old wood shabby background

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Do you know Sara at Miss V's Busy Bees?

Well, if you do or if you don't, you are going to want to check her out.

She is having the give away of all give aways!

Does that make sense? I don't know, but it's HUGE! She has a bushel of people giving things away and I'm positive you will find something you want!

 Miss V’s Busy Bees

She is celebrating her 500th follower with this big give away. And just to show she isn't selfish, she is asking a lot of people to follow others in order to win this contest. So thanks to her, I am now over 300 followers. . . who would have thought?  I'm super happy to have that many friends. . .
I can call you all friends can't I?

I'm all set for Halloween tomorrow. . . I have every minute planned. . . . and I'm here to tell you that it's going to be fun. . . fun. . . FUN!!! and we'll be learning. . .
yesiree! We sure will.

First we are having our parade of costumes, then we have a breakfast in our rooms. That's our party. We do not wait till the end of the day. . . that is too much for kids to do. So we do it first thing in the morning, get it out of the way and move on!

The next thing we do is a feely bag. I have all the important disgusting ingredients that go into making the Witches' Brew! And they have to feel them, NOT peek at them! NOT say what they think it is, . . . just FEEL!
(of course I show them later on what's inside!)

Music class follows. . . whew! A break in my schedule!  And LUNCH. .
who doesn't love lunch?

After Lunch we are making these cutsie pie Frankenstein Pudding cups.

I know they'll be a big hit!
The rest of the day will be filled with other Halloween activities
and a whole lot of fun.

Our weather in Southern Michigan is pretty cold, rainy, and windy. . . not anything like the East is seeing, but enough of a pain, that Halloween outside tomorrow night, might be a challenge.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Birthday $ale i$ almo$t over!

Yes today is my BIRTHDAY! and I'm a young 57 year old broad! I spent the day in a very special way. My husband had tickets to the World Series in Detroit with one of his aunts, his brother and his wife. . . So last night while they were FREEZING in the cold, windy, rainy, sad baseball game, his other aunt and I went shopping and had dinner at Olive Garden. MUCH better than being at that ball game!

Today I got to sleep in, was served a delish egg casserole breakfast (not in bed!) for breakfast, went to see Argo (the movie), eat popcorn and all on a day that I didn't have to teach! Wowzer! That's a birthday celebration. Plus being with this part of my family is always so fun. On the way home the sunset was absolutely beautiful. It's funny how Mother Nature can be so harsh and give us "Sandy" and yet also give us a breath taking sunset too!

I wanted to remind you that you have just a few more hours to take advantage of my 20% off sale. I don't have a large amount of items, but what I do have, you just may want at a cheaper price.  So head on over to my TPT store now. . . . before midnight!

Also tomorrow you'll want to head on over to Sara's blog at Miss V's Busy Bees. She is having a huge, no I mean HUGE giveaway starting tomorrow.

You'll see lots of things I'm sure you want. . . and well, . . . I want them too. . . so get included in this giveaway!
And remember just a few hours left in my sale. . . git, git, git over there!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yea it's my Birthday!!! $ale $ale $ale!

The end of the month is almost here. . . . so is Halloween. . . . so is my parent's 69th wedding anniversary. . .. . so is MY birthday!
Wow! That's a lot of celebratin' going on. . . . do you want to join in on my party?


You are invited to my party! I wanted to throw a big sale. . . I mean a REALLY BIG sale to honor this birthday. . . I mean. . . I'm turning 50 +    a hem. . . cough cough cough  . . . . ok I'll tell ya. . . I'm turning 57.

Maybe if I don't type it in normal size it won't feel like such a large number!

I also just realized that we can't do 50% off sales. . . what's up with that? Does that bug anyone else? Or did I just not set this up right? If anyone knows, please share that with me!

In case that link above doesn't work, please click here to go to my store.

Recently I asked my followers to guess my age and I can now announce that I am giving two people anything they want from my store.

First was Sandy from Second Grade Spots and Dots. She was so sweet. . . she really and honestly thought I looked 45. So how could I possibly NOT award her with a gift for being so innocently sweet! If you don't know Sandy, please stop by and see her. WE second grade teachers need to stick together. Give her some loving and join her blog. And Sandy, go on over to my TPT store, pick something out, and email me to let me know what you picked.

