Instagram Fun Tuesdays

I recently just joined Instagram and obsessed! It's like Facebook but just pictures! I LOVE it!

Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants and Michelle from Apples and ABC’s have come up with this awesome idea called #teachertalktuesday! Every Tuesday teachers can search the hash tag and find all wonderful teaching ideas! I am so very excited

My instagram user name is #ivegotitmadeinsecond Please head over to Instagram and follow me!


Earth Day and Grandparent's Day

Happy Monday everyone! It was a wonderful Monday for me! Wonderful and Monday usually don't EVER go together in the same sentence but today was really nice!

It was Grandparent's Day at our school today! I was kind of skeptical with it being on a Monday, it is usually on a Friday. We have two grandparent's programs so that there aren't a ton of people at our small school at the same time. They come either in the morning from 9:00-10:30 or in the afternoon from 12:30-2. We celebrated in the morning! At 9:00 everyone who had morning session gathered in the gym and sang a really cute song! Then we headed back to the classroom! I didn't take a whole lot of pictures because the hour and a half went so fast! I had a schedule for the grandparents to pick up as they came in and the kids showed their grandparents around our classroom! We sang another song and then I had my students broken up into two groups. One group read aloud "Just Grandma and Me" by Mercer Mayer and the other group read "Just Grandpa and Me". After they finished I had a Grandparent's Day word search they did. This was a HUGE hit! I had a room full of 18 students and 18 grandparents and it was nearly silent! 

We have recess in the morning so the grandparents headed outside for recess! When they came back in the kids shared some work they did with their grandparent and also gave them a bookmark they made that I laminated. They turned out so cute and of course I didn't get a picture of it! After that they did an interview with their grandparents. This was also a HUGE hit! At the end of the day I asked the kids what their favorite part was. Most of them couldn't pick and said everything! But the majority loved doing the interview. I don't have it saved on my computer but will upload it to TPT tomorrow so you can take a look! 

This afternoon the Environmental Group at my school had a trash pick up that our whole school did. It was a lot of fun and sadly the kids found so much and some interesting trash around our school! 

Yes, we are STILL wearing winter coats! We head back in and did some fun Earth Day activities, which I didn't get any pictures of either. I am still getting used to remembering to take pictures! We used Heal the Planet from Halle at  Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

And You've Got the Whole World in your Hands unit (which makes me want to sing!)from Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts. Both have great resources to use for Earth Day!
That's all I have for tonight! I have Dancing with the Stars and some chicken and mashed potatoes waiting for me! Do you do Grandparent's Day or VIP Day at your school? I'd be interested to hear how other school run something similar!


Student Behavior Motivation

Happy Thursday! It has been a VERY long week this week. We have had rain and rain means a lot of indoor recess and a lot of antsy kids! We have done our fair share of Just Dance Kids this week to keep their antsiness (like that word! it's totally made up!) to a minimum! 

Today I want to share with you how I manage behavior in my classroom. This is only my second year teaching but I feel behavior management is key to a successful year! Last year I began by using a behavior clip chart. It looks a little something like this

It's a typical clip chart where the kids all start their day on green (ready to learn) if they make good choices throughout the day, I'll ask them to move their clip up. However, anything they did that was not following the rules, they moved their clip down. It was very simple! If they reached the top of the clip chart any day they got to add a sparkly rhinestone to the clip. The only downside to last year was I only contacted parents if the students had their clip move down to red. I didn't have any way of sharing with parents their daily behavior. Over the summer I looked at different behavior calendars on Teachers Pay Teachers and found one that I thought would work well! This fabulous calendars are FREE from the wonderful Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher. If you are interested in looking at them go here! The good news is she is going to be making these for the 2013-2014 school year so you can use these next year if you want! 

This is an example of one of my students behavior calendar. 

I really like these because at the top is a list of 10 behavior codes to give the parents even more information! I use bingo dabbers to stamp their calendar at the end of the day. In the beginning of the year it took a little big longer to do this but by now I can complete all their calendars in less than 5 minutes. If one of my kiddos ends the day on anything below green I simply write a number or numbers that tell why they had to move their clip down. As an incentive, any of my kids who have an all green or above with two freebie days (I know some days are more difficult than others!) get to eat lunch in the classroom at the end of the month! This has been one of the coolest things ever to them! They tell me that the lunch room is pretty crazy and it's much more fun eating in the classroom! So this is something they really work hard to earn!

In the beginning of the year I had a lot of parents tell me they were forgetting what the colors meant. To solve this problem I came up with these! 

I printed 18 of these off, laminated them and put a magnet on the back and ta-da! The home for these are usually on their refrigerator where it is less likely to get lost! The top has our Whole Brain Teaching classroom rules and a mini behavior clip-chart. This way the parents could reference it after looking at their child's calendar. At the end of each week the parents initial to show that they have looked over their behavior calendar. 

