If You Give a Teacher Common Core Standards... UPDATED: )

...then she makes a lot of work to go with it :).

I feel like this has been a LOOONG time coming.  I have been working on this for about 3 weeks or so!  I am so glad it is DONE!

I wanted  "I Can" statements in kid friendly language that preserved the language of the standards.  I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it is true.  I also wanted smaller signs that could travel around the room with me and would be easy to display.  So I looked...and couldn't find what I wanted.  So  I just had to create them!

First, I wanted the standards in kid friendly language, but I wanted to preserve some of the terms so students can speak the language of the standards and understand some of the important vocabulary.  Ohh- that smells like a run on sentence! So I wrote it as kid friendly as possible and then bolded in the vocabulary terms I wanted to teach in color.  Here is an example:
Then I wanted it to be easy to organize so I wrote the standard letters and numbers on the bottom right of each card.

I wanted my display to be usable and not just a waste of space.  I teach all around the room so I need a display that can move with me! I took all the cards and then hung them all on rings and then hooked the rings on 3M hooks (love those things!)

Ta Da!  I LOVE them!  Now I can grab a ring and explain the standard, show the students and then hang it right back up!

Of course I couldn't stop there.  Then I decided I needed a teacher resource list matching up the 'I Can" statement to the actual standard.  I thought it would make a great reference list.

and then I decided I needed some kind of tracking sheet of student progress.  I needed it to be editable so I can add as I went.  So then I (why does this feel like a whole If You Give a Mouse a Muffin circular story?) created an Excel spread sheet of the standards. The spreadsheet contains the actual standards (not the "I Can" statements).

Then I started thinking that Excel is confusing and I hate it.  My husband LOVES it so he convinced me to try it.  I did grudgingly and realized Excel is...meh.  It will do.  But I am still not an expert so I needed a cheat sheet with pictures and directions.  I like pictures when it comes to directions.  The words are just too much!
So I made directions on how to use and trouble shoot basic errors when using the spreadsheet (because I made lots at first).  And then I got all kinds of frustrated because I had so much "STUFF" now and it wasn't organized.  Grrr.   So I decided to get on my organizational pants (they are only for special occasions.  Heaven knows I need to wear them at my own house.  Maybe one day).

So I got my color coding on.  I color coded all the cards so all the Reading: Literature is pink, Reading: Informational Text is blue, Reading: Foundations Skills is green and so on. But that wasn't enough, so all the headings on the Teacher Resource list have headings color coded to match.  The headings on the  Excel spreadsheet match as well as the tabs on the bottom of the spreadsheet.  The tabs on the bottom list the standards on that sheet and are also color coded.  I like colors.

And then I realized...crap.   This is only ELA. I still have Math to do.  Because if you give a teacher Common Core Standards... she is going to make a lot of work to go with it.

If you would like to get a copy of these Second Grade ELA Common Core Statements and More they are now available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for $6.99.

**Edited to Add**  I had to laugh at all the comments!  I am so glad so many people are excited about these.  YES, first and third grade are coming soon!  AND so are the math.  HOWEVER,I am a bit overwhelmed at the idea of doing the idea of these myself so I will be sharing the duty with another favorite blogger, Britney.  She is working on the first grade version and I am working on the third grade version.  As soon as both are ready, we will post them!


Tips and Stuff Like That

I am just tickled to be featured by Angela Watson on her site.  I am sure you guys all know who she is?  Angela Watson, formerly Powell.  As in The Ms. Powell of The Cornerstone?  I LOVED her website when I first started teaching and spent many evenings pouring over her ideas.  And then she went and published a book and it is even MORE fantastic!  She truly is a master teacher and I love reading her ideas on her new site and blog.

She was looking for tips on co-teaching and featured them on her co-teaching and departmentalization page!  I feel famous!  Here is a link

Also make sure to check out the ideas  from Ashleigh's  at

Ashleigh's Education Journey

 Here ideas which were featured in the departmentalization section of the page!

If you would like to read the article, click here!


Whoohooo! A winner!

It is time to pick a winner!  Thanks to all those that commented about The Combinations of Ten games and Wild About Synonyms packet.  The two lucky winners of the item of their choice is...

