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The Last Week of School


If you are still plugging along in the classroom, 1. I am sorry (I can't imagine seeing everyone's beach photos while still being in the classroom) 2. I know what that last week is like. I am telling you, on the last day we were all packed up and down to some crayons and paper plates left in a cabinet. You will get through.   Our last week,  I wanted it to be fun and keep the kiddos engaged and learning down to the last minute, or at least the second to last day.  
   Theme days seemed the easiest and most fun. So here is a peek of some of our theme days:

We started our day with some flashlight reading.  It was such a quiet 45 minutes, but I will say my kids have built a love for reading like no other. I am thankful for workshop and the stamina my kids have built. They beg for silent/partner reading.  If I didn't stop them, I guarantee this time could have been extended. 
 Next my kiddos made S'mores trail mix. While my kiddos were making trail mix they went off and did their memory books and this cute camping Mad Libs.  
 We also painted rocks I might have stolen from my front yard after I thought up this idea at 10:15 pm. 
 Kroger also had these gummy worms on sale for nothing, so I decided we would do a little math.  My kiddos practiced geometry standards, as well as repeated addition before chomping worms from our "camping trip".  
And because I bought way too many marshmallows, my kiddos were given a STEM challenge to build a tower using marshmallows and toothpicks.  

Apparently, I took no photos this day, but it was fun.  Here are some of the fun bubble books you may want to read: 

 My kiddos had a bubble blowing contest, we had a bubble gum race with gum balls and straws.  I made a starting and finish line and when I said go, students blew their gum ball to help it roll over the finish line. It was hilarious.  I had videos and where they went, I have no idea, but his is a must do! 
We also made bubbles, blew bubbles, did bubble art and chewed gum all day.  

I love a good beach day.  
Students walked in and were greeted by 22 beach balls. At one point in our morning they used Sharpies to sign the beach balls.  Then we painted surfboard bookmarks. When they dried, I laminated them for them and they cut them out as summer bookmarks.  
 Also on sale were Swedish Fish, so I grabbed a bag for some more math fun.  Today we did fractions, multiplication, division, and story problems.  Students also played games on beach towels,  enjoyed popsicles.  

Here are some cute beach books: 

And here are my gifts to my kiddos. Personalized beach buckets with a book, candy, bubbles, pool ball, and some other fun items.  The paper includes a QR code and site to get our end of the year slide show.  

Like I said, our last day we had little to work with.  It was the first movie we watched all year, kids colored on plates and had a blast making masks, etc.  You'd think I had given them gold.  We also had a glow dance party in the gym that was a huge hit.  It was really fun.  

 I hope this gives you a few ideas to end the year with a bang. 


Karaoke in the Classroom

After posting on my instagram story about using karaoke in my classroom, I had several messages asking for a post on the hows and whys of this activity.  So here it goes.


As you may know, the last three years before becoming a second grade teacher, I was the reading specialist for K-4.  The little ones are a piece of cake. I can make reading, learning letter sounds, sight words, decoding and becoming more fluent fun.  When I would get my third and fourth graders that were lacking fluency it was a bit harder. Yes, I could teach them fluency strategies, we could do reader's theaters and repeated reading, but I needed something else that would pique their interest.  My kids loved music and what is better for them to practice than song lyrics that they love to help them with reading fluency?  So karaoke it is.  

When I moved into the second grade classroom full of readers who could decode, but still weren't fluent I decided to continue using this practice.  


The first thing you need to do is set up a SafeShare.tv account. I love SafeShare because it removes adds and it keeps all my videos in one easy playlist. As you can see, I set up a playlist called karaoke. now I can simple click on it and all the video for students to choose from, are in one place. They can see all the choices easily and pick. 

To add a video to the playlists you create, you add the video, then go to the bottom and select the playlist you want the video added to. After I check karaoke I simply hit the green checkmark and it will appear in the playlist. 

If you want to see more step by step set up, check my instagram stories.  You can go to the Teacher Tools story link and I talk you through this a bit. 


I find all of my videos on Youtube.  Here are some suggestions of what to search to find school appropriate videos that include the lyrics:   "Kidz Bops Read Along"   "Kidz Bops Songs with Lyrics" "Dreamworks Songs with Lyrics"   The searches alone, will give you a pretty good list of songs.  I will say the most popular songs among my class are Lost Boy, Fight Song and I'm Still Standing. 


The only other thing you really need is a wireless microphone.  These are both very similar to the one I purchased for my classroom. 

So there it is. Everything you need to set up karaoke in your classroom. It's a pretty simple way to make fluency fun for your sweet little friends.

This post contains affiliate links for the convenience of  the reader. Should you choose to make a purchase after clicking through a link, I will earn a commission.  This will not affect your purchase or purchase price. 


They Say It's Your Birthday!

Going back into the classroom meant finding a way to display and celebrate student birthdays. Years ago I put practically everything in frames, not only because love the homey look, but also because I love the ease of using a dry erase marker on my displays and it still looking brand new the next year. This is my birthday display. I love being able to quickly write up student birthdays and on this 16 x 20 frame. 

You can grab several versions of this chart by clicking the picture below.

In addition, I recently posted my birthday gift to my students on Insta and had lots of requests for the printable. My kiddos are seriously over the moon when they receive this gift. 

