Sunday, August 31, 2014

Visual Plans (September 1)

I'm back to share my visual plans with you for this week.  This past week was incredibly busy with Open House, a few other meetings, and lots of things that I had to do. I feel like I dropped off the face of the Earth. I had no Instagram photos and no blog posts this past week. I hope to do better this week. I've started getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym before school. I am loving how it makes me feel each day. I have so much more energy. I thought I would be dragging by the end of each day but not so much. Thanks to Katie King for inspiring me to get up and go so early!

So this week will be focused on consonant blends, character, setting, plot, predicates, personal narratives, and subtraction.

We are running full speed ahead with our reading rotations. My kiddos are doing great with Read to Self and Work on Writing. I introduced centers last week and they are working mostly without my help. I'm going to spend this week monitoring the rotations and then start reading groups next week.

Our personal narrative from last week is taking a little longer than I thought but I feel like I am getting such quality writing from my students. I decided to extend it through this short week so we can focus on all the aspects of the writing process.

Click on each image to download the plans and get to the links. 

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

I'm off to watch my Vols play today. It seems really strange that we are playing on Sunday so I'm going to be confused about what day it is all week long.  Have a great week!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Visual Plans (August 25th)

It's time for my weekly visual plans. Last week, I was way overplanned. I keep forgetting how long it takes 2nd graders to do anything at the beginning of a school year so I cut back on my activities this week. 

For phonics this week, we will be learning about long vowels with silent e.
Reading is all about main idea. Main idea is so hard for 2nd graders that I know that it will not be mastered by most of my students this week.
For grammar and writing, we are working on subjects of sentences and writing a personal narrative.
We are finishing up our addition strategies unit this week.
As always, you can download these plans to get the links to the freebies. 

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

Have a great week!
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

T is for Technology (ABCs of 2nd grade)

Today I am sharing some of my favorite pieces of technology with you.

I'm lucky enough to have access to lots of technology in my room. My newest favorite piece of technology is my Apple TV.  I have it hooked up to my Activboard so I can show things from my iPad to the entire class. I love using it to read digital books to my class. I was using the Storia app, which I loved, to read these books. However, Scholastic recently decided to cancel this app so I'm not sure how much longer it will work. I will now use the Kindle app to read books to my class. I love that they can see the words as I read and follow along. You can also use iBooks to read these books too. 

My local library has a digital book collection that you can check out for free. They have a wide variety of fiction books that I can check out. You might want to check with your local library to see if they have a service like this.


I am a huge fan of PBS kids. I show Electric Company clips all the time because they are fun and feature great content. I just found out that PBS now has some great apps.

Look at all these apps. Some of these are for preschoolers but you can search their site for apps that are appropriate for your age of kids. The age search stops at seven years old but some older kids will also enjoy some of the apps.


I've made a list of my favorite free apps for kids. You can click on the image to download.

So what are your favorite apps or pieces of technology?
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet the Teacher linky party

I'm linking up with my friend, Stephanie, for her fun linky party. I've really enjoyed reading about all my favorite teacher bloggers. I've finally found some time to link up myself.

 Iced coffee (the new Starbucks one in the bottle is yummy!), teal, Tennessee football, school supplies, Scandal, home decor, summer reading, ice cream, Braves baseball, children's books, HGTV, my Fitbit,  and spin class


 Depends on the day but I have always wanted to be an interior designer. I also love kids books so maybe a children's librarian.


creative, quiet, motivated


"Sure, I would love to go to another meeting and waste my plan time," said no teacher ever!!!!


I've always been fascinated with history so maybe Amelia Earhart. I also would love to eat dinner with Peyton Manning. He's my favorite!

Hmm, tough choice but I think I would want to be invisible. I can't go anywhere at school without someone telling me about a computer problem they are having. I just want to work in my room and be left alone sometimes. 


"Just keep swimming" Dory from Finding Nemo


I would never ever sing in public but if I had to sing, I would choose Rocky Top.


I have turned into a morning person. I don't love getting up early but, once I'm up, I'm productive. Teacher hours have led me to hardly ever stay up past 10.


It's so hard to pick my favorite because they were all a labor of love. But, I think my ultimate favorite is my Common Core ELA review centers. I love making centers and these are so much fun and cover everything. I loved seeing the fun my kiddos had with these and it made the time I spent on them completely worth it.


I was really quiet in school. My parents told me that when I was in Kindergarten, they asked me if I talked at school that day.  I told them that I said, "Here." 

I hate elevators. I got stuck in one once and I only use them if absolutely necessary. 

I am looking for a house. I sold my condo in May and I've been saving money for a house. I'm living with my parents right now and that's been an interesting transition. 

