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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So I've got to apologize... I had quite a bit of Spring Fever myself! Halle has been blogging away, but my main focus for the past month was HAWAII! Between my epic return to the land of Aloha, and Terra Nova testing, I have been a few steps beyond busy. I mean, Halle is only planning a wedding, she isnt busy at all.(kidding)Lately, several new tasks have been thrown at us, and overwhelming is not even the word to describe it. Anyway... I wanted to share my Spring bulletin board with you. The weather has been unusually nice in Jersey this year. It hasvbeen so nice that I often catch the kids,and myself, staring out into the sunshine. I was trying to think of a new cute idea and I saw something about spring fever. I tweaked this idea for my second graders, and we had a lot of fun with it. I knew that my little cuties wouldn't know what the meaning of "Spring Fever" was. One of my boys told me it was when spring came and you got really, really hot. I told him he was close, but then I went into detail and explained what spring fever really meant. As soon as I explained, they picked it up immediately. I told them the way I cure my Spring Fever is by taking Kaimana for a walk, running outside, and going to my favorite local ice cream/water ice spot, Sundaes. Once I started this off, the ball really got rolling. We had chart paper filled with all of our "Spring Fever" cures. We had anything from picnics in the park to planting flowers. After this, I let them write their top 2 or 3 cures. They did a sloppy copy first, then I gave them their good copy. After this I gave them a pre-cut construction paper circle, and either brown, black, or yellow construction paper for their hair. I let them make their face and gave them a thermometer that I found on Microsoft Word and edited. Get it, spring FEVER! They created themselves and cut a small hole for the thermometer in their mouth. Then they glued their writing and face to a piece of bright construction paper and.. TA DA! The completed project came out pretty cute if I do say so myself. I'll be putting up a few closer pictures of some individuals tomorrow! Have a great night and stay tuned for some pictures from Hawaii :)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

I'm so excited to announce our Giveaway Winner: Casey @ Second Grade Math Maniac!

Casey, I'll shoot you a comment at your blog to let you know!

Thank you to everyone who entered our {very first} giveaway!

And remember, you can always find my Miss Rumphius unit at my TpT store!

Have a good week!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Quick Glance at Our Earth Day Bulletin Board…and a GIVEAWAY Reminder :)

Just wanna pop in real quick, and share our 2nd Grade Earth Day Bulletin Board that Jenna and I did with our grade partner, Erica.

We {Heart} Planet Earth
We offered this as a give-away with Sunny Days in 2nd Grade. If you missed it, you can grab it here.

And, just a reminder that I'm doing a give-away for my Miss Rumphius unit! Just leave a comment in the post below J



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A 32 Page Miss Rumphius Give-Away!!!!!

It's finally here! My Miss Rumphius Earth Day unit!

It's actually much, much more than an Earth Day unit. There are over 30 pages of activities, including reading, art, and earth day printables! You can check it out here, at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop! If you can't find the time for it before Earth Day, it goes perfectly with your spring, character education, and reading lessons.

I'd love to give a copy of my unit away, along with a copy of the book, Miss Rumphius. I know Earth Day is coming up fast, but you can use this unit anytime!

This giveaway will end on Saturday, April 21st at 12am Eastern.

There are many ways to win:

1) Become a follower and leave a comment letting us know you're a follower (or if you're already a follower, leave us a comment letting us know)

2) Follow our TpT store, and leave a comment letting us know.

3) Blog about our give-away, and leave us a comment letting us know you did so!

Here's the deal--- we know we're a pretty small blog right now, so your chances are pretty good, right?!  I think so!!!!!!

I hope you enter, and I hope you love my first big production :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting Some Skip Counting In

We're just entering our 4th Marking Period. {So jealous of all of you who are done in May} And well, we realized we have more skills to cram in teach during the last quarter than we thought we did.

One of those skills is skip counting to 1,000 per the new Common Core Standards. Since we are doing Terra Nova testing during the morning all week, we decided to devote our math block this week to a few of those 4th Quarter skills we don't anticipate taking a long time. Notice we said anticipate…who knows what tomorrow will bring!

I whipped up a *few* skip counting worksheets for counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s up to 1,000. {Actually, I went over 1,000 a few times…hey, you never know!}

We'll work on these tomorrow after skip counting as a whole class, in small groups, and in pairs. We even play "Skip Count Around the World", which they LOOOOOOVE, but I think is only okay because once one of my little guys is out, they're not paying much attention to the rest of the group. But we'll play a round, or two.

