Saturday, March 31, 2012

Going, going, GONE!!!

Well, I'm out of here for a week.  We have plans for Spring Vacation.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for Big, EXCITING News!!!!  :-)

Safe travels everyone!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Break at Last!!!

Hi everyone!  I've not been feeling too good the last couple of days as my Lupus has been acting up and I've just been extra, extra EXHAUSTED.  I pushed myself to go into work today, because I was afraid they would take my pay if I was out the day before Spring Break.  Thank goodness for some wonderful teachers I work with.  I have been able to sit at my desk all day.  They walked my students to P.E., lunch, and recess for me.  I already had lots of fun activities planned for the kiddos, so I only had to supervise and I could do most of it from deskland!

One of things we did today in math was to make our own gamepieces.  I have small sticky pictures that were given to us from the picture company.  We usually use those pictures for Christmas ornaments and other gifts for families.  However, this year, we did not get them before Christmas.  Since I have 6 for each child I have plenty to use for all sorts of activities.  Today, we simply stuck the picture on a cotton ball and then used tape to stick the cottonball to a large button.  (I'm sure a round piece of foam would also work.  This is just what I had on hand.)  Here is the final product...QUICK and EASY-PEASY!!!

The students love using this personalized game playing piece!

In social studies, we have been learning about the president and his duties.  In writing, we are learning about persuasive writing.  We combined the two this week and the students finished up their projects today:
"Why I Should Be President of the Class for a Day."  Before making their campaign posters, we watched this youtube video that walks students through drawing self-portraits.  Here are some of their finished campaign posters:

Aren't they all so adorable?  When we return from Spring Break they will read their "speeches" and try to persuade me which one of them should be President for the Day!

How many of you are on Spring Break next week?  I've got an EXCITING Spring Break Party announcement Sunday.  Be sure to check back.  You won't want to miss it!!!!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Only 3 more days until Spring Break!

This week has started out to be an absolutely wonderful week.  As you all know, yesterday was my birthday.  I had such a good time with my little lovies yesterday and then my mom cooked a delicious homecooked meal for all of the family.  It was so nice and warm that we even got to set up a couple of tables and eat outside.  Best of all was the delicious, split-layer chocolate cake which she makes every year for my birthday!  I would post a picture, but I don't want to make you too envious!  lol

In language arts we are really focusing on our writing for the last part of the year.  It's so much fun when we get to this point and it seems they are finally doing some real writing with depth.  Today, we did a word web for Spring.  Then everyone got to use the word web we made as a whole group and write their own papers.  This afternoon, we made an anchor chart for proofreading symbols and started using those.  The students did a great job and thought it was so much fun to be detectives to search for all of the mistakes. 

I posted a fun little flip book for students to make...Eating Rainbow Fractions.

It is only $1.00!!!!  Head on over check it out! Just print, add your favorite candy to give students and you've got a fun little fraction activity!

In other news, I'm super excited to see that I now have 100 people on my blog!  I'm hoping that number will continue to grow!  I only need 12 more over on my TPT store to also have 100.  As soon as I reach 100 there, I have a FREEBIE to give everyone as a celebration.  So, that means there is at least 12 of you on here that is not a stalker, I mean follower, of my store.  Won't you be a dear and hurry on over there so I can share the freebie tonight???  (BIG SMILE)

It's that dreaded time of the year for me.  All of you that have college age children will completly understand just by reading this:  FAFSA...  At least I got wiser this year and I'm seeing a professional to take care of it.  I've got to run, it's almost appointment time!

Have a beautiful afternoon!  It's only 3 more days for me, until Spring Break!!!!!  YIPEE!!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't Miss Out!

Today is the last day to take advantage of my HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME celebration.  Don't miss out! 

Hurry over to my TPT store now to Buy One, Get One FREE.  I won't have this big of a discount again until next year at my next birthday!  :-)

There are 44 items in my store to choose from.  When my birthday ends tonight, so does the special.

