Woo-hoo!  It looks like we'll FINALLY be having a full week of school this week.  I'm tired already!  I just wanted to drop in and make sure you all know about the fantastic sale Teachers Pay Teachers is having at the end of this week!
(button shared by Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs)
Now I have to tell you, when I first heard about this sale, my initial thought was -- oh wow!  they're having a sale to celebrate my one year TpT anniversary!  That's right, this Friday will mark one year for me on TpT.  Now, my sales are nowhere near 3 million strong... but I'm loving the fact that everyone will be celebrating along with me.  Everything in my store, along with so many other great shops, will be on sale for 20% off this Thursday and Friday.  That means 20% off to start, and then, if you remember to enter the promo code TPT3 (and I admit, I sometimes forget to do it!), you get another 10% off - that works out to 28% off.  My wishlist is getting really long, so I'm excited to do some shopping! 
If you're looking for an easy way to find other great stores joining the sale, I've got you covered.  I'm linking up with Pinkadots Elementary to add my store to an ever-growing list of great places to shop for the sale.
Click on the image above an scroll to the bottom of the post to see the linky.
Now, I'm not a huge fan of promoting my products on my blog, so I'm giving you a product alert - you can stop reading now and join me shopping later this week, or you can read on for a peek at a few of my updated SPRING resources!  I am sooooo ready for spring - any sign of it would be welcome.  I was talking with my kiddos today about how we'd know when spring came, and one of them said, "One sign of spring will be when Ms. G. doesn't put on her long sweater because she's cold!"  Ok, I guess I have been putting that thing on in the classroom just about every day for weeks.... Here are a few signs of spring you can check out in my TpT store:
An easy and fun writing activity perfect for the beginning of spring!  I use the completed writing pieces to make a colorful display in our hallway.
And what says spring like robins?
This unit is filled with robin facts and fun - all aligned to the Common Core and can be used in so many different ways.
And finally, how about some spring holiday fun?
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Catch-a-Leprechaun-a-mini-writing-unit-588330         http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/St-Patricks-Day-writing-Potato-Parade-1116345
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/St-Patricks-Day-Centers-Math-and-Language-Arts-Bundle-588224         http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Easter-Math-and-Language-Arts-Centers-and-Activities-Baskets-and-Bunnies-615107
I will definitely be happy when I can start using all my spring activities.  Hopefully you have had some spring weather where you are.  Have fun and do some spring shopping at TpT at the end of this week.  Enjoy!


Hello out there.... has ANYONE been in school lately?  All these weather issues have really put my plans into a tailspin.  Last week we had a regular day on Monday, the 100th day on Tuesday, a regular day on Wednesday and then 2 days off for snow - and we don't go back until Wednesday!

Today is sort of a double post for you - well deserved because I haven't exactly been steaming up the blogging world with my posts lately...  I also blogged over at Who's Who and Who's New about my
graphics by Krista Wallden, Fonts by Hello Literacy and KB Fonts
You can click on the image to visit me over there.  I'm planning on having LOTS of moments to teach with once Wednesday comes around.  I am done with snow.  Done.  No more.  Finished.

I had big plans for Valentine's Day on Friday.  It's one of my favorite holidays to spend with the kids.  I love all the niceness, kindness and general love-ness that goes on.  I originally told my kiddos that if we didn't have school on Friday, then we would still exchange valentines when we came back, but no party.  This weekend I started thinking... I was planning on doing the party-part of the day as an introduction to a writing activity we're doing about making and eating ice cream sundaes.  Which I still plan on writing about this coming week... soooooo, since we are going to exchange valentines anyway, and we're still going to make sundaes... it's kind of like the real Valentine's Day after all!

Here are my modified plans, along with a few freebies.  Maybe some of you can use them this week for your belated Valentine's Day activities, or  you can save them until next year.

In previous years, I have always told my students NOT to put names on their valentines for who they are for - only their name for who it is from.  We would sit in a circle with our valentine bags and everyone would just walk around and drop in a valentine for every bag.  Easy-peasy... 400 valentines (20 kids with 20 cards!) in under 10 minutes.  This year, I decided to change things up.  I plan on having students start by alphabetizing their valentines.  Then we'll sit in our circle - in alphabetical order - and have two or three kids go around the circle, dropping their valentines into the bags.  Still easy, but some good practice there, as well.