Here are the sheets. I hope you can use them, share them, whatever! And if you do, please leave us a note letting us know.


PS: We're linkin' up with Donna at Math Coach's Corner for her grade-level linky party.  We've already found so many great new blogs!  Love these kind of linkies!  And if you found us through the linky, welcome! It's nice to see you here :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is Spring Break Over Already?

Well, D-Day is upon us. We go back to school tomorrow, after 10 wonderful days off.

Part of me is excited, because I do much better when I'm on a routine. I got a lot done during spring break, but I also spent my fair share of time watching the Today show {love Kathie Lee and Hoda J} and breaking in our new couch. I actually think I get more done when I'm working! Weird, I know.

We do Terra Nova testing immediately upon our routine from break. This is a first {testing right after break, not testing in general}, and I honestly can't say whether I think I'll like it or not. On one hand, it's easy to plan for, on the other hand, how do we make time for fun spring and Earth Day activities?!!!? We'll see I guess.

I have a freebie for you today: My Spring Break Picture Quilt. It's good for anyone returning to work like we are tomorrow. For everyone else, well, there's always next year! My kids will work on this right when they come in. {We don't have "regular" morning work at this point of the year…we change it up every day}. We'll then use it for their Spring Break writing. It's a fun pre-writing activity, and of course it looks cute.

I hope you like it, and I hope you can find some way to use it!

Also, Amy Lemons is having a sale today in here TpT shop, 15% off on April 15th! I already loaded up my cart with tons of her adorable units and packets!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

We {Heart} Linky Parties!

We {Heart} Linkys

And we so love Little Miss Glamour's Linky Party Idea:

Classroom Must-Haves. I {Halle} have waaay more than 5, and it was challenging narrowing it down, but I think I did a pretty good job. I've already been inspired by many other participant's must-haves, and I'm definitely filing away some ideas for next year.

Head on over, so you can see what I mean :)


Friday, April 13, 2012

A Non-Fiction Freebie

We use Storytown as our reading series. It's okay. I can't say I love it, or that I hate it. {I do strongly dislike the weekly tests. Ugggh}, but it is what it is.

Our weekly reading selections always make sure to focus on the genre of the story, as well as a characteristic of that genre. This past week, we read The Bee. And the chosen characteristic this lesson was "graphic aids". After looking at diagrams (another name for graphic aids, apparently) of a few different types of animals, I had the kiddos make their own.

First, we discussed what a graphic aid must have. Answer (in our case): A picture, labels, and information. We went through some examples and labeled them "graphic aid" or "not a graphic aid".

Then, we got to the good stuff. I handed out a paper for them to draw their graphic aid…which you can get for FREE…if you read this post, and look at all the pictures I took ;)

I didn't have too many rules. The rules I did have were simple:

  • Pick an animal/object/item that you know A LOT about. I said, "For example, Miss K would not pick a car. The only thing I know about a car is that it gets me to the mall." {So, of course, like 9 of my boys had to pick a car…you know to show Miss K that, as 2nd graders, they knew much more about cars than their dear teacher.}

  • Draw and color a clear picture of their item. {Unspoken Totally spoken classroom rule: Miss K LOVES color…lots and lots of it!!!!!!!}

  • Give a small description of each part you label.

  • Most of them hit this out of the park. A couple of them got ahold of my old Mr. Scent markers before I noticed, and well, there's no reading any descriptions or labels on those puppies. It never fails to amaze me, though, how much a 7 or 8 year old knows about any given topic {wrestling rings, remotes, cars (duh!), snakes, wolves…}. I love that they commit to knowing so much about a topic they care about! Kind of inspiring!

    Hopefully this is something you can use as a supplement to any non-fiction text you're using, or as an element of a report or project. I also thought of using it at the beginning of the year next year at open house to explain to parents the different parts of our classroom.
    Anyway! Enjoy, and have a good weekend!
    PS: If you're just finding us, please become a follower!  We'd love to have you back again and again!
    And if you download this freebie, let us know what you think in the comments below!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Sneak Peak

    I've been hard at work on a fun-filled, educationally fit, standard's driven packet featuring my favorite book in the whole, wide world: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

    Please tell me you've read it. I've read it a million times. No less. My mom read it to me, I read it to myself, I read it to my brother and sister, and now I read it to my students. And then they read, and read, and read it to themselves.

    The pictures are beyond amazing. They are literally the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. I have plans to frame the illustrations for my baby's nursery. The baby I don't have yet. Because I'm not even pregnant. But I plan on that someday, and the Barbara Cooney pictures will be framed in the baby's room.

