Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Heather!!!

I am just popping in quickly to wish my dear friend and blogging buddy, Heather, a very Happy Birthday!!!!!  I am so thankful that I have her as my coworker.  She makes going to school everyday SO much fun!  She is so funny and you never know what might come out of her mouth.  But rest assured no matter what she says, it is hilarious and it will make me LAUGH OUT LOUD!   More importantly I am so thankful to call her my friend.  She is one of the sweetest people who regardless of what is going on in her own life, will stop and do anything for you!

Happy Birthday, Heather.  I love you bunches!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gardens, Butterflies, and Ladybugs, OH MY!

We have had several good days of rain lately!  So when I got to school today, I noticed that we would need to pick some of our carrots.  We headed outside and found these
As I pulled the carrots out, I noticed several little ladybug larvae crawling around in the dirt.  Check it out. (this is in Heather's hand)
We have been keeping busy learning all about the complete metamorphosis of insects.  As I was showing them the ladybug larvae, one of my students said, "look, here's a pupa!"  I was SO excited.  We haven't talked about the ladybug life cycle yet.  When I showed them the larvae it was the first time they had even seen one.  I was so impressed that this student applied his knowledge from mealworms and butterflies to ladybugs.  I turned around quickly and saw what he pointed to.  It was in fact, a ladybug pupa right on the wall outside my classroom window.
So amazing!  Well, we needed to move inside and get to work.  However, work in the garden had to continue.  So I left small groups of students with our full time substitute.  They harvested peas, carrots, and lettuce to take home.  We even got one onion! 

The next amazing thing was what one of my students found munching on some lettuce and dill.  2 monarch caterpillars.  When we study butterflies, we raise Painted Lady Butterflies.  I have actually never seen a monarch caterpillar before!  It was absolutely amazing!

It was just such a fun day of getting our hands dirty and learning about insects in REAL LIFE!  I can't wait to keep our eyes on these two caterpillars and see them go into their chrysalis!  I sure do love those gardens and how much Heather and I can teach to our kids through it!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Easy Explanations ~2.NBT.9

How has everyone's weekend been?  Mine has been good.  Heather was away this weekend celebrating her little sister's graduation.  My weekend was full of soccer games and family time so it was also fun!  What is your countdown down to?  We have 2 more Mondays and 3 more of every other days.  Being a grand total of 14 days left.  We have been keeping our days full with our balloon popping activities.  The kids sure do love it!  What have some of your favorites been?

This week we tackled 2.NBT.9.  The excellent standard for having students explain their thinking.  As always, as we explicitly teach the skill the first week, we place the skill in our stations for the following week.  One of those stations is math games.  We needed a great game for our kids to play that would allow them to apply this skill in game form.  There aren't tons of resources out there for this skill.  And to be honest it is a tricky skill not only to learn for our kids but to teach for us.  We took the approach of having the kids not only explaining their thinking with both word problems and equations.  But we also had students analyze other people's strategies for solving problems.  We had them to analyze and decide why their strategies worked and explain why they didn't work.  

I came up with a little game that allows the students to solve problems and choose multiple choice style the correct answer.  Then they have a recording sheet that allows them to explain why the answer they chose was the correct answer.  Be sure to check it out!  First comment gets a free copy of your own!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale

We are so thankful for all of our followers who are teachers!  We are so excited to be able to participate in this sale as well as shop this sale!  Be sure to check out some of our great lessons and units on sale for the next two days!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mental Math and a Freebie

Remember this past summer when I posted about Mental Math here?  When I created my unit, I had no idea that so many of you would be struggling with the same concept!  We have started reviewing mental math in our second grade classrooms.  Today we reviewed the adding 10's.  We are going to explicitly teach it for each adding and subtracting until we feel confident that they understand it.  Then we will have them work on mixed problems for adding and subtracting 10's and 100's.  Want to check out the mini unit?  It's a great one in my biased opinion!

As I started preparing for next week, I realized needed a game that my kids could play to review this skill.  I made a quick spinner game that lets the kids make their own 3 digit number.  I think it accompanies the unit well!  Be sure to pick up your own free copy by clicking the picture below.  First comment will also get you my Mental Math Mania pack for free!!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reasons for My Blogging Absense

Whew! Long time, no blog!  Who knows where this blog would be if it wasn't for Juli.  I have had a lot going on.  Lots of reasons for my lack of appearance on this blog...
Reason Number One:
Our new puppy! If you are a follower of our blog then you know that we lost our dog Georgia in January.  About a month ago we decided to get a new puppy. His name is Banjo.

