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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

X is for XtraMath

I am doing an adaptation of Whole Brain Teaching's Universal Homework. I am using something similar to Stephanie's idea of Star Homework. Check hers out!

One of the "stars" students can earn is practicing basic math facts using I just checked the report that is generated and 10 out of my 17 darlings logged in and practiced on the first night!

For a Title 1 school this makes me very proud of our families. I love when home and school can work together to best help our students.

If you need your students to practice basic math facts head over to and sign up FOR FREE!

Here is a copy of my Star Homework number charts. We will mark off a square for each star earned to reach our weekly goal.

Star Graph

Happy Homeworking!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

F is for Fighting Fires

Whew! The wild weather should be called MILD weather today. We mostly got some on and off rain showers. Thank you to those of you who kept us in your thoughts.

To continue to make light of the "situation"... one of my facebook friends posted this picture:

Photo: Hurricane Isaac 2012...Never Forget
Hurricane Isaac 2012

Having the day off helped me to finally finish Treasures centers for Fighting the Fire (Unit 1, Week 3). Click the pic to get it from my TPT shop.

Skills covered:
Main Idea
Short a/Long a
Nonfiction writing
Word Family -ell
Science (Black Bears)
Social Studies (Community Helpers)
Sentence Subjects
Fluency practice through poetry

Here is a simple (we're still basically first graders after all...) activity from this packet that can be used in any classroom. It helps students identify subjects and predicates.

Silly Subjects

 It's back to school tomorrow for us! I'm ready. =)

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

W is for Wild Weather Warning!

Well it took all day, but my school district finally made the call to close tomorrow because Tropical Storm Isaac is going to blow by.

 I think this is a wise decision as this is where we live:

And this is what the radar looks like:

A few years ago we had a hurricane day on the SECOND day of school. It was insane. Especially because if I remember correctly it ended up being sunny out.

It better not be sunny out tomorrow. A hurricane day kind of messed up my start of reading centers and homework. I think I will get over it though.  Unless we have to make it up during the week of Thanksgiving. That will make me kind of mad.

I was ready with my pretty polka dotted umbrella and rain boots.

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But I can wear these to a Tropical Storm party because this Sunday night just became very similar to a Saturday night.

Actually I'm probably just going to sit and create some TPT units while I watch Storage Wars.

I will take pictures and update you tomorrow! Enjoy your Sunday night. =)

(All kidding safe out there fellow Floridians.)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

F is for Freebie Friday

We made it! We made it through torrential rain at car rider line, severe weather relocating us from the portable to a "real" building, and freak outs over the fire drill! The first week of school is done.

This picture shows how hard we've been working. I've known this guy since he was born. I blogged about him last year. 

"2nd grade is exhausting"

I feel the same way.

Today is Freebie Friday over on Blog Hoppin'.

I'm putting the time capsules I showed you yesterday as FREE until Monday.

Click the pic to get it. =)
Have a fantastic weekend. I'm going to rest up for the 2nd week of 2nd grade.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

T is for Therapeutic Thursday

Therapeutic Thursday is here! Well, it's almost the end of it. Which means the first week of school is almost over! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The things that help me unwind from the pressures we face at work are quite simple.

Blizzard of the Month. Need I say more?
Mindless Pinterest
Best pillow for sleeping EVER!
Love cutting coupons on lazy Sundays.
Speaking of mindless...Getting lost in a pointless love story = relaxation!

 Love me some Rays baseball games!

 Making cupcake bites and cake balls is great fun.
The perfect ending to a long day is walking my dogs around the neighborhood at sunset.

 Also, seeing papers like these bring the stress levels down. We did Time Capsules today. =)

Have a happy last day of the first week for those of you who went back this week! Happy Friday for those of you who didn't. 

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

T is for Technology Tip Tuesday

Today is Technology Tip Tuesday!

I will admit. I'm am ADDICTED to my technology. MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iPods...iLove them all! 

I come from the generation of people who were teenagers when we first started inserting those AOL CDs into computers and waited for that dial tone to take us to the World Wide Web. Even earlier than that, I was the kid who knew how to run Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? on the old Apple computers in elementary school. 

Yes, my generation is probably the beginning of the "addicted to technology" age. My point is that I'm NOT AFRAID of trying new things and using technology. My teammates often find me to fix problems. They swear I can just walk into the room and their computers start working. =)

One of my bad habits is losing things. I like to set things in my hands down in random places and they are never to be seen again. This was the case of my flash drive (aka pin/thumb drive/plug in computer thingy). 16GB of files gone! I was a little upset. 

Luckily, there was a solution for people like me. I've mentioned it before and if you use it, I'm sure you'll agree. Best part? It's FREE! And anything FREE is for ME!

It's called Dropbox and it is fabulous. It's basically an online flash drive. You can put any and all files on it and they are saved on their site. I have my account linked to my iPad, phone, school computer, and it's always available on the website. I share folders with my teammates and it is great for collaborative planning.

Mine looks like this:

My folders have sub-folders. This is close to being my teacher heaven. If Dropbox were to dissapear, I would have a meltdown. (No...I don't work for them, but I like to keep my options open! Call me Dropbox Human Resources!)

Give it a try and you won't be sorry. I hope it helps you as much as it has me.

Anybody else have the Carmen Sandiego song stuck in their head, too? ;-)

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Monday, August 20, 2012

M is for Must-Have Monday

Today was the first day of school. It was very fun. I am very tired. My feet are very sore. I think I will go back tomorrow though. Those little darlings are adorable! It just melts your heart when a shy little guy tells you that you made the first day fun.

I wanted to pop in and link up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week. Today is Must-Haves Monday.


Here is what I brought to school today:

 This cup holds the beverages I need to wake up in the morning. Since I'm not a coffee drinker, it's either cherry soda or tea.

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Here in "sunny" Florida, random rain showers like to show up at 2:40. You know, during car rider dismissal time. I'm that teacher with two legs sticking out from under this giant polka dotted thing. 

I also brought my Macbook Pro (best purchase ever!) in this one of a kind (Mary Engelbreit fabric) tote bag. I absolutely LOVE this bag. I bought it on Etsy.

Attitude Girls Charm Tote - Mary Engelbreit for Moda Fabrics 

At school today I had to use these things:


These were a nice present:

That is what this girl relies on her first day of school.

I'm still working on getting this.

Shouldn't this count as a teacher supply?

Also, Kohl's has given me a 10% off code to share with my readers. You can use the code UBLOGTEN now through October 24th and stack your savings with one other department specific code as well. Thank you Kohl's! I'm going to see if they sell a foot bath...
Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

R is for Ready

I walked out of my classroom at 5:35 on a Saturday feeling like I might be ready for the first day. I made it through Hell Week Planning Week. No, I'm not comparing teachers to Navy SEALS, but the job can be pretty intense.

After finding termites in this:

And having to work around the dudes doing this:

And then seeing that they left the giant shelf they moved in the middle of the floor PLUS didn't have matching tiles but not caring because the paneling doesn't match either:

And let's not go into the issues of the stuff I found growing in the room, the new (going to be great blogging material) student I'll be getting, planning, meetings, and headaches...

This got done:

And this:

Turned into this:

All of my books are ready.

Thinking of making a sign "DO NOT TOUCH until you hear my rules!"

And the queenly throne is all set.

Now I'm wondering if I can veg out on the couch until Monday morning...

I plan on taking more detailed pictures before the kidlets get there on Monday. My iPhone just can handle all of the awesomeness. =)

Anybody else starting on Monday?

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