Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Hard Drive...the Good and the Bad!

Oh. my. goodness! Last week, my computer was going a little nutty. I couldn't print. I couldn't blog. I couldn't save anything. Really, it was pointless for me to have the dumb thing! The sweetest tech-lady came from the district office and installed a new hard drive in my laptop. Awesome! It's so fast, and it prints, and I can save files, and all sorts of crazy regular things! I love, love, love having a new hard drive, but, and mine's pretty big (HA!), 
I am such a doofus and cannot, for the life of me, remember any of my passwords for anything! You know, you get used to Google Chrome saving your passwords for your e-mail, your blog, your Pinterest account, even your TPT account. Great - now mine doesn't know. I've reset all kinds of passwords, but now I can't remember the new ones. And for some, I can't remember the old ones to be able to change them to new ones! Oh my! What's a girl to do???
This is not to mention, although I am, right here and now, the 1,265 fonts I had installed that were gone into the stratosphere, somewhere (I've re-installed most)! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining! I am so super grateful for the new hard drive, the faster speed, the fact that my computer actually works, and all the rest. I'm just sayin', what do you do when you have no idea what your usernames and passwords were? Any ideas out there would be great... After that, I plan on using this from www.hellocuteness.com:
Isn't that just so cute??? Honestly, I can't wait to remember them all, so I can start using the cuteness!

XOXO,
Brooke

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mentor Text...A Fair Bear Share

I'm linking up tonight with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text Memo. I love this linky party, because I never fail to learn about lots of great books that can help me make my teaching better! I've always thought the best way to start a math lesson was with reading, and when Stuart Murphy came on the scene a few years, okay, a lot of years back, I was in heart with him. One of the hardest skills for my second graders to understand is addition with regrouping. Now, don't be confused. They can do addition with regrouping, but they rarely understand why the algorithm works. And that really bothers me. Really bothers. So, I stopped teaching the algorithm altogether. So, I wouldn't necessarily introduce addition with regrouping with the book I'm going to show you tonight, but I love to use it after kids figure out that regrouping makes sense, on their own.

According to Stuart Murphy's website, this book is for kids aged six and older, but isn't in the seven and older category. I'm not sure I understand that, because this book is pretty tough and goes through a tough concept, but, hey, who am I to judge? Maybe it's the bears...too cute? I can't even guess, so I'll quit trying. Let me tell you about the book and give you a great link to check it out. Then you can decide.

Mother bear wants to make her famous pie, and needs several ingredients to be gathered from the forest and meadows. She sends her cubs out to get enough ingredients, but one cub is, shall we say, a little lazy? She'd rather eat and play than work to get what they need. For each ingredient, the other cubs' findings are added up. The pictures are a great representation of using expanded form to regroup, which is why I save it for later in my teaching. I do not give away that little gem of information! Trust me. The kids always get there, as long as they have a firm foundation in place value and truly understand the value of each digit.

Here's the link to the book's own page. For each of Stuart Murphy's books, there is a webpage, which always includes several activities for further exploring the concept taught within the pages. I love that, and often share them with parents. There are also usually printable PDFs for teachers, and they are perfect for us to use to follow up on the books. Love that, too!

Thanks for hosting, Amanda! Y'all have a great week this week...it's our last one before the long-awaited Spring Break!!!

XOXO,
Brooke

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Currently Helping Neighbors in Need

Good...ness! It's been for.ev.er. since I blogged, y'all! Well, I'm back, with a fun and philanthropic Easter Math Centers Bundle and a link-up to Currently.

Check that last one...thank you, snow. You were pretty, but not worth a Saturday workday at the end of the year!

Check out my new addition (with addition included) to my TPT store:
This super-easy and cute bundle comes with six math stations. All proceeds now through Easter 2014 will go to the Berthrong family, who lost all their belongings in a fire last night. This precious family made it out, pets and all, but have absolutely nothing, except the clothes they had on. My sweet former student didn't even have on a pair of shoes. Thanks for helping them by counting your blessings, and your eggs!

XOXO,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Manic Monday


Keepin' it balanced on a Monday is a feat, in and of itself, but after one four day week, and beginning another, including one field trip, state testing, and a modified schedule, it really was a little whole lotta MANIC! I know I could use a freebie, so I'm thinkin' some of you could use one, too...

This easy card game can be played by individual students, partners, or small groups. Kids just match up the monster cards, with money cards. You can glue this game to colored paper and laminate the pieces to play concentration with these cards, too! Just click on the picture above to get your copy, and try to keep your sanity until TWO-sday...stay tuned to see what that's about!

XOXO,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workshop Wednesday

I'm super-excited to link up with my birthday bloggy buddy, Jessica, at Ideas By Jivey to share this awesome product with you! When I moved to second grade a few years back, it seemed that all the other teachers had "morning work" they used to keep their students busy while the teachers took attendance, lunch counts, receipted money, etc. I was SO not used to having to assign anything like that, having taught older kids. Anyway, I had no idea what to assign. For a few weeks I scrapped around and had one of the teachers e-mail me her morning work, which was on the Polyvision Board, but she'd forget, and I'd feel like a moocher asking, and I ended up just throwing old worksheets on desks each morning to review random skills I'd taught at some point in the year.

Last year, BAM! I found IT...THE product...the end-all, be-all fantabulous morning work! And it was all Common Core aligned, and it was all spiraling, and it was awesome! I bought the packet withing moments of finding it. So simple...Second Grade Common Core Morning Work, by Second Story Window rocks my world! Here's a sample page from the preview on TPT:
You can click on the sample page to go straight to this product. Be aware that it is 180 pages - one for each day of school, and requires lots of copying and should probably be comb-bound. Ideally, you'd want to purchase this in advance of a school year and have it all ready to go on the first day, so your class gets the routine and spiraling skill sequence down as soon as possible. That said, Second Grade Common Core Morning Work has saved my life, sanity, and far exceeds the board work I tried so hard to emulate during that first year in second grade. It covers every reading and math skill, sometimes before I do, which is great for building background knowledge for when I get to those skills, and sometimes afterward, also great for keeping skills fresh all year long! Best $26 I ever spent!

XOXO,

Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patty's Day SALE & Freebies

I just realized how quickly this year is flying by me! When I read my principal's weekly newsletter, containing the schedule for state testing, I was blown away - I can't believe it's already that time of year. I've just been teaching along, in my own little world I guess, and haven't noticed, 

although June 6th does still seem an awfully long way off!

Really, it's just now St. Patty's Day (which just happens to be my birthday) and time for my Birthday SALE!

And here are my plans for the week:

With my new blog's having just been set up, I'm still tweaking things, but I wanted you all to know that I've added some freebies on the freebies page! I know, that should have come right away...my sister-in-law told me that's the first place she goes on a blog, and she wouldn't have followed mine if she'd seen it blank! It's a good thing she's already a follower, and a great sounding board for my blog...so thanks to Shella, there are a few freebies posted, and more to follow ASAP, I promise!

XOXO & The Luck O' the Irish to Ye,

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Power of Prayer in Numbers

You know, we never know others' journeys as we go about our days. Just when we're checking for a full moon, we realize our stresses are absolutely nothing, when compared to the lives that others are living! Please go to The Crazy School Teacher to read about her student's story and how she's trying to help make a family's last days together be full of wonderful memories. Leave her some love and encouragement through your comments. Then, count your blessings, kiss your kids, and hug your hubby!