Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reading Response Journal freebies

Hello friends! I've been transitioning my class intro responding more to their reading. Have you noticed how big this is in Common Core? Our testing is even changing to include more responding in writing and not with multiple choice.

So I made a reading response journal for each of my kiddos. Sorry for the glare. Still using my cell phone as my camera is being repaired (hopefully!).

I've added these owl labels to the owl label freebies in my TPT store.
Click here to grab them.  I've also added a few more labels too. I just can't remember right now which ones are new and which ones I already had in the pack. Excuse my exhausted teacher brain!

 This is what I decided to do in the journal. I took a couple of questions from Treasures or made my own up for each story. I had the kids paste the responses in the journals and write a response in a complete sentence. At this point in the year, I am happy with one sentence and we did most of it together. I plan on releasing the responsibility to them next week.

We did one prompt on Wednesday and one on Thursday after reading the story together for two days. I wanted them to be really familiar with the story before I threw a writing response at them. 

For all you second grade Treasures teachers, I am offering you the prompts for Unit1 for free. If you grab them, I would love it if you leave me a comment or at least follow my blog.

This is a sample from "Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea." 

Well, I hope you all have a fabulous Friday. I am really looking forward to a long weekend. I am exhausted and it's only the 3rd week of school.  Coffee has been my friend this week. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Winners and Freebies

Congrats to Lori, Debbie, and Elizabeth! Kim from imagestuff will be contacting you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  I've been working hard to try and get my reading groups going. I finally got my bulletin board put together. I love how this one turned out. I'm a huge chevron fan so this one keeps catching my eye. I'm still introducing the Daily 5 so one of my options is seat work which has mostly been flip books and graphic organizers. I'm not a huge worksheet fan. This will soon be replaced by centers and maybe listening to reading. 

It's hard to tell from my pictures but the chevron prints for each group are in cheapo frames from Target (I believe). I already had them at my house. I've just attached their names with regular tape in case I need to move them over the next few days.

Best of all, I have this as a freebie for my fabulous followers. I hope this helps you get reading groups organized and running. 

You can find a copy in my TPT store. Before you do, I would appreciate it if you left me some feedback.

Click here to grab a copy.

To everyone who has joined my Show Off Your Space linky party, I am trying to visit all your blogs and I apologize if I haven't commented on yours. I'm a bit swamped right now and I will try to come visit your space sometime before next week.
I'll be back later this week with some reading response freebies. Have a great Tuesday night friends!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Last day for giveaway

Today is the last day to enter my Brag tags giveaway. Three people will win packs of 35 brag tags and 35 neck chains. You have until midnight to enter. I can't wait to see who wins. Good luck everyone!

Click on the picture to head to the giveaway.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Freebie Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I have some freebies to share with you and I am linking up to Blog Hoppin's teacher week linky party.

I made it through my first few week of school and I am so tired. Those concrete floors are doing a number on my legs and feet. My week went really well. I have a sweet class and we are working really hard. I'm still trying to get used to my schedule. It's really different than last year.

I was super excited to see this in my classroom on Wednesday morning. It was moved overnight and I am so glad to finally have my Activboard back. The guys who moved it even hooked my VCR up to it so we can watch announcements on the Activboard in the morning. The kids love this!

I've been working on getting centers ready. I plan on doing these some during the year. I love Amy Lemon's Back to School literacy centers. They are so easy to use. I found these great flexible tubs at Hobby Lobby last spring. To keep them organized, I labeled each one with a number on a ring like below.

I have these labels (up to 22) available in my TPT store for free.

I've also been trying to better organize all my books. This is only a tiny bit of what I have. The others are all mixed up from when I moved. I'm going to have to get more of these bins from Really Good Stuff. 

You can find my book bin labels for free in my TPT store. I have several different sets so don't forget to grab them all.

This past week, I read "The Library Dragon" by Carmen Agra Deedy with my class.
If you've never heard of this book, it's a great one to teach classroom library expectations to your kiddos. I've had some trouble with kids not treating books well in the past and I'm a bit protective of my books. Hopefully I'm not the only one that has palpitations when kids mess up my books. I know it's a bit insane and I'm trying to get over it.

This year, I thought I would create some library expectation posters to post near my library and I thought I would share them with you. I love chevron so I thought I would use that as a background.

We finished our Splats after reading "Back to School, Splat." I love Splat and these turned out so cute!

 You can find this in my Back to School with Books pack.

We also made the giraffes from Mrs. Cupcake from A Cupcake for the Teacher.
I love her crafts. These were so easy to make and cute too!

I hope you enjoy the freebies. Please leave me some feedback if you do.
While you are here, don't forget to enter my Brag Tags giveaway. It ends on Monday at midnight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brag Tags giveaway

Hello everyone! I am so excited to bring you an awesome giveaway from imagestuff. Have you seen the brag tags floating around blog land? I saw them on another blog and I had to get some for my classroom. They are awesome and so much fun.

I love that they can be personalized for your classroom and there are lots and lots of designs. I bought the Motivation Teacher pack seen above. Aren't they cute?

