A Bright Future Freebie & Math Center Bundles

I am so excited about beginning a new year {just not *quite* yet} and I think I have an idea for the perfect thing to get my kids excited about a great year together! Who doesn’t love a new pair of shades?!? Here is what I am thinking:


I like love it! It’s easy, it’s cheap {sunglasses can be found at the dollar store}…it’s a done deal! :)

I have created tags to attach to the shades, so if you would like to grab a copy for yourself, you can click on the picture below.

My Future is Bright


You asked…and here they are…FINALLY! It took FOR.E.VER. to figure out a way to bundle these bad boys! I tried to bundle them all together…ummm…no way! Then I tried to divide them in half…again a BIG NO! I guess my files are a little large to say the least! But, I finally figured out a way to make it happen! You can grab all three sets at my TPT shop right now!




So, I think it is suppose to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 105…degrees…outside…today! Me + pool = survival! Enjoy your day, friends! 

HearALL Assessment Recorder {GIVEAWAY} & Book-it To Me!

I just have to introduce you to my new BFF..FFFF! We will just call her HearAll Assessment Recorder from Learning Resources! This is seriously my new favorite toy and I can’t wait to put it to use with my thirdsters {is that a word?} this year! There are a billion ways that you could use this amazing gadget, {fluency assessment, reader’s theatre, literature circles, independent reading, etc.} but I can’t wait to incorporate it into our weekly “Book-it to Me” next year in third grade

Each week, my students work during independent reading time to read and respond to a chapter book that is matched with another student, or a group of students in the classroom…you know…a chit chat kinda deal with a little more oomph! {More to come about this later}.

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They are in love and so am I…BUT one teacher to 6 groups makes it challenging to accurately assess each group and provide them with effective feedback to enhance their conversations and discussions about their book. Thanks to my new BFF, I have cloned my ears! I can hear everybody…yes everybody! And we all say…Hallelujah!

Hear All

By using the HearAll Assessment, I will be able to actively listen to all of my groups, monitor learning and discussions, provide effective feedback, and assess progress all at the same time! My new BFF is super easy to use which makes me love her even that much more. She comes installed with a battery that you charge using a USB cord.  It's so easy to open folders and play recordings too. Just incase that doesn’t work, she also comes with user-friendly directions to help you in all of your times of need! I am telling you, she is the perfect companion! :)

Now, for the best part! You can win your very own HearAll Assessment Recorder! There are several ways to enter, so read carefully!

1. Follow my blog and tell me how you plan to use your new BFF in your classroom next year!

2. Follow Learning Resource’s blog and tell them that Second Grade Shenanigans sent you over!

3. Follow Learning Resources on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

4. Blog about this post and leave a link in my comments section!

Easy..right? The winner will be selected next Wednesday, July 4th!

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Beat the Heat GIVEAWAY!

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You can gear up for next year with 18 products from some of your favorite sellers.
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Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to enter.
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It will all be over on Monday night at midnight!

Centers in Action & Giveaway Winner

Well, Saturday evening turned into Sunday morning! What can I say? I went to see the movie Brave last night and didn’t get in until late! {Such a cute movie by the way!} So, before I announce my winner, I wanted to share yet another way that my month-by-month math centers can be used in your classroom.

I received an email from Linda Kamp over at Around the Kampfire sharing how she has incorporated my centers into her classroom. Her idea was so fab that I asked her if I could share it with all of you! Of course she agreed, and I must say, I am so glad that she did! Here is how it goes down around the Kampfire :):

“ I use 5 or 6 centers at a time and do math center rotations every other Friday afternoon. I invite parent volunteers to help.  I make 4-6 color copies of each recording sheet, put them in plastic sleeves and have students use dry erase markers. I set up a different activity at each table with the center sign in a big paperclip holder from Dollar Tree.  For the holiday centers, I use all of them at once and open the doors between my neighbor and I.  We set up centers in both rooms and make a center checklist for students to make sure they get to each one.  The kiddos can roam between the two rooms and do the centers in any order they like, although they must always be at a center. I include candy or something themed to match as place value manipulatives and make a little "building tray" for kids to build their numbers.  It's been a HUGE hit with my kiddos and with parents!  I store each game in its own ziplock and keep them all together in a magazine holder. This has worked great for me as I can still have all the color, which the kids love, and it's not too ink intensive!”

She even sent over a few pictures of the centers in action {Love her!!!}


How cute is that? I also love that she made it a holiday event!

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I am seriously in LOVE with this idea! Just look at how much fun they are having! I am definitely thinking of incorporating something similar into my room! I love that she used candy to make it even that much more exciting for the kids. Hey, we all know that the way to a child’s heart is through candy! :) Please go check out Linda and all of her ideas over at Around the Kampfire! Thanks Linda, for sharing these amazing pictures! They truly made my heart smile! :)


Now for the winner:


Congrats to Jessica and thanks to all of who you participated! Y’all are seriously the best. EVER! If you didn’t win, you can still pick up any of my centers over at TPT. Click on the pictures below to check them out!

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Wishing you all a happy Sunday!

