Monday, June 30, 2014

Manic Monday and Me Time

I have been loving my summer!
Relaxing-This picture shows the view from my patio.

Yummy snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Mommy time with my boys-Letter of the Day crafts and fun!

I have not done a Manic Monday freebie in such a while, but hey here I am again just in time to help you get ready for your 4th of July celebration. Simply print the pendant, cut it out, string along string, streamers, or mount on plates. Viola! 

Grab your freebie here!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday-June 27, 2014


We have had a great week here in Charleston, SC, and I have had a lot of fun with my family. Here is a glimpse into the week:

1. Returning from seven days on vacation (just my husband and I) for our 20 year anniversary, I had to do some laundry. However, my wonderful daughter had done the laundry at home. (I am so lucky to have such a responsible, trustworthy daughter.) My father in law and niece were at my house the week we were out of town, but my daughter did a lot-cooked, cleaned, bathed and help take care of her brothers. 

2. At home learning fun-we started learning and keeping our brains sharp using letters and numbers. I stole this idea from my neighbor (with her permission-lol) and adapted to my kids, as well as, included practicing writing letters, numbers, and names. I brought home some things for my kids from school, but tried to take a more "parenting route" and not so much teacher.

3. Happy 5th Birthday to my baby! I can't believe he is 5 years old. It was a great day. Cupcakes for breakfast, cupcakes at lunch, cupcakes for snack, cupcakes before bed.

4. Library fun on Thursday. Check out yesterday's Throwback Thursday post to grab your freebie.

5. Baseball game at the hometown Minor League Baseball team, Charleston Riverdogs. We had an awesome suite (my husband got tickets from a local newspaper), but mainly sat in the seats outside. We had an awesome time! We are already planning our next visit in a couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Summer reading at its best! Today my crew and I went to the library. The above picture shows what we will be reading for the next week. We are also learning about letters and numbers, as well as, a craft each day. My boys are excited about dinosaurs; therefore, we got several non-fiction books about dinosaurs. My daughter got several fiction books, and I got a book about fun things to do in our new hometown. Since we are doing all this reading, and I am sure you are catching up on some personal (fun) reading and reading professionally too, my Throwback Thursday is a reading post. 

It is Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies. If you haven't been there, then you better get over there and start discovering all the freebies.

No matter what you call your reading/language arts time, I bet your students read. I bet you teach your students about reading comprehension strategies to use BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER reader. I bet you instill in your students a love for listening to read alouds, reading independently, and wanting to learn more through reading. I have created some bookmarks to aide in encompassing the love and excitement, as well as, sneaking in using reading comprehension strategies.

I am super excited about these bookmarks. Click here for a sneak peek and a freebie at the first one in the series! If you like what you see, please consider following my blog.
Ideas on how to use:
You could print on colored paper to add Pizzazz and cut!
You could print front and back. Have the students fold and use for 6 weeks!
You could print and laminate. Allow students to use vis a vis and reuse!
The possibilities are endless.
Any other suggestions on how to use?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Lovin' and a Freebie

With summer among us, I'm sure many of us have done many (well, maybe some) things on your Summer Bucket List, and.....
I am sure many of you are preparing (maybe even planning) for your return to home away from home (school). Yes, I am guilty too. However, I mainly have been loving my summer break-Sunshine (until 8:30/8:45 p.m.), relaxed schedule, lots of family time, pool, beach, farmers' market, berry and veggie picking, fun with friends, visiting family, vacation, kids sleeping in (well at least 2--but for the past week all 3 and, I've been getting up later too.), meeting hubby for lunch dates, catching up on house projects, tutoring, at home learning with my kids, library, movies, and the list goes on......

Then, reality sets in or my teammate says, "Let's talk business." (Meaning-Let's talk about Meet the Teacher, binders, supplies, procedures, behavior management, and the list goes on.....). So I get to thinking, reflecting, and dreaming. Then, I sit down to create new games, activities, and practice or edit things that I created.  I teach Math, Science, and Social Studies. Last year, I used the UPS check problem solving method.  This is a previous post.
Here  is my newest set of posters. This will be a limited time freebie. Then, I will place it in my store. I ask you leave a comment and become a follower to my blog. (I am in process of figuring out how to add the Facebook button again. I had it, but all was lost when my total blog was wiped. See previous, AHHHH, post.

