It's the most wonderful time... of the year.... Do you remember that add for Staples with the parents gliding around with shopping carts and the kids moping behind getting ready for back to school?

I love that commercial... and I LOVE back to school shopping.

Honestly, I love school supply shopping ANY time of the year.  I go into the office supplies section of a store filled with pens, sticky notes, clips, binders... and I can easily lose track of time - and of my credit card!  But now I have a reason to shop - it's back to school time!
I'm blogging today over at Who's Who and it's all about what I've purchased and how I'm going to use it.  Hop on over to see what's in the backseat of car waiting to go to school!

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Happy Friday!  I am definitely starting to have school thoughts on the brain.  I can’t help it – everyone is posting classroom set up ideas, pinterest finds and school supply sales.  We don’t go back until the last week of August, but I’m definitely turning the corner from total summer mode to at least THINKING about school.  Ok, more than thinking….

I’m linking up with Doodlebugs once again for Five for Friday.  Here’s a peeky at my weeky!

Check this out

It’s a staple that comes in two pieces – the bottom is attached to the top with a magnet, which means you can take it apart to staple on the wall… or even better – anywhere on a page!  This is genius!  Why didn’t someone think of this before?  Click on the picture to go to Amazon to purchase it.

Whoa-baby!  Look at this!

Yep, that’s me… on the T.U.B.E.  On the tube BEHIND the boat… and the boat is moving… pretty fast (ok, maybe not that fast if you ask the people on board, but it FELT fast!)  I was fine going straight.  Even picked up a little speed.  Going around the corners, nope, not so good.  Captain Crunch had to slow the boat waaaaay down around the corners to make me happy.  But it was fun.  Once.

I’ve been looking around for more apps to use with my kiddos this year.  HD Notes is a great way to allow students (or anyone) to use the ipad as a notebook – write on it, draw, graph, etc.  I could see having kiddos use the stylus to practice spelling words, math problems… any practice sheet I want.  Great way to save paper!

I took a morning and decided to go into my room for a bit.  Actually, it took me over an hour to GET to my room because I stopped to talk to everyone on the way.  

This is what I was greeted with.

Not bad actually, everything was put back pretty much where it belonged.  The stuff you see in piles is what was on top of bookcases, etc.  I put all of it back and started my to-do list of what’s next.
- organize math supplies
- put up word wall
- organize classroom library
and a bunch more… the list was getting long so I decided to leave for the day.

I spent a while after that getting this little freebie ready to go.

I know there are a lot of “Find Someone Who” activities out there, but I’m partial to mine. J  This is part of a bigger set of 6 different FSW activities perfect for back to school.  Yes, there is a general “All About Me” one in there, but I also included summer activities, things to do and more.  You can see the full pack by clicking HERE.  And you can download the freebie by clicking on the image.

Well, that’s it for this week.  I’m planning on doing some school supply shopping next week and going back into my room again to do some reorganizing.  Be sure to check out the Five for Friday linky to see what everyone else has been up to this week.

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6 more weeks of summer... It sounds like a lot but I know it's going to go fast!  And when you start counting that fact that the last week is really the "getting ready for school" week... and then dentist and doctor appointments... it's really less than that.

At the very beginning of the summer I blogged over at Who's Who about my plan for professional reading.  I also had plans for lots of projects, road trips, etc.  Let's check in and see how I'm doing.

Not so good.

Professional reading:
Notice and Note:  This reads like a TEXTBOOK, people!  I did start it, and I'm sure it is full of ideas.  But Janet Evanovich was calling on my Kindle and I just had to see what Stephanie Plum was up to.  (And if you have no idea what I'm talking about - check it out on Amazon.  GREAT reads!)

Guided Math - nope.  I decided I'm happy with what I do and even though I'm sure I'll pick up lots of tips from blogs and pinterest, I'm just not interested in reading the book right now.  I'm good.

Teach Like a Pirate!  - This one I DID read and I loved it!  It really got me motivated to be even MORE creative and engaging with my teaching.  I stuck Post-its everywhere in this book.  Love!

Ok, I'm 1 for 3 in professional reading.  Not good, but it's a start.

Did you see my only most recent "Monday Made It" post?  The one about the wave bottle.  That's all you get folks.  That's as creative as I have gotten so far this summer.


I do have ideas for the rest of the summer.  And, knowing my track record is not so good lately, I'm keeping those projects small.  Here are my plans:

1.  Move my word wall.
My word wall used to be here
(photo from my back to school room post last year)

and I have a bulletin board above my sink that I hate...(you can read about my love/hate relationship with displays here)

The plan is to move my word wall to the bulletin board over the sink.  I hate that board.  It's hard to get to and not really "user friendly."  It is, however, perfect for my word wall because it can be seen from just about everywhere in my room.

To do list:  buy fabric (I want the board to have a black background so the words stand out and the fabric I have from the old word wall is not big enough), staple it up, make boxes with ribbon... easy peasy.

2.  Set up a space for anchor chart displays.
This is something I REALLY want to dot this year.  I have used anchor charts a little, but they have always been projected on the Smartboard.  Great for when we are using them, but not so great for later reference.

This one was going to be easy since I was just going to use the space from where the word wall was.  EXCEPT

when I took the fabric off the wall I was left with lines of tape - REALLY STICKY TAPE - that is hard to get off.  Definitely need some elbow grease here... and some Goo-Gone... and some prayers.

To do list:  buy Goo-Gone, get a scraper of some kind and get to work!

#3  Classroom library display
I have been reading everyone's posts about they organize their classroom libraries.  Lots of colorful crates with ribbons and tags and stickers for book levels and systems for checking out books and putting them back... really, people, how DO you DO it?

