Thursday, February 28, 2013

100 Follower Giveaway!!!

I am SO super excited to have 100 fabulous followers on my little blog! When I first started, I really wondered who on earth would want to read what I have to say. But apparently, 100 of you do. That's incredible! So to thank you all for visiting, reading, and following, I am having my first big giveaway. Just look what you could win...

50 wonderful sellers on TpT have donated items plus I'm giving away $60 in products from my own store! Because there are so many great prizes, I've grouped them by grade level into 4 different giveaways. Enter one or enter all... just be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spring Fever

Is anyone else getting the itch for spring break? February is usually when I go through my annual mid-year crisis and start changing things up in my classroom. I'm just dying for a teacher duty day so I can clean and throw things away and do something different in my room. But alas, we don't get one of those for another 3 weeks.

So while I'm waiting for that day to arrive, I've been compiling ideas for things I want to change or add to my room. Here are a few that I particularly like...

I've been finding lots of fun ways to use paint samples in the classroom. I particularly like this one. It makes a great choice board for getting rid of those worn-out words!

Or how about this one? Student-made contraction cards. I love how the white center line serves as a visual prompt to add the apostrophe. I think my class will love making these during centers!

Now this is a brilliant idea! Dry erase markers are my personal nemesis. The kids leave caps laying all around and will use anything, including their own clothing or body parts, as erasers. I think this idea might just solve both problems!

The no-name there anything worse?!! I mean, you'd think two and a half years of writing their names on their papers would eventually stick, right? And if this poem doesn't work, I'm going to this...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Organizing Your Common Core

My district is implementing Common Core gradually over the next two years. Some grade levels, like mine, are straddling the fence this year. One foot on the Common Core side, the other still on the state standards side. It makes it a bit tricky, trying to meet the current requirements while adding in the new ones. I'm finding the record-keeping the most difficult part. But take a look at this...

This site has handy little checklists for every grade level. Each one lists the Common Core standards with space to record when you taught, retaught, assessed, and reassessed. I especially like that the standards are just listed down the side. It's makes a nice little reference sheet that doesn't fill up a whole binder.

I'm hoping that by next year I will have figured out a better system and gotten myself a little more organized. Maybe an actual filing system instead of my current piling system.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Pencil War

Last year my very expensive electric pencil sharpener died. It wasn't old age or a terminal illness. My sharpener was a victim of involuntary manslaughter. One of my lovelies thought it would be good to sharpen the eraser end of a pencil. Hmm... that didn't quite work out.

So, this year I decided no more sharpening for the kids. I would handle it myself. Well, you probably know how that has turned out. I never realized how often these children break their pencils. You just don't know until it's brought to your attention every single time it happens. And then there's the issue of losing them, leaving them all over the room during centers, chewing the erasers off, smashing the metal end into a deadly weapon. Pencils are a real problem! {I'm not dramatic, am I?} There has got to be a solution to this.

Enter the best idea for teachers EVER...


First of all, it's FREE, so keep reading. Mrs. Hazelton of The Wise Owl came up with this idea and it's brilliant. The idea is that you give each student 8 sharpened pencils and an eraser on Monday and they have to be responsible for them all week. There's more to it than that, of course, but it's pretty simple to implement and it works. I started using it right after Christmas and I have not heard one peep, not one, about someone's pencil in over a month! 

Now I don't know Mrs. Hazelton. This is not a biased review or recommendation. It's something I found, tried, and love. So, go check out this freebie for yourself. I'd love to hear if it works for you too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Tale of Two Tattlers

Once upon a time, in a quiet second grade class, there was a little girl and a little boy who just couldn’t get along. The little boy liked to annoy the little girl by making faces and in return, the little girl called him names. 

For six long months, these little children carried on making faces and calling each other names. And in between, they filled their teacher’s ears with the most incredible amount of tattling anyone has ever heard. In fact, had there been an award for World’s Most Prolific Tattlers, these two certainly would have won.  Nothing, not even the dreaded turning of cards, could stop them.

Then finally, on a bright winter day in February, something happened… something went horribly wrong.  The little boy and the little girl, engaged in their usual battle of faces and words, tattled one time too many. As the words, “Teeeeaaaaacher, Joey stuck out his tongue at meeeeee!” came rolling towards the teacher’s ears, smoke began to rise from her hair.  Her eyes bugged out of her head. Her face turned a strange shade of purplish-red…

Ok, so that last paragraph hasn’t actually happened yet. It could though, it really, really could. Have you ever had such a bad case of whining and tattling in your classroom that you thought you might not survive the rest of the year? Well I found this poster online and am going straight to the laminating machine tomorrow morning. This great poster is going to hang right smack in the middle of my chalkboard. Please, oh please, let it work!