Friday, April 26, 2013

Garden Writing Freebie (Take It and Make It Linky)

Cynthia over at the 2nd Grade Pad has gotten her Thursday Take and Make rolling and I just had to share this project that my students and I were working on this week.
With Spring rolling in, (sort of) I have had gardening on the brain!  This is my first year starting a garden at our new house (we've been there 3 years already) and the weather just hasn't been cooperating to break ground.  First, it was still too frozen and lately it's been rainy. 
So I decided to supplement my need for gardening with WRITING about gardening!  My students wrote persuasive letters to their parents about why they should plant a garden this year.  The kids came up with some great arguments for a garden and did an AWESOME job writing their letters.  We even addressed and stamped letters that will be delivered to their parents! (Sorry, I don't have any pics, the writing process is kind of hard to capture in a photo)
BUT I do have . . .
Just click on the image and you can get your very own set of graphic organizers to implement a similar letter-writing activity.
If it's gardening you're interested in, you may want to check out these two great children's books to use to implement your lessons. 

As a final wrap-up to the unit, I had the students "plant" their own green bean seeds to take home and plant in the gardens they start with their families.

All you need is a clear, plastic cup, a strip of black paper, some paper towels and a green bean seed (or any seed of your choosing)
Hopefully, in a couple weeks, we'll have some seedling sprouting!
So be sure to head back to the 2nd Grade Pad to link up, share and check out other great freebies!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

S'More Swap!

Today I'm trying out a Product Swap with AMC over at Looking from Third to Fourth. 
Her ADORABLE product is called
I found this item after to Easter but it was just too darn cute to pass up.  Oh, and did I mention it is completely FREE?!?
My class was learning about perimeter and area.  So I started by taping various shapes onto my classroom floor.  I divided the class into pairs and had them determine the perimeter and area of each shape.  They also needed to demonstrate how they found each measurement.

The next day I had the students get out their 1 inch foam squares.  They used these to determine the perimeter and area of three pieces of contruction paper. 

I made these different shapes by just cutting random sized pieces of contruction paper.  Just make sure you measure them by inches so the 1 inch foam squares fit pefectly on the piece.  I also color coordinated them so the next time I pull these out, I know what pieces go where.
And finally on the last day, I pulled out AMC's Bella the Easter Bunny Activity.  The students had a great time pretending to be the Easter Bunny and finding the perimeter and area of each house.


They also did an AWESOME job of writing their answers in complete sentences!  (Something that we have been working on, and working on, and working on this year!)
This one says "House number four has the greatest perimeter because it has 28."
 So needless to say, AMC's Easter Math: Find Perimeter and Area activity was the BEST accompaniment to my math lessons.  Be sure to hop on over to her TpT store and grab your own copy of this incredible freebie! 


Friday, April 19, 2013

Get Acquainted and Giveaway Results

I'm linking up with Latoya at Flying into First for her weekly "Get Acquainted Linky".
This week's topic:
Skittles Game

Here is the code:

Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

Orange- Favorite Memory from College

Yellow- Favorite Sports Team

Green- Favorite Fast Food Place

Purple- Wild Card(Tell anything about yourself)
Red - My favorite ice cream flavor would have to COFFEE!
I treat myself to a pint of this whenever I've had a bad day. 
Orange - My favorite memory from college is watching my friend Gary running around all the hallways, climbing on counters, jumping on funiture while blasting "Time for Me to Fly" by reo speedwagon.  I came home from class to be greeeted by this HILARIOUS performance and it has stuck with me ever since!
Yellow -It's a perfect coincidence that this topic landed on yellow because I am a Packer fan through-and-through!
My husband is from Wisconsin so it's practically on his birth certificate, but I've been a fan since i was a kid.  You gotta love the underdog, right?
Green - I'm with Latoya . . . Wendy's BABY!
If I have my pick of where we go out to dinner on Firday nights, it's always WENDYS!  My meal of choice is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich!
Purple - At 33 years old, I am FINALLY getting braces!  I've had very crooked teeth for a long time but never had the time, money or ambition to get it taken care of.  But now at least the ball is rolling.  My most recent visit was to do the molding trays.  THAT was an experience.  I hope to hear soon if I can get the Invisalign or I need to go with traditionals.  C'mon INVISALIGN!
AND NOW . . . My Giveaway Results!
Well, I guess I shouldn't be too disappointed.  It was my first giveaway and I got three, that's right THREE whole responses!  I'm reminded of a Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl"!  Wow, he's yummy!

Since that was the number of freebies I was going to give away, all three ladies get to choose a Cootie Catcher from my TpT Store!
So Carrie, Cindy and Brooke I will be e-mailing you soon to find out which Cootie Catcher you would like emailed to you!  Thank you for entering!
~ Stacy

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dollar Tree Finds and a Giveaway!

