Parent Communication: Love It or Hate It??? + a FREEBIE!

Do you struggle communicating regularly and effectively with your parents? Do you dread writing the same notes over and over every year? Do you have to hound your parents just to send in an absent note when their child is out? This is the story of my teaching life!I am a BIG proponent of parent communication. It is one of the keys to a successful school year. Therefore, I will go above and beyond to get in touch with the parents of my students. My school community seems to be more dependent on paper notes going home with their child about school events, important dates, and student progress. I know many of you, use your smart phone apps to communicate with parents. I only have a few families that use email regularly to communicate with the school. I always give my parents my school email address at the beginning of the year. Usually, I only have about 4 families that use it during the school year. 

To accommodate the most families possible, I send home a list of important news on the cover of my students' weekly homework packet each Monday. I send reminder note, after reminder note when I don't get things back. I send emails to those parents who use that as a way to communicate. I have to say, I am pretty persistent. But it is time consuming! And we all know, teachers don't have ANY extra time.

I decided it was time to streamline my parent notes and information packets. I created 3 different binders for parent notes to use throughout the year, parent/teacher conference forms, and Back To School & End of the Year preparation packets. I have worked on these packets all year to make sure they are user friendly and accessible for teachers to use in their classrooms. 

My Don't Miss the Boat Parent Notes and Reminders has been my go to packet all year long! It has been a year long work in progress to create. I didn't want to leave anything out. It has over 40 different parent notes and reminders to use throughout the school year. Each note comes in half sheet and quarter sheet forms to help save on paper and ink. This packet included everything from reminders about upcoming school events (Back to School Night, conferences, Open House etc.) to absent note forms and missing assignments. 
The notes I use most frequently, I photocopy on colored paper at the beginning of the year. I store them in a basket by my desk, so I can grab them at a moments notice. When I use a class set, I just copy and few more and I am all set. Some of the notes have places to add information or personalize the note with a student's name before you photocopy it. Click on the picture below to grab a FREEBIE sample page from the packet. I hope you love it!

As the school year begins to wind down, I always start to prep for the next school year. At my school, each grade level prepares a packet of information to give to the parents of the new incoming grade level students. I teach second grade, so my grade level (there are only 2 of us) prepares a packet to give to the current first grade families and any new incoming students. I created an EDITABLE packet for all grade levels, to use. It includes a place for expectations in reading, math, writing and social skills. I also has a sample grade level fluency passage, writing assignment, and supply request form. Click on any of the pictures below to check it out.

 How do you feel about parent communication at your school? in your classroom? What works for you and what doesn't? I would love to hear from you.

EveryBUNNY Saves Sale!

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! I hope your day is filled with fun and memorable times with your families and loved ones! Before my kids wake up and all the craziness begins, I thought I would let you know that I have put my entire store on sale for 20% off today and tomorrow (Sunday and Monday). 
Many of us are gearing up for the end of the school year OR getting ready to review all those skills we have taught to our little darlings these last 10 months. Here are somethings you may want to grab during the sale to help you achieve that goal:

Getting Ready For THIRD Grade is a great packet to use the last few weeks of school. It can also be sent home for extra summer practice. I usually give it to my kids the last week of school. We work on some of the pages together and they rest that is not complete goes home with them. It reviews all the second grade Common Core standards!

I am going to be using this bundled math task card set to review several of the math skills we have learned this year. It will make end of the year review so much more exciting! The kids love playing Scoot or reading the room while they are learning. It's a win, win for all of us! 

Quotation Marks Superheroes is my newest mini unit! It is filled with activities to help review and reinforce the ever so difficult concept of quotation marks. It is filled with flap books, task cards, anchor poster and more!

My Future is So Bright is a fun activity that  is one of my BEST sellers! It is a great way for the kids to reflect on the school year. It also makes for a SUPER cute end of the year bulletin board.

And guess what… I am not the only one having a sale. Some others are too:

Aimee at Primarily Speaking

So...what are you waiting for? Celebrate my friends and hop on over to TpT to start shopping! Happy Holiday!

Throwback Thursday- FLASH Giveaway!

Who doesn't love a giveaway? To continue celebrating all my followers, I thought I would have a FLASH giveaway for one of my most popular products in my store. My Graphing Through the Year packet is one of the first products I created on my TpT journey and continues to be a HUGE hit. I would love to share a copy with one of my sweet followers. All you have to do is head on over to my Facebook page, leave a comment and share. I will pick a winner this evening. 

Also, just a reminder some of my second grade blogging buddies are throwing a giveaway to introduce and celebrate our new Pinterest collaborative board, It's a Second Grade Thing. Click HERE, to take you to the Rafflecopter where you could be the lucky winner of a $25 TpT gift card. How awesome is that? 