 Isn't he cute?!  He has one blue eye and one brown eye which I love.  Here he is below meeting my boys for the first time. 

As cute and cuddly as he is, he is a lot of work! House training isn't going as well as I would have hoped.  I also didn't want to crate him at first so I spent about 3 weeks getting up in the middle of the night so he could potty.  That got old FAST and my husband was getting tired of being a human chew toy at 3 am so we bought a crate. He now sleeps in his own room in a crate with a comfy bed.  No more accidents at night but we are still working on using the pads or going outside when he is out and about. We also discovered he has a tumor on his eye - his cornea to be exact. Due to it's placement, the vet cannot do the operation.  We have been referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist - who even knew such a profession existed???  As with any person whose title ends with "gist", he is charging an INSANE amount to remove this tumor.  We have to remove the tumor or Banjo could lose his eye. So here's to hoping my TPT sales take off.  At this rate, Banjo has cost more than any piece of furniture in my house!

Reason Number Two:
DRAMA! The drama in my classroom continues, much to my dismay and exhaustion.  Makes me glad that I have 2 boys!  Everyday several girls are reduced to tears for various mean things said to one another.  I am afraid the next one in tears will be me! It takes so much energy to address the smallest things ALL the time!  There are fingers waving, hair swishing, and "Oh no you didn't" postures in my room at every turn.   One day coming in from recess I saw a shirt that one of Juli's little girls was wearing. Juli snapped a picture of it and I am now trying to figure out how to get one in my size and work it into my wardrobe for the remaining school days.  

Please excuse my appearance! Juli failed to mention that I looked somewhat like roadkill when she took it.  It's the drama - it is physically wearing down what I look like! Plus this was at the end of the day and recess....bless my heart.

Reason Number Three:
New product! I have been busy creating activities for our math workshop stations.  I put this one up at TPT if anyone is teaching this standard.  It meets 2.OA.1  This is a standard our kiddos are really struggling with.  I made this for our math game station.  It allows the students to play a game, practice the standard, and includes a recording sheet for teachers to get a glimpse of student understanding.

You can click HERE to see this product at TPT. Like Juli always does though, first to comment gets it free! I would also love some feedback to see if there are improvements that can be made. Make sure you leave an email address for me to send to if you are the first to comment. THANKS!

I have other products and a few freebies to share but those are on my computer at school so they will have to wait for another day.  Now that we have our new Macs that Juli told you about, I am hoping I won't have products spread out on different computers.

I am off to tackle Reason Number Four that I don't blog often - laundry! It's never ending. Is it living with 3 boys or do all houses have this much laundry?  I love this pin even though I have yet to experience those 12 seconds!

 E-Cards Archives | Page 8 of 38 | Little White LionLittle White Lion

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ladybug Author's Purpose and a Currently!

Happy Thursday,
I am popping in quickly to join up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

My husband and I couldn't find anything to watch on TV tonight so we turned Blue Like Jazz on.  It was interesting.

We may not have had a raise in 6 years, in fact we've made less money every year.  But in the last month we have been issued an iPad and Macbook Air.  I am IN LOVE!!!

I really need to go to sleep!  I am headed on a field trip tomorrow with my first grader to pick strawberries at our local pick your own farm.  I need to get my sleep.  I am excited to be a momma tomorrow!

I am SO ready for summer.  I can't wait to relax and spend time with my hubby and babes.  It is our last summer before all of my kids are "school age". :(

I recently discovered that I am extremely vitamin D deficient.  The main symptom I feel is pure exhaustion!  I always feel the need to sleep and even when I have slept 12 hours, I feel the need to continue to sleep.  I have felt so much better since I began my prescription.  Now that the prescription is out, I can feel the need for sleep creeping back in.

My hubby is headed to Africa this summer for three weeks on a mission trip with my parents.  While I am holding down the fort, I will be heading to Ohio to visit with my family while my support system is away.  I am also looking forward to making some more fun units for my TPT store.  It is so hard to get things made during the school year!  Thank goodness for this new macbook!

So, tonight I made a little Author's Purpose Game to get in the swing of making things this summer!  Remember Heather's Author's Purpose game about Pirates?  It was so awesome, I decided to create one for our Ladybug unit that we are beginning soon!  Make sure to stop by my TPT store and check it out!

As always, first comment gets your own copy for free!