So a few weeks ago, Krista Walden over at the Creative Chalkboard wrote a post about a great find at her local Dollar Tree.
These are some adorable tagboard coasters that look like sandwich ingredients!  As soon as I saw these, I just HAD to have my own.  So this past weekend, I ventured (childless, it was wonderful) to my own local DT and lo, and behold . . . I found them and nearly cleaned the store completely out!  I still haven't decided how I'm going to use the 10 (yes, ten, I'm a bit of an "over-doer") sets I picked up but Krista came up with some great ways to use these in the classroom.  I'll give that list a great picking over and get it rolled out.
While there, I found these perfect sandwich containers that will not only serve as storage but can also be used in a cute part of whatever game I come up with!

I also found these uber-cute silicone coin purses that I knew would have a useful purpose in my classroom but I still haven't nailed down what.  Of course, money games came immediately came to mind.  But, I thought that my wonderful blogging community would have some other great ideas on how to utilize these!
Here comes the GIVEAWAY part:  Share your idea in the comments section and I'll draw three names for a Winner's Choice of one of my popular "Cootie Catchers" at my TpT store.  Your choice may be for items priced $1.75-$5.00.
Drawing will be on Friday, April 19.
Be sure to leave a comment to share your ideas for your chance at some free stuff!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Giveaway? Yes, Please!

I wanted to share with you the incredible giveaway the Kelly over at First Grade Fairytales is running right now.  She's reached the amazing milestone of 400 followers and wants to reward our loyalty!  Kelly is offering a total of 4 DIFFERENT giveaways: #1 is a $25 giftcard AND and winner's choice from Kelly's TpT store.  #2 is a K-2 Prize pack with 15 freebies.  #3 is a 3-5 prize pack with 2 freebies.  And #4 is a prize pack for all grades AND a $5 Starbuck's gift card.
That is certainly generous!
I've joined in on the fun and donated one of my own units for the giveaway.  This is my Even Edith & Odd Oscar Re-Teaching and Enrichment Packet.  You can check it out at my TpT store and see a closer preview.  This packet is just one of 15 other great products.
So head over to First Grade Fairytales to enter this incredible giveaway.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks A-MA-ZING!!!!

 About two years ago, my partner teacher and I attended the Raising Student Achievement Conference in St. Charles, IL.  While there, we met an amazing couple who runs the incredible company Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.  They are Jane and John Felling.  They are both educators who have dedicated their lives to making learning fun, engaging and successful. 
These two tirelessly present and demonstrate their amazing products, which consist mainly of dice and dominoes, all over the continent and will even come to your school to work with your students.  Now that is a salesman!
They are also incredibly generous!  During their presentations, they provide you with copies of a few of their games.  I wanted to share these with you.  Please note: the downloads I am sharing with you today are not my property.  They are copies of what they have posted on their website free for download.  Click on the image below for your own copy!  Simply print out on different colored paper and laminate for durability.
The great thing about these games, all you need is several sets of dominoes.  Box Cars sells the dominoes at their site, and even mesh baggies to store them in!  They offer several colors so you can easily keep sets organized.  Always pair students up with different colored sets, so in case the doms get mixed up they're easy to separate!
Because it would be too hard for me to explain how to play each of the games I have included in the freebie packet, I am going to send you to the Box Cars site for video posts by consultant Suzanne Weider.  When you go to the main page, scroll down to "Back to School Learning Links".  Click on the image and the appropriate links to take you to videos of how to play the games.

I use many of the games they offer in my classroom on a weekly basis.  They're great for review, assessments, and even time-fillers.  My kids LOVE getting out the dominoes. 

This game is called March Madness.  This page isn't part of my freebie download because it's just a simple basketball court diagram that I Googled.  Here's how you play it: group students into three's, give them one play mat and one set of dominoes.  One student is "Home", the other is "Visitor" and the third is the referee.  The ref tosses the domino into the air. (like a jump ball)  The first player to shout out the sum of the pips gets two points.  The ref makes the call on who is first.  If there is a tie, the ref leaves the "ball" on the court and does another "jump ball".  The winner of that gets both dominoes and four points.  When all the dominoes are gone, the students count up their points (by two's) and the winner is the player with the most points.  They play again, but change up the titles.
This game can also be played with a football theme. (just find a football field diagram)  I call mine Monday Night Football!

Some other time, I'll share some of their dice games and even their literacy products.  YES, even literacy!  But now it's time to scoot out of here and enjoy my weekend!



