Mar 23, 2014

Georgia Bloggers Meetup

A few months ago I received an invitation from Jayne at Smart Kids to attend a Georgia Bloggers Meetup. Yesterday was the big day! I got to meet 19 amazing teachers and blogger. We had a lot of fun sharing our tricks, creating business plans, and swapping products.
Here are a few photos from our fun day!
photo credit: Smart Kids
We went home with a box full of goodies!
Jessica and I working on our business plan. We have something BIG coming soon!
(PS- if You haven't purchased her poetry pack for April go get it!
 It is awesome! Click HERE)

 The 'City Slickers' table!
Check out my fellow GA Bloggers:
Jayne, Kelly, Angie, Stacy, Tara, Valerie
The Teacher Wife
Funky Fresh Firsties
...And They All Fall Down...
Georgia Grown Kiddo's

Jennifer, Carol, Kathy, Meghan, Kim, Irma, Megan


Michelin, Jessica, Greg, Erin, Alison


Feb 16, 2014

Integrating Social Studies into Reading

We recently started teaching one of my favorite Social Studies units… Civil Rights! In this unit we focus on the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. I wanted to incorporate this unit into my reading groups, so I went browsing in the amazing leveled library at my school.

Well, there was not a book about on any of the civil rights leaders for my lowest group, so I selected What is Government? by Ann-Marie Kishel. It was a perfect introduction of how the government helps us and the jobs within the government. During their computer rotation this group watched the Local and State Government video on Brain Pop Jr.

Most of the students in my middle group read on a level K or L, and I found the perfect book for them. We read Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rapport. Although, I have taught second grade for several years, this was my first time reading this book. Let me say, it will be read every year from now on.  My students really got into the discussion with this book. There was a lot of deep thinking about what influenced Martin, how African-Americans felt, and the reasons behind a non-violent movement. I was surprised how long it took us to get through the book because of our discussions! One of my students even picked Martin’s Big Words for her ‘The Book You Must Read’ opinion writing topic.

For my third group I selected The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles. Before we started reading this book I asked my students to make a list in their journals of ways their classmates are different. I have to share the conversation that happened immediately after giving the directions:
Student 1: I’m black and he is white.
 Student 2: Well, that’s just racist.
Student 1: It is a difference. I’m a girl and you’re a boy. So what?
I had to stop them there. They were hitting the mark with the point of the activity! I wanted them to write down more examples before we got too far into our discussion. Needless to say we spent the rest of our time discussing differences and how we’re are treated fairly. While reading the book in the following days we also had some deep discussions about how brave Ruby was and the type of person she had to be to not get defeated.

To continue integrating the social studies curriculum into reading I selected close reading passages about civil rights leaders for each group to do this week. If you have not tried ReadWorks you must! It’s free! They have a ton of leveled passages.
Like a lot of the country, we got hit with a snow/ice storm last week. This caused us to have 3 days off, so I  put my creativity to work and created a Famous African-Americans: A Black History Month Pack.
Click on the picture to check it out.
I included seven activities for ten famous African-Americans: Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall , Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, and Jesse Owens.
I am excited to use this pack within my reading groups and social studies lessons. I hope you will find this helpful in supplementing your own lessons.

Feb 1, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday Sale

I really do love football! What I love more than football is a TPT sale! To help cheer on the Seahawks, I am having a 20% off sale in my TPT store. Click on the link below to check it out… everything is on sale!!

I’m going to try to be productive today. My husband is out have ‘guy’ time with a friend, and my to-do list is mighty long. I have so updates to do, lesson plans to revamp, and I am feeling creative. Better get started!

Dec 27, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I love the holidays! It means time spent with my family, time to relax, and time to catch up! My hubby and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrating with his family and mine. Our puppy Rosie is still exhausted from all the fun!

This was the picture on our Christmas card. Rosie was kind enough to stand-still for a few minutes for me to quickly snap this picture.

My husband gave be a Silhouette for our one year anniversary (get it… paper!). I have really enjoyed crafting on the weekend with it. It is super simple to use! I have made several banners… my specialty. I am thinking Etsy may be a venture I should look into.

Winter break means I have the time to do what I love.
I decided to update some of my older products… some really needed a face lift! If you already own my Types of Nouns pack or my Spring into Learning pack make sure you download the updates. I plan on redoing a few other items, so look out for updates.
Click the pictures to see the products in my store.
Can you tell I am loving the polka dots and chevron banners?

What else have I been up to?

I collaborated with a friend and coworker to create two amazing products. Jessica Zaninni is a mother, teacher, and  very creative TPT seller. She has more experience in the upper grades than I do, so I asked for her help with two 3rd and 4th grade products. Check them out in my TPT store. I think we make a pretty fantastic team.
This product has been requested by many of my TPT followers. Jessica did a fantastic job, every ELA, Reading, Writing, Speaking/Listening vocabulary word you can think of is included in this set. I hope you all enjoy our labor of love.
 This is another product that I had several requests for. I  am so grateful for Jessica's help and expertise with these 4th grade ELA EQs and I Cans.
Now, what should we do for New Years Eve? I guess I need to make some plans.