The amazing people at imagestuff are donating  35 tags and 35 neck chains to 3 lucky readers of my blog. This is going to be an easy giveaway so be sure to enter below. You have until Monday night at midnight to enter the giveaway. Winners will be announced on Tuesday. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday

For my technology tip, I am going to help all you Mac users with a simple trick that I've found to erase a white box from a JPEG image. When I am creating resources, I often don't want this box around the images. It just gets in the way. So here's how you get rid of it:

See that box around the image below. It just doesn't work sometimes.

For this to work, you must be in Pages or Keynote. If you don't have Pages or Keynote on your Mac, you should. I love them so much more than Word or Powerpoint.

(1) To begin, click on the JPEG image within Pages or Keynote so the little boxes on the corners show up.

(2) Go up to Format on the Menu bar and click on Instant Alpha.

 When you click on Instant Alpha, this little box will appear.

 (3) Hold down SHIFT as you click and this will keep the Instant Alpha active if you need to get rid of more than one white area.
 If you can see this image has several white areas so I have to keep holding down SHIFT to get rid of all of them.
 Viola! You have gotten rid of the white background.
Click the X in the box and you are out of Instant Alpha.

If you notice, the image has a little bit left of white around the edges. I can click on the image again and go to Instant Alpha again to get rid of these areas.

 The little white box will show up again. The gray directions box did not show up but you can still do Instant Alpha as long as you see the white frame from what you already removed.

Click on those little areas and you have an image without the white background.

Looks much better now!

Here's one more tip, if you accidentally change a color you don't want to change, just go up to the Edit menu and click on Remove Instant Alpha. 

Hope this helps friends! Check out Katie's linky party for more techy tips.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

It's Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin' and I'm linking up to share my must-haves for school.

(1) An Activboard
I miss mine like crazy! I never realized how much I rely on my Activboard until I don't have one. Yeah, I'm still waiting for mine to be moved but I was told today that it might get moved this week. I really hope so! I love my Elmo too but I can't use it since my projector hasn't been moved. Fingers crossed!

(2)  My Scotch personal laminator
I love, love, love my laminator. I can't say it enough. This thing is awesome. It laminates so much thicker than my school laminator and makes the papers look so much better.

(3) Mac computers
I love Macs. They are so easy to use and make my life so much easier. I'm one of the people at my school who fixes other teachers' computers and I can't even begin to fix a PC now. Luckily, almost everyone at my school has a Mac.

(4) My Erin Condren lesson planner and life planner. Amazing!

(5) Post it notes. I can never have too many and I use them for everything.
(6) Most importantly, I need coffee to make it through the day. I get to schools super early so this is a necessity.
I love Starbucks but I don't get it every day. Iced coffee and chai tea is my favorite.

I can't wait to see your must-haves. I could go on and on but I'm going to stop here. Happy blog hopping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Show Off Your Space: A Linky Party

I have been working hard on getting my classroom ready for school to start. Today was the first day. We had a half day today and I love my new class. They are so sweet and cute! Don't you just love starting all over at the beginning of the year! I love seeing everyone's hard work in their classrooms and get new ideas for mine so I thought I would throw a linky party to share classroom photos.

Here's some photos from my classroom.

This is the area outside the door. I usually put a class list, a newsletter, and a calendar on the small bulletin board. I just love my owl door hanger. I hung it out of reach so the kids can't mess it up.

Here's my clock with my important times clocks. I don't know why my clock is above the door. I can't see it from across the room. I may have to move it once my Activboard is in place.

 This is my reading/carpet area. I love my huge carpet I got from Donor's Choose. It's so big that all my kids can fit on it comfortably. I've never had that before. I'm in love with these owl bins. (Sorry for the blurry pictures. Both of my real cameras are broken so I'm using my cell phone. Anyone have suggestions on a good camera? I've always had a Canon but my newest one only worked for half a year.)
 This is my favorite area of my classroom. This is by the fire door and I love how the letters turned out.
 My carpet with the crates. I love my lanterns! They really add pizazz to the room. The black squares are poster board with duct tape around them. I'm going to have my kids do a painting to hang up there and include some class photos.
 Another view of my carpet area
 The empty space where my Activboard is supposed to be. :(
 My classroom entrance with my specials signs from the amazing Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files.

 Whooo's in our class? board. I loved the idea of creating a tree going off the board that I have seen on several blogs.
 My new goals board for the Common Core Standards. I think this is going to work great. I laminated some cardstock and hot glued it to the board. I added a Sticky clip to hold the standards in place. Easy to change and easy to see!
 Another view of the front of my room
 The back of my room. My old room had lockers back here but this room has lockers in the hallway. I bought some shelves to store my many books and games.
 My reading table. It's still a bit messy but I'm working on it. I still have lots of empty bulletin boards because I want my room not to feel like "my room" but "our classroom." I think it helps to create a sense of ownership to have students help you build the bulletin boards.
 My word wall and expectations  board. I love my word wall. The ribbons that divide the letters match the border perfectly. I'll take a zoomed in photo soon. 

Well, that's pretty much it. It should change quite a bit over the next few weeks. I would love to see your classroom. Please grab the linky party image above and link up to my party.

I'm also linking up to the Where I Teach linky party at Blog Hoppin.'