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Five Fun Thanksgiving Books


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Here are a few fun Thanksgiving books to throw in during read aloud time!  My students love holiday books and these are five kid-approved picture books!

Turkey Trouble – This one is funny because the turkey tries out many disguises to avoid being eaten!
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There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey – I love the There Was An Old Lady series and this one is a a great one too!!
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10 Fat Turkeys – This is a fun counting and rhyming book.
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Pete the Cat – The First Thanksgiving – Pete the Cat has many fun books and my students love that there is also a Thanksgiving version.
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A Plump and Perky Turkey – In this book, the townspeople try to trick the turkeys into making it easier to catch them for Thanksgiving dinner.
A Plump And Perky Turkey by [Bateman, Teresa]

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving books? Comment below…

Five for Friday – February 17

Holidays, Reading, Writing

Yay for a 3 day weekend!! These weeks have been crazy and Spring Break is still far away, but a 3 day weekend will help for now! I’m linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week of Five for Friday

I’m loving how hard my kids are working on their book study for the book – I Survived The Great Chicago Fire.  The partnership working on this book are really into it and have had some great insightful answers.  This book study can be found in my TPT store…here
Oh…editing…such a tough skill for second graders. This week to help reinforce the editing skills we’ve been working on (spelling, complete sentences, end marks, capitals, etc) I had my small groups work on editing a story. It’s funny how it’s so much easier for them to edit someone else’s work than catch mistakes in their own…but I guess that’s how it is for everyone!  So…we’ll keep at it…keep practicing and hopefully it’ll start to stick and they’ll be able to apply it soon!
We had a great time at our Valentine’s Party on Tuesday. Check out what we did in my blog post – Valentine’s Day Recap.

Oh conferences…. This coming Tuesday we have our next round of student-led/ parent-teacher conferences! At this conference, we go over each student’s three goals on their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) that are tailored to that child’s specific needs.  I also decided to whip up this little Reading Update sheet as another way to give more info at the conferences.  Some of the kids goals are reading-focused, but some aren’t, so I thought this would be a great way to quickly update parents on all reading areas.

I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Got some fun and yummy goodies from my students and beautiful flowers from my husband! Hope everyone else had a great Valentine’s Day too!
Enjoy the 3 day weekend!!

Valentine’s Party Recap


I wanted to share our Valentine’s Party with the blogging world. I’ve done the same Minute to Win It Games the last few years and it’s gone amazing! The kids always have fun!

Here are my super cute Valentine’s for the kiddos. I got the tag from Glitter and Glue K-2 on TPT.  They turned out super cute!

My students did the traditional Valentine’s passing of the cards. Here are two of the cutest boxes.  How cute is that mailbox!! So creative!
I found the Minute to Win It Games on Makoodle.  You can find more info…here

I split my students up into 4 teams.  The winning team gets to pick our brain breaks on GoNoodle for the next week. They were very excited to hear the prize! They also came up with some very interesting team names which you’ll see below…

Heart Stack – the students had to create the tallest stack of hearts in one minute.
Candy Corn Stick Up – see who could stand up the most candy corns in one minute
Marshmallow Toss – Who can toss the most marshmallows into the bowl in one minute – this one gets quite messy!
Candy Pick Up – using the chopsticks – kids had to move as much candy as they could from one plate to the other…
Heart Relay – Relay race with conversation hearts
As I mentioned above, the kids were quite creative in coming up with their team names.  Fluffy Pickles ended up winning and will get to pick brain breaks for the next week!
What activities do you do at your Valentine’s Party? Comment below….

Five for Friday – January 6

Holidays, Math, Writing

The new year is finally here! I think I’ve managed to write 2017 correctly all week….which is a big deal lol.  I’m back linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. See what I’ve been up to the past week below….

So how cute are these! Melonheadz made these adorable New Year’s Resolutions sheets and my kiddos did a great job coming up with goals.  They were detailed and made goals that fit them, their interests, and needs. I was proud of how hard they worked on it and it’ll make the perfect bulletin board for the New Year.  Check out Melonheadz freebie here….

We started multiplication this week. This is something the 2nd graders always look forward to and they are waiting and waiting for us to begin this unit.  This was Day 2 of Multiplication. We learned about arrays and the kids used Skittles to make arrays – and of course ate some :-).  
Stay tuned…Sunday I will have a post explaining how I introduce multiplication and a quick game idea.
This week we practiced finding and editing possessive nouns. The kiddos worked in groups on my Grammar Fix It – Apostrophes – Possessives cards.  Now, lazy teacher here – I really should’ve cut these out, but you can leave them together for time saving purposes.  The packet also includes larger cards (8.5×11) and this smaller option that can be cut. Check it out in my TPT store, here.

