Sunday Super Sale

You know how it goes . . .

You buy a much-needed item from your wishlist only to replace it with three more products (or more).  Well, it's time to move some items from your wishlist to your cart.  Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Sunday Super Sale. 
Items will be marked down 20%.  Then, if you use the promo code: SUPER, you will save an additional 10% off your purchase.  Head on over to TpT on Sunday and shop til' you drop!

I have been busy updating a few of my products.  I am working to finish the last of my Magic Tree House comprehension packs.  I have 4 more to go and I'll be done with the first 28 books in the series.  While I'm finishing those, I have also been going back through and adding the answer keys to each of the files.  Make sure you go back and download the file again to get the latest updates.

Finally, you still have a couple of days left to enter my 300+ follower giveaway.  One lucky winner is going to walk away with some great prizes from some of my blogger buddies.  Click here to enter.

300 Follower Giveaway


I recently surpassed the 300 follower mark.  I am humbled that you have chosen to not only read this blog, but follow it so you can keep up with what I'm doing in my classroom.  It means so much to me and I want to give something back to you.  I have asked a few blogging buddies to help me out and I hope you like what we have to offer.
Here are the prizes you can enter to win:
From Yours Truly :)

a $15 gift certificate to TpT
courtesy of:
 One free pick from Tanja's store.
 Time Will Tell
courtesy of Jaime @ Bright Concepts for Teachers
 Valentine's Day Activity Pack
courtesy of Rae @ Mindful Rambles
 Two free items from Tracey's TpT Store:
Third Grade All Stars

One product from Mary's TpT store:
Two products of your choice from Sara's TpT store
 Miss V’s Busy Bees

One free pick from Andrea's TpT or TN store: 
Winner's Choice from Lisa's TpT Store
Now that you have seen what you can win, enter using the Rafflecopter below.  You can enter until February 2nd.  If you notice any links that aren't working properly, please let me know so I can fix them.  Thanks for entering :)


Description from
Oh, when will it snow again? wonders the little family who lives in the snow globe. They long for a swirling snowstorm—if only someone in the big family would pick up the snow globe and give it a great big shake. Baby would love to. She alone notices the little family. She gazes longingly at their snowy little world, but the snow globe is up way too high for her to reach. Then, when a real snowstorm sends the big children outside sledding in the moonlight, Baby finds herself alone in the parlor. . . . Will the snow globe family at last get a chance to go sledding too? As readers follow the parallel adventures of both families, big and little, they will take special pleasure in the miniature world of the snow globe, where the skating pond is the size of a shiny quarter and a snowman is no bigger than a sugar cube.)

After reading this book, I had students finish the following sentence:

If I lived in a snowglobe, I would . . .

After seeing MANY pins on Pinterest, I finally settled on combining the ideas and making my own templates.  We used construction paper and crayons.  We cut light blue circles and black trapezoids.  Then the students drew a winter scene.  Here is how some of our projects turned out:

Everyone's snowglobes were mounted on white and black paper for framing.  Their sentences were typed up and added to the base of the snowglobe.

For those who aren't familiar with the book, the author focuses on two families in the story - one looking in the snowglobe and one looking out.  I actually had two students draw a child looking into the snowglobe.

Finally, here is a picture of my bulletin board.  It isn't filled all the way...a colleague of mine is debating whether she wants to add some snowflakes her class made or not.  We thought of adding a title saying "Second Grade is SNOW Wonderful". 

What other winter projects have you pinned or made in your classroom?  I'd love to see what you're working on :) 

Geometry & VersaTiles

We are just wrapping up our unit on Geometry.  Our learning targets were directly related to 2D and 3D shapes as well as a few other skills (i.e. parallel line segments, polygons, etc.)  My students needed a lot of hands-on practice with counting the faces, edges, and vertices.   I am fortunate to have access to a set of Giant Geosolids in my classroom to help with identifying the 3-D shapes.  Here's a picture of the tools we work with:

With these shapes, we used this interactive anchor chart:
The blue cards are attached with fun-tak.  Hiding underneath each blue card is a hand-drawn picture of the 3-D shape.  The students also had a pile of sticky notes and a pencil.  The students would match the name of the shape with the drawing.  Then, they would grab the matching 3-D shape from the box of Geosolids.  They worked with a partner to count (and agree upon) the number of faces, edges, and vertices for their shape.  Then they would write the number on the sticky note and attach it to the anchor chart.  This makes the chart re-usable and the students can practice many times.

Another activity we tried was working with VersaTiles.  If you aren't familiar with these tools, here are two important pieces you should know about.  First, the answer cases:

Next, the workbook pages: 

When students open their answer cases, there are two parts: numbered tiles and lettered spaces.  I have the students put the numbered tiles in the top tray first.  As students answer each question on the workbook page, they move the tiles to the corresponding answer.

