Saturday, November 30, 2013

Oh So Sweet…

Mmmmmmm cookies baking in the oven! Isn’t that the sweetest smell. I have always had a thing for anything smelly. I was an avid smelly sticker collector when I was younger (Alright, I admit it!! As an adult I still have quite a collection of smelly stickers!!) . Okay since we are putting it all out there,  I still have a small (ok rather large) addiction to anything that smells. I love smelly markers, stickers, perfume, and candles. I apologize ahead of time to my parents- I think my addiction rubs off on my kiddos every year. When I was little one of my favorite books was The Sweet Smells of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry. It is definitely up there with my favorite Seuss classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”.

My favorite markers are Scentos!!!

Getting these holiday ones out and ready to introduce on Monday!!

My newest holiday scented stickers are from Trend

My favorite perfume scents

“lifelong fave”

“newest fave”

newest want

Favorite Candles-

Well being a past gift shop owner- I love candles. My newest obsession (Thanks to my principal) is Scentsy.

Oh how I love happy birthday burning from my “new” holder.

Okay, I am feeling a bit like Oprah right about now. I guess maybe I should do a new series. A few of my favorite things….Mrs. Fresh2o style (

Hmmmm definitely something to think about while I am enjoying a hot cup of joe and eating a few of those fresh baked cookies. )

Oh My Goodness, I almost forgot to tell you! I just finished my Gingerbread Goodies Unit. I am super excited to return to school on Monday and showcase this unit to my kiddos during their center time. I honestly can’t wait!! I am hoping this cute unit helps me to get into the “spirit” of the holidays. I am feeling a bit “grinch-y” as usual.

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Here is a little sneak peek

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I will be giving one of these away tonight from my facebook page. Simply click the link below. Once on facebook hit like and leave an email. I will pick a winner tonight at 7 p.m. Tennessee Kickoff Let’s Go VOLS!!!

https://www.facebook.com/mrsfreshwatersclassblog

 

Always,

Melissa

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time to be thankful…

Good Evening!! I know everyone is getting ready for the “big” feast tomorrow.  With all of the hustle and bustle that will be happening in the next few weeks, I just wanted to take a minute and just say, “Thank You". You have all been a true blessing and inspiration to me over the last few years. Thank you all for the all of the warm and kind emails. Your words have been truly inspiring. I am trying to get back into the swing of centers. I have been so busy updating my second grade reading street supplemental packets that my holiday center creations have taken a backseat. I have been carrying around “my notebook” and have been making plans for December and January. I just completed my first holiday packet  Santa’s Lil Helper and am super excited to share it with you. 

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This packet includes 12 centers ( 6 ELA and 6 Math)

Literacy Centers

•Reindeer Round-Up (ABC Order)

•Santa’s Sack (Common and Proper Nouns)

• Peppermint Punctuation (Punctuation)

•Contraction Cookies (Contractions)

•Nutcracker Nouns (Noun Sort)

•Past, Present& Future Presents (Verb Tense)

Math Centers

•Candy Cane Counting (Skip Counting 2,5,10)

•Stocking Sums (double Digit Addition)

•Waiting for Santa (Time)

•Cocoa Counting (Money)

•Elf Mischief (Base ten counting & greater than, less than)

Merry Measurement (Measurement)

I included a full size center title- I put these on  10x13 catalog envelopes prior to laminating. I place copies of my  recording sheets in the envelopes then put inside my center baskets along with laminated cards. My kiddos know they “read” the directions first prior to completing the center.  Once my centers are finished, I simply place the laminated center pieces inside the laminated envelope, seal and store until next year. I purchased these adorable file/ store bins from walmart. I have my centers and themed activities in them for each month. So far it seems to be a good system. I do not have a lot of storage at school therefore I grab the box I need take it to school for the month and then swap them out. I just brought home my November box, but need to begin getting my December box filled and ready for next month. My goal over the break- to complete my December centers. I have this packet printing as we speak- I guess it’s time to fire up the Scotch laminator. I am “thankful” I stocked up on my laminating sheets at Sam’s Club. Oh my word…. I wonder how many boxes I buy every year…

Stay Tuned… for my new GINGERBREAD Set!! I am super excited about this set. It is too cute for words.

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Always, Melissa

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gobble till you Wobble

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Wowzer, It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week!! It seems as though this year is truly flying by.  It doesn’t feel like I can get ahead of all the hustle and bustle. Luckily, I found these adorable Thanksgiving themed centers from the ever talented Katie King from the Queen of the First Grade Jungle.

 Pilgrim Party

I knew as soon as I saw them I had to snag them up and put my Scotch laminator to work. (I thank the man upstairs for my son’s sweet girlfriend Kayla. She is my official center cutting partner.)

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My kiddos have been working hard and love working with their “center companion” during our daily center time.

I knew I wanted to really teach my kiddos about the Pilgrims and the “first” Thanksgiving. When I discovered Stephanie Stewart of Falling into First adorable All about Thanksgiving packet on TPT, I was actually excited to complete my weekly plans. This packet is busting with engaging Thanksgiving Activities.

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Here is a snippet of our “meet the pilgrims” craft  we made. Oh so many skills are incorporated in this packet. Thank you Stephanie for helping me teach my 2nd graders all about the “first” Thanksgiving.

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Well as many people know I am not much of a “holiday” person. Yes, I am known as a scrooge or even the “grinch” in my family. The holidays just don’t seem to have the same “spark” that they used to when I was little. Well, even though I may not get into the “swing” of things at home, I LOVE to make things for my kiddos to give as gifts. I saw all those “adorable turkey handprint crafts on pinterest. Ohmyword, the turkey handprints were literally taking over my boards. My favorite idea came from Pampered by Tammie. I loved her thinking

Thanksgiving = turkeys = food = cooking = POTHOLDERS!!

