Thursday, December 27, 2012

My favorite 12 in '12! So fun! :)

Ugh -- I know I say this all the time, but I swear I'm going to try to be a better blogger!  I think I'll start with a linky party! Today I'm linking up to share my 12 favorites of 2012! Click the picture and you can link up, too!
12. Favorite movie you watched:
I have a serious problem with movies.  I.  Love. Them. ALL.  I love action movies, romance movies, cheesy romantic comedies... I love funny movies, scary movies, horribly made but also laughable movies.  Picking one is so hard for me, but I think I will go with...
I had read the book many years back and fallen in love.  So naturally, I was apprehensive about the movie as it seems movies tend to ruin perfectly wonderful books.  But this movie was *perfect*
11. Favorite TV series:
Yikes.  It seems that this 12 in 12 linky will reveal me as quite an addict, because I have a serious problem with TV as well! haha I have many shows that I watch pretty religiously.  They range from dramas like Grey's Anatomy all the way to cheesy teenager vampire shows like The Vampire Diaries (but come on... Ian Somerhalder... need I say more?!?).  My favorite series of 2012 was by far...
...New Girl! Mostly becaue of Schmidt!   My husband likes this show, too and it's nice to not have to watch it all alone like all my other shows! :)
10. Favorite restaurant:
We have gone out to eat a lot this year.  It was my first year of teaching, and at the end of the day, I just had no desire to cook!  We have a couple go-to restaurants, but this year I tried a new one and fell. in. love. 
Oh. My. Gosh. you guys.  Have you been here?!  If you like stir fry, you HAVE to go.  Right now.  Look up the nearest location and head that way for dinner!  They have a "make your own stir fry" option.  You choose a meat and a sauce, then go up to a salad bar of sorts and pick all the veggies and add-ins that you want... then they make the stir fry right in front of you.  SO GOOD!
9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Uhhh... STIR CRAZY!!! Haha, no I will give you a new answer.  This year I was introduced to the wonder that is fro-yo (frozen yogurt).  But not just any fro-yo.... Orange Leaf.  In similar fashion to Stir Crazy, Orange Leaf is a glorious place where you choose your own self-serve fro-yo and then pile it on with all the fixins your little heart desires!  I usually get a vanilla-type yogurt and pile it up with fresh berries! :)
8. Favorite gift you got:
Wow... I got a lot of gifts this year!! Between Christmas, my birthday, and getting married... I can't turn my head and not see something that was gifted to us!!  I think my favorite gift was a set of chairs my mom gave us when we bought our house.  They are from Target and are SO. STINKIN. CUTE!  They go perfectly in our living room! :)
Armless Upholstered Slipper Accent Chair-Grey Medallion
P.s.  In the online search for this chair.. I saw that Target has chairs (this style) with Chevrons.  I must have these.  I will find space for them somewhere! ;)
7. Favorite thing you pinned:
Oh gosh.  People... I pin a LOT.  I get on a pin frenzy and just can't stop myself.  There are many things I've pinned with the intention to look at later and just never got there.  Some of my favorite pins are food ones.  I'm not very creative in the kitchen, but when I get that motivation, I like to make pinterest recipes.  This one has become a go-to for our family!  So easy and delicious!
 Click the pic. for the recipe.
6. Favorite blog post:
As stated earlier, I am not quite as good at this blogging thing as I would like to be.  I would say that my favorite posts in general are fun linkies (like this one!) and opportunities to offer some great freebies!  There was one post in particular that went really well.  I was so excited to post it because I had just finished an awesome fall freebie and couldn't wait to share it!  Also in that post, I shared something I was doing in my classroom and it was pinned countless times.  You can check that post out here!
5. Best accomplishment:
My greatest accomplishment this year has been surviving my first year teaching!! I'm very proud of the hard work I've put in with these second graders.  I can't believe my first year is already halfway over!  I will not lie and say it was all rainbows and butterflies.  This stuff is HARD! But wow is it ever rewarding! :)