New Year’s Resolution here. Not too specific – but I need balance and I need to find time to work on me. The gym is calling my name this weekend as is some meal prep! Looking forward to making healthier choices this year (after our staff happy hour today lol).

My parents are Ohio State alum and I got to join them for the Fiesta Bowl last weekend. Even though the game didn’t go as they hoped, we still had a lot of fun and I always love a visit back to Phoenix even if it is a quick one.
Hope everyone had a great first week of 2017!

Candy Cane Experiment

Holidays, Writing

In Writing Workshop, we’re currently working on our second Lucy Calkin’s book called Lab Reports and Science Books. The kids have loved doing experiments and I thought it would be fun to do one as a class that is more holiday themed.  I found this Candy Cane Experiment on Lemon Lime Adventures and we’ve been having a blast working on it!

We are still following the Writing Workshop model for lab reports and are spreading it out over about a week.

On Day 1, we discussed our question, materials, and kids came up with a hypothesis.

On Day 2, we came up with the procedures and students wrote down the steps we would take to complete the experiment.

On Day 3, we conducted the experiment with cold water. The color quickly came off of the candy cane, but the dissolving of the candy cane took a bit. The kids enjoyed watching it throughout the entire process. (I highly recommend clear cups if you do this so the kids can really see everything happening).

On Day 4, we conducted the experiment with hot water. Same results as Day 2, but super fast. The whole candy cane was dissolved in about a half hour when the day before it took over an hour.

On Day 5, we conducted the experiment using vinegar.  The vinegar smelled, which we all agreed on and worked quicker than the cold water, but slower than the hot water.  

Then, on Day 6, we came up with our final results and conclusions tying together the whole experiment.

The kids had a lot of fun and have done an amazing job writing their lab reports. I love seeing the growth that I’ve seen this year while we’ve used Writing Workshop!   In January, we’ll be starting opinion writing!

Elf Adventures – Week #3


Here’s what our class elf Snowy was up to in our final week before winter break….
To see his adventures in week 1– click here.
To see his adventures in week 2 – click here.

Day #8

Today Snowy was feeling better from his illness on Friday and decided to try his hand at decorating our room – with toilet paper.The kids thought it was so funny, but of course asked the question if it was clean toilet paper or used? Lol.

Day #9

Snowy noticed that students were having a hard time listening so he encouraged everyone to clip up to Outstanding like him! My kids were quite surprised he clipped “up” given his toilet papering incident the day before. But a few of them did work hard to clip up!

Day #10

Since I kept forgetting to give the kids the extra candy canes from our candy cane experiment, Snowy to matters into his own hands.  Snowy gave the kids the candy canes, but hid them. So, they had to hunt for the 17 candy canes around the room! We did eventually find them all!

Day #11

Snowy and my teammate’s elf Jingle worked on this one together. They decided since it was the night before a party day that there should be no math homework.  He even cut up the homework they were supposed to do that night!

Day #12

Snowy’s last day with us since we head to break. We decided Snowy was a little jealous that he didn’t have his picture on one of our ornaments. Each ornament on our tree had a picture of a student on it. So, Snowy decided to add his picture to every child’s ornament. A nice way for them to remember him by…
Hope everyone’s enjoyed our elf adventures! 

Five for Friday – December 16


I know Kacey from Doodle Bug’s Teaching is taking a break…but I’m in such a good habit that I couldn’t let a week go by without doing a Five for Friday.

So our elf this week hid candy canes around the room for the kids to find.  So, two of my girls decided to make a comic about it during Writing Station.  They called it Candy Cane Coincidences.  I love how they connected events in the classroom and used it for their writing.

This is our parent gift. Yes, it is cute.  No, it was not easy to make. Yes, in theory, it was supposed to be easy.  However, problem 1 – the plastic ornaments from Amazon came and many were cracked. And some were so badly cracked we couldn’t use them.  Problem 2 – the whole they snap together easily thing was not true…not true at all.  The frustration that mounted after having them pop open multiple times and brown paper fall on me was too much to handle lol.  So, yes they did turn out cute.  But, not as student friendly for making as I had hoped.  What do you do for your student gifts for parents?

Oh is this true! We start break at noon today…and I’m counting the hours.  And, I’m sorry for those of you that still have to go next week.  I can’t imagine….

