Sunday, 27 July 2014

Two Stars & a Wish

Hey Everyone,
I've teamed up with some AWESOME Second Grade Bloggers to share some great 
Back to School Tips with all of you!

What a fun way to get some quick and easy ideas for your classroom!

My first STAR idea is one that I use almost everyday. It's a quick and easy way to keep track of student progress. I like to know who is "getting it" and who needs extra help so I can challenge and meet with the students in question. I walk around with a clipboard and my Quick Assessment Sheet and I simply jot down the names of the students in the correct boxes. I do this for a variety of activities, from math concepts to specific areas of reading response and writing. 

This particular photo depicts a math concept. When assessing reading response and writing, I usually pick a specific area for that particular piece. For example, I may just look at voice or structure for one piece of writing. I don't always assess all areas for every piece. The same goes for reading response, I may only look at meaning for one piece and connections the next time!

You can grab a free copy of this sheet (also included are sheets for Writer's Workshop and Reading Response) or you can create a template for your own that best suits your needs!

Grab this Quick Assessment Freebie HERE! 

I don't know about your kiddies but every year I have a few that cannot get organized! Even though I am SUPER DUPER organized and make sure everything has a "home," these little sweethearts just can't seem to keep up! My second STAR is about helping kiddies get organized. Here is what I do! I help them organize their desk and/or locker (usually both!). We do this together. Then we take a photo of the organized area and we stick it in that place. Every time the student opens his/her desk or locker, he/she sees the picture and is reminded of how to keep it in order! I also tend to do spot checks and give little rewards when it's well organized. 

  I work in an inner city school and we have many struggling students. In turn, my students often come to me as emergent readers My goal this year is to put more focus on letter/sounds at the very beginning of the school year.  I often move too quickly and just review them by pointing at the sound charts each day. This year I want to delve deeper into this instruction with ALL students (I tend to only focus on that with my weaker readers). To accomplish this WISH I created a fun little pack that I call: 

This pack includes four activities for each letter/sound. 

Finding words: Students walk around the room and find words that contain the specific letter/sound.

Write a story: Students write a short story, using as many words as possible with the specific letter/sound.

Draw a picture: Students draw a picture of something that contains the specific letter/sound in its name.

Read a story: Students read a story that contains many words with the specific letter/sound and answer comprehension questions.

This pack is so much fun because it can be used in a variety of ways! From literacy centers, to homework and morning work, etc... 
We are going to have so much fun reviewing our sounds in September!

Check this pack out right HERE and download the preview 
for a sample of the four activities.

I hope you enjoyed these idea! Please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram, and my Teacher Store.

For more great ideas from over 40 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Until next time...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. Bruno Mars

O.M.G. my cousin got me tickets for Bruno Mars this week and he was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! I can't even begin to explain it! This dude is the REAL DEAL! By far, one of the best performances I have ever seen in my life! 

2. Spending Time with the Pups

He's not actually a puppy, he's 9 years old, but he thinks he's a puppy and that's fine with me! He is my very best running partner and is a great frisbee player!


3. Getting my Tan on

I love friends who have pools! HEHE!
 I've been doing what I like to call Pool Hopping and it's AWESOME! 

4. Baking

When you have a pool, I bake for you! These came out great and they were delicious!

5. Getting my TpT On!

I want to make sure that I don't go too crazy during the school year! I am creating centers and packs for the first few months!

Here are a few of my Back to School Packs!


I cannot wait to use my Magic Crayons Pack at the beginning of this school year! I've even purchased crayons to give as gifts. They will be MAGIC crayons (of course) and will be used for special activities!

Last year we had a BLAST with my "Back" to School Pack

I just also placed 20 of my craft templates and writing stationary into a TEMPLATES & STATIONARY only pack! Check it out HERE!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Students in Disguise

Hello Everyone, 
I am soooo excited to tell you about my Students in Disguise Pack. We had sooooooo much fun with it last year. It was such a great way to begin the school year!

This pack is filled with fun activities like...

Moustache the Room

Poems and Riddles

Draw a Detective (Listening Activity)

Check it out HERE!
 There are enough activities to last for the 
whole first week of school!

I also have a fun Interactive Read Aloud to go along with it!
You can check that out HERE!

I also have a sweet little freebie for you! I bought moustache chocolate molds from Michael's and made each student a moustache chocolate! Made for a great first day picture!

You can grab the label HERE!

Have a Fan"STASH"tic day!
Until next time...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Basket Filled with Tricks - Keeping Students Engaged!

Hello Everyone, 
I hope you are all enjoying your day so far! I just wanted to write up a quick post about some things I use in my classroom to keep students engaged! There are thousands upon thousands of fun ways to get the kiddies motivated and I can't wait to share more with you, but these were the only things I actually had at home! The rest is all back at school (so more of these fun posts to come in the near future)! 

