July 4th SALEabration

Who doesn't love a SALE??? This Sunday though Wednesday all my items in my TeachersPayTeachers store and Teachers Notebook store will be 20% off. I hope you enjoy and start to stock up for your next school year! Have an amazing holiday weekend!

Math Common Core Vocabulary

I have spent this last week diligently working on creating Common Core Math vocabulary cards for my second grade classroom. I had no idea this would become my labor of love for an entire week. I became so focused and slightly obsessed to make sure this project got completed and done the right way. Our district is not officially implementing Common Core Standards until next year, however, I always like to get a head start if possible on anything new. I have my kid-friendly CC standards ready for the beginning of the school year and now I have these amazing math vocabulary cards as well. There are over 150 vocabulary words in this packet. The words are color coded by one of the four math strands. Each word also has a picture, diagram, example or explanation of its meaning/use.

Our current math series in not aligned with the CC standards yet, so I am going to organize these in a notebook by strand (instead of by math topic). Then I can easily access them when I need to for each lesson. This will be on SALE starting tomorrow, along with all the other items in my TpT and TN stores to start the 4th of July weekend off right! I hope you will check it out!

eduClipper and a Giveaway


I was so excited when I saw someone post about this company on Twitter. EduClipper is currently beta testing but essentially it is Pinterest for teachers! You can create clipboards with lesson plans, links, pictures, videos... the options are endless. It is safe for kids and they can create their own educational clipboards and share them with their teachers and other students as well. Pinterest for teachers...BRILLIANT! Click on the link above to see a very short video about the company and sign up today! You don't want to miss out!

I am also super excited to join April over at the Idea Backpack for her 100 follower giveaway!

As part of April's celebration, I am joining her and giving away my All About Me Glyph which is great for Back To School. Check out her blog. She has some great ideas and she is giving away a ton of products!

Luna Projection Camera Giveaway

Here is a giveaway that I am super excited about! Amanda over at One Extra Degree is having a giveaway for a Luna Projection Camera. I had little to no technology in my classroom when this last school year started. It was pathetic. I had one up to date working desktop computer. So, I went on a mission to get it in my classroom. I wrote projects on Donors Choose, pleaded with my principal and parents and technology slowly showed up in our classrooms little by little. This is why I am so excited about the LUNA giveaway! This little device would be so cool to have in the classroom. Elmos are great but not all of us have one because they are SO expensive. I would love to have a LUNA to hook up straight to my projector so I could easily have demonstrations for my kiddos instead of them all crowding around to see what is going on.

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these bad boys! It seems like it would be a game changer in the classroom.

Grade Level Welcome Sign

I have been on summer vacay for exactly 1 week and I don't think I have slowed down yet. There are so many things I want to make and create this summer for my classroom. It just seems like there are not enough hours in the day. The first thing I made was a new welcome sign for my room. I have never found the perfect welcome sign for my door. So, I have decided to make my own. Why not, right? I am sticking with a brightly colored chevron theme this year. I haven't decided how I want to assemble it yet. I'm not sure if I want to use ribbon or keep them separate so I can put it wherever I want. The picture below gives you an idea of what the letters look like. I have included all the grade levels kindergarten through fifth grade so you can make it perfect for your class as well.
You can grab yours at my TN or TpT store as well. 

Classroom Behavior Chart

For the last 12 years of my teaching career, I have used the same behavior chart- a color coded card system. Many of you may have used this system as well. Each student gets 4 color cards (green, yellow, blue and red). Each day all the students would start in green. They would either stay on green or move to the other colors when their behavior was not super stellar. The system works, but it is definitely is not perfect. The thing that I disliked the most about it, was that it was always negative. They were changing their cards for doing something wrong and not being rewarded for doing something right. There were years when I would let the kids change their cards back if their behavior improved but it never really stuck.

So this year I have decided to do something different. I have "graduated" to the behavior clip chart. I am really excited to use this system. I made a chart before the end of this school year (see pic below) but I have already made some adjustments and I am going to make another one. I have time, so why not make it perfect?

I am using the same colors and wording. I have changed the background to chevron instead of polka dots because I am going to be using the chevron pattern as much as possible in my room this year. I also want to mount the signs on sturdier paper before I laminate it, so that it will last the entire school year. 
Each student will have a clip with their name on it and start the day in the green section-READY TO LEARN! Now they have the ability to move up 3 spaces to the top for awesome behavior through out the day and 3 spaces below the green section for not so great behavior. I am only going to allow students to move one section at a time. If they have a great morning and move 2 spaces to GREAT JOB, and then have a rough afternoon, they possibly could end their day 2 spaces down to READY TO LEARN. It seems so much more positive than my old color card system. 
Now they next part of my system is what the parents like the best. Each week on Friday their child comes home with their weekly behavior chart. The students color in a circle with the color their clip is on at the end of the day. This way the parents can review their child's behavior throughout the week and discuss what worked or didn't work for the child during the week. The parent signs the form and the student returns it on Monday. When the student returns the signed form I give them tickets, which is what I use as part of my reward system in my class. This provides student and parent "buy in". 
I also have a student form that gets filled out by the student when I want them to reflect on their behavior in class. The student, parent and teacher need to sign it because we are a team that needs to work together. Sometimes I have students draw a picture instead of writing if I think it is easier for them. 
You can grab the clip chart, directions, and behavior forms at my TpT or TN stores.

What behavior systems do you use in your classroom that you really love?

Time For the Summer Olympics!

