Sunday, March 30, 2014

2nd Grade Product Swap & Blog Hop: Writing Tools Flip Book

Hey everyone!

Welcome to the second grade product swap and blog hop!  EIGHTEEN wonderful second grade bloggers have joined together to swap and review each other's products.  Best of all, we are giving away all of the products to one lucky winner!

If you are looking for the start of the hop, head over to see Casey at Second Grade Math Maniac  to start hopping.  As you check out all of the fabulous products, make sure to follow each blog on Bloglovin' as well.  There will be a Rafflecopter at the last stop.  This is where you can enter to win all of the products being reviewed!

I am so excited that I got to use Nicole's Writing Tools Flip Book.  My second graders are loving it and I love that they have all of these great writing tools right at their fingertips!

Click on the picture to check out Nicole's Writing Tools Flip Book in her TPT shop!

Here is the preview of the writing tools flip book:

These flip books are so easy to put together and they make such a great reference tool for my students.  Here are a few pictures of my kiddos getting their Writing Tools Flip Books all put together!

Here is one of our flip books all put together!

I use one of these flip books to show my students how to use their flip books.  I absolutely LOVE this flip book.  My students have been using their flip books everyday during writing time.  There are so many different writing tools included in this flip book.  It includes powerful words, transition words, writing hooks, a writer's checklist, and even proofreading marks!  This flip book will help your students develop as writers and they will always have these tools handy to help them in their writing.  I highly recommend this for every teacher!

Now it is time to hop on over to the next stop on this wonderful blog hop!  Click the button below to head over to Nicole's blog, Mrs. Rios Teaches.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop

Hey Everyone!
I'm so excited to be participating in the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!

In my classroom, I like to make read-to-self a relaxed and cozy time.  I want my students to be able to curl up with a good book and enjoy that time with it.  So one thing I do during read-to-self is turn off all of the harsh classroom lights (I have heard they are bad on our eyes… yikes) and turn on a bunch of lamps and hanging lanterns.  I even like to turn on a few strands of twinkle lights :).  This makes the atmosphere of the room nice and cozy and just perfect for reading.  The second thing I do is let each student read at a different "Book Nook".  Let me explain…

We have 6 different book nooks in our classroom that students rotate through: the barber chair, the pretty chair, carpet squares, whisper phones, crate seats, and t-shirt pillows.  These book nooks are different places the students can read in the classroom, instead of just sitting at their boring old, stiff seats.  It helps make our read-to-self time more relaxed and comfortable.

Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy, my phone doesn't take the best pictures :(.

Here are all of our book nooks.  Each book nook is written on a cute cutout and each student's name is written on a clip.  Everyday I rotate the students one clip space… I don't rotate their clip to the next book nook, just to the next clip space, so sometimes a student may have the same book nook for a few days in a row.  I keep a certain number of students on each book nook (depending on how many we have available in our classroom).  So, for example, we only have one barber chair so there is only one clip on that book nook but we have multiple carpet squares so a few clips can be on that book nook.

These are our book nooks…
This is our Barber Chair.

 We call this our Pretty Chair. 

These are our Carpet Squares.

We also use Whisper Phones.

And we have some Crate Seats. 

But the favorite of all book nooks is… T-Shirt Pillows! 

The t-shirt pillows are always a student favorite.  They love to curl up and read with a t-shirt pillow on the floor.  And the best part is… they are SUPER easy to make!  I made all of these myself.  All you need are a few old t-shirts, some inexpensive stuffing (I got mine from Walmart) and basic sewing skills.  You just sew all of the open edges of the t-shirt, leaving the neck open.  Then stuff the t-shirt as full as you'd like it.  Last, sew the neck closed.  Ta-Da! It is as easy as that.  They can be hard to store if you have larger t-shirts, so I had my handy husband make me a chest/bench to store mine in.  It worked out perfect because I also needed a step for my kiddos to reach my SmartBoard…

Of course I had to add some bright paint to it… but it is perfect for storing t-shirt pillows and a perfect step for my kiddos to reach the SmartBoard.

My kiddos love, love, love when they get to read with a t-shirt pillow.  Don't they just look like such cozy readers…

I was always that student that did not like read-to-self.  I hated sitting at my seat staring at a book… but I do remember LOVING read-to-self in one class where I got to sit in a bathtub full of t-shirt pillows.  It was always a special treat to get to sit in the tub of t-shirt pillows and I loved my reading time in there.  I wanted to make my students have special little reading memories and help those reluctant readers enjoy read-to-self time a little more, so I started these books nooks.  

Next up on the blog hop is Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac!  Casey has a great post all about organizing math stations.

Alternatively, you can search by topic using the link-up below and move along to any other blog on the blog hop!