Image Map

Monday, January 28, 2013

What I’m Loving {Linking Up}

Now this is a fun linky.

Tessa, from Tales of Outside the Classroom has such a cute idea for a Linky Party.  I get to talk about all the people and things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Without further ado…

WHO I Love:

{Swoon Over It Photography}

Are you sick of my wedding photos yet?  Because I’m not!!!  I love my husband.  I wrote all sorts of braggy stuff about him here, if you’re interested :)

                                               {Swoon Over It Photography}

This cutie.  Georgie makes every day better.

And in BLOG-RELATED news, I love these gals:

Reagan is hands-down the sweetest blogger out there.  {And I love Amy & Cara too…must be a Texas thing}.  She was so, so, so helpful and generous when we hosted our first giveaway, even though we were just this teeny tiny {and we still are, relatively} little blog.  I love all of her stuff, and I try to snag up everything she makes that is even semi grade-level appropriate for my classroom.  Her classroom library labels saved my sanity in August, and we gobbled up her spider unit in October.  Plus, she’s funny and SUPER CREATIVE! 

My Button!

Maria is the ESL teacher at our school and she is so creative and wonderful.  She is so patient with her students {and clearly loves and cares very much for them}, and every time I have a question about anything really, she always offers sound advice.  Plus, she bakes treats and donates them to the Teacher’s Lunge on a regular basis ;)…she just started a blog and a TpT shop.  Make sure to check them both out!


It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season!!!  I’m all about the Caramel Delights, and lucky me, I have a girl scout in my class.  {PS: You totally have to click the cookie above, and read up on all the fascinating Girl Scout Cookie Statistics…lots of infographics…I love infographics!}

My husband does NOT love that I love these yummy oatmeals.  At $1.50 or so a pop, they’re a lot more expensive than a packet of oatmeal, but they have me eating breakfast on a daily basis, and they’re much more filling than a packet is.  Love the Apple Cinnamon flavor with cranberries and walnuts.

I love Intuition razors because I’m lazy when it comes to shaving.  It really is that simple.  I don’t know if I could ever go back to shaving gel.  Ever!

Love LettersSlide1Slide1Plant a KissThe Day It Rained Hearts

Apparently, I REALLY LOVE making Valentine’s Day products!!  You can grab the top 3 by clicking their pictures.  “Plant a Kiss” and “The Day It Rained Hearts” are almost done!!

I’m also LOVING my new camera!!!  It’s a Canon Rebel T3i

I LOVE Philly.  I love that I’m a 5 minute drive from some of the most amazingly fun bars, yummiest restaurants, and quirky shops and people.  Philly rocks.

There are a TON more people I love, and a MILLION more things I love, but that’s for another time {next year, maybe?}

Thanks for reading!  Please go link up with Tessa so I can get some new ideas for things and people to love!

Have a good night :)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

It’s Freezing Here {FREEBIE}, & Yoga in the Classroom

Freezing cold weather and yoga are semi-related in this post. I promise.

If you live by me {East Coast} or pretty much anywhere in America, you know it’s been freeeeezing lately.  Indoor recess freezing.

We’ve been doing benchmarks in our classroom, which has left us with some time here and there.  On the fly I decided to read “Bear’s Winter House” {well my student teacher read it} and then we brainstormed things we like to do when it’s cold outside.  I made sure to differentiate between what we do when it’s cold, versus snowing, because it seems kids always associate the two.

It was a quick and simple activity, but I encouraged them to write WOW sentences, and they came through big time!  It was a nice little break from tedious testing!

cold outside 2

cold outside 3

cold outside
Grab it here for FREE.

If you like it, leave me some love!

Now to the second part of my title: Yoga!

Like I said, we’ve been going a little stir crazy lately with all that indoor recess.  Teachers at our school are lucky enough to have duty free lunch 5 days a week, which means we’re not responsible for indoor recess.  Students either go to the Music Room and watch a movie, or the Gym to play games.  That being said, my little ones were still very wiggly this week.  It’s a law…kids need to get out and run around!
On a whim, I did a few yoga moves with them early in the week.  Just a few basic moves I had learned in my basic yoga class.  And what do you know?  They loved it!  We turned the lights off and I brought up a Yoga station on Pandora.

It was so successful I spent my whole lunch period looking up Children’s Yoga videos.  I couldn’t find any free ones that I was a fan of, so I decided to see if any of the online book wesites I used had a yoga book…and…jackpot!!! had the book “You Are a LION!”

I projected it on to my whiteboard and we did all the moves in the book.  Very easy, very basic. 

 I’m tellin’ you this is my new Friday routine!!!!!  After yoga, we did “Zen Paper Passing”, which is code for super-quiet, hand-back the week’s graded work.  And what do you know? They LOVEDDDDDD it!

I strongly recommend making yoga part of your classroom routine.  

And…If you have a video suggestion please head me in the right direction in the comments below!

