Lemonade & Retirement.

Goodness I love that word!  Unfortunately I'm nowhere near the age I'm actually able to reap the benefits or enjoy it myself, but I do love that word a lot.  Although I'm not quite ready to retire anytime soon, I do have lots of resources that are ready to take the leap.  And because retirement has it's benefits, these resources will be offered at a deep discount before they're gone for good!!!  I'll be posting my retiring sets throughout the summer, so stay tuned to see what's headed out & grab 'em on the cheap before they go!

First to retire, two of my favorites!  

These files have been bundled and the set is only $5!  That's 10 literacy centers and 7 math centers (in both black & white and color) for only $5!  If you currently own these resources, you can still access them through your purchases page.  The individual listings have been removed and soon the bundle will be gone as well.  Retirement is a beautiful thing :)

Speaking of lemonade, let's talk about some of my favorite lemonade themed activities and ideas.  I'll be using these over the summer with my boys.  First on the agenda is having their very own lemonade stand.  They both want to make lemonade and bake a few goodies to sell.  They said they want to keep some of the money and give the rest away to people who need it.  Bless.  Here's what I'm hoping I can talk my husband into making for them....

Okay, so let's be real.  It's more for me than for them.  But they like to humor me, so I think I can swing it. And I'll replace the swag with a chalkboard so they don't tell me it's too "girly".  Bless.
If they protest too much, I can always head to Amazon and grab this one instead....I guess ;)

Before I turn them loose with their money making venture, we'll do a little research.   Sure...these are picture books...but they're my favorites for teaching about supply & demand, earning money, and saving & spending!  Nothing wrong with lesson in economics for the littles.  These are great mentor texts for these concepts and I already have them on standby since the boys have informed me that they'd like to start selling as soon as school lets out. Oy vey.

It goes without saying that summer science is a must! We'll definitely be visiting the science experiments from our Science of Summer resource....

but we'll also have to incorporate these before and after our lemonade stand!!!  The boys will absolutely LOVE these!

And, well, this one looks too amazingly awesome to pass up.  Anything that fizzes and explodes is an instant winner in this house.  

Of course, I'll keep my kids writing this summer because I know that writing is one of those skills that takes time and stamina to perfect.  While I don't expect perfection....especially over summer break!!!!....I do want them practicing.  Quiet time is a must and quiet time for us in the summer usually includes reading and writing.  Luckily my boys love to do both (thank you, Lord).  I don't really have to twist their arms to humor me with my requests...YET.  So...here's what I have planned for writing.

Expository writing...how to make lemonade.  Wouldn't this craft be cute to pair with that writing?!

I also want to do a little writing with similes, too. 
________ is as sour as a lemon.
Lemons are as sweet as ______.
_______ is as yellow as a lemon.

You get what I'm saying.

And of course, they'll definitely be writing a personal narrative about their lemonade stand experience.  I've already bought their summer journals and my oldest is chomping at the bit to get started writing in it!  Bless his school loving soul.  I hope that doesn't ever change!  

As far as math goes, we'll really be focusing on money & measurement.  Although there's a TON of skills we could incorporate, I really want to focus on the economics side of things.  I'll be grabbing a lot of the hands-on math and literacy from my retiring sets...they both cover concepts and skills that are perfect for review for the boys.

If you're interested in either the math or literacy lemonade themed activities, you can grab the bundle HERE before it's gone for good!


So that about covers it!

Any other lemonade themed ideas or books you love??  What am I missing???

Suggested Summer Reading

Hello friends! 

This will be a quick post as I have a full day ahead of me prepping for some PD I'll be doing in OK later this week.  

As I was going through some files to share, I came across these lists I created to send home with my kids last year.  I compiled a list of different books parents can buy/check out from the library that reach their independent reading levels.  I also included books that would be great for fluency!  Parent notes are attached to the top of each list.  I sent these home in my kids' portfolios at the end of the year.  I also gave the parents a copy and explained it to them at our last parent/teacher conference of the school year.  I made sure to only send home the list that was applicable to each student so that they weren't independently reading text that was too difficult.  

The suggested book lists are geared towards independent reading levels C-H / 3-14.  If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!!  

Have a great day!

Snag It Saturday (EOY Freebies!)

