Sunday, December 30, 2012

The BEST of 2012

I am linking up with Bunting, Books and Bainbridge for the ......

The BEST thing that happened to me this year in the blogging world, was the big push my colleagues gave me to start this blog in June!
The BEST post:
I was so excited and really blogged a lot BEFORE school started...then school took off and my most viewed post happened...
Finally Photos....I was still excited and had lots of ideas I wanted to get out!


The BRIGHTEST blog moment:
I got the most comments on my November to Remember post...I have to THANK Farley over at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade

The BEST post for me:
.......the post that really got my brain engaged was my post about STEM! I have continued my Science and Math Journals and they have really been a big hit with administration!
STEM activity
STEM activity
I have made a few bloggy friends and they have become my sounding boards, plus they comment and give encouragement, yeah for blogging buddies!
I must give kudos to Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B for getting me out of my writers block and posting after a brief drought, after reading one of her posts I posted another one of my favorites!
Another BRIGHT spot for me was when I opened up my TpT store! (nothing sold yet, but I really haven't put out a ton of stuff, it's coming...remember I am a procrastinator!)
The BEST events in my life in 2012...hummmm, let's look:

I hope to make BETTER BEST and BRIGHTEST moments for 2013!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

98 Days left? OH MY!!!

Good Morning

I've been doing some reflecting this morning.  You know the kind of reflecting you do at the end of the year, but I'm talking about my school year, not my personal year.(that is another story)

I know we have 98 days left of school and school is far from over, but as I turned out the lights yesterday, I felt like it was the last day of school. I have this sense of urgency to start over in January. So I think I will!
I have been thinking about really shaking it up! I want my kids to come back excited about what we are going to do. I want to start all those cool ideas that I had in August that I couldn't get to ! I want to be able to teach on my schedule, not the timeline I have to teach on .(At our school we are told when to teach each subject matter) I want to start 'theme-ing' my lessons more. I want to start focusing on the CCSS in my room this year (even though it starts next year). I want to make better small group lessons.  I want to make a perfect lesson plan template that allows for all small groups, materials,a to do list and of course standards, objectives, activities and and easy to follow format.I want to introduce new procedures, because frankly some of my procedures aren't the best with a few of the kids this year...I have a few tough nuts!
I also want to schedule my blogging...this summer I was so into it ! I blogged, I posted Monday Made its, and Friday Finds, and Currently..OMG Farley I forgot to do December's CURRENTLY...where have I been???
My intern graduated and got a job right away...yeah Christina!!!
I am feeling like I am way behind since she left...hmmm ...this makes me wish I could have a personal assistant or a permanent intern to co-teach with!

OK back to life is good. My son and I are happy people with great friends and family that surround and support us. My school community is just as wonderful! I feel safe here, having that said, my heart goes out to those wonderful loving, kind and much appreciated teachers at Sandy Hooks. It could have been any of us. Hug your kids and your class, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year y'all!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do you know the new "P" word?'s P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N !

I am suppose to be working on some RTi papers for tomorrow morning....but what am I doing? Pinning, reading  blogs and making files of activities  for my "Grinch Day"...I know, I know..RTi should come first, but let me tell you about this case...

It all started in Kindergarten, I believe this poor baby was kicked out of  a private Kindergarten situation in Indiana..then somehow they end up in 1st grade at my school, over 1,000 miles south!
In 1st grade this child made a name for themselves, you know "THAT kid" the one who did EVERYTHING wrong for their mad, kicked kids, broke pencils, pushed desks over, cried about having no friends...yes "THAT kid" is in my 2nd grade class and needs some attention. Can this kid read? Yes, but hates to.
Can this kid 'do' math? Well. er..kinda!
How about writing? Oh YES you should see some of the things they write...(enter sarcasm)
How do I handle the "Situation" you ask...well I talk (a LOT), we walk , we eat, we hold hands...we try to trick them to read and like it...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...thank goodness for computers and centers and Pinterest for finding me MORE hands-on activities and craftivities!!! (Now you know the truth, I pin to keep sane)

So instead of compiling all my data, instead of making sure I have things lined up..I am playing around on the computer? guess who is going to be up L A T E tonight?

(Seriously, I DO have most of it done, I'm just procrastinating about putting all my data into a folder and all my RTi "forms" in a nice row)

Have I mentioned lately that Girls On The Run ends this Saturday with a 5K...I still need to e-mail about that, I have a few running Buddies that did not register for the race hello it is Saturday at 7:05 am, we have to leave here at 5:45 A.M...can't wait for that! (exit sarcasm)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TpT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale

So I am jumping on the band wagon....ok I only have 2 things in my shop so goal is by this time next year I will have at least 20!

So for now enjoy...I am so looking forward to clearing out my wish list!!!

I have a fun idea for math this week, if it turns out good, I will post about it, also fun times in Science ahead....more to come

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy's a FREEBIE

Last night I made a TpT packet...I agonized over the price, then changed it this morning...that is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs I tell you! How do you price your work, and some of the work was collaborated with an old colleague who doesn't teach with me anymore. (I wonder if I'll hear from her again?) Anyway....