Elizabeth from Fun in Room (LOVE her blog by the way, you gotta check it out!)
Suzy Q 


If you did not win, I am so sorry :( BUT I am marking down each item 20% as a thank you for even reading this blog!  Both items will be 20% off until tomorrow night (Monday evening) and then will return to their original prices.

And pssst....before you go... make sure to sign up for my newsletter.   I am sending it out August 1st and there will be a freebie.  If you liked these products, then I bet you will like the freebie! Just sayin'. :)


One Busy Bee!

I have been a busy girl.  I have been making a few new products and I am in LOVE with a few of them!

This is a new idea for me- math sorts.  We do them in spelling and vocabulary, why not math?  This packet is 41 pages of basic math fact sorts.
Here is a description:

This packet includes five different mathematical sorts. Students find different combinations of ten and recognize if combinations are equal or not equal  to ten. Each sort is slightly different and scaffolded by difficulty. These standards are correlated to first and second  grade Common Core standards.

*Cooking Up 10- Adding ten frames to find combinations of ten
*Sandy 10- Adding a ten frame to a single digit to find a combination of ten
*Tool Box 10- Adding single digits to find combinations of ten
*Icy Pop 10- Adding and subtracting to find combinations of ten
*Big Top 10- Adding two and three digits to find combinations of ten

I LOVE them! These will definitely be one of my beginning of the year math centers.  Since the procedure is the same, I can swap out for the next scaffolded center and students will understand HOW to complete the center!  Pick up your own copy of only $5 here!

If you liked my Wild About Antonyms center freebie, then you will love my Wild About Synonym Centers!  They are almost identical, but with a different colored poster.  Again, you can focus on the content rather than procedure because the activities are played the same.

Here is a description:
Wild About Synonyms: Centers and Independent Practice
This 21 page packet includes several activities:
• Directions for a Synonym Concentration game for two or more players
• Matching synonym cards and directions for one player
• Directions for a Flip Flop Synonym game that requires students to draw a card and mark a synonym of the word drawn. The student that gets 4 words in a row wins!
• Synonym cards
• Independent “Wild about Synonyms” worksheet that practices identifying synonym pairs. An answer key is provided.
• Games answer keys
• Synonym poster for display (please note there are two color choices to choose from- pink which matches my FREE antonym poster and literacy center or a blue version to keep the concepts separated)

You can pick up a copy for $3.99 here!

I will be giving away a copy of either the Wild About Synonyms packet OR Combinations of Ten Packet to TWO lucky winners!   I will randomly draw a name Sunday, July 29th! Just leave a comment below WITH your email address of which item you hope to win!

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter!  August is quickly approaching and my first newsletter (with a freebie, of course! ) will go out August 1st!


Breaking All the Rules and Living on the Edge

I am a total wild child.  Watch out.  I am posting TWICE on the same day...oohhhhh.  I am walking Trouble (with a capital t), I know!

I am posting to announce the winner of my Back to School Buddies Unit!

So what did my daughter and I do Tuesday morning?  ONE person guessed correctly and another was awful close.  SO, what did we do?

Gymnastics!  We do a toddler gynmastics class once a week and she LOVES it. Here is a picture of her showing of doing her front roll.  She can't actually roll herself over, but this is progress!

She likes to play in my shoes- and don't worry- that  big brown stain?  Chocolate ice cream from  today's outing!

So congrats to the winners

SuzyQ and sixtyfourcolorbox!

If you did not win, I am sorry :(, but I did knock the price down one dollar as a consolation prize!  I am not sure when I will return it to the original price- over the weekend for sure!

To my winners- I will be emailing it your way tonight after I put that mess up there to bed!  It is a tough job to snuggle up with the cutie, but someone has to do it :)!



Daily Five Freebie

Freebie Fridays

Earlier I shared my owl themed Daily Five CAFE headers.  A few days ago I had someone request Daily Five posters to match.  I was happy to oblige :).

I had a good friend request yellow and red polka dots so OF COURSE I made them for her! I made the CAFE and Daily 5 signs!

Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: The Daily 5 & CAFE resources are unofficial adaptations of the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. This freebie is not endorsed by the 2 Sisters. http://www.thedailycafe.com



Gettin' A Little Crafty

Last  night I decided to get my craft on..or my craftivity on.  Doesn't quite have the same ring does it?

