Are You Ready to Shop 'Til You Drop?

Black Friday shopping has never been my thing.  I prefer online shopping from the comfort of my home.  If you love shopping online, too, you are going to LOVE the upcoming Cyber Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!

One of the features I love most about TpT is the option to wishlist items for future purchases, especially when I'm trying to pinch pennies.  As a seller, I can keep tabs on the statistics of my products and see which products are being wishlisted in return.  Here are three of my most wishlisted items right now (click on the pictures below to learn more about each product):
I first created these worksheets to give my students more choices and variety when working with their spelling lists.  This bundle will work with any 10 spelling words and most of the activities are editable so you can type your own words right onto the pages before printing!

This product was created for my friend, Erin.  She needed a new game for her second graders to practice while teaching arrays.  I ended up creating two different games, activities for building arrays using spinners and dice, and a few practice pages, too.

This third item is one of my favorite creations of all time.  When I first started math workshop in my classroom, I found a need for more individual activities that weren't the traditional pencil and paper variety.  I ended up creating a series of dice games that can be used over and over again with different results.  This bundle includes three smaller packs of addition and subtraction dice games.  I also have packs for multiplication and division.

If you are looking to learn a little more about what will be on sale, check out Jen's post over at Teaching in the Tongass:

Happy Shopping!

Image Map

Thanksgiving Picture Books

I love having special books on display for holidays and themes in the classroom.  Thanksgiving is no exception, but I used to have a pretty sad and bare shelf.  That has all changed over the past few years thanks to Scholastic Book Club flyers and recommendations from teaching blogs.

As many of you know, I am out of the classroom this year, so I didn't get to set up my display shelf.  Instead, I have been rotating my books in and out of a small book tub to share with my kids.  Here is what my little collection looks like right now:

Since my reading audience members are 4 and 1, I thought it would be fun to let my daughter share her favorites.  Here are her top 5 picks:
Pete the Cat, The First Thanksgiving by James Dean

Book Description: Starring in the school Thanksgiving play would make even the coolest cat nervous. But when Pete the Cat gets onstage, he makes learning the story of the first Thanksgiving fun. 

Megan says, "I liked when Pete and his family said they were thankful for. I liked the surprises under the flaps!"

T is for Turkey by Tanya Lee Stone

Book Description: Little ones will love learning about Thanksgiving in Tanya Lee Stone's newest shaped alphabet book. Join in as the elementary school puts on a play that tells the true story of the first Thanksgiving. Rhyming couplets that flow through the alphabet help kids celebrate everything from Harvest to Pilgrims to Turkey.

Megan says, "This book has my ABCs in it.  My favorite page was H because it's about a girl."

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

Book Description: Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea--what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Megan says, "That turkey is so silly dressing up like the animals.  He didn't really look like a horse.  He was so funny when he brought pizza for Thanksgiving - that's so silly!"

The Great Turkey Race and The Amazing Turkey Rescue by Steve Metzger

Book Descriptions: Cassie, Wing, and Ollie all want to be the Thanksgiving turkey! They decide to have a contest to see which of them Farmer Joe should pick. Is it going to be a happy Thanksgiving for all?

In the sequel, Cassie, Wing, and Ollie are back on the farm for another wild Thanksgiving adventure! When a fox is spotted prowling around the hen house, the turkeys smell trouble.  Can they help the chickens fly the coop before it's too late?

Megan says, "I loved the obstacle course. It's just like Ninja Warrior!  I didn't like that Wing was a cheater-pants.  It was silly that the farmers had soup for Thanksgiving."

The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty

Book Description: Mini is the littlest Pilgrim in her village.  Too little to sew.  Too little to bake.  Too little to fish.  But she's not too little to make a friend.

Megan says, "Mini was little just like me, but nobody would let her help.  I liked when she made her new friend.  Now they can play games together all the time!"

I hope you found one of your favorites on her Top 5 list (or maybe a new book to check out).  

Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts for Little Ones

We are definitely counting down the days to Thanksgiving around our house.  While we wait (sometimes impatiently), we create!

Earlier this week, my daughter browsed through my Pinterest board and chose three project she wanted to make at home.

The first project was a Thankful Pie (inspired by this pin). We needed two paper plates, construction paper, stickers, glue, a pen, and a brad (which we borrowed from her preschool teacher).  

The second project was a Name Turkey(inspired by this pin).  We needed a paper plate, brown crayon, googly eyes, construction paper, scissors, and glue.
PS - I did the tracing, but she cut out the turkey feathers, beaks, and wattles all by herself!

The third project was a Turkey Puppet(inspired by this pin).  We needed a paper bag, googly eyes, construction paper, scissors, glue, and a stapler (to hold those turkey feathers together before we glued).

And as an added bonus, she got to create two more turkeys at preschool:
The smaller one has the cutest legs made from yarn and red sticker stars.  It even has a safety pin on the back so it can be worn as a pin on Thanksgiving!

Now she's just waiting to have a delicious Thanksgiving feast! 

Favorite Chapter Books to Read Leading up to Thanksgiving

When possible, I like to keep with themes and holidays for my reading groups.  Since I teach 2nd grade, many of my students are reading chapter books.  One of my favorite books to read with my level M readers is Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I love the way Mary Pope Osborne has woven nonfiction elements into a fictional story.  It really gives students a lot of knowledge without overwhelming them.

