Study the States

Hey there!

So, I have been doing state reports for years and I always felt like they could be so much more. I love doing them during our Flat Stanley adventures so the kids can really compare our state to the states that Stanley visited. I was also always surprised at the lack of literature out there on our states. So I decided to start a huge project and make a mini-unit of each state. Each state will be available individually and I intend to bundle the states by region and of course the entire United States. I am hoping that it brings a little more fun to learning about our 50 states.

The first state completed is California.

Check out what's included:

Literacy
1. State reports
- My state report
- State report wheel
- All about book
- Opinion outline: California is the best state... Why you should visit California...
- Informative outline
- Blank writing paper
2. KWL
3. State compare and contrast
4. Non-fiction passage with comprehension questions about state
5. Non-fiction small reader
6. Travel brochure
7. Word search
8. Crossword
Math
1. Differentiated story problem: I often have kids color and cut out when finished for a
fun display.
2. What is your favorite state symbol graph
Art
1. State puzzle
2. Design your own state plate
3. Coloring sheet
Other
1. State symbol cards
2. State stat cards
3. Recommended state books


Sketchnotes

Hey there,

It's been a while... wait is that how I always start these posts? LOL..

Anyway, so I just got back from the TPT conference in Orlando and it was amazing. I learned a lot of new tips and tricks on how to make better materials to help myself and others in the classroom. I also got to hang out with some awesome friends and of course I enjoyed some sunshine and maybe a Disney ice cream sundae or two. ha ha!

During the fabulous lectures of course I took diligent notes in the only way I know how, which apparently is called sketchnoting. I have always taken notes this way. I was asked by several people if they could take pictures. I had never really thought of my notes and doodles as picture worthy but it was pretty fun to share. 

So, what is sketchnoting aka visual note taking?

It is a process of reflecting your ideas non-linguistically aka drawing pictures along with written notes. I have always done a quick sketch next to key ideas and other stand out facts I want to remember. It really helps me to focus in on the concepts that otherwise blend into the other facts/notes. 

I have been thinking on how I could share this style of note taking/organizing and thought I would start with a simple to do list to see what people thought. I am hoping to branch out from here. I know there are people like me out there that need those visuals or maybe you just want some flare to your everyday bland to do list.

Check out the to do lists below. It is on TPT for free all this week! Just click on the pics below to enjoy your freebies! Please let me know what you think. I LOVE doing this and would be happy to take ideas on needs and wants.

Have a great night!











Math Toolkit

Hey there,

So the year is wrapping up and I always like to reflect on what has worked and what didn't. This spring I went from typical seating in my classroom to flexible seating (allowing my kids to choose their work space at various styles of seating around the room). I have LOVED this new formation, but with the new space comes challenges of organization. Luckily, I LOVE to organize.. seriously I dream about it... ha ha...

Anyway, with my new arrangement in mind I decided that having a math toolkit assigned to each kid with all the math tools we would need throughout the year would really help with storage and transitions. So I created these kits and I am super happy with the final product!

Included in the kit is:







I even attached the labels I made below if you want to create your own little toolkits! I am especially excited about the key inside the kit. FREEBIE!


Math Toolkit: FREEBIE
 
Have a great week and a fun end of the year!!
 
 

The Right Tools

Hey there,

Over the last couple of months our big boy has been being evaluated because deep down we knew that something more was going on than ADHD. Our boy is kind, compassionate, hilarious, extremely creative and one smart cookie. He is also stubborn, inflexible, very black and white, very independent  and loves to share random factoids. So when we heard the diagnosis of Autism we weren't surprised but, it was still hard to hear. It wasn't just a phase... this is real. I went through a series of emotions over the last couple of weeks. Then I realized... wait... he is still the same boy, we are still going to support him as we have been, but now we will have more tools in our tool belt.

One of the tools we have found successful really helps with one of his hardest challenges...transitions. We do A LOT of timers, warnings, and pre-talk to make sure transitions go as well as possible. He also has a hard time with new people and situations effecting his routines. Recently our nanny moved on (insert cry) and due to our weird schedule (my husband's a firefighter) we haven't been able to find someone permanent to take over the morning routines of getting ready for school. I had to think hard... loves facts, routine, being creative, independent work... ah ha. I decided to make little activity packs for him to do in the mornings. I would lay them out for him to work on to keep him calm and busy while the nanny was there. They have been amazing to have.

I decided to clean them up a bit and start sharing. You may not have a busy kiddo with ADHD or Autism. But do you like to get kids excited about something new? Need a change of pace for the day? Maybe a couple activities to do at a restaurant or waiting room...

Here are a couple I have finished putting together to share.  I even sent them in to his kinder class and the kiddos loved it. I hope you find them as useful as I have.

There is even a freebie below!



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bears-Mini-Unit-Jr-2532879

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bald-Eagle-Mini-Unit-Jr-2532887


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4lapk5B0IJ7ZXdONHRSSE56LVk/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4lapk5B0IJ7cU5pdGtiblhQT0U/view?usp=sharing


3, 2, 1.. Blast off!

Hey there!

I was so excited when I transitioned to 2nd grade to get to study space. So excited that I created a fun unit this summer in anticipation. So we just finished up the unit in our room and boy was it a success! The kids absolutely loved learning about the different planets and other fun elements of the solar system. The kids reports, art and other fun activities turned out wonderfully and really impressed parents as the walked through our open house. I love offering open houses as a less formal and flexible option for the kids to show off their work. Check out these pics below of the kids work. I added an art project not included in the pack but would be more than happy to share the simple steps if you have interest. I posted a few fun pics that I snapped during the unit. Have a great night!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Space-Unit-Common-Core-Aligned-2002202



Double Digits, Subtraction, Regrouping... OH MY!

Hey there!

I just have a quick post tonight about a great hands on tool I used with my 2nd graders when teaching regrouping with subtraction (OH MY). I don't know about your kids but mine were staring at me like a deer in the headlights when I introduced not only double digit subtraction, but with regrouping?! Wait... what is regrouping? Yep, I felt bad for my little nuggets. Luckily, I had spotted a teammate using these little gems when we were working with place value earlier in the year. I decided to make the numbers more visual to the kids and really show those numbers moving. Oh wow I saw lightbulbs go off. It was great I even did a teacher happy dance (true story). Physically moving those tens and ones right in front of them really helped my kiddos make the connection. We also have been chanting A LOT.. "If there's more on the floor...You go next door!" They love that one.

I hope you can use this and if you already are AWESOME! I am not saying that I invented this approach by any means but, if one other teacher sees this, uses it and kids connect... success!




 
 

Ready, Set...Write!

Hey!

So I have had a few people ask me if I would compile all of my writing templates and organizers. I am happy to say that I finally have done it. I am so excited to share this, mostly because I LOVE being organized and if you are anything like me you will love having all of these templates in one place. I have included lots of different options to keep your little writers focused and on track. Cheers to making your life easier! Just click on the cover below to check it out on TPT.



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-SetWrite-Graphic-Organizers-and-writing-Paper-MEGA-Pack-2384125




Absent

Hey there!

It has been a while since I have posted. I had the blog redone and was inspired to take flight with creative posts and glimpses into my classroom. Unfortunately, life struck at that moment as well. My oldest has been struggling with what we believe is more then ADHD. It has been a long, reflective couple of months and we are just in the beginning stages of the evaluation process. This whole experience has really made me evaluate my teaching and what I can do better to help support kids with sensory and attention obstacles, that may not have a definite diagnosis, but there are more kids then you realize that are struggling in our classrooms everyday. Just some food for thought...