I created this super cute back to school craftivity to complete after reading the book Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester.  This is one of my favorite back to school books to discuss how we are are all unique individuals.

Look how cute he is?!?!?

Generally I hand draw all my templates, but I challenged myself to to use only Photoshop and PowerPoint and I DID it!  I was quite proud!

You can snag this cute little guy for just $2.50 in my TpT store. Here is what is included in the packet

  • Activity Instructions for the teacher- page 3
  • An example- page 4
  • Directions to display for students to follow (one for tracing the pieces and another set of directions for students to cut out pieces copied on construction paper)- pages 5 and 6
  • Pieces to create the Tacky craftivity- pages 7-9

As a side note... or squirrel!

I searched for some cute, cheap birthday erasers for my birthday treat for students. I searched my Target for the cupcake erasers a commentor mentioned but no dice.  I DID find these sweet crayon erasers at Wal-Mart and loved them.

They were 88 cents for a five pack.  I thought they were too cute!  Here is a picture of them in the cupcake jar
Don't forget to try and guess what my daughter and I did Tuesday morning to win my new Back to School Buddies pack.  I will give a hint.  No one has guessed it yet and it is helping her learn how to climb out of crib (Yikes!  A not-so-great side effect!!Lol!).



I Went Shopping!

My husband cringes when I say that.  But it makes me so happy. Even my little not-even-two-year-old daughter says "soppin'!" with excitement!  Must be genetic...

I found a couple great things in the Target Dollar Spot.
I found these two cute Star Student chair pockets.  I got a blue and a pink one.  I have no idea how I will use them.  I used to do a weekly Star Student but stopped over time.  I have no idea why!  Maybe I should start it up again?

The lesson plan book is not actually for my lessons- we submit these online.  Instead I read on someone's blog post (oh no- I can't remember who! If you know who it is please let me know so I can give them credit!) that they used it to record reading and writing conferences.  Each child got a box (where a teacher normally writes a lesson for a subject area) and the teacher recorded notes in the box.  Even if I don't do this, it was only a dollar!

The two itty-bitty rectangles are self inking stamps that say "Great Work!" and "Excellent!" Not bad for $5!

I mentioned earlier that went to IKEA this past weekend.  I have been contemplating buying another rug for the front of my classroom.  We have two meeting spots- one in the front of the room and the other in the back.  I wanted a rug to define it.  My old rug was starting to look ratty so I was considering getting rid of it.  I was having a hard time swallowing the $300 cost of an educational rug.  That is A LOT of money!

When walking around IKEA, I saw this beauty
I immediately dismissed the idea because the background is a creamy white. What idiot would buy a creamy white rug for a classroom?  Well, apparently this idiot would!  When I saw the price tag, I was hooked!  For only $40 for 6 and a 1/2 foot by four foot rug, I felt I could clean it or even get rid of it if it got too bad.   Now I am thinking of going back and getting ANOTHER one so both carpets match, but I want to wait until I see them in the space.

  There is even a lamp shade to match-gah! For five dollars!  Too cute! I foresee another trip to IKEA soon....

I have *finally* finished by back to school unit!  Yay! Yahoo! PTL!  

I am very, very proud of this unit because it incorporates some fun, cute getting to know you "stuff" with procedural lessons ALL while meeting Common Core Standards.  Talk about bang for your buck!  I wrote the unit to teach students HOW to talk in partnerships and HOW to talk in whole group discussions.  I am hoping that the unit will cultivate a classroom in which students share and discuss rather than take turns like  machine gun fire with their opinions. Even in second grade.

Here is the description of the unit:
The purpose of this unit is to teach students how to effectively engage in class discussions after developing a class set of norms. Please note that the lessons are not listed by day. Instead, the lessons are listed in numerical order. When I teach these lessons in my second grade classroom, I will teach one mini lesson, give students an opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills with the provided activities, and then teach another mini lesson. Although the mini unit is six lessons long, I hope to teach the unit in less than a week. The lessons included three picture books: Listen, Buddy by Helen Lester, Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow and Mr. Chatterbox by Roger Hargreaves.

I also developed this unit with another purpose in mind. Unfortunately, the sad reality of teaching involves large amount of data collection. I am hoping while students work in partnerships or on independent activities to complete the necessary beginning of the year paper work and data collection.

