Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My classroom pets- Juliana

Hello friends!
   I am excited to share with you something that my kinder kids love, and that could work with older grades too. This is all you need:

 Yes, I’ve had the “monkey theme” for the past four years (and I plan to have it for a few more). Magically, my students started to bring me a lot of “monkey stuff”, including stuffed animals, so I decided to use them during and after class.

        I use them during class when it’s reading time and they don’t have a reading buddy. They simply go to the library, take a “friend” and read to them. It also works when I am busy talking to another student. I tell them to say it to the monkey first (and they really do!). That gives me time to finish the conversation. There is also another way I have used them. I had a student at the beginning of the year that would cry constantly because she didn't want to come to school. I told the student that our monkey was also nervous about coming to class, and that she was responsible for making sure he was okay, because I wanted him to know that he was safe in school. 

She started taking the monkey everywhere and I mean everywhere (bathroom, lunch, recess, etc). Our monkey even had a special place in P.E. I decided it worked but I didn’t want her to carry the monkey the whole day, every day. I decided I had to take it away, so I started a journaling activity.

This is how I started it:
1. The students picked five monkey friends from the classroom.
2. They named all the monkeys. A whole group activity.
3. I created the diary (duck tape on the spiral for durability):

4.  Created a few guidelines:

5. I send home every Friday, but only those who have not been on yellow the whole week can take them home. I love how it helps as a motivator for good behavior! 
6. Students share on Monday what they did with the monkeys.
Did I mention I also send a small snack(left over from the week)? I tell them that it is for the monkeys and one of my students actually brought the snack on Monday. He said the monkey was not really hungry. How cute! 

Would you like to use it in your classroom? Click here. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Anchor Charts and New Products

Hi there sweet readers!

The fall season is full of great themes and content, I love, love teaching all these fun and engaging things. We have been learning about pumpkins, nouns, addition strategies and so much more.

We have  been reviewing the differences/similarities between fiction and nonfiction. We read "The Pumpkin Book" and "The Biggest Pumpkin Ever" to further develop an understanding of books that are real and books that are pretend.

For language we have been learning about nouns. We created an anchor chart in which we sorted between person, place, thing/animal.

We continue to work hard at our goal for reading using the CAFE board. Instead of adding Post-it notes, I use the my firsties' pictures on the specific CAFE goal. 


In writing, some of my firsties were really haing trouble coming up with ideas to write about. Once upon a time, I created a heart map with my students and they got to hung up on it... So I look for different ways to get them started. This is a group of October prompts I created, they have been really helpful!


You can find this set of prompts in my little store.

In Math we continue to use BUILD stations. 

I am a holiday nut and I put the Christmas tree out and dress it as a harvest tree, the kids love it, and the classroom looks so so cozy. I use it to display student work. 


We have made subtraction monsters 

And addition spiders

We have also started with addition strategies:


 Last but not least, I have added these products to my little store:

All the word problem types for second grade! You can find them here!!

Who doesn't have to do Nonsense words these days, check my intervention pack!!

This teacher is tired!!! I am in the middle of a soccer tournament with my oldest son, and we have an early game tomorrow. Nite, nite!

Laura :)
Come visit my little store!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I just thought I would share a few pictures from the classroom.  Happy Friday!

My mom decoupaged some cardboard letters with some old maps.  Don't they look great?  They add some pizzazz to the reading areas in the classroom.

I cannot take credit for this one, but the theme of the 2nd grade hallway is Pac-Man.  These pac-man decorations line the hallway!

It always makes me feel good to get precious homemade gifts from my students.  One create student turned a box upside-down and attached ribbons and leaves.  She remembered once that I said that I love fall.  What a thoughtful gift!

I hope you're all connecting with kiddos, hanging in there, and remembering why you all became teachers!

Much love,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Spooktacular Giveaway!!

Hey guys!

I have linked up with my friends at  "2 Brainy Apples" for a spooktacular giveaway...So if you are in the mood for some serious, awesome, engaging, intentional freebies... please follow this link:

There are several lovely bloggers and TpT sellers who have  donated products in grades K-8 for you all to possibly win. There are 4 bundles of products to win. You can earn several entries a day, so be sure to stop by every day for multiple chances to win! The Rafflecopter is set to run from today until Sunday, Oct. 20, at midnight EST. A winner will be chosen the following Monday. Good luck!

