Saturday, August 30, 2014

TpT Labor Day Sale - 20% OFF

Be sure to head over to my TpT Store to check out my Labor Day Sale - 20% off through Monday, September 1st!

I'm up at the cabin, but wondering what I should work on next for my TpT Store.  What ideas do you have that you'd like to see?  Do you have a different theme you'd like one of my current items to be in?  Do you have a different color scheme you would like to see?  Do you have an entirely new product you've been looking for?  Maybe I'm interested in working on it - leave me a comment below!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday

It's that time again!  I can't believe it's already Friday!  It's been such a great week and I'my linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share what I've been up to!

This week has been a busy week!  We started back to "school" for Workshop Week and it's been full of meetings!  I have managed to squeeze in some time to work in my classroom and am excited to show you the new Spelling Task Cards finished product!  I downloaded the FREE Spelling Task Cards by Amy Lemons on TpT.  

I still need to print off the Spelling Lists for 2nd grade and then I will add one each week to the clear sheet protector at the bottom of the board.  I ran out of wall space, so I did this on a tri-fold foam board that I can easily take out and put away when it's not in use.

Tuesday was a busy day and it was mostly spent at school!  Luckily, Kylie's soccer practice is right behind my school, so I was able to get a couple extra hours of work done as she practiced.  

Wednesday night I met most of my cute little kiddos and got to see many of my former students (either in my class again or just down the hall)!  Back to School Night was a great success.  I am so excited about my upcoming year and all we have planned for it!  

I'm planning to start off Tuesday with the story "You're Finally Here" (what took you so long??) and have prepped some great materials thanks to Linda Kamp at TpT.

My classroom is finished and ready to go!  Here's a peek at some of my favorite spaces in my classroom!  I'll have to come back and add photos - we got a little side-tracked on Thursday with the addition of another section of 1st grade and I completely forgot to take the pictures I wanted to add to this post!!  

I love my new library space!  I have my books leveled using the Guided Reading Levels (A to Z).  I think it will make it easier for the students to pick out "good fit books" at their reading levels.  I also have a couple bins of non-fiction books regarding science, animals, sports, cars and more.  One of the students' favorite bins might be the "Super Heroes & Princesses" one!

I also love my new easel and classroom meeting space at the front of the room!  I have more space in this classroom than I did in my room last year.  It's fun to see so much open floor space for the kids to work.

I LOVE not having a "desk!"  My kidney bean table is a sure hit right now and I know the students will enjoy working at is as much as I do!  Working at my computer on the back counter is also working out great!

Today we're relaxing at the cabin!  I'm going to soak up some sun and enjoy my last few days off with my family!  Hopefully the rain will stop soon and the sun will come out!  Happy Labor Day Weekend!  Good luck to all who head back to school in the upcoming week as well!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spelling Task Cards

Yesterday I worked on printing LOTS of things for my classroom, so that I could get them laminated when I got to school this morning!  I was so bummed, I forgot my personal laminator at school and we weren't allowed in the building over the weekend because the floors were getting waxed!  So, early to work today!

One of the items I was printing, trimming and preparing to laminate is the 20 Spelling Task Cards by Amy Lemons on TpT.  I first saw them in my sister's 1st grade classroom in Indiana when I was visiting this past Friday.  I thought it was such a great way to have options for the kids to work on their Spelling Words.  But, at the same time, they were given a fair amount of direction.  

My sister mounted them to a tri-fold poster board and mounted them to the wall in her classroom.  I don't have quite that much space on my walls, so I am planning to also mount them to a tri-fold poster board and bring it out for the students to use during Daily 5 time as a Word Work activity.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Schedule Cards


I spent the better part of this afternoon working on creating Schedule Cards that would fit in my Pocket Chart and meet the needs of my classroom!  I wanted something fun in color, a place to show the subject, a blank clock face and a place to show the digital time.

I finally figured it out and created my Schedule Cards that you can find in my TpT Store!  I made them in Black and White, Green Polka Dot and Blue Polka Dot.  Is there another color/design you'd like to see these in?  If so, leave me a comment below and I'll work on it when I get a little free-time!

I plan to laminate mine once I arrive at school tomorrow.  Then I will write on them with a Sharpie.  I recently learned that I can remove Sharpie from any of my lamination with the help of nail polish remover!!  I love that little tidbit as I think the Sharpie will last longer than a Dry Erase marker this year!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Do You Group Students?