Second, was Suzy Q. . . she is so intuitive. She guessed exactly 57. . . I don't know if she is just a good guesser or if I just really look 57.  Suzy, please help yourself to one thing from my store, too.  Then email me.

I'm happy to be celebrating with all of you. I'm treating myself to the day off from school on Monday for my birthday. My husband has tickets to go the World Series game in Detroit on Sunday night with one of his aunts. I'm going along to spend time with another one of his aunts whom I dearly love being with. His brother and wife are flying in from Florida to also go to the game and I love these two people too. We'll all spend the night with the Aunties and will be able to do things together on Monday. That's a perfect way to spend your birthday isn't it? (Well, except for the 4 and a half hours of lesson planning that I did today to get ready for it! )

Come back on Monday all day long. . . while I'm NOT at school . . . and while you all are. . . and shop to your heart's content!

Happy Shopping!



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monsters from Miss Kindergarten and Vowels from Christina

Hump da hump da hump hump hump! Yea, I made it to and over the hump day! Weeeee!!!!

This week has been a bit crazy, but oh so eye opening. We have college students from a nearby college who are working in our classroom from now until Thanksgiving. They are here 4 days a week until 1:30. They are to observe us, but also get some hands on experience so that when they start student teaching in the spring, they will be even more ready. Because of an overload, I have 2 of these students in my classroom. They are wonderful and eager young ladies.

You do remember when you were so eager don't you? I do. . . and on many days I too am still eager.  I guess that's why I'm still here teaching instead of sitting by the side of a pool sipping on margaritas!

With their extra hands I've been able to get more accomplished and feel like I'm back on track a bit better. Why even yesterday and today we did a "fun project!" I know. . it really was FUN! I hope my admins aren't reading this. . . nah,  just kidding! They get it! They understand our world.

I used the idea Monster Madness idea from Miss Kindergarten.    It is the coolest little activity. You can pick it up by clicking on the link above. She made if for kinders, but my 2nd graders loved it too. 

I did make one change and I hope she doesn't mind. She was so sweet to give it to me. Because my second graders are capable of doing more I asked them to make their eyes different from the original model. I taught them how to make 3 part eyes. First you pick a color, fold it in half, cut a shape of any kind so that it will fit on the monster. When you take them apart you'll have two pieces that are the same size and the same shape Then they take a different color, fold it in half, cut it a different shape and size.
 And finally do this a 3rd time, making the piece even smaller. 
Glue all these parts together and Wa-la! you have 3-part eyes. (or even 4 part!)

I know that this class had a ball doing this. So I thank you so much Miss Kindergarten!

On 4 of our days we have RTI that we call Reading Shuffle. The group that I have are first graders. I get to do phonics help with them every day! I love this because this is where I get to use many of the games and activities that I get from my blogging friends. 

In the pictures below we are using the short and long vowel cards that Christina Bainbridge made. 
They are one of my favorites of her stuff.

 I added masks to protect them from any  internet boogers!

You can pick up a set from her here. I have these kids read the cards, listen to the sound they hear and decide if it's a long O sound or a short O sound. They are getting better and better at it. She even made each set have a word in there that has both sounds. One of the kiddos decided right away when he heard it that it must go in the middle because it had both sounds. That idea came from him. . . not me! 

I'm pretty excited for the weekend to come. My husband has a ticket to go to the World Series in Detroit on Sunday. He is going with one of his aunts. I'm going to go along with him  and visit another aunt.

 I wouldn't want her to be lonesome, so we'll go shopping and have dinner together. . . That sounds much more fun than going to the Tiger game to me! Plus, since the game starts so late, we wouldn't get back home until 3 in the morning.  We decided to take Monday off and sleep in instead! 

Another important factor is that his brother and wife are going to fly up from Florida for the games on Sunday AND Monday. We'll be able to spend the day with them on Monday. They are both administrators in their schools so it was much easier for them to take the day off than it is for me. Well, it was easy for me to take the day off, it just won't be easy for me to make lesson plans so the kids don't attack the teacher! 

