Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Busy Life of a Teacher Mom

Hah - that needs no explanation, right?  

I had promised myself to blog at least once/week during the school year, because there's tons of time on the weekends, right?  I have to confess, that is NOT what I'm thinking Sunday night or getting up Monday morning!  It usually is more along the lines of "Where did that weekend go?  One more day!  One more day!"

I've signed up to do several blog hops/freebies that are coming up that I wanted to highlight before I get to share what we've been up to this week in our classroom. :)

Be looking for "Friday Fall Freebie" starting October 4!  Several bloggers, including myself, are sponsoring a freebie each Friday (I think there's 13 of us?).  So be sure to hit the blogs Friday/Saturday AM to check it out!  The theme won't necessarily be fall for all of us, but I know my first one is a cute Fall writing prompt that my class did on Thursday that I can't wait to show you pictures of!  Think 4-square and q-tips! :)

The second is less of a hop and more of a giveaway and linky!  I'm linking up my best-selling "Basic Fraction SCOOT" as a prize with Table Talk with C and C's linky, "Best Selling Math Activity Giveaway and Linky!".

We all love those SCOOT games!  It's a fantastic way to get your class up and in motion while reviewing a concept.  This is one of my early SCOOT creations, but a goodie.  I named it "basic" because it follows our second grade standards where students need to identify the fraction and are just starting comparing.  So, it's good for end of unit first and second graders, and a refresher at the beginning of unit for 3rd and up!  

I'm currently having an issue with Publisher to load up my original (and I have no idea how to pull pics from PDFs), so I'm sending you my link to go check it out (sorry!).  Click {here} to check it out in my store!

Okey dokey....what have we been up to lately?  These are some of the activities we've been up to in September, since I just realized I submit more on Instagram than blog!  Whoops!

Our Eric Carle Unit - our Harcourt Trophies has the story of  The Mixed-Up Chameleon, so last year I wanted to take it a step farther and make it into an author study with the books I had available, as well as some borrowed from a teacher-friend.  I plan this year on binding the projects together in a book for my students to take home!  Because of pre-testing for our district, it's been lasting over a couple of weeks....we have not painted nor read The Little Cloud, but it's on for next week!

Our school participated on September 18th in the United Way Day of Caring and each child, during resource time, got to put their handprint on the wall in the front hallway of our school!  Our walls were a drab gray before.  I know there's plans to decorate the whole school (we have colored tile scattered throughout the school which is what made up the colors of each square).  Doesn't it look cute?  Teachers and staff got to put their handprints on later in the day!  We had UW workers that are (somehow) connected to UVA (which is 30 min from us) to help out for the day!

Constitution Day - got to read my favorite We the Kids and we made our own class Preamble, which now hangs outside in our hallway! If you've never read or heard of that book before, it breaks the Preamble down to kid-language. 

Matter Ice Cream....every year at the end of our Matter unit, our 2nd graders create ice cream (liquid to a solid!).  Can you tell my kiddos were excited?  

Story Problems - we use Investigations series at school....if you've read my earlier posts, you know I am NOT exactly a fan.  In Unit 1, it has students adding 2 digit numbers with the strategy of drawing pictures, which is FINE except for my struggling lil' ones.  So, in order to assess their learning, but using smaller numbers, I created "From Apples to Bananas" which tests the same skill of understanding story problems but in smaller chunks!  Always a fan of clipart to make items more visually appealing, the kids really liked these and loved the variety that matched their interests.  I even have some "challenge" ones since my class ranges from below to above.  It's at my TpT store, if you want to check it out {here}

Finally, I wanted to share with you a Whole Brain Teaching strategy that has gone over so well in my class - the "Genius Ladder"!  As you can see below, you start with a "blah" sentence and add details, extend it, and make it into a story.  After doing this many times with my students whole group, I made one for my students' writing journals and we've done it together, so far.  My goal is to give them the "blah sentence" and have them do it independently.  To learn more about Whole Brain Teaching, their website is  They have a ton of free stuff, but if you're interested in doing it in your room, I highly recommend buying the book.  I'm leading a PLC in our school about it (we are a very small group), so I'll let you know how it goes!  Since I'm a newbie at it, but have implemented it the last 32 days, I get to lead it!  Hopefully, I'll be able to post some information on here as I go.  You should definitely check it out!


So, that's been September in my room (or at least what I've taken pictures of!).  I fear I've been more loyal to my classroom blog than this one :( except for one Friday, so be sure to take a peek there as well at Youel Soar High in Second Grade.

One more plug - Limeades for Learning!  Sonic sponsors this along with Donors Choose, so if you have a moment, head over there and check out the great projects that are posted.  I hope you'll consider voting for one of my 2 projects.  I am VERY easy to find - type in "Youel" as keyword (I'm the only one in there!).  Thanks! :)

Adios for now - hasta luego!


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