Monday, April 30, 2012

The Natives are Restless & Probability Freebie

Native Ramblings: 

If you don't follow Reagan's blog, Tunstall's Tidbits, well you should. It is one of my faves. Truly. She totally put into words exactly how I am feeling about my kiddos at the moment. 

I have been witnessing over the past couple months how some of you folks COUNT DOWN to the last day of school. Some of you make paper chains and some of you just write it right up on your boards!!! Right where the children can SEE!

You are BRAVE people, very brave. . . . I can't imagine actually talking to my students about the END of the school year.

There would be TOTAL pandemonium. . . .
students spontaneously levitating. 
All of the carpet would turn into kool-aid, 
the floor would become one huge kool-aid slip and slide, 
all of the math manipulative would vaporize 
and the walls would sink into the ground, 
the children would use dictionaries to slide all the way to the woods,
at the edge of the woods they would grow tusk and curly tails . . .

Okay, perhaps these are slight exaggerations, but it is a topic that I try to avoid. No need getting them all hyped up when they can very well do it on their own. 

Whenever they ask me how many days of school we have left I direct them to:
*their unfinished word folder
*the tissue on little monster's desk
*the bandaid on the floor belonging to little mr. igethurteverydayandrequire3bandaids
*an interesting piece of lint from the floor 

I also have a pretty excitable group. Last week I temporarily changed the spot where I read aloud Humphrey and two kids were giggling from the excitement all throughout the chapter . . .. I'm not kidding, literally they were giggling . .. . 

in a 
place on 
the floor!

So while I AM counting down, I will be doing it in secret. **whisper** 24 days **


And just for giggles. . . here are some shots of us completing our probability exit tickets. I use exit tickets at the end of most math lessons so that I can gauge where students are in their learning process.

I had each kiddo make a spinner and color it any way they so desired. I then asked them a couple of questions about their spinner. You can download this sheet for FREE. I included a sheet with a blank spinner so they can make their own AND a sheet with a spinner that is already labeled for those of you who are short on time! :)

This is going to be something that I include in a probability set somewhere down the road.  
For now, I must save my energy up for the creatures that lurk under the florescents require many re-directions from their master . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quadrilateral Sort Freebie & Flash Giveaway Winner!

Quadrilateral Sort Freebie: 
Today we reviewed two important vocabulary terms that will be on our assessment on Thursday, Quadrilateral and Congruent. I whipped up this sort to use with some of my kiddos just for fun tomorrow. Then I remembered that we are having a copy shortage so I'll save it for next year when I introduce the concept. I think it will help different types of learners make the visual association as they are gluing the correct shapes on. And . . you can HAVE it for FREE! Yes, I am serious. It's all yours! Please go to my TN or my TPT to download your copy!

Flash Giveaway Winner!:

Beth @ Taming My Flock of Firsties won ALL of the items currently posted on my brand spankin' new TN store! Hooray! (Be on the lookout for another flash giveaway in the near future!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Measurement Foldable, Miss. Rumphius, & Flash Giveaway!

Measurement Foldable:

So I genuinely had it in my plans to talk about  the Measurement Foldables that we made today during math. Jen showed me how to make a foldable and came up with the idea of making one for measurement and then my idea was to attach strings that were reflective of the different units.

I am saying this because  Krista from Stellar Students posted this idea on Saturday along with her Measurement Madness unit! You should check it out! She has some great ideas for measurement AND a conversion FREEBIE! Did anyone else make a foldable this year for measurement? Does anyone else also call it a flip book?? 

Here are some shots of my butter beans hard at work! In fact, if you look closely in one of the shots one of my kids is completely covering another kid in her crazed desire to measure! (And yes we have actual measuring implements but they are limited so some friends were using the reference I have on the floor) 

You should also check out the Measurement Anchor chart that Donna posted over at Math Coach's corner. It looks like it took some time but is a great representation  of all the measurement includes.

I won, I won, I won!

