Meetings Meetings Meetings! Yikes!

As the end of the year winds down, I find myself running like a chicken with my head cut off frantically from meeting to meeting.

And there are many many instances where I have to beg another grade level teacher, or last year's teacher, or any teacher I can corner in the lounge get to agree, to attend meetings for SSTs, and IEPs, and all sorts of meetings meetings meetings!

To thank these teachers and colleagues for taking time out of their busy schedules, I like to thank them by placing a little treat in their box. Usually candy. What else...???!!! :)

I created these tags to attach to the goods to let them know I appreciate their time and help.

Click the pic to get the tags!

Need the tags to say something else??? Email me and let me know and I'll see what I can do! :)

Happy Sunday to you!!!


This is War

We are working on place value up to hundreds right now!!! Which usually leads to a "pull my hair out" type of day! They just have the hardest time getting it.

Today I tried a war type game, and it turned out great (until in the middle of the lesson the office made an announcement saying we were on rainy day schedule and to take your kids to lunch NOW. So we scrambled like maniacs to make it to the cafeteria. PS- It was not, I repeat, was not, raining...???)! Nothing like rainy day schedule to turn the sweet little kiddies into wild turkeys!!! 

Here's what we did (before the interruption):

Kids were on teams with a board. The first team picked three playing cards (I took out the face cards and 10s) and tried to make the largest number they could. 

The second team picked three cards from the deck and made the largest number they could. 

All of the kids filled out their boards (these were copied placed in sheet protectors so they could erase and re-write) and decided who had the greater number. Whichever team got the greater number got to keep all the cards from that round and put them in a pile. 

We did this until all of the cards were gone, and whoever had the most cards in their pile won. :) 

The kids were super duper engaged and (I think/hope) they learned something about place value! 

I was also able to *easily* differentiate this activity... my "I Don't Know But I'll Shout it Out Anyways" group (thanks Kristin!- you couldn't have said it better!) picked two cards for two digit numbers, my right there group picked three cards for three digit numbers, and my "Bill Gates" group picked four numbers for thousands. 

Here's a cutsie board if you want to use it!

***Google Docs is not working for me. :( If you want the board, just leave me a comment with your email and I'll be happy to email it you! Sorry!!!*** Google Docs is working for me now now!!! Click the pic to get the download!!! :)

Any other ideas you have or resources you know of to work with place value??? I'd love to hear about 'em!!! 

Also... My favorite question from today: "Mrs. P..." (Sucks up a big whiff of air through his nose...) "Do you smell that???" (Another whiff of air...) "It's a real warm.... horse poop smell." In our classroom. 

Hope you had a great Thursday!!! :) 

I'm linking this post up to Laura at Corkboard Connection! She's having a Super Math Centers Linky! What a great idea!!! Thank you for hosting Laura!!! Head on over to get some more great ideas!!!! Just click the pic! :-)


Paragraph Writing

It's impossible super hard to get my little 2nd graders to understand how and why we write paragraphs. I had to come up with some way to help them start to learn why authors do this, and how we do it.

This is a pretty lame idea, but it's seemed to work...

Before we begin our post write, after we've revised and edited and all that fancy stuff, we sit down and talk about the points in our writing. Each point is basically a new idea, with new reasons, or new points.

I have them put a little sticker wherever we "start a new idea" or "new point" or "new reason" or new whatever. Here's what it looks like:

Then, I teach them the Paragraph Rap. Super lame-o.... but not to them! We stand up, and yell sing
and do movements to "Hop down, two fingers!!!" 

And of course, I model model model and do tons of thinking aloud.

Whenever they see the little sticker while doing their post write, they know it's a new point, so time for a new paragraph. a perfect 2nd grade world, they would hop down to the next line, and put two finger spaces...

First time we did this: Miserable fail. Random two finger spaces, or ALL the lines two finger spaces...a big old mess.

Second time: Some got it, some sorta did, most of us didn't.

Third time: More of us are getting it. And I'm starting to get excited.

Hopefully by the time they get to third grade (which is right around the corner!!!!) they'll have some understanding of paragraphs and why we use them! Hopefully.

How do you help you little ones learn to write paragraphs???


Great Resource- Storyline Online

Have you heard of Storyline Online???

Basically, Storyline Online is an online video streaming program featuring SAG members reading children’s books aloud. The Screen Actors Guild Foundation complied a collection of wonderful children’s literature (including Patricia Pollaco, Davin Shannon, and Chris Van Allsburg) read by actors and actresses including Betty White, Amanda Bynes, and Al Gore to name a few.

As the nice people read the story, the illustrations are shown for the kids to see, and there’s some animation. It’s super engaging for the kiddos! Each story is pretty quick- about 5 -10 minutes, especially handy when you have that strange 6 ½ minute block of time to fill

It also comes with wonderful resources for each story to extend learning! And it’s free!!! Check it out if you haven’t already!!!

