We have been up to our heads in parent gifts!  We made 4 different crafts for our sweet parents this year.  First up, we made these adorable Christmas trees that have been all over Pinterest.  We used Christmas scrapbook paper and cut it into different size strips.  It's a great activity for incorporating largest to smallest.

We made these super cute thumbprint ornaments.  

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  But here is the original source.

These were my favorite gifts we made.  We picked up these pots at Ikea on our latest trip.  They wrote with a sharpie "There's Snow Place Like Home."  We used cotton balls to dab on white acrylic paint for the snow on the bottom.  The littles then made the snowmen with 3 fingers painted in white acrylic paint.  Once they dried, They used colored sharpies to draw the rest.  Do not spray when finished if you use sharpies like we did.  The colors will smear.  You probably could spray with a clear spray paint to seal it if you used acrylic paint on the scarves and noses.

Finally, we made Christmas cards for the parents.  Rayann picked up these cute photo props at Hobby Lobby.  I brought my DSLR and we had a little photo shoot!  We were originally going to frame these, but I just couldn't find anything cute for frames.  So I picked up this pack of 50 cards at Hobby Lobby for $9.99.  But they were half off, so I just paid $5.  I also picked up some Washi tape there, too, to match the props.  

I attached the photos to the cards with rubber cement and then put the Washi tape in each corner.  The kids wrote a message inside for their parents.  

Once we got it all finished, we put the ornaments in the pot with some tissue paper.  Then we wrapped them in cellophane and put a ribbon on it.  I forgot to take a picture of that, too!  By the time our Christmas Grinch party was over, my brain was fried!  We had grinch punch and bought the kids breakfast.  I didn't take pics of that either...  Oh well.  I'll leave you with a picture of the three of us leaving Ikea Atlanta last Saturday.  We took a girl's trip down there and loaded up!  I just love spending time with these girls!

 Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!  

One of our second grade common core standards is using information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.  I love to use the story Officer Buckle and Gloria to teach this skill.  
It's also in our reading series.  We talked about how important illustrations are for helping us understand what we are reading.  They love seeing what Gloria will be up to next in the illustrations.

I made this little recording sheet for students to record illustrations from any story.  You could have them write the page number of the illustration or have them sketch the illustrations from the story.  They then use the box below each to record what they learned from the illustration that they would not have otherwise learned from the text.  You can grab this freebie by clicking on the pic below.

I also want to share with you a book my dear friend just had published.  You can check out her Indiegogo project {HERE}.  

We have this great historical mill in our community that has been restored and is now a restaurant and event venue.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  

Her children's book is about a boy who strikes out on his own to discover the mystery of electricity but get into trouble along the way.  There is so much you could do with this book in the classroom!  I hope you will check it out, especially if you live in the middle Tennessee area.  Connie has been a teacher for years and has a true writing talent!  She only has 8 more days for the project to be funded.  The book will then be sold at The Readyville Mill.  

And so sorry for the leave of absence from the blog!  If you're still here, thank you!!!  And thank you for supporting my TPT store.  It means the world to me!  The flu has struck my classroom with a vengeance!  I had never had it before until last week.  And I don't ever want to see that bug again!!!!  Happy Tuesday!

After days of photos, we finally got our Christmas card picture down.  The hubby is just a little picky when it comes to the card.  :)  Ready to order them tonight.  

On another note, I've tried to cram as much Thanksgiving I could into the last two days before Thanksgiving.

We made these messy and fun Thanksgiving Trees.  The kiddos traced their hands and wrote something they were thankful for on each.  I painted their arm and hand for the trunk and branches.  I thought they turned out super cute.

Get ready for picture overload!  

I read the Great Turkey Race and we made these.  I love these turkeys from Kindergarten Monkey Business.

I put up my little desk tree Tuesday.  We were listening to my favorite Pandora Christmas station that day, so I got eager!

Here's what I've been working on.  My lovelies need lots of practice on synonyms and antonyms so I made this mega pack to pull from throughout the year.  My goal is to have one or two of these centers going per week.  Check it out {HERE} if you're interested.

I'm also ready to start the fun Christmas stuff.  I have this Grumpy Badger's Christmas English Language Arts unit.  The story was written by Jane Chapman.  It's super cute!  It’s great to use as a review during the Christmas season.  The entire unit is aligned with the Common Core Standards.  I have included each standard for each activity to make it easier for you when making lesson plans.  I have also outlined what activities to do each day.   The unit includes a literature, phonics, literacy centers, and writing component.   I can't wait to read it to my littles!

TPT's Cyber Sale starts tomorrow and runs through Tuesday!  My store is 20% off, plus use TPT's code CMT12 to receive an addition 10% off.  That's a total savings of 28%!  I know my wish list is way too full!  Happy shopping, friends!
I used to not look forward to teach inferencing, but since the blog world exploded with teaching blogs, I love it!  There are so many creative resources out there.  So, last week, we did a whole collection of them!  

