Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Peek at my week... and what I've been up to

I'm linking up for "A Peek at my Week" with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings. I haven't posted in awhile with the craziness of everything, so I thought this would be a great chance to show what I've been up to.

School related:
I just LOVE teaching 2nd graders this year.  It is, however, a huge difference from fourth grade.  Not only the kids, but the planning and prepping.  I'm exhausted from it all.  We've been focusing on narrative elements and fairy tales and read some great stories.  We read different versions of Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and Jack and the Beanstalk.  This week we are going to focus on Tall Tales.  Thank goodness for TPT, otherwise I'd still be lesson planning.
In math, we are finishing up our first chapter on addition and subtraction incorporating both the NYS Modules and My Math (a new series we got this year).  It is so time consuming to plan!!

Non-school related:
My mother is the BEST!  She has been here being my "nanny" for two weeks now.  She and my dad moved to North Carolina a year ago! :(  Anyway, my husband is still working nights, but only for one more week!!! And with coaching volleyball and taking administrative classes, I couldn't do it all.  I'm so grateful that she was able to drive up and help me!

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of what we've been doing and share soon! I don't know how you all keep up with blogging!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Finally my classroom reveal!

Yay, I am finally finished with my room.  Just in time for Wednesday when my kiddos come!  I am very happy with the way it came out.  It was a lot of work changing things up from fourth to second and figuring out where to put furniture.  Here are lots of pictures:

This is what it looks like when you walk into our room:

Here is a view to the right when you walk in:

Storage cupboards with genre posters:

Daily 5 Word Work station activities: 

Math vocab board and math boxes:

Back of room:

Writer's Station:

Anchor chart, more library, and my teacher area:

More library and CAFE menu:

Our objective board and calendar:

Outside bulletin board:

Later on I'll show you all more of the things I have in here that you can barely see from the pictures.  But since it is Sunday and I was there to drop a few things off, that is all I have!  Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Almost done!

My classroom is almost set up.  Even with a three day union conference and volleyball practice last week, I did manage to get most of my room finished.  I'm off to practice again, but will try to get some pictures either today or tomorrow for the big reveal. I am very happy with it.
I've also been working on curriculum.  Since I live in NY we have modules that we are supposed to follow now for ELA and Math.  I'm trying to dive into those and use other resources to create units and curriculum which is engaging and fun for these little second graders!  I'm trying to get ahead since my 2 post-graduate classes started today.  Between my family, a new grade, coaching volleyball, and these classes, I might go crazy these next two months!
One more week and it is back to school I go!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Let's Talk about Me...

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin for:

I just love this!  If you follow me you might already know some of this!

1.  This will be my first year teaching 2nd grade! I've been teaching for 7 years and all were in fourth except one year when I taught 5th grade S.S. and Writing.  I am so excited to be teaching the little ones.

2.  I will be starting a grad program at SUNY Stony Brook in Administration Leadership. I really want to be a curriculum leader and maybe a principal, so I've decided to start now!  I might regret this later!!! haha!

3.  I coach Varsity volleyball at my school and just love it! The girls are fabulous and so much fun to coach, I just can't quit even though it is a lot since it is in the beginning of the school year!

4.  I teach at the same school I went to school with, a small rural town in upstate NY.  This year I'll actually be working with my 2nd grade teacher!! How fun!

5.  I am obsessed with organizing. Enough said.

6. I've been married for almost 8 years to my fabulous and supportive husband!  We started dating in high school over 14 years ago!

7.  We have 2 beautiful daughters.  Cali is 5 and will be going to kindergarten! Sniff, sniff.  Adelyn is 2 1/2 and will go to a two year old preschool class this year, twice a week.  She wanted to be like her big sister!!

8.  We are continuing to remodel our house. It is a long project (6 years in the making), but are more than halfway done.  I can't wait until it is done!!

9.  I LOVE the beach... who doesn't?? And just got back from a vacation visiting my parents who live an hour away from the beach in North Carolina.

10.  I just LOVE to shop.... and to find deals. I am constantly trying to find things for my classroom. Like today when I went to the grocery store and picked up 2 huge round containers...

Well that is it for me!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Snapshots... loving vacation!!!

I'm linking up today for:

Today is the last day of vacation since tomorrow we are heading home.  I bravely drove all the way to Maryland (8 hours) with my two girls (2 and 5 years) and my nephew (2 almost 3). Then, thankfully my mom drove up to help with the rest of the drive to North Carolina.  We had a fabulous time visiting my family who all moved there.  My parents took us to the beach twice. I absolutely LOVE the beach!!!  

