Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Fall Freebie #4- Last one! =(

Hi All!

I hope that you have enjoyed this last month of Friday Freebies! I have had a lot of fun creating new things to use in my classroom and to share with you!  Last week, I had a Veterans Day Freebie, so I figured I would create a Thanksgiving Writing  freebie for you.  This can be used for different grade levels to discuss or draw about what your students are thankful for.

Stay tuned for more freebies! =)

*Follow me on Instagram: @owlalwayslove2ndgrade to see what's going on in room 202!*

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Fall Freebie #3

Hi All!!!

I hope you have enjoyed the last 2 weeks of freebies! We have some very talented teachers on our hands!!! I know that Veterans Day is in November, and we are still in October, but I created this for my kids to use next month and figured you all might like to have it ahead of time to plan! If you do end up using it, please e-mail me some pictures so I can see how it turned out (  Enjoy!

*Follow me on Instagram: @owlalwayslove2ndgrade to see what's going on in room 202!*

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Fall Freebie #2

Last week's Friday Fall Freebie was SO MUCH FUN!! I snagged some super cute freebies, and I hope that you did as well.  I simply love everything about the FALL; the pumpkins, the leaves, the aromas of those super great Yankee Candle candles, candy, candy corn, spooky stories, Halloween, costumes, and MONSTERS.  This week's freebie is a writing process activity.  It contains a brainstorm, rough draft, and two different final drafts.  I also offer a cute craftivity idea to go along with it that is written in the credits.  I hope that you are able to use this in your classroom!  If you do end up using it, please e-mail me some pictures so I can see how it turned out (  Enjoy!

*Follow me on Instagram: @owlalwayslove2ndgrade to see what's going on in room 202!*

Next stop on the blog hop: Adventures in Second Grade!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Comparing Numbers, INB, and One Mummy

Hi All!

I am really trying to keep up with this blog, but boy is it tough!  I don't know how all of those super great bloggers do it, and most of them have kids!

Anywhoooo- We have been working on comparing numbers and even and odd numbers.  We even worked in our Interactive Notebooks TWO DAYS this week, and it's only Tuesday!  I am proud of myself for having them get this done!  It's a goal of mine to get them using them more often.

We took some 2-column notes on greater than, less than, and equal to.  We also used these adorable odd and even hands to do a much needed review on odd and even numbers.

We used my comparison alligators from my TPT, which you can find  *here*  to compare numbers. The kids LOVE these. The littles also used strips of paper as an impromptu activity to compare their own numbers that they created using GIANT foam dice from the dollar tree.


I also, sort of, finished my Halloween door to my classroom (I change it up monthly)!  

I hope you all of having a great week!! Be sure to come back on Friday for another Friday Fall Freebie!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Fall Freebie #1!!!!!

Hi All!!

Thanks for stopping by the blog hop!!! I hope you enjoy your freebie! Don't forget to check back every Friday in the month of October to snag some great freebies from some amazing bloggers!

We have been doing A LOT of retelling in room 202 because I am piloting new units from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  The first unit was on Realistic Fiction and I just about surgically implanted story elements and retelling into my littles' heads.  Here is a fall themed Retelling Map to use as a part of a lesson, as a reading check, to send home with reading logs, or to do with what you please!  I hope you enjoy it!  It will only be free for the weekend, so hurry and grab it now!! Please leave feedback on the product as well! Thank you in advance, and enjoy!

           ***Don't forget to follow me on Instagram! I post daily!!!! @owlalwayslove2ndgrade ****

The next stop on the blog hop is Adventures in 2nd Grade! Have fun!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm back and ready to blog, with a ROOM REVEAL!

We have been in school for 25 days, and clearly, I have neglected this little blog!  I haven't blogged since August 12th.  Yikes!  

Any whoo, pun intended, I have finally gotten around to uploading my classroom pictures from before the students came!  This is my LONG overdue classroom reveal.  I love looking at other's classrooms, so I hope you enjoy!!

Here she is! Where all of the magic (well I think it's magic) happens! Room 202:
(Notice the  black bulletin board! I made it myself!!!)
**A close up of the door** You can find it here!

The view from the door when you walk in past my closets.  Our classrooms are very oddly shaped.

This is my small group area which I LOVE (but I wish I had a kidney table), my Owl Star Work board (another DIY), and my self-made alphabet wall.  I think this is my favorite area of my room.


Next to the small group area, I have my Daily 5 Station.  The kids numbers are on the clothes pins, so they know where they are starting from.  The TAGS board is my tracking system for the Daily 5.  They have little paper key tags with different colored starts on them for each D5 center that they hang when finished.

This is my Wise Words Word Wall and my Work on Writing table (love the chevron buckets) and my Writers Eye Glasses posters (I forget where these are from, if anyone knows, please put the link in the comment)!

On the other side of the word wall is my Blooms Taxonomy word wall.  I am teaching the students about Blooms this year! I hope it goes well.

