Friday, September 23, 2016

Five for Friday 9/23/16

Ahhhh Friday!  How I adore you!  Another Friday evening spent in bed, binge-watching TV shows to clear the DVR.  It doesn't really sound exciting- but I have no complaints!

Here's to Friday and another link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Tonight's binge-watching series is Good Eats!  It's a pretty old show by Alton Brown where he explains the science behind recipes.  Each episode has a theme and right now I'm learning all about vinegar!
 Alton is one of my favorite chefs and I really enjoy watching.

I recently signed up for Kindle Unlimited and I LOVE that I can get Kindle books with Auldible Narration.  Obviously, it's not every book, but I have found a wide selection.  I'm listening to The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson right now and it's really intense.  I have the app on my phone and can download, pop in my ear phones and play.  I listen while I exercise.  It's a great motivator- especially now that I'm toward the end of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm participating in T-A-G Day tomorrow!
I'm putting all of my "All The Leaves are Falling" math centers on sale along with giving away one copy of the word problems activity.
You can find the 3rd-6th grade giveaway here!

Tomorrow is Everybody's Day in my little town.  Everybody's Day is the oldest festival in NC and was created to celebrate- well, everybody!  It began in 1908 and was created as a way to bring the people of Thomasville together.  I look forward to the event every year and I can't wait to go tomorrow.

That is all.

Leave me a note and say hi!  What are you reading? Watching?  Celebrating?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Give Away Time

Oh My Origami!  Check out this give away!

Kinder Teamwork has reached 1,000 followers and is hosting a give away.  She's super sweet, so I've helped her out!

Enter to win one of FIVE prizes!

What?  Five?

Yes!  FIVE!

The grand prize is an Origami Owl lanyard with little school decals inside and a gift card.  You can also will one of the other FOUR gift cards worth $25.00 from TPT or Really Good Stuff. It's perfect for Back to School!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five For Friday! Last week of Summer :(

I had work days last week, but this weekend is my last official weekend before school starts!  So here is my Last Week of Summer Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

My school is doing a Hollywood theme this year.  I decided to have a photo booth with a gold background, props and a digital camera.  While parents were filling out paperwork, students could take pictures.  The teachers loved it too!

I bought this clip art to make the props.  I printed the ones I liked and attached them to straws.  I also had some hashtags available.

My brag tags, which I'm calling Bullpup Awards to fit our mascot AND Hollywood theme were a big hit.  I have a growing bundle in my store if you are interested!

The tags are available in color and black/white.  I'll be adding to them through out the whole year!

 If you saw my post yesterday about MascotGo you have already met my new assistant!

This is Marty McMeow and he joins Anakin PawWalker as the 2nd furry friend.  I never planned on having 2 cats but while I was on vacation, Anakin got out.  My neighbor told me got hit by a car :( so I adopted a kitten that had taken up residence in the bush by my front door.  About a week after Marty came to live with us, Anakin walked his happy tail into the front door when I went out one morning.  So now, I'm the happy mama of 2 furry babies!

I'm so tired.  So. Tired.

How was your week?  I can't wait to hear how it went!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


If you haven't heard, there's a BIG Pokemon craze happening right now!

 Before I really get started sharing, I want to clear something up.  I am NOT creating, or giving away, Pokemon materials.  Why?  I don't own it OR have the rights to produce materials with Pokemon images.  I have seen a TON of products out there and while some of them may have rights to create and sell Pokemon products, I'm willing to bet the majority do not.  I'm not willing to risk my integrity or my business by creating Pokemon products!

(Please excuse me while I jump off my soap box!)

What I do have, is a way to engage your students by linking in with something they are most likely familiar with and excited about.

I had no plans on playing PokemonGo until I learned about the company Niantic.  Niantic is also the creator of an app called Field Trip.  Field Trip is a locating app in that it gives you locations of places to visit based on where you are physically standing, including historically and culturally relevant landmarks.  I also knew that my students would be into PokemonGo and I wanted to experience it so I could relate to my students.

So guess where the PokeStops and gyms are?

You guessed it!  They are located at cultural and historical locations and landmarks.

I started playing in Alabama while I was attending Space Camp and was blown away by all the things I learned that I would not have been aware of had I not been playing.

That's also when I had the idea to bring the concept off the screen and into real life.

Just as a warning, this was a pretty complicated process that required help from my new assistant!

Not really, he's just precious.  His name is Marty McMeow and he is about 6 weeks old!

I went to the local Mighty Dollar and found a bucket (red=my school color), printed a picture of my school's mascot (bulldog), and dug my black glittery duct tape out of the craft box.

After laminating the picture, I used tape to attach it to the red bucket.  I also used the glittery tape to create some lines on the bucket for decoration.

This will be used to play a game I call BullpupGo!  Students will receive a small slip of paper with a problem or task on it.  After solving the problem and having it checked for accuracy, students will crumple the paper into a ball and try to toss it into the bucket.  If they get the ball in the bucket, the "catch" a prize-  which will be a sticker, brag tag or pawbuck.

