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Does Managing Student Schedules Drive You Crazy?

Learn how I manage all of our pull outs and push ins over on my guest post and the Primary Pack.  Don't forget to come back and grab your very own schedule below!

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Math Was So Boring to Teach...But Not Anymore!

I'm a huge believer in making math fun.  Math is not my favorite subject because it never came easy to me.  As a teacher, it was the subject I dreaded teaching the most because it was so boring.  I'm not a worksheet kinda girl and needed to make math more fun!  Can you feel me, friends?

I really got into making math centers last year when I was teaching a 1/2 combo because I needed engaging material to keep m second graders busy while I was teaching a lesson to my first graders.  I haven't looked back since!  I keep an area in the back of my room with all of our math manipulatives, supplies, and games.  When kiddos finish their independent practice, they go grab a math center.  They're perfect to reinforce what we're doing in class.  Plus, I include centers that review skills we've already done so we're continuously spiraling.

I just completed this Telling Time unit and I've been using it to pre teach time, since we're not quite there yet.  Luckily, my friend Ashley from Schroeder's Shenanigans just tested this product with her class.  See what she has to say and grab a sample of this unit!
 Currently, we are plugging away adding two, three, and four digit numbers.  This is normally a tough standard for my kiddos to master, but our district has adopted using Number Talks, and it has truly transformed the way my scholars use mental math to solve problems.  More on that later!

Make math fun for your kiddos!  You can get the entire growing bundle at its lowest price!  More centers will be added until ALL 2nd grade math CCSS are covered! 

You can also win a copy by entering below!

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Trade & Grade with Schroeder's Shenanigans

I didn't know how important it was to teach grammar until I taught second grade.  Or maybe it wasn't a focus with my prior reading program, but grammar wasn't a big thing in my former first grade class.  Once I began teaching second grade, I realized I really needed to get my act together because the worksheets that came with my new reading program were so dang boring!  Plus, I was no grammar expert!  Subject, predicate...what does it all mean?

Thank goodness I found Ashely from Schroeder's Shenanigans because she has come to the rescue.  She has made grammar fun...and yes, that's possible!  She's also helped me feel more confident about teaching grammar.

Not only is she an expert at creating meaningful activities for our students, she's incredibly sweet in person.  I was so happy to finally catch up with Ashley at the TpT conference last summer.  And if you follow her, you know she's a machine who cranks out amazing math centers, blogging organizational tools, and lots of grammar task cards...all weekend long!  I joke with her that there is no way possible that this cute little thing sleeps.  She's a force to be reckoned with and one to watch, promise!
 If your kiddos are like mine, they need constant reinforcement when it comes to grammar. I can't tell you how many times we've gone over what a verb is.  But some of my littles still think "sit" is an adjective.  Why oh why??? I knew I needed something that was fun, but was going to do the job!

I was lucky enough to try out Ashley's Sweet ELA Scoot and Scoot Jr.  for this month's "Trade and Grade" with my kiddos this week.

I love that there are two options for each center.  I chose to use the original scoot and scoot jr. both in my class and they worked like a charm!
It's easy to prepare this scoot game.  Basically, there are 4 cards per page.  If you want to save paper, you can change the layout in your printer options and print 2 per page, therefore you will end up with 8 per page when all is said and done!I was so excited to use my brand new laser printer {how have I never owned one before, it it prints so daft?}  and laminate all of my new goodies! Does laminating make  you as happy as it makes me?
Our focus skill last week was using adjectives correctly, so the "Appetizing Adjectives" scoot game was going to be PERFECT!
Did I mention that the Big Wigs from the District Office came in during this activity.  It was a hit and they were pretty darn impressed!  My kiddos are scoot game experts.  We use task cards for everything, so there were little directions given from me.  

I posted the adorable cover on the board and placed the recording sheets in a Lakeshore heavy duty pocket for easy access.  When my students were finished with their "must do" centers, they worked on this activity.  I loved that I was able to work with my guided reading groups while my littles were actively engaged and working independently.  
What my kiddos love about scoot activities is that they get up to move around.  It's a game to them because they have to find the number and answer the question correctly.  I like to think of it as a scavenger hunt!  I wish we had games like this when we were younger!

Trust me, I've tried mixing them up in the past and it doesn't work. When the cards are in order and they can't find #13, the know it has to be somewhere between #12 and #14.

 I've found that storing all of my centers in plastic bags with a zipper work best.  When I was done with these centers, I placed them back into my "Grammar" magazine file.
Not only did we work on adjectives last week, we had time to work with verbs and plural nouns.  For the "Very Yummy Verbs" center, I placed the cards in a plastic bag and students worked in table groups.  They spread the task cards out on the carpet and worked away!  

If your kids love the original scoot, they'll love the Scoot Jr.  This was the first time we played, so I had to go over my expectations.  Each student was given a set of task cards.  I love that they were printed in black and white and fit on one page.  I'm low on paper, so this was perfect!  My friends liked that they had their very own set of cards to work with.  They cut out the cards and solved the problems on their own.  If you'd like to make this a partner or small group activity, you could print enough cards for your groups.  Like the original scoot game, kiddos record their answers on their recording sheet {as seen above}!