One more time, I'm asking for someone to guess my age. . .I have a couple people who have guessed, I'm not tell the answer until the day of my birthday. But the lucky winner or winners will be able to choose anything from my TPT store to have for free! So leave your guess and stay tuned!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Blogs to Follow

There are a few new blogs that have been started in the last few weeks that I know you will all want to know about.

One is Tips for Top Teachers. It has several teachers who contribute to it. So it's like having the yellow pages all in one place. I think it will be a great place to find lots of resources that you may have never heard about. Stop in and visit it, jump on as a follower, and leave us. . . any of us. . . a comment or two.

Tips for Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources

The second blog that is new is called Second Grade Freebies. And guess what. . .

it's just for 2nd grade!

Isn't that great?

And guess what else?

It's all FREE stuff!

Isn't that great too?

I know my two favorite things. . . .2nd grade and FREE!

Second Grade Math Maniac

The last one is called Freebielicious. Isn't that a great word? This blog has things that are free for Pre-K, K, and 1st grade teachers.  And if you hurry over there right now, they are hosting a huge giveaway! So git, git, git on over there!


I'm still searching for someone to guess my age before the month is over. They will get to choose anything from my store for free. . . So leave me a comment, check out my picture and think about how old you think I will be. . . soon. . . . real soon. . .


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Area Freebie and a big BOO!

"It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween". . . oh wait! That's a Christmas song. . . well, sing a long with me anyway. . . "Every where you go. ..  There's a cat in the window, with eyes all a glow, it looks as if he's going to jump and get me OH!"

So today is a Windy Day in South West Michigan. . . you might ask, how windy?
Let me start at the beginning. . Missy Squirrels asked many of us to take pictures of our trees changing colors for a project for her son. So since I live next door to a nice big park, I took pictures of the trees there. Here is one of them.

Can you see that tree inside that red circle? I know it's small, but it's important that you see it!
Because later this afternoon, my husband said he heard a BOOM! that sounded like a gun shot! He looked all around the house and saw nothing. But when he looked out at the park, this is what he saw!

Yikers! That is the same tree except now it is on the ground. It is so lucky that no one was hurt. It was a fairly nice day and there are quite often kids that play in there.

So back to the Halloween theme! I do love Halloween. . . I am not sure if it is because I love the colors black and orange, (my high school colors, the colors of the first school I taught at and my current school colors!) or if it's because it's fun to dress up, or if it's because it's my birthday month. But no matter, I do love this time of year.

I have several things in my TPT store that are Halloween themed, so go grab some if you're looking for stuff.
I also got BOOed (that's in a good way!) from my friend Christina. I know you all know her blog Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge! She must have had too much Halloween candy today, watched too much of the Lions, or is horribly sick today. Because she said some really nice things about me on her blog. I for one think she must be drunk! But thank you Miss Christina! You're a peach for being so kind to me.  As she said, we are friends, but also we teach less than 10 miles from each other.
So it's kind of fun knowing she's got my back. . . or front!

It's my turn to share this lovin' with some people who I admire and want to give a surprise to.

One of my other Michigan friends is Holly from Crisscross Applesauce. I got to actually meet her during the summer. She made such an impression on me! She really makes me laugh. I love the way she thinks of things and keeps a cool head. I would love it if we taught in the same school. She is a first grade teacher, but many times the things she talks about or shares are very similar to the things that happen with my second graders.
So if you don't know Holly (Holly Wally!) , then stop in and say Boo! to her too.

Another person who I admire is Corinna from Surfin Through Second. She is not in Michigan, but in Hawaii! Every time I go to her site or talk to her, I can feel like I'm sitting with her in her warm tropical home. (well, not really, but I can wish I was sitting with her!) She makes adorable things and shares about her culture with all of us. I am not sure I will ever get to visit there, so knowing she is there to tell us about how life is there, makes me feel more worldly! Thanks Corinna for the imaginary vaca!

And lastly, I have to introduce you to Miss Squirrels, also known as Staci.
(yup, she really does have a first name!) Her blog is called Going Nutty in Miss Squirrels First Grade
(I know it's a long title isn't it!)
She is a friend on Facebook too and I have gotten to know her humor and I love it. Let's face it, if we don't laugh through our days, we will go nutty. . . sorry Staci! No offense! She has a delightful family that she adores and they all seem as goofy as she is, . . . and I mean that in a good and loving way. So stop over at her blog sometime and see if she's someone you'd like to get to know better.

