Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Break, Animals & Hail

Well, after our crazy winter in Michigan (with a record 94.8" of snow thanks to several inches this morning...93.6" was the old one), we now are having a crazy spring!  I guess I should say winter and spring are overlapping as we had 70 degree temps this past weekend and 3 inches of snow overnight.   This is a picture on my deck from a very strong hail storm that we had on Saturday night.

I think that in a way it is helping in the classroom as we have less than 2 months of school left, but the students don't seem as antsy about it.  Not that I want the snowy weather to stay around or anything though!

We had our spring break last week so I encouraged my students to keep reading over the break with this great printable that I found on Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher's TPT store.  Students were invited to read in many ways with this printable.  I bought pencil grips as a small reward for students who finished and returned it this week.  This is a freebie, so hop on over with the link if you are interested! 

My 1st graders have been studying animals and making big books about them.  So, I invited them to make shoebox habitats for the animal that they studied over the break.  I have some 2nd graders who wanted to do it as well...I figure review never hurts:)  Anyway, here are two of the projects.  The students really enjoyed sharing their habitats and how they created them!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Mystery Reader and Reading Bracket

I love all of the special things that come with March is Reading Month!  For the past few years I have invited "mystery readers" to come and read to the class.  I invited parents to either volunteer themselves, or if they have another relative or close friend they could come in too.

I had a mom come in this week, and the kids really enjoyed it!  She even brought in a special snack!

Thanks to this pin on Pinterest, I modified it for our classroom:)  We also chose our favorite class book that I have read to them so far this year.  I told my students that I would take the first 8 read aloud books to start our bracket.  We started with:
The first round was hard for them to vote as Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Sideways Stories from Wayside School were up against each other!  The students really enjoyed this.  I must say, I was a little surprised by the end result as I predicted that Sideways Stories from Wayside School would finish first, but it actually came in 2nd.
Happy reading!  :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Learning Chambers Giveaway

 I had parent teacher conferences yesterday.  I can't believe that it is already that time of year!  Only 9 weeks to go:) 

Anyway, I am excited to be linking up with

for a giveaway to celebrate her new blog design! Isn't it cute? I will be giving away a "winner's choice" as my contribution:)  If you win, you could choose ANY of the 100+ items in my TPT store!  This giveaway has several different product packages to win K-5, so make sure to share it with all of your teacher friends!

K-2 LA Bundle a Rafflecopter giveaway Winner's Choice Bundle a Rafflecopter giveaway K-2 LA and Science Bundle a Rafflecopter giveaway K-2 Math Bundle a Rafflecopter giveaway 2-4 Bundle a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!  :) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TPT Resource Swap and Product Review

I partnered up with Heidi from

for our

I was especially happy because Heidi is a fellow 1/2 split grade teacher!  I reviewed her 3D Geometry pack and am so glad that I did!  This pack provided a variety of activities that were great for both my 1st and 2nd graders:)

First, I would highly recommend checking out her blog!  She has a ton of great ideas on it.  Being from Canada, she has had a lot of snow this year.  I even shared a picture from one of her blog posts here to my students.  We have had the 2nd snowiest winter in SE Michigan ever, so we have had a lot of snow...but not when compared to Heidi when you look at that picture :)  If you are looking for some great ideas, be sure to follow her blog!

Now...on to her product that I reviewed :)  Her product description does an excellent job for you to see what it includes.  I did not have time to use all of the parts of her product yet, but plan on doing so in the future. 
3D Geometry Activity Bundle - Worksheets, Posters and Activities

One center had students choosing 3D shapes to give to their partner (with their eyes closed), and the partner had to guess what shape that they had been given.  The kid loved this!  I placed the paper in a dry erase sleeve so that it could be used multiple times. 
The next center had students sorting how the shape moved: slide or roll.  The students really enjoyed investigating this and noticed that depending on how they were holding a shape (ex. cylinder) it could do both.

Students also played 3D shape memory.  I printed them out on cardstock.  I try not to laminate that much as I am usually the one who has to cut it out.

We also played "I have...Who has"  as well.  My students love this classic game!  There is both a BW and a color version available.

Heidi provides many posters (BW & color) and other games.  She also includes a variety of other activities as well including shape hunts, and assessments.