All in all, it was a successful week of grammar task cards and I can't wait to dive into the rest of them next week.  Our focus skill next week is proper capitulation and punctuation, so the "Mixed Up Sentences" scoot will be big hit!

If you're looking for some fun ways to spice up your grammar lessons, you will absolutely love this resource.  Ashley has generously donated a sample of this product, just click on the photo below!
You can also read about more products that were traded and graded and even pick up freebies along the way!
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Tech Talk: Can You Build Fluency and have FUN with iPads?

This is my first year using iPads in the classroom and I'm slowly playing around with different apps and testing them out with kiddos.  I want my students using apps that are meaningful and I want my kiddos creating, rather than just "playing."

The Reading Specialist in my is always looking for fun ways to build fluency. If you walk into my class during a phonics lesson, you'll probably hear my kiddos practicing their phonics pattern in a robot voice or even a ghost voice.  You'll see us sprawled out on bamboo mats reading books at our reading level.  You'll even find some of my friends sitting in beach chairs in our class library.  We love building fluency with our poetry anthology, because poems are lots of FUN!
We read, and read, and read any chance we get.  

So, can you build fluency and have fun with iPads?  I'll let you be the judge!

I first heard about Chatter Pix from Learning with Mrs. Parker over on Instagram.  I immediately fell in love and knew I just HAD to use this with my kiddos the day we returned from break.  Long story short, Chatter Pix gives a voice to pictures.   I knew we could use this in so many ways!
For this lesson, I pulled kiddos over during Guided Reading.  We talked about our goals for the New Year.  Each kiddo wrote a quick complete sentence in their daily journal {We just wrote one sentence because I was going to compile their goals into a class video to share with their parents.  You can DEFINITELY use this to record an entire story}. As they illustrated, I worked one-on-one with one of my friends to create their Chatter Pix.  See a quick clip of the final video and get inspired!
Chatter Pix has cartoon drawings you can choose from, you can have kiddos draw a picture and use that (think self portrait), or real life photos.  I love that there are so many options. 

*If you were teaching your kiddos about penguins, you could have kiddos draw a penguin during an art lesson.  Or, have them find a photo of a penguin.  Then, have them record penguin facts or they could write a story about a penguin.*

For privacy reasons, I can't share the adorable compilation video of goals, but I can share this little clip of the entire process.

The possibilities are endless.  My friends have been using it to practice their weekly sight words and then they share it with the class.  Not only is my friend practicing, but the entire class will get more exposure to the words as well!  Have friends practice poetry, reading passages, decodable books, and writing.
Build fluency by having your friend choose a photo and record.  Then, have them choose another photo and record again.  Next, have them repeat the process.  You can have them do this until they've created several videos.  They'll be having so much fun using their imagination that they won't even realize that they're learning.

So I'll ask you again...can you build fluency and have fun with iPads?  I know we sure did with this great app!

Find some more technology tips for Tech Talk below!

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Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland in So Cal

 I'm so happy to be collaborating with such a talented group of teachers from sunny Southern California.  I love my little hometown in the winter time.  Tourist season is over so the beaches are empty and I can walk to the beach trail without battling strollers and overenthusiastic runners!

I've reflected on the year I've had and am really looking forward to 2015.  I've got a lot to be EXCITED about!
I'm enjoying my three week vacation but am really looking at getting back to my kids.  If you've followed my blog, you know that I've had to move classrooms, grades, schools, districts, or states more than most.  It's been really tough having to move so often, learning new school rules and procedures, making new friends, and learning about my new little community.  What I have learned about working for different leaders and different school environments is what works and what doesn't.  I've been able to take away from each experience and use what I've learned to make me a better teacher.  The instability of the last five years has been scary and overwhelming, but it makes me appreciate where I'm at even more!  I finally feel like I've found my forever home and am so, so happy about it.  

I was a huge traveler up until I met this guy.  We take lots of fun weekend excursions but I'm looking forward to dusting off my passport this year.  I've been to Australia, Tahiti, the Maldives twice, El Salvador, Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica twice, and Mainland Mexico but am ready to go to Greece or Europe with the Mr.
I live in the most amazing most perfect little beach town in.  Most people say it's the last charming beach town left in Orange County.  I'm looking forward to beach bbqs, camping with friends, and spending a lot more time in the water.

I had so much fun in Vegas last year for the TpT conference and made some lasting friendships.  I can't even wait until I get to reconnect with my girlfriends from all over this giant country!
{TL}Beth from A Kindergarten Life for me and Brittany from Tickled Pink in Primary having fun at the Go Noodle booth.
{R} Go Noodle Champy Hour Meet Up
{BL} I finally met Corinna from Surfin' Through Second
Not only am I excited to see my old friends, I can't wait to meet the girls from the collaborative blog I'm part of!  Are you going to Vegas this year?
The Primary Pack

I'm most looking forward to relaxing and taking time for myself.
Thank you so much for joining me in all the excitement that 2015 will bring!  Snag this freebie while you're here, it's a freebie sampler from my Snow Many Nouns pack!
Just click on the photo below for your FREEBIE!

Not only are we giving away tons of freebies in our hop, you also have the chance to win BIG!
For a chance to win two gift cards valued at 60.00 each, enter below and then hop back and join the talented Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers to continue the hop and snag her freebie!  Just click on the button below! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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