One of my students is moving to Sweden over break so we had a little good-bye party for her. Each student wrote her a note and we made her a little book of them.  I thought the one above was especially cute. I love how he said “I will always keep you in my head.”  Kids are too sweet…
Last weekend my parents came to visit! It was great catching up and hanging out with them.  We checked out the beautiful Bellagio Christmas display and went to the Michael Jackson One show – which is amazing! It was my second time seeing it and I could already go again!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Elf Adventures – Week #2


Snowy, our class elf, was back for week 2 and he had some more adventures in our classroom. To see our first week with Snowy, click here.

Day #3
Snowy decided to help us out today because he felt bad for eating the candy canes on Friday. He wrote our class schedule for us! Looked a little different than a regular Monday in 2nd grade.

Day #4
Snowy was a little offended that some of the kids thought he had misspelled a word or two on his schedule from Monday. So, he decided to work on his spelling with our spelling list. He also decided to add an important word to it – Snowy.

Day #5
Snowy had a great seat today in the back of the room with Santa and friends.
He also decided to show us his decorations he created for our room.  He loves his name a lot and wanted the kids to get lots of practice with the spelling word he added the day before – his name – Snowy.
In Snowy’s letter, he asked us to focus on being kind and do good deeds. He wanted everyone to do one or more nice things and write him a little note letting them know what they had done.
Day #6
Well unfortunately, no one wrote Snowy a note about a good deed that had been done. So, Snowy decided to try again. Today he sat over by the bucket filling area as a way to remind everyone to be kind. Again, he asked the kids to each do at least one kind thing or more and write him about it.
Snowy had much better results! Here are the notes of kindness and some questions for Snowy at the end of the day!

The kids were all impressed with how Snowy sat in the bucket. We decided he must be very flexible lol.

Day #7
Poor Snowy the elf got sick. He picked up the cold that many of us in class had. He decided to spend the day resting and was all cuddled up with a tissue blanket and many… (hopefully not used) tissues around him.
Check back next weekend to see what Snowy was up to during the final week in our classroom!

Elf Adventures – Week #1


The elf is back! This year we decided to start our elf adventures on December 1! I’ll write each Saturday and give you a little update on what our guy has been up to.

Day #1
Our elf made quite the entrance zip lining in our classroom. He apparently is a bit of a daredevil.
Our elf brought us the book The Elf on the Shelf to read as a class and left us a note from Santa.
After reading the book, we needed to name our elf.  After a few different rounds of voting we settled on Snowy the Elf.

Each day we fill out our Elf Watch Journal. I got this from Sunny Days in Second Grade’s store on her blog.

Day #2

On Day 2, Snowy got into a little trouble. We’ve been using candy canes for a science experiment and I and the class specifically told him yesterday to leave the candy canes alone.  Well….apparently…Snowy isn’t the best listener.  The kids couldn’t believe he got into the candy canes and started eating them.
Snowy also left us a note.  Some of the kids left him notes the previous day and he responded to a few of their questions.
Love the ending to this kiddo’s journal – We need those candy canes for our experiment Snowy.  Too cute!
Do you have an elf in your classroom? What did your class name your elf? Reply in the comments…

Five for Friday – December 2

Holidays, Reading, Writing

How is it December??? November seemed to fly by and that Thanksgiving break definitely flew by! 10 days went by in a second! I’m linking back up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to show you what we’ve been up to this week for Five for Friday.

In Writing Workshop, we are working our informational unit and writing like scientists. I love the lab report format WW uses and wanted to add in a holiday-ish themed experiment. I found the Candy Cane Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures.  It is awesome! Fun, easy, and not too messy! This week we tried out the candy cane in cold water and hot water. Next week, we’ll do the final experiment and try it in vinegar. I’ll follow up with a blog post next week with some of the lab report results.  The kids are loving it and their reflections and observations are getting better each time. 
Love, love, love my room moms. They always outdo themselves with cute decorations!  

He’s baaaaccckkkkk.  Yesterday I started Elf on the Shelf in the classroom. Stay tuned for my blog post tomorrow discussing his first two days of adventures! 

We started working on fact and opinion this week in class to go along with our Journey’s story. In small groups, we discussed it and I had students write three of each. Love this little ones first opinion! 🙂

It’s my favorite time of the year…the holiday season. These are two pictures from Thanksgiving break and since I took a little break from blogging last week, I wanted to share them with you today.  This was my first time ever making Thanksgiving dinner and I have to say it turned out pretty well! No major kitchen mishaps and my husband had a very full plate so he was a happy camper!  I also decorated our Christmas tree! Love having all of the holiday decor up in the house.
Have a wonderful weekend!