Monday, January 30, 2012

What a Day!!!!

Well, after 100 days of being fairly healthy, I have caught someone's cold!  (I don't really understand how I've caught it if they still have it too...hehehe.)  Anyway, today, as all Monday's, I do not get a break when my students go to specials.  We are required to go to library with them.  I forgot to bring home my reader's theater I made for our DI stories this week, so I took them with me to staple and highlight the parts.  BAD idea...kept getting interrupted so that when reading started, some of the parts were highlighted wrong!  :-(  Thank goodness, we've done enough that they were able to figure it out on their own!  I decided to change up our boring SRA Reading Mastery (Direct Instruction) reading and we are doing a whole week long unit on the circus.  I turned the Sherlock and Moe stories into a Reader's Theater, and we also have circus poems we will be reading this week.  I also made centers to go along with circus...circus words for the dictionary center, circus books for the reading center, juggling clown word game for vocabulary, and circus story starters for the writing centers.  I changed my centers from 10-5 (one is always computers). 

Well, the push-in ESOL teacher has been out of the classroom for 2 1/2 weeks testing students, so everything has been different during that time.  Today we were finally going to be back to a normal routine.  Anyways, just as Ms. C walks through the door, low-and-behold here comes the principal to do GTOI's on both of us.  Now, I'm sure we've ALL had one of those days when nothing seems to be going our way...that was certainly my day.

Here I am sick (sniffling, sneezing, drinking water for my scratchy throat), new routine which I'm about to announce to the students who are not in Ms. C's group, and on top of that...I had forgotten to turn the student computers on yet! On top of that, since I wasn't feeling well, I had planned not to do my usual small group and instead spend my time individually testing each child on his instant words.  Well, the principal was very gracious and began with Ms. C's GTOI, while I got my group situated, computers turned on, directions given etc., before she comes over to observe me.  While I'm doing those things I'm talking on the outside to my students, but on the inside I'm trying to decide WHAT to do for her to observe.  Luckily, I still had a small group set of books I had not returned to the reading room yet, so I was able to use those and it all looked as though I had it planned all along! When she started to leave she even asked if I needed anything and offered to get me more water.  A few minutes after she left, she came back to the room and brought me some zinc lonzenges and told me to keep the box.  She is really such a nice lady!

As soon as school was over I rushed to the drugstore and now I'm all armed with all sorts of goodies.  Just hope I feel better tomorrow!

In the meantime, I finished my unit on Homophones.  It seemed so hard to find much on this, so I just set in and made my own.  I'm so excited to use in the classroom!  I posted in on my TPT store so be sure to go check it out.  Also, I'm having a 15% off sale beginning tomorrow, so be sure to stop by and see if there's anything you need.  If you download something, PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE leave me some feedback and don't forget to follow me!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another Freebie!

I am still trying to figure out what to do to make my blog look like everyone else's (with other sites, TPT, etc. listed down the side).  I would SO appreciate someone telling me how to do this.  After I eat lunch, I will be tinkering around and try to figure it out.

In the meantime, here is a freebie for you to download from my TPT site.  This is my daily math spiral review for the month of February.  There are only 16 days because we have a week off for Winter Break this month.  (I am SUPER excited.  We have never had a break in Feb. before!  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we have NO snow for the next 3 weeks!)

If you have any questions, please ask.  Also, do me a GREAT favor...when you download, please leave me a comment on my TPT site and don't forget to follow me.  I have LOTS more ideas and units I'm working on.  Thanks!

Have a wonderful, restful, Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We hit about 70 here in North Georgia today.  Hard to believe for a January day.  It was the first day we finally got to go outside for recess.  The kids were so excited.  We also had a fire drill.  So, we got a little extra fresh air and sunshine in.

We started our compound word search today from the activity cards I made.  The students loved searching for words.  It's so nice to finally know how to make things pretty on my computer!  Blogging and TPT has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  Here is the link if you are interested!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays...

I always loved the song by The Carpenters..."Rainy Days and Mondays."  Thankfully, though, they DON'T get me down.  I have always LOVED rainy days, but I must admit, that I would prefer some sunshine.  On the other hand, I'm VERY thankful that it is rain and not snow we are getting.  At this time last year we had already had several snow days and ended up having to make 10 up. 
Well, on the plus side, having indoor recess allows me to get some things done while the children play.  I saw someone's TPT unit that was a supplement for a Scott Foresman reading series.  Let me tell you, you haven't had cut and dry (read...BORING) until you've had SRA Reading Mastery as your ONLY reading series.  The students are all so tired of it, and I must admit, so am I.  I have no idea who had posted the unit, but it got me excited and I started thinking of things I could do to supplement my reading materials.  I will be glad to share my first unit with any of you that have this series.  Just send me an e-mail.

