Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Unit - Fun Fall Literacy Stations

I promised to be back Monday with my newest unit, but alas...
the stomach virus found me Monday.  :-(
Oh, well, just part of the life of a teacher!!!
We've been super busy, as I'm sure all of you have been also!
So, this will be short and sweet.

70 jam-packed pages and 10 units in color or B & W for your choice of printing options.

Only $7.00.   No holiday activities so these can be used for the whole month of November.

Check it out here. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Falling into Fall!

Can't believe how COLD it is today, and I'm just getting into high gear with fall!  Haha!
What a busy week I had last week.  I even wound up in a pizza costume dancing at the 2nd grade musical!  I 'm not sure that's a picture I want to post!!!
I've got a couple of sweet deals for you today.
I am running a special on my Spooktacular Math & Literacy Stations...
Wow...10 Stations...
That's only 50 cents each!!!
Just click on the above picture to go straight to my store to buy it.  :-)
I am also hard at work on a new fall pack.
Here is a freebie for you from it.
Check back tomorrow for the full package which will have an introductory special and a special deal for the first 24 hours! 
You don't want to miss it!
Have a GREAT Monday everyone! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fact Fluency

It has been a BUSY, CRAZY week.  I've also been working on this unit to use in my own classroom for over a week now. 
It does include a FREEBIE!
Do your students continually use their fingers to add and subtract?  Work on fact fluency by using the new unit that I just uploaded.

(CLICK on picture above to go to my store.)


409 PAGES for ONLY $10.  What a bargin!!!  
(Grab yours now, before the price increases.)

My students will write their names on the little sticky notes and add next to each math fact as they learn it to automaticity.

Do you need timed tests?  In my classroom, I use Brain Math for practice AND timed tests.  In this unit, you will receive 31 different Brain Maths which covers each set of fluency facts as well as a mixture for each group.  My students LOVE doing these.  
I am sharing one of the brain math slides to use:

I use my small digital timer and place it on the "count-up" mode. I usually begin with 10 seconds for each slide. Each student has a dry-erase board as well as a dry-erase marker and an eraser. 

They number the board 1-10. We go through the slides at 10 seconds each. The students write ONLY the answer for each slide.  (Example shown below, next to number 2 the students would write 8.

The last slide says, "Close Your Markers." 

  Then we go over the answers. If the student has an incorrect answer, they erase. I can quickly scan as I'm walking the room to see how each student did.

When I feel that my students are able to be successful, I give them a piece of notebook paper along with a pencil. We go through the Brain Math slides at a faster pace (use whatever you feel is appropriate time for your class).

I then take up the pencil/paper test for grading purposes.

Another form of timed test that I use, is the Individual Fluency Record sheets. These can be used for practice or test grade also and are divided by the grading period.

We are limited on the number of copies we can use due to $$. If you purchase this unit, and find this is not sufficient amount of practice for you, I will be glad to add more paper copies. Just send me an e-mail.

To learn more about brain math along with another freebie, click here.

The first 5 people who purchase my unit and leave me a rating/feedback on my store can choose another item of equal or less value for FREE!  :-)


Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's Time to MEASURE!!!

It's been a busy, FUN weekend so far.  Yesterday was the hubby's birthday and we took a day trip up to Smoky Mtns.  The leaves are GORGEOUS!!!!  We stayed away from the more touristy part of the National Park and headed to the backside which is a well-kept secret.
However, I guess I'm about to change that!  haha
Here are a couple of pictures of what we saw...
They reintroduced the Eastern Elk several years ago.  There is a fairly good size population in the old settlement of Catalooche.

What a beautiful sunset!
We are starting measurement in the classroom this week.  I am revisiting a couple of my former units. 
The best part for you is that they are FREE!!!
This unit is one of the first freebies I made way back to celebrate 100 followers. 
It has also been downloaded over 14,000 times (so perhaps you already have it!).
 It includes measurement of centimeters and inches, graphing, addition, and ordering of numbers.
It was one of my students favorites last year, and I know it will be a big hit again this year.

I have a similar item in my store that will also work well for this time of year:
You can purchase this unit for just $1.50.
I use both of these in small groups (centers or needs-based), but whole group works well also.
Another freebie I've offered before is:

Just add playdoh for an INSTANT hit with your students!
We've also been learning about IRREGULAR PLURAL NOUNS.
Here is an anchor chart that we used in the classroom.  My students sorted the nouns by singular and plural.

And last, but CERTAINLY not Least, is the adorable new unit I'm working on for addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Afterall, it's a new standard for 2nd grade!
I'm putting the final touches on it and hope to have it posted for you in a couple of days.  Be sure to check back!
Now, it's time to get out and enjoy another gorgeous fall day.  I hope you are enjoying yours also and that these freebies will help make your week go a little smoother!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rake 'em Up! Freebie

It's looking mighty fallish around my neck of the woods!  Here's the front of our school all decorated.
It's a SCARECROW INVASION all over town as everyone prepared for last weekend and this weekend and the Georgia APPLE Festival.
Needless to say...
I STAY HOME!!!!  hahaha
After all, I have better things to do with my time, like making pretty things for my classroom, lesson plans, blogging, etc.  (Kind of pathetic isn't it!)
I did go leaf looking last Saturday and hope to do more this weekend.

