Monday, December 31, 2012

Barnes and Noble Haul

I just recently went to Barnes and Noble to pick up some books related to teaching. I love watching hauls. In case you are not aware of what a haul is, it's a video in which someone shares what they bought. The reason I love watching haul videos is because I get to see things that are available that I may not have known of. I decided to create a haul video on my latest Barnes and Noble haul.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Happenings

It has been a long December. Usually we only have two weeks to squeeze everything Christmas/holiday related in. This year we had three weeks and boy did these three weeks drag on. I don't think I've ever been ready for Christmas to be over. We did have a lot of fun though. Here are a few snapshots of how we spent our December.

Since December started, we've been doing a lot of centers through out the day. December is a time when the normal, daily schedule is thrown out the door and you welcome the unknown. For our class we have a lot of testing during this time of year and a "normal" day is something we hardly ever see in December.

Speaking of not normal, the last week of school was spirit week. We had red and green day, pajama day, twin day, backwards day, and my favorite... crazy hair day. Crazy hair day is a favorite for anyone who has naturally curly hair. I have crazy hair every day, for one day out of the year, I have an excuse.

On pajama day we made hot chocolate and watched the Polar Express. 

 My kids were so excited to have hot chocolate. I wish I could show you their little faces with chocolate mustaches.  

Tried my best at getting a class photo without a tripod.

Then it was the day of our Holiday concert. Look at my precious little darling in the front with her big read bow.
On our last day of school I gave my students their presents. It was the book "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas".

They loved it and couldn't wait to read it.

Some of my students even read to each other.

Well that was it for our December happenings. I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year. I will be back in January with some brand new things and ready to go strong. See you in 2013!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

This year I decided to do Elf of the Shelf with my class. I have always wanted to do it with my own children, but of course I don't have any yet, so I had to improvise. I only had him in my room for 4 days and it's a little sad that he is gone. Next year I will be bringing him in after Thanksgiving and he won't leave until Christmas break. My students this year went a little overboard with looking for him. I guess you can say this was my "test" year. This week I also found so many great ideas to incorporate into my classroom for next year. Since I have nothing too special to share with you, I will go ahead and leave you with some of our pictures of our elf, Skip.

We found Skip on Tuesday hanging onto our easel.

After decorating our Christmas tree with ornaments, Skip decided he wanted to hang out on the tree as well.

Reading a Christmas story to his friends.

Hanging on the flag pole.

Drinking Mrs. Ruiz's root beer.

Closeup of the root beer.

Just chillin' in the Smartie Pants.

I have so many ideas already for next year including: watching tv with the remote, writing a message on the white board, taking a bath in the sink with marshmallows. The possibilities are endless. It's been a little tricky because the students aren't supposed to touch him. I will have to buy him a few props for next year as well. I also need to add velcro to his hands so he can do a few more things. Already planning!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'm Not a Turkey

With Thanksgiving coming up, I am reminded of all the things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends. I am also thankful for such a sweet bunch of second graders this year. I want to keep this post short and sweet so I will leave you with one of my favorite writing activities, I'm not a turkey. I'm sure there are many variations of this activity, but I just love it so much.

 I love the creativity that comes out during this assignment.
One of my favorites...
I'm not a turkey. A turkey has feathers. I have hands. Can I ask you a question? Do turkeys go to school? No they do not. I am a student. I talk a lot. If you eat me, I can talk in your stomach. If you eat a student, you go to jail.

Ohhh so creative!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Election

Happy Election Day!!

I love voting day. Ever since I was a little girl and they did kids vote in our area. Do they still do that anywhere else? Allow kids to vote for president at a voting location. They get their own little ballot and everything. I loved doing that. I started talking about the election on Monday and I started with Cara Carrol's unit.

We started off by reading Grace for President. Yes, I am aware that I spelled Gracie on my anchor chart... ooops! :-) I modified one of the graphic organizers in the unit and turned it into an anchor chart. I teach an ELD class so we color coded our nouns and verbs.

Then we read Duck for President and made a similar anchor chart. After reading both stories we had an election to see who would win. Grace: 10 votes, Duck: 11 votes DUCK WINS!!!

Then we read the book My Teacher for President. We made a chart explaining why our teacher (me) would make a good president. Then we took another vote. Grace: 1 vote, Duck: 5 votes, Mrs. Ruiz: 15 votes. MRS. RUIZ WINS!!!