    I wouldn't blame you if you only read the books for the pictures. However, as beautiful as the pictures are, the message in the book is even more so. You really can use this book to teach just about every reading concept there is. You could use it to teach character education too. But, it is also a really great book to use for Earth Day, as a sort of alternative Earth Day text and activity.

    I can't wait to share this packet with you, as well as the message of the book. Hopefully I can get my butt in gear and get this packet out there soon. So very soon.

    Look for it!


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Linky Party with Sunny Days!

    We've been followers of Sunny Days for a long time, and we're so super excited to link up to her Linky Party!!

    We're on Spring Break until the 15th, and we've only touched upon Earth Day so far, with lots more planned for after break. We did manage however, to throw up a 2nd Grade Hallway Bulletin Board on Earth Day. Are you required to do any other bulletin boards other than "your own"? We were somehow responsible for the main hallway bulletin board like 5 times this year!!!

    Anyways, this is what we thought up. The idea isn't that original, we remember doing something similar in elementary school. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Plus, we cutisfied it!

    Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of said bulletin board. But picture it in your mind...cute right? We know.

    Please RE-USE it! In the spirit of going GREEN!

    You Can Get It Here!

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Time to Grow

    Hello there!


    How is it April and where have we been?  We've been asking those questions ourselves a lot lately.  And well, we can't tell you how it's April already (this year has just flown...), but we can tell you where we've been.


    We've been busy.  And overwhelmed.  And stressed.


    And it looks like this little blog is just gonna need some more time to grow than we had originally planned.


    And coincidentally enough, it's spring, and spring is a time for growth.  It's also a time for spring break, which gives us time to water our little blog, and watch her bloom.


    Are you still with us after all the flower analogies?  If you are, we'd like to show you a Pinterest inspired Bulletin Board Halle found the time to do right before spring break.  And she's in looove with it.


    The idea comes from Dragonflies in First.  I love so many things about this bulletin board.  The frogs.  The bathing suits.  The books.  I think I mostly love the books.


    You can find the idea here.  Love this blog!!!


    I was so immediately taken with Dragonfly's idea, that I sprang right into action, not noticing that she made up frog templates and everything, which you can find here.  That would've been so much easier.  So please, should you decide you loved her bulletin board as much as I did, save yourself the trouble, and purchase the bulletin board set from her Teacher's Pay Teacher's shop.  I did fudge the title a little, and changed it to "Spring into a Good Book" to make it more applicable to spring :)


    This was a 2 day project for my class. The first day I handed out a large sheet of green construction paper to each student. I then made 4 tracers each of a frog body and frog head. I have 4 groups of desks, so each student in a group started off with the tracer then passed it on when they were done. (We have been using tracers/supplies like this since the beginning of the year, so they work great with them by now). I had them hold their paper length-wise for tracing. They also cut two strips of paper length-wise, then cut those in half and folded them accordion style for arms and legs.


    Does that sound confusing? It looks confusing now that I look at it, but again- you're going to be using the templates from Dragonflies in First, so it doesn't matter!


    Once I approved their frog bodies, they got to pick a square of scrap-book paper for the bathing suits. I didn't have any clear cut instructions or templates for them to follow. Just this wonderful piece of advice, "Just hold up the paper to your frog, and make it fit!" Those had to have been the most vague directions I've ever given to a group of 7 and 8 year olds, and you know what, like 17 out of 20 of them did perfectly fine with those instructions! I only had to help a few! (Note to self: Be much more vague with instructions in the future).


    And PS, their bathing suits turned out a-feaking-dorable! Loved the one pieces. Also, loved the boys with enough guts to go with speedos over trunks. Too cute!


    All but a few (those few who had trouble with the bathing suits, even after my clear-cut directions) finished their froggies in about 35 minutes. I told them that the next morning they would be making books for their froggy friends, and that they needed to make their book covers look as realistic as possible. I had pre-printed rectangles and hung mine up as an example, and they were good to go. Love this time of year…they're so much more independent!

    Their book covers were out of this world, as you can see in these photos! I just was so impressed with their efforts on this project, and I let them know it! They in turn were very proud of themselves. And, they're loving all the teachers poking their heads in our classroom telling us how much they love their bulletin board.

    I've said previously that I love bulletin boards that aren't particular to a certain holiday because I can keep them up longer. I'll keep this one up till probably mid-May, when I put up our End of the Year board.


    Hopefully with things slowing down soon, we'll be able to take care of this little blog some more. If not, there's always next year…{isn't that a teacher's motto?}


    Have a good one!