Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Favorite Holiday Activity

Click image to download Nutcracker freebie.
Ever have one of those activities that's a win-win?  It's something that works so well, you keep bringing it back year after year.

That's how I feel about this one, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.  I've done this activity with second graders for about 15 years now.

Every year, the children have loved this activity, and it practices some valuable skills:  visualizing, summarizing, and sequencing.  Plus, it gives them some exposure to classic holiday literature and classical music!

Come on over to Elementary Matters to enjoy this freebie!  It's one of my favorites!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Exemplar Texts for the Common Core - Informational Texts

In the last couple of months, I've posted Exemplar Read Aloud Texts for the Common Core , and  Exemplar Texts for the Common Core - Stories.

Today I'm getting to my favorite category of Exemplar Texts:  The Informational Texts!

The Exemplar Texts are books that are recommended for this level because of the complexity and quality of the texts.  Children in these grades should be reading many books of this complexity and quality, these are just examples.

Here are links to some of the Informational Texts recommended for grades 2 and 3.

For more information about the Exemplar Texts for the Common Core see my blog at Elementary Matters.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Seasonal Brain Breaks

Brain research tells us that students need to move.  Experience tells us that students need to move.  Teachers have been working in Brain Breaks for years.  Now there is scientific evidence about how important these brain breaks are!

With little ones, I try to squeeze in frequent brain breaks, and I often try to make these breaks somehow connected to what's going on so the learning continues.

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see how I connect brain breaks to what I'm teaching!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Colorful Library Book Bin Labels

Hey Gang! I have recently finished creating these cute library book bin labels for my classroom. Head on over to my blog to see about how you can get your own copy for free. I also added this 36 page download to my TPT store for $3.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Thank You and a Math Freebie

Hey Gang! I love reading what so many of you have posted on here. MMG has so many wonderful authors and I am please to be a part of such a wonderful group of educators. On another note, I have been working to create a math word wall for my class and am offering a freebie on my blog. Hop on over to get your copy.


Rockin' Teacher Materials: Get'em While They're Hot!

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Get'em While They're Hot!: I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! Get the new Thanksgiving Mini-Mystery by Hilary Lewis! It is half of a regular math mystery. I have them for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. They follow the Common Core State Standards too!

This will make a fun activity for the short week . . . and the kids will be learning too!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

a quick turkey pie freebie!

If you are like me {and you know you are} you need to fill the next two days with as much busy work fun as you can!
Here’s a quick little freebie that is part of product 101 in my store!
and if you love it so {and who could resist that clip art!?} there’s a link to the whole shebang, too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't Be a Turkey!

One of the Common Core Standards for second grade math is:

CCSS.Math.2.OA.2 Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.

This game works like "Old Maid", so they pair off all the addends with nines and sums, and one of your little turkeys will end up being the "Thanksgiving Turkey".

This is one of those games that "even the losers are winners" because there's something about cooking a turkey that makes the little ones giggle.  Plus, they're getting better at that mental math!

When they've mastered the plus nines up through 20, there's a more challenging version of the game to work this standard:

CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.B.8 Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100–900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100–900.

Have fun practicing mental math, and don't be a turkey!  (At least, don't be a cooked turkey!)

You can download these materials at my blog, Elementary Matters!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Teresa is a TPT seller and friend. She is the blogger of 2nd Grade Pig Pen. Teresa has had a medical emergency and is in critical condition. 
Cynthia, from the 2nd Grade Pad, has put together some great products to raise fund for Teresa's medical bills. Grab 23+ products for $25 from some of TPT's favorite sellers. Just click on the picture above to go read all about it. 
Or you can purchase Going Piggy Over Learning, all things pigs! All funds raised will go directly to Teresa and her family. 

On another note, Moving Forward has been a great success! I truly appreciate everyone's donations, prayers, and sweet comments. I am overwhelmed by your generosity!

We have surpassed the goal! =) 
Thank you to all who have purchased the products. You are a blessing and it is greatly appreciated. The family is very thankful!

The Moving Forward Fundraiser will run through Sunday night until 10 pm. Click the picture above to donate. Please continue to spread the word! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fundraiser 33 TPT Products for $20!!!!

Help a Hurricane Sandy family rebuild their lives. 
They are starting from scratch!!! 
Check out my blog to see what it is all about!


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