Friday, December 28, 2012

Our Elf on the Shelf!

Hey everyone,
   Our classroom received a wonderful visitor a few weeks before Christmas break... an elf on the shelf. My students just loved her!  They thought of a bunch of great names for her, and after a class vote, they narrowed their choices down to two names- Jingle Bell and Bella.  The class was split right down the middle on these two names so a wonderful little boy in my class said "Why don't we just name her Jingle Bella so everybody is happy?"  My students all loved this idea, so we named her Jingle Bella.  The creativity of these kiddos never ceases to amaze me :).

Here are some pictures of Jingle Bella during her time in our classroom...

Day 1: Jingle Bella tied up our Dr. Seuss stuffed animals with Christmas lights.  :)  She also left suckers for each student at their seat.

Day 2: Jingle Bella decided to curl up in one of our book tubs and read some holiday books :).  She made a bit of a mess...

Day 3: Jingle Bella went shopping while she was at the North Pole and bought herself a cute little skirt.  

Day 4: Jingle Bella made a mess when she decided to zip-line down our skip counting number line.  There were numbers scattered all over the floor that she had knocked down as she zip-lined down the number line.  My students thought it was just hilarious! :)

Day 5: Jingle Bella got into our "Drops in the Bucket" and was giving the kids a drop (the one in her hands) for their great behavior the past few days!

Day 6: She was hanging out with some of the other stuffed animals in our classroom right above my desk.

Day 7: Jingle Bella was hiding in our tree.

Day 8: Jingle Bella decided to hang out in the lamp at the front of our classroom.

Day 9: She found a perfect place to watch all the students... sitting on top of our white board by the clock.

Day 10:  Jingle Bella found an elf friend on our board :).  My students thought this was so funny!
Day 11: Jingle Bella took a ride on one of our butterflies that hangs on our ceiling.

Day 12: Jingle Bella practiced her geography skills

Day 13: During our Christmas party, Jingle Bella sat on top of our easel holding some Christmas lights and watched all  the festivities. 
Day 14: Jingle Bella hung out on our mini Christmas tree.

Day 15: On Jingle Bella's last day in our classroom, she decided to swing on a lay attached to a lantern hanging in our room.  She wrote the students a sweet note and Santa was nice enough to lift her magic for a few minutes after we read the letter so the kids could give Jingle Bella a hug before they left for break.

My students had so much fun finding Jingle Bella each morning... and I had fun figuring out fun places to put her each night.  I can't wait to do this again next year.  Maybe by then I'll have figured out some more fun things our elf can do each day.

(I know this post is a little late but I couldn't find the cord my camera plugged into!)


Friday, December 21, 2012

Something to put a smile on your face...

Hey everyone,

I just have to share this photo that I took last year!  My husband and I don't have any kids yet... for now our dogs are our children :).  So, of course I had to take a cute picture of them for a Christmas card... and here's how it turned out!  It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Paisley is Rudolph and Buck is Santa

They both look very mad, but you have to admit... They are pretty stinking cute! :)

Have a Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hey everyone,

     Recently I had the privilege of attending an amazing writing conference and I came out with so many great ideas to help my little writers!  Writing seems to be a big area of frustration for my kiddos and for me.  I love to write and always model what my students are going to be doing, and they seem to do okay with that part.  But... when it comes to cleaning up their writing... Oh man, it is a struggle.  They can never find anything they need to fix and when a friend reads over their work, the friend can find maybe one capitalization error but that's about it.  So... Here's my new favorite writing tool! CUPS!  I know this has probably been around forever and I am just now learning about it....

     In my classroom I am going to be dividing students up into groups of 4 when it is time to edit their work. Then, each student in the group will be given a job and they will have a "job description" card to remind them of their duties.  One student will look over each group members work and only focus on their spelling.  Another student will look over each group members work and only focus on punctuation... etc...  This way, students will be looking for specific things that need to be corrected rather than scanning everyones writing looking for anything to fix.

     So... Here is what I have made so far...

First- CUPS posters.  These cute posters explain each part of CUPS editing to the students.  It is a great way to introduce this idea to the kids and a great visual reminder for them.  I just love decorating things I make with +Melonheadz Illustrating clipart!  It makes it so much cuter!

You can click on any of the above pictures or click HERE to check out these posters in my TPT shop!

Next- I made student "job description" cards that match the posters.  These are the cards I will use when students are working in a group to edit their writing.  Each student in the group will get a card that will tell them what their job is.
Click on either of the above pictures or HERE to purchase these from my TPT shop!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Our Hearts...