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Unit

I'm so excited about the new unit I just posted.  My kids are going to be excited next week when we start our unit on insects!  In our school system, we are required to complete teaching of all standards before the CRCT.  I take advantage the last few weeks by doing thematic units which I adore!  We used to do those in Kindergarten and I really miss teaching in this manner.  We will be learning about life cycles, so one entire week we will spend on insects in math, reading, language arts, and science!!!  Here is one of the activities the students always enjoy the most:

I got the graphics for the book from Graphics From the Pond.  They posted just in time!  I had been searching for some!

My students enjoy making this accordion fold Life Cycle of a Butterfly  book.  Instructions are included in the unit. 

Get this unit FREE!  The first FIVE NEW FOLLOWERS  to do all three:
1)  Follow my blog
2) Follow my TPT store
3) Follow my Facebook page

will receive this unit FREE!!!  Just send me a message along with your e-mail address and I will send it to you asap!  You must be a new follower to all three.

Here is a preview!

Don't forget to take advantage of my HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME celebration to get more free items.  Check below to see the details.

Well, I think it's time for some chocolate!  :-)

Have a great weekend!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!!!!!

Happy birthday to ....MEEEEE!!!  Yep, Monday I will be another year older (and definitely wiser since I've learned about the blogging world and  In celebration, for myself, I have decided to spread the love (but not my age ;-), by giving everyone the sweet opportunity of giving me a gift for my birthday.  How can you do that?  Well, just hop on over to my TPT Store and purchase any one of my 43 products.  (I'm also working on a new one I hope to post over the weekend.)  After you purchase any of my products, just send me an e-mail, which is in all of my packets, and tell me which item you would like to receive COMPLETELY FREE that is of equal or less value along with your e-mail, and I will send it to you. 

Sounds like a WIN-WIN situation to me.  Plus, I'll be feeling the love from you and you'll know how much I love and appreciate all of you! 

So, I'm off of here to start the celebration weekend and birthday countdown.  I look forward to getting e-mails from you!  :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fun Day

We had such a fun day at school today.  We are learning persuasive writing.  At the beginning of each new quarter, I give students new seats in the classroom.  So, today I had them write a persuasive paper to convince me to let them choose their own seat.  I laughed and laughed as I read them this afternoon.  Here is my pick of the top 10 reasons using students own spelling:

  •  10 - I only want nice people next to me.
  • 9 - I want to sit by M because I'm kinda his friend.  I want to sit by M because I can see the tv better.  I want to sit by M so I will be closer to the door.  I want to sit by M to be closer to the rug.  (This list goes on and on always beginning with...I want to sit by M...Do you think he really likes M?  lol)
  • 8 - I would start being responsbol (her spelling) of what I said.
  • 7 - I will not pull their hair.
  • 6 - I think that it would be fun because maby it might be good for you.  (hahaha)
  • 5- I will pay you.
  • 4 - I'll practice 3 diget with regropin in the summer.
  • 3- Every time you choose my seat they are mean to me.  (says my BIGGEST trouble maker in the room..ha!)
  • 2- Wore the coolest teacher in 2nd grade.  (well, that's a good reason!)
  • 1 - Because your so nice and your the best teacher in the whole wide world.  And I love you so much.  And you get kids smarter in school.  (Quite a bit more on this one.  Awww...who am I kidding?  She did a nice job of sucking up, so she'll be choosing her own seat tomorrow!  hahahaha)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Multi-blog Give Away

I am sooooo excited.  I have been asked to join in on a HUGE multi-blog give away.  For all the details, hop on over to Karla's Blog to enter.  You can win over $80 worth of products.  Check out some of the TPT stores while you're there.  There are some awesome products at great prices.  It will make your life easier.  Personally, since I have discovered TPT, I have found so many great things to use in my classroom that not only is it making my life easier, but my students are the real winners by having some great games & activities made by ACTUAL TEACHERS in the classroom!!!