I’ve used Storyline Online for:

Literature discussions
With genre/author studies
Rainy days
When I have a sore throat and don’t feel like want to do read aloud
For guest teachers

In other news...

Today, one of my little friends told me (with a very distressed look on her face), “Mrs. P, I think I’m going to have a very hard time in school today. Mostly I can’t write.”

I said: “Why??? What happened???” (Thinking: Broken arm? Smashed fingers? Emotional trauma…?)  

She said: “I have a hang nail.”

I said:

She said: “I got it two days ago and it really hurts.”

I said: 

Those darn hang nails, right??? I tried the same excuse with my teacher when I got to my class this evening. She didn’t buy it. 




Congratulations to the following people and furry friends!

Thank you to everyone who linked up!!! It was so fun reading about your pets and what they've taught you!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Math Racers Subtraction Facts

Happy weekend everyone!!!

I am so excited to have my Math Racers Subtraction Facts unit available on TPT today! This is a follow up to the Addition Facts unit I posted a few weeks ago. You can read more about Math Racers in my classroom here!

Click on the pic to check them out!

And I would love to give them to my first two bloggy buddies to leave a comment with their email address! 

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!! :)

Editing... Blah

Editing is probably one of the most boring things for my kiddos to do. We don't edit all of our work, but we do edit pieces of writing that we want to publish. (This probably happens about once a month.) 

I had to find a way to jazz it up a little, and keep them responsible for their own editing. To do this, we do two things...

First, I have the kids circle evidence of whatever we are looking for that day. Today, we edited for capitals. So the kids had to go through their writing and circle all of the capitals they found with a red crayon. Then they had to ask themselves, "Does that capital belong there?" If not, they needed to edit it and fix it up. I've found by making them give me evidence by circling, they spend more time on this rather than glancing at their paper for about 10 seconds, then shouting "I'm done!!!!" We also look for sNeaKy capitals that are so sneaky and sneak into the middle of our sentences!!!

We did the same thing with punctuation. They circled all of the punctuation with blue and asked themselves, "Does that belong there?" 

Second, what's more motivating to a seven year old than a magnifying glass. We use these so they'll really pay attention and actually search for those capitals and punctuation. And it seems to help...they take it more seriously and take more time...

Here are some pics from our writing block today! 

He was super into using that magnifying glass. He took this job very seriously!!!

The (almost) finished product

Tomorrow we'll be checking for spelling. Hopefully, those kids that wrote "I think we should git a hermit crap fur ar class pet" will fix it up!!!

How do you help your little ones edit their writing purposefully??? I'd LOVE more ideas!!!

Tomorrow is Friday!!!! My favorite day of the week!!!!!

                                                                                       Source: via Hector on Pinterest

Things I Said Today & Thank You

Today was my first day back after spring break! Yikes!!!

The kids were actually really really good. And for the most part pretty calm and did not forget all of our rules like classes I've had in the past. They seemed a little older, a little taller, and a little more like 3rd graders after this break!

Although here are a few things I found myself saying today:

"Please don't lick the iPad Billy." Why!? Why!? Why!?

"Suzy took her dress off!?!? At lunch??? Like, all the way off off???" Yes, it came all the way off off. For all to see. That was a fun parent phone call after school... I'm still not clear about why this happened...??? However I did get to use this new (new to me at least) adorable parent communication log from Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!!!

                                                                  Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

"No, it is not lunchtime right now..." (It was 8:00 in the morning for goodness sakes!!! Apparently said friend has no sense of time...) 

Because of this little conversation, I started having them write the time on ALL of their papers. Name, number, date, and time. This means, of course, that every time we have a piece of paper in front of us, I have to do a quick lesson on telling time. And I make them write AM or PM so they can start to figure that out (such a hard concept for the little ones!) I've done this in the past, and at first it makes me want to pull my hair out, but they start to get it after a while. And talk about repeated practice.

And finally, a BIG thank you to all of you amazing teachers who create and post and share and make available all of your amazing resources and products!!! I don't know how you find time to do it all, but I appreciate it! I cannot wait to be done with my masters program so I will have more time to create and share with you, and return the favor! :-)

And don't forget to join our Furry Friends linky (click the pic below)!!!! I can't believe how much I've loved loved loved reading about everyones pets!!!!! :-)

                                                                             Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

Furry Friends Linky & Giveaway!!!

I've decided to host my very first linky party/giveaway! I hope it works! And I hope you'll join me!!! Please join me!!!

If you've read my blog, you know I adore my three dogs!   