If you are a primary grades teacher, I would highly recommend this product to enhance your geometry unit!   The activities in this product are really engaging for 1st and 2nd graders!  I give this product:

You can check out her store here.  :)   Make sure that you check it out soon as it will be on sale for 3/20 and 3/21 at 25% off!

If you want to check out her review of "My Dream Community" product click here.   :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014


My friend Tabitha from
 FlapJack Educational Resources 
is having a giveaway and I decided to join in on the fun! She got 84 different bloggers to donate products for multiple giveaways (K-6 so let all of your friends know)!  All you need to do is to follow some different TPT stores for your chance to win some awesome products.  I hope that you have a chance to check these out, and hopefully find a new blog that you like!  If you win, you will be notified by March 20th.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Erin Condren Lesson Planner

Let me preface this post by saying that in my last 10 years of teaching, I have always made my own lesson plans on the computer (in both MS Excel and MS Word) and never thought that I would spend a bunch of money on a planner.  That is until last year...  I read many blog posts about how wonderful her planners are (I am not being paid by her by the way:)  So last summer, I decided to get one and I LOVE IT!  So when she had a teacher sale a few weeks back, I took full advantage and bought my customized planner for next year (similar to this year's planner).  I wanted to show it to you in case you are in the market for one.  It is my understanding that she will have another teacher sale in May.

So...here are some pictures:)

Here is the pretty box that it comes in...I couldn't wait to open the tissue paper!
I was able to choose the colors that I wanted for the color and I have my name and school name on it as well.  I also got some bonus markers (they are normally an extra charge but someone put them in my box by accident).  You can even have a photo placed on it if you want a photo of your family or a pet. 
This is the perfect place to write down all of the classroom volunteer information as well as information for substitute teachers.
The lesson plan pages themselves are so colorful...makes lesson planning more fun:)  She also provides a two-page spread for each month of the year to keep track of important dates.
 This is a quick year at a glance section.
I paid a few dollars extra to get extra checklists, but the come with several in the basic package.
 There is also a note section...perfect for staff meetings!
One of my favorite features are the stickers!  I was obsessed with stickers when I was young.  I remember every year when we went camping, one of my favorite parts was going to this store that sold a large variety of stickers.  Surprisingly, I am not much of a scrapbooker today.  She provides labeled stickers, as well as blank ones which I use for specials (gym, art, etc.) on my weekly plans.

There are two pockets in the back which I use to hold curriculum guides and other important papers.  There is also a plastic pocket perfect for holding stickers, and other small items.  On the back there is also a two-year calendar for reference.
I love this planner and plan on getting many more in the future!  If you are interested in looking into personalizing one for you, click on the logo.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TPT Sale and Wishlist Wednesday

Who else is excited about the TPT sale this Thursday and Friday?!?  I am participating with my products being 28% off today through Saturday using the code TPT3!  Click on the sale picture below for a link to my store.

I have so many things on my wishlist (just 407 items thanks to all of the great teacher authors out there ;)...I teach 2 grades, and although some things can go together, both grades have different needs.  Here are my top few things on my wishlist (click on the pictures for links to the products):

Social studies: My 1st graders will be studying American Symbols and between these two products, they will be reading, writing, and completing some fun projects while learning about them :)  The community unit will work perfectly for my 2nd graders as it is written by a fellow Michigan teacher and follows Michigan standards! 
American Symbols Bundle {CCSS Reading & Writing & Art Projects}

American Symbols {BUNDLE} Informational Reading, Art, and
 US Symbols and Tourist Attractions with The Traveling Tour
 Local Communities: A Social Studies Unit
 Communities Unit for 3rd Grade Social Studies
Writing: I need all of the help that I can get in the area of writing which is my weakest area.  I already bought bundle 1 for the first product and love it!
 Common Core Writing Activities Bundle #2 {January - July}
 Common Core- Writing All Year Long {narrative, information
 Common Core: Writing All Year Long in 2nd Grade {Bundle}
Has anyone purchased any of these items and care to share their thoughts?  Also, what must haves do you have for 1st/2nd grade from TPT?  I am always looking for new ideas :)