Happy Wednesday!  (Only 7 more days until Spring Break for me!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Charity Preston

We had a teacher workday on Friday.  Today should have been a break, but we had 1 snow day to make up, so we had an additional workday.  (They let the teachers make it up for the students.)  We spent both days cleaning out our storage room and workroom.  Everything looks so clean and spiffy now.  With this warm weather, it almost felt like we were starting a new year!  lol

Nothing to write about really, but I found this really great blog article about Charity Preston (The Organized Classroom Blog).  She tells her story of how she started in the world of blogging and TPT and made money so quickly.  It's a very inspiring story to read, so I wanted to post the link for others to read.  I'm a huge fan of hers and while I don't think I will ever achieve what she has in one year, I still admire her greatly for doing what she has done.  Read it for yourself  here.  Be sure to watch the video she shares telling how to make your very own CHEAP dry-erase boards.  I'm headed to Walmart tomorrow!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Celebration...with a FREEBIE!

Whoo!  Hoo!  I've sold 100 items on TPT store!  I am super excited, since I only began doing this 2 months ago.  In celebration I am giving away my "Wild About Informational Writing" unit that normally sells for $4.95.

See more about it at my TPT store where you can preview it.  This includes the Common Core Standards to post and includes activities for K-3rd grade.

Are you as excited as I am??  (Probably not, but who DOESN'T love a freebie???  lol)

Here's how to get it free:

1) Follow me on here (of course!)
 2) Follow me on TPT.
3)  Like my page on Facebook.
4)  Follow me on Pinterest. 
 (This is a new one so even if you are following me on the others, add this one and you still win!)
5)  Last, but one of the most important steps...leave me a comment telling me the name you used to "like and follow" me with (some of mine are under Cynthia and some 2nd Grade Pad), along with your e-mail address so I can send your freebie to you!

Even if you haven't purchased anything previously from my store, you still benefit.  Don't you just love when good things happen and the love is flowing for everyone???  Don't miss out...

(Promotion ends Sunday, March 25th)

Saturday, March 17, 2012



Buy 1 Literacy Station Activity and receive 1 Literacy Station of your choice FREE (must be same price or less). Check out my store now to view all of my items. Springing Into Literacy Stations is my newest! Please send me your e-mail and the item you've chosen for your freebie. I have items for kindergarten to 3rd grade, large bundled units, and individual.  I'm sure there is something to fit your needs!  :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Check out the linky party here to find lots of great kindergarten through 2nd grade blogs!

Organization in the Classroom

I have found a new blog that I LOVE!!!  If you haven't already, it is definitely a blog to join.  Check out The Clutter Free Classroom.  This is just what I need.  Let me give you a little background into the reasoning why...
This past school year our school system found themselves with a NINE MILLION dollar deficit.  Many people lost their jobs from the bottom all the way to the top.  They also closed two schools and combined into one large campus.  There were only two of the second grade teachers who got to remain in second grade.  Thank goodness, I was one of the lucky two.  However, I did have to move to the larger campus.  Instead of 8 second grade classrooms, we now have eleven.  You can just imagine the panic of so much fruitbasket turnover.  Added on top of that, we were not able to work in our classrooms during the summer because of so much moving.  (Not only 2 schools, but due to the fruitbasket turnover there were more classrooms that were moved, than those that got to stay.)  We had FOUR days to unpack our classrooms, figure out how to arrange furniture, and get everything ready for students.  (Actually 3 1/2 days due to Meet the Teacher Day.) 
Okay, maybe that's TOO much background information (LOL)...ANYWAYS, that's why I was so glad to stumble across this website.  I admit, it got to the point that things were shoved and hidden just to have my classroom presentable.  We were just told that we will be remaining in these rooms next years and will still be teaching 2nd, so it's time to get serious and get things like they should be.  We have 2 teacher workdays coming up (Friday and Monday) so I plan to do LOTS of work in my classroom.  I'm SO excited!

With all the teachers who were new to the 2nd grade, I have been doing lots of organizing of our lessons, mapping, etc. to help them out.  As I started doing this, I realized that it would help me be more organized to store my lesson plans like this:
I have 4 of these large notebooks that I made for each quarter.

