Overwhelmed

I'm so overwhelmed right now! With a bunch of things at school with students and parents, report cards coming up, conferences, personal life things and blogging, etc. you may not see me much in the next week but I will try to post once or twice!

What I wish I was feeling like (I suppose if it was 1955):



What I am feeling like right now:



 What I hopefully will get to feel in a week or two!


A New Blogger Buddy and I Won :-)

First, I love when I can tell you about all of the other awesome teacher bloggers out there and I have to say-  you have  to head over to see Joey's blog at Create Teach and Share!  She has some great ideas, her blog is really fun, and she has a terrific spirit! She also has a teacher store at TPT where you can check out some things she has created. Click  HERE to check out her blog   and click HERE to check out her store!



Also a couple weeks ago, I was over at Charity Preston's Organized Classroom Blog and there was a post about this great author named Maria Dismondy and her book Potato Chip Champ. I hopped over to her blog (Maria's website design is so cool!) and then her facebook page and thought her writing looked terrific so I entered the giveaway and I was so psyched when I WON! I love the little things like that! Thanks Maria and Charity. Click on The OC Blog Button below to see what's new there. Click HERE for Maria's Blog and HERE for Maria's Facebook page.


A couple reviews from my students:
"I really liked that story!"
"That is a good book. He learned a good lesson about being nice".
"I like the ending"



The OC Blog Button

Finally, I lucked out AGAIN! I won 2 items from Bridget's awesome TPT store which you can find HERE She also has a super blog with a great philosophy. Click on her button below to check it out. Thanks, Bridget !!! Sending you Bloggy love!


600 Follower Giveaway at Adventures of Room 129

AMAZING Giveaway over at Adventures of  Room 129. She has tons, I mean tons of stuff, and little ole me has a product to win too. :-) Click HERE to check it out! What an HUGE win you would have if you got it! Imagine all the fun and planning time you'd save!




Vacation is Over but it's Freebie Time!

Our vacation week here in Massachusetts has been over for a few days but the good news is it's Freebie Friday at Teaching Blog Addict and Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies! I posted a brand new math pack recently but here's a freebie for you. It's great for review of telling time (so first, second and third grade can use it) and the What's My Rule activities! If you do not use Everyday Math, those are addition or subtraction problem solving problems. This is great for mid-year practice and can you help you meet that Common Core! Click here to grab it from my TPT store!





Freebie Fridays


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Grocers' Apostrophe

I was surfing around Facebook and saw a funny cartoon of misused apostrophes. I used to be an English major and I've written and edited school newspapers. Punctuation errors jump right off the pages at me and at some point will do a long post but for now, click HERE to see what a Grocers' Apostrophe is!

Awesome Apps for the Primary Grades/5 Star Blogger Challenge

Hey everyone! I made it safely and on time to Chicago! No layover and good weather will help with that! Since our school got some iPads (5 for my classroom), I have been researching and trying out the apps with my class. We have a ton of free apps so far and some are better than others. So I thought I'd share with you my top three free apps for my second graders (and all the primary grades, really)!

App 1: SUSHI MONSTER

Sushi Monster is super fun! It is a great way to practice facts. The free version comes with addition and s multiplication. A monster sits in the middle of a table and gives you target numbers. You have to select to sushi plates with numbers on it that add up to his number. If you do, he's a happy camper. If not, he gets cranky and throws the food.Click here to see Sushi Monster in the app store!





App 2: SPELLING CITY

I will admit, I had signed up and tried out Spelling City well before I even got the iPads and tried the app. I decided to pay for the annual fee because I wanted to try having my kids take their spelling quizzes online. I had three different spelling lists going and it would take me at least a half hour to give them all, then kids would be absent and so on. The app came out and I got right on it. At first we could only seem to use the preset lists such as "yellow words" and homophones. My students weren't able to log in and see their list to practice their own words. However, the kids liked all of the games. The favorite has to be Hang Mouse, a super cute version of hangman. Now, the app has updated and my kids can log in and find their word list and practice with the fun games! Additionally, now they can even take their spelling quizzes on it! An overall home run! Click here to see Spelling City app info or you could just use their online version.


