A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

Oh, Snap! It's almost September

Hey guys! I'm linking up with my friends in Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals for another "Oh, snap!" link up! This link up is full of products that are geared toward September. I want to tell you all about my {"Back in the Groove"} beginning of the year review book!
This book is filled with math and phonics pages to help you find out right where your new kiddos are with their skills. It also helps the students get back into the school mindset.  
There are simple addition and subtraction pages along with time, money, fractions, and word problems. 
Students will also practice writing numbers in words...which is a skill that still needs practice, well spelling at least!  There are also pages that review each long and short vowel. These are not all the same so students won't get bored highlighting or sorting.
When my students were working, I noticed that we really needed to hit on those vowel sounds again. After they did Sounds of A, it seemed to go much smoother too, so maybe it was a refresher for them!
{Back in the Groove}is on sale for half off through Sunday!! Be sure to check it out! I have been using it for morning work to get their minds going for the day. Check out the other deals we have happening for September! 

How I Survived the First Week of School

Well we have made it through our first week of school! I am loving my new kiddos! We had a super busy week working on procedures and building our Daily 5 stamina.
We played one game where we passed around toilet paper! This got so many laughs and giggles. They were supposed to take what they "needed" from the roll.  The amount of squares they took were how many facts they had to tell us about themselves. Five squares=5 facts. This was the most they were allowed to take for my kids, I have some stinkers so it wouldn't have ended well if I didn't make a limit!
Students need to get to know their classmates as well as their new classroom. I have my kids become {Classroom Detectives}. This is kind of a scavenger hunt to locate items around the room, such as how many trash cans our classroom has. I set the timer for 8 minutes. This gives students a goal to work for. I make sure they understand the objective of the activity so they don't stress if they aren't totally done after the time limit. This also lets me know about their reading abilities. 
We worked through our first set of task cards! It is always exciting to introduce them to task cards. They love that they are able to move around and skip around while doing their work. My {Beginning of the Year Task Cards} cover five different skills. (ABC order, word problems, place value, number order, and pronouns) Another easy assessment to give me some kind of indication of where they are in their abilities. 
We also did the wrinkled heart activity from Pinterest! This was great! I had students draw things they loved in their heart. They thought I was totally kidding when I told them to wad it up!! It was so funny watching their faces, some were confused and others were just horrified at the thought at wrinkling up their artwork. (Even though they wouldn't have given a second thought if it would have been homework! LOL) I explained how words and actions can hurt us and cause a wrinkle in our hearts. Those wrinkles are hard to get out, and the hearts really drove the message!
I LOVE LOVE using {Scaredy Squirrel} to start our year. Scaredy Squirrel has so many fears, just like students do that first week of school. These books help us laugh at the silly things he is afraid of, and work through the things the students are afraid of. I love how this gal gave the "me" long curly hair, just like she has! So cute!
We also started to {Get Back in the Groove} with my beginning of the school year book. This book covers several math and reading skills BOY 2nd grade students should know. This helps bridge that summer gap and get their brains thinking again. We are only doing a few pages a day, so far so good! 
This week we are diving into our reading series and starting to get our new routine down. It went really well today, even though we didn't quite get to our Daily groups today. I'm pretty flexible with our schedule, so we will try for Daily 5 tomorrow! 

Welcome to my Classroom 2015

Well it's that time of year again...

We go back MONDAY. Yes, you read that right, Monday, this Monday, the one after tomorrow. That Monday. Usually I'm more than ready, but this year, I am one big procrastination! It's coming, whether I am ready or not! I better get prepared! I have been in my classroom working all week. Here is what I have so far! 
I added balloons to my classwork clips....One has already deflated, see the green one!? It must have had a hole in it. The desks are all set up with the name tags, books, and folders. If you look across the room, I still need to get my stability balls blown up! Our PE teacher is usually pretty helpful with that! I only have 16 kiddos this year, so far! I haven't had this small of a class in a couple years. It will be a nice change!
I also start the year out with Play-Doh. It makes dealing with supplies and incoming students so much easier. It's probably one of my favorite {Pinterest} ideas!
I'm doing my homework plan a little differently this year. When they turn their homework in to the tray(which is right below the last magnet strip), they will take their number and put it on the Homework Hero board. This will help me to take a quick check of who has or hasn't brought their homework. 
The Hero board is a pizza pan from The Dollar Tree that I spray painted gold last year. This will be my first year trying this, I'll keep you updated if it works!
I have a new "cool down" area in my room. I already know I have a few kiddos with strong emotions. I'm so excited that I was able to find a place for them to cool off when they need a break. The rug and pillow are from Ikea. 
Inside the tote are:
-{One of Those Days} by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- 2 journals(for the 2 kids that may utilize the space most)
- crayons
- pencil
- eraser
- 3 minute sand timer
- two stuffed animals to comfort and squeeze
{Number of the Day} is a freebie in my store! 
I'm very proud of my subject areas that I have started this year. I tried last year, but I just couldn't make it work. This year, I nailed it! I am even letting them use one of MY(that was bought for them in the first place!) pointers! That is a big deal! 
This is my writing board. I think in the blank area I want to put what "Writer's Eyes" do, but I'm still looking for ideas. We have our "Fancy Words" at the bottom instead of taking up a whole board(even though it was super cute) like last year. Students can also keep track of which part of the writing process they are on. I am very excited to work this into our lessons!
This is about the same as my board last year, but I needed to add more prefixes and suffixes! I love {Melonheadz} clipart! My room is full of it! The pencil was made by one of my students who I was fortunate enough to loop with a couple years ago! He did wayyyy better than I would have! Oh! and see that princess light!? It is from the Dollar Tree too! When the light is on, students cannot talk to me, unless they are bleeding, barfing, or not breathing. This works amazingly during small group time! I just love it! 
So that's what I'm working with so far this year! There are a lot of changes from {last year}, and I believe they will better the flow of my classroom and the learning environment for my students. 

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