Pilgrims is the nonfiction companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday. This book lends itself so well to teaching facts about the time period in a way second graders can understand. 

I have Junie B. books on hand because many of my students fell in love with her books in first grade, but can now read them independently in second grade.  In this book, Junie B.'s class is participating in a contest by creating lists of the things they are thankful for.

Like Junie B., Freddy is a first grader, but second graders will still connect with the humor and plot in these books.  In this book Freddy's class is preparing to perform a Thanksgiving play.  Nobody wants to play the part of the turkey....especially Freddy.

I have created book packs for each of the chapter books above to use with my guided reading groups.  Click on the images below if you're interested:


Do you have any favorite chapter books to read to or with your students? 

Five for Friday

Halloween is definitely on the brain in our house this week.  Here's what's been happening in our little corner of the world:

My daughter originally wanted to be a monster for Halloween, but the costumes were not what she had in mind.  So, we made an attempt at painting monster pumpkins this year.  She found the perfect one-eyed pink monster online and wanted to copy it. When she realized she painted her eye super big, she asked me to help her with the mouth so it would still look like the picture. Didn't her monster turn out cute?

My husband took a night off from working on our new house to carve some pumpkins with these two munchkins.  My daughter had a very specific request for her pumpkin this year (circle eyes, an M-shaped nose, and a smile with teeth).  Her brother got a Mickey pumpkin to match his costume.  He was also given some Teddy Grahams to keep him busy so pumpkin seeds & guts wouldn't end up all over the house! 

On Thursday, it was costume day at preschool.  Here's my little Minnie:

I love reading.  My favorite genre is what I like to refer to as tragic fiction.  Needless to say the books I read can get a little heavy at times.  A friend knew I needed a break and recommended this little trio of light reading:
Let's just say they are quick little reads and it feels like watching a very staged reality show!

Even though we haven't really celebrated Halloween yet, I started looking ahead to November.  My goal was to finish this book pack by November 1st and I managed to get it done a few days early.  I've never written a book pack for Ready, Freddy before, but he is definitely a character 1st and 2nd graders can relate to and I can't wait to tackle another of the books in the series soon.

If you're interested, you can find this pack here.

I hope you have a safe Halloween and an even better weekend!

Text Evidence Bookmarks (FREEBIE)

I'm popping in really quickly today to share a little freebie with you. Students always need reminders to use evidence from the text, so I thought I'd create some bookmarks that will help them.  I hope you can use them, too!

Click here to grab them!

Word Work and Spelling Practice in Second Grade, Part 2

Recently I shared all about what spelling looks like in my classroom from day to day.  If you missed that post, click here to read all about it.  Today I'm back to share more about what you might see for Word Work during my Daily 5 time.

Students are allowed to choose their own Daily 5 tasks.  However, I can remember a year that I had my kids on assigned rotations because it was just one of those groups (you know what I'm talking about).  So one of my choices is Word Work.  I should start by explaining that all spelling tasks must be completed before going to a Daily 5 choice and yes, I do have students who think they can fool me.  They do learn quickly (most of them, anyways).

I have a lot of open-ended Word Work activities.  Some are tailored to practice our spelling words, but most of them are simply activities that get my students working with a variety of words and language.  Here are some of the activities I have for my students:

You know I love low-prep games that can be used over and over again.  These Roll & Cover games for word work are no exception!  They can be used for 1 or 2 students during word work, but I can use them with up to 6 students during small group time.  The games cover 5 skills (bossy r, l-blends, r-blends, short vowels, and long vowels).  I keep two boards in one sheet protector so the kids have more than one game to choose from. The kids love them because they get to "play".  I love them because they are constantly practicing.
Roll & Cover Gameboards

Our district provided us with sight word lists several years ago.  I'm not sure why we didn't just go with lists that already exist, but I digress...I decided to turn the lists into quick and easy fluency practice.  I used these lists every day for months with my lowest readers and saw great results! For word work, kids grab the list they are practicing.  They roll one die and practice reading the list as quickly as possible.  Having a partner keeps students accountable for accuracy.

 Another thing I did was invest some money into word work games that would last and could be used throughout the year.  Most of these games I purchased from Really Good Stuff, but I don't know if they still sell them. These are great for review!
Compound Word Match-Up

Letter Tiles

Dig for Rhyming Words 

Another popular word work station is creating silly sentences.  This is a TpT product created by Morgan Berard.  I'm not going to lie, it was a lot of prep work, but the kids love it!

Sometimes I know we will either spend 2-3 weeks on a skill, or review it throughout the year.  I tend to make games, worksheets, and other supplemental resources to help keep my students engaged and learning.  I have put two of these resources on TpT for other teachers:
You can read more about how another teacher used Take Two: Contractions in her classroom here.

I also LOVE using word sorts for different spelling rules/patterns.  Here are two sorts I have for free on TpT:

I will also pull word sort activities from these resource books:

I hope that gives you a better glimpse into some of the things I use for Word Work in my 2nd grade classroom.  Let me know if you have any questions!

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