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App 3: PLACE VALUE COOKIE FACTORY

Place Value Cookie Factory was one I found just by searching at the App Store. The game is set so that you are running a cookie factory and given orders to fill. You have a certain amount of time to fill the orders. Single cookies, sleeves of ten, or boxes of 100 are available to use to get to the desired number faster. When you complete an order, a truck sounds like its zooming away! The students are mesmerized by it.Click here to see it in the itunes store  ( there is a free version).


Also, I am joining in the 5 star Blogger Challenge over at The Organized Classroom Blog! Click HERE or on the link below to go see what it takes to be a 5 Star Blogger and see who has linked up! http://www.theorganizedclassroomblog.com/index.php/blog/are-you-ready-to-take-the-5-star-blogger-challenge

Organizing all those Games and Centers

I have gotten so many amazing resources and made tons of games but I was thinking "These papers and cards are out of control!" How will I get organized?" (insert panic here)Well I found some cool envelopes at places like Target, Staples, Walmart... and I got to organized. I was thinking of printing some sticky labels out to put on each one.


 
Last spring I got an idea to store the games I had been making for language arts. This fall I went crazy downloading resources from the talented teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers, Teacher's Notebook, and many amazing blogs! So I had to get serious about organizing. Here's my routine - I am sure some of you already do this, but if not, hopefully this may help you!



With games that are bigger, I use one of these. (the large white poly envelope on the bottom).




For games that are medium in size, I find that pencil bags work well. Here is one I got at target. This works when game cards are not too big and I can shrink down the directions cards or any other materials to fit. Some games of course, need the full-size printout. If I have small materials in the envelope but need copied papers for my students, I attach them with a binder clip.




I found these small, colorful envelopes at Staples and store games that just consist of cards in them. I sometimes shrink directions or I put the directions in a sheet protector and slide these in.





I don't buy every one of these at one specific store but here are some similar products at amazon.com if you want to investigate further!


Big Poly Envelopes





Medium Size Check Envelopes





Pencil Pouches





Sheet Protectors





Bargain! These seems pretty cheap.:-)





More Poetry Fun: Books for the Student and Teacher

We have wrapped up our poetry unit. Since New Year's we've been reading and writing poems, We put all the kids' poems into books (after typing, printing, and illustrating them) and invited the families in to see and hear some of the poems. It was a blast! So I am inspired to share with you moe poetry fun - books we use in the classroom and a couple books I mention at the end of this post to help you teach poetry. Enjoy and let me know if you use any of them already or are going to try !

New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
This and the next book are filled with fun, goofy poems, with amazing opportunities for vocabulary expansion! Kids love his rhyme and sense of humor.




Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky



The Random House Book of Poetry for Children






 



The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders




The Light in the Attic




Mrs Cole on an Onion Roll by Kelli Dakos
This year my students got really into these funny, random school based poems.


Winter Poetry by Barbara Rogasky
Beautiful! A few are too advanced for second graders but it shows them not all poetry has to rhyme or follow a strict form.



Haiku Hike by the Students of St Mary's Catholic Elementary School
I'd never tried writing Haiku with second graders before but they were inspired by this book of poems all by students like themselves. They really took to it!



Golden Books Family Treasury of Poetry
This is my own book from childhood. It's falling apart but full of every kind of poem!



A Kick in the Head by Paul Janeczko
Wild, fun and imaginative concrete poetry.



Poetry for Young People - Emily Dickinson
Beautiful and some a little bard but great to expose the to different types of poems and noted poets like Dickinson.



My Hippo has the Hiccups by Kenn Nesbitt
Just so fun and silly!



FOR THE TEACHERS: The two books are for you as you teach poetry to your students. I use and recommend both!
Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School by Georgia Heard


Easy Poetry Lessons that Dazzle and Delight