Monday, September 30, 2013


I love getting packages in the mail. Well... I am sure you do too! So, when I saw this fun party I couldn't resist signing up! Check out Lessons with Coffee... she is organizing this teacher swap every month! Here is how it works:

1. You sign up on Lessons with Coffee blog page.
2. She will email you the details.
3. You make a sweet package for a teacher friend you have been linked with.
4. You recieve a sweet package!

** Best part of all, you get some new bloggy friends and some very thoughtful gifts!

So, I got paired up with Amanda from My Shoe String Life. She was the blogger I sent to! My sender is Jessica at What I have learned.

Anyway... I got my slantbox today from Jessica! It was a bittersweet moment when I met up with the postlady. She said, "Um... be careful with this. I think I heard some clinking. But, I'm sure it is not broken!"

So, I took my mail inside, very optimistically. I started opening, but... yup there was a break! Poo!

The coffee cup handle broke! I have the pieces though... so I will be glueing! The theme this month was Oops I forgot ______! Jessica included a coffee cup (to get my mind moving with some coffee), and cute little notepad to jot down notes, a candle and some handcrafted coasters. Very cute! 

Thanks Jessica! 

The SLANT Box Exchange

Go sign up!! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I remembered!!!

As I was walking out the door today I thought... PICTURES! Yes, I remembered... just a little bit proud of myself!

So... this was yesterday:

We are reading our oh so fabulous Journeys selection: "Animals Building Homes". I mean it isn't too bad, and it did lend itself to a great lesson on questioning. Every time I introduce/teach questioning I also refer to this lesson by Babbling Abby.

We start with the anchor chart, talk about reasons to ask questions and review question words. Then we focus in on those key question words.. ya know... the 5 W's and the H. We had already read the story a couple times, so then we started brainstorming questions that we had been thinking:

Here are a few up close:

Then, we answered some questions and wrote about some vocab...


(btw... still in love with my hallway display! It is sooo easy to switch out work!)

Overall, this lesson was a success! The kids got to do some individual thinking and some group work.. took a little longer than expected (so we didn't exactly get all of D5 completed) but I think it was worth it! 

And, here is today:

We are learning about map skills in social studies. We have been practicing reading maps and such but today I thought we could do a little intro lesson on latitude/longitude. I mean we aren't going to go deep into it or anything, but I want them to know that it exists and why it exists. So, in an effort to help them remember the difference we made latitude and longitude lines on our desks. 

Now, I guess we'll see how long those last... :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do you webquest?

I love finding new ways for my kids to get on the computer and research! I don't want them to only think that the computer is a gaming tool!

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about a website that my kids LOVE. It is called pebblego. Check out my post: (click!)

So, we use pebblego for lots of different lessons.. whole group, small groups, cooperative learning! Anyway, we have started using it for some webquests! We go to the computer lab, clipboards in hand, and get to reading and searching for new info!! 

We have done one webquest on Soils, thanks to my awesome teammate (who just happens to be my son's 2nd grade teacher)! In fact, I just found out that she has been posting some of her stuff on TPT--- so I must give her a shout out! Check out some of her webquests and other helpful tools here at VandyPenguins

She recently made one for maps (which we just started studying) but I wanted something a little bit different so I made my own! I made them for different types of maps. I am planning on having my kids split into groups and study political, physical, and road maps. After we complete the webquests, we are going to do a jigsaw and teach each other about the different maps. **sidenote... I have never done a jigsaw with my students before. I've participated in lots of jigsaws but I never really thought kids could really do a good job of teaching each other! Here's to hoping I am soooo wrong! 

Anyway, I am sharing my webquests with you. Unfortunatly, you need to have access to pebblego to utilize. 

(Click on the images to be connected to my dropbox!)

Physical Maps

 Political Maps

Road Maps

I had something else to share today but I forgot to take pics! So, hopefully you will hear from me tomorrow!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

diary of a teacher

ha! I wish I had enough stamina to keep a diary... this is as good as it gets!

We are reading Diary of a Spider this week and my 2nd graders LOVE it! Every time we read (even at the 6th time!) they are laughing out loud. I wish every story we read could be this engaging!

We have worked on a couple skills this week, but one of the main skills was Cause and Effect. So after compiling a l-o-n-g class list of causes and effects within the story we made some adorable spiders.