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

Tonight I'm linking up with Latoya over at Flying into First for a great "get acquainted" topic:  If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
#1:  EVERY LOST episode.  I was a huge fan of that show and I miss it so much.  I keep waiting for another show to come on that was at the same level with LOST but nothing.  My husband always used to disappear into the other room when this show came on.  He said it wasn't realistic.  WHAT?  A plane crash on a secret island with its very own security system?  I have daydreams of going there myself, and maybe this island I'm going to is similar!
#2: My Pinterest.  All of my co-workers refer to me as the "Pinterest Girl".  I LOVE THIS SITE!  Two Christmases in a row have been products I have made or found through Pinterest.  It also has TONS of great educational items.  I even use the Humor category to cheer myself up after a particularly bad day.
#3:  Since everyone else is mentioning their families, (and I can't really think of a third thing) I guess I better include mine.  Don't get me wrong, I ADORE my boys, but the idea of a few days/weeks on a little break sounds appealing considering the biggest vacation I usually get from my family is when I go to work and hang out with 20 other kids exactly the same age.  But I digress, it would be nice to see my boys in that setting, since they've never seen the ocean.
So that's it!  Head back to Flying into First and link up!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Classroom Friendly Supplies

Cool Blue

Troy Decoff over at Classroom Friendly Supplies is hosting a giveaway and I would LOVE to get one of these babies for my own classroom.  I am totally fed up with the sharpener I have in my own classroom.  This is the FOURTH sharpener I've had in the 7 years I've been in this room.  I JUST bought my current (for $25 from an office supply store that will remain nameless) and it is a piece of JUNK! 
I have put in a purchase for my own and if I win this giveaway, I'll share it with my partner teacher.  The prices are so incredible, I may have to get my school to invest in the large package price for the whole school!


Friday, April 5, 2013

My First Currently

I really like this idea.  It gets bloggers sharing and interacting is a great way! I linked up with Farley over at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade for her monthly Currently.  Head over there to link up and leave comments. 
So here it goes:
Listening:  I am writing this during my lunch break and the high school band room is right down the hall.  Our band is not very big but I can always get an idea of what time of year it is by what they are playing.  Right now I hearing military marches.  This indicates rehearsals for Memorial Day performances.
Loving:  Here in Illinois, Spring has been a bit camera shy.  We've only recently been getting into the high 50's and it's been GREAT! 
Thinking:  So we've been working on our downstairs bathroom for almost a year and we still have studs and roughed-in plumbing.  My husband keeps saying he'll get going on it soon but I'm beginning to think it's never going to happen!
Wanting:  My van has done me well over the years but I'm ready for a change.  It doesn't help that my rear window wiper hasn't worked in years or that I have to help the automatic doors actually close.
Needing:  Since the weather has been so cold, the ground has been too hard to dig in.  Now that it's finally warming up, time is short to get the garden in on time.  I've got the seeds in their Winter Sowing mode, but the weather's not helping getting those sprouts moving!
Advice:  I'm new to the blogging world so I'm the one who needs advice.  The biggest issue I'm facing is getting followers.  How do I get more traffic to my blog?  Your experience and assistance is greatly appreciated!   
Have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Capacity Conversion Make and Take!

This was just too cute and too perfect not to share with you all.  I'm linking up with Cynthia over at Second Grade Pad for her Make It and Take It Linky.  My class and I are working on measurement, specifically capacity.  There are so many numbers to remember when converting from gallons to cups, pints to quarts, as so on.  So every year we make a Gary Gallon or a Gabby Gallon. 

Of course, the girls in the class make Gabby and the boys make Gary.  I got the adorable bunny graphics from Melonheadz.  So I made a quick practice page to go along with our conversion crafts.  Just click on the worksheet to get the worksheet, graphics and directions to make your very own Gary or Gabby Gallon!

Here are some pics of my students using their Garys or Gabbys.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

What a day!  I don't think we could have crammed more into Easter Sunday but we did it!  After a beautiful church service, it was a mad dash back to my mom's to fill eggs. 
Then off to brunch at the Maxon Restaurant in Oregon, Illinois with and my sister and her family.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day but I don't think it made it past 45 degrees.  Spring certainly has NOT sprung here in Illinois. 
The Maxon is located along the Rock River and across the way is the Chief Blackhawk statue.  Of course, we had to go get a closer look at it.

Here's a rare pic of me and the hubby. He HATES getting his picture taken but I won out!
And finally here is a sweet pic of my newest niece, Harper.
After brunch, we headed back to my mom's house and spent the next 7 hours eating, egg hunting, eating, playing, watching Beetlejuice (an Easter tradition in my family), eating and overdosing on candy.  It was a wonderful day to spend with the whole family and I am happy to share it with you.
So ends my Spring Break.  I head back to the classroom tomorrow and we're into the homestretch of the school year.  I hope to have another freebie ready for you this week so check back often!