Lollipops, Piglets, and Penguins…{Sunday Rewind} & Flash Sale

When we were not backpacking through genres or knee deep in penguin research, we were busy with several other things this week.

Monday, it was a big Chinese New Year Celebration!!! We read a news article out of our Weekly Reader Magazine and reviewed Main Idea and Details. Then we made these cute little dragon masks.


On Monday, I also introduced our very first genre: Fantasy. We read Tacky the Penguin which sent the kiddos into hysterics. Since they enjoyed Tacky so much, and since we were all about penguins last week during our research, I decided to have the students write a fantasy about Tacky the Penguin during their independent writing time which takes place while I am meeting with guided reading groups. They also created a cute little Tacky craftivity. Thanks Reagan Tunstall for a little inspiration with your adorable little Tacky creation.

Here are just a few of my favorite:




In math, we began division. These kids are running me ragged in math. I am telling you what…some days I just don’t even know how to keep up with them. They are totally brilliant! Let’s just pray that next years littles will be just as smart! :) If not…how does that motto go…oh yes…modify and adjust! Ha!

So, we began reviewing the relationship between addition and subtraction through fact families. We had several snowball fights in the classroom which were super fun after the first round where I forgot to lay the ground rules of no snowballs in the face. I mean…they have some serious arms! Sheesh! After that, we were good to go. Here are some freebies that you may want to pick up. Click on the pictures below.

Both activities include addition and subtraction fact families. Slide2 {So here is how a fact family snowball fight works. The students write their first equation- addition or multiplication to find their three numbers. They write their three numbers that will create their fact family on a piece of white paper. Then the students wad the paper up into a snowball. When the teacher says “Snowball Fight” the students gently throw the snowballs. When the snowball fight is over, each student chooses one snowball and returns to their seat to create the four problems in their fact family.}Slide2

After we reviewed the relationship between these two operations, we began learning about the relationship between multiplication and division. They picked up on the connection immediately. So, we had a few more snowball fights, and then we made these cute little fact family lollipops. Several teacher bloggers made these same fact family candies - peppermint style around Christmas, and I was super jealous that we were not working with fact families around that time. So, I tucked that baby away for later. Instead of peppermints, we made sweet lollipops.


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And finally, we just wrapped up our U.S. Regions and American Tall Tales social studies unit. This week, we headed straight for geography. I hit on this topic just a little around Halloween when we created our pumpkin globes, but we need some touching up in this area and a little more instruction with reading a variety of maps.

I found THE CUTEST idea on pinterest which led me to this amazing classroom website. You must check out Mrs. Maddens Second Grade Class Website. She has some wonderful ideas. Thanks to Mrs. Madden’s Class, we began this geography unit with a bang! I read Chester the Worldly Pig which is a story about a pig dying to be something special. When everything seems to fail, his new owner notices that his spots are….what else…in the shape of the seven continents. I mean…how cute is that AND why have I never even laid eyes on this book before?!? Then, we just had to create these cute little Chesters.  This week during independent writing, the students will write about an adventure {to tie into our genre study} that Chester goes on through all seven continents.



Now…it’s time to begin it all over again!

And as a little THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments on my products over at TPT, I am having a FLASH SALE beginning right now until midnight tonight! You guys are seriously full of sweetness and I truly, TRULY appreciate all of your support and kind words! It just makes my day…every time! :) Thanks so much for being such an encouraging bunch of bloggy friends! Y’all are the BEST!  So, enjoy 20% off…get it while it’s H.O.T.!

You can check out my store by clicking HERE

Happy Sunday!

Penguin Research Unit

We have been loving some penguin research in 2nd grade. I think they were completely disappointed when we finished our final essays on Friday.

Here are some highlights!

As we worked our way through our research, we created anchor charts to post as a visual reminder of the steps “great” researchers follow throughout their study.


Although I do not have any pictures of this step, during this study I really…REALLY…emphasized the importance or organization in research. The students planned their topics and subtopics prior to searching for appropriate books and websites. I have to say, the thing that impressed me most during this writing unit was my students ability to locate websites independently. HOLY COW! We {LOVIN’ this whole having a student teacher thing!!!!} helped them out to begin with and then by the end of the week, they had websites up and ready to go in no time.

After a week filled with research, we finished up our final papers on Friday. My kiddos blew my socks off. :)


After our writing was finished, the students put together a little penguin friend to display along with their writing.


I found this little piece of cuteness on pinterest from the Glyph Girls. They have some darling creations. You can check them out on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click on the picture below to see all of their wonderful glyph projects.


We made something a little similar and the kiddos loved them. AND…they were GIGANTIC! AND…super fun!  My super creator {a.k.a. one of my students super precious grandmothers} really outdid herself preparing this for us. I love how they all had identical pieces to create their penguin, yet they all take on their own little personality.

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I have compiled the resources that we used throughout our research and made a little writing mini.  Whether you are writing simple paragraphs or five paragraph essays, this unit will provide you with all of the necessary resources to guide your instruction and create a purpose for your research. As a fun bonus, at the conclusion of your research, the students will create a fun little penguin craft.


