Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Day Bag Project, Last Day for Giveaway!

So I went shopping yesterday. It's possible certain I may have gone a little overboard in the new shoe department. However, as I know you all can appreciate (as I have seen some of your fantastically fashionable posts as well), I got a good deal on all of them- and the zinger....I can wear all of these sandals to school, because they are not technically "flip flops". Is anyone else as obsessed with wedges as I am? Being a soaring minute 5 feet tall myself, finding shoes that give me some height and that are comfy enough to wear to school all day is A-mazing!

Alright, thanks for letting me share my tangental (not sure that's a word) shoe excitement. On to the educational business...

Has anyone else ever participated in the "Earth Day Groceries Project"?  If not, here is the "quick" lowdown. At the beginning of April, when you are on your weekly grocery store visit, take a moment to ask the store manager if they could donate paper bags for this project. You snag enough for just your class or if you really want to do it up- get your whole school involved. I have done both in the past. Once you have all of your paper bags (I would get one for each student participating) then you bring them back to school and all of the students decorate one bag with an earth friendly message or picture. Then, you simply return the bags to the store, and on Earth Day they will use them to bag up all of the customers items. The kids absolutely love going to the store that day with their parents to see all of the bags! It's such a simple way to send a positive message and get the kids involved in a short and sweet service learning activity. Click on the icon above to learn more!

Finally just a reminder that this is the last day to enter our "Dazzling Double Giveaway"! It ends tonight  (March 31/April 1) at midnight! I have had so much fun reading all of your $100 classroom shopping spree responses thus far, and I want to thank you guys for taking a moment out of your day to share your thoughts and participate in our giveaway! Casey and I super excited about it, so if you haven't entered yet (and you still want to), don't delay, do it today! (Because like I ends tonight!) 

Click on the button to take you to our giveaway post!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Facebook and First Five Freebie!

Happy Thursday- can I say I am slightly sad as this means my spring break is nearing a close...I love all this uninterrupted time to relax and be productive at the same time!

Anywho..I thought I would present my post to you in somewhat of a list format tonight. As I have three ever so important things to share with you ;).

1. I officially started "The Second Grade Superkids" facebook page! I would LOVE (yes, that's a whole lotta love) for you to check it out....let me know what you think- I am in love with my "superkid" banner! Click on the image of my new page to take you there, or the icon on my sidebar works pretty swell as well!

2. I created a new spring time math center activity today (during some of that relax yet productive time off). Its called "A Shopping Trip to the Greenhouse", and it contains cards with various items to be bought at the greenhouse (seeds, tools, gloves, etc.) along with their prices. The students then match the item cards with the corresponding coin cards. In second grade we really hit hard on determining more than one coin combination for a given value- thus there are two coin combinations cards that go with each item your students could "buy" to practice this concept!

Click on the image to take you to my TpT store to grab this center activity -or- be one of the first five people to comment sharing what's your favorite thing to plant in your garden or if you do not have one what would be the first thing you would plant if you did. Please leave me your email address, and I will send you your free copy!

3. Finally- don't forget to enter in our "Dazzling Double Giveaway" to celebrate reaching 100 followers. You could win 2 of my latest units as well as an amazing new math centers unit and 5 other units of your choice from Casey over at Second Grade Math Maniac. That's 8 (I repeat) 8, units in all! Click on our lil ole' giveaway button to take you to the post to enter!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dazzling "Double" Giveaway

The day has arrived! A "Dazzling 'Double' Giveaway" to celebrate both our reaching 100 followers! Hosted by myself and Casey from 

Second Grade Math Maniac

Are you guys ready for this.....
The giveaway winner will receive....

Casey's latest "Western Theme Math Centers" + 5 units of his/her choice from her TpT store!

My latest "It's Good to Be Green" unit and...

my "A Little Dirt Never Hurt" unit all about plants!

So now that we (hopefully) got you all sorts of excited! Here is how you can enter:

1. Follow both of our blogs and comment that you did and/or already do.
2. Follow both of our TpT stores and leave a comment that you did.
Click here to visit my TpT store.
Click here to visit Casey's TpT store.
3. Blog about our giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your post.
4. Leave a comment answering the question: "If you had 100 dollars to spend on your classroom, but could only use it at one place, where would you go?" (This one goes along with our "100" theme, and we thought it would be fun to learn about your favorite classroom shopping joints!)

