Things We Love Giveaway!

Since blogging is one of my favorite things, I'm teaming up with my AMAZING bloggy buds for a "Favorite Things" Giveaway!

Join me, Kate, and Molly for our Things We Love giveaway!  

Check out what we're giving away!

Some of our favorite units to help you get ready for this time of the year:

And some of our all-time favorite things:

You could will ALL of these great items! Just use the Rafflecopter below to follow our blogs and TPT stores! Super easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are some of your favorite things???


Five for Friday

I'm a little late, but I pulled my act together to join Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky! 

Five random things from my week: 

My class earned hot chocolate this week! We've been using Kristin's Angry Bird idea and it's worked like a charm! And we earned hot chocolate! Although we did have a little situation... I made salsa chicken the night before (yum!), so when I put hot chocolate in the crock pot in the morning and turned it on, the whole classroom smelled like (delicious) salsa chicken- definitely NOT hot chocolate. The kids were a little grossed out, but they said the hot chocolate didn't taste like that's good...

Friday was my sweet Abby Girl's 13th birthday! We are celebrating with cheeseburgers for dinner tonight! 

(PS- I love this app Notica. You can take a picture, and it creates a "notecard" with a caption, the time, date, and place you took the picture. There's different filters for your pictures too! Then you can categorize all of your notecards!) 

We also had an AMZING professional development day on Friday learning all about PLCs! It was so wonderful spending the day working together with my amazing fantastic super colleagues!!!

We had our staff "Christmas party" last night too! We do our party after the holidays when things have settled down. It was so much fun!!! (I seriously work with the best people EVER!) 

And there's nothing like ending a busy week and getting ready for another busy one with puppy snuggles on a rainy day! 

Hope you had a great week! (And an even better weekend!!!)


Ready for Valentine's Day??? {Freebie}

I am!!! And I'm so excited about the celebration I have planned for my kiddos! 

This pack is similar to my Pumpkin Party and Holiday Party, and this station model has proven to run smoothly (at least for my class!) Plus, the kiddos are doing some learning while having tons of fun!!!

In my classroom, my kiddos spend an afternoon moving through each activity in small groups of 4-5. They spend 20-30 minutes at each station. There is an adult at each stop to help explain directions, keeps students on track, and answer any questions. 

Check out the activities included in this pack: 

Measurement with Candy Hearts

 Estimation Station with Candy Hearts

 Exploring the Human Heart 
This also includes optional suggestions for fun apps to instal on a class iPad or device to explore the human heart! Too cool! There is also a suggestion for a fun activity if you have access to a stethoscope! 

Make 20 

and (depending on your students and their needs!)

Make 100

Plus, I HAD to include a "Mail Delivery" station where the kids pass out all of their Valentine's goodies. No Common Core standard here...just good old-fashioned Valentine's fun! ;-)

Every activity here is aligned with 2nd grade Common Core standards, yet could be easily adapted to fit other grade levels. All of the activities could also be done whole group, small group, and can even be placed at independent learning centers. 

There's a list of materials needed for each station, along with directions for volunteers and students. 

Also included is a parent volunteer request & donation form, a parent reminder form, recording sheets for students for each activity (in color and black & white), and signs to label each station. 

And finally, a freebie for you: 

Just click the picture to download this candy heart graphing activity! Just add conversation hearts! :)

What are your favorite Valentine's Day activities!?!?
I'd LOVE to hear about them!


Hug Your iPad

This seems to be my catch phrase this year!

I am so fortunate to have a class set of iPads to use with my 2nd graders everyday! We use them all day, everyday, which means the kids are constantly moving around the classroom with them, moving to other classrooms, and had better be taking good care of them!

Of course, we have iPad rules (you can read about them HERE!), and this poster goes with our Rule #2: Use two hands!

I had it enlarged at STAPLES and have it hanging on our classroom door.

Basically, the kids know this means the cover should be on their iPad, they should be using two hands to carry it, and it should be close to your body (not flailing around over your head for who-knows-what reason!!!- Oh, it's happened....)

Feel free to click the picture to download a copy of the poster!

I am so excited to link up today with the amazing Katie from Queen of The First Grade Jungle. She has some amazing technology tips, so head on over!!!!!!

Thanks for hosting Katie!!!


