Hey y'all!  If you are anything like me, then your teaching resources wishlist is so so LONG! I'm always finding new resources that I want to purchase. The struggle can be so real!! Today, I want to make your teacher life easier by sharing with you three resources that will help with organization and your reading instruction. These three resources are a favorite amoung so many teachers and I can't wait to share them with you guys! Be sure to let me know which resource is a must have for you.       

I created this set of flap journals as a need arose in my classroom for my second graders to respond to more texts.  I thought it would be fun to have a little journal for the books that they were reading.  Since then, I have created more sets to fit in with author studies but the fiction one is still my favorite set because you can use it with any book. I also added a Google Drive edition that allows you to upload the flap journals into Google Classroom. It is such a time saver and allows for easy student responses to the texts that they are reading.

I always struggled to find the balance between providing equal amounts of fiction and nonfiction texts. I noticed that we were reading more fiction books in my guided reading small groups and my students were begging me for more nonfiction reads. One of the first sets of nonfiction readers that I created for my students were these Arctic Animals informational texts. These texts were a big interest and my second graders LOVED them. I also have a Google Drive edition of these texts and activities that you can upload to Google Classroom.

This was one of the first products that I created and put in my store.  I love being organized and transportation was where I needed help organizing.  I'm always worried that a student will change transportation and I would accidentally send them home the wrong way. Is anyone else worried about this? When I introduced this ribbon display, my students and myself could easily unclip their name and move it if their transportation had changed for the day. This resources let's you easily manage dismisal and it can take away so much stress. Plus, chevron and chalkboard is still my fav!

Are you ready to put some of these resources on your wishlist? Head over to The Learning Chambers on TpT and feel free to share any questions that you have about implementation in the comments below.

Hi friends!  I'm so sorry that I'm so late to the blog hop party.  My computer decided to stop working on Thursday night, right in the middle of me working on my blog post.  My husband had to completely reimage my computer and it's taken me awhile to get everything together and back in working order.  The good news is that my files were backed up and I only lost a few things.  Anyways, thanks for being patient and understanding about the tardiness of my post.  I hope my post is worth the wait!

October is one of my favorite months!  My favorite shows are just starting, pumpkin everything is back, and the weather is just starting to cool off here in Texas....well at least the mornings are cooler!  

This month, I'm also sharing some tricks and treats with you guys for The Elementary Entourage's Tricks and Treats blog hop.

I also love the month of October because the students have learned the routines and I can focus more on small group instruction.  This year, I'm really working on Math Workshop in my classroom.  I want to make sure that I have math stations that help my students practice concepts that I've already taught. 

I love printable stations but there is just something about simple easy to prep stations.  I love using sentence strip stations because they are easily differentiated.  My students can choose to also use 2-digit and 3-digit numbers by building them with the Uno Cards.  They play with a partner and one partner draws the first card and then the second partner draws the second card.  They record their work in their math workstation journal and I do random quick checks through the week, to make sure they are completing their work.

Now, for a little treat from me!  I absolutely hate spiders but the boys in my class are crazy about them.  We have been working on locating facts in nonfiction texts and these were perfect for them.

Here is the tarantula informational text as a little treat for you guys!  I hope to have all of the spiders available very soon!

Click HERE to grab your treat.

Do you have some tricks and treats to share?  Make sure you link up with us...

Happy fall y'all!  It's still pretty hot here in Texas but I'm so looking forward to some fall weather.  To celebrate the first official day of fall, I'm joining Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner for a primary blog hop.  Make sure you hop through all the blogs because you can grab some pretty awesome fall freebies.

Make sure you click on the button below to head to the next stop in the hop.  Kelsey from Aloha to Second has a pretty awesome freebie in store for you.

Hey y'all!  Are you tired?  I'm tired!  But....I'm super super SUPER excited to bring you some ideas and a freebie for back to school.  Make sure you read to the end of this post and then hop through the other Elementary Entourage members' blogs to grab some other ideas and freebies.