  H A P P Y   T H A N K S G I V I N G
I said I would give you a FREEBIE, so here you go...
I have a few ideas that I need to work on, such as more "Book Reports" , Magic Tree House packets , author studies and teacher helper printables! Wish me luck...
On the home front, Girls On The Run  is about to wrap up for the season, we have our 5K on December excited to see how the girls will do! And can you guess where I'm going for Christmas? It's not a hard guess...
Take care!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A NOVEMBER to Remember ....(Here's Hoping Anyway)

I LOVE November! Fall finally arrives cooling us off! We get a whole week off for Thanksgiving this year too! Not that I don't love my class, but a W H O L E W E E K! AHHH...funny thing is I love Thanksgiving, but do NOT like turkey!
So this Thanksgiving I might go visit New Jersey and hope to see snow with my new favorite family!  I am leery going to that area of the country over a Holiday, air travel is so fickle then. I don't want to get 'caught' waiting out a storm when I know I have to be home come Monday! Hmm I'll think it through!'s my Linky Hook up with Farley
Football in the South...LOVE it!
I feel so thankful about the "Sandy Situation" I have many friends and family members in New Jersey and New York, they are all fine, some have no power but all have Generators....I wish we lived closer in times like these!

My intern leaves us on December 7th...I am so so so SAD...she is great, such wonderful hands-on activities she has showed us!

I wrote WANTING a raise, but really NEEDING a raise, I think my rent is going up???

MUSIC...I love music, every Friday I play Rebecca Black's "Friday" and my kids go wild and dance like there is no tomorrow! Right now we are playing a lot of the Nutcracker, but with words, it's weird sometimes hearing Tchaikovsky with words!

I hope you have a great Day! I am working on  a post about my READING time...we are in transition with the Common Core and Daily 5!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Good to "BEE" the QUEEN!

At our school we still celebrate Halloween and all its we don't allow scary, demonic or bloody costumes, but we do welcome the storybook characters and the famous cartoon characters.
I have to say, it is REALLY nice to be in a school that still allows the children to dress up and have fun! The ENTIRE school goes out into the hallways and we all parade upstairs and downstairs so every kid in every classroom can see the glory of Halloween. I know, it's silly, some say Halloween is the Devil's holiday or that evil things happen, but for real it is just a day to dress up and pretend to be a super hero or a princess and have fun, eat tons of candy and get a little wild with our friends  My only wish is that some day they will allow Halloween to be on the last Friday of October, because WEDNESDAY Halloween is cuckoo bananas!

After being the "QUEEN BEE" all day today I am tired...but I am not just a teacher, oh no...after a long fun filled day I dressed down and went out to Trick or Treat with my favorite boy and his best friend!
Even the adults had fun! It is late and I have eaten a few of his finds, the laundry is just finishing up and tomorrow I go back to being a teacher in a second grade classroom filled with students who love coming to a school where we still believe in the magic of childhood.
Oh did I mention we have a practice 5K for GOTR at 3:30 tomorrow? Going to be a L O N G day! Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My NEXT post won't be about MATH

Another GREAT Math Activity....
I really love having interns! No not because they teach and I don't..but because I LEARN so much too... plus I enjoy watching them get it to "got it"!
Here is a fun group activity  that the kids really loved for PLACE VALUE!

This is the instruction sheet!

Hands-On MATH
Here is "Partner 1" doing their job!

Hands-On MATH
This group had a fun time trying to talk themselves out of drawing 3 dimensional Thousand cubes...

Hands-On MATH
This group really had a heated discussion BEFORE they began....their project turned out nice!

Hands-On MATH
all DONE and ready to present their number!

I am really liking how Math has come together this year. Implementing the Math Journals has really changed mine and the kids thinking about how Math relates to our lives. We even have introduced some writing into Math and the kids haven't noticed how hard they are working!

RED RIBBON WEEK starts tomorrow....we are busy with our Too Good For Drugs program plus in our classroom we are also holding a Candy Bar Election too...needless to say we are BUSY in our HIVE!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Currently...GOTR and a Trumpet!

I love doing Girls On The Run....

In fact all the running around since January made me sign up for a 5K...
I actually ran the 1st mile pretty fast....then got a little tired running around the walkers, the characters, and the lines of people getting autographs from the characters...(yes they had lines of runners getting pictures with the Big Bad Wolf, Jack Sparrow and Brear Fox all the while we ran past them in the mud!) Did I mention that little kids were 'running'. I even heard one Dad say "If you don't keep pace, and quit, we won't be going to the parks today!" Yikes...why didn't they do the Family Fun Run???
YEAH!!! I finished...I even got a medal...okay EVERYONE got a medal...but I was just coming off a Z-Pack...does that get me some love?
I said I was listening to the Big Bang Theory..I was and then guess who shows up 5 minutes after? My Sweet Boy and his......

He's just learning, but I have to admit...he's pretty dern good!

One of my ALL TIME favorite authors is Chris Van Allsberg....I love this book it is sooo a FALL favorite in our room!!!!
So that is what is currently going on in my life...if you have a good book series that I should start reading, let me know...I really need to find an interesting series to get into and not be able to put down!!!
Thanks to Farley over at.....

