I am not writing about my mental state (although I do feel that way to be honest!) BUT I am done with the Third Grade ELA Common Core and More packet!  Yahoo!

I have worked on this thing FOREVER.  I thought it would never end!

I created this zipped file to display Common Core Standards for students. This packet includes several different items. 
*Teacher resource list comparing the Common Core Standards to the “I Can” statements.
*ELA “I Can” statements and header cards for display
*Editable ELA Common Core checklist for student mastery
*ELA Common Core checklist direction and sample sheets

The first list is a teacher resource list comparing the Common Core ELA standards to the kid-friendly “I Can” statements. This would be great to store in a binder for easy reference.

The “I Can” statements are color coded by area. Although I tried to write the standard with kid-friendly language, I also tried to preserve the language of the standard as well. Bolded, colored words on the “I Can” statements are vocabulary I intend to explain and teach my students so they better understand the standard. 

 The last item in this zipped file is an Excel document. I have typed a spread sheet that includes all the standards and four boxes to use as checks for mastery for EACH student. The teacher can use as a plus/ minus system noting if a student has grasped a skill or by actual percentages on the assignments. A sample page is included. This document was purposely created in Excel so that teachers can edit the pages and type in each student’s name rather than hand write. The font is Comic Sans and should be a standard font. It may not be as pretty, but hopefully it is effective and more time efficient for the teacher! Directions with pictures, samples of how to use the checklist, and trouble shootings questions are included. 

 All items are color coded to match. All Reading: Literature headings and cards are pink, all Reading: Informational Text are blue and so on. Pictures of how to display the standards are included.

It is originally on sale for $6.99.  Since I did not get it out in time for the big sale, I went ahead and reduced it 28%.  It will be on sale until Monday, September 3rd. It will return to $6.99 Tuesday!  You can pick it up here!

If you are looking for the first grade Common Core, it is also available!  My friend Britney and I split grade levels and she took first grade.  It is identical to the Second and Third Grade Common Core Standards and More pack!

I hope they help!!



Sneaky Peeky II

So here is part two of sneakin-and-a-peekin in our classroom.    This is the area behind my guided reading table.  This is where I store all my important materials since my desk has a computer on it (connected to the Promethean board) and is a pain to move.  It is easy and quick access!

You can see the beginnings of my CAFE board.  I like to have it directly behind my guided reading table so we can refer to it during groups.

The white drawers have been around forever.  I store guided reading materials and math manipulatives in them.
The black spinner on top is the Desk Apprentice and it is nice to keep must have files and my parent communication binder (hot pink).  That is my old school garage sale find CD player on the other set of white drawers.

This black shelf keeps more of my must haves.  Boy, I sure have a bunch of must haves!
On the very top of the shelf is a clip board of my lesson plans for the week, stapler, hole punch and tape dispenser.  I like to keep them right at hand!   On the middle shelf is a pile of junk.  Just papers I have no idea what to do with!!  The white basket has mechanical pencils for guided reading that need to be put away.  I provide students with pencils for guided reading so kids don't have to bring anything with them.  Mechanical pencils are nice and novel for the kiddos!  All the binders on the bottom contain guided reading materials and lessons, data, RTI information, and other assessment information.  Do you see my cute piggy trash can?  He is such a cutie! Peeking out on the right middle shelf is my tool box!  I followed the craze and made my own! 

Here is a close up.  I used Kristen's fantastic template.  I love the clean simple lines!

Here are my binders.  I made new super cute binder covers.  I might be persuaded to share them sometime in the next few days.  Cough, cough, as a freebie.  Ahem-in-my-newsletter-if you sign-up-in-the-little-box-to-the-right.

Not that I would every resort to bribery.

Nope.  Not Ever.



Keeping All My Stuff Organized

I don't know about you guys, but I feel like the battle to keep myself organized is jut shy of impossible.  I work so hard at it and it just...never quite happens! On thing I struggle with is all the stuff that I need to return to the Office or copies I need to make and all those kind of items.  I have tried all kinds of baskets and labels and all that jazz, but is never sticks.

I finally found a simple system I am loving.

Yesterday I blogged about the coat hooks by our front door.  Pretty much all the classrooms in our school have coat hooks by the door in our classroom with a shelf above them.

I have a million of these black stackers/ letter trays that I have collected over time.

I took three and set them on top of the shelf above the coat hooks RIGHT next to the door.  I walk past it every time I leave the classroom.

I put anything that needs to be returned to the office, library, etc in he top "To Return" tray.  I put things that need to be laminated, cut out, etc. in the middle tray.  The bottom tray is for things I need to copy.  

So far it has worked perfectly since I can't miss it!  Also, since everything is sorted out and ready to go,  I am more likely to take it where it needs to go than I was with the one big basket of junk!



Book Bag Chaos

In our classroom we have hooks by the door for students to hang their jackets and book bags on.  Do you guys have these, too?

It is nice, but it never seems to have enough hooks for students to hang their book bags AND jackets on.  The book bags slip off because the hooks are too close together.  Half the time one of the double hooks is broken so kids can't even use all the hooks!  Blarg.

My co-teacher wonder-girl came up with this idea.

She found these fantastic buckets for only $5 each at Wal-Mart.
Each table has a bucket labeled with the Table number.  I laminated the signs, hot glued them to the buckets, and then covered the sign with clear packing tape.  I knew they would take a bunch of abuse and wanted them to stick on as long as possible!  

Each table has a bucket.  ONLY book bags go into the buckets and they MUST be zipped at all time.  We have between 4-5 students at a table and the buckets are the PERFECT size.  Jackets are hung on the hooks and book bags are set on the shelf above the hook.

Ahh.  No more chaos ans kids and find their bags!



Organizing Student Materials with Tables

This year we decided to make the move to second grade...and to tables instead of groups of desks.  I used tables years ago in fourth grade when we team taught, but had my father build a large cubby system.  I didn't want to have to build it again since I sold it off years ago.

Dandelions and Dragonflies uses the cheap black bookshelves from Wal-Mart for each table group.  I loved the clean lines and appearance.  And the price tag- it was much cheaper than the lumber and time and patience required from my fabulous father or husband to build cubbies!!

PLEASE do not pin this picture from my blog since it is not mine :(.  Please click here and pin it directly from Jessica's blog post. It will drive traffic to the rightful place.  Trust me, you must see the other pictures anyway ( and pin) since her WHOLE classroom is so STINKIN' cute.

I had every intention of totally copying her fantastic idea and using it as storage for each table group.  But when I was at Wal-Mart I saw these bad boys.
These were $3 more when I compared the prices of the drawers verses shelves.  A total of $15 more for a set of 5 for my classroom.  I decided the $15 was worth my dear husband's time since I am a total stooge when it comes to putting things together.  I feel like the confused IKEA man at all times when trying to put together cheap furniture.  Ya'll know him?

So I invested in these guys.  I won't lie.  It wasn't exactly cheap at $18 a pop.  So far, two whole weeks into school, they have worked like a charm!  

Here is how we are using them.
Here is a side view of them.  We keep our $1 table supply caddy on the top of them.

Here is a direct full on view.
Here you can see the method to my madness/ slightly control freakish thing appear.  If you look closely on each drawer are two subject labels with a different colored border around it.  For example on the top is a blue circle labeled reading and a red circle labeled math.

  Inside this drawer on the left side behind the the reading label are the students' blue reading folders and on the right side behind the red math label are the students' red math labels.  I know.  I am little crazy.  All the drawers in the classroom are labeled the same it is makes it SO EASY to tell the table captain to take out their red math folders and pass them out.

The students keep their individual supplies in school boxes (I am not sure if I am crazy about these- I am reserving my judgement until I have a bit more time with them) in the top drawer.  The yellow strips hanging out our positive behavior system- The Golden Ticket.  Straight from the brilliant Teeny Tiny Teacher!  No judgement reserved there- LOVE it!

Here is a lovely, organized middle drawer.  If you zoom in you can tell that the folder labels are ALSO color coded.  It is a sickness, people.

The bottom drawer is a bit different.  We were out of folders, but not drawers so I had to come up with something.  So we decided to put a table set of white boards in there!

Inside the drawer is 5 white boards and a clear shoe box.  In the clear shoe box is 5 really cheap white wash cloths from Wal-Mart.  We use these as erasers.  The last forever and are easy to take home and throw in the washer (if I ever remember to do that.  I think I only did it once or twice with my old ones!). Inside the shoe box is also a large plastic Tupperware container with 5 black markers.  ONLY black.  No fighting-over-other-colors black.  Can you tell I made the mistake of having different colors available at one time?

If you have managed to read this picture heavy post, I have a treat for you!  If you would like the owl supply labels, please click on the picture!



Blog Hunt Day 25!

I am taking part is an awesome Back to School Blog Hunt!    For each day of August a different blogger is hosting a Back to School freebie!  I am toward the end of the Blog Hunt so make sure to click through the linkies below to see all the other fab freebies!

We just finished our  second week of school and I wiped out!  We have been busy!  One of the first things we do is set up procedures for how to behave in the bathroom and hallway.  I always want to know where the bathroom is when I go to a training, so I assume that is something kids would want to know to (that and when is lunch!).  We sit and make these charts as a whole group and then practice by walking in the hall to the bathroom and take a whole class bathroom break.

I have shared this freebie before, but thought it was timely and others may not have seen it.  I shared it when I first started this little ol' blog!  It is a Guess Who activity.  It is perfect for the whole class to  complete while trying to pull individual students for DRA assessments.

Here is a finished product.

If you would like a free copy, click on the pictures below!

As of right now, that is about all I got :(.  Switching to a newish grade level (I am back in second after 3 years of being in third) has thrown me off a bit more than I expected!  Hopefully this will help a bit OR you can find fabulous freebies in the links below!



A Super Quick Shout-Out!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Jessica Stanford at Mrs. Stanford's Class!  She is celebrating 1,000 followers (holy smokes!!!!) with some fantastic give aways.  She is doing a different give away daily.  Today her item?  One of my best sellers, My Geometry Fun Supplemental Unit.
Make sure to click on over and enter!  The give away ends tonight!



Sneakin' and a-Peekin'

I am alive and well, just very, very tired.  Last week was my first week of school and it went pretty well.  I think I *might* be on the verge of a sinus infection or really bad cold and I just feel wiped out so  I am going to keep this short.

I am not quite ready for classroom pictures, but I am close.  I have lots of little details to take care of first!I will post them here eventually.

I thought I would do little sneak peeks into different areas first and then post the grand reveal later.  It sounds good to my medicine-addled mind.

This is the top of my cubbies with my guided reading texts.  I posted a shot of that earlier.  Here it is halfway finished.

I have cleaned up the top and moved all those binders.  I am going to focus on the TOP of this piece of furniture.

I have already posted a couple times about my birthday balloons and ceramic cupcakes with erasers.  Here is the final result.   I think it is pretty cute and the kids seemed thrilled.  We have out first birthday coming up in about a week so we will have to see how it goes!

The sweet student jar is also kept on the top of the cubbies.  I think I have already wrote about this but can't find the post.  Basically at the end of the day the student of the day randomly draws a name out of a bag.  If the student whose name was drawn has good behavior and hasn't pulled a stick (our behavior system) all day then they choose a piece of candy.  If the student has pulled a stick then the name goes back in the bag for another opportunity another day.

This is our whole group compliment system.  I found this idea on Pinterest from the blog 2nd Grade Rocks!  The kids love it and I think it is super cute!

And here is the grand reveal...the whole top of the cubbies!

I also keep our stickers for correct morning work and a cozy lamp here as well!



Common Core Curriculum Map Book Study--Second Grade Unit 4: A Long Journey to Freedom

Last year I was part of a small focus group in my county about adopting the Common Core Standards.  This year the entire district is giving the new standards a go and I am excited about our progress!  I am excited to read this as a resource for the roll out!

 I am participating in a book study with several other wonderful bloggers. We are studying the book Common Core Curriculum Maps: English Language Arts.  I am one of the later posts in the book study so make sure to click through and check out the other posts for fabulous freebies!

On Tuesday, Yvonne from Sassy in Second did an overview of the book as well as the second grade curriculum maps. Be sure to view her overview here!

On Wednesday, Jenn from Best Practices 4 Teaching blogged about Grade 2, Unit 1. The theme for that unit was A Season for Chapters. Check it out here!

On Thursday, Michelle from Teach123 blogged about Unit 2, The Wild West. Check it out here!

On Friday, Sally at Elementary Matters blogged about Unit 3, Building Bridges with unlikely Friends.  Check it out here!

Now it is my turn!

I am focusing on Unit Four which is called A Long Journey to Freedom.   This unit focuses on the struggle for racial equality in the United States spotlighting different people and events from the 1800's until the 1960s.  Here is the unit Essential Question:

and the focus standards are 
RL.2.6. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
W.2.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
W.2.3. Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
W.2.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

One of the activities mentioned in the book was a reading of the poem "Words Like Freedom" by Langston Hughes as an introduction to his life.  I loved this idea and personally would use it as an opportunity for a close reading and discussion of the words freedom, liberty, and throw in a little figurative language (heart strings).

I was somewhat disappointed by the unit because in Georgia we DO study Civil Rights, but we focus on Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King.  There are some fantastic ideas about Ruby Bridges and another fantastic narrative writing idea with the text Henry's Freedom Box.  

However, some of the ideas could be tweaked a teeny tiny bit.  One of the lessons suggested comparing and autobiography of Ruby Bridges ( Ruby Bridges Goes to School: A True Story)  to a a biography (The Story of Ruby Bridges).  I thought I may change the texts to include  two other suggested books in the unit, Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core exemplar text Martins Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington.  It will be not necessarily two different genres but will still meet the standard RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

The book has many other great idea about reading and writing as well as art connections that I did not even touch on in this post!

Make sure to check out the next post on Unit 5 by Yvonne at  Sassy in Second  tomorrow!

If you have a great idea that would fit in with this unit, please link up below!



Sale Treat

I just wanted to remind everyone of the extra treat available!

Don't forget- I am offering a special- spend $10 (after the sale discounts) and get a freebie!  This will only be for August 12-13th (during the sale!).

  1. Spend at least $10 in my TpT store 
  2. Email me your TpT user name and the amount of your purchase at
  3. Please put "FREEBIE" in  in the subject line- my Hotmail account moved the first request to my junk folder!! Ackk!!  This way I can easily scan my junk folder to make sure I get everyone!  :)

*I must receive all emails by Tuesday, August 14th in order to get your freebie!

Tada! That is it!

I will email you my latest, unreleased center with  partner and independent practice, Author's Purpose Picnic!  The graphics are so cute!  Here is a preview!

I will eventually put this bad boy in my store for sale, but I am not sure when!

As far as the Third Grade Common Core "I Can" statements.  I am not sure if I can finish them and get them listed during the sale.  First, TpT usually runs REALLY slow during sales because of all the traffic and uploading a new product can be a bear.  That and I am slow as molasses!  I am going to try to finish them tonight if it kills me!  However, I will make sure to list them 28% off for the first two days, promise.



Common Core Standards and a Treat!

Okay, I know I have already posted about the big TpT sale.

So, yes, I am promoting myself (again-sorry).  So sorry.  However, I just wanted to give an update and a treat :)!

I am working feverishly on getting the Third Grade ELA Common Core "I Can" Statements and More product finished after so many requests when I posted my second grade version.  I am hoping to get it posted tonight so that I can get it up before or when the sale starts.  However, if something happen and I just can not finish it, I will make sure to post it for 28% off the original price the first two days it is posted.  If I were a buyer, I would be irritated if an item was posted a day after the sale ends for full price.  Hopefully, this will help!

Second, I have a treat for my Facebook followers and blog followers!  The big TpT sale starts tomorrow, August 12-13th.  My cart is full (ouch) and I am ready!  I am offering a special- spend $10 (after the sale discounts) and get a freebie!  This will only be for August 12-13th (during the sale!).

  1. Spend at least $10 in my TpT store 
  2. Email me your TpT user name and the amount of your purchase at
  3. Please put "FREEBIE" in  in the subject line- my Hotmail account moved the first request to my junk folder!! Ackk!!  This way I can easily scan my junk folder to make sure I get everyone!  :)

*I must receive all emails by Tuesday, August 14th in order to get your freebie!

Tada! That is it!

I will email you my latest, unreleased center with  partner and independent practice, Author's Purpose Picnic!  The graphics are so cute!  Here is a preview!

EDITED TO ADD- Although the sale is over and I am no longer sending this out as a freebie, it is now available in my store!  It is $4.00.  Click here to check it out!

How does that sound :)!   This is my LAST weekend before students arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday.  I had a mild panic attack Friday night but now I am prepared and fine.  Thank goodness for my co-teacher that keeps me sane!  I have LOTS of classroom pictures to post next week if I am not too tired!


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