If you have ever read the book Miss. Rumphius then you know what an AWESOME book it is. I LOVE reading this to my kiddos. I am excited to say that I won a SUPER fantastically cute unit based on Miss. Rumphius from the lovely ladies at Across the Hall in 2nd Grade! It is available on their TPT store. You could SO use it on any day and not just Earth Day!
I just found out last night so I had to quickly change up my plans for today! 

My favorite part was making the lupines! We N-E-V-E-R do anything just for fun so I just HAD to make the lupines hybrids so that we could incorporate fractions and then we HAD to measure them. All so that I wouldn't feel guilty just hanging something "cute" in the hallway.

Flash Giveaway!

And also . . . In celebration of the opening of my Teachers Notebook store, I will be giving away ALL of the items currently posted to ONE LUCKY winner. There are 9 for sale right now, you can check them out here. You MUST enter before 11:59pm TONIGHT in order to qualify. Yes I know, that's in just a few short hours so enter already!!!

To Enter: Leave me a message saying that you added my Teachers Notebook store to your favorite shops! 

Okay, that's it! So head on over to my TN store and then enter my SUPER FAST FLASH giveaway!!! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fractional Parts of a Set, Cute Freebie!

As you have probably already figured out we have been studying fractions this week. My little dreamscicles S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E with fractional parts of a set. 

"What do you MEAN that 1/2 of the circles are shaded but also that 2/4 of the circles are shaded, Ms. T?" 

I know. I get it. I am telling you its one thing and then telling you its another. I am crazy.

I am giving it one more shot with a group of little sunshines on Monday. I HAVE to assess on Thursday after also reviewing thermometers, shapes, and measurement so they really HAVE to get it on Monday.

First we will play this interactive game together. Probably on my laptop in a small group.  It is by Smart Tutor and explains this concept VERY well.  It says Level 4 (which would translate to fourth grade in Smart Tutor language) BUT those are the types of questions that may be on our second grade assessment. 

THEN, we are going to review using some quick task cards I made up . . . AND I am sharing them with you. For FREE. You can have them. There are 6 cards in the set. I hope that they help your kiddos. I plan to use them in a small group and we will write the fractions on white boards. I may also put them in page protectors so that they can circle the equal groups. 

I also wanted to thank all of you for your comments about Guided Math. It looks like a lot of you use it in some type of modified manner. I realized after reading the book that I already use this in my classroom, just not on a daily basis. I even had a chat with our Math Coach about using this today and was left with a lot to think about. I will keep you posted but for now I think that I am going to finish out my last 30 days doing what has been working all along for this group of kiddos.

 AND . .  .I also want to thank Mr. B from Mr. B's Beach Bums for tagging me. I decided to just answer 2 questions so that I can go to bed. I ALWAYS appreciate being tagged but I may not always respond because I would really like for you to keep coming back to my blog for quality math resources. :) 

3. What adjectives would your students use to describe you?
Fun. Friendly. Clumsy.  :)
10. What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom? 
I was just thinking about this today. I HATE learned helplessness! It breaks my heart when kids say that they can't do it and they really feel that way. I had one kiddo SWEATING today when we were studying fractions. He gets like that whenever we do something he thinks is too hard for him. It is SO difficult to dig kids out of the pit once they have thrown in the towel. (Not that I ever quit trying!) Any thoughts?

While you think about that, I am going to go to the land of nod!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Fraction Fun & Guided Math??


I love it when other teacher bloggers let me have a glimpse into their world. Here is a glimpse into our math lesson today. I used the Fraction Fun worksheet that Lory Evans posted on her blog here. (You will have to scroll down some to find it, it is after Easter, this will make sense after you click!)

We have been studying fractions this week. Today we were covering  fractions of a set. This is SO tricky for my kiddos. This worksheet was PERFECT. We all got 20 counting chips and a partner and went to work. Here is a sneak peek of what this looked like in my classroom! 

I love how in this last picture two of my kiddos started labeling the counting chips with the names of the students from the problems. One of my sweetums said that this helped her explain the problem to her partner. Love, love, love, my kids. I mostly love how they love and take care of each other. Sigh. And yes, I probably could have taken better pictures but I was TEACHING! :)

Guided Math:

I also need some advice. I bought this book tonight at my FAVORITE used book store. (If your local you should check it out.)