I then took everything we are responsible for teaching (directly from our system's curriculum map) and put into a document called, "2nd Grade at a Glance."  This is for the 2nd half of the year.  I have these placed in the front of each of the notebooks.

On the inside, I have the months that are in that quarter on colored dividers.  Each subject of the month is then on yellow dividers.  I have my Standards Based Math Lesson Plans that I have made for each day in page protectors.  I can easily pull these out year to year to teach instead of having to pull out my big bulky teacher book.

I also made a shared folder that I placed on our school server for all the 2nd grade teachers to access as needed.  It is divided into months and all subjects as well.

How do you get organized?  I'm joining the Clutter-free Classroom Challenge.  I'll be posting more soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time Change

I hate time change!  Daylight Savings Time is actually my favorite of the two, but I sure do wish they would just choose a time and leave it alone.  One of my friends on facebook said it best:  "Only the government would believe you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."  Yep, that sounds about right.  I do love that I will have more daylight hours in the afternoons when I get home from work.  In fact, I always say I'm kind of like a bear.  I go into hibernation mode in the winter and many days you will find me in my jammies by 6 o'clock.  I have much more energy once daylight savings time arrives.  After supper, you can usually find me outside doing something until dark (if it's warm enough that is).  We plan on getting our little garden area plowed this week.  Next week, is the time (for our area) to plant potatoes!  How many of you raise your own garden?

Well, I finally got my picture of the broom standing outside my door.  After showing the teachers, it is now in my classroom (behind my desk where it's a little more protected) and has been standing most of the week.  No matter what the reason behind the theory of it, it's still fun to show your students. 

I've been working hard all week on my newest unit for TPT.  If I do say so myself, it's my most visually appealing unit so far.  I'm really proud of it.  If you need literacy stations for this coming up week, hop on over here and purchase it.  It includes 5 beautiful, colorful stations that are ready to download and use.  Worksheets are included to check for understanding of your students after completing the activity.  Be sure to at least look at the preview as it shows EVERYTHING in the unit.  These units can also be purchased individually in my store. 

Well, it's time to start getting ready for church where I play the piano.  I hope I'm not yawning during the service!  :-)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Only 2 more days this week!

Don't you love Wednesdays?  It always seems "downhill" once I get to Wednesdays.  For me, it's going to be another 4-day week as I'm taking a personal day off tomorrow to spend with my youngest daughter to celebrate her 19th birthday!

Have you heard about the broom trick?  I wanted to post you a picture, but alas, my camera is still not working.  I had a co-worker take a picture, but we forgot to get it to me before the end of the day.  Anyway, it is possible to stand a broom up.  Part of the people I've discussed it with says that it's a gravitational thing from now until March 21st.  However, naysayers tell me it can be done at anytime of the year.  In the meantime, try it out for yourself.  Any old broom will work.  I did it with my students this morning and it was still standing when I left this afternoon.  No matter what the explanation, it's a lot of fun to do with your students!

I posted my newest unit on TPT.  It's a 47-page unit full of games, literacy station activities, worksheets, task cards, and Common Core Standards for 1st and 2nd grade.  Go check it out here

One last thing for tonight...I've been given a blogging award!  Thanks to Mrs. Stapler over at Stapler's Strategies for giving this to me! 
Five months ago this award was created to encourage teachers who blog.

Since that time, there have been MANY new bloggers who deserve some high fives from the blogging community.

Click  here to get the info.

Are there certain blogs that you return to day after day that continually provide you with inspiration? Then why not give them an award to say a big thank you!   Here are my Top 10:

4)  Yvonne @ sassyinsecond
5)  Teresa @ 2ndgradepigpen
6)  Stacy @ 2ndgradeparadise
7)  Tammy @ 123teachwithme

Time for bed! 


Monday, March 5, 2012

Here's your freebie!

I have uploaded a freebie to my TPT store to thank you for joining my blog.  I would LOVE for you to start following my store while you're over there.  Check it out here.