I just finished my school year and finally became in touch with some things going on in our world. The news usually depresses me so I don't watch it for the most part. But one thing I am super excited about are the 2012 Summer Olympic games starting next month. I decided to make an Olympic medal glyph to use with my kids at the beginning of the year. The Olympics will still be on or just finishing when our school year starts. I think this activity will be a great way to get them engaged with something positive that is going on in our world. What I love about the Olympics is that most of these athletes are not well known super stars. They are dedicated and hard working individuals that have given part of their life to try and be the best at something. What a great example for our students!

The glyph includes templates to make the medals, bulletin board ideas, graphs, glyph key and of course directions and a sample picture. If you would like to have an Olympic activity too, you can visit my TpT store of TN  for your copy.

Summer has A-R-R-I-V-E-D!

It is official...I am on summer vacation! WhooHoo!!! And what did I do with my first day of vacation? I went to my last kindergarten play date - my youngest son starts in the fall. It was bittersweet. I am so excited he will be going to kindergarten in a few weeks and no longer have to pay for preschool! But sad at the same time because it is one of life's milestones that will never come along again. I was reassured today because I know his transition to kindergarten will be easier for him than for me. He blended in beautifully with the other kids.

Also, I finished creating classroom supply labels for next year. I just posted these labels with picture  icons at my TpT and TN stores. There are 30 labels with pictures to help organize your classroom shelves and supplies. You just need to print, cut and laminate and you are ready to go. I hope you find them helpful.
I am in the process of creating monthly thematic glyphs for my classroom as well. Currently I have August (All About Me), September (Apples) and October (Pumpkins) ready for purchase. The rest of the year will be up and ready in the next couple of weeks. 
I hope all of your summer breaks are off to a wonderful start and look forward to creating new and inspirational items for our classrooms.

Father's Day Gift Idea

I have been racking my brain for weeks now to find, make or gather the perfect father's day gift for my husband. It's not that I need to get the perfect gift, I just want him to feel special and make his day "perfect" for him. His ideal day is to spend the day with his boys at the baseball field or at a professional game. Seems easy enough, right? Well, not this year. My oldest son is in a baseball tournament in the morning of Father's Day (sounds good so far), BUT he might have to play in the afternoon as well. So it is next to impossible to plan anything for the day. I started asking all my teacher friends in the lunchroom today for some ideas. They were throwing ideas out left and right and I was shooting all of them down. Nothing stuck until I went online and saw this from Sandy Toes and Popsicles:
I was searching Pinterest for ideas and a few clicks and websites later I came upon this adorable idea. Just click on the link above and it will take you to the blog post and printables to make this perfect Father's Day gift. I didn't use all the printables given, but chose a few that worked for me. My husband loves Star Wars so this will be cute for the boys to give him in on the morning of Father's Day before we head to the baseball field. We will make him breakfast and have this in a basket for him. I think it will put a smile on his face.

Blog Design Giveaway

There is an awesome grand re-opening giveaway over at Sour Apple Studio for a new blog design. You can enter until Friday, June 15th! Lindsey is super talented and has some amazing designs. I hope I can be her lucky winner. Check out her site!

Who's In The Spotlight? Linky Party

I am linking up with Hilary over at Rockin Teacher Materials for her Who's In the Spotlight? Linky Party.

           Michelle from Apples and abc's

I just recently started following Michelle after I saw her pictures on Pinterest about how to make mini cork boards to display student writing/projects if your classroom is limited on bulletin board space. I went out that same day and bought all the materials to make them for my classroom. I am so excited to have some extra space  to display student work. Michelle has some great ideas! Check out her post by clicking HERE or the picture above.

It's June...Currently

Since my blog is rather new, I have never posted a Currently before. I hope I am doing it correctly. I'm not sure I uploaded it the correct way, but I hope I get some feedback if there is a better way of doing it.
So, currently my dog is snoring at my feet (I love that sound). I am also really loving that both my boys are asleep and snoring too! I know I am going to have a hard time saying good bye to my current students. I have become attached to them over the last 2 years believe it or not. I would really like my summer to start. Only 8 more school days to go. I am having a family birthday celebration for my youngest son this weekend and really need to get to that organized. As far as trips/places to visit go... I would love to go to Italy or any part of Europe for that matter since I have never been. I went skiing in Mammoth this winter with my family and I would love to go back to Napa with my hubby for a weekend get away. Looking forward to Friday...weekend here I come!

End of the Year Gift for My Kiddos

Not that I'm counting down or anything, but I have 10 teaching days left with my wonderful second graders. I mean that sincerely. This has been a terrific teaching year. I switched grade levels and kept many of the kids I had from first grade. Part of me was thinking it was going to be a long, difficult year because I had many of the same students. In reality, it has been a pleasure. I have completely enjoyed watching their progression this school year. I remember their first day of first grade and many of them weren't even reading. Now at the end of second grade, I have a smile from ear to ear because of how hard they have worked and how much growth they have shown. I wanted to do something special for this group of kids to culminate our last two years together. I came across this amazing idea from Jessica at The Polka Dotted Teacher a few weeks ago. I made these wonderful word clouds about each student.

I gave each student the following form with the name of each student in our class. I asked them to think of just one word to describe each student in our class. We have spent a tremendous amount of time learning how to use the dictionary and thesaurus this year. So I wanted the kids to use those skills to come up with some meaningful words about one another. The words could only be positive and they could only use the same word twice on their sheet. It was really wonderful to see the words they chose for one another. Some of the funniest words were the ones they chose for themselves.

This was the first time I have ever made a word cloud. I used Tagul.com and found it really easy to use. I can't wait to give them to my students next week and see the smiles on their faces.