Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Literacy Centers

This week, Autumn, from Coast to Coat Kinder is sharing her awesome ideas for making for literacy centers run smoothly.  She'll show you how she organizes her centers

and she's offering her adorable center labels for FREE.  
CLICK HERE to read about her awesome ideas.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

HOT Summer Giveaway! $120 in Prizes!

I'm participating in an amazing giveaway that's being headed up by NC Teacher Chick.  For the next three weeks, there will be a different giveaway and there will be a total of $120 in prizes awarded.  Check out the details below:

The first giveaway ends this Sunday (July 20) and the winner will receive a $20 TpT Gift Card AND a $20 Amazon Gift Card.   How awesome would that be to win????  Go ahead and enter below. Good luck. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Words of Wisdom

I'm linking up with Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching to offer some Words of Wisdom for new teachers.  I completely agree with everything Lisa said in her post. If you haven't read it yet, CLICK HERE to do so. It's wonderful.

I think the first point Lisa mentioned is an absolute MUST, so I'm going to repeat it -- make sure you focus on each of your students as an individual.  Get to know them on a personal level.  Find out about their family, what they do on the weekend, their favorite things to do outside of school, anything about them. A great teacher knows each of their students' academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as their personal likes, dislikes, family life, and interests. 

Every Monday morning, I require each of my kiddos to tell me something about their weekend. It doesn't have to be anything special, I just want to know something.  I really focus on what they are saying and often try to ask a question or two to gather more information.  Not only does this help me get to know them, they get to know their classmates AND it allows them an authentic opportunity to practice their listening and speaking skills. 

I know this is difficult to do because as a classroom teacher you're pulled in so many directions and have so many requirements, however, I think building positive relationships with your kiddos is the number one requirement for a successful teacher. 

My second Words of Wisdom goes hand in hand with number one, build positive relationships with your students' families. Within the first few weeks of school, I always make an effort to call each family AND send a positive note home. Many students have never gotten a positive phone call or note home, so this could be a game changer.  Plus, if you do this within the first few weeks, you most likely will have something positive to say about even the most difficult students.  Reaching out to each family shows them that you're invested in their child. And when families know you want the best for their child, they will be more supportive when you need to address problems that may arise during the rest of the year. 

Another way to build positive relationships with your students' families is to truly listen when your students tell you about what's going on in their personal life. If they tell you a grandparent passed away, send a card home expressing your sympathy (Walgreens actually has boxes of cards for only a few bucks. I purchase these and then keep them in my classroom so I always have cards on hand to send home.).  If  one of your student's has a new sibling, send home a small gift to congratulate them.  If you find out it's a family member's birthday, simply write "Happy Birthday _____" in their agenda.   

And if you notice one of your students hasn't been acting like their normal self, call their family and tell them what you've observed and that you're concerned. Most likely, something is going on at home and their family will be grateful you called to let them know it's affecting their child during the day. 

Last but not least, ALWAYS BE FLEXIBLE.  Even though you need to have your lessons planned out and everything ready to go, things very rarely go as planned, so make sure you're flexible. The more flexible you are, the better off you'll be.  

I hope my Words of Wisdom were helpful. If you want to read more, make sure you check out PAWSitively Teaching's linky for additional Words of Wisdom -- or to add your own.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Must-Haves for Math

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday Linky party to share some must-haves for 2nd grade math.

I'm so excited to share with you my new math homework product.  If you're tired of assigning boring worksheets and want your math homework to reinforce foundational concepts you're teaching during the day, this product is for you.  I have included a simple and fun activity for each day of the year.  Activities in the beginning of the year are relatively easy and they get progressively harder as the year goes on. 

Math Homework Activities for the Entire Year (2nd Grade)

Here's a sample of some activities.

The best part of this product is that you can customize the assignments to fit your needs.  CLICK HERE to check out the product and download 3 free weeks of homework activities.

If you need centers, try these out.  I have a set for each quarter and almost all Common Core Standards are reinforced through these simple centers. Just print the directions, explain how to play and let your kiddos practice important skills.  CLICK HERE to be taken to 1st quarter's centers.
Math Centers for 2nd Grade (1st Quarter - Common Core)

If you teach 2nd grade and are in need of word problems, I have an awesome product that offers one word problem every day of the year.  In addition, the word problems are laid out so they get progressively harder throughout the course of the school year. Plus, they are organized in a way that you will teach all the different types of word problems required of second graders (start unknown, change unknown, result unknown, comparisons, etc.)  CLICK HERE to check it out. 
{BUNDLE} One a Day: Word Problems for 2nd Grade (ALL 4 SETS)

Do you know about Learn Zillion? If not, YOU MUST check it out. This is an amazing website that offers FREE short videos for almost every Common Core ELA and Math Standard. I have learned so much from these videos. You can watch them on your own or even show them to your class as an introduction to each standard. CLICK HERE to be taken to Learn Zillion. 

And last but not least, if you teach 2nd grade math and need some help planning, download my 1st Quarter Planning Pack for FREE.  It is jam packed with ideas and other helpful resources to help you have a successful year teaching math. CLICK HERE to download it for FREE.
Math Planning Pack for 1st Quarter (2nd Grade - Common Core)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Short Vowel Task Cards = FREE

This week's Tips and Tools for Back to School freebie is from Julie at A First For Everything.  She's offering a set of simple task cards that focus on missing short vowel sounds. CLICK HERE to be taken to her awesome freebie.  These task cards are geared more for first grade, but they will be fabulous practice for my lower achieving second graders.  


If you teach 1st grade, make sure you check out Julie's website for more awesome ideas.

And don't forget to stop by next week for another freebie from one of the Primary Peeps.