Saturday, June 30, 2012

The most generous giveaway ever!!

Short and sweet today....I'm working on putting some things together to start up my own TPT store but in the meantime...I'm hoping to win the most generous giveaway ever!!  Check it out over at Second Grade Smartypants!  I am just hoping to one day have 100 followers, I dunno if I'd be able to match their giveaway though.  Wish me luck and hop over to check out the awesome loot you could win!

Sandy

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

I'm working on gratitude...it is easy for me to pick out the not so positive things in my life.  Which is really silly because I have lots of positive things in my life that I should be focusing on.

Hence, my link up today.
I'm loving the new blogs I found that are not teacher blogs but inspirational blogs about the randomness and beauty of life. 



 What am I loving right now?
My four beautiful kids...this isn't the newest picture but with one at college in MA, one in Indiana,and one working an hour away, it isn't easy to get everyone together at the same time anymore.  I love that they have all become beautiful, intelligent,loving people.

LOVE that Vera Bradley is selling bedding now!!  How awesome is this pattern?  I love the bright colors!

Of course, I love that it is summer (today is officially the 1st day!),and that means I get to wear my flip flops EVERY day!! 

And last but certainly not least,I love this saying,it is my motto lately!  How much nicer would the world be if everyone followed this saying?

Link up and share what you are loving right now,let's practice gratitude together!

Sandy





Monday, June 18, 2012

Do you Pin?

I am pinning all the time!  It is one of my ongoing obsessions...I love how you have a visual of the idea that you love, available at your fingertips, waiting for the day when you have time to try it (or just dream about it)!  So  I'm linking up with Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher for her
linky party....I heart linky parties! Here are a few of my pins that are at the top of my "to do" list.

How cute would this be for your door?  I thought about using red, white, and blue flip flops to match the 4th of July theme!  Must do this ASAP!!

The ingredients for this baby are on the shopping list!!  A must for the backyard BBQ!!  I dunno about you but I can't wait to taste these!

Do you love motivational quotes as much as I do?  When I saw this, I knew right away I would copy it next year!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

Skippyjon Jones ROCKS!!  I am so starting the year out with his newest addition!  I use Skippyjon as a classroom mascot and the kids just love him!!  

I used these little coupons last year and they were such a hit!  My kiddos were begging for them daily!!  So much easier and cheaper than a treasure box and I love this way of organizing them!!  100% better than in the top drawer of my desk =)


So come follow me....I add pins every day!!

Follow Me on Pinterest
 
Link up and share your favorites!
Sandy =)



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sight words...important or overlooked? (and a freebie)

I admit that there is little emphasis put on sight words in 2nd grade at my school.  I know how important it is for primary readers to master their sight words but it seems that with all the assessments we hate are required to give,sight words seem to fall to the way side.  On top of SAT 10 and FAIR, we give quarterly benchmarks and monthly writing prompts.  So,in my first two years of teaching I have wasted spent a lot of time figuring out how to fit in fluency and sight word checks.  I think I have figured it out!!  This little sheet will involve families in their kiddos learning and save me time in the classroom.  I opted for monthly because that seemed realistic to me.  I like this sheet because students can be tested right on the same paper that they take home to study.  So what do you think?  Do you have a cool way to stay on top of sight word checks?  Would you use a sheet like this each month?
 August Sight Words
If you like this, I'd love a comment and don't forget to follow me!
Happy Saturday :)
Sandy

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer reading...

Oh the beauty....actually having the time to read...summer is the best season for us teachers to catch up on reading!  Reading at the beach or by the pool is soooo relaxing.  What am I reading this summer?  Well,first on my list is an awesome little read about writer's workshop.  If you have struggled with how to set it up, this book makes it very clear with lots of mini-lessons right there for you.  I'm loving it!

I'm also re-reading this one and following the book study going on right now for grades 1-3.  If you don't use the Daily 5 I highly recommend you check it out.  You won't regret it!

After the Daily 5 comes The Cafe Book.  I just received my copy in the mail and can't wait to dive in.  I'm hoping to add a lot to my reading program next year and this seems like the answer to goal setting,assessment, and increasing student's progress.  With all the merit based pay talks going on out there I feel a little worried about making sure I am the most effective teacher that I can be.