Happy Saturday!!!  Did y'all survive Friday the 13th?!  I honestly had NO clue that was the date until my brother mentioned it last night.  Then I came across this meme and laughed WAY harder than I'm proud to admit.....


Okay...so my Friday the 13th was filled with celebration.  My college BFF recently had her third baby and I got some snuggle time with him.  It didn't send my ovaries into a tizzy which was wonderful...I mean, we really are finished having babies.  Ha!  And then we went to a little gender reveal for my brother and his wife.  We were all certain they would be having a girl, but it looks like my boys get another boy cousin to play with!  We're all SO excited!!!!!  

Okay...now let's move on with a few things you might want to snag for the end of the year craziness.  

Here's a little idea I think you'll love. 
When I taught first grade, I loved having my kids write letters to the kindergartners. Their letters included (hilarious) advice, what to expect, and a few encouraging words.  We'd invite one of our kinder classrooms to our first grade classrooms, pair up the kids, and then have my first graders read their letters to their K partner.  Then their K friend got to take the letter home with him/her.    I'm sure you already do something similar in your class.  Great way to get the incoming kids excited about the next school year. 

Well...I think it would be equally as fun to have your kids write a "survival booklet" of sorts for incoming kids, but instead of sending the booklets home at the end of the year, save them for your Meet the Teacher night and have your new class of parents and kids read the booklets as they familiarize themselves with the classroom.  Here's what I'm talking about....

Your kids will essentially be writing a letter to your future class, but in a booklet form.  And these really would be a great addition to add to the reading material you place on student desks for Meet the Teacher.  I love the idea of parents AND kids reading these together.  And hearing about their new class from a former student's perspective?!  Priceless!

You can use as many...or as few...booklet pages as needed.  Here's a sample of a few of them...

Click on the pic to download your copy...

Speaking of end-of-year activities, here's another one your kids are sure to love!  Find-a-Friend Bingo!
Instructions are simple.  Just print and go!  Prompt your kids to get up, move around the room, and find at least one person under each letter (B.I.N.G.O) who matches the statement in one of the boxes.  The kids can use a crayon or bingo dotter to mark the spaces and even write the matching name of their friend in the box, too!  


Hope you can use these activities in the next few crazy days/weeks to come!!!  Have a great weekend!

End of Year Keepsakes & Such

If you're anything like me, then you probably wait 'til the ninth hour to not only organize and prep your end-of-year student keepsakes, but you also wait 'til that point to plan them, too.  #guiltyascharged
No??  Am I the only one?!?!  

Well I got to thinking the other day (scary) and wanted to compile some ideas for you just in case you're in the same boat as me :)  Thought it would be handy to have some of my favorite ideas all in one place for easy reference.  

I love keepsakes.  Now that my boys are in school, I seem to cherish them even more!  Of course, the keepsakes I usually send home with my students are more for the parents than for the kids, but my hope is that one day when my students are all grown up they'll look back through their keepsakes and smile thinking about what an awesome time they had in my class.  That's my hope anyway ;)  So let's get started!

First up, the coveted end of year slideshow DVD.  Aaaaah.  The one project that gives me so much unwarranted stress and anxiety.  Will the sound work??  Will the slideshow burn to the DVD?  WHY WON'T THE SOUND WORK?!?!?!  LOL!!!!  Can I get an amen?!

This is how I send home our end of year DVDs.  Cute, right?!  I know there are darling labels I could create and adhere to the actual DVD itself, but since these are usually not ready 'til the night before the last day, I'm honestly doing good just to tie the printed label with a cute ribbon.  Ha!  Speaking of the label, you can grab this exact printable gift tag at Bits of Everything (free).

I compiled a huge list of DVD slideshow songs....perfect for the tear factor ;)  They make me cry whenever I hear them!  HA!!!  Just click on the pic to take you to that list.  And be sure to read through the comments because there are some GREAT suggestions for more songs there, too!

Of course, memory books are a MUST!   Typically at the end of the year, I have to turn in EVERYTHING to library several weeks before the last day.  I don't want my guided reading time to be wasted, so when the kids come up for "reading", we work on pages in their memory books and then they get to "free read" (good fit books of their choosing) or work on fluency activities.  

