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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spectacular Secret Santa!

I got the pleasure of participating in the Spectacular Secret Santa gift exchange this Christmas season with lots of other wonderful 2nd Grade Teachers from around the United States.  This was hosted by Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade and Saddle Up for 2nd Grade.  Thanks to these wonderful ladies for organizing all of this.

Now, on for the gift reveal!
My secret Santa was Kayla Delzer from Top Dog Teaching 

She sent me a great gift with some of my favorites!!  My favorite candy is Reese's miniatures and since I am doing Weight Watchers, they are the perfect dessert after lunch each day since one is only 1 point.  I have a tervis tumbler I keep with these behind my desk for lunch - so now I have backup when my cup runs out!

She also got me a notebook with a pink chevron design on the front since my favorite color is pink and these days - who doesn't love chevron!?!
Last, but not least, she got me some colorful pens to use in my notebook - can't wait to use them!

Thanks Kayla for the Secret Santa gift!

Now, hop around and see what everyone else got in the Spectacular Secret Santa gift exchange!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Five For Friday - 12/12

Hello again friends!  I was trying so hard to get back to regular blogging, but things have been busy with school, Christmas, and so much more!  I don't have a ton of pictures to share (I take that back - I have a ton of Elf on the Shelf pictures!), but lots has been going on!

Our Elf on the Shelf, Curtis, and his reindeer friend, Chet have been up to a lot of mischief since they arrived December 1st!

Curtis and Chet were in the To Be Copied basket on Thursday...this morning, they photoCOPIED themselves on our classroom printer!

We gave up doing Polar Express Day this year and let Kindergarten have that experience and we decided to start Grinch Day!  We had an awesome artist as a parent in 2nd grade this year, that drew this awesome Grinch to go in the hallway for our random acts of kindness wall.  Hearts are going to go up with random acts of kindness that the kids see others doing.

Walked in to the gym Thursday for carpool and one of my kids is calling my name.  I turn and look at him and he has his jacket on completely backwards with his book bag on too!  After we laugh, I tell him to get it put on the correct way and he says I can't and turns around to show me this...

Gotta love 'em!  Fortunately he had a friend behind him to unzipped his jacket so he could get straight before heading out to Art Club.

Every year, I get my kids a book from Scholastic as part of their Christmas present.  I start searching in October for $1 Christmas books, as they are usually 35 points each and I just use my points to get the books.  This year, the book of choice was Snowmen At Christmas.  I got envelopes from USPS to sturdy them up a little bit and got them all wrapped Sunday afternoon.  Friday night I got their Grinch ornaments wrapped, so all their wrapping is DONE!
I love wrapping, as I worked at a gift shop in college and we did gift wrapping and it was my favorite.  I spent a couple Christmas Eve's in the store just wrapping the entire time we were open and I loved it!  Granted we had much better wrapping paper, beautiful ribbon, and a nice big workspace, but I still love wrapping presents :)  My mom even makes me put bows on my own presents because she like the ways mine look rather than hers.

Back in October we started making wooden door hangers for our side door on our house and when Christmas rolled around, we made one of these beauties (but with an S).  I shared the photo on facebook and a long-time family friend contacted me wanting to know if we would make them to sell.  I hadn't thought of it and knew we were busy, but told her next year as my parents are probably going to retire at the end of this school year and are planning to go back into wood crafts like they did when I was little.  Well, we head to Michaels on Black Friday and stock UP on ribbon to make Christmas ornament door hangers and mom says we will go ahead and make one for our friend.  We got it done in a week and use my cricut and some outdoor vinyl to help make those beautiful white circles since they were a pain to paint on ours.  I am in love with the Santa ribbon and just love how these look.

Have a great weekend y'all!  We only have 4 and a half days next week as Friday is an early release for staff and students...and Thursday is Grinch Day for us.  Its going to be a week full of jitters, excitement, Grinch green fun, and just trying to survive.  I actually put in my lesson plans for next Friday..."survive and scrap children from the ceiling as necessary" as that will probably be a good description of our time next Friday!

Friday, November 28, 2014

I'm here!

Wow, I have neglected my little ole' blog this month!  I usually try to do Five for Friday each week, but I have either been too exhausted or we have been busy on Friday night and so I have just let my blog slip.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I want to let you know that I'm so thankful for you, my readers!  I started my TPT journey a little over 13 months ago and decided in January to start blogging.  I am thankful for you following what we are doing in our classroom!

I wanted to drop in tonight to share with you some holiday goodies that you may want to scoop up during the Super Cyber Savings Event next week on TeachersPayTeachers.  My entire store will be 20% and with the TPT code: TPTCYBER you can get a total of 28% off!!

First up - December Math Centers!

This set of math centers has a variety of activities to bring a little Christmas cheer to your math centers.  True/False equations, 100's board hidden pictures, skip counting, money, and lots more!