And because it is summertime and we should relax a little bit,I simply MUST read the most talked about book out there right now and that is...
Fifty Shades of Grey!  I can't believe I haven't read it yet either but I will have that little problem solved in the next few weeks.  I can't wait!!






What are you reading this summer?  Link up here and share
I love a good book! :)

Sandy





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Details of The Daily 5...

Are you ready?  I know I am!  The Daily Five book study for grades 1 - 3 starts today!  I have read the book and last year I even taught the lessons.  We built our stamina, learned about choosing books that fit just right ( I loved the shoe lesson!), and practiced each part.  Yet,somehow we never got to the independent part.  Maybe its our large class size, we have 24-26 students,no para.  Maybe it was my need for control?  I'm not sure but this year I am determined that we will be complete Daily Fivers!  I can't wait to join the book study that can be found here...

I am hoping that maybe there are others who struggled with how to organize the kiddos as they participate in their own learning.  Details is what I need....such as, how many activities do you have available for Work on Words and how do you make the materials available?  My class did Read to Self all together last year and I have to say I liked it.  It really made it possible for me to get all those pesky assessments done!  FAIR,fluency checks, and sight word checks.  UGH...all one on one.  How do you get it all done with no help?  The Daily Five of course!
So grab your book and a cup of coffee and share the details of how you do Daily Five in your classroom. I can't wait to learn!

Sandy


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Monday, June 11, 2012

Tips and Tricks (and a freebie)

Some of the best tips are the obvious simple ones. So, I was up ubber early this morning (like 5am) cuz my hubs started a new job and as I was thinking of what to do today I came across an activity that my kiddos did for Mother's Day.  What does this have to do with tips you ask?  Well,as I uploaded the photos I recalled that I loved these portraits so much because of the tip one of my awesome teammates gave me.  As we all admired her student's work and how well they ALL seemed to draw, she told us about outlining the pictures with a black marker.  Who knew?  It seemed so obvious yet somehow I'd never thought of it!
Here are a few of my kiddos pictures



Aren't they adorable?  I got the simile paper as a freebie on TPT.  I did tell the kiddos that they could only draw from the shoulders up and that their picture should fill the page.  I also encouraged them to color in the background.
So then I started thinking about having students do portraits like these of themselves.  I made up my own page to go with the portraits and plan on putting them up the first couple of weeks of school while we get to know each other.  Maybe I will attempt a portrait of myself and make up a teacher sheet :)  What do you think?
Here is my sheet if you would like to have it...
I'm a Second Grader!



I hope you enjoy!
Sandy

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

What do you do with your "teacher stuff"?

Am I the only teacher who honestly prefers school being in?  Don't get me wrong I love having time off however after about 3 days I am quite simply bored!  I have organized,sorted,threw out,cut,and laminated all of the things I started but didn't finish during the year.  I am reading an awesome book called No More "I'm Done!" which is really keeping me engaged.  Time to use this energy on something productive!
So what do you do with all of your "teacher stuff" during the summer?  I am lucky enough to have a spare bedroom to put my things in but HELP  I have no idea how to put it together so that the room can be used.  Here is a picture of what it looked like before...



And here is what it looks like now...

I know I know not much different! So I am asking for ideas,how do you store all of your "teacher stuff"?  I'd love to see pictures of your extra rooms and how they look!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

3rd Year is a Charm Right?

So...I've spent the day filing away my leftover papers from the year!  I'm not finished by any stretch of the imagination but I am proud of myself for having started!  I've thrown away a trash bag full of stuff that would have just taken up space for the next few years! 
As I start to prepare for my 3rd year of teaching, I am reflecting on what I have learned so that I can be more efficient for next years kiddos.  One of the things I know is that I have to be better with my writing program!  Along with this I want to incorporate a little more character education as this seems to be really lacking lately!  I found this Sunflower Journal as a way to incorporate the two and I plan to have my students use it for their morning work.  What a great way to start the day :) 
     I plan to make these up in yellow folders that the kiddos will hopefully take pride in!

What kind of ideas are you finding for next years group of kiddos?