Please include your email address along with all comments so we can easily get a hold of you!

That's it. Four options to enter. Easy peasy!

The giveaway will be closed at 12:00am (Saturday night/Sunday morning). We will announce the winner the next day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Unit Sneak Peek

Just wanted to give you guys a sneak peek of the new units I have been working on! I will unveil more about them tomorrow for our 100 follower giveaway commencement!- But I thought you would enjoy a little teaser today....and I may even throw in a freebie :)

"It's Good to be Green" is a combined unit I used to supplement our science/social studies curriculum. It focuses on the concepts of goods, resources, and how they are moved, as well as the science tie-in with how we can be "green" citizens and work to conserve and protect our natural resources. 

"A Little Dirt Never Hurt" is a supplemental unit I am finishing up to teach my kids all about plants and how they grow!

All activities within both units will come in English and Spanish as always!

Here is a freebie I am using as a pre-assessment tool for the plant unit just for you my "super" followers - of course it is in Spanish too! Just click on the image to snag yourself a copy!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow to enter in the "100 Follower Giveaway" Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac and I will be hosting to kick off our new units and show our appreciation for all of you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Super Monday?....and 100 Followers!

Alright, so technically my super related post is supposed to happen on Sunday, because clearly the alliteration of "Super Sunday" sounds way cooler....but I failed and was all sorts of busy- so you get it today ;)!

Here she is- my super teacher cape- isn't she a beaut!

So here's the deal- In my dual language classroom, I speak Spanish the majority of my day (80%) to be exact. The other 20% is in English. In our building, to help our students distinguish between what language they should be using at a given time, most people put something on such as a scarf that they designate as their English scarf, and that teacher then only uses English when it is on. I elected to use a cape (obviously), because superkids must have a super teacher. Usually when we are getting ready to switch into English time then to make the transition, I have my students "change their ears" before I put on my cape. To do this we simply put our fingers up to our ears, count 1,2,3 "clic" (in Spanish) and make a turning motion with our fingers. I then put my magic cape on and suddenly I only speak English and they have changed their ears and brains to be ready for the other language as well. We do the same when I take my cape off...but in English this time to switch back to Spanish. At the beginning of the year, I ensure my students that my cape is magical. When I put it on, I can only speak English, and without it I only know Spanish. The only exception to this rule is during our bridging time between languages in which we use both, and we use a special symbol for initiating this time as well.

I have to add this side note, because I think it is super special. When I initially started using a cape, I actually cut one off of one of my friends "Super Woman" halloween costume. However, last year, one of my darling students came to school on Halloween actually, with this sparkly brand spankin' new one that her and her mother had made for me. I about peed my pants with joy. It's the little things! Still wearing it faithfully every day!

On a completely different note- I have reached 100 super followers! I feel like I just had my 50 giveaway, and I cannot believe how fast this crept up on me! Needless to say, I could not be more thrilled that you all think it worthy of your time to stop by and check out my little ole' blog! I am having so much fun sharing my ideas with you guys, and equally as much (if not more) reading all of your ideas in return! THANK YOU MUCHO!

To celebrate this fabulouslessness, Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac and I are planning on teaming up for a 100 follower "dual" giveaway as she is right there as well! We are both finishing up some super new units so make sure you stay tuned as we plan to post them and give some away to say thank you to you all for your support, within the next couple days! 

Also, just a wanted to remind you all to keep linkin up your spring activities, and most importantly check out the great ones that have already been linked up! There are some wonderful ideas, that I will most definitely be utilizing in my classroom :)! Click on the image to go to the post. 

Lastly, a good Monday chuckle! (Hope your week is off to a great start :))

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What would you invent for teachers?

Linking up with Jennifer over at Best Practices 4 Teaching for a little teacher invention linky. How fun! 

Here is my future patent (you think I'll make big money?):

 Click on Jennifer's link above for the original form if you feel inventive as well!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Measurement, Paragraphs, and Green Kids!