Here are some pics from the beach:


After spending the week with my parents we left yesterday to visit my brother's girlfriend. My brother is in the Special Forces and is overseas right now. But we were able to see his beautiful new house. She also took us to the Marbles Museum in downtown Raleigh. The girls had a blast!!!  

Here are some more pics:

So bright and early tomorrow morning I'll be driving the 11 hours home with 3 kids!!! Wish me luck :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What a super deal!

Have you heard of Educents?? It is an amazing site in which has an AMAZING deal going on right now for grades 2-3. Plus you can sign up for their newsletter and get a $5 gift card to use toward the deal!  You can get a bundle of fabulous items from great teachers for just $30! It is a huge value!! Worth over $200. I'm still downloading mine since I'm on vacation and our internet is terrible, so no blogging for me.  Head over there as soon as you can to grab this amazing deal!  You will not be sorry!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Optimum Organization... Ear Buds

After reviewing my 2nd grade supply list, I knew I needed to figure out a solution to holding everyone's ear buds for Listen to Reading.  I saw a pin someone about using a bead storage container, so off to Michael's I went today after my almost 6 month checkup for LASIK! (Which was the best thing I ever did!)

I'm linking up to show you this cute and quick organization:

Here is the container I purchase for $2.99 at Michael's! SCORE!!!

Then I whipped up some cute labels to go inside using one of my favorite fonts and some new chevron labels from (they were a great flash freebie!)

Here are the labels. I decided just to cut them out and not laminate. 

After using some hot glue, here is the finished product:  (Quick and Easy!)



One more thing off my long to do list!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It... a bunch of planning done! phew!

Hey everyone, I'm linking up with Tara's Monday Made It!  

I didn't get too many "projects" done, but I did accomplish a ton of planning, since I still can't get into my room and unpack!  They haven't even cleaned it yet! I'm starting to freak out a little!

Anyways, I finished my Fairy Tales and Tall Tale Unit for the first 5 weeks of school, along with my first unit in Grammar (Sentences).  Thank goodness for TPT and all of the great people on there! I found so many good things to use, both free (yippee!) and paid!
Here is my Fairy Tale and Tall Tale Unit Binder:

I also repainted my pizza pans to use for Daily 5 this year and then painted some more clothespins to use for my Behavior Clip Chart. I'm excited to use this in my new room. I've used a variety of different behavior systems over the years, and this seems to be a good fit for me.

I got some great retelling sticks from Keeping it Captivating. I decided to use them (shrunk down first) to put behind the glass stones I bought last week. I'm going to have the kids pull one out of a container to practice parts of a story.

Well, that is my Monday Made It! My goal is to try to wrap up my Daily 5 plans for the first few weeks of school and then move on to planning writing.  Our new math series hasn't arrived yet, so I can't really start to plan that yet.

I'm off to visit my parents in North Carolina with my girls on Thursday, by myself, since my husband can't get the time off! And yes, we are driving the 12 hours! Wish me luck! I'll be busy with an interviewing committee Wednesday morning and curriculum planning on Thursday... Crossing my fingers to get a lot done this week!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Finally adding products to TPT!!

I am finally trying to add some items to my TPT store! It is pretty pathetic. With planning for a new grade and trying to enjoy the summer, I haven't really been creating anything new. I also haven't had the time to put anything up from teaching fourth grade. I have a ton of stuff that just needs to add cover pages and credit pages to and then I could have a bigger store... but enjoying the rest of my summer is first on my list.  

Remember these??  


....I've had a bunch of emails asking for my Daily Math rotation board from Monday Made it.  So it is officially on my TPT store!  If you are interested, head on over here and pick it up!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Great Monday Made It... Daily Math and a Story Map Board

Happy Monday everyone! I'm so excited for this Monday since I have two great projects to share. I've been trying to plan some curriculum, but am struggling since I can't focus on one subject.  Our district adopted My Math from Houghton Mifflin and the materials and manuals haven't arrived yet. I have a pacing guide and the monthly plans we made as a team last week, plus I've printed and laminated some centers to use during my "Daily 5" or my version of it.  As for ELA, our team is planning to start with Fairy Tales and Tall Tales and then Realistic Fiction for the first marking period.  I found some great units on TPT, but still have to figure out which standards to teach first and get my head wrapped around 2nd grade and all of their standards.  I keep having to remind myself that these are little kiddos, not 4th graders! And don't get me started on our spelling... not even sure where to go with that...

