Monday, July 1, 2019

Back to School Giveaway!


To help with the purchasing of Back to School resources for your classroom, a team of amazing teachers and I have grouped together to gift ONE awesome, lucky teacher with a TPT gift card!

PRIZES INCLUDE 1 x $150 TPT Giftcard

REMEMBER: each entry counts as ONE entry, the more links you complete, the higher your chances of winning!!

Raffle CLOSES: Saturday 24th August 2019 12am


Saturday, December 29, 2018

STINK The Incredible Shrinking Kid!

Have you read this book to your class yet? I read it with my second graders this Fall and we LOVED it! We fell in love with Stink! Stink is the shortest person in his family AND the shortest boy in 2nd Grade. On top of that, his sister convinces him that he is shrinking!!! Poor Stink! 

We spent two weeks on this book. We did vocabulary throughout the book. One of our favorite ways to learn vocabulary is by putting vocabulary words and definitions on cards. Then we spread them out onto the middle of the tables. Each student has a fly swatter and if I read a definition they have to be the first one to "swat" the word. OH MY!! They love this! I have two main rules. First rule is everyone has to start in the starting position with their fly swatter against their chest. The second rule is that the fly swatter on the bottom is the one that got it first. If they picked the wrong card or didn't pick any card they have to sit down. This game is a favorite!!

 We also did this fun cause and effect activity! They worked in groups matching the cause cards with effect cards. I made enough cards to have them working in four groups. I also have these fun buzzers from Highlights that they love to use when they think they have found all the correct matches. 

Definitely set up some ground rules before you use the buzzers!

As much as we love hands on and movement activities we also did some worksheets. 

When everything was completed we put it all together as a booklet.

You can grab my Stink The Incredible Shrinking Kid book study at my TPT Store by CLICKING HERE

Thursday, September 27, 2018


This year my friend found three monarch butterflies and she shared one with me and my second grade kiddos. We watched and waited and we waited and watched and then finally he went to the top of his jar and hung in a j. 

We also made our own caterpillars.

I thought for sure that we would see him go into a chrysalis but we did not. We came into the classroom the next morning and this is what we saw
At first, his chrysalis appeared to be light green and kind of shiny. As the day went on we noticed little gold colored dots popping out on the upper portion of the chrysalis. My kiddos were amazed by that. 

We made our own chrysalis.

One morning, about 12 days later, we walked into the classroom and this is what we saw.

A beautiful monarch caterpillar!

We waited for his wings to dry. 

Later in the afternoon we said goodbye to our monarch friend and let him go.

Of course we had to make our own monarch butterflies!

After they water colored their butterflies, they cut them out and I made this bulletin board.

This is a great book to go along with your butterfly unit!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fun and Engaging Ways to Teach Phonemes

I have been introducing sounds to my students for a lot of years and I love it! I love looking for ways to hook them in so they will remember the sound when they are reading independently and need to decode a word. I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to do it.

 Sometimes we make crowns to wear. We make the crowns on Monday and keep them at school until Friday. That way they can wear them everyday while we are learning about that sound. I give them a big oval with the sound on it. They cut out the oval and staple it to the middle of a sentence strip. Next, they cut out words from a sheet I give them. The sheet has words with that sound. They glue the words all over the sentence strip. Then I staple the crowns to fit onto their heads. They love them! They love having their friends read the words on their crowns.

As much as I can, I try to incorporate a song when we are learning a new sound. They love to sing and it helps them to remember what they have been taught. I find a lot of songs on YouTube that I use. We love Heidi's Songs! Kathy Griffin also has some great songs with video. Sometimes, I just can't find a song I like for the sound I'm teaching. Well, anyone that knows me knows that I can’t really sing. When you struggle to carry a tune, making up a song can be a challenge. I usually just try to find a very familiar tune and change the words. It works. So, this particular song I made up and used to introduce the 3 sounds of ed.

Using a mystery box can be a lot of fun! I make word cards and put them in the mystery box along with a card that has just the sound on it. First I have someone come up and pull out the sound. We talk about it and then I have students take turns coming up and picking a word out of the box. This is a favorite activity!

We do a lot of activities with word cards. We do word sorts. We use the cards and use fly swatters. I have each group lay the words out on their table. Then each student gets a fly swatter. When everyone is ready I tell them to find a word with the target sound. They love this activity!

This year, my students are loving Secret Stories Cracking the Reading Code by Katie Garner. Whenever I introduce a new sound they always ask, "What's the story?" They love to hear how eu and ew are very "prim and proper" little girls who DO NOT LIKE MICE! If they ever see one they will jump up high screaming
"eeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuu!" The boys always giggle at this story. 

There are many ways we can introduce phonemes. Some classes will prefer one way over another but with so many different learning style in one classroom I need a variety of ways to teach everyone. 

How do you introduce new phonemes in your classroom???


Thursday, June 28, 2018

End of the Year Countdown!

There is nothing like the end of a school year! This year my students were super excited. For teachers, as the end of the year comes, we are trying to wrap things up and finish strong.  We accomplished a lot this year and I saw so much growth in my kiddos. I decided to embrace their excitement and enthusiasm and do an end of the year countdown. 

I purchased End of the Year: Engagement Made Easy by Amy Lemons. I loved it! I used a lot of her writing activities and added a few of my own things to go with it. The first thing I did was made a copy of the countdown sign she includes in her product. I copied it onto astrobrights paper, which I LOVE! I have a clothesline that goes all the way across my room so I hung it up on that. Then I hung 5 balloons on one side and 4 balloons on the other side. 
I wish I had taken a picture but in all the excitement I forgot. Bummer!