Anyway. I REALLY would love to try some kind of Daily 5 Math/Guided Math thing? I have been following this Guided Math blog. And too be honest I'm a little overwhelmed.

Does any one use either of these in their classrooms?? I would love ANY advice you have. I already pull small groups but I would love to have a more organized math lesson with less whole group. 

You see . . . I have this theory that the closer the students are to your person the more they absorb.  I truly believe this. I think that it has proven true after almost a whole quarter of teaching math at "the carpet." I always put the kids that need me the most the closest to my chair. They have been doing much better in math since I started doing this. But there are those kids at the back . . . don't they deserve some special attention too? I would LOVE to be able to pull them into a group! But . . . my current math adoption doesn't really lend itself to small groups. I am thinking about going rogue. :)

I will probably keep you updated as I work through this book. I am zooming off of here to start on it right after this post.

So . . again. . . does anyone use Guided Math. Does it work for you? How do you make it work?  I would love to hear ANYTHING that you have to say about this. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Focus on Fractions & Thanks

Happy Glorious Sunday evening folks!

I wanted to share some freebies that I may be using this week when I study fractions. These are all downloadable on TPT! (Btw, is anyone else in second grade frustrated by the limited amount of time you have to spend teaching fractions??)

Fun with Frogs and Fractions by Casey @ Second Grade Math Maniac! ;)

And . . . I just realized that I received an awesome prize in a giveaway through the mail . . . oh maybe two months ago? And I never expressed my thanks. Here she is: 

Erin from Creating and Teaching made this super cute mirror. I actually love this blue. It is seen leaning against a frame I have on my sewing machine as I haven't decided where to hang it yet! So, Thanks Erin! Sorry for the SUPER delayed post!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Look, Furry Friends Linky Party & Irregular Plural Nouns

So . . . how do you like my new look? I absolutely LOVE it!!! Erin from Creating and Designing did an awesome job! She is just getting started and I think she is going to be busy designing blogs for a long, long time! 

And . . . I am linking up tonight with the CUTEST linky party ever! Thanks to Sandy at Soaring Through Second Grade for coming up with this awesome idea!
 Any of you that have cats can appreciate how difficult it was to get these photos of them! They NEVER do what you want them to do! In this picture they had BOTH been looking right at me and when I snapped the photograph they both turned to look at something else.

This is my favorite photo of Charlie. He is balanced on top of a bean bag on a quilt stand that I was storing in what used to be my junk room.  He loved to lay up there. He also loves having his picture taken and is quite photogenic, I think.
Jasmine is actually much prettier than Charlie but less photogenic. Do any of you also have this problem? I know I do! ;)

Okay . . . so I'm also required to note what I have learned from my purry friends.

1. Cats can be just as much fun as dogs. (Before I got Charlie I didn't even like cats)
2. Yes, you can sleep with a 13 pound sack of fat on your head.
3. Having your kitty greet you at the door when you get home can be the best part of your day! :) 

Okay, thanks for listening to me drone on about my kitties! Go check out my latest freebie my Irregular Plural Nouns Matching Game on TPT! This is to prove that I really CAN teach the other subjects even though math is my favorite! :)
That's all fellow stalkers! Enjoy the rest of your evening! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I {Heart} My Kids & 2 FREE GAMES!

A Little Love:

I {puffy heart} my class, I can't believe we only have X # of days together. X = ? because I am NOT counting. I am going to CRY, CRY, CRY when they leave. (I just realized I wrote cry three times because we are reading Surprises According to Humphrey!)

So yesterday morning I let one of my little blonde sugar dumplings write the morning message to my kiddos. It says basically the same thing every day and occasionally I throw in words of encouragement. This is what she came up with: 
I love that she called everyone Champions! I usually call them something crazy like "Cocoa Puffs" or "Crunchiest Tostitos" just to make them smile. She said that she wanted "everyone to feel like a champion today." My heart could have literally BURST out of my chest at that moment. I wanted to just squeeze her until her eyes bulged out, but instead I said "I'm so proud of you little sugar dumplin'."

