Friday, August 31, 2012

Classroom Freebies: Help for 'b' and 'd' Reversals

Well, I think that most of us are back to school again, and I have a couple of kids that still get those b's and d's reversed. I found this cute bed and decided to make a {poster} out of it. I even made a small version that I can stick on the name tags. Click the pic to head on over and get your set!
   Have a relaxing Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Playground Rules Fluency Sheet & Emerging Reader

Establishing rules and procedures is essential during those first few weeks of school, and one area you might not think to review is the playground.  Playground/Recess time can be a blast for students and a somewhat "relaxing" time for teachers, but that is only if students know and obey playground rules.  If not, recess can turn into an accident-prone time! 

To avoid this, I've created an emerging reader and fluency sheet you can read and review with your students.  It is also a great idea to send a copy home for homework.  Students can read and discuss the rules with their parents, and it also gives parents a great idea of the type of behavior you expect to see on the playground.  Enjoy!

To Download, Visit Me At:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meet the Teacher Night

Our Open House "Meet the Teacher" night is this Wednesday night.  I always get VERY nervous on these nights, but I find if I'm well prepared, I'm not quite as nervous.  I have a plan for this year's Parent night.  Come on over to Elementary Matters to see my plan and download copies of some of the papers I share

Monday, August 27, 2012

500 and 1,000 Followers Celebration and Giveaway

I reached 1,000 facebook followers today, and 500 blog folders a couple of weeks ago.  I have decided to celebrate by giving away this set of VersaTiles.  This set is designed for second grade, and as you can see in the photo, has books on everything from phonics, to comprehension, to language skills.  Come on over to Elementary Matters to find out how to win this handy teaching set!

Crazy Busy, But Not Too Busy to Reflect

Like many teachers this time of year, life has been rather crazy these days!  

I haven't been blogging regularly, but I've taken some time to reflect on other blog posts I did this past summer, as well as some blog posts I did last year as summer vacation turned to "Back to School".  

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see what's been keeping me busy and my reflections!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Phonics Generalizations Handout

Phonics Generalizations are phonics rules that are taught to emerging readers to help them learn letter combination sounds to increase reading and spelling ability. Did you know that research has shown only 18 rules have been proven to work at least 75% of the time? 

To download a handout of the 18 rules, please visit my blog:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Common Core Curriculum Maps

Some of my teacher/ blogging friends and myself are doing a book study on this book.  (If you click the book, it will take you to Amazon for more information about the book.)

The book is set up by grade level (K - 5) and has 6 week units for every grade level.

I'm in charge of Grade 2 Unit 3 --Building Bridges With Unlikely Friends

The main focus of this 6 week collection of lessons is exploring figurative language. (The essential question is "Why do authors use figurative language?") We also explore some informational text, enjoy lots of read alouds, and write friendly letters.

Building bridges is such a great introduction to figurative language!  I really want to share a cool website I found on Understanding Idioms.  This site has several links to examples of Idioms and Second grade is such a great place to start working on Idioms and other kinds of Figurative Language, because they're just starting to "get" it, but they still see the humor of the literal meanings of sayings like "it's a piece of cake" or  "hold your horses", or even "getting out of the wrong side of bed".

Come on over to Elementary Matters for to find out more about this Unit, and a freebie on figurative language, which is the big focus of Unit 3.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birthday Bags!

Boy's bags are green.

How do I do my Tasty Facts?

It's a Question/Answer session over at my blog on how I do my daily math quizzes!

Come on over to check it out!


Friday, August 17, 2012

A busy, busy blog post with TWO great freebies and more!

Today I have a whirlwind post over at my blog... announcing winners of my brag tag giveaway, sharing TWO great freebies, showing you something I made and directing you to the source for your own FREEBIE, and an introduction of a new product!

I hope you'll pop over and get your freebies!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Developing Class Rules as a Community

I'm sure you've all been working hard to get your classroom ready, if you're not already back in school.  