Today we started to talk about the candidates that are running for office. First, we made a chart. Then we talked about why we vote. Next, my students were able to make their own voter registration cards (found in Cara Carrol's unit). Finally, they cast their votes. I even made little voting stickers for my students to wear after they voted. They had a blast! After the votes were tallied, we turned the data into a bar graph and answered questions that went with our standards. All-in-all it was a great election day in our second grade classroom!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

James and the Giant Peach

Every month I like to read a chapter book to my students. Most of my students are reading below grade level and even though they can't read chapter books, I still want to expse them to great literature. Even though there are great picture books out there, I also like to incorporate chapter books. September is James and the Giant Peach and my students LOVE that story. I really wanted to make a unit to go along with the book, but I haven't gotten around to making it yet. I did make an art project or craftivity to go along with it. You can really use it any way you choose.

You can visit my TPT store and get this file for only $1.50. Click HERE.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monday Made It

I am so excited that Monday Made It is back. I loved being able to link up every Monday over the summer, but now that school has started, I'm glad it's gone to once a month. Today for my monday Made It I created...

Last week on my Show and Tell Wednesday I shared my math assessments that included addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I went ahead and made an additional 3 files. They are separate files for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Each individual file is only $2.50 and if you would like all three together, only $5.00 So head on over to my TPT store to pick up a copy of your own.

Stress-Free Morning

Do you ever have those morning with your students where it seems like they are all asking you what to do? Every morning we have a routine. My students come in, take out their homework folders, put their back packs away, start their morning work, and when they are finished they can either read a book or work on their math facts. It's been the same since the first day of school, but I still have students who ask me what to do when they are finished, or even worse... they just sit there and do NOTHING! I have created a morning checklist that will have all of those answers for, "What do I do next?" and that will leave you time to get morning routines done like lunch count and attendance.

I have made a checklist that follows my morning routine, but I have also created a blank checklist that you can customize in your classroom. You can get the file HERE for free.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Show and Tell Wednesday & Ocean Math

Welcome to another Show and Tell Wednesday. I was so excited to see that people were linking up last week and also entering the giveaway. I want to thank everyone that decided to follow my blog as well as like my Facebook page. I am fairly new at blogging and hosting my own link up and I feel like the first one was a success. I know that it can only get better from here. Make sure to visit my last post to see who one. If you are the winner, please send me an email at

Now onto my Show and Tell.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about my Bikini Bottom Math, or Ocean Math. It's a math fluency program that I made in order to have my students master their math facts. It's been a slow and steady process, but I can tell that it's working. My students know their math facts really well and now they are just working on fluency and speed. If you want to read more about my program, you can see the blog post HERE.

I decided to make a video explaining my program and how I use it in my class so you can watch that video right now! :-)

You can buy the program from my TPT store for only $5. You will receive 72 pages of addition, subtraction, and multiplication fact assessments, homework, flash cards, and certificates. If you act fast, for two days only, you can get this file 20% off.

Now it wouldn't be Show and Tell if you all didn't link up and show us what you are doing in your classroom. Don't forget to add the button on your blog post.

Darling Little Learners

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Show and Tell Wednesday

I'm excited to announce that I am starting a new link up. It is called Show and Tell Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will be hosting a linky party. This is a place where you can share anything you would like. All you have to do is write a blog post about something you would like to share and tell us about it. It can be something from your TPT store, an activity that you did in your class, or anything else school/teaching related. I always love learning new things from fellow teachers and I'm always searching for new ideas.

Here are a few rules for the link up.
  • Become a follower of my blog. This is not necessary, but occasionally I will be doing giveaways and in order to be considered for the giveaway, you must be a follower. Also, you don't want to miss anything in the future! :-)
  • Add the Show and Tell button on your blog post that you link up.
  • Visit the person before your link and leave them some thoughtful feedback.
  • Have fun!!!!
 Here is my show and tell for the week.

School is in full swing and we are having a lot of fun in my class. I love my kids and I couldn't ask for a better class. We are starting our camping unit and this is by far one of my favorite units all year. We started out by writing directions for making s'mores.

We started with an anchor chart, but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it. After that the students worked on creating their directions on their own. I found an amazing and FREE file HERE. That was so generous of her to offer that amazing file for free. All of the activities you will see in this post are from her file.

Here's the final product, along with a bulletin board. I was going to create a title for it on my Cricut, but I have yet to do that.

I'm going to be surprising my students on Friday. Friday will be our camping themed day. I let my students bring in flashlights and instead of doing free time for Fun Friday they get to read in the dark with their flashlights. We will also be making s'mores that they can eat. I will take pictures and I might share them on my blog this weekend.