My kids have created this penguin for a few years. My students will be creating this little guy on Monday to display with our connection to research. All of the tracers are included in the unit and ready to go!


You can pick up this writing unit and craft over at my TPT shop for just $3.50. 


I hope that you are all having a super blessed Saturday!

Buttons and Bows 100th Day

We are getting very excited about our 100th Day coming up on Tuesday. My kiddos may even be counting down the hours! There are definitely some exciting celebrations out in blog land! I am loving all of your pictures and fun activities. Tomorrow, we will begin preparing for our special day. I have called in the troops {room moms} and our 100th day hats will be under construction during the morning hours.
This year, our 100th day collections will be on our heads! I made my hat today so that my students could see an example of what our finished projects will look like. They have all brought in their collections and we have everything from cotton balls to skittles. Now, I must say that our collections may not be as cool as my buddy next door. She had one student bring in “nuts and buts” {translation: nuts and bolts}. I am beyond jealous of her kids’ creativity! Ha!
Now…isn’t this just cute as a button! :)
Can we say “BE-DAZZLED”?
I have included all of the resources for this project in my 100th Day Craze. You can check it out at TPT.
So tell me…what are your favorite 100th day activities?!?
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Skittles Probability Freebies

Last week, we spent a few days working on probability in our math unit. My kiddos are heavy into basketball season right now, so we began by shooting a few hoops {in the classroom}. We used a basketball and a hula hoop. The kids decided their position in the classroom, and then the class made statements about the probability of each student making the shot.

Just in case basketball did not get their attention…next up…FOOD! {Food always works in a pinch…especially when it’s candy!} :) I gave each student a bag of skittles. They drew a picture of the skittles inside their bag. Then they wrote four statements using the words certain, impossible, likely, and unlikely to show the probability of drawing a particular color. 

Slide1 {For the Record: I typically do not print student copies in color. This was a total accident, so I ran with it! Shhhh….that’s our secret! }

Here are a few freebies. Click on the pictures below to download.



Enjoy! :)

Backpackin’ in Action and a Little Randomness

Well…we are back in action. After last week, I was a little worried! Thank goodness that didn’t last long! This week, we began our genre study from my Backpacking Through Genres Unit and my kids are all over it. So far, we have covered fantasy and mystery. In fact, my sweet student teacher taught them all about mysteries today and made a cute little craft to boot! Yep…we are going to be great friends! ;)

Here is a look at the start of our study. 
Presentation4 Each day, our backpack is jammed pack with a new genre and the student tickets to get on the “Genre Bus”. We read a story and identify the traits that we find to classify that specific genre.
After our read aloud, the students return to their desks to add a new genre to their notebook. We sometimes refer to this as our genre scrapbook holding all of our memories from our backpacking adventure. We know…we are super corny! Ha!
Here is a look at one of the student pages. I forgot to take a picture of our page completely finished, so I had to do a little copy and paste…BUT you get the idea!
Lovin’ this genre study! You can check it out HERE… if you would like! 

Now for some randomness… {This definitely has no rhyme or reason!}
Random Picture # 1: Snow Globes
After our “If I Lived in a Snow Globe” writing, we made our very own snow globes. Can you take a wild guess at how many of my students had ever laid eyes on a snow globe prior to this little creation?!? Yep…ONE! Am I just THAT old?!? Are snow globes really a thing of the past?!? Well, even if they are, these snow globes turned out super cute and took about 5 minutes to make! Best 5 minute project ever!
Random Picture #2:  The Amazing Race
We have been hard at work mastering words with long o vowel patterns. This game is definitely a class fave! Amazing Race Long O is included in my little pack of long o centers. You can check those out HERE!
Random Picture # 3: Center Set-Up
I have been meaning to post a picture of my center set-up for some time because I get lots of emails about how I run centers in the classroom. Currently, our center station is packed with my Winter Wonderland Math Centers. I attached the center cover sheet to a file folder and ran each folder through the laminator. After cutting the top of the folder, I placed all of the activity sheets inside. These centers are very easy for the students to access and allows them to practice a variety of skills to keep those basic math concepts fresh!
Well bloggy friends, that is all I have for tonight.
Have a happy Wednesday! :)

Backpacking Through Genres and a Freebie

I am so excited about the genre study that I will begin this week with my second graders. They have got nonfiction and fiction nailed…so now I want to take them a little deeper. PLUS, they can’t wait to get into mysteries. So after this study, we will be looking further into that genre! But before I do that, I want to make sure that they are introduced to the many different genres that make up our world of reading! That’s where Backpacking Through Literary Genres comes into play.

This unit sort of piggybacks my Road Trip Through Nonfiction Features {check that unit out HERE} and follows a very similar format that encourages the use of authentic texts to learn about 12 different genres.


Each day during our study, I will be unpacking my backpack with a new book and a new genre. Throughout the study, the students will be creating a book of genres to use as they independently read. This book will extend this study long after the instruction is complete as students continue to classify books into a specific category. Below is a little peek, but I will be back throughout the week to show you how it is all going down in my classroom!  