The number one thing that keeps my kiddies motivated, every year, is movement. Especially my little active boys, who can't sit still! There are so many variations of brain breaks out there, from YouTube videos, to task cards, to actual mini-workouts for kids! I love all of these fun options! They are great ways to give the kiddies a break and get them back on the right track. 

This is my all time favorite video! My colleague introduced it to me and the kids can't get enough of it. In fact, I GO BANANAS too! It's so much fun!

This dude is a riot!

There are also fun ways to incorporate movement during academic lessons! 
Here are some of the fun "PROPS" we use to have fun!

1. Clipboards

Oh, how kids love clipboards. We usually use them for Read/Write the room or taking surveys, but last year, I have to say, I just handed them out for random activities. 
All of a sudden Ms. Nicole was like, 
"Today, we are going to review subtraction. Grab a clipboard and get started!" You can pick them up at any Dollar Store and they last forever! I also love how serious and official the kiddies look when carrying them around! 

2. Magnifying Glasses

When people ask me what I would do if I hadn't chosen the best professional in the world, I answer: A Detective. AND... I'm kinda serious! I love that stuff! Guess what! So do the students! I use magnifying glasses all the time, especially during centers. The easiest way is to use teeny, tiny fonts! One fun activity is to type your theme words in a small font and have students use the magnifying glasses to decipher the words. You can also hide words in a picture and have them search for them. 

3. Binoculars

What better way to go searching for words, than using binoculars. A colleague sent some over for me and the kiddies just love it! They go on little missions and find as many words as they can! I usually give them some instructions (find words with the "bl" blend or "s" sound). 

4. Funny Glasses

My students always want to go to the reading corner. They love to read and what's more, they love to wear funny glasses while doing it! The Dollar Store tends to have a great selection and I also have a giant clown pair that I use when applying band-aids! Basically, it goes like this. They come crying and I take out my giant glasses and say: "MMMMMM, let me see if I can find your cut!" This seems to stop the crying right away and put a big smile on their faces!

5. Stamps

Now, I know how we don't like messes. TRUST ME, I know! I'm the queen of OCD and a class full of 7 year olds often puts me in what I call "AHHHHH!" situations! I do, however, get out of my cleanliness comfort zone because I love the kiddos and well, trust me it's all worth it! PLUS, once you train them, they get pretty good at keeping things clean and organized. Stamps are fun because the kiddies just love them. We use them to stamp words and we even use them in math to stamp out answers or patterns. Of course, I do not suggest giving all 24 kids stamps at once!
I would probably faint!

6. Highlighters & Pointers

Nothing like spicing up a shared reading lesson with some funny pointers and highlighters. The students love to use "Witchy Fingers" and other pointers when reading along. They also love to highlight important words in the text. I usually have them highlight theme words or even words with the sounds we are working on at that time.

All of these "PROPS" can be found at the Dollar Store and are quite inexpensive. 
Simply put, they are quick and fun ways to spruce up learning!

Be sure to check out some of my Back to School Packs on TpT!

I'll be blogging all about the fun we had last year, with my Students in Disguise Pack!

Until next time...

Friday, 18 July 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. Missing Vegas!

I spent last week in Sin City with my two very best friends and thousands of other amazing teachers!
Learned a lot and had loads of fun! 

You might recognize my friend Valerie from All Students Can Shine 
and my friend Leslie from First Grade Frenzy.

2. Back to Fitness!

A week away means that I didn't make it to my regular gym appointments nor did I hang out with my good pal Shaun T. I just started the Beta calendar for T25 and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! 
Love how this guy keeps me in shape!!!

Learn more about T25 HERE!

3. Swiping the Card!

As the end of July approaches, the Back to School merchandise makes its appearance and I can't help but shop, shop, shop! Here are just a few things I picked up at Target yesterday! YES, I LOOOVE Summer, but I think I might like school supplies more!!! 
Is there a group I can join... 
I may be in need of some help... 

4. A Little "MOI" Time!

I love to read! During the school year I probably read one book a month, but in the Summer I go through one every few days! I love to read all styles and genres and am currently into a little "horror" phase! I also love fitness magazines and my guilty pleasure is US Weekly! I also love beauty and fashion blogs, and of course anything education related!

5. Getting my TpT On!

I have spent the last few Summers abroad (which was amazing) and found myself running around all year trying to catch up. This year I am spending my vacation in my beautiful city (Montreal) and am getting a little head start on some work! 

Here are a few of my Back to School Packs!


My Back to School Bundle includes a Writing Prompts Pack, a Comprehension Coloring Pack, a Phonics Pack, a Word Search Pack, a Craftivity, and an Interactive Read Aloud. Each of the packs can also be purchases individually. 

Last year we had a BLAST with my Students in Disguise Pack

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...