When all 12 questions have been answered, the answer case may look like this: 

Students close the case (top to bottom) and then flip the case upside down away from their bodies.  When they open the case, there is a colored pattern showing: 

The best part of all?  These answer cases are self-checking for students to work independently.  In the bottom corner of the workbook page, students check to see that they have the correct pattern showing.  Voila!  My kiddos think it's like magic and can't wait to see what the colors and patterns look like when they finally get to open the case.

 Oh, a quick fun fact . . .
I went to the ETA Hand2Mind page on Facebook and clicked "like".  One day they were having a giveaway for a set of answer cases.  I entered and found out I won 10 cases!!  The cases just arrived and I can't wait to share them with my students.

Another great resource I found comes from Amanda Chutorash.  She has a 2D and 3D Shape Geometry Pack on TpT.  One of my favorite pieces of this pack is the 2D and 3D Shape Books that the kids get to make.  When we used the 2D book, my students used color to highlight the parallel line segments of the shapes included.  In the 3D Shape Booklet, the students color the faces, edges, and vertices on each picture.  These books are awesome!!

 What other fabulous resources have you found for your Geometry study?  I'd love to hear about them so I can add notes to my lessons for next year :)

A Rainbow Blizzard

A Rainbow Blizzard
We were tired of winter weather,
so cold and wet and gray.
We talked to Winter's Wizard.
He made it snow a Rainbow Blizzard!

 Here is what we do with the project:
Materials Needed:
coffee filters
food coloring
gloves (so your hands don't end up tie-dyed)
paper plates for the snowflakes to dry on
optional - spray bottle filled with water

I have the students fold and cut their coffee filter snowflakes. While still folded, a parent volunteer drops food coloring onto the snowflakes. I let my students choose 2 colors.  If the food coloring isn't mixing well or isn't spreading quickly, I have the parent volunteer spray a little bit of water onto the filter.

To listen to the student reactions and watch their little faces light up when their snowflakes were finally opened was priceless!  This is one of my favorite winter projects of all time :)

Giveaways Galore!!

Mrs. Leeby recently hit 200 followers and is having an awesome giveaway.  Head on over to her blog to enter for a chance to win giftcards from Target, TpT, and Starbucks!
Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars has passed the 400 follower mark.  She has some amazing blogger buddies helping her out with this one and you'll definitely want to enter this one, too.

200, 400, wait - did we skip 300? Yes! I just recently passed 300 followers and have some ideas for a giveaway. I will be contacting a few bloggers to see if they'd be willing to help a girl out, but if you're interested in participating, leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail (

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week I sent home a graphic organizer that had Martin Luther King, Jr. on it along with 3 boxes.  I asked my students to write what they already knew about him on the paper.  Most students could tell me at least one true fact about his life, but three students turned in blank pages and told me they didn't know who he was.  Another child told me she asked her mom and her mom didn't know who he was so she couldn't do the homework.  Needless to say, it was time to build some basic knowledge of his life - especially if the students were headed into a 3 day weekend in his honor.
We spent the week reading several books about Martin Luther King, Jr. A couple of the books my kiddos really enjoyed were (click on the book cover to learn more about the book from

Product Details
This was a great one because it was written more like a picture book than your traditional biography. It doesn't get into too great of detail, but gives the big ideas to readers.

National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. (Readers Bios)
This one is a lot longer and will take us a few days to get through. The reason my kiddos enjoyed this book was because they were having a great time identifying and using the nonfiction text features we have been learning about to find information.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This one my students enjoyed because it had the quotations on each page. The students were also fascinated with the way the illustrations were done.

After reading, we created a web of important information we learned about him and started working on a read & write booklet I had from Scholastic.  I think my kiddos learned some basic facts, but they still had some questions:

"Did President Obama march with Martin Luther King?"
 "Why did anyone make those laws in the first place?  It just isn't fair!"

"What would have happened if a white person had a baby that was black or if a black person had a white baby?"

"If Martin used his words to solve problems, why would someone use a gun to hurt him?"

"How long was Rosa Parks in jail for?"

"Why couldn't people just share a drinking fountain?  It seems silly to have two drinking fountains everywhere you go."

I didn't answer all of their questions and encouraged them to have a conversation at home about them.  However, I was proud that my second graders were working hard on thinking questions :)

Snowmen at Night

I'm sure most of you have read this book and some of you have probably even seen this project on Pinterest for Snowmen at Night:

I taught a quick lesson on perspective (so the snowmen would be looking up at the moon) and the kids went to work. It was hard for some students to accept that the torn paper would not create a crisp, curved line on the snowman, but many students were excited to try something new.  Here are some of our finished projects:
 If I was a snowman, at night I would play football and go sledding.

If I was a snowman, at night I would make myself taller.

If I was a snowman, at night I would go hunting and ice skating.

If I was a snowman, at night I would go skating.

If I was a snowman, at night I would make cold cocoa.

If I was a snowman, at night I would play hide and seek.

If I was a snowman, at night I would build more friends.

If I was a snowman, at night I would go to a knight's castle.

If I was a snowman, at night I would have a snowball fight.

If I was a snowman, at night I would make another snowman.

Coming Soon
Our art projects inspired by:
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