I have taught 20 years, most of them in either 1st or 3rd grade, with a few others sprinkled in there! I am currently teaching 3rd in the largest county in Georgia. I love my school and work with a great team of teachers and administrators.
I am really getting ready for summer already....it can't get here fast enough! One reason I love summer is time to read. I usually don't have time during the school year, as you can probably relate! In anticipation of summer, I have started getting my summer reading list ready. So here's what I will be reading:
Ron Clark's newest book The Essential 55 comes out April 30th, I can't wait to get this one! We all can learn something from Ron Clark.
If you are a fan of Gerry Brooks like I am, you'll love this book Go See the Principal! I have been following all his videos and think he's hilarious! This book is also due out at the end of April.
I grew up watching Mister Rogers, his gentle mannerisms and outlook on life and children was exceptional. This new book The World According to Mister Rogers will just be a feel good, lift you up book. This one is due out May 14th.
The last book is Educated, A Memoir. Just reading the book jacket of this book will hook you into reading it! The author writes about her life and escape from rural Idaho, where her father isolated his whole family. She never saw the inside of a classroom until she was seventeen years old! I can't wait to read this one!
Can we talk about Hall Passes? I just can't even begin to think about how germy those things are! I have a thing about lanyard passes because they are so long they get wet and whatever else.....so I really wanted to get some ideas together that are an alternative to lanyards. Here are three of my favorites. They are sanitary and easy to implement. No more germs!
The first one that I love is from Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris. She puts those tap on lights by the door and students tap the light before they leave the classroom. With this method, you can make sure only one boy and one girl are in the bathroom at a time.
The second one is such a great idea! It comes from ABC's with Mrs. B. Students put the hand sanitizer on their desk before they leave the classroom. Then at the very least they remember to clean their hands when they return! Her labels are freebies as well.
In my school, students should have a pass when they leave the classroom. So I found clear badges that clip onto students' shirts. Since they are not expensive (I found mine at office depot). I change them out frequently!
I have them hanging on a side of a filing cabinet near the door. This has worked out great this year!
You can grab your free template here! It is editable too, just add your name. Be sure to download first, then you can type in the name field.
What is your favorite way for students to check out of the classroom?
We've been working on the skill of point of view in reading this week. In second grade, students just need to acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters but when searching for resources I had a really hard time! Most of the resources ask students to name the point of point; first person, third person etc. So I had to get creative and make a few things myself.
We read a TON of great books to discuss point of view! Here are just a few of my favorites:
For each one we used an anchor chart that focused on the how the character acted, what he/she said, thought and felt. I had students put post it notes on the chart so I could keep using it for different stories. During the reading and interacting with the stories, we wore "point of view glasses". When we were wearing the glasses we could "see" through the eyes of the character. My students loved the glasses! We decorated then and used them for several days. I shared the printable for you to use below:
Click the picture to get your FREE printable glasses!
After students were comfortable talking about the point of view in shared books, I had them focus on point of view in the books they are reading in their book boxes. I gave them several different graphic organizer choices, and we glued them into our Reading Notebooks.
By the end of the week, students really had a great grasp of the skill. I could easily go back into their notebooks and see how they made connections to the mini lesson.
i hope you enjoy the freebies and it helps you teach this important skill!
I know I have said it before but I love Valentine's Day! Everyone can in my class can participate and it is just a nice day to show we love and care for each other.
One thing I do is have my students start off the day complimenting their classmates. I have them pass out compliments and put them in each other's Valentine bags before they pass out their cards. Then, when they are looking at their cards, they can read all the nice things friends have said about them.
Click the pic to get your freebie:
I usually don't have my students make a box or bag at home. I like having them make one in class. These Dollar Store bags are cheap and easy. You can make them out of gift bags or brown bags work just as well. You can get see how I made these here. I love how cute they are!
Need some great freebies? These awesome resource should fill your day with fun!
click to download your copy:
I can't wait for next week! I hope your day is filled with love from your students and not too much candy....
This week my school is participating in The Great Kindness Challenge. What a great way to kick off the month of February! I love this month.....first of all it's my birthday month. Second of all, I love Valentine's Day. In the classroom, it is one holiday that most kids can celebrate because it is pretty much all inclusive and not religious. But I also love reminding kids about kindness and how to make our world a kinder place. The Great Kindness Challenge has a great website if your school/class would like to participate. You can think small or big! And if you are looking for some kindness ideas for your classroom, I have a great little freebie. This calendar will give your students lots of ideas for the month. Complete kindness activities up until Valentine's Day or all month:
Click the picture to get the calendar!
