Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Lucky One!

Have you ever had to have one or two items that were slightly different from the others, and were concerned the children might feel "cheated" if their item was different?

Here's a little trick I found from the cafeteria workers at my school. There was one tray that was slightly different from the others. Rather than letting the kids feel left out when they got that tray, the "different" tray became known as the LUCKY tray!

Here are my math counters for Monday. I was short one ziplock and had to use a "regular" ziplock bag. Which set would be the "special" one?

It's all a matter of attitude, isn't it?

Just be careful. When our math program didn't send enough work books, I had to run off one extra copy until the new workbook arrived. They didn't consider the one black and white page the "lucky" one, when all the other copies were colorful!

This post is part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

October Resources

It feels like we just started school, and already we're looking at October in the not-so-far distance. 

October brings fall, Fire Safety Week, football, Columbus Day, and, of course, Halloween!

Brain research tells us if the children can make a connection with their learning, then learning will happen. I find most children can easily make a connection with special days and sports, which makes them more enthusiastic about learning! In face, I'm banking on their enthusiasm, and have plenty of resources to celebrate learning and building skills, in a fun way!

My latest baby is this one:

In an attempt to "fit in" more Science and Social Studies concepts, I've looked over my grade level College and Career Ready Science and Social Studies Standards, and found ways to squeeze these concepts into my day.  Most of the work is done, all you have to do is print and go! I even have a S.T.E.M. activity with an October theme! Check out this brand new product HERE

Check out this freebie sample here:

Here's a freebie to get the kiddos thinking about Fire Safety: Fire Safety What If task cards

Here's a Columbus Day Fact booklet:  I realize the whole Columbus thing is quite controversial, with good reason! I left my opinion out, and kept just the facts. Feel free to include your opinion when you present it.  :)

It's fall in New England! There are so many beautiful changes here that make it one of my favorite seasons:  warm days, crisp nights, football, and the beautiful fall colors on the trees.  To make your life (and mine) easier, I've combined important concepts with fall ideas in these Fall Printables!

One of the best parts about Fall in New England?  Football! I've got plenty of Football Resources! Just click the images for each link!

Here's a freebie from the set above: 

Enjoy these October Resources!

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Couple of Freebies

I just wanted to share a couple of freebies to help you through the next couple of days!

Here's Patriotic Holidays to help you through Constitution Day.

Here's a Summer or Autumn Opinion Writing Freebie to help you through the Autumnal Equinox on Sept. 23rd!
Plus, I've got some October Brain Breaks for you to download. Just click the image!

Stay tuned for more freebies and October resources!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Go Noodle Blogger Blitz!

I'm a big fan of Go Noodle! 

If you are not familiar with Go Noodle, it's time to learn about it!
It's a website where you can find all sorts of awesome brain break videos. The best part? It's FREE! 

You can easily find Go Noodle. Just click this link HERE, or type and you're there! 

First thing you do is set up a class. If you've "Go Noodled" in past years, you'll need to set up a new class for your new crew this year. Name your class, and pick a champ for your group! (My class picked Bart Reynolds... they liked his mustache!)

If you've never "Go Noodled" before, go straight to Go Noodle 101! It's a great little video with samples from the most popular videos.  

You'll see Maximo.
The kiddos LOVE Maximo's accent! Plus, they get some great stretching from his videos.

Plus, you'll see Koo Koo Kanga Roo!
These two guys are hysterical! They're just the right amount of nerdy to keep the kids interested and smiling. (And the teachers, too!) Plus, these are the guys that bring us Pop See Ko! That's everybody's favorite brain break video!

Besides exercise and movement videos, there are also calming videos! These are great for after recess, or just those times when the kiddos are on overload and need to clear their brains for more learning. 

Airtime Space is a great way to calm down those antsy kiddos!

I plan to spend more time this year on the calming videos, to promote mindfulness!

Go Noodle is a great way to start the day, take a break during the day, or find energy to make it through the day. This will be my third year Go Noodling, and it's totally fabulous!

Plus, I can give you a discount for Go Noodle swag to share with your kiddos! HERE's the swag shop, and if you type in the code BTSwithGoNoodle, you'll get a 15% discount between now and Friday September 11th! There's some pretty cool stuff here!

Here's the best part: you can win some Go Noodle swag for free! Just enter the Rafflecopter below and you'll win 25 eraselets!

It's a bracelet, AND an eraser! Those kids will LOVE these!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are links to a whole bunch of ideas for using Go Noodle in the classroom over on the Go Noodle blog! Click HERE or click the image below to see more about Go Noodle!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I'm exhausted, but I can't miss out on this month's "Currently!"

