Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back to School HUGE Giveaway!


Are you getting ready for the Back to School Craziness? If so, let the ladies over at Owl-ways Be Inspired help you out! Our team of 2nd/3rd grade bloggers have come together to offer you some awesome chances to win some prizes to help get your school year started! First, scroll down to the bottom of this post and enter on the Rafflecopter to win $50 to my TeachersPayTeachers store! It's easy to enter! Just scroll down and follow the directions on the Rafflecopter. But don't stop there...


We have also come together to offer a chance to win 1 of 3 gift cards shown below on the Owl-ways Be Inspired blog! So after you enter to win $50 on my Rafflecopter, click {HERE} to head over to our collaborative blog and enter to win a gift card there! THEN on top of all that, you will find links to tons of other bloggers who are also offering giveaways on their blogs - so many chances to win!! Go check it out!


Good luck and here's to a GREAT school year! :)




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 16, 2015

BIG NEWS from 2nd Grade Stuff!

Hey, my friends! I'm taking a quick break from my summer day of being lazy and watching Netflix to give you a sneak peek into what's happening inside the world of 2nd Grade Stuff!

Here's a clue! This is what I've been working on. This summer I worked for my school district to revamp our current curriculum maps and pacing guides for both Math and ELA. We are hoping that this helps with our transient students if we are all teaching the same content at the same time across the district. From there, I took the new pacing guide and integrated it with our current math curriculum and mapped out our entire school year for my grade level. Sounds like normal planning right? Look closer.

{FYI: This is my tweaked version of our district curriculum document that won't be shared via my TeachersPayTeachers store or blog, since it is not my original work.}

If you notice something in the picture that is a little strange, that's because this is a 3rd Grade pacing guide! You guessed it! 2nd Grade Stuff is moving to 3rd Grade - EEK!

The good news is that many of my products are also aligned with 3rd grade standards (thank you Jesus!) so I'm not completely starting over. I plan to fully integrate my Common Core Writing Bundles during my centers (see a blog post about that HERE) and will most definitely utilize my Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time as well, but perhaps a little more independently this year! I already have my 3rd Grade Common Core Graphic Organizers and 3rd Grade Common Core Quick Math Assessments, so I'll be using those as formative assessments as well.

While I have many products that will work for 3rd grade, I do have BIG plans for some new products that will be specifically aligned with 3rd grade standards and some other ideas for grades 2-4 which is what most of my products are structured around. So hang with me, my friends! We are in for quite a ride this school year and I hope to find the time to post all about it! Thanks for following me on my journey and wish me luck! Anyone else moving grade levels this year?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Classroom Decor Galore

Hey, my friends! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacations (if you have a summer vacation) and are spending some well-deserved time on YOU! I know I sure have been livin' it up this summer, but I'm getting the itch to get back into my classroom. So what did I find myself doing earlier this week? SHOPPING! Classroom decor galore! So I had to share all of my fabulous finds with you all of course! ;)

Yes, my husband did walk in and see all of this in our living room floor, shook his head, and said "Seriously?". Yes, sweetie.... seriously.

But, you have to take a closer look! Let me give you the run-down real quick! I bought 5 orange mini pocket charts that I currently have no use for whatsoever, but I really needed them. :) The letter holder thingie, yeah, I don't have a specific use for it yet either, but it was only $3 so why not? Last, but not least are my very most favorite kind of pencil to write with, but unfortunately these are not for me, they're for my students. I'm starting them all out with a brand new mechanical pencil this year {wish me luck}! The sharpening of pencils is my #1 pet peeve in the classroom, so we'll see how this goes. I let my 2nd graders use mechanical pencils from December on this past year and it worked perfectly, so I have high hopes! The items below came from the Target.

Below, my friends, you will find my two absolute steals from my shopping trip! Both of these were 20% off using an app that I downloaded while standing in the aisles at Target. I literally saw a sign that said I could save 20% off these items with the Cartwheel app, so I went with it! Downloaded, scanned, and BOOM! Instant savings, my friends!
My desk chair broke last year so I found this one for $25 and this gorgeous rug in gray and white will be perfect in my classroom too! It was a little more pricey, but y'all both items were 20% off! Thank you Cartwheel app!

After those purchases, I decided that for my own good I needed to leave Target immediately - ha! So I went over to the Parent-Teacher Store. Well, it's safe to say that this place did WAY more damage to my wallet than Target... First, I'm in LOVE with these file folders. I got 3 packs of 6 and I plan to keep all of my daily needed documents inside them right by my desk in a crate of some kind. They're from Carson-Dellosa

Next, I found this cutie-patootie black/white damask clipboard that I do NOT need for any other purpose other than cuteness. Then I found this Lesson Plan and Record Book from Teacher Created Resources that I just had to have. I keep my lesson plans on the computer in digital format, but I like to roughly sketch out plans first with a pencil and paper. And, once again, it was just too cute to NOT buy!
 Y'all, these I haven't seen before! Look closely... they're MAGNETIC! I couldn't decide which ones I wanted so I grabbed both. I'm going to use them to spell the word "DATE" on the board and also to display the "LEARNING TARGETS" header on the board. This way I won't have to rewrite it every day and it will look neater. These are also from Teacher Created Resources Signature Line. Fancy-schmancy!