Last week was my first week of school and I worked really hard to build a community with my new students.  One of the things that my kids LOVED was playing snowball games.  I decided to integrate some math facts and came up with this Addition Snowball game.

This is a super simple activity and super low-prep!  All you need is notebook paper or white paper and markers.  We folded our papers into fourths and then traced the lines.  We worked in partners and the kids wrote an addition fact.  Then they crumbled up their paper into a snowball and we tossed our snowballs into the center.  After we tossed the snowballs, they grabbed another snowball to open.  The kids answered the math fact and then wrote a new addition fact and repeated the steps.  The different colors of markers really helped me quickly see who knows their math facts and who needs some small group support.

Another thing that I can't wait to share with you guys is my writing center supply buckets!  Aren't they super cute?!?!  I LOVE new school supplies and labeling things!!

Speaking of labeling things, it's time for my freebie for you guys.....

I included this set of blue stripes number labels...

And this super cute set of mixed patterns number labels...

Click on the labels above to grab your freebie!

Happy back to school friends!  I hope that you have an awesome start to this school year!  I know this year will be AMAZINGLY awesome!!

Today is my first day of school with students and I'm super excited to start off this school year with a bang!  One of the things that I want to work on as a teacher is to work at staying refreshed throughout the school year.  I'm super guilty of worrying and stressing myself out over nothing.  I know I need to work on that.

So, I'm linking up with Mrs. D's Corner for her final Building Blocks of B2S to share my top four tips that I'm working on this year to help stay refreshed.  I hope you'll work on these with me.

Find something that you LOVE to relieve the stress!  

Do you love to read or take long baths?  You need to find something that helps you de-stress and stick with it.  My de-stressing thing is Jazzercise.  I go to the late class at 7:30 almost every evening.  I would love to go to a morning class but since my school starts at 7:15, it's not possible for me.

A few of the reasons why I love Jazzercise is that I can punch and kick and the stress is gone.  Plus, they have awesome music and fun challenges to help me stay motivated.  Jazzercise really helps me keep the stress away!  Make sure you find something that helps you keep the stress away!

Leave work at work!  

That's right, you read that right!  I'm totally guilty of NOT doing that and it's caused a lot of extra stress and has taken away from time with my family.  This is my tenth year of teaching and this is something that is a must for me this school year.  I know that I'll have to shut my door at times and tell people that I'll have to talk later, but I'm going to have to do it.  Both of my boys are growing so fast and I need to have nights and weekends to really spend time with them.

Stay late a few days but have a few days set to leave on time!

This is another thing that I struggle with but it's something that I need to follow through with.  If I'm always at school late, I'm never going to be able to refresh.  My goal is to stay late on Mondays and Wednesdays but to leave on time or shortly after the other three days.  I can leave at 3:15 and I think before 3:45 would be great for those three days.  My boys deserve that :).

Make time for you!

As teachers, we often forget to make times for ourself.  Spend time with friends, get a pedicure, go shopping, go to the movies with your husband or wife .... Make time for you and don't feel guilty about it!

I hope those tips help you stay refreshed this school year.  This is my tenth year and I need to make it count and stay refreshed.  I know it will help make me a better teacher for my students.

How do you stay refreshed during the school year?

Hey y'all.  I'm busily preparing for my first day with students on Monday and getting some of my favorite first week of school activities ready.  Luckily, that is the topic for this week's Building Blocks of B2S linky.  I can't wait to share two activities that I do with my second graders each year.

It's never too early to build up your classroom community with your students.  I have my students work collaboratively as much as possible.  It helps me see who works well together and who needs a little nudge to work well with others.

One of the first collaborative activities that we do as a second grade class is to write our classroom contract.  We spend lots of time consuming different read alouds that discuss working together.  Here are two of our favorites.

 The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon

David Goes to School by David Shannon

After we finish reading these and a few others aloud, the students work in groups collaboratively to write down how they think our class should run.  They write down their thoughts and then they share them out to the rest of the class.  We pick our favorites and then we write our class contract together.  We use positive language and sign it to say that we agree to follow our contract.