Here's a peek into my favorite part of our classroom!  This was taken before school started and it hasn't looked that nice since, but it is such a cozy little area and we have all our best talks at the carpet! :)
4. Favorite picture:
Can I pick two? Please?!?  These are pictures I have shared on my blog before, but can't resist an opportunity to share them again and again and again. They are from my June 8, 2012 Wedding! :)
3. Favorite memory:
My favorite memory is my entire honeymoon in Riviera Maya.  It was such a beautiful place.  It was perfect weather.  There was always something to do -- and oh my gosh -- the FOOD! I so miss having a buffet full of amazing food for every meal.  Just being there and relaxing with my new husband was perfect. 
2. Goal for 2013:
My goal for 2013 is to get better at blogging.  I love being able to reflect on my life and on my teaching and think blogging offers such a great opportunity for that.  I have learned SO much from other bloggers and gotten a million great ideas from them.  I want to be able to offer good ideas for other teachers as well.  My goal is to get more consistent with my blogging and, of course, to follow more and more amazing bloggers.  I am looking for second grade blogs -- I feel like they are few and far between.  If you have any suggestions -- please let me know! :)
1. One Little Word:
There is so much in life for us to be grateful for.  It is SO easy to overlook those things and to focus our energy on problem areas or things we are lacking.  I want this one little word to inspire me to ALWAYS focus on what I have and all those amazing blessings I should be forever grateful for.  Life is too short to dwell!
Wow!! Thanks for sticking with me!!! This was such a fun linky and a great way to round out my 2012. It was a huuuuuge year for me and I'm so excited for what 2013 has to bring!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fun with Time, More Math, and Tons of Prayers

I hope you don't mind if I open today's blog post with a prayer.
Father God -- I come to you today asking you to wrap your loving arms around the people affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I know that these people stretch far and wide, as a tragedy of this magnitude affects many.  My heart aches for the families who woke up today without their loved ones nearby -- praying that yesterday's devastation was only a dream.  Lord, please guide these people through these troubling times as this kind of devastation is unimaginable and cannot be navigated without You.  Lord, as the days continue and life moves forward, plant peace in their hearts.  May it aide them to know that their babies, their teachers, their principal are all overhead, serving in your Kingdom as the most beautiful, pure, and everlasting angels.  In Your Name, Amen.
It is hard to fathom in the wake of a tragedy that life moves forward from that moment -- that the world doesn't simply stop.  Your obligations and responsibilities don't simply halt for you to grieve. On Novemeber 30th, I went through a small trauma of my own.  At the moment, it seemed like the absolute worst thing that could happen.  Now, in hindsight, it was one small trauma that affected my individual life greatly.  My (brand new) house was broken into and my family was robbed.  In the midst of the robbery, my sweet dog Brody got out.  He was missing for four days, the worst four days of my life.  I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life -- my family, my friends, my second graders, my "virtual" friends on TPT -- they all lifted my family up in prayers and my sweet puppy Brody returned home!  In that four days he was gone, I was a complete wreck.  I wanted so badly for time to pause to allow me to grieve -- but it doesn't.  Life moves forward and we simply have to find a way to hold on as it does. 
It may seem insensitive to post about a teaching topic, but in an attempt to hold on as life moves forward from this absolute tragedy, I have some things to share with you today. 
We have been spending the month of December learning about Time! Common Core has some pretty heavy demands of my second graders when it comes to time! Where my 7 year olds used to be expected to learn time to the 15 minutes -- now they must know time to the 5 minutes! They also must know the relationships of time.  For this, I wrote a little song that I'd like to share with you! This song is to the tune "If You're Happy and You Know It"
I was going to post a video of them singing this song, but upon playing it back -- I simply can't do that to you.  The kids sound great, but my voice overpowers theirs and I've been terribly ill since Wednesday.  I will spare your ears! Anyway, the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE singing this song! I wish I could have found a way to stick 12 months in a year in here.  You're on your own for that one ;)
This past week, I began math journals in my classroom.  We had a small shift in our schedule which left me with 15 extra minutes in math.  What better way to spend that time than to stretch my kiddos' mathematical thinking?  I L-O-V-E math journals because they help these kids to become problem solvers and to think deeper about math.  I created a set of December math journals which are Christmas and Winter Themed.  They. Love. These!  Here's how I have my kiddos do them...
I gave each student a green math notebook to use as their math journal.  You could also staple printer paper together for a monthy journal.  Kids will paste their journal prompt onto the top of their page.  I usually read the problem out loud a few times and encourage my kiddos to underline key words that will help them to solve the problem.  Then, they are given 5-10 minutes to complete the problem in the space below.  I prefaced math journals with an example problem.  I expect my kiddos to show their work AND to write IN WORDS how they worked through the problem.  I tell them to "Think like Mathematicians and to share those thoughts on their papers." 
I will be making a monthly set of Math Journals.  So far, I have completed December and January.  Click the pictures below to go check out my Arctic themed January Prompts below!
Lastly, If you are still on the search for some engaging Christmas Fun to do with your class -- be sure to check out my Christmas Math Centers.  They are all aligned to the Second Grade Common Core Math Standards and they are SUPER fun if I do say so myself!  Included you will find 5 centers:
-Gingerbread Even/Odd Sorting
-2-Digit Subtraction (No regrouping) with Christmas Trees and Ornaments
-Time to the 5 Minutes: Santa on a Schedule!
-Holly Jolly Word Problems - Addition and Subtraction
-Regrouping Vs. Not Regrouping with Christmas Carolers
Click this image to check it out further at my store:
I hope these items will help you move forward into your school week.  As we approach Winter Break, I'm so grateful for the time I will be able to spend at home with my family.  My prayers will continue to extend toward those who will be spending their first holiday season without their loved ones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cyber Monday Amazingness!!! And some FUN with Time!