Have you read this book?

It's by Rhonda Gowler Greene. She's a Michigan Author who visited our school a few years back. This book is so good to read at this time of year.  When you read it to your kids, you get them all sucked in to the story, and then on the one page, it yells "BOO!" and if you can really give it some gusto, the kids will ALL jump out of their skin! It's an adorable story about how kids THINK they hear things at night, but their parents brush it off as nothing. Look for it, you'll be glad you did.

Now, if you have stuck around long enough, and if you've truly read everything, EVERYTHING, yes, even this little stuff down here. . .. . .

Then I have a freebie for you. We are working with measurement in science right now. (Isn't that great that it goes right along with stuff in math, so we can get a heads up on it before it comes along in our math book!)

With all the leaves that fell today in our wind . . . see there's a tie in here, from the beginning to the end!. .. I made a measuring area paper that uses leaves. You can pick it up Here and HERE!  You need to grab both. Since one is a word doc and the other is excel, I didn't know how to combine them.

 (Just noticed that the graph has 2 pages to it. . . but the second page is not needed. For some reason I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. So just remember to only print the first page! So Sorry!)

I hope you like it and if you grab it, please let me know that you LOVE it,
don't be a "booger" and leave bad things!

I'll leave you with one more thing. . . Since I told you this is my birthday month, and I'm going to be OLD! I'm going to have a % off SALE. But I haven't decided what % to give.  First  2 people to guess by exact age that I will be will get to choose any one thing from my TPT store to have for free.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why read FREEBIE!

I'm drowning and I can't see the top of the water! Do you feel like that? Why do we do this to ourselves?

We . . . (no, I'm not going to drag you into this. . . ) I have to learn to tell myself no more often.

Monday night the board meeting is being held at my school. That's always fun to be sure that our school is all cutsified and that we will impress the board members. ..  but in reality it seems like they just whip right through the front door and down to the gym to get the meeting underway. So maybe it's the front door that needs to be cutsified because that may be the only thing they really look at!

Truthfully, there will be other issues on their minds this week. We are having a controversy in our town and it has really gotten the community up in arms.

(What does that mean? Up in Arms? Why does that mean in a tizzy! Who thought of that one?. . . oh well. . . )

While I shouldn't go into details here, I will just tell you that something went wrong between a coach, a  parent, and the superintendent. The whole deal is a mess and it was not handled right. That's all I can say.

On Monday we also start our RTI (Response to Intervention) time. We divide all the first and second graders into ability groups for 25 minutes. Each classroom does something that fits the needs of these students. This is where all of you come in handy. I get to use all the activities that you've shared or I have purchased from you. I will have only 8 first graders and that will be fun to work with them in small groups.

I have a freebie to share with you. Do your kids ever whine about wanting to skip reading at home? Do your parents ever act like it's not important to read each night? Maybe if you copy this off and share it with them, they will understand better. My teaching pal Cathie created this. (She loves to dig up math data, but then all that she teaches is math.)

Now I have a confession to make. I promised Maribel Sheehan that I would blog about her Christopher Columbus packet and well. . . I forgot. . . I think I got so wrapped up in other things, that it just flipped by me. I feel so bad. And even though Chris's Day is gone for this year, maybe I can still share with you about it, and then you can go and grab it so you'll have it ready for next year.  You can check it out at her site, Learning in Wonderland. 

This packet had many activities in it that are great for 2nd and 3rd graders. There is even a picture of him. My kids really studied him and thought he looked pretty different! The thinking maps help the kids sort through the information, plus there is also some vocabulary words that can be sorted into nouns. There's a Venn Diagram to compare traveling now and then and Christopher Columbus and the student. She also included facts and writing paper to create stories on. Please venture on over the rough seas of blogging to her Wonderful Blog. She's getting close to 200 followers, so maybe you could follow her and help her get to 200!