Next - do you Elf on the Shelf in your classroom??  We do!!

I have done Elf on the Shelf every year and this year, I made a morning work and daily elf journal for my kids to do each morning.  The top part of each day's page includes a place at the top to record where you found the elf in the morning and what he/she did the night before.  At the bottom students complete either a math or reading activity this a Christmas theme.  There are lots of other pages to include in this booklet such as writing prompts, wish lists, and more!  I'm so excited to use this with my kids!  All of my booklets are copied and in our elf box ready for Monday morning delivery!

Polar Express Day!

For the past three years, 2nd Grade at my school has done a unit on Polar Express.  We concluded with Polar Express Day.  Last year, I created a whole unit full of language arts and math activities that we did the week of Polar Express Day.  It makes for a great way to end the quarter and celebrate the holidays!

But this year, 2nd grade is doing something a little different...

Since some other grade levels do Polar Express Day, we decided to do something new and different for our grade level - Grinch Day!  I am so excited about Grinch Day and am trying to make it a memorable experience for my kids - ornaments, crafts, activities, and so much more.  Our Grinch Day is December 18th, but we will be doing Grinch stuff all week!

Head over to my TPT store and load up on some holiday goodies!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will enjoy the Christmas season - don't forget the real reason for the season though!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Holidays Around the Blog Linky

I don't know about you, but I my favorite time of year is from November 1 - December 31...I LOVE the holidays, especially the whole month of December!  So I was really excited when I saw that I could join the Holidays Around the Blog Linky hosted by Mrs. Labrasciano!  One reason I love December is that I get to do Elf on the Shelf with my kiddos!  When Elf on the Shelf first came out several years ago when I was in college, I bought one at my local Hallmark shop because I loved the concept and said "maybe I can use it in my classroom one day..."  And I definitely do!  I usually make out a plan of activities for him to do each night after spending a lot of time scooping out ideas on Pinterest!

A couple years ago, I found a journal on TPT for my students to journal what our elf, Curtis, did every day during December and loved that idea, but also want my kids to do some morning work like they do already.  So, I created a morning work and journal booklet that will allow my kids to journal about our elf each day and do a reading or math Christmas-themed activity at the bottom. BUT, this pack includes a lot more than just morning work and journal pages!  Check out some sample pages below.

Here is what is included:
Morning Work & Journal Book with numbered days (up to 18 days)
Morning Work & Journal Book without numbered days (up to 18 days)
Elf Adventures Log
Other Activities:
Letter to Santa
Naughty or Nice? Opinion writing
Nightly Elf Adventures imaginative/narrative writing
Christmas Word Search
My Wish List
Classroom Scout Elf Behavior Notes
Naughty Behavior Warnings
Teacher Naughty Behavior Log
Notes to the Elf

I printed my copy a couple weeks ago and got so excited to use this yesterday as I was going through planning on how to copy it for my kids.  I plan on having Curtis bring these with him from the North Pole when he arrives on our first day back after Thanksgiving break...along with his new reindeer friend - Chet!  They keep adding something new every year - but with the Elf Pets, the kids can actually touch, hug and cuddle them to help their heart pendant fill with magic so that they can fly Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.  Got mine at JcPenney about a week ago and was able to use a coupon so I got it for pretty cheap!

I know it's early but Merry Christmas friends!  I hope you enjoy this season with your family and classroom kiddos as much as I do!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Night Freebie!

I haven't had a freebie in a while!  And I missed Five for Friday because I was rather feverish and sick last in the bed before 9.  Feeling much better today and did some Christmas decor shopping with mom.  Came home tonight and made this little label to go on our new Box Tops and Campbell's Labels box.

I don't remember who it was, but I saw someone post a picture of repurposing a Cascade dish detergent container to use for a center, or something of the sort earlier in the week on Instagram.  I immediately thought that would be so cute to use for Box Tops!  Luckily, mom had one in the pantry that was close to empty that I could use.  It is a larger sized container since we bought it at BJ's, but that just means my kids need to bring in more Box Tops, right???

I printed this page/label at 70% in the printer settings and it came out just perfect. You may to decrease or increase the print size depending on your container.  I also printed one for each side since I had yucky stuff from trying to take the labels off.
Click the picture to download!

Clipart is Melonheadz, Fonts are from Hello Literacy

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Liebster Award Nomination

2 blog posts in about an hour -what in the world?  But, I was nominated by Katie at Living The First Grade Dream for the Liebster award - an award for new bloggers who have less than 200 followers, but have great content and potential.

As part of being nominated, I have to answer the 11 questions below and then nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.  Good thing 11 is my favorite number!