I've been stressing out since I haven't been able to get into my classroom, so I'm trying to use my time focused on other things I can do to prepare, and hoping I don't completely freak out!

Yesterday, I went through my materials for developing Class Rules with the children, and adapted them to include the Whole Brain Teaching rules.  Come see what I've done, and download your freebie!  (Click the Class Rules image!)

Classroom Library Pics

After 3 days of being in my classroom, I don't have much to show for myself. I've been focused on getting the furniture where I want it, organizing math materials, and the biggest task of all...organizing my classroom library. I've never counted, but I definitely have thousands of books, which makes for an overwhelming task of re-labeling the ones that need it, sorting, and determining how many bins/genres to have. Come stop by to see a few "before" and "during" pics. I haven't gotten to labeling bins yet - so don't mind that! I'll be back hopefully soon with more :)

Ms. Alley's Class

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card to TPT! The giveaway ends tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Praise - Good or Bad

I've heard a few references to the negative side of praise lately.  Hard to believe that telling a child they did something well can have adverse effects, but it's true.  It seems that the type of praise you give can either encourage or discourage a child to do well.  

Praise given in the right way can be quite powerful!

I found this Super Improver's Wall quite helpful in my classroom last year.  I learned about it through Whole Brain Teaching, and found it to be one of the most popular things about my classroom.  (The kids as well as the teacher loved it!)

Come over to Elementary Matters to learn more about Whole Brain Teaching and the Super Improver's Wall!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Card Games for Fast Facts

I was lucky to have the opportunity to guest post for Raki's Rad Resources last week.  I told about a few games that can be played using a regular deck of cards, that can be used to develop mastery of basic addition and subtraction facts, and work on this standard from the Common Core:  2.OA.2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

I think this is probably the toughest standard for the little ones to master, and I'm constantly on the lookout for activities that will lead to mastery of these facts.  Be sure to stop by Elementary Matters to see more about these games and how to get the above freebie!

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Giveaway Time!!

I am so excited to announce I am giving away a $25 gift card to TPT! Come on over to enter - just click on the image above! The giveaway ends on Friday :)

Happy Monday!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Make your own dividers!

Two lovely ladies have asked how I made my own dividers for my many teacher binders. I wanted to clarify. I know it is super easy to go to the store and buy dividers, but I had time and was feeling crafty. That led me to open up PowerPoint and try to make my own dividers.

I love these dividers. They are circles and you can see more at a glance.
Hop on over to my blog to see how I made my own dividers and for a short tutorial!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Standards of Mathematical Practice 101

As I learn about the Common Core, I find I need to sort out the parts in order to get my head around the Standards.  
The Math Standards are split into two parts.  There's the Standards for Mathematical Content, which are different for every grade.  

Then there are the Standards of Mathematical Practice which are the same for all grades.  Come on over to Elementary Matters to see how I organized these Practice Standards so I could understand them myself!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2 Bloggers-One Crazy Comic Strip!

Friends~First, be sure that you are seated and that you have a snack.  This is going to take a while!  Rocking Teacher Materials and The Schroeder Page have combined forces to create a comic strip for your viewing pleasure!  Turn off your cellphones, sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Announcing the Annual Back to School Sale on 
Teacher's Pay Teachers!
August 12-13th
Get your Extra 10% off with the following code:

We wanted to announce this exciting event in a very special way!  Lots of research went into this project since Rockin and Schroeder do not speak Rock or Hippie fluently.  
Feel free to listen and read this as many times as you want.  Share it across the world via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!  We want you shout it from the roof tops!

Teachers Get Your SHOP On!

Thank you for understanding our excitement!  Thank you for not thinking that we have totally lost it.  Thank you for following us into the sale to arm yourself with tons of teacher goodies created by teachers just like you!  
We are so very proud to be a part of this revolution!  Thank you to all of the very talented teachers and staff that make Teachers Pay Teachers possible!

Shop on Friends...SHOP ON!

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