I’m off to catch up on laundry do some online shopping.

Enjoy your Sunday :)


Friday, January 25, 2013

Five for Friday

It’s that time of the week!  Love this weekly Linky…

heating pad georgie

1. It’s been sooooo cold here this week!  I’ve been addicted to my heating pad, and it seems to have rubbed off on Georgie.


2. I snapped this picture on my way home today {at a red light of course!!!!!}.  This is probably the warmest it’s been all week.  My poor hubby has had to work outside all week.  He comes home and defrosts until bedtime.  We’ve definitely been in hibernation mode.

3.  It also finally snowed in NJ today!  We have about 3 inches outside and the roads are definitely slick, so we’re staying in and watching movies tonight.


4.   We just began our double digit addition unit in EnVisions.  Here, students are playing the topic opener game.  They loved it, and I loved how it reinforced regrouping.  We’re off to a rocking start!  My student teacher takes over math next week…she’s a natural, so I know she’ll do great!

5.  We’re planning a vacation to the Outer Banks. It’ll be our first time going there…any recommendations on neighborhoods/towns?  We don’t want too remote…although I think it would be amazing to see the wild horses!

Ok, your turn…go link up!



Monday, January 21, 2013

If I Had $100 to Spend in My Own Classroom {a FREEBIE!}

Hello Friends!

Happy Monday!  I’m lounging on my couch watching live coverage of the Inauguration, drinking my 3rd cup of coffee.  What an amazing day in history.  I feel lucky to be able to see it happen live :).  We’ll definitely be busy in school tomorrow discussing Dr. King and President Obama’s inauguration.

In a completely unrelated topic, I have a FREEBIE for you today!  I discussed some of my plans for our 100th Day of School here, and I left out a really fun {and I think, unique} activity we do in our classroom every year…our 100th Day Shopping Spree!

Our shopping activity is a twist on the 100th Day Favorite, “If I Had 100 Dollars”.
See, we actually give our kiddos real, crisp, green 100 fake bucks to spend on items and experiences in our classroom!

Check it out:


Students are provided a “shopping list” with items and experiences, as well as prices to prepare for their shopping trip in our classroom on {or around} the 100th Day of School.

Our students complete this list for homework, and bring it in on shopping day, but you could definitely have your students complete it in class.  I also included a blank template, if you’d like to write in your own choices.

I also included a Teacher Guide page and Parent Letters in this freebie packet, so you’re all set to get this fun activity going in your classroom!  We have so much fun with it year after year in 2nd Grade.  I cannot remember if I was the one that thought of it, or if it was Jenna, or our grade partner, Erica, but at this point I guess it doesn’t matter!

What I love about this activity is that if offers younger students a glimpse at what 100 dollars can really actually buy.  We used to do the “If I had 100 Dollars”, and I was amazed at what students thought 100 dollars could get them!  Although some of the prices are a little off on this list, they do get to see that 100 dollars will not buy them a new PS3 or a trip to Disney World.  Plus, it involves real math that your students get excited about!

I hope this becomes a tradition in your classroom for years to come {or at least this year!}

Click here to grab it from TpT!

And I have to mention my Winter Comprehension Passages really quick!  They’re selling really well in my TpT shop, and I am so, so, so proud of them!  They address all the comprehension skills my students need practice with in 2nd grade.  They’re great for small group or whole group.  Classwork or Homework!  Tomorrow, I will be giving the MLK Jr. {Non-Fiction} passage for homework!  If you’re already a fan, be on the look-out for the Spring Edition :)  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check them out here.

Winter Comprehension Sheets Cover

Sick Chain Preview!MLK Preview
Have a great week!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

100th Day Ideas

Hello there!

We’re still a little ways from our 100th Day of School, but I know many of you are coming up on the BIG DAY!

Here are a couple of ideas that I’ve either found online, or that we’ve used in our 2nd Grade Classrooms.  Hopefully you’ll find something new to make the 100th day special for your kiddos :)

{PS: I’ve saved my favorite for LAST!}

I love the idea of this adorable shirt.  This little lady obviously has a pretty crafty momma, but I can see making this a class project: Have students bring in a plain shirt and decorate with tallies…or…any combination of 100!

I love the idea of creating a list of 100 things about school.  The picture above had students write 100 reasons why they loved their school.  The final product is adorable!  My first year teaching {3rd grade}, we wrote down 100 memories we’d had so far.  It turned out so cute! Those were my pre-blogging days, so no pictures…but trust me, creating a list of anything school related is fun for students and teachers!

100th Day of School - classroom entrance
{I pinned this image.  When I click it to go to the original source, Pinterest blocks me}

Love, love, love this 100th Day Banner!  So doing it this year!

This is a 100th Day themed lunch.  Can you say “Super Mom”?  Maybe you could ask parent volunteers to make different 100 shaped foods or make them with your class.  Or, you could just admire this picture {that’s my plan}.