1.  Why and how long ago did you start blogging? 
I started my blog back in January of this year (2014).  I actually had to do some blogging in college for a couple of my education classes, so I wasn't brand new to blogging, but now I was blogging for real people and not just for a grade from my professors!  I started creating products for my TPT store last year about this time and that (selfishly) was my real reason for blogging.  I wanted to get more traffic to my store.  But now that I've been blogging for about 8 months, I am enjoying the other teacher bloggers I have virtually met and can't wait to go to Vegas next summer for the TPT conference and meet some of them!

2.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Sharing - ever since I began teaching, I would have other teachers come just walk around my room, staring at everything and then I would end up sharing ideas or even resources that I had found or created with them.  So, I'm branching out beyond sharing with my co-workers and now I'm sharing with you all too!

3.  Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before? I'm rather tech-savvy, but I wish I knew how to do more of the design aspects of creating and designing my blog.  I'm all about cute and organized and want it all to be perfect.  I'm satisfied with what I have done to this point, but would love to have a blog designer create me a design full of buttons for links and everything!
4.  What is your favorite past time other than blogging?    
I have lots of little things I like to do here and there, but at the moment, I'd have to say support NC State athletics - football, basketball are my biggest, but when we get a chance to go to another game, we go and pull for our Wolfpack, even when we lose.

5.  How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
Not enough!  I usually end up blogging once a week and that is Five for Friday.  I really need to blog more about things that I'm doing in my classroom -GoNoodle, Class Dojo, academics, etc!

6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most? 
I love the holidays and doing fun stuff!  So I usually end up looking for those seasonal and holiday ideas!

7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My classroom and my students - otherwise I wouldn't have anything to blog about!

8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I would probably have to say THIS post about how I flipped my math classroom last year.  Being able to utilize classroom practice to actually practice what I was teaching my students was a big deal to me!

9.  Is there any post you've been planning to do but have been postponing it for awhile now?
 Probably how I use Class Dojo in my classroom.  I just haven't seemed to find the time to sit down and actually remember to do it!

10.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
Connecting with other teachers and teacher bloggers to make connections beyond my small town.

11.  Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself? 

I'm going to have to try Nonfiction Text Feature Sort with my reading groups!  We were talking about text features during reading groups the other day and they about killed me not knowing what the caption was.  I know they know it, but they just have to keep practicing it.

Now...onto the nominations!  I don't have 11, which I hope is okay.  I saw from other bloggers, that they only had to nominate 5 - 11, and all of the bloggers I follow have a lot more than 200, or have already been nominated/accepted.

1. Missy from Dirt Road Teacher
2. Lisa from Pawsitively Learning
3. Marissa from The Inspired Owl
 5.  Stacy Ess of Second Grade Sweetie Pies  

To those who have been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out." (Follow their blog if you haven't already!)  
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

100 Followers on Bloglovin' Sale!!

I just got the best email...

So...because I now have 100 followers on Bloglovin'...I'm throwing a sale in my TPT store!  My entire store is 20% off through Tuesday!  Go get some stuff for the upcoming holidays on sale!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday - we made it through the first week back!

Well - we made it through the first week back to school after track-out!  Granted the kids were only here 4 days...but we made it!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Well, before track-out we did our writing craftivity for Halloween and I never snapped a picture, so here is the final product!  I love it!  I contemplated making them all color their witches the same way, but I like their creativity with their colors!

This week in writing we are writing opinion pieces about trick-or-treating at night.  The city doesn't want children trick-or-treating at night, so we came up with 3 problems that the city might have and then they had to choose to either support the city, or try to convince the city to let kids trick-or-treat at night, so they were coming up with solutions for the problem.  Opinion writing is one of my least favorite types of writing because everyones can be so different.  I'm trying so hard to set a model for my kids to follow, and they want to just be lazy and not follow it!  AAAHHHH!  Trying to work on this and really support my kids as writers.

I am so excited that I got a grant for the math program, Reflex Math!  We started on Wednesday and my kids are OBSESSED!!  We are going to master our math facts!  We are going to start our math facts tests in a couple weeks, so I'm hoping with a couple weeks of Reflex under their belts, they will get started off on a good note on our math fact tests.

I got my Standard Professional II license this week!  After 3 years of teaching in NC, you have to get a new license that is good for 5 years!  My school did all of the paperwork for me and it finally came this week.  My principal brought it to me during reading groups this week because he knew I had been waiting for it to come.

I always do Elf on the Shelf between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Well somehow I'm on the Elf on the Shelf teacher email list and back in September I got an email that they were sending out 10,000 scout elves to classrooms, so I entered.  Well, low and behold, I got an email last week that I would be receiving a scout elf.  She came on Thursday in a big box from the North Pole along with the birthday set.  I had to hide it from my kids so they wouldn't get suspicious.  I might save her until later because I love my first elf, Curtis, but we might have to see how we can use the birthday set.

Happy Friday Y'all!