Saturday, November 30, 2013

Time to Bring Out the Elf!

Last year, I purchased an Elf on the Shelf after seeing so many great ideas on Pinterest!

Last year, I made things up as I went - it was a last minute purchase after all. I decided to go in armed with ideas this year!  So, after some Pinterest browsing, I've created a plan for the upcoming year!

Here's what I came up with. If you click on the picture, it'll take you to a PDF with links to my "Elf on the Shelf" Pinterest board and a free TPT activity I found.

Here's some shots of "Tiptoe" the elf from last year:

 He came in a box surrounded by "snow" from the North Pole with a letter from Santa.

He was waiting in the classroom for them after special area one day. I remember wondering if anyone was even going to point him out. They all came in, sat on the carpet, and no one said a word!

He left them a good morning message with our Scrabble Junior tiles.

He watched from the behavior chart.

He got into some copy room mischief one day and forgot to throw away the evidence!

He even thought he was a puppet!
My second graders really loved looking for him each day. I'm hoping my firsties get  just as excited this year!
I'll tell you about the advent calendar he brings in a post tomorrow. The kids enjoyed it as well. :)

Linking up with Flapjack Resources:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Before we left for break, I created a Thanksgiving photo booth in my classroom. The kids loved it. After I took their pictures, I had them printed and they made cards for their families. The leftover pictures are posted on our classroom door.

Here's the props. If you google Thanksgiving photo props, you can find free, printable ones to use. (I plan on doing a Christmas booth next!)

And here's a shot of me in the photobooth since I won't share the kids photos on the web. I had one of my kids take this shot just for y'all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Auntie Pam

I don't very often double post on my blogs, but I felt like today was a special occasion. We are going to take a break from talking about teaching kids to welcome a new one into the world!

My nephew was born this afternoon so I have spent my day working and my evening at the hospital. Official pictures will come in the future. :)

In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorites from when my sister and I were younger.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five for Friday

This has been a week. I can definitely tell that Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner. On top of all of that, I've been battling a cold in up and down weather.

It's been a while since I've done a link up so here goes...

Last Saturday, I went to a local women's expo with my mom. It was a lot of fun, complete with free massage and lots of goodies. It was nice to spend a girls day out together.

Sunday night was spent writing for a Noir themed event. I even dressed the part. I've had so much fun participating in NaNoWriMo this year!
I got some fun new things in the mail through an online exchange. :)
We made some super cute turkeys today in math to wrap up our Fact Family week. I used this Turkey Craftivity as inspiration but altered it slightly to better fit my classroom. I love the way they connected Part-Part-Whole and Fact Families. This really worked well with my kids. I completely forgot o take pictures today (see #5) but I will snap some on Monday to share with you!
My boyfriend has unfortunately had to hear my complaints all week. I didn't even realize how many little problems there had been in this week until today when he sent me flowers to brighten my dark week. It nearly made me cry. Amazing how he does a great job as my boyfriend even from across the country!
How's your week been? Link up with Doodle Bugs and share all your fun!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another Temporary Freebie!

I've just uploaded another temporary freebie. This one is a word study pack. It is appropriate for first or second grade. We are currently starting double e this week in word study and I thought I'd make some practice pages and activities for my words center. I hope to go back and make similar sets for all of the patterns that we have already covered, including the short vowels, silent e, and l blends. Get it while it's still a freebie! (About a week)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

When I Grow Up...

I know I have mentioned my Community Helpers Packet on here several times in the past week. Part of the reason I created that pack is because this week was Career Week at school. Today, in fact, was Career Dress Up Day.

I always find it hard to pick what to be on dress up days. (Tomorrow is Book Character Day and I still haven't fully figured that one out!) It's always hard for me to pick because there are so many great ideas out there!

For today's dress up day, I decided to go for what I would want to be if I didn't teach.  I would love to be a full time author. I already write and hope to one day publish a book on my own, but it's more of a hobby than a career right now. So, I thought I'd dress as an author for the day...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Workshop Wednesday & Never a Dull Moment

Today I'm linking up with Jivey for Workshop Wednesday. Then, I've got a fun little story to tell you about my day...

This week's Workshop Wednesday topic is to write about a favorite chapter book and what you do with it. Chapter books are one of the things I miss having moved from second grade down to first. Don't get me wrong - we still use chapter books (especially those high firsties) - but not as much.