Another important activity that I start during the first week of school is building my independent reading routine with my students.  Independent reading time is crucial in second grade and it's important that I teach them to find "just right" books and help them build up their reading stamina.

We create reading anchor charts together and then we hang them in our class library.  You can see our reading stamina anchor chart and "just right" books anchor chart.  After we create an anchor chart, we find our "just right" book and a quiet spot to read to work on our reading stamina.  We practice our independent reading routine every day.  It really helps to work on the routine as early as possible!

We also use this set of reading passages from my Back to School comprehension pack.  They are great because the stories are differentiated and are great practice during our independent reading time.

I really love building community and routines during the first few weeks of school.  I know it helps my students tremendously and helps us throughout the entire school year.

What are some things that you do during the first few weeks of school?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Hey y'all!  I'm back to link up with Mrs. D's Corner for her Building Blocks of B2S linky.  This week is all about building relationships.

I really do love the beginning of school because I love getting to know my new students.  The first couple of weeks of school, I include several getting to know you and team building activities into my daily lesson plans.  The students really enjoy them and I love learning about each of my new students.

This year, I'm super excited to try these sticky note posters from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie.  My students always LOVE writing on sticky notes!  I've learned that sometimes they write more than they would share out loud.  I know they will be the perfect way to get to know my students a little better.

Another way that I build relationships with my students, is to involve them in our classroom contract.  It's not just my classroom, it's OUR classroom and the students need to be involved in how it runs.  We read books and discuss what should be included in our classroom contract.  We come up with postive statements and then we all sign it.

Lastly, I love hearing about my students' goals for the school year.  We discuss what goals are then we draft out our goals.  It is so much fun to hear about my students' goals!  I also love helping them reach those goals.  Here are some goals that my boys and I wrote down.

How do you build relationships with your students?

I'm linking up with my friend Stephanie from Mrs.D's Corner for her four week Building Blocks of B2S series.  I'm very excited to share a little about my "Meet the Teacher" night with my second graders.  Here are three tips that will help your meet the teacher run smoothly.

Tip #1: Greet Them at the Door

I love meeting my new students and parents at the door.  I love shaking each of their hands and introducing myself.  If I have a parent ask a lot of questions, I will tell them that I'll contact them after to schedule a meeting.  I try to answer small questions, but I keep it short in order to make sure that I talk to all of the parents.  I also remind them that we have a back to school night in a couple of weeks and I'll be able to answer questions in more depth then.

Tip #2: Have a System Setup for a Stress-Free Event 

I try to make sure that I a system setup for "Meet the Teacher".  I want to meet my parents and students, figure out how they go home, have them drop off their school supplies, and check out the room.  I set up a place to sign in, a place to look at tranportation, and I have their supply boxes ready to put their school supplies in.  I also have boxes out for big supplies like construction paper, ziploc baggies, and tissue boxes.

I've used Reagan Tunstall's Editable Table Signs for the last three years and they have really streamlined "Meet the Teacher" for me.  The parents and students follow the numbers to complete tasks.  It's like a fun game and it saves me a TON of time!  If you haven't checked them out yet, you totally need too!  Click on the cover to see them in Reagan's store.

Tip #3: Figure Out How They Go Home

I don't know about y'all but I'm always worried about dismissal on the first day of school.  One of my main goals during my "Meet the Teacher" is to find out how my students go home.  Right next to my sign in sheet, I have a sheet where the parents write how their child will go home.  I also have a bus map and transportation name tags in a tub next to the transportation sheet.  This will help save me time on the first day.

My "How Do We Go Home?" labels also are a huge help.  Not all of my students come to "Meet the Teacher" and I keep the labels and transportation sheet handy on the first day for parents to fill out as they drop off their children.

It's also super easy for my students to move their label when their transportation changes.  You can click on the cover below to check them out in my store.

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