Keeping the little angels and the brave teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.

Image from Melonheadz!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Funny... Because It's True!

Hey everyone!

I saw this over at the Realistic Teacher and thought it was just too funny not to share!  It's so funny because it's soooo true!  I can't even tell you how many times a situation very similar to this has happened in my classroom... and I'm sure many of you can relate!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Comparing Native American Tribes- Updated!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to let you know that I have updated my Comparing Native American Tribes!  If you have purchased it in the past and cannot download the updated version, please let me know and I will be more than happy to send it to you!

I realized that not every class studies the same tribes we do.  So I have now included: the Navajo, Pueblo, Apache, and Cherokee tribes.  I've also included a page that is blank at the top so you can write in whatever tribes you study.

Click HERE to check it out! Or click on the picture below!

Here is an example of what is included on each page...

My second graders always love when we do our Native American unit.  They have so much fun learning about the tribes.  I always assign a tribe to each table group.  The students then learn all about their tribe, build an example of one of the houses their tribe lives in, decorate a cut out person to look like a tribe member, and etc.  They also do a poster that is divided into the sections found on the worksheet above.  Students will then share about their tribe and the class completes the worksheet as they learn all about each tribe from their classmates.  They love it!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pencil Sharpener Giveaway!

Hey everyone!

I have been dying for one of these amazing pencil sharpeners!  I have seen them all over other blogs and have heard so many great things about them.  Pencil sharpening is always an annoying task so anything that makes it more pleasant, I am all for! :)  I have entered every giveaway that I have found in hopes of winning one of these sharpeners but sadly :( I haven't won any yet.  But I'm not giving up :).  I have just entered another pencil sharpener giveaway over at Teaching With Love and Laughter!

Click HERE to enter this great giveaway!  

My fingers and toes are crossed!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Liebster Award :)

Thank you to the Reinspired Teacher for nominating me for the Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It’s to show that new bloggers are appreciated and help spread the word about our blogs.

Here are the rules:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

Here are 11 random things about me:

1. I love to paint furniture fun colors and photography!

2. I am terrified of flying but have flown a couple times a year since I was 1.

3. I love miniature goats and owned a few of them.  I would love to get more :).

4. My family is Basque.

5. I have always wanted an alpaca.

6. I have always wanted to meet Bob Ross and was devastated when I found out he died a while ago.  Now the top person on my list of people to meet is Si Robertson from Duck Commander.

7. I enjoy hunting and fishing with my husband.

8. Until a couple years ago, I thought the start of the national anthem was "Jose can you see."

9. Since I was young I wanted a Yorkie named Paisley.  Two years ago we finally got a Yorkie... and her name is Paisley. :)

10. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins.

11. I want to write a children's book about silly little goats and all the mischief they get into.

Here are the answers to the questions posted by the Reinspired Teacher:

1. What is something you've always wanted to do but haven't tried yet?
Write a children's book and swim with dolphins.

2. If you couldn't be a teacher, what would you choose for your career?
A photographer

3. What was your very first job?
I worked at a pizza place called Happy Joes where I was a waitress and had to honk a horn and sing happy birthday to kids.

4. What was the last book you read (personally, not for your class or children)?
One of Chelsea Handler's books.

5. What is your favorite animal?
I have two: goats and alpacas.

6. How long have you been blogging?
I just started blogging in September of this year (2012).

7. What is your favorite tv show?
FRIENDS... I can recite every episode :).

8. What is one item you can't live without?
My husband... does that count as an item?

9. What is your favorite food?
Ice cream and my dad's mashed potatoes... not together.

10. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

11. Do you play games on the computer? if so, what is your favorite?
I play games on my iPad, not really on my computer.  I love to play Phase 10 on my iPad.

Here are my 11 questions for the blogs I nominate:

1. If you could chose one famous person to meet, who would it be and why?
2. What is your favorite smell?
3. Other than your computer, what do you hear right now?
4. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
5. What is the top item on your Christmas list?
6. What do you do most when you are bored?
7. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
8. Do you have pets?
9. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
10. What is your favorite children's book?
11. If you could compete in any Olympic sport, what would it be?

Here are the blogs I'm nominating:
1. Sparkle In Second
2. Teaching In a Small Town
3. The Craft of Teaching
4. The Realistic Teacher
5. Classroom Creations
6. Second Grade Discoveries
7. Literacy Sundae
8. Hippo Hooray for Second Grade
9. Adventures in Second Grade
10. Sparkling in Third Grade
11. Teaching with Laughter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Attempt #2...