 And MORE from Teacher Created Resources! I was *this close* to buying the matching class jobs, birthdays, welcome board, and calendar set, but the ones I have were brand new to me last year, so I decided to stay with what I had and accent with this chalkboard line.

Close-Up! The library pockets will be used for something - ha! Not sure yet, but I thought I needed 3 packs of them! The incentive charts and matching stickers will be used with our goal setting and data boards. The die cuts (bottom right) will be used to label classroom tools/baskets/bins. The smaller die cuts will be used to label the student cubbies with their student numbers. The chalkboard stickers will be used for their name tags on their desk. Loving this line from Teacher Created Resources!

These items are from Creative Teaching Press and match my current calendar, birthday display, class jobs, and welcome board from last year. I got the big cut-outs to label materials with. The stars are used to track data on our STAR test data boards outside our classrooms in the hallway. The calendar numbers are going to be used for student numbers maybe on their clip chart clips, not sure yet. When I can finally get back into my classroom (floors are being waxed), you'll see much more of this black/white/gray theme when I set my classroom up and post my classroom reveal.

These cute clothespins will be used on my Behavior Clip Chart. I use the clip chart found {HERE} in my product called Creating Superstars in the Classroom: A Tool to Promote Leadership. I'll be labeling these clothespins with student numbers with my label maker or using the die cuts shown above.

I am in love with this black mini pocket chart that I found. I just can't bring myself to use the primary blue ones in my classroom full of blacks, whites, grays, and brights. I have seen a bajillion ideas for staining the blue ones to be black on Pinterest, but I found one that is already black from Scholastic! Yay! No staining for the hubby!

My paper lanterns from last year faded, so I just HAD to buy some new bright ones... but these are 3 different sizes!! BOOM! They are from Teacher Created Resources Signature Line also.

And these posters! I wish I had room in my living room floor to spread these all out so you can see them! They're gorgeous and all match in a chalkboard and brights theme. You'll see them all in my classroom reveal post. They're from Creative Teaching Press and I bought LOTS of them. They all have really inspirational quotes on them. We are a Leader in Me school, so I like to fill my walls with leadership messages that we discuss and refer to throughout the year.

I have SO MANY borders, but I felt like I couldn't leave without this set to match my new stuff! Loved this chalkboard pattern from Creative Teaching Press!

So there you have it! ALL of my new classroom decor goodies! I bought these all at the beginning of this week only to come home to an email that we can't get into our classrooms until Friday because they're waxing our floors - Womp! Womp! So I decided to just lay it all out in my living room floor and admire it for the remainder of the week - ha! My husband was thrilled... :)

Do you guys have a Parent-Teacher Store or something similar where you live? Have you found any good deals? Feel free to comment below with your fab finds! Thanks for stopping by! :)


Saturday, February 7, 2015

What Have We Been Up To? {Five for Friday}


Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a little Five for Friday {on Saturday}. This link-up is perfect for me, because all you have to do is share 5 random things from your week - fits my personality perfectly...RANDOM! :) Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and link up or visit more Five for Friday posts by clicking the button above.


Background Info: I live in Kentucky and in Kentucky we have what we call Snow Days. Well, normally we do. But we have had forecast after forecast after forecast for snow and have gotten NONE! This is a good thing for those of us who like to get out on time in May, but for those of us needing a snow day (snuggle on the couch in our PJs day), our snow dances have NOT been working. With that being said, snow days are always such a controversy in our county. The parents, teachers, and kiddos know all about it, so I like to turn that little slice of hometown drama into an awesome opinion writing piece. So we have been working hard at this authentic piece of writing that the students can really relate to. You can see the prompt below and it can be found in my January Common Core Writing Activities in my TpT Store. You can also see a complete Q&A Blog Post about my Common Core Writing Activities {HERE}.



We have also started a new novel study this week. We began The Mouse and the Motorcycle. This is such a cute book! I remember reading it as a child and it was always one of my favorites! On Thursday, we read Chapter 1 and then completed some comprehension questions and a graphic organizer that goes along with the chapter. The comprehension questions focus on basic recall, while the graphic organizer encourages the students to dig deeper and use text-based evidence to respond. You can see a little snippet below and my Mouse and the Motorcycle Unit can also be found in my TpT Store.



We also spent this week finishing up some science experiments. We made edible rocks, excavated rocks, exploded volcanos, and much more in this science unit! The kiddos had a blast!



Wow, you guys, I have gotten some incredible feedback on my Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time! I even had a fellow teacher tell me that they used my Perfect Paragraphs even in the 4th grade! I just love the way that these guide the students in creating a quality paragraph with an introduction, three details, and a concluding statement. The unique way that these paragraph prompts are laid out is the key, in my opinion, for helping young writers to get their details out FIRST, then come back and add an introduction and a concluding statement AFTER they write their details. As you all well know, students want to get right to the good stuff and this layout allows them to do so. You can check them out in my store {HERE}. I have a pack for every month in the school year so far and will be creating for March through June/July as well. 

