Monday, December 31, 2012

Best quarter ever!

Late last January, a work friend told me I should try selling things on and I thought she was out of her mind. I'm so glad she was actually in her mind. Today I am wrapping up my biggest quarter ever! I have loved every email telling me someone has made a purchase. It's interesting how it is so not just about making a buck. Each sale affirms me as a teacher. Each success motivates me to work even harder at having cuter, more engaging activities. And the best part is that my students are benefiting from this fun TPT ride.

To celebrate, I am throwing a sale to end this year and begin the next year. Twenty percent off everything now through tomorrow night! And if you're not looking to spend money, you can just check out my freebies. There are some goodies in there!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Native Americans! Plus, coming up next - Earth Science!

Last week we had . . . kind of a mad rush to finish up my Native American unit.  You know, it’s always better to test before a long break than to wait.  It worked out well, though, because it coincided perfectly with Thanksgiving celebrations.  You’d think we did that on purpose or something.  ;)

Here are a few things we did for Thanksgiving/Native Americans.

We made booklets about Woodlands and Plains Indians (from my TPT Native American unit that you can get {HERE} if interested) plus Amy Lemons’ uber cute Native American craft to go with it.  I cannot, for the life of me, find a link to this freebie, but you should definitely check out her blog {HERE}.  It’s my favorite!

I really dug on a few faces the boys drew.  They cracked me up.

We also read The Littlest Pilgrim and made pilgrim hats out of chocolate wafers, icing and a peanut butter cup.  Super easy and delish!

Also, I had my kiddos write from the viewpoint of a turkey telling people why we should eat something besides turkey.  My favorite one was this one.

He really struggles with writing especially conventions (I’ve got my eye on him) but his voice just cracked me up in this.

Here’s a translation if you can’t decipher it all:
Save a turkey.  Eat more duck.  We turkey are tired of being eaten.  Stop eating us and eat duck.  Please help us by eating duck.  Ducks are good.  We turkey are disgusting.  Do not eat us.  Eat duck.  From the turkey.

You should see my blog post {HERE} if you want that writing prompt as well as another plus a cute turkey craft for free!

So after all that Native American/Thanksgiving fun, we’re moving on to Earth Science.  I feel like it’s hard to find a lot of good resources for this unit, so I put some together myself.  If you want to check it out, click {HERE} or on one of the pictures below, which are a few things included in my unit. 

 Oh, and btw, if you haven’t heard, there’s a ha-uge sale at TPT starting tomorrow.  It’s a Cyber Monday and Bonus Tuesday sale.  I’m giving 20% off and TPT is giving an additional 10% off for a combined total of 28% off! 
Thanks for the button, School Supply Addict

 I have a really cute Winter packet if you want to snatch that up while it's on sale.  You can click {HERE} or on the picture if you want to check it out.

Here are a couple of things I’ve got my eye on for myself.  What are you lusting after?

Pinned Image 

Pinned Image

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Turkey Day and a Freebie

Turkey day is coming up.  What are you thankful for?  It’s really fun to help kids remember to think of all they have to be thankful for.  That’s what I did with these cute little turkeys.  Click {HERE} if you want to download this turkey for FREE!

Here are some of my kids' examples:

First, I had kids list 7 things they were thankful for.  Next, they circled the thing they were most thankful for and plan a paragraph about it.  They wrote a rough draft, then the final draft on the writing paper.

This week I think I’ll let them write to the prompt “Save a turkey, eat more. . ."

You can click on the picture below to get all of this for free.

While you’re at it, you can check out my Wonderful Winter Fun activities by clicking on the picture below.

Here are a few things that are included:

Friday, November 2, 2012


I am within just a few dollars from a personal milestone in my TPT store!  I remember when my colleague told me that I should try to sell stuff there since I already create things and I kind of thought she was crazy, like who would actually spend money on lessons at TPT.  Well, considering Deanna Jump is a stinking millionaire, I’d say that people do spend money.  I’m no Deanna, by any means at all, but I’m still having some fun.

So in honor of my impending milestone, I’m having a flash sale!  Everything in my store will be on sale until I hit my milestone.

You can see the products I sell in my little widget to the left side of this blog, or you can click {HERE} to go directly to my store.  I do have a ton of fun freebies that you can check out as well!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lovin' me some clip charts!

You might think I’m crazy for starting a new behavior system this far into the year, but that’s just what I did.  See, I had a student teacher, so I wanted to just keep it simple and do what I’ve always done instead of figure out how to do something new.   I recently took my class back (which was wonderful!) and decided it was time to try a clip chart out.

I’ve seen clip charts all over Pinterest and I actually accidentally bought one when I was buying some cute table signs to go with my classroom color scheme.  And now my class (which is admittedly a pretty dang good class already) is acting like a bunch of angels!

Click {HERE} to check out the pack I got the clip chart from.

