An Awesome Miscue App

Hey there!

It's been a (long) while! What can I say- I've been busy with this cutie pie!

Now I'm in Napa Valley with two amazing teacher-friends Molly and Kay at the CUE conference! 

I had to share with you an app I heard about today that I'm super excited to try out! 
I haven't tried this out yet, but it sounds amazing!

Kids can log on and record themselves reading a passage.

And within 24 hours.......


Amazing! When you sign up you get 10 free recordings a month. And I was told it's an actual person who does the miscuing! You can track and share the data with parents as well! Seems like a win-win-win to have that information without having to take up any precious instructional time during the day! Plus, who really likes to miscue?

I'll be back soon with more great stuff from the CUE! 

And please wish us luck!! We're presenting two sessions tomorrow!


Five for Friday BTS

Oh boy!!! What a week! 

Happy back to school! We survived!!!

Time for.........

I started off the week giving these pencil bouquets to my fabulous team! This way, in a week when all of the pencils have disappeared/been gnawed on/are lost they'll have a fresh set of already sharpened pencils! The tag is from {HERE}! 

I used the fabulous Amy Groesbeck's editable subject banner to create this banner for our first day of school pictures! I love how these turned out! 

We earned our iPad licenses this week by learning the iPad rules! Reagan Tunstall's iPad Basics pack helped with this! I can tell this group is ready to get going and start creating on their iPads! 

And we started a class Instagram account! We're working on the #backtoschoolchallenge ;-) found {HERE}! If your class is on Instagram please let me know! We're excited to connect with other students and classes! 

And we even still fit some family time in with an evening trip to the zoo! 

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


Bright Ideas for Lunchtime

Hey everyone!

I'm so excited to be joining in on this month's Bright Ideas linky! Just in time for some wonderful back to school ideas from the best bloggers around! 

One of the things I despise the most during the school year is packing my lunch. Bleh! It's a hassle to pack the night before (or the morning of!), nothing ever really tastes good, and if you're like me, it's not really lunch- it's more of me shoving random snacks (i.e. M&Ms, Cheez-Its, Gatorade...) into my mouth while frantically running around trying to make copies and get ready for the afternoon....

I do have to say, though- I am lucky to have a duty free lunch! I know many people do not and I don't know how you do it!!!! What does your lunchtime look like??? 

Anyways... here are a few bright ideas for you to help combat the lunchtime blues!!!

Lunch bag is from Target! 

Lunch Buddies

Have a teacher friend with the same lunchtime as you? Be Lunch Buddies! You each choose one day of the week, and on your day you bring lunch in for BOTH of you! This way, the other person doesn't have to worry about packing a lunch that day! And really, you just have to pack extra of whatever you were going to bring anyways! Easy cheesy! And the best part- you don't have to pack a lunch on your buddy's day! You just enjoy what they brought!!! You could even do this with groups of three or four lunch buddies!... The more buddies, the LESS you have to pack your lunch!!!  

Soup/Salad Club

Our Social Committee heads a Soup Club in the winter and a Salad Club in the spring. All we do is place a calendar up in the lounge and designate one day of the week as "Soup Club" day. You sign up for ONE day to bring a soup (or salad during the spring) to share with the other members. That's ONE day over the course of two-three months! Then every Soup Club day of each week, you get to enjoy the soups that other people bring! AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO PACK YOUR LUNCH THAT DAY OF THE WEEK!!!!! Depending on your staff, you'll want to have multiple people sign up for each day so you don't run out of soup or salad! (We've also had people sign up to bring bread or drinks too!) 

Do you have any Bright Ideas for lunchtime!? (Or any other ways I can get out of packing my lunch during the week...???) Please share in the comments!

And for more Bright Ideas, browse through the link up and hop on over to grab some great ideas from some of the best bloggers around!!!


SoCal Blog Surf

I'm so excited to be joining some of my wonderful SoCal blog buddies for the SoCal Blog Surf!

I'm so sad summer will be coming to an end soon- so this is a fun way to enjoy every last minute!!! Make sure to surf through all the SoCal blogs to collect some awesome freebies!!!

Living in Southern California is absolutely THE BEST, and I can't imagine living anywhere else! 
This is what we spend our summers, weekends, and evenings doing.....

There's my little man enjoying a walk at La Jolla Cove!!!

And here we are in Coronado!!!  

With back to school right around the corner, I've got {never-ending} lists, lists, and more lists going on in my head!!! To organize it all, I have this fun to-do list freebie for you! 

You can click any of the pictures to download your to-do list!!!
And now I need to start actually checking things OFF my list...