Just wanted to pop in real quick this evening to ABSOLUTELY RAAAVE about TPT's Cyber Monday + Tuesday sale.  I hope you guys didn't miss it -- it was a blast! I bought SO many great items that I can NOT wait to use in my classroom!  It was so humbling to also sell so many items.  The most amazing part of TPT is knowing that my work can save some kind-hearted, and incredibly hard working teachers some time.  It is SO neat to think about how many children it's all reaching, too!  

Did any of you buy some amazing second grade items that you think I can't live without?  I'd LOVE to hear about some of your purchases ... I got a lot of TPT credits from shopping and they are burning a hole in my virtual pocket ;)

So, we started a unit on Telling Time this week and I wanted to share some of the SERIOUS fun we had today!  We started with a discussion on how many seconds were in a minute and how many minutes were in an hour.  But talking about it just isn't enough -- so we did lots of fun games to see just how long a minute lasts! Here's how things went down:

First, we estimated how many times we could write our names in one minute.  Then we tried it! Most of my kids either guessed WAAAYYYY too many or WAAAYYY too few! 

Then, we guessed how many times we could hop on one foot -- TOO funny! :) 

Then, we played some Minute to Win it Games.  You guys.  If you have never done Minute to Win it with your kiddos -- START YESTERDAY!  Not only was it fun, but they really got a feel for how long a minute was.  The best part?  It was a HUGE community builder!  Even my boys who never -- seriously NEVER -- get along were rooting each other on!  I was a proud teacher.  Here are the two games we played..


Here's another good one! 

Enjoy! :) 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sale Reminder and Christmas with the Kelly's!

Hey friends.. just wanted to pop in real quick to share some fun with you!  Like many of you, I have been busy decorating for Christmas.  It all feels so much more special for me this year because this is my first Christmas in my very. own. home!  Love our house and wanted to share with you a picture of our first tree as a married couple! :) 

Yay! Please ignore that clock behind it.. that will need to be moved for the season! Who needs to tell time anyway?  OH, that's right.. my second graders!! We start our math unit on telling time tomorrow, so expect me to be sharing lots of time-themed goodies with you in the next month!  I'm excited to dive into some of these activities...

I'm sure I don't need to remind you .. as blogland is currently EXPLODING with all the buzz! But just in case you haven't heard yet -- Tomorrow is our HUGE Cyber Monday + Bonus Tuesday sale! You can get 28% off all the items in my store as well as MANY other stores by entering the promo code CMT12 -- So load up your carts and wishlists and get ready for some serious savings!  I know I will be stocking up! :) Click the picture below to go to my store! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale + Holiday Excitement! :)

Ummm... can I just say HELLLLLLOOOOOO Thanksgiving Break.  Sorry I've been such an absentee blogger.  I feel like the kids are starting to feel a little burnt out and I know I'm getting exhausted.  CUE Thanksgiving Break.  I think these two days off will be a nice little refresher! SO I guess that means that I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!  

You know what else I'm SUPER pumped for?  THE CYBER MONDAY + TUESDAY SALE!!!

 TpT is throwing a great sale to show how thankful we are for great teachers like you! :)  I will be offering 20% off of my entire store.  Combine that with TPT's discount and you can save 28% on all my items.  Check out the link up at the bottom of this entry to see who else is putting their store on sale?  Can you tell I'm excited?  MY shopping cart is FILLED with goodies! :) 

That being said -- I can't WAIT to show you some of the goodies I have been working on!  I absolutely l.o.v.e the holidays and have been really busy making some winter/holiday themed products.  EEK! I just can't even explain how happy the graphics make me... Don't they just put you in the spirit?