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Monday, August 18, 2014

More classroom photos

I'm back today to bring you more classroom photos. If you missed my previous post showing off my classroom space, click here.

My classroom library. One of these days I'm going to finish labeling all the baskets.

I had the tall bookshelf at my house and I wasn't using it since I moved. I was going to throw away the leveled reader containers but they were too nice. I decided to use the leveled reader containers to house more collections of chapter books.  I plan on covering up the sides and labeling each set.

This is my AR cart with leveled books for reading. I got this cart from Lakeshore.

 I got the idea to decorate my plain white tubs from Queen of the First Grade Jungle. I love how they turned out. Each table has a basket with Clorox wipes, Kleenex, and sanitizer. I also have a set of extra pencils in a cup within the container.  I have been putting things in here like the pages for our back to school book so I don't have to keep handing things out.

I'm hosting a linky part to show off your classroom space. I would love it if you joined in. If you don't blog, you can share your pictures with the #showoffyourspace2014.

Click here to join the linky party.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Visual Plans (August 18-22)

I survived my first week of school. I always forget how tiring it is. I'm hitting at least 10,000 steps on my Fitbit every day and I'm completely drained by the time I get home. This week will be our first week teaching skills. We had the entire week last week to test and teach procedures. As much as I love doing my own thing, I really need a schedule.

In our reading block, we are working on short vowels, character/setting, sentences, and ABC order.
I'm including my literacy centers but I really doubt we will get to them this week. We are still learning how to read by ourselves and I will be introducing writing. After students have mastered these for about 15 minutes, we will move on to centers. 
 In math, we are working on addition strategies.
As always, you can click on these pictures to download my plans and view all the links. 

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

If you download, please leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page. 

Have a great week!
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Idea for Buddy Books

I'm back this month with another Bright Idea post. If you are like me, you have been through several changes in reading series. This is my tenth year teaching and my fourth reading series. I'm a bit of a book hoarder and I hate to get rid of all those leveled readers that come with the series. In the past, I've sent books home with students who need some extra help reading but I still have a bunch left.

So, this year, I have created two crates of Buddy Books.

I took this picture before I added books to the middle crate. 

I put several copies (2-4) of each reader in a gallon sized Ziploc baggie. During reading rotations, students can choose to read from the Buddy Books crate. Most of these books are also AR books so they can take a test on the books after they have finished. 

These leveled readers are rarely chosen when they are placed in an AR tub or in the classroom library.  I know these books will be a hit because my students always love to read with a buddy and I know that most of my students can read these books successfully. 

For more Bright Ideas from over 100 bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic or grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

S is for Shutterfly (ABCs of 2nd grade)

Today, I am going to share one of my favorite classroom resources with you.

I am constantly taking pictures of my students and the activities that we do in the classroom. When I first started teaching, parents wanted copies of the photos that I was taking. It was incredibly time consuming to try to email these pictures or save them to a CD. So, enter Shutterfly. Shutterfly allows you to create a website for your class and share pictures that way. Best of all, the share site you create is private. Only those who are invited are able to see the photos.

At the beginning of the school year, collect email address of your students' family members.
Click on the picture to grab the freebie.

Here's how to set up your site. Go to Shutterfly. See that little Share button at the top of the screen. Click on that.

You will see this screen when you click on that tab. You can go ahead and create a site on this screen or you can click on "Learn More" to see the types of sites that are available.

These are the free sites that can be created. You can see a sample class site here or sign up.

Once you create your free site, you can add members. If you click on the members tab at the top, you can add emails of your students' family members.

The family members have to accept your invitation and then, they can see the photos that you post to the site. They can then order prints, create photo books, or just view all the photos.

My Shutterfly site has been a big hit with the families in my class. They love seeing what we are up to in the classroom. It also gives me peace of mind because I know these photos are private.

Have you used Shutterfly in your classroom? 

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Week Plans

Tomorrow is my first day with kiddos so I'm back to planning on Sunday. I got lots of stuff planned last week during my inservice days but I didn't write any of it down (except for Monday's plans). Oops! So, I am sharing with you what I think I am doing this week. I probably left a few things out. You know how the first week goes. I overplan so much because you never know how long something is going to take. I also have tons of back to school resources so it is really hard to pick and choose what I want to do.
Monday is a half day of school. The kids get out at 11:15 so that's why my plans are shorter.
As always, you can download the plans by clicking on any of the pic

My template was limited in space so I wanted to share some other great packs for back to school that I am going to be using either this week or next week.

Okay, friends, I think that's it. Now I'm overwhelmed. :) Hope you have a fantastic week.

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for her "Peek at My Week" linky.

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