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!!!!

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I gathered all the necessary supplies

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The project was pretty simple to complete. My 2nd graders were able to complete this with very little assistance. I do not have a sink in my classroom but I filled a few disposable pans with water and laid paper towels nearby. My kiddos submerged their “painted” hand into the water and "rinsed off prior to heading out to wash their hands. This was the smartest thing I have done. Note to self…purchase a couple plastic dishpans for future craft projects. Once the turkeys were dry, I let the kids add the finishing touches. (An eye, legs, and a waddle)

We talked about being thankful. We decided this was a “perfect” gift to give to the person making Thanksgiving dinner. My kiddos will all be taking one of their adorable personalized Turkey Potholders home to give to the person “slaving” over their dinner on Thanksgiving. I think all those cooks will be super excited to receive these turkey lurkies.

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My momma always told me it’s all about presentation. Yes, I was the girl who woke up every Christmas morning to beautifully wrapped packages. You know the kind that are actually too pretty to unwrap. Thanks Mom for always taking a little “extra” time to make everything in my childhood a little more beautiful. Well, how does one wrap a potholder to make it as precious as the gift inside? Well, in this day and age, you head on over to pinterest for some inspiration.  I was lucky one evening, okay I admit it one early morning when I had insomnia to run across Save the Turkeys by Jessica Todd. The best part about this adorable writing craftivity… It was FREE!!! Well, I didn’t need a writing project but I loved the adorable turkey craft. I swapped the writing paper for a XL brown paper bag and BINGO!!!! We have our “gift bags”.

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All lined up and ready to go

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Even though we still have a few more days of school until our Thanksgiving break arrives, I knew I wanted to do our “thanksgiving” celebration a few days earlier. I opted to have a “Charlie Brown” themed party for the kids. My parents were amazing. They sent in tons of goodies. Yes, we had it all popcorn, pretzel sticks, buttered toast, strawberry parfaits with whipped cream and maraschino cherries, and jellybeans (well the jellybeans were for display only!!) I added cute “charlie brown” accents to my water bottles. (This was simple to create. I made a zigzag pattern onto white paper and then copied it onto yellow construction paper. I cut them into stripes and attached them with tape.) We watched the movie “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” during our feast! I even got a kick out of a few who said, “Look Mrs. Freshwater they copied us!” Oh My.. I was shocked they had never seen this “classic”. I was very thankful to share this special time with each of my second graders.

 

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One of my “sweet” parents brought in their Smiley face toaster for us to use. The kids “loved” it!!! This was a little glimpse at our plates. Yummy!!!

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I’ll leave you with one of my Favorite quotes from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown. –Marcie

 

Always, Melissa

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Super Spellers

One thing I have been trying to reinforce this year is spelling word practice. I know not all of my kiddos have the opportunity to practice their words every night. As I stated in an earlier blog post, I have begun implementing daily centers during my intervention time. I have a total of ten centers and I have “paired” my students. It takes two weeks for us to go through our centers. I have two centers that help to reinforce our weekly spelling words and phonics skill.  I have been using Rachelle Smith’s adorable 1-2-3 Spell with me!

123 Spell with Me!

After using this set for the past 9 weeks, I noticed some of my kiddos were a bit restless so I began searching for a few new ideas to “mix” things up a bit.

I found this cute freebie by Jen Ross of The Teacher’s Cauldron it covers two things spelling practice and money counting!!! (LOVE IT!!)

What's Your Word Worth? Freebie

My kiddos are very “hands-on” this year and seem to need multi-steps in order to stay focused and on-task during centers. They also love anything to do with “artsy” things. Okay, it’s probably my fault. I love anything that is colored or scented. (i.e., pens, pencils, markers, crayons, etc.) I decided to help “spice” up my two spelling centers by creating a few “artsy” things to help them enjoy the “dreaded spelling centers. (I uploaded these to my TPT store for FREE. Just click on one of the pictures below to head on over and download the packet.)

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COLORFUL WORDS

Who doesn’t love a dice game?? The students will roll a number cube/dice to determine what color they will write their spelling word. I included three different styles. Simply print onto cardstock, laminate and add to your center basket. I have included recording sheets for 10 words, 12 words, and 15 words. (Please note this is a “freebie”. I hope you could make use of these three different styles.) I print mine front/back for my early finishers. Extra practice never hurt anyone.

 

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PPM

Pencil, Pen, Marker

This is a “fun” activity that keeps the kiddos busy for a little bit. Key for PPM “neatness” counts. You always have a few students who think finishing first is the winning ticket, but I stress neatness and will even reward a sticker or smelly stamp for a neat PPM paper. I plan on adding my “famous” labeled tin cans  filled with pencils, colored pens, and markers  to my center baskets. I needed a PPM that fit all 15 of our weekly spelling words, that’s why I created this page.

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Write It! Stamp It!

My kiddos “love” to use stampers. I thought this would be a great way for them to stay active and practice their weekly word lists. For this activity the students will write the word first and then they will stamp the word. ( I may through one of the colorful word activities in with this center too.)

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I picked up a bunch of alphabet letters stampers at the Target Dollar Spot. Oh how I love you!!

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Well, I am off to work my Thanksgiving Center Packet. With some luck I will have it posted by tomorrow morning. I am super excited about this packet. It feels great to be creating again.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Always, Melissa

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