I hope these products can help you prepare for the holiday/winter season with your classroom of little elves! Check out my store for tons of other items.  Now, it's time for me to focus back in on Thanksgiving! I hope you all enjoy this special time with your families.  This has been a CRAZY year for me -- Graduating college while working and volunteering, Getting married, Honeymooning, Getting my first job, Experiencing my First year Teaching, Buying a House --- Wow, I'm getting tired just typing about it! I know I have SOOOO SO much to be thankful for. Can't wait to celebrate these things tomorrow -- sending my best to you and yours! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful and a Freebie!

I can NOT express in words to you all how much I love the holiday season.  I'm not huge on Halloween, but the second it is over I start thinking about Thanksgiving/Christmas.  I typically jump right to thinking about Christmas the second I see the sprinklings of Christmas decor in the back of the seasonal section at Target. Then I have to slow myself down to think about the wonder that is Thanksgiving.  For me, Thanksgiving is all about food and family.  It just has an overall positive vibe and gives me a chance to reflect on all of those things I'm so incredibly thankful for.  Thanks to Storie for hosting a linky so I can share those things with you!

I really enjoyed this linky. I encourage you all to sit back and reflect on the things you have to be thankful for in your lives!  It is so easy to take these things for granted in the day-to-day. 

Because I'm also thankful for anyone who takes time out of their day to read my silly old blog.. I'd like to share a freebie with you! Click the preview picture to download! 

 I made a whole set of these when I was working with Kindergartners but they'd be great for interventions in first and second as well! I've got one for each vowel in my store or you can get them bundled for 25% less!
Click the picture below to check out the bundle! 

Well.. I'm off to go enjoy the rest of my weekend... I hope you'll do the same! :) 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hellooooooooooo November!

So I don't blog often or even remotely consistently... but I never miss a Currently!  I'm linking up with sweet Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for a NOVEMBER (gasp!) currently! :) 

*p.s. - I may not have followed directions on the music part! I just read that we were supposed to talk about the music we play in class.  I play calming music from around the world!  We also listen to a lot of educational songs on youtube.

Well there you have it -- Welcome to November, folks! HOW INSANELY FAST is this year going?  Before you know it, it will be *Christmas* and I absolutely. can. not. wait!  To slow myself down a little.. I'm getting myself excited for Thanksgiving!  Be sure to check out my Thanksgiving Math and Literacy Centers! Click the picture for more info. 

That's it for me! ENJOY your weekend! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thanksgiving LOVE and Something Personal!

Hey there friends... EEK! It's been a while since I've been here.  I think you can all understand being too busy to .. oh you know.. eat, breathe, blog.... But I'M HERE and excited to share some fun stuff with you! :) 

I'm linking up with some AMAZING bloggers to share all about one of my FAVORITE times of the year -- THANKSGIVING! Go check them out here and here.  I. puffy heart love. Thanksgiving.  It's one of the few times a year that my whole family can come together and just celebrate each other. It also has some of the most WONDERFUL food of the year!  I always joke that Thanksgiving is my favorite food group.  But seriously, yum.  In honor of all things Thanksgiving... I created this set of Thanksgiving themed centers!  Click the picture to check it out at my TPT store! :) 

I love these centers and CAN'T WAIT to use them with my class. PLUS, the graphics totally make me hungry! 

If you don't mind.. I'd love to share some personal news with you guys!  We just had our *short* fall break. I'm seriously jealous of those of you who are on balanced calendar and got two weeks!  But I spent my four day weekend buying my very first home! :) I'm super excited about it.  We've been busy moving furniture buying way too much great stuff, and painting!!  It's been fun making this house a home and I'm OVERJOYED that the whole process went well.  Also, my dogs stinkin' LOVE it.  And I love them! 

View From the Front. 

The Kitchen.. we just painted some of these walls an AMAZING yellowy-brown color.  I, unfortunately, cannot post that picture because there's so much moving trash stacked up on the island haha... we also have a nice shiny new refrigerator in that hole! 

One side of our living room! 

Brody relaxing in his new home!

Okay, thanks so much for letting me share this excitement with you! :) Praying for all of you on the East Coast! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Place Value, CURRENTLY, and .. eek.. lice.

Hey friends!! I'm so excited to be here in OCTOBER linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for a Currently! Can you BELIEVE it's October?  Our report cards are due soon! in-sane. Here's what I'm up to on this nice fall evening...

