Monday, December 22, 2014

Mixed Up Monday {Finger Knitting Fun!}

Good Monday morning, friends! I hope you are enjoying your holiday vacation or are enjoying your last couple days of school with your crazy little sweeties. Today I bring to you one of my DIY projects. On Saturday, a dear friend of mine came over for coffee and finger knitting. That's right...finger knitting. If you haven't tried this, I encourage you to get to YouTubing and try it out this winter break.

I have decided to make some ear warmers for stocking stuffers for those family members we have coming to visit. What do you think? What kind of crafty stuff do you do when you have time?


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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Secret Santa Blog Hop {Merry Christmas!}
{Click on the picture above for a direct link to the hop}
I am always looking for ways to incorporate more writing into my day. You can ask any of my co-workers, though, writing is my absolute favorite subject to teach. The holidays provide so many different writing opportunities for our little sweeties. I read a book and automatically begin thinking of how I can extend the book into a writing assignment. For example, I used the template you will see below on two different days.

First, we have been learning about fairy tales, doing A LOT of comparing and contrasting, so it just made sense to try to write our own. When I taught Kindergarten I always started with a visual. It seemed to get those creative juices flowing. I would have my little kinders color a picture and then tell me about THEIR picture. Each would be uniquely written masterpieces when they were finished. This writing assignment was no different. We began by building a snowman (yes, it is okay if you just sang the Frozen song in your head...I did, too).

Next, we brought out the writing starter for A Snowy Tale. It begins like most fairy tales...Once upon a time. We discussed possibilities for their fairy tales. They were able to tell me that they should have a main character, a clear setting, a problem and a solution. My sweeties described the plot, paying careful attention to the beginning, middle, and end.

Because they were able to look at their snowman, the stories wrote themselves! I was walking around astounded and how much they were writing and how fast. Many had to use the back of the paper!!!

At the end of the week we began the second lesson, although it is not finished. We started by reading the story Snowmen at Night and then discussed snowmen activities at night. This was such a fun conversation! We brainstormed whole group on the SMART board and came up with different activities. I modeled a story where my snowman, Blizzard, constructed a game of checkers using other snowmen! They loved this activity. Again, the creative juices were flowing, and I was not pulling teeth to get an opinion writing sample before our break.

Sound like fun?! Well you are in luck because I have put all of this in a fun pack for you for FREE!!!! Merry Christmas to all of you! I many Olaf's will you have in your class?

{Click the image above to download your freebie from my TPT store} Don't forget to provide feedback and follow me on TPT!
Don't forget to check out all my other friends in the blog hop!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {12.17.14}
{click on the picture above for a direct link}

I told you I was on top of things this week! Look at me getting on my exercising in, all my planning, all my products, and all my DIYing. I must be excited about my upcoming three weeks off. Gotta love that year-round schedule! :)

What do you do to increase and reinforce comprehension skills during the holidays? What do you do to relieve stress on the weekends?

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Mixed up Monday {12.15.14}

I know, I know. It has been a while. You know how the holiday season goes. BUSY BUSY! But I am back and ready to roll. New products, new name it I am on top of it.

For today's mixed-up Monday I have for you some crafty stuff I am working on.

First up is my pallet. Here I am sanding and brush painting this baby. That was taking waaaay too long so the dear husband allowed me to use the paint sprayer. YEAH! I found a picture of what I hope the end product will look like. Check it out below as well. As soon as this is all dry I will post it up on my wall later this week. Y'all know I have to pretty it up first! :)

What I hope it will look like without the shoe rack

Next I have for you...arm knitting. While I am still in the process of producing these babies, you have to check out the YouTube video below. This lady does an amazing job at explaining how to make these cozy neck huggers. I am thinking quick and easy Christmas gifts for family and friends. BONUS!

I hope you enjoyed this week's version of Mixed Up Monday! More to come...don't forget to link up and show some love for my friends below! :)

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Unwrap A Gift! A Linky Party!
{Click the picture above to be taken directly to the Linky Party!}

So I am sure as it nears Christmas you are sitting there on your couch with your eyes glassed over wondering how you will muster up enough energy to make it through the next two weeks of school before Christmas break. Am I right? Well if it is only me that feels this way I do apologize. Hehe!

As y'all know, I have recently started this little blogging journey and I am still getting the consistency down. I get better by the day and I am starting to get the hang of making products for TPT. So I have put together a little gift for you today that will help make the next two weeks a little easier.

Anything I can use in my small groups is a plus! I know many of you are looking for ways to simplify your planning for small groups. These pages may be just what you are looking for.

First, I need a schedule. I don't know about you, but I need to know who I am working with and what we will be focused on for the week. This sheet is a life saver at my table. Simple checkboxes and one or two words to describe what we are focused on. I meet with groups that are focused on similar skills and strategies to make planning easier.

This detailed lesson plan template comes in handy while I am meeting with those small groups. I can take notes, jot down any interventions, and plan out what I need to work on with certain students during our next meeting. Don't forget that academic vocabulary!!!

Pulling and tracking data is easy peasy with this progress monitoring sheet (technology is not nice to me right now...head over to the TPT store to get the freebie that is NOT digitized). I keep one of these for each student in a binder for both my READING and SMARTIES stations. I can monitor standards mastery with ease!

 And who doesn't love a good To-Do list??? Use this to make sure you have all your copies and resources in check for the week.

