Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Peek at My Week (Sept. 15)

Thanks for all your sweet comments about my plans last week! I'm back sharing my plans for this week. We are working on digraphs,  facts and details, imperative and exclamatory sentences, and place value this week.
 I forgot to add in that we will be reading our main selection, "The Strongest One" on Monday during our whole group lesson.

As always, you can click on any of the images to download the plans. Please leave me a comment if you download these. 

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share my plans.

In other news, I have finished my latest pack for "Tara and Tiree" in Reading Street and it is in my TPT store. I also went ahead and posted the bundle if you are wanting to save money. Here's the deal with the bundle. Right now, it only has "Tara and Tiree" in it plus a bonus of my "Noun Showdown" game. I will be adding the new stories when I get them done and, if you purchase the bundle, you will just be able to download it from your "My Purchases" tab. I will also have it marked down until I add the next story.
"Tara and Tiree" pack:
Unit 2 bundle:

Congrats to Shawna Land! She was the winner of the back to school pack from BIC. Thanks so much to all who entered!

Have a wonderful week!
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Back to School with BIC: Fight for Your Write campaign with giveaway

I have a confession. I am a school supply hoarder. I know that most teachers are the same way. We all love brand new pencils, fun pens, and any school supply that will make our life easier.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted my BIC to see if I would like to review some of their new products for Back to School. I jumped at the chance to see what their new products. BIC has also launched a new campaign called "Fight for Your Write" to empower young people to write. You can find more information about the "Fight for Your Write" campaign by clicking here. Writing is so important and I'm so glad that BIC is recognizing that. This site gives great tips of how to encourage handwriting and writing at home and in the classroom.

Here's an excerpt from BIC's website:
Why is writing important? Writing affects many developmental areas that are essential to how children learn and process information. The practice of writing activates a child’s mind, aids in memory and hones fine motor skills. Writing is by nature, personal and individual. Kids form their identities through writing. They use it as a tool for expressing their emotions and feeling and for discovering their own imaginations and creativity. Check out these terrific resources for more information on why handwriting is so important. Click a link below to learn more!

Check out what was in the box that BIC sent to me. The BIC Kids line is so neat.

We've tried out a few of the products in my classroom.

 We used the 4 color pen to edit our personal narratives. Since we were using different colors for different things, it was easy to switch to another color while we were reading the writing.

To encourage better handwriting, we used the mechanical pencil. It's perfect for kid fingers and encourages better finger placement on the pencil. See that yellow bump. It sticks up and helps students hold their pencil correctly. It also comes with lots of thick lead and a giant eraser. I love the lead because it is so much thicker than normal and harder for kids to break. Using mechanical pencils in second grade can drive you crazy with the constant lead breaking but this pencil will solve that problem.

 I plan on using the kid's pen and kid's stylus really soon. All of these come with labels so you can label who's pencil/pen/stylus it is. That will solve so many problems.

We've also tried out the sparkly mechanical pencils. One of my former students came to visit me and I let her practice her cursive using this pencil. I plan on using these sparkly pencils when we add sparkly words to our writing. I also think they would be great for the star writer of the week. 

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Visual Plans (September 8th)

Happy Sunday! Today I am stopping by to bring you my plans this week. I had lots of requests to share my schedule so I decided to share my actual plans this week. I will probably continue to do this because visual plans take a long time and I don't really use them for my actual plans. My schedule is still a work in progress because we have not started intervention groups yet. We finish our last round of STAR testing this week and that should lead to groups forming soon.

I have included links in these plans for things that I am using. You can get these items by downloading the plans. I know many of you are reading these posts because I see the number of page views. I would love it if you would leave me a comment so I can tell if these plans are helpful for you.
Here are my plans for reading groups. This is my first week with reading groups because we have been learning the rotations and trying to work independently. My kiddos have finally got those down so we are ready to begin groups.
I forgot to include a link to the centers that I am using. We will be finishing our back to school centers this week. We will hopefully start the September centers next week.

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share my plans.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Our First Weeks in Pictures (with Freebie)

I've survived three weeks of school and things are finally slowing down some. Those first few weeks are so hectic with meetings, paperwork, and all those back to school extras. I also hurt my rotator cuff in July and I've been having to go to physical therapy twice a week after school. I'm glad for a long weekend to relax and catch up on some things.

Last night, I went to the first football game for my Vols. It was kinda strange since it was on Sunday but the game rocked. We were picked to lose my many people but the game was never close. I have season tickets to the games and I've stuck through the bad times lately. I'm hoping we are on an upswing this year.

It poured down rain for a while before the game started but once the band hit the field, the sun was out and there was a rainbow in the sky.

Okay, now onto the pictures of our first few weeks.

We started our time together with this fun activity from Linda Kamp. It was so cute! Linda's pack really saved the day. I have a craftivity for this book in my Back to School with Books pack that I had planned on doing. Well, our copier that runs construction paper broke and got taken away. Now, my entire school is operating with 1 copy machine that doesn't run construction paper. Grrr! It's been 3 weeks and we still don't have another copier. It's highly irritating! We did one craft by tracing the pieces on construction paper and there's just no time for that. Too slow for me and the kids.

For Linda Kamp's activity, I pretended like I had been waiting on the kiddos all summer and I wanted to know where they were. I was going to do what they had been doing all summer before they came but we had already talked about that so I had them list something they had to learn before they came into second grade. I got some really great answers.

We also did this page from Linda's pack. I loved their answers. My favorite answer is below. "Pretty soon, I'll be able to boss someone around." :)

In math, we started off the year with Amy Lemons' "Let's Get Started" unit.

I loved using the silent puzzles to promote teamwork without talking.

I found this cute green owl at Hobby Lobby. I hung it on the cabinets behind my small group table. I love that I can hang cards on rings on the hooks for its feet.

We spent the first week working on Hope King's paper bag book. I loved how these turned out but they were so much work. Next year, I'm going to have to be more choosy about what is included. Considering everything takes so long at the beginning of the year, these books were a big undertaking.

We have been working on complete sentences. I loved this sorting activity from Teachers Clubhouse and the kids did too.

 We also played the Sentence Showdown game from Teachers Clubhouse to review.

We had Open House this past week. I found these magnetic business cards at Office Depot. I thought these would be perfect for sending home my contact information with the parents.

 These business cards are adhesive and you can just stick your contact information (business card size) on the top. Easy peasy!

I used the format below for my business cards. I just copied them on cardstock and cut them apart. 

I've made these editable so you can use them too. You just need to be a Facebook fan to grab these freebies.

Also, I've had lots of questions about my next Reading Street unit. I am making units for each story but they will be slowly posted. There's just not much time to work on them. Thanks for all your sweet comments and I'll do my best to get them posted soon.

Have a great day! Good luck to all those who start school tomorrow.
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