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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

T is for Tag


I've been tagged by a few people. I'm tempted to be the kid who always "has to go to the bathroom" during recess. To tell you the truth the last two days make me feel like curling up in a ball on the ground and yell "I surrender!".

But since Lisa and Beth tagged me first, I'll answer their questions.

Made In The Shade In Second Grade

These are the rules (...that I'm going to break...):
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Things about me you never thought you needed to know:
1. My favorite color is red.
2. I love ladybugs.
3. I pretend I am grossed out by the bugs in my classroom because the boys think it's funny.
4. I am afraid of rutabagas. 
5. I never watch scary movies. Ever.
5. I've never been on an airplane. 
6. I'm addicted to crime shows on I.D. Oh, and Phineas and Ferb.
7. I've decided to never diet, if I work out. (hahaha!)
8. I love to bake. I want to open a bakery when I grow up.
9. I have an fake relationship with Evan Longoria (Go Rays!)
10. I'd trade my mother for the last bowl of ice cream on Earth.
11. I'd be a crazy dog lady if I won the lottery.
12. I'm not ashamed that I live in Florida and have a vampire's complexion. At all!

Lisa and Beth's questions for me:
1. What is your favorite movie? Serendipity.
2. Team Edward or Team Jacob? Team Jacob, but only without his shirt...
3. Are you addicted to Pinterest? So totally, it's not even funny.
4. What is your favorite teaching moment? When I see 'light bulbs' come on and kids say, "Ooohhh!"
5. What is your favorite teaching book? I always use "The Monster At the End of this Book" to share how to read with expression. It was the first book I learned to read.
6. If you weren't a teacher... What other career would you pursue? Bakery Owner!
7. What's your favorite read aloud? "Pout Pout Fish" and "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" equally
8. Are you a pet owner? I have two crazy pound puppies and I'm a cat foster aunt.
9. Do you have a bad habit? I drink soda for breakfast.
10. Are you a Smart Phone user? It is an extension of my arms.
11. Where was your best vacation? I haven't been away in so long! I would have to say when I was a kid and we went to Atlanta. Good family memories.
12. Tell us.... A purchase you regret. A lawnmower...I should've gotten a goat.

Now to break Rules 4 & 5 (mostly because I need to finish my sub plans for Progress Reviews tomorrow):

I will send this to the first person who virtually pats my head and tells me it's okay to go to the library while the rest of the kids play tag (make sure to leave your email address):


It's also available in my TPT store along with its pinterest popular cousin:


Monday, January 30, 2012

F is for Fast Phrases {and For Sale!}

Wow! I posted this last night and it had 25 pins in just as many minutes. I guess a lot of people want their darlings to read faster than a snail's run, too.

In honor of it being the end of the month and a Magnificent Monday, I'm having a sale in my TPT store!

Happy Monday!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

W is for Warm Fuzzies

I'm sad. I told my class I would be sad all weekend.

My rascals darlings have been a little bonkers lately (I wish I could blame it all on the double digit subtraction) and have been getting some not so good reports during lunch and specials. Last week the comment that made me the most sad was that they are "selfish".

We do bucket filling. It is thoroughly incorporated into our vocabularies. But, it's just a little abstract for some of the darlings to grasp. It's kind of lost its sizzle. Every year about this time, I have to break out the 'Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies' story. It has more of an impact now than when we're just starting school.

I learned a version of this story in college. Dr. Wright had us all trade warm fuzzies and decorate our own on paper. She taught us how to use it with our future classes. I'd have to say it's one of the things from college that stuck with me.

In my class, warm fuzzies are JUST for recognizing acts of kindness. They are meant to improve our manners and the way we talk to each other.

I start off by telling them 'The Story of Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies' and then doing a meaningful activity. I tell my students that I will give them either a warm fuzzy (craft pom pom) or cold prickly (brass fastener) to hide in their fists. They cannot tell anyone what they have and need to try to keep their faces serious. I have mixed in about 3-5 cold pricklies. After I hand them out, students will walk around and trade at least 5 times while giving each other a smile.