This unit includes:
*6 mini lessons with correlated Common Core Standards for 2nd and 3rd grades
*Printable anchor charts for each mini lesson 
*3 Listening and Speaking Posters
*One class book idea
*Two partner activities (Pal Ponderings and All About Us) for students to practice listening and speaking skills

Additional Activities to Supplement the Unit include
*The partner game Quiz, Quiz, Switch
*The writing activity, All About My Friend ______, which is differentiated by difficulty level.
*A Comparison/ Contrast writing activity that can be differentiated by providing the given text frame

I will be giving away TWO copies of the UNIT FREE to the first two people that guess what my daughter and I did this morning. I love it as much as she does- and it is not "soppin!" If no one guesses correctly I will randomly choose two comments Thursday evening. Please make sure to leave your email address :)



How Many Students and One Class Bunny?

I went to IKEA this weekend.  Does anyone else love that place as much as I do?  Half of our home is furnished by IKEA and  I love the way it looks.  I am into the slightly traditional styles instead of the modern styles.  Luckily they are bringing in more traditional style items.

But I digress.

So I went to IKEA this weekend and LOOK what I found!  How cute is this guy?!?!
I fell in love with this sweet, little, stuffed guy.  He was in the baby section and was a decent size- almost 8 inches tall.  At first I snagged him for my little girl, but she already has a million stuffed animals.

And then I started thinking of my classroom.

Which led me to the idea of a class pet.  Bunnies are often class pets, right?  Last year I posted about Gingerbread Fred.  The students LOVED him!  I think the first month of school we will have our class pet go home with a different student each night! Who will the pet be?  The cute fuzzy-wuzzy bunny above!  

I think I will let the students name him...it could be a fun graphing intro maybe?

I am going to put this on iron on transfer paper and use it to decorate a canvas bag. Which reminds me, I never did this for Gingerbread Fred so I need to make him one, too!  I think I am coming up with the beginning of my Monday Made It!  Then I am going to print another copy of the page out, cut out around the fancy border and glue it onto the cover of a composition notebook.

I will glue in a copy of the sheet onto the front inside cover.  I am also going to laminate the sheet to keep inside the bag.

I also ordered these two books from Amazon  (affiliate links which mean I may receive a small commission from any purchases through the links below)

for the kids to read to our class pet each night!  I thought they looked super cute!

The best part about this lil' cutie?  He was only $4.99!    I picked up TWO in case something happens to the first one and he needs to take a bath....or take a visit to the dumpster, or something like that!



And the winner is....

Thank you so much for all of the entries!  We had over 150 entries!  Wowzers!

And the big winner is...

Congratulations, Lori!  Everyone will be in contact with you soon so you can collect your big winnings!

I have mailed out all of the freebies.  If you have not received yours it is because either your email was incorrect, not included, the specific freebie was not identified, or I just plan forgot.  Please contact me at mandyholland@hotmail.com by tomorrow (Monday, July 16th) and we will try to work something out.

Have a great weekend!


Last Day for the Giveaway...

I am going to break the sacred rule of not blogging twice in the same day.  Let us all bow our heads in a moment of silence.

And...for real, yea'll I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that today is the last day of my 500 Follower big give away!  I will be announcing a big winner at 8:00pm Eastern Standard time.  After a winner is announced I will no longer be sending out any of my freebies from the post. If you want it, you better go snag it :)!

If you want to enter, please hop on over the the post and request your free product.  Then you are automatically entered!  Poof!  That easy!

Here is a bunch of other great giveaways to check out!  So much good stuff!

So many great giveaways going on right now!  We wanted to list a few of our favorites in ones spot!  Be sure to stop by and try to win some great stuff!

($25 TpT Gift Certificate to use how you wish!)

(Free graphics set from Dilly Dabbles! Adorable graphics for back to school and more!)

(Giving away two mesh bags of various dice!  Super cool!  Love dice!)

(To win personalized pictures books from Debbie, an AMAZING author, artist, everything!)

(Over 20 TpT products from the best teacher bloggers!  Too many to name!)



