Monday, December 22, 2014

New Year, New Goals for 2015

Just wrapped up the last present and this 3rd day of Christmas break and can it be 2015 in a few days?! Hard to believe but it's HERE! I hear that as you get older it seems like time goes by even faster. I think I can agree now. This school year has been off to a great starts so far and I'm looking forward to an awesome 2015.

I've linked up with Stephanie over at Mrs. D's Corner to share my New Year, New Goals for 2015.

PERSONAL- I think I'm with 90% of America when I express that I would like to eat better and exercise more. This is the time of the year when I start to feel it. Like the past few months of treats, parties, and fundraiser cookies are starting to catch up to me. Last year, I would wake up at 5am 3 days a week for an early morning jog...sooo early but I remember how good I felt. Need to do that again. Perhaps I know that once I get back in the routine and stick with it, I will feel so much better! Every 3-4 months I do an Herbal cleanse to get myself back on track and it always helps rejuvenate my body. Looking forward to that January 1. 

PROFESSIONAL- This goal is a simple one. I want to create more lessons and activities for TpT, share them with others and blog about it. I'm open to more leadership roles at my school as well. It is sometimes hard to do the teacher/mom thing when you have little ones but the kids are starting to get older which makes juggling everything a little easier. Well, sorta. :)

PLANNING- This is my 7th year in 2nd grade and I LOVE it! Quite passionate, actually. I love the age of the kids and the curriculum, even when it changes frequently, it's just a great year! But the downfall can be sticking with the tried and true lessons or activities we have done in the past. I am our team leader and I want to continue to plan new and engaging lessons. I have a fabulous team and we work together so well to plan our lessons. It would be good to focus on NEW and fresh ideas for this new year!

ORGANIZATION- I find it funny when people say I am so organized. I have them all fooled. Behind closed (cabinet) doors, there can be a bit of a mess. My desk drawers...well, only I can find what I need in there. Sometimes. It is just time to organize. 

STUDENTS- I want for EACH of my students to give their best 100% of the time. I feel, most of the time, that I provide good enrichment opportunities for my advanced students. I also feel that I do all that I can using interventions, accommodations for those struggling students. My goal is that my attention is balanced for those kiddos in the middle. Sometimes it is easy to work more with the struggling kids and the advanced learners but my goal is to be sure that I help EVERY child reach their true potential while in my classroom. 

MOTTO- "Work hard, Play hard" may speak for itself but I really believe in pushing my kids to work hard. But I also believe school and my classroom should be a lot of fun! We celebrate working hard often and I plan to continue that in 2015!

So there you have it! Be sure to check out the other great bloggers and their new goals. You can also link up yourself! Start HERE!

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Currently

I am once again linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade, yes, a little late, for this month's Currently! I had so much fun last time sharing what's happening in my little world as well as visit some other fab blogs. :)

So this is me, currently!

LISTENING: Now it's actually Sunday night Football that my husband is half-watching but it was the news. So sad that most of our nightly news was nothing joyful or cheery. 

LOVING: I certainly LOVE this time of the year even though it brings on the added stress of Christmas shopping (I officially started mine today!) and busy holiday plans. This year with my littles being 5 and 3, they are at a great age to soak in all the joy and wonder of the season. 

I mean...those.smiles.

THINKING: Really! How is it Christmas? Yesterday I was dressing up as Anna from Frozen for Halloween, and last week we started school and it really feels like it was a month ago when I was enjoying the summer. SLOW DOWN time!

WANTING & NEEDING: Ok, I combined these two categories but this month, they are one in the same. I really want and need some TLC. It's Basketball season so I am basically a single mama this time of the year. And it's tough. It's tough on the kids and daddy too! I came across a quote from a fellow coaches' wife..."When he agreed to coach basketball, I agreed to do everything else." Yep! That about sums it up! Sooo...I'm hoping for a gift card to my favorite spa for a relaxing massage, 
(Hint, Hint...unfortunately, I don't think my husband actually reads my blog. If you see him, spread the word!) 
Isn't he handsome? 
Here are my loves at the first home game of the season. :)

Oh and did I mention that my calendar at home still looks like this??

Yep, that says October. I've been too busy to change it. Or maybe too lazy??
Either way, that's just sad. 

GIVING: Yea! My favorite category this time! I will be giving LOTS of Hugs this week. I love my students and what a great way to show them!

I also LOVE my TpT followers and Facebook Fans! So, if you are reading will be the first to know that my very special product, Letters to Santa: A Wish for Others is now 20% off until WEDNESDAY, December 10!

In this activity, your students will write a letter to Santa but not for themselves. 

Encourage your students to think about others this Christmas while teaching/reviewing letter writing!

This will engage your students and challenge them to focus on a wish for someone else. (Example: a wish for sick grandmother to get better in time for Christmas)

 Many young children are still very egocentric at this age, so allowing them to think about someone else's needs will require some higher-level thinking!

What's Included?

-Bubble Maps for Prewriting
-Letter for Santa Plan
-Ideas/Examples for wishes
-Example Letter
-Review of the 5 parts of a letter
-Differentiated writing pages for letter to Santa
-Self Reflection pages
All pages available in color and black & white

Check out how I do this activity in my classroom...

