Let's Get Acquainted: Favorite Things!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Nevermind :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter today! Before we get started, here are the winners of my Beach Bash! giveaway:
Tori from Tori's Teacher Tips and Jean from Diving into 2nd Grade!!! YAY!! I will be emailing you ladies shortly :) If you didn't win, it's 20% off (along with the rest of my store) until midnight tonight!

Up next...
Thanks Latoya at Flying into First Grade for hosting!!

This week we're sharing some of our favorite things.

Favorite Store(s):
I know I'm only supposed to do one, but I just can't narrow it down!
For Me:
LOVE Loft!
For My Babies:
Oh man, this place is DANGEROUS!
For Everything Else:
No explanation needed :)
 Favorite TV Show:
Hands down. Funniest show on television!
Favorite Food:
FLAUTAS!
Oh man. Now my mouth is watering! It's chicken rolled up in a tortilla and then deep fried. Although we bake ours instead as a healthier version.
Favorite Restaurant:
Another tough one. I'm going to go with...
Mmmmm... those California Chicken Burgers... SO TASTY! My son calls this place "Red Robin Yummm!" LOL :)
Hop over and link up with Latoya if you get a chance! I'd love to hear about your favorite things!!
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BEACH BASH! Singular, Plural, and Possessive Noun Party

Nothing drive's me more nut's than when friend's add -'s to any word that end's in -s! OK, that last sentence is making me twitch, and I'm having a really hard time allowing it in this post!!

I'm a high ranking member of the Grammar Police. Here's a PSA for today:
The bunnies think it's pretty hilarious when I put on my "angry face," jump up and down, and shout this sentence at them. I'm half joking, but mostly serious. Why is it that kids {and some adults too!} always stick in an apostrophe whenever a word ends with -s?

To combat this problem, I created this:
Click on the image above to see it in my TpT store!
It was really cold and cloudy here in Wisconsin when I came up with the idea, so I decided to take us to the beach to work with different kinds of nouns. Here's what's included:
I'd love to give away a few copies! Leave a comment {including your email address!} telling me what's your favorite thing to do at the beach. The hubs and I are headed to Cabo San Lucas in 99 days {without kids!!}, and I need to start getting mentally prepared :)

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Peer Editing?! EEEKKK!!!

Anyone else notice how peer editing is ALL OVER the Common Core? Scary stuff, I tell ya! How can we get primary students to provide meaningful, quality feedback while staying focused and doing their jobs? I know they CAN edit... we do Daily Oral Language every day plus they edit their own Writer's Workshop stories. But the minute you put two (or more) kiddos together to do something unstructured like a peer conference, disaster can happen at any moment. What to do???

First it helps to set expectations. The bunnies and I brainstormed together the jobs of the writer and the editor during the peer conferencing process. Here's what we came up with:
Next we practiced, practiced, PRACTICED! I asked my teammate if I could have a few of her students' writing pieces (so that it would be completely anonymous) for us to practice with. I scanned them in on the copy machine... does yours do that? It's so awesome! I put the stories on the copy machine and it emails me the scan!! It's the little things in life that make me happy.... ANYWAY...

We practiced whole-group and we also practiced in partners. Students worked with their partners to read the stories and edit them. I also think they can be involved in the revision process, so I added a section to my Editing Checklist where the editor tells one thing they like about the story and one suggestion to make it better.  Here we are in action!

I always have the kids edit with red pen, and then when they conference with me, I will use any color BUT red to make my edits. I think it helps parents see the distinction between what their child has changed versus what I've changed.

Here's the Editing Checklist we're using. Click on it if you want your own FREE copy!! :)
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: let them read and edit each other's stories. On their own. I feel like a mom sending her babies out to the big, scary world. Can they REALLY do this??? They were editing so well with their partners. We've been practicing for the past week... Sometimes you just need to close your eyes and JUMP!

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Five for... Saturday? Works for Me!

First things first...
From my family to yours...
We'd like to wish you a Happy National Corn Dog Day!
we should own stock in a corn dog company or something!
I'm thisclose to melting down. (said in whiney voice) Is it Spring Break yet???

No. It's not. Sad face.

Don't get me wrong. Love the kids. Love my job. Also love my sanity. And everyone just needs a BREAK!

I honestly wasn't planning on linking up this week. But I saw how much fun everyone else is having, so I fell to the pressure.
Thanks Kacey for bringing us all together on Friday... or Saturday... :)

This week is going to be short and sweet.

1. It's Not Spring Break Yet.
But we're counting down the days!!!
This pic is from Monday. In case you're wondering... four days! FOUR DAYS!!! We can do this!
My teammie and I put this little ditty together. I think it's sunshiney and fun. And the kids love it too! :)

2. Measuring Madness!
We began our measuring unit. Here we are measuring in meters. First we estimated. I was super impressed by how the kiddos figured out (ON THEIR OWN!!!) that a giant step was about a meter and they were using this strategy to help them estimate. Cheating? Nahhh! It's called being resourceful!
Working in small groups to check their estimates.
3. Native Americans
We had our Social Studies test on Tuesday. On Monday I put the bunnies in groups to do a little review game. It's so easy for teams/kids who are not having their turn to space out. So that everyone is engaged, the teams who were not having their turn could earn one point by answering the question correctly. We are still working on being quiet, so that other teams don't hear the answers...
4. Xtra Math
Have you heard of this site?
I'm planning on writing a detailed post about it when my brain isn't all melty.