Have a good evening!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Good day

It was the best day of the week at school so far.  I have decided, it was due to the students, but simply because I finally made myself go to bed at 9:00 last night.  Nine hours of sleep was just what I needed.  Even though it was the first night of American Idol, I held strong and didn't watch!  I might just pass it by altogether this year!  :-)

I've been gathering things and planning for 100 day next week.  This is the first time in a while that snow hasn't changed it several times.  Looks like we may actually get to have it on time.  Even though we have had to have indoor recess all week again, the students have been really, really good.  I think they actually enjoy playing with stuff in the room.  It seems we are so busy from the moment we walk in, until they leave with academics, they enjoy just having freedom to explore things. 

We did our first crossword puzzle of the year today.  I let them work with a partner which helped, but I can see we need to do some more of these fun, challenging puzzles.

Tomorrow is Friday!  YEAH!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another rainy day!

Well, it's been another rainy day here in Georgia, but as long as it's not snowing...I'm not complaining!

Had a great day with my students.  This week is the middle benchmark of DIBELS so a "swat" team of push-ins/pull-out teachers are used.  We got to enjoy a little Reading Rainbow instead of our usual routine.  LOVE  The students always enjoy getting to watch these videos on the big screen.  We also started learning about fractions today.  Today was a day of exploration as all the students colored and cut out fraction circles and then explored various ways they could be put into one whole.  We ended the day with indoor recess (again) and then started learning about synonyms.  If the rain ever stops, maybe we'll get to go back outside again!  :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Day Off!

Good morning!
I realize I have been a little remiss on keeping up with my blog.  Starting today, I vow to do better.  I have been working on several items for my classroom and reading other blogs to kinda get a feel for this thing.  Yesterday, we spent the day looking at some possible wedding locations for my daughter's wedding.  After all, LOCATION is the big picture!  lol

Anyway,  I am still working on my HUGE unit covering 3-Weeks Needs Based Lesson Plans and how to implement them in your classroom.  They have made a world of difference in my classroom during reading.  I am almost finished with it and hope to put the finishing touches on it today.  I have been working on it for almost 2 weeks now.  I want it to be comprehensive, user-friendly, and ready to go when you hit the print button. 

In the meantime, I just posted a new unit to my TPT store.  It is 8 original poems created by me to use in my poetry station during my Needs-Based Group time.  Check it out and don't forget to become a follower of me on my TPT store.  I am still learning.  I have only been doing this since New Year's Eve when I first discovered how to create my own blog and make things for TPT.  If some of you experienced bloggers have any helpful info, I would LOVE your help.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get other blogs to show up on the side bars and to get my TPT store button on.

Thanks and enjoy your day off!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Good evening!
It's been a great week, but I'm afraid one of my little darlings might have spread some "joy" to me.  I didn't feel that great last night and didn't sleep well.  However, you know how we teachers are...we push on unless things are really bad.  I thought I would feel better after I got going this morning and had some toast.  Unfortunately, my stomach has felt worse throughout the day, so I am spending my evening getting sub lesson plans ready to go "just in case."  What I worry about most is (*gasp*) I left my desk a mess!  I was working on lesson plans during indoor recess today and had everything spread all over the desk getting things together to be copied.  (I pull the copies for all of 2nd grade.)  I had to go next door to the other campus for the media committee meeting.  By the time we got finished, it was coming a downpour, it was 30 minutes past the end of the day, and my stomach was feeling worse.  I had to walk back to the other building and even with an umbrella, my feet were soaked by the time I got to my van.  I decided to just get in and go home.  Now I'm regretting that I didn't go back in my room and straighten my desk!  :-(  Oh, well...hope you all have a great evening!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pizza Sandwiches

Did I really say Pizza SANDWICHES?  Yes, I did.  It has been a very foggy, rainy, gloomy day in the North Georgia Mountains today.  I got to thinking that this seemed like a pizza sandwich type of day.  When I first started teaching kindergarten many, many years ago, it was a socialization grade.  (Remember whole language anyone?)  As we taught ONE letter a week (yes, we were only required to teach the alphabet and 10 sight words...can you believe??) we would do all sorts of activities that began with that letter.  That is how I learned about pizza sandwiches.  We always made them for snack during the week of letter P.  When I had my own children, I made them at home.  These were their very favorite kinds of sandwiches as well as their friends who would come to my house.  So, instead of a grilled cheese sandwich on these cold winter days, try something a little different and see what your family thinks.  It might just become a new family favorite!