Here's some of the INDOOR things we've been doing in my classroom this week...
My kiddos are doing a short vowel sort in Working with Words Literacy Station.
They work together to sort the pictures into the bags.  Then each student cuts out the same pictures and glues it in the correct column on their paper.  This is part of my Spooktacular Unit or can also be purchased individually here (It's in the Bag!).
SIDE NOTE:  WHY is it that things are more noticable and look worse in a picture?  I didn't realize this table look so poorly!!!

Another unit that is also included in the Spooktacular is Spooky ABC's (alphabetical order).

Here I'm showing the students how to do using my document camera and projector.  How did we EVER teach without technology??
These units are just in time for Halloween and my students have been having a ball with them.
Speaking of just in time, I can't pass an opportunity to offer you another goody.  I've had so many looksies to my blog lately (along with new followers to my blog and store), that I just HAD to do something nice for you! 
Here's a thank you!!!  (If you've not become a follower yet, I would love for you to!)
I made this Rake 'em Up! game for you with programmable cards to use for ANY subject and ANY grade level.  I didn't want to take the chance of missing anyone.  Hopefully, EVERYONE will be able to use this!
I hope you enjoy!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Blogger - Darcy Pattison

I am SUPER excited to have Darcy Pattison as a guest blogger today.  She is the author of several books.
Here are just a couple of examples.  If you haven't had an opportunity to check out her amazing books, you should do so...ASAP!!!!
Now on to a FABULOUS blog post.  I am so excited to start using these tips and ideas in my own classroom.  Enjoy reading as Darcy shares her knowledge with us to make great writers of our students.
Writing with 2nd Graders
“Who would like to share what you wrote?” I asked.
A few excited hands went up. Then, a thin girl with shoulder-length brown hair raised her hand.
Startled, the teacher nodded to her. “Yes, read for us.”
The narrative was strong, full of details and voice. I congratulated the girl on her work and asked for other volunteers.
Later, the teacher told me that it was the first time the girl had ever volunteered to read from her work, the first time she had ever felt confident of her work.
The class of twenty students were those identified by teachers as the weakest, those most in need of a boost. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if the students are kindergarten or tenth grade, considered weak or strong writers. What matters is getting strong writing. And there are two key elements.
First, good writing is specific writing. For narratives, I ask students to write the five senses down the side of a page, spreading out the words to fill the space: see, hear, smell, taste, feel (kinesthetic or temperature/texture, NOT emotions). The writers stops to think about the situation they are describing, to mentally go back to that place and remember specific details. For each sense, I require the writer to write at least three specifics.
What makes something specific enough?
Not: dog.
Instead: a German shepherd that limps.
This exercise requires the most specific noun possible, often a proper noun; then, it requires modifiers, so the reader cannot confuse this item with any other. Complete sentences aren’t required, rather words, phrases, clauses—just something to jog the writer when they actually write later.
Of course, what we see and hear are the strongest senses, therefore, the easiest to write. Smell and taste can depend on the situation. For example, when talking about a Christmas feast, smell and taste are easy. Kinesthetic draws on strong verbs, as it details what it feels like to move through space. (Ex. She kicked the silver bucket.) The key here is that students are asked to think about a variety of sensory details and to choose the best details from the possibilities. I encourage the use of at least three different senses in any piece of writing.
Making these “deposits” into a word bank means they can draw from the bank whatever language works in the story. If something else occurs to the writer as they work, they should certainly use it.
This type of prewriting activity puts the emphasis on details where it belongs, up front.

Second, the most important word in a sentence is the verb. Strong verbs enliven a piece of writing, while “to be” verbs make it static. This can be implemented as a prewriting or a revision strategy. Either way, writers should focus on strong verbs.
Not: The man walked across the room.
Instead: The man limped across the room.
Avoid weak adverbs.
Not: The man walked slowly across the room.
Instead: The man limped across the room.
In the second sentence, we see the reason for the slow progress across the room. As a general rule of thumb, I don’t allow adverbs or adjectives UNTIL the writer has first used the strongest verb or noun possible.
Does it sound too simplisitic? For narratives, does it just take the use of sensory details and strong verbs to produce a good paper? Yes, it is that simple. These two things make the more difference in student writing than anything else you can do: specific details and strong verbs.
Children’s book author and writing teacher, Darcy Pattison ( is published in eight languages. She runs the book review sites and 2ndGradeReading.NET, 3rdGradeReading.NET. Coming soon are 4thGradeReading.NET and 5thGradeReading.NET. Also check out her TpT store at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brain Math

What a GREAT Monday I had!!!
It didn't even feel like a Monday.  (BIG smile)
Everything went smooth and exactly as it should.  How shocking is that??
Perhaps part of it had to do with the wonderful news I was FINALLY able to share with everyone...

