Monday, April 29, 2013

Memory Books

Are you getting ready for the end of the year and trying to cram everything in? I sure am. I was looking for something to keep my kiddos busy while I do individualized testing and I decided to make my own memory books. Kids love memory books and I love reading what they found to be the best things of the entire year.
 Since I can never decide on a cover, I decided to create several from you to choose from. All 12 of the covers are included in the pack.

This book is designed to be printed double sided and stapled down the middle. There's nothing that bugs me more than having to cut and paste pages to make it into a book. I hate to waste paper and cutting and pasting takes too much time. So, I've got it all set up for you to simply print and copy. 

There are 14 pages for the kids to complete once it is made into a book.

Since I didn't want to leave anyone out, I've also made a 1st grade and 3rd grade version. Click on any of the pictures to view these books on TPT.

So what's your favorite memory of the year? Leave me a comment and I'll choose 3 winners to win a free copy of this pack. The giveaway will end Tuesday evening at 8:00 eastern time.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Teacher Talk Tuesday on Instagram

Instagram is my new love mostly because I can see new pictures of my nephew and I can see instant pictures of other people's classrooms and activities. Have you seen how many bloggers are on Instagram? You can find all kinds of bloggers and other teachers on Tuesday with the hashtag #teachertalktuesday.

Click on the image to head over to What the Teacher Wants and find other bloggers who use Instagram.

I would love it if you followed me on Instagram @swimmingintosecond.

Do you Instagram? Leave your username and I'll follow you too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Summer Loving Centers

Summer is so close I can taste it. Only 17 1/2 days for this gal! I can't wait for summer to get here.
I've had several people ask me if I was making centers for May and, then, I realized that it's May next week. I had already started the centers before I got so busy with reviewing for our achievement testing next week so I focused on finishing them this weekend. Anyways, they are done. I made them pretty generic with a summer theme so you can use them if you go to school past May. (I'm really sorry if you do!)  You can view this item on TPT by clicking on any of the pictures.

Want to win a copy of these centers?
The first person to guess my favorite ice cream will be the winner.
Don't forget your email address.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lucky Duck Winners

Congrats to my 3 winners! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be picked.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lucky Ducky Giveaway

Because I love y'all, I thought I have a giveaway this week to celebrate spring and reaching over 3,000 followers on TPT.

I will pick 3 winners. One top winner will get to choose 5 items from my store (can be future items), the second prize winner will get to choose 3 items from my store, and the third winner will get one item from my store. You can enter below by using Rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stressin' About the Test

Are you stressing about upcoming tests? I am. This is our first year of having a test at the end of 2nd grade that affects our evaluations. Ugh! I am super stressed about it and ready to get it over with. My grade level team plans on reviewing the week before the test so I made some new centers that review many of the 2nd grade common core standards for ELA. I think the language standards may be the hardest ones for my kids to master so I made my games with a focus on them as well as some of the vocabulary standards.

I got a little carried away with the centers but I really wanted to hit skills from the common core that may be difficult for 2nd graders.

Included with the centers, I have some daily review pages with some review activities that your kids will love.

You can click on any of the pictures to view the 176 page pack on TPT. Best of all, I have it marked down until Monday evening for those of you are ready to get started on your review.

Do your kiddos take a state test this year? If so, best of luck to you. What do you do to get your kiddos ready and motivated for the test?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five for Friday

It's finally Friday! This week was really long even though it was only 4 days.  It's finally getting warmer and we are going to have a beautiful weekend. I decided to link up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teacher for her "Five for Friday" linky party.

I spent Sunday and Monday in Nashville visiting my family. We ate at a new restaurant to me, Claim Jumper. It was so good! It seems to be all over the west but the one in Nashville is the only one in the South. I had fun spending time with my family and extended family over the rainy Easter weekend.

 This week, we have been working on learning about the Solar System. I love this fabulous unit from Sarah Cooley from First Last!. Your kiddos will love this unit.
 I've been trying to get my AR books more organized over the past few weeks. I have tons of books and I am trying to get some leveled for my kids. We just switched to AR online this year and almost all my books are AR books. It's amazing how easy it is!
 We have been working on Soft g and Soft c this week. My kiddos helped me come up with these soft g words for our anchor chart.
 Don't you just love getting a Scholastic box in the mail! I am a sucker for Scholastic books (see library problem above!)
 Today we did our second math task. We have been working on how to do it for 3 weeks now and the kids are finally getting the hang of it.

We are teaching adjectives next week and I can't wait to use these new books in our grammar lessons.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Literacy Station Organization

I've gotten many questions lately about how I run my literacy stations. It's hard to describe without you actually seeing it but I'm going to try my best. In the fall, I posted about my OWLS board.
Click here to get these labels for free.
I use this to keep my rotations on track. I covered up the frame where the kids' names go but they know what they are supposed to be doing each time the bell rings. On this board, the rotations say seat work but I have it as centers now. I used seat work in the fall before I had the centers under control. Each rotation is about 15 minutes long.

I set all my centers in flexible plastic bins that I got from Hobby Lobby last year. I love that they are flexible and they don't break when the kids drop them. I used to use plastic book bins but they were always getting broken.

 If you can tell from the picture, I have the centers numbered and labeled on the shelf. For some reason that I can't quite figure out, the kids can't seem to put 4 of them on a shelf. They seem to love putting them all on the same shelf and it drives me crazy! The labels make my life easier.

 I am addicted to Post-It notes and the label roll is amazing. If you mess up on an anchor chart, just use it to cover up the mistake. It's great for labeling things quickly and easily.
 The baskets are organized in a certain way but they really don't look like this at the end of the month.
 Inside the basket, they have an instruction sheet, recording sheets, and the sorting cards.
These centers are from my April Adventures center pack.
Click here to see it on TPT.

I found these vinyl envelopes at Office Depot and they are working great for centers. They hold the larger cards and the smaller cards. I was having a hard time with Ziploc bags because they would get thrown away when they were in the floor or all the cards wouldn't fit in the bags. This is my far, so good.

Each child has a center folder where they keep their recording sheets and center checklist.

Okay, back to the Post-it products, these Post-it pockets are awesome! You can move them around and they hold multiple sheets of paper. I have their center checklists for the month in here so they just grab one at the beginning of the month.

I have my centers last an entire month mostly because I'm too lazy to change them all the time. Also, they only have one rotation (about 15 minutes) to do them each day for four days a week. I started the year with just 10 centers but I have moved up to 12. I changed the number because some of my high kids were getting finished with them too early.

So I think that's about it. I like to see photos of how others organize things so I hope this has helped you. Please comment with any questions you might have.

In other news, I made this chicken broccoli braid after spin class tonight.
It was so good!  It kinda tastes like broccoli casserole in a pocket. 
I can't find my original recipe on Pinterest so I've linked a similar one.
I just didn't use mushrooms and swiss cheese. I used shredded cheddar cheese instead.

Click here to see a similar recipe on Pinterest.

Have a good night!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently April

Happy April everyone! It's been a while since I've linked up with Farley's monthly linky party. I can't seem to get motivated to get my plans ready for tomorrow so I thought I would join in on the fun.

I love quotes. I know it's so dorky but I used to write down quotes I found and loved to keep in a notebook. I actually just found it the other day. Now I am glad that Pinterest is around because I can look for quotes on whatever I need. I love the quote I typed above. I also love the one below. I've had it pinned for a while.

To all of you are ending your Spring break this week, I hope you have a wonderful week back at school. I've enjoyed spending time with my family this week and my new nephew. If you are just starting your spring break, enjoy!