Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow Beautiful

Well, it's a sunny 75% in California and I just got back from walking Harley.
He's decked out in bells and jingled all the way on our walk.




Since snow is a rare occurrence here I wanted some holiday inspiration.
"Snow" Beautiful

Falling Snow from Matt S on Vimeo.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Basketry Art

As a culmination to learning about California Indians and their customs my students loved creating these colorful baskets.



This online resource is great for researching about the various basketry designs and uses.


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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Are You Checking Your List?




I'm triple checking my shopping wish list for TPT's Cyber Sale December 2nd and 3rd.
My store products will be 20% off. User CYBER at checkout for a full 28% off too!

Take a peek at some of my store followers TOP Wishlisted items you just might want to grab too!

Click each cover to see product descriptions.












Happy shopping. Check Primary Possibilities Linky for more shopping fun!



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day


Happy Turkey Day Song!
Click to listen:

Boy my Thanksgiving this year has me feeling like I'm running around with my head cut off.
To give some background, my family dinner is postponed this year until Sunday since my mom and dad are out of town. And since they've always cooked the turkey no one else wanted to take on that job. My ONLY job today was to take the turkey out of MY freezer and drive it over to their house to thaw out in their fridge for the next few days. Sounds simple, but not really. Yesterday my automatic garage door was acting up and not shutting properly, so I put it into manual mode.  So I got up this morning, put the frozen turkey in my car, manually lifted up the door, pulled my car out and then the trouble started. I got out of the car to pull the door back down and my middle finger got caught and pinched in the now closed garage door. I was literally stuck to the garage door. I started hollering for help like crazy.
Luckily some volunteer workers for the annual Turkey Trot heard my ruckus and I told them to call 911. After what seemed like forever a police officer saved the day and pulled up the garage door and I was released. Now I'm nursing a big, fat bruised finger and I REFUSE to park my car back in the garage until I can get someone to figure out how to get my garage door to work properly. Said car is sitting in my driveway and I'm icing my finger.

Hope everybody else's Turkey Day was a little less hectic.

If you haven't already planned your after turkey shopping keep in mind that TPT's Cyber Sale is Monday Dec. 2nd and 3rd. My store will be 20% off. Use the code CYBER at checkout for and additional 10% off.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let's Take Me Back Tuesday

I'm joining Second Grade Shenaningans Linky to reshare a favorite December lesson.

Originally posted December 7, 2012




My students completed our Gifts of Giving Writing this week.
Their ideas were cute and thoughtful.




"First of all, without moms in my life it would be an awful time because they make your day bright."


This student thought that, "... fire is a good thing because we need it to light up a candle
so we can celebrate birthdays."

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today's Pilgrims

My class just finished an in depth author study of Patricia Polacco.
We learned how her family immigrated to the U.S. from Russia.

I read the book Coming to America to teach more about the immigration process.


Then we explored Scholastic's site on immigrants which includes video clips of immigrant children today as well as background on Ellis Island.



Finally, we connected Patricia Polacco's family history of being Russian immigrants to the novel Molly's Pilgrim. A video is available for the story too that we compared the book to.


View a video clip

To wrap up our pilgrim and immigration focus students made their own Molly's Pilgrim doll.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tips for Keeping Kids on Track

I posted over at All Things Upper Elementary today about ways help students stay focused and on track.

Pop on over to read more


~Enjoy
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Veterans Day


I love teaching about Veterans Day.
Each year I add more to my teaching resources.

VA for Kids has an online coloring book



History Channel has some great video clips

Bet You Didn't Know Clip


History of Veterans Day



Don't miss ALL previous posts on Veterans Day too!


If interested, I have this Veterans Day pack in my store.



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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Harley


My Harley is 9 years old today so he got some special treats.



I got him Biscotti biscuits with chicken and cranberries



Also did you know that Chick-Fil-A hands out dog treats?
I had Harley in the back seat the other day when I went through Chick-Fil-A drive thru.
The cashier saw him and offered me a biscuit.
Since Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays, I couldn't treat Harley to that on his birthday, but maybe I'll take him tomorrow.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

California Dreamin

I just love this California Region song
What a perfect way to learn about the central valley, mountains, coast and desert regions of the Golden State.