I have spent the better part of this evening cutting apart these fun "book cover" puzzles for grouping students.  I really like them!  For one, they've given me lots of great ideas of books I should dig out of my library to read to the class during Read Alouds.  But I'm also really excited to use them for grouping my students in groups of 2, 3, or 4.  These were created by The Unique Classroom on TpT and they are called the Student Grouping Cards.  

Here is an example of the puzzle 4 students will have to put together to find their partners.  This provides a quick, fun way to create the groups.  It can be done randomly or managed by me (without the kids even realizing it) as I hand out the various puzzle pieces!  

I can't wait to see what the kids think!  :)  13 days left until the students return to school!!!

Do you have a fun, creative or unique way that you group your students for partner/group-work?  Please share it in the comments!  I love hearing ideas from other educators!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fish Fun

As you know, I LOVE fish, dolphins and all things ocean!  This summer I used this super fun April Fool's Day Poem Craftivity from the Spring and Summer Craftivities Templates from All Student's Can Shine's TpT Store!  

I had all of them templates printed on colored card stock and let the students cut the pieces out.  It was a great activity to work on fine motor skills.  If students wanted their fish to turn out like my sample, they had to be careful to cut on the lines.  I was very impressed with how hard the kiddos worked to make their fish perfect!

As you lift each flap, the students wrote a part of a riddle with the answer under the blue flap.

What blows bubbles...
has fins...
and likes to swim?


These turned out very cute and although they were intended to be used for an April Fool's craft, they worked well as a fun summer activity with minimal writing practice!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scrabble Cheez-its

I wanted to do something fun, so for the last day of Summer Explorers, I picked up these Scrabble Junior Cheez-its at the store.  The kids got a kick out of them!  I divided the class into small groups of 2-3 students with a bunch of cheez-its.  Throughout the morning they had a few tasks to accomplish with their group.  
1. Spell words I told them - I used words from our 1st grade Dolch Word List.
2. Spell out the entire ABC's in order.  (If they were missing a letter they could write it on the paper towel and leave a blank space where it should go.)
3. See how many words from a word family they could spell with the cheez-its on their desk.  (ex. cat, mat, bat, rat)

I figured they would want to enjoy some of the cheez-its, so I bought some generic ones for snacking!  This activity was definitely a hit!

What else could you do with these Scrabble Junior Cheez-its in the classroom?  Leave your ideas below in the comments!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher Blogger

I've decided to link up with Falling Into First for a "Meet the Teacher Blogger" Linky Party.  I love reading about other teacher/bloggers and thought it might be fun to do a little Q & A about myself!


my kids.  my husband.  my vizslas.  diet coke.  the beach.  scrapbooking.  sharpies.  TpT.  blogging.  creating.  


If I weren't a teacher, I would love to make a living with my sewing/embroidery business!  I'm not sure how that would work out, but I love the creative side that Sweet Swag By Sarah allows me to bring out!


Social. Motivated. Busy.

"I'd really love to level some more books...said no teacher EVER!!"

Oh goodness, I don't even know where to begin!  I think the first person I would invite is my dad!  We live in different states, don't get to talk as often as I'd like but have so much in common!  He's always motivating when we do chat and pushes me to achieve the most that I can!

I think I would also like to invite some of my favorite teacher bloggers - just to chat and collaborate!!  I think we'd get along so well and I hope that one day we do get to meet in real life!!  


"Time, Who Needs Time?"


 If I could pick one superpower, it would be 


 "The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn
the more places you'll go."
-Dr. Seuss


"Let It Go!"
side note - I don't sing well!  Just ask my husband!  ;)

I'm definitely a night owl!  However, I will have to soon figure out how to be a morning person!  I just registered for Peak 10 (a workout program at my local gym) that runs Mon, Wed, Fri from 5:15-6:15am.  Oh boy!

 The favorite thing I've created in my TpT Shop is my ABC Posters!  I wanted something that my students could reference and it would "ring a bell" as we've learned our letter sounds through the Zoophonics animals.  I hadn't seen anything I was in love with, so I created my own posters!!


I love staying organized in the classroom!  So, like a silly girl, I think I've been in my classroom {on average} once per week this summer to slowly work at getting it just how I want it!!  I feel like the more organized I can go into the start of a school year, the better I'll feel throughout the school year.

Also, blogging is new to me!  So, I hope you enjoy tagging along and reading what's going on in my classroom!  I do have to say that I simply LOVE blogging and sharing my ideas!  I think collaboration is SO important in the classroom and just love reading everyone's blogs!!

