Thursday, December 8, 2011

Read to Someone

This is by far one of my students favorite daily 5 rotations! Once we have gone through and learned what read to someone should look, sound, and feel like we are finally really ready to give it a try. The best part of read to someone, is when students get to coach each other I think.I love this part because there are so  many reading strategies they practice with one and another note even realizing it. Here is a coaching sheet that I have created that each of my students have in their daily 5 book tubs and whenever they do read to someone they always have this ready to coach their partner when needed.


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Littlest Christmas Tree Pagent

Last week we had our second grade music program. It was so neat to see all the kiddos dressed up as elves or Christmas trees. It was amazing to see how creative their costumes were. They did such a great job preforming, the only thing was afterwards it felt as if we should be going on Christmas break which was not the case we have almost two and a half weeks left. Here is this story I found that goes along with the Christmas program that our second graders did and then a little slide show for you to enjoy! By Richard K. Conant The Littlest Christmas Tree stood on the hill, wondering still, "Will I be chosen, chosen this year?" "Don't worry dear," said the Mother Tree near, "you may be chosen, chosen this year." "I feel so lonely, lonely and sad. Have I been bad?" asked the Littlest Tree. "You haven't been bad," said the kind Mother Tree. "You're a good little tree, you must wait patiently." Bough-bent and broken by wind and by storm, the Littlest Christmas Tree had an uneven form. Spurned and rejected by all who passed by, the Littlest Christmas Tree began to cry. "Don't cry, Little Tree," said a bear standing there. "How would you know that you wouldn't grow, year after year?" "Little Tree, please don't cry," said a squirrel nearby. Then a blue jay, a chickadee, an owl wise and strong, a cardinal, and a woodpecker, with a beak very long, flew onto the tree and burst into song! "Thank you, O' thank you! My friends, you are dear! Now I'll be chosen, chosen this year!" The Littlest Christmas Tree was happy that day, 'til thunder and lightning drove his friends away! The kind Mother Tree was taken that night by a family who rode in a a sleigh. She offered these words of comfort, before she was carried away. "A Christmas Tree's purpose is to bring love and joy to every girl and boy at Christmas. So have faith, my son, for your chance will come, and you will be chosen someday." All alone in the night, beneath stars glowing bright, the tree looked toward heaven for light. A star sailing by in the twinkling sky shined its light on the Littlest Tree. As it bathed in the light, on that one special night, the tree heard a voice say aloud, "Because you are bent, broken, and small, you are the most beloved of all- for the love that's inside is a gift that you hide! Let it shine forth on this night." And The Light from above rekindled the love deep inside the Littlest Tree. The hill glowed that night, for the tree's love shined bright. And happiness fell all around. When Spring came at last to the trees on the hill the Littlest Christmas Tree was wondering still, "Will I be chosen, chosen this year?" When Summertime came and the other trees grew the Littlest Christmas Tree wondered anew, "Will I be chosen, chosen this year?" And would you believe, that on Christmas Eve the Littlest Tree looked toward heaven, And the light from a star, in the heavens so far, caused the Littlest Tree to remember The Light from above and its message of love on that special night last December! And the hill glowed that night, for the tree's love shined bright. And happiness fell all around. "O' Father, dear Father, please look over there," said the boy in the wheelchair, as he stared at the Littlest Tree. "Yes, that is the one, it's so lovely, my son. We'll bring it home for Christmas." So the Littlest Christmas Tree went home at last, embraced in the little boy's care. "Dear Little Tree, you're just like me," said the littlest boy in the chair. And the tree shined that night, with its message of Light, and happiness fell all around.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back into the teaching blog!

Wow ! It has been a long time since being on my teaching blog, to be honest I was feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and frustrated. I had this vision of what I wanted my blog to look like and be and it just wasn't turning out to go that way. So, I needed to step back and take a break. I took many months blog "stalking" as usual. Continued to practice building on my blogging skills and figuring out how to get the appearance of my blog to be what I wanted.  Although it still isn't everything I want it to be, I have come to the point that I am not going to sit back and wait any more, I am going to put myself out there with the rest of the wonderful teachers and blog away. So, to all those wonderful teachers who have inspired me and continue to be the motivation to me everyday to keep working on my own professional teaching/sharing blog, thank you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge E

E Engaged...Actively engaging students in learning. Making learning meaningful and engaging for students. Let them take part and lead learning in the classroom.

Definition of ENGAGED

1: involved in activity : occupied, busy
2: pledged to be married : betrothed
3: greatly interested : committed

Monday, April 4, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge

Since I started this late I have to catch up to letter D. When I think about my life the most inspiring things to me are my children, my husband, and teaching. Those three things have taught me so many life lessons and have contributed to what each letter of the A-Z Blogging Challenge stand for.

Join in on the blogging challenge by going to

A-Z Blogging Challenge 

A- Adventure Each day as a mother of two boys and a teacher of second grade I take on adventure. I look at the excitement in my students eyes when they try a new challenge, or take the plunge to try something new.  I think as a mother and a teacher you have to be adventurous, explore with you children and students and learn together. 

B- Belonging Creating a community where all students feel like they belong and can be successful.

C- Communicate I try to communicate with my students what I expect them to accomplish, that I believe in them, and that they can truly do anything they put their mind to.

D- Determination If you have ever read Patricia Polacco's book Junkyard Wonders, it defines determination. The story brought tears to my eyes in front of my students, and reminded me that all things are possible if you put your mind to it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do you Snazzy Snack???