Sep 15, 2013

The First 30 Days

It has been a very busy first month of school for my students and myself! There has been so many times that I have thought about typing a blog post, but became distracted with other ‘must-dos’. L It’s Sunday, and usually I go to a body sculpt class at the Y, but I am going to skip that today to relax, watch some football, and share some of our exciting projects.

This year I am blessed with the opportunity to teach the advanced math class. For my county this mean that the first unit I teach is a ‘recap’ of the first semester math standards, then I start teaching unit 4 (addition & subtraction with regrouping). Basically, by January I will be teaching 3rd grade math to my class. I was super pumped when I found out this was the plan… I LOVE curriculum and am excited to teach third grade standards to my second graders.

In the recap unit I had to cover place value, of course. This is one of my favorite units, and I was kind of sad we had to ‘fast forward’ through it. We still had fun though!

During math centers the kids practiced writing numbers in standard, expanded, and word form on the Activboard.


Math is an easy subject to incorporate food into…. and FOOD = FUN! I gave each kid a three-digit number. They had to write it in standard, expanded, and word form. Then, they got to build it using BIG Cheese-It’s (hundreds), pretzel sticks (tens), and chocolate chips (ones).

In Social Studies we learn all about our state: Georgia! The first unit is all about how Georgia is unique. They learn about the five regions, landforms, and rivers. Our culminating project is a salt-dough map of the state.

The dough is made out of flour,  salt, warm water, and a bit of oil. I made two batches the night before to save instructional time. 
The first day they cut out their maps of Georgia and glue it to cardboard. I gave them each a handful of dough to spread across their map. They had to pinch the dough to form mountains in the regions where they are located.

Day two involved painting the maps. First, they painted to entire map green. Next, they used red to outline the regions and blue to draw the rivers. Last, they painted the mountains brown. I am very thankful that I had a parent volunteer to help out, in addition to my team-teacher and a parapro.

Although, my class this year is very chatty, they LOVE to learn! I love their eagerness, it gets me excited every morning when my alarm goes off!

Aug 17, 2013

TPT Sale!

It’s that time again! The Teachers Pay Teachers
Back-to-School is coming!

This adorable graphic is from Zip-A-Dee-Doh-Dah Design. You can get it HERE for free.

Starting tomorrow is you enter the code BTS13 at checkout you can get 10% off. I am also having a HUGE sale at my TPT shop… everything is 20% off. Enter the code and you can get up to 28% off!
Click HERE to check out my shop & sale!

Don’t forget to leave feedback on your purchases. You earn TPT credits that way, which means you can get more goodies!

Aug 13, 2013

Classroom Digs... My classroom tour! - Teacher Week!

Hello! Thanks for stopping by.
I am linking about again for Teacher Week with Blog Hoppin'.

I am very excited to share my home away from home with your today. I must warn you though of two things….
1. I took these photos with my phone, so they may be a bit blurry.
2. I totally forgot to take a picture of my students desks. Whoops!
This is the view when you walk in my door. It is my mini-teacher station. My laptop and document camera must go there in order to connect to the Activboard. I love my document camera!

Here is the rest of my board. The purple pocket chart is for reading centers, and the T-Chart is for I Cans and Essential Questions. See my mobile word wall below? I love it and the kids do too.
This is my real teacher station... although I am never really at my desk. Behind my desk are my personal children's books on one shelf, and my TEs and binders on another. I wish I would have taken a close up of my teacher utility box (the purple box to the right of the window).
My writing wall!
Here is where I do get to sit down every so often. This is my small group area. Ignore the mess on the table, my students' 'backpacks' are drying.
Computer station and math tubs! The top row of the math tubs will soon be filled with leveled games to play when they finish their work early during math. The next two rows are filled with manipulatives, and the bottom rows are for clipboards.
This is my favorite area of the room. I love my READ board and library.
I spent a lot of my post-planning and pre-planning time scanning, sorting, and leveling my library. The fiction books are sorted by guided reading level and the non-fiction are sorted into categories.
This is my supplies/mailbox/work area and my word wall. The space to the right of the word wall will be for my math vocabulary words. The trays of paper were from Open House... ignore those.
Here is my behavior 'wall'. Clip chart, expectations, rewards & consequences, and goals. I wish this wasn't so blurry.
Lastly, this is my jobs chart. I love, love, love how it turned out!
Now, just picture student desks in the middle of the room!
Off to relax now. I hope to see you tomorrow for another Teacher Week post.