And make sure to enter our giveaway! You could win one of FOUR $25 TPT gift cards!!! Just in time for the Back to School Sale!!! We'll announce the winners on the 4th so they can use it to fill up their TPT carts!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now surf on over to see my dear friend Molly at Lessons with Laughter for another freebie! 
And thanks for "surfing" by! ;-) 

Lessons with Laughter


Wonder Book Club with Ramona Recommends

I'm so happy to be joining Ramona Recommends' Book Club this month! We read Wonder by R.J. Palacio and I was so excited because it's been on my to-read list for a long time now!

I LOVED this book! It should definitely be on upper elementary/middle/high school must read lists since it forces you to really take a look and think about how we treat people. 

It definitely made me take a deeper look at how I handle students treating each other in the classroom and on the playground. Even though respect and kindness aren't exactly Common Core standards, they should be mandatory themes we teach & model in our classrooms everyday.

Now with a little man of my own, I realize that how he treats others is one of the most important things he'll be learning in life. That regardless of how someone looks, or what they wear, or what they have, everyone has a story. And feelings. 

As much as I hate to admit, in the past, I've had a tendency to gloss over things that maybe I should have tried to gain a deeper understanding of. This year, one of my goals is to make sure that I'm working my hardest to better understand every student's story. Even the students who might not be my "favorite" or the students who act out... Because I've noticed that when I'm annoyed with certain students, other students become annoyed too- they mimic our behavior.

This quote from Pinterest sticks out to me...

Here's my precept! 

I'm also planning on using Ramona Recommend's "Don't Be a Bully" Pack from TPT! I'll definitely be able to use this with my second graders with some scaffolding, especially at the beginning of the year!

I think Wonder could definitely be used as a read aloud in second grade, with lots of discussion and scaffolding to go along with it. 

We also read Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae

This is one of my absolute favorite picture books!!! I love the message too!- It's okay to be different and to dance to the beat of your own drum! 

I do a fun art project every year that goes with the story! You can read about it {HERE}! 

Happy reading my friends! 


Working with Short Vowels

Well HELLO there!!!

Onesie from Hello Apparel 

While everyone was off having a blast in Vegas (I was living vicariously through Instagram!!!...) we were working on this fun new short vowel literacy center! (When I say 'we' I mean I worked and little man kept me company ;-)

I am so excited to share this idea with you!

In second grade, we work a lot on distinguishing vowel sounds within words. On the state tests, there ALWAYS used to be questions like "In which word do you hear the short 'a' sound".....

My students had a tendency to always just LOOK at the words, and pick the one that had an 'a' in it. Which doesn't always work out. 

I really wanted my students to LISTEN to the words, rather than look at them. So I created this!

It's a literacy center activity where students scan the QR codes, LISTEN to a word being read, and determine if there's a short 'a' or a short 'i' sound within the word!

Students directions for both Scoot and Center activities! 
(Students can scan that QR code and HEAR the directions being read to them! No more "I don't know what to do..." !!!) 

Recording sheets for Scoot and Independent Center activities!

30 total cards with QR codes to scan and listen to! 15 short 'a' words and 15 short 'i' words! 

There's also an answer key included so students can check their work!!!

This activity aligns with the 2nd grade Wonders curriculum, Unit 1, Week 1 spelling skill; Short A and I! Although you DON'T need to be using Wonders to enjoy this center! 

If you'd like more info on how to create a QR code linked to an audio file, you can find it HERE!

Need more info on QR codes in general....HERE you go! 

And feel free to download the preview of this file by clicking the picture below! Let me know what you think!!!

You can find the whole center on TPT HERE! Enjoy!

I'll send this to the first five people to comment and tell me what they're doing on this beautiful summer day! (Don't forget to leave you email address!)

Happy summer!!!! 


Working with Plural Nouns Center

Hi everyone!!!

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July!!! I know we did!!!
(That's actually Duncan's pool!) 

We saw LOTS of fireworks and had a great time BBQing with family (my favorite things!!!) 

Today I posted my Working with Plural Nouns centers!

There are three different options  in this pack: A scoot around the room (where students look for "hidden" cards around the classroom and determine the appropriate plural form of the noun), a sort to be used at an individual station (where students sort word cards based on their plural form ending), or a sort with self checking QR codes {if your students have devices that can scan QR codes}.

There are also student directions (with QR codes sos students can scan and HEAR the directions being read to them!), teacher direction (which can be helpful for volunteers!), recording sheets & answer keys for every activity, and plural noun rule posters (to hang on a bulletin board or place at a center!). 

I created this to use with my 2nd grade students at the beginning of the school year, although you could definitely use them in 1st or 3rd, depending on your students and their needs! 

Also- this activity aligns with the 2nd grade Wonders series: Unit 1, Week 1; Word Work Skill {plural nouns}. However, you DO NOT need to be using the Wonders curriculum to enjoy and use these centers! 

Have a wonderful July 5th!