Even Harley loves cruisin' California!
A good car ride makes a dog's life.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Elements

I'm soon to be wrapping up a science unit on matter.
One of the final lessons on elements, compounds and mixtures is more difficult to grasp.

So I turned to finding these catchy songs as a resource:




My students couldn't get enough of listening to These Are the Elements Song


Study Jams also had a quick video on compounds and mixtures


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Memoir Text


I read a wonderful memoir text to my students this week written by Lester Laminack. It's titled Saturdays and Teacakes which tells the author's memories of his Saturdays spent in the south with his mammaw. The book is filled with vivid vocabulary and descriptions of their "Every Saturday" events:
having hot biscuits with Golden Eagle Syrup, mowing the lawn, picking tomatoes for sandwiches, sitting in the glider that goes criick, crack (great for teaching onomatopoeia), and best of all making tea cakes. After reading and discussing the special relationship between Lester and his mammaw I showed my class this video retelling




A great follow up with this story is to share about the history and background of teacakes.



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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patriot Day




Scholastic  has this brief video I plan to use to teach about September 11th.


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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Birthdays Classroom Style

Just sharing how I'm recognizing my students' birthdays in a quick but fun way this year.
The past few years my school put into place a No Food treats school birthday policy, which I do like because one year, on the same day, I had 2 sets of cupcakes dropped off unannounced and a whole sheet cake to slice up and serve from 3 separate families. YIKES, talk about sugar overload and interruption of instructional time.
My solution to still giving a bit of attention to birthdays is using this Ice Cream and Cake dance song on each students' birthday. It gets the kids' attention and celebrates the birthday girl/boy in a fun way.

Click picture for  Ice Cream and Cake song





 Happy Birthday Mice (another option)



 I print and label this free birthday calendar graph from Scholastic to keep track of every birthday so we can celebrate it Ice Cream and Cake style.


Now, I'm off to call my mom because it is her birthday today.

~Enjoy
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

TPT Newsletter

I hope most of my blog readers already subscribe to TPT's weekly Sunday newsletter which is packed full of freebies, resources and teacher tips.
I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my freebies in today's edition: Swap the Squiggle Writing


If you are not yet signed up for this newsletter go to the TPT homepage and scroll down to the end of the page. Look for a subscribe box that looks like this:
Just enter your email and every Sunday you'll have tons of wonderful resources at your fingertips.


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brain Break MUST

Happy Saturday!
With my class this year I really need to incorporate quick brain breaks.
I have several students who have sensory input needs and getting up and moving is a MUST.
 This PB & J No Crust song! is sure a hit!


Even if you do like crust on your PB & J you'll still have this song bobbing through your head!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dog Gone It

Harley provided some fun entertainment for me this weekend. He was spooked by a deflated balloon floating waywardly in my planters.


He was on alert, barking and not quite sure of the mystery mylar flower balloon.




Now it's time to shop the TPT sale!
My store is 20% off. Use code BTS13 for an additional 8% off at checkout


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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Getting Acquainted with my New Class

I just wrapped up my first week of school, including my Back to School information night.
The lazy days of summer are already a blur and I'm exhausted.
As I sat down to read my student's "Get to Know You" sheets I got a chuckle or two.
Here are some thoughts from some of them.


The prompt was: One thing you should know about me is...

One thing you should know about me is I have bling.

One thing you should know about me is I do not like work.

One thing you should know about me is I am not always fair.


Another prompt:  My least favorite subject is ....

My least favorite subject is homework because it wastes your time.


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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Conferencing Note Freebie

It's the day before the first day of school for me and I've got a running list of a million things to do.
I'm also thinking ahead for later when conferences with parents will occur.
I made this handy reference sheet to document meeting discussions any time you might need to conference about a student. Grab this freebie in my store.


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Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It Notebooking Organization

I'm going to try my hand with more interactive notebooking this coming school year.
I figured out this handy way to organize the many Common Core clip prompts I plan to utilize.
I cut apart each standard prompt and paper clipped them together as a set. 
Then, I labeled each corner of a sleeve protector with a Sharpie like this: RL 1, RL 2, RL 3 and so on.
All the standard prompts are then put in the matching sleeve.
I figured this system would help save me time.  I'll simply pass them out with an appropriate lesson and have students glue them into their response notebooks.



I've also been busy purging and shredding old bills and records in my home office.


Final product is a trash can full of shredded confetti.


I've linked up with




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