During this, I have the extra warm fuzzies in my pocket. I keep my eye out for reactions to getting the cold pricklies and slyly trade the warm fuzzies with those students. Eventually, I end up with all of the cold pricklies in my pocket. I don't know how I've been so lucky, but I've managed to get them all every year and each child "magically" ends up with a warm fuzzy. I LOVE their reactions when they find out the cold pricklies have all disappeared.

This leads to an awesome discussion on what it means to be nice to each other and how our rudeness, selfishness, and grumpiness affects everyone.

I am adding nomination forms this year. Students can write who they think deserves a warm fuzzy and what they did to earn it on a slip of paper. On Friday, I will draw several slips and give them a big/fancy warm fuzzy. I will encourage them to give it to a friend in another class or someone at home and tell them about it.

If you'd like to check out my Warm Fuzzy/Cold Prickly resources, they are available in my TPT store.

Look how other teachers use Warm Fuzzies in their classes:

Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

P.S. I'm not really sad. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

P is for Pig Math

Okay, so I've been complaining about double digit subtraction since we've been back from winter break. It's really making me nuts.

We've been playing Around the World to practice basic math facts, but I feel so bad for those little darlings that can't seem to leave their seats. Even when I flip up the 0 + 4 = flashcard and give their opponent a raised eyebrow and the "look". Even when I asked my "super subtractor" to take one for the team. What?! It was actually her idea. She's sensitive to others' feelings.

So we're going to start Pig Math on Monday. If you need extra math practice in your class, head on over to Lory's blog or TPT store. She has FABULOUS math resources!

I'm planning on starting with addition/subtraction facts to 12 and rewarding with an ice cream sundae party when we finish. I figured it will be a good way for us to end the quarter.

This is my latest Vistaprint creation:
Front (rack card)
I do love me some ice cream!


Monday, January 23, 2012

E is for EXtinct

(WARNING: I'm going to rant just a little bit.)


Talking about anything pertaining to the FCAT, or the government for that matter, should be prohibited before 9:00 a.m. on Mondays.

And we totally wasted taxpayers' money to pay someone to make this  map and ranking list.

{Pointless Rankings Map}

Okay, I'm done.

Today I introduced our writing prompt for the week:
{Hey, look! It's my sister!}

I like to focus on endangered animals for this prompt and take it a little further than just their needs. Otherwise it's pretty boring...

Anyhoo, I asked what 'endangered' means. One little darling said, "It's when animals are in danger. That's why it's called indangered. They aren't instinct yet."

Okay, that was pretty close. I tell them it's 'ENdangered' and 'EXtinct'. So then I asked what 'extinct' means.

Little Miss Stella seemed to be too good for this lesson and was playing with something in her desk.

So of course I zeroed in on her. She was really getting under my skin already. (She might have  mentioned something about a cat and it made me remember FCAT and I was all kerflustered again.)

Me: STELLA! What does extinct mean?

Stella: huh-what?!

Me: What does. extinct. mean?

Stella: Well, it's when an's when an animal's when an animal is sprayed by a skunk and then it stinks.

Me: (head on the desk snorting with laughter)

I don't remember what I said after that.

I would just like to say that I think the FCAT should become extinct. The "go away forever" kind, not the "smells like a skunk sprayed it" kind. Because "THEY" would still make us take it and wouldn't care!

Okay, I'm done now. Again. Unless we have to talk about the FCAT next Monday morning.


S is for Splish! Splash!

My Splish! Splash! center resources are on TPT.

In case you missed them, so are the Click, Clack, Moo centers. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

R is for Regrouping {with Freebie}

I don't know about the rest of you, but when the unit on double-digit addition and subtraction WITH REGROUPING comes I cringe. Some years I think I've curled up in a little ball on my classroom floor and sang "Soft Kitty" to myself while the kids just stared. I had nightmares about base-ten blocks murdering me in my sleep.

Okay, I those things didn't really happen, but I have gotten a few gray hairs from it. Probably.

Well, this year, my two students who struggle in math surprised me. They were ROCK STARS at regrouping. The difference you ask?


We worked together to create a list of steps we need to go through to regroup. I quickly wrote them up on the whiteboard as my darlings thought of them. Duh, why didn't I write them on chart paper?

One little darling was very sad when we realized we were going to have to erase them to project our science lesson. He said, "Ms. Buckwer, can you make us a pretty poster of those steps?"

