Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm Back!

Hey Y'all, I'm back! Has it really been TWO months since I blogged? I feel so guilty for deserting this little piece of my heart for the last two months, but I have good solid reasons. Well ok....not super solid and writers block is all I can really come up with. Don't get me wrong, we have been all kinds of busy in second grade! We have covered things all the way from double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping to main idea and folk tales. We have compared numbers, used number lines, written letters, studied verb tenses, and anchor charted till we are blue in the face. I just lost all momentum to write about it.

But I couldn't stay away for long...I read a post by another fabulous blogger talking about how as teachers we must find the joy and the passion in our profession on a daily basis. She wrote that in the days of testing, data, budget cuts, rigor, and standards, that it is often easy to loose our stamina and our love for the job. As I was reading, I remembered what a ray of positivity and light that this blogging world brings! Reading about other teachers' creative ideas and admiring the work of others who are in the same tiny little classrooms creating magic every day gives me a sweet little reminder of why I started.

Now that all that emotion is out of the way.... is there some type of sale going on? Oh yes! THE SALE of the year on TPT.

This cute little graphic came from Rachel Lamb over at The Tatooed Teacher. If you live under a rock and have not heard, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site wide sale with the code TPTCYBER, and most stores are an additional 20% off including mine!

I have recently uploaded my newest product Baking Words: A word work activity pack that I have been using just about every day in my classroom during Daily 5 rotations, small group intervention, and even whole group. This printer friendly, print and go pack includes silent e, lots of vowel teams, digraphs, and will be updated several times in the next month with even more activities. My kids literally LOVE these activities and I am not just saying that because I made it. They love the interaction of making words by spinning and graphing, word sorting, scooting, and building words with the paper letter tiles. This pack works for advanced kinders, first graders, and second graders.  It is currently on sale in my store so go take a look and load your cart before the sale ends!

I had my cart loaded and ready to go yesterday and I think I might need a few more things before the sale ends! I hate passing up a good deal.

Before I go, I wanted to link up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her Currently link up!

Head over to her blog if you want to join in on the fun, and you read it right... I am giving away my Baking Words Pack to a lucky someone! Here is how you enter...

Go to my Instagram at mrshudgenshearsawho and like the giveaway photo. Tag two friends who might enjoy the giveaway and the winner will be chosen Wednesday, December 3rd!

Thanks for reading and it feels good to be back!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Hey there! 
I am here with a quick throwback Thursday post. For those of you who don't know, I taught Kinder my first two years. Today I thought I would do a throwback of my favorite Kindergarten activities that I used in the past.

First, I will say I loved Miss Kindergarten! Most of the products I used in Kinder were from her and I love her teaching style! She has that organized, everyone has a place, systematic way to Kinder that I love. I also loved that Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade started teaching Kinder and had the most amazing, creative, hands on activities on her blog the last few years. There are so many UH-mazing kindergarten blogs out there. With that said, here is are my favorite Kindergarten activities. 
First, I LOVED using Miss Kindergarten's Let's Write Monthly Journal Writing for weekly morning work! Every Friday I had the kids write in their monthly journals, and at the end of the year I wrapped up all of the journals as a gift for parents. It was amazing to see their progression in writing!

Second, I loved Miss Kindergarten's I'm Done Now What activities for fast finishers. This pack had everything I needed to set up an area for those kids who zoom through their work. 

Third, who doesn't love the Moffatt Girls? They must spend all their time creating these huge packs because they put out TONS of them all the time. Anywho...I loved their Word Family Word Work to put in my word work center! I also used these pages for morning work later in the year. 

I told you I love Miss Kindergarten and her print and go packs are no exception! Her Fall Print and Go was perfect for beginning of the year small group, intervention, and literacy center activities. I may or may not have bought every print and go pack. 

Lastly, the queen of Teachers Pay Teachers, Deanna Jump herself created the awesome Chit Chat packs which are awesome for Morning Message, introducing the alphabet, and phonemic awareness. 

There is my Throwback Thursday to my favorite Kinder activities! A little piece of my heart really misses those tiny little students who just adore coming to school every day. 

Before I go, I wanted to invite you to join me in signing up for Lessons With Coffee's monthly Slant Box exchange! This is my first time participating and I will definitely be back with pictures and comments. The way the exchange works is you sign up before the 4th of every month on her blog. Jameson will pair you up with a fellow teacher on the list and you will spend the month getting to know your partner! The boxes have themes, and this months theme is Fall Into Success in the classroom. There are rules to follow for the box you send and receive, and it is a great way to meet fellow teachers and bloggers! You do not have to be a blogger or a TPT seller to join and I think this is an amazing idea! Let me know if you decide to sign up! 

