Thursday, October 30, 2014


Just stopping in to tell you I'm having a SALE!
Oct. 30th and 31st my entire TpT shop is 20% off!
Click below or here to head to my TpT shop.
Thank you to Krista at Creative Clips for the spooktacular button!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Peek at my Week- Bats, Around the Campfire- a Narrative Writing Event, a giveaway and two freebies!

Click below to head to the par-tay! ;)
This last week has been a wonderfully crazy busy week.
First.....we finally closed on our house!!!!!!! I was beginning to wonder if it would actually ever happen with me not having patches of hair ripped out. We are officially official homeowners! YAY!
This week has also been filled with school events, family photos, and fall fun.
We also began our Around the Campfire Narrative Writing Event.
I can't even begin to tell you how excited my kids and I are about our upcoming writing event!
I've had notes, phone calls, and parents dropping by to ask me about our upcoming event.
Check out a quick preview or click on any picture below for more information.

 I'll be back throughout the week to show you a few samples of our writing. In the meantime, would you like to win a copy?!
Just leave me a comment below with YOUR favorite family tradition and I'll pick a winner!

In Math this week we're beginning the third unit of our program that focuses on Operations. We're actually beginning with doubles and a *touch* of number bonds this week.
Monday we'll have fun with this doubles rap and use this video and various lessons from Kahn academy to supplement throughout the week.

This week we're all about BATS!
We'll be pairing informational texts with the ever popular Stellaluna.
Can I make a teacher confession?
I've never read Stellaluna with a class before!
Last year was actually the first year I taught Bats with my Kinders, but we just ran out of time.
 You can purchase the book here or listen via Storyline Online here.
Definitely grab these informational text freebies below!

In Science we have been using amazing videos from the National Weather Service to learn all about weather. We will be continuing our studies this week with investigating different types of clouds and creating our own cloud with this experiment. Click below to grab a video notes sheet that corresponds with this video.
 Have a fabulous week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Student Led Conferences- the Details!

Fall conference time is quickly approaching, and I wanted to share with you about SLC (Student Led Conferences).
Student led conferences align perfectly with our Leader in Me initiative in my disctrict, but also with practicing Speaking and Listening skills as well! 
Below you'll see some of the comparisons between traditional conferences and student led conferences.

 With student led conferences, parents become more involved and excited to come into the classroom because the typical stigma and nerves related to conferences is eliminated.
Check out a few other benefits to SLC!

 Still need a little nudge to try student led conferences? Check out these top reasons to implement them this year!

Before you get too stressed about something else "new".... check out how easy student led conferences are to implement!

What should you include in a note home to parents?
My advice? Don't over analyze the process and try to explain each detail to parents.
Keep the note short and sweet, chances are your kiddos will share information with families as they are preparing for their conference! 
 Here's a closer peek at an example!
Be sure to give parents choices to allow for flexible scheduling and accommodations with siblings.

One concern many teachers immediately jump to when discussing student led conferences is privacy .
First, let me begin by saying that you shouldn't be addressing a concern for the first time during conferences. Second, anything that you and a parent would be discussing directly relates to the student anyway, so why not involve them?
We all have those barometer children who we may want some extra time with or to be more involved in their conference. It's simple! Just schedule those children and families at a separate time. You could always have the student step outside or to another part of the room if you need to talk to the parents directly.
I created a few sample schedules to show you how you could arrange your conference time to allow a more private conference for those barometer students you may want to have more input with.
These first samples detail what a schedule could look like for an individual teacher.


The next few samples are examples of what a schedule may look like if your entire team was holding conferences together (think of grade level teachers who specifically teach one subject). 

In my grade level, we are using my 2nd grade student data binders combined with our Leader in Me tree maps and WIG goals for our student leadership notebooks.
In your classroom, you could just as easily have the students show examples of their work to parents and set goals for the year.
Allow the students time to practice their conference with you or their classmates before conference time. Provide them with a script if you so desire.
Another tip: have soft music playing in the background!
 Conference night has arrived!
Greet families and let students guide the way.
Display a PowerPoint slide of pictures or of directions for the evening, or just write a quick note on the board of a message you don't want to repeat each time someone comes in the room.
At this point, all you need to do is monitor from a distance and walk around the room.
You can help close conferences by answering any questions families may have, or encouraging them to continue their conversations at home.

If you're interested in a PowerPoint to share with your staff, just email me and I'd be happy to send this to you in PowerPoint form!
What other questions do you have about Student Led Conferences?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are Writing Craftivity and Retelling sticks freebie!

Just stopping in to give you another quick FREEBIE!
(I just recently realized the last 6 products I posted in my store are FREEBIES! How awesome is that?!)
Just click below to head over to my TpT shop and grab this freebie.
I'd love for you to leave feedback while you're there!
I also included these smaller circle images for students to color, cut, and glue onto craft sticks to retell the story.

Click below to grab a copy of your own!
Enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Peek at our WILD week!

Check out the linky below!
Just making a quick pit stop in our WILD weekend to bring you a peek into our upcoming WILD week!
Our mentor text his week is....

 It just so happens we have a WILD 3 day week in store!
Tomorrow we have Leader in Me training for the kiddos while the teachers are having meetings for our Leadership Notebooks.
Naturally, this book fits right in with the season AND this wild week!
Tomorrow I'll come by and share a freebie writing craft and the puppet retelling we'll be doing.. but for now...
Tuesday we'll be doing this adorable author's purpose craftivity from the amazing Amy Lemons.. click below to check out her post and grab this freebie!
We're also using her comprehension quiz on Wednesday.

We've had all sorts of WILD fun this weekend, trick-or-treating at the campgrounds (again! this time with my niece a.k.a. Princess Anna) and a huge fire department open house complete with TONS of fire trucks, a smoke house, and the Med Flight helicopter flying in!
My little guy and my nephew even sat inside!
Needless to say, they were in *heaven*!
(please ignore the maybe-somewhat-inappropriate-garland in the background- we stopped to take a picture not even realizing!)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Five for Fraturday with a Math freebie!

Click below to head over to Doodle Bugs!
Earlier this week I shared a weather words booklet freebie with you. You may remember I teach Science to all 4 2nd grade classes (we rotate through 2 science and 2 social studies classes for 1/2 hour each day, each week, with no switching on Fridays). This week we introduced our weather unit with watching this video that was PERFECT for introducing some of the vocabulary words we'll be learning about! The kids took their vocabulary books with them to the carpet and wrote down vocabulary words they'd like to know more about.
We've been hard at work with place value and 3 digit numbers. This week we began writing 3 and 4 digit numbers using words, and my kiddos needed a little resource to support their learning. Just click below to grab a copy!
(I added zero to the chart before uploading to TpT)
We used my Pumpkins Close Reading pack this week and ended our week with creating our own pumpkin stories. Just like our apple stories last week, the kids were already engaged from the start just seeing the pumpkin shaped books.
My only direction this week was the kids needed to use the vocabulary that we had talked about this week in their story. They could choose to write any genre of story they wanted.
 We were giggling and laughing the entire time! I was so impressed and enjoyed listening to their stories about pumpkins named Jerry, the life cycle of a pumpkin, interesting facts about pumpkins, and pumpkins showing up in their room in the middle of the night!

This week we talked all about editing during the writing process.
The kids had a blast creating their very own editing eyeglasses to wear while editing!
Tis the season for Trick-or-Treating!
Just had to share a picture of my little turtle! He's trick-or-treating Pa-Paw! :)