Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Elf, a Name, and a Linky Party!

As I have mentioned before, my class is doing the Elf on a Shelf this year. He hasn't made an appearance yet, but the children know he's coming!

The elf left us this note along with the book that goes with him. I read the book to the class, and they couldn't wait to meet him!

Next, we brainstormed names for him.

This page came from "Elf on a Classroom Shelf" by EduKate and Inspire.

Next, each child chose a favorite name from his/her list.

Some children chose the same name, which is why you don't see 18 names listed. When this list was made, we voted on each name. The 4 with the highest number of votes were circled on the list. These 4 names were then voted on in a "secret ballot." The 2 with the most votes were kept on the list. They narrowed it down to Snowball and Jingle Bell. We then took another secret ballot and voted for one of the two names. We graphed the results using a graph page from Elf Magic! Craftivities and Printables by A Cupcake for the Teacher. And the winner is... SNOWBALL!! That's quite surprising from Florida children!!

Today he left us another note so the children wouldn't be wondering why he hasn't shown up yet. I have a feeling he will arrive on Monday!

When he arrives, he will be bringing clues to "The Case of the Missing Candy Canes" from this activity by Anita Goodwin.

I will definitely post when we do those activities. It sounds like so much fun!

This brings me to the linky! I am joining Mel D's  Elf on the Shelf Linky Party! Be sure to check out her elf's adventures as well as those of other classroom elves by visiting her blog.

Be sure to check back soon! I have some exciting things to blog about! One of our Flat Stanleys went to Hollywood, so you don't want to miss those pics! Also, I'll be making an important announcement that you will definitely want to read (hint: I now have over 100 followers, and plan to celebrate!)!

Feel free to leave comments below! I love to hear from my readers!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Making my (Wish) List and Checking it Twice

I'm sure many of you are making your wish lists for the big TPT sale tomorrow! I thought I'd share some of the items on my wish list with you. Since it's my first year in 2nd Grade I don't have many holiday activities for December. I even kept my Christmas folder out of storage because I thought for sure most of it would  easily transfer to 2nd. HA! I was completely wrong! I should have just put that folder in storage with the rest of my K stuff. Anyway, that is why I have chosen so many holiday items.

Since I plan to do Elf on a Shelf with my class this year, it is only fitting that I get an age-appropriate unit for it. This one is by Sunny Days. She has included activities suitable for grades K-5.

This next activity pack comes from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade. It's a Secret Santa classroom community building activity. Each child randomly chooses another child and writes notes to them daily. At the end, they try to guess who their Secret Santa is. It sounds like so much fun! This is for grades 1-5.

 This one is by Mr. Hughes. Students color by the code according to the part of speech (nouns and verbs) to make a mystery Christmas picture. My class really enjoys this kind of activity! Mr. Hughes says it's for grades 3-7, but I think 2nd graders could do it based on the description.

'Tis the Season for Holiday Math Centers is another product from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade. She has several different types of adorable math centers aligned with the Common Core. It's for grades 1-3.

This unit isn't on my wish list. I actually won it in a contest held by Melissa Machan of First Grade Smiles. Thanks, Melissa! I can't wait to try it! This is for grades K-3.

I'm really looking forward to working on Christmas activities with my class! Be sure to keep checking back for updates on the Elf on a Shelf, other Christmas activities, and the continuing adventures of Flat Stanley. I'm sure a few of them returned over Thanksgiving Break!

Feel free to comment below and share any fantastic items on your wish list!

 Thanks to Ashley Hughes for creating and sharing this button!

Wow! I'm honored to say that one of my free products was chosen to be featured on The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs! I just found this out tonight, so it was a nice way to end my evening!

Thank you to Erin at Tales from Room 112 for starting this linky!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The End of My Writer's Block!

Hi everyone! This will be a short post. I just wanted to share that I am no longer blocked from ideas for TPT! After posting my Shelf Elf Clip Art I wasn't pressuring myself to come up with a new activity before the sale. Suddenly the new idea occurred to me, and it came together easily!

My class has been working on comparing 3 and 4 digit numbers using greater than or less than. So, I decided to make an activity where they would choose 2 or 3 random 3 digit numbers (4 digit might be coming soon!), and put them in order from least to greatest or greatest to least. I included 2 recording sheets - one for comparing 2 numbers and one for comparing 3 numbers.

You can find it here if you're interested! Remember TPT is having a HUGE Cyber Monday and Bonus Tuesday Sale! You'll get 20% off any item in my store, and TPT will take another 10% off of that with promo code CMT12.

