Its Teacher Week! Join me for 5 Fun Facts

Welcome to Teacher Week! This is going to be fun! I joined Blog Hoppin' to  share 5 fun facts about me! Its late and my first day of school is tomorrow so this will be quick!
I have been teaching Second Grade for SIXTEEN years! WOW! Seriously, where does the time go?
I love dogs! And BIG dogs! I had a beautiful St Bernard named Bailey for nine years! I was so lucky to have him and I miss him! I would like to get another huge dog some day, but I have other priorities right now!

Little Bailey:

 Big Bailey
I also blog for two awesome fun other blogs - Adventures in Literacy Land and iTeach Second! They're a lot of fun and it is great to collaborate!
Adventures in Literacy Land             iTeach Second

I love Brigham's ice cream - not vanilla, but Chocolate is my all time favorite! I also love chocolate jimmies!

I L O V E The Walking Dead! I am now into Fear the Walking Dead too! I even found a Jamberry Walking Dead game and when I was in Vegas I tracked down a bunch of Walking Dead slot machines! This year I didn't win but last year I won about $80 on one!

How to Set Up a School Supply List on Amazon

Hey everyone! Just want to share what I found out about Amazon. You can now set up an official school wishlist! Parents will be able to go to Amazon and find teacher lists by searching by teacher name, town, school, etc. And they give you links to share and you can even email your list to parents right from Amazon. I made a short video (only 4 minutes)  to show you how to do it!

Hope it helps! Let me know if you make one!

Tips for Interactive Notebooks in Grades 1-3

Hi everyone! I am bringing you some tips for using interactive notebook with your students!

 I teach second grade so based on my experience I came up with these tips to help you help your students with their interactive notebooks  and help you keep organized and manage them.

People often debate whether to use glue sticks or liquid glue. I think both have merits but I personally prefer liquid glue. I feel glue sticks can be a little on the wimpy side and the pages tend to fall out. My goal is to get my new class to use a few dots of glue, not a river. Erin from I'm Lovin' Lit has great tips for glue and INB's (though she teaches middle school) on her post here.

A solid interactive notebook has a table of contents that can be edited or has blank spots for students to write in as they add activities to their notebooks, which you may appreciate, especially if you are not going to do everything in an interactive notebook product or do things in a different order.  My tip is to leave enough space for the table of contents Have your students leave 10-15 pages or so blank at the beginning of their notebook. Get those table of contents pages glued in early in the year (maybe during morning arrival time). Then you can add your first activity.

Label page numbers in advance! I don't mean the whole book in one sitting, but have kids label out what you think is reasonable. I usually had them do 20 or so pages and then if they had an extra 3 minutes at some point, do 10-20 more.

As your students do each activity, have them add it to their table of contents. It can be hard, especially as kids are running out of time at the end of an activity so if they don;t get to it have them do it the next chance they get. I also admit, last year I did end up helping certain kiddos fill theirs in. But not too often! I have enough on my plate. This year I am considering having buddies help each other out - it might be a good task for a kiddo who is always done early with their work to help a friend catch up.

Storage and monitoring! My kids have desks so they keep  theirs in their desk. I know some of you like to keep supplies like this in a community storage area so that's up to you. The task that was hardest for me when I got started using them is monitoring the notebooks. A lot of times students completed them at a reading center while I worked with small groups. I would get behind in checking them very easily. So I tried two things. First, occasionally during reading groups I would have kids bring their notebooks and we would check them together and make edits as needed. Secondly, I also tried collecting 5 a day, taking them home to look over, and returned them the next day (with sticky notes if edits were needed) or I grabbed a kiddo if they needed extra help. The combination of these two strategies helped me as a teacher.

Interactive Notebooks are wonderful! Kids get so engrossed in the activities and it really is a fun, meaningful way to work on concepts and skills. If you have not used them, maybe it's time to give them a try!

If you want to check out my interactive notebook series, click here to go to my Teachers Pay Teacher store and search "interactive notebooks" or click on any of the covers below! Happy notebooking!


5 for Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I linked up with Doodlebugs Teaching for their super fun 5 for Friday link up to let you know what I have been up to!  Be sure to head over to her site afterwards and see who else linked up this time. Just click her blog button at the end of this post!


