2 New Freebies & Dominoes for Days

Even though some of you have been back in the classroom for a week or two (and some of you for a month) I am in the middle of my work week.  I realized I haven't shared a freebie in awhile.  So, I set aside a little time to finish up a couple of word searches.  As usual, if you choose to download and enjoy these word searches, I would appreciate a little feedback.  Just click on the pictures below to get your copies.

I had several volunteers offer to proof my latest file.  I drew a number to decide who would help.  Thank you to Tania for being my extra set of eyes.  I hope you enjoy the activities with your students. 

These domino activities would be a great addition to a first or second grade classroom.  I am planning to start the year with these activities with my second graders to provide review and build fact fluency back up from summer loss.  Because second graders can complete them independently, they will be good practice for building stamina during our math rotations, too.  I plan to pair these games with my Keep on Rollin' dice packs.

In the picture above you can see the different title slides for the activities and the various sheets included.  I will print mine pages on cardstock paper and put into sheet protectors.  By doing this my students can use dry erase markers and the sheets should last all year.  Most of the activities include a cover page and a single sheet for the activity.  However, two activities (True or False? and What's Missing?) each contain four pages with answer keys.  These could be used in your math station or as worksheets for additional practice. 

I hope you find these useful :)

New Project in the Works & My Grade Book

So I was planning to share this yesterday, but I got swept up in my classroom projects, a meeting that ran longer than planned, and my soccer game.  I know Tara isn't doing her Monday Made-It series weekly now that summer is almost finished.  However, I thought I'd keep up in the spirit of things and share with you what I have been making.

Besides beefing up my book units this summer, I have wanted to create some more independent math stations for my classroom.  I already have a lot of great dice games and started thinking about better utilizing my math manipulatives.  My newest project will utilize the packs of dominoes I have.  I think I have the project finished, but I would love another set of eyes just to make sure.  It's targeted for first and second graders.  If you have a few moments to look it over for errors or confusion I would be so grateful.  Just leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

Last spring I bought an Erin Condren planner during the big Teacher Appreciation sale.  While it has a great section for a grade book, I keep so many checklists for things I wasn't sure I'd have enough pages.  So, I made a separate grade book: 

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE organizing with binders.  What makes binders even more fun?  Having some fabulous dividers!

Here's a close-up of some of my divider labels:

Now all I need is a class list so I can start making my grade book pages to put behind each section.  

Classroom Pics - Under Construction

I finally crossed the threshold.  I'm not sure many families know just how much time it takes to set up a classroom each  year.  Even after doing this for more than a decade it never seems to get any easier for me.  Here is the state of the classroom I walked into:
View from the inside classroom door:
All my furniture was pushed up against two walls. 

The natural light flooding in from the window will soon disappear into a Pacific Northwest haze (Oct-Apr).

In this one you can see my perfectly ordinary, but extraordinarily boring alphabet line running across the wooden bulletin board at the top of the picture.

View from the outside classroom door: 

Oh, how I wish the floor space remained this wide and open, but for some reason I need to pack 25 or so second grade bodies into desks in that space.  A girl can dream, right?

Yes, that is definitely a hazard TV/VCR combo at the top of this picture.  It was one of my requests to be removed.  It was on a very shaky platform and we're probably one earthquake away from watching it crash into a million little pieces.

I have spent a few hours here and there in the classroom tackling different projects.  I cleared out some space in my file cabinet (which I then filled up with other items).  I reorganized my supply cupboards, and shuffled some items around in my supply drawers.  I moved most of the furniture back to where it will most likely stay for the year.  My wonderful mom came to watch my little one, but I was able to snag her for a couple of hours.  She put together some folders for me and cut out 90% of my lamination (and it was A LOT).  Love that lady and am so lucky!  So, here are some pictures of my room after putting in a few hours of grunt work today:

Here you can see the new set of number posters I made.

And here is my bright new alphabet set.  I just wish the lamination didn't give off such a glare for the photo.  I'm really happy with how they turned out!

View from the inside classroom door:
I have one set of desks that surround my computer table.  Then I have 3 pods of four desks.  In the back are 2 rows of four desks.

Another view of the desks.

This wall contains bookshelf after bookshelf of my classroom library.  The tables stacked near the back will be used for my reading table and a small group work space.

View from the outside classroom door:

My reading table will slide just a little to the right and fill the space behind that last group.

Now, do you remember that big, ugly monstrosity they called a TV/VCR combo?  Do you notice anything?  It's gone!!  The custodians are even helping to patch the ginormous holes in the wall and touching up the paint.  It's not an easy task.  Years ago, two teachers painted their classrooms and this wall was sponge painted.  The custodian said he's going to try his best.  I'm planning to cover most of it with hanging chart paper just in case, but we'll see :)

I have Monday to work in my room again.  Hopefully I'll get a few more things on the wall and get a chance to take some more pictures of what I've been working on.

New Finds & A Winner

Thank you to everyone who posted about which products on my wishlist you would like to win.  The number chosen was 8 (we celebrated our 8th year of marriage this month).  Congratulations to Carly Valencio - I just sent you a message so check your e-mail :)

Don't forget that tomorrow is the BIG SALE :)  After I finish this post I'm off to finalize my wishlist.  Since my wishlist is over 2 pages long, I think I need to set my budget and THEN prioritize what I really need NOW and what can wait until later. 