We started out with the Mystery Box.  There was a spider inside, since we were going to be learning about spiders throughout the week.

I love Abby's Snow Day Inference Investigators packet.  I knew I had to do this more than once during the year, so I came up with my own Fall Break Case File.  We worked on it last week.  Here are some pics from the lesson.  {You should definitely pick up Abby's packet if you don't have it!}

We named some different fall break activities.

We made inferences.  

...and our timeline of events.

They absolutely loved it, and so did I!  I hope Abby can make some more of these.  They are just too much fun!  

We also did Cara's activity with No David!  She has a free printable HERE that we used.  I loved the anchor chart she made.  We had to have one, too.  I wish I was as creative as these ladies!

Then, I found this idea on Pinterest where the students put a small item in a bag and then make up clues about the object to share with their friends.  They have to infer what is in the bag based on the clues provided.  I just let them find something in the room and put it in the bag.  They then made up 4 clues to describe what was in the bag.  Finally, we all got a chance to guess what was in the bag.  This was a big hit!  I think we are going to do it again this week but I will let them bring an item from home.

You can download the clue recording sheet {HERE}.  I combined two sheets into one so they would fit on the bag nicely.  {That's 4 templates to a page.}

We also had parent teacher conferences this past week.  I wanted to share this little freebie with you.  I handed out hot cocoa and apple cider packets to the parents with these little labels.  You can grab them {HERE} if you would like!  

Now, to leave you with a little Halloween party fun.  I was a flapper.  The hubby is Willy Nelson.  I could not stop laughing at his hair!!!  Hilarious!  

Happy Halloween!!!
I went shopping at Green Hills in Nashville last week over fall break and went into the store Paper Source.  I had just never thought to go in there before.  I about died!  It was adorable!  You teachers would love it!  Anyway, they had this super cute owl garland, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend.  You can look at it {HERE}.  They had made each of them individual Halloween costumes with paper.  So if you are more ambitious than me, you should do it and let me know how it turns out!  

Since I am cheap, I just came up with my own owl garland for my door.

I downloaded Amy's free owl template and then used Halloween scrapbook paper, which is on sale now at Michael's.

I strung up some twine on my door with hot glue.  Then I picked up these teeny tiny clothespins at a craft store, and voila!  An owl garland!

Tomorrow is Friday!  Yay!  Happy teaching, sweet friends!

I don't know about you, but my students always have trouble with transitions.  I love this little group, but they can be slow!!!  I have to incorporate songs, chants, and timers ALL DAY LONG!  If I didn't we would never get anything done!!

I have compiled a short list of some great videos and songs I love to use to speed up our transitions when moving from one place to another.

This one is for making a circle.  I don't know why, but my students can make making a circle the most complicated task ever!  

I like that this one makes coming to the carpet super quick!

This one might be one of the most helpful with going back to their seats.

This is a quick clean up song.

I use this one in the afternoons when we are cleaning up and when centers are over.  Saying that they love it is an understatement!  We play Find It and Fix It which can be found on the Clutter-Free Classroom blog.  She is seriously a genius and my hero for coming up with this game!  It's changed my classroom life forever!  You have to do it!

Another carpet song...

When we are transitioning at desks, I always have students repeat to me what they are to take out or what page to turn to.  I also tell them they have to do it within 7 seconds to keep things moving.  I would love to hear what you all do to ensure those smooth transitions!

So, my littles are all about these two guys!

Even Steven and Odd Todd

They were excited to hear that my husband's name is Todd, so we've referred to him as that all week!  ;)

We refer to these anchor charts a lot.  We only spend a couple of days learning about even and odd numbers, because it is a concept you can refer to a lot to throughout the year.  We play a game everyday in morning meeting called secret number. 

We have an interactive hundreds chart on our SMART board.  The teacher picks the secret number and clues at the beginning of the year.  But we eventually get to the point of letting the students create the clues.  Here is an example of the clues.  As I give the clues, a student comes up and gets rid of the numbers they know cannot be the secret number.

1.  My number is greater than 40.
2.  My number is less than 80. 
3.  My number is even.
4.  The sum of the two digits is 13.
5.  You can make my number with 3 quarters and 1 penny.

What is my number?

They love this game.  And it hits many concepts each day.  The students have to write down the clues before morning meeting and have them teacher approved before they can lead the group in secret number.

I found this super cute video on Even Steven and Odd Todd, which we also watch sometimes in morning meeting to review even and odd.  The characters are different from the book, but it is still helpful and way fun!


This video is great, too!

My kiddos are all about the game SCOOT!  We love playing the addition and subtraction scoot that Mrs. H made.  I made one for even and odd numbers that you can grab {HERE} for free or by clicking on the pic below.  

We are currently enjoying our Fall Break!  So thrilled to sleep in!  Have a great week everyone!