Roll, Say, Keep: 

I also wanted to share two games that I have on my TPT that I LOVE. A few years ago, Cassina (Field of Poppies), who is one of my beloved coworkers, introduced me to Roll, Say, Keep.  She is also who introduced me to: Etsy, Christina Bainbridge, Ms. Winston, Pinterest, chair pockets, Daily 5, dying noodles and SCOOT. As you can tell she has been HUGELY influential on my teaching career. 

Okay, back on topic. Here are my two FAB Roll Say Keep games. Before and After Roll, Say, Keep AND Renaming Roll, Say, Keep. Included in each set are the game board, directions AND playing cards.

AND . . . just for following I will send you BOTH of them for FREE if you comment on this post 
with your e-mail address!  
This offer expires after Thursday, April 12th at 11:59pm!
Sorry, this offer has expired! :)
It would be SUPER nice if you would also follow me on my TPT store . . . but no pressure. . . just LOVE. I will be anxiously awaiting your comments . . . which will be sad when NO one comments . . . so please take my freebie! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Earth Day Linky Party

So I am linking up with Sunny Days in Second Grade for her Earth Day Freebie Linky! (Yes, I know that Earth Day is a little ways off but I wanted to link up before I forgot!) :)

I had TONS of ideas for freebies that I could make to go with this but all of them involved printing. I always have had a hard time using things that talk about Earth day on printed paper with ink. I mean I guess its okay if you recycle it but it feels so wrong. So . . . with that in mind I found some SUPER interactive games to play and learn about Earth Day using electricity and not paper . . . I guess you can't really win because electricity isn't exactly environmentally friendly either. Is nuclear power more or less friendly? That is what I have here . . . Anyway . . . back on topic. Click the images to find some terrific sites for your kiddos. My favorite was Landfill Bill. . . . it was quite challenging! 


How do you celebrate Earth Day in an environmentally friendly way? Is it even possible?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Know How Gorilla's Play Tag

I knew that it was going to come at some point, I just don't run that fast and I've been TAGGED!!! It is one of those things that you secretly hope you do get to do and you secretly hope you don't. Just like the real tag game! But, I do like feeling included so thank you Erin at Creating and Teaching for choosing me! 

(Click the image to find the source at to also read about how Gorilla's play tag!)

She changed the ?'s up a bit. I like it! :) 

1. Meals or snacks? Meals . . . big ones . .  . have you seen number 23 on my 30 before 30 list?

2. Soda or water? Gulp . . Soda!!!! I am addicted to Dr. Pepper, but I am liking water more and more . . . just not enough to ditch Dr. P completely. 
3. Mountains or beaches? Both . . . I haven't been to the mountains in a long time but I remember them fondly from when I was just a wee little lass riding up to Ghost Town with the family as a tiny tike. I would love to go back. I go to the beach EVERY chance I get. (In fact I was supposed to go tomorrow but the weather is icky.)

4. Cats or dogs? Both . . . No I'm not trying to be difficult but I really like both. I got a cat but I really wanted a dog and now I love BOTH of my cats but still hope that one day I will have a puppy pal. 

5. Chocolate or Vanilla? VANILLA. Not a huge fan of chocolate but I do like it with nuts and caramel.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Neither. I don't drink coffee and it would be sacrilegious to eat donuts that came from anywhere but Krispy Kreme

7. Movie theater or renting? Both . . . I love going to see new films on the big screen but I am just as enthusiastic about cuddling up in my pj's on the couch. 

8. Pool or ocean? Ocean . . . nothing beats sitting at the beach and starring out into the ocean. . . . I don't know why people like to do this, it is crazy, but it relaxes me in a way that nothing else can. 

9. Car or SUV? Car . . . SUV's eat gas . . tons of gas . . . and they take up too much space . . . and they are difficult to park . . . you also can't see around them when you are trying to turn right . . . they should only be for people who have to shop in bulk on a regular basis  . . . . or their daily commute consist of driving through large holes filled with mud . . . (sorry to everyone I just offended, but I was asked!!)