So of course I did. I think I may print them out for my math board and also in a smaller version for my testing "offices".
Click {here} to get them from my TPT store.
The first 5 followers who leave me a comment with an email address get them for free!

We'll see how many rounds of "Soft Kitty" I have to sing to myself when Math comes tomorrow. (It's okay to sing "Soft Kitty" because brain dead and insane is a kind of sick."


Thursday, January 19, 2012

K is for King/Kennedy

We are on week six of our Treasures unit, so we had a little bit of down time today. And since my internet in my portable is whacked out, we are having to rough it old-school style. We had to read a real book. One with pages that you have to turn yourself!

I decided to read another MLK, Jr book. For some reason, this one makes me a little emotional.

There is a picture of John F. Kennedy watching the speech on television. After I finished reading (and wiping my eyes) a little darling stuck his finger in the air and said, "I made a connection."

Anytime someone says this we all lean forward to listen because it MUST be good. 

He said, "Martin Luther KING got shot and John F. KENNEDY got shot. I don't think it was very good to have a name with a K in the olden days if you were going to make white people mad."

Another darling said, "WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO SUCH A THING!?"

And my favorite, a (girl) darling said, "Well, I WAS going to grow up to be the president, but now I'm going to have to rethink that if people get killed for it." We informed her she would get some big muscle-y bodyguards and one of those cool bullet proof cars and such. 

I think she's okay with her pursuing her presidential dreams still. 

We then read The Story of Ruby Bridges (my eyes got all misty again) and my class was outraged at the people in the story. One said, "I am just so lucky we don't have to live with those kind of people anymore."

Isn't it amazing to know how much impact we have on the thinking and opinions of our future leaders? Wow. Just wow.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

L is for Listening Lists

I've started a listening center in my class. We are lucky to have iPods with our stories on them, but these can go along with the online format of the Florida Treasures reading series as well (

I am going to laminate, cut them out, and put them on a ring. Enjoy these cards for all 30 stories for free if you use Treasures.

Listening Lists


V is for Valentine Centers

Yeah, I know what those of you who know me are thinking. I'm pretty bah-lovebug about Valentine's day. (Not the movie because Taylor and Taylor were so cute together...)

I do, however, get a big kick out of seeing my little darlings get so excited about it. So I try to make it fun for them.

I've found oodles of awesome Valentiney math resources on pinterest and other blogs, but a few key second grade skills were hard to find.

The only thing you might want to pick-up are these heart-shaped boxes from the Dollar Tree. (That sentence made me start humming Nirvana.) 

To prove that I'm not TOTALLY bah-lovebuggy, I will email this file to the first 5 lovely people who leave a comment with their email address for FREE! (Don't forget to join this blog, too.)

Sorry if you are humming Nirvana now, too.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

M is for Magnetic

We've got some amateur videographers in my class. They go around with the camera on the iPad and record some pretty funny footage. I decided to join on the fun and do a little mini interview. Hopefully we can use these little snippets to make a DVD of our memories at the end of the year. 


I love the background noise.

After I stopped recording this conversation took place:

Me: That means your zipper is...
Her: Pokey?
Me: Your zipper is NOT ------
Her: Zipped?
Me: NOT m....
Her: mmmm.....
Me: NOT mag...
Me: Okay. Pass them to the next person.
Her: (takes out of desk and they snap together) OUCH! (passes) Good luck getting those apart.

I know. Quality teaching right there...

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

S is for Stella

This is the story of Stella. I haven't told any stories about Stella yet because I had not come to terms with the fact that she is who she is. The terms it took a good three week break from her to come to.

Stella's original nickname was BDH. I cannot tell you what BDH stands for because I would feel extremely guilty that I even dared to think of it in the first place.

Okay, fine. I didn't actually feel guilty for referring to her as BDH, but Stella just seemed to fit after reading the story "Stellaluna".

You know the part when Mama Bird admonishes Stellaluna for teaching her chicks bad things?

This one?
{Sidenote: if you've never read Stellaluna you NEED to go to Storyline Online RIGHT NOW and listen to it...It's read by Pamela Reed, too!}

Yeah, well that's the look Stella gives me after every time I get on to her for something. Mostly for interrupting me. She does that A LOT.

