July 29, 2014

What a Hoot! Newly Updated Binder Covers!!

I am so excited to share these cute new binder covers I just made! Every year I like to update the look of all of my teacher binders and this year I am going with an owl theme and I have always loved the color of pink and navy blue together soooooo....that means all of my covers will now have those colors! Yay!

Some feedback from my followers and customers have asked for editable downloads and it totally makes sense...to be honest I just haven't learned how to make editable PDFs yet considering I don't have the money to buy the Adobe software, which I know many teacher bloggers out there use. So, to remedy that the easy way I've included blank pages so that you can now include your name above the title of each cover or completely make your own if you need something that fits your school/district!!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!!

July 28, 2014

Monday Made It!

Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for the weekly linky I love so much, Monday Made It!! So, this summer with me transitioning school districts and not sure 100% if I'd be teaching in the fall I have been a little relaxed in creating any new products. Heck, I'm not sure if I'll be teaching second grade! But, this week for Monday Made It I am going to share some of my favorite downloads for back to school.

Last year I used this packet for the first time. Since everyone discusses their classroom routines and rules, I incorporated this packet that the students fill out one rule at a time. I pair this packet with the story Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners. It's such a cute and lovely story that hooks the kids immediately and teaches them the basic rules for manners and how to treat others. I decided to pick one rule a day for the week to discuss in detail with them, pick students to show the right/wrong way to treat someone, etc. Then, they'd return to their seat an fill out the rule page (see example above) with me while I have it projected on the board.

I made these last year and they're amazing! I printed and laminated them using the thick laminate sheets for my at-home laminator (if you don't have one...invest now!). The thicker laminate vs the school laminator is so much better and it will literally last you years without tearing. I say this because I turn these posters into a clip chart of sorts. As students work through the writing process they'll use their numbered clips and move it as they transition. This helps them see where they are and set goals for where they need to go. Plus it helps me keep track of students who may be staying on a particular part a little too long (we know who those students are!). 

One trick that I always share each year is Dixie Cups! These cheap little guys are so helpful in bringing posters up off the wall. I simply place a few on the back of the poster using hot glue and just hot glue the bottom of the cup to the wall and presto! 

Just attach your numbered clips and your writing process posters are up off the wall and are ready for use!

Another thing I made last year that was genius. I took an old Clorox Wipes bottle, cleaned it out, and turned it into the best container for all my box tops that come in during the year. It was so helpful having a larger container for these little clippings since most students brought in a bundle in zip lock bags. It was easy for them just to place the whole thing inside. 

I hope you enjoy!

July 27, 2014

Calendar Math Cards

Back again with another updated version of my Calendar Math Cards. I loved using this simple printable during my morning meeting with the kiddos because it helped the class as a group practice those sometimes tricky math skills. For example, for a few of my kids expanded form was difficult for them to understand. But, over time and a quick review each day allowed them to build that knowledge so when it came time to discuss it in our math unit, they already were familiar with the concept.

I have for you the download I updated (and spelled Tally correctly this time, haha!) I laminated my copies and used in my pocket calendar. I dedicated a bulletin board where we gathered each day and even had my "calendar helper" student assist me with leading the class. It was great because towards the middle of the year my kids could lead the class in calendar math!

This pack covers the major math concepts taught in second grade, which includes:

  • 2.1   a) read, write, and identify the place value of each digit in a three-digit numeral
  • 2.4   c) recognize even and odd numbers
  • 2.13 a) Determine past and future days of the week
I also like to include that adding tally marks help students build number knowledge using pictures as a means to add. It's also great for the beginning of the year with those kiddos still learning those basic addition facts from first grade. 

Writing the digital date as well as writing it out with the month, date, and year is also a useful skill.

One aspect that I didn't include in this download but that I do go over with my kids is adding money each day and learning how to correctly write money values using a decimal point and having zero as a place holder for values less than $.10. Again, it helps students build that knowledge so when we discussed money and using symbols they were comfortable with it because of their familiarity with the skill.

July 26, 2014

More 'Back to School' Goodies!

Happy Saturday! This weekend the hubs and I get to doggy-sit for our friends while they're out of town for a wedding and since we don't have a dog of our own just yet I always look forward to seeing him.
It's Chief!

Other than that, today I FINALLY got to update my computer situation and I'm so happy to finally be able to blog and create products on a brand new (and efficient!) MacBook Air!! It's night and day compared to my little engine that could from college- it did have a great run though. It's so funny how the little things just make such the difference. Of course right when I got home I unwrapped it and got to work on some things that I wanted to update and share for preparing to head back to school.