Speaking of food…how cah-uuute are these cookies? Both blogs that these pictures come from {click source to head there} provide directions for how to make these yummy treats.  Fran, of Kindergarten Crayons had the original idea {bottom pic}, but I don’t think mine could ever turn out that perfect!  This idea is on my “Hopefully, Maybe 100th Day To-Do List”.

I saw this image like literally the day AFTER our 100th Day last year.  I’ve had it on my 100th day list every since.  I think this looks so fun, and there’s a a real educational element to it.  So doing it.  {Check out the whole blog for lots of fun ideas!}

I’ve saved my favorite, “We’re Most Definitely Doing This On Our 100th Day!!!!” idea for last!

Last year we had students dress up like they were 100 on the Hundredth Day.  It was a riot.  Some of their parents these kids got so in to it.  I really, really, really wish I could show you their pictures!  One of my sweeties carried around a purse full of mints, and she sprayed her grandma’s perfume all over.  It was perfect.  Kids had walkers, canes, knitting needles.  It was too much!

I can, however, show you a picture of Jenna and I {with our grade partner, Erica} dressed up like an older version of ourselves :)

For your viewing pleasure:

{L-R: Old Halle, Old Erica, Old Jenna}

You totally need to do this if your principal is on board!

I hope I was able to give you a few new ideas for 100th Day!  Can’t wait to see your pics of the big day!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Product Swap Giveaway Winner

product swap giveaway
Congrats to my blogging buddy Aimee of Primarily Speaking!  You won!  Check your email over the next few days for copies of my Communities unit and Denise’s ELA Assessment Pack and January Printables Pack!

Have a good night everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Product Swap: I Believe in Fate

I believe in fate for numerous reasons, but a few recent events happened recently, that affirmed my belief!

1} I got a Canon Rebel t3i from parents for Christmas!!! {Cue the angels singing!}
2} I was paired with Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade for my very first Product Swap, hosted by Jessica Stanford.


Sunny Days in Second
{How are they related, you ask?  Well because I got to use my new favorite gift ever to take all sorts of pictures of Denise’s units!  Duh!}

In case you didn’t already know all about Denise, she is a veteran 2nd Grade Teacher in Sunny Florida, and she is a creative genius.  I have been “following” Denise since before I knew you could literally follow a blog by clicking on that follow button over there to the right.  Her blog was one of the first teaching blogs I stumbled across and I was hooked from the beginning.  She’s funny, talented, creative, and she knows her stuff. 

She’s also generous.  She offers up freebies like it’s nobody’s business. {Check out her latest, an H Diagram to go with the book “My Brother Martin”.}  She also has these adorable Math Journal covers that I print off faithfully every month for my 2nd graders.

So, suffice to say, when I was paired with Denise for {my first ever} Product Swap, I had to read over the email a few times before I could believe it.  Being able to shop Denise’s TpT store for any item I wanted was the equivalent of a kid in a candy store…it was so, so, so hard to pick!

But one of her units caught my eye pretty quickly.  Her ELA Common Core Assessment Pack was just what I needed to assess my kiddos on those all important skills.  We do have a basal, but I find it lacking at times, especially with regards to the new standards.  Many times my grade partners and I are scrambling to come up with an assessment before our standards based report cards go out.  Denise has provided at least one activity or printable to go with each standard!  It’s loaded!  The packet is 108 pages!

So, Denise saved my life with this pack.

I love how it’s all organized by standard.  Denise prepared posters that name and explain each standard.  I printed them off, put them in a page protector, and organized them in a 3-Ring Binder.  Now I have a place for all of Denise’s printables, as well as any standards-based sheet I come across in the future, and if I want to display the standard as a poster, I can just pull it out and hang it up.



I’ve already used a few of the Phonics sheets from Denise’s pack {and I’ve only had it for a week!}, and there are a few more printed off and ready to go for next week.



Report cards come out the week after, so this packet came at the perfect time!  Her unit really has already saved me so much time, especially because my gradebook is labeled by standards…I just need to peek at the standard at the top of the sheet!  Easy Peasy!



I also happened to mention to Denise that I had a really hard time picking between her ELA assessments and her January Printables Pack, so she sent them both to me!! {I told you she was generous!!!!}

Can I tell you how much you need this packet?  You need this packet.  I’ve printed off a few of the sheets and used them as Early Finishers, but I’ve also used them for whole group too.





{We haven’t covered pronouns yet, in case you we wondering why the bottom section is empty!}

The whole unit is packed with skills and sheets you’ll use through January!

Now, here’s the best part: Denise is giving away a copy of both of the units I review today, and I’m giving away a copy of my Communities unit that Denise is reviewing.  Enter using the rafflecopter below.  We’re also both having a sale in our TpT stores, today and tomorrow only!
Make sure you enter our giveaway, and head over to Sunny Days to see Denise’s review of my Communities unit!

Have a great weekend friends!

Halle a Rafflecopter giveaway