Enjoy the rest of your time off! It's back to school for me on Monday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Liebster Award, Blogs, and Black Friday

I have great news! I have decided to start the TPT sale on Black Friday! So, this Friday and Saturday you can purchase any item from my store at 20% off! Then, on Cyber Monday and Tuesday, you can purchase any of my items for 20% off, then get an extra 10% off from TPT if you enter the code CMT12 at the checkout!

Thank you to the Realistic Teacher for nominating me for the Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It’s to show that new bloggers are appreciated and help spread the word about our blogs.

Here are the rules:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

Here are 11 random things about me:

1. I love cats, and have always had at least 1 cat in the house since I was 11 years old (How fitting since everything seems to be in groups of 11 on this thing!).

2. I have been a vegetarian since 1998.

3. I love to play word games, especially scrambled words or Boggle-type games!

4. I used to play school with my stuffed animals and dolls as my students when I was a kid. My mom was a teacher, so I had a great example to follow!

5. While I realize I was meant to be a teacher, I also think that if I had been born 5 or 10 years later than I was, I probably would be doing some kind of computer work instead.

6. I've always wanted to scuba dive!

7. I've always wanted to learn to play electric guitar!

8. I love to collect cute graphics and fonts!

9. Even though I have lots of yet-to-be-read books on my Kindle Fire, I continue to get new books to add to the list.

10. I've always wanted to be a mother. So, by the time I reached my 30's I chose to become a single mother. Jeffery was my 1st foster child, who came to live with me at 11 days old, and thankfully I was able to adopt him 2 years later.

11. I still keep in touch with my very first friend.

 Here are the answers to the questions posted by the Realistic Teacher:

1.  What is your favorite genre?
I love to read spiritual nonfiction books.
2.  Do you parallel park or find another spot?
Find another spot. I can't stand parallel parking!
3.  Do you have any tattoos? How many? Of what?
No tattoos, and I'll never get one.
4.  What is your favorite book?
That's a tough one since there are so many books that I love! I loved The Hunger Games Series, or anything by James Van Praagh or Echo Bodine.
5.  When did you last laugh?
Probably sometime earlier today at something my son did or said.
6.  Where have you traveled and what was your favorite place?
I've traveled to different states. I've been to Canada once a long time ago. Most recently, I went on a Disney Cruise to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. My favorite place is probably somewhere in New England since I lived there as a child and we always took great vacations around there.
7.  So you like to dance?
I'm not much of a dancer, but it looks like fun when I see people who really know how.
8.  What is your favorite type of music?
80's Hair Bands!! I love Bon Jovi!!!
9.  Have you ever, or would you ever, go skydiving or bungee jumping?
I am phobic when it comes to heights, so I'd have to say NEVER!!
10.  Do you garden?
No, I'm not outdoorsy.
11.  If you could eat lunch with a favorite person who would it be?
Richie Sambora (hopefully he'd bring his guitar!) or James Van Praagh (if he'd do a reading for me)

Here are 11 questions for the blogs I nominate:

1. What is something you've always wanted to do but haven't tried yet?
2. If you couldn't be a teacher, what would you choose for your career?
3. What was your very first job?
4. What was the last book you read (personally, not for your class or children)?
5. What is your favorite animal?
6. How long have you been blogging?
7. What is your favorite tv show?
8. What is one item you can't live without?
9. What is your favorite food?
10. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
11. Do you play games on the computer? if so, what is your favorite?

Here are the blogs I'm nominating:

1. Literacy Sundae
2. Don't Let the Teacher Stay up Late
3. First Grade Fascination
4. The Price of Teaching
5. Ideas by Christy
6. It's a Jungle Out There!
7. Miss Martin's Classroom
8. Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten
9. O"FISH"ALLY a First Grader
10. Scrappy Teaching in FL
11. Ribbons, Recipes, and Rhymes

NOTE: I've also been nominated by Mrs. Payton at Payton's Precious Kindergarteners! Here are my answers to her questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

Partially to promote my store, but I've always wanted to write my own blog to be able to help people in some way.

2. If you didn't teach the grade you taught, what grade would you teach?

Well, this is my 1st year in 2nd, and I love it! Before this I taught K for a long time. So, if I knew then what I know now, I'd have to say 2nd grade!

3. What's your favorite thing about teaching?
Helping children to love learning!

4. Favorite place to shop?

5. Favorite drink?
Cherry Coke

6. Favorite sweet food?
So hard to choose, but if I had to choose one it would probably be ice cream.

7. Favorite place to vacation?
On a cruise!

8. How long have you been teaching?
This is my 18th year.

9. What job would you have if you weren't a teacher?
Probably something working with computer graphics or publishing.

10. What's your least favorite thing about teaching?
Politics and testing!

11. What's the best thing that has ever happened to you?
I was able to adopt my son, Jeffery!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving, Elves, and Two Sales!