This week we have been focusing on measuring area and perimeter and nailing this concept down! Today we had a little fun with it. I gave all of the kids a piece of centimeter graph paper and they had to create their name out of the paper. Then they glued all of the letters to a piece of construction paper and had to find the area and perimeter of each of the letters in their name. I must say- I was a little nervous as to how difficult it would be for them to visualize the letters in "square" form. But i was beyond impressed- most of them could do it better than me! Here are a few examples:

During "Writer's Workshop" today we did a bridging activity. For those not familiar with the "dual" world, after each unit, in a dual classroom, one may do a bridge to connect the concepts already learned in one language to the next. For instance, I just finished teaching a unit completely in Spanish about the 4 types of sentences and how to use them to write great introductions and conclusions. Thus, today, because I had finished the unit, we did a bridge lesson in which I connected the content they already knew to the English language. First, we bridged the vocabulary ie: declarativa/declarative, imperativa/imperative. As you may notice, the words appear very similar. Those are cognates- words that sound the same and mean the same thing in two languages. My kids love finding those during our bridging lesson, and they are so important to point out as it helps strengthen that linguistic connection!  

After bridging the vocabulary and concepts, I usually do a little activity to go along with the vocabulary we have just bridged in the other language. To do this today, I gave each of students a strip that had a sentence on it. The sentence was part of a 5 sentence paragraph on a specific topic. They had to locate their friends around the room that had the other sentences in their paragraph, and then work together to put them in order. 

After all of the groups had put their paragraphs in order. We took an in depth look at the intro and concluding sentences of each paragraph. The groups had to read them aloud and then as a class, we determined which type of sentence it was using that new vocabulary we just bridged in English! If you think this activity could be useful for your class, click on the image below for a free copy of the paragraph strips I used!

Finally, we spent all this week learning about what it means to be "green" as part of our science/social studies combined units on goods/resources and natural resource conservation. At the beginning of the week, we discussed what it meant to be "green". I had the students do a little schema writing before hand and asked them to write down what they thought it meant.-whoo hilarious! Had everything from aliens to wearing green clothes and dying our hair!

Needless to say now I think/hope they have a much better idea. Each day I read them a different book about a way in which we can be more "green". After reading they completed a reflection sheet to add to add to their "How to be a "green" Kid" poster we created the first day. Here are some of the finish products. (They don't look quite as cute because I had to block out their photos...but you get the idea!)

I plan to finish getting this combined unit (in English and Spanish) up for you guys during my break this week! Just need to add some finishing touches!

And Spring Break has officially begun! Anyone else off this week? Have any exciting plans?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crafty Class Card Idea

Tomorrow is my last day before my spring break! So ready! Of course we thought it brilliant to plan a fieldtrip... so needless to say it will be even crazier than normal "day before spring break crazy". We are headin over to the public library to get the kids pumped about it before they head into break!

I know many of you are taking part in the "Teachers Taking Care of Teachers" outreach effort and thus, I thought you would appreciate the following little creation we put together today!(If you are not a part of it, it is not to late to help- click here, and it will take you to the document on which you can sign up!)

I took the idea of creating a "post-it" thank you card from Sra. Carro over at FlapJack Educational Resources, and ran with it to create a "post-it" encouragement card with my students to go along with the package we are sending to the classroom we signed up to help! It turned out super cute, and I must say that it was sooooooo much less time consuming that having them make individual cards or all sign one big one! I will def. be using this idea again for other card creations in the future!

Click on the images to see them better!

This is the front! (I punched holes to tie the ribbon through.)

And the middle! Oh lah lah!

No, I don't have that few kids. We put some on the back too. Didn't want to leave any space untouched! Before we wrote our post-its, we talked about how to write "words of encouragement" and my kiddos did such a great/thoughtful job with the simple words that they wrote.

On a final note- some of you have already linked up some wonderful "spring time" activities! Make sure you guys check them all out, and feel free to link your spring things too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Linky Party Reminder and a Few Giveaways!

Alright you guys! I have seen some of your spectacular "Spring" activities on your blogs, so I know they are out there! Link up to share them in one place with more of your fellow bloggers! Spring has sprung, link up for fun! (Sorry I tried to rhyme there...but the -ung was killin me....)

Click on the image to link up!

Also, wanted to blog about a few giveaways I have recently come across that I am quite excited about!

Ms. Nicole @ Today in Second Grade is giving away an adorable spring literacy pack!

Candis @ iteachduallanguage is giving away a vocabulary program called "Words of our World" that serves to develop word knowledge through the use of cognates and common roots.

