Classroom Quick Tips 9/26

I'm linking up with Hippo Hooray for Second Grade and Diving Into 2nd Grade for their weekly Teacher Quick Tips! I am all about learning new ways to make our job/lives easier. We all know how hectic our days can be.  

I haven't had student mail boxes in my classroom since my first year of teaching. When I changed schools I had no room for them. I was talking to my mom (who taught junior high at the time) to try to come up with idea on what to do. In her classroom she used crates and hanging file folders for her classes to turn their assignments in. This inspired my pick up folder. I'm sure several other teachers out their use this same system. I love it and it has been a huge time saver for me.

Now I know what your thinking....1.that crate looks likes its from the 80's. Well it probably is, I found it in my old schools book room. I know I know I should probably buy a pretty, bright new one but I just haven't. 2. Why doesn't she have a cute sign hanging there instead of that one? Well, I just simply have never made one. That hand written sign has been taped on there for 2 years and I've just left it.
Each child has their own hanging folder inside the crate.
I'm all about teaching independence in 2nd grade. I refuse to stuff their folders for them each day. I did that my first year and it took up sooooooo much time. This has solved that problem. This is where I put their homework, notes to be taken home and graded work. At the end of each day, they get all of the papers out of their pick up folder and put it in their take home folder. I don't have to do anything. This also works good for those parents who like to say "you didn't put my child's homework in their folder." I also have a  have a pass back folder. This is where I put everything that needs to be filed if I don't have time to do it right then. I spend a few minutes each day sorting papers. As the year goes on and they get more independent, I'll even have them sort graded papers for me. It works really well it takes up so little space.
There is my quick tip of the week!

Five for Sunday

I'm linking back up with Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday linky except I'm just a tad bit late! I'll admit, I haven't been the best at taking pictures of everything we do throughout the week. Does this year feel so much busier to anyone else or is it just me?
On Friday it POURED down rain ALL DAY!!! We got almost 5 inches of rain which was much needed here in East, TX but we all know what rainy days are like in the classroom!
This week in math we worked on fact families. I am loving my math interactive notebook from The Lesson Plan Diva.
We made our fact family ice cream cones from my Scoopin Up Fact Families Craftivity.
In reading, we started our basils this week. We use the Journey's reading series and our first story is Henry and Mudge. This year, we spend 2 weeks per story instead of just one. The first week mainly focuses on vocabulary. We didn't actually read the story until Thursday. We did our first story element chart in our journals and then they wrote their predictions of what will happen next. I'll share more next week when we get more into our story.
In ELA we are working on punctuation. My district uses Shurley English which I'm not the greatest fan of. I made this quick sentence review to get a quick grade. You can get it here if you'd like. I don't have an ELA journal this year (which I'm not the biggest fan of either). We have an ELA folder that they keep all of their Shurley jingles and posters in. So..I just took a sheet of drawing paper, they divided it into thirds and drew a period, question mark and exclamation mark at the top. They then sorted the sentences under the correct punctuation mark.
In science, we've been studying scientist all week. Since it rained all day on Friday, the kid were a little wound up. I found this video on YouTube on How to Draw a Scientist. Its sideways, but it worked and the kids liked it. Here are some of our drawings.
Then I let them paint their drawings with water colors. They turned out really good.

This week I'm going to have the write a story about their scientist that they drew.
I'm off to finish cleaning my messy house! I'll get caught up one day! Have a good week everyone!

Brain Breaks: Part 1

My poor blog has been so neglected lately. Back to school has been rough. I started out with 14 kids, but now I'm down to 12! I LOVE that I only have 12 kids! But the majority of my kids are low and I'm having to go back and reteach a lot of things. With that being said, brain breaks have been a huge hit for me this year, plus that 3 minutes of sanity time for me! My kiddos really are sweet!
 YouTube isn't blocked at my new school. This is a first for me and I am loving it so far! For the first time, I've been able to do brain break videos. I try to do at least 2-3 brain breaks a day. Here are a few of our class favorites!
Here is the first video they did!
This one is their FAVORITE! They sing this song ALL the time. The Mr. laughs when I come home singing it too because its stuck in my head. Oh the things we do for our kids!
This one shows other people dancing, but its kid friendly and the kids like it.
These are our 3 favorite so far! I introduced a new video today but I'm not sure if they like it yet or not so I'll wait to share. I'm going to try to introduce 2 new videos a week.
Do you do brain breaks in your class? If you YouTube is blocked, what do you do for a break?


Ways to Make 10

Hey Ya'll! I'm popping in for a quick hello! This week we are working on our addition facts with the sum of 10. This year, I'm having to go back and review a lot of basic skills. My kiddos are having a hard time with addition and subtraction. So today, we we're working on our facts to 10 and I busted out the old "beans" trick for part-part-whole, except I didn't have any beans so I used colored macaroni instead!
Each student got a paper plate and 10 macaroni noodles. I had them draw the line to split their plate in half. We then reviewed the different facts to 10 and recorded them on our venn diagram. I used this as a good way to incorporate missing addends too. For example, I would say if I put 4 macaroni's in the first part, what number do I need to make 10. It worked like a charm!
After doing several examples, they caught on and began to tell me facts that we hadn't done yet! They were so excited and proud of themselves when they realized that 4+6 and 6+4 were the same thing! This little trick can be used basic addition and subtraction facts and the kids think its cool!
If you would like a copy of our Ways to Make 10 diagram! Click here to get it for free!