Monday Made It # 1:
Anyways, I made my "Daily 5" math rotation board this week. I was inspired by this blog post by That's So Second Grade (and she has free planning pages too!).  After deciding what would fit in my schedule and me personally, I printed out the choices, rotations, and group numbers and then laminated all of them.  Of course with my awesome laminator! Can you tell I am still in love with it?? (I've also gone through 100 sheets as of today!! oh geez!)

Here is my plan for my "Daily 5", really Daily 2, but we will see.  Each day the kids will do Math by Myself in one of the Rotations, then one other station/rotation. I will have two teacher groups, one in each rotation. I wanted to have a few slots open to pull additional kids, but that will have to wait.  My best teacher friend will be pushing in with me again this year, so maybe she can help pull some kids who need extra support.

Here are the stations/rotations:
Math by Myself
Math with Teacher
Math Technology
Math Writing
Math with Someone

I created a schedule for now, instead of letting the kids choose.  I'm too OCD to let that happen right now. Here is my Daily Math plan.

You can download by clicking the picture or here. Hopefully it is all correct, since my eyes were too tired to check it again. Feel free to let me know if there are any mistakes on it.

I am going to divide by kiddos into 5 groups and use 2 rotations.  Here are some pics before it was all put together.

I then used Velcro to attach them to a poster board, just in case I need to change out the signs.  Here is the final product! I love it!  (sorry, the pics aren't that great... )

Rotation Board: Shows the kids where they will be for the day.  I'll just move the group number each day which will be so much easier than moving all of the options!

Instructions for the station/rotation along with groups.  I'll write what has to be completed in each station.  Then under the group circles, I'll use sticky notes to put my kids in groups, since they will probably change frequently.

Monday Made It # 2:

After trying to plan out my first reading unit, I had remembered seeing "story boards/maps" which you could use for each story you read.  I searched my love "Pinterest" and found a few I liked, but one I fell in love with!  Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten posted a picture of her story map when she read Too Many Pumpkins.  Check it out here.   I wanted to adapt it to fit my room.  So using my color scheme card stock and a thick poster board, my Cricut machine, and of course my laminator!!

Here was my inspiration:
If you have never read Too Many Pumpkins, it's a must read.  So cute!  One of my favorites.  It's great to teach making predictions because most of the pages end with "until...".  We filled in our story map after reading the story.

And here is my finished product!!!

I'll write on the white spaces when I do each story with my 2nd graders and then wipe it off when we are done to start all over with the next one! I am so in love with it!  

What did you do for Monday Made It?

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I was notified that I was the Day One Giveaway from Primarily Speaking and Bright Concepts 4 Teachers!!!

I am so excited since I am getting a bunch of fabulous products to use in my new 2nd grade classroom!! Thanks so much to these awesome ladies and all of the others who donated to their giveaway!!!  Go check them out if you haven't already!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spelling and Words Their Way Thoughts...

Yes, I'm posting again today, but our 2nd grade team needs help!

Our team met today and is meeting again tomorrow to do more curriculum planning for the year.  One question came up while planning today, what should we use for spelling??

With the new Common Core changes and not using the basal series anymore specifically, some of my team members are unsure of what to do about spelling.  Since I'm new to 2nd grade, I'm wondering what you all out their use for spelling, since I'm not that much help coming from fourth grade.  If you have used Words Their Way, can you please let me know about it, including how much time it takes you to prep for it.  That was a concern of a few.  Thanks everyone!!

Monday Made it

Yay for Monday Made it with 4th Grade Frolics and only four hours of sleep.  Note the sarcasm!  That should be great to be "well rested" for curriculum planning today with my new team.

I made a quick project this week since I was so busy printing, cutting, laminating, and cutting some more centers out.  13 in all!  I've see this idea on Pinterest and wanted to create my own!  I'm sure my second graders will constantly be asking me questions, so I decided to make a "Ask Me" lanyard for students to where.  I'm hoping this will help out in my new classroom!

I created a circular graphic in PowerPoint, then printed them as a handout slide (2 to a page): 

Cut them out and glued them back to back:

Found a lanyard:

Sent them through my laminator and TADA!!! My finished product!!!

Click here to download the "Ask Me" file!  (This is my first attempt at a Google Docs on here.. cross your fingers it will work!!)