Common Core e-Books!!

The new Common Core e-books have been released on TPT!  There is a huge selection of e-books all packed with great freebies and resources to teach the Common Core State Standards for different grade levels and content areas.  I am kind of partial to this one (check out page 14)!
You can click on the picture to download the FREE the 42 page math e-book for K-2 students and if you scroll down in the description you'll see the links for all the other great CCSS e-books as well!

Back-to-School Centers {2nd Grade}

I am two days away from summer graduate school ending...two days!!!  I cannot contain my excitement.  I have had an amazing summer at my placement and learned SO much but my classes have been rough!  I am ALMOST ready to tackle a few weeks of back-to-school readiness!  To start with, I just posted my 2nd grade back to school centers!!  You can check them out below!

So, what am I planning on creating for the next three weeks??  Here's my short list:
1. Update my earlier ELA Units (Poppleton, Seasons, Exploring the Wild West,)
2. Finish my 2nd Grade ELA Vocabulary Card Set
3. Finish my Back-to-School Books Activity Pack
4. Get crafty with some new classroom decor
5. Enjoy a little bit of vacation and family time!

I hope you are all getting a little excited for back-to-school or just enjoying your last few weeks of vacation! 

Back-to-School Centers and a FREEBIE!

Happy Sunday!  Today is another gloomy, rainy day here in NC.  I think I have seen the sun maybe 10 times this summer, I am so tired of the rain!  The only good part of rain all the time is that I am getting some major work done on my back to school things!  Yesterday I posted my new back-to-school centers for 3rd graders!  These are great for the first few weeks of school.  You can click on either picture to check them out!

After finishing those up, I wanted to revamp my FREE schedule cards that I made last year.  You can still grab them for FREE on TPT by clicking on the picture below.

I wasn't done there : )  I also put together some fancy schedule cards which I have called my Deluxe Schedule Cards and they have a chevron background since I am officially obsessed with the chevron print.  I kept the same headings as in the Free pack. They are available for $2.50 on TPT.

 Now, I'm off to finish up my Back-to-School 2nd Grade Center pack! 

Charts & Graphs {FREEBIE}

Hi Friends!  I am busy working on some new back-to-school centers on this rainy Saturday and while I was making form 3rd grade math games I put together these posters!  Teaching graphs and charts is always a fun unit with my 2nd graders and I thought maybe others could use these posters as well. They are now available as a FREE download in my TPT store!  You can click on the picture to download them now.  The pack includes both color and B/W posters. 

Also, don't forget to enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of Math Movers.  10 winners will be chosen for one pack of their choice! 

Math Mover Giveaway!

It's time for a giveaway!!  Melissa from Dilly Dabbles just posted an AWESOME math post all about making inferences and predictions in math!  Click HERE to head over and check it out!

Also in her post you'll notice she is hosting a giveaway of my Math Mover Games!  We are giving away 1 copy of EACH game for a total 10 giveaways! You can enter over at Dilly Dabbles or here!  Good luck!

10 Ways to Use 1 iPad in your classroom!

Credit: The 3AM Teacher, Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah Designs, KG Fonts, Hello Fonts

It's no secret that I use my iPad ALL the time in my classroom.  Some teachers are REALLY lucky and they have a cart of iPads or a class set.  I only have one Wi-Fi iPad (my personal iPad) to use with my kiddos but we make it work! Before we begin let me say that I am lucky to have a Smartboard and projector in my classroom. I bought this handy little gadget to hook my iPad up to the Smartboard which helps ALOT to make the iPad more accessible to all students.  This is a VGA adapter for the iPad, you can get it from the Apple website or at Best Buy.
Now that we're hooked up, here are 10 of my favorite apps/activities using my iPad that benefit all the kids in my classroom. 

1. iBooks

This is a free app to download from the iTunes.  Any read aloud book I read this year (Magic Tree House, etc.)  I downloaded it from iBooks.  To help with cost, I asked for iTunes gift cards for my birthday, Christmas and as a wish item for my classroom.  When we read the book aloud, I would hook up to the projector so my kiddos could see the books much better than if I just held it for them.  Sometimes my kiddos would read along on the Smartboard or have a specific set of questions they were working on while we read it aloud. I found that my kiddos were so much more engaged when I projected books onto the Smartboard.

2. mClass Assessment

My district uses the mClass 3D Reading assessment (which also includes Diebels Next) as the K-3 reading assessment for our kiddos.  I originally used a mini-laptop and a Bamboo tablet before I found out that I could use my iPad!  This quickly became the only way to assess since it was so much easier!  Sometimes I use a stylus when assessing but you could use your finger just as easily. (Note: my school also has Wi-Fi which makes it easy to sync, if you do not have Wi-Fi at your school you can sync when you take it home to your personal Wi-Fi or whenever you are in a Wi-Fi range) HERE are the directions to get the mClass button on your iPad.

3. Storia
I have talked many times of my love for Scholastic Book Clubs, well the Storia app has added to that love.  I send home Scholastic Book Clubs every month and my kiddos order books.  I can spend my points to get FREE e-books using the Storia app, which I then project onto the Smartboard and read aloud to my class.  They also offer some books with audio. 

4. Class Dojo
About halfway through the year my kids grow a little tired of all the incentives I offer for good behavior.  Around January I set up Class Dojo for a new, fresh approach.  Now that Class Dojo is available as a FREE app it has gotten even better!  The best part of this app is that I can I project my class dojo page on the Smartboard and then open the app on my iPad.  While I am sitting with my iPad and teaching small group (which is usually the time that is most difficult for classroom management) I can give Dojo points by clicking on my iPad and it shows up on the Smartboard!  I don't have to say anything, I just teach my small group, do a quick scan of the rest of my kids working on centers and give a few points (or take a few points) as needed.  As soon as my kids hear the "ding" of points being given it becomes super quiet! It also has an option to pick a random student, no more popsicle sticks!  If I need to call on a student, I open Class Dojo and pick at random!

5. Brain Pop Jr. App
We LOVE some Brain Pop Jr. in my class!! Usually I just project the website using my computer but sometimes I want to watch a video while teaching small group.  I teach small group reading and math instruction everyday so I spend a lot of time at my horseshoe table.  (Note: you must have a subscription to access all the brain pop videos, but there is also a FREE Brain pop video of the week you can watch each week if you don't have a subscription).

6. Small Group Instruction

I use my iPad ALOT in small group.  I play short videos from Grammar Jammers, read short stories from iBooks/Storia or use skill specific apps depending on my kiddos needs.  So, how do we do this without disrupting ALL the other kids who are working independently and want to see what's on the iPad??  We plug in headphones using this fancy splitter! I have heard of some teachers requiring students to bring a pair of headphones to school like any other school supply at the beginning of the year so that they have headphones ready to go when using a headphone splitter. I bought headphones from Dollar Tree so I would have enough to use, they aren't the most durable but they get the job done!

7. Tap Roulette App
This is the simplest app but it is AMAZING!  Do you ever have an argument in your classroom that you don't want to solve??  Well this app will solve it for you!  Have whichever kids are arguing put one of their fingers on the iPad and you click "Pick Finger". The iPad will flash and then pick one of the fingers, solving the argument by random selection! If you need to solve a simple problem (who was there first??  who should get the first pick??  who gets the red crayon first?? ) then this app is a lifesaver!

8. Pandora Radio
My kiddos LOVE listening to music! Sometimes we dance to pop music, play freeze dance, play musical numbers/words/operations and other times we write while listening to soothing classical music.  I plug my computer speakers into my headphone jack on the iPad, we choose a kid friendly station and we are good to go! Pandora has it all!  (Note: Wi-Fi is needed to access Pandora)

9. Mad Libs
This is another app that I project to practice our parts of speech as a whole group or for just a fun brain break.  This is a great review of the different parts of speech.  There are many FREE stories and also ones you can buy.  I usually move around the room and choose different students to fill in each blank.  They always find the final story to be hilarious : )

10.  QR Codes
I found myself incorporating QR codes into more and more activities last year. My kids were fascinated with them. QR codes are SUPER easy to make using THIS website.  And I usually make QR codes with answers or hidden riddles for different centers/activities around the room.  I don't let the kids walk around with my iPad scanning them because I know kids sometimes drop things and I would be so sad if my iPad dropped on the floor and broke.  These FREE QR codes were fun to use for test prep and then I used these QR codes in HERE to countdown the last 10 days of school!  The countdown codes were a big hit at the end of the year. I also have some ideas for them in the upcoming school year!

And that's how we do it folks! I hope I have given you a few new ideas for how to use 1 iPad in your classroom of many!

BIG News!!

I have BIG news about next school year.  I have been waiting to share my big news with you because we all know how things can change in a school but I have begun getting things ready for next year (and my principal still says that she hasn't made any changes) so I think the time has come! Next year I will officially be a Title I reading/math teacher in grades 2nd and 3rd!!  I am SO excited for this change but also nervous at the same time.  I have never taught 3rd grade and not having an actual classroom of kiddos will be a huge change but I am ready for the challenge!  I will still be teaching at my same school which is awesome because I LOVE it and I will still have 2nd graders for half the day so I won't be too far out of my comfort zone.  But, this means that I will now be working on 3rd grade materials too, last year I worked really hard on getting all my 2nd grade things in place so this upcoming year I will put a lot of focus on 3rd grade.  

I have already been thinking of how to wrap my brain around a new curriculum.  Last year I started with my 2nd grade Pacing Guide, which I still plan on using this upcoming year, and this is exactly where I started with 3rd grade!  This pacing guide is not exactly how my year will go (and I'm sure it will change) but it gives me an idea of what the 3rd grade classroom teachers will be doing so I can adjust my plans accordingly.  I will only be teaching math and reading but I like to pull in science and social studies material whenever possible so I included those as well.  I had a lot of question about last year's Pacing Guide which I tried to answer HERE,  in that post you'll see that a lot of the themes/topics are specific to how my county decided we would be teaching the new CCSS curriculum last year and the order in which they wanted us to teach the standards. 

If that's too fuzzy for you, you can download the pacing guide in PDF form, HERE

THANK YOU for sticking with me through this change!  I am super excited to see where this year goes and to learn right along with my kiddos!  

Sunday Smorgasbord and STUFF

Hi Friends!  I just wanted to drop in today to share a few of the things I've been up to this past week.    First, I am linking up with Michelle over at Fabulous in First for a new linky party all about randomness and this whole post is really random!  Here's a few pictures of randomness that was my weekend!

Hubby and I spent the 4th with some fantastic teacher friends and these two!  We were lucky this was the one day in the past two weeks that wasn't raining, anyone else getting tons of rain this summer??

I was feeling crafty on Saturday and after reading THIS post a few months ago I finally decided I should give it a try. I experimented with different chevron burlap but ended up going with the black chevron since it stood out the best on our front door.  This wreath was SUPER easy and I'm pretty excited with how it turned out!

While I was at Hobby Lobby looking for wreath things, I was sucked into all the chevron fabric and knew I had to make something since I LOVE chevron and I'm a sucker for all things turquoise/mint, this fabric is somewhere in between both colors.  I desperately needed to cover these old pillows so I followed THIS tutorial and this is what I came up with!

Theres also another new linky in town hosted by Christina Bainbridge about all the STUFF that we as teachers pile away during the summer to take back to school.  I am kind of embarrassed to show you my stuff but here is the pile that keeps growing in my office (pay no attention to the Harry Potter books in the background)!
I'd like to say that hubby has school stuff in this pile too but really the only thing that is his are the fabric curtains that I took home to wash.  Besides his curtains I have board games, my rocking chair that was a gift from my looping class a few years ago (I take it home every summer), back-to-school books (I have a project for these in the works), chair pockets (to wash and fix), centers (that I took home to organize), my at-home school supply kit for summer projects and various other knick knacks that I want to take to school come August.  Hubby doesn't know it but I'm planning a quick stop at IKEA when we go visit our families and with the number of times I have hit up Dollar Tree and the Target Dollar Spot this summer I'm sure my little pile will continue to grow! Show off your STUFF or check out other teacher's STUFF by linking up over at Bunting, Books and Bainbridge!

And if you noticed my pictures have some new cute borders that is because I am wayyy behind the times and just found out about the A Beautiful Mess app (.99 cents) that lets you add all these cute doodles, borders and words. Check it out by clicking on the app icon below!

A Grand Ol' Sale!

Credits: KGFonts, Kate Hadfield Designs, Typodemic Fonts, Hello Fonts

My TPT store is 20% off starting right NOW (excluding bundles since they are already discounted)!  I hope your holiday is filled with family, friends and fireworks!  Happy 4th of July!!