What is on your Summer Bucket List? What have you completed?
What are you preparing and planning for school? Be sure to grab your freebie and leave a comment.

Monday, June 23, 2014



Somehow last week (the day before I was getting ready to go on vacation), I managed to delete my blog layout and all the widgets. I am in the process of "putting my blog back together". (I just now had a feeling like Humpty Dumpty). Therefore, please be patient as you see change. I am getting the help from a great friend and fellow colleague, Kathy Law, at First Grade A La Carte

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five For Friday Linky and a Freebie


This week has been fun-filled and enjoyed with my friends and family.

We are exploring the ocean habitat. Today we learned about fish. We live very close to the beach and so there often. We also have a boat and take the boat to the ocean via rivers. My boys and I discussed our boat rides and our fishing adventures. We discussed freshwater and saltwater. I even mentioned brackish water as a new vocabulary word. We recalled the animals we have caught while fishing and riding on the boat. These include stingray, crab, shark, pelicans, seagulls, herons, redfish, seatrout, sheepshead, seabass, triggerfish, and several more. (Of course, we catch and release.) I led the conversation to the difference between how fish breathe and how people breathe. We discussed how shark were fish and dolphins were mammals. My younger son made a connection to how dolphins come out of water to get air and how when we swim we come up to get air too. 
The boys listened to the F song from abcmouse and we made a list of words that began with the letter F. Each of them found two objects in the house or outside that began with the letter F, as well as, traced and wrote the letter F using Starfall.

Berry picking-We picked blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It was hot, but we had a lot of fun with friends. After picking berries in the morning, I made berry smoothies for my daughter and I. Then, she looked for berry recipes and made a three berry pie complete with a homemade crust. It was desert and delicious!

We went to the pool! My teammate and I live in the same neighborhood. We have become very good friends. We had some adult conversation while my daughter read and our boys played. We were sure to wear our sunscreen, but we still got a little sunburned too.

Friday mornings consists of tutoring. The community below our neighborhood has a Farmer's Market so my friend and I went over to explore. We were disappointed because there was one vegetable vendor, three products and self-made good vendors, a plant vendor, a seafood vendor, and a hot dog stand. Oh well, I guess that means a visit to the Saturday Farmer's Market in town or Tuesday in the neighboring town. 

Doing laundry is never a fun task, but whenever you are making the above picture become filled for a getaway it is GRAND. My husband and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We are so ready for a vacation and time together. My job is to do the laundry and clean our house. Not too bad considering during summer break, I am able to make sure the house is cleaned each evening and do laundry regularly (not just on the weekend). 
So now I'm off to meal planning for my kids and packing. Here is the link to the menu planner.

Be sure to link up to Five for Friday Linky and catch what everyone else has been doing! Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Babysitting Ideas and We Love Books Linky

So my daughter took a babysitting class along with first aid and CPR last summer. She mainly has watched her brothers. Now she is beginning to babysit other kids. She has sat for a teacher friend too, but yesterday was her "first" interview. She searched Pinterest and found some babysitter information sheets that she liked and printed those. 
She found this one 

by using Pinterest. It can also be found by using  baby sitter notes Kid to Kid. 

She also created a "bag of tricks" (inspired by orgjunkie) and the babysitter note.
Here is the bag she created:

She has a folder with information for the parents to complete.

She also included a coloring book, a dry erase board, an art box with crayons, colored pencils, dry erase markers, stickers, foamies, a first aid area with band-aids and baby wipes. There are a couple of books and for the interview she took the game, Memory (because it was age appropriate). She plans on using other games and "tricks" according to the child's age.

All went well on her interview. My daughter had to get a reference. This was simple-my sweet teammate gave her the sweetest reference. She was sure to text and tell her thank you and that she really enjoyed her visit with the kids. She is now the "primary" sitter. I'm so proud of her. Comments were gleaming. My daughter is using her money for a choral trip in which she wants to attend, as well as, books for pleasure reading. I couldn't ask for a better daughter.  

