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Organize and manage your iPads {plus numbered screensavers}e

This is my first year being in a district that absolutely believes in the importance of technology and I feel so dang lucky.  I'm lucky enough to have 5 computers, 2 Chromebooks thanks to Donors Choose, and 2 iPads.  I wanted a better way to mange who is working on what...so I created these fun screen savers for you!

I love pretty things so I created these little things.  One set has a pretty aqua burlap background and the second set has a pink acrylic paint background.  Each set has numbers one through eight.
  • All you have to do is download the freebie onto your device.
  • Then, just save the image you want as your wallpaper.
Since I have 2 iPads, I'll just use the number one and two photos.  Now, you can just tell your kiddo to grab the #1 iPad!  I know for me, I have different apps on each iPad.  So when I need a friend to bring me the iPad that has what I need, all I have to do is ask.  No more "Which iPad do you want?" and then describing the cover.  Easy peasy way to manage some of the technology in your classroom!
How do you organize technology in your classroom?

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Go Noodle Directed Drawing

I'm happy to team up with Go Noodle to bring you a fun art project that your students will love! We are a complete Go Noodle classroom!  We use Go Noodle to transition from journal writing to phonics and our read aloud to math.  If I forget our brain break, they most definitely will remind me! My friends beg for Go Noodle and have many of the brain breaks memorized.  Since my students love art, especially directed drawings, I thought it would be fun to create one using our latest champ, Rad Chad!
See how we made this little art project and grab the step-by-step direction over at The Primary Pack.
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What's on your WISH LIST?

If you're like me, you love a good sale!  I need one too because I looked at my 2014 TpT spending statement and I'm pretty sure I've spent more on resources for my class than myself last year!
Here are a few of the items that have been in my cart and are ready to be purchased in time for the BIG sale.  Don't miss the sale and remember to use the Promo Code HEROES
Redeem your feedback credits to put towards your purchase.  After shopping, leave feedback to earn more credits to spend!

I have been eyeing these addition (and her subtraction) posters for some time!  Anchor charts take up too much room so these will be perfect!

All of Jen Jones, from Hello Literacy's products are rigorous and easy to use.  I've had this in my cart for about 6 months and am ready to finally buy it!

Our district created our math curriculum so we don't have printables or many resources that look as fun as this!  I think these games will be a perfect way to reinforce fractions!

 I want to challenge my highest reading group when we begin Charlotte's Web and I think this will be perfect!

My friend Kayla from Meet Miss Parker has amazing reading comprehension passages.  I already own her winter and spring pack, and have been wanting these for some time.  We're heading into our habitat unit so I know these will be a perfect fit for my little readers!

I love these Scrappy Kids from Graphics from the Pond!  I already own a few sets and their sweet little smiles and wonky eyes make my heart feel warm and fuzzy!  I must own this huge set!

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This is how we CELEBRATE being 100 days smarter!

I feel like we just started the new school year, how are we more than half way done?  I'm so proud of my kiddos and all they've learned this year.  At the beginning of the year, they were just babies who were unsure about mental math and writing in complete sentences.  Now, they're blowing me away adding 3 digit numbers in just seconds using their favorite strategies and doing their best to write compound sentences that sound like 2nd graders wrote them!
I had some fun things planned for our special 100th day of school.  It wasn't as grand as last year because I'm not teaching a straight second grade class.  I could get away with some of the craziness last year because I was also a first grade teacher.
We wanted our kiddos to have some fun first thing in the morning so the entire group of second graders met on the field for some exercise rotations.  Each teacher was in charge of one exercise.  The students did that exercise ten times.  I was in charge of "high knees" but my team liked telling me I was in charge of "hineys!"  After my group completed 10 high knees, they ran walked to the next station.  Luckily we have 10 teachers so by the end of all the rotations, kiddos completed 10 exercises. It was a great way to get their excited wiggles out!

Once we came inside, students worked from their 100th day of school packet

easy teaching tools, teaching, school, 100 days of school
They absolutely loved imaging what they'd look like when they're 100.  According to my littles, grandmas wear buns and scarves and they wear slippers all day.  They enjoy gardening, playing BINGO, and reading the newspaper because "old people are always reading the paper."

I tied their writing into our money unit and had the kiddos write about what they'd do with $100.00.  They had such a fun time with this!  It's amazing how much kiddos will write when there is buy-in!

easy teaching tools, teaching, school, 100 days of school
1. Throughout the day, we took mini brain breaks (sorry Go Noodle) by exercising in sets of ten (just like we did this morning, but different exercises).  
2.  Like last year, I also used the trusty (and free) Aging Photo Booth app.  Students chose glasses to enhance their photo!
3. During math, we raced writing to 100 and reinforced how to recognize odd and even numbers.

easy teaching tools, teaching, school, 100 days of school

easy teaching tools, teaching, school, 100 days of school
Writing is very important to me, so we spend a lot of time writing today.  Kiddos came to the carpet and we brainstormed together.  Here are some of my favorite thoughts from these little guys.
"I think old people will eat broccoli because I'm a kid and I don't like it.  But my parents like it so I think I will eventually like it when I'm old."

"Old people like board games.  When my grandpa was visiting, we played a lot of board games, and not the fun ones."

"Old people like to go to BINGO night."

 I truly could've talked to my kiddos all day about this, but we had to move on.  My friends used what we came up with during our brain storm and put it into sentences during the drafting phase of the writing process.

This last sentence just killed me, but I have to stay strong!  Thank you to One Fab Teacher for the adorable certificates.  My friends were so proud!

My friends went nuts over Meet Miss Parker's Hundred Flat Race!  I had them play with a partner and it was easy peasy for me!  I mounted while they cheered their partner on!  They begged me to play again. Luckily I had a few extra to put in pocket protectors that I'll throw in our math centers.

easy teaching tools, teaching, school, 100 days of school

You can grab many of these games and activities (including our fun hats and hundred day snacks) too!

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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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