Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers!

After months of shopping Teachers pay Teachers and mulling over whether I should join the ranks of thousands of teachers selling their products on this amazing site I have decided to take the plunge and create my own shop.  Thanks to those of you who have purchased my products!  There is something deeply gratifying about creating a great tool to use in my own classroom and then sharing it with other amazing teachers!  (And I must admit it is highly slightly addicting to receive an email stating another product has sold and to watch the download count on my free items go up!)  If you have a moment, stop by, take a look, and follow me!

I am inspired to create...this is just the spark I was looking for!

Some ideas for upcoming items:
- An Election 2012 unit.
- Word Wall Word display
- Spelling Pattern sorts for individual practice
- Math strategy posters
 I'm open to suggestions, too!  What do you need for your classroom?

I have added 2 new products to my shop this week.  One is an opinion writing unit using Amy Krouse Rosenthal's and Tom Lichtenheld's book, Duck! Rabbit!  Another product is an informational writing unit using Gail Gibbons' book, Apples! as a mentor text.

Here are a few freebies to give you a sneak peek!

Thanks for making a girl feel appreciated:)

I hope you're having a STELLAR day in your little part of the world!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Feeling More Like Fall! is finally cooling down!  Yesterday I rocked my new mustard colored deep v-neck sweater to our neighborhood block party.  It felt sooo good to wear skinny jeans and a sweater, drink a little cider, and sit around a bonfire.  Bring on all things fall!

This week we are diving into beginning of the year assessments.  We have a math assessment, three writing prompts examining narrative, opinion, and information styles, and the SRI!  (Did I mention, it's only second grade?!)  To help my little ones along, Monday and Tuesday of this week I am reviewing narrative writing before administering the 3 day (yes, that's right! 3 day!) narrative writing assessment.  The first day of the assessment, the students brainstorm their topic and use a graphic organizer to sketch and write a few details about the beginning, middle, and end of their story.  On day 2, the children use their graphic organizer to begin writing their narrative piece on lined paper.  The third day, students edit, revise, and write the final draft of their piece.  We use a district created writing rubric to assess their work.

We are only 5 days into the school year and I need to review components of narrative writing before we dive into the assessment.  No big deal;)  I created a short unit using Brian Lies (pronounced "Lees") amazing book, Bats at the Library.  In the unit, I included a Narrative Writing anchor chart to display in the writing center.  I plan to post some of the students' narrative writing pieces with the anchor chart as samples.  I also created a graphic organizer to record the beginning, middle, and end of the story as well as a chart to keep track of interesting words in the story.  Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download the unit for your classroom!

Click the link below to get a free copy of the Interesting Word graphic organizer!

I hope it's cooling off where you live!  Make it a great week!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Addition and Subtraction Key Word Sort

Oh. My. Goodness.  The first week of school has been busy, exciting, and e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g.!  I have a great group of little sweeties and I am excited to be their teacher this year!  Seriously, their enthusiasm and smiles are contagious!

But...WHOA...what a shock on the system to go from summer fun and relaxing to working full time, being a mom, a wife, and taking my last grad class before I write my thesis.  Just 2 weeks ago I was sleeping until 10:00 each morning and my biggest decision was pool or beach. I'm tired.  Just tired.  I'm sure I will have a greater appreciation for sleeping in on Saturday mornings!

Today we were reviewing some of the key terms for addition and subtraction and one of my kiddos said, "This is fun! Can we sort these words?"  Well...of course we can!  I created this little activity for tomorrow morning.

I hope you are having an amazing start to the school year!  Tomorrow is Friday....ahhh....

Click here to download the {Addition and Subtraction Key Word Sort} file.

Happy Thursday night:)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Vowel Team Poster UPDATE:)

I'm in that, "I can't believe school starts on Tuesday" mode and can't relax!  I have been working on school stuff all day and my mind keeps racing on!  I'm hoping by getting it out of my system today I can actually relax and soak up all of the snuggles and cuddles I can from my little one tomorrow before we are back to the daily grind.

Over the summer I spent some time tweaking and revamping my vowel team posters that I had previously posted.  My teaching partners and I are increasing our time spent working with words and vowel teams this year.  I want to include an anchor chart display focusing upon the vowel teams in a prominent place in my classroom.  So...this is what I came up with...

I partitioned my whiteboard using bulletin board trimmer and created sections for our weekly spelling list, word wall words, the spelling pattern of the week, and vocabulary.  (The fifth title you see "P.A.W. Award Winner" is part of our building behavior management plan.)

I created vowel team posters giving the specific name of the vowel team, examples of words highlighting the vowel team, and gave visual interest to the word by writing consonants in blue and vowels in red.

 I have posted these posters in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can find them by clicking on this link: {Vowels Make the Words Go Round!}

For all of you teachers out there who have been back in school for a few weeks, I hope you enjoy the extra day off tomorrow!

For all of my teaching friends in Michigan, enjoy one more day before we head back to reality!!

~ Nichole


Helllloooo!  After a much needed, relaxing, care-free summer, it's time to head back to the classroom and get back in the routine of blogging.  I seriously have debated for a few weeks whether or not to continue blogging since I haven't posted much of anything all summer long.  Yet, as soon as I stepped back into my classroom to prepare for my new batch of kiddos, I quickly realized I have a lot of ideas to share and what better way to do that than to blog about them!  I have been stalking all of the great teacher-bloggers out there and I am uber-inspired!  Amy Lemons from Step into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons and Hope from 2nd Grade Shenanigans are seriously amazing!  I want to be just like them when I grow up:)

Each summer I spend weeks trying to let my mind wander and relax and push school further and further out of my brain.  Every summer...until this summer!  Pinterest is amazing for so many reasons...yet I found myself up at midnight each night scrolling through amazing images from other teachers' classrooms and ended up creating a gigantic to-do list for myself.  One item I saw that I just knew I had to have is the check-in board!

In my eight years of teaching, I've never lost someone (Whew!  It feels good to say that!)  BUT....I have come close. You know that moment when you're working with a small group and someone leaves to go to the bathroom, someone else leaves for a reading group, someone else leaves for testing, someone else has to go to the bathroom, then a students remembers where they left their library book after weeks and weeks of it being MIA and heads in search of it....and...before you know it...the fire alarm goes off and you're like, oh, this is just perfectly awesome timing and you start counting kids like they're ducklings as you head out the door?!  I'm hoping the check-in board helps with a scenario just like this one and all of the other crazy moments throughout the school day.

Here is what I created!

My check-in board is hanging right on the front door of my classroom at my students' level.  The plan is that they all start "in the classroom" at the beginning of the day.  If any student is absent, I will move them to the "other" category and write an "A" by their name.  The students will then be responsible for moving their number to the appropriate category as they come and go throughout the day.  {BONUS!  Did you notice I only have 22 students this year?!  LOVE!}

Head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers to download your own FREE headings and labels to get started on your own check-in board!

I hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend!!!