Thursday, September 27, 2012

End of Quarter Sale and Giveaways Galore in Bloggy Land !

We are having an End of Quarter sale at our TPT store!  This is our 2nd quarter with TPT and we are loving it and decided to share the love with you!  Everything in our store is 10% off through the end of September.  Enjoy!!!!!

We are also seeing giveaways everywhere!!! 
Check out the giveaways at
Run! Miss Nelson has the Camera.

Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Sugar and Spice

There are also some upcoming giveaways that we will be participating in!  Look for them starting soon from:


You've gotta love a good giveaway!!!  I know we do!!!!
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Halloween Picture Book Linky and a Freebie

We are linking up with First Grade Found Me for a Halloween Picture Book Linky!

You can click on the blog name or the picture to check out the linky!

We love using the book A Job for Wittilda around Halloween time.  It is a cute book and our kiddos love it! Click on the picture to head to Amazon and check it out!

We LOVE making class books and with this book we brainstorm all the different jobs we think she might be good at and why she would be just right for that job.  Then each kiddo completes a page for our class book. 
Click on either picture to take you to the freebie of this class book!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Update Freebie

Every Monday I am bombarded by 19 little darlings who are eager to tell me about what they did over the weekend.  I consider myself fairly good at multi tasking, but I CAN NOT listen to 19 stories at once!  I am also trying to collect folders, notes, lunch money, put out he did this, she said this fires, and also every once in a while breathe!
So every Monday we do a Weekend Update.  We have daily morning journals with topics,  (You can check it out here at our TPT store.) but I needed a quick and easy way to "hear" about my kiddos weekends!  Now when my kiddos come in on Monday and all try to tell me about their weekend I tell them I can't wait to read about it and not to ruin my surprise by telling me now!!
The best part....IT WORKS!  They head straight in, write about their weekend, and turn it in.  I read it sometime during the day and write a few little comments on their weekend and give it back. 

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy!!!!!!!
Here are some examples of my kiddo's Weekend Updates from this week!

Click here to grab your Weekend Update!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Star of the Day and New Products

When I first started teaching, 12 years ago, I had a job chart. I started off so great!

 I would put the chart up and everyone would have a classroom job.
Then I would change the job chart and everyone would have a different job.
I would put the chart up and everyone would have a classroom job.
Next I would change the job chart and everyone would have a different job.
Then I would forget to change the job chart until the last minute and frantically change the job chart.
After that I would forget to change the job chart until a kiddo reminded me and I would frantically change the job chart.
And so on.
And so on.
And so on.

The job chart became the bane of my existence!

I COULD NOT seem to be on top of changing that doggone job chart all the time.
Lucky for me my good friend and coworker told me about her Star of the Day.  CHANGED my LIFE!!!

I chucked the job chart and started with the Star of the Day.  Coworkers have come and gone, but every new coworker has adopted the Star of the Day and loved it!  Katie and I both do Star of the Day in our classrooms and it is the easiest thing in the world!

Here is the gist:
We write every kiddo's name on a star and put them on a ring.
(These are from one of my favorite places to shop!  Creative Teaching Press)
This year we have an Ocean/Beach theme and so we made our own cards.
(Please excuse my not so great handwriting.  I usually have my sister label all of my things at the beginning of the year for me, but for some crazy reason she decided to stay in Nashville and work this year!  What??!!)

Then we change the card each day.  That is right, one flip, and you are done!
That kiddo is in charge of everything for the day!  They take attendance to the office, pass out papers, lead the line, take out the recess equipment, basically anything I need them to do!  You basically have a mini assistant! If there is anything that requires more than one helper then the Star of the Day gets to pick the other helpers.

I did worry that my kiddos would not be happy having to wait so long in between being the Star of the Day.  So I always really talk it up. We talk about how exciting it is to be in charge of helping with everything and to get to pick friends to help if needed. Luckily they seem to get it!  At the end of each day I flip the card and tell the kiddos who the Star is for the next day.  The kiddos actually get excited for the student who is the Star!
This has been one of the best time management tools I have ever learned for school!  If you try it out I would LOVE to hear what you think about it!