1: Objective Cards
A follower had commented on my 2nd grade SOL objective cards and had asked if I could make a 4th grade version for her....and well, with my new computer and all I was happy to get right to it. So, hop on over to my TpT store and you can grab this FREEBIE from me for all you 4th grade teachers out there!

2: Open House

At LCPS last year we celebrated our Open House the Friday prior to the first day of school. This gave students the opportunity to meet their teacher, see their room, and mingle with the students that would be in their class. My team members and I did scavenger hunts (a part of my Back to School Forms pack) so students could get familiar with my classroom and help me with organizing their school supplies. After they've completed the scavenger hunt and figured out where their desks were, I would have these cute and fun Blow Pops on their desk. I created a little sign to attach to each of them and they were a HIT! The parents thought it was a nice touch and it definitely starts the year off right. I mean, what child doesn't want to get some treats before the first day of school?!

3: Classroom Job Cards

Lastly, these Job Cards came in H-A-N-D-Y last year! It was so easy to switch out the clips each week and the kids actually checked it every day to see who had what job. I would recommend elevating these off the wall so the clips stay in place without dragging it down. I typically use Dixie Cups and hot glue them to the wall so it lifts the poster. 


July 25, 2014

*Updated VA SOL Objective Cards FREEBIE

Hello! Today I have a download that was extremely helpful when having to post daily learning objectives in my room last year. Our school/county required that teachers post the learning objectives for their subjects somewhere in their room. This is a bit tedious since writing the objectives each day got to be a bit time consuming (you would never think).

So, I created these cards that I printed on cardstock, laminated, and attached a magnet to and I placed the cards next to the subject on my schedule board in the front of the class. Presto! This allowed me to quickly change out all the objectives each day, it was right next to my schedule so during Morning Meeting the class and I would go over the day and what they'd be learning about, AND I would lead my lessons with stating the objective for the lesson, or what I expected the kids to learn by the end of it. This simple organizational tool helped me stay focused and the kids loved seeing a little sneak peek into what topics they'd be learning about.

I've updated them since the standards tend to change a little each year- so it reflects the current VA SOL standards for second grade.

July 24, 2014

Back to School Already!

I'm already seeing the Back to School commercials on TV...I mean, already?! The time is upon us that school will be inevitably returning soon and here are some back to school items I have posted in the past that helped make the beginning of the year easy-peasy.

First I have my Back to School Forms Packet! Back to School Night was so simple last year with these forms. For each of my students I created a folder where all important forms and information was kept so parents could grab it and easily take it home with them. I mean, there's so much to collect!! My parents last year complimented me on my organization and how the folders really helped (especially for those parents with multiple kids in school!).

This packet includes:

  • Welcome letter from the teacher
  • Student information form
  • Photo permission form
  • Parent volunteer form
  • Student/Parent survey form
  • Transportation List
  • Open House scavenger hunt (to help collect all those school materials!)
  • Copy of the Clip Slip
In the folder I also placed items from the school that needed to go home and various odds and ends. I'm telling you, a folder is the way to go!

A Wedding and Honeymoon!

Well hello friends! I know it's been absolutely forever and this time I have a good excuse as to why I have been a bit MIA here on the blog. I GOT MARRIED!!! I know a while back I shared my excitement of getting engaged and then the process leading up to our first half-marathon and now the big day arrived and it's absolutely consumed me! I am happy to say that the wedding went great and it was such a good time. We got married at The Wynn in Las Vegas and all of our friends and family came out to celebrate. For a Vegas wedding it was beautiful, elegant, and just so much fun!

As for our honeymoon we just got back yesterday and we returned to Turks & Caicos! We went last year for vacation and when deciding on a place to go for our honeymoon I knew we both were excited to get back! If you haven't been please go! It has the most beautiful beaches, the resorts are great, the people are friendly...if it weren't for my fair skin I would still be there!!

And on to the bit of a change....
I just finished up my third year with LCPS and my husband recently separated from the Air Force. He separated right before the school year ended and this was our funny predicament: we weren't sure if we would move to Texas or stay here in Virginia. I didn't feel comfortable signing a new teaching contract since we didn't know where we would be living and it's much easier to not sign than to sign and try and get out of it...I just didn't want the hassle.

Now we have decided to stay in the area here in VA but that leaves us with the issue of finding work! Haha! He's in the process of getting a government job and now I have the joy of finding the much coveted teaching position. I might say, finding teaching jobs is stressful! With that being said, I will still continue to create and share teaching ideas of mine or things I have found to be helpful for me even though right now I'm not teaching. I have had so much fun with this blog and I am happy that I've been able to help others either through ideas, products, activities, etc. Thank you to my followers and supporters!! Even though it's been a big transition this summer I look forward to seeing all the fun and new ideas everyone has as we enter into our upcoming school year!

Happy teaching!