I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this product, especially after you have used this with your students! Each year I do this activity, I'm always so touched by the kids' thoughts and wishes towards others. It truly brings out their caring hearts!

Here is the most rewarding feedback I've received so far!

If you download, please rate and give feedback. Please follow my store to be notified of my new creations coming soon!

Ok, so that about wraps up my Currently! What are you up to this month?

Be sure to hop on over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade to read the other December Currentlys and Link up!

Thanks for reading and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Days Until Winter Break: Chalkboard Edition (Countdown Freebie for your class!)

Do you have kiddos who don't celebrate Christmas but still want to countdown the days? Here is a "Days Until Winter Break" countdown! It is right around the corner! EEK!

Simply choose your design, print, place in an 8X10 frame and you have an interactive Winter Break Countdown! Use dry erase markers on the glass to count down the days until the kids get out of school!

If you don't have a frame, just laminate and use dry erase markers. :)

Place in your classroom, teacher's lounge, front office or in your own home.

There are 12 different designs to choose from.

Your kids will love wiping it clean and counting down each day!

This is a FREE item so I would greatly appreciate your feedback if you download. Please consider following my store to be alerted of my new creations coming soon!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Countdown FREEBIE!

Have you started your countdown yet?? We have!! This is such a wonderful time of the year and if you're like most teachers, you are counting down the school days before Christmas break, right??

I have a Days Until Christmas Countdown on my refrigerator at home as well as my classroom door! Of course, the parent in me sees that number decreasing and it reminds me that time is running out to buy Christmas presents. I haven't bought a single present yet this year!

Simply choose one of the 16 designs, print and place in an 8X10 frame. Then use a dry erase marker on the glass to countdown the days! Or you could also just laminate and post in your classroom and have your students count down the days. 

My five year old has been in charge of this at home for us. ;)

Download the file to see all 16 designs. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Have you heard about the CYBER SALE??

I have ALL of my products 20% off during the sale so when you enter the promo code, you get a combined savings of 28% off. Pretty sweet deal! :) 

Check out some of my Holiday items....

It's a FREEBIE, too. Simply place into an 8 X 10 frame and use a dry erase marker to countdown the days until Christmas. Super cute in the classroom or the home. There are 16 different designs to choose from. 


Happy Holidays and enjoy the SALE!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Stellaluna Literacy Activities & Lapbook project

Wow, can't believe it has been almost a month since I have posted on my little blog here! But today is the day. I had to go back in time for this one. I totally meant to post about this back in October when our class actually read the wonderful story of Stellaluna, but time certainly got away from me! I just uploaded a new product, my 50th product, actually! : Stellaluna Literacy Activities and Lapbook Project!

What is a lapbook, you ask? Well, I didn't know either until just a few months ago when I read Mrs. D's blog post about Lapbooks. After reading her post, I thought I could easily incorporate a lapbook project with Stellaluna. See more about the lapbook later in this post!

My class had so much fun with this that I thought I would bundle it up for TpT and share our week long unit of Stellaluna literacy activities!

We began the week by reading Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. 

If you do not have access to the book, it is available on Storyline Online!

The first activity we did was create a Story Map as a class. I had the kids get in groups to write a sentence on a sentence strip for each story element. 

Then when the groups were ready, they glued on to our class story map. 

The groups worked well with each other and we left this posted on our board all week. 

If you would like to make your own using my labels, it is included in the file on TpT. The following printables to help with summarizing are included as well!

Glue this one into the lapbook!

The next day, we revisited the story to work on sequencing and put the story events in order. 

(This is an image for the TpT file, where you can find the printables)

I just wrote the events on sentence strip for our class activity but I've included them as printables in the file. You could have them sequence as a small group or independently. 

Here is the sequencing sheet for the lapbook!

Simply cut out, sequence and glue on other side. This goes great on the inside flap of the lapbook. :)

I also created a couple of Flow maps...

Here's a peek at the lapbook, as my example. 

Refer back to this picture to see how our class made it. :) 

Another literacy activity we did with the story was Cause and Effect. This can be a challenging skill for little ones so we actually completed the following flip book together as a class. 

And why not have a cause and effect printable to go along with it??

Ok, so my class LOVED this part! They were so interested in learning more about Bats that a mini research project was highly engaging. We completed this K and the W of our class KWL chart before we started researching. Then I let the kids have some guided research time. (By "guided" I mean, I had saved the approved links to bat websites to my teacher website for my kids to access. I wanted to be time efficient in guiding them to good sites)

Here are a few KWL sheets included...

And here is what we LEARNED!

Not entirely accurate with the "90,000 different species of bats"! Lol, we fixed that later!

The SmartBoard lesson is included in the TPT file! Your students can complete an interactive venn diagram on bats and birds. :)

I made some compare/contrast printables to go with the literacy pack!

These could easily be shrunk down on  your copier to be included in your lapbook!

Here are a few of my student examples!

 These students were so proud to show off their completed lapbooks!

Oh, and I almost forgot, I also have a comprehension test included in this little bundle of activities! 

Get this fantastic literacy activity pack with the lapbook project HERE!

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon...I promise more activity on the blog in the coming weeks!!