Make sure you are following me on Facebook and Instagram, so you don't miss out on any of the surprises during my Follower Appreciation Days!

It's A Second Grade Thing!- New Pinterest Board

I am so excited to team up with some of my second grade bloggy friends to bring you a brand new, collaborative Pinterest board!
Click on the image to go to the board!
The purpose of this board is to share some of our spectacular second grade teaching ideas and resources with our followers. Here are some of the amazing bloggers participating:

To kick off our new board, we are giving away a $25 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers! WOO HOO!!! Check out the Rafflecopter below:

We are SO excited to be connecting with our amazing readers on Pinterest! See ya over there!

Also, don't forget my Follower Appreciation Days going on right now. You can read the blog post HERE! We have already had a flash freebie and a freebie up for grabs. What will today bring? Make sure to follow my blog, FB page and on Instagram, so you don't miss out on any of the fun!

Follower Appreciation Days: Freebies, Flash Giveaways and More

I am on Spring Break this week and I am trying to catch up on some unfinished products, start some new ones and just get caught up with life. I want to thank each and everyone of you for following me. Whether it is my blog, TpT store, FB page, or on IG, I truly appreciate all your support and kind words. To celebrate all of you and for reaching a few personal milestones, I will be sharing my love with you this week. 

I will be announcing the gifts I am giving away on my Facebook page and on Instagram. If you follow me already, make sure you click on "get notifications" under my FB page tab so you don't miss out on the flash giveaways and freebies. If you are not a follower yet, click on the links above to take you there so you can follow!

Today's thank you gift is task card sign you can make for your classroom. Click on the picture to take you to my TpT store to download this freebie. If you download it, please leave some feedback love.

I will also be having flash sales with HUGE discounts on products of your choice. Please visit my TpT store and leave a comment below telling me which product ($5.00 or less) you would like to see during a flash sale. If there are several contenders, I will choose the 3 most requested items. 

Thank you again for all your sweet comments, support, and friendships! I appreciate all of you!

Spring Break has ARRIVED and a Giveaway!

The day has finally arrived my friends....SPRING BREAK has officially begun! Can I get an Oh Yeah??!!! I thought this day would never arrive! I can't wait to spend the next 10 days with no set time schedule and NO, let me repeat, NO alarm to wake me up! Can you tell I am a bit excited about that? Oh how I loath my alarm clock. 

Before my brain goes on vacation, let me share a little bit of my week with you. 

First, I got the sweetest gift from a parent today. How cute is this? It has jelly beans and Peeps in the outside bowl and the flower arrangement on the inside bowl. Simple, sweet, adorable. I think I might have to share this idea with my mom (are you reading this, Mom?) because I know she will just love it too.

We did a little opinion writing this week too! We had a taste test between jelly beans and a chocolate bunny. It was a fun, engaging and an interactive way to get the kids excited about writing just before our vacation. This activity is from my blogging bestie, Aimee at Primarily Speaking. It is her Chocolate Bunny Escapades. To my surprise, jelly beans were chosen more times than chocolate bunnies this year!

We also spent some time reviewing several of our language arts skills this week. My kids love center time. Working with their peers and being independent is always a win! We used my Spring is Here Centers to review multiple meaning words (always a challenge), ABC order, conventions, adjectives and more! 

I was also able to finish my newest task card set on money! My kids LOVE using these task cards. They are always in a hurry to finish their work so they can get started on them. They also love it when we use them as a whole class, as with a game of Scoot! You can grab your own set of 72 task cards from my TpT store.

 A few friends suggested I bundle some of my task card sets together. I decided to start with a math bundle of 5 different math skills. This bundle includes my word problem, place value, array, telling time and money task card sets. There are over 400 cards included!!! It is bundled at a HUGE discount. If you purchase all the sets separately, it would cost $25.00. If you buy the sets bundled, you save 28%. I am also discounting the pack even more this weekend only! Just click on the picture below to take you to my TpT store to purchase it.
Now, it is time for the giveaway I promised.... If you would love a copy of this bundled set of task cards, leave a comment below with your email. For another entry, share this giveaway on your blog, FB and/or Pinterest pages and leave the URL in another comment below. I will pick a winner Sunday night. Good luck my friends! Congrats, Jenny! You are the lucky winner of my newest bundle of task cards. Check your inbox for a message from me!

Make sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and share your week with all of us too!

Tori's Tiny Miracles Fundraiser!