On another note, here is what we have been up to!  In between school, our own kiddos, husbands who for some crazy reason still think they need clean clothes or dinner :) , we have been able to complete a few projects from our to do list!
One of our favorites is our Common Core Math and Language Arts Homework.  We completely redid our homework this year to align with Common Core and we LOVE our new format!  Our parents have been really happy with this format and so are we!

We have this for sale as just the language art, just the math, or a bundle.  We also have 1st and 2nd quarter available.  We are working on finishing up 3rd and 4th quarter right now!

Common Core State Standards and Essential Questions. We have our original set and then had requests for Pirate and Owl themed.  So of course we did those too!  All three versions are available in our TPT store.

We just finished up our 2nd Grade Common Core Math Vocabulary Cards.

Standards of Mathmatical Practices

There are even more products we have posted lately that we are very excited about.  However, we figured you might be tired of seeing all of them!!!  If you want to check out what else we have just visit our TPT store!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Key Chain Explanation and Freebies

Hello and happy Monday!
 There might or might not be a permanent countdown to weekends and breaks going on in both of our rooms this year.  (More towards the might be!!!!)
 This might be the most challenging year for both of us!  We both have CHATTY kiddos this year and they are also not particularly kind to each other.  I can handle a chatty class, but when they are just plain mean to each other it is tough to love coming to school each day! Our school’s focus this year is kindness and we have had school assemblies, the principal read to our classes and talked about kindness, we have done bucket fillers and bucket dippers activities galore, and STILL they are just unkind to each other.  It is rough!!!
Thanks for listening to my rant!!!

On a more positive note…

We had someone ask us to explain our Key Chains in more detail.  So here goes!
We started doing these 12 years ago when I first started teaching 2nd grade and they are STILL a hit with our kiddos every year.  The key chains themselves have gotten cuter over the years but the concept is the same! 

What we do is to start each kiddo out with a key ring and a key chain with their name on it.  (the first keychain can be a die cut, clip art, etc.)  We use to do a die cut key, but Katie made some really cute name key chains this year that we used instead.  Then each kiddo starts off with a first day of school key chain.  After that they can start to earn key chains for really anything you want!  We do memories and academic key chains.  They can earn a super speller key chain for getting their words right on the spelling test and a dinomite dictation key chain for having perfect dictation on their test.  We earn key chains for birthdays, lost teeth, field trips, homework completion, holiday parties, random good behavior key chains, etc. 
At the end of the year the kiddos take their key chains home and is a memory of all their 2nd grade accomplishments.  It is a pretty easy and quick reward system.  Not our only one!  But we do like that our kiddos who are doing a good job are recognized!  We print out or die cut our key chains for the year and keep them in these handy dandy little accordion files that we found at the Target Dollar Spot!

(We found these one day when we were on an ice cream run over our break time and just happened to stumble into the Dollar Spot on the way! And YES we are really blessed because we can leave during our break time and it is also an hour!!!!)  We either send the printed key chains home for parents to cut out and hole punch or we have our office aide do them for us.  So once they are ready to go all you have to do is hand them out to the kiddos who earn them! 
Here is an example of one of my kiddo’s key chains.  Remember, it is the beginning of the year so it isn’t very full yet!  By the end of the year they look really cool with all of the key chains on them!

If you are interested in using these you are welcome to a couple of freebies of some of the key chains we use!  We are also working on a packet for TPT that would have TONS of the key chains that we use!
Click here to grab the freebies!

The last thing that we have to share is a freebie class book!  We read The Mixed Up Chameleon in our Harcourt book at the beginning of the year.  It is a cute story, but NOT enough meat to fill up an entire week!  So we usually use some other Eric Carle books and do other activities after the first few days.  One of the things we do goes with The Grouchy Ladybug.  Click here to grab our The Grouchy Ladybug Continued class book! ( We LOVE all the free graphics that From the Pond offers!!)

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September Currently

Short and sweet today!  For some reason the beginning of the year is kicking BOTH of our tushies!  We have had a request to explain our key chains in more details and we will try to be back in the next few days with a post about that!  But for now.... we are linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth for her September Currently!

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