I wanted to ease into the excitement so I strategically numbered the balloons 1-9. I put a note inside each balloon telling us the next day's activity before I blew it up. I chose to pop the balloon at the end of the day so my kiddos would look forward to what the next day would be. 

Day 1
This was an easy one but they loved it. It was a Show and Tell day. They were super excited to bring something in to show and then tell about it. I think I might turn this into a writing assignment next year and they have to write about what they have brought in to show. Then they can read their paragraph. 

Day 2
This was another favorite. It was Sit Where You Want Day. It took less than 3 minutes for someone to decide they wanted my seat for the whole day!

Day 3
Day 3 was Emoji Excitement. This day came from Amy Lemons, End of Year: Engagement Made Easy which you can purchase by clicking the picture below.

They loved making their own emojis and writing a memory paper using emojis. Then we went outside for a photo shoot!

Day 4
Day 4 was also from Amy Lemons. It was Learning with Lemonade. My kiddos made their own lemonade and then wrote a "How To" about it. Super fun!

Day 5
Day 5 was Cotton Candy Cloud. I think they thought we would be eating cotton candy all day long but it didn't happen. This was also from Amy Lemons and was all about clouds. My kiddos loved going outside to observe the clouds and try to figure out which kind they were looking at. They each wrote a cloud story and we also did a rain cloud in a jar experiment. You can grab this freebie at my store by CLICKING HERE 

We ended the day with everyone getting some cotton candy to take home with them.

Day 6
Day 6 was Living in a Bubble. This idea came from a fellow teacher a few years ago. First I went to Home Depot to get my supplies. You don't need a lot and it's very easy. All you need is a tarp, fan, and some duct tape.
My plan was to make a bubble (an air fort) that my kiddos could go inside. To make the fort, unfold the tarp and then fold it in half. My tarp was 10ft x 25ft. When I folded it in half it was 10ft x 12 1/2 ft. Once you have it folded in half use duct tape to seal it together on all sides. Leave one spot unsealed so you can stand the fan there and duct tape the tarp around the fan. Once the tarp is sealed to the fan you can turn on the fan. As the air fills the tarp it gets blown up and quite large. Now you can cut a slit on the opposite side as the fan to make a door so you can go inside. It will stay blown up as long as the fan is turned on.

This is one of the only pictures I took but we had a lot of fun. We took beanbags in and did buddy reading and they wrote journals in there too!

Day 7
Day 7 was a continuation of the bubble theme with Bubble Trouble, another one from Amy Lemons' product. I brought in bubble gum for everyone to chew and see who could blow a bubble! Oh My! I had no idea how fun this would be! My kiddos that could do it loved showing the others how to do it and my kiddos that couldn't were determined to figure it out!
We did a graph of who could blow a bubble and who couldn't.

Day 8
Sunshine in the Morning
Day 8 was on our last full day of school and it was on a Friday. Since some of our kiddos would not be there on our last 1/2 day of school, the teachers decided this would be our end of year party day. This day can get a bit crazy and full with all the things we try to squeeze in such as our, end of year prize auction, gathering projects and papers to take home, class party and so on. I always try to find a bit of quiet time with my kiddos so we can reflect over the school year and talk about some of our favorite moments, things we were worried about, and all our triumphs. It's a time that I can pray with and for them. With this in mind, I decided Day 8 would be Sunshine in the Morning. When my kiddos arrived that morning, I greeted them with breakfast. We sat around a table together and over orange juice, cereal, bagels and cream cheese, we chatted, remembered, laughed, sang some of our favorite songs and prayed. For me, it was one of my favorite memories of the school year.

Day 9
Day 9 was a half day and was our official last day of the year. We had planned a surprise children's concert for the elementary. Wayne from Maine! 

The kids loved it and it was the perfect ending to a great school year.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Last week was a crazy, busy week in second grade! First of all it was testing week. The good thing about testing week is that it is a break from the routine and some kids really like that BUT it is always a very grueling week for students AND teachers! I went home every night EXHAUSTED! We were also getting ready for our Spring musical so we were practicing for that each day. In the midst of all of that craziness was Mother's Day Prep along with a TPT GIVEAWAY!!!!

First, I want to show you the cutest cards we made. They were super easy to do and I think they came out really cute!

They wrote something about their mom under each flap. This card was created by From the Pond and you can get it at her TPT Store by CLICKING HERE

We also worked on the cutest Mother's Day song all week. I'm always looking for a song to go with everything and found this one. It is an original song by Cindy Statham Hestla. 

I made a QR Code for their video and gave one to each student to put in their card so their mom could watch it on Mother's Day!

And now time for our giveaway. I have joined an amazing group of teachers and we are giving away a $75 Gift CARD!!! 

PRIZES INCLUDE 1 x $75 TPT Giftcard

#1 TAG your teacher friends by adding their names in the comment section

                  Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teacher Appreciation Week

I'm super excited to be celebrating Teacher's Appreciation Week with all of you! We actually celebrated last week at our school. Boy OH Boy were we appreciated! We had lots of homemade goodies and lots of special treats. So to celebrate teachers I am giving away a 
$10 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card! 

Rafflecopter ends at midnight tonight! So don't delay! I will pick a winner first thing in the morning and the winner will have all day to shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!!