November 22, 2014

Some people are worth melting for.


I posted a picture of my new bulletin board on my Instagram yesterday and had some comments requesting activity details. I don't blame you; Isn't is so stinkin' cute?!?

I got the idea from a pin that I saw on Pinterest and adapted the activity to better suit my second graders. (Find my activity HERE on TPT.)

First, we read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I'm sure there are many books out there that have more to do with snowpeople melting, but I threw this lesson together at the last minute (lightbulb moment) so The Snowy Day - SUCH a classic - had to do.


I stumbled upon this incredible "animated storybook" on the Ezra Jack Keats website. We watched it on BookFlix though because BookFlix shows the words.
Then we watched Olaf sing his “Summer” song in a video clip from Frozen... obviously that was a HIT with my second graders! They sang every word. (Okay, so did I.)
Lastly, we talked about how we could relate the book and the video to each other. Then we talked about how we could relate both to what we are currently learning in science (states of matter / water cycle). How's that for some whole-theme, cross-curricular teaching?! *Pats self on back*

Writing Prompt:
You are a snowman. Some kids made you yesterday, but now you are melting and turning into a puddle. Who made you? What did you look like? What is happening that is making you melt? How do you feel about melting? What is going to happen to you now?
Students wrote their final copies on regular writing paper that I drew a squiggly line around to create a puddlish appearance. We made the snowman heads out of bowls and construction paper. When everything was done, I hot-glued the heads to their respective puddles and TA-DA!


They look great. The stories are SO incredibly clever and creative. 

I just LOVE second graders.




My bulletin board is 14 feet long. FOURTEEN FEET. I literally cannot fit the whole thing in a picture without taking a panorama. #teacherproblems

Check out my newest product on Teachers Pay Teachers:

CLICK IMAGE TO BE TAKEN TO TPT PRODUCT

Thanks for coming by!
Make sure to follow me on Bloglovin'Instagram, and Facebook for more fun ideas.


November 21, 2014

Five for Friday: Thankful Edition


THANK YOU for coming by! I love linking up with Kacey on Fridays. 


My class just finished reading Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff). It was GREAT. I literally laughed until I cried. 

Anyways, in the book, the class makes a list of things that they are thankful for.

Here's my list of things I am thankful for as a teacher:

1. COFFEE
2. amazing, creative, inspiring teacher bloggers
3. Teachers Pay Teachers
4. great room parents
5. Pinterest
6. Donors Choose
7. Target Dollar Spot
8. lamination
9. GoNoodle
10. YOU and all of my supportive readers!

Because I'm so thankful for you, my "One Odd Turkey" product is on sale this weekend only.



I just started using MobyMax with my students last week. I am so impressed with it so far! I think it will be especially great practice for upcoming state benchmark tests that students have to take on the computer. (We use MAP / NWEA.)

I can see exactly what my kiddos are up to on MobyMax.




However, I am not a huge fan of how easily students can bug me. I need to find out if I can turn off the messaging feature. 





I've had lots of teachable moments this week. Earlier this week, we played Beat the Calculator to see whether our brains or calculators are faster. It's an Investigations game. Essentially, one student uses a calculator to solve a problem with multiple addends (a number string) and another student uses mental strategies to solve the same problem. "The brain" won EVERY time except for one! The kids loved it and I think it proved my point. 


Yesterday, someone had the nerve to ask why second graders aren't allowed to use pictures to solve problems or show their work. I told them it is a waste of time and does not show their thinking.

They didn't believe me, so obviously I had to prove it to them. I timed myself solving a two-digit addition problem. 



I think I proved my points.



I've been working on my Christmas list...

I'm thinking about a FitBit. Thoughts? I would love to see how many miles I walk at school each day. Am I right??


Speaking of Christmas lists, can we just take a moment to complain about how Tory Burch Revas no longer have elastic backs?? Elastic is the reason I buy those babies. What is happening??




Next week is a two-day week and then it's THANKSGIVING BREAK!!!! I'm so excited!!!

I'll be going home to Georgia for the holiday.

I finally checked out Wonder from the school media center and plan to read it during my break. I've heard such great things.



How long do you have off for Thanksgiving? What are your plans?

Have a great one!!!

November 20, 2014

If You Bribe Kids With Cookies...

...they'll work hard and be on their best behavior.

If you give a teacher time to TEACH, she'll plan a fun and authentic lesson.

That's rare; I know.

I love to use If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to practice identifying goods and services. This was my third time teaching this lesson. Just like wine and Zac Efron, it's getting better with age!

First, we reviewed prior knowledge. I define goods as "things we can touch and feel" and services as "things we do for others." We sang our goods and services song (more info here) and the kids gave some examples of each. Today was the last day spent working on goods and services and the activity served as an informal assessment.

