June 16, 2016

Back at It!

     I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but blogging just got away from me.  To be honest, I think it is simply because I REALLY found my teacher’s grove again!  I mean, REALLY!  I did some AWESOME activities with this class of students.  So, I figured I’d share a couple of my new to the school year products and some new classroom looks I’ve been working on!  So, here we go!

Mr. Putter and Tabby
     Who doesn’t love a good Mr. Putter and Tabby story!  I had so much fun working with the story in our reader (Wonders) and the kids loved the tale so much, that I quickly pulled out a Scholastic order and found some of the books I already had and decided to do a Book Club with Mr. Putter and Tabby!  But, what to teach?  There had to be more!  My students were REALLY struggling with understanding the character.  So, that was my goal when I set out, what, exactly, could I do to get some of these very difficult concepts across to them.  Using some great tools, I was able to create some incredible pages that could be used across the study within all the books!  AND IT WORKED!  

This study became the anchor texts for all character discussion throughout the rest of the year!  It was awesome and totally engaging.  Many times my aide would show up in the middle of Book Club.  I would go out with students engaged and walk back in with students engaged!  They LOVED it!  The real test of a product is having someone else use it.  Another teacher on my team wanted to try this out as well.  Same results!  I was thrilled!  And, believe it or not, this was a VERY fun product to make! 

 Flat Stanley's Original Adventure

Flat Stanley’s Original Adventure
     This book study was a little different.  I completed this study as a whole group.  The main focus for our study looked at character again.  This time we focused on the Character Wants and Needs chart found in this product and in Mr. Putter and Tabby!  We met as a group and filled in the information as we went along.  Boy, did some things begin to POP!  Arthur seems like such a great kid when you just read the text, but by carefully examining him through his wants and needs, you suddenly discover his selfishness!  And that becomes a MAJOR THEME!  Honestly, when I started this wants and needs thing it was because some Common Core book said to try it out!  What I discovered was that if you want to teach little guys and girls theme, they need a great graphic organizer!  And, it WORKED!  We were able to pick out the major themes (and, verbally, we reviewed Mr. Putter and Tabby as our sample!) and create a cool project in the end!  This was a great unit of discovery!

 Ice Aged Math Practice

Continued Math Practice
     If my students are like yours, you cannot leave a major math topic and expect them to retain it!  In Second Grade it is two/three digit addition by two/three digit addition and then, again, subtraction!  My morning work took a change from the typical Language Arts materials after teaching these units.  I started developing pages to go along with it.  I know they are probably out there somewhere, but I just couldn’t find the focus practice I needed for the 20 minutes I needed to use.  So, I came up with a variety of products with some fun themes along the way.  This totally worked!  My kids could practice these, self-check, and complete them in about 20 minutes!  And, it totally paid off in the end!  I’d say about 95% of my class had mastered both skills by May!  I still had a few strugglers but with continued focus, they are close to completing these tasks any time they are given to them!

 Editable Super Hero Planner

Super Hero Themed Binder
     The next one is all me!  I have never been a super organized person (I have a whole blog post in my head about it!  That’s my problem, I get the post done in my head but never with my fingers!) Last summer I thought, “I can make my own binder! And I want it to match my THEME!”  When I couldn’t find a Super Hero themed binder, I gave in and made my own!  Boy, was I happy I did!  Everything was in one place, I never had to look for schedules or parent info.  It was all right there.  Am I going to be honest and say I actually had plans for every week-in my head I did! 
 Editable Super Hero Planner
So, that’s my goal next year!  And, the super fun thing is, I think this year I’m going with my new Jedi Master Notebook!  (But more on that in a minute!)
 Editable Star Wars Planner

New Themes and Ideas!
   Another reason I didn’t blog since December is simply because, in May, my fingers and design streak found some fun in designing new classroom d├ęcor products!  I had messed around with the Wizard of Oz clipart 
 Wizard of Oz Calendar Headers
and, just wanting a little bit of fun, I messed around with it some more to come up with a new line!  Then it turned into Pirates 
 Pirate Theme
and Oceans!  

 Ocean Theme

From that it was FROGS! 
 Frog Theme

Oh, how cute they are!  And buried within all of that came a new desire, a new force that awakened!  YES, IT DID!  A whole line of The Force Awakens for classrooms!  

 Star Wars Theme

I LOVE this product!  I’m even thinking about changing my whole classroom theme from Super Heroes to The Force Awakens!  We shall see if the force is strong enough in me to do it!! Ha!

With that, I’m fully rejuvenated and fully prepared to face my next adventure-3rd grade and the FSA!  This summer I will be playing with a few new ideas that will lead to a few new products so watch out!  There will be a LITTLE bit of TALES coming with more focus on FABLES and MULTIPLICATION in my future!  HOMER PRICE’S adventures may pale in comparison!  And, TpT might have a little thing in ORLANDO that I can blog about too! 

Looking forward to posting more!