And of course we will read books this month. There are so many great books to read but here are a few of my favorites:
I will have to post some pictures of our good deeds. I hope your February is kind:)
This time of year is so important to teach about equality and the Civil Rights Movement, and a study of the work of Martin Luther King is a great introduction. I love the activity that Ashley from One Sharp Bunch does with her class. I have been wanting to this! She has a great freebie to go along with the lesson too!
I have also found some great TpT freebies as well. (Click the picture to get the links)
How do you plan on celebrating the life of this great man?
I'm so excited that the 100th Day of School is right around the corner! It is just a fun day at school and there is so much that we can do this day to incorporate fun activities with learning time. I absolutely love to read lots of books on this day. My students love when I pull out a bunch of new books on a certain theme we are studying.
Here are some of my favorites:
Click the picture to download:
Some of my go-to activities for the 100th Day of School:
Writing activities like "If I had a 100 dollars" are so much fun.
100th Day trail mix snack
100th Day exercises
Look at life 100 years ago. This is a super cute resource for this. Check it out HERE.
STEM activities like build the tallest tower you can with 100 blocks or 100 cups
and one of my personal favorite, dress like you are 100 years old.
I have taken the time to find some FREE 100th day resources!
Click the picture to download:
I know no matter how you celebrate the day, it is one day that kids JUST LOVE!
Have a great 100th day and think......already half way through the school year! Summer will be here before we know it.
Happy New Year everyone! I just love January in my classroom, kids are looking forward to coming back and it just seems like we can get right to work. I feel like I can really see the progress we've made and see how far they've come since the first day.
I thought I would start a little something different in the new year....I want to commit to sharing great resources with you this year. So each month (or topic) I will be doing a new post called Resource Roundup. It will be a gathering of free resources for each topic or theme. So to start it off, here's the best resources I've found to help with those first few days back to school. What a great time to spend reflecting and goal setting before diving into your curriculum and standards.
To get the links just click on the picture, download and then you can click on each resource:
What a great collection of ideas for you! I hope your first day back is awesome and you feel energized to finish the year out strong.
Do you remember playing around the world when you were a kid? I used to love playing whole class games like this! My class loves it too! This is a fun game I made up called King (or Queen) of the Mountain. But more about that in a minute..... first I want to talk about the downside of playing whole group games like this.
The thing is that only two people can play while the rest of the class just sits and waits for their turn. Now theoretically, you want them paying attention so that they can be practicing their math facts or reviewing for the quiz with everyone else....but is that always happening? How do you keep everyone engaged when playing a whole class game?
It wasn't until I read The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King and read their amazing idea....and thought, duh? Of course!
In this amazing book Hope and Wade discuss so many ways to keep students engaged! It was here I had my ah-ha moment....now during whole class games, everyone has a white board in front of them or in my class we just write on our desks with dry erase markers. They ALL write the answers as quick as they can! Everyone is practicing even though the two standing up front are the only ones actually competing.
Now...back to King of the Mountain!! Kids love this game. One person stands on a crate or even a chair, the object of the game is the challenger to answer the fact quicker and "knock" the king or queen off the mountain. But they have to watch out for
Land Slides and Blizzards!
This is just fun and fast paced. It only takes a few minutes to play but it gets kids practicing their facts!
I have Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication, you can get them in my store here!
I am so excited about my new planner this year! Since I am really trying to go digital and put everything on my Google drive, I decided I need my planner to be on Google as well. I love being able to have everything easily editable in my Google drive and I can update it and print from anywhere. I love taking my computer to my meeting and type my notes right there.
And I just love how it turned out! Especially now that I have discovered the Happy Planner punch and discs.......take a look:
So I can still keep some docs in my Google drive and I can also print other things like class lists and calendars for my planner.
I got the Happy Planner punch and discs at Michael's
I got the Tab Punch and Stickers at Amazon. (I am obsessed with this thing, I want to tab everything!!)
I made some cute covers that you can get for free! (Yippee!)
I printed my cover and dividers on cardstock. I laminated the cover but did not laminate the dividers. I then used the Happy Planner punch and discs to put it all together.
Then I got my tabs ready. I labeled my dividers Calendars, Curriculum, Class Info, Data, Small Groups, and To-Do List. But the nice thing is you can you can change the labels to fit your needs. I also have the labels free for you! Just click the picture for a link to a Google slide. To punch the labels, you position the punch over the words and cut.
Now, it was time to decided what to put in my planner! I knew I needed calendars, class lists, meeting notes, committee notes, to-do lists....and I made it all editable in Google Drive. I can either type my notes during my meeting and print or just save it there.
The best thing is I can add handouts from staff developments, articles or data print outs to my planner whenever I want. I am so excited to start off organized and keep organized this year!
You can get your hands on my notebook pages for your Google Drive right here: