Saturday, November 28, 2015

MyTop 3 Wishlisted Items

Have you heard the news? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Cyber Sale on Monday November 30th and Tuesday December 1st!

I'm sure I'll spend plenty of money, I always do!

I've already been stocking up my wishlist, and it's time to put those items into my cart to be ready for the sale. Don't forget the Promo Code SMILE! 

In the meantime, here are the three items from my store that others have wishlisted most: my most wanted items!

Number 1 Top Wishlisted Item: Brain Friendly Addition and Subtraction Fact Practice and Assessment! I use this set EVERY DAY in my classroom, and I'm glad to know others enjoy it too! This set takes the 200 basic addition and subtraction facts, and splits them into 8 separate patterns, which are learned by fact family. This makes the facts a lot less overwhelming and a whole lot more reasonable for the kiddos to learn! (I do have a multiplication/ division set of these, too, HERE.)

The Number 2 Top Wishlisted Item is another favorite of mine: Band-Aid or Lasso?  This set has loads of tips and practice on helping the kiddos remember when to use the apostrophe, and when NOT to use it.  I had some fun with this one, and so have others!

My Number 3 Most Wishlisted Resource is a bundle of task cards. The Combined Review Task Cards includes 6 different review sets: Phonics, Language, Vocabulary, Science, Math, and Social Studies. I use these often toward the end of the year, to help review for tests and to make sure they don't forget all that information they've learned all year. They're designed to review second grade skills, so they're perfect to start the year in third grade, too. These sets are available separately, with links HERE.

There are more Top 3 posts at Teaching in the Tongass!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holiday Freebies and a Giveaway!

I can't believe the holidays are suddenly upon us! 

I know a lot of us have a lot of shopping to be done in the next few weeks, and a lot of teaching to be done, too!

I'm here to help you with both!

First of all, I'm offering two gift certificates to Teachers Pay Teachers! You can buy things for your classroom, or perhaps something for your teacher friends! Just follow the rafflecopter below!

I also wanted to give you  some holiday freebies!  See the linky below to check out my holiday freebies, and the freebies of other teachers, too!

If you are a teacher, I'd love to have you link up if you have a holiday freebie aimed at grades 1 - 3!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Year's Worth of Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas

You're in luck! It's time for a Bright Ideas Round up!
bright idea

This is a collection of all our bright ideas from the past year!

Last January, I posted a bright idea on a quick way to celebrate the good stuff. See that post HERE.
bright idea

In February, I posted about a trick I learned 30 years ago from a bus driver, that helps the children appreciate the adults in their life. See that post HERE.
bright idea

March was about keeping a positive attitude toward Reading. See that post HERE.
bright idea

In April, I shared a way for the kids to see the feedback I put on their papers.  Click HERE.
bright idea

In May, I shared some tricks to help the children keep track of the size of certain measurements, even if they don't have a ruler or other tools. Click HERE.
Bright idea

Here's a game I play often, especially in June when the kiddos are more restless than usual. Click HERE to see how to keep them moving!
Bright ideas

July's post was about a trick to get parents to read notes you send home. HERE's the link!
bright idea

In August, I shared my secret ingredient for a Successful Open House. Click HERE.
Bright Idea

In September, I shared a little trick I learned from one of the cafeteria ladies that helps kids feel good rather than "left out". Click HERE for that link.
Bright Idea

Believe it or not, October was the first month since the Bright Ideas blog hop started two years ago that I didn't link up. (That reflects how busy this year has been!)

But you're in luck... HERE's a link to last year's Round-Up! A whole year's worth of Bright ideas for 2014!
Blog Hop Round Up

Blog Hop

If you like what you see here, please follow me through these social media places:

Elementary Matters

Elementary Matters

Elementary Matters

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bouncy Bands for Wiggly Kids

Got wiggly kids? I sure do! I've got kiddos that wiggle all day long!

There are numerous strategies for these kids to help them get the wiggles out and focus more on classwork. 

One excellent strategy is using Bouncy Bands!
There are two different kids of Bouncy Bands. One you can attach to a child's desk, like you see above. The other attaches to the child's chair like this happy guy below.

Both bands allow the children to push or kick against the rubber strand with their feet. It helps the children with the need to move do so without disrupting others. 

I wish I had one for every kid! I've seen a variety of foot action with each type of Bouncy Band, but with minimal noise and distraction. 

It definitely took some muscle to put the Bouncy Bands onto the furniture, but once it was there, the kiddos can go crazy with the bands without damaging them!

School is so stressful for the kiddos these days. It's nice to have something for them to relieve a little of that stress.  Bouncy Bands are a great option to help these kids!

Be sure to check out this video from Scott, the creator of Bouncy Bands! (The little guy at the end is adorable, isn't he?)

Here's another video from Dr. Oz (I love him!) It features the "Read and Ride" program created by Scott of Bouncy Bands, but there is also a mention of the benefits of Bouncy Bands as well! As teachers, we all know the learning benefits of letting kids move!

To see more about Bouncy Bands, see THIS link!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Holiday Magic!

fun and engaging activities
The holidays will be here before you know it! I've been putting my holiday resources in order, and here are a few that will keep the kiddos engaged, along with some fun learning as well! (Just like magic!)

Here's one of my favorite collections: Science and Social Studies Printables for December!
aurora borealis

This has all sorts of Science and Social Studies activities! It's got close reads on the aurora borealis and the north pole, a mapping activity about the North Pole, classifying animals by habitats, science activities on holiday scents and the effect of marshmallows on hot chocolate, and there's even a civics activity on elf laws!

The kiddos won't even know they're having learning experiences, they'll be having so much fun!

Math and Literacy

Holiday No Prep Printables has loads of Math and Literacy activities that are just perfect for those few days just before the holidays, when you're trying to keep them focused, but all they want to do is talk about the upcoming holidays! This collection will perform its holiday magic on the kiddos!
drawing conclusions
Drawing Holiday Conclusions is a favorite of my students! These task cards can be used as a center, as part of a Scoot game, or as skill practice in a reading group. This is always a hit!

Finally, one of my favorite freebies! This resource is totally magical! The children LOVE to listen to the music of the Nutcracker and visualize the storyline. Their pictures are delightful, and it's always a peaceful time while they listen and illustrate. (Sh... don't tell them they are practicing important reading skills like visualizing and sequencing a story!)
sequencing, visualizng

Be sure to click the link below for more December resources!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Science and Social Studies Printables for November

My November baby is finally ready! 
I know several have been waiting for this one, and here it is!
November Printables

I'm determined to make your life easier, and I hope this resource does the job!  I've taken many of the important second grade skills, mixed in a few November special days, and came up with these printables! There are close reading activities, mini-books, sorting activities,and even. S.T.E.M. Activity to do with leftover Halloween candy corn! It's guaranteed fun for the kids, easy for the teachers, and valuable learning experiences!

Here are a couple of my favorite parts:

A Turkey Fact Mini-book! (With vocabulary and comprehension questions.)

Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings Time Close Read. 

candy corn S.T.E.M.

A STEM Engineering Challenge with leftover Halloween candy corn!

Could this happen long ago?

Thanksgiving Fact or Fiction? This one was so much fun to make: Children have to decide whether things could have happened back in the 1600s at the first Thanksgiving! Fun stuff!

If you like these, check out some of my Science and Social Studies Bundles:

These resources have made my life so much easier! I hope they do the same for you!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently

November. Yes, November. Honestly, the last week of October was so rough, I'm glad to see it end, but November has a lot going on, too. I'm bracing myself for busy, busy, busy!

listening-yes, Forensic Files. I love this show! It's only a half hour, which is good for my attention span, and they always catch the bad guys!

loving- I was out way to late last night (good friends, good conversation, good costumes!) I could have used several extra hours!

thinking- I hope this is a better week. 
wanting- I don't feel like doing laundry, but I never have time during the week!

needing- I'm soooooo tired!

yummy- I truly love food, especially Thanksgiving food, but mashed potatoes are a comfort food for me, so I'll have to say mashed potatoes.

I could use some comfort food tonight. Maybe I'll make mashed potatoes with dinner!

Have a happy November!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Favorite Freebies


I was updating one of my favorite freebies today, and I realized it's been a while since I've featured some of my favorites in a blog post! Well, today I'm putting several of my favorites in one place to make your life easier!

Let's start with this Social Studies freebie! This has special meaning to me because it's offered as a freebie in honor of a special young man. (See THIS blog post.) Click HERE or click the image to download.
Social Studies Task Cards

Need to work on some letter writing? This freebie will make your life easier! It's got formatted letter writing paper, as well as an envelope to fold and print on the back. It also has some helpers and ideas to help with teaching the parts of the letter and the parts of the envelope. I love to use these in the sub tub! You can download Classy Mail HERE or click the image!
classy mail

I use this set ALL THE TIME for word work during guided reading. The freebie set provides practice with the vowel a.  It has nonsense words and real words with short a and long a. I use it for word sorts as well as practice reading long and short vowel words. You can download it HERE or click the image! You can also download the full set with all 5 vowels HERE
long and short vowels

This is one of my most popular freebies. I was helping my significant other with his golf camp one summer, and this game came to me. It sparked a series of "BINGO" games with different sports themes! This one practices adding 3 addends, and you can download it HERE or click the image! 
Par 3

It's hard to find time to teach Social Studies and Science with all our other responsibilities. Since we know those kiddos need brain breaks, here's a chance to save time and combine the two. You can download Social Studies and Science Brain Breaks by clicking the image or click HERE.

Brain Breaks

Good sense tells us if we present all 100 addition and 100 subtraction facts at once, it will be a bit overwhelming for the kiddos! This system presents only one pattern of facts at a time, by fact families, which makes so much more sense! This is the freebie set HERE. You can find the set of all 8 patterns HERE.
Brain friendly

Here is another freebie that I use for word work with guided reading groups. Research shows students should study sight words in phrases, so my kiddos practice these phrases! You can download these HERE.
sight words

Finally, this ABC book is easy peasy to set up ahead of time, and have the kids create an ABC book on any topic! This is a great way to share information they've learned about a topic, and can be used at any level! You can download your ABC book HERE!

writing with a theme

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