My favorite chapter book to read aloud to my second graders used to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We would always read it at the end of the year and I would tell the kids to raise their hands if they heard an example of something we'd talked about this year. They found examples of similes, personification, idioms, and so much more as I would read. After we read the book, we would always watch the movie as part of our end of the year celebration.

Last year, we tied the book into our unit on Supply & Demand. We used the book along with several resources to teach the concept of supply and demand. Then, the students got to apply all of their knowledge! They worked through the process of creating a product (using their knowledge of supply and demand) and eventually "sold" their project to students in another classroom. (Play money was used!)  It was amazing seeing what the kids came up with. I will have to root around in my old files and make a more detailed post in the future on this project. It was a great end of the year project where students got to create and share their knowledge through real-world experiences!

And, that concludes my Workshop Wednesday post.

Now, for the interesting story from today. All I can say is there's never a dull moment in our job.

First, let's start by saying this was the coldest day so far this year! The morning started off in the 30's (I still can't believe the high was in the 70's just yesterday!) and only got up to the 50's. 

This morning, one of my kids came waltzing in and proudly announced "I have a gift for you!"  I was picturing a hand-drawn picture (I have too many) or a flower from home. Instead, he pulls out a crinkled water bottle and brings it over to me. (Trash? was my first thought.) I took the water bottle carefully and looked at it. That is when I realized the water bottle wasn't the gift. The gift was what was inside.

Yup, a live lizard! This little boy thought it would make a great class pet for us. (I guess having a fish just isn't enough for them.) I debated what to do with him - keep him inside where I had no cage or food for him or take him back outside to the cold. Either way, I feared for his chances of survival. I eventually chose to take him back outside and hope that his body adjusted quickly to the temperature changes. I could not have handled a lizard getting loose in my classroom.

After I took him outside, I had my students clean up from centers and come to the rug. Then, we proceeded to have a talk about pets and how you should be responsible and prepared before you pick out a pet. I talked about all of the things I had to buy before I got our class fish. Then, I talked about all of the things I had to buy before I got my furbaby, Ella. The students seemed to enjoy contributing to this conversation. Then, we headed outside to the cold to look at the vehicles that came for career day.

What is the most interesting "gift" a student has gotten you?

Don't forget that my Community Helpers Packet is still a *Temporary Freebie.*  I will be changing it to a paid item this weekend so grab it while you can! I have gotten some great feedback on the freebie so far!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Temporary Freebie Alert!

Remember when I told you that I would be working hard on new content for TPT? Well, I got one finished up tonight! I am very pleased with how it turned out!

This packet includes passages and diagrams about community helpers. It is aligned to RI.1.1 & RI.1.7. It gives students practice in asking and answering questions about text. It also gives them diagrams for each community helper to write facts about. A bonus center game is included at the end! There are a total of fourteen different jobs included. I even included soldier in honor of Veteran's Day! 

Head on over to my TPT store to grab this while it's still free (until November 16th).  If you do download it, I would greatly appreciate it if you left feedback.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Temporary Freebies Coming Your Way!

I have some free time finally this weekend. October was a whirlwind of trips, baby showers, and wedding showers. There was something every weekend and I'm happy to simply have survived it all without getting vastly sick.

Unfortunately, the busy time meant quite a few resources that I created for my classroom did not get posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. I will be polishing these this weekend and posting them on TPT for your enjoyment. They will be free for the first week that I publish them and then I will set a price. Keep an eye out for these units coming soon!

Is anyone else having a hard time getting used to the time change?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five for Friday

It's been a while since I've done a link up so here goes...

I had a great 27th birthday party on Sunday despite a lot of last minute cancellations. I also made several new recipes that turned out quite well!

My students practiced base ten skills while rotating between bones of different sizes. They absolutely adored the activity!
I made this awesome Dirt Cake Cemetery for our staff development meeting. Several people asked for the recipe - always a good thing!
A few tables turned into tents using sheets and a glow stick per child made for an awesome Reading Camp In today. Today was awards day at school, which means we don't get much of a break (ten minutes if we're lucky) since the special area teachers are needed for the awards ceremony. Knowing this, I tried to find something fun to fill our normal special area time. That's how our Reading Camp In was formed! The kids loved it!

I even dressed the part. :)
Today is the first day of November, which means the first day of NaNoWriMo (write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days). I met my personal goal of 2000 words today, so I'm one happy writer!
How's your week been? Link up with Doodle Bugs and share all your fun!