Directions:  Butter 2 slices of bread as you would when making a grilled cheese sandwich.  Place first slice of buttered bread, butter side down on a hot grill pan or frying pan.  Spoon some pizza sauce on, add shredded mozarella cheese, and any of your favorite pizza toppings.  Add the other slice of bread.  Flip when brown and grill the other side.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Glad today was Friday.  Good thing we ended up not having a full week or I would really have been dragging this evening!  We had a busy, busy day.  Today was folder day when all of the students work is sent home, behavior note, and other important information.  Report cards were added to the foray today as well as the monthly parent note/calendar.  We started this a couple of years ago to save money (paper and copy costs).  On one side is listed every subject area and what we will be learning for the month.  On the other side is the calendar with all of the important dates listed.  Usually, it's very busy, but this month seems to be a slower month with not very many school activities.  I am posting a copy if anyone is interested in changing from a weekly letter to a monthly letter.  It sure does save time each week.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Money Power Point

I created this Power Point as a fun performance task activity to assess my students understanding of counting money and counting back change.  The first part is done without any assistance from the teacher.  (The answer is 2 pennies.)  You will quickly be able to see which students have a strong grasp of money.  The 2nd part shows the activity again, but this time it tells the students exactly how much money should be handled.  I hope you enjoy!

Getting Back in the Groove


I guess it's a good thing we ended up having a snow day this week.  Two days, and I'm exhausted!  I'm thinking it's probably because I got used to sleeping late and this early rising is just not cutting it!!!  All the teachers were talking yesterday about how the students were so quiet and acted like they did't know each other.  They were probably like us and just tired.  They were back full force today!!!  LOL...At least tomorrow is Friday!  :-)

I'm so excited that I've been able to upload two more of my products on my TPT page.  These are for sale, but are very cheap!  If you purchase, please let me know what you think!  I'm so excited to finally have a place to share all of the ideas I've had for years.

Remember to click on the link and not the picture.  It will take you directly to my page.  Please tell your fellow teacher friends about my blog and my TPT store.  My goal for this weekend is to figure out how to do a direct link from the picture.  Until then, please bear with me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Yesterday, the teachers had to return to school for a work day.  I helped several of my fellow 2nd grade teachers start their own blogs.  We had a lot of fun together and I'm so excited to have friends sharing this journey.  Today, I am working on making teaching activities to post on TPT (see math spiral review post for my first product).  I made myself a nice hot cup of homemade cappuchino (my version anyway) to enjoy while I've been working away.  Even though I know this will cut into our February Winter Break by having to make this day up, I am enjoying sitting here in my PJ's and doing what I love best...making things for school.  (Teachers are a strange sort of creature like that!  lol)

Here is my homemade cappuchino recipe.  Enjoy!

Dash of coffee
Splash of heavy cream
3/4 cup of milk (or there about...I don't actually measure anything)
1 pkg instant hot chocolate

Heat in microwave 1 min.  Stir (It will boil over if you do me on this. :-)
Heat 20-30 more seconds

Daily Math Spiral Review

I am so excited.  I have just uploaded my first item for sale on TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers).  Follow the link to check it out!

Our district has curriculum maps that must be adhered to. (This is probably true most places.) We are required to also do a spiral math review each day. Last year, I was fortunate to have a wonderful student teacher in my classroom which allowed me to work on several projects I had ideas for. I made a daily spiral math review for the entire school year. At that time, we were just writing it on the board. This year, I have made them into power points. The students use a laminated construction paper "calendar board" to complete. With our major budget crunch, this saves having daily copies run off. On one side it includes date, clock, and big number of the day. The other side has 5 problem solving squares that include: measurement, addition, subtraction, money, and story problem. I am posting the page and the January power point. I have these numbered for each day of the year to make it easy to find the correct review for the day. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear your feedback.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am so excited.  With the help of a fellow 2nd grade blogger, I have made and uploaded my first teacher product to Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).  My first few will be free until I get the hang of this.  This unit is the actual one I plan to use next week in my classroom during math for teaching Plane Shapes.  Please follow the link and get it for free.  I would so appreciate your comments.  Thank you!