This is Sadie:


She was my first puppy that was my very own. I've always wanted a corgi! Why you ask!.... They're always smiling (like me) and their short legs (like me)! I brought Sadie home when she was seven weeks old. And was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my whole life. Her favorite things to do are go to the beach and play with her ball, sleep, and protect our house to make sure no one comes within 100 yards of it. She's taught me it's okay to slow down and relax every once in while! 


Duncan came along as a buddy for Sadie. He's the nicest dog I've ever met and doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He's a snuggle bug and will snuggle with you, even if it's 100 degrees out! He came home with us when he was six months old. And he hasn't stopped playing frisbee since. He's taught me the importance of having a little fun everyday- no matter what- rain or shine! :)


And Abby was an unexpected addition to our family. We were walking the other two up the street one day, and a lady randomly came out of her house and saw our other two corgis. After talking with her, she explained that she had inherited her mother's corgi and wasn't able to take care of her like she deserved. Enter crazy me to take Abby home with us right then and there. That's right- we walked up the hill with two dogs and down the hill with three. She's 12, but acts like she's about four. Anytime anyone on T.V. says 'Abby' (as in Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms...) her little ears perk up and she looks towards the T.V. Every time. :) Abby's taught me that you can have anything you want in life, if you work really hard for it. (i.e. the left over cheese quesadilla on the coffee table...) 

All three of them have taught me unconditional love and loyalty. Bad hair day, bad mood, unshaven legs, you name it, they love me always. :)

So here's how you can enter the giveaway. It's easy!!!

Since this is a teaching blog, we've gotta tie this to teaching. So.... link up and tell us what your furry friend (dog, cat, hamster, fish, squirrel- whatever!) has taught you! (Kinda related to teaching...right...!?!) If you don't have a pet, link up and tell us what you'd like to have...  :-) 

I will do the drawing next Saturday and announce three winners! That's right! Three chances to win! :)  

You might win a
OR you might win my brand new, just up on TPT, Math Racers Addition Unit:

OR your furry friend might win:

An adorable hand-stamped personalized tag from Canine Closet. You can check out Patty's adorable stuff here!

I am excited to get some new bloggy friends during this linky/giveaway! And I thought, in honor of our Furry Friends linky, I would donate money to one of my very favorite charities for every new follower I get, up to $50.00 (I got the idea from Heather at Heather's Heart!- great idea Heather!!! :)...

Corgi pals started in 2011 and to date has helped 20 corgis in need. This includes raising money and support for corgis who are battling cancer, need help with vet bills, and just need help in general. You can check out their website by clicking on the picture above. I know my corigs are extremely spoiled loved, and not all dogs can be as lucky. So this is my way of giving back.    

I am so excited to host this linky and giveaway! And I'm looking forward to making some new bloggy friends and hearing all about your furry friends! Thanks so much for joining me!!! :-)

13 on the 13th- oops!

I was not THINKING yesterday and FORGOT about Kacey's 12 on the 12th linky!!!! I wanted so badly to join, so I hope it's okay I'm doing 13 on the 13th..... What was I thinking!?!?!?

The hubs and I decided to take a fun trip to the zoo today since my spring break is starting to wind down. (Such a sad, hopeless feeling, right???) :)

This may have not been such a wonderful idea...there were swarms and swarms of kids on field trips there. Kids in school who are not on spring break. With adults that were responsible for them. Who were running around like wild. 

It made me feel....itchy. And uncomfortable. And tired. And reminded me in a few days, I will be responsible for my little ones again. (Not to mention our field trip to the zoo coming up soon...) After two weeks of pure bliss. (I know, I know! I'm so so super lucky to get two weeks off!) Don't get me wrong, I do absolutely 100% love my job. But I think I might love spring break more... I think. :) 

The hubby kept making silly comments like, "Stop doing a head count, they're not yours" and "Don't worry, someone else is is responsible for them, not you." It's that teacher instinct, right? Especially on a field trip!!! Yikes! You know what I'm talking about. 

Here are some pictures from our trip: 

And here are some more pictures from my day, to make it 13 on the 13th. :)

1. New bed set! I love it. It feels like I'm sleeping in a hotel bed. You know that feeling of new sheets??? This is where I took my nap today. :)

2. Having some fun before it starts raining!!!

3. Who does he think he's hiding from!?!?

4. These little guys are all over our house! It's so fun to watch them change and come out of their chrysalis! 

Happy Friday the 13th! I hope you had a good day!!!! :) I am off to read Mockingjay- I haven't been able to put these books down!!! 

Gotta Have It Linky

I am linking up with Kristin at


(Is that not the cutest blog name. ever!?!?!)

for her gotta have it, classroom must haves linky party!

Here are the things I can't live with out in my classroom! :)

And I am so so so thankful to have all of these things!!!

Head on over and link up too! I'd love to hear what you must have in your classroom! :-)

Math Racers

I was having the.hardest.time getting my kiddos to memorize their math facts. Anyone else have the same problem???

