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!


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!


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 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 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!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One of Those Days

We all have them...those days when all your plans are perfect, all your kids are ready, all your materials are laid out, and BAM! distaster strikes anyway. Well, maybe not disaster, but with a broken pinky toe, I hobbled into the building about 5 minutes before my students (I usually arrive about 30 minutes early). My kiddos had lots of papers to give me this morning, including permission slips, weekly folders, homework, BYOD (bring your own device) permission, blah, blah, so they were all trying to figure out where to put what, and didn't get their morning work finished before related arts.

When they returned, I had hobbled all over the place looking for my "time dice" and had made a giant clock from a hula hoop, minutes, hours, and hands made from a yard stick and a ruler. They were NOWHERE to be found! So I tried calling out times for the kids to "set" on the dice (ha!). I was losing them fast, so I passed out the brand new geared clocks to play my Back2Back time game. By the time I explained how to play and they picked partners, it was time for STEM lab, media center, lunch, and recess...all in a row. Pack it up, try again tomorrow.

Tuesdays are the days my mom comes to read to my class. So where was she??? Eyes rolled as I read the story myself. As I introduced my little shamrock freebie to my class, they got really into it, and liked the craftivity, as well as having enjoyed the story, after all.

By now, it's end-of-day...time to write down homework and put "colors" in agendas. All good. Then I checked e-mail. BAM! Our field trip I scheduled in January's confirmation came in. For the WRONG DAY! What??? I spent an hour calling other bus dice, again. Okay, so we'll change the date. No biggie.

What's the moral? Breathe! 
If we don't have these days, we don't recognize the good ones. It's one day in the educational life of your class. Go home. Take a bath - with the jets on. Thank God for this day. Hug your kids. Hug your husband. Love your life, love your job. Think ahead...will any of this be important in ten years? Even ten days? Probably not, so stay smart and keep your balance. In the words of Scarlet O'Hara, "After all, tomorrow is another day!"


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Giant Measurement Standards

Measurement may be one of the best units I teach in math. My kids always love using rulers, measuring tapes, yard and meter sticks, balance scales, and clocks. This year, it just lined up with the timing of my teaching about fairy tales from around the world, so we were reading Jim and the Beanstalk, Jack and the Beanstalk, Kate and the Beanstalk, and Jill and the Giant last week, when I decided to abandon the BORING math books and go with making giants, giant glasses, giant wigs, giant false teeth, and giant beanstalks. 
In case you're unfamiliar with Jim and the Beanstalk, the story is a take on the old Jack, but when Jim reaches the top of the beanstalk, he finds a depressed giant who can no longer see well, eat any fried boys on toast, and is bald, to boot! Jim tells the giant all about glasses, false teeth, and wigs, and then proceeds to have them made for the sad giant. Of course, he must measure the giant's head, mouth, and face, ear to ear, for all the new goodies he's getting, so that's just what we did. 
I drew a few giants and then the kiddos took all these measurements in centimeters. While they measured, I worked on making beanstalks in several lengths. They measured those in inches. It was a great time to show how to start the measuring tape over, how to straighten something not so straight before measuring, and how to determine the best tool to use, rulers, yard sticks, or measuring tapes.
Next, the kiddos used their measurements to create glasses, wigs, and teeth for their giants. Finally, they hung them at the tops of the beanstalks.
Everyone had a blast!

This week, it's on to telling time. We'll be using my own newly revised Time2TellTime unit for most of our activities.
I love all the hands-on activities and games included, and absolutely love the trick my friend Alex taught me about using the front yard and back yard of the clock to tell time. Never heard of it? Me either, until this brilliant 7-year-old showed me!
We'll also be finalizing writing our own fairy tales to have published in a class book...I can't wait! I've never done this before, but I somehow received an e-mail about getting a class book for free. It's hardbound, glossy, and beautiful! Each kiddo gets to put his or her own story and illustration in the book, and all we have to do to get it for free is turn in order forms, whether parents order or not! It's from

If you've hung in there with me for this long you deserve my St. Patty's Day Foldable Freebie! Just click to go to my TPT store and grab yours.

I'm also sharing my plans for the week:

Have a great one!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Currently My Own Can of Worms!

Really? March? It's still way too cold for March. I usually have a tan by now. It's my birthday month, and it feels like freakin' December! Okay, fine. I'm linking up with Farley for March's Currently, even though I really am not so sure it is March.
Yep, I many be Katy's oldest fan (and yes, I just realized I spelled her name wrong, and no, I'm not going to make a new pdf to fix it), but I'm going to see her in Hotlanta in June, and I CAN. NOT. WAIT! I was so stressed about getting tickets the day the went on sale - 10:00, on a Monday? How is a teacher supposed to make that happen? Well, somehow my teacher sister-in-law did, and we're off!
Megan's design for my dream blog - she's super patient, so talented, and really supportive! Worth every single penny, and more!
It's almost 11:00 on a school night...need I say more?
to be warm - can I get an Amen? I know some of you are still snowed in, for like the 99th snow day in a row, but Carolina Girls are not meant to be cold in March! We're supposed to be bronze beauties by now.
a fairy godmother to come finish the details...I have unpacked, and unpacked, and decorated, and unpacked, and searched for stuff, and unpacked, and decorated some more, and unpacked...well, you get the idea. At least the living room is finally coming together, and I found the panini maker tonight!
What are your favorite furry animal, insect, and nocturnal creatures????? I've wanted a bunny since I was a little girl - never had one. I love me some bumblebee classroom decor, but hate bees! And, of course, I love an owl - wise, cute, back in style, balanced on a wire!

So, about that can of worms...I just posted my newest product on TPT, and it's super cute! Check it out here, and let me know what you think.