I have lots of books out for kids to choose from everyday - they are usually related to a theme we are doing or a topic the kids are interested in, etc.  But I want to put out a bigger variety.  And let me tell you, I have a TON of books

Right now they are organized by theme, author, level.... just depends how I use them.

The plan is to have 4-6 baskets out of books of a variety of genres and themes at a time.  NOT leveled.  I know, shoot me.  I'll talk more about why I made that choice later.

Until then, think of this as the "before" post.  I'll be back later this summer (promise!) with the "after" post. And I'm telling you now... it is not going to be anything on a grand scale.  But it will work for my students. And that's what's important.

So we have established that I have not gotten anything of great importance accomplished yet.  I have spent time with the family, enjoyed being with friends and just relaxed.  Which is probably what I needed most. Now it's time to keep enjoying summer... with an eye towards back to school!

And just in case you're in the shopping mood... a TpT friend of mine just uploaded her 100th product!  She's celebrating with a sale this Sunday (July 20) and Monday (July 21).  Check our her store and celebrate with her!

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Hello Monday!  I spent a little time this week thinking about my plans and ideas for the coming year.  I LOVE integrating science into my day in any way I can.  I'm the one who has dead bugs, a giant wasps's nest and a preserved baby shark (yes, you read that right!) in their room.  I'm the one who takes the kids into the hallway so they can see the huge praying mantis on the window... the one who adds some science fun to Halloween (check this out!)... I'm the one who volunteers to team up to teach science/social studies to all the second grade classes - I'll do the science!

And with the NGSS being implemented in my building (and ME being the one who is responsible for teaching my students those science concepts!), I'm looking for as many ways as possible to integrate science into my day.  I have planned in to my year when I'll do full science units, and I will add science to my writing time, as well.  But I always like to throw some science in to anything I can.

So today I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.

We always start the year with an introduction to being a scientist.  We talk about what a scientist does, the tools they use, etc. and we do some easy center activities to practice careful observations - the heart of being a scientist.  The favorite center, without a doubt, is the one with the wave bottles.

Here's a finished bottle.
wave bottle

You've probably seen them before, they're nothing new.  But they ARE fascinating to second graders.  Here's a quick how-to.

You need a clear plastic bottle - any size is fine.  I use a 2 liter bottle.  A bottle of baby oil (you can use any oil as long as it is clear) and blue food coloring.
wave bottle

Fill the bottle halfway with water and add food coloring.  Shake it so the food coloring dissolves all the way.  Then, fill the bottle the rest of the way with the baby oil.  
wave bottle

That's it!  The oil sits on top of the water so it makes "waves" when the bottle is moved.  Shake it and see what happens.  Roll it across the floor. (I wrap tape around the bottle cap to make sure it stays closed.)  

You can take this activity a step or to farther by trying different liquids - corn syrup, vegetable oil, etc.
Or, add some fizz!

I created a quick little freebie for you to use with your kiddos.  The cards are great for a center and you can use the recording sheet if you want.  Just click on the image to download the sheets.
free sheets to use with a wave bottle

If you're looking for more on being a scientist, check out my new "Being a Scientist" unit.  I use these activities at the start of every year to kick-off our adventures in science.
being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit
Click on the pictures above to hop over to my TpT store and find out more details.

My plan is to share more simple science ideas with you throughout the year.  Sometimes it's easier to plan a full unit than it is to sneak in small ideas.  Share your simple science ideas with me!
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Happy July!  I hope you're enjoying your summer so far, whether you're at the beginning, middle or close to the end of it (please say no!).  Today I'm doing a real Two for Tuesday - TWO link-ups in one post!  Double the fun... I know, I'm just great that way.

Since it's July 1st, I'm linking up with Farley and all the bloggers sharing their Currently for the month.
All the windows and deck doors are open and the fans are running.  It's going to be a hot one around here today!  I'm trying to keep that little breeze going for as long as I can!  I have only been out of school for two weeks, so I'm just settling in to summer... LOVE!

Of course, with summer comes big plans... which don't usually all happen,, but it's fun to think about it! Beach days, ice cream, fishing, boating and just general fun.... and of course some work on TpT products and things for my classroom!  I have a whole list of ideas around here somewhere.... not sure where I put it...

Getting dressed in the summer is soooo much easier than during school.  Grab a pair of shorts, throw on a tank (everything seems to match better, too!) and I'm set for the day.  I've realized that in order to keep those shorts fitting the way I like, I'm going to have to keep moving!

My plans for the 4th are up in the air right now, thanks to Arthur.  Hopefully it really will turn out to see and not bother most of us in New England, but even showers all day would cancel my plans.  We'll just have to wait and see!

Now on to linky #2!  It's Two for Tuesday over at the Teaching Tribune.
You can find some great products on TpT at half price just for today!  I know it's summer, but when September comes, you'll be happy you thought ahead!  Now because I'm still so in love with my new blog design, I'm putting my "All About Frogs" nonfiction mini-unit on sale for half off!

This unit is STUFFED with information about frogs (in all types of formats), text dependent questions, follow up activities, writing ideas and a read the room fact finding walk.

Click either of the images above to hop over to my store and find out more.

I'm also putting my Clip Charts Through the Year on sale just for today.
There are 5 different charts, each with 7 levels.  I like to change things up throughout the year, so putting up a different clip chart can liven things up.  The set also comes with all sorts of recording sheets to keep track of how students are doing and share with parents.  This set is NOT editable, but I do have a couple other sets in my store that can be edited to reflect the wording you use in your classroom. Click on the image above to see the details.

Whew!  That's a lot for a summer Tuesday!  One of the things on my "to do" list for the summer is to really start posting to my facebook page.  I'm just getting started, but if you're looking for ideas, check it out.  I'm off to enjoy the day... maybe I'll find that "to do" list... or not...

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