Enter Math Racers!!!

We do math racers every day in our classroom. And once the kids are trained how to do them, it takes less than 2 minutes each day from start to finish.

Here's what they look like: 

Here's how it goes in my classroom.

1. Our teacher assistants pass out math racers to each kiddo. 
2. Kiddos go back to their seat and GET READY!
3. I say go and they start madly working on completing their math racer.
4. They have 1 minute and 30 second to complete 20 problems. 
5. Timer goes off and they drop their pencils.
6. The teacher assistants collect them and put them in the designated math racer bag to be sent home with a volunteer I begged pleaded with bribed asked to prep them for the next day. I have four wonderful parents who each take them home one night a week to grade and get ready. (This means I only have to prep them once a week! Yipee! This also allows me to see how the kiddos are doing and their progress. :)  

The bag contains everything they'll need to prep them for the next day: 

Each kiddo starts off on their 1s. If they miss even one, or don't finish in the given time, they have to repeat it. Once they've completed it and gotten 100%, they move on to the next math racer... 2s, then 3s, then 4s and so on. After they finish 12, they do three sets of doubles, then three sets of doubles plus one, then three sets of mixed practice! 

I have a bulletin board in our classroom just for math racers. It looks like this:

When a kiddo moves onto their next math racer, we move their race car to the next one. This is very exciting for them. And I hear all about it when we forget to change one...

I am so excited to offer my whole math racers addition pack on TPT! 

The unit includes:

  • Addition facts 1-12
  • Three sets of doubles
  • Three sets of doubles plus one
  • Three sets of mixed practice
  • Answer keys
  • Directions on how to prepare them (to send home with volunteers) 
  • Ideas for how to implement them in your classroom 

Click the picture to check it out! And please let me know what you think!!! :) I will give it to the first two friends to comment with their email address!

I hope you can use them to help your students memorize their math facts!!!

Also, it's not to late to hop on over to A Cupcake for the Teacher and enter her awesome 1,000 followers giveaway!!!! :) 

Now I'm off to a baseball game with the fam! :) And you know what baseball season means...summer is near!!!!


Book Review and a *Freebie*

Have you read the book One by Katherine Otoshi!?!?!? If not, it is a must read/must have on your teacher shelf! It is an amazingly simple story about colors. Which makes it very relatable for young students. The story is about bullies, the power that one person can have, and the importance to stand up not only for yourself but for others as well. It celebrates diversity and acceptance. It's absolutely beautifully written and is one of my favorite stories to share this time of the year. 

In a nutshell, blue is being bullied by red. 

All of the other colors just kind of stand around and let it happen because they're so scared of red. Until 1 comes around. And changes things...and shows all of the other colors how to stand up and count. 

I love the last line of the book, "Sometimes it just takes one." 

This book lends itself beautifully to a lesson on bullying. Which is always an important topic, even for our little ones. It has lead to some wonderful and candid conversations about bullying, being who we are, and the power each of us has to make even a small difference.  

I love to use this book for teaching inferences as well. You can make great inferences about character traits with this book because each color has very distinct traits that can be inferred through the color's actions. I created a quick inference sheet to use with this book.

Feel free to click on the picture to grab it from Google Docs. There is a sheet specifically for inferencing character traits with the book One, a blank character trait sheet to use with any other story, and nine character trait word cards to go with the book One. If you do grab it, please please please leave some love. :) I love love love your comments! 

Hope you had a good Monday and are recovering from your Peeps/chocolate/candy hang over! :-) 

Happy Easter and New Friends

Happy Easter!!! I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family!!!

I was so lucky to be able to join some amazing women at the SoCal blogger meet-up yesterday!!! I learned so much from these women about teaching and blogging. I enjoyed being a part of this and am so grateful to Hadar for organizing the meet up! I truly feel like I made some great new friends and had a great time!!! :)

Make sure to go check out

Fluttering Through First Grade

Tammy & Christy just started their blog and have some great ideas posted already! Go check them out!- Sweetest people EVER!

And of course:

Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher- super funny! I wish I could've gotten a chance to talk to her (and a few others) more. There were so many amazing people there!!!

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants was absolutely incredible!!!! And SO SO nice!!!


Traci from Dragonflies in First- insanely talented and so sweet!!!

Dragonflies in First

Vicky from Traditions, Laughter, and Happily Ever After- so nice!!!

Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Michelle from Apples and ABCs- amazing!!! Loved her!

Fran from Kindergarten Crayons- brilliant! I loved talking with her!!!

Hadar- thank you for putting this fun meet up together! :) 

Annie from the Moffat Girls

The Moffatt Girls

Lindsey from Teacher Bits and Bobs

And Heidi from Heidi Songs!!! THE Heidi! :) 

It was truly a great time! 

Happy Easter!!!