This week on Show and Tell Wednesday is exciting because I am having a giveaway. Scholastic Teacher Express is an amazing place to get some really great teaching resources. I am giving away my favorite two resources to one lucky winner. Since Show and Tell Wednesday is a new link up, I am asking you to help me spread the word.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now it's your time to link up. Show us what you're doing and tell us about it! Don't forget to add the button to your post.
Darling Little Learners

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Synonym Rolls

We have been working on synonyms in my class for the past few weeks. When I saw this activity on Pinterest, I KNEW I had to do it one day. My students struggled with coming up with their own synonyms, but know they are coming up with them left and right. I will most likely wait until later on during the year. I wanted to share with you a few pictures that I took of my kids as well as the bulletin board that the whole 2nd grade team put together.

Our bulletin board. Each grade is assigned a bulletin board in the cafeteria that we are able to decorate. This is the first year that we decided to decorate it and I'm so glad we did.

This is me showing off our activity.

 A few of my little darlings. They were all so cute with their little chef hats on.

 Posing in front of our bulletin board. I love my team this year. I didn't get permission to use their pictures on my blog, but trust me, they are amazing!!

Now on to a freebie!!

While preparing for this lesson, I tried looking all over for a cinnamon roll template, but I couldn't find one. I went ahead and made my own. I am sharing it with you! Just click HERE to pick it up!!

I am linking up over at...

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day in the Life and September Currently

This week I tried to do a Day in the Life of a Teacher. It so didn't work. I even tried two separate times. I guess that goes to show you how busy us teachers are!!

Ever since I found out about the monthly currently over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade, I have been loving it. Here is this month's currently.

Now that I have been teaching for 5 weeks, I am now back into my routine of getting things done. Now I need to schedule time for work, studying for my masters, exercising, crafting, and spending time with my family. There is never enough time in the day. It's either pick one thing over the other each day.

Favorite Things...
I am loving my new macbook pro. I still have my desktop computer that is a windows machine, but I love that I have an apple computer as well. It is so handy and very easy to use. I am absolutely in love with imovie. Usually when I edit my videos, I used my work laptop or my husband's work computer. Now I don't have to worry about either of those because now I have my own!!!

Last night I went to dinner with my BFF at Village Inn. We spent the entire time just talking and hanging out since we haven't really done that in a long time!! It was nice to relax after a long short week of work. Why is it that 4 day work weeks always seem longer than normal weeks?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bikini Bottom Math (Ocean Math) and Grammar Wall

I love Monday Made It and I'm a little sad that it has gone to only once a month, but I understand why. I guess that means I'll just have to keep going on my own. 

Made-It #1
I have been working on a math assessment program for a couple months now. I created a bulletin board in my classroom that I wanted to post on a Monday Made It, but since my unit wasn't finished, I figured I would wait. I spent most of today (Labor Day) finishing the unit. On a day where we should be relaxing and enjoying our day off, I am working on school work. I love it though!

First, I want to share with you my bulletin board.
I have always had my students coming into 2nd grade, not knowing their basic math facts. It would be wonderful if they could come in knowing their addition facts and all I had to do was teach them their subtraction facts. Unfortunately, I haven't even been that lucky. I knew that I wanted a program to do throughout the school year, but I wasn't sure what I wanted. I decided to make my own program. I call it Bikini Bottom Math or Ocean Math.

This is a math fluency program that will build and strengthen any student's addition, subtraction, and multiplication math facts. This program is designed for students to work at their own pace. The program includes a letter home to parents explaining the program. It also includes flash card, homework practice, math assessments, and completion certificates. 

I wanted this program to be self paced. I have always done Saxon math fact assessments, but if a student doesn't master their facts, the program just keeps going and they never truly learn their facts. This program is completely customizable. I have included three levels; addition, subtraction, and multiplication. My plan is to get my students through addition and subtraction this year and if some kids get to multiplication, hey that's wonderful!!

The way it works is ever student is assigned a number and jellyfish. Pink jellyfish means they are on addition, blue means subtraction, and yellow (gold) means multiplication. As a student passes their test, they get to move on to the next bubble. Once they have master all of their addition facts they move back to 0, but this time they have a blue jelly fish and the same goes for multiplication.

I will make a more detailed video with Bikini Bottom Math in action in my classroom. Also, if you are interested in me creating a file where you can create your own Bikini Bottom Math (Ocean Math) bulletin board, let me know and I can get to work on one.

Today ONLY, this file is 20% off in my TPT store, so hurry while the sale lasts!!
Click on the link to go to my TPT store.

Made-It #2
I teach an ELD class, meaning I teach English language learners. I focus a lot in reading, writing, conversation, and grammar. I created a grammar "wall" for my classroom this year that match the colors of the program that I use. 

I created them on my cricut (which I cannot live without)

I like to get creative with my space, so I created my "wall" on my cabinets.

So that's it for today's September's Monday Made-It. I'm sure I'll be back for some more later on durign September. I have soo many ideas!