Because I wanted to update my files to be more current, I went ahead and created an entirely new format for our EOY memory books.  This one includes a ton and even has a little Instagram theme...hashtags and all!  My 2nd grader couldn't start his soon enough!!!! 

If you're interested in adding this little memory book to your stash of keepsakes, you can check it out HERE.  Click the pic for a closer look!
One of my most FAVORITE end of year keepsakes is our student portfolios we send home.  This is definitely one of those projects that can't wait 'til the end of the year to start however.  But let me tell y'all...as crazy as this sounds, I look at my boys' portfolios all the dang time!!!!  I seriously LOVE these!!!

These little portfolios go home with my kids on the last day of school and they're chock full of their work from the year.  Not worksheets or anything like that, but writing samples, craftivities, etc.  These seriously make the BEST keepsakes!!!  They're also great for self reflection for the kids.  They love looking through their portfolios and when they see their early-in-the-year work, they always say things like, "WHO DID THIS?!?!", or "THAT'S NOT MINE!!!!", and "WOW!  MY HANDWRITING IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!"  Love that!

You can read more about what goes into those portfolios HERE.

Another thing I like to add to the portfolios is the most PRECIOUS keepsake idea I got from Katie Mense at Little Warriors.  Such a GREAT idea!!!

Parents and students BOTH absolutely LOVE these!!!!  I laminated ours for safe keeping and then popped it into the front of the portfolio.  You could also secure it in a protective plastic sleeve!

Summertime Fun Packet is also sent home with a box of crayons and you can find that HERE.

Now I want to know what you send home as a keepsake for the end of the year!!!  Anything??  Nothing at all??  I love adding to my big ol' vault of ideas!!!!  DO share!!!!

Ice Cream Day...and Some FREEBIES!

So I heard from a little birdie that lots of you are either approaching your last week or are days away from your last day.  Lucky y'all!!!  HA!!!

For those of you with a little more time on your hands, I'm going to be posting about different theme days for the next few days.  This is how I survive the end of the school year.  Our schedules are already wonky...guided readers have to be turned in and accounted for...nothing resembles normalcy WHATSOEVER!!!!  Theme days get me by during these last few days of the year.  They're fun for me and a BLAST for the kids.  No better way to end a school year!!

Today's theme day....ICE CREAM!!!!  

I mean, who doesn't love ice cream?!?!  

I digress.

Let's get into our ice cream theme day!!!!!  

Here's just a little sample of what my plans might look like on this day.
For a closer look, you can download them, too.

Most of those activities mentioned come from this resource....

Now let's break it all down, shall we?!

These are the books I typically have on hand for ice cream day.  We use these either as read alouds or material for independent reading...

When my kids come in in the mornings, I love for them to start their day THINKING!!!! 
A couple of ideas....

You can start the day on WONDEROPOLIS (project this page on the white board) and get your kids wondering.  I WONDER ...What is the best ice cream flavor?
You can check out the website for more info.  This is a great way to start the day!

And when your kids are finished wondering, it's time for them to get creative.  Have your kids come in and complete a Draw Start using an ice cream cone as they're starting point.  The objective of this activity is to have your kids think creatively to turn the ice cream cone into something else.  You'd be AMAZED by their thinking!  The first district I ever taught in would use activities like these to help identify students for the GT program.  This wouldn't be the deciding factor, of course, just a little something extra to help them identify those gifted thinkers.  After your kids complete their draw start, have them flip over their papers and write about their creation on the back.

Once the bell rings and it's time to start the day, we head on over to the carpet for a read aloud and some poetry.  As you can see in my plans, we're reading The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger.  We'll read the story aloud and then give them a follow-up writing prompt to complete when they visit their independent literacy stations.  I've also got a poem they'll visit during this time, so we'll sing that before heading off to stations, too.  

During their independent literacy station block of time, I'll be walking around and helping my kids where it's needed.  Since guided readers have to be turned in, I'll use this time for some small group work focusing on various phonetic skills.  Lots of review!  The activities mentioned in my plans all come from my Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet.  As for the poetry, I'll write the words on sentence strips, cut them apart, and have the kids assemble it in sequential order as they recite the poem/song.  THey will each get a copy of the poem for their poetry folders as well.  I'll have them use highlighters to find different spelling/phonetic patterns/rhyming words, too.