Barnes and Noble's Online Storytime includes a video / read-aloud version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I don't usually use Online Storytime because it doesn't show the words, but it is a safe and quick option to hear the popular book.




Then I handed out this little (freebie) worksheet while I asked my students to try and make a connection between the book and economics. Students led a discussion about how everything the mouse requests can be classified as either a good or a service. I told the kids that we were going to reread the book and record every request as either a good or a service. 



I pulled out the big book and we reread, stopping after every one of the mouse's requests. The students discussed each request to decide whether it was a good or a service and wrote the request in the correct column. They did great!!

Last, I told the kids that they could request a cookie from me, and that they had to ask with an exit ticket telling me the difference between goods and services.


Afterwards, I rewarded us all...


... with cookies, of course!

November 14, 2014

Five for Friday


I love linking up with Kacey every Friday!


One of my products was featured in the TPT newsletter this week!! It was the most exciting thing EVER! It was my first, but hopefully not my last. 

I didn't get my email until early Sunday morning, but I have some great bloggy friends (Meredith and Nicole) who filled me in on Saturday night!!


My email has been blowing up all week but I can't complain.  This is just the beginning of my journey with TPT. Thanks to everyone who has stuck around with me from the start!



Students and coworkers are loving my display of very odd turkeys. 

They are so stinkin' cute!! If you missed that post, you can find it here




Thank you for all of your kind words via blog comments, Instagram, and texts last week. The past few weeks have been difficult at our school.

However, we were given donuts on Monday morning.

Just for the record, donuts DO NUT fix anything. (See what I did there?)


Yes, I'm a little bitter.


We are wrapping up our character unit next week and my team is looking for a fun but easy culminating project. We did check Pinterest, but I thought I'd ask the best and brightest: YOU!

Any great ideas or favorite character projects?

Speaking of characters, I am reading this book to the class right now:


It is SO FUNNY. I have literally cried from laughing so hard at this book, which the kids get so tickled by. I often have to pause, take a deep breath, and collect myself before reading a funny part just so I can make it all the way through without ruining the story. 

LOVE IT.

One of my students from last year informed me that Barbara Park is an Alabama alumna. Roll tide, Barbara Park! No wonder Phillip Johnny Bob is an elephant! 


Speaking of Alabama... we have some great football ahead of us this weekend.

Today is Carolina Panthers Day at school. However, Carolina is playing Atlanta this weekend. Don't think that I'm not about to wear my Falcons shirt today instead of Panthers gear. 
Sue me.

ROLL TIDE and have a great weekend.


November 11, 2014

One Odd Turkey: Craft and "Store"

Do you ever have a light bulb moment and try to throw an activity together at the last minute?

I do. All the time. 
Sometimes I kick myself for it, but sometimes it works out wonderfully, like this one did.

I present to you...One ODD Turkey.

I had the idea that students could create a turkey that has all odd numbers of body parts. 
(1 leg, 3 eyes, 5 feathers, 3 wattles, and so on.) Even and odd is a second grade standard that we practice throughout the year.

Then I decided to take it a step further and create a classroom store so students could "buy" the materials they wanted to complete their projects. All second graders need practice counting coins and making change. 

If I had thought of this farther in advance, I would have asked a parent or two to come help me. Instead, I did it all myself. In addition to all of the usual hats that teachers wear, I was also "cashier" and photographer. However chaotic, it was a BLAST!

First, students made their shopping lists while I passed out materials. They each received the two worksheets, a cup to be a "shopping cart," and 25 cents worth of play money. 


As students finished their lists, they came up to the "store" to "shop. Students that were waiting to come shop began coloring the turkey body on their worksheets.


All items were labeled with a price of 1 cent. Students counted the materials they wanted to buy, handed me money to cover the cost and told me how much change they needed back. 


Here I am being teacher, cashier, AND photographer: multitasking at its finest! 


This cutie asked if she could return something she bought but didn't want. How funny!! She started a trend, of course, even though I told students it didn't matter how much money they ended up having left at the end of the activity. 


Towards the end of our time, I noticed I had WAY TOO MANY feathers left. 
What's a girl to do with hundreds of leftover feathers? 


So, I put the feathers on sale: 2 feathers for 1 cent. 



The kids had a BLAST and the finished products turned out to be adorable and hilarious.


The One Odd Turkey activity is my newest product in my TPT store. It includes directions, the worksheets, and some additional materials for the optional extension of a "store."



It is on sale for the remainder of the week. I hope you have as much fun as we did!

Feel free follow along on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and TPT for more ideas to make your teaching life a little bit easier!