One of my little darlings said, "Hey! Stellaluna's face looks just like the face Stella makes!"

Anyway, Stella was absent yesterday. Since it was the first day back after our winter vacation, and a Tuesday, I was a little excited worried.

We wondered if she might have moved away over the break. I said, "That would make me sad" and I think I actually meant it.

She is quite the comedienne. Just think Junie B. a less endearing way.

She came strolling in at 9:30 saying, "Don't worry! I'm here!" (And of course I went WHEW!)

We informed her that we now have Class Dojo for behavior. We have new reading centers. And, we have a new word wall.

Stella said, "Wow! A girl misses one day and the teacher just goes all crazy!" (And I thought, yeah, THAT'S what made me crazy.)

During centers, Stella asked me how to spell a word. I asked her, "What kind? Do you mean "merry" as in "Merry Christmas"? Or Mary as in Jesus' mom? Or..."

She interrupted me with, "NO! The kind of marry you do when you find out you're gonna have a baby."

Oh! Duh! That one.

Stella was supposed to start a pull-out group with our lovely Reading Resource teacher yesterday. Stella is a rock star at science and math, but she says reading is "for the smart kids".  I hadn't given Mrs. M any sort of info on Stella beyond her (real) name and reading level.

I promise I didn't ask Mrs. M to take Stella so I could get 20-30 minutes of peace every day. Okay, fine. I kind of did. Stella DOES need all the help she can get.

After school today I asked Mrs. M how her special time with Stella went today. She looked at me and said, "Lordamercy!"

I know Mrs. M. That's just Stella. She is who she is and that's that.

On a totally unrelated note. Why are some parents so hard to get a hold of on the phone?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

B is for {2nd} Blogiversary

Yep, it's that time again. This day marks my 2 year anniversary of starting this blog.

I just want to say, again, that I appreciate each and every one of you for following/reading my blog.

It makes it so much easier to deal with our jobs when we can laugh about things.

I have to say a big THANK YOU to the inspiration of this blog, the one and only Mr. TV. He has no idea the impact he made on my life, but now (two years later) I can say I appreciate it. When I heard him coming down the hallway today {using his "regular" voice saying "HULLO GOV'NA!"} I just had to hug him and say, "Get to class, Sir!"

I also need to say thank you to Miss Kranz at A Day in the Life of Miss Kranz. She awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award!

Here's what I have to do to accept:
1. Thank the person who presented the award to you and link back to them.
(see above!)
2. Tell seven things about yourself.
-I know I couldn't do a smidge of the things accomplish if I had kids and a husband! You mothers (single OR married) are amazing!
-I collect all things ladybugs because my grandmother and aunt started the tradition long ago.
-I love being the co-captain of our school's Relay for Life team.
-I am obsessed with watching baseball (Go Rays!) and college football games (Go Gators!).
-I am extremely afraid of alligators.
-I've grown up in Florida and have the whitest skin ever!
-My first "job" was feeding calves on a dairy farm.
3. Pass this on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know they've received the award.
The 15 is crossed out because there is NO WAY I have the time to "discover" new blogs, but I promise to shout out any new ones I find on my facebook page. I am going with these two:

Made In The Shade In Second Grade
These ladies have some great ideas.


This isn't actually "newly discovered" but I wanted to give some props to Courtney for all of the great Treasures resources she's made (and have saved me tons of time!).

Love to you all,

Monday, January 9, 2012

C is for Currently in January

I'm linking up to Oh' Boy Fourth Grade. She's doing a giveaway and an AWESOME pencil sharpener is the prize.


Friday, January 6, 2012

R is for Robotic {with freebie!}

Maybe it's just my students, but we have some serious fluency issues in my class. I do have a few that read FABULOUSLY, but I don't think the kids hear themselves. We tell them to read like a news reporter, but it doesn't always hit home.

One day, one of my more fluent little darlings told his classmate, "You read like a robot!"

So, when I saw this pin, I knew I had to "borrow" the idea.
from Scholastic

We've had a similar hand drawn one for a few months now, but the kids are going to LOVE this colorful version I created!
If you are a follower of my blog, please comment below and I'll email it to you for FREE.

Otherwise you can get it in my Teacher Pay Teachers store.