That's my idea for incorporating popular culture into the classroom-- what new ideas do you have?  Tell me all about them in the c

Thursday, August 18, 2016

First Day of School Hugs

Two years ago, I switched from Kindergarten to 2nd grade.  Suddenly, the 3rd grade testing got very, very REAL.  On the first day of testing last year, I had a spur of the moment brainstorm!

I created a sign above my door that said "Free EOG Hugs here!"  It was a bit on the cheesy side and I wasn't sure how they would react to it... but they LOVED it!  Kids I didn't really know where coming in for hugs and words of encouragement.

My sign last year was crudely hand drawn... but this year I am going to be prepared!

I am creating, ahead of time, a set of Free Hug signs that I can post above my door, where I stand in the morning.  And I'm sharing them with you!

Click on the image below to download a Back to School Sign for free!

How do you encourage your students on the first day of school?

Monday, August 15, 2016

BTS Blog Hop, Freebie and Give Away

Hello!  Welcome to another stop on the BTS Blog Hop and Giveaway!  I hope you have been collecting lots of great classroom management and organizational tips.

I'm going to share TWO of my favorite classroom management strategies that helps keep my lines of communication open at ALL times but without interruptions.

Non-verbal hand signals have saved my sanity!  It is the first tip I offer to teachers who are struggling with interruptions.

I use nonverbal hand signals for several reasons.  First, constant interruptions drive me mad!  Second, I feel that impulse control is something that most young children need to work on.  Third, I want to keep the lines of communication open so children know they can always come to me.  Fourth, part of my job is meeting student's needs and I can't do that unless I know what they are!  However, reason #1 is what started it for me a few years ago.  Click here or on the picture to 
find it in my TpT store!

My other tip for you today helps minimize interruptions during small group or guided reading time.

My No Talk Tiara is a tiara I originally got in a children's princess set for Book Character Day.  The very next day, it became my No Talk Tiara.  I wear it while I am in small group, guided reading or working one on one with a student.

Students know that while I am wearing the No Talk Tiara, they can not interrupt me (unless someone is bleeding, vomiting, being kidnapped or caught on fire!).  They stand on an X that I taped on the floor beside my small group table and wait for me to give them my attention.

I frequently forget to take it off when I am done with small group so I made that a students responsibility!  I kept wearing it around school and wondering why people were telling me happy birthday when my birthday is in the summer!

Thanks so much for visiting!  Remember to enter the giveaway below and click the apple to head to the next hop!  Don't forget to hit the arrow to enter BOTH contests!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 4, 2016

2nd Grade Math Centers

As a Kindergarten teacher, Math center time was a valuable and constant part of my day.  Learning how to move through centers and work independently was one of the first things students learned.
When I moved to 2nd grade, I desperately wanted to bring center time with me.  It didn’t happen my first year.  I was overwhelmed and unprepared.  The curriculum was different and I was lost.  I really struggled to find the perfect fit for 2nd grade.

My 2nd year in 2nd grade was better.  I was familiar with the curriculum and developmental levels of students, but I still struggled with math centers.  There were some great weeks of math centers… but more weeks without.

I spent some time in deep reflection over centers and developed a plan.  Part of my problem was time.  So I decided to tackle Back to School season first.  This meant creating, printing, laminating, cutting and organizing 17 math centers.

The creation part was simple.  I enjoy making activities for my class. 
Here came the problem.  I had 160 pages to print for the first few weeks of school!  I started doing a little research and discovered the HP Instant Ink program.  My first step was buying a new printer.  Mine was old and wasn’t one of the printers on the list.  You can find all the details, including printers and plans, here.

This is my HP OfficeJet 4652 All in One.  My favorite feature is the hassle-free 2 sided printing!

After buying the printer, I went to the website to set up my account.  It was pretty easy and just required some basic information. 

HP Instant Ink made my math center dreams come true!  After printing a large chunk of centers over the span of a couple days, I got an email that I had ink on the way.  WHAT?  Yes, that’s right.  My printer ordered its own ink and told me it was on its way!

If you’re interested in checking out the HP Instant Ink program, you can use my referral link.  Click here or enter fvcRw in the referral box. 

My friend Kayla from K’s Classroom Kreations shared a tip with me that made a HUGE difference.  You can sign up initially for the 300 page package.  It costs $9.99 and sounds like a lot of printing BUT you can use the code FREEINK to get a free month.  If you use a referral link, you can get even more free months!

The HP Instant Ink program has a lot of features that make it a win in my book!
·         You can change your plan at any time.  Need more prints one month? Less?
·         Color prints are treated the same as black/white.  No paying extra!
·         If you go over your plan, it’s only $1.00 for 25 print outs- much cheaper than a print center.
·         Signing into your account lets you check your print count.
·         Did I mention the PRINTER orders the ink? Usually before you even know you need it!
·         Roll over prints!  You can roll over as many pages as there are in your plan.

One thing I want to point out is that I had to wait for my welcome kit with official HP Instant Ink to start the program.  I bought my printer at WalMart and then enrolled in the program.  If you buy a new printer through the website you may not have to wait.

If you would like to check out the math centers I created for August and September, you can find them by clicking on the pictures below.  You can also find other math activities I have created here.

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