Yep, I have a friend on America's Got Talent. It's a friend from ages ago. When I was doing a lot of theatre in Portsmouth, NH, we did a show together. I tell people it was back in "B.C." That means "Before Corinne"... my daughter. She's 22 now, so you can guess how long ago we crossed paths.

Well, if you're a fan of America's Got Talent, my friend is the counterpart of Ira.  He's amazingly talented, and I'm really proud he has done so well! I wish him success.

I've made it through 5 days of school, and I'm going to have to work hard for the energy to make it through the next 175! Hopefully, it will get a little easier as the year goes on!

I think the chocolate and the sleep are self explanatory. 

My goals?
1. I stay at school WAAAYYYYY too late. Time to knock that off!
2. If I can get my behind out of school at a decent hour, I could get myself to the gym!
3. Again, related to #1... if I can get my behind out of school at a different hour, I'd have time for other stuff!  

But in the meantime, I do love my job!

Be sure to stop by Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the September Currently Linky!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Second Week of School

We went back to school this week! We only had three days with kids, but they were three power packed days!
I taught what to do when they arrive in the morning, bathroom procedures, "blowing nose" procedures, pencil procedures, bus procedures, recess procedures, hallway procedures, read several books, worked as a group to come up with fair class rules, taught "Class, Yes", and told them about my promise. See HERE if you didn't read about my promise. 

Even after a Saturday off, I feel like the teacher on the bottom. I have work to do today, but I really just want to stare at the wall.

I'm sure many of you can relate to that first week back to school tired!

But there are a lot of things coming up, and I have a few freebies to share with you!

I've been busy updating a few resources I use this time of year. Since I'll be teaching all those safety procedures next week, I'll be using these task cards:

Click HERE or click the image for this freebie!

We'll be turning the calendar to September this week, and September 11th is right around the corner. With my second graders, I don't go into the details of the day in 2011, but I do have a discussion about heroes which turns into a writing experience. I have a freebie for that, too! 

Click HERE for this freebie!

I've also been updating several of my math and literacy games. I love these Sports themed BINGO games, and so do the kiddos! (Especially the boys!) Once they learn one game, it's pretty easy for them to catch onto the others. These games make great centers, since they are simple and move quickly. Even the kiddos with "just past summer vacation" attention spans can stick with these BINGO games.

I typically meet with small groups to introduce these games, then once they've got the hang of them, they're center activities. 

These are all math games, and can be found HERE. Each set has 9 different cards, and direction. All that is needed is dice and something for covering the BINGO spaces. There are links to the individual games from the link above.

Each individual set is $3.50, but you can purchase the whole set of 7 games this week for $12. That's more than half off!

My phonics games work the same way, and can be found HERE.

Great time to stock up on center games that can be used all year!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Secret Ingredient to Open House Success

I've been through lots of Open Houses.  The purpose of the Open House is usually to let parents know what's going on in school.  There are loads of blog posts about setting up your classroom, scavenger hunts, parent stations, brochures, and presentations.

I do all those things, leave plenty of things for parents to take with them and get to know my classroom and my procedures.

But I do something else that seems to be an added extra that makes a difference: 

I play happy music!

You know, that kind of music that just makes people feel good. 

I got this idea years ago when I went to an all day conference, and was walking into my "mid afternoon" seminar with dread: it's a tough time of day, and I was feeling like I'd prefer to take a nap.

When I walked into the room, the presenter was playing "happy music". I don't remember the specific song, but I remember it made me feel like moving.

I immediately felt a smile on my face, and I looked around the room and everyone else was smiling and moving to the music. 

Research tells us music can affect our feelings. 
So I play "happy music" to help people feel good about my classroom.

It works!

What music makes you feel happy?

This post is part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop for August.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Five Freebies for Back to School!

I'm almost ready! Our meetings start Monday, I meet my kids Tuesday night at our Open House, and Wednesday morning it all begins! Although I'm certainly sad to see the summer vacation come to a close, I just can't wait to meet the kiddos and get them started on their second grade year!
I thought I'd share some of the things that will help me through that first couple of weeks!

This freebie is a great way to start the year in Science and Social Studies:

This one will help the kiddos get all those summertime wiggles out!

Here's a freebie to help start working on math fact fluency!

I use these phrases to help the kiddos warm up for reading groups. These help build fluency!

Here's some more Social Studies and Science fun for those leftover summertime wiggles

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