Are You Ready to Rock 2nd Grade?

My welcome back gifts are ready to go!  I can't wait to meet my excited little 2nd graders at Back to School Night on Aug 27th!  If they're half as excited about the upcoming year as I am, it's going to be a great one!  Now that my classroom is ready to go, I'm getting even more excited!  

I found this adorable tag {and idea} from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd's shop on TpT.  I fell in love and had to go to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store to pick up some rock candy for my kiddos!  I've heard you can order it online for not too expensive as well.  Her great packet comes with tags for grades K-5, so it's perfect for any grade!

Happy Back-To-School!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Word Building Workout

This is one of my favorite purchases from the big Back-to-School TpT Sale!  This little center came from Schroeder Shenanigan's in Second ELA Workout (I wanted to save a little money on my purchases, so I bought the ELA and Math Workout BUNDLE!)

I used the word building workout with my Summer Explorers in the last week of school and I think they loved it as much as me!  I had them use the magnet letters to create 2-letter, 3-letter and 4-letter words.  Then they wrote out their words on the white boards.  One student asked if they could write "Dr. Seuss words" and I said of course, as long as they could sound them out to me!  It was a great activity to work on letter sounds as well!

I plan to use these in my Daily 5 Word Work Centers!  There were 4 or 5 different cards for this activity and each one uses different letters!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ABC Posters

 I am so excited about the newest product I listed to TpT!!  I just completed and uploaded my new ABC Posters!  These will print 2 to a page and will be perfect for any elementary classroom!  Quick, head over to TpT and purchase them today!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

TpT Blast Off - Back to School Sale!!

Have you heard?  It's the 2-day Blast Off Back to School Sale at TeachersPayTeachers!!  Hurry and head over to TpT to check out all of your favorite sellers and stock up your cart!  Don't forget to use Promo Code BTS14 to save a little more!

I went shopping this afternoon and was able to stock up on some amazing goodness from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd!  I can't wait to share with you some of the awesome things I purchased from her!  

Here's a few of the items I'm most excited about:

(2) Welcome Back to School Treat Tags (to go on Rock Candy!!)

(3) Vocab Bundle - A Very Vocab Vacation & Vocab Builder Toolbox

(4) Grammar Activities Bundle - 6 Grammar and Language Packs

(5) Organizing Bundle - This is fabulous as a new blogger!  I'm hoping it will help keep me on schedule with blogging, sharing new ideas and best of all, keep me organized!!

I also made a fun little purchase from Totally Terrific in Texas that I'm super excited about!!

Look at these fun Early Finisher Calendars!  They are stocked full of great ideas that integrate reading, math, word work, writing, science and social studies.  I will have these posted in my classroom along with my "Choosing How You Grow" options.  I love the added variety that this will bring for my students this year!

Don't delay!!  The sale ends on 8/5/14.  Go shopping now!!! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday: Aug. 1st

This week I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my 5 for Friday Post!

This week has been a busy one!  It's my next to last week of Summer Explorers!  While I'm excited to get in a couple weeks of "summer" after next week ends, I am sad to know I'll have to say good-bye to all of my new friends!  We've been busy trying out some new Word Work activities in Summer Explorers and it's safe to say they were all a successful hit, so I can't wait to use them in Daily 5 centers this fall!

Here's a peek at one of my favorites - clothespin word work!  I blogged about it here.  

On Monday and Tuesday I stopped by my classroom after summer school and it was truly a disaster!!  I just hope I can pull it together in the next few days so I don't have to spend my 2 free weeks before school getting my room in order!  Luckily, I have some pretty amazing friends and one of them has already said she'd come help me next Tuesday!!  :)  So hopefully next week I'll have a better picture of my classroom - at least a little more organized I hope!!

On Tuesday, my little guy, Mason, tried out gymnastics for the first time.  He loved it!  It was so much fun to see him get excited about a new sport!  Now he's all signed up to attend at the same time as his big sister this fall!

Thursday afternoon I took the kids to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store!  It was quite a treat and there were so many things to see!  There's even an older gentleman there that bakes fresh pies!  We walked out with a couple treats, a caramel apple and rock candy for my back to school treat for my students (stay tuned and I'll blog about that soon!)!!

Today I'm heading to the beach to enjoy the outdoors, soak up the sun and play with my kiddos!  Enjoy your Friday and I'll see you back here for next week's Linky Party with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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