Thanks for reading and come back again soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week Four Recap

Hey there! 
I have been MIA all week and I don't think I have even looked at my little blog since last Friday. I feel a little guilty but then I remember the molding and shaping of minds that has been happening for eight hours a day for the last five days. That is hard work yall! I think week four was probably the hardest since school started, but I am so thankful for the blogging and Instagram world of teachers that I joined this summer. On those nights when you come home in tears for whatever reason or whatever went wrong that day, I would open up my computer or my Instagram account and find hundreds of teachers posting inspiring quotes and new ideas. I am so thankful to have joined this world of positivity! This blog, making new products, and finding new friends in this blogging world are pushing me to the best teacher that I can for my 19 little 7 years olds. 

With all that said, let's do a little Five for Friday simply because I love linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching every week! 

I got this super sweet feedback on TPT from someone who bought my problem solving posters. It really made my day because getting started on Teachers Pay Teachers can be tough business! Whoever Erica H. is, thank you so much for purchasing and leaving sweet feedback! 

We continued with our Math stations and Daily 5 rotations this week and wow they are doing well! Most of my students love working with others and really thrive in the group setting. This week we used Amy Lemons Playing Around with Place Value Pack, Ashley Schroeder's Back to School ELA workout, and Cara Carroll's Delighted about Digraphs. We were working on ch, wh, and ph words this week so Cara's little activities were perfect in my word work center. I also love seeing my students in the read to self center staying busy the whole time! We are going to talk this week about picking just right books so that I can make sure they are picking books correctly during this time! 

We did a fun little activity for studying Changes in Heat for science this week. Thankfully my team has some great science activities that they have used in the past and the kids LOVED this. We talked about the crayons being in a solid state of matter and then turning into liquid by applying heat. The kids squealed and screamed and it was all kinds of fun. 

We have been using my Fact Fluency Pack for learning our +3's and I loved that when I showed the kids they were ALL excited. I am learning that in second grade it is really hard to get EVERY kid excited about something. Some things are just no fun to learn, and I am really trying to make it fun for them! 

And lastly, this happened this week.....

Cara Carroll of The First Grade Parade started following little old me on Instagram. I will never forget looking for a lesson on alliteration during a college course and stumbling across Cara's blog. I was mesmerized by her teaching methods and creativity. I used tons of her lessons and activities for projects in college and during my student teaching. She inspired me to be creative with teaching and most of all to make it fun. She has been a HUGE inspiration for me, and she probably has no idea how much this follow meant to me! Thank you Cara! 

That is my week in a nutshell and now I am going to spend some time with my hubby who leaves for a VERY long work trip this week. 

He is going to do some work over seas and I know this is totally sappy but I might cry when he leaves! We haven't been apart from each other for this long since we got married and that whole staying home alone for 17 days is going to just about kill me. I'm working on that "let's get a dog because I need company" thing. I'll let you know how that goes! Have a wonderful weekend! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Five for Friday and a new product!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday link up! Click the picture above to join and see all the other Five for Friday posts.

This week was another whirlwind and I needed way too many large Sonic cokes to get through. The honeymoon phase was officially over, and I am reminding myself that all things take time, and now is the time to remain consistent with routines and procedures. Despite the whirlwind, lots of learning took place this week! 

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This week we have started introducing the writing process, so on Monday we talked about planning before we write. I used Cara Carroll of the First Grade Parade's idea of introducing a heart map! Our heart maps are glued into the front of our writing journals so that whenever we are trying to plan what we want to write about, we can look at all the things we care about and decide. The kids loved creating these! 

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We started Daily 5 rotations this week using my Daily 5 set up pack that is listed as a freebie in my store here. Those first two days I was a little concerned. The kids acted like they had never seen or heard of centers before and I was reconsidering it all together! But by the end of the week they were at their stations and working within about 2 minutes. I know the transitions will get even smoother as we continue, and I love that the kids are grouped by ability levels. We have been using Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants' Yearly Journals pack in our Work on Writing center and this week we used my Silent e Sort pack for Word Work. We also used Amy Lemons' Back to School ABC order activity to reinforce that skill. 

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This week in math we were working on Part Part Whole and finding the missing part. I loved these activity sheets called "What does the box say?" which you can find here. The kids loved writing on our dry erase table mats! In reading, we were studying Author's purpose so I used Tiffany Gannon's Author's Purpose Activity Pack and showed the kids the anchor charts "giant style" on our smart board. 

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Before our minute math test this week, I split the kids up in pairs and let them play a little fact fluency spin to practice our plus 2's. The kids loved it, and I gave a small reward for the partner who reached the top first. Which leads me to number 5....

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My fact fluency pack is up on TPT! Click here to check out this 46 page pack that contains fluency spin activity sheets for addition and subtraction facts 1-9, cards and directions for Addition Bang and Subtraction Bang, also covering facts 1-9. Your kids will LOVE reviewing their facts with these games and they encourage healthy competition in the classroom. My kids couldn't wait to reach the top and be the winner of Fact Fluency spin!

