Friday, January 25, 2013

Freebie Friday!

We just started our early morning tutoring this week, or as we call it, "Enrichment" program.  I've really been consumed with getting together some fun math activities to work on with the 2nd grade sweeties that are coming to work with me on Thursdays.  After all, I'm not too bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7:00 am, so I figure if it's fun, maybe it will help perk 'em up a little.  :)

I made this tonight for them to practice separating their coins (quarters with quarters, dimes with dimes, etc.) and then to add them up.  They are quite good at naming the coins and each coin's value, but when it comes to adding them up...not so much.  I'm hoping we can get right to work on this next Thursday.  Counting coins is my #1 nemesis in 2nd grade, closely followed by telling time.  OY!




I had to create it in black line because my printer ink costs are steadily getting OUT OF CONTROL.  There.  I said it.  I'm a printeraholic.  Sigh.

On a fun note: I just bought/downloaded Microsoft Office for Mac on my fab Macbook, and the whole package was only $10.00 through my school district!  HOT DIGGITY DOG.  So this is my first official PowerPoint creation, as I've been creating in Apple's Keynote until now.  PowerPoint for Mac looks WAY different than the Windows version, but hey.  Whatcha gonna do?  Once you go Mac...

Anyway, I hope this might be helpful for someone--click the link below to download it for FREE from my shop on Teachers Pay Teachers!

My Money Mats Freebie

Oh, I'm sorry.  I forgot to tell you something...

HAPPY WEEKEND!!!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Report Cards, Blech.

So I finally finished entering report card data today.  GLORY BE, HALLELUJAH!

Does anyone else #1, have standards-based report cards, and #2, have to enter them into a program like Pentamation?  Because both are a huge beat down and definitely NOT my favorite part of my job.  :)

It's so difficult to keep up with which kid I'm typing data in for WHICH standard, I finally just created some Excel spreadsheets where I type in my grades/ratings first, then I have a guide as I enter the data in Pentamation.  OY!

So, two 9 weeks down, two more to go.  Time is flying, and yay for having tomorrow off for MLK, Jr. Day.  This is the first year my district has had the day off.  It's always been a student holiday, but this is the first year we've not had Staff Development.  Thank the good lord, because I haven't worked so hard in a LONG time as I did this week.  My week was spent #1, playing catch up from being out 3 days last week, #2, busting my butt to get 22 DRA2s completed, 22 sight word assessments completed, 22 math assessments scored, etc. etc., #3, entering report cards, and #4, lots of fun artic/antarctic/penguin goodies for my kiddos.  Hope to snap pics Tuesday to share the cuteness (all ideas from some other fab teachers, of course).  I LOVE penguins, so even though we were supposed to do the arctic/antarctic unit LAST week, I was determined!!  :)

While going through my math assessments, I had WAY too many kiddos who are still struggling with the BIG, BAD 3:  place value, coins, and time.  I created a center activity for place value, and I plan to use the Numbers to 100 set with my tutoring small group and have my whole class use it during Math Workshop (using the Numbers to 500 set).

Each set is in my TpT shop for $1.50, but I'd love to give one set away to the first 3 commenters if you're interested.  I'd love feedback or ideas for upcoming similar sets I make, such as an activity for telling time and counting coins to $1.00.



 Sorry I didn't rotate the pictures!  I create in the Mac version of PowerPoint, so everything is sideways!  :)




I also created a Numbers to 1,500 set for high achievers or older grades.

Be sure to include your email in your comment if you'd like to have one of the sets.  THANKS for reading, as always!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Black History Month research project

Well, Friday, my team and I were discussing what the heck we were going to do for plans next month.  You know--that moment when you're looking through your state standards, your report card standards, and your district's scope and sequence...and you all realize that none of them aligns with the others?  Good times, folks.  Good times.

We used to do a small Famous Black Americans unit when I taught 3rd grade, but we haven't done too much on the subject beyond basics since I moved to 2nd.  BINGO, I thought.  So this weekend I made a unit for a research project.  LOL.  Um...I may have spent a biiiiiiit too much time on it.  But then again, I'm pretty new to creating my own lessons, at least to the point of making them like, cute. 

So anyway, I wanted to share in case anyone else is interested! 