You can grab the tags HERE

The pens are from Amazon. 
Click the image to purchase. 

This post contains affiliate links for the convenience of  the reader. Should you choose to make a purchase after clicking through a link, I will earn a commission.  This will not affect your purchase or purchase price. 


Back to School with Jane

**In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links from Jane.com and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).**
I have always been a sucker for a great deal and I always find myself going back to Jane to find all sorts of adorable clothes, teacher tees, accessories and more.  Right now, Jane has so many deals that are great for back to school, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds for back to school.  
1. Solid Midi Dress: This dress is cozy, a great length and flows which makes it perfect for the classroom.  
2. This Boho Tunic Dress is so precious. I love everything about it. 
3. Kadence Floral Midi Dress:  I love this super soft dress. It's perfect for summer back to school.
4. Floral Boho Dress: This adorable maxi would be perfect with a cardigan for classroom. 
5. This Santorini Skirt: is perfection for the classroom.  You can wear a cute tee and still look good while hanging on the carpet with your kids. 
6. Scalloped Tunic: This scalloped shirt would be perfect with a pair of dress pants or capris. 
7. Summer Ruffle Sleeve Top: I love a pretty ruffle sleeve. In fact I have a hard time not buying them all. 
8. Nova Peplum: How adorable is this with the bell sleeve? It's one of my favorites on Jane right now.
9. Piper Baby Doll Tunic: I think this top is precious and would be perfect with leggings and booties. 
10. Crazy for You Top: This top is a bit more dressy but perfect for the classroom. 
11. Teaching is Heart Work: I love a good teacher tee and Jane never lets me down. I have this tee, as well as a million others for casual Fridays.
12. Teacher Tee: These adorable tees come in 17 colors. 
13. Trendy Teacher Tees: These tees come in four different designs and 12 colors.
1. Tassel Earrings: I'm pretty sure I have every pair of these tassel earrings because they are just so adorable on. I paid big bucks for some of these when they first made their way out and now they are here for only 7.99!
2. Everyday Long Necklaces: These are also so trendy and fun.  You can grab some beautiful necklaces for less than 10 dollars. 
3. Leather Earrings: I've never met a leather earring, I didn't love.  They make a statement while being lightweight. 
4. Flower Tassel Earrings: These are so unique and only 4.99! 
5. Triple Drop Fashion Earrings: I just got my first pair of these and they are so fun! 
6. Designer Inspired Tote: This teacher tote is stylish and so affordable. 
7. Take It Everywhere Backpack: I've been eying this backpack every time it's on Jane. I think this might be the time when I pull the trigger. Now to decide on a color. 

1. Back to School Tees: These are precious and can't decide which saying I love the most.
2.  Sugar Sweet Short Sets: It's a good thing I don't have girls, because I'm pretty sure they'd have all of these personalized tees for every occasion. 
3. Back to School Tees (Grades): You have to check these out. One design is cuter than the next.
4. 3 Piece Insulated Lunch Set: These are so stinky clever and adorable. They include the water bottle/koozie and go-gurt insulated pouch.  
5. Personalized Lunch Totes: You had me at monogramed.
6. Personalized Pencil Box. These fun boxes are great additions for back to school.
1. Personalized Organizer: This organizer comes in 12 different designs. 
2. Stamps: This set of two teacher stamps is an easy way to provide feedback to your students. 
3.  Pencil Cases: These come in 10 different styles but I absolutely love a good cactus item.  Throw these in your teacher bag with all the essentials. 
4. Pillow Covers: I am so ordering a few of these pillow covers for my classroom library.  Making cozy spots in the classroom is a goal of mine. 
5. Personalized Teacher Stickers: These are great to put on items you want to make sure come back to you when your teacher friends borrow. :) 
6. Felt Letter Board: Love these felt letter boards. They can be used in so many different ways in the classroom, from photos, to quotes and more. 
7. Back to School Banner: This banner would be adorable for a first day picture or meet the teacher night. 


Reading Week

Do you celebrate Read Across America? We have always celebrated with Seuss filled activities. This year we're doing something totally different and all of our teachers are really excited about the change. This year we will be taking the name literally and read across our great states.  
We celebrate for the entire week with theme filled days that include dressing up, reading with buddies, prize drawings and author presentations.  You can see our new days below.  

A few teachers and I also compiled a list of book suggestions for each day. 
In addition to these theme days, we'll also be having the kiddos guess the number of "bookworms" or gummy worms in the jar.  The student with the closest guess in K-2 and 3-5 will win a book basket.  In addition our kids caught reading at times when reading isn't expected, will be "caught reading".  The teachers submit names to me and I choose a name randomly. The next morning, that student is called over announcements to come down and receive a $10 dollar gift card to Barnes and Nobel.  

After sharing this new theme for our reading week on IG, I had lots of requests for these documents. Below I am attaching an editable form of the parent letter and copies of what I've sent to our teachers.  Click the image below for the documents. 

Another great celebration going on this coming week is 
This beautiful button was made by the talented Lyndsey Kuster and you can see all of the slides and book suggestions on the adorable Tutu's Teacher's instagram account right now.  

Happy Reading Friends! 

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