Friday, January 30, 2015

Product Swap!

Thank you Melissa for hosting this product swap!

I have had a great time product swapping with Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars. My 2nd graders tried out four of her wonderful products and we enjoyed them all! (Yes, it's true! I couldn't just pick one.)

I was excited to meet Andrea and find out that she is from my home state of Virginia. And not only that, she lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from my father's hometown! Andrea is a Reading Specialist and will be trying out a few of my products on some students she works with.

Each product was a game that my kids played in a small group.
St. Patrick's Day Context Clues Game
Cause and Effect Concentration 
Main Idea and Detail Concentration
Poppin' Fact or Opinion Game

Here are some photos of my 2nd graders using her four products.

You know a game is a keeper when kids ask to play it again the next day or the next week! And yes, this happened!

If I have to focus on one I would say that our all-time favorite is the St. Patrick's Day Context Clues Game! This game is a must have!!! What a great game for this time of year with St. Patrick's Day approaching. It's a great learning game or review game to use with your students. And I just have to say that my class does not play enough games. We need more games like this one! Keep em' coming Andrea!
Here is how it works. The player draws a card and reads the sentence. Then the player figures out what the bold word means. If he is right, he rolls his dice and moves that many spaces. First one to make it to the end wins! One awesome thing I love is that there are answer key cards! Woo-hoo! (Cause sometimes the teacher is tired and needs an answer key. LOL)
Would you like to win Andrea's St. Patrick's Day product? 
Enter below! 
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all the other blogs participating in the product swap!
K-1 is at the top and 2-3 is at the bottom.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The 100th Day of School is Coming Up!!

The 100th Day of School is my favorite day! Today, as I was going through my photos, I found pictures of previous '100th Day of School' celebrations. I thought I would share. Most of these kids I had in kindergarten two years ago. I now have them in my 2nd grade class. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Valentine Exchange

My class has been working on their Valentines for the Valentine exchange! They are super excited! After doing the Gingerbread Man exchange, they were super eager to participate again.

I purchased some assorted puffy sticker hearts for my kids to decorate their Valentines with. When the glitter was broke out, the mess began! I have a standing rule to only use glitter at Christmas time ONLY! Well, I broke that rule this year. As you may have guessed, I am not a big fan of glitter. By the time we finished I had glitter all over my pants (and probably in other places too!) And I was all dressed up and planned on going out to dinner with my husband right after school. I will say that their hearts came out pretty well.  The children were pleased with their work. Here are some photos to highlight their work and show our process.

Love the frames I used for my pictures? Check them out in Ashley Hughes store!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Does Your Teaching Bag Look Like?

Here is my teaching bag. Look familiar? I lug that thing back and forth around with me each day, but as the school year progresses the bag gets fuller. I was just thinking the other day that it was time to clean it out.

My full, messy teaching bag really leads to a bigger problem. I think you already know what that is! We, as teachers, accumulate too much paper! It's true! How many times have you attended a meeting or a workshop where you were given a stapled handout and you never, EVER looked at it again? I know some of you are nodding your heads. You know exactly what I mean! Sometimes those papers end up in a file somewhere. Sometimes those papers end up in a stack on our desks. Heck, some of those papers are in my teacher bag right now and you can see them in the photo above! Ha ha!!! When we start out as new teachers we think we are supposed to save everything. So we do and it ends up being a bad habit. And boy do we need to break it!

Now don't get me wrong, I have attended workshops where I actually needed or wanted to keep the handouts and booklets that were given to me. But let's face it- those are few and far between. I have tried really hard to get in the habit of throwing things away if I am absolutely sure I will never need it again and holding the others for a few months just in case, then tossing it. The key is to purge! Why on earth would I need to hold on to a document from fifteen years ago on a computer program that no longer exists??? Believe me some teachers do. I know because I have moved into their classrooms and have to clean out all their...well, let's say "stuff" that they have so conveniently left behind while they are lounging on a beach somewhere in the world with their retirement clothes on and a icy drink in their hand. (I know, they probably aren't really doing that. They are probably at home sleeping in.)

So I have shown you my bag. I looked through it to see what was actually in there and here is what I found.

*My two notebooks that I use daily
*School Keys and Badge
*The documents from a workshop I attended at the beginning of December
*A bag of cough drops
*PTA meeting documents
*A form I used when I was interviewing new teachers last summer
*My class list (Oh! I need that!)
*Paperwork from a meeting I attended last June
*Beginning of year documents and schedules (what are those doing in there?)
*My Halloween file (ok, now I'm embarrassed)
*A game for R-Controlled vowels
*Another workshop document
*A document I was supposed to fill out and turn in months ago (Opps!)

What's in your bag?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pencil Gripping

Do you have students who can't quite grip their pencils correctly? Using colorful pom poms can solve the problem! You can purchase an assorted bag at any craft store. They come in different sizes and colors. I like to have a wide variety of colors available so my students can choose their favorite one. Have your students hold the pom pom in the palm of their hand using their pinky and ring finger.  The rest of the fingers will naturally hold the pencil correctly. Do this every time they write and the pencil grip becomes a habit.  Eventually, your kids can wean themselves off the pom pom. Such an easy way to solve this problem!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers Newsletter

I was so thrilled today to find my Melted Snowman Writing in today's newsletter! I have been submitting and submitting for the newsletter for almost two years and it finally paid off! Since the newsletter came out it has been downloaded 6,892 times! WOW!

This freebie is a writing activity I created with my 2nd graders last year. The photo above shows the bulletin board in our hallway. Kids enjoy the craft and are encouraged to write because of it. If you would like to download the directions to this freebie CLICK HERE!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The 100th Day of School

My favorite day will be here before I know it! I love the 100th day of School! I have always made a big deal of this day...class t-shirts, snacks, activities, the works! I recently created a new product for my favorite day. It is filled with no-prep printables, writing activities, etc...

Here is one of my highlights! The 100th Day of School chain! Print it on color paper or have the students color it...either way it is great fun to create!