Secondly, I have decided to join Deanna Jump's We Love Books Linky

It is hard to choose one book as my favorite. Therefore, I'm choosing the most requested (at the moment) by my boys. They are Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown,  Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed  by Eileen Christelow,  A Pocket Full of Kisses  by Audrey Penn. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Problem Solving In Math

 I found this quote from Howard County Public Schools wiki space in regard to problem solving:

Problem solving is not an isolated activity. It doesn't occur every Friday. Instead problem solving is a skill that favors every mathematics lesson. Problem solving is more than just one-step word problems. Problem solving should feature risk tasks, authentic purposes, and multiple ways to be solved.

I completely agree. 

Each day students should be posed with critical thinking. Students should be challenged to think "out of the box". Students should be guided through questioning and class discussion. Problem solving should not only occur in Math class, but it should also involve life matters (which all teachers do each day). These life skills not only foster and promote critical thinking, but they also teach students independence, patience, tolerance, courage, collaboration, discovery, exploration, and so much more. 

However, Math opens a door to problem solving. Therefore, problem-solving strategies are established and used in Math classroom quite often. In the past, I have used a method with the acronym R.O.P.E.S.
R=Read the problem
O=Omit the unnecessary items by marking them out
E=Effectively solve the problem
S=Study your solution (check your work)
This past school year, however, I used the  UPScheck method because this is what our Math series uses. I like the method. As the year has progressed, the students and I have added hints for each step. I love it! It is simple and easy to use.

The above picture shows our anchor chart. It started out:

Understand-What is the problem asking?
Plan-Decide on the problem-solving strategy you will use.
Solve-Solve the problem. Show your thinking. PROVE IT!
Check-Does your answer make sense? Is is reasonable? Do you have proof? If a word problemDid you find the solution to the question(s)?

Friday, June 6, 2014

June Currently

With the school year coming to a close, (Today is my daughter's last school day. Mine was on Tuesday of this week, and my son's was last Friday.), I am ready to reflect on the school year and plan for next year. With our move, there were many firsts and many changes, but through it all-I am proud to say-We made it! This year I had my first experience team teaching. I taught Math, Science, and Social Studies and my teamie taught English Language Arts. This was a first for me. I am also in second grade. This was also a first for me as a classroom teacher. I completed a rigorous teacher evaluation system standard known as SAFE-T in my school district and passed both quarters with a perfect score each time. YIPPEE!!YEAH!!PTL!I created lots of new games and activities---now with my summer I can post and upload to my TpT store. I am hoping to gain more blogging friends and posts more for teachers not only on my blog, but also the collaborative blog in which I am an author also.   So watch for all these happenings. Now for a summer starter, I will begin by joining Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade

My Currently is pretty much easy to understand, but I will elaborate on some parts:
Listening-I can hear the clock ticking, the refrigerator, and the air conditioning. My kids are playing upstairs and I actually have some “mommy”  time . SHHH! (I definitely am not complaining because this is a rarity-a BIG rarity. I will take it while I can.)
Loving-I am loving that it is SUMMER break! I have activities planned for my kids, tutoring, and vacationing. Loving LIFE!
Thinking-I am thinking that I need to blow dry my hair to meet my hubby for lunch.
Wanting-I am wanting a glass of sweet tea (that will be  later) . I am also wanting to upload all the cool games  and activities I made this year for my classroom.
Needing-I need to stick to an exercise regime and eat clean. (Use those Pinterest finds.)-I have many pins about about exercise and food so you would think this would be a easy task. My mind seems to focus on the eating clean in the summer especially with planning. So I will begin with baby steps and hopefully get back to where I was in the eating and exercise department of my life before the move. 
Summer Bucket List: 
 1. Celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary with my husband on a getaway. (We are both so ready for a vacation, but this will be special because as we love our children dearly this will be a mommy and daddy date week.. Of course, we will have a vacation with our kids later in the summer too.)
2. Visit my sister (and her family)
3. Explore my new hometown with my new friends (blueberry picking, farmers' market, fun in the sun, date nights, couples, and kids--lots to explore and do)

 what are you up to this summer? How was your school year? 

Laugh for the day--My four year old just walked up to me during "electronic time", he has his ipad and is watching kids play cars and games. Before the actual video footage is a commercial from Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, he shows me the video and says see mom I told you baking soda can make everything smell fresh and clean. That is why we need more from the pantry.  (So he can be my first step to all-natural, "clean" cleaning.) Too cute!