After our literacy stations, we'll move into a quick ice cream themed read aloud and then I'll have the kids go back to their desks and brainstorm their very own brand new ice cream flavor.  Their responses are nothing short of adorable and it's so cute to see how excited they get at the thought of creating their very own ice cream!!!  

They're usually SO excited about this writing opportunity that I'll make sure to schedule enough time for them to share aloud.  Depending on how much time we have, I'll either have them partner share, share in small groups, or volunteer to stand up in front of the class and read.  SO fun!

After lunch it's IMPERATIVE to make ice cream sundaes :)  It is for me anyway.  I love doing this with the kids and...as you can imagine...they get SO excited about eating ice cream in the classroom.  I bring one big ol' tub of ice cream and then lots of toppings...caramel sauce, chocolate syrup, pineapple chunks, bananas, sprinkles, cherries, whipped cream....the works!!!!  If you have parents itching to help you out these last few weeks, this is a great activity for them to be present!  

I give them their bowls and have them eat their sundaes with a partner.  While they're enjoying their sundaes, they'll compare/contrast them both.  I also give them a Venn Diagram to take back with them so they can work as they eat :)

We'll also use this time for a little expository writing activity....how-to make an ice cream sundae!

Then we'll start our graphs...a great transition into our independent math stations.  Again, the math activities I included in my plans come from my Ice Cream LIteracy/Math/Science packet.  Of course, you can use whatever you have on hand!

At the end of the day, we'll finish with a science experiment.  We take time to hypothesize, experiment, and record our observations.  Such a fun way to end the day!!!  

I'm sure you know that there are a MILLION and one different things we could incorporate on ice cream day.  Too much to even write about.  However, I do want to give you some additional ideas that you may....or may not...have seen already.  

Grab your chalk and get ready for some hopscotch fun.  I would definitely incorporate this somehow, but instead of hopscotching, I'd use this as a skill review.  
For math, I'd write various sums/differences in each box (as pictured) and then I'd give my kids a red pom pom (like a cherry :) to toss onto the numbers.  Then I'd have them toss the cherry, read the sum/difference, and write or orally tell me an equation to match.  
For literacy, I'd write different blends/digraphs or even vowel teams in eachbox.  GIve them that red pom pom again and have them toss and give me words to match the spelling pattern.  If you don't have  a sidewalk available, just draw your popsicle on some butcher paper, laminate, and then use in the classrooom year after year :)   This would be great for a whole group or small group activity!!!

How fun is this science experiment?!  Erupting ice cream cones!!!  Can you imagine the fun?!?! (and the mess?!?! Hahahaha) 

You REALLY need to visit this post!!  She has SO many more ideas for a "frozen treat day" that you could easily adapt to fit the needs of your kids!!!  I could see some of these activities being modified for all ages!!!

We've also made Ice Cream in a Bag in the past. My kids LOVE this!!!!  It gets a little messy and if you're not paying attention, you might even pour lots of salt into the ice cream mixture (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything ;)  At the end of the day, I send home the recipe with my kids and encourage them to make it at home, too (much to their parent's dismay...hahaha)

Here are some fun math ideas from Amy at Step Into 2nd Grade...

And I love the idea of having your kids color their own summer reading bookmarks at the end of the day (or even first thing in the morning), and then letting them take them home to encourage summer reading.  I would have my kids make theirs and then slide it into their portfolios I send home on the last day of school along with a suggested summer reading list....this way they don't lose the bookmark between now and the last day of school.

As you can see, there are so many ideas to incorporate into an Ice Cream Day that you could easily spread out the activities over several different days :)  And as you can see, this is definitely not a "play day" or full of "fluff'".  There's still lots of learning going on.  I love that days like this not only excite the kids, but they fire me up, too!!!  And when I'm more excited about what I'm teaching, the kids tend to soak in the information that much more...and they're so much more engaged!!  That's sort of key these last few weeks of school...keeping them engaged in their learning!!!  

If you already own my I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet, please go back and download it again.  I've added a couple more printables/activities and updated all the graphics and fonts to be more current.  That was one of my first additions to the shop and ohmiword....it was outdated and SCARY!!!!!  Here's what it looks like now....