I took my first outing to the local teacher store today.  I was good....I promise!   I only got one thing that wasn't on my list:

I was trying to think of a new incentive for our monthly reading calendars (homework).  Last year I saw one of my friends doing an ice cream sundae party (thanks, Erin).  Each month that students returned calendars, they got to add one more piece to their sundae.  At the end of the year, the students had an ice cream party.  Fun, right?  I loved the idea, I just wasn't sure I had the wall space to dedicate to it.  I saw these tickets and knew they would be perfect.  Each month the students will earn a sticker on their ticket.  At the end of the year, students will get to enjoy an ice cream party (each sticker represents a part for building that ice cream sundae). 

OK, if I was going all the way to the teacher store, I had to make a Target run, too.  I picked up one more pocket chart and while I was looking through the dollar bins I found these two items:

On the left are stickers that say, "Hello, my name is".  They are about 2"x1" each.  They will fit perfectly in the pocket chart I use for attendance and lunch count.  I'm so excited!  Each packet comes with 30 stickers which is more than enough for one class, even if students move in/out all year.  I bought a second pack so I would have more for the following year.

On the right is a pack of bookmarks.  There are 24 in the pack, which means I would be cutting it close for class size.  So, I bought a second pack.  Besides, even if my class size is desirably low for once, I just know my kids will need replacement bookmarks throughout the year.  I also give my kids one of these bookmarks to decorate any way they like:
There is a color version, too.  Click on the picture to grab your own copy.

Math Mania

 Just had lunch with a great friend and I'm in a super duper good mood!  Two more days until the BIG Back-to-School Sale over at TpT...but who's counting? (This Girl)

Yesterday I showed you some of my top wishlisted and best deals for reading.  Today I'm switching the focus to math.  Oh, and I have a little surprise for you at the end if you make it all the way through the post (hint, hint).

These games were a favorite all year long with my students during math.  When I first created them I was looking for engaging activities that my students could do without a partner.  I print them off on cardstock and put them into sheet protectors.  My students used them all year long without a problem.  Each pack has 5 different games inside (some with more than one level of difficulty).  The bundle contains all 15!

 Tasty Tally Marks
This was one of my earliest products and is still one of my best-selling math games.  I updated it this summer so not only does it include a matching game, but it now has four worksheets (with answer keys).

This also has some of my favorite games and activities to do with my students.  My kids loved Take 10 and the math fact sorts.  In fact, I just printed up a new set of game cards for Take 10 and have them cut and ready for lamination to start the year!

This is one of my newer math products.  It took forever to get everything just right and I'm sure I'll still play around with it in the near future, but for now I'm happy with it.  This pack gives ample opportunity for students to practice matching analog and digital times through matching games and worksheets have been provided for additional practice.  I made one for each time interval and have included how each pack aligns to Common Core.




Now, are you still with me?  Good.  Would you like the chance to win one of your wishlisted items before you can buy it?  Now is your chance.  Leave me a comment below with one item from my store that is on your wishlist.  Oh, and don't forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you.  I'll choose a random number tomorrow and announce it here on the blog.  Just click on the image below to head to my store.  Good luck!
 This opportunity has ended.  Thanks for entering!

Are You Ready?

Hip, Hip Hooray, the big sale starts on Sunday!
If you haven't been part of the big sale before, it's time to start loading your cart.  On these days many stores will be having a sale.  Good, right?  It gets better - if you use the promo code you can save even more money!  My products will be 20% off, but if you use the promo code you will save an addition 10%.  In the end it comes out to be a savings of 28%!
For the next few days I'll be featuring some of my best sellers, top wishlisted items, and best deals.  All of these will be marked down 20% on Sunday and Monday.
Today I want to feature some of my Reading products.
Horrible Harry in Room 2B is my best seller.  Since creating that packet, my kids really grew to love Harry and his friends.  Once I got many book packets completed I wanted to put them in a bundle.  Right now, this bundle currently contains 18 of the books in the series.  However, there are over 30 books written.  I plan to create a packet for the remaining books.  If your students love Horrible Harry as much as mine do, this is a great deal!  As books are added the bundle price will increase, but if you buy now you will receive all future packets at no additional cost (all you need to do is download the updates from your purchases tab).  If you click on the image above you can download a free preview to see all that is included with this bundle.
This one is my most wishlisted item and is super close to being my best seller again.  This was one of my first products.  I have to admit that I have learned so much more about creating products since then, but I still really love these labels.  The pack comes with the labels in blue, pink, green, and purple.

Magic Tree House
Another favorite series for my students is the Magic Tree House books.  I love that the author incorporates factual information within each storyline.  The kids love the feeling of going on new adventures with Jack and Annie.  I have created a packet for each of the first 28 books in the series.  Each book comes with comprehension questions for each chapter and 1 or 2 activities (word search, vocabulary, ABC order, etc.).  Oh, and if you don't need the whole bundle, each book packet is sold individually, too.

I'm off to go prioritize my shopping cart on TpT.  I love back-to-school sales!
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