Hey everyone,
Okay, here is my second attempt at doodling my husband and I.  This is a lot harder than I thought it would be...

The markers I'm using are horrible and make the lines look funny... and I still haven't figured out how color them on the computer.  I know these are not great, but I really am really enjoying doodling them. :)  Any help or tips are welcome!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clipart Help...

Hey everyone!

I love drawing for fun, so I decided I would see if I could upload a doodle like a little clipart image.  I thought it'd be fun to do a few doodles that I could use on some worksheets or posters I make.  I know they're not super, but they sure do make me smile :)!  

Here is my attempt at making my husband and myself.  :)
I just can't figure out how to color it.  I thought I could color it on my computer rather than doing it with markers.  Does anybody know how to color your own clipart image.... without any fancy computer programs?  Also, what kinds of pens should I use when drawing my pictures?  I used a sharpie but it the lines don't look all that great on the computer.  I'd love any help or tips!! :)


Monday, October 29, 2012

Classroom Pictures...

Hey everyone,

I always love exploring other blogs that I love to see different things they are doing in their classroom.  I also love getting ideas from something cute I see on Pinterest and then "tweaking" them my own way.  I've decided to post a few pictures of my classroom to hopefully inspire others.  If any of these were your original ideas please let know so I can give you proper recognition!  Whoever came up with these ideas has been a life saver for me and my classroom and deserves recognition!  Enjoy!

Book Nooks
Our book nooks.  Each round label has a book nook spot on it (t-shirt pillow, reading buddy, whisper phone, crate seat, etc.) and each clothespin has a student's name on it.  Every other day I rotate the book nooks and the students look where their clothespin is to see where they will sit for read-to-self time.  They really enjoy reading in the book nooks!

Crate Seats
The most wonderful (and cutest) storage solution!  Not only can you store things but you also get more seats for your classroom :)... double bonus!  I love these and so do my kiddos.  I think every adult that has come into our classroom has also commented on them.  If you don't have any, make some ASAP! You will be so happy you did!

Where Are We? Board
Great idea for keeping track of where your students are throughout the day.  I always have kids coming in and out of the room and people pulling my kids for different thing.  I saw a board like this on Pinterest and decided to make one to help me keep track of where each kid is throughout the day.  It is just a while board with zebra sticky paper and vinyl letters.  The magnets are made from clear decorative rocks from the Dollar Tree, cute paper, mod-podge, and thick magnets.  Each one has a student's name on it and the kids move them to the appropriate box before they leave the room.

Calendar Area
In our calendar area we have the usual calendar things: calendar (I made mine on a white board so I could put little magnets on the backs of the dates), day of the week chart, hundreds, tens, and ones char, weather chart, etc.  My two favorite things in this area are... 
1. Our attendance chart.  Each day that we have every student there they earn a puzzle piece.  WHen they fill in their puzzle the class gets a special reward.  I made this puzzle to look like my little dog Paisley! :)
2. Our target behavior board.  Another wonderful Pinterest behavior management idea.  In our meeting area we pick a target behavior such as "shouting out".  Then each time someone "shouts out" I take one flower down (they start with 5).  The more flowers they keep at the end of a lesson, the more points they get toward a class reward.

Classroom Library
Our classroom library.  The books are organized by DRA and Lexile level.  I love how colorful it is and I love the tubs!  I found them at the Dollar General last year.  They come is large size and small size.  Books fit perfectly in them and students don't have to pull them off the shelves to look through the books.

My Desk... sorry about the mess!
Cute desk skirt made by a friend and they match the curtains she made for me too!  I then made some book shelf covers to match.

My new favorite hobby... painting furniture!  I just started painting furniture last year and loved it.  So I decided to make a few things for my classroom.  I made this little reflection chair, and I just love it :).  I also painted a chair for myself, one for Ms. Fretwell on my 2nd grade team, and a special pink chair for Ms. Ross who is the bravest breast cancer survivor I've ever met!

My pretty painted chair :).

I'll post some more pictures of my classroom later... and I promise next time it will be more pictures and less words :).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Classroom Management Ideas!

Hey everyone,

I love Pinterest!  I have found some amazing ideas for classroom management on Pinterest and decided to put some pictures up of some Pinterest inspired things I've made for my classroom to hopefully inspire others.  These are all ideas I found in Pinterest and  I've made my own version of them to work in my classroom.  I'm not taking credit for coming up with these ideas, I'm just showing how I've made them to work in my classroom.  If any of these were your original idea, PLEASE let me know so I can give you proper credit for them!