After do the basic handwriting practices activities I want something more to motivate my students to apply proper handwriting techniques. Where else to look for great ideas, but searching the internet at the amazing teacher websites. After searching for ideas, I stumbled across one of MY Favorite teacher websites by Christine BainBridge Not only does Mrs. Bainbridge do amazing things in her classroom, but she shares her great ideas with other teachers. So, after visiting her site I began doing Snazzy Snack with the help of her resources and then have furthered my own Snazzy Snacks by finding other fun snacks that kids love. The students are highly motivated to have extra neat handwriting, especially since they have to be able to read their own directions to be able to create their own Snazzy Snack. It wouldn't be right to end March without a Leprechaun Snazzy Snack so we made Leprechaun Pie. To my surprise this was my classes favorite recipe so far :)

Leperchaun Pie
Pistachio Pudding
Chocolate Coin
Whip Cream Topping

1. Make Pistachio pudding according to box instructions
2. Put a scoopful of pudding in your cup
3. Put your chocolate coin in your pudding
4. Put Whip Cream on top
5. Gobble up your yummy treat, and see if your lucky to find a chocolate coin.

You know your a second grade teacher when...

Babbling Abby is hosting a linky party to highlight those special moments that only a teacher would recognize. My last link-up was so fun I figured it was time for another one!

You know you're a second grade teacher when...
- You get called mom a couple times a day by children not of your own.

- You hear your name a million times a day.

- You feel the need to recommend books to random kids and adults.

- You love the school supply aisle.

- You look forward to cutting out your laminating.

- You remind your own children to be respectful, responsible, and safe.

- You are excited for the first snow day or late start :)

- You can't think of your students being with any other teacher besides you.

- You leave school with a smile everyday knowing you made a difference for at least one child

- The last day of school is happy, sad, eventful, and overwhelming.

Your turn!! Go over and get linked up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How do you publish student's stories?

I always want my students to take pride in what they write, so after we have a conference over a piece of their writing they are able to publish their stories. A few resources they can use to publish their stories include...
Microsoft word

What are some resources you use for students to publish their work?

How do you motivate your boy writers?

This year in my classroom I have been following the format of No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades by Jennifer Jacobson, I absolutely love this book and recommend it to any primary teacher! Using the format Jacobson recommends I have noticed a huge desire in my students urge to write, but I am always looking for more great ideas on how to get those harder to reach students to want to pick up the pencil and write. Here are two books that have really got the boys in my room to become authors.

Check out the author's website with great ideas to use in your room also. This books explores writing Haiku with all the nature loving concepts boys love :)

The boys in my room also love dinosaurs and any amazing animal fact they can find out. In the book Dinosaurs Galore the author uses interesting facts in a rhythmical way to increase the author's voice and appeal to the young audience. My boys are always going back to this book to reflect on ideas for their new stories.

What the Teacher Wants!: We want to say {THANK YOU}!

What the Teacher Wants!: We want to say {THANK YOU}!: "We want to say thank you to our readers!  We really appreciate all of the love, support, and inspiration we get from all of you out the..."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Against the Wind: 11 reasons why I blog.

Against the Wind: 11 reasons why I blog.: "1 I blog to discover a deeper understanding of why I feel the way I do about a topic. 2. I blog to challenge the way I feel about a top..."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do you tweet?

Along with blogging, I think tweeting is highly addictive and beneficial. I love all the new ideas I receive on twitter along with tips, educational news, and just knowing there is a huge network of amazing teachers working together to improve education. If you tweet, follow me @2FALIONS

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our two goldies

My first linky party! I have been so amazed by the wonderful teachers that reach out and teach our children everyday. I feel so blessed to be a teacher and be able to connect with other magnificent teachers all over the world! My first linky party is hosted by Ladybug's Teacher Files 

So here we go,  a picture of my pets.

I have two golden retrievers. Riley is 7 years old and totally a gentle lion. He is so lovable and always wants to snuggle. He has been my running partner when training for marathons, and my companion when my husband is gone.

Our second golden retriever Casey, is Riley's younger spunky brother. You would be amazed out how much energy Casey has with him only being a year younger then Riley. Casey is constantly wanting to go running, play fetch, and eat. My three year old and him our best friends.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Guided Reading

After reading a post on What the Teacher Wants I thought I would also share how I do guided reading/strategy groups. I love the books by the sisters and have been implementing the Literacy Cafe and Daily 5 in my classroom for about four years. I also highly recommend the book by Debbie Diller Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All . In Debbie Diller's book she has a similar format to the guided reading folder that What the Teacher Wants,  but it addresses key concepts that students in those areas are working on. I will upload the photos and documents of my guided reading/strategy group work folders later.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Unfortunate teacher news...

For all you TEACHERS out there...

You've probably seen this before, but it never hurts to see it again. {Especially where I live and so much about cutting teacher's salaries, jobs, closing schools, etc is going on}


Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET'S SEE.... That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year. Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Voice Thread!

To celebrate Valentine's Day and do something a little different students completed the sentence love is and then we used voice thread to complete our work. If you haven't used voice thread before it is an exciting online tool that students can explore different ways to express themselves without being intimidated. Check out our students voice thread at

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am so excited to finally have created a blog that I like. I have been trying to make it just the way I like it, and have finally accomplished my goal. I am very excited to be entering the blog world, after seeing so many awesome blogs by other teachers I decided I would give it a try and get connected.