After everyone has had a chance to open cards, squeal, shout and smile about all the valentines, I'm going to have them do some sorting.  Katie at Teacher to the Core did an amazing job sharing 5 great tips for keeping Valentine's Day smooth - and one had to do with sorting valentines.  After we sort - and I think I might start by having them generate ways to sort their own valentines first - we'll do a little "Find a Valentine."

and a valentine scavenger hunt
You can pick up both (along with a word search I threw in there because my kiddos love word searches) by clicking on the images.
That should pretty much do it for the party part... of course we have the ice cream sundae part, which will be a whole other story... Wish me luck!
Happy Tuesday!  It seems like this month has been so stop-and-go... filled with delayed openings, early closings an a snow day or two... or three probably tomorrow... ugh...  Combine that with actual teaching days missed for special events like 100th day, Valentine's Day... two days off coming up for President's Day.... and I'm feeling like I'm NEVER going to get back to focused teaching and learning.

It's months like these that make all those little "teaching times" so important.  Welcome to
graphics by Krista Wallden; fonts by KB fonts and Hello Literacy

Today I thought I would share with you how I sneak in some valuable practice, reinforcement and even introduction of math concepts everyday -during my morning meeting time.  Oftentimes our morning message will be math related, or the activity we do to end Morning Meeting will have to do with math, but one consistent math part of the start of the day is during our calendar time.  We do our calendar time on the Smartboard.  It makes it a little more interactive and I feel like I have more freedom to add and change things on a whim.

(Note:  Many of these slides originally came from the SMART Exchange - a great resource to get FREE activities for your Smartboard.  I modified some to fit my needs, and created others myself.  Normally, my students come up and do the writing and moving things and all that... today we were really late starting morning meeting so I did it to save time :-))

Here is calendar slide #1 - The month of _______
 Yes, very predictable here.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow... days of the week, months of the year.  But I also have a little ring of index cards with a TON of calendar questions on them (mainly so I don't forget!).  We talk about things like:
What will the date be one week from now?  Two weeks?  Three weeks and 4 days?  10 days ago?
How many Thursdays are in February?  How many of them are odd number dates?
What day will Feb. 9 be?  What is the date on the third Wednesday?
How many days until ________? 

Slide #2 - How many days have we been in school?
Simple enough... we add a "ones" piece everyday, trade when we get to ten, yada-yada-yada... but wait!  There's more!  The past few weeks we've been working on reviewing how to write numbers different ways - base ten form, expanded notation, standard form... I discovered some of my little kiddos really needed extra practice with this.  I also do some extension by asking how else we can make the number (ex. 46 = 4 tens and 6 ones, or 3 tens an 16 ones, etc.), how many to make 100 (or 1000!)... whatever we're working on, or need some extra help with, or comes up in conversation! After our 100th Day next week, we'll start counting BACKWARDS - how many days left of school?  That helps to reinforce regrouping with tens, something so many second graders need practice with.

Slide #3 - Coins in the Piggybank
Again, pretty self-explanatory, but we mix it up every once in a while.  We just put the half dollar back instead of two quarters because we needed to keep practicing counting by 25's.  There's potential for great discussions about using decimals, different ways to make the same amount, etc.  And while next week we'll start the backwards counting of days, we'll keep counting up with the money.  (It usually takes a few days before someone realizes the amounts on the two pages are no longer the same!)

Slide #4 - What's the Weather?
Look outside, add a bar to the graph... how many MORE of sunny than cloudy?  How many would twice as cloudy be?  We save the graphs each month and compare them to each other, which leads to great math thinking.  As a matter of fact, I just might do a gallery walk of sorts for them to walk around and look at each graph and answer some questions... hmmm... good thought!  We also talk about a lot of vocabulary here - precipitation, sky conditions, the fact that just because it is light out does not mean it is sunny.. uh huh... had to go there...

Slide #5 - What's the Temperature?
We have a wireless thermometer in our room, but since the central box is located by a brick wall, it's not all that accurate.  It is the helper's job to look up the temperature on the ipad when they come in.  Again, great math possibilities - how much warmer today than yesterday?  Above or below freezing?  How much?  Exactly what does "freezing" mean? And what is the C on the thermometer for?  Then we roll the two dice and calculate how much warmer/colder it would be.  At the beginning of the year, the dice just have single digits, then we move to multiple of ten, then other 2-digit numbers.  It just depends on what needs some work.  This time of year we've gotten into discussions about negative numbers and how to add/subtract them on a number line.  It may not stick with everyone, but I like to throw it out there, just in case!

The next slides vary from day to day. 
The helper chooses which one to do.  They're kind of like a spiral review so we can go back and review and maybe even preview what's coming up.  All the slides can be differentiated number wise, depending on what the focus is.

That's it!  Our whole calendar time takes about 10 minutes at this point in the year, but it's a very important way for me to see who knows what, what we need to work on and where we're going.  I'll be back in my next post to talk about more ways to capitalize on those little moments throughout the day - this time in the hallway, waiting in line and lining up.

Back to Top