5. Mighty Math
Again, more to come. But basically I'm working on a product that is a weekly formative assessment to check the CCSS for math. Stay tuned!

OK, that was longer than I intended. I'm off to my classroom tomorrow. My rockstar Mom is coming to help me get organized. Seriously. If you need someone who is organized, focused, efficient, and no-nonsense when it comes to throwing things away, that would be my mom.

Night night!
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Five for Friday: 3/15

I. Am. EXHAUSTED!! My baby girl was up sick all night, then I had no preps today plus we had our Chinese Feast. Check out #1 to read all about it. I'm still managing to link up to Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five:

1. Chinese Feast
OK so I know that Chinese New Year was a loonnnggg time ago, but somehow we missed that memo... :/ I guess we were too busy having fun learning about Antarctica! So, we are trying to finish up learning about China before spring break. Today we had our Chinese Feast. I absolutely L.O.V.E this activity, but it does suck up a lot of my energy. Good thing we did it at the end of the day!
First we mix the eggs...
...then we cook them...
...then we stir in the rice, bacon, green onions, and soy sauce...
then we eat!

...or at least try to eat!

This recipe is seriously delicious. I have no idea where it came from; it was passed down to us from the previous second grade teachers at our school. It's not really authentic (pretty sure the Chinese don't eat bacon), but again, it's super tasty, and it's easy for second graders to make.

2. Food Drive
Our TAG kids (we call Talented and Gifted "TAG" instead of GT) were assigned to do a service project, and decided to do a food drive. Their goal was to collect 1,000 items over two weeks. My neighbor was a nonperishable-food-item-collecing-MACHINE and for whatever reason, I decided to challenge her class. Yesterday. Now most people would start the challenge, I don't know... the first day of the food drive. Not me. I waited until the second to last day. And I was pretty convinced my class would back me on this and we would win. My neighbor's class had collected 126 items as of Tuesday. I didn't even know how many items my class had collected. Well my bunnies tried and tried, but our grand total was exactly 100 items. My neighbor collected somewhere in the 170s. I was (and still am) pretty defeated. But the good news is that the TAG kids met their goal and collected more than 1,000 items for our local food pantry! HIPPO HOORAY!!!
Here are some of the items they collected!
3. Native American Presentations
We have been learning about Native Americans in Social Studies. Have you ever tried to find second grade appropriate Native American resources? Well I'll tell ya right now, they don't exist! So instead, I've been working with my district's Tech Integrator to make our own website. We focused on the characteristics of each region of Native Americans, rather than the individual tribes. Feel free to check it out and use it!
Click on the picture above to take you to the site!
Anyway, so the bunnies have been working so, so, SO hard on their Native American Power Point slide shows. They worked in groups of 3-4 to study and be an expert on a region and then share their information with the class. This week, they presented them to the class. I am beyond impressed with how they turned out! Here's one example:





YES, they did this ALL on their own!!! I showed them the basics, how to import photos from the internet and how to "fancy it up," ie: change the font, backgrounds, etc.

4. Random Pic
I snapped this pic of my babies and me on Wednesday. I think it's pretty hilarious.
We are sharing a Shamrock Shake. 
5. The Smile Project
I'm usually not Facebook friends with my students' parents, but two of my former students' mom takes our family photos and we've grown close over the years. Well she posted this video her daughter made for a class, and I just wanted to share it with you. She is currently a freshman and was in my first class. If you have a few minutes, you should watch this video.
It's so heartwarming and encouraging to see young people use their talents to make a positive impact. I am so proud to say I know this girl :)

Lastly...
Don't forget about my giveaway! Ends Sunday! Awesome prizes! WOO WOO!!!
Click the image above to check it out!

Well I'm off to camp out in front of the TV. I think I deserve it after today! :)
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ALL ABOARD! 200 Follower Giveaway!

Hi Friends! I am so excited to share with you my 200 Follower Giveaway! When I started my blog last summer, I never thought I would hit 100, let alone 200!

My son, who we lovingly nicknamed "Sly" is obsessed with trains. So...
ALL ABOARD THE GIVEAWAY TRAIN!!!
I am so thankful to my 40 Blogging/TpT friends who are helping me celebrate. We have not one, not two, not three, but FIVE prize packages up for grabs! There is a special package from me, one for all levels, a K-1 package, 2-3 package, and 4-5 package. Each have their own Rafflecopter, so read below for details! Because not everyone can win (I wish you all could!), I'm putting everything in my TpT store on sale for 10% off until Thursday :)

Let's get this show on the road... errr... TRACK!

First up are some prizes from ME!
If you've been following my blog, you might have heard about my little side business, Baby Ella Millinery. I love making things, and I'd love to make something for you! I specialize in crocheted baby/child hats, but if you visit my page, you will see I can also make adult sized hats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next up are some AMAZING prizes for any grade level! WOO WOOO!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This K-1 giveaway is HUGE!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be still my heart... I SO wish I could enter the 2-3 Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lastly, a sweet 4-5 giveaway for the big kids :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you so, so, SO much to all 200+ of you. You really know how to make a girl feel special! I hope that my ideas have given you inspiration to do great things in your classroom! :)
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