If you would like to win this pack for free, become a follower of the blog, post a picture of the unit to Instagram, and tag myself and two friends. A winner will be chosen at 10 PM tonight.
Thanks for reading and come back again soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Daily 5 Set up and Organization: FREEBIE

Hey there! I went up to the school today to get my Daily 5 rotations set up and ready for this week. I wasn't 100% my kids would be ready to start this week, but I decided that we are all ready for the structure and routine. For those of you wondering, I would not normally spend my Sunday at the school. But since it is a new grade level and so much has changed for our district as far as standards, curriculum, and expectations, I have had to put in some LONG hours. 

I posted a photo of my Daily 5 folders and got some questions about set up and use so I thought I would post and let you know how I plan to implement it this year.

Our district runs on a 30-30-30 model for ELA so we get 30 minutes whole group reading instruction, 30 minutes small group instruction, and 30 minutes writing instruction.Daily 5 will take place during my 30 minutes of small group time. Each student will have a folder and they will go to two rotations a day. My groups are based on ability and reading levels so there are about 5 kids in each group and 4 in my lowest group to make sure I can meet their needs during their small group time. Every day students will get their Daily 5 folder and go to the stations listed on the charts that I created. These charts will help students know where to go each day, and will also serve as accountability to make sure everyone gets to every station. My lowest group comes to my table every day, my two mid-level groups come to me twice a week, and my highest group (GT students) come once a week. I don't feel bad about that group only coming to me once a week during Daily 5 because I see them every day during Intervention time to specifically work on GT activities.

I have the I can cards that I created posted at the stations where the students can find what they need for that rotation. The I can cards list the expectations for that rotation and what needs to be done. The students will only have 15 minutes so I do not fill these stations with tons of activities. 

 For listening center, I will have some students on the computer listening to reading and some students on a laptop listening to a Scholastic read aloud on CD. I am also using reading response sheets after they listen to the book to build our comprehension and critical thinking skills. For spelling/ Word Work I will keep two activities in the station because most students will visit that center twice a week. This week I am using my Silent E Sorts flap book and Amy Lemons colorful ABC order activity to practice our skills for the week.When students finish these activities they will put it in their center folder. If they do not finish their will be extra time on Friday to finish.

For Work on Writing I decided to use Rachelle Smith's Journal's through the year. I went back and forth on what to put in this center, but bottom line I wanted my students to practice paragraph writing and illustrating their writing, so I put together a journal for each student and story prompt sticks can be found in the white drawer above their journals. Students will pull a story prompt from the drawer and take their journal to their seat to complete their writing. These journals will be changed out monthly. For Read to Someone I will have the students read our story of the week from our basal readers. Students will pick a partner from their group to read the story too, and this will just provide another chance for students to hear our story of the week. Read to self is posted in the library where students will chose a "just right" book to read to self. 

When students come to teacher table rotation, we will be doing a short word work activity, reading from leveled readers, and then working on comprehension and CAFE strategies. I put together an organizational pack for setting up the Daily 5 that includes Anchor charts for introducing the stations, folder charts in color and black and white, rotation schedule, and I can cards to post in stations. Because you are not allowed to sell any Daily 5 items on TPT, this is listed for FREE. Check it out here and please leave feedback! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Blog Design goodness.... Notice anything new? I waited long and hard to splurge on my blog design, and when I found Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs I just knew it was time! She offers a build your blog option that only takes two or three days and it is VERY customizable. I loved getting to pick out my colors, header design, and fonts! She is a dream to work with and you should definitely check her out. I love my new button, header, signature, and of course my social media buttons that link directly to all my sites! I love the finished product and I hope you do too!

We have been working so hard in second grade! My kiddos are still adjusting to the time constraints and the constant working in the morning. They are still asking around 9:00 when recess is, but they are getting better about time management. Yay for gains! Anyone agree that as teachers we have to look at small gains? Here is what we are working on this week...

 We have been using Amy Lemons Learning Our Addition Strategies Unit this week to focus on basic addition to 20. Today we listened to the Doubles Rap, glued Amy's Double up anchor chart into our math journals, and then made a doubles dude and recorded some doubles facts on his body. The kids thought he was hilarious and I kept having to remind them to put him away throughout the day! 

I have been taking it slow with rotations, and we have been focusing on a different part of Daily 5 each day. We started with Read to Self, then Read to Someone, and today we practiced some Word Work rotations. We have been working on ABC order and punctuation and capitalization of a sentence. I used Ashley Schroeder's Back to School ELA activities and the kids REALLY loved them! I am not just saying that. Several of them asked if we were doing stations again after lunch! 

Our spelling rule of the week is the Silent e rule so I also threw in my  Silent E sorts and loved seeing my kids using something that I made! 

After enrichment, we had a visit from the Desk Fairy who was having a hard day and her face just lit up like a Christmas tree. The kids ran over to me saying " She came she came!". They all wanted to touch the glitter that she left behind, and I love watching the ones who doubt the desk fairy get more and more curious. One of my students who keeps a very messy desk started pulling everything out and organizing it on the spot! This is an amazing classroom management tool and the kids really love it.

We are having lots of fun in second grade and tomorrow is not only assessment day but Friday! Jeans day can I get an Amen? Thanks for reading!