Have a lovely evening!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Personal Hygiene - How to Wash Your Hands

We've decided to do a personal hygiene program on Fridays in our classroom. Washing our hands is something that most of us take for granted. We do it on a daily basis without taking another second to think about it. For special needs children, washing their hands can be a challenge. There could be a cognitive issue or it could be a motor skill that they just haven't developed yet. In order to teach special needs students how to wash their hands, it must be broken down into simple steps. We broke it down into 5 steps; wet your hands, get soap, wash for 15 seconds, rinse, and dry your hands. To teach these steps, we watched a BrainPop video and done a short activity with them. See a picture of the activity below. 
(You will need blank paper, crayons for tracing hands, 

hand washing images, and glue sticks!)

We also hung some pictures up in the bathroom, along with a cute little song, as a reminder. Check it out. 

(Sorry for the glare!)

Please share your ideas on how you teach personal hygiene!! 

Teaching with TLC, 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Congratulations to Erica Hildebrand for posting her favorite spot in her classroom!  She is our winner for our very first INTERACTION feature!  She posted this photo of a place in her classroom that is perfect for small group work!

Our next question for our INTERACTION feature is this:

Leave a comment and/or picture in the comment box below!  We would love to hear from you.  Three weeks from now, the winning comment will receive a choice item from Kenzie's Treehouse and a choice item from Christine Cadalzo.  

We are so excited to hear your ideas!

-Kenzie and Chris

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What I have been up to and a FREEBIE!! {By Laura}

Hello there sweet blog friends,

I know, I know, I deeply apologize for MIA. Life gets crazy sometimes! But here I am with a short post of what we have been doing plus a FREEBIE!
My school district is all about "Thinking Maps" and so am I!  We created this double bubble map of nonfiction and fiction text. I used paper plates and the contents came from the book "Reading with Meaning" by Debbie Miller.

I also decorated my door with a reading tree! Every time we read a book as a class, we write the title on  a leaf, an apple, or a bird! By the end of the year I expect it to be super full!! I only hope that the fire marshal is not the rain on my parade, Lol!

My Daily 5 block is also in full sail. This shows how I conference with a student who has context clues as her goal. She found some unknown words, wrote them down on sticky notes  {and the page number} and later I met with her to model and teach her the strategy.
I am particularly proud of the way my writers workshop is going. My students are performing up to my expectations and following the writing process, yeah!!! Remember...writing is not about the product but about the process. To better help my students, I created this lovely chart. Each circle has their name, and they move along the board according to where they are in the process!! I, however, took the time to explain and model the behaviors and expectations in each of the steps. If you see, I have my picture {and my fantastic assistant} next to the "editing" section. That's the step in which we meet with them and find a teaching point! They can later publish in a laptop {I am very blessed to be working in a school with lots of resources} or they can also publish in a separate sheet of paper using cool pens. ONLY after publishing they are allowed to illustrate because otherwise, they will spend their  time drawing.


However, some of  my sweet kiddos are having some trouble with coming up with ideas to write about! Dang it! Not everything is perfect y'all! So I decided to create a bunch of seasonal prompts. I print, cut, laminate, and glue into a clothespin. The clothespins with the prompts remain in the writing table. If a student is struggling to come up with ideas, I advice him/her to find a prompt and get started! The most important thing is to get them writing. This is how they look:

You can download the prompts from my TpT store! 
Click here for the English version!
Narrative Writing October Prompts
Click here for the Spanish version!
Prompts in Spanish for October
Click here for the bilingual bundle!
Bilingual Bundle Narrative Writing October Prompts

Now the freebie!! How is this tree map for situations in which the teacher should be interrupted or not?! I don't want to say it is picture perfect down in room 208, but this certainly has helped my students understand that when I am tending to tattles and broken pencils, I am not teaching! 

 You can download the file by clicking on the link:

Enjoy and have a blessed week!

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