Chrissy @  Buzzing with Ms. B is giving away any two of her TpT units!

Make sure to check them all out! Not only for the giveaways, but also because they have some other wonderful ideas on their blogs as well!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Freebie and Linky Party!

The first day of spring is tomorrow! To celebrate, I have created a quick memory game freebie for you, that I will also be using tomorrow as a vocabulary review with my students!

I only created this one in Spanish this time, but if anyone would like it in English and think it could be useful for you, please let me know, and I would be more than happy to whip it up!

Also, I thought in honor of this auspicious occasion (as spring means we are a step closer to summer!), that we could celebrate with a little linky party! I would love to see some of your "spring time" activities in English or Spanish, as I am sure would many others- thus, why not get them all together in one place! Make sure to directly link us to your post so that we can easily find your activity, and provide a little description of your activity too! Join in as we go "Splashin into Spring"! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Giveaway Winner and a Leprechaun Visit!

And the winner is.....

Comment #49- My fabulous new follower Heather! Congrats, Heather- you are now the proud new owner of "Dex, the Heart of a Hero", by Caralyn Buehner and a $25 gift card to B & N.

Thank you all for taking part in my very first giveaway! It was so much fun and your support was wonderful! Look forward to another (possibly quite soon), as I am nearing 100 followers now! guys rock :)

In other news, on Wednesday night, a mischievous being came into our classroom and completely destroyed it. When we arrived on Thursday morning, we saw chairs strewn about, supply boxes spilled over, books and games taken out and not put away, green paint spilled on the floor and thus, mysterious tiny green footprints all about the room, spilt "Lucky Charms" cereal, shamrocks and gold glitter all over our tables, and some key evidence- a tiny green hat left with a note that read "¡Jaja! No pueden capturarme! (Haha! You can't catch me!). 

When my students arrived in the morning, before entering our room, I informed them of what had happened. I said that I had called the police, as it was clear someone had entered the room, and that they asked me to fill out a crime report. I shared with them that my students know just as well, if not better where everything is in our classroom, and I would really appreciate their help as well in investigating the evidence and filling out reports. Thus, the "police" gave me a report for each of them to fill out that morning, but they asked me to share with the students that as this is a crime scene, they may not touch any of the evidence- just look- as we do not want to tamper with it. (My acting abilities must have been impeccable, because I am pretty sure most if not all bought into this idea. There were a few faces of sheer horror, before we entered the classroom!)

Once the initial excitement wore down, I called my kids over to the carpet to explain the crime report they would be expected to fill out to assist the police in capturing the suspect. 

On the first page, they had to provide a description of the scene. As we have been working on "Super Paragraphs" lately, I shared with my students that this was the format that the police expected them to use as we want to sound like professionals. (We did brainstorm some key phrases for starting our paragraphs, concluding them, etc. before writing.)

We also chatted about how good crime scene investigators take photos of the evidence. Thus, we had to do so as well.

Finally, the police asked us to include in our report, a sketch of the suspect based on the evidence that we found in the classroom. We of course had to share what key evidence we used to assist us in creating our sketch as well, as any professional sketch artist would do.

While at lunch, I "took" my students reports to the police station. I shared with them upon their return from lunch that the police thought they did a very thorough job, and after reviewing their investigations, they concluded that it most likely was a leprechaun based on the key evidence and it being so close to St. Patrick's Day and all. They said that they would try their best to capture him- but they are tricky little guys! (Well what do you think my students asked next......Can we help them try and capture him? We can make traps Miss Carlson...etc. etc....) much fun! And it was a great lesson in descriptive writing and making inferences!

Click on the picture to visit my TpT store, if you are interested in a copy of our "Crime Scene Investigation" packet! It comes in English and Spanish.

And finally- Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giveaway Reminder!

Super busy tonight- so just wanted to check in to remind you all that tomorrow is the last day to enter in my giveaway! It ends at midnight (so i guess that makes the first minute of Friday the last possible time to enter)...but you get my drift! Click on the button to go to my original post to comment and enter! Thank you to everyone who has already entered and to all of my new followers! I am so excited you have found me- mostly because that means I can follow you and your wealth of wonderful ideas now too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Super Sentence Lesson

To support my kiddos in spicing up their writing introductions, we are focusing this week on exploring the 4 types of sentences. Yesterday, I introduced/reviewed the four types of sentences and we created an anchor chart. Then today we did this fun little activity that I threw together, to practice writing some examples of the four types!