I also listened to your requests and have added an extra, matching publishing page for those students who may get lengthy with their writing. I also have added a rubric for each paragraph upon request. I hope you guys enjoy! I will be going back to my previous packs and adding in the extra publishing page and the rubrics as soon as I can find the time! :)

You can see I have our Perfect Paragraphs all copied into packets for the entire month of February! You can check out my Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time in my TpT store by clicking the picture below. I always include two seasonal and two generic prompts that can be used year-round.



Last, but not least, I have added a new math center to our rotations. My Addition and Subtraction QR Codes - SO. MUCH. FUN! These are self-checking task cards that utilize QR codes to make them super engaging for the kiddos. Included are 4 different sets of task cards - Addition Without Regrouping, Subtraction Without Regrouping, Addition With Regrouping, and Subtraction With Regrouping. I have added this to my rotation of centers, because now that we're finished with the Addition and Subtraction to 1,000 unit, I don't want the kiddos to forget what they've learned! All you need is ONE iPod, iPad, or iPhone with a free QR scanner app and you're all set. You can see how they work in the pics below or check them out in my TpT store {HERE}.

 4 Different Sets of Self-Checking Task Cards

Solve the problem on the task card. Then use an iPod, iPad, or iPhone with a free QR scanner app to scan the QR code.

 Check your work with the answer that is displayed on your device! So much fun! The kiddos just love it! :)

So there you have it! A little peek into our week! A little writing, reading, math, and science and a LOT of fun! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

This is YOUR Year - GIVEAWAYS GALORE!

Hello all and Happy New Year to you! My sweet blogging friends and I have some exciting news for you! We are hosting a HUGE giveaway on the Owl-ways Be Inspired Blog where we are giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card! Yes, that's right - $100! It's super easy to enter and win! Head on over to Owl-ways Be Inspired or click the image below and enter to win! But COME BACK because there's more! I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY too! See below!


Many of the other Owls are also giving away something on their own blogs as well, myself included! I'm giving away a $20 gift card to Amazon and my Winter ELA Printables pack from my TPT store in the Rafflecopter below! You can use the $20 gift card to Amazon to order all the fun winter-themed books you need to go along with my ELA Printables! How fun!


Take a closer look at a couple of my Winter ELA Printables included in the pack below...


Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below! The giveaway starts now and ends January 3rd on both 2nd Grade Stuff AND Owl-ways Be Inspired. Good luck! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: Thanksgiving Fun!

In honor of #ThrowBackThursday which has fully taken over all forms of social media, I'm throwing back to an old post from last year where I shared a fun Thanksgiving activity that was so awesome, we are repeating it again this year! Original post can be found below...

*** Original Post Starts Here ***

First, we begin by reading Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano.  You could also read A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting.  Both involve turkeys that don't want to be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.  There are several other picture books out there, but these are two of my favorites.  Click the links below to purchase them from Amazon.com.

After reading one of these picture books, we discuss the plot, point of view, and problem/solution.  There are several graphic organizers in my Thanksgiving ELA Printables pack to use when reading either of these books.  
*** Edited to Add ***
This year we will be reading both books above and comparing/contrasting the story elements in each book using my printables below.

After completing one of the graphic organizers from my pack (there are several that will work), we begin to brainstorm how it would feel if we were a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.  We talk about how we would solve our problem.  The students are assigned the following writing prompt from my November Common Core Writing Unit.  They have to write a letter to try and persuade families to NOT eat turkey for Thanksgiving and provide reasons that support their opinion.

They will have to support their opinion using the following graphic organizers, also included in the unit.

And finally, they will publish their Opinion Piece on differentiated publishing paper, also included in the unit.

You can find all this and more in my November Common Core Writing Pack.  

I hope this fun, seasonal activity helps you tame down the teacher burnout too!  :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Round-Up

Several months ago, a group of bloggers decided to get together and start posting some simple, yet effective Bright Ideas. In these posts, there were no products, no links, no advertising. We just wanted to share nice and easy, simple to implement, Bright Ideas. For the month of November, we are rounding-up some of our old Bright Ideas posts so that you can take a peek at them again and hopefully browse the link-up below to find some more Bright Ideas that you can use NOW in your classroom! We hope you enjoy this round-up of Bright Ideas!


My most popular Bright Ideas post was my post about managing your turn-in tray using clothespins! It was a simple idea, yet one that so many people fell in love with! It's now my #3 most popular blog post on 2nd Grade Stuff. You can go back and read the original post {HERE} or click on the picture below.


My next Bright Idea that was a sure hit was my post about organizing all the never-ending amounts of PAPER in your classroom - How to Avoid Stacks of Paper. This post was one of the most pinned on Pinterest on my entire blog! You can go back and read the original post {HERE} or click the picture below.


I hope you've enjoyed this Round-Up of Bright Ideas and maybe you have found something that you can take back to your classroom and implement immediately! If not, check out MORE Bright Ideas by browsing the links below for thousands of our most popular posts. Enjoy! :)