Sweet Birthday Treat

Last year we tried to keep birthday treats to a minimum.  We had a few students with severe allergies and tried to be very aware of any food products in our classroom.  One thing we did do was birthday balloons.  It was not my idea.  I found it on Proteacher and LOVED the idea. Here is a link to original link and printable I found.   Many people used crazy straws or Pixie sticks as the base or "string."   I was too cheap for either of these ideas and instead used sparkly pencils from the Dollar Store. The kids adored them and sharpened the pencil and kept the balloon on top.  It was a hoot to watch them write with it!

I kept the Birthday Balloons in a yellow pot filled with beans to keep the pencils upright.  I realized I never took a picture of it last year but here is a shot of the shelf I kept them on!

Nice shot, huh?  Sorry about that!

One problem with the Birthday Balloon pencils?  No eraser.

While  walking around Garden Ridge I found the perfect solution.  It was less than $5.00!

Look at this super cute cupcake!  It is actually a ceramic pot with a cupcake top.  I think I am going to keep special birthday erasers (need to go find some of these) inside.  Then kids will be able to choose a birthday balloon from the pot and an eraser from the cupcake!

Simple, but fun.  My two favorites (right up there with the word free!). Speaking of my favorite words, please make sure to check out my BIG 500 follower give away and freebie give away!  The give away ends tomorrow and I will no longer be sending out any freebies after tomorrow so please make sure to check it out before it is too late! :)


Christmas in July

It may be about 98 degrees in the shade down here in sunny Georgia, but I am in the mood for a little Christmas cheer!  

I have just finished revamping and polishing my Christmas Vocabulary Unit.  To put me in the Christmas mood, I have marked down the price of the unit from $10 to $7.50!

Want to know a little bit about it?
This 63 page unit includes seven days of lesson plans that focus on the books How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss, The Night Before Christmas Clement Clarke Moore and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson, Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. It includes correlated Common Core Standards for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. 

This unit focuses on vocabulary and covers:
*character analysis and inferring
*prefixes, root (base words, and suffixes
*strategies for decoding text

This packet 63 page includes
*Related Common Core Standards for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades
*A Note to the Teacher
*Seven days of 25 minute mini lessons with pictures (7 pages)
*1 antonym worksheet for students
*3 Anchor charts to copy or enlarge
*3 crafts with the directions and printables included
* 1 prefix, root, suffix card activity for the whole class 
*1 prefix, root, suffix game
*Credits, thank you page and a copy right page

Stay cool and enjoy ; )!



How Did That Happen?

This giveaway is now CLOSED :) !  Thanks to all that entered!

Wow!  Looky there!  To the right!  A pretty round number?!?! 500 followers?  Yahoo!

It is time to celebrate!

I really want to thank everyone for reading my little blog.  This is such a wonderful way to meet people, network with people that have the same interests, and learn new things.  My brain is constantly exploding with new ideas due to my blogging and Pinterest addiction!  I can't say I think you enough!

So to say thank you for following I am doing a two part thank you.  I want to keep it nice and simple (it is the way I roll) The first is a gift from me.  Below are four different activities I sell in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Choose any one item pictured below. Leave a comment INCLUDING your email and I will email it to you free. MWAH!


Then I have several bloggy friends that have been kind enough to share. There is also ONE big winner!  I will choose ONE comment left below by random number generator on Sunday, July 15th and that winner will get one of every item picture.  Squee!  Please do not leave multiple comments, when you leave a comment requesting your free item, you are automatically entered.  How easy is that?! As a courtesy I would love for you to hop around and check out the lovely ladies that kindly donated out of the goodness of their hearts.

So what is the big grand prize winner?  Let's check it out...

Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter

Teaching With Love and Laughter  

Arlene at LMN Tree
It's LMN Tree 

Tanja at Journey of a Substitute Teacher

Michelle at Teach 123
Teach 123   

Michelle from No Monkey Business
 No Monkey Business


  Inspired By Kindergarten

Mary from Guided Math

MrsMc from Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

  ELL blog

Melissa from Dilly Dabbles

Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6

 joyin6th Homepage

Deb from Fabulously First
   Fabulously First

Pam from Teaching 4 Real

   Teaching 4 Real

Whew!  I think that about does it!  Please feel free to share this :)!  The freebies are not a secret!

Also, if you have left a comment and have no received you freebie, it means either I made a mistake or no email was left :(.  I am all caught up on sending them!

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