into little strips and they use those to mark the spot to go back and find them. That way they don’t waste their time reading. 



 After they finish reading, they go back to their seats and take a few minutes to fill out that day’s entry in their reading log. This will take some practice, but will eventually get pretty quick!

(This is one of the logs from my Reading Logs pack)

After they write in their words, we will then spend a few minutes going over their “finds” in whole-group. A lot of times we’ll do tree maps (like shown above) and other times we might do a turn and talk with their shoulder partners. This part of the activity takes about 5-7 minutes.


(yes, that is a chalkboard! haha the kids LOVED it)

I used to just make up recording sheets as I needed them..but then realized I was making a LOT of work for myself...so I decided to condense them all in one spot! So I created my newest pack... Reading Logs Aligned with ELA Skills. (I have them aligned to 1st grade CCS, but I KNOW that they work for 2nd too, since I taught 2nd for so many years!)


There are three different versions of the reading logs - Grammar, Reading, and Phonics Sills. And then there is a version of just monthly reading logs. This gives you the opportunity to use the reading logs in SO many different ways! I personally, use the reading logs with skills IN my classroom and the monthly ones for home. There are a lot of skills that the parents may not know or completely get, so I just do those in class. BUT, I usually only do them as a review.  The same skill is on the reading log for the whole week; M-Th, or whichever 4 days you want to do! Sometimes we would have a computer day where our silent reading time was taken up, so then that's the day I would count as our "off day" on the reading log.


Each Reading log type also comes with an A.R. Version...where you can record their A.R. points for the week! I liked doing this and then stapling their reading logs on top, and then you can flip through and see their progress. I gave my students a goal of 1 A.R. point a week...which translated into passing 2 picture books or chapter book a week...most of them did that, if not more!

Here are some close ups of what each version looks like.


For the "skills" logs, each version has the same image on them, so you can easily tell if it's a grammar, phonics, or reading skill.




So, there you have it.... 125 pages of reading logs to help your silent reading, guided reading, or even your reading homework really count! well...250 pages if you count the A.R. files also included in the pack! 

You can check them out at my stores!