Stay tuned for more Theme Day ideas!!!!  
Anything in particular you'd like to see next??  Here's what I have on tap:
Lemonade Day, Bubble Day, Watermelon Day, Pirate Day, S'More Day....and MORE!!!  

Also...would you like me to continue to add the visual plans??  Does that help?? 

HAPPY (almost) FRIDAY!!!!

Today is the Day!

So, today is the first day of the Teacher Appreciation Sale on TpT. Woohoo!
Click the graphic below or HERE to visit my shop and snag some resources for almost 30% off with the code: CELEBRATE!


It's is also THE ONLY DAY you will be able to snag this LIMITED RELEASE bundle! Like, ever! The sale price combined with TpT's discount code makes each set of monthly plans LESS than ten bucks a piece! Insert OMG emoji.


So, if you've been interested in implementing our Science of the Month resources into your classroom, TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!

You can see each of these resources individually by clicking the link below:

PS. Abby and I have a little surprise coming your way tomorrow! Eeeeh!

Yearlong Pacing Calendar & Science of the Month Questions Answered

Our resources are targeted for the K-2 grade levels.  The vocabulary and science experiments, investigations, and activities are perfect for K-2.  While they would also be great to modify for Pre-K, the cross curricular activities included are not developmentally appropriate for four-year-olds.  The cross-curricular games and activities included target K-2 literacy and math skills.  Many of the skills included can be modified and adapted to meet the needs of both struggling and excelling students.  With many of the cross curricular activities included, we both try to included ideas for modification in the instructions.

Throughout the course of the school year, our science resources will cover all of the science standards for both Common Core and TEKS.   Many of the NGSS science standards are also covered.
The cross curricular activities included cover basic, grade level skills and objectives that are taught throughout the school year and can be easily implemented in either a whole group or small group setting as well as independent and center work.  

The themes included in each month's resource cover MANY of the science standards our students will learn throughout the school year.  Our goal is to ensure that ALL science standards and skills will be covered throughout the course of the year while using different themes to reach each objective and standard.   While the themes may not be science specific (example:  habitats, life cycles, etc.) these concepts ARE COVERED within the week's themes.  Reading through each month's pacing calendar will help you to identify the science skills and objectives that are targeted each week.  

As with anything you teach, the exact sequence of instruction for these resources is not required, rather suggested.  Our science resources are research-based and while we are presenting you with suggestions and ideas, you are the teacher and you know your students needs best!  Not to mention that you have a specific teaching style that fits you!  Do what works best!

For each week of learning, we provide a book list that compliments our activities.  In no way do you HAVE to have these books to successfully implement these activities.  The books suggested are simply that...just suggestions.  As teachers,  we know that not only do mentor texts enhance our instruction and anchor learning for our students, but they also provide a great way for our kids to make connections to their learning and the world around them.  Typically, ANY book (both fiction and non-fiction ) that you have that also covers the same theme and content will work just fine :)  

Yes, yes, and YES!!!!!  And here's what's included.....

We would LOVE to, but quite honestly we aren't going to put ourselves through that, LOL!!!  As we create each resource, we often realize that some concepts and skills turn out to be a little more time consuming to plan and prepare than others.  While we wish this resource were our only commitment, we also have work obligations and families that require quite a bit of our time :)    These resources get take blood, sweat, and tears to create and because they are so time intensive and comprehensive, we want to take the time we need to make it a great fit for you and your classrooms!  We will typically announce the release of the following month's resource a week before it is available for purchase, so follow us on Instagram (Abby's IG /  Cara's IG) to find out when you can expect the next one as we will post teasers throughout the week leading up to the release!

At this very moment, we have no plans on making a yearlong bundle available for purchase anytime soon.  Most likely, we will wait until August - December is completed before bundling all 10 months and making them available for purchase altogether.   If there were any reason we were unable to complete the resources as promised, we would be devastated that we weren't able to fulfill our commitment.  This is the safer way for now. HOWEVER, stay tuned over the next few weeks for a surprise or two we have up our sleeves.

In the meantime, you can see what we have in store for the year.  We are excited about the year's activities to come and can't wait to get those to you!

If you've been on the fence about implementing these resources in your classroom, check out more details HERE: