Creepy Carrots

Have you read this book?  It might be my favorite book to read in October.  It could be read any time throughout the year, but something about October - the longer nights, the excitement (and spookiness!) of Halloween - makes me feel like I should read this book in October.  The suspense of this book, along with the awesome illustrations, has made it a favorite of my students.  Since we loved it so much, I designed an entire unit around it!

Students made their own "creepy carrots" using only paper, scissors, and glue.  How amazing did these guys turn out????  

We worked a lot with some of the great vocabulary in this book.  Passion, sinister, and approach are just a few of the ones we worked with.  I love this students sentence using the word passion.  I'm right there with you, honey!

We made our own plans to catch the creepy carrots!

Last-and what might have been my students favorite activity - we played "roll a creepy carrot" with the following game board!  It was so funny to see how they all turned out.  

Want this unit (with even more activities than just pictured) for your own classroom?  

Click on the picture below or on the following link: 


Classroom reveal...finally!

Tomorrow is officially our 45th day of school.  Fall parent/teacher conferences are over, Student Learning Objectives have been turned in, Reading Improvement Plans are complete, and I am just now getting around to my classroom reveal.  Better late than never, right?? :)  I really wish my classroom still looked as pristine as these pictures I took the last few peaceful minutes before Open House!

This is the view from the classroom door looking into our room. That beautiful, brand new Smartboard!!  I had to completely rearrange my room this year to make my carpet area in front of the board, but it is so worth it!

I got rid of of my dirty, light blocking curtains this year and replaced them with this cute party garland I found at Target! :)
My teacher area-I just use a student desk as my desk, with a board over top of a plastic storage container to give me a little more space.

My whole group area. Again, I can't stress how wonderful this SmartBoard has been for my teaching so far this year!
My summer pinterest project. :) 

My classroom jobs!  I absolutely love these cute jobs.  They are in my TpT store and come in a huge variety of styles, from chalkboard to chevron to polka dots.  You can check them out here!


7 Habits Post-Its

My school has been a Leader in Me school for several years now.  If you don't know much about Covey's Seven Habits of Happy Kids, you should check it out!

Some years I've done better than other years at really working hard to teach the habits, and this year I am at my wit's end-my class can recite the habits, explain the habits, but don't actually integrate them into their daily lives!  So last week I introduced our "post-it" chart.  I am starting back with Habit #1: Be Proactive.  Each time I observe a student demonstrating this habit, I write down what they were doing on a post-it and they get to put it by their name.  It's a huge deal when someone gets a post-it, everyone claps and congratulations the students.  Once everyone has a post-it, we will have a celebration and will put the post-its in each student's data folder.  I plan on having them write about more ways they can demonstrate that habit at school and home under the post-it.

I'm really hoping this helps my class integrate the habits into their lives! :)  What do you do for character education in your building?


Keeping Apples Fresh

It seems as though almost every primary teacher does an apple unit in the fall - I know I've done an apple theme for years!  I always do the basics-apple tasting/graphing, making applesauce, etc. 
Last week we learned about what a scientist does, but I didn't think my students really understood.  I had been toying with the idea of doing an apple browning experiment when I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to reteach what a scientist does!  I put together this book for students to use in our experiment and am so excited to use it next week when I teach apples!  First students observe what happens when an apple is left out in the open air. Students then make predictions about which liquid will work best to keep the apple from getting brown-water, apple juice, lemon juice, or milk. Students check on the apples and record data three times before analyzing their data and coming to a conclusion.
Want to do this activity in your classroom?  Click on any of the pictures to purchase your own copy of the book for just $1!
BOTH of my boys are napping right now!   I'm not sure the last time they were both sleeping for more than 15 minutes during the day.  I SHOULD take a nap (sleep when baby sleeps??) but instead I finally finished completely revamping my Getting to Know You {Activities for the Beginning of the Year} product on TpT.  This was one of the very first products I created when I started TpT last August.  It's hard to believe how fast you get better at making products-I look at it now and cringe!  The remodel has been a work in progress for several weeks in the random minutes I have free.

I added 3 new activities and made the entire product look SO much better.  I can't wait to use it myself when school starts back up!  Well, I can wait to use it...because that means school will be back in session and I will be missing these two handsome faces!   Teachers start August 13th, with students arriving August 18th.  It's coming up fast!
Anyway, click on any of the pictures below to grab your copy of Getting to Know You {Activities for the Beginning of the Year}.


My next product for Christmas in July is Word Problems Galore! It's on sale for only $2 today! I will also be GIVING AWAY a copy! To enter, head on over to my Facebook page, like my page and comment with your email address by midnight ET tonight!  Click on the picture to see the product on TPT!
Sorry I've been MIA lately-I have been very busy! My husband and I welcomed another son on June 25th.  Chasing after a toddler while caring for a newborn is exhausting!  Any tips from you mommies out there?  I'm already nervous just thinking about how I am going to juggle everything once school starts again!
 I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their Christmas in July sale.  I'd like to say I will update the sale with a new product each day but I'm sure I'll miss a few days.  Check out all the shops on sale to snag some fabulous deals!
The first product I'm offering up for sale is my Chevron Color Words.  It has recently been updated and I added half sheet words as well as the original paper sized rules.  You can see them in my TPT store here!
Like me on Facebook for some giveaways during the Christmas in July sale!   I will be giving away a copy of the Chevron Color Words tomorrow night to one lucky person!  All you need to do is either follow me here and comment on this post, or like me on Facebook and comment on my Christmas in July sale post!

End of Year Awards

Today was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  This tired mama is DONE!  Only a few more weeks until I meet this little guy.  :)

Last year, I did a fun "awards ceremony" for my class.  It was so much fun and my kiddos loved it!  Check out the blog post from it here.  I just HAD to do it again, but I don't have ANY pictures from today.  Blame it on being 8 months pregnant or blame it on the end of the year craziness...but I totally forgot!!!  Here are the awards I passed out.  You can find them in my TPT store HERE.  Or click on any of the pictures of the awards!  Are you almost finished with the year?


Wordless Wednesday-Sub Plans

Getting ready for a substitute-I have a personal day tomorrow!  Sometimes I feel that it is more work to get ready for a sub than to just go to school.  I fully plan to enjoy my day off, though!

I've been lucky this year and haven't had to take ANY last minute days off where my 3 year old wakes up at 7:00 with a temperature and I need to scramble for last minute sub plans while dealing with a sick child.  I am expecting another baby this summer so I know I'll need to do better with having sub plans ready to go next year.   
How do you handle those days when you need last minute sub plans? 


Teacher Appreciation

As part of teacher appreciation, our room parents always decorate our classroom doors. I'm in love with my Despicable Me door this year! My TpT store is 28% off today and tomorrow using the code TPTXO. I know I will be purchasing my wish list tonight!


My First Currently!

I'm so excited to join in on my first ever Currently link up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!  I've been stalking the Currently link up every month and decided it was time to join in! 
Listening: to my husband and dog snore on the couch.  It's not even 10:00 on a Friday night, yet this is as late as it gets around here!
Loving: that summer break is only 17 school days away!  Our last day with the kids is May 29th.
Thinking: That this weekend will be fun but oh so busy!  We have my son's 3rd birthday party tomorrow night (when did he get so big??), then on Sunday we have my nieces 1st Communion in my hometown about an hour and a half from where we live.
Wanting: more hours in the clean, cook, prepare for baby #2's arrival in 7 weeks!
Needing: to pack bags and prepare for tomorrow...I need to bake a cake, grocery shop, and pack all our bags as we'll be spending tomorrow night at my parents house!
Surprise: Permanently Primary - we taught together for 2 years before I changed school districts.  Sarah's given me some great advice about starting a blog of my own.  Go check her out!


Earth Buddies

Have you ever seen one of these "Earth Buddies" before?  They are essentially homemade Chia Pets!  The 1st grade teacher next door to me has been making these each Earth Day for several years, and I decided to give them a go this year as well!  They turned out so amazing!

First, put a few spoonfuls of grass seed into the foot of a nylon stocking.  I bought the very cheap stockings that come in the tiny little plastic containers for 33 cents a pair at Walmart.  I was able to get 6 Earth Buddies out of a pair of stockings!  

Next, fill the foot of the stocking (on top of the grass seed) with several student sized handfuls of sawdust.  We were able to get 2 large garbage bags of sawdust donated from a local sawmill.  Hold on to the stocking while the student pushes down with his/her fist to stretch the stocking and to pack the sawdust.  Repeat if needed until the Earth Buddy is the size you wish.
Next, use fabric glue to attach googly eyes and a yarn mouth.  Small rubber bands can be used to make a nose and even ears if you wish!  I had students bring in small cans (tuna or cat food sized) for the base.  Too bad I am 8 months pregnant and I could smell the leftover tuna and cat food even in the washed cans!  I wanted to vomit all day!!
Place the Earth Buddy in a well lit spot and water well daily.  Our set up outside the classroom.  The teacher next door is lucky enough to have a set of grow lights that she was able to get when a local company was getting rid of them many years ago!  You can grow these Earth Buddies on a windowsill as well, it just make take a little longer than it did for me!
6 days
9 days-ready for a haircut!  :)
My students think these guys look like the trolls in Frozen.
What types of activities do you do to celebrate Earth Day?


Adding and Subtracting Multiples of 10

Earlier this week, I linked up for Wordless Wednesday and posted this picture of one of my students favorite games:

They absolutely love to make "hundred grid puzzles" for each other on their personal whiteboards.  This is where they draw just a part of the hundred chart for a partner and place several "clue numbers" around the board in the appropriate spots.  They love challenging each other and I love this game because it really gets both students playing thinking about +10, -10, +1, and -1 number relationships.
We've been working on adding and subtraction 10 and multiples of 10 for a while in my class.  This  concept tends to either come naturally or be extremely difficult for individual students to master.  There is a new product I created to help students practice adding and subtracting 10 and multiples of 10.  Click on any of the pictures or the link at the bottom of this post to grab your own copy!
I included hundred grid puzzles with and without a hundred chart.
Counting back and forward by 10's.

Fast facts!  I cut these apart and have students use small sand timers (from board games) to see if they can finish the slip before the timer runs out!

Adding multiples of 10-students draw the base 10 blocks to solve.

Subtracting multiples of 10-students cross off base 10 blocks to solve.
This is my first year I used this product and with this extra practice, more of my students have mastered adding 10 and multiples of 10 mentally than any other year!