I recently found one of the greatest things ever on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am wanting to reward those students who continually make good, great and outstanding choices, so I purchased Laura's Classroom Coupons. You can click on the picture to take a look for yourself! 

Unfortunately because I discovered these at this point in the school year, I am going to use these during the month of May.I haven't decided exactly how I am going to work these but I am going to assign points to Good Choice, Great Choice and Outstanding. Probably 1 point for Good Choice, 2 points for Great Choice and 3 points for Outstanding. For every 10 points they earn they will get to pick out one of the classroom coupons! I am excited to see how this motivates my students!

How do you manage behavior in your classroom?


Author's Purpose

I have enjoyed this short week and am excited that tomorrow is already Thursday and even more excited for this weekend! I am VERY fortunate that my school is allowing a few of us to go to Chicago to see The Sisters! If you haven't heard of The Sisters they are the creators of the Daily Five and CAFE. Both of which we use at my school. Although it seems intimidating at first, it has been amazing and you could walk through any of our classes during the Daily Five and see 18 students fully engaged while the teacher is working with a small group on a specific reading strategy. 

This week we have been spending our mini-lessons during Daily Five learning about author's purpose. We began by having a discussion about why authors write books. My second graders came up with some adorable ideas! My favorite being to give us something to do so we aren't bored! Then we used Primay Polka Dots Some Bunny Please Tell Me pack that covers author's purpose and point of view.

In this pack there are different task cards and the kids read through them and decided if the author's purpose was persuade, inform, or entertain. It took them awhile to get the hang of it but they started to see a pattern after we did a few! I wish I had taken a picture of them working on this but I forgot! It's taken me a little while to get used to carrying my phone around to take pictures. My kiddos on the other hand are LOVING it! 

Another activity we did today was from Jen at The Teacher's Cauldron. I wish I could have recorded the discussion they were having with their partners during this.

Tomorrow we will be doing one of Christina Bainbridge's Classroom Hunts. I am hoping at this point they will be able to independently decide what the author's purpose is! 

One last thing, the unit we have been working on in math includes measurement. On Tuesday we created our Gallon People. Last year I created my own to use.

However, the fabulous Amy Lemons has created a capacity mini-unit that I totally forgot I even had. If you are interested in making gallon people with your students I would suggest this! It really helped visualize such an abstract idea! 

That's all I have for now! If you have any fun ideas on teaching author's purpose I would love to hear about them! 


The Face Behind the Blog

So this post is intended to share a little bit about myself! I don't even know where to begin! I'll start off by sharing two things that have had a major impact on who I am! First off would be my loving boyfriend and our handsome teddy bear puppy, Murphy!

The below is a picture of us at Christmas time. We took Murphy in to get his picture taken with Santa and somehow were convinced to be in it as well! However, it did turn out very cute! 

The second is something that I started when I was about three years old. I fell in love with ice skating! I started out most of my first classes laying on the ice making snow angels but that quickly turned into a complete love for the sport! I was fortunate enough to join a synchronized skating team in Fond du Lac where we competed internationally for two years. I got to compete as part of Team USA in Milan, Italy and London, England! Talk about an experience of a lifetime! Below is a video from a Midwestern competition that was in Texas! I believe I was a junior in high school at the time!

That's just a glimpse about me and I am sure throughout this blog I will continue to share more! I am off to enjoy the rest of the night, which includes watching one of my favorite TV shows, Dancing with the Stars! I am rooting for Sean (The Bachelor, probably my ALL TIME FAVORITE TV show). 

I did remember to wear my Autism Awareness shirt today! Do you do anything at your school to celebrate Autism Awareness Day?


Currently April

Listening: For Easter, my adorable teddy bear puppy (whose first birthday is quickly approaching) got TWO Easter baskets filled with all kinds of goodies! One of his favorites is a squeaky caterpillar! 

Loving: I definitely enjoyed having Friday and Monday off to enjoy some time with my family and catching up on some cleaning around the apartment!

Thinking: Unfortunately my school district does not have the luxury of a real spring break. They actually call it a Spring Recess. We only have off Friday and Monday, so it's really only an extended weekend. I guess I'll take what I can get!

Wanting: On Monday, we got the call that our offer was accepted on our dream first home! We went from meeting with a lender, to house hunting, to putting in an offer within three days! We were a little scared and unsure of the whole process but couldn't be more excited to have a yard as well as so many other things!

Needing: Thursday afternoon we had time to work on third quarter report cards. However, most of my time was spent in different meetings and cleaning. Therefore, I still have to find some time to finish them up before they are due! 

Advice: This is advice that I even need to listen to! I think too often we try so hard to be perfect and set such high standards for ourselves!

I know I didn't quite get around to my post that I had promised but the house thing has kind of consumed our thoughts this past week! I promise to post sometime this week with a little more about myself! I am rather proud that I was able to manage this Currently as my second post!