Click {HERE} to read an explanation of how to use this.

I do use this in conjunction of BIST, if you’re familiar with that.

Spiders + Native Americans = Fun!

There is something to be said about getting the scissors and creating things when you’re talking about 8 year olds.  The engagement level goes right up.  Today we made a few things that I was pretty excited about.

First I did one of Amy Lemon’s (Step into 2nd Grade) super cute and, as a bonus, free, activities.  We created spiders and wrote poems about them. This was perfect because we’ve been learning parts of speech, well, all year, it seems and these poems involve using verbs and adjectives.  Here are a few examples of my students’ work:

If you want to snatch this up, head to Amy’s TPT store {HERE}.

The thing we did later in the day wasn’t quite as cute but it was fun for my kids.  I whipped up a flipbook Venn diagram for Woodland and Plains Indians to go along with our Native American unit.  We’ve watched a few United Streaming videos about the Woodland Indians and the Plains Indians, created an anchor chart (I gotta say, that anchor chart is ugly as sin.) and discussed the characteristics at length, so I thought I’d see what the kids could do as far as comparisons. 

If you do a unit over Native Americans my unit on TPT might be helpful to you.  You can check it out {HERE}.  

If any of you want the Venn diagram flipbook for free, please just leave a comment and I’ll link it to this blog post so you can download it. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today was the first day of conferences. It went very well, but I. Am. Exhausted.

The end.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stars and Stairs

In the last post I shared this reflection page from Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning by Jan Chappuis.    

I thought I’d share a little bit about stars and stairs.  It’s a really simple idea (from Jan Chappuis) but I think it seems like it has the potential to be really effective.  That’s why I introduced it to my students to this concept Monday. (I went on an Assessment Training Institute recently.  Can you tell?)

This is the anchor chart I made while I explained stars and stairs to my kids. 

Today I used this while I graded assessments.  For example, one of my students got a star for knowing why we need rules but stairs for understanding majority rules.   I just drew both the star and the stairs and wrote the notes next to them.

Do you have any fun tricks for encouraging learning?

Adjectives and Place Value

You ever have those days that feel as if you’ll never be able to accomplish anything of importance?  Well, today felt a lot like that to me.  But then, low and behold, we got things done.  We buckled down and pounded out some good work.

We had an assembly for Red Ribbon Week (do you celebrate Red Ribbon Week?), then we made cards for my principal who had an awful motorcycle accident (prayers would be very appreciated) and then I had kids complete this reflection page for conferences:
This reflection page is from Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning by Jan Chappuis.  I just made it a little cuter. :)
Click the picture if you want to grab this (for free!).

Anyways, once we finally got to real work, we had some fun.  During ELA we’ve been focusing on adjectives.  Pinterest inspired me to try out this little guy:

My kids really enjoyed this activity.  First I had them complete a web about themselves, with adjectives.  Then they created the adjective guys using those adjectives.

In math we’re learning about place value so today we used playing cards to create numbers.  They drew three numbers and made both the biggest and the smallest numbers they could with those numbers.  It’s funny how “in” to math kids get when you add cards to the mix.  Call it a game and it’s like magic.

If you’d like this and other fun place value activities, click {HERE} for my place value activities pack.  It’s got a ton of fun ideas.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Visualizing and Fables

This quarter we're focusing on both visualizing and fables (among many other things, as English Language Arts so often goes).  So today I introduced both of these and made a cute anchor chart for each.  I don't have a lot to share, but I did take pictures of both anchor charts and decided to share because I'm just a little bit proud of the writing.  I saw this style on someone else's chart that I can't remember, so sorry that I can't give proper credit.  Anyway, without further ado, here they are:


The spacing isn't perfect on the visualizing and the wording isn't exactly top notch on the fables one as the kids helped me create that one, but oh, well.  :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm throwing a sale!

Tomorrow I'm starting my Native American unit that I blogged about {HERE}.  I'm really excited about this unit, so I'm going to throw a sale.  Today and tomorrow my Native American pack will be on sale for 20% off!  Click on the picture to take advantage of the sale!
 Native Americans from Seize the Day with Second Grade
While I'm at it, I'll go ahead and put everything on sale.  Here are a few things you can snatch up.  Click on the pictures you're interested in.
 Economics unit with tons of fun activities! 

Some fun states of matter activities!
Place Value Activities 

 $4.75 - Nouns, Verbs, Sentences and Paragraphs

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Singing Songs

Last year several staff-members from our building went to PD with Tim Rasinski.  He’s huge on building reading fluency and one thing he suggests is singing songs.  So since then I’ve had fun finding songs for my second graders to sing each day.  I put together some that I found for Halloween.  If you want to grab them up for free, just click {HERE} or on the picture below.

 Here are some of the songs.

If you download the file you’ll see the website I found the songs at.

Do you have any fun fall songs you’re singing with your class?