Chinese New Year Lantern Project

We've been learning all about Chinese New Year in our class and did this really fun (and fairly simple!) project last week! 

We made lanterns!

Each kiddo just needs one piece of yellow construction paper and one sheet of red. And a ruler! 

We measured...

And cut...

And then I stopped taking pictures because I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to STAPLE these things together! If you do this project- use STAPLES!!!! Glue doesn't really work!!!!

But here's what we ended up with! 

They look so pretty hanging up in our classrooms! And I'm hoping all of the red will bring us good luck! ;-) 

You can find a step by step video here (and some great book recommendations!): 

                                                                                       Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

Hope you're having a great week!!!


Gung Hay Fat Choy! {And a FREEBIE!}

Chinese New Year is coming up (on February 10th!)! And for those of you who've been following me for a while you know my district uses Houghton Mifflin reading curriculum. 

We're working on the story Chinatown right now, so I created these literacy activities to go with the story and the skills we're working on this week! Even though they were created with HM in mind, you could absolutely use these even if you don't use the same curriculum!

Plus, Nikki at MelonHeadz created this adorable clipart so I had to use it! :) 

Take a look:

They cover four skills: 

Common & Proper Nouns

Suffixes -er and -est
*Sentence Match
*Rule Posters 

Consonant Clusters WH-, SH, and TH

Alphabetical Order
*Three differentiated levels
*ABC order to the first letter, second letter, and third letter

Included with ALL of the activities are:
* Recording sheets
* Answer keys
* Student directions
* Teacher directions 
* Word cards

All of the activities can be used with whole group, small group, or at independent centers. In addition, each activity is aligned with Common Core! 

Head on over to TPT to check them out! 

Here's a little freebie from the pack for you: 

Just click on the picture to download! 

I'm looking forward to incorporating some fun Chinese New Year activities- art, read alouds, and other fun stuff in our room! I'll be back this week to share!!! :) 

Hope you are having a great weekend!!! They just go by so fast, right?!?!

Happy January

This Christmas break has been full of linky party fun!!! And I couldn't miss out on Farley's January Currently before heading back to school tomorrow! I love reading about what everyone's up to! 

That's right! I'm a little behind really slacking on the planning for next week. It's just been too nice watching reality TV relaxing over this break!!!   

This year, I really want to do more RAK throughout the year...things I wouldn't normally do to help others out and bring a little sunshine. I'd also like to get my students involved somehow too! 

Can you guess what I'm going to do now...plan for next week!!!

Have a great week! 


Blah Blah Blah, Blah Blah Blah Blah

Do you ever get that feeling that they're just not listening to you....? Please tell me that's not just me. I mostly have a group one student who listens to every little word I say (and then holds it against me/corrects me/reminds me about every little thing I say), about 4 kids who mostly pay attention, 5 kids who sometimes pay attention, and 12 kids who hardly ever pay attention. I really don't know why the gunk on the bottom of their shoes is more interesting that ME!!!! 

Plus, we're starting subtraction with... wait for it... REGROUPING when we get back!!! Eeeeeek! This always makes me want to cry/pull my hair out/retire. 

It's a (paid) app on the iPad that allows you to explain everything- or anything you want. In this case, subtraction with regrouping!

Check it out:


I created this on my iPad. (I was even able to add some cute clip art from my Dropbox account!) (Plus I think there's so much more you can do with this app- I think you can animate stuff...but this was my first attempt at it!)...

I created it, exported it to YouTube, and I'm going to have my kiddos watch this on their iPads for their seat work station on Monday. I feel like watching this video will go over a little better than me trying to keep their attention whole group (or even small group these days!). We'll see!

But you could even project a video like this onto the board or SMART board whole group (if you only have one iPad). It's no BrainPop, but I feel like they'll listen better and (hopefully) absorb some of this regrouping shennanigans! 

Keeping my fingers crossed!

There's also this app:

Educreations! It's very similar to Explain Everything (but it a bit more limited) and it's FREE!

Next step is to have the KIDS start creating these videos to show their thinking and learning!

How do you get your kids to pay attention (besides dancing and singing and tap dancing and acrobatics and jumping around like at Jazzercise to keep them engaged- I do all of those things on a regular basis too! :-) ???

For more Technology Tips, head over to Fern's!!! It Technology Tip Thursday! :)

Freebie Fridays