And . . . one more thing. . . . You haven't seen my granddaughter since she was born. . . Look at her now. . . She's 4 months old. . . Is she not the cutest! And check out that blanket she's on. My mathematical pal, Cathie made this for me. . . "I love Gramma!" It's the best!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Swaportunity- Can you spell it?

SWAPORTUNITY.   . . . you've all seen that commercial. . . where they child is in a spelling bee and the moderator gives the word. . . I love that word!
And today we are having a SWAPORTUNITY!

Jessica over at Mrs. Stanford's Class is hosting a swap between many many bloggers. You can go to her blog and find more people who are involved in this SWAPORTUNITY!


I had the wonderful opportunity to swap with Nicole Rios from Mrs. Rios Teaches Second Grade She is a 2nd grade teacher from California. If you haven't been to her blog, I would suggest you go find her as soon as you leave my blog!

She shared with me her Flip Book on 3D shapes. I did this with my students this week and I have to say I am truly amazed! This activity really hits home with my students. They loved it and I truly feel they learned a lot about shapes and their properties.

I teach my class in groups of about 8 kids. One group is with me, one group is on the computers and one group is doing either seat work or center activites.

We started with looking at these models of the shapes that I had in my class.

The first thing that amazed me was that she figured out HOW to make this so that it all folded together perfectly! She gave me very clear directions for copying it two sided so that it aligned right. And it did!

She said I could have the kids do the folding or do it myself. . . . I thought about having my aide do it, but then I thought I would jump right in and see how the students did with it.

I was very impressed. My students did well with this.

However here's an interesting twist. The first group that I did this with was my top math students. Very bright students, but they struggled with folding! They wanted to fold TO the dotted line, not on it! hmmmmm. . . . smart with intelligence, but no so on manipulatives! The 2nd and 3rd groups had no problem with the folding, but sometimes they struggle with math concepts!

There are 4 pages that they have to fold and staple together so they make the booklet.

Because I meet with these groups, I only have about 30 minutes with each group. The first day we put the books together. The seond day we started working on the pages and doing the work that was asked of us.
 They learned how to count the faces, the vertices, and the edges. They tallied the number of shapes each face had on each shape, and they connected with real world images that had the same shapes.
They use highlighters to designate where the edges are.
They LOVE using highlighters!

We stopped and talked about each shape as we completed the booklet.
They love to touch the parts of the shapes.
Here we are all touching the VERTEX of the cone!
OOOOH a new word!
They glue real world pictures on for each of the shapes.
Can you tell by his expression and his eyes how he feels about this?

Our completed booklets about 3D Shapes!
I did this in 3 days with 30 minutes each day. I think it was a good idea to break it into at least a couple days. One day to put it all together and another day to complete the work on each page.

My students loved this activity! They kept telling me how fun it was.

I know that if my second graders can do this, your kids can too.

Don't forget! You can pick this up at Nicole's TPT shop here!

And . . . . if you like this flip book, she also has one about short vowels. . .

I think I'm going to have to check that one out too!

She used 3D shapes graphics from Ginger Snaps Art
The fonts were from Kevin and Amanda.

The Cube Cover graphics were by Graphics from the Pond

If you want to see one of my activities head on over to Mrs. Rios Teaches 2nd Grade to see what she had to say about my stuff!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

SWAP and Place Value Practice

I have a new adventure that I'm excited to be a part of. . .

It's a SWAP with another teacher! I have had a lot of fun teaching with Nicole Rios 3-D shapes. So come back on Saturday and you'll find out all about it. . .and I even have pictures to prove how easy it was for my 2nd graders!

And not only will I be swapping ideas, so will lots of others. I can't wait to see all the fun stuff that is going to be shared. I better get my wallet out!

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you an activity that I made up with place value. I know it's a tough thing for kids to learn, so when we can do as many different things as possible to help them understand it, the better their lives will be.
It's called Monster Place Value and you can get it at my TPT store. And while it isn't quite Halloweenie, it is made with monsters that I think of when Halloween rolls around!
It is made using DJ Inkers clip art & fonts. © www.djinkers.com. I also used the fonts created by
Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300. They are cutsy!

Gotta run. . . . Greys is on . . . and I don't want to miss it. . .

See you soon!