Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monday Made It: Quick Assessment Using Exit Slips and a Freebie

I've checked the calendar and I have exactly 4 weeks before professional development week begins! It's time to focus, focus, focus on getting completely ready to teach second grade common core. I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics to share what I created in the name of quick and frequent assessment.

Here she is... the Exit Slip board :-)

I know that best teaching practices includes frequent meaningful assessments. I have to admit that this was and is something I have to continue to work at and strive for. As I begin planning to teach second grade, my possibly overly ambitious plan is to create mini-assessments for every single second grade math and ELA common core standard before school starts. BUT, before I do this, I need to make sure I unpack all of the second grade common core standards to make sure I am assessing what I truly should. Man, the entire process seems a tad overwhelming!

My inspiration for a home for these quick assessments came from The Teaching Theif:

I love how easy this is to track student learning after a lesson. I loved the idea of post-it notes, but I wanted a place for students to place pre-made exit slips that coordinate with each common core standard. I decided to use clothes pins so students can clip their exit slip to the board.

I also wanted to keep the numbering system, so under each clothespin, I placed a number using foam number stickers from the Dollar Tree. I couldn't have something hang in my classroom without making it cute and glittery! Each clothespin is covered in glitter {thanks to Mod Podge} and I included a simple and cute banner with glittery letters and a chevron background {also thanks to Mod Podge}.

How I Made My Exit Slip Board:

I used black tagboard for the background and purchased cardboard scalloped banners for the letters that read, "Exit Slip."
I coved each piece of the banner with Modge Podge which was used to adhere the paper to the cardboard banner. I then used an exacto knife to cute around each piece.

Next, I used Modge Podge to glue the sparkly letters on top of the newly covered scalloped cardboard banner. I used mini clothes pins to hang the letters on twine.

Before I hot glued everything into place, I cut paper into fourths to make sure students would have enough room to place their exit ticket on the board and that the clothespins were evenly spaced. I also needed to make sure I had enough room for my "Exit Slip" banner.

I then placed the stick-on numbers to the board. The numbers came in a pack of 100 numbers, but I still didn't have enough to finish the each number, so I'll need to purchase another pack at the Dollar Tree. I absolutely love how it turned out and think it will look great in my red and black pirate classroom!


Tagboard~ $2.99 each
Clothespins (covered in glitter)~ $1.00 for 60
Foam number stickers~ $1.00
Cardboard Banner~ $2.99
Twine~ $2.49
Glitter Letters~ $3.99

To give a glimpse of what my quick assessments / exits slips will look like, I'm sharing a freebie that can be used with my Exit Slip board. As I continue to work on this, I'll share an in-depth blog post on how I will use these in my second grade classroom. 

Click on the picture to be taken to the google doc to score this freebie

How do you use quick assessments or exit slips in the classroom??

I would truly love to read posts on frequent and quick assessments for second grade (or other primary grades) so if you have one, include it in the comments below and I'll be sure to read it!

P.S. Don't forget to check-out my Facebook page for a fan freebie!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Learning Targets and a Freebie

Since I started my blog, I've been showing some of my crafts and decorations. Now that I've got a few of my blog posts out there, I think it's time for me to write about somethings that I'm truly passionate about as an educator. One of those things is setting clear learning goals for my second grade students. I know that this isn't easy... In my opinion, it's one of the hardest things about teaching second graders, third graders, any graders! Read on to see how I'm preparing my second grade students' learning targets...

School is a month away, but I can't help and plan for my second graders. What's on the brain today... Learning Targets! As teachers, we know how important posting learning targets are. Last year, I spent a lot of time trying to wrap my brain around the most effective way to share student learning targets. Having learning up on the wall just isn't enough! Students need to know what their learning and how they're going to get there, and why it's important. I think of learning targets as a treasure map; the map shows you where you're going, but you still need to do something to get to that treasure. We know the map is important because without the map, we won't be able to find the treasure!

I'm taking a look at my treasure maps (learning targets) and deciding exactly how I'm going to get my students to that learning treasure. Yeah, I love cheesy comparisons... Marzano {my education hero} would be proud!

To start, I want to make my second grade learning targets to look important. My "I can" statements are going to go in a special spot in my classroom right next to my white board. Above my learning targets will a a smaller white board where I can share with the students what we are going to do to reach our learning targets {I'll post about this later!}.

Here's what I made today in preparation for this!

I bought two pocket charts for $1.50 each at Michael's; one for math and one for language arts. I placed my "I can" statements inside the pocket charts as an example. Man, this picture is so blurry!!!

The banner says, "Learning Targets" and is strung together with twine for a more "rustic" look. I'm still trying to arrange my banner in just the right way to make it look more presentable!

I made the banner and am sharing it with you for free. Click on either of the pictures, or {HERE} to be taken to this freebie.

How do you display your student's learning targets in your classroom? Do you have a link to your blog that also shares information about learning targers? Share it below! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It: Treasured Books & My Facebook Fan Page

Man, it's late, but I just HAD to create my Monday Made It Post! I spent the majority of my day finishing my Facebook fan page and adding in a FAN FREEBIE. I'm excited to share some freebies with my Facebook fans! I have more about my Facebook page later in this post...

Monday Made it #1: Treasured Books Chest

My classroom theme this school year is a red and black pirate theme... arrggh. I made this chest to hold the books that fly off the shelves. Whenever I do a book talk, I swear every kid in the class wants a copy of the book in their individual book box. Since I only have one copy, and 25+ kiddos, I put those "must reads" in a special spot. Students are welcome to read these books during reading choice time (my students participate in a modified version of the Daily 5) but they have to put the books in the box back after the reading choice so other students can read the book vs. the book box books that students keep until they are finished enjoying the book.

Read on to see how it was made...

Monday Made It #2: Now, back to the fan freebie on Facebook...

Click on any of the pictures to be directed to my new Facebook page to grab your freebie!

I made ten frames for my classroom. I am giving a set of numbers 1 through 10 as a freebie on my Facebook page, but also have a full set of numbers 1 through 20 on my TpT store.

Alright, I think it's time for bed! What are some of your treasured books?? Comment below and let me know!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ten Frame Facebook Freebie

Today I was busy setting up my blog's Facebook Fan Page. I'm happy to say that it is up and running... I even managed to add a freebie exclusively for Facebook fans. Who knew I could unleash my inner techie {I sure didn't}.

Click {HERE} to 'Like' my Facebook page and get the current Fan Freebie... Chevron Ten Frames numbers 1 through 10. You can also click on the Facebook link to the right.

I've used ten frames in one form or another since I began teaching, but it wasn't until I attended a Singapore math class that it really clicked why ten frames are so important for primary students. Number sense is one of the most difficult things to teach, and ten frames in the classroom give a visual of numbers to students who are still developing this skill.

If I'm going to have ten frames in my classroom, why not make them cute?!? In order to make these printables smaller, I changed my printer settings to print two per page. This made them just the right size and ready to hang on my classroom bulletin board!

Here's a view of the set of twenty ten frames that you can find {HERE} in my TpT store:

If you purchase the full set of ten frames, I included two bonus game ideas that you can play with your students using the set of ten frames.

Be sure to come back soon to view pictures of my new classroom!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Liebster Award!

After a long drive back home, I checked my blog and was thrilled to see that I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Marcy, the author of Searching for Teacher Balance. Thank you, Marcy! 

 So what is a Liebster Award?  
It is an award given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.  Here are the rules:
1.  Link back to the blog(s) that nominated you.
2.  Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
3.  Answer the questions posted by the nominator(s).
4.  Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5.  Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6.  Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an e-mail to inform them of their nomination.

Here are the questions from Searching for Teacher Balance:

1. What college did you attend?

I attended Concordia University. Portland for my undergrad in elementary education and Portland State University for graduate school.

2. If you were not a teacher, what would you be doing?

I couldn't image not teaching! If I didn't decided to be a teacher, I would be a political analyst; the American political system really interests me.

3. Do you have any pets? If so what?

I have the best dog in the entire world! Her name is Lilo and she is a chorkie (chihuahua yorkie mix).She is 7 pounds and is full of energy. I come home to her so excited to see me, and it makes a hard day of teaching so much better!

4. Who is your favorite children's author?

Dr. Seuss because you can use his books for any grade. I also LOVE Tomie DePaola because the themes of his books are so touching and heart-warming.

5. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I would love to be capable of time travel. I'd like to go back and time and learn from the greatest minds who lived. I might also warn myself of past mistakes!

6. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?

I love to teach math because it is usually the subject students like least and it is a challenge to keep it fun, positive, and engaging. I never liked math until I started teaching it!

7. What is your favorite color to write with?

I love my orange  Expo marker. For some reason it works that better than all the other colors. I grade student papers in green pen.

8. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I love following other blogs for teaching ideas.  I survived teaching my first year because of my teaching blog addition! This will be my 5th year of teaching and I love sharing what has worked for me in the classroom. My hope is that teachers can learn from me, just like I have learned from them.

9. Mr. Sketch markers or Scentos?

Mr. Sketch!!!

10. What is your favorite movie?

Ariel the Little Mermaid... it's a classic!

11. How do you balance blogging, teaching, living, etc.?

I haven't been blogging very long, and I have yet to blog during the school year. This school year, I hope to keep a schedule- teach, get home/ me time, dinner, exercise, lesson plans, blog! Yeah, I'll be {crazy} busy!

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I have never worked at a job that didn't involve kids {my first job was at a daycare when I was 16}

2. I've traveled all over the world, including Europe and Asia

3. I once brought home two baby ducks as pets and they lived in my parents' bathtub

4. I'm a Portland Trail Blazer fan

5. I'm a horrible cook

6. I love to microwave

7. My dad is the person I look up to most

My dad and I

8. I live in a town that has 1,000 less people than the high school I graduated from (In a different city, of course)

9. I collect antiques, coins, and rocks

10. I put buffalo sauce on almost everything I eat

11. I graduated from college with my B.A. in Education in 3 years and started teaching when I was 21 years old

My Nominees:

Neptune's Nest

Mrs. Z and Company

I am still on the search for more education blogs to nominate! Stay tuned for more...

My Questions for Nominees:

1. What made you become a teacher?

2. Where is your favorite place to travel?

3. Who is your 'Teacher Idol'?

4. What made you decide to start blogging?

5. What is your favorite thing about the grade you teach?

6. What do you feel you are best at as a teacher?

7. What is your favorite food?

8. What is the toughest thing about teaching?

9. How many students do you teach in a day?

10. Do you have a classroom theme? If so, what is it?

11. When you're not teaching, working on lesson plans, and blogging, what do you spend your time doing?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Hi Everyone... I don't know if this has happened to you, but for some reason when I look at my blog, it is displaying 0comments when I know some posts have multiple comments. Apparently I'm not the only one seeing this {Thank you to Angela for pointing this out}

Has anyone had a similar problem or knows how to fix it?? I've tried playing around with my comment settings to no avail.

Please email me at if you may have a solution! Thank you SOOO much for any help I get!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Made It: Pick Me, a Freebie, and Genre Posters

My Monday didn't start off on the right foot! My furry child went in to get her shots and had a severe allergic reaction! She had to spend the day hooked to an IV, but is okay now... Thank the Lord!! 

My little Lilo is on the right

While my {furry} baby was at the vet, I had time to finish some 'Pick Me Sticks' and finally add my genre posters to TPT. I Love, Love, Love Fourth Grade Frolic's Monday Made It! 

Here are my 'Pick Me Sticks'

When I saw them on Fourth Grade Frolics I knew I had to make some of my own; they were too cute to resist! I created the classroom numbers on my computer and used a fancy hole punch to make the edges look like flowers.

Here's How They Were Made

I then glued each number to a popsicle stick. The pot the sticks are placed in is a clay garden pot that I painted with chalkboard paint. I added tape around the rim to add some chevron {I just LOVE black and white chevron!!!}

I am so excited to use these to call on students in my classroom!

If you are interested in making some of your own, I have the black and red numbers I created on my TPT store for FREE! Grab them {HERE}

Project #2

For the past few days I have been working on creating book genre posters for my classroom. I wanted posters that would really POP! I spent hours and hours making sure I would create just that!

Here Are My New Genre Posters:

Aren't they pretty?? Okay, I know I'm tooting my own horn here, but I just loved how they turned out! I can't wait to hang them up in my classroom and show you all! They are already printed and ready to go!

You can find these guys on my TPT store by clicking the picture or {HERE}

This blog is new, but I am starting a new tradition. When I have a new TPT product, the first person to comment with their email will receive the product in the post for FREE! When I have more followers, I hope to give my products away to more than just one person. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Some Fancy Stuff {a few things I've purchased over summer break}

Have you been hoarding collecting new classroom finds this summer?? I'm linking up with Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge to show off some of my stuff I have for the classroom. I'm excited to see what other teachers have to use in their classrooms as well.

It's no secret, I love to  shop... especially for my classroom! I am changing my classroom theme from last school year's bee theme to a black and red (and white) pirate theme.

I found out that I will have over twice as many boys than girls in my classroom this year! Good thing teaching boys is fun. I thought a pirate theme would be PERFECT for a class full of boys in a classroom near the beach!

This beautiful pirate theme is from School Girl Style. Click on the picture to be taken to Melanie's website.

Here's what I have so far:

Picture One (on left) ~ I found the treasure chest at a local educational supply store and filled it with plastic coins and some "jewels" my mom found me at a garage sale. 

The octopus is from Target. Isn't he too cute?? I love that he has an eye-patch and matches my classroom colors.He'll go in my library.

Picture Two (on right) ~ I picked up a couple of boarders in gold and black from an educational supply store from Creative Teaching Press. I found the poster at the same store (by Scholastic) and love the quote and the colors. The parrot is from Good Will and is actually a lamp. How cool is that! I also bought some hanging lanterns in red and black from Party City. 

I've always wanted the drawers seen in picture one, and I found them on clearance at a local craft store!! The baskets are from the Dollar Tree and will be used in my library. Lastly, I bought a class set of cardboard magazine holders for student book boxes from IKEA. 

Oopssss... I forgot to mention the pirate head on a stick. I thought this Dollar Tree find was too cute to pass up, but I have NO idea what to do with it. Suggestions??

This last picture is just for fun! I bought a Fancy Nancy doll while in New York a week ago. She is from the famous toy store, FAO Schwartz. She was on sale (I am a sucker for sales), so I HAD to have her! While at FAO Schwartz, I played the "Big Piano" that was once played by Tom Hanks; I couldn't resist!

I plan on using the Fancy Nancy doll for a new bulletin board that encourages using fancy words in writing. I have to have at least something girlie and pink in my classroom, right!?!

Did anyone else score an awesome sale item(s)???


Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It: A First!

I was going to wait until my blog was finished before I joined a linky party, but I couldn't resist linking up with 4th Grade Frolic's Monday Made It after a weekend of crafting in the beautiful Oregon sunshine!

If anyone reads this, know that a much more beautiful blog is coming soon!!!!!!!

This weekend, I was in a crazy crafty mood. I think it was the sunshine (there's not a lot of sun throughout the year on the Oregon coast). Here's what I made:

I was inspired by the many "No Name" boards on Pinterest. I was excited to make one because I know how frustrating it is to have a pile of unclaimed nameless papers! I purchased a pre-cut and ready to go board from a local craft store, Craft Warehouse. I then painted it with chalk board paint.

I painted the clothespins in Modge Podge and dipped them in a fine crafting glitter. So EASY! And they turned out great... I ended up making 68 glittery clothespins.

Okay, back to the board! After painting the board black, I used stencils to paint the letters. Even with stencils I had to use a steady hand.

Lastly, I glued on the clothespins and glittery anchors (also made with Modge Podge) using a hot glue gun. Tomorrow I will nail on a ribbon so it is ready for hanging!!

OH, by the way, I am doing a pirate theme next school year with the colors of red and black!

Project #2:

This was pretty much the easiest project EVER! I bought the letters at Michaels for $1.50 each on sale and two spray bottles of Krylon Glitterspray paint in red and black glitter. The spraypaint was about $5 a can after using a coupon.

Then, I placed the letters on cardboard and sprayed an even coat over each letter. The black glitter was much easier to apply than the red. For some reason, the red spraypaint did not want to cooperate!

Easy as pie and about $4 a letter!! I the picture captured the glitter. The paint was awesome and applied a thick coast of glitter... just what I wanted!

And there ya go... My first Monday Made It, and my FIRST linky party!

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