A Must!

By now, I am so sure that you have heard about the Clever School Teacher! It is a must know for any teacher! This is an excellent resource that will help you with all of your literature needs. I know that I spend HOURS looking for the perfect book to enhance instruction. This site does all of the work for you. It offers over 300,000 books, so you are sure to find the perfect book to support all of your instructional needs!

I just placed an order for a set of books that will challenge my sweet students and will have them inferring up a storm! Plus, I love the rich literature that they will become exposed to along the way! :)

Clever Teacher

You can check out this amazing site by clicking on the picture below, or by clicking on the image located on my sidebar. You will be so glad that you did!!!

I also wanted to share something that I have been working on. Since I experimented with buyers/sellers in second grade, I have been all about building a classroom economy to motivate students throughout the year while teaching them essential life skills. I am putting all of the pieces together, but this method will incorporate classroom jobs, buyers, sellers, banking skills…the whole nine yards. Since our “Corporation Day” was such a huge success, this classroom economy will also highlight the students creating products to sale independently {aside from the school store}. I know how much they loved that experience in second grade, so they are sure to be all about it in third! 


Do you have a classroom economy? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

I am off to run with our high school cross country team! Say a little prayer for me! :)

Monthly Math Q&A and a GIVEAWAY!

I am thrilled that so many of you are just as excited as I am about my month-by-month math centers! I know that you have had lots of questions, so I decided to do a little post and try to answer those that have been most common! Then…stay tuned for a little giveaway!

How do these centers meet the needs of students’ grade levels 1-5?

These centers as designed to allow students to work towards mastery of a basic, yet specific, math skill. The actual practice sheets are blank…meaning they do not include numbers. This is perfect because not only does it allow the students to complete an activity as much as needed, but it allows them to advance at their own pace. For example, if the whole class is still working on one digit addition, yet you have a student ready to move on, he/she can begin creating two digit numbers and so on. That is why I love them so much. They do not have to be switched out, the students are always working with new sets of numbers {so they do not just memorize the answers}, and it allows for the students to feel a sense of ownership….like they created the activity on their own. On that same note, remember…you do not have to implement each center. I typically used 6-8 in first grade and more in second.

How do you implement these centers?

I have used the centers in both first and second grade. I intend to implement them into 3rd as well for my early finishers and possibly some homework assignments.

First Grade: Since these youngsters are not quite independent at the beginning of the year, I like to take it a little slow. I will usually introduce addition, subtraction, and Can’t Top It at the beginning of the year so that they can practice these concepts when they have extra time.  Another little tip just in case the the cards aren’t enough of a visual: I allow students to have a bag of manipulatives in their desk {counters, fruit loops, etc.}. They can use these at any time when trying to solve problems. This is an excellent way to really develop number sense, one-to-one correspondence and helps students visualize what is going in their math problem. First Graders LOVE these centers. It makes them feel so grown up!

Second Grade: At the beginning of our second grade year, I introduced three centers each week. {Trust me, they pick up on the concept very quickly}. At the end of each week, I would allow the students to work independently as I walked around and monitored. During this time I made sure that each student thoroughly understood how to complete each activity. Then, once all centers were introduced, the students were allowed complete activities as early finisher stations. On occasion, we would have a choice day and they would always run to these activities first!

How do you keep your color ink usage to a minimum?

First of all, I do NOT print everything in color! HOLY ink bill! I run a master copy and place it into a notebook. Then I just make regular copies on the copy machines at school. When printing a master copy, you can also choose the grayscale option prior to printing. Either way works fine! The only thing that I print in color is the cover sheets for the folders and their cards {which I choose to laminate so that I can use them for the next couple of years}.

Do you just use these activities for early finishers?

Primarily I do use these for my early finishers. Let’s face it, part of mastering basic math concepts is a lot of drill and practice. It is just a fun way that allows students to engage in such work without the “bored out of my mind” factor. They truly enjoy them! However, I have used them occasionally for homework. For example, when working with rounding numbers this year, we practiced rounding two and three digit numbers. So the students could easily take home the activity, create their numbers and go to town rounding.

Are each set of centers exactly the same?

Yes…and no. Each set of centers is formatted the same way for a reason. Here is how I view early finisher activities. They must be engaging for the students, focus on a skill that students are familiar with, and meaningful. They are not “I need to ask my teach a trillion questions so I am sure that I am doing it right” activities. {You feel me??? We have all been there!} When my students complete these activities,  I am usually working with small groups of students reinforcing concepts taught during my instructional time. It is difficult to give them the attention that they need when 10 students are running up to you every second. So…yes, they are the same activities…BUT…remember, the students are always creating new numbers. Therefore, they are practicing the same skills {remember that drill and practice thing I talked about earlier}, but always with new numbers ensuring that they truly understand how to problem solve.

How do you monitor their progress? Do you assign specific activities?

