Monday, December 7, 2015

My Pet Reindeer

Hi Friends!

Are you counting down the days until winter break? Me too #about15togo

As much as I cannot wait for a solid two weeks at home, where getting dressed is purely optional, I really do love this time of year at school. It's like holidays 24/7 for all of December for teachers. I mean there's books upon books dedicated to the holidays and we get to decorate our homes and our rooms! Okay, that's not always the funnest for some of us :)

I'm here today with a sweet little creativity unit I whipped up just in time for winter. It's all about adopting a pet reindeer, so it's tons of fun for Christmas, but it's also a lot of fun if holidays are a no-no in your school, but you still want to sprinkle a little cheer in your room!

In this unit, students adopt a pet reindeer and write all about it! There are tons of different writing papers and prompts to appeal to students of all ages, but the funnest writing activity comes in the form of a pet manual. You have to love the activities where students don't even realize they're doing work because they're having so much fun.

And if they get to use their imagination? Well, I'm ALL OVER THAT!

We're just getting this little unit started in my pull-out groups. Because I only have them for small periods of time a few times a week. I have to really break up the lessons.

We started by adopting a class reindeer we named Bernie. We talked about all the ways we could describe the way Bernie looked on the outside. Then, we read "Olive, the Other Reindeer". We talked about what skills and characteristics Olive had that made her a good reindeer.

We went back to our chart and added personality traits. I also asked them to think about their pets at home. How would they describe their personalities? We added a few of those suggestions to our cart as well.


{{Sorry our chart is a little wrinkly. I had an overzealous volunteer grab it for me!}}

That's as far as we got last week. This week we will use our characteristic planning sheet to plan out our own reindeer's personality and appearance. We'll use them to make our reindeer and finally to fill out our pet manual.

Lastly, my students will receive adoption certificates and they will officially be reindeer parents!

Here's a closer look at most of the components of "My Pet Reindeer"





This unit includes tracers for the pet reindeer. I plan on only giving my students tracers for the reindeer heads and possibly antlers because they need help with scale, but I want each students' reindeer to look different and be reflective of the characteristics I gave them.

I will post pictures once we finish them! I'm so excited to see the final result!

You can grab this little unit from my TpT store by clicking the cover image below:


Happy Holidays :)


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Round-Up: Freebies & Favorites

Hi Friends!

Just stopping in to share a few of my favorite Halloween activities for the Halloween week ahead (aka SURVIVAL WEEK)

The good news: they're all fun & educational
The great news: many of them are free!

First up: a freebie of my own made to accompany everyone's favorite Halloween book (okay, at least one of your favorite Halloween books): Room on the Broom.


This freebie features comprehension cards, sequencing, and cause and effect activities. Read more about what's included and grab it here.

Practicing dialogue with your kiddos? I have this fun freebie for a ghostly greeting bulletin board:



Okay, this one isn't free, but it's HANDS DOWN my students' favorite Halloween center that we do...and I do Halloween BIG in my room. Costume Clues is so much fun that your students don't even realize they're practicing their inferring skills (unless you tell them...in which case they'll still have so much fun).

Honestly. I wouldn't lead you astray...grab it here.

This fun activity from Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff is also a crowd favorite:


Wanting some Halloween math activities?

I have a freebie or two for you:

This ghost bump is too cute. I seriously love this ghost clipart and look for a reason to use it every year:



And this freebie is fabulous for building number sense. So many options for how to use it:




I hope I was able to help you stock-up for this week of craziness! And remember, drop lots of hints about your favorite candy to your students...they'll bring them in to share with you. You deserve them for getting through this week :)


Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Look, New Name, New Giveaway!

Ok, can I start by just saying "SWOON" to my new blog design? I am in love with the new look. And it's all thanks to Becca over at Jumping Jax Designs! She actually designed my last blog too, but with a new job and a new blog focus, I felt change was in order.

So the new look: again, SWOON.

The new name? It's subtle. You probably didn't notice when you were admiring my new design, but I dropped the "in 2nd Grade" part. This is mostly because I don't just teach 2nd grade anymore. And also because I plan on bringing a little more of my "outside the classroom life" into my blog. For such a long time, I held back on writing about something that happened in my personal life, or talking about new things I found for my home, or a new recipe I tried b/c I felt like I HAD to focus on teaching. And while more personal things seeped into the blog, I was still limiting myself. Now I feel like I don't have to do that anymore.

Plus, I'm not just teaching 2nd grade anymore. My new position has me teaching language arts to grades K-2. That means more resources and lessons across a broader range of ages, grades, and abilities. I don't want someone who teaches kindergarten to come across my blog and turn away because it says 2nd grade. I'll have ideas for that person too now! Soon, I hope!

The general idea is that a great idea {or a laugh, or a what not-to-do} is across the hall. I hope you'll come along for this next step of my blogging journey.

And I FINALLY updated my "About Me" section. It was a just a tad bit outdated. Check it out while you're here.

Now to the good stuff:

In honor of my new name and my new look, I'm having a new giveaway!

Two giveaways actually!

The first is easy to enter, right here on the blog. Use the rafflecopter below to win $25 in resources from my TpT shop. It's super simple and super-fast!

The second giveaway is also really easy to enter. I'm hosting it over on instagram. I want to send you a few of my favorite things in honor of this blog now focusing on my life outside of teaching.  You can win...
*a THANKFUL banner from Target
*an adorable coffee mug from Target
*a Starbucks giftcard
*adorable days of the week pencils
*super-cute pumpkin candle from Target

Click the picture below to head to instagram and see how to enter there.



Both giveaways end on Saturday, October 17th!

Good luck, and thanks for following along!

a Rafflecopter giveaway