So what else has been up, you ask?  WELL! On Monday, I found out that one of my sweet girls has lice.  She didn't come to school all week but the paranoia has commenced.  Of course at the mere MENTION of lice my head started itching.  Every time I see one of my kids scratch, I cringe! Anyway.. at our school the nurse isn't permitted to do lice checks of whole classes.  Apparently it's a "dignity" thing.. which is bologna.. because anyone can get lice.  So I'm relying on parents to check their kids and make sure.. if they have lice.. to not be sent back without a treatment.  Great.  I've had the heeby jeebies all. stinkin'. week.  And if that wasn't enough, I had two kids go home sick yesterday! SICK.  All. over. the. table. 

On a HAPPY note.  We had our post-assessment on place value the other day and my kiddos ROCKED IT!  I truly, truly, truly believe that hanging these place value posters in my room helped majorly!  Click the images to check them out in my store .. in chevrons or polka dots! :) 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Giveaways, Sales, and FALL.. OH MY! :)

Friends, I've been so excited for this blog post but wanted to put it off til I had the time to really focus in!  I have a few things I've been DYING to share with you! But let's start here. With a FREEBIE! Duh! Who doesn't want to start their Saturday morning with free goodies? Click the picture below for the cutest darn Sentence Fluency/Punctuation center.  And of course, it's fall/pumpkin themed.. who could resist?

Next up! I'm so excited to share with you something we did in our classroom that I ACTUALLY remembered to take pictures of! This week, in writers workshop, our class was working on adding powerful verbs and adjectives to our writing. Now, I don't know about you guys but in our classroom... wall space is seriously limited.  I wanted my kids to have a resource they could always go to for using powerful verbs and adjectives without taking up any precious bulletin boards.  So these were born:

Easy Peasy! Just use a binder ring and some freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee paint chips and you have yourself a nice little resource for writing.  My kids LOVED creating these and they have been using them like crazy! I have loved reading words like "gobbled" in their memoirs! :) 

So I'm having a little trouble believing that it's ALMOST October!  How outrageous is that??  It will be fall break before we know it ;) To celebrate the coming of October and the "Peace out" of September, I'm throwing a little sale in my TPT store! Every item will be 10% off for this weekend only! Click the graphic below to visit my store and check out all the discounted goodies! :) 

Last but not least, have you met Dana over at Fun in First Grade?  No?  Well don't waste any time.  Hop on over to her blog and check out her 500 follower giveaway! There are over 50 PRIZES, including winner's choice from my store.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Place Value and Giveaway Love!

Hey friends! Happy weekend! :)

This week, my class has had a BLAST working on Place Value.  This concept can be tricky for some kiddos so we've been doing a lot of fun centers alongside our lessons.  Check out some pictures of my babies learning AND having fun! 

Drawing Numbers using Base Ten Manipulatives

Playing a super fun Uno Partner game.  They draw three cards and make the biggest number possible.  Then they compare their numbers with their partner's number! They LOVED this!

 Next week on the place value roster.............. I'm pulling this bad boy out! I can't WAIT to use these games.  I know my kiddos are going to LOVE the pirate theme. Check out some of the goodies included:
 Comparing Numbers w/ Base Ten Pictures               
Making Large Numbers Cards + Recording Sheet.  Use place value concepts to make the biggest number possible. (version through the hundreds place and the thousands place).

Click HERE to check this product out at my store and see what else is included! 

Can you tell I'm excited about and LOVE teaching place value?!??? I'm SO happy with how my place value posters turned out!  I looked everywhere for posters that would work for me, but I have limited wall space so I needed smaller posters than I could find.  And so these were born...Sorry about the picture quality but I'm <3 In <3 Love.

Click HERE to check them out! :) 

OKAY... now onto a topic completely unrelated to Place Value.  Does anyone do Project Work at their school?  My school requires that we do 2 extensive projects every year.  I'm new this and I'm SUPER struggling to come up with a topic!  We are supposed to go with our students' interests, but so far, their interests don't really align with the kinds of topics appropriate for Project.  SO I NEED YOUR HELP!  Have an idea for a project for my classroom (between 4 and 6 weeks long)?  My school is an International Studies magnet so our topics need to be topics that not only apply directly to our personal lives but can also be viewed and researched through an international lens.  HELLLLPPP MEEEE! 

Last but not least.. it just wouldn't be fair for me to leave you today without letting you in on these awesome giveaways!  Check them out.. you could be the winner of some amazing products.


Hope you all have an AMAZING first week of fall! :) We had crazy storms come through Indianapolis yesterday with high winds and some SERIOUS hail, but I'm not gonna let that stop me from enjoying the cool, crisp air and fall festivities! :)