This really depends on the student. In first grade, I would have a basic outline of a checklist and would individually create each student a list of centers that they needed to complete for the week. They kept them in a little notebook and would check off the activities that they completed. This still provided choice {which activity they wanted to complete when} but with a little more focus. Then each week, I graded a different group {2 groups} to check for mistakes here and there. This also helped me as I structured my instruction for the next week and would occasionally throw in a little mini lesson here and there on our weak areas. In second grade, I specifically used them for early finishers and would quickly check them before they turned them in. I really prefer the way that I structured this in first and will probably return to that method in third. It’s all about trial and error people….right? RIGHT! Really, it is all about what works for you!

I hope this information was helpful to you! If not, feel free to let me know and I will help in any way that I can!

Now, for the giveaway! I will be giving one lucky winner a set of my math centers. You can click on any of the pictures to check them out at TPT.

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If you would like to enter into the giveaway, you can follow the steps below. I will choose a winner on Saturday evening.

To Enter:

1) Follow My Blog

2) Follow My TPT Shop {HERE}

3) Follow My Facebook Page {HERE}

You can leave a comment for each entry in my comments section below. Please do not leave any additional comments {3 is the max}. Best of luck!

I hope that everyone is lovin’ summer as much as I am! What’s not to love? ;)

What Happens in Vegas...

In just under a month, I'll be in sunny Las Vegas with some of my FAVORITE teacher/bloggers! Since I will be teaching 3rd grade next year, you will find me poolside with a few other blogging buddies while everyone else attends some fabulous presentations at I Teach K. Then, on one night {July 10th}, we are having a meet-up for teacher/bloggers:

Would you like to go?  Please RSVP to our meet-up {here}.

TeachersPayTeachers {Paul} www.teacherspayteachers.com *Gift Certificates

Deedee Wills  www.cleverschoolteacher.com  *$25 gift certificate to

Melonheadz Illustrating
*Gift Certificates

Blue Bird Gift Company
*{2} $25 gift certificates

Livy Lou Designs
*magnet board

Doodle Bugs Paper
*{3} $20 gift certificates

Erica Bohrer :)
*autographed book

*$50 gift card
*{50} $10 off coupons for teacher planners

Custom Vinyl By Design
Acrylic Tumbler - teacher themed

Kute Klipboards by Amy
teacher clipboard

In A Pikle
*1 Sweet Pikle

Steve Harpster
*1 of each of his books

Tricia Fogg {Scentsy}
*Scentsy Warmers

Shari Sloane

Katie and Company (Julie Torkelson)
*felt set

Quite a Pear (Jessica Falkenhagen)
*Gift Certificate

Are you ready? WE ARE!!!!  SO excited for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people! Las Vegas...here we come!!! {Watch out!} ;)

Flash SALE!

Flash Sale I

Click on the picture above to visit my shop!

Month-by-Month Math Centers!

What would we do without those special activities, things we can’t live without, must have staples that make us look like we know what we are doing? ;) You know…the whole “teach on…and pretend that it is on the lesson plan” way of thinking.  {A.K.A. the kids are always busy bees…including when the principal walks in for an observation}. :) In my classroom, I try to create fun yet meaningful staples that really keep the students engaged and interested all while mastering/perfecting standards-based skills. One of my must haves for each month is our classroom math centers. I have used them since first grade and they are oh so wonderful and save me oh so much time! It is so nice to have centers ready to go at the beginning of each month…for the ENTIRE month! {You can check out a post about my center setup HERE.} With my firsties, I used them as spiral review and for a little intervention with a few struggling loves. In second grade, they have made the absolute perfect early finisher activity to eliminate that whole “what can I do now” sort of thing! I plan on putting them to use immediately in third grade as we get back into the swing of things and refresh our memory from summer vacay!

Here is how they are setup in my classroom:


When the students finish an assignment, they choose an activity to complete {student choice…check!}. The activities are designed to challenge each student at their own independent learning level as they create one, two, three {or more} digit numbers {differentiation…check}. The best part…it is not necessary for the kiddos to have access to 1,000 different manipulatives! {Can I get an amen?} All they need is their recording sheet and a deck of cards {minimal preparation for the teacher…CHECK!}

So…needless to say…I love ‘em and can’t live without ‘em! They are perfect for helping students master those basic concepts that they can’t live without when it comes to math! I guess they have been a win/win in my classroom! Once the students are trained…they are the best thing since that quietest classroom pencil sharpener…which is pretty amaze. :) If you haven’t checked that out, you need to!

Now, for some more happy news! I have finished my month-by-month classroom math centers…for the Whole. Entire. Year!!!! Wait I think I need a few more “!!!!!!!!!!” So excited to have these ready to go for the kiddos {and for myself!} When using these centers, you can either follow the month-by-month units, or you can pick and choose units and incorporate them whenever they would fit best into your instruction! They can be used as center activities, homework, early finishers…and the list goes on. They do not have to follow a specific progression!

You can check them all out at TPT right now by clicking on the pictures below. 

The Newbies:


To match my beginning of the year Going for the Gold Unit!

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Unit Preview


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Unit Preview

The Whole Shebang:

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Centers for the year…checked off and feeling so good! :)

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend! So tell me…what are your “staples” that you just can’t live without?!?