Hope you enjoy and can use some of these ideas in your classroom!

Ketchup and Pickle...

I cannot remember where I got this idea.  I know it was from one of the amazing blogs that I am always looking, but I can't remember which one.  I had to cutesy it up a little bit though.  I saw the idea for Pickle and Ketchup and decided to make my own to use in my classroom.  This is a great classroom management tool.  Students that didn't get their homework done, do their reading, or weren't working in class write their name under the Ketchup.  They will then "Catch Up" on their work during recess time.  In my classroom, we use the Pickle as a reward.  The students will vote on a Pickle each day and tell the class why they think this person should be the Pickle (it can't be themselves).  They pick someone they saw following directions that day, being a good listener, etc.  The Pickle then gets to "pick" first at recess that day.  We usually have one girl and one boy Pickle.

I put them on my whiteboard so students can easily write their names and we can erase them for the next day.


Here is another great classroom management tool that I found on Pinterest.  It is our class microphone! :)  We use this in our meeting area during share time.  Only the student holding the microphone is aloud to talk.  All it is made out of is a foam ball painted black and an empty paper towel role stuffed with tissues to make it stronger and wrapped with duct-tape.  The kids love this and it has worked wonders on our share time and morning meeting time!

Blurt Chart...

One last classroom management tool also inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest.  Last year I was having a big problem with kids shouting out and talking constantly toward the end of the year.  So I saw this wonderful idea on Pinterest for a Blurt Chart.  If this was your original idea please let me know so I can give you proper credit for it!  It is a wonderful management tool!  These served as "warnings" in our class for talking out.  The kids could see that they got three warnings before they would have to pull a ticket.  When they were told to pull a warning, they just pull one of their stars down and put it in a basket.  After they pull three, they pull a ticket then put their stars back up.  I love that they can actually see when they get a warning and they can change their behavior before they have to pull a ticket.  (We do the "pull a ticket"/"flip your card" system in our classroom).

These are just a few of my Pinterest inspired classroom management ideas I made last year.  I'll have to take some pictures of all of the Pinterest inspired things I have made for my classroom this year!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Great Resource For 3rd Grade Teachers!

Hey everybody!

I wanted to share a great resource for third grade teachers.  This TPT shop has some great resources for you!  They are great units that are well organized and align to third grade core content.  These units will keep your students engaged and you will love how easy they are to follow and use in your classroom.  Adam Chisholm is new to TPT and has a few resources up but I know more are to come!  So keep watching his shop.  He has made these units and uses them in his classroom, as do the other third grade teachers at our school.  His students love these!  And you will too!

Check out his great resources!  Click either of the above links or click here to visit his shop!

Click HERE to go straight to his amazing FREE resource!  


Monday, October 22, 2012

Tens Frame Cards

Hey everyone,

The other day I was trying to find some good tens frame cards to use in centers.  I wanted some that looked similar to a regular deck of cards except they have tens frames on them.  I also wanted them to go all the way up to twenty.  Well... after a night wasted searching for some that I liked, I decided to just make some.  Here they are...

If you like these, you can find them at my TPT shop.

I love to use these cards for centers.  I have my kids play "Make 10 Go Fish" or "Make 20 Go Fish".  They love it and they are learning ways to make 10 and 20, which is a great addition strategy to have.  You can use them for many other games as well.  I also love them because even my low kids, who can't add very well, can play.  All they have to do is count how many boxes are empty to figure out how many they need to make 10 or 20.

To make a full deck, copy four sets of the cards.  Then you will have four of each card, just like in a regular deck of cards.  I like to copy them onto cardstock so they are a little thicker.

Hope you find these useful!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Having a Sale!

Hey everyone!

I'm having my first sale!

Today and tomorrow (10/18-10/19) all my items will be 20% off at my TPT shop!  Stop by to get some goodies!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shape Posters

Hey everyone!

My 2nd grade class is starting our geometry unit so I wanted some cute posters to introduce the shapes to them.  This set of posters introduces students to shapes and vocabulary they will need for your geometry unit. Each shape has a name to help students remember. The attributes of the shapes are in bold so they stand out to students. I just started using these with my second graders and they love them.

Here are just a couple of them...


You can find these at my TPT shop or my Teachers Notebook shop!

Shapes included are: square, triangle, circle, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon, octagon.