So I went in this week to set up the classroom. YUCK! It was so hot and even though I put a map on the classroom door, every piece of furniture (except my desk and the 2 file cabinets which were never moved) were put back in the wrong spot. On a positive note my amazing mom stopped by and helped clean! She should get a mother of the year award for being in this hot classroom!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

And another plus - we got a brand new reading series- Journeys. I think  I got everything unpacked and put away! The kids' books look so bright and fun!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!


PAINTING! I decided to paint this ugly area next to the door. It was very old, non magnetic blackboard. Last year I had my kids highlight their names and kept the highlighters nearby. They would hold their papers up on it and highlight away, highlighting the blackboard in the process. 

Here's a during (I totally forget the before) and after shot! 
5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!  5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
I also had these really ugly cabinets in the back. I am not 100% done with them. Something was up with the doors. Maybe they were fiberboard or a hybrid put the paint was not taking. It took  6 coats so I didn't get the tape off and hardware back on yet but here's a during shot and then an "almost done" shot!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!   5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!


Trying to clear out the guest room! Here are some things I was sorting through! 

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
Sorry cords, if I don't even know what you are, you're outta here!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
And why did I have all of these glasses cases? Most were empty. And remotes to unknown devices! LOL

I'm excited to get this on DVD from Amazon any day now! (Click on it to head over and check it out!) I am watching seasons 1-4 in the meantime and very excited for Fear the Walking Dead to start on Sunday night! 

 The Walking Dead Season 5

And don't forget my huge giveaway!  $100 in gift cards, a Heidisongs DVD, a Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener, Jamberry Nail wraps  and gifts from over 40 teacher bloggers! You can see the details on my Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 posts and if you want, I will post the rafflecopters below! Enjoy! 

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Makeover and Birthday Giveaway: Day 3!

It's DAY 3 of my Thank you and Celebration giveaway! Thanks so much for visiting! I am celebrating  my amazing new blog design by Christi Fultz from Designs by Christi. She was just fabulous to work with and if you have been thinking if you should do a blog makeover or if you are just getting started it is worth it (plus it is a tax deduction so print those receipts)!  This giveaway includes $100 worth of gift cards, prizes from over 40 teacher bloggers, a Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener and credit to my TPT store, a Heidisongs DVD,  and a Jamberry nail wrap of your choice! Interested? Read on! And if you didn't see DAY 1 or DAY 2 of the giveaway, click on them to check them out and to enter! 

Some amazing bloggy buddies stepped up and donated to this giveaway!

This giveaway grew so big I split it into 6 separate giveaways which I started Tuesday (click here to see it and to learn about what is in those two giveaways and to enter  and continued yesterday (click here). 

So... let's find out what is included in today's giveaways! 

Today you can win:
Two $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Cards
Prizes from 22 amazing teacher bloggers

Let's break this down! GIVEAWAY #3 includes the $25 Barnes and Noble  gift card and prizes from the following amazing Teacher Bloggers:
$10 Winner's Choice from Elementary Matters
$10 Winner's Choice from Hello Mrs. Sykes
$10 Winner's Choice from Robin's Resources
$10 Winner's Choice from Janet Rainey
$10 Winner's Choice from I Heart Grade 3
$10 Winner's Choice from Reading Toward the Stars
$5 Winner's Choice from Taryn's Unique Learning
$5 Winner's Choice from Comprehension Connection
$5 Winner's Choice to Common to the Core
Adjective and Adverb Sort  from Crystal Clear Teaching
Take Home Science Experiments from Mrs. Schlachter

GIVEAWAY #4 includes the $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and prizes from:
$5 Winner's Choice from Julie's Learning Corner
$10 Winner's Choice from I'm Lovin Lit
$10 Winner's Choice from Science is for Kids
$10 Winner's Choice from The Techie Teacher
  $10 Winner's Choice from Reading Royalty 
$5 Winner's Choice from Positively Passionate about Teaching
$10 Winner's Choice from Free to Discover
$5 Winner's Choice from This Little Piggy Reads
$10 Winner's Choice from Momgineer
                                   Birthday Display for the Classroom from Clutter Free Classroom                         
Now it is time for the rafflecopters! Lots of easy ways to enter each giveaway and please come back tomorrow to see the new giveaways for Day 3!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway