Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PlanBook.com - You HAVE to Check It Out!!

How do you plan your lessons for daily instruction?  I recently discovered planbook.com and LOVE it!  I used the 30 day FREE trial and quickly decided it was well worth the $12.99 to purchase a year's subscription to the site!  

I can do so many things, here's just a few of my favorites:
* I can enter in all of my classes with customized times.
*I can add events like school pictures, MAP testing, etc.
*I can bump lessons to a date in the future if we didn't finish what I had planned.
*I can easily copy and repeat lessons every day (ex. Morning Meeting and Calendar Math)
*I can share a non-editable view with others that need to see what we're doing in the classroom (ex. our ELL teacher, who team teaches Math with me).
*I can send my plans to my Principal for viewing.
*I can easily (with only a few clicks) add the MN State Standards to each part of the lesson, ensuring that I am teaching things that are aligned with our standards.
*I downloaded the app to my iPad and can work anywhere I have WiFi, including my children's gymnastics lessons!
*It's very inexpensive!!

What do you use?  Share the pros and cons of your lesson planning templates, software or plan book in the comments below!  No matter what you use, I'd highly recommend giving planbook.com a shot with their 30-day FREE trial!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What I Got in My Stitch Fix!!

Look at this fun little box!!  I got my 4th "Fix" today!

What is StitchFix you ask?  It's an online styling service that you can order clothing and accessories from.  You sign up online at StitchFix and complete an online style survey, sharing your likes and dislikes in regards to fashion!  Then you register for your first "Fix" and there is a $20 styling fee.  However, if you purchase anything that they send you, your $20 goes towards your purchase as a credit.  Your stylist will choose 5 items to send you based on your style survey (so be very honest!!).  I specifically mentioned I was not interested in accessories like earrings, necklaces, and purses, so I've only received clothes to date.  

The best part, you have 3 days to try it all on, decide if you like it and want to keep it!  If you choose to send it back, there's a pre-paid mailing envelope enclosed!  If you choose to keep all 5 items, you get a 25% discount!  That's almost like buying 4 items and getting your 5th free!

Did I mention that each piece comes with a cute "style card?"  I love this aspect because it gives me ideas of different ways to wear the clothing - add a jean jacket to the dress, wear the blouse with a skirt to dress it up or jeans to dress it down, and so on!

Now, let's take a look at what I received:

Dafne:  Chevron Maxi Dress
My Thoughts:  I loved the fit, color and style!  I kept it!
I wore this to work yesterday and received numerous compliments!  It pairs well with a denim jacket in the fall, or by itself in the warmer weather!

Clemency:  Graphic Print Tab Sleeve Tunic
My Thoughts:  I loved the fit, color and style!  I paired it with brown leggings and nude ballet flats today for another great look!  It was super comfortable and long enough that I didn't feel awkward bending down to help students!

Tesla:  Dot Print Scoop Neck Tank
My Thoughts:  I really like the tank - the weather is being a little funky this fall, so I'll easily be able to wear this alone or pair it with a cardigan and keep this versatile piece in my wardrobe rotation for quite awhile!  I kept it!

Adelene:  Scoop Neck Cable Knit Sweater
My Thoughts:  I love how comfy, cozy this cute sweater is!  It can be dressed up or down with dress pants and a scarf or blue jeans!  I kept it!

Henry:  Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf
My Thoughts:  I love the scarf (but I already have lots of scarves!!)!  I especially loved that on my note from my stylist (Maranda C.) she mentioned this scarf would pair well with the cable knit sweater she sent me as well!  I would have never thought to put those together, so I loved the suggestion!  I did mention in the notes for my next fix that I would prefer to not receive anymore scarves, as I've got them in every color imaginable!!

All in all, I'm ecstatic with this fix!  I can't believe how my stylist can pick out such great items every time that I absolutely fall in LOVE with!!  One thing I've learned from my 4 fixes is to be very honest when giving your feedback to your stylist at checkout!  They listen and it only helps to make your next fix that much better!

Don't forget, if you want to sign up for STITCH FIX to use my referral link!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Donor's Choose: Writing Center Activities

I am writing to you as a teacher who would LOVE your support!  My students would LOVE your support as well!  

I am a 2nd grade teacher in Chanhassen, MN and I've got two projects I would like to see funded on DonorsChoose.org.  The first is for Writing Center Activities.  If you have a dollar or two you can spare, please consider donating to help out our classroom!  Every donation helps!

If you have a business that would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please consider giving to a worthy cause!  Click HERE to donate today!
In my classroom I use Daily 5 instruction for the main portion of our Language Arts time. One component to Daily 5 is "Work on Writing." As writing is something that most children struggle with, I want to make this center more exciting and provide the students with choices.
I am looking to set up activities that the students can choose between each day that they partake in "Work on Writing." A few of the centers I am looking to set up are: (1) Letter & List Writing - for this station I will give the students prompts to write lists. I am requesting a set of 12 monthly themed notepads that the students can use to write their lists on. (2) Research - I am requesting the "Organize & Write Research Papers" learning center to help guide the students in their exploration of research. (3) Poetry - I am requesting poetry magnets and magnetic boards for students to create their own poetry.
I am also requesting other materials that will allow me to create additional options.
Donations to my project will improve the choices in my classroom. When you have more choices, you have more opportunities to engage various learners. Students will get to find an activity that sounds interesting to them and work to complete it, while continuing to meet state standards. These items will allow me to personalize learning for each student in my classroom. Thank you for taking the time to consider donating to my project!

You're Finally Here!

 (what took you so long?!)

I ordered the book "You're Finally Here!" by Melanie Watt at the beginning of August.  I had no idea it would not arrive until well after school had started!!  (In fact, I still don't actually have the book in my hands!)  I had found some super cute activities to do with the book for the start of school on Teachers Pay Teachers from Linda Camp.  I was so excited to use these new products I could hardly wait for school to start!  Imagine my surprise when it was the Friday before Labor Day (school would start the following Tuesday) and I just realized I still did not have the book in my possession?!  I quickly checked all the local libraries, finding that the closest one to have a copy on the shelves was over an hour away (for the record I did NOT go pick it up!)

Instead, I had to do what most teachers have to do on a daily basis - improvise!  I found this cute YouTube Clip that was like a teaser to the book.  The students watched it and we discussed how bored the little bunny had gotten, while he was waiting!!

We brainstormed a list of things that took us so long to get back to school.  "What were you doing this summer that kept you from coming back to school?"  The kids came up with a fantastic list!

We went ahead and made our "speaking bubbles" and attached them to the photos I had taken on the first day of school and made our cute hall display.  Then a student said - "Mrs. Mulheran, when the book finally does come, we can say - You're Finally Here!  What took you so long?!"  I love when they make the connections all on their own!!

Friday, September 5, 2014


Today is Friday - of the first week of school!  While I'm excited that it's Friday (because I'm exhausted from this new routine!) it's been a fabulous first week!

We have spent time getting to know one another, learning our new routines, and figuring out our schedule.  

On Wednesday we used our paints and each student created a self-portrait to hang in the hallway!  First the students sketched their self-portrait with pencil.

Then they outlined their portrait with black crayon or marker.  Finally they painted the self-portraits with their new watercolor paints.  It was a little messy, but they loved doing it!  It made for some beautiful artwork to display in the hallway as well!

Here's a sneak at my finished self-portrait!  I enjoyed making the "sample" to guide them along in this little activity!

And finally, I'd like you to meet my 2014-2015 class of 22 second graders!

Happy Friday!