This unit is packed with 118 pages of resources to help your students learn to categorize literature. I have tried to include every resource in black/white and full color to make everything printer friendly! :) It includes daily tickets and skill posters to introduce each genre, a “Fill up the Pack” display to place in your reading center to encourage reading across the genres, a student book and student reading logs, and directions for the teacher!

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If this unit can be of some use to your and your sweeties, you can stop by my TPT shop and pick it up!

And just in case you are studying genres, here is a little freebie. BUT…before I show you/explain, you have to hear about the awesomeness of Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade. Yes, yes, the fab creator of our monthly currently that I look oh so forward to every. single. month. I sent her an email to ask her if I could totally steal her amazing idea to encourage reading across the genres. Of course, as sweet as she is, she insisted that I post my version here for you. Can we all just agree that she is super presh?!? So, since she was sweet enough to allow me to share, if you download this little freebie, head on over to her blog and tell her just how WON.DER.FUL she is. here is how her brilliance works. You can copy these tickets onto color cardstock, hole punch, and attach to a ring for your kiddos. Once they read a book from each genre and the teacher signs off, they are rewarded for their accomplishment. You can check out her original post HERE and then you can click below to pick up my little version. THANKS, FARLEY!



And for all of you who will be celebrating your 100th Day this week, {we still have a few days to go} don’t forget to check out my 100th Day unit at TPT!


Alright…I am off to finish grades and lesson plans! I will be back tomorrow to give you a little rewind of last week! Here’s to hoping for a stress-free week filled with wonderful learning! {Fingers Crossed!} :)

Happy Sunday!!!

Tell Me It’s a LONG Weekend!

Tell me I can sleep until at least…next Friday. This week has been something else!

Exhibit A:

On Tuesday morning, I was admiring all of the student teachers in the building thinking about how nice it would be to have another adult in my room. Well at about 7:30, {as my kiddos were walking through the door} I was greeted by a sweet girl who claimed that she would be student teaching with me. After I asked her a few times {maybe a few hundred} if she was sure that she had the correct classroom, I welcomed her in and bless her little heart…she is now with me…full time…until April! {Seriously…bless. her. heart!} Ha! I felt AWFUL that I had absolutely zero activities planned to get to know her AND I had not prepped my kids….oh dear! I think I was in a slight state of panic, but we made it! She will be an awesome addition to our classroom and I am so, so, SO excited to help her along. Let’s just hope she doesn’t run for the hills, because I am sure that there will be several times that she may think I have totally lost my mind! BUT…I am pretty sure that everyone has already warned her! :)

Exhibit B:

On Wednesday Morning at about 7:40, I get a call from the front office telling me that I will have a new student…in about 5 minutes. Then they asked if I would need a desk…and in my next state of panic, I thought to myself…”No, no, I will just ask her to sit in the floor! YES, I NEED A DESK!” But instead, I said it with a little more class…”Yes, please!” She is another wonderful addition to our classroom and is totally presh! {Thank the Lord!}

Exhibit C:

During all of this craziness, my kids definitely spilt my coffee all over my letter of intent. Do you think they will still give me a job next year…even if it has a HUGE coffee stain in the center?

Exhibit D:

As we were eating last night with friends, one of the precious little babies who joined us dropped my phone behind the booth {which just so happens to be screwed into the wall}. Really? He was so proud! Ha! I may or may not get my phone back! 

So, they say that your classroom is tested in times of change. Well, friends…I am pretty sure that we have had just that! I was super proud of my kids as they helped both of our newbies feel right at home! {Even if they did get a tad crazy here and there! I TRIED to be understanding…this week!}

Did anyone else have a crazy week?!? Just wondering! :)

I will be back tomorrow to share some of the activities that we were busy with this week and to hopefully post two new little units that we will be working through over the next few weeks!

Penguin Writing Unit

Backpacking Through Nonficition 

I don’t know about you, but I am inside enjoying this rain, my cozy fire, and LOTS of movies!

Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. Friends Forever and MLKJ Sale

The month of February is the perfect time to introduce or review friendly letter writing. I have incorporated a few of my favorite things into a little Valentine Themed Friendly Letter Unit. This unit is full of all of the fun of Valentine’s day with an academic twist…even down to the Valentine’s box! Yes, even our boxes are 100% academic! What’s that Mr. Principal?!?…oh no, no…we’re not partying….we’re learning…I promise! :) Ha!  Here are a few of the things that you will find in this unit.


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And much, much more!!!!

This unit includes 135 pages of resources and most resources are offered in full color or black and white for printing options. Here is a little preview: 


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You can grab this unit at my TPT shop AND it is currently on sale along with all of my other products. Enjoy 20% off now until tomorrow at midnight!

Here are two of my units that may be of some use to you in the next few weeks. They are 20% off as well! Click on the pictures below to take a look.



Off to enjoy MLKJ Day as I remember the contributions of one man…with one dream…who changed our world!