Student group bins.  They pass their work in here. Notice my teacher tool box?

This is my desk/media area and our schedule.

Check out this gem!  The janitor found it in the trash and knew I would give it a home!!! She's a beaut! ANDDDD she's on wheels! I'm in love! (I ended up putting a shelf on the bottom, so the things on the floor are no longer on the floor)

Our kids have to sign out and in to go to the bathroom, so I have the sign out by the sink and they take their hand sanitizer to their desk so we can see who is out. (Also, I forget where these labels are from.  I just have them saved on my computer from 2 years ago, so if anyone knows, please leave the link in the comments)

 Birthday Lollipops!

Not finished Birthday door!  (It is finished now, but I don't have an updated picture)

 Our 2nd Grade frame! Their pictures came out adorable!

Helping's a Hoot! We rotated jobs monthly.

 Our morning meeting area/library/reading tree.

First day stickers!

 View from my morning meeting area.

No smart board, but I do have 3 floor to ceiling panels of white board!

I hope you enjoyed my classroom reveal!  If you know where any of the things in my room are from, please leave it in the comments so the TPT seller can get credit!!! I have had these things saved on my computer for a while and printed, so I hope the seller can get some credit!  

Also, stay tuned for my Friday Fall Freebie!  I am teaming up with some amazing bloggers to bring you all freebies every Friday for the month of October! The blog hop starts Friday the 4th!  Hope you all hop on by!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Molasses Shmolasses: Some Back to School Motivation!

Hello All,

So I’ve been on a Caribbean hiatus for a week and I need to get back into the blog-swing of things! On Instagram, I saw a couple of teachers post about Ron Clark’s new book, The End of Molasses Classes, and I knew I HAD to read it!  I read his 55 Essentials a few years ago and LOVED it, so I set out to Barnes & Noble the day before my flight and snagged my own copy!  I started reading it on the flight to St. Thomas, and am happy to say I was done by the flight home to Boston (I had to catch some rays here and there, ya know)! This book is PHENOMENAL to say the least! It had me laughing and crying, scratching my head and wondering, and most of all, it had me determined to go back to my classroom and make it an even more magical place for my small portion of the class of 2024 to thrive in!  
Ron Clark touches upon so many moments that have occurred during his journey, both high and low.  He tells it like it is and is so right in every aspect of his words and offers up solutions that have and have not worked for him.  I am in awe of this man, his staff, and his students.  He has found a way to transform his students to become the epitome of excellence!  All members of the Ron Clark Academy have raised the bar high for their students and will not except anything less!  I know his academy goes from 5th-8th grade, but I have pulled so many useful ideas and lessons that I cannot wait to implement in my 2nd grade classroom! 
After reading this book from cover to cover, and some chapters multiple times, I knew I needed to tell everyone and anyone about this book that would listen! While reading, I have a bad habit of folding the corners down of something that I want to go back to or when something struck me.  In this book, I really could have folded over each and every page, but I controlled the urge and only folded down nine.  Out of 101 chapters/solutions, I went back to “Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie,” “Be Excellent,” “Live With No Fear,” “Remind Children of Their Blessings and Stress the Value of a Strong Work Ethic,” “Set an Electric Tone on Day One,” “Realize That Kids Need to Move,” “Never Allow Students to Begin a Statement with Um, Well, or Me And,” “Fake it to Make it,” and “Let the Students Shine.”  Each solution or chapter is full of wonderful ideas, lessons learned, and failed attempts, but the ones above are the ones that really made me think!  I am not going to talk too much about the book, because I want YOU to go and get it, borrow it, or download it, and read it for yourself! 

You will not want to put this book down! It will give you a feeling of empowerment and wonder. The End of Molasses Classes will make you feel on fire and make you feel that you can conquer the world (or maybe just your classroom)! This has given me the end-of-summer drive to get back into the classroom and make it a place that Ron Clark would be proud of (we don’t want to disappoint Mr. Clark)!  I hope my students are ready, because I AM!!!! I am going to make it happen!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Link Up! Show Us Your Read Alouds!

Hi, All! I am linking up with Tracey at The Teacher's Chair for a link up about Back to School Read Alouds!!  I am super excited to get back to school and meet my new kiddos and dig right into learning! On the first day of school, I read Wemberly Worried to the class.  We have a class discussion about things that we have been worried about and we add our worries on chart paper.  I then have the students complete their first writing sample for me, in which they complete "I feel worried when..." and then they can draw a picture to go along with it.  I have the students cut these out and then we hang them up as our first activity!  This is a great way to see what worries the kiddos and it helps me assess their first day of school writing!  The kids love the story (some have heard it, some have not)!  They also feel more comfortable sharing their worries because they can relate to Wemberly in the story.  You can grab my back to school Wemberly packet here!