10. Early bird or Night Owl? Night Owl . . totally . . . bed time for me is normally about 2:00am. I think that is why I took to blogging like an fish to water! Finally, there are people to talk to at 1:46am, and not kooky "I am at Wal-Mart buying ammo and steel wool at 1:00am" kind of people, normal people, well . . . teacher people! ;)

Now for the monumental task of finding 10 people to tag . . . 
I stole these questions from here.
1. What is the most played song on your IPOD (or other mobile device)?
2. What is the last movie/tv show/book that made you cry?
3. What story does your family ALWAYS tell about you?
4. If you could have your dream second home, would if be a mountain hideaway or a beach house?
5. What is the furthest you have ever been away from home?
6. What is the oldest item you own?
7. If you had to pick 1 place in your town to bring a tourist, where would you take them?
8. What one food do you never get tired of? 
9. You have to move out of the country RIGHT now. Where do you go?
10. How many days do you have until Summer??  (Or for my year round buddies, until this school year is over!) 

Okay . . so the rules: Answer my 10 questions, then tag 10 friends. List 10 questions for those friends to answer. Be sure to leave a comment on their blogs letting them know they have been tagged!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Standardizing Second Graders

"We can't track in and out of rooms next year because I'm still Jenny from the block."

The above is a direct quote that came out of my mouth today. I believe that it is a reflection of how INSANE school has been since I tracked in last Monday. I first said this to myself in my own head. I am not sure what I was meaning to say to myself but that SO was not it. So I told it to Jen who laughed at me and told me that it didn't make much since when Jenny said it either, so it was okay. :)

Like I said, things have been CR-A-ZY!!! On Monday I had conferences before, during, and after school. Yesterday we had a field trip. Today we had class picture day AND the calculator active math part of this test that they are testing out for second graders in our county to potentially take for next year. Yes, we took a test to test the test to see if we want to give the test. I believe the proper term would be similar to a field test? Ridiculous. Tomorrow is the calculator inactive and the last day of our school week. Praise St. John Baptist de la Salle.

Yes you read correctly, my second graders took a test today with a section called CALCULATOR ACTIVE! We spent all of last week practicing bubbling and sitting still. I also practiced not talking to them, not helping them, talking to them like I was a ROBOT and only supplying them with "equipment." Equipment meaning pencils, tissues, and blank paper. You should check out how Jen spoke to her students about this.

The reading portion last week was BRUTAL! 10 point font, at least 5 passages. My babes had to sit still until they CRIED not because it was hard but BECAUSE THE COULD NOT SIT STILL ANY LONGER!

I really hope they decide that we don't really need a standardized test for our second graders but I think that I hope in vain.

Ick. Ick. Yuck. Even coming from someone who LOVES data, I am dreading this. But I am a team player so I will eventually get over if I need to . . . . . . maybe.

Do any of your counties have standardized test for second graders??????

Also, two great blogs that I follow are throwing a fantastic giveaway. The reward is a $25.00 gift card to anywhere you choose! Pretty awesome huh? Go visit Lisa at Live, Laugh, and Love to Learn to enter!

And, I will leave you with this pic of a couple of my darling sugar smacks at the field trip yesterday. 

Happy Blogging! :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Freebie and Currently

I have been working on this SUPER cute Easter place value freebie and I'm finally finished. I decided that it is going to be FREE!! All you have to do is click on over to my TPT store! These go perfectly with my Spring Hundreds Board Place Value Mystery Puzzle Set. (I know what a mouthful!)

And you all know what this is and who it is from. (well if you don't know Farley from Oh Boy Fourth makes these every month!) Go link up! :)

I need Insta - Clean powers like a bee needs pollen!! Imagine, you walk into a room and everything goes into order . . . lovely. I have dreamed about this before, probably because cleaning is my absolute least favorite thing to do. Ick. 

Also, thanks for everyone who entered the giveaway last week. I had a blast teaming up with Krista from The Second Grade Superkids. (She is having a Spring Linky Party right now btw!)

I am super excited that Krista from Stellar Students is our winner! She is actually having her own 100 followers giveaway right now!

Everyone have a terrific week!
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