This was our first craftivity of the year and I thought it turned out awesome! Of course, I am a horrible judge of time for a craftivity.... It ALWAYS takes longer than it should! But, at least they really really know cause and effect now {I hope!}

Here is how we did it:

Each child needs: 8 skinny strips of black construction paper
1 colored background paper
half a piece of black construction paper (for body)

1. Kids filled out the cause/effect labels
2. We bent our legs into zigzags
3. We made our bodies. 
4. We glued the labels on one side of the legs, then glued the legs to the back of the spider. 
5. We glued the whole thing to the colored construction paper. 
6. We added details to our spiders (which had to include some googly eyes- at their request). A few opted out of the googly eyes. 
7. Most of us put a dab of glue on the bottom of the labels and glued them to the construction paper so our spiders look 3D. 

We had lots of fun and the kids were impressed with their work!

Speaking of being impressed... I was bored with our usual dinner options so I put together a little something tonight that was delish!! 

It was sooo easy and I will for sure be making it again next week...

White Bean Chicken Cornbread Yumminess!

2-3 Chicken breasts
1 can of white beans
1/2 can of crushed tomatoes
1 box of jiffy
a pinch of basil
a pinch of onion powder
a pinch of garlic salt

I put everything in a casserole dish (except the jiffy) and baked @ 400 for 30 minutes. I made the jiffy mix and baked it at the same time for 20 minutes. 

If you make this, please let me know if you liked it. 

Being the not so great cook I am, this is probably not a unique recipe but I couldn't find anything quick and easy on pinterest with white beans and chicken so this seemed to fit the bill. 

So happy tomorrow is Friday! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

no labor for me today

Isn't that the whole purpose of Labor Day? Enjoy a break...
My post title isn't entirely true though...

Shortly while I am at the Y I should hope my breathing is LABORed... Need a good workout! lol

Also, by the end of the day I must complete my planning for the week. blah!

I am linking up with Farley for this month's Currently. I have to be honest- I have missed the past couple months on this fun linky- I am trying to get back to a regular routine!


I have loved being home the past couple of days and listening to my 4 year old (who just started pre-k a couple weeks ago!). She is a non-stop talker!!!! She is obsessed with drawing and writing letters (even though she can't really spell). 

Yesterday I caught her pretending to be her teacher and sounding out her letters (which I wish I could say she did correctly). Last night we went to a big church festivity and the whole way home she sang every (and I mean every!) song on the radio. It was hilarious!


I have been really bad about making it to the Y since school started. I knew this would happen... but I haven't done anything to help myself. I ran my first 5k at the beginning of August (something that I planned for and worked toward over the summer), but I thought if I had a solid routine before school started I would be able to keep it up...

not so much! I did go yesterday and I am going to go today... so, that's something!


I don't know about any other bloggers out there but I am feeling very, very unmotivated these days. Just like with the Y above, except my lack of motivation is spreading into other aspects of my life!

You can probably notice that Saturday when I blogged it had been a few weeks before then that I had blogged (so I consider this an accomplishment of 2 blog posts this weekend!). In addition to blogging I am having trouble conceptualizing certain skills that I need to help my kids focus on at school.

Since I moved to 2nd grade and we have a new reading series the packets I made for Treasures last year are not as helpful as they were. I can use some things, but a lot are specific to what we were working on in first grade. I have contemplated making new packets to go along with Journeys but then I think about how much work that is! Am I just being lazy? Probably. I bought a few other people's packets on TPT to check them out, but haven't found anything that I am in love with.

I am slowly but surely working on this motivation factor... I think it might be the back to school blues! lol

*Skipping Needing... I think you got it!

Love Yourself Spot

1. I think (going back to the Y thing) that I am going to make a Y schedule and go at least 3 times after school. There is a Y literally 1 mile from my school that I could drop in to 3 afternoons.... I could make up a ton of excuses, but I just need to do it!!!

2. I am in desperate need for a haircut! I haven't gotten it done since May. The hubs doesn't understand how a new do and truly make you feel 100% better! Scheduling that soon!

3. I am generally a positive thinker..except...when it comes to me! I think I (like many other women) am quick to judge/criticize myself. I have certain days where I feel really great about myself, but lots of times I can find something wrong with me. I need to be more positive, but it is truly hard to do!!

So, I will end it here! I hope everyone has a fab Labor Day holiday and a great week at school! Can't promise I will posting again before the weekend (or should I say "a weekend"- you never know when I'll be back!)