Here is a few pictures I took of anchor posters I have in my classroom.  One of the best ideas I think I ever had was the day I started putting the 3m hooks on my wall to hang all of my charts.  Now, when it is time for standardized testing, rather than taking down or covering up, I simply turn around!  :-)

The nice thing about putting them on hooks, is that when I moved classrooms (and buildings) this past year, I just popped those hooks off and brought them with me!  :-)

Have a good evening! 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Whoo! Hoo!!!

I'm so excited and can't believe that I've finally hit 50 followers.  That just made my day (plus puts the pressure on me to bring my blog on up a few notches!)  I'm hoping to take some pictures this week to get posted on here.  My camera has not worked properly in awhile (and I must admit, I couldn't put my hands on it right now if my life depended on it), so I am depending on a couple of my sweet co-workers to help me out with the picture taking.  I have a freebie to give you.  The trouble is, I have no idea how to post it just on here without having to go through TPT.  I love my TPT, don't get me wrong, but I would prefer to pass this on to those of you that made this particular goal possible. Anyone out there with answers, please let me know.  I will try to find out and get it posted by tomorrow.  Here is my latest unit I am working on. I hope to finish and post it for sale on TPT in the next couple of days...

Have a great week everyone and once again a BIG THANK YOU!!!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

I've received an award!

Thanks so much to Sara from Smiling in Second Grade for nominating me for an award!
There are a few rules for accepting this award:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Pass the award onto 5 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you :)

Here are my nominees!

(I'm a huge fan.  I love the newsletters.  Be sure to sign up for it!)

(Kelley always has some great ideas to share.)

(Teresa is a fellow teacher.  We started this blogging journey together.  She's another newbie!)

(A new blog I just found a few days ago with some wonderful ideas.)

(I can not say enough nice things about this wonderful lady!  Amy was so sweet to answer several questions for me in January and really got me started in TPT.  I always have to brag about what a nice person she is to everyone.  THANKS AMY!!!)



Friday, March 2, 2012

A Special Deal for my Followers!!!!

I'm having a special for my followers...
Visit my TPT store and purchase either my Wild About Informational Writing or my 3-weeks Needs Based Plans and become a follower on TPT AND Facebook. Last, comment on the item, and I will send you one of my UNDER $5 items free! Be sure you mention seeing it on my blog! (Don't forget to send your e-mail address to me along with the item of your choice as a freebie.)  This special will last until Monday, March 5th at midnight.

Hope everyone is safe tonight if you are in the line of any of the bad storms.  It's almost time for them to roll in here.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bad Day...NO! GOOD day!!!

I used to have a book I enjoyed reading to my students that would say, "That's Bad!  No, That's Good!" (Don't know what ever happened to it...hmmmm...)  Anyway, that about sums up my day.  I woke up at 4:30 with an unwanted gift from one of my little lovies...yes, the dreaded stomach bug.  The good news was, my former student teacher was available to sub.  Thank goodness, she knows my room inside and out, backwards and forwards.  I didn't even have to worry about lesson plans. 

My daughter has a horse that we've been having to board somewhere else.  That was no longer an option, so I got to see she and my husband put the finishing touches on a pasture they fenced in at our house and then bring the horse up to it.  (Where I also got to see them promptly chase him when he snuck out!  lol...)  Everything's good though.  He's back in and I'm hoping he stays in since they are both gone to work.  I just don't think I can catch him the way I feel!!!

Earlier, I happened to look out the window and saw a frog in the swimming pool.  When I got down to rescue him, it was actually a toad and he was already all puffed up and floating on his back.  The good news in once I dipped him out, took him to a nice sunny spot AWAY from the pool, he revived and after about 20 minutes hopped away.  So another good thing today.

BUT, the most important good thing is that I didn't feel like doing much except work on my newest unit for my TPT store (and reading a James Patterson book during breaks).  I am super excited about being able to share this informational writing unit with others.  My students do so well, when they do it in this format.  Go check it out here...

Please be sure to follow me while you're over there.  I've got to go keep an eye on that horse!