Let's Tackle Nouns

If you've been following my blog for awhile then you know that I LOVE college football! Its my favorite time of the year! I'm so excited about my latest unit Let's Tackle Nouns! I actually started making this unit back in the summer and am just now finishing it. It was one of the projects that just kept getting over looked but I'm really happy with how it turned out. In this mini unit you'll find activities to review nouns.

This unit includes a read around the room search, 3 flip books, 2 noun play books, a find someone who activity and several work sheets. It also includes this football craftivity!

My hubby really likes this unit!
You can find this flip book below on my facebook page! Just click on the fans freebie tab!
 You can click on the pictures or click here to head to my facebook page.

Now my game starts in 30 minutes! Go RED RAIDERS!!!


Five for Friday {September 6, 2013}

I don't know about ya'll but I sure am glad its Friday! We had Monday off for Labor Day. Does anyone else love 3 day weekends but hate 4 day work weeks?
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs again for her weekly linky.

1. This week we dove head first into review our doubles and doubles +1 facts. We used my
We mad our doubles flip books.
Played some center games.
We did our first I spy read around the room activity yesterday! They loved it!!
Here's our double bubble craftivity! I think they turned out so cute!
2. This week we started our TPRI testing. We do this data assessment test at the BOY, MOY and EOY to check for comprehension and fluency. Since I'm in a new district, they do it manually. Ya'll this takes forever!!!! I was spoiled this past 3 years and doing these assessments online. We'll be doing this all next week too. Do you do TPRI at your school?
3. We only get to do centers on Friday this year. I do my literacy centers in the morning and math centers in the afternoon. Today I introduced my Welcome Back Jack centers and the kids LOVED them! They we're HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! I got busy and forgot to take pictures but I did manage to snag one.
4.  Look what came in the mail this week!!! The district I use to work in supplied me with my own iPad. When I had to turn it in when I left (after offering to buy it because it had my life on it :( ) I convinced the hubby to let me get one. What are some of your favorite apps? Classroom and not classroom related?
5. Last but not week is a very crucial day for Americans. September 11th, 2001 is a day I'll never forget. It is a difficult day for all Americans. In Texas, our 2nd TEKS (our version of common core) states that they have to know the meaning on 9/11. I've created this Never Forgotten Memorial Ribbon Craftivity to allow students to show their patriotism. I've made this craft the past 2 years with my students and always get compliments on it. You can get it for free here.
Tonight is  date night with the Mr! I'm going to kick his butt in bowling! Have a good weekend everyone!


Currently: September

Can ya'll believe its already September? Only 4 more months until Christmas...AAHH!! Its crazy how time has quickly passed by lately. I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly linky!
Listening: I love Dance Mom's on Lifetime! It may be a little ridiculous but I like it! I'm a few episodes behind so I've been playing catch up on my day off! :)
Loving: That football season is finally here! Friday night the hubby and I went to the high school football game. If your not from Texas, let me explain football is almost a way of life. Its a BIG deal! I live in the typical small town where everything basically shuts down so that everyone can attend the football have big air horns, bright lights, and a pumped up crowd! Then there was Saturday... I personally believe that the first day of college football should be a National holiday! The Mr. and I grilled jalapeƱo poppers, little smokies were in the croc pot and snacked all day, we had some friends over and watched 6...yes that's right, 6 games that day. I just love it!
Thinking: Don't we all wish that there were just a few more hours in the day. This last week was exhausting. I have a lot to do...things to print...things to laminate...things to cut out....things to create (I have 5 units started right now, I seriously need some time to finish them.) I need more time to spend with my new husband. Time to travel to see our families because we live so far away. There is just so much to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done.
Wanting: We have had a lot of issues with our wedding photographer. Its been 2 1/2 months and we still don't have anything. Needless to say that there are several bad reviews about to be put all over social media if we don't get our pictures soon.
Needing: The first week of school was so crazy. I didn't get all of my copies made for this coming week so I have to run up there for a few minutes this afternoon. It shouldn't take long, I just don't want to do it.
Here are my 3 goals for the month:
1. To stay positive. I'm in a new district, a new town and everything is new. I've had a hard time already not being with my partner teacher that I grew so close too the past 2 years. I'm learning a new system and new routines. I need to stay positive and know that everything will work out.
2. The Mr. and I have been running trying to run every day in the evenings. We're doing a couch to 5K plan and so far we really like it. We're up to a little over 2 miles a day.
3. My new principal gave me a daily devotional for teachers right before school started. He has gone out of his way to make me feel welcome. This past week, I've been reading a little in it each day.
Head on over to Farley's blog to link up!

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