Yep!  I'm going to be a Grammy (or a Meme, or a Mimzi...haven't figured that one out yet, but I know that it can't sound OLD!!!!) 
It's hard to tell because of the glare on the picture, but the very bottom says
We are VERY excited!!!
It was a BEAUTIFUL autumn day here today, the kiddos were great, all my lesson plans executed exactly as planned, AND....
You'll never GUESS what else happened.
Come on...
No, that's not it!
That's not it either!!!
I got BOO'D!!!

Look at that goody apple with caramel dip, homemade white chocolate skeleton hands,
M & M's, Snickers, and Halloween pencils in this adorable basket.
I'm sure my class thought I was looney when I began laughing.  I couldn't help it! 
After all, I started the virtual version of BOO on Friday and it has been a huge success.
If you haven't checked it out yet, click here to go check out all of the awesome blogs.  I found LOTS of new ones!
Well, now, if you don't mind hanging in there for just a little longer, I have a freebie to share with you. 
First, let me explain how a fellow teacher taught it to me.
It's called BRAIN Math.
Have the students use dry/erase boards and number 1-10.
Show the Power Point.  Decide on a time limit.  (I started at 10 seconds for each slide.)
The students write ONLY the answer next to the number.
(Be sure you say the number as you change slides.)
At the end, have the students put away their dry erase markers.
Go back over the slides and tell the answers.  The students will erase any wrong answers, but do not change any answers (hence the putting the markers away).
This will help your students practice math fluency facts in a fun and different way.
I hope you enjoy!  (Just click on above picture to download your own free copy.)
It's very simple to make your own Power Point for addition, subtraction, or a mix.
I linked up with Manic Monday.  Click on this picture to find MORE freebies.
Now, I'm off to go start looking at grandmother names (maybe I should do a poll!) haha
I would love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who will be "Boo'd?"

As you all know by now, I LOVE making up games.  Here's one we can play with our fellow bloggers. 

You've probably all played the popular game BOO at school where you leave a ghost on someone's desk or mailbox along with a treat.  Let's do the same by sharing some love from our stores...

Here's how to play.  Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, another that has about the SAME number of followers, and last, someone that has LESS followers.

Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out.  Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them. 

Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat."

Here are my three.  Just click on their button to check out their blogs.
Ms. Fultz's corner
I just adore Christi!  She has become such a good bloggy friend AND she has the most adorable items in her TPT store as well as designing AWESOME blogs (like mine!)
She also made the great BOO cards to use to play the game at your school.  Drop by her blog to get this FREEBIE.  See, isn't she FABULOUS???
Sugar and Spice
Christina and I have been in a couple of giveaways together.  She has some very important information in her latest blog postings about CCC in case you're still searching.
2nd Grade Pig Pen
Teresa is a great friend whom I have the pleasure of working with on a daily basis.  She's going through a rough time with some serious health problems.  Pop over to her blog and become a follower, check out her store, and leave her some encouragement.
Now it's your turn.  Pass on the BOO to 3 of your favorite blogs, tell us about them, and link up!
Feel free to add your link through Oct. 31st before the ghosts all flee and the turkeys arrive!  :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Place Value Game with a Twist

 Do you find that more and more students do not not know how to interact with "low-tech" games?  Most of my 2nd graders probably know more about playing computerized games than I do.  But, they still have a hard time with basic rule following (taking turns, not cheating...hahaha, being a gracious winner or loser, and following rules of a game) on a good old fashioned game.
I LOVE getting to work in very small groups and teach my students games.

You will find that I use a LOT of games in my classroom to teach concepts.  I also have many of my activities in my TPT and TN stores in the form of games.
A game I've been teaching my kiddos this week is a simple, but fun place value game that I made up.  It always amazes me how much they like the silly little things I just come up with!
Here is what each student will need:
To begin, have each student draw lines and write Th for thousands, H for hundreds, T for tens, and O for ones.

When I introduce the students to the game we take turns rolling the dice.  The directions I give the students is that they can put the number in any column they wish, but once they write it, they cannot change it.

When it is back to the first player, we take turns rolling the dice again and placing that number in any of the three remaining columns.

Play continues in this manner until a 4-digit number has been formed.  Then we go around the table and say the number.  To help the students  I have them point to the number as they say it and then the thousand, number, hundred, etc. discouraging any "and" between numbers.
The fun part is the twist.  After everyone has had a chance to read their number, I draw a card from the pile and read, "And the Winner Is...."

There's the twist! 
Students never know who will win as each round is different.
I also keep a tally scoreboard as we continue the rounds.  The students LOVE this!  I have made you a copy also.  Please click here to get your own FREE copy.
ENJOY!!!  I would love to get some comments!  ;-)