A bit of a backtrack...my team had our kiddos do a research project on different Native American tribes earlier in the year...and it was awful.  Well.  OK.  It would have been better if they had EVER done research before.  Haha.  Well, we did spend some time before-hand teaching them about note-taking, but I think the biggest mistake we made was not providing structure for them to let them know exactly what we expected of them.  Hence, my unit using the Super 3 (Big 6?  Anyone?).  So yeah, apparently Primary teachers have adapted the Big 6 for their younger kiddos (praise glory be to the heavens), and it's called the Super 3.  You're welcome!  (That is, if this is new to you.  If you already knew all about this, then who do you think you are?  Do you want a cupcake or something?  Geez.)  But seriously.

Here's everything that's included in the unit:

 Our librarian media specialist looked over the unit and was excited to tell me that all of the historical figures except two (Zora Neale Hurston & Sidney Poitier) are included on the PebbleGo database.  Just in case any of your schools have a subscription!  We'll probably just not have them research those two so that all the students can use PebbleGo.  Just simpler that way.  :)  I'm also planning to have a few other websites for them to search, if I can find some good ones (ie., ones that don't talk about Sojourner Truth's sexual abuse...)  OY biography.com!

Here are some peeks:


OK, I've tried over and over again to upload another pic right here, but it just isn't happening.  It's the other page for Step 1: Plan It.  It's included in my free preview on TpT, though (see link below).






 I plan to use Martin Luther King, Jr. as an example of what good research notes should look like since we're spending all this week learning about him already.  Get this MLK, Jr. page in my free preview at TpT.  (Link below.)


Get this Step 3 page in my free preview file, as well.

If you think you may be interested, feel free to check out the free preview over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

YAY Research!  :D



Friday, January 4, 2013

Currently-January 2013!

Goody gumdrops, I am ONLY #377!  Sweet heavens!



Thank you to Farley for creating the beautiful template and for hosting!  Be sure to visit her blog to check out her awesomeness and to find some other awesome Currentlies...




Listening:  Enough said.  Silly men and their games.

Loving:  Yay!  My pantry is all cleaned up with no place to go.  I love being organized.

Thinking:  I love my students so, so much, but I am dreading having to wake up at 6:00 am again.  Oh, and I am dreading not getting to be with my son all day, too.  How long till summer again?  ;)

Wanting:  Things I've accomplished in the past 2 weeks?  Umm...aside from wrapping presents?  And blowing through about 18 boxes of Kleenex?  And ORGANIZING MY PANTRY?  (oh, wait, I mentioned that already, huh?)  Not much.  We've all been sick at our house.  Each of us twice.  Since December 14th.  Yes, it's been lovely.  (No, it hasn't, but I'm trying to be positive.)  

Needing: Don't we all?!

So here's my current to do list for the next 2 days:

~Organize baby boy's toys (first must buy storage for this)
~Put away Christmas decorations/take down tree (SIGH)
~Find a place for baby boy's books that does not involve adding another piece of furniture to his room (which will hold nothing else)
~Pick up guest room & get rid of the t.v. in there (that hasn't been plugged in since we moved in 4.5 years ago)
~Set up a workspace for myself in guest room (for Silhouette Cameo, laminator, etc.)
~Use Silhouette Cameo to cut out labels for newly organized pantry
~Do lesson plans for next week (minor detail)
~Attend niece/nephew's 15th birthday dinner tomorrow night (majorly cutting into my to-do list time!)


What?  Too much for 48 hours minus sleep?  Yeah, I thought so.  HELP!


One Little Word:  balance.  I don't have it.  I want it.  I need it.  My family needs it.  My son needs me! I need to spend more time at home and less time in my classroom.  There.  I said it!  Now I must make it happen!  Sometimes being a dedicated professional can be difficult.  ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy 2013!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Freebie

Hey there!

I created a simple, black line writing stationary for my students' New Year's Resolutions and wanted to share it in case anyone was interested.

I have seen some fabulous units on other blogs/TPT for New Year activities, but I frankly can't devote that much time to the holiday and must hit the floor running on Monday!  So we will read a New Year book, discuss the word "resolution" (resolve) and what it means to make a resolution for the New Year.

Then I plan to create a whole group Circle Map, just having the kids brainstorm some good goals they might have for the new year.

Finally, I'll have them write.  (And color.)  This will be displayed in the hallway, as it makes them feel special, like they've sort of been "published," and I find it helpful to let parents see their kiddos' writing as compared to their peers!  ;)

Please click the preview image to download from Teachers Pay Teachers, and Happy New Year!




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