I also plan to read My Mouth is a Volcano during the first week of school.  It deals with interrupting and yelling out.  I love the idea of using this to hopefully deter some of the yelling out!  I find that stories and their messages usually stick with most students!  You can grab that here!  The hair-less face looks kind of funny, but I swear it looks super cute when the students draw in the hair and personalize it!!

I am interested to see what everyone else reads!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another Liebster Nomination!!!!!!!

This is fabulous!!!! I just received more good news!!! Allison over at Stuckey in Second ever so kindly nominated me for my 2nd Liebster Award nomination!!!! She is so sweet! We met on a Facebook Freebie Hop last weekend and she is the absolute best!! Make sure you stop by her blog and check her out on Facebook!

Since this is my 2nd nomination, I have already nominated some super awesome blogs (see blog below).  Below are my answers to Allison's questions.

1. What is your favorite subject to teach?
My favorite subject to teach is writing! I have a BS in math and an M.Ed in Mathematics in Education, but I really enjoy teaching my students how to write.  More specifically, I love creative writing!

2. Do you have children of your own?
I have a fur-baby of my own! I have a 13 week old Goldendoodle named Gansett! He’s a love!

3. What is one thing in your class you could not do without?
I could NOT do without my electric pencil sharpener (and my little cherubs ofcourse)!

4. How much schoolwork do you do at home on a nightly basis?
I try not to bring a lot home, but it doesn’t always happen.  I do about 2-3 hours at home.  Usually it’s making new units or researching, so most of it HAS to be done, but it’s what I love!

5. What time do you get to school in the morning?
I get to school at 6:30, but the students don’t come until 7:45.  The early bird gets the copier!

6. How long do you stay afterschool on the average day?
Usually, I’ll stay until about 3-3:30 because I live farther away and will hit a TON of traffic if I leave later(Kids leave at 2:15).

7. Favorite kind of coffee?
I don’t drink coffee (yes, I know, I’m insane)! I love hot cocoa and tea though!

8. What is your favorite time of year to teach? 
I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching during the holiday season! I am fortunate enough to work in a district that still lets us celebrate Christmas, so the Elf of the Shelf plays a big part of our holiday season, in our learning, writing, and fun!

9. What is your favorite field trip to take your students on?
I love taking my kids to our pen pal picnic in June! We write all year back and forth to other 2nd graders at other schools, and we finally get the chance to meet them face to face!

10. What grade do you teach?
I teach 2nd grade, and it is where my heart belongs!

Thanks again, Allison!! You're the best!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Link Up with Advice!

Hi, All! 
I am super excited about the traffic and new followers that I have had from yesterday's Hop!  I hope you all have enjoyed what you've read so far!  Today I am linking up with Flying Into First Grade for her "Let's Get Acquainted" Linky Party!  This link up is all about giving advice to new teachers.  I still consider myself a new teacher since I am only entering my 3rd year teaching.  However, I have had a lot of help the last two years from some very seasoned teachers!  Since this my first year is still so close and fresh in my memory, I figured I could help out in the advice department!! I hope I can help in some way!

 a comfortable pair of shoes! You will be on your feet ALL day! I tried to wear heels and cute shoes my first year, but that did NOT last long.  I wear Danskos a lot, or comfy flats and boots most of the time.  Once you find a pair that won’t give you blisters, or a sore back, or sore knees, buy another of the same pair!

save everything! You never know when you are going to need that agenda from a faculty meeting, or a paper proving you were at that professional development.  I hoard all papers like these and keep them in labeled folders in my classroom.  Once the school year is over, they come home to my filing cabinet.  My district lost records of a retiring teacher, which was proof that she worked in the district long enough to retire.  Luckily, she had saved all of her pay stubs for the last 30 years, and that was her proof.

be afraid to ask for help or admit that you do not know or understand something.  I know as the “new” teacher, you don’t want to seem like you don’t know what you’re doing, but let’s face it, none of us know everything. 

an organizational system that works for you. Pinterest will be your best friend for this.  It took me my first two years before I decided on a system that worked for me, which you can grab for free here!

copies before everyone comes into school (at the crack of dawn) or when everyone has left.  Trying to get copies made will be one of your biggest stressors if you don’t do this!  There WILL be a line.  There WILL be a jam.  There WILL be some light flashing. There WILL be no more toner!  Get it done early, late, and in advance!

Flexible!  I have found that even though you are the teacher, and you have the students a majority of the time, you still need to be flexible.  Sometimes the schedule needs to change.  Sometimes the speech therapist is absent and needs to fit in their services a different day, which interferes with your math lesson.  Sometimes there is a fire drill and you didn’t get to read that story or do that activity.  I have found that going with the flow and being flexible with your classroom and other teachers is the best way to not stress.  Some things are out of our control, and we just need to embrace that and go with it!  In the end, your students will be getting what they need, and you will be fine!

I hope this was some sore of help!