For this sweet little freebie, head on over to my TPT store and download. Happy Holidays y'all!!!
{Click the picture above to be taken directly to TPT to download the file}

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {11.26.14}
{Click on the photo above to be taken directly to the Linky Party!}
Happy Thanksgiving...almost! I hope you got the reference I was going for there. We worked so very hard this week on turkey activities in my classroom. One of our biggest projects was using the book Turkey Trouble. We disguised a turkey, wrote why it was the best disguise, typed our stories, and then translated our stories to Greek!!! This took us quite a bit of time, but my little sweeties were so excited to see their hard work in another language. Pictures coming soon. Hehe

Right now, for Wordless Wednesday I bring to you my vacation LOCATION! Can you guess where I am? What are you doing for the holiday??

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mixed-Up Monday {11.24.14}

Welcome to my first link up! I am so excited to be hosting a linky party on my little blog.

In teaching we have so many things that we juggle weekly, daily, or even by the minute. This linky party allows us all to come together and share things about teaching or life in general.

Today, I would like to share with you my newest products. Many of you know about my SMARTIES Math Stations and how hard I've worked on them. I understand eight stations is a lot to undertake in a classroom. Therefore, my dear sweet friend Alicia, suggested shortening the stations to five. I could just HUG her!!! This weekend I spent time condensing and organizing my four color options to bring SMART Math Stations to you. All four will be free until after my workout this morning, and they will remain on sale through Thanksgiving! How often can you snag a Math Workstation pack for only $2.00?! Here are some screenshots of what you will get in these amazing packs (all this an more of course):

{Click on the picture above to be taken to my TPT store!}
{Click on the image above to be taken to my TPT store!}

Share your Mixed-Up Monday madness below!!!!

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mixed-Up Monday - A Weekly Linky Party Starting TOMORROW

Tomorrow we are starting something new at The Sunny Side of Second Grade. I am hosting a new weekly linky party that I would like you to participate in. Here are the rules:

1. Every Monday use the photo above in a blog about anything from new products/freebies, DIY,  classroom strategies/lessons, to something in your personal lives. Anything goes here!
2. Make sure to link back to The Sunny Side of Second Grade by hyperlinking the photo on your blog.
3. Try to respond to at least two other bloggers on the link up.

Spread the word! Happy bloggin' y'all!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Five for Friday {11.21.14}

Hey there friends! Another Friday means another....
{Click the photo above to be taken directly to the Linky Party!}

Has everyone's week before Thanksgiving been crazy? I know mine has!
{Click on the photo above to be taken directly to our blog}
 To start off the week I made my first post to a collaborative blog I am proud to be a part of. If you haven't checked us out yet, head on over to The Elementary Entourage. We are currently talking about Teaching Ideas to be Thankful For. You may see some of your names and ideas there...

This week I have made it a priority above all else to meet with my groups in all subject areas. The only way this has been possible is by properly utilizing my SMARTIES Math Rounds Management System and my still in design READING Rounds Management System. The books above have been challenging and engaging for my students. They have loved them, and the connections are flowing! If you have access to PearsonSuccessNet, I highly recommend checking out their Leveled Readers.

Earlier this week Miss DeCarbo over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice posted about her organization methods. If you haven't checked it out, it is definitely worth the read. As I am reading it, I found myself saying, "Hey I have that planner!" Schroeder Shenanigans in Second hit the nail on the head with this planner. It is editable so you can enter your own items and print weekly to keep yourself on track. The title is also editable so if you need it to say something different it absolutely can. I used it this week for the first time thanks to Miss DeCarbo, and I feel like I am already ready for next week, albeit a short week! I still can't function without my EC Planner though.

After using it this year, I am thinking about designing my own for next year so that it includes absolutely everything I need with the ease of the 3-ring binder. Yes, I am already thinking about next year...

This week has been filled with lots of turkey fun, and I cannot wait to continue learning about everything Thanksgiving next week. Next week we will be decorating the halls with our Turkey Disguise writing, completing our turkey craftivity, and I am even considering having parents come in to read Thanksgiving books with their child. All this, and I am still racking my brain to figure out how to bring in global learning...more specifically about our country of study {Greece}. Feel free to leave your recommendations below! :)

My sweet husband is off to Maryland this morning to run the JFK 50! Yes, 50 MILES! I have no words and am at a loss to explain why he would EVER consider doing this, but there ya have it. And all he is leaving me with is his stinking cold! So what will I do while he is gone this weekend?

First, I plan to finish sanding and painting this baby white. You will have to stay tuned to see what I plan to do with it.

Next, I plan on drafting my READING rounds product (suggestions on clipart/design welcome) and shortening SMARTIES to SMART for those who would not like quite as many centers.

All this on top of taking fall photographs of my dear sweet nephews and my three little sweeties and a birthday party on Sunday. Whew! Which reminds me... a friend suggested maybe I should sell my stock photos. If you have been following me you know I love taking pictures. Let me know what you think of the photos I posted on The Elementary Entourage. What would you pay for stock photos?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {11.19.14}

{Click on the photo above to be taken directly to the Linky Party!}

I am totally going to use this week to promote a collaborative blog I am a part of. I am so happy to be a part of The Elementary Entourage! Head over there to see what we are talking about....Teaching Tips to be Thankful For! Enjoy!!!

 {Click on the image above to be take directly to The Elementary Entourage}

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