First of all, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone! I will be spending the day with my very small family. There are only 4 of us (5 with my brother, but he only comes at Christmas), and we see each other everyday. Sometimes I think it might be fun to have relatives and more relatives visit for the holidays, but then again it might be too overwhelming. We will be going out for Thanksgiving this year. I don't think we've ever done that. I'm kind of excited about it!

I plan to do the Elf on a Shelf with my class this year. I got the kit for free I might as well use it! I think it will be fun anyway. I've only done it at home with my son, but now I'm wondering why I never did it with my Kindergarteners. If any of you do the Elf on a Shelf in your classroom, feel free to share your ideas!

Speaking of elves, I tried so hard to think of a product to create for Christmas, but I seemed to get writer's block. Then, I suddenly felt the urge to draw some Christmas items.

TA-DA! I drew them, scanned them, then cleaned them up and colored them using PSP. Now I have my newest product! I included black line and color images for use in a variety of Christmas projects. Click here if you'd like to check them out!

Now for some fantastic news! I am participating in TPT's Cyber Monday + Bonus Tuesday Sale!

On Monday, November 26 and Tuesday, November 27, I will be offering 20% off all of the items in my store. If you enter the promo code CMT12 at the checkout, TPT will take another 10% off of that! Many other TPT sellers will be participating as well, so start adding items to your wish list! Simply click the link above to start browsing!

Also, on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I will be participating in the Teacher's Notebook 3-Day Sale! I will be offering 25% off all of the items in my Teacher's Notebook store (sorry, the elf clip art cannot be posted on TN without a special account)! Then, TN will take another 10% off of your entire purchase! Click the link below to check out my TN store!

Once again, I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to leave comments below!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Turkeys, Flat Stanley, and Webster Lake

I'm back from my Disney Cruise, which was lots of fun! Now it's back to work, at least for another week. After that we are off for Thanksgiving Break.

Before I left, I assigned a homework project which was due upon my return. It was the Turkey in Disguise Writing and Craft Project by Clutter Free Classroom. The children were given a blackline of a turkey. They were supposed to decorate the turkey in disguise so he wouldn't be eaten for Thanksgiving.

Here are pictures of some of the cutest ones:

 A tree

 McDonald's French Fries

 An angel

 A flower

 The Statue of Liberty

Santa Claus

Next, my students will work on a persuasive writing piece to convince the reader that he is not a turkey or not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The activity includes a graphic organizer to help the children put the piece together.

I'm looking forward to letting them share their writing!

Now for the further adventures of Flat Stanley! We received more pictures of Stanley on his adventures, and some have already returned home after a long journey.

In New Jersey, Stanley participated in Purple Stride for Pancreatic Cancer. It's nice to see Stanley helping out for a good cause! Thank you to Cathy and Ginny for allowing him to participate!

Stanley returned home safely from Dallas/Fort Worth Texas!

Stanley enjoyed the zoo in Montgomery, AL! Thank you to the Womack Family for sharing this experience with Stanley!

Here is a picture of Stanley at the post office in IRELAND!!
To read about and see pictures of Stanley's visit to Savannah, GA, click here.

Thanks to the Wrubel Family in Dudley, MA (which is my hometown!) for allowing Stanley to visit! Above, you can see Stanley at Webster Lake, which is also known as Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg! My class loved trying to say the name correctly! However, they didn't like it very much when I said that would be one of their spelling words! LOL! As you can see, Stanley returned home safely, and even brought some fall leaves for us!

 That's all for now! Feel free to comment below. I love hearing from my readers!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently

It's November, and time for another Currently sponsored by Oh' Boy 4th Grade!

As you can see, I'll be on a Disney Cruise (HOORAY for Florida resident rates!!) so I won't be posting much this week.

And Now for a Flat Stanley update!

Stanley returned home safely from a trip to Odessa, FL (near Tampa). He brought some shells, and even had a new pair of swimming trunks!

This Stanley flew back to us on an airplane since the person he visited in New Mexico was flying here to visit relatives! He brought some postcards for us!

Above you see our Stanley in Kentucky trying to get some Halloween candy, and just below that he is playing Skylanders with my friend, Niki's boys!

I almost forgot! Last week I received a package at school! It was a FREE Elf on a Shelf with the book and several notes to leave for the class! All I had to do was sign up at . I don't know if they have any left, but it's worth trying!

With that, I'm off to continue packing! Feel free to leave comments below. I love to hear from my readers!