After a brief review (including some def. reflection on use of punctuation), I gave each of my students a  post-it note in which I wrote the name of one of the types of sentences on the sticky side. They had to look at the name, and using their knowledge and the sentence anchor chart come up with a sentence that reflected that type to write on the other side. I gave them about two minutes, then we all came back to the carpet and the kids took turns reading their sentences one-by-one, while the rest of their classmates guessed which type of sentence they had written. I reminded the kids before they read how important their expression in reading their sentence was as well in helping their classmates to identify it correctly. It was great, and I was surprised at how attentive they were while every classmate shared! Worked like a charm ;)

Tomorrow we will be taking a look at some mentor texts to see how different authors use the various sentence types to begin their stories!

On a different note- I received "The Lovely Blog" award awhile back from my dear friends Amy, Gretchen, and Shelley @ 3 Teacher Chicks and Sheri @ 1st Grade Rocks and recently from Jessica @ Confessions of a Primary Teacher. Thank you again ladies! It is MUCH appreciated! Now, I am finally getting around to doing my much honored duty of giving this award to some other very lovely blogs! (Let me tell you this was not as easy task as many of you (because you are all so lovely) have already received this honor!) Thus, I thought I would give this out to some newer blogs I have recently come across! And the winners are......

1. Ms. Nicole @ Today in Second Grade
5. Amanda @ Inspired in Second

Here are the rules for the award ladies:

1. Link back to the blogger(s) who gave you the award.
2. Pass the award on to 5 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.

And to leave you with you a good chuckle, I have a student paper to share. We were reviewing probability vocabularly this morning during our intervention block. The students had to write an event or happening that fit with the proper term related to probability (ie. improbable, impossible, etc.). 

(Note: This is one of my native English speakers- so the grammer isn't perfect!- but the content is great!) Most of them are pretty typical answers....but the last one- "Seguro" (Certain)- He writes "It is certain that I am funny." (Really? I laughed.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

K-2 Linky Love and Fabulous Freebie

Linking up with Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle for a little Kinder-2nd linky party. She is trying to get all of us together in one place so we have a plethora of wonderful blogs to peruse! I think she is even going to create a Pinterest board with them all as well- so you don't want to miss out! So link up my K-2 friends!

During our intervention block today, I did a quick shape sort with some of my kiddos that are still struggling with good ole' 2-D shapes. Check out this freebie (in Spanish and English) by clicking on the image below.

Hope your week is off to a wonderful start! Spring is nearly here :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TpT Grand Opening!

Happy "Super" Sunday!

I officially posted my first item at my TpT store! Some of you had been asking for the "Super Themed" Writing Workshop posters that I use in my classroom. Well...I finally got around to getting them to you all! I hope you enjoy them (and as they are my very first item, they are free!). I'd love it if you'd leave me some feedback!

I am currently finishing up a combined bilingual unit on "How Goods Move/Natural Resource Conservation" as well. Be looking forward to that soon- as I know I will be looking forward to having it finished up! It's a lot of work doing everything in two languages!

Ohh...and don't forget to enter my "Super Cincuenta Giveaway"! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Breaking the Rules for a Good Cause

Breaking the rules and posting twice today- but for good reason. Krystal over at Kreative in Kinder is hosting a "Teachers Taking Care of Teachers" linky that I felt drawn to immediately be a part of, as well as share with you all if you have not already linked up/seen it.

As many of you know many teachers were affected by the devastating tornadoes that hit 5 different states on March 2nd. In an effort to show our fellow teachers our support, Krystal has asked us to link up to spread the word, as well as come together to assist these teachers in any way, shape, or form we can. This could mean anything from sending positive thoughts or cards of encouragement to sending extra items such as books, manipulatives etc. from your classrooms, to donating items from your TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores. 

As I have shared in previous posts, each month in my classroom, my students take part in a service learning project. I am most definitely going to get them involved to brainstorm what we feel would be the best way that we can help! This is such a wonderful way for us as teachers (and even our students) to embrace our fellow colleagues and students across the nation and show we care! Sharing is caring, right?

"Sometimes a small thing you do can mean everything in another person's life".