Friday, May 18, 2012


I have TOTALLY abandoned my blog over the past few months, and for that I am extremely sorry. My class was going through a lot of changes and I simply did not have the energy to post. Well, yesterday was our last day of school (PTL), so now I have tons of time to create new products and post on my blog! Yay for summer! Can I get a woot woot!?

Anyways, I need your help. I have been seeing these adorable borders/frames all over products on TPT and blogland and I just have to have them. I have been searching all over the internet, but cannot find them. Do you know where I can get them? Here is a picture from the awesome blog, LIVE LOVE  LAUGH so that you can see the border/frame thingy. Thanks for your help!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do you "Just Dance"?

My teamies and I made a recent find on YouTube that has been a TOTAL blessing for all of these rainy (where is the snow!?) indoor recess days. Instead of letting the kids wreck my room play in centers for indoor recess, we have been dong Just Dance videos on our projection screen.

OH.MY.WORD, people. This is the best idea since peanut butter and jelly! The kids beg to do it every day, even if we don't have indoor recess. The best part? The students are exercising!

My class really likes the Just Dance 1,2, and 3, but there is also a Just Dance Kids, for the younger ones. I was a little cautious about some of the songs that my students wanted to dance to because I was afraid that it would have the explicit lyrics, but the game designers took most of those out of the songs. However, I will caution you to not do the Black Eyed Peas Experience, because it does contain explicit lyrics. My students also LOVE the Michael Jackson Experience, especially Thriller. It's so funny to watch them dance around. Check out this video I took of them just a few days ago. They were dancing to Willow Smith's "I Whip My Hair." Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I've Created a Button and Tristate Teacher Meet Up

I've created a button for my blog! I can't even begin to tell you how technologically challenged I am, so I am pretty proud of myself right now! If only I knew how to link the html code into this post..... Oh, well. Baby steps. Here is what my button looks like. If you want to grab it, just go to the scroll down box on the left side of my blog to get the html code.
Did you attend the Cincinnati area blogger meet up today? I did! I was in awe at all of the amazing bloggers that are around this area. I met so many "famous" bloggers! Here is a pic of me with Abby from The Inspired Apple and Michelle from Fabulous in First.
They are both just as stinkin' cute in person as they are on their blogs!

I also got to meet Katie, from Queen of the First Grade Jungle. I was really excited to meet her because I use a lot of her ideas in my classroom. Plus, my sister-in-law is Katie's student teacher right now. {Is it okay to admit that I am jealous about that!?}

I got to meet a lot of really great ladies {there were about 50 of us there!} and I hope that we are able to do it again sometime soon!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Harcourt Storytown Freebie!

Are you a 2nd grade Harcourt StoryTown user? Check out my freebie that I have created for the story "Big Bushy Mustache." Please let me know if this is something that you could use in your room because I would LOVE to share all of the other weekly study guides for each story as I create them. I know that many schools started before we did in September, so if you let me know which lesson you are on, I will be sure to create those study guides first!

You can download it here or by clicking on the picture.
You can also visit my TpT store for many other great Storytown freebies, like this one:

You can click on the picture to take you to these awesome resources in my store!
On another note, I will be attending the Cincinnati Tri-State Blogger Meet Up in the morning! I am sooooo excited to meet some AMAZING teachers/bloggers! I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Centers Organization Linky Party

One of my new years resolutions this year was to organize my centers so that they don't drive me crazy are more effective and easier for my students to put back when they are finished, so I thought that I would join in on Lesson Plan Diva's Center Organization Linky Party!

I am lucky enough to not only live in a city with a wonderful resource, like Crayons to Computers {a teacher free store for eligible schools in the Cincinnati tri-state area}, but my school is eligible for me to "shop" there once every 5 weeks. This place is AH.MA.ZING! Here is a picture of one of my recent finds there:
These are clear boxes that apparently stored Air Heads. These things are PERFECT for centers! So, here's what I have done with them.
I placed these numbered signs {I don't remember from where I got them on blog land - if they are yours, please let me know so I can give credit!} on 10 of the lids. I love this because I can simply switch the lids of the boxes when I need to change the center. {I then write the name of the center on the side of the non-numbered box and store it in my classroom closet. This way, I don't have to find new storage while the center materials are not being used. Does that make sense?}
This is what the boxes look like when they have a center in them.

In each box, I include the directions for the center and then all of the necessary materials inside of a ziploc baggie.
For the recording sheets, I have a folder with the numbers 1-10 written on them. I place the recording sheets for center #1 in folder #1, etc.
I write the words "completed" on the left side of the folder and "new" on the right side of the folder. My students know that when they choose their center, then they also grab their folder from the folder holder {see pic below}. They grab a new recording sheet from the "new" side and then place their completed work on the "completed" side of the folder. This new system has made my life sooooo much easier {especially when I have to check their center recording sheets}. Now they are all in one simple place!

Here are all of the folders in the folder holder and a picture of the centers where they sit on my bookshelf.
Welp, that's all I have for tonight!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Place Value Freebie!

Before I get to the place value freebie, let me explain where the inspiration came from. 

 Life has been a little crazy in my 2nd grade class since we came back from winter break three weeks ago. The administration at my school decided that it would be a *wonderful* idea to mix up our classes after the break. There are 2 first grades and 2 second grades at my school. Amongst the four classes, we {the teachers and admin} saw a HUGE gap between most of the students in our classes. Just to give an example, we had second grade students reading 0 and 2 words per minute. C R A Z Y! On the other hand, we had students in the same class that were performing on a 3rd grade level. THe same was happening in the 2 first grade classrooms. There were students that were performing well below grade level and students who were performing well above grade level.

To solve this problem and better serve our students, we all agreed that it would probably be a good idea to mix the classes up and have 4 different leveled classrooms. One class would be the low students (1st and 2nd graders performing below a 1st grade level), another class would be the medium-low (1st and 2nd graders who were performing on a 1st grade level), the third class would be the medium-highs (1st and 2nd graders performing at a 2nd grade level) and the high class (yes, there are 1st graders in there). Guess which one I got?
At first, I was totally pumped. You mean I could actually have students who could read their own directions on their morning work? What!?
However, I am now pulling my hair out.
After 3 weeks of being with my new students (which has basically been like starting the school year all over again with procedures, etc.), I have come to the realization that there should NOT be any 1st graders in my class. It is WAY too high for them. Not only are we moving at a really quick pace {per admin's direction}, but we are using a different curriculum that is not used in the first grade.
These poor babies! Most of them are lost already because they were not in 2nd grade for the first half of the year, thus missing all of the review for the first grade content. UGH.
I went ahead and gave our first math assessment to the class today. Let me just say, DISASTER! I feel like banging my head against the wall. These little guys don't even know their place value, let alone be able to just jump right in to addition with carrying to the thousands place.
I know it is my duty as an educator to meet these kids' needs. With that being said, this whole next week will be one GIANT review session. I took their tests and broke it down by the types of questions asked and figured out who needed help with what. I figured that place value would be the place to start since it is critical when reading a number, being able to do multiple digit addition, etc. So that is the place that we will begin at tomorrow. SIGH.
So, I made this a poster about place value that I will not only hang in the classroom, but I will also send home in my communication binder so that parents have it at home as well. Since you were so great and listened to all of that craziness, I have posted it in my TpT store for FREE! Click here to go directly to my store for the free download. I hope you enjoy! :o)

{Sorry about that little rant. I've been holding that one in for a little while.}