Today I want to share with you a special fundraiser that I am a part of: Tori’s Tiny Miracles Fundraiser! Tori is a teacher, blogger (Tori’s Teacher Tips), Teachers Pay Teachers seller, and most importantly a mom of 2 little miracles. Both of Tori’s children were born premature: Michael, born at 28 weeks and weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and most recently, baby Mason, born at 28 weeks and weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces. Michael is now a happy and healthy six year old! Baby Mason is only 2 months old and very close to being released from the hospital. To read more about Tori's story, check out her blog.

Aside from all the emotional ups and downs of having a NICU baby, Tori's family is facing some very large hospital expenses. Together, almost 50 TPT creators/bloggers came together to show our support for our friend! We put together FIVE affordable bundles with a spring, summer, or end of the year theme: Kindergarten, First, Second & Third {Spring}, Second & Third {End of the Year}, and Clipart. The proceeds from these bundles listed in this store will go directly to Tori’s family to help offset the medical bills and living expenses they have while they are caring for their newest miracle. Check out each bundle below:

This bundle has 13 products to get you from now to the end of the year!

This product includes ten packets to enhance your teaching this spring!

This bundle includes eight products for 2nd and 3rd to use this spring!

This bundle includes eight products for 2nd and 3rd to get you to the end of the year!

This bundle includes 10 clipart sets you can use for your spring and summer projects!
Exclusive Jungle Clipart for Baby Mason by Melonheadz Illustrating
(this set is ONLY available through this fundraiser!)

As a thank you for supporting her family, Tori has also put a freebie in the fundraiser store. Please make sure you download it while you're visiting.

Thank you so much for your support!

Friday Freebies and More!

Bring on the weekend! I love me the weekend. And yes, it has finally arrived! I am ready to share my week of randomness and excitement! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday.

We have been working on our life cycles unit and studying butterflies. We are gearing up for a field trip at the end of the month where the kids will be getting a hands-on experience with them. We just finished our paper bag flap books about the butterfly's life cycle. The kids were crazy about them. This activity is part of my Life Cycles packet too.

I have been working all year with my kids trying to help them build their fluency of their addition and subtraction facts. We started in October and have been on a roll ever since! They take a 3 minute timed test each Thursday in class. Each test has 50 problems. They have to get ALL the problems correct in order to move to the next level. We start with addition and move to subtraction. I have some kiddos that have passed all the levels and now I am starting them on their multiplication skills! How happy are those 3rd grade teachers going to be next year??? I am so proud of them!

I just reached over 2000 followers on IG! I am so excited about it!!! I am preparing a bit of fun for all my followers. Be on the look out! If you aren't following my on IG and you would like to, click HERE.

Who doesn't love a freebie? Well, this is your weekend! There are tons of FABULOUS freebies up for grabs! I am a part of Amanda's (Primary Gal) Free for All. Click on the image below or HERE to take you to my Facebook page to get started. Once you are there, find the yellow Free For All tab to find an awesome freebie waiting for you. It will lead you to MANY more freebies waiting for you. Have fun!

I am almost done with my most recent set of task cards for Sequencing! I thought my kiddos had this standard down pat. BUT, I was wrong! We need more practice at different levels. Hence, this task card set was created. I hope to have it up for you by tomorrow.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Currently April

Poof! Another month is gone! Every time I sit down to write a Currently, I am in utter shock another month has gone by so quickly! However, I am a bit excited for April... One step closer to Spring break, summer vacay and most importantly, baseball season has started!

Here is what I am up to:

1. Our house is WAY to quiet right now. I think I need to turn the TV on for background noise. 

2. So happy baseball season has officially begun! We are a baseball lovin' family, so April is a very happy month for all of us. Go Dodgers! GO CUBS! (have to root for both)

3. We don't have state testing in 2nd grade this year because our tests are being switched to align to Common Core. They are also going to be online only. So, our baseline is for 3rd through 5th grade only. Good for me, not so good for upper grade teachers. Our district is not ready to go to full online testing, but of course, we are doing it anyway. I feel so bad for those little kiddos.

4. Spring Break cannot come soon enough, my friends. I still have 2 weeks before I can potentially sleep in. I. NEED. A. BREAK! 

5. My heart is so sad. We had to put our beautiful 12 year old lab down yesterday. It was one of the most difficult things I have had to do. My boys don't know life without her. Our house is not the same. Time heals all things, but right now it is hard to imagine our life without her in it each day.

6. My school day is 7:30 to 2:30. But we all know the day is much longer that our "official" hours. The kids day is 8:00 to 2:08. We get out for the summer on June 6th!

Make sure to head on over and link up and share what you are up to "currently" too!