This is my FAVORITE Bloggy thing I do!
.........go ahead and sign up on her linky....but remember...
Farley says
"the rule of 3...
you need to please comment on the 2 links ahead of your link and then come back and comment on the link after your link...
this is a way to spread the love and visit new blogs and well it is just my RULE... and not to mention nice (and my RULE)
and it hurts feelings when you don't give the love (aka you don't follow the rule)... really it does I get the emails that say they didn't get the love :) so RULE of 3 PLEASE "

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Self-Guided Math AND Reading Buddies all in one day!

So this week in Math we are having a test. How do you 'normally' get ready for a test? I usually play a game, or do a cooperative activity. In Guided Math we would do a small skill focused  group, usually....NOT this week! This week Christina (the intern) came up with a "SELF-GUIDED" activity.
I loved it! (When she is gone I am going to steal this idea too!
I number my students, it makes grading and sorting so much this activity was easy to start because of the number system in place. There were 20 questions hung up around the room in order. Each child had a clipboard and a piece of paper and a pencil. They started at their number, (So Bill, #20 started at question 20) then they just kept rotating from question to question as they wrote down their answers. They had to show some work if it was applicable. My room has never been so quiet at Math Time...EVER! Usually they are moving from small groups to teacher group to tools...but not today, they were serious mathematicians!

Later that day we were in for a treat!
Our 5th grade Reading Buddies stopped in and we got right down to business! I showed them a rubric for listening to other's reading. I found it blog hopping this summer.
Then I told each 2nd grader to rate themselves, then to rate their 5th grade Buddy, as well as the 5th graders rating our 2nd graders! What fun! Next week I will give them questions for Before, During and After reading so they can practice with their Buddies.
A lot of good questioning skills were being tested!!!

I really enjoyed listening to her reading an informational text to her buddy!

I love how my girl has her hands on her mouth! She is involved!

And here another one of my girls is really engaged!

5th Grade Buddies are AWESOME!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

STEM, it's not what you think!

First times are always the best or the worst,right?

So today I tried a new to me activity. STEM
The kids took 'notes' in the Science logs.
I have heard of STEM activities and we even have a STEM team at our school, but I have never really used the concept of STEM to introduce an idea and work with it hands-on!
The activity had nothing to do with the standard that we are working on in Science right now. It is purely a stand alone activity. So before we just "did it" I told the kids that I noticed something about our class, that I have NEVER noticed about ANY of the other classes I have taught. I told them that I believe they have an affinity (one of our vocabulary words this week) for Science, that they have a natural aptitude for it. (They LOVE it)! I also told them about our school's STEM team for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders! (the true KEY to a good STEM team isn't so much how smart they are, as it is in the fact that they can communicate and work as a team to get the job done)~ you'll see how this idea creates a little drama in the hive!
For our 1st ever STEM activity, I went to the Science book for help.(I know an unlikely source,) In one of our teacher resources I found a little gem (who knew!)  " A STEM Activity Book" (for real!)
There are only 6 STEM activities for 2nd graders, so I told them we will be doing one a month or one every two months depending on how short the month was. This way they can get used to the idea, but not drive me bonkers about "When are we doing STEM again?"
Our activity focused on casts and splints. I spent Thursday showing them pictures of splints and casts, and answering questions about them in our Science logs.
(Sorry it isn't right side up...sometimes I can't figure it out)
Then on Friday I introduced the materials and the teams. I explained how the real key to solving the problem was working with your friends. They were chomping at the bit to get started...but I wouldn't let them UNTIL they agreed on a few ideas and could communicate those ideas clearly to me. (boy oh boy, did that take a long time, I had two girls crying over year we will brainstorm how to share ideas first)
Immediately  one group really clicked. They were sharing and collaborating nicely. They got the first box of supplies:

In the kit: Popsicle sticks, fabric strips, paper strips, a broken pencil, a broken crayon, and two different types of tape.

This group worked together very well. You can see them repairing the bones. (broken pencil and a broken crayon)

Here they are wrapping the 'finger'.
Once all the groups figured out how to work together, a quiet hush came over the room. (Well, except for the drama in the back with the girls still crying...but they stopped once they saw the other teams having fun!)
The kids were wrapping and taping. Once they finished, I gave them a few more questions for their Science Logs.....

Once each group finished I lined up their 'fingers' and we discussed how each splint worked or didn't. I did not know which group got which 'fingers', but I did put the purple pencil and the purple crayon in the same box, same with the reds, blues, greens and yellows. So when I displayed them, I told them don't let me know which group did what...this way I can judge fairly. They actually helped me judge...funny thing was they used the black paper as a frame instead of using it as a prop for a splint. I guess I use black construction paper too much to frame things in my classroom. (LOL).

We discussed how many groups had the same idea with the crayons. They really liked the tape!
Everyone agreed we can't wait for the next STEM activity! They really had a good conversation about teamwork too! I think the next STEM activity has something to do with plants...messy, messy, messy...I hope I can handle it!